Drooling on the Pillow

Saturday, April 09, 2005

But Knew That You Did 

Via TigerHawk

:: how jedi are you? ::


What a day. The first part was the good part. Drove Grace to her penultimate spring season soccer game (see the NY Times Jersey section tomorrow for an article on the blurring of the seasons). They won, 5-1 and Gracie scored a goal, which always helps the morale around the Sluggoterium. I don't want to be accused of plotting my blog, but next week their last game is against the only team that beat them in the fall season. Get your tickets now.

The rest of the afternoon was spent shopping and looking for materials to build tree porcupine costumes. I know, it's the kind of thing you really should have on hand, but we don't, okay? I'm going with 20" brown pipecleaners and a glue gun. Glue guns are the soccer dad's equivalent of an actual male's duck tape.

Anyway, the Masters is the only golf I ever watch on TV and it looks like it's setting up for a good Sunday so I'm going to watch it.

Talk at you tomorrow.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Perhaps a Little Light Scourging 

In our ongoing effort to become the Blog of Record (at least for north of Exit 14B and south of Union City, east of the Boulevard and west of Palisades Ave.), we'd like to soften the tone a hair on the String Up Sandy Berger post we ran earlier in the week. It appears a number of the details circulating about his depredations at the National Archive were, um, overhyped.

What he stole and/or destroyed were copies. No originals were lost and no marginal notes were involved. It still seems like a light sentence and I still think his clearance should be pulled for good, but, in fact, I'm not sure it was out of line with what others have gotten.

I'm not saying he's a guy you want near your best silverware. Just pull his clearance permanently and send him off to Air America. This is a guy, after all, who would be SecState or National Security Advisor in the next Democratic administration (assuming there is one in the next decade or so). Without clearance he's watching from the sidelines. That's enough.

Never Mind 

I'm linking to a little story Roberto has this morning via Fox News only because it shows Jon Corzine edging ahead of Mel Martinez in the Clueless Freshman Senator Sweepstakes.
FoxNews reports that NJ Senator Jon Corzine issued a press
statement earlier in the week saying the senator was "livid"
that President Bush "refused to allow" Jimmy Carter to join
the official U.S. delegation to the Vatican. He accussed Bush
of "injecting petty partisan politics" and "blah.. blah.. blah....".
Seems like Carter then responded that actually he was
invited but declined to attend. Corzine then admitted that
he had not spoken with Carter at all about the alleged snub
and he said he had no evidence that Bush had snubbed the
Nice move, Jon.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Kampus Kutups 

Things are slow today so I was sitting here trying to think of something to write about when it hit me; I haven't read the letters in the New York Times yet!

Today they have a whole bag of shells responding to the excreable Paul Krugman's recent attempt to pin the vast over-representation of liberals on U.S. campuses on deficiencies in conservative ideology.

Apparently, this notion has some support among the liberal professoriat. Who knew?

To the Editor:

Effective university professors, regardless of
personal positions, respect and even encourage
diversity of opinion and intellectual debate.
Clearly, this is at odds with today's Republican
lawmaking credo.

Perhaps this, too, explains why there are so few
"self-proclaimed conservatives" on university

Corinne Kyriacou
Plainview, N.Y., April 5, 2005
The writer is a professor of health professions at
Hofstra University.

Thank you Professor Kyriacou. It's all clear now. Campuses lack diversity because the under-represented group "clearly" doesn't value the diversity of opinion and intellectual debate favored by the dominant group. Obviously, they must be excluded. We can't risk our diversity of opinion by listening to people with different opinions. How can you have a real intellectual debate with someone who disagrees with you? That's just crazy talk.

Trust, But Verify 

Via The Glittering Eye

According to Chris Nolan at Politics From Left to Right the attempt by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to regulate blogs has been rendered non-toxic with a line specifically exempting blogs. The way this is playing out is sufficiently baroque, however, to require monitoring until the beast is actually signed.

Now that we've got ours, though, the ordinance is still the bastard child of McCain-Feingold and no less a 1st Amendment horror story. One hopes the stick poked in our cage will keep us alert and on the job for the progressive stifling of free speech in this country.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

I'm Just Saying 

Great West Wing tonight. Almost like the old days.

I have to thank Michael Blowhard at 2Blowhards for elevating a comment of mine into his post on Vadim vs. Fonda. Whenever he throws some traffic my way it always brings up the tone around here.

Frustrating? You Bet! 

