not pleased by the fact
that my back hurts. driving across the country and then moving will not
be pleasant if this persists.
which is better - 1
one thing i really won't
miss when i leave this place is the smell of bill's microwave dinners which
are generally followed by the smell of shit and "air freshener" wafting
from the bathroom.
below is an example of
a poorly designed console. in particular the heating and cooling controls
(which are separated into three dials on the bottom) could have been laid
out more intuitively. the dial on the left controls air flow, except for
when you want air flow to be off, in which case you have to use the right
most dial which is usually used for location of airflow. rate and location
have no connection to each other so far as the end user is concerned. while
this may make sense for the engineers, i don't think it suits most customers
very well. i also don't like the inclusion of a/c and max a/c on the location
dial as sometimes it is preferable to determine where the a/c is coming
from (at my feet, towards my face, or both) and this configuration does
not allow for that level of control.
i would also point out
that the integration of the radio and air conditioning controls probably
makes it more difficult for aftermarket upgrades of the radio. controls
on the upper right hand corner for bass, treble, balance and fade would
be better located within a single, integrated control, perhaps the seek
button which can be found under the volume knob. this allows for a more
sightly console and is equally user-friendly. this kind of sloppiness is
one more reason why ford isn't doing so hot these days.
this photo was taken
from a ford taurus wagon.
a mangled sugar maple,
my favorite tree in cuyahoga valley national park:
found this is a book
of colonial games. considering the many names by which it is known and
the picture at the right, i find this to be a fairly dirty game.
photos taken outside
my window at no particular interval:
just a few more days left
saw this on a shirt the
other day: "there's no such thing as too much bling." thought it was pretty
stupid. oh, the shirt also happened to be on a dog.
back still hurts. it had
better get better in the next couple days. being on the road with a bad
back would hamper my plans quite a bit. sleeping on the floor tonight.
just ran the trip through
my trip planner. if i made it a straight shot it would be 2,461 miles,
but the way i have planned it, it'll be 3,850 miles. both were more than
i thought. oh well. the road trip dictates my life, not vise versa.
the itinerary, though i won't take these exact roads.
tonight i planned the stops
on my trip back. not sure about how i'm going to space them out, and thus
how long the trip will take, but i know the places i'm planning to go.
they are: parkersburg west virginia, blue ridge parkway, great smoky mountains
national park, knoxville, mammoth cave national park, nashville, memphis,
little rock, hot springs national park, tulsa, oklahoma city, armarillo,
sante fe, great sand dunes national park, black canyon of the gunnison
national park, salt lake city, great basin national park, mono lake, yosemite
national park, oakland. after that i'll probably head to la for a short
while to see friends/family and get the last of my stuff.
those places were picked
because they are either mentioned in johnny cash's "i've been everywhere,"
are state capitals, national parks, or places of personal interest.
i wonder how they work
out the linguistic differences when drafting treaties with north korea
or other non-english speaking languages. there are a couple reasons why
this is important. 1) a lot can be lost in translation and 2) unlike translating
the spoken word, say at the u.n. or something, the written word is binding.
in brown vs. board the use of the word "deliberate" caused quite a bit
of trouble, from my understanding. when they wrote "with all deliberate
speed" in the decision they meant that integration and equality should
be pursued quickly, but some states interpreted the word "deliberate" to
mean slowly. there's more to the foot dragging than that, but i've heard
that the wording was part of it.
in the recap of the ucla/cal
basketball game last night yahoo sports said that cal "dominated the first
half." this, despite the score being 35-34 with ucla leading at the half.
from what i've read cal dominated the first half of the first half - by
"opening with a 14-4 run for its largest lead." i suppose it's possible
that ucla didn't play as well in that first half, but still was able to
make some big shots and thus were "dominated" yet somehow managed to be
in the lead in the first half. sometimes that happens, so i'll concede
this point to yahoo. however, i cannot concede this line: "Josh Shipp scored
22 points and Mata added a career-high 14 to lead a second-half comeback
in an 85-75 victory Thursday night that extended the Bruins' home winning
streak to 19 games." how can a team stage a second half comeback when they're
winning the game after the first half? answer: they can't. especially when
they opened the second half with a "14-6 spurt" and went 25-5 after that.
in other words, they were up by one at the half, up by 9 shortly thereafter
and up by 26 with 7 1/2 minutes remaining. this rules out the possibility
of even a comeback within the second half to account for the phrase "a
second-half comeback." this is all pretty typical of reporters, though.
it's about making the story interesting, rather than giving the facts.
see: obama/clinton for more on that. here
is the link to the original story.
speaking of being overly
critical, i was thinking about taking www.theconsummatecritic.com and making
into a site that featured all my observations about stupid things in the
world. whether it's the above diatribe or a picture of a restroom hand
dryer that shows a graphic of someone drying their face, rather than their
hands, as if the predominant use of the dryer is going to be people in
the movie theater who come there to wash and dry their face.
