Monday, September 29, 2008

House rejects bailout plan. The Republican alternative, as I understand, is to insure the bad bonds instead of a government bailout. Which seems like buying insurance after your house burns down. But it's okay; if the government won't save us, the LOLcats will.
Haile Gebrselassie breaks marathon record, finishing in 2:03:59.
The New York Times looks back at This American Life's subprime mortgage expose "The Giant Pool of Money." This weekend, the show is revisiting the issue with "Another Frightening Show About the Economy."

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Monday, September 22, 2008

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Online poker site allowed cheaters to exploit their site for three years. Software hidden on the server enabled cheats to see every player's hole cards. I had heard about this story, along with the Absolute Poker cheating scandal, but had no idea it went on that long.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Jack Handey explains how to find a bookstore's humor section.
Speaking of Talk Like a Pirate Day, Medium Large keeps the occasion up-to-date.

I found this documentary about Stan Rogers on Google Video. I've only been able to watch the first half (keeps crashing Safari on my computer at work), but it looks like a good introduction to him, with some wonderful music. Playing it at work, my coworkers thought it was my contribution for Talk Like a Pirate Day, but to me every day is made for Sea Shanties.

Oprah picks The Story of Edgar Sawtelle as her new book club selection. I totally called this weeks ago, if by "called this" you mean "read what other people cleverly deduced and agreed with them."

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Friday, September 12, 2008

Some classic Conan O'Brien: A 1997 interview with Norm McDonald. I don't know if I should admit that the last-minute zinger in the first clip had me in tears, mainly because Conan has to segue from that to an AT&T plug. But if you're only going to watch one clip, make it Norm sitting through the second interview, with Courtney Thorne-Smith, who had just left Melrose Place to do a movie with Carrot-Top:

Monday, September 08, 2008

The bizarre encounter of Pearls Before Swine and Hi and Lois has blown my mind. I disagree with the Comics Curmudgeon, though, as I would say it's slightly more likely as not that this was planned. Pearls Before Swine often singles out old "classic" strips (too often, I'd say; it tends to lose it's impact with repetition, though I always do respond in a Pavlovian manner regardless), and I could see whoever does Hi and Lois these days reaching a mutually-amicable agreement with Pastis, after running into him at the weekly cartoonist bowling league or something, lest he come up with his own hi-larious (see what I did there?) parody, perhaps casting Lois in an inappropriately sexual light.
A look at the history of the spelling reform movement, and their protesting of the National Spelling Bee. Note that the already well-funded movement might have been quite the political powerhouse had George Bernard Shaw's will been allowed to stand.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Monday, September 01, 2008

'Captain' Mike Ambrose, dead at 69.
One thing I forgot to mention in my previous post, is that my running has benefitted, I think, by an effort to run outdoors as much as possible. I used to not even consider a treadmill an option, but over the years I've gotten more and more dependent on the treadmills at the gym for the bulk of my running. It has the advantage of being lower-impact than running on hard street surfaces, but it's dull, dull, dull. And they always have the TV at the gym on the news, which I'd rather not have to try to ignore. And on cold days, they crank up the heat to an uncomfortable degree (on hot days, at least, it's very pleasantly cool). But I tend to put off my runs until after I've digested my dinner, when it's dark, and I don't have too many options. Or I'll plan a morning run, and sleep in until noon, and not want to run in the mid-day sun. But I've been making an effort to run the majority of my runs outdoors, since just spending time outdoors provides incentive to run, and increases the immediate benefits of the run as far as mood enhancement. Most of my runs have been after work, on my way home, stopping off at Mission Bay. Even on hot days, there's a nice sea breeze keeping things cool (the recent humidity hasn't spared the bay, though, I'm afraid). The path through the park there is concrete, which isn't a very good running surface, but there's lots of grass, so I spend the majority of my time off the path. And while I don't consider the section of Mission Bay I typically run particularly beautiful, just being in proximity with such a large body of water is soothing. Not as soothing as the view from work in La Jolla, but nice. (I plan to run in La Jolla today after work, and will include the Scripps Coastal Reserve, since there are few better views in the city)

Closer to home, I enjoy trail running in Mission Trails Regional Park, but there's no shade to be had there, and it's been a bit to warm to run there recently (and I'd like to build up some more leg strength before tackling some of the hills there). So I've been settling for Lake Murray, which is technically part of Mission Trails, but certainly doesn't have the same vibe as as the rest of the park. More like a wide asphalt road available for running, with some sort of puddle next to it. I tend not to really take in the sights of the lake while I run, though I enjoy looking at the hawks overhead and squirrels scurrying across my path. In my mind it's mainly just a practical outdoor running path when nothing better is available. I did run there around dusk a few weeks back, though, and as my run came to an end back at the parking lot, the sun was beginning to set and a lone duck was swimming across the lake's surface, and I realized that, considering it's less than five minutes from my house, I'm lucky to have such a pretty place so readily available. Uncharacteristically, I took my iPhone instead of my iPod with me, so I had a camera phone with which to snap a few shots. Not what I'd call profoundly beautiful, just the sort of everyday loveliness it's easy to take for granted, and just one more reason I'm glad I'm out there running.