Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Saturday, October 29, 2005 5:05 am


Filed under: Sad — Lex @ 5:05 am

Yesterday was Tony Plutonium‘s birthday. It also was National Depression Screening Day. I forgot both.

Now I am depressed.

Friday, October 28, 2005 6:15 am

What Wal Mart wants …

Filed under: Weird — Lex @ 6:15 am

Ezra might be wrong about this, but I kind of doubt it:

Wal-Mart does not want a wealthy, economically secure society. Back in the day, the auto companies had to pay their workers enough to buy their cars, which meant raising their living standards up to the middle class. All Wal-Mart has to do is lobby against poverty so abject that the working class can’t shop at dirt cheap big box retailers selling Chinese goods. But they don’t want their workers or low income Americans to move up income quintiles. Give them much more money and current Wal-Mart begin going to Target, Coscto, supermarkets, Amazon. For Wal-Mart, the incentive is a moderately poor society, always teetering on the edge of solvency and terrified of what news the bills will bring. In that context, Always Low Prices is the preeminent concern, and where Wal-Mart makes its goods, how they cut costs, and what they do to the economy is ignored.

This makes me wonder whether Kmart went into bankruptcy reorganization not only because it was mismanaged — which it was — but also because the economy was so good for so long that people stopped shopping there. Anybody got any evidence one way or the other?

Nazi magnet

Filed under: Y'all go read this — Lex @ 6:13 am

Aldahlia describes what it’s like to be one when you don’t care for Nazis yourself, goes on to posit an entire structural system for latter-day Nazis and even provides context without being asked first. Brava!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005 9:19 pm

As the geek kids say: pwned

Filed under: Weird — Lex @ 9:19 pm

About 20 percent of the human genome has been patented. After reading the article, I understand the logic, kind of, but somehow, I can’t shake the feeling that that just ain’t right … or, at the least, that God finds the hubris involved highly amusing.

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What’s going on

Filed under: Housekeeping — Lex @ 6:28 am

Not much; I’ve just been reading instead of blogging. Finished “Freakonomics” (I knew Stephen Dubner back in the day, around 1985, when he was a struggling musician and I was a struggling journalist/freelancer/disc jockey) and am now about 50 pp into “The City of Fallen Falling Angels,” John Berendt’s book about Venice. It’s good.

Friday, October 21, 2005 9:23 pm

Lord of the … oh, yuck …

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 9:23 pm

Ginmar reviews a commercial for Michael “Lord of the Dance” Flatley’s newest production, “Celtic Tiger”: “Excuse me, I have to go become a lesbian now, and not in an Angelina Jolie-induced kind of way. It’s more of a, ‘AAAAAAAAAEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEIIIIIIIIIIIIIII my eyes!’ kind of way.”

Not so hot

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 9:22 pm

You know all those “hot stocks” spam e-mails you get? Some guy pretended to buy 1,000 shares of every touted stock that spam brought his way, just to see what would happen in real life if people bought them. The results? Not exactly a comfortable retirement. (via .:DataWhat?:.)

Quote of the day …

Filed under: Quote Of The Day — Lex @ 2:12 pm

… from Billmon: “If politics is show business for ugly people, then I guess corporate journalism is intelligence work for stupid people.”

Wednesday, October 19, 2005 5:12 pm

“Phantom vaginal pain.”

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 5:12 pm

Best. Morford column. Ever.

Oh, is THAT what that was supposed to be?

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 5:06 pm

The Top 40 magazine covers of the past 40 years have been announced by the American Society of Magazine Editors (whose own site crashed from all the server traffic; you can see some of them and read the list here). The No. 1, from Rolling Stone, was that weird photo of a nude John Lennon looking like he’s trying to climb a clothed Yoko Ono, taken the day Lennon was assassinated. The rest of the Top 5:

2. Vanity Fair — Aug. 1991 — Nude, pregnant Demi Moore (memorably spoofed soon after by a Spy cover of a nude, pregnant Bruce Willis; sadly, the spoof didn’t make the Top 40)
3. Esquire — April 1968 — “The Passion of Muhammad Ali” (the boxer as St. Sebastian)
4. The New Yorker — March 29, 1976 — Drawing of New York from Hudson River and rest of the country to Pacific Ocean (description AND mockery of a New Yorker’s view of the world)
5. Esquire — May 1969 — Andy Warhol drowning in Campbell’s soup can — “The decline and collapse of American avant-garde” (eh).

