January 31, 2003
Happy bloggerversary!

Juan Gato's blog is one year old today. Wish him a happy one...

Yeah, I remember when I first started Gimpysoft it was just a place for Ed, Raj and Greg to keep up with what I was up to. Almost three years later, it's now a place for Ed, Raj, Greg and Troeger to keep up with what I'm up to. And to read about onions.

Did you know that the U.S. per capita consumption of onions is around 18.1 pounds per year? This translates to approximately 370 semi-truck loads of onions used in the United States each day.

Posted by Ryan Olson at 08:17 AM | Comments (4)
Saw this one...

I heard about Saddam's blathering about how we will be utterly destroyed should we attack Iraq. I just read Steven Den Beste's comments on the story.

And there was this, the article lede, the most preposterous idea of all:

Iraq's leader has warned those who attack the country that they will face successive lines of trenches before they are "crushed totally".

Trenches? They think they're going to defeat us with a prepared defense made up of trenches? What does he think this is, World War I?

Heh...

Posted by Ryan Olson at 08:11 AM | Comments (2)
January 30, 2003
Mmmm.... Onions...

Satisfy all your Onion needs at the National Onion Association website!

Recipes! (Chocolate Cake?)

Media Releases!

Trivia!

And the FAQ.

Posted by Ryan Olson at 11:02 PM | Comments (0)
Empty promises once again...

Sometimes I don't know why I bother mentioning these things on here, but I have a good feeling about it this time.

On Saturday, February 1, I will quit drinking and smoking.

The smoking I hope to make permanent, but the drinking will be only for a period of 28 days. I just want to see how my weight will do over the course of a month keeping my same diet and exercise, but cutting out beer. While I'm at it, I figure I'll take advantage of the lack of drinking temptation and try to cut out the smokes. At the very least, I ought to offset the normal quitting smoking weight gain.

And it'll make that first beer on March 1 taste all the more sweet. Well, wish me luck anyway...

Posted by Ryan Olson at 08:54 AM | Comments (6)
I don't collect enough stats

I really need to collect more statistics. Here is a list of daily statistics I've been meaning to collect but haven't.


  • Number of times I roll my eyes listening to Morning Edition or All Things Considered. Twenty bonus points if I'm so annoyed by the story that I turn off the radio and listen to some music.

  • Number of times I check my site stats/referrer logs.

  • Percentage of email that I receive that is spam.

  • Weight. (I've been doing a very poor job recording lately.)

  • Cigarettes smoked

  • Ounces (gallons?) of alcohol consumed

  • Hmm... I thought there were more. Oh well, carry on...

    Posted by Ryan Olson at 08:46 AM | Comments (4)
    January 29, 2003
    Nook-u-lar

    Yeah, what is the deal with Bush's pronunciation of "nuclear"? It can't possibly be the case that nobody has told him that he's pronouncing it wrong, can it? I have to think that at least one of his handlers has corrected him by now...

    If he has been corrected, why does he insist on staying with the incorrect pronunciation? Subtle anti-intellectualism? Southern pride? What?

    Posted by Ryan Olson at 03:20 PM | Comments (3)
    Cover songs

    Michele at A Small Victory is looking for some of your favorite cover songs. Go help her out...

    Posted by Ryan Olson at 02:31 PM | Comments (5)
    Leech Watch

    Apparently, Hunter S. Thompson was scheduled to appear on Conan O'Brien next Thursday, February 6 before this whole leech thing came up. So leeches or no, you can catch him then. He has his new book to pimp anyway...

    Stuff like this always drives me nuts. When you say he's going to be on Thursday, February 6th, does that mean the night of the 5th, since Conan doesn't come on until after midnight? Guess I'll have to watch (tape, probably) both nights.

    (Found at Gonzo.org.)

    Posted by Ryan Olson at 01:32 PM | Comments (0)
    January 28, 2003
    Well Gerg, you get your wish...

    Hunter has his new column up, entitled "Leeches are good for you." In it, he claims that he will indeed make good on his promise to appear on national television and apologize for his support of the Oakland Raiders.

    But at least I did not bet on them and give 500-1 odds -- and that is all that stood between me and bedrock stupidity on Sunday night. I was mocked and humiliated, but my actual losses were minor -- unless you see something dark and shameful about appearing in public with healthy working leeches all over your head, and I don't.

    Leeches can be good for you. They are extremely beneficial in treating wounds to the head, face and lower extremities. They will attach themselves and suck with both mouths for 30 consecutive hours, after which they will bloat up and become useless for the next two months and usually die of loneliness.

    Right. And that is all the time I can spare for leech research, right now. I will make my appearance, as promised, on either ESPN or the "Conan O'Brien Show" or possibly on the keenly modern Naked News on the Playboy Channel. ... It will not be fake or computer-generated -- although that may not matter at all to a 21st Century audience. We will see.

    I'm not even sure if my cable system gets The Playboy Channel. Their channel listings just have a vague "Adult Programming Channels begin on 835" item.

