g r o t t o 1 1

Peeve Farm
Breeding peeves for show, not just to keep as pets
Brian Tiemann
Silicon ValleyNew York-based purveyor of a confusing mixture of Apple punditry, political bile, and sports car rentals.

btman at grotto11 dot com

Read These Too:

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James Lileks
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As the Apple Turns
Entropicana
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Capitalist Lion
Red Letter Day
Eric S. Raymond
Tal G in Jerusalem
Aziz Poonawalla
Corsair the Rational Pirate
.clue
Ravishing Light
Rosenblog
Cartago Delenda Est



Cars without compromise.





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12/27/2004 -   1/2/2004
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12/13/2004 - 12/19/2004
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11/29/2004 -  12/5/2004
11/22/2004 - 11/28/2004
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10/25/2004 - 10/31/2004
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12/31/2001 -   1/6/2002
12/24/2001 - 12/30/2001
12/17/2001 - 12/23/2001
Sunday, May 2, 2004
00:36 - Obligatory backyard update

(top)
The sun saw that a weekend was coming, and so it decided to save up all its energy for beating down upon people working in their backyards on Saturday and Sunday.

But it couldn't hold back progress. Sweaty, sore, and hydrocarbon-stained, we got to this stage with the gazebo:



Now all it needs is a roof and some latticework on the sides, and some furniture, and it'll be a superb anchor-point for the "outdoor room" that we're turning this tiny slip of a backyard into.

After this, and after the deck is all trimmed out with benches and such, all that will remain is the flagstones and lawn portions...


23:13 - Don't chop California off into the sea just yet
http://homepage.mac.com/btman/PhotoAlbum11.html

(top)
Up the Almaden Valley in the southern end of San Jose, literally just out my back door, there's a long and winding finger of the Silicon Valley lifestyle: an almost creepily new and modern series of neighborhoods with manicured lawns, large houses on small lots, big new Safeway-anchored shopping plazas, and mansions on the hillsides overlooking the valley where people on rolllerblades walk their elegantly coiffed dogs down the paved path next to the creek.

But take Almaden Road when it forks off from Almaden Avenue, and the first thing you see is a huge American flag flying over a biker burger bar with a row of Harleys parked outside, and a handful of guys talking and laughing around a roadside barbecue.

It's at this point that Silicon Valley gives way, in the space of less than a city block, to a rural farming region full of horse ranches one after another. Almaden Road winds its way up into the hills, toward the hunched Santa Cruz mountains that raise their dark wooded bulk up behind my house, and you'd think that there was nothing past the horse farms except for more horse farms, a canyon through which squids on sportbikes wind, and a reservoir or two.

Well, you'd be wrong. At least on the horse-farms part.

Much to my surprise, and my parents' (who were along for a car trip through the mountains up Hicks Road, where the giant square building that once housed an Air Force communications tower leans mysteriously over the valley below), there's a vibrant little row of cute and perky houses, nestled into a canyon at the base of the mountains, where the Almaden Valley narrows to a crinkle in the hillsides, and the road narrows to a two-lane tributary through the tunnel of trees. According to a sign next to the road by the biker bar where Almaden Road begins, it's called "New Almaden", and it's 2.5 miles from the intersection of the two worlds.

It's also home to someone named Kevin.



Check out this slideshow for a look at the California that seldom makes news. Remind yourself at all times that you're not five minutes' drive from the McMansions that house the technoveau riche that filled up the nooks and crannies of Silicon Valley in the last two decades; you're just a couple of turns of the wheel from the Bay Area, the region that also contains Berkeley and Market Street. It's all the same California, believe it or not.

Just imagine what it's like once you're actually over the hills and out into the rest of the state—the wine country, the Central Valley, the Salinas Valley, Fresno, Bakersfield.

And lest you get the feeling that people like this represent the entirety of the Golden State, take a look at how the Almaden Valley chooses to remember Pat Tillman.



