Archive for January, 2007

Oh, How the Mighty Have…Conceeded


Every time I’ve driven to Wisconsin since just after 9/1/01, I’ve passed a gigantic handmade sign in a field near the River Falls I-94 exit. It is white painted plywood with blue and white lettering that reads “WE SUPPORT PRESIDENT BUSH”. Of course there’s also a gigantic American flag waving next to it.

It appeared around the same time as graffiti on bridges over I-94 demanding to, “SUPPORT OUR TROOPS”. Those went away fairly quickly, but the sign remained.

That is, until very recently. Sometime in the last three weeks, the proud owner made a new sign. The new one is similar in artistry, yet a bit different in tone: “PEACE THROUGH MILITARY STRENGTH”.

What does this say about the artist/activist? Do they no longer support President Bush? Or have they simply gone the way of many Republicans and realized that the war is going poorly and it’s Bush’s fault? Or perhaps this is a new statement, still pro-Bush, saying that the surge is a good idea.

No matter what, use of the word “peace” is interesting. Is the new sign an oxymoron, or simply moronic? Perhaps Figaro can help.

KVSC Trivia Contest

A co-worker of mine is hosting a party for the 50-hour long trivia contest broadcast over KVSC in St Cloud, MN the weekend of February 9th. Never heard of it? Neither had I. The questions are more than Jeopardy or Trivial Pursuit style questions that depend on luck and wording as much as your memory. No, these are real brain busters.

For example, what is the geographic significance of the following numbers: 10, 18, 20, 25, 27, 31, 60, and 91?

Answer (highlight to view): The United States. Find a Periodic table and you’ll get it.

Despite this being a trivia marathon conducted over the radio and phone lines (you call in your answers), there are visual questions. Teams are mailed a packet with numbered pictures. Someone was kind enough to post the packet online here.

If you know what any of these are pictures of, please leave a comment! #3, #8, #17, #20, & #25 are already figured out. I think that #22 is Joni Mitchell and James Taylor and #12 is The Clash. #11 looks like someone from the TV show “The Wild Wild West” but I haven’t been able to prove that. Of course, they can ask anything at all about these pictures, but a general idea is better than nothing.

I Want My MTV

It’s true. I’m a day shy of 29 and I still watch MTV. But here’s the thing: it’s been significantly better lately.

One day last week I happened to read about this guy Mika who is big on the UK pop chart these days. A few days later I saw the video for “Grace Kelly” on MTV’s Big Ten. As astounding as MTV giving precious air time to this love child of Freddie Mercury and Rufus Wainwright is, the surprise was dulled a bit by the fact that his video followed Lily Allen’s for “Smile“.

It’s a new British invasion!

This morning, I once again saw both of these great British acts on The Big Ten, followed by (the especially poignant) Silversun Pickups video for “Lazy Eye“! What is going on here??? Is this some alternative universe where 20-40 year old indie hipster snobbery = 13-21 year old musical ignorance? Have MTV programmers been reading Pitchfork?

"It’s Alright (I See Rainbows)"

It snowed last night. I got caught in it. But I didn’t spin out or hit anything. I arrived safely home.

On my way in to work this morning, on the barely plowed and salted roads, I saw a rainbow. At first it looked like it was in the northeast. Then it was in the southeast. I saw it almost my whole 35 mph ride. It was vertical, but very clear and beautiful.

This weekend I also found some photos I took of a rainbow outside of my place in St Paul. This was a summer rainbow, and the fullest one I’ve ever seen. Even the pictures are good.

Yay rainbows.

Another Reason Comcast Sucks

There certainly is nothing new in saying that Comcast sucks. But really probably only .5% of the blogosphere contains original content, so here comes my rant.

I was planning on getting rid of what’s known as the “Digital Preferred” and “Digital Classic” tiers off my cable because I only watch two or three channels off those regularly (I will really miss Discover Times). But then with the new price plans to be released this month, I discovered that if I get rid of “Digital Preferred”, I must also get rid of my DVR.

This is not an option. Maybe this is how they get users pumped for Tivo software. I will essentially be paying $24/month for the DVR, on a box I don’t even own.

So speaking of Tivo…I started looking into buying a box. And then I ended up buying one with a 3-year plan (which may have been a bit foolish, but we’ll see). That means I’m saving over $180 this year and $260 the following two years compared to Comcast (including getting rid of at least one digital tier I don’t watch enough of). And that includes all the awesome functionality that Comcast DVR never would offer on their own (online scheduling, search, favorite people or whatever…etc.).

I’m really excited for the Tivo. It should arrived next week. I’ll post a review shortly thereafter.

Woman, 65, States Desires of Nation

DATELINE Small Town, WI (SM) Reports claim that as recent as Christmas Eve, a 65-year old woman proclaimed that she misses Bill Clinton as President of the United States.

The woman, a widow living alone in rural Wisconsin who wishes to remain anonymous, first told her daughter about these feelings of longing during a newscast featuring a clip of President Bush.

“I miss Bill Clinton!” the woman shouted as Bush yammered away about staying the course in Iraq at a news conference. “So what if he liked the ladies? At least he was smart. I miss Bill Clinton.”

The following day (Christmas), during a car ride, the woman couldn’t stop thinking of Clinton. Mariah Carey’s “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” came on the radio and during the stirring saxophone solo, the woman shouted, “Bill Clinton!”, recalling his sax prowess revealed on the Arsenio Hall Show. “I miss Bill Clinton!” she exclaimed for the second day in a row.

Later Christmas Day, the robots that create playlists at the local radio station played “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” once again, producing the same outbursts from the woman as the last time.

When asked if she would settle for Bill Clinton’s wife, Hillary, the woman shrugged and sniffed at the thought. She gave no statement at the time.

By Jane Pauley Shore jps@notthenews.com