Saturday, May 17, 2003

Challenge from Throwing Things

Those of you who are coming over from Throwing Things regarding my bet with Adam that Ruben, not Clay, will win American Idol, I should have my response up by mid-morning Pacific Time Sunday.

UPDATE: Terribly sorry, but I forgot that I have a Christening to attend to this afternoon. Catholic though I am, Greek Orthodox services just kick Western Rite's Ass when it comes to ceremony. Hopefully my response will be up later today.

I will, however, start with this point: Adam claims that Clay can't lose because he's white and the competition's black. Its not a racial thing as Adam himself once pointed out when he himself argued that Frenchie Davis would have won this thing in a walk. And I can't help but agree. Frenchie Davis would have played all comers like Walter Mondale to her Ronald Reagan (and I mean to include Reagan’s shameful phone sex experience).
Cheap Giants Tickets for Tomorrow

Any of my loyal or semi-loyal readers looking for some very cheap (but good) Giants tickets for tomorrow v the Mets? Upper Deck, Sec 311, Row 10. Fire me an email and let's talk.

Kevin Drum's got a post up about how our supposedly keystone-cop corps of propagandists over in Iraq have chosen an eight-pointed star as a symbol of our new TV station. He notes -- as a New York Post report claims -- that this eight-pointed star which was "seen on many buildings" around Iraq was, supposedly, the (at least a) symbol of the Baath Party. And if we'd just done the most basic research, we wouldn't commited some grave faux pas.

This sort of error -- and I think Kevin acknowledges this -- strikes me as simply too cute to be true. But it's possible.

I am trying -- and so far failing -- to navigating the Baath Party website -- I speak no Arabic and the English link doesn't seem to work and even if my German were any better than really, really bad there's no German link to help me out. And I can't find any 8-pointed stars there that would obviously be Baathist.

But if this is the case, that the eight-pointed star is indeed an obviously Baathist symbol that easy consulting with the locals would have avoided, I'd love to have someone explain why the 1959-1963 Iraqi regime (post-Monarchy, but pre-Baathist) used a flag with an eight-pointed star, but the Baathist regime - switching to Pan-Arab colors - went to a flag sporting five-pointed stars, the one with which we are more familiar (the Arab writing for "Allah Akhbar" was added only during the Gulf War).

It strikes me as odd that Saddam would have allowed anything anti-Baathist to stick around, but as many folks, especially those critical of the President on the war are fond of pointing out, Saddam Hussein at least kept all those important works of Iraqi history in one place and in good shape. So before I chalk one up for administrative dunderheadedness, I'd at least like to know that there's not some independent meaning of the 8-pointed star adopted by the regime which preceed the Baathists.
California Politics
Boxer Challenger Bows Out

Rep. Doug Ose, a Republican elected from the Sacramento Valley, has declined to challenge Barbara Boxer for her Senate seat when it comes up next year. Ose, who had been considered a strong contender as he could both raise money and considerably out-poll Republican registration, has also declined to run for a fourth term in the House, citing his three-term pledge.

The nerve of the guy, actually living up to his campaign promises.

Former Attorney General Dan Lundgren is planning on moving into Ose's district to run for the now-open House seat.
Just something to annoy the senses.

Oliver Stone has called Fidel Castro, well, "one of Earth's wisest people."

Friday, May 16, 2003

Ba'athist Deck - Available at Walgreen's

Cool. The playing cards depicting Iraq's most wanted is now available at Walgreen's.
Spaceflight Pioneer calls for the end of the Shuttle

Max Faget, who was the primary designer of the Mercury capsule and had his hand in the design of every manned spacecraft the United States has ever used, has called for the end of the shuttle program (LA Times, Registration Required).

"We ought to get a decent vehicle," he said. "It could carry fewer people, but it ought to be a new vehicle."

The tide's turning. Maybe we can get this albatross of our back.


I don't have a FAQ about whisky (or whiskey for that matter) up yet. But that's because folks don't email me with enough questions. While I am not an expert, I am an enthusiast and I'd be happy to share my knowledge about single malt whisky if it will help you enjoy this sweet nectar. Want a good starter bottle, but you didn't that dram you picked out while trying to look cool at your local watering hole? Enjoy a particular bottle, but would like to try something a bit different? Hoping to buy a bottle as a gift? Ask me the question, bridgekeeper, I am not afraid.

