Thursday, August 30, 2012

Paul Ryan's musical limitations

Last night I happened to hear part of Paul Ryan's speech at the RNC on the radio. Toward the end he made a little joke about the music that Mitt Romney preferred was the sort he tended to hear in elevators, and then he distinguished his tastes by noting his iPod "starts with AC/DC and ends with Zeppelin."

And my brain, being the way it is, thought, His collection doesn't have any artists alphabetically after L?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Replacement official spelling

Tonight on SportsCenter there were some highlights of a pre-season NFL game where the officials calling the game were replacements, being that the regular refs are out due to a dispute with the league. After that they cut to analyst Merril Hoge to comment on how those replacement refs likely would do when the regular season begins in a week.

However, I was distracted by the lower portion of the screen, which appeared to have been typed by a replacement graphics person:

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Aloha spirit from a can

Before our trip to Kaua'i last week my wife went through the best guidebook about the island (known colloquially as the "blue book") and highlighted and bookmarked a number of places and restaurants she thought looked interesting. On our first morning on the island we went to breakfast at a place called the Kountry Kitchen—a little diner in the town of Kapa'a (on the east shore). Although the island isn't that big,  two lane roads, 25 MPH speed limits, construction, and morning "rush hour" made it take 40 minutes to get to the town where it was, Kapa'a. The wait at the restaurant was over half an hour (in part because of its popularity and in part because there were only about 15 booths in the entire dining area).

While we are far from natives, this was our third Hawaiian trip, so we were experienced. Of course, to the eye of the locals we certainly appear to be pure Haoles (and I suppose, technically, we are). Although I am not the most adventurous eater there are moments when I adopt a when-in-Rome attitude, and when I ordered my simple breakfast of eggs and hashed browns, for the accompanying pork product I chose an option popular on the islands that I never see on the menu back home: Spam.

Saturday, August 18, 2012


The sad reality is, in the eyes of others, every minute of every day we are all, on some level, representing some perceived group based on the way we look or the thing we're doing or some other means of being observed.

All of the time we are undoubtedly fucking it up for others with whom we share some ostensible quality, without even realizing.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


I have this vague recollection of some international event in the recent past that caused me to be emotionally invested, but now I cannot quite remember what or why.

You'd think that something that so dominated my attention for a couple weeks would have a lingering effect, but apparently not.

Only the stakes of nations competing can draw us in to obsessively follow the sports that lack powerful organized leagues. The rest of the time it's merely athletes trying to do their best for themselves, and how can we care about that?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Showtime smokes Mary-Louise Parker's bosom

For some time now I've been noticing the billboards for the new season of Weeds featuring this picture of the show's star, the lovely Mary-Louise Parker:

However, every time I've noticed it, rather than inspiring me to subscribe to the premium channel and watch, I've had the same reaction:

Showtime really should be able to hire someone to do a better airbrush job to enhance her cleavage.

Although she should be plenty attractive as she is (and let's face it, our eyes would drift to that anyway), clearly they felt compelled to play up the mammary curves when trying to draw attention from passing motorists. But still it shouldn't look so egregiously fake, right?

Probably looks better when you're high...

Sunday, August 12, 2012

How I can still make jokes about dragon boating not being in the Olympics

Two weekends ago I again co-emceed the opening ceremonies of the Long Beach Dragon Boat festival, and coming right on the heels of the start of the London Olympics I couldn't help but make a quip about how our little event was more important because, unlike the Olympics, ours had dragon boating.

Another year of exciting clipboard holding.
Despite that denial from the IOC, having participated in a sport that most Americans not only don't follow but don't even know exists does give me a certain appreciation for those athletes who work hard and who are only acknowledged every four years when their competition is shown. Frankly, it's the way the audience not only watches something they ordinarily would ignore but get passionately involved in rooting for that makes me certain if dragon boating ever gets into the summer games it will be embraced by a viewing audience on whatever channel it airs, almost certainly at 3 a.m.; the Olympics demonstrate not only we do have a certain appreciation of what the human body is capable of doing, but when those bodies are competing in the name of nations we'll passionately follow.

For two weeks. Every four years. And that's two weeks more every four years than dragon boating gets now, so we'd take that.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

TV in the Olympics

Watching the Olympics on Sunday meant watching the women's marathon. For distance events like that there's a difference in how they're covered for television from swimming or track or any event held in a specific venue: the place where the athletes are performing also has motor vehicles on it, driving right near the athletes as they are competing.

I don't watch these distance races much, and I'm sure that the athletes get used to it, but it seems like running 26 miles is hard enough on its own without a motorcycle speeding along a few feet away with a guy on the back pointing a camera at you. The motorcycle in front of the pack spewing exhaust is probably unavoidable but it seems like that is hardly ideal for performing physically demanding feats. (Of course, that's probably no worse than how the air is in Beijing most of the time, but we digress.)

Thursday, August 02, 2012

(The Predictable) Fast food Firestorm: Chick-fil-A'd

Yesterday the fast food chain Chick-fil-A was the site of counter protests to the protests that erupted in the wake of remarks made recently by company president Dan Cathy regarding his strict views on traditional marriage, which was leapt upon by activists and then by politicians claiming the chain would be unwelcome, and then that leapt upon by opposing pundits who made Wednesday "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day."

So, in short, it's the standard backlash-and-then-backlash-to-the-backlash sequence for just about anything these days where anyone could have a strong opinion one way or the other, with the typical surfeit of media outlets turning it into a kerfuffle because that's what they do.

We're never happier than when we're up in arms about something.