Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Bobs, Dick

Call me one of the infuriated. I'm not really in a position to add yet another monthly subscription fee to my budget, but I really want a subscription to XM satellite radio. Morning Edition is still a fine program without Bob Edwards, but it just seems that NPR management must be really out of tune with their audience to make a move like this, which doesn't bode well for my primary source of news.

On the bright side, at least one Bob is being recognized for his contributions to society. The commemoration of fictional characters in our public spaces would seem to indicate that our society has run short of real people worthy of the honor (the statue, while referred to as "The Bob Newhart statue" by sponsor TV Land on its website, is still clearly a depiction of Bob Hartley, Newhart's character on "The Bob Newhart Show" -- he's sitting on a bronze version of his office chair, and the statue's location is one featured in the show's opening credits). However, I'm still for it.

Speaking of TV characters in our public sphere, anyone else miss Dan Quayle? I keep hoping for Dick Cheney to weigh in on the recently announced gay-marriage episode of The Simpsons, but any comments he may have made seem to have been caught by the censors.

Here's five dollars. Thanks, and see you next week.

N.H. Man Finishes Golfing Across Mongolia. Why? To raise awareness of Mongolia, to pioneer the sport of "extreme golf" and to "expand the artistic imagination." No word on whether he tipped his caddy.


Can you hear me now?

From NASA: At 20 times the size of Earth, the largest sunspot observed since the fall solar storm onslaught is now pointed directly at Earth. Its unusually large size also means that it's now visible with the naked eye (although you should never look at the Sun without a proper filter). The implications of this spot have scientists on the edge of their seats - if the active region generates coronal mass ejections (CMEs), massive explosions with a potential force of a billion megaton bombs, it will be a fairly direct hit to Earth and its satellites and power grids.

Here is the rest of the article, which also contains a few short movies featuring our very own sun.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Well son, Shamu is kissing him.

Whale goes nuts, bites guy Of all the things I have had to communicate to Renee by spelling so that the boy wouldn't hear this has got to be the goofiest. S-h-a-m-u-a-t-t-a-c-k. It does not hold the record for the thing that I have had to spell the most times until the message was recieved.

Monday, July 26, 2004

Small Fish in a Big Pond

Hmm. That is small. Scientists have now identified the world's smallest fish.

Also, please spend a moment learning about a really small hippo.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

I liked the book but the movie was better

Look what I found If the idea of a "live action" Thunderbirds movie is turning your stomach check out this site. Be forwarned that the navigation is challenging. What I get from it is that there is at least a DVD release and likely a Director's Cut in cinemas this fall. My experience is that directors generally cut for shit the second time around but I'll still go just to see THX on a big screen in THX sound.
There was an excellent episode of South Park about directors recutting films that apparently hit pretty close to home for a couple of up and coming directors named Spielberg and Lucas. Parker and Stone probably saved us all a DV of Raiders and likely a fourth "Collector's edition" of Star Wars.
I came across the THX1138 site while looking for a nice net niche to note a nifty nuance in the 1970 film "Born to Win." As George Segal and Karen Black are driving into NYC the scene is blurred then snaps into focus on a marquee showing Lucas' movie.
A couple of cool things about "Born to Win." I like George Segal anyway but this was a pretty tight little flick and was more about capturing the scene than teaching a lesson. Reviews I have found compare it as superior to the oft cable available "Panic in Needle Park." Karen Black is in it and is notably watchable as her odd looks are not as distracting as in subsequent films. Her role and musical cues usually make her out to be a sort of sex goddess. In my view she usually reads as a malformed Raquel Welch. She sings well in this movie as an added bonus.
Robert DeNiro plays a small part as a narc which led me to IMDB to confirm his face. I found there that he was in an earlier Scorsese project called "Greetings" and then something I'd very much like to see called " Hi Mom" that was sometime retitled " Son of Greetings" since he was playing the same character.

Friday, July 23, 2004

Hey, where's Karl?

