Musings from Brian J. Noggle
Friday, September 17, 2004

Headline: U.S. Weapons Inspector: Iraq Had No WMD.

Lead paragraph:
    Fallen Iraqi President Saddam Hussein did not have stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, but left signs that he had idle programs he someday hoped to revive, the top U.S. weapons inspector in Iraq concludes in a draft report due out soon.
Considering that actual shells with chemical weapons have been found, that logically refutes the "no," but I suspect logic remains outside the grasp of some AP reporters.

Good Form, Peter

I heard a radio ad for the Law Firm of Gurreri, O'Malley, and Gonzalez and visited their Web site at We Break

Amusing and effective.

Too bad they don't have the audio of the radio ad, though.

A Photoshopper Rises to the Challenge

At Asymmetrical Information, Mindles H. Dreck photoshops the CBS logo. Very well.

Aunt Hazel Says

Why don't the Chicago Bears have a Web site?

Because they can't put three Ws in a row.

(Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker, as told to Jay Weber on WISN.)

Thursday, September 16, 2004
Where Is the Spirit of the Internet?

Come on, guys, when do we get to do some photoshops of the CBS logo? Here are some to get you started:

Alternate CBS Logo 1

Alternate CBS Logo 2

Alternate CBS Logo 3

Now get to it!

The Chicks Dig It

I'm flattered that everyone who has signed up for Vote or Not through this blog has so far been a woman. Wow, my blog is the babe magnet.

It's got to be the hat. Or the vast nostril.

Thanks for reading, and thanks for signing up.

In East St. Louis, He Would Have Been Ticketed

In Whitehorse, Canada, a Black Lab took a truck for a drive:
    A pedestrian in a Whitehorse suburb was taken aback Tuesday night when a dog drove by in a red pickup truck.

    Police say a person was out for a walk when the truck with a black Labrador at the wheel passed by.

    When police arrived, the truck was in the middle of Thompson Road in Granger, blocking traffic. The dog was still behind the wheel.
All's well that ends with no fatalities in Canada:
    There were no injuries or damages, and no indication from police they plan to charge the owner.
Which is unlike East St. Louis, where the dog would be ticketed for driving without a license and without insurance and the owner charged with endangering an animal.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004
Book Review: Buck Rogers: A Life in the Future by Martin Caidin (1995)

I bought my copy of this book at Downtown Books for $3.95 because I was feeling extravagant, and because I liked the second television show. TSR, the former role playing game company commissioned this book to promote its former role playing game, which was based not on the television show but on the original books from the 1930s (but not the film serial). So I read the book bearing in mind the comparisons that sprang from its precedents.

And the book lacks.

Of course it's a role playing game novel. It features five adventures put together into a loose campaign, wherein Buck is updated from a World War I pilot to a 1990s ace who is purposefully suspended by a secret military program. After his revival in the 25th century, each of Buck's adventures goes through the common RPG cycle: going to the store (wherein Buck and the reader are innundated with technical detail to increase the plausibility of the 25th century technology); briefing (wherein Buck and the readers receive the salient explication laid out by the dungeon master superior officer); adventure (wherein Buck does neat things in a progression of exotic locations); and debriefing (wherein Buck receives his experience points and resulting promotion in level/rank and the dungeon master superior officer gives the hook for the next adventure). Unfortunately, in Caidin's presentation, this cycle is too obvious, and the formula too patented and used with appropriate license from the company that owns all role playing gaming concepts.

So it was a brief, mildly entertaining read crushed under the weight of its own rule books and descriptions of the items, back story, and rules of the game.

The back of the book features a reprint of the original Buck Rogers origin from the 1930s, which provides a means of comparison between the eras. So the book's best impact is as a source of an alternate retelling of the myth. But it's not a very good primary source to enjoy on your own.

One final note: Defense of Michelle Malkin's thesis from her new, often-assailed book In Defense of Internment: The Case for Racial Profiling in World War II and the War on Terror comes in the darndest places. Here's a bit from page 309, wherein the sudden spy revelation, well, reveals the spy to be Japanese:
    The Japanese used secret agents on a long-term basis. They would plant their people in a foreign land for years. They were part of the local community, a fifth column, so to speak. Then, when Japanese forces made their moves, they always had amazing knowledge of defenses and how to get through them. By now it was getting obvious we had some kind of agent on our hands."
Undoubtedly, this is one of the reasons why the reviewers for this book call it RACIST!!!! I'm not historical scholar, so I cannot attest to the historical accuracy of the assertion, but I attest that the book's not racist. It presents different racial groups such as the Mongols and the Chinese as different, with different agenda that oppose the main characters. Antagonists of another race or ethnic group is not racism in and of itself, but keep trying, kids.

