Monday, February 28, 2005

Headline News 2005-02-28

From ABC News:
Miss. City Allows Man to Sell Snowballs
Cleveland Steamers still outlawed

From ABC News:
Transracial Adoptions Evoke Heartfelt Responses
Next Tuesday, A "Diff'rent Strokes" Reunion Special

From ABC News:
Why Teens Act Like Teens
They are teens

From ABC News:
Attorney General Urges Anti-Terror Law Renewal
Democrats oppose, want more terror

From ABC News:
China Seen Opening Door Soon to Biotech Rice
Cyborg Secretary of State to be released on Asia this Spring

From ABC News:
Halle Berry Gets Restraining Order on Calif. Man
Heh-heh-heh. She thinks I'm from California.

From ABC News:
Biden: Clinton Hard to Beat in 2008 Race
Millions grabbing sticks and clubs, willing to start now

From Taipei Times:
President Bush goes soft
Will attempt to solve with Cialis

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Sunday, February 27, 2005

Cherish The Memories Of Days That Were Bright And Forget Every Cloud In The Sky

Getting serious for a minute. It was two years ago today that my nephew died. He was 17. Losing him was extra difficult because of our family's good fortune. What I mean is, others have lost younger family members and more family members. We have been extremely fortunate in not experiencing such loss.

In my lifetime, the next youngest close family member I remember losing was in his 60s. I did lose a cousin who was just days old, but I honestly don't remember him. Other than him, immediate or close family (siblings, parents, children, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents) losses have been few and none died at a young age. So, I'm aware that we haven't experienced what so many other families have experienced.

After his injury, his hometown opened their hearts to the family. We were never able to express our appreciation. The down side of that is that people were always calling, and made it difficult for the family members at the hospital to get any rest. So, we decided to put up a Web site. And, after he died, we kept the site running. My contribution was this video collage of pictures. It shows just a little about who he was.

Headline News 2005-02-27

From ABC News:
Ex-Stripper Psychotherapy License Probed
Not the first probe she's had

From ABC News:
Report: Transvestite's Sex Organ Severed
Now doesn't have to pretend

From ABC News:
Schwarzenegger Shrugs Off Presidential Bid
Being Constitutionally ineligible made decision easy

From ABC News:
Clinton: Hillary Would Be Great President
Would be second President with whom he has had sex

From ABC News:
Big Cats in Captivity
Andres Galarraga to be released in time for Spring Training

From ABC News:
Pope Makes Surprise Appearance at Window
Hold towel-draped child over balcony [ripped off from: a small victory]

From ABC News:
How Should Hollywood Portray Disease?
Michael Moore can play himself

From ABC News:
Dean Gets Warm Reception at Kansas Rally
Burned in effigy

From ABC News:
Russia to Deliver Nuclear Fuel to Iran
Iran to place on missles, launch back to Russia

From ABC News:
Birth Rate Falls for Canadian Grizzlies
Bush blamed

From ABC News:
Man Accused of Having Relations With Cows
Says cow seduced him

From ABC News:
Syria Hands Saddam's Half-Brother to Iraq
Syrian official: "Oh, brother of THAT Saddam Hussein! Yeah, we have him. Here you go."

From Sports Illustrated:
SI Swimsuit 2005: Underwater Photos
I don't really have a joke. I just wanted to see the pictures.

I Knew This Day Was Coming

Comment spam is the bane of bloggers. That's the reason some have put in verification scrips (where you have to type a series of characters that show up in a graphic) while others use moderated comments (where they go to a queue and then are personally reviewed and approved for posting). But comment spam only affects the big blogs. Or so I thought. Turns out they'll spam smaller blogs like this one.

Some piece of crap at IP Address (belongs to CableOne) left one of those that includes links to a bunch of porn sites. You know, the dreaded "hamster sex" posts.

I've banned that IP Address from posting, so if you use that IP Address and need to post, just drop me an e-mail. We probably have some stuff to talk about anyway.

I did e-mail I provided a link to the comment for them to review, and for that reason only have left the comment up. Once they are done, I will delete that comment. I am curious as to how they respond. It would be nice to find out they care about such things.

If anyone has any experience in successfully running down "hamster sex" posts, I'd like to know what else I should have done, or done different. Now that the first one has arrived, the second one will be coming some time.

Someone from CableOne checked out the offending post at 11:07 this morning.

At 8:18 PM, I noticed the offending post is gone. And I didn't delete it. I'm very curious what happened to it. My plan was to delete it once CableOne got back with me. But now it's gone. Probably a simple explanation that I don't understand because I'm simple, too.

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Learning To Blog

A few weeks back, Right Wing Duck asked me a question. It was in response to a post where I expressed surprise at how this little blog had quickly risen in the TTLB EcoSystem. His question was simple: Why do I blog?

Well, here's the answer: I don't know.

I guess I should know why I blog, but I don't. And that's bothered me. But it got me to thinking: Am I doing it right?

I mean, is it really necessary to know why you do something to do it right? You can know why you do something and do it wrong, so why not the opposite. It's like the urban legend about the lady who always cut the ends of the roast off because her mother always did. Asking her mother, she found out that her mother had a small roast pan and had to cut the ends off to make it fit. So, she was a good cook, but didn't know why she was cooking like she did. Of course, that legend isn't true, but it's a good story anyway.

