January 31, 2006


I have made some adjustment to my personal website. I invite you to comment and suggest how I can make it better.

Thank you.

January 30, 2006

Fischer, Spasky, Alexander

JC: maybe you are too a fan of chess?

Alexander enters America's grandest sports stage


My friend X is visiting and told me about this humorous blog. He said some of you are in Seattle, where my firm has made a building. X says he is a political refugee, and has asked me to “provide content” to you while he searches for a safe place.

He says you are all obsessed with the outcome of the upcoming football match. I know very little of your football, but X brought me some videotapes of both the Seahawks and Steelers. From a stylistic point of view, I would say the Steelers are the 19th-century team, the equivalent of the railroad crew, moving forward only, relying on strength and discipline to defeat the forces that oppose them. One can almost hear the buffalo and Indians dying as they march down the field.

But the Seahawks demonstrate the superior understanding. The west coast offense is rigid, disciplined – an apparently closed and inflexible system. Yet at its core is this man Hasselbeck, wild, undisciplined, capable of anything, a dancer of chaos, interrogating the structure with his laughter and mad yearning for freedom. This is beautiful, and I hope they will triumph.

All the best,

Butterflies pierced to their hearts

I'll miss blog entries from Dr. X (due to the new law), and I'll also miss receiving porn-Spam like the classic repeated in its entirety below, just into my inbox, which is funny on so many levels. To me, it reads like some avante garde Asian-language poetry whose translation has gone weirdly awry. With apologies to the author, identified in the message header as one Mckenna Lavelle.

Hottest new offer Mum and Daughter Incest they're waiting for you Peek into the amazingly dirty private lives of crazy teen whores and youthful street sluts… These sluttish cuties are crossing every borders in their super-dirty games! you gotta enjoy that New New Their little hands are just not satisfying enough, so they ride huge thick sticks!.... Watch these young butterflies getting pierced to their hearts upon long hard sticks!

Oh No, We Wouldn't Want That

Lay and Skilling meet the jurors. ''We are not looking for people who want to right a wrong or provide remedies for those who suffered in the collapse of Enron,'' (Federal Judge) Lake said. -NYT

Please See Standard Paragraph.

January 29, 2006

My Continued Presence on thie Blog is Illegal

No, really.


Just Wondering

How many Super Bowl teams do you think have started four rookies on defense? Seahawks have two rookie linemen and two rookie linebackers.

Standard Paragraph in Action

Administration inconsistency, incompetence and ideological interference help ruin Haiti too. NYT.

Please See Standard Paragraph.

(See how efficient that is?)

New Standard Paragraph

The Bush administration tries to stop its top NASA climatologist - attempting to precensor lectures and papers.

This is so astonishingly vile and yet so predictable and common I am forced to issue the Eisengeiste Standard Paragraph on the Administration of President George W. Bush, which I will put on the blog margin to save time in lambasting the idiot. It will be referred to by writing: See Standard Paragraph, as in "Here's a People Magazine story about the Bush appointment of Ken Lay to administer the privatization of Social Security. See Standard Paragraph. " I should note that the ringing closing line is the Laird's.

Every day, President George W. Bush weakens and often breaks the laws of the United States of America, in particular the Constitution of the United States he swore an oath to uphold. In essence and action, he betrays American democracy. His indifference to truth is only matched by his hostility to it. He lies like a dead dog. He has no interest in human freedom other than as a magic ritual incantation word. His incompetence is only interrupted by his arrogance, an arrogance onto which he is grafting a vile imprimatur of divinity. He and his staff have deep contempt not only for his opponents but for their own ordinary supporters. He works against the economic and social health of the great majority of the American people in order to benefit his wealthy personal associates. He criminally stole one election and perhaps two. His truncated intelligence and lack of imagination kills real people. He is at heart and practice a drunk, a coke fiend, and a fraternity sadist, embodying in one person all the worst qualities of American culture. If his administration does not result in the waning of the United States as a great power and democratic beacon to the world, or the eventual destruction of life on earth, count it only as a mark of his limited abilities. Every day, in every way, we hate him more and more.

Edits are welcome- suggest in comments.

The Laird's New Watch

A steal at $220,000.

January 28, 2006

Which Side Are You On?

Some years ago the labor lawyer Thomas Geoghegan wrote a fine book called Which Side Are You On? Trying to Be for Labor When It's Flat on Its Back. (Some of his concrete advice to unions is here. He's also written a more recent book on the rule of law, or lack thereof, thoughtfully reviewed here.)

I think of him tonight because the question's running through my head.

It's pretty simple: The top guys at Google are rich, rich beyond the dreams of avarice, flying around the country in their personal 767, doing magazine interviews, holding pep rallies with their best-and-brightest employees. It's good to be rich.

But, apparently, it's very important that they be richer still. So important that, to pick up those extra dollars, they are willing to give a dictatorship tools to make its censorhip more efficient. They're not unique - Yahoo! gives up dissidents when asked, and fellow billionaire Bill Gates defended them today at a posh resort in Switzerland.

I have nothing against posh resorts, or being rich in general. But when you're getting richer by collaborating with an authoritarian government to keep its people down, well I do have something against that. And I think Abe Lincoln, or Mark Twain, or George Orwell or Dwight Eisenhower would have had a problem with it too.

