February 28, 2007

blogger problems

Where there is only one admin member on the blog, that person becomes the new owner of the blog after they switch to the new version of Blogger. If there are multiple admins, then the last person to switch becomes the new owner. The other members will still have admin rights, but the new owner will be the permanent member and owner of the blog. So if you have a team blog that fits this description (i.e. the original creator is no longer part of the blog) you can coordinate among your members to decide who will take ownership of it.

Long and short of it is: I think some of our members haven't updated to the new blogger yet. We can either cooridinate pulling everyone but one person's admin rights, and then they migrate to the new version.

Or it's just buggy and this won't fix things anyway.


Worth Watching

Dr. X posts this from Buda, or Pest:

"KCSM is running a feature tonight, N is a Number, an excellent documentary on the brilliant and eccentric number theorist Paul Erdős. He was one of the most prolific mathematical researchers who ever lived, and perhaps the only math tramp the world has ever known. Just as Bronstein was a chess artist, Erdős was a math artist - utterly preoccupied with his work, and, like Bronstein, endlessly evading the grasp of authority. For most of his career he had no fixed address or institutional affiliation.

"He'd walk into people's offices, comin' out of nowhere, and say 'my mind is open'. Not just the big shots - grad students, too, anyone he thought might be interested in doing some work. He had a knack for figuring out which mathematicians would be most interested in a particular problem, and getting them involved in the solution.

"He did a lot of work on randomness, and how structure can emerge from it. But as time went on people figured out the questions and problems he was asking about weren't random. They were pieces of metatheories in his head, and as answers accumulated, entire new fields of mathematics began to emerge (light stuff, like Ramsey Theory and the probabilistic method).

"Where'd he come from? He born in Budapest in 1913, the child of two Jewish mathematicians. Life was hard, and then the Nazis showed up. He escaped Hungary in 1938 - when he came back ten years later his mother was still alive, but many friends and other family members had been killed.

"He had an interesting bit of theology. He called God 'The Supreme Fascist' or SF (not too far from Horgan's sympathy for the Gnostic view of things). He conceptualized life as a game, with the following rules:

"1) If you do something bad, the SF gets 2 points.
"2) If you don't do something good you should have done, the SF gets one point.
"3) The aim is to keep the SF's score low.
"4) You never score, so the SF always wins.

"Which doesn't seem that far off. There are many books and articles about him - the one I read was The Man Who Knew Only Numbers. It's pretty good."

Not Fair, But Funny

Dr. X posts this from The Intertubes:

"Ted, meet 401, 401, meet Ted."

February 27, 2007

When You Shoot a Zombie Hunter in the Head, You Better Make Sure You Finish the Job

Dr. X posts this from the Cridge Alley Railway Station in Judgewood:

"It was the perfect plan, wasn't it Ruki? Slipping through the abandoned warehouses you saw a sleeping zombie hunter. He woke up, shotgunned in his restless slumbers by a little crud who thinks 'pwned' is a word.

"And then you melted into the night, just another survivor in a city of half a million. You figured you'd be invisible.

"You figured wrong. Ned Wacker has chunks of bigger jerks than you in his stool.

"Have a nice day piecing your skull together while waiting at the revive point."

February 24, 2007

A Duck

Dr. X posts this from the Papparazzi waiting area at Promises Malibu:

"I lost the thread a few years ago, when the celebutard reality shows hit (The Simple Life, The Osbornes, The Anna Nicole Show). They invited us to laugh at their fucked-up subjects, and enjoy the zany hi-jinks of the stoned and famous.

"Well, it's always fun until someone vomits and dies from an overdose. The concept of a national conscience is so far gone that even after the event, people are still laughing. Reality entertainment has reached the point where death becomes part of the show. There's plenty of candidates for the next necro-star - KNBR (SF sports talk radio) devoted a few minutes the other day to who's gonna die next (frontrunners appear to be Lindsay Lohan, Nicole Ritchie, and Britney Spears).

"Oh yes, Britney Spears. And that great humantarian, Letterman, treated his viewers to material that not only was not funny, but was also morally indefensible. Well, the audience seemed to get a kick out of it. Coming soon: Top Ten Ways You Know Your Chemotherapy's Not Working. (You know how old I am? I can remember when the Letterman Top 10 List was funny. Now get off my lawn!)

