August 31, 2005

Light Blogging for 36-48 Hours

Provided my car is released from the Abu Ghraib of Saturn dealerships today, I'll be driving out to Scottsdale/Phoenix tomorrow.

My husband and I had a spirited discussion about my taking my 11-year-old SL2 out to the Valley of the Sun. I reminded him that it's really no farther to drive there vs. the San Francisco Bay Area, and that I know the route by heart (though he usually drives when we go out to visit his sister in Tempe; some kind of guy thing).

Attila the Hub wanted me to grab a rental car for the trip, but I'm unwilling to drive up the costs to that degree. After all, my mother's car is 14 years old, and still going strong. And my particular Saturn was made before GM started to let the brand slide. It's a good car, though battle-scarred from that unfortunate deer-in-the-freeway incident.

Our compromise: I'm supposed to leave at a decent hour tomorrow, and get to Phoenix by dusk, in case there's some kind of problem on the road.

I'll be covering the NFRA convention in general, and the Americans For Rice activities in particular; AFR is sponsoring the Goldwater Reception on Friday night, and will unveil its new media campaign over the coming weekend. (And please do go to their main page; it's updated frequently and contains all kinds of interesting buzz on the Draft Condi movement.)

So while I tie up about a million loose ends here in L.A. you won't read much here until I check in from Arizona Thursday night or Friday morning.

Posted by Attila at 08:24 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

August 30, 2005

I'm Just Sick at Heart

. . . over what's happening in New Orleans. Attila the Hub hasn't been able to get through to our friend in the area; we're hoping she evacuated her home early. We know she was right on top of the threat last time. Since Katrina unfolded more dramatically/suddenly, I'm hoping she just didn't get a chance to send an e-mail out this time. But it's worrisome.

The whole thing certainly puts things like my car problems and dental issues in perspective. (The other day as I complained about my post-40 aches and pains in what I deluded myself was a humorous way, my husband remarked that "these are problems that live people have."

"Yes," I conceded. "Getting older beats the hell out of the alternative." Then I looked at the calendar and apologized to him.)


Mostly I've stayed away from Katrina because I just don't feel like I can contribute much to the situation from thousands of miles away. Glenn has an interesting TCS story from 2003 on how our infrastructure needs to be hardened against natural/man-made disasters. It's worth thinking about.

(Via . . . well, via Glenn.)

Posted by Attila at 10:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Pour a Fresh Cup of Coffee

. . . and head over to Protein Wisdom, for a Maloney-level smackdown of moonbat academia.

But one that contains that evil Goldstein flair, and exploits his ability to blend in, as it were, with the locals.

Posted by Attila at 10:31 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Now, Really.

This was a very naughty thing to do, and whoever did it should be spanked.


(I'm thinking Allah or Goldstein, but I've been wrong before.)

Posted by Attila at 10:13 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Katrina and the Waves

[naturally, I stole that headline from an MSM report on the storm]

K's Quest has some pretty good (mostly) real-life coverage of the disaster from Florida. And now she has electricity, so there's much rejoicing and a virtual panegyric to the beauty of wall outlets.

Just keep scrolling.

Posted by Attila at 10:08 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Hm.

I'm having a bit of a moonbat attack here. I seem to be battling with 2-3 lefties who are pretending to be 10-15, 'cause they keep changing their screen names.

I mean, I could check the IPs to find out how many there really are. But would it be as much fun?

THESE PEOPLE ARE LURING ME INTO A DEBATE ON FALSE PRETENSES! THEY LIE, AND I WASTE TIME! (Wait. That didn't rhyme.)

Posted by Attila at 09:44 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 29, 2005

How Am I

. . . supposed to wear makeup in weather like this? I mean, at 35% humidity, I'm basically powdering over a wet surface: one mistake and I can't just "blend" the eye shadow or whatever to cover my mistakes. I suddenly realize why people talk about "powdering their noses" to cover "shine." I try it. My face is immediately wet again, and I realize that if I keep powdering I'll soon have about an inch of yucky solidified sweat-powder on my face.

OTOH, my hair is curling a bit on its own, like it did when I was on the East Coast.

The only thing worse than living in California would be living somewhere else.

UPDATE: Well, okay. Thirty-five percent is probably not record humidity for anyone living in the South, Midwest, Northwest, or Northeast. However, it does change the usual formula for converting California temperatures into those in these other regions. Usually 100 degrees in the Southwest is like 80 degrees elsewhere. But when it's 95 degrees here and there's some water in the air, it's pretty uncomfortable. Especially when I have sensitive skin, and thre are pools of salty sweat on it for long periods of time: yesterday I had a heat rash so bad, it looked almost like a tan, from scratching my legs all night long.

On the other hand, there are the enhanced waves in my hair, and there's the fact that I have to gulp down less water on a regular basis. And I don't have to keep picking my nose, since normal California weather generally makes me feel like someone has shoved pieces of plastic up into my nostrils.

And there's no worry about forgetting the water bottle somewhere and having people come across one's parched bones in the supermarket parking lot or outside the dry cleaner. Visitors here are always so disturbed when they see sights like that.

Posted by Attila at 07:01 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

The American Princess

. . . just did an entire Cotillion Ball roundup. Singlehandedly. From the airport. As the rest of us were wondering what to do about the effects of the evil Katrina.

This is a chick who knows how to take charge, and go way above and beyond the call of duty.

Posted by Attila at 05:35 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 28, 2005

I Shouldn't Be Doing This

Because first of all, it's really Goldstein's kind of project. Also, I adore Graham Nash for personal and professional reasons I shan't go into here.

But I'm cranky and crampy, so you get what you get:

Crawford

So your brother's bound and gagged
And they've seduced him with Fox News
Won't you please come to Crawford just to sing
In a land that's known as cowards, how can we all fail to lose
Won't you please come to Crawford for the help that we can bring?

We can change the world,
Re-arrange the world.
It's dying--if you believe in bombing
Dying--and if you believe in beheadings
Dying

Thinking people, sit yourselves down, there's nothing for you to do
Won't you please come to Crawford for a ride
Don't ask Michael Kelly to help you `cause he's dead, too
Won't you please come to Crawford or else join the other side.

We can change the world,
Re-arrange the world.
It's dying--if you believe in wheat grass
Dying--and if you believe in tofu
Live Casey Sheehan's life.

Posted by Attila at 09:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Commenting Policies

From now on:

1) Name-calling is discouraged in all cases, but tolerated with respect to public figures. It is not to be used against other commenters, or your hostess. If you resort to this, I may change your comments to make you sound stupid. If that's, you know. If it's feasible. (Often, it simply isn't, and I just let the comment stand.)

2) If there's no chance that your words will edify others or persuade someone else to come around to your point of view, why bother?—you could be watching re-runs of Man from U.N.C.L.E.. Or doing drugs. Or working out a New York Times crossword.

3) Stick to one screen name here, particularly within a given comment thread. Of if you're going to pretend to be several different people, do try to make it convincing: misspell different words. Commit separate grammatical errors. Live it up and use paragraph breaks, even if that isn't normally your bag.

I want to believe.

4) If you're going to claim status as a Vietnam Vet, I want your branch of service, the years you served, your unit number, the tasks your group specialized in (tunnel rats? LRRP?), and the area(s) where you were deployed. Or, you know—I get to counter your arguments by claiming to be the reincarnation of Molly Kettle. This isn't a Monopoly game, and pretending to be a Vet isn't like drawing a get-out-of-jail-free card, releasing you from the normal rules of civilized discourse.

I'm starting to conclude that real 'Nam vets are far outnumbered by those who are "recovering memories" of their service therein. Matter of fact, I think I might have been there myself. I was eight years old at the time, but tough as nails. I killed a lot of VC, and now I'm plagued by guilt.

Thanks.

Posted by Attila at 07:05 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

August 27, 2005

Paging the Academy.

What sayest thou?


In other news, it's 8:00 p.m., and the temperature has dropped to 90 degrees. I'm flirting with the idea of taking my sleeping bag onto the balcony, and crashing there tonight. (But then, if I tried to read myself to sleep, the big icky bugs so beloved of the Argentine would fly around and bang against me, my lamp, and my book. And I swear some of these insects are the size of mice.)

