Monday, April 29, 2002

Hiking Trip Report:
My fiancee Vicki and I were able to get outside for a hike on Saturday and reached the snowy summit of Mt. Garfield near Franconia Notch. Excellent views into the Pemigewasset Wilderness. The legs hurt a bit after the 12 mile r/t dayhike. And of course we treated ourselves to some monster subs from JP's in Durham, NH on our way home. Full trip report here.

Friday, April 26, 2002

Answer Revealed!
Why They Hate Us

Thursday, April 25, 2002

Update: Echoes of what I wrote earlier about resurrecting the spirit of Gens. Sherman, Patton, et. al.

Wednesday, April 24, 2002

The scourge of plagiarism continues! First, Stephen Ambrose, then Doris Kearns Goodwin, and now word has it - Saddam Hussein (the Danielle Steel of the Middle East). Apparently, Saddam appreciated the Thomas Kincaid-ian talents of Canadian artist Jonathon Earl Bowser and appropriated one of Bowser's paintings for the cover of his latest romance novel.

Tuesday, April 23, 2002

I'm not much of a golf fan, but in the immortal words of Jeff Cote, "She definitely wins the trophy".

One thing that fascinates me is the history behind certain foods, especially today's condiments. Ketchups, mustards, and the "do I want to know what's in them" brown sauces (such as Worcestershire and HP). Some sauces have won medals in international expositions, such as the much loved A1. I guess food must have tasted pretty bad in earlier days, necessitating the development of strong and pungent condiments to mask the foul flavors and odors of old and rotting food.

Monday, April 22, 2002

The Melvins have done it again - having just released their latest magnus opus "Hostile Ambient Takeover". In all actuality, it is doubtful that anyone else has come close to providing a glimpse as to what the coming Apocalypse might sound like. Much of this musical donnybrook is dependant on the axe-wielding prowess of frontman King Buzzo. And for the benefit of factoid lovers and Trivia Pursuit addicts, it was Buzzo who encouraged Kurt Cobain to play the guitar. When not working on Melvins tracks, Buzzo can be heard ripping it up with the supergroup Fantomas. Fantomas is comprised of members from Mr. Bungle (Mike Patton - vocals, Trevor Dunn - bass), Dave Lombardo (formerly with Slayer) on drums, and Buzzo on guitar. The future of music is here, and it aint pretty.

Thursday, April 18, 2002

Saw the movie Changing Lanes with Ben Affleck and Samuel L. Jackson. I thought this was a pretty decent flick. The ending was tidy (in typical Hollywood fashion), but it was well filmed and well acted. The pacing was appropriate and also the actions and reasons for the actions by the main characters made sense.

I think what stood out was the acting job by Samuel L. Jackson. Oftentimes, Hollywood typecasts black actors to play black roles. However, in this case it was a role that happened to be played by a black man. This is a rarity. Black actors typically end up in urban dramas or comedies, often set in South Central LA. Or they play the wisecracking sidekick in buddy cop movies (Chris Tucker, Martin Lawrence i.e). Spike Lee skewers this ignoble trend in his movie Bamboozled.

This ghettoization of movie roles hopefully will end when Hollywood stops typecasting and starts writing better roles for black actors. Consider the strong performances by Morgan Freeman in many of his pictures, where he often plays a sage Everyman type. His character "Red" in The Shawshank Redemption stands out in this regard. Hopefully, the performance by Samuel L. Jackson in Changing Lanes will expand the choice of roles available for black actors in Hollywood.

Monday, April 15, 2002

I wonder what Elian is up to? I wonder if he misses the spotlights, media circus, and politicians. I wonder if he misses the assault weapons being pointed at his face. Looks like the Clinton/Reno INS may have covered up some evidence that would have granted him the political asylum filed on his behalf.

Chess could certainly use a bit of Brittany-esque sex appeal (audible, CNN's Paula Zahn inspired zipper sound effect appropriate here). Now all the aspiring, pimply-faced Bobby Fishers out there have their own Grandmaster babe to swoon over. The "Anna Kournikova of Chess," Alexandra Kosteniuk sports her own website and rumor has it that she applies the Luzhin Defense with grace and chic elegance. Certainly, the chess world is glad to have the image makeover. One wonders if even Deep Blue stands a chance against these sizzling developments! Time to install the heavy duty cooling fans, or it's liable to blow a few capacitors......

Thursday, April 11, 2002

Portsmouth, NH (my home) used to have a decent music scene (besides the fact that there are far too many hippy jam bands that noodle and fiddle you to sleep). I say used to because the once loud and obnoxious punk/metal/heavy scene has all but disappeared. There used to be an all-ages club called the Elvis Room that attracted sonically punishing bands. But that got closed down and replaced with a jazz club catering to the Cosmopolitan Martini crowd. (A Martini is a Martini. A Cosmopolitan is a Cape Codder served in the fancy glass. It is an outrage that the venerable Martini is sullied in such a way!)

Anyway, as I was saying, Portsmouth used to have a good music scene. Some outrageously heavy bands originated from this area: Humpmuscle, Fly Spinach Fly, Scissorfight. Scissorfight have since moved on to Boston and have been steadily growing in popularity and exposure. One cannot take refuge from the juggernaut of sound they put out (A brand of sound I once heard described as "Assrock"). Nonetheless, Scissorfight pay homage to New Hampshire in many of their songs, often with titles like: Kancamagus Mangler, Chocorua Mountain Woman, Moosilaukie Rot.

As they say: New Hampshire's Alright, if You Like Fighting

Scissorfight MP3 Selections:
OutMotherfucker The Man (Piscataqua EP)
Granite State Destroyer (New Hampshire)
Acid For Blood (Mantrapping For Sport and Profit)

Wednesday, April 10, 2002

Very interesting. Reading up on the events preceeding the Black September incident of 1970, one cannot notice the parallels with the current crisis: Arafat's charges of "genocide" against the Palestinians; his use of terror as a weapon, etc. But what is interesting about this event is that his enemies at the time were Jordanians!

This powerful piece sums it all up: The true intentions of the Arabs, the survival instinct of the Israelis, and the underlying ugliness of European complacency. It is a shocking read, but one that is necessary for all to heed and understand.

Friday, April 05, 2002

Bush said it perfectly. Enough is Enough. We must no longer differentiate between different sorts of terror in the Middle East. The application of Total War, though brutal, is what is necessary so that the forces of extremism be vanquished. To that effect we must resurrect the spirit of Gens. Sherman, Patton, and MacArthur.

It amazes me the massive image rehabilitation effort for former President Clinton. I think what we are beginning to realize is just how enormous a failure his Presidency was for the country - especially in the realm of foreign policy vis a vis the Middle East and unwillingness to deal with the threat of terrorism. Still, the FOBs plug away, showing Citizen Bill conducting himself admirably in light of the savagery heaped upon him by the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy only a few moons ago.

Clinton, and his leftist, self indulgent, baby boomer philosophy are the embodiment of Robin Hood and David Crosby. A philosophy of malevolent excess - where one endeavors to ensure that there are enough fat billfolds and healthy livers to harvest from a docile and subservient public....

Yesterday's UNH v. UMaine game was a disaster. I foolishly took a half day off from work to watch this spectacle of sporting implosion. May I resolve never to contribute to the Alumni Fund ever until a National Title has been secured.

Thursday, April 04, 2002

Today is the big game for the UNH Wildcats against the UMaine Blackbears in the semifinals of the NCAA Mens Ice Hockey Frozen Four Tournament. The Wildcats boast the best offensive unit in the nation and play their Hockey East division rivals for a trip to the Big Game. Go Cats!