April 30, 2006

"Kobe, I'm Open"

Title in honor of this weeks winning entry for:


A Chinese man rests as his colleague works at being the mascot to the newly completed IKEA Siyuanqiao store in Beijing, China, Monday, April 10, 2006. IKEA on Monday unveiled its new outlet in Beijing that will be its biggest in Asia, a seven-story, US$100 million behemoth that the Swedish furniture maker hopes will put it ahead in China's thriving but crowded market. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

Mr. Right: Gee, the Lakers bench is looking mighty thin this year...

The quantity was low but the quality was high for the entries this fortnight.

Posted by Charles Austin at 11:40 AM | Comments (1)

April 17, 2006

"Thriving, But Crowded Market"

Is that supposed to be funny? Somebody come up with a better caption to this:


A Chinese man rests as his colleague works at being the mascot to the newly completed IKEA Siyuanqiao store in Beijing, China, Monday, April 10, 2006. IKEA on Monday unveiled its new outlet in Beijing that will be its biggest in Asia, a seven-story, US$100 million behemoth that the Swedish furniture maker hopes will put it ahead in China's thriving but crowded market. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

This will have to tide you over until I get back next week to pick a winner.

Posted by Charles Austin at 10:44 PM | Comments (5)


Not to put too fine a point on it, I'm heading out to Pinehurst for the rest of the week, so I better hurry up and tell you who won.


Iranian artists perform as they hold up samples of enriched uranium after Iran said on Tuesday it had produced low-grade enriched uranium, in Mashad, April 11, 2006. (Stringer/Reuters)

Jon takes the yellowcake this time with: "Glory be to the Bomb, and to the Holy Fallout. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be. World without end. Amen."

Lot's of good entries this week. Thanks to everyone who participated. Now, if only Rodney had played a little fast and loose with the free word association and pushed the They Might Be Giants theme just a little farther...(I'm your only friend, I'm not your only friend, but I'm your little glowing friend, but, really, I'm not actually your friend, but I am...)... things might have come out differently. Oh well, that's a plame, uh, I mean, um, shame.

Oh, by the way, in other news, Woo Hoo! I won again!

Posted by Charles Austin at 10:21 PM | Comments (1)

Dear Blogging Software Writers...

In your next software release, can you rewrite your code so that all comments post the name of the comment author at the top of the thread rather than the bottom? It would save a lot of time for thoughtful readers if we could quickly and easily skip right over the moonbats and trolls who have elevated non sequiturial feces flinging to an art form.

FWIW, this request was not inspired by anything apearing on this site.

Thank you.

Posted by Charles Austin at 07:06 PM | Comments (3)

April 12, 2006

You Load 16 Megatons, Whaddaya Get?

Iran Could Produce Nuclear Bomb in 16 Days

Posted by Charles Austin at 10:55 PM | Comments (1)

I Am the Singularity

Apparently, I am the one person in the world who thinks the IPod might actually suck. I only think this because I bought one yesterday and still can't get it to work. Now, before you think I'm a total dweeb when it comes to these things, my daughter whose had a NanoPod for months now can't make it work either.

I'm so lucky.

DOWNDATE: Details of the singularity in the comments. Meanwhile, Professor Reynolds thinks this is cool. Yeah, I bought an iPod so I can listen to commercials. Freaking brilliant. I'm chill to that tip Mack Daddy.

DOUBLE DOWNDATE: Thanks to Scott and Kerry, my iPod problems seem to be behind me. As for Lawrence's suggestion regarding Neil Young's latest, I'll pass. I'll stick with Decade, Harvest, Tonight's the Night, Stars 'N' Bars, Everybody's Rockin', and Zuma. And while I'm loading these onto my iPod, I'll keep these lyrics from Zuma's Pardon My Heart in mind:

You brought it all on
Oh, but it feels so wrong
You brought it all on
No, no, no, I don't believe this song

Posted by Charles Austin at 08:46 PM | Comments (7)

April 11, 2006


Sharon Declared Permanently Incapacitated

I thought the headline referred to Sharon Stone after Basic Instinct II.

