Archive for January, 2005

Enter Pericles, wet.
28 January, 2005

linked to this Special Version of Shakespeare's Pericles. In it the author relates a verbatim stage direction from the original: (Enter Pericles, wet.)

I have no idea why, but that struck me as incredibly hilarious. I think I shall add that to my list of extremely-funny-to-me-but-confusing-to-everyone-else quotes, like "More kangaroos!" and "Oh, well".

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Friday Night Gripes
26 January, 2005

I recently finished Friday Night Lights by Buzz Bissinger. With the blurb from Sports Illustrated on the back cover calling it “One of the greatest sports stories ever told” I expected a good book, certainly nearly as good as Paper Lion.

Unfortunately, I was disappointed. First, this is not a sports book. It is a social commentary that uses a football-crazed town as its subject. It seemed like half of the chapters had nothing to do with football. Rather the author railed about all of the evils that he saw in late-eighties West Texas. Second, despite his protestations in the afterword, the author dislikes the subjects of the book. I think books about small towns should be written by people who like small towns, if not live in small towns.

It is obvious from the cover exactly what you get when you buy a James Carville book: a highly-partisan political editorial from a die-hard Democrat. It is unfortunate that Bissinger did not extend the same courtesy. While I do not agree with some of his ideology, I am upset that I went to sports book and a political commentary broke out.

Sadly, the author obviously just does not get it. In the afterword he talks about how some of the townsfolk felt they were misquoted and unfairly portrayed. From my experience and given the tone of the book, I am not at all surprised by that. Bissinger makes a point that he is not a novelist but a journalist. But journalists report the facts, attempting to accurately portray the actuality.

The author was unwilling or incapable of setting aside his Philadelphia slant when vieweing a West Texas town. Waste neither your time nor your money on Friday Night Lights.

The Meme of Interests
25 January, 2005

Attributed to :

Scan my interest list. List any that seem odd to you in the comments section.

I'll explain it.

Then you post this in your journal so other people can ask you about your interests.

Copperwise
22 January, 2005

I am thankful that I met a friend, , on LiveJournal. She is a book lover, high praise indeed. She feels the calling to write and heeds it, even when the path is confusing and takers her to unexpected places. She is a poet and shares her poetry with others. She is good with words and uses her powers for good, not evil. has a playful and witty, sometimes naughty and sometimes wicked, sense of humor.

is kind to her coworkers in unexpected ways. But she will not let them take advantage of her. She preserves her spirit in the face of the dispiriting endeavor called "working for the man". When it gets too much, she maintains her health by venting rather than internalizing. She sets a good example for humor and charity in the workplace, a place not exactly known for either.

considers herself, her motivations, and her actions. She acknowledges her history, even the bad parts, so that she can rise above it. She tries to do the right thing and follows her convictions. She is aware of and respects her limitations, including not being called to raise children. She is a caring and responsive friend and helps others.

is one of the good ones.

You Rock!
20 January, 2005

1. Reply to this post if you want me to tell you how cool you are!
2. Watch my journal over the next few days for a post just about you and why I think you rock my socks.
3. Post these instructions in your journal and give your friends a much needed dose of love and adoration!

Shape Up or Move
19 January, 2005

It seems like, ever since Tonya Harding, the only Oregonians that make it on the TV are out-of-control wildmen and -women.

Statistical coincidence or conspiracy?

The Roll of Fortune
17 January, 2005

When I was at Harvey Mudd, someone decided that they could “Save Some Money” by replacing the traditional roll of toilet paper with this wacky, super-size (about 8 inches in diameter) roll. Rather that having its axis parallel to the stall wall, this freak had its axis perpendicular. To prevent the apparently quite numerous Toilet Paper Thieves, the whole roll was covered in a translucent plastic housing. Since you could no longer actually touch the toilet paper, it had a knob (about 1 1/2 inches in diameter) with which to rotate the roll.

Apparently the dimwits that designed this contraption and the dimwits that purchased this contraption never had to actually use it. Presumably due to clever penny-pinching, the toilet paper itself was incredibly thin and flimsy. While this posed a problem in performing its raison d'etre, namely wiping oneself, it posed an even larger problem during dispensation: it stuck to itself. There you would sit upon the throne, in need of some personal sanitation, twisting away on the little knob in hopes that maybe, just maybe, some toilet paper would descend out of the opening on the bottom of the translucent plastic housing.

But it never did.

Presumably due to more clever penny-pinching, the toilet paper was not perforated. Rather, it was one long strip that would be sectioned by the sharp, serrated steel blades placed on both sides of the opening on the bottom of the translucent plastic housing. (One presumes that oodles of sharp, serrated steel blades are cheaper than one toilet paper-perforating machine.) Since the toilet paper clung to itself with fierce determination, you were forced to reach up into the translucent plastic housing to search for the loose end. This is where you first learned (and were repeatedly reminded) of the sharp, serrated steel blades.

Several approaches were taken to deal with those freaks of engineering. At first, when tempers ran kind of high, the translucent plastic housings were forcibly removed to allow better access to the toilet paper. Needless to say, this was not a popular solution. Because Harvey Mudd is an engineering school, the next approach was to skillfully (like with tools, eh?) remove the translucent plastic housing. However, Facilities kept dutifully replacing the housings. Finally, students would bring rolls of traditional toilet paper and balance them atop the translucent plastic housing.

I am sure they eventually did save some money. If they had simply removed the toilet paper from the restrooms, they would have been seen as barbarians. But by cleverly replacing it with a completely useless solution, they were merely seen as incompetents and the students started buying their own toilet paper. For a small up-front cost of some bizarre contraptions, they never had to buy toilet paper again.

I Don't Need another Addiction
17 January, 2005

Last Friday I turned on the telly and it was coincidentally on the Sci Fi channel, a channel I rarely watch oddly enough. Before I could find the remote control, I was treated to a few minutes of the new Battlestar Galactica series. Like many of my generation, I watched the original quite frequently.

Damn it, if they didn't suck me in! So yesterday I watched the miniseries and now I've season pass'd it.

I Love It when a Plan Comes Together
14 January, 2005

From my comment in 's journal:

“My favotire theory is that raccoons are actually the descendents of spacefaring aliens who crash-landed on Earth while on a drunken joy-ride in a stolen spaceship. It explains why they're bitter and always watching us: they're waiting for our technology to get advanced enough for them to steal a ship and get home. It also explains why they're such bad-asses in a fight: their traditional martial art, Jeet Raccoon Do.”

The best part about that joke is that I didn't think of it until I actually started typing it.

I hope the Bruce Lee estate and JKD afficianados will forgive me. I'd hate to get my ass kicked in the parking lot tonight.

They Just Get It
13 January, 2005

Alison Krauss + Union Station offer free MP3s of their work on Amazon.com. Rather than allowing me to mooch off their performance, it allowed me to listen to their music enough that I went out and bought their latest album.

If only more people got it…