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Monthly Archives: December 2008

Required Reading & Listening & Laughing

December 14th, 2008 - 12:25 pm

I’ll admit right up front that Michele Catalano was my second blog crush, back in the early days of 2002. She’d come and go under various guises (and various blogs, too, I think) and somehow I’d always find out where she was writing.

Now, she tells me — we caught up again, this time via Twitter — that she’s started a music blog. Capsule album reviews. Deeply personal. Hysterically, often coarsely, funny. In other words, exactly what you’d expect if Michele were writing album reviews. Which she is. And thank goodness for that.

I read a couple last night, then scrolled down to read more. Then clicked back to read even older reviews. Ended up staying awake past midnight (a rare hour for the parent of a two-year-old) until I quite literally ran out of stuff to read.

Yeah, I’ve got another blog crush. Same girl, new blog. Check it out.

Revealed, Reviled

December 14th, 2008 - 8:54 am

This is the new BMW Z4. It’s bigger than the old Z4 it replaces, which was a joke version of the Z3 it replaced.

As for the latest, couldn’t they have made it creasier? That thing’s got more folds in it than an contortionist doing an impersonation of an origami Hellraiser box, fresh after being broken on the rack.

Must-See Radio

December 13th, 2008 - 5:14 pm

On this week’s PJM Political, it’s Blago-A-Go-Go!

And check out this roster of A-list talent we’ve got on the show: Joe Hicks, Rick Moran, James Lileks, Michelle Malkin, Glenn Reynolds, Charles Johnson, and Oscar nominee Roger L. Simon. Even better, Ed Driscoll and I do our usual thing, which just that is worth the price of admission.

Helpful Holiday Help

December 13th, 2008 - 4:58 pm

I’ve been told stories of women (it’s always women for some reason) who can wrap a package using only three pieces of tape. I’ve even heard a version where she could wrap a gift using just a single piece.

Don’t believe them. These stories are all lies, designed to make men feel bad for the way we wrap gifts.

I did the math this afternoon, tested on several boxes. Each present, properly wrapped, requires exactly 24 pieces of double-sided Scotch Tape. Bigger packages might need more. (Your results may vary. Professional driver, closed course.)

You may also need a T-square, a spirit level, and in a few rare instances a claw hammer.

And if you’re unwrapping a present from your buddy Ed, you might need a circular saw to get it open.

Separated at Birth

December 13th, 2008 - 1:13 pm

I’m not sure if today’s example explains everything or nothing.

Bye Bye Bettie

December 13th, 2008 - 8:29 am

There’s a good reason the best pinup art is painted — most photos of girls in those poses look just plain silly. It takes the virtual perfection of oil to make the ideal seem plausible. A photograph usually reveals the inherent weirdness of a girl holding her body at impossible angles while smiling broadly.

But not when the subject was Bettie Page.

Page was an ideal all her own, a perfect mix of naughtiness, playfulness and innocence all wrapped up in cherub’s face and a smokin’ hot bod.

And in the disposable world of getting turned on by naughty pictures, we’re still looking at Bettie fifty years later. Assuming I live that long, I’ll still be looking at her 50 years from now. Even if I’m not around to look, the rest of the world will still be peeking at Bettie. And they’ll still be feeling all funny inside.

Must-See PJTV

December 12th, 2008 - 7:11 pm

Blog Week in Review — starring ME! (yeah, whatever, it’s still pretty good) — is free to non-subscribers this week.

It’s an Honor

December 12th, 2008 - 3:25 pm

I’ve been nominated for a Shorty Award. Of course, in some cultures I think those are fighting words.

