Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Texas and Toonces Win Again

2003's Proposition 12, which capped non-economic damages in malpractice lawsuits at $250,000, has been so effective in attracting doctors as to create a certification backlog for the Texas Medical Board.

This should say a few things to the United States and to those lucky few who have set down fairly strong roots here.
1. If you're having a doctor shortage (Hi Massachusetts!), try a little tort reform.
2. Texas, and more specifically Houston, may have my heart and residence for long periods to come. Toonces, you and your soon-to-be permanent whisky (yay bourbon) dick will have a fraternal bond to immoral prescriptioning.
3. Doctors need to get paid. Duh.
4. Texas wins again.

Oh, a fun Slate article on the distinct aroma of burnt human.

Bass' chili begins its two-day gestation this evening. In honor of artificially intimate disclosure of ages past, he plans to make Mississippi Mud the the broth beer of choice.

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Well, friends, I won't lie. The reason I've not posted in a couple days is that every last free second I've had lately I've spent trying to learn all I can about the Mac and Tiger. I even bought David Pogue's 900 page "Missing Manual" (information overload.)

I'm terribly self-conscious of my current n00b status, especially after spending my life thus far a weathered and battleweary, yet prideful, Windows veteran. I'm trying to alleviate the situation as quickly as possible - total immersion is the ticket!

Next subjects for mastery: the Automator and Quicksilver.

Update on hard drive recovery: It seems that no one I know owns a desktop (!), which places a hold on any forward progress with respect to recovering my multiple GBs of sloppy gay porn. Oh wait - Mango! Last time I was at his house, he had about 12 computers plugged in all over the place. Yes, yes, Mango...

This needs to be the video of the week:

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Saturday, March 24, 2007

First TOB post from the new MacBook

I feel like such a tool having this thing, yet so fucking cool at the same time.

I win at life.

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Two things that are fucking awesome

Both from the user submitted video section.

First, REAL LIFE MARIO KART! Totally legit.


Second, a 22 month old plays tennis on the Wii.

Suddenly, Elliot is worthless to me.


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Mii Lebowski

I'm surprised Toonces didn't post this one already. I wish that I had a Wii now. I have to go watch this tonight now.


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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Bad news, good news, worse news, and Turtles music

The bad news is that I think my motherboard is fried. The good news is that I was planning on buying a MacBook within the week anyway. The worse news is that I can't think of a cheap way to recover all my music and other media *coughporncough* from my (now homeless and useless) hard drive, barring purchasing a new cheapo motherboard for that sole purpose. My failure to archive has caught up with me, yet again. Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


I'm worried about the new Turtles movie. I can't put my finger on it, but the trailers just seem to lack a certain charm (to say nothing of their Feldmanlessness). It feels like it misses out on both the really seedy grit of the comics and the sheer absurdity of the original cartoons/movies. I guess I shouldn't pass judgment until I see it though.

One thing thing it can do to hold the standard and thus earn positive marks is to include a good, instantly dated soundtrack.

"Turtle Power" by Partners in KRYME, from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

8 Wheels, THE skating rink, used to play this song religiously, along with C+C Music Factory, Marky Mark, Hammer, and Ice. The only thing that sucks about it is that it calls Raphael the leader - what is wrong with these people? "Raphael is cool, but rude," DUH.

"Ninja Rap" by Vanilla Ice, from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze

Speak of the devil... I remember literally shitting myself in the theater when His Whitness made an appearance. Fucking AWESOME.

And the full music video. Drink every time you see the keytar.

Finally, "Tarzan Boy" by Baltimora, from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III

The weakest of the movies also sported the weakest of the soundtracks. I think ZZ Top and maybe Technotronic had songs on it, but Baltimora obviously took the cake.

TMNT trailer:

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Thank God, I've been waiting for this

That's right, a K-Fed search engine. All is right in the world.


Thursday, March 15, 2007

More fun with the Urban Dictionary

Re: #2: It's like they've got an inside man...

Here in just a bit I'm heading to San Angelo for the weekend. Hasta lunes.


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

What is the most annoying phrase in the English language?

That's the question posed by the Telegraph (UK). There are several hundred responses so far (many of the "stupid Americans" variety, of course).

Here's a funny one:

'No way Hose'

I hear this frequently from my Son and his circle of friends. Just who is Hose and what exactly is it that he shouldn't do?
Personally, the one I can't stand is "going forward" instead of "in the future." As in "Going forward, we want this to be as smooth a process as possible," or "Let's just use the booked volumes in our calculations going forward." Every boss in my group uses that phrase at least once a conversation. Get them all together in a meeting and it becomes the ninth circle of hell.

Oh yeah, the other one I can't stand is when people use "[name] and I" as captions for pictures in their online albums. It's "[name] and ME." If you were alone in the picture, would you caption it "I?" Of course not, you fucking tard.

What else is annoying?

