Monday, December 31, 2001

Friday, December 28, 2001

Y-O-L-A Yo La (Tengo)

Yo La Tengo will back up Ray Davies on his solo effort. I'm not sure how recent the article is; it was news to me though. On an unrelated note, this Mr. T vs. Santa Claus storybook was fresher a few days ago. (via Ultimate Insult)

Friday, December 21, 2001

Of Course Not

Let the backpedalling commence. Will our "war on terrorism" extend to China now? Will conservative hawks and shills turn on the Shrub if he doesn't treat China like he promised to treat all countries that aid and support terrorists? Or, will they reset their spin engines and fall into line in support of their clown prince? Whatever happens I pray this doesn't turn into an even bigger mess than it already is.

Thursday, December 20, 2001

Recognizing the work of an obsessive fan...

Somebody must've put a fair amount of time and energy into this map of Springfield. I can't speak to it's accuracy and I was hoping it would have links to screenshots or at least episode numbers (guess the fan isn't that energetically obsessive after all) -- still, it's an impressive accomplishment. (via Ultimate Insult)

Wednesday, December 19, 2001

Peter Jackson delivers...

Fellowship of the Ring was pretty amazing. You knew it would be a visual triumph with Jackson at the helm and the budget to do it up fancy ... though there are two or three spots where the effects break down: Gandalf and Frodo talking, but obviously not being able to make eye contact appropriately due to the sizing effects; one scene where a cg orc is duplicated on top of himself a bit off center; an unconvincing Legolas dummy riding the cave troll .. that sort of thing. Nice job tightening up the story, though without the background, you don't get a full apprectiation of Merry and Pippin's characters. So, yeah, some nitpicks, but only nitpicks ... it was rousing, rollicking, occasionally ethereal, and sly. This is one I'll go back to the theater to see one more time.

Monday, December 17, 2001

Where do you score...

on the political compass?

I tested out at Economic Left/Right -6.00, Authoritarian/Libertarian -6.56. You'll have to check the sight to see what that means; it plots you on a graph. My nearest historical figure was Ghandi, but they've only got a few plotted.

(link via Why Oh Why)

Sunday, December 16, 2001

Lord of the Rums

I did a geekish thing the other day (astonished gasp!) and bought one of those Lord of the Rings light-em-up "goblets" from Burger King. It was a total spur of the moment thing and I still don't know why I did it because I'm not a collector of this sort of stuff, or even really that big of a Rings fan. But I did it. So today I'm looking at what's in the fridge the drink and there's fruit punch and ginger ale and rum and I'm thinking they'd all go well together so I pours a healthy dose of each into my fancy goblet and I end up with this illuminated rum punch to kick back and watch football with and it's kinda cool 'cos it's so full of rum and I tell myself it's literally glowing with how full of rum it actually is and you all must think I'm some kind of alky Frodo freak and I don't care. Look at the rum a'glowin'! Mmmmmmmmm.....

Saturday, December 15, 2001

Finally, a blip on the KSR radar!

Kim Stanley Robinson's next will be The Years of Rice and Salt. Information on it so far is sketchy, here's what I could find: synopsis and book cover shots, may be possible to get an advance copy from here (I'll know as soon as I get offline to try it out), a hint of where the title may have come from in this text on gender roles in premodern China (long, the reference is a third of the way into the page, the gist of it is: Women in elite households called the childbearing years of marriage the years of "rice and salt," and they generally constituted the busiest time in a woman's life. Duties connected with raising children, looking after sick or aging household members, and managing certain economic aspects of the household required much time and energy, even with the assistance of servants.). By all accounts, the novel is set in a world where the Black Plague destroyed European civilization, with India and China becoming the world's dominant societies. That's all I could gather. Scheduled for release Feb 2002.

Sunday, December 9, 2001

"Write down in my victory notebook: another victory!"

More hep comix: Pokey the Penguin, low tech penguin comic antics with lines like: "Write down in my victory notebook: another victory!" I laughed as I puzzled through the clunky art and virtually subliterate dialogue: brilliant! Also sprach Bob the Golferthustra. (the former directly, the latter indirectly, via out of our trusty referral log)

Ocean's 11

Saw Ocean's 11 Saturday night and am glad I did for two reasons: (1) It was a funny,smart, hip-but-not-too-hip bit of fun that sat nicely with the Red Bull and Raspberry Stoli buzz I carried in, and (2) I finally discovered the secret genius of Julia Roberts. What secret genius is that, you ask? I'll tell you. It's her mouth, which we already knew was somehow unnatural, but I finally recognized in what specific way it's unnatural -- she's got it on upside-down. It was so obvious I almost missed it, like when Whoopi first showed up as Guinan and I couldn't quite put my finger on what was off with her face. Humans, you notice, by and large have an upper lip that is thin in relation to their lower. Julia's upper is easily 3x the size of her already Jagger-esque lower. Once you realize what she's done, the full monstrousness of it hits you. I have a feeling she'd've had her nose done up that way too if she weren't afraid of drowning in the shower. It's freakish and insane and I'm so glad she and her surgical abomination of a piehole had only a few minutes of screen time.

Thursday, December 6, 2001

Movies on the Horizon

Three movies I'm anticipating seeing before year end (links to official sites): Fellowship of the Rings, Ocean's 11, and Ali. Fellowship is both a Peter Jackson film, reason enough to be jazzed, and based on a cool book. The trailers look pretty wild and I've got high hopes. O's11 is Soderbergh, therefore worth looking forward to, but the cast scares me a bit. Too much 'star power'? Ali is a Michael Mann movie, which does nothing for me, and biopics tend towards hagiography, a treatment Ali doesn't need. This has the most potential to disappoint, but it's giving Fellowship a run for most highly anticipated on my list.

Wednesday, November 7, 2001

Gift From Wisconsin

Zombied home from work per usual this evening and something out of the ordinary catches my eye. It's a little brown box on my front stoop. Close examination reveals it's a package from Christi back in ol' Wis-gon-sin and I immediately start thinking "cookies!" Pick the box up and it's too light. "Can't be cookies. What gives?" I like cookies. Anyways, bring the thing inside, get it open, and I find a letter (with a kung fu monkey graphic no less!) which is cool and the letter tells me to enjoy Al's spicy jerky (enclosed) which I will cos believe it or not it kicks ass for the lord. The letter also tells me to check out this CD by a honky tonk band out of Oregon, WI. The disc, called Hunker Down is by The Junkers and it's spinning now. I'm not all the way through it, but I love it enough already to give it wholehearted endorsement. With song titles like "It's Hard to Win a Woman (When You're Working for the Man)" & "The Pint of No Return" it's no doubt they've got the right idea, the question then is: can they deliver on the promise? Well, I'm not going to tell you they're revolutionizing anything; it's songs about booze and women and how much it sucks to wake up in the morning with a day of work starin' ya in the face. The singing hits all the right notes without too much twang like somone's puttin' a pose on, just a bit of homage. The band is tight and swingin' ... the extra autograph on my disc is by a keyboardist/accordionist who joined after the disc was released and knowing he's out there now makes me think these songs have a bit of a hole in 'em he's probably filling well. Nice to see the last song was recorded at one of my fave music spots in Mad-City, O-Cayz Corral. I'm guessing, and taking Christi's word for it, that they got the crowds movin' pretty good at the shows. You can get the disc at their shows, at some of the finer cd stores in Madison, or by visiting the website. It's $12 shipped and well worth it. Thanks Christi!!! OK, now the disc is done and I'm giving it another immediate play through...

Thursday, September 27, 2001


How about Enterprise, eh? Who'd a thunk a cast could be blander than that of Voyager? (I'm still not sure if there are two indistinguishable white guys with made-for-TV accents or if there was just one and he couldn't keep his accent straight.) What the heck was the episode even about? Did it make any sense? Could the shower scene have been any more exploitive? And the opening theme music ... it was like getting kicked in the nuts by Jon Bon Jovi.

Wednesday, September 26, 2001


Revisiting a topic that had quite a run on this page some months ago, there's an interesting article reviewing three books about melancholia at the NYRB.

Friday, September 14, 2001

The Extent To Which The SCOTUS Screwed Us About To Become More Apparent

I'm more than a little afraid that Bush is the guy who decides how we will respond as a nation to the events of this past Tuesday. The group responsible for the attack should be held accountable. It appears we are finding out the identity of the perpetrators and may ultimately be able prove Osama bin Laden was behind the attack. If that is indeed the case, he (and anyone who helped in the planning and execution of the plan) should face severe justice. However, our pursuit of that justice shouldn't cost the lives of any innocent people. I heard a congressman (I wish I made note of his name) say that we shouldn't hesitate to use deadly force against the people responsible, even if it meant killing innocent civilians of another country because "they" didn't have any compunction about killing our innocents. Nevermind the obvious fact that he was lumping guilty and innocent together in his use of "they" (lumping all Muslims, Afghanis, or whoever he actually meant) as if the innocent civilians of some Arab nation ordered the attack, the very idea that perpetuating the cycle of violence, that creating more embittered orphans, would somehow make things right is patently ridiculous. Sickeningly ridiculous.

There's also the talk of holding the nations that harbor terrorists responsible for the actions of those terrorists. I agree that governments sponsoring or sheltering terrorists should be held accountable and complicit, but we should be very careful in determining how we deliver justice. Sparking a war that would cost more lives does nothing to honor our dead. Also, there is our government's role in the sponsorship of terrorism and oppression around the world to consider, specifically our prior support of bin Laden and our support of the Taliban -- there's that whole thing about glass-house dwellers and stone throwing.

