Wednesday, December 31, 2003

I Got A Kitty For Chanukah!

Here are some pics:

1. Casper (that's his name) hanging out on my bed.

2. Trying to eat my eyelashes.

3. Interested in a mop.

4. Yawning - this one could be in a kitten calendar :)

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 22, 2003

Speaking of Coincidences...

I forgot to mention that at the airport picking up my mom and sister friday night, I bumped into Styx. I couldn't remember his name / slow name at the time, so I just went "Hey you!" and we waved at each other. Apparently he lives in Kenosha.

I don't know what that means, but I think it means something. Perhaps the Slow Kids, in conspiracy with Canada, are planning to execute a coup and take over the guvermint?

Friday, December 19, 2003


"Start off by introducing yourself to the people." -JORDAN

Hello, the people. :) This is Jordan's younger but much more intimidating sister. Or so he told me tonight. Did any of you know that Jordan is really evil on the inside? I can tell you some of the things that he used to do to me:

1) Spin me up in our swingset's chair so that I could not be spun ANY MORE, and then would leave me and go inside while I spun in vomitous circles until I fell off the swing.

2) Threw a tantrum over the infamous "ORANGE ICE CUBES" when Mom decided to leave Jordan as my BABYSITTER. This was Mom's best decision ever for the vengeance of a little sister.

But it's all okay, you see, due to one special dinner with our old dog, Daga. Mom and Dad were going out to dinner and so had cooked for just J and I. Jordan ate ALL of his broccoli; I, however, put mine on the floor for our dog. Daga had some RANK ASS BREATH. She chewed a little on the broccoli, getting some drool and pieces of her hair into it, and then spat it back out. When my dad came downstairs, I said, "Dad! Look! I ate ALL of my broccoli and Jordan fed his to Daga!" Dad then made Jordan eat the RANK ASS DOG BREATH BROCCOLI. Triumphant I stand. :) Onto Jordan...

Ok folks, it's the real Slim Shady back at the keyboard and I have a few qualifications I'd like to add.
1) In my defense, the swingset thing was hilarious.
2) Royale had her own fair share of torturous incidents, Daga's ass-breath aside.

2.A) When I was 9, Royale pantsed me in front of the entire neighborhood at the end of summer vacation.
2.B) There was one time where I was on the couch watching TV, and Royale came in and wanted to watch something else. I told her I didn't care and she screamed, and when Mom came down "He choked me!" while I sat bewildered with the remote in my hands. When they punished me (GRRR) I punched a hole in the wall and then Royale helped me hide it from Dad.

So I guess the one thing you could say about me and Royale is that aside from our fighting, we always stuck together against mom and dad.

OH MY GOD, BERYL. We have so much to say about Beryl!

Beryl was our 75-year old , 4'1" babysitter with a southern drawl who basically sat in front of our television for weeks at time when Mom and Dad went on vacation. We almost went insane.

"Ro-Ann! Ro-Ann, what's a morun?"

Beryl continually mispronounced Royale's name as Ro-Ann. And a morun is her way of saying 'moron'.
We also used to eat meatloaf all the time. But it's not very funny unless you are me and Royale. We just like to say "Beryl" and think about that weird old woman in the blue shirt and brown cardigan.

Her face was so pointy, I thought she was going to like, poke out my eyes.

Yeah. And it was wrinkly too. We were such little shits.

And she had freckles! So many freckles!

Ok let's talk about something else.

You go.

< time passes >

We have talked about much shit and laughed our asses off, and we don't want to write anymore cause we're having too much fun. I'll post something tomorrow morning.


Anime Update

I got further into Ai Yori Aoshi last night. For those interested, get bitTorrent and head over to Kickass Anime. Thoughts: it's much more mature than typical hotel anime (although it retains the light-hearted air of embarrasment comedy). The characters are in their 20's instead of ~16, and the internal monologues seems less far-fetched and more relatable. I can actually imagine myself in some (some) of the situations.

There's one thing detracting from my enjoyment however, which is that one of the main musical themes is very similar to a song from "Run Ronnie Run". So every time Kaoru and Aoi-chan hug, this theme plays, and all I can hear is David Cross singing "Y'all are brutalizing me... y'all are bru-ta-li-zin'.... ME!!!!"

By the way, since my computer crashed I need everyone's email / snail-mail address to send XmaKa cards and candy. (XmaKa © 2003 Nizani Industries, Ltd.)

Thursday, December 18, 2003


Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the holidays. It's a time of gift-giving and bonuses, family and food. And to start the season right, may I suggest that you go read about the real cost of Christmas.

But seriously folks, what kind of an update would it be if I didn't bore you all with tales of work. I have recently been given a whole host of new responsibilities, which makes me excited for the future. Basically my company and 2 of its sister companies are implementing a new time management / project management system. That means that everybody enters their timesheets for the week on this system and it automatically collates the data, presents interesting pie charts to the CEO and the rest of Mahogany Row, and manages workflows for projects.

Why does Jordi find this exciting? Because he's been tasked as the administrator of the entire system. That's right folks, the majority of the company's day-to-day operations data is in my hands, and the only limiting factor of all the power they've given me is the knowledge that even briefly contemplating abusing said power would probably get me fired. Still, it's a lot of responsibility and my greedy heart is telling me if I play my cards right, in a few months perhaps I might get a small raise. Here's hoping my manager doesn't read this and see what a cretin I am...

Next: to Jer and Lee I must post this link:

Speaking of TMBG, I've noticed that the Simpson's is having a really good streak of episodes right now, followed by the sublime and hilarious Malcolm. I'm also enjoying Bob Odenkirk's cameo role on "Arrested Development"; seeing him and David Cross fucking around like they own the series despite being bit players and bringing all their subtle humor into a show which otherwise repeatedly whacks its viewers with the Comedy Stick is extremely satisfying. For those of you wondering how TMBG leads to this sentence, they wrote the theme song for Malcolm. Also Jer, I think you and I both know that the full title of the Comedy Stick is The Comedy Stick of Compassion.

Ok lastly, something that's been on my mind is the following: I have been watching Chobits recently and, being the Love Hina and Maison Ikkoku fan that I am, I had a minor revelation that all shonen hotel animes have certain requisite episodes. My initial list:

1. Intro Episode - First of all, the lead character is introduced as a scruffy virgin who's clumsy, none-too-bright, easily embarrassed, and a ronin. Also, 9 times out of 10 something happened in his childhood that he doesn't accurately remember. For some reason this person is now living at a hotel with about 6 gorgeous women and possibly one other male, but usually it's just him.

2. The Let's All Go To The Beach episode - self-explanatory. Usually occurs mid-season when the characters are on summer break. Typically includes LOTS of fan service.

3. The Let's All Clean Up! episode - I do not believe I have seen a single anime in which there was not at least one person pushing a small white towel across a wooden floor while wearing a dew-rag, barefoot.

4. The Let's All Go To The Baths episode - Whaaaa? An incredible series of events leads to the lead accidentally seeing the girls naked? That's un-possible!

5. The Let's Be Sad In The Rain episode - Someone inevitable runs away and it starts raining. Usually the lead (who has a heart of gold, you see) stays out long after everyone gives up. The best part of this cliche is that he ALWAYS FINDS HER AT THE PLAYGROUND. Seriously, if this ever happens to me, I'll be like "Wait for it to rain and head to the swings dude."

6. The Aah! A Ghost! episode - Someone tells a scary story and suddenly the younger girls are running around screeching about a ghost. But, it turns out it was just a cute animal!

7. The Summer Festival episode - excuse to put the girls in Kimonos.

8. The Christmas episode - everyone gets dressed up in christmas clothes and the lead gets super-embarrassed over trying to give a gift to the girl he loves.

9. The finale - very little is resolved and the series is left open for a sequel which will never happen ( so we get an OVA instead ).

Leave additional suggestions in the comments section :)

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Inordinate Pride

Jeremy, I just had to share this moment:

I knew my milk was on the cusp of going past the drink by date, so tonight I ate 4 bowls of cereal.

I miss you, dude.

Friday, December 05, 2003

Notes on Bilingual Fantasy

First of all, here's your new word of the day: "grok". My mom groks grok, so if you don't, go read Heinlen's Stranger in a Strange Land.

Second, I just thought it would be fun to throw it out there that another reason I'm enjoying FFXI so much is that every day I spend 2-3 hours conversing with japanese players in their native tongue. It's really sharpening my skills. Of course, I don't know how useful it would be to be able to say "Please Raise my friend who was just killed" or "Help! I'm being chased by an Orcish Cursemaker!" in downtown Tokyo, but still. Lots of fun.

Erin emailed me a bunch of questions, so maybe later today I'll crosspost my reply here. If you're good. Jeremy, finish your brussel sprouts. I don't care if the dog licked them, you still have to eat them!

Wednesday, December 03, 2003


Thanksgiving was good, then I went to see Bad Santa and laughed my ass off. Yesterday I locked myself out of my car. Your word for the day is "interrobang". I expect this will raise Carina's competitive spirit and she will leave a better word in the comments section. More when I am less insanely busy.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Digital Splendor

Last night I was playing Final Fantasy XI Online when something really cool happened that reminded of one reason I love video games so much - the unexpected beauty you can sometimes find.

I was busy slaying Giant Wasps and Brutal Sheep on the La Theine Plateau in the pouring rain:

Then the rain stopped and this happened:

Everyone on the server just stopped what they were doing and stared. It was really something else.

