January 22, 2005

Eye of the Pussy Cat

photo credit: biz stone

I went snowboarding for the first time this weekend ... the fear was palpable.

Turns out fear feels like being strapped to a slippery board and being rolled down an icy hill. But more enjoyable.

January 19, 2005

Note to Jason Sutter

Don't you ever show up in one of my dreams and tell me what I can and cannot eat again.

First off, I don't eat, as you rudely stated "Up to 4 sausages a day." I do enjoy the occassional sausage but it's not like a daily snack or something.

Second, I don't even eat beef. So how am I going to follow your advice and cut back on it. Think about that, bucko.

Finally, before dispensing dietary advice you should check yourself to make sure that your arm isn't a giant ladle. And you'd be a lot more believable if you weren't sitting in giant high chair like some frickin' toddler. I take eating very seriously and am not about to start having the shots called by a goddamn bearded infant.

I do apologize for bursting into tears, however. It was unmanly.

Something I don't get

I was at the DNC when Barack Obama burst onto the national stage. And I was one of those who fervently wished we could just jump ahead to the day when he was running for President and skip this whole Kerry business.

Sen. Obama is now in Washington and the 109th Congress is getting back to doing the people's business. Judging by the Senate website, Obama has thus far had two significant votes. First, he voted against Barbara Boxer's objection to certifying the Ohio electoral vote. Now, so did everyone else (or they abstained). And I'm not particularly convinced that singling out Ohio is an effective way of engaging in a discussion about the voting failures seen during the 2004 elections.

However, the failures are real. The fact is that America portrays itself as the exemplar democracy and we've not figured out voting. Objection seems a reasonable start.

Obama's second notable vote came today when he joined 16 other members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in approving the nomination of Condoleezza Rice for Secretary of State. The two opposing votes were John Kerry and Barbara Boxer. (Hey - this Boxer lady seems on to something.)

So, I get the fact that Rice is going to be Secretary of State - but come on! She did such a great job creating the case for invading Iraq that she deserves a promotion? Remember the "16 words" debacle ... same lady!

I know, I know. Obama just got there, no sense in making waves before Congress even really gets into gear, and so on. But when someone leads you to war on what turns out to be an outright lie it's time to object goddammit. Object! Vote no! Make waves!

Otherwise, what's the point in being there?

January 18, 2005


My friend Flack is an excellent paintress and a bit of a loon. You can see examples of both on her new blog.

Recently, her favorite cranberry sauce was discontinued. A lesser Flack may have bowed down to the whims of the Man and his Sauce Discontinuation Tyranny:

"I couldn't find it at my local safeway, made a big batch of my own, wrote a letter asking for it back, and then found the last remaining twelve bags in the city. As an excercise in self restraint, and at the urging of my husband, Eugene, I only bought 8."

Restraint, indeed.

January 17, 2005

Redundancy Paradox

Does it count as sleeping if you dream about insomnia?

Last night I did a lot of tossing and turning before dreaming of the same. I had dreams of sipping hot milk and watching late night informercials in an attempt to bedrowsify myself.

I guess it's hard to say if it worked.

Unsurprisingly, I was horribly confused when I woke up. I opened my eyes and found myself gazing blearily into the interior of one of my pillows which appeared to me to be the under-chin of a giant, beige whale. My first semi-conscious thought was "Oh great. No sleep, and now I'm going to be eaten by a whale."

This was followed by my first fully-conscious thought: "You go to bed thinking that one day you'll die, but it won't be tomorrow. And most of the time, you're right."

January 11, 2005

GoogleVocab: The Art of Web-based Lexigraphy

Here's a new game for those who like fifty-cent words and search engines - GoogleVocab!*

  1. Find words for which the first search result on Google is an online dictionary definition of the search term.
  2. Use that word to create a more person-driven result for its use.

Lexigraphy (above) is one example. Obfuscate is another.

Now, obviously, a dictionary result is a perfectly relevant result for many words. However, the best way to learn new words is by actually using them in an appropriate context. And the collective action of such usage will produce a richer web of content than mere dictionary definitions.

Hooray for words!

*This idea is, like, totally unaffiliated with my employer.

January 09, 2005

Ancillary Superheroes in The Incredibles

There's a scene in The Incredibles where Mr. Incredible gains access to the secret computer files of arch-villian Syndrome. One of the things he sees is a list of super-heroes - those killed by Syndrome and his Omnidroid (™ Lucasfilm).

