Saturday, October 16, 2004
Melitta Mill & Brew - $40
Update to Your Coffee Sucks! :
The main complaint I've received over this rant was that the prices of the grinding brewers were very expensive. I hear ya. Today, I see in the weekly Target circular that thye have on clearance sale the Melitta Mill & Brew 10-Cup Coffeemaker for $40 . . .
That's the best price I have seen to date for a name brand mill & brew. A quick Froogel search shows this to run from $60 to $100.
Melitta Mill & Brew 10-Cup Coffeemaker
model # - MEMB1B
UPDATE: Ocotber 17, 2004 11:42 am
Missus essays & effluvia thought it would be a good idea to have back coffee maker -- a second pot for decaf when company's over, etc. Since we had breakfast this morning near our friendly neighborhood Target, we picked up the Melitta.
I'm sipping the first pot now -- its pretty good. Hotter than the Capresso, not quite as rich. But for $40, its a no brainer . . .
Friday, October 15, 2004
2368 Attacks in 30 Days
Incredible: This is what our troops are enduring:
Click for a much larger graphic
Graphic courtesy NYTimes
Wednesday, October 13, 2004
Via Sensory Impact
Monday, October 11, 2004
Kids say the darndest things
Sunday, October 10, 2004
100 Worst Guitar Riffs, Licks & Solos of All Time
In its December issue, Guitar World lists The 100 Worst Riffs, Licks & Solos of All Time, skewering a lineup of guitar heroes that include Def Leppard, The Who, the Grateful Dead, Korn, Metallica and B.B. King.
Blaaaang! Splurrtttt! Zweeeeeeenogghh! Splat! After two decades of kissing ass, Guitar World tips over a few sacred cows in a definitive guide to guitar parts that blow. PLUS Kirk Hammett, Dave Mustaine, K.K. Downing, Warren Haynes, Jeff Hanneman and a bevy of guitar gods tell you which song they'd rerecord if given the chance.
USA Today observes that "even guitar gods can perform like mere mortals."
Amongst the metalheads and hair bands are legends such as Carlos Santana, Eric Clapton (listed three times, including No. 67 for After Midnight), Keith Richards and Jimi Hendrix. The magazine saves most of its venom for Poison guitarist C.C. DeVille, who nabs the No. 1 spot for his solo on 1991's "Swallow This ... Live."
USA Today: "The rest of the top 10: Blue Cheer (Summertime Blues); Santana (The Game of Love); Cream (a beer jingle); The Beatles (All You Need Is Love); Black Flag (Thirsty and Miserable); Ted Nugent (Wango Tango); Rolling Stones (Ain't Too Proud to Beg); Manowar (Sting of the Bumblebee) and Lenny Kravitz (American Woman)."
Riffs take a licking
By Jim Cheng, USA TODAY
By Chris Pizzello, AP
Saturday, October 09, 2004
The “Soft” Prejudice of Low Expectations vs The Hanging Curve Ball
Presidential Debate #2: I thought both candidates did pretty well. Two things really stick out in my viewing of the give and take:
1) The “Soft” Prejudice of Low Expectations
Bush did much better this time -- he went from a grade of "D" to a "B minus." Hardly a resounding victory, but at least he didn't stink the room up like last time. That is what has been so aptly called the “Soft” Prejudice of Low Expectations: Merely not totally sucking is perceived, at least in some quarters, as total victory.
I do not agree with that assessment -- at least not within the context of the debate -- but I do see the logic of that within the larger campaign. Imagine what would have happened if Bush had a similar performance to the first debate -- scowling, rambling, unable to coherently fill 120 seconds. It would have been game over.
While not losing big is not the same as a clean victory, at least, from the W's point of view, he has lived to fight another day. That's important for any incumbent with only 24 days to go.
2) The Hanging Curve Ball
I thought Kerry was good tonite. Not great, but very good: He may have slipped from an "A minus" to a "B plus." He was "Presidential," he obviously has a command of the issues, the policies, the facts. He seemed to connect with the members of the audience much more than I expected. The sense I got from the debate was that he is a very different Man than the one portrayed in the attack ads.
My main criticism of Kerry's performance : The Hanging Curve Ball. In baseball, the hanging curve ball is a pitch that fails to break. Its the big fat melon, just waiting for a batter to crush it, hit it way way out of the park.
In this debate, there were plenty of hanging curve balls. I thought Kerry put "wood to the ball, hit singles and doubles" to carry the baseball metaphor further. But he didn't really crush any towering home runs. He failed to really knock one out of the park.
