Saturday, September 14, 2002

1250 46th
Despite our supposed renewal agreement, the same guy who's been showing off our place wanted to show it off today. I put Chris on the line (since he made the agreement with our landlady) to forestall what Dennis Miller would drop a Battle of New Orleans reference on.

Meanwhile, Ms. Morgan [last name withheld for privacy] of 1250 16th avenue had a greeting card intended for her but sent to us by mistake, presumably owing to the bottom curve of her 'g'.

Sometime today I may hand-deliver this card to her, assuming her building has a mail slot. If I had nothing better to do, I'd do this. If I had better things to do but only moderately so, I'd skip it as an annoyance. But I'll do it precisely because I have so many other things to take care of.

For this afternoon to be a success (the "afternoon" ends when I meet Paul at 6:45 by the Willie Mays statue, for a rare Saturday evening Giants home game), I will need to either move nontrivial stuff from this room to the master bedroom or write nontrivially many trivia questions or both.
Happy Birthday Sarah
We now enter the portion of the year where I'm (on paper) one year older than my sister rather than two. It's a pretty even split between the fall-winter months and the spring-summer months.

Friday, September 13, 2002

A contract extension of sorts
I'll (we'll) be in the Sunset through the end of January.

"We" refers to Chris, Scott, and myself. Hey if you know anyone who's looking for a room in San Francisco (or if you are such a person), drop me a line.

Right now our asking price is $900/mo but that sounds ridiculous to me, especially compared to the going rates. I'll lobby hard for a reduction. Then again, I keep being dead convinced that we won't get what we ask for from our landlady, only to find that my roommates succeed at it.

They must negotiate rings around me. This is the real reason I didn't translate my J.D. into a thriving law practice. I've got too much of this guy (if not this guy) in my self-deprecating, pushover soul.
My own confession
With the exception of stuff on-line, I think I read even less than Mike does. Attention span.
Whore of the Week
Read the self-promotion spam at the bottom of Reason magazine's letters page.

No, I'm not claiming this woman charges money for sex. But what she does is the figurative equivalent.
This is interesting
(And yes, tax policy can be interesting.)
Hits from Hell
So I got in the car this morning, turned on the radio, and thought to myself, that is the worst song ever. Its badness was startling. Then I realized from the chorus that it was a song I'd often heard about but never actually heard. Second one in the set below. I actually listened all the way through, with the exception of the first song (which I assume everyone's heard at some point).

If you want in on this you can listen live on-line at 10 p.m. Pacific time tonight.
Courtesy of KFOG and 10@10:

Friday the 13th....Hits from HELL!!!

William Shatner - Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds (WORST OF SET!!)
Melanie - Brand New Key
Anita Ward - Ring My Bell
Paul McCartney/Michael Jackson - The ("Doggone") Girl is Mine
Bo Donaldson & the Heywoods - Billy Don't Be a Hero
Clint Holmes - Playground in My Mind
David Soul - Don't Give Up On Us
Toni Basil - Mickey
C.W. McCall - Convoy
Sister Janet Mead - The Lord's Prayer

Harry Potter's Favorite Toy
TMI or not TMI? Eh... well, you know where to look.

Thursday, September 12, 2002

Saw the end of this one at Mike's place. Heard the end of this one in the car just now on the way home.

Both teams fall into ties.

To paraphrase an old Charles Barkley wannabe: I don't get mad; I write questions.
Random etiquette fatwahs
Can't remember if I already posted on this but even if I did, I still think this woman's ex-boyfriend deserves hot flaming death. He pulled the dick-move of the century.

Sort of on-topic (etiquette and vengeance), check out this book cover (courtesy Best of the Web)!
Random thoughts on The Raider Guy
Have you ever noticed just how friendly and nonthreatening the pirate on the Oakland Raiders logo is?

He's a pasty white guy, especially as pirates go. He looks like somebody's daddy on Halloween, or one of those Western characters played by Fess Parker.

If they really wanted a scary-looking pirate, they could hold a contest and use the scariest-looking actual Raider fan as their new logo.
I have no idea why Obscure Store thought this was worth a link, but it was a good read
I think WXRT is my sister's station of choice, at least based on the time I've spent in her car (usually riding to the airport).

The reference to Chicago's "The Drive" station reminds me:
Somebody related to that franchise needs a serious beating. It's either the voiceover guy himself, or whoever decided that the voiceover guy was a good idea.

"Timeless", he intones (or any other similarly empty adjective), with a smarmy leer that falls somewhere between a guy trying to get laid and a dealer pushing tranquilizers. This guy is the only thing I've ever heard on the radio that consistently made me want to scream obscenities.
All these years I loved aka Pablo and didn't even know it
I couldn't have named it to save my life (even though I've definitely seen it namedropped on superlative trash lists), but I could have definitely told you the family name was Rivera and probably pulled out Paul Rodriguez's name after nearly having a stroke trying to think of it.

