It's getting pretty bad. First, for context and a shout-out to Jack Cafferty, here's one of the clips of Governor Palin making a fool of herself. Bear in mind the full interview has yet to air and apparently this is not even close to being the worst of the bunch:
And, a second brilliant send-up of this on SNL:
Anyone who votes for McCain and thinks the country would be in good, capable hands with President Palin...seriously, what's WRONG with you?
It's getting pretty bad. First, for context and a shout-out to Jack Cafferty, here's one of the clips of Governor Palin making a fool of herself. Bear in mind the full interview has yet to air and apparently this is not even close to being the worst of the bunch:
At some point, Palin is going to take her glasses off, shake her hair loose and ... dance in a Van Halen video or something. Wait, scratch that - she's going to start laughing and make it clear that she is prepared, that she's not the single most ill-equipped person to ever run for national office in this capacity. People try to say that Obama and Palin have relatively the same amount of experience which is folly - because really, does anyone think he'd fumble a question from softball-tossing Katie Couric like THIS?
So, John McCain is "suspending" his campaign which to me sounds like he's deathly scared of the debate, or the polls, or whatever catches his fancy.
He's really not a very serious person, is he? First with Sarah Palin, then with non substantive ads, then with incessant lying and now this...it's preposterous. He hasn't been in D.C. since April, wouldn't vote on other pressing agenda items, and now he thinks he can solve it but only if he stops focusing on other things?
Both John McCain and Barack Obama are demanding that the bailout package be restricted in terms of its CEO compensation - and certainly, I don't want to pay for it, so I hear that. In general, there are other populist cries that I respond to more than this, but it's a fair point.
And then I see things like this and realize that these CEOs don't need ANY more cash. This is the estate of the former CEO Joseph Gregory of Lehman Brothers - to be clearer, it's his beach house, which he and his wife spent 14 days in for the two years they owned it. It cost them $22,000,000. They are trying to make a $10,000,000 profit on it, apparently, since the price tag is now $32.5 million.
I'm all for capitalism, and god knows people should spend their money on whatever they want, but that's recockulous to presume we need to give these jokers any MORE cash. Want to feel even worse?
Here's former Freddie Mac CFO Anthony Pizel (yes, the one in charge of the finances, the one who truly pooped the bed):
But remember - don't ask questions about the bailout! There's no time! There's no time!
It's true that shielding Sarah Palin from the press has a two-fold effect. First, of course, she can't get herself into trouble because she's not saying anything. But two - and this is the part I think the media is playing right into - it creates such a low expectation of what she really will say, once the VP debate rolls around, that we can all fairly expect the same type of insipid reaction that folks had to her acceptance speech.
She's not an idiot, and she can be prepped on some things she doesn't know. But in a free form press conference, she's likely to have to say something like, "That's a good question and I'll have to get back to you on that," or as the right would say, be subject to "gotcha" questions and the like.
I have to assume that this shielding is all part of an expectations game; I'm hopeful that it won't work. In the meantime, CNN and others are getting indignant about things. They need to remember the way they have been treated when they do their 'unbiased' analysis of the debates and the coverage from now until Election Day.
Here's Campbell Brown pleading with the McCain campaign to Free Sarah Palin. Knowing that Brown is married to the former Communications Director for George W. Bush makes me wonder what's going on here (and isn't that a shame) but her message on its own is pretty hard to argue with:
Another exciting week of football, and another week when I make some good picks but not quite good enough. This time, it was Eric Johnson's Studs Terkel that took the prize, in a tiebreaker against Mommy and Me. (Those tiebreakers count!)
Despite having the NFL package, I missed the first quarter or so of most games. That's because I got up at 6:00 AM, voluntarily, to go play golf with Doty's Dominators. I must say, it's a bit of a struggle to choose to get up when it's still dark out - but I would have probably gotten up no more than 45 minutes later with the kid. And I got a fun, full round of golf out of it and got home before 11:00. That made for a fun day.
Because, I then spent virtually the rest of the day sitting on my ass watching football.
You have to like any week that has so many games come down to the final play, though that's somewhat tempered by the fact that most of those ended on field goals. (Hey, a win is a win is a win - but nothing beats the game winning TD.)
You also have to like it when a team that needs a win goes out and gets one, regardless of the opponent. Jacksonville beat the Colts, and San Diego absolutely whooped the Jets to right the ship and get a win. The Chargers could easily be 3-0 right now, and instead are 1-2.
Meanwhile, the Titans and Bills are 3-0, the Cardinals and the 49ers are 2-1.
Yeah, that's MY San Francisco 49ers, who beat up a truly bad team in the Detroit Lions, but did so convincingly on offense and defense. Their schedule is going to get ugly quickly, but there's definitely a fighting chance they could play a very close game with the Saints this weekend. All I know is, they played some bad teams last year and failed to score 30 points very often. Actually, they only did it ONCE all last year. They've now done that two weeks in a row, with Isaac Bruce actually looking suprisingly spry and JTO looking like a QB playing well in a system he understands.
