10.31.2005

New SCOTUS nominee: Alito


Ok...I'm still sifting through all the info I can find on this guy.

The People for the American Way has a 24-page preliminary report.

New World Man has an analysis of Alito opinions (1st and 2nd amendment). Lots of links.

ACSBlog has a bio of Alito.

SCOTUSblog has a blog round-up about Alito.

The Wiki entry for Alito also has a case history. Apparently, Alito was born on April Fools' and nominated on Halloween.

Conservative groups like the PFA and pundits like Michelle Malkin are showing support on day one as well. Malkin has links to conservative blogs that discuss Alito.

Election Law is predicting that Alito won't make it to the Senate floor for a vote. Highly doubtful.

Timetable, to me, looks iffy. With the holidays coming up, is it possible they can get this guy up for a vote in the Senate before 2006? I can't see how, but then again, I didn't think W would have a nomination for a while either, so what the hell do I know....

I can't say this guy surprises me in any way. This is exactly who I would assume W would nominate.

Weekend photoblogging

Went to the Orange and Blue scrimmage Friday night and the Illinois football game on Saturday. Friday was *way* more fun than Saturday, though I only took pictures on Saturday.






Perfect metaphor for the Illinois football season.












The best part of our day: the petting zoo....










Got some tickets from someone who must donate money: Look! A seat back---it was screwed into our seats! Since I *usually* only sit in the horseshoe, this was a real treat.









And then, I played poker on Saturday night. If you didn't know, that's head chica in charge.... (Sorry, chica, I had to post it---it's too cool!)




And, yes, before it gets pointed out, starx did take me out first in two games. I was *willing* to pay to find out if my instincts were right.

They were.

10.27.2005

Miers withdraws her nomination---Who's next?

As I'm sure you already know, Harriet Miers has withdrawn her nomination. The People for the American Way are calling this a complete capitulation to the far-right interest groups. My guess is that Miers was a half-hearted attempt at a "moderate" candidate.

And now, the speculation has begun. Alberto Gonzalez? Pricsilla Owens? Janice Rogers Brown? I think it's *definitely* going to be a nominee from the far-right. SCOTUSblog says that Gonzalez is probably out because he would run into the same problem as Miers: giving access to White House legal papers.

Test your ESP: Who's it gonna be?

And...a hidden gem...an overlooked news item: the Bush administration is abandoning the nuclear "Bunker-Buster" plan in favor of a similar device that isn't dangerously stupid.
At a congressional hearing earlier this year, NNSA chief Linton Brooks acknowledged there is no way to avoid significant fallout of radioactive debris from use of a bunker-buster warhead.
No kidding....

Books to Prisoners sale

Looks like they raised almost $3000 for the project. And if you thought I was joking about the book selection....



I think there will be another in April. I'll post it here if they do.

10.25.2005

Video Diner and Weezer

I dig this show. If you haven't caught Video Diner yet, you should. It's on WILL-TV Sundays at 11 pm, and then the same show reruns on following Saturdays at 11:40 pm. I *always* find something intriguing---either musically or visually. This week I was intrigued by the last two videos of the show:

Ok Go - "A Million Ways"
Oh No - Capitol

Weezer - "We Are All On Drugs"
Make Believe - Geffen

First off, the Ok Go video for "A Million Ways" is fabulous and I found a link online so you can watch it as well. It's hysterical and yet still *extremely* well choreographed. And the music is pretty cool as well.

As for Weezer, I like them anyway, so seeing a video of theirs that I hadn't seen yet for a song I hadn't heard yet was cool. But then when I was searching for the video so all of you could enjoy it as well, I found this little tidbit---apparently there is more than *one* video for this song. And apparently there is more than one song as well. Confused? Yah....

Well, apparently Mtv didn't want to put the video for "We Are All on Drugs" on, so they had Weezer make an alternative made: "We Are All in Love." Ok. Kinda changes the whole song, don't it? Most bizarre part? The video still clearly has the actors saying "on Drugs." If you can't tell, I'm rolling my eyes....

But there is *also* another video for the song "We Are All on Drugs"---only instead of the lead singer wandering around, it's the Grim Reaper's 1985 video for "Fear No Evil" shown as the visual accompaniment for the song. It's apparently only being shown on Mtv outside the US.

I can't tell you who is trying to say what here, but I *can* say a lot is being said with some audio and video.

