Trailer seen in San Francisco.

(Photo: Lynn)

Pretty much sums the whole thing up.

(NYTIMES) - On Saturday, Mr. Bush’s national security adviser, Stephen J. Hadley, conceded that the president had not come into direct contact with ordinary Vietnamese, but said that they connected anyway.

“If you’d been part of the president’s motorcade as we’ve shuttled back and forth,” he said, reporters would have seen that “the president has been doing a lot of waving and getting a lot of waving and smiles.”

He continued: “I think he’s gotten a real sense of the warmth of the Vietnamese people and their willingness to put a very difficult period for both the United States and Vietnam behind them.”

This is beautiful!

Here's this guy from the Washington Post suggesting you might want to buy a Zune (Microsoft's new mp3 player just arrived in stores, it seems) just to give Apple some competition! The very same Apple that was referred to all through the 90s as "the failing Apple" as though that were all one word. The very Apple that would be lucky to last out the year. I love it. I really do.

Says this guy, name of Ahrens, (who confesses to having bought three iPods himself):
I suspect lots of folks have a love-hate iPod relationship. Now's your time to vent!
And form a love-hate relationship with Zune, I guess.

Technology. It's smooth and shiny but it's fickle, isn't it?

There's something spooky, isn't there?

About Condi "dangling incentives," I mean. Especially when the guy getting dangled before is Kim Jong Il. You know, that little guy from North Korea. Kim Jong Il.

But there she is, Condi, dangling, reports the New York Times. Sweet-talking little Kim. Or Il (I can never remember which name comes first). It's weird. She's telling the little fella if he'd just be a good boy maybe someday Dubya will come and visit him too. Like he visited Hanoi.

The DOOFUS is over there himself, running around the region as we like to say, and it appears in addition to losing control of North Korea he has managed to piss off South Korea too. A uniter, not a divider, that guy is.

And another thing that's getting dangled - the hint that if Kimmie behaves himself the US might sign a peace treaty with him. Oh yeah. Have you forgotten that? The US is at war with North Korea. Has been since back in the 50s somewhere. Of course it's sort of an undeclared war so I guess it'd have to be an undeclared peace treaty too.

Come to think of it, that makes three wars we're involved in, doesn't it?

I'm thinking we'd better get some better danglers on the job.

Babes with $7000 butts.

(It's a big day for body parts here at YAME.)

As the NY Post reports (picked up by UNDERNEWS), Manhattan retailer Adam Lippes accosted "four large women in trench coats" in a check-out line the other day and, on insisting they remove the coats, discoverd "huge fake butts made of nylon in which they had stuffed over $7,000 worth of clothing apiece."

Not any nurses I've ever met, exactly.

(AFP) - As a courtesy, the restaurant offers its "best customers" a wheelchair service to their cars by waitresses dressed in slinky nurses' outfits.

The idea, however, has not gone down well with the Arizona State Board of Nursing which has expressed concern that some patrons may confuse the waitresses with real nurses.

Not that I have anything against nurses, mind you. I mean, well, you know, like...

OK, sorry I mentioned that.

Anyway, the restaurant in the story is the "Heart Attack Grill," somewhere in Arizona, which offers a "quadruple bypass burger"...
stacked with four beef patties, cheese, onions, tomatoes and fried bacon...

Customers who have room for more can also order French fries "fried in pure lard" and can purchase cigarettes off the menu.
In case you want to get yourself a wheelchair ride from a nurse.

Here's what you git with "Mitt."

(And thanks to Mike the Mad Biologist for pointing out.)