N.B.: I may use your question as a teaching tool. If you'd like me not to use your name, please let me know in your email.

Whisky Survey # 4 : Ready for the Whiskey Rebellion : Kim du Toit

Most people in the blogosphere know Kim du Toit for his love of three things: his family, his firearms, and his country. I did not know – but was not surprised – that a man like Kim, with his priorities straight, also enjoys a good single malt whisky.

I must confess a certain fondness for the man – not only do I like his site, chock full of muzzle velocities and stopping power and commentary on elephant guns – but, most importantly, Kim is that most special breed of American – a new recruit. I’m N-th generation American. I was lucky enough to be born here. Kim, on the other hand, took a good look around and decided this is where he wanted to be – and he doesn’t forget his good fortune. Say what you will of his politics (and if I do have a complaint, I’ll be sure to make it from my currently safe distance of 1800 miles), his evident love of country is something more of us “real” Americans ought to have. And I, for one, am glad to have him on my side. And if you don’t want him on your side, take a look those paper targets even from so-called “bad” days at the range.... and think again.

If you haven’t checked out his site, you should. His knowledge of firearms is utterly encylopedic, with both strong commentary and objective background on guns he likes... and those guns he doesn’t care for. Mostly, I didn’t realize how much someone could actually know about guns until I first came across Kim du Toit. And if I can someday know half as much about whisky as he knows about, say, an H&K VP70Z*, I’ll have served my audience well.

Kim was kind enough to answer the Whiskey Blogger’s Questionaire.

* * *

What is your favorite bottle of single malt whisky?

Probably Aberlour

What bottles of whisky do you have open at home right now?

Glenmorangie (10 year), the Macallan (25 year) and the Bavlenie (12 year) [I assume Kim means the 12-year Doublewood, not their 10-year old standard bottle. I’ve emailed him to check up on this point. Either is tasty].

What other whiskies do you like?

Blended – J&B; Bourbon – Knob Creek, Jack Daniels; Ryes – none.

How do you take your whiskey?

Single malts and Knob Creek – neat, with a glass of ice water on the side; J&B – weak, with lots of water and ice; Jack Daniels – with ice and Coke.

How were you introduced to single malt whisky?

By so-called “friends” back in South Africa and later on by a fiedish barman in downtown Chicago.

* * *

Now Kim has three excellent bottles of whisky there on his shelf (these are all Highland malts and while each is good, if you are looking for something with a bit more taste of the peat or that salty air or even a bit of sting, you’ll need to look a bit further). But I can’t say enough good things about Glenmorangie -- the 10-year you should be able to pick up for around $25-$30 at a discount bottle shop – although I try. It's light, sweet and a little bit thick on the tongue. It doesn't run away from you like some single malts, so you can enjoy that long, lingering taste after each and every sip.

The Balvenie 12-year Doublewood is another of the “wood finished” styles of single malt – where a whisky, to give it a hint of a secondary flavor – are first aged in one barrel for most of its maturation (in this case 12 years) and then moved over to another barrel, in this case a Oloroso sherry cask, to give it 6 or 12 months to give it a hint of something else. If you’d like to know a bit more about wood finishes, I’ve discussed them previously here. Balvenie -- all Balvenie, really, is a bit sweeter than most. I haven't priced Balvenie lately, but I'm guessing that you might have to lay down around $40 or $45 for the Doublewood, $35-$38 for the regular 10 year.

The Macallan 25 year is pretty much liquid crack – and one of the best things I’ve let slip across my palate. I'll do this one justice in another review, but while it may be one of the best scotches on the planet, even if you can afford the non-negligible price of admission, you might consider working on your palate before you get there. Not that you won't enjoy it -- immensely -- but that you'll have one less thing to look forward to down the road.

* Kim, if it’s wrong to like the VP70Z, forgive me. I know you aren’t a big fan of 9mm anyway and the VP70Z is hyper-stylzed – but it was the first handgun I ever fired and I still have a bit of a crush on it.
Laser Conspiracies

Little Green Footballs notes some conspiracists at Indymedia who can't let the Columbia rest in peace, claiming that the US may have shot down the Columbia for reasons unknown.