Ethel the Blog has some excellent links and commentary, well worth checking out. I've written more (from a different angle) at my side-blog, Sports Takes. Mark has some commentary up now at Cheek.

Saturday, September 8, 2001

Not Up To Much

Been a while since I posted, my last are about to drop off the page, so I figure it's about time I at least dropped a 'what I've been up to lately' blog to remind everyone I still exist.

Mega starts the moving out process today and this time next week I'll have a new roommate moving in. J.R. (the new guy) is a staunch Republican and a Shrub backer so he's going to find himseld being berated for spouting idiocy quite a bit. The good news is he's a sports junkie with the proper allegiances, which means I won't have to see Mega's Yankees cap lying about the place.

I've been missing Madison a bit more than usual the last couple weeks and wishing I'd made the time to take a trip out there this summer. In the span of a couple days KP wrote to talk baseball, Trish called to plan a trip out here in the fall (then, sadly, called back to cancel), Susan and Jennifer both sent emails, Christi sent a bacon recipe (you can never have enough), and one of the guys in my new-hire training class at work is from Sun Prairie -- so we've been talking about the Madison bar scene. Another year without going to Quivey's ... what a shame.

A couple of folks have asked recently how my niece is doing and I'm happy to report she's doing well and is one happy little toddler. We don't really have a good idea yet what her vision is like, until she starts talking it's hard to test, I guess. Jeremy and Kristy have decided to stick with contacts and glasses for a couple of years before considering intra-ocular surgery to have new lenses inserted to replace her natural ones, which were taken out when she was an infant so she could see at all. On a totally unrelated note, Jeremy's thinking about getting a tat of our family crest on his arm and I've got a half a mind to demonstrate a little brotherly solidarity and do the same. I don't suppose I actually Dread God as our motto dictates, but the more appropriate Get Hammered wouldn't fit into the design as well.

This weekend is kinda downtime. Next weekend I'm going out with a group of folks from work, the following weekend I'll be going back to CT to visit the bonedaddy compound, the weekend after that Desrosiers will be in NYC so I'll take a day to go down there and visit, and somewhere in there is the Built to Spill show -- I might try that a little less housed this year than when Mega, Steve, and I caught them on tour last year.

Saturday, August 25, 2001


Here's how you don't want to spend your Saturday morning: holding your nose with one hand a wielding a mop with the other as you try to clean puke off the floor, rug, walls, shower curtain, and toilet bowl in your newly christened (no pun intended) vomitorium.

Thursday, August 23, 2001


Oh, what a tough loss for the kids from Oceanside in the Little League World Series tonight. Danny ("The Little Unit") Almonte pitching for the Bronx got all the props, but Oceanside's Eukovich pitched a great game as well. If the second base ump hadn't blown the call (Guava missing second base), they might still be playing. Nevertheless, it was a great game. The coaches, kids, and even the parents showed class in not whining about the blown call and talking instead about how fun the game was ... despite being goaded by ESPN's punk reporter on the field -- not Alvaro Martin (who did a great job), the other guy, the shiftless bastard who wanted to generate some controversy in a game that just didn't need any.

Driving back from Nhan's (Jennifer's got a good little cook in that boy!) after the game, Nate and I were talking baseball (dissolve the Devil Rays and Expos, do away with wild card, etc...) and I had to shamefully admit that I've lived most of my life in the Northeast yet have never been to Cooperstown. Nate's from Utah, lived two years in Argentina, is seven years younger than I am, and he's already been. I need to make a list of 5 or 10 things I need to do by the end of next summer at the latest and make sure that's right near the top.
Five Sports Related Things I Need to Do Before the End of Next Summer (Rough Draft):

1. Go to Cooperstown

2. Go to ballgames at McCoy (Pawsox), Camden Yards, and Keyspan (Brooklyn Cyclones)

3. Go to Springfield with every intention of going to the basketball Hall of Fame, but stop at a local pub instead, get all tanked up until it's too late to get in, and take a leak on the back of the building.

4. Find out if there is a hockey Hall of Fame and, if so, head down to the pub and drink myself into stupor until I can't remember anymore if there is or isn't, then never think about it again

5. Go to a Huskies game other than the annual December 23rd tilt against Fairfield at the Civic Center

Sunday, August 12, 2001

Willington Pizza

Another weekend down. Back to work tomorrow. It just ain't right.

How'd the weekend go, you ask? Friday sucked, don't even go there. Saturday was a two parter: leg one was the drive to Glastonbury for a picnic with the fam, leg two was the trek up to W. Springfield to take the youngest bro and a couple of his boys to see Disturbed Theatre, a sketch comedy troupe who were OK, but have a long way to go to reach the level of The Reduced Shakespeare Co. -- a show I'd highly recommend if they're ever in your area. The DTs have a little cutie in the company, but my luck dictates that the part of the show that involves their mingling with audience featured a balding, chubby, sweaty guy rubbing up on me. Insult after injury. At least they served Spaten in the lobby.

You know what's good? Willington Pizza's Red Potato Pizza with broccoli and bacon. ~insert Homer's slavering drool sound here~ That was today's highlight. That and the Red Sox finally scoring some runs. Save some of those dingers for Thursday against Seattle when younger bro and I head to the Fens.

Friday, August 3, 2001

Online Smithsonian

Based on the Map of the Market you see on CNBC and on financial websites, this online Smithsonian exhibit is, thankfully, more interesting than its interface lets on. It's, as Martha Stewart might say, a good thing that there's a place big enough for our society to store items as diverse as George Washington's tent and Muhammad Ali's gloves.

Monday, July 30, 2001

Roster Nostalgia

I was searching for a site where I could find old Red Sox rosters and have spent the last hour or so reading Reading through the last fifteen years of rosters brings back so many memories of guys who showed flashes like they were going to be good players but just faded into mediocrity and, ultimately, oblivion (like Phil Plantier) or veterans they brought in late in their careers that you forget played for them -- the likes of Nick Esasky, Rob Deer, Tom Brunansky, Frank Viola, etc...

Buffy Spoilers

So they killed Buffy off and we're all wondering how she comes back. We ought to wait for the show to come on. But, if you're working 2nd shift like me, you know odds are good you'll miss it, so you might as well read the spoiler-rich article at AICN about how she comes back for season six. How they do it is no surprise and it's not the way I would've gone about it ... although it sounds like the Buffybot has an important role in the period after her death.

Friday, July 20, 2001


On tap for tomorrow: finally going to McCoy Stadium to see the Pawsox play. Saberhagen is scheduled to pitch; hopefully, as a prelude to his returning to the bigs to help stabilize the rotation while Pedro recovers. Unfortunately, it looks like Nomar won't be with the AAA team until next week. Oh well.

Thursday, July 19, 2001


I got a kick out of genattack!. A, presumably, fictionalized account of building a giant robot. Adding to the entertainment value: monkey references. Look, I'm not saying it's the best thing going, I'm just saying that 99% of the time I click on the recently updated blog list I'm treated to a steaming pile of feces loaded, typically, with overfancy designs, cringeworthy use of terms like "kewlies", and paypal donation buttons. As if.

Tuesday, July 17, 2001

Quick Hitters

A couple quick hitters before I leave work...


A Howard Zinn article, via The Progressive, with some encouraging words about conscientious artists. Kinda sad though that in thinking about artists who were defiant, his list of examples barely gets beyond the immediate post WWII-era.

Silver Lined Coffins

The Nando Times: Smoking foes angered by Philip Morris report on upside of early deaths. What other businesses and organizations could benefit from conducting studies like the one done by Philip Morris? The NRA leaps to mind: The NRA: Saving Taxpayers Money by Facilitating People Blowing Each Other's Heads Off.

Tuesday, July 10, 2001

Not Objectivism Again

Ayn Rand's name has been popping up more than usual lately. Witness:
  • A week or so ago, I noticed a large sticker on the back window of an SUV which proclaimed in large box letters, "REASON". By tailgating, I was able to read the small print suggesting people "use it" and read Atlas Shrugged.
  • Earlier, a buddy of mine at work had raved about that same tome, something I hadn't heard anyone do since high school.
  • Yesterday, in a promo for a new fall series (Undeclared?), a character was reading cliff notes of a Rand book.
  • The latest reference to her legacy I've stumbled across is in the NYRB's review of two books on Alan Greenspan. Apparently, Greenspan is something of a Rand disciple and, according to the article, a confidante of her inner circle. (Whatever that means -- I'm guessing it's not exactly like being in the Algonquin Roundtable if dour Alan's in it.)
Is she coming back into vogue? Are we already awash in a tide of objectivism? I'm keeping my eye on this.

Sunday, July 8, 2001

.406 Is Greater Than 56

I've got a serious beef with TSN's: 25 Greatest Moments of the A.L.

Dimaggio's 56 game hitting streak comes in at #8 and Williams's .406 comes in at #15?!? The 56 game streak is more of a statistical anomaly than an accomplishment. Comparing it to the .406 is like saying it's more of an accomplishment to hit for the cycle than to hit 4 homers in a game. You can't hit .406 for a season and suck but, theoretically, you can hit in 56 straight games getting one hit every five at bats, driving in no runs, and grounding into inning ending double plays the other four trips to the plate. Joe D's hitting streak was quality, I'd never say it wasn't, but it pales next to Ted's accomplishment that same year.

