April 30, 2002
April 29, 2002
A lawyer for the nursing home workers had claimed they pooled their money to buy the winning ticket. The workers claimed co-worker Angelito Marquez had the winning ticket but was refusing to give it to the group.A smarter man than myself has already begun working on the movie version of this story.
Marquez insisted all the tickets he purchased were losers. Marquez's lawyer, Donald DiGioia, said Monday the co-workers ultimately suspected Marquez had the winning ticket because he called in sick for three days with the flu after the April 16 drawing. Marquez' absence and state officials' reports that the Big Game winner lived in Union County fueled the workers' suspicions, DiGioia said.
Daddy Can I Turn This: EW said this would make me want to put on my Armed Forces T-shirt, and indeed it has the same instrumentation; it only lacks the lyrical pith, production clarity and inventive melody of that period. Other than that, sure, it's a dead ringer for an Armed Forces song, once you get past the fact that it sucks.What makes this even worse is knowing that I'm still going to go out and buy the damn thing, if only because he's my all-time favorite musician and I've bought every single other thing he's ever done, including Kojak Variety Hour and that five-CD Steve Nieve box set. There's been some good stuff over the past decade, but I'll most likely listen to it a couple of times and then file it away with the rest of his dust-gathering post-King of America output.
On a side note, the lyric from "The Beat" off of This Year's Model (perhaps the greatest record ever made) that I've never been able to figure out is "I've been a bad boy with the standard leader. My neighbor's revving up his Vauxhall Viva." which would explain my difficulty all these years.
Update: Well, at least Jim Treacher is somewhat positive about the album.
Meanwhile, back in my world, nobody cares, even a little bit. I think I've heard a grand total of 15 seconds worth of Blake discussion, basically a conversational trial balloon that went nowhere. I suppose it's good for the news teams to stay in practice for the next worthless story we decide to care about, though.
April 28, 2002
April 27, 2002
While such ideas have been filed away with the rocket jet-packs, it's still strange just how much energy is expended on the subject. A snowflake falls and the local news stations go on full alert. The temperature goes up or down ten degrees and my co-workers act as though the world's coming to an end. It's incredibly out of proportion, especially considering that some of them spend no more than 15 minutes a day actually outside of their home, car, or office. Still, it starts to drizzle and you'd think they were outside plowing the fields.
A lot of it is probably physiological, more than we realize. I moved to Seattle in September a few years back, and after about four months of glorious happiness a depression came over me, one that seemed to have no origin. After about a week I realized it might have something to do with the complete lack of sun for about two months, with the accompanying lack of desire to leave my comfy room. Everything got a lot better once I started drinking heavily, but that's a whole `nother story.
Anyway, what got me thinking about this was that when I woke up this morning to a beautiful, sunny day, the sun glistening off of the Pulaski Skyway, my immediate reaction was to throw on some clothes and run! Get out there, do something, anything! Whooo! (I'm waiting for an improtant phone call now, or else I wouldn't be bothering you folks with this.) So I won't be sitting around waiting to see which one of you reaches that magical 25,000 number, since I'll be out on the highway getting my car closer to 50,000. Good luck, folks.
Oh, yeah: GO NETS!
April 26, 2002
April 25, 2002
April 24, 2002
Lapham is most dismayed that he has been accused of being unpatriotic, when he isn't. "In a democracy, the most valuable quality is candor," he said. "Democracy works best when people try to tell each other the truth. That's not what we've got. We've got a lot of cant."Ah yes, Lewis Lapham: the unbiased voice of honesty in these hideous, Big Media days. Apparently Lapham's definition of "candor" includes printing reworked and distorted versions of speeches so that they better illustrate his incredibly narrow view of how the world should be run. Unreadable prig.
"They are concerned that you will be daunted by the growth rate of the grass and suggest that you begin planning your lawn care strategy ASAP."I wouldn't even know how to begin planning a lawn care strategy.
April 23, 2002
Enron: Skilling "Agitated"Mike Whybark: if you can't hire him, at least go read him.
"When shown records that laid out the details of the financial returns during his testimony several months ago before the S.E.C., Mr. Skilling was said to have grown agitated as he described his opinion of the information. Had he known the magnitude of the profits, Mr. Skilling was said to have told the regulators, he would have immediately summoned Enron executives involved in the dealings and given them 24 hours to justify such outsize results."
WhhaAATTT! Why, THESE PROFITS are an OUTRAGE! EXPLAIN YOURSELVES or face the WRATH of... KENNY BOY!
