January 2006 Archives

24: Everything Old Is Nuked Again

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In Season 2, a shadowy government group allowed terrorists to bring a nuke into the US so they could catch them red-handed with it. Last night, it was revealed that a shadowy government (maybe) group allowed terrorists to take a bunch of nerve gas out of the US so they could catch them red-handed with it. In both cases, the terrorists turned the tables and got loose with their WMDs.

So is 24 completely out of new ideas in Season 5? I sure hope not.

Blogroll Off-Line For A Bit

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My blogrolling.com Gold membership expired over the weekend, and I won't be renewing it for three reasons:

  • They upped the price from $10 to $20.
  • The Certificate Authority for their website's security certificate is themselves (tucows.com). Firefox tells me that this could mean I'm not actually connected to them, but to somebody pretending to be them. That's probably not the case, but would it have killed them to spend $1000 for an SSL certificate signed by a trusted authority?
  • I emailed them asking about this - and whether they accepted PayPal - over a week before my membership expired. I still haven't heard back from them.

Fortunately, I captured all my blogroll info before they blocked my access to it, and I'll be maintaining my blogrolls manually via HTML (except for the one blogroll you're allowed under the free blogrolling.com membership). This, however, will take me a bit of time to square away. So if you lost me as a link for, say, the purposes of the TTLB ecosystem, don't despair; you'll be re-blogrolled soon. For the moment, my temporary blogroll appears after the jump.


[UK] Transsexuals 'to get 2 ID cards':

Transsexuals who have yet to have a sex-change operation will be entitled to two ID cards, Home Office Minister Lady Scotland of Asthal has said.

One would be in their gender at birth and the other in their legally-acquired "gender of designation".

The schizophrenic lobby is watching this issue with great interest, I'm told.

Can I Please Be Added To Your Fatwa?


Because I don't see the problem with these cartoons published last September in Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten:

Cartoons about Muhammad published in Jyllands-Posten last September

Of course, we're seeing the distinct lack of a sense of humor among the splodeydopes:

The Muslim world's two main political bodies say they are seeking a UN resolution, backed by possible sanctions, to protect religions after the publication in Scandinavia of cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad.

Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, secretary-general of Organisation of the Islamic Conference, said in Cairo on Sunday that the international body would "ask the UN general assembly to pass a resolution banning attacks on religious beliefs".

The deputy secretary-general of the Arab League, Ahmed Ben Helli, confirmed that contacts were under way for such a proposal to be made to the UN.

"Consultations are currently taking place at the highest level between Arab countries and the OIC to ask the UN to adopt a binding resolution banning contempt of religious beliefs and providing for sanctions to be imposed on contravening countries or institutions," he said.

I have to admit, though, I'm interested in seeing Ambassador Bolton turning his mustache loose on the proposal.

Update: For the convienience of the Islamofascists, Michelle Malkin has invited us small fry to trackback to one of her posts about the cartoons. She has posted several times about them; I especially like this one.

And If That Doesn't Work, Try Filing Off The Stains


Piling on Tuesday's stereotype-exploitation post, we have this:

The BBC issues an on-air apology for a segment on Smart Spenders in which the host recommended rubbing lemon rinds on one's teeth as an alternative to expensive whitening treatments. The British Dental Health Foundation had informed the network that lemons, in fact, are harmful to tooth enamel.

Of course acid is bad for your - wait a minute. There's a British Dental Health Foundation?

This year's edition of Business 2.0: 2005's 101 Dumbest Moments in Business features an update to a previous post:

In October, American Express sues Savvis CEO Robert McCormick for $241,000 in charges he racked up on a visit to New York strip club Scores. Savvis places McCormick on unpaid leave after he admits to the visit but claims that he charged less than $20,000.

I knew all that (plus some details not mentioned in the Business 2.0 blurb), but this is new:

He later resigns, accepting more than $600,000 in severance but forfeiting almost $3 million in preferred stock.
This makes his opportunity cost $2.4 million, almost ten times the amount of the Scores tab! And that doesn't even count the ass-reaming he's going to get from his wife's (presumed) divorce lawyer.

