Tuesday, August 29, 2006

you're making a fool of yourself so get off the stage

And also from the "places I used to live" file...

To steal from Atrios...poor Ricky -- he's stupid, he's ugly, and nobody likes him.

And just when you thought he'd reached the lows of nuttiness, along comes this:
Santorum: Iran poses a threat
Fighting for reelection, the senator said leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad must be stopped.

By Angela Couloumbis

HARRISBURG - U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum (R., Pa.) yesterday called Iran the principal leader of the "Islamic fascist movement" that poses the greatest threat to America's freedom and way of life, and said the country must be prevented from developing nuclear weapons.

Santorum also proclaimed Iran's president to be "one of the greatest threats this country has ever seen," and guaranteed that those who don't know who he is or what he stands for will know his name within a year.


"We are at war with Islamic fascism," Santorum argued while addressing the standing-room-only audience. "... And the principal leader of this Islamic fascist movement is Iran, led by a man named Mahmoud Ahmadinejad."

"People look at me and say, 'Who is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? I can't even pronounce his name,' " Santorum added. "Well, let me make a guarantee: Within a year, or probably less, every one of you will be able to pronounce Mahmoud Ahmadinejad - you will know him, and know him well."

My favorite parts are the "one of the greatest threats this country has ever seen," line and the making fun of his name that Colbert does as satire but the clueless like Santorum and Gibson do for real, without any sense of how dumb they look.

More on the actions that make Santorum unfit for reelection can be found at places like this. Between his radical fundamentalist views and his primary residence being in Virginia, the man is not worthy of representing Pennsylvania in the US Senate.

flew in from miami beach b.o.a.c....

from the "places i used to live", file...

...i left south florida in may 2005. during the years i lived there, only one hurricane season, 2004, was active in any way. but even then the miami area didn't really get much more than a couple of warnings, evacuations and lots of rain.

then last year was of course very busy, with katrina and wilma blowing through.

now, ernesto looks like it's going to make life difficult for folks in miami...

so while i'm glad i'm not there, my thoughts are with friends still in the area.

Friday, August 25, 2006

oscillate wildly

it's one of those kinds of weeks...lots of shows worth going to, lots of stuff worth doing...

saturday is a movie night in the park featuring best in show and undoubtedly with half the dogs living in the mission/dolores area brought in tow by their humans. i should note that two of my friends coming to the movie have dogs named scout...not sure which (if any) of the scouts will be attending, however.

saturday and sunday, the incredible paul kelly plays at great american along with the waifs. i'll be there sunday, for sure.

tuesday is an interesting show at cafe dunord, a tribute to syd barrett, the recently deceased former lead singer of pink floyd. features a slew of local artists. then on thursday at 12 galaxies is dengue fever.

the rest of the fall looks as good and busy, what with the art & soul festival, silversun pickups, billy bragg, mission of burma, the hardly-strictly festival...

i think about life and I think about death and neither one particularly appeals to me

a few totally unrelated things that have me thinking today...

inspired by (well, just about totally stolen from) jenn, i pose one of the great existential quandaries for the consumer in all of us...what are the items on which you've spent lots of money but turned out totally worth it. in other words what have you bought where the price::quality ratio was deservedly high, where you got your money's worth and more, even though you spent more money than you might normally spend?

my answer, as in the comments on jenn's post...
when i was just out of college i spent almost $200 on a leather jacket. lots of money for a dumbass 22 year old waiting tables and working a $65/week music buisness "internship". but i wore that thing constantly for years and years. now the lining is ripped and there are a couple of holes and the distressed light brown bomber look is a bit dated, but damn, it was great for a long time. and women loved it.

recently i spent $500 on a new camera, a canon powershot S3..and it's been well worth it...it's helped my photography immensely. especially as a complement to the ridiculous amount of money i spent to go to egypt and morocco. i definitley wanted to get some great shots there, and i think i did ok.

i'll add that the money spent on the trip was well worth it, even if i haven't fulfilled my promise to write more about it. well, i did a bit for egypt. and the morocco portion is in draft stage. no, really.

on another note...a recurring thought i've had over the years is that if there's an afterlife, i would love to get some answers to the major burning and arguably not definitively resolved questions from recent years...such as (but not limited to) who really shot jfk, were the rosenbergs guilty, what happened to amelia earhart, is o.j. simpson actually guilty (and if not, who killed nicole brown simpson and the other guy) or what's the top-secret formula for coca-cola, or whether bush was wired during that debate with kerry. so i wonder...what are your questions you'd want answered if there is an afterlife?

