THIS BLOG IS MY BLOG. THIS BLOG IS MY BLOG. Welcome to the Home of Hyperopia.: December 2005

Friday, December 30, 2005

On Stuff From Simpler Times - Part 3

Remember this guy?

Good old Mahir.

Single best personal website in the history of personal websites. Bar none. I defy you to present a better one. You can't do it. Seriously. Save your strength.
  • SHE CAN STAY MY HOME . . . . . .

Hundreds of thousands of people visited his site over the course of a few weeks in 1999. In the days after I first saw it, I viewed it dozens of times. And laughed every time. I still laugh every time I look at it. It's fantastic.

Mahir appeared on talk shows. A reporter at wrote this article and this article about him. I would lay decent odds those were by far her most widely-read articles. An Official Mahir Web-Ring followed, replete with dozens upon dozens of parodies of Mahir's homepage ("tributes"). He even made the Forbes Celebrity 100 List in 2000 (although their coverage was less than flattering (jerks)).

And Mahir got plenty of "kiss you" (see above) and "friendship from different country" for the whole thing. What a wonderful world. The internet can make your dreams (or the dreams some hacker imagines for you) come true.

And that's the truth, Ruth.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

On Truck Stop Candy - Part 1

Brains ain't everything, you know. Smarties can get the job done too. To the right there is pictured possibly my favorite candy of all. Over the course of one month, I ate almost all of two sixteen ounce bags of Smarties (buy 'em here) that a colleague at work had generously made available in his office. Then I bought two more sixteen ounce bags to give him in an attempt to gloss over my gluttony. But I went ahead and ate all of both of those bags.

I can eat Smarties until my teeth ache. Smarties sometimes make me sneeze. At least a few times per session of Smarties snacking, I put too many Smarties in my mouth at once or breathe in through my mouth too soon after chomping up a bunch of Smarties and break down in a paroxysm of coughing and wheezing. Those Smarties are a little dusty.

Caveat chew-or.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

On the Powder and the Finger - Part 1

Best single line from any Neil Young song:
  • "Big John's been drinking since the river took Emmy Lou."

The whole song is fantastic, of course. It's probably my favorite Neil Young song. Especially on a long drive in a relatively uninhabited place. It's fun to sing this song very, very loud.


Look out, Mama,
there's a white boat comin' up the river,
With a big red beacon, and a flag,
and a man on the rail.

I think you'd better call John,
'Cause it don't look like they're here to deliver the mail.

And it's less than a mile away,
I hope they didn't come to stay,
It's got numbers on the side and a gun,
And it's makin' big wake.

Daddy's gone, my brother's out hunting in the mountains.
Big John's been drinking,
since the river took Emmy-Lou.
So the powers that be,
left me here to do the thinkin,'

And I just turned twenty-two,
I was wonderin' what to do,
And the closer they got,
The more those feelings grew.

Daddy's rifle in my hand,
felt reassurin.'
He told me, Red means run, son,
numbers add up to nothin.'

But when the first shot hit the docks,
I saw it comin.'
Raised my rifle to my eye,
Never stopped to wonder why.

Then I saw black,
And my face splashed in the sky.

Shelter me from the powder and the finger.
Cover me with the thought that pulled the trigger.
Think of me as one you'd never figured,
Would fade away so young,
With so much left undone.

Remember me to my love,
I know I'll miss her.

Monday, December 26, 2005

On Going Shoeless in the Office - Part 1

My father-in-law and I have had many conversations over the years about comfortable shoes.

The quest therefor. The thrill of finding comfortable shoes. That's a thrill that last and lasts. He was pitching me on his latest find - a pair of ECCO boots that he can wear inside and out. Driving his tractor or going to Mass. He really likes them. This might be them: click here.

So he was recommending that I give them a try and asking me whether I have comfortable shoes for work. And then I realized that I don't hardly ever have shoes on when I'm in my office. I come in here, I sit down at my chair, and I take off my shoes. I keep my shoehorn right next to my keyboard. If I have to leave my office or if someone who might find my stockinged feet overly unprofessional comes to call (e.g., a candidate for a job here), I slip my shoes back on. Then when I get back in here or the person leaves, I take them off again.

