Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Tuesday, October 31, 2006 9:39 am

Cowboys 35, Panthers 14

Filed under: Panthers — Lex Alexander @ 9:39 am

At 4-4, this Panthers team is at a midseason fork in the road. We’ve been here before, and in different seasons we’ve gone different ways.

In 1996, the Panthers found themselves at 5-4 after ugly losses to Atlanta and Philadelphia. Somehow, that year’s team managed to get its act together and finish the regular season with a 7-game win streak.

In 1997, the Panthers found themselves at 5-4 after an ugly win against Atlanta and a much nicer win against Oakland. But that year’s team finished 7-9 and exposed serious problems that led to a 4-12 season in 1998.

This year’s team could go either way, but the odds for a postseason finish to this story are looking longer by the day.

Fortuitously, the team has the bye week now to think, long and hard, about its two most recent games … unquestionably two ugliest games of John Fox’s tenure as head coach. Giving up 28 unanswered points is just unacceptable. And there is much to think about.

Let’s start with the basics. The patchwork O-line has been in its current configuration for several weeks now. It has done an adequate job of protecting QB Jake Delhomme, by and large, although it was looking a little tired and slow toward the end of both games. But what it hasn’t done is create any serious movement for the running game. Traditionally, NFL teams like to run power plays to the right side of the O-line. But the strongest talent on the current line is on the left — Jordan Gross, the former first-round draft pick, at tackle and Mike Wahle, the only starter to play in his natural position all season, at left guard. Perhaps the team should run more to that side.

Meanwhile, Deshaun Foster continues his campaign to make everyone look like an idiot who thought signing him to a big new contract and giving him the featured-back slot was a good idea. On off-tackle plays and sweeps, he needs to either cut back quickly or kick outside quickly, but instead he’s doing this little stutter step as he makes up his mind and/or waits for a hole to open, and all that’s doing is giving the back-side pursuit time to catch up. On runs up the middle, he’s simply not moving the pile (and, to be fair, neither is the O-line). You don’t win championships in this league with that kind of problem.

The passing game … oy. Delhomme generally continues to make good decisions, but now the entire team has the dropsies, not just Steve Smith. Johnson dropped one near the right sideline and one on a cutback toward the middle from the right, either of which probably would have gone for scores. Smith dropped one. Foster dropped one. Michael Gaines dropped one. I don’t have the answers for that, but then I don’t have a job in the NFL, either. At some point, though, guys need to do what they’re getting paid to do.

On the other side of the ball, the best front four in the league is looking awfully ordinary these days. I’m sure part of that is because of the loss of middle linebacker and defensive signal caller Dan Morgan. Chris Draft is merely serviceable as his replacement, but Morgan’s big hits were a big contribution to the run defense. And the linebackers are definitely missing the speed and quickness of salary-cap casualty Will Witherspoon, who also enjoyed an almost telepathic chemistry with Morgan.
I also noticed an awful lot of ankle tackles Sunday night. Now, ankle tackles are better than no tackles at all, but what they signal to me is a defense that’s out of position.

Then there’s the secondary, or at least the safeties (Ken Lucas, Chris Gamble and nickel/corner Richard Marshall have had strong years.). Mike Minter is one of the hardest-hitting run stoppers in the league, but I continue to think he’s out of position at free safety and the pass defense suffers as a result. And none of the other safeties — Branch, in particular — are showing me a whole lot in pass coverage.

The Cowboys’ QB, Tony Romo, had way too much time to maneuver Sunday night, and that’s because the Panthers couldn’t stop the run. I wonder whether the D shouldn’t do more run-blitzing; the corners are good enough to go one-on-one with anybody in the league. And if you stop the run, you make blitzing that much easier.

For the Panthers to win, they have to do what winning teams in this league have always done: run the ball and stop the run. They’ve still got a brutal schedule ahead, and if they don’t start doing those two things consistently, they may be lucky to finish 7-9 again.

What’s going on at our house

Filed under: Fun,Victoria — Lex Alexander @ 9:10 am

These signs are taped up to doors and walls all over the house:

Victoria’s dragon-drawing contest

I’m going to enter. This is one contest I could actually win.

Sunday, October 29, 2006 2:10 pm

Faster, pussycat Panthers! Kill! Kill!

Filed under: Panthers — Lex Alexander @ 2:10 pm

Cowboys at Panthers. National TV audience. Season in the balance.

And Mr. Sun and I, along with two delightful ladies, will be there.