It is worth a note, however, that there was a laser incident involving the space shuttle Challenger on October 10, 1984. The Soviets, apparently miffed that we were pressing ahead with SDI, fired a low power laser at the Challenger, causing certain systems failures and temporary blindness among certain members of the crew.

You can read all about it at Astronautix.

Thursday, May 15, 2003

Whisky Survey # 3 - Repent, Heathen! : South Knox Bubba

From Knoxville, Tennessee, the Haight-Ashbury of the Blogosphere (which, I think, makes Instapundit its S. I. “Sleepy Sam” Hayakawa (well, except for the sleepy part)), I was able to get Rocky Top Brigade ringleader and all around good guy South Knox Bubba to answer the Whiskey Blogger’s Questionaire.

SK Bubba is, without doubt, my favorite Democrat blogger out there and, likewise, is one of the most articulate critics of President Bush working the blogosphere today. No paranoia, no belief that the President has managed to emulsify omnipotence, omnimalevolence and incompetance into a new, creamy blend of emerging fascism. He just asks tough questions that everyone who wants to reelect President Bush (N.B.: he doesn’t) need to carefully consider.

SK Bubba is a bit more of a bourbon drinker (and being from Tennessee, why not?) but in an effort to fulfill the Rocky Top Brigade manifesto – the search for Truth, Justice and a Good Bottle of Single Malt Scotch for around twenty dollars – I’ve introduced him to a couple of interesting bottles of single malt which I believe fit the bill. He’s been a long-time booster of Pathetic Earthlings and I’m delighted to present his response.

What is your favorite bottle of single malt whiskey?

The Glenlivet (12 yr. old)

What bottles of whiskey do you have open at home right now?

Woodford Reserve [A Kentucky bourbon, and a damned fine one]

How do you take your whiskey?

On the rocks (I know, blasphemy!)

What other whiskies (bourbon, rye, blended) do you enjoy?

Woodford Reserve, Maker's Mark, Tullamore Dew, W.L. Weller Special Reserve

How were you introduced to single malt?

Honestly, I don't remember. I just remember not liking Chevis or Johnny Walker too much, and someone mentioning Glenlivet.

And, finally, what are your preferred circumstances for enjoying a dram? (alone, with friends, after dinner, what have you)?

Before dinner, on the deck with Mrs. Bubba watching birds at the feeders or chipping a few golf balls and watching pupster chase them. Sometimes she even brings them back.


I’m going to get back to some single-bottle reviews here pretty soon, and I ought to hit up a couple of the classics, so I may do Glenlivet soon enough. As an all-arounder, it’s a solid single and can form a backbone of any good whiskey shelf (not that you can’t design a good one based on any of your favorite malts – ask me how, if you like).

I do, however caution against using ice with a single malt. If you find a malt is a tad too harsh, add water, not ice. You want to thin the flavors, not suppress them, and cold can really collapse what you’ve got. Water will smooth things about. Of course, if you find you enjoy it over ice, drink it just so. It’s just whisky. But please don’t assume that ice is the only way to hatbox the flavor curve.

On the subject of ice in your single malt, I will, however, note an anecdote from the illustrator Ralph Steadman (of Hunter Thompson chapter break and Pink Floyd’s The Wall fame. In his excellent work, Still Life with Bottle : Whisky According to Ralph Steadman, he discusses his trip with Dr Hunter S. Thompson to Zaire for the Foreman v. Ali "Rumble in the Jungle." It was the first time Dr Thompson had had single malt scotch:

He sold our tickets the very night of the fight, took the [Glenfiddich] and a 10lb bag of African marijuana down the pool’s edge. He set the Glenfiddich down carefully next to a silver bucket of ice and hurled the marijuana into the pool. Then he dived into the middle of it. He spent the time during the fight floating about, watching the marijuana disappear down the filter, whilst he sipped at the Glenfiddich through a hansome goblet full of ice. I never forgave him. That’s no way to drink Glenfiddich.

I can forgive you, Bubba, but first you must first repent.

UPDATE: Bubba, rightly, defends his use of ice with bourbon and, ahem, Tennessee whiskey. I only have a beef with the use of ice in single malt barley whiskies. I, too, enjoy Maker's Mark or Knob Creek or Jack over ice.
Tom DeLay as Judge Dredd

"I am the Federal Government" says Tom DeLay, when told he couldn't smoke his cigar in a federal building. Lovely.
I've reached my target demographic!