What did I do? I “tweeted” 17 excuses throughout the day for not shoveling snow. Here they are, in reverse order, just like real live blogging:

is out of excuses not to shovel the driveway, but still has plenty of scotch. There’s a lesson in there somewhere. If you really look. 8:50 PM Dec 9th from web

figures that after all this wine, it would be dangerous to shovel the driveway. He could slip and fall on the ice. Think of the children! 6:41 PM Dec 9th from web

has come to the sad conclusion that if he goes outside to shovel now, then his glass of wine will open up too much. 5:40 PM Dec 9th from web

figures it’s nearly dark enough already that hardly anyone can tell if the driveway is shoveled or not. 4:48 PM Dec 9th from web

is fairly certain the parakeet requires too much attention today for me to be stuck outside shoveling. Or would be, if we had a parakeet. 3:26 PM Dec 9th from web

is pretty sure his old college football injury is acting up too much to allow him to do any shoveling this afternoon. 2:50 PM Dec 9th from web

claims that his seasonal snow and shovel allergies have returned — and darn the lousy timing. 2:12 PM Dec 9th from web

likes to keep his friends close and his shovel closer. 1:10 PM Dec 9th from web

still wakes up sometimes. Still wakes up in the dark and hears the screaming of the driveway. 12:35 PM Dec 9th from web

just finished watching a scary news report about a man who was shoveling his driveway–and was mauled by a pack of wild dogs! And kitties! 12:00 PM Dec 9th from web

has it on good authority that “the soft, fluffy kind of snow doesn’t even require any shoveling.” 11:12 AM Dec 9th from web

thinks it would be best not to shovel the driveway “so as not to reduce the potential polar bear habitats.” 10:22 AM Dec 9th from web

would rather not shovel the driveway “so that Santa will feel more welcome.” 9:57 AM Dec 9th from web

thinks he shouldn’t have to shovel the driveway today “on account of inclement weather.” 9:32 AM Dec 9th from web

has, once again, put off snow shoveling until he can get his boot laces “not quite so criss-crossy.” 8:57 AM Dec 9th from web

has decided to further delay shoveling the snow, as on closer inspection it turns out the all the flakes look suspiciously unalike. 8:28 AM Dec 9th from web

has decided not to shovel snow yet because “it’s too white.” 8:08 AM Dec 9th from web

I don’t know how to vote for me, but maybe you do.

Dead Brand Walking

December 12th, 2008 - 12:13 pm

Is China’s SAIC gearing up to buy Saturn from GM?

The deal would make sense for a foreign automaker looking to buy into a US dealer/distribution stream, without having to take on the responsibility of owning an automaker that actually makes cars. SAIC could ditch the UAW by continuing the fine GM tradition of using its “import fighter” brand to sell rebadged imports. Only instead of selling rebadged Opels from Europe, SAIC would sell their own rebadged Chinese cars.

Would many Americans notice the difference?

I Have (Not) Got to Get Me One of Those

December 12th, 2008 - 11:06 am

More trouble for Sony:

Alone among the three major videogame consoles, sales of the PS3 are down about 19% from November 2007, according to the latest stats from the NPD Group. Sony was only able to sell 378,000 PS3s this November, compared to 466,000 last year.

And the problem for Sony isn’t the recession, it’s the PS3. Microsoft (MSFT) put up respectable numbers with its Xbox 360, selling 836,000 units vs 777,000 in November 2007. And Nintendo’s (NTDOY) Wii continues to dominate the market, more than doubling sales from 981,000 to 2.04 million.

Less fun than the Wii, twice as expensive as the Xbox 360. That’s why Playstation 3 isn’t selling.

Mystery Caller On Line Two

December 12th, 2008 - 10:19 am

Transcript from Fox News:

BILL SAMMON: But it raises the question about whether somebody from the Obama team might have been on that, because as soon as the conference call ended, it was a two-hour conference call, and in that conference call, Blagojevich basically said — OK, well, if, you know, Valerie Jarrett, if, you know, I’m going to appoint Obama’s favorite person, Valerie Jarrett, to that Senate seat and Obama’s not going to pay me off for it, the heck with her, I’m not going to do it.

Of course, he used a little saltier language. But as soon as that conference call ended, within a matter of hours, Obama aides were leaking to reporters that Valerie Jarrett had taken herself out of the running for that seat.


