Sunday, November 30, 2003

Opus returns

It was only a matter of time before this "not available online" comic strip was available online. (Thank Waxy.)

I hate to rain on the parade, but not only is it not particularly funny, but it isn't even the first time he's used essentially this same joke. Not a great beginning for the strip being hyped like the Second Coming. Message for the newspapers that paid big bucks for the priviledge of cancelling three Sunday strips to make room for this mistake: Cut your losses. Run Prince Valiant instead.

Friday, November 28, 2003

The Friday Five

This week's questions:
1. Do you like to shop? Why or why not?

I do when I have some idea what I'm shopping for. The only stores I go just to see what's there are bookstores and DVD stores.

2. What was the last thing you purchased?

Groceries. Not what you meant? Let's see, before that... Comic books. Specifically, Batgirl Year One, which I enjoyed.

3. Do you prefer shopping online or at an actual store? Why?

Depends on what I'm shopping for, but generally I prefer online. I dislike crowds.

4. Did you get an allowance as a child? How much was it?


5. What was the last thing you regret purchasing?

A digital camera. I should have waited and saved up for a better model. I won't name the one I bought, because for the money it's a perfectly good point-and-shoot digital camera... It's just not what I really wanted.

The Thursday Threesome

:: Happy Thanksgiving 2003! ::
Onesome: Happy - When you think about being happy, what comes to mind? Is there something that always gives you a smile no matter how down you may be?

My family: What wonderful people they are, and how lucky I am to have them.

Twosome: Thanksgiving - In the US, it's Thanksgiving. But we can all be thankful. Tell us, what are YOU thankful for?

Same answer.

Threesome: 2003 - It's getting close to the end of another year. As you begin to reflect back, pick out a couple of good things that have happened this year. Yeah, we all have the bad, but today, just focus on the good!

I'm just glad I'm still here and able to talk about it. Last fall there was some doubt that I would be.

Way to go, Mr President

President Bush, center, holds up a turkey platter for U.S. troops at Baghdad International Airport Thursday, Nov. 27, 2003 in Baghdad, Iraq. Bush paid a surprise Thanksgiving day visit to American troops in Baghdad, flying to Baghdad from his ranch in Crawford, Texas, to visit U.S. troops station in Iraq for Thanksgiving holiday. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Thursday, November 27, 2003

I gave myself an early Christmas present.

I got it at the same place J. got his.

I haven't decided exactly what I'm going to do with it, so I guess in a sense you could say I haven't unwrapped it yet.

But I'll tell you what it is: It's a domain. All it does at the moment is redirect: points at my main page, and points here. (So does, but I haven't decided whether I'll keep that yet.)

Who provides authorization...?

Washington Post | One Man Against Secrecy
Authorization for publication of material on our web site is contained in U.S. Constitution, Amendment 1.

If you have other specific concerns, let me know.
Hee hee.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Mr and Mr Claus

N Y Times (free registration required) | You Better Watch Out
According to legend, New York lore and two major Hollywood flicks, Macy's Santa is the real deal. And tomorrow, to the delight of millions of little children (not to mention the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court), the Santa in New York's great parade will be half of a same-sex couple.

And guess who the other half will be? Me! Harvey Fierstein, nice Jewish boy from Bensonhurst, dressed in holiday finery portraying the one and only Mrs. Claus.
You. Must. Be. Kidding.

LATER: My, what a mess.

Is that good?

The Big Five Personality Test
Extroverted|||||| 26%
Introverted |||||||||||||||||| 74%
Friendly |||||||||||||| 58%
Aggressive |||||||||||| 42%
Orderly |||||||||||||| 56%
Disorderly |||||||||||| 44%
Relaxed |||||||||||| 42%
Openminded |||||||||||| 48%
Closeminded |||||||||||||| 52%
Take Free Big 5 Personality Test

The Big Five is currently the most accepted personality model in the scientific community. The Big Five emerged from the work of multiple independent scientists/researchers starting in the 1950s who using different techniques obtained similar results. Those results were that there are five distinct personality traits/dimensions. Here are your results on each dimension:

Extroversion results were low which suggests you are very quiet, unassertive, and aloof.

