Sunday, October 31, 2004

Rock me like a hurricane ... please?

The wife and I braved a swarm of costumed, underage, commercial radio listeners last night in order to see Jet live. The dirty Aussie lads have played precious few gigs in the U.S. this year, so the 99X Halloween show was our only sure shot to see them.

If you don't know Jet - they are some serious rockin' mofos. And herein lies my problem with the show last night. Somebody turned down the volume.

We were standing about 10 yards from a serious speaker stack, but we were not rocked. It was more like being at an American Bandstand taping than a rock-n-roll show.

In my mind, there are some basic truths of live rock-n-roll (I'm talking real rock. Green Day, not Ashlee Simpson for you radio fans):

• Standing right next to a speaker stack will be uncomfortable for all but the most hardcore fans.

• Sensitive ponytail guys (OK, not many sensitive men have ponytails anymore, but you know who I'm talking about) will use the foam earplugs they carry around when they see live music.

• At least one pair of young girls who start the show near the stage will head quickly toward the back with their hands over their ears.

• When the bass player pounds hard on a naked E, your teeth will rattle.

• When the singer screams, it will hurt you.

• If the band happens to have a song most of the audience knows, never will the audience singing be heard over the band.

• When you leave the show, your ears are ringing.

• When you wake up the next morning, your ears are ringing.

None of this was true of the show last night. And these truths should apply to Jet, and to The Donnas, who opened up for them.

So what's the deal? I have a couple of theories:

• Either the station or the venue (The Tabernacle) is worried about lawsuits for damaged hearing, especially with an all-ages show.

• Like most things in America today, modern-day mass-market live "rock" is a wussified version of what it used to be. In other words, most people who go to these shows want the volume turned down.

• Maybe the sound just sucked.

I don't know the answer, and fortunately Jet is a very rare example of a popular band I'd actually want to see live.

But last night's show makes me hope Rocket From The Crypt gets back on the road soon. After their Echo Lounge show a couple of years ago, I couldn't hear myself think for a month.

Friday, October 29, 2004

2 bits, 4 bits, 6 bits, a dollar. All for the Tigers, sit down and be quiet

I'd never really noticed the little area of Tiger Stadium's student section where everybody sits down during the game. But my buddy Scott pointed it out during the Troy game last weekend.

Sure enough, while almost all of the student section (the northwest part of the stadium) is a stand-on-the-bleachers-the-whole-game kind of place, there was a little patch in the back of the endzone where everybody sat quietly.

And almost all the students there were black.

The Reveille has a front page piece on the sit-down section today. Of course, in typical "save the world" college journalism fashion, the story plays up the racial aspects of black students who sit getting mad at white students who stand.

One part of the piece mentions the "white" state trooper who tells a "white" student to sit down. I'm not sure of the point of that, and other cops referenced in the piece are not racially identified.

Anyway, two points of Wisdom to raise here:

1) If this area is historically the "sit-down" section, don't be a jackass. If you don't want to sit, just move. They are always in this specific area, and they always sit. Again, don't be a jackass.

2) What's with these black students wanting to sit at LSU football games? Are they all just really lame and happen to share the same skin pigment? There are plenty of black students who occupy the regular standing sections, so maybe it's a black fraternity / sorority kind of thing. A lot of white frat boys dress up to go to games, and I think that's pretty stupid, too.

It would have been nice if The Reveille had tried to explain the appeal of sitting, rather than just implying that the stadium is "segregated" because black students have always sat there. But that's probabl too much to ask from Jessica's bosses.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Damn, you girls are fat!

So there's this new CDC study out today that compares the average height and weight of Americans in 1960 to those in 2002.

Of course, Americans are much fatter and only a little taller now. But here's the stat that really floored me:

The average American woman is 5'4" and weighs 164 pounds.

Damn! Since when did Star Jones become the standard-issue American woman?

I know you ladies all weigh more than it looks like you do. And 164 pounds isn't really "big" if you're like 5'7" or taller. What matters is how you carry the weight, not the number of pounds you're displacing. And constantly seeing models who are 5'10" and weigh 125 pounds makes you all think you're fat.

But 5'4", 164 is the average? That's wild.

[editor's note: Cap'n Ken does not actually think you girls are fat. The sensational headline on this piece is intended solely to sell more papers.]

GTA San Andreas

The wife and I busted the seal on Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas last night, and as she mentioned, Lieberman is going to freak.

With about two hours of gameplay under my belt, I've discovered the following:

• The dialogue (Samuel Jackson is among the voice talent) goes way out of its way to drop F-bombs whenever possible.

• The soundtrack features every rap song ever released that has F-bombs in it.

• It's much easier and more fun to kill people in San Andreas.

• A "pimping" mission has been added.

• Hidden in the bathroom of one of the police stations is a huge, purple, two-headed dildo.

So here's my prediction - after the election is done (which could be mid-December considering this "provisional ballot" nonsense), Lieberman will come down hard on the language and violence, and Jesse Jackson will decry the portrayal of African-Americans in the game.

And it'll sell twice as many copies as Vice City.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

The Wisdom on the move

Back up the U-Haul, friend. The Wisdom is moving.

That's right. The Wisdom has a new home:

http://www.capnken.com/wisdom

Why the move? Well ... why not? I've got a better chance of achieving my goal of world domination if I'm publishing at my own URL, right?

You'll notice that The New Wisdom is living under its own directory (/wisdom/), so you would be correct to infer that capnken.com may eventually host more than just The Wisdom. What else might that be? Dunno, exactly, but it gives me room to play.

So what, loyal Wisdom reader, does this move mean to you?

Well, first of all, it means you should start reading The Wisdom at http://www.capnken.com/wisdom. The entire Wisdom archive is mirrored there now, and during this transitional period, I'll be posting everything in both places.

If you feel moved to comment on a post, I'd recommend commenting at the new place, as ultimately the old site comments will disappear.

Second, if you monitor The Wisdom's RSS feed (and you should), the new feed is http://feeds.feedburner.com/wisdom. So update that in your RSS reader.

Third, if you are kind enough to link to The Wisdom, please update your link to http://www.capnken.com/wisdom.

I don't have a specific timetable for killing The Wisdom's Blogger site, as I hope to ramp up links to the new home before I cut off the gravy train of Pivik and Charmin Bear traffic here. But I'll continue to remind y'all of the move and give subtle little hints (like removing comments) for those of you who continue to hang around.

Thank you for your continued support.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

This week with Dr. Jessica

I had another moment of clarity about Jessica Pivik in reading her latest column (which the Reveille had the good sense not to link to) today.

I think she takes herself seriously.

Jessica may actually believe her column is important and helps LSU students (who don't know what Google is) understand the important sexual issues of the day. I hadn't realized that before.

But she closes this week's Googlefest with the line "I hope I informed those who are curious about [subject removed] with facts that help them make an appropriate decision that’s right for them."

And over the past few weeks, Jessica's "shocking" Carrie Bradshaw ripoff lines have given way to stats, (stolen) quotes from experts and detailed instructions.

Perhaps her "fame" has gone to her head, and - just like Dr. Phil - she fancies herself an expert because of it.

Or maybe she just ran out of Carrie lines and had to come up with a different angle.

