Tuesday, September 30, 2003

"Barry, Mr. Eisner is on Line 2"

Glenn has a touch choice:

"CNN called to ask if I'd debate [the media and Iraq] on Paula Zahn's show tonight, but I suggested that they call Jeff Jarvis or Jay Rosen instead. I haven't heard back, so I guess one or the other will be on (8:30 ET, I think), no doubt doing a better job than I would have.
Instadaddy's dropping names so fast they're shattering on the floor and making a mess on the carpet. How many people turn down a chance to offer commentary on CNN? Heck, I'd appear in a panel on the expanding habitat needs of New Zealand aardvarks if they asked me....

R-i-i-i-i-i-n-g

Oh, wait, I've got a call...

"Hello? Oh, hi, Mr. Irwin. How're things down under?--"

(I'll finish this up later...)

Would You Rather....

(Carried over from Master of None)

1. ... have super strength, or super speed?

2. ... be able to read minds, or be the greatest orator to have ever lived?

3. ... be a vampire or a werewolf?

4. ... give up the internet, or give up solid foods?

My answers are in the comments....

Thursday, September 25, 2003

Exuberance

Today GiggleGirl is four years old.

And from the moment we first saw her this morning, she never stopped letting us know...

"I'm four years old! I'm four years old! I-i-i-i-i-i-i'm FOUR YEARS OLD!!! Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me...."

Happy Birthday, darling :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Walking

Light blogging until next Monday.

I'm going on an Emmaus Walk starting Thursday around 6, and I'll be back Sunday night.

Basically, the Emmaus Walk - and Donald Sensing could probably explain it better than I can, since I've never done it before - is a:

'...spiritual renewal program intended to strengthen the local church through the development of Christian disciples and leaders. The program's approach seriously considers the model of Christ's servanthood and encourages Christ's disciples to act in ways appropriate to being "a servant of all."'
I've talked to several people in my church who have been, and for them it was a life-changing experience.

Several men, praying, witnessing, and learning how to walk closer with God. I may be a different person when I return - I hope so. I plan to write about it, if I can find the words.

Anyway, those of you who are inclined to please pray for me - the rest, think of me fondly as I miss the Florida game. Pull the Vols through!

See you Monday.

P.S. It's quite possible that sometime this weekend someone will become the 10,000th visitor to Inn of the Last Home. To that person, and all the others who've visited since I started in January, I thank you.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Monday, September 15, 2003

Build-A-Story

I've always loved those one-line-at-a-time community stories. Anyway, here's one at Book Blog that myself and Queen Medb have participated in.

Take a look, and add a line!

Our Litigious Nation

Abourezk Sues Over ‘Traitor’ List

Apparently a former Senator is suing a website for calling him a traitor. The lawsuit is not expected to survive.

However, if it did there would be one positive thing. All Democrats could join in a class-action suit and sue Ann Coulter.

P.S.: Haven't heard much about ol' Ann in the last few weeks. Have her 15 minutes finally passed? Does anyone - conservative, liberal, libertarian, Ferengi... -- consider her a respectable representative of conservative ideals and values?

Google Referrals

Google Referrals

I've been getting quite a few hits lately from folks looking for "Cancun naked photo" or "WTO naked photo". Apparently bits and pieces of this post are being referenced.

Well, if I had one I wouldn't post it, but you're welcome to look around!

Oh, yeah, just to keep pulling in that Google traffic, here are some more topics I might be writing about, somewhere....

J-Lo and Ben Affleck

Jamal Lewis

Beagle

Bassett Hounds

Al Franken (may be a little late on this one)


Some more recent Google referral phrases of interest:

"women clotheses photo" (apparently Gollum is now blogging)

"oakland raider governor" (they'll let anyone run in CA)

"what da heck is a visionary philosopher" (don't ask me)

"drunk bunker t.shirt site online in store" (again, don't ask me)

UPDATE: AlphaPatriot speaks on the same subject. What's the subject? Googling for Boobs.