Anyway, while I'm not sure why I'm blogging, I decided to see if I'm doing it right. And, I'm going to do a little experiment while I find out. I noticed on Bad Example that Harvey had a series of posts listed under his Blogging category. A quick glance appears to indicate he has taken some of those and arranged them under the heading "Blogging Tips." So, since they are arranged in a manner helpful for a new blogger, I'll read them in that order and see how I'm doing -- and what I need to do. I won't list the entire contents of Harvey's tips and suggestions, but I will repeat enough of it so we can see how I'm doing. Here's what Harvey says, along with my comments on how I think I'm doing. Feel free to correct me if my analysis fails.
How To Start Blogging

YOUR NAME: Surprising as it may seem, the first step is NOT "run over to Blogger and sign up". The first and most important step in blogging is to choose a name for your blog. Although it seems like such a small task, it's actually the hardest part. ... Take your time with this step. Think carefully about the name you want. ... When you finally come up with the right name for you, you'll know it. ... Write that name down, then set it aside for a while. When you come back and read it again, if that click is still there, that's the name for you.

I got this part backwards. I DID run over to Blogger and signed up before I had settled on the name "basil's blog." In fact, I set up a blog under a different name, published it, and saw the little "B" they use as an icon and thought, "Hmmm. 'B' could also stand for 'Basil.' So, I started over with the name "Basil's Blog" but then thought to use all lower-case just to be different. So it became "basil's blog."

I wonder if I would have used the name "basil's blog" if I had followed Harvery's advice. Heck, I might have come up with a good name if I had. I would have seen the other "Basil's Blogs" that are out there and might have decided to use something original.

I'm 0-1.
YOUR TAGLINE: This should expand on or explain your blog's name or your blog's general theme. It can be something witty that you create yourself, or even a quote that you find to be particularly appropriate. ... (Taglines) are easily changeable, but do give it some thought, as it will be the second thing your new visitors see, and it will, to some degree, affect how they interpret what you've written.

I consider myself a Southerner, what with being from Georgia and having the accent and all. And, I've been called a "son of a bitch" more than once. So, I combined the two and just wrote the "insane ramblings" part because I've been told I ramble. And that I'm insane (but never by a doctor or a judge).

I have thought about dropping the "insane" part, but Harvey used that very word to describe a recent post. I'm going to say I got it more right than wrong. I'm 1-1.
START WITH BLOGGER & BLOGSPOT: There are lots of blogging software options to choose from, but for your first blog, I recommend signing up with Blogger and being hosted at Blogspot. Why? Because it's free. If you decide later that blogging just isn't for you, you can quit and be out not a single penny. Also, it's user-friendly and has extensive help/FAQ resources

Got this part right. And for the right reasons. 2-1.
YOUR FIRST POST: Should suck. It's a tradition. Something like "Hey! Look! I have a blog now!" is a good way to test your posting ability.

I did a little more than did that, but my first post did suck. 3-1.
YOUR SECOND POST: Should be a paragraph or two, introducing yourself to the world at large. Your name/pseudonym, where you're from, why you started blogging, and an overview of what you'd like your blog to be about. It's not your whole life story, just a good, solid "Howdy".

Actually, none of my posts in December 2004 (the blog launched on December 8) mentioned my name. Except where Blogger added "posted by basil" to the end of the post. I have yet to mention the name of my hometown, although where I live now can be inferred from the third post. I've already said I don't know why I'm blogging.

Part of this tip was combined with the first post, but I still haven't done all of it. 3-2.
YOUR THIRD POST: And every post after that - whatever you want. It's your blog, and you can do with it as you please. Don't let anyone ever tell you different.

Yeah, I've followed this advice without even being told. 4-2.
BELLS & WHISTLES: There are three things that Blogger does poorly or not at all, and I recommend that you use third party services to handle these things.

1) COMMENTS: ... I suggest using Haloscan. Not only are they faster and more trustworthy, they also give you trackback capability.

Got this right, but it took me a week to do this.
2) PAGE VIEW COUNTER: ... Sitemeter ... lets you know how many people have visited your site & how they got there.

Got this right, too.
3) IMAGE HOSTING: ... Blogger doesn't offer image hosting, and the service they recommend - "Hello" - is a cumbersome, unwieldy, user-antagonistic piece of crap. Don't bother. Keep it simple. Use ImageShack. Very simple, very free.

I used "Hello" when this blog was on Blogger. It was a pain at first, then I got used to it.

I'm gonna take a win on this one. 5-2.

Okay, that was fun. Did five out of seven correct, by my scoring. Or 6 of 9 if you break the last one apart into it's three sub-parts. Anyway, here's where I fell short and what I can do about it.

Blog Name: Not much. I think I'm stuck with "basil's blog." I could bring back the capital letters. But probably won't.

Second Post: Way too late now, I could tell my hometown, but I won't. I enjoy the anonymity. I don't use my "regular" name, but will admit that "Basil" appears on my birth certificate. I still don't know why I post. Maybe I have a secret desire to be famous. Maybe I want people to tell me "Hey, dude, you're funny." Maybe I just wanted to see if I could. Maybe I really don't know.

Next topic: Finding your blog voice.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Headline News 2005-02-26

From Sports Illustrated:
Schwarzenegger: No steroid regrets
Barry Bonds appreciates the support

From CNN
Egypt announces democratic reform
Howard Dean taking notes

From CNN:
Amnesty International founder dead
Donald Rumsfeld cannot account for his whereabouts

From CNN:
Mudslides push families from homes
Genetically-altered Dairy Queen desserts go on rampage

From CNN:
School to drop 'Dummer' from name
Will be know only as "Dumb And High School"

From CNN:
Watch 'Dukes of Hazzard,' earn $100,000
With that kind of money, you could buy a new refigerator for the front porch, get a double-wide, a velvet Elvis in every room, and have enough left over to get Braves season tickets for the whole family, even the cousins

Thompson shot self while talking with wife
Had enough of her nagging

From CNN:
FCC rejects complaint involving 'Angel'
Ruling: Della Reese's love scene did not violate standards

From CNN:
NAACP honors Prince
Thanks Charles for not being Black

From :CNN
Giant panda skeleton found
Police say more may be found, Ling-Ling could be first panda serial killer

From CNN:
Astronomers have discovered an invisible galaxy
After public bought story of invisible hole in atmosphere, this was next logical prank for scientists to pull

From CNN:
Canada opts out
Decides mooses, drunken hockey fans not worth saving

Killing suspect says he's not guilty
Adds: "Oh, and, uh, the check's in the mail. It was mailed by my wife ... Morgan Fairchild."

