27 December 2005

Week 16: Apocalypse Now Redux

Yes, this week's Ragnarøk is bigger, longer, and more catastrophic than last week's Fantasy Götterdämmerung. All five squads, who were amazingly still playing for something, were routed. Most of that is due to the Colts deciding to lay down and whimper into the postseason. I don't regret my personnel decisions, but I'm nevertheless dismayed with the outcome.

AnyGivenSunday: The Ballerz teabagged Philly Phalanx (13-2) 85-59
UIUCAAL: SunburnedCrackMidget bowled over the Philly Phizz (10-5) 104-79
WFL: Big Benz ran over The Senators (9-7) 109-60

WFL Bonus: Barbie's Bruins slimed Bentopolous Slugs 97-57
NLFFL: Chelmsford Coyotes gnawed on Philly Phrenzy (8-8) 133-69
asdf: East Bay Eyeblacks skinned the Olney Ocelots (8-7) 106-104

No analysis necessary...we folded down the stretch worse than the Chargers. What can ya do? There's always next year. The Phalanx have a 3rd place matchup next week, when I'll give final standings.

22 December 2005

Say hello to my lil' frien'!

The Bushman family would like to welcome Roscoe the miniature Schnauzer into their humble home.

20 December 2005

Week 15: Apocalypse Now

Three and out...that's how my obit will read this season. Three playoff games, three losses. As Vizzini would say, "Inconcievable!" But, alas, I do not think that word means what I think it means. The best thing I can say about last weekend is that at least the Phalanx were on a bye and didn't have a chance to lose.

AnyGivenSunday: Philly Phalanx (13-1) rested on a bye
UIUCAAL: The Flying Peytons ousted the Philly Phizz (10-4) 99-61
WFL: Heir Jordyn eliminated The Senators (9-6) 78-67

WFL Bonus: The Diehards mcclaned Barbie's Bruins 69-48
NLFFL: The Crows bounced the Philly Phrenzy (8-7) 82-56
asdf: Olney Ocelots (8-7) boiled the Cleveland Steamers 101-99

The Ocelots also have moved into 3rd place on the strength of their now 7-game win streak and, should the chips fall as they should, will probably overtake Mr. Danton's Hartford Holdouts for the #2 spot by the end of the season. So at least I got that going for me.

Also, Yahoo!'s got a new Fantasy Sports Profile for all its users. Trophy case and everything. I didn't even know it saved all that info, but it's pretty neat to see nonetheless. Note my Hockey Championship in 2002. I was en fuego sobre hielo.

19 December 2005

Couldn't have said it better...

To be fair, I couldn't really have said it at all, as my Schwartz is not nearly as long as Gideon's. However, I'm a big fan of putting Chanukah (or as the wife would say, Hanukkah) in perspective. It's a minor holiday, a very minor one, and having it marketed (for lack of a better word) as the Jewish equivalent of Christmas is silly. Gideon gives an enlightening 411 on Chanukah's position in the Jewish holiday canon.

Ye Olde Plutoe Facte Sheete

Click here to read a good article in the Washington Post today regarding New Horizons...real good, actually...answers all those little questions that people always ask me.

A quick review:
Mission Cost: $700M
Spacecraft Mass: About 1000 lbs, including propellant
Launch Vehicle: Atlas V-551
Launch Window: 1.17.2005 - 2.14.2005
Arrival at Pluto: 2015 if launch in first 11 days, else 2019-2020
Spacecraft Velocity: 28,000-30,000 mph after 3rd stage separation
Passes the Moon in: 8 hours (Apollo took 3 days)
Jupiter Gravity Assist: February 2007 (Galileo took 6 years)
Velocity after Jupiter Gravity Assist: 47,000 mph
Communications delay at Pluto: 4 hours, 25 minutes

Useful Links:
New Horizons Wikipedia Entry
Streaming Video of New Horizons at Kennedy Space Center
Johns Hopkins Magazine - Mission: Pluto

Very Useful Link, especially on Launch Day:
Mission Status Center at Spaceflight Now

13 December 2005

Week 14: Good Enough

Well this is a first....I've made the postseason in every single league I'm in that has a playoffs! My squads were pretty much juggernauts this week, laying waste to my opponents in various humiliating ways. All but one, but as the headline says, the Phrenzy was good enough.

AnyGivenSunday: Philly Phalanx** (13-1) erased SupremeSilverSharpie 103-92
UIUCAAL: Philly Phizz** (10-3) rested on a bye.
WFL: The Senators* (9-5) beat my wife's Barbie's Bruins 126-78
NLFFL: Dayton Spirit spooked Philly Phrenzy* (8-6) 86-71
asdf: Olney Ocelots (7-7) nipped the Montana Mush Cats 139-105

* - Qualified for playoffs
** - Clinched first-round bye

And so the playoffs begin...not with a whisper, but an echoing thunder heard throughout the world.

06 December 2005

Week 13: Ouch.

Who can care about a good fantasy week when the Eagles are destroyed 42-0. The only bright side is that my decision to bench Joe Jurevicius didn't come back to bite me, as he was minimially involved in the rout. I did manage to go 4-1, fantasywise, and that loss is going to set up one heck of an interesting matchup next week.

AnyGivenSunday: Philly Phalanx* (12-1) spent the Greenbacks 106-80
UIUCAAL: Philly Phizz** (10-3) blasted Coruscant Sith 111-81
WFL: Sloe Comfotable embarrassed The Senators (8-5) 72-64
WFL Bonus: Barbie's Bruins (6-7) salted the Bentopolous Slugs 83-55
NLFFL: Philly Phrenzy* (8-5) hungover the S.C. Angry Drunks 87-73
asdf: Olney Ocelots (6-7) upset Diversity Factor 120-96
* - Qualified for playoffs

** - Clinched first-round bye

The Phizz can rest next week, they've secured the #1 playoff seed and a first round bye.
The Phalanx will likely do the same next week, whether or not they defeat their nemesis, Supreme Silver Sharpie, who knocked them out of the playoffs last year.
The Phrenzy are playoff-bound, but as a likely 5th seed.
The Ocelots beat league leader Diversity Factor in convincing fashion, proving that they're the San Diego Chargers of the fantasy scene (overwhelming talent losing some early close ones).
The most interesting matchup next weekend, really the only one that matters, will be the Senators against my own wife's Bruins, who so convincingly beat the Slugs this week, helping me maintain my 1-game lead in the standings. Special props to my sister's team, Heir Jordyn, who knocked the Diehards out of contention this week.

01 December 2005

Week 12: A very good week.

Any week when the Giants, Cowboys, and Redskins lose is a good week. When the Eagles win the same week, it's great. When I go 4-1 in my fantasy leagues to boot, well that's just plain exceptional!

AnyGivenSunday: Philly Phalanx* (11-1) roasted Giant Bag O Nuts 102-69
UIUCAAL: The Flying Peytons divebombed Philly Phizz* (9-3) 118-88
WFL: The Senators (8-4) edged the Diehards 62-59
WFL Bonus: Big Benz roasted Barbie's Bruins (5-7) 113-70
NLFFL: Philly Phrenzy (7-5) gorkoned Killeen Klingons 94-62
asdf: Olney Ocelots (5-7) liberated Iraqi Freedom 161-129
* - Qualified for playoffs

So two teams have qualified for the playoffs, and likely four will, which has got to be some sort of record. The asdf league doesn't have a playoff (I don't approve of that, but Dr. Leavitt seems to have something against playoffs), so I'll just have to win out (not likely...I'm going against Christine Rovner and her LaDainian train next week). For those counting, that's four in a row for the originally struggling Ocelots. They'll easily end the year with a winning record after starting 1-7.

24 November 2005

Week 11: The L-rd Giveth...

I suppose it's karma as much as anything else...I went from riches to rags this week, with last week's clean 5-0 sweep being replaced with just one lone win this time around. Thus endeth the Phalanx's undefeated run. We'll keep it short and sweet, out of respect for the deceased.

AnyGivenSunday: Team Autodraft skewered Philly Phalanx (10-1) 134-11
UIUCAAL: SunburnedCrackMidget toasted Philly Phizz (9-2) 105-54
WFL: Big Benz rolled over The Senators (7-4)
WFL Bonus: Barbie's Bruins (5-6) torched the Benchwarmers 77-68
NLFFL: Ann Arbor Ice Storm flash froze
Philly Phrenzy (6-5) 86-70
asdf: Olney Ocelots (4-7)
carbonated Orange Fanta 112-108

On the bright side, it ain't likely to get worse next week!