"The FBI has received unconfirmed information that a domestic group is planning to disrupt the Democratic National Convention by attacking media vehicles with explosives or incendiary devices," the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Boston field office said in a statement.

Chipmakers battle for market share

Today Jay, tomorrow you...or you! Last night I saw a billboard on 280 for this new Lay's campaign targeting our local brand, Old Dutch. It purports to compare Lay's "Classic" to " unflavored" Old Dutch in a taste test and it seems wrong. They didn't ask me, but I and people in my car generally have a preference for Old Dutch. I am guessing that if you live around here you might too.
In addition to what was likely an equally unfair and unscientific study it bugs me that they are taking on the regional brand. Now I learn that this is a national brand's declaration of (chip)war opening up on many fronts.  I guess they are taking a cue from the war on terror.
I would like to point out that beyond the category of "plain" FritoLay would have a hard time competing with Old Dutch in a one to one matchup. FritoLay doesn't even make Dill Pickle, Ketchup, or Garlic potato chip.
I have always been a big fan of OD and have intended for years to write them a letter of support. Now's the time. I buy the chips and I'd hope a testimonial might make someone's day. Now that they are taking on my favorite brand I think I now have to write a little note to Frito Lay also. I have been meaning to write them a cranky note about what I have perceived as a lapse in Frito quality. 
Here are the sites of the players. Support your local brand if they make good chips. That goes double for little pretzels.
Old Dutch
Summit Extra Pale Ale

No quiz can be considered a complete test for intellectual strength

Quiz me! I got a mere three and Bill got a much better five correct answers. Notice the complete omission of questions related to brain sandwiches.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Alert Charlton Heston

Ronald Reagan lives! According to a source who spoke to our Department of Conspiracies on the condition of anonymity, Reagan's brain has been implanted into a new body. At some point after he left office his brain was removed and placed in criogenic storage until a suitable host could be found. Two weeks ago, one was identified on the verge of death. She is said to have made a miraculous recovery and has already started mimicking behaviors associated with the 40th president.

Singularity my robotic ass

Stuff goes in-Stuff comes out Steven Hawking hit the news this week announcing that after many years of thought he is reversing his 1975 assertion that Hawking Radiation, the dribs and drabs of heat energy that escapes a black hole, is not a significant paradox of the event horizon. Turns out that over the verrrry long haul everything comes back, including information about what exactly went into the gravity well although well mangled by that point. He addressed some of his comments to the science fiction fans in the audience saying that they'l have to look somewhere else for the secret trapdoor out.
Despite his brushoff this week I am sticking to my guns. Maybe he'll come around to my way of believing that the stuff coming out is someone else's stuff and, if we are really patient, we can sift through it and confirm that the emissions are really a message or at least some banana peels and old newspapers from the other side. Ten foot tall intelligent blue bananas, with hands for holding the newspapers.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Happy New Year!

Doty New Year, that isIt is 7/21 again and time to celebrate the festival of tiny lights.
Q: Why do we mark the turn of the year in the middle of the summer?
A: I can't remember exactly.
Q: Who is Bob Doty?
A: Some guy Dregni knows from high school.
Q: If I glance at a clock or hear a radio announce the time or pick a random number why is it so frequently 721?
A: It is our greatest mystery. It provides both comfort and torment.
Q: How should I play it in Roulette?
A: Play the 7 at full odds but you can spead your bet on the 21 if you have to. Don't play 2 and 1 seperately, that's foolish.

Monday, July 19, 2004

I steal bandwidth but I'm going to change

I got into a bad habit of "deep linking" images to this site and sucking the photos you see off of other sites and servers. When you see it here you are actually seeing that part of somone else's site.
That's a crappy thing to do and I'd apologise if it came to that. It's not like linking to something cool on another site and sending the business their way. Since I want to have cool pictures without the gut wrenching complexity of justifying moral relativism I will have to dig up a photo hosting server. Let me know if you have a good free one to recommend. Meanwhile, enjoy the beauty of text while I wrestle with the ethics of simply swiping JPEGs.