Friendliness results were moderately high which suggests you are good natured, trusting, and helpful but possibly too much of a follower

Orderliness results were moderately high which suggests you are organized, reliable, neat, and ambitious but possibly not very spontaneous and fun.

Emotional Stability results were moderately low which suggests you are worrying, insecure, emotional, and nervous.

Openmindedness results were medium which suggests you are moderately creative, original, curious, and imaginative.

Overall (of the Big 5 factors), you scored highest on Friendliness and lowest on Extroversion.
I don't think it comes as much of a surprise to anyone who knows me...

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

What else would you call it?

The County of Los Angeles has requested that equipment vendors avoid using the industry term "Master/Slave" in product descriptions and labelling.
The County has not offered an alternate term to clearly describe a unidirectional control of one component by another, for which situation this is the computer industry-standard terminology. I can't think of any that wouldn't be worse. I can think of some that would be dramatically worse.

(I heard it from Boortz [it's at the bottom under "Reading Assignments"], who linked to Snopes.)

I'm sure the "male/female" designation for wiring connectors will be next on their "naughty" list, once they think of it. I've always found that one a little disturbing. Makes me want to take my stereo out to dinner before I plug it in.

(Boy, am I going to get in trouble.)

LATER: Reuters reports.

The house of (other people's) ideas

Walt Disney, in its ongoing quest to remake everything that's ever been made before, has just acquired distribution rights (through its Buena Vista subsidiary) to the upcoming, updated Around the World in 80 Days.

Starring Jackie Chan as Passepartout. And, oh, by the way, some guy (SteveCoogan of "I'm Alan Partridge") is playing a character named Phineas Fogg, who may have a line or two. Also starring the Governor of California as Prince Hapi of Turkey.

No, really. I'm not, as Dave Barry would insist, making this up.

Monday, November 24, 2003

Forty years gone

And still, after all we've learned since that we didn't know at the time, Jack Kennedy (everyone's forgotten we used to call him Jack) retains his sainthood, remains the man who would have Made Everything Better if They hadn't taken him out.

Whoever They were. Or are. Or whatever.

I'm not here to throw mud at the man. He was a man, flawed but decent enough, lucky but savvy enough to take advantage of it. Unrealized potential is always a tragedy: The nature of his passing made it epic, mythic.

Nor am I arrogant enough to pick a theory. Vast numbers of people have decided that the Warren Commission's conclusion doesn't hang together. Reuters apparently agrees: Their story is less about the actual assassination than dueling conspiracies.
Dallas does not hold an official event to mark the day that, the official history says, Lee Harvey Oswald fired three shots from the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository with a rifle he purchased for less than $20, gunning down Kennedy during a trip to Texas he was reluctant to take.
(Emphasis mine.) But as awkward as the Warren conclusion is, it still beats the alternatives.

I'm just thinking that after forty years, if we still don't know, then we're never going to know. There's almost certain to be another orgy of publicity on the fiftieth anniversary. Maybe then it'll be time to Let it Go.

Friday, November 21, 2003


James Lileks | The Bleat 11-21-03
You know what? Michael Moore is right. There are many Americans who are ignorant of the world around them. And they're all TV news producers. Two big bombs in Istanbul, and what's the big story of the day? Following around a pervy slab of albino Play-Doh as he turns himself into the police. I was stunned to discover last night that Nightline not only covered the Jackson case in detail, but bumped coverage of the Whitehall speech, which was the most important speech since the Iraq campaign began and arguably the most important speech of the war, period.

...Yes, yes, Iraq, Britain, nice speech, hear-hear and all that, but what about Michael Jackson? That's the problem in a nutshell: the war and Michael Jackson are items of equal weight. The only question is which will get better ratings.

Mark Evanier | Waiting for Michael
Bush is in England, bombs are exploding in Istanbul and Iraq, killer storms are flooding the Eastern seaboard...and on CNN, the most important issue is whether The King of Pop is on a plane or in a van. Fill in your own snide remark.
When Entertainment Tonight was new, I thought it was... cute. A whole half-hour of entertainment coverage dressed up like news. Interesting idea. It'll never last.

Just shows what I know.

What I should have realized is that after show-business news adopted the trappings of "serious" news, the next logical step is for serious news to adopt the content of entertainment. Had television news been around in 1945, they would have foregone the Yalta conference to question the effect of the Andrews Sisters' "Rum and Coca-Cola" on America's youth.

