...it's not dark yet, but it's gettin' there...

May 20, 2007

Annika's Journal Farewell Tour: The Final Post

Well this is the final post of Annika's Journal. Thank you to all you faithful readers, from those who were here in the days I used to not capitalize the "I" to those of you who recently discovered this blog. Thank you to every single one of you, the commenters, lurkers, stalkers, trolls and even you Lindsay Logan fans. You all made it fun, and you were the reason I checked my e-mail ten million times a day for the last four years.

Now it's time to close up shop. Will asked whether I think I have grown from the experience of blogging. It's a difficult question to answer, and not only because I haven't given it much thought. You see my blog persona is so different from the real Annika, it's almost like Jekyll and Hyde (confession: Annika isn't even my real name!). The Annika you know is so much funnier, sexier, friendlier, smarter and cooler than I could ever hope to be in real life. If anything, what I take away from this experience is a desire to be more like her.

Before I go, I want to especially thank everybody who purchased things off my wishlist. I used to send thank you cards, until I realized that a cryptic perfume scented note from a strange Scandinavian girl might not be the easiest thing to explain to someone's wife or girlfriend. "I swear, she's just a blogger." And to those of you who never got a thank you, it might also be because somebody stole the gift off of my front porch, as often happens. I still appreciate your thoughtfulness. I'm truly amazed at people's generosity to someone they don't know, whose only public virtues seem to be a wide array of interests and a fair ability to string words together.

For those of you who will suffer withdrawal for the various rubrics I've written under, here are some suggestions for future reading:

American Skankwomen and Celebrity Watch: Your best source for celebrity gossip and snark will always be Agent Bedhead, my Cotillion sister.

annik-dotes: I stopped writing personal anecdotes the way I used to in the beginning. Mainly because they were never as interesting or brilliantly written as the stuff Dawn Summers writes. Someday she's going to write a book that will outsell David Sedaris, because she's funnier.

annikapunditry: You're on your own for political stuff. So much of the conservative blogosphere fails in the "keeping it real" department, I don't know what to tell you. But you can always rely on Michael Yon to be honest with you regarding Iraq and Afghanistan, and he knows what he's talking about. Another guy who knows his shit is Wretchard, but I suspect you've already heard of him. And the geniuses at Gates of Vienna never disappoint when it comes to the Global War on Terror. And Sarah has a great eye for what's important, whether in the world of politics, policy or purling. In addition, I may do more stuff for A Western Heart in the future.

Arts, Let's Go To Hollywood and Poetry: The amazing and prolific Sheila O'Malley is the first place you need to go. When she writes about poetry it makes my old Poetry Day posts seem like they were written by a third grader. Sheila has so much God-honest love for the movies, theater, and all the arts it's infectuous. Plus, in addition to his great blogging on feminism, life, chinchillas and a host of other subjects, Thursday poetry continues as always at Hugo Schwyzer's blog. Thank you, Hugo for all your support and love. Ccwbass is the blogger I once called "the Mark Russell of the blogosphere" for his poetry. And for food and wine, I dubbed Pursuit the unofficial sommelier of Annika's Journal.

C.T.O.T.I.O.T.D.: I always count on Beth to find the strangest, funniest, and coolest shit on the internets before anyone else does. And she's absolutely fearless, too.

Dumb-Ass Quizzes: The funnest things I ever did on this blog were the Jeopardy tournaments and the haiku contests. I don't know of anyone who wants to put in the work to organize those things, as they were time intensive. But if anyone does, I'd love to try participating as a contestant someday.

Faith: I could suggest The American Princess for half a dozen of these rubrics. But everytime the Pope speaks, I want to know what E.M. has to say about it. And from the non-Catholic perspective, the Midwest Conservative Journal is your best source. MCJ is also the very first blog to put Annika's Journal on its blogroll!

Fash-ism: When Candied Ginger went away, so did the best fashion blogging. I'm a big fan of Shoewawa instead of the other more annoying pajama-wearing shoe blogger. And although it's not a blog, Diva Village has everything you need to know in one fun place. I can't tell you how many fashion ideas I've gotten from them.

History: Obviously, Llama Butchers. Okay, not so obvious. But despite the name, Robert does a lot of excellent history related posts, and his interests are very similar to mine. Good sci-fi blogging too.

Hot Tub Friends and Peter Pumpkin Comics: Peter Pumpkin will return, after my hiatus, at Six Meat Buffet. I recently reviewed some of my HTF posts and decided that their comedy to amount of time it takes to make them ratio was not very high. Thus HTF may or may not return when I do.

Legal Mumbo Jumbo: E.M. being an expert in constitutional law among many other things, The American Princess wins again.

New Gun Nut Stuff: Publicola, who else? He's also one of the oldest and dearest supporters of Annika's Journal. Plus, he's smarter than a boatload of appellate judges, which ain't much of a compliment but trust me. The guy has forgotten more history and conlaw than most lawyers and journalists will ever know.

photoshopaholic: Rodger of Curmudgeonly & Skeptical puts out more photoshopped comedy than anyone in the blogosphere, and he's always spot-on. And "ROTFL" is normally just a figure of speech, but Jim Treacher has done some photoshopped shit that had me literally crying with laughter. Jim just might be the very first person ever to comment at my blog so he'll always have a special place in my heart, no matter where he's blogging.

Pithy and/or Lame Thoughts and The Huh? Files: For these Rubrics, it's Dawn Summers again. Mistress of the one-liner. Dawn, I bequeath to you my flashing Drudge style gif. Use it in good health.

Science & Technology: I like TechEBlog for product reviews, robot blogging and/or weird inventions. You never know what you'll find there.

Sex Please: No one did it better than Wegglywoo, and now that she's gone, nobody else is worth reading.

Sports: Humbug is my baseball muse, and the only blogger ever to give Annika's Journal a square on the periodic table. Besides having his picture in the dictionary under the entry for "blogger," Tony Pierce deserves to be hired by the L.A. Times sports desk, and sit in Jim Murray's chair. Ontario Emperor is the coach I wished I'd had when I was a kid. And Greg Cotharn won the A's J Fantasy Baseball league a few years ago. I owe Greg an apology for never giving him the trophy I promised. I think he's got one of my coffee mugs though!

I'd also like to thank my wonderful co-bloggers throughout the years: my oldest friend Franci; the lovely Ginger working hard at some fancy law firm I'm sure; James Finch and Coyote, wherever you guys are; the late Lynn Carrier; my smoking buddy Matt Scofield, a real man of genius; and especially Victor who is a dear friend, a fellow Seventies movie and Eighties music junkie, and who carried the tradition of Poetry Day so long and faithfully.

And to those who hooked me up to Munuviana: the aforementioned Victor; Susie who's still blogging strong; Ted, the Elder Statesman of Munuviana; and especially to Pixy Misa, the wizard behind our Oz, to whom I am indebted forever for this great platform to spout off and make nonsense, a very very sincere thank you.

I actually didn't plan to mention anybody by name in this final post because I didn't want to leave anyone out. I said it before, so forgive me if it's starting to sound trite. But I do have the best commenters in the blogosphere. My fellow Sacramentan Blu and Reagan80 and ElMondoHummus who each had my back always; the incredible Col. Steve who is way too smart to have been reading this thing; Strawman, who taught me the virtue of civility; and Will who's also got too much brains to come here; Radical Redneck, who kept me laughing and on my toes with all his NSFW shit; not to mention Kevin Kim; and Kyle and Amy and Mark Nicodemo and Joules and Spanky and Roach and Robbie and Calvin and Physics Geek and Otto and Matt Rustler and Law Fairy, and D-Rod and Mike C and Spork and Dave J and Zomby whose great comments were never often enough for my tastes.

