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:: Wednesday, February 04, 2004 ::

Pseudopsalms Has Moved

No more BlogSpot. No more dead links. No more Blogger.


Please go here for new posts.
:: Peter 2/04/2004 01:29:00 PM [+] ::

Average Joe: Arizona, Missouri, Delaware, North Dakota, New Mexico, South Carolina, Oklahoma

Seven 'tribes' voted yesterday: Joe L. was sent home. A shame really since he sometimes appeared to be the only one of the remaining contestants who hadn't tilted too far over to the left to be able to remain standing in the fall season when new episodes of Average Joe: America begin.

John K. came through big, not quite as big as he'd have probably liked but a lot bigger than he ever could have imagined before Howard D. gave a crash course in, well, crashing. John E. did exactly what he needed to do, but it won't be enough. It sets him up very well to be the winner in the next Average Joe: Iowa and New Hampshire episodes in 2008 when Hillary C. should be his main opponent.

Of course, most likely, Hillary C. realizes this. And, being Hillary C. she must be looking at her master 2008 plan and thinking not so happy thoughts about John E.

Here's her thought process: John E. is setting himself up perfectly for 2008. He's too young and inexperienced now but in 2008 he'll not have that drawback because of the race in 2003/2004 for the nomination.

Here's her conclusion: In order to be the presumptive front runner in 2008 I can't be the 1 term former senator from the great state of New York. But I can be the team-playing supportive running mate to John K. in 2004.

Lose in Average Joe: America 2004 and Hillary C. would be in a better situation than John E. for 2008. Win in 2004 and she's set for 2012, even though that's so far away.

Could we see a John K./Hillary C. team in the fall? And could they win?

When will Al S. and Dennis K. be voted off? I'm not really sure anyone even realizes they're still on the show.

And Howard D.

Howard, we barely knew you. Which, of course, was when you were winning. Then we got to know you. At least Vermont is a really nice state to retire in.

Wesley C. Well, time to pack it in before it gets any worse. You won a state. Now gracefully thank Oklahoma and pledge to support the winner.

Of course, that course of action would require grace.

So expect him to slog on into Average Joe: Super Tuesday. Losing support daily.

John K. v. John E. for the next month. Won't be that close a contest. By Super Tuesday most voters will be resigned to John K. being the victor so they'll vote for him no matter what. Sort of like all the voters in Average Joe: Delaware voted for him just because of his momentum.

Next eps: Average Joe: Michigan and Washington on Feb. 7.

:: Peter 2/04/2004 08:24:00 AM [+] ::
:: Tuesday, February 03, 2004 ::

Average Joe: Hawaii

Lots of Boston accent time last night...must be a tribute to the Patriots. One question: When, exactly, did Brian W. get that haircut? It's a good look for him...after all, it works for Ed Stephens:

Brian W. before haircut, no pictures of him after haircut are available yet


Have to say: I'm going to miss Ed!

For those looking for AJ updates for Melana and Jason: per People magazine they're no longer together. Adam's new Average Joe episodes are slated to begin in March.

Surprises: I had rather assumed Brian G. and Thomas would be cut. I agree with his question on the preview where he asks why he's still around. I'm looking forward to that answer. I think the last remaining 'Average Joes' will be Brian W. and Tony.

The new guys: no real surprises on the booted guys. When Jerry left that was the first time I can remember actually hearing his voice. The last two will end up being Michael K. (who will lose due to his 'arrogance' since Larissa definitely did not seem to care for hearing about that) and Todd (and I can't see Larissa getting over her bad feelings about him).

Which of course leaves Brian W. and Tony, each of whom will probably get at least one more alone date with Larissa.

There's a lot of episodes left and I'll change my prediction as needed but I think it'll be Brian W. Which will drive my wife crazy since she doesn't much care for his accent (or any accent for that matter...she doesn't like southern accents either).

As for 'Average Joe: Arizona, Delaware, Missouri, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and South Carolina.' Final results tomorrow (doubt I'll post tonight on the returns unless there's something truly odd). I'll assume it'll be Kerry across most of the board with Edwards coming in second a lot. Looking like a John-John ticket. And in the first George W. v. John K. debate look for John K. to borrow Wesley C's line asking 'Do you feel safer now than 4 years ago?' Not 'Are you safer?' But 'Do you feel safer?' since we all know that how we feel matters more than facts.

Howard D? Years from now poli sci students will study his campaign in the month of January 2004 as a textbook example of what not to do in a campaign. These courses, of course, will be taught by people who, when they were in college, were a part of the Dean Revolution.

:: Peter 2/03/2004 01:09:00 PM [+] ::
:: Wednesday, January 28, 2004 ::

Average Joe: New Hampshire

Once again John K. won the night. By a 14 percentage point margin (which would mean something if the voting pool had been large enough to make 14 points mean more than the population of a very very small town). The challenge of the bitter cold, not to mention a week-long intensive anger management seminar for Howard D., made for a less than tight fought contest. No one was voted off but Joe L., Al S., and Dennis K. are all candidates to hear those dreaded words next: 'You're fired.'

Joe L. due to his perceived lack of 'electability.' Read: He was Al G's partner in the last season and can't shake that feeling of Democratic doom which pervaded that contest in hindsight.

Al S. should have a minor comeback in the next few episodes, mainly those Average Joe: Southern States eps which will be appearing almost daily over the next month or so. But once he flames out with those it'll be close to over, no matter what Jesse J. once did in a late 80's version of Average Joe: America where Michael D. won the battle but lost the war. It will, however, set Al S. up nicely for a cushy speech slot at the convention and a larger say in the party than the party would probably wish.

And Dennis K. would most likely be the next to be voted off the island except I can't help thinking his entire campaign is as the star of The Mole. What other explanation is there for some of his ideas and actions. If he's The Mole (or, conversely, appearing in a months-long version of The Surreal Life) then he's done a poor job of it, barely able to stir his own fans and completely unable to affect the appearance or activities of his fellow contestants. If he was on American Idol he wouldn't have gotten past the screening process to be mocked by Simon and Randy (though if Paula had been healthy she probably would have at least expressed sympathy for his valiant effort before shaking her head with a shy smile and saying 'No').

Next episodes: Average Joe: Arizona, Deleware, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Virgina, North Dakota.

Look for at least three different contestants to pull out individual victories, since there should be at least one contest where each of the main contestants are playing to their strengths. If Joe L. doesn't pull at least one second expect him to voluntarily leave the series, though some will say the self-expulsion is 1) a week too late and 2) not exactly voluntary. Dennis K. might try to last until the money dries up but 1) he has money? and 2) Average Joe: Ohio is not until March (not even in Feb. sweeps) and no one in Ohio is planning on voting for him, no matter how many times host Ryan Seacrest explains ATT text-message voting. And Al. S is expecting a strong showing in Average Joe: South Carolina and might decide to stick around long enough to try to see how he does in Average Joe: Georgia (March 2) and Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi (March 9).

In other words, we won't know who is in the Dog Eat Dog final faceoff against George B. until much later this year.

:: Peter 1/28/2004 08:54:00 AM [+] ::
:: Monday, January 26, 2004 ::

Blog Madness 2003

Well, Round 1 has started. And I'm trolling for votes. For me and for Anna. Go vote! I hope the link for Anna's vote is working, if not, please go to the main tourney page and look for the MrsPseudopsalms bracket.
:: Peter 1/26/2004 11:27:00 AM [+] ::
:: Wednesday, January 21, 2004 ::

BlogMadness 2003

Have you entered yet?
:: Peter 1/21/2004 04:38:00 PM [+] ::

The Response to the SOTU

Daschle reminded me of the Reagan puppet in the Genesis video, all those 'Hollywood pseudo-dramatic head bobs.'

It truly seemed as though he had studied Reagan's speech mannerisms, which were so natural in Reagan, as well as Bartlett's speech tics, so melodramatic for a television series audience, and combined them in front of a mirror after months of practice. Final result: a political speech as given by the animators of Final Fantasy. Almost human but not quite, close enough so you can't really put your finger on what's wrong. You only know something's wrong.

At least with Pelosi you can entertain yourself trying to figure out how many eye lifts she's had. One more operation and Michael Jackson will look just like her.

As for what they actually said: In a nutshell:

Main Entry: uni·lat·er·al
Pronunciation: "yü-ni-'la-t&-r&l, -'la-tr&l
Function: adjective
Date: 1802
1 a : Anything which France disagrees with b : of, relating to, or affecting anything which France disagrees with : ONE-SIDED c : constituting or relating to a contract or engagement by which an express obligation to do or forbear is imposed on anything which France disagrees with
2 a : having parts arranged on one side of anything which France disagrees with b : occurring on, performed on, or affecting one side of anything which France disagrees with
4 : Anything which France disagrees with

:: Peter 1/21/2004 10:52:00 AM [+] ::
:: Tuesday, January 20, 2004 ::

Average Joe: Iowa

Well, the second big surprise was that Dick left. Richard G. had been fairly confident but it just wasn't to be. The first big surprise, of course, was the fairly stunning victory in the 'get a date with Iowa' competition for John K. Iowa seemed strangely withdrawn and leery around the swagger of Howard D. Especially considering she had seemed to be deeply enamored, if you only listened to the producers it almost seemed as though she couldn't keep her hands off of him.