The New Chosen People

For those not clued into the tech news sector, a company called SCO has been throwing a non-stop hysterical raving litigation tantrum for about 6 months, threatening lawsuits against anyone using the open source linux operating system. Their claim is that linux contains lines of code which were taken from their intellectual property, however they refuse to say which lines and their blustering has become something of a joke. They are threatening lawsuits against IBM, OSDL, Linus Torvalds and Andrew Morton (maintainers of the linux community) and now Google.

Most people think it's a giant publicity stunt to drive up the executive's stock shares before running to Tiajuanna but I saw an amusing theory on slashdot that I thought I'd share:

"You can only spend so many millenia making bad things happen to the Jews before it gets boring. Linux users are now the new 'Chosen People'." - ameoba [sic]


Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Political Correctness Reaches New Heights Of Stupidity

Anyone who has ever put two hard drives on the same ribbon ( and I realize this is only a subset of my readership, but bear with me ) knows that the CPU needs to determine which one to look at first when booting the computer. Since 1970 the primary has been called the master drive, while the secondary drive is referred to as being "slaved" to the master.

Apparently someone in the LA bureaucracy took offence to this terminology and now all vendors are required to change their literature.

This is possibly the most asinine, ignorant, dumbfuck thing I have ever heard of with regards to PC idiocy, and it makes me embarrassed to live in this country. The government's job is to put police on the streets and keep the lights on, not "clean up" the language.


Coldness Update

It is still nut-frostingly cold.

As a matter of fact, TV weather personalities here in Wisconsin do not discuss the windchill factor in terms of degrees, but in terms of how much damage the chill will do to your nuts.

A -10 in Boston corresponds to a wind chill factor of "Can't feel the boys" here in Milwaukee.

A -20 here in the Mid-West is a factor of "So much for ever having children..."

Finally, a -30 in Boston is a "Oh snap, my nuts just shattered like a nitrogen-soaked T2000!" in Milwaukee.

Tom, I know you have one for -40. Just leave it in the comments section.

Monday, November 24, 2003


So I stepped out of my apartment this morning and a wellspring of happiness grew in my soul for beautiful flakes of snow were drifting from the sky.

Sadly, unlike Boston where there's 2 to 3 weeks of lovely New England snow weather, Milwaukee goes straight for the nuts with a wind chill factor of -10. After about 1 minute my childlike delight turned into a fount of bitter, freezing resentment against God, the weather, and my life in general, until I reached the warmth of my office and gradually thawed out.

Mom: I am considering purchasing and actually wearing a hat and mittens. That's how cold it is.

P.S. For the dorks out there (Carina I don't know if you read my blog but if you do I know you're going to laugh at this just like the 'Two red dragons ironed on his vest' incident) the title feature on blogspot doesn't insert a break automatically, so in the html today's title is "*Brrr*< br >".

Which makes me happy. ^_^

Sunday, November 23, 2003

Grossness + 'Smunchie

So Thursday morning I woke up around 4am because I needed to run to the bathroom and boot. Suffice it to say, I decided to stay home. I determined that the cause of the problem was some chicken I had possibly not cooked all the way. Firday was equally crappy, but by yesterday I felt better. So today my company is burning a crapload of electricity lighting up the entire 4th floor so that I can make up my hours. It's eerily silent here. I am the only one in the office. Strangely, with no one here to look over my shoulder, I am even more productive.

Anyway, the real reason all this was a shame is that Wednesday night I spoke to Royale, who I hadn't talked to in a long time, and promised to mention her on my blog. So finally, Ro, here we are.

Royale is going crazy with lots of activities and stuff, most notably Tony Kushner's "Angels in America" which Stage Troupe is doing this year literally on overlapping weekends. Also weird is that Royale has the same role as Julie, so it's a very small world after all.

She's also applying to grad school - currently she wants to get a masters in theater (or is it fine arts?) because she wants to be a college professor. More power to her, right?

Finally, Royale, you must learn that the blog is a powerful weapon and even I cannot control it. I am forced beyond my will to explain to the masses the origin of "Smunchie".

So when I was 15-16, our oper Emma (she's the subject of a whole other entry) was really into Beavis & Butthead, and so consequently was I. I spent the next 2 years talking like Beavis and calling Royale an "Assmunch". However she did not like this and prevailed upon our Mother to make me stop. So my secret code that mom couldn't decipher was to call my darling sister "Smunchie" instead. Thus was born a nickname which led to many episodes of physical violence.

Now back to tabulating health interview questions into a statistically analyzable data format! woohoo!

P.S. Is "analyzable" a word?

Tuesday, November 18, 2003


I was tooling around the Troupe site and reading through old emails, (lee == awesome + hilarious / competent) and I thought I'd get a round of nostalgic blog posts going. If you were in Troupe, answer the following 5 questions on your blog:

1. Most uncomfortable stage troupe moment:

OK I don't know about the rest of you but I felt really really uncomfortable during Kim Chistensen's proposal for "Les Liasones Dangereuse" at the Fall 2003 proposals meeting. Especially cause I was sitting down front. And she kept looking at me. And reading in French.

UPDATE: Upon further reflection I've decided this moment ties with every single time I had to explain to someone about Amy Bishop.

2. Best cast bonding moment:

Unquestionably coming back in 45 minutes with pizza. During A Night With Edgar, there was a cast bonding at 35 Chester (which is now burned to the ground MUAHAHAHA), wherein Katherine Buckman snapped my last nerve by telling me I was replaceable and I should leave.

I stormed out, but since I loved everyone else there and had not thrown a tantrum in about 8 years, I returned 45 minutes later calmed down and bearing 5 large pepperoni pizzas.

3. What was your legacy?

Heh, the Gilhooly amendment.

4. Favorite play?

It's a toss-up between Earnest, and Edgar. Really I'd have to say Earnest because while The Raven was like acting heroin, it only made up the last 10 minutes of the show. Plus Earnest was written for me. Had I been as good as I wanted to in it, Othello would have been better. But I didn't feel I lived up to the role, plus as Raffile will tell you I'm a pasty white jew with a small dick.

5. Best Party?

Hmm, I'd have to say Peach at Chester (is that the one I'm thinking of?). Mandie drunk wearing Ben's beret and hugging everyone in sight, Bent and I laughing about Shirakawa-sensei (and of course, the always-amusing SOOOOOOOOO Drunk!), Cara Bolin nowhere in sight, Go Go Daddy from Raffile, and sitting in a bathtub with Riggs and Willow talking about tattoos and Allah.

OK! So now it's up to you, troupies. Post away! Procrastinate and multiply!

Oops! She did it again...

I know I'm going to get shit for this but seriously, when I read this it blew my mind:

When asked about her recent change to a raunchy image, Britney had this to say:

"I think the reason why everyone talks about the younger fans so much is because the parents are concerned," she said.
"And in the end they shouldn't be concerned because they should trust their kids and believe in their kids.


Parents, please remain concerned and involved in your children's lives despite what Ms. Spears thinks.

That is all.

Friday, November 14, 2003

Newfound Respect + Blog Envy

The project I've been working on the past 3 months is called QuickQuote. It's moving to production today, mainly because my small team moved heaven and earth the past 4 days, working 12 hours a day, to get it ready.

ATTN LEE: I don't know how you do it. I have newfound respect. More, I understand where the laziness comes from - you're making up for lost time.

Also, I have blog envy visa vis The Bent. I wish I had come up with "Scienced!".

More over the weekend, when I have recovered.

Friday, November 07, 2003

The Onion Does It Again

These headlines kill me. From TheOnion, Novermber 1918: "Corpse Eating Rats now Largest Military Force in Europe".

Also, Stu, I had an idea for a video game.

Glengarry Glen Rocket

In the high stakes world of real estate, you play a sales agent who must kill off enemy salesmen to take their "good leads" and bring them back to the office. Your co-workers give you hints and tips - "You gotta kill him, just blow him away, just kill - I mean, you gotta kill the cocksucker, just kill him and take his leads out of his jacket pocket. Just kill him. Kill him and take the leads out of his goddamn pocket." The game features an impressive awards system to motivate players - high scorers will get a cadillac to drive around in. Medium scorers will get a set of knives to help improve their score in the future. Low scorers get a game over.

What do you think?

Thursday, November 06, 2003

New Word of the Day

Today I learned that a recent addition to the english language is "hedgehoglet", the term for a baby hedgehog. Apparently this word has become the de facto standard among hedgehog enthusiasts (who knew?) and so was added to the OED.

Given the outstanding success of last month's baby boar photos, I thought I'd start a tradition; here you go.

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Re: Lee's Poignant Peer Pressure Post ( and alliteration )

Why the hell doesn't Stacy have a weblog? She obviously has enough time to dick around leaving little comments on everyone's blogs. I say we pressure her into getting one so we can all find out how her new "Sex and the City" life in fancy-shmancy New York City is coming along.

Agree? Disagree?

Also, Erin Wilson should have one too. I know for a fact from last summer's email conspiracy that she both a) has enough time to write something once a day and b) is entertaining as hell.

PS Since nobody cares, I got my main character from Disgaea from level 450 to 800 over lunch break today (although admittedly it was longer than I was supposed to take. By a factor of about 3. Shhhh!)

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Life or Something Like It

So Friday I came down with "The Strep" as the kids are calling it these days. A quick trip to the clinic and a z-pak later and I'm doing fine. Plus despite evil illness I went down to Chicago on Saturday to see "Taming of the Shrew" with my aunt and uncle, who have season tix at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater. I saw their premiere production a few years ago (A Midsummer Night's Dream) which was possibly the best piece of theater I have had the pleasure of enjoying in my life. Shrew was similarly excellent. Willow and Mandie would be pleased to hear that it was set in 1970's Italy, with the only changed prose being about the motorcycle Petruchio rode to the wedding instead of a knackerd old horse.

