Monday, August 31, 2009

It's a small small world

Surprised that something like this--Disney's acquisition of Marvel Comics--didn't happen earlier. Marvel is a tempting prize because they have readily identifiable characters. Of course now comics themselves are probably not going to be the top grosser for that division. No, this is a matter of synergy, and of course books on how to treat at bridge.

Mickey and Donald can take a couple of days off a week now. On those days, visitors in Orlando will have a Beretta trained on them by a tense and sweaty Frank Castle.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Friday Random Ten Sales Resistance Edition

Tonight I was in the coffee shop at Borders. The guy at the table next to me had a meeting. It turned out to be a pitch for Amway or something like that. Without making a deal about it I switched tables. It was apparent we were working at cross purposes.

Anyway, music without any further ado.

1. Talking Heads--Life During Wartime
2. Ladytron--Evil
3. The Squirrel Nut Zippers--It Ain't You
4. David Bowie--Aladdin Sane
5. Elvis Costello & the Imposters w/ Lucinda Williams--There's a Story in Your Voice
6. Grizzly Bear--Cheerleader
7. Todd Rundgren--Black Maria
8. The Who--I Need You*
9. Burning Airlines--The Deluxe War Baby
10. Joni Mitchell--Don't Interrupt the Sorrow

Keith sings!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Check it with Beckett

My congressman recently lost his dad, as you may have heard. What will be the long-reaching effects? Don't know. It does make for a sad week.

As might other things. But hell, let's go for the mood changer. How about a brilliant avant garde one-act about eighties toy cartoons?

"It's today here, too." True that.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

This just in

Looks like the Democrats may sort of be thinking about closing that barn door. California's Senator Boxer says:

"I think we can do better on the messaging and I think we will do better once we have a final (Senate) bill," Boxer, D-Calif., told reporters at a news conference in Kaiser Permanente's new medical office building, soon after watching an electronic medical record demonstration and holding a round-table meeting with Kaiser doctors, nurses and administrators.

"There's no question we're being out-shouted" by Republicans, she said, adding "all this hullabaloo" about public funding for abortions or government "death panels" deciding who'll live or die "is made up." She said she's especially offended by the "chutzpah" of Republicans who claim Democratic health care proposals would gut Medicare coverage for seniors; she's appalled by "the nerve of folks who were against Medicare, who said it should die on the vine, who now say Democrats are against Medicare."

Being outshouted? Where'd she get that crazy idea?

The puzzling thing here is that if you want horror stories about healthcare as it's practiced now--rather than some dystopian future where Obamanazis shove grandma into the gas chamber--they're out there. Take the opportunity of the townhall meetings to wheel out some people who have been there, and the game would go differently. If protesters want to shout down nurses, patients, ER doctors, they'd lose much of their PR advantage. Yelling at Senators and Representatives, by contrast, is fairly risk-free. We all know that if people in suspenders flip out at a guy in a suit, they must have a good reason for it.

For a while now I've had serious doubts about whether the liberal side is at all serious about passing substantive reform. I know conservatives are quite serious about blocking it. That tends to make the difference.

Monday, August 24, 2009


Not just adorable, this is also pretty interesting. The reason New Zealand has (or had) so many flightless birds is of course because of its isolation. No mammals meant that a lot of niches opened up. The motions and body language of this kiwi are subtly mammalian, in fact. Like a cross between a mole and a prairie dog, or something. Anyway, it's fun to watch.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Dog Days of Summer Saturday Random Ten

As suggesticated earlier, this turned out to be a week when Friday Random Ten came on Saturday. Again, a steaming Saturday, which I guess is to be expected in late August.

Building the library back up from square one (except for a few iTunes purchases that transferred over) is actually kind of exhilirating, in a way. Anyway, here goes.

1. Johnny Mathis--It's Not For Me to Say
2. David Bowie--Lady Grinning Soul
3. My Brightest Diamond--Feeling Good
4. Stan Kenton & His Orchestra--Lover
5. Elvis Costello & the Imposters--Button My Lip
6. The Kinks--Autumn Almanac
7. Soul Coughing--Fully Retractable
8. Todd Rundgren--Little Red Lights
9. The Squirrel Nut Zippers--Blue Angel
10. Grizzly Bear--Hold Still

Friday, August 21, 2009

All together no


The Fab Four's legacy will endure, no doubt. But I'm starting to think there's a shortage of quality drugs.

