JOURNAL: Current | Archives

28 February 2003

Saengerhalle Benefit For Chad Raney

Our friends over at Saengerhalle and Big 9 have put together quite a benefit for Chad Raney, founder of and bigtime booster of Texas Music.

It looks to be quite an event, with some great artists performing and great merchandise to be auctioned. I wish I could head over to New Braunfels, but I just dont have the time on Sunday for a roadtrip.

[Posted at 23:56 CST on 02/28/03] [Link]

Mayor Pothole's America

Channel 13's Cynthia Cisneros reports that Houston's budget problems are even worse than has been reported so far.

Cisneros doesn't even attribute the problem to term limits! She'll never be hired by the Comical!

Also, Chief Accused-And-Acquitted-Perjurer seems to have adopted the (unintelligible) speaking style of Mayor Pothole:

"But not take classified people off the streets. There are positions that classified officers are doing. We have to consolidate some of those functions that are being performed by classified officers, and/or eliminate some of those functions."
All righty then, I'm glad he cleared that up!

[Posted at 23:41 CST on 02/28/03] [Link]


I couldn't muster the energy to head over to Anderson Fair tonight for Michael Fracasso/Simon Bruce, but it turns out Fracasso was ill and didn't make the show anyway. So I don't have to kick myself for missing it. I'm afraid I just didn't have the energy tonight. Plus I needed to do a little behind-the-scenes web work tonight as well (hope I haven't broken anything). So there ya go.

[Posted at 23:34 CST on 02/28/03] [Link]

Early Friday Morning Blar

What ever happened to those days when, say, early Friday mornings after late Thursday nights weren't a problem at all?

Oh yeah, that was over ten years ago in college. :)

Still, I may be dragging a bit, but I wouldn't have missed Rodger Wilko's first show at the Firehouse as the main band. More on the show later, but these guys (and gal) are good. And if you're in Texas, chances are they're playing near you soon. They seem to play every night. So no excuses for missing 'em.

(Update) And F-Co kicked some rear too. It was a good Thursday night.

[Posted at 07:46 CST on 02/28/03] [Link]

26 February 2003

C.O's America

I'm surprised the Comical isn't blaming the problems at the crime lab on term limits.

Everything else gets blamed on term limits.

Chief Bradford's building a list of accomplishments nearly as impressive as Mayor Pothole's. Sure, he doesn't have a Crown Heights incident -- yet -- but a perjury trial is pretty good, even though he was acquitted. He will surely have to run for mayor at some point.

[Posted at 23:00 CST on 02/26/03] [Link]


I'm looking ahead to the Firehouse's calendar for March, and it looks SWEET.

Too sweet.

I finally have a defense date scheduled, for the 19th of March. How the hell am I going to find the time to prepare?!

Just kidding. I will find the time. But I will probably miss some good music.

But I won't be missing Rodger Wilko at the Firehouse tomorrow night, and you Houstonians who aren't going to the overblown overhyped Rodeo shouldn't miss 'em either.

[Posted at 22:21 CST on 02/26/03] [Link]

25 February 2003

Straying Off Message

Man, this one just begs for a comment:

Councilwoman Annise Parker said that with the city's income being a moving target, furloughs should be high on the list of options.

"We see the gun lying on the desk," she said. "Let's do it before it's pointed at our head."

That one's just too easy.

Elsewhere in the article, the Comical strays off message:

The city faces up to a $38 million shortfall this fiscal year, which ends in June, because of unexpectedly low sales tax and property tax revenue and municipal court collections.
Hmm, a few days ago, the Comical suggested the culprit was term limits. Somebody better get this writer on message!

[Posted at 22:11 CST on 02/25/03] [Link]

Mayor Pothole's Stench

Mayor Pothole's America stinks sometimes.

No, really, it stinks.

[Posted at 22:06 CST on 02/25/03] [Link]

Gun Rules

Digression: It's unusual to have two friends named R.

Anyway, my friend R. Bryan (as opposed to R. Alex) recently emailed me this advice, which strikes me as sound:

Never sell your gun. Trade it for something else, add other guns, but never let the number of guns in your possession drop-and buy and store plenty of ammo.

[Posted at 22:03 CST on 02/25/03] [Link]


Maybe SXSW should actually be renamed SNORE.

Because that's always been my reaction to the thing.

Some years ago, I seem to recall the Groobees playing some small alternative musical gathering that took place concurrently in Austin. Does anyone know if that still takes place?

[Posted at 00:00 CST on 02/25/03] [Link]

24 February 2003


Man oh man, it was good to touch down earlier in Houston, where it's GREEN instead of WHITE at the moment.

The trip to the Tulsa airport took about twice as long as usual, but I was surprised road crews were able to get things as clear as they did. The road crews in the remote rural areas actually did a BETTER job than the bigger places. Go figure.

And I hear little ol' Pawhuska, OK got an actual mention on the Weather Channel this morning. How about that?!

[Posted at 18:39 CST on 02/24/03] [Link]

23 February 2003

Sweet 16

16 inches of snow officially in this part of Oklahoma.

But the work crews have been out and roads seem passable. I should be able to make the trek south to Tulsa and the airport without too much trouble tomorrow.


[Posted at 18:29 CST on 02/23/03] [Link]


There's something about coming to Oklahoma....

Two years ago at Christmas, we got snowed in.

This last Christmas, we got snowed in.

And I rolled in late last night, only to wake up to a blizzard this morning. This part of Oklahoma was the hardest hit, with probably over a foot of snow.

The road crews have been out, so I should be able to fly out tomorrow. But I really do wish the snow would stop every time I visit.

[Posted at 15:55 CST on 02/23/03] [Link]

22 February 2003


This one comes from George Bush IAH, where I'm waiting for the flight. Security procedures were professional and efficient enough (although I still had to take off my hiking shoes -- steel shank). No wi-fi access in Terminal C that I can detect with Netstumbler, but the Sprint PCS vision makes a nice backup.

I used to use Park and Fly for parking and shuttle service, but it's been horrible the last few times, so we gave Ampco a try this time. Most excellent! We had an Hispanic driver named Jorge who pushed that little shuttle right to the limit. Indeed, I don't think Jorge knows what "Speed Limit" or "Yield" mean necessarily. And he hit a couple of tight curves so fast I thought he would surely have the shuttle tipping, but it didn't. Jorge seems to be the master of his equipment, and it was certainly my fastest trip to IAH from external parking ever.

Go Jorge! And go Ampco!

Lots of people seem to be waiting for this Tulsa flight. Looks to be crowded.

[Posted at 19:35 CST on 02/22/03] [Link]


So, I snagged one of those Continental weekend specials which, combined with a few frequent flyer miles, will get me and Callie to Tulsa and back for about 70 bucks this weekend.

The only drawback is the flight out of Houston is a late one tonight -- the only Continental flight on a real jet and not those Embraer TurboProp things. *shudder*

Anyway, my mom has a new computer that needs set up, so this will work out perfectly. And maybe I'll even post a few Oklahoma stories along the way.