This week's Pivik: read it yourself

Sunday, October 24, 2004

"Cap'n Ken has left the building ..."

Thanks to all of you down in Baton Rouge who came out for "The Wisdom - LIVE!" tour stop this weekend. I'm sorry we ran short on the "I F*cked Jessica Pivik" t-shirts and "Pray for Cap'n Ken" trucker hats, but they'll be back in stock soon.

OK, I was really just down there for a football game, but at times it seemed more like a Cap'n Ken Meetup. I got MP3 player advice, yet another reminder to correct the spelling of "Phenylalanine" in my bit on Diet Coke addiction and discovered that The Wisdom has found its way into the offices of many more LSU staffers that I would have imagined.

When I pulled up for lunch Friday, my LSU buddy (and campus mole) John was excited to see the Maxima, and "you gotta blog this" was a constant refrain.

The Cap'n is much more interesting and entertaining than real-world Ken, I suppose. I can live with that.

OK, so on to weekend highlights, thoughts and random ramblings.

The Game - In pretty much all aspects, LSU football this weekend was uninspired. That's to be expected when Troy comes to town, but from the smaller-than-normal tailgate scene to the semi-empty stadium to the halfassed performance by the Tigers, it was a sub-par effort. Not that it wasn't a great time, but we never hit "the magic" (as my Gator pal Oz says of The Swamp).

The West Side - Scott scored us some great seats (46 yard line, 22 rows up behind the LSU bench), but as he warned, the crowd around us was dead. It's mostly high-roller booster types, and they're just not much fun. I'll look for seats near the North Endzone next time.

It's a Small Town, After All - One of the tailgates Scott wanted to hit was that of a friend of his from work. My buddy John had also invited me to his tailgate, which turned out to be the same one Scott had planned to hit. Also, I learned that our pal Brad bought a house that's on the same block as the house my pal Dave grew up in and that one of the LSU folks I had lunch with is good friends with my stepfather's ex-wife. And did I mention that my sister is married to my best friend's uncle?

Anne McCue at Starbucks - No, not Anne herself (obviously, since I did come home). But when I stumbled into a Baton Rouge Starbucks this morning, "I Want You Back" was playing on the store stereo. The java slingers couldn't tell me what CD they were playing, but I've since discovered that other songs of hers are featured on a couple of Starbucks complilation CDs. So the world's biggest coffee chain is working for the McCue cause. I'm glad to hear that.

The Court - OK, this is a touchy one. This weekend was LSU Homecoming. Not to offend, but I was a little surprised that I was able to so easily pick out the female members of our Homecoming Court (who were assembled in the northwest corner of the field) from my seat about 65 yards away. And it wasn't because they were the ones wearing fancy dresses. Get my drift? For Homecoming Queen contestants, they were - well - a bit chunky. Not that there's anything wrong with chunky chicks. And in the grand scheme of things, most of them would be considered pretty much normal-size girls. But LSU has an abundance of extremely attractive co-eds (believe me, I saw about 5,000 of them during the weekend), so I'm wondering how these ladies - wonderful girls, all, I'm sure - ended up on the court. Maybe it's the same dynamic that's gotten Miss America kicked off network TV. Are people just sick of seeing the really pretty girls get crowns and sashes? In Reality TV America, does an inspiring story, handicap or other hook count for more than beauty? I'm not sure.

6:31 - My time today from College Drive at I-10 in Baton Rouge to Moreland Avenue at I-20 in Atlanta. MapPoint tells me that's 525 miles and should take 8:23. Work the math, and I averaged about 80.75 miles an hour, including two stops.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Ken Takes Five

Flyin' through Dothan with my radio / Taylor's Old Time Opry's playin' Hank Snow ...

OK, that's a pretty obscure Georgia Satellites reference. And I'm flyin' through Atmore, not Dothan. And Hank Snow's hard to find, even on Sirius.

But it's been too long since I've done some stupid/fun crap like step off a 4-hour flight at 5:30 a.m. and head straight off to Baton Rouge to meet folks for lunch. So I'm enjoying it.

Tailgating and LSU football tomorrow (3 games in 3 different cities in 4 weeks), then back home Sunday to resume a normal life, at least until Nov. 13, when I tote the wife down for the Bama game ...

Gosh I'm looking forward to this flight

For those of you not up to date on The Cap'n's travels, I'm sitting at LAX (9:50 p.m. local time) waiting for a red-eye back to Atlanta.

When I get back to Hartsfield, I'm driving straight down to Baton Rouge for the LSU game.

The plan: get some sleep on the plane.

The problem: the plane is full (of people coming back east from Hawaii), and right now The Cap'n has a middle-seat assignment.

Not the best recipe for a decent half-night's sleep.

Somebody call me around 10 tomorrow morning and make sure I didn't miss I-10 and drive into Mobile Bay.

P.S. As nice as Hawaii may be, if I'm going to tote my ass across the country and then across the Pacific, I'm going to Fiji or something.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

It's snowing in L.A.

Well, not really. It's raining, and apparently rain in L.A. is like snow in Atlanta. Everybody freaks.

The news last night had reporters standing out in the rain like it was a hurricane, kicking at the four inches of water running down the gutter (they call this "street flooding"). They showed storefronts with sand bags in their doorways, although the water wasn't even over the curb.

Now, there are some big potential problems with six inches of rain falling in L.A. Mudslides are a real possibility in areas that were scorched with wildfires last summer, and just like Atlanta doesn't have a lot of snow plows, L.A. doesn't have the most robust storm-sewer system in the world.

But, people, come on.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Me? A Diet Coke problem?

I'm not used to getting lectured by stewardesses.

But on my flight to L.A. this morning, a friendly Delta gal took it upon herself to try to save The Cap'n from the evils of phenylketonurics.

During beverage service, her response to my request for a full can of Diet Coke was something to the effect of "you really should be careful about drinking too much of this stuff." This was before she noticed the (empty) 20-ounce bottle of DC I'd brought on board with me.

She ended up telling me all about how she used to drink Diet Coke and that it "really messed me up." I didn't ask her to elaborate.

By the time we were somewhere over New Mexico and I went back to ask her for another DC, she was getting really worried about me.

"How about some water? You need to flush your system", she said. I reminded her that Diet Coke is mostly water anyway, so I'm plenty flushed already.

I know there are a lot of people who think aspartame will kill you, and it is somewhat disconcerting that Diet Coke cans carry the notice "PHENYLKETONURICS: CONTAINS PHENYLALINE".

(editor's note: I have no idea what that means, but it can't be good. You never see notices like "PUPPIES: CONTAINS CUTE MUTTS" or "FRESH AIR: CONTAINS MOUNTAIN BREEZE".)

But the way I figure it, I used to drink as much or more regular Coke than the Diet Coke I drink now. And high-fructose corn syrup has to be worse for you than phenylaline, right?

Monday, October 18, 2004

"Jessica Pivik, please come to the Dean's office"

You know, I make fun of Jessica Pivik for lifting the "sources" for her pointless sex column from Google searches, but reading her column this morning, I was struck with a question:

Is Jessica guilty of academic misconduct because of her plagiarism?

