Thursday, September 30, 2004

Presidential Debate #1

(For a more "expert" opinion on last night's debate, click on the title link. For my views, keep on readin'.)

All right. I got home from tennis, showered, put Ariel to bed, ate a turkey sandwich and got ready. Wait, the debate doesn't start until 9 pm?! What are they waiting for? Its not like the networks have quality programs to show. Let the civic drama begin!

Live from Coral Gables! The most rigid debating exercise possible! Tonight's topics of choice: foreign policy and homeland security. Oooh, right in the Bush wheelhouse! Look out Kerry, you're dealing with Bush on his topics in his brothers state--the American kangaroo republic.

The rules are extensive: 90 minutes of "debating" consisting of 2 minute answers, 90 second rebuttals and random time extensions for when Jim Lehrer decides to get crazay! And don't forget the time lights--green when 30 seconds remain, yellow at 15 seconds, and red at 5 seconds! A buzzer can be used if someone continues (Oh please use the buzzer once!) and if THAT doesn't work Al Gore stuffs you in his lockbox.

9:00 The candidates are introduced and Kerry gets big applause from the U. of Miami crowd. Take THAT Jeb!

9:03 Oh no! Kerry's first miscalculation. He actually sidestepped the opening question to be polite to the audience and start thanking people! Come off it K! You've only got 2 minutes! Stop being insufferably French and answer the question! How would you prevent another September 11th? Not by thanking the people of Florida.

9:06 Bush says that America is safer because Saddam is in a prison cell.

9:07 Is Bush trying to state that al-Qaeda is behind the Russian terrorists that killed those children? That's not true is it? All terrorists around the world are not the same.
He also says that America's best strategy is to keep on the offensive and keep spreading liberty. So are we offensive liberals? I thought that was the Bushies description of Kerry?

9:10 Kerry's first instance of name dropping this evening. The long list of military leaders that think he is a swell guy--much better than W. apparently.

9:11 Oddly neither debater suggests that everyone stop and observe a minute of silence here. A missed opportunity, I think.

9:14 Bush says again that "The world is safer without Saddam Hussein."

9:15 Yahtzee!! Both men get Osama and Saddam slightly mixed up. Bush corrects himself; acquits himself better than Rumsfeld did when he made that mistake recently and comes back strong with one of his tried and true phrases "We're making progress." But how do we know we're not making progress while fighting the wrong guy?

9:18 Kerry name drops again, this time highlighting various state names. Will that affect voter turnout at all John? Hmmm?

9;20 Kerry tries to scare the elderly, not by discussing Medicare, but by raising the specter of unexpected cargo containers . . . right here in Florida! Kerry is flip-flopper and a fearmonger! Also, the first mention of "nuclear" by Kerry. Will Bush flub his pronunciation? DRINK! (Turns out W. skillfully avoided the word)

(Throughout, Bush seems to be pausing quite a bit. Kerry seems to come off much smoother. You can see the gears turning in W's mind.)

9:26 Kerry name-drops Wisconsin. He also lays out the "nuclear" challenge again . . . will George fall into the trap? Additionally the second Vietnam reference by Kerry tonight.

9:28 Bush comes back in a 30 second rebuttal with "Wrong war, wrong place, wrong time." I'm just gonna copy that phrase, cause I think I'll have the occasion to paste it down again before we're through.

9:29 Third Vietnam reference by Kerry. First Kerry zinger--"I made a mistake talking about the war. He made a mistake invading." Kerry also takes this opportunity to name-drop Cincinnati (in the swing state of Ohio) and mention another military dude that simply loves him.

9:32 Bush, with his dander up, comes back with "What about Tony Blair? . . . and POLAND!!" and he then raises the rhetorical bar a bit higher with two references to "Wrong war, wrong place, wrong time." And also, I don't know if I have mentioned this but Bush thinks that Kerry is indecisive and is always sending mixed signals. And this just in, the war in Iraq is "hard work and everybody knows its hard work." And don't forget that a free Iraq makes the world a safer place. These phrases in a nutshell are the core of Bush's argument at tonight's "debate."

9:37 Dammit Kerry, you forgot Poland AGAIN!! You've completely lost the vote in Chicago now you idiot!
Hmmm, Kerry mentions nuclear again. Awwww! Lehrer moved onto a new question and the opportunity for mispronunciation is lost once again. We'll never get drunk at this rate!

9:38 Kerry refuses to use the word "lie." Is that the new "N" word? Bush says that "the only think consistent about Kerry position is that he is always inconsistent."

9:45 Kerry mentions Vietnam again.

9:47 Bush says that Kerry changes his positions, sends mixed signals, and apparently stated that Kerry judged the Iraq conflict as "Wrong war, wrong place, wrong time." Say THIS for Bush, he is doggedly consistent. On message? Yes sir!

9:49 Aw I don't care anymore. Stop teasing us with the word nuclear. It'll never happen.

9:54 Bush states TWICE that consistency is a good thing in a leader.

9:55 Kerry states again that Bush outsourced the effort to catch bin Laden

9:57 Bush gets a bit snippy when replying that "Of course I know that Osama bin Laden attacked us. Of course I know that. I was reading My Pet Goat, remember?!!

9:58 Second Kennedy reference made by Kerry.

10:04: Now for New-q-lur? No? Oh well.

10:11 We take a break from this regular debate to kiss everyone's butt. Basically the president (since he did it first) is saying "Hey undecided female voters, I'm a nice guy. I don't attack teenage girls in my political rhetoric." Bush admires Kerry, but apparently Kerry has send mixed messages. Bush also, apparently "knows how this war works." Since you helped get it started, I don't doubt it.

10:15 Kerry baits Bush again with another nuclear reference and also dangles his devotion for Kennedy out there for the third time.

10:18 Yes! Bush said nuculur, or something. But it was pretty anticlimactic. Oh well.

(Also, I would dearly love it if when there is a pause at the end of the red light, and before Lehrer says something else, for the candidate to say Booyah!)

10:26 Kerry's strongest Vietnam reference yet comes in his closing statement.