Uncover the Secret of Your AuraAnd plenty more auras for the askin'! Now mebbe I can understand them pesky womenfolk.
An aura is a light surrounding every person and it hints at the color of his or her soul. Psychic Carol Pate says, "You don't need special powers to see someone's aura. Let your eyes go blurry and you will see a light around them — a clear light. See your own aura by standing about three feet in front of a mirror with a blank wall behind you. You may see color surrounding your head, shoulders and body."
Red represents sexuality. It's highly charged and suggests strong emotions and passions. A murky brown tint to it suggests a dangerous individual, very violent or psychotic.
Orange represents mental stability and clear thinking. Psychologists and philosophers often have this aura. A murky orange indicates insanity and nonviolent emotional instability.
Peach is the color of anxiety. Actors who have stage fright will have peach auras, as will anyone experiencing a lot of stress.
And hey, as long as you're at Lifetime, why not ask Bea Arthur a question, take the "Which Designing Woman Are You?" quiz (I'm Charlene Frazier-Stillfield), or add a comment to one of the many message boards.
What drew my interest about the scam was just how similar it is to the more-recent, ongoing Omega Trust and Trading bank debenture scam. The same massive fortune locked up in some sort of government entanglement, the same magicians with a convincing story of how they unlocked the mystery, the same large groups of people practically begging to throw money into the growing pit. In both cases (and in hundreds more) the scammed became the most rabid supporters of their crooks, forming clubs, protesting, doing anything possible to keep that appointment with the endlessly delayed money train. A cautionary tale definitely worth checking out.
April 22, 2002
April 21, 2002
which "monty python and the holy grail" character are you?
this quiz was made by colleen
With a greater number of visitors and a greater number of links from people's blogs that are primarily focused on political and foreign policy issues, I've felt pressured to contribute similar content. Well, that experiment has been demonstrative of one thing, at least — such writing is not my forte. Thus, don't consider this a farewell — consider it a renewed statement of purpose.I have to admit that this rang pretty true for me. There have been a few times over the past months when I've perhaps paid more attention to the the prevailing winds and the referral logs than I should have, and found myself trying to be somebody I wasn't. I got called on it a couple of times (mostly by my good friend Mike), and it was a touch humiliating, like getting caught in a lie always is. So I've tried to keep a watch out for that sort of thing, making sure I'm posting only about topics I'm really interested in. I mean, it ain't like this is my job or something; why do it if I don't enjoy it?
In the last month, I've found as many Jew-haters on the Continent as in the Middle East, but the difference is that the Arabs are fierce in their hatred, no matter how contorted their arguments, while the Europeans are lazy, off-hand Jew-haters — they don't need arguments, they're happy to let the Arabs supply the script. Thus, the extraordinary resolution this week by the UN Human Rights Commission which accuses Israel of many and varied human rights violations, makes no mention of suicide bombers, and endorses the movement for a Palestinian state by "all available means, including armed struggle" — i.e., terrorism. The resolution could have been drafted by the Arab League or the PLO.
Mr. Roth has recently started his own blog, A Weblog from the Christian Counter-Culture, and it's definitely an interesting addition to the blog world. This guy can write, has done enough cool stuff for four or five lives, and he writes from a point of view not often seen round these parts. Go check it out.
First off, just to ease back into things, I thought I'd spend a few moments clearing up a matter that has apparently been a source of interest and/or confusion: namely, the meaning of "The Illuminated Donkey." I actually wrote about this in one of my first posts about eleventy-million years ago (or six months ago in non-blog time), but since my readership at that time consisted of about two or three close friends on a good day, here's a brief list of what the title doesn't mean:
- It has nothing to do with the Democratic Party, with the “Illuminated” qualifier meaning neither enlightened nor superior.
- While it’s a perfectly understandable guess, the name doesn’t parse as “Wise Ass.”
- Finally, the name is not an underground slang term to attract partners for some bizarre and possibly illegal sexual act, and the posts are certainly not written in some sort of code designed to inform readers of my whereabouts on Tuesday and Thursday evenings! (Wait, you mean nobody out there had actually thought that? Urm…carry on, then.)
And now, back to our regular blogging.
Yeah, let's get some quality posting going! Here we go! Yeah....all right. Whooo.
Hey, how `bout that...professional sports team? And what about this weather we've been having? Isn't it...cloudy?
Urm...maybe I should try this again tomorrow.