I feel it's always helpful to have quick access to a list of super-heroes and -powers ... so here are those from that scene:

  • Universal Man: atomic density manipulation
  • Psycwave: pyschic foresight, thought control, telekinesis
  • Everseer: telepathy, clairvoyance, magni-vision
  • Macroburst: high density force projection
  • Phylange: sonic field projection
  • Blazestone: pyrotechnic discharge, fire control
  • Downburst: flight, gaseous expulsion
  • Hyper Shock: seismic wave generation
  • Apogee: gravity control, levitation
  • Tradewind: elemental control
  • Gazerbeam: laser vision
  • Stormicide: electrical discharge, gale bursts
  • Gamma Jack: controlled radiation burst

I can't decide if I would rather have 'gaseous expulsion' as my power or be name Phylange.

January 08, 2005

Nose Deal


My cold is on the move and now occupies this location, its more traditional home.

January 06, 2005

Sore Throat


If someone could make this part of me stop hurting, I'd be most appreciative.

January 03, 2005

You've given up on being graceful when ...

You become really good at catching the stuff you accidentally drop.

January 01, 2005

Glory Days

I've nearly finished watching the Special Extended Edition of Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (or SEELOTRROTK) - an appropriately long title for a ridiculously long movie.

One of things added in the extra footage is a bit more of the blossoming romance between Eowyn and Faramir - this comes after Eowyn is unceremonious dumped by Aragorn with the classic breakup line: "It is but a shadow that you love." A much better choice than "See, there's this elf ..." or, the more genre-approrpriate: "My head thou wont'st anoint-y / unless thine ears are all a-pointy."

So, good, Faramir and Eowyn. A natural couple, really, given what we know of the two ... Eowyn's got a thing for rangers and Faramir's been getting hand-me-downs all his life. But here's what I'm worried about. The kids.

Wayafar* son of Faramir: Hey, Mom. Hey, Dad.

Faramir: Hey, Wayafar son of me.

Eowyn: How's school.

Way.: Great! We were learning about the War of the Rings today - the great war that ended the Third Age!

Eow.: Oh really? You know, your father and I were both in that war.

Way.: No way! Wait'll I tell Spencer! So what happened - did you guys get to fight orcs n' stuff?

Far.: Quite a few orcs, actually.

Eow.: Oh my, yes. (Giggles)

Way.: This is so cool! Tell me all about it.

Eow.: Well, let's see - it was all so long ago. Hmm. Well, I guess you could say that I rode out with the Rohirrim and met the forces of Sauron at the Battle of the Pelennor Fields.

Way.: You fought at the defense of Minas Tirith! Holy crap, Mom!

Eow.: Language! I didn't single-handedly bring down an oliphaunt that day just to raise a foul-mouth goblin for a son.

Way.: You slew an oliphaunt!

Eow.: Yep - turns out you can slay them by riding under their legs and striking at their ankles. Tricky, but effective. Anyway, that was nothing compared to the Nazgûl.

Way.: Did you fight the Nazgûl, too!

Eow.: Mmm, a little bit, yeah. Actually, I engaged in single combat with the Witch-king of Angmar, Lord of the Nazgûl.

Way.: Oh. My. God. What happened?!

Eow.: I chopped off the head of his winged mount and plunged my sword into his face. He, sorta, imploded. Or something. The details are a little fuzzy.

Way.: You've got to be the coolest Mom in all the world! I can't wait to go to school tomorrow. So, Dad, what did you do during the Doom of Our Time?

Far.: Um, yeah. Well, see ... I was, sort of, unconscious for most of the battle.

Way.: Unconscious, what happened?

Far.: Well, I was the sole survivor of a hopeless charge against the orcish hoardes at Osgiliath. I was, kind of, dragged back to safety by my horse.

Way.: Why did you go in the first place ... if you knew you were gonna get wiped out?

Far.: I thought it might make my Dad love me.

Way.: Did it work?

Far.: No, actually. As it turns out, he tried to burn me alive.

Way.: I see. (Pause) So, Mom - do you have any souvenirs from the battle!

Eow.: Hmm, I think so. Oh yes, that big doorstop over there? That's part of the flail wielded by the Witch-king.

Way.: Awesome! I'm totally taking this for show n' tell. (Exits)

Eow.: "No man can kill me," he says. (Giggles) What's wrong, Faramir?

Far.: Hmm ... oh nothing. I'm just gonna go downstairs. I really wanna finish that birdhouse.

Eow.: OK, dear. We're having dinner with Aragorn at 8 though. All this talk of the war ... won't it be fun to reminisce about old times. You know, I had quite the thing for him once.

Far.: Yes, I KNOW! Listen. I'll just be downstairs.

Eow.: Oh. OK.

* There's some question as to what name Faramir and Eowyn bestowed on their son. Their grandson is known as Barahir, but it's unclear whether he is the son of Elboron who is only mentioned once in The Heirs of Elendil. So bear that in mind when reading the above.