Thursday, June 30, 2005

One Day in the Life of Sisyphus – (morning)

PART I: Can a man with a donut understand a man who has none?

EDITOR’S NOTE: After Sisyphus’ failed coup attempt, the Nihilist called in some markers at the Pentagon and using an obscure clause of the Patriot Act, had Sisyphus detained at Guantanamo Bay. While detained, the intrepid Sisyphus secretly wrote the following account on a roll of toilet paper. It was smuggled out by Jimmy Carter during one of his inspection visits and posted on this site while the Nihilist was distracted by his frame-by-frame deconstruction of the latest episode of “The Real World: Austin, Texas”.

The hammer banged reveille on the rail at ten o’clock as always. Time to get up. The ragged noise was muffled by ice two fingers thick on the windows. The warders had left the air conditioning on “high” again here at Gulag Guantanamo.

Sisyphus never overslept; he was always up at the call. With some trepidation he put his foot down on the ice cold cement floor of hut 7. He recoiled immediately, but soon found his slippers. They were a hideous shade of green. But Sisyphus considered himself among the fortunate: most of his fellow zeks had pink bunny slippers.

The latrine area was one of the most dangerous places in the camp. If Sisyphus forgot and flushed the toilet before getting off the seat, he could be sucked halfway into the sewer and would have to sleep on his stomach for a week. Sisyphus hadn’t yet made that mistake, and he wasn’t going to make it today.

Sisyphus fell in with the rest of gang 104 for the trip to the mess hall. He knew one thing already: once again there would be no bacon. Sure enough, the cook slopped eggs benedict onto his plate (the Nihilist’s idea of a joke, no doubt). The breakfast didn’t fill and Sisyphus wondered whether he should risk going down to the bakery. Who was the baker today?

Sisyphus decided to give the bakery a try. The baker on duty was Muhammad, a zek like Sisyphus, but he had somehow obtained the dream job of baking the camp’s donuts. Muhammad looked up from his work. He was wearing a white baker’s hat. “What? All of the donuts have been sent down for the lunch buffet.”

“I know”, said Sisyphus, “but you have a stack right there.”

Muhammad sighed and motioned to the scale, “you know the drill, Sis’.” Sisyphus stepped on the scale. The dial spun around for minutes before gradually coming to rest at 262 pounds, twelve over the magic number.

“But, I still feel hungry”, said Sisyphus. Can a man with a donut understand a man who has none?

“It’s up to you; we can ask the dietician, but you know he never gives out extra donuts to anyone over 250, and you could wind up on a diet.”

Sisyphus knew the baker was right. He couldn’t risk being put on another forced diet. But inspiration struck: “Look Muhammad, an Amnesty International inspector!”

Muhammad spun around; Sisyphus deftly palmed three chocolate donuts with sprinkles. “Sorry my bad, it’s just another Congressional inspection team. I guess I’ll go without today.”

Sisyphus wolfed down two, but knew it would be too much for his delicate stomach to eat the third. He would save it for tonight when he would be nearly overcome with hunger. The donut could not be left in the open. If it was not stolen by zeks, it would be stolen by warders. Sisyphus reached into his sewing kit and removed a threaded needle. He found the donut-sized hole he had hollowed out of his mattress and slipped in the donut. Stitch, stitch, stitch, he carefully sewed the donut into the mattress. Even a surprise inspection would be unlikely to turn up the precious pastry.

TO BE CONTINUED (click here for part II)

Local Gossip

Let's see CJ top this:

The New York Post's Page Six reports that 63-year-old "Prairie Home Companion" star Garrisson Keiller got some action of the 18-year-old Lindsay Lohan kind after a recent rehearsal of his new movie adaptation of his NPR radio program.

At an after-after-party at St. Paul’s Grand Hotel early Wednesday, Garrisson and Lindsay enjoyed a serious canoodling session. "At one point, Garrisson had Lindsay's pants down far enough to reveal a tattoo that said 'La Bella Vista' (The Beautiful View) on her right cheek," says a source. Keiller, friends and Lindsay eventually took the party up to his suite. 63? 18? Keiller must really want a Prairie Home Companion.

Now that Lindsay has hooked up with Garrisson - or not - she has no reason to be peeved that ex-boyfriend Wilmer Valderrama is chummy with Ashlee Simpson. Ashlee, 20, follows in the teen-pop footsteps of Lindsay and Wilmer's original cradle squeeze, Mandy Moore. So not only are 25-year-old Wilmer's girls getting older, they're getting less talented.

Always searching for relationship drama, the Star reports Wilmer and Ashlee are trying to keep it quiet because Ashlee fell for Wilmer when she tried to reunite him with Lindsay.
You know, before home room, after algebra, outside the cafeteria.

"Ashlee knew how much Lindsay still cared for Wilmer, so she volunteered to try to get them back together," says a source close enough to Ashlee to know, but not so close that she won't give her a shiv in the back. "But the plan backfired. And now Ashlee has the hots for Wilmer and Lindsay is freaking out that the woman she trusted is seeing him herself!"

It's that kind of freaking out that leads teenage girls to grope with 63-year-old men in St. Paul hotels.

Developing . . .

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Audio Separated At Birth?

Someone pointed out a good one to me the other day...

U2's Bullet and the Blue Sky is the same exact song as...

Ted Nugent's Stranglehold.

I am going to do karoake with BBS and sing Stranglehold and I know it will work.

Keep On Whoring in the Real World

Last Tuesday was the premier of the latest season of "The Real World: Austin, Texas" on MTV. Last night I got caught up on all the media-whoring action. There are some key surprises this year. There are several interesting things about this season and the cast.

Every few years, they cast one Republican among the seven housemates. This is one of those years, featuring an Iraq War vet named Rachel. She may be a log cabin type Republican, though, as she made out with a hot blond roommate named Melinda in the first episode. She is still far more conservative than anyone I've ever seen on the show. In episode 2, she boos when her boss tells her he worked with Michael Moore.