Finally, A Deathmetal/ Metalcore Album Titled Alaska

It's about what you think it is, from Between the Buried and Me. Video has a guy writing NO! all over himself with a Sharpie, which covers a lot of the Alaska experience if you ask me. If you haven't read vastly overwrought hardcore rock reviews in a while, try here.

Civilization Makes a Brief Comeback

On the "it list": Hugh Laurie
Off: Howard Stern

State of the Union Preview


2006 State of the Union Preview

A Word to Steelers Fans

We are not intimidated by your Terribly-Gay Towels.

A Bird Flu Vaccine For Birds

Super rapid, 30 day production of -bird flu vaccine for birds. One of those little stories that might save 500 million people a few years from now.

One hopes.

January 27, 2006

Chuck Darby on The Superbowl

(Enjoy the long-loved, long suffering old Seahawks Logo.)

NFL: SEAHAWKS: Darby's Daily Dose

(From the Seahawks website.)

by Chuck Darby

In Tampa, we only had one week and we went straight to San Diego for the Super Bowl. So this is different. This week is filled with a lot of emotions because we’re excited about winning the NFC and know we’re going to Detroit. Right now, everybody is ready to go already. This extra week just gets us going a little more about the game.

It’s the Super Bowl, and it’s what everybody dreams of in training camp, but only two teams get there and it feels great to be one of them. You can’t be more excited than that. Right now, I don’t think it’s hit everybody yet. Everyone is excited and we’re talking about everything. But it’s different. Only the guys who have been there know how different it is.

Once we get to Detroit, it will be a different story and we’ll get more focused on the game.

The stage is set. We’re looking at the best team in the AFC, the Pittsburgh Steelers – a team with all that history. So what we’re talking about now is taking everything that we’ve put in our bag of tricks all season to win games. We take all the small things and all the intangibles we’ve gained all season that made us the good team that we are. Then you put all that together and throw it into the well.

And when we come out for the game in Detroit, we want to be the best team in the NFL. Nobody ever, ever, remembers the team that lost the game. They only remember the team that won the game. That’s one thing I know for sure.

To me, everybody around the world and the U.S. is counting us out because we’re playing the Pittsburgh Steelers. We understand that. We don’t like it. But we understand it, and we’re using that as motivation. That’s why on one hand it makes us mad, but it’s good at the same time. We put everything on the line with a little more energy because you’re mad about other people downgrading you. You’ve got to prove it to them. We proved it to them against the Washington Redskins. We proved it to them against the Carolina Panthers.

But they’re right until we prove them wrong against the Pittsburgh Steelers. We’ve made it to the top of the mountain, but there is somebody waiting for us, so we have to get them off. We all see it, now it’s just a matter of executing our offense, defense and special teams the way we have all year, and the big prize will be ours.

Back to the Pacific

Wikipedia's featured article today is on the Imperial Japanese Navy. It's not bad, but for a maniacally detailed analysis there is no substitute for combinedfleet.com, which is beyond category in every respect. Their summary page of the Pacific War gives the best overview I've ever seen of the naval war against Japan, along with the ability to drill down to detailed descriptions of all the major battles in the context of the broader campaigns.

It was such a huge war, many major battles are forgotten today. On one particularly surreal night off Guadalcanal in 1943, 24 U.S. and Japanese surface ships engaged in the equivalent of a knife-fight in a phone booth:

"[Callaghan's] attempt to cross the Japanese 'T' instead placed his ships on a collision course with the enemy. By the time fighting commenced at 0148, the range between the leading elements of each force had closed to a ludicrous 1000 yards. The result was a point-blank brawl of monstrous proportions as both formations passed through each other."

Glad I wasn't there...

An Odd Sensation

I laughed at Doonesbury today. Haven't said that in a couple decades...

Bloomberg News Does Not Support Our President

A Bloomberg/Los Angeles Times poll taken this week as Bush prepares to deliver his annual State of the Union speech shows that the president wins the approval of only 43 percent of the public, a 7-point drop from a year ago. Three out of five say America is seriously off course, and by 62 to 31 percent those surveyed want to move in a different direction than the one Bush has set forth.

Look Out!

January 26, 2006

Tatupu to Hono-lulu

Can you believe it? Nearly a day has gone by without a Seahawks posting.

Well, up with some things I will not put.

Tobek and Tatupu Added to Pro Bowl Roster

Only Tucker Carlson Could Ask Such a Stupid Question

"Do we need more “Latinas Gone Crazy” actresses in this nation, truly?"

As long as we're asking rhetorical questions, "do we need more asshat talkshow muppets in this nation, truly?"

Even When We Win, We Lose

Despite our subtle diplomacy, Canadians have heeded the suggestion of our envoy, and voted out the Liberals, choosing a Conservative Prime Minister for the first time in over a decade. His message to the U.S. government: Fuck off.

Choice quote:
"It is the Canadian people we get our mandate from, not the ambassador of the United States."

Google: Being Evil

Google caves to Chinese censorship. Like a lot of major media outlets, possibly unexcited about offending the enormogiantus Google, the LA Times regards this as a minor compromise.

At the same time, the Google stand against the Justice Department's data mining appears to be motivated by self-interest in protecting proprietary technology..

Fine, but it does not bode well. They are dancing with dictators, which usually leads to jazz records and reefer. The combined events give us little reason to believe that Google has more than a passing commercial interest in democracy or freedom of information.

I suppose we can look forward to a future of total government monitoring, with full support from Microsoft, Google and Yahoo.