But the constant pin-cushion attacks of the other competitors appear to have worn down her affection. It will be interesting to see if, on next weeks episode--'Average Joe: New Hampshire'--Howard D. will be able to reclaim his momentum or be relegated to the Gary H. dustbin of 'Average Joe: Primary' history.

Two 'studs' (Wesley C. and Joe L.) will be joining the other Average Joes for next week, just one of the twists and turns planned for the show. Other surprises are suspected, such as a possible last minute savior role for Hillary C. which would, most likely, generate the sort of numbers the producers are looking for. Especially since last night's episode was pretty much ignored in the ratings against 'American Idol: Iowa', where George B. had no competition at all and sailed to an easy victory.

As a side note to last night's episodes, there was also a new show, My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance, but no one really turned out for the Rev. Al S. flop. To be generous, the writing was good, but the plot was terrible. In addition, Dennis K. had a brief ratings surge a while back when his 'Who Wants To Be The First Lady' aired once or twice but that quickly faded.

The preview for next week's episode, partly obscured, as always, by the closing credits, showed a surprising amount of vitriol, particularly coming from Howard D. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Especially with sweeps coming up.

:: Peter 1/20/2004 08:26:00 AM [+] ::
:: Monday, January 19, 2004 ::

Remember the Blood of Heroes...

Because I love this land. I treasure it's Constitution. I believe in it's values. And I am so very pleased that my children are American.

Thank you to all who have died to give these Rights to me. Thank you to all who have fought for me without ever knowing my name. Thank you to the soldiers, sailors, pilots, Americans who protected us and protect us still.

Thank you.

Link via Neal Boortz. Of course.
:: Peter 1/19/2004 07:04:00 PM [+] ::
:: Friday, January 16, 2004 ::

Average Jane

I had posted, a while back, that the producers of Average Joe should do an Average Jane. I thought it would be great to get Dennis to be the 'center of attention.'

Apparently the producers thought Average Jane should star Adam. I can't really disagree with that.

Feel like Adam is perfect for you? Or that you're perfect for him? Then go
apply to appear on Average Joe 3: Adam Returns.
:: Peter 1/16/2004 04:55:00 PM [+] ::
:: Wednesday, January 14, 2004 ::

What, Michael Jackson wasn't available?

It was inevitable for Rocky to be transferred to the stage. After all, what's more Broadway than Stallone? Ok, the film won a lot of awards and is one of the greatest boxing movies ever made...especially since I can't really picture Raging Bull as a musical.

Yes, a musical Rocky...

"Adrien! Adrien!" As an 11-o'clock number? Shiver.

And you have to think they'll work a Broadway version of "Eye of the Tiger" in there somewhere, despite it not appearing in the original movie.

Who, the producers must have sat there thinking, should we hire to write the score for the "Italian Stallion"?

I'd've loved to have been at the brainstorming session which led to this:

R. Kelly.

Yes, that's right. R. Kelly. Why do I think at least one of the producers has a child who watched Space Jam one too many times.

"Let's hire the Michael Jordan song guy!" He must have shouted out after the 16th latte.

"Didn't he get arrested for something?" The maintenance man might have volunteered.

"No, that's Michael Jackson." Latte-boy would have responded.

And so...

Rocky: The Musical.

Where Adrien is, apparently, going to be played by a 15 year old.

Just a thought.
:: Peter 1/14/2004 04:03:00 PM [+] ::
:: Tuesday, January 13, 2004 ::

Elmo, Anyone?

It's not all politics at NealzNuze, the Boortz blog:

There's also NSFW Elmo. Yes, really. Though you might have to look really really closely:

"Look behind the box just behind Elmo's left hand"
:: Peter 1/13/2004 08:53:00 AM [+] ::
:: Monday, January 12, 2004 ::

Average Joe Hawaii

Well...1) stop serenading


2) pick the pile of crap? I'm sorry, what did you just ask? Did you just make Larissa picture holding a pile of crap? No, really...you did?

Still the third date to go...
:: Peter 1/12/2004 10:42:00 PM [+] ::
:: Tuesday, January 06, 2004 ::

iPod mini

Perhaps, just perhaps, I'm reading too much into this...

But can anyone tell me why, on a page newly risen to trumpet the debut of the iPod mini, can you find Noam Chomsky?

Yes, that Noam Chomsky.

"Books on iPod mini
The iTunes Music Store features hundreds of the latest and greatest audiobooks. Listen to Madonna narrate The English Roses or laugh at Steve Martin. Learn how Bilbo found the ring in J.R.R. Tolkein’s The Hobbit. Let The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown keep you spellbound. The iTunes Music Store spans the spectrum from the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin to Noam Chomsky’s latest. With audiobooks on your iPod mini, you can while away your commute commercial-free. iPod mini bookmarks where you pause, even when you listen to music at the gym in the meantime."

Maybe it's a completely neutral 'author-chosen-at-random' kind of thing.

But seriously. Noam Chomsky?

:: Peter 1/06/2004 03:35:00 PM [+] ::
:: Wednesday, December 31, 2003 ::


In January 2001 there was an earthquake in India.

"An Israeli aid mission, numbering about 150 personnel, departed on January 29 in five Israeli Air Force aircraft to the area of the recent earthquake in western India. Following an Indian request, Israel dispatched an entire field hospital, including a team of doctors, medical staff, and medical equipment. A Foreign Ministry team, led by Mr. Moti Amihai, Director of the South East Asia Division, accompanied the delegation.
The IDF medical relief team opened a field hospital in the town of Bhuj, in the Indian state of Gujarat, which is the region most affected by the earthquake.
The Israeli delegation returned to Israel on February 12 after two weeks in the earthquake area. At the field hospital in the city of Bhuj, they treated 1,211 casualties and assisted in 12 births. Members of the delegation also helped in the search and rescue in the field. Prior to their departure, the India Airforce Commander and the Mayor of Bhuj thanked the delegation for its contribution in the saving of lives and treatment of the wounded in the earthquake."

In December 2003, as everyone knows, there was in earthquake in Iran. Yes, everyone also knows that Israeli offers of help were rejected. That's not the point of this post.

US aid, while accepted, has also been met with statements from the Iranian theocrats that the aid wouldn't change anything.

In case you were wondering what the US sent:

"In the latest U.S. shipment, an American military plane carrying 80 personnel and medical supplies landed early Tuesday in the provincial capital of Kerman. The team reached Bam, 120 miles to the southeast, by midday.
Seven U.S. Air Force C-130 cargo planes have already delivered 150,000 pounds of relief supplies — including blankets, medical supplies and water — making the United States one of the largest international donors."

Of course, no one should be surprised that the US is 'one of the largest international donors.' Nor should anyone be surprised that we sent, per this article with it's byline: "The Associated Press Updated: 8:20 p.m. ET Dec. 30, 2003", seven cargo planes of relief supplies and medical personnel.

Why am I posting about that?

Seven planes. It's an interesting number isn't it? Completely insignificant, you'd think, that the Associated Press would announce on December 30, 2003 that the US, as 'one of the largest international donors' sent 7 planes.

You'd think, wouldn't you?

Dateline: The Arab News, RIYADH, 31 January 2003 (sic):

"Aid for Quake Victims
Staff Writer
RIYADH, 31 January 2003 (sic) — Saudi Arabia yesterday sent two more planeloads of relief supplies for Iran’s earthquake victims, bringing the total to seven. The Kingdom also sent a medical team to establish a field hospital in the quake-hit city of Bam."

How nice of Saudi Arabia to suddenly decide to send 2 more planeloads of relief supplies, bringing the total, as reported by the Arab News on December 31, 2003 (we'll assume they meant December, not January) to seven.

Told you it was an interesting number.

I wonder how many planeloads the Israelis would have sent.

:: Peter 12/31/2003 02:42:00 PM [+] ::
:: Thursday, December 18, 2003 ::

Once More, With Hobbits

If the title strikes as a bit familiar, it's supposed to. "Once More, With Feeling" is the Buffy musical.

"Once More, With Hobbits" is a tribute parody utilizing the music of Joss Whedon from Buffy and lyrics about Lord Of The Rings.

Of course, there's always the REAL Lord Of The Rings musical to look forward to.

link via Meryl.

:: Peter 12/18/2003 08:28:00 AM [+] ::
:: Tuesday, December 16, 2003 ::

Damn, wish I had said that...

What a wonderful line:

"(Saddam)'s not a prisoner of war, he's a CAUSE of war. He deserves to be treated how he treated his citizens. Oh wait, that'd mean we'd not only torture and then kill him in the most inhumane ways possible, but he'd also have to be innocent. So much for that thought."

In the interest of full disclosure: yes, my wife wrote that. Doesn't change the fact that it's a great line.

:: Peter 12/16/2003 02:49:00 PM [+] ::

The Return

I saw Fellowship in a state of the art theater in Atlanta, with my wife and my 3 year old son. Except for the black riders pawing the ground and an occasional loud noise or two he was fine.

A year later I saw Two Towers in a state of the art theater in Dayton, Ohio, alone. It was snowing outside, a day or two after Christmas, where I had just received the extended DVD of Fellowship, complete with a coupon for The Two Towers. My wife, somehow, managed to wait until the DVD came out the day before her birthday this year to see Towers.