Thursday, July 5, 2001

Tuesday, July 3, 2001

Women on TV

NOW's Second Watch Out, Listen Up! Report scores network television shows based on Gender Composition and Diversity, Violent Content, Sexual Exploitation, and Social Responsibility. Here are their top ten (no comment means I haven't seen it):

  • Gilmore Girls: This show makes me feel old. It's the single-mom character that I think is attractive. Coincidentally, the shows chief demerit according to NOW's analysts is that the female characters confrom to a narrow, cookie cutter view of female attractiveness -- skinny and white. It is a good show though Plus, it's set in Hartford. Neat.

  • Girlfriends

  • What About Joan?

  • My Wife and Kids

  • That's Life: My god, where are they finding these shows? I've never even heard of them.

  • Buffy: Now we're cooking with gas. One of the best shows on. NOW didn't like the violent content but praised the inclusion of lesbian characters. Nevermind Willow used to be a fun character and is now part of a showkilling tandem. Right rating, wrong reasons. Dark Angel, btw, another girl kicks butt show scored pretty low.

  • Felicity: My friend Allie likes it and she's also a Bruins/Celtics/Bosox fan, so I trust her judgement. The show looks like crap though and I'd never watch it.

  • Boston Public: This raised my eyebrows. Sure it deals with teacher/student issues and has a diverse cast ... still, you'd think they would've objected to episodes like the one about the cheerleaders doing a routine that was too sexy for teen girls. I didn't have any particular objections to it except they might have showed the routine more than just twice.

  • Ed: Another show people tell me is good that I've never seen more than a minute of. I get a Northern Exposure knock-off vibe off it.

  • CSI: A so-so show in the vein of The Profiler. It's strange how every drama on CBS has the look and feel of Walker, Texas Ranger regardless of how different it is.
Star Trek: Voyager also earned high marks because of the portrayal of Janeway. However, I don't imagine Seven did much for NOW's analysts.

I would've have been interested in more commentary on specific shows and episodes. The report pretty much lists the shows that did the best in each category, chastises a few of the worst, and gives barely more than a sentence or two to any one show.

Monday, July 2, 2001


Would the company selling those wireless mini-vid cams which it promotes with those omnipresent pop-up ads please hurry the hell up and go out of business. Despite having to slam shut your ad five times in the last hour I am no closer to learning the name of your company or product, nevermind purchasing it.

Should I see A.I.? Answer is the same as to: A.I., less sap than a vermont maple tree?

Pulling A Chmura

Republican campaign adviser pulls a "Chmura." (link via Smudge)

Chmura Promo

Jacksonville Suns - June Promotions: check out the June 29th promotion. Classy. This ought to give the Madison Black Wolf (can't find a link, have they folded since I left?) an idea for their Hot Tub promotion: Mark Chmura Hot Tub Night, girls under 17 admitted free!

Saturday, June 30, 2001

America, faites-attention!

35 Hour Work Week Does Not Destroy France. The reporting in this article is a little light in the loafers. Witness: "There is even anecdotal evidence that French male, blue-collar workers are doing the midweek shopping; or learning how the iron works." Still, there's a valuable lesson to learned from the French. (Never thought you'd hear that, eh?) People can have more free time without the country falling to pieces. Despite dire forecasts, going to a 35 hour work week didn't make France into Germany's bitch. (link via the web today)

Looking for other reporting on the change to shorter work week, I found an interesting article at The Economist's website about another change to French labor law recently passed by the National Assembly to make it more difficult for employers to lay off workers when their business is profitable. The conflict between the ideals of social justice and economics are fascinating. As with the 35 hour work week, business types are predicting this will hurt the competiveness of French industry and reduce foreign investment. It may be too soon to say if the 35 hour work week is a success or not, but it seems to me you have to applaud the French for at least trying to make business act like it's part of society (which it is) and bound by rules other than the those of the markets.

Thursday, June 28, 2001


It's a shame Minipops is defunct. There's a quite nice little archive though of icon sized pop figures there. The Fall, Yo La Tengo, and Fugazi (and many more) are all represented. (link via why oh why?)

Thursday, June 21, 2001

Sad passings...

John Lee Hooker & Carroll O'Connor both died today. O'Connor's portrayal of Archie Bunker was at least 30 years ahead of its time -- to this day there hasn't been an American tv character as wrong and hilarious since -- though Sherman Hemsley's George Jefferson shouldn't be slighted. Hooker's songs about drinking, One Bourbon, One Scotch, And One Beer being probably the most famous thanks to Thorogood's cover, pretty much determined the course of thirty odd years of the blues/boogie strain of rock-n-roll via The Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds (and the bands that sprang from 'em), etc...

Wednesday, June 20, 2001

Tuesday, June 19, 2001

Oh so close...

We've been on the edge of our seats since the 7th inning, but Wakefield just lost his no-hit bid in the 9th. That knuckler must've been fluttering pretty good tonight.

Ripken to Retire

Cal Ripken, Jr. to pack it in after season. He might've played a little too long -- using up a spot on the All-Star roster year in and year out that could've gone to a more deserving player. This year, more than any other in last five or so, it'll be harder to begrudge him that day in the sun.

We have a winner.

T.J. of San Jose, CA has claimed the prize in the 2nd TC Mix Tape Giveaway. He'll soon be angering his neighbors with a bunch of new noise.

Monday, June 18, 2001

Babel receding...

Language extinction article at MSNBC. It's amazing that as the world's population grows the number of languages spoken decreases. It must be a strange and lonely feeling to be the last person alive to speak a language. You're the sole repository of an entire peoples' oral tradition. All the puns, the jokes that rely on particular inflection, all the history that a language tells about the people who spoke it: it's all in you and you alone. Does the last speaker of a language, when everyone else is gone, does that person feel pre-extinct?

Time's running out...

If you want to get in on the Mix Tape Giveaway you've got to email me by the end of today. See the post on Thursday, 6/14 for more details.

Sunday, June 17, 2001


Weakest Link hits the dance floors. I'm guessing that the single, when released, will not use the line from those super-annoying NBC promos "you're superweaky." (link via tvtattle)

Thursday, June 14, 2001

In Passing

In Passing...

You know how you're walking around kinda minding your own business (but kinda not, too, 'cos you're still aware of what's going on around you) in bookstores, at restaurants, and such, and you overhear bits of peoples' conversations. That's what In Passing... documents. (link via yoy)

The 2nd Triptych Cryptic Mix Tape Giveaway

I've had a few weeks to recover from the strain of downing gallons of rum and beer to facilitate making the last contest tape and the Booze tape for M.A.D. I'm ready for another go at it. Here's how it works:
  • Send me an email at with your name and address by midnight Monday, June 18.

  • Sometime next week I'll pick a winner at random from the emails received

  • Winner gets a customized mix tape featuring songs I think they ought to like because I'm cool like that

  • It'll take me something like a month to make the tape and finally pop it in the mail at my less than conveniently located local post office

  • That's pretty much it
If you're not sure you want a mix tape made by some jerk you might not even know and want a rough idea what type of music might be on it, read the track listing of the first TC Giveaway Tape here and about the creation of The Booze Tape here.


Why, Oh Why? A Weblog for the Discriminating Apathetic has a swank new look. Their man Incredible Hulk has posted a chuckleworthy public service announcement on How to Get Ripped Off in Vancouver. What is it with Canada and dubious hookers, I wonder? (I'm thinking now of Rob W.'s Adventures With the Hungry Hooker in Montreal ... a story, perhaps, for another day.)

Saturday, June 9, 2001


Looks like another of my favorite weblogs is folding: RIP 3NA.

Rally Monkey

Finally, an article examining the powerful mojo of the Angels' Rally Monkey. Says Anaheim hitting coach Mickey Hatcher: "For me, it's not about winning and losing. It's about The Monkey." Amen.

Friday, June 1, 2001

The so-called liberal media in action...

One phrase guaranteed to raise my hackles is the liberal media. People hate the liberal media for a wide range of perceived sins; when Clinton was in office, GOP flaks constantly railed against the liberal media for, of all things, coddling him. The idea that ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, PBS, Fox, et al. are liberal is laughable, yet the phrase gets tossed around by Republicans as frequently as the fake ID Jenna Bush carries. I had toyed with the idea of tracking the Republican bias of television and print media in a blog, but quickly scrapped the idea when I realized how much work documenting such a large volume of idiocy would be. Plus, the thought of not being able to flip away from the Sunday morning parade of ADM commercials interspersed with small-minded, reactionary diatribes (by the likes of Trent Lott, James Carville, George Will, Terry McAuliffe, and whoever else they drag out for those shows) to find a cheesy martial arts movie was an unbearable prospect. A great example of the kind of thing I had in mind is this Ethel the Blog post.

Thursday, May 31, 2001

Once I Noticed

Matt's writing at Once I Noticed I Was On Fire again. It's about time.

Taking up the challenge...

to find bad sci-fi actors turned bad author, I give you Walter Koenig. The other part of m.a.d.'s challenge, to actually read them, I leave for heartier souls. From his list of accomplishments:
Walter has written for the television series "Family, Powers of Mathew Starr", "Class of '65", "Land of the Lost"* and the "Star Trek" animated show.

This actor-writer has seen publication with the non-fiction "Chekov's Enterprise" and the satiric fantasy novel "Buck Alice and the Actor-Robot". He also created the three issues of the comic book story "Raver" published by Malibu Comics.

*Not to dredge up the whole X-Files topic again, but this is another show I'd rather watch. I never saw Mulder take on anything as bone-chilling as a sleestack.