The LSU Code of Conduct cites as a specific example of "Academic Misconduct":
Committing Plagiarism. "Plagiarism" is defined as the unacknowledged inclusion of someone else's words, structure, ideas, or data. When a student submits work as his/her own that includes the words, structure, ideas, or data of others, the source of this information must be acknowledged through complete, accurate, and specific references, and, if verbatim statements are included, through quotation marks as well. Failure to identify any source (including interviews, surveys, etc.), published in any medium (including on the internet) or unpublished, from which words, structure, ideas, or data have been taken, constitutes plagiarism

So if we look at Jessica's fascinating column on the female orgasm this week, we see a couple of questionable Google-fed citations.

The first is a quote from Dr. Jane Greer, who Jessica identifies as "a sex expert for Redbook magazine".
"Women who report having multiple orgasms also tend to have a high level of awareness about their bodies and what pleases them," says Dr. Jane Greer, a sex expert for Redbook magazine.

Googling that entire quote reveals that it was lifted from a Redbook column called "Jane Greer Let's Talk About Sex".

But Jessica doesn't cite the quote as "Jane Greer, a sex expert for Redbook magazine said in a recent column". Her reference implies that she interviewed Dr. Greer ("says" in journalism-talk means someone said this to you). I don't think that's a "complete, accurate and specific" citation of the source of this material.

Jessica also "quotes" Dr. Laura Berman, who is the director of a sex clinic in Chicago.
"What vibrators give women is a tool to take charge of their sexuality, either to improve what they have or get back what they lost." says Dr. Laura Berman, a sex therapist and director of Chicago's Berman Center.

Googling that quote shows that it comes from a Chicago Sun-Times column written by Dr. Bergman. Again, the context of "says Dr. Laura Berman" is much different than "wrote Dr. Laura Berman in a Chicago Sun-Times column".

But Jessica did get one attribution right. She cites a Masters & Johnson quote as coming from a book, which is the ethically-correct way to cite such second-hand material. Of course, Dr. Masters is dead, so it would be harder for Reveille readers to believe Jessica talked to him.

I don't know if Jessica is getting course credit for her Reveille work (if she is, she's clearly engaging in academic misconduct), but isn't it about time somebody at the Reveille call her on this plagairism? It reflects bad on those of us who graduated from the LSU Journalism program.

Gosh I hope I run into Jessica when I'm down in Baton Rouge this weekend.

Jon Stewart - Tucker Carlson melee

Over at That Yellow Bastard this morning, Jimmy was praising Jon Stewart for dressing down Tucker Carlson on CNN's Crossfire. I have to admit, I'd heard nothing about it (the wife's sister and boyfriend were in town this weekend).

So I went out and found the transcript at CNN.com. I'm presenting the Stewart segment below in (almost) its entirety because it's beautiful. Yes, Stewart is a leftist. Yes, he sucked up to John Kerry. But he's dead spot on about being sick of the Crossfires of the world.

[editor's note: I've put the really good parts in bold italics for your easy reference.]
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the CROSSFIRE Jon Stewart.

STEWART: Thank you.

CARLSON: Thank you for joining us.

STEWART: Thank you very much. That was very kind of you to say.

Can I say something very quickly? Why do we have to fight?

(LAUGHTER)

STEWART: The two of you? Can't we just -- say something nice about John Kerry right now.

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: I like John. I care about John Kerry.

STEWART: And something about President Bush.

BEGALA: He'll be unemployed soon?

(LAUGHTER)

BEGALA: I failed the test. I'm sorry.

CARLSON: See, I made the effort anyway.

BEGALA: No, actually, I knew Bush in Texas a little bit. And the truth is, he's actually a great guy. He's not a very good president. But he's actually a very good person. I don't think you should have to hate to oppose somebody, but it makes it easier.

(LAUGHTER)

STEWART: Why do you argue, the two of you?

(LAUGHTER)

STEWART: I hate to see it.

CARLSON: We enjoy it.

STEWART: Let me ask you a question.

CARLSON: Well, let me ask you a question first.

STEWART: All right.

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON: Is John Kerry -- is John Kerry really the best? I mean, John Kerry has...

(CROSSTALK)

STEWART: Is he the best? I thought Lincoln was good.

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON: Is he the best the Democrats can do?

STEWART: Is he the best the Democrats can do?

CARLSON: Yes, this year of the whole field.

STEWART: I had always thought, in a democracy -- and, again, I don't know -- I've only lived in this country -- that there's a process. They call them primaries.

CARLSON: Right.

STEWART: And they don't always go with the best, but they go with whoever won. So is he the best? According to the process.


CARLSON: Right. But of the nine guys running, who do you think was best. Do you think he was the best, the most impressive?

STEWART: The most impressive?

CARLSON: Yes.

STEWART: I thought Al Sharpton was very impressive.

(LAUGHTER)

STEWART: I enjoyed his way of speaking.

I think, oftentimes, the person that knows they can't win is allowed to speak the most freely, because, otherwise, shows with titles, such as CROSSFIRE.

BEGALA: CROSSFIRE.

STEWART: Or "HARDBALL" or "I'm Going to Kick Your Ass" or...

(LAUGHTER)

STEWART: Will jump on it.

In many ways, it's funny. And I made a special effort to come on the show today, because I have privately, amongst my friends and also in occasional newspapers and television shows, mentioned this show as being bad.

(LAUGHTER)

BEGALA: We have noticed.

STEWART: And I wanted to -- I felt that that wasn't fair and I should come here and tell you that I don't -- it's not so much that it's bad, as it's hurting America.

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON: But in its defense...

(CROSSTALK)

STEWART: So I wanted to come here today and say...

(CROSSTALK)

STEWART: Here's just what I wanted to tell you guys.

CARLSON: Yes.

STEWART: Stop.

(LAUGHTER)

STEWART: Stop, stop, stop, stop hurting America.

BEGALA: OK. Now

(CROSSTALK)

STEWART: And come work for us, because we, as the people...

CARLSON: How do you pay?

STEWART: The people -- not well.

(LAUGHTER)

BEGALA: Better than CNN, I'm sure.

STEWART: But you can sleep at night.

(LAUGHTER)

STEWART: See, the thing is, we need your help. Right now, you're helping the politicians and the corporations. And we're left out there to mow our lawns.

BEGALA: By beating up on them? You just said we're too rough on them when they make mistakes.

STEWART: No, no, no, you're not too rough on them. You're part of their strategies. You are partisan, what do you call it, hacks.

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON: Wait, Jon, let me tell you something valuable that I think we do that I'd like to see you...

(CROSSTALK)

STEWART: Something valuable?

CARLSON: Yes.

(CROSSTALK)

STEWART: I would like to hear it.

CARLSON: And I'll tell you.

When politicians come on...

STEWART: Yes.

CARLSON: It's nice to get them to try and answer the question. And in order to do that, we try and ask them pointed questions. I want to contrast our questions with some questions you asked John Kerry recently.

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: ... up on the screen.

STEWART: If you want to compare your show to a comedy show, you're more than welcome to.

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON: No, no, no, here's the point.

(CROSSTALK)

STEWART: If that's your goal.

CARLSON: It's not.

STEWART: I wouldn't aim for us. I'd aim for "Seinfeld." That's a very good show.

CARLSON: Kerry won't come on this show. He will come on your show.

STEWART: Right.