Man, that was a great show. And I bet you totally can't find it in syndication. This is exactly the kind of show I watched growing up though.

Levels of trash pantheon: Someone almost exactly as old as me had never heard of Amen and didn't believe me that, years before UPN, NBC had a series of blaxploitation sitcoms including 227 and the like.

(If you care, the signifance of the Amen reference: We were playing cards in a really hot & stuffy room when somebody turned on a fan. It reminded me of the episode where the church gets a restaurant from somebody's estate. They do a great job running it but it's a money-loser and the only way to get out of it is to suddenly give really bad service on purpose. This is right up Sherman Hemsley's alley, of course. The sight gag for good service to bad service is that they go from giving non-smoking patrons those little elegant little mini-fans, to setting up the big noisy ones that blow a gust of wind at you.)
Underrated movies of the late 1980s
How on earth does Born in East L.A. not get Memorable Quotes on the IMDB page? I can think of at least two, both by the same character. Or four, depending on how you count.

I like your shoes...

I like your shirt...

I like your pants...

[and, many scenes later, when Cheech Marin finds himself back in the same jail]

'F*ck you'?! No, man. F*ck you!
Non seqitur: Looking at the Anaheim rotation
Since this guy won't pitch until Friday (tonight: ladies and gentlemen, Mickey Callaway!), that means his next turn will be Dollar Wednesday.

In light of recent events, I'm bracing myself for the inevitable Sean Connery impression (warning: in poor taste).

NOTE: The sound link appears to fail.

Well, you'll know what I mean when you see it. It looks like this is my lucky day! I'll take "The Rapists" for $200.
Who I'd have disliked even more than Bobby Darin
I'd forgotten all about Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme. This is partly because I never knew them for their singing, only for their appearances on game shows that trotted out similarly washed-up celebrities.

Theory: Every subgenre of pop culture, no matter how highbrow or lowbrow has its masters but also has enough mind-boggling badness to give Joe Queenan carpal tunnel.
Another reason to worship Louis Armstrong
His version of "Mack the Knife" puts Bobby Darin's to shame.

If my radio format choices were slightly different (or I'd been born 30 years earlier) there's a strong chance I'd despise the Bobby Darin discography nearly as much as I (in real life) despise the Phil Collins discography. Even as it is, I've developed what seems like an irrational dislike for him.
Radioactive Ship
Just so you know. (By way of asparagirl via Instapundit.)
For the record
I heard about this story before actually reading it. From what I heard (that it was tasteless, rather than what it actually contained) I was ready to assume the worst.

Then a co-worker sent me the link via instant-messenger, without comment. I read it, and actually appreciated it.

Not sure which blog-corner is most appropriate for it, since it's quasi-political and quasi-TMI.
The Giants' Say Hey! commercials are excruciating
Their target market seems to be people who enjoy things that sound like show-tunes but aren't discerning enough to tell when the singing is really really bad. (Or poseur-ironic enough to enjoy the bad singing for its own sake.)
The most bourgeois guy I know is also the luckiest man on Earth
What's so bourgeois about him? He goes to baseball games and pays full price to park in the team lot, thus turning down (Giants' case) cheaper sketchier parking or (A's case) free little-known BART parking.

I suppose there are a lot of teams, mainly in the Midwest, where space and cheap cost-of-living conspire to make the monopoly parking the only reasonable option anyway. On the coasts, though, pretentiously savvy people don't do things that way.

Anyway, what's so lucky about him? To paraphrase his fiancee:
Baseball's kind of boring, so I can't go to games more than once a week.

Tuesday, September 10, 2002

My last post until Thursday morning
Not out of studious avoidance so much as having other things to do.

Read Mark's words of wisdom, especially the part about Living Well.

My form of living well will be catching the Dodgers-Giants matinee. I put in for the vacation time weeks ago. I really hope this doesn't become a national holiday but regardless, I plan to spend the vacation day on it for years to come and spend the day doing "things that matter in life" rather than work.

(Sign that I'm not in the ideal job: I'm not even remotely tempted to claim that my work is what matters in life. But maybe that's healthy, not being a workaholic. Also, as much as I loved my baseball statistics job, I wouldn't have said that about that job either. Unless you're a soldier, paramedic, teacher, or clergy member, it's hard to claim your job is all that important. Lawyers can try to claim it but they're just wrong. The single piece of evidence I can point to about my job being appropriate is that it's hard to imagine me being paid better than I'm currently paid without the job being significantly more stressful.)

In any case I'll spend the day with friends. (I thought I'd be alone--bought exactly one ticket--but it turns out Joon happened into some free tickets. I think Joon is also the person I mention by one name by far the most often without ever bothering to explain who Joon is to anyone who'd happen not to have any idea. I guess you know from context that he's a friend and a baseball devotee.)

