is older than it's ever been and now it's even older


This is my page JESUSIFIED. Via Ask Jesus.
Happy New Year. Truncated, link intensive version of Hobbsblog tonight, partly to clean out my links file and also partly due to the fact that I'm about to go out and drive my wife and some friends around as they drink. Someone posted an article on Cassini's pictures of Jupiter on Metafilter, and this discussion resulted. I was forced to post some information after someone referred to the anti-nukes in space camp as a bunch of Luddites.

Last week, I heard on the news that Russia admitted that the USSR had held Raoul Wallenberg on trumped up charges and that he had died in prison. Wallenberg, as you may or may not recall, was the Swedish diplomat who saved tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews during WWII by use of forged papers. Well, the fact that this guy who was a hero to humanity had been unjustly jailed is tragic, but the story gets weirder. Now there's a report that he's actually not dead but is alive if not well in a Moscow mental hospital.

Talk about weird: there's a freshman at the University of Louisville whose name is also Nathan P. Hobbs. It wouldn't have taken that many different turns in my life for me to have gone to the U of L. Here's his lame website.

This link is especially for my father. The TRS-80 was the first computer we owned (with 4k of RAM!). (Link via PCJM)

Don't think that I've forgotten about next week's Orange Bowl between the evil, culturally imperialistic yokels from Florida State and our beloved land thieves from Oklahoma. ESPN's magazine has a nice writeup about the Sooners' return to glory that will warm the hearts of all the members of the diaspora of the Sooner Nation. Oh, and if anyone needs an explanation of the land thieves comment, let me know.

I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks John "I lost to a dead man" Ashcroft is an asshole.

Have a good new year. Drive carefully all, enjoy the snow, quaff a potent potable for me.


Preliminary census figures are out. Minnesota will keep all eight of our seats, while Oklahoma will lose a seat. I find it interesting that in the Oklahoman article that Governor Keating is blaming the state's lack of a "Right to Work" law for the slow growth of the population. Ok, that's outstanding. Peel back the last vestiges of the progressive history of the state, that's a great idea. People often fail to understand that these reapportionment battles are quite often a more important story than elections. How districts are drawn has a big impact on the type of candidate who can be elected out of that district. In Oklahoma, inevitably two congressmen (yes, they're all male) will have to run against each other. I vote for an ex-football player runoff of JC Watts vs. Steve Largent. Both of them are way too easy of a target to make any snide remarks.

I think it would be very bizarre to be the guy who checked the police scanner and heard his wife getting pulled over for a DUI. (Link from the Obscure Store.

I've heard a lot about how Microsoft is evil, but never really paid it too much mind how much of the industry they control. This article lays down a pretty good nightmare scenario for what their nefarious plans are all building to. It will be very interesting to see how a new Bush Justice department under the auspices of John "I lost to a dead man" Ashcroft pursues the MS antitrust case. (Link from the Null Device)

Gael, who does PCJM, pointed me to another of her weblogs, the Alt log. It's a blog of independent newspapers. Pretty cool. I like those papers too, and always check the Willamette Week site, which is the alt-weekly for Portland. They've just redesigned their site, and with all of the exclamations bandied about it looks like Salon now.

If anyone is just looking for a fascinating link, try this one. It's a transcript of an online chat with Koko the gorilla (memory jogger: the gorilla that knows sign language and keeps kittens as pets). Sample from chat:

Terry asks: "Do you have dreams when you sleep?"

Koko the Gorilla
Me. Yes. Dream candy.



Well, I sent Gary home and now it's really dead here at the office. I've been looking for more Minnesota Blogs, and found this US weblog map that purports to show where US blogs hail from. I say purports, because there are two spots for Minnesota, that correspond to the Twin Cities and Bemidji. However, I look at the actual entries, and realize those two spots are supposed to be for St Paul and Minneapolis. Huh?

That isn't the only reason I'm disappointed with the list. It's pretty short, a total of ten sites listed. Three of the sites I already knew about and were on my MNBLOG list from yesterday. I'm rapidly coming to the realization that I don't want to keep track of Minnesota blogs, I more want to keep a list of Good Minnesota blogs. Now that I've officially crossed the line and am making a Normative Statement about the value of these blogs, I'd probably better justify it. . . . Of the other seven on the list: One has moved out of state, this one hasn't been updated since July, this one hasn't been updated since August, and these two are not the type of weblog I like: 1. (Too technically oriented), 2. (Infrequent posts, too short, weird). On the other hand, This is a very nice log and makes the list. The Star Tribune Weblog is also on the list, but I'm always wary to include Pro blogs with "normal" amateur ones. I've just fit it in with the other pro blogs to the left (giving equal linkage now to the Strib and the Pio Press, which is unfortunate considering that the Pio Press is, being from St Paul, of course the Good newspaper in the Twin Cities paper chase).

Oh, I also saw an entry for a blog from Norman (home town, picture from today post-ice storm): Truly a wretched blog. Warrants for this claim: Well, it's got ugly pictures, no links (ok, one. Doesn't really count), and the text box is probably about 10% of the page space. And the authors don't say anything worth saying anyway. Stupid.

Bonus link:

If I need to take my homebrew to space I guess I'll have to keg it in one of these. Ok. Let me ask the obvious, here. Why do we need to take beer to space? Why would they need to test it in a ride on the "Vomit Comit?" Anyone figure that out let me know.
Snowing hard today. Many people get a snow day in times like this, but the accepted work ethic here in Minne-snow-ta is to shrug and keep working. I recall growing up in Oklahoma, any time a Winter Storm Warning was declared, you were sure to get out of school. Here, there seems to be some sort of advisory on a weekly basis. I don't mind the snow; it's the cold that sucks. Below about 5 degrees your windshield wipers freeze as they run, and before you know it it's really hard to see out of your windshield.

I saw this link on Metafilter and immediately knew it was blog bait. The story is about an internet copyright service that, among other things, charges $50 for the right to link to a story. Excuse me? I understand web pages are hard up for cash, especially content-based ones, but this is ridiculous. Such demands for payment are a) unenforceable; b) stupid (most sites want more traffic); c) proof your site is desperate. Thus, my act of civil disobedience: A link from said publication. Bill me.

In fact, the fact that sites are now trying even truly pathetic tricks like this to get money merely illustrates the flawed business models out there in cyberspace. For example, take Salon. It's a fine news site, and very enjoyable. However, it obviously has far too much staff and generates all of its own content. Thus, they are losing money like nobody's business. It's no mystery to me why sites like Salon aren't making money. The content is good, but who pays for it? Banner ads are not making the site much money. There are so many great sites out there that advertisers can pay really low rates. Also, there are some pretty big named columnists there, like Garrison Keillor and Camille Paglia, and I'm sure that costs some money.