Now you're going to tell me to turn on the air conditioning. I'm trailer trash, and I don't turn on the AC more than five days a year, because otherwise I can't brag about how WONDERFUL it is to live in Caleeforneeia. Fucking desert. I'm moving to New Zealand.

Posted by Attila at 08:01 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Chris Muir

. . . is the man.

Posted by Attila at 06:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

What Right-Wing Chicks Say When No One's Listening.

Stuff like this.*


*In case you were wondering, CGWLTF = Conservative Girls Who Love To Fuck. There's an auxiliary: CGWLTFBPGH (Conservative Girls Who Like to Fuck, But Prefer Getting Head). The two groups cooperate on all kinds of ventures: sewing shirts for the soldiers in Iraq, handloading ammo for Special Forces in Afghanistan, knitting vibrator cozies. You know.

For more on the Cotillion ladies—some who do, and some who do not, talk like sailors—see my Cotillion blogroll of sexy warmongers on the left sidebar, under "links."

Posted by Attila at 05:36 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 26, 2005

It Turns Out

. . . that Michael Moore's adjustment at the Pritikin Center has been a bit . . . rocky. And I don't mean that like Rocky Road Ice Cream.


UPDATE: A weaker woman would be shamefaced. Not me: I simply proclaim myself Queen of the Broken Link, and challenge my readers to supply their own links. In this case Desert Cat found the correct one, but with all this reader participation, someone's eventually bound to find a page that's better than the one I had in mind.

Hey! Let's light candles, put flowers in our hair, and sing Kumbayah.

Posted by Attila at 12:17 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

August 25, 2005

Please Drop By Jane's Site.

Trackbacks aren't important, but leaving comments is paramount; we have to let the thugs in the Yemeni government know that "the audience is listening," so they will think hard before they engage in more of this intimidation against journalists. And we know that they routinely monitor Jane's site.

Left, right, and center—this is the least we can do.

Posted by Attila at 11:49 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

As Usual,

Steyn gets the final word on any topic. This time it's the Cindy Sheehan phenomenon.

His entire essay is marked with compassion. He really feels for the media people who used to go to the Hamptons during Clinton's vacations, and are now stuck in . . . Crawford, Texas. He's able to write about this appalling tragedy in a way that's sensitive to both the President (who apparently doesn't want to hobnob with Hollywood celebrities while he's on vacation) and the real victims, reporters forced to go to a tiny town in the scorching Texas heat.

Posted by Attila at 11:30 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 24, 2005

Talk About Your "Viral" Marketing; Watch Out, Boyz

The Condistas are definitely on the march.

Crystal Deuker—whose last name got inexplicably garbled by the local press—got lead-story coverage as she spoke to a political women's group in Iowa, attempting to spread the message that it's time to draft Condi.

This is right on the heels of the Quad City Times' report that in poll of 400 Republican Iowas voters, Condi leads the pack by a considerable margin:

Rice received the backing of 30.3 percent. U.S. Sen. John McCain of Arizona was second in the survey with 16 percent, and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani received support from 15.3 percent. Roughly 20 percent were undecided.

Just to be fair to the guys, a second set of questions was asked that excluded Condi's name. Naturally, WaPo ran a story on that second poll, entirely ignoring the Rice lead in the main poll.

What is the Washington establishment afraid of?

Meanwhile, the latest poll in Florida puts Rice neck-and-neck with Mayor Giuliani (21% and 23% respectively), with Constitution-shredder McCain a distant third at 11%.

DISCLOSURE: Team Condi bought an ad from me (see it?—upper left). I got $45 for it, and I'll be spending several multiples of that going out to cover their activities in Scottsdale this Labor Day weekend (along with blogging the entire NFRA convention). Should I ever be in danger of breaking even due to my having contacts within (or sympathy for) a political group, I'll be sure to let you know. (This policy is very unlike that of your average consumer magazine.)

In the meantime, everyone in Team Condi appears to be spending their own money for gasoline, meals, lodging—just about everything in almost all cases. If you think Condi is the best person to carry on—and possibly fine-tune—G.W.'s efforts in the War on Terror, think about whether you have time or money to give. If you do, click the ad and get involved. Thanks. They are about to roll out their big media campaign, so right now would be a great time to slide them some filthy lucre.

Posted by Attila at 11:18 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

The Afghan Constitution vs. the Iraqi Constitution

Dean points out their similarities, and then suggests that the difference in the coverage they're receiving might have something to do with bias in the mainstream American media.

Pretty fast with that trigger finger—aren't you, Buddy?

Posted by Attila at 10:26 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

We Should Not Be Talking About Killing Chavez!

Though, you know, if someone were to do it, I'd cope.

Posted by Attila at 12:32 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

It's Official.

Jesse Taylor is Jeff Goldstein's bitch.

Posted by Attila at 12:22 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 23, 2005

Smash

. . . needs a new job. He's in the San Diego area. I don't know if he's willing to relocate, but I rather doubt it. I wouldn't. It's even prettier down there than it is up here.

Posted by Attila at 06:05 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Help the Wounded

We've got to get more voice-activated laptops to those of our troops who have been wounded and need them. As John Donovan has pointed out, this is something that anyone can support—left, right, and center:

If you're a lefty blogger who wouldn't be caught dead in [our largely right-of-center] list, we understand. We suggest you start your own list, and own campaign, and stuff us warmongering capitalist neocons into the dustbin of charitable giving history. I'm all for it. This is about the wounded. No more, no less. In this case, I will allow the ends to guide my means!

Anyone up to the challenge? You don't have to support the war to support web access for people who wouldn't otherwise be able to operate a computer.

Please support Project Valour—IT (a charity run by Soldiers' Angels). Be generous. Thank you.


Via Cassandra.

Posted by Attila at 08:01 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Condi in 2008

An old article of Andrew Sullivan's from 2002 reminds us why Rice's presence in the White House has been extraordinary from the very beginning. It was written before Rice became Secretary of State, but while she was still the President's trouble-shooter and his most trusted advisor.

At that time, the speculation among Condi-watchers was that Cheney might resign, to be replaced by Rice—who would then become the logical GOP candidate in 2008. I think Cheney was considered a critical part of the inner circle, and not expendable in a time of war. But that doesn't mean the President is not grooming Rice as his successor.

I understand there are some issues to be dealt with: who plays the role of White House hostess if we elect a single—and female—President? And will the voters "forgive" the fact that Condi hasn't run for elected office before?

The nation is at war, and that is a time that customs get folded, spindled, and mutilated (exhibit 1: FDR's third and fourth terms). Condi will find a cousin or niece to assist her in some of the ceremonial duties, or she will hire a domestic version of the chief-of-staff to take over some of the hospitality functions, with the VP stepping in when the visiting dignitaries are important enough. And she will do plenty of gracious entertaining herself, when time permits.

These are solvable problems. Leaving the nation rudderless in a time of war is not.

For more, visit my favorite "Draft Condi" site, Americans for Rice.

Get on board.

Posted by Attila at 01:03 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 22, 2005

A Spy in the House of the Mainstream Media

I fear the world is about to end: Patterico just got published in the L.A. Times.

And I have to give them a little grudging respect for it, too: he's no more soft-spoken in this op-ed piece than he is in his own blog.

UPDATE: Turns out this is the second time Patterico's been invited to contribute to this "Outside the Tent" series. Kudos to the editor who makes this decision.

Posted by Attila at 02:39 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Band of Brothers

Attila the Hub and I are watching the series for the third time. Our copy is on VHS, and it's starting to degrade in quality: we got it sent to us for free ("for your Emmy consideration") because Attila Hub is a member of the television academy, and every once in a while the words "for your consideration" flash across the bottom of the screen.

So we need to get it on DVD before our next viewing.

But I definitely recommend seeing it more than once, because the more you watch it, the more you get to know the "characters" (who are real men, of course: this is a true story). And, loving these men, you notice the "cameos" they play in each other's stories before Tom Hanks turns the spotlight on their own individual narratives.

We watch it at least once a year, but each time I see it I notice more and more subtleties that I didn't see before. All the performances are incredible, but David Schwimmer's is especially noteworthy if you've only seen him do light-hearted situation comedies.