It don’t get no better …

UPDATE: Well, that sucked. More later.

I don’t want to brag but …

Filed under: Victoria — Lex Alexander @ 1:35 pm

Victoria’s mad football skillz
… oh, whom am I kidding? I do too want to brag.

This is the card Victoria brought home from her physical-education teacher the other day. It said that Victoria’s mad football skillz had made her a role model for her classmates, all but one of whom is taller than she.

Her jumping ability made up for her lack of height in catching passes. And she apparently was one of the few kids in the class able to throw a straight, accurate spiral pass more than about 3 feet.

This does not mean she’ll be challenging Jake Delhomme for the starting job anytime soon, of course. But in a world that is stacked against little girls in so many ways, it’s delightful to see her kicking the boys’ butts on their own turf.

Friday, October 27, 2006 9:25 pm

Feelin’ the filthy lucre. I mean, the love.

Filed under: Fun — Lex Alexander @ 9:25 pm

Wow. A billionaire wants me to interview him.

Guess I’d better buy a necktie.

Scrabble score: 830

Filed under: Fun — Lex Alexander @ 8:51 pm

For a word guy, I suck at Scrabble. It’s true. Over the years, I’ve played Scrabble with Ann and a number of our newspaper friends (particularly Herb and Susan), and without exception I’ve gotten my butt kicked from one side of the board to the other.But not even they can match this:

On Oct. 12, in the basement of a Unitarian church on the town green in Lexington, Mass., a carpenter named Michael Cresta scored 830 points in a game of Scrabble. His opponent, Wayne Yorra, who works at a supermarket deli counter, totaled 490 points. The two men set three records for sanctioned Scrabble in North America: the most points in a game by one player (830), the most total points in a game (1,320), and the most points on a single turn (365, for Cresta’s play of QUIXOTRY).

In the community of competitive Scrabble, of which I am a tile-carrying member, the game has been heralded as the anagrammatic equivalent of Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game in 1962 or Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series: a remarkable, wildly aberrational event with potential staying power. Cresta’s 830 shattered a 13-year-old record, 770 points, which had been threatened only infrequently.

I, on the other hand, can count on two hands the number of times in my life that I have broken 100.

Friday Random 10

Filed under: Friday Random 10 — Lex Alexander @ 8:47 pm

Cold Sweat — James Brown
Da Doo Run Run — Crystals
Shake, Rattle and Roll — Joe Turner
Baby, It’s Love — Flat Duo Jets
Uptight (Everything’s Alright) — Steve Wonder
Subterranean Homesick Blues — Bob Dylan
Highway Blues — Marc Seals and Ernie Watts
Run Around — Blues Traveler
Don’t Dream It’s Over — Crowded House
Wild Honey — U2

lagniappe: Kentucky Rain — Elvis Presley

How could they tell?

Filed under: Fun — Lex Alexander @ 6:30 pm

Crematorium burns; corpse unharmed:

Fire officials said the six-hundred pound man was in being cremated when his body fluids were too much for the oven.

The body fluids seeped out onto the floor and ignited causing a fire at the Garner Funeral Home in Salt Lake City.

“Those fluids can be very flammable,” said Scott Freitag of the Salt Lake City fire department. “Sort of like a grease fire.” …

The crematorium is back in business and the funeral director said they’ll notify the family to assure them their loved one wasn’t harmed.

Dead guy. In crematorium fire. Wasn’t harmed.

Well, OK, then.

Death in the family

Filed under: Salute! — Lex Alexander @ 10:52 am

Jack K., the Grumpy Forester and a onetime smoke-eater himself, meditates on the deaths of four firefighters (a fifth remains in serious condition) in the arson wildfire now burning in Southern California.

Which, I am delighted to observe, still has the death penalty.

My experience with wildfire is limited, I am delighted to say, but my one trip into one, in 1985, will stay with me the rest of my life. Two things stand out: the spontaneous reignition of a tree stump as I attempted to balance my camera’s zoom lens on it to shoot a ring of fire encircling an adjoining peak; and the length of time aluminum, once part of a mobile home, stayed hot after burning. You spend a few minutes around some of that and you begin to understand, tout de suite, just how incredibly stupid some of the 9/11 conspiracy theories really are.

My condolences to the firefighters’ families. My gratitude and admiration to the firefighters for the work they do. My contempt for the arsonist(s).

