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


How old?

After ignoring the background of this page (it’s a weblog, folks. Remember when those were "hip"?) for a while, I have recently found this neat little dohickey called the "blogtree" where one plugs in the blogs that inspired the creation of their website and it creates a family tree. I did so, and this is what HBII’s tree looks like. Neat! I even have a child blog, since Sean was so kind to list this site as a parent blog. All of the sibling blogs listed are outstanding, and I feel proud to keep company with them.

To do this project, I realized that HBII was so old that I didn’t really remember why I started it. Fortunately, the first ever post here spells it out, even if reading it was a little bit disconcerting and embarassing. Sort of like hearing your own voice on a tape recorder. (I don’t actually SOUND like that, do I? I would HATE me if I were you!) Then, while tweaking the sidebar I realized that I have forgotten exactly how I set this blog up. I know that I have to manually enter in the archive information, because I’ve never figured out how to make Blogger do it automatically, but I don’t remember how I deduced at which page the archives are stored. I also don’t remember how I tweaked Anil’s CSS code to make it work (I use that term loosely, as any Netscape users could attest), and I sometimes forget how to do things like post pictures. In short, I have been doing this for about 21 months and remain a fairly clueless coder. I will just have to work harder on my craft.

End of summer

The fall approaches. That means one thing: Football. SI has the Sooners as the #1 team, which is encouraging if meaningless. In fact, football in general is a meaningless diversion, but it is terribly engaging; twenty-two players on a field smashing into each other, each with a distinct job that they need to execute in concert for successful plays. There is so much strategy and so many good associations in my mind with football watching, it is unlikely to be something I give up just because of the social criticism. I mean, take the Title IX debate for instance; the law requires equality of opportunity for men’s and women’s sports, which the implementing agencies have long interpreted as maintaining proportionality of athletes to student body ratio (i.e., if the student body is 50-50 male/female, so should the athletes in the department). Unfortunately for everyone, football teams are bigger than any other sport, so the existence of football on campus means that Title IX compliance typically means that ‘minor’ men’s sports like gymnastics and wrestling get cut so the women’s teams can maintain this proportionality. The very nature of football and the fact that it has no female analog is a distorting effect on college campuses around the country, and I feel bad about it…. but I still love football. Go figure. (Incidentally, Frank Deford’s suggestion about exempting football from Title IX compliance has great merit, even if it does make me feel a little queasy, just because the law abhors exceptions (or ought to, if it doesn’t). In short, football will likely remain my guilty pleasure of the fall, and even my guilt will not be something I admit to often.


Fun games you can play with Republicans

If you, like me, enjoy the political troubles of the Bush administration, this has been a fun time for you. Nowadays, they can't seem to do much right at all. Once the rest of the public catches on, the next few years could be very enjoyable. I can't really expect the rash of corporate scandals and general Republican malfeasance to result in a mass rollback of their popularity (my dream: someday, some cartoonist will do a send-up of this classic Bloom County only substituting "conservative" for "liberal." [punchline: 'damned tort reform'?]), but at least public mistrust takes the shine off of their pompous gravity.

Item: Dick Cheney is a lying hypocrite in regards to corporate scandals.
At the same time they were hard at work stiffing U.S. taxpayers, Cheney and Halliburton were happily feasting at the public trough -- the company received $2.3 billion in government contracts and another $1.5 billion in government financing and loan guarantees.

During the vice-presidential debate, Cheney scored points responding to a Joe Lieberman zinger about the millions Cheney had made during the Clinton-Gore years by boasting that "the government had absolutely nothing to do" with his burgeoning bank account. Only someone fully immersed in the corporate culture of our day could view $3.8 billion as "absolutely nothing."

Item: Missile defense still doesn't work. Not that a terrorist needs a missile to do damage; I had figured THAT out by September 13.

Item: The stock market. We cannot long avoid the Bush = Herbert Hoover comparison now, right?

Item: to cement that point; if the Onion can predict the future, how long until the rest of us figure out that Bush is just bad?

"We as a people must stand united, banding together to tear this nation in two," Bush said. "Much work lies ahead of us: The gap between the rich and the poor may be wide, be there's much more widening left to do. We must squander our nation's hard-won budget surplus on tax breaks for the wealthiest 15 percent. And, on the foreign front, we must find an enemy and defeat it."

Finally, in local politics, our own Paul "The Last Living Liberal" Wellstone's campaign is back with its ubiquitous exclamation mark on every yard sign (WELLSTONE! Say it with a shout. I do.). Some clever subversives have begun distributing signs for his opponent that ask "Coleman?"

We have met the enemy and it is…. cooked food

Yep, according to today's targeted group of strange people, our dietary problems began with fire.

Other, more credible sources blame corn.