Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The shame...

I was reading about the 20 Worst (video) Games of All Time and mentioned the Aerosmith game to Ms. Goat and her friend (a huge Aerosmith fan), only to find out that they played that game ("for free!") at an Aerosmith concert for about an hour. I guess it was free... The article's pretty funny; the only game on that list that I've played was the E.T. game for the Atari 2600, which I recall being pretty dull but not as poor quality as Pac-Man for the same system.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Fun at Wikipedia

An annoying Brit friend ("Captain Flaccid") and I have both enjoyed how the Jean-Claude Van Damme entry at Wikipedia had not only a slightly gay picture of JCVD (a shot of him and Lorenzo Lamas both in swimwear, now replaced) but what has to be a joke at the end, talking about his reputation as an abstract thinker. Today there's what has to be a joke picture at the Gang Signals entry. Good stuff.


On my personalized Google start page I see 3 new articles from eHow every day. Today's articles are a nice mix:

How to Plant an Avocado Tree (something I'd like to try here in America's avocado factory)

How to Record on an iPod for Free looks like a very useful hack

and How to Make Your Parents Love You For Who You Are - I love how the first of the Google ads that come up on the right sidebar is for schizophrenia

I was a huge eHow user back in 99 or so, glad to see it back and making use of the wiki format.

122nd post

This is my 122nd post. That would be more interesting to you if you had learned to count in base 11.

Farewell, Mr. Furley

Yeah, I know he's probably going to be remembered more as Barney Fife, but I'll always think of Don Knotts as Mr. Furley on Three's Company. I know obits are supposed to show the nicest shots of someone who's passed, but why don't any of them at least include a shot of his best face? Or at least his usual face. One of my favorite rolls of his is from a movie he did with Tim Conway called The Private Eyes that I watched a zillion times in the early 80s. The movie's a whodunit set in a haunted mansion with the detectives bumbling their way thru the case. The main gag of the movie is in the almost-rhyming clues left at each murder. A sample (this is from memory): "In this house it's hard to survive / Some who are dead were once alive / Mr. Yawatsah's gone because he knew too much / Bye for now, let's keep in constant contact with each other."

And I still have never seen that L.A. band called Don Knotts Overdrive, one of those bands I want to see just because the name's so cool.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Flash: Zombies like spicy food

We recently discovered a nice Indian restaurant within 50 miles of us called Bombay Masala Grill. Not only great food, but good prices and it's next to an Indian grocery store. As we walked thru, we came across a very strange item, the kind we couldn't refuse buying tho we probably certainly won't be using it for its express purpose:

Note: requires five goat brains

I don't know about you, but Brain, goat is always on my shopping list...

and for those of you who want to share it with your Euro friends:

The wanderers

My classroom has a good view of a "quad"-type area, where students gather and walk between classes. I can often see students walking around the campus during classes, too, and there are a group of students that are often wandering around the campus during classes. I've had a few of them in my room and have noticed how they operate: they come in, take a long time to get "settled" in their seats, then remember they have to talk to their counselor/go to the restroom/get a band-aid/etc. They'll get distracted by this simple errand and the whole affair ends up taking 20 minutes or more.

As unproductive as they are, I really want these kids to graduate high school, go to college, and eventually take up their destined places as future Bill Lumbergh-type middle managers, wandering around all day long and doing nothing. It's really amazing how these children have that same attitude of importance that a manager has, even down to how they gather at the soda machines and reflectively sip their Powerade. Hey, why should they go to college for that? Why should learning and grades come between them and their destiny?

Hugh Laurie

Finally watching DVDs made of American Idol from a coworker (it hurts that I can't say "tapes" or "taped") and we noticed that the serious Hugh Laurie of the House commercials was the same Hugh Laurie of Blackadder. We've never watched House but must have seen 50 commercials a week for it last spring and never once noticed that the grim title character was Lieutenant George/Prince George. That's a decent definition of acting: no makeup, looks totally different.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Goat report, 2/22/06

Warning: the goat is back in town!. Meet Monogram the goat.

The new Bond

Some folks don't like Daniel Craig in the role of James Bond because of his looks. And there's plenty of discussion about how Casino Royale is a Batman Begins-type "reboot" of the series. While I'm not sure a reboot is necessary to wash the bad taste of Die Another Day out of everybody's mouthes, I am interested to see Craig's performance. As a James Bond fan of over 20 years (somewhere in my records I wrote down that my first Bond experience, viewing Moonraker at a friend's birthday party, was Feb. 4, 1983), I can't say I was totally thrilled with Pierce Brosnan's portrayal of Bond. While he had range to go from humorous to dark material, too many times (especially in the Q scenes) Brosnan seems to be excited to be James Bond and the performance fails for me. I'd like it if Craig's Bond is closer to Timothy Dalton's portrayal, although that may not go over well with audiences. I think the steady stream of Bond movies on cable TV may have solidified a public perception that the movies will have to satisfy if they're going to continue.