April 20, 2002
Before I continue this rambling: to those of you out there who might not be near one of the big blogging epicenters, I cannot suggest strongly enough that you still try and organize your own blog bash, as you will not meet a smarter, friendlier, more interesting, or more wickedly cute group of folks anywhere. Where have all the good folks gone? Well, they're all blogging, meaning that they're spending large amounts of time alone...typing away...searching the web...which is a touch depressing when I think about it so let's just move on, shall we?
My evening did not get off to a promising start as an insane storm knocked my building's power out (still out when I returned home many hours later), forcing me to dress in the dark and halting my last minute blog-cramming ("Oh, Mike, of course I know who you are! You do that...blog about the...stuff."), not to mention precipitating an extremely wet walk to the PATH. Everything had calmed down by the time I made my way into NYC and over to Alphabet City, where I was met on Avenue B by a mischievously friendly face (and hat) from the aforementioned NYCBB1, Nick Marsala. If there's trouble happening, Mr. Marsala is most likely on the scene. Nick was accompanied by the dangerously delightful Ravenwolf, a charmer who made the evening a success before we even found the bar.
I finally made my way in, ordered a beer, put on my nametag (nice touch!), and discovered a few other friendly faces: Amy Langfield, Clay Waters, Raghu (I still owe you a drink, buddy), and of course, Megan McArdle, once again the center of attention. Let me just say that after spending several hours next to Megan and Asparagirl, I can totally see what drove Sean Penn nuts. I still see the flashbulbs when I close my eyes.
The night was spent talking, drinking, eating free pizza (well, free to me; thanks a dozen, Mr. Steve Kuhn!), rocking out to some 80's hits, meeting new people and matching faces to some long-read blogs. In the latter category were the mysterious Dr. Weevil (cue theme song), the dashingly sly Lane McFadden, and the extremely interesting Walter Olson of Overlawyered.com, which is a perfect example of what these blogs are good for.
Among the new faces (and blogs) I enjoyed meeting were the charming Sasha Castel, (sorry, ran out of adjectives) Ernest Miller of LawMeme, the Pigs and Fishes posse, Caryn Solly, Damien Falgoust, Paul Frankenstein, and many, many others who now remind me how bad I am with names. Feel free to e-mail me if you were one of the forgotten.
There were even a couple of non-blogging "lurkers" at the event, reminding us all that, unbelievable as it may sound, there are people out there who might be reading this and yet do not have a blog of their own. Shocking, I know. On that note, there's nothing cooler than somebody telling me that he reads The Donk regularly and enjoys it, and whoever that guy was I thank him heartily.
It almost goes without saying that I had a great time, and that all of these people are even more interesting and fun to be around than you would imagine by reading their sites. As for what I learned? I learned that you shouldn't trust the bartender when he says a beer is very Hefeweizen-like (at least not enough to put the lemon in), that if you have a specific editorial vision and goal then adding assistants might not be a good idea (of course, this means nothing to us at The Donk, but it's still interesting), that right now there a girl in her teens preparing to carry on the Megan/Asparagirl doppelganger line, that it's far more difficult to give away pizza to drunk people in a bar than you might imagine, that if you have enough beers you can pretend that all those flashbulbs are really people trying to take pictures of you, that Duran Duran gets the party started quickly, that just because a site may mention the word "Donkey" people think you're a Democrat, that if you wear your nametags out on the streets of Manhattan people will give you strange looks, and finally, that bloggers are good peoples. See you next time, kids!
April 18, 2002
April 17, 2002
April 16, 2002
April 15, 2002
I am in my late 20s, a professional living in the USA. My father is Venezuelan (recently naturalized to the USA, realizing that Chavez is a sign that there is nothing to go back to in Venezuela), my mother is from the USA. My family arrived to Venezuela following WWII, with nothing. My grandmother pregnant with my father, my grandfather fresh from finishing his engineering degree. He went to work with the sanitation ministry putting sewers and other signs of modernity through Venezuela, and naturalized. Venezuela was his new country, it gave him the opportunity to build a life and provide for his family.My friend wrote today about the inaccuracy of what little press coverage he's seen, as well as the real popular uprising in the country.
My father was born a Venezuelan as was my uncle. My father left Venezuela at age 16 to study in the USA, and went back upon completing his PhD to work in his country. He brought me (one year old) and my mom along; we left when my father realized that he could not build his dreams or provide us with a future there. I lived there until I was 14. My siblings were born there. I was born Venezuelan by virtue of my father, and my formative years were there.
Much of my family remains there. I have many friends there. What I have been sending you is the distillation of reports I have from my friends and family, some actively involved, some pasively hoping for the ouster of Chavez. Their stories have so little in common with the news reports in the USA that it would be funny were it not sad.