[Posted at 12:38 CST on 02/22/03] [Link]

Mack Brown

It seems almost certain now that Mack Brown isn't going to get the Texas Longhorns to the promised land (the National Championship) any time soon.

He's had as much talent the last two years as any coach in the country, and a somewhat favorable schedule (two years ago, he did not have to play Nebraska and Kansas State when they were formidable; this past season, he played Kansas State at home, early, and Nebraska in a very down year for them). But he didn't get it done.

And now it's clear that not only Bob Stoops has passed him by as the premiere coach in the conference (he finds ways to beat Brown, AND he's already won his national championship his second year in the conference, without Brown's celebrated talent), but he's also blown by him with the best recruiting class in the conference. Even worse for Longhorn fans, Texas A&M's Dennis Franchione by most estimates at least came in even with Mack Brown in recruiting this year for the conference's second best class, and some services say Fran beat him. This despite Fran's late start and unusual circumstances of replacing R.C. Slocum.

All of that is preface to this Comical story on Mack Brown's efforts to replace quarterback Chris Simms, the second-most overrated quarterback in college football history (the most overrated being Notre Dame's Ron Pawlus). This is a great line:

Redding defended quarterback Chris Simms and his tendency to play poorly in important games, praised receiver Roy Williams for returning for his senior year and predicted greatness for freshman quarterback Vincent Young even though he enters spring practice behind Chance Mock on the depth chart.
I think the Comical writer probably MEANT something along the lines that Cory Redding denied the claims of critics that Chris Simms played badly in important games, but this version seems more appropriate. I mean, defending a tendency to play poorly in important games sort of sounds like an admission, doesn't it?

Sometimes, honesty and integrity in report infects Comical articles, even if it's only by way of accident and writer incompetence. :)

[Posted at 12:19 CST on 02/22/03] [Link]

21 February 2003


Folks, it's a been long, for-crap week.

But the good news is, Mr. Randy Rogers is at the Firehouse tonight.

That, and a bucket of Shiner, ought to be just the remedy.

(Update) And I doubt Randy will set off any fireworks, unlike those Great White dumbasses.

[Posted at 16:45 CST on 02/21/03] [Link]

Some Days I Love The Jeep

Required Equipment On Lee Brown's Richmond
Required Equipment On Lee Brown's Richmond

We had some heavy rain last night, and occasional rain today.

That means the trip home from Richmond was scary.

The good news is, Mayor PotholeSinkhole's minions have largely finished the storm drain refurbishment. The bad news (or the normal news, I suppose, in Lee Brown's America) is that the eastbound lanes are still not draining, and they are crumbling now from the extra traffic, which makes things an adventure after rain.

I kid you not -- today, as I drove through the mess, I had water flying OVER THE TOP OF THE JEEP.

I actually needed the Jeep to make it through the mess today.

So here's a memo for all of you liberal nitwits who voted for this mayor: please don't tell me I'm aiding the terrorists by driving an SUV! Those of you who voted for him have made it a necessity.

[Posted at 16:42 CST on 02/21/03] [Link]

20 February 2003


Background: Before being acquired by MegaCo (fictitious name), the company where I work was based in Geneva, and much of the core operation was based there. After the acquisition, much of the Geneva workforce was moved to Houston.

So, today I think I gained some insight on the Euro mentality towards "dialogue."

Apparently, one of the Swiss guys is using a machine that's a couple of years old, and had some hard drive problems. Not good, because he manipulates a LOT of data.

The IT person finally got him up and running, and actually went beyond the normal call to work with him on a strategy for backing up his data (in an effort to head off future problems).

But he had a better idea how to do it.

Never mind that it was an EXPENSIVE idea, and that he has no budget authority to implement said idea.

That's not important. What was important was for him politely to tell the IT person over and over and over how much better it would be to do it his way, and how shortsighted it was of the company not to want to do it that way, and how much work (and productivity) could be lost because of the inadequacy of the IT approach. Blah blah blah.

And the IT person kept telling him that yes, his idea was not a bad one, and he might want to discuss implementing it with his senior management, BUT RIGHT NOW IT WAS IMPORTANT AT LEAST TO HAVE AN INTERIM SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEM, WHATEVER THE WEAKNESSES OF SAID SOLUTION.

And this repeated itself. Over and over and over.... at least 20 times. But good gawd, it was drawn out. I've only reproduced the condensed version. I wished I had the MiniDisc at one point, so I could do a stealth bootleg of the whole thing.

Because for those of us who probably will never see a meeting of the EU or UN, I think this was a fairly decent approximation of the "dialogue" that takes place in those places much of the time.


[Posted at 20:47 CST on 02/20/03] [Link]


The City of Houston is enjoying yet another budget shortfall this year.

Meanwhile, Harris County is enjoying another record surplus (with the total surplus growing to $172 million).

Both governments have enjoyed RECORD REVENUES FOR THE PAST FIVE YEARS.

It was a little shocking to read that in the Comical today. I was half expecting a good column to follow. But instead, the Comical tries to explain the disparity, and does so in its usual agenda-driven fashion.

Matt Schwartz cites the excuses of a number of city officials on the reasons for the "shortfall" this year. He then dutifully reports that some "critics" charge that City Hall is simply mismanaged. And then he gets to the real heart of the matter. COUNTY GOVERNMENT IS BETTER ABLE TO SET LONG-TERM PRIORITIES BECAUSE THERE ARE NO TERM LIMITS:

To city Councilwoman Annise Parker, the difference between the two governments is largely one of philosophy: The city sees its responsibility as providing the best services it can, while the county provides only those services it can afford under its budget.

"I think there is more long-term thinking at the county," she says.

Parker is not alone. Almost everyone interviewed for this article cited the county's long-term outlook as the key to its current fiscal success. Such a philosophy is easier at the county because, without term limits, county elected officials tend to enjoy more stability.

What a laugher!

Of course, it's even more of a laugher that Ms. Parker would lament such short-term thinking since she is one of the members of council spending her time thinking about an anti-war resolution (never mind that the conduct of foreign affairs is reserved by the U.S. Constitution to the national government):

At-large Councilwoman Annise Parker reluctantly backs the resolution, reasoning that "the president has not made a case for a preemptive strike, and I believe we need to allow United Nations inspectors to do their job."
Ms. Parker is a perfect example of the problems at City Hall: the inability to set priorities. People we respect hold Ms. Parker in high esteem as a member of council, and she may be a whiz at municipal government. But that doesn't make her an expert on foreign affairs, and one would think she might concentrate on the job she was actually elected to do. So if she can't even set THAT priority for HERSELF, why are term limits to blame?

Let's get real. Term limits have nothing to do with this city's inability to operate under a budget. The city did just fine under the last mayor and a variety of council members who came and went during his time. We managed to have streets that weren't crumbling, decent police and fire protection, and a positive image under Bob Lanier. No, this problem is of recent vintage, and correlates nicely with the candidate the Comical repeatedly endorsed for Mayor, Lee Brown.