T-minus 11 hours. I wish I could say I was seeing Return of the King tonight. The closest state of the art theater is an hour away. Tomorrow's a work day. I've yet to see the extended DVD of Two Towers (perhaps, I can hope, it's under a tree somewhere with my name on it). Nor, I think, will I be able to see it this weekend, or the following weekend. But, that's the weekend I think I'm going to try. We'll be on 'vacation,' visiting family. And most of the family has grandiose plans for next Saturday. Except us. We have grandiose plans for next Sunday (Walt Disney World). Meaning Saturday afternoon is free.

Free to stand in massive Orlando lines (they have to have numerous state of the art theaters). Free to sit alone (assuming, once again, that my wife won't want to see this in a theater). Free to lose myself absolutely, for 200 glorious minutes, in Middle Earth. Free to absorb Peter Jackson's masterpiece. Free to dream that he means it when he says he plans on filming The Hobbit. Free to believe, with JRR, that Hobbits exist. Free to wish, as always, that I lived in Hobbiton.

There were lost days in college spent, literally, watching the videos of all three Star Wars movies back to back to back. Days spent wondering if there would ever be an experience like that again.

There are epics I would love to see given the 'Peter Jackson Treatment': Dune . The stories of Ender Wiggins should be there too. The Wheel of Time. Crown of Stars by Kate Elliott. The Belgariad and/or Malloreon series by Eddings. Pern. Thomas Covenant. Pug. Hell, even Xanth. Too much to wish for?

I'd have once include Lord of the Rings on that list. Dreams come true.

Thank you Peter Jackson (and everyone else involved with these marvelous movies).

:: Peter 12/16/2003 01:16:00 PM [+] ::
:: Sunday, December 14, 2003 ::

It's A Brand New Day

From The Wiz:

"Everybody look around-
'Cause there's a reason to rejoice
You see-
Everybody come out,
And let's commence to singing joyfully...

Everybody look up-
And feel the hope
That we've been waiting on-
Everybody's glad
Because our silent fear
And dread is gone...

Freedom you see,
Has got our hearts singing so joyfully
Just look about
You owe it to yourself
To check it out

Can't you feel a brand-new day?
Can't you feel a brand-new day?

Everybody be glad
Because the sun is shining just for us
Everybody wake up!
Into the morning, into happiness

Hello world!
It's like a different way of living now...
And thank you world
We always knew that we'd be free somehow

In harmony,
Let's show the world that we've got liberty
It's such a change
For us to live so independently-

Freedom, you see-
Has got our hearts singing so joyfully
Just look about,
You owe it to yourself to check it out

Can't you feel a brand-new day?
Can't you feel a brand-new day?

Everybody be glad
Because the sun is shining just for us
Everybody wake up!
Into the morning, into happiness

Hello world!
It's like a different way of living now...
And thank you world
We always knew that we'd be free somehow

In harmony,
Let's show the world that we've got liberty
It's such a change
For us to live so independently-

Freedom, you see-
Has got our hearts singing so joyfully
Just look about,
You owe it to yourself to check it out

Can't you feel a brand-new day?
Can't you feel a brand-new day?"

How sweet it is.

For those who are wondering, the lyrics are by Michael Jackson, from the 1978 movie The Wiz.

It is indeed, for the people of Iraq, a brand new day. And it's a glorious beginning.

:: Peter 12/14/2003 09:45:00 AM [+] ::
:: Monday, December 08, 2003 ::


Well, that just sucked. Think that relationship is still going? I'd still like to see a follow-up on this, will need to remember to check the website to see if they have anything.

AJ2? Would prefer Average Jane. Oh well.

I'm thinking that Adam is now one of NY's most eligible bachelors.
:: Peter 12/08/2003 11:03:00 PM [+] ::

Average Joe

Halfway through the episode and all I can say is...damn that was flipping hysterical when that dog caught on fire. PETA be damned.

Ok, so it was a stuffed pink dog. It was still funny.

Still think she picks Adam.
:: Peter 12/08/2003 10:14:00 PM [+] ::
:: Friday, December 05, 2003 ::

SelectSmart for President

Took their test, enjoyed their results.

1. Your ideal theoretical candidate. (100%)
2. Bush, President George W. - Republican (73%)
3. Libertarian Candidate (65%)
4. Gephardt, Rep. Dick, MO - Democrat (43%)
5. Kerry, Senator John, MA - Democrat (42%)
6. Edwards, Senator John, NC - Democrat (37%)
7. Phillips, Howard - Constitution (34%)
8. Kucinich, Rep. Dennis, OH - Democrat (32%)
9. Lieberman, Senator Joe, CT - Democrat (16%)
10. Dean, Gov. Howard, VT - Democrat (15%)
11. Sharpton, Reverend Al - Democrat (12%)
12. Clark, Retired General Wesley K., AR - Democrat (8%)
13. LaRouche, Lyndon H. Jr. - Democrat (5%)
14. Moseley-Braun, Former Senator Carol, IL - Democrat (0%)

:: Peter 12/05/2003 02:25:00 PM [+] ::
:: Tuesday, December 02, 2003 ::


There's a history lesson, of sorts, in today's Arab News:

"Dr. Zahgloul Al-Najjar, professor of earth sciences, on TV...talked about the religious and historical marvels associated with the holy city of Makkah..."

Ok, I'm listening, teach away:

"I am sure many people did not know that every prophet and messenger sent by God had made the pilgrimage to Makkah"
Every one? Moses? Abraham? Jesus? All of those prophets and messengers of God are recognized by Islam. They went to Makkah? Why? When? Where? Prove it.

"...that more than 70 of the companions of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) are buried on the plains of Mina just outside Makkah with some buried close to the Kaaba"
Hmm...are you thinking what I'm thinking? DNA test time. Oh wait...never mind...I forgot...that would be scientific proof.

But my personal favorite:

"...and that birds living in the vicinity of the Kaaba never fly over the building but fly around it in the same direction as Muslims performing tawaf (circumambulation) in a sign of reverence and respect to the House of God."
That seems remarkably simple to either prove or disprove, doesn't it? So...prove it. Let's see some unedited footage of these miraculous birdies.

"Makkah is the center of the universe"
Wasn't the theory that earth is the center of the universe discredited hundreds and hundreds of years ago?

"and its time should be the internationally accredited time instead of Greenwich which was imposed on the world by Britain."Right after the Caliphate returns. Until then, all together now: Gimme a G, gimme an M, gimme a T, GMT, GMT, GMT. 2,4,6, 8 who do we appreciate? GMT!

"...Zamzam water has been gushing from the same well for thousands of years without a change of taste or color."
Again, easily provable. So, prove it.

Miracles are miracles for a reason, because they are miraculous signs of God. The parting of the Red Sea, for example. But if anyone today were to say 'The Red Sea is parted now' I'd want to see proof. Not too much to ask. If you offer up provable current, easily provable or disprovable miracles without proof all you're offering is myth.

"If people knew about these and other miracles and appreciated the sanctity of the place, they would stop spitting, smoking, eating and drinking, using mobile phones, shoving, pushing and shouting at each other and holding beliefs and opinions contrary to basic Islamic teachings."

Yes, spitting, smoking, eating, drinking, using mobile phones, shoving, pushing, and shouting are 'contrary to basic Islamic teachings.'

I'm sure he meant to say that those behaviors within Makkah are 'contrary to basic Islamic teachings' but that's not what he said.

Must be a miracle how all those who live by 'basic Islamic teachings' survive without eating or drinking. Sort of like that holy man they're studying in the far east who just stayed 10 days in a hospital being observed not eating or drinking. Of course, they're working on proving his miracle.

:: Peter 12/02/2003 05:29:00 PM [+] ::

Average Joe

So many of these reality shows reinvent themselves by casting one of the 'losers' to be the 'center of attention' in the sequel. Am I the only one thinking that 'Average Jane' should have Dennis picking from 15 or so 'average' women? Plain, ordinary, wonderful Dennis, not surrounded by 'Beautiful' women, but simply everyday normal wonderful women who would, if they gave him the chance, fall in love with Dennis. Is that too much to ask for?

As for last nights ep...well...I told you so. But anyway. Really, any group of 20-something men (or men of any age, honestly) put in a room with alcohol and 'women-folk to discuss' are most likely going to get a little politically incorrrect. They're men. That's what men do. Occasionally, at least. My thought is 'What did Jason and Mike say about 'Danielle'?' Why were their comments, if they made any, edited out. If they didn't make any, proving once and for all that all single good looking men are gay I guess, why wasn't a bigger deal made of that?

Yes, she made the right choice in keeping Adam, who sealed his 'victory' over Zach not so much when Zach made an ass out of himself with the 'Duff' but when Adam sincerely told Melana that she made him feel like he was in high school. Yes, he actually made that work. It was a wonderful sentiment and he carried it well.

Mike was a pretty boy...sort of like Tag on Friends in the needs-to-mature department in order to date Rachel/Melana. Speaking of which, everyone on Friends refers to 'Fat Monica' as 'Fat Monica' so Adam using that term shouldn't have been that big of a deal.

As for the 2 hour finale next week. I imagine the producers spent untold hours telling Melana that it would be the worse possible PR move in the history of Reality TV to not pick the final 'Average Joe' in favor of the pretty boy. I think Adam will win. Depending upon what his 'secret' is, of course. But it looked from the preview that his secret is he has money and brains. Which would probably guarantee the victory over 'waiter/student' Jason.

