Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Thursday, December 29, 2005 4:26 pm

So this was Christmas

Filed under: Sad — Lex @ 4:26 pm

Three things that were great about Christmas:

  • My mother-in-law’s country-style steak.
  • My wife’s paella.
  • My mom’s shrimp ‘n’ grits.

One thing that wasn’t great about Christmas but wasn’t as awful as I had feared it would be:

  • Missing my dad.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005 9:47 pm

Whereas, I ask, “What took so long?”

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 9:47 pm

Patrick Nielsen Hayden asks, “Why is there an entire web page devoted to Iron Maiden album covers with Spongebob Squarepants inserted into them?”

The war on Christmas (which, as we know, you can’t handle) is over!

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 9:45 pm

And, to the surprise of no one with an IQ above room temperature, Christmas won.

Friday, December 23, 2005 12:19 pm

Hey, crackhead!

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 12:19 pm

Totally nonpolitical humor. Enjoy.

So if french fries are now freedom fries …

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 12:07 pm

… does this make Sylvester Stallone the freedom stallion?

You want a war on Christmas?

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 6:27 am

Fafblog! reports from the front in the war on Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2005 10:43 pm

If you can’t handle the war on Christmas …

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 10:43 pm

… (and we know you can’t), then you certainly cannot handle the War on Whoville!

Take off!

Filed under: Salute! — Lex @ 10:37 pm

Looks like human rights, sexually transmitted disease and the Canadian travel industry just got a huge boost.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005 8:56 pm

Snubbed again

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 8:56 pm

What’s The New Yorker got that *I* haven’t got?

Hmph.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005 9:26 am

The war on Christmas …

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 9:26 am

… (which, if you will recall, you cannot handle) strikes back!

Monday, December 19, 2005 10:31 pm

He’s a loser, baby

Filed under: Ew. — Lex @ 10:31 pm

Beck, whose one-man-band musical and production skills make him a kind of Prince for the new millennium, turns out to be a Scientologist.

John Spencer, 1946-2005

Filed under: Sad — Lex @ 10:24 pm

I’m late to this, but I’m gonna miss John Spencer, Tommy Mullaney on the last four years of “L.A. Law” and chief of staff Leo McGarry in “The West Wing.” His best-known characters were much like Spencer himself: workaholic, workmanlike recovering alcoholics, rough edges and raw soul. I had forgotten that he portrayed Harrison Ford’s detective friend in the film adaptation of Scott Turow’s “Presumed Innocent”. (Fun fact: “West Wing” co-star Bradley Whitford also appeared in the film.)

The show’s creator and original lead writer, Aaron Sorkin, gave the McGarry character a ton of memorable lines, but I think the one that resonates the most came when Whitford’s deputy-chief-of-staff character, suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after recovering from being shot, begins to worry that maybe his psychological problems will mean he will have to give up his job. McGarry responds with this anecdote:

“This guy’s walking down the street when he falls in a hole. The walls are so steep he can’t get out. A doctor passes by and the guy shouts up, ‘Hey you. Can you help me out?’ The doctor writes a prescription, throws it down in the hole and moves on. Then a priest comes along and the guy shouts up, ‘Father, I’m down in this hole. Can you help me out?’ The priest writes out a prayer, throws it down in the hole and moves on. Then a friend walks by. ‘Hey, Joe, it’s me. Can you help me out?’ And the friend jumps in the hole. Our guy says, ‘Are you stupid? Now we’re both down here.’ The friend says, ‘Yeah, but I’ve been down here before … and I know the way out.'”

That, to me, was always Spencer’s character: the friend who knew the way out and was going to show it to you. Not to compare Spencer to Jesus or anything, but the first time I heard the line, I thought immediately of the Apostles’ Creed:

… was crucified dead and buried.

He descended into Hell.

On the third day He arose again from the dead …

He’s been there before, he knows the way out and he leads you to it. There are much worse epitaphs.