Aside from the kiss between the two girls in an attempt to titillate the guys in the house, there appear to be no homosexual roommates, a Real World rarity, although there is the often cast virgin freak named Lacey. Melinda and other roommate Johanna both appear to be hosebags. Melinda claimed she was going to stay faithful to a boyfriend back home. That is until they broke up in episode 2. Johanna got drunk and danced on top of a bar in episode 1.

There are three guys: one black named Nehemiah and two white, Wes and Danny. Nehemiah appears to be fairly normal, though not too smart. Wes started the show dumb and ugly. Danny was thought to be cute for the first half of the first episode. Then some Texan literally rearranged his face, with a punch that broke a bone in his skull and threatens to blind him in one eye. You should watch the first episode just for this. Now Danny has to wear a mask like the Phantom of the Opera.

If you don't have time to watch "The Real World," but would like to keep up, check out Planet Socks. Planet Socks features great episode analysis like these tidbits:

Nehemiah and Rachel meet somewhere on the University of Texas campus. Where's Charles Whitman when you need him?


Nehemiah is from California and just graduated from college with a degree in media arts. "I knew I wanted to do film . . . so I had to get out of California." Yeah, I had to check the closed captioning two or three times on that one myself. You can't make up shit that ridiculously stupid.

Of course, we at NIGP will keep you posted too.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The Untold Story of Rick Monday and the Flag

Yesterday, Mitch over at Shotinthedark posted (later appearing on both Powerline and Cap'n Ed's site) about Rick Monday and how he ripped an American flag from a couple of young commie pinkos who tried to start it on fire during a game in 1976 (yes, Nihilist it was 1976).

Great story. But most people don't know that the two young men in question were actually none other than John and Scott themselves! They obviously feel tremendous guilt about their actions now and are trying to make amends, but I think admitting publicly that they were the pinko commies in question would go a long way.

Unless they were conservatives at the time...

Top 11 Flavors of Ice Cream that I Don't Want to Try

My Yahoo homepage had a story on the top searches for "ice cream." With summer here, "ice cream" searches are up 25% over the weekend. While a cool ice cream on a hot day can be good, there are several flavors in the Yahoo story that I don't want to try. Here is my top 11 list of such flavors:

11. Avocado - Served with corn chips?
10. Balsamic Vinegar & Strawberries - vinegar?
9. Licorice - I never cared for the black stuff
8. Goat Milk - Sounds French
7. Green Tea - I'll admit coffee flavor is good, but this sounds horrible
6. Budweiser - I'd rather have Summit
5. Jalapeno - For the love of God, ice cream is supposed to be sweet
4. Pop Rocks - I heard a kid died from eating this
3. Cryogenic - Ted Williams favorite?
2. Crunchy Frog - Hat tip to Monty Python
1. Jim Jones Kool Aid - Goes without saying

Monday, June 27, 2005

A Coup in the Making?

I had an enjoyable weekend, getting 72 holes of golf in at Rutger's Sugar Lake Lodge. Of course when I came home, the first thing I did was check in at the blog. I was thrilled to see that Sisyphus had kept things moving along quite nicely.

Then, while looking at the site meter, I came across a very disturbing Google link. Check out the third link down here:

Knife in the back!

Notice that according to Google, the name of this site has become Sisyphus in Golf Pants. I have since restored the site to its proper title. Unfortunately, I can't take any disciplinary action against Sisyphus and he knows it. As he put it in this post from February (at the time of the Randy Moss trade):

. . . greatness is often accompanied by a difficult temperament. If attitude were all important, the Nihilist in Golf Pants would have evicted me from this blog long ago. Unlike the Vikings, NIGP is willing to put up with obnoxious, destructive, and egotistical behavior for game-changing greatness.

SISYPHUS ADDS: Much like the Prague Spring uprising of 1968, the Sisyphus in Golf Pants coup was a complete failure. Our readership dipped below even Learned Foot-less Kool-Aid Report levels.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Finally I May Get My New Boathouse

The conservative wing of the blogosphere has been up in arms about the Supreme Court’s Kelo decision. Many have made the case against Kelo, but no one has yet made the strongest argument in favor: I may finally get my new boathouse.

The lakefront land on my estate is just not quite right for a boathouse (not to mention the fact that it would partially obstruct my view of the lake). However, there is a parcel of land on my neighbor’s property that would be perfect, but the jerk has refused to sell. Now the matter will be in the hands of the city council, and I have reason to believe that the decision will go my way (that is, if they’d like to be re-elected). Without a boathouse, lakefront property is practically worthless – with a boathouse, they’ll finally be able to make some decent property tax income. If the city council doesn’t come through, don’t think I won’t sell this dump to some middle class family with kids.

Now that I think about it, not only should the city condemn the property, but they should build the boathouse for me. If they don’t, I’m sure there are plenty of cities that would.

UPDATE: No, Cathy in the Wright is not the neighbor in question. She would never be so inconsiderate.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Halliburton Update

I’m pleased to report that my Halliburton investment is coming along quite nicely. On President Bush’s inauguration day last January, I purchased 100,000 shares at $41.62. It closed Friday at $48.12, for a paper profit of $650,000. Halliburton’s 15.6% increase is ten times better than the S&P 500’s performance over the same period.

I would be remiss if I didn’t thank the moonbats. Without their whining, the Pentagon may not have thought it necessary to air condition the new Guantanamo detention facility that Halliburton is building. All of these extra frills do help the bottom line. Let’s hope Halliburton is visionary enough to be developing a new unflushable Koran.

Friday, June 24, 2005

The Best in Bathroom Humor

If I would have broken with convention in my book post and chose six, instead of five books, I would have included William Manchester’s two volume biography of Winston Churchill, The Last Lion and Alone (obviously, since they are two volumes of the same series, they count as one book). Their only flaw is that they only take us up to the start of World War II (Manchester died before he could write the third volume) but Churchill’s pre-war years provided ample material for two volumes.

