Thursday, August 31, 2006

Book Review: Under the Tuscan Sun

Under the Tuscan Sun, by Frances Mayles.

This is the one where the guy goes to live in Provence. I haven't read it all the way through, but it seems like it's going to be pretty good. I think it's pretty recent too. The cover isn't that attractive, and the pages stain easily. Over all I would give it a 6 out of 10. (Maybe a 7.5 when it was new.)

Ok in the version of the book I have, an English guy goes to live in Provence, in France. Some troll has started posting crank comments about some other book, or a different edition or something, by a woman who went to live in Italy.

We have a really unusual community going here, and 99% of the contributions are brilliant. So I hate to start moderating the comments. But unproductive, uncivil comments will not be tolerated. Keep them on topic: Under the Tuscan Sun, a book about (hello?) France. Or they will be deleted.


Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Chapter One

The fretwork hands stood at five past four. Gataur Minshank tapped his stylus on the desk.


Whew! Time for a coffee break. You can't rush creativity.

Star Justice!

When dashing paralegal Gataur Minshank won a plum job at the top interstellar law firm of Liatho, Liatho, Buedra, Liatho, Sao, Liatho, Buedra, Sao, Gibbidibbi, Buedra, Liatho, Bisthoash, Bisthoach, Buedra, Sao, Liatho, Buedra, Smit, Goalia'a'a, Iizka, Miyako, Liatho, Buedra, Miyako, Goalia'a'a, Liatho, Liatho-Buedra, Buedra-Liatho, Liatho-Buedra-Liatho, Jonz and Co., young Gataur thought he had embarked on a dull but safe career. It was neither!

And soon the fate of Gataur's entire world would swing in the balance of ... Star Justice!

I'm Just Wild about Harry

If you're not familiar with the popular blog Chase me ladies, I'm in the cavalry by Harry Hutton, you should definitely check it out immediately. It's a lot funnier than the crap here. This is my personal favorite.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Asshole on a Segway

If there's anything worse than an asshole on a unicycle, it's an asshole on a Segway. Here's a picture, but the dorky nature of this device has to be seen to be believed. And there's finally a Segway rider in my tiny town, dorking his way up and down the street just like, sorry, an erection with wheels.

Applause from "self-balancing scooter" users:
* "It's pretty easy to drive around inside the office."
*"It can manuever through hallways and doors with ease and safety for the rider and those around him."
* I "ride a 1400 Suzuki.. this is barrels more fun and my Suzuki now just sits"

Uh huh. PLUS! It annoys (at least) everyone else on the sidewalk!
* "I almost got knocked down coming out of the dry cleaners on Fulton Street by some asshole on a Segway."

Nevertheless, don't assume the Segway is perfect! Users have some complaints too!
* "diabolical device of the demon of darkness" (Woops. This user was quoting a "Baltimore preacher in 1896 denouncing bicycles.")
* "It's fairly tiring to ride."
* "Standing still on a hard, bouncing platform makes my feet tired."
* "I can't quite drink a cup of coffee on it while moving at any speed"

Try a wheelchair!

FFS! These are not disabled people. Not yet, anyway. Just average American nerds who aspire to the lifestyle of the disabled.

Now a Personal Zeppelin, that would be fun.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Wet Again

It's wet again today. Good for the plants, eh? Go ahead, say it.

Well I say fuck the plants. Within a few decades they'll all be paved over or replaced by frankenfruit anyway. It's no kindness to coddle them.

It's always the same with these Pollyanna types. A woman in a huge pickup truck just sideswiped a parked car across the street from me. She was talking on her cell phone and didn't have both hands free I guess, so she tried to pull forwards into her parking space, and squinch (a sound like crushing a styrofoam coffee cup) went the visually impressive metallic-tone-painted plastic fenders on both vehicles. Without ever taking phone from ear she climbed down, checked out the damage, and finally parked her behemoth in a different space. Who pays for this sort of behavior?