Wednesday, May 30, 2001

Casey Martin - Supreme Court upholds earlier Martin ruling

I wrote about this subject on my website (see the archives for end of June 2000) in support of Casey Martin being able to use a cart. I'm glad the Supreme Court ruled as they did. It may be the one thing they got right this year. Unfortunately, they arrived at the right ruling for the wrong reasons; Scalia and Thomas's dissenting opinion has some merit. What's going to happen now is every golfer with a "bad back" is going to want to ride a cart as well, which isn't what this was supposed to be about. I guess that the Court felt it had to deal with the terms of the ADA in order to base their opinion on something concrete ... it really should have been handled by the PGA and never gone to the courts. Seeing how their rules, designed to promote fairness, were falling short, they should have amended the rules to address cases like Martin's and considered how to prevent others from taking advantage of them over a year ago. It irks me how guys like Niklaus, Palmer, and Pate can say with a straight face that 'walking the course is part of the game' when they have a caddy carry their bags. Tell me it's part of the physical challenge when you tote your own clubs. Or, before you complain, consider whether you think it would be an advantage to come down with a debilitating circulatory ailment so you too could ride a cart. I don't think anyone would take that trade.

Saturday, May 26, 2001

Boston Public, it turns out, is a reality series ...

This story of two female student-teachers at a Maryland High School getting it on with with their students makes me even more bitter about my high school years. (Thanks to 3NA for the link and for cracking all the good jokes about the story already. Punks.)

Open Secrets News | Baseball boyfriend?

This story is still making the rounds. Kettman's article makes the case for there being a cultural vacuum into which a prominent male athelete ought to out himself into. (There's a prepositional pretzel for you.) He argues that it's only a matter of time before gays get their Jackie Robinson and that when it happens we're going to see how pervasive homophobia still is. Passages like the following make me think that the day may come soon:
It's an open secret among sports insiders that there have been all-star-caliber gay athletes playing in each of the four major U.S. sports in recent years, including baseball. Lemon's article has inspired coast-to-coast guessing games about which rumored gay major leaguer is his supposed boyfriend. Working on the New Republic piece, I got a tip from a gay friend that a certain East Coast star -- maybe even Lemon's boyfriend, if his story is legit -- was a regular at a gay bar in town. A visit to the gay bar left little doubt that the story was true. The star's picture was on a ledge above the bar. Several people there had stories about the star that passed a beat writer's bullshit tests.
The more this story makes gets ink, the harder it's going to be for players to keep their 'open secrets' secret.

Nobottle No Way

Hobbit Name Generator

... I'm Mungo Overhill of Nobottle. (link via GITM)

The irony of the "Nobottle" part just hit me, only 5 minutes after I first blogged this. I am so fucking hammered.

Friday, May 25, 2001

The Simpsons is dead

No doubt about it. That show is painful and it sucks. No debate there. It was one of the greatest shows ever, but the legacy is tarnished every week it continues.

Sarah Michelle Gellar is no martial artist; her stunt double does OK though. One only wishes Gillian Anderson had an acting double as competent. Duchovny, bless his heart, has slightly more talent than a girl's blouse and will no doubt rock the world in Evolution.

Moodiness is a payoff? I can film a moody television series about my ass. Is that what you want? Murky, underlit scenes of my ass gazing out the window thinking longingly of it's kidnapped sister? A tight close up of my ass sneaking around a dark tunnel looking for the MOTW and the music rising to a crescendo as it (my ass) turns around quickly and ... nothing's there!! I'm drunk at the moment. Blind drunk. And thinking about the X-Files is such a downer, I'm sobering up. I need a Captain and Coke ... stat!

Quick response to Bonedaddy's In Defense of The X-Files post.

Have you been eating paint chips? Are you smoking crack? True, over it's 20+ year run, Dr. Who produced bad episodes on par with the X-Files finale, but judging each series by its best moments, Dr. Who drowns the X-Files in your high/low-brow mix of fun. And when did the action on the X-Files ever look good? I can't think of a single decent action sequence. When the mannequin hanging off the side of the car in the last episode got whacked in the parking garage? When the mannequin Billy Miles got thrown off the roof of the garage? Finest mannequin action sequences ever!!! Oi. Sadly, these were the best action sequences on the X-Files. I've been catching bits and pieces of the old shows in reruns and I'm not seeing a portrait of the times. I'm seeing godawful scripting. "What are you trying to say Mulder?" What do you fucking think, Scully? The same thing he's trying to say in every fucking episode. I'm seeing typical horror movie gimmicks to manufacture suspense and a philosophy of style over substance that's, as Mega pointed out, all tease and no satisfaction. OK, I'm just ranting now. Must settle down. Good acting?!? Sure, from the occasional guest star: Peter Boyle, Charles Nelson Reilly, and I can't think of any others.

Thursday, May 24, 2001

Best Sci-Fi TV Series

All the best sci-fi tv shows are flawed in some way ... some went on too long, some had great episodes but were uneven, some with great potential never got a chance to develop. I don't think there's yet been a consistently great sci-fi show yet and some of the best cross-genres and hard to label "sci-fi". Among the best sci-fi shows, I don't think The X-Files rates better than middle of the pack. So what's better?

  • Doctor Who. Sure, it's a show for kids, but like the best children's shows it gives adults something to watch for too, and I'm not just talking about Leela, Sarah Jane Smith, Tegan, and Peri. It's sense of humor, particularly during the Tom Baker years, made it more than just a sci-fi/adventure series. The X-Files occasionally showed flashes of brilliant humor, but only Duchovny could pull it off and he doesn't have half the range of a Tom Baker as an actor.

  • Star Trek: TNG. On the whole, this series was far too anemic and pasteurized to be called great, but it's static, unimaginative camera work, half-hearted character development, generally poor writing are every bit the equals of The X-Files' unimaginitively filmed "suspense" sequences, half-baked conspiracy plots/story-arcs, and generally poor writing. On the surface, the primary colors and overlit sets of TNG are nothing like the murky greys and blacks and underlit sets of The X-Files, but it all equals out in the end. I can think of more purely enjoyable episodes of TNG than I can of The X-Files.

  • The Prisoner. Is it aliens, or the work of a powerful cabal? This series blows away The X-Files on every level. McGoohan looks like a bit of a pansy in his fight scenes and his run across the beach in the opening sequence, but it wasn't until Connery played Bond that anyone mistook a Brit on tv or film for a real atheletic tough guy. Think Patrick MacNee. (Oop, I almost forgot about The Avengers -- also better than X-Files, Gillian Anderson doesn't hold a candle to Mrs. Peel.) Chris Carter isn't fit to scrape dog doo off Patrick McGoohan's shoes.

  • Nowhere Man. It only lasted one season, virtually unwatched, on UPN, but it was a bit like an Americanized update of The Prisoner and had promise ... it's a shame it was cancelled before anyone noticed it.

  • Buffy, The Vampire Slayer. Maybe it's a stretch to call it sci-fi when it might be more about magic, but they put a chip in Spike's head and that sounds sci-fi to me, so here it is. Buffy is the best. This is the closest thing to a week in, week out sure thing great tv show going. It's funny, well-written, and the action is decent. Gellar leaves something to be desired in the acting department, but it's really an ensemble show and nothing else on tv now even comes close.
I'll leave the case for Babylon 5 to those that actually watched it. Farscape did more for me in the five or episodes I saw than the entire run to date of The X-Files.

When Will We See An Openly Gay Male Pro Athlete?

I listen to a lot of sports talk radio. I'm not advocating for sports talk radio; I'm just telling it like it is. The CD player in my car is on the fritz and most radio stations are unlistenable. I like sports so, despite the obvious fact that it's not exactly fun to listen to a half hour of speculation about what the Peter LaViolette (sp?) hiring means for the NY Islanders and the Bruins, I listen to 790 The Score as an alternative to hearing that Limp Bizkit song 10 times a day.

Lately, the big story's been the editor of Out magazine (all relevant links, and then some, at the bottom of this post) writing about the frustration of dating a gay Major League ballplayer. To the credit of most sports fans, the overwhelming majority of guys calling into the shows have taken a laissez-faire attitude towards the issue. There was one guy who called into the Jim Rome show who promised never to watch another game, or to let his son watch one lest it turn him gay, but his call spawned a stream of emails and calls into the show condemning his bigotry. The majority of people seem to think that the issue is a non-issue and don't really care who it is and if he comes out or not, or even if the story is just a publicity stunt. There also seems to be a consensus that it might be in the (putative) player's best interest to remain closeted because he's likely to be ostracized by his teammates and other players if he does come out. Rome is of the opinion pro ballplayers are, on the whole, not well-educated, intolerant, and would probably make his life hell. Not being a pro-athelete, I can only guess what the mentality of the typical pro sports team's locker room might be like, but extrapolating from my memories of the high school lockeroom and considering how that atomsphere might be perpetuated in an athelete's life, it wouldn't surprise me (though it would disappoint me) if Rome turned out to be right.

If the story isn't a publicity stunt and there is a gay ballplayer who would like to come out, does that ballplayer have a responsibility to the gay community to come out? Would gay teenagers struggling with their sexuality appreciate an athelete coming out? Would he be a Jackie Robinson figure for gays? I have to admit that while the true story here is about gays being able to seek life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness with equal protection under the law and so on and so on, I'm primarily interested in how the story relates to baseball.