After the election dust had settled, his own hand-picked candidate, Lt. Gov. Karry Healey thoroughly trounced, outgoing Massachusetts Governor Mitt ("Mitt") Romney, sucking up to the winger "base" as hard as he can suck, thinking maybe they will make him Pres., created a phony budget "emergency" in Massachusetts by vetoing, as the Boston Phoenix explains, a needed transfer of "rainy day" funds after the legislature's session (in which the lege had refused to make his spending cuts) had ended. "...which created a potential budget shortfall, based on projected state revenues. He then had his secretary of administration and finance declare this hypothetical and easily fixed shortfall to be an emergency. This allowed the governor to invoke his so-called 9C emergency power to make all the cuts he wanted in the first place."

Romney’s cuts will punish the poorest and sickest among us. Say good-bye to approximately $10 million in services for the mentally retarded; more than $1.5 million for elderly home-care services; $1 million for Head Start program grants; more than $1 million for emergency and acute mental-health services; $735,000 for HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention; $410,000 for homeless assistance; $767,000 for emergency aid to the elderly and disabled; $428,000 for immunization; and $2.4 million for residential special education.

Preservation and maintenance of the state’s parks and beaches also took a huge hit in these cuts, as did other environmental services. Millions were taken back from state colleges, which based this school year’s budgets on the old numbers and are now screwed.

Remember when Romney wanted to create good jobs? Oh, those were the days. On Friday he cut $8 million from workforce-development grants; $14 million from economic grants to municipalities; $2.5 million from the Massachusetts Technology Development Corporation; $1 million from the Massachusetts Development Finance Agency; and $22 million from the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism.

At least he was kind enough to Kerry Healey to wait until after the election to show just how much this administration cares about crime and violence. In that realm, he cut funds for youth-at-risk matching grants; domestic-violence specialists; sexual-assault services; the Sex Abuse Intervention Network; local law-enforcement assistance; witness-protection services; the State Police Crime Lab; the Criminal History Systems Board; the Sex Offender Registry Board; the Parole Board administration; and victim services.

So then, GOP voters, here's the bottom line. If you think you'll never be sick, never be old, never be out of work, and never be the victim of a crime, Mitt's your man.

But don't come whining to me when you find out how wrong you are.

Oh good. More fake boobs.

WASHINGTON (AP) - The government ended a 14-year virtual ban on silicone-gel breast implants Friday despite lingering safety questions, making the devices available to tens of thousands of women who have clamored for them.

Now back in the olden days, sonny, when women looked like women...

Never mind. I'll go have some breakfast. I'll feel better then.

Maybe they ought to try something a little smaller first. Like, say, remodeling a kitchen.

Check this out. The military wants to build a brand new high tech, high security, $125 million courthouse "compound" in Guantanamo (for holding its trials - or whatever they're called now - in, don't you know), and have it finished by July 1. Next July 1. The 2007 July 1. I'm not kidding - it's all here.

Right. Look, begging the question, if they have $125 mil to throw around why not get a little more of that "reconstruction" done with it (word is DOOFUS wants "one more big push" in Iraq but you can bet that doesn't include fixing the sewers or turning the lights back on in Baghdad and anyway, millions are chickenfeed, aren't they, if we're not talking billions we're not talking real money here) - begging the money question, I'm saying, you can't even get your kitchen remodeled by July 1. And if your contractor promises July 1, pencil in September or October, earliest. And also begging the question, can't we do anything without paying millions to KBR first?

Maybe they ought to quit planning construction projects, there at the Pentagon, and get back to planning wars.

Oh, wait.


Tired of your dreary job? Wanting a whole new career? Why not go to bullshit school?

(NYTimes) - Mr. Reed runs a conservative think tank school. Twice a year, ideological allies from across the globe travel to his program at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy in Midland, Mich., to study the tricks of the idea-peddling trade.

You just gotta believe.

USDA conquers hunger.

