Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Monday, June 30, 2003 7:06 pm

The Hillary Test(tm)

Filed under: Quote Of The Day — Lex @ 7:06 pm

I may have suggested something along these lines before, but Angry Bear wishes to formalize it as policy: Under The Hillary Test(tm), any proposed expansion of executive-branch authority would be subjected to this question:

Would you want Hillary Clinton to have these powers if she were Attorney General?

Angry Bear suggests that for changes in the legislative branch, such as the proposed end to filibusters in the Senate, the following variation be used:

Would you want to rule out the filibuster option if Hillary Clinton were Senate Majority Leader?

Well. That will certainly make you go, “Hmmmm … “

Her favorite story

Filed under: Victoria — Lex @ 7:01 pm

Daddy, tell me the story about the day I was born.

OK, sweetie.

The story actually starts the day before you were born. You had been in Mommy’s tummy a long time. It was a Monday, and it was very hot. All day long at work Mommy had been feeling sort of bad and had been having some backaches. Then she went into her friend Ms. Kathy’s office and told her how she was feeling. Ms. Kathy told Mommy, “You’re in labor! You’ve got to get out of here! This is brand-new carpet!”

So at the end of the day, Mommy and Daddy went home from work, and Mommy packed some things to take to the hospital, and Daddy took a picture of Mommy in front of the front steps, and then we went to the hospital. The nurses looked at Mommy and said, yes, it’s time for your baby to come out of your tummy. So they put her in a room and Mommy’s tummy started working to get ready for you to come out of it.

That took a long time. In fact, it took all night and the next morning. Daddy went home in the middle of the night and took a shower and fed the kittycats and then went back to the hospital to be with Mommy.

Mommy worked all morning, and then at noon Dr. Tomblin came in to help Mommy and Daddy and the nurses. And it took another couple of hours, but then Mommy pushed and Dr. Tomblin pulled and Victoria swam and then out you came.

And you know what? When they turned you face-up in those bright lights and I looked into your big blue eyes for the first time, I thought you were the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen and I was so happy that I cried and cried and cried.

You cried?

Yeah, sweetie. Because I was so happy that you had finally come to be with us.

That’s a good story.

Yeah, it is. Good night, sweetie. I love you.

I love you, too, Daddy. G’night. ***kiss***

* * *

That was five years ago today. Happy birthday, Victoria Hamlett Alexander. We love you.

Friday, June 27, 2003 9:57 pm

Say a prayer

Filed under: Salute!,Victoria — Lex @ 9:57 pm

I’m 43, I’m out of shape and it’s gonna be about 145 freakin’ degrees this weekend, and not only are we throwing a birthday party for Victoria, on Sunday I’m also helping Herb and Susan move.

Why? Because they are two people I’m delighted to have in my life and it’s The Right Thing To Do. And because Herb said he’d buy me a beer.

But what I really want to do is produce

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 9:50 pm

This site says that apparently I’d be pretty good at coming up with money-making Hollywood packages:

“You Buried Him WHERE??” is a dark comedy about two gas-station employees (Denzel Washington, Halle Berry) who kill the station’s owner (Samuel L. Jackson) for being such a jerk and bury him in the woods, only to find that 1) the owner, having no living relatives, had made them the beneficiaries of his life insurance and left them the station, and 2) absent a body, they have to wait 7 years to have the owner declared legally dead so they can collect. The complication is that the Washington character, being kind of stupid and continually drunk, can’t remember where he buried the body.

Took me about 10 seconds to come up with the concept and another 30 or so to pick director, writer and cast. I budgeted fairly generously because of the names involved, and the thing still makes back 2 to 2.5 times its production costs on domestic box office alone. (Figure spending another $10M or so for promotion, but you more than make that up on subsidiary ancillary rights — foreign, cable, video/DVD, etc.)

I’m gonna go spend my millions now.


Filed under: Fun,Victoria — Lex @ 11:30 am

Quiet, Daddy! Here comes my favorite part!

” … a bolt of lightning struck the ledge, sending the Queen tumbling into the valley below.”

Yeah, mine too. Heh-heh.

Thursday, June 26, 2003 10:04 pm

Your Home for Professional Journalism

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 10:04 pm

We’re all about the professional journalism here at Blog on the Run, folks, and just to prove it, here, courtesy of Michele, are the top 11 films of all time in which animals eat people.

One more reason why I’m not a betting man …

Filed under: Salute! — Lex @ 10:02 pm

… would be the Supreme Court’s decision today to overturn a ban on gay sex.

I personally thought such bans pretty clearly violated both the First and Fourteenth Amendments (and that orientation-neutral bans on sodomy, such as we have here in North Carolina, violated the First Amendment as well), but I never thought a majority of this court would recognize that fact.