just got back from the
cavs/bulls game. quicken loans arena is nice enough. good seats. it's better
than the coliseum at oakland, or whatever they call the warriors home.
it's also newer and bigger than arco arena. arco gets a lot louder though.
the fans heckled a bulls fan that was in my section and not in the fun
east coast sort of way. there was a shirt give away and they'd use the
jumbotron to guilt people into putting them on. they'd find people who
weren't wearing the shirt and put them up on the screen with text like
"orange you going to put the shirt on?" or "it's free...put it on" or "are
you too yellow to wear orange." stupid group-think shit like that. most
of the time the people would comply, the other fraction of the time people
would just stupidly wave at the camera, happy they were on a big tv. i
was wearing my kings sweatshirt and usc t-shirt underneath that, so, had
they put the camera on me, i planned on flashing those for the crowd.
the cavs team wasn't all
that impressive either. their offense is what i'd dub an "isolate and watch"
offense. that is, they isolate a single player and allow him to work against
his man. when that doesn't work he'll pass it to someone else and they'll
do the same thing. as time runs out they'll take whatever shot they can
get and then get back on defense. the bulls play a more conventional style
of basketball - more passing, reliant upon the jump shot and solid defense.
they're not great, but they're definitely better than the cavs. without
ilgauskis (sp?), the starting cavs center, they were exposed inside. ben
wallace had about 19 rebounds and several tips to his teammates which don't
count on the stat sheet, but retain possession for his team nonetheless.
got to see scot pollard (ex-kings backup center) play. to me, he was the
cavs' best interior presence, but he's not a scoring threat and he's not
real athletic so he doesn't get many minutes.
lebron was shitty at the
free throw line, per the usual of late. he's got a mental block, i could
see it from one of the worst seats in the place so presumably he recognizes
that as well and will start seeing a shrink about it. he takes too much
time at the line and the recent failure just makes him think about too
much. he was most of their "offense," too. they actually had a more team
oriented offensive look when he was on the bench. his number indicate his
unselfishness and i wouldn't consider him a ball hog, but mike brown needs
to develop an offense that incorporates the team more. it can't be "give
lebron the ball and get out of the way, maybe he'll pass it to you." that's
just not going to work in the playoffs.
one clever thing they did
was when bulls players were at the free throw line they would sometimes
put a michigan "m" (as in the college) on the jumbotron. of course this
incited the ohio crowd to boo loudly. capitalizing on the osu/michigan
rivalry apparently has no bounds. btw, this was not employed strictly for
michigan alumni who play for the bulls. in fact, no one on the bulls roster
went to michigan, so it didn't have any connection in that way.
during one of the breaks
a local weatherman gave the forecast for the night and started his intro
with the following line: "hey cavs fans. did you know that cleveland has
a higher yearly wind average than chicago? so cleveland is the real
windy city." i actually did know that because i had recently consulted
that portion of my almanac. off the top of my head chicago averages something
like 12 mph and cleveland is somewhere in the 14 mph range.
saw the new commercial
for windows vista at a movie theater recently. not a fan of the theater
commercials, but i digress. the commercial shows things like a beautiful
mountain landscape or the berlin wall being knocked down and in each instance
people say "wow," to what they are witnessing. the last "wow" comes when
some goober turns on his computer and sees windows vista. what a fucking
joke. i'm not a windows hater, but from what i've seen and read, vista
looks pretty much like xp, but more pretty and with some add-on programs
that are now integrated. integrate a touch-panel screen, voice-recognition
(using both audio [hearing your voice] and video [reading your lips] to
make it more accurate), and a wii-like controller and i might say "wow."
made a couple minor changes
here and there to the site. the "about my reviews" link on the movies reviewed
pages is now a java popup, i now have a feedback form on the millersmovies
today sees the end of my
movie watching streak. went about 30 days straight. tomorrow i'll see my
100th movie of the year which will make it (by far) the fastest i've ever
gotten to 100 movies. i'm on pace for over 600 movies this year, about
100 more than any year in the past. but when i get home and have a life
the pace will decrease greatly. sometimes having a life is lame.
didn't want to be home
so i went to see a movie tonight. bought a ticket for the newest installment
of the hannibal lecter series and walked out after about 45 minutes. it
wasn't very good. turned out to be a bad choice because that led to my
watching ghost rider and norbit. early front runners for the worst film
of the year award.
haven't been enjoying work
or home lately. just want to leave ohio.
i wonder what situation
brought me closest to my own death. what i mean is: we all have those moments
when we're driving or climbing a tree or whatever when we barely miss hitting
another car or falling. i wonder how close i've actually gotten.
fixed sidebar link issue,
thanks to jon for the heads up.
the millersmovies.com page
probably won't undergo any changes for a while. thanks to meryl for the
feedback on that.