Lately I have been spending my spare time playing Disgaea: Hour of Darkness, an excellent RPG from Nippon Ichi, released here in the states by Atlus. The danger here, for those who were present in Chester during the 2-week Kingdom Hearts debacle, is that Disgaea has character levels up to 9999, and about 600 hours worth of hidden extras and alternate endings, as well as a game+ feature. It's been all I could do to resist skipping work for the past week to stay home and play it. I almost didn't go to Shakespeare but I decided I wouldn't be that guy (even I have limits) and ripped myself away for Saturday.

The coolest thing about disgaea is that you can go to the "Item World" inside every item in the game and level it up. Everything from the smallest potion to the most powerful sword in the game has 100 levels of item world with increasingly difficult enemies to defeat, and each level you defeat adds to the stat of the item. So if you take a really weak sword and level it to 100, it becomes a lot more powerful than most of the weapons in the game. If you manage to do it to one of the good weapons you become godlike.

Also there is a Dark Assembly, a kind of Congress of evil monsters, who you can petition to make the game harder, open up secret areas, etc. But unlike the real world, if they refuse you can beat them into submission and force them to pass your resolution!

Suffice it to say, it's a lot of fun. Now, back to work.

Deuce, have you had a chance to try this one out? It's so good it's like chocolate-dipped chocolate with chocolate jimmies and hot fudge to Lee or Bent.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

RIP 'The Beast' 1999-2003

It's official. The Beast is dead.

I have determined what happened. A faulty file on my computer caused the CPU to bomb, aborting the entire computer. Unfortunately the video card was attached to my television at the time - an electricity spike made it back into the video card, instantly frying it, the mainboard, and the CPU. I am unsure of the integrity of my hard drives or the operational capacity of my optical drives but suffice it to say that for at least the next 6 months I am computerless.

I am still in shock a little bit but have managed a temporary solution by slaving my work laptop to my home monitor/keyboard/mouse/speakers which were untouched. I won't be able to check my drives until I get a new mainboard/cpu which will be months down the line because I have to pay off my debt to mom.

The Beast was purchased as a college computer in late 1999 by my parents for ~$3500. On the day I knew it was arriving from UPS, I played hookey and gleefully assembled the components and installed Quake 2. At the time, Alex and Graham had much better computers than me but even Alex's could not handle the hardware lighting at resolutions above 640x480. I started playing the game at 1024x768 on it's built in ATI 8mb AGP card and visions of my friends' jealousy filled my head and danced around next to the hours of Quake2 and Decent I would be playing.

Since it's arrival in my life, I have poured approximately $6000 into it, encompassing 5 video cards, 3 new mainboards and CPUs, 2 sound cards, 2 mice, a keyboard, a Network card, 4 hard drives, 2 optical drives, about 9 sticks of RAM and somewhere on the order of 50 video games. The only thing left of the original was the case, the dvd-rom, and the IDE ribbons.

Rest in peace, Beast. You have served me well.

Monday, October 27, 2003


So minutes after I posted that my computer bombed and I had no way of contacting the outside world all weekend. Fortunately my phone is reconnected. Anyway, a whole shitload of work just dropped in my lap this morning so I'ma update later once it's all been managed a bit.

Saturday, October 25, 2003

*Embarrased Grin*

So apparently my first month's phone bill got misplaced which meant that my practice of leaving bills unpaid until the last possible minute got my phone disconnected. I sent the check 4 days ago but service stopped yesterday around 5pm. Anywho, it should be back asap but if you need to get in touch with me, the email is on.

Saw Scary Movie 3 last night with friends from work. It's definitely the best of the 3 - David Zucker's comedic style melded with a blisteringly fresh understanding of current pop culture makes for a movie that relies more on comedy and less on dick/fart jokes. Also, during the previews I saw why Stu wants to see Bad Santa. Now I want to see it too :^P

Thursday, October 23, 2003

This makes me sick.

Another lawsuit claiming videogames foster violence. There was teen violence before video games. There was teen violence before rock 'n roll. There was teen violence before television, movies, and radio. But someone's always looking to place the blame. I think eminem says it well:

"Don't blame me when lil' Eric jumps off of the terrace
You shoulda been watchin' him
Apparently you ain't parents."

Now granted, the people bringing the suit have a legitimate grievance - their family members were shot by two kids shooting up the highway. But Sony, Wal-mart, and Rockstar games are not to blame here. The teenager's videogame 'defense' is more like an 'excuse'. So the reason they're going after the corporations and not the teen's parents is pure and simple: money. Obviously the parents don't have any money so there's no point suing them in civil court. But where's the criminal negligence suit?

What do you think? Is the reason I can play ridiculously violent games and watch movies like clockwork orange and new jack city and yet not go on a vicious killing spree somehow related to my parents not letting me use those products until I was mature enough to know the difference between fantasy and reality and right and wrong? Or is it just luck? Or however else these 'parents' explain away the fact that out of the 5.7 million people worldwide who bought a copy of the game, their kids are the only ones who then went out and shot people.

Stu, thank you for getting me hooked.

Spike: "Is this the part where I say 'Who's there?' and something creepy happens?"

*creepy shadow flits past in background*

Spike: "Thought so."

This is why I love this show.

In real life news, I'm doing interim work data mining a huge database to get statistics for my boss, Kaye, until my next project kicks in. It's not glamorous, but it definitly makes the days fly by. Friday I'm taking Tom rock climbing at the gym and then we're going to the Scary Movie 3 premier. I hope he finds some women to bring along.

Just to give you an idea of how fun this database analysis thing is, I'll give you an example. There's this question on the application that asks if the applicant is a student. It's a yes/no answer. But instead of having one entry in the database which represents yes or no, there's two entries: one for whether or not the "yes" button was clicked and one for whether or not the "no" button was clicked. Guess who designed the database?



Monday, October 20, 2003

Good Weekend Karma

So Saturday morning I went to brunch with my grandparents, which was very nice. Then later that afternoon I went pumpkin-picking with David and Kary, two other of my numerous cousins, and their kids who are 2-6. It was a lot of fun, and the karmic upshot was that today I found this website. Go there. Be amused.


P.S. Ladies, make sure to check out the video entitled "Woman's Health - Wrong Phone".

Thursday, October 16, 2003

Hilarity in Politics

This story speaks for itself:

"WASHINGTON - Concerned about the appearance of disarray and feuding within his administration as well as growing resistance to his policies in Iraq, President Bush - living up to his recent declaration that he is in charge - told his top officials to "stop the leaks" to the media, or else.

News of Bush's order leaked almost immediately.

Bush told his senior aides Tuesday that he "didn't want to see any stories" quoting unnamed administration officials in the media anymore, and that if he did, there would be consequences, said a senior administration official who asked that his name not be used."

Read the whole thing here.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003


So I forgot to mention that on Sunday while Stu was at work, Lee and I went bowling and I bowled an appallingly miserable 38; however last night I went bowling with Annie and a few of her friends and shot a much more respectable 105. I also downed 4 beers which made this morning a tad shady, but hey, that's the price you pay when you're livin' la vida loca.

In work-related news, we wrapped up a huge milestone on the project I've been working on for the past 2 months, pushing all the pieces to the Integration server and linking them all together like some kind of electronic patchwork bit-quilt. It's very exciting to be done, tomorrow I have a meeting for my next assignment but in the meantime I'm just reveling in a "jorb well done" .

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Lee's 21st Weekend Extravaganza!

So about a month ago I decided that right about this past weekend I'd want a nice vacation, and since it was Lee's 21st birthday I'd surprise her by flying out. Stu and I labored long and hard to make sure that our communiques remained secret. I booked the flight and, Thursday night, drove to O'Hare and flew out to LAX where Stu picked me up.

Sadly, all our efforts were for naught - Stu had cleaned the apartment, which naturally aroused Lee's suspicions. Then when he left, he told her he was "going to pick something up", in an attempt to divert her attention from the possibility that he was going to pick someone up. Sadly, Lee is too smart for her own good (wench!), and deduced that either I or Stacy was arriving. Then when we arrived, she apparently eavesdropped on us and heard two people coming.

Still, I was very pleased by the giddiness and jumping that occured when I came in the door. "I knew it!" she exclaimed, and then proceeded to squeal for at least 5 minutes.

So we all sat around talking for twenty minuted and then Lee wanted to go drink, understandably. After the aborted attempt to walk to the bar (because she forgot her ID), we drove there and she had her blowjob shot, courtesy of Stacy, while Stu and I drank Grey Goose.

(Mom: a blowjob shot is a shot of Bailey's covered with whipped cream which you must drink without using your hands.)

I took a few pictures with my camera phone - they're kind of hard to make out, but the first one is Lee licking off the whipped cream, and the second is her downing the shot:


As you can see, she cheated a little at the end - Stace, that gives you license to demand a re-shot next time you see her.

On Friday, we all tooled around Burbank and went to see School of Rock with Jack Black at the movie theater, and then at night we went to a nice restaurant where lee got plenty of drinks and her friends all showed up to eat TGIF-style food. It was a lovely evening. Stu gave her a very nice Leatherman which she squealed over almost as much as me. (All right, far far more than me.)

Then came Saturday.

