Saturday, December 31, 2005

And, oh, what a ("Mandate") year it has been.

One more before we ring in the New Year. Concerning that Florida kid who secretly traveled to Iraq to do his bit for King George and Country, Blah3 has this interesting insight:
However, as befitting a member of his school's Republican party club, Farris seems well in tune with the current resident of the White House in other ways as well. As a matter of fact, it strikes me that in both cases we're dealing with:

--a rich kid with more money than sense;
--someone who went against everyone else's advice;
--a plan that was carried out in secret;
--someone without even a basic knowledge of Arabic;
--a complete lack of understanding of what dangers might await;
--a plan that involves only the vaguest notions about spreading democracy;
--and someone who eventually needed some adults to rescue him.

Yes, Farris has learned a lot from George. But there's two big differences: Farris actually seemed to be in earnest about his goals, and unlike the Boy King, Farris didn't kill anyone.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005


Of all the movies coming out this season, Munich was not near the top of my list of films to see. My main thought when I first heard about it was how Spielberg must have busted his ass to get it done so soon after War of the Worlds. Quick filmmaking, in this case, does not in any way translate into inferior filmmaking. The things I keep reading about this film and the directions it takes astonishes me. An excerpt from Slate's glowing review:

Is Munich an apology for Palestinian terrorists - for men and women who barbarously murder civilians? I don't consider a movie that assigns motives more complicated than pure evil to constitute an apology. The Israeli government and many conservative and pro-Israeli commentators have lambasted the film for naivete, for implying that governments should never retaliate. But an expression of uncertainty and disgust is not the same as one of outright denunciation. What Munich does say - and what I find irrefutable - is that this shortsighted tit-for-tat can produce a kind of insanity, both individual and collective. As members of Avner's own team (played by a blond Daniel Craig, Ciaran Hinds, Mathieu Kassovitz, and Hanns Zischler) are picked off in chilling ways, his escalating paranoia - and his hunger for absolutes, for a "world of our fathers" that is long gone - transcends his time and place.

There are sequences in Munich that make you sick with fear, that are impossible to shake off - among them one in which a Palestinian professor's little daughter is on the verge of answering a booby-trapped telephone. Most horrible of all is the movie's one pure vengeance killing, which is among the most appalling things I've ever seen. We want that revenge - we want it fiercely. But it's staged with such ugliness - as a sexual violation - that we choke on it.

Munich reinforces the idea that - great Miltonian allegories notwithstanding - the notion of evil has become profoundly maladaptive. Today, saying our enemy is "evil" is like saying a preventable tragedy is "God's will": It's a way of letting ourselves off the hook for crimes committed in our name. Not incidentally, it's also a way for our enemies to let themselves off the hook.
Spielberg has taken some heat from those who have bolstered his name in the past. Jews who sang his praises after Schindler's List are now heaping scorn upon him after suggesting that we look upon the efforts of Mossad as anything but righteous. Spielberg, for his part, is having none of it. He recently defended himself in an interview with Roger Ebert:

"Some of my critics are asking how Spielberg, this Hollywood liberal who makes dinosaur movies, can say anything serious about this subject that baffles so many smart people. What they're basically saying is, 'You disagree with us in a big public way, and we want you to shut up, and we want this movie to go back in the can.' That's a nefarious attempt to make people plug up their ears. That's not Jewish, it's not democratic, and it's bad for everyone -- especially in a democratic society."

Yet what is he saying that has people so disturbed? Careful attention to the film itself suggests that it's not so much what he says as that he dares even to open up the Middle East for discussion.

"My film refuses to be a pamphlet," Spielberg said. "My screenwriter Tony Kushner and I were hoping to make it a visceral, emotional and intellectual experience, combined in such a way that it will help you get in touch with what you feel are the questions the film poses. He said he was taught by his parents, his rabbi and his faith that discussion "is the highest good -- it's Talmudic."

But what about the issue of "moral equivalence," the charge that he equates the Israeli and Palestinian causes, when the rightness of one (or the other) is seen as not debatable?

"Frankly, I think that's a stupid charge. The people who attack the movie based on 'moral equivalence' are some of the same people who say diplomacy itself is an exercise in moral equivalence, and that war is the only answer. That the only way to fight terrorism is to dehumanize the terrorists by asking no questions about who they are and where they come from.

"What I believe is, every act of terrorism requires a strong response, but we must also pay attention to the causes. That's why we have brains and the power to think passionately. Understanding does not require approval. Understanding is not the same as inaction. Understanding is a very muscular act. If I'm endorsing understanding and being attacked for that, then I am almost flattered."
A-men. The issues are important ones and are ones that need to be communicated to a wide audience. Munich will not have Jurassic Park like numbers, to be sure, but the subject matter will get out there and start people talking.

From Saving Private Ryan to Minority Report to Catch Me If You Can to War of the Worlds to, now, Munich.


Please keep up the good work, Mr. Spielberg. You are very much still worthy of our attention and admiration.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Keep pulling me back in

I swear I was going to stop posting for awhile. But just as the man who starts a diet right before Christmas (Trust me. Of this I know), I foolishly called for a break just before Bush goes on the brink of totally losing it (mind and presidency). Reposted whole cloth from Demagogue:

Looks like Bush's people didn't get around to scrubbing this speech from the site.

"Now, by the way, any time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires -- a wiretap requires a court order. Nothing has changed, by the way. When we're talking about chasing down terrorists, we're talking about getting a court order before we do so. It's important for our fellow citizens to understand, when you think Patriot Act, constitutional guarantees are in place when it comes to doing what is necessary to protect our homeland, because we value the Constitution." - George W. Bush, April 20, 2004

There you have it ladies and gentlemen-- Bush clearly states that he knows that wiretaps without court orders are unconstitutional at the same time he is/had been secretly authorizing the NSA to conduct order-free surveillance of American citizens for two years.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

So much for faith healing

I had to break my hibernation ever-so-briefly to post this (click to enlarge):

Thank you, Trudeau. You've addressed the Evolution vs. Intelligent Design ridiculousness and the obscenity of some Pharmacists refusing to fill prescriptions for birth control. On target, as always.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005


Diesel Powered Nuns

Don't worry. I'll be getting back to what that means in a minute.

Earlier this year, I came across a satirical blog post that charted the general stages of most personal blogs in terms of content and frequency. Included amongst this is the declaration from the imaginary blog's author that they have gone into a rut and is taking a break for awhile.

And so goes Acrentropy.

It could just be the busy time of year. It can also be the fact that my fellow employees and I will be busting our hinders in the coming months (years?) due to a dearth of support staff. In any case, Acrentropy and I will be taking a sabbatical for the most part. There will be new posts, but not nearly as frequent as before. The next one you see should be the inauguration of "Quote of the Month" for a new year and a new actor on January 1, 2006.

More of my energies will be spent on the La-La Land Library, which is in itself a library project and thus deserving of my dwindling time reserves. The site's support blog, the aforementioned Diesel Powered Nuns, serves as a repository for newly found links I come across before they are added to the ever-expanding entertainment directory.

So if you're a first time visitor or one of the faithful few, I invite you to visit La-La and DPN. Make some use of my directory to answer any film or television questions you have. And if you have a question that those sites can't answer, then email me and I'll do my best to find it out for you.

After all, I'm a Librarian. It's what I do.

There's typecasting, and then there's typecasting

Of all the actors who have appeared in the various Star Trek TV shows, one of the most prolific in terms of steady, noticeable work is Colm Meany. With the release of Kingdom of Heaven and Syrianna this year, Alexander Siddig can now be added to that group of Star Trek actors who have been able to progress past their Federation term of service.

The interesting thing is that while most Trek actors have been doomed to play related Sci-Fi roles ever after, it would seem that the golden ticket for these two particular folks is another typecasting altogether: Ethnicity. During his tenure with ST-TNG and DS9, Meany started playing Irishmen in Far and Away, The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain and a starring role in The Snapper. He's now gotten to a position where he can get roles that have nothing to do with his being Irish (witness his intense turn in the recent Law & Order: Criminal Intent two hour special) yet will still find himself in such Irish charm overloads as the recent The Boys from County Clare.

Now Siddig is starting to get some major attention for his two big films this year. For his part, he appears to welcome the opportunity to play these Arabic roles, and who can blame him. Hollywood isn't really swimming in prominent Arabic actors, so he has the opportunity to be a real trailblazer. More power to him. And it's nice to see these guys able to have a career outside of futuristic jumpsuits.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The Aflac duck in a three-way?

