05.04.11 – a wednesday

word

ambit [am-bit] n. 1. circumference; circuit 2. boundary; limit 3. a sphere of operation or influence; range; scope: the ambit of such an action

birthday

Horace Mann (1796), Audrey Hepburn (1929), Paul Gleason (1939), Pia Zadora (1954), Randy Travis (1959), Will Arnett (1970)

standpoint

I understand things. Some individuals who think they know me might not share that opinion but those individuals
are flat out wrong.

But, like a lot of you out there, I encounter certain people, situations, etc., and I’m forced to my hands up in the air, mutter one profanity or another, and admit that I just don’t get it.

For instance, and I know I’m drilling the death of Osama bin Laden into the ground, but why in the world is the White House (as of the time I’m writing these words) deliberating the release of photos taken after bin Laden was shot or when they dropped his sorry ass into the ocean? Human beings need proof. Unless we actually see the dude’s bullet-riddled cranium, it’ll only be a matter of days until everyone starts making up stories about how he’s still alive. And that’s way worse than exposing us to some gruesome snapshots.

In addition, why, if the Navy SEALs’ only objective was to kill bin Laden, would it matter if he was unarmed when they busted into his room? He could’ve had a bazooka resting on his shoulder, the outcome would’ve been the same.

Also, I don’t get how anyone could think that the original Die Hard isn’t a comedy as well as an action movie? Or, how anyone can drive anywhere without getting into a car accident since, by my estimation, about 90% of licensed drivers need to be retested? Or, why everyone doesn’t have a gmail account? Or, why so many people disagreed with a portion of one of my recent posts in which I asserted that the fennec fox is possibly the cutest animal on the planet? (Seriously, folks, what in the hell is wrong with you?)

quotation

There is no cure for birth and death, save to enjoy the interval. ↔ George Santayana

tune

Free Energy is a band that’s kind of from Philadelphia and I can’t decide whether I like them or find them annoying. But I do like this song, “Something In Common.”

gallimaufry

This dude should go straight to jail. No trial. Just incarceration until he learns to behave himself.

→ Admittedly, this is a little simple but still nonetheless true.

→ Any Phillies fans out there who still have negative shit to say about Cole Hamels need to check out last night’s game. My favorite part, however, was when Jayson Werth took off his helmet and tipped it to the crowd. Classy move.

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09.08.09 – A Tuesday

Word

cull [kuhl] v. 1. to choose; select; pick 2. to gather the choice things or parts from 3. to collect; gather; pluck n. 4. act of culling 5. something culled, esp. something picked out and put aside as inferior

Birthday

Charles J. Guiteau (1841), Sid Caesar (1922), Lyndon LaRouche (1922), Peter Sellers (1925), Patsy Cline (1932), Ron Pigpen McKernan (1945), Maurice Cheeks (1956), Heather Thomas (1957), Aimee Mann (1960), Neko Case (1970), David Arquette (1971), Pink (1979), Jonathan Taylor Thomas (1981)

Standpoint

I’m completely aware that, from time to time, I get up on my blogging soapbox and fire off shots at the world of professional sports. And rightfully so. There’s a lot of things wrong with the conduct of professional athletes, coaches and owners.

But this past weekend I watched something that kind of reminded me, sometimes, a sporting event can actually inspire. Melanie Oudin, a 17-year old tennis player from Georgia (the US state, not the Eurasian nation), is staging comeback after improbable comeback in the 2009 U.S. Open.

Normally, I’m not a big fan of tennis. I’ve watched it occassionally with my Mom-Mom, but that’s been about the limit of my exposure to the sport. But I was flicking through the channels and it was the only thing that was on. That day, Oudin beat the 29th seeded player, Maria Sharapova. Yesterday, she beat the the 13th-seed, Nadia Petrova. She’s also beaten No.4 player, Elena Dementieva and former No. 1 player in the world, Jelena Jankovic. But I didn’t see those matches.

In any case, it was really kind of great to watch it all unfold. Oudin’s story is one of promise, no matter how the rest of it turns out. And we need more of that kind of stuff, people, because, whether you’re a cynical misanthrope like me or some sort of cock-eyed optimist, it’s important for all of us to know Oudin’s story is something we can repeat in one way or another.

For once, it’s nice to watch an athlete who still has a legitimate love of the game. Someone who isn’t looking at what they’re doing as a job. She’ll eventually become just like the rest of us and realize nothings good lasts for long. But she doesn’t know that yet. She is fist-pumping her way through one of the greatest times of her life. And we should all be happy be along for the ride

Plus, I really like Oudin because she doesn’t scream like some of these other banshees whenever she hits the ball. Seriously, ladies, every single time? Tone it down. There’s kids watching, for Christ’s sake.