"Anyway, one show this week decided to back off. Craig Ferguson said:

" 'For me, comedy should have a certain amount of joy in it. It should be about attacking the powerful — the politicians, the Trumps, the blowhards — going after them. We shouldn't be attacking the vulnerable.'

"Mr. Ferguson, you were already among our little group's Most Admired public figures. You now enter our Hall of Honor. Other emoluments may be provided as occasion warrants.

"In yet another example of sustained excellence, Ferguson's monologue from Thursday's show is here. Be sure to stick around 'til the end."

February 23, 2007

An Open Letter to the President

Dr. X asks me to post this, although I do not exactly understand what it says:

"Dear Mr. President:

"We write to express our support for your courageous stand in these dark times. A commentator today told a national television audience that you deserved the admiration of all for your willingness to stand up for what is right, even if it is unpopular. U.S. Representative Steve Pierce has compared your position to that of Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War - despite his unpopularity, he "had the courage to hold onto the concept that we must let liberty triumph." And surely that is right. The President must be a leader, not a follower. He cannot kowtow to fickle public opinion. He must show the way.

"And it is in that spirit that we write to you today in support of a reasoned dialogue about an issue that is too often discussed in sentimental or emotional terms. Like the troop surge, it is an issue on which capricious public opinion does a serious disservice to rational civil discourse. Once the facts are before you we believe you will agree that it is a simple matter of right and wrong, and another instance in which our Leadership must rise above the passing fancy of the crowd.

"Mister President, every day in our great nation, thousands of pounds of nutritious food are wasted. Because of outdated policies they are discarded - burned, buried, even soaked in toxic chemicals. Hungry people are deprived of these comestibles, even as they are used in antiquated religious ceremonies and displays of frankly pagan origin. An entire industry has sprung up to facilitate these archaic and irrational practices.

"Surely you would agree that no American should go to bed hungry at night, but millions do. This tragedy is all the more appalling, when you consider that a nutritious, satisfying, and frankly delicious food source is readily available. Therefore, Mister President, we urge you to educate yourself on the issue of Responsible Human Food Consumption Policy. You will find no shortage of nay-sayers and special interests who oppose thoughtful regulation of human food consumption, but we urge you to show, as you have shown in Iraq, the courage to do what is right. The braying masses may try to shout down reasonable human food consumption policy initiatives, but you, sir, can put that right. You can ensure that human food consumption in this country comes from out the shadows - where it is unregulated and provides no tax revenue - and into the light, where it can be served with fava beans and a nice chianti.

"Mister President, we are certain that your successor will not share your instinct for moral leadership. We are concerned that the next leader of this great nation will be someone who is preoccupied with the changeable whims and shifting moods of the people, instead of sound moral principles. Before that dark day comes, we urge you to sign an Executive Order* authorizing sensible human food consumption practices, as outlined in our white paper, 'Enhancing Protein Content of Diets for the Economically Disadvantaged', available online, and at reading rooms in most major cities.

"Then Americans will truly understand what you mean when you talk about 'leadership'.

"Sincerely yours,

"Citizens for Sensible Human Food Consumption Policy

"* We are pretty sure that, with the current Supreme Court, an Executive Order is all it would take.

Topics for Discussion

1. Based on recent policies, it seems that the economy cannot function without a large number of billionaires who become increasingly billionistic, particularly through inheritance.

The question: would a computer program and/or a robot which simulated a billionaire's spending and investment patterns and habits perform this indispensible economic function equally well? (call it the Ascot 9000.)

2. The performance of the Pentagon in Iraq has proven catastrophic, and Iraq is embroiled in a civil war. Should we therefore reform our current military deployment with our many available divisions of Civil War re-enactors?

3. The flowering of apocolypse-enabling technologies promises that a slight excess in problem-creation over problem- solution by these technologies may end human existence with something like a radioactive nanobot-created genetically-engineeered dental plaque formed by a robot scientist's experiment to prevent tooth decay, which spreads instead to all forms of life causing a new strain of anti-biotic resistent saber-toothed bacteria to slowly nibble us all to death from the inside.

