February 9, 2006

Hell the name of the damn site is Meander!

Posted in Meander at 9:06 am by antonello

And that’s what I do.  I’m off to India for several weeks.  Expect limited, if any, posting, but while I’m gone, here are some things to keep in mind:

1.  The spare key is under the begonia plant.

2.  Fight the power

3.  WBC is still going to be worth it depsite every attempt of MLB to fuck it up.

4.  Songbird may very well rock but it will be serveral versions ‘fore it does

5.  W is still W

February 8, 2006

New PECOTA out / WBC

Posted in Baseball at 9:13 am by antonello

Baseball season is around the frickin’ corner.  Yeah, I know it’s been out for a couple of days.  Quit your whining.  Point is good times are ahead.

I am surprised at the apathy about the WBC.  Granted, MLB has done very little right in making this thing work.  Planning the event to happen in spring training is a mistake for several reasons, all of which have been documented elsewhere.  Players won’t be ready, and pitch counts and the “mercy rule” are terrible for games.  The timing allowed many players to step out of the tournament.

Having lived abroad for several years, I have witnessed and participated in the passion inspired by several different World Cups including soccer, rugby and cricket (guess where I lived abroad?).  Seeing the different strategies, strengths and weaknesses of different countries was always fascinating.  And it’s a chance to see Cuba play which is a rare opportunity.

I had assumed Dominican Republican and the US were going to be the last ones playing, but considering the Caribbean World Series (excellently reported on at weblog that derek built – a sample), Venezuela looks to be a top contender too.  Japan and Cuba should be interesting to watch, if nothing else.   And goddamn it South Africa is going to shock people.  By playing at all.

Baseball Art

Posted in Baseball at 9:12 am by antonello

I’m a sucker for something like this. via Futility Infielder

Orange Crate Baseball

February 3, 2006

Good headline

Posted in Comedy at 3:00 pm by antonello

NASA’s Inspector General Probed

February 2, 2006

The Revolution Will Be Played in Flash

Posted in Technology at 11:43 am by antonello

These mofos are grabbing the electronic means of production and starting the revolution in Flash!

State of the Union

Posted in Comedy, Politics, Technology at 11:02 am by antonello

First things first, got sent this video from Google Video the other day.  This is the companion to an edited speech put together by Chris Morris, British comedian and cottom smuggler.  Originally put together following the 2003 State of the Union, the piece has been sent around the last two years during State of the Union time.

The piece has had remarkable endurance.  First because of Morris’ fantastic editing job.  Second, because it rings so damn true.

More Fun from W!

Posted in Politics at 10:53 am by antonello

From Knight Ridder today:

WASHINGTON – One day after President Bush vowed to reduce America’s dependence on Middle East oil by cutting imports from there 75 percent by 2025, his energy secretary and national economic adviser said Wednesday that the president didn’t mean it literally.

What the president meant, they said in a conference call with reporters, was that alternative fuels could displace an amount of oil imports equivalent to most of what America is expected to import from the Middle East in 2025.

Basically it comes down to the fact that because oil is imported through companies, the US cannot guarantee where a particular private firm is going is going to import its oil from. Proof is the pudding. Will there be money to back up W’s energetic promises? Does money even matter? As a friend pointed out this morning:

“His whole energy policy is unmitigated bullshit. and not the kind of bullshit you can put in an anaerobic digester, break down, and harvest the methane to produce affordable electricity for america’s rural communities.”

Firefox Update

Posted in Technology at 10:44 am by antonello

1.5.0.1 came out.  This provided an opportunity to demonstrate the much improved automatic update function for firefox.  Huzzah!

February 1, 2006

State of the Union

Posted in Politics at 11:28 am by antonello

The speech was filled with Bush suggesting strong action against strawmen like “isolationists.” This was particularly apparent during the NSA section which justified unwarranted wiretapping to the prevention of 9-11. No one has seriously suggested that the government shouldn’t have the ability to tap suspected opponents. Bush took his critics on by changing the frame of the debate in a typical Rovian manner: attack critics on their perceived strengths. While some other politicians may have obfuscated on what their actions had been (e.g. I never engaged in wiretapping), Bush obfuscates on the terms by attacking his critics’ legitmacy (“I did wiretap, it is perfectly legal and within my power and it is necessary for the security of the country.” or in other words “Why do you want the terrorists to win?”) What Bush has never explained is why FISA system was not adequate to the task.
The energy / research section of the report all had laudable goals, but as is always the case with these speeches, completely unsubstantiated. Let’s see how these suggestions play out in actual policy. For an example from the past, take Bush’s promise to radically augment the aid to fight AIDS in Africa. Big promises have been mitigated in practive by limited funds and by political objections. or for that matter cutting the budget in half by 2009!

Another less than inspiring rhetorical device was the theme of “building America’s character.” It seemed like a flimsy way of fusing unlike policy iniatives.

Kaine’s response was adequate, but I had hoped for more. He did a fairly good job of demonstrating the Democratic successes on the state level. He hammered home the Democrats efficiency and competence, something which should not be lost amongst the disaster of the Medicare drug bill. Still, Kaine did not attack Republican corruption. Bush, the K Street Machine and Delay are all symptoms of endemic corporate cronyism. Kaine missed out an opportunity to contrast Democratic successes versus Republican failures, particularly at a time when these things have come under scrutiny.

It undoubtedly would have assailed as a partisan attack, but frankly when your party controls no part of the government and can’t even coordinate a policy among 41 people for a filibuster, what do you have to lose?