Monday, September 29, 2008

Geek Humor of the 21st Century

Combine Jonathan Coulton and IT Crowd and what do you get?

David and David "Boomtown"

Greatest hit from their only album. California rock of the early Eighties at its finest.

American Spectator Blog Wars

I am not sure who Ross Douthat is, or why he earned Robert Stacey McCain's enmity but these three posts from the American Spectators AmSpec Blog strike me as rather humorous:

"The Curse of Douthatism - Monday, September 29, 2008 @ 7:19:55 PM

Another elitist advocate of eat-your-broccoli politics:

Even though most Americans claim to oppose the bailout, the House GOP's obstructionism is widely viewed as having worsened the economic situation . . .

What an Everest of haughty Harvard-educated condescension is contained in the phrase "most Americans claim to oppose the bailout." The same establishment insiders who did nothing to avert the disaster offer their expert solution to the problem -- foisting a $700 billion burden on the taxpayers -- and the people who angrily answered, "Hell, no!" are credited only with claiming to oppose the bailout. Obviously, without benefit of an Ivy League education, nobody actually knows what they believe.

Posted By: Robert Stacy McCain"

"Re: The Curse of Douthatism - Monday, September 29, 2008 @ 8:33:03 PM

1. You have the wrong link for the Douthat item. Here's the right one.

2. Your long standing hatred for the man has led you to spectacularly misread what he had to say.

Posted By: Jeremy Lott"

"Re: The Curse of Douthatism - Monday, September 29, 2008 @ 9:11:16 PM

Well, Jeremy, considering I disagree with just about everything Douthat has ever written, I suppose one link was as good as another, eh?

Posted By: Robert Stacy McCain"

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Premiership like the NFL

In the NFL they say on any given day a team can beat another no matter how much better they are by record. The Premiership this year is getting like that. First, Hull beats Arsenal and now Wigan beats Man City. Tottanham, once one of the top 5 teams in the league, has crashed so far this year. Maybe someone besides the Big Four will win this year.

Alabama Moves Forward

Despite a furious comeback attempt in the second half, Alabama beat George 41-30 on national television. They dominated the first half running up a 31-0 lead then played well enough to win in the second. This was a game they were not supposed to be competitive in, but Saban demonstrated again that he can recruit and coach.

Auburn hung on to win 14-12 over fading Tennessee relying on a fumble recover in the end zone to win.

With Florida also losing this leaves LSU, Alabama and Vandy as the only undefeated SEC teams. The polls today should be interesting.

Arsenal Stunned at Home

Arsenal somehow loses to Hull 2-1 at home. They were in first place for six days. Pretty scary loss as once again they get shots but struggle to finish. This doesn't bode well for the rest of the season, especially coming off the big 6-0 win in the Carling Cup. Maybe Wenger needs to shake his line up around.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Physics Geek

My brother is a physicist, but not this bad.

Although a time machine would be cool.

Why Blogging Is Not Life Fufilling

One of the blogs I linked to due to the CINRAM H2B issue was This was a soft leftist blog about politics in the Great State of Alabama. The proprietor has quit blogging and left a variety of reasons in his last post. I can agree with him, most blogs which includes this one, are vanity blogs. I could care less if one or a hundred people read my postings. It doesn't cost me anything but time. Nobody has introduced me yet as a blogger, though, if I reach that point without making moolah then I probably would quit too.

Wallowing in Nostalgia

I graduated in 1984. Enough said.

Arsenal Youth Triumphant

As he has in the past Arsene Wenger fielded a team of his youth in the Carling Cup. They crushed Sheffield United 6-0 with a team that ended the game playing nine teenagers. Vila, the Mexican stand out, scored a hat trick. If this kind of play continues the future of Arsenal competitiveness seems assures.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Raiders Lose

The Raiders lost 24-23 on the final play of the game. I guess give them points for having a lead until the last play of the game, but still another loss. Very disappointing as it is similar to all the losses over the last three years. Some momentum for the next game depending on injuries. Also we might see Lane fired by the next game as well. Not really a good move in my idea.

Arsenal Win, In First for Now

Arsenal beat Bolton 3-1 at home and temporarily are in first place depending on the result of Chelsea playing Man U. Chelsea will have to win to stay in first. Arsenal played very well yesterday at times completely dominating the game and putting endless pressure on Bolton. They have had few wins at Bolton the last few years, so this is doubly satisfying.

