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Monthly Archives: October 2003

Or Maybe He’ll Just Go to the Tanning Salon

October 28th, 2003 - 12:20 am

Going back to Standard Time is hell on us nightowls. For six months or so, everything is as it should be. The sun comes up sometime after I’m done with it being dark, and doesn’t go down again until after I’ve had the right number of UV rays to keep me tan and happy.

Then the last Saturday in October comes, and things go horribly wrong.

I can deal with the time from the end of June, when the days get slowly shorter naturally, and of their own accord. My rhythms, the results of thousands of years spent in non-tropical climes, are evolved for changing seasons. I think of it the way the garbage disposal would consider its existence, if it had a sense of self: it wouldn’t like it, but does what it’s designed to do. All my pasty ancestors knew that colder weather means shorter days, and they coped with it. So do I.

But this Standard Time switch is a more recent invention. My forebears didn’t have to learn to like it, and I refuse to. For no good reason, I gain an hour of sunlight — while I’m sleeping — and lose an hour of it — when I’m just getting ready for fun stuff.

That, in a word, sucks.

[georgehamilton] No sunlight means no tan, and no tan means no happy. [/georgehamilton]

The adjustment takes a few days, which is why I had nothing to say on Monday. Instead of blogging or trying to figure out how to make some money in this crazy market, I woke up at 8:30, looked at the diminished sun in the skylights, and thought it’ll all be gone in eight hours.

It’s easier for morning people, of course. Even accidental morning people like my wife. She doesn’t want to be at work at 7:30, but if she has to, damnit, she doesn’t want to drive there in the dark. For her, losing Daylight Savings was something that should’ve happened a couple weeks ago. “But what about me?

“Now I have to grill dinner in the dark!”

To compensate, I went around the house turning on every light, and twisting all the dimmers up to Completely Non-Dimmed. Even in rooms I wasn’t going to use. When night came (early), anyway, I sat there in my over-illuminated living room, squinting at my book, muttering “it still isn’t bright enough.”

Of course it wasn’t. GE will never replace Old Sol.

The good news is, I’ll be cranky for a week or two, which should lead to some interesting blogging.

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Whiner

October 25th, 2003 - 11:57 am

Not all the Democratic presidential candidates are happy with the hectic primary debate schedule:

“I think the crowded field allows the most shrill, conflict-oriented, confrontational voices to be heard,” Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts said Thursday in Iowa, “and not necessarily the person who might make the best candidate or the best president.”

Kerry then added that he believes that “elections are just a big popularity contest, and grossly unsuited to picking the best nominee.”

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Oops

October 24th, 2003 - 10:10 pm

Well, I got bumped from tonight’s newscast. Frankly, I’m hoping for a better slot than a Friday night next time around.

I’ll let you know when the thing, uh, should air next.

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That’ll Work

October 24th, 2003 - 4:01 pm

Juan Gato has the story on the latest advance in airplane security.

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Unless You Have Stuff to Do

October 24th, 2003 - 3:55 pm

Jeff Jarvis on how big media is changing:

Perhaps it’s as simple as that. Media was institutional. Now it is personal.
By personalizing media, I don’t mean customizing it (My Yahoo, Your Yahoo, All God’s Children Got Yahoos).
I mean humanizing it, taking on the personalities of people, not of institutions.

It’s a lengthy piece, and it’s your weekend reading assignment.

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More Early Handicapping

October 24th, 2003 - 3:51 pm

Now we know for certain why John Kerry “launched” his candidacy in North Carolina, instead of his native New England:

Former Vermont Governor Dr. Howard Dean has opened a large lead over his closest challenger in New Hampshire according to the newest poll by Zogby International.

Dean earned 40%, compared to Massachusetts Senator John Kerry

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Chair Men of the Bored

October 24th, 2003 - 3:45 pm

A day without InstaPundit is like a day without. . . actually, I don’t know what it’s like — it’s never happened before when he wasn’t out of town.

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Early Handicapping

October 24th, 2003 - 2:52 pm

Anyone who thinks Bush will win in a walkover next year, should look at these Electoral College maps from Larry Sabato.

He assumes a “competitve race,” and that assumption is probably more likely than not.

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Same Bat Time

October 24th, 2003 - 1:50 pm

Tune in to Denver’s KWGN tonight at nine for their story on Colorado bloggers, including yours truly.

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Tin Foil Hat, Anyone?

October 24th, 2003 - 11:00 am

If the blog goes down today, blame the space rays.

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Because Carrot Top Wouldn’t Dye His Hair?

October 24th, 2003 - 10:43 am

All the right-of-center pundits, professional and amateur, seem upset about CBS’s Reagan biopic.

Some claim it’s unfair, since it makes no mention of the huge economic gains made in the ’80s. Some worry that it undermines history, by providing no Cold War context. A few even argue that it’s personally insulting, since it unfairly portrays Reagan as a Bible-thumping homophobe.

But I’ll tell you the real problem with the show, the one detail CBS got so wrong that even liberals should feel dirty: Having Reagan played by James Brolin.