The whole list is definitely worth a read.


White Trash Wednesday

A day in the life of Kevin Federline: roll out of the rack noonish, throw a long-sleeved T over the 'beater, and head on down to the ATM to get his allowance:

Kevin Federline Vists An ATM

Looks like he's still a little sleepy. Might be time for a nap.

It's White Trash Wednesday! Take the whole tour:


Dentist let partner drill teeth:

A dentist from south-east London who let her unqualified boyfriend treat patients has been struck off.

Mogjan Azari allowed her lover Omid Amidi-Mazaheri to work on more than 600 patients, leaving many in agony.

He drilled out cavities without local anaesthetic and installed expensive fillings that crumbled within days.

The pair charged the NHS for the bungled work and other non-existent procedures and are believed to have made £120,000 from the scam.
The alleged dentistry happened between 2002 and 2003. Both were sentenced to prison for their misdeeds in March of 2005. Azari was sentenced to one year, Amidi-Mazaheri two (more on his exploits here, including a bit where he dropped a piece of equipment down a patient's throat).

Azari, 39, a Swedish Iranian, was barred from practising in the UK by the General Dental Council (GDC) for serious professional misconduct.

. . .

The GDC considered claims that Azari "did not take any, or adequate, steps" to check that Amidi-Mazaheri was a qualified dentist.

It was alleged she allowed him to continue treating patients despite promising the Croydon Primary Care Trust in 2003 that he would stop. [emphasis added]

Such conduct would have been "unprofessional, dishonest and contrary to the best interests of patients", the council heard.
It took the General Dental Council this long to pull her license?

This reminds me of something that happened the last time I went to the UK. Of course, I'd heard about the stereotype of Britons having bad teeth, but I didn't really believe it. But wouldn't you know, every time I thought about it over there, two of the next three people I saw would have really, really, bad teeth. I'm talking colors-not-found-in-nature-and-be-careful-chewing-or-you'll-lacerate-your-face bad teeth.

Every time.

Finally, my last night there, I was eating in a restaurant in Swindon when I looked across the floor, maybe four or five tables away, and saw a really attractive woman. She was probably in her late twenties and bore more than a passing resemblance to Kimberly Williams. Hey, she's really pretty, I thought. Too bad she'll have nasty teeth like most people I've seen this week. Then I saw her smile at the couple she was dining with.

White. Straight. Perfect. I was floored.

I barely had time to recover from my shock when her party got up to leave. I had occasion to catch her accent as they walked by my table.

She was American.


The legacy media knows nothing of the military, Exhibit 43,270,449:

Next month a new high-explosive munition will be fired in Singapore and then tested again by the U.S. Army, heralding what may be a sea change in weaponry: a gun that can fire 240,000 rounds per minute.

That's compared to 60 rounds per minute in a standard military machine gun.

One. Round. Per. Second. Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong!

Scientologist and all-around badass Isaac Hayes was hospitalized for exhaustion? How can that possibly be - he's Clear, and that means he's supposed to exude "radiant health"!

A Firm Grip On The Blatantly Obvious

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But what else do you expect from an Ohio state university?

Divorce hurts bottom line, study says

If you want to build wealth, get married and stay married, according to a study by an [aOsu] researcher.

. . .

. . . study [by an Ohio state university] suggests that, while marriage boosts wealth, divorce can devastate it.

The study, which appears in the current issue of the Journal of Sociology, shows that, on average, married people nearly double their comparative wealth, while divorced people suffer a 77 percent drop in net worth.

Next week, the Astronomy department at aOsu is expected to announce that the earth orbits the sun.

When I first heard about geocaching, I thought "They've made dead drops a game anybody can play!"

I didn't consider that not only did it give a cover for, say, terrorists to securely pass data around, the caches themselves could look like bombs if they're poorly placed:

In a game of global positioning called geocaching, the lowly treasure hunt has gone high-tech -- but it can also be a game of risk when terrorism-sensitive authorities find the goods first.

