Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative. - Oscar Wilde
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
George Bush: Flip-Flopper-in-Chief
First he said no timetable, now it's a drawdown before the November 2006 election. George Bush, you are now a member of the iFlipFlop Club. Good for you, my man. You can change your mind. It doesn't make your winky shrinky.
UPDATE: Here's Bush's speech deconstructed. Short answer: He's still a bonehead. Better speech writers, though.
Déjà vu about déjà vu
I felt like I had already read this article when I read it:
About two-thirds of people experience at least one déjà vu in their lifetime, and if you have had one you are likely to have more. For reasons unknown, the incidence of déjà vu decreases with age, rises with education and income, and is more common among people who recall their dreams, who travel, and who hold liberal political and religious beliefs.
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Sweat A'Go Buss
Okay, this song, Sweat A'Go Buss, is playing over and over in my head. It's the top Reggae song right now in Jamaica by Maxi Priest. Cool. Click on the song title to get a little sample.
Monday, November 28, 2005
Back from Jamaica: Irie, Mon
I'm back from Jamaica this evening. Very tired, so I'll give a report tomorrow. But I thought I'd share one of my favorite pictures. Irie, mon.
Monday, November 21, 2005
iFlipFlop on Vacation
I'm going to put iFlipFlop on hold for a few days while I take a vacation in Jamaica. If I get some greats pix I'll post them, otherwise it's Red Stripe and relaxation. I hope everyone has a happy Thanksgiving.
Yep, Dick Cheney is the Vice President of Torture
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A former top State Department official said Sunday that Vice President Dick Cheney provided the "philosophical guidance" and "flexibility" that led to the torture of detainees in U.S. facilities.Where's Lee Greenwood singing I'm Proud to be an American now?
Sunday, November 20, 2005
George Bush: Dumb as a Doorknob
George Bush, the president most recently named Dumb as a Doorknob by the non-partisan think tank, Thinking for a Change, was flummoxed by locked doors when he ran away from a reporter's question about why he was "off his game" at a previous press outing with Chinese President Hu Jintao. Here's a picture of Mr. Bush giving the "What, me worry?" face to the assembled journalists when the door didn't open.
Saturday, November 19, 2005
Beaujolais Nouveau is here
Beaujolais Nouveau est arrive. It's that time of year, and I thought this picture by Claude C-F on Flickr captured the joy that beaujolais nouveau brings to France (and then to me in Philadelphia). If you want to see a beautiful photo set taken in Paris and environs, take a look at this photostream.
Friday, November 18, 2005
Congressman Murtha Takes It To the Bushies: The Palindrome Edition
Worst Album Covers Ever
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
How I Got to Shake Keith Urban's Hand the Night He Won the CMA's Entertainer of the Year Award
I'm in New York City on a client project and was having one of those not-so-great days that was just too filled with minute-to-minute deliverables and demands. I was tired. But on my return from the Kinkos at 54th and Lex at about 11:45 at night I had a fun turn. Right next to my hotel there was a huge Capitol Records party going on at Nikki's to celebrate the Country Music Awards that were held that night in NYC. So, I pulled out the D70 and started shooting. Here's a picture of Entertainer of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year winner Keith Urban. After the pro photogs (I was in there too) finished shooting, Keith came over and shook my hand. Cool to make a connection with someone who's on top of the world.
Dierks Bentley was there. He won the Horizon Award as the best newcomer. He said he was looking forward to getting back on the road. Really cool part was how concerned that his mom and dad could get into the VIP suite.
Keith Urban's fellow Aussie, Jamie O'Neal, looked spectacular.
There was a big buzz when guitar pioneer Les Paul arrived on a big Gibson tour bus.
I'm sorry I didn't get this artist's name. What can I say but, "Wow." I'll find out. UPDATE: Okay, it's Sherrie Austin.
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
The Unbearable Lie-Ness of Being
BUSH: SADDAM MUST SHARE THE BLAME FOR KATRINA
President Rips Iraqi Madman for Distracting Federal Government
Just two days after taking responsibility for failures
of the Federal government's response in the aftermath
of Hurricane Katrina, President George W. Bush
modified that position somewhat, telling reporters
that former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein "should
share at least some of the blame" for those failures.
"When the Federal government fails to live up to its
responsibilities to the American people, the finger of
blame should be pointed at one person," Mr.Bush told
reporters in the White House Rose Garden. "And that
person is Saddam Hussein."
After reporters appeared startled and taken aback by
the president's remark, Mr. Bush said that he could
"connect the dots" between the Iraqi madman and the
government's poor emergency response after the
"For years, Saddam Hussein taunted us into believing
that he had weapons of mass destruction, for one
reason and one reason alone," Mr. Bush said. "To
distract us from preparing for hurricanes."
Adding that "his evil knows no bounds," Mr. Bush told
reporters, "Now that Saddam Hussein is in the custody
of the Iraqi government, he will never threaten the
United States of America with his hurricanes again."
The president also said that he was prepared to take
further actions to protect the United States from
hurricanes, such as invading Syria.