Of course, that also means Adam isn't truly 'Average.'

Then again, as this show has proven most impressively. No one really is 'average.'

:: Peter 12/02/2003 11:05:00 AM [+] ::

Where's Zell?

In the last election I voted for Zell Miller and was fully aware of the parentheses always after his name which proudly stated (D-GA).

Apparently however the Georgia Democratic Party isn't quite as proud.

I'll just let Neal Boortz tell you:

"If you go to the website for the Georgia Democratic Party you will see .. running right down the left side .. a list of statewide elected Democrats. At the bottom of the page you'll see a list of Democratic members of congress. Nowhere on that page will you see the words "Zell Miller." He's Georgia's Democratic U.S. Senator and he has been disowned by the Georgia Democratic Party for failing to toe the party line."

Let's see how long this goes unfixed.

:: Peter 12/02/2003 08:43:00 AM [+] ::
:: Monday, December 01, 2003 ::

When Dylan Met Brenda...

Why am I not surprised?

"Luke Perry’s Harry Meets His Sally In London’s West End"

"Producer James Tod is to bring a big-screen film to the stage, starring a small-screen heart-throb, according to the Daily Mail newspaper.
The 1989 Rob Reiner movie “When Harry Met Sally” covered a lot of ground (it opens with a cross-America car journey), but in fact mostly consists of dialogues and conversations and as such, could make a good stage show. Tod certainly thinks so, and has landed Luke Perry – who shot to fame as the hunky face of TV’s “Beverly Hills 90210” – to play Harry, the role taken by Billy Crystal in the film.
At 38, Perry’s the right age (Crystal was about 42 when he shot the film). Loveday Ingram is lined up to direct Marcy Kahan’s adaptation of Nora Ephron’s script. The production is scheduled for the Theatre Royal, Haymarket from Feb. 10, 2004, with opening night set for Feb 20. The initial booking period will extend until the end of May 2004. Other casting and details have yet to be finalized."

Might I suggest Shannon Doherty?

:: Peter 12/01/2003 05:33:00 PM [+] ::
:: Wednesday, November 26, 2003 ::


Joshua's surgery was almost 6 months ago. He's 9 months old now and doing great!

In all of the middle east, all those oil rich countries exporting terror, one little girl was born in Iraq this month with a heart defect.

Such a serious heart defect that it's fatal within weeks.

An Iraqi child. In need of medical attention.

Medical attention which no one in the middle east knew how to give. Doesn't that say it all? How many US hospitals could have saved this poor child's life? Where did they take her to save her?


Where else?

"The tiny Iraqi baby, wrapped in a red and yellow blanket, arrived in Israel on Tuesday from Iraq, along with her mother and father, for an operation to correct the heart defect.
The week-old infant was born in a hospital near Kirkuk, Iraq, with the arteries to her heart reversed.
An American doctor working with U.S. forces in Iraq discovered Jassem's problem and went looking for help. He was put in touch with an Israeli hospital that was familiar with treating this type of heart defect. A doctor in Israel instructed an Iraqi physician on how to stabilize Jassem before she left the country.
No child in Iraq has ever had this kind of surgery, because no Iraqi doctors had ever been trained in this procedure."

:: Peter 11/26/2003 01:28:00 PM [+] ::

Just a thought...

'Dude, Where's My Feet' author, Michael Moore has, on today's 'Must Read' section:

"Oh yes... we almost forgot to let you know... Osama bin Laden doesn't really matter anymore. Who cares where he is or what evil he's doing."

If the Bush policy had been to track OBL down to the ends of the earth, ignoring Iraq/Afghanistan/and everything else don't you think today's 'Must Read' would have been:

"Oh yes... we almost forgot to let you know... Saddam Hussein doesn't really matter anymore. Who cares where he is or what evil he's doing."

:: Peter 11/26/2003 08:17:00 AM [+] ::
:: Tuesday, November 25, 2003 ::


Rarely have truer words been spoken: These from the brilliant James Lileks:

"Please, please, please Corporate America: do not put the Cat in the Hat on any more products. The sight of that thing gives me nightmares. It should not be. If in olden tymes such a beast sauntered into town, the menfolk would pick up shovels and beat it to death."
:: Peter 11/25/2003 10:30:00 AM [+] ::

More predictions

Since my last predictions were right on I figured I'd continue.

Again, I'm not sure if they're cutting 1 or 2 on next week's Average Joe but if they're only cutting one it will be Michael. If they're cutting 2 then it'll be Michael and Zach.

I'd never have thought Zach would be cut so soon but judging from the teaser clip it looks as though Zach screws up the 'hidden camera/fat costume' thing. It looks like a good idea though. However, you'd think they'd all be at least a little suspicious of anything out of the ordinary. At least they should be.

'Hey, it's Melana's cousin...maybe she's going to report everything back to Melana.' That thought had to have occured to them all. It's a nice touch of the producers to then have hidden cameras catch what they think.

However, there's a problem with that. There were cameras which caught Melana's first thoughts of the 'Average Joes' in the first ep. The 'Average Joes' weren't privy to her private thoughts to see her first reaction, why, exactly, should Melana be allowed to have any 'secret' intel to make her decisions if the 'Average Joes' aren't allowed any?

Yes, sure, it's more dramatic this way. But sometimes drama is overrated. And, I'm sure, there are other ways to increase the drama without doing something so blatantly unfair.

Of course, basing the preceding rant on one 30 second teaser isn't fair either and I could be completely wrong. Only have to wait til next Monday to find out.

Now, as for Alex crying...not going to go there. John I thought would be the one to tear up.

Am I the only one wondering what Dennis is doing now? I'm hoping they'll do one of those last ep reunion shows.

Have to figure the front runner now is Jason.
:: Peter 11/25/2003 09:37:00 AM [+] ::
:: Monday, November 24, 2003 ::

Poor Mr. Ed...

"A naked man was found having intercourse with a horse in a stable on McCaffery Road around 6:30 a.m. on Nov. 17. Flathead County Sheriff Jim Dupont said the man, still nude, fled on foot when the owner of the horse entered the stable.
"He left his boots and a bottle of hand lotion behind," Dupont said."

So...what brand of hand lotion is it?

:: Peter 11/24/2003 04:57:00 PM [+] ::


Not sure if 2 or 3 get cut tonight.

My guess is that John and Alex get cut.

There's a poll up on the Average Joe site:

"Will the arrival of the new guys change Melana's feelings for the Average Joes?
Yes, she'll fall for their good looks
No, she's proven she's not that shallow"

Current results:

'Yes' is way way ahead: 84% to 16%.

Doesn't tell how many votes though. Still doesn't look good for Melana though.

If 3 are cut tonight it wouldn't surprise me if the third cut is either Adam or Jason, probably Adam.

:: Peter 11/24/2003 04:12:00 PM [+] ::
:: Friday, November 21, 2003 ::

Wet Hot American Summer

What do Niles from Frasier, Phil from Ed, Mike from Friends (Phoebe's fiance), Molly Shannon from SNL, Amy Poehler from SNL, Christopher Meloni from Law & Order: SVU, and Will from Alias have in common?

If you answered Wet Hot American Summer, smack yourself upside the head a few times to attempt to erase the misery.

Saw this last night on cable. It was so awe-inspiringly bad that I couldn't turn it off. It kept getting worse. It hit bottom so often and so early and kept right on digging.

It was, I guess, an homage to Meatballs. Or perhaps it was meant as a parody of Meatballs. No matter. It was so far beyond parody that it was approaching the pain threshold. And, in my wife, passed it.

There was the drama of could Niles and Janeane Garofalo (oh, sorry, did I forget to mention that she was in this mess too?) save the camp by, can't make this shit up, utilizing a garbage can and a metal colander to redirect Skylab so it landed harmlessly in a field. (This monstrosity of banality was set in 1981...not sure why unless they just really really wanted to make you think Meatballs throughout the whole damn thing) Yes, Skylab. See, Skylab was plummeting to earth and was going to flatten the talent show (the highlight of which was, I suppose, meant to be the 'fat kid' (there's always a 'fat kid') lighting a fart. (what, you're not laughing yet?)

There was also Molly Shannon's final scene where her and a camper walked off towards their wedding. Sweet, no?

The camper was 12. ("You can do that?" Michael Jackson said.)

At least she didn't have to film a 'love' scene with him as another of the adult counselors got to do with the aforementioned 'fat kid.' ("You can do that?" Michael Jackson said.)

I could actually sense brain cells dying during this movie. One by one, comitting suicide.

It reminded me of those crappy made-for-NBC movies which always seem to have John Laroquette teaching driving in a high school somewhere. But in this movie they got to say the word 'Fuck' a lot. No nudity, lots of swearing.

IMDB has two taglines listed for this movie:

High Times. Hard Bodies. Soft Rock.

It was the last day of summer camp. It was the first day of the third week in August.

Damn, two more brain cells just died.

It's amazing how many actors came out of this schlock with careers.

But I feel most sorry for all those struggling screenwriters out there, who know their work could be great if they could just get that one break. Who have struggled for their craft, creating genius unknown and forever unfilmed.