Although he made liberals in the city hysterical, Orlando Sanchez was absolutely correct during the last mayoral campaign when he identified this administration's inability to set priorities. The ongoing budget mess is a perfect example, and it has nothing to do with term limits. If that makes me one of those "critics" the Comical names, then so be it.

[Posted at 19:17 CST on 02/20/03] [Link]

Oh Well

For a little while earlier today, I actually thought I was going to defend the dissertation manuscript dated May 2002 next Thursday.

But alas, one of the four committee members could not meet on that date, so once again it's been pushed off. To some undecided date in March.

Plenty of time for plenty of things to go wrong.

Not to mention we'll be in the beginning stages of the Iraq war.


[Posted at 18:56 CST on 02/20/03] [Link]

19 February 2003

Rudy T Deathwatch

About a month ago, the Rockets beat the Lakers and Yao held his own against Shaq. It looked like the win might propel them into the playoffs, and they might actually do some damage.

Except they've played like crap since then. And last night, the Lakers beat the Rockets and tied them for the last playoff spot.

The Lakers continue to surge as the Rockets plummet. And I don't see the Rockets coming out of the tailspin. Steve Francis seems incapable of leading a team (despite great stats), and Yao Ming is but a rookie (too much to put on him, and too soon).

So will Les fire Rudy T if they miss the playoffs yet again? Stay tuned.

[Posted at 19:45 CST on 02/19/03] [Link]

The Crackup Continues

Phil Donahue and Helen Thomas are having a nutfest on MSNBC.

Do liberals even take this pair seriously these days?

[Posted at 19:38 CST on 02/19/03] [Link]

18 February 2003


Evelynne likes to hear about the Montrose walks, so this one's for her (btw, go check out that cool snow photo she's posted, where she looks very cool all decked out in black).

It's not all that exciting, but a different dog walk took us up to Shepherd/Main tonight, where we passed by Ghod's Oriental Rugs.

I just love that name.

Even better, if you type it into google at the moment, you get an amusing response.


Unfortunately, there's a water main break at that same corner. I hope it doesn't turn into a sinkhole. Given the state of Public Works in Lee Brown's America, there are no guarantees.

[Posted at 21:41 CST on 02/18/03] [Link]


Callie and Cathy point me to this bit of local news that I completely missed:

Anti-war protesters slowed traffic on the inbound lanes of the U.S. 59 South and may have caused a minor accident this morning.

Southwest Freeway traffic slowed as a group of protesters draped a banner bearing an anti-war slogan over the Hazard Street bridge inside Loop 610 about 8 a.m., police said.

A man and a woman were arrested as they attempted to climb the railing along the bridge, police said. The charge pending against the two is obstructing a roadway.

I'm surprised someone didn't shoot at the dumbasses. This is Texas, after all.

Cathy had this to say:

This incident on the Southwest Freeway was reported on briefly this morning. Fine with me if people want to protest, but what really irritates me is that I heard the man and the woman involved being interviewed this afternoon on the radio. The man said something to the effect that "there were only a couple of fender benders. No one was injured."

Do they have any idea what a bloody hassle a fender bender is? Do they not realize that the people involved were most likely going to work, as it was 8:00 in the morning? Do they not realize that when one has a fender bender (or worse -- growl) they have to fill out a police report, exchange insurance information with the other driver, call their insurance company, give a recorded statement to their insurance company, argue with their insurance company, have their car towed or drive it to a body shop to get an estimate, leave it at the body shop, find someone to pick them up and drive them to work, or maybe rent a car? This all takes time, and some people get paid by the hour and lose income while doing all of the above.

Beats me, Cathy. This crowd's just nutty. The liberal crackup continues.

[Posted at 21:11 CST on 02/18/03] [Link]

Sexist Comment

Okay, I've long been critical of the Kim storyline in 24.

But the gratuitous cleavage tonight makes up for it. At least a little bit. They could make her run a little more, though.... :)

[Posted at 20:34 CST on 02/18/03] [Link]


Over the three-day weekend, I tried some of the Lay's Salt and Malt Vinegar potato chips (not very Sugar Busters friendly, but hey).

They're good. Not as good as the Walker's Salt and Vinegar crisps, I don't think, but good enough.

[Posted at 20:31 CST on 02/18/03] [Link]

TX Redistricting

Charles Kuffner has commented on Cragg Hines's ongoing criticism of Tom DeLay, who has been pushing for the Texas legislature to return to the question of redistricting. The legislature seems not to want any part of it, and both Hines and Kuffner seem to think it's crass opportunism on the part of DeLay to resurrect the question of redistricting.

They're probably not wrong.

And I can even agree that reopening this can of worms probably isn't worth it given the current fiscal crunch in the state and the current legal regime that surrounds redistricting.

But that said, I'm unnerved that the judicial branch has assumed such a legislative role in redistricting. People complain that redistricting is nothing but "political" these days -- but in those states whose constitutions bestow that power on the legislature, one must assume that it was intended to be political. The legislature is necessarily political! That's part of the constitutional design.

It may indeed be more "fair" to push the job off on the judicial branch, and in some cases it may even be necessary. No doubt, Democrats in Texas probably think the judiciary's plan is more "fair" than most anything that could be offered by the legislature. They may be right about that. They may not be (case in point: Georgia's arrogant redistricting plan). Regardless, I'd prefer the legislature (Democrat or Republican) rather than the judiciary make the decision. And since that's the general constitutional design in the state, I can't see that my preference is as self-evidently ridiculous as Mr. Hines might suggest.

[Posted at 20:15 CST on 02/18/03] [Link]

Mixed Blessing

Typical trip down Richmond
A trip down Richmond of late

The trip home from work was especially rough today, as Mayor Pothole's minions have virtually destroyed Richmond from the loop to the railroad tracks headed towards Greenway.

In one sense, it's good that the work is going on. The project seems to involve the replacement of aging storm drains with nice, pre-cast concrete stuff. And that may head off the sinkhole problem that has emerged as a result of decaying infrastructure in another part of the city.

Unfortunately, the road where the work is going on is suffering from neglect as well, so the extra traffic on the part of the road that is not closed at the moment has resulted in parts of the concrete just crumbling. I would call the results potholes, but six foot by eight foot sections of crumbled concrete produce something larger than potholes whem combined with the last week's rain.

Today, I honestly NEEDED the Jeep to get home across the mess. Thank goodness term limits will be retiring this mayor shortly. I can't afford a Hummer, and I would need one if he were mayor a few more years!

[Posted at 19:39 CST on 02/18/03] [Link]

17 February 2003

RAW Postings

Many recent posts from Alex lately over at No-Lyfe.

Start here and scroll down.

[Posted at 12:23 CST on 02/17/03] [Link]


It is one chilly February morning in H-town today.

But at least we don't have to worry about snow, like so much of the country. And it's deceptively sunny outside.

Anyway, what a fine day for a work holiday -- I hardly wanted to crawl out from under the blankets this morning. Cold February mornings are the WORST here, because we've usually had a few 70 degree days by now. And going from a low around 60 to a low in the 30s is a shock, I tell you!