    I will pay pay-per-view rates to see this. Though I think it naive in general to believe anything that HST says, he doesn't strike me as one to welsh on a bet. Stay tuned...

    Posted by Ryan Olson at 01:22 PM | Comments (0)
    January 27, 2003
    Best. Advice. Ever.

    (Found at Hit and Run)

    Remember that 1997 song "Barbie Girl" by Aqua? I wish I didn't, but unfortunately at the time I was working for an ISP that streamed Houston's Top 40 station, and it was constantly playing in the server room. Ugh.

    But that's beside the point. Apparently Mattel got all upset by the song and sued MCA Records, and it's still in court. Well, was until today at least. The appeals court has ruled in favor of MCA:

    "With fame often comes unwanted attention," Kozinski wrote for a three-judge appeals panel. He closed his written opinion with a warning to both companies to play nice. "The parties are advised to chill," he wrote.

    Indeed.

    Posted by Ryan Olson at 01:46 PM | Comments (0)
    Boredom streak (almost) over

    It's been an ugly couple of months. It's cold and nobody's touring. Well, spring tour dates are finally starting to trickle in.

    Firstly, Big Smith makes it over to Lawrence just under two weeks from now. I missed them the last two times they made it up this way, and I haven't been down to Fayetteville for a Chester's show in a while.

    I do notice from Big Smith's site that Chester's Place down in Fayetteville finally has a website. In my opinion, they overuse animation just a bit, but at least they now have a calendar so you can find out what's coming up.

    Speaking of coming up at Chester's, the Steve Kimock Band has a nice spring tour planned. It sucks I won't be able to make it down to Tampa for that show, but I will be heading down To Chester's for a three night run March 21-23, then coming home and catching a show over in Lawrence on the 24th.

    Particle has finally announced more of their dates. They'll hit Fayetteville on March 16, but since that's a Monday I don't think I'll make it down for that one. There's a three day break until their next gig in Urbana, IL, so I'm hoping that they'll be able to sneak a KC or Lawrence show in there. Somebody get on the phone to the folks at Pipeline and get them booked...

    Guess that's about it for the immediate future. Bonnaroo in early June, but haven't seen any other camping type festivals that I need to go to.

    So how do I make time pass faster again? I think I need to start hibernating for the winter...

    Posted by Ryan Olson at 12:45 PM | Comments (2)
    Blah...

    Yup, that about sums it up for me too...

    I almost wish I had even a passing interest in baseball or basketball... I guess I'll need to head over to St. Louis for a hockey game one of these days.

    Posted by Ryan Olson at 10:47 AM | Comments (1)
    Late to the linking party again...

    But in case you missed it over at Ken's place, Dave Barry now has a blog.

    Posted by Ryan Olson at 08:25 AM | Comments (0)
    January 24, 2003
    Good advice from Juan

    Juan Gato most eloquently tells those of us whining about the weather to please STFU.

    Also, in reference to this post, trying to make a joke using SQL is about 7.2x more difficult than trying to make one with normal english.

    Update: Somebody has successfully made an Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction SQL joke. Kudos, Ryan! (It wasn't me...)

    Posted by Ryan Olson at 08:26 AM | Comments (2)
    Ack!

    Pointed out to me by Gerg... I thought I had read Hunter S. Thompson's latest column, but apparently I had not. Either that, or I didn't pay close enough attention, since I missed this:

    Good luck, and remember this: If the Raiders lose, I will appear on national TV with big leeches all over my head and a formal apology to read. I will be ashamed of myself for being such an ass.

    Indeed. But that is the nature of gambling, eh? That is why we do it. Ho ho. That is why we call it fun.

    Hmmmm... Maybe Tampa Bay isn't so bad after all... I mean, they're not in the NFC Central any more...

    Posted by Ryan Olson at 08:07 AM | Comments (0)
    January 23, 2003
    No.

    It's too damn early in the morning, and the temperature outside is an utterly unacceptable two degrees below zero. Tack on the wind chill, and the walk from my car to the building was at a lovely fifteen below.

    I hereby renounce any former plans to move further north, at least until Global Warming catches up with me. This aggression by the Forces of Nature will not stand.

    On the bright side, we do have a high of 10° today. At least I have that to look forward to.

    Posted by Ryan Olson at 05:54 AM | Comments (1)
    January 22, 2003
    Avast, me hearties!

    My diet is so terrible, I've always wondered if I was going to get scurvy one of these days. Well, apparently it can actually happen.

    (via Juan Gato)

    Posted by Ryan Olson at 03:19 PM | Comments (0)
    Everything's all better...

    Everything's all better over at Homestar Runner's place. Apparently, the system was down. Now time to see this week's Strong Bad Email.

    Posted by Ryan Olson at 12:29 PM | Comments (0)
    Well God Damn...

    What? They cloned a cat and the clone isn't exactly like the original? Really? You mean when you clone something, it doesn't retain all the memories and experience of the original? Really?

    Good god... Towards the end of that article, they're talking about a company who wants to clone pets and how people who have their dead pets cloned are going to be disappointed that the clones don't recognize their names or know all their old tricks. Are there people out there who really do think that cloned pets would retain all their memories? Is this news story actually news?