Well now I've named lots of names, and no doubt I've left somebody out. But I can't not acknowledge the friendship and love of my two greatest blog benefactors, Casca and Shelly. Your friendship and encouragement has meant the world to me, even though we've never met. I may someday meet Shelly in a courtroom, and truth be told, I may meet Casca there too either as a client or a defendant — who knows? What else can I say about the two of you, except God bless you both — because He has blessed me with your friendship.

Well, if this were the Oscars, the music would be playing by now, so I better go because I'm getting all ferklempt.

Posted by annika at 11:22 PM | Comments (75) | TrackBack

Who's Next?

Gigantic rock concerts are good for hearing crappy live renditions of old songs, seeing the backs of a lot of people's heads, getting wasted and dehydrated, and later on wearing a t-shirt so you can say how fun it all was.

But if they couldn't even get Kerry elected, how can they be expected to save the world?

Daltrey and Geldof, veterans of just about every big charity concert in history, apparently believe as I do.

THE WHO's ROGER DALTRY has blasted the big Wembley gig Gore is organising to raise awareness of global warming.

The huge concert - which features performances from the likes of MADONNA and RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS - is taking place at Wembley on July 7 and in other countries around the world.

But Roger, who played with U2 at Live Aid and Live8, reckons the whole thing is a waste of time.

Speaking exclusively to Bizarre, Roger said: "Bo***cks to that! The last thing the planet needs is a rock concert.

"I can't believe it. Let's burn even more fuel.

"We have problems with global warming, but the questions and the answers are so huge I don't know what a rock concert's ever going to do to help.

"Everybody on this planet at the moment, unless they are living in the deepest rainforest in Brazil, knows about climate change.”

The rocker, who used to sing about my g-generation, added: "My answer is to burn all the f***ing oil as quick as possible and then the politicians will have to find a solution.”

Actually, that last one is a brilliant idea. In a sense, that's why I no longer complain about high gas prices. They're the only way to truly motivate people to conserve and find alternative energy sources.

Here's what Geldof said:

Roger's comments come hot on the heels of SIR BOB GELDOF’s equally scathing views.

Last week the Live Aid hero lashed out, saying: "Why is Gore actually organising them? To make us aware of the greenhouse effect?

"Everybody's known about that problem for years. We are all f***ing conscious of global warming."

Roger Daltrey earned even more respect from me, by recognizing that these mega-benefit boondoggles have become exercises in musical back-slapping.
Again Roger complains that unlike the original Live Aid in 1985, where the money went directly to famine relief, the follow-up 20 years later had no achievable aims.

Roger moaned: "What did we really achieve at Live 8? We got loads of platitudes and no action.

"Who were we kidding there?"

I think what he's saying is, "The sixties are over dudes." It's time to start trusting people over 30. Or at least stop believing music can change the world like you did when you were 18.

h/t Cranky

Posted by annika at 08:53 AM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

Not The Final Post

The final post is coming later. No "blaze of glory" or anything like that. I won't have time to do it until later today though.

Meanwhile, watch Phil Stacey show how it's done:

Posted by annika at 05:51 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 17, 2007

The Skippy Stalin Interview, Abridged

[On August 28 and 29 of last year, I interviewed the famous Skippy Stalin of the blog Eat Every Sandwich. What follows are some highlights from that interview.]

[We talk about his blog's title, and the philosophy that inspired it, and of virgins generally.]

annikagyrl: okay so here we are with Skippystalin of Eat Every Sandwich which has been a favorite of mine on my blogroll for quite some time
skippystalin: Enjoy actually
annikagyrl: enjoy what?
skippystalin: Enjoy Every Sandwich. It's a Warren Zevon quote
annikagyrl: oh then name of your blog is Enjoy Every Sandwich?
skippystalin: Indeed
annikagyrl: i'm pretty sure it's Eat Every Sandwich, but whatever, I'll check it later
skippystalin: I would insist upon it
annikagyrl: so why did you pick the name enjoy every sandwich (as you call it)
skippystalin: Are you familiar with Warren Zevon?
annikagyrl: he did werewolves of london, right?
skippystalin: Yeah.
skippystalin: He was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. Before he died, he appeared on the Letterman show. The entire show was devoted to him, actually. One of the questions he was asked was if he learned anything from his impending mortality. His answer was " I learned to enjoy every sandwich."
annikagyrl: well, nice way to begin this interview... on an up note
skippystalin: Yeah, I'm a pretty "up" guy I suppose if there's a single sentiment behind my dopey musings, that would be it.
annikagyrl: what if it's a grasshopper sandwich?
skippystalin: You bear with it. Could be worse.
annikagyrl: i suppose. it could be a live grasshopper sandwich, for instance.
Okay, i totally love your blog, it's very eclectic like my favorite blogs all are, you're not tied down to one gimmick or theme, you post about whatever the fuck you wanna post about
skippystalin: Ah, you make me blush. I'm just a man of varied interests. I have been concerned about my readers getting whiplash though
annikagyrl: okay if there is one recurring leitmotif, besides blonde celebrities, it seems to be oral sex
skippystalin: some guys play golf, I have my .... passions.
annikagyrl: hey if you gotta be fixated on something, it might as well be oral sex
skippystalin: Can you think of anything better?
annikagyrl: question: in the world of oral sex, is it truly better to give than to receive? you see, i think it is better to give than to receive. especially when one is the one receiving
skippystalin: As do I. There's a certain power in giving, particularly to a woman.
annikagyrl: okay, if you were captured by terrorists and they said to you, "We'll let you go skippy, but only if you do something first. ... to prove that you are worthy, you must select one of three virgins to go down upon and if you satisfy her, we will release you." and then they bring out three veiled virgins and they pull up their veils but it's 1) helen thomas 2) rosie odowell and 3) madeline albright! which do you choose to go down upon?
skippystalin: Interesting question.
annikagyrl: yes, remember thay are all virgins
skippystalin: First, I despise virgins.They're degenerate. Second, I feel that decapitation would be a general improvement on both my life and my apearance. I'll go with death.
annikagyrl: hmm, okay, well if you get to use the condiment of choice on one of these three women, what would it be, mustard chocolate or caviar?
skippystalin: ...

[Whereupon the subject was changed to one of my pet peeves.]

skippystalin: You're an aspiring lawyer. Do you think that the Boulder DA's office should be merely fired, disbarred, or actually killed?
annikagyrl: let me tell you something about DA's. DAs are a pet peeve of mine. Invariably, they're the worst lawyers in the world (next to mark garregos, that is)
skippystalin: Of course they are. Just look at their suits.
annikagyrl: a job in the da's office is very competitive, so they pick only the best law students The top law students make horrible trial lawyers.
skippystalin: Yes, excellent students tend to be more theoretical than practical.
annikagyrl: by definition, they have absolutely no people skills. these are freaks of nature, nerds to a very high degree, only they sucked at math so they went to law school instead. And plus, prosecutors go into every trial with a huge advantage. Really they should never lose. But they do. Another thing is that they always try cases against public defenders who are by and large even bigger idiots. So whenever the da goes up against a real lawyer, they fall apart. Unless its the aforementioned garragos.
skippystalin: I disagree. I think Geragos intentionally takes horrible cases so his media profile and therefore his billable hour rate goes through the cieling. He doesn't need to win, he just needs to be on TV a lot. Is Gerragos really a lawyer, or just a media whore?
annikagyrl: it would be better if he won a few though. i mean, he lost a shoplifting case for pete's sake
skippystalin: Actually, I used to arrest shoplifters. They almost never get acquitted.
annikagyrl: no freaking way! were you a store security guard?
skippystalin: Loss prevention. Undercover. Liscened as a PI
annikagyrl: tell me, did being a security guy make you less tolerant of petty theivery
skippystalin: I always was. But it got frustrating because of cop and Crown nonsense that led to them never pressing charges.
annikagyrl: whats that some sorrt of canadian thing?
skippystalin: Yeah, a Supreme Court due process decision that resulted in a municipality litterally three blocks from my place throwing out charges up to and including drunk driving and sexual assault. In, I think, 1988.
annikagyrl: why
skippystalin: Because the cops were charging everyone and the Crown was putting them on trial. Therefore people were waiting YEARS for their day in court. We're talking thousands of cases backlogged.
annikagyrl: so they lost their right to a speedy trial?
skippystalin: Yeah. And they would very much not like to see that happen again