Who sit in stunned silence wondering how Wet Hot American Summer ever got made.

Of course, the movie that came on after this was The New Guy which caused my wife to comment that it was even worse than Wet Hot American Summer.

I was running out of brain cells when I finally turned the TV off.

:: Peter 11/21/2003 08:43:00 AM [+] ::
:: Thursday, November 20, 2003 ::

Told you so...

Was anyone actually surprised?

The website says "Meanwhile, viewers were wondering where the "shocking surprise" was! When? Where?"

I actually feel rather sorry for Zach and Adam, both of whom I thought were doing great in the realm of the game of Average Joe.
Now they're probably going to start 'acting' in order to 'compete' with the 'hot' guys. Which will serve to annoy Melana.

The interesting thing is that NBC showed clips from future shows which had Melana making out with some of the 'hot' guys. And she had already said she was 'falling' for 4...Adam and Zach are two. So I assume that the 'hot' guys are the other 2.

Think the producers purposely picked stupid/charmless/personality-impaired 'hot' guys to emphasize the brains v. beauty thing?

Not that the Average Joes are brilliant. It's actually rather irritating in a sense that the producers seem to have decided that a sense of humor is the most important character trait for someone who isn't 'hot.'

:: Peter 11/20/2003 09:18:00 PM [+] ::


The website stopbushin2004 (apparently everything creative was already taken) has a list of '10 Preliminary Actions to Defeat Bush in 2004.' To be honest, they're actually a pretty generic list.

Be Confident Your Vote is Counted
Choose Your Actions


But my personal favorite is #8:

Boycott Bush Donors

Why is that my favorite? Because, they list those companies which 'favor Bush' according to OpenSecrets.

Which means they've put together a handy little list of companies which we should go support.

Of course, the amusing thing is that boycotting these companies isn't really possible as you'll notice. They are companies pretty much everyone buys from at one time or another.

"Oil Companies include: Exxon-Mobil, Chevron-Texaco, and BP-Amoco. Buy gas from Shell or a local facility. Phone companies include Verizon, BellSouth, Sprint, and MCI. AT&T is safe. Tech companies include Ebay, Gateway, and Texas Instruments. Everyday companies include Wal-Mart, Coca Cola products, Pepsi products, Anheuser-Busch products, Hallmark Cards, and Tyson Foods. Transportation companies include Ford, Chrysler, UPS, Fed Ex, Delta, Continental, Southwest, and Enterprise. Safe companies are GM, USPS, American, United, and Northwest. Few financial institutions are safe."

Of course, as far as the oil companies are concerned:

Per Facts Of Israel:

"Avoid the following gas stations - a large part of the oil they purchase comes from the Middle East. Stop funding Islamic terrorism:

So boycotting Exxon-Mobil and Chevron-Texaco isn't that bad of an idea.
:: Peter 11/20/2003 08:39:00 AM [+] ::
:: Wednesday, November 19, 2003 ::


I've said it before. I'll say it again.

You just can't make shit like this up.

Wouldn't you love a duet with, say, OJ and Robert Blake?

Or Squeaky Fromm and John Hinckley (thanks to Sondheim we have that one)?

Or John Wayne Gacy and Ted Bundy?

Or Hitler and Saddam Hussein, perhaps?

Or, to go from murderers to other criminals, we could have an alleged child molesters duet between Michael Jackson and R. Kelly.

Oh, wait, nevermind...

""One More Chance," the only new song on (Michael Jackson's) "Number Ones" disc, was produced by R. Kelly, whose talent and career are flourishing despite child pornography charges stemming from an alleged encounter with an underage girl."
:: Peter 11/19/2003 05:32:00 PM [+] ::
:: Thursday, November 13, 2003 ::

Average Jane

Malana & Zach? Yeesh.

But anyway.

Think they'll ever do an Average Jane? Can't you see an attractive man presented with 16 'average' women? Beautiful women date unattractive men all the time (see Brinkley, Christine/Joel, Billy for example). The same isn't as cliche with beautiful men, is it?
:: Peter 11/13/2003 03:04:00 PM [+] ::

Silly Ass Test

Oh fine...here:

Conscious self
Overall self
Take Free Enneagram Personality Test

:: Peter 11/13/2003 02:57:00 PM [+] ::
:: Tuesday, November 11, 2003 ::

Nov. 11

I met a young man after services on Friday night last week. He had just finished Marine boot camp I believe and was there with his family. Dressed in his uniform he called me 'Sir.'

I'm not sure I'm worthy. All I could say to him was 'Thank you.' And 'Congratulations.' But it wasn't enough. It can never be enough for what our soldiers do for us. For my children. For the future.

'Sir' is a sign of respect, in this case for an 'elder.' Well, to that Marine, and to all the wonderful men and women who so proudly, so elegantly, and so well defend this land of ours I say 'Thank you. Sir!'

Update: While America honors our soldiers, Michael Moore honors, you can't make this stuff up, Rachel Corrie: "...Rachel stands as a symbol to many of nonviolent resistance to injustice..." I believe the verb he was looking for wasn't 'stand' but 'lays.' Perhaps 'flattens'?

:: Peter 11/11/2003 08:33:00 AM [+] ::
:: Monday, November 10, 2003 ::

Jim Almighty

Somewhere, somewhere in heaven above, George Burns is puffing on that cigar, looking kindly at Gracie, and laughing his ass off with John Denver.

"Egyptian authorities have banned the Jim Carrey film "Bruce Almighty," saying the comedy infringes on God's sacredness.
Madkour Thabit, who heads the state-run censorship body responsible for audio and visual productions, criticized the movie Friday for featuring "actors playing the role of God."
"The name of the movie — 'Bruce Almighty' — indicates that there is someone who can do anything and everything," Thabit said in a statement faxed to The Associated Press. "Such traits belong only to God."
In the film, Carrey plays a TV reporter who gets a shot at being God for a week.
In June, Egyptian censors banned "The Matrix Reloaded" on religious grounds, saying it challenged the topics of existence and creation."

'State-run censorship body'

:: Peter 11/10/2003 05:03:00 PM [+] ::


Courtesy of my wife, who actually herded the boys through the process, we have the official holiday picture. That mystical rite of parenthood accompanied, of course, by the Official Holiday Card (which comes premagnetized to your fridge).

Damn they're cute.

:: Peter 11/10/2003 01:43:00 PM [+] ::
:: Sunday, November 09, 2003 ::

On This Night

Herschel Grynszpan was seventeen years old in 1938. On November 7th, after learning that his family had been forced out of their home in Hanover, Germany, Herschel decided to assassinate the German Ambassador to France. Upon discovering that the Ambassador was not in the embassy, he settled for a lesser official, Third Secretary Ernst vom Rath. Rath was critically wounded and died two days later, on November 9.


There are people who will celebrate today. People who will look back fondly at the beginning of the Holocaust.

These same people celebrated on September 11, 2001.

Some of these celebrations today will take place in such foreign lands as:

Ann Arbor
Kansas City
Los Angeles
New Orleans
New York
San Francisco
Washington D.C

If the Islamists win, this will be the reason. Because liberals, champions of 'Gay Rights,' support the regimes which kill homosexuals. Because liberals, champion of 'Women's Rights,' support the regimes which subjugate women.

This is not a day for celebration. It is not a day to mock the whining hordes in America who find a moral equivalency slithering under every rock they overturn looking for something to protest. It is a day for living. Where every breath I take, every laugh my sons make, every kiss from my wife is a repudiation of what this date has meant in history.

Where every heartbeat screams out that the Nazis lost. That anti-semitism lost. That genocide lost.

May it ever be so.

:: Peter 11/09/2003 11:05:00 AM [+] ::
:: Friday, November 07, 2003 ::

1984 University

There was a 'racial' episode at Emory University in Atlanta. Are the details important? Not particularly. Someone said something. Someone was offended.

Everyone should know by now that saying something that might in some way at some time offend someone else is WRONG! EVIL! BAD! DANGEROUS! And should be a felony resulting in death. Oh wait...capital punishment is WRONG! EVIL! BAD! DANGEROUS!

You get the point.

The scary part of this current 'incident'?

Nagueyalti Warren is chairwoman of Emory's Presidential Commission on the Status of Minorities and associate dean for the undergraduate college.

(side note: as of the latest census, to the best of my recollection, 'minorities' were more than 50% of the population of California. Therefore the truest minority in California is 'Caucasian'. And, since women outnumber men, the largest minority in California is 'White Men.' Was anything in that sentence racist?)

This is what Nagueyalti Warren had to say in regards to this 'incident':

"In a Nov. 3 letter to Wagner (ed: President of Emory), the commission said it wants Emory to...require all students, faculty and staff members to get "diversity certification."
Warren said her commission thinks that racial problems are systemic at Emory and that action should go beyond the anthropology department.
"The whole community needs to come together and air these issues," she said. "It's at the student level. It's at the faculty level. The climate is not good at this point."
Past efforts to confront racial and other diversity issues, such as the Year of Reconciliation, have been inadequate, she said.
"People could come if they wanted to," Warren said about the earlier year. "What we're suggesting is mandatory.""

Yes, 'mandatory' 'diversity certification.'

Those words should send chills down the spine of every free thinking individual.

