Archive of December, 2001
December 31, 2001:
Turns out that I have the same birthday as Johnny Carson and Pelé.
December 29, 2001:
Well, now that I've been gone for a five-day weekend for Christmas, I'm leaving again for a four-day weekend for New Year's.
Sure hope none of my food's going bad in the cupboards..
December 28, 2001:
Today's thought comes to you from Dave Sell, one of my college buddies. His father was doing some Christmasy stuff while the Browns-Packers game was on last Sunday. He pokes his head into the living room and asks who's playing. "Packers and Browns. At Lambeau. And it's snowing." His father sat down immediately.
As he said, that's the way football was meant to be. "The spirit of John Facenda is looking down and smiling."
December 27, 2001:
I was driving from my father's house to my mother's house a couple days ago. The stretch of I-77 that I drive on usually has traffic for no good reason, and it's always traveling slowly.
So I wan't surprised when I saw a largish knot of traffic in front of me. Here we go again, I thought. Then I realized that I wasn't catching up as quickly as I thought I would. It was actually moving pretty well -- the right lane was doing 75, and the left lane was doing 85! My speed!
It was a beautiful moment for this habitual speeder.
December 26, 2001:
Well, I've opened almost all my gifts now (there'll be a couple sweatshirts when I get to my grandparents' house, but I kinda know those are coming). Everything I got was good (i.e. what I'd asked for) so even though I wasn't tearing around the living room playing with everything like I was 20 years ago, I still enjoyed opening the presents.
Everyone seemed to like what I got them too. Although all the ones I thought were sure things got a more lukewarm reaction, while all the ones I was sure I'd fouled up were great. Just goes to show how well I understand my hyper-extended family...
Anyway, everyone who got or gave gifts for their particular holiday, I hope yours went as well as mine.
December 25, 2001:
Well, here I am, celebrating my 26th Christmas. It seems to have been a lot more fun when I was a kid, but I've heard that also applies to Hanukkah too.
Anyway, I thought I'd spare everybody my usual dose of asshole-ishness and just say: Merry Christmas. Even to those of you who celebrate Hanukkah, Ramadan, any other religious holiday, and any made-up holiday like Kwanzaa.
The usual me will return tomorrow. Now shut off your computer and spend time with your family.
December 24, 2001:
I know, I know, I shouldn't be doing this for another week yet. Don't worry, I've got something in mind for 1/1/2002.
Anyway, I'm going to do something completely different from everyone else in the country and make a New Year's resolution that I might have a chance of keeping: I'm going to stop cursing as much. This doesn't mean that I'm going to start censoring myself, it means I'm going to try to make sure that the words I pick are the most appropriate for the job.
I came to this realization a little while ago when I realized that I basically tend to make a jackass out of myself sometimes. I always watch it around little kids (at least when I know they're there) and around my boss (I ain't that stupid). But around my co-workers, who really don't seem to mind, and my family, who don't even complain when I say "fuck" any more, I'm going to work on it.
Why? I remember at some point when I was a kid, someone told me that cursing happens for one of two reasons: Extreme circumstances, or an idiot losing the ability to keep up with the conversation. It's the second kind that I'm trying to slow down.
So expect the potty-mouth counter on the brain farts search page to stop incrememnting as quickly as it does right now.
December 22, 2001:
We're setting up a Web site to let our clients work with us more efficiently, as opposed to the current system of e-mail, phone calls and faxes.
On the up side, we're starting from scratch, instead of trying to mutate an existing project. On the down side, that doesn't change the schedule at all. And John's been telling people how a beta's going to be available the first week of the year.
December 21, 2001:
Just saw the Visa commercial from last year's (I think) Super Bowl. The one with the father and kid buying the rabbits. The look on the kid's face when they start playing "Love Is in the Air" still cracks me up.
December 20, 2001:
Wow, I've really been sucking about updating lately. Between Christmas shopping and not having anything in storage, I've been late getting these guys online for a while now.
And I'm going out of town for (basically) a week and a half. I'm trying to keep this updated, really.
December 19, 2001:
While Christmas shopping, I ran into one of my former fraternity brothers and one of my co-workers. Then when I got to work this morning, another of my co-workers said her husband saw me.
Nothing else, just impressed at how in a mass of thousands of people I came across three that I knew.
December 18, 2001:
I've been reading some of the articles on the Internet regarding the mess that was the Browns-Jaguars game, and saw the report they did on ABC World News Tonight. Everybody is focusing on the behavior of the Browns fans, which I guess is understandable for ABC -- they have to have something the non-fans will understand. Only ClevelandBrowns.com and ESPN.com bothered to mention the convtroversial nature of the events leading up to the bottle-toss; ESPN.com's recap only gave it a two-sentence paragraph.
Only Joe Theismann's article on ESPN.com took into account that the Browns were royally boned by what happened -- he flat-out said it was a bad call. And of course, you know my opinion on the matter.