The few survivors gather in Iceland, now catastrophically obsessed with dental hygiene.


4. You teach a man to fish. Instead of being grateful for learning how to feed himself for a lifetime, he angrily hurls a flounder at you. Why?

5. An enormous triumphal arch is erected in Seattle and dedicated to the developers of Windows Vista. Speculate on the date.

February 19, 2007

The End of Strategy

Dr. X posts this from the Haight-Ashbury Armchair Generals' Club:

"Two shows on the History Channel the other night, back-to-back: First, Dogfights, which uses well-done computer animations to help narrate famous air battles (you can see examples on their website). They have covered everything from the Red Baron to Phantoms vs. Migs over Vietnam, but this particular episode reviewed a naval engagement - the Battle Off Samar.

"As every schoolchild knows, the Battle Off Samar was not only the windup to the largest sea battle ever fought (the Battle of Leyte Gulf), it was one of the greatest moment in U.S. naval history, as a small squadron of light U.S. ships drove off the main battle fleet of the Japanese Navy.

"That may seem like an exaggerated characterization, but it's actually true - the destroyer Johnston and destroyer escort Samuel B. Roberts engaged the Japanese main battle fleet at point-blank range with both torpedo runs and shellfire, buying time for the vulnerable light aircraft carriers behind them to get out of range of the Japanese guns (a crewman's account of the battle is here). Along with carrier planes they caused enough real damage (three heavy cruisers sunk, three damaged) that Admiral Kurita turned back just when he could have gotten through and shelled MacArthur's beachheads. I thought the Dogfights episode did real justice to this engagement, which has only recently received the attention it deserved, thanks to Hornfischer's Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors.

"This was followed by a show I'd not seen before, The Lost Evidence, which used previously undiscovered German aerial recon photos to help narrate the story of the Battle of Stalingrad.

"Watching them back to back as I worked on a needlepoint of the AC/DC logo, it occurred that these battles shared an important common element - in both cases, the greater strategist lost. Both Kurita and von Paulus were regarded as good thinkers, men who could formulate a deep strategic plan.

"But strategy is what gets you to the fight, hopefully in an advantageous position, but not what wins it. So what does?

"1) A serious intention to fight, even against long odds. Ernest Evans, commander of the Johnston, famously told his crew: 'this is going to be a fighting ship. I intend to go in harm's way, and anyone who doesn't want to go along had better get off right now.' Chuikov, the Soviet commander at Stalingrad was a realist, a man who understood he would have to trade lives for time. When Kruschev asked him how he interpreted his orders he said: 'We will defend the city or die in the attempt.' It brings to mind Montgomery's announcement to his generals at El Alamein that the withdrawal plans had been burned. It focuses the mind.

"2) A willingness to throw out the playbook. The grandmaster Richard Reti said: 'I am not interested in correct play and judgement. I am always looking for exceptions.' Much of it looks obvious today, but Chuikov's Stalingrad tactics were a departure from both Red Army orthodoxy and German 'best practices'. As the Germans came into the city they appeared to have all the advantages - air superiority, more firepower, more mobility, and more combat experience. But Chuikov figured out - quickly - how to make use of the advantages he had. Evans on the Johnston was likewise forced to invent new tactics - rushing among the enemy cruisers instead of staying back, steering toward their shell splashes to throw off their aim, and training his guns on their bridges.

"3) A determination to confront the psychology of the overdog. As the Japanese assembled a line of destroyers to launch a torpedo attack against the U.S. carriers, Evans steered the crippled Johnston to 'cross the T' of the enemy formation. The decision cost him his ship, but broke up the attack and probably was the last straw for Kurita. At Stalingrad Chuikov explicitly sought to confront German confidence, trying to meet every attack with an immediate counter-attack, and attacking by stealth or at night whenever possible. This is not an academic point - the success of the Tet Offensive owed in large part to the overthrow of the idea that the U.S. military had the situation under control. The overdog psychology is a very vulnerable state of mind against a determined opponent, something our leaders need to keep in mind in Iraq.

