Saturday, September 30, 2006

Birth video & Monty Python

We went to the hospital after Ms. Goat's water broke and, as they had told us during the maternity ward tour, the first thing we had to do was fill out paperwork. This was very weird considering that part of the maternity ward tour was a chance to do something they called 'pre-register'. Having to fill out paperwork on arrival, while the mother is in labor, makes one think that their pre-registration is a chance for them to have a laugh at us.

Overall, the experience was good but only because Ms. Goat was a very brave, strong and well-behaved patient and didn't demand all she could have from the staff. It certainly wasn't a horrible and cold affair but there was a point during active labor when an admin came in to get a signature from Ms. Goat, presumably between her contractions. It made me think of the Python sketch where the bleeding patient has to fill out paperwork (which was cowritten by Douglas Adams). Thankfully, they were able to come back for the signature.

While hunting for the sketch clip, I noticed that You Tube has huge amount of Monty Python material. And not just sketches, either, but other stuff like this interview with Graham Chapman and Terry Gilliam on Late Night with David Letterman from 1982.

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New Bond updates

The Chris Cornell song for the new Bond movie (which I discussed earlier) reached the web recently and I have to say I like it. However, it may not appeal to most folks as it's not in the traditional Bond-song style although it does include some of those elements.

I also went looking around for more info and was pleasently surprised to see that Kimberly Last's Bond site has finally been updated. For many years it was the best of the Bond sites but it seemed recently she'd been upset at Pierce, obviously her favorite Bond, being ousted and wasn't going to keep updating. But now she has a nice Casino Royale page up although she still has the Gollum pic on the Daniel Craig page.

Following some links from that site I found a hilarious future-retrospective on Craig's career as Bond. I especially like the future-casting of Rupert Grint as a villain.

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Friday, September 29, 2006

Goat report, 9/29/06

It's time to promote the goat!


Thursday, September 28, 2006

Free video: CarCam

This CarCam video is similar to an idea I had ages ago on one of many road trips. I'd like to see some captions showing when states are being entered or maybe what highways are being used. While it's fascinating to watch the time-lapsed clouds, I don't see the point of showing the sections that are during nighttime as there's nothing remarkable to be seen at all.


Smoking = Farting

Senor Llama posted recently about his friend's (possibly satirical) call to arms for smoker's rights. YL is usually a pretty clever guy but his past demands for smoker's rights have always struck me as quite silly; again, these may be a joke but I feel they raise some good points that I'll deal with here in utmost seriousness.

One of the points YL has made (I can't find a reference at the moment) is that the medical data about the health effects of smoking and secondhand smoke is exaggerated or misunderstood or perhaps even false. I'm not a health professional (and neither is YL) so I'll just set that aside for now. I'll even go one further and say that even if it is all true, it doesn't matter so much. It's not inconceivable that within 100 years medical science will have advanced so much that any negative effects of cigarette smoking can be reversed. Should the anti-smoking measures then be repealed? Of course not. And if the health effects are truly negative to the user, shouldn't people have the right to take their health into their hands? Of course they should. So let's concentrate upon the effects of smoke upon non-smokers.

It would be better for all sides if smoking is compared to something similar in effect: farting. Let's say you had a serious gas problem, one that made you break smelly wind at least once an hour (we'll say that it's silent for simplicity's sake). While it might be healthy and pleasureable for you to fart, you know that doing so will bring a horrible smell into the noses of others. You would probably do what you could to stop this, such as take some sort of pills to cut down on your gas production. You'd probably also feel bad about subjecting people to this horrible smell and take solace in the fact that you can't control it very much. Surely the guilt you feel at the discomfort of others would outweigh the great pleasure that you, like all people, take in the smell of your own farts.

Smokers, perhaps as a reaction to the villification they've faced in recent years, seem to think all their 'farts' smell like perfume (or 'pure Virginia pleasure'). They don't seem to realize that a non-smoker who attempts to breathe smoke will cough and can't tell the difference between their smoke and the neighbor's house burning down. Smokers aren't really talking about the right to take their own health into their hands or the right to enjoy something privately; they want the right to force strangers to smell their fecal matter.

Both sides of the debate would be served to take up this analogy. The anti-smoking crowd could point out the rudeness of the act, perhaps inspire a rebirth of manners that is certainly sorely lacking at the high school I work at. Or even inspire more research into smokeless cigarettes (this might not work, however, as some have postulated that the attraction of smoking isn't the nicotine as much as it is the ability to have fire at your mouth).