Paraphrasing Ferris Bueller: if you have the opportunity, I definitely recommend taking your shoes off at work.

Friday, December 23, 2005

On Risking It All - Part 1

SUBTITLE: Thoughts on No-Limit Texas Hold'em

No-limit Texas Hold'em is an extremely popular card game at the moment. That picture to the right is a shot of Mike "the Mouth" Matusow betting all of his chips during the main event at this year's World Series of Poker. He was the chip leader (I believe) when they started play at the final table, but he finished ninth.

I just played about four hours of no-limit Texas hold'em on the internet in a ring game (not a tournament). I came away from tonight's session believing that the idea I'm about to publish for your thoughts and reactions is absolutely the most important key factor in determining whether you will make money playing in a no-limit Texas hold'em ring game or not.
  • If you don't hit something good on the flop, fold if there is any significant action.

That concept seems so simple. But I saw almost all of the players at the table make plays that were not consistent with that idea. People routinely call pot-sized bets and even bigger bets with flush draws on the flop (that's four to the flush, not three, of course). And many of these same players will also call a pot-sized bet again on the turn if they didn't make their flush.

Tonight I concentrated. I played only one table. Prior to starting the session, I articulated my strategy out loud: be patient and wait to catch your opponents making the big mistake; do not get emotionally involved in any pots (if you make a decent sized bet hoping the other players in the pot will fold and one of them raises, then you fold (unless it is fairly likely you have the best hand, although in that case I am hoping that they call). And periodically during the session, I reminded myself of this strategy. I tried to stay alert to the the inevitable boredom. I tried to bet, raise, call, and fold intentionally (this is harder than it should be for me; I think generally it is harder than it sounds).

I wanted to see if that approach (a serious one) would make a difference in my results. And, happily, it did. This weekend I'll try it again.

So, to review - I think in playing a no-limit Texas hold'em ring game, if you don't flop what you think is likely to be the best hand, generally look for a reason to fold. Generally do not play draws (unless your opponents price you in by betting too little, of course).

I would note, also note, of course, that none of this jabbering in this post is different from the ideas expressed in basically any hold'em poker book out there. This concept bullet-pointed above is not an "insight." But it does seem to work (at least it did tonight). However, like so many fairly simple things, it's difficult to stay up on that tightrope.

It's easy and in many ways tempting to try to fly.

It's probably not actually that tempting to tightrope walkers to try to fly. So that's really not a good analogy, is it? The danger to tightrope walkers is much more apparent and significantly less open to disagreement. So never mind. But it is kind of a neat picture, don't you think?

Thursday, December 22, 2005

On Voting Machines, Markets - Part 1

Back to compound interest for a moment, I thought it appropriate to reflect on an interesting development in the capital markets. After the closing bell of the trading session held on December 20, 2005, Google (ticker = GOOG) had a market capitalization of approximately $127 billion. And after the closing bell of the same trading session, Berkshire Hathaway (ticker = BRKA), the corporation blessed to have Warren Buffett charting its course these part 40 years or so (during which time its capital stock has gone from a price of approximately $5 or maybe $9 a share to $88,700 a share) had a market capitalization of approximately $136 billion.

Investors in the stock market are rating the stock of Google almost as valuable as the stock in Berkshire Hathaway. That is fascinating to me.

Would anyone care to bet me $10 that in 2012, the market capitalization of Berkshire Hathaway will be more than double the market capitalization of Google? I will take this bet from as many people as would care to make it. I promise to pay the bet, should I lose, in United States Dollars.


Tuesday, December 20, 2005

On CENTENNIAL, the novel - Part 1 (and only)

Over the past several weeks, I had the very great pleasure of reading James Michener's novel, Centennial. It's one of my favorites of his books.

It was published in 1974.

I'm a little bit late showing up to that party, eh? Before I get into the substance of what I have to say about the book, I would just like to state for the record that my next book review blog entry will be published less than 30 years from the release of the subject of that review. In other words, Erin, I'll share my thoughts about the free, autographed copy of your book I will be delighted to receive in just a few short weeks very promptly.

