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    Saturday, August 23rd, 2003
    7:59 pm
    DOES THIS THING STILL WORK
    If so this is a cool little program.
    Saturday, February 15th, 2003
    4:17 pm
    REDIRECTION
    I thought I had posted a redirection -- but if not.

    Please go here: http://www.templestark.com/blog.

    My apologies.

    Also Samizdata clickers are still pointed here tohugh I have e-mailed them a few times to change it.

    TTFEver
    Thursday, November 21st, 2002
    12:55 pm
    Man in Flight anniversary
    ... if you don't count Icarus.
    November 21, 1783 Pilatre de Rozier and the Marquis d' Arlanded make the first human untethered balloon flight.
    Of course two months earlier a cock, a duck and a sheep took the flight first.
    12:54 pm
    Man in Flight anniversary
    ... if you don't count Icarus.
    November 21, 1783 Pilatre de Rozier and the Marquis d' Arlanded make the first human untethered balloon flight.
    Of course two monthgs earlier a cock, a duck and a sheep too the flight first.
    Wednesday, November 20th, 2002
    7:05 pm
    The news - he retorts, you decide
    Maher is back Yes. We've got to wait until the end of February until the new show on HBO.
    It may be too late by then....

    Politically Incorrect survived 1,200 episodes and featured the opinions of more than 4,000 guests since its inception on Comedy Central in 1993. The show, which moved to ABC in 1997, centered on the often heated, humorous debate between Maher and four disparate guests....
    In its heyday, P.I. garnered strong ratings and sparked pitched water-cooler debates, but it fizzled this year amid Maher's, yes, politically incorrect September 11 commentary and his subsequent battles with corporate higher-ups and the White House, as well as squeamish advertisers and affiliates.
    But that is exactly what HBO says it's looking for.

    He has published When You Ride Alone, You Ride with bin Laden which if I had an Amazon affiliate I would link to.
    </i>
    Tuesday, November 12th, 2002
    2:45 pm
    J-SCHOOL
    "I censored myself for 50 years when I was a reporter," said Thomas, who is now a columnist for Hearst News Service. "Now I wake up and ask myself, 'Who do I hate today?"
    To an MIT audience.

    I'm not condoning what she's saying. Let's just say, "I understand."

    Whew, 50 years? I don't know if I can last that long.
    2:36 pm
    THIS LIFE IN WASHINGTON STATE
    I choked on my lunch when I heard this on the radio:

    The state's first ever Mega-Millions Lottery winner was arrested today on theft charges. "She" might also be a man.
    Seattle P-I link

    HO-HO-HO
    Monday, November 11th, 2002
    2:50 pm
    TIME SPENT - NOVEL
    Haven't updated here for a while. A little dispirited that no-one seems to be checking in. But that's OK.

    I've been working hard - 2,000 words a day or more each day on this challenge to write a novel in a month..

    Here's the result so far. . I'm ahead of schedule at 24,000 words not counting today.

    I'm stoked about what's going on there.
    Wednesday, November 6th, 2002
    11:44 am
    IMPORTANT QUESTION ANSWERED
    This just innow we know. Everything is right with the world again:

    Winona Ryder has been found innicent of the charges that could have sent her to jail. And guilt of vandalism for tearing off tags.

    Listening to Dave Ross on KIRO 710 and he's been subjected to having to break into his show and even commercial spots like it was Columbine.

    Wow. National media has it's priorities way skewed. WAAAAAAAAAAY. News.

    Hang on, she has been found guilty of grand theft.
    What does that mean. Oh my god.
    Friday, November 1st, 2002
    11:58 pm
    something you probably didn't know...
    ... about the sniper case. Found this. Apparently the sniper and son lived with some students at the relatively small Western Washington University.
    Because I've heard links disappear there, I'll post the whole story below. Here is also the link.

    Sniper suspects bunked with former Western students

    By Eric Berto
    October 29, 2002

    When Seth Esterby, Bellingham resident, went to a friend's house one rainy spring day, he had no idea two of the people he would meet would later be named key suspects in the Washington, D.C.-area sniper attacks.

    John Allen Muhammad, a.k.a. John Williams, 41, and John Lee Malvo, 17, who attended a party with Western graduate Jason Hamilton and friends, were arrested early Thursday morning after a whirlwind investigation took FBI agents through Tacoma and Bellingham.

    Hamilton, who lived at the house, said he came home to a barbecue and the news that Muhammad and Malvo, whom he did not know, would be staying in his house.