Via Radley Balko

I think this is the first time I've ever linked to a Timewaster. If you play, make sure you have an extra mouse because you'll probably break the one you're using now.

Also from The Agitator, a link to a cool thing you can do with the new Googlemaps satellite imagery feature and Flckr.

A League of Her Own 

Had my first catch of the year with Grace last evening and it was a revelation.

She was in the instructional league of Roberto Clemente last year and did very well playing third base for the Yankees. Her coach was the same guy who coaches her soccer team, a friend with a kid in the same grade. Great coach. He takes it very seriously and pushes the kids while never raising his voice or making anybody feel bad. He's the only coach I've seen in either little league or soccer who stresses conditioning and the practices are always organized and broken down in small groups to work on fundamentals. His teams always win just because they're the most prepared and often the only ones who know what they're doing. It was as good a first education as a kid could get in baseball.

The Roberto Clemente league doesn't allow girls to play with the boys after age eight. Some leagues do, some don't. So Grace was supposed to move up to girls softball this year. Due to some organizational confusion that didn't happen so she's back in instructional for the summer. That's okay with me as she would have been playing with eleven year olds in softball.

She was eager to get going so off we went to the back yard. I tossed her the ball and told her to take it easy.

"Okay" she said and wound up.


I took off my glove, looked at my red, stinging palm and looked at her.

She hasn't picked up a ball since last summer and she certainly couldn't do that last year. We tossed for half an hour; grounders, pop-ups and mostly soft, easy throws. Every once in awhile, though, she would let one loose.


Just the natural progression of seven months' growth while, in my mind, she was the same player she was last summer. Her motion looked like a ball players. Suddenly she knew how to turn her glove to the ball and where did this footwork come from? Lane was watching from the kitchen window with her jaw wide open.

Sometimes it's so hard to be happy that she's growing and changing. It's thrilling to see her achieve new things all the time and I'm so proud of the accomplishments she seems to take for granted.

But it's just going too goddam fast.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Honor and Privilege 

Billy Budd at American Dinosaur took the time and trouble to get the name of a GI serving in Iraq and send him a few care packages. What a payoff he got!

Battle Lines Being Drawn 

It's always helpful when Lunatics with Influence are straightforward in stating their goals. Peter Singer thinks it might be a good idea if abortion were permitted well into the fourth trimester. That gives you a general idea of where the 'Right to Death' people are headed. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors really doesn't think dissenting opinions are helpful. Nothing would clarify this position better than passing a law!

Now Shaking Spears links to the New York Times coverage of a speech by Ruth Bader Ginsberg where she makes explicit the notion that this court thinks that consulting foreign legal opinion to interpret our Constitution is a good idea.
The notion that it is improper to look beyond the
borders of the United States in grappling with hard
questions has a certain kinship to the view that the
U.S. Constitution is a document essentially frozen in
time as of the date of its ratification," Justice Ginsburg
If a penumbra cannot be discovered in U.S. law to obtain a desired result, I think referral to foreign legal systems is not just extra-constitutional, but anti-constitutional. After all, some of them are nothing but penumbra.

Still Waiting for the Jet Packs 

Patrick of Jerseystyle! points out the latest wonder from Googlemaps. Put in a location, hit search and then the "Satellite" button in the upper righthand corner and you get satellite imagery from way up to pretty darn close. And, as with the regular Googlemap, you have the ability to drag the image with your mouse. I can almost see Gracie's swing set in my back yard. It's stuff like this dropped casually into our lives almost on a daily basis that was pure science fiction when I was a kid.

I was a science geek until I was in high school when it turned out you had to have, you know, some ability to do math and stuff. So now I'm a popular science geek and things like this just thrill me.

Monday, April 04, 2005

The Canseco Rule 

West Virginia was the last team in the tournament I had any business rooting for. At that point I pick the team that has fewer jerks and/or a non-sociopathic coach. On that basis, I'm going with Illinois, but it's not looking good at half-time.

UPDATE: I should have mentioned that The Canseco Rule is not recommended for games involving wagers.

Scene Painting 101 

Years ago I was doing Finch in "How to Succeed . . ." at a dinner theatre in Raleigh. The run had come to an end and a new show, a comedy, was getting ready to open. This was one of those places where the play was done in the round and the food was set up in the center. Once dinner was done the food and tables were cleared away and the set descended from above on a large elevator. It made for some interesting set design decisions, but in four or five years of working this theatre and other similar ones, I discovered there really wasn’t anything you couldn’t do in them.