So search this, Google:

Google AND Authoritarianism OR fuck AND you.

January 25, 2006

The Real Kitten News, Part II

Cyclops Kitten Born, Preserved in Freezer

Outrage Over Kitten Shot In Eye With Crossbow

Rabid Kitten Attacks Shelter Workers

Kitten Survives Being Trapped in Fan Belt

Python Eats Kitten

UK Seeks Cutest Kitten

Kitten Rescued From Vending Machine

Homeless Kitten Inspires Moscow Cat Theater

Kitten Beaten to Death by TWO Drunk Men

Burned Kitten Rescued From Side of Road

Kitten Survives Bus Trip in Engine

Kitten Surgery After Shot With Airgun

January 24, 2006

Um, wow

"I don't support our troops...It's as if the one lesson [pacifists] took away from Vietnam wasn't to avoid foreign conflicts with no pressing national interest but to remember to throw a parade afterward."

Art Beats Science?

I have read with interest the reams of statistical information about football evaluation posted here of late. But let me point out the elegant simplicity and accuracy of the charming Craig Ferguson's logo analysis technique. (See "Craig's AFC and NFC Predictions.")

He correctly forecast the loss of the tired, legless, armless cat and the mullet-wearing West Hollywood horse.

His pick for the Superbowl? The angry bird will beat the cheap 70's Christmas ornament.

January 23, 2006

Back to The Issues

Standing up to Iran would have worked in 2000, before our government sought to destroy precisely the kind of international mechanisms that would allow a successful confronta...hold on...


Fffin awesome. TATUPUNISHMENT! Art Thiel has a good read on what this means for Seattle itself. And to the motherhumpers at Sports Illustrated, including Peter King and Dr. Z, all but one of whom picked Carolina, here's a big heaping help of double tall half-caf otter snot up your nose, you cement-headed Windsor-knotted walking heart attack antedelluvian bastards. TATUPULVERIZED. TATUPURLOINED!! (Interception!) TATUPOUNDED INTO A FINE POWDER SUITABLE FOR BREADING AND DEEP-FRYING (Not you, Nunyo.)

Peter King's Defensive Player of the Week

"Seattle MLB Lofa Tatupu, with three tackles, an interception, a hit that knocked Carolina running back Nick Goings out of the game, and a complete mastery of a defense. That's rare for a first-year player. I remember Dr. Z talking so highly about Tatupu around draft time, and everything he said has come true. The kid's a brilliant playmaker and runs a new defense like he's been in it 10 years -- even with the mild concussion that he suffered against Carolina."

In a word: Tatupuriffic!

Seahawks Defense Stats

It's hard to overstate how please I am with Seattle's defense. Here's a summary comparing averages from the regular season (with the regular-season leader in parentheses) against the two playoff games (with the Steelers' comparable playoff stat in parentheses).

PPG allowed
Season: 16.9 (12.6 Chi)
Playoffs: 8.5 (17.3)

Total YPG allowed:
Season: 316.8 (277.8 TB)
Playoffs: 278 (338.4)

Rushing YPG allowed:
Season: 94.6 (84.3 SD)
Playoffs: 47.5 (79.7)

Passing YPG allowed:
Season: 222.4 (167.5 GB)
Playoffs: 219 (258.7)

Sacks per game:
Season: 3.1 (3.1 Sea)
Playoffs: 2 (4)

Passes defensed per game:
Season: 6 (8 Phi)
Playoffs: 8 (5)

Interceptions per game:
Season: 1 (1.9 Cin)
Playoffs: 1.5 (1.3)

January 22, 2006

Ben Roethlisberger Watches the Seattle Game

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(The Steelers opened as a 3 1/2 point favorite.)

January 21, 2006

Everyone's on Board, Right?

"Senator Clinton is not alone among those Democrats who are urging tough action against Iran. Senators Bayh and Bill Nelson have also taken exemplary positions. Maybe, just maybe, the Democratic National Chairman can establish that his dovishness is limited to Iraq.

"This is a moment for a united front in the Democratic Party for multi-lateral action, if possible, but unilateral action, including military options, if necessary, against the growing Iranian nuclear threat."

Meanwhile, Israel's whittlin' on a piece of wood. I've got a feeling when they stop whittlin', something's gonna happen.

To add to this sophisticated analysis, pictures of cute Iranian puppies are here.

Consult the Depth Chart

One side effect of too much BBC reading is an unnatural awareness of British politics. Which can be very entertaining. The center ring currently is the Liberal Democratic party, whose leader resigned because he drinks a lot (a rather amazing thing to do in the UK where drinking and politics go together like peanut butter and jelly).

Mark Oaten is tipped as a possible successor, or was, until details of the rent boy situation emerged...

Upon Further Review

"Frankl calls depression, addiction, and aggression the mass neurotic triad. He refers to research that shows a strong relationship between meaninglessness (as measured by "purpose in life" tests) and such behaviors as criminality and involvement with drugs. He warns us that violence, drug use, and other negative behaviors, demonstrated daily on television, in movies, even in music, only convinces the meaning-hungry that their lives can improve by imitation of their "heroes." Even sports, he suggests, only encourage aggression."

I used to work with a former NFL player, whose body had been largely wrecked by the experience. When a friend of mine asked him what he missed most about his playing days he said: "the violence."

Why Football Doesn't Matter

It just doesn't. Sorry.