Anyhoo ...

What an incredible book. Like most of my favorites of his, this one starts out millions of years ago. And has a bunch of geological history. Fun stuff. Which is not to say that I am the sort of guy who is enchanted by scholarly or scientific palaver regarding soils and tectonics. But I do like Michener's treatment of the topic (and I like the Earth Science Picture of the Day). (Hawaii and Alaska also have some great geological chapters in them. Hell, come to think of it, so does Chesapeake; maybe they all do.) And then he introduces plenty of drama, heroism, murder, intrigue, and basic history along the way as is his custom.

Interestingly, there is now a real city in Colorado named Centennial. Incorporated in 2000. Learn more about that here. Doesn't sound like remotely the same place. Shopping malls. Credit cards.

But I digress. Regarding the book, there was one clause from one sentence in particular that I want to discuss here. It's in the last third of the book or so. Michener is reviewing the various industries then active in the area of his fictional Centennial and the changes in population and services that developed alongside those industries. And he was talking about what the principals engaged in those various industries wanted from government. And he was noting that each of them (the rancher, the drylands farmer, the irrigating farmer) believed that he was an independent sort of fellow, who abhorred government intervention or meddling in his activities. And then he went on to note that although in word these folks avowed to prefer what I would consider a laissez-faire government, in deed they requested and in fact required quite a different arrangement. The rancher had tariffs on beef imports and the sugar beet farmer required high tariffs on cane sugar from central and south America, with the result that U.S. consumers had to pay more for their beef and sugar than would have been required in the absence of those interventions. So far so good. He's making an interesting point, I thought, about how no matter how honest we say we are with ourselves, we generally are not really that honest at all. There are very few people who really know themselves. There are very few people who can admit to themselves who they really are.

And then Michener got to the clincher. He said:

  • The character of a society depends more upon what men think of themselves than upon what they really are.

I paused. I reflected. And I am still curious about it. Is that right (what Michener said)? Could that possibly be true?

Competing ideas I am aware of we can use in evaluating this topic are:

  1. Buddha said (I'm told), "Our thoughts make the world."
  2. Jesus said (I believe), "If you have faith like a mustard seed, you can move mountains."
  3. Benjamin Franklin said (I just read), "What you seem to be, be really."

Each of these ideas suggests Michener is correct in what I perceive to be his assertion about the character of a society. (By that I mean that, of course, this clause I'm examining here is in a work of fiction. It's not at all certain that James Michener, the author, really believed this clause was true.) The farmer who believes he is an independent, tough-minded survivor will foster a society of people who respect themselves for their hardiness and ingenuity in the face of difficulties. Even if in truth their groveling Senators are wiping their backsides to protect them from true competition at the expense of the very people who look up to them for their imagined virtues.

But I disagree with all of that. I don't think that's true at all. I think people can successfully deceive themselves in the short run, but in the long run the truth wins out. In the long run, you become what you really are. The pressure of self-deceit builds with time. The economic dislocations of tariffs and governmental intervention compound. The water behind the dam grows ever higher. And it will be released.

Probably Jimi Hendrix said it best:

  • And so castles, made of sand, slips into the sea, eventually.

So that's that. Jimi Hendrix trumps Buddha Ben Jesus.


It is also possible, of course, that what Michener said is true, with respect to the character of a society. But that in time the society itself will succumb to the weight of the accumulated lies. To tell you kind folks the truth, this is what I actually believe. People's character depends on their perception of themselves, not what they really are. But the consequences of their actions (especially the consquences of the cumulative actions of all of the actors in a society) depend on what they really are, not on their perceptions of themselves.


Anyway, if you haven't read it, give Centennial a try. It's a phenomenal book. It's over 1000 pages long. Savor it. It's an enormously rewarding undertaking. You won't be disappointed.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Thought of the Day

Having the courage to make an executive decision is one thing. But it is helpful if you also have the wisdom for those executive decisions to be good decisions.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Creepy, Dude

Beginning with the general ...