    I still think that I'd like to make a clone of Gerg's cat. She's one of only about three or four cats I've met in my life that I'm not allergic to. I assume that that's a genetic trait, though I could be wrong about that.

    Posted by Ryan Olson at 08:31 AM | Comments (1)
    Gimpysoft Fan Art Round 1

    The winner of the first Gimpysoft Fan Art Competition is Ed. Congratulations. You can take a look at his submissions here. As always, send your Gimpysoft Fan Art submissions to gyakui@gimpysoft.com.

    Posted by Ryan Olson at 07:28 AM | Comments (2)
    January 21, 2003
    Via Instapundit

    No, it hasn't just been my imagination. Apparently there is an actual Suckification movement going on over at Reason.com. Former Suck editor Tim Cavanaugh is actively working to change the tone of the Reason website towards more of a Suck tone.

    Of course, the question I have is whether they have the dough to pay Terry Colon and Heather Havrilesky to start producing Filler again. Maybe that doesn't quite fit in with the rest of the magazine, but one can always hope...

    Posted by Ryan Olson at 02:24 PM | Comments (0)
    Well that's just great...

    So I finally get my sweet Bayesian Spam filter set up on my mail server (just last week) and Paul Graham has to go and suggest changes to the process.

    One nice thing in there is a project he mentions called the "CRM114". It's a text classifier that has the side effect of being a fairly decent Spam filter. Dr. Strangelove geeks like me will get the reference.

    The bayesian Spam filter I have running on my machine is bogofilter. It's working pretty well, but not perfectly. I've only had one false positive so far, but it's missed about five messages that should have been filtered. I will admit that I didn't train it with much email, and I expect it will improve with time.

    (via Slashdot)

    Posted by Ryan Olson at 12:46 PM | Comments (1)
    January 20, 2003
    ???

    Why is Homestar Runner not there? I want my Strong Bad E-Mail.

    Posted by Ryan Olson at 07:17 PM | Comments (0)
    Why I pay little attention to the United Nations

    Libya takes UN human rights chair.

    Posted by Ryan Olson at 01:27 PM | Comments (0)
    Anti-dork backlash (or lack thereof)

    I've mentioned before that I never did read the Lord of the Rings books. I had my dabblings in Dungeons and Dragons, but that's about as far as I ever went on the fantasy kick. If anything, I'm a geek of the Star Trek kind. (Though I still haven't seen the latest movie...)

    Today, James Lileks comments on (as always, among other things) Lord of the Rings and dorkdom. He mentions going to see the animated version of Lord of the Rings back in the 70's, and how the whole exercise reeked of geekitude. More importantly, he comments on how much he enjoyed the new Peter Jackson movies.

    I have to admit, I am rather surprised at how openly accepted the Lord of the Rings movies have been. I think that an Onion infographic is probably the only place I've heard LOTR fans called geeks.

    For purposes of classification I'll give my geek stats in various areas, on a scale of 1-10, 1 being Samuel L. Jackson cool to 10 being Jon Lovitz geeky. (Jon Lovitz? Hmm... Maybe Bill Gates?)

    Sci-Fi Geek: 6.5
       Star Trek: 8.1
       Star Wars: 7.8
       Dune: 9.6 (Can almost recite the whole movie...)
       Sci-Fi Other: 2.1 (A bit of Battlestar Galactica, and the Alien movies...)

    Computer Geek: 8.1
       Computer Gaming: 6.7
       Programming: 7.1 (Hell, I do it in my spare time sometimes...)
       Weblogging: 9.4

    Fantasy Geek: 2.1
       D&D: 3.0 (Never even played AD&D...)
       Lord of the Rings: 3.0 (Never even read the books...)
       Fantasy Literature: 1.0 (Couldn't get through Dragonriders of Pern...)

    Comedy Geek: 6.7
       Monty Python: 8.2 (I lose points for not owning any on DVD)

    Hmmm... What other kinds of geeks am I missing here? Where do I put my obsessiveness over NewsRadio and Kids in the Hall? Do they get their own seperate categories under comedy, or is there a "General Obsessiveness" category somewhere?

    Posted by Ryan Olson at 01:25 PM | Comments (0)
    Proving once again that I'm behind the times...

    Since I work for a big telecommunications company, it is completely unacceptable that I don't yet have one of those sweet new PDA phones. If I had one, I'd be able to take part in mobile blogging.

    Posted by Ryan Olson at 12:17 PM | Comments (0)
    January 17, 2003
    Good deals at Amazon...

    That should keep me busy... I bought all three books that Gurney recommended, and that Accidental Buddhist book that the cute waitress recommended.

    Posted by Ryan Olson at 01:30 PM | Comments (2)
    Two More Years! Two More Years!

    At least two more years of The Simpsons.

    Some interesting tidbits from the story include:

    1. After these, The Simpsons will be the longest running comedy ever (16 seasons).
    2. The all-time record holder is Gunsmoke, which ran for 20 seasons.