Vegas in December

I've been wanting to post about this for a while but just haven't gotten to it... Ms. Goat and I went off to Vegas for a weekend in December for our first visit there in about a year (our brief stops there to fly out of the airport don't count). The highlights:

- Cowboy hats and big belt buckles. The National Finals Rodeo were going on so the place was overrun w/ cowboys, cowgirls and other such types. It seemed like every evening at the Hilton (where we stayed) there was some sort of Cowboy Ball type of affair, with these cowfolk in what passes for formal wear (shiny boots, new denim). We also passed some rooms where there were "country dance" classes, taught by what is obviously that culture's most gay members.

- we got a good deal at the Las Vegas Hilton, but in addition to the cowfolk filling the joint they were remodelling, which made the place a bit of a mess. It was tough getting a drink in the casino...

- speaking of free booze, we got lots of it all over town. Started down at the Fremont Street Experience, where the Midori-and-orange drinks Goat got turned out to not use orange juice, but orange drink (tasted like Sunny-D). Her standards couldn't tolerate finishing them so I was given that burden. We got better drinks at the Bellagio.

- we went out to Red Rock Canyon during the day and enjoyed some nice scenery. Pretty scary to see all the housing developments on the way out of town, however. Acres and acres of homes w/ not a grocery store in sight.

- The Riveria needs to be demolished and replaced with a better hotel/casino. The place seems to be stuck in the past, when I suppose it was happening, and now seems to belong more in Atlantic City than Vegas. And most of the waitresses there are way too old for their fake breasts.

- got in some good gambling at the Hilton on our first night. I was never interested in slot machines but the video slots they've come out with in the past few years are more entertaining. I got to playing one of the Twilight Zone machines and actually won $80 at the penny level, which paid for our room. The next day I got to thinking how much that I would have won if I'd played at the quarter level (this is probably how a gambling addiction starts) and tried my luck on a Match Game machine at the Monte Carlo. That didn't work for me, but at least I got to hear that great theme music a lot. We moved on to the Mirage, where I tried to get 5 David Hasselhoffs in a row on the Hollywood Squares game but with no luck (probably a good thing). We were annoyed that Treasure Island didn't have the pirate games we'd seen elsewhere but at least they had a lot of the cool Star Wars games, which let you watch the movie (A New Hope) and you lose money at the same time!

- on the way out of town we had lunch at Gandhi, which was some of the best Indian buffet we've ever had, right up there w/ a great place in Baton Rouge. We will definitely return to Gandhi, hopefully not to the Riviera.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


We got some snow over the weekend. By "we", I mean "the rabbits", as we were down in L.A. And any snow that fell over our house had melted by the time we returned. But we saw several cars yesterday that still had snow caked on their roofs, which melted as they drove and fell off behind them. Parked cars w/ snow on them made for near-snowball fights. But as Goat has observed, the ideal air temperature for playing with snow is somewhere above 50 degrees. And in the sun.

Checking out

It's a weekly matter I have to deal with, signing off on students who are checking out of school. Usually these are kids who are moving or transferring to another school in the district, but occasionally there are interesting reasons given. In the past week I've seen two forms that list "incarceration" in the Reason field.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Earth to Europe:

Feel free to join us in the 21st century... this morning I read in the paper about a rape ruling in Italy that says it's not as bad if the victim is sexually active. Then I go online and see some idiotic quotes from a Swiss Olympic offical on why women can't ski-jump. Why does the US always have to be ahead of the curve on everything???

Friday, February 17, 2006

Awww yeah

The new trailer for A Scanner Darkly is what I can only describe as "sweet." 139 days 'till July 7.


Saw an ad for Terrapass on a blog and checked it out, looks like a good idea. But it made me wonder: if everybody got one of these for their car(s), would that bring pollution to an end (the concept seems to suggest that)? Then a look at how many cars there are in the world suggests that, yes, at $30 (cheapest pass) times 300 million cars, I think that would clean up a lot of air.

