just procrastinating

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Alright, We Get It, You're Not Gay
Tom Cruise again proves to us that he isn't gay. Despite his diminutive stature, Tom is still doing quite well with the ladies at 42 years old. Although you have to wonder why you'd need your publicist to make this announcement...

I was watching Top Gun the other day, and I have to admit it &mdash not in a gay way of course &mdash that Tom Cruise is a good looking guy.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Someone linked to this Star Wars Episode 3 script. There goes my chance of getting anything done this morning. I hope this new movie doesn't suck. I'd say that Episode 1 (Jar-Jar) and Episode 6 (Ewoks) didn't do that much for me, but otherwise, I'm still a big fan. Empire Stikes Back was on the other day and I was wishing that I had that big TV for it.

Update: Not bad. I think I'll take a leave of abscence from work and get in line right now.

Monday, April 25, 2005

I've had the same old 25 inch TV for almost 10 years and it's time to put it into retirement. There's a new TV in my future and I couldn't be happier. The problem is that you need a PhD in electrical engineering to understand the intricacies of these fancy new TVs. I've been to Best Buy, Circuit City, Sears and Sam's Club over the past few weeks and I still haven't been able to pull the trigger.

As I was telling my wife, this decision is in fact more important that choosing a spouse, since you will spend more time paying attention to the TV. So it is not something to be rushed into.

In our situation, we don't really need something that will fit on the wall like Plasma or LCD, because the area where the TV will go is deep enough to fit a normal TV. So that is good because those are kinda pricey, but they are also give the best picture so it is tempting. Of course with plasma you always have the issue of "burn in" or dead pixels, so you have that to conted with.

They say the best picture still comes from regular old CRT TVs, which was my first option, but they don't seem to come bigger than 36 inches, and that's just not going to cut it.

The projection type TVs are next and some of these aren't that great when viewed from an angle. But some of them are, and we liked these two, the Sony, an LCD projection and this JVC. I'll probably read something today that tells me that I should be looking elsewhere. But still, not a bad problem to have.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Looks like some day soon I'll either be working for or laid off by Comcast. This deal was finally inked and our piece of it will fall under Comcast.

This isn't quite the outcome that I was hoping for. Ideally, it would have been Time Warner, where given all of their businesses, I could do a stint in Finance at HBO, which would lead to me spending time on sets, and then maybe they need someone to play some bit part on the Sopranos and I'm exactly what they are looking for, and then I'm discovered and become fabously famous and wealthy. Or something like that. Now I'm not sure how that path to fame will play out.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

I hold a similar opinion of this John Bolton character as I do the new Pope: I just don't like his face. You can tell a lot about someone just by looking at them and this new Pope is probably not a good guy, and neither is Bolton. That, and he seems to treat his subordinates poorly, which should disqualify anyone for anything. And it's too bad, because he so clearly dislikes the UN and is probably exactly what they need.

And speaking of the Pope again, where was the Marketing department at the Vatican during all this? You're trying to get people interested in the church, maybe connect with the young folks and you put this old coot up there? Come on guys! As someone once said: "It's so simple maybe you need a refresher course. It's all ball bearings these days!"

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

New Pope
Yay, we got a new Pope. I was kinda hoping it wouldn't be this guy, but it is. I was rooting for the black guy. But by the looks of Ratzinger, or Benedict XVI (how original), we'll have a new pope in a couple of years.

Living Standards
Within this article about Norway's inflated sense of their standard of living, a perspective that I can appreciate:
My own sense of things is that Spaniards live far better than Scandinavians. In Norwegian pubs, for example, anyone rich or insane enough to order, say, a gin and tonic is charged about $15 for a few teaspoons of gin at the bottom of a glass of tonic; in Spain, the drinks are dirt-cheap and the bartender will pour the gin up to the rim unless you say "stop."
If you have to spend more than a twenty for a round of drinks for yourself and a few friends, I think you're getting taken. Find a better bar.

Regulating Cable
Mickey Kaus makes a good point here:
The Coming Culture War Over Gay TV: Put two facts together:

1) The FCC is coming under pressure to regulate cable TV for decency. President Bush at least temporarily seemed to endorse the idea and the new chairman of the FCC seems to be heading in that direction.

2) Viacom plans to launch Logo, a gay-oriented basic cable channel at the end of June;

Don't they yield a third likely fact:

3) We're in for a huge culture-war battle this summer over whether to regulate Logo (and other gay networks), with cultural conservatives making it a Schiavo-like cause. ...
Adding fuel to this fire, some of the channel line ups are replacing CMT (Country Music TV) with Logo. Probably not the smartest thing to do.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Death Tax
I'm getting a kick out of this Matt Yglesias thread, wherein the astute Harvard grad lets the entrepreneurial world what he really thinks of them:
Speaking of which, fuck the small businessman. This is exactly the problem posed by obsessive focus on Paris Hilton. I might be an earnest, hardworking dude who works in the store. And somebody might die and give the store to me. The store may be worth millions and millions of dollars. If so, I ought to pay tax on it. Why? Because I've just inherited millions and millions of dollars, that's why.
I find Matt to be one of the more readable lefties, even though there isn't a dollar out there that he doesn't want to tax. I saw him on a blogger forum the other day on CSPAN or something like that and he was dweebier than I expected.