When I think in terms of Jackie Robinson, I think it would be good for baseball to have a star player who happened to be gay. Baseball, notoriously traditional, reactionary, and old-fashioned had one period in its history where it took the lead seeking to correct a societal wrong, and that was when Robinson and Branch Rickey worked together to break the color barrier. Later, in the 70's and 80's a fascinating labor drama, sparked by Curtis Flood, played out in the court battles over free agency and the reserve clause and culminated in the owners response -- the collusion scandal, which nobody remembers because labor history in this country is dismissed out of hand as the provence of left-wing eggheads ... but I digress. Aside from that Jackie Robinson era, it's hard to think of another time when baseball had the moral high ground and was something to be justly proud of. I'd like to see baseball be a leader in that regard again. I'm tired of reading little more than snide articles about A-Rod's salary and John Rocker being the game's most famous exponent of any value system.

Another part of the of this story that fascinates me is the intensity of talk about the speculation over who the gay ballplayer might be. Radio hosts proud of their unbigoted reaction to the story can't resist trying to narrow down who it might be. Lemon, the Out editor who wrote the article, was being interviewed tonight when I was driving home from work (that's the interview that finally prompted this post) and the host, I forget his name, kept asking questions obviously meant to draw out more clues even while professing to be respectful of the player's privacy. Lemon, who says his philosophy is not to out people and professes to respect his ballplayer's privacy, really did make speculation inevitable when he danced around the topic in the first sentence of his article: "For the past year and a half, I have been having an affair with a pro baseball player from a major-league East Coast franchise, not his team’s biggest star but a very recognizable media figure all the same." Immediately, the list of East Coast ballclubs comes to mind: Boston, the New Yorks, Philly, Baltimore, Atlanta (or is that the South, not the East Coast?) ... anyways, you see what I mean, that's only a handful of teams and once you cross out the big stars ... I have to admit I'm curious for curiousity's sake too.

Well, as promised above, here are some links germane to this post:

Wednesday, May 23, 2001

Best Foot Forward?

First, the Dalai Lama met with Gov. Jesse Ventura, now he's met with George W. Bush. I can only guess what sort of impression he's formed of America's political leadership based on these meetings.

Walter "Ray" Allen: Decent Human Being

UConn alum and Milwaukee Bucks star Ray Allen lauded for being a decent human being.

Wednesday, May 16, 2001

Terry Glenn

Like a suckling pig to a sow's teat, Terry Glenn is drawn to the tender embrace of the arms of the law.

Monday, May 14, 2001

Douglas Adams Remembered

Following Douglas Adams links at other blogs mourning his demise, I found Kevin Murphy's Library page at the mighty fine GITM. I'm trying to decide if I'd like to do something similar for TC.

RIP Douglas Adams

Douglas Adams kicks. Don't panic. (link via Why Oh Why?)

Thursday, May 10, 2001

Truth In Advertising WHEN NEWS ISN'T NEWS
In its petition, RMMW argues that by restricting the use of the word "news" in advertisements by local TV stations, the FTC would not be engaging in censorship but in consumer protection.

... Rocky Mountain Media Watch called on the FTC to order Denver stations KCNC, KMGH, KUSA, and KWGN to accurately advertise future programming so as not to mislead the public -- possibly replacing the word "news" with "info-tainment."

Wednesday, May 9, 2001

Saturday, May 5, 2001

Cowards Make The Worst Patients

I haven't shared a self-deprecating anecdote in a while, so here's a brief recap of my visit to the local walk-in medical clinic the other day to get my wake-me-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night sore throat addressed.

I'm not really good with doctors and medical settings in general. They make me uncomfortable. I don't like needles. Don't like pills. Don't like the idea that the doctor on duty might be a graduate a Haitian medical school who's stethoscope harbors an exotic, flesh-eating disease. But they were cool there. I think the last time I saw a doctor, there was no such thing as a doctor younger than me, but this guy I saw was like Doogie Howser, sneakers and all. It was a little embarassing having to give a throat culture. I seem to have a particularly sensitive gag reflex. It took the nurse five tries to get the swabs past my teeth. As soon as she did, I was gagging like Chewbacca with an Ewok lodged in his trachea. Quite embarrassing. Have you ever tried to give a dog a heartworm pill? That's what it was like. Plus, I got all distracted making sure nobody was trying to sneak up on with me a needle, so I didn't always hear the instructions the doc was giving me: He told me to stick out my tongue and say "ahh" .. so I did. Then he told me to look at his nose (?!) but I thought I saw a nurse with a hypo in my peripheral vision (there actually was a nurse passing in the hall ... it was a baby she was holding though) and I got distracted, so I stuck out my tongue and said "ahh" again as he pointed a flashlight at my closed eyes in a vain attempt, I presume, to check my pupil dilation. When I opened my eyes he furrowed his brow disparagingly at me and repeated the instructions more slowly, as if to a mental defective.

Who Movie Rumor

The Doctor Who News Page at Outpost Gallifrey reports a rumor of a Doctor Who feature to be announced by the film unit of the BBC this summer. Who fans are no doubt jaded by years and years of rumors having yielded nothing save the disappointing Paul McGann/Eric Roberts outing that ran on Fox a few years back and this may turn out to be just more smoke being blown up our collective ass. Still, one can hope.

Friday, May 4, 2001

No Crying

Oakley ran smack on Vince Carter; Lemieux put a burr under Jagr's saddle; now, David "The World's Biggest Goattee" Wells tells Frank Thomas to grow some stones. There is no crying in baseball.

Thursday, May 3, 2001

Easy Pedro

Pedro's temper flares. This is the absolute last thing Red Sox Nation wants to hear.
''Thank God I'm going to go away from baseball soon, sooner than they think, so they can just take their baseball and stick it up whatever they want,'' Martinez said before the Sox' 5-1 loss to the Mariners last night. ''I'm going to go back to my country and be happy.''

More plunk news with international implications.


A hilarious review of Driven. (via 3na)

Monday, April 30, 2001

Some Days Are Like Diamonds

I love days like today. Bright sun and dry air ... it's like the Looper song says, "some days are like diamonds, the way they catch the light." It was like that. Went golfing. Played like crap, nothing new or surprising about that, but it hardly mattered. Listened to the Sox game on the radio driving down to the course. Manny hit a 3 run homer early in the game, which made me think fondly of my pal Allie sitting out in the bleachers at Fenway, soaking in the sun, cheering 'em on. The Bosox ended up losing, by the way, because of Jimmy Williams. I'm finally going to go public and join the throngs in this sentiment -- he needs to be shitcanned before he lets Craig ".059" Grebeck or Darren "Late Game Defensive Replacement" Lewis bat in a crucial situation again. Today was also the 15th anniversary of the day Roger Clemens became the first pitcher to strike out 20 batters in a game and it was cool to hear Joe Castiglione recall the game during the broadcast. I just now watched highlights of it ... Rocket was amazing that day ... he was so on that it hitters weren't even getting a chance to foul off pitches, everything was a swing and a miss, incredible.

So today had all that golf and baseball history going for it plus going down to Lupo's to see the Dropkick Murphys, per Mark's suggestion. They put on a great show. Any band that warms up the crowd by playing "Alternative Ulster" and "There Is Power In A Union" over the loudspeaker before they take the stage you just know is going to kick ass. Loved the bagpipes ... and the guitar/accordion player's antics ... didn't love some of the self-aggrandizing, stage-hogging superfans -- Sing Along Fist Pumping Hug the Lead Singer Until Thrown Offstage Boy irked me. Sweaty Lots of Ass Crack Showing Fist Pumping Jerk Boy was a horrible and fascinating spectacle. Cute Rolled Her Shirt Up And Danced Provocatively Girl was the only one I wish got more stage time. I'd never heard the DMs before, so I couldn't tell you most of what they played, but they did some great covers: "Which Side Are You On?" (which Mark has already commented on), CCR's "Fortunate One," AC/DC's "Dirty Deeds," the Clash's "Career Opportunities," and a mind blowing take on "Amazing Grace." Lars Fredericksen and the Bastards also did a nice job covering Billy Bragg's "To Have and Have Not." I only my hope my skull stops ringing so I can get to sleep tonight.

Saturday, April 28, 2001


An excerpt from "Radiant Green Star" by Lucius Shepard. Shepard is one of my favorite sci-fi writers; I'm ashamed that I didn't even know about this novella until I saw that it's been nominated for a Hugo. It doesn't appear to have been anthologized yet. I'm hoping this means there'll be a follow up to "Barnacle Bill the Spacer" one of these days.

Friday, April 27, 2001

Booze Tape

See the song listing of the mix tape Mega and I made for m.a.d. and read the story of how it got made.

Thursday, April 26, 2001

Turtle Racing

Stallone writes at - Page2 - What drove me to 'Driven'
I also think people are drawn to racing on a subliminal level. Racing is a microcosm of life. We race to pay taxes, to fall in love, to fall out of love, to get home, to get a job. We race against each other, against ourselves, against time. You name it -- turtles, mice, balloons, planes -- we race it. And I thought, "If I could somehow tap into why we are so attracted to racing, we'd really touch on more than just the obvious in a racing movie."
So, don't be fooled moviegoers .. this one's gonna be deep. Turtles, baby, We race turtles. I want to know where that drive comes from and I believe Sly's movie will tell me. Plus, it's directed by Renny "The Adventures of Ford Fairlane" Harlin.

