Fasten, fit closely, bind together.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Democractic Parlimentary Elections in the Middle East 

It's the 21st century version of...

containment and capitalism - free trade and free elections...

and now the inmates are running the aslyum.

You don't know what you got til it's gone.


Monday, January 23, 2006

Kobe tells Bill Simmons to shut the F up. 

On January 10th, The Sports Guy went off on Kobe Bryant, calling him a selfish idiot for sitting out of the fourth quarter of a blow-out win over the Mavs.

During the game in question, Kobe Bryant, the best player in the NBA, had 62 points through three quarters. Phil Jackson asked Kobe if he wanted to play in the 4th. Kobe declined. Simmons wrote:

Which brings us to the 62-point game. Kobe had the optimum opponent (none of the Mavs could guard him), optimum referees (he was getting every call), optimum conditions (he was feeling it) and the optimum venue (the Staples Center). He could have scored 80, and no one besides Wilt has ever topped 73. But when Phil Jackson asked if Kobe wanted to keep on playing in the blowout, he shook his head no. He was done. Apparently, he thought that passing up a chance at immortality would prove he was a good guy.

Simmons' went on to say that Kobe was cheating fans because you never knew when you would have the chance to make history again. Fans want to witness greatness, Kobe deprived them of this, therefore he was cheating his fans. Simmons even got all Bronx-Tale-ish and wrote that, "The saddest thing in life is wasted talent."

Well 2 weeks later, Kobe did make history by scoring 81 points, including 55 in the second half. The Lakers needed everyone of those points to come from behind to beat the Raptors 122-104. On 1/10/06 Simmons wrote:

Fifty years from now, nobody will care that Kobe refused to reenter a blowout or that he did the "right thing." They would have cared about 80.

How about 81?

Simmons is from Boston and loves to make pop culture references in his writing, so Bill...

How do you like them apples?

My boy Kobe is wicked smart.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Keep on Rocking in the Free World 


Friday, January 20, 2006

It's like an alarm clock... whoooo whoooo!!!! 

Whistle tips.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

He's Not a Thrower, He's a Passer 

You Tube is a great site. You can find pretty much any video footage you are looking for.

I want to kiss you, I couldn't care less about the team struggling.

This just in... 

Bin Laden makes new threats against US and offers a truce.

Bin Laden:

"We do not mind offering you a long-term truce with fair conditions that we adhere to. We are a nation that God has forbidden to lie and cheat. So both sides can enjoy security and stability under this truce so we can build Iraq and Afghanistan, which have been destroyed in this war. There is no shame in this solution, which prevents the wasting of billions of dollars that have gone to those with influence and merchants of war in America."

Resident Whitehouse sock-puppet, Scott McClellan responds:

"The United States will not let up in the war on terror despite the threats on the tape. We do not negotiate with terrorists.... We put them out of business."

Doesn't that sound like something some spoof of a superhero might say, or possibly Schwarzenegger circa True Lies?

I don't know why but McClellan reminds me if this guy:


Wednesday, January 18, 2006

All his life was in that line. 

I jotted down these notes, in the form of a text message, before writing this post:

Rest of Life along those lines - vietnam market marble sales say no buying something not sure why never really wanted it- text messaging myself ideas while on BQE - risking life and limb.

Old Bull Lee.

My favorite passage from On the Road is a description of him while at college. It is the reason I like William Burroughs even though I never read anything he wrote.

There is a strange story about his college days that illustrates something else about him: he had friends for cocktails in his well-appointed rooms one afternoon when suddenly his pet ferret rushed out and bit an elegant teacup queer on the ankle and everybody hightailed it out the door, screaming. Old Bull leaped up and grabbed his shotgun and said, "He smells that old rat again" and shot a hole in the wall big enough for fifty rats. On the wall hung a picture of an ugly old Cape Cod house. His friends said, "Why do you have that ugly thing hanging there?" and Bull said, "I like it because it's ugly" All his life was in that line.

We rent motor bikes complete with drivers. 7 dollars for 3 hours, or however long it takes really. Sparse English is exchanged. Tourist lingo. They pretty much know what we want. What else could we want? Girls, drugs? They offer. We decline. Nods exchanged. Currency disseminated. 50 km per hour riding on the back holding on tight. A bike passes a woman with a Raiden-style hat rides side saddle showing me up.

Loosen my grip. I lean back a bit. A second bike approaches. If there is a peak season here, this is not it. "America's Cool!!!" She raises two thumbs up. No hands on handle bars.

They know where we are going of course. An attraction like Disney, but in the margins. This is going to have to be a transaction. I am the buyer, they sell. I close my eyes and hold on tight. This is as good as it gets.

In the mountain temples. A solitude of sorts. I photograph my friend in an important pose. I take the picture. Retake.

Play with the settings. Get it as right as it is going to get.

I exit, sweating. I buy a Coke, my first purchase here. We walk away from the rocks towards the ocean, off season. But the vendors, the sellers stay, it is what they do and there is no where else to go, so they wait. We walk to the water. Water that looks about as tropical as Jones Beach. Blue black water. China Beach. A beach anywhere in the world.

The Great Plains of beaches. A Dust Bowl of water. Us and no one else at all. A dozen children attack us, merrily and hungrily.

Marble. Hawking their wares. This is Marble Mountain, you see. I get it. No thanks.

But how about?... Trinkets. Idols. Buddhas. Elephants. Jade colored. Buy. Buy. Buy? There are no other tourists to absorb this dozen. Buy. Because that is what you do, right?

They ask me.

I don't disagree with you, with them. I should pay for something right? An unspoken obligation, democratizing the region. Bringing capitalism, and parting with currency, repaying debts. It's not that. These kids are young. I am older but still young. This is natural somehow. It feels that of course they should be selling and I should be buying.