Now, compare the site to Romenesko's Media News site. He does get paid for this, but he's the only employee. He probably makes a little less than $100k a year to do it, which is the only budget for the site. None of the content is original, but it's all good. Also, most of the content is from newspapers' web sites, not from standalone web news sites. A larger lesson there, too; for consumer goods as for content, it looks like the winning net companies are going to be the ones that already have "bricks-and-mortar" operations, not straight 'net business. In the coming content shakeup, which is the next chapter in the sifting of the internet, Salon will probably not survive unless they shift to a more public radio/public television funding model (i.e., member supported) while Romenesko will continue to chug away. That's a nice job he's got. Anyone out there want to pay me $75 grand or so to run a weblog, I'll do an awesome job.

I'm not going to make any real judgements about this, but do you think a themed exam room would make your trip to the gynecologist more pleasant? I mean, really?

Here's a fun little blog inside joke: the Kill your blog test. It's supposed to tell you if your blog deserves death. I scored a 56, which means I'm borderline. I'll have to get better. Seeing as it's cold and snowy, maybe more bonus bloggage today.


Bonus Bloggage, or, the product of more time + more links.

Last week I posted the 50 greatest Simpsons moments. Here's the followup: the list of FOX references in Simpsons episodes. My favorite had to be the FOX schedule at the beginning of the "Spinoffs" episode where the X files, Simpsons, and Melrose Place are the only programs listed. Very classy. (link via Pop Culture Junk Mail, the best blog I've found in a long time. It has everything a blog needs; fun links, and lots of them; a bit of narrative to hold them together, and more links to other sites. I feel pleased that I can present a good blog instead of all the sucky ones I keep critiquing) Also neat about it: it's another Minnesota blog. I now know of at least four; Dack's, Honeyguide, this one, and PCJM, now as well. I've written to those other sites to see if I can get more local blog links for a special Minnesota blog section.

More bonus links:

Bigfoot's ass found? Surely, you jest.
Snowmen reinforce gender stereotypes? And I just made my snowmen by rolling the sections. Someone with too much time on their hands.
the Book of Cliches. I heard several of the worst ones at Jerry's funeral, specifically "Life goes on," "There must be a reason," and "I guess I just have to accept it."

I'm baaaaaaaaaack. Took Boxing day off to do nothing. It's a lot harder for me to find the time to blog when I'm not at work. So, how exactly was Scrappy related to Scooby doo? The Straight Dope has the answer, sort of. In fact, this article has many great tidbits, not the least of which is this:

Despite Shaggy's love of food, he stopped eating meat sometime in the early 1980s. Casey
Kasem had become a vegetarian, and when he eventually requested that his animated
character do the same, Hanna-Barbera graciously agreed. You'll see Shaggy downing pizza,
salads, cookies, cakes, and God knows what else in the later episodes, but not meat. When
the cartoon gang was reassembled the a few years ago for two straight-to-video features, it's
someone else providing the scratchy, cracking tones for Shaggy, though. Rumor has it that
Warner Brothers, who produced the movies, apparently weren't as accomodating as their
predecessors--the script called for Shaggy to eat shrimp gumbo, Kasem balked, and was let
go. He apparently won't be back.

I guess that eliminates one possibility for what was in the Scooby Snacks.

This has been a recurring theme for me as I surf the net: the pie throwing vigilantes are at it again. I love pie throwing as political protest. Plenty of people have gotten the creme treatment: Bill Gates, (Monsanto CEO) Robert Shapiro, and (IMF Chief) Michael Camdessus, among others (see list below). Of the preceding links, the Bill Gates site is the best, as it has moment-by-moment pictures before, during, and after he got the pie right in the kisser. Now that's a form of protest I can really dig. It's funny, takes a lot of planning, and really humiliates the target. Other victims have included

Willie Brown, Oscar de la Renta, Jean Chretien,
Charles Hurwitz, Milton Friedman, William
Shatner, Maharaji, Howard Jarvis, William F.
Buckley, Prince Charles, Anita Bryant,
Daniel Moynihan, Quentin Kopp, G. Gordon
Liddy, Andy Warhol, E. Howard Hunt,
Eldridge Cleaver, Randall Terry, William
Colby, Helmut Kohl, Filip Dewinte, Helen
Chenowith, Sylvester Stallone and Jerry

---according to the Culture Jammer's Encyclopedia, a truly entertaining site. Hey, Jeff, you can get your Anarchy links from that site, too.

Finally, I'll leave you with a post-Xmas present: A series of old Christmas ads that prove our rampant commercialism of Xmas is not a new thing. (Link from bOING bOING.) None are as good as the BC Clark Jingle, which I have previously blogged, but hey. What is?


Merry Christmas to all. The real St. Nicholas is not delivering presents. His bones were stolen and are stored in a leaky crypt in Italy. I shit you not. (Straight outta Metafilter)

The whole neo-pagan ideology began as a deconstruction of the accepted way of telling the story of Europe. Supposedly, the "Old Religion" had been systematically eradicated by a bloodthirsty church. In a long and pretty persuasive article, the Atlantic Monthly argues that the whole ideology is an invented tradition. When I think of Wicca I always think of Shawnee Keck, a debater at Western Washington, who was a Witch. I also think of the Mists of Avalon, a very well written book about Camelot told from the women's point of view. It is set in the universe that the Atlantic Monthly article is arguing never existed. Oh well, I guess the moral is not to get your history mixed up with your ideology.
I find it interesting that in this collection of ten disappearing inventions at least four of them are making a comeback. Although not making any returns, the Edison wax cylinder is featured with this tidbit:

Norman points to Edison's cylinders as the principal example of a superior technology defeated by one that was inferior but "good enough." Although the last cylinders were manufactured in 1929, the year Edison's company closed, the band They Might Be Giants went to the Edison National Historic Site in New Jersey to record "I Can Hear You," a track of their 1996 album Factory Showroom, on wax cylinder.(Link from Follow Me Here)

I had an idea that I am sure someone else has already thought of: A weblog as a work of progressive fiction. We get five or so good writers to sign up, then each day an author writes an entry to a continuous work of fiction. We go for a preset number of days, such as five chapters per writer, so 25 days, for example. I think it would be fun. I will even set the page up, should there be sufficient interest. To volunteer to be a member of the Dynamic Storytellers Blog, write me. To make fun of me for thinking I came up with this, write me.

Personal update: This is my first official white Christmas. Mom tells me I had one in Louisville, the city where I was born, but I don't remember it. I have five or six solid memories from Kentucky, and that is not one of them. Nonetheless, this sucks. The low is forecast at -20 tonight, it's -8 currently, but at least there's no wind. This is also only the second Christmas for me away from my mom, and Maggie's first Christmas without her dad, and we're both feeling pretty low.

However, that doesn't mean we're not going to have any fun. I got Maggie a neat miniature demitasse cup and saucer set from Lehman's Nonelectric Catalog, and I know she'll love them. I also found a liquor store that sells Franziskaner, a sort of Munich microbrew (a Weißbier Dunkel, to get technical) that we drank a fair amount of in Germany when the whole Stiffler clan visited two years ago, and I bought enough for each of us to have one for dinner tomorrow.