Scot Tintsman found that out when he stashed a green bucket under an Idaho highway bridge last September, intending to fill it with goodies for other players to find using Global Positioning System units. But before he could finish adding the requisite trinkets and log books and posting its GPS coordinates on the Internet, a bridge inspection crew found it.

Rounding a corner on his motorcycle to finish rigging his cache, he was greeted by a barricade of police cars and a bomb squad. He struggled to explain the misunderstanding.

"I got off my bike and three officers approached me very cautiously, hands on their holsters," he said. "I was trying to turn off my MP3 player and I think they were worried I was going for a detonator."

. . .

In November, a geocache outside a police station in Provo, Utah, met a bomb squad robot as its fate. It contained a toy gun, holster and nightstick.

In June, a bomb squad in De Pere, Wisconsin, used a robot-mounted shotgun to blast the lid off a suspicious-looking military ammunition box found in a park. It also turned out to be a geocache.

And on the night before the 2004 presidential election, police and the FBI spent hours questioning a man seen prowling along a fence at Los Angeles International Airport with a GPS unit. He was a geocacher from Vermont trying to stash a toy snake into a cache, placed five weeks earlier, that had already been visited by 463 people.

You Are A Cipher. Apple Can Help.

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Have you seen the Apple commercials touting the new Macs with Intel CPUs? They basically run along the lines of "For years Intel CPUs have been sentenced to a drab existence in (implied) Windoze machines; now they get to be in Macs. Joy!"

Who exactly are they targeting in those ads? I have to think it's people who already use Wintel PCs, but is (implicitly) insulting your potential customers a good business plan?

Of course, they'll probably sell a shload of them anyway (despite the ads), and then they'll think the ads actually work and we'll end up seeing more of them.



Apparently a piece of the warhead from a NorK missile test firing was found in Alaska:

The warhead of a long-range missile test-fired by North Korea was found in the U.S. state of Alaska, a report to the National Assembly revealed yesterday.

``According to a U.S. document, the last piece of a missile warhead fired by North Korea was found in Alaska,’’ former Japanese foreign minister Taro Nakayama was quoted as saying in the report. ``Washington, as well as Tokyo, has so far underrated Pyongyang’s missile capabilities.’’

What we don't know is how scared we should be about this. If North Korea was aiming for a spot in the middle of the Pacific, then they've got a way to go shrinking their CEP. If, however, Kim Jong-il was trying to settle a personal score with some Alaskan wildlife, then Pyongyang may be farther along than we thought...


White Trash Neighbors

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White Trash Wednesday

An oldie but a goodie this week on WTW - Redneck Neighbor, the story of a man fed up with his Caucasian-Refuse-American neighbor (and proof that you can be White Trash without being poor):

October 1997 - 1st Home beautification project

It's dark outside, I'm standing in front of my house and my neighbor does the following: He gets in his car, drives it up to the house on the other side of my house (this house is still being built). He backs his car up to the construction site and opens the trunk. He calmly proceeds to load up the trunk with bricks and 2x4s. Pretty clever, huh?

The following night, at around 9:00pm he decides it's time to build a mailbox post. It's very nice. He used the stolen 2x4s from the previous night. It looks like it's made out of 2x4s except he didn't steal any that were long enough so he nails a couple of them together to get the correct height - I mean, it has to look just right! The mailbox post is not very sturdy so he braces it with an additional 2x4 (at an angle). Click here to see the mailbox (no bracing 2x4 though).

He uses the bricks as edging for his flower beds. They look nice. Especially with the newly planted bamboo trees and the ten gallon fish tank (no fish, just water).

. . .

Mom moves in!

Nothing wrong here. Mom seems like a very nice lady. Unfortunately, my wife wakes me up to bad news again. "Something weird is happening at JD8’s house. His dog is chasing some chickens around the back yard." Unfortunate indeed. Just as I peek out the bathroom window, I see JD8’s mom come out and throw some chicken feed in the middle of the yard. About nine chickens gather around, frantically pecking at the food but Cujo crashes in and spoils the moment. My morning is spoiled as well.