From WGAL:
Man hit by train
Train charged with assault, has history of violence

From WCVB:
Docs report spike in young athlete injuries
Mystery why so many young athletes have been injured by spikes

From KCRA:
Plan for new arena falls apart
Planning for new arenas to fall apart will save demolition costs down the road

From WPLG:
Panhandling changes approved
Panhandling paper money still under discussion

From KPRC:
Authorities: Men threaten Pentagon
Building ignored threats

From CNN/Money:
Wal-Mart ordered to stop harassing help
Can still harass customers

From BBC:
TV after Saddam
Guards protect former Iraq leader from rampaging RCA Big Screen

From BBC:
Zimbabwe shuts another newspaper
Folds it, puts it away

From Indianapolis Star:
President Bush to speak at Notre Dame next week
Tells GOP: "Sometime, when the team is up against it -- and the breaks are beating the boys -- tell them to go out there with all they got and win just one for the Gipper"

From BBC:
Newest Saturn moons given names
Eyes will be open with week

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Search Engine Disappointments IV

It never ceases to amaze me what people search for on the Internet. It amazes me further the searches that return this site. Here's some of what lead (or mislead) people here the last few days.

Paris Hilton and Her Niggas
Was number one. And there were a truckload of hits from this and variations on this. And a bunch of disappointed folks, I'm sure.

Google: "Paris Hilton's phone number"
Top fifteen. My fault for actually posting it, I guess.

Google: the niggas at dfnctsc
Number two! And not only in the US, but also the UK, Sweden, Switzerland, India, New Zealand, Belgium, and others.

Google: gizoogle
This used to be the top search that lead to hits here. Paris Hilton and her cell phone took its place. Oh, by the way, we're number two on Google for this search.

Yahoo!: gizoogle
We are number two on Yahoo!

MSN: janette jackson listen to her music
We're top search result. And here's the irony: The reason appears to be the earlier post where someone did a search on this same phrase. We'll see them again in about a week. Some folks never learn.

MSN: jamie lynn bra
We were Top 10 and don't know why. Some horny teen was disappointed.

MSN: the office website of jamie lynn spears
Number One! Woo-hoo! Wonder if this was the same disappointed horny teen. Maybe we should put up a site for the girl. Any volunteers?

MSN: sinead oconnor hot press 2005 interview
No longer showing. Still don't know why we ever did.

MSN: mr. britney spears speaks out
Was as high as bumber 10. But was higher. Really.

MSN: lucci emmy acceptance speech transcript
Top 15. And they were sorely disappointed.

Yahoo!: midget+strippers+georgia
Top 10. Which is scary. Almost as scary as the searcher.

MSN: msnbc news jane fonda eating disorder
No longer showing. Besides, I didn't know she had one.

MSN: big tit strippers
We made top 20 and some teen mad.

Google: 42 8 2005
Top ten. And a disappointed stalker, I'm sure.

Gotta Eat
Google: kfc buffet
We had joked about looking up KFC's menu online. Somebody actually did it.

We were Top 500, but no longer.

MSN: basil spell
We're number five. Behind,,, and

Google: basil the basil
Have since moved up to number two for this one. Maybe I can use this as my nickname.

Google Canada: basil treaty
It must be comforting to our friends in the Great White North to know that we're still top five. Out of 61,900.

Google: basil is
Top 10. Moving up!!

MyWay: basils blog
Number five. Behind two other "Basil's Blog," both of which are inactive.

Current Events
Google: the simpsons recap "february 20 2005" gay
We were Number One, but have dropped! Still somebody was sorely disappointed.

Yahoo!: Male Genital Snow Sculpture Shocks Drivers pictures
Number Six. But guess what was number one? Disneyland! Really. I don't remember that ride. And I think I would.

MSN: msn today ,16 february 2005
Moved up to Top 25 on this one. Go figure.

MSN: mr magoo bank robber
Top 10. And all the hits above and the first few below are reputable sites.

Google Germany: "george vii" "charles iii"
Some German lookin for a relative, no doubt. Oh, Top 25.

MSN: penquin cartoon
Top 20 for this odd entry.

MSN: washed up mermaids
We're number three. Which makes me wonder: whatever happened to Ariel?

Yahoo!: monkeys lunch
We're number two.

Google: sailor marine jokes sheep
Top 10. No brag. Just a fact.

Yahoo!: filthy monkey
Was up to Number 42 but has since dropped. I guess I still need to clean my monkey.

Entertainment Media
Yahoo!: photo of sammy davis jr kissing archie bunker
Numbers 17 and 32. And we don't even have the picture.

Google: "the onion"
Top 40. Mention that site one time and you never live it down.

FullReviews: www.keanu reeves
No longer showing. Thank goodness. This is sorta scary, if you think about it.

MSN: constantine finger scene
Top 5. And no idea what this person is searching for.

Google: ms rigg's sitcom
Top ten. And after looking at the results, I still don't know what they were after.

Google: evil glenn
Back up to number one. Oh, and Oddybobo was number one. But dropped. Probabably because Oddybobo won't link to this site. Must have a case of FrankJitis.

Google: "nickie goomba"
Top 5. Not bad considering he won't link here.