I think I'll go ahead and state the obvious before someone else points it out: I also disagree with rule number 1 of the Satanism rules. This site is one big unasked opinion. (shrug)

Ok, no one take this the wrong way, but I was just at the Church of Satan website, and found the Basic Rules pretty logical. To wit:

1. Do not give opinions or advice unless you are asked.

2. Do not tell your troubles to others unless you are sure they
want to hear them.

3. When in another’s lair, show him respect or else do not go

4. If a guest in your lair annoys you, treat him cruelly and
without mercy.

5. Do not make sexual advances unless you are given the
mating signal.

6. Do not take that which does not belong to you unless it is a
burden to the other person and he cries out to be relieved.

7. Acknowledge the power of magic if you have employed it
successfully to obtain your desires. If you deny the power of
magic after having called upon it with success, you will lose all
you have obtained.

8. Do not complain about anything to which you need not
subject yourself.

9. Do not harm little children.

10. Do not kill non-human animals unless you are attacked or
for your food.

11. When walking in open territory, bother no one. If someone
bothers you, ask him to stop. If he does not stop, destroy him.

Sounds good to me, with the possible exception of number 7. Magic is crap. I am sure my mother is currently fretting about me visiting the Church of Satan website. Maybe if I hadn't let him and his brother play Dungeons and Dragons, she's thinking. Well, since I don't want my mom to think I'm a satanist, I'll post something from the other side of the God/Satan divide: Dad sent me this online collection of Christmas Carols. It's open source, print out as much as you want, and please note the terrible computer generated accompaniment. I heard better computer music for my Commodore 64.

There's been a new edition of the Onion out since Wednesday. Back when I was really bored at work, I knew which days my favorite updated sites were published. Hold on, I still do: News of the Weird on Mondays, nothing on Tuesdays, The Onion on Wednesdays, nothing on Thursdays, and The Economist on Fridays. There were more but I've found that it's a waste of valuable surfing time to always go to the same sites, so I don't keep as close track of things like that anymore.

Mooks update-- (vocabulary -- mook. (n) White boy metal/hip hop teen slacker type. See Fred Durst, Eminem, etc.) I have been enlightened as to the derivation of those teen blogs I've recently reviewed. (Explanation on the bottom) Apparently such sites are known as E/N sites, denoting "Everything/Nothing." I still don't really understand, but apparently these sites are weblogs that feature grotesque pictures, porn, generally offensive content to attract the maximum page views. I guess it's a bragging thing. I notice that they don't refer to these sites as blogs, and those that do claim bloggership don't think they are either, as far as I can tell, but some of the ones I've seen are virtually the same as a weblog, just with a different content source. This site, while not a blog, is highly regarded by two or three of the E/N sites I've seen. Warning. It is about sex. The graphics and layout are very slick; professional quality, but the content is pretty well spotty. I smell plagiarism. For example, in the intro to the section on the Kama Sutra the thing reads like the prologue from a translation:

The Kama Sutra, which means "Sex Science", is the
earliest surviving example of a written Hindu
love-manual. It was compiled by the Indian sage
Vatsyayana sometime between the second and fourth
centuries A.D. His work was based on earlier Kama
Shastras or "Rules of Love" going back to at least the
seventh century B.C., and is a compendium of the
social norms and love-customs of patriarchal Northern
India around the time he lived.

The guy can't even spell "pregnancy" right in the quiz on his front page.

Update on the Don Foster story I posted yesterday: the story I listened to about the disputed authorship of "A Night Before Christmas" on NPR's Morning Edition. Very interesting stuff. In a 28.8 configured wave for easy listening.

Update on the Brad and Claire saga: Brad did not lose his job. Awwwwww.

Personal update: I got my LSAT score yesterday and was disappointed. Only a 165. However, that's still 94th percentile, which should be good enough to get into law school. Also, we took Relffits to get spayed today. Poor pup. She's been lying around lethargically all night long. I've been communicating with my old friend Jeff Shaw over the last few days. Jeff is getting married on the last day of the millenium. Congratulations, Jeffy. He is a freelance writer, professional advocate for Native Americans, and oozes indy credibility, and also is getting published in In These Times, a widely respected lefty publication.

It's been another weird, bizarre week. I'm glad I get four days off now.


Blog*spot came up briefly last night, making me feel pretty silly for moving the site, but it went down again as abruptly. If only I could get the archives to work. . . I still have a pretty good glut of material from the outage. This could get long.

I heard a story about an author named Don Foster this morning as I drove into work. He is a professor who attempts to figure out who anonymous authors are. Among his biggest scoops are attributing a Renaissance poem simply signed W.S. to that most famous W.S. Mr. Shakespeare. Now, he's on the trail of the poem "A Visit from St. Nicholaus" better known as "The Night Before Christmas." Basically, the poem was published in 1823 anonymously, and then later claimed by Clement Clark Moore when he published a book of poetry in the late 1840s. Moore was a stodgy old cuss and some people have long thought that the poem was far out of character. Now, in a new book, Foster argues that the real author was a guy named Major Henry Livingstone, who wrote poems about jolliness and drinking, from the examples I've seen. Perhaps the most damning evidence is a letter that Foster uncovered in Moore's archives to the magazine that first published the poem, inquiring as to who knew the anonymous submitter. After finding that all those that knew the story had died, he felt as if he could claim it.

Mysteries like that always fascinate me because of the axiom that the winner writes the history books. When revisionists can go back and question the accepted version of things, it always shines a bit of ambiguity into the Truth we think we know. Another mystery that's been hanging around since the 19th century is Edgar Allen Poe's cryptographical challenge. Poe was very into puzzles and ciphers, and he published (under a different name, of course; the attribution to Poe wasn't made until the mid 1980s) two coded messages for the readers to crack. One was figured out fairly easily but the other didn't get solved until, well, this year.

The intersection of the Real World and the internet world also interests me, and many of the readers of this blog will not be familiar with this one. The denizens of the net world will undoubtedly consider this old news. Last week a Mr. Bradley Chait and a Ms. Claire Swires had a brief email conversation that alluded to a sexual encounter they had. The text of said email can be found at the bottom of this page. Do not read this if you will be offended. You know who you are. After the two shared this brief (e)missive, Mr. Chait forwarded the chain on to some of his guy friends, who were so taken with Ms. Swires' penchant for performance that they forwarded it as well. Within a matter of days the thing had circled the globe, hitting all continents and making both Brad and Claire minor celebrities. Mr. Chait is now known as Brad the Cad by those wacky British tabloids, and poor Claire is having to fight off her fans, as she has gone into hiding. Brad will likely never get laid again.

Nathan, of Nathanism found my criticism of his site and Robotskull and posted a link. That's pretty cool. No, really. To my knowledge, that is only the second link ever to this site, after Sean's Weblog, which is still down as of this posting due to the Blog*spot outage. Samn of Robotskull sent me an email. It simply said "?" I wasn't sure what that meant, so in keeping with his repetition of the shortest correspondence in history, I sent the only proper response.