[and the Terrapass blog is also an interesting read: I didn't know that New Jersey makes NYC smell like maple syrup and 30% of the air pollution in California is imported from China, which brings to mind the article I read about Earth's roaming dust storms]

On the topic of pollution, be careful about how you dispose of your computer. That article is a bit disconcerting to me, given I've tossed lots of computers in the trash in previous jobs.

Onion Radio News

I listen to at least one ORN clip a day and have found it usually follows a formula: it's based upon an amusing headline (I think they use the sidebar headlines from the print paper) that is briefly fleshed out, then there's a clip from one of the story participants (or a reaction from an on-site observer), concluded by a ridiculous bit of context. Here are three recent stories that rise above the usual standard: Convenience Of E-Mail Takes Up 30 Percent Of Area Man's Work Day, Hidden Valley Ranch Bombed By Balsamic Extremists and Pressure Of Sustaining Most Of The World Taking Its Toll On Rice.

Thursday, February 16, 2006


Super-high-speed pictures of the Trinity Test, the first nuke test ever. Poor Joshua trees got toasted! Via Boing Boing.

Overheard the other day

situation -- a teacher is helping a student make a resume

Teacher: Ok, what are your objectives?

Student: To be a billionaire.

Teacher: Well, how are you going to do that?

Student: Investments!

Teacher: Ok, then you need to go a business school.

Student: I don't need no business school... I just need a business license. I can get that at community college.

Teacher: Well, actually...

Student: I'll put business school up here just to make it look good.

Teacher: Ok, now on this resume you want to write... [goes into 5 minute explanation of goals they should have and list on their resume; student appears to be listening until she finishes...]

Student: Can you type that all for me?

Pirated DVDs

A few years ago we borrowed some DVDs from our pal Geoff that he'd gotten from a friend or relative who'd been to the Far East. One of the movies (Thin Red Line) I took the time to watch and as I looked at the DVD cover, I noticed that the credits at the bottom of the text were just cut-and-pasted from a different movie cover (The Legend of Bagger Vance). Today, looking over some examples of mangled Engrish in Asian products, my favorite was the segment of the DVD cover that, in place of a review, reads "Click here to read movie review" (it's about 60% down this page).

Offensive cartoons?

For those who're eager to see what will be starting riots in the next few week, here's More Cartoons That Might Offend the Middle East. Personally I can't understand why anyone would recaption Family Circus, it's such a sweet strip!

Our local paper, in the alleged interest of freedom of press, printed the Mohammad-with-bomb-turban last week. In the same issue, the Entertainment section mentioned the Vanity Fair cover with Scarlett Johansson and Keira Knightley nude but failed to print photos! Maybe they just like offending people; they did get lots of angry letters for printing the cyclops kitten photo.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Face to a name

If you, like me, read every bit of your music's liner notes, you may have seen "Mastered by Bob Ludwig" in many of your booklets. I've taken it as a sign of good and often great sound quality. Finally, I can put a face on that name as the Portland (Maine) Press Herald did a local boy does good article on him and his company (he won the Grammy, too).

Trailers: Madea's Family Reunion

As many of you may not know, Tyler Perry is a comedic actor who does a lot of work in drag as a character of his named Madea, a large black woman. I certainly respect the fact that he has a career and a successful character that he's put to use in two major films (the other being Diary of a Mad Black Woman). But this trailer is really pretty lame: it's only jokes are that Madea is getting looks from men and then, for the big closing laugh, she pushes two white women! Man, that's hilarious!

[I guess it's kinda sad that a black comedian can get a cheap laugh by pushing white people. I know it'll bring up a backlash; only a matter of time before we see "Respect and Protect the White Woman" t-shirts... as long as black men wear them, I'm ok with it.]

Now, the full trailer for this movie is much more interesting. If this was a cast full of white people, it'd be all over the media (pun intended). And it's probably a lot better than some of the whitebread crap that looks to be in a similar vein (The Family Stone came immediately to mind, tho I haven't seen it; big comedy/drama with family issues, seems close but I could be wrong).

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Goat report, 2/14/06

Sing with me... The Love Goat... soon he'll be making another run...


He's terrific!

Got this quiz from mh. Both both myself and Ms. Goat later took this quiz with me being defined as a Transformer and she as a Muppet. We later realized that these were both related to movies that included Orson Welles in the cast, the Goat's favorite director (and often a fine actor). I actually watched the Transformers movie a couple of weeks ago (much worse than I remembered it) and I think I agree with the theory that Unicron isn't voiced by Welles but by Leonard Nimoy doing an Welles impersonation. Still, it's amusing that this is one of Welles' last screen credits.

