The 892nd step on the last road home.

Great, just ... great

We're going to get pounded with enough rain to flood again tomorrow. A lot of roads washed out or otherwise damaged by the last flood a few weeks ago are barely patched, since the asphalt plant the county uses closed for the season a few days after the flood, right on its seasonal schedule. If the roads get repaired at all after Friday's clusterfuck -- with snot and duct tape, since we're all outta roady-road stuff -- that still leaves the streams and rivers still in desperate need of repair. Then again, if they were repaired after the June flood, we wouldn't reflood every time a grey cloud lingers a bit on its way across. Oh, and the holes and cracks in the basement are still unfixed. Whee.

The top-five best freeware I've found for a Treo 650

Everyone loves hearing cheap jerks rave on about creations that have enriched their life, right?

1. Has to be FileZ -- I like Palm just fine, but that they don't have a decent file manager of their own is just plain stupid. Not very exciting, but essential.

2. Little John Palm -- ideal for waiting rooms and bathroom stops. I find it's largely useless for anything except NES emulation -- crashity crashcrash crash -- but it does NES maybe better than the actual console did.

3. GoogleMaps -- fast and easy, even on my connection.

4. The Core Pocket Media Player -- plays mpegs and mp3s with a host of muscular tweaking tools [EQ, video controls, etc.]. The only drawback I've found is that it won't multitask -- continue playing while I go to email or DocsToGo -- and that's probably just a menu option I haven't happened across yet, which is the only thing keeping me from deleting RealPlayer from the phone.

5. CutPaste 5 -- expands the clipboard memory to "actually useful" [32K]. I use this one to copy & paste text to/from Docs, Memo and email, which can be a trial if you're dealing with Palm's 1k default.

Honorable mention: ClockPop5, which is a cute little program that lets you, um, pop up the clock without exiting the program you're using. I lose a little less track of time because of it.

All I need now, besides a good carrier, is a good Jumble clone. [The actual Jumble for Palm I discovered a while ago seems to have already been discontinued. Yikes.]

tofu for the holidays

My god, I'm drooling reading some of these recipes. I miss those holiday-feast boxes; we must have "the real thing" here, and the fridge is only big enough for one feast.

more comicsal links

Eddie Campbell finally has a blog. I could read Eddie holding forth for hours.

My new second-favorite scan snarkblog. [Nobody puts Baby in a corner.] All of the Justice League Detroit dissing, none of the smug assholism.

And two beautifully drawn anti-poison PSA comics starring a child that deserves killin'. Speaking of Dennis, have you visited lately? You should.

Also, the mighty Persoff hosts a sincerely awful Caniff educational comic, "How to Spot A Jap," which went over so well [with its audience of post-Pearl Harbor military men] that it was dropped in the very next edition, two years later.

Kill Your Bookmarks

I wasted about an hour trying to get MAME for Palm to work -- I've never really done much MAME playing at all, but the urge to play BAGMAN, BLUEPRINT, GOLDEN AXE, the arcade version of INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM and PENGO can be overwhelming at times -- but quit and deleted it all off the drives.

One of these days, the game publishers will finally smarten up and release more than a handful of their classics on an emulated disk; when the entire Atari 2600 catalog comfortably fits onto four old floppies, no one would buy a CD of just 80 games ... especially if the publisher tries to charge $30 for it.

Speaking of abandonware: Hey Kids, Bande-Dessinee Video Games!

Here's the TINTIN IN TIBET, which I haven't downloaded but am eager to play, TINTIN ON THE MOON, and PRISONERS OF THE SUN games.

The Sexiest Fucking Thing I've Seen In A Long Time

And here's how to do it, which I may have to do soon. I'm deeply, deeply unsatisfied with Sprint, and it's not just because we would have been dead meat if no one on our block had a Verizon cell during the worst of the flood over the summer. What's particularly annoying -- aside from the switcheroo that now you can take your cell number with you, service to service, but not your phone -- is that Verizon apparently no longer supports the 650. Everything I've seen and experienced with the 700p [I wouldn't even use the Windows models as paperweights] was hugely disappointing, and the 680 looks like more of a halfassed Xmas-rush quickie than the 700 was, so I'm not updating any time soon. Maybe the _50 models will be the good ones, like even-numbered STAR TREK movies.

Is it my imagination

or was Condoleezza Rice's post-conference interviews with the networks' talking heads shot set up like a Hollywood junket interview? Only instead of the poster of the movie the starlet is shilling for being behind her in the two-shot, it was Jordan? I happened to see a fragment of Katie Couric's Condi interview on CBS and then the tail end of Brian Williams' on NBC, but they were identically framed and edited. And there was enough of a line between Condi and network hack that I couldn't help but wonder if each Q&A was filmed separately and pieced together in a split-screen. That would have made the chat itself about as truthy as the actual content.