SAMMON: So, either someone who was in on that call, or got briefed by a participant in the call, someone from the Obama camp, and the question is who.

Maybe I was too quick to dismiss the possibilities of what Obama knew and when.

Batting 1,000 (LDL)

December 12th, 2008 - 9:24 am

You smell bacon?

Tis the Season!

December 12th, 2008 - 9:00 am

David Harsanyi: “Read this *!($@’n column.”

Um, yeah, OK.

A Worthy Cause*

December 12th, 2008 - 8:43 am

So I was talking to my good close personal lady friend, Miss Christina Hendricks, the other day. And she asked me, “Did you know that Soldiers’ Angels plans to deliver more than 100,000 care packages to our troops overseas?

“I had no idea. That must cost a lot of money.”

“It does,” she said, spilling out of her dress just a bit. “The packages cost big money just to put together, and then there are all those shipping fees…”

“Is there anything I can do to help?” I asked my dear friend, Miss Christina Hendricks.

“Give them some money, silly,” she purred in my ear.

I tell you, it’s tough to be a blogger sometimes. But it’s even tougher to be deployed overseas — especially this time of year. So do what my good friend Miss Christina Hendricks wants you to do, and donate a little money to Soldiers’ Angels. Just click right here. It will only take a minute or two.

*Not actually endorsed by Miss Christina Hendricks, although I’m sure she’s a lovely person and would be happy to help if she knew about Soldiers’ Angels.

All Hands Prepare to Get Decked

December 12th, 2008 - 7:13 am

No more Amazon Tip Jar?

The good folks at Amazon are about to experience the full wrath of the blogosphere. This ought to make the Sitemeter fiasco look like tender kisses on the beach.

That’s the Ticket

December 12th, 2008 - 7:05 am

The mainstream media is so desperate to help the Democrats who run Freddie Mac/Fannie Mae, that Newsweek is now blaming the Wall Street meltdown on a woman who’s been dead for almost 30 years.

Tell me again why Newsweek is cutting pages and slashing print runs.

Must-See PJTV

December 12th, 2008 - 5:44 am

On the most recent Blogger Roundtable, Redstate’s Jeff Emanuel, National Review’s Mark Hemingway, and VodkaPundit’s Steve Green (hey, that’s me!) talk about below-the-fold news stories, Republican whipping boy Karl Rove, and — of course — Blagoramagate.

You Just Knew It

December 11th, 2008 - 1:12 pm

It’s true — Santa is a Democrat.

Required Reading

December 11th, 2008 - 12:41 pm

My favorite part of being a Twitterer is getting daily updates from Chakapedia. Well, that and the constant updates from Mr. Lileks. (Since having had a real actual lunch with him last summer, he sometimes lets me call him Mr. James Lileks.) Anyway, even if you’re not a fellow or sister Twit, you should read this delightful interview with Chaka.

Every Dog Gets His Day

December 11th, 2008 - 10:21 am

I’d call in fabulous, but then they’d just want me more.

A Worthy Cause

December 11th, 2008 - 9:27 am

Soldiers’ Angels needs your help getting 181,000 care packages delivered to our deployed troops in time for the holidays.

I’m going to keep bugging you about this one for the next week or so. But every time I do, I’ll post a free pic of Christina Hendricks. So you might as well make it up to me by making even just a small donation. Click over already.

And now, Miss Hendricks.

Give a little. You know you want to.

Get Over

December 11th, 2008 - 9:11 am

It’s about damn time:

MSN reports that some states are starting to crack down on left-lane interlopers to keep traffic moving as well as temper road rage. During the busy summer travel season, the Washington State Patrol began stopping slow-moving motorists for violating the state’s left-lane law, which prohibits “impeding the flow of other traffic.”

“This is a real big hot-button topic for the public at large right now,” Washington Trooper Cliff Pratt told MSN. “We’ve had a lot of complaints from drivers who’ve had to deal with left-lane campers.”