Well, what am I driving at? Basically that while the fans were a large collection of dumbasses, the sports media (and some of the mainstream media) are overlooking the root cause, and that's having the effect of making the Dawg Pound look like the Mongol Hordes. I don't expect anyone to say that what happened was OK; I just want someone to admit that there was something very rotten in the state of Denmark regarding what caused this whole mess.
December 17, 2001:
If you're not a football fan, or you're bothered by foul language, skip this one.
It's a simple fucking rule: No play can be reviewed after another play has been run. Ever. Under any circumstances. In fact, before the NFL instituted the red flags, a lot of coaches got burned by that rule because the signaller to issue a challenge was broken. But if you're a dumbfuck asshole referee, apparently the rules don't apply to you.
In the fourth quarter, a Cleveland player was given a key reception on a fourth-and-two play. The Browns ran up to the line of scrimmage and downed the ball. Now, if I understand correctly, Tim Couch was guilty of intentional grounding -- he didn't spike the ball right away. So the refs reviewed ... the previous play!
That's completely illegal. A play had run. Any previous play is gospel, even if the original call was wrong. So these bribe-taking ass-fucks review the play, and say the Browns player didn't have posession and that Cleveland lost the ball on downs.
Needless to say, all hell broke loose. Every fan in the stadium started throwing shit onto the field -- bottles, cans, you name it -- trying to hit the Jacksonville players and coaches. And that's where the fans were wrong -- I don't think any of the people on the sidelines were directly responsible for buying off the head referee. But if anyone can conclusively prove to me that he hit that fucker right in the goddamn melon, I'll give him a hundred bucks.
Anyway, the game was forfeited because of the danger to the players. Here's what I think ought to happen:
Fine and/or suspend the referee. He blatantly and wontonly disobeyed one of the simplest rules imaginable. There's no way that he should be allowed to continue without getting bitch-slapped hard by the League.
Finish the game. It'll probably have to be a neutral site with no fans due to what happened, but since a malicious call by the referee led to this game being called, I think the game should be finished as it should be finished -- with Cleveland being assessed an intentional grounding penalty with 48 seconds left.
On second thought, fire that crooked son of a bitch. There's no way he could have simply made a mistake. Somebody had to have been interfering with him and he should be banished for life from the game. And not with one of those cushy "paid leave" deals. He should forfeit the remainder of his salary for gross incompetence, negligence and potential reception of bribery.
If you haven't figured it out, I'm just a little pissed over this.
OK, I think I need to clarify. But I'm not going to edit anything out, just so everyone knows what I'm referring to.
The fans in Cleveland did a Bad Thing by throwing the bottles and cans and such. There's no excuse for that. It's also not just a Cleveland thing -- Eagles and Steelers fans, among others, have embarassed themselves in similar ways. Now, what happened?
Well, the replay official supposedly hit the buzzer to begin a review before the next play started. I find that difficult to believe, because the referee should have made a very obvious effort to stop the play from happening. Instead, he nonchalantly walked into the middle of the field and whistled the pass incomplete. Not exactly what one would expect.
So I still think something's rotten here. I think the referees and replay officials acted improperly and are trying to cover their asses now. But to everyone calling the actions of the fans an embarassment, you're right. And I hereby officialy retract my offer of a hundred samolians to anyone who conked the ref. But I still think there ought to be some discipline on the guy.
December 15, 2001:
Sorry if anyone didn't catch the Dark City reference. Basically, I'm tired as hell. I just spent eight hours at work on a Saturday (and am posting this just a couple hours before Sunday) getting the office mailroom set up after the move. They better not expect me to work overtime this week...
December 14, 2001:
At noon today the office shuts down for the move. Those of you looking for a definition of "complete and total cluster fuck" need search no farther than Three and Four Gateway Center this afternoon.
December 13, 2001:
Hmm... two weeks and counting. I should really get started on my Christmas shopping. Of course since I'm stuck at work all frigging evening this week, I guess I'm waiting until the weekend.
December 12, 2001:
Since the company's moving this Friday, and they're too poorly managed to budget the proper amount of time for packing and the move, I'm going to be pulling 10-to-12-hour days Monday through Thursday. Needless to say, I'm less than enthusiastic at the prospect.
And of course, being half blind, my head's pretty well pounding after staring at a CRT from 9 AM to 8 PM. This is not going to be a good week.
December 11, 2001:
I was at a coworker's Christmas party over the weekend. Since I was going to have to drive home I wasn't drinking too much, and about 1:00 I started to sober up. It didn't seem that many other people were. I remember commenting that I'd heard six great quotes to put on my Quotable Quotes page. I remembered one. So five little amusing nuggets are gone forever, unless my coworkers can remember them come Monday.
December 10, 2001:
No, they're not making a Shaft-esque redux of the '68 Steve McQueen movie. But Ford decided to release a limited edition "Bullitt Mustang" by doing a little body work on their GT Mustang to make it look like McQueen's '67 and adding a little horsepower. They even brought back the greenish paint from the classic car.