What's more - and yes, it was against Detroit - but the 49ers had a pass rush, something that's been absent - absent - for the great majority of defensive minded head coach Mike Nolan's tenure. (I'm not entirely sure Nolan is a good coach - at all. I'll take these wins and hope he proves my suspicions wrong.)
Anyhow, the 49ers are finally fun to watch again, and the world can't be too wrong when that's the case.
It's an NFL season where the Dolphins can beat up the Patriots - not just win, but pretty soundly beat the Pats by a score of 38-13. Ronnie Brown had one of the legendary days in the sport by running for four touchdowns and throwing another. Nice day at the office, Ronnie. I was less shocked by the lack of offense - one can't expect Matt Cassel to just become a Hall of Fame QB - than the fact that the defense couldn't handle the tepid Miami offense. Three of Brown's TDs came on direct snaps to him from the center -- it's fine to be confused by that once in a game, but three separate times? That's embarassing.
So who is the worst team in football? Obviously, Miami is no longer part of this discussion. The winless teams are now the Texans, Chiefs, Rams, Lions and the Browns. None of these teams are good - and in the case of the Browns, that's genuinely a bit shocking. Derek Anderson looks awful -- or, in retrospect, like the guy who initially lost the starting QB job in Cleveland to Charlie Frye. There is talent on this team though - in fact, every team on this list has at least one player who is or should be a top guy at his position. But the Texans and Chiefs look particularly bad right now. I don't think the Chiefs have any clue what they're doing out there, and in Houston, Matt Schaub looks horrid.
It's also worth stating - the Rams are REALLY quite bad as well. Marc Bulger just got benched for Trent Green, who I thought had retired. Seriously, I thought he had. Again, this is a team with Torry Holt and Steven Jackson, but right now? Hard to see them winning more than two or three games.
Finally, I obviously have to say something about the debacle that is the Raiders and the currently still ongoing saga of Lane Kiffin. I honestly think that any Raiders fan who thinks Al Davis isn't the problem with the team that he owns is delusional. As is Al Davis.
It's one thing for NBC to show a one-hour "preview" special for Heroes that, for the ten minutes or so that I saw it, was excessively banal and self-indulgent.
It's another thing entirely for my DirecTV to then air a black screen for the first HOUR of the two-hour premiere of Heroes, meaning that I won't be able to see any part of that show until the weekend when it is re-aired. (I probably could watch it on TV, but Daddy didn't buy himself a 46" High Definition LCD TV to watch shows on his computer.)
Lame, DirecTV. Lame.
It's funny if you watch Keith Olbermann, and even funnier if you know the particular comment being mocked (a searing indictment of George W. Bush that was pretty bold if not a bit over the top)...
"Double Meat, sir...does not give you license to go on auto-pilot and text your friends about Hoobastank!" "
That during the biggest financial crisis in recent memory - perhaps since the Great Depression - that you would see the President of the United States for more than a two minute press conference. One would think you'd see him out there trying to impress his confidence and stability on the people, the economy and markets.
One would think.
(Images of him shrinking in a corner, crying to himself, pounding the floor in the midst of a tantrum...or wrapped up with a bottle of something he supposedly no longer drinks are images confined only to my imagination and likely bear no or little resemblance to reality.)
Yes, I'm still sticking on the David Foster Wallace thing, because I keep stumbling across something that reminds me of how sad his loss is. This is from a commencement speech he gave to Kenyon College, the full text of which can be found here. In it, like in so much of his work, he manages to be funny and yet substantive, and require the listener (or reader) to think for themselves. In fact, it's the main focus of his speech:
Here is just one example of the total wrongness of something I tend to be automatically sure of: everything in my own immediate experience supports my deep belief that I am the absolute center of the universe; the realest, most vivid and important person in existence. We rarely think about this sort of natural, basic self-centeredness because it's so socially repulsive. But it's pretty much the same for all of us. It is our default setting, hard-wired into our boards at birth. Think about it: there is no experience you have had that you are not the absolute center of. The world as you experience it is there in front of YOU or behind YOU, to the left or right of YOU, on YOUR TV or YOUR monitor. And so on. Other people's thoughts and feelings have to be communicated to you somehow, but your own are so immediate, urgent, real.
And I submit that this is what the real, no bullshit value of your liberal arts education is supposed to be about: how to keep from going through your comfortable, prosperous, respectable adult life dead, unconscious, a slave to your head and to your natural default setting of being uniquely, completely, imperially alone day in and day out. That may sound like hyperbole, or abstract nonsense. Let's get concrete. The plain fact is that you graduating seniors do not yet have any clue what "day in day out" really means. There happen to be whole, large parts of adult American life that nobody talks about in commencement speeches. One such part involves boredom, routine, and petty frustration. The parents and older folks here will know all too well what I'm talking about.