Friday, July 16, 2004

I'm off to London to collect my winnings

Quiz me! Congratulations to Bill on a remarkable six correct answers. He now has the awesome responsibility of stepping in if I should become unable to fulfil my duties as the smartest person.
I got 7.
Now that I know the meaning of "cohort" I can pretty much wrap up this whole learning thing for good.

Word of the day

Cohort Sometimes I learn my one thing early in the day. I had not known until this morning that cohort is a collective noun usually used to describe a demographic or category. I thought it was just a way to descibe a member of a social group. My world just got a littlr bigger.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Bush chooses Gephardt as running mate

Four more years for Uncle DickOthers have speculated that Bush would try to supercharge his re-election campaign with a blood transfusion. According to statements today, that will happen over Cheney's dead body. I will speculate that President Bush will force Dick Cheney to either fake his own death or actually die in the months prior to the election in order to change the ticket.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Check out my can

Ikea has Candy Rats Aroma I was down by the Mall of America yesterday taking care of some non-indoor rollercoaser with rubber wheels business when I realized that I was just across the road from the new Ikea store. I decided to take a spin thorugh their lot and check it out.
The building is huge and the underneath is a drive-through parking and loading area. That suprised me. It makes sense from a retail standpoint but I wouldn't want to be the one to pay the heat bill. As I pulled through on my biathalon of rubbernecking and pylon slalom I saw at least two families with grocery sacks, coolers, and cots unloading in the white zone. I thought, "They definitely need to get some new folding cots and tote bags," then I realized that at 4 in the afternoon, a full 16 hours before the opening of a Swedish Target store in the middle of the concrete prairie, people were camping out. These fans were sitting out to be counted among the first shoppers. Counted among the first shoppers eligible to recieve a ready-to-assemble laminated wood, hex key, and barrel nut chair worth $160 bucks, that is. Bless them. I wonder if they used to do that for the Who twenty years ago and now cannot see making the effort for Nickleback but want to share something similar with the kids.
We got the catalog in the mail, that's how I know about the free chair. We also got the comlimentary issue of the StarTribune provided by our new neighbors, Ikea. The Strib has been packing it's news hole with Ikea wonderment for a few weeks now. I expect the next issue to be printed on laminated birch plywood and look pretty good.
So Renee went today. It was my niece's birthday wish to redo her room in Pergo and Ikea so she celebrated with a spree. I cannot get her to eat the herring and onions though.
I recieved this understated watering can which does a fine job of carrying water to my house plants. I even watered Preston for a bit before bedtime until he protested.

Freedom of Choice

This is not the van I sawYesterday I got off work a little early to drive down to Bloomington on some non-Swedish furniture business. As I hit the street, it was south Sixth street between Nicolet and Marquette, I did a double take as some large truck, a 20 footer, headed east with me. It had a huge photo mural of an aborted foetus on it with some slogans. It followed traffic, and me, most of the five blocks to my garage. It was disconcerting.
When I got home last evening I told Renee about it. She had seen it also while dining on the patio of the Hard Rock a block further west. She and her lunch companion discussed it briefly, got the opinion of the server on how it was affecting the outside wait staff and then they dropped the topic to continue their meal. Renee says that the truck was circling and crossed behind her companion about every six or seven minutes through the meal. It was distracting, but not worth bringing it to the attenditon of the other person. Why upset two lunches? It turns out there were four trucks downtown yesterday. Each with a different graphic image and followed by a carload of private security. One of the other three had been crossing behind Renee on Hennepin every six or seven minutes and her friend had likewise decided not to mention it. Why upset two lunches?
I have seen a few truck billboards before. They are generally a drag. They go slow, reduce visibility and they create a distraction for other drivers. If you were thinking about building one and driving it around please reconsider. Whatever your product or position it is not a good way to get the message out. Perhaps you could try skywriting instead.

Happy Bastille Day!

