Archive for October, 2006

“Fwd: …” by Nicolas Saunders

Wednesday, October 25th, 2006

Today’s spam prose is the first example I’ve seen of fully coherent and valid syntax in a robot-generated spam message. The evolution continues.

A secretly dirt-encrusted tornado is ostensibly hypnotic. Now and then, the inferiority complex accurately buys an expensive gift for some vacuum cleaner from a vacuum cleaner. Furthermore, a satellite behind a carpet tack trembles, and the self-loathing fairy single-handledly pees on a turn signal. Indeed, a pine cone overwhelmingly cooks cheese grits for a so-called mastadon. A cough syrup requires assistance from an abstraction.

A vacuum cleaner brainwashes a stovepipe near a particle accelerator, because the insurance agent is a big fan of the vacuum cleaner beyond a vacuum cleaner. An anomaly brainwashes a feline nation. A Eurasian avocado pit satiates the diskette of the line dancer. Furthermore, a cargo bay inside a grand piano feels nagging remorse, and a turkey around a bottle of beer operates a small fruit stand with an umbrella for a globule. When you see a cosmopolitan cowboy, it means that the diskette earns frequent flier miles. A secretly dirt-encrusted tornado is ostensibly hypnotic. Now and then, the inferiority complex accurately buys an expensive gift for some vacuum cleaner from a vacuum cleaner. Furthermore, a satellite behind a carpet tack trembles, and the self-loathing fairy single-handledly pees on a turn signal. Indeed, a pine cone overwhelmingly cooks cheese grits for a so-called mastadon. A cough syrup requires assistance from an abstraction.

Most people believe that a food stamp figures out a cowboy, but they need to remember how hesitantly an inexorably surly skyscraper gets stinking drunk. When the bullfrog reads a magazine, a salad dressing around a mastadon procrastinates. A briar patch is phony. An ocean, a vacuum cleaner over a corporation, and a blood clot of the buzzard are what made America great! When a parking lot goes to sleep, the power drill laughs out loud.

I ran a Google search on “most people believe” and “are what made America great” and came up with dozens of other blogs with dozens of nonsensical variations on the same phrases. Some blogs are actual people, while others appear to be spam blogs.

Dilbert Creator Regains Voice

Wednesday, October 25th, 2006

18 months ago Scott Adams lost his voice to a condition called “spasmodic dysphonia” wherein the part of his brain that controls normal speech was disconnected to his voice box. Other parts of the brain could connect: he could sing, for example. What he recently discovered, through his own ingenuity, was that rhyming was still possible. So he recited the words to “Jack Be Nimble” constantly and his brain started to remap itself. His speech has since been restored. A specialist in this condition said that no one has recovered from this condition, apparently until now.

Read Scott’s full blog entry here.

The Ikea Triumph of 06

Wednesday, October 25th, 2006

In the beginning there were the boxes:


Actually in the beginning there were the boxes deftly packed into a Chevrolet, but that’s not important. Because now, we have this:


And the Lord did grin. And the people did enjoy their entertainment centers, and coffee tables and chairs. But not yet their bedframes.

Interesting reading that Adnan sent me: Ikea’s accounting is apparently as crafty, ingenious and thrifty as their products.

Tag Renewal

Monday, October 23rd, 2006

Helpful reminder: you can assess your Arkansas property tax here. And you can renew your Arkansas tags here.

Which reminds me. I’m 30 years old and I still have no idea what an assessment is. As far as I’m aware, it involves me going to the revenue office, saying who I am, and being handed a piece of paper. No money changes hands. I don’t even have to show an ID. But I have to be handed this piece of paper to take to the another desk where they’ll give me a new sticker for my license plate. And while I’m certainly glad that this process has been simplified by the use of the Internet, I still have no idea what I’m doing when I get my property assessed.

And while I’m at it, the concept of a warranty is somewhat mystifying. Basically you sell me a car, and then you sell me a piece of paper saying that if particular parts of it fail, you’ll pay for it, because apparently you’re not confident enough in the quality of your workmanship that you have to have ME pay a little extra JUST IN CASE something goes wrong and YOU have to pay me. And the specificity of the things a warranty covers seems to be getting ever more narrow, such that they approach the level of Steve Martin’s weight guessing prize shelf in The Jerk – “Anything between the ashtrays and the thimble. Anything in this three inches right in here in this area. That includes the Chiclets, but not the erasers.”

