Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Thursday, September 29, 2005 6:20 pm

Overheard at work

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 6:20 pm

Co-worker 1: So, are you going to audition for “American Idol”?

Co-worker 2: (pause) Are you retarded?

Recently on IM, or, I have weird friends

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 6:06 am

Friend 1: Yay! An indictment.
Friend 2: Yup. One count. Two years max.
Friend 1: I’ll take what I can get. So, when do they arrest him?
Friend 2: Dunno. He’ll probably find time to work it into his schedule in, like, December ’06.
Friend 1: Oh, to be the fellow who gets to cuff him.
Friend 2: Oh, I’m *sorry*, Mr. DeLay, did that HURT? Gee. You look like your in a LOT of pain.
Friend 2: you’re
Friend 1: I think he would resist arrest and I would have to TASER him.
Friend 1: Seven or eight times…
Friend 2: Sure. Cuz he’s a slow learner.

* * *

Friend 3: BTW, signed up for your dinner at Converge
Lex: Cool! You DO realize I’m skipping a Rolling Stones concert to be there?
Friend 3: Ah, the sacrifices we make… I could mainline some heroin if it will help.

HBO’s series “Six Feet Under” is gone …

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 6:05 am

… but its ethos is not forgotten.

The Creation story …

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 6:01 am

… if you mixed intelligent design with a dose of Queer Eye.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005 10:29 pm

Absurdly late soccer update

Filed under: Hooper,Tigers — Lex @ 10:29 pm

The Fusion are 3-0, having won 5-1 this past Saturday. Two of the five were own-goals by opponents. Hooper had two great shots go just wide, one near the end of each half. His regular coach will be out of town this weekend, so I’m going to be coaching. Me and six 4-year-olds. This ought to be amusing. As we parted this past Saturday, the coach said, “You know we’re undefeated. I’d like it to still be that way when I get back.

Me: “Yeah, well, good luck with that.”

Because of the scheduling, I didn’t get to see V. play, but the Tigers won. I’m told she played very well in a quarter as a defender and a quarter as a striker. The Tigers are starting to get their field vision and passing instincts back, it sounds like.

Don Adams has died

Filed under: Fun,Sad — Lex @ 9:50 pm

When I was a little kid, I always demanded to be allowed to stay up on Saturday nights until Maxwell Smart had walked through all the sets of doors barring the entrance to CONTROL headquarters, but I didn’t get to really enjoy “Get Smart!” until it showed up on cable reruns.

True story from “Get Smart!,” to appreciate which you must know that a once-common misperception among Westerners was that Asian women’s labia run horizontally rather than vertically. In one scene on the show, there are a bunch of clocks on the wall in the background supposedly depicting the time in major cities around the world — New York, Los Angeles, London, etc. The labels for each clock ran vertically, except for one — “Tokyo,” I think — that ran horizontally. (My mother actually was the one who pointed out this visual gag and explained it to me. I have a cool mom.)

Adams, of course, also provided the voice of childhood cartoon hero/pompous jackass penguin Tennessee Tuxedo, as well as the more recent cartoon hero Inspector Gadget.

‘Bye, Don, and thanks for all the laughs.

Seeing is believing

I almost never respond to “blogwhoring,” the practice of requesting a link to something online, even though I occasionally indulge in it myself. Tonight I’m making an exception.

Back when the Web was new, I took a day trip over to Durham to report and write a story for the N&R on how that city’s government was using the Web and technology to create unprecedented transparency. It looked so beneficial to the public and so conducive to good government that I wondered why every government wasn’t moving in that direction.

The question answers itself, of course: A significant number of people, both in government and in businesses that do business with government, don’t want to benefit the public and have good government. They want to profit off the public teat. It’s been true at just about every level of government, involving both major political parties, over the years, although I suspect what’s now going on at the federal level is unprecedented in scope.

Eric Kavanaugh thinks we should do something about it:

… every check the feds cut — with the exception of entitlement and top-secret programs — should be visible online, just as consumers can now see their own canceled checks via the Web. Seeing is believing; and when Americans everywhere can see all those checks from their laptops, it’s fair to say that bureaucrats and contractors alike will be on their best (or at least better) behavior.Furthermore, since the Internet is interactive, each one of those government checks should be linked in succession: to the purchase orders that authorized them, the contracts that generated those purchase orders, the approved proposals that led to the contracts, the losing proposals that were also considered, the requests for proposal that solicited all relevant proposals, the allocations which authorized expenditures, the bills that set in motion the allocations, who voted which way on each, who failed to vote (a highlight on these derelicts), and the processes by which those bills became law.