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

This is for Virgil

A mini-doc of three Arkansas fans before, during, and after their loss to Florida in the SEC Championship game. I like the big boy the best.

Via Deadspin.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Galveston Railroad Museum

The Buddy loves trains, so on Saturday morning Maegan and I took him to the Galveston Railroad Museum.

The museum has three steam engines (static) and three diesel engines (operable) on display.



The museum also has on display a variety of passenger and freight cars that are open so that you have the ability to climb into them and have a look around. It's amazing that only a mere hundred years ago via train was literally the only way to travel or ship things across country.

Mail Car

Observation Deck in a "First Class" car

A hand car!

The best passenger car.

We had a great time. If you're ever hanging out in Galveston, a visit to the Railroad Museum is an excellent opportunity to catch a glimpse of a bygone titan of Americana.

Galveston Railroad Museum

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Rock and Roll Band

This post sucks to write, but this guy deserves it. This man probably means more to this blog than most other blogs, and it sorrows me to say that Brad Delp, lead singer of Triumvirate favorite Boston, passed away this weekend. This is typically suppossed to be a good week for people from Boston, being St. Patty's and all, but this it totally lame.

R.I.P. Brad Delp

My iPod also got stolen this weekend. How awesome is today.
At least I go to Austin tomorrow for SXSW, music and Shiner, that cannot possibly go bad.

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Friday, March 09, 2007

Friday night at the movies

Two movies that I really want to see that probably couldn't be any more different.

The first, and most obvious, is 300.

The other, perhaps not as well know, is Into Great Silence.

One is ephemeral eye candy, the other is a glimpse into the eternal; my dualistic tendencies persist.

Into Great Silence has a very limited release schedule. It's been screening in New York for a couple weeks now, but it's not coming to the Angelika in Houston until May. Austin and Dallas will have screenings, as well. (See here.) It looks like it would be worthwhile to see on the big screen.

Read more on the film and the Carthusian Order in the "About the film" section of the official site.

Next week my is going to be nice and slow at work, so I'll try to come up with something worth your while in between movie time.

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

6 Man

For grades 7 and 8 I went to school in Veribest, TX. It is a small, unicorporated community about 6 or 7 miles east of San Angelo. I think there were maybe 12 kids in my grade both years I was there. Schools of this size don't produce enough players to fill an 11 man roster, so they have to play six man football.

When I was in seventh grade, Veribest didn't have its own team yet (it didn't even have a high school then). Instead, we had to play for Paint Rock Middle School in Paint Rock, TX. This setup meant taking a bus another 20 miles east every afternoon for practice.

Here's a map.

In eighth grade, we finally got our own football team. Falcon football hit the big time. Just so you are aware of the talent level we were dealing with, I was a starting back. Yeah, we were bad.

Six man is a helluva fun game to play. Offensively, you have to line up 3 on the line, and 3 in the backfield. Everyone is an eligible receiver, but the person to whom the ball is snapped can't advance it unless he first tosses it or hands it off to another player, then has it passed back to him. Basically, you end up with every permutation of option/sweep ball imaginable, along with a few post routes for good measure, in an ultra fast paced game.

You play on an 80 yard field, and it takes 15 yards for a first down. If I remember correctly, you get two points for kicking the PAT, and only one for running a play - reversal of normal 11 man. Also, there was a mercy rule - if you are losing by something like 40 points by haltime, you lose nad the game is over. We got shown the mercy more than a couple times.

Some teams I remember playing against are Blackwell, Panther Creek, Eden, Rochelle, Abilene Christian, Iraan, and our arch-rivals, the Olfen Mustangs. For a look inside a small town six man team, watch this video about Blackwell. Veribest is even featured as their opponent in the second half of the show (blue and gold team).

Warning: it's a fucking tearjerker.

This one's a little more glorious:

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Tuesday, March 06, 2007


Yet another acronym in the dizzying letter-soup of healthcare acronyms I've had to acquaint myself with over the past few weeks, EMTALA (Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act) was passed by our beautifully bi-cameral congress in 1986 as part of the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. COBRA allowed workers and their family members to continue on employee-provided coverage, which tends to have lower group-based premiums, given they make the payments themselves in the event the covered employee say.......dies or divorces your innebriate, deadbeat ass.

If the transition from talking about COBRA to talking about EMTALA seems like badly disjoint writing in the issues they address, blame Congress. EMTALA guarantees that any hospital that accepts Medicare payments (uh...every hospital in any practical view) or operates an emergency department (ED much to the chagrin of hit NBC show fans) must provide treatment to anyone popping up in emergency conditions regardless of legal status, citizenship, or ability to pay. The savvy reader will immediately ask, "Who pays?" and then quickly answer his own question, "Duh, those that actually pay." It's like the "Please put your shopping cart in the collection corral so we can lower prices" plea you see on said shopping cart corrals with exponentially greater implications. Instead of distributing the cost of another minimum wage minority in impossibly baggy jean shorts, the hospital is distributing the cost of the skilled labor of physicians and nurses who, fancy this shit, like to pay off the debt they incurred gaining those skills before they turn 50.