Saturday AM we drove to Vegas. Lee's website has a nice account of most of what went on, so I will stick to my gambling.

First of all, roulette is definitely my game. I understand it better than craps, poker, blackjack, etc. Casino war is also easy to understand, but nowhere near as fun. Anyway, Lee and I started off playing nickel slots but that quickly became stupid, so I went over to the $5 roulette table. I started the day with $100 in chips, and had a simple system for roulette. Stu had told me that everyone says when you get to a table, have a system and stick with it no matter what. I really should have listened, but I'll get to that later.

So my system was easy - bet on a color, and if the number comes up even, stay on that color. If it's odd, switch to the other color. On greens, (0 or 00), repeat what should have won. And if your bet loses, follow the system on whatever won.

I started at the first table with 20 bucks and walked away with 80. My system was working! We followed Stu to the blackjack table halfway across the casino hall ( I should mention that we were in the MGM Grand at this point ) where, unfortunately, it was not his day. Then we decided to leave for King Arthur's buffet at the Excalibur.

I should mention that it was an absolutely gorgeous day in Vegas. It was in the high 80's and I could have used a pair of sunglasses, but we were mostly inside the casinos so it was ok. Vegas is surreal - it's a giant adult playground. There was something to do everywhere, and there were adds for all kinds of shows - Wayne Newton, Siegfried & Roy, Bette Midler, everything. Plus there were adds for sex shops and shows all over the place. Before lunch we went into M&M headquarters which has 5 floors of M&M merchandise, including a 5th floor with an entire wall of rainbow hued M&M's in colors you can only get there. (They were $8 a pound, but there were the most gorgeous shades of deep blue and slate gray...) There was also a giant rockcliming wall, it must have been 100 feet high. I was tempted to climb it but it was 15 bucks and there was no prize for getting to the top.

So anyway we go eat delicious food at this buffet and then head into the basement of the Excalibur, where there is a kiddy game room. Lee and I played air hockey and I got on the dance machine, and then we headed back upstairs to the roulette tables again.

So I'm betting money on my system and at one point I've got 350 in chips, I'm on fire, and I pull away from the table with an amazing high. I was just so heady with success. We head over to play slots and video nickel poker, and after half an hour I look at Lee and we're both like "more roulette". I wish that at this point I had called my mom as I had been thinking about, because she undoubtedly would have told me to quit while I was ahead. But my greed got the better of me.

So I go back to the table and start placing $20 bets on red and black, and my system is in a bad streak so I blow $100 bucks in 5 minutes. Then I decide, fuck it, its vegas, and place a $100 chip on black. Lee looks at me and goes "Weber-Flink, you're nuts," and both our hearts are pounding and the ball rolls up ... BLACK! So now I think I am a god and start making huge bets, I think my largest was $175. Eventually I run out of chips so I pull the last 70 out of my wallet and look at the table.

Here is where I wish I'd listened to Stu. I'd played my system, up or down, all night. But now there had been 4 blacks in a row, all even. My system says stay on black, but I'm like, the odds are much better for red. Now, mathematically I know the odds are even, but my fear of losing says red! red! so I put it all on red, and bam, it comes up black.

Anyway, despite coming away 200 bucks down, I had probably the best weekend of my life, so much fun, and I was super-glad I flew out to see my best buds, Stu and Lee.


Huge Mega Super Awesome Update Coming Later Today

With Pictures!

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Where am I?

Lots of stuff happened. I'm busy, tired. Rock climbing is awesome, tonight I got up the 45 degree inverted incline.

More later.

Thursday, October 02, 2003

Blatant Lie

Jeremy Bent is a werewolf responsible for the deaths of at least 38 elderly french people.




Wednesday, October 01, 2003


I am feeling much better today, the anti-biotics have kicked in and all I had this morning was a light headache. Thank you so much to everyone who wrote or called to say "get better"; both of you are nice people whereas the rest of my friends are heartless bastards.

I'm getting close to finishing up my first major project here at Fortis Health. The backend is in place, the functionality of the frontend is complete, and I'm just waiting for a document from upstairs telling me which action items to implement (translation: which colors to use).

On a side note, if you haven't read Julie's Blog lately, go there immediately - she has sprung a funny leak and damned if it isn't staining everything the color hilarious.

Monday, September 29, 2003

The Miracle of Modern Science

God Bless anti-biotics. I still feel like crap but at least now I feel like crap scented with a delicate cologne. For those wondering, Jeff is my uncle, who is a doctor. This is him:

While I'm posting pictures, here's (from left to right) my cousin Jenny's boyfriend Jason, my cousin Jenny (isn't she cute!), and my cousin Annie.

And since I'm here, Stu, remember when SMG was hot? *sigh*


I am horrendously sick with a sinus infection. Jeff got me an Rx for amoxicillin, but it hasn't kicked in yet. I feel awful.

Have a nice day!

Thursday, September 25, 2003

I Need A Life

I had nothing to do last night, so I typed up a transcript of the first 20 minutes of the Democratic Presidential Primary Debate that took place yesterday at Pace University, co-sponsored by the Wall Street Journal and CNBC. The first 20 minutes consist of questions and answers about Iraq. Typically, most of the candidates knocked off a quick line about supporting the troops and then derailed into bashing Bush for being dumb and not having a plan. Also, they haven't been reading any of the personal accounts filtering through the blogosphere, because they all seem to think everything is failing miserably over there. Once again I was impressed by Carol Moseley-Braun's quiet dignity, and once again the panel threw her token questions and then ignored her. Anyway, here is a link:

and a mirror:

Thursday Is Closer To Friday Than Wednesday

So the backend part of my application finally got to the point where I can use it, so I'm reworking all my code to use it. Also, a whole shitstorm of new requirements and verbiage came down from on high, so for the first time this week I'm really busy and its wonderful. It's already 1 o'clock and it feels like I just finished my morning coffee.

Anyway, I finally went back to the gym yesterday, ran a couple miles and bouldered for a bit. It was nice, but I need to get some real climbing shoes. My sneakers are falling apart and even in pristine condition are too clumsy to use for climbing.

With regards to politics, I'm looking forward to this afternoon's dnc presidential primary, although I won't be able to watch it until 8pm since I will be at work during the debate. Here's a couple questions I'd like to hear answered:

1) Most of the candidates have a lot of criticism for the Bush administration and the right in general. The American public is suffering due to the counter-productive bickering between extremely partisan politicians. As president, what would you do to counter this habit of accusation vs cooperation and foster bi-partisanship in the Congress?

2) For General Clark: In your recently published $100bn plan to bolster the economy, you set aside $40bn over two years to create new jobs. What happens to those jobs in 2 years when the money gets reappropriated?

I'll post more questions as I think of em. I doubt they will be answered, but it gets my brain working anyway.

Monday, September 22, 2003

My Job Rules

...because the people I work with are awesome. Case in point: here's an excerpt from an email my project lead sent me this afternoon:

-----Original Message-----
From: WeberFlink, Jordan
Sent: Monday, September 22, 2003 3:43 PM
To: T****, Matt
Subject: RE: Remoting


Thanks for the email, I'm fine getting a remote object ( well, theoretically ) but the IDE raises an error when I try to assign a value to the ApplicantGender field of the DemographicProfile class. It says I need a reference to FortisHealth.**********.*****.**************. Thoughts?


Reply: Very good, young Jedi. I didn’t give you everything you needed to be successful. Just testing your skills…

Sunday, September 21, 2003

Blog de la Cape

Hi everybody! I'm on the cape briefly before flying back to Milwaukee, and I thought it would be neat to blog from home. The seminar ended on Friday, and mom and dad picked me up. Since then I've done some laundry, eaten a bunch of great food (there's no seafood like Cape Cod seafood) and watched a whole bunch of TV. Well, later!

Friday, September 19, 2003

Quote of the Week

Last night on Conan, our amicable red-haired host asked Charlie Sheen why he didn't have a bachelor party before marrying Denise Richards.

His response?

"Well, it seemed a bit, um... redundant?"

Why XML?

Lee's comment: Unrelated to all things BU, what does an XML feed DO, exactly?

Answer: XML provides a platform-independent marked-up document. That's exactly the same as HTML, except that XML is more extensible. In fact, that's what it stands for - eXtensible Markup Language (HTML == HyperText Markup Language). HTML is designed specifically to markup hypertext - when you put a tag like < strong > around some text, it becomes marked-up hypertext that your browser interprets as needing a bold font for display. XML is extensible - which means you can define your own tags, which HTML doesn't allow you to do. There is a well known set of tags in an XML scheme called RSS (Really Simple Syndication) which anyone can use to syndicate their weblog or other serialized publishing.

So why is that a good thing? Well suppose you are short-sighted and like viewing text in a really big font. XML syndication via the RSS schema lets you use a program that understands RSS to grab my xml feed, which contains just the data without all of the style choices I made, and redisplay it with a really big font. Or in the color red. Or however you like.

RSS feeds also contain a timestamp - so if you want, you can get a program called an aggregator which gets the XML feed for all of your favorite blogs, updates them every 5 minutes, and shows you all of them on one page. No more remembering 50 blog links - just enter them once into an aggregator, and you'll never miss an article again. Advanced aggregators let you customize how blogs appear, whether to categorize based on origin, title, date, etc. They're neat tools.

In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if BlogSpot saves my post as an XML document, and passes my post and my display template to an XML transformer which turns it into HTML automagically. It would be an easy way to automate their hosting process.

