Sunday, October 31, 2004

People: Sad Fat Kids

My favorite part of Fox's post-season baseball coverage?
The sad fat kids.
Late in a game, with the home team losing, they'd always show a sad fat kid sitting in the stands. (R. says all fat kids are sad but I'm not sure this is true.)

Tonight (Hallowe'en) a sad fat kid came trick-or-treating to my door. Only he didn't say "Trick or treat". He was borderline too-old-for-Hallowe'en and had made minimum effort on his costume - dressed in black with a mask handing around his neck. (I let the age slide because he had his younger sister with him. Maybe he had to accompany her around the neighbourhood. At least she had gone to the trouble of painting her face a skeletal white.) And they didn't say 'Trick or treat". So I called him on it. "You're not going to say Trick or Treat?" "No," he sighed, "we're not in the mood." He then pointed out the flashes of lightning in the distance. "There's a storm coming." He was a sad fat kid. I gave him candy.

I did have a skinny happy kid who complimented me on the cactus beside my front door. "Cool cactus!" he said, more interested in that than the candy.

It is a cool cactus. I've had since I moved into my house in 1998. I rarely water it - maybe every six weeks. I think it's still alive.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Feeble Attempt At Humour

I was going to build my own abacus, but I thought it would be counter-productive.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Music: Bad Band Names

Great bands with horrible names:
Name:Possum Dixon
Why it's bad: Inappropriate for their style of music. You expect Southern Boogie, you get angular pop-punk.
How they got the name: From a criminal on "America's Most Wanted".
Outlook: They seem to have broken up. Too bad. Their 80s-influenced music would fit right in with Franz Ferdinand and Interpol.

Name:The Anomoanon
Why it's bad: Difficult to spell, impossible to pronounce.
How they got the name: From the top of a dictionary page, "Anomo-Anon".
Outlook: Doomed to be a footnote to big brother Will Oldham (Palace, Bonnie "Prince" Billy).

Name:Scud Mountain Boys
Why it's bad: "Scud" is such an ugly word.
How they got the name: Apparently, they started as a punk band called The Scuds. I would guess that they modified it to pay tribute to the Foggy Mountain Boys when they "went country".
Outlook: Sadly, new band the Pernice Brothers is just as overlooked.

Any suggestions?

Music: MP3 Blogs

While searching for something else, came across this blog post. (Note to Robb: this guy posts a Patty Griffin MP3. I think you'd have a lot in common with him.)

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Music: MP3 Blogs

For a shameless Smiths ripoff/homage, go here and listen to track 5 on both the A and B sides, by Math & Physics Club. I also recommend this by Edith Frost. And it's all legal.
Frank recommends this Election site to keep tabs on the Electoral College vote (according to the latest polls). Slate has something similar.

Sports: Baseball

Baseball Notes.

  • Three people in a booth is one too many. Fox seems to have realised this for the World Series. Unfortunately, they've kept Tim "You can't see the wind" McCarver.
  • ESPN Radio in Dallas (103.3) is carrying a Mavericks pre-season game tonight instead of Game 3. Plonkers.
  • What the hell happened before Game 3 of the ALCS? Boston had the Cowsills come on to sing the National Anthem, but first, the PA played what seemed like Side 1 of their Greatest Hits.
  • That is some bad hair on the Red Sox. Worst of all - Bronson Arroyo's cornrows.
  • Idea to improve Baseball. Once per game, a manager can send up two batters at the same time: one left-handed, one right-handed. Either or both can swing at the pitches. (They need to coordinate between themselves who will take which part of the plate.) If one gets a hit, both must run and make it at least as far as First Base safely. At that point, one batter is given second base. If four balls are thrown, the batters are awarded First and Second. If an Out is recorded, both batters are out but it only counts as one Out.
  • Glen raises the interesting question - what if one of the batters is hit by a pitch? Now one batter can charge the mound while the other grapples with the catcher.
John Peel, RIP. Good interview from Yugoslavian radio.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Media: The Guardian

Self-serving piffle in the Guardian, trying to defend their unwise Clark County letter-writing campaign. Excerpt:
"Then came the backlash. We had expected it, of course. Fox-viewing America was never going to embrace our modest sortie into US politics and we knew full well that any individual voter might take exception to the idea of a foreigner writing to offer some advice on how they should vote..."

"Fox-viewing America" ? I don't think ABC-viewing America and UPN-viewing America were any keener on the idea.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Media: Jon Stewart on "Crossfire"

Transcript of Jon Stewart's appearance on "Crossfire", when he mixed it up with Tucker Carlson. A tip of the hat to CNN for including this quote in the transcript:
"You're as big a dick on your show as you are on any show."

Movies: "The Third Man"

Interesting articles about "The Third Man" at the British Film Institute's web site.

Quotes: HL Mencken

In Hugh Leonard's column today in the Sunday Independent (registration required), he quotes HL Mencken:
"When women kiss, it always reminds one of prizefighters shaking hands."