It's not a particularly easy thing to watch, but it fills me with gratitude and awe each time I see it. And it's beautifully done in an epic style: like Middlemarch, except that it's set in the 20th Century and people are getting their legs blown off.

If you haven't seen it, see it. If you haven't seen it lately, give it another look.

Posted by Attila at 02:21 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Now This

. . . is sick.

Posted by Attila at 03:20 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Converting Euros to Dollars?

What's the cheapest way to do this? We have a small inheritance sum from one of the husband's relatives in Ireland, but our bank wants hundreds of dollars in service charges to cash it, which seems obscene.

Let me know if you have any ideas.

Posted by Attila at 02:28 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

August 21, 2005

Gerard

. . . has a few words for men regarding penguin love.


(When he sent the link 'round to the Bear Flag League, it was marked "For Boys Only. No Gurlz Allowed." I'm assuming the females read it faster than the males did, human nature being what it is.)

Posted by Attila at 03:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Re-Thinking the Issue

Via Dean comes this powerful case for allowing Cindy Sheehan to meet with the President. I actually found it quite persuasive.

Posted by Attila at 03:54 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

So I'm in the Hot Tub

. . . with Mr. Linguistics, Scanmaster, and Mahatma. Mahatma's wife and kids are in the house: his sons keep sneaking out of bed, because they are under the impression that it's their God-given right to stay awake until the party's over. Mahatma isn't impressed, and calls out to them periodically to go to bed and stop trying to spy on us.

The rest of us were convinced as the day began that we'd be kicked out at around 11:00, but it doesn't happen, and instead we keep taking snacks off the table and eating them under the stars. I get water for Scanmaster, "water" (vodka) for Mr. Linguistics, and tonic water for myself that sometimes contains booze and sometimes does not. Ms. Mahatma, the enforcer, pretends not to notice that there's alcohol being consumed by hot tubbers, and even jokes at me about "avoiding dehydration" as I hand Mr. Linguistics a robust shot of Three Olives, served in a child-size plastic cup.

Ms. Mahatma points out Mars in the sky. "It's red," she asserts, but I can't tell: it just looks like a blobby bright bit of light to me. She goes back in and finally carries the last sleepy child off, protesting, to bed. And she herself crashes—probably letting us have some college-days gossip in honor of Mahatma's upcoming birthday at the end of the month.

Suddenly the three guys I'm with are talking about how maybe instead of marrying women, they should all have simply married each other way back when. "Linguistics Guy would cook, and Scanmaster would do the dishes. I'd read Steinbeck, and pitch in with a little light housework, plus childcare duties. It would have worked out great," Mahatma sighs.

I could have pointed out that they would all have been living an unacceptable, zero-booby lifestyle, but it would have been too easy. Instead, I proclaim "I can see the romantic appeal, but which one of you would have produced human eggs?"

"We would have hired a surrogate mother," he explains.

"Okay, then: who would fix your car, without having your engineer wife around?"

That stops him in his tracks. "Oh. That wouldn't work, would it?"

"No, not at all," interjects Scanmaster. "One has to have a wife who can fix cars. I want one too, just like Mahatma's." Suddenly, I'm glad my husband can't hear this conversation and know what he's missing.

"Are you going to divorce your existing wife, or just keep going?" I ask Scanman lazily, bringing my feet up to the surface of the hot tub, where the guys' feet have formed a sort of tangled nest in the middle. I perch mine on top of the pile, which brings my butt up, so I'm halfway floating in the tub, suspended between the rim of the pool and the foot-island in its center.

"Oh, Catlady the Poetess won't mind," he tells me. "She'd be happy if I got another wife."

"Then go for it," I tell him. "But make sure the second wife wants kids, and knows her way around an engine. Then you can have a house full of cats, and a separate one with real children in it. And healthy cars."

How hard could that be to find? I think. Especially in L.A.?

I climb out of the hot tub and go inside, putting my street clothes on and throwing the wet swimsuit into my carryall bag. Then I go back out and tell the guys I've got to head back, so I can be home within an hour or so of when I told my husband I'd arrive here.

"But he's asleep, right?" enquires Mahatma.

"Yup. He's getting up early to work on that project I told you about."

"So he won't know," he presses.

"I'll know. And these days I'm trying to do my best impression of adult behavior. Besides, your boys have piano lessons tomorrow, and I have to put my game plan together for the coming week." Not to mention church, of course—and my latest greatest grilling adventure on the patio (lamb for me and and salmon for the husband; thanks for asking).

Mr. Linguistics, Scanmaster and I head out into the starry, starry valley night, hugging Mahatma on our way out the door.


There's nothing more delightful than gossiping in a hot tub with your high-school friends, and going home to plant a very light kiss on your sleeping husband's hair. Then eating a very ripe peach, and going to bed.

At this moment, things could not be more right in my world.

Posted by Attila at 03:29 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

First Thing

. . . let's kill all the lawyers.

(With apologies to the Bear Flag League, of course—and most of the Volokh crowd, for that matter.)

Posted by Attila at 02:20 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 20, 2005

Nice Little Interview with Mark Steyn

. . . by Hugh Hewitt.

Posted by Attila at 01:48 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Evan Coyne Maloney

. . . might become, for the New York Times, what Patterico is to the Los Angeles Times. (Though perhaps not as intensely: it would be difficult to match Patterico's frequency of slapdowns.)

And this could be lovely to watch. (Not to mention the fun I'll have forwarding these tidbits to my father, who maintains that I'm not "literate" because I don't read the NYT. I'm afraid his years on the East Coast warped his brain.)

At any rate, it's Maloney's takedown is sweet; check it out.


(Via Goldstein.)

Posted by Attila at 12:08 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 19, 2005

What If Dukes of Hazzard Were a Swedish Film?

Iowahawk has it all worked out.

Posted by Attila at 11:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

One Libertarian

. . . contemplates the delights of a potential run by Condi.

Posted by Attila at 06:35 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

So.

I might go out to the Phoenix area for the NFRA convention over Labor Day weekend to support Americans for Dr. Rice as they roll out their media campaign, and meet up with them. They'd like me to go to Tennessee the following week, which I'd love to, but it involves flying—so unless I have enough miles from my last cross-country trek, that one is unlikely for budget reasons. (Also, I suspect I'll be working a new day gig by then, and that amount of travel may just not be wise.)

Arizona, however, is easy as pie: I can drive it in fairly little time, and I know that road (in this case, the 10) like the back of my hand. Unfortunately, my sister-in-law will be out of town—so I can't stay with her—but I might be able to crash with one of the other people from the Draft Condi movement. Even my beloved Holiday Inns (with WiFi!) are far cheaper in Phoenix/Scottsdale than they are in a lot of metropolitan areas. And I know where the Latin grocery stores are in Phoenix, so I can eat on the cheap.

In other words, I might be able to swing this without too much more trauma to my travel budget.

If anyone else is interested in attending, let me know. Obviously, the NFRA is thick with SoCons, but I'd be there to support some of the important "watchdog" functions they perform within the GOP, and to make the case for grassroots work on behalf of Dr. Rice.

If any Phoenix-area bloggers want to meet for lunch or coffee, let me know.

Posted by Attila at 05:56 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

CINDY!

. . . is looking for someone to take her place while she's away from Crawford. Any takers?

Posted by Attila at 05:10 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 18, 2005

The Kittycats

. . . weigh in on Pierce's Brosnan's retirement from the James Bond franchise.

Posted by Attila at 10:49 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

How Many Liberals

. . . have fled the Democratic party due to Cindy Sheehan's antics? And how many more are slowly letting go?

Via Mikal.

Posted by Attila at 08:49 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Important Questions

Just to get serious for a moment:

1) Angelina Jolie, or Jennifer Aniston?

2) Ginger, or Mary Ann?

3) Did your answers to questions 1 and 2 line up on the "wholesomeness" scale, or on the "dark hair vs. fair hair" scale?

Discuss. All are invited to comment, though comments by straight men and gay women will be weighed more heavily in this very scientific survey.