I Remember When I was Governor of Texas

After the longest drought of Bush abuse on Eisengeiste ever, I flood the well with a video speculation about his return to drinking from TV's Craig Ferguson.

January 19, 2006

The Continental Approach

Chirac: "Leaders of states who would use terrorist means against us, just like anyone who would envisage using, in one way or another, arms of mass destruction, must understand that they would expose themselves to a firm and fitting response from us... This response could be conventional. It could also be of another nature."

Meanwhile, Hillary says Bush is soft on Iranian nuclear weapons.

Whoop Whoop WHOOP!

This incident is better if you imagine a WWII destroyer collision alarm.

Since 1927, before the beginings of the modern system, not a single fatal accident besmirched the famous Washington State Ferry system, making it one of the most relaxing and enjoyable forms of transportation around. Government owned, and carefully regulated, given to incidents but rarely accidents, it seems to be a model of efficiency and professionalism.

Which is why crawling out of a Honda-front seat doze to see the crew gathered around my car and putting on life jackets right before the ferry hit full reverse engines from full speed in the middle of Puget Sound was somewhat disconcerting.

On the passage before, an armed Coastie zodiak-style escort ran off course suddenly and chased after a huge white shower-stall yacht which had rather stupidly crossed the massive ferry's course, leading a teenage girl in the next seat to say "Go GET 'EM!" It was indeed hard not to imagine the twin .50s raking a few warning shots in the path of that bloated ass-peddling dandy scow. A lubberly move on yacht-boy's part.

This had previously been the most exciting thing that ever happened on the ferry.

But now the huge ship shuddered and shaked to a halt from a speed near 18 knots, like braking an office building, and the forward props churned up enormous clouds of water, creating a giant bow wave. More people with life jackets keep gathering around my Civic. But they weren't saying anything. My curiosity could be considered piqued.

Almost regrettably, it was nothing: a drill, getting the stop at full speed around 55 seconds (amazing!), which was probably related to the following incident.

Ferry officials blame the (Dec 20) near-collision on communication errors and on Jamison not acting quickly enough to move away from the bigger boat. The Wenatchee is 460 feet long and weighs 3,000 tons, and the container-filled Knud Mærsk measures 1,044 feet and weighs between 50,000 and 70,000 tons.

According to the report, the ferry had the right of way, but Jamison said she would reduce speed so the freighter could pass.

At one point the pilot of the freighter said, "I can see your red light," but Jamison thought he said he was turning right, the report said.

So "Starboard" is still a good word. Mostly the vast freighter screwed up - there are often 2000 people on the ferry, with both the right of way and a sort of moral authority.

I consider the drill warranted.

Fun stuff: Here again is SEALINKS, which displays the real time marine traffic in Puget Sound, thanks to the Viceroy. (Sealinks itself also has real-time traffic in Oregon, Boston, and Europe.) If the ferry runs into anything big you can watch it live here. Minor fun can be had by finding a vessel name on their transponder, and googling it; you get a fair picture of the ships and cargos moving around the world.

And here is the Knud Maersk tracking map page.

January 18, 2006

British vs. American Iron

Posted on a motorcycle forum I frequent. Worth reading to the end...

I raced a Harley today and after some really hard riding I managed to PASS the guy. I was riding on one of those really, really twisting sections of a canyon road with no straight sections to speak of and where most of the curves have warning signs that say "15 MPH".

I knew if I was going to pass one of those monsters with those big-cubic-inch motors, it would have to be a place like this where handling and rider skill are more important than horsepower alone.

I saw the guy up ahead as I exited one of the turns and knew I could catch him, but it wouldn't be easy. I concentrated on my braking and cornering. three corners later, I was on his fender. Catching him was one thing; passing him would prove to be another.

Two corners later, I pulled up next to him as we sailed down the mountain. I think he was shocked to see me next to him, as I nearly got by him before he could recover. Next corner, same thing. I'd manage to pull up next to him as we started to enter the corners but when we came out he'd get on the throttle and outpower me. His horsepower was almost too much to overcome, but this only made me more determined than ever.

My only hope was to outbrake him. I held off squeezing the lever until the last instant. I kept my nerve while he lost his. In an instant I was by him. Corner after corner, I could hear the roar of his engine as he struggled to keep up.

Three more miles to go before the road straightens out and he would pass me for good.

But now I was in the lead and he would no longer hold me back. I stretched out my lead and by the time we reached the bottom of the canyon, he was more than a full corner behind. I could no longer see him in my rear-view mirror.

Once the road did straighten out, it seemed like it took miles before he passed me, but it was probably just a few hundred yards. I was no match for that kind of horsepower, but it was done. In the tightest section of road, where bravery and skill count for more than horsepower and deep pockets, I had passed him. though it was not easy, I had won the race to the bottom of the canyon and I had preserved the proud tradition of one of the best bits of britiron.

I will always remember that moment. I don't think I've ever pedaled so hard in my life. And some of the credit must go to Raleigh cycles, as well. They really make a great bicycle...


Alaska Volcano Obseratory webcam:


Others are located here.

One of these things is not like the other...

KCBS in San Francisco is running an ad about the momentous episodes of history, the times when you remember exactly where you were when you heard the news. Included:
  • JFK assassination
  • Nixon's "Peace with Honor" speech
  • Challenger disaster
  • Clinton saying "I did not have sex with that woman."

January 16, 2006


Likely events next game:

Tatupunishment. Tatupushing. Tatupounding. Tatupulverized!


