Thursday, August 28, 2003

Fast Food Saves Lives
Merde in France has an interesting post regarding the Brutal French Summer. Though arrogant French leftists continue to espouse their hatred of McDonalds, the air conditioned restaurants provided relief to numerous French senior citizens during the deadly heat wave. Air conditioning, sadly, was not to be found in many of the government run hospitals and nursing homes.

Clinton is Pissed
In all fairness, Arnie's dirty laundry should be aired for all to see as he runs for Governor. Here's an interesting interview where he suggests he participated in gangbangs.

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Struck the Klondike
My obsession with hiking encourages me to pour over maps, identifying every minute detail of the topography. Some people look at People magazine when sitting on the john, for me I look at maps. My road atlas and hiking maps are well worn. I even have a map room in my house and on one wall of the map room I have a detailed map of the White Mountains (from the Percy Peaks of the Nash Stream Forest as the northern boundary down to about Squam Lake region as the southern boundary. The western boundary is the Connecticut River and the eastern boundary is the Maine border. The map is about 8-9 feet tall and 5-6 feet wide). If I had a larger map room, I'd have a larger White Mountains map. On the map I have highlighted all the hiking trails that myself and my wife have trekked over the years.

Anyways, one of my hiking maps details the trails of Baxter State Park in Maine - location of the legendary Mt. Katahdin. A review of the topography of Mt Katahdin reveals some interesting details about why this mountain is so spectacular. There are numerous deep glacial cirques (basins as they are called in the Katahdin region), steep mountain walls, the famous Knife Edge (where the ridgeline is no more than several feet wide and dropoffs of 1000+ feet are on both sides), and miles of above treeline terrain.

In my reading of the history of trail construction and route finding in the Katahdin area, there was mention of an area called "The Klondike". It was described as a high plateau wedged in between the cliffs of the Northwest Basin of the Katahdin massif and the peaks of The Brothers. The Klondike posed particular problems for surveyors exploring the region for having expended considerable energy climbing up Katahdin (from the East), they found themselves at the edge of the cliffs of the Northwest Basin staring down into the tangle of stunted spruce and blowdown found within this high plateau. Even today there are no trails into the Klondike and the DeLorme Gazetteer of Maine shows this area to be somewhat undetailed (choosing to characterize it as swamp). In any case, this reading of the Klondike made me interested to know what it actually was and what it looked like and why in an area crisscrossed by many trails this particular area was devoid of trails. I found some information through Google searches, but what I really wanted was an idea of what this area looked like. Today, while surfing a hiker's photo journal, I found a good picture of this area, with the cliffs of the Northwest Basin on the Left, with that ridgeline of Katahdin extending to the right and in the foreground a decent idea of the density of the Klondike.

Now I am happy.

Thursday, August 21, 2003

Cycle of Violence

August 21, 1683

Islamic militants waged martyrdom operations against Christian forces outside the gates of Vienna today. The attack is in response to the occupation of Moorish Andalusia by Iberian Defense Forces back in the year 1492.

The California recall election circus is in full swing. One candidate who I think should run and would immediately fix the state's problems is Lex Luther. Clearly what California needs now are two well placed nuclear missiles targeted directly at the San Andreas fault line...

Seriously though, while the media may dance around the edges regarding Arnold's family ties to the Nazi party, they have so far remained silent regarding Cruz Bustamante's former membership with a Mexican-American student extremist group MEChA whose guiding interest is in bringing about the violent separation from the United States those regions of the Southwest considered to be part of the Aztlan, or lands of the Aztecs (Mexica).

Okay, California. Have at it!

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

New Urbanism
Here is an interesting flash presentation detailing the growing architectural and development planning theory called New Urbanism. In essence, there is nothing new about New Urbanism. Indeed, what looks like New Urbanism is in fact a modern gloss of an older time when development was either urban or rural and not much suburban in between. Think of the current trend in major league baseball stadium construction where the new parks in Baltimore, San Francisco, Pittsburgh look like the ballparks of old in terms of aesthetics but incorporate modern considerations having to do with customer amenities, seating space, concourse and aisle layouts, sightlines, etc. I think in some respects this is a fair representation of some of the aesthetical considerations within New Urbanism.

New Urbanism scales itself on a more human interactive level than one that is scaled for the automobile. In effect, everything within the universe that is subject to New Urbanism has to be walkable rather than driveable.