10:28 Oh dear . . . Bush says in his closing statement something along the lines of "If we show weakness, we open ourselves up for another attack." Paging Dick Cheney! And also, the soldiers work in Iraq is "hard work" and leaders should be steadfast.
Generally, Kerry handled himself very well (which he HAD to do). He didn't allow Bush to pull ahead with this debate and he went after Bush on important issues instead of ancient service records. Bush seemed too deliberate and not smooth in his demeanor. His pauses were uncomfortable for me and his answers seemed too formulaic. But will it matter?
10:52 In the most shocking moment of the entire coverage, Peter Jennings exposed his Canadian side while throwing a question to Newsweek journalist Fareek Zakaria--he said, I swear, "aboot" (that is "about" to Americans). That is the first time I have ever heard Jennings do that!

Wednesday, September 29, 2004


A bunch of random stuff tonight.

First of all, REM news. I've got lots of it. Because the band allowed previews of Around the Sun at, a friend of Tegan's burned a copy, which you can see on my front page, I am currently diggin'. It is not the best album they have ever made, but it has some good songs on it. "Leaving New York" is okay--you can see the video at the REM home website. I enjoy the style of "Electron Blue" and there is a moment in "Wanderlust" that I particularly enjoy. So, all in all, it is growing on me.

In other REM news, you might recall that Tegan and I were planning on going to see them in Akron. Well, the Akron show got cancelled. But a show was added in its place on the same day in Cincinnati. Its roughly the same distance and since we already had babysitting lined up for that day, so--yay! The concert will be held at the Taft Theater. Seats are probably a little less good than in Akron, because I assume the venue is a bit bigger, but any show is better than no show at all.
In the disturbing commerce department, I have two observations to make.
First, I ran across a weird website today about mummification. Apparently its not just for ancient Egyptians anymore. If you've got the cash, you can have your very own sarcophagus and everything. And its not just you. Mummify Fido. And if your children present you with difficult questions such as, "Daddy, why is mommy all wrapped up in bandages? Does she have a boo-boo?" you can simply point them to the Mummy Bear. He'll answer little Sally's questions, sing her songs, tell her some great jokes, and maybe indoctrinate her in the family cult.
Second, has anyone noticed the extremely weird style of Burger King advertisements lately? The actual "Burger King" is back, but he's changed! I remember the 70s Burger King fondly. He had a reddish ginger beard, seemed kindly, and with a twist of his magical Burger King ring, he could help a kid out . . . and probably provide some fries as well. Anyway, he was their version of Ronald McDonald and as corporate mascots go he was no less offensive than Subway Jarod.
But now . . . they have some guy inside a puppet-like king head. It's creepy. ESPECIALLY the one I saw tonight were the mute puppet King is suddenly in some dude's bed in the morning offering him a breakfast croissanwich. I mean, is puppet homoeroticism gonna sell burgers? A disturbing advertising theme, I gotta say.
What else? Hmmm. Lost was again good tonight. Not as dramatic as the first night, certainly, and a little boring as we begin to learn the individual secrets of each castaway. But I foresee that as we learn more about all of the survivors, we'll experience that plane crash again and again and again but each time from someone else's perspective. How very Groundhog Day but without the funny.
As for whatever else I am desperately trying to remember to add here. . . I am sure that I'll think of it later.

Monday, September 27, 2004

It was a scene out of Rockwell

No, not this guy . . . this guy.

If someone has been watching me, they would have seen an idyllic scene reminiscent of autumn, Americana, and all that whatnot.

Here's the story. This morning as we were pulling out of the driveway, Ariel expressed an interest in helping me rake up leaves that had fallen in our front yard.

We have a tree in our front yard. Dr. Actually's wife, I think, said that it was a locust tree. Whatever it is, it has lots of small, oval leaves that, when they fall, cover everything is a nice even orange carpet.

A few days ago I had swept these leaves up in our driveway after mowing, but over the weekend, a great deal of new leaves fell. So Ariel wanted to help clean it up.

As soon as we got home this afternoon she wanted to get started. Ariel and I got out the brooms and started pushing the leaves around. Ruth, of course, wanted to help too, so Tegan kept an eye on her with a broom and I got the rake and started gathering all the leaves into a central pile.

Once the leaves were all piled up properly, Ariel wanted to jump in them. After she got her fill of that we went inside and ate dinner.

After dinner Tegan and Ariel bought some corn stalks to decorate our front porch, some decorative gourds for our dinner table and we also bought one of those leaf bags that looks like a giant pumpkin. So, we are getting ready for the Halloween season.

It was a nice evening. We got outside for a bit and the kids had fun.

Photographs that changed the world?

I discovered this website recently. (Click on the title to go to the website linked above.)

While I haven’t viewed it in detail, I immediately thought that this is something that might spark debate among my friends at work

Certainly the selection of photographs in question is open to debate, but the idea of images that changed the world seems like the kind of thing that we often discuss at work and is often used in the work that we do. Plus, TIME is a corporate partner, so cha-ching! (Or something . . .)

Anyway, explore and comment if you feel so moved.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

The Domination of a Lifetime
Team Foos-Booyah! Destroys Opponents to Claim Outright Victory

Not-so ESPN
Scott Hammelsmith, sports writer (via our friend Perk!)