Update: Chelsea and Man U drew so Arsenal is in first place by a point.

Alabama Cotinues, Auburn Struggles

Alabama started fast and never looked back in stomping Arkansas 49-14, while Auburn failed to hold off LSU losing 26-21. Auburn will now have a struggle to win a National Championship with a loss. Tennessee's season is over after a very bad outing against Florida. All is good with the world of College Football right now.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Liberal Media Bias

John McCain released an ad saying that disgraced Fannie Mae head Franklin Raines was one of Barack Obama's advisers. Both Obama and Raines deny this today. McCain used a report in the Washington Post to support this claim. See Hot Air on how the Post's own media reporter agrees with Obama, countering the reporting of his own employer. The reporter on the other hand, Jonathan Weisman, said this today in his online chat:

"Arlington, Va.: On Raines having "taken calls from Barack Obama's presidential campaign seeking his advice on mortgage and housing policy matters." That from a Washington Post profile of Franklin Raines, published on July 16, 2008. Do you know if The Post plans a correction? Or does The Post stand by its story? McCain Charges Obama with Taking Advice from Raines (, Sept. 17)

Jonathan Weisman: OK, folks, there are still a ton of questions, but we're out of time. I do want to answer this. In a sit-down interview, Frank Raines told a Post reporter the Obama campaign had called him for advice on housing. After that story came out, a followup by me appeared the next day and an editorial was published, no one called us to ask for a correction or to express any problems, not Raines, not the Obama campaign. Now that McCain is using it in an ad, suddenly, two months later, we're told the story was wrong.

Uh uh, folks, you don't get to correct stories that suddenly are inconvenient."

So who are you going to believe?

Middle School Football

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Airport Twittering

I was poking around seeing who was following my twitter and found that a bunch of airports tweet updates. Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) might be worth following if you fly anywhere in the US. They had this recent classic tweet:


Like it said if you fly through DFW you expect AA delays and cancellations.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

US Defense Industrial Base

If you don't know I also blog at about the defense industry in which I work. This article from does raise an interesting issue of relying on overseas contractors to build equipment and provide services for the US military. Since WW II Canada, Australia and British companies have pretty much been treated as if they were US. Now the US, for a variety of reasons related to industrial base, competition and fiscal strains, rely on companies from many European and South West Asian countries. Often there is only one company left in the US that can do the work, so for competition purposes a European one bids. The US economy may not be able to support the amount of work, or be poorly placed to do so. It is certainly possible to build up the US industrial base but it most likely would require US taxpayer investment, like in WW II.

Alabama Sky

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Imagine that, the Raiders beat up on a lousy team by letting Darren McFadden do what he does best. Hopefully the rumors of Lane Kiffen being fired won't happen. They can win several games this way and JaMarcus will get better. Especially if they can find some good receivers.

Oh yeah, KC just stinks.

Oil Panic in the 1920's

In "The Wages of Destruction", Tooze discusses that IG Farben invested heavily in synthetic oil production in the early 1920's as it was believed that the world was running out of oil. By the end of the decade large discoveries had been made in Texas, Venezuela and Mexico that offset the declining production in Europe and Eastern America. Sounds familiar doesn't it?

Anyway, IG Farben did OK as Hitler and his economic minions forced the coal industry to subsidize synthetic oil production as a path to war.

Alabama stomps, Auburn struggles

In one of the ugliest games of Tubberville's career Auburn won 3-2 over Mississippi State. They need to figure out an offense fast if they will compete with the SEC's big guys.

Alabama rolled all over Western Kentucy 41-7. A not unexpected win but the offensive production is good news. In recent years the offense has not put up points when they should and this year looks like they will. Almost the opposite of Auburn one would say.

Arsenal Destroys Blackburn

Since the horrific 1-0 loss to Fulham, Arsenal is 3-0 scoring 11 goals. Yesterday they made Blackburn look foolish with a 4-0 loss. With one loss they are comfortably in third one point behind Man U and Chelsea. It looks like Walcott has finally arrived as demonstrated in his English game and then further yesterday.