Posted by Attila at 03:21 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

It Occurs to Me

. . . that I haven't pissed off my social conservative readers in a while. So, here goes.

I agree with the current meme to the effect that the circus surrounding Cindy Sheehan resembles the one that encircled Terri Schiavo. And that there were/are supporters of both the Schiavo parents and Ms. Sheehan taking the stance that "our emotion trumps your appeal to reason, so we are immune to any criticism. So shut the fuck up."

And that it's not very nice to put words into the mouths of those who cannot speak, whether it's because they are in a PVS or because they are dead. (Though in fairness, I'll admit that Terri Schiavo's wishes were far more ambiguous than Casey Sheehan's: the man made his desire to serve his country very, very clear. There is something especially unattractive about a woman infantalizing her adult son once he has died and cannot speak up to remind her that he is a man, not a boy.)

Posted by Attila at 03:12 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

August 17, 2005

Celebrity Blogs

This is hilarious: Joal Ryan points out that all celebrity bloggers aren't really equal. In fact, he hints rather delicately that there are actors out there who cannot write at all.

My favorite celebrity web site? Easy: Pierce Brosnan's.

Posted by Attila at 11:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Getting Yer Web Fix

Evan Coyne Maloney has a nice summary of the various technologies available for travelling web junkies. I'm still hoping that my new bitchin' T-Mobile phone will solve this problem for me without my having to lug the PowerBook around everywhere I go: I should at least be able to check my mail with it, and I should have some web access using it directly (as a matter of fact, the phone does have bluetooth, so I should be able to use it to tap in through my computer in the manner Even describes).

But I'm just not willing to shell out the kind of money Evan's talking about, and I don't travel nearly as much as he does. For instance, I didn't even try to use the internet while I was on the plane during my last trip, because I was going "gypsy-style," trying to keep my expenses down as much as possible. Of course, when I got to the Newark airport and discovered that my connecting flight to Hartford had been delayed by three hours, I broke down and paid the 6.95 the Port Authority charges for web access from NY/New Jersey airports. Happily. (Do most airports offer this pay-for-use WiFi deal?)

And it's nice to know that most Holiday Inns offer free WiFi; it's just the cheaper motels I favor when I travelling sans husband that don't. I also know that more and more public squares and parks are now featuring free hot spots. And while Siggraph was going on, the L.A. Convention Center was one big free hot spot: it was lovely, though if they hadn't done that I think there might have been blood running in the streets.

But that Bluetooth option: now that Even's mentioned it, I might try that in order to live-blog the Liberty Film Festival this October. (The Beverly Center may offer cutting-edge design, but it doesn't have WiFi, as the convention center does. Last year I was cut off, and had to do nightly summaries from home. Very primitive.)

Posted by Attila at 10:33 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 16, 2005

I'm Here.

I'm just working on this book query thingie, so I'll be in fiction-land most of the day today.

See you tonight/tomorrow!

Posted by Attila at 01:40 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 15, 2005

If You're Wondering

. . . who the people are behind Cindy Sheehan "anti-war" campaign, you might start here.

[h/t Lair]

Posted by Attila at 12:29 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Cindy Sheehan

In her own words.

UPDATE: Enough with the name-calling in the comments section; I'll handle the immature behavior around here. If you have a view, state it clearly without attacking private citizens (Sheehan's placed herself in the public spotlight, so you can call her names—though I'd rather you didn't).

If you support her—why? If you feel she's dishonoring her son, how?

Thanks.

Posted by Attila at 02:59 AM | Comments (49) | TrackBack

Sometimes I Think

. . . I could read Eggagog all day.

UPDATE: Has anyone else ever noticed that substituting a hyphen for the equal sign in the html for a link is completely ineffective?

Posted by Attila at 01:59 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

We're Like Something Out of the Pink Panther Movies.

I spot my husband in the hallways, but I don't look at him. I keep my head down, and pretend not to see him. He's engaged in the same game, and starts whistling.

As I brush by, I "accidentally" graze my arm along his butt. I know retaliation will be an attempt to tickle me, so I draw back and my hands come up into the defensive position I learned in jujitsu (which has been refined by two years of T'ai Chi). Attila the Hub uses both, along with Okinawan Karate, his hand-to-hand combat training, some Push Hands (a Tai Chi offshoot) and good old-fashioned street fighting from his teenaged years.

"Oh, hey, Honey. I didn't see you there," I exclaim.

"Are you all right, Babe? You seem a little jumpy."

"Me? Jumpy? I'm just trying to get into the bathroom there."

"Well, go ahead."

"I'm tired. You can move past me first. Because you trust me, right?"

"Right." Immediately, his right hand comes down toward the ticklish part of my ribs, but I know his moves and offer only a token defense against that hand. The real assault, I know, is going to come from his left one, and I'm ready to block it hard.

I break free, untickled, from his attempt at grasping my two hands together in one of his (it is, of course, fatal to let him accomplish this). I walk quickly to the dining room, the husband in hot pursuit, coaxing me all the time to let my guard down. "Honey, why are you running?"

"I'm not running. I'm walking briskly. I just remembered something I had to get out here," and I roll under the table. I always go low when I can; it's one of my best weapons.

Suddenly, he straightens up and says, "Babe, and you sure there's nothing wrong? I mean, you seem to be crawling around under the dining room table."

"Well, you know. I dropped an earring under there this morning, so I was just retreiving it."

I emerge from the other side of the table, but he's around to that side in an instant. He moves on me then, pinning my arms and tickling that spot between my ribs that makes me squirm. I let him, but when he's done I lead him to the spot at the top of the stairs, place him one stair down from me (so we're closer to the same height) and kiss him long and slow.

"Kato Kato! Not now!" he murmurs in his Peter Sellers/Pink Panther voice, and I give him one more peck on the lips. Then I go off to the bathroom, and he goes downstairs to his den.

When I was in my jujitsu class they always marvelled at my ability to "think on my feet" and perform maneuvers that weren't official jujitsu moves at all.

I wonder how I got good at that.

Posted by Attila at 01:42 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Jason

cuts the NYT a new one for its [lack of] war reporting.

Via Photon Courier, the world's most underappreciated blog.

Posted by Attila at 01:07 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

I'm Hurt

. . . because Ilyka suggests that human beings should try to distinguish between thinking and feeling.

And, you know, try to use the former more than the latter when they attempt to comment on policy issues.


I think she's been co-opted into the patriarchy; don't you? I mean, she's practically turning into a man before our very eyes!

Posted by Attila at 12:11 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

On Class

There's a great (and somewhat disgusting) article by David Sedaris in the current issue of GQ. Go out and read it in print: steal it from your dentist's office or something. (I don't believe in rewarding magazines that don't provide full articles online, so try not to pay for the damned thing. How are your shoplifting skills?)

Or, if you're just too busy, there's an excerpt here, but the original is better. And there's not too much of it.

Posted by Attila at 12:00 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 13, 2005

Ultrasound

This is an ooky girl stuff post. Reading it constitutes consent to hear about the female reproductive system, and not in that somewhat arousing chick-blogger's-lesbian-fantasies way, either.

Having been through fertility treatments and assorted other examinations, I'm starting to consider myself a Sonogram Veteran.

This last time it was because I had some kind of strange occasional pain in my right ovary. "If we want to be safe," the OB-GYN had cautioned, "we should have an ultrasound."

"I'll check to see if the insurance will cover it," I replied. I was assured that it would, so we went merrily ahead.

I can never help asking them to identify my organs, but have you ever looked at those little screens they use?—the shapes that are pointed out don't look like anything on those charts the grade school teachers show us when they want to explain how our menstrual cycles will work. The images on the screen aren't even shapes, exactly: they're lines and little bits of light, harder to see than a spider's web in a dark hallway.

As the doctor works the probe around he points out the uterus (one curved silvery line) and the bladder (a dark speck) and the ovaries in turn (they look like tiny little round spots of television static, as if you were watching TV in the old days and turned to a channel that didn't exist: just white-and-black "snow").

Every time I go in wanting to believe that I'll see real reproductive organs, and every time I feel as if I'm trying to see the animals someone else envisions in random cloud patterns. But the guy who imagines he can see my uterus and ovaries is wearing a white coat, and I don't want to seem like an idiot. So he says, "here's the uterus, here's your right ovary," and I exclaim, "how fascinating" and sort of nod.

