Posts from May 2003.

Edict

The refrigerator at work is covered with those tiny, rectangular “Magnetic Poetry” words. While in the kitchen a moment ago I accidentally bumped into it. Two of the words fell to the floor and landed face-up at my feet. They said “Love People”.

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Blogs

Hello sailor! If you’re here because of the KUOW’s Weekday program on blogs and are eager to learn more about weblogs or online journals or baby possums, here’s a bevy of links that you may find useful. And I’m sure that the defective yeti readership will be happy to provide additional resources in the comments below.


Blog Readin’
My favorite blogs are listed over on my homepage’s sidebar, but here are a few worthy of emphasis:

Seattle Blogs: There are too many excellent Seattle blogs to even start listing here. Thankfully, someone else has already gone through the trouble — check out The Seattle Weblog Portal.

Honest-to-Godness Weblogs: First up, Robot Wisdom. When the term ‘weblog’ was coined, this is what it meant (and Robot Wisdom’s founder, Jorn Barger, ought to know — he’s the one who coined it). Here’s another Cardhouse.

Pioneers: These guys have been blogging from the get-go, and have built up a dedicated following.
Weblog Directories and Listings: where to find just about anyone’s blog.
Community Blogs: weblogs written by a community rather than by a single person.
Political Blogs:

A few that will crack you up:
And here it is: The Soup Blog

Blog Writin’
Wanna try your hand? Here’s some sites with history, tips, and software relating to blogs.
First! Read Meg Hourihan article What We’re Doing When We Blog, which says everything that I would have said on the air if I had the ability to say things well.

The History Of Blogs:
Weblog News:
  • Blogdex – a kind of “what’s Hot” for the blogging community.
  • DayPop – weblog search engine.
  • BlogRoots – weblog news
Tips For A Starting Blog:

Blogging Software And Sites:


Baby Possums
    Photos of baby possums!

Thanks to Anita Rowland for her help in compiling these links (except for the baby possum resource — that was all me).

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Weekday

I’m slated to appear on KUOW’s Weekday tomorrow at 10:00 to blather on about blogs. You can listen to it live (either at 94.9 FM if you live in the Seattle area, or via webcast if you live elsewhere). Or you can find it in the Weekday Archives after the fact and listen to it then. Or you can not listen to it at all — see if I care, you jerk.

If there’s some particular aspect of blogging you think should be discussed, feel free to mention it in the comments. (Note: “VISIT MY SITE IT R0X0R!!!!” does not constitute an “aspect of blogging.”)

Update: If you are a Seattle Blogger but your site is not yet listed at seablogs.hellbent.org you can use this online form to add yourself. This is where I will be pointing those listeners looking for local weblogs.

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Bomb The World

If you ask me, most of the hastily issued “anti-war” songs (REM’s “Final Straw,” Beastie Boy “In A World Gone Mad,” Lenny Kravitz’s “We Want Peace,” etc.) that came out last month were what we in the music business refer to as “pretty lame”.

But “Bomb The World (Armageddon Version)” by Spearhead, which I just heard for the first time on the sublime KEXP, is actually kinda catchy. [mp3] [lyrics]

Update: In the interest of fairness, here’s Dan Worley’s pro-war song “Have You Forgotten,” which is also catchy, albeit it in a Frankly-Every-Country-Song-Sounds-Pretty-Much-The-Same-To-Me kind of way. But he manages to rhyme “bin Laden” with “forgotten”, so, you know, mad props for that. [mp3] [lyrics]

Watch for Worley’s next song “Baby, Give It Back!,” a paean to Bush’s “economic stimulus” package rapped to the tune of Sir Mix-a-Lot’s “Baby Got Back”:

I like tax cuts and I cannot lie
You other brothers can’t deny
That you feel elation when they pass legislation
Givin’ ends to some rich white guy

In retrospect, that wasn’t very fair at all.

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Opposites Distract

I’m in the grocery store looking for condoms. I’ve checked all the usual hideouts — the pharmacy aisle, the “feminine hygiene” aisle, the Most Visible Section Of The Store Specially Designed To Discourage Teens From Buying Contraception, etc.

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Only A Test

As you may have heard, Seattle will be engaging in a huge, simulated bioterrorism attack this morning. I’ll be doing my part to help make this drill as authentic as possible by first looting the corner store when I hear of the “attack,” and then bringing all the beef jerky, Chick-O-Sticks and Mountain Dew Code Red I can carry back to my office, where I will spend the remainder of the day curled up in the fetal position under my desk and mewling. So, anyway, postings might be light today.

Update: Whoa — I just heard on the radio that this whole TopOff2 simulated terrorist thingamaroo is costing 16 million! Dollars! That’s a heck of a lot to pay for what is essentially one big role-playing game scenario. I mean jeeze, couldn’t they just hire, you know, a really kickass Dungeons and Dragons DM — maybe someone who used to run Top Secret campaigns or something — and do the whole thing in the basement of the Wizards Of The Coast building?