15 November 2005

Week 10: 5 Wins on a Broken Wing

It was a bonafide boffo week for all 5 of my fantasy squads...first time that's happened this season. Unfortunately, it came at the expense of an extraordinarily painful loss for my Eagles at the hands of the hated Cowboys. Basically it came down to a horrendous mistake by McNabb. The same McNabb that was going against my undefeated Phalanx. The same McNabb that was beating my Phalanx by 0.13 points until that interception. I suppose it's better to at least win one of the two, but all things considered, I'd rather go 0-5 and see my Eagles be in contention.

I'm guessing this year will be for the Eagles what 2002 was to the Pats...a retooling year with moderate success. Next year all the key players (excepting TO) will be back, along with a bumper crop of draft pics and a healed McNabb. It's probably for the best, who the hell wants to go to Detroit in February?

Anyhoo, on with the show!

AnyGivenSunday: Philly Phalanx (10-0) harpooned Vancouver Mad Orcas 81-78
UIUCAAL: Philly Phizz (9-1) exorcised Belichik is Satan 60-48
WFL: The Senators (7-3)
roasted The Benchwarmers 68-64
WFL Bonus: The Conservatives limbaughed Barbie's Bruins (4-5) 89-60
Philly Phrenzy (6-4) fletched the Presidio Rangers 90-75
asdf: Olney Ocelots (3-7)
rang up Item #40156 83-70

I'm really enjoying being undefeated. I'm also enjoying seeing my Ocelots climb out of the cellar...they're now #7 out of 10! Trent Green, Kelly Holcomb, and Reggie Brown almost were my undoing this week, but somehow I managed to squeak out my victories. Now no more bye weeks, we're all at full strength until the Superbowls! Let's get it on!

14 November 2005

Ye Olde Fantasy Footballe Dilemma

So the Phalanx (9-0) are tied with the Mad Orcas. I've got Reggie Brown and L.J. Smith. She's got Donovan McNabb. I blew it not starting Hines Ward (Fantasy Rule #1: ALWAYS start your studs), but my 3-point score by Brad Johnson didn't exactly help things. On the bright side, should Donovan have a good night, my Eagles will likely win, and then what do I care about a fantasy loss? But should he have a good night and the Eagles still lose...nothing worse than ye olde double whammie.

So let's see a nice Brian Westbrook game...lots of passing to RB and LJ, but all the scoring by BW running it in, ok?

But most importantly, WIN EAGLES WIN!

Intensive Care, Part 2

Okay, it's review time for Robbie Williams' latest effort, Intensive Care. I covered below how I became interested in the artist, so read that if you want some more background.

Overall Impression: Intensive Care is a solid effort, 3.5 stars out of four.

The good: Again, Robbie's ability to release only good songs continues unabated. There are no tracks to skip on this release (nor have there been on any previous ones). His switch from Guy Chambers to Stephen Duffy as his producer/writing partner hasn't diminished his quality one bit. I'm consistently amazed by this.

The bad: While they're trying to market Tripping as the catchy single from this album, there really is no Feel or Angels in Intensive Care. All the songs are good, most are great, but there's no anthem here that rises above the rest. On the bright side, that means that the wife won't be subjected to the same song over and over every time she's in the car.

Song by Song:
Ghosts: Any song that stars with "Here I stand, victorious. The only man who made you come." has to have some redeeming value, and this is no exception. Robbie always likes to start strong (the first track on Sing When Your Winning is, appropriately, Strong), and this is probably the strongest Brit-Pop track on the album. It's got a great beat, with a little discord thrown in (surely Duffy's work) and a lovely, resounding refrain, "We are ghosts!"

Tripping: I'm not sure what to make of this song. It's good, to be sure, but the melding of a reggae beat and falsetto doesn't really work as well as it was probably intended to. Some may even find it grating. Still, give the guy a little credit for moving out of his comfort zone.

Make Me Pure: Here's what happens when Ballad Robbie meets Ironic Robbie. A still roguish gent prays for redemption, but not until he's ready to behave. Great stuff. Awesome song.

Spread Your Wings: Back to rock-and-roll for Sir Williams, and he doesn't disappoint. More unrequited love with a toe-tappin' beat.

Advertising Space: Not exactly a title you'd expect to climb the UK charts, but I wouldn't be surprised to see this one released as the album's second single.

Please Don't Die: Another fabulous tune. Far better use of falsetto. Great bridge.

Your Gay Friend: Have to turn this one down a bit when playing at work, but still worth the listen. The lyrics are a bit strange, but certainly nothing to complain about.

Sin Sin Sin: I love the refrain of this song. Solid effort. A bit sacreligious, but I like that sort of thing.

Random Acts of Kindness: This tune almost sounds like a Smiths song...or at least Morrissey. Nice to see the Robster hopping out of the box a bit. There are worse groups to be compared to.

The Trouble With Me: Here's my dilemma. I love it when artists throw string sections into songs, and there's a lovely one in this tune. There's even a neat little poppy thing about 3 minutes into the tune. In the end, though, the song's just not all that engrossing. He even sounds like he's phoning it in.

A Place to Crash: Where'd this one come from?! It opens strong and enveloping like a Beatle tune, then moves into pure Robbie pop with some stellar harmony. Then repeats. Top notch!

King of Bloke and Bird: Just like SNL, Robbie saved the experimental, offbeat track for the end, and since it doesn't really work, I'm glad it's there rather than breaking up the rhythm of the album earlier. It also ends with a minute of silence, which I HATE, unless there's some hidden track at the end (a common occurrence on his earlier albums).

From the Singles
Meet of Stars (Tripping EP Enhanced CD): No one loads their EPs like Robbie. There's always some sort of previously unreleased track that's worth the £2 or £3. Here we have Robbie Williams in the style of David Bowie. Not his best work, really, but listenable.

Bag Full of Silly (Tripping DVD-EP): Oh, my, what do we have here? This little gem may be the best song of the lot! In fact, damn the consequences, it IS the best song! How'd this not make it onto the album!?! Thank goodness I've got a DVD audio ripper to put this baby onto CD. This is pure Brit-Pop Robbie, some of his best work. The second refrain, just a taste for you:

Last night this girl in my bed, I was telling her what I said
When all I had was potential, and a headful of dreadful
With a bag full of silly, walking through Piccadilly,
and I, well, anyway, anyway...
We're all made out of places, and I've been to a few.
What I need now is an aerial view.
'Cause I can see for myself that I can see for myself,
but, oh, I, anyway, anyway...

The Video
I haven't watched the either the DVD-EP, the movie on the Tripping Enhanced EP, or the bonus DVD on the Intensive Care Limited Edition yet, but I will soon, and you'll surely hear about it.

10 November 2005

Week 9: A Surprise Victory

AnyGivenSunday: Philadelphia Phalanx (9-0) coordinated the Grid Men 94-68
UIUCAAL: Philadelphia Phizz (8-1) balled Team Teabag 67-33
WFL: The Senators (6-3) committed
patricide on the Conservatives 84-70
WFL Bonus: The Bentopolous Slugs slimed Barbie's Bruins (4-5) 91-70
NLFFL: The Bus Drivers ran over the Philadelphia Phrenzy (5-4) 68-59
asdf: Olney Ocelots (2-7)
T.O.ed the Hartford Holdouts 119-82

Yes, you read that right, the Ocelots got win #2. Time for this juggernaut to start a-rollin'!

09 November 2005


I think I was pretty clear here...

And an update on the F.U.T.O. front.

04 November 2005

Dude, you're getting a what?!?

I never thought the day would come. I've been a Dell man for probably a good 6 or 7 years. I've only bought Dells for me, for work, for my wife, and for my family. I laughed at the lousy Gateways and too-expensive Sonys. And excepting my Crusoe-powered Fujitsu P2110 notebook and a brief, poorly-performing flirtation with the cheapie Cyrix 486SLC, I've always been an Intel guy.

Until now.

My ancient Dell Precision 330 is dying. Its Pentium-4 1.5 GHz processor is obsolete beyond words. So I went to the trusty Dell Outlet site to hook myself up with a new computer.

First off, I couldn't find a single machine under $1500 that I could slide my 4 160GB ATA-133 hard drives in...they build them way too small these days. When I asked on the Dell forum what I should do, I was told it was going to cost me.

Second, anything with a reasonably good graphics card, reasonably fast processor, and a gig of RAM was over $1000 too. All I wanted was a value-priced system that could run Doom 3, play DIVX movies without a hitch, and that would last me a few years without having to upgrade. I figured if I wanted one of the not-quite-cutting-edge 3.2 GHz Intel Extreme Edition Pentium IVs, I'd have to shelve my plans for six months or so before their prices dropped.

So I started doing a little field research. A trip to CompUSA showed me that if I wanted an Intel, I was going to pay for it, and these folks were all claiming how good the AMDs were. I've been hearing about the AMD revolution forever, but I never thought they were a serious competitor, like Linux vs Microsoft.

