December, 2004 Archives

Happy New Year! Em and I are off to see Sideways at the Cable Car and then enjoy Waterfire and Providence’s fireworks, despite Em’s horoscope telling her to watch TV all night. Hooray for non-freezing temperatures!

I’m excited for the coming year, the last one had so many ups (the Sox) and downs (the Dean scream), I can’t wait to see what the future has in store. Auld lang and so forth to all!

So Long ’04

If you’ve left a comment lately (and bless you if you have, I don’t know how you guys put up with me), you’ve had to type a simple Q to post. This, in the two days it’s been up, has flawlessly defended my comments section and archives from the locust-like ravages of automated comment spam. For those of you with MT blogs of your own, here’s where I yoinked the elegant code from. It’s a bit of a grease-under-the-fingernails hack, but so so worth it.

So that’s what’s up with the Q. It could change (probably not though), so thanks for your continued fealty to support for A Cry for Help.

Please Type a Capital Q

Since we missed Christmas here on the site, I’ll wish Jesus a happy belated birthday now, and I hope you all enjoyed your holiday. I had probably one of the best Christmases of what is supposedly my adult life. Luckily, I missed all the blog hyperbole about how a shadowy cabal of liberal Hollywood types who may or may not be Jews are destroying America via nativity scene removals and forcing “Happy Holidays” down our collective Christian throats. Whew, dodged a bullet there.

Now, to the important matter of what “stuff” I got from Santa, this will surely be remembered as the TiVo Christmas for me. I’m not that big on television, but I do like some shows, and I’m developing an allergy to commercials, so I’m all about the TiVo. Plus it taped Aqua Teen for me without me even asking. That was after it thought I was Spanish, though (everyone’s read those “my tivo thinks I’m gay” stories, right? I know, so 2001…) Unfortunately I do keep zoning out and not fast forwarding through the commercials which really defeats the purpose. And I thought it automatically skipped commercials, but it doesn’t, which is a disappointment (remember my burgeoning allergy). Now I can’t figure out for the life of me what the big deal about skipping commercials is, since VCRs have had fast-forward buttons since, like, a million years ago.

(I’m also a little disturbed that my TiVo may have been assembled by a now tsunami’d Southeast Asian. Seriously, this bothers me.)

Man, that’s a downer. I’m going to watch four consecutive episodes of West Wing to make me feel better.

TiVo, How Warm is Thy Teat

It’s pretty easy to pick on a president for not doing enough for foreign people, but really, does President Bush have to make it so easy by merrily continuing his vacation while 100,000 bodies are recovered from Southeast Asia after the worst natural disaster of my lifetime. A good chunk of the country will always remember W. as spending most of the month before 9/11 vacationing, is he reprising this? It really doesn’t look good. There’s been some people talking this week about what sort of gesture to the Muslim world we could make here (Indonesia, many people don’t know, is the most populous Muslim-majority nation on Earth), and what that would mean to the War on Terror®™. Well, you can make your own determinations on that, but to me it just makes a sad situation even more sad. I was bowled over when the paper said 10,000 people had died, and since then that number has doubled every day.

Make the next couple days good. Between tsunamis and earthquakes and volcanoes and mudslides, the evidence is mounting that the world will indeed end, probably this year. The Sox did win it all, remember.

And what’s more, is this some kind of inside joke in DC: from the Washington Post: “White House spokesman Trent Duffy said the president was confident he could monitor events effectively without returning to Washington or making public statements in Crawford, where he spent part of the day clearing brush and bicycling.” Clearing brush? That’s the quintessential “Reg’ler guy Bush at the ranch” scene. There’s no election coming up, so could he really be doing this? And didn’t he fall off his bike a while back (wait, was that West Wing? Damn you television!!). Come on George, dealing with tragedy is supposed to be your strong suit. Or is that just for American tragedies?

i’ve ranted about it before, but its fresh on my mind again…you guys let them do it, you let them take away your personal liberties under the guise of national security. much like the dmca was passed under false pretenses and has now been used to screw over a whole lot of people, some new terrorism laws in new york are being used to prosecute gang members.