Google: Blog Clogger
Number Two! I wonder if Denise gets any business from that post.

Google: blog truckstop
Top 15. This sounds like a Steven King book, doesn't it?

Other Searches
MSN: my homesite naked
Top ten. I wonder what they were really after.

MSN: what are michael jordans kids names are?
For some reason we were number one for some reason. Never have I written about Michael Jordan never. And at no time have I written sentences like that at no time. However, we're dropped way down in the search results, however.

Yahoo!: picture's of black eye peas
Number one and I don't know why. But at least they aren't looking for porn. Unless "black eye peas" means something I don't know it means. Hmmm.

Google: "alex winter" israel
Again, someone really disappointed. Probably Alex Winter. Bogus!

Google: work hello boys
Top 15. Not sure what they were really after.

Google: ace of spades in fireworks mx
Top 15. And top blog in the results.

MSN: usage movie of condoms
No idea why we're top ten. Behind Bjork's Greatest Hits on Amazon.

Google Canada: "one of us one of us"
Another Top 10.

Google: truth or dare
Top 10. Even n Belgium! But probably disappointed someone.

Stuff like this is why I don't trust search engines.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Filthy Lie Assignment: Evil Glenn's Government Contract

A Filthy LieThe e-mail arrived from Harvey and I was surprised, to say the least:
While perusing, I discovered
that Evil Glenn® was listed as a government contractor. Just as I was
about to discover the details of his project, my cat chewed through the
coaxial cable that connects me to the Internet, so I couldn't do any
more research.

I'm at the public library now, and I need your help. Since the rest of the Alliance still has Internet access, I'm counting on you to do some investigating:

What has the government contracted with Evil Glenn® to do for them?

There was a follow-up e-mail from Frank J.:
Get to work, loser.

So, off to work it is.

My recent troubles with Google taught me to be a more effective search engine pilot. And, after a couple of days, I had some interesting information. I contacted Alliance headquarters, and SpaceMonkey answered the phone.

"I've got some data you might be interested in," I said.

"Got a problem there, dude," SpaceMonkey replied. "Cats have chewed through all the cables here. I can't accept any uploads."

"Well, that's gonna make things difficult," I said. "And how did all the cats get there? Harvey had the same problem."

"Yeah, I know. That's why he put me answering the phone. He's ticked off about all the cats," SpaceMonkey said, "I hosted the Carnival of Cats last week and some got loose."

"Okay, if you say so," I responded. "That does put us in a situation, though."

"Hey, you still got that other computer set up? The one with the old 100 gig hard drive?" SpaceMonkey asked.

"Uh, yeah," I said, not sure where this was going.

"Well, you're first one with data. Why don't we have the others send the data to you? You store it until we can get back up and running." he said.

"Sure, whatever I can do," I said, and rang off.

So, I fired the old Gateway up and checked it out. Everything in order, Norton updated, XP up-to-date, all set to go.

Over the next couple of days, the rest of the data came in. Now, I was supposed to just gather the data and wait on them to get the network connections at Alliance headquarters fixed. But I couldn't resist.

Susie found strong evidence that Evil Glenn® had researched cat cloning. Hmmm. Cats again. File that way for later.

Ogre's information included a piece on recycling small mammals, including kittens. Felines again!

My data included evidence of research into human cloning. First cat cloning, then human cloning!

GEBIV had evidence of research into unusual contagions.

Then I ran across Beth's finding of Evil Glenn's® account showing he had purchased all the episodes of the old "Beauty and the Beast" TV show. She had more information, she indicated, but her computer went down.

Then it hit me. A cold chill ran up my spine. It all fit. And it was horrible.

Evil Glenn Reynolds® is trying to combine cat and human DNA! The government wants these beasts to replace soldiers in the field. But what the government doesn't realize is that the Evil One® is using this as a front for his real plan: He is creating his own army of cat-human hybrids, who he can use for his evil plans.

Once his research is finished, he will increase the size of his army. His plan is to transform others by spreading an airborne virus that infects cats, who then infect the humans, causing the mutation. And he's using the Internet to target cat-lovers with the Carnival of Cats!

The final piece is that he was trying to cover up the evidence by sending attack cats to disable the computers of those researching his plan.

But, now that we know about it, we can stop it. Beware Evil Glenn Reynolds®. And beware the cat!

Headline News 2005-02-25

From ABC News:
Tiny 'Gates' Model Earns Mass. Man Fame
Miniature clone of Microsoft chairman a windfall

From ABC News:
Greek Soccer Leader to Play for No Fans
Olympiakos team has a cult following in Japan's theatre district

From ABC News:
Bush, Putin find common ground
Making fun of Democrats

From ABC News:
Japan Makes Bid to Re-Enter Space Race
Unaware U.S. landed on moon in 1969

From ABC News:
After Paris Hilton Hack, What You Can Do
See even more pictures of her naked and kissing some chick

From ABC News:
European Scientists Believe in Life on Mars
Also believe in Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus, and Easter Bunny

From ABC News:
Spam Controls Imperil E-Mail Reliability
E-mail allergic to luncheon meat

From ABC News:
Dad Says He's Helped Lohan's Career
By staying away

From ABC News:
Member of Gladys Knight & the Pips Dies
Now in Pip Heaven

From ABC News:
'Star Trek' Fans Protest Cancellation of Series
Storm Paramount offices, threaten Moonves with Vulcan Death Grip

From WPLG:
Police: Thieves smash door, steal dog
Gay theft gang strikes again, take Maltese

From BBC:
Martian gases pose life question
Martian farts a mystery

From BBC:
Protests ahead of Kyrgyz vote
Vowels demanded

From BBC:
Santa Claus statue sparks outrage in Turkey
Wanted Easter Bunny

From Financial Times:
Europe trip shows Bush taste for diplomacy
Second only to his taste for blood

Europe warms to Bush
Unshaven women need love too

I Know It When I See It

Ward Churchill may be an art forger? Can there be any doubt at all of his honesty, his integrity, his authenticity. Michelle Malkin had the details:
Check out these two pieces of art. The first, drawn by the late artist Thomas E. Mails, was published in a 1972 book called The Mystic Warriors of the Plains. The second, titled "Winter Attack," was "drawn" by University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill.