I urge you to consume in-full this this easy-read post by a board-certified ED physician that delves a tit more deeply into the consequences of EMTALA. As always, reading the ensuing comments is worthwhile.

Done? Good.

Policies like these further steepen the slippery slope towards entitlement and lack of personal accountability. I understand that reform of this act will probably be in the final stages of healthcare reform (if it's ever touched at all). No politician will have an easy time lobbying to turn away immigrant amputees or, more likely, uninsured diabetic complications due to obesity. I just want my loved ones to know about such issues. I love you guys. Truly, madly, deeply.

Our readership is at least a billion less than it could be...

We're being blocked in China!

Go here and test any url to see whether or not it surmounts the Great Firewall of China. The testing is based on only one server in one location in China, but it's still neat to see what goes through and what doesn't.

Passed: myspace, google, the superficial
Failed: wikipedia, triumvirate of bland,

ASIDE: For this post, I got to use a tag that Giz had already created for a G'nR update. Synchronicity!


Monday, March 05, 2007

A Quick Reminder

The Perry Bible Fellowship is amazing.

"Eh,what's all this John?" "It's Peter Sellers."

Not much to report today. Had a great time at Virgil's crawfish boil this weekend. Got to see Dellach there, who had a special present for me. If any of you ever come and visit me in my office, you'll get a chance to see it hanging up - it's the coolest!

Now, be amused:

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Sunday, March 04, 2007

My New Favorite Blog

Its subject matter is one with which I'm fairly well-acquainted. It posts an easily digestable amount of material daily. It's Cookthink.

Now, I know in many minds the difference between average Joe gormandizer and urbane foodie is a dollop of pretention and use of the words "bouquet" or "clarity" in reference to Franzia's expensive cousins, but, to me, it's all about making a certain amount of deliberation about what you shovel into your face. This extends beyond adhering to the latest nagging health caveats into being adventurous with your tongue in ways that aren't inherently tied to getting that frickin' girl off so you can go to sleep (not that Vince ever has such compunctions). Concordantly, an interest in food will naturally lead you to at least a passing interest in cooking, a skill sure to help you in getting to aforementioned uses of tongue.

Anyway, the blog is clean with natural tone highlights, a cutting board banner, and lots of white space. The recipes are practical and peppered with enough pictures to provide a sense of confidence during execution. Periodically, they'll post on a basic cooking technique or preparation. I recommend signing up for their e-mail newsletter, Root Source, in which they delve into a particular ingredient's history, uses, and trivia. Last week's was quinoa, a grain sure to aid in my continuous quest to wean myself from the long grain rice that raised me. I dare say it's better than coping with Rachel Ray's disconcerting mania and just shy of Alton Brown's anal retention.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

A game to play if you're bored and/or a super lame-ass

I am consistently both.

Now, this may not be as cool as a million dollar geography riddle, but it is a good way to kill a lot of time. Jason and I play this at work about once a week. You really need two players to play for score and to make it competitive, but you can always play alone just to test yourself or to practice.

One player picks a school and a womens' sport. For example, soccer at Michigan State (random). Now go to the MSU athletics website, find the womens' soccer page, and then the roster listing. So far so good.

The player who didn't pick the school/sport gets to go first. Based solely on the general information listed on the roster page (name, class, high school, etc.), he must choose the girl that he thinks will be the hottest. The other player then makes his selection.

In our example, I would choose Player #2 (I'm not typing in full names in case these people ever decide to Google themselves.) She's got a good Irish name, and we all know there's always potential in that. Jason would probably pick #25. He likes Laurens, which are also a safe bet.

Finally, you are ready to click to find out which one is actually hotter!


In this case, I think mine would win, which means that I would get the point. Continue in this fashion (alternating roles every round) until one player scores a predetermined number of points, and wins the game!

Because tastes differ so, you've got to come to some sort of Gentleman's agreement about acknowledging each other's victories. Sometimes you have to be willing to concede that in general your opponent's choice would be considered more attractive than the one you picked, even though she may not necessarily be your kind of girl. On other words, be reasonable.

You can see where this can get nuanced. Statistically, you're giving both you and your opponent a better shot at picking out hotness by choosing, say, Longhorn volleyball over, I don't know, Providence field hockey. There's just more hot ones to pick from overall.

Other strategies I've developed:

-Never choose a goalkeeper, it's a guaranteed loss.

-The best sport for choosing a non-American is tennis. Even then, I would only choose one every five times or so. Those Eastern Europeans are a big time gamble.

-Always give slight preference for those who went to private school. Remember the maxim, "Money breeds hotness."

Have fun.

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