Up on Bald Mountain today, overlooking this same valley from a shoulder of the Santa Cruz mountains where the trees clear to give you a panorama of everything from Mt. Tamalpais to Gilroy, my mom told me that she thinks I've landed in a pretty good place, here.

You know, I'd tend to agree.

UPDATE: Particularly as long as I'm guaranteed to be far, far away from Ted Rall.

Friday, April 30, 2004
16:39 - "Americans will give their hearts to you"
http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=10861#c0137

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Since it appears that the story of the prisoner-torture is what we're all going to be discussing for the next six weeks, whether because we believe it's necessary to prove that the rest of the U.S. military is not exemplified by these contemptible morons, or because we believe it's indicative of our society's intractable corruption and racism and cruelty and therefore we must withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan and apologize to the UN for depriving it of its illicit funding via Oil-for-Food—I for one am in the mood for a reminder of what America is.

A Canadian on LGF, in response to one of the obligatory Canucks who crawled out of the woodwork to dispense a torrent of variations on You Americans disgust me, said:

Two summers ago, I was in Covington, KY and Cincinnati, OH with my son and father for a conference relating to his special needs. Everyone was so nice, and friendly and caring. When they said, I'll be praying for you, they meant it. When they asked how we were doing-they really wanted to hear.

We were checking out of the hotel and the clerk asked me how was my stay. I said it was fine-but that the reason I was there had to do with my son's condition. She smiled and said she knew all about children in hospital. Eight years before her son was born with a fatal heart condition. The doctors said that he was not going to live without a heart transplant. She named him Michael.

She sat at his bedside, praying for her baby. The doctors said that they came up with a risky procedure to use some kind of plastic rod to fix one of the veins, but that he could die in surgery, too. She decided to go ahead with the surgery. They were prepping her infant son when another baby died in the NICU.

The mother of the dead infant walked right over to this lady at her son's bedside and said "My son just died, and I heard your baby needs a heart."

She gave her baby's heart to that woman's child. And you know what that mom's baby was named? Michael.

I said to the clerk that she had been graced by an angel, and we both started crying.

You get it Zephyr??? Americans will give their hearts to you. So piss off.

We're also a country that stands 100% behind our soldiers, as long as those soldiers don't shockingly break our sacred trust in them. But if and when they do... no justification. No excuses. No rationalizations or moral relativism. Some of us—other commenters in that LGF thread, for example—may try to let us console ourselves that "At least Saddam was worse", but others among us will tell those people to shut up. Our anger, like the anger we feel against anyone who breaks the trust of the social contract by taking advantage of it for his own personal gain (for instance, someone who defrauds a charity), must be visibly and loudly targeted upon those directly culpable. If this story is to be made raucously public, let it be so we can bitch-slap the soldiers in the Guard unit responsible and ask, "What on Earth could you possibly have been thinking? Did you think your country would be proud of you for doing this? Do you realize you may have just lost us this war? Do you realize you've betrayed us all?"

It's in this way that we demonstrate, because nothing else would suffice, that this kind of behavior is not just anomalous among Americans, it's antithetical to what we believe in.

If there's any silver lining at all, it's this: This incident gives us the opportunity to show not just how we behave when things are going mostly our way, and when we have little to apologize for... but also how we behave when we have a slate to wipe very thoroughly clean.

Pass the pumice, please.

UPDATE: Sgt. Stryker has given it the first good scouring.


13:12 - American ignorance is rubbing off
http://uk.news.yahoo.com/040429/323/esclg.html

(top)
...Or, possibly, it's nothing more in the first place than a bitter, vindictive myth.

Around one in 10 people in Britain are looking forward to Luvania joining the European Union this weekend. That's right, Luvania.

Telcoms provider One.Tel invited participants in an marketing survey to identify the 10 EU accession nations -- and cheekily added fictional Luvania to the list as a red herring.

Eight percent of all 2,500 respondents plumped for the mythical country -- a proportion that went up to nine percent among Scots, and 11 percent among over-50s.