[Pierre Tristam/Candide's Notebooks] - The U.S. government is no longer referring to poor people going hungry. Hunger in America, in other words, has disappeared. It’s been made inapplicable. Irrelevant. Improper. Non-existent. In its place, there’s food security. This is not a joke. This is the new policy of the United States Department of Agriculture, and it was reported in this morning’s Washington Post: “Every year, the Agriculture Department issues a report that measures Americans’ access to food, and it has consistently used the word ‘hunger’ to describe those who can least afford to put food on the table. But not this year. Mark Nord, the lead author of the report, said ‘hungry’ is ‘not a scientifically accurate term for the specific phenomenon being measured in the food security survey.’ Nord, a USDA sociologist, said, ‘We don’t have a measure of that condition.’ The USDA said that 12 percent of Americans—35 million people—could not put food on the table at least part of last year. Eleven million of them reported going hungry at times. Beginning this year, the USDA has determined ‘very low food security’ to be a more scientifically palatable description for that group.”


AUSTIN, Texas—There’s been so much in print about how Daddy 41’s people are back in the saddle, I was terrified when I saw a photo of Dan Quayle among the pack. If they’ve called back Dan Quayle to lend intellectual heft, we’re all dead ducks. Fortunately, it was just a file picture of Quayle with the old team.

Read more.

Whatever Lulu doesn't want doesn't get done.

VIENNA (Reuters) - It took 25 firefighters, his wife and a son to roll Lulu the cow off Austrian farmer Leopold Zeilinger after she fell on him.

And it's a shame, too.

(MYWAY) - [Publicist Deanna] Brown said observers had filmed [Steve "the Grape Guy"] Spalding's attempt and would be submitting forms to Guinness officials in the hopes of creating a new record for speed grape-catching - the most grapes caught in the mouth over three minutes.

No current speed grape catching record exists, she said.

There'll always be an England.

(ANANOVA) - James Bond fan David Fearn has changed his name - to all 21 official 007 film titles.

The 23-year-old is now called - 'James Dr No From Russia With Love Goldfinger Thunderball You Only Live Twice On Her Majesty's Secret Service Diamonds Are Forever Live And Let Die The Man With The Golden Gun The Spy Who Loved Me Moonraker For Your Eyes Only Octopussy A View To A Kill The Living Daylights Licence To Kill Golden Eye Tomorrow Never Dies The World Is Not Enough Die Another Day Casino Royale Bond'.

It's all that whining that really wears you down.

(UNDERNEWS) - Sherwood's seat [in Pennsylvania] would have been overwhelmingly ours, if his mistress hadn't whined about being throttled... The lesson should be, don't throttle mistresses.
- GOP strategist Grover Norquist

Breaking news from Seattle.

Or broken news, more like. A construction crane toppled in downtown Bellevue, WA, today and almost hit Lynn, who works in the office right below the two broken windows in the photo above - or would have, anyway, if she hadn't been goofing off. Or working someplace else. Whatever. Something like that.

Made quite a mess. More photos here, from Kristen.

Kudos to the Seattle desk.

You gotta love geek talk.

I mean talking like a pirate might be fun, but talking like a geek is more, you know, fulfilling. And there are a wealth of geek terms to salt a conversation with: among my favorites are fud ("Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt"; used originally by IBM and later by Microsoft and others to frighten prospects into buying their products), Gnu ("Gnu's not Unix"), cruft ("excess; superfluous junk; used esp. of redundant or superseded code" or the stuff that collects under your bed), foo (the canonical metasyntactical variable, or whatever you call the first thing on a list if you don't have any other name for it), and mung ("Mash Until No Good").

Jacob contributes another:
TWAIN is a standard for acquiring images from image scanners: an image capture API for Microsoft Windows and Apple Macintosh operating systems. The word TWAIN is not officially an acronym, however, it is widely known as an acronym for "Technology (or Toolkit or Thing) Without An (or Any) Intelligent (or Important or Interesting) Name."


When just a hymn is not quite enough.