Photo credit: CBS4 Denver.

Was "Winter Attack" the first time Ward Churchill copied someone else's art? Reader Anthony Jivoin sends two photos that suggest otherwise. The first photo, below, is "Little Big Man," by Charles M. Bell. Read about it here.

The second photo is of a matted ink sketch for sale on ebay. Look familiar? The seller says the print was purchased in 1980 directly from the "artist," Ward Churchill.


Look! More Ward Churchill originals here and here.

Well, I feel that I've been hoodwinked, too. Here's a Ward Churchill original I own:
So, should I ask for my money back?

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Thursday, February 24, 2005

Mike Gallagher on Bloggers

One of the people I see on television a lot -- well maybe not a lot, but enough that it's like "Oh, he's on again?" -- is Mike Gallagher. I only know him from being a talking head on Fox News. He used to be on WABC radio in New York, but since I don't live anywhere near there, I never heard him there. He now has a syndicated show based in New York and Dallas. I've never heard it. I don't know anything about his show. But apparently others have. I followed a link on HundredPercenterNews to Jeff Blogworthy who said that he heard Gallagher's show and didn't care for something Gallagher said about bloggers:
I just listened to Mike Gallagher spend five minutes ripping into bloggers on his radio show. He started out by talking about the Jeff Gannon scandal, calling him a "creepy guy." Gallagher went on the say that it is the "blogging atmosphere" that allowed the Gannon scandal to happen.

He said that bloggers are a bunch of "geeky losers in their basements cranking out crap on a computer" and that blogging provides "power for freak-shows to harass and destroy individuals."

"I am worried about this trend of legitimizing bloggers," Gallagher said.

He then went on to reveal his ignorance of how blogs work by saying that bloggers send out "thousands and thousands" of emails to people whether they like it or not.

Gallagher continued, "I am not enamored with the bloggers... I think it is a breeding ground for a lot of bad, bad things."

Gallagher stated what really bothers him about blogging is that "anybody can do it."

[read the rest ... and listen to the audio!]

Well, I went to Gallagher's Web site and looked around.

He offers some stuff for free, but he has some content that you got to pay to get to. And I'm not breaking out the old Visa card and coughing up $49.95 to hear it. Or to read the stuff he has posted in the premium section.

Gallagher made his warnings about bloggers, about how anyone can do it, about how he's worried about (the) trend of legitimizing bloggers, and the like. But I noticed something about his Website.

He has a blog. And it's on the "Gallagher Gold" section ... the part you must pay to access!

Seems that Gallagher was right about blogging: It's bad that "anybody can do it."
Visit the Beltway Traffic Jam

Headline News 2005-02-24

From ABC News:
Cruise Prices Up, but Travelers Still Buy
Actor whoring himself out to raise money for Church Of Scientology

From ABC News:
Dutch Customs Seizes Elephant Parts
Lucy and Ramona and their brother Sunset Sam arrested

From ABC News:
Tiger Shot, Killed Near Reagan Library
PGA in mourning

From ABC News:
Burning Manure Pile in Nebraska Goes Out
Michael Moore recovering

From ABC News:
Court: Man Can Sue Over Surprise Pregnancy
First male pregnacy has legal complications

From CNN:
Paris Hilton feels 'horrible' about cell phone book
Wishes she wasn't such a slut

From WPLG:
Police: Man offered girls $5 for sexual favors
Frequents cheap whores

From WEWS:
Protesters may sue to stop deer killings
Rogue deer expected to obey order

From KOAT:
Plane lands to drop off unruly passengers
Airline warns: "Next time won't land, will just remove unruly passengers"

From KETV:
Police discover beheaded cat
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's cat claims credit

From CNN:
Massive California cleanup begins
Barbara Boxer, Nancy Pelosi, Henry Waxman, Sanchez sisters bagged, left at curb

From ABC News:
Family of Suspect in Bush Plot to Sue US
Bin Laden to sue 2,749 families

From BBC:
Czechs mull 1968 compensation
Czechs may get checks

From BBC:
UK gets official virus alert site
Britons no longer have to go to McAfee or Symantec to find out about viruses

From BBC:
Dirty Harry debut for video game
"Go ahead, play my game"

Where Have All the Guest Headlines Gone?

After being chastised by basil for not posting, I am trying to get back into his good graces. WARNING: they are all education related and not very good. Anyway, here goes...
Education Week
Proof Positive: Two lifelong math teachers create an after-school program that brings their passion for the subject full circle
Snacks include apple pi and peach pi

Chicago Sun-Times: February 21.
City Schools to Ax Scripted Reading Program Despite Gain
Spokesman states: "All" that will wash out with the "Tide"

St. Petersburg Times: February 16
Wanted: 30,000 teachers
Bill Clinton to try for new record; tired of brainless interns

Education Week
Ten Commandments Case Watched Closely by School Community
ACLU complains; afraid children may learn right and wrong

Los Angeles Times
Opinion: Why is the bar set so low for history teachers?
Even basil's big sister is only 5'4"

Education Week
Teaching couple get children fired up about math
And next week, boys and girls, we are going to work on triple

Text messaging not hastening the decline of language
OMG, they need to GAL...

