Molt Be Blog

Monday, April 26, 2004


I've been quite the jet-setting moron lately. I was in New Orleans last weekend for a "training conference" for my job. It turned out to just be an excuse to get drunk and lose money at Casinos.
Last weekend was my first visit to New Orleans. I'd say that it was my first visit to "the Big Easy", but I just don't think I've been there enough to refer to it in so much of a colloquial manner. I also refuse to call it "Nah'Lins", because that's like having been to Paris and always calling it "Parie". Just because you've visited, doesn't mean you need to start imitating the way people talk. Frankly, they'll just find it insulting. However, this little rule does not work for our friend of the Northwest and home to my dear brother, Oregon. Knowing how to pronounce states is not dialectally-biased, it's just plain sensible. So let's all say "Oregon" like "Or-uh-Gin" and pronounce "gin" as in "he dun deed it aGIN!"
Where was I? Nah'Lins, that's right. Good time. The whole training conference was inside the Marriott, where I and 240 of my fellow consultants from all over the US happened to be sleeping as well. This meant that we didn't leave the hotel from when we went to bed until after dinner at 9, except for the 30 seconds spent crossing from one tower to the other where the pool was. 30 glorious seconds amid seminars on "the Effect of State Budget Crisis on Medicaid" and a 2 hour panel discussion on the new Medicare bill. As an old friend of mine used to say "Fun was evicted and boredom paid the rent." While there, I learned lots of fun new buzzwords and that anything can be "leveraged," especially people.
I'd love to say that I learned other things about the healthcare consulting industry, but I'm drawing a complete blank. What I did learn was that Bourbon Street smells like bar funk. Having previously worked in the bar industry and knowing the scent of bar funk quite well (some would call me a "bar-funk expert") I will hereby attest that Bourbon Street, in its most commonly crowded location, exhibits a definite bar funk odor. If you've ever fallen asleep in front of a bar and woken up in the hot afternoon sun while lying in the spillage trail of a bar garbage can on its way to a dumpster, you know what I'm talking about.
After a terrible Sunday morning hotel room experience somewhat akin to the melting carpets and smoking lizards of Fear and Loathing, I met up with R's cousin, who took me around to see some sights. I was in bad shape when I woke up, but lots of water and walking around in the sun got me right back on normal hangover footing. I was able to appreciate the filthiness of New Orleans in all it's glory. Luckily the weather wasn't it's usual hot-shower humidity and we were able to wander all over the dirty burg. I also attempted to take in the D-Day museum in a record 45 minutes, but having skipped the landings at Utah and Omaha beach I feel I may have missed something vital.
On Monday morning I caught a direct flight back to BWI and managed to get into work by 1pm. And that, I suppose, is the end of the story. I mean really. It was a weekend trip, so it would have to end on Monday when I got back to work. I kind of wish that there was a surprise ending, but no. I'll tell you this though: R explained to me this evening that she has now seen four different varieties of seafood on the streets of two different cities. She saw a whole lobster on a street in Barcelona, and an Eel, several crab legs and some minnows here in DC. That's crazy!


Check out the new email service that's being offered by google. It's oddly reminiscent of other online email offers except for a few key differences. like :

  • 1 GigaByte of space instead of the 2 Megabytes offered by hotmail (that's 500 times as much junkmail that can fit in there while you're on vacation before people start getting those account full messages!)
  • Some kinda weird system where you can automatically read the entire conversation you've been having back and forth on one page.
  • It automatically saves sent messages instead of you having to forget to click on some stupid check and then have to go back and click the box and then send the message again.
  • Each letter has the subject and the first few words of the text of the email. Which makes getting fooled by subjects like "BIGGER, LONGER, NOW!" a lot more difficult.
  • Google's got nifty stuff all over the place, so I'm sure there's some other stuff.


  • Friday, April 23, 2004

    This is something important to look at. And Condoleeza Rice accidentally calling Bush her husband is more amusing than Bush accidentally calling Powell the Secretary of Defense.


    Wednesday, April 14, 2004

    Cheney and Bush have released their tax returns for this year. Apparently Cheney received some money from Haliburton on his, but I didn't come across it in a quick glance. I seem to remember him having said he severed all ties with them... hummm...


    Tuesday, April 13, 2004

    Need to go to bed... Have work in morning... Here are the quickest quotes (all from George W. Bush) that I was able to jot down during his rhetoric-laden "press conference." And HUGE props to Don Gonyea for actually asking a real question (and being called on in the first place):

    Gonyea: with public support for the war in Iraq falling off... What ways do you think you've failed as a communicator... [your speeches] often include similar phrases and may vary very little from one to the next... I wonder if you feel you have failed in any way.... To really make the case to the public.