"People aren't generally aware," One.Tel spokesman Carol Barnes said Thursday. "They're more involved in their day-to-day lives rather than the bigger picture of what is going on in the EU."

What are you doing, Ms. Barnes—trying to provide justification for this kind of ignorance among the British masses?

Oh really? You take exception to being called masses? Well then how about cutting us a little slack as well, huh? This goes for Michael Moore too: just because we don't all have frequently-used passports or know useless foreign languages doesn't make Americans any more ignorant than anybody else.

It means we have lives.

(Via Chinpokomon.)


11:57 - Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

(top)
The way I see it, there are two possibilities for what Newsweek will use as the world-shattering cover story on next week's issue:

1) UNSCAM.
2) This.

Ooh! Ooh! I know! Teacher pick me!

Wednesday, April 28, 2004
19:07 - Keepin' it fresh

(top)
Yesterday Tim Blair said:

Boondocks cartoonist Aaron McGruder doesn’t even draw the strip these days. The street-talkin’ honky-hater just sits around thinking up great jokes which he then hands over to an underling:

He passed the sketching and inking duties to a Boston-based artist, Jennifer Seng, around the time of the Condoleezza Rice flap, last fall. “If something had to give, it was going to be the art,” he told me. “I think I’m a better writer than artist.”

Too close to call, Aaron.


It sure is a good thing he's all freed up to come up with fresh new material like this. Synonyms for "stupid" don't just write themselves, you know.


Preview of tomorrow's groundbreaking Boondocks strip:
BUSH iZS SToo00p!D!!11``` LOOOOOOL!!!!11~
© 2004 Aaron McGruder


(Gifs courtesy of Marcus.)


17:41 - Now that's patriotism
http://www.takeoneforthecountry.com/

(top)
JMH forwards this link, which is a hoot and a half: Operation Take One For the Country.

Better not question these ladies' patriotism.

"So you want to know how Take One for the Country started?". McDonough leans back in her chair, "It was back in February of 2003, when a lot of troops were leaving Ft. Benning. My girlfriends and I were partying at a bar frequented by soldiers. At some point one my friend leaves with a young soldier. The next day we questioned her and commented that the soldier didn't seem her 'type'. My friend just shrugged and said, 'Hey, his unit was going to ship out in a few days, so I decided to take one for the country', I knew right then and there that this was an incredible idea, so I started Operation Take One for the Country".

Since it's all their idea, and a voluntary and principled action wholly in the women's hands (as it were), the objections raised by Berkeleyites just seems all the more laughable:

TOFTC has not been able to maintain complete secrecy and word has leaked out. I contacted Annette Spargas of the UC Berkley chapter of NOW and asked if she had ever heard of Operation Take One for the Country. Spargas said that she, in fact, had heard of TOFTC and was working to find and protest the group at the first opportunity. "These women are really sick, they are prostituting themselves", Spargas ranted, "they are objectifying their bodies to the killers of the Bush cabals war machine. They need to examine how men have made prostitutes of women throughout time". McDonough is un-phased by this type of objection, "What a bunch of bay-auches! Those femi-nazis really make me mad. Yeah, we have a TOFTC 'battalion' in Oakland, but nothing else in the bay area. Berkeley girls are too femi-nazi granola and the Stanford girls are too stuck up intellectual. Not to worry though, we're getting some good indications of interest from Sacramento and Amador Counties (outside of San Francisco) and we'll be able to take care of the men of the Pacific Fleet, don't you worry".

Memo to Ms. Spargas: this is feminism. Empowerment. Choice. Independence.

Take notes.


11:40 - Feeps

(top)
What-hey!



iMixes... m'kay. Is this what I think it is? Users get to publish their own recommendation lists under their names? ...Holy crumbs, I think it is!

Free Singles! Ye gods!

Music Videos! Movie Trailers!