And it was a 6-3 ruling, yet.

The only down side: I presume that we here in North Carolina — straight or gay, married or not — can no longer use the pickup line, “Hey, wanna come home with me and commit a felony?” (Don’t laugh; it occasionally worked for me.)


Filed under: Weird — Lex @ 7:05 am

” … and it happened to be a brick.”

Ahhhh ……

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 7:03 am

Last night was one of those nights that reminds me why I never stay gone long from North Carolina, for love or money. It was warm but not too warm, humid but not too humid, buggy but with fireflies well outnumbering mosquitos.

Mom and Jerry were in town on business and staying with us, so we had dinner out on the deck — grilled-chicken Caesar salad, roasted vegetables, couscous, fresh fruit, honey-wheat bread from Great Harvest, and a liter and a half of chardonnay, with homemade lemon pound cake with ice cream and/or whipped cream (the only “lite” thing on the menu) for dessert. Afterward, the grownups sat at the table and talked and drank wine while H. and V. played. Then V. came, new baseball glove on, and asked me to play catch with her, so I did.

Catching a thrown baseball is not intuitive, and the natural athletic talent in our families is pretty attenuated, but by the time we stopped, she at least was getting her glove ON the ball most of the time it came anywhere near her. Her throwing was much better. After she’d warmed up, I never had to move more than one of my feet to catch her throws, and toward the end they were coming in consistently about waist-high and with a little mustard on ’em.

When I went in to put H. to bed, V. stayed outside with Jerry taking my place. After I’d come back downstairs, V. came running inside, shouting, “Daddy! I CAUGHT ONE!”

Lex’s Capsule Movie Reviews, cont.

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 7:02 am

“Alex & Emma”? Directed by Rob Reiner, true, but so not “When Harry Met Sally.”

Monday, June 23, 2003 10:31 pm

All the rage

Filed under: Fun,Victoria — Lex @ 10:31 pm

Even Victoria is caught up in the excitement about the new Harry Potter book. Denied the opportunity to read our copy because Mommy is hogging it, she has begun reading one of the earlier books aloud, hindered only slightly by the fact that she can’t actually read yet: “This is Hedwig [Harry’s pet owl]. She won’t hurt you. Much.”

God did too make little green apples …

Filed under: Woohoo! — Lex @ 10:23 pm

… and they’re growing on the beleaguered apple tree just to the right side of my driveway. I picked the two the Volvo keeps bonking on its way in and out, and we’ll just see how they taste.

I’m thrilled about this because last year a pest kept the tree from bearing any fruit. The year before, the kids next door (since moved) picked ’em all before I got any.

Friday, June 20, 2003 6:47 am

Life advice

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 6:47 am

One of the many cool things about living in New York is that Manhattan is a pretty small island with several million people on it, so that if you get around enough you’re likely to bump into all of them eventually, even the famous ones.

Stereo Lab Rat lives there now, and the unannounced surprise guest at a recent stand-up show she went to was Chris Rock. Her account, and her advice for Chris, are both R-rated and pretty freakin’ funny.

More snippets of office conversations I wish I hadn’t overheard

Filed under: Weird — Lex @ 6:46 am

“Have you been downloading prairie-dog porn again?”

Wednesday, June 18, 2003 9:58 pm

In which my 4 1/2-year-old daughter gives me a heads-up

Filed under: Victoria — Lex @ 9:58 pm

Daddy! C’mere!

What’s up, sweetie?




Uh, it’s poop. Yours, I presume.

There’s something in it! It looks like corn!

That’s because it is corn, sweetie.

It is?

Yeah, when you eat corn, parts of it go right through you and come out in your poop.


I dunno. It just does. But it’s perfectly normal.

It is?

Yup. You’re fine.

OK. Well, I just thought I’d give you a heads-up.

Father’s Day

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 8:37 pm

Yeah, I know, Father’s Day was Sunday and now it’s Wednesday. Deal with it.

We once again spent the weekend with my dad and stepmom at their place at Ocean Isle Beach. (This, of course, is why this blog had no posts for, like, four days. What, you want me to tell you people in advance when we’re going to be out of town so you can be all up in my DVDs and guitars and stuff? ‘Cuz I know you people, and that’s exactly where you’d be. And you probably wouldn’t even feed the friggin’ cat.)

Anyway, it was a good weekend. We swam and sunned and napped and caught blue crabs and ate ’em and I drank a few beers. And on Sunday, after the 8:30 a.m. church service on the beach (yeah, you read that right), Dad and I opened our Father’s Day presents.

Now, all I was looking for for Father’s Day was the love and admiration of my kids. And I got that plus a new tennis racket. Is this a great country or what?