** this of course begs the folding in on itself-like question of whether there is an afterlife. which is a question that can only be answered when you die. the implications of said answer thus...yadda yadda...

finally (and inspired by bill simmons's column today), as the baseball-inclined among you most likely know, players usually get to chose the music that plays when they come to bat. so, imagine you're a major league basebal player...i'll give you a minute....

what would you chose for your "at-bat" music? you can chose a mix of 1-4 songs. me? i'd probably go with "how soon is now", "september gurls" and "i wanna hold your hand". maybe throw in the shameless promotion for a friend by using the trolleyvox's "just you wait". of course, this would change during the course of a six-month season.

Monday, August 21, 2006

sad because it's true

the state of our media, put in simple, stark and powerful terms...

via this diary on daily kos.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

junk dilemmas no. 63

if there's a place to be this coming wednesday, it's gotta be edinburgh castle for the irvine welsh reading. as happens after i read anything by him, i'm sure my inner voice will be a scottish burr for at least the rest of the week.

also not junk but so damned good i'm addicted are the chocolate (dark and light) covered graham crackers found at the bi-rite market. the saturday isn't complete if i haven't stopped in to pick up one or four.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

this is why i carry my camera around all the time

not only for the ridiculous....

...but for the sublime...

...and for the otherwise interesting view

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

sdrawkcab selteab eht

to find out what the beatles are really saying, listen backwards...

(via turgut)

from luxury to heartache

poor boy george...forced to wear a garish orange safety vest. but what's a semi-legend to do when forced to pick up trash in nyc to make good on a false burglary claim that became a drug bust?

Sunday, August 13, 2006

i'm heading for that golden gate hoping i won't be too late

the weekend turned out to be as expected, which is to say busy but amazingly fun. there was good music, good hiking, good eating, good soccer, good wandering, and more good eating.

friday was the death cab/spoon/mates of state show at the greek. spoon and mates of state are two bands that i've heard songs from on kexp and though i've liked what i heard, i just as of yet haven't thought to buy any records. well, after these shows i just might. the mates do the two-person band thing (keys and drums) really well. i really dug that the drums were real, not programmed. if they'd started in the 1980s i'm certain they'd have been a two-synth band.

i've long been a huge fan of ben gibbard's songs, so knew what i was getting with death cab, at least song-wise. not having seen them yet i was a bit surprised at how frantic and energetic they were on stage. i didn't expect shoe-gazing but i didn't expect that much bopping around. but it worked. as for the music, i was glad to hear them expanding the songs, reworking some arrangments and showing some dexterity as more than once ben, chris and nick switched off on instruments, sometimes in the middle of songs.

what was most impressive was how confident they seemed. they've been around for a while, toiling their way from obscurity to indie pop heroes to major label success. they played like a band who know they're good and don't have much to prove at the moment -- the show seemed to be them reveling in the current moment's glow of their accomplishments. there might also have been some extra energy in the air due to the fact that it was ben's 30th birthday.

the next day was a trip up to point reyes national seashore.

i've been there before, along the palomarin trail and up to mcclure's beach. this trip was all inland, 7+ miles at a brisk pace along the bear, old pine, sky and horse trails.

that evening was a dinner at maverick. the grilled iowa pork chop was tender, and the whole grain mustard sauce nice and tangy. good company from a friend visiting from out of town and two more of her friends who live in the city.

sunday's packed agenda began with a soccer game at the fields on treasure island. odd but fun experience -- the island is a surreal kind of place, an abandoned navy base that's now got some people living there but it's nonetheless got a real ghost-town quality to it. the field was a bit small and had just been aerated so there were soil peelets all over the place. in addition it is home to some canada geese, meaning another kind of pellet all over the place -- just great when you're the goalie and have to dive all game. bleh. finally, the regular goals were broken so nets were strung up to the rugby goal-posts meaning that us goalies had less horizontal space to cover but more than the usual amount of vertical space. somehow neither team managed to exploit the top part of the net and we tied 1-1, this despite our team being down two players the entire game. here's to good defense and poor shot selection. and i played alright, i guess.

a short while later i was in golden gate park wandering with a friend.

i had no idea before today, but every sunday afternoon near the 8th street entrance there's a swing dance thing happening. pretty cool scene and run by volunteer djs. i need to go back and dust off my (hopefully not rusty) limited set of swing steps. nice stroll thru the botanical gardens as well.

the day and weekend was capped of by an excellent dinner at the fillmore grill. i had one of the evening's specials, a savory chicken and sausage jambalaya. mm had a very good goganzola and walnut spinach ravioli. very tasty food, good sized portions, good service. if you go, try and get one of the enclosed tables...very private and romantic.

this was the kind of weekend every weekend should be.

