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"Before you know it as the years go by, you're just like other people you have seen, with all those peculiar human ailments. Just another vehicle for temper and vanity and rashness and all the rest. Who wants it? Who needs it? These things occupy the place where a man's soul should be." -- Henderson the Rain King

Friday, December 31, 2004

Draft Junkies of the World Rejoice

Looks like Mock NFL Drafts are starting to pop up all over the place. NFL Draft Countdown is one of the better one's I've seen so far. Here's who they have for the top ten at the moment:
  1. 49ers - Matt Leinert, QB, USC
  2. Dolphins - Cedric Benson, RB, Texas
  3. Browns - Aaron Rodgers, QB, California
  4. Titans - D'Brickashaw Ferguson, OT, Virginia
  5. Cardinals - Cadillac Williams, RB, Auburn
  6. Bears - Alex Barron, OT, FSU
  7. Bucs - Mike Williams, WR, USC
  8. Redskins - Erasmus James, DE, Wisconsin
  9. Lions - Thomas Davis, S, Georgia
  10. Cowboys - Antrel Rolle, CB, Miami

They have two Gators going in the first round: Channing Crowder and Ciatrick Fason (C4). I'm still hoping Crowder stays at UF, but if he ends up going pro seeing him get picked at #19 by the Seahawks would make me happy.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Top Movies of 2004

Just saw Sideways tonight and it was superb. It's one of the funniest movies I've seen in a long time. It's going right to the top of my list of best movies of 2004 (in fact it inspired me to create one). I've only included movies which I've seen in the theater this year. I have high hopes that Wes Anderson's The Life Aquatic will eventually crack the list, but alas I haven't seen it yet.

Top 10 Films

  1. Sideways
  2. Garden State
  3. Napolean Dynamite
  4. I Heart Huckabees
  5. Hero (technically this was released in 2002, but it was just released in the U.S. this year)
  6. Kill Bill Vol. 2
  7. Twilight Samurai (also technically from 2002)
  8. Coffee and Cigarettes
  9. Shrek 2
  10. Incident at Loch Ness

Top 5 Documentaries

  1. Super Size Me
  2. Control Room
  3. Dig!
  4. Farenheit 9/11
  5. The Corporation

The Race For WA State Gov. - The Saga Continues...

This headline cracked me up this morning:

"Rossi calls for another election
No, says Gregoire..."

Sounds like two little kids arguing. Anyways, apparently now that Rossi's behind he is calling for a revote. This is the same man who a couple of weeks ago was complaining about Gregoire drawing out the process and saying that a concession from her would be in the best interest of the people. The spokeswoman for the state Democratic Party had a good quote on it:

"In one breath, he says that drawing out the process would hurt the state and in the next he says he wants a do-over," Brost said. "It would be spending $4 million just because he doesn't like the results of this election."
Zing! Looks like the democrats might actually win something for once. Stay tuned.

Neutral Milk Hotel

Someone just sent me a great link to this Neutral Milk Hotel site, which has a bunch of live shows and rarities. Mmm...Neutral Milk Hotel.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Peyton Peyton Peyton

Well the fantasy football season has finally concluded and despite the Seattle Gators' stellar 12-1 regular season that resulted in me getting the top playoff seed, in the end my team blew it and went 1-2 in the playoffs leaving me in 4th place overall (out of 14 teams). For all you Colts fans out there, here's hoping that Peyton Manning does better in the real life playoffs than he did in ours (he got outscored by Jake Plummer last week....honestly, Jake Plummer?!). That said, you still gotta like Peyton and I probably wouldn't even have been in the running without his record breaking season.

Oh, and no matter how successful he's been in the NFL, Peyton still couldn't beat the Gators!

Tsunami Factoids

Some interesting facts related to the tsunami that recently hit Asia:
  • The current death toll estimates of 85,000-100,000 would make this by far the deadliest tsunami on record, more than doubling the 36,000 deaths caused by an 1883 tsunami in Java and Sumatra.
  • The earthquake that triggered the tsunami was the largest earthquake since 1964. It is the fourth largest earthquake since recordings of magnitude began in 1899.
  • According to a NASA scientist, the earthquake may have caused the Earth to spin 3 microseconds faster and to tilt about an inch on its axis.
  • The Nicobar Islands and Simeulue Island shifted out to sea due to tectonic plates beneath the Indian Ocean moving as much as 98 feet.
  • The tsunami traveled more than 3,000 miles from the epicenter to the coast of Africa, arriving with sufficient force to kill people and destroy property.
  • The tsunami caused waves as high as 30 feet in some places.
  • The world's biggest reinsurer, Germany's Munich Re, estimated the damage to buildings and foundations in the affected regions would be at least $13.6 billion.
  • The $35 million in U.S. aid pledged so far translates to roughly what we are spending every 4.5 hours in Iraq. Bush is claiming that this pledge is 'only the beginning', so hopefully we'll see a substantial increase in this figure in the near future.
  • Thanks to the Cascadia Subduction Zone, Washington, Oregon, and Northern California are the most likely places to be affected by a tsunami in the United States.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

What's The Matter With Kansas?

I'm currently reading 'What's The Matter with Kansas' by Thomas Frank. I was going to write up my own summary, but then I found this interview which provides a pretty good overview of the topics he discusses in the book. He was also on The Daily Show recently to discuss the book, so that's another good place to start when trying to decide whether or not it's something you'd be interested in. So far I've enjoyed it, the first couple of chapters were a little slow but it's starting to pick up as he delves into class issues and the ways in which both sides try to frame political discussions.

Wikimaps

After getting lost on the way to my brother's new apartment this weekend due to bad directions (thank you MapQuest), I started thinking about how useful it would be if the existing mapping sites encouraged users to come back and provide feedback on how to improve the directions in the future. That got me to thinking about how these sites would go about incorporating user feedback and then eventually led me to the conclusion that Wiki maps would be the best way for people to share their knowledge. With Wikis you could add information on difficult turns, modify directions to include shortcuts, add information about local traffic, etc. In addition to directions, these maps could also be used to share information on interesting destinations such as restaurants, stores, landmarks, etc. Turns out I'm not the only one thinking this way, as there's already a site dedicated to this very topic. It looks like thinking in this area is still in its early stages and there are still plenty of technical hurdles to overcome, but it's only a matter of time before someone comes up with a good solution for the problem. Cool!

Top 10 Albums of 2004

What the world needs now is another Top 10 Albums list. Here's mine:

  1. Now It's Overhead - Fall Back Open
  2. Drive-By Truckers - The Dirty South
  3. The Streets - A Grand Don't Come For Free
  4. Wilco - A Ghost Is Born
  5. Patterson Hood - Killers & Stars
  6. Frank Black - Frank Black Francis
  7. Madvillain - Madvillainy
  8. Modest Mouse - Good News For People Who Love Bad News
  9. David Dondero - Live at the Hemlock
  10. Fiery Furnaces - Blueberry Boat

Almost but not quite: The Thrills, McLusky, Will Johnson, Bobby Bare Jr., MF Doom, Franz Ferdinand, Devendra Banhart, Secret Machines, Earlimart and Tom Waits.

Best box set of the year: Nirvana


My First Post

Just an initial post to kick-off my new blog. I'm hoping to use this site to keep in touch with friends and family and to share my thoughts on various things that I'm interested in. I'm hoping this will be an enjoyable experience for me and that it will at least somewhat interesting for others to read. Guess we'll see how it goes :-)