The Friday Five

This week's questions:
1. List five things you'd like to accomplish by the end of the year.

I suck at planning.
Finish revising the Christmas scripts. Do some holiday shopping. Straighten my room. Reconfigure my home network. Get a PDA.

2. List five people you've lost contact with that you'd like to hear from again.

Many of the people I've actually lost contact with, I'm actively avoiding. :)
R. and A., the girls I had crushes on in high school. B., my second girlfriend from college. (I struck gold with the third, and let's not mention the first.) A. and S. from Psi Phi.

3. List five things you'd like to learn how to do.

Mix audio. Write CSS. Play piano. (Well, I sort-of do...) Make my network work (see above). Juggle.

4. List five things you'd do if you won the lottery (no limit).

Buy or build a house in the middle of nowhere. Rent office/performance space for my radio theater. Travel. Get a hi-res plasma TV and a TiVo/DVD recorder. Put up a big billboard in front of the U.S. Capitol where the legislators would have to see it as they entered, reading "It's not your money."

5. List five things you do that help you relax.

Read. Write. Play piano. Sing. (Alone, in the car.) Blog.

This is actually a Friday Twenty-Five, isn't it?

Thursday, November 20, 2003

"When pigs fly"

Elsewhere, when you say that, it means "never."

Here in Atlanta, though, for years it meant "Christmas". Now it does again.

pink pig

LATER: By the way, before anybody writes to correct me (Hi, Jake), I do realize that the Pink Pig at Rich's/Macy*s Lenox Square right now is not the Original Pink Pig, and a good thing too.

The Thursday Threesome

:: Holiday Sweets Recipe Exchange ::
Onesome: Holiday Sweets - What is your favorite holiday sweet? You know, the one you only really can get your hands on once a year?

Null set.

Twosome: Recipe - ...and can you get the recipe for it? ...or is this one of those closely guarded family secrets handed down mother to daughter. ...and hey? What about us guys? How are we ever supposed to figure out how to do this stuff? ...or should we even try ?


Threesome: Exchange - But if you do have that recipe and you can bear to share, why not stop over at the exchange and drop it off? Barring that: do you routinely exchange sweets at holiday time? Yeah? What kinds?

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Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Okay, I'm stumped.

I'm getting a double-fistful of referrals from Radio Online: Can someone tell me why? When I try to follow the links back, I get password-protected pages I'm not allowed to see--and nothing I can see has convinced me I should pay to find out. Are there talk-show hosts all over the world calling me a pervert because of the Nude Calendar Watch page? Or is it something else?

(I should have known that something like Radio Online existed: Too many shows sound too much alike for there not to be a common source of news, soundbites, etc.)

UPDATE: At last I know: They have a ten-day free trial that, after a couple days of cogitating, they let me into. Of course, talk-show hosts may still be calling me a pervert and I'd never know, but at least PrepNet's entry is benign. I'd link to it but, of course, it won't let you in...

Monday, November 17, 2003

Because it needed to be said

Jeff Jarvis is pro-American.

Yes, he is.

The problem with blogs

Jennifer Howard has an essay in which she accuses bloggers of being an inbred mutual-admiration society. It can hardly be said to be obscure, since it was written for the Washington Post.

Had it been written for the Dubuque Telegraph-Herald, though, it would still be national news on Planet Blog because it's been noticed by Glenn Reynolds, the Instapundit. (See also Ralph Luker at History News Network.)
Washington Post | It's a Little Too Cozy in the Blogosphere
What began as the ultimate outsider activity -- a way to break the newspaper and TV stranglehold on the gathering and dissemination of information -- is turning into the same insider's game played by the old establishment media the bloggerati love to critique.

*Honk* Hang on. How many unproven assertions can you pack into a single sentence? To pick just one, I envy her certainty regarding how and why blogs began: It's a subject of debate, sometimes intense, among long-time bloggers.
The more blogs you read and the more often you read them, the more obvious it is: They've fallen in love with themselves, each other and the beauty of what they're creating. The cult of media celebrity hasn't been broken by the Internet's democratic tendencies; it's just found new enabling technology.