[On to the subject of blogging mechanics and influences.]

annikagyrl: i want to ask you about writing. how long does it take for you to write a post?
skippystalin: Depends on what I'm writing. Something about a guy in Orange County blaming Samoans for the dildo in his ass might take a half hour to an hour. The heavy political stuff requires research and takes much longer
annikagyrl: that took you a half hour to write? amazing
skippystalin: Maybe an hour. I was running late for work
annikagyrl: do you have any non-blog writing experience
skippystalin: None, other than some dopey songs about a decade ago.
annikagyrl: wow, i'm always impressed by people who can just toss off a polished post in a short time. I agonize over my long posts, which is why i do so few of them anymore
skippystalin: Well, some do take forever. I'm fast in that I already have apretty good idea what I think before I write. Most of that is sourcing for my readers though
annikagyrl: your smackdown of jackie passey is the classic of the genre, and believe me, there's a lot out there in that genre
skippystalin: I dunno. The Ace of Spades piece was brilliant. Mine was a little long winded I liked yours a lot, too. Yours led to mine
annikagyrl: you've almost generated a sort of, i don't know, authority in matters of love and relationships, with your previous postings - always with a sense of irony though, really brilliant stuff - which added to the quality fo the passey smackdown
skippystalin: I'm actually shocked by a couple of things about those relationship posts. I usually preface them by saying that I'm as big a mess as anyone or more so.
annikagyrl: we all are, believe me
skippystalin: I'm also not particularly charitable in describing anyone.
annikagyrl: well that works in the blogosphere better than in real life, lol. Do you ever get trolls?
skippystalin: Not so much. I have gotten dates though. That's an interesting experience.
annikagyrl: you do have a lot of female fans, more than usual for a male blogger, i'd say.
skippystalin: You think. I actually have a very small audience, so it's hard to say.
annikagyrl: who are your blog influences?
skippystalin: When I started, I wanted to be half as good as a few people. Ace, you, Deus Ex Machina and a blog called Forget Your Fears. As a matter of fact, I'd still like to be that good. Also the Late, Great Rob Smith. The Acidman was perhaps the bravest man on Al Gore's interwebs. And Joan of Seven Inches of Sense, the single greatest writer out there today.
annikagyrl: how about goldstein?
skippystalin: Only recently started reading him. The Frisch stuff was compelling.
annikagyrl: oh that was good theater, definitely. and i didn't realize how photogenic he was, did you see the video he did for malkin? it was pretty funny. How about the maximum leader? he is one of my blog idols too
skippystalin: And a great guy. We had dinner and drinks last fall.
annikagyrl: cool. so you must know of bighominid too then
skippystalin: I've read Kevin's work, but don't know him personally.
annikagyrl: well, he's an ocean away
skippystalin: Yeah. And I admire that he writes in that style under his own name. That takes HUGE balls.

[Breaching the blog proscenium, and my ass.]

annikagyrl: anyways im fascinated by the fact that you breached the blog proscenium by meeting a reader. I couldnt do that. The closest I got was when some dude tried to show me his penis on webcam
skippystalin: Shit, I was going to try that later...
annikagyrl: hahaah lol... Is that your picture on your blog? are you really bald?
skippystalin: Yes it is.
annikagyrl: very leninesque
skippystalin: Used it to prove that I'm every bit as ugly as I say I am.
annikagyrl: hahah, no its very sexy
skippystalin: Now I'm blushing again. Yeah, I should grow the Saddam beard back.
annikagyrl: i posted every thing on my banner except my ass, i think
skippystalin: And may I say that you have the Greatest Ass in Human History.
annikagyrl: what ass?
skippystalin: You had a picture of you in a blue sweater and jeans with a girl next to you in white jeans. Well, I fell in love.
annikagyrl: oh haha, i was about 23 in that picture. it don't look that good anymore now that im pushing 30
skippystalin: Ahhhhh, still in the flower of youth
annikagyrl: haha, the chick next to me is a real hottie in that pic
skippystalin: I beg to differ,. and I'msomething of an expert in that area.

[Flawed Giants.]

annikagyrl: anyways back to more pressing issues if you have time
skippystalin: Sure.
annikagyrl: oh what books are you reading
skippystalin: I just finished Dalleck's second volume of his LBJ biography. Right now, I'm moving back and forth between American Dynasty about the Bush family and Six Days of War by Michael Oren
annikagyrl: why dalleck, rather than caro?
skippystalin: Master of the Senate was a GREAT book. I'll get to Means of Ascent sooner or later.
annikagyrl: so you are really an LBJ fan?
skippystalin: He was interesting. I think he and Nixon were the last near great presidents and certainly the last interesting ones
annikagyrl: i think dalleck's book's title says it all about the man: flawed giant. I think what saves LBJ for me is that he was such an interesting guy, although i think his presidency was harmful in many ways. But I love stories about the "johnson treatment"
skippystalin: I'm not as well -read on Johnson as I am on Nixon. I've read probably 50 books by or about Nixon
annikagyrl: i saw something on fox tonight, where they said pelosi fancies herself as a real tough broad, i thought, yah right, LBJ was tough. Tip O'Neill was tough. Pelosi's not tough
skippystalin: I saw a headlinr to that effect. In a way, it's almost tragic that the Democrats are so pathetic.

[Jessica Simpson's talents and Katharine Harris's titties.]

annikagyrl: did you see this story skippy? "Jessica Simpson's publicist makes a shocking admission: 'she can't sing'" she should fire that publicist
skippystalin: Her cans more than make up for it.
annikagyrl: gee i wonder if theyre real?!
skippystalin: Her cans? Who cares? They're Katherine Harris nice
annikagyrl: haahha. i must say i've never noticed katherine harris's titties, i'll have to take a look next time she's on tv
skippystalin: They are superiour. I have pics on my blog. I'll send you the link
annikagyrl: harris is such an airhead
skippystalin: Yup. Also, remember that Harris is 830 years old. But I'd endorse her if she promises to make all of her Senate speeches on a trampoline
annikagyrl: on the radio today, she said tax reform would help us get back the millions of jobs we've lost. Jeb is probably ready to call her and say. "uhh honey, cool it with the lost jobs thing mmkay?"
skippystalin: Uh, yeah. Not exactly a selling point for Republicans.Particularly with this president
annikagyrl: maybe she can mud wrestle with barbara boxer
skippystalin: Nah, she's not hot enough. That's why I wanted Mimi Miyagi to win in Nevada
annikagyrl: ill have to google her.
skippystalin: Oh, I wrote aout her campaign too. Frances Townsend is hot, but she's an appointee
annikagyrl: who is that, pete's mom?
skippystalin: No, the Homeland Security advisor
annikagyrl: yes she is very pretty
skippystalin: I'd like to elect her to something, then have her dance in a bikini
annikagyrl: hahaha. maybe she could be the official pole-ster
skippystalin: Could be. I'd like a Frances/Condi sandwich.
annikagyrl: interesting, would you insist that condi wear the boots?
skippystalin: But of course.


annikagyrl: great stuff, Skippy, thanks.
skippystalin: Thank you and sweet dreams

Posted by annika at 11:06 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Necessity Is The Mutha

Twenty-five bucks will get you this device, which will do what you might normally do by counting "one hippopotomus, two hippopotomus" for free.

Comes in blue or red! What will they think of next?

Posted by annika at 08:53 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Great Worries Throughout History

Remember when overpopulation was all the rage?