So why am I providing an XML feed? A) I'm a computer geek and B) It provides a self-marking document which allows anyone to display the data anywhere without having to scrape my weblog page or remove all the HTML crap they don't want.

To try a good RSS aggregator, try

Thursday, September 18, 2003

BU Apathy

I just had a thought -

Almost everyone at BU disliked chancellor silber, but the university lives in an encapsulated microcosm. It took an enormous act of venality towards the gay/lesbian alliance at BU academy to make the Globe take notice. Everything else he did (and there was plenty) got dismissed, because despite the students' love of bashing him, no one could be bothered to actually do anything about it. So I'm thinking about maintaining a 'Silber-Watch'. What do y'all think? Also, Jeremy please come up with a more humorous title for me. I know you've got a hum-dinger of a pun hidden in that gigantic elephant-head of yours.


Tom Toles makes me giggle:

Isabel Prep

My family summered on Cape Cod long before we moved there permanently, and we were in our little cottage in Chatham in August of '91, when Hurricane Bob hit. We had the requisite water, flashlights, bleach (does anyone know what the hell the bleach is for???) etc. We still weren't fully prepared.

My sister and I were 8 and 10, respectively, and as we piled into the basement for what would be a 5 hour stay, the only entertainment we had was our imagination, and our cats. As any parent can tell you, the imagination of ~10 year olds is rather active, and their respect for a cat's (or a kitten's, puppy's, etc) privacy is inversely proportional to their boredom.

Parents, have something in the basement for your kids to do.

Royale and I spent the first 10 minutes being scared by the force of the winds and the fact that our parents, normally bastions of authority and confidence, were obviously worried and uncertain. However, as David Brin notes in The Postman, the human mind simply cannot sustain fear very long in an unchanging situation. When Brin's protagonist finds himself staring into the grinning skull of a dead U.S. postman, he freezes up - but after a minute, the fear is dissipated by the boredom of remaining frozen, staring at an unmoving corpse. Similarly, Royale and I quickly became bored in the basement.

At first we ran around playing and screaming, but Dad, who likes his quiet and was under a lot of stress, got very irritated and made us sit down. So we started playing with the cats. (We had nothing else to do.) At that time we had 2 cats, a female calico named Troops (named after and in support of our troops in the gulf war) and a male orange tom named Treacle (after the delicious english desert of the same coloring.) The cats kept trying to get away and sit in peace, but naturally we kept dragging them back to play with. At this point it was not Dad, but Mom who became irritated, and justifiably so - we really should have let them be, but didn't know better. So to give the cats some peace, she put them out in the Hurricane.

Ooooh boy was that a mistake. We tease her about this all the time, she has never lived it down. Treacle immediately went to the ground level recession at one of the windows into the basement, and huddled against the wind staring down at us meowing. Troops clung to the screen door of the basement sliding door until the wind tore her off and she went cartwheeling away. As soon as mom saw this she rushed outide to grab the cats and bring them back in, but the damage was done. The cats were now very frightened and happy to keep me and Royale company, mewing softly and trembling for at least an hour.

I guess the point of my story is that in addition to the more obvious preparations, you should prepare yourselves, your children, and your pets for the long wait in the storm cellar that will inevitably accompany Hurricane Isabel, assuming you are in her path. Have board games, books, anything you can think of. Get coloring books, cards, dominos, cd-players, walkmen or gameboys with earphones. Get anything that's relatively quiet and time-consuming. Finally, if you think your kids are bothering your pets, whatever you do, don't put them outside. Have carrying cages in the basement with you. It will give your pets a sense of security and some privacy, and best yet you won't be tempted to send them out into the storm, which as my mom can tell you, would make you into a terrible person who abuses animals and should be mercilessly teased for the next 10 years. Right mom?

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Uh Oh!

Jeremy is in trouble...


Sorry... But as I enter day 3 of my seminar we've passed the trivial stuff I already knew and gotten to the nitty-gritty. I probably won't have time to post until Friday. Stay well, everyone!

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

A Liberal Justification of Iraq

As a sometimes left-leaning individual, you might think I was against the war. And while I disapprove of the way the war was justified and executed, and also think that a lot of our nation's current problems could have been avoided by better handling of it, I nevertheless maintain that it was the morally correct thing to do. The morals behind it were not what motivated the right, but I digress; here is a stunning account of why the war needed to happen, and why we are spending more than we should.

Links Roundup

1. Virginia Postrel has some interesting commentary on a New York Times article (free reg required) about entitlement mentality in Boca Raton. It seems that part of the reason Medicare has skyrocketed out of control is that seniors in Florida are visiting doctors, internists, and specialists every day as part of their community lifestyle. Postrel notes:

'They're not doing anything wrong, of course, just using the system as it was designed. Give people a valuable good for free, and they'll consume lots of it, especially if they have lots of time on their hands. '

2. Retired General Wesley Clark will announce his bid for president. I like this guy. It remains to be seen how he will hold up in a debate, but I saw him on Bill Mahr the other day and he seemed very composed and articulate. Also, he must prove that his lack of political experience does not make him less of a candidate. I look forward to hearing his views on foreign and domestic policy in general, and Iraq and the economy in particular. Lots of pundits have said this election will be won on jobs; how does Clark propose to make some?

3. A joint Israeli-European medical team has developed a "sperm-washing" technique which would allow HIV positive men to father an artificially-inseminated child without passing on the dieases. From the article:
The success of the treatment has prompted American doctors to urge for FDA approval for the procedure to be administered in the U.S. According to statistics, there are thousands of couples in the U.S. in which the husband is an HIV carrier.

4. Ruy Teixeira reports that a poll for the House GOP conference gives Bush Jr. a 49% approval rating. Hey, isn't that the same percent of the popular vote he got in 2000?

5. Finally, Calpundit has an interesting interview with Paul Krugman. Krugman is kind of a weirdo and a little paranoid, but in the particular case of the Bush administration's conspiracy to defraud the american people he has documented hundreds of cases of Bush telling blatant lies, and then for some inexplicable reason never getting called on them.

Monday, September 15, 2003

Reading Material

For those wondering, I almost picked up the Coulter book in General Mitchell Airport. But right next to it was a copy of John McCain's Worth the Fighting For and I couldn't resist. So far it's good, if less humorous than the Franken book.

Post from Seminar

So far the seminar is fun, although long at 12 hours a day. We get about 45 minutes apiece for lunch and dinner, both of which are nice. Today there were burritos, ribs, chicken wings, cookies, soda, etc. I've been reading a bunch of stuff about California's 9th Circuit decision, but don't have a particularly strong opinion. It's kind of an obvious ploy but the Republicans have only themselves and the Supreme Court decision in Bush v. Gore to blaim. Expect light posting this week, since I have basically no free time, and I can't get online at the hotel.

Sunday, September 14, 2003

Laptop == Fun

So today I'm flying out to Boston for my training seminar, and I realized its the first time I'll ever be able to take my company laptop on a plane. It's only an hour long flight, but as I explained to Annie (my cousin) last night, it's the principal of the thing. In a nod to Jeremy, I've decided that my viewing material will be Mr. Show Season 3. Ah David Cross and Bob Odenkirk, your hilarious hyjinx tickle my funny bone.

Saturday, September 13, 2003

It's a "Look & Feel" Thing.

I've changed my template around a bit and added an RSS feed. Gratzie, BlogMatrix. Your free RSS feed has quenched my internal guilt about being a computer programmer with an unsyndicated blog. Anyway, it's still not perfect but I like it more now than before. For one thing, the width was key. I definitely felt like the width of the posts was overwhelming. Plus this way my paragraphs look bigger.

Friday, September 12, 2003

First of all, I'd like to thank Stu. It was his post which inspired me to stop treating my blog like an inside-joke forum and really begin writing. I've written three major posts since then and am tremendously proud of myself for actually putting my thoughts down in writing. For one thing, it's helped me understand how I actually feel about the topics I'm writing about. Sometimes we have a vague response to a particular story or idea, but until we express ourselves I find that I, at least, don't have a concrete grasp on what the hell I think. Particularly for me, I have a very hard time articulating verbally. I've always thought to myself that as a comedic actor I have great timing and a flair for delivery, but absolutely no improvisational skills at all. (IF by some chance, dear reader, you do not know me personally, take it for granted that I have an ego roughly the size and disposition of the Hindenberg.) All of which boils down to my having a hard time executing an opinionated conversation unless I'm thoroughly versed in the subject. I guess I'd characterize myself as intelligent, but not knowledgeable. This blog has become an exercise in self-improvement, and a demonstration that when I take the time to get my thoughts in order, I actually do have something to say.

I've recently become very interested in the political process. I've always vaguely identified with liberals, mainly due to the fact that a) my mom is a liberal, and b) my life became a lot easier when I distanced myself from my upper-class white suburban upbringing. (QED for above - I only realized part b as I was sitting at my desk writing this.) Those of you who know me well may scoff at this, but consider: did my first impression come off that way? Or was it once you became a trusted friend that I invited you to a weekend on the Cape?

Recently, as I've been voraciously reading anything and everything I can get my hands on, I've noticed something. While I still find the extreme right to be abhorrent distorters of truth, the far-left isn't appealing to me at all either. Indeed, rational, moderate conservatives like Andrew Sullivan and Glenn Reynolds are extremely intriguing to me. My Dad always says that he doesn't discuss politics with people because it's too much of a hassle. But I'm beginning to think that, like me, he feels he doesn't fit into any particular category and wouldn't want to be labeled with one. I guess if anything I'm a left-leaning centrist; but really I'm still defining myself politically. I'm thinking about moving the blog to MovableType, because I want a built-in comments system that visitors can read without clicking, and because Daniel Drezner told me to. The only drawback is that I need a hosting webserver first.