Wednesday, April 25, 2001

The Cold Six Thousand

By way of a PSA: Chris Barsanti review of the new Ellroy, The Cold Six Thousand, at In These Times. This one picks up where the meaty, beaty, big and bouncy American Tabloid left off; therefore, it's probably not going to make a good introduction to Ellroy, but sounds like a promising re-entry point.
The speed is lightning-quick; there's hardly a paragraph that's more than two sentences long. Every page is packed with information; blink and you've missed about 40 major plot points. There are times when it reads more like a police rap sheet than a novel ... The book quickly becomes almost an alternate history of the Vietnam War era, with the usual run-through of civil rights battles and war protests taking a backseat to explications of the country's criminal underbelly ... When Ellroy lets himself take a breath, he does come out with a nice line or two. Describing a small Southern town: "A main drag. Feed stores. Segregated shade. Whites on the sidewalk/Negroes in the street." The jazzy bop-bop-bop of the writing is infectious and carries the reader fast through the most ludicrous and comic-book-like events ...

Saturday, April 21, 2001

Choose Wisely

Freddy Got Fingered. Whatever. How about this ... how about I only charge you $5, saving you $3-$4, and just tell you that Tom Green is a dipshit? I won't even make you give me the 92 minutes of your life you could otherwise never get back. You keep the 92 minutes. Use them to give your wife/husband or boyfriend/girlfriend a nice massage that s/he will truly appreciate instead, treat him or her to a refreshing Dairy Queen treat -- you still come out ahead $$$-wise, and your significant other will think you are a sweetie-pie. Or, go see the new Tom Green movie. But, I have a feeling that stink won't wash off. If you simply must see a movie, why not go see Crouching Tiger again? Or The Tailor of Panama, that was decent.

Wednesday, April 18, 2001

The Power and the Glory

Bosox and Bucks are among the most powerful teams in sports! It's a little early to think it means much to the Sox. The Bucks on the other hand are about to make some big noise in the NBA playoffs.

Tuesday, April 17, 2001

Pine Valley Cosmonauts Salute the Majesty of Bob Wills

In the CD player now I've got The Pine Valley Cosmonauts Salute the Majesty of Bob Wills (The King of Western Swing), which is available for purchase from the mighty fine Bloodshot Records label. I should disclose prior to giving the hardsell that my granddad used to spin old Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys LPs when I was just a toddler, thereby conditioning my growing neural network to be pre-disposed to love western swing forevermore. Even if you weren't so lucky as to have a granddad that listened to cool music, I can't believe there is a heart so black, a soul so depraved, or an ear so tone deaf that it wouldn't love this music. The arrangements on this disc are tight, the guest vocalists universally fine ... Sally Timms, of course, can do no wrong while Kelly Hogan, Bob Boyd, and Chris Mills turn in spot on performances as well. Ordering through Bloodshot was a smooth and painless process and the folks in shipping were quick as bunnies; I received the CDs I ordered in good condition four days later.

Sunday, April 15, 2001

Made Men

Made: Favreau and the recently bar fight prone Vince Vaughn's upcoming film. Sounds like Swingers meets Snatch?

Thursday, April 12, 2001

First Blogiversary

I just realized Triptych Cryptic turned one year old back on March 28th. Wow. I can't believe we've been at this for (over) a year now. My how we've grown. What started as a playful idea back in a Brooklyn apartment remains a playful idea a year later. Ah, the misty-eyed nostalgia evoked by our first posts before Bone Daddy, Molasses, MD, and Prime Time were even a glimmer in the loins of the Crypter collective. If I can get the archives working properly again, perhaps I'll scour them for a compilation of memorable posts to belatedly mark the occasion.
On a personal note, I want to say thanks to all the Crypters for joining, and sticking around, and an extra big thanks to the folks that have taken the time to read our blathering over the past year, made this heaps more fun by joining us through the (soon to be replaced?) BlogVoices, and even linked us on their own highly enjoyable blogs -- particulary Pete, Eleni, P.J. and John.
I don't know what we have for booze here in the No. Providence office of TC Worldwide ... but I'm going to go help myself to an extra big helping of it in celebration.

Tuesday, April 10, 2001

Wednesday, April 4, 2001


Nomo no-no. What a great way to start his career with the Bosox. I can't wait to hear the "nobody after Pedro" contingent on the sportstalk shows explain this one away.

Monday, April 2, 2001

Booze Bracket

What a great idea. TC should hold an invitational when the gang congregates (as I'm hoping it eventually will) one of these upcoming weekends.

Sunday, April 1, 2001


New meta-review attempts to convince you to ignore superior critic Charles Taylor and go see Memento.

Took Friday off from work and went up to Beantown to catch Memento in the afternoon followed by the Celtics and Pacers that evening. Boston Friday was hellish. Bitterly cold rain and umbrella inverting wind. My bone marrow still hasn't thawed. Stupid Celtics, by the way, have no guard play to speak of and don't deserve to make the playoffs. Paul Pierce is awesome though.

Stuck in traffic on the way home, I learned of the UConn women's cruel fate at the hands of Notre Dame. I'm glad I didn't witness the debacle. I don't think that kind of second half collapse happens to them if Shea and/or Svet are playing. Credit to McGraw, Riley and the Notre Dame program ... here's hoping they carry the flag for the Big East and take the championship. Now that college basketball is over (don't even talk to me about Duke and Arizona) I can turn my attention to baseball ... which promises to be disappointing as Everett continues to act as a cancer on the Bosox, Nomar finally succumbs to the scalpel for his split tendon, and Manny Ramirez's blasts to center die in the triangle.

Wednesday, March 28, 2001


Quacks on cloning. It's only a matter of time, I guess, before the first human clone makes the news. From MSNBC:
“Cloning may literally threaten the character of our human nature,” said Rep. Billy Tauzin, R-La., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, who plans to introduce legislation this spring.
Rep. Clifford Stearns, R-Fla., went further: “It interferes with the natural order of things,” he said. “People have a right to their own genetic makeup, which should not be replicated.”

I'm really not keen on the idea of human cloning. The arguments being made (in Congress) against it though seem unpersuasive. What does "the natural order of things" even mean? I would think that, based on how you define "natural order" you could prove that every act of human will is against "the natural order" or every act is in compliance with it.
Will cloning cause or ease more suffering, the utilitarian part of me asks? The Kantian on my other shoulder suspects it's wrong regardless of results.

Monday, March 26, 2001

The Academy Blows It

Because I'm aware of the futility of moaning about the injustice of the Academy Awards, I will be brief ... but, c'mon, Gladiator wasn't even a good movie. If not Crouching Tiger, then Traffic. Gladiator? Morons.

Thursday, March 22, 2001

Mix Tape

Mo, your mix tape is ready to go, I think I'm going to be coming to CT on Saturday, so I'll give it to you then. Because I used a Sony 110 min. tape with a slide case, I'm afraid it's not going to have much (anything) by way of liner notes and the song titles and artists are written in small, illegible script. Hence, following for your perusal is the complete list of songs, artists, and the occasional bit of justification for why the song is included:
"Movie Star" by Stereo Total (from the "Tao of Steve" soundtrack); "Ballad of Cable Mogue" by Calexico (takes the Santa Fe, NM aesthetic on loan from the "Tao of Steve" track and moves south of the border); "Worthless" by Dido (I'm not crazy about the album as a whole but I do like her voice); "Pauline" by Eleni Mandell; "Totally Freaked Out" by Bettie Serveert (rounding out the female vocalist groove set by the last two tracks); "Hands Up Billy" by The Fall (I hope this wasn't on the tape MD made for ya); "The Employment Pages" by Death Cab for Cutie ("We Have the Facts..." is one of the best albums of the last several years); "Danelectro 2 (remix)" by Yo La Tengo/N. Takemura; "Dark Sun" by Sally Timms (the lovely and talented); "What Can I Say" by Yo La Tengo (after the Timms tune I felt I had to bend the mix tape rules and come right back with a great Georgia Hubley track); "The Last Laugh" by Mark Knopfler/Van Morrison; "Love Travels Faster" by the Halo Benders; "Negated" by Unwound; "The Ballad of Ezra Messenger" by the Gravel Pit (part one of their American Trilogy, part two follows later in the tape); "So This Is the Night" by the Slackers (the new album has a few wrong turns but they are still pound for pound the best ska band working)
"Negative Attitude" by Lloyd Cole; "I'm Going to Spain" by the Fall; "Fell, Destroyed" by Fugazi; "You Don't Have to Tell Me Now" by Grant Hart; "The Rise of Abimelech DuMont" by the Gravel Pit; "Timber" by Neko Case and Her Boyfriends(sweet little neo-country number); "Little Light" by Jets to Brazil; "Buried Bones" by Tindersticks; "Common People" by Pulp; "Child Psychology" by Black Box Recorder ("life is unfair / kill yourself or get over it"); Dinosaur Act" by Low; "My Time After A While" by Buddy Guy; "Part Company" by the Go-Betweens; "She Thinks I Still Care" by George Jones (we had Sally Timms and Neko Case, seems like time for some classic honky-tonkin'); "Daydreamin'" by Hepcat; "Superman" by Cinerama; "Oliver's Army" by Elvis Costello (gack, the tape ended too soon so it's cut-off, you know how it ends anyways...)

I'd better give props to Mega cuz several songs on here (The Neko Case & Black Box Recorder most notably) I actually have on loan from his collection. Every mix tape has it's missteps (was "Part Company" the best choice off the Go-Betweens album? most likely not, but it's the song I thought of first; are the Dido and Unwound songs really good enough to warrant inclusion? maybe not, but they're new in the collection and I wanted to put stuff that was new, to me at least, on here) and this one is no exception. There it is though ... now, to name it ... "The Somebody Set Up Us the Bomb Tape"?