By way of example, let's say it's an average adult day, and you get up in the morning, go to your challenging, white-collar, college-graduate job, and you work hard for eight or ten hours, and at the end of the day you're tired and somewhat stressed and all you want is to go home and have a good supper and maybe unwind for an hour, and then hit the sack early because, of course, you have to get up the next day and do it all again. But then you remember there's no food at home. You haven't had time to shop this week because of your challenging job, and so now after work you have to get in your car and drive to the supermarket. It's the end of the work day and the traffic is apt to be: very bad. So getting to the store takes way longer than it should, and when you finally get there, the supermarket is very crowded, because of course it's the time of day when all the other people with jobs also try to squeeze in some grocery shopping. And the store is hideously lit and infused with soul-killing muzak or corporate pop and it's pretty much the last place you want to be but you can't just get in and quickly out; you have to wander all over the huge, over-lit store's confusing aisles to find the stuff you want and you have to maneuver your junky cart through all these other tired, hurried people with carts (et cetera, et cetera, cutting stuff out because this is a long ceremony) and eventually you get all your supper supplies, except now it turns out there aren't enough check-out lanes open even though it's the end-of-the-day rush. So the checkout line is incredibly long, which is stupid and infuriating. But you can't take your frustration out on the frantic lady working the register, who is overworked at a job whose daily tedium and meaninglessness surpasses the imagination of any of us here at a prestigious college.
But anyway, you finally get to the checkout line's front, and you pay for your food, and you get told to "Have a nice day" in a voice that is the absolute voice of death. Then you have to take your creepy, flimsy, plastic bags of groceries in your cart with the one crazy wheel that pulls maddeningly to the left, all the way out through the crowded, bumpy, littery parking lot, and then you have to drive all the way home through slow, heavy, SUV-intensive, rush-hour traffic, et cetera et cetera.
Everyone here has done this, of course. But it hasn't yet been part of you graduates' actual life routine, day after week after month after year.
But most days, if you're aware enough to give yourself a choice, you can choose to look differently at this fat, dead-eyed, over-made-up lady who just screamed at her kid in the checkout line. Maybe she's not usually like this. Maybe she's been up three straight nights holding the hand of a husband who is dying of bone cancer. Or maybe this very lady is the low-wage clerk at the motor vehicle department, who just yesterday helped your spouse resolve a horrific, infuriating, red-tape problem through some small act of bureaucratic kindness. Of course, none of this is likely, but it's also not impossible. It just depends what you what to consider. If you're automatically sure that you know what reality is, and you are operating on your default setting, then you, like me, probably won't consider possibilities that aren't annoying and miserable. But if you really learn how to pay attention, then you will know there are other options. It will actually be within your power to experience a crowded, hot, slow, consumer-hell type situation as not only meaningful, but sacred, on fire with the same force that made the stars: love, fellowship, the mystical oneness of all things deep down.
I know that this stuff probably doesn't sound fun and breezy or grandly inspirational the way a commencement speech is supposed to sound. What it is, as far as I can see, is the capital-T Truth, with a whole lot of rhetorical niceties stripped away. You are, of course, free to think of it whatever you wish. But please don't just dismiss it as just some finger-wagging Dr. Laura sermon. None of this stuff is really about morality or religion or dogma or big fancy questions of life after death.
The capital-T Truth is about life BEFORE death.
It is about the real value of a real education, which has almost nothing to do with knowledge, and everything to do with simple awareness; awareness of what is so real and essential, so hidden in plain sight all around us, all the time, that we have to keep reminding ourselves over and over:
"This is water."
"This is water."
If you've made it this far, those last two lines might not make sense. To understand the complete genius of this speech, once again go here to read it in its entirety. Then, head over to Alibris and pick up one or three of his books.
Quite clearly, I'm a Barack Obama apologist, unadulterated fan and I would argue that electing him this November is perhaps the most important single thing that would happen not just this year but at least this decade.
And this ad by him is basically pitch perfect. It's long and thorough without being just dry policy and manages to be inspiring just on a calm level. It's not just about rallies, this guy knows what he's talking about and has the right message for our times:
It was another incredibly exciting week in the NFL season, with a nice respite from serious injuries - unless, of course, you are a Seattle wide receiver.
Seriously, it's getting comical how many wideouts are getting hurt up there. The team still managed to post 30 points against the 49ers, but couldn't quite finish off the job, despite Joe Nedney's best efforts. It's easy to put too much into any one game, but that's a HUGE game for the 49ers, who avoided starting 0-2, beat a division rival who is beat up but has a solid defense, and they get to face the Lions next week. You can bet that overtime win felt GOOD.
To find out who won our league this week and get a more in-depth wrapup, click the link below to see more.
First and foremost, congratulations to sucker bet owner Michael Lang, who beat Erik Lindemann's NYC WHEELBARRELS by virtue of the tie-breaker. It's worth reiterating this, that the tie breaker is incredibly important. Ignore it at your own peril.