while i certainly do not advocate gangs of any kind (gang bangs and the apple dumpling gang aside), i find something inherently wrong with the sentence “Gangs are a forum to promote terrorism” – especially when used to refer to mexican youth gangs on the streets of new york. how can anyone honestly draw that parallel? were the 9/11 hijackers in la raza and i just didn’t know it?

come to think of it, i vaguely remember a cnn snapshot of bin laden sitting in his ’64 impala at an intersection, 10 inch spoke rims buckling beneath the tons of vintage detroit iron hydraulically bouncing up and down, blue bandana (knot in the front of course) blowing in the wind.

call me old-fashioned, but a gang-related 2nd degree murder is a gang-related 2nd degree murder, not terrorism. thank your president kids.

osama bin la raza

Sick of the outages? Me too. This one was my fault, though. Or actually, movable type was not as movable as I’d have hoped.

Nevertheless, now you can get back to endlessly checking A Cry for Help in vain while I continue to post once every 90 hours or so.

And poor Ultra Laser posted his freak snow in New Orleans picture waaaay back on Christmas Day, and now it’s ancient in blog years.


…but the last time it snowed in new orleans was 1989 – and today, christmas day, while far from what i used to see back north, we got a couple hours of nice solid snow. needless to say, the city is shut down and all of the bridges around the city are closed – but there’s nowhere to go today anyway…except the gas station for my christmas buzz of “ode to bil” or sam adams. and while i am an ardent atheist in a militant catholic city, i happily celebrate any holiday on which i receive gifts, so happy holidays to all of you readers.

i know, i know, big deal…

We’re all true-Blue staters here at A Cry for Help, thus we’ll be marking the winter solstice by sacrificing a puppy in a Wal*Mart parking lot (burning an American flag for warmth, ‘natch). Actually, here’s a “shortest-day-of-the-year” piece of info that I just learned: December 21st is the 24 hour span with the least amount of daylight, but the sun actually sets three minutes later than it did from December 4th through 12th, when it dipped below the horizon at the ungodly hour of 4:15pm. So if you’re like me and starting to go mad because the only sunlight you get is 20 minutes during an early morning drive where you curse the lack of caffeine in your bloodstream, then buck up, only 41 more days until a 5:00pm sunset!

(you can get a full chart of sunrise/sunset times here)

In a more web-based celebration of the official arrival of my least favorite season, there’s a new theme down at the bottom of the page. Click on “Brrr” for some wintery goodness. (I whipped this up pretty quick, so let me know if it doesn’t look right in your browser). Enjoy!


Yeah, I’m just going to ignore the fact that I’ve barely posted in weeks. You should too. Keep coming back, though, I may or may not post some more! How’s that for service?

What Non-Posting?

I stayed up to see the final ticks off the clock of the Patriots’ second loss of the season (actually, I stayed up a lot later than that), so you can imagine my surprise when I unfurled the ProJo sports section this early morning and read “Patriots stay the course” and “N.E. holds off Miami, keeps pace with Pittsburgh”. Perhaps my sleep-deprived brain had imagined at least two of Tom Brady’s hope-destroying interceptions. Was it all a dream? It must have been; how else could the defending champs, winners of 26 out of their last 27 games, lose to the woeful 2-win Dolphins?

Alas, even Superman Brady can only throw so many completions while simultaneously being sacked, and the Pats did indeed lose. If they can shape up, though, hopefully it will be their last of the season. And with no more late-night games, I think we can expect the morning paper to get the story straight from now on.

Dewey Defeats Truman!

monday’s issue of time magazine will parade george bush as “person of the year” for the second year in a row. evidently “reshaping the rules of politics to fit his 10-gallon-hat leadership style” is a good thing. if its any consolation, hitler was time’s person of the year in 1938.

article here

End of the semeser time…means lots of writing.

Basically, I’m sick and tired of Microsoft Word recognizing “English” last names like “Moore” and “Taylor” and “Brown”, but telling me that my last name is spelled WRONG (my last name is Russian).

Honestly, what the hell? I don’t care if Word doesn’t recognize it, but stop offering me insulting alternate spellings. Aren’t we a melting pot over here in America? I know you can teach the Word dictionary your name, and of course I have, but it just irks me that we (those of us with more ethnic last names) get red underlines. I demand a solution.