Two for one

No comments from yesterday, so I’ll have to make it good today…

Not to poke fun, but if you thought riding coach was bad, try flying like this, where over 100 people were sucked out of a cargo plane they were riding in the back of in the Congo. Speaking of the Congo – why is it “The Congo”, why not just “Congo”? I need to know about this.

The Washington Post is reporting that al qaeda is planning new “september 11” size attacks on the United States. The key point to read in this article is that they refer to someone who is the “media coordinator” for al qaeda… That’s the best thing I’ve heard this week. [via drudge report]

Why exactly is a nude tennis tourney to be played? Nevermind, that’s fine – do your thing… but why is it being webcast? Talk about strange things flying around on the Internet.

I know this is probably just a sports topic, but I thought it was worth a mention. Alex Zanardi, who lost both of his legs in 2001 in a horrific crash, is poised to drive a car just like his own at the time, with special controls for him to be able to drive it, this weekend. He’ll complete the final 13 laps of a race for the symbolic “end” to his career… Or is it? I’ve read in a few places, including Sports Illustrated, that at some point he feels he could race and would like to do so again. We’ll see how he’s feeling after taking these laps this weekend. Good luck to him on that!

Looks like the state of New Jersey is looking to ban driving while distracted… Of which some is common sense, i.e reading the newspaper while driving, but you’re probably not going to stop people from eating while driving or changing the radio station. I, for one will take a ticket probably every day. And rarely do I drive with both hands on the wheel as it is, nor do people who drive manual transmissions. I generally know where my radio stations are, and think I can handle drinking something in the car or whatever. Are they going to stop me from playing my radio too loud while I’m stuck in traffic next? Whatever. This is a little out of hand, methinks. Get out of my life, and propose laws that aren’t a little over the top. Otherwise, half the state is going to be in jail for 60 days at a clip and drive-up food joints are going to be up in arms.

{update}

Had heard on the radio this morning that the French government, through it’s consolate in Syria, had given Iraqi leaders who had escaped into Syria passports from France, which gives these individuals the right to travel freely through Europe, and probably most other places. Fascinating. Read more here. I had missed it over at littlegreenfootballs.

Do the humpty hump…

Wednesday has reached us, my friends. And yet again, the world has not disappointed. Matt Drudge is reporting via BBC news that some flicks about SARS are on the way. Great. I’m excited.

Michael Rogers has written that digital music could be near an end as we know it… this comes just after Apple’s ITunes service hits it big with a pay service. Personally, I’ve never felt that a pay service was a bad idea, and it would probably fly. Think about it – there was a time where you paid for your music, and you weren’t dying over it. If you could have a good product, you’d probably pay for it, at least somewhat. There will always be a way around things, I firmly believe – but a pay service can and will catch on. Services like ITunes and emusic will continue to be in the forefront.

Mark Hulbert at CBS Marketwatch asks “Should you follow Ted Turner’s lead and sell your shares of AOL Time Warner?” I for one would agree. It was a disaster waiting to happen from the start. AOLTW is a worse scourge to this planet than the spam I received today about AOL and Intel merging to form the world’s largest Internet company… Don’t forget “It’s true – I saw it on the news!”… Yeah, where’s your check from Microsoft’s email tracking service?

Looks like Nick Richards at the nedblog has gone to a much cleaner looking blog. Very straight texty, but keeping it all intact. Been a little behind with the quality reads in a while – have to keep up on them. Also noted that Kafkaesque is a gladiator these days. Seeing Kafka’ around on metafilter is always a good thing… More links to come and updates on news and the rest of the world that I’m having a good time in.

The revolution probably isn’t on Dish Network.

Nothing against Dish Network, I just like DirecTV better.

Well, it was yet another interesting day in the world, and for my small corner, there are some things to say…. The tornado warnings floating around the midwest and south continued, including one in Atlanta earlier today. That’s gotta be kinda crazy for them…. Nothing that harsh on the east coast, nor west coast from what I can tell… But approximately 39 people have lost their lives from the twisters, and there’s not an end just yet to their terror.

