09/30/05 - Weekend of Ulcers

So this weekend is a big weekend for baseball, if you haven't been paying attention. The Red Sox are one game behind the Yankees for the American League Eastern Division title. There are three games left in the season, and the Sox are playing the Yankees in all three of those games.

This is serious business. I'm super nervous. Seriously.

Go Sox.

09/29/05 - Gimme Ten

Did you see that they changed the ten dollar bill again? Yesterday they announced the new look. The redesigned $10 note features "subtle shades of color and Symbols of Freedom". The symbols include the Statue of Liberty's torch and the words "We the People". Hey, freedom isn't free ...

Me personally? I smell conspiracy.

I know, I know, you think I'm crazy. But hear me out.

Ten short years ago we had normal money. The same money we've had since the 1950s. It fit us as a nation - solid, reliable, stoic. It wasn't bright and fruity like European money, with different colors and or sizes per different denomination. It was utilitarian. Useful but not flashy.

But then in 1996 the $100 was redesigned - primarily with a larger portrait of Franklin, but also with new counterfeit deterrents. The $50 followed in 1997, the $20 in 1998, and the $10 and $5 in 2000.

It took some getting used to, but for the most part the country didn't freak out. At least the money was still green.

Then in 2003 they changed the $20. Again. Five years had barely passed. This time they added color. "The new $20 note features subtle background colors of green, peach and blue, as well as images of the American eagle. This will help everyone - particularly those who are visually impaired - to tell denominations apart."

What the fuck kind of rationalization is that?! Visually impaired citizens can tell the difference between peach and blue and an eagle? They're blind, for Chrissakes! They can't tell the difference between a fifty and a piece of crumpled-up note paper!!

I smell conspiracy. I think, sometime back in 1995, someone decided to change the United States currency to multi-hued, big portrait monopoly-looking money. But, knowing that this abrupt change wouldn't fly, they slowly rolled out the plan over a decade.

What I'm saying is: this isn't random. There's a scheme. A plan. A system in place. And don't give me that staying ahead of currency counterfeiters bull. I don't know why, and I kind of don't care, but I think something fishy is going on.

Like the Golden Dollar coin - the Sacajawea dollar. That thing was doomed from the start. Who wants to use a coin if the tried-and-true paper dollar is still available? The Golden Dollar came out in in 2000, and was out of production by April of 2002. They spent more time -- the three years from 1997-2000 -- planning for the dollar than the entire time run of its production!

The General Accounting Office stated that in a report in September of 2002 about the failed marketing of the coin that any number of surveys done domestically as well as abroad state that a population will not embrace two forms of money for the same denomination. Common fucking sense.

I'm not saying that I have all of the answers, not by any means. It just seems to me like these things don't randomly happen. Why would someone want to mess with the money? Who knows. I just think something's up.

09/27/05 - Vanessa Minnillo

Wow, this is what I'm missing by not having cable TV.

The cover model of the month's Maxim is Vanessa Minnillo, the new VJ on TRL. And I must say, "I want my MTV".

Just a tad better than Carson Daly, you think?

Pretty soon it's going to be a bunch of 30 year old dudes in Times Square outside the window of TRL screaming like teenagers.

09/24/05 - New TV

I forgot to talk about this during the week! Shit! I've got a possible new favorite show: My Name is Earl!!

I've always though Jason Lee was the man, or, at least in the decade since Mallrats. Maybe finally now he'll get recognized as a comic genius?

Either way, check it out Tuesdays at 9 on NBC.

09/23/05 - Pulled a Gabe Kapler

I hurt myself playing kickball last night.

Yes, you read that correctly. I hurt myself playing kickball last night.

See, I was running out a play at first base and, after reaching safely, slipped on the wet grass and twisted my ankle. Oh, it's not enough to go to the doctor or anything, but bad enough to cause me to limp a bit. Granted this also offers me the macho posturing that is inherent with sports injuries.

Okay, maybe not. Plus the team is 75% my coworkers anyway, so they saw it happen.

Either way, yes, we started playing kickball last night in one of the parks in Portland under the lights. We're part of WAKA - the World Adult Kickball Association. (Could I make this shit up??)

WAKA is the World Adult Kickball Association - a social-athletic organization created to advance the joy of kickball around the world. WAKA's mission statement says it all - "To provide a unique club with an inclusive co-ed social culture and establish the WAKA Kickball experience as the New American Pastime™!"

Yeah, it's kind of goofy, but hey, we all need a pastime, and I hear this is the new American one ...

09/21/05 - Bad Association

So I swear I'm running out of songs to listen to on my commute to work, because yes, I only have 8,359 songs in my iTunes. Either way, I'm doing that "AutoFill" thing now, where the user is too lazy to actually pick the songs he or she wants to listen to, so the computer randomly picks the songs to fill the iPod.

