AJ Ericksen's Blog World

Friday, April 30

My Problem with Mozilla Firefox

My beef with Mozilla Firefox, the browser Torry really likes (1) because it isn't from Microsoft and (2) because of the tabs, which are a huge step forward over Internet Explorer, is this: it bogs down my speed with the Google Deskbar when set as my default browser.

Explorer starts right up. But since the Deskbar (my preferred way of surfing the web) uses the default browser in its own mini browser, I have to wait the 5 seconds or so to run my search.

If anybody knows what I can do about this, let me know.

Wednesday, April 28

Different Perspective

Truly, the Images of crashed autos Sorens links to are disturbing (except for the trashed SUVs, because I hate SUVs and every person who rolls in an H2). However, thinking about how much fun the driver was having right up to the moment he (women are awful drivers but seldom drive exotics) lost control would make any car guy giddy.

Another thought: I don't really like the Enzo. I think the lines of the F40, F50, 360, 456, and 550 are all much sexier. That said, I too envy Paul.

South Park

The New York Times carries a nice piece on the morality taught in South Park:

Bored?

Here is a PDF of the paper I coauthored titled "Women and Diversity in Corporate America."

Tuesday, April 27

Whoa

The Village Voice of all papers doesn't think John Kerry is a solid Democratic nominee. [Also linked on DrudgeReport.]

Health Watch

Half of Germans too Fat?
Lisa: Bart, don't you think it's odd, Uder disappearing and then the school serving all this German meat?

Principal Skinner: Oh, don't worry, children. I've got a... gut... feeling Uder's around here somewhere. After all, isn't there a little bit of Uder in all of us? In fact, you could even say that you ate Uder, and he's in our stomachs, right now! No wait, scratch that last one...

Monday, April 26

Wilbon on Eli Manning

Michael Wilbon says the following, which runs contrary to charges like Torry's:
Archie Manning knows how this works. And any father worth the title should be commended for doing whatever he can to keep his kid away from the likes of the football Cardinals, the NBA Clippers and Wizards and baseball's Expos. And yes, the Chargers are in that group.

On Johnny Cash

National Review Online carries a nice piece about Johnny Cash's posthumous UnEarthed. The author notes that Cash "stands alongside Sinatra, Elvis, and Dylan as a supreme interpreter of American song."

More immediately, I post the link because the first paragraph has a nice explanation of the very biblical-sounding "The Man Comes Around" - which Mark and I were listening to yesterday in the car. The song and the story behid it are both pretty cool.

Saturday, April 24

Movies

I actually looking forward to this teen-girl flick:



She's such a babe.

Library Update

The Law Library is more crowded today than it's been on any weekday of the semester. The stench of fear and anxiety that comes with exams being less than two weeks away.

However, armed with some Credence tapes, the Dude abides. (Although at the moment, I'm listening to Van Morrison's "Tupelo Honey.")

Mean, But True

A buddy of mine told me he found a flyer in one of the law school bathrooms that said the following:
A friendly reminder from Texas's Law Review [sic]:
Grades do matter and half of you will be below the median.
It seemed like a polite PSA to 1Ls preparing for exams.

There is an important life lesson here, too: Sometimes trying your best isn't enough.

Friday, April 23

Friday Night Post

I'm working on a paper, trying to save money by not going out as much, and watching the Rockets beat the Lakers. Hence, the Friday night post.



Oh yeah, I'm also watching The Simpsons during the commercial breaks, which seques nicely to the Kraftwerk reference (from the Hellfish Bonanza episode).

Needless to say, I'm not getting lots of work done.

Corruption, Greed, and Athletics

Sports Illustrated's Mike Fish examines the hypocrisy that fuels the NFL and the NCAA's position on keeping young players out of the draft. Even though I think Clarett is a chump who won't amount to much in the pros (or in life), I agree with Fish's position. It's a good read.

Fashion News

In addition to This Proposal, let's just outlaw spandex, tank tops, and "pornst*r" t-shirts on 13 year-olds, too.