Yes, you can use terror in a way that isn’t describing the intentional destruction of people and places by those who foster thinking different from them.

Well, it looks like this guy has decided he wanted to be yet another Democrat in the presidential race for ’04. Now I’m registered as a D, as you’ve heard before, but this guy has no chance at all. Don’t people have advisors that tell them this? I mean, for one thing, no one is voting for this guy when his state can’t even get their voting booths to work properly. Even if you’re a Republican you know that there were voting problems… The thing that still bothers me about the 2000 election is that just because Al Gore got more physical votes, that means nothing – you have to get the electorate to vote for you. While he was inventing the Internet, he should have done some researching on how voting works in the Democratic Republic that is the United States. But I digress. Needless to say, Florida Senator Bob Graham has exactly zero chance. At anything.

Newsweek has an article about Costco, and how it’s mainstreamed its way to be the king of warehouse clubs, and I couldn’t agree more. In the past few weeks, I’ve either purchased or know people that have purchased everything from a swingset (with slide!) to wine and beer, to socks, to fresh meat, to pasta, to soda. They’ve got it all, their employees are generally nice, and they are always crowded. I’d love to see statistics on how many freezers for basements have been sold as compared to the previous five years before Costco got big. I’m sure the emergence of warehouse clubs in the world have had an effect on the economy as a whole.

And as far as kookiness goes, check this out – looks like you can drink on the job, if you’re in Denmark, and work at a masonry company. Court rules beer OK. via cnn.

Who does that?

Okay, did any of you actually watch the season finale of Alias on ABC last night? Talk about cliff hanger. Talk about confusion. Talk about, what planet are we on again? Somehow the main character goes two years in the future and is thought to have been dead for the whole time, and her love interest is now married, and that her best friend, who looked dead in the bathtub, is not dead – somehow? what’s up with that?

The Internet is abound with theories, et al, and most of them are that Sydney is dreaming, or that the device that everyone is chasing after in the show is a time machine, which has been used and thrown some things off. Who knows.

All I know is, I couldn’t have drank (drunk?) enough Red Hooks last night to make this one wear off. Whoo wee. What am I gonna do now until September. I choose to watch 2 television programs TOTAL and they’re both full of cliffhangers – this and “24”…

And no, Jennifer Garner is not related to James Garner.

Moving on…

I just heard a commercial about EZPASS, the little box that you put on your windshield that pays the tolls for you on the highways in various states in the US. One of the actors says something about EZPASS being “evil” and it does nothing except make me laugh. It’s one of those things that you have because it pretty much makes your life easier, but the companies that have been running the system can just not get their you know what together. EVER. There is no reason that you can go through six tolls on one road, never move the box, and always go under the lane speed limit, and have 2 not go through. Why is that? There has to be a reason for it. My other favorite thing is that they have this system where the boxes just die after a while when the batteries go dead. But there’s no way to know if there’s just no money in your account, the toll reader is broken, or the box is dead. Like, couldn’t we institute some “light” or something on the box that told you something was going dead or whatever? And it’s not consistent – like your car headlights on your new car – how does that happen? Someone should be able to fix this, right?

What’s going on with unemployment – it’s at its highest level in months here in the US, and its only going to get higher. MSNBC is reporting that planned layoffs increasing… no one’s sure if we’re in a “recession” at all, yet some people think the economy is somewhat growing and improving. It’s almost like for two months, no one paid attention to anything because bombs were going to drop and then did so in Iraq, while the world was still spinning in the background. Did we miss something? Yep, you missed something.

Haven’t these people heard about trillian? I mean, this is a great article about how IM is making its way into the business world, so much so that it’s starting to show up on business cards – and these people have a quote from someone who’s using four IM software programs. Why wouldn’t the writer do a little research rather than just blathering back out what was quoted to her? I mean, put some thought into this, do a little DD. You could have made a witty remark like “IT managers would like to see a program like trillian…” or something. Oh well, I guess I’m just complaining… Or are a little to ahead of this particular writer.