Hasselbeck wearing a Tatutoupee.

Or say Audrey Tatou and Lofa Tatupu get married: making Tatou-Tatupus. If they honeymoon in Burkina-Faso and get matching skin decorations, it will be Tatoos for Two Tatou-Tatupus in Ouagadugou.

None of this was pleasant. But it was clearly unavoidable.

Kazaa Poker Game Upstages Britney in the New Year

With the New Year well underway, the troubles of Kazaa are well documented, amounting to a legal poker game overshadowing longstanding pop culture icons such as Britney Spears and Pamela Anderson. Here at Eisengeiste, of course, our sights have been set on the NFL, as our beloved Seahawks are destined to run the table, making their opponents look like Pokemon or Paris Hilton.

You know, since Christmas I've been thinking about what we'll do for an encore. I used to love the NBA, but now it looks more like the WWE or Dragonball, a ghastly parody of its former self, and a wonderful moral lesson in allowing your product to be corrupted by appealing to the lowest common denominator. I guess that's why so many kids today sit in front of the computer screen playing with their Neopets and listening to Lindsay Lohan tunes instead of seriously pursuing liberal arts educations. But if is Kazaa is dead, long-live file sharing, you know? Before the last bars of "Auld Lang Syne" have faded from our memories, it's time to wake up to the opportunity presented by Limewire, the fastest P2P file sharing program on the planet. Now you have no excuse to not download every song Jennifer Lopez has ever recorded!

I guess the other alternative is hockey - it's back, but will anyone notice? If nothing else, the strike saved the stars some bucks with the IRS. But even with the players back on the ice, it's not what it used to be. It is sobering indeed to realize that Hilary Duff was born after Mike Bossy retired. I suppose there will be some entertainment value to hearing Clay Aiken sing "O Canada", but is that really worth the price of admission?

So I really don't know. For many years tennis was my good secret, the sport I truly enjoyed watching. McEnroe-Borg at Wimbledon was one of the high points of that long, sleep-deprived summer of 1980. And like every other sport, tennis has turned to crap. With trick rackets (excuse me, racquets) and superfast surfaces, the men's game no longer rewards the attentive viewer. The women's game, however, has come into its own, and not just because of Anna Kournikova. A host of young players have brought both talent and sex appeal to the sport, and it's my pick for the next big media sport of the decade.

Of course tennis's appeal is limited by demographics. It sells in Greenwich or Phoenix, but not to the Eminem crowd, to kids more interested in anime (Naruto rules!), or even to young working class women whose attention Mariah Carey has so effectively recaptured.

Baseball? No. Can't get past the flagrant drug use. These guys look like primordial gorillas. Come on people, it's not their diet. Harry Potter didn't cast a spell. It's phony, and baseball's dead, as dead as Tupac, or Angelina Jolie's virginity.

There are so many stars and trends today, but nothing captures the attention. Shakira, Freecycle.org, taxes, Madonna, Trish Stratus (you couldn't search for Stacy Keibler you fucking undiscriminating peasants?), Beyonce, Jessica Simpson, Inuyasha, the iPod, 50 Cent, Patrick Crenshaw, Carmen Electra, Final Fantasy, The Sims, Barbie, Louis Braille, Ciara, FAFSA, Emma Watson, and Christina Aguilera bore me, and they're not nearly as good as their equivalents were at some prior time in my life.

I could go on, but I guess you get my drift. We stand at a crossroads. And as Irving R. Levine used to say, "what the future holds, nobody knows for sure."

Not to be a Ratings Whore or Anything

But I notice our traffic picked up quite a bit right around the time football season started.

And, again, I would never post anything just to generate traffic, but we might want to blue sky some concepts around what we'll do to maintain our traffic after the Seahawks win the Superbowl.

Lycos, of course, maintains a hot list, offering ideas to bloggers who want to ensure that their content is timely and in tune with the zeitgeist. And I would never suggest we use terms from the list to construct our content, Eisengeiste should, above all, maintain its independent, quirky, funny, intellectual orientation. I'm just saying, perhaps we should be a little more mindful of what people are curious about, what's on their minds. That's all.

"I have one word for you: Snakes on a Plane"

A brief pause in our worship of the Seahawks to consider hilarious blog entry about an upcoming feature film:

Snakes on a Motherfucking Plane

January 15, 2006

The Men Who Make It Happen

Excellent profile of the Seattle offensive line, here.