Like I wrote above, this was quite an exciting week. Whether it was my 49ers coming back under the helm of J.T. O'Sullivan (hereafter to be referred to as JTO), or the crazy Broncos-Chargers game, or the incredibly entertaining MNF matchup between the Eagles and the Cowboys, it was quite a week.
First off, JTO is - for better or for worse - the best QB the 49ers have had since Jeff Garcia, and fed some receivers in stride in a way that has been absent from this offense for way too long. Did you realize that JTO posted the first 300-yard passing game for the 49ers since 2004? That encompasses the entire Mike Nolan era. Look, I want to like the guy, but that's outrageous and pathetic. Isaac Bruce and Bryant Johnson looked like legitimate receivers and JTO clearly delivered to them more often than not. I'm not getting carried away here, but if the Niners can actually move the ball downfield this season, they will remain a very fun team to watch.
Two teams that are unquestionably at that level teed off on Monday Night Football. Before I get to the game, I think I wrote something last week about listening to football on the radio, and how under rated that experience was. I'd like to add one caveat to that: Unless Michael Irvin is announcing the game.
Now, longtime participants in the Greebytime Pick 'Em know how much I hate Irvin. In fact, one week before his career ending injury, I actually wrote that I hoped something like that would happen. And while I do feel bad about that, I should feel a lot worse than I do - I just don't like the guy. But while he was unquestionably one of the best receivers in the league, he's a train wreck when it comes to announcing or talking on air. It's not just that he steps on his own words in a way only topped by Shannon Sharpe, it's that he rarely has anything to say, and he always says everything at top volume.
Anyhow, back to the game - a discussion of which has to begin with Eagles WR DeSean Jackson. Look, the kid graduated from Cal and as an undersized guy, I want to root for him. In fact, I do. But that was a massively boneheaded move - and apparently one he did in college as well. He might just have taken the title from Plaxico Burress for The Dumbest WR In Football. (But not quite.) Jackson was lucky that the refs blew the whistle (was Ed Houtchouli there?), as the Eagles scored on the next play - but from a fantasy football perspective, I'm willing to bet that move changed a lot of scores for the week.
The Cowboys look pretty unstoppable at this point - Tony Romo is possibly playing better than any other QB (though Donovan McNabb is darn close), and Terrell Owens could have had four TD if things had gone just slightly different. Add in Jason Witten and the tandem of Barber and Jones at RB and right now, no one can run with these guys.
There's something pretty funny about the fact that Matt Cassel is starting in the NFL, and Matt Leinart isn't. I didn't know that Cassel is literally the only guy to ever start an NFL game without having started a single game in college. That probably says more about the depth at QB at USC than anything else, but it's a fun fact.
Do you think Al Davis was actually sort of bummed out that the Raiders WON this weekend? It definitely seems to have postponed his plans to fire Lane Kiffin. (And seriously, what a dick move - either fire him or don't, but this is preposterous.) What's more -- how bad are the Chiefs? The Raiders are one of the worst teams in the league, and have been for the past five years. And the Chiefs got ROLLED by them.
Speaking of bad, what is going on with the Bengals? I didn't think they'd be good this year - but I definitely didn't seem them stinking again. I think they are officially back to being the Bungles until further notice. Who Dat? The Bungles.
On the flip side, you have to be impressed with Aaron Rodgers -- here's a guy who had more reasons than I can count for not starting the season off that well. But he's looked rock solid, even great, for the first two games. And yes, every time I watch him I think, "There's a guy who wanted to be a 49er, who played for Cal...and the Niners took Alex Smith instead." Yes, it does hurt.
I'm going to wrap this up, with a reminder to get your picks in early and to make sure you've made ALL your picks.
Via 37signals, this is really an ineffective web coupon:
Seriously...you have to read it about three times to realize you have to book it between one set of dates for travel between another set of date to receive a voucher for future travel against a third set of dates. Vouchers will be mailed on a fourth date, and this offer expires on a fifth date.
Oh, and restrictions apply.
I remain bummed about about David Foster Wallace, and was pointed to this video from several sources. It gets a little herky jerky at times, and despite the time code on it is about a half an hour, not the full hour, but it's quite interesting and worth a watch if you have the time.
In addition, the New Republic had a blog post called "Reading David Foster Wallace" that links to a great deal of his work in online form.
I recommend Consider The Lobster, Roger Federer as Religious Experience and the heavily edited version of his coverage of John McCain in the 2000 election. (His longer piece which is much stronger isn't available online, but even this edited piece is brilliant.)
He will be missed.
Call me a conspiracy theorist, but I don't like it when Karl Rove is saying things I believe in - calling John McCain out for being a liar, as one chief example. It makes me think he's playing games with Democrats and he has another endgame in mind.
That is only enhanced by this, where Mitt Romney is saying the same things. All of this when McCain is enjoying his biggest bump in the polls. Now, either this is their only way of sending a message to that campaign (doubtful), they are trying to sink his campaign for personal reasons (possible, I guess), or they have something else in mind where painting McCain as a liar is actually beneficial in some way I can't think of.