Okay, this was just an excuse to do one last Goldie Hawn post.

Update: More overpopulation humor at 6MB.

Posted by annika at 07:22 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

How Could Melinda Lose?

After Tuesday night's performances I said to Chris, "If I were scoring tonight, it'd have to be Blake 2, Jordin 1, Melinda 0"

The fact is, Melinda Doolittle never had a bad week on American Idol. So how could she lose? I think it's because she never had a bad week.

Americans love the underdog. But to be an underdog, you have to lose a little and she is such a superior talent it was impossible for her to give a bad performance. So why did I say she scored a zero? Because I got used to her. She'd raised her own bar too high. She peaked too early.

Plus, Nutbush City Limits?!?! wtf was that? Somebody needs to find the producer that picked that song and kick him in the shins. I get the whole Tina Turner thing, but couldn't they have picked a song with an actual hook in it? Or maybe one with more than three words to the lyrics?

Melinda will be fine. Winning AI can be like winning the Heisman anyway. For every Kelly Clarkson or Carrie Underwood there's a Taylor Hicks or Ruben Studdard. I know, who are they?

Personally, I hope Melinda goes the jazz route rather than the R&B route. Her rendition of My Funny Valentine was one of the classic Idol performances of all time, in my opinion.

Posted by annika at 10:47 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

If She Can't Even Choose A Campaign Theme Song...

...how can we expect her to make the life-or-death decisions concerning national security?

Hillary wants you to pick a song for her.

Update: I just realized there's a write in spot at the bottom of Hillary's voting list. Go stuff the ballot box with The Bitch Is Back!

h/t 6MB

Posted by annika at 10:33 AM | Comments (14) | TrackBack

May 16, 2007

Annika's Journal Farewell Tour: Part XI, FAQ About The End Of Annika's Journal

1. c.a. Marks of Alabama Improper asks: "Farewell tour? Wha?" Yes, Farewell Tour is what I'm calling this series of posts, which are intended to tie up the loose ends of blogging before I quit. Also blogging about blogging is as easy as pie.

2. Beth of My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy asks: "So why are you quitting, dammit?!!!" The short answer is that I need to take two months off to study for the bar exam. The long answer is that I've been thinking about quitting for some time now and this two month break seems like the best time to do it. I suspect that living life without constantly judging every waking thought as blogworthy/unblogworthy might be incredibly refreshing for me. Also I haven't been really proud of anything I've written here since the Pepys post, and even that was derivative. Finally, I might quote Woody Allen, who said "A relationship, I think, is like a shark. . . . It has to constantly move forward or it dies. And I think what we got on our hands is a dead shark." Blogs are not dissimilar.

3. Maximum Leader of Naked Villainy asks: "So after six months of inactivity I should de-link Annika's Journal? Is that what you are saying?" No one must ever de-link Annika's Journal lest bad karma erupt. See my related post here. Regarding the supernatural power of this blog, see also here and here.

4. Why don't you just take a temporary leave of absence. You won't be able to stay away permanently. On the contrary, I have committed to quitting Annika's Journal, which I think has achieved all I set out for it, and more.

5. So does that mean you will blog again someday, just not at this place? The plan is that after the California Bar Exam (on July 24, 25 and 26) I might occasionally post at the two other blogs where I have privileges, which are Six Meat Buffet, and A Western Heart.

6. What will happen to Peter Pumpkin The Spectacular Pumpkin? Preston has agreed, quite recklessly, to give Peter Pumpkin a new home at 6MB.

7. Why won't you blog about the Bar Exam experience? I know of some excellent bar exam bloggers, who have passed. I also know my own limitations. The California Bar is the hardest one in the country, so I plan to follow a strict study schedule. Most people take one review course, but I've signed up for three. I don't want to have any excuses for not passing. The cost of failing is enormous. I already spend countless hours each week blogging, and so I know the only way to avoid the distraction is to quit cold-turkey.

8. Ed asks: "Can you dedicate your last days by writing a LOT about the democrats running for POTUS?" I would, but the Republicans running are so much more interesting right now.

9. Radical Redneck wonders why I didn't call one of his e-mails my favorite. The answer is that most of the time I was too afraid to open his e-mails.

10. ElMondoHummus asks "Where are the Lindsay fans gonna post when you're gone?" I would suggest they go here!

11. SkippyStalin is too polite to ask, but I know he's thinking: "Hey what the hell happened to that interview you said you were going to post?" I interviewed SkippyStalin back in August and never posted it. I suck, I know. It was a really fun interview, but long. Maybe I'll at least post the highlights before I go.

12. Publicola asks: "Which Stacy Adams would go best with a retro 1911?" This is not technically an end of the blog question, but I'm happy to answer. I'm not too familiar with Stacy Adams, so I perused the website. If you're talking retro, I'd line the contemporary shoes right out. Now when I think retro guns, I think film noir, and that means snubnosed .38. But Publicola wants to know about which shoe to match with a 1911, so that's a totally different look. After much thought, the answer is obvious. The Madison, in black or cognac, would be perfect for Publicola's needs.

I would be happy to answer any other questions anyone might have in the few days left, just ask.

Posted by annika at 08:00 PM | Comments (20) | TrackBack

Keystone Commandos

Doh Doh!

This video is captioned "Jordanian Special Forces on an exercise."

Not quite as impressive as it was intended to be.

Update: Watch that dude in the back of the truck. That had to have been fatal.

Posted by annika at 07:02 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Annika's Journal Farewell Tour: Part X, Not That It Really Matters

Not that it really matters now, but I wondered: what would cause someone to de-link Annika's Journal? I mean, if someone blogrolled me at one time, then decided to remove me years later, it must have been something I said right? Because it costs you nothing to keep me on there for old time's sake.

What have I ever done that might possibly be considered de-link-worthy?

Answer: nothink.

My policy regarding de-linking on my own blogroll has always been six months of inactivity. Although for Ginger, I stretched it out longer and a part of me still thinks/hopes she'll return someday.

Posted by annika at 11:25 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

"Eyes look your last..."

No one says good-bye like Shakespeare.

Why art thou yet so fair? shall I believe
That unsubstantial death is amorous,
And that the lean abhorred monster keeps
Thee here in dark to be his paramour?
For fear of that, I still will stay with thee;
And never from this palace of dim night
Depart again: here, here will I remain
With worms that are thy chamber-maids; O, here
Will I set up my everlasting rest,
And shake the yoke of inauspicious stars
From this world-wearied flesh. Eyes, look your last!
Arms, take your last embrace! and, lips, O you
The doors of breath, seal with a righteous kiss
A dateless bargain to engrossing death!
Come, bitter conduct, come, unsavoury guide!
Thou desperate pilot, now at once run on
The dashing rocks thy sea-sick weary bark!
Here's to my love!

Posted by Victor at 08:02 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

May 14, 2007

DWTS Blogging

I feel like with six days of blogging left, every post I do should contain wisdom of surpassing profundity.

Instead I got nothing.

So hey, did you catch Dancing With The Stars tonight? Let me tell you, Anton and Julianne's cha-cha was almost pornographic. No, it was pornographic. I watched it three times just to make sure. It was also quite simply the most exciting performance I have seen in three seasons of obsession with that show. Absolutely loved it! The video is here.

Did you know Julianne is Mormon? There goes that stereotype.

And don't give me any more of that "we've got a brother and sister type relationship," Julie. I saw Anton slip you the tongue during that last hold. If you two aren't doing it by now, I don't know what you're waiting for!

Overall, tonight's show had amazing performaces from every couple on every dance. But the standouts for me, besides Anton's cha-cha, were Joey and Kym's jive and Laila and Maksim's cha-cha. I've become a huge Laila Ali fan. She can really shake it.

