Tuesday, May 22, 2007


She Make It So

Sure, you had Nena saying everyone was a Captain Kirk in 99 Red Balloons:

You even had El Kirko himself doing a version of Rocketman:

You and I both know that kind of stuff is all well and good, but come on. Nena just used it as a throwaway line, and Shatner was just being goofy. Couldn't anyone come up with a catchy, fun, song for the rocking Trekker in all of us?

Someone could.

Couldn't someone come up with a cool video for said song, with not totally retarded looking props and sets?

Someone could.

Couldn't someone do it in such a way that the first thing that comes to mind as you watch it is NOT the geek nightmare "Lightning Bolt! Lightning Bolt! Lightning Bolt!"

Someone could.

I give you Warp 11, singing She Make It So:

She Make It So

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007


A Nice Turn Of Phrase

Alvaro Vargas Llosa has written an interesting article about what changes may await France and its new president, and whether or not France is ready for those changes. You'll find the article, "Has France Bottomed Out? Probably Not" at TCS Daily.

Llosa does us the good deed of quoting Matthew Parris article from the Times of London. I shall do you the good deed of doing the same:
I don't sniff in the wind in la France profonde (though I begin to in urban Paris) that palpable sense of having reached the end of a road," Parris wrote. "The changes France needs to embrace will be convulsive. The pain will be intense. ... We British found that when Thatcherism arrived. But even at the low point of Thatcher's first term ... you almost never heard anyone suggest a return to what had gone before. There was a sense, in 1979, that we had burnt a bridge behind us, and had wanted to.

The emphasis is mine, because, wow, that's a sentence! To heck with literature. You don't need Twain or Faulkner to find a work of art in a string of words, although you certainly could. And just because it's an article in the paper doesn't mean it has to be straightforward and bland. Parris has a real gem here; it's a Picasso of a sentence.

Like most art, it may not be possible to explain exactly how or why it moves you; it's enough to know that it does. If you're not a word geek of some sort like me, this whole post may be meaningless to you. But if there is a single person out there who has any idea what I'm talking about, this one's for you.

Sunday, May 13, 2007


Hi, Do You Recognize Me?

My name is Dreamz, and I'm a scumbag.

Most people, when they think of dreams, they think of hopes, fantasies and positive ideas. I was proud to be part of that.
I was proud to say that Dreamz was a name that stood for something. That Dreamz meant what he said. I could have kept a low profile after making that deliberate lie to Yao, promising him I would hold up my end of the bargain. What's that? You say I meant it at the time? Certainly Yao thought so. But on the final night, I couldn't even keep it in and I had to admit that yes, I did in fact have it all planned out. It all worked according to my plan. Go back and look on the Tivo. I said it. So it was a deliberate lie to Yao. Sucker fell for it.
So I could have kept a low profile. I could have minimized my lie. Instead, I maximized it by mentioning over and over how if it came down to it, I would give Yao immunity because I wouldn't want to look like a liar in front of my son.
I was proud to be part of hopes and fantasies and positive ideas. I was. But first thing Monday, I'm changing my name.
Do you recognize me? My name is Nightmare, and I'm a scumbag.
I guess lies are part of the game. I may have even written something to that effect. I can't even tell you what's so different about this time. All I can tell you is that it was different. All those other times seemed like semi-promises. Give me a dollar now and I'll pay you back next week. That's a semi-promise. I'll get this round of beers; you get the next one. You can skate by for a long time being the guy who will get the next round of beers. That's a semi-promise. Agreeing to trade your pudding cup for someone's cookies at lunch time, eating the cookies, and then not handing over the pudding cup. That's no semi-promise. That's a hard core, straight up, one for one trade. That's the sort of promise dreamz made with Yao. At least, that's how I see it. And, of course it's just an opinion.
Now I see Earl won with a unanimous vote. Why? Keeping in mind that the show is edited, and we don't see every conversation and activity twenty-four hours a day, it seemed like Cassandra was lazy, didn't do much, and pretty much rode on the backs of others. It's possible to claim that you aren't lazy, and are just using the "under the radar" strategy. It's obviously a viable tactic, since she made it to the final three, but to win over the jury, you've also got to have charisma and an abundance of people skills. Cassandra got zero votes. That tells me that she was not making an effort to win over jury members. That tells me that she really was lazy.
Dreamz? My take is that he's a scumbag. After seeing the recap, it's clear that it's not just me. The audience seems to think Dreamz is a scumbag too. Jeff also noted that Dreamz is a victim of the Eddie Murphy syndrome. More on that some other time.
Earl, he's just a stand-up guy. Even Yao voted for him. That pretty much says it all.

Sunday, May 06, 2007


We Did Get Out . . . Part Three

So last time, I gave you a shot of the mouth of the Russian River and told you there was something strange about it. The strange thing about it is that the mouth is closed, as it were. Luckily, Jenner has some dental technicians who are prepared for just this sort of eventuality. There they are, making the magic happen:

What are they doing? Well, they're digging a channel from the river to the ocean. Here's a better view of them hard at work:

What the-? What's up with that dude on the right? Is he just lying there? I assure you that even though this is a still frame, these guys are not on a break. That guy is digging that channel. Come to think of it, what ecaxtly is Mr. Yellow-Shirt doing? As you can tell from the angles, after that first picture was taken, Miss Tori drove us around to get a better angle on the channel, and Yellow-Shirt looks like he's barely moved! I mean, sure, he's not laying down, but come on. They must have borrowed these guys from a Cal-Trans crew or something. Which one's the new guy? The one actually operating the shovel. If you're from California, you'll appreciate that one. Especially if you're a new hire at Cal-Trans.
But enough of the half-angles and the side shots. Here's the big picture. The river and the ocean do not meet!

Honestly, it had never crossed my mind that a river running to the ocean could dead end there. So where does that water go? It would seem like, with any other dam, the water would back up in the river, raising levels until it could once again flow over the barrier and into the ocean. Of course, we were only there for a few days. Maybe they do this every week or something. It's just an unusual situation, and I'm still curious about how the whole thing works.
When Miss Tori drove us around to our second vantage point for a good view of the channel, we saw this wise guy bird:

He seems quite used to people, like most gulls, so he stood around while I got a couple of good shots that even impressed myself. We'll see those next time.

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