My personal all-time favorite, the New Yorker’s post-9/11 black-on-black picture of the Twin Towers, came in 6th.

No. 9 was one I’d always wondered about: Supermodel Linda Evangelista on the September 1992 cover of Harper’s Bazaar, holding up one of the A’s in the magazine title for an article titled, “Enter the Era of Elegance.” Because I’ve always thought she was wiping her nose on her sleeve. I’m just sayin’.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005 8:47 pm

Needful things

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 8:47 pm

From my friend Liz, the following meme: Google your name and the word “needs” and post the relevant passages from the first 10 hits. Even though I suspect in advance that I’m probably screwed because all the kewl kidz are blogging about the WB TV show “Smallville,” in which the young Lex Luthor plays a prominent role, I decide to play (my comments in italics):

1. Lex needs to go CR-AAAZY more often! Yep.

2. Lex needs to know Clark’s Secret this Season … Only if Clark is a crooked politician. Otherwise, Lex would much rather NOT know, thank you.

3. But what Lex needs is someone to just be there. True. And I have that, thank you.

4. Lex needs a few simple rules to be able to generate our lexer. Geekspeak.

5. I can’t assume automatically that lex needs the .h file, since it doesn’t necessarily need it – there might not even by a yacc file working with lex. Indeed, so far as I know, there is not … but would I know if there were?

6. This clearly describes the relation YACC has with Lex, YACC has no idea what ‘input streams’ are, it needs preprocessed tokens. (More geekspeak.)

7. It is possible to determine from this output which of the table size values needs to be modified to permit lex to successfully generate tables for the input language. Warning: If you need furniture, you need to find someone who actually knows something about. I don’ know nothin’ ’bout generatin’ no tables.

8. The Lexer needs to be able to access yylval. Why, yes, he does, if “yylval” is some foreign word meaning “beer.”

9. Lex Africa, Africa’s first true network of leading law firms, grew from the need for law firms in member countries to be in a position to provide their clients, both local and international, with legal and business advice in whichever jurisdiction they may find themselves, and particularly in relation to expanding Africa-to-Africa business. And when I said on this blog that I am not a lawyer, you thought I meant it. Ha!

10. What happens if … A vehicle needs servicing and maintenance? If service and maintenance is included in your contract, Lex One-Call is your easiest option. But I don’t do windows.

Well, that was a nice waste of a few minutes.

Saturday, October 15, 2005 7:25 am

Whose kung fu is the best?

Filed under: Salute! — Lex @ 7:25 am

The librarian’s, baby. The librarian’s.

Reporters who are worth a damn find it difficult to do many of their best stories without the help of what, for lack of a better term, we’ll call librarians. This can be both people who actually work in a public library (shout out to the Steves!) and the people at the paper whom we used to call librarians and now call news researchers. Simple good manners and common sense dictate that any reporter/editor with a lick of sense treat these people like the valued colleagues they are. But beyond that, you don’t ever want to hack these people off because … well, they know things. Things they can hurt you with.

Thursday, October 13, 2005 6:53 pm

Wish I’d been there

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 6:53 pm

Original REM lineup plays impromptu 7-song set at guitar tech’s wedding.

Insufferable Music Snob answers all your questions

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 6:51 am

Not me. Lord, no. I retired from the Insufferable Music Snob bidness 20 years ago. Fortunately, Amanda has picked up the banner and is carrying it proudly.

Smile when you say that

Filed under: Salute! — Lex @ 6:17 am

The next time you see my friend Chip, you could say, “Nice dress,” but you’d be better off saying, “Greetings, sensei.”