Sacre Bleu! Le soleil a éclaté! Nothing says Liberte, Fraternite, Eaqualite like a massive nucléaire storm. Be sure to click on the image for a looped amimation of the explosion.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

I promise not to steal much from

But just this once Thanks Zach. the whole thread is a humor meltodwn and worth some time

Splake? Splake.

Anyway, it's delicious. This fella caught a big fish that no one can identify. Unfortunately it's not as exciting as coelocanth but when the Wisconsin DNR has trouble judging a trout it's pretty unusual. Maybe they can get some specialists up from Kentucky.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Calling Dr. Benway

Meet the Beat I've always had a fondness for William S. Burroughs and in addition to the devotion of a fan who's been reading him since high school I get a kick out of the fact that I happened to go to the same high school that he attended. In fact, he was born across the street from it although he didn't graduate from JBS having been removed to a boarding school in the southwest during his adolescent years. I originally became interested when the school library had a glass case displaying the works of prominent alumni but would not allow me to check out Naked Lunch from their restricted archive. "Interested" is a poor choice. "Ravenous for subversive material" is more like it.

Just this evening I was looking for info on a copy of "The Exterminator" I have picked up along the way. It is currently about 9.99 on Ebay but that's not the point. I found a couple of pretty good biography sites and learned that his first published story was in the John Burroughs Review, the high school literary magazine. Cool. I used to work on the Review and had a couple of things in it too. It means very little in any terms but it's about the only brush with greatness in my recollection.

By way of greatness brushing comparison I have not gained any special affinity for pioneering woman journalist, Ernest Hemmingway marrier, and fellow JBS alum Martha Gellhorn even after learning this evening that she was published in that same journal 42 times. In fact that seems a little overmuch for submitting to the high school poetry mag.

Other brushes with greatness? I did write for the rock magazine in a strictly liquored up capacity. I interviewed Debbie Gibson on the phone once. I went backstage at Glam Slam and asked Mojo Nixon and Dred Zeppelin rude questions. Later I rode down an elevator in Austin, Texas with Mojo and two cases of Budweiser. That's pretty workmanlike brushes though. Here is Mojo with Pauly Shore.

Caspar Weinberger's entourage almost knocked me and Bill down during a CloseUp visit to the Capitol. We glimpsed him. A short man.

If you are a friend who has achieved greatness in your field and didn't turn up in this entry don't fret. I'll write about you when I am trying to price out some of your old CDs on Ebay. Hanging out with Caspar and Pauly wouldn't hurt your chances.

Friday, July 09, 2004

Patrick McGoohan vs Iron Maiden

Scroll down to the music section Tonight I will be enjoying the show but until then I can read hundreds of fan sites and listen to music inspired by the television priogram. Should I print out a map of the village and mark my favorite scenes for later re-enactment?

It's a great day for a quiz game. Let's play two!

Quiz me! I got five this week. I feel pretty up on things. Bill got four. I missed the Orson Welles question and the Norwegian drunk driver.
Bonus Quiz me! Bill seems to know an awful lot about tea time, he got 5. I got a mere 4 (dregs). I need to brush up on british rhyming slang and labor law it seems.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Minneapolis not Constantinople

TMBG vs children If you live in this area and have any excuse to get out of what you are doing Saturday morning I urge you to go to this. If you don't already own a copy of No! go buy it and play the flash games and listen to "John Lee, Supertaster" until you know it by heart. We probably won't make it due to circus class and dragon boat practice. Dang.

German software breakthough

Test your skill Here is a high quality time waster. Use your mouse to keep the drunk upright as he walks down the street. The sound is a little loud for my cube so watch out. It involves belching, yodeling in German, and falling down noises. Die Getrunkenschwankenwelt magazine calls it. "sehr realistisch!"

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

News you can use if you choose

Quiz me! I got 4 Bill got a mere 2 and neither of us have seen this W photo. Have you?

Saturday, July 03, 2004


Robots need some bandwidth Yep. and it has space mummies.