And he should have: On Stem cell research, on the Environment, on the Deficit, on Iraq, on Tax policy, even on Abortion, where his views are much more in sync with those of the American public's than the President's. I'm not suggesting his answers were bad -- they were all pretty decent to good. But there were no grand slam home runs -- despite plenty of opportunities. I kept pausing TiVo and giving the "that one's outta here" answers -- until the wife finally said: "Okay, we get it, your better than both of them." (I got the hint and knocked it off.) Which leads me to wonder:
Is a Bigger Strategy at Work?
For two weeks, we've heard that Kerry is the best debater since Cicero. I have yet to see that. In Debate 1, Bush imploded -- with some prodding from Kerry, for sure -- but mostly on his own. In Debate 2, Bush improved; I gave a slight edge to Kerry, but hardly the blowout of the first bout.
Which leads me to wonder: Is there a larger design at work? To switch from a baseball to a boxing metaphor, was the thinking behind this debate a "middle rounds" strategy -- a matter of pacing, playing it a little safe until the final rounds? Kerry clearly bloodied Bush in the first debate (rounds 1 - 5). The second debate (rounds 6 - 10), they both held their own. But was the challenger holding back the devastating knock out punch until the last debate (rounds 11 - 15), when there is no "more rounds, no chance for a "Hail Mary" pass? (Whew! thats 3 sports metaphors). Will we see a more aggressive approach when there is little time for the incumbent to recover?
We do not yet know. Is the tactical approach the correct strategy? I've always thought that if you can deliver the knock out blow, you do so. You never know when (or even if) the next opportunity will arise.
When you are running against an incumbent with his record, you should pound away on it every chance you get, make this all about the incumbent. Do you want another four more years like the past four years? Then vote for him. If you think we are on the wrong track, than vote for me. Easy . . . simple . . . devastating.
Unless the strategists have determined this is a marathon. (4 sports metaphors -- a personal record). How important is pacing in this race, especially considering how news events outside of both parties control (Iraq, Jobs data, etc.) will continue to frame the race.
I thought this was close, with an element of missed opportunity. I will reserve final judgment until Wednesday . . .
Wednesday, October 06, 2004
The RIAA's Top-Selling Albums of All Time
The Recording Industry Association of America's Top-Selling Albums of All Time*
· Eagles Their Greatest Hits 19711975, Eagles (Elektra)
· Thriller, Michael Jackson (Epic)
· The Wall, Pink Floyd (Columbia)
· Led Zeppelin IV, Led Zeppelin (Swan Song)
· Greatest Hits Volumes I & II, Billy Joel (Columbia)
· Rumours, Fleetwood Mac (Warner Bros.)
· Back in Black, AC/DC (Elektra)
· The Beatles, The Beatles (Capitol)
· Come On Over, Shania Twain (Mercury Nashville)
· Boston, Boston (Epic)
· The Bodyguard (Soundtrack), Whitney Houston (Arista)
· Cracked Rear View, Hootie & the Blowfish (Atlantic)
· Greatest Hits, Elton John (Rocket)
· Hotel California, Eagles (Elektra)
· The Beatles 1967-1970, The Beatles (Capitol)
· No Fences, Garth Brooks (Capitol Nashville)
· Jagged Little Pill, Alanis Morissette (Maverick)
· Born in the U.S.A., Bruce Springsteen (Columbia)
· Physical Graffiti, Led Zeppelin (Swan Song)
· Dark Side of the Moon, Pink Floyd (Capitol)
· Saturday Night Fever (Soundtrack), Bee Gees (Polydor/Atlas)
· The Beatles 1962-1966, The Beatles (Capitol)
· Appetite for Destruction, Guns 'N Roses (Geffen)
· Double Live, Garth Brooks (Capitol Nashville)
· Supernatural, Santana (Arista)
· Backstreet Boys, Backstreet Boys (Jive)
· Ropin' the Wind, Garth Brooks (Capitol Nashville)
· Bat Out of Hell, Meat Loaf (Epic)
· Purple Rain (Soundtrack), Prince and the Revolution (Warner Bros.)