Remember the old "covenant rules" of our neighborhood? Well, there's a sentence in there about livestock (fancy word for chickens and goats). We don’t live in the country – we live in the city. After a quick phone call to our city's "Special enforcement" folks, they promise to come out and give JD8 a warning. The chickens are gone within a couple days. Can you say chicken feast?

Apparently this guy isn't alone in chronicling the misadventures of his neighbors.

It's White Trash Wednesday! Take the whole tour:


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One of the things that I like the most about Oak Island is that despite the fact that vacation houses line both sides of the beach road for almost the entire ten-mile length of the island, it never really feels crowded. Sure, you'll see people up and down the beach, all day, every day, but it's never remotely as crowded as someplace like Myrtle Beach. I think a lot of that is due to almost all the accomodations being single-family homes rather than condos (there are a few condo complexes on the beach road now, but only one of them has more than a dozen or so units).

Unfortunately, that may be about to change. While we were there last year, we saw another 100-unit condo complex being built one street back from the beach road; we also heard credible rumors that Long Beach Pier, one of the three fishing piers on the island, was going to be sold in a divorce settlement. The financial combination of the (alleged) $9 million asking price and the (known) meager profitability of the pier more or less dictated that it would end up being sold to a developer, razed, and turned into new rental houses or condos.

Alas, that is exactly what has happened:

Fifty years to the week after an application was filed to build Long Beach Pier, the Oak Island landmark stands ready to be demolished.

The property is being sold and the pier will officially close January 6. A New Year’s Eve bonfire will be the center of attention at the last pier event.

Not to worry - they're going to build single family homes on the site. Probably.

The business sits on nine oceanfront lots and, at this point, there are eight residences planned, [real estate agent Libba] Motsinger said. One of the lots doesn’t perk, so three lots may be used to build two homes on part of the property, she explained.

But there will be only upscale single-family homes on the beachfront in the 2700 block of West Beach Drive.

“There will be no condos on this property,” Motsinger promised.
You can promise whatever the hell you want, Libba, but you're not the buyer, are you? What's to stop the buyer from saying "Eight houses? No, no, no, you misunderstood - I said eighty condo units. Sorry about that."

Maybe I'm overreacting, and I guess we won't know for sure until we get there in June, but I'm sorry to think this may be the last year we go to Oak Island.


A Plot Hole In 24. Go Figure.

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It seems to me that if the next stage of your Master Plan involves surreptitiously getting a cardkey from one person to another, that trying to do it in the middle of a 60-person hostage incident that you created might not be the most secure way to do it.

And we now have yet another mid-level boss baddie who ran afoul of Rule #1 To Surviving As A Bad Guy On 24:

If you have Jack Bauer in a disadvantaged position, KILL HIM!

In particular, kill him quickly and efficiently and without any attempt to use him for your own purposes.
Derived from Peter's Evil Overlord List; specifically, numbers 4 and 93.


Brandishing Dangerous Logic At The Fuel Pump


So a new gas station just opened near where I live, and among their offerings is the new E85 fuel that is 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline (hence the name). It's always priced 20 cents below unleaded regular, regardless of how the price of unleaded changes (and this being Fort Wayne, it changes a lot).

Why does its price vary exactly as gasoline's does when it's only 15% gasoline?


Greatest. Blonde. Joke. Ever.

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You know that trick at Japanese table-cooking restaurants where the chef flips shrimp onto diners' plates? You'd think you couldn't kill a guy that way.

And you'd be wrong.

Of course, there's a lawsuit involved:

MINEOLA, N.Y. -- A shrimp a hibachi chef tossed at a man eating at a Japanese steakhouse ultimately led to the diner's death, his family claims in a $10 million wrongful death lawsuit against the restaurant chain Benihana.

Jerry Colaitis wrenched his neck when he ducked to avoid the shrimp in the chain's Munsey Park restaurant, attorney Andre Ferenzo said in opening statements Wednesday.

Months after the January 2001 incident, the 43-year-old Long Island man died from complications caused by neck surgery he required afterward, the lawyer said.

I can picture St. Peter now:


"Jerry Colaitis."

"Oh, yeah, you're the flying shrimp guy. Hang on a second. (picks up phone) Yeah, boss, I need You at the front gate. Bring Your dad and the Spook, too - you're all gonna want to hear this one."