The games were a domination. There is no other way to describe it. From out of nowhere arose a powerhouse the likes of the Yankees of the 50s. I've not seen such foot-work, such grace, such sheer will to rule the field in all my days.
You may think I'm biased. You may think I care for no other sport. You are wrong. I was highly skeptical before watching this game. Having covered many such tournaments in every field of sport, I did not think I would see anything worthy of my time this day.
I was wrong.
First there was right-footed Flipper. She came from nowhere, like her team, to give the opponents a pure thrashing. The first game she lay low, deceptively luring them into thinking that she only kicked away from the goal. I was truly concerned about the team captain's choice to place herself in the front line.
Boy, was I wrong. The second game was nothing short of humiliating. To the other team! Flipper scored not one but FOUR goals on the way to a victory that trounced the Pink 03s (what kind of name is that?) in a resounding thumping that sent the message pure and clear: Team Foos-Booyah! rules the courts. Flipper earned her right to bear the title Captain.
Joining the most impressive Flipper was Burb and Shirtless, no less inspiring with their abilities to wallop the defending goalies, to grind them down until they lay helpless a their feet. Joining Flipper for a combined total of 14 points (1 surprise goal by Spec, the amazing goalie, but more on that in a minute), they had to help scrape their opponents off the ground when the games finally ended. They ran, they dove, they kicked, they head-butted, they mastered the front line. They fought, they scored, they fought and scored again. They owned the goal! Only by their grace and skill and deference did they convince the crowd not to cut the goal posts down then and there in tribute to their abilities. Burb was like a cat, fast, quick, and sharp. And if Burb was a cat, then Shirtless was a wolf, powerful, daunting, biting, and unyielding.
Standing behind the front line at half-back was another amazing spectacle. First, the right wing. A player formally little known in the world of sports outside of golf, Alternate #3 played so athletically there are few words to describe him. With a vertical leap from a sitting position of more than 4 feet, he head-butted balls that were so high up the average human (like you and me) would need a telescope just to see them. And then there were his legs. Such foot-work. Such agility. Such a power to reach! It reminded me of those stretch-arm-strong toys I played with as a child that you could pull and bend and stretch in any direction, doubling, even tripling the length of the arms. He reached so well, controlled the ball so effectively, even Péle would have been proud. Indeed, alternate #3 seems a title far beneath him. I dub him "Stretch" as the only title to come close to his inborn elasticity and grace.
Joining Stretch at halfback were the three towers of power, the paragons of excellence, three players so united in their skill, so willing to give their all to stop the ball, so effective at blocking anything in their path, so awe-inspiring in their will to stop even the most determined opponent from allowing anything to pass through, that I dub them collectively the Dominators, the Triple Entente, the Halfbacks of Glory. Yes, I’m talking about Lulu, Dr. Actually, and Raisenette! They played so skillfully, so craftily, so effectively, that the only way the ball could get around them was by someone from the outside throwing it in behind them.
And that brings me full swing to the heroes of the game. Yes, all players are heroes on this team. To single any one player out would be foolish and useless, so effective are they in their combined will and might. But few players receive so little glory for their unabashedly excellent contributions as the goalies. For every time the ball comes their way, even the slightest mistake can make or break the game.
And yet, after all was said and done, the goalies allowed a mere 8 points. 8! When their team scored 15! Yes, you know to whom I refer. First, there is Spec. For the first time in history of human foosball, a goalie scored an unaided goal, from one goal line to the other! Not only this, but such fancy footwork, such cat-like agility--we expect that out of a Flipper or a Stretch, a Burb or a Lulu. Yes, the forward positions require such movements. But the goalies? Spec flew to the ball, intimidated the opposing front line so many times they begged him to grant them mercy, to please allow them at least the chance to see the ball before he crashed it into oblivion or sent it spinning mercilessly back to the front line. But, as any great man OR woman on the field would do, he merely, and humbly, towed the line, kept the ball moving, and sought not his own glory, but again and again gave it to his teammates. Like the others on his team, we at ESPN expect the numbers will only rise for this one.
Last of all was Perk. Indeed, so much praise has been granted this team, and rightfully so, you think it would be difficult to say something fresh and new about yet another player on Team Foos-Booyah! Not so, fans. Not so. Never before have we seen a player so willing to sacrifice body and posterity for his team. He dove, he slid through the grass, he flew like an angel, he kicked like a stallion. And he laid it all on the line, even the possibility of future generations was sacrificed for his team. But he worked not alone. So skillful, so powerful, yet so united. Like the yin and the yang, like two peas in a pod, he and Spec joined forces to create a wall of defense that practically nothing could get through. Spec was like a jaguar, sleek, fast, smooth. And if Spec was the jaguar, then Perk was a tiger. Vicious on the field, tough, strong, yet of like mind. Together they passed the ball, moved the ball, flipped the ball, and punted the ball. They did everything to that ball that could be done, and then did it again. And with only two on their tether, they had the largest field to cover, yet did they tire? Did they weaken? Did they falter?
Fans, the likes of such play may never be seen again. For those of you who saw it, remember it well. Glorious days are these when the likes of such players as joined forces on Team Foos-Booyah! are at the same time all on the same field at the same time. Anyone of them by right could claim first player on any team in any league. Yet together? We hate to think what salaries they could command were a comparable team fielded in the NFL or NHL or any other of those lesser, weaker-minded and weaker-bodied sports.
If you ever get the chance to see them, do it. Pay whatever price they offer (and it will be high, I assure you), and relish it as long as you can. You may never see the likes of such play again.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

A very eventful day

Many, many things happened today. Most of them were very good.

The company picnic was much more enjoyable than I was prepared to expect. The food was adequate and it was hot, but Team Foos-Booyah! was even hotter. We all went into it with the idea that we would play, experience something unusual, take the opportunity to make fools of ourselves (with shirts!) and that would be that.

Who knew that we had the Eye of the Tiger? Who knew that we were human foosball animals and that only the blood of vanquished opponents could slake our thirst for tethered dominance? I think we all learned something about ourselves on that human foosball inflatable thing and I think we grew a little bit as well. Maybe we're slightly better friends now than we were at 11:30 this morning. Going through a war together will do that for you.

Anyway, we totally kicked the ass of every other team we played. Those flunkies from HR tried a comeback on us, but we shut that down. The other team wouldn't even play us, so we took on all comers and just humiliated anyone who got in our way.

I'll have more on that when (I hope) Spec provides the pictures. I'll post a few and say a few words.

In other news, Smallville and Lost premiered tonight. Both were absolutely excellent. I am sure that The Shirtless Wonder and I will go over it in detail tomorrow and as soon as Omar G posts his recap, you'll get that link as well, but a great deal of very nice and fun things happened.

Clark flew for one thing. And to make all of the Ho-yay out there happy, he was mostly naked for the first several minutes. Lois Lane came to town (in two varieties--new girl and classic 1980s). Lex didn't die, but Pa Kent almost did. Chloe is NOT dead, but she is MIA. Lana (boo, hiss) is still in Paris, but is acting insufferable with her new random boyfriend. (Her old random boyfriend showed up on Lost.)

Speaking of Lost, I found it every bit as good as all the reviews have suggested. All of the acting was excellent. It was exciting, dramatic, sad, and potentially ludicrous all at the same time. I won't go into detail because I know some of you out there are going to watch my tape. I won't spoil anything for you.

Two nice things I WILL say, however, is that everybody's overweight FBI agent (Alias's Weiss) was piloting the disastrous plane--way to go there buddy! And two, judging by next week's preview scenes, J.J. Abrams hasn't forgotten some of what keeps us coming back for more on Alias--there was a prominent camera linger on the shows hot lead female standing on the beach in her underwear. (Way to keep you eye on the demographic J.J.)

Monday, September 20, 2004

Another tweak to improve your blogging experience

I didn't get around to posting any new thoughts tonight, but I did accomplish one goal--I added a bit more content to my sidebar.