Turns out, the latest AMD 64-bit line kicks some serious ass. I did some comparisons at the best benchmark site I could find, Tom's Hardware Guide, and the AMD 64 line is right in step with Intel's latest and greatest, and even better in some categories. But Dell doesn't sell AMDs. So goodbye Dell. Hello HP!

I also looked at Compaq (yes, same company, I know, but different product lines), but the HPs offered the faster AMD64 3700+ in their cheaper, off-the-shelf HP Pavilion a1230n. And where's the cheapest place to find such an item? Amazon, of course. They've got an extra $50 rebate until 11/8, which more than counteracts their $29 shipping charge. $650 after rebates.

As for the graphics card, instead of ponying up $300 for a machine with a $100 better card, I just went out and got the eVGA nVidia GeForce 6600 (not the substandard 6600 LE) at IchibanPC. $100, free FedEx shipping.

And what about those four hard drives, you ask? Well all my precious data will now be comfortably housed in a LexusBay DK-7 Quad Bay firewire system. And why pay $300 at the LexusBay site when it's only $189 plus shipping at CoolDrives.com.

So for an even $950, I'm getting me a top-of-the line performer with all the bells and whistles.

Suck on that, Dell.

03 November 2005


So I'm flipping around Amazon (I love their recommendations engine, despite the malicious future it will generate in Epic 2015), and they've recommended Watchmen, which I of course already have, but I like to read other people's reviews of my favorite books, and as I'm scrolling down, I see that my own Listmania List of my favorite books is the very first recommended page! Over a thousand people have read my list. Only two have said it was helpful, but still to have my recommended booklist in the same Amazon page as Watchmen is pretty flattering.

So, of course, a survey was in order. My list is given on the pages for A Confederacy of Dunces, The Stars My Destination, The Demolished Man, Isaac Asimov's Robot Trilogy, V for Vendetta, Preacher: Gone to Texas, and Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.


01 November 2005

Week 8: It's a good thing this isn't Fantasy English-League Football...

...or the Ocelots would be dropped down a division at the end of the season. They had a real chance to get win #2 last night, but they, of course, blew it.

AnyGivenSunday: Philadelphia Phalanx (8-0) Sisyphized the Valley Valiants 75-31
UIUCAAL: Philadelphia Phizz (7-1) circumsized the Jewgantors 106-67
WFL: The Bentopolis Slugs slimed The Senators (5-3) 130-93
NLFFL: Philadelphia Phrenzy (5-3) hunted down the Chelmsford Coyotes 70-22
asdf: The Hollywood Hogwash
bennifered the Olney Ocelots (1-7) 87-80

The Phalanx also now have a 2-game lead in their division. Unfortunately, all it takes is one loss in the playoffs to erase that healthy undefeated glow. Still, it's good to be the king.

31 October 2005

Intensive Care

I got home from KSC on Thursday, and to my delight I saw the package from Amazon.uk sitting perched on our breakfast bar. I knew what lay inside. Three years ago, my exposure to Robbie Williams was limited to the fascinating, if disgusting, banned video for Rock DJ, which I downloaded on whichever P2P software I was using at the time.

In May 2003 I went on vacation to France, armed with my MP3-CD player, cassette adapter, and a dozen discs filled with MP3s. Then I got my rental car, a powder-blue Citroën C3 with an honest-to-god CD player. My respect for the French increased measurably, but now I was stuck with a useless audio system. Fortunately, the Toulouse Virgin Megastore beckoned. After wandering around for an hour or so, I found the display containing multiple copies of his relatively new release, Escapology, which was just being rolled out in the US for a whopping $7.99 (he was trying to break into the US market). They however, wanted something like €20 for it, so I decided to purchase both Sing When You're Winning (featuring Rock DJ) and Swing When You're Winning (a collection of standards). I then subjected poor Barbara to about 3000 kilometers of non-stop Robbie, excepting when we were able to get VOA near Monte Carlo.

Damn it was good stuff.

I've since gotten every Robbie album (excepting the Greatest Hits collection), most concert DVDs, about two dozen EPs and DVD-singles, and his documentary Nobody Someday on DVD. Needless to say, I'm a big fan. His style is pretty much pure Brit-Pop, with a bit of Rock and Roll rolled in for good measure from time to time, and pretty much every song he's released is great (no mean feat). He's so good that I actively buy his singles for the bonus songs he invariably publishes on every one. His three Knebworth concerts in 2003 had over 125,000 attendees each, and the DVD from that show clearly shows why. The man quite simply puts on a show like none other. Having said that, he can't give CDs away in America. Reportedly he used to be pissed about that, but then he realized he could walk the streets of LA without being mobbed by fans, something he can't manage anywhere between London and Singapore.

Which brings us to 2005, and his latest effort, Intensive Care, which isn't even being released in the US. That, of course, is what was waiting for me in the cardboard Amazon.uk box. Unsurprisingly, I got the limited edition version (with bonus DVD). Since I was springing for the postage anyway, I had them throw in the first enhanced single, Tripping, and the first DVD-single, also Tripping.

I was going to post a review here, since I've listened to the album nonstop for the last 4 days, but I've yammered on for too long now. Expect one forthcoming.

25 October 2005

Week 7: The Rich Get Richer

...and the Ocelots continue their woeful ways.

AnyGivenSunday: Philadelphia Phalanx (7-0) shot down the Starfire Dragons 123-54
UIUCAAL: Philadelphia Phizz (6-1) cheesed the Mooninites 88-76
WFL: The Senators (5-2) committed sororicide on Heir Jordyn 82-76
WFL Bonus: Barbie's Bruins (4-3) committed fratricide on The Beavers 90-84
NLFFL: Philadelphia Phrenzy (4-3) spayed the Blue Moon Dogs 61-58
asdf: The East Bay Eyeblacks gave a shiner to the Olney Ocelots (1-6) 94-70

It's almost comical how bad the Ocelots are. I still contend they were my best team at the beginning of the season, but with Manning, Westbrook, and Rudi Johnson underperforming nearly every week, it's just not gonna happen. On the flipside, I'd rather they be the weekly loser on my squad than passing the mantle around.

19 October 2005

Watch me work

Well not right now, but come mid-November you should be able to login and watch me in full bunny gear working on New Horizons.

Should the urge strike you to watch now or then, go here: http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/gallery/webcam.php

You'll need RealPlayer.

18 October 2005

Week 6: Two and Three

Week 6
AnyGivenSunday: Philadelphia Phalanx (6-0) unmanned Valley Valiants 82-68
UIUCAAL: Philadelphia Phizz (5-1) farnked Dayton Wolverines 101-78
WFL: The Beavers dammed The Senators (4-2) 107-74
NLFFL: The Rogues grifted the Philadelphia Phrenzy (3-3) 125-58
asdf: Cleveland Steamers crapped on the Olney Ocelots (1-5) 121-102

Edge and Reggie Wayne really came through for the Phalanx last night... I needed 30 points from them, got 45. That last TD was gravy. Wish Peyton had thrown a few of the rushing ones, though...the Ocelots could've used the love.

12 October 2005

Life is Good

So there I was the other day...fully badged, cleared, and solo behind the wheel of an XM-equipped Buick LeSabre Custom (with burled wood trim, no less) driving around Kennedy Space Center.

I can honestly say it was one of the biggest "damn I'm glad I'm in this business" moments of my career. Maybe NASA's just got a great PR machine, but something just feels different working there rather than on AF projects.

New Horizons launches 1/11/2006.

11 October 2005

Four and One

How'bout this? Day-after results. I know you're thrilled.

Week 5
AnyGivenSunday: Philadelphia Phalanx (5-0) schooled Topless Academy 104-71
WFL: The Senators (4-1) exhaust the Rockets 79-69
UIUCAAL: Philadelphia Phizz (4-1) circumcised urapns 68-52
NLFFL: Philadelphia Phrenzy (3-2) revolted the Union Jacks 60-49

asdf: Montana Mush Cats declawed the Olney Ocelots (1-4) 150-89

A four-and-one week isn't much to complain about, and if I'm going to lose, might as well be the bottom-feeder Olney Ocelots. I'm in or tied for first place in 3 of 5 leagues now. Joe Jurevicius came to the rescue for the Senators and the Phizz. He may have earned a permanent roster spot while the other Seattle recievers are MIA.