Not that you peeps covered in snow right now have much sympathy.

[Posted at 09:26 CST on 02/17/03] [Link]

16 February 2003

I'm Lost, Ossifer!

Ah, spring training is here, and that means Comical columnist Fran Blinebury has been dispatched to Florida.

I just hope the Comical has sent a driver along with him, for those times when Fran might be inclined to smash into things after a few too many. Florida would no doubt appreciate it.

[Posted at 23:53 CST on 02/16/03] [Link]

Cougar Baseball

The baseball Coogs are off to a bit of a slow start (2-4), but I don't think it's any reason for concern. I thought their preseason ranking (as high as #10) was too high based on the number of question marks they have, but I think Rayner Noble will have this group performing like a top 15 bunch by the end of the season. They're talented, it's just they have some holes to fill and some combinations to sort out in this early part of the season.

I didn't make it out to any of the games at the Juice Container (what a dreadful place for college baseball), but I'm looking forward to warmer weather and the friendly confines of Cougar Field.

It's one of the few sports U of H does right these days.

[Posted at 23:49 CST on 02/16/03] [Link]

Boulevard Bistrot

Robb Walsh has an interesting review of Monica Pope's Boulevard Bistrot in this week's Houston Press. Pope is a huge (liberal) activist, but she also really knows her food. I don't generally make a habit of using certified organic foods, but this is worth thinking about:

When you bite into an heirloom vegetable or an obscure grain that's been prepared by a chef as good as Pope, you suddenly realize what we've all been missing. The American agricultural system, with its giant monoculture farms and an ever-shrinking list of varietals, has sacrificed flavor and natural diversity for the convenience of corporate food producers.

At Boulevard Bistrot, Monica Pope is out to change all that, one plate at a time.

Fair enough -- in feeding the world as cheaply as we do, American farmers probably have sacrificed some taste. And a high-end restaurant ought to work to resurrect some of that lost taste.

So there ya go.

I used to hit Boulevard for Sunday brunch a lot. Not quite sure why I don't ever make it over there any more. It's almost always Chuy's for brunch these days. Mmmmm... creamy jalapeno!

[Posted at 17:39 CST on 02/16/03] [Link]

The Local Pro-Tyrant Goofs

I didn't realize that Blogs of War originated in Houston.

Nonetheless, Scott points me towards the BoW coverage of the pro-tyrant goofballs who were out and about in the Bayou City yesterday.

Even better -- Rhett the marine, who held a demonstration of his own.

[Posted at 17:29 CST on 02/16/03] [Link]

Reductio Ad Absurdum

I just flipped the switch on the new version of Reductio Ad Absurdum.

It's quite a change from the old version.

I'm sure there are still lots of bugs and such to work out, but it's time for a bit of brunch first.

[Posted at 11:30 CST on 02/16/03] [Link]

15 February 2003

As Useful As Ever

For the past few seasons, Richard Hidalgo has been playing at a weight well above what it was when he had his "breakout" season in 2000 (and probably exceeding his 235 batting average last year). It has probably contributed to his lack of production since then, and certainly can't have helped his knee problems.

So, one might expect an article on his health at least to mention his weight.

But then, one wouldn't be familiar with our Comical if one expected to find such useful information.

[Posted at 23:24 CST on 02/15/03] [Link]

Who Says Houston Ain't A Live Music Town?!

When I was growing up, country singer John Conlee was wildly popular.

And 10-15 years later, he's hardly known. I don't even know if he's big enough these days to play Branson with the other forgotten old folks of country.

Still, he IS out and about playing shows. Every few months, he does a Houston show -- often at the Firehouse -- and I always plan to go, but something always prevents me. It's become a bit of a running joke: "John Conlee's playing on X date; I wonder what will go wrong."

Well, he's playing the Firehouse tonight. And true to form, something has gone wrong. Callie's still fighting bronchitis -- not good for an asthmatic -- so we'll be missing Big John yet again. One of these days I'll get to hear John not quite be able to hit those high notes, and I will feel fulfilled (on a related note, I saw the remainder of southern rock band Molly Hatchet a few years ago in Houston -- and let's just say, they can't quite hit all the notes in their hit "Flirtin' With Disaster").

It's a good music night in Houston in general. Slobberbone at the Continental Club, Billy Joe Shaver at Dan Electro's, Bleu Edmondson at Sidecar (weird pairing!), Jimmie Dale Gilmore at the Mucky Duck, and Moses Guest at Lost Concert Cafe.

Wow. You peeps who can better get out and see some shows!

[Posted at 13:17 CST on 02/15/03] [Link]


When Trackback first came out as a feature of Movable Type, I almost immediately implemented it, thinking it was one of the better ideas I'd seen for a more interconnected web.

Now, I'm not so sure.

I still think it's a neat concept.

But how many people ever use it? Of the hundreds of unique visitors who come by here daily, about the only people who ever use a trackback ping are... the people who probably would have sent me an email if it weren't implemented. Now, trackback automates that process, and makes it less of a pain -- but it does so by (IMO) adding bulk to the web pages themselves (the hidden trackback info, sitting there for every single entry). So I'm not sure if the greater sophistication really adds net value to the website for the bulk of its users.

Anyway, this isn't all just navel gazing for the sake of the same. Although I'm not using Movable Type to power the next version of Reductio, there's a plugin for Nucleus that implements trackback. And it works. Really well. So I'm trying to decide whether the new Reductio blog is going to get trackback or not. But I've about come to the conclusion that it's not going to, because I just don't think it adds all that much in functionality (especially for the audience Reductio targets, which isn't necessarily a weblog or web design crowd).

And this is the place where I wonder aloud (in type?) about such things.

(Update) Scott emails me and tells me to keep trackback (EMAILS, yes?). :) It's staying here so long as MT is powering things (its days are numbered here, though), so no worries. But still doubtful for the new Reductio blog that is nearing launch....

[Posted at 12:05 CST on 02/15/03] [Link]

14 February 2003

Football Is SO FAR AWAY, Pt 2

I think Randy Galloway is the best sports columnist in Texas, and this little snippet is one of many reasons why:

Until six weeks ago, when it came to any national ranking of most-mismanaged NFL properties, the Cowboys were a consistent No. 2 on the woeful list. And No. 2 only because of the Bengals.

But almost instantly, this has changed. Jerry's Big Bill hire removed the Cowboys from the dumb-and-dumber category.

Compare this to the 49ers. That's the franchise that has now fallen to No. 2, but edging closer to the Bengals, after somehow managing to fire Steve Mariucci and ending up with Dennis Erickson.

That's the worst coaching trade in this league since Johnson for Gunsmoke.

If this hiring process had been given four tires and a steering wheel, the 49ers would be arrested for DWI.


[Posted at 09:20 CST on 02/14/03] [Link]

Football Is SO FAR Away :(

Kevin Sumlin is a fine addition to the Oklahoma Sooner staff.

