Ugly in California

The anti-recall folks in California are now being told to harrass anyone who is trying to sign on to the recall petition for Governor Davis. The union-funded group belong to Taxpayers Against the Governor’s Recall and are coordinating anti-petition efforts in the state. And people wonder why unions have a reputation of being thugs.

Waiting for Cliche

Gay Rights approved yesterday, Strom Thurmond dies last night. Don’t tell me I’m the first to make the cliche-esque connection.

New music from commercials

Days go By”” by Dirty Vegas is a pretty neat song, but most of the American public would never have heard it had it not been for Mitsubishi adding it to a commercial. I just found this site that lists all of Mitsubishi’s songs, and several of the tracks have proved quite popular after getting the exposure they deserve.

Now Apple iTunes has made Fisherspooner their featured artist of the week. Why? Because Fisherspooner’s hit “”Emerge”” is the song playing nearly every 20 minutes on MTV as part of their promos for VH-1, etc. MTV is even using the Dancing Kittens of for the promos.

I’m not even going to talk about Moby and Fatboy Slim, who sold their entire collections to commercials and television shows.

Has anyone taken a moment to ponder this? How out of touch as American radio become? That “”new music”” has had to find an outlet such as commercials (long ago regarded as the “”ultimate”” sellout to a musician) just to get exposure is a sad commentary on the radio industry’s ability to identify new talent. With the corporatization of radio, and the recurring playlists no matter where you are, music over the air is growing more stale by the day. You now have to wait for the commercials to hear anything interesting, musically that is.

Killer Bees

A shoplifter in Kansas got away with about $60 worth of CDs after releasing a swarm of bees on his attackers. He went into the restroom, released the swarm, and then came out screaming “”Bees, Bees””. Store security grabbed cans of Ra| off the shelf (smart thinking) and killed the bees. The bad guy got away.

This is a great idea. But why did the guy steal only $60 of stuff? If you are going to do a crime, do a big crime. Do something worthwhile. Steal it all. What a waste of a great idea.

More ships coming home

It’s a hazy day outside and visibility is only a few miles, but I did notice this ship passing by the house just a few moments ago. It’s the USNS COMFORT on her way back to Baltimore where she is homeported. The vessel was in the Gulf as part of Iraqi Freedom, but now is returning to base. Many of the doctors were flown off weeks ago, but several hundred remain on board while the ship crossed the ocean. My own photos aren’t very good. A low grey profile in this haze, but with the scope I can see the Red Cross markings on the side.

Attack of the Killer Fish

Well, things keep getting stranger. Tonight I was looking outside and saw what looked like a school of sharks (not kidding) zipping around the seawall. They were obviously bottom feeding whatever they were, and it wasn’t until about ten minutes later that I realized they were rays. Calf-nose rays, apparently, swimming around having a good old time.

A year older

I’m 37 today. Spent it walking through the rain in Soho and M|town. A pretty dreary day in New York. Checked out the new Palm Tungsten C (which I’ve yet to add to Andrew’s Wish List but I’m thinking about). Grabbed some Vietnamese on the East Side that was ok, but nothing like the stuff back in Northern Virginia (where hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese live).

Working on some war blog stuff to get up later tonight.

Going native

The San Jose Mercury News has an interesting series starting today about the “”Internet Native”” children growing up in the Valley. Some k|s today have been online for nearly 10 years, and what is considered “”advanced computer skills”” for my generation is second nature to them.

I often talk about this to my peers and get strange looks. I first noticed this sort of difference when I graduated college in 1987. I knew “”computers”” as the employers told me. I would be the “”computer guy”” in offices. It always struck me as strange how you could get shoved into a corner with even the least technical skills. I knew French too but I wasn’t the “”French guy”” in the office. My father could operate a calculator but he wasn’t the “”calculator guy”” in his department. Why did we need a “”computer guy”” when the skills I had were those that everyone should possess?26

Back to Obscurity

Well that didn’t last long. My post earlier this week about being ranked #4 in Google when someone searched for “”Operation Iraqi Freedom”” has been superseded by my new position in Google, somewhere below 255 (I got tired of looking). Oh well, easy come easy go. in the news

The Online Journalism Review just interviewed me via e-mail regarding my “”Iraq Blog”” at They’re kind of curious what is going to happen to all the war blogs after the war, and how the cessation of fighting has affected traffic (1/10th, in case you are wondering). I’ll probably turn it into a more historic site, like the Gulfwar Debriefing but only after some of the details come out from the Pentagon that are still being analyzed at this moment.