"After the bodies are buried (or eaten by sharks), the battles become what we make of them. It is tempting to moralize about their cultural lessons - perhaps Samar and Stalingrad fit the American and Russian world views a little too well. In the American battle, a plucky little force drives off the WWII equivalent of the Death Star, just like in the comic books. In the Russian battle a citizen army, thoughtless of the value of their own lives, won (and this is important to Russians) the biggest battle ever.

"It is late and I cannot find the exact quotes, but two other thoughts come to mind in this context. The grandmaster David Bronstein (who knew Stalingrad well) once wrote something like - 'there is a point in the game where you can't analyze anymore, you just have to fight.'

"And Wellington is reputed to have responded at Waterloo, to an officer seeking reinforcements, 'we have reached the stage of the battle where each man must die where he stands.'

"From that moment forward, there is no need for strategy."

February 18, 2007

I find a new musician I like...

Having firmly entered the ranks of middle age, where I characterize the stuff that younger people listen to as "unpalatable"

Okay I'll 'fess up, I actually say "That noise you kids listen to..."

Anyway, it's pretty rare I find a new artist where every new song I hear gets stuck in my head, and pretty much everything they've written is enjoyable. It's not the sort of music that engenders a sense of "I'm cool", or "cutting edge", but like They Might Be Giants it's good enough that you think...

I just really like it.

Besides, he's friends with (as my lovely wife puts it) my man crush John Hodgman.

Need I say more?

Oh right. As the First Sea Lord once said "Writing about music is like dancing about architecture"

So here's some links to some of my current favorites.

Skullcrusher Mountain. (previously posted about)
Code Monkey
Chiron Beta Prime
RE: Your Brains
My Monkey

Or the whole damn lot of everything he's done.

He's playing here in SF Monday night.

Curse my parents for visiting and demanding to see their granddaughter this weekend (it's not like she's on the other side of the country from them... oh wait)

In Which The Secretary Trolls for a Date

China Miéville, my current nominee for the "Viggo-Mortensen-Double-Dipping-at-the-Well-of-Talent" Award, will be at the Booksmith on Haight Street on Tuesday, February 27th, at 7 pm. I plan to be there too. Among other things, I hope to thank him for compiling the list: Fifty Fantasy & Science Fiction Works That Socialists Should Read.

Even though he failed in his 2001 bid for a seat in Britain's House of Commons (as a member of the Socialist Alliance) he has managed a few achievements in the 35 years since he was born:

1994 B.A. Cambridge
1998 King Rat, first novel published
2001 Ph.D. London School of Economics, Perdido Street Station, published
2002 The Scar
2004 Iron Council
2007 Un Lun Dun, you know, for kids.

Oh, this makes me tired so I'll leave it at that, skipping the writing awards et cetera and just say, I've read his first three books and they rock. Iron Council now moves to the top of my reading list. Rat bastard.

A quote from wikipedia: "I’m not a leftist trying to smuggle in my evil message by the nefarious means of fantasy novels. I’m a science fiction and fantasy geek. I love this stuff. And when I write my novels, I’m not writing them to make political points. I’m writing them because I passionately love monsters and the weird and horror stories and strange situations and surrealism, and what I want to do is communicate that. But, because I come at this with a political perspective, the world that I’m creating is embedded with many of the concerns that I have... I’m trying to say I’ve invented this world that I think is really cool and I have these really big stories to tell in it and one of the ways that I find to make that interesting is to think about it politically. If you want to do that to, that’s fantastic. But if not, isn’t this a cool monster?"

(popmonkey, if you can make it, I'll give you back your watch!)

February 16, 2007

A Quick Update

Dr. X posts this via an anonymous remailer based in Ukraine, where an admin transcribes the message by hand onto an ice bullet which is then fired into a Google server using an untraceable smoothbore sniper rifle:

"Whoa, Britney's in rehab!"

The National Poll of Quick Wit and Retort

An unintentional result of this survey of the American public's perceptions of nations may have provided hard data on percent of Americans who are waggish.