I can't see the endzone here, and that actually worries me. In the meantime, I guess it's safe to say that whether John McCain is a liar or not is a non-partisan issue - everyone agrees that he is!
Updated: OK, this was actually from earlier this year when Romney was still competing against McCain in the primary. Which makes more sense -- and has the added benefit of increasing the 'meme' of John McCain being a dirty liar. (Hey, if they want to use Hillary's words against Obama, that road goes both ways. In any case, this is obviously not part of a Rovian campaign, at least not this clip in general.
Sarah Palin did not know this issue [the Bush Doctrine], or any part of it. The view she actually expressed -- an endorsement of "preemptive" action -- was fine on its own merits. But it is not the stated doctrine of the Bush Administration, it is not the policy her running mate has endorsed, and it is not the concept under which her own son is going off to Iraq.
How could she not know this? For the same reason I don't know anything about European football/soccer standings, player trades, or intrigue. I am not interested enough. And she evidently has not been interested enough even to follow the news of foreign affairs during the Bush era.
A further point. The truly toxic combination of traits GW Bush brought to decision making was:
2) Lack of curiosity
That is, he was not broadly informed to begin with (point 1). He did not seek out new information (#2); but he nonetheless prided himself (#3) on making broad, bold decisions quickly, and then sticking to them to show resoluteness.
We don't know for sure about #2 for Palin yet -- she could be a sponge-like absorber of information. But we know about #1 and we can guess, from her demeanor about #3. Most of all we know something about the person who put her in this untenable role.
The first time in a long time I've read FOUR Sunday opinion articles that I actually enjoyed as much as this.
A guy I tend to enjoy but don't read as much, Bob Herbert starts off nicely:
How is it that this woman could have been selected to be the vice presidential candidate on a major party ticket? How is it that so much of the mainstream media has dropped all pretense of seriousness to hop aboard the bandwagon and go along for the giddy ride?
For those who haven’t noticed, we’re electing a president and vice president, not selecting a winner on “American Idol.”
Ms. Palin may be a perfectly competent and reasonably intelligent woman (however troubling her views on evolution and global warming may be), but she is not ready to be vice president.
With most candidates for high public office, the question is whether one agrees with them on the major issues of the day. With Ms. Palin, it’s not about agreeing or disagreeing. She doesn’t appear to understand some of the most important issues.
Thomas Friedman, who hasn't been as great lately, puts this nicely:
I don’t know how much steel is in Obama’s belly, but I do know that the issues he is focusing on in this campaign — improving education and health care, dealing with the deficit and forging a real energy policy based on building a whole new energy infrastructure — are the only way we can put steel back into America’s spine. McCain, alas, has abandoned those issues for the culture-war strategy.
Who cares how much steel John McCain has in his gut when the steel that today holds up our bridges, railroads, nuclear reactors and other infrastructure is rusting? McCain talks about how he would build dozens of nuclear power plants. Oh, really? They go for $10 billion a pop. Where is the money going to come from? From lowering taxes? From banning abortions? From borrowing more from China? From having Sarah Palin “reform” Washington — as if she has any more clue how to do that than the first 100 names in the D.C. phonebook?
While most of the time, she,'s pretty terrible to read, I did also like this from Maureen Dowd:
The really scary part of the Palin interview was how much she seemed like W. in 2000, and not just the way she pronounced nu-cue-lar. She had the same flimsy but tenacious adeptness at saying nothing, the same generalities and platitudes, the same restrained resentment at being pressed to be specific, as though specific is the province of silly eggheads, not people who clear brush at the ranch or shoot moose on the tundra.
Her explosion onto the scene made Obama seem even more like a windy, wispy egghead. Like W., Sarah has the power of positive unthinking. But now we may want to think about where ignorance and pride and no self-doubt has gotten us. Being quick on the trigger might be good in moose hunting, but in dealing with Putin, a little knowledge might come in handy.
But the almost always great Frank Rich really brings the nice fastball:
The question today: What kind of president would Sarah Palin be?
It’s an urgent matter, because if we’ve learned anything from the G.O.P. convention and its aftermath, it’s that the 2008 edition of John McCain is too weak to serve as America’s chief executive. This unmentionable truth, more than race, is now the real elephant in the room of this election.
No longer able to remember his principles any better than he can distinguish between Sunnis and Shia, McCain stands revealed as a guy who can be easily rolled by anyone who sells him a plan for “victory,” whether in Iraq or in Michigan. A McCain victory on Election Day will usher in a Palin presidency, with McCain serving as a transitional front man, an even weaker Bush to her Cheney.
The ambitious Palin and the ruthless forces she represents know it, too. You can almost see them smacking their lips in anticipation, whether they’re wearing lipstick or not.
David Foster Wallace, the novelist, essayist and humorist best known for his 1996 novel "Infinite Jest," was found dead Friday night at his home in Claremont, according to the Claremont Police Department. He was 46.