I've received a delightful email from an aerospace engineer from Texas who designs parachute systems who had plenty of interesting to ask -- and say -- about single malt scotch. This means I've now reached my target demographic, so if anyone out there sells vacuum stills or centrifugal zero-g glassware, my advertising rates are quite reasonable.

Whisky Survey #2 : Freedom and Whisky

David Ferrer's blog, Freedom and Whisky, doesn't have all that much to do with Whisky, save that he's based right in the middle of it all, in one of my favorite cities -- Edinburgh. But what Freedom and Whisky does offer nearly every day is one of the best commentaries about post-industrial socialism you'll care to find. David's ongoing critique about the smothering embrace of the Scottish nanny-state is must reading for anyone who thinks that, somehow, a socialist future might be alright if only it's an argyle-stockinged gillie brogue, rather than a well-polished jackboot, stomping on your face.

David was kind enough to answer the Whiskey Blogger's Questionaire.


Do you drink single malt whiskey? If so what is your preferred brand?

No - I drink malt WHISKY (no "e" in the Scottish stuff!)

What bottles of whiskey do you have open at home?

Highland Park

Do you drink any other kind of whiskey (bourbon, rye, blended scotch)?

I have tried these but prefer Scotch... favourite brands [of blended Scotch] are Famous Grouse and Black Bottle.

How do you take your whiskey?

Neat or with a little water.

How were you first introduced to whiskey?

When I was 17 I was invited to the 21st birthday party of the girl next door. Her father gave me a glass of amber liquid. When I eventually managed to find our house, my bedroom was unaccountably spinning!

And, finally, what are your perferred circumstances for enjoying a dram?

Late at night - on its own.


So check out his blog and rest well knowing that so long as he keeps that bottle close, the light of freedom will long be reflected in the muddy waters of the Firth of Forth.

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

An Announcement from the Ministry of Blogosphere Development

Check out a relatively new group blog, Infinite Monkeys. Lots of rambling about politics, vermouth, tasty accounts of Brazilian-themed cocktail mixology and a rather frightening endorsement of applejack.
Whisky Survey #1 : The Dram of the Derbyshire

John Derbyshire of National Review Online and Prime Number Theory fame was kind enough to answer the Whiskey Blogger's Questionaire.


What is your favorite bottle of single malt whiskey?


What bottles of whiskey do you have open at home right now?

Glenmorangie, the Talisker and J&B

How do you take your whiskey?

50-50 with bottled water, not chilled

How were you introduced to single malt whiskey?

By Peter Paterson, from whom I rented a room, in 1981-2, in Ealing, London. Peter comes from a family of farmers in the Scottish lowlands.

And, finally, what are your preferred circumstances for enjoying a dram?

Last thing at night, after the kids are in bed.


Glenmorangie, likewise, is my favorite brand, although I prefer some of their other expressions, and I think for a two-bottle single malt shelf (J&B is a blended Scotch whiskey [Corrected from "Canadian", see comments -- Ed.], enjoyable on its own terms) it's hard to do better than what Derb has at home. Between those two, you've got a great every day whiskey in the Glenmorangie -- not too aggressive, not too lingering -- and, for his preferred time to enjoy it I'd stick with something that, like Glenmorangie, doesn't finish too dry. And if you want something for a bit more kick or want to give a dinner guest a taste of something with a bit of peat, Talisker is perfect (it's also what Judy Densch's M has been drinking in the last two Bond movies).

Derb likes his whiskey with quite a bit of water. But there's no wrong way to take a single malt, except chilled. A whiskey which is too watered down for your own taste it can begin to feel a bit mushy on the palate - but I'd emphasize that that point is a personal one. So if you use water, and I recommend at least a few drops, the first time you try a particular bottle of single malt, add only a few drops at a time until you've got a mixture you like. But that water should, in all events, be the same temperature as the whiskey itself and Derb gets it right.

* The Whiskey Questionaire is still in beta testing and won’t be revealed as a whole until it’s ready. Do not, however, hesitate to answer the questions yourself. Show all work.

UPDATE: Welcome National Review Online readers! I apologize for the broken links to my older whiskey links (blogger is occasionally imperfect), but I do hope you'll take a moment to dig around for them. They're listed by date in the entry immediately below and may be accessed via the archives. There are plenty of whiskey links toward the bottom of the left hand column as well. And please come back any time if you find yourself entertained. I'd be honored to have any NRO reader become a regular reader of mine. Cheers.