CARLSON: Let me suggest why he wants to come on your show.

STEWART: Well, we have civilized discourse.

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON: Well, here's an example of the civilized discourse.

Here are three of the questions you asked John Kerry.

STEWART: Yes.

CARLSON: You have a chance to interview the Democratic nominee. You asked him questions such as -- quote -- "How are you holding up? Is it hard not to take the attacks personally?"

STEWART: Yes.

CARLSON: "Have you ever flip-flopped?" et cetera, et cetera.

STEWART: Yes.

CARLSON: Didn't you feel like -- you got the chance to interview the guy. Why not ask him a real question, instead of just suck up to him?

STEWART: Yes. "How are you holding up?" is a real suck-up. And I actually giving him a hot stone massage as we were doing it.

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON: It sounded that way. It did.

STEWART: You know, it's interesting to hear you talk about my responsibility.

CARLSON: I felt the sparks between you.

STEWART: I didn't realize that -- and maybe this explains quite a bit.

CARLSON: No, the opportunity to...

(CROSSTALK)

STEWART: ... is that the news organizations look to Comedy Central for their cues on integrity.

(LAUGHTER)

(CROSSTALK)

STEWART: So what I would suggest is, when you talk about you're holding politicians' feet to fire, I think that's disingenuous. I think you're...

CARLSON: "How are you holding up?" I mean, come on.

(CROSSTALK)

STEWART: No, no, no. But my role isn't, I don't think...

CARLSON: But you can ask him a real question, don't you think, instead of saying...

(CROSSTALK)

STEWART: I don't think I have to. By the way, I also asked him, "Were you in Cambodia?" But I didn't really care.

(LAUGHTER)

STEWART: Because I don't care, because I think it's stupid.

CARLSON: I can tell.

(CROSSTALK)

STEWART: But my point is this. If your idea of confronting me is that I don't ask hard-hitting enough news questions, we're in bad shape, fellows. (LAUGHTER)

CARLSON: We're here to love you, not confront you.

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: We're here to be nice.

STEWART: No, no, no, but what I'm saying is this. I'm not. I'm here to confront you, because we need help from the media and they're hurting us. And it's -- the idea is...

(APPLAUSE)

(CROSSTALK)

BEGALA: Let me get this straight. If the indictment is -- if the indictment is -- and I have seen you say this -- that...

STEWART: Yes.

BEGALA: And that CROSSFIRE reduces everything, as I said in the intro, to left, right, black, white.

STEWART: Yes.

BEGALA: Well, it's because, see, we're a debate show.

STEWART: No, no, no, no, that would be great.

BEGALA: It's like saying The Weather Channel reduces everything to a storm front.

STEWART: I would love to see a debate show.

BEGALA: We're 30 minutes in a 24-hour day where we have each side on, as best we can get them, and have them fight it out.

STEWART: No, no, no, no, that would be great. To do a debate would be great. But that's like saying pro wrestling is a show about athletic competition.

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON: Jon, Jon, Jon, I'm sorry. I think you're a good comedian. I think your lectures are boring.

STEWART: Yes.

CARLSON: Let me ask you a question on the news.

STEWART: Now, this is theater. It's obvious. How old are you?

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: Thirty-five. STEWART: And you wear a bow tie.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

CARLSON: Yes, I do. I do.

STEWART: So this is...

CARLSON: I know. I know. I know. You're a...

(CROSSTALK)

STEWART: So this is theater.

CARLSON: Now, let me just...

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: Now, come on.

STEWART: Now, listen, I'm not suggesting that you're not a smart guy, because those are not easy to tie.

CARLSON: They're difficult.

(LAUGHTER)

STEWART: But the thing is that this -- you're doing theater, when you should be doing debate, which would be great.

BEGALA: We do, do...

(CROSSTALK)

STEWART: It's not honest. What you do is not honest. What you do is partisan hackery. And I will tell you why I know it.

CARLSON: You had John Kerry on your show and you sniff his throne and you're accusing us of partisan hackery?

STEWART: Absolutely.

CARLSON: You've got to be kidding me. He comes on and you...

(CROSSTALK)

STEWART: You're on CNN. The show that leads into me is puppets making crank phone calls.

(LAUGHTER)

STEWART: What is wrong with you?

(APPLAUSE) CARLSON: Well, I'm just saying, there's no reason for you -- when you have this marvelous opportunity not to be the guy's butt boy, to go ahead and be his butt boy. Come on. It's embarrassing.

STEWART: I was absolutely his butt boy. I was so far -- you would not believe what he ate two weeks ago.

(LAUGHTER)

(CROSSTALK)

STEWART: You know, the interesting thing I have is, you have a responsibility to the public discourse, and you fail miserably.

CARLSON: You need to get a job at a journalism school, I think.

STEWART: You need to go to one.

The thing that I want to say is, when you have people on for just knee-jerk, reactionary talk...

CARLSON: Wait. I thought you were going to be funny. Come on. Be funny.

STEWART: No. No. I'm not going to be your monkey.

(LAUGHTER)

BEGALA: Go ahead. Go ahead.

STEWART: I watch your show every day. And it kills me.

CARLSON: I can tell you love it.

STEWART: It's so -- oh, it's so painful to watch.

(LAUGHTER)

STEWART: You know, because we need what you do. This is such a great opportunity you have here to actually get politicians off of their marketing and strategy.

CARLSON: Is this really Jon Stewart? What is this, anyway?

STEWART: Yes, it's someone who watches your show and cannot take it anymore.

(LAUGHTER)

STEWART: I just can't.

CARLSON: What's it like to have dinner with you? It must be excruciating. Do you like lecture people like this or do you come over to their house and sit and lecture them; they're not doing the right thing, that they're missing their opportunities, evading their responsibilities? STEWART: If I think they are.

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON: I wouldn't want to eat with you, man. That's horrible.

STEWART: I know. And you won't. But the thing I want to get to...

BEGALA: We did promise naked pictures of the Supreme Court justices.

CARLSON: Yes, we did. Let's get to those.

(CROSSTALK)

BEGALA: They're in this book, which is a very funny book.

STEWART: Why can't we just talk -- please, I beg of you guys, please.

CARLSON: I think you watch too much CROSSFIRE.

We're going to take a quick break.

STEWART: No, no, no, please.

CARLSON: No, no, hold on. We've got commercials.

(CROSSTALK)

STEWART: Please. Please stop.

CARLSON: Next, Jon Stewart in the "Rapid Fire."

STEWART: Please stop.

CARLSON: Hopefully, he'll be here, we hope, we think.



CARLSON: Welcome back to CROSSFIRE.

We're talking to Jon Stewart, who was just lecturing us on our moral inferiority.

Jon, you're bumming us out. Tell us, what do you think about the Bill O'Reilly vibrator story?

STEWART: I'm sorry. I don't.

CARLSON: Oh, OK.

STEWART: What do you think?

BEGALA: Let me change the subject.

STEWART: Where's your moral outrage on this?

CARLSON: I don't have any.

STEWART: I know.

BEGALA: Which candidate do you suppose would provide you better material?

STEWART: I'm sorry?

BEGALA: Which candidate do you suppose would provide you better material if he won?

STEWART: Mr. T. I think he'd be the funniest. I don't...