Posted by Charles Austin at 04:28 PM | Comments (0)

Una Paloma Ummah

Or, I still don't get performance art. It's time for another Caption Contest (#8).


Iranian artists perform as they hold up samples of enriched uranium after Iran said on Tuesday it had produced low-grade enriched uranium, in Mashad, April 11, 2006. (Stringer/Reuters)

Contest will last until I declare a winner.

Posted by Charles Austin at 04:03 PM | Comments (15)

April 08, 2006


Midwest Blog Bash XII, tonight, 6:30, The Elephant Bar, Des Peres, MO. It's Matt's 40th birthday! And the lovely Miss Vicky will be there too!

Be there or be square.

Or show up and watch me do both.

DOWNDATE: A good time was had by all.

Posted by Charles Austin at 01:40 PM | Comments (0)

April 07, 2006

More Adventures in Headline Writing

Here's the headline:

Girl, 5, dies after Israel fires on Palestinian militants

And here's the story:

A GIRL aged five and her bombmaker father were among six people killed last night when Israeli aircraft fired missiles into a car carrying Palestinian militants, in the deadliest Israeli attack since the Hamas-led Palestine government took office.

The Israeli strike targeted a training camp of the Popular Resistance Committees, an umbrella group for gunmen from various factions, including many with ties to the Islamic militant Hamas. The group has attacked Israeli targets, including planting bombs under tanks.

The Israeli military said the aircraft targeted the car, which was destroyed, as it was leaving the isolated training camp. Palestine police said four missiles were fired.

Iyad Abul Aynayn, 29, who had ties to Hamas and was a chief bombmaker for the group, and his daughter were among the dead. A further 14 people were also injured in the blasts.

I'm sorry for the little girl, but I don't think Israel can give a pass to terrorists just because they keep children close by, no matter how bloodthirsty it allows their enemies to paint them. For those that think the Israeli's are cruel, inhumane monsters, what exactly do you call the bombmaking daddy? And why should Israel wait for him to blow somebody else's children up?

Posted by Charles Austin at 09:50 PM | Comments (0)

Only Nixon Can Go to China

And only a government official in San Francisco can say about San Francisco:

"From all the data I have seen ... it's the gayest city in the world."

Ellipsis in orginal.

Posted by Charles Austin at 09:30 PM | Comments (0)

Pretty Man, Pretty Woman

Stupid actors:

With warnings about global warming reaching a fever pitch in recent weeks--Vanity Fair is about to come out with a special section featuring George Clooney and Julia Roberts on its cover--most Americans are convinced that the Earth is being affected, but they have still not grown urgently concerned about it, according to a Gallup poll released today.

Maybe the public is smarter than they get credit for. I know that this may be difficult for the editors of Vanity Fair to understand, but when I am looking for serious advice or relevant information on politics, science, or (gasp!) global warming, my instincts aren't to pay attention to a magazine that has Kiera Knightly and Scarlet Johannson naked on their cover. When I look at magazines with naked women on the cover, politics and science aren't foremost in my consciousness, nor I'm guessing most anyone else's.

Posted by Charles Austin at 09:26 PM | Comments (0)

Guns or Butter, In Another Context

So, getting money for not killing Jews constitutes blackmail:

The European Union said it would suspend direct funding to the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority Friday, upping the pressure on the militant group to renounce violence and recognize Israel.

But Hamas immediately rebuffed the move and vowed not to surrender to "blackmail" from the European bloc, the biggest donor of aid to the cash-strapped Palestinians.

And people put their faith in diplomacy with killers...

DOWNDATE: And from the Bearded Spock universe:

With the European Union (EU) temporarily halting aid to the Hamas-led Palestinian government, a new and dangerous signal is sent out: It is tantamount to interference in another country's affairs, while not accepting the democratic choice of the people.