08 October 2005

Fantasy Results -- Weeks 3 and 4

I used to be much better at this, but perhaps I'm doomed to biweekly updates here. Let's catch up...my teams are, as before, in bold orange:

Week 3
UIUCAAL: Philadelphia Phizz (2-1) deep-fried the Flying Hellfish 91-53
AnyGivenSunday: Philadelphia Phalanx (3-0) rusted Balls of Steel 117-84
asdf: Iraqi Freedom liberated the Olney Ocelots (1-2) 124-119

NLFFL: Philadelphia Phrenzy (2-1) squeaked by Dayton Spirit 77-75
WFL: The Senators (2-1) clubbed Barbie's Bruins 98-82

Week 4
UIUCAAL: Philadelphia Phizz (3-1) resisted Coruscant Sith 109-98
AnyGivenSunday: Philadelphia Phalanx (4-0) penetrated Team Ramrod 117-96
asdf: Diversity Factor desegregated the Olney Ocelots (1-3) 145-114
NLFFL: The Crows crapped all over the Philadelphia Phrenzy (2-2) 105-77
WFL: The Senators (3-1) defused the Bronx Bombers 78-61

So, after four weeks, my five teams are a combined 13-7. Not too shabby. I never really thought Philadelphia Phalanx was all that good, but with Stephen Davis and Willie Parker taking care of business, they've been an undefeated monster. The reverse goes to the Olney Ocelots, who should be much better than they are, but Peyton Manning's early struggles have sunk them in this QB-friendly league. Still, plenty of season to go!

07 October 2005

Robbie defends Kate

The world's greatest entertainer, Robbie Williams, has rushed to Kate Moss's defense after she got shellacked by the British media for getting caught doing coke. Normally Robbie can do no wrong, and for the most part he's right, especially when he says she's never hurt anyone with her habit. I've got no problem with him or her or anyone else doing coke.

Kate's problem is that she just won a libel suit against The Mirror, which reported that she'd abused cocaine.

In an effort to clear its name, The Mirror went out and got some pictures of her nose-deep in happy powder.

You can't have it both ways, Miss Moss.

In other news, Robbie's new album, Intensive Care, goes on sale later this month, but not in the USA. He's given up on trying to break into the market here, and is rather glad he can walk the streets in relative anonymity. I can't say I blame him.

Still, I've pre-ordered the Intensive Care Special Edition with DVD as well as the Tripping 3-Track EP (the 2-Track EP is the same without the extra song) and Tripping DVD from Amazon.co.uk.

A little small screen talk.

Now for my best Larry King impression...

The Amazing Race 8 has begun in fine fashion. They found 10 mildly dysfunctional families of 4 to traverse the nation doing various tasks. I've always been a huge fan of this show, despite loathing the reality genre. It's smart, exciting, and doesn't pander to the audience with some of the more ridiculous of plot twists. They just let the race happen, and we watch. That's probably why they've got every single reality Emmy. As usual some teams are more interesting, likable, and loathable than others. The whole family thing is an interesting new twist, and they've twisted it back by adding a more family-road-trip aspect to the program. All in all, excellent TV.

Is there a better TV acting duo than James Spader and William Shatner? The two of them simply own Boston Legal. I would never consider watching this show without Shatner, and the interplay between Spader's slimy mercenary and Shatner's early-onset-Alzheimer's fading star is probably the best you'll see on TV this year. Shatner's always had trouble finding a niche for his unique brand of acting, and BL is probably the best fit of his career. He deserved his two Emmys (Emmies?) and will likely add a few more to his mantle before this show is through.

I can't believe Battlestar Galactica's on hiatus until January. Someone should be beaten for leaving me with that sort of cliffhanger. Even Adama's getting shot wasn't half as edge-of-your-seat as this one. I can't wait! What a quality TV show.

You know, before I met Barbara, I watched pretty much only The Sopranos on rented DVD and cable news. Now I'm addicted to no less than 3 TV shows (above) and TiVo a couple others, including Iron Chef America, Tripping the Rift, and Nip/Tuck. I contend that, finally, TV has gotten better than movies. It tells great stories about interesting people and has mastered the genre's strength of the long season.

Frankly FX has the best angle, in my opinion. They've got 3 flagship shows, Nip/Tuck, The Shield, and Rescue Me (which isn't as great as the previous two, but Denis Leary's worth watching). When one ends, the next season of the other begins in the same timeslot. What a great way to continue viewership. The Martha is learning the hard way that two concurrent Apprentices is foolish when there's only 13 episodes of each show. They should just run them consecutively in the same Thursday time slot. Not that I watch that dreck, but I can make an observation.

A little action adventure sci-fi western...

Serenity: 3.5 Stars. Caught this gem with Dr. Walters Wednesday night in Wheaton. If you go back 2 or 3 posts, you'll see that I'm horribly biased as I'm a huge fan of the original TV series. This, of course, can be good or bad depending on how the movie is executed. In this case, all was just peachy. Joss Whedon has put together an excellent space western with all the trimmings. It was funny, exciting, tragic, and overall a worthy continuation of the TV series. All the acting was top-notch, and the effects were certainly up to snuff, despite what some reviewers have said. My only concern about this movie is how audiences will relate to the characters, not having already spent some 15 hours with them on the small screen. Not that I care, I was just glad it got made. I'd love to see it return to TV; it's ripe for a sequel.

Rememberin' Sam

How time changes things. It used to be I'd feel guilty for not posting once a month. Now 10 days go by, and I start wondering why I'm ignoring the ol' blog. Not that I think I've got a devoted daily readership, but it's nice to know that folks who do drop by get a new experience with each visit.

Things haven't been all sunshine and roses lately. My great-uncle Sam Bushman passed away almost 2 weeks ago. We found out he'd been admitted to the hospital on Saturday 9/24 after pretty much not eating for two weeks. He was in the late stages of throat cancer and could barely speak. He wasn't conscious when we came to see him the next day, but it was nice to say goodbye while he was still breathing. He lived long enough to catch the entire Eagles-Raiders game, including the thrilling finish when David Akers kicked through the winning field goal with a torn hammy.

Sam was one of the original old-school press agents in Philadelphia. He worked pretty much up until the end, at 91, on his old manual typewriter. His passing got mentions in both the Daily News and The Philadelphia Inquirer. Here's Inquirer blogger Dan Rubin's piece on his passing.

Neat stuff, but I only knew about it all peripherally. Sam and my late grandfather, Lester, weren't very close despite their proximity. I saw Sam once a year or so at Passover or Rosh Hashanah. I was one of the chuppah holders at his wedding to Brenda Freedman (who attended high school with my father). Sam talked about his work as much as Grandpa Les showed off his artwork, which is to say never. He was always more interested in what his nephews and nieces were doing with their lives.

At the funeral, I found out that he had been very close with Brenda's nieces (given Sam and Brenda's age disparity, this wasn't too surprising), but it was very strange to hear tales told about an uncle that I didn't really know. Strange in a good way, that is. I felt a little guilty sitting in one of the dozen or so "mourner's chairs" when these folks who knew the man so much better than I were standing. I wish I'd had longer to talk to the nieces, but I had to get Howie back to the airport. Perhaps another time.

22 September 2005

The best show no one ever saw...

Well, it's time. Serenity's coming out next weekend, and I can't tell you how psyched I am to see this film. M. E. Russell in The Daily Standard can give you the details of its genesis and marketing push. I can only say that it's based on Firefly, the short-lived Joss Whedon show on Fox. It was a brilliant show that I actually wanted to watch on TV, but due to its Friday night time slot, I never got around to it. Neither did anyone else, so it got cancelled after 11 episodes. Then it came out on DVD and sold a couple hundred thousand copies, so I figured I'd check it out.

Glad I did.

Nothing like a cowboy space opera where all the cursing's in Chinese. Go see it. Bring a friend. You've got a week to buy the DVDs (only 30 bucks, free shipping, no tax!) and watch all 13 glorious hours of this top-notch sci-fi show. Or, they're airing every episode in order on SciFi next Tuesday. Set your TiVos.

20 September 2005

Too funny...

Ah, The Onion.

Fantasy Roundup

I'm a week behind on this, so let's catch up...my teams are in bold orange:

Week 1
UIUCAAL: Clock Management! clocked the Philadelphia Phizz (0-1) 119-71
AnyGivenSunday: Philadelphia Phalanx (1-0) speared Cleveland Steamers 100-37
asdf: Olney Ocelots (1-0) registered a win over Item #40156 109-81
NLFFL: Philadelphia Phrenzy (1-0) worfed the Kileen Klingons 72-66
WFL: The Diehards exterminated The Senators (0-1) 91-81

Week 2
UIUCAAL: Philadelphia Phizz (1-1) roasted SunburnedCrackMidget 93-80
AnyGivenSunday: Philadelphia Phalanx (2-0) sheared the Rams 93-80
asdf: Orange Fanta carbonated the Olney Ocelots (1-1) 102-98
NLFFL: S.C. Angry Drunks raged all over the Philadelphia Phrenzy (1-1) 74-65
WFL: The Senators (1-1) legislated Sloe Comfotable 73-60

So, after two weeks, my five teams are a combined 6-4 and every squad has a win. We've just got to make sure that the best possible roster gets out there every week. Onwards and upwards!