I don't think any of these four couples deserve to go home next week. If I had to predict, I'd say Ian and Cheryl, despite Ian's breakthrough 30 score. I'd hate to see Cheryl go though. I really think she's the best all around pro of the bunch.

Speaking of stars and pro's getting it on, what's the deal with Kym and Joey staying out 'til 2:30 one night, and then going on a Disney date? Is there more DWTS love in the air? I don't know. Kym recently broke an engagement, but Joey's married.


Posted by annika at 10:22 PM | Comments (20) | TrackBack

Old Joke For A New Rate

Every time the Post Office raises the price of stamps, I trot out an old joke I heard years ago.

[I say] Did you hear the post office just raised the price of stamps again?

[You say] They did?

[I say] Yah, they needed the money to buy more "next window please" signs.

ba-dum-pump. I'll be here the rest of the week.

Posted by annika at 02:25 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Publicola Interview

Who was that brilliant thinker who said this?:

Listen, i'm not saying i think people should have rushed him or anything like that. If i was unarmed, and i was a guy, i'm not sure i would have had the guts to rush him. Even if a couple of other guys went with me. In the spur of the moment, I can understand hesitating, who wants to be the one guy who gets shot so the others can jump him? Bravery like that doesn't exist in our culture anymore, as Professor Librescu demonstrated. What i am saying is that one guy with a gun could have stopped the whole thing. And every. body. fucking. knows. It. One guy. Because, think about it... If you're unarmed, it takes a hell of a lot of guts to jump a guy with two guns, but if you're sitting in that room, and you know you've got a gun in your pocket there is absolutely no way you're not going to use it. How could you live with yourself if 32 people die and you know you could have stopped it? You'd have to intervene. Whereas, unarmed people don't have that kind of motivation. They are more likely to wait for the Librescus of the world to save them.
Guess who.

Update: Part 2 is here.

Posted by annika at 07:31 AM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

May 13, 2007

Things To Miss About Sacramento

[an Annika's Journal list]

As Dorothy said to the scarecrow, I think I'll miss them the most.

Things I won't miss:

  • Stupid traffic on every single freeway
  • Stupid one way streets that make no sense
  • Stupid unnecessary and counterproductive car-pool lanes
  • K Steet
  • The Kings
  • The mosquito

Posted by annika at 07:51 AM | Comments (20) | TrackBack

May 12, 2007

Scott Card On GW

From Orson Scott Card's* recent column, "Civilization Watch," on the global warming debate:

How many thousands do you want to spend this year on preventing global warming? And after you find out that there's no proof that humans even cause it, or that it's even a bad thing, how many thousands do you want to spend "just in case"?

Two thousand? Surely you can afford two thousand. What about five thousand?

You're not writing your check. I guess you're not such a true believer after all.

[GW advocate and columnist Andrew] Brod also ignores the fact that the British government report was issued in support of policy changes that are, by any rational standard, pathetic. The changes they are making are ludicrously inadequate to change the levels of greenhouse gases to any significant degree. Given that the results will be near zero, any costs, however divided, might seem exorbitant.

Brod likens this to insurance, but it is not. Insurance is designed to pay you money after a loss. It does not prevent a loss. The valid comparison is to protection money: Somebody comes to you and demands you pay money "or you might have a fire." You pay the money so that they won't burn you out of business.

That's what the global-warming protection racket is about: Hey, we can't prove anything is actually happening, but look how many people we've got to agree with us! You'd better make a whole bunch of sacrifices which, by coincidence, exactly coincide with the political agenda of the anti-Western anti-industrial religion of ecodeism -- or global warming will get you!

Regarding proof, it should be obvious that there can be no proof of a theory that is designed to predict future events. Predictions of future catastrophe can only be proven by waiting to see if it happens. Computerized models that purport to project future events are not proof that those events will take place.

At the most basic metaphysical level, we are all ignorant of the future. I can predict that the earth will continue to revolve as it did today, and thus the sun will come up tomorrow. But to a metaphysical certainty, I have no idea whether I will be proven correct until it happens. If I look out my window, I can't even say for certain that the earth is spinning, or even that it is round. For those facts, I rely on the scientific consensus and my blind faith in the research and observations of others. I have enough confidence in those observations that I don't worry if they are wrong.

But global warming predictions are not based on observations. They can't be, because no one can observe the future. Therefore, when I make a judgment that global warming science is right or wrong, metaphysically speaking, I have no idea what the truth is. Whatever my opinion is, it can only be based on the observations of others, since I have not done the research. But the important point is that nobody has made the relevant observations necessary for proof. Not even the scientists. The data cannot be collected or observed, since the data does not yet exist.

For hundreds of years, Newton's laws were considered to be truth for two simple reasons. First, they accurately described the observed motion of objects and second, they accurately predicted the motion of objects as observed in the future. Based on the technology that existed to detect the necessary proof, Newton's laws were reliable.

Now, of course, we know that Newton's laws are wrong — or at least incomplete. Einstein has superceded them. Only advances in technology have allowed us to see that descriptions of reality based on Newton's work could only approximate reality. Newton gets us close enough for most purposes, but metaphysically speaking, it is not truth.

Yet for hundreds of years, Newton's laws were indistinguishable from the accepted version of reality. (Einstein blew a hole in that by showing us that reality itself is relative.) But the point I'm trying to make is that scientific consensus does not equal truth — even if the scientific consensus, as with pre-Einsteinian physics, conforms to observed reality and appears to predict future observed reality. Global warming theory, since it seeks to predict catastrophes that are far off in the future, doesn't even have those things going for it.†

h/t protein wisdom

* A science fiction writer. I read his most famous book Ender's Game, and thought it was creepy and over-rated.

Which is not to say that GW science is wrong, only that we can not presently know whether it's right or wrong. This is why there's such an emphasis on "consensus." But the media, who don't understand the scientific method, continue to misrepresent "consensus" as truth, when in fact it is not. Without the ability to obtain proof, consensus is about the best people can do, but it is still something short of proof.

Posted by annika at 10:29 AM | Comments (17) | TrackBack

May 10, 2007

Annika's Journal Farewell Tour: Part IX, My Lasting Legacy

When this blog is long gone, its lasting legacy to the world will be enshrined at the Urban Dictionary.

Posted by annika at 09:08 PM | Comments (14) | TrackBack

Draft Thurl Ravenscroft!

I feel the need to disabuse you all of the myth that is Fred Thompson.

Fred Thompson is not the savior. Repeat. Fred Thompson is not the savior. He does not ride a white stallion. He does not wear a white hat. Thus, he can not ride to the rescue of a Republican party that has lost its way. Stop expecting him to.

I'm not convinced that Fred Thompson will enter the presidential race. Neither am I convinced that if he runs he will win the nomination. He's currently polling third. Third is not first. Third is third. And right now that means he's in the low teens. Despite the fact that a lot of otherwise reasonable people think he's a viable candidate, polling in the teens does not indicate a huge groundswell of support.

I think a lot of people are projecting their own hopes on Fred, unreasonably. Sure, none of the top candidates are perfect conservatives. Sure, George W. Bush has been a disappointment for those of us who idolize Ronald Reagan. But wishing Fred Thompson is another Ronald Reagan does not make him so. And wishing Fred Thompson is another Ronald Reagan does not make him electable.

I've accepted this fact and you should too: We will not see another Ronald Reagan in our lifetime. The best we can hope for is that our presidents try to emulate him, but they will never duplicate him. The man was that great.

Please also remember the following (those of you who know a lot about Reagan should already know this): Reagan was a great man and a great president because above all, he was a great thinker. He thought big things, and he thought about them all his life. Before he entered politics he had his own idea of how the world should work. When he entered public life he put his ideas into practice. But make no mistake, the thinking part came first.

Fred Thompson has it exactly backwards, and too many people are forgetting that. Reagan left acting to enter public service. Fred Thompson left public service to become an actor. That should tell you something about their comparative priorities.