norv turner isn't a 49er
coach anymore. singletary could have been the one to go, but san diego
chose turner instead. pretty bad for the niners. i'll probably be a packers
fan soon enough anyway.
speaking of teams that
are thinking about moving...the kings could very well be on their way to
vegas. this has been in the works for a little while now, but the all-star
weekend in vegas and stern saying that the gambling issue wouldn't prevent
vegas from having a team, have made it closer to a reality. i won't be
a kings fan anymore if that happens.
why i like bob knight
completed the next two
rounds of the best year in film page. only the championship round is left.
didn't get to watch the
all-star game because the restaurant closes early on sunday. forgot about
our method for determining
the two (only two?!) candidates who will run the country is incredibly
inefficient and not all that great at producing quality results. i think
a better, but still severely flawed, method would be simply entering all
the eligible (age and citizenship) and willing graduates (with a 3.7 gpa
or better) from top 25 universities into a lottery. from that lottery you
pick two names, give them $50 million of public funds, and let them campaign
as usual. i think this method would yield candidates who are far less corrupt
and just as capable as the ones we get in 9 out of 10 elections.
i wonder what single thing
i've done makes me the most unique. for example, hank aaron's accomplishment
of hitting 755 homeruns would make him the only person in human history
to have done that, at least at the major league level. you get the point.
at first i thought that hopping onto a train that later derailed would
be mine, but that's sorta two things since it includes both hopping onto
a train and being on a train that derailed. either way, not a whole lot
of people have done it. i've lived in a national park, which is somewhat
i think the most important
attribute of a president is the ability to be a decerning decision maker.
under that falls the ability to ask good questions, change their mind when
the facts warrant it, having a keen wit, etc. other than eating pretzels,
this might be the thing that bush is worst at. joking aside, i do think
that this attribute, which people tend not to talk about (they talk more
about views on issues and personality), is the most important thing to
consider in a great president. ideas are nice, having similar (to me) views
on issues is also important, but i see the president as a judge and administrator.
they have to judge what ideas and programs are best based upon the facts
as they understand them. because so many people surround the president,
and so many more send him research and arguments for one side or another,
he basically has unlimited research power. coming up with ideas and historical
support isn't a problem, so long as the president is willing to seek it
out and make a solid decision based upon those facts.
being a supreme court justice
is similar. obviously you need to have an excellent grasp of the law and
precedent in order to become a supreme court justice, but since so many
think tanks and lawyers are willing to give their opinion, you could essentially
just adopt one point of view or another. being in a high position has that
advantage. naturally that can act as a disadvantage as well because organizations
will lie and manipulate the truth and will incessantly give you their opinions,
whether they're asked for or not.
off the top of my head,
there are a couple reasons i think hilary clinton could be a good president.
she doesn't have a family. it's funny that we don't think about it in these
terms, but the presidency is a 24 hour job and you need to be committed
to it completely. her daughter is out of the house and her husband probably
is too. ha ha. thus, she would be able to commit herself to the job completely.
personally, i don't want "a good family man" as the president. i want an
asexual bachelor(ette) who is obsessed with the job. secondly, i think
she has a great deal of experience. perhaps i'm being naive, but i view
the presidency as i do any other managerial job. if you get to constantly
look over the shoulder of a president for eight years, then i think you
have a great idea about how the job is, and is not, performed well. in
this way i view her almost as someone who was once a vice president. i
also think having bill around, especially after he's had some time to reflect
upon his presidency, could be of great use. obviously they're well-connected
which helps in politics, and he has plenty of advice to give. i think ex-presidents
are quite a bit more wise than they were while they were presidents. just
being separated from the day to day grind of intelligence briefs and minor
daily decisions allows them to look back on their term with greater perspective.
i think that many of them have feelings of regret because of the things
they didn't do for political reasons. perhaps bill's mentoring could have
a positive impact on hilary's presidency, should that happen.
went to see a movie last
night, but breach was sold out. bought a ticket to factory girl instead
and then ended up sneaking into the theater to see breach. sat in the front
row all by myself. after the film was over i went outside of the theater
to see what time the other movies started and i saw that factory girl was
playing in about five minutes. went back into the theater by zipping past
a couple who was getting their ticket torn. as i passed them i pointed
to the bathroom and mumbled something like "oh, there's the bathroom" and
got in without a second glance. watched about 30 minutes of factory girl
and determined that it was not worth watching.
going to watch the nba
all-star game tonight.
what's worse: an 11 year
old giving a blow job or getting a nose job? to me it depends upon the
circumstances. if the nose job is reconstructive in nature, as a result
of some birth defect or accident then it's always preferable. conversely,
it is always worse if the blow job is being given to daddy, or someone
older than, say, 13. but if the blow job is between two consenting 11 year
olds, then i'd say that the nose job is worse. the thought of an 11 year
old getting a nose job for purely aesthetic reasons, and what that means
for our culture, would depress me much more than the thought of an 11 year
old doing something a few years earlier than most. i don't know how many
people would agree with me on this one though.