I found this interesting website today. If you are interested in the Earth, you might enjoy this Earth Science Picture of the Day feature. I do want to caution the Velvet Fog, who I happen to know has spent entirely too many hours reading snore-inducing treatises on soils and similar palaver, not to click this for a few more days. In your condition, you shouldn't look at anything this likely to arouse your interest. Click to enlarge, if you know what I mean.

Progressing to a specific ...

From the caption to the photo on the right:

  • Most geological changes occur so slowly that we need to look for subtle signs, which give an indication that conditions are changing. The aspen trees on the above photo show that the soil in which they are growing has been moving down slope in a mass wasting process known as creep. The top of the soil layer moves faster than the soil beneath, causing the young trees to bend down slope. As the roots stabilize the soil, creep is greatly diminished and the trees can then grow straight. The photograph was taken on the Wasatch Plateau south of Salt Lake City, Utah.

It is appalling to me that the government would allow this kind of "wasting" to occur. Somebody should do something about this. What are we paying taxes for if the stuffed-shirt bureaucrats are just going to ignore this kind of tragedy? [1]

[1] Props (i.e., credit) to Flamingo - please stay at least fifteen feet clear of the sarchasm.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

On Slick Technology - Part 1

Using the copy machine here at the office, I just converted some pieces of paper in my hand to an electronic image that I can email to people. No, this is not especially new. But I just enjoyed it so much moments ago I felt compelled to share.

It happens so fast. The PDF image shows up in my email before I can get back to my desk.

That is slick.
That is some slick technology.


Wednesday, December 14, 2005


Oh shit.

This can't be good for the cause of peace in the world:

click here

For the leader of an important country in the world to be making this sort of patently ridiculous and fraudulent statement makes it very difficult for people who want to be optimistic about the future. God bless us, every one.


Dan, how do you define "progressive" as you use the word in the description of your blog?

Oh, and good luck selling your stuff! Some of it sounds cool, but since I was so mortally offended that you didn't say Merry Christmas in your blog, I am afraid I must play Hairy Prison Guard to your Aspiring Merchant and boycott you!

(That last bit was just a joke. And a poor idea as well, since I am hoping to get you to give me a reasoned, non-emotional insight into the current political labels. I would sort of like to know what my label is. I think it might be anarcho-capitalist! And the truth is I'm too cheap.)


Tuesday, December 13, 2005


Travis, please have a read through this article discussing the analytical error Christians are making in protesting the "Happy Holidays" phrase and so forth at Target and so forth.

Here are two quotes from the article which I consider the most important:

On the idea that the White House sending non-religious cards and Target saying "Happy Holidays" is bad:
  • In what way does the failure of the White House and commercial venues somehow impinge on the right of American families and churches to celebrate Christmas in any manner that they choose? It does not, of course. [American families and churches] are free to remember its true meaning and not treat it as a secular occasion, just as secular venues (such as government) are free to set aside its religious meaning. For Christmas to be both secular and religious is consistent with the idea of freedom.
    (emphasis mine)

On the idea that forcing people to behave in a way an interest group (such as fundamentalist Christians) is appropriate:

  • Coercion only forces people to change their actions; it does not persuade people to change their underlying values and convictions. And since those already convinced of the moral rules would abide by them without coercion, the only real impact of compulsory morality is to engender hypocrites, those whose actions no longer reflect their inner convictions.
I welcome your thoughts in the comments section to this post.

Thank you, and Merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

The Plebiscite - THE OUTCOME

The Jessica Alba Naked Fortnight is over. It was actually over about thirty-six hours ago. But I forgot about it all day yesterday, and I went to sleep at a reasonable hour on Friday so I don't know for sure what the BlogPatrol count was at midnight on Friday.

But I do know that now, thirty-six hours after the official end of the Jessica Alba Naked Fortnight, the BlogPatrol count is 1439. And I also know that at the beginning of the Jessica Alba Naked Fortnight, the BlogPatrol count was 1236.