Thursday, October 26, 2006 7:43 pm

How to steal an election

Filed under: Black-box voting — Lex Alexander @ 7:43 pm

Like plans for the atom bomb, instructions for stealing an election with paperless touch-screen electronic voting machines are now available on the Internet:

What if I told you that it would take only one person—one highly motivated, but only moderately skilled bad apple, with either authorized or unauthorized access to the right company’s internal computer network—to steal a statewide election? You might think I was crazy, or alarmist, or just talking about something that’s only a remote, highly theoretical possibility. You also probably would think I was being really over-the-top if I told you that, without sweeping and very costly changes to the American electoral process, this scenario is almost certain to play out at some point in the future in some county or state in America, and that after it happens not only will we not have a clue as to what has taken place, but if we do get suspicious there will be no way to prove anything. You certainly wouldn’t want to believe me, and I don’t blame you. …

Over the course of almost eight years of reporting for Ars Technica, I’ve followed the merging of the areas of election security and information security, a merging that was accelerated much too rapidly in the wake of the 2000 presidential election. In all this time, I’ve yet to find a good way to convey to the non-technical public how well and truly screwed up we presently are, six years after the Florida recount. So now it’s time to hit the panic button: In this article, I’m going to show you how to steal an election.

Now can we please have voter-verified paper ballots and mandatory, robust auditing of all elections nationwide?

Blogger dead; killer confesses

Filed under: Geek-related issues — Lex Alexander @ 2:16 pm

That’d be capital-B Blogger, the Web-based blogging program and blog host I abandoned several months ago for WordPress after one unannounced service outage too many.

Driftglass claims to be the guilty party. I believe him. He doesn’t run around confessing to every technological egregiosity under the sun. He doesn’t need the attention.

Memo to Blogger and its parent company: There’s an election on Nov. 7. Are you ready?

Memo to Blogger clients: There’s an election on Nov. 7. There’s still time to switch to WordPress.

“Wake up! Bacon! Is PEOPLE!”

Filed under: Fun — Lex Alexander @ 6:38 am

Sci-fi writers have warned that robots will rule us.

“Terminator” and “T2″ warned that robots will kill us.

But that was fiction. This isn’t:

So, apparently the guys at NEC thought it would be cool to make a wine-tasting robot. The robot — pictured above — fires a beam of light into the wine, and then uses an infrared spectrometer to analyze the reflection. It studies the chemical composition of the wine and delivers an instant verdict about how good it is. It’s a neat trick, and it has other health-related skills: It can determine whether an apple is sweet or sour, or could even warn its owner if a food is too salty or fatty.But the NEC guys decided to show off the robot to the media, and that’s when it revealed its morbid secret. As the Associated Press reports:

Yeah, we’re screwed. The robots think we taste like crispy breakfast treats.

(Hat tip: Apostropher)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006 8:18 am

Not quite as bad as reading your own obituary in the paper …

Filed under: Weird — Lex Alexander @ 8:18 am

… but, lordie, not good: I plugged in my name here and it says I do not exist.

I’m betting they still expect me to show up at work today, though.

Monday, October 23, 2006 6:24 pm

“Surely the Second Coming is at hand.”

Filed under: Fun — Lex Alexander @ 6:24 pm

Yes, surely, the Second Coming — of grammar, beehortches — is at hand, and the English majors will rule the world.

And I am the rough beast born to rule them all, for in all the land there is no greater a grammar badass than I. How’s this for badassedness: In almost 23 years of daily newspaper journalism, I have never lost a grammar argument with a copy editor. (Oh, sure, a couple of them have gone behind my back and inserted errors into my copy, but lost outright, as in “been wrong”? Hasn’t. Happened.)

All of a sudden I think this new millennium has been getting a bum rap.

(Hat tip: Angry Pregnant Lawyer)

Sunday, October 22, 2006 10:13 pm

Tony Plutonium discovers YouTube …

Filed under: Fun — Lex Alexander @ 10:13 pm

… and with it one of the great moments in television history and rock ‘n’ roll history.

Bengals 17, Panthers 14

Filed under: Panthers — Lex Alexander @ 10:04 pm

Grrrr. This was the second game of the season that the Panthers lost when they should have won (at Minnesota being the other one).

If you want to get right down to it, as erratically as the Panthers played, they still would have won this game had they not committed two really dumb penalties on the Bengals’ first scoring drive. Both nullified third-down stops.