And don't tell me people aren't attracted to Thompson in large part because he is an actor. I'm sure the theory is that his acting experience should give him the ability to connect to the average voter. Reagan was an actor and he was "the great communicator." Therefore all actors who run for office should make great communicators. It sounds silly when you say it out loud because it is silly.

"But," you say, "Fred Thompson agrees with me on all the issues." Yah well, so do I. Why don't you write my name in? Being right on the issues is not enough, and never has been. Running for president is a huge, difficult job and I don't think Fred has what it takes to win.

First, you gotta have the right contacts, and lots of them. What contacts does Fred have? Contacts get you donors, and volunteers, who in turn get you money. You need a lot of money to run for president, and this time around you need a lot more than during past elections because the big states have all moved their primaries up front. Name recognition is not enough.

You still need money because you have to pay big staffs, and consultants, and they all have to travel, and you have to buy ads and computers and cell phones and pay rent on offices in fifty states, and spend your money on countless other expenses that eat it up like crazy. At this late date, Thompson's rivals have too big a head start.

Besides that, all the most experienced consultants are spoken for. Who's going to guide Thompson's campaign? Will he have to settle for some amateur? If you think these things don't matter, you're dreaming. Bush got half his contacts from family and business connections. The other half Karl Rove brought with him.

I'll always remember something I heard Phil Jackson say to his team in a huddle during one of their losing playoff runs. "I know you guys want to win, wanting to win is not enough." I know lots of people want Thompson to win, but it's not enough. He has to have the resources, the money, the people, the contacts, the ideas and the fire in the belly. I don't see him having any of that stuff. All I see is a relatively likeable conservative, who's been flattered way too much for anyone's good.

And as for qualifications, I have as much executive experience as Fred Thompson. What has he ever run in his life? A few months ago I explained one reason why I prefer candidates with executive experience over former legislators.

Theoretically, executives must work in the real world where results are expected. Therefore, they should be more results oriented. Legislators on the other hand, work in a world of theoretical projections, possibilities and imaginary outcomes. When they fuck up, they're rarely held to account because they simply blame the other party, the executive, or both.
Even giving him the benefit of the doubt, Thompson only had eight years experience in the Senate. What are his accomplishments? If you can name any, how do they match up with Rudy's, or Romney's or Huckabee's records as executives. Even more than running for the post, being president is also a huge, difficult job. Thompson would need on-the-job training. I don't care how solid he is on the issues. I'm really not sure I want someone who's never run an organization running the executive branch of the most important organization on the planet.

"But, he's got a great speaking voice..." Okay. He does have a pleasant baritone. But if that's all it takes to get your vote, why stop at baritone? Why not draft a bass? If vocal timbre is all it takes to be president, we should have had a President Thurl Ravenscroft!


Posted by annika at 07:03 PM | Comments (16) | TrackBack

May 09, 2007

Republican Primary Update

On one issue, I am not a "big tent" Republican. I don't think there should be room for pro-abortion candidates in the Republican party. But I think abortion is a great moral evil, so it follows that I don't think there should pro-abortion candidates in the Democratic party either. Nevertheless, I don't live in a perfect world. Much as I am confounded by his illogical position on the abortion issue, Rudy Giuliani is still the front-runner for my party's nomination.

But the same can't be said of Mitt Romney, who even after getting rave reviews for his debate performance last Thursday night, still remains mired in fourth place. Gallup even has him losing ground after the debate.

What's the difference between Romney and Giuliani? Both have flip-flopped on abortion. (So did I, by the way. Although I came over from the dark side much earlier than Romney, who "says" he switched in 2004). Giuliani donated to Planned Parenthood three times. Romney's wife donated $150 only once, back in 1994.

Both men supposedly have an impressive record of accomplishments. Rudy's is better known to me. He fixed an unfixable city, I watched him do it. Romney did something or other with the Olympics and as far as I know he was a successful governor of Massachussets.

One might say it's anti-Mormon prejudice. It might be, there certainly is some of that going on. But I don't think that explains all of it. I personally don't have any problem with Romney's religion, yet I don't like him at all. What's up with that?

I think one reason I don't like him is that he polls so badly, and I badly want to win. Would I like him better if he were a stronger candidate? Perhaps. I'm open to voting for Romney in the primary (which is more than I can say for Rudy or McCain), if Romney could somehow prove that he can beat Hillary, but so far he hasn't proven that.

Then there's the intangible slickness factor. Romney seems slick. I'll admit that's a silly reason not to vote for somebody, but I doubt I'm the only one who has noticed it about him. I also doubt I'm the only one who's slick-averse after eight years of Clinton. Would America vote for slick over shrew? I don't know. But I do know Romney's got a lot of work to do if he's going to get my vote.

For now, I'm leaning towards Mike Huckabee. He impressed me* during last week's debate, although he's not good on tax policy from what I understand. He has zero chance in hell of winning the nomination and Hillary would crush him like a bug anyway. But I always vote my conscience in the primary, and save my pragmatism for the general.

* And a lot of people.

Posted by annika at 03:57 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

May 08, 2007

Annika's Journal Farewell Tour: Part VIII, Poll Results That I Never Got Around To Revealing

For those who followed the various sidebar polls, and others who are merely curious, here are some results that I never got around to mentioning, due to a lack of interest on my part.

  1. The current poll asks, "Annika trivia: If you busted into Annika's house, what would she most likely shoot you with?" The correct answer is Heckler & Koch USP in .45 ACP, not the Sig Sauer 9 mil that 50% of you guessed.

  2. Do you think the Travelocity Gnome is funny? I do not, and thus I agree with 67% of you. Strangely, ten respondents did not know whether the Travelocity Gnome is funny, which is a "no" vote as far as I'm concerned.

  3. Eighty-seven percent of you think Ohio State should officially change their name from the Buckeyes to Florida's Bitches.

  4. On the burning question, "Egg salad sandwich, tuna salad sandwich, or chicken salad sandwich?" the response was evenly divided: 31%, 33% and 33%. So basically, they're all good.

  5. Which Jessica is best? Thirty-four percent picked Jessica Alba, but I was happy to see that there were at least 23 Frank Herbert fans out there who voted for Lady Jessica Atreides.

  6. Now that Sam Jaya has been kicked off American Idol, if he takes your advice he should go on one of those Bravo reality shows where everyone's gay. I think he'd be perfect for Shear Genius... as a client!

  7. Eighty-five percent of you have health insurance. Fifteen percent of you don't. Amazingly, this result is almost exactly congruent with the latest national census figures. So anyone who thinks my blog visitors are not a representative cross-section of America is nuts.

  8. Regarding the question: "What was the top story of 2006? The one everyone's talking about?" you were given a number of choices, and the majority of you picked, "Jackie Passey." That's crazy. What's even crazier is that "Evil donuts from the future invade Wall Street, reprogram the stock market" got only 14%, and that's only because I kept voting for it about two dozen times. The mere discovery that sentient donuts exist is enough to make it the top story in all of history, let alone the top story of last year. Add to that the fact that they're evil, they traveled through time, they invaded Wall Street, and they somehow managed to reprogram the stock market?!?! I just don't see how you people didn't think that was a major story! I suspect it's because many of you are doing well in the stock market and don't want to rock the boat.

  9. ¿Qual es la favorita pictura del hombre de sombrero? Esta Alfonso Bedoya.

  10. And finally, the winner of the Battle Of The Movie Assassins was Nikita from the original La Femme Nikita, starring Anne Parillaud. She got 58% of the vote, compared to Jason Bourne's 42%. I totally disagree with that result but what are you gonna do? View the tournament bracket here.
So now that's over with, I feel a lot better.