Old Timey Linkblogging, just like how Gramps used to do it


Hey Kids! Look, Rube Goldberg shows us how a car engine converts fuel to power.

A page to the motherlode of free Jack Benny MP3s, with some JUNGLE JIMs thrown in at the bottom.

Doesn't this just burn the toast: So, I was looking on IMDB to see if the American Movie Classics original series REMEMBER WENN was out or due out on DVD any time soon, when I happened across some links to bootleg-TV sites that have the show. Let's count the number of ways these whippersnappers are a bunch of four-flushers:

* "Regular Price: $249.99, Our Price $199.99." Awfully white of them to give a 20% discount .... on their own bootleg of someone else's property. Unless there's a distribution system for bootlegs that I don't know about. The idea makes me a little queasy.

* "These are brand new and sealed." Very important details for boots. You don't want to shell out a shitload of money for USED copies of the Nth-generation of something that was recorded off low-def television in the first place.

* If reading "If you are unsatisfied with your purchase (although we have never had this happen), we will happily replace or refund your purchase" doesn't sent your Spidey-sense screaming, then nothing does. "Although we have never had this happen," indeed.

* Are these guys trying to get shut down? Why in the world would you not drop a series like a hot crack pipe the day an official release of it comes out? I counted at least two dozen such shows on this page alone, and many of the boots use the same cover art as the official DVDs. And what kind of too-rich maniac has $150 burning a hole in his pocket for THE COMPLETE MAMA'S FAMILY?

I should mention that I'm all in favor of fan trading and even some buying & selling boots of material that's unlikely to see a commercial release any time soon, like WENN [owned by a company that's doing everything it can to distance AMC from the days when the station actually aired American Movie Classics], the KTMA episodes of MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 [a nightmare's nightmare for rights clearance], and the Adam West BATMAN [Kramer vs. Kramer for intellectual-property ownership]. But I draw the line at making bootlegs look like official releases; that speaks more to profit than enthusiasm.

The 891st step on the last road home.

youtubing for November

First, a cartoon for the brainiac kiddies: The Dot and the Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics

Johnplex treats wingnut Christians right. The [H]Ester performances and this clip are my favorites.

I love this old man and his stories.

Holy shit, it's KISS MEETS THE PHANTOM OF THE PARK, which is somehow worse than I remember. Rip rip, rip and DESTROY.

As for music that's actually good, here's a lovely Eric Dolphy archive.

I've often heard that The Tielman Brothers were the greatest [not just in Indo-Rock either], but it never came across in the songs I've heard. Now I understand their reputation, having seen them perform in their prime. Still don't get the deal with that 10-string Jazzmaster, though.

This indo version of THE THIRD MAN theme is pretty great. Crazy Rockers, 1963

Let's see, who's the bigger bigoted blowtard, Glenn Beck or Michael Richards? Nothing like struggling to watch two minutes of Beck's show [aside from the "news" breaks from Erica Hill when she has trouble hiding her contempt for that dolt] to make you long for the days when Headline News was just the headlines every half-hour. So, is anyone NOT betting Kramer will be in rehab by Friday? It wouldn't be an instant cliche if it didn't work.

Jack and Lew

I saw the Monkees' movie HEAD last night, which reminded me that Jack Nicholson once directly made interesting, creative, thoughtful, often personal movies -- RIDE IN THE WHIRLWIND and THE SHOOTING with Monte Hellman, THE TRIP with Roger Corman, Nicholson's own DRIVE, HE SAID and THE KING OF MARVIN GARDENS. It's always sad when an actor who can write, stops. Not as sad as the prices that the OP DVD of THE SHOOTING are demanding, but still sad.

Lately, I've been thinking about a fairly obscure bit of movie business: After EASY RIDER made a shitload of money in '69, Universal decided the best way to tap that new market was to essentially give a handful of young filmmakers a million dollars, a deadline, carte blanche and final cut. It seems Lew Wasserman may have been "in charge" of the department. From that project came:

Peter Fonda's THE HIRED HAND [1971]
Milos Foreman's TAKING OFF, [his first American movie, 1971]
Monte Hellman's TWO-LANE BLACKTOP [1971]
Dennis Hopper's THE LAST MOVIE [1971]
Douglas Turnbull's SILENT RUNNING [1972]

I haven't really done a lot of research into this semi-independent project -- I'm not even sure it even had a name, unless they really went with "New Youth Division" -- but these three Universal pictures are often included with the group:

Frank Perry's DIARY OF A MAD HOUSEWIFE [1970]
John Cassavettes's MINNIE AND MOSKOWITZ [1971]
George Lucas' AMERICAN GRAFFITI [1973]

I can easily believe the Cassavettes being one of the post-RIDER projects, but HOUSEWIFE seems much too early and GRAFFITI a little bit late for it. Anyway, I find the whole idea of "NYD" fascinating. These days, an EASY RIDER would never be allowed to reach the multiplexes, and even it was released and was a hit, the studios would just shit out a bunch of RIDER clones in the same way PULP FICTION begat an official flood of ambiguously ironic pastiches with eclectic soundtracks, not a bunch of relatively inexpensive faux-indy but heterogeneous movies. That Universal got at least one [BLACKTOP] or maybe two [MOSKOWITZ] bona fide classics, a bunch of respected dramas, an always appealing sci-fi programmer [RUNNING] and an even-bigger-than-Easy-Rider blockbuster [GRAFFITI] out of the program should be something of a lesson. It's not and never will be, but it should. You gotta wonder how much of a return Universal made off that less than $7 million investment in 1969.

The 881st step on the last road home.

50-state strategy

Alabama Red
Baked Alaska
Arizona Nightingales
Arkansas Traveler
California Plate
El Chapulin Colorado
Connecticut Yankee
Delaware Destroyer
Florida Recount
Sweet Georgia Brown
Toast Hawaii
Idaho Potato
Illinois Jacquet
Indiana Jones
Iowa Caucus
Kansas City, Here I Come
Kentucky Rain
Louisiana Purchase
Maine Lobster
Maryland Mark I
Massachusetts Bay Colony
Michigan J. Frog
Minnesota Fats
Mississippi John Hurt
Missouri Fox Trotter
Tony Montana
Nebraska Man
Nevada Smith
New Hampshire Primary
New Jersey Meathook
New Mexico Bed Stain
New York Minute
North Carolina Ramblers
Dakota North
Ohio Players
Oklahoma Kid
Oregon Trail
Pennsylvania Anthricite
Rhode Island Red
South Carolina Carpet Scoot
South Dakota Sodomy
Tennessee Ernie Ford
Texas Hots
Utah Phillips
Vermont Cheddar
Virginia Ham
Washington Irving
West Virginia Pussyhound
Wisconsin Cheese
Wyoming Toad

Linkparking in America

Pulp Magazine checklist/gallery
Four Conceptions of the Heroic
The White Rose leaflets
Line Rider toy
Spire Christian Comics archive
Google Map Wings
Whitney Music Box
Rich King's Breakfast Nook
Swallowtail Chrysalis
Harvey Dunn
Andrew Loomis
Instant Ramen's Home Page
Musicians and Injuries
Charles Bonnet Syndrome
The Criterion Collection Out of Print Gallery
Cold Reading
The Social and philosophical implications of the 1755 Lisbon earthquake
Program Music
Circuit Bending
Tribute Album
Sic semper tyrannis

The Post Office
What time is it?
Reverse Lookup
Shawn Hoke
Alan Jacobson
Jog the Blog
Gojira Kijou
Peter MacDonald
Eric Millikin
Chad Parenteau
Dorian Wright
Pirate movie list
The Old Computer's ROM Library
ROM Hustler
ROM World
The Password Archive
The [admittedly unofficial] Sam & Max blog
Guitar Chords
Scans Daily
Improved Archie
Henry Kissinger's phone calls
The Guild of American Luthiers
Rickenbacker 610 user reviews
Shelf Space
Word Origins
The Comics Curmudgeon
Patrick Owsley
How Things Work
Steve Pavlina
Business contributions
Earl Van Dyke/Soul Brothers/Funk Brothers discography

The 872nd step on the last road home.

[n]one of those benchmarks we keep hearing about

The first time I've ever actually laughed at one of George W. Bush's "funny comments:"

REPORTER: And also, Mr. President, may I ask you if you have any metrics you'd be willing to share about your reading contest with Mr. Rove?

BUSH: I'm losing. I obviously was working harder on the campaign than he was.

Even rereading it makes me laugh again and again.

The 869th step on the last road home.

Say goodnight, Gracie

I just realized the Senate holdouts are Burns & Allen, and even Fox News has Jon Tester as the new Senator from Montana and Jim Webb more than 7,000 votes ahead of Allen with 100% Precincts Reporting.

UPDATE: Oh, and ABC, NBC, CBS, Reuters, and the Associated Press have all called the election for Webb, but you know how that damn liberal media is about these close elections.