Kudos to Bob Stoops for hiring him (and sticking it to Gary Barnett and Colorado in the process).

I was a little surprised that Dennis Franchione didn't keep Sumlin on board at A&M, since most people say he's a young coach with tons of potential. But then, I think A&M folks are overly excited about how big an improvement over R.C. that they're getting in Coach Fran. We'll see.

[Posted at 09:16 CST on 02/14/03] [Link]

February 14

It's officially here.

Happy Halloween, everyone.

[Posted at 00:07 CST on 02/14/03] [Link]

13 February 2003

The Great Divide

I don't think Callie and I are going to be able to make it tonight, which is the cause of some consternation, but the Great Divide are playing their last Houston gig tonight with the current lead singer of the group (Mike McClure, who's breaking off to form his own band). The show's at the Firehouse (where else?) and should be a great one. Better get out there if you can.

(Update) Or not. Apparently the band's bus broke down. Given their turmoil right now, one can't help but wonder if that's true.

[Posted at 19:45 CST on 02/13/03] [Link]

The Liberal Crackup Continues

I attended a fairly amazing public talk by a couple of CIA analysts earlier.

And I get home to read this.

Senator Levin is proving to be a fundamentally unserious person who is growing more unserious all the time. I would say these antics are doing harm to the country, but people like Levin (who made an absolute fool of himself on Fox News Sunday this past weekend) have become such caricatures that I'm not sure they really do any harm. Except to the more serious members of their party.

Meanwhile, Orrin Judd comments on another fundamentally unserious liberal.

The liberal crackup continues apace.

[Posted at 19:39 CST on 02/13/03] [Link]

That's Our Comical (An Ongoing Series)

Owen Courreges links to a Comical editorial that is hard to take seriously, and asks:

So who writes this crap? It sounds like it was constructed by a primate. Yeah, I know that they say that a monkey with a typewriter, given an infinite amount of time, would eventually write the works of Shakespeare, but that doesn't mean a major newspaper should hire baboons to write their staff editorials.
The Comical is SO bad that I often run out of original ways to describe it. Thanks, Owen, for helping out today!

[Posted at 06:56 CST on 02/13/03] [Link]

12 February 2003

The Great Dem Crackup

I'm getting a perverse joy out of watching the GOP force the Dems to carry out a real filibuster in the Senate.

I hope Bill Frist is serious about his threat to keep the Senate in session through the three-day weekend (and longer) if necessary.

It's kind of good to see the SOBs putting in long hours. It'd be even better to see 'em working away over a holiday. Makes me feel like I'm getting my money's worth out of 'em, ya know?

[Posted at 22:09 CST on 02/12/03] [Link]


Memo To The Woman At Work Who Tries To Cover Up The Cigarette Smoke With Gawdawful Quantities Of Perfume And Scented Lotions:

It doesn't work.

Your clothes still stink up the office, and the noxious odor that is created when it combines with your ineffective masking techniques is several orders of magnitude worse than the smoky stench itself.

And it follows you. Everywhere. You go get coffee, and you leave a trail. Ditto when you use the network printer or copier. Nasty.

You don't read this, I'm pretty sure, but you should.

[Posted at 19:41 CST on 02/12/03] [Link]

The Rudy Watch

If the Rockets give away many more games like this at home, they aren't going to make the playoffs (especially considering the Laker charge of late).

And if they don't, given their payroll and talent level (which is playoff caliber at this point), how in the world is Les Alexander going to get rid of Rudy Tomjanovich? Will the guy step down gracefully? Will Les be able to fire him? I mean, just how do you get rid of Mr. Rocket?

I hope they make the playoffs and it doesn't come to that, because I'm a big Rudy T fan. But I'm not as confident about it as I was earlier in the season.

[Posted at 19:30 CST on 02/12/03] [Link]

Way To Go

Eric Alterman is such a nice guy, huh?

Hey, it's one thing to call Rush Limbaugh a big fat idiot. Or a fascist cow.

But to wish he would go deaf, and that his 20 million listeners were all gone -- a little beyond the pale.

Can you imagine the outcry if Tom DeLay had said the same thing about.... well, I can't think of a similar liberal talk radio host since real people don't tune in to the LeftWingNuts, but how about Larry King? Yeah, that woulda gone over well....

[Posted at 19:26 CST on 02/12/03] [Link]

11 February 2003

Still Wrong After All These Years

Liberal foreign policy intellectuals like Strobe Talbott and Morton Halperin have enjoyed fairly lucrative careers despite being wrong about almost every aspect of the Cold War.

Now, Halperin's decided it would be fun to start establishing a record of being wrong in the 2000s. In a Washington Post op-ed today, he argues that containment and deterrence are working with regard to Iraq, but that there is one more step the U.N. could take that would REALLY be effective: indicting Saddam Hussein as a war criminal.

No, I'm not kidding.

For those of you who wonder how a President Gore might have handled the war on terror (and Iraq specifically), this is a pretty good place to look. Folks like Halperin and Talbott would surely have been involved in selecting foreign policy personnel, and might well have been appointed to senior positions themselves. They represent the Dem bench on foreign affairs, after all.

Fortunately, there's a much more serious foreign policy team in place at the moment.

As a related matter, Charles Krauthammer wrote several weeks ago about the affinity of the foreign policy left for (mis)applying old Cold War strategic concepts to the war on terror. They're still getting it wrong, after all these years.

[Posted at 19:52 CST on 02/11/03] [Link]

Ken Lay

We all know the popular myth about Ken Lay and Enron.

According to NYTimes columnist Kurt Eichenwald, it suffers from just one flaw: it isn't true.

Interesting reading.

[Posted at 19:38 CST on 02/11/03] [Link]

10 February 2003


I'm still busy playing around with Nucleus tonight (what a great CMS! the new Reductio is going to kick some serious ass, folks) and don't much feel like fun journal posts. But it's a good opportunity to point out that Alex has migrated over to the No-Lyfe journal, and those guys are posting away. Go read, and bookmark (speaking of which, my links page needs updating... later)

[Posted at 20:01 CST on 02/10/03] [Link]

That's Why We Call It The Comical

"I'm working for a day when war is obsolete"
-- Frances "Sissy" Farenthold

"Well Whoopee Shit!"
-- Kevin L. Whited's response to Sissy

Why oh why does the only daily in the nation's fourth largest city consider this to be news?

Even the title is retarded: Sissy Speaks Up.

And the first sentence: "Her rich, black hair is now snow white..." Well, is it rich and black or is it snowy and white?! It can't be both!

What an idiotic excuse for a newspaper.


[Posted at 14:12 CST on 02/10/03] [Link]

09 February 2003

Rodger Wilko and Randy Rogers (02-07-03)

Rodger Wilko at the Firehouse
Rodger Wilko at the Firehouse
(photo courtesy John Vaughn)

Okay, time to get my nose out of coding a complete site redesign with a completely new (to me) content management system, and back to the show we saw at the Firehouse Friday.