    Bush: If you put it into a political context that's the kind of thing the voters will decide next November. That's what elections are about. They'll take a look at me and my opponent and say 'let's see. Which one of them can better win the war on terror? Who best can see to it that Iraq emerges as a free society?' ...If I tried to fine-tune my messages based upon polls, I think I'd be pretty ineffective, I know I would be disappointed in myself...

    Besides the fact that Bush entirely avoided the part of the question as to whether or not he failed to make his case to the public, I think this answer is a hint of what's to come in the election. It seems the W will be pushing the idea that Kerry won't be strong on defense and that he doesn't say what he means and flip-flops around. Huge surprise. Don't listen to me, though. You can listen to both the opening statement (pure propaganda) and the q&a period (diluted propaganda) on npr or read it all here. On to the stupid quotes:
    "A free Iraq is vital to the safety of the American people."
    "America is behind our troops" I find this one particularly deceptive as "behind" could mean that we support the troops themselves or that we support the reason that the troops are there. Aren't semantics fun?
    "It's been tough on this administration." in reference to the last week of fighting and increased violence in Iraq.
    "It's in our country's interest." in reference to the achievement of a "free Iraq."
    "[Saddam] refused to disarm." in reference to Saddam's violation of the UNSC resolution
    "We are an open country; we value our openness." Who knows where this one popped out of.
    "And I heard a summary of that from Director Mueller, who feels strongly that we – and he'll testify to that effect, I guess tomorrow. I shouldn't be prejudging his testimony. " in reference to the testimony of Robert S. Mueller III scheduled for tomorrow. I've gotta wonder if someone in the back started waving his hands at Bush to shut him up about prior knowledge of testimony that has already been run by him before it was made, as he switched gears pretty quickly.
    "Prior to 9-11, the country really wasn't on a war footing. And the, frankly, mood of the world would have been astounded had the United States acted unilaterally in trying to deal with al-Qaeda in that part of the world." In reference to why "threats" like Saddam weren't taken care of before 9-11.
    "the war on terror had changed the calculations. We needed to work with people. People needed to come together. y'see empty words would have emboldened people."
    "I also have this belief, strong belief, that freedom is not this country's gift to the world. Freedom is the Almighty's gift to every man and woman in this world." in reference to God. Great. Everyone loves when you're doing stuff for God. Don't mind US, we're just helping God with His plan.
    "It just seemed an impractical strategy at the time. And, frankly, I didn't contemplate it." In reference to the United states acting Unilaterally "in that part of the world" (Meaning Afghanistan... I think... Possibly Iraq... He said 'it' a lot). No matter which strike he was referring to, he's busted either way as he was clearly contemplating unilateral movement against Iraq which is "in that part of the world." Unless he just meant the area right around Afghanistan and Pakistan, in which case he had to wait for 9-11 to do something, whereas now he can act preemptively on even less intelligence.
    I don't have the patience to comment on all of these quotes. At least one is a lie. The part about not thinking of invading Iraq before 9-11. If that is true, it's pretty sick to use the deaths of thousands to launch a war against someone who wasn't involved in their deaths. Despite the "coddling of terrorists", which was really just one Al Qaeda member who was serviced in an Iraqi hospital. We just teach them how to fly...
    I also really liked his skirting around the question of whether he felt responsible and slipping in how we weren't "on a war footing", which I guess we'll be on until there are no more "evil-doers." And how about "And it didn't take me long to put us on a war footing." Ooh, thank you! Thank you for sending us to war quickly. Shit, if I was "the ultimate decision maker for this country," I'd feel pretty bad about and yes, a little responsible for Sept. 11th.
    And what the hell is the "Greater Middle East Reform Initiative"?

    And he just couldn't figure out what the term "loved one" means:
    "It seems like a long time to the loved ones whose troops have been overseas. "
    "And my message to the loved ones who are worried about their sons, daughters, husbands, wives is, your loved one is performing a noble service for the cause of freedom and peace."
    "I've met with a lot of family members, and I do the best to console them about the loss of their loved one. "


    And remind me to read this article mentioned on The O'Franken Factor, which outlines all of the stuff that's being "discovered" now by the 9-11 commission.