More conversational snippets from work that I wish I hadn’t overheard

Filed under: Weird — Lex @ 8:36 pm

“Maybe I’m just a sentimentalist, but I long for the days when you could swim among fish remnants without fear of an attack.”

Yeah, there’s nothing like a predawn chum bath to really get the old blood going. So to speak.

Yo, dude? I mean, Dad?

Filed under: Why, yes, I AM a bad parent. Why do you ask? — Lex @ 6:45 pm

Mimi Smartypants reminds us of something that, as a daddy, I need to remember more often: Sometimes it just flat sucks to be a kid. (Scroll down to graf beginning, “I feel sorry … “)

I hope Davidson doesn’t revoke my diploma for this …

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 6:45 pm

… but I forgot Bloomsday.

(I also forgot my friend Liz’s 39th (for the first time) birthday. Sorry, Liz. I was down at the beach with my dad, drinkin’ beer and eatin’ blue crabs. But anyway, this is a topic for another post.)

But to make up for missing Bloomsday, here are some literary jokes.

Stopping time

Filed under: Victoria — Lex @ 6:43 pm

Hi, sweetie. Are you playing Hermione Granger or Ginny Weasley?

Ginny Weasley.

Really? Why’s that?

I don’t like Hermione.

You don’t like Hermione? Why not?

Because she broke up with Ron.

She broke up with Ron?

Yeah, because Scabbers hurt Cruickshanks.

Sweetie, Scabbers didn’t hurt Cruickshanks. It’s the other way ’round. Scabbers is the rat, remember? Cruickshanks is the cat. And Ron and Hermione didn’t break up. They’re just mad at each other because their pets got into a fight, but you know what? They’ll get over it. Friends get mad at each other sometimes, but they usually get over it and stay friends.

Oh. OK.

You still look sad. Is there anything else bothering you?

Yes. I don’t want to grow up.

You don’t want to grow up?

No. I want to stay the age I am.

Why is that, sweetie?

[gesturing to outer garment, a red Gryffindor robe] Because I want to keep wearing this and not outgrow it.

Well, sweetie, if you ever do outgrow it, you could always get a bigger one. Besides, look at how that robe hangs on you. It’s huge! You won’t outgrow it for a long time.

[looking down, realizing that Daddy is right about this, at least] OK.

Now, is there any other reason you don’t want to grow up?

No, that’s it.

OK, then. Gimme a hug?


Tuesday, June 17, 2003 7:54 pm

How to Be a Pundit

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 7:54 pm

Andrew Cline at has come up with rules for being a pundit. And you thought this bidness was hard. Go take a look.

Monday, June 16, 2003 8:12 pm

Dept. of Shameless Self- (and Employer-) Promotion

Filed under: News & Record — Lex @ 8:12 pm

News & Record wins third place in general excellence in Missouri Lifestyle Journalism Awards.

For those of you keeping score at home, this comes after a first place in general excellence in 2002.

Yeah, we rock. And all.

The Kate Winslet theory

Filed under: Weird — Lex @ 8:11 pm

I haven’t blogged much about the proposed Atlantic Coast Conference expansion, primarily because I don’t care nearly as much about the ACC as a conference as I do about some of its member schools.

For what it’s worth — i.e., nothing — I think expansion is probably both inevitable and a good thing, but I don’t buy the logic behind annexing Miami while ignoring Virginia Tech. Nothing I can put my finger on other than a few tangible and intangible factors — Tech’s geographic proximity and natural rivalry with UVa, costs for other league members of traveling to VT vs. Miami, Miami’s undersupervised, overly arrested, NCAA-death-penalty-deservin’ football team — but I haven’t been thrilled about this, um, attraction the ACC seems to have toward Miami. Yeah, it’s a big TV market and all, but really — what does it add?

Well, not only does flesh out my reservations about Miami’s joining the ACC, it also posits the the Kate Winslet theory as an explanation for the ACC’s attraction to Miami. And that makes at least as much sense as any other explanation I’ve heard. (Thanks to Ed Cone for the link.)

Tuesday, June 10, 2003 10:37 pm

She’s got it knocked

Filed under: Victoria — Lex @ 10:37 pm

V. had her kindergarten assessment today. She was very nervous about it beforehand. Afterward, she seemed to have had fun but refused to provide any details after I insisted on taking her back to her day care for lunch rather than taking her out to McDonald’s.

Then this evening, very casually and apropos of nothing, she remarks: “I don’t think I’ll be in that class very long. I already knew everything they asked me.”