Friday, September 12, 2003

Forgot? Forgot???

Yesterday Instapundit (nlr) posted a picture of one of the folks falling out of one of the WTC windows. He later removed it due to bandwidth restrictions. One of his readers was glad he posted it (although some have disagreed, due to its graphic nature), and said:

"You were exactly right to post the photo. I'm afraid that too many people have forgotten the horror of that day.
I don't understand this. Who does he actually think has forgotten the horror?

I know he's actually talking about forgetting the significance of the event, not the event itself, but really.... I read things all over yesterday, and have seen numerous similar laments - "People've forgotten what happened!" "You can't just move on", etc.

I don't care what side you're on, if you're far left, far right, Democrat, Republican, northerner, southerner, LA or NYC, pro-war or anti-war, there's not a single American - at home or abroad - who has "forgotten the horror of that day".

To suggest that is to demean all Americans' sense of honor and justice. We've lived with the horror for 731 days now, and will keep living with it - every day - for years.

What....what posts, what articles, who did you talk to that has "forgotten the horror of that day"???

People deal with grief in different ways. Some confront it head on, others retreat. Some post long remembrances, others remember quietly. Some try to think happy thoughts, like kids...family...home. Some are simply thankful for what they had. Some post Happy Birthday messages to far-away brothers. Some post pictures, both before and after. Some air grievances. Some cry...

But we never forgot. And none of us - none of us - ever will.

Update on a Long-ago Topic

Remember the Underground Church simulation being run by Forest Hills Baptist Church? And the lawsuit filed against the church accusing them of terrorist-like activities?

The website Youth Specialties had removed their page describing the event -- apparently either to avoid legal troubles or angry bloggers, whichever is worse - but anyhow, it's back up.

Whatever happened to the lawsuit?

Thursday, September 11, 2003

More Drive-time Conversations

Me: It sure is nice outside.

GiggleGirl: Is it still summer?

Me: Yes. Well, technically it's still summer. But it'll be fall soon.

GiggleGirl: No, it's not fall.

Me: Why not?

GiggleGirl: What?

Me: Why isn't it fall yet?

GiggleGirl: Because it's Wednesday. (duh!)

Me: Okay.



Well, that explains it...

My Ubiquitous 9/11 Post

Since it's apparently required that all bloggers do a 9/11 remembrance post, here's mine.

My little brother Roger was born 9/11/71, and is celebrating his 32nd birthday today. He turned 30 two years ago.

Sometimes he reads my blog, so if you see this Rog - Happy birthday, bro. We miss you and I want nephews and neices sometime before I turn 40. Keep strumming!

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

A Reason to Go On



I'm back!
Is Clinton still president?

Al Franken on the Daily Show last night

I've died and gone to heaven :)

He is funny. And I almost daily forget how funny Jon Stewart is.

The best part of the interview was Franken's prediction of the campaign commercial that the Democrat nominee for president should make using Bush's aircraft carrier-landing footage. Let's just say it also included Bush being AWOL from the National Guard, John Kerry in Vietnam, and...a pirate.

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Stripping for Anti-Globalization

Naked activists protest WTO meeting

"CANCUN, Mexico (AP) -- Activists marched in the streets and stripped on the beaches in an attempt to derail a meeting of the World Trade Organization, at which representatives of 146 countries will try to increase global commerce without throwing millions out of work.

[...]

In one of the first protests Monday, 29 activists stripped off their clothes on a public beach and spelled out "No WTO" in the sand with their bodies. "
First of all, this is different from a typical day in Cancun....how?

Second, where exactly in the act stripping and spelling out an slogan on the beach does it contain persuasion abilities? I can understand that protesting and marching can disrupt proceedings, and of course violence causes its own problems, but....stripping??

Let's take a look into the crystal ball....Calling Mexico....come in, Mexico...