busy busy day at work today.
eight times more busy than it's ever been, literally.
got a new roommate today.
that's four that i've had so far, as opposed to the zero that my boss thought
note that i did make some
changes to the academy analysis since i saw the illusionist and half nelson
looks like the font issue
is only an issue on my desktop, but not the laptop. not sure why that is.
might stick with the old font after all.
strongly considering changing
fonts again. i like the way this one (microsoft sans serif) looks when
i'm editing the page, but it displays differently in internet explorer.
when i preview the page in ie it looks too bold and crunched together so
i'm thinking about changing to arial.
when i first learned the
words fiction and non-fiction i was a bit confused. it seemed clear to
me that reality should be "fiction" and that non-reality should be "non-fiction."
that is, that the terms to describe whether or not a story was real should
be relative to reality, rather than make believe. reality should be the
base and anything that isn't reality should have the "non" attached to
it. this is similar to my dislike for the term "outdoors." it's as if doors
are somehow a natural thing and that nature (aka "the outdoors") needs
to be distinguished relative to our natural (enclosed) state. to me, it
makes more sense to refer to "indoors" as "ex-nature" or "outnature" or
something, not vise versa.
on the recommendations
page i've started giving reasons to watch the film, or "if you liked x,
then you'll like this" style one-line descriptions, rather than simply
looking forward to getting
out of here.
the pac-10 is competitive
this year, and i'm hoping it's not because all the teams are mediocre.
when i see stanford upsetting ucla and cal upsetting oregon and all sorts
of other lower ranked teams beating the best in the conference, then it
makes me think the conference is weak, rather than great. especially when
they lose to non-conference teams...ucla loses to west virginia, usc losing
to kansas, arizona being destroyed by unc.
it's amazing how much we
allow greatness or, more accurately, talent to dominate how we view a person.
someone as crazy or difficult to manage as daniel johnston or vincent van
gogh is characterized euphemistically as a "troubled genius," instead of
simply "a crazy fuck" just because they produce some nice art.
heard on the news that
some guy hit all five lottery numbers two days in a row. the lottery officials
said that the odds of hitting it once are 170,000 to 1 and the odds of
hitting it twice "are virtually incalculable." i thought all you had to
do to figure that out was multiply 170,000 by 170,000. which would be 28,900,000,000
"Lauren Bacall, who made
her starring debut in the film adaptation of Ernest Hemingway's To Have
or Have Not 63 years ago, said Tuesday that movies have fallen victim to
"mediocrity" over those years, "and I think it's too bad that's happened."
Appearing at a news conference at the Berlin Film Festival, where her latest
film, Paul Schrader's The Walker, is being screened out of competition,
Bacall, 82, blamed television for the decline of quality filmmaking. "I
think there are still good people who want to do good work and think that's
all that matters," she said, "and I think unfortunately in television sometimes
they want to do good work, but a lot of the time they're doing terrible
work and I think that has affected movie making badly. ... It's all about
ratings now and everything. It should be about the work, and it's not."
As for herself, she said, "what [appearing in films] means to me mostly
is staying alive. I have too much energy to stop working. I don't believe
in retirement. I love working.""
there was so much snow
at the visitor's center today that i didn't get it open until 11:30. had
to wait for the plow guy to come and do his job. all the plowing for the
park is contracted out and it doesn't seem like anyone is real pleased
"your friendship is a fog,
that disappears when the wind redirects." -zach de la rocha
added a recent updates
feature on the sidebar. perhaps that'll be a good place to post updates.
it'll also help fill the large void left in the sidebar frame by the new-ish
you'll also notice a link
in the lower right hand corner of some of the larger pages like my movies
reviewed pages and my best of film page, which will bring you back to the
top of the page without needing to scroll.
went out and watched a
movie. the worst part about driving in the snow was coming back home because
our driveway is on a hill and i couldn't get much traction when trying
to drive up. five movies on the day.
i have a pretty good movie watching streak going, dating back to january
new judd apatow film coming
out with seth rogen and some of the freaks and geeks/40 year old virgin
crew. i'm glad that apatow is getting the opportunity to make films, he's
a funny guy and a good writer. freaks and geeks was a great show and i'm
actually grateful that it only got to be on tv for one season.
next thursday i'm going
to see the cavs play the bulls. bought a ticket for myself last week.
made some minor aesthetic
changes to the millersmovies page. added a temporary contact link at the
bottom as well. hope to get a better one up eventually.
what's with kids these
days watching so much damn tv? actually, it's not the kids who are watching
so much tv. stat of the day: the group that watches the most tv, or at
least did in the sample month, are women over the age of 55 who watch almost
twice as much as children. of course one could argue that, as a percentage
of their free time, teens and children watch more than people over 55,
many of whom are presumably retired and thus have more time to waste in
front of the television. i was surprised to see that men aged 18-24 watch
tv less than any other group. i guess they're busy not voting or something.
u.s. television viewing time, november 2005
as taken from world almanac
and book of facts 2007.
i'ts 1:30 and i'm not tired
"a mass of tears have /
transformed to stones now. sharpened on suffering / woven into slings."