(LAUGHTER)

BEGALA: Don't you have a stake in it that way, as not just a citizen, but as a professional comic?

(CROSSTALK)

STEWART: Right, which I hold to be much more important than as a citizen.

BEGALA: Well, there you go.

(LAUGHTER)

BEGALA: But who would you provide you better material, do you suppose?

STEWART: I don't really know. That's kind of not how we look at it. We look at, the absurdity of the system provides us the most material. And that is best served by sort of the theater of it all, you know, which, by the way, thank you both, because it's been helpful.

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON: But, if Kerry gets elected, is it going to -- you have said you're voting for him. You obviously support him. It's clear. Will it be harder for you to mock his administration if he becomes president?

STEWART: No. Why would it be harder?

CARLSON: Because you support...

(CROSSTALK)

STEWART: The only way it would be harder is if his administration is less absurd than this one. So, in that case, if it's less absurd, then, yes, I think it would be harder.

But, I mean, it would be hard to top this group, quite frankly.

(LAUGHTER)

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

STEWART: In terms of absurdity and their world matching up to the one that -- you know, it was interesting. President Bush was saying, John Kerry's rhetoric doesn't match his record.

But I've heard President Bush describe his record. His record doesn't match his record.

(LAUGHTER)

STEWART: So I don't worry about it in that respect.

But let me ask you guys, again, a question, because we talked a little bit about, you're actually doing honest debate and all that. But, after the debates, where do you guys head to right afterwards?

CARLSON: The men's room.

STEWART: Right after that?

BEGALA: Home.

STEWART: Spin alley.

BEGALA: Home.

STEWART: No, spin alley.

BEGALA: What are you talking about? You mean at these debates?

STEWART: Yes. You go to spin alley, the place called spin alley. Now, don't you think that, for people watching at home, that's kind of a drag, that you're literally walking to a place called deception lane?

(LAUGHTER)

STEWART: Like, it's spin alley. It's -- don't you see, that's the issue I'm trying to talk to you guys...

BEGALA: No, I actually believe -- I have a lot of friends who work for President Bush. I went to college with some of them.

CARLSON: Neither of us was ever in the spin room, actually.

(BELL RINGING)

BEGALA: No, I did -- I went to do the Larry King show.

They actually believe what they're saying. They want to persuade you. That's what they're trying to do by spinning. But I don't doubt for a minute these people who work for President Bush, who I disagree with on everything, they believe that stuff, Jon. This is not a lie or a deception at all. They believe in him, just like I believe in my guy.

(CROSSTALK)

STEWART: I think they believe President Bush would do a better job.

And I believe the Kerry guys believe President Kerry would do a better job. But what I believe is, they're not making honest arguments. So what they're doing is, in their mind, the ends justify the means.

(CROSSTALK)

BEGALA: I don't think so at all.

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: I do think you're more fun on your show. Just my opinion.

(CROSSTALK)

CARLSON: OK, up next, Jon Stewart goes one on one with his fans...

(CROSSTALK)

STEWART: You know what's interesting, though? You're as big a dick on your show as you are on any show.

(LAUGHTER)

CARLSON: Now, you're getting into it. I like that.

STEWART: Yes.

CARLSON: OK. We'll be right back.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Longshot

My buddy Dave emailed me yesterday with what seemed to me to be a really stupid question:

"Hey, do you think LSU still has a shot to play in the SEC Championship?"

My reply - Um, no.

[editor's note: Football analysis follows. Ladies, please feel free to leave the room at this point.]

We lost to West rival Auburn, who happens to be undefeated and through the harder part (LSU and Tennessee) of their schedule. And LSU has lost two SEC games, meaning Auburn would have to lose three of their remaining five SEC games for LSU to take the West.

Or maybe not.

As Dave pointed out in a follow-up email, LSU's hope for a non-Peach Bowl Atlanta appearance rests with those nice rednecks up in Arkansas. If (and that's a big if) Auburn loses to Georgia, Arkansas wins out (except for the LSU game but including beating Auburn tomorrow) and LSU wins out, Arkansas, Auburn and LSU will all have two SEC losses, throwing the division into a three-way tiebreaker.

And then you go to the SEC three-team tiebreaker rules. When three or more teams are tied, the first step is to try to eliminate all but two of the teams with this formula:

1. Combined head-to-head record among the tied teams - In the above scenario, Arkansas would be 1-1, Auburn would be 1-1 and LSU would be 1-1. Next ...

2. Record of the tied teams within the division - Arkansas' division record would be 4-1, Auburn's would be 4-1 and LSU would be 4-1. Next ...

3. Head-to-head competition vs. the team within the division with the best overall (divisional and non-divisional) Conference record and proceeding through the division. Multiple ties within the division will be broken from first to last - (damn, starting to get tricky). OK, Arkansas, Auburn and LSU would all have the same conference record (6-2), so I guess it would go to who played better against Alabama or Ole Miss. But in my scenario, all three teams would have beaten Alabama, Ole Miss and Mississippi State. Next ...

4. Overall record vs. non-division teams - Arkansas would be 2-1, Auburn would be 2-1, LSU would be 2-1. Next ...

5. Combined record vs. all common non-divisional teams - The only common East opponent for all three teams is Georgia. Arkansas would be 1-0, Auburn 0-1, LSU 0-1. Can't eliminate anybody there. Next ...

6. Record vs. common non-divisional team with the best overall Conference (divisional and non-divisional) record and proceeding through other common non-divisional teams based on their order of finish within their division - Same deal as above. Just one common team. Next ...

7. The tied team with the highest ranking in the Bowl Championship Series Standings following the last weekend of regular-season games shall be the divisional representative in the SEC Championship Game, unless the second of the tied teams is ranked within five-or-fewer places of the highest ranked tied team. In this case, the head-to-head results of the top two ranked tied teams shall determine the representative in the SEC Championship Game - OK, now we're getting to the skinny. Basically, in this three-way tie, it'll come down to BCS rankings, which in the post "USC got screwed, man!" era, that means the AP and Coachs' polls. Right now, Auburn is No. 4, LSU is No. 20/21. Arkansas is unranked. Following the "logic" that drives human polls, LSU and Arkansas would be rising in the polls as they continue to win, and Auburn would fall as they lose the two games they need to lose to make all of this work. If No. 4 Auburn loses to unranked Arkansas tomorrow, there would be a pretty healthy fall, say to No. 10 or 11. Then Auburn's other loss would be Nov. 13, which would give LSU time to creep up past the Arizona States and Boise States of the world and likely pass Auburn. And LSU would finish the season by beating Arkansas, which would be ranked pretty well by then. The key would be the "five-or-fewer places" clause. If LSU is ranked above Auburn, but not by six places, Auburn will come to Atlanta because of the head-to-head. LSU should gain about five spots just from teams ahead of them losing, so going in to Nov. 13, LSU would be about 15 and Auburn would be about 11. A loss to a 6-3 Georgia would drop Auburn behind LSU, and a win over an 8-2 Arkansas on the final weekend should boost LSU a spot or two. So in the final analysis, LSU would probably need to rise to around No. 10 in order to win this last tie-break and get to the championship game.

Of course, none of this will matter when Auburn smacks up Arkansas tomorrow ...