    Don't entirely understand that record, though. Non-news, non-sports, I guess...

    (Thanks Juan...)

    Posted by Ryan Olson at 11:58 AM | Comments (1)
    As if my company's stock price isn't already low enough...

    Great, this is just what my industry needs... A link between mobile phone usage and smoking.

    I do find that I most crave a cigarette when I drink, after a meal, and after a long phone call.

    Well, and after long meetings, after posting a blog entry, after reading a blog entry, after reading the text on a street sign, after smoking a cigarette...

    Posted by Ryan Olson at 11:55 AM | Comments (0)
    The Savage/Hitchens alliance...

    Dan Savage, editor of Seattle's The Stranger, heard about a local Potluck for Peace and decided to see if he could get somebody to write a column to talk some sense into those folks, so he called on Christopher Hitchens, who wrote a nice response.

    Posted by Ryan Olson at 08:28 AM | Comments (0)
    Jesus, this guy gets published?

    I guess I shouldn't be surprised any more... I noticed that the link in the story below wasn't a permanent link, just a link to this Mark Morford guy's regular column. Today's included this gem:

    Look, just over there, it's Cheney and Rumsfeld, standing just offstage, snickering and shaking their heads at the absurdity of it all, at the hilarious PR, rubbing their hands together and conjuring more oozing war demons from deep within their bowels.

    Ah, I see... His schtick is apparently being a shock-columnist. Guess I'll just go back to ignoring him...

    Posted by Ryan Olson at 08:08 AM | Comments (0)
    January 16, 2003
    SUV

    Honestly, I'm not a big fan of SUVs. I think it would be nice if people drove more fuel efficient cars. Sorry... Guess I'm a tree-huggin' liberal...

    On the other hand, reading disgusting, hateful columns like this one makes me want to run out right now and buy an H2 just to spite these freaks...

    Posted by Ryan Olson at 04:16 PM | Comments (2)
    Meme-alert...

    Lightbulb jokes everywhere... I guess Ted Barlow started it with his blogger lightbulb jokes. There are a couple others, but I most liked this guy's link to the list of Texas College Lightbulb Jokes.

    University of Houston... heh...

    Posted by Ryan Olson at 02:58 PM | Comments (0)
    Oh, that explains it...

    Nevermind...

    Posted by Ryan Olson at 01:33 PM | Comments (0)
    First Post!

    Hey, and it looks like I beat everybody to the punch with the announcement of the coming war, unencumbered as I am by any pretense of thoughtful analysis...

    Posted by Ryan Olson at 12:49 PM | Comments (0)
    Uh-oh...

    There those are... You see, we've been trying to find those so we could destroy them, but somebody must have, um, misplaced them. Thanks for finding them for us! Now we'll just get rid of those and you go on verifying that we don't have any banned weapons.

    The diplo-speak should be fun to listen to over the next couple of days...

    Posted by Ryan Olson at 12:34 PM | Comments (0)
    Kaboom

    The organization "MoveOn.org" is going to be running an updated version of an old political commercial that was run against the Barry Goldwater presidential campaign. I've seen this linked a couple of places, and really have nothing to say about the commercial...

    However, I do see at Juan's site a bit more information about this "MoveOn" organization. I've heard them mentioned before for this or that anti-war protest, and I always assumed their name meant something like, "It was only a couple of buildings and a couple thousand people killed... What are you getting so worked up about? Move on..."

    I hate them significantly less now that I know that the group was first formed and named to oppose Bill Clinton's BJ impeachment.

    Posted by Ryan Olson at 08:42 AM | Comments (0)
    Snow on the ground, idiots on the road...

    On my way in to work through our decent snowfall of the year I was absolutely convinced that I was going to be rear-ended. People were following too close for good conditions, and the four or five inches of snow that fell overnight was not adequately plowed off of the highways. Hell, it wasn't adequately plowed on the highways.

    I should have stayed home today...

    Posted by Ryan Olson at 07:56 AM | Comments (0)
    Dumb, but harmless...

    As long as all Bush does about the abortion issue is make stupid, pointless gestures like this I have no problem. Push it further, and I'm one step closer to (*shudder*) voting Democratic in 2004...

    Posted by Ryan Olson at 07:48 AM | Comments (3)
    Heh

    Found at Burnt Ends...

    heh...

    Posted by Ryan Olson at 07:45 AM | Comments (0)
    January 15, 2003
    Particle/moe. not included

    A guy in his last week working for uBid put together a promotional email for his company. The images on the monitors are of the bands moe. and Particle.

    Posted by Ryan Olson at 03:09 PM | Comments (0)
    Smoke 'em if you got 'em...

    I need to get me one of these...

    (via Amish Tech Support)

    Posted by Ryan Olson at 01:08 PM | Comments (0)
    January 14, 2003
    The Double-Deuce

    Two goodies over at Reason's Hit and Run. (BTW: How many of the contributors over there are former Sucksters?)