With respect to Geena Davis, I know that at the beginning of the Geena Davis Naked Fortnight, the BlogPatrol count was 1,101, and at the end of the Geena Davis Naked Fortnight, the BlogPatrol count was 1,236.

So the BlogPatrol count increased by 135 unique visitors during the Geena Davis Naked Fortnight and by 203 unique visitors during the Jessica Alba Naked Fortnight. Taking this information at face value, and returning to the inquiry that prompted this experiment (i.e., who is "hotter," Geena Davis or Jessica Alba), we could reasonably conclude that more people wanted to see Jessica Alba naked than Geena Davis, and we could extrapolate further from that conclusion to assert that accordingly, based on a vote of "the people," Jessica Alba is hotter than Geena Davis.

But there are at least conflicting data, the sum total of which I believe render the drawing of any conclusions regarding Geena Davis or Jessica Alba about this entire affair inappropriately speculative.

First and foremost, an event occurred outside the scope of the inquiry which almost assuredly directed more unique (using that word as broadly as possible, especially given the context) users to this blog than any googling for nudity conducted by horny teenagers (in the case of Jessica Alba) or flabby pseudo-professionals in mid-life crisis (in the case of Geena Davis).

The event? Simply put, the effable Erin referenced one of my posts in her blog as her Sunday Share Time #4; see this entry. While this was of course flattering, it was also devastating to the integrity of the BlogPatrol count vis a vis Naked Geena vs. Naked Jessica. It was the random outlier (or other appropriate terminology from the universe of statistics). This event - Erin's pimping - was the mosquito in my sandwich.

Second, purely for scientific reasons, I typed in "Geena Davis Naked" and "Jessica Alba Naked" to Google. And despite drilling down through five to ten screens of results and despite examining some of the results I observed on those screens (again, for purely scientific reasons), I couldn't find a single reference to this blog. So I am unable, consistent with my moral code, to attribute BlogPatrol hits to perverts searching for naked pictures of these celebrities.

* * * * * *

So, the plebiscite has reached its end. The tide has risen and ebbed. The dust has been stirred and settled. And I am now prepared to declare the solitary inescable conclusion this experience has provoked; this is the truth, as communicated by the "people":

Purely for scientific reasons, of course.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Land's End Update - Part 3

See the introduction and the update for the history.

This Part 3 update is that, an alarming four-plus months after the good folks at Land's End agreed to reimburse me for the costs of repairing the holes in the slacks I had purchased from them, I finally got to a tailor.

I first went to the tailor in my building (in downtown Houston). Those folks said they could fix the $60/pair pants for $32 per pair. Even though Land's End had agreed to pay the freight, I couldn't in good conscience incur such outrageous charges even for Land's End's account. The downtown tailor's quote offended my parsimonious sensibilities. So I found another place in an ugly strip center out in Stafford (TX). The lady there fixed four pairs of pants for $27.10. Total. Convenience has a price. She also only gave me one hangar with all four of my pairs of pants draped on it. Price has a consequence.

Anyway, so now I still need to call Land's End, give them the news and see what happens.

But I knew my fan(s) needed to be informed of this development in real time.


Friday, December 09, 2005

On Hidden (UseNet) Gems - Part 1

Halloween seems like the right time for something like this to occur. This Halloween, the absolutely hilarious exchange documented below occurred on rec.juggling (a UseNet newsgroup devoted to all matters juggling). Two people in a row said genuinely funny things. Well actually one person typed something funny and then someone else typed something considerably funnier a little bit later. But it was sort of like a conversation.

For the unitiated, please note that when people posting comments to usenet groups want to have a footnote/parenthetical type side comment, they often use brackets around numbers. So, in the exchange reproduced below (click here for the whole thread), the "[1]" and the "[2]" in the text below function as footnotes.

Anyway, here's the exchange:

    Juggling 5 balls requires 90% practice and 10% of practicing the right thing.[1]

  • FUNNY THING #1 (by "Little Paul"): [1] And we can all quibble about what "the right thing" is until the sheep come home[2]

    [2] They stay out later than cows.

