Archive for August, 2007

Something to look forward to

Thursday, August 30th, 2007

If this is what clothes-shopping with a pre-teen girl is like now, I shudder to think what it’ll be like in, oh, 12 years or so. Excerpt:

Limited Too was awash in shimmer; virtually every item was encrusted with rhinestones or sparkling with glitter. Most of these clothes provided sufficient coverage, but my daughter doesn’t like ostentation, so we looked through the T-shirts for something more subdued. There we discovered what I have come to think of as Nitwit Wear. These are T-shirts with slogans such as: “I Left My Brain in My Locker,” “I Only Shop on Days that End in Y,” and “Spoiled and Proud of It.” (At least you only want to shake your head at these. Making you believe in corporal punishment is the Happy Bunny line of clothing, available online and at various department stores, which features phrases such as “Wow you’re ugly,” and “It’s cute how stupid you are.”) It’s a comfort to know that if your child can’t come up with her own insolent remarks, clothing manufacturers are there to help.

Of course, there’s that extreme, and then there’s the other extreme. Money quote: “Mom, I’m 11! I’m not Harriet Miers!” (Hat tip: Becky.)

Haloscan vs. Blogger Comments

Thursday, August 30th, 2007

As this TypePad blog crisis stretches into a new day with minimal support and no resolution (not to mention an increasing number of other problems surfacing, like an epidemic of repetitively posted comments, presumably because of some flaw in TypePad’s commenting system), it is becoming increasingly likely that I will be abandoning TypePad and switching to Blogspot. I’m hoping Blogspot might work a bit better than TypePad, and in any event, it’s free, which TypePad is not. I’ll be damned if I’m going to pay $15/month for a buggy blog platform that doesn’t provide adequate support when their mistakes are crippling my blog. So unless they fix this, and fast, yet another platform switch is in the Irish Trojan’s future.

Which raises the question: which commenting system should I use, if indeed I switch to Blogger? Should I use Blogger’s native commenting system, or HaloScan? I remember HaloScan causing lots of headaches, back in my blog’s pre-WordPress days, in large part because of its per-comment character limit. (Even though I was a “pro” HaloScan user, there was still a limit, albeit a higher one than for regular users.) On the other hand, I’ve heard mixed reviews of Blogger’s native commenting system. So I’m just curious what anyone with experience using either or both systems might have to say.

UPDATE: Welcome, InstaPundit readers! My TypePad problems have been solved, at least for the moment.

Let the season begin! And let Buffalo not lose by more than 50!

Thursday, August 30th, 2007

So, I was planning to post something making fun of the quality of games, or lack thereof, on this season-opening Thursday of college football. I was going to list a representative handful of tonight’s contests, with sacrcastic exclamation points at the end of each one — Cincinnati vs. Southeast Missouri State! Louisville vs. Murray State! Rutgers vs. Buffalo! — and then I was going to say something like, "Try to contain your excitement about this scintillating array of games."

But then I learned that I may have the opportunity to watch the Buffalo-Rutgers game, in a sports bar in Buffalo, with a bunch of crazed UB fans. And naturally, being a huge dork with a soft-spot for lovable losers like the UB Bulls, I’m totally excited. So it would now be disingenuous for me to go ahead with my originally planned post. :)

It’s funny: a few years ago, Buffalo-Rutgers would have been seen as a rare opportunity for the Bulls to perhaps pull an upset against a BCS-conference team. Nowadays, however, it’s almost as daunting as Buffalo-Auburn was last year. Rutgers is a legit powerhouse with legit BCS (and Heisman) ambitions, while Buffalo’s ambition remains the same as ever: to avoid losing each and every single game it plays. To not go winless. A lofty goal indeed. :)

Anyway, not that it matters — and this is the last time I’ll root against Rutgers this season, unless they play USC or Notre Dame in a bowl game — but I’ll say it for what it’s worth: LET’S GO BUFF-A-LO!!!

Richard Jewell dies

Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

Richard Jewell, the hero-turned-villain-turned-media-martyr of the 1996 Atlanta Olympic bombing, is dead.

