Sunday, November 23, 2008

Gender analysis

The Gender Analyzer is an interesting tool trained to identify blogs written by men vs. women. On the first analysis of my blog, I got this result:
We think is written by a man (86%).
86% isn't good enough. The rest of this page is dedicated to beefing up my parsable masculinity.

baseball football boxing fighting broads dames chicks girls boobs butts fantasy football beer beer beer beer broads chicks dames women boobs tits

I'm going to publish this post and see what happens.

Update: no dice. This page didn't help. However, I created a new page titled "Women", with these contents: hockey football baseball women.

The result?
We think is written by a man (87%).
Sweet. I just need a few more posts titled "Boobs", "Butts", "Hockey", and "UFC", and I might be all-man.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Big Dogs

If you want to run with the big dogs, you gotta learn to hike your legs.
That's one of my dad's favorite expressions. I have some notion what it means, but none of its significance. I like the saying though - like when Oz observes the caged zombie cat on the Dead Man's Party episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (best TV series ever, in case you were wondering), and says... well, somewhat anticlimactically, "I like it."

But back to the reason for this: Big Dog Coffee. I work in the Southside Works, and until now, the only coffee choices were Caribou Coffee and Crazy Mocha. While I like the Crazy Mocha in Bloomfield, the one on the South Side doesn't seem to make coffee quite as strong as Bloomfield; and Caribou's coffee is better anyway, so I usually go there.

Big Dog is much, much better. They use Intelligentsia Coffee, and so it has roughly the same excellent taste as the Strip's 21st Street Coffee, although 21st Street uses a Clover to brew a single cup at a time.

Big Dog is very classy - rich wood, vivid but pleasing colors, and a roughly European feel I lack the vocabulary to describe adequately. Its only problem is the location; it's tucked behind the Goodwill, down an alley, so they're far less likely to get shopping traffic.

But as a neighborhood coffee shop, it's outstanding. Not quite as outstanding as Enrico's Tazza D'Oro in my own neighborhood, Highland Park - but hey, that's a very high bar indeed. They'll get their own long posting soon, but I was overjoyed to find a great coffee shop near work.

Sunday, November 09, 2008


I came late to the Obama parade; while I was absolutely certain I wasn't going to vote Republican, given the outhouse they'd pushed the country into over the last 8 presidential years and 12-14 congressional years, I wasn't thrilled with any of the candidates, and preferred the ones I knew had no shot at all (Kucinich, Richardson).

Obama interested me because of his wide base of support, the fact that while he was raising roughly the same amount of money Hillary was, he was doing it with twice the number of people, each giving half as much. While that proves nothing, it meant his campaign had more longevity (he could tap those donors later), and that it was likely a broader base of less-wealthy people.

His rhetoric doesn't stir, but it does impress me with its solemnity. It's time we had a serious leader. Clinton, infinitely more able and more amiable than W. Bush, was a serious politician and managed the country well, but he lacked the gravitas of Obama. Bush was a ramshackle excuse for either manager or leader, and not the kind of guy I'd want to have a beer with. (See The Onion's Long-Awaited Beer With Bush Really Awkward, Voter Reports for hilarious commentary.)

I don't care whether my president is someone I can have a beer with. I don't care whether my surgeon is a down-to-earth guy. I want expertise. Perhaps I'd need to relate personally to a psychotherapist, but for people with whom I share a professional relationship, I want ability. Being able to lead the nation, and the Congress, and the world; I don't need someone who's necessarily a warm, friendly, or "down-to-earth" guy or gal. At the very least, even if amiability is a necessary condition, it's not a sufficient one; Bush had little else.

So I'm happy - and the happiness hasn't waned. As time goes on, I find myself occasionally smiling, occasionally vaguely misty-eyed. I hope Obama does very well, for all our sakes. He may disappoint, if only because of the inflated level of expectation - but I have to admit finding it difficult to keep my hopes reasonable.

His inaccurate labels, "most liberal senator" and "socialist," were resoundingly rejected by voters. At the very least, this reflects appreciate for his other attributes: intelligence, calm persistence, charisma, and political savvy. But it may also signal an acknowledgment that left of center ain't such a bad place to be.

Hey Napoleon, gimme some of your tots

Another holiday song - Toys For Tots by the extremely talented Peggy Lee and Nat "King" Cole. This one manages to straddle the crevasse between classy, creepy, and charming. The chipmunk voices and the mention of "innies" and "outies" lend some delightful holiday ambiguity. But solid vocals.

Or perhaps the song is without blemish, and the creepiness only between my ears.

I found this song on these outstanding collections of holiday lounge music - fantastic for all seasons. Part of a great collection of wacky lounge music, which apparently sell very well.

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays! Merry Christmas, or X-mas, or Chanukah, or what have you. 'Tis the time of year when supernatural entities sprinkle us with money, decorations, and gifts wrapped in paper or sent as gift certificates via email.

To celebrate the start of the season, a quick little holiday song from the very excellent Blink-182 - the title is Happy Holidays, You Bastard. Warning: explicit lyrics. This is basically a quickie "The Aristocrats" set to music.

Enjoy, and may the spirit of the season be upon you.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

The Vast, Suffocating Importance of Being Me

Having titled this post, I'm uncertain what to write.

Summary: I'm recommitting myself to a blog; a full blog, all about me and my life, integrating personal anecdotes, politics, software, and whatever else I feel like writing about.

Previously I had a software-only blog, and this blog was only politics. Time to integrate the disparate spheres of my existence.

Why? For all of my fans. All one of them. I love me, and me loves I.

pause for effect

sign for applause


Whatever humor this post held is rapidly running out of the holes in the premise. Keep 'em short - that's my new motto. Attention-deficit publishing. Sound-bite mini-essays. Yeah. I'm sure no one on the Internet has ever done that before.