Law officers have so far issued more warnings than tickets, but a citation for going too slow could also raise a dawdling driver’s insurance rates. “Any moving violation that applies points to a driver’s record could affect that driver’s car insurance rates,” Susan Gallik Rouser, a spokeswoman for Progressive, told MSN. “And because left-lane driving would be considered an infraction, we would take that into account when renewing a driver’s policy.”

Personally, I’d rather that left lane campers be given the chance to skip the fines and the points, and instead be beaten with sticks. Preferably, beaten with sticks wielded by people who were stuck behind them. I’m talking to you, Subaru Outback drivers, old people, and every single goddamn contractor with a pickup and a cigaret.

I’m also a fan of a program come up with years ago by… someone or other. It’s simple:

1. You may choose to take a very difficult series of driving skill and safety classes.

2. If you pass, you’ll be issued a car-mounted paint gun, and unwashable paint encoded with your DNA (so that it can’t be faked).

3. If you see another driver do something, anything really stupid, you shoot their car with your paint.

4. Any police officer who sees a car tagged with three paint spots must (must!) immediately pull that car over and issue them a $3,000 “asshole ticket.”

With this plan in place, we wouldn’t even need any traffic laws — and not even half as many highway patrolmen. It’s a harshly libertarian solution to a problem government seems unwilling or unable to fix.

Global Warmening Update

December 11th, 2008 - 8:51 am

From the Weather Underground site (no relation to Bill Ayers, fortunately):

Updated: 9:16 AM CST on December 11, 2008
Observed at New Orleans Lakefront, Louisiana
Temperature 36°F 2°C
Windchill 23°F -5°C
Humidity 100%
Dew Point 36°F 2°C
Wind West at 28 mph / 44 km/h
Pressure 29.83 in / 1010 hPa (Rising)
Conditions Light Snow

Rest of Today
Cloudy early in the morning then becoming partly cloudy. Light rain and snow likely in the morning…then chance of light rain in the afternoon. Cooler. Snow accumulation up to 1 inch.

UPDATE: Check this out, courtesy of NOLA.com:
New Orleans snowfall

Must-See PJTV

December 11th, 2008 - 8:44 am

I forgot to link to yesterday’s Blogger Roundtable, where Rick Moran and I talk human rights, Dee Dee Myers, and, of course, Blagogate.

Collateral Victory

December 11th, 2008 - 7:36 am

I suppose this was just a matter of time.

But when will we see a Beautiful Loser Commemorative Coin for Hillary? Or is that one of those self-answering questions?

Teeny Weenie Fail

December 11th, 2008 - 6:22 am

Paging Al Gore

December 11th, 2008 - 5:25 am

Signs of, well, something on another planet:

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has discovered carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of a planet orbiting another star. This breakthrough is an important step toward finding chemical biotracers of extraterrestrial life.

The Jupiter-sized planet, called HD 189733b, is too hot for life.

You just know the greentards are going to find a way to pin this one on us.

(Hat tip, rocket scientist Ed Lambert.)

Blagojevich Clinging to Power

December 10th, 2008 - 7:17 pm

Hot off of Drudge, you have got to be kidding me.

In a related story, Starsky and Hutch both called and want their hair back.

Bailout on the Bailout?

December 10th, 2008 - 4:14 pm

A few Republican senators seem to maybe have grown a pair:

Emergency aid for the nation’s imperiled auto industry was thrown into jeopardy Wednesday, opposed by Republicans who were revolting against a hard-fought deal between Democrats and the Bush White House to speed $14 billion to ailing carmakers.

Democrats detailed the compromise measure and laid the groundwork for quick votes on it, holding out hope the bailout could be enacted by week’s end. But a growing number of GOP senators declared they would not go along.

Oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please kill this thing. Otherwise, Detroit is doomed.

Good Question

December 10th, 2008 - 3:19 pm

Is it time to stock up on gold & ammo?