While at work yesterday, I came across a link to Gilbert Gottfried's blog. After clicking it, I got the standard alert screen for our library system's web filter:

I'm 99% sure that the filter is sensing material from his recent appearance in The Aristocrats. Still, I hope this is the first and last time I see the concepts of "Gilbert Gottfried" and "Pornography" paired together.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Honoring the Fallen

Republicans are constantly trying to downplay the increasing number of American soldiers killed in Iraq. Yet, apparently, the numbers are high enough that the Bush administration has decided to forgo the solemness and ceremony that is the right of every one of our troops when they are killed in the service of our country (via Blah3):

There's controversy over how the military is transporting the bodies of service members killed overseas, 10News reported. A local family said fallen soldiers and Marines deserve better and that one would think our war heroes are being transported with dignity, care and respect. It said one would think upon arrival in their hometowns they are greeted with honor. But unfortunately, the family said that is just not the case.

Dead heroes are supposed to come home with their coffins draped with the American flag -- greeted by a color guard.

But in reality, many are arriving as freight on commercial airliners -- stuffed in the belly of a plane with suitcases and other cargo. John Holley and his wife, Stacey, were stunned when they found out the body of their only child, Matthew, who died in Iraq last month, would be arriving at Lindbergh Field as freight.

"When someone dies in combat, they need to give them due respect they deserve for (the) sacrifice they made," said John Holley.

The only reason I can think of for this happening is cost cutting, and even that is a piss poor excuse. Really, really sad.

Chicken Caesar Review: Quiznos Sub

I've always thought Quiznos was just a fancy-pants version of Subway, but their influence was made obvious when Subway started their toasted subs campaign earlier this year. The Quiznos Roman Chicken Salad (which is a Chicken Caesar by any other name and costs $4.99) contains tender chicken breast strips topped with Parmesan, Romano and Asiago cheese and spices that are all heated in an oven and then placed on Quiznos Sub own Salad Blend with vine-ripened cherry tomatoes and a side of Peppercorn Caesar dressing.

The operative word here being "side". The salad is not tossed. Furthermore, the triple-threat combination of thick dressing, confining triangular-shaped container and largish pieces of Romaine and Radicchio lettuce, makes tossing or even stirring a non-option. I will admit that the cheese being melted on top of the chicken was a plus with both tasty elements complimenting each other, but the most of the little squares of cheese just melted together into a single, long patchwork line. With the final gripe of no croutons or bread included with the salad, I will say that the individual ingredients were quite good. It's just their presentation as a whole that was problematic.

Overall, at $4.99 you could do a lot worse in terms of Chicken Caesars. But if you happen to be a Quiznos like the one I visited, which is situated two stores down from a Panera, you may consider taking a walk.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Regarding Mel Gibson's upcoming Holocaust series

The real statement made by Gibson regarding the Holocaust was that there were a lot more groups that died in the millions in recent history. The quote:
"I have friends and parents of friends who have numbers on their arms. The guy who taught me Spanish was a Holocaust survivor. He worked in a concentration camp in France. Yes, of course. Atrocities happened. War is horrible. The Second World War killed tens of millions of people. Some of them were Jews in concentration camps. Many people lost their lives. In the Ukraine, several million starved to death between 1932 and 1933. During the last century, 20 million people died in the Soviet Union."
Fair enough. I've known people myself who were irked by the fact that there is so much attention paid to the Holocaust, yet very little is commonly known about the millions dead under Stalin. But if this is truly Gibson's attitude, then why doesn't he make a high-profile miniseries about the Stalinist purges or those that starved in the Ukraine. Instead he's making yet another film about the Holocaust. Very odd.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

DVD Goodness and Badness

The good news for my wallet is that I can now go through the Digital Bits Upcoming DVD Art gallery and not feel compelled to buy a dozen or more new DVD's.

The bad news is that I keep running into my favorite movies being released in special editions that I've already purchased in standard editions. Such was the case with The Great Escape, The Fifth Element and The Truman Show in previous years, which I have held off buying a second time. With Malcom X, I actually bothered to trade in for the new one at MovieStop for the sake of the extras.

Now I see that Ferris Bueller's Day Off - Bueller Bueller Edition and The Wild Bunch Two-Disc Special Edition are both coming out next month. ARGH! Stop doing this to me, or so help me I'll stop buying DVD's altogether!

Eh, who am I kidding?

One addendum: Though I do not feel compelled to purchase a dozen DVD's, I will put one of the upcoming titles on my wish list: Star Trek: Fan Collective - Borg. This follows the Patrick Stewart ST:TNG set from a few years ago. Let's all scrunch our eyes up and wish really, really hard that a Q set comes out soon hereafter.

Firth! That's who!

The title is a gentle jibe at Mrs. Mosley's comment about Colin Firth after seeing Matthew MacFayden in the role of Mr. Darcy in the latest Pride & Prejudice. In my looking over articles and reviews for the movie, I came across a hilarious mediation on the character by MSNBC's Mary Beth Ellis:
Colin was Action Figure Darcy. He fences! He swims! He bathes! Naked! He gives and fixes and scowls and rides his horse and just in general Firths all over the place, and we are much the better for it.

He also stares, a lot. There is a great deal of staring on the part of Darcy, mostly at Elizabeth Bennet, who occasionally stares back, which in the Regency era I suppose was the equivalent of text messaging.

I must find a way to use the verb "to Firth" in a sentence sometime today.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Operation Crab Grass

Bloggers watch Bush's feeble attempt at speechifying about Iraq so you don't have to. Of particular interest was Blah3's notation: "There's an incessant banging that's been going on throughout the speech so far - like Bush is going all Katherine Hepburn on the podium. And he's bragging about new sod in a soccer stadium."

Silly us! We didn't need to send the 4th Infantry Division to Iraq! We needed to send Cletus Fuddrucker's Landscaping Service!

More fun with Anagrams

This website, which is now a book, had a great idea: Create anagrams of famous author's names, then use that anagram as a title for a story/play/poem in the style of said author. The results are hilarious as we have Edward Albee's "A Wee Bladder", A. A. Milne's "An E-Mail", and William Shakespeare's "Is a Sperm Like a Whale?", among others.

With much respect (and sheer awe), allow me to reprint the short but sweet Alfred Lord Tennyson's "Errol Flynn's Not Dead":
He grabs the rope with withered hands,
Swings through the air and softly lands;
Girt with a silver sword he stands.

That rotting man is Errol Flynn;
He bares a grey and toothless grin,
And like a zombie eats my skin.

Ironically, they haven't used any with the dead grandparents in them

In the classic MST3K episode featuring "Manos: The Hands of Fate", Joel and the bots present an invention they call the "Cartuner". To paraphrase Joel, the device combines dodgy, ambiguous cartoons and mixes them with stifingly unfunny cartoons in order to make them funny.

Well, it looks like somebody got the idea to mix up Family Circus with the works of H.P. Lovecraft (via Boing Boing):

Hank Hill said it best: That boy 'aint right.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

My vote for "Best Screen Capture & Caption of 2005"

I laughed my ass off over this when I first saw it a couple of weeks ago. It comes from a review of The Gingerdead Man over at Cold Fusion Video Reviews. Knowing the context helps understand it, but I still think it's damn funny on it's own:

"'Whaaat a friend we have in Jeeesuus...' Everybody sing!"

"Rot in Peace"

There's a very haunting slideshow over on Slate concerning the decay of structures as they are overtaken by nature. For obvious reasons, this picture and description particularly got to me:

In this slide, Vergara's photo of the derelict reading room of the Camden Free Library in New Jersey, a thicket of saplings reaches toward a tattered ceiling's filtered light. Historian Elizabeth Blackmar detects in Vergara's photos an "aesthetic pause," which leads us to wonder how we could have avoided the wasting away of these 20th-century landmarks - and to reflect on what we are to learn from their demise.

Monday, December 05, 2005


I just got wind of this story from Workbench and my brain is still boggling. Apparently, Jennifer Aniston recently posed partially nude on the cover of GQ and conservative columnist John Derbyshire expressed his distaste for it. Not because it was indecent or immoral, mind you, but because she's in her mid-thirties:

"While I have no doubt that Ms. Aniston is a paragon of charm, wit, and intelligence, she is also 36 years old. Even with the strenuous body-hardening exercise routines now compulsory for movie stars, at age 36 the forces of nature have won out over the view-worthiness of the unsupported female bust."

"It is, in fact, a sad truth about human life that beyond our salad days, very few of us are interesting to look at in the buff. Added to that sadness is the very unfair truth that a woman's salad days are shorter than a man's -- really, in this precise context, only from about 15 to 20. The Nautilus and the treadmill can add a half decade or so, but by 36 the bloom is definitely off the rose."