"I should have just let the damn thing hit me."

Gee, I Wonder What $20 Will Get You At A Strip Club

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Looks like Stanford was working from the same Colorado recruiting handbook I discuss here:

Thank you for volunteering your time to escort a potential Buffalo on his official campus visit. We want to do everything possible to ensure the recruit's visit is memorable and shows a true picture of what he can expect if he chooses to come to CU.

. . .

If your recruit prefers a Dance Recital, contact the Performance Coordinator, since these are done as group visits. If you are Performance Coordinator, contact any dancing establishment listed in Appendix C to set up your visit (remember the Telephone Rules!). Call again just before arrival to make sure all arrangements are still valid. Upon arrival, the Performance Coordinator will survey the establishment for undesirable elements (photos and descriptions of all known Colorado State Excise Police and Boulder County Sheriff Underage Drinking Task Torce undercover officers can be found in Appendix D. Don't worry about Boulder PD; they're on board with us).
because they did pretty much the same thing:
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) — A lawsuit by a disgruntled Stanford athletic department employee revealed that football players took recruits to a strip club three years ago using athletic department money.

Stanford officials acknowledged the strip club outings, which did not violate NCAA rules at the time. The school reported minor infractions to the Pac-10 and NCAA that hosts spent more than the $30 allowed for entertaining recruits — by $3.70, $6.01 and $6.86.

. . .

The incidents, which were first reported by the San Jose Mercury News, came to light in a lawsuit filed by Sheryl Kanzaki, who alleged mistreatment by senior associate athletic director Debra Gore-Mann while she worked in the department's accounting office from 2002-03.

According to the lawsuit, Kanzaki received several handwritten receipts for $20 because "Stanford players and coaches were seeking reimbursement" for expenditures at the New Century Theater, a San Francisco strip club, and alcohol purchases by minors.

Today's Euchre Puzzle


You and your partner are down 8-6. Everybody passed on the up card, A♠. You are on dealer's left and have the bid and first lead. You're holding J♦ J♥ A♣ J♣ 9♣.

Do you bid? What suit? Do you go alone? Feel free to comment before reading about what I did, which appears after the jump.

In Fact, I'm Sitting On Someone Right Now!

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White Trash Wednesday

From iamapirate.com via boingboing, today's WTW Quick Hitter:

I want to sit on people for a living

More later, probably around lunchtime.

It's White Trash Wednesday! Take the whole tour:

I Could Always Just Sell My Plasma 20 Times

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Do you suppose the wife would notice the $500 hit my wallet would take if I bought one of these?

Nixie Tube Clock

'Cos I want one. Other cool nixie clocks here.


And Another Th-Ooh! Shiny!


Thursday's post was originally intended to be a sideline to the main point I wanted to make about Tony Long's latest column. I was headed that way when I was distracted by his CES reference (which caught my eye in no small part because my brother is there right now, lucky bastard).

Anyway. What I originally wanted to remark on was this:

Smile: Digital cameras will be all over the place at CES, too. A word about digital cameras: Feh.