More later. . .


Blog*spot has been down for over two days now. Needing a fix, I went through the hassle of moving the site altogether to this site. It's free, hence the hyper annoying ad up top. At least the Blog*spot ad wasn't moving, flashing, and ready to cause seizures. I am considering moving up to the "no ad" version, but that would cost $5.95 a month. To offset that, I think I'll add a Ask Jeeves box to this site, which will pay me 2 cents a hit. Hmmm. . . to recoup my costs I'd need 298 hits a month. No way. I only average 8 hits a day as it is, and moving the site should set me back in that department, too. I'll have to come up with other ways to generate revenue.

At least I'm back up. I don't even know where to start. Tonight, I'm going to play NTN trivia at the bar. Tomorrow I get the LSAT score. I've been talking with the Haygruh about it, and he says "one seventy or one leg!" Unlike him I have two legs, so I'm REALLY hoping for the 170. Today, the snow has restarted, and I'm not looking forward to the commute. Monday's was bad enough.

On account of the lateness in the day and the fact I need to do work, I think I'll just dump all my links in a more or less non - narrative fashion.

This guy echoes my sentiments previously on why most blogs suck. I am beginning to shift my position on the subject, however, as I have found a number of blogs that are interesting to some degree.
Remember Y2K? A very smug Y2K doubter pulls out his email from last year and gloats.

Update on my animal cognition thread: The dolphin that paints.

Oops! The nuclear weapons accidents the US government doesn't want you to know about.

I think that's enough for now, which is funny because I still have plenty of material. Work calls!


Blogspot has been out for well over 24 hours now. I am beginning to wonder if I need to find a new host.


I had a fine post almost ready to go from work and then one of my other windows commandeered this one to go to another site. Thus, I will attempt to rebuild.

I whine about not getting enough snow and then wham! It hits. We've had over a foot of snow now since Saturday and the roads suck. I spent over four hours in traffic today. Ugh.

As usual, I was looking around for other blogs that aren't in the normal circle I check out. I'm noticing that there seems to be several different areas of the blog community that do not overlap at all. For instance, there's the blogs to the left, including Metafilter, that usually subscribe to a fairly liberal political bent, post many different cool links, and have some interspersed commentary that sometimes ties in the blogger's personal life (like Kottke) and some that have no personal comments (like Robot Wisdom). I've recently discovered another sort, that are written usually by young mothers, that have a minimum of links, mostly all personal content, and details of people's lives that I wouldn't expect. Consider this site, which has amazing traffic (averages 80 hits a day), and some graphics. The site that really blew my socks clean off was Illusions of Grandeur, which has personal content far beyond anything I'd ever put on. I'll explain why and then I bet you check out the link.

1) In an opening whine/rant, the author specifically calls out co-workers and family members for slacking off or failing her expectations, and I mean by name.
2) The author loathes her husband:

How do people do it? People who aren't in
love, who don't love each other, who feel like I do?
How do they stay with their husbands and wives?
How do they live with this pain and torment?

3) She accuses her husband of marital rape.
4) She details an adulterous encounter in depth, even going so far as to explain that while she received, uh, the full service, he wouldn't even accept any sort of climactic encounter for her to reciprocate.
I can't believe people put that kind of commentary on the internet. Surely she knows her husband/coworkers/family will read it? Is it some sort of desperate cry for help? Well, yeah, I guess it is. I feel bad for her because she obviously has problems.

On the other hand, there are so many blogs by teens out there that it bewilders me. I wonder what age most people are when they lose track of youth culture. I'm 25 now, and it seems plain to me that a wholly new type of generation is hard on my heels. These kids know html, graphics, flash, and all the bells and graphical whistles that make web sites look hard core, and I bet they just know it. For me to learn what these kids have would require a year or two of school, and I consider myself pretty bright. That doesn't mean I agree with what they have to say. This site is fairly representative of the class I'm referring to, and although there are great graphics and even a fairly humorous and clever analysis of "Cam girls'" Amazon.com wishlists, it seems pretty obvious he's a misanthropic little jerk who doesn't respect anyone. Or take this site, unfortunately run by a guy named Nathan, who wonders why he can't get a girlfriend at the top of his page while deriding other people as "homos" and "bitches" at the bottom. Duh. Look, dude, piece of advice: keep your masculine posturing solely around your male friends. Deny any and all such comments around mixed company. Seems easy enough. I think one of the interesting things about the internet is the blurring of public and private space. People will prattle on and on about things they'd never talk about in "Real Life" on their weblogs. Rest assured I won't be announcing any extramarital affairs from this page. I'm not above making fun of my co-workers from here, however. Despite working for a computer servicing company, very few of them are technically literate in any sense of the word, and fewer than half spend any time online whatever. And if I choose to unleash a profanity-laced invective on anyone, you can bet I'll be using some of the most offensive words of Britain (via notsosoft, a fine blog of the first category discussed.)
I'm looking forward to finding some of the other nether regions of the blogger world to share with you in posts to come.


I finally saw a forecast on the Weather Channel that used the B word and then it misses us, merely leaving the Twin Cities with -50 wind chills. I swear, this state is not fit for human habitation.

I went with the Stifflers to the National Lutheran Choir concert last night. It was very pretty, in the Basilica in Minneapolis, where the acoustics are great. I learned a new word, as well: narthex.

I noticed they are working to reduce the sexist/exclusive language in the hymns. When I was younger my mom would always point out the "men" and "he" in hymns and would replace them with less offensive replacements, leaving me with a lifetime of snootily examining the rhetorical assumptions of anyone speaking or writing (thanks Mom!) So, of course I noticed that: The hymn formerly known as "Good Christian Men, Rejoice" became "Now Sing We All, Rejoice." The line in "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear" was "Peace on the earth, good will to all." Inexplicably, however, in a latter verse in "Joy to the World" the program writers left in a "Let Men their songs employ." Oh well, I guess your PC vigilence only goes so far, eh Lutherans?

I won't post an election link, I can't post an election link, I. . . oh damn. It's Molly Ivins. She's funny. (Cringing.) Not an archived link, so will likely only be good through December 18th or 19th. Perhaps my favorite story coming out of the Supreme Court case is the one she alludes to involving the lawyer for Florida who called one justice by another's name, and then called another by a justice who isn't even alive anymore, much less still on the bench. That's ugly.

Vikings lost again today. We're going to lose again in the NFC championship game. I can feel it. (Hmm, I'm getting the Vikings pessimism thing down well. I guess I can be a Minnesotan)


I come across all manner of links on a daily basis, and it seems I keep getting more and more about the election. I was going to post a variety of links and then bind it together with a pithy/sarcastic commentary, when I happened across this quote about webloggers from the 9/7/99 Chicago Tribune:

"A Weblog is a Web site that
maintains a constantly updated list of links to other sites;
those links can deal with any subject or focus on a
particular one. Webloggers typically offer pithy, sarcastic
commentary about the links."