The Washington Post
A career writer who can't spell seeks help
Mabe tat iz whi tha donet lik mie riting

Grunion Gazette (Long Beach, Calif.)
MIT team works to create very cheap laptops for the developing world
Now, if we can just get electrity over there...

Los Angeles Times
Feds tell California to toughen criteria for watch list
Timex out selling Rolex in Beverly Hills for second year

Education Guardian
Cheshire School Pioneers 'E-homework'
But teacher, I don't know what happened--it just disappeared!

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Trials: South vs West

The U.S. Legal System isn't what you might think it is. There are 51 legal systems in the United States. Each state has one and the federal government has one. And there are thing that are illegal in one state that aren't illegal in another.

It can be difference in little things like, well, say in Georgia, where it's legal to make a right turn on a red light if there are no signs stating otherwise. Some states, it's just the opposite: you cannot make a right turn on a red light unless a sign explicitly says you can. Personally, I like the Georgia law, but it would be wrong for me to want to impose that on another state. That state knows how it wants to do things.

There are laws in some states that say sodomy is illegal. Some states, it's only illegal between those of the same sex; other states it's illegal regardless of the sex of the participants. And other states say it's just fine. But it would be wrong for residents of one state to try to impose their standards on another state, whether it's a sodomy-free state or a free-sodomy state.

Another way that states are different are in trials. Think back to 1995. Remember this little thing called the O. J. Simpson trial? Sure you do; it was in all the papers. It started in January 1995 and ran into October of that year. Right or wrong, that's how people in the South view a California trial.

In South Carolina, on July 19, 1995 the Susan Smith trial began. Five days later she was convicted. Five days after that, she was sentenced to prison. The entire Smith trial occurred while a single witness was testifying during the Simpson trial. And that summed up how the South saw it's legal process vs the Left Coast legal process: We can try, convict, and sentence a killer all while a single person testifies in California.

Well, there's another pair of trials happening, and it's another South vs West thing. Out west, they have picked jury for the Michael Jackson trial. And they're making a big deal out of there being no Blacks on the jury. Actually, some are saying "African-Americans," but if you trace my ancestors back far enough, say several hundred-thousand years, I'd qualify as an "African-American," but some folks wouldn't like that. Anyway, no Blacks on the jury. I'll refrain from making a joke about no Black on trial, either.

Over here, a jury in Phenix City, Alabama today convicted a low-life who murdered a woman in 1995. This was his second trial. Vernon Lamar Yancey was convicted in 1997 of walking into a convenience store, robbing it, and murdering the clerk who recognized him and called him by name. It was all caught on videotape.

Well, if it was on videotape, why the re-trial? Turns out the conviction (and subsequent death sentence) was thrown out when it was ruled the prosecution has wrongly disqualified potential jurors who were (and presumably still are) Black. So Yancey's jury had no Blacks.

Oh, if it matters to you: Yancey is White, the woman he killed was White, the other woman in the store who he didn't kill is White. If it doesn't matter to you, they're still White.

But, apparently the assumption is that had one or more Blacks been on the jury, they might not have believed the victim's identification that was caught on tape, and the actual murder, also caught on tape. Or am I missing something?

Well, the new jury was seated, witnesses called, and jury deliberations begun. And finished. This new mixed-race jury convicted him. Sentencing begins today.

I hope the Jackson trial doesn't end up with a conviction that's later overturned because there are no Blacks on the jury. The retrial here was hell on the victim's family. It never should have had to happened. Whether the prosecution was wrong, or whether the defense thought someone would see a videotape difference because of their race, or whatever the reason, it shouldn't have happened.

Thankfully, Yancey was convicted. Again. Perhaps the new jury will also recommend death, as the first jury did.

If Michael Jackson is found guilty, I hope the victim's family doesn't have to go through it all again just because no Blacks are on that jury. Absent a videotape of the crime Jackson's accused, perhaps race would make a difference on the jury.

Here in the South, we think the Susan Smith trial was done right and the O. J. Simpson trial was done wrong. Well, we must have done the first Yancey trial wrong. I hope the Michael Jackson trial isn't done wrong.

If nothing else, I don't want to have to read, see, or hear anything about another Jackson trial five years from now.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Headline News 2005-02-23

From BBC:
Ancient life thrives in the deep
Dick Clark joins the Navy

From BBC:
MTV launches channel for Africa
"Real World: Botswana" debuts in Spring

From BBC:
Nigerians mull nation's future
Mulling nation's past declared a success

From BBC:
Why North Korea won't talk
Bush makes fun of their accent

From BBC:
104-yr-old refused Australia visa
But approved for MasterCard

From BBC:
Queen denies snubbing wedding
"No I didn't. Honest... I ran out of gas. I, I had a flat tire. I didn't have enough money for cab fare. My tux didn't come back from the cleaners. An old friend came in from out of town. Someone stole my car. There was an earthquake. A terrible flood. Locusts. IT WASN'T MY FAULT, I SWEAR TO GOD."

From BBC:
Iraqis march against Saturday
Demand six-day week

From BBC:
Lufthansa may sue over Bush visit
Bush to remind Lufthansa what U.S. did to Luftwaffe

From BBC:
WHO warns of bird flu pandemic
Townshend, Daltry to smash guitars on birds' heads

From BBC:
Astronomers find star-less galaxy
Has planets with waterless oceans

From BBC:
Rays to nab nuclear smugglers
Romano, Liotta join Homeland Security department

From BBC:
Brian Wilson to play Roskilde gig
James Rosen, Brit Hume, Jim Angle complete Fox News Barbershop Quartet

From BBC:
Call to ban 'cartoon foods'
Dagwood Bumstead, Sergeant Snorkel oppose plan

From Washington Post:
Wizards Want Second-Half Surge
Oz, Id unite in common cause

From Washington Post:
Court to Hear Special-Ed Case
Ed: "I'm in court. Yaaaaayyy!"