Manchester wonderfully captures Churchill’s genius, quirkiness, and of course his brilliant wit. One of my favorite anecdotes comes from the first volume. Manchester relates an incident shortly after the socialist Clement Atlee had defeated him for the Prime Ministership in the wake of World War II:

The scene: The men’s room of the House of Commons
Atlee, arriving first, had stepped up to the urinal trough when Churchill strode in on the same mission, glanced at him, and stood at the trough as far away from him as possible. Atlee said “Feeling standoffish today, are we, Winston?” Churchill said: “That’s right. Every time you see something big, you want to nationalize it.”

Thursday, June 23, 2005

No One Ever Accused Paul Harvey of Being Politically Correct

Paul Harvey shocked me with the following rant at noon today (emphasis mine). In about three minutes he advocates some pretty provocative positions. You can here it for yourself by choosing Thursday noon here go to minute 12 (note - you must have Windows Media Player):

I've been choking on something for weeks. Lets get it, up and get it out, for what it's worth. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Winston Churchill said that the American people, he said the American people he said, and this is a direct quote, "We didn't come this this far because we are made of sugar candy." That was his response to the attack on Pearl Harbor. That we didn't come this far because we are made of sugar candy. And that reminder was taken seriously and we proceeded to develop and deliver the bomb even though roughly 150,000 men, women and children perished in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

With a single blow, World War II was over. NewYork'ss September 11 Pearl Harbor, Winston Churchill was not here to remind us that we didn't come this far because we are made of sugar candy. So following the New York disaster we mustered our humanity, we gave old pals a pass even though men and money from Saudi Arabia were largely responsible for the devastation of New York and Pennsylvania and our Pentagon. We called Saudi Arabia our partners against terrorism and we sent men with rifles into Afghanistan and Iraq and we kept our best weapons in their silos. Even now, we're standing there dying, daring to do nothing decisive because we've declared ourselves to be better than our terrorist enemies, more moral, more civilized. Our image is at stake, we insist.

But we didn't come this far because we are made of sugar candy. Once upon a time we uh, elbowed our way onto and into this continent by giving smallpox infected blankets to Native Americans. Yes, that was biological warfare. And we used every other weapon we could get our hands on to grab this land from whomever and we grew prosperous. And yes, we greased the skids with the sweat of slaves.

And so it goes with most great nation-states, which feeling guilty about their savage pasts, eventually civilize themselves out of business and wind up invaded and ultimately dominated by the lean, hungry, up and coming who are not made of sugar candy.

Paul Harvey - Good Day!

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Watch Your Back, David

After she took on Tim Pawlenty and then took down former GOP Chairman Ron Eibensteiner, we asked our readers: “Who will Margaret from Our House take down next”.

The results are in, and it’s a landslide. A filibuster proof majority of 62% say that Minnesota Taxpayer’s League President David Strom will be the next Republican big wig to feel her blogging wrath. Sleep with one eye open, David.

Inexplicably, I came in second with 16%. What did I do, anyway? Third is Norm Coleman at 14%, followed by George W. Bush at 5%, and Pope Benedict XVI at 3%.

Not a single voter felt that Margaret had Karl Rove in her sights. Hopefully they’re correct; I’ve grown accustomed to receiving my marching orders from Mr. Rove.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Dick Durbin Reads Tonight's TV Listings

Hmm, NBC - 7 pm: A Katie Couric Special featuring runaway bride Jennifer Wilbanks. Worse than all the Soviet atrocities of the Stalin era.

FOX 7 pm: Trading Spouses: Meet Your New Mommy. Pol Pot himself never did anything this horrific.

NBC - 8 pm: Premiere: I Want To Be A Hilton. My God, this is worse than the holocaust.

Book Notes

I don’t usually participate in these blog thingies, but this one was passed on to me by Margaret from Our House and she is the one person in the blogosphere that I fear (sorry St. Kate).

Total number of books owned, ever: Too many to count, and I’m buying them faster than I can read them.

Last book(s) I bought: My latest buying spree added to my library some favorites that I had already read, but did not own: Free to Choose and Capitalism and Freedom by Milton Friedman, The Road to Serfdom by F.A. Hayek, and One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

I am now re-reading the Solzhenitsyn to get a better feel for what those poor terrorists are going through at Guantanamo.

Last book I read: So Far from God: The U. S. War with Mexico, 1846-1848 by John S. D. Eisenhower. It is not the best written book in the world but it is a thorough and interesting account of America’s only purely imperialistic war. The war, which resulted in the addition of New Mexico, Arizona, and California to the U.S., began over Mexico’s refusal to recognize the annexation of Texas. It was a spectacular military success for the United States, with the Americans winning every important battle despite being badly outnumbered in many of them. The war was strongly opposed by many in the north (especially Abraham Lincoln) who saw it as an attempt to add more slave territory to the United States.

The war provided excellent training for many of the Union and Confederate Civil War leaders. Captain Robert E. Lee and Lieutenant Ulysses S. Grant both distinguished themselves. Two of the wars generals went on to be elected President: Zachary Taylor and Franklin Pierce.

Five books that mean a lot to me:
The Feynman Lectures on Physics by Richard Feynman
Richard Feynman was perhaps the greatest physicist of the post World War II era. In this set of lectures he shows that not only could he do physics, but he could teach it as well. Although the lectures begin by covering introductory physics, they are not really for the beginning student (even Cal Tech found them too difficult for first year students). However, they are indispensable for advanced undergraduates and graduate students. I found the book invaluable when I wanted to look at a subject from a unique perspective, or read about topics insufficiently covered in other books such as the physics of thunderstorms or the principle of least action.

Surely You’re Joking Mr. Feynman by Richard Feynman
Unlike his lectures, Surely You’re Joking Mr. Feynman doesn’t require any knowledge or even interest in physics to entertain. The book is a collection of amusing anecdotes that provide an interesting insight into the mind of a genius. Especially entertaining is his account of Los Alamos during the Manhattan Project.

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
I once read a claim in a history book that Benjamin Franklin’s scientific contributions were often exaggerated because of his contributions as a founding father. Shortly thereafter, I read in a science book that Franklin’s political contributions were often overstated because of his impressive scientific contributions. I think this illustrates why Franklin is not always given his due – his accomplishments were so great across so many fields that people had trouble believing them.

Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography leaves no doubt that a clear prose style and a sharp wit were among his talents. Like the Feynman book, Franklin’s autobiography gives us insight into the mind of a genius.

Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis
This book is derived from a series of BBC lectures given by Lewis during World War II on the aspects of Christianity that are common across most denominations. Lewis’ intellectual approach to the subject definitely resonated with me, and led me to add his other books on theology to my reading list.

David Letterman’s Book of Top 10 Lists
An excellent concept, although the lists seem a little short.

5 More People to Pass This on to:
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Dick Durbin
Jacques Chirac
Paris Hilton
Jimmy Carter

Monday, June 20, 2005

Senator Robert Byrd’s Top 11 Excuses for Having Founded the Crab Orchard, WV Chapter of the Ku Klux Klan

11. He thought he was forming an organization for chicken farmers.
10. He originally wanted to found a branch of the Republican Party, but knew that the press would never let him live that down.
9. His goal was to create a kinder, gentler Klan.
8. He was so poor this was the only way he could get his hands on bed sheets.
7. He needed to create a sordid past that he could then rise above.
6. Let he who has not founded a violent, racist community organization throw the first stone.
5. At least he didn’t start a Nazi-Soviet-Pol Pot-style Gulag like a certain President he could mention.
4. Someone had to stop the Jews from taking over Crab Orchard, West Virginia.
3. He knew those lessons in hate would come in handy some day – and when George W, Bush was elected President, they did!.
2. He wasn’t actually anti-black, anti-Semitic, or anti-Catholic. He just wanted to have the cool title of “Exalted Cyclops”.
1. All of those crosses weren’t going to burn themselves.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

The Elder Keeps It Rhetorical

In this post, Chad the Elder from Fraters Libertas reviews a story first told by Steven Vincent of one of Saddam Hussein’s torture victims. He also mentioned the story on the Northern Alliance Radio Network. The point Chad and Vincent make is that Saddam used torture against his enemies and true torture bears no resemblance to the United States military protocols for treatment of prisoners.

The story centers around Ali, who was arrested for trying to find out the whereabouts of his brother Samir, earlier victim of Saddam’s regime. At one point Ali is given a choice:

. . . either he allowed torturers to shove a large bottle up his rectum, or hammer a nail into his back.

Immediately after reading this, the first thought that came into my mind was the old American Express commercial featuring Karl Malden, where he asks, “What would you do?”

The Fraters are one of the edgier blogs in the ‘sphere, so I looked to the sidebar, expecting to see a poll on the subject. Thankfully none was there.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Top 11 Amendments I’d Add to the Patriot Act

11. All torture is strictly forbidden unless authorized by Jack Bauer of CTU.
10. Christina Aguilera concerts must be monitored by the UN Commission on Human Rights or Amnesty International.
9. Dick Durbin is forbidden from using metaphors (or similes).
8. Halliburton is given the power to levy taxes directly.
7. Hate speech protection is extended to the U.S. Armed Forces.
6. Howard Dean is required to take his medication.
5. Attractive, busty, female interrogators must rub their breasts on Sisyphus daily until he gives up the location of Osama Bin Laden.
4. The spelling of “Koran” is standardized to K-o-r-a-n.
3. Microsoft required to make it impossible for left leaning websites to use the words: “Nazi”, “Hitler”, “Chimp”, and “Gulag”.
2. Sean Penn is not allowed to travel to any country where “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” has not been released.
1. All Hooters restaurants will be converted into terrorist interrogation centers.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Colorado Responds

Two Coloradans have responded to my top 11 reasons Minnesota is better than Colorado list. One responder was anonymous (but I suspect he was none other than Governor Bill Owens) the other was Mark Slater. I do admit that they are not completely without merit (the response that I attribute to Governor Owens refers to “someone as intelligent as the Sisyphus”). Here I combine the two responses and effortlessly rebut them:

11. Minnesotans apparently need more air. Once they come to Colorado their brains shut down. We here in Colorado have trained ourselves to be able to think clearly no matter what the altitude.

* We have all the O(2) we need. This is just one more excuse for upper mid-westerners to whine (and I have not encountered a whinier breed of people).

SISYPHUS: Well sue us, we like oxygen and we complain when we don’t get it.

10. Denver was originally named St. Charles, but joined another settlement to become Denver. Nevertheless, this change was approved by God, because, you know, He actually lives here.

* Denver was named after James W. Denver, governor of Kansas (also a nice place -- why the Ingalls chose to leave there for Minn. is difficult to imagine).

SISYPHUS: You should have kept the name St. Charles. The fact that your capitol city is named after the Governor of another state does not exactly strengthen your case. Why not change the name to “Ventura”?

9. Famous Minnesotans, see also: Joseph McCarthy, Walter Mondale, Jesse Ventura, The Artist formerly known as Prince and Louie Anderson. Care to apologize for anything there Minnesota?

* We have Buffalo Bill, you have Prince. We have The Unsinkable Molly Brown, you have Paul Tsongas.

SISYPHUS: I won’t mock you for initially attributing Paul Tsongas to us; he did seem like someone who could have come out of the Minnesota DFL party.

Yes, we have our share of embarrassments (thanks for not bringing up Paul Wellstone, Al Franken, Garrison Keillor, and Gus Hall). But look at the only Coloradans you can come up with to brag about: Buffalo Bill and the Unsinkable Molly Brown. Pathetic.

8. Colorado's State Animal, The Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep. Minnesota's State Animal, The Mosquito( Oops sorry, scratch that, they don't have one yet. They are still working on the definition of "animal" apparently.)

SISYPHUS: When your state soil is Lester, who needs a state animal?

7. Minnesota has a lower Gas tax to encourage people to drive. Colorado doesn't need one because we have things people actually want to drive to and see.

SISYPHUS: This is the first time Minnesota politicians have ever been accused of trying to encourage people to drive. If only it were so!