Doubtless Professor Reynolds is too modest to point this out, but I'll say it:

If there is an 800-pound-gorilla Blog Media Celebrity, it's Glenn Reynolds. Ms Howard managed to get through her overview of What Blogs Are without mentioning his name once. How comprehensive can it be? You may suggest it wasn't meant to be comprehensive, but heck, she says she knows The Problem With Blogs:
The problem's built into the medium itself. Blogs are set up to be personal forums for someone's opinions. That's the point, the liberating thing about them. Bloggers don't have to get their copy past an editor, and they can sound off at any length -- no word limits in cyberspace. They're products of a seismic cultural shift that makes someone's hangover as newsworthy as the arrival of a Harry Potter novel.

That's not a bug, Ms Howard, that's a feature. Within the realm of People Who Read A Particular Blog, the author's hangover might well be the Big Story. (Parenthetically, I could argue that the release of a new Harry Potter novel is not "newsworthy", at least as I define the word. "News" would be if J. K. Rowling decides not to write the other two books. She's richer than the Queen of England now; she doesn't need the money. Lightning has struck five times. That's more luck than a lot of authors get: What if hers has run out? She could well decide that it's all downhill from here, hand her notes over to her editors with fondest regards, and retire to an unnamed Caribbean island. I know I'd be tempted. That would be newsworthy.)

The point is not that your average blogger can write better than an Old Media columnist, or is better connected, or is More Important (whatever that means). I'll pick the example I'm most familiar with: Myself. I have a strong enough ego to think that, on a good day, I can write a reasonably entertaining paragraph. It amuses me to try. The attempt forces me to put my thoughts in order in a way that woolgathering at a traffic light can never do. This process is important... to me. Whether it's important to my readers is something they'll have to judge. But writing is communication, and if I never show it to anyone, I might as well be sitting at that traffic light talking to myself. That's what this blog is for. I can't speak for all the others, but it seems to me that more than a few of them share my reasons.

I certainly don't flatter myself that anything I have to say is particularly Important, but it's a way to contribute, however modestly, to the Exchange of Ideas that civilization is. I don't do this to be a part of a (or The) blogging community, but to be a part of the human race. Exchanging thoughts is what we do. The medium is unimportant.

If blogs and bloggers are to have a profound impact on Old Media, it is not to "break the... stranglehold on the gathering and dissemination of information", but to contribute to the ongoing cultural discussions that define what is newsworthy -- in fact, that define what newsworthiness is.

Professor Reynolds and Mr Luker agree that neither of them had ever heard of any of the blogs Ms Howard cites, on which she presumably bases her blog's-world view. Neither, for that matter, had I. Does this mean they aren't representative? No. Does it mean they aren't any good? Certainly not.

Does it mean you can learn everything you need to know about the world in general, or Planet Blog, by reading them? The odds are against it.

Sunday, November 16, 2003

Even in television, some acts are class

This is how it's done: When you screw up, you apologize. Preferably with a little humor at your own expense.
Canoe | Carol Burnett get apology for snub
Carol Burnett got a public apology after a tribute to her was left out of CBS' 75th anniversary special.

"I am sorry that during the excitement of a 'live 3 hour television event' the wonderful film piece we prepared that paid tribute to the 'Carol Burnett Show' was not aired," executive producer Gil Cates said Wednesday in an open letter addressed to "Dear Carol" and published in trade papers.

..."Sometimes 'goofs' happen. We all feel bad about that. I promise that won't happen on the 100th."

Ms Burnett, through her publicist, said that no apology was necessary. It's live TV: Stuff happens.

Nobody observed that, in the long and storied history of CBS television, Ms Burnett is one of a handful of people of whom viewers really don't need reminding who she is. Nor did anyone point out that, in a three hour show full of self-contragulatory prose, it might even be seen as a classy thing to simply appear without fanfare and wave to the crowd.

Friday, November 14, 2003

The Friday Five

This week's questions:
1. Using one adjective, describe your current living space.


2. Using two adjectives, describe your current employer.

Vague and uncertain.

3. Using three adjectives, describe your favorite hobby/pasttime.

Obscure, challenging and creative. (That would be radio theater.)

4. Using four adjectives, describe your typical day.

Cold, hopeful, chaotic, and long.