Long post longer: announcing, in a rare fit of generosity, the first ever, totally free, Triptych Cryptic Mix Tape Giveaway! Some of what's listed above sound good to you? Send me an e-mail with your name and address and I'll slap some tunes from the mighty, mighty c-dog (and mega) cd collection on tape (or mini-disc if you're the other person who bought a player) and mail 'em to ya on my dime. Why? I'm still delirious with fever and hopped up on the heady mix of Nyquil and Captain Morgan-n-Diet Coke. My fellow Crypters are welcome to participate, so act fast because I'm going to send the tape to the first email I get.

Tuesday, March 20, 2001

500 Records

Elvis Costello's 500 records you need to own. (via Ethel) Seemed germane given the Hall of Fame discussion below. I haven't had a chance to read through it yet, but Elvis's introductory comments make me think that he's (mostly) capable of doing a fine job. Early on I did see some Cannonball Adderly and Louis Armstrong with the Hot 5's and 7's. That bodes well.

Tuesday, March 13, 2001

Cox Arrested

UConn police reveal details of Cox's arrest.


I didn't read it at Ah-nuld's website but I did just see a newsflash on the telly that he's going to run for Governor of California. "It's not a too-muh."

Sunday, March 11, 2001

Bracket Jabber

Tennessee and UConn get the first two of the one seeds in the ladies' tourney with Notre Dame and Duke rounding out the head of the class. On the mens' side, the bracket is garbage. Only 5 from the Big East? Providence only a 10 seed?! BC only a 3? No UConn, fine, they didn't play well enough after beating Notre Dame to deserve in, but 6 from the Big East would have made more sense. 16-14 Georgia goes while 3 better teams in the Big East ('Nova, Seton Hall, UConn) are left out. What a joke.

Wednesday, March 7, 2001

UCONN Defeats Notre Dame

I was glad to see the Huskies beat Notre Dame last night to take the Big East championship, but losing Shea for the rest of the season, I hate to say it, means it will probably take a miracle for them to return to the NCAA finals this year. Shea and Svet are the best players on the team. Despite having a still fantastic lineup, these injuries are too much to expect the other girls to be able to make up for. Notre Dame and Tennessee are too good. I expect UCONN will still beat up on their first round opponent, and probably the second rounder as well. After that though ... I'll hope for the best, but without Shea & Svet ...

Saturday, March 3, 2001

Ethel Is Good Reading

Several interesting posts recently at Ethel the Blog, not that that's unusual, but if you haven't been reading over there, now's a good time to start. Recent posts concern Kim Philby and moles, Bush Sr. pardons of dubious distinction, and Cheney's dealings with Iran, among other things.

Leave the Buddhas Alone

Taleban destroying 2000 year old Buddhas. (story at

Wednesday, February 28, 2001

Video Game Violence

Christi sends along this article which has the same old take on video game violence, but with a a giant robot twist!

Fall News

Fun reading at Fall News (watered down about MES's run in with his (ex-?)wife/girlfriend/bandmate and the law. An excerpt:
According to a report filed on Rocktropolis Allstar News at the time, Mr. Smith spent the night in jail, was arraigned on misdemeanor assault charges the next morning, pleaded not guilty, was released and basically went AWOL. The group disbanded. Asked what caused the fracas, their tour manager replied, "Getting the truth out of [Smith] is basically impossible. He's pretty much inebriated all of the time. I don't think he's got a thread of reality running through his life right now."

It's Fine When Their Guy Does It

Salon article about the senior Bush's questionable pardons. Where's the media outcry? Will Poppy Bush be forced to face a panel of Senators? (link via Q)

Friday, February 23, 2001

All Your Base (link enriched)

All your base are belong to us ...
Somebody set up us the bomb.

Mighty UCONN

118-44 is nuts; even nuttier is seeing the Big Rig score game high.


Another article about video games and violence. This is about proposed CT legislation to ban those under 18 from playing games that simulate killing in public places (arcades) using the rationale that the games are training kids to kill by desensitizing them to violence.

Wednesday, February 21, 2001

Rent/mortgage payment too high?

Consider living in your car. The site doesn't have the desperate, poverty-line aesthetic I expected in following the link from kottke.

Thursday, February 15, 2001

Molly on Health Care

Molly Ivins writes about the health care privacy regs about to go into effect. She also comments on Warren Buffet and the estate tax, complementing Mark's link below.

They May Be On To Something

Russians attempting to outlaw commercials. Their reasoning: movies are art and shouldn't be tampered with, and, rich people don't need help deciding what they want and poor people can't afford the stuff anyways. (via tv tattle)

Monday, February 12, 2001

Lloyd Cole avec un beret

Lloyd Cole's new album, The Negatives has been released by a French record label. This is the artsy, wine and cheese equivalent of being so industrial/techno/rage-core that only a German label will release your records.

Stossel Is A Goon

FAIR on ABC's John Stossel. One of my biggest pet peeves is whining about the "liberal media." Apparently, one of Stossel's is being expected to cite facts.

Unsinkable Molly

A Molly Ivins article about Bush's cabinet: Rod Paige's credentials are discussed, including his support of Channel One in schools.

Home Security

Burglars caught on webcam. Works great until they decide they're going to steal the computer.


XFL ratings woes.

Tuesday, February 6, 2001

The Movie Of My Life

Have you ever thought about the movie about your life that some great director should be making? That sleazebag, Larry Flynt, got one … don’t you deserve one? I know I do. Who would direct it? Who’d play you?

For my story, I think I’d need a director deft at taking the mundane and finding the “hidden” drama/comedy in it. I think Bill (“Local Hero”) Forsythe might be able to do me justice. If he were unavailable, I think I’d pitch it to Jim (“A Night on Earth”/”Ghost Dog”) Jarmusch. He’s a bit of a space case and I don’t think I’d want to be on set and listen to his artsy, hokum-speak, but he turns out some good flix. He might not like the working title, "C-Dog", after having made "Ghost Dog", on account of not wanting to be stereotyped as a “Dog” director.

The big thing though is: who plays me? That’s a tough call. I think Duchovny might be able to pull it off, but he looks a little “weasely,” if you know what I mean. I think I might have to play myself. I like Peter Falk or Jeremy (the BBC’s Sherlock Holmes) Brett to play me in my old age. The young C-Dog is the hardest to cast. Haley (“I see dead people.”) Osment would be an obvious candidate, but child actors, not to malign the art, all seem pretty much the same. I think you could take pretty much any kid off the street, skinny with brown hair, and he’d fill the bill. It might be a little avant-garde, but I think it might be interesting to have the young me played by a chimpanzee with the voice dubbed in by a talented voice actor like James Doohan. I have some cruelty to animals based reservations about using a chimp though, so maybe it would be best to use the dead people kid, or, an animatronic chimp. It’s a toss-up.

The script, well, I think I’d have to work on that. I’d bring Christopher McQuarrie in to help, but I’d need final say.

Supporting characters:
Dat: Jackie Chan, with Garret Wang of Voyager as his understudy.
Mega: an orangutuan, animatronic.
Dionne: Benicio Del Toro.
Neil: Conan O’Brien.
Bea Fargo: Britney Spears.
Sean: Benny ‘The Jet’ Urquidez.
Desrosiers: Chris Rock.

Saturday, February 3, 2001

Helpul Hacker

Helpful Hacker Assists Cops. I wouldn't have linked this except the would-be suicide was wanted for domestic abuse, so I don't feel so bad for laughing. (link via 3na)

Thursday, February 1, 2001


Tennesse just beat UCONN. Groan. I never thought our girls'd lose two games this year.

Sunday, January 28, 2001

It's No USFL

XFL.COM Cheerleaders: The USFL had Steve Young, Herschel Walker, and Jim Kelly and was a disaster. I'm starting to think the WWF-ication of American culture is nearly complete and the XFL will be just as popular as the rasslers. (link via dack)

Terror Firmer

Terror Firmer: from the company that gave us "The Toxic Avenger." This is one of those pages you don't want to surf to while you're at work, or ever, if you're Joe Lieberman 'cause it'll just make feel all mad and legislative. There's also an interview with Lloyd Kaufmann at Salon that's a good read; for a demented wing-nut, the guy makes some good points.

The Mob in New England

The New England Mob: While writing the last post, I was listening to the tv downstairs where local prosecutors were being interviewed about the connection between the Irish mob and the FBI. The linked page has a group of stories about James "Whitey" Bulger, Stephen "the Rifleman" Flemmi, and the Patriarca crime family. Living in Rhode Island, I'm getting much more accustomed to hearing the phrase "alleged mafia ties" in the evening news. If only all those guys hadn't watched violent movies and tv when they were kids ... ~sigh~ it's such a tragedy Lieberman, et al., hadn't been active back in the day.

Fake Violence Fears

Senators Lieberman, Kohl, and Brownback make some more noise about pursuing the least effective method of keeping people from shooting one another. Maybe, just maybe, we should be more concerned about the actual guns and worry a little less about movies and video games.

Brownback: "There is no longer a question as to whether exposing children to violent entertainment is a public health risk. The question is: What are we going to do about it? What does it take for the entertainment industry and its licensees and retailers to stop exposing children to poison?" Mega, Eleni, and others have already made the convincing (and in level-headed circles already pervasive) argument that the real question is, "what are parents going to do about actually parenting their children?" I don't feel like I need to expand on what others have articulated so well. Why is it the greatest form of political courage these guys can muster is to take on the merchants of representations of violence and not the actual merchants of violence?