DM: Okay Greg, you are in your office mayoring when a terrorist sets off a dirty bomb. What do you do?

Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels: Um, okay, I, um, I call Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske and tell him to go down there and, like, investigate.

DM: Don’t just say it, roleplay it.

Nickles: Oh right. Um, okay, “ring ring!”

Kerlikowske: I pick up the phone. “Hello.”

Nickles: “Someone set off a dirty bomb!”

Kerlikowske: I say “Who is this?!”

[Laughter]

Nickles: Hah hah! I say “This is Mayor Greg Nickels and I order you to go investigate the dirty bomb!”

DM: Okay, roll against Charisma and see if he’s convinced. Meanwhile, what do you do, Gary?

Seattle Fire Chief Gary Morris: I grab my Fire Axe of Tor +2 and slide down the pole to my truck…

If you paid for soda and pizza you could probably do the whole thing for under a hundred bucks.

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Movies: The Pianist

I figured I was done with Holocaust movies. Actually, I figured I was done with Holocaust movies after Schindler’s List, but I had to concede that “Life Is Beautiful” was astounding. After that, though — after seeing a freakin

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defective yeti Momalizer

The problem with journalism today is that it’s all so damned depressing: North Korea has nukes, the US has deficits, Harrison Ford is dating Calista Flockhart, and so on. Just skimming the Yahoo! News page is enough to induce an anxiety attack. If only there was some way to soften the blow …

Well now there is! Just enter your email address below*, select the news story you wish to read, and the defective yeti Momalizer will put it into the most comforting format possible: a friendly email from your dear old mom.


Enter your email address:


* You email address will not be used for evil ** . If fact, it’s not even stored anywhere.
** For real.

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1999

I was getting my hair cut by a young lady at the local barber shop.

Her: What day is it today?
Me: Um, Thursday.
Her: Wow, it’s almost the end of the week — it’s almost the end of the month, even! And next month I turn 21! I can’t believe it!
Me: Sneaks up on you, huh?
Her: It’s crazy! I mean, how can I be 21?! How can it already be 2003?!
Me: Uh-huh.
Her: I mean, do you remember when that song came out, that “1999” song by that guy?
Me: Prince?
Her: Yeah. Do you remember when that song first came out, how they played it, like, all the time? And then New Year’s came and it was the year 2000 and they totally stopped playing it? I mean, that seems like yesterday.
Me: When 1999 first came out?
Her: Yeah. Do you remember that? A few years ago?

The haircut cost 20 bucks, but the feeling old was free.

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Op/Ed

UNWILLING TO BELIEVE
By Paul Krugman, guest columnist

With his grudge match against Saddam resolved, an presidential election looming, and the "War or Terror" largely forgotten, George Bush is again straining our credulity to the limit.

How many times must we go down this path? We were promised Osama bin Laden "dead or alive," yet the criminal mastermind remains at large. We were told horrific tales of Iraqi WMDs, yet these stories still remain unsubstantiated. We were assured that our once robust economy would be mended, yet this administrations remains committed to tax cuts in the face of mounting deficits.

With the White House's credibility at an all-time low, it's unfathomable that they would choose this moment to unleash a yet another taradiddle on the American citizenry. Nonetheless, the Bush Administration yesterday introduced a new food product -- full of the rich, creamy taste we love, and great for baking, cooking, or spreading on our favorite foods -- that they audaciously vow is not butter.

Again we are asked to ignore the evidence of our eyes. Even the most dogmatic of Republicans must concede that this appears, in all respects, to be butter, from its just-whipped texture to its light-golden hue. And perhaps the political orchestrators behind this latest canard presumed that we would take their statements on faith, without once sampling the substance in question. But one taste -- a taste I, personally, have taken and enjoyed -- is enough to put Bush's assertions to the lie. That this is butter is an ineludible fact.

As with all compulsive prevaricators, the White House is not satisfied to simply insist that the most paradoxical of statements are true ("War Is Peace," "Ignorance Is Strength," "This Is Not Butter," etc.) but feels compelled to embellish even these outlandish claims. This product, we're told, contains only 90 calories per serving, and is available as a spray, as a squeeze -- even as a calcium-enriched spread. Spurning the age-old adage that the biggest of lies must contain a grain of truth, Bush seems content to pile falsehood upon falsehood until the target audience is gulled by the overwhelming quantity of untruth.

Many in these uncertain times will rush to give the President the benefit of the doubt; others will insist that it is our patriotic duty not to publicly question the Commander-In-Chief's veracity. And perhaps it's possible for the majority of American to willingly suspend their collective disbelief one more time. But not I. My capacity for credence has been exceeded; I can't believe it's not butter.

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