Some choice excerpts:
  • Scouts usually list Hutchinson as the third or fourth best guard in the NFL, with Kansas City’s Will Shields, Pittsburgh’s Alan Faneca, and Carolina’s Mike Wahle joining him on the short list... He didn’t incur a single penalty in 2005: no holding, no false starts, no mistakes whatsoever.
  • Tobeck is sometimes called “The Instigator”, and he liked to stir the pot long before he reached the NFL. At Washington State, he roomed with Drew Bledsoe. Their disagreements would sometimes lead to fisticuffs. “I don’t tend to argue much, but he would get me into arguments all the time,” Bledsoe said. “We got into a good argument once. As was usually the case, I was right and he was wrong.”
  • Locklear’s emerging skills are evident when you break down the Seahawks rushing stats: Alexander and company are more effective when running to Locklear’s right side (5.22 Adjusted Line Yards off right tackle, 4.71 ALY off right end), than to the left, where the Pro Bowlers play (3.76 ALY off left tackle, 4.21 ALY off left end). Many factors contribute to this unusual split, but Locklear’s play is certainly part of the puzzle.
  • Like Tobeck, Gray was a free agent in the offseason but opted to return to Seattle despite offers elsewhere. In mid-November of this year, the guy the Bears released in 1998 started his 100th consecutive game. “He has been the consummate professional since I’ve been here,” Tobeck said of Gray. “He has fought through injuries, he’s always there, he’s reliable. There has been competition for those positions every year and he has always earned it.”
  • It happened in Week 12. Walter Jones had a bad day. He allowed two sacks to Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora. He was also whistled for holding; it would be his second and last holding penalty for the year. Reporters surrounded Jones’ locker after the game... Umenyiora’s sacks were news in Seattle because Jones just doesn’t allow sacks. Pro Football Weekly stated that Jones didn’t allow a single sack in the 2004 season. The Tacoma News Tribune reported that Jones hadn’t allowed a sack in 350 pass attempts before the Giants came to town. Defenders rarely have much success against the man PFW says “has the footwork of a ballerina and the strength of an ox.”

Clayton's Seahawks-Panthers Analysis

Surprisingly quick, and surprisingly astute.

Clayton: Keys to NFC title game

Just Win, Baby

Lose your best player, the league MVP? Just win, Baby.

Turn over the ball three times? Just win, Baby.

Haven't won a playoff game in 21 years? Just win, Baby.

January 14, 2006

A Kind Word

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Shelly Winters, who passed away today, was the real deal. She won Oscars for roles in The Diary of Anne Frank (1959) and A Patch of Blue (1965). She was nominated twice more, once for A Place in the Sun (1951), and once for The Poseidon Adventure (1972). Not many people get nominated in three decades.

I saw her on TV the other night in The Big Knife. It's another one of those movies one cannot recommend, but which one would not for a minute discourage an intelligent person from seeing. I have no sympathy for Odets or his agenda, but Winters, along with Rod Steiger and Jack Palance, really made it interesting.

Shades of Seahawks Past

Five fumbles?


Not Quite the Diplomat

Chris Patten's new book is good.

"I remember a long night's discussion in Brussels on human rights with a group of Gulf foreign ministers, after which I felt that all of us on the European side of the table might be expected to show that we understood the error of our ways by driving down to the Grand' Place to search out a few adulteresses to stone."

January 13, 2006

Cancel weekend boating plans

Any plans to go boating in the Barren Islands or Kamishak Bay this weekend should probably be deferred. The marine forecast, reprinted below, predicts fast moving flows of hot debris. And six foot seas with freezing spray. Otherwise, might make for a nice outing.

645 PM AST FRI JAN 13 2006
MON...N WIND 30 KT. SEAS 12 FT. .
TUE...NW WIND 30 KT. SEAS 11 FT. .

The Hell That is Northern California, Part 2

In this scientific analysis, it is determined that San Francisco is a Beta World City, along with Sydney, Toronto, and Zurich, and with nine points just one point shy of Alpha World City status.

And it's easy on the eyes:

Now, let's see, Seattle...Seattle...Seattle...ah, here it is. Two points, right there with Ho Chi Minh City, Riyadh, and Bucharest. And it's easy on the eyes too, in its own way:

seattle Rain.jpg

Word is that Seattle may soon break its record for consecutive days of rain.

I guess we can all be very proud.

"Ted Stevens, I wish I could quit you!"

Lately, Ted Stevens has presented himself as an irresistable target to Jon Stewart. See him and Robert Byrd in a good, old fashioned, COOT-OFF!

A Letter from a Colleague

Dear Doc,

I saw your blog and had to get back in touch, especially after checking out the letters you were getting from Gruentag.

Sorry I've been out of touch - I've kind of been out of it since the Dead broke up, well even before that actually, 'cause they stopped using my sound system a long time before that (even you've got to admit the Gauss drivers were a nice touch). If you know anyone else who wants to get that kind of sound let me know, 'cause I've still got the chops, you know? I've got an idea for a nanotechnology tube amp that'll blow you away.

So I had to laugh about you and Gruentag trying to quantify rock intensity. I'm sorry, but you guys are so lame! It's a trivial problem. The real challenge is to quantify overall music quality using statistical techniques. Like, if you had those tools you could totally prove that OutKast is better than Fugazi.

I did some contract work for the web dudes a while back, and they've made a start on it. Through quantitative analysis of reviews from the web, we can prove that the three best albums of the past five years are:
Now, I know what you're thinking: how did Led Zeppelin get on there? Everyone knows about Smile (pledge bait for the New Millenium), and certainly the Loretta Lynn / Jack White partnership, resulting in a magnificent artistic triumph, is old news to you. But Led Zeppelin? OK, maybe it needs some fine-tuning, but conceptually this sucker works and you should respect that.

Now here are two more albums the model has identified as quantitatively superior. And if you listen with open ears, you're going to hear some great things:
  • Chavez Ravine, Ry Cooder - Hey, remember when music was both serious and good? It's a concept album based on this book, and makes Buena Vista Social Club look like the Archies second album. Seriously, if you can handle Latin music at all, it's The Shit.
  • I think you might have been the one who told me Dolly Parton was still alive. I heard that cover of "Billy Dale" she did with Asleep at the Wheel, but I thought it was a one-off. It wasn't - Little Sparrow is as fine a country-bluegrass album as you're going to hear.
Dolly Parton, man. Who'd have thought? But she's serious - she's a serious artist, man. I've got a quiet week coming up here - maybe I'll load up the bus and get out to Branson. I've got a sound system I'd like to show her.