5. Using five adjectives, describe your ideal life.

Lucrative, creative, unhurried, sociable, and loving.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

The Thursday Threesome

:: Envision whirled peas ::
Onesome: Envision - How much television do you watch each week? Are you one of those who can you call up the nightly program schedules for the major networks (and a cable channel or two) in your head? ...or do you have to search the paper to find out when the Thanksgiving Day parade is? (Hint: It's on a Thursday.)

I barely remember we own a television.

Twosome: whirled - Oh, my! That holiday stuff is coming up soon! Are you ready for Thanksgiving? ...or are you going to be whirling around at the last minute?

I'm not sure what "ready" means. Neither family has decided where Thanksgiving is going to be.

Threesome: peas - Shine on the the healthy stuff; we really don't care if you eat your vegetables (okay, the mom's here on the Porch do ): what are you looking forward to eating on Thanksgiving that you just cannot get the rest of the year?

Nothing. I have no particular fondness for Thanksgiving dinner as such. It's just another meal.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

So, you're saying nobody built it?

11Alive | Franklin Dismisses Airport Privatization
"There is no local, county or state governmental entity in this region that has had the capability to successfully build and manage a facility with the magnitude of the economic influence of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport," she said.
This sounds to me like an argument for privatization.

Monday, November 10, 2003

It isn't censorship...

When CBS decides not to air a program.

To suggest that it is, is to suggest that individuals and corporations should be forced to buy a product they don't want. (If that link doesn't take you to "A Sad Day for Artistic Freedom", scroll up: The target link in the original document is misnamed. But who expects the author to know HTML?)

But everybody's on this one, so why am I even mentioning it? Because I plan to approach it from another angle.

Noted Constitutional scholar Barbra Streisand continued:
Of course, CBS as a company has the legal right to make decisions about what they do and do not air. However, these important decisions should be based on artistic integrity rather than an attempt to appease a small group of vocal dissidents.

Where did Her Highness get the idea that anything, anything, gets on television based on artistic integrity? It gets on because the broadcaster thinks it'll keep your butt on the sofa long enough to watch the commercials. That's all. The program is only a carrier for the advertisements. If there is any artistic merit to the show at all, it is an accident.

Oh, I don't deny that dramatic excellence is a way to attract attention to your program, but surely it takes no more than a casual glance at the television schedule to see that, far from being the only way, it isn't even the most common tactic.

Friday, November 07, 2003

Add it to the shopping list

What's the perfect companion to a ten thousand dollar television set?

Why, a combination TiVo / DVD-burner, of course.

The Friday Five

This week's questions:
1. What food do you like that most people hate?

I dunno, what do most people hate? Oh, I know: Krystal hamburgers. But I have to be in the mood for them.

2. What food do you hate that most people love?

Survey says... fried chicken.

Remember, I'm in Georgia. Restaurants that specialize in only one dish specialize in fried chicken. Or, if their specialty dish is not fried chicken, they serve fried chicken too. People having dinner parties who want to serve something everyone will like, serve fried chicken.

I detest it. I hate it so much that when I'm driving down the street looking for restaurants, I don't even see KFC and Mrs Winners because fried chicken doesn't register as food.

Do you hear me? Yes, I'm an Atlanta native and I hate fried chicken.

3. What famous person, whom many people may find attractive, is most unappealing to you?

*Jumping up and down* I hate fried chicken! Fried chicken! Fried...

C'mon, move on. It's only a stupid blog meme. There's another question here.

...chicken... What? Oh. Sorry.


What was the question again?

*Ahem* "What famous person, whom many people may find attractive, is most unappealing to you?" And don't make me do this again. This "talking to the editor" schtick gets old real fast.

Julia Roberts. I cheered when her character died in Steel Magnolias.

4. What famous person, whom many people may find unappealing, do you find attractive?

Uh... Sorry, I don't have an answer for this one. I'll think about it and get back to you. What do you want from me? I always thought Velma was cuter than Daphne.

