Panic and Pride and ignoring the circus

The circus elephants dance backstage. They’re fond of dance-pop.

Other than that, I’ve been trying to ignore the circus at the USAC this week as much as possible. It’s not that hard: if the spots work – I can go hide. So I do.

Let me now debunk the legend I heard today that bra sizes originated in the army. in the 1930’s, Maidenform was the first company to actually make bras in different sizes (small, medium and full) but Warner Brothers Brassiers (no relation to the movie conglomerate) devised the alphabetical size categories that have become industry standards.

See how the internet improves our lives?

Yes. Its true. Had the Suns held on the Shawn Marion, letting him walk at the expiration of his contract, they would have saved more money than the humiliating Shaq “trade” (neither of the players they received from Cleveland are expected to be on the roster next season). These are the wages of Panic and Pride.

We’re not even to the all-star break, and you can write off the D-backs. Hows this for historically perverse: “Can’t wait for Cardinals season, so that we can see our team win once in a while…”

For the writers: Book Marketing 101

And lost in all the Micheal Jackson Is Still Dead nonsense – the state of Arizona is either going to pass the most regressive budget in my lifetime or shut down completely by July 1st. Flat tax. Elimination of the property tax that provides the bulk of the money for the most poorly funded state education system in the nation. I am understating how bad this is. More on this later.

Now you know.

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Strange powers of football and garlic [2/2/09]

In 1944, when the then Chicago Cardinals combined rosters with the Pittsburg Steelers (because the war had depleted both benches so much that this was the only way they could field a full team) they went 0-10.

Three years after that, they were NFL champions.

Three years after that, they were on the bottom of the heap again (though 0-10 still stands as their worst season ever.)

My wife learned about the power of garlic, after reading in a woman’s magazine that eating a clove of garlic would clear up a sinus infection.

It did, mostly, but after she stopped throwing up.

Judging from the attendance at my Superbowl party, writers are, in general, lonelier and/or thirstier than stagehands. So don’t announce your party to a writer’s group unless you’re prepared for for all of them…

The future of podcasting is wide open, according to Time.

Now you know.

Reading on the toilet at my Superbowl Party [1/25/09]

I know, I know, you’ve been thinking, as well as I, that it has been far too long since we spoke in this blog about toilets.

Here, then, is a fine article about the good work of the World Toilet Oganization. [via Smartset]

And SitOrSquat’s interactive map for finding toilets around the world.

Now – send those photos in!

For something to read upon the toilet, consider The Guardian’s list of the 1000 Novels Everyone Must Read. This link leads to the F&SF intro for that list.

A week from now, I’m hosting a Superbowl Party – because I can. Anyone who actually reads this blog (all eight of you) is invited. E-mail me if you don’t know where my (west-central Phoenix) house is. Party starts 2 hours before kickoff (scheduled at 4pm local time, plus or minus a dozen long comercials). Plenty of food, and at least one beer.

Now you know.

A Whole New Universe – again [1/20/09]

There is a theory among physicists that the instant anyone comes to understand tghe fundamental nature of the universe, that universe will be immediately replaced by some far stranger universe. Many physicists insist that this has happened several times.

Barack Obama is the 44th president of the United States.

The Arizona Cardinals are giong to Superbowl 43.

These are the only two topics of discussion anywhere on Phoenix talk radio.

There is such a place as Obama, Japan.

President Obama is left handed. Not a secret – but I just noticed that today watching him sign his first few official documents.

William Henry Harrison delieverd the longest innaugural address to date, and died 31 days later of pnuemonia.

Now some good links:

Graphics to make you thirsty for that which is not good for you – an illustrated guide to whisk[e]y.

From Locus online, omni-geek Cory Doctorow on Writing in the Age of Distraction.

And, Kevin Kelley, of Wired Magazine, explains how by 2040 we’ll be as dependent upon the web as we are upon the alphabet. [about a 20 minute video].

Now you know.

Car shows, Meet-up rushes and wasting time in front of the TV [1/17/09]

So a brief account of things I learned over the past week, since,for various reasons, I haven’t made my daily-entry goal:

At the Barret-Jackson auto show, where I worked on the Ford booth: Shiny, metal surfaces such as diamond plate make it very hard to focus PAR lights. Lighting up cars is not rocket science. You can get a lot more finness manuevering a scissorlift with two hands on the joystick.

The Cardinals should have given the game ball to Carolina Panther’s QB Jake Delhomme for throwing into double coverage four times, which led to 4 of the Cards 5 interceptions. (The pass for the fifth was blocked at the line of scrimmage).

Once again, nobody picks the Cardinals to win this Sunday either.

Once I open a beer and turn on the TV – I am done for the night. I can do one or the other and still have a chance ofgetting something done before I go to bed. But both is a clear sign that productive activity has ceased for the day. (Clearly, that includes updating the blog).

Meet-up.com was not kidding when it warned meet-up organizers that there would be an early January spike in new members. The Central Phoenix weekly group went from 6 in a mid December meeting to over 15 on the first meeting in January.

The Central Phoenix weekly meet-up’s traditional format melts down completely with 15 attendees.

A great site for nerds who want to compare starship sizes from various fictional universes. They haven’t updated to incluce the new BSG ships, but the dimensions haven’t really changed from the orginal series (IMHO).

Was the season 4.1 premier worth watching? Yes.

Was it worth waiting over a year for? Not really.

Will I keep watching anyway? Of course.

It costs about $400/hour to rent a helicopter in Belize.

Snarge, n, the residue of birds that have collided with airplanes.

Now you know.

Winners but not contenders [11/25/08]

Over the past few days, both the Suns and the Cardinals played “Big Games” against legitimate conteders within their respective leagues. The Suns played the Los Angeles Lakers Thursday night, while the Cardnials played the New York Giants Sunday afternoon. Both teams had an opponent with the best record in the league in their home building. Both teams put up respectable efforts through 3 quarters, only to get steamrolled in the fourth. The Suns were holding defensively but could not buy a bucket in the early fourth quarter. That’s a problem when you’re already down by thirteen, because eventually, Kobe’s going to score no matter what you do. And he did. The Cards, likewise, had a defense that seemed simply out of steam, and then compounded their problems with a disastrous on-side kick attempt that essentially put the contest out of reach.

* Both the Suns and the Cardinals are likely to be in the playoffs (see note below), but are not contenders. They are not, as teams,pacing themselves for a full-game contest. I fear this goes back on coaching. Not so uch for Cards coach Weizenhunt, who is actually exceeding expectations at this point, but Suns coach Terry Porter is running out of time. The Suns were contenders when he walked through the door.

You can’t really force players into your system in the NBA. Players are too expensive. You have to modify the system to accommodate the players you have. None of the Suns (except Raja Bell) will ever talk openly about the power struggle going on in practice, but they don’t have to. It shows on the court. Now every other fourth quarter is a flurry of turnovers and short jump-shots.

In just about every metric other than defensive FG%, the Suns were putting up better numbers under D’Antoni. Terry Porter knew what he was walking into.  In a lot of ways, this Sns squad is similar to the Trailblazer teams he played on in early nineties. Duckworth=O’Neal. Wallace=Stoudamire. Cliff Robinson = Boris Diaw. And while Leandro Barbosa is a poor substitute for Clyde Drexler, Terry Porter, even in his prime, is no Steve Nash.

So what we’ve learned is that I’m still a frustrated sports writer.

Now you know.