I'll repeat my post title query: HUH?!?!

Most of the reactions to this comment has been along the lines of the irony for a National Review columnist to be expressing such Lolita-ish tendencies. My gripe is much more basic: How the hell can you call this woman unattractive? I do not count myself among her many ardent fans, but I can recognize beauty and she's in no way lacking in that department. Heaven forbid this guy watch the remake of Thomas Crown Affair lest he become physically ill when 45 year old Rene Russo gets nekid.

If this is the kind of grand divide between liberals and conservatives, then vive la difference! Still, it makes me worry about those poor fifteen year olds in red states.

Chicken Caesar Review: Longhorn Steakhouse

With Mrs. Mosley's penchant for split-and-shift at Longhorn (she gets shrimp and I get steak so we can both share), it's a rare opportunity for me to get something like a salad. Recently, I was finally able to partake of their Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad, which goes for $9.99 and includes Romaine lettuce topped with sliced, seasoned, grilled chicken, croutons and flakes of Romano cheese.

That cheese bit is a guess, as they don't actually name the cheese on the menu. Regardless of it's type, it's tasty and plentiful on this salad. In most respects, the salad is a larger version of their Caesar side, which I've had more times than I can count and have always been satisfied with. The warm chicken is exceptionally tender and moist. The lettuce is fresh and tossed with a mild Caesar dressing. Finally, the croutons are seasoned and simply average.

Longhorn's ribeyes have long been my favorite, and their Chicken Caesar is also a mark of their quality. It's not as flashy as some other Chicken Caesars in this price range, but it does it's job well (which, unfortunately, is an abnormality these days).

Friday, December 02, 2005

Sex & Violence: Creed style!

I never liked them, so I feel less bad about spreading the humiliation of a certain frontman for a christian rock group (via Atrios).

Anyway. Here's Scott Stapp with the Sex:

Anyway, so the guy who was so spiritually affected by The Passion of the Christ is now hightailing it to Gainesville to tag a piece of ass he met in an airport bar. And he's having his ghettotastic hootchie skanky Jersey girl sleaze of a sister drive him. Yes, Creed is making his sister drive him to the Gainesville Denny's for a booty call.

And here he is with the Violence:

But Stapp later came into the Harbor Court Hotel bar while Sexton and bandmates SA Martinez and P-Nut were watching basketball on television. He stepped in front of the screen and said, "311, I am ready to fight," according to Sexton.
It's nice to end the week of a humorous note. Bye bye.

So much for diligence

In the two days I worked before Thanksgiving, I fielded questions from two grumpy patrons.

One was a woman who called asking the location of the library and the status of parking. I gave her the new address, directions and options for parking: She could use our new, secure garage next door which is $2.00 and hour with a max of $10.00 a day, or a close by empty lot which charges only $3.00 a day. I also told her that if she spent less than an hour here, She could get her parking validated and park for free. She dismissively responded to this by saying that her genealogy research couldn't be done in an hour and that it was inconvenient for people to have to drive downtown (as opposed to one of the branches) in order to do this sort of research.

The other was a gentleman who came in looking for the Grants Resource Center. In the previous building, this was a separate room with both circulating and non-circulating materials. In the new building, the non-circulating materials were given their own special section in Reference and the circulating materials were integrated with the nonfiction collection. When I showed him the stuff in Reference and told him that circulating materials would be under the same call numbers on the third floor, he screwed up his face and complained that it was a big hassle to go upstairs.

A little advice, folks. My wife is familiar with the great lengths her grandfather went for his genealogy research and I know from several acquaintances the bureaucratic hoops one has to jump through for government grants. If you don't have the dedication and patience to travel downtown or even climb a flight of stairs, then you may just want to hang it up right now.

Even more concise than "Two Thumbs Up!"

Mrs. Mosley and I finally went to see the long anticipated version of Pride & Prejudice now in theaters. I thought it extraordinarily well done, if a bit rushed in spots. As for my wife, her opinion was perfectly expressed in a sparse two words that she said to me right after the film ended:

"Colin who?"

Thursday, December 01, 2005

"... missile attacks that look like screen savers ..."

Fans of MST3K like me live for really bad movies where the budgetary shortcomings are just glaring. Slate writer Grady Hendrix risks a one-way ticket to Hell by tearing apart the Left Behind movies, and it's hilarious:
In Left Behind 2: Tribulation Force, for example, Kirk Cameron has to take Ben Judah, a respected rabbi, to the Wailing Wall so that he can tell Jews everywhere that Jesus Christ is Lord. Israel is represented by a few stone walls obviously made of plywood, some Christmas-tree lights, and 500 volunteer extras wearing leftover costumes from a Nativity pageant. The Wailing Wall is patrolled by soldiers dressed in World War II army uniforms. The producers have also dubbed in the sound of goats during scenes set in downtown Jerusalem, which leads to the unusual notion that modern-day Israel is populated by WWII re-enactors, nervous-looking people in bathrobes, and goats.

Keith David Quote of the Month: December 2005

There's not a lot of setup for this month's quote. Agent Cody Banks is something I've never seen and probably never will, even with the supercool presence of Keith David as the CIA director. I can't give a lot of context or thoughts on this quote, except that I bet George Tenet wouldn't last a single round with David in a matchup.

Cody Banks: All her classes, isn't that kind of creepy?

CIA Director: Creepy? We're the CIA, creepy is what we do.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Bush Excitement: Catch it!

Blah3 recently addressed the fact that Bush increasingly is speaking to audiences composed primarily of government employees and/or soldiers. I knew that this was always his preferred audience, but I didn't know that he was now speaking to them exclusively. But the initial advantage of this policy still applies: He can be assured of a positive response to whatever he says. All of this makes the following photo and caption courtesy of Reuters even funnier:

Midshipmen catch naps as they wait for more than an hour for U.S. President George W. Bush to deliver an address on the war in Iraq at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland November 30, 2005.

He doesn't elicit a lot of natural enthusiasm even from captive audiences ... until under direct orders to do so, that is.

Postscript: Speaking of Blah3, it appears they also noticed the lackluster reaction, and they even found a better picture than the one I did.

Yellow Literature

It's been years since I watched a new Simpsons episode. But this one will definitely bring me back one more time:

Soon, a team of animators will render (Tom) Wolfe bug-eyed and yellow-skinned. A year from now he'll appear on television alongside Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, Maggie and the bartender Moe in an episode of "The Simpsons" parodying highfalutin literary culture.

"We started with the idea of Moe as Charles Bukowski," explains Matt Warburton, who wrote the episode. "We brought Lisa in as the person who discovers in scuzzy, barfly Moe something that we've never seen before: a poet." Antics ensue, with Wolfe and fellow guest stars Gore Vidal, Michael Chabon and Jonathan Franzen voicing themselves. All were thrilled to participate.

"This is the only show of any sort that I watch on television," Wolfe says, sitting in the greenroom after recording. The immaculately dressed author is surrounded by a group of scruffy Harvard-educated "Simpsons" writers, hanging on his every word. "My son, Tommy, who's now 20, one of his first words was [Homer's trademark exclamation] 'D'oh!' And now any conversation he has with anybody, he'll reference 'The Simpsons.' "

The writers laugh knowingly. This isn't uncommon. The show is in the "Guinness Book of World Records" for the most guest voices of any animated series, and invitees are often begged to participate by their children or younger friends who see it as akin to nabbing the Nobel Prize. Past guests include actors (Kirk Douglas, Drew Barrymore), musicians (U2, the Who) athletes (Andre Agassi, Magic Johnson), politicians (Tony Blair) and even the most reclusive of writers (Thomas Pynchon lent his voice twice, and faxed in a list of jokes beforehand).
Gore Vidal is one of my favorite authors, and one of my favorite Simpsons moments was when Lisa pulled out a thick book that read "Tome by Gore Vidal". Most of his books are huge with important, one-word titles like that. It's good to see he has a sense of humor about himself.

Jedi Mind Tricks for fun and profit

Last week, the police finally caught some guy in Nevada who gradually stole $600,000 worth of LEGO and resold them online. The guy's scheme consisted of going into various Target stores throughout four different states, finding the really big expensive sets and switching the barcodes with much lower priced LEGO items before purchasing them. According to the article, the police needed a 20 foot truck to haul his remaining sets away.

Though the CNN piece is brief, I'm guessing that this guy specifically took tags from sets like #4488 (Retail $6.99) ...

... and switched them with sets like #4504 (Retail $99.99) ...