Talent-wise, the Bengals are strong but aren’t anywhere near the Panthers’ league. The Panthers held them without a first down in the opening quarter but were unable to mount the kind of quick scores that would have enabled them to put the game away early. And when you let an ostensibly inferior team hang around, you open the door to the possibility that some late weirdness can cost you the game. And Palmer’s 4th-and-1 bomb to Chad Johnson in the middle of the fourth quarter to set up the second touchdown for the Bengals is about as weird as they come. The whole situation was just screaming “TRICK!” to me — if they’d lined up to kick a field goal, I’m sure it would have been a fake, so if *I* knew they were going to throw long …

Bright spots: The O-line continued to play well once they figured out that the Bengals would be shooting the “A” gap — between center and left guard — all day if Mike Wahle didn’t pay attention. Deshaun Foster actually managed to average slightly better than 4 yards a carry for a change, although his longest run was only 15. Steve Smith, continuing a worrisome trend, had two drops early. The first one, on the Panthers’ first play from scrimmage, turned out not to matter. The other one killed a drive. Keyshawn Johnson also played well, although his decision to go behind Kaesviharn instead of in front of him in the end zone resulted in the interception that clinched it for the Bengals — otherwise, he’d have had the TD. Even if the pass had fallen incomplete, the Panthers were looking at a chip-shot field goal, and I’d have liked our chances in overtime.

Linebacker James Anderson played well in relief of the injured Thomas Davis, although he’s not as quick as Davis and that hurt the run defense, particularly in the second half. Chris Gamble broke up a long sideline pass on a great play, although he should have had an interception and he acted like he knew it.

All in all, a tough way to lose. The loss drops them an additional half-game behind the idle Saints, and they face an even tougher game next Sunday night at home against Dallas, who play the Giants tomorrow night. That’ll be the Panthers’ last game before the bye week. If they go into the bye week 5-3 things could be cool, but if they go into it 4-4, particularly if the Saints win again next week, they may have to fight hard just to get a wild card. So far, Fox’s Panther teams have tended to pull things together in the second half of the season. Let’s hope that trend continues.

Tigers 3, Ladybugs 4

Filed under: Tigers,Victoria — Lex Alexander @ 9:41 pm

It was a beautiful day for a soccer game:

Bryan Park soccer complex, Field 8

In addition to Hooper, Victoria also had her Uncle Frank and his three daughters cheering for her. Here they are with Hooper:

Hooper and the cousins
The Tigers jumped out to an early 1-0 lead, then gave up a quick own-goal, then kind of broke down until the fourth quarter. At that point, excellent pass routes and ball handling enabled the Tigers to pull to within 1, but time ran out before they could tie it up.

By the fourth quarter, the team was playing offense better than it has all year. Most importantly, instead of clustering around the ball, the girls were getting into position for passes, and regardless of who had the ball at any given time, that person was looking for someone in a good position to receive a pass. It worked well … almost well enough to give the Tigers a shot at a win.

Victoria had another great game on defense. Here’s an example:

Victoria on defense

See the smile on her face? This is her favorite part of the game: booming the ball well back into her opponent’s territory.

But she likes keeping goal almost as much. She had quite the busy time of it in the third quarter, too. I got pictures of nine saves, and there were at least four others I didn’t catch with the camera. (She gave up one long goal after she lost a footrace to the ball in the corner of the box.) This was probably her best save:

Victoria prevents a score

She was pretty unhappy about the loss, which was understandable, and about her own play, which was less so. The Tigers found their mojo in the fourth quarter; let’s hope they can hang onto it for the final two games of the season.

The alma mater

Filed under: Odds 'n' ends,Wildcats — Lex Alexander @ 5:04 pm

I was invited back to Davidson this past Wednesday to speak to a new-media seminar being led by the Batten Visiting Professor, Larry Jinks, a longtime Knight Ridder hand (primarily at San Jose) who now sits on the McClatchy board. I get back to Davidson often to visit my mother and stepdad, who live on Lake Norman, but I haven’t spent any extended time on the campus since my class’s 10th reunion. So I was seeing some buildings for the first time since their recent, and extensive, renovations.