You also should spend the day with friends.

You probably shouldn't forget that evil people managed to kill 3,000 innocent Americans that day. Then again,
1. You probably never will forget anyway. (Even though people don't think of it when it would be worthwhile to.)
2. In terms of what's past, forgiveness is probably best. (This may be the single biggest test of your ability to forgive; at least, my ability to. I think if you can forgive people who committed an act this diabolical, you can forgive anyone anything.)
3. Granting that the reason always to remember is deterrence, this is useful only if your memory leads you to something productive. If all it leads you to is fear or self-pity then you're better off not remembering.

Still, my favorite thing about this country is how we've avoided either fear or self-pity.
James Lileks often mentions having a newspaper from September 10, 2001, as a sign of what life was like before.

But if he really wanted the last news stories before the deluge, would he want the editions of September 11, 2001? They would have gone to press with the latest news as of the wee hours of the 10th.
I don't know Jesse Walker personally but if I did I have a feeling I'd really really like him.
Cool live broadcast phenomenon
On my live broadcast widget whenever they play a commercial, they have a banner ad for the same company/product. This leads me to believe that the commercials I hear aren't the commercials KABL on-air listeners hear. That would explain Climatique.
Today's facetious software gripe
Whenever I want to send e-mail to (say) my boss Bryan or my colleague Jake, and I'm at work, I can type "bryan" or "jake" into the TO space on Outlook and hit tab and it autofills.

Why can't I do the same thing with "mom"?

(Well, yeah, I can add her to my addressbook. But Outlook should just know things like that. Be psychic and all. Shouldn't it?)
"Adult Standards" radio format question
Why so much Barbra?

On the one hand you get tons of Sinatra. He's almost a category unto his own, though I suppose Johnny Mathis and even The Four Freshman count here.

Then you've got your big band... Basie especially. Louie Armstrong sort of bridges the two. Some Nat King Cole for general elegance.

How does Barbra fit this category? Why her and not The Carpenters?
This tossup would probably be too obscure for a trash pack...
so I'll present it here.

The woman of his dreams is Aimee Porter, who--his friends claim--would love to have sex with him but can't miss a Thunderbirds marathon. He has yet to say anything to her but lines he's considered trying on her include, "Who are you who are so wise in the wise of science?" When not dressing his dog up as Boba Fett or cutting off a friendship over a difference of opinion on The Green Lantern, he memorizes Holy Grail quotes and even misses his friend's wedding to catch a Prisoner episode marathon. For 10 points--name this geeky recurring Onion columnist.

I get serious geek points for recognizing the name (from past columns) when I saw it. You can look it up: He's had four.

Monday, September 09, 2002

Some excellent games hither and thither. Bay Area baseball fans go to bed happy.
Only because nobody pronounces his name right...
Quoting (without permission!) from an e-mail sent to me:
So I was totally bugging over the fact that it seemed like Eric Chavez preferred his surname to be pronounced "shuh-VEZ" rather than "CHA-ves". What the ..., I said, does he think people will think he's FRENCH instead of Hispanic?

but then today [my roommate] was watching ESPN and announced that he preferred the proper CHA-ves pronunciation of his name. and I said, What the hell?! How can they mispronounce a Mexican last name in ... OAKLAND?!

I'll see you Chavez and raise you (as someone whose heritage has a German plurality): Scott Schoeneweis.
He seems to prefer to pronounce his name SHO-en-wice, when in fact SHUH-neh-vice (first syllable rhymes with "good") would be truer to his heritage.

Also whenever he pitches I get Edelweiss stuck in my head. Schoeneweis, Schoeneweis, every morning you meet me...
Mike Develin and my sister have something in common. Not height, though--I think she has about six inches on him.
New Weblog and QOTD
I like Mike's though because his will always come with innate crankiness.
Read this, even if you wouldn't normally agree with my politics. Or if you're somebody who avoids politics (or just avoids my politics) on principle, you've been forewarned. But read it anyway.
Zebras blew one
The more I think about it the less I like the crew at the Chiefs-Browns game. By calling the--not one, but two--unsportsmanlike conduct calls late in the game, they inserted themselves into the outcome when swallowing the whistle was quite defensible.

Then again, the first penalty (on Gardocki) should have set off all sorts of alarm bells on the Cleveland sideline about the Mickey Mouse nature of the crew and, therefore, the need not to do something that these pinheads could jump on.

(Disclaimer: In the nearest approximation of a "game official" situation I'm one of the biggest patsies you'll find. Prompt on anything remotely resembling clear knowledge of the correct answer, probably also too merciful (but at least consistent!) on borderline timing calls. In the interest of not affecting the game, I'd rather be arguably too lax than identifiably too hardcore.)
Phillies prospect charged in assault
This (top story as of when I write) is disheartening. I like Marlon Byrd a lot as a player. Granting that he's a little old for prospect status, his age is all the more reason why he should have been Philadelphia's everyday CF instead of Doug Glanville even this year. But it's hard to root for a guy who does something like this.