Why is it that the Iraqi Information Minister keeps showing up… Talk about 15 minutes… Looks like djs are starting to use his phrases in various mixes and stuff…. Quite disturbing, I must say – yet amusing nonetheless.

Every Time You Think It’s Over…It’s not.

So it goes with multiple things. In the same week that the WHO has reversed its position about travel to Toronto, Canada, two more cases of SARS are found. ‘Experts’ say that the syndrome has peaked in areas like China, but two days prior Singapore came out with comments that people seemed to relapse… Not get it again…but relapse… Who knows where this is going to lead to. The best statement of all was that “we would just have to live with it,” and isn’t that true.

Was it just me, or did a lot of people in your various conversations feel it was amusing that the President of the US was going to land on an aircraft carrier, something he never did in his time during his military service? I had heard that quite a few people were like “hope he doesn’t miss!” or something along those lines, when he was going to land on the USS Abraham Lincoln yesterday to give his speech about the end of real military action in Iraq. Now while I might be declared as a democrat, I tend to vote with someone I agree with, R, I, or D… I didn’t vote for Bush in the first place, and do indeed disagree with him on a lot of things, but have to say that he’s done an excellent job, so I’m not a big fan of people who absolutely dismiss him. Hell, I definitely consider myself an anti-idiotarian, and one of this editor’s favorite reads is littlegreenfootballs

why isn’t it a bigger deal that lemrick nelson has said that he stabbed yankel rosenbaum during the crown heights riots a few years back? i’ve heard nothing about this on the whole, except for a few mentions on talk radio. how is it that someone gets away with this? talk about sad, sad state of affairs.

experts claim spam could ruin email via cnn…. no way? i couldn’t tell by the fact that you can now not ever give out an address and be covered in spam, even when the email provider hasn’t distributed it. someone is obviously making money out there, or there wouldn’t be so much, right? this is just disturbing. and for those who think that banning it is out of the question and is unfair, you can go fight that along with the do not call list. because email is hopefully here to stay, and is a main method of communication for a lot of people… i’ll throw in marketing to people with mobile phones. how is that legit? you’re sending text messages to people WHO PAY FOR THAT SERVICE! I don’t want someone taking up some of my 100 “free” messages a month or getting me charged a dime so I can see their movie or whatever. Thankfully this hasn’t so much set foot in the United States so far.

baseball upside down

did anyone actually expect to be in a world where the recently mighty arizona diamondbacks would be tanking, with pitchers randy johnson and curt schilling being injured? where the detroit tigers have 3 wins and were declared “not part of major league baseball” by wfan talk show host mike francesa yesterday? where the kansas city royals are 2nd in major league baseball overall?

i mean, don’t get me wrong, the yankees and giants are both in first place in their respective areas, but they’re paying players a lot of money and are expected to win. while the mets, on the other side of new york, have done everything but win. they’re paying dollar after dollar to ex-stars like mo vaughn and roger cedeno, and you might want to consider cliff floyd a member of that category. these guys are just not cutting the mustard at this point. i’m waiting for the carnegie deli in new york to reneg on their “mo-licious sandwich” that they dedicated to him back in 2002. [file photo here via the kcmets.com website]