Reached at his prison cell in Baghdad, Mr. Hussein
said that he was "disappointed" by the president's
comments, adding, "Now is not the time to play the
Elsewhere, returning to Washington after his trip to
the Gulf region, Vice President Dick Cheney said that
Hurricane Katrina did little or no damage to the
nation's tax cuts.
(via BH International)
Saturday, November 12, 2005
What really caused the World Trade Center towers to collapse?
Scientist Steven E. Jones of the Physics and Astronomy Department at Brigham Young University questions why the World Trade Center towers collapsed so symmetrically. His theory: explosive charges planted in the buildings. His paper makes very interesting reading. I'm not much of a conspiracy theorist, but his questions are compelling. Okay, I'll say it: Did the Bush government pull more of its bullshit? At this point I don't believe a single thing they say. And it just wouldn't surprise me that they would concoct a reason to go to war. Wag the dog? Indeed.
Friday, November 11, 2005
Onward Christian Soldiers
One of god's warriors says, "Get the hell out of my house, in Jesus name I pray." Scary video from Trading Spouses, my friends.
Pat Robertson: World Terrorist
Pat Robertson, 700 Club founder and resident international terrorist (he did, after all, threaten the life of a world leader), proved once again that Intelligent Design ain't what it's cracked up to be. Robertson is now threatening the town of Dover, PA, because the thinking townspeople voted out the ID crowd in local school board elections. Via CNN:
"I'd like to say to the good citizens of Dover: if there is a disaster in your area, don't turn to God, you just rejected Him from your city," Robertson said on his daily television show broadcast from Virginia, "The 700 Club."Which made me go Freudian for a moment. ID, it's all about the id.
P.S. For the real smackdown on Intelligent Design, read Charles Pierce's piece in Esquire this month titled Greetings from Idiot America. He says:
The rise of Idiot America is essentially a war on expertise. It's not so much antimodernism or the distrust of intellectual elites that Richard Hofstadter deftly teased out of the national DNA forty years ago. Both of those things are part of it. However, the rise of Idiot America today representsfor profit mainly, but also, and more cynically, for political advantage and in the pursuit of powerthe breakdown of a consensus that the pursuit of knowledge is a good. It also represents the ascendancy of the notion that the people whom we should trust the least are the people who best know what they're talking about. In the new media age, everybody is a historian, or a preacher, or a scientist, or a sage. And if everyone is an expert, then nobody is, and the worst thing you can be in a society where everybody is an expert is, well, an actual expert.It's a great read. And it exposes why we're lead to believe that just because someone says it so makes it so. Time to wake up now.
Thursday, November 10, 2005
Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!
Now The White House is trying to change transcripts - of what was actually said! Think Progress has the details. Is this our Wizard of Oz moment? Oh please, just to see Dick Cheney, George Bush and the entire cabal floating away in a hot air balloon. Dorothy, we're not in Kansas anymore. (Um, as far as a school board in Kansas believes, Kansas may not be in Kansas anymore. It can't be proven that it's in Kansas. Teach the controversy.)
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
I'm thinking about becoming a sports agent
T.O. needs a new agent, because that putz Drew Rosenhaus is the world's worst advisor on the planet. Hell, I could screw up a negotiation that badly and I've never even been an agent. So, T.O. I'm throwing my hat in the ring as your sports agent. Call me. Collect. I'm your guy. I'll guarantee that I'll give you advice that's better than Rosenhuas has given you. Seriously.
Dang, that headline, Democrats Victorious, is a year late, but what the heck? Democrats won the governorships in New Jersey and Virginia, even after George Bush campaigned for the Republican contender. And In California, voters rejected Republican Governor Schwarzenegger's four referenda. Wahoo!
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
Monday, November 07, 2005
The Wizard of Ego
If I Only Had a Brain
I could while away the hours
Conferrin' with the flowers
Consultin' with the rain
And my head, I'd be scratchin'
While my thoughts were busy hatchin'
If I only had a brain.
I'd unravel ev'ry riddle
For any individ'le
In trouble or in pain
With the thoughts you'd be thinkin'
You could be another Lincoln,
If you only had a brain.
Oh, I could tell you why
The ocean's near the shore,
I could think of things I never thunk before
And then I'd sit and think some more.
I would not be just a nuffin'
My head all full of stuffin'
My heart all full of pain.
I would dance and be merry
Life would be a ding-a-derry
If I only had a brain--Whoa!
Cry, Eagles, Cry..
Cry, Eagles, Cry
On the road to your defeat
Cry, Eagles Cry
No T.O. and no TDs one-two-three
Cry, Eagles, Cry
On the road to your defeat
Redskins 17, Eagles 10.
From the wings of Eagles to the flop ears of Beagles.
The West Wing: Santos won the debate hands down
Santos 70, Vinick 30. Okay, it's a TV show, but The West Wing is just so good. I voted for Santos.
Friday, November 04, 2005
Spruce Street Paved
Spruce Street in the Rittenhouse Square area of Philadelphia has been a torn-up mess for about two months. The streets people had ripped up the pavement and scraped the street with what looked like giant fork tines. There were huge grooves in the road and the manhole covers were sticking up high enough that cars were really getting slammed on them. So, I was pleased when I saw these steamrollers parked at 18th and Spruce yesterday afternoon. Little did I know what would be in store.
