just procrastinating

Friday, July 30, 2004

Right before I was about to drive to the car dealer, I decided to take a look at the tires. And what do you know, the right front wheel only had 2 lug nuts out of 5, and they were dangling. Well, that explains my "womp womp womp" sound. Last week, I had the tires rotated by the crack staff at Jiffy Lube, and my guess is that they were on crack while they were doing the job. Lesson learned: Don't trust Jiffy Lube with tires. I should have known, it just isn't their core compentency.

Stupid Car
Well I have been meaning to take my car to get looked at and now I really have to. As I told the mechanic over the phone, it is making a "womp womp womp" sound when I drive, and the steering wheel is vibrating. At first I thought it was a flat tire, but they are all fine. He suggested that it might have come out of balance and asked me if I could see if the weight had moved. "The what? There's a weight?" I wish I knew more about cars.

So I'm taking it to the dealer today and hopefully he will tell me I need a new engine or a new transmission in addition to fixing this balance issue, because the mileage is now 35,868, and I know that in a week or so all of the major components that were covered by the warranty will start to break down.

Enough With The Speeches Already
Andrew Sullivan does a nice job here of reviewing Kerry's speech.
But it was a B - performance, not as disastrous as Al Gore's rant in 2000, but nowhere near the level of the best. I mean, even Dole was better eight years ago. Some of it was so pompous and self-congratulatory I almost gagged. Can you believe he said this:
I was born in Colorado, in Fitzsimmons Army Hospital, when my dad was a pilot in World War II. Now, I'm not one to read into things, but guess which wing of the hospital the maternity ward was in? I'm not making this up. I was born in the West Wing!
One thought sprang into my mind immediately: what an arrogant jerk.
I thought he was going to say that he was born in the left wing, which would have made more sense. West Wing? That's just stupid.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Edward's Speech
I stayed up and watched John Edward's speech last night. He's a pretty good speaker, but I kept getting distracted by the way he licks his lips. That, and he has a strange growth on his upper lip that I think needs to be removed.

In his speech, he likes to talk about how his Dad was a millworker and how poor they were when he was growing up. His parents were both at the convention for this, and after seeing them, I want to work in a mill if I can look that good at their age. That mill work certainly agreed with Mr. Edwards.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Ricky Williams
Dolphin's running back Ricky Williams "retired" at 27. What's his deal? I think I liked him better when he was more social phobic.
In his interview with the Herald, Williams said he didn't like that the NFL restricts its players from smoking marijuana. He said he'd gotten around NFL drug tests by drinking some special liquid concoction he claims many NFL players drink before drug tests.

"Human beings aren't supposed to be controlled and told what to do," he said. Elsewhere in the interview, he stated, "I'm finally free."
I'm with you Ricky, but unless you can be self-employed, sometimes you have to suck it up and deal with the rules. But I guess he has other reasons for retiring, legit ones, like not wanting to end up lame in his 30s, so I guess I can understand that.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

John Kerry
Best description of John Kerry I have seen yet, by Nick Gillespie at Reason magazine:
"Kerry--a bazillioniare blowhard who works crowds like the Frankenstein monster terrorizing villagers"
That's a pretty funny image, and accurate.

I sat through the both of the Clintons last night. Hillary still hasn't mastered her speaking voice behind the podium. She sounds more like a mediocre actor performing in a role as a politician than an actual person. I don't think we will have to worry about Hillary ever winning a higher office any time soon.

Clinton is still Clinton, but he is also still boring. His tone is perfect, but the content just isn't really that interesting. And he is still lying up there. I heard him bash George W. about Kyoto, but I'm pretty sure that was against it as well. Also, it is hard to get excited about "after school programs". I'm sure that they are important to some people, but really, in a national election, who cares?

Monday, July 26, 2004

Thanks George
I'm about a decade late arriving at this party, but better late than never. I can't believe I have been missing out on this. Since we can't really grill out at our new place, we went and bought a George Foreman grill and, ever since then, we have been grilling just about anything that is capable of being grilled. Unlike me, George knows how to cook things evenly and quickly. We have been making these awesome grilled turkey sandwiches with provolone and tomatoes. Very tasty.

I'm willing to bet that George's tenure on our counter will easily outlast that of the ice cream maker, juicer and breadmaker combined.