And five license slots now, up from three. Hooray! I guess they must have had one too many customers run up against the three-machine limit and find it too, well, limiting. Desktop machine at home, laptop on the road, computer at work—three, right? But then there's other, unforeseen stuff, like the family computer downstairs, the other laptop where you want to show your roommate a song you just bought, the house stereo system with the funky AirPort-and-Bluetooth-enabled MP3 receiver you rigged up. So, five. Huzzah!

....And glory be, a whole new version of iTunes to boot!

Radio charts: top-rated songs on radio stations. Neat.

Import WMA files! Egad!

Wish lists! Okay, that's like buying with a shopping cart, but less tedious. Cool.

Party Shuffle: "Be your own DJ with a playlist that’s always full of songs. Add, delete and rearrange them on the fly to create the best mix for the moment." Okay, that's pretty cool. I'm-a wanna try that out.

... But wait. What's this?

iTunes makes it wonderfully easy to create your own custom music CDs to play in your car or home stereo. Unlike some applications that limit the number of CDs you can burn, iTunes lets you burn as many custom CDs as you like. And now iTunes prints pro-quality inserts to accompany your mix.

. . .

iTunes downloads cover art for the music you purchase, so you can easily make an insert for your CD cases. Print the cover for a whole album, along with track listings. If you’ve made a custom mix CD, iTunes creates a mosaic of cover art. You can also print out a listing of songs in a playlist or your library, sorted however you like, or just a simple album list with covers. iTunes designer templates include options for both black & white and color printers. iTunes prints professional-quality registration marks and bleed area.

Squeeeeeee!

Apple, how do I love thee!


04:15 - Simple joys

(top)
This past week I've seen a higher-than-usual level of apocalyptic glooming and dooming on various mailing lists and comment boards and high-def PBS cable channels about the environmental catastrophes we face, the danger our ever-mounting numbers pose to the Earth, and so on.

I feel I can largely pin this on the fact that Earth Day has just been and gone, leaving in its wake a nation-weight of impressionable high school students, mewling out their well-intentioned pronouncements that Humans are the only species that murders its own kind for sport and There are only two kinds of creatures whose numbers grow beyond their environment's ability to support them—humans and viruses (dutifully repeating the mantras of Agent Smith right along with the tracts they receive at on-campus talks about the merits of an Edenic Earth where five of the six billion inhabitants have been—humanely, somehow—culled from it).

It's enough to make a fella ashamed of his species, you know? Homo sapiens: Nature's Folly.

Well, let's say you've got a large and ungainly dog; let's say that at 1:30 in the morning, he develops the urge to go out for a walk. You get dressed, you go downstairs (to his glee), you strap on the leash. You head out to the vacant dirt lot next to the river in its mini-canyon. You do your business, you turn around. Just as you near the sidewalk again, you notice that the dog is limping, taking only a couple of steps at a time before knuckling over on one side and stopping. He holds up his right front paw, bewildered, helpless to move on.

You pick up the paw, turn it over, and immediately find one of those evil little two-pronged thorn seeds, the kind that are clearly designed in a fit of mischief by a vengeful bicycle-tire-hating God. You pluck it out. The dog stands there for a second, wondering what just happened.

"Try that," you say. The dog takes a step or two, then realization dawns: no more pain! And he bounds off in the direction of home, you trotting behind at the length of the retractable leash.

It's moments like that that you realize, you know, humans are a pretty neat invention after all.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004
01:38 - Flat is beautiful
http://www.1up.com/slideshow2/0,2096,a=123522,00.asp

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So this is what the next Mario game is going to look like, huh?

2 1/2-D lives! The spiritual descendant of not just the original Mario games—the ones I thought were fun particularly because of the fact that they were linear side-scrollers rather than the aimless 360-degree immersion worlds in vogue today—but of things like Parappa the Rapper, this game looks like it would actually be a lot of fun. I'd wondered, for example, whether we'd seen our last-ever true side-scrolling platformer, given modern game engine technology; but it looks like they're going retro and dipping back into ages past to try to recapture the kind of atmosphere that made the NES so revolutionary.

I dunno. There's just something oddly reassuring about this. I don't know what it is.

