Saturday, August 30, 2008

Best of Chinglish

A friend of a friend took these on a recent trip to China.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I'm Back...

Nothing much has been going on,  but hey, when has having nothing to say ever stopped me?

The Olympics have become much less interesting since Michael Phelps hauled in his eighth gold.  I had hoped that the track and field events would be good, but since Tyson Gay flamed out of the 100m in the semis I didn't even get to make any bad jokes about him and Walter Dix.  I know you share my disappointment.  At least I got to use "flamed".

The IOC seems to be disappointed with the lack of competition in the 100m and 200m races as well, where Usain Bolt smoked (he's Jamaican) everyone while setting new world records in both events.  The IOC president complained that Bolt didn't have the Olympic spirit because he didn't congratulate his fellow runners.  What should he have said?  Congratulations on getting absolutely scorched?  Congratulations, now no one will want to sign you to any endorsement deals because you got crushed?  Congratulations, maybe next time; oh wait I'm 22 years old, I'm going to be dominating your sorry ass for the rest of your miserable career?  So stupid.  I always thought that congratulation implied the loser complimenting the winner, but I guess that's not the Olympic spirit.  Doesn't the IOC have better things to do, like bury its head in the sand while China clubs some Tibetans?

Friday, August 15, 2008


Being a parent gives you a brand new perspective on lots of things. Like air shows. Last year I remember watching the show from my deck while grilling out and drinking wine. Tough work, but someone had to do it.

This year, here it is 8:45pm on a Friday, and I've just put my daughter back to bed for the fourth time because she keeps getting awoken by some World War II era shitbox that sounds determined to land on my roof.

Okay, I know that air shows are public goods, people like them, etc. But I have to believe that at 8:45pm noisy biplanes are at least as big of a nuisance as a good. It is dark. They're not emitting trails of flames or anything cool like that. Go away!

What sucks for me is that they'll be doing this again tomorrow. Luckily, I think I saw that Home Depot is having a sale on anti-aircraft guns, so I can probably have one mounted on the roof by tomorrow afternoon.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Another day...

...more goofy Bush pictures.  They look related.

At least it's not upside down, like when he tries to publicly read a book.

Some more grabass

U, S and A!!!

Monday, August 11, 2008

George Bush is still at it...

And by "it" I mean spreading the glory of America worldwide by trying to hit on Jennie Fitch and the two volleyball players.  It's probably not helping him that he's shorter than all of them, nor that he is a total douche.  He was also waving a tiny American flag at the aforementioned swimming events earlier, but I couldn't find any pictures of that.  Maybe tomorrow...

Suck it, France

I don't have anything ideologically against France like some Americans seem to.  I like their wine and food, they've made some cultural contributions to the world to be sure.  It does seem, though, that Frenchmen can't help but be pompous asses.  No surprise then, that I thoroughly enjoyed the Men's Swimming 4x100 Freestyle Relay from this morning.  Having talked some serious shit, the French got their asses handed to them (you would think they'd be able to recognize that pattern after what, 100 years?  Guess not).

The French team anchor (the guy who swims the fourth and final relay leg) informed the media, in his best Borat impersonation, that his team would "smash" the Americans, that "that's what we came here for."  Going into the final leg with a serious lead, Borat, who is the world record holder in the 100m Freestyle, held his lead for the first 50m only to completely puss out in awesome French style over the last 50m.  When the American anchor caught and passed him in the last 5m, he stayed in the pool for several minutes afterward and pouted while his teammates walked around scratching their heads and asses.  Hilarious.  Vive le France!

If you didn't see the race, it's available at NBC's Olympic site, which I have to say is really good.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

I love George Bush

AP Photo


I gather that the Olympics are underway, although I think NBC is showing everything on about a 10 hour delay here, so that kind of sucks.  Considering about all I do in life these days is change diapers and check sports news on the internet, I may have to modify my behavior if I want the TV coverage to be suspenseful at all.  

The air quality in Beijing, by most accounts is still awful despite the Chinese government's great plans such as seeding clouds, taking millions of cars off the road, closing factories, and ordering 250 million citizens to stop breathing.  One of the Washington papers, I think The Post, but I don't remember for sure, has a correspondent in Beijing who is a semi-serious runner.  He runs a few miles every morning in Beijing and reports on how he feels, and it sounds pretty terrible.  He says he gets more tired, dizzy, and much thirstier than running on a humid, summer day in DC.  The thirst thing really confuses me--how filthy must the air be?  

So probably a good move by the organizers to have indoor events first.  Swimming, gymnastics,  that stuff.  Although I have to say, if the air makes you thirsty, I wonder what the water in the pool does.  There's probably a good chance that the swimmers will come out glowing.  

In all seriousness though, I hadn't really thought too much about the global political implications of China hosting the Olympics until this week.  Some people have gone so far as to compare these games to Hitler's 1936 games in Berlin.  Well, China isn't invading anyone, you might say.  No, but neither was Germany in 1936.  Just as Hitler did, China brutally suppresses politic, religious and social freedoms.  