My grandfather was a preacher and if ever a guy put steam on a sermon it was he. He was a gentle guy with a ready laugh, but in the battle with sin he took no prisoners. He didn't approve of playing cards or going to movies or women wearing pants, not to mention myriad more serious transgressions, of which swearing was one. So it's with a special sort of delight I remember visiting his home about this time of year when, on the third successive evening after Thanksgiving, my grandmother served leftover turkey once again. Thoughtfully, Grandpa regarded the offering and then, raising his eyes heavenward, said,

"This meal reminds me of a hymn, "Christ Jesus, Forever the Same."

I remember that sometimes and try to keep my tongue in check a little bit, but damn, what kind of fucking moron is this Cafferty from CNN? Blabbering last night about the contractors abducted in Iraq the jerk opined:
[The kidnappers] understand with the results of the U.S. midterm elections that there are a lot of unanswered questions in this country about what happens next. And they are going to use that opportunity to make hay while the sun shines if you pardon a kind of poor play on words. But our uncertainty and lack of direction at this moment simply creates another opportunity for the bad guys and they are taking full advantage of it.
So if some Ds hadn't kicked some R asses out of Congress the "bad guys" in Iraq would just curl up and die? Gimme a break.

This kind of buffoonery is especially galling when US cable companies are falling all over themselves to prevent Al-Jazeera from showing on American screens.
(SeattlePI) - Still, the station is burdened with a reputation among Americans as anti-U.S. - an image Al-Jazeera insists is unfair. Its staffers argue that while the station has an Arab viewpoint, its coverage is balanced.

At least for now, most Americans will have no chance to see Al-Jazeera to judge for themselves. Al-Jazeera's list of U.S. carriers included none of the major U.S. cable TV providers: Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Charter Communications or Cablevision. Neither of the two major satellite TV providers in the U.S. - Dish Network and DirecTV - are carrying the network.

Al-Jazeera is too much for our tender intellects to process, but idiots like this Cafferty babble on.

Is there a hymn named "How Long, How Long Oh Lord Must We Put Up With These Asses"?

Fox Broadcasting has nothing to do with Fox News, O'Reilly claims.

– “Fox News Channel chief Roger Ailes…also chairs Fox Television Stations, the group behind the forthcoming” special on OJ.

– “Fox Broadcasting and the Fox News Channel are both owned by…News Corp. founder and chief Rupert Murdoch.”

– “Fox Broadcasting Corporation–the people who program prime time for the Fox network–regularly air Fox News-produced programming” including “O’Reilly’s special “documentaries” about people who hate children and Jesus.”

But otherwise.


Please, please, PLEASE, give it up with the lipstick, will ya?

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Sen. John McCain, casting himself as the embodiment of the Republican Party's future in the vein of Ronald Reagan, said Thursday the GOP has lost its way and must return to "common-sense conservatism."

First it's "compassionate," now it's "common-sense." Guys. It's still a pig. One smooch is enough.

DOOFUS goes eye to eye with the NVA.

And more, from WIIIAI:
George Bush decided that Hanoi was the perfect place to talk about applying the lessons of the Vietnam War to Iraq. “We’ll succeed unless we quit,” he said, suggesting that the US hadn’t done enough to destroy the country whose guest he was. Around this time, the Vietnamese must have been sorry they didn’t have an even bigger bust of Ho Chi Minh to stick behind him as a reminder of just who kicked whose butt.
You gotta see the pictures.

Will success spoil YAME?

Naw. But maybe I'll have this bronzed and put it on my mantle (wait, I don't have a mantle) or somewhere. And pay a little more attention to what I post first thing in the morning.

In case you missed the excitement, we got a link from Cursor yesterday (Cursor usually goes up just after noon in the east) and traffic went through the roof. Well, OK, through the basement ceiling. At least.

And they were a pretty well-behaved crowd, didn't leave much mess, a few gum wrappers here and there, stuff like that. All cleaned up now. Back to sleep.


And why stop there?

Kidnapper shoots own testicle

The gunman jammed the pistol back into the waistband of his pants - and it went off, hitting him in the left testicle.

