Friday Stuff

Friday, 28 July 2006, 9:34 | Category : Books
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An interesting site, a new science fiction short story (actually they call it speculative fiction, which I like better) each day: 365 Tomorrows

The Top 50 Movie Endings Of All Time, by filmcritic.com. (Slow-loading site, so be patient)

Got people free-loading on your wireless network? Here’s a non-violent way to fight back.

Got more electronic gadgets than will fit on your coffeetable? Here’s a solution.

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Sometimes A Great Notion

Wednesday, 26 July 2006, 13:43 | Category : Life
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Maybe there was a competition sparked by this picture:

Or maybe it was just that inbred ingenuity that has led to so many “Hey y’all, watch this!” moments. Or maybe it was something else entirely that caused this person to look at their Ford Escort (it looks like an Escort, anyway) and think “Hmmm, heavy hauler”:

I can’t imagine the stark terror that must have grown in the mind of whatever poor fool found himself or herself behind this idiot in traffic.

But hey, if Escort Hauler guy had just met this fellow, they could have maybe balanced the refrigerator in the canoe and save gas!:

But maybe the entire affair happened only because his van was having problems:

I’m sure his cousin would have helped move the ‘frig, but it seems he was busy:

Likewise, his brother-in-law was also on a moving mission:

And his sister was also tied up, or maybe taped up:

And where was his son? Getting ready to mow the yard, that’s where!

At least when they all got their stuff moved, they were able to get together and team up on one last job:

There’s no cure for stupidity!

Desperate Times For President Bush

Thursday, 20 July 2006, 9:19 | Category : Politics
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President Bush, stung by yet another defection from his ever-shrinking pool puddle of support, is finally discovering that there are black people in his America and is appearing before the NAACP convention. The defection? A major one, and one made publicly. Jim, who has been a staunch Republican even though he’s never realized how starkly different his views are from the majority of Republican positions, has officially joined the non-aligned. I’m forseeing a link to moveon.org on Bigjim any day now.

But back to the NAACP thing – why is Bush going to speak at their convention now? I’ve heard a variety of potential reasons – reaching out to mend fences, helping Lynn Swann in his run for the Pennsylvania governorship, looking for support anywhere he can get it. But I think for Bush it’s a no-brainer. For Bush, it’s a win-win situation. If he goes, makes a good speech, maybe ties in the Voting Rights Act renewal, it will play well in the big media, divert attention from his potty-mouth and playing handsy with Angela Merkel at the G8 summit. But if he encounters a hostile reception from the audience, the image of all those “liberals” booing and jeering him will undoubtedly play well before what was his base before he began chipping away at his constituency by being a big-spending, international interventionist, pathologically secretive, stubborn autocrat. The only way he can lose is if he’s caught trying to give Bruce Gordon a backrub.

New York City Redux

Friday, 14 July 2006, 14:25 | Category : NewYork2006
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For those of you who came here to read about my New York vacation, this will make it a bit easier to navigate the various posts:

Part I is here.

Part II is here.

Part III is here.

Part IV is here.

Part IV-a is here.

Part V is here.

New York City, Part V

Monday, 10 July 2006, 21:32 | Category : NewYork2006
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Our last day in the Big Apple. Wife wanted to go see what the Good Morning America Friday concert series in Bryant Park was like, so we hiked over there, about a dozen blocks, in time to catch a bit of the concert:

The group performing that day was the Pussycat Dolls. Count me underwhelmed – they reminded me of a bad middle school dance team, with apparently one girl who could sing. But I won’t leave you without a picture.

Somehow I doubt my Sandisk Sansa will be seeing any of their songs. From there, we walked south towards our final Citypass objective, the Empire State Building. On the way, we passed this building, which sadly I didn’t have time to enter:

Then we arrived at the Empire State Building:

Since it was still early morning, the line was short, and once again Citypass let us skip the ticket lines. So we were up at the 86th floor observation deck pretty quickly – the evening before when we stopped by, the wait was over an hour. First picture is looking down over the side:

Then, in order, south, southwest, west, north, northeast, and east:

After the Empire State Building, we went to the Museum Of Modern Art. More Jackson Pollock, more of me not getting Jackson Pollock. I talked to an artist friend about this, she told me about layers and perspectives and breaking the mold. I still don’t get Jackson Pollock. But I’m not hopeless. I liked Robert Rauschenberg. I liked Giorgio de Chirico. Carlo Carra’s Funeral Of The Anarchist Galli appealed to me – the bold colors and chaotic strokes. But the painting that struck me most was Alberto Giacometti’s The Artists Mother. The harsh, straight edges of everything in the room contrasted so severely with the image of the woman seated in the chair, and the colors, almost bleak, reds and black. Other than the Van Goghs, my favorite painting of either museum.

And that’s how my New York trip ended. Back on the train to New Jersey, back to our car, then driving to DC for a short visit with our older daughter. 12 days, 3,000 miles, a great road trip. What did I learn? New York is a pretty cool place. The people there were friendly, helpful (for the most part), meals could be had for less than I expected. You can walk yourself to death in Manhattan. But I can’t imagine a better place to walk.