UPDATE: Those permalinks seem to be up. From the post below this, you can click directly to some of my earlier whisky commentary.
A New Approach to Whiskey Blogging

In an effort to up the amount of whiskey blogging on this, the only whiskey blog I know about, I've started to canvas the Blogosphere to both find out what's on the collective shelf and palates of the blogosphere and as well as churn up some blogfodder. As delightful as it is to sit here with a wee dram and write about it, often times the whiskey demands my full attention and, Dear Reader, in a competition between blogging about whiskey in my cramped little office and sitting out on the patio enjoying my whiskey, well... you can guess which one usually wins.

So let's see how this works. Of course, permalinks are all bloggered so those couple of bloggers I've hit up for comments who aren't at least occasional readers (i.e., with the very low threshold of having a link back here to Pathetic Earthlings being the shockingly unprobative evidence of such), I'd point to my following, earlier, whisky commentaries:

5/10 - Whiskey of the Week: Robert Dunford's Last Dram
3/31 - Whiskey of the Week: Glenkinchie
2/26 - A Wee Pint of Whiskey
2/14 - Whiskey of the Week: Aberlour
2/8 - Whiskey of the Week: Glenmorangie 12-year old Port Wood Finish
2/6 - Upon This Charge, Cry God for England, Harry and Saint George
1/31 - Whiskey of the Week: The Macallan 12 year old
1/23 - Whiskey of the Week: Bowmore : The Legend

(I think I'm going to move over to Moveable Type -- this cold chisel coding is getting stupid)

Tuesday, May 13, 2003

Money, Money

The US Treasury has redesigned, yet again, the $20 note.

It looks, well, European. And that's not good.

So if we're going to get all Euroweenie with our bills, let's go whole-hog and start using stylized Presidents on our bills, like the first cut of the Euro notes, which included non-existant, but vaguely European-looking domes, arches and such.

We've got plenty of fictionalized Presidents to choose from (and I'm a big fan of fictionalized Presidents) whether its clueless John P. Wintergreen from Gershwin's "Of Thee I Sing" ("We will run on a platform of... Love!") and his hapless VP Alexander Throttlebottom, or the forced aloofness of Donald Moffat's portrayal in Clear and Present Danger, we've got the best and the worst of American aspiration and fear to choose from for our new, ahistorical scrip.

I encourage reader comment, but for starters, I propose:

For the new $100: President Douglass Dillman, as portrayed by James Earl Jones in the 1972 film "The Man" - based on Irving Wallace's 1964 novel , with a screenplay by Rod Serling, where the President Pro Tempore, African American Senator Douglass Dillman, ascends to the Presidency after the President and Speaker of the House (the Vice President being dead of a heart attack a few weeks earlier) die in the collapse of the Cathederal at Cologne (I think it was). Chaos insues. Douglass Dillman is impeached for malfeasance. President Dillman finds their lack of faith disturbing and crushes dissent, demanding to see the Ambassador. My kind of President.

For the new $50: President Jordan Lyman. Fidel Castro claims history will absolve him, but that's the only thing that could have absolved a President Jordan Lyman, the embattled President in John Frankenheimer's Seven Days in May (screenplay also by Rod Serling) with poll ratings almost as bad as Governor Gray Davis. A terrible President, who would have been purified by history only due to events not of his own making. And an excellent successor to Ulysses S. Grant.

For the new $20: President Merkin Muffey (if you don't know who Merkin Murphy is, it is a useful exercise to look it up). Clueless. Whiney. Maybe corrupt. And he killed people by the acre-foot. Move over, President Jackson.

For the new $10: Alexander Hamilton, obviously not being a President, is a bit harder to replace. But apart from his own talents, folks like Hamilton since he alludes to all the Founding Fathers, federalist or otherwise. So for the $10, may I commend Henry Fonda's portrayal of the (unnamed) President in 1979's sci-fi disaster flick Meteor (and a better review here). Here was a President overwhelmed by events and had his bacon saved by those folks around him, but he no doubt got the credit in the end. More's the point, however, is Meteor had everyone in it, even people who should have known better: Natalie Wood, Karl Malden, Sean Connery, Martin Landau. And with Henry Fonda's President (compare it to him in Fail Safe and weep), we can allude to them all.