There's nothing there. There's never anything really there. The emperor is wearing less than I am, lying on that table.

This time, he suggests that they need an "overall view," so of course they put some more lube below my belly button and he rubs the wand around on my lower abdomen to appease whatever spirits live in the machine behind the little dark screen.

"See? The images are less distinct, but you can see them in relationship to each other."

"Isn't that interesting?" I respond, hoping that the Sonogram Spirits are now happy and I can put on my clothes. And, yes, of course: The images were so clear when the wand was inside me.

Finally, he pronounces my reproductive system "perfect," and I tell him I always knew it was, deep down. And then he lets me know that ultrasound doesn't always spot ovarian cancer. Naturally, I want to shriek that there's no point in undergoing this silly exercise if he can't promise, Scout's Honor, that there aren't any icky yucky cells inside me. But I'm in my 40s and know things don't work like that: even the professionals who talk to the Sonogram Spirits are fallible sometimes. So I thank him, wait for him and his assistant to leave, and put my clothes back on.

Before I leave I look one more time at the machine. I'm severe with it. I raise one eyebrow ever-so-slightly. "Don't fuck with me, Spirits," I warn. And I sweep out the door.

I feel that I was fairly clear.

So now I'm safe. I faced the Ovarian Cancer Spirits down, and they blinked.

Posted by Attila at 11:46 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Iowahawk Is On Fire

. . . these days. This is a cheery little piece about multiculturalism taken too far. Some Europeans will find it strangely . . . familiar.

But also take the time to scroll down Iowahawk's main page. Is it possible he's getting even weirder lately? (And I mean that it the good way.)

Posted by Attila at 01:27 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

When I Lived with Mr. Math

. . . he used to share his two rules for survival if I suddenly found myself in a horror movie:

1) Do not shower or bathe;

2) Do not have sex.

Here are a few more.

Posted by Attila at 01:00 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

No. I'm Serious.

Lair is an evil-freakin'-genius.

Posted by Attila at 12:40 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 12, 2005

Not Bad.

And is that a tatt on his right front hip?

But I do like a little upper-body mass, too. Perhaps MK has more pix for us?

Posted by Attila at 05:50 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Ted Casablanca

. . . speculates about what Martha's catchphrase (the equivalent to "you're fired") will be in the next Apprentice series. I happen to find that subject endlessly fascinating, as that sentence will be a trademark for the show (just as Trump's is for his version).

Posted by Attila at 02:32 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 11, 2005

Jewish Exercise Video

Sometimes when I read Lair my jaw just drops open for a moment. Then I start to laugh. There's generally something appalling-yet-hilarious going on. Like this.


Via Desert Cat.

UPDATE: You know, I thought I should check that link. For some reason I just thought I should verify that it worked. But then I figured, "hey, if I screwed up, someone will let me know. They always do. And it ain't like I'm getting paid."

Anyway, it's fixed now. At least I think it is. I didn't check it, of course.

Posted by Attila at 11:08 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Drug Legalization

Goldstein has the definitive roundup/debate.

Posted by Attila at 05:16 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

John Hawkins' Latest

Right-of-center bloggers pick their favorite public figures on the right.

Of course, if John would confine himself to asking me, these polls would be less representative—but somehow more correct.

Posted by Attila at 02:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Now, If

. . . they were advertising "dead vaginas," that would be disturbing. But I suppose all is well.

Posted by Attila at 02:16 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Ugh.

Does this sound stupid, incredibly stupid, or outrageously stupid?

Joy McCann
Snail-mail address

August 15, 2005


Ms. Publishing Contact
Boutique New York-Based Publishing House
Los Angeles Outpost

Dear Talent Scout Lady:

You may recall that I met you a few months ago at a publishing industry meeting, wherein you were the featured speaker. I appreciate very much your stopping by to talk to us.

As I mentioned when we all made our initial introductions, I’m working on a mystery novel. Because I’m expecting to finish the first draft in January, I’m sending around a few initial inquiries to a couple of contacts in the book publishing industry. Enclosed are the outline and a few sample chapters. My goal is to combine a murder mystery with a true novel in the tradition of Dorothy L. Sayers: in the process of solving the puzzle, the heroine comes to terms with who she is, and gains some direction in life.

The story takes place in the world of magazine publishing, where I’ve worked since the late 80s. It’s set primarily in Santa Monica, the town I lived in from the age of 12 to 18.

I’ve had a handful of articles published—mostly in consumer magazines—as well as one poem. I also maintain a weblog, and contribute to one of the most highly ranked blogs, Dean’s World (edited by Dean Esmay).

Sincerely,

Joy McCann

P.S. Kill me. Kill me!

I promised someone that I'd get it onto his desk for review on the 16th, so the real letter will go out within, say, a week after that. Unless I'm lucky and get finished off in a terrorist attack. Or the package gets lost in the mail. Or I vanish in the Bermuda Triangle.

Posted by Attila at 01:16 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Now This is Charming

Hop on over to Conservative Bloggers Who Support the Gay Judge Roberts. And dance merrily onto the bandwagon.

Posted by Attila at 01:05 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

War!

. . . is hell.


(Via Green.)

Posted by Attila at 12:05 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 10, 2005

I Guess Jeff Harrell

. . . prefers the "plug-in drug."

Who knew?

(h/t Goldstein)

Posted by Attila at 12:30 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Live From Iraq

Sissy Willis provides a few fascinating tidbits from Michael Yon's energetic reporting about the front-line efforts in Iraq—including a description of one of the ruses our guys used to flush out Iraqi "insurgents." I'll have to start monitoring Yon's website. In the meantime, drop by Sissy's place for a terrific digest.

Posted by Attila at 12:17 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 09, 2005

P.J. O'Rourke

had a nice little article in the Atlantic this past spring that I somehow missed. It's a short summary of the Social Security debate, and it highlights the problem I've always had with Social Security: if this is something that we give to impoverished seniors, why do we also give it to the rich?

Is it simply an inefficient government-run pension fund? Or is it a social service for the poor? If the former, why not make it efficient? If the latter, why not means-test it?

Because, as O'Rourke points out, everyone wants to have it both ways. Which is a human nature problem, really.

Posted by Attila at 10:37 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Instapundit

. . . is gone, and it's an all-star cast of guest-bloggers: Totten, Althouse, and McArdle.

Take a look.

Posted by Attila at 07:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Go to Chris Muir's Site

. . . and click on the "click for Cathy" button as often as possible in the next week and a half. This will raise the visibility of the cancer clinic that is providing care for his sister, and it won't take up much of your time.

Thanks!

UPDATE: Chris reports that they are now getting 5000 clicks an hour, and the number is rising. I love these grass-roots actions! He warns that we might crash the system, but if we can't get through at one point we can just do it again the next day. And this is not a fundraising campaign: clicks only; not money.

And now there's a shortcut on my sidebar, to save you time!

Via Goldstein.

Posted by Attila at 07:10 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Remember Richard Cohen of the WaPo?

Mark Steyn just put his head on a stake:

. . . [Cohen's] first thought, on learning the name of President Bush's Supreme Court nominee, is of hanging chads.

Leave aside Cohen's careless assumption that the 2004 election was "all about" the Supreme Court: I happen to be writing this in a taxicab stuck in traffic in Central London, where bombs are going off, and it seems to me last November was a little about all that loud exploding stuff, too. If the Democrats hadn't been so hung up on chads and the court, they might have had something to say about that.

Leave aside, too, that it was the Democrats who were trying to "hang enough chads." The Republicans were happy to have the election decided on -- what's the word? -- "votes." It was the Democrats who introduced us to the Four Chads -- Swinging Chad, Dangling Chad, Hanging Chad and Dimpled Chad -- at a time when, to most Republicans, the Four Chads were that vocal group who'd headlined the party's A-list $3.95-a-plate celebrity fund-raiser. It was the Dems who demanded the election be decided by chad diviners interpreting the subtle, indeed undetectable indentation of the dimple as a decisive vote for Al Gore. America has chads in its politics because Democrat lawyers put them there.