Next on my list: getting one of either Ann Coulter or Sean Hannity's books, and forcing myself to read through it to see if anything they say sounds remotely reasonable. After all, as I said below Intellectual Laziness is the bane of the modern day American. I can hardly hold myself to a lesser standard and base my opinion of them on the work of someone who dislikes them and is diametrically opposed to their views.

From Slashdot: Democrats have just introduced the Space Exploration Act of 2003 to the U.S. House of Representatives.

The Bill, H.R. 3057, aka the "Space Exploration Act of 2003", sets forth a set of goals and a vision for the progress of manned spaceflight over the next 20 years. In particular, the bill sets an 8 year goal of "the development and flight demonstration of a reusable space vehicle" capable of transporting astronauts and equipment to Earth-sun and Earth-moon libration points as well as moon orbit. Libration points are points in space where a gravitic equilibrium exists. At Earth-Sun L1, a satellite or observatory station would retain a one-year orbit of the sun despite being closer due to the influence of Earth's gravity. That is, in any orbit, the closer you are to the gravity source, the faster you circumnavigate the orbit. That is why Venus' orbit is ~225 days, and Mercury's orbit is ~180 days. Normally a satellite between the earth in the sun would revolve around the sun too fast to stay in a useful position between the two bodies; but at the libration point earth's gravity slows the orbit to a 365 day revolution.

A similar situation occurs at Sun-Earth L2, but it is on the dark side of the earth, farther away from the sun. Normally this would result in Earth moving faster than the satellite/observatory, but at L2, Earth's gravity speeds up the satellite's orbit from, say, 390 days to a standard terran year.

The moon points are similar, but respective to Earth's gravity well and the Moon's orbit (the lunar month). So why is getting to these points useful? An Earth-Sun L1 satellite can monitor solar wind, which arrives at L1 about an hour before hitting Earth. Additionally, L1 satellites can monitor the sun uninterrupted by eclipses by Earth. Normally, satellites in Earth orbit experience a 5 to 30 degree eclipse of the sun due to Earth's shadow every revolution, depending on how high their orbit is. The L2 point is where NASA's new infrared telescope is currently orbiting - since it's permanently in the shadow of the earth, the Sun's light interferes less with its imaging.

In the future, Earth-Moon libration points could be used to beam microwave energy from Lunar nuclear energy plants via a lunosynchronous satellite network back to earth. Who knows what other scientific opportunities will present themselves? But back to the new Bill.

In 10 years, the H.R. 3057 wants NASA to be able to rendezvous with an Earth-orbit crossing asteroid and land on it. How cool is that? Did you ever see the movie Armageddon? That's what they had to do. A big asteroid was going to hit earth and so they went up in rockets, landed on it, drilled a hole and dropped a nuke. The story is far-fetched and the statistics of an asteroid hitting earth are very small. I think I read somewhere that the likelihood of an asteroid causing global catastrophy in the next 1000 years are worse than a bomb set off in a junkyard producing a fully-functional 747 jumbo jet. Nevertheless, I would bet that this part of the plan was put in as a sop to the Pentagon. Plus, they want to land on an asteroid by 2014! How awesome would that be? It is a well documented fact that the moon contains rich deposits of titanium ore, and that there are several asteroid belts containing heavy metals. This kind of program could lead to a huge space-mining industry 50 years down the road. Well, maybe more like 100. Even so, it's heady stuff.

Next up: In 15 years, they want a vehicle that can take off from Earth and land on the moon, as well as "as the development and deployment of a human-tended habitation and research facility on the lunar surface". This, to me, seems a little over-ambitious. Building advanced vehicles and even space stations is one thing. I believe, however, that before we can not only launch materiel into space but land it with a reusable craft, we will need a large infrastructure in orbit around earth. The ISS is a good start, but I think until we have structures capable of docking at least 4 shuttles(or OSP's, rockets, whatever) and holding vast reserves of fuel, as well as providing habitat and life support for a much larger array of personnel, this will be unachievable. Without a major breakthrough in propulsion technology, landing a heavy load of material, even on the reduced-gravity surface of the moon, will be prohibitively expensive. But I hope they prove me wrong.

Lastly, by 2024, they want a vehicle capable of travelling from low-earth orbit to martian orbit or martian lunar orbit, another vehicle capable of going from martian orbit to the martian surface, and a similar habitation on the surface of one of Mars' moons. Mars has 2 moons, Phobos (fear) and Deimos (panic). They were named after the horses that pulled Are's (the greek god of war, complement to the Roman's version Mars) chariot of fire. Phobos is closer to mars and is the larger of the two, and would probably be where such a base would be located.

This is the single most ambitious part of the plan, and I believe it cannot succeed. To be fair, when Kennedy suggested we send men to the Moon, many did not believe that was possible in a mere decade. Even if it is possible, however, many studies have shown that the political motivation behind the Apollo missions were a huge detriment to the American space program in the long run. Before Kennedy's ultimatum, research had been heading towards economic, reuseable low-orbit space flight. The 10 years spent getting to the Moon delayed that research and sucked up huge amounts of cash, causing modern politicians to ware the space programs. Additionally, as the Columbia's recent demise and the subsequent investigation demonstrated, the push to get to space fostered a NASA culture where results took higher priority than safety - and despite NASA's many incredible achievements over the past 30 years, who is to say even more could have been done at less cost if science had been allowed to progress in a more natural fashion?

So we have all these goals set forth in this bill, as well as the establishment of a deputy administrator at NASA heading up a new "Office of Exploration." The single best part of this bill is the creation of a contest system. The Exploration Administrator's primary function would be to implement and oversee a series of design and contract contests for each goal, wherein private and public organizations, international teams, and government programs would compete for a chance to build their design for NASA. The contests would be judged by an independent team reviewing for cost estimate, funding profile, schedule, and risk reduction for development of necessary technologies. The results would be delivered to the Congress. This is an incredibly good idea, as part of the problem with NASA is the corporate culture of throwing money at any problem until it goes away. Here's an example: in one of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board's recent hearings, an ex-manager very high up in the hierarchy described that at one point, the foam which is sprayed onto the main booster's exterior was absorbing too much condensation between spraying and launch, which was sometimes several months. The original proposed solution was to build a giant vacuum sealed building to build the shuttle in. Eventually a low-level engineer submitted a solution of chemically altering the foam, which was adopted. But you get the idea. Innovation and competition can only mean good things for NASA.

Now the worst part of the bill. It provides $50 million this year and $200 million next year to get the ball rolling. This is a very small amount of money at NASA. To give you an idea, they had a budget of $28.8 billion in 2000-2001. Given the enormous ambition of the goals set forth in the Bill, I don't understand how they could possibly attach this amount to it. It just doesn't make any sense.

If America wants to succeed in exploring our solar system, we need to commit not only to funding that exploration, but to a vision. Without one, our efforts will be short-lived and unfocused; personal desires and politics will kill American space flight without a common goal. And with the Chinese space agency breathing down our necks and looking set to land on the moon in 5 years, many people in government are starting to feel the heat. I suppose with Bush's $87Bn being sent to Iraq it's hard for the writers of the resolution to ask for more, but hopefully this plan will at least give NASA the vision it so desperately needs, as well as the beginnings of a roadmap towards human exploration of the solar system. That, combined with the recent changes made due to the Columbia accident, and a renewed interest in the space program by the American public, could be exactly the kind of impetus needed to drive America into a golden age of space exploration. Maybe in my lifetime I will get a chace to take a tourist cruise to the moon. Maybe in my children's lifetime we will see a colony on Mars. Maybe, just maybe, someday humans will leave this tiny corner of the galaxy and explore new suns. It's a dream of immortality that inspires. Despite its flaws, I hope this bill gets passed and enacted. Without it, or something like it, spaceflight could be delayed for far too long.

- Jordan
Tom Drake was upset that he didn't get mentioned on the blog yesterday. So: "Secretly, Tom Drake only pretends to agree with Ann Coulter so that I will argue with him about it because he is so very very lonely, and is desperate for conversation and human interaction."

- Jordan, adopting Tom's 'secretly' habit.

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

A very interesting insight into what Iraqi's think about their current situation. This is something you almost never hear about, excepting anecdotal evidence which inevitably supports the speaker's talking points. Seriously, read this.

- Jordan
Britney Spears Is Stupid, Greedy, or A Coward.
(Or some permutation thereof.)

On a recent interview with CNN Crossfire's Tucker Carlson, Britney had this to say:

CARLSON: A lot of entertainers have come out against the war in Iraq. Have you?
SPEARS: Honestly, I think we should just trust our president in every decision that he makes and we should just support that, you know, and be faithful in what happens.
CARLSON: Do you trust this president?
SPEARS: Yes, I do.

This is the kind of message the Taliban was sending the people of Afghanistan. Of course, Britney is not inherently evil, nor is she attempting to enforce this message with violence, torture, fear and repression. The message is nonetheless reprehensible, and one Carlson was undoubtedly happy to hear from such a pop-culture mega-force. The republican right loves this message, and uses a similar tactic in accusing anyone who questions the president of being unpatriotic, or worse, a traitor to America.