Where the hell is everybody?

The wife and I (yes, we carpool) heading out for work at our regular time this morning, but apparently we're the only ones going to work today.

We crossed over I-20 on our sneaky back way to the Downtown Connector, and cars were just zipping along. Then we get on the Connector, and you'd have thought it was 6 a.m. on a Sunday. The wife said she felt like Tom Cruise in the beginning of Vanilla Sky (alone in Times Square).

So what gives? Is there some kind of school holiday going on that's keeping moms home with the kids? Traffic was lighter than on bank/government holidays, so I don't think that's it.

Anybody? Are you people even at work today?

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

The debate hasn't even started - and I'm already pissed off

The last presidential debate is about to start, and just watching the pre-game show has me pissed off. On CNN, there's a bunch of morons holding up signs behind the talking heads outside the debate arena.

The cameras captured this image (courtesy video capture from the LG):



It's kind of hard to make out, but the sign reads "1140 U.S. DEAD", which I suppose is an anti-Iraq-war sign.

Let's recap:

• American Revolution - 4,435 U.S. (colonial) dead
• War of 1812 - 2,260 U.S. dead
• Mexican War - 13,283 U.S. dead
• U.S. Civil War - 364,511 U.S. dead (and 133,821 C.S.A. dead)
• Spanish-American War - 2,446 U.S. dead
• Philippine-American War - 3,216 U.S. dead
• World War I - 116,516 U.S. dead
• World War II - 405,399 U.S. dead
• Korean War - 36,574 U.S. dead
• Vietnam War - 58,200 U.S. dead

There are a lot of arguments you can make against the war in Iraq, and I have a lot of doubts about the wisdom of us waging it. But the 1,140 U.S. deaths so far isn't one of them. From a militaristic standpoint, losing 1,140 soldiers in this campaign is a tremendous success. Sure, it sucks for the families and friends of those 1,140 soldiers, but the military is not about the individual; it's about the mission.

We defeated a real army, took over a country the size of Washington and Oregon and have held things in reasonable order despite every Mullah and his mother having machine guns and RPGs. And we've lost 1,140 soldiers in 20 months.

You'll notice my war dead count above ended with Vietnam. That's because since Vietnam, the U.S. has done a good job of staying out of unwinnable wars and has built the most powerful, efficient and life-preserving war machine the world has ever known.

We lost 19 soldiers in Grenada, 40 in Panama, 383 in the first Gulf War, 43 in Somalia, 12 in Bosnia and 115 (so far) in Afghanistan.

That's out-freaking-standing. But it makes some Americans forget that 58,000 soldiers were killed in a war that ended only 30 years ago.

That war was about pointless and tragic loss of life. The Iraq war isn't.

And here I thought I was being the superfan

Next weekend's LSU game (vs. Troy) is the first one I'll be able to get to in Baton Rouge this year, so I'm determined to make it down. It should have been easy - take off Friday and drive down to B.R. after work Thursday night.

But then the monkey wrench: a work trip to California Tuesday - Thursday. So now I've got a redeye booked back to Atlanta overnight Thursday, and I'll head out for B.R. when I land at Hartsfield around 5:30 Friday morning.

I was bemoaning the hassle I'm having to endure to make it to Tiger Stadium next Saturday until I read about Blake Buisson today.

Blake's an LSU student who'll make it to 10 LSU games this year (the 7 home games and 3 on the road). No big deal, right?

Well, it wouldn't be except that until this semester, Blake was a student at the Univeristy of California in Berkeley. He transferred to LSU for the fall semester just so he can go to LSU games. Next semester, he'll be back at Berkeley.

It seems Blake's folks are from New Orleans and his dad is an LSU grad. Blake was raised on LSU football and Tiger Stadium tailgates, and his football fix wasn't satisfied as a Cal student.

So for one semester, he's a Tiger. That's awesome.

Blake's story (scroll about 1/3 down the story).

Zook suicide watch

Florida coach Ron Zook is not eating or sleeping well in the wake of his team's loss to the mightly LSU Fighting Tigers Saturday night.

The piece on ESPN.com today really paints a picture of gloom and doom for the Zooker. His reaction to Saturday's loss was "worse than normal"; Florida A.D. Jeremy Foley says Zook is "hurting"; and Ronnie himself admits he's "struggle to eat and sleep" since the Swamp whipping by my boys.

Way to keep your chin up for your players, Zookie.

ESPN story

Monday, October 11, 2004

Tales from The Swamp

Well, it looks like Jessica Pivik has taken the week off again (maybe she's bi-monthly now), so my wrapup of the Gainesville trip will round out my Monday offerings.

Needless to say, LSU dominated Florida. The 24-21 score didn't quite reflect that, because we handed the Crocs 14 points early. But we looked good, and the hard part of the schedule is past us. Troy / Vandy / Bama / Ole Miss / Arkansas is a much easier road than Auburn / Miss. State / Georgia / Florida.

I went down to Gainesville Friday with my Gator buddy Oz. We stayed about an hour south of town at his family's river camp. So the environment felt a lot like Louisiana, except that you actually want to get in the water. Florida rivers are apparently fed by natural springs, whereas Louisiana rivers are fed by septic tanks.

Before heading down to the river Friday night, Oz gave me the campus tour. He peppered it with the same kind of Donald Trump superlatives ("The best cancer hospital in the south" ... "The biggest intramural sports program in the nation" ... "The most alligators in any on-campus lake") that I throw out when I torture people with LSU tours, so I had a good time there.

Having spent consecutive weekends in Athens and Gainesville, I've begun to understand just how different the LSU gameday experience is from most other places. People in Athens come out to the stadium early, but don't seem to have much fun. People in Gainesville have a lot of fun before the game, but not at the stadium. At LSU, the stadium is the fun, with good Cajun food everywhere.

For a 6:45 ESPN game in Baton Rouge, I'd feel like I was running late if I weren't out at Tiger Stadium by about 2. But Saturday we headed out to The Swamp (from a Gator house party) at 6:45 for the 7:45 kickoff, and Oz says that's typical. Drive, park, walk. No grabbing a bowl of jambalaya, tossing a football around or any of that. We got to out seats 10 minutes before kickoff, though. He's got his timing down right.

And while Florida's on-campus atmosphere may be lacking, I gotta say The Swamp was impressive. It's big, it's intimidating, and it's loud. The rumble when LSU had the ball was close to what opponents get in Tiger Stadium, and the quiet that came over the place when Florida was on offense was amazing. The noise in Tiger Stadium never drops for our guys like it did at The Swamp. When I'd yell out something like "Come on, Marcus [Spears]!", when we were on D, a dozen or more people would turn around and give me this "Shut up, jackass" look.

Not that I cared, of course.

The Swamp made Georgia's Sanford Stadium feel like a church on Sunday. For whatever reason, 94,000 UGA fans just don't make much noise (I know, we got blown out - but they tried several times to intimidate us).

So it was a great weekend. My boys are off this week, then (work travel schedule permitting), I'll be down in Baton Rouge on the 23rd for LSU / Troy (State).

