Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Goat report, 8/30/06

With all due respect to those that say there are too many TV channels (including myself at times), I can't think that we're at that point when the Royal Ascot Goat Races are not on one of the ESPNs. I have to wonder if they use a lure of an aluminum can instead of the faux-rabbit they use in greyhound racing.


Preach, brother!

Via Ms. Goat I read an excellent interview with the founder of The Skeptics Society. It's a relief to have him point out that economics is a seriously faith-based school of thought. And it reminds me that I keep forgetting to paper the econ department at my local university with stuff from Adbusters' True Cost Economics campaign. I'll get to it eventually....


The nice folks at Crooks & Liars describe our president as being 'incoherent' in a recent interview with Brian Williams, but that's really being generous to him; he sounds like an idiot who's living on another planet.

Words of advice

When you're a math teacher and you're putting a sizeable equation up on your whiteboard, if a female student should complain, "No, that's too long!" don't reply with the first thing that comes to mind. No matter how much it makes the other students laugh.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Pure magic

Inspired by Conan O'Brian's opening song at the Emmys I found this video of a cat using a toilet. My research tells me it is the best of the cat-using-toilet videos on YouTube. In terms of magical nature, it's right up there with some of the other great sites on the web.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Victor Garber

Ms Goat and I have been watching lots of Alias lately as a friend has loaned us the DVD sets. Seeing Victor Garber's performance as Jack Bristow has made me really want to watch Godspell. All I can do now is titter at images from it; I want to recaption these pictures, like 'I dunno where your mother is, Sydney'. It also makes me wish once again that somebody would have filmed the original Toronto production that was loaded w/ future stars, including Howard Shore (one of my favorite soundtrack composers) on sax.


Mother Jones?

I can't say I expected to see the day when Mother Jones ripped off The Medium. But it's happened.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Free video: Spin

I have yet to watch all of Spin but I like how it's started. Harry Shearer has incorporated network feeds into Le Show a bunch in the past, it's really amazing to see and hear how fake these alleged newspeople are.

The Infinite Album

Wired's doing a series on changes in the music biz that reminds me of a few stories that were in the long-departed Musician magazine in the early 90s that talked about how record stores were on the way out, soon you'd be able to buy music online and download it and even print up the artwork at home. Within a few years of those stories, however, Musician stopped publishing, something I bet was due to its being owned by industry standard Billboard. Doubtful such a thing will happen to Wired.

Anyway, the first story is about Beck constantly tweaking Guerro for the forseeable future. Two thoughts: 1) sucks to be a completionist and 2) wonder if he'll get the same reception that George Lucas has gotten for his frequent tweaking of the Star Wars movies.


Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Will Somebody Think of the Bassists?

I've been hearing about this since 9/11 but now the BBC knows that musicians have it rougher with tighter security. It is a little weird to hear musicians going to summer festivals complain as those are usually miked and not the best live sound quality anyway; why would you bring your Stratavarius to something like that? Anyway, when I got into bass playing I heard all about how easy it was to buy a half-fare ticket and you could fit your bass on the plane beside you. Now it looks like if I want to travel w/ my bass I'll need a huge and expensive case. Another reason to bring out my shirt that says 'No, I don't wish I played the piccolo'.


Free music: Weird Al

Don't Download This Song, a nice tribute to charity songs.


Friday, August 18, 2006

Edge of Sports

This year I've been enjoying a new addition to The Nation, some progressive sports writing from a fellow named Dave Zirin. After reading a couple of good articles today about baseball teams getting religious I went hunting for more and found Edge of Sports. Good stuff.

Goat report, 8/17/06

Two stories that need pictures:

Goat Costume Contest


Goat Crowned King of Ireland


Sunday, August 13, 2006


Every summer I have a list (usually mental) of things I want to do before the fall semester starts. This summer I actually got one of them done: I watched all of the Blackadder series and most of the specials. I'd seen Blackadder Goes Forth many years ago and occasional bits and pieces from time to time but never the whole kit and caboodle. Some thoughts:

- Goes Forth is undoubtedly the best, 2 and 3 are great but the first series is only slightly above average.

- the historical settings prompted many questions from my American-educated mind, all of which were well answered by Wikipedia (I had no idea that Queen Victoria has decendents on the thrones of 5 nations today). Blackadder should be supplemental material on courses of British history.

- after seeing his foppish behavior in these series, seeing Hugh Laurie as House is funnier than ever.

- Stephen Fry, on the other hand, didn't impress me as much. I need to see him in more roles than authority types, I guess. His work in Blackadder and Jeeves and Wooster makes him appear to be little more than a more disciplined Graham Chapman, which is quite respectable but not quite in line w/ Fry's legendary status.

- by the end of all 4 series it began to feel a bit formulaic in the continued jokes of the form 'dumb remark - detailed putdown'. It almost reminded me of another Britcom, Chef, which seemed to be nothing more than a series of putdowns with a veil of a plot draped on it. Blackadder's much better done but Chef is the formula taken to the hilt.

