Sunday, October 31, 2004

I too am attempting NaNoWriMo. I'm sure that makes me nuts, but I'll crap out 50,000 words even if it kills me.
Did you know there is a group in Vancouver that writes novels in a weekend?
Yes, and they are fools. Everyone knows that any deep and lasting work of art takes an entire month to make.

Perhaps it was just an excuse to purchase a laptop? I ordered a refurbished model, so I got a significant price break (about 33%) as well as some features I like but wouldn't pay for. And the 3 year warranty, which is key. Should arrive next week.

Anyway, the gist is that, like CO, I may not be writing much here. I did the math, and I'll have to write about 10 times the volume I regularly produce here. "Good luck with that," I said to myself, "considering you don't even have a plot."

"You are right," I replied.


Saturday, October 30, 2004

Save me, Jebus!

Fr. Andrew Greeley tells us he's had enough of President Bush and his god-driven policies.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004


I was driving around out by South Barrington, and saw this place. The sheer size of it made me fear for the future very deeply. Check out the parking map. HUGE. I've seen smaller colleges. Terrifying. And Bush is harnessing it for his purposes.

Sunday, October 24, 2004


Saturday, October 23, 2004

Technology brain cramp

I find that my trusty printer, the Hewlett Packard 5P (C3150A, serial number USHB167638, manufactured May, 1996), has run out of toner. Because I track such things, I know that I last replaced the toner cartridge 2/24/2000 when the printer had 7940 pages on it. Now, 4.5 years later, it has 14411 pages on it. I spent about $75 on the cartridge at the time. So I know I've gotten my money's worth out of the cartridge ($0.01159 per page). Here's my dilemma: I want a new printer because this one is slow and old, but I am unable to justify it because the printer works fine, and as an authorized repairer for this printer I could maintain it until the sun don't shine no more. A new cartridge is another $75 and then I'm stuck with the thing until 2009. The point is, I find myself unable to cope with the concept of projecting my printer usage that far into the future.

Monday, October 18, 2004

A Conversation with Bill Clinton

This half hour was on WYCC, Chicago's second PBS station. Good stuff. I think it's a locally produced series. Bill Clinton at the Rainbow/PUSH coalition hosted by Jesse Jackson. It was taped this July. Really interesting, fun to watch. He did about 10 minutes on the 2000 election, did some Africa, talked about the horrible things Bush did to education and law enforcement. All done for the sake of "Bill Clinton's tax cut, you know, so I can buy another watch." Gold. Also, he looked and sounded terrible. Good thing he went to the doctor...

Fast fun fact? The Chicago Hilton was originally opened as the Stephens, opened by the father of Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stephens.


My brother gifted my on Friday with William Shatner's "Has Been." It's been the talk of everyone for over a week now, and I can finally say: I loved it. Almost every cut was worthy of listening to again, and that's quite an achievement. It was a little self-indulgent and melancholic, but it's Shatner and that's sort of what you're looking for. But I predict it wins a grammy for spoken word, if it is entered in that category. The first cut, "Common People," could not possibly have been done better (actually, the edit I got from SR a while back was better than the edit on the CD, but the album release goes a little deeper into the song). He hit every cue, and that transition from his spoken word to the singing was gold. And it had liner notes.

And I can't believe he's 73. Denny Crain.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Delicious! or The horrible, horrible pain!

God, the pain. I taught myself how to make hot sauce tonight. It is quite easy, but somewhat labor intensive. Roasting and peeling peppers, tomatoes and garlic. Chopping and scraping out the seed junk inside and finally a ride in the food processor. THEN, the simmer to reduce it into sauce. Delicious!

However, I recommend gloves when working with peppers. Terrible, searing pain in the ol' fingers. It doesn't hit right away, either. Unpleasant.

Star Trek: Enterprise. They had a season opener where they returned to Earth, having saved it from a giant ball of destruction (last year's season-long terrorism allegory), only to find them in 1943, with alien nazis having invaded the USA. Cool enough, but then they had the beat to shit Enterprise flying through New York City to destroy the aliens' outpost, defeating the aliens and their temporal cold war (returning everything back right). I enjoyed the imagery.

Go Bears

Saturday, October 16, 2004

At random

Not really, I'm watching Ebert and Roeper.

  • A commercial: "Have you been harmed by Vioxx? Call my law firm now!"

  • Ebert is looking better than he had been. I hope he's doing better too.

  • I never, ever want to hear Trey Parker and Matt Stone speaking in their real voices again. Shut up and be funny.

  • Roeper has a funny lower lip & jaw thing going on.