What's driving me mad is how incorrect the press coverage has been.He also includes a link to the Spanish blog Información De Venezuela, featuring regular updates of the chaotic situation.
They refer to the ouster of Chavez on Thursday as a "military coup" that led to an oligarchy, and they refer to his reinstatement as a popular revolt. It's sooooo wrong.
Chavez was ousted following a popular uprising involving business leaders, members of the church, labor unions, scientists, engineers, artists, etc. That is, people that work, have a stake in the growth of the economy, security, development of the infrastructure, freedom of speech, property rights, etc. They led a great big march — numbers estimated between 150,000 and 250,000 — in Caracas, it was peaceful, they were clanging pots, shouting, holding signs, etc; and they demanded that Chavez step down. This is very similar to what happened in Ecuador, Peru and Argentina very recently; and (ironically, you'll see why) is the way the current leadership of those countries is in place.
During this popular (and peaceful) uprising, Chavez felt threatened and retreated into the violence and murder that he is very fond of and predisposed to lean towards (see 1992). Members of the National Guard and other pro-government civilians started firing from above at the defenseless crowd - they killed 15 and injured 150. The crowd dispersed, because you have to remember there were children, mothers, priests, fathers, grandmothers in the crowd. People that have families and jobs and companies, people that would like to have something to live for, and have people that depend on them. These are people that can't afford to go get killed.
The military leadership, upon seeing these cowardly acts of murder, demanded that Chavez step down (since it was obvious that he - or his administration - was behind this). A new interim civilian government was installed that next (Friday) morning, led by able members of the business community. Venezuela is bleeding money, and everybody is doing worse economically day by day. The country needs to build sound economic policy, as it deals with its social issues. This new government gave hope that Venezuela would crawl out of the hole it has dug for itself.
Since Chavez has filled the judiciary and legislative branches of his government with lackeys, the new government dissolved these institutions, setting timetables for elections and restructuring.
However, following the depositiong of Chavez, all members of the OAS — save the USA - refused to recognize the new government, and called for Chavez' return. The previously alluded to irony is here: even Argentina, Ecuador and Peru called for Chavez' return (I hope Duhalde chokes on his steak tonight). Even Colombia — whose democracy and prosperity are threatened by insurgents who receive moral (and more?) support and justification from Chavez — called for his return.
Seeing the goings on, and seizing an opportunity to do what they do best — rob, murder, loot - all sorts of criminals from the slums, armed and equipped with motorcycles and cars by the Chavez administration came down to Caracas and raised hell demanding Chavez' return. They killed, they looted, they stole. Honest people, from the city and from the slums, stayed home. Remember these are honest people, like you and I, faced with the possibility of getting killed, they'll stay home. The military and police and national guard did nothing to protect the honest; all the activity the foreign press saw was that of pro-Chavez people. The army became divided and decided to reinstate Chavez. The new president and his administration were arrested. The military leaders that were so appalled by the murders on Thursday are either in jail or in hiding.
This is the popular uprising that the New York Times wrote about, that CNN reported on. A bunch of thugs, murderers and lowlifes, and the military.
All the media is affraid in Venezuela, the USA is silent, and the Latin American "brothers" are betraying. Yay.
The first leader to call and congradulate Chavez was Saddam Hussein. Then it was Castro.
To: Nobel Peace Prize Committee
Nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize, to be awarded to Mohammed Jan Naziri and Jora Mohammed Korbani, and other colleagues on the faculty of Kabul University, for efforts risking their own lives in order to prevent terrorist use of nuclear materials in their possession.
In investigative and mitigation efforts of the International Security Assistance Force, led by the British Royal Army, nuclear materials remaining from medical devices and physics experiments were hidden in basements, protected with lead, and documents relating to their existence were destroyed.
The scientists and their colleagues risked exposure to radioactivity by unorthodox methods of moving and storing these materials. They also risked their careers, reputations, and possibly their freedom or their lives by refusing to cooperate with officials from the Taliban government of Afghanistan who sought their cooperation in schemes to attract nuclear weapons scientists to their country on behalf of the terrorist network Al Qaeda led by Osama bin Laden.
April 14, 2002
Physically, going to a tournament is a pain. You'll swelter, get sore feet, spend $200 on Cokes, and wait in line forever to enter skanky port-a-wees. As the action unfolds, you'll either try to follow the leader, which means spending the day looking at the back of some guy's head and smelling a Very Large Array of armpits, or you'll "stake a claim" to a particular spot on the course and watch the same shot get played 100 times. Distant cheers and cries of "You de man!" serve as a constant taunt that something great is happening—somewhere else.