Doesn't it always seem like the "goofy" or "kooky" friend who isn't supposed to be pretty is actually cuter than the one who's supposed to be the star attraction? Zelda was obviously what Dobie needed, not Thalia. (If only she hadn't turned out to be gay.) And, come on, who would you rather spend time with, Ginger or Mary Ann? Jennifer or Bailey? Buffy or Willow? (Well, except for that turn-evil-and-kill-everybody thing. And the gayness thing. Not that there's anything wrong with that.)

5. What popular trend baffles you?

Blogging. I just don't get it.

And Starbucks.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

You want fries with that?

Washington Post | NPR Given Record Donation
McDonald's Heiress Leaves $200 Million
National Public Radio will announce today the largest donation in its history, a cash bequest from the will of the late philanthropist Joan Kroc of about $200 million.

The bequest from the widow of the founder of the McDonald's fast-food chain both shocked and delighted people at NPR's headquarters in Washington yesterday. It amounts to almost twice NPR's annual operating budget. "No one saw this coming," said one person.

The nonprofit organization, which will disclose details of the bequest at a news conference this afternoon, called the donation the "largest monetary gift ever received by an American cultural institution" in a brief announcement to its staff yesterday.
This is me, heading for Burger King...

On the other hand...
ScrappleFace | PETA to NPR: Reject McDonald's 'Blood Money' Bequest
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) today called on National Public Radio (NPR) to reject a $200 million bequest from Joan Kroc, the recently-deceased widow of the McDonald's restaurant tycoon, Ray Kroc.

"NPR must turn away this blood money," said PETA spokeswoman Ingrid Newkirk. "We call on Americans to boycott NPR programs since they will be bought with the slaughtered carcasses of billions of sentient beings."

The Thursday Threesome

:: Keep The Back Porch Donate! ::
Onesome: Keep - What’s your favourite keepsake? Do you have something that has so much sentiment attached you’ll keep it forever? Tell us!

We had a house fire back in '99 that pretty well cleaned out anything we might have had any lingering emotional attachment to.

Twosome: The Back Porch - We’re named for Deb’s back porch, a place where people go to relax and wind down. Where’s your relax and unwind spot?

I'm sitting there right now.

Threesome: Donate! - Got a cause you donate to regularly?

Not really. My wife donates to a handful of charities on our behalf, including Food for the Poor, the Nature Conservancy, Colonial Williamsburg, and Zoo Atlanta.
LATER: And, as Ron reminds me, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

My home town

Creative Loafing | East Atlanta Village, Take Two
Business wise, it's been a good year for East Atlanta Village. The hipper-than-thou neighborhood, once the scrappy kid brother of Little Five Points and Virginia-Highland, has entered a pubescent growth spurt. Village pioneers such as Sacred Grounds coffee shop and the Heaping Bowl & Brew restaurant opened in the mid-1990s. They were followed by a handful of boutiques, bars, clubs and more dining spots, most of them geared toward Gen X-ers on a budget.

In the past year, however, a second wave of businesses has targeted the popular 'hood -- despite a flailing economy. And the businesses themselves -- an antique shop, three restaurants and, hopefully within the next year, the long-awaited Madison Theater -- show that the Village is growing up.

...Plans on file with the city show the Madison will be set up with row seating for some events and table seating for others. Rows will accommodate 352 seated patrons, tables 216. Maximum occupancy is 681, presumably for shows allowing standing room.

Reggie Ealy, who opened the former Yin Yang and the former Kaya, will run the Madison. He told CL in 2001 that he wants to stay true to the Madison's original design.
I have no use for a "hipper-than-thou neighborhood". The businesses I patronize in East Atlanta are all hipness-impaired: Ace Hardware, SunTrust bank, Long John Silver. I'm even looking forward to the big-box retail going into the old Atlanta Gas Light property at Little Five Points. I could stand to have a Barnes & Noble, Target, and Lowe's in the area. (That's what the sign says will be there, alongside a Best Buy and Kroger. Here's an information sheet in PDF format from the developer, Sembler.)

That said, I'm always happy to see a theater return to its original function: All the more so that it is in my end of town. My radio theater company is always looking for a good venue for live performances, and the Madison might be just the thing.

If the neighborhood isn't too hip for us.

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Don't go there

Evan Goer's The Page of the Damned is a special kind of awful. It features that horrible <blink> code for those of you running Netscape, and the equally-abhorrent <marquee> code for those running Internet Explorer.

