Musings from Brian J. Noggle
Saturday, February 11, 2006
Back at the Beginning, Waiting for Vizzini
Inigo Montoya? No. Steve Guttenberg.

(Link courtesy, or direct all blame to, Exultate Justi.)

Elves Need 1 or 2 on d6 at My House

Because secret doors in your home are cool.

Friday, February 10, 2006
Marketing Misfire
In an era where privacy and human rights advocates trash Yahoo! and Google for revealing information to various governments' sundry agencies, why on earth would the new AT&T (SBC) run radio spots identifying people by name and revealing their interests and how DSL will deliver what you're looking for quickly.

For example, Doug from (insert your market here) who likes ice dancing but is kind of embarrassed by it. AT&T has built a campaign around announcing they know what you want and they're not afraid to share it.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Hard-Boiled Animals
Kitten Goes Undercover in Vet Scam Probe

Noisy Dachshund Saves Woman From Fire

Eric Mink Takes A Stand
In the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, former television critic Eric Mink takes a stand on the violence erupting over editorial cartoons elsewhere in the world and, not surprisingly, finds a nuanced view where everyone is wrong but him:
    Having made the obvious points, I can’t decide who’s dumber: those who believe that beating people and torching buildings honor Mohammed and his teachings or those who believe there’s something honorable about insulting someone else’s religion simply to prove that they can.
Atta boy, Eric.

Perhaps editorial page apologists, by saying that editorial cartoons and their commonplace commentary are equivalent to violence, burning, mayhem, and bloodshed aren't so much trying to diminish the immorality of the latter but rather to inflate the importance and potence of their own meager scratchings on the stage of world events. Because deep down, it's probably very gratifying to see one's drivel have a visceral reaction and change the world. For better or for worse.

Book Report: Sea Change by Robert B. Parker (2006)
I paid this book at Borders on the day it came out, but that will come as no surprise to those of you who know me or who have read this blog for the last couple of years. I have been a strident Parker partisan for about twenty years now (see also "Meeting Robert B. Parker").

This is the fifth Jesse Stone novel, and I don't mind telling you, I like this series least. Jesse Stone comes across as less hard-boiled and more simpering....although he's hard enough with the bad guys and bantery enough with his police force, his issues with his ex-wife and whatnot really take too much of the book. Any of the book is too much. Unfortunately, as the snippets of him with his therapist unfold in a linear arc beginning with the first book and only advance the character when taken over the course of the series and advance the character independently of the action within the book, which means they're ultimately superfluous.

Jesse Stone, within this book, has to deal with sleazy sex and murder among the yachting class. He and his force plod along, encountering old standards Captain Healy and Rita Fiore and making a new acquaintance with a no-nonsense cop in Florida who's now eligible for repeat encounters in any or all of Parker's series or perhaps a series of her own (since the whole Helen Hunt/Sunny Randall thing seems to have gone by the wayside).

Still, I enjoyed the book and read it almost in a single sitting. Parker's dialog-laden prose is not very dense, and he hits a lot of familiar tropes, so long time readers can almost skim.

Evil Genius Tony Blair Sets Ultimatum
World has 7 years for key climate decisions: Blair:
    The world has seven years to take vital decisions and implement measures to curb greenhouse gas emissions or it could be too late, British Prime Minister Tony Blair said on Tuesday.

    Blair said the battle against global warming would only be won if the United States, India and China were part of a framework that included targets and that succeeded the 1992 Kyoto Protocol climate pact.

    "If we don't get the right agreement internationally for the period after which the Kyoto protocol will expire -- that's in 2012 -- if we don't do that then I think we are in serious trouble," he told a parliamentary committee.
Arbitrary deadlines and more government spending: Is there any problem that bureaucrats and politicos don't think they can solve?

Tuesday, February 07, 2006
Local Boy Makes Good
Milwaukee blogger Owen of Boots and Sabers has another regular column gig.