And while it can be said that Welles did exploit his image a good deal in his later years, at least he wasn't a prostitute, like some directors (allegedly).

Monday, February 13, 2006


Here at a semi-public terminal today, I went to Amazon to check on a couple of things and found that somebody else was still logged in under their Amazon account. Now, I can't buy things but I can play with their Wish List... no, I didn't take anything off their wish list (which was blank) but I did add a few items that I hope this person can profit from (or at least teach them to log off when using a public terminal).

Friday, February 10, 2006

Top movies

We're 5 weekends into the year and here are the top grossing movies. I like looking at these lists early in the year because I know none of these movies will be near the top 10 in December. For the record, here they are:

1) Underworld: Evolution
2) Big Momma's House 2
3) Hostel
4) Glory Road
5) Last Holiday
6) Nanny McPhee
7) When a Stranger Calls
8) Tristan and Isolde
9) Annapolis
10) End of the Spear

When is a studio going to release a really big movie in January? Maybe when summer reaches January (as it's already creeped into early May).

Research project

One teacher here had her kids do a research project where they had to find information about 5 playwrights and give a short description of their lives and works. One student immediately asked, "So where do we go for that, playwrights.com?" The results have been very spotty... some students have done plays, not playwrights, while many others have done authors; Dickens has come up a lot. One student even included composers Ralph Vaughn Williams and Benjamin Britten. I'm glad I don't teach English...

Goat report: 2/10/06

What to do if your goat is out of control. This is especially useful if they break into your house.


Thursday, February 09, 2006

Trailer: Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

I only saw the teaser trailer in the cinemas, but this later one is quite brilliant.

Labels: ,

Buy me this

Time to start a collection; I've finally found the one island that I actually want to own. I don't really see the point of owning an island, I like being connected with some sort of mainland. But this one is for me.

The sound of spam

Some Canadians have turned network data into sound. My reactions:

1) The article calls the sonic output "music," apparently not knowing that music is organized sound. Will the users of this system will feel the same at the end of a workday as if they'd listened to a set of symphonies? I seriously doubt it. Then again, it depends on the listener...

2) I am also curious about how an experienced user (say, who's used it for at least a year) will react to listening to real music. Will the steady tempi of Haydn and Mozart make the user think of "systems running well" while the Romantic surprises and changes of Brahms make them think "network's really out of control"?

3) one problem with this system is that it forces one to keep one's ears listening to something that imitates music. While I think it's good that it gets people listening closely to almost-music, what's to say that, for example, an increasing tempo won't just excite the user rather than make them think "network's getting busy." I wonder if it could also inhibit people from talking on the phone or to coworkers (two things they could do when viewing a graphical output). And aren't computer users really serious music listeners, anyway? Who would want to listen to the network when there are CDs handy?

4) reading thru the Slashdot comments about this brought me to Peep, which uses animal sounds. I like this much better, as the barnyard is something people have been listening to much longer than symphonic instruments (like one commenter said, you can train people to recognize any sort of data output). Similarly, I'm glad to see the Ambient Orb is still around.

In closing, I find this to be clever but not really useful. Stupid Canadians.


I heard about del.icio.us a while back but filed it in my mind under "look into after the dissertation is finished." Last month, the new version of Firefox came out and when I upgraded, I also added the del.icio.us extension, which works really well. I started up my list a while ago and I'm trying to add a few from my collection every day.

Trailer: American Dreamz

On the face of things, this American Dreamz movie looks kinda silly: Simon Cowell meets George W. Bush with some other stuff to fill out the plot. But Willem Dafoe as Dick Cheney seems to work very well and I can't help but love the way Dennis Quaid says "Chee-to?"

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Trailer: London

The trailer for London is extremely uninteresting, maybe the least interesting movie trailer I've ever watched (and I watch a lot). The situation presented is unintersting, the acting doesn't impress and what's up w/ Jason Statham's hair? I can't help but feel like this is a remixed trailer from a truly interesting movie (probably one w/ lots of action given Mr. Statham's presence).


.....musical pizza....

"Hello" will do

It's gonna be a while before I get used to being greeted with "WHATUP, MY NIGGA!" like I was today.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Densest graphic nover ever?

Last week I checked the Wikipedia entry for V for Vendetta and started to read some annotations that, while very well done, missed a few things (to my eyes). But I wikipediaed over to the entry for Watchman and that took me to these annotations and commentary. One of the reasons I love Watchmen is that, after reading it over and over again for at least 15 years, I still see new things each time I read it. I'm sure I'll find more even after I read this commentary, but it boggles my mind how dense this book is.