Posted by annika at 06:56 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

May 05, 2007

Weather Underground

Forget the Yahoo weather site, which is really just the Weather Channel's site, which sucks. The most comprehensive internet source for all your weather related needs is Weather Underground, which I have just bookmarked under my "references" tab. It has complete and searchable almanac information too, for you global warming junkies.

No, I'm not a total geek. But I am the daughter of a former Navy Aerographer's Mate.

On a slightly related note, I want you all to know my electrical usage has decreased compared to last year's kWh for two months in a row! And I haven't even been trying. Of course that might be because last year I tended to forget to turn off the air when leaving the house. Now, I have a Puerto Rican butler who will do that for me.

Posted by annika at 09:14 AM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

Milblog Conference Live Video Feed

You can watch the Milblog Conference video feed here. I think they're on lunch now, but the schedule says they start up again at 1:00 eastern time.

The President spoke earlier today, but I missed it.

Update: Here's the video.

Posted by annika at 09:00 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

May 04, 2007

Annika's Journal Farewell Tour: Part VII, The Curse Of Annika's Journal

December 9, 2004: I post a poem I wrote about Jerry Orbach.

December 28, 2004: Jerry Orbach dies.

Coincidence? You tell me.

March 4, 2006: I post a review of Butterflies Are Free, starring Edward Albert.

September 22, 2006: Edward Albert dies.

Coincidence? Who knows?

November 18, 2005: I call Steve Irwin a goofball in a post about turtles.

September 4, 2006: Steve Irwin is killed by a stingray, which is a distant relative of the turtle.

Coincidence? Is this starting to freak you out?

September 27, 2006: I write a post about Screech from Saved By The Bell.

November 15, 2006: Slater from Saved By The Bell is eliminated from Dancing With The Stars.

Coincidence? Maybe. But maybe it's not. Did you ever think about that?

Posted by annika at 08:21 PM | Comments (17) | TrackBack

Annika's Journal Farewell Tour: Part VI, The Agitprop

sheets.gif pelosipop.gif ejforsg.gif kikiagitprop.gif

These are the sidebar agitprops I created during the course of this blog's run.

Number one was my first attempt, using a picture of Kerry doing the "raise the roof" gesture. Pretty self-explanatory.

Number two was a little more sophisticated, and the first time I did the whole top and bottom bar thingie. I like the long face distortion, which is useful anytime one wants to depict the french-looking candidate.

Number three was created soon after Byrd gave his freakish meandering oration against the Authorization for the Use of Force. I'm particularly fond of the vampirish pallor of his skin, which was created by manipulating the hue and brightness settings in photoshop. Great pose too. The caption is a subtle hint at his Klan history. Grand Wizard becomes Grand Poobah.

Number four is Nancy Pelosi at her most strident. For effect I manipulated the size of her eyes and mouth. Not enough to look photoshopped, but just enough to be weird.

Number five is connected to my infamous EJ for Sec Gen post, which got such wide exposure thanks to a mention by Jeff Jarvis on tv. I totally lucked out when I found that picture of EJ with the blue hair wig. It was perfect.

And number six utilizes the gif animation function, which has given me hours of fun since I discovered how to do it back in January of '05. For those who don't know the references, this was based on the promotional photograph of Kiki Couric, which had been photoshopped by CBS to make her look younger and thinner. Tiffany is a reference to CBS's old nickname, "the tiffany network." I can't deny that I was also inspired by Violet from the old Willie Wonka movie.

So much for the agitprop. Someday, when the time is right, I'm planning to make a "Hillary: the female Nixon" sticker and plaster it all over California. Watch for it.

Posted by annika at 05:06 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Rosie Unfazed By Emeryville Freeway Collapse

Rosie O'Donnell is a perfect example of the psychological defense mechanism known as "cognitive dissonance." Here's what she's written in the last few days in response to questions posed at her "Ask Ro" site.

Teresa writes:

Hey Ro!
I live in No CA and guess what? The freeway near the Bay Bridge is going to be open sooner than expected…Why? Because the steel didn’t melt!!
Hmmmm……… Love ya!


and the concrete didnt pulverize

. . .

Jami writes:

Hey Rosie… you should send those who doubt the 9/11 stuff to watch the videos on Youtube about WTC7 falling… maybe that will make them believe what you are saying!!!! Rock on girlfriend!!!!



. . .

Kim writes:

Hey…just watched Loose Change. I didn’t know that 9 of the “hijackers” were found to be alive. Why haven’t I seen this until now? Did the media ever cover that? Loving you from Toronto!


the media did not

. . .

amy writes:

rosie- i am horrified. i just googled wtc7 & i am just sick. i have always thought there was more to the story than what the media was saying- but to see actual evidence is frightening. IMPEACH!!


go amy

. . .

Dan writes:

U said the last tower on 9/11 couldn’t have fallen by melting steel…it has never happened. Did the recent incident in California where freeway girders melted from a tanker truck change ur mind?


google it

. . .

Jan writes:

Can you explain how fire from an overturned oil tanker in San Francisco melted steel beams and bolts leading to the collapse of part of an interchange on Hwy I-80? But not on 9/11 you said.


watch wtc 7 fall
and tell me
it was not a controlled demolition

45 stories

come on

. . .

CYNTHIA writes:

is it plausable that terrorists placed bombs in the WTC’s? y, but the real question is which terrorists,foreign or domestic? if u were a man the news would praise u 4 your views. they r full of shit!


loving cynthia

There is no convincing one who has abandoned all reason and logic in exchange for fear and superstition. It's ironic that she has the nerve to criticize religion.

Posted by annika at 07:53 AM | Comments (27) | TrackBack

May 03, 2007

Breaking News




During an inadvertently risque moment, Governor Romney demonstrates his "technique" in response to a question by moderator Chris Matthews.

Posted by annika at 09:03 PM | Comments (21) | TrackBack

A's J Healthcare Survey

Just out of curiosity:

Free polls from Pollhost.com
Do you have health insurance?
Yes. No.   

Posted by annika at 02:23 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

Battle Royal

Memo to Republican candidates: here's one way to get Hillary's goat. Be polite. That was what Rick Lazio got wrong, when he did his famous "space invading" gesture during the 2000 NY senate race.

For more than two hours, France's presidential front-runner needled his challenger during a debate Wednesday, wrapping it in a veneer of chivalry and always addressing her as "Madame."

Finally, Segolene Royal snapped. The woman seeking to become France's first female president erupted in anger toward the end of the prime-time duel with conservative Nicolas Sarkozy.

It was surprising -- and potentially damaging -- that Royal, not Sarkozy, proved quick to anger. During their bitter election campaign, the Socialist has sought to portray her conservative rival as too unstable, too brutal, to lead the nuclear-armed nation.

In front of millions of television viewers, Sarkozy turned the tables. Royal got furious when he started talking about disabled children, saying he was "playing" with the issue. "I am very angry," she said.

"You become unhinged very easily, Madame," Sarkozy said. "To be president of the republic, one must be calm. . . . I don't know why Mrs. Royal, who's usually calm, has lost her calm."

Smooth move, Sarko!

Hey does anybody speak French? I think this is the video.

By the way, I know nothing about French politics, except that Royal is a hottie, and she's a socialist. Sarkozy, I remember, got in trouble during the recent "youth" riots for stating the obvious: that the rioters were thugs.

Posted by annika at 11:58 AM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

May 02, 2007

The Heatbreak Of Immigration

Immigration: The Human Cost

Posted by annika at 06:46 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Romney's Book

Does Romney want to be president or not? Because naming Battlefield Earth as his favorite novel was probably not the best choice he could have made. It's not enough that he has that "Mormon problem," now he's got to add a "Scientology problem" to it.

Posted by annika at 06:33 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Belgrano Anniversary

Today is the 25th anniversary of the sinking of ARA General Belgrano* by HMS Conqueror.