One of the worst problems facing America in particular and the human race in general is the tendency towards intellectual laziness. It is far easier to accept what someone in authority tells you, than to think for yourself. Most of the problems in the Middle East can be traced to parents and the media teaching children to hate, and passing that hate from generation to generation. Young minds are extremely impressionable, and FAR too many American parents don't bother to treat their children as potential rational adults - again due to laziness (or in some cases, stupidity in not recognizing the child's right to free thought). It's much easier to tell your children that when the time comes, voting republican or democrat is right because Mommy and Daddy say so than it is to explain issues to them, teach them to do research, and have legitimate discussions on how to make a decision. It's even harder to let a child make up their own mind to disagree with you. As a parent, it's very very easy to tell a child they're wrong, think the way I do, or (insert vague threat here). It's much easier to accept that we are at war because the President says Iraq is a credible threat than to ask questions like "how can you back that statement up?", "have you exhausted diplomatic options?", "what is the exit strategy?", and "how will taking these actions affect our internation credibility and relationships?"

An example I was once given about how I myself sometimes acted in this way was this: someone asked me what stars were. I said they were the suns of distant solar systems, or more specifically flaming balls of gas. I was asked, how do I know? My answer was that scientists in the textbooks I had read (or been forced to read, from a certain perspective, but I digress) said so. I have never been to an observatory. I have never examined the data. For all I know, looking at a star through a powerful telescope would show a tiny fairy with wings winking at me, and there is a global conspiracy by the astronomical and scientific community to decieve humanity about the nature of the universe.

Now, obviously that is an impossible paranoid fantasy, and stars are in fact flaming balls of gas. The point of the excersize was not to question the fact that stars are what they are, but to illustrates an interesting point - nothing should be taken for granted. And we as Americans do take a lot for granted. Like, for example the idea that the President of the United States acts in the best interests of its people. When the first man ventured the theory that stars were in fact hydrogen reactors on a massive scale, there were thousands of skeptics who investigated his claims. Over time, the insurmountable evidence proved that to the best of human knowlege, stars are giant flaming balls of gas. So now, in the current day, it's ok to take that fact for granted. But scientific fact, proven by volumes of debate, data, and skepticism, are not the same as statements made by a political figure. We do not have a Ministry of Truth, this is not Oceana. So when Dubya claims that Niger sold weapons-grade plutonium to Iraq, our first reaction should not have been, as Britney suggested, to "just trust our president in every decision that he makes and ... just support that, you know, and be faithful in what happens", but to say "Huh? Really? That's a pretty serious charge, can you please document the evidence?"

Because if we had, someone might have seen that the CIA had been tagging this "evidence" with the disclaimer that the source was highly unreliable and that basically the claim was bullshit.

Americans need to stop the trend of intellectual laziness, get up off their fat brains, and question the world around them. When you cede control over your mind in any measure to anyone in a position of authority, you make yourself into a slave. Britney's message is a horrible one that nobody should listen to.

Now in my article's title, I said that she may not necessarily be stupid. She could be greedy. Bush's tax cuts have given huge amounts of money back to the top 1% of Americans, of which Britney is undoubtedly a member. She's worth well over 200 Million dollars - Britney made $39 million in 20021 and additional tour revenues of $18.9 million2. She has had huge contracts with Pepsi, Toyota, McDonalds, and others. So she has quite a lot to gain from endorsing the Bush administration. Her six percent income tax cut from 39 to 33.x % would have amounted to almost 3.5 million in 2002. As you can see, greed could easily be a factor in her statements to Carlson.

Lastly, she could be afraid of the "Dixie Chicks Treatment"3. When the Dixie Chicks began to question the president's war in Iraq back in the beginning of the year, they were roundly vilified, painted as traitors, and the right attempted to instantiate a boycott. Sales of their CD's dropped viciously, and mainstream radio stations refused to play their singles. All of this was because they were asking legitimate questions that the Bush administration didn't want to answer and certainly didn't want the American public to think about. Frankly, this goes back to my initial statement that Americans need to ask questions. The Dixie Chicks were doing their civic and moral duty by asking these questions - intellectual laziness on the part of the public meant that as soon as the govurmint claimed the musicians were traitors, they accepted that characterization as fact and believed the same. Had they investigated exactly what was going on, we might not be trying to figure out how to pay for Bush's $87 Billion right now. Furthermore, the Dixie Chicks might not have had such a ridiculously hard time defending themselves against ludicrous, poisonous claims. I can certainly see how Britney might want to avoid similar treatment. Right now, she's still in the early phase of her career. It will take a long time for her to follow in Madonna's footsteps and transform herself from a material girl into an empress of a vast musical empire. (The Bush administration could never have gotten away with the kind of character assassination they aimed at the Dixie Chicks if they had tried it with Madonna. First of all, she's too smart, and has too much PR power, to let it get very far; secondly her fan base consists of older, wealthier, more powerful baby-boomers instead of screaming ex-mouseketeers.) Frankly I don't think that will happen - I don't think she's anywhere near as smart, talented, or brave as Madonna. In any case now is not the time for her to be exposing herself to that kind of attack.

I'd like to think all three are true, but it seems hard to believe that if she's calculating enough to support Bush because of his massive giveaway to the mega-rich she's also stupid enough to believe everything he says; if she's so stupid that she actually does, she's probably not scared about being painted a traitor because she probably doesn't understand how that would happen to her if for some reason she disagreed with Bush. You never know, though! This is America, the land of opportunity. If there is anywhere in the world where a greedy stupid skank could become popular and rich enough to appear on national network news and still retain the added incentive for obedience of fearing the political repercussions speaking against the president would bring about, it's the land of the free and the home of the brave.

- Jordan

3. For an excellent article about the Dixie Chicks' reaction to their being labeled traitors, read this article.

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Democratic Presidential Primary Debate @ Congressional Black Caucus.

I watched the debate live on Fox News tonight ( an organization whose right-wing tendencies are outmatched only by their general ineptitude and un professionalism ) and came away with several impressions.

First of all, there was quite a lot of Bush bashing, as was probably inevitable. However, despite what the talking heads who were on within minutes of the debate's end would have viewers believe, there was also a lot of substantial discussion of issues. A lot of the candidates agreed on many issues, but there were several dissenting opinions voiced. Lieberman and Dean disagree on how to deal with the conflict in the Middle East, with Dean stating that the only way America can solve the situation is as an impartial negotiator whom both parties can trust. Lieberman responded by saying that America has a long history of mutual values and military interest with Israel, and that ignoring that is a mistake. He also claimed that Dean wants to remove most of Israel's military forces from the West Bank and effectively cede it to the Palestinians. While I am not familiar with Dean's policy on the area, a short-coming I intend to rectify, I agree with Lieberman that that issue should be up to the parties involved. However, that aside, the rest of what he said is baloney. Reality dictates that compromise is only achieved with honest negotiation, and Dean is correct in his assertion that if the Palestinians feel like they are being cheated, nothing will be accomplished. If we are to effect peace in the Middle East in a role as modifier between Israel and Palestine, we must be impartial.

Another divisive issue was whether or not to vote to approve President Bush's $87 Billion request to fund the reconstruction effort in Iraq. Every speaker covered their tracks by saying that we must support our troops, etc. etc. Most also said in one form or another that Bush must answer questions about where the money is going, what the long-term exit strategy is, and how his administration will be accountable for the sum. Of all of them, only senator Kerry had the balls to say that if those question go unanswered, he would vote no for approval of the money. To be fair, Rep. Dennis Kucinich said that he would vote no regardless, and that he wants for American troops and interest to completely abandon the area, and for the U.N. to take over for us. This man is an idiot. America must retain control of the security operations in Iraq; the U.N.'s record speaks to it's ineffectiveness in that arena throughout previous international incidents. Where the U.N. is needed is in the humanitarian and civil reconstruction efforts. We need manpower in Iraq to deal with those aspects of the war so that we can focus on what we do best - professional military security. I basically think Bush and Ashcroft have royally fucked us in Iraq, so we need to approve the money or lose any remnant of our credibility to (basically correct, if we were to leave) characterizations of America as a school-yard bully. But the questions must be asked, and the money must be spent wisely, or the next guy in office is going to spend four years cleaning up Bush's mess only for the right to shout about what a mess that president has made of Bush's 'glorious vision of freedom in Iraq' or some other such ridiculous dogmatic blithering.

That was about the only time during the debate that I felt Kerry made a legitimate advance in his cause and differentiated himself from the competition.

The two most charismatic speakers, with whom I agreed about most of what was said beneath the Bush-bashing rhetoric, were Dean and Sharpton. ( Don't get me wrong, Bush deserves every lick he takes. The state of American politics, however, is in sad shape all around, and politicians need to elevate the tone of their campaigning. While splatter-free politics are a pipe-dream, I try to ignore as much of it as I can.) I felt the strongest response to Sharpton when, during the frequent obnoxious interruption of Joe Lieberman, he basically told the rogue elements in the audience that tonight was a historical moment in black politics, that they were tarnishing both it and the respect due the CBC, and to shut the hell up and let the man speak. In general I felt a strong response to Dean, who reminds me of Clinton without the moral ambiguity; he is charismatic, well spoken, intelligent, and direct. Of all the candidates, he was the only one who did not exceed his allotted time on every question, often getting his message out consicely and stopping short because he needed say no more.

To a lesser degree, N. Carolina Senator John Edwards also had a good presence on the stage, spoke well, and seemed charming. But with the exception of a rather impassioned stance on education (which I approved of most heartily), he came across to me as rather bland, unable to say anything the others hadn't already. Also he several times lost his composure chuckling at something Sharpton said; while I too was chuckling, and rather liked him for having a sense of humor, it did nothing for me politically.