    One story is about the tactics anti-smoking activists use to ban smoking in an area. In this particular example, they banded together to ban smoking in bars and restaurants in Boston. Bars and restaurants in Boston then complained that they were losing business to locations outside of the city. The solution? Ban smoking statewide!

    The other article is on the popularity of Britney Spears in Iran due to the Voice of America backed Radio Farda. I remember that when our normal VoA propaganda feed was shut down and replaced with Radio Farda people complained that we had shut down a source of serious news and replaced it with fluff. Well, people don't always want to listen to news, particularly the youngsters that we so badly need on our side.

    Posted by Ryan Olson at 01:29 PM | Comments (0)
    January 13, 2003
    We can't stop here! This is bat country...

    Fort Awesome has a split-level type floor plan. The back porch has entries from the upper living room area and the lower dining room area. I normally smoke on the upper porch since it gives me a better view of the street and the grocery store across the street. (My roommate told me that I missed a nice fight in the intersection next to the police station Saturday morning...)

    Well, I didn't know we had bats around here, but apparently we do. I'm not sure if it was the same bat three times or three different bats, but while smoking on the upper porch I was buzzed three times. Maybe I'll have to start smoking on the lower porch now...

    Also, I'm not actually reading all those books. I just got sick of looking at those entries on my Now Reading list and have officially given up on both On The Road and One Palestine, Complete. I guess not being able to get through On The Road disqualifies me from membership in the Hippie club. (I've heard that Phish hasn't been all that great since they've been back, anyway...) One Palestine, Complete was just a bit too anecdotal for me to follow.

    A waitress at my favorite bar recommended The Accidental Buddhist to me, so I think I'll be buying that soon. I also hear that there's a copy of The Butlerian Jihad on its way to me, so that ought to keep me busy for just a bit.

    I've said it before, but I usually have a big stack of books waiting to be read so I almost never pay attention. My slate is more or less clean right now... Anybody have any reading suggestions?

    Posted by Ryan Olson at 06:35 PM | Comments (2)
    Chloe Alynne Rensink

    Well, I thought I'd get to make her first webpage, but it looks like I've been beat to it. I guess I'll have to settle for her first weblog entry.

    Congratulations to Greg and Abby.

    Chloe Alynne Rensink
    Born January 7, 2003, 8:21 P.M.
    5 lbs. 14 oz.
    18"












    Posted by Ryan Olson at 09:55 AM | Comments (7)
    Here you go Larry! You see what happens? You see what happens, Larry?

    Apparently they showed John Goodman's car-smashing scene from The Big Lebowski at a soccer match in Moscow, and it caused a riot. The ad agency which used the clip is being fined.

    Posted by Ryan Olson at 09:40 AM | Comments (0)
    January 11, 2003
    Sorry, Roka...

    Sucks about those Steelers...

    Posted by Ryan Olson at 07:29 PM | Comments (1)
    Sad...

    I don't know if you ever saw the pictures of the rabbit balancing various items on his head. I did.

    Unfortunately, Oolong has died.

    This makes me more sad than it probably should.

    Oolong was a cute rabbit, though...

    Posted by Ryan Olson at 02:04 AM | Comments (0)
    January 10, 2003
    Bonnaroo 2003

    The Bonnaroo Music Festival has confirmed dates: June 13-15, 2003 once again in Manchester, TN.

    See you all there...

    Posted by Ryan Olson at 02:10 PM | Comments (0)
    Smoke

    R.I.P. Pittsburgh.

    1. Get your team in the NFL Playoffs.
    2. Ban smoking in bars.
    3. Edgy smokers at sports bars watch the Steelers lose.
    4. Anarchy erupts in Pittsburgh, thousands killed.

    Watch out, Roka...

    I really do have a problem with governmental smoking bans at bars. If a bar wants ban smoking on its premises they are certainly free to do so. I just don't like it when the choice is taken away from the owners.

    One of my favorite bands, Big Smith, got a lot of complaints about the smoke at shows they played down at Chester's Place in Fayetteville, AR. They decided to ask the owners of the bar if they'd allow a non-smoking night at one of their shows and they agreed. The response was so overwhelmingly positive that a lot of shows are non-smoking at Chester's now, including all Big Smith shows. Big Smith is even trying to do this at other bars they play.

    That's the way it should be done. Chester's decides to implement a non-smoking policy, and if you don't like it, you can run up the street to one of the dives. (Art's Place or Roger's Rec) There's just no need to get the police involved.

    I swear, this smoking ban nonsense is going to make it out here before too much longer and I'm going to have to move somewhere just to have the ability to drink and smoke. Where are those Free State Project folks thinking about moving now? Oh, looks like they're down to a top 10. If I had to vote out of that top 10, I think I'd have to go for Wyoming or Montana...

    Posted by Ryan Olson at 07:57 AM | Comments (1)
    January 09, 2003
    I've been thinking about getting a motorcycle for a while now...

    V-10, 500hp, 0-60 in 2.5 seconds, theoretical top speed of 400mph. Meet the Dodge Tomohawk.

    I'd take that one, or maybe a replica of Kaneda's bike from Akira.