Wednesday, October 12, 2005 5:50 am

Quote of the Day

Filed under: Fun,Quote Of The Day — Lex @ 5:50 am

From She-Dork:

I don’t think I am psychic or anything but I try to trust my instincts whenever they don’t involve pushing someone off a bridge or something.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005 9:07 pm

Do you have to be currently addicted to methamphetamine to attend, or can you merely have taken it repeatedly in the past?

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 9:07 pm

I get mail:

Reporters who have an interest in drug issues are invited to join a small group of fellow journalists at the next workshop in the [full name of addiction-studies program redacted] of [redacted] School of Medicine, to be held [date] in [site redacted]. The workshop will focus on methamphetamine.

I’m just askin’.


Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 8:53 pm

Fox News talk-show pimp Bill O’Reilly must never learn about this.

Monday, October 10, 2005 10:02 pm

“Of course the big problem is deciding between werewolves and Martians.”

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 10:02 pm

Ginmar plans to write a porn screenplay.

She gets it now

Filed under: Fun,Victoria — Lex @ 6:09 pm

Victoria: Daddy, put on Radio Disney!

Me: Uh, OK.

Victoria: Daddy, it’s 1320!

Me: Yeah, on regular AM it’s 1320. But this is the satellite, so I have to look it up. (pause while we pull up at a red light and dig out the little channel card) Aha, it’s 115. punches buttons; Bowling for Soup‘s “1985” plays)

Victoria (singing along): “Springsteen, Madonna, waiting for Nirvana … ”

Me (after listening awhile): Sweetie, do you know what that song’s about?

Victoria: I have No. Idea.

Me: What do you think it’s about?

Victoria: Some woman named Blondie?

Me: Uh, no. Blondie was a group.* This song is about a woman who was in high school in 1985, and now she is grown up but she is still thinking about the music groups she listened to when she was in high school. “Springsteen” is Bruce Springsteen, who was very famous then and is still pretty famous today. Madonna is a singer who was getting very famous then and is still pretty famous today. “Waiting for Nirvana” is talking about the group Nirvana because their first really big record didn’t come out in 1985, it came out in, like, 1991. Anyway, she has two kids of her own in high school now, and the reason they tell her she’s “uncool” is that she likes the music that was popular when she was in high school and doesn’t like the music they listen to.**

Victoria: Oh.

Me: And the reason they wrote this song is that most people really do remember the music they were listening to in high school and college for the rest of their lives.

Victoria: Oh.

Me: So, you know, 30 or so years from now, when you have kids in high school, they’ll be listening to music you won’t like, and you’ll be thinking about —

Victoria: Radio Disney.

Me: Um, yeah, I guess. (pause) Sorry about that.

*I’m really showing my age here, but back before Blondie was famous, there were buttons that read, “Blondie is a group.”

**I have no idea whether any of this is right; I was just riffing on what I’d gleaned from that one single hearing. So correct me if I’m wrong.

Sunday, October 9, 2005 1:20 pm

The Captain heard from

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 1:20 pm

Princess Sparkle Pony demonstrates her death grip on the obvious

… but she makes up for that with this piece of Photoshop fun.

Hold. Everything.

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 1:17 pm

I’ve already seen the movie, so I’m pretty sure we’re not going to like how this turns out ….

Saturday, October 8, 2005 2:32 pm

Whadda week

Filed under: Housekeeping — Lex @ 2:32 pm

Last Sunday, Day Out With Thomas at the N.C. Transportation Museum. Monday night: down to Charlotte for the Panthers game. Wednesday: Up at Oh-dark-hundred to fly to New York (and back) for We Media ’05. (I’ll have more, perhaps much more, to say about that at my work blog next week.) And then yesterday and today I’ve been Converging (with dinner tonight still to come); I’ll have more to say about that as well. I’ve got one more day trip (albeit a long one) next week, and then I get my life back for a while. I hope the clean underwear lasts until then.

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