(This was found via this site about the blogging phenomenon)
So screw it. This site is cliché enough without it. Besides, I'm trying to swear off my pithiness, if not the sarcasm. Instead, let's consider today's theme Space Is the Place.

Consider this site. Basically, you pop in your zip code and it tells you all the satellites, space debris, and space ships that are traveling above you that you will be able to see at a specific time. Pretty cool stuff. That way you can see stuff like this, the International Space Station. Now that the solar panels are unfurled it's one of the brightest things in the sky. That last link, which is a big picture, is really neat because the track it shows in the time lapse is actually a double track, because it was taken just after the Space Shuttle de-docked. These last two links were from Metafilter, which I notice I've linked a lot to recently. Well, the stuff is cool. Another cool space site is Terraserver which is pictures from space, specifically by satellite. Want to see your house from space? You can, if you know where to look. Terraserver was originally started by microsoft to act as a data serving challenge: is it really possible to manage several terabytes of information in a usable manner? I guess it is.

Also, astronomers announced today they've found four new moons around Saturn. We'll get to see them a lot better when the Cassini spacecraft arrives. I'm not sure how much to say about Cassini. . . . while in debate in college we ran a case to stop Cassini from being launched. Not that we as a team didn't like the idea of a dedicated spacecraft to Saturn, but rather the largest amount of plutonium ever sent to space didn't thrill us. Since we're now past the danger of the thing exploding, or burning up in the atmosphere during the two flybys, we can now just enjoy the science that comes out of it and hope that we never get that stupid again. I mean, seriously, let's not forget that even forgetting the radioactivity, plutonium is so toxic that a pound of it, equally distributed and shoved up every human's nose, would kill most of the world's population.

I'll post something this weekend, although according to my site meter no one really visits on the weekend anyway. Why is that? My theory is that people mainly like to visit from work, and don't really do much surfing on their own time. I'm not passing judgement -- this post was done from work.


It's official: I have nothing to say about the election.

I drove to Eau Claire today to do a spot check inventory. It was the first time I've taken the new Kia to one of these visits. I saw a Ford Explorer on the side of the road about halfway there that had been in a rollover accident yesterday, as well as a few other cars that spun off the road during the snow yesterday. It was pretty scary but I feel more confident driving around with four wheel drive.
Now, for some serious news: the Pro Bowl roster has been released and the Vikings have 6 picks on offense, and 1 on defense. Congrats, guys. I hope to see us represented in the Super Bowl as well as the Pro Bowl.

Speaking of Vikings, I saw this link about the Kensington Runestone on Metafilter and thought it was really interesting. The Kensington Runestone is an alleged runic document left in Minnesota in the 14th century. Some fairly well respected scholars have recently announced they think it's authentic. There are runestones like this in a lot of weird places, and most of them are fake, I'm sure. There's also a brief mention about the Heavener Runestone, which is another runestone in Oklahoma. It's in far southeastern Oklahoma and I've not actually seen it, although I have been to Heavener a few times. I think Kevin has, however. Heavener is pretty close to Stigler, which is a town where a guy I went to Citizen Bee nationals with was from. I'll always remember him because when we were discussing our study plans before nationals and the need to go get periodicals to review from our libraries he said, "We ain't even got a libary in Stigler." (Misspelling intentional to reflect what he said.)

If anyone is interested to learn more about the Vikings PBS has an excellent page that is associated with the NOVA that aired earlier this year.


Dad wrote to tell me that they've had 10 inches of snow in Tulsa. That really ticks me off. We get temperatures as cold as -15 (that's Fahrenheit, those of you not in 'Mericuh) but only a dusting of snow. Weak!!

Warning: the following bloggage is again about the election. If you are tired of hearing about it please skip to my immediately previous post from this morning.

At least the election is ending. I get a lot of "what exactly does that decision mean?" from co workers and friends, and near as I can tell without having read the whole decision (note: PDF document) yet, the SCOTUS ruled that the recount as ordered by the SCOFLA was constitutionally flawed. This was a 7-2 decision, and the basis was that the 5th and 14th amendments' guarantee of equal protection to all citizens was infringed by a recount that didn't set standards for what a vote is. Furthermore, in a 5-4 decision, they ruled that Gore is out of luck because of a December 12 deadline for getting the recount done, which has now passed. Most scholars I had seen didn't buy that December 12 was really the deadline. If you want to get technical it is the Safe Harbor deadline, saying that as long as your electors are selected by then that the US congress will not challenge electors. December 18 (or maybe January 6) is the actual date for casting electoral votes, but the SCOTUS has ruled, and that's that. Not to toot my own horn, but yesterday I wrote this to Haygruh:

I wouldn't be that surprised if they came out with a weird decision . . . like recounts can happen but there must be a standard for statewide counting or violate the equal protection statute or something. The SCOTUS is not stupid; surely they realize that they lose all independent credibility if they split on ideological lines against states' rights, which they've been upholding for the last 5+ years pretty hardcore.

Regarding that last sentence, Justice Stephens echoed my point in his dissent, which will soon be a defining quote in the history books:
One thing however is
certain. Although we may
never know with complete
certainty the identity of the
loser is perfectly clear. It is
the Nation's confidence in the
judge as an impartial guardian
of the rule of law.

Gore will concede tonight, ending this whole fun saga, despite the Jesse Jackson-led court and protest action along the "third rail" of contest -- the civil rights abuses alleged against Florida in denying people of color the vote. Also, look for big protests at inauguration.


The last few posts have been lacking in links of mirth if not frivolity. I will attempt to rectify that, but with the SCOTUS still out to lunch, I fear I will be unsuccessful in my attempt to avoid politics altogether. I write these posts in a stream of consciousness, attempting to clear my temporary links folder on my browser ( I use Netscape, I don't like Explorer, simply because of the bookmark format. Those who get bent out of shape over different browsers should get a life or a job in the industry). With no further ado, some random links to get a smile.

The top 50 moments in Simpsons history. Obviously subjective but some funny stuff in there. I particularly like number 11, the "Flintstones" theme song parody. I'm about to hit a chestnut tree. (This link taken from Linkmachinego, which took it from another blog, which probably took it from another and another ad infinitum. This blog etiquette thing is silly. Should I have to credit a blog that already credited another one? Should I credit the other one even though I've never been there? Are the blog police going to check on me?)

Are hippos the most dangerous animal of them all? As Dave Barry would say, I Am Not Making This Up. (Found by me, dammit, from the Straight Dope website, a truly buttocks kicking page. Go hunt in the archives for an hour if you have nothing to do at work.)

Speaking of Dave Barry, this is his holiday gift guide. Always good for a laugh, and yes, he does say that he isn't making it up.