Personally, I applaud the approach of New Urbanism, but only in respect that it is a direction chosen by those involved. I say this because its easy to confuse New Urbanism with Smart Growth initiatives, which while they may involve similar aspects regarding land usage are different in their intent. New Urbanism is mainly an aesthetic whereas Smart Growth is a regulation. New Urbanism boasts what it can build. Smart Growth boasts what it prohibits from being built.

For those interested, here are more links on New Urbanism.

Monday, August 18, 2003

Truck Driver's Gear Change
The Truck Driver's Gear Change Hall of Shame website explains in their FAQ what this phrase means in the realm of popular music.

Many writers and arrangers feel that when their song is in risk of getting a bit tired, it can be given a fresh lease of life by shifting the whole song up a key, usually in between choruses, towards the beginning of a "repeat-till-fade" section. You may have heard this technique informally referred to as "modulation", but the correct ethnomusicological term for the phenomenon is the truck driver's gear change. This reflects the utterly predictable and laboured nature of the transition, evoking a tired and over-worked trucker ramming the gearstick into the new position with his – or, to be fair, her – fist.

Here is a list of offending gear changes by Artist, and here is an example of an offense - committed by REM in the song "Stand".

My wife noticed that the Heart Health Institute, a provider of cardiac rehabilitation services, is located behind the Outback Steakhouse in Newington.

Marketing 101
Advertising is important, especially when you are trying to entice people to your yard sale or car wash. One thing to avoid using when making up advertising posters is the neon colored posterboard. How many times have you seen bright pinks or greens used on these signs and the wording written in red or blue? The clash of colors makes the letters unintelligible. White posterboard with block letters written in black may not be snazzy, but at least people can read what it is you are trying to advertise.

Friday, August 08, 2003

Not in the Name of the Grandfather

"America" says Ayatollah Seyed Hussein Khomeini, "is the symbol of freedom."

Indeed, the grandson of the famed Ayatollah Khomeini is expressing support of US action in Iraq.

Thursday, August 07, 2003

Bobby Flay-ed
So I thought it over. Weighed the pros and cons. Knew there would be some risk involved. But went ahead and did it anyway.

I brought to work coffee cake that I had made.

Well, immediately I was avalanched with questions about how I cook, why I cook, how did I learn to cook. Did my wife make me learn to cook? Etc, Etc. I guess a man who cooks is a novelty, certainly so in my office. One 60-ish woman offered to divorce her husband and marry me (if only I was older and single). But this was the reaction from the women. Lord knows what the men in the office are thinking. Straight eye for the queer guy suspicions perhaps? Ugh. It's coffeecake here, people!!!!!! It pains me to be imprisoned in such proximity to these petrified minds.

HG Wells Spam Scam Update
Bravo to You Who? for some super sleuthing. Here he posts the results of his investigations into the HG Wells/Time Travelling Spam Scam.

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

J-Lo Update
Well, so far J-Lo has not made a video set inside Madame Toussaud's, but J-Lo herself is on display there. Check out the photos of some guy having his way with her booty.

H.G Wells Spam Scam
This email arrived in my inbox today from an


I'm a time traveler stuck here in 2003. Upon arriving here my dimensional warp generator stopped working. I trusted a company here by the name of LLC Lasers to repair my Generation 3 52 4350A watch unit, and they fled on me. I am going to need a new DWG unit, prefereably the rechargeable AMD wrist watch model with the GRC79 induction motor, four I80200 warp stabilizers, 512GB of SRAM and the menu driven GUI with front panel XID display.

I will take whatever model you have in stock, as long as its received certification for being safe on carbon based life forms.

In terms of payment:
I dont have any Galactic Credits left. Payment can be made in platinum gold or 2003 currency upon safe delivery of unit.

Please transport unit in either a brown paper bag or box to below coordinates on Wednesday August 6th at (exactly 5:00pm) Eastern Standard Time on the dot. A few minutes prior will be ok, but it cannot be after. If you miss this timeframe please email me. I will not be there prior to 4:45pm EST, so do not transport before then.

Item is to be delivered at (out of service tennis court) located at: Latitude N 42.47935 & Longitude W 071.17355 and the Elevation is 119.
HOW ARE YOU GOING TO SEND IT SO THAT THEY CANNOT REDIRECT IT??? If in doubt do not transport actual unit until your method of transfer can be confirmed as a success. You just might need to send a intergalactic courier to deliver item safely to me. If so be VERY careful at how they approach me IN MY WHITE CAR.

After unit has been delivered please email me at:
with payment instructions. Do not reply directly back to this email.

Thank You

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Odd, the coordinates suggest a location in Woburn, MA.