Saturday, December 17, 2005 2:55 pm

No idea too weird, or, Another shameless plug for my employer

Filed under: News & Record — Lex @ 2:55 pm

As both of you regular readers know, I’m a writer/editor for the News & Record here in Greensboro. Although I’m an English major and a content guy, over the past 15 years or so I’ve also been the newsroom’s one-eyed man in the land of the blind, the closest thing we have to an early adopter, when it comes to computers and the Internet. Accordingly, every so often, the Powers That Be ask me to determine figure out take a wild-a– guess where we should go next and what we might do to get there.

This is another one of those times.

I describe my assignment in more detail over at my N&R blog. But I’ll give you a hint: buck-wild open-source community journalism. If you want to have a hand in building and contributing content to something cool, c’mon over, read my post and then suggest ideas.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled inanity.

Friday, December 16, 2005 6:12 pm

You want a war on Christmas?

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 6:12 pm

You can’t handle a war on Christmas!

Darned good question

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 5:02 pm

Fontana Labs at Unfogged asks: What is the worst idea ever? Only he/she spells it phonetically — “evar” — to be all hip and cool with the kids and whatnot.

I voted for lite beer, but I keep going back and forth between that and the perfectability of humankind. It’s a stumper, all right.

Gear!

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 6:50 am

If you have been touched by His Noodly Appendage, show your faith with this way-kewl headgear.

(Link via Divageek‘s RSS feed, although the post doesn’t appear on her blog itself.)

An unlikely ally …

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 6:02 am

in the war on Christmas! (Which, may I remind you, you can’t handle.)

Succinct

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 6:01 am

Ginmar returns from broken-computer limbo with this capsule movie review: “[A friend] came over last night and we watched The Forty-Year-Old-Virgin which was funny but lacked werewolves.”

Darned good question

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 5:02 am

Fontana Labs at Unfogged asks: What is the worst idea ever? Only he/she spells it phonetically — “evar” — to be all hip and cool with the kids and whatnot.

I voted for lite beer, but I keep going back and forth between that and the perfectability of humankind. It’s a stumper, all right.

Thursday, December 15, 2005 4:26 pm

You can’t handle a war on Christmas!

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 4:26 pm

(But if you think you can, Mr. Sun!’s undercover embedded reporter, the Yule Mole, is sending dispatches from the campaign. It’s not pretty reading.)

Am I missing something …

Filed under: Weird — Lex @ 6:43 am

… or is it now legal to steal someone’s username and password?

Yo, France, want to buy Louisiana back?

Filed under: Sad — Lex @ 6:39 am

‘Cause they’re dealin’.

“Yes, Virginia, there is a war on Christmas … “

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 6:27 am

But you can’t handle a war on Christmas!

Not believe in the war on Christmas! You might as well not believe in the war on terror. You might get your papa to hire men to watch all the malls during December to catch godless communists trying to force people to say “kwanzaa hannukah ramadan,” but even if you didn’t see anybody try to wrestle Christ away from the true believers at the Gap, what would that prove? Nobody ever sees secular heathens actually try to drink the blood of Christian children, but that is no sign there is no war on Christmas.

Well, she did ask …

Wednesday, December 14, 2005 6:14 am

Spoilsports …

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 6:14 am

… Brad Heath of the Detroit News (no link available) pointed out today on a listserv to which I subscribe that Yahoo! forbids users of its application programmer interfaces from using them to operate a nuclear facility.

Guess Victoria will have to find something else to do for her science project.

You want a war on Christmas?

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 6:13 am

You STILL can’t handle a war on Christmas! (NSFW: language)

Ballistics porn!

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 6:12 am

A feast for your inner Newtonian physicist.

Big guns. Big pumpkins for projectiles. What’s not to love?

Fashion victim

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 6:09 am

The victim: Scarlett Johanssen. The forensic examiner: Go Fug Yourself: “That is not sexy, provocative cleavage; that is what happens when a stray ostrich wanders over and gives birth to twins in your bodice.”

And God knows we all hate when that happens …

Finally, a scam to which I’ve fallen victim

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 6:04 am

The Onion is on top of it (via Ezra): More Americans Falling For ‘Get Rich Slowly Over A Lifetime Of Hard Work’ Schemes.