08 September 2005

Literaturally speaking...

Just finished listening to the Jim Dale recording of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince this morning in the car. I read online that Stephen Fry does the British versions of the books...that'd be something to listen to. I've enjoyed his work since Black Adder. I don't think my feelings regarding the book have changed very much, but it's still a great ride. I certainly think that Luna and Neville were horribly shortchanged. My suggestion to Ms. Rowling is to write a short story centered at Hogwart's covering everything from the arrival of the Death Eaters through Snape's flight. Robert Jordan did that once with his prologue to A Crown of Swords, which was a retelling of the battle at the end of the previous book, Lord of Chaos, from a different perspective.

There are worse ways to start a book. Although it'd likely be best as an internet e-book or audiobook (the latter is my preference).

Speaking of Robert Jordan, it looks like the next book in his epic of epics, The Wheel of Time Series, is finally coming out. Book 11, Knife of Dreams, is due to be released next month. I can only hope it moves a little more swiftly than the last book. At the rate he's slowed down the story, it won't be over until book 20.

Not that I mind all that much, but if he's going to tell his story in 800-page chapters, I'd prefer it if he cranked them out a little faster.

One resource I found today that was exceedingly helpful in deciphering the excerpt posted on the Tor website was the Wheel of Time Character Archive. I'd forgotten who Byar was. Hard to believe, I know. Hell of a beginning, though.

Anywhoooo, that's enough for this lovely morning.

Next up in audio: The Narnia Series by C.S. Lewis.

06 September 2005

Ugh. Lawyers.

Lawyers, with all apologies to my brother and sister (both esq.), have made everyone in this country so damned scared of making a mistake that they frequently will do nothing rather than the right thing.

I can't blame them, either.

Among the most egregious results of this particular phenomenon is the fact that women who have caesarean sections for their first child (whatever the reason), are virtually barred from having subsequent child normally.

Why do I bring this up? Well, useless and apparantly paranoid Mayor Ray Nagin delayed the mandatory evacuation of New Orleans because he was worried about being sued. Here's the money quote:

"Nagin said late Saturday that he's having his legal staff look into whether he can order a mandatory evacuation of the city, a step he's been hesitant to do because of potential liability on the part of the city for closing hotels and other businesses."

How asinine is that? An effective leader, hell, a competent leader, says "damn the consequences" and does the right thing when life and death is on the line. You'll note in the article that the counties around N.O. had no trouble issuing the order.

02 September 2005

We visited every one of them...

During our cross-country trek, Barbie and I stopped at virtually every casino we passed in New Mexico, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Dad collects $5 chips; we were happy to support his hobby. (It was truly a labor of love.) I don't think we missed a single casino in Biloxi and Gulfport. It looks like they're all gone now.

I wonder if the chips will become collectors items.

It's a damned shame. We actually really enjoyed the Gulf Coast. I hope they rebuild it.

She will rise again...

...but her best part won't have to. My first trip to New Orleans was in college. My buddy Mark went to Tulane, and our friend Ben and I went to visit him for a week. I suppose it was Spring Break 1995, since Mark was scrambling to finish some papers so he would graduate on time. I had to be 21, since I went gambling on the Flamingo Riverboat Casino (which was zoned out of existence shortly thereafter). Ben and I spent the week wandering around, visiting cemetaries, bars, and generally being tourists. I loved the city then.

In 1996 I went back with my friend Steve for, of all things, St. Patrick's Day. I don't think we ever said, "Let's go down there for St. Pat's," but it turned out to be one great big ol' party there. We spent every day in Jackson Square, girl watching and reading under the sun. We spent every night in the bars -- the good ones playing Jazz and Swing and Ragtime and Blues. We went to the Piano Bar at Pat O'Brien's. We saw Matt "Guitar" Murphy play at the House of Blues, where we were treated to free beer by the lovely Suzanne, a Budweiser rep in town for a beer convention. We were served the beer by Rachel, who had a full-back tattoo. We hit every used book store in the Quarter. You can get a street map with just the used book stores on it.

Then in 1998, I went with a contingent of Illini down for Mardi Gras. Now that was some crazy-ass celebrating. We saw a bunch of parades, got a ton of beads, and generally partied ourselves silly for a long weekend. It was a bit more crowded down in the Quarter than I prefer, but I suppose that's to be expected. I tell all those who ask that Mardi Gras was the worst time I ever had in New Orleans, but that's no slight on Mardi Gras...it's a compliment to the remaining 364 days in the city.

The Illini were in the Sugar Bowl on New Year's, 2001. So there I was, down in the French Quarter again for New Year's Eve (with some bonus days on either side). I met up with my friend Ariel and we had a blast for a few days. Mom and Dad came down for the game. We went down in flames to Domanick Davis and the LSU Tigers, and the Tiger fans showed us just how much noise fans can make (they're legendary). Another fine trip, with some seriously good food. We managed to hit K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen and Emeril's Delmonico on that trip. My grandpa Les had insisted, during an IM conversation in November, that I finally get my keester to Brennan's for brunch on this trip. They invented Banana's Foster there, you see. It was during brunch there that we got a call from Aunt Lynn. She told us that Grandpa had collapsed the night before. He never fully recovered and died 8 weeks later. There are worse parting memories of a person, I'm sure. It was really good Banana's Foster.

My most recent trip was 4 months ago. Barbara and I were driving to D.C. from LA. We had to stop in -- she'd never been there before. We stayed at the Marriott at Canal and Decatur. I'd heard mediocre reviews, but they'd just remodeled and the place was just beautiful. I wonder if it remains so. We happened to be there for the 2005 French Quarter Festival. Good fortune on our part. We had a lovely day-and-a-half there. Got covered in powdered sugar at the Cafe du Monde. Took dad's recommendation and visited the Court of Two Sisters. Walked those ancient streets and listened to some really special jazz and blues and zydeco.

It suffices to say that I really, really love New Orleans. It was always a dream of mine to own or rent a little place down in the Quarter where I could visit whenever I wanted to. It still remains so, and it looks like the part of the city I love best has been spared most of the pain of the flooding. If it can survive the looting and disease, it'll be fine. New Orleans' heart still beats. The rest of it will, in time, be better than ever.


Ross Gelbspan needs to be beaten. He's another Chicken Little who refuses to accept the possiblity that climate change isn't caused by humanity. The Earth has been here for billions of years, it'll be here for billions more. There was life before us, and there will be life afterwards. Whether or not it will be human life is what's at issue. Anyone who thinks we can control nature should take a look at New Orleans.

Before you jump all over me, I've said it before, that doesn't mean we shouldn't try to reduce pollution everywhere in the world. What it does mean is that the Earth is NOT fragile. We are.

Have faith, though. We're everywhere. We're equipped to live in virtually any environment. The human race won't be going extinct anytime soon. We may have to move back from the coasts for awhile, though.

01 September 2005

American Charity

We really are the givingist people in this damned world. Forget government aid to foreign nations, which is substantial. Forget welfare, which is counterproductive. When it counts, we dig deep. My favorite donation is a pint of my finest red blood cells, with some plasma thrown in for bouquet. Being B+, I'm a hot commodity, so I took care of that this afternoon. At last count, the Red Cross, exclusive of blood donations, had collected over $21 Million already, $14M from individuals. There will be no less than three benefit concerts this weekend (not my cup of tea, especially considering the cost of putting one of those things on, but such is life). And then here's the kicker. People all over the country are offering up rooms in their homes and beds on their floors to Katrina survivors on New Orleans Craiglist.

I got your free credit report right here!

I'm sure more than a few of you already know about this, but since it started today, it bears a reminder.

Under the FACT Act amendments to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you are entitled to one free Personal Credit Report in a 12 month period. To request this free annual report, you may contact the Central Source on-line at www.annualcreditreport.com.

You can also contact the Central Source to request this free annual disclosure by calling toll free (877) FACT ACT or by using the mail request form available at the Central Source Web site.

So we can all get free reports now once a year from each of the big 3. It's recommended that you stagger them every 4 months, so it's Experian on 1/1, Trans Union on 5/1, Equifax on 9/1, and then Experian again on 1/1, etc. They'll try and sell you stuff with the info, but the basic report (without credit score) is free.

I got freaked out a few months ago when some jackass opened an account at an internet auction site in my name with a Colorado address. Looks like he didn't do anything else to mess up my day, though.