    "I came home and saw these guys who kind of stuck out, because it was all college people, and here was this 41-year-old guy," Hamilton said. "At first I was worried. I thought they were homeless or something, but they were really well-mannered and well-kept, and I was put more at ease."

    The two men were polite and they made an effort to stay out of the way at the party, Esterby said.

    The two introduced themselves as a father and son who were traveling around the country on their way to visit relatives in Baton Rouge, La., Hamilton said.

    "Lee (Malvo) said he had just graduated from high school in Jamaica," Hamilton said. "He said his graduation gift was traveling around the country with his father, then going to college in the fall."

    Although Malvo claimed to be from Jamaica, Hami-lton has no recollection of the boy having an accent.

    Hamilton described the two as very fit, and said they ate very little but took a lot of nutritional supplements.

    "We offered them a lot of food from our refrigerator, but they really only ate crackers and honey," he said. "They claimed to be vegetarians and would go on runs with Mark (Thomas)."

    Mark Thomas, who graduated from Western last spring, invited Muhammad and Malvo to live in his home after meeting the two while working out at the downtown YMCA.

    Thomas, who has since moved to Arizona, could not be reached for comment.

    While it has been reported that Muhammad converted to Islam, Hamilton said Muham-mad showed no signs of practicing the religion.

    "He introduced himself as John Williams," he said. "I never saw him praying or anything. They just watched a lot of TV and movies that we had."

    Galen Brett, who was also at the barbecue, said there seemed to be nothing out of the ordinary about the two men.

    "It seemed like they were just ordinary Joes to me," he said. "The people I met that night seemed like completely different people than they are showing on the news."

    Hamilton said he was shocked to hear the news that the two well-mannered, intelligent men who stayed with him for nearly a week were the accused snipers.

    "What can you think?" he said. "I heard they have been linked to a shooting in Tacoma that happened before they stayed with us. It's scary to think they could have had the gun in one of the duffel bags they had with them."

    Hamilton said this experience has made him think twice about letting strangers into his home in the future.

    "Nothing happened to us, so I'm not sorry we took them in," he said.
    11:52 pm
    This film rated - Better
    I watched Buster Keaton's "The General" today. It is a silent film.
    Without one word spoken, and about 100 words total in on-screen words, a fairly complex story was told. All motions and expressions, leading to assumptions and a completely clear direction.

    There are of course some films that are dialogue heavy - but not many anymore.
    I would like to see a resurgence in silent films. Then we would not have to hear the many poor accents, the lame jokes and the words which push the plot along even though they are unnecessary.

    It may not be the best example but "Tomb Raider" had very few words and it moved along nicely. I liked it and I had not at the time barely cracked the code in my free download demo of Tomb Raider III.

    Let's get a real Silent Majority going.
    11:20 pm
    Close to death
    Sigh. One of my parent's cats got, not run over, but brushed by a vehicle and ended up dead on the side of the road. I had no inkling of this and probably would not have except about 9:30 a.m. or so today Tom Harris with the King County Animal Services came to tell us Wendell's collar had helped him find us. We are just up the road, about 40 feet from the road where he was found.

    My girlfriend met him first and she was in tears before he left. Mr. Harris was very nice. My first reaction when I heard the news was a solid "Fuck," so my partial apologies to Stephen King who I've always said makes all his characters have the same dialogue including way too much swearing out of character.

    Tom Harris wanted to know what we wanted to do with him, Wendell and he laid out the options; take him ouselves to store and then bury or he would take him away himself. Well, I believe my parents have buried the other two cats they've had who have died too soon - Simon fell off the roof and another, whose name I don't even know because I didn't live there at the time and he wasn't around very long died on the same road.

    Wendell is now in a black bag, in a box in my parents upright deep freeze. It is a lousy thing to do, but I had no choice. I think they would want to bury him, but they won't be back until Monday evening.

    I couldn't help but feel how terribl eit would be if he wasnot in fact dead and I put him in the freezer. I asked the animal control guy if he was sure. He was.

    Just the evening before I had called England at about 12:30 a.m. to wish my step-dad Michael a happy birthday - 8:30 GMT. I had talked to my mom and said the cats were getting a little restless and would welcome them back.

    We have been house-sitting for about three weeks now and Wendell was by far the friendliest. I have the reassurance that the last thing he did was not scratch my leg, which he did effectionately. No, instead he sat on my legs as I lay stretched out on the couch and I stroked his long fur.

    Oliver, their other cat has survived trough all the other deaths. I thik he's about 7 years old.