-zach de la rocha
normally i'm not a fan
of movie trailers or teasers, but one caught my attention recently. the
30 second teaser for the sequel to the hills have eyes. actually it's the
sequel to the remake of the hills have eyes. at any rate, it's great because
of its simplicity and the song. i wasn't a fan of the original, but i still
might give the sequel to the remake a shot.
i've been told that we've
gotten over a foot of snow over the last 24 hours. roads are still a mess
and my car is buried. in spite of that, if there were any movies out that
i hadn't already seen, i'd still probably watch a couple today.
snowing like crazy outside.
supposed to get 7-15 inches in the next 24 hours. the roads are a mess
and it looks very gloomy outside. usually we get lake effect snow that
comes as a result of clippers from canada. this, though, is an actual storm
from the gulf of mexico. lake effect snow, at this point, isn't going to
happen anymore because lake erie is frozen over. so, this could very well
be the last snow that i see while i'm here.
other things i'd like to
do for my page: have links to previous viewings of the film at the end
of each review. in other words, if i see die hard tonight then at the end
of my review for 02/13/07 i would like to have links to reviews from the
other dates on which i saw it: 1999, 5-Feb-00, 5-Sep-00, 19-Apr-01, 23-Dec-03,
22-Oct-04, and 7-Dec-05.
forgot to add a movie that
i saw in january to the list. did that today. also noticed that on my post
for 2-1-07 (18:38), i wrote that i watched 51 movies in january when i
actually watched 57. one that i forgot (and added today) and five that
i watched on the last day, but didn't figure into that post. also forgot
to add a movie from november of 2006. that was a stressful time, though,
so that one is more forgivable than this recent one. adjusted film
viewing stats page accordingly. what a pain.
finished the academy awards
analysis. will upload when the roads clear. there are still a couple movies
that i'd like to see, but i don't know that i'll get to see them before
completed first two rounds
of the best year in
academy award analysis
will be complete at the end of the night. i have two movies in the cinematography
category to watch. one i'll watch tomorrow and the other i'm not sure about.
either way i should have the coverage uploaded within the next couple days.
finally got around to watching
dreamgirls. wouldn't want to miss the review for that brilliant and underrated
got about 20 dvds in the
mail from "our man in amsterdam," to quote pulp fiction. actually they're
from a guy i know who works for ryko distribution. good thing i got them,
too, because i'm running out of movies over here. i have two that i own
that i've yet to see and the library always has some, but their selection
is starting to bore me.
got a lot done today. got
the oil changed for $20. under the table, i'm pretty sure. the guy said
it would be $33 with a credit card and $20 with cash. the posted price
was $29.95 so i went to the atm and got him a 20. i suppose this could
make a bad person in some eyes, but i don't really have a problem with
it seems like the ones
who are out doing and advocating the killing are the ones who remember
the dead the most. it seems like it should be the other way around.
what's the allure of spelling
things incorrectly? you see it a lot in rap musik and, unlike many rap
conventions, i don't understand it.
something about watching
kurosawa films makes you want to just watch all of them again. well, not
all of them, there have been a couple that i haven't loved, but after watching
seven samurai again today i wanted to watch ikiru, red beard, high and
low, rashomon, yojimbo, sanjuro, and stray dog again. of course i don't
have any of those with me right now so it's not even an option.
i think when i get home
and unpack all my stuff i'm going to have to take a couple months to just
watch all my movies and read all my books and look at the liner notes to
all my cds. i've missed all that stuff. my chair and desk and all that
other crap is just that: crap. but all my art work/entertainment/information
through eight episodes
of the sopranos so far. it's decent, but not amazing. there are a lot of
little filmmaking issues that annoy me. things like people closing the
door to go outside to their motorcycle and within 2 seconds of the door
closing the motorcycle is started and speeding away, or the bad acting
of tony soprano junior, or the nasally voice of tony soprano senior, or
mother soprano being annoying, or christopher being a little shit yet being
a soldier...i have to assume that the show gets better since everyone seems
to love it. i like some of the references, whether it's the godfather or
w.c. fields. i'm giving it through the end of the first season. curb your
enthusiasm is better.
thought the super bowl
was crap. probably the worst super bowl i've seen. 7 turnovers, neither
team lived up to the hype, etc. the bears were out-coached.
my mind has always had
a tendency to rush, especially when writing (or typing). for example, for
the sentence "the motherboard comes with the computer case" will often
be transcribed or typed by me as: "the mother board comes withe computer
case." since "with" contains the first two letters of "the" my brain thinks
that i'm already onto the next word so i just add an "e" to "with" to form
the compound non-word "withe." that's the most common example, but it happens
with many other words and in many other ways.