Quick hits

Expect a piece on my trip to Gainesville later today, but some quick hits for you early risers:

- Sean Penn is pissed off at Trey Parker and Matt Stone for saying celebrities shouldn't encourage everybody to vote, because it's not helpful for people who don't know anything about the important issues to vote. Can you guess whose side I'm on here?

- Christopher Reeve and Ken Caminiti died this weekend. Reeve was from all accounts a pretty decent guy who showed tremendous courage by staying in the public eye after his paralysis and fighting for stem cell research. Caminiti was a drug-abusing, steroid-pumped jackass who cheated his way to an MVP award and then accused half of all baseball players of cheating with steroids as he did. Can you guess who I have more sympathy for?

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Peer pressure

Friends of The Cap'n and loyal readers of The Wisdom know I'm somebody who likes my toys. But I've found an interesting pattern over the years - I tend to buy pretty cool stuff that's somehow not quite the same thing everybody else has.

Examples include:

• The TiFaux - I think I was pretty smart to get the DishNetwork DVRs instead of TiVo. They cost less, had no monthly fee and had capabilities such as two tuners long before any TiVo box.

• DishNetwork - Solidly the No. 2 satellite TV provider; I picked them over DirecTV because their channel lineup was better and I didn't want to pay a premium to be able to buy NFL pay-per-view. And I'm happy with them after 5 years.

• Sirius Satellite Radio - Solidly the No. 2 satellite radio provider. They were 100% commercial free back when XM wasn't, so I went with Sirius. And now they'll get Howard Stern (not that I'll listen), which may make them the ultimate winner.

• Sony Clie - My Palm-powered PDA. Its features blew away Palm and others when I got it, but it was never a big seller.

• T-Mobile - I'm about the only person I know who doesn't use Verizon, Sprint, AT&T or Cingular, but they had the best plans and the best phones.

• The Santa Fe - Sure, now it's the trendy SUV, but it was an odd duck when we bought it 20 months ago.

• The PlayStation 2 - It was the hottest thing in the world when I got my first one (I got it on Amazon on Day 1, so I was among the first 250,000 people in the U.S. to get one), but all my friends now have XBox. Still, I replaced the old PS2 with a new PS2 when the first one died.

• The Kenwood home theater system - I hadn't owned a Kenwood component in 20 years, but their system had just the features (and price) I was looking for.

• The new LG DLP TV - You have no idea what any of that means, do you? Exactly.

My point here is that I chase the technology, not so much the trend. I think it's because my dad was a Betamax man.

And usually it doesn't really matter. I rarely have to explain that when I've "TiVoed" something, I've actually recorded it on my DishPlayer 721.

But now I'm on the verge of buying a hard-drive-based portable MP3 player. And I'm leaning toward iPod. I want to say it's because Apple's technology and design are better than Creative Labs, iRiver or any other competitors out there.

The sad truth, however, is that I'd feel kind of like a loser if I'm carrying around a non-iPod MP3 player, no matter how much better it may be. Because MP3 players are carried in public and because iPod is so damn ubiquitous, there's a lot of peer pressure here.

Sure, I could buy some white earbuds and a case to help disguise a black or grey device, but I think I'd feel the need to explain to everybody I met why I didn't buy an iPod.

I'm not used to this feeling, and I hate it.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Edwardsspeak

I shouldn't have watched the Vice Presidential debate tonight (just like I shouldn't read Rolling Stone). That smug little talking haircut (John Edwards) just makes me ill. He talks so sweet and so passionately, I think most people just skip past the meaning of what he says.

But TiFaux and the Internet are great tools for cutting through the silver-tongued lawyer B.S. and finding the reality.

For instance, during an exchange about tax philosophy, Edwards threw out this line:
"The country needs to know that under what they [Bush/Cheney] have put in place and want to put in place, a millionaire sitting by their swimming pool collecting their statements to see how much money they are making - make their money from dividends - pays a lower tax rate than the men and women who are receiving paychecks for serving on the ground in Iraq."

What a great mental image for Joe and Jane Workingclass. The evil "millionaire" - who of course does nothing but sit by the pool all day - pays a lower tax rate than those poor kids dying in Iraq.

First off, I love the "millionaire by the swimming pool" reference. That's such a classic Democratic line. Edwards, of course, is a self-made millionaire who came from a poor family and worked his ass off to get rich. Does he really think the "millionaire by the swimming pool" is typical?

Maybe he's thinking of Kerry, who of course got rich by marrying rich women.

But let's cut out the closing-argument-speak Edwards was so good at as a personal injury lawyer and look at what he's saying. It's essentially this: tax rates on dividends are lower than tax rates on the salaries of soldiers.

Bush pushed through a dividend tax cut that puts the rate at 15% for all dividends. That's a fact. I'm not going to get into a lecture about the effect lower dividend tax rates have on capital investments, but there's sound policy behind the rate reduction.

So what does a soldier in Iraq make? That's harder to know, but according to the Army, a sergeant with 6 years' experience makes $25,567 a year, and those serving in Iraq get an extra $3,800 or so per year in hazard pay. That's just shy of $30,000, so let's round that up to there.

If this hypothetical sergeant is single with no kids, he'd have taxable income of $22,200. The IRS tax table says he'd owe $2,984 - 13.4% of his taxable income or 9.9% of his total income.

Isn't 9.9% - or even 13.4% - less than 15%?

Maybe Edwards is talking about those soldiers who have taxable incomes above $32,000 (the threshold where single people reach a 15% effective tax rate). It's more likely, however, that he's defining "tax rate" as the marginal rate - which means any single taxpayer who has taxable incomes above $28,400, where the marginal rate goes from 15% - 28%.

Is he technically correct in this charge? Since he can bend definitions to suit his needs, probably so. Lawyers are good at taking a sliver of truth and making the most of it.

But let's look at the reality of the scenario he threw out in such a vivid, class-envy sort of way.

Let's assume the millionaire sitting by the pool reading his dividend statements all day earns $200,000 a year - the income level that makes you "rich" in Kerryland - in dividends. At the 15% tax rate, the millionaire will pay $30,000 in federal income tax.

I guess that's where the soldier's paycheck comes from.

Somebody do the math for me ...

I almost forgot about this total act of randomness that happened to me out in L.A. last week. Somebody tell me what the odds are of this happening:

1) On the rental car shuttle at LAX, I helped a guy in a wheelchair get up into the non-accessible bus (no, I'm not asking what the odds are that a jackass like myself would be so kind ...)

2) I get to my hotel in Arcadia (northeast part of L.A., near Pasadena) and realize they've put me in a handicap room. When my co-worker gets into town, I mention that I'm in a handicap room and throw out the story of the guy on the rental car shuttle as an aside.

3) My co-worker and I go out for dinner that night in Arcadia, and as we're pulling into the parking lot, there's a guy in a wheelchair and another dude entering the restaurant.

4) This is the same guy in the wheelchair that I had helped onto the rental car bus at LAX that morning. I tell him hi in the restaurant foyer.

So in the second-largest city (and fourth-largest airport) in the U.S., I helped a random stranger out in the morning, happened to mention this act to my co-worker and end up arriving for dinner - on the other side of the city - at the same restaurant and at the same time as this random person.

And I'm there with the co-worker that I happened to have told the LAX story to.

In that situation, when I'm able to say "dude, that's the guy I helped on the bus this morning", what are the odds of that?

