Musings from Brian J. Noggle
Saturday, July 05, 2003
Real or Memorex?

Over at the Volokh Conspiracy, conspirator Randy Barnett has an interesting musing on young tribute bands. He wonders, who really reflects the true nature of the songs: tribute bands who are the same age as the band they cover when that band was popular, or the Band, which by now contains replacement members and old men?

Friday, July 04, 2003
Forget Freddy Versus Jason

If you want to get me into a movie theater to see a match between two tough guys, let's see:

Michael Ironside (V: The Final Battle, Total Recall, Starship Troopers)
Tommy Lee Jones (Under Siege, The Fugitive, Men in Black)

It would be a tough call to determine who would survive or win such a head-to-head , but don't forget Tommy Lee Jones did radio ads for Albert Gore in 2000, whereas Michael Ironside once starred in a movie with Arnold Schwarzengovernor. Advantage: Ironside!

Independence Day Round-Up

Good morning, and happy Independence Day to you all. I won't say Happy Fourth of July because it's not the date stamp that's important today, it's that it's the day upon which our forefathers declared independence from a monarchy.

Some other bloggers have written some well thought-out tributes to the nation, so I'll link to them in lieu of writing my own.

  • Kim du Toit tells how the new European constitution differs from the United States', and how that's bad. Sure, the Consitution came several years later than the Declaration, but these two documents have worked hand in hand to ensure the United States endures.

    (Off topic rhetorical question: Were the years between the Revolutionary War and the Constitution a quagmire?)

  • Kim du Toit also talks about coming to America as an immigrant. He chose to come here. Me, I was born here by sheer dumb luck.

  • Kim du Toit points to this year-old column by Eugene Volokh (of the Volokh Conspiracy) on National Review Online. Like du Toit, Volokh is an immigrant; his parents brought him to the United States when he was a young man. Volokh talks about his parents' courage in coming to a new land, unknown to a family from the USSR, but that their leap of faith paid off as we Americans could have guessed it would.

  • Jared Myers has a set of posts that include the President's message to the nation this morning and the Democrat Party's patholetic (pathologically pathetic) response. Start at the linked entry and read 'em all.

  • Emperor Misha (another naturalized citizen) has asked, Explain just WHY you feel that this nation is the freest nation in the world and just what it is that makes it so. Many of the loyal readers of the Anti-Idotarian Rottweiler have.
So breeze through these while you're having your morning coffee, but don't spend your whole day on it; instead, I insistyou celebrate the day, the country, and your families and friends.

Thursday, July 03, 2003
Stephen King Rules

The New York Post proves once again about how Stephen King is a good guy. Apparently, he bought out a show of 28 Days Later and gave the tickets to other people who wanted to see it.

Lileks mentions the story in a Bleat.

TechDirt Saw It Too

A poster over at TechDirt also noticed that Business 2.0 is heck-bent upon losing Web readership (which I noted yesterday).

Wednesday, July 02, 2003
Attention, Generation X Worktime Slackers

Hey, for those of you struggling through the last day at work (Thursday) before the long holiday (Independence Day) weekend, don't forget to squander some time at

Personally, I am reading up on the Metroid database so I can communicate effectively with my esteemed spouse who has been communing with Samus Aran on her Super Nintendo recently.

By "reading up," boss, I want to clarify I meant "reading up last night, not during core work hours."

Ask a Stupid Question

Business 2.0 (who has helpfully decided sometime today to put much of its content behind a subscription, thanks, guys) has a brief (briefer now with everything but the lead hidden away, thanks, guys) piece on trick interview questions.

The article, and the lead (which you can yet see) describes them as "sadistic" and "puzzling" attempts to see how the interviewee fares with "sadistic" and "tricky" and potentially "unanswerable" questions, because obviously that's the nature of the corporate environment.

As a service to my readers, I have put together this handy list of answers you can use in case the sadistic HR nutbar whips this out (the technical interview guys would never entertain such a fad, right?):

Question: Why are manhole covers round?
    Because the manholes are round.
Question: Why are Coke cans tapered?
    Before you answer this, challenge the interviewer to prove they are, in fact, tapered.

    Bonus alternate answer: To use the mystical powers of the pyramid to preserve the soda's tooth-dissolving power.
Question: How would you weigh the world's fattest man without using a scale?
    You cannot. The definition of weigh implies putting on a scale to determine the impact of gravity on an object.

    Bonus alternate answer: "I wouldn't."
Question: How many tennis balls are in the air in New Zealand right now?
    New Zealand is 15.5 hours ahead of the United States. Odds are, none right now unless they've started middle-of-the-night tennis leagues.

    Bonus alternate answer: 1,472 American tennis balls (2,447.62 New Zealand tennis balls). Answer right away, and let the interviewer prove differently.
These answers will prove to your interviewer that you're decisive when it comes to selecting a plausible lie, which is only reinforcing the impression he or she has gotten from your resume and the interview this far.

We Gave Up On Cable Too Early

I dropped off our digital cable box on Monday (and then dropped off, reluctantly, the remote Monday afternoon) after my beautiful wife and I determined the cost of "content" piped to a television most likely turned off exceeded our complete monthly electricity bill. We decided we could do without television and digital commercialless music. We might have thought too soon.

We made that rash decision before Rascall Flatts decided they would put nudity in their next video and before Country Music Television (CMT) decided they would play it.

If only I had known you could see naked people on cable television! Having the ability to see the human form--well, okay, the female form-- on cable television any time I want is worth $1100 a year!

(Thanks to Fark for the pointer.)