... thus netting a profit of over 90 dollars per purchase. Since both are named "Millennium Falcon" and therefore would be the name that popped up on the scanner display, he was able to dupe a whole lot of cashiers before getting caught. This isn't even the worst of them. He may have been able to do a switch with some "Star Destroyers" models as well. The difference between models #4492 and #10030 is just under $300!

I'm sure this has gone down through memos at Target headquarters already, but allow me to emphasize this to all those unwitting cashiers out there: The only time you would be selling a 900 piece set for less than ten bucks is in a LEGO maniac's wet dream.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Farewell US 82! See you again in a year or so!

Another trip to Mississippi has come and gone, and I'm left tired from the thirteen hour drive back yesterday.

Aside from seeing Mrs. Mosley's folks and gorging on dressing, we both made numerous book purchases. This included two volumes that apparently signify a depreciation in the genre of "Groundbreaking Comedy Biographies": The Pythons (Originally retailed for $60 and picked up for $10) and Live from New York (Originally retailed for $25 and picked up for $1). I also did my bit for independent booksellers by faithfully visiting McCormick's Bookstore in Greenville and shelling out full price for Wild Ducks Flying Backward by Tom Robbins.

Mrs. Mosley continued her Genealogy research by visiting the Greenville public library downtown to pour over dozens of microfilm reels of the Delta Democrat Times. I was also enlisted for the three and a half hours we were there. Special thanks should be given to Charlie, a librarian there who helped us out a lot with our work. Yes, even Librarians like myself need help once in a while, and a little kindness goes a long way. Thanks again, Charlie.

Finally, a suggestion prompted by an audio Thanksgiving tradition that Mrs. Mosley and I participated in once again: For any young, budding artist looking for an performance art piece idea, may I suggest making a list of the address of every psychiatrist office in town, stepping inside the waiting room, yelling out "You can have anything you want at Alice's Restaurant!" and then promptly leaving for the next office on your list. If you go through with it, then let me know how many you visit before getting arrested.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Thanks to the River City

Tonight, Mrs. Mosley and I leave for Greenville, Mississippi to spend Thanksgiving with her family. The town of Greenville makes Jacksonville look like a veritable Disney World of activity in comparison. And even though I'm sure we'll find enough to keep us occupied in our four days there, I thought I'd use this opportunity to name off ten things I'm thankful for in Jacksonville:

The Dreamette - This legend of Murray Hill, the Westside neighborhood where I grew up, still stands and serves the best chocolate dipped cones in town. Inexpensive, too.

The San Marco Theatre - Pretty much the last of the old, old movie theaters still in operation. This is close to our house, and Mrs. Mosley wants to make it a point to give them our business as much as possible, which I have no problem with. We saw Good Night, and Good Luck. several weeks ago and will be seeing the latest Harry Potter there when we get back.

Five Points - Every healthy town needs it's own little corner of Bohemia. For all our town's faults, at least we have that.

Chamblin Bookmine - Hands down the best used bookstore in town. In recent years, it has become the business equivalent of the Katamari Damacy: It rolls around and picks up every item in its path. This includes books both used and new, CD's, VHS tapes, DVD's and, with the continuing expansion plans, buildings.

Kuhn Flowers - I have memories of visiting this floral shop during the holidays and seeing the big Christmas displays they have in their tall windows. I introduced Mrs. Mosley to this last year and, judging from her reaction, it's safe to say that it will become a tradition.

The Beaches - I'll admit to not enjoying this aspect of Jacksonville as much as other people; I never was into the whole sun-worship thing. However, for sunset strolls, it can't be beat.

The Docking Station -This is half legitimate affection/half shameless plug. One of my oldest friends co-owns this place and I like to throw him any recognition I possibly can. It's Jacksonville's longest running cybercafe (going on 5 years now) and really is a great place to drink coffee, surf and game.

The University of North Florida - It's my local alma mater and, with the combination of my student and work years, the place where I spent the most time during the 1990's. In addition, it continues to have one of the best jazz programs in the country. For the 1992-1993 season, I saw the likes of Ramsey Lewis, Joe Williams, Arturo Sandoval and Cassandra Wilson. Unforgettable.

St. Augustine - Alright. I'm stretching things a bit, here. Although technically not a part of Jacksonville, our locations just thirty minutes north of the oldest city in the country is a great convenience. For those who have never been, it's the perfect place to spend a weekend.

The New Downtown Library - Did I mention it's huge? Did I mention it's the biggest in the state? Did I mention it has WiFi? Did I mention I get to work in it five days a week?

See you folks next Tuesday. And, as Crow T. Robot would say, go forth and consume enough L-tryptophan to knock you on your sorry Thanksgiving ass.

Monday, November 21, 2005

The final word on torture and torturers

Imagine that the police caught a notorious child molester in your town. It's been revealed that, over a period of years, this man has molested dozens of children. When a reporter asks for an explanation for his horrid acts, he becomes defensive and barks back, "Hey, at least I didn't kill 'em and dismember their bodies!"

That sort of weak-ass response is the same that we're getting from the Bush administration, conservative talking heads and even current Iraqi officials when presented with the issue of torture. It's insane to sit here and talk of degrees. The practice is legally and morally wrong, PERIOD! We cannot stand as a moral beacon to the world while this sh*t goes on with our say-so. Beyond that, torture has been proven again and again as an ineffective technique for getting information in the first place. There is no reason for the practice to continue aside for the pleasures of cathartic sadism that people angry over 9/11 receive when killing a Muslim.

Any Muslim.

It may seem a harsh thing to say, but people who gleefully support and practice torture need to be ranked alongside child molesters. Because, in the end, both of these groups are simply getting their rocks off at the suffering of others.

Dubya's hooked on phonics

There's some subtle name calling in this latest image for bumper stickers everywhere (via Blah3):

For those who don't get it: "W" plus "Anchor" equals "Wanker". You could also see the matching of the anchor to Dubya as symbolic of his possible drag on Republican candidates come the 2006 elections.

I'm guessing that most of his supporters who see this wouldn't even get the joke. They'd probably think it was some endorsement by the Marines.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

When's Dinner?

So, the British newspaper The Independent has an article up on their site with fifty culinary bigwigs describing their ultimate food moments, and it's quite a fun read. For the benefit of my Sushi-crazy wife, I thought I'd feature the two that describe their high on Sushi (ironically, these are also two of the few names I recognized out of the fifty):

Jamie Oliver chef
"I was in Japan promoting one of my books and feeling totally jet-lagged. It was 4am and I found this sushi bar. It was just amazing to be eating such great sushi and drinking beer at that sort of time, as it's not the sort of thing you can find in the UK."

Morgan Spurlock documentary maker whose films include 'Super Size Me'
"Biting into a sea urchin at a sushi place in Tsujiki Market, Tokyo, because it felt like the ocean exploding in my mouth. I was eating this amazing sushi at six in the morning in the middle of this crazy market and I thought, 'This is the way I should start every morning.'"

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Brother, can you spare a million?

Honey? I know what gift I want for Christmas now.

DESCRIPTION: Built on a cliff 180 feet above Shoal Creek, this 4,000-square-foot castle has a turret with roof-top battlements and arrow-slit windows. There are two stone fireplaces and two outdoor fish ponds with fountains ... The 15-plus-acre property contains two guest homes, one is multi-level with a deck, the other has a loft bedroom. There is also an in-ground swimming pool, tractor shed and two-story stable.

Of course, if I had the money to pay for this, then I could also offer my wife horses to fill that stable and then everyone would be happy!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

"Them peoples are good with e-lec-tro-nik gadgets."

Yahoo! News headline:
Bush surprises Koizumi with Segway scooter

I can just hear the conversation now: "Here. See if you can get this sumbitch to work, cuz I sure as hell can't".

Alexandra the Great

Let me start off by thanking an old friend of mine for introducing me to Tuesday Morning. From the commercials I'd seen with Lauren Bacall, I had guessed it was some combination of William Sonoma and a high-end clothing store. Lo and behold, it actually sells all kinds of cool stuff for really, really cheap prices. That's including, of course, LEGO, of which I got my fill on my first visit. Life is good.

Anyway, I went to visit a different location over the weekend for more LEGO goodies. I didn't find anything to my liking, but I did find something else: Alexandra the Great.

Using a cute, Russian teenage babe to sell something as intellectual as Chess is pretty shrewd. If Michael Jordan can sell Nike's, then a Chess grandmaster can logically endorse a chess set. Still, this marketing move seems primarily intended to make the hearts of geeky boys go a-flutter at the prospect of speaking and playing (Chess! Playing Chess, you pervs!) with this exotic, brainy beauty. Additional pictures of her on the box cover (different from the box above) with her in various evening and casual wear confirms that suspicion. I have to say, though, that I find it a bit refreshing that some young men out there may be forming an ideal of beauty that goes beyond Brittany Spears and Hillary Duff.