- Kev

January 12, 2006

Why Not to Dance

From today's NYT on drinking in Britain:

Churchill began each day with a whisky and soda; he "slurped through the war on a tidal wave of Champagne and brandy," writes Ben Macintyre in The Times of London. Drink also featured heavily in the life of George Brown, a Labor foreign secretary in the 1960's, who is once said to have stumblingly invited a guest in flowing purple robes at a reception in Peru to dance. But it was not to be.

"First, you are drunk," the guest is said to have replied. "Second, this is not a waltz; it is the Peruvian national anthem. And third, I am not a woman; I am the Cardinal Archbishop of Lima."

January 11, 2006

Baby photo a day club

I'm not just a client...

I'm also the president (with appolgies to Cy Sperling)

Spot the Cause of One-Term Presidencies

This chart probably explains it all.

Also, note that when this number was negative for a full term the party in power was removed from power.

Heh heh...

Stand By for The Shift

Dick Morris: "...[T]he data are becoming overwhelming that the nation is moving left and is likely to stay that way through at least the 2006 election — and, if President Bush doesn’t adjust, for a lot longer."

January 10, 2006

Hey Laird, Have a Look at TMQ

"The Tuesday Morning Quarterback Non-QB Non-RB NFL MVP: Walter Jones, Seattle. There's a reason Alexander led the league in rushing, and that reason is fabulous blocking. There's a reason Alexander had 15 untouched touchdown runs, and that reason is fabulous blocking. There's a reason most of Alexander's record-setting tally of touchdowns occurred when he was running left, and that reason is that the left side of Seattle's line -- Jones at tackle and guard Steve Hutchison -- is fabulous. Repeatedly this season, Jones just leveled the man in front of him, even when the defense expected Alexander to run left: for instance in the Blue Men Group-Eagles game on Monday Night Football. Repeatedly when Alexander broke into the secondary, the very large Jones has hustled to accompany him: Check the tape of Alexander's 52-yard touchdown against Tennessee, Jones made the finishing block 20 yards downfield. And repeatedly, Jones got no help in passing blocking: not needing a back or tight end to help the left tackle freed more targets for the Hawks' passing game. If ever an offensive lineman should have been the NFL MVP, it was this year, and it was Walter Jones."

January 09, 2006

Huzzah!!! Huzzizzle!!!

From Jules:

Victoria and John's baby GIRL was born this morning at 7:51am via C-section. 9 lbs 3 ounces. Mom and baby are doing great. Dad is woosy. ;)

I'm told the new offenhartz is called: Claire!

They are at the California Pacific Medical Center. john will let us know when they are ready for visitors. W00t w00t!

Riddle Me This

The NFL website todays asks the burning question: "who can beat the Seahawks?"

January 08, 2006

A Curious Respect

An East Coast sports columnist for the Washingtong Post - that really respects the Seahawks.

And as we go into the always existentialist game of Seattle versus Washington with the line on Seahawks at 8 1/2, a full, healthy defense for the first time since week 3, and what we can assume will be a murderously loud Qwest field against a beat-up and offensively impotent Redskins, we can with all due humilty say:

Seahawks rawk.

January 07, 2006

How to Be Walter Jones

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I found that article on his training regimen here.

Some Figure it Out Faster Than Others

Here is the evolution of the ESPN Power Rankings of the Seahawks this season. Some highlights:
  • Week1, rank: #15 - "Last year the Seahawks were the trendy pick to make a Super Bowl run. Maybe flying under the radar a little bit heading into this year will suit them better?"
  • Week 2, rank: #22 - "Matt Hasslebeck [note they mis-spelled his name] has had plenty of ups and downs in his career and Week 1 in Jacksonville was one of the downs."
  • Week 6, rank: #16 - "It's still kind of stunning to see that the league's second-leading receiver in Week 5 was ... Joe Jurevicius (9 catches, 137 yards, 1 TD)."
  • Week 7, rank: #11 - "Shaun Alexander just finds the end zone. From 2001-2004 he's scored between 16-20 TDs every year and he's well on his way this year with 12 scores through six games."
  • Week 8, rank: #8 - "OK Seattle fans, you can stop pinching yourselves. The Seahawks really did win the type of wild finish they've normally blown."
  • Week 13, rank: #3 - "Getting the win over the Giants was big, although we're not sure how much it actually says about how good the Seahawks are."
  • Week 17, rank: #2 - "With a No. 1 seed and an easy win over the Colts in the book, there should only be one pressing goal remaining -- franchise's first Super Bowl berth."
I finally realized what it reminded me of: those famous French headlines from Le Monteur as Napoleon escaped from exile and headed for Paris...
  • March 21: “The Beast Is Out of Its Cage.”
  • March 24: “The Corsican Bandit Has Landed in France.”
  • March 26: “The Usurper Is Pursued by Loyal Forces.”
  • March 29: “Rebel Troops Take Lille.”
  • April 2: “Napoleon Marches on Paris.”
  • April 4: “The Emperor at Versailles.”
  • April 9: “His Imperial Majesty Will Enter Paris Today.”
Now all the Seahawks have to do is win a couple playoff games and the Super Bowl. How hard can that be?