Thinking about the world for a moment -- What country in the world, if
any, represents the greatest danger to the United States?" (Open-ended. Multiple

Pew Research Center 2/7-11/07

Iran 25

Iraq 19

North Korea 17

China 14

Other Middle East 7

United States 5

Russia/Former Soviet Union 2

Japan 1

As an open-ended question, wit was both possible and permissable. The
answer "the United States" may not be literally true in that the question
clearly intends to seek which country is perceived as an enemy. However,
the response "the United States," is both witty and insightful - I am impressed
that 5% of the public produced this answer - outside of the margin of error.
This survey therefore puts the number of reasonably quick-witted, insightful
people at about 1 in 20. That seems about right.

February 15, 2007

Research Topics For The CERN Large Hadron Collider

Coming on line in a few months, the CERN particle accelerator in Europe will be the most powerful in the world, promising a new era of research in physics. What will the scientists be investigating?

- Isolation of single top quarks.
- Confirmation of the Standard Model with long-sought discovery of predicted Higgs Particle.
- Whether concentrated proton beam travelling at near-light speed can open blister package of AA batteries.
- Seeking testable predictions of String theory with high energy collisions of mozarella particles.
- Can anti-quarks get jiggy with it?
- Using the Large Hadron Collider to find out precisely which large hadron "rules."
- Whether the evocative sounds of muons will finally be recorded, permitting scientists to develop the long-hoped for muon-onomodepia.
- Increase effectiveness of heterosexualization field generator used on Rev. Ted Haggard from 8 to 9.25 percent.
- What is with Bush?
- How many streams of anti-neutrons does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?
- Testing new theory that the Big Bang was caused by Big Bird.
- Why won't girls go out with me?

February 14, 2007

And Where Were YOU on the Afternoon of February the Tenth...Dr. Mack Brain!

Theft in San Francisco.

February 13, 2007

An Isengard Valentine's Day song

May I present to you Jonathan Coulton's Skullcrusher Mountain.

My favorite Lyric:
I made this half-pony half-monkey monster to please you
But I get the feeling that you don’t like it
What’s with all the screaming?
You like monkeys, you like ponies
Maybe you don’t like monsters so much
Maybe I used too many monkeys
Isn’t it enough to know that I ruined a pony making a gift for you?

My VD sentiment's exactly.

February 12, 2007

Whither Eisengeiste?

Here's what blogger says about switching team blogs:

"In the previous version of Blogger, the team member who originally created a blog could be removed from the team. This is not possible in the new version of Blogger, where each blog must have an owner who cannot be removed. Thus, a new owner is assigned to these blogs.

Where there is only one admin member on the blog, that person becomes the new owner of the blog after they switch to the new version of Blogger. If there are multiple admins, then the last person to switch becomes the new owner. The other members will still have admin rights, but the new owner will be the permanent member and owner of the blog. So if you have a team blog that fits this description (i.e. the original creator is no longer part of the blog) you can coordinate among your members to decide who will take ownership of it."

So, if we want the FSL back, I guess we all have to get Google Accounts and go to the blogger homepage and switch. We can all stay admins but the last one to switch will be the owner.

The question is, do we want to do that? Or is now the time to move Eisengeiste to different software, like TypePad or WordPress?

Some of us might not want to be Google based because of concerns that Google might be evil or might be eavesdropping or that relatives in Vulcania might get targeted by the secret police.

Comments, please.

February 09, 2007

Now wait just a sec...

Back in 2005, I was forced to take work as a substitute cabana boy in the Bahamas, and I'm thinkin' I might have a better idea who the father is than Prince Frederick if you know what I mean.

Gabor husband may be Smith's baby's dad - Yahoo! News

L.A. Story

Dr. X posts this from the Emergency Room in Windsor, Canada:

"I knew this story was from LA before I even read it. It apparently happens a lot down there. Why we idolize and elect leaders from this region is utterly beyond me."

More Corporate Communication

Warner Brothers threatened to sue the Marx Brothers if they didn't change the name of the movie they were preparing to start filming; apparently Night in Casablanca was too similiar to Casablanca released five years earlier (in 1942).

Dear Warner Bros.,

Apparently there is more than one way of conquering a city and holding it as your own. For example, up to the time that we contemplated making this picture, I had no idea that the city of Casablanca belonged exclusively to Warner Brothers. However, it was only a few days after our announcement appeared that we received your long, ominous legal document warning us not to use the name Casablanca.