However of all the politicians on the stage, I felt the one with the best message, the least show-boating, and the most compassionate demeanor, was former Illinois Sen. Carol Moseley Braun. Braun is a quiet woman, which is unfortunate because in this political climate her message will not be heard as well as those who can raise the money and rail the pulpit. But everything she said on stage tonight clicked with me. She made a lot of sense in her points, and frankly I kept wishing the panel would ask her more questions. In her closing argument this evening, she said that 60 years ago a great president said "We have nothing to fear, but fear itself"; she then added that the Bush administration has "pandered to fear". I have heard nothing that better characterizes how I feel about the Bush presidency's policies while in office.

In her recent address to the National Organization for Women and the National Women's Political Caucus, she said this:

We here have dedicated ourselves to the right of our daughters and nieces - indeed, all our children - no matter what their color, sexual orientation, religion, or heritage, to serve in whatever capacity their God given talent and energy will allow. Progress for all Americans will come when a true meritocracy can emerge in which gender, race, nor privilege will not limit human potential.

If I were a registered democrat, I would be damn proud to vote for this woman.

- Jordan, from the heart.

Monday, September 08, 2003

Update: No I was not.

- Jordan
Followup 3: A friend just advised me to disconnect my computer immediately from the Internet. It seems that, at least with respect to my very real need to stop posting in order to avoid a deluge of hatemail from persons in possesion of a uterus worldwide, I was right.

- Jordan
Followup 2: I am now growing scared of how wrong I am. I cannot seem to stop myself from posting. My mom will probably call me to tell me how wrong it was of me to joke about such a serious issue in a public forum. Feminists across the nation will be lining up to explain in detail why I am a moron. Dear God, somebody stop me!

- Jordan
Followup: With regards to the last part of the previous post, at the very least I'm sure Stacy and Erin will have vocal opinions about why I'm wrong for not including them.

S&E: I love you too! (Note to men: This will be regarded as a poor attempt to save, and I will have been wrong to post it.)

- Jordan
Men: in case you didn't know, you are always wrong. (See comments on post below). That being said, if you make a comment about one woman, or a group of women, another woman you know will take it as a personal attack, and you will still be wrong. Even though you were making an off-the-cuff remark, you were wrong to make that remark. I guarantee you I'm wrong for posting this.

L&J: I love you! (Note to men: somehow even here I will turn out to be wrong.)

- Jordan

Friday, September 05, 2003

I joined the downtown YMCA, which is about 2 blocks from my apartment. The coolest thing about it is that MWF they have rock climing on 6 30 foot walls, and 3 inclined free-form boulders. I am so addicted to this sport. For one thing, I love climbing. For another, it gets my hard racing (cardio) and strengthens my muscles at the same time. I also met a bunch of cool people in the climbing room, and spent about 2 hours there this afternoon.

The gym is very nice, lots of new equipment and headphone jacks so you can watch CNN, ESPN, A&E, or CNBC. There's also lots of cute girls there but most of them are WMI chicks (local university) and most of them seem like high-maintenance women, which I'm not into right now.

My Aunt Chickie is getting me a ticket to Rosh Hashana (jewish new year, for the non-tribals) at the Temple and has also promised to send me the phone number of a young lady who is active in local theater. I am determined not to wait 2 years before meeting Lee, or her equivalent here in the mid-west, and thereby joining the theater group and making friends. There's no time like the present! I really ought to disconnect my cable though....

My cousin Annie had to go to the emergency room last night. A few months ago she was on chemotherapy and last night part of the catheter port in her arm broke off and passed into her lung. They had to take her in immediately, but fortunately she has recovered and is resting in her apartment, Mom and Dad in situ.

On other medical fronts, Ben's father is doing just fine; he was supposed to have a stroke, but did not, and is grouchy and surly ( a good sign, according to BLR.)

Love to all! - Jordi Out.

Thursday, September 04, 2003

I spent last night cruising around downtown milwaukee with Ben Riggs. It was good to see a familiar face, plus he bought me a beer and a frozen custard (which to me is the same as good ice cream, but he insists there is a difference.) We discussed some of his plans, which include a lot of writing and a day-job translating arabic. I am looking forward to spending the next couple weeks getting all the gossip that I missed over the summer.

In other news, I found this highly amsuing:

The US Army - which partly sponsors the show's makers, the New York-based Children's Television Workshop - certainly loves Sesame Street. Especially its saccharine theme music about everything being "A-OK".

Iraqi prisoners were treated to repeated playings of the ditty at ear-splitting volume by US psychological operations officers intent on encouraging their captives to submit to questioning.

So there ya go.

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Sometimes I forget how blessed I am to possess common sense.
Stupid thief steals crime-tracking GPS device.

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

Take a moment to pray for Ben's dad, who is the hospital for major surgery.

Saturday, August 30, 2003

Ok, this does not really count as doing something. I did all this a long time ago, so posting it is not really effort-intensive.

So, after reading Stu's blog, I decided I needed to start writing again, and part of me wanted to go back over my old stuff, which has been cluttering up my documents folder for a couple years. There were a few things I was proud of, so I decided to post em.

Ok, first: I've always wanted to write a truly great fantasy epic but I've also always wanted to write a satire of the more trite formula fantasy novels out there. A few years back my mind locked onto this idea for an intro which encompasses (in my mind, at least) both desires, by arousing a real emotional response and capping it with a joke. It was almost a meme, it was so insistent. I knew I'd never be able to stop thinking about it until I wrote it down somewhere. It's not perfect yet, and I think some of the references are too blunt; I'd rather write something that gives my readers more credit. But anyway, here it is:

From Time's first breath, wrought amidst fiery chaos by Love incarnate,
there have been many great heros forged by the race of men. They lived
in many places and times, many dimensions and planes of existence. They
flared, bright runes on the pages of history, and in the eyes of those
lucky enough to know them, were giants of stature immeasurable.

They had names of strength and cunning, names like
Aragorn, son of Arathorn, Roland of Gilead, Arthur of Camelot.
They strode as legends the corridors of time, bringing
hope and light to those hidden in the umbrae of evil. There
was Kal-El, and Aeneas, the last sons of Krypton and Illium.
There was the great pacifist and statesman, Martin Luther King Jr.;
the lover and prince of thieves, Robin of Loxley.
There were the great magicians; Maerlin, who raised the Dragon and
lived backwards in time, and Gandalf the Gray, who oversaw the destruction
of the great evils of Isengarde and Mordor. There was Skywalker,
greatest of the Jedi, who redeemed both father and galaxy by strength of will alone.

Yet of all these names, there is one that is not spoken on the lips of men.
There is yet one hero whose stature will overshadow these all, in whose presence
even the greatest of them will feel awe and respect. There is one hero whose
story has yet to be told, whose mettle has yet to be fired by battle or quenched
by sorrow.

This is not his story.

I have no idea where it would go from there, but there you go. One other thing I found was a poem I wrote about a month after 9/11, which dealt more with a crush I had at the time than with my real emotions about that tragedy. However, it needed the timeframe before reading, I think. Anyway I'm rather proud of this too. N.B.: I only write poetry as a method of release when I'm very upset, so most of it is very depressing / angsty. Since I don't really buy into that I rarely show my poetry to anyone, and in fact usually delete it when I feel better. But there are a few I like, of which this is one.

briefly on the beltless seat
as the happy people speed by in the sallow light
the truly weak me breaks past the animal and the actor.
"I'm tired," the actor rallies;
but indulging is satisfactory, i want to cry

a tap on the head, and i'm afraid
weakness is rewarded with hate

i go home and read about 9-11
but my dead soul is past the moment
the show must go on, even for myself
and i hate myself for trying

others' tragedy should not be my catharsis

but the animal, who shits and eats red meat and wants to fuck
is both actor and weakling too,
and the pressure is unbearable sometimes

god i need a beer

A hint of self-mockery in this one:

do I write poetry?
or do I type it?
self-loathing, pachelbel in d-major
is all I amout to defined by other's praise?
questions and logical answers, and 5 second's worth of tears

I suppose that will last me for another year

maybe i should write something when I'm happy next time..

Hehe, just as I was about to click publish, I found one more poem in there:

should i post my shit on the internet?
it's raw, and probably bad.
or should I say, not good.

at least its honest, though

that's probably what scares me.
I guess i'll keep it on the ol' hard drive.

I did nothing today. There's still time for me to do something. But, I won't.

Lee, this one's for you, hon.

Friday, August 29, 2003

Quickie Update -

Thursday I had my drug screen ( company required for all new employees ) but the nurse spilled my pee everywhere so I had to go back again today. She was very embarrassed but I told her not to worry about it so I could get home and take off my pee-soaked pants. I suppose the bright side is that, had I been stung by a jellyfish between the clinic and my apartment, I would have been ok.

I got my first paycheck today and was very happy; I also opened a bank account with it. Hooray money!

I found an internet archive with Phish's 1994 Halloween concert. The second set is a complete cover of the Beatle's White Album and is fucking fantastic. I spent most of the afternoon jamming out while fixing a custom control on one of the company's telemarketer data entry programs. I also found out (I'm new to Phish) that other Halloween concerts cover The Who's Quadrophenia, The Velvet Underground's Loaded, Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, and The Talking Head's Remain In The Light. Much to look forward to!

The Riggs will be in town soon, so he and I are gonna chill. Looking forward to that as well. More updates over the 3-day weekend... hallelujah!