What is not quite as well-known is baseball's somewhat less-prestigious version of that tradition. Each season members of the 1988 Baltimore Orioles, who began the year with 21 straight losses, open a bottle of key lime Mad Dog 20/20 and drink the whole thing down in one gulp when the last pathetic team finally wins a game. Well, that mass toast was put on hold for another day, as the Detroit Tigers blew a late lead in partiularly sad fashion to drop to 0-11.
I would suggest that West had gotten his just rewards by being moved to New Jersey, except that his record suggests he probably won't spend a great deal of time there.Ouch. Leaving aside the huge differences between the beautiful Princeton area and the industrial areas that can be seen from the Turnpike (and, um, my bedroom window), I am sufficiently peeved by this comment to drop U.S.S. Clueless from its #1 position in my links list at left. When his site traffic plummets, Mr. Den Beste will have only himself to blame.
Update: Not that he actually apologized, but I accept Steven's apology anyway. He returns to the top of the links! Ah, Stevie, I can't stay mad at you for long, not with that lovable punim!
April 13, 2002
So a friend of mine (a socialist European type) sent me an email concerned about the recent events in Venezuela. He voiced concern about the “military coup” and about the loss of a strong “democratic” leader in South America, who was leading Venezuela on the road towards democratization and prosperity. I believe that many western liberals may be viewing the events in a similar light, and they are as wrong as it is possible to be. The change in power did not come about through a military coup, and Chavez was a friend neither of democracy and prosperity nor of peace. The change in power came from a clear and direct expression of the will of the people of Venezuela, and Chavez was a delusional budding dictator (and such a friend of violence, when you get dead ask the dead from his failed coup attempt in 1992). Here was my email reply to him:
Friend, the army didn’t take over. There was a popular revolt, led by the leaders of business and industry, trade unions and agrarian unions. It was preceded by months of attempted negotiations with a megalomaniac, power-hungry, delusional autocrat. There was then a four day general strike to protest his land redistribution (usurpation) programs, and his cronyistic and unwise policies in the energy, commerce, economic and foreign policy sectors, as well as many other failures on many fronts. There was then a peaceful march of over hundreds of thousands of citizens in the capital, demanding that “president” (dictator) Chavez, step down.Obviously this was written before Chavez reclaimed his office amid continued violent protests. I hope to have more from my friend as the situation develops.
Neighborhood groups loyal to Chavez (and possibly also the National Guard, though it’s not clear yet) began sniping at the crowd, leaving 11 dead and dozens injured. The leaders of Venezuela’s armed forces, upon realizing the violence and death that was being dealt out by the “president’s loyal followers, demanded that the president resign and informed him that they would not “defend” him against the citizens of Venezuela. At 3:30 AM Chavez resigned and was taken prisoner to investigate his role in the murder of the innocent protesters.
The military remained in power for 6-10 hours, until a new interim government was set up with the leader of Venezuela’s business and commerce union (FEDECAMERAS) at its head. The military is still very attentive to stop any sort of violence and looting that tends to happen when there is a sudden change in power. Based on the facts, I would say that Venezuela (and the Venezuelan military especially) showed the world how to change a political system quickly, yet humanely. The world should learn from this, the world should shower praise on the people and the military.
Chavez brought this on himself. If he had used his vast popularity to install policies that led to real growth, prosperity and a meritocracy in Venezuela, and if he had followed foreign policy based on logic and recognition of opportunities and advantages, Venezuela would have moved forward in his tenure and he would probably still be in power (even have the support of business and finance leaders in Venezuela). Instead, he followed populist Marxist policies of land and wealth “redistribution” without any concern for their development, sustainability and fairness; and pursued a foreign policy rooted in some sort of revolutionary idealism (seeking closer relationships with Cuba, Iraq, Iran, Libya and socialists in France - even going as far as calling that murderer Carlos the Jackal a hero; and voicing strong support for the violent left-wing revolutionary forces in Colombia; while instigating most of Europe and North America with his rhetoric and economic policies).
This is a great day for democracy and democratic institutions in the world. The military has showed itself to be a friend of the people, and the people have showed themselves to be brave enough to stand against a budding tyrant.
It may be hard for budding revolutionaries in developed and prosperous Western Europe and North America to understand this, what with all the time they have to dedicate to bringing down the capitalist “oppressive” foundations that allow them to live a life of idleness, prosperity and faux-revolutionary masturbation. In most of the world, people want the ability to work to make their dreams come true, want institutions that will give them the stability to follow their dreams, and want to be able to pass on the fruits of their hard work to their children and grandchildren. Populist-Marxist policies don’t help that, they do make for posters and t-shirts to piss off the establishment and your parents. They make the hungry less hungry for a week, and everybody starves after that.