Let’s face it. Even during his Hollywood years, Reagan was a much better actor.

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Just Click

October 24th, 2003 - 1:48 am

The latest Nelson Ascher post at Europundits is today’s Required Reading.

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Deep

October 24th, 2003 - 1:43 am

Recovering blogger Mark Butterworth sent me the following email:

I have developed an interest in conducting a survey based on a single, simple question which I have been pestering reporters, columnists, editors, and publishers with. Thus far I have had responses from The Sacramento Bee (5 replies), The National Review Online (2 thus far), The Dallas Morning News.

A few respondents include John Podheretz and Mike Potemra (but James Lileks and Jonah Goldberg remain incommunicado, among others).

I’m hoping you will take the time to answer my question, and post the idea of the survey on your blog, directing responses to me, if you would be so kind. I intend to eventually organize the survey and publish it in a similar way by distributing it to bloggers so that they may comment as they please on the subject (or on the correspondent – me).

The question is this – “What is Truth?”

If you like, you can reply to Mark here — let’s just hope his spam filters are well in place, now that he’s let me make the address public.

Anyway.

My own answer is: On the human scale — the only scale which concerns me — Truth is all those things that exist, and do so independent from human consciousness.

And if you think that sounds like a crib/paraphrase from Ayn Rand, you’re right.

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Just One Hour, Honest

October 24th, 2003 - 1:06 am

If you’ll excuse me, I have to go indulge my inner geek and watch the first hour of my new Children of Dune DVD set.

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More Comment Fodder

October 24th, 2003 - 12:57 am

While I don’t agree with all the particulars in this Daniel Henninger op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, I surely agree with his premise:

The men who made the American Constitution understood that nothing in the pristine vapors of their nation was so special or unique as to ensure that Jack would never despise the opinions of Tom–and more than anything would like to shut Tom up, for starters. It is clear in the Federalist Papers that the Founders, above all, tried to reduce the destruction often done to civil life by political factions. I don’t know that James Madison is spinning in his grave over the factionalism washing through U.S. politics, but surely he is heaving heavy sighs.

So what went wrong?

(And if your answer is based on “the liberals – or conservatives – are all to blame,” then you don’t have an answer at all. You’re part of the problem.)

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Money Well Spent?

October 24th, 2003 - 12:49 am

Is this a fair cop? Read:

The Marshall Plan’s hallmark was the requirement that European countries work together to devise a plan for postwar reconstruction. Remember George C. Marshall’s words in 1947: “It would be neither fitting nor efficacious for this government to undertake to draw up unilaterally a program designed to place Europe on its feet economically. This is the business of the Europeans. The initiative, I think, must come from Europe.”

The goal was not only to rebuild Europe but also to encourage former adversaries to form partnerships that could endure after United States assistance ended. The plan succeeded so well that Europe has followed the road of cooperation all the way to the European Union.

But Marshall’s central insight is missing in the proposal before Congress. Under the Bremer plan, Iraqis need not do much of anything except sit back and watch American occupiers and contractors decide how to rebuild their country. There is no requirement that Iraqis

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Friday Recipe

October 24th, 2003 - 12:45 am

Here’s my attempt at re-creating a salad from some Italian joint on The Hill back in St. Louis. We’ll call it

The Mostly Sicilian Salad

You’ll need:

2 large (or 3 smaller) tomatoes, diced.

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Worthwhile Canadian Advertisement

October 24th, 2003 - 12:30 am

My bride sent me this weeks ago, but I kept forgetting to upload it.

(Click for the full-size version)

My question is, did she mean to give me a chuckle or a shudder?

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Last Word

October 24th, 2003 - 12:24 am

Krauthammer reminds us why the Easterbrook flap is unimportant:

. . .the idea of destroying someone’s reputation and career over a single slip of this type is not just ridiculous, but vindictive.

And hugely beside the point. The world is experiencing the worst resurgence of anti-Semitism in 50 years. Its main objective is the demonization and delegitimization of Israel, to the point that the idea of eradicating, indeed obliterating, the world’s only Jewish state becomes respectable, indeed laudable. The psychological grounds for the final solution are being prepared.

That’s anti-Semitism.

Easterbrook has apologized. Leave him alone.

Already done, Charles. This is the first — and last — time I’ll mention the sorry story.

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That’s All

October 24th, 2003 - 12:15 am

Sweet vengeance:

A top Iraqi official attending an international conference on raising funds to rebuild Iraq warned Thursday that France and Germany’s limited donations would not be forgotten.

Ayad Allawi, the current head of Iraq’s U.S.-appointed governing council, said he hoped German and French officials would reconsider their decision not to boost their contributions beyond funds already pledged through the European Union.

“As far as Germany and France are concerned, really, this was a regrettable position they had,” Allawi said. “I don’t think the Iraqis are going to forget easily that in the hour of need, those countries wanted to neglect Iraq.”

No further comment needed.