The General Belgrano group was now sailing between Tierra del Fuego and the Falklands. The British submarine HMS Conqueror had made a long range sonar contact on the 30th April, when it had arrived in the area fresh from the operation to recapture South Georgia and as there were no regular trade routes in the area the submarine closed in on the contact. On the 1st May HMS Conqueror came up to periscope depth but could not see the Argentine ships, so dived again and increased speed. On approaching the surface again an hour later HMS Conqueror found itself in sight of four Argentine ships, the General Belgrano, its two destroyer escorts and a tanker which was replenishing the cruiser.


HMS Conqueror followed the General Belgrano group for the whole of the next day as it moved south-eastwards, although, like the Groups to the north of the islands it never entered the Exclusion Zone. On the 2nd May the Group abruptly changed course and headed west, continuing to zigzag on an apparently aimless course. This worried the British commanders as it looked like a typical pincer movement was developing, with the Argentine carrier Group to the north and the General Belgrano Group to the south. All the ships in the General Belgrano Group were equipped with Exocet missiles giving the whole Group tremendous firepower at long range. It was realised that if the group split up, HMS Conqueror would not be able to follow all three ships, during the cover of darkness the Argentines would be able to steam hard towards the British fleet and attack the vital aircraft carriers HMS Hermes and Invincible with their missiles, consequently posing a great threat to the British ships.

At this point no British submarine was permitted to fire on any Argentine ship, so a request for action to be taken was put through to the Government. After a short 20-minute meeting in a side room of Chequers the go ahead was given to attack the General Belgrano. The Captain of HMS Conqueror, Commander Wreford-Brown, recieved his orders and immediately set about the final stages of his attack. He decided to attack the cruiser as the primary threat and chose to use the older Mk 8 torpedoes for this mission, as they had a bigger warhead to penetrate the hull and the anti-torpedo bulges. If he could not get in close enough to use these weapons he could still use the newer wire-guided Tigerfish. The Captain then spent 2 hours working his way into a good firing position. He regularly came up to periscope depth but this kept on losing the submarine ground so each time they would have to dive and run at high speed to catch up. At this point the Argentine ships were not using their sonar systems, so the Captain managed to position the submarine on the cruiser's port beam with the destroyers on her starboard bow and beam. HMS Conqueror fired 3 torpedoes at 18:57 Zulu, from a range of 1,400 yards, 2 of which hit the cruiser. Six minutes after the first torpedo struck the cruiser the escorting destroyers switched on their sonars and released depth charges. The submarine dived and evaded them, but when the depth charge attacks ecame closer they decided it was time to leave the scene


One of the torpedoes hit the General Belgrano near the middle of the ship and the other one hit near the stern. The second torpedo caused the most damage internally, and most of the sailors who lost their lives were killed in the stern engineering spaces. Thirty minutes after the first torpedo struck the order to abandon ship was given, 15 minutes after this order being passed, the ship sank. The Argentinians who escaped into the rubber life-rafts had to spend another 24 hours at sea before they were rescued. Of the 1,042 crew 368 lost their lives in this one incident, the single greatest loss of life in the whole conflict.

There was a lot of criticism regarding the sinking of General Belgrano, an old cruiser sunk by a nuclear submarine outside the Exclusion Zone, but the Royal Navy had no such qualms about taking out a real threat to the British fleet. As Admiral Fieldhouse said:

I have no doubt that it was the best thing we ever did. It cut the heart out of the Argentinian Navy and we only had their Air Force to deal with then. That was a very considerable advantage.
The simple fact remains that it was a war ship, in a war zone. The Group was well-armed and powerful, their intervention at this time could have very well prevented the success of Operation Corporate. Due to the sinking of the General Belgrano the Argentinian warships did not venture away from the continental shelf of South America again, the water here being too shallow for the British submarines to operate. This meant that not only did HMS Conqueror sink the second largest ship in the Argentinian Navy, but they also neutralized their only aircraft carrier and many of the smaller ships, in fact, the Argentine Navy as a whole.


This battle was the first (and so far only) time a warship was sunk by a nuclear powered submarine. The Belgrano did not even have sonar and was taken completely by surprise. When the Conqueror arrived back home in Scotland, she flew the Jolly Roger from her conning tower, following Royal Navy submariner tradition.

While the sinking of the General Belgrano was the most spectacular of the naval engagements during the Falklands War, by the end the Argentine Navy had outscored the British 5 ships to 2. The quote above states that the Belgrano carried Exocets, although I read elsewhere that she did not. The old Mark 8 torpedoes which sunk the Belgrano were designed in the 1920's.

HMS Conqueror was the ninth and most recent vessel by that name in British naval history.** She was decommisioned in 1990 and her periscope is now on display at the Royal Navy Submarine Museum in Gosport, Hampshire.

* ARA General Belgrano is the answer to a favorite trivia question. If you've read this far, you probably know the answer. Here's another: What does the "ARA" stand for?

** The fourth HMS Conqueror was a 74 gun ship of the line, whose captain of the marines accepted Admiral Villeneuve's sword at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.

Posted by annika at 11:06 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

May 01, 2007

Coolest Thing On The Internets Of The Day: The Met's Zoom Function

Here's something I hadn't seen before. It's a very cool zoom function at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's website. I linked to Poussin's The Abduction of the Sabine Women, because there's a lot going on in there. But you can find and zoom in on pretty much everything they have at the Met. It's my favorite museum.

Also, while we're on the subject of art, click on the extended entry if you're interested in a tour of the National Gallery's Jasper Johns exhibition. I thought it was interesting.

h/t on the Charlie Rose thing goes to Blu, who sent me a link to the Michael Crichton interview. Rose and Crichton discuss Jasper Johns, among other interesting things (when Rose shuts up long enough for Crichton to talk). Crichton thinks Johns is tops, along with Rauschenberg. I'm not as familiar with Johns as I am with Rauschenberg, whom I like a lot. I saw a retrospective of his work during my Scandinavian art museum overdose.

The Rauschenberg exhibition was at the ARoS museum in Århus. My aunt and uncle's farm was about a half hour away from Århus, so we spent a day seeing the sights there. Basically, there are only two things worth seeing in Århus. The ARoS museum is excellent, as is the living history park called Den Gamle By. ("By" is pronounced byoo.)

While I'm on this meandering digression about art, when I should be writing a paper, now is as good a time as any to post a video I've been meaning to share with you since last summer.

I love video art and check it out whenever I can. On our Scandinavian art overdose, Chris and I saw some really wierd video art at Louisiana and at ARoS. Some of it was indescribable. There was one room at ARoS that was set up like an apartment that you could walk inside. There was a couch, and a tv, and a little kitchenette, and a balcony with laundry hanging on a line. The entire room was wired and lit so that you could watch the whole day go by in about ten minutes. It was fascinating. The sun would rise and the coffee pot would start to work, for instance. Then the light changed as the day went on, birds sang and the laundry blew in the breeze, and stuff like that. Then as evening came, the tv turned on and dinner started cooking. As it got dark outside the lights came on. Overnight, the room lit up with little pinlights embedded in all the walls and floor, which was supposed to be like a dream. It was a really incredible installation, but unfortunately I didn't get any pictures.

I did take a video of one installation, called Unk, by American video artist Tony Ousler. You can see it below, but the video does not capture the full effect of the installation. It's basically a video projection of a man's face onto a 3 foot white egg submerged inside a giant plexiglass cube of water. His face contorts and you hear him groaning as he struggles to hold his breath. The entire thing is in the center of a dark room in the basement of the Kunstmuseum.

Even though the surface of the big egg was smooth, the projection made it look totally three dimensional. Watching the giant head try to hold its breath underwater made me slightly uncomfortable, like I couldn't breathe either. Really eerie and disturbing.

Posted by annika at 07:37 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

May Day Message

From an unexpected source. Check it out here.

Posted by annika at 07:17 AM | Comments (17) | TrackBack