what’s going on? is there something in the water? are players just not able to do it anymore in more cases than we’d expected? there doesn’t seem to be a formula with the answer. it’s not just new players, it’s not just old players. it’s not infielders or outfielders, it’s not hitters or pitchers. it’s just odd. i don’t remember ever seeing a case study like the mets have this season… mo vaughn was a classic .340 hitter who was going against the grain with his 260lb frame pounding out hit after hit for the red sox. then his failed experiment in anaheim. then his failed tenure in new york, which is still (unfortunately for the mets) still going on. what happened? did it just go away? is it a weight issue? who knows… moving on – what’s going on with the mets’ second baseman history. there is definitely a trend there… sans edgardo alfonzo who was traded, and before that, moved to third – everyone from juan samuel to carlos baerga to roberto alomar seems to have a disaster of a time at second base. there has to be something going on, right? and the outfield – what a disturbing thing that is… roger cedeno is by far the worst fast guy ever to play the outfield. cliff floyd seems like he just had that horrific injury that befell him back in the day, and can’t catch a cold out in the pasture, and somehow tony clark seems to look better out there than anyone. how does this happen? tom glavine must be looking to shoot himself at this point.

the detroit tigers seem to have taken the term “rebuilding” to a new level. they have a couple guys from the previous years, and the rest are like double or triple-A players that are up on the major league roster. they can’t hang at all! half of their starting lineup are under .200 in batting average. it doesn’t get any worse than that, does it? are they going to win 30 games this season? it might get close to it!

kansas city seems like an unfortunate thing, because: their team may not make it long term, at least not in that city… and… they’re doing more with less – or at least less salaries to free agents. mike sweeney makes a pretty penny, but a lot of those players are semi home grown. that’s a good thing. you have to like kc as a fan, but feel bad for them because there’s no way they can maintain. they might be the 2003 version of last year’s minnesota twins.

all in a year where we have yet hear (thankfully) from commissioner for life (as my friend jm likes to call him) bud selig… guess he won’t be going back to the brew crew anytime soon. whatever happened to pete rose? he might get into the hall before susan sarandon and tim robbins at this point, it seems….

baseball always has something to look forward to, and this season is definitely one to pay attention to so far!

[ed: as i publish this, roger cedeno just made a horrid play on a ball in the corner, allowing st. louis to drive in two runs…. oh, did i mention the pitcher was hitting?]

May Day! May Day!

ahh, the first of may, 2003. it’s a fascinating holiday of sorts that seems to be commemorated pretty much everywhere except the u.s. and u.k., from what i can tell. there’s just so much fodder out there to ramble about, i almost don’t know where to start.

caught up with this article about potentially false testimony in the timothy mcveigh trial. exactly what are you going to do about it now? posthumously revive the case? if he’s found guilty again, can we reconstitute mr. mcveigh just to do him in again? inquiring minds want to know. and while we’re on mcveigh…. why is it that there is flat out clear video footage of mcveigh in the general area of the waco standoff, hawking something like anti-government bumper stickers or something…and no one has talked about it? was this part of the evidence against him? i hope so.

heard a good interview this morning on imus this morning with ny post columnist fred dicker. they were discussing something about the ny times and dicker said “unlike the times, which would say ‘mr. hitler’…” or something along those lines. i thought that was the truest statement of the day. i’m not a big nyt fan, but i suppose they’re trying to be, on one hand, non-interfering in the articles themselves by taking out opinion by removing the respect factor from discussing hitler without a “mr.”, but at the same time inflammatory by not posting certain articles by their editors regarding the “boycott” of the masters golf tournament and more importantly, augusta national golf club by martha burk and company…. you can’t have it both ways my friends…. [ed: i can see the wsj article now….”messrs. hitler and mussolini were…blahblahblah”]

speaking of the wall street journal… so i’m reading the front page of the paper this morning, and they’ve got an article entitled “shocked? amused? want to hear more? just say, ‘shut up!'” and i was thinking…. oh my, what has it come to… now while i don’t look for the journal to give me lots of insights on what’s trendy or whatever, it does usually have something witty or cool on the front page. but for once, i was thinking “this is old news!” as i’ve been hearing that “shut up!” in conversation for a while now… it reviews how hyundai is using it in their ad campaign (which i would have shown you on ads.com but it’s gone out of business…. among other things… and even has drew barrymore’s perspective (you know you can hear her saying it in your head right now, right?) so while i applaud the journal for trying to be with-it right here, i think they’re a little behind… and therefore…not with-it.