Jackie Morales, a records clerk at the department, said Wallace's wife called police at 9:30 p.m. Friday saying she had returned home to find that her husband had hanged himself.
As it happened, I was reshelving some books today and stared at two or three of his books I own but have yet to read. And wondering why that was. I'm not sure, because everything he writes is both interesting and moreso, extremely fun to read. That's true even if sometimes - like in Infinite Jest -- you are pretty sure you aren't quite keeping up with him. Wallace was a really brilliant writer.
Just so sad.
There was a quick story on NPR this morning that was light-hearted, not too serious, but was pointing out that we have rarely elected a bald president. They did mention that Democratic VP candidate Joe Biden had plugs put in a few years ago, and that's true, but they didn't mention another patently obvious thing to anyone paying attention:
JOHN MCCAIN IS BALD.
Now, he does the combover like nobody's business, but it doesn't mask the fact that the dude is still bald. Not sure why nobody seems to notice it.
I've been playing around with Chrome for a few days now, and I can simply say this -- while there are a few things that don't quite work perfectly (it, like most Google products, is still in Beta) -- it seems to replicate most of what I like about Firefox.
And my biggest complaint about Firefox is, of course, that it's a huge memory suck. I've been opening up identical tabs on each browser and then checking the performance occasionally, and Firefox is consistently using anywhere from three to four times as much memory. That's tangible, and Chrome so far is a huge winner in what I consider perhaps the biggest flaw of Firefox.
Awhile back, I tried to start itemizing a list of "Stuff you should like but probably don't" -- and then, like most such things on this blog, promptly forgot about it.
Well, one of those things was the show Mad Men on AMC.
And this Flickr account has some of the coolest Mad Men inspired wallpaper I've ever seen. If you aren't watching that show, on AMC, you are truly missing out -- it's one of the more creative shows on television and every frame of it is gorgeous - hence why people are inspired to recreate it, such as this item here, from the "Joan and the Xerox" episode. Check the whole group of them here..
You know that guy from college, the white dude with dreads? He always talked about "the kind," listened to WAY too much reggae, and always smelled of patchouli oil?
He's the new fullback for the 49ers, and his name is Zak Keasey.
I'd give him some crap about how weirdly he spells his first name - isn't it supposed to be Zach, or Zack? What the what? But clearly, there's a lot more things worth making fun of.
White guys with dreads is rarely a good look - and yes, I have friends who have worn their hair like this. That doesn't make it okay.
Look, anyone can and should wear their hair any way they want, even if they look like a maroon. But isn't there a little Drexl Spivey going on here? I'm talking, of course, about Gary Oldman's character from True Romance. Which, of course, begs the question -- is it white boy day?
Nah, it ain't white boy day.
I will say this - in looking for a picture of Mr. Keasey, I ran across this photo, and all I can say is, at least Keasey doesn't look like Nick Reid, linebacker for the Chiefs:
Quite clearly, that's the most ridiculous looking player in the NFL.
It's easy to forget how violent a game football is, until the reality of opening weekend slaps you in the face and tears your knee in half.
OK, maybe not your knee, but when one of the pre-eminent stars of the league, a man critical to his teams success and Super Bowl aspirations, goes down after one single quarter of football, that's a serious smack of reality.
I'm talking, of course, about Brodie Croyle.
Wait, scratch that, I'm talking about Vince Young.
OK, I'm not. I'm talking about pretty boy Tom Brady, who was just one of the big names to get dinged up - in his case, extremely seriously - in Game One of the NFL season.
For what it's worth, to an unbiased eye, that didn't look like a dirty hit whatsoever by the Kansas City lineman. It was just an unfortunate twist, and one that lands Matt Cassel into a starting gig. That's a pretty crazy thing, since Cassel didn't even start in college. Now he is starting, while the guy he backed up (Matt Leinart) is riding the pine for his team.
Funny how things work, isn't it?
It was a pretty odd weekend in a lot of other ways, not the least of which was our pool. It came down to a foot race between Tuvey and Flacco Jacket. Given that Tuvey is a die-hard Patriots fan (and was, even when Tony Eason or Steve Grogan were behind center, he'll have you know), it is perhaps appropriate that he nailed the first week.
(And a special shout out to Mooncusser, for having an even worse week than I did. I try not to call out those who do particularly bad, but when it masks my wretched performance, I can't resist.)
In addition to Brady going down, a lot of other players got dinged up, including the majority of the Jacksonville offensive line. Marion Barber III hurt his ribs, which allowed hotshot rookie Felix Jones to burst onto the scene, scoring an 11-yard touchdown on his first carry in the bigs.
But the NFL season actually started back on Thursday, with the Redskins lying down like dogs against the New York Giants. If you haven't seen Brandon Jacobs ruin LaRon Landry's day, then you're missing something special:
Oh, a bit of league business - because some folks forgot about the Thursday game, I changed the league settings going forward. It used to be that you had to make ALL your picks five minutes before the first game of the week. Now, that deadline is five minutes before each game. So, you can change your picks up until five minutes to kickoff - I wouldn't toy with this too much, because Yahoo's clock isn't always the same as mine, but it should provide more flexibility.