    I will not forget Wendell's dead weight as I carried him back inside.
    Though he had many happy years that may have been cut short at the humane society before my parents got him (I think that's how they got him) this is the exact reason I do not have pets. Premature death.
    Thursday, October 31st, 2002
    3:57 pm
    Some seriously sick and scary, uh, poo
    Alliteration (gotta love it even if you can't spell it).

    Over at DawnOlsen.com, she's running a Top Ten scariest lists competition.

    You know, Like the Top Ten Cutest Dogs or Top 25 Swedish Rap Hits.
    Well actually, Ms. Olsen has a Top Ten Scariest Films thing going. No. 1 for her is Night of the Living Dead.
    I don't watch many films. I couldn't really say. My imagination is active enough that I don't need extra reasons to sweat.

    But here's two real life things that happened to me, both which now just seem events caught in a moment, like everything else going on in my life at the time had me stressed up. Who knows. Neither is truly scary like being burglarized etc.

    The first, along the lines of "most scary" was watching the Thriller video air [not on MTV. I don't truly know what I was doing up at 3 or 4 p.m. but it was on some British TV station when I was 10, or 11 and it came on in full.
    I remember being completely terrified - no I never met him - and literally ducking under the covers.

    The second took a little more time. I woke up one night and didn't know why. Then I heard this scritch scritch scratching sound. I couldn't tell where it was coming from. It sounded like it was the middle of the room, below me and on top of me. Then it became more rhythmic, a steady beat. A whisper.
    I started getting panicky, without any reason except fear of the unknown. I didn't want to move and wasn't sure I could.
    Finally, I got out of bed to end it, tackle it, fight it, kill it, confront it. I said something in the dark. I didn't leave my room and I don't know why.

    It was at least 20 minutes from when it started that I found the source. At that time I had an air vent in the floor of my room. It was a sheet of paper being blown up gently, rubbing up against a table leg.

    Schhthh. Schhthh.

    Okay - but here's sometihng that made my blood run cold, my teeth chatter and my body curl in a fetal, helpless position - Princess Diana is leading the poll at BBC.co.uk as the ........... .......... .......... ........... Greatest Briton ever.

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH

    Please do something about it. Vote early and vote often. [Idea courtesy of Samizdata.net]
    You're allowed once a week or before or after the programme [airs Tuesdays and Fridays, 1 p.m. West Coast time]. The criteria are: Legacy, Genius, Leadership, Bravery, Compassion.

    The list is slightly skewed by not offering an "other" option, though there is a 100 list of "contenders."
    Here's the choices, in current order: 1. Diana 2. Brunel 3. Churchill 4. Darwin 5. Shakespeare 6. Newton 7. Elizabeth I 8. Cromwell 9. Lennon 10. Nelson

    I've never even heard of Brunel. I voted for Shakespeare even though I've only read about three plays [though all sonnets]. Elizabeth 1 - wasn't she pretty much a monster? Of course, my lingering memory of her is Miranda Richardson's portrayal in the Blackadder series.

    UPDATE: Hang on. The voting is a little more complicated. The votes are only for those whose TV profile has aired already. Diana and Brunel have aired, the others have not. The online poll lists all 10 but the ones that have aired have an advantage Let's send a quick note to the Samizdata crew.

    PS Isambard Kingdom Brunel, 19th century inventor and engineer. Still, who?
    2:21 pm
    Goddamn that DJ made my day!
    My history with RUN DMC starts with their collaboration with Aerosmith. I still have the 7" single. But then I bought Raising Hell and I've always thought of them as well-respected, great representatives of rap music at it's best. In other words anger is good, but it shouldn't be what the music is all about.

    They were patriarchs, they were successful businessmen. They cared. And one of them got shot in the head Oct. 30, 2002 while in his recording studio.

    It all don't seem to go together. I am saddened. Sad that the reputation they gathered has been sullied by this; this now is part of their legacy. Violence spreads far and wide, but it is not all the music is about. It's just getting harder and harder to believe that and to find examples of that truth.

    Other mentions around Web, include:

    Up_Yours
    Blogcritics
    Hipster detritus [he put some great thought into it]
    MTV.
    and this commentary I just found

    UPDATE
    found at MTV forum
    Jam Master Jay was why I love hip-hop then and now. When Pac and B.I.G. passed, they said those were the saddest days in hip-hop. Sorry, this is the worst day in hip-hop because that's where it all began (see "Jam Master Jay, Run-DMC DJ, Killed In Shooting"). Rest in peace, Jay. You'll always be the big beat master.

    Robert, 34
    Youngstown, OH


    and from Chuck D: "You draw the comparison to when John Lennon was shot," he said. "It's an enormous loss to the genre."
    And I completely concur.

