Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Det er på tid till dansa!

The Swedes have a reputation for being an attractive people. This is totally wrong, as you will see if you pay a visit to Svenska Dansband, the online home of Swedish bands of the 1970s.

For instance, have a look at Bandex. Their lineup appears to consist of Ron Burgundy, Dungeonmaster of Indeterminate Gender, Stern Receptionist, Cincinnati Bengals Wide Receiver Circa 1973, and John Denver's Macho Brother.

Or the Hermansons, who look like IFK Göteborg's equivalent of Bill Swerski and the Superfans.

Or the Rolf Lönns, whose portrait reveals the palpable tension between the glasses-wearing and non-glasses-wearing factions of the band.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Who's got Matt Rodgers?

It's not often you get a chance to honor one of your childhood heroes. But today I was wasting time on Wikipedia and saw an opportunity to do just that. One of the men I idolized as a boy was sadly ignored by the world of Wiki, and so I registered a user name and wrote up an article to pay him homage.

Don't tell me he's not notable.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Now, hear me out

In retrospect, I think that the famous scrolling prologue at the beginning of Star Wars was kinda lame.

Yes, it gave us a chance to listen to John Williams' heroic theme, and yes, many of the old serials that Lucas was imitating had text cards at the beginning. But if they'd have just started with the Star Destroyer firing on the corvette, I think the audience would've figured out what was going on. (Or even had the theme play over dramatic exterior shots of the corvette, then when the music stops, the Star Destroyer drops out of hyperspace and away we go.)

The benefits of removing the scroll would be twofold: one, we wouldn't have all the horrible nerds who insist on calling the movie "A New Hope," and two, all the later genre films by hack writers and directors wouldn't have started with stupid prologues. (You know the kind. The narrator intones "It was an age... of magic." Cue lightning.)

Of course, we also would've lost out on the "you don't need glasses" joke in Spaceballs.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Democracy in action

I pass no judgment on the reporting ability of the Boise Guardian, except that I like how he gets the calls to the Mayor's Hotline. See what your neighbors think about the leading issues of the day, such as:

• Leash laws. "Talk about voting – I voted for Bieter; I voted for Tibbs and Jordan. If they allow this to go through and take away my rights as an American citizen, as a Boise citizen for my whole life, I will not vote for them again. I will encourage my friends and family to vote for somebody else. I don’t care who the person is, I will not vote for those three."

• Epidemics of vanishing cats. "From about 21st St. along Ellis, going diagonally parallel to State St., you see signs or pictures, photographs of dogs on the telephone poles saying “missing”, like a Golden Retriever is one. A gal on the 2600 block of Ellis, south side of the street,came banging on my door in the middle of the week; she had two cats missing. She was on her way to work and she had a friend two houses up from where she was, still on the 2600 block of Ellis, and she too had two cats missing. Later on that day around 1:30, I had a cat missing. I went down to where there was another Russian Blue on the corner of Lemp and 26th, and their Russian Blue had also stayed in all night long and it was missing.... I would like a heads-up from the City Council and from the Mayor."

• The economy. "I’m just calling to ask why we are giving these banks a bail-out or giving bonuses to them. I’m starting with you because you’re the Mayor. That’s what I want to know – why are we giving these executives a bonus when we’re trying to get the banks bailed out? Thank you."

• Protectionism. "I would be very UNcomfortable with having an out-of-state or off-shore call center or billing service handle the Boise City billing."

• Thieving micks. "I’m having a problem with an auto repair shop in Boise called Irish Auto Repair, and I need someone to help me with it. I can’t seem to get hold of anyone who is going to help me and I need someone to call me back so I can find out whom to talk to, to find out what my rights are."

• Ernest Borgnine. "I think some of the FBI people and some of the corrections are some of the ones who are helping, and of course some of the military people. They have some mind settings that are it sounds like from out of Kentucky and Corkoran Prison, and also the leaders of McHale’s Navy, so if they could get some mindset similar to those, I guess it would be helping. I guess you need to call Kentucky or wherever else the people are telling you to call to find out the information. California and New York are really tied up with the muscle lines and hopefully they will be getting it over with shortly. Supposedly with the warfare it should be able to be done. There is some of the sheriff’s department that sounds like that’s Sacramento that’s not trustworthy; they’re causing problems with military machines all over the town..."

• Television. "We used to be able to get 40 minutes of show and 20 minutes of advertisement. Now we’re getting 40 minutes of advertisement and 20 minutes of show.... I think the Mayor and City Council should get on these people’s keisters and give us a little bit more product for what the hell we’re paying."

• Sexual deviants. "I’m calling to ask why the Mayor gave a permit to the perverts to parade on June 14 th at Julia Davis Park when people who are standing in front of abortion clinics where babies are murdered by the thousands in this country, if they read a Bible verse there, they can be put in jail for a number of months? Things are kind of upside-down; this is supposed to be, according to one Supreme Court group long ago, this was said to be a Christian nation and a lot of us would like to get it back to being a Christian nation, but we can’t do it when we have leaders who keep aiding the enemy, and God says these people are an abomination to Him and that they should be executed."

• And one the Mayor might have actually fixed: "I am a victim, and so is everybody else, of thievery when it comes to the gas stations. The gas prices, the diesel prices are all just absolutely ridiculous. We, the people, want to know what you guys, who are in the head of government, are going to do about it, because if you don’t do something about it real soon, we’re pretty well doomed. As far as my household, I’m already figuring we’re like three-quarters of the way there. "

Friday, December 5, 2008

Maybe Daniel Stern could try another career

Whoever was the tutor on the set of "The Wonder Years," congratulations: Winnie Cooper has a theorem named after her and Paul Pfeiffer is an IP lawyer.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I'd like to meet the guy who thought this up

Now underway in Melbourne, the Homeless World Cup.

How do you think they overcame the NIMBY effect? (And do you think it will have more or less drug use and alcoholism than the "real" World Cup?)

Monday, December 1, 2008

For other transplants to Boise

Zeppole's, at 217 N. 8th St. in Boise, serves Panera soups. (Well, not exactly - they both order their soups from the same vendor, but you get my drift.) And you can even get them in bread bowls.