Not exactly mirthful, but I have been using stuff off of this bookmarklets page. Now ordinarily web utilities bore and annoy me when blogged, but this is an exception. Basically, these are little links that you can put in your bookmarks file or on your personal toolbar. There are some really neat things here like quick reference guides to all the color combinations for text/background you can handle. I also like the ROT13 encoder. That's a bookmarklet that pops up a little text box so you can put a coded message that only others with that encoder/decoder can read. Very handy on geek pages that want to discuss key spoilers or plot twists of movies. Dhv Tba Wvaa vf xvyyrq ol Qnegu Znhy.

Finally, there is that court case out there. I'd just like to go on the record as saying that the GOP has really shown their hypocrisy on several different aspects of this process. The politicization of the Supreme Court is a dangerous precedent that I still hope they can back down from, but I am not sure. And these are the (overseas) companies your next president will be beholden to. But I'm glad Bush wasn't running in "borrowed clothes." No, but that name sure helps, especially when your pappy has gone on to be perhaps the most unprincipled, self-interested, money hungry ex president alive. Why wasn't Jimmy Carter monitoring our elections? He went to Haiti, that's only about 200 miles from Florida.


It's really cold. What's really disenheartening is the fact that everyone else seems to be getting big snow storms out of this cold front but us. All we get is the bitter nasty cold and some super fine snow dust.

How about that election? I tell ya, Gore is not going to win now, but with the Florida Supreme Court ruling last Friday at least he has some credibility on his challenges. It sure makes everything look fishy: the reason they granted Bush's stay is due to his claim that he could suffer "irreparable harm" by having the counts go through. Excuse me? The only one getting irreparable harm is Gore if those ballots would have him win. Bush is already the winner in the certified total. If he wins the new count he wins. Gore has many more hurdles to jump, not the least of which is the deadline that he won't beat now that the Supreme Court has laid down the law. And what's up with the conservative hypocrites on the court? They harp on about state's rights until that position no longer benefits their side. What a bunch of losers. Now we have no credibility for all three branches of government.

As stated Friday Mag and I went to see the new Dungeons and Dragons movie. That was a disappointment. I saw this review from Salon last Friday and thought, "no way could it be that bad. I'm sure it's got the so-bad-it's-good thing going on." WRONG! It sucked. It a) took itself too seriously and b) wasted a fine performance by Jeremy Irons, who was the only one who looked like he had fun in it and c) had an absolutely incoherent plot and internal geography and d) tried to keep things going with some unnecessary violence and cruelty, which just kind of turned my stomach and e) managed to make things worse, if possible, by ripping off many other movies. I mean, this baby stole features in turn each one of the Indiana Jones movies in incredibly obvious ways. I sure wish the makers had just taken the easy route and made a humorous movie that poked fun at itself and the clientele of the movie. The best part of the whole thing was the comments overheard by the cloak wearing, unwashed (as Jeron said, it was the worst smelling movie we'd ever seen) dregs of high school / college society as we were leaving. The fact that they were even taking the time to analyze the movie to tear it apart had me laughing so hard tears were rolling down my face.

Geeks, take heart: There is reason to hope.
The first part of the Lord of the Rings trilogy comes out next Christmas. Every indication I've seen says the movie makers are taking the story seriously, which I should hope, considering that if they get it right every dweeb in the world will see it 15 times. The only other time someone made a run at a movie for the LOTR, it was Ralph Bakshi and his animated version in the 70s. It was a big flop so he never got to finish it, but the first (only) movie is quite good. The animation remains cutting edge to this day and it stayed remarkably close to the dialogue and plot of the book. The Bakshi interview is really interesting. It seems obvious he remains bitter towards Hollywood because he didn't get to finish it. As far as the cast goes, it mostly looks good except for Liv Tyler as Arwen, but that's a really minor part. I just hope they don't make it more important than it is in the book. And how perfect is Ian McKellen as Gandalf? Wowzers.
I am concerned by the rumor that there will be no Tom Bombadil scene in the first movie, however, as that would mean no appearance by Fatty Lumpkin, one of the horses. Maggie loves Fatty Lumpkin. It won't be much comfort to know that Bill the horse is definitely in.

Other upcoming Geek movies: The Matrix II(and III, as well), which isn't starting shooting until late next year for a 2002 release, of course there's Star Wars: Episode II. Despite the disappointment of Episode I my hopes are still high. You can really find out way too much information through links like the previous one, but it's still pretty cool. Geek movie synergy: Christopher Lee, who plays the Emperor in the Star Wars movies, will play Saruman in the Lord of the Rings movies. Pretty nifty, eh?


Looks like I spoke too soon on the election business ending. Just heard on the radio about the Florida Supreme Court overturning the lower court's ruling and ordering recounts to begin. May the civics lesson continue!
Next steps, as far as I see are:
1. Florida Legislature setting a really bad precedent by allocating electors themselves (especially bad because such a bill would require Jeb Bush to sign it, setting the stage for hundreds of years of conspiracy theories.
2. Immediate appeal of all these decisions to the Supreme Court by Bush, followed by
3. Immediate appeal of number 1 to the Supreme Court by Gore, based on the 1887 Safe Harbor act, ironically the same act by which Bush first appealed the initial recount decision to the Supreme Court. Basically it says you can't change the rules of an election midstream. This is a neat constitutional crisis, because Article II, section 1 of the Constitution says that "Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors. . . " yet Article VI says that ". . . the Laws of the United States . . . shall be the supreme Law of the Land; . . . any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding." Thus, a direct conflict between two Articles of the Constitution. I love it.
Mag, Krista, and I are going to see the Dungeons and Dragons movie tonight. I've seen two reviews so far with hard core pans in both. Screw that. I know this is going to be a fabulous movie, like Con Air: so bad it kicks ass. Look for my review tomorrow as part of the "geek movie preview." Actually, the only other geek movies I know about that are upcoming are the Peter Jackson Lord of the Rings movie and Star Wars: Episode II, so it won't be a big special.

I looked at the post from yesterday and wondered if any fellow bloggers looked at it how offended they'd get. I resolved to find good weblogs that were lesser known and share them, and then I STICK BY MY PREVIOUS STATEMENT. For the love of god, how boring can you get? Example: technically proficient, far more so than mine, but chock full of inside jokes and unentertaining links. Sorry. Slipped back into the rant/rave mode. I did find some that are worthwhile.
This blog is a sweetly angst-ridden blog of a Midwestern girl unencumbered by technical proficiency or a color scheme that's easy to read.
This 'publog' is a journal of London, England area pubs that the authors visit and review. Cool concept, no links, and the same auto-template in Blogspot as this one. Jeez, I'm never going to get any blogger cred until I change the look of this. To demonstrate how common this is, I found this blog that also has the same template. Its theme is religious based links, although the author uses a Clintonesque reading of the links to fit that (including a Salon review of the D & D movie that I'll probably link to tomorrow.

Random sick, twisted, intriguing link of the day: The lucrative market for used underwear on Ebay and Yahoo! auctions. Ecch.