  • FUNNY THING #2 (by "Pixel"): Cows have early-morning milking. At least sheep let you know which baa they're going to, and they usually have a dedicated driver.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

On Definitional Matters - Part 1

This is a note to Erin.

Erin, after seeing you use the word "confidential" in your posted comments to several blogs, it became apparent to me that the moment for intervention might be nigh.

You are a published author. Words butter your bread. Accordingly, please note for your future reference the definition below:
  • con·fi·den·tial - Done or communicated in confidence; secret.

If that intervention is unnecessary, I'm sure you will be grateful to me for informing you that even if you type "confidential" into a comment that you publish on someone's blog, the words you publish still show up and anyone who opens that page can read them.

Finally - I apologize. I read your comments that said expressly that you intended them to be "confidential." Hopefully with the enhanced understanding this elucidation is sure to provoke I won't again be put in this awkward position. And your reputation as a woman of letters will be that much safer.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

On Funny Money (Yours and Mine) - Part 1

The United States Dollar - those dollars that so many hundreds of millions of people around the world earn, covet, spend, save, wager, steal, find, donate, invest, and lose - is a fiat currency. A key characteristic of a "fiat currency" is that the value of the currency (measured in purchasing power) does not derive from a relationship between the currency and something having an intrinsic value commensurate with the value the government seeks to ascribe to the currency (e.g., a raw material like gold). Instead the value of a fiat currency depends completely on the people who own units of the fiat currency agreeing among themselves by buying and selling goods and services for quantities of units of the fiat currency as to the value of units of the currency from time to time. Again, value in this case is being measured by the amounts of goods and services that can be bought or sold in exchange for various amounts of units of the currency (i.e., by the purchasing power of units of the currency).

Our bills are also known as Federal Reserve Notes. The current currency regime was commenced in 1913, following passage of the Federal Reserve Act. If you click here you can see a history of paper money in the United States. I won't vouch for the accuracy of the history reported there. But I didn't see anything that was wildly inaccurate in there, based on my limited actual knowledge on the topic.

Ron Paul published this article recently discussing the relationship between gold prices and the United States Dollar and explaining some of the ramifications of fiat currencies in general. All humans living in regimes that have fiat currencies managed by central governments need to understand all the implications of the following two sentences (emphasis mine):

Governments by their very nature want to expand, whether to finance military intervention abroad or a welfare state at home. Expansion costs money, and politicians don’t want spending limited to the amounts they can tax or borrow.
That's the truth, Ruth.


Tuesday, December 06, 2005

On Not "Staying the Course" - Part 1

Here's my counter post responding to this this entry on my friend Chris' blog.

Please read: this Lew Rockwell article.

Here's my view: Going to war in Iraq was wrong at the time (based on my understanding of just war doctrine). Continuing to fight the war is wrong at this time (for many of the same reasons).

Here's a few paragraphs from that Lew Rockwell article really hammering home his point:

But we need to remember that this is not a philosophical parlor game. This isn’t about editorial strategy. Real people die in war. Families are shattered, men are tortured, lives are ruined, enemies are made for generations, governments become more corrupt through their war lies and spending, whole regions are pushed to loathe the occupier, and society and culture become imbued with a tolerance for spilling blood.

You care about life? Oppose war. Worry about the disregard for the sanctity of God’s most precious creation? Oppose war. Seek the well-being of all, and peaceful cooperation among the whole human family? Oppose war. In our world today, with weapons of mass destruction in the hands of lying governments, the idea of a just war is a pure abstraction, one that probably can never appear in reality, as Benedict XVI noted before his election.

What about those who placed their imprimatur on war? They bear responsibility. They are free to change their minds, but they bear responsibility. They can be forgiven, but their culpability is a burden they must carry, one to be worked out in acts of penance.

Yes, this is serious stuff.