It seems that in 1471, Ferdinand Balboa Warner, your great-great-grandfather, while looking for a shortcut to the city of Burbank, had stumbled on the shores of Africa and, raising his alpenstock (which he later turned in for a 100 shares of common), named it Casablanca.

I just don't understand your attitude. Even if you plan on releasing your picture, I am sure that the average movie fan could learn in time to distinguish between Ingrid Bergman and Harpo. I don't know whether I could, but I certainly would like to try.

You claim that you own Casablanca and that no one else can use that name without permission. What about "Warner Brothers"? Do you own that too? You probably have the right to use the name Warner, but what about the name Brothers? Professionally, we were brothers long before you were. We were touring the sticks as the Marx Brothers when Vitaphone was still a gleam in the inventor's eye, and even before there had been other brothers - the Smith Brothers; the Brothers Karamazov; Dan Brothers, an outfielder with Detroit; and Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?. (This was originally "Brothers, Can You Spare a Dime?" but this was spreading a dime pretty thin, so they threw out one brother, gave all the money to the other one, and whittled it down to "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?")

Now Jack, how about you? Do you maintain that yours is an original name? Well it's not. It was used long before you were born. Offhand, I can think of two Jacks - Jack of Jack and the Beanstalk, and Jack the Ripper, who cut quite a figure in his day.

As for you, Harry, you probably sign your checks sure in the belief that you are the first Harry of all time and that all other Harrys are impostors. I can think of two Harrys that preceded you. There was Lighthouse Harry of Revolutionary fame and a Harry Appelbaum who lived on the corner of 93rd Street and Lexington Avenue. Unfortunately, Appelbaum wasn't too well-known. The last I heard of him, he was selling neckties at Weber and Heilbroner.

Now about the Burbank studio. I believe this is what you brothers call your place. Old man Burbank is gone. Perhaps you remember him. He was a great man in a garden. His wife often said Luther had 10 green thumbs.

What a witty woman she must have been! Burbank was the wizard who crossed all those fruits and vegetables until he had the poor plants in such confused and jittery condition that they could never decide whether to enter the dining room on the meat platter or the dessert dish.

This is pure conjecture, of course, but who knows - perhaps Burbank's survivors aren't too happy with the fact that a plant that grinds out pictures on a quota settled in their town, appropriated Burbank's name and uses it as a front for their films.

It is even possible that the Burbank family is prouder of the potato produced by the old man than they are of the fact that from your studio emerged Casablanca or even Gold Diggers of 1931.

This all seems to add up to a pretty bitter tirade, but I assure you it's not meant to. I love Warners. Some of my best friends are Warner Brothers. It is even possible that I am doing you an injustice and that you, yourselves, know nothing about this dog-in-the-Wanger attitude.

It wouldn't surprise me at all to discover that the heads of your legal department are unaware of this absurd dispute, for I am acquainted with many of them and they are fine fellows with curly black hair, double-breasted suits and a love of their fellow man that out-Saroyans Saroyan.

I have a hunch that his attempt to prevent us from using the title is the brainchild of some ferret-faced shyster, serving a brief apprenticeship in your legal department. I know the type well - hot out of law school, hungry for success, and too ambitious to follow the natural laws of promotion. This bar sinister probably needled your attorneys, most of whom are fine fellows with curly black hair, double-breasted suits, etc., into attempting to enjoin us.

Well, he won't get away with it! We'll fight him to the highest court! No pasty-faced legal adventurer is going to cause bad blood between the Warners and the Marxes.

We are all brothers under the skin, and we'll remain friends till the last reel of A Night in Casablanca goes tumbling over the spool.


Groucho Marx

From The Naked Gord, "which has been deemed part of Canadian Culture by the government of Canada".

February 08, 2007

Corporate Address

Note: I have long promised the following generic speech to be given by Dr. X, regarding the latest coporate economic analysis, at boardrooms across America. I hope it serves well.

You...motherfucking... cousinfuckers,

There you are. Look at you.

Sitting there: ass-smiles on your waxen faces.

Like you've accomplished something.

Well, you have, you pee-wee league ankle- lickers. You've discovered new territory.

You have fucked your way up Fuck-Up creek, deep, deep, deep into the Fuck-jungle of Fuckgentina.

