Tuesday, August 31, 2004


Rudy was spellbinding last night. (The linked transcript doesn't do his speech -laced with ad-libs-justice.) McCain was on message too. I love Rudy for what he did to restore confidence in the Big Apple. But G-d help us all if he ever decides to run for president. He'd make a really lousy diplomat. He just doesn't seem to posses a single subtle gene in his body. He'd make a good Attorney General, though (IMHO.) The Republicans seem to have the singular ability to focus on their campaign message which gives them a powerful edge against the Dems. Granted, the cacophony of voices effect is and always has seemed part of the Democratic (party) experience. I'm just calling it like I see it.

Friday, August 27, 2004


Had an echo cardiogram this morning. I'm fine, so don't bother with the concern about my health. I was lying on the technician's slab thinking how just about any other situation involving me laying on my side with my shirt off while a middle aged man works a wand coated in jelly around my chest area would have been really uncomfortable.

Still thinking about robots. This screed on the movie I, Robot is quite funny. I guess I won't be seeing it any time soon. Sigh, and I was such an Asimov fan when I was a kid too.


Late at night & wide awake. Watched a previously unseen (by me) episode of Futurama. The very last episode as it turns out, in fact. "The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings." Very clever. Worked in an operetta and the one and only appearance of the heretofore unknown Hedonism-bot. Chime in with your favorite 'bot. I'm partial to Don-bot.

What was it I wanted to say? Oh yeah, How come every Israeli movie I see in Blockbuster deals with sexuality? The latest, Yossi & Jagger, really takes the cake. I mean, how long will people get roped in by the juxtaposition of hebrew names and sex? (Bi/homo/inter -whatever.) We don't care! How about something I'd really like to see, like a noir piece set somewhere in the Middle East. I mean, Casablanca was what? 50 years ago? I sure could enjoy a crime/gumshoe set piece film in the narrow back alleys of, say, Cairo or Damascus. Hell, I'll take Amman. (FYI: I just finished When the Women Come out to Dance, a collection of short stories from The Master. Highly recommended, as usual.)

Instead of the election being about the following issues:

  1. Do you hate George W. Bush
  2. Do you hate Republicans.
  3. Do you really hate George W. Bush.
  4. How did both candidates use their privilege to their advantage 35 some odd years ago when they were barely out of college.
  5. Something about body armor.
  6. Sucking up to the French.
  7. Conspiracy theories (a.k.a X-files syndrome.)
  8. Perpetually cyclical issues such as abortion and gay rights (let's face it, we as a nation will continue to straddle the fence on these for the foreseeable future regardless of who's in office.)

Wouldn't it be nice if it were about:

  1. Accountability for our byzantine security apparatus.
  2. The economy.
  3. The budget.

Just a thought.

Sunday, August 22, 2004


Went to see Garden State last night. An amazing directorial and writing debut by Zach Braff. Wife & I love him on Scrubs, he's also perfectly tempered for the lead in this movie. Of course, Natalie is great as well. This movie is to New Jersey what the Big Lebowski is to California. Vietnam, Walter? VIETNAM?!

Thursday, August 19, 2004


Before I left I saw an ad for a (then) upcoming episode of Reno 911 (Comedy Central, Wednesday 10:30p / 9:30c.) Friends have told me that this show is very funny, but I never watched it. This one looked particularly clever, so I Tivo'ed it and we watched it when we came home from our vacation. [sidebar: we really Time Warner Cable DVR'ed it, but Tivo seems to be the popular verb...] Here's a clip from Comedy Central. The setup: Officer Williams has joined the Nation of Islam and is out on a "date" with Officer Jones (who has dressed accordingly in the de rigeur glasses and bow tie.) I started recording more episodes of this show. Who knows? it may end up on our weekly rotation! Stay tuned.

ALSO: This is funny.

Saturday, August 07, 2004


This posting on Sgt. Hook made me laugh.