The 23-year-old man's reaction to his injury caused the gun to fire again, hitting himself in the left calf.


A difference without much distinction.

According to a report from "The Hotline" some congressbimbo named Adam Putnam (R-FL), describing recent election results to his fellow Rs, said, “heck, even the white rednecks who go to church on Sunday didn't come out to vote for us.”

No way! says Putnam's "chief of staff," John Hambel. Out of context, blah blah blah. What Putman really said, Hambel insists, was, “Heck, we even had rednecks who go to church who didn't come out to vote.”

So there you go.

Texan with funny name is dangerous, has money and information.

No, not that one. Another one, name of Sisayehiticha Dinssa (I told you it was funny)...
(AP via RAW STORY) ...was arrested at Detroit Metropolitan Airport after officials say they found him carrying more than $78,000 in cash and a laptop computer containing information about nuclear materials and cyanide.

Dinssa, a US citizen, lives in Dallas.

Beyond the meaning of "is."

(Cue music: woowooowoowoowoo)
(TPMMUCKRAKER) - The GAO gave the reasonable-sounding recommendation to HHS that it ensure that all information given to kids through these programs should be scientifically accurate.

If only the world were so simple! In response, the Department of Health and Human Services -- which has on staff more than a few scientists and other educated types -- said the GAO's suggestion was useless. "GAO never defines the term 'scientific accuracy' in its report," HHS complained. "As such, it is difficult to precisely determine the criteria employed by GAO in making the recommendations as to scientific accuracy."

On battlegrounds.

For a good long time now, years and lots of years, I've held that anyone who claims a liberal education should read at least some military history, and any college that awards a BA degree should require a course.

There are a lot of reasons for thinking so, among them the clear reality that making informed decisions about the conduct of warfare is a vital public responsibility, and also that, as William James suggested in "The Varieties of Religious Experience," in understanding human phenomena it is most instructive to examine their extremes.

War illuminates both the finest and the basest of human conduct - the most noble, selfless, heroic; the most cruel, vindictive, and cowardly. Two of the books now on the sidebar provide a wealth of examples: James D. Hornfischer's "The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors" and "Flags of Our Fathers," by James Bradley and Ron Powers (now also a Clint Eastwood movie).

Neither one of them is pleasant reading. Both are excellent and instructive books.

Worst November ever for Ms. Vigal.

"I hate the rain," said Sue Vigal, a Seattle native.
Alas. Not only the wettest November ever, has this been, but also the fourth wettest month of any name - and it's only half over, as Cliff Mass, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Washington, helpfully points out. Some photos here, at the Seattle PI.

Thanks to Lynn for keeping us up to date on this but no, we still haven't figured out what a cubit is.

What I feel like saying is, "Beck, buzz off."

OK, I cleaned that up a little bit. For the children. But really, what kind of a fucking idiot is this guy "Glenn Beck"?
On the November 14 edition of his CNN Headline News program, Glenn Beck interviewed Rep.-elect Keith Ellison (D-MN), who became the first Muslim ever elected to Congress on November 7, and asked Ellison if he could "have five minutes here where we're just politically incorrect and I play the cards up on the table." After Ellison agreed, Beck said: "I have been nervous about this interview with you, because what I feel like saying is, 'Sir, prove to me that you are not working with our enemies.' " Beck added: "I'm not accusing you of being an enemy, but that's the way I feel, and I think a lot of Americans will feel that way."

"Function doesn't have to be compromised when comfort prevails."

So what I'm trying to decide is, does this picture illustrate function or comfort? Or both?

Oh never mind. I'm kind of enjoying trying to figure it out for myself.

Planning a big Thanksgiving dinner next week?

Well then. You will certainly want to know the answer to this question: Is it legal to have sex with a roasted turkey in Wisconsin?