:: Peter 11/07/2003 02:37:00 PM [+] ::

XMas shopping for dog lovers

For that special person who already has everything else:

"2004 Monthly Doos Dog Poop Calendar...celebrates dog doo in all its glory. Dog doo in lush scenes photographed with loving care."

There are sample images too, but since they're copyrighted you'll have to click on this to see them.

Of course, if you've already got a calendar but still need that finishing touch to the tree, you can also order:

"Yule Doos Ornament...Hang a very special Yule Doo on your tree this Christmas...Made of simulated dog doo with simulated snow."

Because nothing says Merry Christmas like hanging 'simulated dog doo' on that artificial tree.

:: Peter 11/07/2003 02:06:00 PM [+] ::
:: Thursday, November 06, 2003 ::

Average Joe

How quickly are they doing this show? Commercial last night said they were cutting 6 of the current 12 'Joes' on Monday's episode. Well, that was fast.

But not what I wanted to talk about.

Watched Smallville (not that I ever miss it) last night. Well done for what had appeared to be a cheesy concept.

Not what I wanted to talk about.

I'd vote for Zell Miller for anything. From local councilpersonagetype to President. And everything in between. He might be a DINO (Dem. in name only) but he's what politicians should be. He'd make a great VP candidate (for either party) next year. I fully expect 2008 to be Rice v. Clinton. But wouldn't it make for great political theater for Bush to tab Miller as the VP if Cheney decides to step down for 2004? Not going to happen, but fun to contemplate.

Not what I wanted to talk about.

Which brings us to my mother-in-law. Say what? You're probably asking. For my birthday my mother-in-law posted on her blog about me. It's remarkable. She's raised a wonderful daughter. Has actually raised 4 wonderful daughters but obviously I concern myself with the eldest of them.

So, forthwith, a thank you. To my mother-in-law. For Anna. For raising her and, of course, for letting her go. It's difficult to have a daughter move 1000 miles away. Thank you.

:: Peter 11/06/2003 06:36:00 PM [+] ::
:: Wednesday, November 05, 2003 ::


Andy will turn 4 and a half on Saturday. Going on 22. The other day he was in his room playing on his computer (no internet access, thank you very much...). He's the world's worst loser. Loathes it. Hates it. Hell, he's so competitive that he throws a fit when his team wins if he's not the one who scores. Anyway. He was playing on his computer and he lost. I've grown accustomed to him slapping his hand down on the desk in frustration at losing (not happy he does it but I understand the reasoning). However, this time he added to the slap with a resounding, loud, determined "Damn!"

Ok, everyone swears. And children are miniature sponges absorbing everything they hear. And, realistically, swearing will not seriously limit his career choices twenty years from now. But, like certain other activities, it's best done in the privacy of his own home. In other words: No swearing in public, specifically school.

But, to be honest, it doesn't concern me too much. Not in perspective at least. His mother and I curse, too much sometimes, so it's not surprising.

There is, however, something which concerns me. His new pet phrase. Which he totes out like a safety blanket at the slightest task, whether it's eating dinner, getting dressed, taking a bath, brushing his teeth, cleaning his room, or anything else he doesn't want to do: "It's too hard."

This concerns me. I've been making a concerted effort lately to impress upon him that NOTHING is 'too hard.' That he can do anything he wants to do.

Is it helping? Not yet. Everything is still, to him, when he doesn't want to do something, 'too hard.'

I understand the swearing, where it originates, what it implies. The 'it's too hard' however makes little sense. Unless it's just one more thing he's learned in his first year of public education. Along with the difference between white and 'brown' children. And other things he didn't need to ever know.

And he's only in Pre-K.

"It's too hard." Well, damn, nothing's ever too hard.
:: Peter 11/05/2003 12:51:00 PM [+] ::
:: Tuesday, November 04, 2003 ::

Mea Culpa...

This blog is not my life. Not to say it's not important, in some small way. But the yearning for 'hits' and the constant Site Meter checks aren't the raison d'etre they are for some. This blog has never really found it's voice, there's been so many different thematic directions which have resulted in countless hundreds of visitors from various Google (and other search engine) searches that it's become sort of a private joke. Just today visitors have found this site via searches on 'Israelis are too nice,' 'history of doorbell,' 'what if Gore had won,' and 'applying dog nail polish.'

Over the past few months life has been busy: Josh is fully recovered from his heart surgery and Andy has begun Pre-K and Anna continues her march towards her degree (on pace to graduate with highest honors). And me? Countless rejections from agents (though with numerous 'good' rejections outweighing the bad). The book is still out with 7 publishing houses but I doubt I'll hear anything, good or bad, before 2004.

Two new book ideas are outlining themselves in the back of my mind, one more complete than the other which doesn't have any sort of title and one less complete but slightly more interesting which does. Might or might not actually write either though. Really trying to think of something to write which I'd actually want my children to read since the book I just finished is not for kids.

So, mea culpa, amidst all of this other stuff, the blog has been partially forgotten. Sure, there have been days when I've learned things which necessitate a blog posting but for the most part it's been ignored. It's amusing in a way, since now my wife has her own blog, as do both of my sons, my mother-in-law, my step-father-in-law, and my sister-in-law.

Will this continue? I'm not sure. I'm thinking of completely changing the tenor of the blog and simply trying the stream-of-consciousness blogging thing. Such as this post for example.

Will I keep it up? We'll have to wait and see, I guess.

I'd post about my kids, but my wife does it better than I do.

I'd post about my wife, but she'd kill me (well...maybe just maim me a little...)

What's left?

Today's post concerns: Average Joe.

What, you were expecting an analysis of the collected works of Joseph Conrad?

It premiered last night as the latest 'twist' in the quickly tiring reality show pantheon. And I liked this twist. Never watched Survivor, missed the first season of American Idol, and didn't miss either. But I decided to watch this one because I thought the premise held promise. The premise is simple: 1 beautiful woman agrees to be what amounts to 'The Bachlorette' but then discovers that her choice of 16 bachelors is not out of the latest Abecrombie catalog. More like the latest Jim Belushi Fan Club. Not that all 16 were out of shape or unattractive or pathetic. Just that appearance was definitely secondary for these men. Or tertiary. Or lower. Just like most of the rest of America.

And because of that, when she (Malana, though I doubt I'm spelling that correctly) cut 4 men last night, I actually felt for them. I could relate to them. I understood how they must be feeling. Especially since I have a feeling (strengthened by the disclaimer quickly flashed on the screen when the credits rolled that not only was it edited (duh...) but that 'certain contestants had asked producers for assistance' (or something to that affect)) Malana had some cuts suggested to her by the aforementioned producers. As in Zach, the 'ass' (aka 'typical New Yorker' who is always a contestant on these things...there's always one), probably would have been cut but he provides a lot of dramatic tension so I can see the producers wanting to keep him around. And Tareq (again, can't remember the spelling) was kept even though he actually asked Malana about broccoli (kept for 'diversity' since he was the only non-caucasion present).

Who was cut? Wally should have been kept. The others made sense, even if it was sad to see them go.

But they began the night by having a typical 'hunk' deke Malana. Why is this important? Because Malana made it apparent (probably coached) that she found typical 'hunk' attractive and she expressed (probably coached) disappointment when he told her he wasn't staying. Again, why is this important? Because the producers keep reminding us of twists in store. And they keep showing clips of some of those twists, or, at least, the responses they engender. Mainly, that when Malana starts to have feelings for what she says is 'four' of the Average Joes, they have a door open, bright light pouring through and then clips of the Average Joes being shocked. I think who is behind that door would be at least one, possibly more, of those typical 'hunks' with the one being the guy in the white limo last night. Why would they do this? To see if she will really stick with personality over looks.

Just a thought.

They do show clips of Malana seriously kissing some of the Average Joes, at least one of whom looked like Zach in the quick cut they provided.

It's going to be fun to watch. And, of course, to post on.

And in case you were wondering, this is hosted by Kathy Griffin. Apparently there must have been something in the water at Suddenly Susan which made NBC decide that former co-stars of Brooke Shields would make good reality show hosts (see also: Factor, Fear with Rogan, Joe).

Favorite sight gag of last nights episode: Is it just me or is Craig's head exactly TWICE the size of Malana's?

:: Peter 11/04/2003 03:01:00 PM [+] ::
:: Wednesday, October 29, 2003 ::


Question: Should the burglar be charged?

Reason for question:

"A 20-year-old man burglarizing an apartment pried open a tackle box and found nude photos of young girls, including his little sister...The 20-year-old man told police he watched Yearsley, whom he knew, leave the apartment and broke in once he left. Police said he then became enraged when he saw his 4-year-old sister's picture among "numerous" Polaroid photos of nude or partially nude young girls inside the tackle box.
He showed some of the photos to the building maintenance man, who convinced him to go to the police.
Police then searched the apartment late Friday and found photos of other young children in various states of dress.
The man said he knew what he had done was wrong, but "he knew that Yearsley was involved in something much worse and had to be stopped," according to the police report."

:: Peter 10/29/2003 09:50:00 AM [+] ::


:: Peter 10/29/2003 09:00:00 AM [+] ::
:: Monday, October 27, 2003 ::

30 years ago...