    About Hollis: "Originally farmland, this is the area where American General Nathaniel Woodhull was captured during the Revolutionary War. The neighborhood was developed by Frederick W. Dunton in the 1880s, who gave it the name of his home town in New Hampshire. Now an culturally-diverse black neighborhood of Victorians and row houses, the main shopping streets are Jamaica and Hillside avenues."

    Run's House. Include's a forum
    2:03 pm
    Mentioned elsewhere
    We're going global baby. Well, not. But Sullywatch graciously added a link and some excerpts to my Andrew Sullivan post below. Sorry about not having permalinks - that will change soon.

    A small note - Andrew Sullivan's lack of skill does disturb me. He's not always wrong. Other than that I do not check into his blog or think much about him. I do read about him at other blogs. I could not avoid him on the cover of The New Republic.
    Tuesday, October 29th, 2002
    11:29 pm
    Imported bads
    Imported but not important.
    What makes me sickest about this article [free registration required] is that I didn't think of this first. Well, scratch that, I did, i just didn't think it was a pitchable idea. And it's not, unless you're a recognizable name already.
    Throughout this piece in The New Republic there is not one direct quote that he sought [one is a quote from the New York Times, another an unsolicited comment from his sister.]

    The commentary is the ramblings of someone who ... but I get ahead of myself.

    In his extended blog entry - I can't in good faith call it an essay - the British Andrew Sullivan, now living in America, talks about the influence - poor - that England has had on American culture over the last 18 months or so. He cites Talk magazine, Maxim, and various catering-to-the-lowest-common-demoninator game shows such as "American Idol," "Who Wants To Be a Millionare," and "The Weakest Link."

    He forgets a lot. He forgets the decidedly American twist of "Who wants to Marry a Multimillionaire.' And he forgets, if he was serious about making a point, the much more obvious FOX TV ethos of daytime talk shows [though the station has some great evening shows as well ie 24, Bernie Mac, Ally once upon a time]

    Throughout, I couldn't help thinking that Andrew Sullivan, as his general modus operandi, avoids the clearly obvious point — he's part of the problem. It's like Howard Stern railing against the exploitation of porn stars. And speaking of Stern, he's a distinctly american product.

    I enjoyed Andrew Sullivan's writing when he previously worked at The New Republic. I did so, not because I agreed or disagreed with him, but because at that time his writing not only seemed well thought out, but was.

    Now his work, mostly political, falls into the worst kind of public discourse. And this article, "Trash Pickup" is no exception. Entirely through the piece, Andrew Sullivan exhibits the British self-loathing as only an ex-pat can. At one point: "Americans are still a polite people.". All I can say is, what a kiss ass. And though it may be an observation on his part, it is not a fact or even a factual generalization.
    They are no more polite than British people, no less. But hang on. Earlier he writes that America "used to be quite a civilized country." Well, which way is it, polite or no longer civilized?

    LOGIC DANCE

    Andrew Sullivan's evidence of cultural disbasement are based on some long-antiquated view of the British-American ethos. An example:

    "There are few things more dear to Americans than the notion of Britain (or, more accurately, England) as a halcyon place of tea, crumpets, and generations of aesthetes who went to tony private schools and know much of Shakespeare and Milton by heart. In this cranny of the American psyche, the English are eternally polite, classy, reliable fuddy-duddies."

    So, your typical Maxim reader has this frame of reference when he's looking at T and A and tips on telling a good fart joke? Surely Mr. Sullivan does not mean to say that the people who have the above ideal of England are the same people who are the audience/readership of the debasing media products he cites.

    But he does. LOGICAL MISSTEP 1.

    He includes "Harry Potter" novels as an example of work that "appeals particularly to culturally insecure Americans." Funny that. See I thought there were a bunch of kids 12 and under just, well, you know, reading them. They may be insecure in different ways, but not culturally.
    LOGICAL MISSTEP 2
    He also lumps into the Harry Potter brew, "The Economist, any film by Ismail Merchant and James Ivory, the Harry Potter novels, The New York Review of Books pieces by Simon Schama, a new PBS production of The Forsyte Saga." Clearly a completely random pile that I doubt very few people share a love for.

    In a section talking about the takeover of American print media by British media and ownership, Andrew Sullivan believes this shift </i>".... says something about how Brit-receptive American culture has become."</i> LOGICAL MISSTEP 3. This is called putting the cart before the horse or horseshit.
    To repeat, the sale of these products is all about T and A, which caught on in America quite a while ago. I think. I can't be sure here on this point. I'm too polite to have noticed either way really.
    Internet porn took off in a big way too — because the British invented the Internet. No, no, wait a minute that's not right. Because, the Internet wasn't around before and it's become a halycon place for T&A — and F and S and GBing as well.

