A locus for eccentrics (hopefully)

Monday, July 30, 2007

Odds and Ends

I've been meaning to write a longer post for a little while now, but in the meantime....

The new Interpol: A

The new Spoon: B

My new car (2004 Pontiac Vibe): B on its own merits; A- relative to its class

The US' new $20B arms deal with Saudi Arabia: F-fucking-minus. What the hell is wrong with you people? Let me get this straight -- buying weed from the unemployed drifter in the park supports terrorism (per those goddamn PSAs), but selling weapons to a government that supports terrorism does not, in itself, support terrorism?

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Sweet Maverick

The prospect of Lou Piniella being gainfully employed by Mark Cuban makes me wet with anticipation.

Nickels and Dimes

There's an episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force--which I just saw a repeat of last night--where Oglethorpe and Emory lure Shake into their spaceship (so as to replace him with a perfect copy) by promising him a movie deal. Meatwad, acting as Shake's agent, negotiates a contract for 15% gross, licensing rights and one (1) VHS copy of the movie itself.

The reason I bring that up is that I just read about the particulars of Ichiro's new deal with the Mariners. Rather than making the $17 million / year figure that was first reported, he'll be grossing $12M. What happens to the rest? Well...

  1. 5 million deferred a year, at 5.5% interest (!)
  2. $32K a year in a "housing allowance"
  3. 4 (four) first-class tickets for round trips from Japan to Seattle
  4. A personal trainer
  5. A Mercedes
... fuck the heck? Dude, you're making millions of dollars a year. Don't worry about the VHS.

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2007 Midyear Music Roundup

10. Amy Winehouse – Back To Black
09. The Clientele – God Save The Clientele
08. Elliott Smith – New Moon
07. Deerhoof – Friend Opportunity
06. Andrew Bird – Armchair Apocrypha
05. Panda Bear – Person Pitch
04. The National – Boxer
03. The Field – From Here We Go Sublime
02. The Twilight Sad – Fourteen Autumns, Fifteen Winters
01. Electrelane – No Shouts, No Calls

Basically, 2-6 are all very close, though Electrelane, yearning, pretty, and lovestruck, is far and away the standout of the year for me. Albums that might qualify for this list, but that are still on their way, are Spoon and Bishop Allen. And I really want to get Dizzee Rascal and Pharoahe Monch.

The only album I am really disappointed by is Arcade Fire's new one. I feel nothing when I listen to it.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Top things we say to our pets

1. Get down
2. Quiet
3. Shut up
4. Go away
5. That's enough
6. Did you do that?
7. You want a bone?
8. Who's here?
9. Go lay down
10. Go away. You stink.
11. Do you need your [bark control] collar?
12. Were you girls good?
13. Down.
14. Who wants treats?
15. Stop stepping on my feet
16. Did you poop on the floor?
17. Go outside
18. Get outside
19. Get out
20. You're pathetic

Friday, July 13, 2007

Nicknames for our pets

At the Tarkington household, we have five pets: Three dogs, a cat, and a desert tortoise.

They all have nicknames, based on their appearance, personality, or breath.

Sunny, our Boxer:

1. Sunners
2. Taco (because of the way she folds her body in half when she gets excited)
3. Fish Taco (because of her breath and #2)
4. Tuna (see #3 re: breath)
5. Tuna Casserole
6. Tumor Tail (because she has a cyst on her tail)
7. Gimpy
8. Cripple
9. The Retard
10 Idiot
11. Twat Face
12. Licky

Heidi, the Doberman:

1. Fatso
2. Fatty
3. Fat Ass
4. Lard-O
5. Idiot
6. Don Knotts
7. Clicky (for the sound her nails make on the floor)
8. Fart Face
9. Cow
10. Fat Cow

Maggie, the Boston Terrier:

1. Burrito
2. Little Bitch
3. Fat Burrito
4. Macho Burrito
5. Mags
6. Maggers
7. Margaret Ann O'Connell (I claim this is the name on her birth certificate)
8. Snorty
9. Miss Maggie
10. Poop Pants

Libby, our grey cat:

1. Libs
2. Libbetts
3. Libbers
4. Miss Libs

Twyla, the tortoise:

1. Twyler
2. Twyley
3. Twylers

That is all.

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Moment of Zen

6:00 PM
Fair 87°F
Felt like 99°F
Dew Point 77°F
Humidity 72%
Winds from S 15mph

I've been playing a lot of tennis recently, yesterday being the 3rd day this week. And the above stats represent the meteorological readings when we started playing. It was hot as hell. One of the hotter days I've played in. But it's kind of strange: after you sweat enough to soak your shirt, which normally takes no more than 15-30 minutes, you sort of reach a stabilized temperature and the heat seemingly disappears. I mean it's still hot, but the moisture actually makes you think that it's not going all Dante's fucking Inferno around you. Your body also just soaks in the water you drink during changeovers--it feels like it is sort of absorbed through your throat when you ingest it, and never even reaches your stomach. That is one thing I like about living down here: you can play tennis all year round outdoors. As long as you can take the brutal summer meltdowns.