Random hilarious link of the day: The latest in the Onion's Herbert Kornfeld series. If you can understand ebonics, this is a must read. If you have no idea what a "beeyotch" is, then don't bother.


So I says to myself, "Self, why do you check these same 20 blogs when there are tens of thousands of them out there?" With that I went to find those diamonds in the rough, as it were, chock full of great links and neat insight into the lives of people out there. That's when I found that most blogs are crap for general interest. Check for yourself -- try any five recently updated blogs at Blogger and see if you are entertained. Four will undoubtedly be BOOOOORRRRRING.
Here's why:
a) Many sites are technically proficient with zero content. I don't care how many polls, pictures, or cgi scripts you can do, if you don't have good links or funny insight you aren't worth going back to.
b) Many sites are narrowly focused on subjects that are not interesting to someone not employed by a dot com firm, like preference for browsers (yawn), Mac vs. PC systems (snore), or desirability of flash or shockwave or other plug in features (still awake?).
c) Many sites have boring links or no links at all. And the lives of the authors aren't so interesting that by themselves they hold your interest. With that in mind, here's the usual linked narrative. . . .

Ever wonder about those lyrics you can't understand or are sure you heard wrong? Check them out at this site that explains commonly misheard lyrics. Allow me to save you some trouble looking for "Wrapped up like a douche, another roller in the night". (Via some blog to the left. Boy, I really suck at this blog etiquette thing. I find links, I bookmark them and I blog them later. I found this a couple days ago and really don't know where I got it. I think it was Random Walks. I'm not sure.) While I'm on the subject of songs, ever wonder why you get songs stuck in your head? Me too. I found this article on the subject but don't expect any explanation out of it because there really isn't one. I do get certain associations with songs, but never any I hear on the radio. Usually I associate weird or obscure songs with events or people. It's kind of like the smell associations bit I talked about last week. I know that's why oldies stations are popular, because those baby boomer types remember going to their prom and dancing to the Doors or something like that. I'm just glad they don't call 80s music oldies yet. One last music link: This review is the virtual definition of "pan."

Looking for a good reason to start drinking? It may make you smarter. On the other hand, this article might also very well demonstrate the fallacy of correlative versus causative value (ie, most people that do heroin also smoke, therefore smoking must cause heroin use). To the author's credit they did mention that problem in passing. Looking for a reason to raise beer taxes? This article suggests a 20 cent rise in beer prices would cut gonhorrhea rates by 9%. I can't believe drinking demand is that elastic. I'm sure it's not in Oregon -- the bottle bill means 20 cents is only equivalent to 4 bottles or cans found on the ground.

Random, bonus, hilarious link of the day. Via the Null Device, a fine blog. Whew! Remembered where I found something!


Looks like Al Gore is going down in a big ball of flames. This is what would have been a full election special except it looks like a pretty anticlimactic end to the whole ball of wax. I voted for Gore not because he's any good but because of the ol' lesser of two evils thing. I prefer to have a president who doesn't complain that court rulings use too much "legalistic language," OK? And all of my liberal friends can start sending hate mail, but I'm too much for free trade to countenance going along with Ralph Nader's pie-in-the-sky posturing. I've said it before, I'll say it again: if the Democrats aren't progressive enough for you, take over the party from the grass roots. That's what the religious right did to the Republican party in the 80s without fatally damaging the chances of that party for federal office. It's pretty well documented that Nader's failed quest to get his federal money cost Gore the election.

What Gore is really pissed about and why he won't give up is that more people showed up on election day in Florida to vote for him than George W Bush. Whether he can legally prove it looks extremely doubtful.
Support for this claim:
1. Statistical analysis shows without the errors and screwups Gore would have had a comfortable margin.
2. The largely ignored problem of the blacks in Florida denied the right to vote.
3. That damned butterfly ballot cost Gore thousands of votes, and there is nothing to be done about that. Yeah, yeah, the voters were stupid, blah blah blah. Tell that to the 90 year old grandma who couldn't see the ballot.
4. Another statistical analysis answers why all the recounts have favored Gore: the original count was done in a way that favored Bush.

Sure, I know what Twain said about being three types of lies (lies, damned lies, and statistics), but I think my point is made. Unfortunately for Gore he can't prove it and is going to lose. That may not be such a bad thing, because:

1. Bush is an idiot. Refutation attempts to this claim are welcomed. The only reason he's going to be elected is because he's the anointed tool of the money behind the Republican party. Check out the transition. Cheney and Baker are running this show and will likely continue to do so.
2. Recession is likely. Despite Bush's team's preemptive whining about how any recession would be Clinton's fault, we know that voters always blame the president in office when the bad economy starts. Ha ha. The Republican president=recession link should be well established in the public's mind by 2004.
3. At least Gore is probably going to disappear off the radar following this one. It would be nice to have a nominee that wasn't a spineless, flip-flopping, hypocritical, wooden, condescending, poll-driven jerk like him, although I'm not holding my breath. It would be nice also to not have a stupid, will-lacking, antiprogressive stooge for a president, but I can wait 4 years. One comfort is the knowledge that neither of them had a snowball's chance in hell of actually getting their agenda passed.

As previously noted, I believe the Onion is consistently the funniest spot on the web, but I was truly amazed when I saw this story about a black guy photoshopped into school catalog pictures for diversity's sake. The reason it was so weird is that this has actually happened. The story was fairly well documented so I'm surprised they didn't add any funky twists to it.


In two weeks of tracked usage on the blog, we now have the first one hundred unique visits. That averages out to about 7 visitors a day, who on average hit 2-3 links and stay five minutes or so. I'm quite pleased, actually, because some of the people that visit the site are people I know but don't talk to much. I know this blog isn't going to be a popular place on the web but I don't really care -- it's for people who want to keep track of me and Maggie and it's for me to record what's going on.

I also am getting a much better idea of what I want the blog to look like what I want to do with it. I've been reading blogs out there on the web for over a year now (since first finding the Obscure Store via a top 100 of the web ranking, which was a victim of link rot or I'd post it here. There are blogs that are nothing but links, like Robot Wisdom, which is respected as a leader of the blog pack. My take is that RW is very good on link selection but not terribly sophisticated -- I mean, I get the idea that Jorn just surfs the net and puts on cool links but rarely get any idea of the guy behind the page. Then there's sites like Blue Ruin which have links but intersperse that with straight rambling updates about what she did that weekend, usually involving curry and drinking (she's British, natch). I haven't seen too many that do what Hobbsblog is rapidly evolving toward, which is a topical journal with an extra bonus link or two tossed in (sometimes Kottke looks like that). Although I've seen 25-40 blogs, there are somewhere between 60-70,000 others out there (!) and many various options available. To get around the problem of fewer links than most, I might have a special All Link Edition, kinda like the other specials in the works. But, for the meantime, here's a few leftover links I have found this week that I haven't been able to weave into a narrative:

Maggie wants us to become wine snobs. She needs lessons from this guy. From the same issue of Atlantic Monthly as that sicko article about the amputation fetishists I posted November 28.