With their proliferation, the world is awash in digital snapshots, and the art of photography dies a little more each day. These cameras are technological marvels, to be sure. But because they do virtually everything for you and require no effort beyond pointing and shooting, pointing and shooting is all that most people do.
I bet the photosnobs said exactly the same thing when the Kodak Brownie was invented. And the Leica. And the first SLR. And the Instamatic. And the disk camera. And the first autofocus 35mm camera. So what? What, exactly, is wrong with making it easier for the average person to capture their memories? How, exactly, is that a less noble pursuit than photography as art?
In a particularly bitchy moment, Truman Capote once described Jack Kerouac's stream-of-consciousness style: "That's not writing. That's typing." Digital cameras abet the photographic equivalent of stream of consciousness.
So Long wants to compare the average vacation snapshotter to Jack Kerouac? I'll take that compliment in a heartbeat, thank you very much (incidentally, the self-obsessed Capote rarely had a good word for anyone; acknowledging someone, even by insult, was a compliment in itself).
One thing, and one thing only, determines the photographic art, and that's the photographer behind the lens. Nothing else matters. Count on it: The digital age will produce no Alfred Stieglitz, no Margaret Bourke-White, no Ansel Adams unless the shooter possesses an artist's soul and has mastered the craft.
I'll agree with his words here - the talent is in the person, not the tool (and the link in the quote above is well worth visiting). But better tools will make 'mastering the craft' easier, which directly contradicts what I think is the undercurrent of his argument: because of digital cameras, taking pictures is now easier, therefore there will be no new Steiglitz, Bourke-White, or Adams (what, no Eisenstaedt?), and that's just B.S.
By all means, use your digital camera to take those family snaps. E-mail your images and amaze your easily amazed friends. Just don't call it "photography." Because it isn't.
My humble thanks to Tony for granting us plebes permission to keep taking pictures aside, this is more snobbish crap. I certainly agree that not every photograph is art, but to attempt to exclude snapshots from the category 'photography' is exactly the kind of "things used to be better" bitchery that Long somehow makes a living at. And that pisses me off.


Don't Hold Back, Chris - Tell Us How You Really Feel


Of course, every college football fan knows by now that Iowa got jobbed by the Conference-USA officials in the Outback Bowl just as bad as Michigan did in the Alamo Bowl - by C-USA's own admission. Maybe some good can come from this, though:

Controversial officiating in the Outback and Alamo bowls, as well complaints from angry Iowans, has prompted the NCAA to agree to discuss how game officials are selected and evaluated.

. . .

Dennis Poppe, managing director for NCAA football, said he personally received "a couple hundred" e-mails in the 24 hours after Iowa fell to Florida.

Poppe said the topic of officiating crew selection and evaluation will be part of spring meetings.

"It will be on the agenda," he said.

I didn't see the game, so I missed analyst Chris Spielman (full disclosure - Spielman's a former Big Ten player), um, discussing the officiating. Some highlights:

With about 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter, Florida’s center is called for holding.

(Watches replay)

Spielman: “See, that’s a bad call. That’s a horrible call.”

Jones: “Is that just technique?”

Spielman: “Yeah, that’s the technique that’s taught. I’ve never heard of that one, either.”
Spielman: “The game’s too fast for them (the Conference USA crew working the Outback Bowl).”

With 1:42 left and Iowa in a hurry-up offense, the Gators get caught with too many men on the field — and Spielman interrupts Jones’ play call to shout it out, even while Tate is dropping back to pass.

Spielman: “Florida had 12 men on the field — and the officials missed it.”

“… Again, another missed call by the officials. … The player did not get off the field. There were 12 men on the field. Unbelievable.”


Today's Moment Of Smug Satisfaction

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I had three bills that to mail today, using my last three 37-cent stamps to do it on the last day you can use just a 37-cent stamp. I caught my mail carrier just as she was leaving the neighborhood.


Of course, by 'caught my mail carrier just as she was leaving the neighborhood' I mean 'hopped in my car and chased her down as she was servicing the last communal mailbox before leaving my neighborhood because I just missed her at the communal mailbox right outside of my house,' but still. I haven't had a whole lot to be smugly satisfied about lately (a known side effect of being a Michigan fan), so I'll take what I can get.

Tony Long is Wired's copy editor and resident Luddite (in his own words). Why a Luddite would want to work at Wired - and, more puzzlingly, why Wired would let him - is a bit of a mystery to me, but I read his columns purely as counterexample. Anyway, his latest shows a, shall we say, iffy understanding of things:

The Luddite has a spy roaming CES in Las Vegas this week. Keeping him away from the Vegas fleshpots and gaming tables is proving a chore but he did surface long enough to provide a foretaste of what's in store over the next four days.

The theme of this year's industry spectacle, apparently, is "more tech stuffed into ever-smaller packages."

