June 2003 Archives

Signs, Signs, Everywhere Are Signs

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Last blog for a while; I'll be on vacation until July 8th.


I was running on the treadmill this morning, listening to 'Messiah' by The Farm (discography), when I happened to look down right when they got to


He loves fast cars,

He loves freaky women,

But most of all,

He loves Armageddon


and saw that the calorimeter read 666.6 calories. Jeepers!

The Amazing Race 4 At The Quarter-pole

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OK, we're a quarter of the way through this season's TAR, so let's revisit my
predictions:


  • Amanda & Chris. My prediction: first out. Actual: second out. I can't for the life of me recall one instance of Chris trying to screw anyone over (exactly as I predicted), unless you count his awful job on the Masquerade roadblock, and then he only screwed himself and Amanda over. Apparently, they were right on the Falconettes' tails in the very short dash from the Masquerade to the Pit Stop, but had to try to navigate around them because they thought Monica and Sheree would win if it came to a footrace (FORT link here). Too bad.

  • David & Jeff. My prediction: second place. Actual: still racing. Haven't seen hardly anything yet. They've managed to say in contention despite seeming to bumble around just about everywhere, mainly because they've avoided the Fatal Mistake. I'm a believer in the Airtime Inverse Proportionality Hypothesis (the less we see of a team early, the longer they're likely to last). If that's true, these guys win. At least they finally clued in to the way Reichen & Chip were using them. I don't loathe these guys nearly as much as I did before the race, but maybe that's just because I haven't seen much of them yet.

  • Debra & Steve. My prediction: fifth out. Actual: first out. The Weebles wobbled and fell down. And fell down. And fell down. Geez, my drunken chronic-vertigo-suffering inner-ear-disorder-stricken neighbor doesn't fall down as much as Debra did. Oh, by the way - they weren't out because they were slow, not really anyway. They're out because they grabbed a ticket for the last bus while there was a ticket for the second bus still available. That would have given them a two-hour lead over the last group, and they would have to have Fallen Down a lot to blow that lead.

  • Jon & Al. My prediction: fourth place. Actual: still racing. Another team we're not seeing a lot of (and when we do, it's almost always the clown schtick, but what can you do?). Liking them more as we go along, especially the way they stayed with Millie during her asthma attack and the 'just another day at the office' expression on Jon's face when doing the bungee.

  • Kelly & Jon. My prediction: third place. Actual: still racing. flower_goddess and I have pet names for each other that others probably would consider insulting, so that aspect doesn't really bother me. One thing's for sure, though: they'll won't be able to get away with NOT READING THE CLUE CLOSELY (snow rafting, not asking directions in Venice, the fiacre stand) forever.

  • Millie & Chuck. My prediction: sixth out. Actual: still racing. Millie occasionally gives off a Jill vibe but usually she's just irritating. Chuck is looking more and more like a non-person with each passing week. Meh.

  • Monica & Sheree. My prediction: second out. Actual: still racing. Quickly traversing the learning curve after a really stupid Fast Forward in leg 1. More physically imposing than I originally thought (I had forgotten they were both former Colts cheerleaders); they definitely intimidated Amanda & Chris into trying to run around them rather than by them. Also seemed like they escaped the FireCop trap of just following other teams around, with good performances finding the Mozart house and the Pit Stop (where they left the last train with several other teams but beat them all to the finish). We'll see next ep how big a lead they have.

  • Reichen & Chip. My prediction: winners. Actual: still racing. And I'm really hating these guys now. I have lots of gay friends, and NONE of them act as petty and childish as these two have. I really wanted to like them; now I'm hoping for a quick exit.

  • Russell & Cindy. My prediction: third out. Actual: third out. I like Cindy more now than I did during the race, mainly because it seems like the cluetrain finally arrived vis-a-vis Russell. And speaking of the Lord High Schmuck, he hasn't done his postmortem yet. Coincidence or sore loser?

  • Steve & Dave. My prediction: seventh out. Actual: still racing, although with two engines out and a third on fire. Normally I'd be worried about how far they are behind, but since this week's preview shows them with several other teams, it looks like they've caught up to the pack. But how long will they hold out?

  • Steve & Josh. My prediction: eighth out. Actual: still racing. Geez, Dad, say something! Josh is stepping on all your lines! Go away quickly, please.

  • Tian & Jaree. My prediction: fourth out. Actual: still racing. These girls are headed for a major meltdown. Personally, I think it'll manifest as Tian lightening Jaree's pack for her, where we'll see carton after carton of cigarettes flying out a train window. Tian is a good racer whose patience has run out; Jaree is an anchor.

I'm not a big fan of the so-called 'Roadmap to Peace.' LGF refers to it as 'Roadmap to Murderville', but I prefer to call it the 'Roadmap to Piece,' as in 'Roadmap to Ensuring That Every Jew In Israel Is Eventually Blown Into Tiny Pieces.' Anyway, they've taken another turn on the merry-go-round: Israel tries to take out a Hamas leader with a missile, Hamas responds by using a splodeydope to blow up a bunch of innocent people. Again. James Lileks is one of the best--and usually funniest--writers out there (every day!); incidentally, this one makes me think of a live-action Red Meat, kinda like this one. But I digress.