The animation is what will define what kind of game this is. The stills make it look like a living, 24-fps version of a Saturday morning cartoon or something. If I see this playing on a demo screen at Fry's, I'll probably spend a little while staring at it...


20:39 - Momentum of a freight train, size of a Zippo
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,1567340,00.asp

(top)
PC Magazine has named its Editor's Choice for the best hard-drive-based MP3 player, out of a lineup of twelve; the winner? Not the iPod.

We had begun to wonder if anyone could trump the Apple iPod at its own game. After all, Apple has had the best-of-breed hard-drive–based portable music device for several years running. It should come as no surprise that the only company able to outdesign the original iPod is Apple itself. Similar to the full-size iPod, the Apple iPod Mini carries a premium price tag, but it's one well worth paying. A speedy FireWire/USB 2.0 connection makes downloads a snap, and the new click wheel with integrated buttons is actually easier to navigate with than the original controls. The only tough decision is picking a color.

Damn that Apple! Apple's going to have to come up with something new to reclaim the crown from them!


UPDATE: Meanwhile, Speakeasy.net is running this ad at banner size on the San Jose city buses, for a promo on new DSL signups:



(Actually, a variation that says: YES, I WANT A CORPORATE BRIBE.)

That's probably the biggest iPod in a non-Apple ad that I've seen...



13:17 - Kids don't like things with "Old" in the name either
http://www.deanesmay.com/archives/007148.html#007148

(top)
Dean Esmay notes the passing, at long last, of the Oldsmobile brand.

And I find I have to ask: Is Oldsmobile the only remaining carmaker on the planet that has "-mobile" in its name?

If so, it's truly the end of an era.

(Then again, was Hupmobile the only other one?)

Monday, April 26, 2004
03:14 - THIS IS A TEST

(top)
Okay, so I'm running a little experiment here.

I'm sure we all saw this charming little picture, courtesy of Lileks:



Mike M. at VodkaPundit said:

Every time something like this is published it drives the wedge between liberal and mainstream America just a little bit deeper. The places that this cartoon appears are the same places that have been severely bleeding audience over the last few years. All it does is help cement the dominance of conservative thought in this country. Ironic, ain't it?

And I thought, Well, hey, why not harness that power? Channel it—into the flux capacitor?

What I found myself wondering was this: Do you think it is possible to create a Leftist-type cartoon that is SO offensive that even the hard-core Left will repudiate it? Even if just for fear of their own skins, because they realize that nobody will find it funny—that it will only harm their cause?

What would such a cartoon look like? More to the point, what would a cartoon look like that would unexpectedly fail this test? I have to imagine it would pull together as many Leftoid clichés and conspiracy theories as possible, while yet remaining compact and pithy; it would have to be simplistic in theme, yet subtle in its scope. See, it would have to tread a fine line: it would have to seem like "just another biting and insightful piece of commentary" to people who think the above picture is funny, so that it would at least fall into the same category in their minds; but yet it would have to be so foul in its message that the average person on the street, whether pro- or anti-war, pro- or anti-Bush, would react with horror and revulsion toward whomever would draw such a thing.

If someone were to create such a cartoon, and it were to somehow slip into the network of crosslinking and glad-handing that is the DU/Indymedia universe, without any attendant details as to its source, it would get passed around gleefully from hand to shock-addicted hand, and pushed under at least a few sensible noses which would then turn up at it—and them. Viral marketing works, apparently, if the Ford Sportka ads are for real; imagine what would happen if the usual suspects were to fall into a trap of backing something that's just a bit too visual, a bit too fundamentally offensive, for anyone of good heart and conscience to want to be associated with it even peripherally.

I have a modest proposal here, though if someone else has a more apt idea I'm all ears (as it were):



Remember: if this should somehow get out and off the reservation, it didn't originate here, 'kay? That's why the signature is intentionally illegible. Heh heh.