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Movie Quiz: Double Features 4

Double Feature mania is sweeping the nation! Here's an entry from Eric:

Two young Irish immigrants struggle in America, fall in love, and join the Oklahoma land rush. Then they're sent on a doomed mission to Nazi-occupied Holland to seize a key position on the Rhine.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Summary of Presidential polls. It also includes a link to Harry Shearer's song "Hard Work", which liberally samples President Bush.

Movie Quiz: Double Features 3

Another installment of everyone's favourite: Double Features. There's a theme to these three. Answers in the Comments section.

  1. A quadriplegic is born to a poor Irish family. Not only does he overcome his disabilities to become a talented painter and writer, he also leads the youth of a small town against the local ban on dancing.
  2. An Irishman living in England is falsely implicated in an IRA bombing and sent to prison. He shares a cell with his Dad, who has to arrange an extravagant wedding for his daughter.
  3. Warfare erupts between rival bands of criminals in 1860s Manhattan. In the midst of this violence, the Olsen Twins scheme to win a college scholarship and sneak onto the set of a music video.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Song List: Born To...

"Born To Run" - sure. A mite melodramatic and self-mythologising but it makes sense.
"Born To Be Wild" - I can dig that, even if it is irresponsible.
"Born To Lose" - defeatist and fatalistic but some people feel that way, I suppose.
But "Born To Be Alive" ? That's where I draw the line. Isn't that redundant? Damn catchy tune, though.

Feeble Attempt At Humour

Bumper sticker seen on the back of an Amish buggy:
"I'd rather be a Baby-shaker than a Shaker baby."

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Movies: "Betty Blue"

"Betty Blue" is finally released on DVD today in the USA. It has one of my favourite opening lines. As we watch a very naked couple making love, the voiceover narration says:

“I had known Betty for a week. We made love every night. The forecast was for storms.”

(But apparently the author of the book upon which it is based doesn't like the movie.)

Movie Quiz: Double Features 2

More Double Features.

  1. An African-American woman on the lam from prison cons the Iranian immigrants who now own her house. Hilarity and tragedy ensue as she wins justice for herself and teaches them to loosen up at the same time.
  2. A mischievous boy wreaks havoc on his elderly neighbour in the "projects" of Watts, while trying to avoid a violent death like his father or a drug-related death like his mother.
  3. An innocent Scottish teen deals with his first crush - on an aspiring actress who is forced to work as a phone-sex operator.

(Answers posted in the Comments section.)

Monday, October 11, 2004

Movie Quiz: Double Features 1

Double Feature (combining two movie titles). This movie is about a teenage girl who magically swaps bodies with her father, a High School Football coach. Dad has to deal with the pressures of being a teen while the daughter has to lead the football team to the State Championship.

Here's another one. A young boy in modern-day Philadelphia has a strange gift: he can see 19th Century English ladies. He overcomes his fears and helps two sisters to find suitable husbands.


The best Beethoven symphonies are the odd-numbered ones.
The best Star Trek films are the even-numbered ones.
The best Police Academy films are the prime numbers.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Sports: Overlapping Names

I've improved on the original "Overlapping Sports Names" entry. It now has 7 overlapping names. Had to use two Rugby players.
Eddie George Brett Kenny Logan Tom Gordan Banks
Breaking that down:

Sports: Appropriate Names

Another sports-appropriate name: Minnesota Twins relief pitcher (and Australian) Grant Balfour. Here's a website devoted to Australians who have made it big in US sports.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Words: "Internets"

Bushism at the Debate: "I hear these rumours on the internets..."
The "Guest Book" for the Ukraina Hotel Complex in Moscow. So don't email them with your request for "female companionship" if you don't want it posted for all to see.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Sports: Overlapping Names

New game - link as many sports names together like this:

Eddie George Brett Hull

Overlap must be the last name of one person, first name of the next. Same spelling. Must be major league player in their sport (or coach). Use the "Comments" to add your own.

Music: Opening Lines 7

A belated entry for the Opening Lyrics discussion from someone who wants to remain anonymous. I'll just say it's not this ice skater, nor this writer (who can't use the word "entrepreneur" in his business name), nor is it this guy who posts evidence that Dick Cheney had, in fact, met John Edwards before their debate.
"Well, the Devil went down to Georgia."

Frankly, I'm not too impressed. Where else would you expect the Devil to go? For me, the best diabolical opening lyrics remain:
"Please allow me to introduce myself. I'm a man of wealth and taste."

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Internet: Websters Online Dictionary

I like this online dictionary/meta search engine for the variety of results it returns: Definition, Synonyms, Internet Frequency, Translations, Rhymes, Anagrams, Usage in Screenplays and Song Lyrics, Images, Amazon and E-Bay items...maybe TMI.

Words: Towards

"Toward" v. "Towards"
Bill Bryson says that "toward" is the preferred form in America, "towards" in Britain, but either is correct.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Politics: Tom DeLay

We all knew that Tom DeLay was evil but he's apparently not very smart. In the official House Ethics Committe report, he admits that he offered to endorse Rep. Nick Smith's son in return for his vote on the Medicare Bill. Slate says that may be illegal.