Rodger Wilko opened, and we went into the place knowing absolutely nothing about them. Well, not quite true -- the one bit of wisdom I shared with the group was, "For some reason, I think they have a female bass player."

Now we know more. :)

They're a young but very tight-sounding band, and I wound up really enjoying them (so much so that I picked up a CD). Their lead singer sounds like a combination of Pat Green and Brent Mitchell (a Denton-area Americana artist who used to play with Eleanor Whitmore, but who seems to have disappeared), and writes most of the material. Stephanie Macias, the bass player, does most of the backing vocals and occasionally takes the lead. She's a real talent, and much like our friend Libbi Bosworth, lights up the stage with a constant smile. There's the standard lead guitar, drummer, and a keyboard, making this band a fairly distinctive sounding five-piece. They played a mix of covers and their stuff, and I'm sad now that we didn't record it. Our friend Cathy goes into a bit more detail here:

Back to last night: a band called Rodger Wilko ... opened for Randy. I enjoyed their music and will definitely catch them again. The lead singer, Zack Walther, was very entertaining. He writes most of the songs and has a good voice. The band had a female on bass, Stephanie Macias, very fresh and attractive, and she had an in-tune, powerful voice which reminded me of of Alanis Morisette. I loved the way Zack introduced the band at the end, one by one, and let them loose on their instruments for about a minute each. The keyboard player rattled off Greig's Piano Concerto, followed by Fur Elise, and then Scott Joplin's The Entertainer. And when they'd all finished their cadenzas, Zack yelled, "That's us. Rodger Wilko. Whaddaya think?" It was difficult not to respond.
Fun show! Definitely go check them out -- which won't be hard, as they seem to be playing constantly! They're headlining the Firehouse on 27 February, and that one's on the PDA. Must record.

Randy Rogers played his usual inspired set, which seemed more inspired because of the large crowd. We were treated to his usual good stuff (but NOT "Just This Side Of Heaven," which I will continue to bitch about unless it's unretired, damnit!) and really good covers of Merle Haggard (I've not heard "Mama Tried" since I was a kid in Oklahoma), Bruce Robison, and some of the usual suspects. Even better, one of those usual suspects -- Roger Creager -- was in the crowd, and joined Randy for a song. Have I mentioned how much I like the Firehouse lately? Too cool. Stephanie from Rodger Wilko also joined Randy for Bruce Robison's great song "Wrapped." Randy almost always introduces that song as "the best country and western song ever written," and their duet was a particularly pretty rendition.

No political discussions with Randy this time, although John and I did say hello to him over by the merchandise table, and he seemed amused by the whole thing still. And the guys (and gal) in Rodger Wilko are super friendly folks who were all too happy to sign our CDs. Plus one of the band members had a puppy I played with. A dog-loving alt-country band is a good band indeed.

So, two up-and-coming bands that anyone interested in real country music ought to go out and see and hear.

(02-10-03) I forgot to mention Randy's cover of Kasey Chambers's "We're All Gonna Die Someday," which substituted "Kenny Chesney can kiss my ass" for Kasey's "they can all kiss my ass." Very funny.

[Posted at 19:23 CST on 02/09/03] [Link]

Chief Bradford's America

My opinion is that the Houston police DNA unit is either corrupt or incompetent, or both.

-- David Dow, University of Houston Law School

Back in January, when most of the locals were all excited about Chief Bradford's acquittal on perjury charges, we noted that HPD's problems run much much deeper, and linked to a Channel 11 story on the department's problems with its crime lab.

The New York Times has picked up the story.

It will be good reading for those who have been touting Bradford as a potential mayoral candidate.

[Posted at 09:46 CST on 02/09/03] [Link]

Off To LJ

After reading Marni Soupcoff's angst over whether or not to start a blog, I've come to agree with her: she shouldn't.

No, instead she should start a LiveJournal.

[Posted at 09:07 CST on 02/09/03] [Link]

The Comical Sports Page

Baseball season is getting closer. Not even a week has gone by since the Comical's first suck-up column on the Little Backup Second Baseman with the Dirty Helmet (we shall not call him center fielder just yet), and there's already another one:

Craig then releases the family's two dogs into the back yard. And as the boys get ready for school, he gets breakfast ready. Some days Biggio gives the boys cereal, toast and orange juice. On other days he makes waffles or pancakes.

"They like waffles," Craig says.


On the other hand, there's a good column in today's Comical by Fran Blinebury, on Oscar Robertson and Steve Francis. It doesn't even include any of Blinebury's ridiculous analogies. When is the last time THAT happened? Has it EVER happened?

(Update) On the first topic, Callie asks: "Do we need to be fed mush in this town?" Apparently the Comical thinks so.

[Posted at 08:57 CST on 02/09/03] [Link]

08 February 2003

More Bootleg Thoughts

Speaking of bootlegs, here's an interesting article Callie forwarded to me. Apparently, Clear Channel is thinking about providing live CDs immediately following the concerts it promotes.

Not sure if that's good or bad. Labels and promoters (and some bands) have always tended to HATE bootleg recordings, since they don't control distribution (or the presumed revenue stream -- I write presumed because most bootleggers trade their stuff, and regard selling it to be a sin). So if they get into the "bootleg" business, I imagine it's because they think there's money to be made (probably not wrong, but probably not as much as they think), and if so, that means a crackdown on bootleggers like myself is probably in order.

Fortunately, we don't go to very many "big" concerts and try to record, and those few "big" artists we do see (Counting Crows) allow bootleg recording. So I don't think this affects us all that much.

Anyway, I much prefer seeing lesser-known artists in intimate venues like the Mucky Duck or Firehouse, and I much prefer recording in those sorts of places as well. It's even more cool when the artists we record ASK for copies.

[Posted at 23:15 CST on 02/08/03] [Link]

This Won't Interest Anyone But Music Bootlegger Types

I've spent the entire afternoon going through a haphazard, disorganized collection of bootleg minidiscs that we've recorded over the last 2-3 years and getting them organized and catalogued in an excel spreadsheet (which seemed like a good idea, given how serious we've gotten about this little hobby of late).

Yeah yeah, it sounds ridiculous unless you could see the MESS that it had grown into. Blar. Tedious work for a slow Saturday.

Now, it's organized. But I have at least six minidiscs from January shows needing to be processed into a usable format. Nothing like being organized but behind!

Anyway, we tried out some new gear last night (an MT-15 picked up cheap on Ebay, as insurance for an aging but classic MS702), and it worked beautifully. Plus some experiments with rolling bass off a little higher than we have been. The results were excellent. Some thoughts on the show itself to follow, eventually -- there are bootlegs to work on, after all!

[Posted at 17:36 CST on 02/08/03] [Link]

DEA Update

Scott Melott has posted an update on the Dead End Angels' work in the recording studio.

Sounds like it's going well. I can't wait to hear the final result.

[Posted at 14:56 CST on 02/08/03] [Link]

07 February 2003


It is TOO DAMN COLD to be out and about tonight (yeah, Scott, I'm wearing that heavy coat that amused you in Dallas a few weeks ago!).