So, Michael Turner looked pretty good, didn't he? I think part of that is that the Lions are once again going to be quite bad, but you can't deny a 220-yard rushing day. Turner looked like a beast. As did Fast Willie Parker who scored one more TD yesterday than he did all last season.
If the Lions defense looked shoddy, that was nothing compared to the Rams, who looked like they were playing a different game than the Eagles. Donovan McNabb looked dominant, and he had three different receivers go over 100 yards. One of them was local Cal product DeSean Jackson who looks like a quality rookie receiver this year.
In any case, it looks like another great NFL season, even for the Patriots who have - bizarrely, given that they were in the freaking Super Bowl last year - one of the easiest schedules in the league. Remember to get those picks in, and enjoy!
This is the statement the Democrats have said for why they won't introduce legislation that they know they can pass in the House and Senate - but not override a certain presidential veto. For example, the SCHIP bill for children's health insurance. They know they can send it to the President, but he'll veto it ... and they won't be able to override him.
Now...here's the thing -- what's wrong with that?
Wouldn't it be a bigger story, and avoid the "do-nothing Congress" label they now have if they kept sending bills to President Bush and he kept vetoing them, repeatedly?
Why won't they force this? If they think the Republicans wouldn't do this exact thing over and over and over again, then they're insane.
What the hell does that MEAN?
We are collecting food here to drop off at the Alameda Food Bank, a very worthwhile cause because a crazy amount of people are living with hunger. And among the many foods we've bought as a company to drop off, is this bottle of Ragu:
I mean...either it has meat in it, or it doesn't. But being "flavored with meat" sounds like a serious compromise. I'm sure that someone will enjoy this and god knows it's probably pretty tasty, but ... color me scared.
Actually, that's sort of what I always do when I post here.
But it seems evident that Sarah Palin excited a hell of a lot of conservatives with her speech last Wednesday, and that's all very well and good.
But think about her speech itself. It was strongly delivered, and it's clear that Palin is no shrinking violet. That's an admirable thing in a candidate.
The substance of her speech -- indeed, the vast majority of it -- was spent in criticizing Barack Obama. It was about forty minutes of that, and then about five more minutes talking about the heroic qualities of John Sidney McCain.
So, conservatives have gotten inspired by someone who they ONLY know, by and large, as someone who can deliver mean lines with a smile. Aside from that, the only thing most anyone knows about Palin is a crapload of allegations -- abuse of power, a crazy bigoted pastor of her own, evidence that she DID NOT say no to the bridge to nowhere, nor did she actually sell the former state plane on eBay. (She did list it, but it didn't sell there.)
They know nothing else about her, and yet they inspire her. You can argue - foolishly and errantly, but you can argue - that we don't know much about Obama either. That's inherently untrue, but he's been running for President for a year and a half. He's been on display for much longer than that.
Anyhow, unless or until (and it very well could be unless) Palin actually speaks to the press without a teleprompter, that's all we know. So it feels sort of like a fad - but it could last long enough to work. It's cynical, purely political, and a dangerous risk to put the country at, but McCain is willing to do it. (Because he puts country first, so he says.)
What would the Republicans be saying if Barack Obama put up a picture of what he and his entire staff assumed was Walter Reed Hospital -- but instead was a picture of Walter Reed Middle School? And that school was in North Hollywood? And he had it as the backdrop for the most important speech of his life?
Would they talk about an incompetent campaign that uses the military so much as a prop that NO ONE even knows it's the wrong image? Or would they choose not to talk about it at all, like they're doing with John McCain, whose campaign did exactly this, of course.
Also, what do you think the spin both from the Republicans and the media would be if Barack Obama had a teenaged daughter who got pregnant out of wedlock?
Again, just wondering.
Cindy's dress, designed by Oscar de la Renta, cost $3,000, and the watch, another $4,500. Her four strand pearl necklace cost between $11,000 and $25,000, and her shoes set her back $600. But the real whoppers were the earrings, priced at $280,000, putting the total cost of the outfit beteween $299,100 and $313,000.
An average citizen living in the Mat-Su Valley (where Palin's hometown of Wasilla is located) would have to work for over 10 years to buy Cindy's outfit. And lets just say the cost of the ensemble is significantly more than the average cost of a single-family, three bedroom home in Wasilla--let alone seven of them.
But they're real folks! From the heartland! OK, not from the heartland, but did you know that John McCain was a POW? Seriously, they NEVER talk about it, so it may have flown under the radar. Sigh.