For the record, the girl's full name is Alexandra Kosteniuk and she has her own website.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

So much for libraries being quiet.

Not that I'm complaining. Not at all. At this moment, we apparently have several events going on at various levels of the (open) grand staircase.

On the fourth floor above me, a boys and girls choir called "Ritz Voices" is performing choral and a cappella music (their version of the national anthem, I have to say, is one of the best I've ever heard).

On the second floor below me, a group of nine children decked out in white karate outfits are executing practiced moves and shouting out simultaneously with each one. They have followed this with them all taking turns throwing one another over their shoulders and onto the mats.

This is making an interesting point / counterpoint. I wish all my night shifts were as cool as this one.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Ancient Vulcan Proverb: Only a Hooterville pig can go to China

I saw this headline on Yahoo News over the weekend. The headline that appears on the other end of the link has now changed (for good reason) but you can still find the original in a Google news search:

Arnold travels to China on trade mission

You know, journalists don't refer to Senator Frist by "Bill" and and they sure as hell don't refer to the President as just "George". We look at the headline and have a pretty good guess of whom they are talking about, yet why didn't they ues the proper (and far more unique) last name of the California governor in the headline instead.

As I said above, this has been changed since it first appeared. One wonders, however, what other Arnolds could people have mistaken it for. Palmer? Ziffel? Or perhaps the beloved title character from Hey, Arnold! on Nickelodeon? Hell, he looks about as well informed as Schwarzenegger on the issue of Chinese trade.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Opening Day: The Aftermath

There have been critics who said that the city should not have spent so much money on a library that is not visited as much as the branches. First off, the system is cognizant of the traffic the branch libraries get, and that's why six big new ones were built to service areas that did not have one before (such as West Regional and Pablo Creek). Second, the top two reasons we were not visited very often (bad parking and an unattractive facility) has been remedied by this new facility and the new parking garage across the street. Also, our new location next to the Federal Courthouse and City Hall will no doubt attract people on their lunch breaks and after work to stop by and visit us. Finally, if Jacksonville is truly going to renovate and stimulate interest in downtown again, they have got to start somewhere. Call me biased, but it seems like the investing of money into a new main library is a good way to start.

Well, if the grand opening was any indication, we'll be getting the increased traffic we're looking for. I realize that these are the inflated number of an opening day on a weekend, but I don't think any of us at the library had an idea of the throngs of people who would come (according to the FTU, it was 6,000 people in the first hour). The grand staircase that reaches all five levels allows one to view the grand entrance from anywhere, especially the circulation desk where materials are checked out. At many points throughout the seven hours we were open yesterday, I looked down to see how busy it was. Even with four checkout stations fully manned, there was never a moment during that day where the lines weren't at least four or five people deep. I can't wait to see our circulation statistics.

The other area that was mob of people all day was the Children's department, and it's easy to see why. Perhaps the coolest business located downtown is the Sally Corporation, which manufactures props and animatronics for theme parks. They designed much of the Children's area and the result is pure eye candy. Of course, I'm just speaking as an adult. I can't imagine how the kids must see it. The folks in that department worked their asses of with all sorts of story time book readings throughout the day. The results, I'm sure, were a lot of excited kids eager to come back again and again.

My schedule had me doing two hours of call center duty and two hours at the third floor reference desk located next to the football field of non-fiction books (the rest of time was spent simply walking all the floors and making myself available for questions, of which I answered many). It was my opinion going in that third floor nonfiction was going to be the least used by visitors that day. After all, we don't really have the razzmatazz of children's or teen or popular fiction or even the stunning professional look of the Genealogy and Florida collections on the fourth floor.

My guess was wrong, and my two hours on desk was a nonstop fielding of questions by patrons. I told this to Mrs. Mosley and she registered surprise that people would come downtown to do research and such on a day they must have known would be a madhouse of activity. I can't speak to people's thinking on this matter, but I was guiding people to subject areas such as serial killers, the civil war, business strategies, video game tip guides, home ownership, computer programming, Shakespeare's Sonnets, and biographies of Catherine de Medici, just to name more than a few. Yes, it was tiring as hell given the amount of walking I had to do to show people where they needed to go, but it's also a basic component of my job, and I loved it for that.

Now that the day has come and gone, I am left with pride (and aching feet) from being part of it. We'll soon know after the first week if we've attracted people as regular and semi-regular visitors. Time will tell.

Postscript: Jeb and Laura Bush did not show up after all for the opening ceremonies. I was going to start that sentence with "Unfortunately", but my heart's not in it.

Saturday, November 12, 2005


The opening has made the new library a madhouse for its first day of service. My feet ache like hell, but I'm pleased as all get out that so many people came.

Not much time to post details, but I thought I'd pass this link (via Blah3) along on Bush's Veteran's Day speech yesterday. Good Christ, George, how friggin lazy can you get?!?!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

I am not a statistic! I ... oh, wait a minute, yes I am.

Posts have been sparse because of the upcoming grand opening on Saturday. I'd be lying if I said the library was completely ready, but it's ready enough for (literally) government work. I'll be posting on the opening either late Saturday or sometime Sunday.

In the meantime, the Mosley household is wrapping up a week of an experiment. We were contacted by the Nielsens a month or so back and asked to record in a journal our TV viewing habits for a week. We were happy to comply, and our week started last Thursday and ends tonight. Aside from getting fifteen bucks cash for our troubles, we imparted the following information:

We are among the very few that do not have cable. Yep, we remain content with rabbit ears, thank you very much. I really don't see the point on blowing so much a month for cable or a satellite dish when we're trying to watch less TV than we already do. And aside from the occasional yearning to watch Rescue Me when we read an article about it, we're fairly content.

Four words: Will & Grace reruns!

Of primetime shows, our journal will show six programs we watch regularly: Lost, House, M.D., Gilmore Girls and all three (1, 2, 3) Law & Order's. For me, that's quite enough, and it amounts to only three days a week: Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday. I even tried to decrease it even further by swearing of L&O, much to my wife's amusement. Needless to say, Detectives Goren, Stabler and Fontana just dragged my weak ass back in. It's an addiction, I tells ya!

Actually, it's really seven programs we watch in primetime. The seventh is the rotating Mystery/Masterpiece Theater on Sunday nights. This week was off since they were showing the second part of Kidnapped, of which we missed the first part. We did, however, watch The Murder Room, which we recorded a month ago. This two-part adaptation of the P.D. James novel is one of the best things they have shown so far, and Mrs. Mosley is happy to tell the Nielsens that, dammit, there are folks out there that still watch and appreciate PBS.

And, finally, we do watch our share of stuff on VHS and DVD, which the journal allows us to record. Included during this week was Toy Story 2, a Hercule Poirot mystery on tape and several episodes of, yet again, House M.D. on the DVD set Mrs. Mosley got me for my birthday. Thanks, sweetie.

Overall, the experience was very cool. So if you Nielsen folks want to set us up again with some journals and fifteen more bucks, you go right ahead. We'll be waiting.

Monday, November 07, 2005

And when he's in NYC, he can't help but look up at all those e-nor-mous skyscrapers!

This is a cheap shot, which is why this is not a "Skippy of the Day" post, but the man really brings it on himself when he goes off script like this (via Think Progress):
At one point, da Silva even exhibited a map of his country, which is larger than the continental United States. "Wow! Brazil is big," Amorim quoted the U.S. president as responding.
With quotes like this and a brother named "Jeb", it's a wonder he hasn't yet installed a ce-ment pond at the White House.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

I Ga-ron-tee it!

Here's a little Library 101 for those of you not in the business:

One of the basic tasks of librarians is something called "Weeding". This is the process in which you go through the collection and withdraw items that are damaged, out of date and/or unnecessary duplicates. Libraries are constantly running out of space and have to accommodate new materials by selectively getting rid of the old ones.

Even in this new building we have moved into, weeding is necessary. We're currently doing a thorough run through of the nonfiction books and getting rid of items that fall into one or more of the above mentioned categories. There are a lot of stuff that are easy enough to get rid of. There are also a number of items that you just can't let go.

To the former category was How to get your dream job using the Internet by Shannon Bounds and Arthur Karl. To be sure, we get a lot of use out of our employment section, and this book was still in decent shape. However, the fact that the copyright was 1996 (!) is probably a mark against it. Did I mention it had accompanying software?