But Randy Rogers added a Firehouse show at the last minute, and the Fox News crowd can't pass that up!

There's even word that a newly refurbished Wendy will be making an appearance.

Now if I could just stop shivering.... we can't cope with this in Houston, damnit!

(02-08-03 Update) Okay people (all two of you, anyway), I made it, and am happy to report that the Firehouse's two woodstoves and gas heat kept us nice and toasty, and both Rodger Wilko AND Randy Rogers kicked ass (and a quick appearance by Roger Creager was fine as well)! Too incoherent to say anything about it right now, other than that's a LOT of variations of Roger/Rogers/Rodger for one evening. More later. :) I do know two Chaffins who need to make a trip south one of these weekends, though.

[Posted at 19:14 CST on 02/07/03] [Link]

06 February 2003

French Fiasco: Two Words That Go Together

A truly big guy (Washington Post!) has noticed what is going on in Cote d'Ivoire Ivory Coast.

But unlike our minor ramblings of some weeks ago, or even a big web guy's more recent comment, David Ignatius describes the situation at some length. It's good reading.

[Posted at 21:36 CST on 02/06/03] [Link]


Not that it really matters, because some people will never be convinced, but this would seem to be "evidence" of a link between Saddam Hussein's outlaw regime and Al Qaeda (link via Orrin).

I wonder if those liberals who went into hysterics some time ago about Paul Wolfowitz's assertions of such a link will now admit he was right? Or that the war on terror necessarily includes terrorists AND the nations that sponsor/harbor them?

[Posted at 21:30 CST on 02/06/03] [Link]


I had to admit to our friend Mr. Henick earlier that expositions of game theory make my eyes glaze over. Always have. It's damn peculiar, because it's something that some political scientists like very much.

Anyway, some of you folks who are not afflicted with this weakness may want to give him some good feedback on this post.

[Posted at 20:34 CST on 02/06/03] [Link]

One-Liner Of The Day

As one who used to dabble with a weblog of one-liners, I can certainly appreciate a good one. And boy, does Orrin Judd deliver!

[Posted at 18:47 CST on 02/06/03] [Link]

Rain Man

Rain Man

Just between you and me, I wouldn't let Rain Man drive my car, and I certainly wouldn't let him influence my foreign policy views.

[Posted at 18:38 CST on 02/06/03] [Link]

05 February 2003

Nap Time

For once, I'm stumped for a nickname.

See, there's this dude at work. He may work on my floor even, but I don't really know him because his work is completely unrelated to mine (I think he may do something with geophysics *shudder*).

Nonetheless, I've noticed him.

I can't help but notice him.

Because every single day, dude takes his lunchbreak in his bright green supercab Ford Ranger.

He starts it up. He reclines the seat as far as it will go. And he naps. With the damn thing running.

It doesn't matter if it's cold (like today), if it's hot, or if it's perfect outside. The routine never varies. Dude is always out in the parking garage. Taking his nap. Windows rolled up tight, even if it's a beautiful day.

It's bizarre.

And I can't think of a good name for him. I can ALWAYS think of nicknames for people who act strangely. I must be losing my touch.

[Posted at 20:50 CST on 02/05/03] [Link]

Let The Excuses Begin

Ah, you know baseball season must be getting close, as a Comical columnist has penned a major suck-up column.

All last season, we got to hear about the personal travails of the struggling Little Second Basemen With The Dirty Helmet (specifically, the death of his priest, not to mention former teammate Darryl Kile). One might have hoped it was done. But here's Dale Robertson today:

For some reason, he lost confidence in his judgment. The deaths of Darryl Kile and the priest who was a close friend might have caused Biggio sufficient emotional duress to disrupt his physical performance. That combined with the normal ravages of aging -- worsened by his having a recently rebuilt knee -- knocked him badly off his game.
Maybe. We'll soon see if that excuse holds, or if it's simply that The Little Backup Second Basemen With The Dirty Helmet simply isn't very good any more. Whatever the excuse, he was way overpaid last season for his production.

Speaking of which, a puff piece reminding us of Bagwell's shoulder injury can't be too far away.


And the last important football event (Letter Of Intent Day) took place today. No football for months and months. Waaaahhh.

[Posted at 20:27 CST on 02/05/03] [Link]

Nature's Version Of Prohibition?

The headline to this old article would just never pass muster in a politically correct American publication.

Sometimes I love the BBC.

[Posted at 15:30 CST on 02/05/03] [Link]

04 February 2003

Who Buys A Bagel At McDonalds?!

While Mr. John Edwards is running for President, perhaps he will explain to us how these sorts of lawsuits benefit the "little guys" that he tells us he's looking out for.

[Posted at 19:49 CST on 02/04/03] [Link]

Is France About To Come On Board?

An old mentor of mine, Doc Rood, once compiled a list of war-warning indicators that has proven invaluable to me over the years, the premise being that what countries do with blood and treasure is much more important than what they are saying at any given time (not that the last is irrelevant).

That said, here's an interesting bit of news:

France talks peace but sends warships east


(Update) Meanwhile, Richard Perle's comments will give the Patrick Buchanan/Lew Rockwell/anti-neocon crowd something to complain about.

[Posted at 19:46 CST on 02/04/03] [Link]

On Evidence And The Local Liar

I just love Secretary Rumsfeld's briefings. Here are a couple of excerpts from today's Q&A session:

Q: Mr. Secretary, on Iraq, as you very well know, United -- Powell's going to be going before the United Nations tomorrow. The inspectors have found a 17th empty chemical warhead. I was wondering what your thoughts again are if he can present anything more than just circumstantial evidence, and again to elaborate what you've said before, that circumstantial evidence can be powerful.

Rumsfeld: Again, I mean, you all are -- have been watching L.A. Law or something too much. (Laughter.) I mean, circumstantial evidence --

Q: (Off mike) -- 10 years ago.

Rumsfeld: Is that -- 10 years ago?

Q: (Off mike) -- 10 years ago.

Rumsfeld: That's the last time I saw a TV program. (Laughter.)

Q: (Off mike) - It's in reruns.

Rumsfeld: Is it?

Q: Yeah.

Rumsfeld: All right. I apologize here.

(Off mike joking, laughter.)

Rumsfeld: I've been busy. I've been busy here. (Laughter.)

Myers: That's what I would say on that.

Rumsfeld: First of all, it would be inaccurate for people to take your question and think that it was correct. But it is not correct. The idea that all there has been is circumstantial evidence is false. I don't know what the technical definition of "evidence" is, but -- legally, but I do know that a good number of the things that have been released by the United Kingdom and by the United States already, let alone what the -- will be presented by Secretary Powell tomorrow morning, are evidence.

Now, someone could say, well, it's powerful, or it's less powerful, or it's weak, or it's strong. But it's evidence. And we -- I got a -- had a discussion with Senator Specter recently about that, who was a -- I guess a defense attorney and a prosecutor. And he described that process.