Chambers, the primary administration/classroom building (built in 1928 on the same site as a similar but smaller building by the same name, which had burned), was extensively renovated in 2004, and by “extensively renovated,” I mean, among other things, that they took what had been a two-story, 1,100-or-so-seat auditorium and turned it into faculty offices and classrooms. It looks mostly the same on the exterior, although the back wall, which had been blank, now has windows facing the library. The brick plaza between Chambers and the library also has been gussied up a little with planters. Here’s a shot from Larry Jinks’s office:

The building I knew as the Grey Student Union is now primarily a music building, with rehearsal spaces, audio studios, instrument lockers and a beautiful recital hall upstairs in what had been the 900 Room, the on-campus nightclub, when I was there. As it happened, I ran into Cynthia Fok Lawing, a concert pianist and the wife of music professor Bill “Doc” Lawing, who led the wind ensemble during my four years as a member of that group. Cynthia was nice enough to give me a guided tour of the building during our mid-seminar break. Unfortunately, I’d left my camera in the seminar room so I didn’t get any pictures. (One of the things I love about Davidson is that instead of tearing down and building new, the college tries to re-use buildings creatively when it can. The music building actually was built as a library before being converted to the student union when the current library was built in the early 1970s, so it’s in its third incarnation.)

After the seminar, I walked from Chambers down to the current student union, which used to be Johnston Gymnasium before the new gym was built some years ago. On the way back, this spider web happened to catch my eye:

All in all it was a very pleasant trip, made even more pleasant by the fact that it got me out of town on the day when the president was supposed to visit — nothing personal; I just don’t like the traffic tie-ups such a visit creates.

Friday, October 20, 2006 6:28 am

Fecund Stench doesn’t like to call his mom …

Filed under: Weird — Lex Alexander @ 6:28 am

… and you know what? I don’t blame him.

Thursday, October 19, 2006 8:33 pm

Even pervy-e-mail-sendin’ congresscritters can tell a little bit of the truth

Filed under: Weird — Lex Alexander @ 8:33 pm

I’ll admit I was skeptical when skeevy congresscritter Mark Foley claimed he’d done what he’d done because he’d been molested by a priest when he was younger.

But as it turns out, although I certainly don’t think the fact excuses him, he doesn’t appear to have been lying.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006 6:18 am

Aw, this just rocks

Filed under: Fun — Lex Alexander @ 6:18 am

The Wallflowers and Jordan Zevon performing Warren Zevon’s “Lawyers, Guns and Money” on Letterman.

Monday, October 16, 2006 10:00 pm

Friendship

Filed under: Salute! — Lex Alexander @ 10:00 pm

Friends tell you about their trip to Europe.

Good friends bring you back good Czech beer.

Phred is a good friend.

Panthers 23, Ravens 21

Filed under: Panthers — Lex Alexander @ 9:59 pm

A big win, no doubt about it, but it was a weird game. It was as close as everyone thought it would be, but who would’ve picked these two teams to score 44 points between them? For all the undeniable skill both teams displayed on defense — the Ravens’ linebackers are so quick that Carolina never really tried to run anywhere but up the middle — both defenses were undone on flukes.

It looks as if Steve Smith is finally back to 100% — he was a lot quicker after the catch this week than last. And his stats were outstanding, although in all fairness to the Ravens’ defense, the reason Samari Rolle didn’t play Smith closely on that last 72-yard TD was almost certainly that he thought he had safety help up top. But the safety bit on one of the other receivers’ routes, and Rolle apparently didn’t see that happen. That’s not his fault — there’s not a corner in the league who can single-cover a healthy Steve Smith, and the Ravens’ secondary and coaches had to have known that and planned accordingly, so of course Rolle would assume he had help.

Delhomme’s no-interception streak ended at his 150th attempt, on a play in which he should’ve just thrown the ball out of bounds rather than try to make something out of nothing. His second interception came on a tipped ball, and those things can just as easily go the offense’s way as the defense’s. Just ask Mark Clayton, the Ravens wideout who caught not one but two TD passes on deflections. The Panthers’ D would’ve looked even better but for those two unlucky plays.
It was exciting to see what the Panthers’ passing game can look like when Delhomme and his top three wideouts are healthy. And it’s reassuring to know that the patchwork O-line has jelled to the point at which the Panthers can almost abandon the run late in the game and still move the ball.

It is not, on the other hand, reassuring to have had to find that out under game conditions. Normally, if your starting tailback gets 25 carries or more, you’re going to hang on to the ball a good, long time. Deshaun Foster carried 26 times for a whopping 58 yards. That ain’t getting it done, and although the Panthers’ 7 1/2-minute edge in time of possession looks impressive, it should have been a lot bigger and the game, frankly, shouldn’t have been so close. And when you’ve got first-and-goal from the 2 against a defense as stout as Baltimore’s, you’ve got to be able to get 6 because you might not get that close again the whole game. Foster was in that position twice and lost yardage both times. That almost cost the Panthers the game.