He forgot the Fifth Chad, the "pregnant chad." But, yes: it was not the GOP that wanted to change the rules after the game had been played.

What's more hilarious to me with respect to all this handwringing about the Supreme Court is that the venerable O'Conner voted with the majority, and against reading chads like tea leaves (and therefore manufacturing votes). Now she's a saint, about to be replaced by the nutjob Roberts. But then, she was part of the right-wing cabal that "selected" George W. Bush.

Steyn's main point is pivotal: if the Democrats want to be relevant, they might want to start addressing the fact that large numbers of people want to kill us just for being [American, British, Australian, Italian, Joo-ish, and so forth]. The issue is not chads: it's bombs.

Posted by Attila at 07:02 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Dr. Rice

...will be calling LaShawn soon, begging her to change her mind. Asking for a chance: "Please, ma'am." Can you imagine?


If you're playing catch-up, it started with this statement from Ms. Barber:

One of my advertisers is a group called Americans For Rice, and I’ve been asked by several people where I stand on the Condi-for-president meme. I wouldn’t vote for Condoleezza Rice for president of the United States. First, I don’t think women generally have the sensibilities to run the country. Before you jump all over me, it’s important that you know I don’t care what you think. You’re reading this blog, so you obviously care what I think, so there it is.

The question is not whether we will have a female President. The question is, when. And who will it be?—some Reno-esque hack selected in a smoke-filled back room because we were overdue for a chick Chief Executive? Or a qualified woman of principle? Someone who can carry on the legacies of other successful female heads of state? (The examples usually cited are Maggie Thatcher and Elizabeth R. There are plenty of examples, however.)

I just finished Bush at War, and one of the things that jumps out of its pages is the role Rice has played in this White House, especially since 9/11. She was essentially an uber-Vice President, running meetings that even Cheney attended and far outranking the Chief of Staff.

Those who argue that one needs to have run for public office in order to take on the highest office in the land ignore the fact that there are exceptional individuals out there to whom the conventional rules simply do not apply. Dr. Rice is one of them.

Bush was drafted by the GOP. And if we're lucky, Rice will be drafted by Bush. She is his logical successor, especially in a time of war.

Furthermore, as Secretary of State she is making contacts now that will be invaluable when she transitions into the role of President herself.

The time has come. Lead, follow, or get out of the way.

Posted by Attila at 05:02 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Volokh and the ACLU

Sorry, but I'm going to have to side with Volokh on this one. While I'm generally no fan of the ACLU, I support a few of the lawsuits they've brought: there have been a few that have helped to keep the government honest.

And the Fourth Amendment has been particularly fragile in this country for some time, especially in light of the governmental abuses brought about by the so-called War on Drugs. If we're going to have bags searched in subway stations, I'd like a little clarity on how to square it with the Constitution. And I'd like some limits set.

After all, as a lot of us have been pointing out since approximately 9/12/01, if we shred the Constitution while conducting the War on Terror, the terrorists will have won. Just because it's a cliche doesn't mean it isn't true.

Posted by Attila at 04:19 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Coco Chanel

Women's Wall Street has a fascinating summary of Chanel's life—and her influence on women's fashions.

These days we tend to think of her as a "luxury designer" because most of us cannot afford clothing that comes from her particular company. But her influence made women's garments more humane for real flesh-and-blood women to wear.

My mother used to put on a little black cocktail dress, spritz on a little Chanel No. 5, and go out to parties in the 60s. And I wore that same cocktail dress myself—decades later—until it finally fell apart and I had to replace it.

And if I ever have money again, I'm going to get a little spritzer of No. 5 for special occasions. It'll bring back good memories, and serve as an homage both to my mom and to the woman who made it okay to wear jersey fabric.

Posted by Attila at 01:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

For Some of These People

A pellet gun is too mild. I've seen some egregious behavior by paparazzi.

Too bad it's illegal to discharge a pellet gun in Los Angeles County—at least, so I've heard. Perhaps the law can be re-written to exclude those who cross the line in pursuit of celebrity photos? (There is a line, you know.)

UPDATE: Locals react.

Posted by Attila at 11:54 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Apparently

. . . Al Franken feels truly dreadful about the Air America funding scandal.

Posted by Attila at 11:16 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

I'm Here, I'm in Arrears

Off to beddy-bye. Visit the Pirate early and often.

I'll be getting this place back to normal (whatever that means) over the next few days.

Don't eat any wooden pickles!

Posted by Attila at 04:29 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 08, 2005

The Weather is Here, Wish You Were Beautiful

Well Mateys, its been short and fun, but yee big boss be comin back soon so I best be on me way. Bonus points to those who can guess who's song was used in this post's title. I'll give you a hint, he didn't write PinaColadaBerg. Thanks again to Little Miss A for giving me the keys to the ship for a few days, hopefully I didn't crash it into anything too bad, and with that I be on me merry way to Buccanear Days with a bottle of rum and more wenches!

Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for me
We pillage, we plunder, we rifle and loot
Drink up me hearties, yo ho
We kidnap and ravage and don't give a hoot
Drink up me hearties, yo ho.......

Posted by the Pirate at 09:15 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

One Quick Order of Biz

Since I have the run of the place for a little while longer.....

I am deeming myself supreme overlord and winner of The "Name My Business" Contest.

Thank you, thank you everyone. Yes I know I am that wonderful, your heartfelt congratulations can be left in the comments sections, checks can be made out to 'Cash'.

Posted by the Pirate at 08:48 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Wide World of Weird

A common site on my blog are Lindsay Lohan references, today is more different, because Lindsay was golden today. First off she hired a trainer to help her gain weight....how dumb do you have to be to not know how to gain weight? Geez its called B-E-E-R! On top of that she wants to gain weight because:

"I'm working out with a trainer and eating healthily I want my boobs back."
Well atleast she rediscovered part of her keys to success. Now If someone would just get her hair red again.....

Turns out uber-Brazillian Babe Gisele is a bit nutty too when it comes to things being clean, of course she has a lot more time on her hands to do that sort of thing than most of us. I would offer my services as house boy if she so desired, more so becuase its hard to find someone more anal retentive than myself and it would be a great personal self-esteem boost.

Of course eveyone's favorite boxer, the greatest fighter in the world Iron Mike Tyson may be doing some adult filmmaking. He does know he needs to go more than 3 rounds right?

Posted by the Pirate at 03:52 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

You don't have to be stupid to be a wild-eyed leftist

But it certianly helps and you'd agree wth me if you caught the 'Civil Rights' March in Atlanta over the weekend. The whole crowd was out there for it...Barbara "BA's Favorite Rep." Lee, Maxine "Over My Dead Body" Waters, Nancy "Pants" Pelosi, John Conyers, Jesse Jackson and many many more. Out there, literally and figuratively, with the Bush is a racist, Blacks who work for him are tyrants, Republicans are thieves, the GOP will go out of their way to steal elections and keep people Democrats from voting and so on and so forth. Even when there is published evidence that while both sides try election deception, its the Democrats who do it far more and far worse.

Posted by the Pirate at 01:02 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Its Just Monday

You known nothing today strikes me as interesting, sure Peter Jennings died, but I really can't get all worked up over someone I didn't know or even watch on TV. Heck when Johnny Cash died it bothered me more because I enjoy his music and never got around to seeing him live. Now that Jennings died, he's no longer hosting a news show I never watched anyways. Still I send condolences to his family for the their loss, but thats about it.

Went to a few ballgames this weekend, you know there are a lot of people out there who just don't give a second thought to the people around them. While no seats were thrown on the field and now one was stabbed or shot like at a Los Angeles Dodgers of Chavez Ravine game, there are some people at the Los Angeles Angels game that just need to be slapped around, for their own good of course. Watch the language, even though at times I curse like a sailor, the game isn't the place for it. Then their are the people who don't stand and remove their hats for the National Anthem, how about a little respect for the country you live in? Then their are the people who feel the need to stand up and leave/return to their seats in the middle of an at bat, hey just wait a minute and do it for a break in the action. Some people just amaze me how oblivious they are to the world around them.

Oh I also hate the wave, floaters and ketchup on hot dogs.