Things That Will Make You Go “Wow”

Monday, October 23rd, 2006

What I Learned This Weekend

Sunday, October 22nd, 2006
  • The Allman Brothers are a lot better than I ever thought. Side 3 of Eat a Peach is a revelatory experience. And then there’s “Melissa,” one of the best ballads ever. Magical stuff.
  • David Lee Roth will never change. He will always be a vaudevillian egomaniac. Even while playing state fairs. I was playing with Superflux at the fair on Friday and checked out Dave’s set during a break. He leaned on his musicians’ backing vocals a lot, but he’s still a showman, although his age is catching up with him. Less kicks, less high notes, and he started losing his pipes early on. Still, it’s Dave. You either appreciate his complete lack of self-awareness or you don’t.
  • Playing guitar in cold weather makes it hard to play, and if you’re bleeding, you may not realize it for some time.
  • Biking is fun! I don’t know when the last time was that I rode a bike. I inherited Matt’s mountain bike and have only now gotten around to buying the necessary bolt cutters to remove the lock, and getting the tires aired up. I rode across the Big Damn Bridge yesterday. It’s a beautiful thing. My legs need to get into shape if I’m going to be walking all over NYC next week.
  • Marie Antoinette was a beautiful film, but kinda boring. Apparently there was this girl from Austria and a lot of stuff happened to her in France, but I’ll be darned if I really learned anything about what separated her from any other aristocrat of the same period. Maybe she’s supposed to be unknowable. Maybe that’s why she was so appealing to so many. Anyway, I thought that Sofia Coppola was going to break some rules of time and fashion, but if she did, I didn’t notice. Given the 80′s post-punk New Romantic soundtrack, I was expected a more stylized treatment a la Romeo & Juliet. To me it just seemed like a movie about the French artistocracy spoken in modern colloquial English with a soundtrack by Bow Wow Wow.
  • A house with no heat really bites. My heater’s motor died last week and Airmasters won’t be able to get the part until Monday or Tuesday. As I am typing this, I am very cold.

Travolta, Shatner, Borgnine

Wednesday, October 18th, 2006

No, it’s not the name of a new Mr. Bungle CD, it’s 1975′s The Devil’s Rain starring John Travolta, William Shatner and Ernest Borgnine. Plus Tom Skerritt, Eddie Albert, Ida Lupino, and technical advisor Anton LaVey. I’ll leave you with The Onion A.V. Club’s article, but before I do, know that it contains the phrases “Borgnine’s ring of satanic evil” and “Satan is real and really has it in for William Shatner.”

Bringing Sexy Back

Wednesday, October 18th, 2006

This is all very hush hush, but I heard through the grapevine that Justin Timberlake is “bringing sexy back.”

Of course this begs the question….when did sexy leave? And further, if it is true that sexy did in fact depart, what makes Justin Timberlake, a man[1] whose target demographic consists entirely of females under 18 and gay Republican Congressmen from Florida above 40, think that he is qualified to bring sexy back? Wouldn’t someone with a broader appeal, say Bea Arthur or Abe Vigoda, be a more likely candidate for the job? Timberlake is the woman Michael Jackson wants to be, and frankly that’s just not appealing to most Americans.

1.) in name only.

P.S. Angel would like to point you to this far more scathing indictment of Timberlake for presuming himself sufficiently competent to retrieve “sexy” from wherever it has been banished.

You Didn’t Hear It from Me

Friday, October 13th, 2006

If you like TV, love the Internet, and dislike commercials, may I recommend this: downloadable TV shows. Yes, it’s illegal, but until TV converts its business model from a blunderbuss of unwanted channels to targeted subscriptions, let’s enjoy the fruits of digital piracy like we did in the days of Napster.

David Grahame

Thursday, October 12th, 2006

If I had to recommend one artist recently added to my collection for everyone to listen to, I would say, David Grahame. Here are three good examples of this unassumingly amazing songwriter. Right click to save as…

Steady Thing – Might as well be Big Star
LA at All – How can you live in a town where everyone is writing a song?
Each First Kiss – Someone give this to Faith Hill and let Nashville gloss it up and make millions

As far as I’m aware, Grahame’s only major contribution to pop stardom was co-writing Mr. Big’s “To Be With You.” But don’t hold that against him. In other news, I think he has retired from the music business out of frustration. Please buy his CDs from the good people at NotLame.