Below my list of links you will now find the book I am currently reading and one of the albums in my current rotation.

How did I do it? After thinking about if for a bit, it was surprisingly easy. I went to another blog that featured this element, viewed the source HTML for that page, then cut and pasted the relevant code into my personal template. After than it was simply finding thumbnail images out on the web and pasting down the appropriate image URLs.

Amazing, and I am very pleased.

I had better quit adding stuff to my site or it will soon take too long to load. (Incidentally, if you are having such problems, let me know please.)

Tomorrow, if I can squeeze in the time, I'll put down some thoughts on Sundy night's Emmy awards.

Have I fallen into her trap?

Only now, when it may be too late, do I realize my error.

Being a dutiful (and too trusting) friend, I blogged on my pedestrian lifestyle this weekend, straying from my bread and butter--the media links, the cultural thoughts, and my own unique stylings that make WWYG?! a must-read for approximately 10 people every few days!

But Lulu wanted more personal posts, so I agreed. Now, she puts her plan in motion and strikes with a graphic description of barnyard gore and rural eatin'!

Clearly her plan all along was to get me out of my bloggin' wheelhouse, have me flail around impotently trying to describe my boring life and then SHE would post fascinating tales of rooster slaughter! Of course! Everyone knows that true-to-life tales are always loved by Americans . . . how else to explain the unflagging popularity of Readers Digest?

And to add insult to injury, I COULD have found a way to blog on the Emmy awards! I COULD have added my own dismay to the travesty that is the Ms. America pageant. I COULD have provided insight on my experiences of reading the beginnings of House of Leaves.

Well done Lulu . . . a well-played gambit, but one that I foresaw too soon in your machinations!

Never fear, dear readers! I will strike back . . . and soon!

Sunday, September 19, 2004

The Sounds of Silence? (Hardly . . . )

Sunday has been a fairly nice day so far.

There was a baptism at church this morning. Babies are so cute when they are baptised. Boys and girls alike always wear those long, white baptismal gown things. The girls sometimes accessorize with a bonnet. The little girl being baptized today has faint red hair and is very cute. She didn't cry a bit when the water was poured over her forehead. There was a good crowd in church and everyone seemed to be in a good, happy mood. Seeing little babies does that to people.

We had considered going to the Ohio Renaissance Festival today, after church, with some friends, but they were exhausted from lots of activity yesterday. So instead we took the girls to the zoo for several hours. The weather was gorgeous and we all had a good time.

When we got home Tegan started working on supper while I did a bit of work and we tried to keep the kids occupied. This always leads to the inevitable MINE . . . No, MINE! stuff. It gets nervewracking and MIGHT be the best reason never to have more than one child. But they will eventually grow up to be old enough to hate each other and stop talking to one another and then also you.

Dinner was great and maybe the relaxing part of the evening is approaching.

We'll see. . . .

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Saturday malaise

A few days ago, Lulu suggested I quit posting on TV, entertianment, and the internet and talk about my life for a bit. (I am sure that after reading this, she'll quickly encourage me to go back to the much more interesting life of others.)

After work on Friday many of us gathered at a local restaurant to say our final goodbyes to Old Navy and Evian. It was a nice relaxed time with many of the people you have met here and a few others. I had a few beers and nibbled on other people's appetizers. I hope that Old Navy has a successful move this weekend--the weather couldn't be better.

Got home in time for dinner and Tegan and I got the kids to bed. We vegged out for a while; Tegan knitted mostly. She has caught the knitting bug again--usually something that only cropped up in the past when she was pregnant. But she is knitting about three or four different things right now--blankets for Ruth, a blanket for a friend's baby, and a baptismal blanket for our soon to be godchild. So, if she isn't doing corporate work, she'll have the needles clicking. I am glad she enjoys it so much.

Both Ariel and Ruth slept through the night, which makes that two nights in a row--an extreme rarity for several months now. Let's hope THAT continues. But, as is always the case, Ariel woke me up this morning around 7 for Saturday morning cartoons. During the middle of the night, she turns to Tegan for help with bad dreams, but when she is awake in the morning, she always comes to my side of the bed. I dont' always mind. I brew up som coffee and we try not to make enough noise to wake up Ruth, thus allowing Tegan more sleep.

Today is such a great day that after lunch we all went for a walk through the neighborhood. We stopped at the house of a coworker of Tegans that live in our vicinity. They chatted and I watch all the kids play in their backyard. Ariel got to take a tomato home with her.

Right now Ruth is napping and Tegan is doing some corporate work. I just finished up a bit of work on the computer and figured I should drop a post on ya'll. I'll try to get some more prep work done on my next chapter of textbook material before the weekend is over, but I don't try to do too much work at home. (Now if only I could get more work done at work!) Oh well . . . the schedule stinks for everyone, not just me.

We are contemplating heading down the Interstate tomorrow and visiting the Renaissance Festival. The last time Tegan and I visited was before Ariel was born. We are going to try and convince some of our friends from church to go along. I think all the young kids would enjoy the day down there. I think the weather is going to be great all weekend long. Right now I've got all the windows open in the house and it feels just great. I don't want to think about mowing the lawn or anything at all.

In fact, I should run down to the library and pick up House of Leaves, which I have been waiting on. Spec recommended that I read it, and Shirtless Wonder is enjoying it right now as well. So, maybe I'll go do that.

So, how's that for excitement? If I'm lucky, I'll be able to sit on the deck for maybe ten minutes and read before Ruth wakes up and I've got to be a dad again.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Celebrities get EVERYTHING!!

[This is copied directly from the Entertainment Weekly website]I
In the Bag
by Lisa Costantini

If Emmy nominee Tamblyn takes second she'll snag this Elliott Lucca bag and Boucheron shades, but regardless will score swag as a presenter

It's been said that TV adds 10 pounds, but some celebs attending this year's Emmy Awards (Sept. 19, 8-11 p.m. on ABC) will gain a lot more than that in the booty department alone. The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, for example, will give every presenter a gift bag -- excuse us: a Dooney & Burke satchel -- filled with goodies worth more than $30,000.

That means Amber Tamblyn, Matt LeBlanc, and Donald Trump will be among those who receive: a certificate for a 15-inch Zenith flat-screen TV; an invitation to host a private dinner party at one of Morton's Steakhouses; a day of services at Ona Spa in L.A.; and a new Sprint PCS phone.