10.24.2005

Vocab review: Fitzmas

So, apparently some liberal bloggers have coined a new term: Fitzmas. What is Fitzmas, you ask? Good question. According to a Wikipedia entry (which is proposed for deletion soon, so who know how long it will be up), Fitzmas is:
the name given by some liberal bloggers to the atmosphere of excitement and anticipation preceding the conclusion of Patrick Fitzgerald's grand jury investigation into the Plame affair. The word is a portmanteau of Fitzgerald's name and "Christmas".
The term is said to have originated on DU with this thread. Byron York of the National Review wrote a column about it last week making fun of the term. I've also seen some entries at Daily Kos about Fitzmas---complete with Fitzmas carols.

As far as usage, I've seen many examples, such as "The MSNBC home page this morning looks like it is all decorated for Fitzmas."

10.20.2005

Delay's mugshot on Smoking Gun



If that's not the most bizarre mugshot I've *ever* seen, I don't know what is....

Courtesy of Smoking Gun

Reporting from Dayton

I'm in Dayton, OH for a conference for the next few days. Conference starts tomorrow, so today was mostly pre-prep: packing, loading, driving, unloading (with *much* help from others who traveled here from work), and setting up (once again, with *much* help with others from work). A few highlights have made today rather interesting.

First, we stopped in Indy for lunch. We had KFC. Not all that interesting in and of itself, but what was nearby was interesting. (I took pictures, but I can't upload them from here, so I'll have to post them on Sunday when I get home.) "Babes," apparently a strip bar of some sort, was next to the KFC. The sign read: Babes---The Name Says It All. It sure as hell does.... Across the street was "Don's Guns, Hair, and Wigs." I'm not sure what to say about that....

Tonight, me and 6 other coworkers walked down to Dayton's Oregon District (think bars, cafes, stores, art galleries, restaurants, music stores, and more). We had dinner at the Blue Moon Bistro. I had several "Martian Screws" which were made with mandarin-infused vodka, cointreau, and OJ.

*Yummy*

Dinner was sushi-grade tuna barely cooked and encrusted with black sea salt, seaweed salad with cucumber included, and purple potato thingies with wasabi crusted scallops inside.

I had to turn down dessert.

And now...back in my hotel room ready to pop from dinner.

Oh yah, and Dayton has...A TROLLEY!!!

Sorry...had to point it out. You can learn more about Dayton here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dayton,_Ohio

Dayton is one of only six remaining U.S. cities with electric trolley bus service, which has been operating continuously since 1888, making it the longest running electric trolley service in the U.S. The trolley service is a part of the Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority or RTA.

10.19.2005

Menards to expand---in Urbana

Old Guy has an interesting post about an article in Wednesday's NG reporting a *huge* real estate purchase on the outskirts of Urbana. The article says that Tatman also bid on the property that Menards ended up with at a recent auction.

4 8 15 16 23 42---and three weeks

I watch very few shows on the TV machine anymore. And now, the *one* show I look forward to each week just blew it.

Ok. It's not really the show. It's the fact that after only *4* new episodes, Lost isn't returning for 3 weeks.

3 *friggin* weeks.

I mean, come on. Ok, I get that the Worlds Series is coming up and all, but the show, at it's core, is a suspenseful mystery. And no show for weeks kinda breaks the tension.

I don't know why I didn't see it coming. The Powers-That-Be *always* start rationing out good shows. And, since sweeps kick in next month, I get what they are doing---makin' me jones for two weeks so I watch religiously in November during sweeps.

High ratings = More ad revenue

I feel like I've just been pimped out.... *shudder*

Guess I'll have to get my Lost fix somewhere else.... Anyone know the password this week?

(Oh yah, and anyone else think that the teddy bear carrying zombie was Alex, the french woman's son?)

10.18.2005

Champaign-Urbana Drive 25 Neighborhood Group

I had dinner tonight with a good friend of mine and her three boys. Unfortunately, a tragedy occurred in front of her house exactly one month ago. Some of her friends and their children had stopped by her house on a sunny Sunday afternoon to play. But, unfortunately, one of the children, an 8-year-old, accidentally rolled out into the street on one of those convertible scooter/skateboard things and was struck by a driver going *way* over the speed limit. I won't go into the gory details, but the excessive speed definitely contributed to this child's death. As we talked about the accident and how the mother of this young child gone way too soon was doing, I told her about a new blog I recently found while checking Illinipundit today.

The Champaign-Urbana Drive 25 Neighborhood Group blog is described as "A blog for the people of Champaign-Urbana, Illinois who want to see the residential speed limit lowered to 25 citywide." I've added the blog to my links.

As someone who lives one street north of Church in Champaign, I hear and see people recklessly driving *way* too dang fast every morning and night. And, while I was annoyed with the speeders using my street as a dragstrip on their way to work and a substitute highway on their way home from the bars at 2:15am, I am now wondering how long before one of the children on my street becomes the next fatality.

