randomduck

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Month: February 2006 (Page 1 of 3)

cd playback 2006: days 13 & 14

These days were v-e-r-y spread out: Y was two-plus weeks ago, and Z was last night. And there’s still no “X” band.

Y: Greatest Hits – Neil Young
Z: Freak Out! – Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention

it be the 19th century again, y’arrr…

Perhaps this is why bushco wants to roll back the country to the 19th century:

    Pirates seize Indian vessel with 25 aboard (CNN.com)

I mean, if we’re seeing pirates on the high seas, perhaps it’s time we went out in search of gold dubloons, establishing colonies in exotic lands and extorting the people of those lands.

Just a thought….

sex pistols: keepin’ it real

God bless the Sex Pistols. In response to their impending induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, the Pistols did what any well-heeled punk band would do in such a situation:

They told ’em to sod it all.

They called the Hall of Fame a “piss stain,” and claimed that they “aren’t [their] monkeys and so what?” It’s classic Johnny “Rotten” Lydon in the hand-scrawled note that appears on the band’s website: anti-industry, anti-establishment.

And I wouldn’t want it any other way.

the beauty of english english

Podcasts can be quite informative to the evolution of the English language, as well as to the divergent ways the language develops here in the U.S. and in the U.K. motherland.

I say this because I’m quite a fan of the podcast of “The Geoff Show”, Virgin Radio’s evening show. The podcast is interesting, in that they broadcast all of the DJ banter but none of the music (due to licensing issues). But Geoff and his sidekick, Annabel, are quite entertaining, and their hour-plus show always provides a chuckle or a curious piece of random knowledge to brighten my day.

One thing that caught me from the start, however, was the way Geoff rattles off the URL of his website. For example, most U.S. residents would phonetically recite the website address:
www.virginradio.co.uk/geoff

as:
double-ewe double-ewe double-ewe dot virgin radio dot co dot ewe-kay slash geoff

But in a display of how “the Queen’s English” has broken away from the American construct, Geoff recites the address as:
double-ewe double-ewe double-ewe dot virgin radio dot co dot ewe-kay stroke geoff

It’s brilliant: using stroke instead of slash. “Stroke” is much more friendly sounding, isn’t it? It also might be the solution to the whole slash vs. backslash vs. foreward-slash argument that confuses computer users (and those who help them) all the time.

torino 2006: predictions, technique, tactics, and two bode bits

My predictions for the alpine events have suffered a few bruises, but they haven’t been too off-the-mark.

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’tis the season for music…

March and April will be big-time music months for me. Right now, I’m scheduled to see four concerts in thos two months:

  • KT Tunstall (March 3)
  • Billy Joel (March 16)
  • The Go! Team (March 19)
  • Hard-Fi (March 30)
  • Franz Ferdinand and Death Cab for Cutie (April 11)

And the may be more shows in store – it’s hard to say.

what’s not being said by chertoff

Allow me to complete this statement from today’s testimony from Homeland Security Director Michael Chertoff:

“We were acutely aware of Katrina…”

“…but we didn’t do anything because we were too busy gazing at our navels to care about people who earn less than $200,000 per year.”

The finger pointing that’s going on with BushCo is such grade-school playground behavior. These guys are all chumps, and non of them seem to have the cojones to accept responsibility for the fact that they completely mishandled and mismanaged the entire hurricane operation.

And if you ever need evidence of what reckless tax cutting, “trickle-down” economics and misappropriation of funds will do when a crisis hits, the Katrina response is a fine example: the system will fail, and on a grand scale.

torino 2006: catching up with the joneses

So far, a good Olympics!

My prognostications have been shaky, at best, but that’s the fun of it, right? I did call Ted Ligety a dark horse for a medal in Mens Combined. Granted, I never thought he’d be donning the gold medal, but man, did he school the rest of ’em in slalom! His line was leaps-and-bounds better than anybody else, and he made it look incredibly easy.

So kudos to Ted, the USST coaches, and the Park City Ski Education Foundation – y’all did great!

Oh yeah – and a tip ‘o the hat to Scott McCartney for showing that speed racers can ski slalom and not look like complete jackasses doing so. You looked good, man!

In other Olympic news, this site is so great. It celebrates the folks who finish “DFL” – or dead fucking last. And these folks usually have a good story behind them, and often embody what’s best about the Games.

Furthermore, this shows that the internet is the best place for this stuff – not the prime-time coverage that NBC drives down our throats. This blogger realizes that people want this human-interest info, but also realizes that it’s not everybody’s cup of tea. In my case, I watch the telecast to see sports competition, not to listen to a bunch of clueless prats drone on and on about either:

  1. things they know nothing about (e.g. Al Trautwig trying to sound like an expert on nordic skiing); or
  2. bitch that the sport isn’t the same as it was 20, 30 or 50 years ago (e.g. Dick Button ranting about the new scoring system used in figure skating)

My kingdom to watch the CBC coverage!

(Note: that link to the CBC site has live results of stuff that NBC will tape-delay, edit, repackage and otherwise butcher for broadcast tonight – just some fair warning.)

snow in dc and paper writing

Over the weekend DC had its first snow of 2006.

Finally!

Needless to say, it recharged my batteries a bit. I’ve uploaded some of the pictures to my Flickr page – click here to view them. There will be more uploaded from our middle-of-the-night frolic in the snow, which was incredibly fun.

Tonight, I’ve been working dilligently on a paper for class. While the paper is due on Wednesday evening, I wanted it finished (more-or-less) by tonight so that I can spend sprite’s birthday with her. Yeah, I have class from 4:15 to 6:05 tomorrow, but that’ll be a “pit stop” for her – no big whoop.

But the paper (on VW’s manufacturing plants in Mexico and the political ramifications from said operation) has been fun to write. It’s the right length now (6 pages and change, double-spaced), and I’m happy with it. I’ll give it a final proof on Wednesday over lunch, just to make sure everything is fine. But it reads well right now, which is a good sign.

Off to grab the shuttle to Dupont….

P.S. – my prognostication for the mens DH at the Olympics was off. Guess I’m no better than DC weathermen are at their jobs.

torino 2006: prognostication time – alpine skiing

I volunteered at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City, and it hardly seems like it was four years ago – the memories are still fresh in my mind. And I’m a little bummed that I’m not in Torino right now (but I will be there for Vancouver 2010, dammit).

But the games are starting, so it’s time for me to come up with predictions for the alpine skiing events. In a subsequent post I’ll throw caution to the wind with some other events where I stand as good a chance as any of the know-nothings of the mass media in terms of accuracy.

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