Thursday, April 22

Wonderful Hypocrisy

Michael Moore, who makes a fortune celebrating the American working class and spewing anti-Bush vitriol, apparently outsources himself. His website is Canadian .

The Jets

Long story short, I ended up making a $2 bet (and losing) that a certain cheesy pop song was by Polynesian-Mormon pop super group The Jets. Anyway, in checking the answer, I stumbled upon this funny review:
When music historians look back at our generation's greatest musical achievements...The Jets should surely be included as revolutionizing pop music. George Michael himself could not have crafted such beautifully written pop tunes. I dare Mccartney [sic] and Lennon to match bar for bar, note for note the craftsmanship of a Jets album. Why they have not been included in the Rock and Roll hall of fame is a mystery to me.

This album changed my life....I now read from left to right thanks to the music of the Jets. Please God of popular of music, bring back the 'mighty' Jets.

Wednesday, April 21

Kill Me Now

Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn is airing its "best of" show. It is unbelievably annoying and lame. Why do I watch it? Because I'm waiting for South Park, which is always fresh and entertaining.

Tuesday, April 20

Words

In looking for an answer to a Mother Egan's trivia question - In what sport do you find Reefs, Sheets, Mothers and Fenders? (answer: sailing) - I found the following Definition for "mother": "Someone who thinks girls who go after her son are brazen and the ones who don't are stupid."

And "multitasking": "Screwing up several things at once."

[Admittedly, the little glossary is pretty lame. Sorry about ever posting the link.]

Lyttle Lytton Worst Sentence Ever Contest

The Contest seeks to find the worst first sentence for a novel. Some contenders are:

"While my opponents fellate the Satan of special interests, I go down on Reform's compassionate angel."

"The dame had balls, you had to give her that, and a Jetta."

Monday, April 19

Perplexing

An ESPN Page 2 reader wonders, "If Kobe Bryant and Mark Chmura went on a double date, would there be any chance that the girls' names wouldn't be Mary-Kate and Ashley?"

The Next Wal-Mart?

German discount grocer Aldi is being called "Europe's stealth Wal-Mart." Even Wal-Mart struggles to sell as cheaply as Aldi. It was kind of already Wal-Mart before Wal-Mart was cool. And it does it all without the uproar from locals about their towns being destroyed. Also, its founder is the third-richest man on earth.

Sunday, April 18

Houston Rockets

ESPN's Sports Guy asks:
Why is it better for Houston if they get swept by the Lakers?

Because that means they'll clean house. We have now wasted two years of Yao's career. The best passing big man in two decades ... and he's stuck playing with shoot-first guards and people who can't move without the ball. It's criminal. Do you realize that Yao finshed the season with 122 assists in 82 games? How is this even possible? Imagine him on the Kings, or even the Jazz? This is insane.
I whole-heartedly agree. The best thing the Rockets could do is be crushed so they rethink (and trade) Steve Francis.

More Rage

Today, I had two appointments - one in West Campus and one in East Austin. However, I was unable to make the necessary turns in the car to reach either destination. Why?

Perhaps it was the damned fools who have, under a delusion that it would cure multiple sclerosis, decided it would be fun to ride their bicycles from Houston to Austin.

However, that answer is incomplete. What has been left out is racism and elitism. Maybe you are wondering why a white guy like me would blame anything other than the Klan on racism. However, what dawned on me today was this: the bike ride wends its way through East Austin (largely populated by black, Hispanic, and poor people) and West Campus (full of students who, because they aren't permanent residents, are politically powerless).

I admit, riding through West Austin would not make sense because it's not on the way from Houston. However, I seriously doubt that the affluent people in West Austin - the people with the most political power and the most likely to participate in a charity ride - would never allow the enormous traffic "inconvenience" to be crammed down their throats. Yet their lack of concern for poorer people and minorities allows them to stick it to the other folks.

P.S. I did roll down the window and boo today, and I yelled at a cop who obstinately wouldn't allow the right turn that would have allowed me easily to get where I was going.