At 12:30 a.m. I heard a siren and a loud announcement. At first the blaring from the speaker was muddled, but as a construction van came down Spruce Street the message was clear: IF YOU HAVE A CAR PARKED ON SPRUCE STREET IT WILL BE TOWED IMMEDIATELY. That message, accompanied by a siren to fill the space between repeats, had to have been at 120 decibels. Some poor suckers got up and moved their cars. Others got towed.
I do have to give credit to the work crew for fixing the road in the middle of the night, though. 2:45 in the middle of the night, but during the night. Have you ever heard how rumbling and loud a steamroller can be at 2:45 a.m.? Grrrrrrrrrr.
Anyway, here's the handiwork. I went outside at 7 a.m. to snap this picture of Spruce Street's new coat (this shot is from near the corner of 18th looking toward 17th). Already the horns were honking this morning. (How likely do you think it will be that the taxi drivers follow those lines they painted on the road?)
Thursday, November 03, 2005
My favorite coffee in Philadelphia: La Colombe
(Photo by G. Widman for GPTMC)
I like coffee in the morning. And I must say that my favorite in the Rittenhouse area in Philadelphia right now is La Colombe. (BTW: Their website is such a Flash nightmare that I won't even link to it.) Tasty coffee, though. And I love the ambiance. Even with a coffee to-go they give you a saucer, a long spoon, and a lid. Fun stuff.
La Colombe Torrefaction
130 S. 19th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
Thoughts on the World Series of Poker 2005
Tuesday nights are my church night, when I kneel at the altar of the World Series of Poker. Two solid hours of the WSOP Main Event are on ESPN now. And after last night they are down to the final 27 players. Greg Raymer, last year's champion, is still in it (not to spoil it, but the tournament was a few months ago and Raymer doesn't repeat). It's fun. Equally fun is this McSweeney's list:
Poker Terminology I Feel I Could Get Away With Saying If I Ever Played a Tournament.
BY ANDY SUTHERLAND
- - - -
He's holding Babraham Lincolns.
Caught in a flytrap.
Lay it down on "The Tarpits."
Short-weeding the double-down avocado splitter.
So I pull trash from the flop, and end up sinking the Titanic.
Laboratory rats to the left, and I know the guy on the right has a suicide johnnynothing else to do but drop the transmission.
He was short-stacked, so I raised with nothing but a bumpy melinda and a bullet.
Crunking the small blind.
So a Madeleine Albright pops up on Fourth Street.
After his raise, I know he's sporting two mustaches, and I can see one otter swimming the river on the flop.
I've got leaky quads, and I call, after he bulldozes the pit with half his gold towers.
First WiFi, Now Hybrid Cars: Mayor Street Leads Big Cities into the Future
It's pretty cool to live in a city that leads the way on new technology issues. Mayor Street's office issued a press release that talks about the city's use of hybrid cars to reduce pollution and save city costs (35% lower fuel costs for the Prius fleet the city uses). The text:
Mayor Street said, "We are committed to the use of hybrids in the City fleet. The hybrid cars we have purchased and put into use have significantly lowered fuel costs. Using hybrids also has environmental benefits for our City through reduced carbon monoxide emissions. Hybrid cars are part of our City's future."And the city will be buying more hybrid vehicles, Fords and Toyotas. Less pollution, less cost. There's a look at what the future should be. I'm glad it's starting in Philadelphia.
Utilizing hybrid vehicles are advantageous for city driving, where a great deal of driving is done at lower speeds. Once the vehicle exceeds twenty miles per hour, it is powered by a combustible engine fueled by unleaded gas. Purchasing hybrids include an extensive warranty program covering everything but brakes and oil.
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Blogger publishing problems
Finally! I have been having Blogger publishing problems all day. Ugh. Back online now.
Some thoughts about SEPTA this morning
I rode the R5 out of Center City last night at 9:15. I waited out the mass of confusion that was Suburban Station at rush hour and had a not-too-bad ride home. Now I'm waiting for rush hour to pass this morning before I head back into the city. I hope to heck this SEPTA strike doesn't go on as long as the last one - 40 days.
When I bought my daily tickets last night (no way I'm buying a monthly when it's not clear who this is going to play out) the ticket taker told me that during the last strike SEPTA was secretly happy because they in effect "make money" during the strike. (I guess what he meant was that SEPTA loses less money than normal.) And they got done all the projects they were unable to get to when the business runs normally. But there's a twist. "The only ones who make money during one of these strikes are the contractors," he said.
So, another battle about health care benefits. That's a very serious issue. Dan Gehringer at the Daily News lays out the issues today in SEPTA, Union Still Trading Charges. I just wonder how the people on strike ever make back the money they lose during job action. We're talking about a little cost sharing of health care benefits and pay raises that amount to three percent a year.
Okay, I'm going to wedge myself into the R5 sardine can and hope that everyone can come to some agreement soon. This one looks like a lose-lose for all involved.