Seahawks Team Stats Rankings

(For those of you non-NFL-loving Eisengeisters who are tired of our endless Seahawks posts, all I can ask is, "When did you start hating America?")

I did a breakdown of where the Seahawks rank in various team stats within the league. Here is what it showed:

The Best: Seahawks were #1 in the regular season in points scored per game (28.3), 4th down conversion percentage (87.5), and sacks (50).

The Great: #2 in wins (13), offensive yards per game (369.7), 1st downs per game (22.6), fumbles lost (7) , and penalties (94); #3 in rushing yards per game (153.6) and passes deflected (97).

The Very Good: #5 in rushing yards allowed per game (94.4); #7 in points allowed per game (16.9) takeaways minus giveaways (10), and yards penalized (846).

The Average: #13 in passing yards per game (216.1) and 3rd down conversion percentage (39.6); #16 in interceptions (16); #17 in yard allowed per game (316.8).

The Not-Good: #21 in time of possession per game (29:49); #25 in passing yards allowed per game (222.4) and forced fumbles (13).

January 06, 2006

Best Unintentionally Ironic "For Dummies" Titles

Nascar For Dummies (2nd ed.)

Athletic Scholarships For Dummies

Becoming a Personal Trainer For Dummies

Raising Smart Kids For Dummies

Success For Dummies

Rottweilers For Dummies

AOL For Dummies

Mormonism for Dummies

Are you sure?

I can't find any reference to the Alito confirmation chairs and the holy oil, either on Google News or (more authoritatively) on Fark. Do you have a link?

The New Masters

If you enjoyed the "Lazy Sunday" video from SNL you might be interested to look at some of their other pre-SNL work.

Warning: Do not attempt to view multiple episodes of "The 'Bu" without supplementary oxygen on hand.

Abramoff's Greatest Crime

The film Red Scorpion starring Dolph Lundgren. Salon told the tale back in August.

"There was some indication even in those days that he was not the sort of person who would feel overly constrained by the rules," said Jeff Pandin, who worked closely with Abramoff in the 1980s.

Samuel Alito and the holy oil

The Wall Street Journal has just reported that three Christian ministers claim to have snuck into a Senate hearing room in order to anoint the chairs that will be used for Samuel Alito's confirmation hearing next week.

"We did adequately apply oil to all the seats," the Rev. Rob Schenck tells the Journal. Schenck and his colleagues insisted that they aren't taking sides in the confirmation fight. But Schenck said that God is "interested" in "what goes on" in Alito's confirmation process.

I'm sure He's interested. And soon enough I'm guessing He'll turn His Infinite and Loving gaze on the democrats.

Just as soon as he's done torturing Ariel Sharon.

Abramoff in Seattle

A detail I had missed in the massive Abramoff scandal was the fact that he was a lobbyist for Preston, Gates, and Ellis in Seattle ( and of course Anchorage. ) Preston, Gates, and Ellis received a lot of money for their work through Abramoff, how else to put it, developing the sweat shop industry in Saipan, where American citizens receive the limitless benefits of unregulated capitalism. (I speak with a note of bitter sarcasm here.) The relationship started in 1994 and went until 2001, when Abramoff suddenly bailed.

There is also the sordid tale of Abramoff's buddyship with local Seattle far right-radio rabbi Lapin, in bed with a litany of liars, cheats, and self-aggrandizers on behalf of God from Falwell to Gary Bauer.

Noted with only coincidental alarm is that among the 400 attorneys at PGE is our old high school fellow Phil, currently a partner at that firm here in Seattle, specializing in constitutional law and government litigation. (In the interests of full disclosure, I once worked at PGE for three weeks in 1987, putting documents next to other documents and leaving a huge pile of oil shipping reports in front of the Arco building in Ankak before speeding off in my diesel Peugeot.)

January 05, 2006

Sartre's Secretary of State

Lawrence Eagleburger, secretary of state for Bush's father, said when talking to the president there is a tendency to be restrained in expressing opposing views.

"There was some criticism, but it was basically 'you haven't talked to the American people enough,' and it was very mild," he said to reporters after the meeting. "We're all has-beens anyway," he said, smoking a cigarette.

I didn't make that last part up.

Alexander Named NFL MVP

Story here.

Your Choice for '08

January 04, 2006

This year's Edge question

Last year's 2005 Edge Question was "What do you believe is true even though you cannot prove it?"

This year's question came from Steven Pinker (psychologist and one of my favorite authors): "What is your dangerous idea"

January 03, 2006

The Untouchable

From TMQ:

"The most potent blocking one-two punch in the league this season has been Seattle left tackle Walter Jones and left guard Steve Hutchinson. Running left behind them against Green Bay, Shaun Alexander walked into the end zone untouched yet again. Tuesday Morning Quarterback asked readers to review Shaun Alexander's many touchdowns and determine how many were untouched. Ian Simcox of Preston, United Kingdom, applied strict criteria and said seven were untouched and on six others, Alexander was only brushed by a defender. Tomás Guillén of Mexico City applied liberal criteria and maintained that on 15 touchdowns, no defender contacted Alexander enough to alter his stride."

2006 Starts off well...

Abramoff does the perp walk.

January 02, 2006

Sorry We Told Everyone You Were a Murderer

Fresno Bee misidentifies unknown person as convicted murderer. Sorry about that...

A Toast

I will say the same of the New Year as I said of '05:

May 2006 be better than the year before it; it can hardly fail.