6. DU Pioneers, back-to-back National Champions, and looking for the three-peat.

SISYPHUS: I can’t deny that the DU Pioneers have had a nice run, but there will be no three-peat. The Kesssel era begins this fall!

5. Colorado's Highest Point: 14,433 feet. Minnesota's Highest point: 2,301 feet. Classic case of little man syndrome.

SISYPHUS: Hmmm. An entire state of people obsessed with living in and around tall objects. If I were a Freudian I would suggest that the entire state is trying to compensate for something.

4. I admit it may be hard to know where the lakes are in Colorado. You see, we don't surround them with houses, just mountains.

* Ever heard of Grand Lake? Its not the quantity of lakes, it's the quality.

SISYPHUS: No, I’ve never heard of Grand Lake.

3. What Shape is Minnesota again? it looks like a paint splatter.

SISYPHUS: You could never in a million years get paint to make such a cool splatter.

2. After Hugh's exploits on the snowmobile, we thought it best to leave it this way.

SISYPHUS: I said commissioner of hockey, not snowmobiling.

AND ANOTHER THING: Google knows which state is more important. If you Google our Governor, Tim Pawlenty, he is the first choice that comes up. If you Google your Governor, Bill Owens, he comes up only second, after some photographer. Hey Governor, is that the photographer you used for the nude picture of yourself on the Colorado quarter?

Put the Coloradans in their place, vote for the Minnesota quarter (at the time of this posting, only 23 votes separated the two).

There are no “Swiss” Alps

Last night at Keegan’s trivia, the Fraters team (reinforced with the Nihilist and myself) “tied” the team “Fishsticks of Freedom”. The Fishtstick’s team achieved that tie only because they were awarded a point for incorrectly answering that the world’s longest overland tunnel went under Swiss Alps. There is no such mountain range as the Swiss Alps. There is however a mountain range known as the Alps, under part of which passes the Lötschberg tunnel.

According to the authoritative Peakware Index of Mountain Ranges, there is a range called the “Alps” located in Europe. The Alps are often sub-divided into the Eastern Alps, Central Alps, and Western Alps. These are further sub-divided into major chains and massifs such as the “Austrian Alps”, “Graian Alps”, and the “Bernina Alps”, but no Swiss Alps. Yes, there are Alps in Switzerland, but no, there is no mountain range known as the Swiss Alps.

Corrected scores: Fraters: 22, Fishsticks of Freedom: 20

Mr. Berg, tear down that Guinness Pint!

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Why Do They Hate Us?

Thursday night is the night we head out to Keegan's Pub as we often do. Again this week, team Fraters and I will defend our trivia title against all comers. I have noticed a disturbing trend that has developed. Marty "Fig" Newton, the quizmaster on Thursday nights generally pokes genial fun at our team as he introduces us at the beginning and brings out our trophy at the end of the competition. However, recently the introductions have been met with a chorus of boos more fit for the Iron Sheik or Rowdy Roddy Piper than your friendly Fraters trivia team.

To borrow a page from our left wing friends, instead of writing off these boo birds as inhuman savages as I am wont to do, I should try instead to understand why they hate us. Could it be because of our rugged yet youthful appearance or our graciousness in victory? I would expect that those attributes would endear us to people rather than drive them away. Therefore I am left to assume that like those around the globe who boo America, these detractors see us as arrogant and bullying. After all, we finish in the money virtually every week. Maybe we would win their praises if we lost the game. Maybe our going in the tank would enhance the self-esteem of the also rans.

See, I can think like a liberal: snide, arrogant, condescending and derisive of those I claim to serve. I much prefer thinking like a conservative. Show up at Keegan's and bring the best you got. Let's have some good old American competition! Mind you, we play to win.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

It’s Not Like I’m Always Asking You For Stuff

Unlike most other blogs, we here at Nihilist in Golf Pants have never asked you, the reader, for a single thing. We’ve had no pledge drive, no paypal button, no amazon wish list, not even blog ads. There are three reasons for our restraint:
1. We don’t want to annoy our readers (in that manner).
2. If we need something, we can afford to buy it ourselves.
3. We don’t think any of you have enough money to give us anything good. What are we supposed to do with four bucks in paypal donations? Go to the Dollar Store? I think not.

On the other hand, we have been one of the most persuasive voices on the internet when it comes to defending the wealthy and powerful. It would only be natural that some of you would want to reward us. Fortunately, the Impressionist and Modern Art Sales are coming up next week at Sotheby’s and Christie’s.

As you know, I am quite an art connoisseur. Anything from the evening sales would be acceptable, but here are some of my favorites from the catalogs:
From Sotheby’s Impressionist & modern Art Evening Sale
20 June 2005, 7:00 PM
New Bond Street, London

Femme Au Grand Chapeau by Kees Van Dongen
La Magie Noire by Rene Magritte

From Christie’s Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale21 June 2005, 7:00 pm8 King Street, St. James's, London

Préparation à la danse, le pied droit en avant by Edgar Degas
La dormeuse, Mika nue sur un divan by Kees Van Dongen
La vénus endormie by Paul Delvaux

Also, don’t forget to pay the gift tax for me. It would be tacky to leave me with a large tax bill like Oprah did to those poor folks she gave cars to.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Top 11 Kevin Bacon or Francis Bacon Quotes

11. KEVIN: “There are two types of actors: those who say they don't want to be famous and those who are liars.”
10. FRANCIS: “Fame is like a river, that beareth up things light and swollen, and drowns things weighty and solid.”
9. KEVIN: “There's something therapeutic about nudity. Clothing is one of the external things about a character. Take away the Gucci or Levi's and we're all the same. But not when the nanny is around. But I will with my wife and kids.”
8. FRANCIS: “Nakedness is uncomely, as well in mind as body, and it addeth no small reverence to men's manners and actions if they be not altogether open. Therefore set it down: That a habit of secrecy is both politic and moral.”
7. KEVIN: “I think of being an actor as kind of a young man's gig. It's emasculating, in a way, people messing with you and putting make-up on you and telling you when to wake up and when to go to sleep, holding your hand to cross the street. I can do it up to a certain point and then I start to feel like a puppet.”
6. FRANCIS: “By indignities men come to dignities.”
5. KEVIN: “I've heard people say you have to love the characters you play. I don't feel that way. I've played a lot of people that I don't love at all. What's important to me is to try to make them real.”
4. FRANCIS: “The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery”
3. KEVIN: “You can sit around and complain that Hollywood doesn't make any good movies. But you can generate your own material. So I read books. I come up with ideas. I was the producer on 'The Woodsman' to help get that off the ground. Sometimes that extends itself to directing.”
2. FRANCIS: “A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.”
1. KEVIN: “Any idiot can get laid when they're famous. That's easy. It's getting laid when you're not famous that takes some talent.”