Insofar as I'm for any tax, I'm actually kinda OK with the idea of and estate tax, as long as you limit it to estates over $5 million or so. Mostly the idea of a permanent aristocracy kinda bugs me, but if the Paris Hilton's of the world are any indication, it probably won't be all that permanent.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

So it looks like Ephedra could be coming back on the market. Not that it matters though, it never really left. After the ban, I expected to see it come off the shelves at convenience stores, only to realize that the ban didn't effect the "truckers speed" -type Ephedra that is billed as a bronchodialtor that I've been using since college. The ban was only for the Ephedra used in weight loss products. Kinda silly, since it's the same thing and it leaves you with the same dry mouth shakey/wide-awakey feeling. That stuff works and because it does, it probably should be illegal.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Here is an exciting article about spinach. Coincidentally, just last night my wife and I made one of those salads with the baby spinach and we got to talking about it, the gist of the conversation being that it's hard to believe that this is the stuff Popeye had in those cans. That stuff seemed kind of nasty. But, if you put ranch dressing on anything leafy, it all tastes like salad. Via Newmark's Door and Virginia Postrel.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Now there are no more excuses for me not being able to throw the ball 90 miles an hour. This Slate article is pretty interesting and says that it ain't height, it's something else:
What about growing taller, more massive pitchers? That doesn't necessarily make a difference, either. Small, slightly built pitchers like Dalkowski, the 5-foot-11 Pedro Martinez, and the 5-foot-10 Billy Wagner throw just as hard as giants such as Randy Johnson. The physical principle here is fairly simple. If two levers move at the same speed, the ball released from the longer lever will have more velocity. But as a lever becomes larger, it requires more torque to move. Randy's lever is larger; Wagner's moves more quickly. The trade-off makes their velocity roughly equal.
Anyway the article talks about how it seems that we have reached the limits of pitching ability, since the velocity seems to have topped out at 100 or so for the past half a century. No practical applications for this bit of knowledge, but still kinda interesting.

Friday, April 08, 2005

New Bosses
Although not confirmed, this seems like it is finally going to happen:
NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Time Warner and Comcast reached an agreement in principle to buy Adelphia Communications Corp., according to published reports.

The Wall Street Journal and New York Times are reporting that the nation's two largest cable operators agreed to pay about $18 billion in cash and stock for the bankrupt cable company.
Not sure how this will impact me in the long run, but for now it's all business as usual.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Daylight Savings Time
Finally, something that makes sense from our Congress: extending Daylight savings time. I'm a huge fan of Daylight Savings time. I don't care when the sun comes up, but it's nice to have that extra hour at the end of the day. There's nothing better than sitting outside in the summer at 9:00PM with the sun still up, and nothing worse than coming home from work at 4:30 to a starry sky. Some people think Daylight savings time is silly and want to end it, and you know what...those people are just plain idiots.

When I lived in Ann Arbor, MI and Oxford, OH, you are right on the edge of the time zone, so that in late June the sun doesn't set until like 9:15. Here the best we can do is 8:40.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Something struck me about this story and the accompanying picture:
Librarian loses 'pretty girl' lawsuit against Harvard
Plaintiff claimed she was seen as merely a 'pretty girl'

BOSTON, Massachusetts (AP) -- Harvard University did not discriminate against a library assistant who claimed she was repeatedly turned down for promotions because school officials saw her as "a pretty girl" whose attire was too "sexy," a federal jury found Monday.

Desiree Goodwin, who is black, also claimed that Harvard passed her over because of her race and gender. She had been seeking damages for emotional distress and lost wages.
Desiree Goodwin appears neither "pretty", "sexy" nor "black" as the story would have you believe. (Well...maybe a little bit of each, but not much.)

Got It
I want to thank the media for explaining to me how we elect a new Pope. Thanks guys, I got it now. It seems like for the past week, every five minutes we have a story about how the College of Cardinals elects a new Pope. It's not very complicated and it's not very interesting. I remember some of it from my 11 years of Catholic School, but most of what I remember was from that scene in the under-rated EuroTrip.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Department of Labor
This article focuses on an employee at the Department of Labor in Boston. These are the laziest media stories imaginable, some reporter stalks someone for a few days or they follow a work crew around on a slow day and conclude that the guys are slackers. It's kinda unfair. Here is an excerpt:
It was another short day for Buonopane, the highly paid, highly connected appointee of Governor Mitt Romney. Buonopane's work days average two hours and 51 minutes, according to Globe reporters who observed him over a series of days during February and March. On many days he does not come in at all.
This reporter's got it all wrong. I worked at the Department of Labor, and this guy is actually being productive. When I was working for the government, if I could keep myself occupied for 51 minutes, I was having a good day.

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