Posted by the Pirate at 10:27 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 07, 2005

Male Excuse

This post is for the men out there, for those times when the women in you life get mad because you "don't care" because you aren't listening to them:

Men who are accused of never listening by women now have an excuse -- women's voices are more difficult for men to listen to than other men's
Thank you Dr. Science, now you just have to convince her to believe in science.

Posted by the Pirate at 10:27 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Deportation Samba

So I pull in to my local drugstore parking lot and get chased around by people who appear to be of hispanic origin and quite possibly wouldn't be able to produce proof of so-called "legal" residence. It was that spot on the news where the Redondo Beach Police were inforcing the law regarding soliciting work on the streets and focred to stop enforcing the law due to wild-eyed leftist activists. Of course they recieved no help from our illegal alien apologist Rep. Jane Harmon (who's office is right by the Macaroni Grill one Rosecrans, if you feel so inclinde to leave an opinon regarding her views). First off lets take the border seriously. Next I do realize we can't go rounding up 12 million people, but when we catch them say working illegally they should be deported. More so we should institute the rules the Brits did regarding immigrants:

• Deporting foreigners who foster hate, or advocate or justify violence.

•Throwing out those linked to extremist websites, groups, bookshops or centres.

• Banning foreign extremist preachers from Britain.

•Closing mosques and places of worship if used for 'fomenting extremism'.

•Outlawing worldwide the condoning or glorifying of terrorism.

• Refusing asylum to anyone linked to terrorism.

• Stripping citizenship from extremist naturalised Britons.

• Banning extremist Islamic groups Hizb ut Tahrir and Al-Muhajiroun.

Seems reasonable to me. If I was a Brit, well by ancestry I have Brit in the blood but thats another story, I'd be offended to all hilt at stories like this.
An extreme Muslim cleric whose family have been living on benefits in Britain for 20 years says it would not be 'fair' to deport him...

...Since Syrian-born Bakri settled in Britain, he and his extended family have raked in benefits amounting to at least £300,000. He is registered disabled because of an injury to his leg during his childhood, and was recently supplied with a £31,000 Ford Galaxy under the Motability scheme. Bakri, who lives in a £200,000 home in North London, tops up his £250-a-week benefit payments with an extra £50 incapacity allowance. He has praised the September 11 terrorists as 'magnificent', called Israel 'a cancer' and said homosexuals should be 'thrown from Big Ben'. In January, he declared that Britain had become a 'land of war', and called on Muslims to unite behind Al Qaeda. He has supported suicide bombings and urged his followers to kill non-Muslims ' wherever, whenever'.

Excuse me, you get all this generousity from the oxer-taxed Brittish tax payers and to show your thanks and appreciation for their assistance you want to kill them. You know what I don't care how hard it is on your family if you get deported, I don't even care if you gat sent back to the oppressive government of Syria. Why, because you are scum...in fact you are worse than scum because atleast scum can be skimmed off the primary and secondary clarifiers, digested and turned in to land applied biosolids for use as fertilizer to grow crops. Nope, he is the crap taken out at the bar screens that is useless, it serves no purose except to be ground up and left in a landfill to rot and like that waste he should be sent back home so he can rot away the rest of his useless life.

Posted by the Pirate at 10:24 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 06, 2005

Just A Few LA Notes

I have come to enjoy working in Downtown LA, aside from the fact Downtown LA has the largest concetration of government buildings outside of Washington DC (many of whom are our clients). Its just a nice environment to be around during the day for work, there is always something going on and there are some fantastic places to eat (Morton's, Pacific Dining Car, Engine Co. 38, Phillipes, The Pantry.....). The building holds frequent functions for us, including friday afternoon's show by The Sevilles - Mowtown Tribue, it was fantastic. Of course you have easy access to go catch a game after work.

There are some downsides, its not quite a decent place to live yet, even less so if you have kids. Once they put the supermarket in, things will improve slightly. the biggest problem is all of the bums that wanter the streets. You can't go a block with out getting harrased, even worse as an early riser I get to work early and exprience the joy of getting to see the local bums relieve themselves, pleasure themselves and pleasure eachother....its a problem down there that needs to be taken care of rather than the current policy of making it easier for them to stay on the streets.

Lastly I am glad Hockey is back, and with Roenick on the team (known for his diarrhea of the mouth) its going to be a fun year for Kings Hockey.....well so long as they resign Ziggy.

On that note I'm off to the lab.

Posted by the Pirate at 11:01 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Anti-Terrorism

Right off the bat I have to mention that Tony Blair showed off his brass balls today. He came out willing to amend their human rights laws to deport anyone who advocated hate or the murder of innocent people. Some may claim freedom of speech and condemn this 'love it or leave it' mindset, but what Blair appears to be going after is more than love it or leave it, because your ability to stay in the country only hings when you cross that region of not loving where you live and not loving it to the point you start advocating murdring other peope in the country. It really won't happen here in the States because CAIR and the ACLU would crap the biggest brick man has ever seen and tie the idea up with so many lawsuits it would choke a donkey. Speaking of kinding people out of Britian for inciting hate and those who want to kill Britons, I nominate this guy to get booted first:

George Galloway

After his recent asinine comments, I don't expect to much disagreement from sane people.

Speaking of suicide bombers, the International Association of Chiefs of Police are my new favorite organization.  Why you ask?  Well because of this gem from their new guide:
the guide recommends that if lethal force is needed to stop someone who fits a certain behavioral profile, the officer should "aim for the head." The intent is to kill the suspect instantly so the person could not set off a bomb if one is strapped to the person's chest
Thats what I like to hear, really its like a medical treatment provided by government funding for suicide bombers, their mental disfunction is terminal, so eliminating the mental part cures the disease....hey I just found a government run health care system I can get behind.  Once again the ACLU and CAIR will carp a bigger brick on top of the brick they already crapped.

However, Massachusetts Port Authority that operates Boston's Logan Airport  gives us the most asinine use of 'anti-terrorism security' to
Posted by the Pirate at 10:48 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

August 05, 2005

There goes the Neighborhood

Ahoy Mateys!

Its the Pirate here taking up some of the posting duties while Little Miss Attila is off pillaging and enjoying the spoils of conquest over the East Coast, as part of the deal my people cut for doing this I also get rule over Taxachusetts and Vermont, which really leads me to believe I need new people working for me.

So for those who know nothing about me, I have a little background information for you to kick off this event. I was born and raised in the greatest city on the planet, Los Angeles where I have had the imense joy to experience both the public and private educational systems in the area. I have spent time working with and for the Boy Scouts and Sea Scouts of America, including 7 summers on Catalina Island. Experienced the wide world of evicting people as a law clerk and finally put my BSE degree in Civil Engineering to use (2 years after graduating) working for an Environmental Engineering Firm, not the tree hugging type because they even hate us too, where I have been gainfully employed since 2004 working on issues like water/wastewater treatment & quality, burried infrastructure assesment, land applied biosolids, groundwater quality, water resources planing, stormwater management, odor control and hazardous waste remediation. In the process of employment I have somehow managed to sucessful become a mere two semesters away from earning a MSE in Civil/Environmental Enginnering and the ultimate goal of winning back my night time and weekend freedom. On top of all that I am doing some research into the fate of nitrogen species (Ammonia, Ammonium, Nitrate, Nitrite and Organic Nitrogen) in secondary waterwater effluent used for sprinkler crop irrigation, sounds exciting doesn't it?

Feel free to ask any questions you want (I'll answer most) and we'll get this experiment started.

Posted by the Pirate at 12:13 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

For the Next Several Days

"The Pirate" of Pirate's Blog will be sailing this website through the treacherous waters of Southern California's hot (and liberal) climate for the next four days. Hoist the black flag, and give him a warm welcome.

I'll be on the East Coast from tomorrow morning on, attending my sister's wedding and poking around in some of the state's eminent domain abuse cases (apparently, the ones in New London are only the beginning in that area). I'll check in now and then if I can find a cheap internet cafe. After all, I still have tons of Siggraph stories from the past few days that you people have to hear (or, possibly, skim over).

But now, I'm going to grab a few hours of sleep. Because I'm such stuff as dreams are made on, and so forth.