This is hopefully a new beginning for Venezuela. It’s definitely an averted end.
April 12, 2002
April 11, 2002
But you know what? That's just the kind of moxie we here at The Donk admire! So go check out Dave's site. He's a Pittsburgh-based journalist who writes pretty darn well, is very interested in how cities live and die, worked in "lovely Jersey City" for nine months, and whose bio page features some hot puppet lovin'!
This is about the players who got their cup of coffee, spilled it all over the manager's crotch, and went back for refills--players whose failures were profound and significant. The list encompasses a range of types: broken-down has-beens, no-talent journeymen, eternally unripe prospects, flashes-in-the-pan who outstayed their welcome. Some were bad everywhere they played; some were bad only in Baltimore. Many of their performances testify to organizational stupidity; a few testify only to the perversity of fate. What they have in common is that the Orioles invested resources, hope, and/or playing time in them -- and got burned.Go check it out, and then write one for your own team.
April 10, 2002
Well, I figured it was timed to bring out the big guns, and explain the official Illuminated Donkey Conglomerated Media site metrics for determining traffic figures. The first step is, as Jeff Jarvis suggests, determining our daily page view figures using our handy GoStats counter seen on your left. Then, as each post is technically considered a different page according to Web-GAAC rules, we multiply the page views by the total number of posts. We then take that number and multiply it by our estimated “pass-along rate” of 3.15, this being the average number of people each of our readers tells about the site. At this point we add in our auxiliary page views, which includes a percentage of page views of sites which have linked to The Donk, plus an extra 10% boost if they say something nice about us. We then add 100 for each e-mail we get, and finally, we pull out my Game of Life from the closet, spin the clackety-clack spinner, and multiply the total by the result.
Then, we take one penny for each visitor, dump the pile on the bed, and roll around in it naked, laughing and laughing and laughing and laughing until we pass out.
I have been unspeakably lame, blog-wise, there's no way around it. And I can't snap out of it just yet, because I'm talking to a bunch of students at the College of Creative Studies at UCSB today, and I need to think about things to say, so I can forget them all and ramble in inarticulate circles like I did last year. [...] And, I have to be inspiring about the artist's life! I have to talk about how gratifying it is to make a living through your art, at a time when I would blow spider monkeys for $10 an hour if someone offered me the job.Go there and read the whole thing. Put your beverage down first, though.
Oh, and you've also apparently sunk the entire publishing industry. Nice going...DICK!
By the way, here's a great quote from the MSNBC article:
“Oprah is very big on giving of herself and doing loving things for people, but she expects a giving, loving reaction in return,” says one insider. “The Franzen episode was very, very hurtful. Her attitude was, who needs this, not just in terms of Franzen, but the entire endeavor.”While I certainly admire the insider's restraint in not mentioning Oprah's heat vision or ability to bring sight to the blind, I'm even more impressed with the restraint in letting this massive suckup quote go uncredited. Five bucks says that the insider has already managed to drop a few hints regarding the source.
April 09, 2002
Mr. The Fat Guy: Thank you very much for your kind words regarding The Illuminated Donkey and its affiliated operations, which I will be sure to pass along directly to Mr. Goldstein. As for your question regarding his recent posting output: unfortunately, he's been so busy lately with his longtime hobbies of drinking, whoring, and $10-$20 Texas Hold `Em that he's only had time to plagiarize and post a few paragraphs from old Readers' Digest's "Life in these United States" columns before passing out in a pool of vomit. Fortunately the container ships are crossing the Pacific, and our shipment of cheap foreign punditry labor will be arriving soon. It's the same type that Glenn Reynolds and VodkaPundit use, so get ready for some big-time posting!Well, we just heard that the containers have run into some transloading difficulty somewhere in Vancouver, so that shipment might be a bit delayed. Our overseas supplier did offer to send us 1000 monkeys and typewriters in the interim, but I'm not sure we have time for that.
Still, be prepared for some big changes here at The Donk, for with some much-appreciated help from my good friend Mike Whybark (whose own blog is so damn good that I can only read it one paragraph at a time for fear of quality overdose) I will hopefully soon be moving this site off of Blogspot and to its very own location. My understanding is that this will involve countless man-hours and an elaborate system of ropes and pulleys, so it could take a while. I tend to be pretty inertian about this sort of thing, so it would probably help if some of you wrote to me periodically and called me a goddamned shiftless layabout, or words to that effect. Thank you in advance.