They only want a dollar. I walk straight. I ignore I try to become immune to their sales pitches. Testimonials pleads, describing the durability of marble. They toss it in the sand to prove that it is unbreakable. It doesn't break. I ignore them. I glance down and consider a jade-colored monkey. I keep walking. The thought of pulling my wallet out of my pants pocket is overwhelming it wouldn't work. I would be swarmed.

Continually being sold something that I'm not sure I really want to buy.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Yeah Right Dude 

As Ted Kennedy and Co. persist in their awkward, flailing attempt to smear Supreme Court nominee Sam Alito as a racist, they've been making some pretty heavy-duty accusations concerning the man's character and integrity. Among these, necessarily, is the claim that Alito is a dishonest smooth-talker who just can't be believed.

When Alito asserted that he could not even remember his association with an infammatory club as an undergraduate, for instance, Kennedy held a press conference expressing plain disbelief in the statement, finding the idea that a man would not remember his involvement in a club in college just a little too hard to swallow.

But I find Kennedy's skepticism a little overblown given what he and his ilk expect the American people to chew up and choke down on a regular basis. I almost choked on a Triscuit, in fact, when I read what followed at the confirmation hearing after Kennedy's press conference, when it turned out Kennedy never even looked into the claims he was making about Alito in order to smear him.

Arlen Specter, pointing out that no requests for the actual records that could have shed light on Alito's involvement in the organization were ever made, nor even mentioned to other members of the Judiciary committee:

"Sen. Kennedy and I frequent the gym at the same time and talk all the time -- and (he) never, never mentioned it to me, nor did he take it to the ranking member," Specter said.

Now I have heard some politicians make suspicious statements before. There have been plenty of claims from both sides of the aisle that the American public might cast a skeptical eye upon. But really.

Are we expected to believe that Ted Kennedy "frequents" the gym "all the time"??

Look at the man. Look at the size of the head on this man. The guy's kidney's would probably burst if he jumped up and down. His liver was probably removed and replaced with a septic tank in the early 80's. The gym?? Yeah right dude. He turns radish-red just talking at a press conference.

I'm willing to give Ted the benefit of the doubt here, but there's a lot of doubt. Can you really picture Ted rocking out in a cardio kickboxing class? Swinging away on an elliptical? Arlen Specter spotting Ted with a set on the ol' decline bench whilst they negotiate the next smear campaign against Alito? This dog just won't hunt.

You're suspect!

How about some ironic distance 

Last night I saw a commercial for Touchtone Picture's Annapolis, starring James Franco and Tyrese.

"Why do you want to be an officer?"

"To serve my country, sir."

"You ain't good enough."

"I ain't quitting."

The place where legends are born and heros are made.

Franco is a troubled youth. Tyrese is a seasoned officer. Tyrese tells Franco he'll never make it. Franco is determined. Tyrese finds that he sees some of himself in Franco. Franco is going to make it after all!!! The whole story seems to take place in Annapolis, during training. It looks like the standard military coming of age story.

But it also looks a little suspicious. I can't quite figure out what the angle is. Why are they telling this story?

I just watched the trailer for this movie, or should I say recruiting video. I've seen US Military TV ads that feel less like government propaganda. Who makes this shit? Does Touchtone think people will go to see this? If people were asking for this type of movie then the military wouldn't be desperately short on new recruits. I honestly think the US Military must have had something to do with producing this movie. There is no other explanation.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Kobe Just Might Be the Best Player in the NBA 

45 points or more in 4 straight games, and the Lakers have won 3 in a row.

This guy is almost universally disliked by players, fans, the media, and law enforcement. I'm rooting for him.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


He went to the gym this morning for the first time. Not his first time to the gym, but the first time in the morning, before work. He was going to shower at the gym. He packed. He brought a small hand towel that he normally brings. He forgot the standard-sized towel for after the shower.

He worked out. He sweated. He finished and showered. He was able to dry off with a hand towel no bigger than a sheet of paper. Completely dry, not partially. 8 1/2" x 11" or thereabouts. No larger. This works, he thinks. This seems to be a minor revelation of some kind. You can do the same with less, or nothing at all. The Matrix, there is no spoon. Here is a thought you don't even need a towel to dry.

There is a certain intelligence to this. Some of the logic that fuels innovation, and other stuff you might see in commericials for IBM or Mastercard or that old BASF commericial, "we don't make the things you buy, we make the things you buy better".

This must be how iPods keep shrinking, computers get smaller and faster and more powerful. Someone said a computer doesn't have to be the size of a small strip mall. And it went from there. Constant refinement, tweaking, working towards zero waste.

He sees this by understanding that you don't need a towel to be five feet long and three feet wide. It can be if you like, but it doesn't have to be.

In Cambodia a checkered scarf doubles as a blanket, triples as a skirt, and quadruples and so forth as a bath towel, head wrap, militia mask, a baby carriage, a sling. This can be done.

Not sanitary, not ideal maybe, but possible. You can use a wash cloth as a towel.

It's like Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, or teaching a man to fish and feeding him for a lifetime. Conservation of movement, trimming off the fat, the excess, streamlined, and aero-dynamic.

I, I mean he, will go back to the gym again, but probably with a standard towel. Learning a lot retaining, implementing almost nothing.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

"There's a sequel to the things I've done" 

Death from Above 1979

Undoubtedly, I'm a little late in the game about discovering this band, but in case you haven't heard them, they are good.

Monday, January 02, 2006

"I'll go along with you on this... until I don't." 

Munich was good. And the quote above voiced by Eric Bana's wife in the film played by the Israeli actress Ayelet Zorer is wonderful, cynical, and true.

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