Posted by Attila at 03:14 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

August 04, 2005

All the Little Luddites

Insty has an interesting post up on the various stripes of anti-technology activists/sympathizers—on the left and right.

He even discusses a PBS Special that defends GM food. Utterly amazing; I'll have to watch that soon.

Posted by Attila at 01:15 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Whaddya Think?

Gin martinis or vodka martinis? Discuss.

Posted by Attila at 12:27 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

The "Name My Business" Contest

Sorry; I have the winners all picked out, but I haven't had a chance to post them, between preparing for Siggraph and completing trip preparations. I'll post 'em tonight.

UPDATE: Spoke too soon; I need to crash, get up, finish packing, and get out to New England. So I'll hope to get web access and post on that while I'm out of town.

Posted by Attila at 12:26 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 03, 2005

Some Brits

. . . are finally pointing out that the Emperor has no clothes. Goldstein has your links, with his usual acerbic commentary.

I don't think it's so bad here, because of the American tradition that ethnic groups take on the overall cultural imprint of the U.S.A., but my impression is that things are entirely out of control in Europe, and that it's long overdue for someone to say, "if you hate us so much, get the fuck out of here."

(No, no: I'm not for forcibly deporting anyone from any Western country because he/she is cranky. Some of my best friends are misanthropes. But there's a difference between having a cynical take on our political traditions and actively preaching violence against them. As a former member of the Communist Workers' Party, I know the difference. I sometimes wonder why my little group wasn't thoroughly investigated by the FBI when we were studying Marxism in the 80s. Then I realize that half the group probably were special agents.)

Posted by Attila at 11:39 AM | Comments (14) | TrackBack

Did You Miss This Week's Cotillion?

Go catch up. If you like my blogging, you're going to love these other center/right/libertarian chicks.

Posted by Attila at 11:23 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Role Reversals at Siggraph (SG 05, 4)

After Professor Fractal is done presenting his paper, and we've both called our spouses, we link up with Scanmaster and go out for a bite to eat. In Scanmaster's Prius I show the good professor "my Precious," my compact PowerBook. And then my "little Precious," the Motorola cell phone with e-mail capability and a qwerty keyboard.

"I have zero CPUs on me, and you have two," he remarks. "So who's the geek?"

"I don't want to talk about that right now," I reply.

Later, I exult to Scanmaster that I had finally utilized the WiFi at the Convention Center, and "live-blogged" from Siggraph itself.

"What's 'live-blogging?" he responds. "I swear, you use all these obscure technical terms. I can't keep up with you."

Posted by Attila at 10:14 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 02, 2005

It's Still Available (SG, 3)

We must always bear in mind that not all the adventures chronicled in Po Bronson's Nudist on the Late Shift were undertaken in Silicon Valley itself: the computer business has been big all over the West Coast, with plenty of action in Los Angeles and the Bay Area. As a matter of fact, rumor has it that the title anecdote about the workaholic nudist actually occurred in Burbank.

The nudist himself was sent a copy of the book along with a pen and a self-addressed stamped envelope by a colleague who wanted to vicariously experience someone else's fifteen minutes of fame.

Posted by Attila at 11:07 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

In the City of the Angels (SG 05, 2)

The first time I went to Siggraph, it was being held in Anaheim. I drove down from West Los Angeles a couple of nights. My roommate at the time was part of a small computer graphics company that had its party at the Disneyland Hotel. The world of computer imagery was still, in many ways, a primitive art form in the mid-80s: as I recall the best minds in the business were still working on how to make plants look real, rather than like little explosions of color. Simulating human skin was still impossible, and there was still a distinctive "look" to any work that included "CGI" (Computer-Generated Images).

A few years later Terminator 2 would be made; the quantity and quality of computer images would spike.

Two years ago, I returned to Siggraph. It was in San Diego that year, and despite my being what they call "an English major's English major" I was talked into attending again. I found myself marvelling over and over about the kinds of technologies that were becoming "hot." Siggraph is not only about visual art: it explores that place where art and technology meet, no matter the sense that is being engaged. As I write this I have on my desk two little objects that were created by 3-D scanners/"printers." One of them is a tube containing little ball bearings, all of which were created inside the tube. The other is a little box with a lid that screws on: the threads are perfect. The object was made in two pieces, and they match exactly.

These little objects are passe now, two years later. Now the cutting edge is to be found in little devices that can be inserted into one's inner ear to disrupt equalibrium and make a person dizzy when he or she is not moving at all. Or machines that simulate the act of drinking through a straw, though one isn't consuming anything. Or virtual-reality hangliding.

My usual tourguide is Scanmaster, who knows everybody in the business. He's the go-to guy for scanning fine artwork, and the scanner he uses is one he had to invent. Last night, at the Aztec club, he introduced me to the legendary Jim Blinn, and I was nearly speechless.

"What am I on the lookout for this year?" I asked before we set out. I always want to know what the hardest effects are: last year it was hair that moves realistically, a la Violet's mane in The Incredibles, and that eternal bane of the special effects world: water. And fabric. Fabric was the hardest thing to do well at that time. Think of the long flowing robes worn by the dementers in Prisoner of Azkaban. That was plain old showing off.

This year, Scanmaster explains that the vogue is beautiful, stylized portrayal of technology of the kind we saw in Star Wars: Episode III. Now that a lot of the technical problems involved in creating fabric are considered fixable, we'll be seeing more and more exotic treatments of fabric in some of the less "photo-realistic" movies: neon fabrics. Fabrics that catch light in ways that appear nearly impossible.

And eye candy, as always: not just the buxom women we've been seeing since this technology moved beyond cubes outlined in green against a black screen, but more and more computer-generated images meant to be appreciated as high art in and of themselves, rather than imitating some other medium. Landscapes based on fantasy worlds; abstract art. Machines that use magnetic fields to create patterns in a shallow sandbox by means of a small metal ball.

This is a pursuit of beauty itself. The people around me who are often dismissed as "geeks" are really artists masquerading as engineers, underappreciated painters in pixels. And it's glorious to behold.

Posted by Attila at 10:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Live From Siggraph! (SG '05, 1)

Finally. Never mind that I've only got ten minutes until I meet my friend Professor Fractal for a quick bite to eat before I go home and blog this for real from the desk in my dining room at home: like the engineers I'm surrounded by, I'm willing to savor the victory of a technological achievement. Because these little watermarks always hold out the promise of better things in the future.

It turns out the propoganda on the GE "Carousel of Progress" at Disneyland was correct. Who knew?

More—much more—on this later.

Posted by Attila at 05:17 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The "Draft Condi" Movement

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One of the sites devoted to encouraging Dr. Condoleeza Rice to run for higher office (and I am not, for crying out loud, talking about VP, here, or governor of freakin' California) is Americans for Dr. Rice, which is now beginning to consider the notion of "drafting" her onto the ballot in a handful of states. If Dr. Rice could be added to the ballots in a few big states—let's say California, Texas, Florida, and one other—the momentum would build quickly.

The model is the Eisenhower campaign, which emerged from the grass roots.

I honestly believe that if Hillary Clinton runs for President and Condi is her opposition, Hillary will lose. Not because she isn't a shrewd politician, but because Condi is one of the smartest people on the planet. And those who don't steep themselves in the peace culture as if it were good English Breakfast tea sense that the girl can play chess. Not because she's getting good advice from a master-politician spouse—but because she figures things out for herself.

Condi's been the President's foreign policy coach for years; set her loose on the world leaders she's getting to know right now, and we'll see what it looks like when the leader of the free world really leads it. I'm talking Reagan-level leadership. She's got your "iron hammer" right here, Baby.

It is absolutely my favorite Condi site—and the one to watch right now. Make it a daily stop, because I feel things are about to happen, and these people will be in the forefront when it does.

Posted by Attila at 01:46 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

August 01, 2005

Novak Speaks Out on the Plame Case

James Joyner has excerpts here.

Posted by Attila at 11:17 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Rightosphere's Least-Favorite People

Over at Right Wing News.

And, yes, I participated. I actually would have voted for John McCain, but it never occurred to me to place him "on the right."

Posted by Attila at 10:48 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack


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