“Queen of the Mountain Bootleggers” dies at 101

Filed under: Sad — Lex @ 6:03 am

Story in the Lexington Herald Leader, via Apostropher.

We have a few folks in my own family who have dabbled in white liquor, chief among them my first cousin once removed, Tom Alexander, a retired managing editor of Fortune magazine who died last year. Tom made white liquor in a homemade still in the front yard of his log cabin up at the family’s Cataloochee Ranch. The still was shaped like a miniature steam locomotive. His brew was good straight up, but a lot of people favored it with one variety of lemon-lime soda or another, for some reason.

Tom’s son Ames, my second cousin, is a projects reporter at The Charlotte Observer. So far as I know, he does not make his own liquor.

Monday, December 12, 2005 9:29 pm

Bucs 20, Panthers 10

Filed under: Panthers — Lex @ 9:29 pm

 

Mom, you picked an excellent game to miss. What. A. Stinker.
Mark and I did something that I have never before done in 11 seasons of Panther football: We walked out with at least 8 minutes left. The game, at least on paper, was still in doubt, but anyone watching knew it had been over since the Bucs’ first drive of the third quarter. In terms of pure not-showing-up, head-up-your-butt dumb play, this was the worst Panthers performance I recall seeing since the ’97 season, when the players were still believing all the hype about their magical run to the ’96 NFC title game and the fans clearly wanted to win worse than the players did.

Yesterday’s game didn’t appear to me to be a case of the Panthers losing key personnel (DE Mike Rucker was out, yes, but Kindal Moorehead has proven himself a capable sub) or the Bucs having better athletes or a better game plan. And certainly, my paper’s coverage gave me no reason to doubt my impression. No, this was a team — and, I would argue, a coaching staff — that didn’t have its head in the game this week. And when you have that problem as badly as the Panthers had it yesterday, even Houston can beat you.

RB DeShaun Foster, after the first series, appeared to have forgotten everything he ever has learned from Stephen Davis. When he needed to cut back, he headed outside. When he needed to keep going outside, he cut back. The run blocking also looked uninspired. And the coaching staff stuck with its conservative game plan even when it was obvious that they needed to open things up a bit more.

The usually ferocious defense allowed the Bucs to convert 10 of 17 third downs, primarily because so many of those were short-yardage plays. Players were out of position way more often than last week, and even when in position they blew tackles they should have made. I also was astonished at how little the Panthers blitzed, on the run OR the pass, particularly after the results it got against Atlanta. Obviously this is the coaches’ fault.

But the most astonishing thing to me was the defense’s response after WR Steve Smith got clubbed in the head with a forearm without a flag’s being thrown. That’s a $10,000 fine if you get caught, and the Bucs sure knew they were guilty: They were waving in the Panthers’ trainers practically before Smith hit the ground. When somebody takes a shot like that at your only guaranteed offensive Pro Bowler and it doesn’t get called, the proper response is to take someone’s head off. The Panthers acted like the Bucs’ secondary had given Smith flowers.

The only way Carolina gets home field through the playoffs now — hard to believe fans were talking about that only a week ago — is to win out and hope the Seahawks lose out (not bloody likely) AND that the Bucs lose at least once more. The only way Carolina gets a first-round bye is to win out and hope the Bucs lose one. If Carolina wins only one of its last three, it might well be staying home. And its last three are against New Orleans (which seems to have the Panthers’ number of late), Dallas (back in the playoff hunt again, just like the Panthers, after going in ’03 and missing in ’04) and Atlanta again. If this team doesn’t take care of business … well, I don’t know whether any team has ever been picked by Sports Illustrated to win the Super Bowl and then missed the playoffs, but it’s not impossible that we could find out the hard way.

UPDATE: Edited to fix some gibberish. Also, I would be remiss if I did not mention the fine effort by my brother Hugh and his tailgating buddies (including the guy who runs the Panthers Huddle fan site) on behalf of the Marines’ Toys for Tots campaign: They donated 50, count ‘em, 50 bicycles and were shown on the DiamondVision screens and mentioned on the public-address system during the second quarter. Good job, guys!

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