"Much of the talk is about the next generation of cell phones, smartphones, you name it," he said. "But as you've experienced with everything from VCRs to the newest phone, how much of the stuff that they cram into these things do you really use?" (The answer for most people, in case you were wondering, is "not much.")
That's an awful sloppy use of parentheses and punctuation at the end, especially for a copy editor. But I digress.
Of course, the expo promises to be what it always is: the geek's annual wet dream. Especially if said geek is toting plenty of folding green (or stiff, hard plastic) in his pocket. Because while CES is nominally about technology and electronics, what it's really about is consuming technology and electronics.

I would certainly hope so. Someone needs to explain to him that the 'C' in 'CES' stands for Consumer.

I would certainly hope so. Someone needs to explain to him that the 'C' in 'CES' stands for Consumer.


White Trash Year In Review: Florida

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White Trash Wednesday

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel was kind enough to summarize a year's worth of White Trash-esque behavior. As in several other WTW posts of mine over the past year, in most cases the race of the person or people involved in each incident is neither mentioned nor relevant:

A Jacksonville man, though, learned it's not a good idea to joke about dead pets. He taunted his wife over the loss of their dog. She took an ornamental sword from above the fireplace and stabbed him through his arm.

. . .

An Ocala area man didn't think through a scheme to end his marriage. He showed his wife a Utah man's wallet and said it was a hitchhiker he picked up and murdered. After a massive search for the body, police learned that the billfold's owner was fine and the suspect confessed he made up the story to get his wife to leave him.

. . .

A drunk Monroe County prosecutor thought it would be funny to streak across a parking lot and hop into a friend's car. The problem was he jumped naked into the wrong car and was arrested.

. . .

And in a rather unusual Tampa area traffic stop, a practical joker put a blue-and-red flashing light on a car dashboard. He stopped laughing, though, after two men he pulled over turned out to be undercover officers. The said they found 7 grams of cocaine alongside the flashing light.

But the piece de resistance had to be this one:

Alcohol was at the root of a Jacksonville Halloween night arrest. A partygoer in a Belligerent Drunk Man costume consisting of a blue sweat suit, a belt made out of beer can pop tops and a Superman-style "BDM" emblem on this chest got a few laughs until he actually became a belligerent drunk man and started a fight with the Green Hornet.

It's White Trash Wednesday! Take the whole tour:

The first birth of 2006 here in the Fort occurred at 12:12 on New Year's Day, as Tana Deter and Ron Timmons welcomed son Canon Lynch Timmons to the world.

I did not misspell his first name.

And yes, they named him after the camera company:

. . .the couple tried to pick a name to fit their new son’s moment in the spotlight. They named him Canon after the camera company of the same name. Their son’s middle name come from guitarist George Lynch, Timmons said.


I know a lot of people are sore over the end of the Alamo Bowl. "If only," they say, "Tyler Ecker had just pitched the ball over his shoulder to a wide-open Steve Breaston instead of letting himself get tackled at the 13..."

First of all, you've got to remember that Tyler Ecker is a money man in the last couple minutes of a game (aOSU '03, Minnesota '04) but not the last couple seconds of a game (aOSU '05 and now the Alamo Bowl).

Second of all, so what if he had? Michigan would have won another game on the last play (which would have been the fourth time in 2005), and everybody would just remember that and forget that they lost four times. This would 'validate' an eight-win season, with the four losses being excused by the number of injuries Michigan had this year. Nothing would change in the offseason, and Michigan would go on to yet another three- or four-loss season in 2006 and squander yet another top-five recruiting class. With the kind of talent Michigan gets year in and year out, this string of three-plus-loss seasons (five in a row now) is absolutely unacceptable and shows no sign of changing. Lather, rinse, repeat until Llllloyd retires, then spend five or more years after that trying to get Michigan back where it belongs.

Instead, with the memory of yet another blown fourth-quarter lead for them to suck on all offseason, maybe, just maybe, something significant will change.

It had better.


Anybody catch Dick Clark's New Year's Slurrin' Eve last night? Dude sounded like he had five pounds of raw liver for a tongue, although fears that he'd take two minutes to stammer out the last ten seconds turned out to be unfounded - he actually got there three seconds early!

But the thought that kept coming back to me was "Some ABC suit had to be there during rehearsals. That means he heard Clark and still thought "Yeah. We're good to go."



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