    Posted by Ryan Olson at 12:35 PM | Comments (1)
    Bloggage...

    I don't update the site drunk too much these days (could have fooled me...), so you'll have to tide yourself over at Drunk Journal.

    Posted by Ryan Olson at 12:24 PM | Comments (0)
    Five Bar Night

    It was so beautiful yesterday that I was planning on going for a bike ride after I got home. However, when I heard a radio report on this study on the way home from work, I felt it would probably be best just to find a bar with a patio and get healthy.

    I headed down to Westport, assuming that either the Beach Club or McCoy's patio would be open. Short of that, at least I'd be able to sit on the patio at my favorite bar, Harry's Bar and Tables. Well, I was entirely wrong about that. Apparently when bars shut their patios down for the winter, it takes a considerable amount of effort to get them in a condition to accept patrons again, and that was something they just weren't willing to do for one freakish day of beautiful 70+° weather in the middle of the Kansas City winter.

    I did find one bar, Buster's, that had it's porch open, but their porch is small and all the tables were taken. I took advantage of some of their 75 cent Bud Lights, but it just didn't taste right so I decided to head over to Harry's.

    Harry's recently changed their operating hours and their menu. They're not open for lunches any more, so now their night shift bartenders start a bit later. They also have a wonderful new bartendress, Heather, who works the afternoon to early evening shift. I grabbed a seat at the bar and chatted with some bar patrons. One of the guys in there was a developer from Chattanooga, TN who's in town trying to build a mall at 135th and Quivira if I remember right. I may have the cross street wrong, but it's around that area on 135th. I guess he wants it to be a bit more upscale than Oak Park Mall, and I figure since everybody's moving south it makes sense to get another mall down there. Also, he says that if the plan goes through they're going to have a Dave & Buster's down there. Hell yeah... One of the first things I looked for when I first moved up here was a decent arcade, and I still haven't found one.

    Well, I stayed at Harry's for a while and chatted with Heather after her replacement showed up. She was heading out to the Grand Emporium to see a band. I had nothing better to do, so I finished my drink and headed over there myself. I had had a few, and the bars are (long) walking distance from each other, so I decided to walk.

    On the walk, I encountered two single and one group of three homeless people. I was accosted by all of them, but all they wanted was smokes and I'm always more than happy to share my cigarettes. I figure it's good karma for the extremely rare occasions when I run out myself. Hell, the group of homeless guys even gave me a pull off their bottle of vodka in exchange for the smokes. Good guys...

    I did make it over to the Grand Emporium. There were three bands on the bill, Lazy Susan, Brother Bagman, and Not Dead Yet. I showed up in time for Lazy Susan to go on, and found a seat over near where the guys from Brother Bagman were sitting. It also happened to be near two lovely women who worked with Lazy Susan's drummer. Unfortunately, my hearing is bad enough that I don't bother trying to carry on a conversation while music is playing at a bar, so I didn't chat too much with them, though they were drinking lots of shots, and must have been drunk because I got the impression that they were flirting with me.

    Lazy Susan was pretty good, actually. I got on their mailing list, and I'll definitely head out to see them again if they let me know when they're going to be out. After they finished up their set, Brother Bagman came on, and they really did not impress me. I ended up leaving after about half an hour to walk back in the general direction of my car. Though I had been drinking nothing but coke for the last hour or so, I didn't think I was quite ready to head home, so I stopped off at a couple more places.

    There's an Irish Pub near the intersection of Main and Westport whose name I can't remember, but I wandered up there, had another coke and listened to a couple cover songs by a passable guitar player. I almost bought his CD, but then I realized that that was 1/10 of the light fixture I still need to buy for the bathroom and decided against it. He stopped playing, so I wandered off.

    I went to Kelly's after that. Had a coke and a couple slices of pizza, but it's dead over there on Wednesday nights and I was getting a bit anxious to get home. I headed out and made it home almost at a decent hour.

    The biggest disappointment of the evening was when I climbed into bed and one of the corners collapsed. I was afraid that was going to happen sooner or later. I think I broke that joint when I was first tearing the bathroom apart. I was carrying a full sized trash can full of tile that used to be in the shower. It was very heavy and somewhat hard to lift and control. As I passed the foot of the bed, I caught the handle of the trash can on the footboard of the bed, and the momentum that the trash can full of tile had pulled it much farther than it was supposed to go, and there was an audible crack.

    Well it's finally given way, so I was sleeping on a tilted bed last night. I probably shouldn't have slept on the bed at all, but I wasn't really in the mood to sleep on the couch or the floor so I risked it. I don't think it broke further, but I'm going to have to call that furniture place later today to see how much that sideboard costs, if I can buy it separately at all. The wood looks a bit to crushed to fix, but maybe there's a way I can reinforce it if I can't get new stuff from the company. Ugh.

    Well, that's about all. Hanging out with Kansas City Bloggers tonight before racquetball. We're meeting for dinner, so I'm going to have to figure out something cajun that I can eat that won't completely destroy my racquetball game. Maybe just a cup of gumbo or something.

