Contact FLOG™

Please enter my
Photographic Web Area


  • 10/01/2003 - 10/31/2003
  • 11/01/2003 - 11/30/2003
  • 12/01/2003 - 12/31/2003
  • 26 November 2003

    I'm not choking my chicken, I'm brining my turkey! 

    There's a difference. Anyway, folks: Happy Thanksgiving.

    "Where's the money, turkey? Where's the fuckin' money, shithead?"

    Oh yeah, you wanna picture of snow, click on the here.

    25 November 2003

    Enlightened Rogues 

    Last Thursday FLOG™ had the pleasure of attending a well-liquored seminar on The Law of Beer, featuring Jerome Chicvara, President of Portland Brewing, and Jack Joyce, owner of Rogue Brewing.

    FLOG™ knew he was in for a good night when one of the first words out of Joyce's mouth was "chickenshit," punctuated by a slug of MacTarnie's and delivered in the context of advising all in attendance to join the military after graduating from law school. "And don't go for the JAG Corps like all my chickenshit friends did. I signed up for war!"

    SIR, YES, SIR!

    Among other things FLOG™ learned from the irascible Joyce:
    -He refuses to serve vegans at his restaurants. He's not entirely sure what a vegan is, just that "they bitch a lot."

    -Wine tastings are for pussies. "When people go and taste wine, they always spit it out. But if you're at a beer tasting, you're damn well gonna swallow. And I've always been an advocate of swallowing." He added, "Did I just say that? I'm not even drunk yet!"

    -Despite owning Rogue Brewing, Joyce's preferred beer when he's out drinking is Budweiser. He is not ashamed of this choice. "Why do I drink Budweiser? Because I can drink TEN! I can't drink ten Dead Guys. Who can drink ten Dead Guys?" Uh, no comment, sir.

    -Having served PBR in his pubs for years, he is reasonably certain that its run as the cheapskate hipster's swill of choice is officially over. "If you are still ordering PBR, you are not going to get laid."
    Chicvara of Portland Brewing was no less raw and uncut. Of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, he had this to say:
    "You know, you can't use your personal tragedy as a shield for bullshit information. They have it set up where you have to say to them, 'Oh, I'm sorry about your son, or your daughter.' When what you should be saying to them is, 'That's bullshit!'"
    Here, here.

    But the evening was not all beer, sausage, and vulgarity. FLOG™ learned some useful tidbits from the expert panel:

    The OLCC as we know it is not long for this world. Everyone present, including the Director and a lobbyist from the Oregon Brewer's Guild, generally agreed that the OLCC would be out of the spirits retail business in the near future. Joyce put the timeline at seven months, but cooler heads suggested three years as a reasonable time.


    Indeed, the lobbyist on the panel--his name is not in my "notes"--told a dismal tale of backroom shenanigans that essentially gutted a bill on the verge of passing this past legislative session that would have all but done away with the OLCC. The final form of the "gut and stuffed" bill instead allowed "malternative" beverages to continue to be called "beer" for tax purposes until 2005. I don't have any other source to support the veracity of this story. But it does indicate that the legislature is headed towards getting the government out of the liquor business.

    Malternatives are Decadent and Depraved. Oregon brewers support privatizing the spirits industry in part because they don't want liquor companies taking away their shelf space in the beer aisles. As I'm sure we all know, Smirnoff and Bacardi and all the other big liquor brands recently kicked off the "malternative" fad as a way to get their brand names on television and, at least in control states like Oregon, onto supermarket shelves. This whole sorry business might not have happened if:

    (A) Television wasn't so prudish and so cowed by groups like MADD. This is improving--Blazer broadcasts have featured Jack ads for years, and I've been seeing a ton of straight-no-chaser ads on Spike TV.

    (B) More states moved away from the "control" approach to hard liquor sales.

    Anyway, here's the skinny on the malternatives, as summarized in an OLCC study. For tax purposes, they are classified as beer, simply because they start out as a combination of water, malted barley, and hops. But after being weakly brewed for minimum flavor, they are reverse-osmosis filtered until they go back to being water, more or less. Then, the manufacturers add "flavoring," i.e, sugar and hard liquor. As a result, you will find that they are called "flavored beer" on the label.