Meanwhile, Distinctive Assets, an L.A.-based entertainment marketing company, will give gift bags valued at almost $20,000 each to nominees in the 12 major categories who don't win Emmys. Here's a peek at some of the swag that will console the supposedly less lucky stars:

Lasik eye surgery, at the Assil Sinskey Eye Institute in California ($5,600)
Obagi skin procedures ($4,000)
Round-trip ticket to anywhere Song Airlines flies ($600)
Year membership to Clay gym in New York City ($2,500)
Boucheron sunglasses ($450)
Mephisto shoes ($375)
Fur and leather bag from Elliott Lucca ($178)
Vavamojo good-luck necklace ($100)
Tracy Place watch ($70)
Poncho from Daisy Fuentes' self-titled clothing line ($40)

And what about this year's Emmy winners? They get no official gifts -- unless, of course, you count those golden statue thingies.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

The biggest headache so far

I have really enjoyed my first month or so of blog entry. It is fun doing something new and it provides an outlet for creative thought that I enjoy trying to cultivate. Those few of you who might have been with this site since its inception are probably stopping to wonder when you missed the creative thought, but it was there somewhere, trust me.

My point is that this has been fun. However the bad part of it all so far has been the wrangling over blog aliases.

I suppose its my fault for insisting that I drag my friends and coworkers (some of whom fit in BOTH categories!!) into this space on a weekly basis. If I had just left things alone and simply written out into the ether and never told anybody about it then this might not have happened.

But, hey, my friends are significant elements of my daily life and if I can't go on and on about the pointless minutae of my daily existence, then why do anything at all?

You should remember that my frame of reference for blogs are those other ones that I have read, the ones written by people doing it for four or more years. Maybe they had trouble in their early months trying to find that nickname that best captured the personality or experience of the person being described. Maybe they were CONSTANTLY pestered to see if they had been mentioned, then possibly they overlooked their entry, or just decided to skim it, or whatever. These things are probably very common and I am just now experiencing the initial phase of blogger initiation. If so, then let it continue.

Oh yes, let it continue--'cause I'm not giving up! I'll keep posting my stupid crap every other day. Someday I'll even print them all out so that my small daughers can someday read them all and say, "BOY . . . Dad was some kind of idiot geek, huh?" Then they will hop in their hovercars and jet on over to Mars for some shopping.

So to all my aliased friends out there . . . to Jack Thunder, to Lulu, to Dr. Actually, Spec, and the Shirtless Wonder, to Perk (nee Jello), to Raisinette, to Jam Master J, to Old Navy and Evian, and even to the newly rechristened Flipper . . . I hope you can live with it, cause I don't know if I can go on changing it anymore.

Thanks for bearing with me! I hope someday you will feel that it has all been worth it.

Monday, September 13, 2004


I don't really know the original history of this word, but I know that it became a favorite of mine a few years ago.

While Web 10 doesn't define it (at least not on its website), defines booyah in this manner: to be used after you have done something better than someone else, won a bet, or beat someone at a game.A concise definition that captures the spirit of the inner Booyah, but does this definition cover all relevant circumstances for proper usage?

As you might expect, a quick Google search yielded a great many results.
The Urban Dictionary website, in the best internet tradition, offers a variety of possible definitions, to capture the more subtle nuances of proper Booyahing. I imagine that these subtleties are mysterious to English Learners and other foreigners.

Why do I bring this up . . . other than the fact that I can?

Well, the Lunch Bunch decided today to commit ourselves to something at our upcoming company picnic. It is called Human Foosball and involves tethering yourself to other team mates and enacting a giant game of Foosball. Sounds stupidly endearing, no?

Of course, any activity this embarassing demands the proper team name and shirt. I suggested TEAM FOOS-BOOYAH! and remarkably, no one objected. So, get ready America . . . soon Dr. Actually, me, Lulu, Jello, Spec, the Shirtless Wonder, and The Person Formerly Known as Flipper (TPFKF) will be Foosin' it up for all to see. We plan to lose the Foos early so we aren't committed to being at the company picnic all day, you know? Raisinette and Jam Master J are serving as alternates in case a member of TEAM FOOS-BOOYAH! pulls muscle or something while explaining subtlety.

Of course, our team motto, which will be featured on the back of our highly designed shirts will be "Kickin' It Old Style."

It'll be awesome--someday we'll have a team picture taken.

Erasing the pain of concert tragedy

Big time fun is on the horizon for me and Tegan. We have bought tickets for the October 27th REM concert in Akron. Sure, I know that REM is getting older and their most definitive albums are probably behind them now, but there are larger forces at work here.

First, give us some credit. The two of us don't normally do this kind of thing. Being the definition of good parents, we submerge our own desires for the good of our children. Of course, that does NOT mean that we do whatever our children want (for a interesting story on that tragedy among misguided parent's see yet another Newsweek article--"The Power to Say NO"--which is not found on its website. I think that Tegan and I are very good at putting limits on our two girls--easier to do at their young ages.

Anyway . . . we are going on this musical adventure because it'll be fun and because poor Tegan has lived her entire life of 30 plus years with only the saddest of concert experiences--New Kids on the Block!

So now you see that we MUST rectify this situation.

The concert will be at the EJ Thomas Hall in Akron, the only appearance in Ohio for the tour of their new album .
Here is an approximate view of the stage from our seats:

Pretty cool, huh? Definitely the closest to the stage that I have ever been in my two previous REM experiences.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Must See TV and other stuff that is worthy of your time

Well, I watched (via VCR) the first episode of Joey.

It wasn't awful by any stretch of the imagination. It actually felt like any other episode of Friends that didn't involve all six of them at the same time--and I really don't think there can be a more adequate complement for the show than that.

Matt LeBlanc has been Joey for so long, I am sure it comes naturally to him. The supporting cast all seem adequate--based on one viewing. The premise is not entirely ludicrous. Now stop and think about what I just said. Could the same be said of Frasier when it was spun off from Cheers so many years ago?

The Joey in Joey has a LOT more in common with the Friends Joey than Cheers Frasier had with Frasier's Frasier.

(Okay, stop and read THAT again to make sure you understand it . . . I'll wait. . . . Got it?)

Now--given that statement above--is it be possible that Joey may someday be as successful as Frasier, which you should remember not many people had high hopes for in the beginning? True, Joey has a greater need to succeed because NBC is not the ratings juggernaut it was when Frasier was released, but might Joey be a decent sitcom? For right now, it seems possible.