Glanville on the field is one of baseball's most overrated players. There's no good way to put it: He's a terrible hitter. On the other hand he's an upstanding citizen, a good quote source, and generally a very smart, very on-the-ball, model teammate.

Theorem: the job performance of genuinely nice people -- live right, pleasant to get along with, and so forth -- is typically overrated by observers, whereas pricks and bad apples tend to have their pure performance underrated. At least in baseball this is true.

(Is Derek Bell the exception that proves the rule? During Operation Shutdown I'd have thought the opposite theorem was true.)

In any case, maybe Byrd's prolonged burial beneath Glanville is an example of this rule at play. Upstanding, solid good guys who exemplify this rule include Terrence Long, Rico Brogna (before his retirement), and Joe Girardi. Rumored headcases who exemplify this rule include Mitch Meluskey and (rumor has it) Mark Bellhorn.

(Mumble mumble Barry Bonds mumble.)

Links forthcoming, maybe someday. You can go to Baseball Reference to look these guys up.
Hey New Yorkers
If you're into architectural history... is there a special circle in hell reserved for Robert Moses? The more I read about the area the more appalled I am.
Now I understand why people like sports talk radio
But why do they need it? You can do a better job than whoever you're listening to.

StrategyPattern: how old is Peete again?
kubiwan: college senior in 88, same as T. Aikman
kubiwan: 36-ish?
kubiwan: oh...other theme from last remember Peete's One Shining NFL moment?
StrategyPattern: in the playoffs?
kubiwan: yeah...
kubiwan: not for the Lions, but against the Lions
StrategyPattern: yup
kubiwan: you got it now?
StrategyPattern: not really
kubiwan: remember that train wreck of a playoff game in Philly
kubiwan: ?

StrategyPattern: oh god, the 37-8 rout?
kubiwan: 58-37
kubiwan: but it was 51-7 midway through the 3rd
kubiwan: Peete was the Eagles QB that day
StrategyPattern: that's right
kubiwan: god that game was awesome....
StrategyPattern: by the way, is there any way for me to get my phone to STOP vibrating-to-tell-me-I-have-a-message? I'm RECHARGING the thing. I'll darn well check my voicemail when it's ready
kubiwan: hmmmm....
kubiwan: so the thing about Westbrook is that it ties into the story about The Last Tie Game we were having last week
StrategyPattern: oh that's right!!
kubiwan: yup...and the other thing about the game that junkie remember is the Gus Ferrote head-butt
You're a real sports junkie if you got all the references here:
kubiwan: Michael Westbrook is no longer the most famous breaker of the "Emmitt Smith" rule

I didn't even hear about the game in question until this AIM. I saw that Priest Holmes had four touchdowns (for the FFL team facing mine) and was disgusted enough not to look at the recap.

Did I ever tell you about the team I had last year, when I dropped two RB in a row and they turned into Holmes and Shaun Alexander? Yeah, Snoop Minnis was really worth picking up. As was someone else who did so well for me that I forget who it was.
I was Dr. Dre; 30 seconds later I was Alanis Morissette.
Baseball Primer's "Clutch Hits" messageboard must be seen to be truly understood.

UPDATE: Lisa Simpson! How is it that only I am getting these pop cultural references? Maybe in the morning they'll all seem lame.
NY Times (reg. req.), via Andrew Sullivan
We're here. We're queer. We're Cheeseheads. Get used to it.

Sunday, September 08, 2002

How my D&D character broke his hip
(or, how he fell 50 feet and survived)

On top of an island fortess near the edge of a sheer precipice, we fought these giant apes, one of whom wrestled me to the ground. Bright idea: Attempt to throw the ape over the edge.

1. Pass (or, "hit") the attack roll
2. Pass the strength check (probably even overcoming a slight penalty)
3. Fail the dexterity check (maybe even a critical failure, I can't remember), hence the ape grabs on to me and takes me down with him
4. Land on land instead of water (30% percentage dice)
5. Land under the ape instead of on top of him (40%)
(Through steps 4-5, sustain 30 hit points damage independent of the hip fracture)
6. Fail a poison/death/paralysis saving throw
7. Break a bone other than just the ribs (50%)
8. Based on 1d6 (concept probably pulled out of DM's ear), break the hip rather than arm, leg, back, neck, or skull

Through the heroics of one particular acolyte, the injury will have lasted one month of gametime instead of two.
What to call it?
I agree with Allyson that both nine-one-one and nine-eleven are overdone. That said, "Patriot Day" sounds lame to me partly because there's already a Patriots Day in Massachusetts.