    As for the hard liquor that is added, don't go thinking that the Bacardi bottles have actual rum, or the Sauza bottles actual tequila. No, sir. Of 120 malternative bottles the OLCC tested, 114 turned out to contain nothing more than "non-beverage food-grade alcohol." Yum!

    There were also a lot of interesting things about the intricacies of interstate and international commerce in beer (Rogue goes to "all 48 states," Japan and England, and ships well because it's got the hops) and the fact that the Oregon Legislature wants to raise the beer tax (it's currently one of the four lowest in the country, the other three being Wisconsin, Missouri, and Colorado--connect the dots). But as a matter of fact, I don't remember most of it.

    23 November 2003

    Could be worse 

    FLOG™ has been quiet lately because with final exams beginning the week after Thanksgiving, FLOG™ has learned that as hellish as the last 14 weeks have been, things can always get a little more hellish. Right now things are very hellish. I'd even go so far as to suggest that FLOG™ is in for a shitstorm, if not an outright clusterfuck.

    But I know that it could be worse. How? Because I get regular letters from my brother, Mike, currently undergoing basic infantry training in the steaming piney woods of Fort Benning, GA. Here's a sample:
    Yesterday we did the gas chamber--on Halloween, how perfect. Man that shit is nasty. CS gas ain't nothin' nice. Shuffling into this dark cinderblock room with puke and drool all over the floor, everyone in MOPP gear--pretty spooky. Then you have to take off your mask and breath in the goodness. I was in there for way too long. They say (the rules) that it won't be longer than 15 seconds exposure. I got at least 45 seconds. But I handled it alright. No puke. Not really any snot, either. No real drool, just spit a few times. But it did feel horrible....Oops, busted by DS: "Lights out--that means all lights, shithead. C'mon, college boy, can't you figure that out?!"
    Whereas my main complaint is I have to read and write a lot, and occasionally I'm forced to talk in class. To borrow from George Carlin, what do law students have to be blue about?

    19 November 2003

    FLOG™ still loves snow, but wonders why it had to choose THIS week 

    And why WEDNESDAY?

    Why does it make FLOG™ gaze dreamily out the window at seagulls gliding silently through tumbling flakes when he really needs to be working on some goddamned 8-page paper about the enforceability of a covenant not to compete under IDAHO law???

    FLOG™ swears half an inch has piled up on the skylight outside his study room.

    FLOG™ has class in half an hour.

    FLOG™ is looking forward to driving home through a town that somehow collectively forgets how to drive at the first rainfall of the autumn and is surely not prepared for this kind of clusterfuck.

    FLOG™ should really be working on his memo, which is due at 10:25 AM tomorrow.

    FLOG™ can no longer make out the trees in Hendricks Park.

    FLOG™ is hypnotized.

    FLOG™ may have pretty snow pictures up later.

    FLOG™ will certainly have a hot toddy later.

    FLOG™ hopes this fluffy white sky-feces is still around on Friday.

    I have to break the silence 

    For this.

    I now return to silence.

    17 November 2003

    FLOG™ is very very busy this week. 

    Until FLOG™ is able to resume regular FLOG™ing, please consider this:

    14 November 2003

    Pumpkins + Biology = GROSS! 

    That right there is about all the math FLOG&trade is good for anymore. Anyway, remember this guy from Halloween?

    I carved some little ears for him, and at the time they were cute and puffy and looked like cartoonish pumpkin ears. In fact, his right ear looked like this:

    And it was about five inches high. Well, that look lasted a little while. But on Thursday when I went to toss out the jack-o-lanterns, which had begun to mold over, this ear had curled and shriveled up. It now looks like, feels like, and is the same size as a human ear. Only it's orange with green mold. It's, forgive me, downright eerie.

    Wanna see it? OKAY!

    I think I speak for all of us when I say:


    FLOG™'s Golden "Filibuster" Moments 

    Armed Prophet has been doing a fantastic job with his coverage of the "filibuster," but the fact is Mr. Prophet is limited by his mortality and his Eastern Standard Time "sleeping" habits. The poor man can't possibly cover the whole thing. So I'd like to help out.

    Therefore, let me fill in with a couple gems that Prophet missed:

    -Orrin Hatch's (R-Utah, duh) coining of the term "unistep," at about 9:30 PM EST. Apparently a merging of "unison" and "lockstep," this new word is best used in the sentence "The Democrats expect all judges to walk in unistep." Ah, I see.