Chicago Weekend
I drove back yesterday from Chicago. I had a great weekend spending some time with friends and family. You know, between June and September, and for a few days around Christmas, Chicago is the best city in the world. During the winter, which is late October through mid-May, it ain't so good.

On the drive back, my parents let me borrow their books on tape copy of My Life by Bill Clinton, so I subjected myself to 6 hours of his voice telling his version the story. It was actually a pretty interesting account of the events of his presidency and he gave us a little perspective on his early years to help us understand why he likes to lie about everything. Everyone likes to put the best spin on events in their own life, so I don't hold that against him, but I thought that he wasn't being very genuine about some things. But, I'll probably watch his speech tonight at the Democratic convention.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Speaking of work (below), since I don't really have any at the current time, I'm going to drive up to the great city of Chicago tomorrow to visit the family. One of the nice things about moving to Knoxville is that we are now a relatively easy driving distance to Chicago. I figure I can do it in about 8-9 hours, which I don't mind at all.

I'm kinda looking forward to the drive, since the last few hours of it I have driven a couple dozen times: that section of I-65 between Indy and Chicago that were part of my drive between home and Oxford, OH, where I went to college. I can do that drive with my eyes closed. The landscape changes from the subtle rolling hills of Southern Ohio to the flat, corn-filled plains of Indiana. As I recall, in Indiana it's difficult to find a radio station that isn't playing a John Mellencamp song, but maybe that's changed.

So I'll probably be back here on Monday or so, if you're wondering.

More Reasons To Take Easy At Work
I knew there was a reason why I never got along with my coworkers who liked to brag about how many hours they work. As it turns out, they are all criminals! (Or something like that)
EMPLOYEES who work excessive hours, refuse to delegate and fail to take up their full holiday entitlement are more likely to commit fraud, according to a new report.

An anti-fraud guide due to be published by accountancy firm Ernst & Young tomorrow reveals that 85% of the world’s worst financial frauds have been committed by insiders at the firm in question.

While the report warns employers to watch out for obvious signs of potential fraudulent behaviour - such as employees who appear to be living far beyond their financial means - it also points a finger of suspicion at workaholics.
Via Professor Bainbridge.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

He Really Likes Cheese
I like cheese as much as the next guy, but here in Tennessee, some people are taking it a little too far:
MARYVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Michael P. Monn's birthday celebration went a little awry when he was arrested while drunk, nude and covered with nacho cheese.

Monn was detained early Sunday as he ran toward a Jeep in the parking lot outside a swimming pool snack bar. According to police, he was stark naked and was carrying a box of Frito Lay snacks and a container of nacho cheese.

"The male had nacho cheese in his hair, on his face and on his shoulders," Maryville Police Department officer Scott Spicer said. "The nude male had a strong odor of alcohol and was semi-incoherent."

Investigators suspect Monn climbed an 8-foot fence, broke into the pool snack bar through a window, threw nacho cheese on a wall and scattered chips on the ground. About $40 in chips and $7 in nacho cheese were stolen.
Hmm, a strong odor of alcohol. Who would have guessed?

Monday, July 19, 2004

Gail Devers
I was pretty impressed with Gail Devers' performance last night in the 100 meter hurdles. It is amazing that she can still run like that at 37 and a half years old. I can't think of too many sprinters who have anything left on the dark side of 35: Linford Christie seemed to be competing in his mid to late 30s, and maybe Darrell Green, was still one of the fastest men in the NFL into his 40s.

As I approach 35, its nice to know that some of us who were born in the 1960s can still compete at that level.

Arnold Violated My Civil Rights
I'm with Scott and Director Mitch on this one. The reaction by California Democrats has been funnier than Arnold's original "girlie man" characterization.
Democrats said Schwarzenegger's remarks were insulting to women and gays and distracted from budget negotiations. State Sen. Sheila Kuehl said the governor had resorted to "blatant homophobia."

"It uses an image that is associated with gay men in an insulting way, and it was supposed to be an insult. That's very troubling that he would use such a homophobic way of trying to put down legislative leadership," said Kuehl, one of five members of the Legislature's five-member Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Caucus.

"It's ironic that the governor would try to find a metaphor for weakness when his real problem is that we're being too strong," she added.
That is hilarious. Its almost like she lifted dialogue from PCU.

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Six Feet Under
Jees, again, you try to be nice and look what happens. That last half an hour of this episode had the both of us on the edge of our seats. I think it should go without saying: Don't pick up hitchhikers or strangers unless you have some kind of Travis Bickle contraption (you know from Taxi Driver, the thing up his sleeve) to address this kind of situation.