To the later was something I found in the cookbook section. Though these are also popular, we always seem to have way more than necessary and it's therefore a tempting weeding target. When I came upon one that was worn, had a plain cover and a copyright of 1982, I was tempted to withdraw it. Then I saw the title: Kosher Creole Cookbook by Mildred L. Covert and Sylvia P. Gerson.

That, my friends, is the kind of material that makes this job so cool.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

If we can make it there...

Well, it's been two months since our big trip to D.C. and we're already planning our big trip for next year, which we have finally decided will be New York City. Mrs. Mosley is particularly interested in seeing the Christmas Tree in Rockefeller Plaza, which means we'd be going around the first or second week of December. Cold as hell? Most likely. But I'll be pleased to possibly see snow for the second time in my life (the locals fondly remember the first time).

As I said, we're already in the planning stage. I'm really big on planning trips. Researching hotels, attractions and the like. One misstep with the D.C. trip was the distance between our B&B and the nearest subway station. This was my fault, as I had heard it was remote, but you never realize how remote until you actually get there and have to walk that distance every friggin day!

For this trip, I'm taking a serious look at a place that a friend of mine recommends from his stay there several years ago: The Pickwick Arms. It's not the fanciest in the world, but it has a great location (a couple blocks from the Waldorf Astoria) and is only $99 bucks a night which, given that this is New York, is a great deal.

As for the subway, I found out that two stations are about two blocks away from the hotel as well, which brings me to Google Maps Mania. As great as Google Maps is, this concept is even greater. This blog keeps track of programs created by people to interact with Google maps and lay out maps for specific items. As I expected when I visited, there is one for the NYC subway (not to mention one for finding Pizza by the slice)!

I ask you: How in the hell did we ever get around before this?!?!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Keith David Quote of the Month: November 2005

With the recent passing of Rosa Parks, I thought I'd present this quote from Clockers, in which Keith David plays a character nicknamed Andre the Giant. It's not the most eloquent exchange in the world, and it loses something in the transfer from visual to print, but it still demonstrates how much of a kick-ass character Keith David can play.
Andre The Giant: [beating up Strike] It's motherf**kers like you that mugged Rosa Parks!

Ronald 'Strike' Dunham: Who the f**k is Rosa Parks?

Andre The Giant: Who the f**k is Rosa Parks?

Ronald 'Strike' Dunham: It's hard on brothers out here!

Andre The Giant: Brothers? YOU STUPID IGNORANT MOTHERF**KER! [slams Strike harder]

Monday, October 31, 2005

Ocean's (Top) Eleven

Yes, I'm pretty confident in saying that Ocean's Eleven is one of my favorite all time films of the past ten years. Mrs. Mosley likes it too, and we've both watched it more times than we can count. This has ended up in us quoting from it all the time, so here's a list of our top eleven quotes (Some of these need some context to make sense, so do yourself a favor and go see the darn thing if you haven't already. You also have my recommendation to completely ignore Ocean's Twelve):
11. Reuben: You're Bobby Caldwell's kid. From Chicago. It's nice there, do you like it?
Linus: Yeah.
Reuben: That's wonderful. Get in the goddamn house.

10. Yen: Where the f&%k you been?

9. Rusty: Incan matrimonial headmasks.
Shane West: Is there a lot of money in that? Incan matrimonial
Danny: Headmasks. There's some.
Rusty: Don't let him fool you, there's boatloads. If you can move them. But you can't.

8. Reuben: Look, we all go way back and uh, I owe you from the thing with the guy in the place and I'll never forget it.

7. Saul: I've got a duplex now, wall-to-wall, goldfish. I'm seeing a nice lady who works the "Unmentionables" counter at Macy's.

6. Rusty: God, I'm bored!
Danny: You look bored.
Rusty: I am bored!

5. Basher: Oh, Leave it out!

4. Danny: You could ask him.
Rusty: Hey, I could ask him.

3. Frank: Ideally, we should all wear gloves when going to bed, but I found out that that creates a kind of an interference with my... social agenda, you know what I mean.

2. Danny: Ten oughta do it, don't you think? You think we need one more? You think we need one more. All right, we'll get one more.

1. Rusty: They say taupe is very soothing.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

A vision in ... Pumpkin

Now that I've opened the whole can of worms that are blog pictures, may I present a picture of the lovely Mrs. Mosley:

My personal image will remain classified for security reasons, of course.

This image is actually from last year's pumpkin cutting ceremony, which I detailed in a previous post. Suffice to say that she is as pleasant as that picture indicates most of time, with the exception of when Mr. Mosley gets grumpy and starts muttering curses about our sneezing cat, the weeds in the yard, or those damned kids today with their low pants and their Britney Spears and their ... HEY, YOU KIDS, GET OFF MY LAWN!

Skippy of the Day: Trent Lott

You know, I usually post very little on the weekends. And my "Skippy of the Day" posts have thinned out recently. But sometimes, sometimes you come across a quote (via Blah3) that simply can't wait until Monday. Ladies and Gentleman, United States Senator Trent Lott:
"I want the President to look across the country and find the best man, woman, or minority that he can find."
On behalf of myself and my Mississippi-born wife, allow me to say this: GET THE F%#K OUT OF THE MAGNOLIA STATE, YOU NIMROD!


First off, let me also applaud George Takei for revealing that he's gay a couple of days ago. It was a brave move and I commend him for it. I noticed two particular commentaries about this story elsewhere. On Little Yellow Different, which is a blog by a gay Asian guy who works for Yahoo, he gave a brief entry: "George Takei comes out of the closet, upping the number out-of-the-closet gay Asian male actors to two" (BD Wong being the other). Then there was this nice anecdote from David Edelstein over on Slate:

Where No Star Trek Actor Has Gone Before: What a shock 10 years ago to amble down to breakfast at a lovely Savannah B & B and find myself across the communal table from ... Mr. Sulu -- and with a young man who was clearly his lover! You can't tell from Star Trek that George Takei is a hugely theatrical presence, with a voice that ricochets off walls and a deep laugh. I didn't acknowledge his celebrity or ask him about Star Trek -- or the Japanese detention camp in which he spent part of his youth. We talked about the architecture and culture of Savannah, and he was remarkably observant (and friendly). He said he was on his way to the Renaissance Weekend at Hilton Head -- the legendary conference for the best and the brightest. I went upstairs and told my girlfriend (a late riser) that I'd just had breakfast with Mr. Sulu, that he was gay, and that he was going up to spend the weekend with Bill and Hillary Clinton and a lot of other important intellectuals. She said, "Uh-huh," and chalked this up to one too many mint juleps the night before. It was very satisfying to pick up the paper a few days later and read about the conference, attended by the Clintons, Robert Reich, etc., etc. -- "and, oddly," the reporter wrote, "George Takei from Star Trek."

So it wasn't a dream.

I've been itching to write about this for years. ... Congratulations, Mr. Takei, for being as unashamed as you were that morning, and for boldly entering this, our final cultural frontier for public figures.

Man, We've stayed in a bunch of B&B's (and Mrs. Mosley sleeps late!), so whay haven't I met a Star Trek actor at breakfast yet?!?!

Speaking of which, Star Trek geeks will get the double meaning of the post title.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Lyrically speaking: Fiona Apple

I rarely buy new CD's anymore, but it was a given that I would buy Fiona Apple's latest album Extraordinary Machine. It's release this month comes after years of complications involving her longtime producer Jon Brion. The initial tracks she recorded leaked onto the internet amidst all this and became the online shared song. Eventually, Hip-hop producer Mike Elizondo stepped in to rework the album, resulting in a whole package that most people say is much improved.

Indeed, "Better Version of Me" is now a lot easier to listen too now that it isn't so busy with calliopes and such. The title track, however, is virtually the same. That's a good thing. The simplicity recalls her first two albums, particularly her song "Paper Bag" from the When the Pawn... album. For your reading pleasure, here are the lyrics to "Extraordinary Machine":

I certainly haven't been shopping for any new shoes
I certainly haven't been spreading myself around
I still only travel by foot and by foot, it's a slow climb,
But I'm good at being uncomfortable, so
I can't stop changing all the time

I notice that my opponent is always on the go
Won't go slow, so's not to focus, and I notice
He'll hitch a ride with any guide, as long as
They go fast from whence he came
- But he's no good at being uncomfortable, so
He can't stop staying exactly the same

If there was a better way to go then it would find me
I can't help it, the road just rolls out behind me
Be kind to me, or treat me mean
I'll make the most of it, I'm an extraordinary machine

I seem to you to seek a new disaster every day
You deem me due to clean my view and be at piece and lay
I mean to prove I mean to move in my own way, and say,
I've been getting along for long before you came into the play

I am the baby of the family, it happens, so
- Everybody cares and wears the sheeps' clothes
While they chaperone
Curious, you looking down your nose at me, while you appease
- Courteous, to try and help - but let me set your
Mind at ease


-Do I so worry you, you need to hurry to my side?
-It's very kind
But it's to no avail; I don't want the bail
I promise you, everything will be just fine

If there was a better way to go then it would find me
I can't help it, the road just rolls out behind me
Be kind to me, or treat me mean
I'll make the most of it, I'm an extraordinary machine

Do yourself a favor and pick this one up. As with her other two albums, it's ... extraordinary.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Breaking new ground here at Acrentropy

Mrs. Mosley has complained to me on a number of occasions about my never posting any pictures. Well, I looked into Blogger's Image Upload service, and it seems easier than I thought it would be. So, here I go with Acrentropy's FIRST IMAGE EVER:

Thanks to Church Sign Generator (via Ramblings of Regan) for the assist.