It is, according to public defender Fredric Anderson, one of whose clients, Bryan James Hathaway of Superior, WI, needs public defending in a matter involving carnal relations with a dead deer. (You really have to make allowances for northern Wisconsin. It gets so cold there people's brains seize up. I used to live right across the lake from Superior myself, and I know.) And - think about it - the difference between a dead deer and a roasted turkey is only an oven and two legs. And big brown eyes. And - are you with me here? - prohibitions against bestiality don't apply.

Prosecuting, one James Broughner argued that a deer carcass is still a beast, and is therefore not OK to have sex with but still perfectly fine to eat. Yummy, in fact, done right.

Judge Michael Lucci, appreciating how things are in northern Wisconsin, noted when hearing the arguments in Hathaway's case, "I'm a little surprised this issue hasn't been tackled before in another case."

Oh, and while I'm thinking of it, there is a recipe for roasted tofu here.

"Forget about the democracy crap."

Says the Guardian, quoting a "former senior administration official"...

Yeah, I know. I don't like it either. But since you know the ones with names are lying through their teeth - like, for example, lying about the Rummy-will-stay crap and the we'll-withdraw-troops-next-year crap - come on, kids, how many times do you have to slap your head before it starts to hurt? - since you know, I say, the ones with names are lying you might as well listen to the ones without. And by the way, do we have a junior administration?...

quoting - are you still with me here? - a "former senior administration official" - the Guardian says:
The official added: "Bush has said 'no' to withdrawal, so what else do you have? The Baker report will be a set of ideas, more realistic than in the past, that can be used as political tools. What they're going to say is: lower the goals, forget about the democracy crap, put more resources in, do it."
So then, speaking of supporting the troops, speaking of they-shall-not-have-died-in-vain, never mind that crap. The plan now is, speculates the Guardian, to see if the Saudis will once again help rescue DOOFUS and maybe, just maybe, kiss up to Syria and Iran, although it's not clear whether the kissing comes before the bombing or after. maybe all the bombing talk is just foreplay, ya think? These are some pretty kinky guys, after all.

These Bushco guys. I'm talking about. They are a stain on the nation's honor, whatever's left of it. They are a disgrace to us all. We need to hit them with another big dose of that democracy crap, is what I think.

Update: Woohoo! How cool is it to get a link from Cursor! Here's a backlink for you guys if you want it, but feel free to stay a while, now you're here.


Some guy at Berkeley finally catches on.

(THE ECONOMIST) - Zune is much more controversial, however, because Microsoft's pre-existing hardware and service partners are left high and dry. “I've never seen a business so blatantly screw its business partners,” says Peter Sealey, a professor at Berkeley's Haas School of Business.

DOOFUS finally makes it to Vietnam.

One of the capital's trendiest nightspots is the disco Apocalypse Now.

Since those Democrats took over, things are going right to hell in Iowa.

(AP) - Dallas R. Esparza, 16, of Cedar Rapids, is accused of shaving off the eyebrows of Shawn Weaver while he was unconscious, police said.
Alcohol, it's reported, may have been involved.

Sure, but who wants to get kissed in Budapest?

(AP) - Just 1,188 kissers showed up in Paris on Thursday to try to break the record for the most people kissing in one spot at one moment, Guinness World Records said. They failed to break Budapest's 2005 record for 11,570 people.
Well, I mean except for the 11,570 people who did. Get kissed. In Budapest. It would be much, much cooler to be Gregory Robert, non?
Muriel Deshayen, 24, a French businesswoman who works nearby, met Belgian tourist Gregory Robert, 22, just outside the event and decided to kiss him.

"It'll be a nice memory for him," she said.

Yeah, well, tell it to the judge.

(AP) - Some gyms forbid hogging machines and or wearing flip flops. At one gym, grunting is grounds for expulsion. Albert Argibay of Beacon, N.Y. was escorted by police officers from a gym this week for grunting — which is against Planet Fitness' rules for maintaining a non-intimidating atmosphere.