Now, onto other stuff.
Another show that Tegan and I watch is Teen Titans. Don't snicker! If you need to know why (other than the cool animation, carefully developed characters, and really neat superhero costumes), the best reason to watch is for the totally awesome theme song, which I hope you can experience in all its glory via this link. (Just go to the pages linked and click on the box labeled Teen Titans theme.) This version is longer than the actual show theme song, but it only serves to reinforce how cool it is. Puffy AmiYumi is the BEST!
And then, there is this.
Ever since the Summer Olympics finished broadcasting on NBC a few weeks ago, I wanted to provide some web sites for upcoming host cities.
I thought it might be interesting. You don't agree? Then stop reading right now! Really! Stop now!
(I didn't think you would! HA!)
So, let's begin with the website for the International Olympic Committee, the official website of the Olympic Movement. It is fairly straightforward, no frills, nothing extraneous . . . kinda like the Olympic Experience, right?

Yeah, I don't believe that either.

Anyway . . . who is hosting the Winter Games in 2006? Why, it's Turin, Italy of course! Don't miss the chance to start purchasing your Turin 2006 merchandise now--before anyone else.

Everyone is aware of what is happening in 2008. In likely the biggest Olympic-related scandal since Atlanta, Georgia was ACTUALLY chosen to host the Olympics, Beijing gets its own time to shine. Their official site is located here. There probably won't be much on the site about herding the homeless into boxcars or forcing all Chinese citizens to clean windows and think positive thoughts, but you can help design the Beijing Olympic mascot. That is definitely an important job.

In 2010, the Winter Games are headed to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. I've got nothing relevant to say about that other than the fact that I am sure the Canadians will be keeping a close eye on the figure skating judges.

In 2012, the IOC has not yet chosen the host city. There was some noise made about Columbus, Ohio making a bid. As ludicrous as that sounds, it . . . no, it's pretty ludicrous. It's even more improbable when you consider that the 800 pound gorilla is also making a bid.

That's right . . . America's quintecential city . . . the one that defines all of us . . . New York City is making a bid. HOW can NYC be turned down? Hey IOC, ever hear of a little thing called "9/11?" Ever heard of the "World Trade Center" or maybe, possibly "Ground Zero?"

Sure, Dubya has evaporated whatever global goodwill the good ole USA had after that horrible day, but DUDE, it's New York! It's Sinatra, the Yankees, the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Central Park! Its EVERYTHING IMPORTANT TO ANYONE!!

The NYC2012 website is slickly designed and shows how venues and stuff will be crammed into one of the most saturated urban areas in the world (click on the "Olympic X Plan" box and also the link to "Olympic Legacy"), but for me, I give the New Yorkers props for a good logo design. Combining the Statue of Liberty torch arm with a athlete's triumphantly raised arm is a great idea:

So . . . cool!

That's MORE than enough for tonight.

Responding to the Thunder

In part because it made me laugh and in part to try out something here on the blog--

If any president deserves a phallic library, doesn't Bill?

YEAH! It worked. For more information on the architectural firm creating Bill's Fallingwater, you can always go here.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Random bits floating to the surface

Having an agenda really helps things back up.

First I had to get the Fall TV preview out of the way. And then Old Navy had to go and jump ship, so SOMETHING had to be said about that.

And that meant that other stuff just had to sit and wait until now. I may not get all of it done right now, but at least I can get a few things off of my e-plate.

Dr. Actually asked me a follow up question to my post on Michael Moore and Fahrenheit 9/11: "If it won't win the Oscar, what will?"
While I can't make any official statements about that, since I am not currently a member of AMPAS, I will pass along that there is early buzz being generated about best actor. Namely, that Jim Carrey might earn his first nomination for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and that Jamie Foxx is getting serious notice for his portryal of Ray Charles. Also being mentioned is my favorite brain-washing actor Johnny Depp for his portrayal of Peter Pan author, J.M. Barrie in Finding Neverland. So, there are some frontrunners for now. If I had to pick between these three, I would immediately narrow it down to two, eliminating Jim Carrey. True, he's not Ace Ventura anymore, but people haven't forgotten that he became famous due to making his buttocks speak. Besides, Ray Charles just died (thanks Tom Cruise!) and he was handicapped, both elements that could easily add up for Oscar gold. BUT, Finding Neverland is a Miramax film, and it is NEVER wise to bet against the Weinsteins--remember, they made people think Shakespeare in Love was an Oscar-worthy movie. So, at gunpoint, I pick Neverland.
In other random news, Bill Clinton's Presidential Library is making architectural news in Little Rock. Newsweek did a nice story on it in the September 13th issue, but I couldn't find a story to link to on the Newsweek website. (BOOO!) Luckily, Clinton knows a thing or three about promoting himself (as do all presidents), so the official Clinton Presidential Center website has information (ooh! they buried a time capsule . . . which I KNOW contains a Diet Coke can, but probably NOT a copy of the Starr report). For specifics on the architectural design of the library, check out this page. It may not make people forget the things he did while residing in the White House, but it is stylish. Critics, and Clinton has a few don't forget, call it a Slick Willie double-wide trailer or something like that. He calls it that bridge to the 21st Century that the Gore Department of Transportation was never able to build. Oh well . . at least it is interesting. The Dubya Presidential Library will probably have 1,000 copies of "My Pet Goat" in it to make sure everyone remembers that he was a War President.
That's enough randomness for tonight.
Discuss amongst yourselves.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Goodbye Old Navy . . . we'll miss you.

MAN! I have struggled to post this message for almost an entire day! DAMN you Blogger!

Certainly the big news for now is the announced departure of Old Navy from The Corporation. She had given me advanced warning, so I had more time than others to get "used" to the idea, but that doesn't make the impact of it any less significant. While I can probably promise you that I will in this post make some stupid jokes and lame witticisms regarding her leaving, you should know that I am extremely sorry to see her go. While I believe her decision to join forces with Rival Corporation #3 is good for her, it is definitely BAD for me . . . and bad for the Lunch Bunch.

Old Navy, you WILL be missed on a daily basis. We will miss your backward skirts, your pseudo-sailor outfit, your questionable choice of blouses. We will miss many things about you.

Certainly those members of the napkin contract are sure gonna miss that sweet payout of $50 that was due to us in May of 2009. Come on, what say we all gather together somwhere in the spring of that year and enjoy lunch courtesy of Old Navy? I bet she will be able to afford it by then--if Rival Corporation #3 doesn't go belly up or something in the interim.