Erik Ainge and the Pinky Finger of Doom

Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

The greater Knoxville area is abuzz with anxiety this evening after the revelation of what Tennessee fans doubtless regard as the most consequential finger injury since Gollum bit the Ring off Frodo’s hand: Vols quarterback Erik Ainge has broken his pinky finger on the eve (well, not quite the eve, but close enough) of UT’s big showdown with Cal. The official word is that he’ll start, but the football-obsessed denizens of Big Orange Country are nevertheless worried. Could Tennessee’s hoped-for dream season be thwarted before it begins by a broken pinky?

I, of course, hope Ainge is able to play with full effectiveness — but I must say, I’m extremely torn about how I want the Cal-UT game to come out. On the one hand, now that I’m living in Knoxville, I’m supposed to root for Tennessee when doing so doesn’t conflict with my other loyalties (i.e., USC and ND), and anyway a Vols win over the Bears would really make the start of football season exciting here, the sort of excitement that can only come when the crazed populace of a football-mad region begins to see some validation of their championship delusions. :) On the other hand, this is a very big conference showdown between the Pac-10 and SEC, and although I’m trying to warm to the latter now that I’m living in SEC country, my primary loyalty as a Trojan fan obviously lies with the former. A second consecutive Cal loss to UT, in Berkeley this time, would be humiliating for the Pac-10, and would make it much harder to argue with the “SEC = NFL” crowd as the season goes on. And that could become very consequential for USC, if they end up in a BCS debate at season’s end against the likes of LSU or Auburn or Florida (or, well, Tennessee!). So I feel like I sort of have to root for Cal in this one, even though I’d sort of like to root for Tennessee.

2 years later

Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

Today is the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s landfall in Louisiana and Mississippi. Dr. Jeff Masters is blogging about it, and he links to Margie Kieper’s excellent, in-depth feature on Katrina’s Surge.

Stylesheet issues? Broken links? AAAHH!!!

Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

Is anyone else having technical difficulties whereby my blog’s stylesheet is refusing to load, thus causing the website to look all screwed up? (If you’re confused, it’s supposed to look like thisnot like this.) I am, and when I try to load the stylesheet manually, I get a "404 Not Found" error. I have no idea why.

Also confusing: the first time I clicked the URL in InstaPundit’s post linking to me, I got a 404 error. The second time, the link worked. The third time, another 404 error. WTF? I know it’s not just me, because Anonymous Hoosier is reporting problems too. Moreover, the traffic is very much below what I’d expect from an Instalanche… so I think lots of people are having trouble accessing that URL.

TypePad, I’m not real happy with you right now…

Fear not Red Sox fans…

Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

In spite of our disheartening loss last night at the hands of the Bronx B*stards, a quick calculation shows that the Magic Number for the Sox to clinch the AL East is

24

Just an update from your friendly neighborhood Red Sox fan.

Football meets futból

Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

Booty for Heisman: let the hype begin!

Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

Via TrojanWire:

I’ll be honest: I wasn’t terribly impressed with Booty last year… until the Rose Bowl. But man, if he plays this season the way he played against Michigan, he’ll be a runaway Heisman winner.

Oh, and speaking of college football: Don’t forget to enter the 3rd annual Irish Trojan USC & ND pick ’em contest!

A.G. Lieberman? V.P. Lieberman?

Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

The D.C./netroots rumor mill is churning tonight with the suggestion that Senator Joe will become Attorney General Joe. (Hat tip: InstaPundit.) And then there’s the ultra-paranoid kicker, that Lieberman will subsequently be elevated from A.G. to V.P. to replace a resigning Cheney, thus setting him up to run for president in 2008 as Bush’s hand-picked choice*. Attorney General Joe? Vice President Joe?? President Joe??? Oh, the Joe-manity!!!

The veep stuff is obviously nonsense, but will the A.G. rumors come to anything? I doubt it. As James L. at Swing State Project notes, “if you’ve believed all the rumors, Lieberman should have been one or all of the following by now: Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, Secretary of Homeland Security, Ambassador to the United Nations, and George Bush’s running mate in 2004.”