Doodly doodly doodly doodly (shimmer effect)

Pierre: Abdul! What are zhose people doing on zat beach down there??

Abdul: Hm, this is do not know - can you tell, Helmut?

Helmut: Vat is los? Dey zeem to be shtripping out of der clotheses! Dey ish all naked down dere! Vere is der camera??

Earl: Here, Helmut - take mahn! Hit's one of them thar fancy models....kin you see anythin'? Hey, José - move outta the way, ding-dang it!

José: Mi amigos - please, we moost sign the documents, quickly! Before they do something else even more ra---hey, look at that senôrita over there! (signs document in the wrong place, obscuring the wording)

Sven: Ya! Look out, José! You're smearing da ink! Here, let me try (Begins signing the document, but soon trails off the page onto the table) Oh, my....take a look at those!!!

(Pages take document away, later it is discovered they actually signed a hastily-switched treaty document that promises the immediate abolishing of all national borders. Chaos ensues, and the world infrastructure crumbles as we know it.)


Doodly doodly doodly doodly (shimmer effect)

Whew....I hope that never happens....

Finally....why do these things never happen in Knoxville? Oh yeah - it's called Fraternity and Sorority rush at UT.

Target="_blank"

This is a plea to all bloggers.

When writing a post that includes a link - whether it's to another blogsite, an online article, a graphic or anything else - please consider opening another browser window for the new page. Roughly half of the blogs I visit do this already - Thank You! - but the other half who don't make it difficult to return back to their site.

Here's how I read articles that are heavily linked, or rather how I read them if they're well-linked. As I read, if there's a link I want to click on I'll click it, ALT-TAB back to the original page while it's loading and continue reading. When the page loads, I'll ALT-TAB back to it, read the article or post as necessary or maybe save it for a while. I'll go back to the original page again, continue reading, opening links as they come. When external links open new windows, it eliminates the possibility of getting lost on another site. Many times I've finished an article that was linked from another site, close the window and realize I just closed the Blog I was reading that linked to it. Sometimes I'll go back, sometimes I won't but it's a pain to return once the window's closed.

It's easy to do - I don't know if Movable Type or other online services has automatic linking, but if they do just choose to open links in a new window. For Blogspot and those doing straight HTML, simply add the phrase target="_blank" to your <a href=""> tag. This will cause a new window to open whenever the link is clicked on.

Thanks for your time and attention.

Monday, September 08, 2003

Downtown Snobbery

On Sunday the entire Perspective section of the Knoxville News Sentinel was taken over by a piece on what the future Mayor of Knoxville should know about our town. Scott Baker has put together what is actually an interesting profile of my hometown, and how different the attitudes are between residents of different areas of the city. I haven't had a chance to read the whole thing yet (church and NFL wait for no man) so haven't gotten to the East and South Knoxville sections yet, but I will and probably will comment on them later.

However, the Downtown and West Knoxville sections deserve commentary. I'll start with Downtown first - you can read the whole thing online here.

[Disclaimer: I grew up in Fountain City, which is the northern-most suburb of Knoxville while still in the city limits. I lived on the UT campus for three years, and since then have lived in West Knoxville and West Knox County. I currently live outside the city limits - barely - so have no vote in the upcoming election, but still consider myself a life-long Knoxvillian.]

'At lunchtime on a steamy summer day, John Griggs ambles along the Market Street sidewalk, past rumbling machinery that drowns out the street preachers, on his way back to the Miller's Building, where he works as a sales manager for ImagePoint.

"I think this will be a beautiful addition when it's finished," Griggs says of the square's facelift. "A vibrant downtown is what makes major cities attractive."'
Here's a common misconception. Sure, a downtown area is probably most visible to tourists, but it's not necessarily what makes a city attractive to perspective residents. It's a component, but not the only thing.