Verbatim from the Arab News today:

30 Years Since Egypt’s Victory Over Israel
Hassan Tahsin, Special to Arab News
In the war of October 1973, Egypt crushed the Israeli army of occupation. They destroyed the Barlief Line that was described by military experts as unparalleled in military history and ended the lie that Israel had an invincible army. This year for the first time Egypt is celebrating its victory throughout the month of October rather than just on the day of victory.
The Egyptian media’s strong interest in this historical event led to the uncovering of a number of previously hidden facts about the Egyptian attack which have remained unknown until this year. Maj. G.K. Molton, a former officer in the US Air Force and considered an expert and strategic military analysis, says, “The steps taken by Egypt and Syria on the military and political planning level greatly contributed to the victory... On the 6th of October, the Egyptian Air Force bombed all command and strategic Israeli targets in Sinai using 240 planes. In the ensuing confrontation, the Egyptians brought down 50 Israeli planes in three days — this was never admitted by Israel. The Egyptian Air Force also destroyed or damaged around a quarter of the Israeli Air Force during the war... The second and third armies then crossed the Suez Canal and broke through the Barlief Line under the cover of cannon fire... All Egyptian military battalions played their roles in an exceptional manner... The October War was truly an important triumph for Egypt and the Arab world.”
Time Magazine International said of the war: “The Egyptian soldiers crossed the Suez Canal with ease ... Within 72 hours, the Egyptian forces moved 70,000 soldiers and 70 tanks onto the eastern bank of the canal — a number that cannot be underestimated in view of the water barrier and the sand dams (of the Barlief Line). The Israeli Air Force could not destroy the crossings that the Egyptian Army constructed along the canal. Whatever Israeli planes bombed was rebuilt in record time by the Egyptian engineers’ regiment.”
Israel was totally devastated even though the Egyptian forces didn’t advance into Palestine. Golda Meir saved Israel by sending out an SOS which was answered by the ever-biased American administration through the great Zionist himself, Henry Kissinger, then at the peak of power.
I say to Israel that Egypt is capable of defeating Israel — yesterday, today and tomorrow — and it is this that leads the Israelis to dedicate a prayer every day to the death and destruction of all Egyptians. Your nuclear arsenal wasn’t the deterrent that stopped Egypt as you may have been led to believe. You were never in fact able to use anything other than nuclear mines — which are limited weapons — in fear of retaliation from Egypt. In addition, your crossing at the opening led by Ariel Sharon was the biggest mistake and had it not been for Kissinger’s interference in the negotiations at the 101st km on the Suez Canal, the number of Israeli soldiers who died would have been a great deal higher.
Today Sharon repeats his mistakes — causing the death of hundreds of Jews because of his clumsy policies. Will Colin Powell or anyone else orchestrate some negotiations like those on the Suez Canal to save the Israelis from the fury of the valiant Palestinian resistance? Or will he retire at the next election leaving room for the Zionists to fuel the fire in the Middle East?

Comes completely self-Fisked.
:: Peter 10/27/2003 03:23:00 PM [+] ::

Be afraid...be very afraid

I doubt, this Halloween season, that I will read a scarier statement:

"The court could secure justice for the victims of environmental disasters and climate change (mainly developing countries), and apply pressure on the perpetrators (mainly industrialised countries) to avoid such catastrophes. The Red Cross has even suggested that "poor countries might seek legal compensation [from countries causing global warming] to pay for reconstruction through an international tort climate court"."

Yes...'an international tort climate court' so that 'developing countries' can sue 'industrialised countries.'

In case there was any doubt, this is how Michael Meacher, former 'environment minister from 1997-2003, ends his fantasy:

"It is a new world order whose time has come."
:: Peter 10/27/2003 08:41:00 AM [+] ::
:: Thursday, October 23, 2003 ::

Noxema? Not Exactly

With apologies to Hertz for borrowing their tag line above...

This...um...well...study (for lack of a better word) I'm not even going to comment on.

It's work safe.

Sort of.
:: Peter 10/23/2003 09:18:00 PM [+] ::
:: Monday, October 20, 2003 ::

Nealz Nuze

Everyone should be reading Boortz daily. But, in case you missed today's edition:


"And that's the way it is, folks. The ever-disgusting Democrat Ted Kennedy voted against President Bush's funding request for our operation in Iraq. He wasn't alone. John Edwards and John Kerry were right there with him, opposing Bush's $87 billion funding request for the continuation of our efforts in Iraq. Wesley Clark and Howard Dean say that they would have opposed the funding if they had a vote.
Kennedy, Kerry, Edwards and every other politician who voted against this funding request was sending messages to our troops in Iraq, their families at home, Saddam Hussein and his supporters, Islamic terrorists and the international community.
The messages these Democrats are sending are clear:
To our troops in Iraq -- while we may pay homage to "supporting our troops" in reality, we don't. We are not going to provide the funds that are necessary to continue caring for you in the field. What's more, we do not approve of what you have accomplished thus far.
To Saddam and his supporters -- you had us pretty much figured out. Once you showed that you were willing to wage a war of attrition against our troops, killing a few here and a few there, we folded. We want out. You can now proceed with your plans to return Saddam to the seat of power in Baghdad. What's more, once you have achieved your victory over America you will be free to reinstitute your weapons programs as you see fit. There will be no more inspections, no more cruise missiles, and no more pressure from the United States to halt your weapons programs.
To the people of Iraq -- brace yourselves. As you may have suspected, America does not have the resolve and courage to stick to this campaign. Soon your ruthless dictator will return. This means that the midnight disappearances, the torture, the killings and the mass graves will soon return. If you cooperated with the Americans during our aborted attempt to rid you of this devil, we're sorry. You will most assuredly be targeted by Saddam's thugs and murdered. They have been watching, knowing that soon we would turn tail and run and leave you to their revenge.
To Islamic terrorists around the world -- the way is clear. We will no longer bring the war to you on your soil. We will simply wait for you to bring your jihad to us, or, if you like, we will do whatever is in our power to appease you at every turn. We do not have the stomach for a fight. Appeasement is by far our preferred course of action.
To the International Community -- The United States herewith withdraws from any responsibility to work with our allies in fighting terrorism. We are henceforth going to follow the path of appeasement. You would be well-advised to do the same.
And to the American people -- Brace yourselves. Islamic terrorists around the world will soon be celebrating the return of Saddam Hussein and the Baath party to power in Iraq. We have abandoned the path of confrontation and eradication and have chosen instead the path of appeasement and withdrawal. Saddam will soon renew his production of weapons of mass destruction and his attempts to build nuclear weapons. At some time it is certain that these weapons will fall into the hands of terrorists, and eventually make their way to our country. This will undoubtedly increase the probability of a terrorist attack on our home soil. To prevent such an attack we will be taking even more draconian security measures in our homeland. In short order we will be issuing national identity cards which you will be required to have on your person at all times. You will also be subject to searches of your home, your automobiles and your person at any time. Sorry, but in the face of the terrorist threat we are going to have so suspend nuisances such as "probable cause" or warrants before we conduct these searches, or before we tap your telephone lines and internet computers.
This is the future waiting for America and the world if these appeasers ever regain their much-coveted political power in Washington. Our nation is in far more danger now than it has even been since the Civil War --- and the choice has never been more clear for the voters.
We either confront these Islamic terrorists and those who have and would support them, or we don't. We either confront them on foreign soil, or we enact draconian measures here at home to avoid the confrontation on our own soil. We fight or run. If the party of appeasement takes control after next year's elections many of you will be instituting your escape plans. The rest of you will be wishing you had one."

:: Peter 10/20/2003 08:50:00 AM [+] ::
:: Thursday, October 16, 2003 ::

Down the rabbit-hole

Sometimes, no matter how many times you read something, a given article, a letter to the editor for example, it will make no sense at all. Perhaps it's a matter of referring to things which are vague and slightly disturbing but which don't have any supporting facts readily apparent. Or perhaps it's as simple as the reason for writing in the first place.

Here are two letters to the editors in today's online edition of the Arab News which are rather surreal.

"On Sept. 30, you reported the new directive issued by the Ministry of Interior to all hospitals not to admit any woman for delivery unless accompanied by a male relative. I have also read Tariq Al-Maeena’s article on the matter and few other readers who agreed with him."

Ah, yes, those human rights lovin' Saudis.

"However, all their comments centered around the extra load of duties placed on the man in this country in looking after his women folk. But, to my surprise, no one attempted to reflect on how such a ruling would affect the poor woman who is in labor. A few lives of both babies and mothers will perish as a result. To be sure, some of these women will attempt to deliver at home at, God knows, whose hands. As a society what we should first and foremost be concerned about is the protection of human lives, not whether the poor woman has a male companion with her or not when she is in labor."

Theocrats: 0 Letter-writer: 1

"The ministry claims that such a directive will reduce the number of those who will deliver their babies and then abandon them. But, as a society we are responsible for the care of such abandoned babies rather than have them thrown in a rubbish bin or left abandoned in a street endangering their lives. If an irresponsible parent abandons his child, surely we as a society should not behave in a similar way."

Is this a problem in Saudi Arabia? Has there been such a multitude of abandoned babies that they feel it necessary to pass a law which states that a woman needs to be accompanied by a man to get medical treatment? Perhaps, just perhaps, there's, oh, I don't know, an underlying cause for this?