You: Tool! You: cowshit-hopper! You: herpes-blighted blowhole! You: toad-necked balloon-brain!

I heard, somewhere once, that people work to earn a living. People, not you golf-shirted baboons, sloppily sucking out the marrow of the splintered femurs of humanity, dreaming of the day you can buy the car that frees you from the endless struggle of parallel parking.

Your dreams are like the water-park fantasies of intestinal worms, as they are being flushed.

I present here a rigorous analysis: your company has a terrific future- a future as an former company. It has been tossed -by you fucks here assembled- into the fucking fuck-dumpster of fuck.

You, ladies and gentleman, might begin considering a career in dollar store maintenance, or pizza delivery, or salmon canning, but those jobs require hard work and responsibility. I wouldn't recommend it. I have a fiduciary responsibility to these potential employers.

Here is the list of people who will provide superior management for your company, compared to your performance reported here today:

The Late Orville Reddenbacher
Patinti, an unitiated aboriginal adolescent of the Kalahari-dwelling Obatu tribe
Jim Belushi
The Pirate Ghost on Scooby Doo
Milton Friedman's veterinarian

That's right, stare, own this quivering clusterfuck! You have done it! Congratulations! You made it to the in-crowd - the people who add the "in" to "competence."

These are the facts. I have seen bake-sales with better returns. I have heard better sales presentations for skunk weed on Haight street. I have seen depressed gerbils with more elan.

I have a final recommendation. It would be best for the shareholders, and for everyone concerned, if you amateur-night horsefuckers would now simply stand up, bow your heads, and leave the building quietly. Your names will be erased from the company files, which is well for you, because when the revolution comes, you will be hunted down and shot.

You're welcome.

February 07, 2007

For LeBron to Trust You, You Must Lie

Dr. X posts this from the locker room closet:

"A former NBA player has announced that he is gay. From the story:
LeBron James, however, said he didn't think an openly gay person could survive in the league.

"With teammates you have to be trustworthy, and if you're gay and you're not admitting that you are, then you are not trustworthy," James said. "So that's like the No. 1 thing as teammates -- we all trust each other. You've heard of the in-room, locker room code. What happens in the locker room stays in there. It's a trust factor, honestly. A big trust factor."

"So...if you're gay, you should admit it. But if you admit it, you and LeBron both know you're finished in professional basketball. So you don't admit it. But don't let LeBron find out you weren't admitting it, because then you wouldn't be trustworthy.

"It's a big trust factor. All clear?"

February 05, 2007

Mess with the Cruise...

... and you'll get the missle, apparently.

Long time Scientology Picketer / Critic faces jail.

I was approached the other day by a CoS member who asked how I felt about their church opening up near my office. Or more accurately between my office and Clown Alley.

My reply was "Before you guys moved in, this neighborhood seemed to be filled with strip clubs, massage parlors, seedy bars and bizarre book stores. But now that you guys have moved in, the tone of the neighborhood has definitely changed."

(Pause for smile from CoS drone)

"In short: These days, this neighborhood creeps me the fuck out."

February 04, 2007

An Old Friend Back Online

Dr. X posts this from the New SGI:

"I think it was offline at one point, but Lavarand is back."

I Knew the Bears Were in Trouble When...

Dr. X posts this from The Straits Cafe in San Jose:

"Before the game today I saw a big guy in an Urlacher jersey...watching figure skating. A dark omen."

February 02, 2007

AP: "Warming 'likely' man-made, unstoppable"

Warming 'likely' man-made, unstoppable - Yahoo! News

Those whiny environmentalists! How irresponsible for them to spread fear over a couple of melting icecaps.

Why aren't they concerned about what really threatens us, like out-of-control guerrilla marketing in Post-9-11 America? (It's...unthinkable. Even to think of it should be...some sort of crime.)

February 01, 2007

My New Heroes

Video of the press conference held by the two suspects arrested in the Boston Aqua Teen Hunger Force fiasco.

Unfallbereitschaft und Kreislaufzusammenbruch

Maybe we need more information about Germany on our approximately-deutsch named blog or maybe we need more information about mysterious illnesses. But Germany has been on my mind lately, perhaps because of the scheme-that-exists-only-in-my-mind to get the FSL to Munich to paint. Anyhoo, this post might help with all of that.