'Perched on a tall chair just inside the entrance of the Tomato Head restaurant, Anne Thomas-Abbott, a high school teacher who lives in South Knoxville, says the mayor must develop plans "to accommodate a growing population without creating a whole city like West Knoxville."'
And now the first major bit of downtown snobbery. I put up with this for a year or so on K2K until I had to stop participating. There's a stereotype among hard-core Downtowners that anything beyong Sequoya Hills on Kingston Pike is an endless series of strip malls, concrete, and soulless subdivisions full of zombies and Republicans (not necessarily mutually exclusive). While this can be argued in the abstract, the reality is that there are many open spaces, parks, restaurants, theatres and good people that Knoxville should be proud of. A "whole city like West Knoxville" is not a detriment in the way she means it. And this means a lot, coming from a native Fountain Citian who never even travelled any farther west than West Town Mall until after High School.

'"But progress shouldn't come at the expense of historic preservation, cautions Ed Smith, the owner of Knoxville Recycling Co.

"The flavor of our community is our heritage," Smith says. "People don't come here to see new buildings. We need to be very careful what we allow to be destroyed."'
I'm not sure what this is supposed to mean. People only come to Knoxville to see, what, Blount Mansion? The Bakers/Peters house? My great-aunt's old privy? Sure, it's important to preserve what needs to be preserved - places with real history, relevance and architectural distinctiveness. Old Knoxville High has been preserved, as has the old Courthouse and both are still in use when they could have been torn down long ago. However, saving buildings just because they're old is foolish. The Smith/Allen house at Cherokee Country Club is one example - sure, it's a pretty home but it has no particular history behind it other than to certain long-time Knoxville families - but the truth of the matter is they don't own it anymore, and it's in the way of a business' expansion. The same goes for the old building downtown that has longed housed "Pete's" restaurant (who has subsequently vacated, IIRC). It was built by a freed slave a century ago, but that seems to be its only claim to cultural fame and definitely does not have a pleasing architectural style. And it's not what people come to Knoxville to see.

'But a parking shortage, not shoplifters, is what vexes Yee-Haw co-owner Kevin Bradley.

"It's a terrible problem," Bradley says. The shop, which has clients all over the country, couldn't survive by relying on downtown shoppers, says Bradley's partner, Julie Belcher.'
This is absolutely true. I've had to visit downtown a couple times recently for business, and had to drive around and search for parking each time. I don't always have cash or change with me, so it's not always convenient to feed a meter or pay a lot attendent (when you can find an empty one). I don't know what might solve this problem, but I don't agree with those who think bikes and public transportation are the silver bullet keys to easy downtown access.

'"They need to clear out some of the homeless people who scare young women," she says. "I had a guy growl at me this morning."

Downtown residents tend to downplay the safety issue. For example, [Old City business owner Scott] West says that homeless people wouldn't stand out if more visitors crowded the sidewalks."'
This is the quote that almost made me fall out of my chair. Assuming the homeless people will just fade into the background if there are more people downtown is asinine, and an insult to the homeless. The comment would have made more sense if it were concerning rats than the homeless, but apparently he thinks they're fairly equivilant.

And even the analogy's wrong. More people would mean more homeless, and still more people would mean still more homeless. That's not the way to deal with the problem.

On one of those downtown visits last summer I had the occasion to drop my son off at the Y, then had a chance to get some breakfast. I thought about sitting in Market Square to eat, but the overwhelming number of menacing homeless people that apparently live there made me think twice. I ended up eating in my car.

I don't share other peoples' romantic views of the homeless, noble humans who have retreated from every day society. Neither do I consider them rats to be covered up by the rest of humanity. That is one problem I hope the next mayor finds a way to deal with fairly, humanely, and with the dignity all humans deserve.

Next: West Knoxville

Sunday, September 07, 2003

Exorcist Wanted. Inquire Within

I came back from the Oak Ridge Playhouse's 60th Anniversary Gala last night, nudged my PC's mouse, and discovered my monitor has been taken over my demons.

All I can see is a dim, glow with barely legible words, and horizontal streaks across the screen like an old RCA with bad reception.