Here's the thing: All the Left has to do, to prove its decency and honor and to be vindicated in its status as a legitimate political voice, is to find this thing offensive. If they do, then this is just a parody of extremist thought, done to make a point, like the ProtestWarrior signs. But if they don't—if it's something they agree with—well, then finally we're all being honest.

(Then again, I'm a terrible judge of the efficacy of these things, so it might be a) not very good or b) not very offensive, or c) both; I honestly can't tell. If the whole premise is stupid, feel free to ignore it entirely—I won't be offended.)

Sorry, everybody. This has been itching the inside of my brain all weekend. Some things you've just got to scratch.

UPDATE: Well, that was pretty much a bust, I guess. Ah well—that'll teach me to try to pretend I know how these guys think. Or to pretend that I'm mean-hearted enough to go undercover there successfully.

Nonetheless, thanks to Sean S. for doing the, er, artificial dissemination.


02:08 - Swelter shelter

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Incidentally, this is what we spent the weekend doing.



That's the platform for the gazebo that will go in the corner of the backyard. It's just big enough for a little table and a couple of chairs; the curve will echo a circular lawn area in the middle of a bunch of flagstones with grass or sedge in between them. It's gonna rule.

And on Sunday, Lance and Chris made these:



Big super-strong benches with very, very flat and level top surfaces, for building the airplane that's sitting in a box in our garage.

Oh, but I've said too much.

Holy damn, it was hot this weekend.


15:48 - Ties for the People

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How long has the modern-style necktie been around?

I can't imagine it goes back much further than, say, the 20s. A friend at lunch said that he'd seen a photo of one of his great-grandfathers wearing a modern-looking, straight, pointed silk tie around 1900.

So that's over a hundred years in which the necktie—one of the most variable pieces of fashion in the Western world throughout cilivized history, from Elizabethan ruffles to Civil War-era dickies to Southern bolos—has barely changed at all. Sure, it's gotten wider and skinnier; but in general it's remained the same for as long as there have been automobiles.

And that Deep Space Nine episode thought that twenty years from now, in 2024, we'd have totally discarded the traditional necktie style, in favor of a weird, oblique, sashlike arrangement that sits diagonally across the chest. That and the Chicago font were what indicated the San Francisco of The Future™.

Something tells me the necktie will be with us for a good while yet.

Why? Because style in men's fashion is converging. It's becoming standardized. Everybody wears the same thing nowadays. Slacks or jeans, and a button-down or polo shirt or T-shirt—or else a suit coat and slacks—are the uniform of the man on the street, the baseline from which all variations (such as the dickies and ascots and bellbottoms of the 70s) spring, and to which they all eventually return.

And it's the same across all social classes. Whether you're a rich and powerful CEO, or a guy living in a trailer park, you don't consider jeans and a t-shirt to be "above" or "below" your station.

Which is what I got thinking about today. Men's fashion, indeed, might in fact be the greatest indicator of the great Classless Society that all the Trotskyites of the early century yearned for. They envisioned a world where everyone would occupy the same position in the social order, because they all made the same amount of money. The young Bolsheviks thought that to achieve social parity, equality of wealth was necessary. But what's come about is a denial of that: we have the classless society, but without discarding the idea of some jobs paying more than others.

They seemingly pictured a glorious future in which every man would dress in snappy suits and go to opera performances—everybody appreciating the highbrow, intellectual achievements of humanity, only without a lower class to have to feel superior to. Well, what's happened instead is a lowering of the level of "culture" that we enjoy when given the wherewithal and the opportunity. What do Americans do when they become independently wealthy? Do they retire to smoke-filled rooms and play whist while ordering their servants about? Do 7-11 customers play Lotto in the starry-eyed hopes of attending fancy dress balls and climbing the ladder of high society, leaving their former mudstained lives behind for a whole new crowd? Hardly. They buy boats. They restore old sports cars. They build airplanes. They go parachuting. They build extravagant home-theater systems on which they can view Jackie Chan films in HDTV resolution while eating nachos. From burger-flipper to CEO, Americans by and large dream of nothing so much as remaining the same people they are—just having more fun.