In some sense (which is meaningless to everyone but me) all is not completely lost. I was lucky enough to inherit what I have decided to name the "What the Hell" plant. I wonder, however, if it will be able to survive away from its picturesque window view. I hope that it will bounce back from this latest trauma. I promise to give it a good home.

Other interesting bits of news regarding Old Navy's departure? Well, I do have one interesting story to relate, which occurred to me in the hour after Old Navy was officially escorted from the building (or possibly during her scouring session during the HR exit interview). I went into the bathroom . . . for some silent weeping in private. The Corporation's new CFO was in there along with DKNY. Well, New CFO and DKNY were talking about CFO getting used to the new company and living conditions and whatnot. New CFO finished his business, leaving me and DKNY.

DKNY, oh so casually, asked me in a questioning tone if I had just recently moved? I confirmed that Tegan and I had indeed just moved a few months ago to a home in the beautiful suburbs. DKNY further questioned me about why we had decided to move . . . was it because of superior schools, maybe or closer to work? Hmmm?

By now, my suspicious nature was wondering if he was concerned that I too was contemplating a defection from The Corporation. Maybe I had also been head-hunted by those greedy jerks over at Rival Corporation #3?! Playing it cool (naturally) I chit-chatted with DKNY, all the while wondering if my interior suspicions might possibly be correct. Of course, DKNY quickly explained (with no prompting) that he was only asking because New CFO was new to the area and was looking for places to settle in and set up his own permanent residence. True or simply a plausible cover story? Who knows?

Why do I tell you this? Well, I guess because the ONLY good thing that can come out of Old Navy's departure is that is helps awaken people in the office to the problems around us. A great deal of personnel turnover has occurred in the past year-and-a-half and things have simply been too damn busy for that to really make an impact. The makeup of the department is significantly different than the one that did so well in 2003, but do any of the people in charge really see that?

They probably do SEE it, but do they know what these changes mean? I can't pretend to know the exact reasons in the hearts and minds of those who left (and were forced to leave) during this time, but does it concern anyone in authority? Realistically, it probably doesn't matter, as long as profits continue--right? After all, this is a businss and not a social club. But, if the people doing the work are stressed, angry, depressed, and embittered, isn't the work going to suffer?

After it all happened, Jack Thunder called me to see what the mood was like. I had to confess that I didn't feel a significant shift in the mood at all. This could be for a few reasons:

1) I am shitty at observing such things, even if I didn't go and speak to everyone in the department.
2) Having already known that Old Navy was preparing to leave, I did not accurately assess the shock that it caused.
3) Everyone is simply too busy and perfered to focus on all the work we have to do.
4) No one loss can't be solved with the addition of four peons. (Maybe this is the view of management, or maybe this is simply the knee-jerk decision that we've all come to expect.)
I don't know what the real answer is.

I do know that MANY people are saddened today.
I know that the Lunch Bunch has lost an extremely important and founding member.
I know that the napkin contract will sit alongside the "Jack Thunder Memorial Articulated Document Holder."
I know that Rival Corporation #3 is a little bit better off now than it was yesterday.
I know that nothing that I have typed is as good as what is in my head and what I have been trying to put into my mental draft all day long.
I know that the fireman picture that accompanies this website will have special poignancy for me from now on.

See you later Old Navy . . . I hope that Rival Corporation #3 doesn't ask you to tie any sheep-shank knots, because I STILL don't believe you learned how to do those things while supposedly serving our country all those years ago.

Michael Moore, the Oscars, and "Farenheit 9/11"

Moore to Pursue Best Picture Oscar

As you might notice from the comment that Jack Thunder made on my most recent Garden State post, Michael Moore is back in the headlines again. Mr. Thunder and Dr. Actually (who send me this link displayed above) alerted me to the fact that "Farenheit 9/11" is not going to compete for Best Documentary Film at the Academy Awards this February. Instead, it will be pushed for Best Picture.

As I understand it, nothing has been decided yet--certainly the official nominations haven't even been announced yet. So, the plans here are simply that, plans. But, I don't think the Academy will balk at this chance to stir up interest in the Awards show. They will probably choose to agree with Miramax and only nominate the film in the Best Picture category. This will certainly be THE topic of the awards ceremony and is sure to generate ratings . . . which is what the Academy is really interested in anyway. Now, if only the awards could be moved up to October, THEN we would have something of a REAL "October Surprise."

But, alas, this won't happen.

So, is Moore behind this strategy or is it the Weinsteins? My money is on the Weinstein brothers. I think that Moore is more interested in getting Bush out of office than winning himself another Academy Award, and while this certainly raises the profile of his film again, I don't think he is doing it. Harvey Weinstein, however, can operate his company regardless of who the president is. This manuever makes this film the topic of the moment (as evidenced by the fact that we are discussing it in this web forum). And, I sort of believe Moore when he says that getting out of the Documentary category frees it up for other interesting films that are very strong this year.

Will the film win Best Picture? My vote is no. Whether or not the film is good enough to win, the Academy voters won't touch this with a ten foot pole. Bush may be polarizing to people, but I don't see enough people making this kind of statement, especially when this vote won't get him out of office. Sorry Mr. Moore, but No Oscar for You!

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Opinions on Garden State-- Tegan and I went with Old Navy, and ER to see "Garden State" this past Friday night. I enjoyed it a lot, though I must admit that Mr. Braff did try his best to create the spirit and feeling of a modern-day "Graduate." I don't really mean that as a criticism--if you are going to copy a movie why not copy a modern classic? Truly, a great deal of this film reminded me strongly of the Dustin Hoffman classic--the isolated feeling of someone struggling to find himself; being out-of-touch with the previous generation; the integration of the movie and the soundtrack.But let me reiterate . . . I really enjoyed the movie. Go check it out sometime. I think you will like it. There were some moments where Zach went the easy route and followed tried-and-true movie conventions. Those moments felt much falser than the rest of the film . . . but those were only a few spots. Go see it, really!

Thursday, September 02, 2004

It's UPN . . .

and the WB (all in the same post!)

Fall TV preview, part 5a and 5b

Rather than devote all of my time today to UPN, I will try to cover both UPN and the WB in this post.

Too daunting, you say? I might be . . . if either of these networks were able to put up anything resembling a full schedule. But, they are what they are--and it's my self-appointed duty to tell you, the curious reader, what they (in fact) are.