tablized the characters
section of my movies i love page.
first round of my best
year in film project is almost done. there are two films from 1954 that
i'd like to revisit before making a final decision on the 1954 vs. 1957
i'm also working on a somewhat
historically based analysis of this year's academy award nominations. i'll
have my predictions, thoughts and wishes on that page within a week or
one superbowl commercial
caught my eye. the gm one with the unemployed robot wandering the streets
as if it were depressed because it lost its job. in the end, it turned
out to be a nightmare and the robot was able to return to its job of high
quality auto assembly. this commercial got to me for a couple reasons.
the personification of robots theme isn't exactly my favorite thing. i
dislike the anthropomorphism that occurs with animals, much less with fucking
robots. the other thing that got to me was seeing the robot depicted as
the primary worker in the assembly plant. what's the message there? just
a reminder that gm has laid off thousands of its american workers and replaced
them with overseas labor or, in domestic plants, robots. it recalls images
of flint, as seen in "the big one" or detroit, as seen with my own eyes.
yay. really makes me want to buy one of their shitty cars. no thanks, i'll
stick with toyota or honda. both have a commitment to stay in north america.
from what i hear, the camry is actually made of more american labor and
parts than the ford mustang. not sure what the breakdown is for gm cars.
frankly, i'm torn on the
ford/gm problems. i'd like to see them do well because i feel bad for places
like detroit and flint and because i'd like to see american workers have
good jobs. at the same time, the big three were, in their heyday, one of
the worst cartels i know of. working with oil companies to buy up street
cars in cities like los angeles, using political clout to undermine the
efforts of visionaries like preston thomas tucker, fighting safety regulations
tooth and nail, etc. part of me wants to see them go down in flames, but
the other part of me knows that if that happens the people responsible
for it won't be the ones to suffer. they'll have their golden parachutes
and have all made millions (or are dead) by now anyway. the death of ford
and gm might foreshadow the death of the u.s. perhaps the same reasons
that led to their downfall will lead to ours. hubris, solipsism, complacency,
rage against the machine
is getting back together. there was a time when i'd care, not anymore.
i've seen them twice and loved the performances, but i realize that they're
over the hill. their best work is behind them. it's ironic and sad that
they were most active in the years 1992-2000, aka the clinton years. 1992
was a g.h.w. bush year and that saw their first, and best album, but all
their other albums were under the (relatively prosaic) clinton regime.
for the record, i still have to count that first album as one of the best
ever. brilliant, raw and timeless. belongs alongside the best punk and
hip-hop albums of all-time. took everything that was good about the stooges,
mc5, the entire punk movement and, like anthrax, mixed it with hip-hop.
it's really too bad that they weren't active under bush jr. and were liked
mostly by idiotic young guys who saw "rage" in the title, and nothing more.
thinking of rage against
the machine makes me think of a name that was once a dirty word at our
dinner table: seth freeman. he's the guy with whom i got expelled from
elementary school for slashing a teacher's tires. it was actually all my
idea, and my knife, but he was more than willing to help. i can laugh about
it now. he also had this ancient old mac computer (the monochrome kind
that had a dark green background and a light green foreground). on it he
had some extremely low-tech comedy/porn program. it was line graphics back
then so it wasn't even close to anything we have these days. the setups
were fairly basic - a guy licking envelopes and a girl comes along and
has a better use for his tongue, etc. because of the graphics it was actually
more funny than pornographic so.
it's actually nice being
part of this generation because i remember what it was like before computers
were really a part of society, yet i'm young enough to have gotten into
computers on the ground level. i have an understanding of dos and i remember
windows 3.0 and all the pain of configuring irq and com settings when building
a computer from scratch, so i don't take windows xp, usb, and plug and
play for granted. i'm also old enough to have established the habit of
buying reference books so i can always have, within arm's reach, access
to player stats (in my basketball or football encyclopedias) or a director's
filmography (in one of my many film books) or the population of a country
(in one of my many almanacs), etc.
dad got me an almanac (and
other stuff) for xmas. luckily he got me the one published by time,
because i already have the world
almanac version. so i actually have two almanacs for 2007. in storage
i also have a sports almanac for 2006 and world almanacs from 2005, 2006
and a nice big one from the 70s. i like reading the almanac because i have
trouble focusing on a single book for any longer than a few minutes. the
almanac presents data the way i write, which is also the style i like to
read. short sentences that get to the point. plus, i like facts and numbers
and learning about things that i might not otherwise be exposed to. you
can flip to a random page and learn about any number of things from business
to politics or the environment. maybe i should look for a job working for
information please or some other almanac producer.