    [And as a journalistic aside here, how come it is that people who attack the New York Times as an axe-bearing liberal leaning paper, always seem to find a good quote (as Mr. Sullivan does here) inside its pages that agrees with their point?]

    THE PROBLEM IS HE
    Andrew Sullivan avoids thinking of himself as part of the problem. (How American is that by the way? Seems the influence flows both ways.)

    A bald assertion from Mr. Sullivan: "The US print media have similarly received the gospel of brutishness from a host of British missionaries. Well said Brother Sullivan.

    Also:
    " The most powerful British influences on American culture today are ferociously crass, unvarnished, unseemly--and completely unapologetic about it..

    And, Austin Powers and the British today are: " people with bad teeth, awful chest hair, and inscrutable slang."

    And: Being a "rude, sarcastic jerk" is "a more honest portrayal of the contemporary United Kingdom."

    All I can say is, Andrew Sullivan really knows how to draw a self-portrait with the minimum of lines. Call it the unconscious autobiography.

    CONFUSION SAY
    Of course in a confused state of mind he also calls the British media/people/attitute "fresh and radical," and that it has a "liveliness, in contrast to the staid and stuffy monopoly newspaper tradition in the United States."

    After pointing out all of Maxim's British faults, he becomes quite complementary about its assets:

    "But lowbrow as Maxim may be, it's hard not to be impressed by its energy, humor, and irreverence. It reads the way most men speak in private, without the forced and awkward heterosexuality of the more upscale men's mags--their pretensions to literature, their cloying celebrity profiles."

    So again, what is his point here? He's obviously not just trying to say a British influence exists. He's trying to say, the British influence is bad but he can't bring himself to do it. Or, more likely, he's logically incapable of it here because, as delivered, it was a "not great" idea to begin with. I was going to say "shitty idea" but damn, I mean darn, if I'm not going to live up to that typical American politeness.
    5:30 pm
    Twenty-four
    I watched all but the first episode last year - and then saw it in a repeat.
    They have a DVD of the first series which will be a Christmas present one way or the other. I hope.

    I'll do some episode recaps. But if you want to watch a "professional" do it go to Television Without Pity


    NEXT, a "fisking" of sorts on Andrew Sullivan's latest piece of !@#$% in The New Republic. It's about the degredation of American culture through British influence a la Maxim, Talk mag, American Idol. HINT - Andrew Sullivan is British. He lives in America now.
    4:27 pm
    RANDOM - I hate QWEST
    I usually wouldn't waste my hate on a company [sometimes its leaders] but when it comes to QWEST I have no reservations.

    They have cost me money, and not just with their reconnection fees - $10 for each line even though it's just a flick of the switch.

    They also screwed me over when it came to my first and so far only foray into cellphone ownership.

    I was called by them asking me if I wanted a cellphone plan. I made sure when I was talking that I would not be charged automatically or I wouldn't have a timeline to call them and tell me I didn't want extra charges. The woman said no charges would start until I used the cellphone and I would need to call up to get it activated.
    I got it and I ignored it for two months. And I forgot about it needing to be activated and just started using it out of curiousity.
    Barely.
    As in maybe six local calls in two weeks.
    And then charges and late charges appeared on my bill.
    I had to pay a deposit to get it working again and they told me if I had late charges on that account or on my regular line that $100 would be forfeit.

    !@##$% you.
    Well I had late charges and I forgot about the deposit. Now that I've moved I got a final bill and they credited the $100 to my account. They now owed me $12.10. Not only that, but just a week later I have the check sitting next to my computer.

    That should be noted as a good thing. My hate has now been tempered to mere dislike.
    Monday, October 21st, 2002
    9:57 pm
    J-SCHOOL
    I recently picked up a Women in Business newspaper supplement. Inside were short profiles of five or six local business woman. There were also 100 to 150 women inside.
    Arguably each was worth a story themselves or their picture on the cover.

    Instead the editor's picture was on the cover. She has been there since August so it's not news. Mercifully the story inside was short - again not because she doesn't have a story. I say mercifully because what her cover shot told me was that nobody else in the community can be considered more important.

    It was not good journalism. And it was unlike her.
    I respect the woman in question but was dismayed by the action. I want to tell her these thoughts but she would question my motives, so I'm not going to.
    Friday, October 11th, 2002
    11:37 pm
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