    -Carl Levin's (D-Michigan) combover meltdown, at about 3 AM EST. At first shot in profile, Levin displayed an enormous, errant tangle of gray hair at the back of his balding head that was clearly intended to be combed over the dome. Whoever was running the production office at CSPAN-2 quickly switched to a head-on camera angle. Despite this effort at censorship, the unholy knot of misplaced hair at the back of Levin's head was never kept completely off-camera. Whenever he turned his head, the leading edge of it would peak out from behind his cranium, portending further horrors yet to be revealed, like the steady orbital approach of the Death Star in Return of the Jedi.

    13 November 2003

    The poetry of the internet, Part II 

    I suppose I would be remiss, in the context of the preceding post, in not giving a shoutout to Phooeyhoo's publication of his spam-blocking filter.

    The poetry of the internet 

    According to my web counter, people have reached FLOG™ on Google using the following search terms. Read them quickly in succession and perhaps you'll hear a "Song of FLOG™'s Self." I particularly enjoy the "manboobs feeding of suck arguments" passage. Quite telling.

    12 November 2003

    Self-correcting myself 

    Ooh, can't believe I wrote the phrase "self-styling himself" in the preceding post. That, and some other bits, are now fixed.

    : Self-stickling is not lewd conduct.™

    Pontification's not just for Pontiffs anymore 

    Blog has blogified the lawsuit against the makers of Grand Theft Auto for the crimes of a couple dumb Tennessee boys who elevated overpass mischief to a whole new level. On the merits of the case, he anticipates I'll pontificate.

    Okay, I'll bite. It seems that it's a pretty hopeless case, not least because the asshole--uh, I mean, attorney--who filed it just lost a nearly identical case at the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals last year. He had then filed a $130 million claim against, apparently, the entire entertainment industry for the crimes of a Paducah, Kentucky boy who shot up his school in 1997. After the trial court rightly dismissed, he appealed, and the 6th Circuit held:
    We find that it is simply too far a leap from shooting characters on a video screen (an activity undertaken by millions) to shooting people in a classroom (an activity undertaken by a handful, at most) for Carneal's actions to have been reasonably foreseeable to the manufacturers of the media that Carneal played and viewed.
    [Snooty legal citation thingy: James v. Meow Media, Inc., 300 F.3d 683, 693 (2002).]

    The only hope for this case is that the 6th Circuit had to apply Kentucky state law in that case, and this new case is from Tennessee. Kentucky and Tennessee have been at odds since 1861, so maybe their law on the scope of liability varies enough that he'll succeed this time.

    Which brings us to what's really interesting about the case: the attorney behind it, one Jack Thompson, who I would characterize as...let's see, opportunistic "crusader" engaged in forum-shopping for the national spotlight. Having failed last year to put the media on trial in Kentucky, he's testing out Tennessee. He's actually from Florida, and before finding his current calling, Thompson engaged in a number of other noteworthy adventures down there, including:

    -Styling himself "Jack Thompson in Miami," which is venal to begin with;

    -Leading the crusade to convict 2 Live Crew of obscenity, which to me is treasonous;

    -Centering his entire existence around Janet Reno, which is downright creepy.

    On that last note, there are several theories for Thompson's obsession with Janet Reno. The first is the one advanced by Reason, as linked to above. The nut:
    Back in 1988 Thompson was the GOP challenger to Reno for the district attorney's job in Dade County. Thompson's unique campaign message was that Reno was unfit for the job because, as a closeted lesbian with a drinking problem, she was great candidate for blackmail by the criminal element . . . Reno cruised at the polls.
    Another theory, as mentioned in the 2 Live Crew link above, takes it even further back in time:
    In 1988 Jack tried to get Reno to prosecute Miami DJ Neil Rogers for saying something on the air he didn't like. Reno would not, so Jack began harassing Rogers. Rogers got a Temporary Restraining Order issued against Jack, and Jack is forbidden to even mention the DJ's name. Pissed off at Reno, Jack ran against her in the elections.
    This is great stuff, no? The story goes on:
    At a public debate, [Thompson] presented Reno with a form demanding she fill it out. It read: "I, Janet Reno, am a 1) Homosexual; 2) Bisexual; 3) Heterosexual." Reno was expected to check an appropriate answer. The form went on to say, "If you don't respond by such a date, then you will be deemed to have checked one of the first two boxes."
    After flogging (not FLOG™ing, thank you) Janet Reno throughout the duration of the Clinton Administration--and surely there was plenty to flog--Thompson suddenly found himself with nothing to do round about 2000 there. So he decided to start a new life blaming the media for the autonomous acts of individuals. Great guy. I don't think I'm on shaky ground in declaring him a DOUCHEBAG.