Friday, July 16, 2004

I Love The 90s
The 90s weren't all that long ago, but VH-1 is already airing I Love the 90s, like they did for the two previous decades. I have caught a few years so far and have noticed, like others, that it really isn't as funny as the 70s or 80s.

I'm not sure why this is, because it seems that they have the just about the same cast of comedians working the show. To me, the 90s just don't seem to be far enough away that we can make fun of them without making fun of ourselves. I still have clothes that I wear from the 90s. Most of the music in my car right now is from the 90s. The 70s and 80s seem like a target rich environment for making fun of culture, but I don't think we are quite there yet for the 90s.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

This Land
This is funny. Thanks Jeff.

No Ditka
Oh drat. No Ditka.

Busted By The Pigs
Gee, you try to do something nice and you get in trouble with the law:
Someone squealed on the lady who brought the pig.

The Loxahatchee woman who offered her pig as bait to capture Bobo the tiger will be cited for animal cruelty for hauling the 5-month-old porker in her trunk, according to Animal Care and Control Director Diane Sauve.

Linda Meredith drove from her home to C Road and Okeechobee Road with her Yorkshire pig Monday shortly after learning that the 600-pound tiger belonging to a one-time B-movie Tarzan Steve Sipek had escaped his 5-acre compound.

Meredith, wearing a tiger print and a gold lion medallion, pleaded with deputies to take the piglet named Baby by its hind legs or twist its ears to make it squeal and attract the hungry tiger.

Animal Care and Control Director Diane Sauve immediately ordered her staff to check into the incident, she said, even before complaints from animal rights activists poured in.

"I was appalled," Sauve said. "Carrying an animal in a trunk in 90-degree heat, where it's probably 140 degrees inside, is not acceptable."
In addition to tigers and farm animals, there is no shortage of crazy people in South Florida.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

I'm not sure what to make of this. I have great respect for "Da Coach", as anyone who lived in Chicago during the 80s should, but I think he might be in over his head with this one. Also, doesn't he have a bunch of DUIs that he would have to explain? I'd vote for him if I still lived in IL, but I think he comes with too much baggage. But it would be hilarious to see him explode at political reporters like he did with Mark Giangreco.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Liquor Laws
Tennessee turns out to be one of these silly states where you can't buy wine or hard liquor at the grocery store, just beer. In Virginia, you could buy beer and wine there, but needed to go to a state store to get the hard stuff. Back when we lived in Philly, you had to work hard to even buy a beer. In Pennsylvania, beer is only sold through distributors, but you could buy a 6 pack or two at pizza places. Where I grew in Illinois, they sold pretty much everything in grocery stores, so you could march right into the local Jewel and buy a bottle of Everclear if you were so inclined.

Blame the Media
Athletes need to learn how to deal with the media better. Most folks can't stand when reporters hassle people with inane questions, and would gladly side with the athletes if they stated their case better. Here is Tim Montgomery blaming everyone else for his loss and losing my sympathy in the process:
Even as Montgomery gazed at the giant scoreboard, showing the hard evidence of his defeat in the 100 meters, he blamed the loss on others -- everybody pestering him with questions about doping.

His Olympic chase finished, he strode from the track staring at the board as if in disbelief that he finished seventh behind reigning gold medalist Maurice Greene.

The lighted numbers didn't lie: Greene, 9.91 seconds; Justin Gatlin, 9.92; Shawn Crawford, 9.93. Skip down a few names from those three Athens-bound runners and there was Montgomery's time: 10.13.

Imagine the quiet cheers among the folks at the U.S. Olympic Committee headquarters and the USADA. It's not often they get a chance to raise a toast to what they must suspect is poetic justice.

Outside the stadium, Montgomery brushed past reporters.

``This is the reason I didn't win: I've got y'all on my back,'' Montgomery said. ``I have to deal with y'all every day.''
Right, whatever.

Monday, July 12, 2004

We Moved
Well that sucked. But we are here and in one piece.

My dog is still pissed at me though. She blames me for this because my wife and I drove separate cars and the dog was with me. So she somehow believes that I did this to her, but she won't leave my side. I think she is worried that if I go, that I'll leave her here and she will never get home. Oh well, she'll adapt. At least she is eating again.

