January 26, 2006 at 5:52 am (Politics, Random)

On January 19, 2009, outgoing President George W. Bush issues a full pardon to Kenneth “Kenny Boy” Lay, immediately releasing the convicted felon from a 40 sentence in a federal penitentiary. Suddenly, the words Marc and Rich are absent from the vocabularies of Brit Hume, Rush Limbaugh, and Glenn Reynolds as the three spindoctors emphatically defend “Presidential deference.”


“[The judge’s] ruling Monday denied the former executives’ last-minute request to move the trial based on potential jurors’ vitriolic statements about Lay and Skilling on questionnaires.”

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3 voices

January 24, 2006 at 6:40 am (Portland, Random)

TriMet recently began the “transit tracker” program, which I hereby declare to be the best thing to happen to mass transit since the inception of the 90% taxpayer subsidy. Basically, every bus and train is equipped with a GPS (transponder that makes your location visible to a satellite network), and if you call a hotline it will tell you how long you have to wait until the next one arrives. I am pretty sure the estimate is based solely on distance, i.e., it doesn’t incorporate real-time traffic data, but it’s quite the start. Think about it–what is the first thing you do when you get to the station? You look down the road/track to see if you can see anything coming. Wash/rinse/repeat. I laud the effort: tracking thousands of vehicles with space probes, sending the data to a computer that calculates travel times on a road network in a major metropolitan area, and making the data available at the click of a cell phone…but couldn’t they have hired an actor or something? Maybe it’s just typical Portland-PC-run-amok, but here we have a male, female, and some combination of Arab/cyborg providing information to the traveling public. To wit:

I was going home today, and I called 503-238-7433 to see which of the two bus lines I can take to my house was due sooner (it affects my consumption patterns). I typed in the station ID number, and here is what I heard, phonetically:

Arab Cyborg: 6 MAR-tin LOO-therking JOON-yer BOO-levard to VAN-couver (read: 6 MLK Jr. Blvd. to Vancouver)

Normal Man’s Voice: Arriving in.


Normal Woman’s Voice: 4

{Awkward Pause}

Same Normal Man: Minutes.

I’m not kidding. I remember we had a talking computer in 6th grade (I’m 28). Is it that hard to standardize the voice program? Hell, I’ll read a bunch of numbers off a card for a lot less than they paid Microsoft.

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Why I can’t keep booze in the house

January 24, 2006 at 6:39 am (Personal, Random, Uncategorized)

I just drank half a fifth of Tuaca, by myself, while watching 24. (great show, by the way) Sorry Crazy Jon, it’s all gone.

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Super Picks

January 18, 2006 at 4:21 pm (Sports)

Here is all you need to know before contacting your bookie this weekend:*

NFC (Carolina at Seattle): There’s a reason the Seahawks have only lost 4 games at home in the last 3 seasons, including playoffs. That place is easily the loudest sports facility I have ever been in. Seriously, it makes the Vet sound like a library, and my ears were ringing all day after the game last Sunday. That trend is not going to be reversed this weekend. Plus, if Mike Holmgren gets back to the Bowl, then every time the Eagles, Packers, Bucs, or Seahawks play, you will be treated with that picture of the mid-90s Green Bay coaching staff about 6 times in the first half alone. I have never seen that before. Seattle, 27-20.

AFC (Pittsburgh at Denver): Interestingly, the Eagles played every team in the AFC West this season, and beat them all except for Denver (and that game was winnable). This accounted for fully half of all their victories. I’m not saying the AFC West is the weakest division in football, I am saying it is the second weakest. If the Broncs were in the NFC East or South, they wouldn’t even be in the playoffs. Plus, Big Ben vs. Jake the Snake? Who would you vote for? Sorry Denver fans, but John Elway is still retired. Pittsburgh, 31-14.

*I almost did something like this for the BCS, but I think I was too hungover that day. It’s a good thing, because I was wrong on all counts. So if your bookie is named Moose or Rocko, or if he likes to use thumbs as collateral, you might want to talk to someone with some actual knowledge.

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Quote of the day

January 17, 2006 at 3:38 am (Philly, Sports)

Next week will be the first time in five years that the conference championship round will be Eagles- and Patriots-free. Which is a shame, really. I never felt that we got to hear enough about those two teams. They kind of flew under the radar a bit on us, didn’t they? But as disastrous as Philadelphia’s season was this year, it must be nice for the Eagles to experience the month of January without being weighed down with an overwhelming sense of impending doom.



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January 14, 2006 at 7:25 pm (Personal, Sports)

That’s how much TLS and I each paid for tickets to the Seahawks-Redskins game. It seems like a lot, but any chance to see my least favorite team in all of sports, the Deadskins, lose, I can’t pass. I’ll be the crazy drunk shirtless guy with a blue afro in the last row of the upper deck…look for me (I decided not to dress up this time.)


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Pointed cynicism

January 12, 2006 at 11:09 pm (Personal, Portland)

I don’t know who this guy is, but he raises a good point (scroll down to #2).

The referenced article is here.

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January 9, 2006 at 2:57 am (Movies, Parkersburg)

Steven Soderbergh (Erin Brockovich, Traffic, Ocean’s 11, 12, and 14) recently filmed, if not the first, then certainly the last, movie ever shot in Parkersburg, WV.

Of course, the corporate overlords at Regal Cinemas aren’t showing the film in Parkersburg.


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Google transit

January 8, 2006 at 11:09 pm (Planning, Portland)

Coming soon to a city near you.

Most transit agencies (even SEPTA!) have something like this on their web site, so you have to wonder how this will be useful to people. The unique feature is that google transit calculates the cost difference between taking transit and driving. It is based on the standard formula of $0.40/mile driving, which is a very general estimate. One day, I imagine, this service will include real-time traffic data, so that the comparison will be accurate; i.e., how much time/money will it cost me right now vs. taking the bus/train? I know that those services exist on your local traffic reoprt, so integration can’t be that far off. It could even factor in the average local cost for a gallon of gas. THAT would be a site worth checking out. Until that happens, this is a pretty useless service….of course transit is cheaper, when your operating costs are 85-95% subsidized it damn well better be.


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Good blonde joke

January 7, 2006 at 1:09 am (Humor)

As someone who is partial to blonde women, I can say that this is one of the better jokes I have heard.

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