Germans, those most logical volk, have some ideas about health that, well, just haven't caught on here yet. But they should.

For instance, some German newspapers carry horoscopes, but they also carry a feature about the weather called Biowetter or, how the weather will affect your health today. Check out this site, where you can choose a condition and see how the weather will affect it. Today looks to be a bad day for Schlaftiefe (depth of sleep) and Unfallbereitschaft (preparedness for accidents) but not so bad for Reizbarkeit (attractionableness).

See also this translated page from the German wikipedia on Kreislaufzusammenbruch (cycle collapse). Fortunately, as the article explains, "with leg high storage, cold envelopes and lying position the cycle adjusts itself often again automatically, if the cause cycle-caused a “harmless” is." But, according to the newspaper Der Spiegel, this affects worker productivity because people have to skip work and lie down for a day when they suffer a Kreislaufzusammenbruch. Good to know.

Another serious condition that, apparently, does not occur in the U.S., is the Hörsturz ('hearing fall') or sudden loss of hearing. How serious? Well, the helpful Der Spiegel explained that the party chair of the Social Democrats party had to step down because of a Hörsturz. I checked out the story of Matthias Platzeck on German wikipedia and located this confirming article. I found the fact that the automatic translation automatically translated Herr Platzeck's last name to "Place-hit a corner" merely added to the entry.


Big Wild Life

Anchorage's new slogan is "Big Wild Life." In today's ADN version of the story, Anchorage has found a new "indentity. "

I have no doubt that they tried really, really hard, and frankly, there have been worse slogans. "Say WA" comes to mind.

Seattle's recent "Metronatural" is okayish, but brings up irritating images of smug condo dwellers zipping off to Adobe on expensive bicycles, stuffed to the gills with arugula, bike-bags brimming with electric gizmos. Alright, it's an excellent slogan.

HOWEVER. Anchorage's older, perfectly mockable but useful slogan was "Wild about Anchorage." 200K for less specificity.

Aside from the hostility of marketing goons to grammar, and the inherent falseness of this affectation (this is, literally, a bunch of suits in a room avoiding a comma, a plague of a problem in Alaska; the for-real name of the University of Alaska in the city is "University of Alaska Anchorage (sic)" ), this new slogan just avoids blowing.

But look, here's the problem. Every booster in America looks for a relentlessly upbeat slogan, everyone's looking for a brand that projects what they want the city to be, rather than what it is.

Big Wild Life. Sure, in 1950. We've been going over reports from the old farts in Alaska. Anchorage used to be a truly wild, fun, frontier city, with a close community, a strong youth culture and an exhilarating sense of freedom, a fact carefully hidden from us by our parents. But I've been asking around: everyone over 55 reports that Anchorage used to be -BEFORE WE GREW UP- more fun that a barrelful of coke-fiend monkeys. Crazyness and chaos ruled, and while the bodies piled up, the dancing on the tables, driving the jeeps off cliffs and gun-play in the backyard ruled the day. Finally, I put together the stories I've heard: piano bars, braces of French stewardesses, international spies, fur trappers anbd fisherman loaded with cash, secret boogie-woogie clubs in the dell, young people with little scrutiny and a land without a history.

Now of course, its just the kind of place where a bunch of suits spend 200K trying to convince everyone that it's not a corporate whore hole: it's an office park in Siberia. Just try driving a jeep drunk off your ass with a couple of topless girls randomly shooting things through the BP parking lot and see what happens.

Of course, the city had to civilize, laws and responsibility blah, blah, blah. But it did not have to turn into a pale shadow of a real community, busily taking on the trappings of class distinction (Oh? Isn't your split-level in Turnagain?), making Stalinist Magadan look like a vanguard of architecture, selling out the vague traces of its thin history rendered forever in $4 plastic moose pellets to the endless phalanxes of blue-hairs walking downtown with a cast of disappointment shadowing their faces.

Anchorage is not free. It is not wild. It is not big. And it lost it ethos somewhere about 1986.

Big Wild Life. Once, and long ago. There is only one truth here: Branding is for cattle.