Got it? Get it. Do it today. The first is a great reminder day.

31 August 2005

My name is Bush. Stoo Bush.

Apparantly you're supposed to find a new Bond before you fire the old one. Alas, it looks like Barbara Broccoli's up shit's creek without an actor only a few months before they start shooting Casino Royale.

They've got all sorts of options in the article. Personally, I think Clive Owen is the best of the bunch, but he's already said no. Failing that, Jason Statham would be an interesting, if perhaps overly beefy, choice.

Now if Mrs. Broccoli had balls of steel-reinforced concrete, she'd go and get Robbie Williams to play the master spy. He's good-looking enough, and he can certainly smirk. I have my doubts about the claim that he's 6'1", but I think he'd be a hell of a lot of fun.

Plus he could sing the theme song.

I'll admit something publicly here that only my wife and all of my LA friends know. I'm a huge Robbie Williams fan. The man is an amazing entertainer, and I can't for the life of me understand why he hasn't been able to sell more than 10 records in the US. We danced at my wedding to She's the One, which, admittedly, is a World Party song, but Robbie's the only one who sold any records with it. Super kudos to Rik Howard Music, our band, for learning it and Angels for us.

In summary. Robbie Williams should be Bond. They'd sell a £1B worth of tickets outside the US. That's reason enough. Plus, he'd be good.

Oh, those MST3K boys...

From Kevin Murphy and Mike Nelson's website:

The Most Recent Seduction – On the heels of the 1994 sleeper hit The Last Seduction came its 1999 soft-core sequel, The Last Seduction II, rife with grammatical intimations that the previous Seduction had indeed not been the last. We offer a sequel to that sequel which we hope is at least free of syntax errors. Linda Fiorentino returns to her role as a woman who, for absolutely positively the very last time now, no kidding, must seduce someone for less than savory purposes. But this is the really truly very, completely last time. Honest.

I love grammar jokes.

30 August 2005

Now that's some serious suction.

From the AP, a story about the Katrina refugees in the Louisiana Superdome.

Quote that just defies belief:

"I was so scared I don't feel I have any entrails any more," said Mary Stewart, 80.

Any ideas as to what she was trying to say? Or did Katrina turn into a tornado and climb up her ass?

29 August 2005


Holy irresponsible headlines, Batman!

Modern Man am I

Apparantly I'm a Liberated Lover:

The Lover Style Profile Test

The Liberated Lover
54% partner focus, 57% aggressiveness, 55% adventurousness
Based on the results of this test, it is highly likely that:

You prefer your romance and love to wild and daring rather than typical or boring, you would rather pursue than be pursued and, when it comes to physical love, your satisfaction comes more from providing a wonderful time to your partner than simply seeking your own.

This places you in the Lover Style of: The Liberated Lover.

The Liberated Lover is a wonderful Lover Style, and forms the kind of free-thinking, sexually-exciting, self-confident lover that society once condemned but that a liberal-mind cherishes and exults. The Liberated Lover is a treasure to find, though it can sometimes be difficult to do so because they are often already engaged in relationships or are in high-demand if "in the market."

In terms of physical love, the Liberated Lover is possibly the most thrilling and demanding of all, with the one potential drawback being that it is possible to feel 'overmatched' at times by their prowess and selfless giving. Given trust and understanding, and the right lover, the Liberated Lover can be a delight in bed.

Best Compatibility can probably be found with: The Exotic Lover (most of all), the Carnal Lover, or the Suave Lover.


Long weekend

I spent the weekend up in Boston for the John Belanger Bachelor Party. It won't go down in history as a evening of sin and debauchery, but we had a good time. We started out F1 Cart racing at F1Boston, followed by the prettiest 18 holes of golf I've played since Pukalani at Granite Links. Then an evening of beer and seared meat at Rock Bottom Brewery. Then we came back to John's and his fiancee Kat had made brownies. Party on. She made blueberry pancakes for us the next morning, too. John's found himself a good woman.

Took the train back, for various reasons. Barbie was in New York visiting her friend Becca and going to see Sweet Charity (w/Christina Applegate) and Glengarry Glen Ross (with Liev Schrieber, Alan Alda, Jeffrey Tambor, etc). It was the last performance of GGGR. I was quite jealous. Not so much regarding SC. I still want to see Spamalot, Wicked, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Avenue Q, and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. I supposed I'll manage somehow.

The train is such a nice way to travel. I wish it were a bit cheaper, but still you don't get wasted like you do flying. Also, nowhere near the level of useless security. I've already ranted about the useless TSA, though.

All in all, a good weekend for the Bushmans. Of course, I still have some gardening to do...

26 August 2005

Damn, the man could write

I picked up a copy of Things Worth Fighting For, a collection of Mike Kelly's work, a few weeks ago at the Book Warehouse (a bargain at $6 hardback). I'm not too far into it, but wow could he spin a tale. For those who don't know who he is (and didn't see Hank Azaria play him in Shattered Glass), Mike Kelly was one of the first correspondents into Iraq during Gulf War I and died in a Humvee crash during GWII. He was a gifted wordsmith who was as adept at reporting as he was at editorializing. Terrible loss. Great book.

You can check out some of his work here, here, and, I'm sure, elsewhere.

24 August 2005

Welcome Back, Sean

Sean Landeta rejoined the Eagles as their new starting punter today. From the Philadelphia Daily News:

Landeta, by the way, drove down from Long Island yesterday in the same 1998 Acura he had when he left the Eagles. When a reporter remarked on its incongruous presence among the other players' shiny Escalades and Mercedes, Landeta had a ready response.

"It's not all that old," he said.

An interesting statement from the 43-year-old punter.

Sounds like he'll fit right in back in Philly.


Looks like my sisters-in-law both will be required to get C-sections should either decide to reproduce again. The reason: medical malpractice lawsuits.


Scott Ott usually reserves his flowing prose for biting satire, but it looks like he felt was seriously inspired today.

I'm certainly of the opinion that we've bitten off far more than we can chew in Iraq, but if Americans are good at anything, it's accomplishing the impossible against unthinkable odds. In the immortal words of Rob Lowe, "Anything is possible!" Or is it "Anything is possible!" Either way.

23 August 2005

Ah, Trainspotting

Here's a survey I can get behind...particularly since I come out as Jonny Lee Miller:

Which Trainspotting Character Are You?


Mispellings and other capitol offences.

There are few things that I find more distracting than public displays fraught with misspellings. I'm not saying that they're worse than littering and graffiti...they're just distracting. I suspect it's because it's such an avoidable problem. It's even worse when they are on professionally-made signs. I suspect the signmakers either don't know or don't care. ("Give the customer what they ask for, that's what I say!"

So today on my way to work, I pass a sign for the OGBC Outdoor FilmFest. This Friday and Saturday, they'll be showing Shark Tales and Raiders of the Lost Arc.

"Aha!" you say, all the words in that sign are correctly spelled. Yes, I know they are all technically Scrabble-caliber words. The titles are still incorrect, though, and they make the people running the event look either stupid, careless, or both. We can debate another time about which is worse.

Just my $0.02 for the day.

22 August 2005

Sunny days, sweepin' the ozone away...

Putting their money where their mouths are, a couple of Russian solar physicists have bet a British climatologist $10,000 that the average surface temperature of the Earth will decrease in the next decade. Read all about it here.

Now I'm not one to dispute that the Earth is warming. Nor will I argue that the ozone layer has some holes in it. I'll even stipulate that these are bad things. There's plenty of real evidence to support all three of the previous statements.

Where I differ is in the interpretation of the data. We've got 40 years of good satellite weather data. The Earth is 4.5 billion years old. The sun is 5 billion years old. Over the history of the Earth, there have been many ice ages. In between ice ages (that is, when it's comparatively warm), there are glacial periods. If we've had all of these eras of global cooling, who's to say that we haven't had eras of global warming? One nice thing about glaciers is they leave lots of evidence of their passing; less can be said for potential floods caused by warming.

My point is that periodic global warming may just be a normal thing for the Earth, and not a result of the industrial revolution, Aqua Net hair spray, and Freon. Since we're about 10,000 years past the end of the last glacial period, this may be pretty normal behavior. Or even if it's a few standard deviations off, that doesn't mean we're going to turn the planet into Venus before the next ice age.

Now having said that, I've got no problem making companies reduce the crap they're spewing into the air and water. I've gotta breathe, too. I just want our intentions to be clear, and not justified by scientific evidence that doesn't necessarily prove causation.