- it boggles the mind that the two writers of the series (most of it, at least), Richard Curtis and Ben Elton have gone on to write
romantic comedies and rock musicals.

- should somebody try to produce an American version (a la the many attempts to transfer Fawlty Towers) could American history be similarly skewered? Sure, any historical figure could be made fun of, but would the American audience get the historically based jokes? There are plenty of jokes that reference McCarthyism in M*A*S*H but that's still somewhat current. I guess one could have Thomas Jefferson running around having sex with female slaves but I doubt Americans would get jokes about he and Washington being hemp farmers. Still, it's worth a try...

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Free video: The magic of editing

Nothing but footage from ESB made to show Darth Vader being a smartass.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Do you see what I see?

Happy dolphins!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Recent TV viewing

Lately we've been shuffling thru a few things for our sparse TV viewing:

1) Season six of The Simpsons - one of my favorite seasons as it includes the Stonecutters episode and Itchy and Scratchy Land. Bring back Disgruntled Goat!

2) Kids in the Hall season 4 is better than the preceding seasons, if only because of the obviously better production values. It's a shame that Bruce McCulloch is probably too old to play lonely/single/20something women anymore; by contrast, the Pythons are now better suited to playing Pepperpots (not that they could get better).

3) Episodes of The Twilight Zone that I taped back in the mid-80s when one of the local stations used to run TZ marathons on Thanksgiving. I have about 70 episodes on tape and most of the better ones. One of the latter group is one we watched the other night, The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street. This classic episode came up in my substitute teaching that I did a while ago: one day I spent an afternoon reading thru a play form of the story with 6th graders. I was quite pleased to see it part of middle school English textbooks.

On some recent hotel stays I got to watch a lot of cable and found I was bored with it pretty quickly. Although I finally got to watch an entire episode of The Colbert Report.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

RIP, Arthur Lee

An old man named Arthur Lee died the other day. He once fronted a band called Love that released an incredible album called Forever Changes back in the 60s. He was a huge influence on one of my favorite songwriters today, Stew. You may have heard the hit single from Forever Changes, Alone Again Or. There's a nice tribute (and another mp3) at Little Hits.


Friday, August 04, 2006

Bad movies in waiting rooms

Took Ms. Goat to her ladyhole-doc the other day and we were forced to watch the cinematic turd Failure to Launch whilst in the waiting room. It made me think of another experience I had in a waiting room a few years ago when I took a family member to a colonoscopy appointment (their procedure, not mine). In the waiting room of that doctor's office they were playing the painful-to-watch Popeye movie and it occured to me that the only positive effect that it could have would be to make the patient's upcoming colonoscopy seem like a relief. Failure to Launch could have the same effect at an ob/gyn office, tho those appointments presumably aren't always difficult; also, the other people in the waiting room were enjoying those wacky romantic hijinks. For me, one of the more annoying elements of the movie was making the actually talented and cute Zooey Deschanel 2nd banana to the terribly unattractive and unfunny Sarah Jessica Parker.

And it's not just that she's unattractive, but that she looks way too much like Dee Snider (of Twisted Sister fame). I also don't like the way she was fine with her costars on Sex in the City engaging in realistic nudity but she always had the stupid ol' L-shaped blanket, something that never looked more out of place than in SitC. That's right, I'm not gonna take it... anymore!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Free video: Perversion for Profit

No, it's not a how-to, just an anti-pornography propaganda film. Note what indicates the 'overtones of bestiality' a little after the 3-minute mark.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Goat report, 8/2/06

Via Ms. Goat: 'Where will I find halal goat meat?'


Bond news

I got an email yesterday about the next Bond adventure being announced following this fall's release of Casino Royale. They must be really impressed w/ what they've seen of the new movie to get another one into the pipeline already. And they're putting Bond into the summer movie season, too, which hasn't happened since Licence to Kill, the last Bond to be part of the summer movie season. Wikipedia has a good quote on this matter:

Another factor cited for Licence to Kill's comparatively tepid box office performance is that it was released during one of the most profitable summers in film history, running against such films as Batman; Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade; "Star Trek V: The Final Frontier" ;Lethal Weapon 2; Honey, I Shrunk the Kids; Ghostbusters II; and Parenthood. All of them, particularly Batman, were big hits for their respective studios. Since then, no James Bond film has been released in the summer.

Right now, the 2008 films in the pipeline don't have much in the way of release dates. It is interesting that new Indiana Jones and Star Trek movies are expected to be out then (tho I doubt the IJ flick will happen), as they were part of that summer of 89, too.

On the same page as the aforementioned press release is a new announcement about the title song to Casino Royale, 'You Know My Name', to be written and performed by Chris Cornell (of Audioslave and Soundgarden fame). This is promising as he is a good songwriter and can sing melodically when he wants to. But I can't help but hope he makes some reference to the Beatles song of (almost) the same title. 'Welcome to Slaggers, Mr. Bond...'