I want one. Only problem is I'm about $27,000 short.
(Footnote: For those who haven't seen it, Bullitt is a pretty run-of-the-mill '60s detective movie. A couple now-famous actors played alongside McQueen. The story's forgettable, but the 5 to 10 minutes of car chase through the streets of San Francisco basically created the modern car chase. If you haven't seen it, go rent it.)
December 08, 2001:
Given the number of entries along these lines, you might think I'm a little bitter about Art Modell. You would be right.
Anyway, without further ado, here's some Modell-bashing from The Annotated Dennis Miller:
11:13 Third Quarter
The set-up: The camera shows the tallest building in Jacksonville, the former Independent Life tower, now the Modis building.
The quip: "It used to be the Operandi building."
The read: In criminology the Latin term modus operandi ("operating method"), or MO, refers to the behavioral patterns of a particular criminal. For example, one might always use the same tools and methods to break into a house or the same process for committing fraud.
Or, if one always does the same old thing, that's moldy operandi. If one greedily spits in the face of one's loyal fans and takes one's team to another city out of spite, that's modell operandi. If one sets out to debunk psychics and healers, that's modus amazingrandi. If one shaves one's head and records old folk and blues music to a techno beat, that's moby operandi. If one milks a silly one-note SNL skit to absurd extremes, that's modus operamandi. And finally, if one's plans seem to twist and loop back on themselves, that's moebius operandi.
As always, the vindication feels good.
December 07, 2001:
My dad called me as I was leaving work a few days ago. Nothing wrong back home, he just wanted some ideas for what to get me for Christmas. He asked if I could use a griddle or something like that, and with my brain pointed in that direction, I mentioned that I don't have much of anything along the lines of pots and pans. (I don't; a frying pan, a soup-can-sized saucepan and a batch-of-chili-sized saucepan is all.) My father's answer? "Right, so I'll just get you a bunch or girl stuff."
So for those of you who wonder where I get it, there ya go.
December 06, 2001:
It's 7:30 in the evening on December 5th, and it's 65°. At this time of year, we should be closer to freezing than this -- about 25 degrees closer. I could get used to this perpetual autumn thing.
December 05, 2001:
Just got back from the Oregon Grille, watching the Browns get humiliated by the Titans. Everything that could have gone wrong with this game did. The offense sucked (why is Arians still emplyed when he insists on running a three-yard screen on third and long?), the defense looked like a seive, and the officials might as well have worn Tennessee uniforms. The Browns player of the game was the backup quarterback, for christ's sake! I sure hope they decide to show up and play next Sunday...
December 04, 2001:
Well, it looks like Israel finally said, "fuck this shit." As I join the teeming millions tagging the CNN Web site to see what's going on, I'm struck by the sheer lunacy of the Palestinian negotiator's response. It basically boils down to "Ariel Sharon has to stop killing Palestinians so the peace process can go forward."
Yeah, right. 'Cause any halfway sane individual would just sit back and do nothing after a couple car bombings. Sure.
Let's remember how all this started, shall we? About a year and a half ago, then-Prime Minister Barak and Yassir Arafat met at Camp David. Barak offered Arafat everything but the kitchen sink, and in a brilliant negotiating tactic, Arafat told Barak to go get bent.
Fast forward a couple months, and Sharon pays a visit to the Temple Mount. (I can't remember what the Muslims call it; they obviously have different names for their holy sites, and this particular site is important to both Jews and Muslims.) Anyway. Some yahoo decides that he's offended by this -- even though thousands of Jews visit the site daily -- and decides to start blowing shit up.
Again, most people would consider this a Dumb Move. But every country in the world, with the exception of the United States, blames Israel for this. People sure have a selective way of assimilating facts.
Anyway, here's my stance: The Palestinians need to stop blowing things up, as do the Israeli settlers. This is one of those "good faith" things. Once that happens, maybe the negotiations can begin again. But Arafat better not expect the same deal Barak was going to give him.
And Jerusalem? Fuck both sides -- neither one of 'em deserves it. Make it a city-state like the Vatican, and appoint three Palestinians, three Israelis and an American to run the joint. There. Now neither side can claim it's theirs.
And for christ's sake, find something worth fighting over, instead of this ridiculous notion of "god."
December 03, 2001:
Got an e-mail from W&J last week. They're still trying to narrow down their list. I should hear from them before the end of the year.
I'm sure most people who might be reading this won't understand, but this bites. I really hate not knowing what's going on, especially if it invloves me.
December 01, 2001:
I left work at about 7:00 last night (they have a little party on the last Friday of every month) and the drive home was pretty quick. Until I got halfway up Greenfield Ave. Apparently some jackass decided to have a parade through the neighborhood on a Friday night without telling anybody. And on top of that, every twit who has nothing better to do on a Friday than watch a parade decided to park on the side streets, including the one I live on. So I had to park almost a block away.
And then I got to listen to a high school band play Christmas music, loudly and badly. Oh joy.