That's funny, I thought that giving money to people in another country would have been tantamount to interference in another country's affairs, rather than not giving money. At least, that's what the Federal Election Commission says. But seriously, don't you wonder how grownups can say such obviously silly things?

Posted by Charles Austin at 08:02 PM | Comments (0)

Proof that John Kerry Is a Vampire

Because we all know that vampires cannot see their reflection:

A defiant Sen. John Kerry on Friday lashed out sharply against President Bush and his team of advisers, calling them "the Katrina Administration" and "the most incompetent people I've ever seen."

Yeah, and you lost to them. Man, does that inspire confidence.

Posted by Charles Austin at 07:55 PM | Comments (0)

Blame Bush!

Stupid tax cuts:

Employers, in a springtime hiring burst, boosted payrolls by a sizable 211,000 in March and pushed the nation's unemployment rate down to 4.7 percent.

All a full employment economy means is that service at fast food restaurants will continue to get worse.

DOWNDATE: But I knew if we looked hard enough we could find a dark lining to this silver cloud:

The jobless rate for storm victims who had not returned home hit 34.7 percent last month, compared with 22.6 percent in February, the Labor Department said. The unemployment rate for those who had returned home also rose a bit — from 4.8 percent in February to 5.3 percent in March.

Posted by Charles Austin at 07:50 PM | Comments (0)

Not Shelves, Walls You Imbeciles!

Senate Vote Shelves Immigration Bill

Posted by Charles Austin at 07:45 PM | Comments (0)

Hairy Potter

Buck up, Chuck:

The Prince of Wales has given an interview to Men's Health magazine in which he laments his public image as the 'Potty Prince'.

Charles also discussed his views on staying fit and also talked about the influence women can have on male well being.

Well being? I've never heard it called that before.

Posted by Charles Austin at 07:44 PM | Comments (0)

Adventures in Headline Writing

Courtey of Reuters:

W.House does not dispute Bush leak allegation

In other news, W. House refuses to say whether Bush has stopped beating his wife.

Posted by Charles Austin at 07:37 PM | Comments (1)


I find this headline amusing:

Gore urges moral crusade against global warming

And this, ahem, crusade, will be fought by reducing the amount of oil used -- oil, much of which is purchased from people who are going to be thrilled with the thought of helping a crusade. Right, Al? Or is language sensitivity a one-way street?

Forget I asked.

Posted by Charles Austin at 07:33 PM | Comments (0)

Tennessee Is Rapidly Replacing Oklahoma as Tornado Alley

The Professor quotes a story about a disaster drill in Tennessee being cancelled because of a real weather problem:

A real potential disaster – the threat of tornadoes – has caused the Franklin portion of a massive disaster drill to be suspended until tomorrow and Nashville’s portion to be put temporarily on hold.

The drill, which involves a fake skyscraper collapse staged in Bordeaux and a mock train derailment/chemical spill in Franklin, was scheduled to take place today and tomorrow.

But inclement weather is fast approaching, and the deaths of 24 people in Sunday night’s tornadoes in northwest Tennessee are on the minds of many.

Let's hope that "fake, but accurate" doesn't apply this time.

Posted by Charles Austin at 06:24 PM | Comments (0)


I can see clearly now, jihad is gone. All of the bad feelings have disappeared -- we have a winner!


Mr. Right: The ever-vigilant paparazzi afford us a rare glimpse of Michael Jackson out for a stroll near his new children's petting zoo in Bahrain.

Perhaps I should add another item to my list of ever-changing, ever-growing, yet curiously non-binding caption contest judging criteria, to wit, that any legitimate, timely reference to the movie Three Kings featuring a variant of, "What is the problem with Michael Jackson?" has a pretty good chance of winning in any given week.

Sorry for the delayed judging, work had me on the road...