The Later: Well it turns out that I need to take back my previous snarky comments, since the BHNC does now host better bands than I remember. It was a pretty poor venue, though: hot, sticky, almost impossible to see anything that was happening (especially for my little sister, who's at least six inches shorter than me). It made me feel old. The show was decent, not particluarly notable. Too many of the songs ran together for me, and a couple of hours later I can't remember too much of what happened. Still, you should definitely check out this video for their quite excellent song 'Fell In Love With A Girl,' as it's made entirely out of Legos!
April 08, 2002
If you've got a gripe with the umpires, you'll no longer be able to yell, "C'mon, Blue!" because that color has been excised from the umps' outfits, ending a 120-year tradition. After last year's experiment with cream-colored shirts drew criticism from pitchers, who complained that the shirts were the same color as the ball and therefore made it hard to discern line drives hit back to the mound, umps are now wearing gray polo shirts with a hint of olive—similar to their trousers.
Speaking of Hitchcock, to me, that's the real issue with the Yankees and their payroll. It isn't so much the guys like Mussina and Giambi that bother me, but rather the guys like Ron Coomer, John Vander Wal, and Hitchcock -- decent major leaguers who are basically picking up a couple million each to hang around the locker room just in case one of the superstars go down.
Lee Widener of the site Neverendingwonder.com also goes with Pogoas the top choice, describing it as standing "miles above all others." Widener's interesting shortlist of "The Greatest Comic Strips Ever" includes Peanuts, and Doonesbury, as well as Gasoline Alley, Thimble Theater (Popeye), Krazy Kat, and Will Eisner's Spirit.
In "Walt Kelly's Pogo: The Best Funny Animal Strip of All Time," Hal Higdon also tries to determine if any strip can match Pogo, bringing up recent entries like Bloom County and Calvin and Hobbes (I was a huge fan of the former, while I admired more than enjoyed Bill Watterson's strip).
April 07, 2002
*My opinion on this incredibly important subject changes pretty regularly, though I've narrowed it down to three choices: Pogo, Peanuts, and Doonesbury. I'm generally inclined to go with Pogo because its 1950's period was so superlative, though I haven't had much interest in much of what Kelly did afterwards.
Though recent, the practice of inviting controversial guests to the dinner is fairly common, with past examples including Fawn Hall, Paula Jones, Marla Maples, and Larry Flynt. Of course, if the invitation falls through, Sharon could simply tell Ozzy that they did, in fact, meet with Bush, snap her fingers twice in front of his face, and the experience would be pretty much the same.
April 06, 2002
- United States Ambassador to Bahrain Ronald Neumann is being condemned for asking for a minute’s silence in honor of Israeli civilians killed in terrorist attacks, following a similar minute given to Palestinian victims.
- Members of the Norwegian committee that awards the Peace Prize have said that they regret that Shimon Peres' prize could not be recalled; no mention was made of similar regrets regarding Arafat's award the same year.
- Reports on anti-Jewish violence in Berkeley, France, Belgium, and Canada,
April 05, 2002
Meanwhile, a gentleman named Terence M. Kennedy has reproduced some rare historical documents on his site, including a 1909 souvenir program presented at a dinner commemorating the fifth anniversary of the joining of New York and New Jersey via the Hudson tubes. Kennedy also presents web editions of the books "Tunneling Under the Hudson River: Being a Description of the Obstacles Encountered, the Experience Gained, the Success Achieved, and the Plans Finally Adopted for Rapid and Economical Prosecution of the Work" (they sure don't write titles like they used to) and "Tunnel Under the East River." The works are chock-full of cool photos, drawings, and ads, though the latter two are more technical than the souvenir program.
I found it all extremely interesting, but obviously your mileage may vary. Basically, to quote Abraham Lincoln, "People who like this sort of thing will find this the sort of thing they like."
April 04, 2002
In related news, I am proud to see that I've jumped up to #4 in Google's "Donkey" search results, passing "the largest and most comprehensive Miniature Donkey site on the Internet" and The American Donkey and Mule Society. And don't get too cocky there, Donkey Breed Society; I'm coming after you next!
April 03, 2002
If you ever the opportunity, the Frick is an amazing little jewel of a museum overlooking Central Park West at 70th Street, and never fails to transport me back to a different era (granted, an era where a man can amass a fortune through brutal, anti-union labor policies, but let's just ignore that for the moment). The setting is a gorgeous mansion with a wonderul indoor garden/fountain, and the intimate rooms are filled with works by Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Vermeer, Whistler, Gainsborough, Titian, El Greco, and many others. Truly a small treasure.