Did you know that Mozilla Firebird (the browser I'm running now) actually supports both of these wretched tags?

Neither did I.

I think I'm blind.

(Could be worse. Could be using Opera. Opera, unlike Firebird, supports both left-to-right and right-to-left marquee.)

LATER: Confirmed. As awful as it is in Firebird, it's worse in Opera. The page... writhes. It struggles to escape the screen and chase the cat around the house (if I had a cat). What did these pixels do to deserve this?

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Justice swift and sure...?

11Alive | 'DragonCon' Sex Trial Delayed -- Again
The trial for Ed Kramer, the founder of DragonCon who faces three charges of sexual abuse, has been postponed -- again.

A new trial date has yet to be set in the case which began in August of 2000 when Gwinnett County police arrested Kramer for allegedly sodomizing and fondling two brothers -- ages 13 and 15.

Late last month, police reported a third alleged victim -- an 18-year-old -- and brought a third charge of sexual abuse against Kramer. The 18-year-old claims Kramer abused him during a four-year period that began in 1996.
So, the man's life has pretty much been fnorked for three years, his health and (arguably) his reputation have been irreparably damaged, yet there's always a reason not to take it to trial.

Get on with it. Try him or let him go.

Monday, November 03, 2003

Hollywood hospitality

I realize that this is old news that everyone who cares has heard by now from other sources. Sometimes there comes a time when disgust simply must be expressed. This is one of those times.
Rocky Mountain News | Opinion 10-18-2003
A capitalist wolf in creep's clothing
Recently, a co-worker asked me if I had seen the movie Bowling for Columbine yet, I told her absolutely not! My answer surprised her, given the fact my son, Matthew, was one of the 13 murdered during the deadliest school shooting in our country's history. I explained to her that prior to the public release of the movie the families of the injured and dead were invited by Michael Moore to attend a preview screening. How thoughtful.

Our family and others considered attending because we were genuinely interested in his message to the public regarding gun control and school violence.

However, once we discovered he was going to charge us admission we refrained from doing so.

It's laughable that Moore attempts to portray himself as an anti-establishment liberal who is the voice of the common folk, when in fact he is no better than the greedy capitalists he shuns. Maybe now that he has made millions of dollars off the blood of our children he could toss a DVD or two our way to view.

Ann M. Kechter
Don't forget the Oscar, Mrs Kechter.

Southern hospitality

NY Times (registration required) | A Tab of Two Cities: Atlanta, Old and New
Bright, shiny Atlanta with its gleaming skyscrapers, roaring expressways and world-class shopping centers has become the unrivaled capital of the New South, a booming island of modernity anchored in a sea of Southern tradition. And though the New South has much to admire, on a weekend getaway on a $1,000 budget, I found old Atlanta, with its gracious, leafy neighborhoods, its smoky honky-tonk rib joints and an entire district devoted to the memory of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., more intriguing.
It's actually a more positive story than I expected it to be. (But then, when a reporter from New York spends a three-day weekend in Atlanta for the express purpose of writing a story about it, I expect something of an "oh, look, it's like a real city, only smaller" attitude, for which I must apologize. It was an unworthy assumption, and I was pleased to be proven wrong.)

I'd like to know, though, how Mr Kirby decided which establishments to grace with his presence. I'm particularly curious what led him to believe that the hotel that would best deliver the New South ambience he was looking for... was Swissôtel. Not that I have anything against Swissôtel, nor in fact any direct experience of it at all, I'm sure it's a lovely place (at its room rate it had better be). But when I think of Atlanta...Henry Grady's "brave and beautiful city", home of Coca-Cola, Ralph McGill, and Maynard Jackson...I don't think of Swissôtel. But then, where would I send him instead?

But he didn't hold it against us, so why complain.

I'm amused that his satisfaction at the restaurants he sampled was inversely proportionate to the amount of money he spent there. I'm curious that he didn't point that out. His Saturday lunch at Fat Matt's Rib Shack ("The beamingly friendly woman behind the counter...called me 'baby.' Nobody in New York ever calls me 'baby.'") cost $15, and became the benchmark that almost every subsequent meal suffered in comparison to.

If that's what New Yorkers think of when they think of Atlanta, well, I'm OK with that.