you're the one for me, fatty

This interesting article in the NY Times examines the possibility that for some people obesity isn't a problem relating to calorie intake/burning but may be caused by microbes and viruses.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

well I got a foggy notion, do it again

from the "when it rains it pours" files...a weekend with pretty much no down time...tonight is the death cab/mates of state show at the greek theater. saturday a cancelled surfing trip has morphed into a hiking adventure, then that evening a friend is in from out of town so it's dinner with her and some of her other bay area friends. sunday is a 10am soccer game and then separate afternoon and evening hanging out with two different friends...i may need to take monday off just to chill out.

i installed haloscan commenting the other day and accidentally deleted all previous comments. didn't mean to, it's not that i don't value your thoughts...i'm just a dumbass sometimes.

finally, a quick word of praise for tide to go instant stain remover sticks. given my propensity to wear my coffee on my sleeve (and shirt-front, tie, pants) it's a godsend.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

sunny day, sweeping the clouds away

shots from a sunny afternoon in dolores park...i love my neighborhood

pie blogging

mmm...the perfect summer dessert...key lime pie. from this foodtv recipe comes this pie, made for a friend's birthday this past weekend. i've made it enough times that i've got it down pretty well -- from start to finish in just under an hour. one of the many useful skills i picked up in the four years i lived in florida. here in california it's hard to find actual key limes, but thanks to the grocers along mission there are plenty of similar limes from mexico. but still...mmmm good. and i've got most of the bag left, so i just may have to make a few more. anyone want some pie?

Friday, August 04, 2006

world shut your mouth

those who know me in real life know that i'm fairly well up-to-date and opinionated on current events and news. have been since i was a kid...the newspaper was on the kitchen table every morning, and both my parents read it cover-to-cover, a habit which i've kept to this day (though now the morning papers are on my computer screen). one day after running around the neighborhood seeing what some police to-do was all about, i announced in the way that 8-year olds do that i wanted to be a reporter. i blame most of my interest in news and such on my dad -- the newspaper always in the house, the issues always a regular topic of dinner-table conversation and, when i moved away from my hometown, of phone conversations.

sadly, the shyness that was a major part of my personality until my early twenties would have made it hard for me to be a good reporter. it helps to not be anxious about talking to strangers. i could probably do pretty well now, but it's too late for that kind of a career change. for instance, the idea of being a talking points memo intern sounds appealing, but it would have been more feasible if i were just coming out of college.

so i'll stick with being a pretty good social science researcher and non-professional barroom political and world affairs pundit/gasbag.

this is all by way of making the point that i've been asked why (and have wondered why myself) i avoid commenting on more weighty things anymore. i certainly used to, mainly in repsonse to innanity from charles krauthammer. however, i've realized a few things lately...

first, so many others do it much better than i can ever hope to, mainly because they make their lives all about blogging about news and world affairs -- the blogs i read most frequently -- daily kos, talking points memo, atrios, and the ridiculously prolific and incredibly astute glenn greenwald.

there are plenty of other semi-pro and totally amateur bloggers who do it well also -- kos contributor susang comes to mind, as do the growing legions of local bloggers, best personified at the moment by the connecticut bloggers taking the piss out of joe lieberman.

i just don't have that kind of time or singularity of purpose to read enough other material and be active enough on the ground to post the kind of quality information these folks do. and if they do it so well, and there's so many folks out there already doing it and many others on the way who will be more dedicated than me, well, i'll leave it to them. i don't feel the need to add to the echo chamber if i'm not going to make a substantive enough contribution.

then there's the reason that it's just become all so taxing...iraq; israel/lebanon; a president and congress who do not care about ordinary working americans, are more interested in lining their own pockets and making the rich even richer, and even worse are in fact disdainful of the constitution and the basic underlying values of democracy; a lazy press who have been compliant and complicit in allowing the current ruling class (junta, regime, whatever term fits) to run roughshod over the country...i could go on and on, but it just gets me depressed. thank god for the daily show and the colbert report for the comic relief they provide.

so i'd rather post about new music and hello kitty darth vaders and monkeys on subways. and as newgy points out that i should do more of, write about the egypt/morocco trip.

tactile diplomacy

as seen on kos (and somewhere else, but i can't remember where) the bush backrub game...how well can you score with angela merkel? it may help to put on some barry white, light some candles...

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

hello kitty's evil overlord

linked by atrios, via hecate

Apparently, it's a photoshopped image (go about 2/3 of the way down the thread). I'm both amused by the creativity and crushed that it's not real.

an ape like me can learn to be human too

New Delhi subway fights fire with fire...
NEW DELHI, India - They say it takes a thief to catch a thief, but India’s Delhi Metro has hired a monkey to frighten off other monkeys from boarding trains and upsetting passengers.

In an effort to keep monkeys out of the New Delhi subways, authorities have called in one of the few animals known to scare the creatures — a fierce-looking primate called the langur, the Hindustan Times newspaper reported Wednesday.

This guy? fierce?