From Washington Post:
Hewitt Lands TV Psychic Gig
Actress didn't see it coming

The IMAO "Who The Hell Do You Think You Are?" Blogger Quiz

Frank J. says:
The mainstream media is pretty convinced we bloggers are an unruly, vicious sort.

Why, as spacemonkey pointed out, even Ted Rall is questioning whether we're informed enough to have opinions of our own. And, when a piss-poor cartoonist is questioning your qualification to have opinions on political matters, you know you're in trouble.

I think it's time for all us bloggers to prove whether we really are qualified to have opinions. That's why I made...

The "Who The Hell Do You Think You Are?" Blogger Quiz

So here is the quiz and my answers.
  1. Who the hell do you think you are?
    I am Basil. This is my blog.
  2. So, other than blogging, what's your job? Do you work at some fast food joint, dumbass?
    There's a link at the top of the page that explains it. But, since this whole InterWeb appears to be confusing you, I'll read it for you.* * *There. I read it.

    * * *

    Oh. Okay. Here's what it says:
    I'm a Client-Server Software Analyst for an Evil Corporation. It's fun work, bringing down society one person at a time.

    I do not say the name of the company for which I work, since they are not associated with this blog. But, let me put it this way: There's a pretty good chance you may be impacted by the company, and possibly by my work.
  3. Do you have like any experience in journalism, idiot?
    Well, about a quarter-century ago, before you grew hair in places you used to not have hair, I was sports director at one radio station in my hometown and news director at two radio stations (three, if you count the combined AM/FM station) there.
  4. Do you even read newspapers?
    I love Dilbert. I read the local paper most days, but don't subscribe. They owe me several issues they never delivered that I had paid for. It's not worth the aggrivation dealing with them. I read several on-line papers.
  5. Do you watch any other news than FOX News propaganda, you ignorant fool?
    Some local news sometimes. Dennis Miller on occasion. CNN if I'm in a hotel that doesn't get Fox (oh, and I don't stay in that hotel next time I'm in that town).
  6. I bet you're some moron talk radio listener too, huh?
    I was told that I could listen to the radio at a reasonable volume from nine to eleven, I told Bill that if Sandra is going to listen to her headphones while she's filing then I should be able to listen to the radio while I'm collating so I don't see why I should have to turn down the radio because I enjoy listening at a reasonable volume from nine to eleven.
  7. So, do you get a fax from the GOP each day for what to say, you @#$% Republican parrot?
    Fax? I don't even know what my fax number is. I hear that I have one.
  8. Why do you and your blogger friends want to silence and fire everyone who disagrees with you, fascist?
    Shut up. And get a job. And a haircut.
  9. Are you completely ignorant of other countries, or do you actually own a passport?
    Actually, neither.
  10. Have you even been to another country, you dumb hick?
    I've been to Canada, Scotland, France, Italy, Egypt, Kuwait, South Korea, Japan, California, Mississippi, and Atlanta. And I've had pizza in Kuwait, Korea, Canada, Egypt, California, and Atlanta.
  11. If you're so keen on the war, why haven't you signed up, chickenhawk?
    6½ years in the Army. 24th ID, 2nd ID, 3rd ID. Never got a combat patch.
  12. Do you have any idea of the horrors of war? Have you ever reached into a pile of goo that was your best friend's face?
    That's two questions, but here goes:
    1. I have an idea, but only an idea.
    2. No, but if you'll be my best friend, I will make it so that I can say "yes."
  13. Have you ever reached into any pile of goo?
    No, but it sounds like fun!
  14. Once again, who the hell do you think you are?!
    I am Basil. This is my blog.

I'd have posted something earlier, but I have a job. And only had time to do a little blogging at lunch. (I love my laptop!) Plus, I don't have a banker, a duck, a monkey, a blonde, a superhero, or anyone else writing it for me. Now I gotta go do headlines. And eat supper.

PGH Assignment: Iraq's To-Do List

Harvey's number appeared on the caller ID.

"What now?" I wondered. He was still not happy with my over the whole Michael Moore/Evil Glenn Reynolds® thing. But helping cheer up Chris the Marine had mellowed him. That and staying drunk all week before last. So maybe it wasn't bad news.


He was all business. "Iraq election went well. They're seating a government. We need to know what's on their 'to-do' list," he said.

"Um, okay. Why?"

"Tell me where you are in the pecking order so that you get to ask 'why?'" he said.

"I'm right on it," I responded. The line went dead.

Okay. Iraq government "to-do" list. Hmmm. Piece of cake. I've got a computer. I know how to Google. Plus I can use a search engine. No problem. I fired up the Linux box and logged on. I headed over to Google, and went to work.

Ah, results. That was fast. Gotta love Google:
  • Bang Cyndi. done
  • Kill Terri. botched
  • Put Terri in hospital. done
  • Break up with Cyndi. done
  • Win lawsuit against hospital. done
  • Place DNR order on Terri's chart. done
  • Bang Jodi . done
  • Overturn "Terri's Law." done
  • Remove feeding tube. done in progress
  • Bury Terri.
  • Cash life insurance checks.
  • Marry Jodi.
  • Insure Jodi, kids.
  • Dump kids on family.
  • Kill Jodi.

Darn. That's Michael Schiavo's To-Do List.

Okay, keep searching. Ah, here we go:
  • Buy tinfoil. done
  • Contact mothership for instructions. done
  • Blame Karl Rove for CBS Memo forgery. done
  • Buy tinfoil.
  • Contact mothership for instructions.
  • Bay at the moon.
  • Buy tinfoil.
  • Contact mothership for instructions.