Saturday, January 27, 2001

Friday, January 26, 2001

The Spaceman

They don't call him the Spaceman for nothing. Here's an old-ish interview with Bill Lee. You won't find the usual sports cliches.

Wednesday, January 24, 2001


Knopflerasaurus. When the "cool" kids in Jr. High School were listening to Def Leppard, old Led Zep records, and whatever else was big back then, I was a Dire Straits kinda guy. "Geek," I think is the term that applied. (thanks to Mike for the link)

Tuesday, January 23, 2001

Series 7

Well, I passed the Series 7 exam today, which basically means the SEC says I can keep my job and, as congratulations, I'll be getting the textbook so I can start studying for the Series 63 tomorrow.

I also just saw the notice about blogvoices shutting down. Damn! It looks like it may get hosted someplace else, so I'm not going to scrap the code yet, but if there's no news in a couple of days we'll probably have to start thinking about something new.

Monday, January 22, 2001


Soderbergh Nominated Twice by Directors Guild: which will is fine, but probably means he stands no chance of winning unless the voters rally around one over the other, which seems like it would be a hard thing to do. In any event, Ang Lee really should win for Crouching Tiger IMHO. I didn't see Almost Famous (and have no desire to) so I don't have much to say about Crowe's nomination, except that he sounded like a self-aggrandizing buffoon at the Golden Globe's and I don't think he needs to win anything else. As for Ridley Scott's nod for Gladiator, I'm just puzzled -- Gladiator was uneven at best.

Downhill Fast

Bush Says Will Sign Order Blocking Abortion Money: He's not wasting any time getting 'round to undoing everything Clinton did, is he?

Wisconsin Care Package

Just as I was hitting enter on the last post, the doorbell here at c-dog Mission Control rang (scaring the bejesus out of me because I don't think anyone's ever used it before) and guess what it was? The mailman had a box for me! I love when the mail is something other than credit card bills, threatening letters from tax collectors, and suchlike. What came was a care package from Wisconsin. No, not beer and cheese, but homemade jerky and cookies! Al makes great jerky and Christi makes these little cookies with cranberries and chocolate chips in them that I love and they both came in the same box, which was a pleasant surprise. Thanks guys!!

OK, now I've messed around on the internet enough and have to get back to studying, which is ostensibly the reason I'm off work today in the first place.


Eleni Mandell - Official Site: Another quick music post because I picked up the Feb issue of CMJ today and am liking some of the tunes by artists with whom I'm unfamiliar. Dido and the aforementioned Eleni Mandell in particular. I probably wouldn't have picked up this issue (I don't enjoy CMJ that much anymore) except that Ms. Mandell shares her given name with Eleni, who is a favorite of the TC collective.

Worth Seeking Out

GARAGELAND: Hey Mega, here's good news. The reason you haven't been able to find a Garageland album is because one just hasn't been released here yet. Although, you've probably got most or all of the upcoming CD on mp3 anyways ...

Sunday, January 21, 2001

Politically Incorrect

Maher Lands in Doghouse.
"I don't think you ought to use the word 'retarded,'" said Sarah Ferguson, who shouted "boo" to interrupt Maher's rant. "They have a heart and soul," she added.

"They have a heart and a soul and a brain that's retarded," Maher snapped back.

NBC's "Later" host Cynthia Garrett said she has a "nephew who is retarded" whom she has "never thought of as a little dog."

"Well, maybe you should," Maher said.

It's hard to fault a guy who hosts a show called "Politically Incorrect" for speaking his mind ... well, actually, no. Turns out it's not that hard after all. (link via tvtattle)

Saturday, January 20, 2001


Mega, J.R.. and I went to see Snatch tonight down in Warwick. Excellent movie. (I'll post a meta review to CZ tomorrow night.) Funny stuff: we went out drinking after. My buddy J.R. tried to match Mega and I drink for drink. He's never lived in Wisconsin and didn't go to UCONN, so he's what non-Cheeseheads and non-Huskies would call a lightweight. He had to sit out a round and still I had to pull over twice on the way home for him to boot on the side of my car. A cop pulled up behind me the second time, concerned for J.R.'s health. He said, "you seem fine," and really I was, "but is your friend going to be OK?" I assured the trooper he'd not be driving ... and, true to my word, J.R. is currently downstairs sawing zzz's on the pull-out sleeper. My favorite quote of the night: J.R. saying, "I don't know what was in that last shot of 151, but I'm drunk off my ass. Could you pull over so I can throw-up?" Second favorite: J.R. calling home to say, "I'm fucking hammered. I'll be homeinthemorningbye." I'm trying to remember the last time I was as drunk as J.R. is now and I think it might be the time I hurled orange all over Desrosiers' bathroom prior to the ... it wasn't the Jayhawks, maybe the Old 97's show? ... at the Student Union.

Wednesday, January 17, 2001


Ted Williams:
Official Website: doesn't do him justice. Not even a mention of his condition in the "news" section.
Salon article: a well researched retrospective.
The most recent news from the Boston Globe.
Ted's page at the Hall of Fame site.

Ted's a fascinating guy. Driven, but "flakey." Brash and arrogant, but compassionate and big-hearted. He's 82 now and in failing health, so it's unlikely it'll ever happen, but I've always thought it would be cool, if I ever had a kid, to pass Ted Williams on the street and tell my child "there goes the greatest hitter who ever lived" just loud enough for Williams to hear, and to just keep going without bugging him for an autograph. That's how he'd like to be remembered and I hope it's how he will be, not only because it's true, but also because he deserves credit for his support of the Jimmy Fund and for helping prod the Hall of Fame into acknowledging the Negro League ballplayers who weren't in the Hall only because they weren't given a chance to play.


Following up on my earlier post about the nominees: Kirby Puckett and Dave Winfield will be inducted into the Hall of Fame. I was hoping Jim Ed would make it in this year, but these are deserving players. (discovered the results via windowseat)

Tuesday, January 16, 2001

Mini Me

I made a c-dog mini-fella like all the hip bloggers have been doing. A little less square in the jaw, a little more pot in the belly, properly colored eyes, and you'd have a fair idea what I look like.
click here to make your own

BJU (Giggling)

Find out what Bob Jones University has to say for itself. I wanted to, but I got scared and I left. The creepy guy who wanted me to follow a quick link wasn't very convincing.

Monday, January 15, 2001

Huskies Tipped

Omigosh. UConn's losing 75-59 with 5 minutes to go! They have a 30 game win streak on the line and traditionally whoop up on Notre Dame. This is more shocking than the Giants spanking Minnesota.

Super Bowl Prediction

My question is: can you really call it a "Super" Bowl if the opposing quarterbacks are Trent "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, Trent Dilfer Is From Uranus" Dilfer and Kerry "I'm only racist when I'm liquored up" Collins? Prediction: Ravens win 2-0.

Saturday, January 13, 2001

Best of 2000

Mega and I went into Providence last night to see Frank Black play the Met Cafe but we didn't plan ahead and the show was sold out. Bummer. I'll come back and add links if I can find good ones to the following list of my favorite albums of 2000; I'll trust until then you are capable of using google if you're curious.

My Top Albums of 2000 (in no particular order):

Cinerama, Disco Volante.
Death Cab for Cutie, We Have the Facts and We're Voting Yes.
The Halo Benders, The Rebels Not In.
The Mighty, Mighty Bosstones, Pay Attention.
Modest Mouse, The Moon and Antarctica.
Wyclef Jean, Ecleftic.
Yo La Tengo, And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out.

Friday, January 12, 2001

The Art of the Commercial

I'm puzzled by the new-ish McDonald's commercial with the guy that uses his soiled food wrapper to wrap other things, including a chair in his workshop? What does he have a school desk in his garage/workshop for anyways? What the hell is that commercial about?? All I get from it is: "if you eat our tainted meat products, you will develop a disgusting obsessive-compulsive disorder."

Hall Voting

The writers vote for entry into The Hall this weekend. Of the current crop, I'm for: Blyleven, Concepcion, Garvey, Guidry, Morris, Murphy, Puckett, Rice, Stewart, Tiant, Whitaker, and Winfield with most preference for the bolds and some minor reservations about the others. Andy Van Slyke???? I don't know how some of these guys got on the ballot.

Baby Pix

This is making the rounds: search a database for your nursery photo from the hospital where you were born.

O'Cayz Is Not Okay

Christi sent me a link to photos of post-apocalypse O'Cayz.

Wednesday, January 10, 2001

Sorkin Characters

Dana was on the West Wing tonight! The more like Sports Night, the better. (I can't wait for the anti-SN rant from Mega to show in the comment box.) Found the Who Would You Kill? site until tonight when I was searching for a relevant link. I wonder how Peter feels about Tara coming in 4th at the Buffy kill page?

Tuesday, January 9, 2001

Saturday, January 6, 2001

UCONN Squeaker

After dogging it for a half, our boys are stepping up. Selvie's getting plenty of opportunities to do his patented little bicep pat after making a strong bucket. As Arizona found out, St. John's is learning that it is going to be awful hard to beat UConn at Storrs. Every entry pass has been an adventure for the Johnnies in the last five minutes, if UConn's interior D holds together, I'm liking their chances of keeping this lead ...
OT now. I got one new grey hair with each tenth of a second those last four seconds when it wasn't clear Butler knew how little time he had to shoot. What a clutch 3. Amazing.
Done now, 82-80 UConn. Whew. Not in the mood to study now.
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