Monday, June 13, 2005

Top 11 Reasons Minnesota is better than Colorado

11. The air in Minnesota contains much more oxygen.
10. Minnesota’s capitol city is named after a Saint.
9. Famous Minnesotan: F. Scott Fitzgerald. Famous Coloradan: Ward Churchill.
8. Minnesota’s state soil: Lester. Colorado’s state soil: Seitz.
7. Minnesota has a lower gas tax.
6. Phil Kessel will play for the Gopher hockey team next season.
5. Colorado’s highest point is the dorkilly named Mt. Elbert. Minnesota’s highest point is the awesomely named Eagle Mountain.
4. Does Colorado even have a single decent lake?
3. Rectangular states are boring.
2. Colorado doesn’t even have a commissioner of hockey.
1. Colorado’s state quarter blows

Top 11 Coolest Characters in the Star Wars Series

At the risk of being geeky here it is, complete with comments:

11. Count Dooku - He would have placed higher, but his name reminds me of Duk Koo Kim.
10. Darth Maul - An intimidating look puts this Sith lord on the list.
9. Boba Fett - Intergalactic bounty hunter is a pretty cool job. However, showing him as a little kid reduces his cool factor.
8. Obi Wan Kenobi - Alec Guinness is way cooler than Ewan Mc Gregor.
7. Lando Calrissian - Billy Dee Williams is a brother who knows cool. Plus, he got to drive the Millenium Falcoln!
6. Chewbacca - What a Wookie! More proof that he who drives the coolest ship is among the coolest.
5. Jabba the Hut - Kind of the Frank Sinatra of the series, at least after Frank got fat and old. He had great uniforms for his slave girls.
4. The Emporer - Let's face it, running an intergalactic empire makes one cool.
3. Mace Windu - I didn't want to include him this high. However Paragraph 26-b.3 of the Handbook of Cool reads:

When making a list of people that uses the adjective "cool" to describe them, the following people must be listed no lower than third position if they qualify in any way (unless more than three from this list qualify): Humphrey Bogart,. . . Samuel L. Jackson, . . . Elvis Presley, . . .

2. Darth Vader - If only the last three movies hadn't happened, he would have easily been #1.
1. Han Solo - The character that made the first three movies great (episodes 4-6 to the truly nerdy) was Han Solo. Whenever Obi Wan would go orgasmic when talking about the powers of the force, Han would roll his eyes. He knew that he who owns the best ride is therefore the coolest.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Star Wars Episode 3: The Sisyphus Rewrite

Much has been made of George Lucas’ inability to write romantic dialog. As much as I like to defend the rich and powerful, even I can’t bring myself to defend Mr. Lucas against this charge. But I will take a more constructive approach than most of his critics. Regular readers know that romance is my middle name (or it would be if I had more than one name) so I offer my rewrite services for the special edition DVD. Not only will I improve the dialog, but I will also more effectively work in Mr. Lucas’ left wing political views (and do so with such subtlety that few will notice except on the sub-conscious level).

Remember this embarrassing scene?
You are so... beautiful.
PADME: It's only because I'm so in love.
ANAKIN: No, it's because I'm so in love with you.
PADME: Are you saying love has blinded you?
ANAKIN: [laughs] No, that's not what I meant.

Here is my re-write:
ANAKIN: Padme, you are so smoking hot.
PADME: Oh Ani, you know I would never smoke. I banned smoking on Naboo, so it would be hypocritical of me to smoke here.
ANAKIN: I’m sorry Padme, I know you would never smoke. I blame the dark side advertising of the evil sith tobacco lords. I’ve been exposed to their evil since I was a youngster on Tatooine.
PADME: I forgive you Ani, it’s not your fault that you are an insensitive straight white male.
ANAKIN: Hello, I love you so much that I’d join forces with the evil Republican emperor to save you. You are one non-smoking hot babe!
PADME: Oh Ani, you had me at hello!
ANAKIN: Oh Padme, you’ve had me since that scene in episode two where you were wearing the white jumpsuit strategically torn to expose your bare midriff.

Here I re-write the infamous scene near the end where Padme and Obi-Wan confront Anakin / Vader:

PADME: Oh Ani, have you been Rove-ing around the empire killing Jedis? I have been hearing terrible things. Have you really been hurting the Jedi children? Have you become a follower of the Republic emperor Palpatine?
ANAKIN / VADER: Where have you been hearing this garbage? Have you been watching that fabricated “documentary” Obi-Wan made from the security tapes at the Jedi Temple? They are all lies! Obi-Wan and the Jedis are trying to destroy me with lies!
PADME: Don’t do this Ani, you’re a good person; don’t follow Palpatine to the dark side.
ANAKIN / VADER: I’m doing this to protect you.
PADME: No Ani! That’s neo-sith talk!
ANAKIN / VADER: Obi-Wan has turned you against me!
OBI-WAN: The problems of three little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. Turn your back on the Republican emperor and despotism, Anakin. A Jedi’s loyalty should be with the Democrats!
ANAKIN / VADER: Never! Don’t make me kick your rear-end.
OBI_WAN: You would make a preemptive strike against me?
ANAKIN / VADER: You’re either with me or you’re with the other side.
OBI-WAN: That’s bush-league neo-sith talk!
ANAKIN / VADER: Bring it on, Obi-Wan.
OBI-WAN: If I must, I will reluctantly strike you down, but it would be wrong for me to execute you.
PADME: What will happen to me?
ANAKIN / VADER: Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.