Monday, December 05, 2005

On "Free Lunches" - Part 1

In college I had a friend who worked at a theater in town. We got to see a lot of movies for nothing. Sometimes after the last regular movie had finished and all the paying customers cleared out, they'd have "private screenings" and we'd all hang around and eat free popcorn and watch movies until very late. One other side benefit was that under the right circumstances (e.g., show not sold out or boss not there or busy), my friend could get us in free during regular shows. We would go through the line like regular folks but through some sort of coconut telegraph/secret club handshake combination of body language and sleight of hand we would get "tickets" without paying. I loved this. I was a huge fan. At the time I thought (and I still think - I'm a slow learner) this was totally cool. I was extremely lucky to have this friend. I was living the dream, watching movies for nothing.

So, proud of myself and grateful to my friend, I decided to show off. And on one of my first dates with the woman that eventually married me, I took her to a movie. And I implemented the cloak-and-dagger, wink wink nod nod manuever with my friend and his cronies in the theater and we got in for free. And we got free popcorn and free sodas. I was living the dream; I was confident I came across as cool and connected. What woman could resist?

Well, lucky for me, she didn't write me off completely. But it turns out that some chicks on first dates aren't impressed with guys who sneak their dates into a movie for free. And apparently the sense of unease and anxiety associated with "sneaking" is not an aphrodisiac. (I probably should have appreciated this would be the case. But I didn't. In fact, right after we got to our seats, I warned her that if the boss caught us, he would make us leave. I was 21. It never occurred to me that if that happened, it might be embarrassing.)

Operative ancient wisdom: One person's trash is another's treasure. With the appropriate modifications to fit the situation described above: One dork's "cool" is a hot chick's "lame" and "annoying."

Friday, December 02, 2005

On Randy Newman Lyrics - Part 1

I own about a dozen Randy Newman albums. The liner notes to one of his albums describes his lyrics as mordant, introducing me to that wonderful word. Because he is a poet and because I am a fairly literal person (see, e.g., this post on Erin O'Brien's blog where I completely failed to appreciate Pete the Plumber was making an allusion), it can take me a few weeks, months, or even years to develop an accurate understanding of the meaning of some of his songs.

You Can Leave Your Hat Onwas not one of those songs. Even I was able to "get" that one. Fairly quickly. Probably because there aren't really euphemisms in that song. He just puts it right out there. "Shake 'em" ...

But Simon Smith and the Amazing Dancing Bear totally fooled me (see below for all of the lyrics). At least temporarily. However, I am pleased to report that while I was driving to work one day last week, my iPod (set on random) played it for me.
And thanks primarily to Dongley Shlongford's enlightening, non-stop, and highly prurient euphemisms (including his recent raincoat reference), the thunderbolt hit.

Although this song masquerades as a cute little song about a happy fellow that children might enjoy, it is actually about a flasher. I will leave it to Dongley to more specifically identify Simon's "Dancing Bear." Lyrics follow.


Simon Smith And The Amazing Dancing Bear

I may go out tomorrow if I can borrow a coat to wear,
Oh, I'd step out in style with my sincere smile and my dancing bear.

Outrageous, alarming, courageous, charming,
Oh, who would think a boy and bear,
Could be well accepted everywhere,
It's just amazing how fair people can be.

Seen at the nicest places where well-fed faces all stop to stare,
Making the grandest entrance is Simon Smith and his dancing bear.
They'll love us, won't they?
They feed us, don't they?
Oh, who would think a boy and bear,
Could be well accepted everywhere.

It's just amazing how fair people can be.
Who needs money when you're funny?
The big attraction everywhere,
Will be Simon Smith and his dancing bear.
It's Simon Smith and the amazing dancing bear.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Flava Flav, You've Got a Rip In YOUR Couch ...

... euphemistically speaking, that is.

It breaks down like this:

Have you seen the new Miller Lite commercial featuring Flava Flav (of Public Enemy fame) as a taste expert? It is entertaining. But helping the second largest brewery in the United States sell mas cervezas is hardly consistent with Fighting the Power.

I wonder if Flava Flav has seen these pictures of the Executive Committee of the Miller Brewing Company? They do have a black Executive Vice President. Maybe that makes it OK to pimp them?

Principles don't pay the bills, I guess. Not when you gotta get that bling.

Don't Believe the Hype.