In 1936 Hitler was just a crazy nationalist in the eyes of the US, restoring Germany to it's pre-1918 glory.  The US didn't care too much, because they had such a vested interest in the success of the German economy.  Reparations could be paid, American goods could be purchased, all good stuff.  Of course, a few short years later, the US was defending Europe from Hitler's advances, the Holocaust was exposed, and the image of American athletes showing Hitler the Nazi salute wasn't a happy memory.  

That's not to say that China will become aggressively expansionist.  However, given the US's vested economic interest in China's growth and success, and thus it's willingness to turn a blind eye to the brutality of the state, the parallels are undeniable.  You can make the argument that China has worse human rights than a couple of places in which the US is currently militarily involved.  But Iraq didn't produce millions of tons of cheap stuff for Americans to buy at Wal-Mart.  

Anyway, my goal isn't to go on an anti-Chinese rant.  Neither is it to criticize George W. Bush for making the Beijing opening ceremony the first non-American-hosted Olympics to be attended by a sitting American president (it's not like he has anything better to be doing, and at least this way he isn't fucking anything up at home).  Simply, I hope everyone reflects on the message that China is receiving--keep on doing what you're doing, it's great.  And after reflecting, is that the right message?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Packers

Unless you live under a rock you're no doubt aware of the Brett Favre retirement-unretirement debacle that's playing out in Green Bay.  I sort of like Favre, and I like the Packers, but this whole thing is a total disaster.  ESPN's Page 2 had a great chart up today, mocking the supposed "fair competition" that would go on between Favre and Aaron Rodgers for the starting quaterback job.  

(I guess you have to click on the image to be able to read it...stupid blogspot.)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

3 Months Old!, Thermostat Wars

My daughter turned 3 months old today.  To mark the occasion, she rolled over about 3/4 of the way and pooped at least 12 times.  A busy day.  She can also hold her head up expertly, and looks tremendously cute sitting upright leaning back on our huge couch.  I celebrated by running 9 miles and having an aching knee, although the bottle of wine that my wife and I shared over lunch helped that a great deal.  

When I returned from running some errands my wife urgently informed me that it was freezing in our house.  In fact, it was the same 73F that it has been all summer, much warmer than the 68F I would prefer.  My wife is convinced that our daughter is always cold--despite pediatricians recommending keeping a home with a baby in it 68-72F.  So I'm pretty sure our daughter is fine, if not hot.  So, here's the question: why are women always cold and men always warm?  It seems counter-intuitive because women have more body fat and typically more hair.  Are they secretly reptilian?  It sucks.  And now, of course, our thermostat is set to 75F because let's face it, life is too short.  At least now I won't feel bad about spending the entire day in my underwear.  Of course, as my daughter grows up and becomes one of the vocal, cold-blooded females of the world, I'm going to be outnumbered, and it's going to suck.  Bottom line: I need a  son, ASAP.  But having a second kid scares the crap out of me, because my daughter is so fantastic.  And having an ally in the thermostat wars might not be the best reason to have Irish twins.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Getting Out

We went to a friend's wedding yesterday afternoon and evening, the first time we've left our daughter with a babysitter to whom she isn't related.  

It's very stressful to leave your baby, very unnatural.  After a long, long tour and explanation of everything to the sitter--"the number for 911 is 911"--we left and looked at each other in a 'here goes nothing' sort of way.  We texted the sitter from the wedding, gotta love modern conveniences, and were told that our daughter had been great but was lately "kinda fussy."  We took that as a euphemism for crying inconsolably which is probably about accurate, but we were happy to receive a follow-up text that she had since fallen asleep.  And in spite of eating almost nothing, she slept through the night!  Rockstar baby.

The good news is that we're now pretty comfortable with the idea of leaving our daughter with a sitter in future--no adverse effects, house didn't burn down, wasn't struck by a meteor--so look out Chicago nightlife, here we come.  An ironic parting fact: we spent more on the babysitter than on the wedding gift.  C'est la vie.

Friday, August 1, 2008


I just got home from the first day of Lollapalooza, and here in print is what rock critics the world over are afraid to write: Radiohead sucks.  The music press is always in such a rush to blow them; I can't figure it out.  They played two hours of downright depressing, if musically sound, songs.  It's a fucking festival.  Maybe something upbeat?  That people have heard before?  Very disappointing.  

Bloc Party, on the other hand, were fantastic--if you have a chance to see them this summer you should.  Duffy, too, put on a good performance, and Stephen Malkmus (of Pavement fame) was solid.  The Black Keys were horrendous, maybe victims of bad sound on their stage, but either way, awful.  The Go! Team played an hour of super-enjoyable cheerleader rock, I only wish I had caught their whole set.  

Finally, I just had a "Burrito as Big as Your Head" from La Bamba just down the street from me.  Bad decision.  May be a long night...