" ... Mr. Lincoln seems to forget that ... "

Oh, this is Priceless: If Fox News Had Been Around Throughout History (via Metafilter)

More Headline goodness

From CNN:

White House to Onion: Stop using seal

Acrentropy to White House: Find something useful to do with your time

Monday, October 24, 2005

Chicken Caesar Review: Bear Rock Cafe

The Bear Rock Cafe's most interesting component is an interior style that emulates a ski lodge, which is about as foreign as you can get in sunny Florida. Still, it's a cozy setting to enjoy a nice salad. It's Chicken Caesar Salad, which costs $6.29, contains Romaine lettuce, grilled chicken breast, Parmesan cheese and homemade croutons tossed in creamy Caesar dressing.

This whole cafe reminded me of Panera, so it was not surprising when the salad reminded me of Panera too. The salad is indeed tossed, as it should be, and the dressing is mild enough to not overpower the rest of the ingredients. The chicken, as with Panera's salad, comes in precooked chunk form which are nonetheless tasty and moist. The Parmesan and the Romaine are fine. The biggest feature of the salad, and not in a good way, are the croutons. These "homemade croutons" are seasoned within an inch of their lives and are way too intense for their own good. They make all the other flavors take a back seat. This brings to mind an old cooking axiom: Just because you can season doesn't mean you should.

In a head to head match with Panera, the slightly cheaper and more enjoyable Panera Caesar still comes out on top. Oddly enough, I'd recommend this Bear Rock salad to anyone still on that Atkins kick. Just tell them to hold the croutons, and you'll have a fine carb-lite meal to enjoy.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Stating the obvious and stickin' it to the man

One of the top headlines on the Florida Times-Union website today:
The New Trent Reznor is not without drama
In other news, I hear that Michael Moore is quite the little rabble rouser.

I would have read further to see what that cutesy double-negative headline was all about, but the FTU has gone and moved to a free subscription service for their news stories. This includes their online archives, which is going to make my job as a librarian a tremendous pain in the ass. Fortunately, vee hav vays ov making zem talk!

May I present BugMeNot: It's the only way to fly.

Boy, look at all the crap I didn't convince my Mom to buy me.

I just discovered a British site about television during the 70's and 80's (a definite future addition to La-La Land) and found a list of the top 100 toys of those two decades. I gave myself an informal survey and found I only owned sixteen of the items. This low number can be accounted for by (a) the fact that some items appear to be more British than American, (b) I was only born in 1973 and missed out on some of these things and (c) some are toys for little girls. Here are my personal fun-filled stops down memory lane (batteries not included).

1. A Bike
2. A Computer
6. Star Wars Death Star Playset
28. Magic Rocks
30. Hangman
31. Screwball Scramble
35. Spirograph
38. Etchasketch
44. Dungeons and Dragons
47. Operation
54. Mousetrap
63. Armatron
79. Viewmaster
91. Electronic Project/Chemistry Set
92. Zoids/Transformers
93. Rubik's Cube

Thursday, October 20, 2005

This is dedicated to you, Mrs. Mosley

This is an interesting trend (via Daily Kos):
In May, the Minnesota Office of Higher Education posted the inevitable culmination of a trend: Last year for the first time, women earned more than half the degrees granted statewide in every category, be it associate, bachelor, master, doctoral or professional.
Women are doing it for themselves, and the majority of the male population are showing themselves for the lunkheads they usually are. When you combine this story with (a) the new show Commander in Chief and (b) the fact that rumors earlier this weeks prophesized a Condoleezza vs. Hillary match-up for the 2008 elections, it's looking better for women all the time.

So in lieu of my last post, let me use that old Simpsons fill-in-the-blank formulaic expression for this occasion:

"I, for one, welcome our new female overlords."

Monday, October 17, 2005

My favorite will always be "Jerkass"

A new reason to love Wikipedia.

The Shrug of Shrub

The Library move continues unabated, and I have little time for original posting. Fortunately, the Internet is rich with news and commentary these days. Here are some choice words from John Aravosis over at AmericaBlog:
If a senior White House staffer had intentionally outed an American spy during World War II, he'd have been shot.

We're at war, George Bush keeps reminding us. We cannot continue with business as usual. A pre-9/11 mentality is deadly. Putting the lives of our troops at risk is treason.

Then why is the White House and the Republican party engaged in a concerted campaign to make treason acceptable during a time of war? That's exactly what they're doing. On numerous news shows today, Republican surrogates, their talking points ready, issued variations of the following concerning White House chief of staff Karl Rove's outing of a covert CIA agent as part of a political vendetta:

- It's the criminalization of politics
- Is this 'minor' leak really worth all this?
- Political payback is common and should not be criminalized
- Mis-speaking or mis-remembering is not a crime

Yes, the Republicans are now making light of an intentional effort to expose an undercover CIA agent, working on weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East, no less, while we are at war in the Middle East on that very issue.

The GOP has become the party of treason.

It would be one thing for a senior adviser to the president to put the nation's security at risk during a time of war. That could be explained as an aberration - a quite serious one, no doubt - but a fluke nonetheless. But when the president himself refuses to keep his own word about firing that aberration, and when the entire Republican party rallies around that fluke and tries to minimize what is usually a capital offense during wartime, something is seriously wrong with that party and its leadership.

America is ignoring the Geneva Conventions because our president feels that winning this war is so paramount. Our Congress has watered down our civil rights laws. We have jailed American citizens with no access to legal counsel. And our President even believes it is worth lying to the American people in order to wage this so-important battle. All this because we are a nation at war and nothing will be permitted to stand in the way of this life-and-death struggle.

But when a senior aide to the President of the United States endangers the life of an undercover CIA agent, her colleagues and contacts around the world - when he chooses to put at risk our entire effort to undercover weapons of mass destruction before they are used to kill millions in an American city - what response do we get from the Bush White House and the Republican Party? A defensive (offensive) shrug.

Friday, October 14, 2005


And Please, PLEASE pass this along to others here in the United States:

THE hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church has published a teaching document instructing the faithful that some parts of the Bible are not actually true.

The Catholic bishops of England, Wales and Scotland are warning their five million worshippers, as well as any others drawn to the study of scripture, that they should not expect "total accuracy" from the Bible.

"We should not expect to find in Scripture full scientific accuracy or complete historical precision," they say in The Gift of Scripture.

The document is timely, coming as it does amid the rise of the religious Right, in particular in the US.

Some Christians want a literal interpretation of the story of creation, as told in Genesis, taught alongside Darwin's theory of evolution in schools, believing "intelligent design" to be an equally plausible theory of how the world began.

But the first 11 chapters of Genesis, in which two different and at times conflicting stories of creation are told, are among those that this country's Catholic bishops insist cannot be "historical". At most, they say, they may contain "historical traces".

The document shows how far the Catholic Church has come since the 17th century, when Galileo was condemned as a heretic for flouting a near-universal belief in the divine inspiration of the Bible by advocating the Copernican view of the solar system. Only a century ago, Pope Pius X condemned Modernist Catholic scholars who adapted historical-critical methods of analysing ancient literature to the Bible.

In the document, the bishops acknowledge their debt to biblical scholars. They say the Bible must be approached in the knowledge that it is "God's word expressed in human language" and that proper acknowledgement should be given both to the word of God and its human dimensions.

They say the Church must offer the gospel in ways "appropriate to changing times, intelligible and attractive to our contemporaries".

The Bible is true in passages relating to human salvation, they say, but continue: "We should not expect total accuracy from the Bible in other, secular matters."