And having said that, there's an economic cost to reducing pollution. For the last 20 years or so, the arguably overly-stringent environmental laws in the US have simply forced chemical firms to go out of business or forced the entire industry abroad to eastern Europe, Asia and South America. Does it benefit the planet if, in our NIMBY-fueled attempts to reduce pollution, we just transfer the pollution elsewhere? I contend that there's an economically viable solution (i.e. acceptable level of pollution) that would benefit the ecosphere as a whole. But that's just me.

And finally, a corollary...I was talking to my dad, a chemical engineer, yesterday, and he posited that the banning of chlorofluorocarbons to make insulation foam resulted in the development of less-adhesive foam for the space shuttle boosters. How's about that for unintended consequences of the environmental movement?

20 August 2005

You want me to put What...Where?

The 40 Year Old Virgin: 3.25 Stars. Sure, I figured this film for what it was...plain old male humor, and I was perfectly satisfied (the wife felt otherwise, unsurprisingly). Steve Carell was great in this little comedy about a man who just never quite got around to doing it. They could've taken an American Pie tack of just having him meet plenty of girls and trying to sleep with them, but they took the high road and had him actually fall in love. I this instance, with the lovely (and hot-bodded GILF (no, not MILF, GILF)) Catherine Keener (whose family was conspicuously absent from most of the film). Great film. A little long, but you don't really notice. An extra quarter-star upgrade simply for the last 4 minutes. Special props to the beautiful, full-bosomed, and bloggin' Kat Dennings, who will surely turn her little role in this movie into major stardom.

19 August 2005

Hot, or not?

Okay, perhaps this is a different quiz, but apparantly I'm best described as a transfiguration teacher:

Pirate Monkey's Harry Potter Personality Quiz
Harry Potter Personality Quiz
by Pirate Monkeys Inc.


Wow, how good do these blintzes look?


Belated Review

Seen, but certainly not forgotten.

The Aristocrats: 3.5 Stars. Holy crap this movie is funny. Laugh out loud funny. Tears streaming down my face funny. Soil yourself funny. Note I said "yourself," not "myself." I'd been waiting to see this movie for months, and I wasn't disappointed a bit. It's a documentary, really, and I hope the Academy realizes its genius. The whole movie is about a joke. Just one joke with the titular punchline, "The Aristocrats". It's not even a very good joke, and I wouldn't spoil the movie by telling it, but I didn't want to know it before I saw the flick, and I assume anyone reading this wouldn't want to either. The true comedy in the joke is in its telling, which allows the comedian or comedienne to riff like Miles Davis on his horn. This joke has been an "inside joke" since the Catskill days, and the teller's job is to be as sick, disgusting, vulgar, and generally shocking as possible. Standard contents involve incest, bestiality, any and all bodily fluids, and various combinations thereof. The movie, directed by comedian Paul Provenza and magician Penn Jilette, is a ode to the joke. The directors talk to what must be 100 or so comics, each giving their own renditions of the joke. Only a few get to tell it straight through, though, since they edit in the best parts as well as commentary from the comic telling the joke. The centerpiece of the film was a very public telling of the joke by Gilbert Gottfried during a Hugh Hefner roast in New York City on Comedy Central right after 9/11. It was a legendary performance not so much for its rendition (which was spectacular), but for the injection of balls-to-the-wall, fall-down comedy into a room of people who desperately needed to laugh. My only complaint about the film is the editing, which was too back and forth for the viewer to actually get into the groove. I sincerely hope that they will have an expansive DVD version where I can see everyone tell their joke from beginning to end. Especially Gottfried's.

17 August 2005


Holy crap this is too damned funny:




16 August 2005

"I'm from the government, and I'm here to help."

Does anyone else worry a bit when a legislator wishes he could enact a law to force a person to report to work or to shut his yap?

Enter Philadelphia Councilman Frank DiCicco, who has decided to enter the Terrell Owens foray with this request to Commissioner Robert Solvibile of the Philadelphia Department of Licenses and Inspections.

Money quote:
As I’ve watched this soap opera, I found myself wishing I could legislate his acceptance of his contract or, at the least, legislate a gag for him while that contract is renegotiated. Unfortunately, we both know that that’s impossible.

And ultimately what he wants:
Please look into Mr. Rosenhaus’s business privilege license status and insure that he has paid all appropriate taxes, fees and fines and return the information to me, at your convenience.

Way to elect 'em, Philly.

15 August 2005

Phil Sheridan Replies

Mad props to Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Phil Sheridan. His Q&A Forum is about as interactive a feature as you'll find in online media with a full-time print columnist. I submitted a question this morning, and he's turned around and answered me already:

Q. Phil, Isn't it time for the Eagles to take a long, hard look at Koren Robinson? He never panned out under Holmgren, but at least he's a got a West Coast-offense background. He's still young, seems to be hungry, and will be eligible to play come October. Any thoughts?
Stewart Bushman, Olney, MD 8/15/05

A. Stewart, That's a tough call. Robinson has had his problems and you have to wonder if Andy Reid is in the mood for any more risks right now. Then again, he is good friends with Holmgren and would get a straight answer on whether Holmgren thinks a change of scenery would be enough to get Robinson back on track. Remember, Cris Carter had huge problems with the Eagles, was released and took that as a message that he had to turn his life around. He went on to have a Hall of Fame career in Minnesota. So you never know.
Phil Sheridan 8/15/05

Maybe the Eagles are due for some reverse-Karma.

Now I'll hit the exacta if Peter King answers my email in tomorrow's MMQB:TE...

The 2005 Philadelphia Phizz

Fantasy Draft 3 is in the books...this is the league I run with mostly UIUC Aero grads. Again, the hold-out Hines Ward is on my roster, but I've got faith he'll sign. Round drafted is in parentheses.

Philadelphia Phizz
QB1 Trent Green (5)
QB2 Kurt Warner (11)
RB1 Priest Holmes (1)
RB2 Willis McGahee (2)
RB3 Steven Jackson (6)
RB4 Warrick Dunn (8)
WR1 Joe Horn (3)
WR2 Hines Ward (4)
WR3 Jerry Porter (9)
WR4 Greg Lewis (12)
TE1 Jason Witten (8)
TE2 L.J. Smith (13)
PK1 Jeff Wilkins (15)
DT1 Eagles (10)
DT2 Chiefs (14)

I think the Chief's D will be pretty formidable this season with all the additions, plus Dante Hall returning kicks. We'll see, though.

12 August 2005

Jay Feely is a Giant?

I can't be rooting for a Giant! Same goes for a Redskin or a Cowboy. Excepting Jason Witten, of course.

Goodbye Jay Feely, Hello Lawrence Tynes!

11 August 2005

The Philadelphia Phrenzy

Draft #2 is over...I'm addicted; I know. Positions followed by round drafted in parentheses.

Philly Phrenzy 2005
QB1 Trent Green (3)
QB2 Brian Griese (14)
RB1 Jamal Lewis (1)
RB2 Duce Staley (5)
RB3 Michael Bennett (6)
RB4 Chester Taylor (13)
WR1 Marvin Harrison (2)
WR2 Hines Ward (4)
WR3 Eric Moulds (7)
WR4 Derrick Mason (8)
WR5 Deion Branch (12)
TE1 Randy McMichael (10)
TE2 Heath Miller (9)
PK1 Jay Feely (15)
DEF Atlanta Falcons (11)

I screwed up the autodraft a bit and drafted Miller and McMichael in successive rounds. There was a domino effect here as it resulted in me getting the Falcons D instead of the Eagles D and Brian Griese instead of Kurt Warner. The first hurts, the second not so much. Unfortunately, Miller and McMichael have the same bye.

We'll see how it shakes out...

10 August 2005

T.O. Goes Home

Looks like Terrell Owens and Andy Reid got into it at training camp. Word is T.O.'s packed up and gone. Dumbass. Who would want to deal with this sort of primadonna bullshit. When he came to the Eagles, I figured he'd started on a path that would've put him in Canton eventually if he stayed healthy. He'll be lucky now if he ends up as a Trivial Pursuit answer.

Courtesy of the Inquirer: Show T.O. the Money!

Go Daddy!

Well I've switched my webhosting to GoDaddy.com. I can't say their wardrobe-malfunction spoof commercial didn't point me in their direction. Their service seems to be great, and it's cheaper than Yahoo (100% cheaper, actually). I had previously been using Network Solutions as my webhost and Yahoo! Domains as my webpage/email forwarder for $10 a year. I probably wouldn't have even gone looking if Yahoo's service hadn't fucked up so often (the web forwarding didn't work for months, and once they fixed that the email forwarding didn't work anymore...bunch of assclowns there.)

Switching to GoDaddy makes the latter two services free and extended my domain name ownership another year, all for an $8.20 one-time charge.

So stoobush@stoobush.com works again, for the 3 of you who still use it.