They were putting in the new set, painting and setting lights and I was just sitting in the house, watching. What held my interest was the director, a kind of alarming guy in his late thirties. Heavy set, crude, loud. He smoked with incredible aggression, as if he only barely held himself back from eating them, a pack at a time. He barked his directions to the crew and the cast and stomped around the set like a berserker. You’d think a lot of things while watching him put a show up: drill sergeant, meter reader, foreman. You really didn’t think theatrical director.

“No, no, no, no, no, no, no. That’s crap. That looks like crap. You think that looks like brick? That doesn’t even look like linoleum. Crap.”

He was objecting to the efforts of a scene painter to simulate a brick exterior wall. The kid lifted his hands to indicate this was as good as he could do.

The guy put his hands on his hips and snarled. “Is there any one of you that can paint a brick fucking wall?”

After a long pause I said, “I can.”

He loped over to me and said “What do you need?”

“A gallon of red, a gallon of white, two pints of black, a pint of brown, a gallon of Elmer’s and some big sponges.”

He turned to the carpenter and said “Get it.”

While the carpenter was gone and I was changing clothes I wondered, not for the first time, why I had opened my mouth. I had seen this done in a scene shop in St. Louis, but I’d never actually done it myself. Oh, well, I was going back to New York the next morning. If I screwed up I’d be in for an ass chewing, but I’d never have to see the guy again.

It’s not that hard. First you paint the whole wall white. Then you dry-brush it with black. Then you dump the glue in the red paint, cut the sponge to the size of the brick you want, dab it in the paint, make the brick on the wall, leaving the white in between as mortar. The thickened paint leaves a very good simulation of brick with as much as a half inch of texture. You let that dry and then spatter paint it with the black and brown. It worked out beautifully.

He came over after I was done.

“Now that’s a brick fucking wall,” he said and stomped off to run light cues.

The next time I saw him was months later. He was casting a season of repertory for a new LORT theatre in Lake Placid. He watched my audition, made some gruff compliments and stared at me for a moment.

“You’re the guy with the bricks.”

“That’s right.”

He looked at my resume a few moments and then said “You’re in.”

Cliff was the Artistic Director of the theatre. Soul of a poet, body of a middle linebacker. A warmer, sweeter, more generous guy I’ve never met. I had a great couple of years in Lake Placid and worked fairly steadily for the next ten years. I’ve figured out that at least eight out of ten jobs I got in those ten years were from people I met in Lake Placid or people that I met through people I met in Lake Placid.

All because I knew a little scene painting.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

License and Registration, Please 

Via Instapundit:

According to Personal Democracy Forum, San Francisco is considering a city ordinance to regulate blogs.
Just when you thought the Federal Election
Commission had it out for the blogosphere, the
San Francisco Board of Supervisors took it up a
notch and announced yesterday that it will soon
vote on a city ordinance that would require local
bloggers to register with the city Ethics Commission
and report all blog-related costs that exceed $1,000
in the aggregate.

Blogs that mention candidates for local office that
receive more than 500 hits will be forced to pay a
registration fee and will be subject to website traffic
audits, according to Chad Jacobs, a San Francisco
City Attorney.
The person your emails should be flying toward is Supervisor Sophie Maxwell, who authored this astonishing piece of 1st Amendment shredding.

Call me crazy, but I've got a feeling we won't be seeing too many newspaper editorials against this move.

UPDATE: Well, now that I got that off my chest I went and read the proposed ordinance. What they are referring to is "electioneering communication" and it seeks to regulate "issue advocacy". The definition is slippery to me since I only read English. I'd love it if a lawyer or anyone who can read a page of an ordinance without everything going white on them, would look at it (a PDF of which is linked to above) and tell me exactly what the mazeroski they're saying.

Snail Down 

I don't know if Gracie (the Snail) has a very high pain threshold or if she's just a stoical little soldier, but we always have to watch her because she never complains of pain. Lane saw her holding her jaw the other day and elicited the confession that she was in a little discomfort. She got her to a dentist and, apparently, just in time before her jaw blew up. One tooth coming in, another reluctant to leave. Impacted. The guy had to drill a hole and pack it with medication. Half her head now looks like a pumpkin, the other half looks bored to tears because there's no sports for her this weekend. She claims to have no pain and doesn't need Tylenol. I'd publish a picture, but one day I would pay for that.

She's already way over her cathode ray allotment for the day and it's only the middle of the afternoon. The rest of my day will be Uno and Monopoly.
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