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No Relation

October 23rd, 2003 - 10:28 am

All I can say is, it must’ve been a cheap brand of vodka.

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Required Reading

October 23rd, 2003 - 10:21 am

StrategyPage has the story of the man who might win the Iraq War’s first Medal of Honor.

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This One Is for The Gang

October 23rd, 2003 - 2:48 am

What follows is 3,000 words of morbid, personal dreck. It’s a story I’ve needed to tell for four years now, but I’m publishing it here, only so that. . .

Well, I’m not sure why, other than I want it to be public. Yet I don’t necessarily want anyone other than my friends to read it. I guess what I want is something like the pride one must feel after having some small thing catalogued in the Library of Congress. You don’t need anyone to read it, but you sure feel better knowing it’s there.

You may, if you choose, read it. But don’t.

This one is just for Deb and Kat and Jay and Laura and Nancy and Mel and Ed and Adam and Bekka and Don and Other Dave and the Twins and everyone else who was there those six godawful months.
(more…)

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Customer Dissatisfaction

October 23rd, 2003 - 1:34 am

I’m not the only one having problems with Ultimate Electronics.

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The Name Game

October 23rd, 2003 - 1:14 am

Funny, she doesn’t look Jewish.

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Just a Little Scaremongering

October 23rd, 2003 - 12:39 am

Every week, Robert Samuelson writes a new column for Newsweek and its sister publication, The Washington Post, and every week it seems, I link to it. Today is no exception. Read:

Finally, China’s economy could grow so rapidly that it requires more imports. Unfortunately, just the opposite may happen. China’s present boom may be unsustainable. Credit is exploding. Loans are expected to grow by 3.6 trillion renminbi this year — equal to a third of gross domestic product, Lardy says. He foresees defaults and excess industrial capacity. Economist John Makin of the American Enterprise Institute — speaking at an AEI seminar — warned of a China “bubble.”

What Samuelson doesn’t mention is how much China today sounds like Japan in 1990. Huge trade surpluses with the United States, endemic corruption in the banking system, and a serious problem with excess capacity.

There are also important differences between the two countries, ones which might make a prolonged Chinese deflationary spiral unlikely. On the other hand, there’s this pair of differences: Japan’s history of warlordism is far in its past, and Japan never had nukes.

Japan has survived a decade-plus of slow- or no-growth, because they have a wealthy populace, already long comfortable with democracy and safe under the protection of American might.

The chances of China surviving whole more than a couple years of hard times is unlikely at best, and the results could be a global catastrophe.

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Blogrolling Is Nothing to be Ashamed Of

October 23rd, 2003 - 12:14 am

If I did what this guy does, the only person left in my blogroll would be. . . uh. . . me.

UPDATE: Andy has also posted a review of The Matrix: Reloaded, but unfortunately, he only once mentions Monica Belucci’s fabled chest.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Andy has added a picture to make up for it.

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Feel Free to Skip This Post

October 23rd, 2003 - 12:02 am

I’m mostly bored with the news again, so it’s time to drag out another old saw from the Tales from Wasted Lives.

Today’s story is Cooking Vodka.

You’ve heard of cooking wine, cooking sherry, and cooking brandy, but only Dave could have come up with cooking vodka. “Cooking vodka” doesn’t mean you cook with the precious; it means you cook while imbibing the precious.

My old buddy Dave was running the upstairs, fine dining restaurant at Harrah’s Tahoe way back when, and shared a mountain bachelor pad with his sommelier, Jay. With the market pretty much cornered on the best food and wine in Tahoe, and an endless series of cocktail waitresses from which to choose (I think Dave married at least a couple of them, however briefly), Dave and Jay were the twin terrors of the town.

So one night the boys brought home a couple new young ladies, and as always, prepared to seduce them with food and drink. If I recall correctly, D & J planned to make veal tornadoes with shiitake mushrooms in a Marsala sauce. After he moved to Colorado

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Guy Stuff

October 22nd, 2003 - 9:26 am

My bride will never understand why I need one of these.

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Never Again (Until the Next Time)

October 22nd, 2003 - 12:34 am

Anne Applebaum:

In Bangkok this week, President Bush used long words — multiparty talks, security guarantees, long-range missiles — to discuss the problem of North Korea with North Korea’s neighbors. Here in Washington, on the other side of the globe, a small organization called the U.S. Committee for Human Rights in North Korea will today use pictures to discuss the problem of North Korea with anyone who wants to listen. The pictures that the committee has procured — and now published, together with a report called “The Hidden Gulag” — are satellite photographs of North Korean concentration camps. With remarkable clarity they show, for example, the contours of Yodok, one of the most notorious prison camps in North Korea: the barracks and “villages” inhabited by different categories of prisoners, including political prisoners; the mines, the flour mill, the farms where prisoners work; the cemetery. They also show the outlines of Bukchang, another vast camp, including its cement factory, its hospital, its punishment barracks, its school for prisoners’ children. Distinct objects, including the high walls that enclose the camps, are clearly visible.

The rest of it is today’s Required Reading.

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