And, for what it's worth, I did watch the complete Palin speech. She certainly is a good speaker, and she definitely thrilled the folks there - her speech, like Romney and Giuliani's before her, was to rally the base. It's an odd strategy and somewhat in contrast to her '18 million cracks in the ceiling' and the supposed maverick theme that she and McCain are simultaneously rolling out. The base, as it is, is shrinking - it's no longer the size it was in 2000 or 2004. So I'm not sure it's a winning strategy.
But it's amusing to see them rail against elites, while the potential First Lady wears a $300,000 outfit. Seriously.
Tomorrow kicks off the NFL season, and I'm seriously psyched about it. I'm not sure the Niners can expect more than 6, maybe 7 wins this season, but I am actually interested in watching, which says something.
And with football comes fantasy football, of course. Because I'm sick, I am actually in three leagues this year. And yes, I have a 3 1/2 month old daughter. (These teams run themselves!)
What's interesting is that unlike other years when I've had multiple teams, I have almost no similar players across any team aside from some backup players. That's pretty bizarre to me - I like almost all of the guys I have, which either means I don't have very discerning taste, or that there's a LOT of guys who are potentially good this year.
It's actually both, but definitely the latter.
One last note on this -- don't you think the Republican National Convention could choose a better time for John McCain's nominating speech than the first night of the football season? With a game featuring THE WASHINGTON REDSKINS?
If I were a more cynical person, I'd suggest that WAS intentional, as a way to divert people from the horror show. (I kid! Those wacky Republicans had fun tonight.)
I admit I didn't see the tail end of Sarah Palin's speech -- the DVR had two other things to record, apparently -- what I saw didn't seem particularly interesting, though she certainly does seem like a good speaker. But the biggest cheers I heard were about hockey moms and pit bulls, and the like.
But what do I know? I'm not disposed to giving her an entirely fair chance, I'll admit. But the networks certainly suggested she gave a good speech.
What I will say is this: when each candidate got nominated, even though it was theater, the absolute ROAR when Hilary nominated Obama (and did so in about fifteen seconds) pretty much dwarfed the solid but unspectacular cheering that followed the Arizona's five minute nomination speech about Barry Goldwater and blah blah blah. (Though I did like that she, unlike Palin, called him by his non-abbreviated name of John Sidney McCain.)
But like I said, I'm not predisposed to like it.
When you hear folks like Peggy Noonan and Mike Murphy say things like, "It's over...," "They're all bummed out." and "This is cynical and gimmicky," about the nomination of Sarah Palin, you know things aren't going so hot.
Plus, Noonan swears! Live from MSNBC!
The transcript, for those of you who prefer that:
Chuck Todd: Mike Murphy, lots of free advice, we'll see if Steve Schmidt and the boys were watching. We'll find out on your blackberry. Tonight voters will get their chance to hear from Sarah Palin and she will get the chance to show voters she's the right woman for the job Up next, one man who's already convinced and he'll us why Gov. Jon Huntsman.
Peggy Noonan: Yeah.
Mike Murphy: You know, because I come out of the blue swing state governor world: Engler, Whitman, Tommy Thompson, Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush. I mean, these guys -- this is how you win a Texas race, just run it up. And it's not gonna work. And --
PN: It's over.
MM: Still McCain can give a version of the Lieberman speech to do himself some good.
CT: I also think the Palin pick is insulting to Kay Bailey Hutchinson, too.
PN: Saw Kay this morning.
CT: Yeah, she's never looked comfortable about this --
MM: They're all bummed out.
CT: Yeah, I mean is she really the most qualified woman they could have turned to?
PN: The most qualified? No! I think they went for this -- excuse me-- political bullshit about narratives --
CT: Yeah they went to a narrative.
MM: I totally agree.
PN: Every time the Republicans do that, because that's not where they live and it's not what they're good at, they blow it.
MM: You know what's really the worst thing about it? The greatness of McCain is no cynicism, and this is cynical.
CT: This is cynical, and as you called it, gimmicky.
Seriously, I don't want to hate on the guy but when he writes something like this, it makes you wonder:
Offensive Player of the Year: 1. RB Adrian Peterson, Minnesota. 2. QB Tom Brady, New England. 3. QB Matt Hasselbeck, Seattle. I had Garrard higher in the MVP voting here by virtue of the Jags surpassing Indianapolis. Hasselbeck will have a 4,300-yard passing season.
Bold font is mine. (All mine!)
When I read something like this, I have to wonder if he watches as much football as it seems like he does. Who the hell is Hasselback going to throw to? Bobby Engram is hurt, and his replacement, Ben Obafamu (or something) is now also out for the season. Deion Branch may or may not be out until mid-season, and there's a very weak running game to make defenses honest.
Patently, this is pure poppycock by Peter King. Hasselback will be lucky to be average this year with the crew he's tossing to.
This was mentioned a few times at UX Week, and it's certainly a good idea both to convey ideas without getting too crazy.
Of course, it helps when you both have a good idea and you can draw. That appears to be the case here, where Scott McCloud of Google explains their new web browser, Google Chrome. Check it out.
RIF! Reading, It's Fundamental.
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