April 02, 2002
Update: Um...the link to the message thread seems to be down, and I can't find it. In the meantime, amuse yourself with this sea otter cam (7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. Pacific) from the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
1. New York Yankees
Five out in August?
"Yawn," says Mr. Steinbrenner.
"Buy Walker and Bonds."
2. Boston Red Sox
Not quite another
Spahn and Sain and pray for rain.
Try Pedro and floods.
3. Toronto Blue Jays
The hitting is there,
But something just seems missing...
More than two starters!
4. Baltimore Orioles
Lots of young hitters
Mixed with a few veterannnnnzzzzzzzzzzz.
Sorry — dozed off there.
5. Tampa Bay Devil Rays
My fantasy league:
Every Yankee was drafted
Before the first Ray.
1. Minnesota Twins
Every hard-fought win
Is a glorious, shining
F.U. to Selig.
2. Chicago White Sox
They'll win 85.
If the Big Hurt can stay Un-.
That could be enough.
3. Cleveland Indians
Colon and C.C.
Replace the lost superstars:
Gain eighty pounds each.
4. Detroit Tigers
When will they fire
Randy Smith and Phil Garner?
The ballpark's nice, though.
5. Kansas City Royals
Lose Damon and Dye.
Gain Hernandez and Neifi.
And for your next trick?
1. Seattle Mariners
It can't happen twice!
There's regression to the mean!
Fine. Ninety-nine wins.
2. Oakland Athletics
Giambi's gone, but
Hudson, Mulder, and Zito
Are the game's best three.
3. Texas Rangers
They backed up the truck,
Signed a dozen free agents,
But still lose 10-8.
4. Anaheim Angels
Not really awful,
But need two or three pitchers
To escape last place.
1. Atlanta Braves
Someday, years from now,
Maddux and Glavine will lose.
And we’ll have jetpacks!
2. Philadelphia Phillies
Old Mariners fans
Would rather poke out their eyes
Than watch Mesa close.
3. New York Mets
Too tough to predict:
Could win or lose 95.
Let’s say .500.
4. Florida Marlins
The baseball fans ask,
From Jasper to Miami,
“Is Cliff Floyd hurt yet?”
5. Montreal Expos
If a team loses
And nobody comes to watch,
Does it make a sound?
1. St. Louis Cardinals
Forget all the hype,
They’ll succeed for one reason:
Best uniforms ever.
2. Houston Astros
Wins like Enron stock,
Dropping from high in 90’s
Not quite down to zero.
3. Chicago Cubs
They’ll win through July,
Then a mass realization:
“Oh yeah, we’re the Cubs.”
4. Milwaukee Brewers
On hot summer days
Milwaukee fans cool down, with
The breeze from the whiffs.
5. Cincinnati Reds
Off to Cinergy?
Be sure to get there early:
You might get to start!
6. Pittsburgh Pirates
Sure, they’re small market,
But I can’t feel too sorry:
Derek Freaking Bell?!
1. San Diego Padres
Do I really think
That they’ll win the division?
Hell, somebody will.
2. San Francisco Giants
Bonds slugs 100,
Finds bin Laden, cures cancer.
Still misses playoffs.
3. Arizona Diamondbacks
Bottom of the ninth,
Rivera to Gonzalez!
Now back to the pack.
4. Colorado Rockies
Move in the fences,
Fill the balls with helium,
The hitting still sucks.
5. Los Angeles Dodgers
Don’t worry, Shawn Green,
You can sit out Yom Kippur,
The team's 14 back.
April 01, 2002
Speaking of old, I have to admit I felt a bit old when I watched a bit of the Cardinals-Rockies game and saw that Jose Oquendo was coaching third base for St. Louis. I know I haven't been following the N.L. too closely in recent years, but I have to admit that I thought he was still playing somewhere (a quick check of the record showed me how wrong I was; he hasn't played in about five years). Anyway, it's a little jarring for me to see players like Lee Mazzilli, Alan Trammell and Robby Thompson patrolling the lines, but the following lines from Rob Neyer's Opening Day diary made me feel a little better:
For me, the highlight of Opening Day 2002 was hearing Rickey Henderson had finally put his "John Henry" on a major-league contract and that Tim Raines made the Marlins' roster. As long as those two old leadoff men are still playing, I'll consider myself a young man.As long as Rickey's still being Rickey there's a little hope for all of us.
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