stat of the day: hate crime
attacks on persons in u.s. in 2004 - (in descending order) anti-black 2,221,
anti-white 704, anti-male homosexual 624, anti-hispanic 458, anti-other
ethnicity 405, anti-jewish 297, anti-homosexual 180, anti-asian 148, anti-female
homosexual 145, anti-multiple races 131, anti-islamic 114. there are many
other categories that have under 100 incidents: anti-native american, catholic,
protestant, other religion, atheism, heterosexual, bisexual, physical disability
and mental disability. they also have a breakdown by crimes against property.
blacks are still number one in that category, but jews are #2 whereas they
are #6 on the attacks on persons list. this makes sense given their predominant
it's been bitterly cold
lately. 0-7 degrees with wind at 10-20 mph. that brings the wind chill
to as low as -22. my hands get numb after about 20 seconds outside if i'm
not wearing gloves. they issued a wind chill advisory through about midday
one webpage upgrade i've
thought of would be several "subject" tabs above the space that normally
occupies my updates. writings would then be sorted by subjects like "sports,"
"society," "film," "updates," "miscellany," and "all." it would be the
same concept as an excel spreadsheet and each "sheet" tab would include
updates for that particular subject. if you only wanted to read what i
said about film then you'd click on that tab and get all the sports-related
updates for the month. the default would be "all" which would present things
as they are currently presented. but by clicking on those tabs you could
filter out any rants about fullscreen vs. widescreen dvds or the bush administration
and get straight to the far more interesting posts where i mention that
i've "updated movies
this manually wouldn't be a huge undertaking, but maintenance of it would
be time consuming. if i could find some way of making it easy then i would
implement it. having each bullet point (<li> in html) have an assigned
subject code, and then creating a script that filtered to those codes,
probably isn't all that difficult, but i wouldn't even know where to start.
if you know how to do this then lemme know.
it's funny how often i
think about making upgrades to the site considering i've had no more than
half a dozen regular visitors since its inception 8-9 years ago. my site
administrator assures me, though, that traffic is "just about to explode."
he's a good guy. he also got me a great deal on some beach front property
in oklahoma so i'll keep him around for a while.
speaking of oklahoma. stat
of the day: executions 1977-2005 by state: texas 355, virginia 97, oklahoma
79, missouri 66, florida 60, n. carolina and georgia 39, s. carolina 35,
alabama 34, everyone else is under 30. california has had 12. 17 states
have had no executions during this period. i know this is fucked up to
say, and i'm anti-death penalty, but considering there have been "only"
1,004 executions between 1977 and 2005, why is it such a huge issue? to
me, the idea of the state sponsoring the killing of one of its citizens
is morally wrong, but considering how infrequently it is actually carried
out these days (except for in texas) i wouldn't make this an issue that
determines my vote for/against a particular candidate. in general i think
it's stupid to be a single issue voter, but especially when the actual
effect is so much smaller than the noise the issue generates. to put it
in perspective, on august 31, 2005 in baghdad 1,000 people died in a stampede
out of fear of a suicide bomber on a bridge. that's in one day because
of a stampede, not a bomb. 500 more people died on the titanic. what about
the number of people who die every year because of drunk driving (over
15,000 in 2004 alone) or homicide with a firearm (11,800+ in 2002)? these
are also preventable. of course the principle of the death penalty is immoral,
but perspective is needed.
boss left for ski instructor
training for the weekend.
roommate frank left for
have two programs this
weekend. the high on sunday is supposed to be 7. tonight it's supposed
to get down to zero, but we'll see about that. i just went out and it's
as cold as i've ever felt.
people on the local crazy
radio network were talking about global warming. they said it was a crazy
left wing plot and that it's all about: 1) the need to have some big crisis
(funny coming from right wingers who KNOW that the apocalypse is right
around the corner) and 2) money. they talked about all the money that can
be made on selling wind mills and solar panels. kinda funny since 1) just
because there is an economic incentive doesn't mean that that's what drives
an idea and 2) solar and wind power are renewable, and thus less profitable
than coal and oil. also funny because exxon just posted the largest profit
of any american company in history. hmmm. also, i guess they assume that
all the world's scientists are either 1) stupid or 2) major stock holders
in some windmill manufacturing corporation that i haven't heard of. he
also made some offhand remark like: "if you really want to stop global
warming then you should outlaw chilies." he went on to explain that human
flatulence contributes more to global warming than private automobiles
and that "gas is gas, people." while he's right that methane is a greenhouse
gas and is of some concern, though mostly from livestock, he's wrong about
everything else. i happen to consider the almanac my favorite book and
i was looking at this section of it just recently. i can recall off the
top of my head that methane gas accounts for less than 10% of total amount
of carbon dioxide that comes from the private automobiles. further, not
all of that methane gas comes from livestock or humans - much of it comes
from landfills and coal mining, which have nothing to do with chili peppers.