Friday, August 06, 2004


I've lately been reading the blog My War - Fear and Loathing In Iraq. It's the account of a machine gunner in the infantry assigned to one of the Army's new Stryker Brigades in Iraq. His latest recounting of a firefight in Mosul on the 4th is particular riveting. I'm reminded of the pacing of Black Hawk Down (book and movie,) Today's follow up post illuminates the firefight a little more. I think the Stryker Brigade's exploits, as told by the blogger CBFTW, are ripe for a really good combat flick. I'm interested in finding out what the soldiers think of the new Stryker vehicle. Its been a source of debate in the states as to whether it provides the mobility and protection the troops need in the urban combat environment they are faced with. CBFTW seems to think it came through the firefight he was in quite well, I'd like his further input on that. I'll try contacting him, but I imagine he's quite busy dodging bullets or something, so I won't hold by breathe.

Wife & I are heading for some r&r to the City of Angels and its environs for a week, so posting will be light to nonexistent. I hope to be able to see some neat marine creatures in the wild and captivity.

Monday, August 02, 2004


Somehow, Lorraine & I got hooked on Simple Life 2. I must admit a certain fascination with this über fish-out-of-water series. Recently, however, I'm starting to tire of the format:

  1. Paris & Nicole in the pink pick-up trying to find the host family.
  2. Paris & Nicole shock the gracious, simple host family with their foul mouths and designs on the host's children (let's get them laid, etc.)
  3. Paris & Nicole say g'nite (b*tch) & their "I love you's" to each other in the trailer.
  4. Paris & Nicole do their "job," which consists of acting silly and humiliating patrons at whatever establishment they are supposed to be working at.

I saw this billboard on my way to work last week. Is it just me or is this a really bad idea? I mean in addition to this not being a particularly attractive family (I have to couch my words carefully here, I'm genuinely concerned for my safety on this...) What good could possibly come of a reality show about the family of a known crime boss? (deceased, I believe.) Commenting about this show reminds me of this old Jacki Mason routine. (The real story is somewhat more sinister.)

Back to Paris & Nicole, I will say this, though, Nicole is clearly the star of the show. I mean, you pretty much never know what will come out of her mouth next. Oh, and that ferret sure can hold his liquor!

UPDATE: This looks hilarious.

Sunday, August 01, 2004


I just finished Cory Doctorow's futuristic novel Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom. Several things about this novel stand out. First of all, I read it in its entirety in electronic form. Doctorow - in keeping with the "Knowledge Yearns to be Free" -like philosophy of the story- has released the book without any rights-management licenses or restrictions for free download. I read my copy on the Palm eReader software for Palm OS on my Sony Clie. Of course, you can always purchase a paper copy if you're so inclined (how quaint.) The book itself takes place in a future where the "reputation economy" has replaced currency as we know it. Aiding this new philosophy is an unnaturally feasible sounding array of cyborg and nano-technology. It all unfolds in a natural way without sounding didactic at all -a good read.

In a more traditional genre, Leonard's LaBrava measures up to all the previous excellent fare that I've read by the master. I think my next Elmore Leonard read will be Mr. Paradise.

Saw Spidey 2 last night with the wife in glorious (and expensive) iMax vision.  Easily the best comic-book adaptation I've seen to date. Better than X-Men 2, better than Superman 2. (Sidebar: what is it about the sequels in comic book films that seem to gather all the glory?) This movie had heart, moxie and -oh yeah- a plot and acting. I recall seeing Michael Chabon discuss his latest novel and his upcoming script writing for Spiderman 2 in the B&N on 82nd a few years ago. I'm also a big fan of his The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, which neatly encapsulates Jews and the Comics phenomenon, as well as being a ripping good yarn that manages to work in a real Golem in the process (R' Cohen, are you still with me?)

GOOD READ DEPARTMENT: G-d Bless America, by Michael Coren (hat tip: little green footballs.)