See The Daily Telegraph for the story.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Bad Reporting

This is a nice article about a neighborhood (of bars and restaurants)in DC that has an annual festival to get more people in. Fisher is the Post's community reporter/columnist. Unfortunately the article makes no sense. The bar owner has a beef with the organizer but it is never explained. It may have something to do with a bad investment deal that is described in great length, but is never related. I guess there will be some rework there.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sparkman High School Marching Band

From last Friday's game. Sparkman beat Decatur 23-22 in a thriller of a wet game.

Raiders Falling Apart Already

The San Francisco Chronicle asked Lane Kiffin about the lack of defensive pressure on Jake Cutler. His answer, I don't run it. Go see Rob Ryan and Al Davis. This is not an auspicious start to the season. See the blog post about this here.

Desperation is an Ugly Thing

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

My Car(s) are a guilty pleasure.

Right now I have two cars, both Mazdas. I have a 2002 Protege5 and a 2008.5 Mazdaspeed3. I have to say it is a 2008.5 as it is Metropolitan Gray, a color you can only get since January. The Protege5 is a drivers car, tight suspension lots of bottom end torque with nice handling with fat 16" tires and can go fast when needed. It has 140 hp from a 2.0 l straight four. The Mazdaspeed3 is an evolution of the P5. It has 263 hp and 270 ft-lb of torque at 3K RPM. It has even better suspension and tires then the P5. It is the fastest production front-wheel drive car in the world.

I feel guilty driving it as I can go 20-80 in about 3 seconds. Makes it easy to merge onto the highway I use to get to work. See the map below. It is amazing to go by a car doing 65 as if it was standing still. I thought the P5 was fun, but the Speed3 is so much more.

Electoral College

I have been going to this site, for a while as I like things that talk about the election at the state level. The guy who runs it has been reliably pro-Obama for the last few months. He has worked hard the last week explaining the pro-McCain/Palin bounce as really nothing, and that Obama has nothing to worry about. Today, though, with a poll showing McCain surging to a 20 point lead in North Carolina he has gone completely the other way. Obama had originally planned a 50 state strategy like Gov Dean had planned, but is now focusing on certain key flip states. In fact he had just pulled resources from Georgia to move to North Carolina. The poll probably is an outlier but as the guy, Nate Silver, says "But even if it is a big outlier -- say Obama is really down 10 points rather than 20 -- and even if it's owing in part to the convention bounce -- say Obama rebounds to 5 points behind -- is there any way in hell that it's going to be a tipping point state?"

Politics can be fun!


The offense was what I expected. The Raiders actually out rushed the Broncos, just couldn't score until the end. A little more time and things will come together. The defense though was horrible. I give Rod Ryan very little time. In fact it wouldn't surprise me if he is gone by the end of the week as Al Davis wanted to fire him during the off season.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Weird Story about N. Korea

A Japanese professor believes that Kim Il Jong has died and there is a body double posing for him. There has been a change in his appearance and habits. Why the North Koreans would do this instead of just picking a successor makes no sense to me, except maybe his sons are useless and the country cannot function without such a Dear Leader. See a report in the Times here for more.

Alabama and Auburn

Not surprisingly Alabama struggled a little against the Green Wave, or at leas the offense did. They won easily 20-6, but a letdown after last week was inevitable. They have Western Kentucky next week, not East thank God! So a 3-0 and top 10 rating seems inevitable with the way the season is going.

Auburn beat up on some no-name as well, so they are 2-0. They haven't really been tested yet and their offense is suspect until they pick a QB and stick with them.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Government Budgeting

Instapundit has a post here discussing how state and local government pension plans are underfunded. One of his readers make a point that these budgets are drawn up in an annual fashion, with no thinking about the long term. As someone who has worked with the Federal budget I cannot but agree. The US Government budgets on an annual basis with a two year projection and a five year plan. This means that every year the two and five year plan can be changed completely. It is always based on the needs of the moment. To make things worse, in DoD at least, we would move money around within the year to fix problems by robbing other programs of their funds.

I Think This Is Illegal, But For A Congressman Maybe Not

Turns out the Democrat head of the Congressional committee responsible for taxes failed to report income from a vacation property. See the New York Times here for more. I think he will probably get away with it. You and I, not so much.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Random iPhone Pictures

Things I have taken the last month with the iPhone.