Europeans, and those who sympathize with them, see this as proof of America's lowbrow, uncultured nature. "Why can't Americans watch more opera?" they moan. "Why won't Americans appreciate foreign films, or go to art museums, or emigrate to Provence, or show some semblance of culture?" The short answer is that we don't want any part of "culture". We see it as tedious and pretentious, a vehicle for self-righteously creating rifts between social classes. We'd rather keep wearing our jeans and t-shirts if we get rich, but do it in the cockpit of a Shelby Cobra or a Piper Cub.

Every since this country was founded, social classes have gradually been eroding, even as the shrill voices on the Left insist that the rich keep getting richer and the poor poorer. We have social mobility unprecedented anywhere in history, and not because we artificially removed any upper social strata to which poor people could aspire. Instead, we made it so classes still exist, but they don't matter. When your garage poker club has members who are in debt up to their eyeballs and members who own their own entrepreneurial businesses, you know you're about as far from the days of personal wealth being denoted by how much gold thread and how many ruffles were sewn into the clothes you wore out into public as you can possibly be.

Hell, we don't even wear hats anymore; if we do, it's the ubiquitous baseball cap, which (like a silk tie) looks just as at home on the head of a CEO as on a trucker. So we can't tell how rich someone is just by looking at him.

Which is just how we like it.


13:20 - Hey, they said it
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=104x147

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Huh.
If by ‘America’ you mean the majority living here now, then I hate America.

If by “America” you mean the vision of the Founding Fathers, then I love America. But it’s hard to keep that vision in front of me when the majority of “Americans” are fundamentalist, fascistic, homophobic, racist, sexist, ignorant, American Idol-loving morons who think Bush is a strong leader. I think that the America I love is beyond retrieval because it would take more than a new President, it would take a re-awakening of a whole group of stupid people who don’t want re-awakening. Bush didn’t destroy America. Americans who had no idea of the wonderful country they were given destroyed America, and will continue to destroy it whether Kerry is elected or not.

Did I call this one or what?

Thanks, LGF: "Can we question their patriotism yet?"


13:03 - Apples to oranges to grapes to pears

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Sometimes I get the feeling that the automotive industry is spiraling into itself, that all makes are converging on each other stylistically and technologically—that in ten years every family sedan will look like a VW Passat and cost the same amount of money. Certain segments of the industry definitely seem to be going that way.

But this months' issue of Road & Track has head-to-head comparisons of the following:

Honda Element and Scion xB
Volkswagen Phaeton and BMW 745i
Audi TT and BMW Z4

Each one of these is an apples-and-oranges comparison. The Element and the xB, for instance, are cars built to totally different scales. The TT is a heavy, upright-seated VW Golf with a Porsche 356 stapled to its face, while the Z4 is a classic low-slung roadster. And while the Phaeton and the 745i are both German luxo-boats, the Phaeton is gunning almost more for the Rolls-Royce/Maybach crowd—what with its rear-seat legroom that resembles a boat's bilge, rather than the 745i which still makes you squeeze your shins a bit—rather than precisely the BMW's market.

All this makes me think that maybe, if R&T can't seem to pull together even two comparable representatives of these three different classes of cars for a true competitive analysis, maybe the auto industry has got more thriving diversity in it today than it ever has in the past.


12:34 - Now that's a true statesman
http://drudgereport.com/flash5.htm

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Ladies and Gentlemen, the next President of the United States.

God help us all.


11:46 - "We at Japan Toy Company are very concerned about your... concerns."
http://www.beaterz.com/reviews/0100/p39.htm

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Agh!


Two great tastes that taste great together! Pokémon & Hummer!! The perfect combination! What could go better with the macho, go-anywhere image of the Hummer than a fuzzy little yellow rat bent on taking over American culture and draining the bank accounts of soccer moms throughout our swell nation!

I'm going to go gouge my eyes out with an X-Acto knife now.

Thanks (or something) to Marcus...

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© Brian Tiemann