For the new $5: Sic Semper Tyrannus! Okay, I'm no freaky Lincoln hater but some of his behavior during the Civil War, while undoubtedly necessary, was... well... at times extra-judicial. So what better warning to future generations than the spectre of a computer taking over the world and the President forced to knuckle under? Gordon Pinsent as the unnamed, Kennedy-esque President in 1970's The Forbin Project has everything we need. First, he Pinsett -- especially in this movie -- looks like Jack Kennedy. And we could use a handsome fellow like that our our notes. Second, he's doing everything for good intentions -- let's make sure we don't start a nuclear war accidentally, so let's put all our weapons under the control of a benevolent, artificially intelligent computer -- and just for safe measure, when it turns out the Soviets have done the same thing ("There is Another!") and constructed Guardian to America's Colossus -- decides the best thing to do would be to have them link up. You know, so everyone gets along. Admittedly, our fictional President used a modem (110 bps audio job) to get everyone together and Lincoln, well, used the Army of the Potomac

Of course, I'm a big fan of the Forbin Project anyway -- not only is it a cool film, but it was filmed at one of my childhood haunts -- the Lawrence Hall of Science but the Forbin Project was also name of the Berkeley, California-based BBS where I first climbed online way back in 1985.

For the new $1: President Richmond, as portrayed by Dabney Coleman in Disney's rubberneckingly awful "My Date with the President's Daughter." Coleman's mug gets on the one since President Richmond was portrayed as (a) a Republican (b) family-friendly without being creepy and (c) neither (i) corrupt nor (ii) incompetent. This is no more than a once-in-a-century event, and certainly neither was George Washington. Plus, we'd get more Dabney Coleman. He's in everything else -- why not your pockets?

Bubba -- Let My People Go!

South Knox Bubba points to an interesting bit of legislation in Tennessee that will allow motorcycles to proceed through red lights with "due care" if the traffic signal doesn't... well... cycle because the metal detectors at the intersection don't register the motorcycle.

Bubba objects to this. I think he's overreading the effect of the statute -- motorcyclists can't blow a red light, I think they still need to react to it as though it were, at least, a stop sign. But more's the point, he seems to agree with this sentiment:

''Motorcyclists have enough trouble staying alive because people can't see them,'' Harper said after the vote. ''We shouldn't authorize them to commit suicide.''

The hell we shouldn't. Motorcycles aren't inherently dangerous. They're more dangerous because most drivers aren't paying attention. But they, indeed, are more dangerous -- and if we think motorcyclists ought not be authorized to commit suicide, we ought to ban motorcycles.

No law is going to make a suicidal (i.e., reckless) motorcyclist behave safely and a loophole to let motorcyclists treat stalled red lights as stop signs isn't going to make smart (i.e., most) motorcyclists behave stupidly.

Monday, May 12, 2003

Which Museum Would You Loot?

Tim Blair's got a great poll up. Check it out. Not surprisingly, the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky is winning by a landslide.

Uhmmmm, yeah.
Stroke This

I'm sort of amused by some of the rather hostile reaction to Annika Sorenstam's playing in the Colonial next week.

Nick Price complains that Sorenstam's appearance "reeks of publicity." Yeah, in this one-off event, the television is going to pay most of their attention to Sorenstam. Big deal. Here's a guy who clearly doesn't know where his bread is buttered. I mean, my God, not publicity! What golf really needs to do is trim back on the publicity because golf doesn't benefit from all that publicity. Tiger Woods has been so bad for the sport after all, since he drove away all those television viewers.

More amusing, though, is Vijay Singh, who strikes me as a grade one asshole:

"[S]he doesn't belong out here," Singh said after his runner-up finish in the Wachovia Championship. "If I'm drawn with her, which I won't be, I won't play...What is she going to prove by playing? It's ridiculous...She's the best woman golfer in the world, and I want to emphasize 'woman.' We have our tour for men, and they have their tour. She's taking a spot from someone in the field."

I'm all for Sorenstam playing. If she falls on her arse, fine. If she does well, good on her. I'm sure all she wants is a go.

In the end, her career will still be made on the LPGA and everyone knows it. Certainly she does. But Sorenstam's clearly as good as at least some of the folks on the PGA tour and she ought to be left alone to give it a go.