  • I realize again that I don't particularly like movies. Ebert was touting some indie thing about guys who unwittingly invent a time machine. Roeper points out that it has no real plot and that all the actors mumble as if the director had demanded it. Ebert forgave this because it gives insight into the world of guys who work all day and invent all night. What? Hewlett, Packard, Jobs and Wozniak. Done. Shut up. I first understood my feelings about movies when I wasted $1 at Harlem Corners (the dollar theater) watching "On Deadly Ground." It was the worst piece of crap I've ever seen. Or, and I've just realized this one, "Very Bad Things." I loved that movie, yet it too was a piece of shit. Why is the fiancee getting punished when JD is the one who started the whole thing? All we needed was one flashback in the beginning somewhere where we learn why she deserves her horrible end. That's like jerking off and faking it: 90 minutes that feels pretty good, but there's no payoff.

  • From the movie "Ray", Kerry Washington is a pretty lady.

  • Tuesday, October 12, 2004

    The Government!

    We are in deep trouble if they decide is it acceptable, or de minimus like "under God" in the pledge, for the 10 commandments to be displayed in civil buildings. It is one thing for someone to donate an oblisk to a park that happens to be publicly owned, if a similar donation from all the other religions would be equally acceptable. It is, to me, quite another thing for it to be in judicial buildings. Justice cannot be blind if she is standing next to the admonishments of a vengeful God.


    This seems like some kind of wall in the strange war on alcohol consumption of any kind. Seemingly, anyone under 21 cannot attend parties where alcohol is being served in Naperville, IL. This is a poorly thought out article as it doesn't define a lot of things. But according to what I see, this seems to outlaw either booze or children. On the other hand, I've been at underage drinking parties in Naperville where the parents were full participants, including happily allowing drunk teenagers to crash on their living room floor (*) and getting pissy when the police appeared to enforce a night parking ordinance.

    (*) With the explanation that it encouraged responsible drinking. A house full of dizzy, tilting, puking teenagers is not a snapshot of responsible drinking. It has taken me a long time to rid myself of lessons like that- the only responsible drinking is remaining in control of your own actions and self. Like, maybe, if you brought your car you have to stay under the legal limit. Or not drinking so much you get a hang over. I realize it's a peculiar thing to believe that having fun shouldn't cost you later, because so many people define how much fun they've had precicely by how much they pay, whether in dollars, pain or exhaustion.

    Monday, October 11, 2004


    Are the strings finally becoming visible?

    Saturday, October 09, 2004

    A catered affair

    I found this label to be hilarious. So hilarious, in fact, that I bought it with the sole purpose of scanning the label for this forum. Behold:

    I love the grill marks.

    "Say, that meat looks delicious. Cast iron griddle?"

    "No, Sharpie!"

    Friday, October 08, 2004

    More Debate Madness

    Very little to say: Kerry won on content, Bush won on spin. If I were a Democratic strategist, I would go look at the 2000 debates. Bush made some very unkind attacks on the military then, and now when Kerry makes similar charges (underfunded/underpaid) he is branded an unpatriotic cad. I liked the "timber company" bit, that's pure comedy gold. They should take that right to the Catskills.

    EDIT: The following image has been stolen from somewhere. Thank you!

    Thursday, October 07, 2004

    Two mistakes in one offhand remark

    Uncle Dick inconsequentially screwed the pooch during the debate. IE, I don't think it makes any difference at all, but I bet he's pissed. He intended to send people to, a theoretically bias-less site that run by some PBS types that checks up on claims. A cursory check done a month ago by me on another issue made it fairly balanced. IE, equally BAD for each party. I suppose the 'game' in mentioning it was to keep the base happy- I'm sure the rigid minds of the partisan voters will only see what they want to see that confirms their band of soccer hooligans is going to Washington. Of course, the other, bigger mistake is that he said the wrong address (.com rather than .org). So much for precision warfare. Anyhow, the owner of redirected all hits to, the website of a self-proclaimed enemy of the Bush administration. I'm wondering if the guy was pissed that Bush/Cheney is causing him all this unsolicited (and expensive) traffic, OR if he is a partisan who took this opportunity to boost his side. Last I heard, he's not sayin'.

    I'm no big fan of either candidate, but the increasing frequency of implications that a vote for anyone but Bush is a vote in favor of terrorism disgusts me. What (almost) equally disgusts me is that Kerry falls for it by saying he's gonna kill all them terrorists. Shouldn't he take the high road and call Bush/Cheney out for politicising terrorism? After all, terrorism != Iraq war.

    Wednesday, October 06, 2004

    I have no idea

    Are you the people who never believed me? Or was that other people? Lettuce will kill you. Tomatoes too.

    Tuesday, October 05, 2004

    My tribute to Rodney

    Could there be any other way to remember him?

    Debate madness

    I enjoyed the debate like any good cockfight. Flashy, loud, bloody; nobody wins. ABC says Cheney won 43% to 38%. I don't wildly disagree, I think Cheney was a little more "in character" than Edwards was. Factoring in the conventional wisdom that Edwards was going to get his ass handed to him, Edwards gets the win in the exceeding expectations game. A thoroughly exciting 'blah'.