"Perhaps I grunted, perhaps I didn't. It's open to interpretation," said Argibay, a 40-year-old corrections officer.


(MERCURY NEWS) - A confidential analysis of Internet search queries and a random sample of Web pages taken from Google and Micrsoft's [sic] giant Internet indexes showed that only about 1 percent of all Web pages contain sexually explicit material.

Prescription chocolate?

Oh yeah.
(ANANOVA) - Two tablespoonfuls of dark chocolate a day is good for your health, a new study has found.

Tomorrow, of course, there'll ba another study that says just the opposite but that one I'm not going to read.

Faux News outted (again, again).

Huffpo publishes "fair and balanced" daily game plan

Oh fine, there goes the neighborhood.

KFC today became the world’s first brand visible from outer space.

Not that we exactly expect Microsoft to think of everything, but...

(AppleInsider) - Apparently, Microsoft has been so focused on getting Zune out the door in time for the mad holiday rush that it hasn't gotten around to supporting the player under its next-generation operating system....

"This operating system is currently not supported by Zune," reads an error message when trying to install Zune software on the latest versions of Microsoft's own Windows Vista operating system.

...it'd be cool if their stuff, you know, worked.


I get yelled at by an ATM machine.

So I leave a little early for work this morning thinking I'll swing by the bank and pick up some cash, drive to Northampton and pick up something for breakfast there. But when I swing into the ATM lane behind the bank there's no ATM there. WTF. It's a teller's window, and it's closed. I sit there for a while just staring at it because, hey, it's early in the morning. Maybe the window will go away and the ATM machine come back, but it doesn't so I drive on out, figuring to loop around into the bank parking lot and walk to the front of the building where there's another machine. And I'm all the way to the end of the block before I remember that the turn to re-enter the parking lot is on a one-way street.

I think about driving the other way but decide against it, park at the curb, and walk. How primitive is this, walking to an ATM machine? It's like, you know, ten minutes ago, right? And on the way I walk by the drive-thru lanes to discover what they've done is switch them, so the teller's window is where the ATM used to be and the ATM is where the window was. Which makes me pretty grumpy, right there.

But eventually I get to the front of the building, card my way into the little booth, and stuff my plastic into the ATM. And that's when I get yelled at. "It'll just be a minute," some woman's voice says. And there is a great flurry of clunking and banging behind the machine. Well. It was more than a minute, I'm telling you. But eventually the machine comes back to life and spits out some money, and I trudge back to the car. I get to Northampton too late for breakfast but I pull into a BK and order a cup of coffee to go. They're out.

"It'll just be a minute," they say.

Too good to miss.

Drop over and read this post on Mike the Mad Biologist's blog.

Just leave the destabilizing up to us.

(AP) - "Iran's nuclear ambitions are not in the world's interest," Bush said. "If Iran had nuclear weapons it would be terribly destabilizing."
We're doing a pretty damn good job of it and we don't need no help.

And how did that work out?

The Thou tribe said the sculpture is part of their culture because since ancient times, the Thou tribe has been using the giant wooden penis to tamper the female "mountain god," who can unleash rock and and mudslides.
The German Press Agency reports, via Raw Story, the meter-long sculpture is now on display at Taipei's international airport as part of an exhibit of native artifacts.
Some foreign crew members and flight attendants refer to the sculpture as "The Thing" and have posted the photo of it on their websites, saying it is an offence to female visitors and flight attendants.
None of whom are, apparently, mountain gods. So they wouldn't really count then, would they?

No matter.
The airport's authorities are still considering their options, the paper said.
No word from the mountain god.


Yeah, right. But did he get his pie?

ADRIAN, Mich. (AP) - Two Lenawee County Jail officers have been fired after authorities say they urged an inmate to strip and run naked around his cellblock in exchange for a piece of cherry pie. "We took decisive action," Sheriff Larry Richardson told The Daily Telegram.

All right all you air guitarists, no more faking it.