[Anakin / Vader and Obi-Wan fight]

Saturday, June 11, 2005

I Did Allow People To Vote For Themselves

I made a brief survey this week of members of the Northern Alliance. I asked them if they could add one name to the Discovery Channel's list of the 25 greatest Americans, who would they add? Here are my top 11 results. Like Discovery, I allowed naturalized Americans. See if you can guess which Northern Alliance blogger made each nomination:

11. Glenn Reynolds - blogger: Instapundit
10. Bruce Springsteen - overrated musician
9. Nikola Tesla - inventor
8. Wernher von Braun - rocket pioneer
7. Milton Friedman - economist
6. George Patton - military
5. John Birch - missionary
4. G. Gordon Liddy - Watergate hero
3. R. J. Reynolds - cigarette maven
2. Mark Stutrud - founder of Summit Brewing
1. John Hinderocker - blogger: Powerline

Friday, June 10, 2005

Top 11 Reasons Jimmy Carter Wants to Close Gulag Guantanamo

11. Al Qaeda is using it to recruit all kinds of new members – if we release all of the detainees, they won’t have to recruit so many.
10. The camp offers detainees insufficient protection against the especially fierce Cuban Killer Swamp Rabbit.
9. Fidel could put the space to better use holding dissidents and homosexuals.
8. Calling for your country to shut down a Gulag has to be worth another Nobel Peace Prize.
7. If it is not shut down, sooner or later his friend Michael Moore will end up there.
6. It would screw Halliburton.
5. Answer to the question: “What Would Jacques Do?”
4. Jimmy Buffet called on his cell phone and suggested that Gitmo’s location would be perfect for a Margaritaville Cafe.
3. Amy is worried about Koran desecration proliferation.
2. With all of those pretty Cuban senoritas around, the detainees are in constant danger of developing lust in their hearts.
1. Because he’s Jimmy Carter and that’s what he does.

Belmont Prediction

One of the misleading things about horse racing is that there are different payoffs for predictions. If you pick a favorite and win, you might double your money. If you pick a 10-1 long shot, you can win 10% as often and still come out on equal footing as someone who picks even odds favorites. This helps explain my philosophy of generally not picking the favorite horse in any given race.

As promised, I am not picking heavily favored Afleet Alex to win the Belmont Stakes tomorrow. Nor am I picking Kentucky Derby winner Giacomo, who should go off around 4-1. I have spotted a horse I like, and the Daily Racing Form suggests that his odds are 12-1. This horse is Louisiana Derby winner Southern Africa. The main reason I like him is he is well rested, running only one race since April 2. In contrast, the favorites mentioned above have run three times since then. The extra rest is meaningful at the 1 1/2 mile Belmont, a grueling race 20% that is longer than the Kentucky Derby.

For those who care, expert handicapper Earl still likes Afleet Alex. So hit the track Saturday and bet big!

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Oil Storm

Earlier this week I saw an interesting movie on the FX network called "Oil Storm." It was a fake documentary about an oil crisis in late 2005-2006. Essentially, several factors led to a worldwide spike in oil prices, leaving gasoline at up to $8.00 per gallon and Oil at $200 per barrell.

The story goes like this:
  • Fall 2005: a category 1 hurricane hits the oil refineries of Louisiana, crippling America's refinery capacity. Gas hits $4.00 per gallon.
  • The Bush administration reacts by pressuring our Saudi "allies" to step up production. I'm not sure how increased Saudi production of oil impacts a refinery capacity problem, but I was skipping back and forth to Chappelle's Show reruns on Comedy Central. I assume the Saudis were refining the oil then sending the gasoline over to the US. I don't know if it is ever done that way, but I'd assume it is possible.
  • Terrorists destroy the Saudi pipeline to the refinery, sending gas prices skyrocketing. Gas hits $6.00 a gallon. Americans begin to lose jobs and the economy begins to crash.
  • Bush reaches out to other oil producing nations, cutting a deal with the Russians.
  • Just as four Russian supertankers are about to pull into US ports, they back off. It seems the Chinese outbid the US at the last minute. The economy goes into depression. Gas hits $8.00 per gallon. Everyone blames Bush, since he is solely responsible for the nation's dependence on oil.
  • Eventually the US repairs the refinery and prices level off. But much damage has been done, all because you drive an SUV.

While this story has many fundamental weaknesses, parts are compelling. A hurricane could damage refinement capacity. Terrorism could restrict a portion of the mideast oil supply. A Goldman Sachs analyst recently suggested oil could hit $100 a barrell. If there were an oil crisis, Americans would undoubtedly blame Bush.

I have two favorite scenes in the movie. Both deal with the Russian tankers diverting toward China. First, the narrator mentions that the markets panic as this happens. Now I know that four supertankers hold a lot of oil or gas or whatever. But for Pete's sake, four supertankers probably carry enough oil to satisfy 0.01% of US demand on any given day. Attention King Banaian: have I overestimated? My second favorite scene is an interview with a Joe Sixpack character at this point. He tells the camera how at that point he called his 9-year old over to tell him how he can tell his grandkids that he remembers the day the USA became a piss-ass country. He says as if he is proud that it happened. Other fun scenes include a group of farmers protesting the lack of increase to their federal subsidies to keep up with gas prices (they call them cuts!)

Despite the patently ridiculous arguments, it is worth considering what would happen if a perfect storm doubled oil prices. However, this movie made "The Day After Tomorrow" look fair and balanced. I thought FOX was supposed to be the right-wing lunatic network.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Top 11 Revelations in John Kerry’s Military Records

11. He dressed as a woman during the Korean War, but Col. Potter wouldn’t give him a section 8.
10. He was once reprimanded for touching a Koran wearing one-ply rubber gloves instead of the regulation three-ply.
9. At Yale, he got a 77 in French, but a 97 in looking French.
8. He dropped the class Intro to Gold Mining Engineering & Gold Mining Methods when he realized it had nothing to do with finding a rich wife.
7. He attributed his five D’s freshman year to all of the conservative professors at Yale.
6. While he never was in Cambodia, he did often eat at a Boston Cambodian restaurant.
5. Screamed “YOU WANT THE TRUTH? YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!” during his court martial for running guns to the Khmer Rouge.
4. He was honorably discharged (depending on your definition of “honorably”).
3. The navy forced him to shave off his Hitler moustache, but let him keep his Hitler haircut.
2. Tried to get out of his enlistment by claiming he thought he was applying for a job at Old Navy.
1. Once slapped an enlisted man for using his salad fork on his entrée.