Go Daddy.

09 August 2005

Miracle, my ass

Jon Stewart, who may go down as the premiere satirist of his generation (how's that for a member of the cast of Half Baked) kills virtually every night, but he took it to the next level covering the "miracle" evacuation of Air France Flight 358 in Canada.

His quote:

A miracle is defined in my dictionary as 'a marvelous event manifesting a supernatural act of G-d.' To me, the only thing that was a miracle in that situation was the lightning that hit the plane. That was the act of G-d. If anything, G-d was trying to kill these people. His plan was foiled by the crew's satanic competence. Can't someone take some human credit for a job well done? ... This is not a miracle. If the passengers had died and then, three days later, come back to life, that would be a miracle. Or, for my people...if the flames from the wreckage had burned for 8 days...

Watch it.

Great, great stuff.

06 August 2005

You win some...

At the very least today I had a very nice grilled pastrami and corned beef eggel for breakfast, so I had that going for me right off the bat.

Then we went to the outlet mall, where I got some new shoes.

Then to Harrah's Rincon Casino, where I got my ass handed to me.

On the bright side, I got through 100 pages of Ballad of the Whiskey Robber. Darn good book.

Tomorrow -- back to D.C.

05 August 2005

Q-time with the baby

Today consisted mostly of cleaning up from the bris...folding up chairs, collapsing awnings and such. Repeat sandwich from yesterday, minus the tongue, which the in-laws sent packing with Scott's parents. (It's an acquired taste.)

Got to spend a few hours this evening with 2-on-1 time with me, Barbie, and Benjamin. Then he went to sleep and Barbie and I learned how to play Anno 1503, a Catan-esque board game which looks like fun. We got it for Scott and Randee last Chanukah, but haven't played it yet.

Then the friends came over en-masse, and we had a BBQ and Baby- and Six Feet Under-watching party.

A good day for everyone except Nate Fisher.

I will say that Nate's last roll in the hay gal seemed to wear far naughtier undies than I would have thought. But maybe it's just me.

04 August 2005

Cut, cut, and cut some more

Lil' Benjamin lost his foreskin today. I can't say the little munchkin had his best day, but he performed well as can be expected under the circumstances.

Good crowd, probably around 70 people. Great food from Brent's Deli in Northridge. Had my signature corned beef, pastrami, tongue, cole slaw, russian dressing, and deli mustard on rye.

Two of 'em.

Caught the first episode of Wanted with the great Gary Cole tonight. I think he tries a bit too hard to be a reckless bad ass (excepting, of course, for his stints on The West Wing, in Office Space, and as Mike Brady), but he's always entertaining. I doubt this'll crack the shows I intend to watch, but should I happen to catch it...

Less glowing reviews for the new FX comedies, Starved and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Neither are particularly worth 30 minutes of anyone's time. Basically just network-caliber comedies with a bit 'o cussing and bare asses.

Is the sitcom dead? Not while Scrubs still lives. But, let's be honest, that's a dramedy at best. A damned good one, though.

03 August 2005

First Fantasy Draft

Well my first fantasy draft is over. This league is with some of my LA peeps, run by His Bald Jewness, Dave Horowitz.

This is a 14-man roster league with 18 teams. Draft was done by autopick...I put in my top 115 players and this is what I ended up with.

Starting lineup is unusual too: 1 QB, 2 WR, 2 RB, 1TE, 1 WR/TE, 1 WR/RB, 1 K, and 1 DEF.

This 10-man lineup leaves only 4 bench positions. I had the 6th pick, and I'll include draft round parentheses. Here's my lineup now:

Philadelphia Phalanx
QB Steve McNair (7)
WR1 Hines Ward (2)
WR2 Reggie Wayne (3)
RB1 Edgerrin James (1)
RB2 Warrick Dunn (4)
TE L.J. Smith (8)
WR/TE Jimmy Smith (5)
WR/RB Marcus Robinson (6)
PK Phil Dawson (9)
DEF Detroit (10)
Bench Travis Henry (11)
Bench Stephen Davis (12)
Bench Broncos (13)
Bench Dwayne Carswell (14)

I think McNair was a steal in the 7th round. I didn't have Phil Dawson or Detroit on my list, the autopick just threw them at me, but I don't mind because their early bye weeks are nice in a league with such a short bench. Carswell and Denver weren't on my list either, of course.

I've already put in a waiver claim for Billy Volek, dropping Carswell. Tennessee has the last bye week (week 10 or 11), so I'll be fine until then with no other-team backup so long as I land Volek, which I should.

Any thoughts? Given the number of teams in this league, I'm pretty happy with my roster.

Update: I got Volek!

Hump Day

Well yesterday wasn't as bad as it could've been. Barbie and her sister actually decided to view the body. I couldn't've done that, and would've advised against it if asked, but that wasn't my call. She seemed to get a sense of closure from it, so more power to her.

We've got a ton of food left over, plus all the food coming tomorrow for the bris.

Time to get eatin'.

Tonight...dinner with Barbie's friends and then a horribly, impossibly vulgar movie with mine.

02 August 2005

Jude Down

Well I left the wife behind last night to head out with some friends to see Jude play at Largo. The man put on a masterful show which was enjoyed by me, Nick Brandt, Dan Burgun, Matt Mondrick, and others. Jason Bierfield was a bit under the weather so he didn't join us. 'Twas great to see the old crew.

I even got a request in, as Jude was wondering who was at the show from a distance. D.C. was far enough, and "for a funeral" was more than sufficient for a Jude-plus-bass-and-drums rendition of "Prophet."

Looks like I'll join the guys again on Wednesday night for the dirtiest, foulest movie in history, The Aristocrats. 10:35 pm at the Arclight, should you care to join us. Word on the streets is that if you've ever been offended by a joke, skip this one.

Wouldn't miss it for the world.

Today...the funeral.

01 August 2005

But, Cobalt is blue?

So we're in LA now, setting up for the funeral and bris. Tables, chairs, canopies. Nothing too exciting, but the food should be excellent. I'm hitting Togo's today for my favorite #21.

I requested an economy car from Alamo. They gave me a relatively new grey Chevy Cobalt with leather seats, CD/MP3 player, and XM radio. Go Alamo!

I still prefer Sirius to XM (the NFL on Sirius is sufficient for that), but it's nice to see how the other 75% lives.

31 July 2005

But first, a musical interlude...

As we already had plans to see Barbie's friend Becca Yuré perform in the Charlottesville Ashlawn Opera Festival's performance of Annie Get YOur Gun, we saw no reason to put that off, so we're down in Thomas Jefferson's neck of the woods.

Yesterday we toured Monticello, the house and the plantation. We had an amazing plantation tour guide, Stephen Levine. Props to him and the rest of the staff there for making a balanced and historically accurate portrayal of our 3rd president. He crusaded for human rights but had slaves. That was the central dichotomy of his life. The question is of course, was the good he did enough to outweigh his ownership of slaves? You could argue that it was normal, at the time in Virginia, to own slaves, but he was on the record for calling it a stain on America's soul. Tough questions. Good place to visit. Interesting crowd there, actually. Far larger swath of America than you get in an art museum tour, to be sure. They contend, with DNA evidence, that the Hemming family and the Jefferson family are DNA-related, but there's not enough evidence to prove conclusively that Jefferson and Sally Hemming had kids. They step out on the plank with circumstantial evidence (mostly opportunity) and say TJ was the father of all 6 of her kids.

Regardless, there are no Hemmings in the Jefferson family burial grounds, so I guess not all has been rectified.

Annie was great, and so was Becca. Their Frank Butler (Annie's love interest) was also really good. I don't envy these players, in period costumes out in the muggy VA night. Frank sweat through at least 2 shirts, collar and all. We hope to see Becca off- and on-Broadway one of these days...a benefit of living on the East Coast.

29 July 2005

The L-rd giveth...

Barbara's grandfather, Aaron Berkson, passed away this morning. They didn't have the best relationship of late, as he'd gotten pretty cranky in his old age and physical pain, but she still loved him very much. I'll be heading back to LA on Sunday for the funeral on Tuesday.

28 July 2005

It's a boy!

Well, we've known the gender for months, but that's beside the point. Actually, no, time for a mini-rant. When did we all start substituting "sex" for "gender." Just because they're synonymous, doesn't mean they are precisely the same thing. "Gender" is a great word, with a very specific definition. Let's bring it back into the lexicon. But on to the real news...

Welcome to the world my new nephew, Benjamin Morgan Bishoff, born about 5 hours ago to my sister-in-law Randee and her husband Scott.

Yes, she married a Bishoff and Barbara married a Bushman. Coincidence?

Doubtful, but I'll be headin' to LA for the bris next week.