Australian geeks have invented the air guitar T-shirt:
Movements by the wearer's arms are mapped and beamed by radio to a computer which interprets them and turns them into musical notes.

The wearer only has to act out playing the instrument to make sounds.

And after all the foreplay they'd better be good.

You didn't know this!

OK, be that way - I didn't know it. Last Saturday (that would be 11|11, the date that most resembles corduroy) saw the annual meeting of the Corduroy Appreciation Club. Held at the Mantauk Club in Brooklyn, this year's gathering featured secret rituals! and camaraderie!, not to mention club business! and some other stuff.

And all this info from the excellent NPR podcast, NPR: Pop Culture.

Blowback "R" Us.

WASHINGTON -- The United States last year provided nearly half of the weapons sold to militaries in the developing world, as major arms sales to the most unstable regions -- many already engaged in conflict -- grew to the highest level in eight years, new US government figures show.

Apparently you go to war not only with the army you have, but also with the enemys you arm.

A little bitchy here, aren't we Michael?

Disciples of domestic diva Martha Stewart waited hours for a moment of one-on-one time with the queen of clean at a Boston book store yesterday, where Miss Perfect appeared a full 30 minutes late....

Stewart said she’d spent hours racing straight from New York, her driver blasting down the interstate at almost 90 mph to get to the Prudential Mall’s Barnes & Noble Bookstore.

‘‘Don’t tell the police!” quipped the the elegant ex-con, dressed in a gray shawl and designer brown pants and clogs.

Michael Givens, Boston Herald

Let's just pretend it's the 50s, says guy from WSJ.

What many Republicans are wondering now is whether this is 1952 in reverse, a momentary setback for the GOP before it comes roaring back to take lasting congressional majorities. Or is this a replay of 1954, the beginning of a near-permanent Democratic majority?

Writing on the Wall Street Journal's "Opinion Journal" web site, columnist Brendan Miniter goes on to reveal the Democrats, despite their gains in Congress, have no legislative mandate because Nancy Pelosi (and, ominously, "others") did not have a "Contract with America," and "in recent years Democrats voted in near lockstep against nearly every piece of Republican legislation that came up for a vote." Which comes, I confess, as news to me.

But then it's been a big week for news, with Democrats who only a few days ago were Saddam-loving allies of the terrorists, fiends who would not rest until the Southwest was swallowed whole by Mexico, everybody in Washington spoke Spanish, and every marriage ruined, now revealed as "moderates" or even, in the happiest of cases, "conservatives," and Republicans, who only a few days ago were being loudly recommended to the voters, are revealed as having "strayed from conservative values."

Well. If "conservative values" includes winning elections, I guess they did. Too bad they couldn't have strayed two years sooner.


Newsweak twists the knife:

Father Knows Best

Take "Cars" for a spin.

(AppleInsider) - Walt Disney Co. said Thursday it sold over 5 million DVD copies of Pixar's "Cars" in the first two days it was available for purchase at stores, putting the film on track to be the industry’s top seller in the U.S. during the 2006 calendar year.

So there's YA thing the blabbermongers can stop yammering about: if a film like "Cars" can be in the running for top seller even after spotting everybody else on the track a 10-month head start, "Hollywood values" are in good hands.

I grabbed the last copy off the vidstore shelf yesterday and watched it last night. A simple, sweet story for the kiddies peppered with plenty of one-liners and sight gags for the grown-ups, it's another example of Pixar's genius with animation. If you haven't seen it yet, go get in line.

Good news, says Boston Herald columnist: Gov-elect's wife not Hillary.

...no, no, no. Diane Patrick made it clear in an interview Friday: She’s no Hillary.

...it was WCVB’s Natalie Jacobson who, perhaps inadvertently, nailed perfectly the difference between the two women.... Jacobson said Diane Patrick impressed her as a strong woman, “very measured, very pleasant . . . and not strident.”

Imagine my relief.