Posted by Charles Austin at 06:15 PM | Comments (0)

Unfortunate Coincidence

If Andrew Sullivan met a nice man but learned that his name was Gilbert, what do you think he would do?

Note: Obscene comments and casino spam will be deleted.

Posted by Charles Austin at 05:46 PM | Comments (0)

"A Man's Got to Know His Limitations" -- Harry Callahan

You know, big guy, you might be surprised to find out just how many people are perfectly comfortable with your ass sitting in a jail cell:

Mayor Gavin Newsom said Thursday that The City will not comply with any federal legislation that criminalizes efforts to help illegal immigrants.

Oh, and as a convicted felon you lose the right to vote as well. So, bring your friends! Most cities would probably function better without their current political leaders. Rest assured that your's is no different, Mr. Mayor.

FWIW, I'm on the record as favoring increased immigration, as long as it is controlled and the imigrants are on a path that leads towards citizenship and assimilation. And spare me the accusations levelled by La Raza, etc., unless you can convincingly argue that my own citizenship isn't already pretty tightly controlled by the federal, state, and local governments that claim jursidiction over my money, property, children's education, and any number of other inalienable (no pun intended) rights that apparently no amount of clarity and simple, straightforward language already in the U.S. Constitution can actually guarantee.

It's the old problem I go on about from time to time of disconnects between authority and responsibility that cause most of the problems on this issue, and I'm too busy to rehash that again now.

Posted by Charles Austin at 03:31 PM | Comments (0)

April 03, 2006

MWBB - Special New Orleans Edition

Matt and Vicky Drachenberg are coming to town this weekend to celebrate Matt's 40th Birthday. We're going to start at 6:30 PM on April 8th at The Elephant Bar (next to the West County Mall). I expect we will be sitting in the bar for a while waiting for a table, though I don't think that should be a problem. The usual suspects from many of the previous Midwest Blog Bashes will be there. Will you?

Leave me a note in the comments if you are coming so I can get a rough number of attendees.

The Elephant Bar
1085 West County Center Dr.
Des Peres, MO 63131
(314) 835-0545

Elephant Bar.gif

Posted by Charles Austin at 11:11 PM | Comments (5)

April 01, 2006

I'm Just Asking

When's tha last time you saw an AMC car on the road? Not just a Pacer, but a Javelin, an Eagle, a Gremlin, a Gladiator, a Matador, a Concord, a Spirit, a Hornet, or even a Rambler? The bastard step-products of the ill-fated AMC-Renault fiasco don't count.

Posted by Charles Austin at 10:10 PM | Comments (6)

Luddites Unite!

One of the most pernicious aspects of the French labor laws, and even the relative relaxation in their rigidity that is causing so much grief there now is that it virtually condemns people into whatever job they take when they are relatively young. Perhaps I'm wrong, but it seems to me that the mindset of most people in France that whatever job they happen to land will be their first, last and only job until they retire. Given the pace of change in technology, economic globalization, or other factors that will not be obvious for years to come, having people mentally locked into thinking that they should settle for whatever job they take at a young age is a virtual guarantee of societal and economic obsolescence.

I'm 46 and I've changed employers three times and careers twice since leaving school. I'm now president and co-owner of a company. Would I be where I am now if I had went into my first job thinking that it was my right to be employed there until I retired?

I almost feel sorry for them.


Posted by Charles Austin at 09:28 PM | Comments (0)

April Fools

May fools, June fools, whatever:

As tensions increase between the United States and Iran, U.S. intelligence and terrorism experts say they believe Iran would respond to U.S. military strikes on its nuclear sites by deploying its intelligence operatives and Hezbollah teams to carry out terrorist attacks worldwide.

Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and The Plan notwithstanding, if these folks think that terrorism, even in response to US attacks, will cause the US to back down or relent, oh my, things are going to get ugly.

Posted by Charles Austin at 09:12 PM | Comments (0)