Strunk and White would approve

I remain convinced that Mimi Smartypants is the funniest damn blog on the planet. Posts like this remind me that I really need to order her book:
This weekend is my sister's wedding---I don't have to do much except shepherd Nora through her flower-girl performance, be in some pictures, and read a poem solely in order to drag out the non-religious ceremony. I printed out the poem to get a feel for how it would read out loud, and I noticed some awkward parts that just did not scan, and some adverbs (ugh: adverbs should be a last resort in poetry), and some places where I really felt there should be punctuation. So guess what! I edited it! I know, it's wrong on a whole bunch of copyright and other levels, but the poem is by no means well known and if I can produce a smoother read and a smoother ceremony by changing a few words, so be it. My only concern is that the poet will somehow hear of this and I will be sued or beaten up. WELL, BRING IT ON, YOU ADVERB-LOVING BASTARD!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

We're a looooooong way from New Jack City

It's ironic that Ice-T, who was once the subject of a fierce controversy over his song "Cop Killer" back in 1992, has now become primarily known for playing a police officer in Law & Order: SVU. Granted, his song was about bad and dirty cops, like the ones who beat the living crap of Rodney King. And you could argue that his current role is an effort to portray the good cops that do exist. Still, it's funny that younger viewers (if there are younger viewers who watch SVU) may only know him as a cop from the show.

But that irony I accepted years ago when I first started watching the show. What has ... ahem, struck me more about him lately is how, on the show, he gets sucker punched on a regular basis. OK, I guess twice is not technically a regular basis, but it still stands out. On last Tuesday's new episode, he's punched good and hard by a teenage white boy accused of rape. That, I suppose, isn't too embarrassing. But last season, in the episode "Weak", he was back-of-the hand pimp slapped by ... Amanda Plummer?!?!?! "Weak" is right!

How embarrassing an image is that for a rapper? Imagine if 50 Cent got his ass handed to him by Kate Moss, or perhaps if Jay-Z got laid out by Bjork.

But Ice-T is primarily an actor now, so this kind of stuff is not as important. Besides, as an actor, he has to do things like this once in a while. The rest of time, he's getting tough with perps and slamming them into lockers like the other TV cops do. You keep it up, Ice! We're rooting for you!

And keep an eye out for that Assistant D.A. Novak. She might just mess you up if you're not careful.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

AND we have no state income tax!

There are times when I HATE living in a state that is hot, humid and is not at all familiar with the concept of a "White Christmas".

Today is not one of those times.

Today is my Birthday

Happy Birthday!

In terms of other people's birthdays, we can also celebrate Luciano Pavarotti and Hugh Jackman. Boy, there's a buddy cop team just waiting to happen on the big screen!

OK, maybe not. But if it's creation hinders any future movie that features two or more of the following actors (Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson, Luke Wilson, Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Will Ferrell), then I'm all for it.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Those wacky Romans!

Mrs. Mosley and I have returned from a three day weekend in Orlando. It was a small trip to celebrate my upcoming birthday and consisted mostly of shopping at the outlet malls. That's right: We skipped the theme parks altogether. Of course, we can go to Orlando and not feel compelled to do the major attractions since it's less than three hours away. Besides, we spent all our money at the aforementioned outlet malls.

One thing that caught my eye were billboard ads for The Holy Land Experience, a biblical theme park that acts as an alternative to Disney. I have little doubt that this was created, in part, as a response to Disney's favorable policies towards homosexuals. At the time "Holy Land" opened in 2001, Disney was still under boycott by the Southern Baptists and the Catholic League (this ineffective shunning of old Mickey was officially ended by the Baptists back in June).

Anyway. The billboards. The ad is dominated by the picture of a kid with a sort of shocked/ amazed/ happy expression as a Roman guard peers over the boy's right shoulder while using his finger to tap his left. The tone is lighthearted and meant to communicate good times to the kids and parents who see it.

Now, the last time I checked, Romans were the bad guys in the Bible. If they were truly recreating the Israel of 2000 years ago, then the Romans as viewed by Christians would not be happy-go-lucky guys. Obviously, since they're competing with Disney, the people at "Holy Land" are trying to communicate an attractive and fun image with this ad, but they can't have their Manna and eat it too. Either it's an educational view of a very miserable time to live in, or it's a fun wonderland for kids to run and play. You aint getting both, folks.

Can you imagine some of these poor kids who, having already watched The Passion of the Christ, go to this park and have to keep from shouting in terror when they see the men who flailed the very skin off their savior's back? What's next? Are they going to create a Jewish theme park that recreates the Warsaw Ghettos, complete with Nazi goons who play peek-a-boo with five year olds?

The ads are misguided, as I think the theme park as a whole is. Yet even though the idea for this theme park doesn't float my boat, if other people gain a good time from plopping down $30 to see ancient Israel, then far be it for me to besmirch them. I just hope, for their sakes, it doesn't end up like Heritage USA.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Near Crypto

And now, for absolutely no reason (and courtesy of this site), here are the top ten anagrams for "Acrentropy":

10. RECTORY NAP - Sometimes even Priests are sick of listening to your problems and just need themselves a lie down.

9. TRY PEA CORN - Like hell, I will! I'm sick of these mutant vegetable hybrids! Get it off my plate!

8. RECOPY RANT - Like hell, I will! I'm sick of these mutant vegetable hybrids! Get it off my plate!

7. TARRY PONCE - Definitely the gayest phrase of the top ten.

6. TAN RYE CROP - Well, Yeah. I don't think I've ever seen any blue rye crops around, have you?

5. CRY EAT PORN - Aren't those the three stages a person goes through after breaking up with someone?

4. PART ONE CRY - Yeah. I thought so.

3. CARRYON PET - Well it's about time they introduced this policy. Now they don't have to suffer being stuck down there with the luggage.

2. CRONE PARTY - Because Witches and Old Maids need to let their hair down once in a while.

And the number one anagram for "Acrentropy":

Zero Tolerance.
A calm lake of purity.
No grey areas.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Look out, Gert Frobe!

Never mind who's going to replace Pierce Brosnan! They have more important casting news to report:
Grover to Play the Casino Royale Villain?
Were Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker unavailable?

In actuality, they're talking about this guy. Maybe they can make the next Bond film into a Bollywood musical! From what I hear, it wouldn't be any sillier than Die Another Day.

Monday, October 03, 2005


Commentary on Harriet Miers by Atrios:
Wingnuttia is rather angry at the choice. I don't think this is because they're really concerned that she's not conservative enough for their tastes, although that's part of it. They're angry because this was supposed to be their nomination. This is was their moment. They didn't just want a stealth victory, they wanted parades and fireworks. They wanted Bush to find the wingnuttiest wingnut on the planet, fully clothed and accessorized in all the latest wingnut fashions, not just to give them their desired Court rulings, but also to publicly validate their influence and power. They didn't just want substantive results, what they wanted even more were symbolic ones. They wanted Bush to extend a giant middle finger to everyone to the left of John Ashcroft. They wanted to watch Democrats howl and scream and then ultimately lose a nasty confirmation battle. They wanted this to be their "WE RUN THE COUNTRY AND THERE'S NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT" moment.

Whatever kind of judge she would be, she doesn't provide them with that.

"Hello, 911? There's a woman in a corset outside my house!"

I'm man enough to admit that when Mrs. Mosley first introduced me to the Pride and Prejudice miniseries, I was totally enthralled. This has pleased Mrs. Mosley to no end, and we have ended up watching the whole five hours at least ten times together. We watched it again last weekend, and I am currently listening to the audiobook version of it for the first time.

Bearing this in mind, I'll tell you that one of my first tasks at work this morning was opening boxes of new material for processing. I set aside six big boxes, all of which had labels that identified the contents as Non-Fiction Spanish. As is often the case with new materials, some ones that don't belong get packed in the wrong box. Of the six I opened, there was only one Fiction title: Orgullo Y Prejuicio by Jane Austen.

You know, I like you and all, Jane, but don't make me get a restraining order!

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Keith David Quote of the Month: October 2005

Into every actor's life, some cheese must fall. In the case of Keith David, Exhibit A would be They Live, a sci-fi action film directed by John Carpenter. David might have thought he was in good hands with Carpenter after they had finished the superior The Thing together. Though it does have an intriguing premise, there are a number of faults that ultimately doom it. The chief among these can be summed up in six words: Roddy Piper is NO Kurt Russell. Still, there is room enough for David to get a good line in.

Frank: The Golden Rule: He who has the gold, makes the rules.

(Postscript: Though I cite this film as David's moment of cheese in my monthly quote series, it certainly isn't his worst film to date. That would be Roadhouse, which was made one year after They Live. Alas, there are no quotes for him listed in IMDb, and I'll be damned if I'm going to sit through that film in an effort to find one quote, even if it is Keith David.)