    Posted by Ryan Olson at 08:31 AM | Comments (4)
    January 08, 2003
    Tax Brackets...

    Well, Sam brought up a point that I hadn't considered, and I can't really find an answer for whether dividends reinvested in a 401k would be exempted from taxation when you begin to make withdrawals at retirement.

    I did however find the new proposed tax brackets, and honestly I'm not too happy about it. Let's see if I have this right: (My info from here and here.

    2002 Bracket Proposed 2003 Change
    10% 10% 0%
    15% 15% 0%
    27% 25% -2%
    30% 28% -2%
    35% 33% -2%
    38.6% 35% -3.6%


    Now, I always thought that the standard Republican response to the Democrat's "Tax Cuts For The Rich" whining was this: The rich pay more in taxes, so when you give the rich, middle class and poor the same percentage tax rate break, the rich save more. Fine, that makes sense.

    Well, I don't know if that's how it worked with the last tax cut, but that argument just doesn't hold up with these numbers. The percentage decrease that the highest bracket gets is almost double what I'm going to get, and the lowest two don't get jack. WTF?

    I don't know if I have something wrong here, but from where I'm sitting, this does look like a tax cut for the rich. That's bullshit, and I think I've just decided that I don't like this tax plan...

    Posted by Ryan Olson at 02:25 PM | Comments (1)
    If only adcritic wasn't gone...

    I wish I lived in Detroit, New York, LA or Washington (among other reasons) so I could see these ads that Arianna Huffington is running which simultaneously criticize the current batch of "I helped fund terrorism" ONDCP anti-drug ads and SUV owners.

    Oh wait, I can watch them on Arianna's The Detroit Project web page. Never mind.

    Oh wait, AdCritic is still there, but you have to pay for it now...

    Posted by Ryan Olson at 01:07 PM | Comments (0)
    (Dis)honest Economist

    I really do like David Baker's Economics Reporting Review that Tom Paine.com carries. I do however have a bit of a complaint about this week's issue. In comments on a story on tax cuts on stock dividends Baker says:

    The article also should point out that most stockholders will not see the taxes they pay on dividends reduced under President Bush's proposal, because the tax cut would only affect stock held outside of retirement accounts. The majority of stockholders have most of their holdings in retirement accounts. The tax on these accounts will not be reduced under the president's proposal.

    Baker should point out that dividends paid to stock held in retirement accounts aren't taxed. It's difficult to reduce a tax rate of 0%.

    Update 1/8/2002 2:32PM: Well, I guess 401k earnings aren't tax free, just tax deferred. Does this plan eliminate taxes you'll pay on dividend income when you start making withdrawals from your 401k at retirement? I really can't find an answer to that question. If the answer is yes, than I'll completely withdraw my complaint and join those who say that this tax cut is bullshit. Hell, I'm pretty much there now...

    Posted by Ryan Olson at 12:37 PM | Comments (2)
    70° here we come...

    Of course, the biggest news around here today is the fact the the temperature is expected to top 70° today.

    My advice for those of you worried about global warming? Keep moving north... It's worked for me so far.

    My only question is where around here might I be able to find a nice pick-up game of football or soccer? Our parks district only sponsors basketball and volleyball. Maybe over in Missouri...

    Posted by Ryan Olson at 08:18 AM | Comments (0)
    Juan's right...

    Juan is right. George W. Bush's America is not a place I want to live.

    Posted by Ryan Olson at 08:08 AM | Comments (0)
    New Linkage, and I'm a dirty old man...

    Well, it looks like Troeger has his site more or less set up and is updating semi-regularly, so he gets a link. Particularly for yesterday's post where he posts a picture that I took...

    A couple of months ago I was back down in Fayetteville, probably for a Big Smith show. While I was there, I decided to get myself a picture of my name on the sidewalk, newly completed since my graduation. Troeger was in town as well, so he headed out with me. As we were finding our names, a couple of joggers jogged past, and Troeger insisted I get a picture. They don't look nearly as good in that pic as they did in person.

    At 27, can I be considered a dirty old man yet? If not now, when? If not me, who?

    Did I ever get a picture of my name on the sidewalk up here? Dang, I need to do that. I also have pictures from the 2003 Lambeau pilgrimage I need to get up, and I haven't gotten around to having Asia Carerra week. I'm a slacker, and need to get on the ball.

    Posted by Ryan Olson at 07:47 AM | Comments (1)
    January 07, 2003
    An apology?

    Hunter S. Thompson's Hey Rube column has been back more or less every week of this football season. His most recent ones have been pretty good, including last week's where he claims that the 49ers will go nowhere in the playoffs, and he will "piss down their spines", and this week's where he apologizes for said comments.

    Posted by Ryan Olson at 02:41 PM | Comments (0)
    Caption Contest

    The Truth Laid Bear is running a caption contest for a picture of the Instapundit, Glenn Reynolds.

    There are some good ones in there...

    Posted by Ryan Olson at 07:36 AM | Comments (0)
    Ugh...