And Bob Zemeckis may never exactly have been Orson Welles, but he was a good director for a time. Rather than an elderly child who only plays with one toy.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Retroactive service advisory blues

So where've I been? Right here.

The blog? Collateral damage for the past few days. Monday night, I noticed the screen image was all gimped out. Somewhere along the line something in the monitor broke, leaving my laptop in a Terri Schiavo-like condition. Long story short, I wound up replacing the laptop.

No Friday Random Ten tomorrow. I have to rebuild my iTunes library as well. We'll see about Saturday.

As Samuel L. Jackson said in Black Snake Moan, "I've had it with these motherfuckin' snakes in my motherfuckin' black moan."

Friday, August 14, 2009

Here come the weekend and the Friday Random Ten

It's Friday so it's that time. It'll be nice to be able to sleep in tomorrow. And hopefully if I wake up at 6:30 I'll just lie back down and have a good laugh. (A good solitary laugh, but thanks for asking.)

1. Ladytron--Light & Magic
2. Tom Waits--Metropolitan Glide
3. The White Stripes--300 M.P.H. Torrential Outpour Blues
4. The Dresden Dolls--Missed Me
5. Nancy Wilson--All My Tomorrows
6. Harry Nilsson--Salmon Falls
7. Grizzly Bear--All We Ask
8. Captain Beefheart--Dirty Blue Jean*
9. Walter Wanderley--Voce e Eu
10. Bjork--Earth Intruders

* The 1980 song, not the 1967 instrumental. Keeping us on our toes Cap'n?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

This is just to say...

Yes, this is a lame week for updates. Last night I was hampered by a sudden and total loss of Internet service, which I think was common to Cox subscribers in this area. Tonight I was stymied by (something something mumble mumble). Yeah, that's totally it.

Tomorrow a (hopefully) exciting Friday Random Ten.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Mmm, that's good anthropomorphism

Always on the lookout here for good animation and puppet clips, so Puppetoon stuff is a natural winner. But this one is right off the charts. It's George Pal's Tubby the Tuba, from 1947.

That's got to be one of the most charming pieces of film ever put together. And credit where credit is due, YouTube user videos4everyone did a fine job putting it on the site.

Being a tuba needn't be a source of shame. Something to remember.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Seems like old times: The Friday Random Ten

Sigh of relief. Sigh of frustration. Generalized sigh.

It's a different iPod now, for reasons that I won't go into right now. Still getting adjudted, because the clickwheel works a little differently. And the syncing problem turned out to have a simple solution that made me feel a lil dumb.

But anyway, it feels good to be back.

1. Mimi & Richard Fariña--Pack Up Your Sorrows
2. Tori Amos--Pandora's Aquarium
3. Elvis Costello & the Attractions--All This Useless Beauty
4. Tom Waits--Sins of My Father
5. Dave Sitek--With a Girl Like You
6. Prince--Let's Pretend We're Married
7. Dinah Washington--Big Long Slidin' Thing
8. Sarah McLachlan--Blue
9. Battles--Leyendecker
10. Stan Kenton & His Orchestra--Incident in Jazz

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Weird to do list

This is Sue Savage-Rumbaugh--whom I've blogged about before--and Kanzi, the bonobo she and other researchers have been studying all his life. One difference between her and previous ape language researchers is that her primary focus is on word comprehension rather than syntax (which other animal subjects turned out to have learned by rote rather than true understanding.) Kanzi does actually seem able to put together these crazy requests of hers.

Of course it's lucky when she said "Put the soap on your ball" he didn't think she said "balls." Knowing bonobos, that could've gotten messy.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Foxy Roxy

This I found on the 'tube a while ago and thought it a cool blast from the past.

That's pretty damn trippy. And even in the '70s, you'd have to know that a gold lamé V-neck sweater is inadvisable. But that guy is just so good at playing the transparent violin, he knows he can get away with it.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

How to screw yourself in a browning America

Really, now. This is quite the golden opportunity, isn't it? Recycling the "but he still hasn't shown us his real, honest-to-Godfrey birth certificate" line some more. Yes, I'm sure that's going to appeal to that growing throng of Hispanic and Asian voters. The Sotomayor confirmation hearings have done such wonders already. Yeah, if you like hearing "what, you just get off the boat?" and "you speaka de English Pedro?", you'll love it on the national stage.

I wonder how many conservatives believe George Bush's downfall was his failure to be a complete bigoted asshole.