    Check out Omar Masry's blog, which looks oddly similar to mine.... hmmm... same template?.. hmm... time for a change?
    Check out my brother's band's website. It's NOT SAFE FOR WORK.
    And don't forget to watch Bush's first press conference in a year, TONIGHT at 8:30ET. And there's a fun drinking game to play along with the conference:
    A shot of beer (or whiskey if you don't have work tomorrow) for each time W says one of these words:

  • "Actionable" - take a shot

  • "Related" - take a shot

  • "Historical" - take a shot

  • "Specific" - take a shot

  • "Mistake" (only in reference to him having made one) - Finish the bottle and smash it into your own eyes and ears 5 times so that Ashcroft can't put you in jail for having seen aor heard anyone in the Bush administration use "the M word."
  •

    I thought that this picture was done with photoshop at first. Just not nice.


    Thursday, April 08, 2004

         I can't stop commenting on this Rice testimony thing. It's an addiction to the news and I'll be the first to admit it. I still can't get over that CNN called her testimony "tough." It wasn't tough. It was boisterous, disrespectful, deceitful, blameful of others and all done with a shit-eating grin on her face. Headlines said that she defended the administration well, but what I don't get is why they're so defensive. The commission is just asking them to say what they knew and didn't know before 9-11 and what they can do now to make it less likely that this will happen again. Instead of getting the information they want, they get rhetoric and excuses; canned words spoon-fed by the Bush administration to "defend" themselves. This shouldn't be a partisan matter. It should be an inquiry. No one should be in opposition of or defending anything. Call me a pacifist.

         What they hell are they defending, anyway? What did they do that needs defending? If they screwed up, they could always just say that they screwed up and that they weren't prepared and that neither they nor any other administration could have been prepared. I'd accept that. It's probably true. But instead, they try to come off as though they were perfectly right in what they did and that nothing could have stopped 9-11. What total bullshit. I know that the communication between agencies was bad and that people lower down who knew a bit more weren't listened to, but why can't they just admit this stuff? Baffling.


    In Addition to what I said earlier, I was watching Condi's testimony again this evening and listened as she said that they "did not drop" any of the anti-terrorist measures that President Clinton had instituted. But wait! Didn't the Bush admin remove all of the FBI investigators from Yemen when they were investigating a terrorist attack on the USS Cole? They say that they removed them because of a terrorist threat. No kidding! A terrorist threat near the site of a terrorist attack?
    And how annoying that CNN (which, for some reason unknown to me, conservatives are calling the"Clinton news network") is always giving the Bush Administration the courtesy of a reach-around? CNN called it a tough defense of [the] administration, whereas a quick glance through the Rice Testimony link on google news comes up with titles like Rice testimony draws mixed reaction, Rice testimony begs more questions and After Rice testimony, questions remain.
    And to top it all off, a gigantic right wing media giant has dropped Howard Stern. There will be millions of high school seniors driving to school with nothing to listen to!


    I couldn't believe the Condi Rice 9-11 testimony. What balls she has!
    Q. If another US ship were to be attacked by terrorists after the USS Cole, what would you have done?
    A. I don't know.

    She's the goddamn national security advisor. Her whole job is to advise people on what to do. How can she not know?!? It's so aggravating!

    And when they asked why they didn't do anything against Al Qaeda after the USS Cole was bombed she said that the didn't wand to embolden the terrorists. No one is this dumb! I Swear they were up to something.


    Remind me to watch this episode of frontline online.


    Wednesday, April 07, 2004

    Check out Executive Order 13303, which might just make sure that all oil companies will be above the law. Hooray!


    Just using this to remind myself to check out QD3's website.
    And hey, as long as we're visiting in Iraq, why not bomb a mosque?


    Sunday, April 04, 2004

    I went to my local computer superstore today and purchased two items:
    1) a doo-dad that lets me hook my old mouse and keyboard up to my laptop through the USB port.
    2) one of those fun pads that you put underneath your wrists.
    What will these two items mean for my nerdy future? Why, more posts to the stupid blog, of course! Now that I have the capacity to write in comfort, I'll be spilling oozing masses of crap onto the pages of this site for longer and longer periods of time.*

    *this is not a promise, but rather a lie


    Friday, April 02, 2004

    Here it is. A better blog. I know what you're thinking. "But how is this possible? Greg's blog is the best blog and he's so cool and I should send him a letter that says how cool he is." Don't worry about me. I'll be fine. Give this guy's blog a look though, it's worth it.


    Thursday, April 01, 2004

    I thought that the new radio station Air America was going to be a lot more tame than it is. It turns out that listening to people who share my views rant all day is really nice. Now I understand why Rush has all of those people listening to him. In fact, I'm going to put a permanent link to it on the left.


    Oh no! H2O will kill us all!