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Often overlooked MS Word features that are sweet as hell

I haven't been on as much lately, so here's my re-jump-off. Some of these pointers were gleaned from the blog entry here. And some of these you probably already well know, especially if you have done a lot of academic shit.

1. Trackchanges
I never knew about this until I got into the editing biz. Trackchanges, when turned on, allows you to start at a basepoint and "track" every change that is made to a given document. Especially useful if a document is being passed around among several users. Relatedly: the insert a "comment" feature is good if you want to point out something that needs to be looked at further or something that perhaps can't be adjusted with a simple delete-and-switch.

I always thought of this button, which I affectionately refer to as "the paragraph button," as a nuisance. Actually, it is EXTREMELY important for formatting and basically making your document look good. It shows you where page breaks, line breaks, section breaks, extra spaces, and other annoying shit that clutter up your document are located. It may take some time to get used to, but use this on your resume/CV if it looks funky and you just can't get it to format like you want it to.

3. Find
Y'all probably know about this shit, but it can be incredibly useful if you want to, say, remove all double spacing after periods in a document and replace them with single spaces. Just Ctrl + F, then tab to "replace," and voila!

4. Highlighter
Cool to flag stuff with. You can put this one in your toolbar. I also like to put my superscript/subscript buttons in my top toolbar. Don't make fun of me for talking about my toolbar.

5. Undo
You probably know about this too. But it's nice to make a change and then quickly revert, especially if you are in trackchanges mode, so that it doesn't look like anything was changed at all.

6. Tools > Autocorrect
Go to this menu and you can turn off the smart quotes, replacing them with straight quotes. I have dealt with this before and never could figure the fucking thing out. Also, you can turn off all auto-hyperlinking in this menu.

7. Header and Footer stuff
One other thing is that in the Header and Footer menu, which you get to via the "View" tab, you can choose to a) not have any header/footer on the first page of a section; and b) create different odd and even headers. Also, it is easier (in my opinion) to manage pagination via the "insert page numbers" command up top. From here, you can choose to not have a page number on the first page, start numbering at whatever number you choose (say you are working on chapter 2 and it doesn't start on page 1), and other stuff.

8. Tables and Borders
The other function I really like is the pop-out tables and borders tab. You can position your text within the cells, merge cells (important!), make lines thick/thin/dotted... Good stuff.

9. Bonus: Small Caps.
The coolest of the cool fonts. Go to Format > Font and click the "small caps" field.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Greetings and a Postmortem

I just want to kick things off by thanking Jefe for his gracious invitation to join this group, an invitation I have been heavily (shamelessly?) lobbying for. Thanks very much, and I am really excited to be here.

I'm still reeling from the Wimbledon final. It was as awesome as I had hoped. Nadal's testicular fortitude was on full display, while Federer's play, while stellar, was somewhat undermined by uncharacteristic mental lapses and bitching about the linecalls. At one point I think I heard him utter an obscenity, which was shocking. The little Spaniard is clearly in his head. Nadal was constantly stunning me with groundstrokes he seemed to be pulling out of his ass. Even though Federer manged to gut it out in the end, this is as close to rattled as I have seen him in 4 years.

You can't help but pull for Nadal. He's flashy and exciting and seems to go for broke on virtually every shot. He may lack Federer's grace, but his skills are unbelievable. I can't wait till they play again.

And finally, this little tidbit, courtesy of the BBC:

"Former French tennis star Guy Forget made the case today against sleeveless shirts by taking a swipe at Rafael Nadal: 'We don't need construction worker arms in tennis.' "

Well. Zing. I guess.

I received this fresh e-mail recently, and I ordered this patch. The bad part is that I'm also trying to quit smoking, and when you mix up those patches, brutha, makes for an embarrassing visit to the dentist's office.

With Penis Enlarge Patch you don't have to put a sock in your pants to create
the image of a bulge.


Don’t say never, enlarge your dick forever. Do that with Penis Enlarge Patch.

Last night I dreamt a new performance concept. Instead of performing plays on a stage in a theatre, the actors would be on the streets and buildings in a small town.

During the dream, I thought this to be a brilliant and postmodern concept: audience members would feel as though they are part of the action.

Upon waking, I realized the impracticality of it: In order to see the whole show, passersby would have to follow the actors as they moved from location to location, and then you’ve got the whole problem of people calling the police, not knowing the domestic argument they are witnessing is actually a pivotal scene in Act II.

Friday, July 06, 2007

The Thinking Man

Shopping for a new (used) car has been a real eye-opener.

For example, I would love to meet the person who, when purchasing a Ford Focus hatchback new, decided that they would spring for heated seats and a 6-disc CD changer but not anti-lock brakes.

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