Also, Ron Beasley (not to be confused with Ron Weasley) says, “I really can’t see Lieberman giving up another five and half years in the Senate for 16 months as AG.” I agree. I also, of course, don’t share the Left’s (plainly irrational) belief that Lieberman is a power-hungry closet “Rethuglican” who wants nothing more than to get all Larry Craig with President Bush and his cronies… so I can’t see him taking this post unless he honestly believes he could do more good for the country in it than in his current capacity. And that seems doubtful.

Still, if Lieberman were appointed, that would bring about something truly remarkable: President Bush would have managed to find an attorney general who is, at least arguably, hated even more viscerally by the Left than John Ashcroft ever was. Wonders never cease!

*Why would anyone want to be Bush’s hand-picked choice in the 2008 election? Just asking!

Tropics to heat up?

Tuesday, August 28th, 2007

The Atlantic tropics remain preternaturally quiet as we hurtle toward the season’s climatological peak on September 10. Alan Sullivan continues to expect a subnormal storm count for the season; indeed, he says “I am beginning to suspect it may be lower than I had dared to hope, when I was bucking the consensus several months ago.”

But now there is at least something to talk about, for the first time since Hurricane Dean died out over Mexico: “Invest 94L,” a reasonably well-organized tropical wave in the eastern Atlantic. Dr. Jeff Masters says 94L is fighting against dry air, and the reliable computer models don’t develop it. On the other hand, the computer models do predict that a currently hypothetical tropical wave in roughly the same area will become a depression later this week:

The UKMET and GFS models are indicating the possible development of a tropical depression by Thursday or Friday off the coast of Africa. There is a large surge of moisture with at least one strong tropical wave embedded in it coming off the coast of Africa this week. This moister air should make a more favorable environment for a tropical depression to form in than the one 94L finds itself in.

Cape Verde storms are always ones to keep an eye on, so this bears watching. Even if there’s nothing to actually watch, as of yet. :)

Meanwhile, Eric Berger has posted a cool worldwide map of all tropical systems’ tracks since the mid-1800s.

Austin City Limits

Tuesday, August 28th, 2007

A very dear friend contacted me recently about Austin City Limits.  I’ve always been a fan of Austin City Limits so I was interested.  And, to my amazement, it turns out her two sons, in an indie band called The Frontier Brothers, are competing for a "new artist" slot on a future broadcast of Austin City Limits.  I knew they were a serious working band (out of Fort Worth), but this news about this opportunity, and especially about them in relation to this opportunity, was new to me.  I passed the word on to friends who are music fans and to a few friends who trust me when I ask a favor of them.  And only one friend misconstrued this situation as something like American Idol. Austin City Limits is a long-running PBS program presenting well-respected, professional musicians.  And it seems it is offering an opportunity to working (but not nationally-known) bands to be introduced in a new band slot. This is so NOT American Idol.

I now go to the site each day (one vote per day being allowed) and I vote for this band.  I urge you all to check this out at the URL I am putting below.  (Actually, this URL will specifically take you to The Frontier Brothers on the band ballot, but it also gives you the page, The Sound and the Jury.)  You can sample their music (you can sample any of the bands’ music) and if you like their music, you can cast a vote for them (or for another band there).  One reason this particularly appeals to me is that this to me is so far superior to American Idol.  No ridicule, no comedy, no Not-Ready-For-Primetime bands. The Frontier Brothers is a serious working band making their bones in venues all around Texas and the Southeast, and this is a serious opportunity for them.  For all these bands.  And that matters.   

Check it (and them) out:  http://acl.mp3.com/feature/soundandjury/?band=THE-FRONTIER-BROTHERS.

CNN Breaking News

Tuesday, August 28th, 2007

Since I don’t have CNN Breaking News alerts set to post automatically to the new blog setup yet, I’ll post this one manually:

Sen. Larry Craig, who was arrested on misdemeanor disorderly conduct in a bathroom, denies he is gay and accuses a newspaper of a witchhunt. Visit CNN for the latest.

Today’s WTF column

Tuesday, August 28th, 2007

Brilliant parenting at work I suppose So, umm yeah?.