But we're not in a court of law, and I think that it's a misunderstanding. What's being tested, as I said, is whether or not Iraq is going to cooperate and provide the United Nations with its weapons of mass destruction and permit them to be destroyed. That is what the resolution is about. That is what the 16 resolutions are about. And this fixation that people have on the kinds of -- this smoking gun business, I think, is a misunderstanding of what we're doing and what's going on in this world and what the nature of the threat is and what the danger is.

And this is perhaps my favorite Rumsfeldism, that of the local liar:
Q: Mr. Secretary, today in a broadcast interview, Saddam Hussein said, "There is only one truth: Iraq has no weapons of mass destruction whatsoever." And he went on to say, "I would like to tell you directly we have no relationship with al Qaeda."

Rumsfeld: And Abraham Lincoln was short.

Q: Would you care to respond directly to what Saddam Hussein has said today?


Rumsfeld: How does one respond to that? I mean, he said that Secretary Powell's words tomorrow are going to be lies. He says that the photographs that will be shown will be doctored. That's what he does. That's what he does. And then the world's press spreads it around the world as though it's true. It's utter -- it's just a continuous pattern. This is a case of the local liar coming up again and people repeating what he said and forgetting to say that he never -- almost never -- rarely tells the truth.

And finally, the new name for UN Weapons Inspectors (if some media folks and the French had their way):
Q: But he also challenged anyone who has any evidence to bring it forward. It was almost a response to what Secretary Powell said yesterday when he acknowledged the U.S. has no smoking gun.

Rumsfeld: If I were -- well, I guess there's no way to recast this whole issue, but the fixation on a smoking gun is fascinating to me. Go back to September 11th and think of trying to piece together facts and information in a way that you could stop that from happening and stop those 3,000 people from being killed and stop those airplanes from crashing into the Pentagon and the World Trade Center and Pennsylvania. There's no smoking gun in there! You get the smoking gun after the planes have crashed. It is a -- the people who keep repeating that are Saddam Hussein and his crowd and people who are chasing the wrong rabbit.

It is unfortunate that the test seems to be that -- for a lot of people -- when in fact, the test in the U.N. resolution, if people would read it, is whether or not Saddam Hussein is going to cooperate. And we know he's not. What has he done? He has filed a fraudulent, false declaration, that anyone who looks at it and reads it says is incomplete and inaccurate. He has refused to allow these inspectors free reign in that country. They often have more Iraqi intelligence minders encircling the inspectors than there are inspectors, by a factor of some non-trivial number. When they arrive someplace, they often are welcomed and expected. The people who the resolution requires be allowed to leave the country are not even allowed to be interviewed alone to see if they would like to leave the country. It is a -- there is a pattern that is clear of a lack of cooperation.

And if the test is a smoking gun, then the implication is that the test is not cooperation, the test is that these inspectors, these relatively handfuls of inspectors are supposed to go in there and find something he doesn't want them to find. How in the world can they do that? That is never what was intended, or they would have been called discoverers and finders, not inspectors. The only role they had was to go in and inspect what he offered up.

Discoverers and Finders. Priceless.

His public performances are just wonderful, but what he's doing behind the scenes to recast the DoD is much much more important. We are lucky he is serving this country, and we are fortunate that the President picked him.

[Posted at 19:42 CST on 02/04/03] [Link]

Worse Than Reagan

They've tried calling President Bush stupid, but that hasn't played very well (one begins to wonder why the simple stupid man keeps beating his accusers).

They've tried calling him a dangerous extremist, but that hasn't played well either.

And now, it's on to a different tactic:

He's different from Reagan in two ways that are clearly worse," said Richard Kogan, a longtime federal budget analyst, now at the liberal Center for Budget and Policy Analysis.
Bush is "clearly worse" than Reagan! There's the new line (and I expect to see more of it as his judicial nominees are approved as well).

At least WaPo identifies the Center for Budget and Policy Analysis as liberal. All too often, liberal think tanks don't get such a label, but "conservative" ones always do.

[Posted at 06:41 CST on 02/04/03] [Link]

03 February 2003

Weird Theories

One of our usually friendly neighbors has been extremely reclusive and mopey lately. We've noticed his girlfriend and their (her?) dog don't seem to be around anymore, and just assumed they broke up and he's depressed.

Tonight we saw him, and he was chipper as hell. He seemed pleased to have just finished steam cleaning his carpet.

Callie and I have concluded that he killed the chick, and just cleaned up the mess.

Must have been something I put in the spaghetti tonight.....

[Posted at 20:03 CST on 02/03/03] [Link]


Earlier conversation:

Me: Why did Dillards send me this advertisement with a pretty lady and lots of lipstick?

Me [Being Ignored]: Why, Callie? Why does Dillards think I need lipstick?

Callie: Because Valentine's Day is coming!

Me: But I still don't wear lipstick.


(01-04-03 Update) Mr. Hutchison writes: "Um, Kevin, you DO live in Montrose after all, don't you?"

[Posted at 19:57 CST on 02/03/03] [Link]

02 February 2003


Well, the weekend has vanished and I haven't quite finished the redesign for Reductio I've been working on. The design for the front page is done, and I have some idea what to do with the secondary pages, but I haven't done anything with the MT templates just yet. THAT will actually be the easy part, thanks to the sophistication of that fine program.

Anyway, I'm hopeful to get the new look finished and switched on sometime during the week.

As an aside, I could never be a professional web designer -- minor little projects like this take me forever and there always seem to be a million loose ends that are never quite tied up. All you people who make a living at it have my respect!

[Posted at 22:33 CST on 02/02/03] [Link]

01 February 2003


Callie's a bit under the weather, and I'm kinda bummed after the events of the morning, so we decided not to roadtrip for music tonight.

Instead, I've been puttering around with a fairly radical redesign of Reductio. It's a ways from being ready to roll out yet, but its actually moving along pretty quickly.

It's a substantive overhaul of the site as well as esthetic. The substantive goal is to get less verbiage on the page, and more succinct descriptions of the links (although the stuff I'm reading and linking won't be changing aside from one subject area). The design goal is primarily to get rid of those damn tables and replace them completely with Cascading Style Sheets and standards-compliant code -- something I failed at with version one of the site because I wanted to get something up, and couldn't get the CSS to play nice. I think I'm succeeding this time. Secondarily, the design goal is to pack only the most relevant content on the front page, and scroll the older stuff off faster.

There's also eventually going to be a group political blog on the site, and most of my non-Texas, non-Houston political posts will be going there. Eventually.

[Posted at 21:46 CST on 02/01/03] [Link]


Not One Of Them Is Missing

We sometimes forget the dangers of space travel, the U.S. having made such minor miracles commonplace.

Let's not forget those brave men and women we lost today.

[Posted at 11:16 CST on 02/01/03] [Link]

Movable Type

If you can read this, your browser does not fully comply with standards. You can still view the site via the navigation bar below.

Reductio (old) | Journal | Glossary | Search | Bio | Photos | Disclaimer