In related news, there was a new trailer for V for Vendetta that showed during the Super Bowl. I'm quite thrilled that up to 90 million people got to hear the words: "People shouldn't be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people."

Test your aesthetic sense

I scored 60% on this Mozart or Salieri? quiz, which just goes to show how good some of Salieri's music was. The other quizzes at the site are similar; take the famous or unknown artist, the answers are amusing. Artist or Ape should be very easy...

Monday, February 06, 2006

More trailer remixes

...via Yodelling Llama. Brokeback to the Future has the luxury of 3 movies to take from but still makes a convincing case. I would have liked to hear Huey Lewis singing "Power of Love" at the end, however. Fight Club, on the other hand, mostly uses the non-Tyler scenes of the movie so it's pretty easy. Like they say at Boing Boing, "It turns out that practically any weighty or horrific film can be re-cut as a romantic comedy with enough jaunty "Meet so-and-so!" voice-over and uptempo brass-band background music. It works really well here." The Shining one is still the best for re-casting Jack's creepy and psychotic behavior as kooky and romantic; this is why I'm really anxious to see an M. Night Shyamalan film done like this.

Labels: ,

Trailer: MI:3

Watching the Super Bowl commercial for Mission Impossible 3, I was again struck at one shot: Ethan Hunt is running towards the camera, there's an explosion behind him, and he's thrown sideways into a car, shattering the car's glass. While it's a cool shot (I wonder if they put Cruise's face on a stuntman? either way, it's nice to see him get thrown, isn't it?), I can't help but be bothered at how strange it is for him to be thrown perpendicular to the blast.


Saturday, February 04, 2006

The Funny Test

the Cutting Edge

(71% dark, 46% spontaneous, 15% vulgar)

your humor style:

Your humor's mostly innocent and off-the-cuff, but somehow there's something slightly menacing about you. Part of your humor is making people a little uncomfortable, even if the things you say aren't themselves confrontational. You probably have a very dry delivery, or are seriously over-the-top.

Your type is the most likely to appreciate a good insult and/or broken bone and/or very very fat person dancing.

PEOPLE LIKE YOU: David Letterman - John Belushi

The 3-Variable Funny Test!
- it rules -

The test tracked 3 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:

You scored higher than 91% on darkness

You scored higher than 51% on spontaneity

You scored higher than 5% on vulgarity

Link: The 3 Variable Funny Test written by jason_bateman on Ok Cupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

Friday, February 03, 2006

Goat report, 2/3/06

Meet Neptune, the rescued goat! We visited the New York farm of this group back in 2002, when we were camping near the Finger Lakes. Nice place for a summer trip, especially since it's near fine wineries.

Labels: ,

Underground music

Reading the comments to a description of the creation of a London Underground map of pop music I found a link to something I saw years ago but haven't revisited: Ishkur's Guide to Electronic Music. While it's only limited to one part of pop music, it's well done and even includes examples for listening. The London Underground map (pdf), on the other hand, is amusing but really wilts to close inspection. For instance, why is Outkast between Velvet Underground and The Cure? And Tangerine Dream is between Can and The Soft Machine, what's with that? And I could write another dissertation just on how stupid the Classical Music section is and that's without mentioning Danny Elfman being surrounded by real composers. Seriously, randomly choosing names would have been a better idea.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Goat report, 2/1/06

As they have learned in Georgia, you get a lot of laughs out of a goat!


Mmmmm... curry

It's high time Homer said the above. Today I've read a couple of articles on curry, first this book review my goat sent me reveals that curry's actually British (I guess they did contribute something to cuisine). And then I was over at the Rutgers site where I saw that curry + broccoli will help prevent prostate cancer. I wonder if they'll start serving that dish at Brower?

State of the Union

While the SotU speech was going on, I was watching the documentary Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, which made a very dense matter quite understandable, as well as giving me some nice (unintended) irony. It was especially interesting to read about the rolling blackouts in California, which I missed (and didn't effect folks I knew anyway), as well as what led to Gray Davis' recall. I was kinda surprised that he had presidential ambitions, he always seemed really bland. Looks like his political career is over for now so we have one less John Kerry type to worry about.

Speaking of the SotU speech, be sure and read the truth about what was said from the excellent site Think Progress. Hey, even the AP is calling BS on him. And right now, I'm thinking his call to wean America from mideast oil just means he and his buddies have invested more in Canadian and Mexican sources. And I'm thrilled he's decided to ban chimera; the neighbor's minotaur has been bothering our rabbits!