    11 November 2003

    Left to your imagination...barely 

    So right now, for my Torts class, I'm reading a case called Pace v. Ohio Department of Transportation.

    THE FACTS: Pace sued ODOT for injuries related to an ODOT snowplow hitting a car he was in. Among other things, he hurt his finger, and several days later in the hospital, his finger developed a necrotic infection and was amputated. (If you are an alert reader, you might be wondering if the loss of the finger is due more to medical malpractice than to the original accident. Very good, this is a scope of liability case. But never mind that.)

    Anyway, as part of the lawsuit, his wife sued for "loss of consortium." Consortium losses are generally for "loss of companionship and services" among family members. Now, here's the part left to your imagination:

    One of the most common consortium claims for the spouse of an injured person is for the loss of sexual activities.

    For a finger?

    Have a nice day!

    Things I DID NOT KNOW yesterday (including the Esoteric Distinction "of the week") 

    1. Esoteric Distinctions Generally
    Right up front--in case you haven't noticed, the Esoteric Distinctions have not been coming at a weekly clip. Well, I've got enough weekly obligations already, so let's just pencil out that egregious "of the week" clause and leave a reasonable, fair and just title for the feature: Today's Esoteric Distinction.

    1.1 Today's Esoteric Distinction
    Today's Esoteric Distinction centers on the letter "e" and its use in the word that combines "judge" with the suffix "ment." And here it is:
    Mr. Boner's attorney, Horace Hairpie, exercised sound judgement in electing not to file a motion for summary judgment.
    Did you catch it? Here's the distinction. If you are going to combine "judge" and "ment" to describe a person's capacity to assess situations or circumstances and draw sound conclusions, it is acceptable to spell it "judgement," although some folks might freak out. But if you are referring to a court's settlement of a legal issue, you damn well better leave out that "e" and spell it "judgment."

    This is, of course, niggling of the highest order. To me it's the lawyer's equivalent of the journalist's prohibition of the word "hopefully." ("Hopefully" should not be used to mean "it is hoped that." Its proper meaning is as an adverb: "He gazed hopefully down the street, awaiting the return of his cat.") Do with it what you will.

    2. Who Loves Usury? South Dakota!
    Here is the second, and far more interesting, Thing I DID NOT KNOW yesterday. Most states in the country have very strict laws against usury--the charging of exorbitant interest rates. However, South Dakota is pretty lax. Consequently, if you look at your credit card agreement you will find that at the very least it stipulates that the agreement is entered into "under the laws of the state of South Dakota." It may also stipulate the courts of South Dakota as the chosen forum for any dispute between you and the issuer (although your local state court will probably reject that clause as unreasonable and unenforceable). And you might even find that your credit card company is incorporated in South Dakota, or is headquartered there. So South Dakota is to usury and credit what Nevada is to gambling and hookers. I don't know about you, but I DID NOT KNOW THAT yesterday.

    08 November 2003

    A cancerous week 

    This horrible horrible blog fever will consume us all. I'm starting to believe Blog on this. To everyone out there who doesn't yet have a blog:

    You will.

    You probably once claimed you'd never get online, or never have a cellphone. I know I did. Now I've got cable internet, cellphone, and a blog.

    Anyway, two more of my allies have joined the decay of coherent discourse as we know it.

    First we have This Is How I Will Get To Russia, a blog in which d5o3 intends to document every detail of his personal finances for the next seven months, acting on the theory that opening his private life to public scrutiny will help him control his spending and save enough money to circumnavigate the globe. I presume this means we should all shower shame upon him if we feel he is being profligate. Brave man, that d5o3.