Blogging and Ethics

Lefty bloggers are irate over Mitch Berg's decision to change comments on his blog Shot in the Dark without permission or note. I never really thought about the ethics of such actions. On one side, it is his blog. However, isn't there something fundamentally dishonest about representing something as said by someone else, when their point was quite the opposite?

Anyway, I gave it little thought. I admit to being an occasional commenter on SITD as well as many other blogs. However, since I avoid profanity and ad homonym attacks in my comments (I save that for this site), I never thought I would be censored.

I was wrong. After leaving a fairly mundane comment detailing the nostalgia music of my youth on a similar thread, I returned to see the following two word comment:

Springsteen rules!

Anyone familiar with this site understands that I feel that Springsteen is not only a political neophyte, but also a very overrated musician and a hypocritical jerk as well. This comment completely turns my opinion of Springsteen on its ear. Pretty low, Mitch. Pretty low.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Summertime, and the TV is Crappy

I love Seinfeld. One of the best lines in the history of the show comes from George Costanza, who has pitched to NBC the idea of a show about nothing. He is asked why anyone would watch the show and he responds, "because it's on TV."

In real life, NBC has taken this mantra to heart. Thursday marked the debut of "H1t Me Baby One More Time," which features has been musical acts trying desperately to cash in once again. It's kind of an American Idol for second rate '80's acts. Or as the show's web site would put it:

. . . a one-hour competition program featuring veteran music hit-makers who will each perform their greatest hit -- as well as cover a popular contemporary song -- with the favorite to be determined by audience voting. . .

Week one featured Tiffany, CeCe Peniston, A Flock of Seagulls, Arrested Development and Loverboy. I never thought I would cheer for Loverboy to win a battle of the bands, but I would note that they would be least likely to be called a one-hit wonder. Pity Mike Reno. He's a lot fatter, a little balder, and just got his ass handed to him by Arrested Development. Yes, the "newest" act won the vote and will move on to the next round.

The funniest parts of the show are the interviews, where everyone pretends that they are not trying to revive their failed careers. Do you need proof that these are has-beens? OK, here's next week's line-up: Tommy Tutone, The Knack, Vanilla Ice, (anyone want to bet that I can't name the "hits" that these first three perform?) The Motels, and Haddaway, whoever he is.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Top 11 Gulag Guantanamo Atrocities

11. Not even basic flight training is offered.
10. Only white wine is served – even on filet mignon night.
9. Detainees were denied absentee ballots for the Iraq, Afghanistan, and American elections.
8. Toilets are so large and powerful they disturb the detainees’ naps when flushed.
7. Bars on the windows distract from the ocean views.
6. While guards have high speed internet connections, detainees are allowed only dial-up.
5. Interrogators sometimes break regulations and raise their voices.
4. Too few decent trowels are available.
3. Not enough Jimmy Carter inspection visits.
2. Detainees are denied the right to have a Koran printed up in their own blood.
1. Not enough sand.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Drunk but Accurate

It’s not everyday that the Governor of a state goes on national radio and denounces a specific group of bloggers as drunks. It’s even rarer for said bloggers to respond by winning trivia at Keegan’s Pub just a few hours later. But, that’s exactly what happened to Fraters Libertas last night (with yours truly holding down the fourth spot on the trivia team). The victory under such adverse circumstances was so impressive that Keegan’s was kind enough to throw in a bonus round Power’s Whiskey. The Fraters team once again proves that they may be drunk, but when it comes to trivia, they’re accurate.

Nick Makes The Baby Jesus Cry

Borrowing a bit from Laura Ingraham, here's the Lie of the Day from today's Nick Coleman radio show. Coleman was talking about raising income taxes and unleashed this whopper:

"If Governor Pawlenty would roll back the giveaways to the wealthiest Minnesotans, he'd get my vote."

The Misanthropic Frat Boy: Listening to the Nick Coleman show so that you don't have to.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Top 11 Better Choices for Deep Throat

So Deep Throat has finally been revealed as W. Mark Felt. Boooorrrring. Almost anyone would have made a better Deep Throat than some boring FBI deputy director. Here are eleven far more interesting choices for Deep Throat.
11. Betty Ford
10. Linda Lovelace
9. A five year old Sisyphus
8. Pete Rose (because he had money on a Ford presidency)
7. Cathy in the Wright (not that she’d ever do anything sneaky)
6. The Ghost of Bill Casey
5. Elvis
4. Warren Burger (he loved swearing people in)
3. Paris Hilton (Hello accidental google hits!)
2. A self-destructive Richard Nixon
1. Hal Holbrook

A Very Special Nihilist in Golf Pants Post

No, no, not really. We have been a little too serious around here lately, to about the same affect as Power Line attempting to be humorous. But first, just a quick historical post from a book I’m reading on the Mexican War, (“So Far from God, The U.S. War with Mexico 1846-1848”, by John Eisenhower).

Shortly before the onset of the Mexican War, in the spring of 1846, the American and Mexican armies were faced off on opposite sides of the Rio Grande:

“At first the atmosphere was not openly hostile. That afternoon, in fact, the Americans were startled by the sight of young women strolling down to the riverside, disrobing without hesitation, and plunging into the stream, ignoring the numerous spectators on either bank. Some young American officers reacted quickly, plunging in from the American side to join them. The Mexican guards forbade them to cross the center of the river, however, ‘so they returned after kissing their hands to the tawny damsels, which was laughingly returned.’”