"Let me also comment on the report that the local security forces have confiscated 70 vehicles for transporting female students in Jeddah. The reason is that such buses must be driven by a Saudi driver who is above 40 and who must also be accompanied by a mahram.
Nobody is thinking about the poor girls who will miss their schooling. Nobody is suggesting the wise and practical solution for the many women teachers who die daily on our roads while commuting to their schools. Nobody seems to suggest the obvious, and that is to let the women drive themselves and their daughters to school and let us stop this nonsensical debate on whether or not it is permissible since we surely have other important issues to resolve in our society."

Ok, since woman can't drive in Saudi Arabia, it is necessary to provide transportation. But that's not what is so interesting about this letter. Smack dab in the middle of the second paragraph of the quote above is something so shocking, so striking that at first I didn't actually realize what I had read:

"Nobody is suggesting the wise and practical solution for the many women teachers who die daily on our roads while commuting to their schools."

There are "many women teachers" DYING "daily on our roads while commuting to their schools"?!

What the hell?

Further along down the rabbit hole we find this, from Nidal M. Atta, Attorney at Law:

"It is disappointing that Arab News published an article on the subject of an HIV patient which implied that there was negligence in the handling of the matter by the New Jeddah Clinic Hospital, Jeddah, a reputable hospital well-known for its medical services as well as medical code of ethics throughout Saudi Arabia. It was established more than 35 years ago.
It is our duty to disclose to the public the whole truth and nothing but the truth about the HIV patient incident. The patient was under treatment at NJCH for one week and was given all possible attention and care. Before the patient was discharged, NJCH called his employer company, informed them that the patient would be discharged and that they have to come over to NJCH. However, they did not, in spite of being requested to do so many times by NJCH.
After about a week, the patient was taken in the hospital car accompanied by three of NJCH personnel to his employer’s office, where the employer refused to receive the patient. He asked instead the hospital staff to take him to King Saud Hospital, saying that they had made all arrangements with King Saud Hospital. But when the patient arrived there, NJCH personnel found that the staff refused to admit the patient because no arrangements had been made at all by the employer company. After they failed to have King Saud Hospital admit the patient, NJCH personnel took him back to the employer company and left him at the company reception office."

Why is it the employer's responsibility? Why did a 'reputable hospital' deposit a patient in the lobby of a business? Why would no hospital keep a sick man?

Did he need someone to accompany him?

:: Peter 10/16/2003 04:09:00 PM [+] ::
:: Sunday, October 12, 2003 ::


Qaddafi is really really trying to rehabilitate himself:

"The Arabs are Unwilling to do Anything for Their Unity
"The Palestinians and the Lebanese – we sacrificed our blood for them, we gave them our money, we gave them everything. We held training for them and ultimately it turned out that we were terrorists, while they embrace the Americans, the Israelis, and the Westerners, Libya is [accused of] terrorism because it trained the Palestinians. We fulfilled our obligation, we gave our money, we gave them weapons, we exposed ourselves to dangers, [and] we are on the blacklist to this day…
"The Arabs are completely useless. They are unwilling to do anything for the sake of unity.""

He continues:

""We will not be finished together with them. We will be, ultimately, in our African nation and on the African continent… by means of which we will become stronger, like the American continent and the European continent. The Arabs have written a mark of disgrace in history that they will never be able to eradicate. They watch what is happening in Iraq and in Palestine from the sidelines. They are finished. They have no honor and they have no blood. There is no longer any Arab blood or pan-Arab blood, Arab unity, Arab manliness, Arab femininity. There is nothing. The situation has gotten so bad that the women are the ones who take the initiative. Today was the most dangerous Fedaii operation in so-called Israel – and it was carried out by a young Palestinian woman, not by a man."
Apology to the African States for Dragging Them Into the Arab League
"There are nations to which I did an injustice and I apologize for this. I brought Mauritania, Djibouti, Somalia, and the Comoro Islands into the Arab League, and I tried to bring in Eritrea. But now I cannot speak with Eritrea. Look what an injustice I did them. I brought them into a failed nation, a failed regime, and failed people….
"The Arabs are completely useless. We must not waste time. The Arabs are through. Tomorrow, Asia will establish great unions and Africa is already united – and where are you, Arab?…""

His Jew hatred peaks through, but it's a decent start.

"...today soldiers fight women and children in Baghdad and Gaza…"

A very small start.

:: Peter 10/12/2003 08:42:00 AM [+] ::
:: Friday, October 10, 2003 ::

Britney's Stalker

"A judge issued a permanent injunction Tuesday ordering a Japanese businessman to stay away from pop idol Britney Spears, ruling he was "was abnormally obsessed and fixated with Spears.""

Actually, I couldn't really care any less about this story. Wouldn't have read it at all except it popped up on a broken hyperlink to a story I had wanted to read.

Just one question though. What, exactly, is your definition of the word 'permanent'?

Merriam-Webster defines it as "continuing or enduring without fundamental or marked change." 'Lasting' is a synonym they give. I'd agree with that.

Of course I'm not a judge:

"The permanent injunction calls for Shizawa to stay 300 yards away from Spears for three years."

Apparently forever is three years.
:: Peter 10/10/2003 04:25:00 PM [+] ::
:: Wednesday, October 08, 2003 ::


They are owned, everyone knows, by Disney. They own, everyone knows, everything not owned by Time Warner (ok, I exaggerate...a little).

Are there any good shows on ABC? Well, to be honest, there's 'Alias'. And 'I'm With Her' is cute, in a 'Notting Hill' kind of way. Other than that, there's...well...'Monday Night Football'.

Why bring this up? They've brought back, in a hollow shadow image, their TGIF lineup. Once the proud home of Urkel and now the home of 'Married to the Kellys.'

Haven't seen it. Won't watch it now.

At least they edited it. Barely.

"Those who actually watch it all the way through may be shocked to learn that tonight's version of the premiere is actually a new, improved one. In a previous incarnation, a different actress was cast as the young wife, and the fat uncle had a tasteless bit of bigotry to express.
At the dinner table, told that Meyer's character is half-Jewish, the uncle originally said, "The Jews -- aren't they the ones who killed our Lord?" In the revised pilot, he just keeps repeating "aren't they the ones -- " while others at the table interrupt him. It's a small change, but at least it makes "Married to the Kellys" relatively inoffensive, if not one tiny bit funnier."

No, it's not now 'relatively inoffensive.' It's, in a way, even worse than originally written. They figured it might offend. Did they excise it? No.

They white-washed it.

Anti-semitic cowards.

:: Peter 10/08/2003 09:49:00 AM [+] ::
:: Thursday, September 25, 2003 ::

A Rabbi?

Has anyone seen any verification of this?

"Raised a Southern Baptist who later converted to Roman Catholicism, Gen. Wesley Clark knew just what to say when he strode into a Brooklyn yeshiva in 1999, ostensibly to discuss his leadership of NATO´s victory in Yugoslavia.
"I feel a tremendous amount in common with you," the uniformed four-star general told the stunned roomful of students.
"I am the oldest son, of the oldest son, of the oldest son — at least five generations, and they were all rabbis."
He told The Jewish Week in New York, which first reported the yeshiva comment in 1999, that his ancestors were not just Jews, but members of the priestly caste of Kohens."

:: Peter 9/25/2003 06:30:00 PM [+] ::

Oh Brother...

This is just plain goofy.

1) We're at war.
2) There just has to be better things to be occupying the time of the FBI and Oregon police.

"A New York City police officer accused of sexually abusing a 17-year-old Corvallis girl he met while on a post-9/11 goodwill speaking trip to Oregon has married the girl, now 18, and the couple live in New York. "

3) In most states across America the age of consent is 16.
4) If she lived in one of those states there would be no crime.

"But De Gennaro's marriage to the girl he's accused of sexually abusing in an Albany hotel room has no bearing on his criminal case, said Linn County Deputy District Attorney Eric Hsu."

5) We wouldn't want love to get in the way of a good crime now, would we?

"Just two weeks after his marriage, De Gennaro is barred from having any contact with his wife, according to the jail release agreement imposed Wednesday by Linn County Presiding Judge Rick J. McCormick."

6) So much for the honeymoon

"De Gennaro allegedly snapped photos of the sexual tryst that were found by the girl's parents in May."

7) This is the clincher. Pictures.

Why are pictures so damning? Simple. I'll use the example of states which do have 16 years as the age of consent. In those states it is LEGAL to have sex with a 16 year old.

In all 50 states it is ILLEGAL to photograph someone having sex below the age of 18.

See the problem? Pictures of a LEGAL act are ILLEGAL.

8) If he molested a child he should be punished. Castration comes to mind.

Does anyone, anywhere, think he molested a child?


"De Gennaro, an 11-year veteran of the New York police force, is facing charges of first-degree encouraging child sexual abuse, second-degree encouraging child sexual abuse and using a child in a display of sexually explicit conduct. The latter charge is a Measure 11 crime and carries an automatic 70-month prison term."

9) See...there is 'first-degree encouraging child sexual abuse, second-degree encouraging child sexual abuse' but it's the PICTURES which have such a strong sentence that the reporter actually feels compelled to include the term: 'The latter charge is a Measure 11 crime and carries an automatic 70-month prison term'

10) I don't think he's going to be getting along all that well with his in-laws.

:: Peter 9/25/2003 05:00:00 PM [+] ::

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