Party Like It's 1989

Hot or Not in ASCII.

Damn, look at the semi-colons on her!

Neil Steinberg: On the Wrong Side of History

From today's column:
    The New York Times turned its attention to men's hats last month. Hats, it said, are enjoying "an unforeseen resurgence" in popularity. The "unforeseen" is puzzling, since the media have been announcing men's hats are back regularly for the past 40 years.

    "Hats are back," the Fresno Bee noted last year. "Hats are once again cool," the Tulsa World wrote in 2002. In 2001, the Chattanooga Times Free Press trumpeted "hats are back." In 2000, the Chicago Tribune suggested "the hat is making a comeback."

    "Hats," the Minneapolis Star Tribune observed in 1999, "are back." And on and on and on.

    But hats are not back, and probably are never coming back, though the reason why is lost to general memory. Everyone has seen old photographs of crowds at baseball games, and marveled at the unbroken sea of hats. What we do not realize is that many, perhaps most, of those men hated wearing hats, which were expensive, easily lost and a bother. They all wore hats because they had to.
I say hats never went out of style.

I'll hold him, Brock; you hat him.

You Know Who I Feel Bad For?

Miikka Kiprusoff.

He had to stand in the St. Pete Times Forum with his mask up, waiting for the final handshake after the Tampa Bay Lightning beat his Calgary Flames in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Last night, he had to do the same thing in Toronto after Canada beat his country's team in the World Cup last night.

Jeez, he's going to apotheosize into a bonafied underdog.

(Yes, I did just coin the verb bonafy, which henceforth shall mean "become authentic." Feel free to use it amongst yourselves.)

Tuesday, September 14, 2004
Spurious Assertion

Progressive Insurance trades insurance discounts for little boxes that track on users' driving habits.

Progressive chairman of the board Peter B. Lewis has given over fourteen million dollars to pro-Democratic 527 groups.

Vast Left Wing Conspiracy uniting politicians and corporations to strip privacy from common citizens? You read it here first!

Cock your tin foil helmet to a rakish angle and follow me.

Pajama Blogging

Like many bloggers, I blog in my pajamas:

Pajama blogging

Because I take off the jacket for bed, but not the hat.

Criminey, one session as a model during a photo shoot and suddenly I think my face should be all over the Internet. Who am I to talk about hubris?

In Touch with Middle America

In this month's Playboy, in between alternate Bush-bashing and baring, a round table entitled "Rip. Burn. Die." gathers music industry insiders to discuss the problems and challenges within the industry. While discussing exhorbitant concert prices, two known figures offer nuggets of insight into the little man's mind set:
  • John Mayer:
    We charge around $40 for a ticket, which isn't a lot of money. Twenty-three year old kids have $40 to spend on a concert. They may say they don't, but they do.

    (John Mayer doesn't point out that $40 represents almost seven hours' of labor at minimum wage. Factor in the convenience fee applied to a ticket, and you're looking at a full day's work. Now, imagine you're taking a date; that's Monday and Tuesday of your work week, which isn't a big deal to John Mayer. Now, say you've got a family, and you need parking for the minivan, and suddenly you're not buying any souvenirs or food, and the concert's not that much of a good entertainment value, but who am I to complain? I've already been to one whole concert this year.)

  • Sharon Osbourne:
    We could charge more, but with what's going on with unemployment in this country, we want to keep ticket prices down.

    (Ms. Osbourne doesn't mention that unemployment is still at a relative historical low, which means that if she had her druthers, the marked increase in ticket prices would be even more if she weren't afraid to lose more concertgoers, so she'll get in a little dig at the current president if she doesn't have anything else to say.)

Thanks for your insight, celebrities and those whose work provides them with a better-than-middle-class living which apparently has divorced them from fiscal realities here outside the stratosphere.

Packer Flag Protocol

I've got a nice 3' x 5' Packer flag to fly this year, but now that I've got it, I'm not sure the protocol. I mean, my first inclination is to fly it on game day, and then on the following day when the Packers win. But I'm not clear on the protocol.