What saved the Panthers’ butts this time was that they figured out how to convert on third down, going 7-for-15 in that regard. How? By throwing, even in short-yardage situations. Twice Foster was handed the ball on 3rd-and-short, both times inside the Ravens’ 5, and he lost yardage both times. A healthy DeAngelo Williams would’ve been a nice option, but he’s going to be nursing that ankle sprain for a few more weeks, I fear.

It is in my nature to worry, and I really need to stop for a moment and enjoy the fact that Carolina played an excellent game on both sides of the ball on the road against one of the toughest teams it will face this year. The win moves the Panthers to 4-2 after an 0-2 start, and the Falcons’ loss to the Giants means that the Panthers are alone in second place in the division by a half-game and remain within one game of the Saints, who pulled it out against the Eagles to go to 5-1. That Week 4 win over the Saints is probably looking bigger and bigger to both teams now, particularly since they don’t play again until the last weekend of the season.

OK, I’ve done all my enjoying.

The Panthers are on the road again this week against an AFC North contender. Carson Palmer to T.J. Houshmandzadeh is an excellent passing combo, and unlike the Panthers, the Bengals have a legitimate featured back in Rudi Johnson. Stats-wise, the two teams are fairly evenly matched on defense, although position-for-position I’m having a hard time finding a Bengal I’d pick over his counterpart for Carolina.

The Bengals’ starters also are, as a group, kind of banged up. They have seven sacks among them, but five of those belong to DE Justin Smith and nobody listed anywhere on the depth chart at linebacker or in the secondary has one, so if they blitz much, they don’t do it well. Encouragingly, several of their most prolific tacklers are in the secondary, so maybe Foster can get some yards this time. Cross your fingers.

CBGB&OMFUG closes …

Filed under: Odds 'n' ends — Lex Alexander @ 6:14 pm

… and the moral is: Your ground can be as hallowed as you like, but hallowed don’t pay the rent.

Friday, October 13, 2006 9:51 pm

The youngest commando

Filed under: Hooper — Lex Alexander @ 9:51 pm

Me (catching unexpected glimpse of 5-year-old plumber’s crack): Hooper, are you wearing any underwear?

Hooper (stops what he’s doing; stands up; pulls front of pants out; looks down): Uh, no.

Me: Why not?

Hooper: I don’t know. I’ll try to remember tomorrow.

Me: You do that, OK?

Hooper (exasperated): Oh-KAY, Daddy.

Friday Random 10

Filed under: Friday Random 10 — Lex Alexander @ 9:48 pm

Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love — Van Halen
Where the Streets Have No Name — U2
Young Man — The Drapels
Who Will It Be Tomorrow — William Bell
Let’s Start Over Again — Flat Duo Jets
I Don’t Want You Anymore — Eddie Jefferson
Shock the Monkey — Peter Gabriel
Drift Away — Rolling Stones
Armchair Radical — Pressure Boys
Gloria — Them

lagniappe: Dance to the Music — Sly & the Family Stone

Wednesday, October 11, 2006 6:19 am

Memo to trolls

Filed under: Fun — Lex Alexander @ 6:19 am

Are we clear now?

What is it about Jesse Helms’ ex-employees?

Filed under: Weird — Lex Alexander @ 6:08 am

First there was White House domestic-policy adviser Claude Allen ripping off stores.

Now, Sam Currin, who became U.S. attorney for Eastern North Carolina in 1981 with Helms’ help, is looking at nine years in prison for conspiring to launder money. (And what a special place prison must be for a former government prosecutor.)

Seriously, I presume this is nothing more than a very unfortunate coincidence. But it is weird.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006 8:09 am

Quote of the day

Filed under: Quote Of The Day — Lex Alexander @ 8:09 am

“Nothing says ‘I am ashamed of my government’ more than ‘Stewart/Colbert ’08.'”

– Comedian and “The Daily Show” host Jon Stewart, on buttons being marketed with that slogan.

Memo to the book publisher who e-mailed me at work today

Filed under: Why, yes, I AM a bad parent. Why do you ask? — Lex Alexander @ 6:36 am

You’re trying to get some free publicity on a book about funny things kids write from a guy whose blog is made up in part of funny things HIS kids say. In other words, you’re asking me to pimp the competition.

And you’re not even offering to bribe me?

Pass.

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