Lileks' Bleat today has this answer to the apologists that say 'they only use suicide bombings because they don't have helicopters:'

"They don't have helicopters, we're told, so they use suicide bombers. If they had helicopters, they would have strafed the bus and everyone waiting at the corner. Give them a nation where Hamas runs unchecked, and they'll have helicopters."
And since I try never to miss an opportunity to pile on France, I'll include his next quote:
"They won't be Apaches. The bill of sale will be calculated in Euros and the manual written in French."


UpDATE: /2003 Damn, I'm already a turn behind. The IDF just bagged Yasser Taha in a missile attack. Also, the IHT is reporting that the Israeli Army has declared "all-out war" against Hamas (Deustche Welle is reporting the same thing). About damn time.

Jackass Syndrome Strikes Again

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Unfortunately, the person who got struck wasn't the mental defective who was going "nearly 100 mph on a residential street". Some poor schlub whose only offense was to be making a left turn at the wrong time is now asking St. Peter "What car?"

"This is '2 Fast 2 Furious' right here in the Valley," police Detective Kathleen Burns said. Authorities are looking to find new ways to crack down on street racing. The sequel to "The Fast and the Furious" was expected to trigger an increase in dangerous high-speed driving.

There's something missing from this story, though. Shahenian broadsided Iko's car when Iko "was turning left in his 1993 Toyota Camry". Since Iko was killed and his passenger was not, it's reasonable to assume that he got t-boned in his driver's door, which meant that Shahenian was approaching from Iko's left (the other possible broadside scenario has Iko turning left in front of the oncoming Shahenian, where Iko's passenger would have taken the brunt of the impact). If that's true, than either one or the other was also running a red light at the time. But the story doesn't tell us anything else about the traffic situation, other than "Shahenian claimed he was driving the speed limit, investigators said." Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy.

So Am I Getting My Flying Car Or Not?

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Yes. Or maybe no.

KeepersWatch And Office Lexicon Finally Updated

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Sure, it's only been about 9 months, about fifty more items, and an an entire list, but my Keepers Of Lists totally self-congratulatory vanity page is up to date! Not only that, The Office Lexicon is also updated! Yow!

'Twas A Dam Shame

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On this date in 1976, the Teton River Dam in Idaho failed spectacularly, killing 11 people and causing an estimated $1 billion damage. Fortunately, the area's sense of humor remained intact: one victim said, "We weren't flooded; we were just over-irrigated."


And speaking of killing people and overrunning land, today marks the 36th anniversary of the start of the Six Day War. I wonder why LGF isn't mentioning this.

Embrace The Weak, Punish The Strong

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Over on Television Without Pity, I recently opined that another reason SlackerJosh may have pointed the NFLWives to the middle bus rather than letting them flounder on the late bus was that he wanted to keep a 'weaker' team up high, increasing the chance that a 'stronger' team would be eliminated. I've also seen seen this (twice in a row!) when I was in the studio audience for Jeopardy! in 1990. Making the comparison would have been seriously off-topic for the TWoP forum, and they're pretty strict about staying on-topic, but I can elaborate here (disclaimer: all details accurate as of August 1990, so if (f'rinstance) they've changed how many episodes they tape in a day, sorry).


In the third episode taped that day, the leader going into Final Jeopardy bet such that if A) he got the question right, B) the second place person bet it all, and C) the second place person got it right, they would tie for the win (the person in third place was not a factor). Lo and behold, that's exactly what happened. This is pretty rare; it generally only happens when two players are tied for first going into Final. Jeopardy! rules in such an event are to pay both contestants and bring them back for the next show as co-champions. That's how Sarah Cox, a schoolteacher from Bangor, Maine, won her first Jeopardy! game--on the coattails of someone who let her.


At the time, the dinner break was after the third show of the day. So as we're chowing down on the Soul Train set, I got into a conversation with a guy named Steve, and the topic came up. I said that I couldn't understand why Paul (I think his name was Paul) would let Sarah back into the game like he did. Steve replied that he thought it was a very Machievellian move, and his theory was that Paul thought he could handle Sarah in the next game and that way he'd only have to battle one unknown instead of two.


Did I mention that Steve's a lawyer?


Naturally, Steve got selected to play the next game. Going into Final Jeopardy, he was in exactly the same situation Paul was in the previous game (Steve leading, Sarah close, Paul not a factor). He bet exactly the same way. Final Jeopardy played out exactly the same way.


We'll never know just why Paul dragged Sarah along. But we know exactly why Steve did.

Next Up: Roll On Over You by Thin Lizzy

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LGF reader jenbr had a great Alan Sherman parody as a comment to this story about another pancake martyr wannabee.

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