Monday, October 04, 2004

Warning: Explicit Content

I got around to reading the 'Rockin' Rebels' edition of Rolling Stone tonight, in which a bunch of rock-n-roll types explain why voting for John Kerry is just sooooo damned important.

I tend to shrug off the pointless rantings of entertainment types when they pop off about politics, but there's one little bit in here that really pissed me off. Seriously.

It's fine for Tom DeLonge of Blink-182 to feel that Bush should go because the Iraq war was a bad idea and he doesn't want his brother (a Special Forces soldier) to get killed over it.

I can take Mike Mills saying "I want my president to be smarter than I am. I don't ask much, but I want him to be smarter than me." Nevermind that he doesn't really know how smart Bush or Kerry are.

And if Melissa Etheridge takes a stand against Bush for being not too woman (abortion) or gay (marriage amendment) friendly, I can respect that. In fact, I agree with her there.

But the bit that Adam Horovitz (Ad-Rock from the Beasties) contributed pissed me off to the point that I'm about ready to toss Paul's Boutique into the fireplace:
"What's at stake in this election? War. People's freedoms around the world and here at home. Women's right to choose, prayer in school, my grandmother getting medicine - the list could keep on going."

Wait a minute. YOUR grandmother getting medicine??? YOUR fucking grandmother???????

The Beastie Boys have sold somewhere north of 20 million albums; own their own record label and have made God knows how much money touring and such over the past 20 years. And Horovitz gets a third of it.

But he wants the government to buy his grandmother's medicine?? Fuck you. I repeat, fuck you.

When my grandmother had a heart attack back in 1978 and lost a leg from complications, my dad spent his own money to turn our garage into a wheelchair-friendly apartment for her. When we got poor and had to send my grandmother to live in a nursing home (paid for by Medicare), we were ashamed to have to turn her over to government care.

The wife's parents and her aunt have spent the past decade physically and fiscally caring for the wife's grandparents, and when money's been tight, we've helped pay for their care.

It's what you do. You take care of your own.

Jesus Fucking Christ that comment pisses me off. Is Horovitz such an extreme socialist that he thinks individuals - especially those with millions of dollars - shouldn't be responsible for caring for their own families? Or is he just spouting the typical lines of the left?

Either way, I'll say one more time - Adam, if your granny needs some medicine, WRITE A FUCKING CHECK, ASSHOLE!

Good night.

Jessica leest beter in het Nederlands

So Jessica Pivik is back after a week off (or maybe she wrote a column last week, but it was so horrid even The Reveille wouldn't publish it), and again I'm struggling to come up with a hook.

Her crap is so predictable, so uninteresting and so pointless, it's becoming a real chore to mock her in new ways.

So I'll just give you this week's column straight up, except that I used Babelfish to translate it to Dutch and then back to English. I think it's an improvement:
As two's one company, three's come a wish where.

I'm speaking concerning threesomes -- what the french small "m?nage trios." to call; But such as threesomes the dreams this way many of men and women could frequent, they donot can be already they're has burst who to its.

It's to deny rapidly that threesome -- and I mean each -- fantasie man's each are "My mom levied me on to zoeken because that two one, " treats; To hover Fournerat, a commercial policy senior, told me "I weet she concerning grocers but was a metaphor -- she's English teacher." spoke;

I'm trying on threesomes, but the best things hate appearance only to come in two. I've two eyes and two ears. LSU the national championship has won two times. This year, I became twee-gecentreerd large. And the ont*breken bewijstest -- this real world season's has two lively people.

See the pattern? Trust me, it's all in the numbers.

Motley blunt drummer tommy even complained Lee concerning threesomes in its autobiography, "Tommyland." In the book, Lee said he threesomes hate because someone is always left from. Of course, he offered an alternative -- foursomes.

Dr. Jane Greer, geslachtsdeskundige for illustrated magazine Redbook, wrote threesomes "jealousy, rivalry to that in a recent column, uncertainty and feeling of betrayal -- all things cause you to avoid." wants;

Also aforesaid Greer, "If you with definitely by going although, it could stimulate in the moment and to arouse, afterwards it can feel more as a loss for you then gain."

If you become happy and "the one" finds; prepare to fulfil fantasie your threesome, are there some gouden rules. Valerie Gibson, a line annalist for the sun of Toronto, wrote concerning a couple in its recent column.

Never bring a strange house to your little girl or boyfriend, aforesaid Gibson. It's too dangerous. Try in place of it a friend or find a friend of a friend.

She also puts for the permitting two threesome spend participants who same the line is time with each other firstly meet and. This can help them avoid suddenly scrupulously.

Given always more attention to your usual partner, aforesaid Gibson -- especially as you're people.

Finally she puts planning for becoming involved ahead and only as everyone prepared from the beginning is try it.

As an one partner uncomfortable, Dr. Patti briton barrel, sexologist, says a couple things is is those -- "Watch x-geschatte there video's can together help, line books to read and manners discovers which for both of you comfortable its your line life." creatively to improve;

And of course, the captain looks, before you go the fluctuating boat with Mary Ann and gember, you on an overcoat put.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Great seats; bad, bad game

TCL and I headed over to Athens yesterday for the big LSU/UGA showdown. We'd scored a pair of really nice seats (14 rows up on 25 yard line behind the LSU bench), which helped take a tiny bit of the sting out of a real ass-whipping.

There's no way to spin this game. Georgia just kicked our butts, plain and simple. We couldn't get pressure on David Greene, and he was absolutely on his game. Two of his TD passes were textbook throws, so I have to say "well done." And our offense had nothing (again) and we killed ourselves with turnovers and penalties.

Couple our blowout with Auburn's wiping of Tennessee, and we're pretty much playing for the Peach Bowl from here out. There's really no shot for us to get to the SEC Championship game now, so at least the Peach would be a chance for me to watch another LSU game here in Atlanta.

And that's all I have to say about the game itself. The Bulldogs impressed me, but game day in Athens didn't. Small, sedate tailgates (I give a pass to my buddy DVN, who had a very good reason for taking it easy - in fact, nice work just showing up), a hasty exit for most UGA fans in a town built for blowout post-game parties and not near the kind of crowd noise I'd expect from 94,000 fans. Granted, the game was pretty much in hand early, but there were plenty of times when the crowd got "way up", and it wasn't spectacular.

UGA fans, though, are pretty decent folks. Not the kind of hatred spewed by Tennessee or Florida (more on that later) fans at home.

[editor's note: The UGA fan sitting in front of us explained our offensive problems early in the game. Pointing to his own wrist, he let us know that we were doing poorly because our quarterback is "not white." This is also how he explained the boneheaded move by Xavier Carter downing a kickoff on the one yard line - pointed at his wrist and mouthed "not white." Classy.]

All things considered, it was a good time. Seriously.

And despite our rapid fall from grace, I'm still going down to Gainesville next weekend to watch LSU play the Crocs alongside my UF buddy Oz. I'm still going to Baton Rouge for the Troy State game Oct. 23 because it's the first home game I could get to. And I'm still bringing the wife down for the Alabama game Nov. 13 because even if we're 5-3 playing a 5-4 Tide, it'll still be a hell of a time.

And in the end, that's what LSU football is about. A damn good time.