How to tell a partner about your (their) STD.

The world's only Aluminum Christmas Tree museum (Hey mom, check out the official name in the first paragraph).

Solution for Mideast peace? Move the UN there.

Note: Blog etiquette dictates that one acknowledge another blog if you get a link from there. I totally forgot where I got both of the last two but I did get them from other blogs. Sorry!


Breaking News -- Hobbs Family Buys New Car

Well, after doing two days and a weekend's worth of feverish studying and preparation, I and Maggie have just purchased a new car. The winner is the Kia Sportage EX, after a test drive and a very very good deal. Our final price being under $17,000 beats this guy's True Market Value price, which is his good deal price even before some of the extra options got tossed in, such as a leather interior. I tend to think of options like that a big waste of money, but it was a really good deal, and I remembered that the same reviewer thought the standard interior was cheap and chintzy. So we bought it.
Update: You may recall I posted (blogged) the bit about the changing Australian whalesongs last Thursday. I've seen it on several blogs since then. Robot Wisdom posted this article from the New Scientist site, another of my favorites, and the Null Device passed this neat article on as well.
For those living under a rock, the Sooners won the Big XII championship 27-24. Not to be overly self-congratulatory, but the defense indeed was the reason we won the game, as was my primary warrant presented for my prediction before the game. Now we have to go play Florida State for the national championship, a game that few will give us a chance for, but as I pointed out Saturday, that's when we really seem to do well. Actually, in an ironic twist, the BCS (Bowl Championship Series) standings have a very close and controversial choice for who the number 2 team is to play us. The ironic part is the fact that both teams are from Florida -- meaning a razor close, controversial result from Florida will determine both the presidency and the national championship this year.

Has anyone else been outraged by the marketing slop associated with the new Grinch movie? After all, to paraphrase Saint Seuss (warning: from memory)
Maybe Christmas. . . doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas means just a little bit more.

Uh, anyone else noticed that there are McDonald's toys, stuffed dolls, no fewer than 8 picture books (a serious travesty that), and the most repugnant Visa commercial I've ever seen tied in? So I went blog surfing to find a good article to back up my grievances and found this one via Follow me here, but even that fine editorial doesn't sum up my outrage well enough. Who let this happen (If anyone says Cindy Lou, I'll smack 'em)? I want to know who sold the rights to the movie studio so I might write a letter full of righteous indignation. Well, let me know if you find out.

I did take the LSAT on Saturday and I think I did ok. Actually, let me rephrase: I think I spanked 4 out of 5 sections, but what really chaps my hide is the one that I didn't do well on is the one that always gets people -- the analytical games. When I took the practice test on that section the night before I didn't miss a single one, but in the actual test I blew way too much time up front and couldn't really recover. I'm pretty pissed at myself for it, but I still think I might have pulled out a good score. Haygruh thinks one could miss between 12-15 questions on the whole of the test to get the magical 170, which we were both shooting for. I don't know -- in my self analysis I think I missed a total of 5 or fewer on the other sections, but up to 10-12 on that one portion. It's going to be close. Aleava "I sleep in a drawer" Sayre (sorry, don't have your email in front of me) scored mighty fine her last time and me and Haygruh are locked in a fight for LSAT bragging rights. Aleava spanked both of us on the SAT, but I note that it was redesigned and made easier for the years after when I took it (she and Haygruh are both about four years younger).

Don't you hate it when your ship gets swallowed by a big methane bubble? Me too.

Upcoming special installations of Hobbsblog: Election analysis and wrapup later this week, Geek movie preview Saturday.


Big XII Championship Special

Today is the Big XII championship between the Oklahoma Sooners and the Kansas State Wildcats. The Sooners won the previous matchup 41-31, but KSU is mean, winning games, and mad that we beat them the first time. Three times now in the history of the Big XII has a team come in ranked number one with only a win needed to move that team into the BCS national championship game. The two previous times, that top ranked team has lost. It does beg the question of why to have the game, if it is knocking the conference's best team out of the national title picture consistently, but our coach Bob Stoops is sounding a good line about how the game is a good idea and one he wants to play. Good man. Two reasons why that's important; first, it was the athletic directors' prerogative to play the game, not the coaches -- and the team knows that. If they see a slip in the confidence of their coach it could cause them to doubt. Second, Stoops knows which side his bread is buttered on -- fans love this stuff, and he could already beat Frank Keating in a gubernatorial election, so why not suck up to the fans more?

What does worry me about this game is the fact that the last two teams have really shut down our high powered offense with a series of gimmicky defenses, most of which involve dropping lots of defenders into covering our receivers. Remember that the new offense we run relies on having 5 receivers out running pass routes, so lots of defenders means nowhere to throw. I would expect OU to use some tricky running plays and draws to take advantage of a lack of men in the middle if they try to do that, and I'm hoping that KSU sticks to its normal defensive set, which is a man to man coverage, and our QB Josh Heupel eats those types of defenses for breakfast. We've usually played the best when doubters are in the house. That doesn't mean that this will be easy. Even some of our columnists are predicting we'll lose. However, the defense is playing well, and I'm confident our boys can acquit themselves well -- final score prediction: OU 35, KSU 24. Go Sooners!

Consider your job bad? Are these jobs worse than yours?


Today is World AIDS day. To commemorate it, a prominent weblogger is sponsoring a Day Without Weblogs, where blogs are ignored and not updated as a tool for visibility. Now, call me silly, but (Silly Butt!) how the hell is not updating your blog going to do anything about AIDS? Obviously I'm not participating but figured I'd give it some press. More on my mind than AIDS are myocardial infarctions, which remain the number one killer of people in America and very recently killed someone I loved dearly. So everyone take care of themselves.

I found this article on the "Battle" of the Washita in the Norman Transcript. For those not in the know, this was a massacre (on a reservation, no less) where Custer slaughtered hundreds of women, children, and horses pretty much because he felt like it. The article is a pretty good one, and includes a discussion of the effort to make the site one of our newest national monuments. I especially thought the part of how local kids would go to the bluff where they shot the horses to dig lead for fishing weights was interesting. Makes you wonder what sort of history is in your backyard. I was outraged that after this nice article some clown posted a reply justifying Custer's actions as a deterrent to raiders in Kansas (although, to be fair, he claimed he wasn't trying to justify it). I replied as well, so such stupidity wouldn't go unchallenged. You may remember this "battle" as the one featured in Little Big Man, starring Dustin Hoffman.

Tomorrow is the Big XII Championship Game between Oklahoma and Kansas State. I'll post a pregame special either tonight or tomorrow after the LSAT. Wish me luck!

Hm. Just screwed up one character of code and messed up the page pretty good. Here's the rest of what I was trying to post:

Found this long article about this scientist who thinks he's on to a totally different way to look at the world. A revolutionary genius or megalomaniac fruitcake (or combination of the two)? You be the judge. (from Metafilter)