    I have this to say: if, d5o3, you ever find yourself feeling faint or going blind as a result of your near-vegan frugality, let FLOG™ know. FLOG™'ll spring for a bus ticket down to Eugene and stuff you full of sausage and beer all goddamned weekend. God bless your crazy scheme.

    FLOG™: We do our part™.

    Next, we have Phooeyhoo, a new blog from the guy who brought you Whisking With Chlamydia. I'll repeat: the guy who brought you Whisking With Chlamydia. I don't think I have to say any more about that.

    07 November 2003


    Still! Whatever I'm doing right, my Australian readership has EXPLODED in the space of a week. Welcome to FLOG™'s world, Landownunda. Belgium who?

    06 November 2003

    An answer to Armed Prophet about Ronald Reagan 

    Armed Prophet wonders what my take on the Reagan miniseries flap might be, as a "moderately liberalish" person. Well, I'm not sure about that, or even if I am such a person, but I'll offer my take as a "moderately historianish" person:

    Docudramas are crap.

    I will now offer an unrelated anecdote.

    One of my major reservations about going to UO law school was coming back to a town, and a campus, that is, simply put, overflowing with nutjobs, cranks and wackos. But I have found that, on balance, law students and faculty are much more level-headed and rational than the general student body. This is nice. Even the more lefty or righty students have to state their positions in a calm, reasoned manner, and class discourse is so goddamned much the better for it.

    But every bad apple has its thorn, I think the saying goes. And so I was shocked when, during a class discussion of the John Hinckley Jr. case, someone suggested that had it been Hitler who was shot, no one would consider Hinckley crazy. Stop right there, that's bad enough--bringing up Hitler is a piss-poor argumentative device. But it pales in comparison to the words I heard come out of a student sitting next to me: "I don't really see the difference." After class, this student declined to back away from his words and, indeed, elaborated:
    I would argue that Reagan was worse than Hitler. I mean, what he did affected more people. I think shooting Reagan has a lot more justification than shooting Hitler.
    So, Armed Prophet, perhaps you should ask him about the miniseries. I'm sure he'd be thought-provoking--he might even tell you they were right to pull it because it failed to portray Reagan as the brutally murderous megalomaniac he actually was.

    Wilco or Won'tco--a little amateur music criticism 

    [People who've never heard of Wilco may disregard this post. Actually, anyone may disregard it.]

    FLOG™ has a confession to make, although I take comfort in knowing I'm far from alone: I jumped shamelessly on the Wilco bandwagon after Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. Worse yet, I did so after hearing a Jeff Tweedy interview on NPR. Cripes, how adult contemporary am I?

    Nevertheless, I have since worked my way fearlessly back in time through the Wilco catalog, and after bottoming out on the well-crafted but unremarkable debut AM, I have come to rest on their second album, Being There.

    Now, Being There is, in the finest Miles Davis sense, a motherfucker of an album. It finds Wilco clawing its way out of the "" hole Jeff Tweedy had dug for his band the same way the Clash blasted their way out of punk's self-limitations with London Calling. Hold on--I said "the same way." I'm not claiming it's anywhere near as revolutionary, but it has the same feel--the same willingness to try on any style and use it to better express the band's own unique aesthetic.

    Still with me? Oh, well. Where I'm going is, what was the big deal with YHF? Every alleged innovation on YHF can be found on Being There, put across with a lot more passion and a palpable excitement at music's possibilities. By comparison, YHF sounds overly crafted and calculated. Hyper-calculated, in fact--it's a damned concept album. (What's the concept? That's fodder for another post. And here I am favoring a double album over a concept album. Christ. Thanks, Wilco!)

    Seems to me that all the fuss over YHF is attributable to the caught-on-film record company flap surrounding the album. The label wanted a more "saleable" album, apparently wishing Wilco would quit being creative and accept their fate as the next Counting Crows. The band refused to change anything, though, and they got dropped, miraculously retaining the rights to the album. They were then snatched up by another label (which happened to be part of the same huge conglomerate!).

    It's an exciting story, sure, with a lot of in's and out's and a lot of interested parties. But the album at the center doesn't live up to the story. It is NOT a country-rock answer to OK Computer, dammit. Quit saying that! (What was the country-rock answer to OK Computer? Modest Mouse's The Moon and Antarctica, of course. More on them in a minute.) It's all story. And if you are a bandwagon-jumper like me, don't believe the hype. Being There was the real breakthrough. Check it out.