So . . . UPN. What is it? Well, it used to be the network created to carry the next Star Trek vehicle ("ST: Voyager"). But "Voyager" never really caught on very much with viewers, so UPN had to find another reason to exist. Currently, that reason seem to be mainly to program for the African American viewer.

Now this is certainly not news to anyone who has watched TV in recent years or has even a passing acquaintance with TV media news. But it is definitely the case again this season on UPN.

The Monday night lineup, usually devoted to comedy, remains largely intact. One of its stalwarts, "The Parkers," ended its run last year and it has been replaced with "Second Time Around." The idea is that a couple that married young and then split it off (amicably, I suppose) meet up again and sparks fly enough that they decide to give it another try. Will they find love again?
The interesting thing about this show is that the actors are ACTUALLY involved--like right now! And we ALL know that celebrity relationships are some of the most reliable things in this world. So, stay tuned.

The new show for Tuesday nights is an hour-long drama called "Veronica Mars." The show centers around the title character, a 17-year old girl living in Neptune, Florida. Apparently her high school is a hot bed of corruption or something and she is determined to find out what is behind all of her town's little mysteries. It seems a bit like "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" with some Nancy Drew (and they are calling it a modern-day Nancy Drew). So, maybe? Two things that make this show stand out on UPN? Well, the crass and obvious difference is the largely caucasian cast and the more subtle thing is the character named Weevil. Remember how I said it seemed like "BtVS?" Weevil . . . Willow? Do you get it? Even IF Weevil is a guy?

"America's Next Top Model" was UPN's best performing show the last few years, so it anchors Wednesday night at 8, along with a rerun on Friday night. So, get ready for more cruel kindness from Tyra and lots of extremely odd outfits on emaciated, 6'5" women.

If that's not your thing, then maybe WWE: Smackdown will make you smile? No? That cultural moment died in the aftermath of 9/11 you say? (We can only pray that it true.) But, if you're a big fan of Triple H or if you are wondering whatever happened to the Grave Digger or something, tune in pretty much all night long on Thursday.

The other big show on UPN this year--the one getting a lot of press mentions is "Kevin Hill." It is on Wednesday night at 9 and stars Taye Diggs. Its a real attempt by UPN to create a fully functioning drama program with honest-to-goodness acting and stuff. I say good luck to it.

Of course, I've got to mention "ST: Enterprise. Last season, the show struggled through its third season and its goal was wiping out al-Qaeda . . . oops! I meant the Xindi. So anyway, they had to search for a big Weapon of Earth Destruction and prevent it from getting made and destroying Earth in the past while traveling to the future. Sound about right? Well, in the end, Archer and crew succeeded and as a reward, UPN has moved the show to Friday night at 8. A death knell you say? Well, the original "Star Trek" was once on Friday night . . . but it got cancelled. But then it later returned. And the rest is history. So watch, okay?

Really the best reason to watch "ST: Enterprise" is to see how badly they can butcher all Vulcan mythology. I wonder if Jolene Blalock (who plays the female Vulcan T'Paul gets death threats from incensed ST fans. I am sure she gets lots of indecent messages as well, but there are some strange things happening with the writers on this show.

Well, that's UPN. Now on to the WB.

If you can believe it, the WB seems to have even less in the way of programming than UPN. But that won't stop them from being edgy.

How about "Commando Nanny?" Doesn't that sound awesome . . . and edgy? And doesn't it sweeten the deal if I say that Gerald McRaney is involved? Don't you think he is tired of being all angelic and nice and is ready to start kicking some TV butt? Well, I do. That's what we need in this post 9/11 world--more angry McRaney.

Wait . . . McRaney isn't the commando? The show is based on early experiences of "Survivor" uber-producer Mark Burnett, who tried to get hired as a nanny when he was a 22-year old, fresh out of commando training? Aw crap!

Well then, what else we got? The old favorites are still around--7th Heaven (who will go crazy and lose their virginity this season?), Gilmore Girls (will they all talk even more crazily now that the daughter has lost HER virginity?).

One intriguing new offereing is "Drew Carey's Green Screen." It has a lot of improv elements that were used on "Whose Line is it Anyway" but apparently it will all take place in front of a . . . green screen. Will it turn out better than George Lucas' efforts in the last few Star Wars movies? Let's all hope so.

There is another new show out there called "Jack and Bobby," It's described as:

"two bright young brothers growing up under the watchful eye of their eccentric
single mother (Academy Award, Emmy, and Golden Globe winner Christine Lahti). Her personality is a force of nature destined to shape both of these young men's
lives and secure one a place in the history books - as future President of the
United States. Set in present day, with flash-forward interviews of future-President McCallister's White House staffers and first lady, it's a snapshot of a young man being molded to beat the odds and become the mid-century's greatest presidential leader. "

Sounds pretty good, huh? Well, we'll see.

FINALLY, there is the show that I (and The Shirtless Wonder) have been waiting all summer to see . . . Smallville. The best show ever that devotes itself to the adolescent trials of the world's greatest superhero defender.

Last season was (to put it charitably) uneven. There were days when Lana Lang and her Pink army threatened to derail everything. But there were some bright moments. I happen to think that the unevenness was due to the producers Miller and Gough devoting much of their time last year helping write the most excellent story for Spiderman 2, and if that is the case, then ALL IS FORGIVEN.

But, that was then and this is now. Smallville ended with an incredible episode in which Chloe died (or appeared to die), Lex seemingly got poisoned, Lana (PLEASE!!!) left for France--Kerry lover!--and Clark got trapped in the Neutral Zone of Jor-Elitude. What am I talking about? I'm talking about the Magnificent Bastard (Lionel) getting his hair shaved off while in prison. Still don't know what I'm talking about? Then WATCH! You won't be sorry, I promise.

So, that's it. The Fall has been previewed--sometimes in detail and sometimes otherwise.

All in all, I think that "Smallville" is my new favorite returning show this season. "Alias" gets docked to second only because it doesnt' start until January. As cute as Alison Mack may be, she's no Jennifer Garner. "Arrested Development" was my favorite surprise of last year and I expect great things again.I am hopeful that "Enterprise" can survive on Friday night.

The new shows that intrigue are hard to say at this point. I guess "CSI: New York" has a very good shot as success. So much of the new stuff is reality programming that I grow less interested in each year.

Anyway, that's all I can muster for tonight on this topic. Back to randomness . . .