Saturday, April 17

I Hate "Fun" Runs and Fun Runners

The Texas Round-Up took place today. The confounded event ostensibly was to raise money for the American Diabetes Association. A few things happened:

1. Diabetes was not Cured.

2. No more money was raised by running that would have been raised by soliciting straight cash donations.

3. Thousands of people who had to get somewhere were horribly inconvenienced by the self-indulgent do-gooders running the race and the horribly incompetent Austin police.

I was one of the screwed-over motorists.

It being a nice Saturday, my roommates and I decided it would be a good idea to grab a burger at Burger Tex, the finest Korean burger joint ever. According to Mapquest, from my door to theirs is 1.69 miles and takes 4 minutes. And it took about that long to get there.

After lunch however, so these assholes could run around feeling good about themselves, the city shut down Guadalupe (major north-south downtown street) and Congress (another big north-south). Additionally, every important east-west route was closed. As a convenience, no signs were posted with information about what was closed or which alternate routes to take. Kudos to the no-talent ass clowns in city management.

Anyway, to make a long story short, getting home to my toilet (Burger Tex burgers are really greasy and succulent) required 14 changes of direction, 11 additional miles of travel, immeasurable aggravation, and took 1 hour and 37 minutes! At times, I wanted to park my car, walk home, and pick it up tomorrow. However, there was no parking either. Aside from ever leaving my apartment today, my only other regret is not loudly booing the runners as they passed by.

Friday, April 16

New Background

I hope the change from the Hopper background improves readability and speeds up page loading.

This Is Hardly Vietnam

Charles Krauthammer tries to provide a reality check for the hysterical folks out there who see Iraq as the next Vietnam:
The first George Bush once said he thought the Persian Gulf War would cure America of the Vietnam syndrome. He was wrong. There is no cure for the Vietnam syndrome. It will go away only when the baby boom generation does, dying off like the Israelites in the desert, allowing a new generation, cleansed of the memories and the guilt, to look at the world clearly once again.
Unfortunately, the baby boomers will not die for a long time and not until their demands for healthcare, drugs, and every other need they could have provided for by conservatively investing part of their income over time but instead want to steal from their children and grandchildren (under the guise of "compassionate" government) cripple the future of my generation.

The Happiest Place on Earth

The wonderful thing about Tigger is Tigger's a wonderful thing.

Thursday, April 15

Conversation at a Bar

Tonight, a little get together of law review students took place at the Scholz Beer Garten. After a few hundred dollars worth of law-firm sponsored bar tab, crazy schemes, such as diverting the breakfast-taco fund toward a boat rental for board meetings, were discussed.

Anyhow, near the end, most of the energy was focused on getting one of the drunker guys to drink a bottle of barbeque sauce.

So I found myself talking with the only other sober guy. His suggestion to me was this:

Reality shows are cheap but lucrative. Why not make a reality show called "When Nerds Start Drinking"? Seemed like a good idea to me at the time.

People are Stupid

The government Estimates that it takes the average taxpayer over 28 hours to complete a tax return. Granted, my personal return is not very complicated. However, there is plenty of inexpensive software available to guide one through the process. If you assemble your documents, it is relatively painless (and there is much less chance of error than if you used a pencil and paper).

I can only imagine that most of the time is spent going "um ... um ... honey, ... um ... what's this mean."

But that's just one man's opinion.

Wednesday, April 14

Movie Review

The Onion reviews the new movie by that annoying broad from that awful chick-flick My Big Fat Greek Wedding:
Given her outsized personality and the canned quips she always has ready, My Big Fat Greek Wedding's Nia Vardalos will inevitably secure a regular seat on Hollywood Squares sooner or later. It's just a question of where: In the center square, requiring a long, Whoopi Goldberg-style run of failing upward? The corners, where recognizable minor celebrities hold court with Kermit The Frog and Bruce Vilanch? Or perhaps the dreaded middle-sides, which only come into play when contestants are thwarted in their early bids for tic-tac-toe?
I will never see her new movie.

Tuesday, April 13

Shocking Democratic Ad

Read the second to last Paragraph. More information Here.

Monday, April 12

Competition

Mr. Johnson posted a picture of Mrs. Phil Mickelson. So, in the spirit of things, I'm posting another swimsuit issue image of doubtlessly somebody's wife or girlfriend:

Sigh . . .