    Okay, a note on Modest Mouse, who seem to be having YHF-esque difficulties with their next album. It was due for release this past September--just in time for my recent conversion to the band. But apparently the A & R man who signed the band to Epic Records has left the label, and left the band in the lurch. In a recent interview, The Least Modest of the Mice, Isaac Brock, lamented
    I don't know a single person who works at that label anymore except the head of the art department.
    Consequently, the album has now been pushed back to Spring 2004, and Brock now complains, "We had more of a budget before we signed to a major label deal."

    Now, my feeling is that you, dear reader, either already knew all that or you don't give a damn. Yet to me, Epic's treatment of the band is appalling, coming on the heels of a much-ballyhooed major label signing and a widely hailed "debut" album. Granted, this is a band that will never top the charts, so I understand if the label isn't panting at Brock's feet with a blank check. But Epic had to know that going in. You can't look at an album as strange as Lonesome Crowded West and think, "by God this may be the next Sum 41!" The next Pixies, maybe, but what is that worth in dollars and cents to a major label?

    Modest Mouse was signed to give Epic some critical credibility, and if that's an investment they're willing to make, they should stick by it, just as Wilco's label should have stuck by them. Here's what I say to all the major labels currently reading this rant: either give your legitimate artists the treatment they deserve, or quit tempting indies into major-label hell and stick to the crap you're so good at.

    Ah, that was fun.

    FLOG™ & Blog: Pals 4ever! 

    FLOG™ erred in making a passing reference to Blog's hourly wage in the pursuit of a joke. It was careless of FLOG™.

    Last night, FLOG™ was reading Blog's posts about A Clockwork Orange in the workplace, which he found to be hilarious, when a thought popped into FLOG™'s head about what they pay the kids down here at UO to submit to psychological tests. Unfortunately, to express that thought, he mentioned some private information about Blog. This was not done with malice towards Blog or with any desire to insult or shame him.

    Blog, however, didn't see it that way, and asked FLOG™ to remove the post, which FLOG™ did, but as you may know, FLOG™ can't ever resist runnin' off his big mouth, so he said a little more on the subject and things escalated. Next thing he knew, Blog was really really really mad and was retaliating with his own volley of personal data about FLOG™.

    FLOG™ would now like to bring this to a close, particularly because intimations that FLOG™ enjoys Heineken really sting. FLOG™ does not like Heineken.

    FLOG™ hopes to re-establish normal online relations with Blog as soon as possible.

    One paragraph I didn't need in my casebook 

    Note 10, page 528, of Tort Law and Practice, D. Vetri et al:
    CASABLANCA'S FAME. Fortunately, we have other more memorable circumstances for romanticizing Casablanca than the Polemis case. Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, and Peter Lorre made the location famous in their classic movie "Casablanca."

    I believe this is news 

    Click on the here.

    05 November 2003

    Mr. FLOG™ regrets, he was unable to FLOG™ today 

    Yep. I have not posted anything. You wouldn't have, either. Back soon!

    04 November 2003

    Crime or punishment? 

    Armed Prophet has asked me if this is really a crime.

    Well, yes. Even if the guy didn't realize he was running someone over--and therefore had no mens rea or "guilty mind," his act can be considered a crime on a theory of criminal negligence. He was not aware of the actual crime, but he was or reasonably should have been aware that driving his pickup drunk was an inherently dangerous activity with a readily foreseeable risk of harm. And his wanton ignorance of this risk was a criminally negligent act, for which he is liable for any consequences.

    That's the legal theory. As for the moral wrongness of running down Justin Timberlake fans, I think that's a legislative question.


    Since the inauguration of my I LOVE BELGIUM!™ series, my Belgian readership has dropped from 0.6% of my total readers to 0.5%. I don't know what it takes to please you Belgians. To hell with you--you're just a more waffly version of the French. Yes, waffly--I mean that in every sense of the word. Seems to me Baldwin Iron Arm was the last Belgian to take a meaningful stand on anything. For the past 1,000 years you've simply blown in the shifting winds of European power. Fie on that, Flanders! Everyone knows the Swiss are better at it, anyway.