Set dressing, or, attention to detail

Filed under: Salute! — Lex @ 10:35 pm

From Nancy Nall:

Think I’ll go crack my last Labatt’s and see if I can find a rerun of last night’s “The Wire” episode. I spotted a great set-dressing detail last night, where a character shown lolling in bed sleeping off a hangover was given a very natural-looking drool spot under his pillow. I’m sure people who do that sort of work wonder if people even notice. I noticed. Nice work.

Hear, hear.

My sister, Jane, has worked as a production assistant on a number of movies, some of which you might actually have seen. But even if that weren’t the case, I’d have a great deal of respect for the (often uncredited) people who take the time and trouble to make every little detail in a scene look exactly right. You know why? Because even the tiniest detail is huge when the set you’re dressing is projected up onto a 35-foot-wide movie screen. Talk about making all your mistakes in public.

Monday, June 9, 2003 9:18 pm

In hopes of building a better mouse trap …

Filed under: Housekeeping — Lex @ 9:18 pm

Anyone got any insight into which blogging tool is better, PMachine or Movable Type? My permalinks are pretty much permanently bloggered now, so although I have little time for this, I’m thinking about abandoning Blogger for something a bit more reliable. Comments/reviews welcome.

Friday, June 6, 2003 10:26 pm

Friday Five

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 10:26 pm

So there’s a Web site called Friday Five that’s been created as a cheap source of content for idea-starved bloggers. (I guess, anyway. I don’t really know.) Each Friday it poses five questions and asks people to answer them on their blogs. So here are this week’s questions and my answers:

1. How many times have you truly been in love? 3

2. What was/is so great about the person you love(d) the most? She makes — note the present tense — me a better person.

3. What qualities should a significant other have? Honesty. Affection. Generosity. Patience. That last one’s big.

4. Have you ever broken someone’s heart? Uh, yeah. More than once. I’m not proud of it.

5. If there was one thing you could teach people about love, what would it be? If you touch me right … there … oh, wait, that’s not it. It’s this:

Love is something you do, not something you feel.

But I’m not an actor

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 10:24 pm

Julia from Tequila Mockingbird decided to take the 10 questions they always ask the guest on “Inside the Actors Studio” and answer them herself. They’re kind of interesting, so I figured I’d take ’em on, too:

Q. What is your favorite word?
A. love
Q. What is your least favorite word?
A. synergy
Q. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
A. ideas
Q. What turns you off?
A. ignorance
Q. What is your favorite curse word?
A. da F-bomb, fo real
Q. What sound or noise do you love?
A. Electric guitar playing 3-chord rock
Q. What sound or noise do you hate?
A. any repetitive sound made by kids’ toys
Q. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
A. astronomy
Q. What profession would you not like to attempt?
A. sales
Q. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear god say when you arrive at the pearly gates?
A. “Dude! ‘Bout time. Have a beer. We’ve got you a nice, quiet room with a king-size bed and a good view. We’ve got a buncha 1990 Ferrari-Carrano Reserve Red in the cellar. Carolina’s at home against Duke tonight on the big screen. And over in the rehearsal room there’s a pre-CBS Stratocaster and a wall of Marshall amps with your name on ’em, and the band says rehearsal starts whenever you’re ready.”

Thursday, June 5, 2003 7:29 am

Pardon our mess

Filed under: Housekeeping — Lex @ 7:29 am

I’m experimenting with installing Haloscan comments to see whether I (or you) like that system better than the one I’ve been using. Obviously, it’s making the page look a bit disorganized at the moment. Sorry.

UPDATE: I’ve gone ahead and switched to Haloscan, primarily because BlogOut, nice as it was, didn’t allow me to administer comments, and although its creator promises to add that service, he couldn’t say when it could happen. It’s not that I want to censor comments that disagree with me or anything, but I’m trying to keep the page up to a certain level of decorum because my daughter will begin reading it shortly. So I want at least the option of deleting messages. (Well, says the peanut gallery, if you’d wanted to keep up a certain level of decorum, you wouldn’t have run the CNN home page through Tha Snoop Dog Shizzolater, now, would you? Point conceded. But anyway.) The only downside to the change is that all previous comments are now lost forever. But y’all are a hardy lot; I’m sure you’ll get over it.

Wednesday, June 4, 2003 10:39 pm

Fo’ real

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 10:39 pm

I ran my blog through Tha Snoop Dog Shizzolater so it would read as if Snoop were writing it.

I got a blank page.

So I ran CNN’s home page through it and got this story on Martha Stewart’s indictment:

A federal grand jury in New York returned a nine-count indictment against domestic guru Martha Stewart ‘n her stockbroker today, including charges of obstruction ‘n securities fraud n’ sh*t. Stewart has been under fire fo’ alleged insider trading in her sale of ImClone stock, know what I’m sayin’?

Word, yo. Peace, out.

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