Besides, if Singh has a bad day and Sorenstam gets close, I'm sure he can find a way to... you know... shave a stroke or two off his game.

The Ultimate Junket

Dems continue to complain about the President flying out to the USS Abraham Lincoln on an S-3 Viking. Drudge has a great picture of Pat Leahy suited up to an F-16. But if you want self-serving politicians flying around on government hardware, let's recall current Senator (then Rep.) Bill Nelson (D-FL), who flew on Columbia in January 1986:

Ah, yes. The seventh member of a $500 million spaceflight -- no political grandstanding there, Dems.

(Not that then-Senator Jake Garn (R-UT) didn't do the very same thing in a few months before.)

And, hell, not that I blame either of them -- I'd toss any political career you could think of overboard even for a single orbit around the Earth -- but this flight on the S-3 was obviously great for morale on the Lincoln and, cost wise, pretty small potatoes compared to the couple of hundred million bucks it cost to put these two guys in space.
Tim Roemer, You Were Right

The manned space program is in the toilet and the site for the long-cancelled Superconducting Supercollider is being sold so 14 miles of tunnel and the surface buildings can be used for an anti-terrorist training camp. What a freaking waste.

The SSC -- which was cancelled the same year the space station squeeked by on a one-vote margin -- might have cost more than its $8 billion initial price tag, but for damnation's sake, at least it would be doing something useful.
If you aren't wearing Dockers, you aren't wearing pants

But we now know that AFL player Paul Haselby of the Fremantle Dockers wasn't... shall we say... trimmed.

If he played for Brisbane, I'm sure I could commit a better pun.

Via Tony the Teacher.
Noam's Wet Dream

The President comes to give a talk at the factory, the factory owner no doubt gets some face time with the President -- and the factory docks the pay of the workers who come to hear the President.

The factory owner says in his defense:

"Since we have another shift that will have to work, it would be difficult to just give credit to the people who didn't work while they were attending the event," Crosby said in a telephone interview. "The really good option was just to offer the chance to work on Saturday. We feel that's a more fair approach."

And, of course, he's right.

But it seems when the Commander-in-Chief shows up, no one ought to have to choose between working their shift and seeing the President.

Sunday, May 11, 2003


Herald the arrival of the beautiful Lucy Jane, born Saturday, May 10 at 9:00 am. Mother, Blogmaven (SnarkSpot), Friend and New York Times Best-Selling Author Jen Weiner and Father, Blogmaster (Throwing Things), Law School Chum and All Around Great Guy Adam Bonin are proud and happy and no doubt tired.

Confidential to A.B.: But Children Are Living!

And a long and happy life Lucy will have. Guided by two of my favorite souls on this entire Earth.

Incriminating Photographs

Tim Blair had suggested we were going to get together for some neocon conspiring. It can now be revealed that we were, in fact, getting together for a fundraisier to help the Australian Communist Party. This issue of the Guardian, which I read earlier in the day while smoking a Cohiba supporting the collective labor of Cuban agricultural workers, even included a piece by Blogosphere favorite John Pilger.

Tim Blair (right), the Pathetic Earthling (further right)

Tony the Teacher, Alan Anderson, the Pathetic Earthling and Tim Blair

Note the streaks may be a result of the inadvertent use of the largest format (I will not expose my audience to Tim Blair, much less me, in 1536 x 2048). But I suspect that anyone who spends any time at all at the Bourbon and Beefsteak probably sees the exact same streaks night after night after night....

There was a fifth blogger there at the Bourbon and Beefsteak, but I can't recall the name of his blog and, in any event, I don't have a picture which includes him.

N.B.: I'll have more photos from our trip to Australia up later (permalinks are screwy, but my archive's back up), but I thought I'd start with the juicy bits.

N.B.: You can read more about this Sydney Blogevent at my April 23 entry (blogger, permalinks, etc., etc.) and also, in today's Tim Blair (blogger, permalinks, etc., etc.)

UPDATE: Bitter Bitch, over at Bitch Girls, thinks that Tim Blair looks like an ex-boyfriend and not in a good way. I'd note that, at least prior to the night's festivities, he looked considerably better than this. At least less Trotskyite.

UPDATE: Someone's got a crush on Tim Blair.