While that might sound incredibly complex, the truth is that technology today is so advanced, computers so fast, software so powerful, methodologies so polished and practiced, that accomplishing this system could be done inside of two years. In fact, templates already exist throughout the chambers of corporate America, in large part due to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (developed in response to the shenanigans of Enron). And if public corporations must answer to the government, shouldn’t the government answer to the public? What’s good for the goose …

I don’t know for a fact that this proposal could be implemented as quickly as he says. I do know, however, that the current system is so badly broken that any effort like this would have trouble making things any worse.

Why you don’t want to get bitten by a rattlesnake

Filed under: Ew. — Lex @ 9:25 pm

Just in case you were curious, Justin explains, complete with (pretty gross) pictures.

We have Eastern Diamondbacks around here, rather than the Western variety, but there’s not a whole lot of difference. Fortunately, rattlers are relatively rare here. But you really don’t want to get bitten by one.

One other thing: The kid’s medical costs, more than $700,000, were covered by insurance. I wonder how this story would have turned out had his insurance plan not been so hot.

Monday, September 26, 2005 8:47 pm

You know it’s going to be a good Halloween when …

Filed under: Fun,Victoria — Lex @ 8:47 pm

… your 7-year-old daughter announces, “Daddy! I got the coolest Halloween costume! It’s got weapons!”

Saturday, September 24, 2005 3:22 pm

Top this!

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 3:22 pm

Long ago I achieved living-dead status without having died first.

Thursday, September 22, 2005 9:43 pm

Simon Wiesenthal, 1908-2005

Filed under: Salute! — Lex @ 9:43 pm

I think Driftglass says it best:

“I don’t give a sh*t what was on the other side of the ledger; if your Page in the Book of Life reads, ‘Survived a dozen concentration camps and then spent the remainder of your life hunting Nazis,’ everything else is blahblahblah.”

Wednesday, September 21, 2005 8:58 pm

Fusion ‘n’ Tigers

Filed under: Hooper,Tigers — Lex @ 8:58 pm

Hooper played his second game as a member of the Fusion this past Saturday under a broiling sun. If Daddy had known it was going to be this hot, he’d’ve brought an umbrella, because the one thing about all those soccer fields at Bryan Park? No. Shade.

He played the second quarter and actually got off a good shot on goal that just missed. Most of the rest of the time he was just part of the pack of six 4-year-olds that chased the ball all around the field like six beetles chasing a marble, but at least he didn’t have to be told to chase the ball much this time. His team led 3-1 early in the third quarter when I had to leave to take Victoria down to the field where the Tigers were playing.

The Tigers lost narrowly to a better team, but V. had an excellent game, much better than last week. She asked, and was allowed, to play goalie in the second quarter, and her coach and I talked with her about playing farther out in the box and more aggressively gathering any balls that crossed the line. At first, from my vantage point behind the net, she looked a little lost in all that space, but as she smothered ball after ball — she would snag at least six in the quarter, four of them genuine shots on goal — she grew more confident, so that by the end of the quarter her posture had straightened, her demeanor had grown more aggressive and she was roaming the box, not lost in it. After giving up two goals last week, she needed this quarter as a confidence-builder, and her enthusiasm for playing keeper, which had waned briefly after last week, is stronger than ever now.

She played defense in the third and fourth quarters and made life a ton easier for her teammates in goal, sending kicks booming out of the backfield and back across the center line time and again.

She had borrowed a pair of gloves for her turn in goal, but this week she bought her own pair. And she can’t wait to get back in the box.

Spam of the day

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 3:10 pm

Header on today’s spam: “Have you ever tried e-mail marketing?”

No; I just execute it without trial.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005 9:41 pm

Ailin’

Filed under: Housekeeping,Panthers — Lex @ 9:41 pm

… but hopin’ to be back to more normal blogging tomorrow. Still haven’t written about last weekend’s Tigers and Fusion exploits, after all. (And how ’bout them Panthers?!?)

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