Note to George W. Bush
Don't inconvenience me again! It's bad enough I that I don't know how to get around here. The last thing I needed was for all of the roads to be blocked off today. Grow a sack and deal with the traffic like we all do.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

We are moving tomorrow and our stuff is being delivered on Saturday. I'm not sure what we are going to do Friday night. Camp in our new place? We would stay at a hotel, but we have a the dog so that makes it a little difficult.

We decided to rent for awhile, so it's back to an apartment for 6 months or so. I'm not too thrilled about that, but at least I get a break from cutting the lawn for the rest of the summer.

Maybe I'll have new Internet access established by Tuesday or so, so check back then.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Tennis Baby
So I see that CNBC is giving tennis crybaby John McEnroe a talk show. McEnroe just isn't my type of guy. I can't stand athletes who cry about every call, so I'll leave it at that. I find him amusing, so I may watch it but I have zero respect for the guy. Here is an interesting article I read awhile back. McEnroe had some words with the gossip columnist at the Minneapolis Star Tribune on a media conference call.

McEnroe never picked up on the fact that "he" was a "she" and they got into in over the whole "wood rackets" issue. Here is what the whiner said at one point:
"You're a big man, let me tell you," he said. "Friggin' loser you are, man. Go laugh all the way home. Go look in the mirror. I wish I played you on the tennis court."
I don't know about you but where I come from a test of your manhood doesn't usually involve putting on cute white shorts and hitting a ball with rackets, but maybe that's just me.

Fark Comments
The comments section at Fark is an interesting microcosm of world. This morning I read the following headline:
Austrian president dead at 71. Nation mourns by putting another shrimp on the barbie
I knew the reference immediately. In Dumb and Dumber, some women comments to Jim Carrey that she from Austria and he says, "Austria! Well, then. G'day mate! Let's put another shrimp on the barbie!"

Reading through the comments, I knew it was only a matter of time before some clueless know-it-all said, "hey its Austria, not Australia, dumbass" or something like that. Sure enough it took 5 comments before someone mentioned it.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Pretty boring choice, but much better than Gephardt. At least he looks better than Cheney.

Monday, July 05, 2004

Lawn Boy
I cut the lawn yesterday, and since we are moving on Friday, that will be the last time that I do it at my house here in Charlottesville. This is a relief, but also kinda sad in a way.

My yard is very hilly which makes cutting the lawn extremely challenging, both mentally and physically (mentally because it hard to get motivated to get out there). It takes about an hour and fifteen minutes to do now, but in the beginning it took close to 2 hours and it damn near killed me. I had to learn how to use the terrain as my ally. Many times I felt like caving in and hiring some guys to do it, but I decided to fight back.

Really, the only practical reason that I lift weights and run (besides vanity) is so that I can maintain the strength and conditioning to cut my lawn. But those days are now over.

Sunday, July 04, 2004

The Freshman
The New York Times obituary of Marlon Brando overlooks one of my favorite movies, The Freshman. Brando plays Carmine Sabatini (aka Jimmy the Toucan) in a parody of his Godfather role as Don Corleone.

I've seen The Freshman more times than I care to admit (OK, maybe fifteen) and I still think it is hilarious. Matthew Broderick is perfect in the role of Clark Kellogg ("from the great state of Montana"), Penelope Ann Miller looks hot, and Maximilian Schell, B.D. Wong, Bruno Kirby and Frank Whaley are all impressive.

It is just one of those movies that fits perfectly with my sense of humor because it is so blatantly silly, yet the characters are playing it so seriously. Brando is perfect in this and I am surprised the Times doesn't mention it.

Friday, July 02, 2004

Huge Brando fan. Kinda lived a weird life, but looked pretty cool when he was younger.RIP.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

NASA has this Cassini spacecraft that is currently orbiting Saturn. Here is the justification for the mission:
Scientists hope the mission will provide important clues about how the planets formed. Saturn, the sixth planet from the sun and the second-largest, intrigues scientists because it is like a model of the early solar system, when the sun was surrounded by a disk of gas and dust.
Can't we just admit to the real reason for the mission: Saturn looks cool. Why make up some bullshit justification? It's cool. Period. We want better pictures.

I recently conducted a local survey on favorite planets (sample size=2), and the result was that 100% of the females said Saturn was their favorite planet. Also 100% of the males laughed and said that their favorite planet was Uranus.

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