Darn. That's congressman Maurice Hinchey's To-Do List.

More searching:
  1. Buy new blender.
  2. Get new puppy from pound.
  3. Stop by railroad tracks, pick up hobo.
  4. Read Mao's little red book.
  5. Worship Satan...

Darn, that's Evil Glenn Reynolds'® To-Do List.

I'm starting to get worried now. More Googling. Ah, I see what I did wrong. Let's try this. Jackpot!:
  • Wing it.

Hmmm. Looks like interesting times in Iraq.

Wednesday Lunch Special: Toons, Looney and Otherwise

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Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Paris Hilton's Cell Phone Number

And I thought I got a lot of hits from the IMAO link.

A few days ago I posted a little piece based upon another piece or two I read, and quoted those posts from other sites. There were references to Paris Hilton, to her T-Mobile Sidekick, to THE NIGGAS AT DFNCTSC, and to other things that people are searching one. You know, things like "Paris Hilton's T-Mobile was hacked," "GG FGT SLT BTCH! HACKED BY THE NIGGAS AT DFNCTSC," and such.

Turns out that was enough for Google, Yahoo!, MSN, and other search engines to pick up that I might have Paris Hilton's cell phone or her cell phone number. Well, I don't. Unless it's
but I don't think that's it. Any longer.

* I'm * not calling it. And don't you call it either. I'm serious; don't do it.

Headline News 2005-02-22

From BBC:
US denies plotting to kill Chavez
Bush: "But if, by some chance, an accident should befall him..."

From BBC:
UK reveals anti-terror plan
Based upon successful efforts against the IRA

From BBC:
SA seeks new trial for 'Dr Death'
Wrestler not aware of legal problems

From BBC:
Winn-Dixie files for bankruptcy
Dog is flat broke

From BBC:
Joanne hunt called off for night
Was located just past dusk

From CNN:
Queen not attending Prince Charles' wedding
Bush blamed

From CNN:
Paris Hilton's address book posted online
Latest setback to virginal heiress known for her shyness

From CNN:
Paris air strike ends after four days
Hilton heiress vows to resume attacks if cell phone not returned

From CNN:
Chris Rock explains comments ... sort of
@%#*! $@#& know that #%@% watch the $@!& awards shows!

From CNN:
Hungry field mice knock out phone network
"Will you feed me now? Good."

From CNN:
Bush: 'Ridiculous' to assume U.S. plans Iran attack
Adds: "But sometimes these things happen"

From CNN:
Former Georgia governor dies at 86
Waycross residents thought he died years ago

From CNN:
Sub named after President Carter
Burger named after Reagan

From ABC News:
Alaska Woman Charged in Genital Amputation
Man charged with dating crazy woman

From ABC News:
George Washington Gets a Makeover
"Queer Eye for the Dead Guy" debuts on Bravo

From ABC News:
'The Simpsons' Dives Into Gay Controversy
When asked why she likes girls, Patty responds she's just drawn that way

From ABC News:
Paris Hilton Exposed on Web After Phone Hacked
If memory serves, she was exposed well before her cell phone was hacked

From ABC News:
Alpine Iceman Reveals Stone Age Secrets
Unable to withstand CTU questioning

Typoes (except that one) fixed. Thanks to an anonymous tipster for pointing them out.


RolloverSee that? We crossed the ten-thousand threshold today. I'm excited if no one else is. Of course, if it counted MY visits, it would have rolled twice. Ten-thousand times, other people -- most who don't know me -- have come to this little blog. And I'd like to say, from the bottom of my heart: Get a life!

No, wait. I mean: Thank you!

And to someone who has really caused the hits these last couple of days to go through the roof, at least for me, through the roof: Paris Hilton and her cell phone.

Oh, and thanks, Harvey, for the link on IMAO.

Tuesday's Lunch Special: Home Cooking

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Gender Confusion

I've seen a couple of sites that I read, including a small victory (who won't link to me) and Julie with a B (who links to the old site, she's linked here that long) that have referenced a thing called The Gender Genie. Both these ladies were surprised that the Genie thought they were male. Or wrote like males.

Interesting, I thought, and tried it myself. Actually, I tried it a couple of times. Male. Sure enough. Maybe it thought everybody was male. That way it's right at least half the time. But then I decided to search the archives and find an older post. So I got one of my favorite posts: 61*

Lo and behold, it said I write like a girl! I wanted to slap them. I mean, punch them. But that would be wrong. And I'm never wrong.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Nuke The Moon

I got my moon nuked yesterday. Although I doubt anyone doesn't understand the "Nuke The Moon" phrase, it's the mission of IMAO. And IMAO is one of the highest traffic and highest linked humor sites.

So yesterday, when Harvey, one of the new members of group at IMAO, posted a link to my Top Ten Reasons IMAO Became A Group Blog, a lot of folks clicked. A lot of folks. A lot.

Here's a quick look at a screen shot from the visitor log yesterday morning:

Notice that there are four pages. For this little blog, that's a lot. And the hits kept coming. All day long. It was quite kind of Harvey to post the link. He's been a tremendous encouragement to this little blog. So, now you know who to blame.

Anyway, the traffic yesterday was a hugh increase over normal days. See:

Yeah, that little spike there on the end is something amazing to this little blog. Everything should be back to normal today. Only I did notice one thing. Some of the people who visited from IMAO did click on another page or two. So, maybe they liked what they saw and will come back. There ain't no accounting for taste.

Oh, and by the way, who reads IMAO? This next graphic is real too, but I did obscurethe IP Address:

Yes, the "evil" Halliburton.