Tuesday, July 01, 2003
More Moderation! Same Low Price!

As soon as Kraft announced its plans to help fight obesity by cutting its portion sizes, I immediately knew the fat it was trying to cut was on its bottom line.

I'm not alone; as soon as I got to work and started streaming Weber and Dolan, Jay Weber lit into it. Other sources throughout the day, including blogs and radio personalities, quickly identified the move as designed to improve fiscal fitness more than physical fitness. Altruism? Not from Altria.

Instead of truly promoting the Aristotlean diet, moderation in all things--well, except in moderation, Kraft merely wants to spin and soak its for-profit maneuver in the "you attitude" that business writing professors everywhere encourage undergrads. Now, it's in a bind. Because everyone has seen through the gesture, Kraft might just have to lower prices for smaller portions (but the same size box!), or face a consumer revolt, unless we as consumers forg---

Hey, look! A shiny object!

Where's the Problem?

I think Democrat House Representative Jerry Kleczka, of Milwaukee, was trying to lash out against those tax-cutting Republicans in Congress when he kleczkavetched to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:
    "There's a conscious decision here to just destroy the revenue base of this country," said Kleczka, a Milwaukee Democrat. "They're starving the Treasury."
Starving the Treasury? Not spending money that the government does not have? Is this a problem or good governance?

Monday, June 30, 2003
Sullivaning Forth

As you can see, I have redone my blog blue, blue, and more blue. All the more to emulate Andrew Sullivan.

As an added bonus to the new colors, we have server-side processing problems, which leads to things like throwing a posting under yesterday's dateline and occasionally throwing in a server-side tag. I'll get around to getting around those things one of these nights.

Whitney Sings Norquist's Praises

Whitney Gould, the architectural critic of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, lauds the accomplishments of John Norquist, the soon-to-be-former mayor of Milwaukee.

In particular, she discusses the impact of Norquist's New Urbanist policies on the aesthetic value of the city of Milwaukee, and she identifies some of the mayoral influence on the building and architecture.

New Urbanism, or at least Norquism, have made Milwaukee look more fresh and vibrant than when he came into office. This New Urbanism seems to be a positive counterpart or corrolary of the Broken Window Theory of law enforcement. If any area looks inviting, active, and vibrant in its architecture and maintenance, people will want to come, work, and live there.

Sunday, June 29, 2003
Public Service Announcement Regarding Beer

As some of you know, my esteemed spouse has become something of a fitness/nutrition, er, expert (I was going to say "nut" but Heather has educated me that nuts contain a lot of fat, and she does not, so "expert" it is).

Since she's gotten into this "way of life" (insanity), we've started visiting the local Whole Foods Market, which sells wheat and fiber; wheat, tofu and fiber; wheat and soy; wheat, fiber and soy; wheat, fiber, tofu and soy; soy, fiber, tofu and soy; soy, wheat, soy, soy, fiber and soy; soy, tofu, soy, soy, soy, fiber, soy, tomato and soy; soy, soy, soy, wheat and soy; soy, soy, soy, soy, soy, soy, baked beans, soy, soy, soy and soy.

When we hit the antique food aisle (you know, expensive, authentic junk food), I found King Lager, a product of Australia, and certainly something of which our Australian friends cannot be too proud. Of course, I did not know that then, so I bought a six pack of it. I figured, of course, since it was in a health food store, it must be good for me.

I should have known you cannot brew granola.

Now, I have been known to enjoy some darker, heavier beers (Guinness Draught, London Porter, and some others), but this King Lager is like drinking wheat soup.

Sorry, guys, I have not slipped into the home brewing hell, so when the texture varies between sips, I have to wonder about the sanitary conditions of the brewery. Do the organic and natural designation cut-off point come before or after Louis Pasteur? Is that prime Australian hopps, or could it be wallaby tail?

On the bright side, my bones are stonger and I have a nice, shiny coat on my head (what remains).

Regardless, I am sticking to Guinness Draught. There are no snakes in Ireland!

Quotes for the Day

As one of the finishing touches of preparing my home office, I am replacing the little scrips of paper and index cards with inspirational quotes upon them to their rightful positions around my desk. For lack of a better topic this afternoon, I shall publish the quotes here, so you can be inspired, too, perhaps even to "ride a century," which contrary to what it sounds, is not sitting in the passenger seat of a Buick on a beer run.

    "Caelum non animum mutant qui trans mare current." (Those who cross an ocean change their sky, but not their soul.)

    "It is not the critic who counts, nor the man who points out where the strong man stumbled, or where a doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man in the arena whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs, and who comes up short again and again, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause. The man who at best knows the triumph of high achievement and who at worst, if he fails, fails while daring greatly, so that his place will never be with those cold timid souls who never knew victory or defeat."
    Teddy Roosevelt (thanks to for the cut-and-paste opportunity

    "Fortune knows
    We scorn her most when most she offers blows

    William Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra Act III, Scene XI

    Power is only Pain--
    Stranded, thro' Discipline

    Emily Dickinson, "252"

    "love to wyde y-blowe
    Yelt bittre fruyt, though swete seed be sowe." (Love too widely blown yields bitter fruit, though sweet seed was sown)

    Geoffrey Chaucer, Troilus and Criseyde (384-385)

    "An error made on your own is safer than ten truths accepted on faith."
    Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

    "Unlucky the hero born
    In this province of the stuck record"

    Syliva Plath, "The Times Are Tidy"
My goodness, I feel inspired and motivated to get up out of this chair and go get another beer!

To say Noggle, one first must be able to say the "Nah."