Any readers with the formal Packer flag protocol are encouraged to contact me with details. This Packer flag is serious business, and I do not want to besmirch Green Bay fans around the country by disrespecting the banner they hold dearly.

Note: No known Chiefs fans or Rams fans need reply. I am onto your tricks.

Global Warming Update

Scientists and policy makers think global warming probably continues unabashed, according to the simulations they run, and as a result, the United States should hobble its industry and become a socialist state like enlightened European failures-in-making:
  • Blair to urge US to take tougher action on global warming

      Tony Blair will today urge the United States to commit itself to a tougher action to combat global warming and promise that a list of green policies will be included in Labour's general election manifesto.

      The Prime Minister is to raise the profile of green issues as part of a drive to woo back people disaffected by the Iraq war.

      Labour's private polling shows that "progressive voters", many of whom were alienated by Mr Blair's stance on Iraq, regard the environment as a top priority.

      Speaking to a conference staged by the Prince of Wales's Business and the Environment Programme, Mr Blair will stop short of a full-frontal attack on President George Bush but make clear Britain will expect America to accept its responsibilities on global warming when it takes over the presidency of the G8 group of leading industrialised nations in January.

      Mr Blair, who believes the Kyoto Treaty does not go far enough, will reiterate his call for the United States to sign it. He will identify climate change as one of the greatest challenges facing the planet, saying that one country acting alone cannot solve the problem.

    Thanks, Tony, for calling for American action while overseas. How about talking to dirty-but-growing industrial Asian companies, who pump out greenhouse gases, soot, and air pollution that blow easterly towards our countries? No? Can't stop them because they don't have "enlightened" populations willing to commit seppukku over their unjust strength?

    Why don't you spend time on possible dreams. Like getting the United States to adopt the Euro.

    'Cool gray city' projected to turn murderously hot
    Temperatures likely to rise by mid-century as a result of global warming, study warns

      San Francisco's trademark cool summers are likely to heat up dramatically before the century is over, scientists said Monday, bringing frequent heat waves and a big jump in heat-related deaths.

      A new city-by-city analysis of California climate projections suggests that everybody's favorite "cool gray city of love" may be in for a shock from the local impact of global climate change.

      Critics, however, said that such doomsday global-warming scenarios were highly speculative -- designed mostly to sway public opinion and influence policy-makers considering proposals to cut heat-trapping vehicle emissions.

      The latest projections by the Union of Concerned Scientists in Washington, D.C., suggest that in a worst-case scenario, San Francisco can expect 55 heat- wave days -- three or more consecutive days of temperatures above 79 degrees -- a year by the 2050s and up to 135 such days a year by the 2090s, compared with only 10 to 15 heat-wave days in the 1990s.

    Union of Concerned Scientists? Sounds like they might have an agenda outside of science, but it's remarkable that anyone can claim the mantle of "scientist" by writing computer simulations of things that might be instead of studying things that are where conclusions need to be repeatable.

    But then again, I've never gotten a government grant, so what do I know about real science?
Meanwhile, after a notoriously cool summer:

Old Farmer's Almanac predicts colder, snowier winter for much of country

    Time to break out the long underwear. The Old Farmer's Almanac is predicting a colder and snowier winter for a wide swath of the country.

    The editor-in-chief says it'll be colder than average from the Rocky Mountains eastward.

    The exceptions will be Montana, Wyoming, northern New England and the Appalachians, but even these areas will be very cold toward the end of winter.

    More snow than usual is expected from the Great Lakes, across New England and down to the Middle Atlantic states, and from northeastern New Mexico, across northern Texas and Oklahoma, across the Ohio Valley to the Middle Atlantic.

    The almanac is the oldest continuously published periodical in North America, making its debut in 1792. It also boasts a weather accuracy rate of 80 percent.
Maybe it's once again time to switch the unproven longterm meterologipolitical assertion back to global cooling brought on by industrialization.

Pardon me, fellows, but it's the height of hubris to know that the actions of this single species of man can so easily and irrevocably alter global and even celestial mechanisms of which we have incomplete understanding. I pray we don't all pay for the hubris of a few "enlightened" despots.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Live blogging the Packer game because I got nothing.

That's not a fumble, that's a lateral by other means.

Sunday, September 12, 2004
Think About It

Adobe: A sun-dried, unburned brick of clay and straw.

Acrobat: One who is skilled in feats of balance and agility in gymnastics.