I tried reinstalling the driver, no help. I switched out with my son's monitor, and same thing on his. Apparently something must be hosed with the graphics card (gack!) because I've ruled out cables and the monitor itself.

So anyway, please forgive any mispellings - I can hardly see what I'm typing - and if anyone knows a PC witch doctor who makes house calls, please let me know.

Thursday, September 04, 2003

Artsy Pictures of the Dog and Kids

The title pretty much says it all, really.

Click on a picture below for larger version...
Ramona, age 12 weeks
Ramona, age 12 weeks
Ramona, age 12 weeks
Ramona, age 12 weeks
GiggleGirl and Ramona
GiggleGirl and Ramona
BrainyBoy (v7.6) and Ramona
BrainyBoy (v7.6) and Ramona

IQ Test

I took the Emode IQ test that Mike Hollihan (welcome back, Mike!) and AlphaPatriot have blogged about.

The results:

Your IQ score is 136

This number is the result of a formula based on how many questions you answered correctly on Emode's Ultimate IQ test. Your IQ score is scientifically accurate; to read more about the science behind our IQ test, click here.

During the test, you answered four different types of questions — mathematical, visual-spatial, linguistic and logical. We analyzed how you did on each of those questions which reveals how your brain uniquely works.

We also compared your answers with others who have taken the test. According to the sorts of questions you got correct, we can tell your Intellectual Type is a Visionary Philosopher.

This means you are highly intelligent and have a powerful mix of skills and insight that can be applied in a variety of different ways. Like Plato, your exceptional math and verbal skills make you very adept at explaining things to others — and at anticipating and predicting patterns. And that's just some of what we know about you from your IQ results.


I remember taking an IQ test when I was in elementary school. I sneaked a peek at the answers when the teacher was out of the room...my number was close to this one.

I also remember seeing the scores of a couple of the other kids in the class - especially a couple of the "slower" ones. One was a 50, and the other just a "--". I didn't know exactly what that meant then, and I wonder what they're doing today....

Ok....your turn!

Madeline Rogero's TV Spot

Somehow, inexplicably, some kids got into the TV studio last night and aired a bogus campaign ad for Knoxville Mayoral candidate Madeline Rogero.

Apparently these ne'er-do-wells put together a video of dubious quality, and ruthlessly satirized the Rogero campaign. The amateurish clips supposedly recreated a "dream sequence" in which Rogero finds herself in Bill Haslam's place (the other candidate for mayor) and she now has the money, family support, and name recognition to run a winning campaign.

The end of the spot showed an unidentified woman sitting up in bed, crying that it was "only a dream!".

It's unknown which juvenile delinquents commandeered the TV spot, but hopefully the fake ad has been replaced by a real one - this time with good quality, discussion of the issues, and featuring the real reasons to vote for her for Mayor.

I sincerely trust these rugrats are severe--- wait a sec...

What's that?

That was the real ad???

Ok, now you're just talking crazy talk. There's no way that ad was actually supposed to air....is there?

Oh, my.....

Volunteer Tailgate Party - Vol. X

Thomas at Newsrack has the latest Volunteer Tailgate Party, a bi-weekly compilation of the best and brightest blatherings of the Rocky Top Brigade.

Thomas has deftly devised a delicious dinner of delectable dishes from the devilishly devious denizens of the RTB.

Dig In!

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Americans being Americans

Three Stories

Jeff, the filmmaker blogging as "Sofia Sideshow" from Bulgaria writes of how Americans are perceived by some Eastern Europeans:

"You are a humane people, you know that?"

I do something 'humane,' and burst out laughing.

"What???" I emphasized the extra question marks.

"What I said. You are a humane people. Nobody would do this here."

"...oh somebody..."

"No, Jeff, nobody. You don't have to help me, but you do anyway. You offer to help."

I shrug. She continues.

"You can see it all the time in your country." She started getting self-conscious. "You are humane people, that's all."