· Whitney Houston, Whitney Houston (Arista)
· Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band Live 19751985 (box set), Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band (Columbia)
· Greatest Hits 1974-1978, Steve Miller Band (Capitol)
· Millennium, Backstreet Boys (Jive)
· Baby One More Time, Britney Spears (Jive)
· Simon & Garfunkel's Greatest Hits, Simon & Garfunkel (Columbia)
· Metallica, Metallica (Elektra)
· Wide Open Spaces, Dixie Chicks (Monument)
· Yourself or Someone Like You, Matchbox Twenty (Atlantic)
· No Jacket Required, Phil Collins (Atlantic)
· Hysteria, Def Leppard (Mercury)
· Slippery When Wet, Bon Jovi (Mercury)
· II, Boyz II Men (Motown)
· Abbey Road, The Beatles (Capitol)
· Ten, Pearl Jam (Epic)
· Led Zeppelin II, Led Zeppelin (Atlantic)
· Breathless, Kenny G (Arista)
· Forrest Gump (Soundtrack) (Epic)
· Kenny Rogers' Greatest Hits, Kenny Rogers (Capitol Nashville)
· Hot Rocks, The Rolling Stones (abkco)
· The Woman in Me, Shania Twain (Mercury Nashville)
· James Taylor's Greatest Hits, James Taylor (Warner Bros.)
· CrazySexyCool, TLC (LaFace)
· Falling into You, Celine Dion (550 Music)
· Dirty Dancing (Soundtrack) (RCA)
· Houses of the Holy, Led Zeppelin (Atlantic)
· Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beatles (Capitol)
· Eagles Greatest Hits, Vol. II, Eagles (Elektra)
· Pieces of You, Jewel (Atlantic)
· Titanic (Soundtrack) (Sony Classical)
· Candle in the Wind 1997/Something About the Way You Look Tonight (Single), Elton John (Rocket)
· Devil Without a Cause, Kid Rock (Lava)
· No Strings Attached, 'N Sync (Jive)
· Fly, Dixie Chicks (Monument)
· Human Clay, Creed (Wind-Up Records)
· 'N Sync, 'N Sync (RCA)
· Let's Talk About Love, Celine Dion (550 Music/Epic)
· Tragic Kingdom, No Doubt (Trauma/Interscope)
· Life After Death, Notorious B.I.G. (Bad Boy/Arista)
· Best of the Doobies, Doobie Brothers (Warner Bros.)
· Dookie, Green Day (Reprise)
· The Stranger, Billy Joel (Columbia)
· Aerosmith's Greatest Hits, Aerosmith (Columbia)
· The Hits, Garth Brooks (Capitol Nashville)
· Music Box, Mariah Carey (Columbia)
· Unplugged, Eric Clapton (Reprise)
· Tapestry, Carole King (Ode)
· Greatest Hits, Journey (Capitol)
· Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin (Atlantic)
· The Immaculate Collection, Madonna (Warner Bros.)
· Like a Virgin, Madonna (Sire)
· Legend, Bob Marley & the Wailers (Island)
· Faith, George Michael (Columbia)
· Greatest Hits, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers (MCA)
· Nevermind, Nirvana (DGC)
· The Lion King (Soundtrack) (Walt Disney)
· Can't Slow Down, Lionel Richie (Motown)
· Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em, Hammer (Capitol)
· Daydream, Mariah Carey (Columbia)
· Van Halen, Van Halen (Warner Bros.)
· Eliminator, ZZ Top (Warner Bros.)
· The Joshua Tree, U2 (Island)
· 1984 (MCMLXXXIV), Van Halen (Warner Bros.)
Infoplease.com (a hell of pop up ads like no other)
Tuesday, October 05, 2004
Post-Debate Pre-Spin thoughts
A few quick thoughts before the spin meisters impact my thinking:
Both men did pretty well. Cheney's ability to speak extemporaneously on a variety of subjects is apparent. He is intelligent, thoughtful, has gravitas. On the negative side, he looks uncomfortable, a bit grumpy, and you get the sense that he not being fully forthcoming on the issues.
Edwards is clearly the more optimistic of the two. He played earnest to Cheney's sternest. And while Edwards clearly lacks Cheney's gravitas, he also seems unburdened by the weight of running the free world that Cheney carries so uncomfortably on his shoulders.
My first inclination is to call it a tie; Maybe even give Cheney a slight advantage, if only cause he didn't blow it as badly as his boss did.
That thought makes me wonder about something: How poorly does the President compare to anyone else on either ticket? Cheney, Kerry and Edwards are all more articulate, all communicate complex ideas more clearly, have a worldly and sophisticated international view. Each has been more successful professionally than the President.
Ironically, the incumbent is the least qualified of all four players to be President.
Monday, October 04, 2004
2368 Attacks on US Troops within 30 days
Incredible: This is what our troops are enduring:
click for larger chart
chart courtesy of NYT