also, while CO2 has been rising (20% in the u.s. between 1990-2004) methane
has been decreasing (-10% in that same time span). in other words, the
assumptions their arguments made were all flawed in at least a couple different,
significant and provable ways. these people don't want facts, though, they
just want god to save them and to continue in their willfully ignorant
and reprehensible ways. assholes.
on this same station they
talk (quite frequently) about the recent law which bans smoking in public
places, including bars. i've mentioned before that the rest of the country
is about 10 years behind california and other liberal strongholds. ohio,
in this case is 9 years behind california. texas, i hear, is looking at
adopting a similar public smoking ban. so i guess i was a bit off in my
"10 year" statement, forgive me. there is one major argument they use against
this new policy: it'll hurt the economy. ohio is in a bad place regarding
the economy so i can understand their reticence to do anything that might
adversely affect the fragile job market and tax revenues. however, again,
the facts indicate that in the case of california and new york and other
early adopters of this policy, the economy isn't affected in any appreciable
long-term way. further, this is same lame argument bandied about by pro-slavery
and anti-gay marriage forces. it's not about what is good for the economy,
it's about what is right. if it were really about the economy then there
would be legalized gambling (this issue has come to the ballot several
times in ohio and has been knocked down every time by the voters, despite
being vastly out spent by the pro-gambling lobby) or prostitution (like
nevada, aka the cradle of civilization). one caller gave the hypothetical
situation that there are 15 bars in a town and that after the ban 8 of
them will close and all those people will be without jobs and the tax revenue
will be lost, etc. firstly, as i've discussed, this just isn't true; second,
what's more important: a few lost jobs and some lost tax revenue, or the
health of the citizens? what about the end cost of helping hospitalize
or care for the people who are adversely affected by the secondhand smoke?
or the days lost to sick leave? oh, right, that's another lie by the money
hungry scientists (who own stock in nicotine gum or some such nonsense)
out to make sure the poor, innocent tobacco companies never do business
fuck the world.
when i looked at the ucla
game time i neglected to remember that i'm on east coast time now. i instinctually
subtracted three hours from the posted time and when i arrived at the restaurant
i realized my mistake. for as much as i've gone from time zone to time
zone lately, i have been pretty good about not making that mistake. oh
stat of the day: during
the four years that jimmy carter was president the minimum wage increased
four times (not 400%). during the eight years that ronald reagan was president
the minimum wage increased.........yup, zero times. to be fair, though,
the carter increase may have been part of a larger package because the
min. wage increased once a year from 1974-1981. i have to assume that this
was the result of some single increase over time, rather than new bills
that were accepted every year. it's one of those stats, though, that could
be used in a debate and would be tough to counter. it's very unlikely that
someone is going to look it up and it's equally unlikely that they'll know,
off the top of their head, that the increases under carter were likely
part of a previous min. wage package. pundits use these kinds of obscure
facts all the time to make their case and no one calls them on their bullshit.
so, while it doesn't necessarily say anything about carter, the stat does
(i think) say something about reagan.
back to work.
going to watch the ucla/oregon
game tonight. hopefully ucla wins after the loss to stanford.
watched my (and the) first
ever episode of the sopranos today. i think i'm going to have to watch
the entire first season in a day or two. stretching it out will just take
too long. if they were 22 minutes like most shows (30 minutes minus the
commercials) then it wouldn't be an issue.
watched 57 movies in january,
a january record. watched five movies yesterday and four the day before.
this is bringing back memories of 2004.
as a film scholar i respect
andrew sarris, but i don't necessarily like his tastes. in 1997, for example,
he had boogie nights as the 19th best film. his top ten english-language
films for 2001 is equally pathetic. i found a summary of his top ten lists
since 1958 here.
one should note that he (the compiler, i assume) incorrectly labeled collateral
as having been directed by anthony mann, not michael mann.
andrew sarris' top ten
01. The Departed (Martin
02. Notes on a Scandal
03. A Prairie Home
Companion (Robert Altman)
04. Flags of Our Fathers
/ Letters From Iwo Jima (Clint Eastwood)
05. Blood Diamond (Edward
06. Little Miss Sunshine
(Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris)
07. The Painted Veil
08. Find Me Guilty
09. Casino Royale (Martin
10a. Flannel Pajamas
10b. Come Early Morning
(Joey Lauren Adams)
01. Army of Shadows
(1969, Jean-Pierre Melville)
02. Volver (Pedro Almodóvar)
03. Water (Deepa Mehta)
04. L'Enfant (Jean-Pierre
& Luc Dardenne)
05. Sophie Scholl:
The Final Days (Marc Rothemund)
06. Climates (Nuri
07. My Brother's Wife
(Ricardo de Montreuil)
08. Le Petit Lieutenant
09. The Death of Mr.
Lazarescu (Cristi Puiu)
10. La Moustache (Emmanuel
01. King Leopold's Ghost
(Pippa Scott & Oreet Rees)
02. 49 Up (Michael
03. Wordplay (Patrick
04. Cowboy del Amor