Combine that with the "shuffle" part of the iPod shuffle, and you get randomness.

Also you can get bad news. There's this one band I used to love when I was in Southern California. This little ska band called Suburban Legends. For a summer they were playing for free down in Anaheim at Disneyland and I saw them a couple dozen of times. Once on my birthday they were playing in LA so we went and they even gave me a shout out ... thanks to my buddy Phil who told them it was my birthday.

Anyway, they have this one song "Bring Spring Morning" that was on my list of banned songs after my last horrible breakup. I haven't listened to the song in two full years. Not to put too much meaning into it, but it was one of the larger impetuses for me to escape Southern California.

As you can imagine, somehow, randomly that song has found its way onto several of my AutoFilled iPod playlists lately. It's not a bad song, but it's just so tainted by hate now that I still can't bear to listen to it.

Maybe in another two years ...?

09/18/05 - Carbon Dioxide in the Atmosphere

Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations did not change appreciably from AD 1000 to 1850, standing at roughly 288 parts per million.

Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels were at 380 ppm by July 2005.

At the current rate, by early in the next century the levels will reach 900 ppm. That would mean four to five Fahrenheit degrees of warming for the world as a whole, raising sea levels by a meter or more.

09/17/05 - Quotable pt 2

09/16/05 - Quotable

The movie "Fever Pitch" wasn't really good. It's one of those movies that works really great as a premise. A "Trailer Movie" ... not unlike what they were going for in the movie "Burn Hollywood Burn".

A movie about the Red Sox, made during 2004 when the oft embattled team wins the World Series for the first time in 86 years? I think everyone in New England yelled out, "That's a wicked good idea!" at the same time.

Sadly, the Farrelly Brothers made it, and they're just too gimmicky for me. And Jimmy Fallon was the worst casting choice made in all of Hollywood in recent history. Don't get me wrong, I'm like, one of the two percent who didn't mind him on Saturday Night Live. But I hold baseball movies much higher in regard than some cheesy late-night show.

Either way, I just read a great quote about this movie. Apparently Bobby Farrelly said to Peter Farrelly during the filming, "It's like making Pearl Harbor during Pearl Harbor".

That's accurate on so many levels.

09/11/05 - She Had Me at "Jesus"

How did I miss this?!? Sarah Silverman has a new movie. I love Sarah Silverman!

And I know you're all like, "Sarah who?" Let's see ... she was on Saturday Night Live for like, two years ... she was one of the friends in "There's Somthing About Mary" ... she was in "Greg The Bunny" ... she's dating Jimmy Kimmel ...

I know, I know, nothing big comes to mind. Sorry.

But she's awesome. The name of her movie is "Jesus is Magic", for the love of God! How funny is that?!

And Liam Lynch directed it - he created Sifl & Olly on MTV. You know, the sock puppet show.

Anyway, Bob Odenkirk and Brian Posehn from Mr. Show are in this too. Check out the trailer here: Jesus is Magic.

09/10/05 - Four Years Ago

This is a great quote.

It will be interesting to see if the failed response to Katrina affects Bush at all, or if this will slide off like every other mistake that he's made and hasn't had to account for. At some point, one would hope, these errors would catch up to him.

Maybe this will be the one?

09/07/05 - iPod nano

Did you see these yet? The iPod nano? Damn, I want one. So badly.

Don't get me wrong, I still love my shuffle. But I wouldn't mind a nano. Look how bad-ass it is in black:

09/06/05 - White Chocolate M+Ms

So I've been thinking about this for a long time, but I thought it again when I bought a White Chocolate Kit-Kat the other night. Why don't they make White Chocolate M+Ms?

I mean, the whole white chocolate genre has really blown up over the last three years. Kit-Kats, Reese Peanut Butter Cups, Hershey Hugs, bars with almonds, Hershey's Cookies 'n' Creme Nuggets, Zero bars, etc.

Thus I feel it's high time for some totally unmolested, pure white chocolate goodness. Bring on the white chocolate M+Ms.

09/04/05 - Riled up in New Orleans, and San Francisco, you're next.

My workload this week was a little lighter than most - what with all of the summer-ending vacations going on and such. This meant we all had more time to watch CNN and read all of the horrid reports on Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath than we usually would. I'm usually not a newsjunkie, but every hour or so we'd check CNN.com to see what the title was that hour and what horrific things were going on lately.

So today I've got two pieces I'd like to share with you. The first is from today's opinion page of Louisiana's largest newspaper which had to abandone its New Orleans headquarters and temporarily cease print publication last week:

That's awesome. Awesome.

And by now you've probably seen this second tidbit, but I just have to share it because I have some sick fascination with people who, in the end, were ultimately proved correct.

09/03/05 - Holy Shit it's September!!!

I blink and the summer disappears! How did that happen?

Campfire on 4th of July in Waterford.

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Last Updated on: September 30, 2005

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