Man, he's making it look easy. Perhaps if I weren't so lazy, I could emulate his success.

Police Want Public Uninformed, Uneducated
Experts Blame Cop Show For Educating Criminals:
    When Tammy Klein began investigating crime scenes eight years ago, it was virtually unheard of for a killer to use bleach to clean up a bloody mess.

    Today, the use of bleach, which destroys DNA, is not unusual in a planned homicide, said the senior criminalist from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

    Klein and other experts attribute such sophistication to television crime dramas like "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," which give criminals helpful tips on how to cover up evidence.
In addition to knocking these shows off of the air, perhaps law enforcement would also prefer that we cut education spending or perhaps actually insert misinformation into the science curricula to ensure that our population cannot adequately think to prepare for crimes or to do anything, really, without the helping or hindering hand of the government.

Good Environmental News
Scientists hail discovery of hundreds of new species in remote New Guinea:
    An astonishing mist-shrouded "lost world" of previously unknown and rare animals and plants high in the mountain rainforests of New Guinea has been uncovered by an international team of scientists.

    Among the new species of birds, frogs, butterflies and palms discovered in the expedition through this pristine environment, untouched by man, was the spectacular Berlepsch's six-wired bird of paradise. The scientists are the first outsiders to see it. They could only reach the remote mountainous area by helicopter, which they described it as akin to finding a "Garden of Eden".
This is excellent news, since it means we can continue our hobby of exterminating species for a few more years than previously thought.

Camera Keeps Deputy Safer....When Ogling
TCoast deputy fired for using police camera to tape girls on beach:
    Martin County deputy used his dashboard-mounted video camera to zoom in on and record bikini-clad girls, including one showering at a public beach, a sheriff's office investigation reveals.

    Martin County sheriff Robert Crowder fired deputy Jack Munsey after the investigation, released Monday, concluded Munsey broke policy by using the video for unofficial purposes, spending on-duty time on off-duty activities and for improper conduct.
But, in the deputy's defense, the scantily-clad women were not victims while he was watching, proving once again that using cameras to focus on women prevents crime.

Monday, February 06, 2006
Because I Made Heather Miss It
The MacGyver Mastercard commercial

Movie Preview: Click
Because The Girl, The Gold Watch, and Everything had seventies hair.

Book Report: The American Private Eye: The Image in Fiction by David Geherin (1985)
I bought this book about a year and a half ago at Downtown Books in Milwaukee for $3.95. I don't know why I was looking for an almost scholarly survey of private eye fiction, but I bought it.

As I mentioned, this book surveys the evolution of the private eye character within American fiction from its origin in the pulps through the middle 1980s (when the book was published). It identifies certain eras (early pulps, post WWII detectives, sixties touchy-feely detectives, and modern detectives) and then identifies certain seminal authors and their most famous or influential creations. The book includes Raymond Chandler, Robert B. Parker, Ross MacDonald, Brett Halliday, Mickey Spillane, and Richard S. Prather among the obvious. I've read books from each of these and probably work from among the others in the list. Oddly enough, these sorts of summary books not only inspire me to read more of these authors, but also to write more so I can hopefully get included in some of these volumes in the future. If I'm lucky.

(As for inside baseball, Roger L. Simon is only mentioned in this book when the author notes that a character is not as Jewish as Moses Wine. Simon and Wine do, however, make up a large portion of Sons of Sam Spade: The Private-Eye Novel in the 70s, which I read in college when I should have been attending Biology 001.)

Thanks for the Accolades
Brian J. Noggle: #3 Yahoo! hit for steamy guy pic

For those of you who cannot get enough, here it is again:

steamy guy pic

On the other hand, no thanks to Mamma, who lists me as the number one hit for Brian humping Louis. Contrary to the evidence, my relationship with the Tri Lambda was purely plutonic, and although we did take a long hike together, we did not stop to "smell the flowers."

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