Bass-O-Matic 2003

Remember Dan Akroyd’s “”Bass-o-Matic”” sketch on Saturday Night Live? Some guy in Denmark turned it into art, inviting people to puree goldfish if they felt. That led to the artist going to court on a cruelty to animal charge, which led to “”expert witnesses”” coming to to testify as to the speed of death for the poor fishies.

Just read. No comment necessary. Europeans

Football Tickets

Just put in for Notre Dame tickets the other day. $48 per ticket, plus the $100 “”donation”” to the University that is required just to get the form. I’m not going to do the math.

Notre Dame tickets are a lottery, in that you put your name in the hat for certain games and then you’ll find out later this Fall if you were successful. I put in for USC, Flor|a State (both in South Bend) and Purdue & Stanford on the road. My dad will go to the Purdue game (sans me–I hate West Lafayette) and I’ll to Palo Alto or give it to my brother-in-law who is also a Domer living in SFO.

The real battle with Notre Dame tickets isn’t the tickets, it’s the hotel and airfare. Find a way into South Bend on time for the pep rally and leaving a day later after the game is always a battle. I’ve had to stay as far afield as 30 miles from campus on game day, just because all the other hotels are taken. People often forget that 80,000 attend a game for a University with less than 10,000 students.

Pomp and Whatnot

I’m back from graduation at St. Joesph University in Philadelphia. My wife’s friend from China received her master’s degree in computer science. We could see her in the crowd until I saw a large cluster of Chinese sitting together. Viola. Nearly the entire computer science department was Chinese or Indian. Go figure.

The ceremony was nice, and the campus, while small, has some neat buildings. We took about fifty pictures or so, and it was kind of funny looking at these people who were “”best friends”” and knowing that they’d probably not stay in touch very long. Such is the life of college. I’m barely in touch with anyone from law school and even fewer from undergrad. Especially when you move hundreds if not thousands of miles from campus.

DID see a couple of professors in Notre Dame robes. Not that suprising given that St. Joesph is a Catholic school I guess.

Off to Philly

Sorry about the poor photoshop, but I’m a bit busy preparing for the weekend. It’s a bit windy today with a storm coming off the water (compare to the photo yesterday)

I’m off to St. Joseph University tomorow (Philadelphia) to see a friend get her masters in computer science, and then back to the Beach later in the day. It’s a three hour drive up, and a three hour drive back, but I’ve made the trip (on the way to New York) so many times that I’ve pretty much memorized everything and it passes quickly. Tree, speedtrap, farm, junk food, junk food, junk food. Pretty much the trip. Maybe I’ll stop in Annapolis on the way home and get some decent food.

Russia is a hole

Colin Powell is delicately dealing with Russians today, trying to find some way to obtain their support for the removal of UN sanctions, while the Russians fight for honoring of their existing contracts.

What a waste of time.

The Russians are, as usual, on flimsy moral ground. Many of these contracts were signed in direct contravention of the UN sanctions that have existed over the last decade, and equipment and support flowed into Iraq right up until the final days of Saddam. That Putin’s people are now on their soapbox demanding that Iraq honor these contracts as any part of lifting of UN sanctions is typical of this bankrupt system. The Moscow Times has an editorial that was just sickening, and that paper normally is worth reading when I’m over there.

What the State Department should consider is putting all of the Iraqi debts to Russia into a fund and then allowing those who suffered at the hands of Saddam to draw out of this fund, sort of punative damages against those who supported Hussein. There has been a lot of talk about the Alaska oil trust fund as being a model for the Iraqis (where some oil revenues are put into a fund and then a rebate is given to every citizen each year) which I support, but I’d also like to see that same fund called the “”overseas debt obligation fund”” and those countries (Russia, France, etc) being punished for their violations of the UN sanctions.

It’s amazing that those countries demand we obey the UN rules and procedures when they do not do so themselves. And people wonder why this administration (and the American people) have so little respect for the UN, but that’s another posting…