Note: I know that’s not the kind of stuff you’re used to reading when you come here. If I turned some of you off with the sappy stuff, don’t worry. I’m sure during the course of today, something will piss me off and I’ll have it ready for you first thing in the morning.

Quotation

In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out.  It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being.  We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit. ◊ Albert Schweitzer

Tune

Nate Ruess, lead singer of currently-on-hiatus The Format has formed a new band called fun. I always kind of liked The Format and fun. sounds pretty much the same. Try “All the Pretty Girls.”

Gallimaufry

→ We’ve all been hearing about the potential dangers of everyone getting a little too wrapped up in these social networking sites. Well, while I still maintain Facebook, Twitter and all the rest of them should be treated like everything else in life – mainly with simple common sense – there are some of us out there who need to get their heads out of their respective asses. Need an example? How about the two South Australia girls, aged 12 and 10, who found themselves trapped in a storm drain and, instead of alerting the authorities so that someone could come and find them, they decided their time would be better spent by updating their Facebook statuses. Luckily, at least one of their friends was not as dim as them, and actually got them some help.

→ Think your email is safe? Well, it’s not. At least not according to “Hacking Firms One Click Ahead of Law.” Sites like yourhackerz.com, if hired to do so, will break into your Gmail or Yahoo! account with relative ease. No matter how tricky and complicated your password may be.

→ I’m letting you know that I’m absolutely positive “How I Met Your Mother” is the funniest television show ever. I’m sure some of you disagree but, for the life of me, I can’t fathom as to the reasons why.

04.01.09 – Wednesday

Word: hyperbole [hahy-pur-buh-lee] n. 1. obvious and intentional exaggeration  2. an extravagant statement or figure of speech not intended to be taken literally, as in “wait and eternity”

 

Birthday: Otto von Bismarck (1815), Big Jim Fisk (1834), Gordon Jump (1932), Debbie Reynolds (1932), Ali MacGraw (1938), Jimmy Cliff (1948), Gil Scott-Heron (1949), Annette O’Toole (1952), Method Man (1971), Rachel Maddow (1971), Bijou Phillips (1980)

 

Occurrence: 2004Google launches Gmail. This should be enough to make April 1st a national holiday. If you don’t use Gmail, switch now.

 

Standpoint: Well, its April Fool’s Day and guess who’s got something really funny cooking up? Hackers. The Conficker worm is looking to create quite a stir. If you’re reading this, you’re probably safe. Often, I wonder what it would take for me to become a full-fledged hacker. What steps would I need to take?

 

  1. Dump my girlfriend – Sorry, honey, but hacking is time-consuming stuff. No more romantic dinners or movie nights for a while. After all, I’ll be trying to take over the world.
  2. Enroll in a martial arts class – Hackers claim they do this for the mental discipline needed to be successful at the craft. I envision some sort of ornate Japanese spear hanging on a wall in my office.
  3. Change my wardrobe – I’ll need to fit in with my hacker brethren so I’ll need lots of ironic t-shirts with clever statements like, “Big Brother Is Watching You” and “Just Because I’m Paranoid Doesn’t Mean They’re Not Watching Me.” Also, buying a wide assortment of Converse All-Stars feels like something I’ll have to seriously think about.
  4. Modify my attitude – Right now, I’m not particularly angry enough to do something like, say, hack into the New York Stock Exchange and collapse the economy. Gotta get mean. Or at the very least, gotta get not-so-apathetic.
  5. Create believable back-story – I’ll come up with stories that I can share with my hacker brethren so they’ll better relate to me. One story will chronicle a particularly horrific gym class involving multiple dodgeballs caroming off my face. Another one will be the tale of how I went stag to my senior prom with my buddy Gilbert and we got totally wasted and made fun of everyone else for “participating in elitist bullshit.” 
  6. Actually learn how to hack – I’ll be good at talking the talk but walking the walk will be a totally different story. Most hacker experts estimate that someone with practically no knowledge of hacking (like me) will need to spend 18-24 months training to acquire the basic necessary skills.

 Seems like a lot of work. I probably won’t do it.

 

Quotation: If I had to live my life again, I’d make the same mistakes, only sooner. Tallulah Bankhead

 

Tune: I hear that, in real life, Alanis Morissette is a cool person. Most of her songs, though, annoy the crap out of me. “Hands Clean” is an exception. I like the whole idea of fast forwarding to a few years later.

 

Link: Music Map – Like iTunes’ “Related Artist” feature but about 8,000 times better.

 

Gallimaufry: Not sure which blanket-with-sleeves you should be looking at? You’ve got more options than the Snuggie…Tattletexting? It’s real and coming to a sporting event near you…Hipsters have always been a source of endless amusement for me. For many reasons. Here’s an article by Lauren Alfrey “What Can We Learn by Learning about Hipsters?” Interesting take.