    Meanwhile, my Australian readership has skyrocketed from 0.0% to 0.5%. So....


    This, however, does not require any change in my editorial content, because Australia is little more than the logical extension of the American West. Take a look at Ned Kelly--aside from being named Ned and wearing silly iron armor, is he any different than Jesse James or Billy the Kid? I think not. Runnin' around, rustlin' up horses. Hell, Waylon Jennings did the soundtrack for a movie about him. If this isn't a Western story, I don't know what is.

    And what about the Sydney Olympics, when all the Australian officials were running around in dusters like a bunch of Doc Hollidays? Yep, Australia's just an island Texas with a few more galliwankers. So, therefore, I LOVE AUSTRALIA!™

    03 November 2003

    Introducing I LOVE BELGIUM!™ 

    It has come to my attention that my readership is 97.1% American and only 0.6% Belgian. In an effort to reach out to and build on my Belgian market, I'd like to introduce an occasional series known as


    This is more than opportunism. I really love Belgium. Whereas I left Paris faintly annoyed by the arrogance of the crepe vendors and the silliness of the tires on the Metro, Brussels was one of my favorite stops in Europe way back in 1987. I'll still take a waffle over a crepe any day, plus they had a statue that went pee-pee! No, seriously, take a look!

    Anyway, today's I LOVE BELGIUM™ is dedicated to the great Count of Flanders from the 11th Century, Baldwin Iron Arm. Baldwin was my kind of guy. Although Belgium nominally remained part of France after the decline of Charlemagne's empire, Baldwin saw things differently. He was so tired of French power that he kidnapped and married the daughter of the King of France, Charles the Bold. Adding insult to injury, he turned around and threatened to form an alliance with the Normans! I mean, hell, the NORMANS! Faced with this possibility, Charles the "Bold" was forced to submit to Baldwin's ferocious Belgian will. I'll drink to that! Let's all raise a Chimay to Baldwin Iron Arm!

    After willing the French into submission, Baldwin went on to make the Germans his lapdogs, all the while remaining a "lowly" Count, and not a monarch. One might say that this was the beginnings of Belgium's status as a crossroads of power, a place where the mighty must consult before they get their way. This trend has persisted until modern times. After the War of 1812, the Brits and the US made their peace with the Treaty of Ghent of 1814. And nowadays Belgium is home to both NATO (aka OTAN) and the European Union.

    So you see, I LOVE BELGIUM™!

    If only more mathemeticians would write cookbooks... 

    We'd have more writing like this, from the just released Chapter 1 of Whisking With Chlamydia, by FLOG™'s good friend Kenny Nguyen:

    Talk about easy! This one pretty much does itself. If Pork à la Kenny was as easy as proving that every Lindelöf space is normal then this is a trivial proof by Zorn’s Lemma*.

    *What fruit is a maximal element if X is a poset in which each chain has an upper bound? Zorn’s Lemon!
    What’s small, green and lives in R2? An ordered pair!
    Do I know what he's talking about? NO! Do I know he's a great cook? YES! Please give him a visit over at the link on the right.

    Oh yeah, Chlamydia is the name of his three-foot whisk.

    John school! Talkin' bout john school! 

    The City of Portland has created a "john school" for people convicted of soliciting prostitution. Now the sad old men in rusty Celicas they catch out on Sandy Boulevard can reduce their sentences by attending a class on the horrors of prostitution. For six hours on a Sunday, the johns are lectured on their role in bringing about a "world of sexually transmitted diseases, abusive pimps, criminal prosecution and urban blight."

    Nice idea, but I think they're taking the wrong tack. Why badger these sad sacks about the horrors they bring to society? Do they really need any more shame in their lives?

    No, sir. What they need is confidence! Poise! Sex appeal! If they learn how to get it for free, they'll quit paying. Uh, I think my favorite adage now goes something like this:
    Teach a man not to fish on Sandy Boulevard, and he'll starve.
    Teach a man how to fish at the Heathman Lounge, and he'll be eatin' fish tacos the rest of his happy life!

    This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

    There are other BLOGs:

    Armed Prophet
    The OC
    What's a Wazeth, Walter?
    Go back to Russia!

    There are quasi-BLOGs:


    There is a cookbook:

    Whisking With Chlamydia