So one would think that an adobe acrobat would be the idiomatic equivalent of a lead zeppelin or a stone kite; that is, something that doesn't fly very well.

Tales from Pseudo-Bachelorhood Tape Delayed Live Blogging

As my beautiful wife has been riding the MS 150 this week, that's left me alone in the house with beer and DVDs. Allow me, then, to dramatically recreate the situation.

Friday night, 8:15 pm.
DVD: Master and Commander: Far Side of the World

Hey! That doctor guy kinda looks like Paul Bettany.

Friday night, 8:35 pm.
DVD: Master and Commander: Far Side of the World

Hey, that doctor guy is Paul Bettany.

Friday night, 11:12 pm.
DVD: North by Northwest

Title credits open on New York City, 1949. That's 55 years ago. Drop someone in modern business dress in it and they wouldn't look too out of place and could get along fairly well, no matter what lessons Pleasantville might have you believe.

Friday night, 11:23 pm.
DVD: North by Northwest

Hey, check out the Thornhill library; see those Classics Club volumes on the wall to the right, shoulder height? I collect those now, and I've got more than Thornhill does.

Friday night, 11:26 pm.
DVD: North by Northwest

Hmm, if I'm barely conscious and find myself behind the wheel of a speeding car, I think I could still find the brakes. Unless, of course, is was like a Model A with a hand brake or something.

Friday night, 11:32 pm.
DVD: North by Northwest

I still prefer Gary Cooper over Cary Grant. But that's probably because I saw him in The Fountainhead first, and I'm a hopelessly philosopharian idealogue whose ongoign experience is filtered through the paper of Ayn Rand.

Friday night, 12:40 am.
DVD: North by Northwest

Man, it's a business casual world; Cary Grant's in the hospital, and The Professor brings him slacks, a dress shirt, and dress shoes. Cary Grant goes housebreaking and rock climbing in those shoes. Crikey, my feet hurt just watching it.

Friday night, 12:59 am.
DVD: Lethal Weapon IV

Second tanker truck exploding tonight. First one hit by biplane. Second one by flying man. Funny, the bad guy in the beginning has a full automatic, but the group uses the words "Assault Weapon."

Friday night, 1:10 am.
DVD: Lethal Weapon IV

The four Lethal Weapon movies, completed over eleven years, have a remarkable internal structure; they retain much of the same cast throughout for even the bit parts, such as the police psychologist and Captain Murphy, not to mention the Murtaugh kids. They user similar jokes and everyone ages. I like it.

Friday night, 1:13 am.
DVD: Lethal Weapon IV

Hey, that's the dude from Office Space as the INS agent. Can he ever play a straight role again?

Friday night, 1:15 am.
DVD: Lethal Weapon IV

Let's not forget that Jet Li plays a bad guy in this one. Like Chuck Norris, I'm glad he's been a good guy in his later films.

Friday night, 3:05 am.

True story: in 1989, I did some manual labor for a bar owner in Milwaukee, and for 3 days of work, I got $60. That's three whole twenties, brother, and considering I was subsisting throughout high school on what I could earn by my wits and the dollar a day in lunch money I saved by not eating lunch, $60 was a bunch. So I had the opportunity to pick up a forty-five rpm single of M/A/R/R/S's "Pump Up The Volume" or seeing UHF in the theater with my last $10 of the wad. I took the record because I figured UHF would be in the theaters for a while. I was wrong.

UHF was also the first, and as far as I can remember, only movie I purchased on Pay-Per-View.

It was also one of the first DVDs we bought, and it's sat in the queue for a couple of years, but I cracked it open.

It featured Victoria Jackson at the height of her fame and Fran Drescher and Michael Richards before they were famous (which seems to have ended now), andGeneral Hospital's Luke.

And is it me, or does Weird Al just look wrong without the glasses nowadays?

Friday night, 5:05 am.

Cripes, I've got to get to bed.

Saturday, 12:00 pm.

I wish I could set the alarm for later, but I've got a family reunion.

Saturday, 8:04 pm.

Go, Canada! If the United States can't win the World Cup, at least it can be our plucky mascot country.

They used to be sidekicks, but they've stopped kicking.

Well, that's what I did this weekend. I'd enumerate what I ate, but it wasn't enough and it wasn't healthy. I'd enumerate what I drank, but this post is long and boring enough as it is, and I've got to whirl dervishly to clean this joint up before the hot woman arrives because chicks dig clean domiciles. Especially their own.

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