    Dan Perkins a.k.a. Tom Tomorrow apparently had a pretty poor day yesterday.

    Posted by Ryan Olson at 07:25 AM | Comments (0)
    January 05, 2003
    There is something entirely wrong about this...

    For some reason, my site is coming up number six on a Google search for "NFL Playoffs". What you get when you click on the link is our playoff brackets from last year in which Raj took away all my Fantasy Football winnings. Bastard. I only notice this because there were some comments left on this post where I talk about Green Bay having to head back to Tampa after they breeze past the Falcons... Somebody noticed and called me on it...

    Sigh...

    On the bright side, my site does rank above CNNSI.com for some reason...

    Take that Ted Turner...

    Advantage... Gimpysoft?

    Posted by Ryan Olson at 10:40 PM | Comments (1)
    On a mild up note...

    I woke up this morning and turned on Morning Edition Weekend, and tried to put off getting out of bed for as long as possible. On Sunday Morning Editions they do word puzzles, and they always end with a qualifying puzzle to choose who will play tne next week.

    The qualifying puzzle over the last couple of weeks was pretty cool. They asked for a sentence that can by typed using only one hand (ignoring shift and punctuation). They apparently got over 600 entries, but the winner gave me a bit of a smile...

    "As great a QB as Bart Starr was, Brett Favre rates better."

    Well, it didn't look it last night, but I guess there's always next year...

    Posted by Ryan Olson at 08:21 AM | Comments (0)
    January 04, 2003
    Nope...

    Not what we needed out of the second half either...

    Posted by Ryan Olson at 09:54 PM | Comments (0)
    Nope

    Nope, that was not a good first half...

    Posted by Ryan Olson at 08:35 PM | Comments (0)
    January 03, 2003
    Sauce request...

    This isn't about what Gimpysoft can do for you, it's about what you can do for Gimpysoft.

    I was just over at Burnt Ends, and he has a little post about, um, Burnt Ends. It has me thinking about barbecue and looking longingly forward to Spring, when I can take my smoker back out of retirement...

    One of my big problems so far has been coming up with a good sauce. I've gone through two iterations (Gotta fix the layout of that page...) starting with a recipe for a "Kansas City Style" barbecue sauce, but I think I'm ready to abandon that one... I'm just not a big fan of molasses, and I just don't think that that is the base I'm looking for. Can anybody point me to a good spicy Texas style barbecue sauce? You Texan readers... Do any of you have a good (non secret) recipe for barbecue sauce?

    Posted by Ryan Olson at 08:52 AM | Comments (2)
    News Radio

    Well, I finally got my computer set up to work as a Tivo type device, and I got about fifteen episodes of News Radio recorded on the computer. I knew I didn't have enough hard drive space to tape all the episodes while I was gone over Christmas so I didn't schedule to record them. Yesterday I freed up some space, fired up the little TV schedule to record yesterday's episodes, and they were running some crappy movie instead.

    Oh well... Maybe they're just not back to their normal post-holiday schedule. Unfortunately, it looks like this is their normal post-holiday schedule.

    News Radio got pulled from A&E last year for about six months and was replaced by The View. In that time, News Radio still had a link on A&E's front page. Now, that's gone entirely, and they only link to what is currently on the schedule. Maybe they'll bring it back eventually, but it doesn't look good... A bunch of people are complaining about the show being pulled on the message boards.

    I'm a bit upset that I didn't get the computer set up to record the show while I had the chance, but in a more general sense, I get very upset with the amount of content that is out there locked up in vaults when the internet is an incredibly efficient distribution system... It would take a couple hours work for somebody to capture a television show to a digital format (if it isn't already there...), cost a few cents in bandwidth to make it available for download, and every little failed TV show could be back generating at least some revenue for the studios.

    I suppose that the studios are worried about their content getting out in the wild before they come up with some sort of copy protection scheme. Unfortunately, no copy protection scheme is ever going to be foolproof, so I don't see this coming any time soon. It is a shame, though. Well, maybe we'll get a DVD set one of these days...

    Posted by Ryan Olson at 07:56 AM | Comments (0)
    January 02, 2003
    Ha-ha!

    You're the fattest...

    Posted by Ryan Olson at 08:09 PM | Comments (2)
    Call for logo...

    I need a new drawing of Purple Gyakui (the little guy in the upper left), but my drawing skills are woefully inadequate. Is there anybody out there with drawing skills that can help me out?

    If you've never met the guy, he does look a lot like that drawing currently up there, except his right arm isn't normally on fire. He's usually happily waving to anybody he might see. He's been bitching at me for a while to make a new one. He says that that drawing makes him look fat and that I did a terrible job on the gold tooth. He also gets very upset if you draw him with the peg-leg on his left leg. Believe me, I only made that mistake once...

    Any entries I get will go on a Reader's Gallery page... The best will replace that poor drawing up there, as long as I can get it to scale down to that size nicely. (For those interested, that space is 150x150 pixels.)

    Thanks!

    Posted by Ryan Olson at 07:53 AM | Comments (0)