My friend told me how she and her husband and neighbors were discovering how difficult it is in Champaign to get traffic calming methods instituted. The blog goes into way more detail if you are interested.

Frankly, we could take care of the financial problems of our local school districts just from speeding tickets on my street and the street where the tragedy occurred alone. Just stop and think: is driving that fast worth someone's life? Is it worth *your* child's life?

Think about it....

Books to Prisoners book sale this Saturday




A local group, Books to Prisoners, is having an absolutely *huge* book sale this Saturday, October 22nd from 9am to 5pm at Lincoln Square Mall.

They are set up in a vacated store somewhere in the mall (that shouldn't be *too* hard to find). Rumor is they have nearly 40,000 books to sell and, after attending the book sale last spring, I can tell you the selection is outstanding. Fiction, non-fiction, children's books, hardback, paperback, classics, textbooks, how-to books, and more. They recently receive a huge donation of books from a group in a northern suburb of Chicago. These books have been picked up and added to the sale.

Prices (if they are the same as last year) are:

Large paperbacks and hardbacks are $1.
Paperbacks are .50
Books are discounted when you buy quite a few (like 12 hardbacks for $10 or something similar)

Last year I picked up so many I haven't gotten through them all. I picked up about 8 James Michener books, 4 Isabel Allende books, 2 Elmore Leonard books, some political books (Ann Coulter *and* Michael Moore), a Photoshop Users Guide (usually $50 at bookstores), and several classics like Catcher in the Rye, Walden, A Brave New World, Fellowship of the Ring, Animal Farm, and more.

This is a fabulous book sale if you are a book lover or heavy reader. All the proceeds go to shipping costs and purchasing requested books that haven't been donated. Prisoners in Illinois prisons request certain books from BookstoPrisoners and they fill the requests with donated books. Hardback books cannot be sent to prisons, so all of those are sold to pay for shipping, but by buying books from the sale, you will be helping to buy dictionaries, GED guides, trade books, and other book requests from prisoners. BookstoPrisoners has also help start a library at the Champaign County jail.

If you happen to find a copy of Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich, pick it up for me. I seemed to have loaned my copy out and never got it back....

DJ RX and the party party mixes

Newsweek recently had a small blurb about an anonymous DJ who lampoons W with his own words. Basically, he remixes bits and pieces and makes them match a song.

You can download or stream his mixes at http://www.thepartyparty.com/

"White Lines" is probably my favorite.

From the Newsweek article:
RX's "mash-ups" have now been downloaded more than 2 million times. And though he hasn't held a job in five years, his DJ'ing cred might help him cash in: he was recently approached, he says, by an L.A. creative agency that makes movie trailers, a New York ad agency that wanted to discuss working on a beer commercial and a "major" U.S. music label. RX's new, original single "White Lines," in which Bush gossips about Kate Moss, hits record stores later this month. Upcoming targets? "If Condi Rice has any intention of running for president," RX says, "she'll find herself a pop star."
They really are masterpieces. I don't have a *clue* as to how he does it, but it sure does entertain me.

10.17.2005

Boondocks coming to Adult Swim

So...you probably heard me ramble on and on about one of my favorite shows---Aqua Teen Hunger Force. I love this show with a bit too much passion. But...now...something *else* is about to hit Adult Swim that is either gonna be a huge hit or a huge flop. It's hard to turn a strip into a cartoon (I'm thinking specifically of Garfield or the entire Baby Blues fiasco) and I'm seriously hoping that Boondocks makes the transition well.

November 6th is apparently the launch date. There are a couple of promo clips you can watch to get a feel for what the show might be like, but I can tell you this right now---it will be political, un-PC, and unabashedly controversial.

I can't *wait.*

If you have been living under a rock for the past few years, you can view some of the present and past strips to get a better feel for Boondocks.

And, if you don't know how controversial Aaron McGruder can be, you are in for a treat. It's a long article, but it has *lots* about Aaron McGruder, the creator of Boondocks, in it.

Like I said, *always* controversial, but at the same time, bitingly funny.

Got some feedback and added some shiny toys

I've added a hit counter and something from Feedburner that should provide readers with a RSS feed. Try it out and let me know if you can add me to your RSS reader. If not, I'll tweak it a bit.





Still looking for a profile picture...this one creeps my nephew out. Probably *not* the best choice.

10.16.2005

Speak now or forever hold your piece....

So...I'm starting this blog and I'm taking suggestions.

I'm huge into:

politics
pop culture
local issues and news
Illinois men's basketball
no-limit texas hold 'em
food
fun

But...what kinds of things are *you* interested in....