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.
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