Economics 101 (& Politics)

Charles Krauthammer writes:
Turns out [Hubert] Humphrey was wrong. At the time [1965], we really did not "have the means to do it" because we did not yet know how to banish poverty and hunger. Today we do.

The answer is not foreign aid, which is corrupting and often worse than useless. In many cases, it further impoverished an already-poor country. Enriched urban elites bought luxury goods, while donated food and socialist controls drove down the local price of food, ruining the farmers on whom these subsistence economies had depended.

We now know that the secret to curing hunger and poverty is capitalism and free trade. We have seen that demonstrated irrefutably in East Asia, which has experienced the greatest alleviation of poverty in history. In half a century, places such as Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea have gone from subsistence living to First World status. And now free markets and free trade are lifting tens of millions of people out of poverty in India and China.
Mr. Krauthammer then continues by explaining how the Democrats' current opposition to outsourcing is inconsistent with the liberal aim of alleviating poverty.

Seal Hunting


Why not club Paris Hilton instead?

Saturday, April 10

Profundity

F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote: "The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function." (Reported in Jim Collins, "The 10 Greatest CEOs of All Time," Fortune, July 21, 2003, at 54, 58.)

Eine Empfehlung für Euch

To all who have the opportunity, I recommend seeing Good Bye, Lenin! Naturally, I'm a little biased because I get extra pleasure from watching a good German-language film. Still, this one is great. It's an interesting twist on the classic Rip Van Winkle story that is both humorous and poignant. (Synopsis)

An aside: I found the mother in the film to be a particularly elegant and attractive middle-aged remnant of the DDR.

Friday, April 9

Enron News

Swindler and criminal former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling working on an insanity defense or just a paranoid psycho?

Whew

Finally, I fulfilled my annual hours-worked requirement for Law Review.

Thursday, April 8

Photoshop Madness

Clever Photoshoppers have done all kinds of fun things with an image of Coach K. from Duke's loss in the Final Four.

[Thanks Riekert.]

Affirmative Action

Former Princeton president William Bowen is calling upon elite higher education institutions to make the kinds of admissions preferences given to minorities available to low-income students. To me, this seems to be a much better way to address "diversity" and provide real opportunities.

Hondas, Traffic Tickets, and Time Travel

This Letter from a speeder to the police is a joy to read if you have an interest in the above subjects.

Wednesday, April 7

Mrs. Kerry

John Kerry's wife refers to herself as "African American"?

Tuesday, April 6

American Idolatry

Midlake is a nice little band from Denton, Texas, that I stumbled upon last night at Emo's while on my way to see a friend's band, The Dark Thirty. Check out the tracks Excited But Not Enough and Paper Gown (legal downloads from the band's website).

Arghhh!

The Nail-Biter is chomping down and going to town again. I'm going insane.

Monday, April 5

Completely Fascinating

Ghost Town is a collection of photographs taken by a Ukrainian woman who goes on motorcycle photo-safaris through the cities and villages around the Chernobyl nuclear reactor.

[Thanks Riekert.]

Maddox to Readers

After receiving numerous stupid emails from readers who failed to recognize his April Fool's Joke, a frustrated Maddox muses: "I seriously contemplated taking down my site and just posting links to animal porn for you retards. You're all idiots, and I've lost what little respect I had for you."

Sometimes I feel like that about my readers, too.

[Of course, it goes without saying that my readers see this as a joke as well.]

Saturday, April 3

Must-See TV

MTV, which generally sucks, has the best "makeover" show of all -- Pimp My Ride. It is hilarious to see $20,000 worth of custom audio, video, and accessories pumped into cars worth less than $1,000. Check it out.

Friday, April 2

Mea Culpa

This Blog apologizes for writing way too much today. It's just a thing this Blog does to distract himself when working on a paper for school.

Stupid Pricks

Because there are too many pricks who use their name, birthday, or social security number as a password, the Univerisity has created a ridiculous set of Rules for what can and cannot be used as a password. I hate to publish vulgarity, but only one word describes these rules: clusterf*ck (which I couldn't use as a password because it contains "a word found in a dictionary."