"It's...nothing," is all I can say.

She didn't seem to think so."
Read all three stories.

*Shrug* It's just the way we are....

Volunteer Tailgate Party Schedule

I've been meaning to post this for a while now...

If you want to know who's scheduled to host the Volunteer Tailgate Party, go to this link:

http://calendar.yahoo.com/innofthelasthomeinsolace

I've got every date booked through the middle of October. If you want to host one past then, take a look at the dates (every second Thursday) and email me to reserve your spot.

This week it's Thomas at Newsrack - get your cards and letters in to him by this afternoon!

Oh, no, please...continue hitting me on the head with a hammer. Thank you.

Is it just me, or...
  • Why do so many blogs and other internet sites feel the need to once again reply and rehash and dig up all the 9/11 stories they can? We all lived through that horrible day, and have lived through the weeks and months of anxiety, depression, and fear that it has caused since then. The images and feelings will never leave my mind, and I'm sure thousands of other Americans. So why do we have to bring all that back up again on the second anniversary?

    I don't mean not have tributes, and memorial services and all that. I'm talking about republishing and rereading all those eyewitness accounts, all those first-hand stories and observances don't serve any purpose to me but as a constant punch in the gut, over and over and over again.

    When a loved one dies, on the anniversary of their deaths it is customary to remember the day - maybe lay flowers at their grave, or talk about the good times with friends and relatives. Would it be considered healthy and normal to talk again and again about the details of the terrible car crash that took their lives? Or the days and weeks they spent wasting away in a nursing home or ICU Ward? No, I don't think so.

    But that's how America, and by extension the blogosphere seems to be dealing with the upcoming second anniversary. Not commemorating the dead, but reviving them - just to watch them die again, over and over and over....

    Once was enough for me, thank you.



  • Am I the only one who doesn't give a flea-flicker flying fish who's going to be the next governor of California? Yes, it's a large, populous and important state. Yes, it could set a precedent for how our leaders are elected and recalled for years to come. Yes, there's a lot at stake.

    But does it have to be in our face every moment of every day, especially all the way across the country in East Tennessee?

    Ok, famous actor running for office - check. Interesting, but not really worthy of constant news coverage. But I have no interest in the activist wife of a former Senator, the Lt. Governor who may have racist ties, nor any of the rest of the faded actors/comedians/porn stars that are "running" for office. It's a side show, and if I want to see a side show I'll go to the TVA&I Fair next week.

    Well, one thing going for it - the more coverage of this means less 9/11 anniversary coverage and no new terrorist threats. It's sort of like wishing for the heady days of Jonbenet Ramsey, OJ Simpson and Gary Condit coverage....

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

Scooped Again

Library cafe hint of what's to come More (Knoxville News Sentinel: September 2, 2003)

"Programs at the Knox County Library system are perking under the leadership of new director L.J. 'Larry' Frank."
A Curious Man - County's new library director is 'a seeker' (Metropulse: August 28, 2003)

Larry Frank is easy to pick out of a lunchtime crowd at the Tomato Head, a diminutive man in a dark suit and tie, small horizontal-frame glasses, a huge blown-back mane of shoulder-length dark hair and luxuriant mustache, graying just at the edges."
Looks like Jack Neely and the 'Pulse scooped the Sentinel again, this time with its feature on new Knox County Library director Larry Frank.

And I won't comment on the Sentinel leaving an extraneous word in the title of their web article.

Free Advice

Every once in a while, if you live in a house, check your gutters.

Even if you have gutter guards, check your gutters.

I didn't, and spent the better part of yesterday cleaning out several years' worth of accumulated leaves, seeds, shingle leavings, and other things best left unmentioned. The thing is, after a while some of the guards will collapse under the weight of water and whatever, leaving an opening.

Plus we had - at last count - three little trees growing up through the guards. They were cute, till I ripped them out.

Hah. Defy me, will you?