They love to hang out in the coffee shop too, yelling about how important their jobs are. I think some of them are faking it. There's nobody on the other end, the battery is dead, the phone is a prop. They don't even have jobs. It's just an excuse for taking the inner dialog public. Which, ok, blogging, fine, touche, but I don't yammer this crap into your ear at top volume. (Unless I know you in real life, in which case, ok, sorry, yes I do.)

So here's my view: fuck plants, fuck people who can't stop yelling, fuck drivers in fucking gigundo plastic siege towers who can't even see what lane they're in, steer with one elbow, slow to a crawl at green lights and run the reds. And fuck this fucking rain.

Saturday, August 26, 2006


"I'll be gone, you'll be gone." Key selling point for shaky deals in high finance. For example, advising clients to lend a billion dollars to a company that has never earned any money to pay interest, perhaps in a business in which no company has never earned any money.

(From The Accidental Investment Banker, by Jonathan Knee.)

I've spent some more time actually reading this book at the bookstore, and I like it.*

*Some Amazon users whine that they feel like it has been done before, q.v. I don't see it quite that way. And to my mind it's considerably less romanticized than say Liar's Poker which, ok, was probably funnier ... but I felt it was a worshipful sort of funny. Not remotely suggesting that maybe some of 'em didn't read the book at all, you understand, I just remember it a lil differently.

"'"Caveat."'" But it's true that Liar's Poker or better yet Bombardiers can be entertaining to people who don't have a whole lot of skin in the game. If you don't care about finance then you probably won't care about this story either.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Sorry, Kids, I Just Like the Look

It's a beautiful day but, no, I don't feel like going for a bike ride, thanks. I don't feel like mowing the lawn either. Or fixing the roof. A couple of my elderly neighbors seem to be slowing down on the mowing too. Maybe the "crack house" school of landscaping will catch on. Like heavy gold chains in the '80s.

But don't even bother knocking on my door, you little drug-addled freaks. Mine is a natural high, and I won't share.

Stay in school!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Police Crack Down on Striptease Funerals

Starbucks Blows Chunks?

I'm a big Starbucks fan, or so I thought. I mean, sure, I prefer the integrity of local coffeehouses, but let me tell the story, all right? So anyway the other day I found myself in a city. Hot damn, I said, I bet they have a Starbucks! Yes! So I immediately drove over and grabbed a $3 latte. Ok. It was warm milk with very little coffee in it. My daughter's bottles of formula were about as appetizing. (About as expensive too, but that's another story.)

How did I ever enjoy this weak swill? (The latte.) Have they gotten more stingy with the coffee over time, or ... is it possible that Starbucks just blows chunks?

Guess what, some people say that they hate Starbucks. Ok!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Void Pointer

Probably anybody reading this blog is already a fan of the popular bogol blog. Most likely, in fact, you are the author of bogol. But in case anyone else stumbles in, here is my favorite bogolism ever:
bogol: Liveblogging the Void

Monday, August 21, 2006

'Speed Bump,' My Ass

I tangled with one of those so-called 'speed bumps' last night, in a dark parking lot. Far from improving my speed, those idiotic things make it positively dangerous to drive fast. Forget the hype, 'speed bumps' don't work!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Sense of the Meeting

Ladda labada gragga blah glog lala baba gag nabala argh blah blah.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Space Command to Aliens: Make My Day!

Space aliens should think twice before considering Earth to be "easy pickings," according to Dr. Rhys Cholmondley of the Space Command. "Our psych-amplifiers have been upgraded to gigawatt levels."

Full story and picture here.

The guy is actually Michael Chertoff, US Secretary for Homeland Security. I have no definite information on why he is apparently modeling a psych-amplifier prototype.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Sly Poke

In an article today, liberal outlet Reuters let slip this disturbing trope:

"Castro's arch enemy, the United States."

Arch? We've been called names before, but ....

Saturday, August 05, 2006

bogol: marthambles?!

bogol: marthambles?!

Wondering what this whole "marthambles" meme is about anyway? Check it out.