The pro-smoking crowd should also adopt this analogy and direct their energies to making smelly farts publicly acceptable. Not only would we all be better off having less to annoy us, but maybe such smells are just an acquired taste. This would give the smokers a foot in the door that they could later use to make their own habit acceptable. As long as it's not around me.


Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Free music: Shack

No, not Shaq. Shack is a British band heavily under the influence of Arthur Lee and similar musicians. Their latest album has the added influence of Miles Davis and Gil Evans, something that isn't usually present in the late 60s psychedelic style. Give it a listen and hear for yourself.


Children and Music

It's good to see a decent study done on the effects of music on children, rather that another stupid one. But it's not good if this will bring about parents forcing their children to study music because they think it will make them smarter. What's wrong with just saying "Children can enjoy playing music and others enjoy hearing music so let's encourage that activity"?


Free video: Don't Download This Song

The video to accompany Weird Al's latest single done by the wonderful Bill Plympton.

Update: Even better is the video for White 'n' Nerdy

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Saturday, September 16, 2006

Teresa of Avila

Finally found the person who said/wrote the wise words 'Thank God for the things that I do not own.'

Friday, September 15, 2006

Bad web sites

For many years I've been reading a great bit of weekly web-design criticism and analysis known as Alertbox. PC World has an article this week on the 25 worst web sites that also goes into some of the biggest busts of the dot-com era. Other amusing sites that talk about bad web design include and Web Pages That Suck. Pity these sites don't seem to have had any effect...

Adorable little sluts!

So the babygoat in the house is a girl. I admit some measure of relief at having a daughter, as I don't feel the obligation to teach them how to be a 'man' but can just concentrate on teaching them how to be a person. On the other hand, it seems that modern culture is really interested in making little girls really slutty; for a few years Ms Goat and I have noted the skanky clothes on display for girls at the local mall/clothing store. On the other hand, perhaps there's a part of this trend we can use to help pay for her college...

Free music and video: Portrait of Tracy

While surfing whereever my curiosity took me tonight, I learned that the beautiful solo bass tune Portrait of Tracy written and performed by bass god Jaco Pastorius has become part of hip-hop culture. It's been sampled a few times for pop songs, including one called Pullin Me Back (video) by some fella named Chingy. It works really well, I hope to see more obscure jazz get used by the hippity hoppers.

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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

I'm a father!

As many of you know, I now have a babygoat in the house that appears to be of my issue. I don't know where to begin on how all of this feels so I just won't. I prefer shorter blog posts, anyways, so I'll just post the random thoughts as they come to me. Such as the following:

Today Ms. Goat weighed herself and noted that this weekend's activities brought about a weight loss of 20 pounds. Keep that in mind, ladies!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Trailer: Zen Noir

The trailer to the movie Zen Noir makes the movie look shockingly low-budget, almost like it's an extended bit from a sketch comedy series. Then again, perhaps that's intentional, which would make it a parody of parodies. Somehow I imagine that several koans are layered into the movie, which makes me quite curious.


Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Free video: The L.A. County Fair

Doesn't look like I'll have a chance to visit this year (I recall going over 20 years ago, when there was more farm activity in the area). Their TV ads are quite enjoyable, however.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Dave & Buster's

I had my first Dave & Buster's experience a short while ago. The food wasn't too exciting, very much in the line of Uncle Moe's Family Feedbag, but the atmosphere was interesting. It came off to me as being a Chuck E. Cheese for adults and I found the scent of Peter Pan syndrome to be in the air. And while they had a sizeable arcade, most were the first-person shooters that I've never gotten into. I was able to play some of my favorite video games, like Space Invaders, Galaga and Donkey Kong, but the selection of such quality games was limited.

I eventually found my way to a multi-player trivia game that would dispense to winners tickets that could be exchanged, carnival-style, for gifts. While it was a relief to finally let my overeducation find me some profit, it was short-lived. I won a whole lot of tickets right off the bat but the game was prepared for my type and began making the questions incredibly obscure: in a few rounds it went from asking about Madonna's first #1 single to asking who makes John McLaughlin's guitars. But I had won plenty of tickets by that time to get me a handsome glass mug; obviously the machine wasn't about to let me win any real prizes.