It is a pain to come up with such a password. What do I predict will happen? This will lead to more morons who work for UT writing their passwords on the bottom of their keyboards.

Joining Two Topics Du Jour

Topic 1: Presently, I working on a paper about women in corporate America. It is a group undertaking, and my assignment is to do a case study of Wal-Mart.

Topic 2: As I mentioned Earlier, parts of Germany are pushing for a 42-hour work week.

Combining Germany and Wal-Mart: In doing my research, I stumbled across this item in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's "News of the World" section:
Wal-Mart has joined other companies in Germany trying to make a special appeal to the country's 14 million one-person households. The Wal-Mart in Dortmund is the first of the 92 outlets in Germany to offer a "Single-Shopping" night. On Friday nights, reports DW-World, those looking for a little romance can get a red ribbon tied onto their shopping basket, which signals that they're available. One customer said she felt "a little like an ape in a zoo" but liked the concept. One problem, she said, was being at the right place at the right time in the sprawling store. "Because if I'm in the yogurt aisle," she said, "my Prince Charming might just be over by the eggs."
Two comments: (1) Does yogurt need a whole aisle? (2) I recall the ideal "Target wife" - a stylish, sexy, but thrifty goddess that Mr. Johnson and would alway ogle when we went to Target. It is much more difficult to think of a "Wal-Mart babe."

Office 2003

Mr. Johnson is skeptical of Office 2003. I understand his sentiments. However, I have been using the software for 3 months now and have been pleased the whole time. The Professional edition I obtained, not through the company but through the University, has Publisher, which was not included in the OfficeXP bundle. That's a plus. The best part to me, though, is the slick new preview pane in Outlook and the new mail notification, which displays the sender, subject, and the first line of every e-mail for about 5 seconds in the corner of your screen, above any other windows. It's a great feature.

Is Office 2003 worth hundreds of dollars if you have OfficeXP already? Of course not. But if you can get a cheap or Free legal copy, you ought to.

Frosty Day in Hell

Bavaria has instituted - to great protest - a 42-hour work week! This is completely unprecedented. (Translation)

I saw this on German TV while I was surfing channels and eating lunch in the law school lounge, and I nearly spit out my Dr Pepper.

"Dick" Clarke

I know that this guy is quickly becoming old news and that I link to to many articles about him, still, I will post one more by Charles Krauthammer on Clarke's Phony Apology to the 9/11 victims' families.

The Price of Vanity

The downside to this sexy new blog format is that the University's servers, which host this Blog's images, go down from time to time. When that happens, what is left is an unattractive, plain-vanilla, black-on-white page. If you see this, sorry. Certainly, this Blog will return to sexy shortly.

Thursday, April 1

TechWatch

The New York Times reports that Google - the greatest Internet company ever - has now launched its own email service, Gmail.

[Update: Gmail is still in beta. You cannot create an account yet, but you can drop your email address to keep abreast of its progress.]

Chicks Dunking

Jason Whitlock of ESPN is the first mainstream writer to speak candidly about the PC sham that resulted in Candace Parker winning the McDonald's All-American slam contest:
. . . The judges and the crowd treated her like she'd performed with a disability. Seven judges gave her a perfect 10 on her final dunk. Had a healthy boy completed the same dunks in an all-star dunk contest, he might've been booed off the court.
Amen.

Graphics Help

Thanks go to Sorens for helping me clean up the .gif I'm using for my blog title. I am totally inept with Photoshop, so the assistance was helpful. Originally, I was going to do the title with text, an IE font called "Fantasy." Problem was, that font is not compatible with all browsers. So I made an image in Photoshop with the similar "Juice" font. However, I didn't know about "anti-aliasing," so the image came across jagged. Now, it should look good in other browsers.

Unfortunately for some, with the background and new title .gif, the page is around 80K. Hopefully, none of my readers suffer with a dial-up connection (though that should still only be a couple seconds).

Also: Happy April Fool's Day! (Alas, I'm not a clever prankster.)