Using Old Equipment

Well, I’ve transfered my website to an old mac, and things seem to be working out just fine. It’s amazing how little power you need to have a nicely responsive, dynamic site.

Tolkien Trust Sues New Line, May Kill “Hobbit”

From Slashdot:

oboreruhito writes "The AP is reporting that the Tolkien Trust and HarperCollins are suing New Line Cinema for $150 million in compensatory damages, unspecified punitive damages, and a court order revoking New Line’s rights to produce any more films on Tolkien properties. The Tolkien Trust says that New Line paid them only $62,500 to make ‘The Lord of teh Rings’ trilogy of films — instead of the agreed-upon 7.5 percent of gross receipts of all film-related revenue. The suit may set back, if not kill, a film adaptation of Lord of the Rings prequel ‘The Hobbit,’ which Peter Jackson had recently signed up to make after his own legal row with the studio over payment for the sequels."

NOOOooooo!!!! Please guys, work this out! After everything that’s happened to this project, the fact that it’s actually getting made now is amazing. Don’t ruin it now!

Herbie Hancock Wins!


Troubled Amy Winehouse had a great night at the Grammys, winning five awards, but in a shocking finish, the big award — album of the year — went to Herbie Hancock for “River: The Joni Letters.” Winehouse won the record and song of the year awards for “Rehab.”

This is for those that think that jazz is no longer relevant to music.



Sen. Barack Obama carries momentum from a sweep of weekend contests into this week’s primaries in Maryland, the District of Columbia and Virginia. Sen. Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, is coming off a campaign shake-up, while her advisers are seeking to lower expectations for this month’s Democratic contests.

As of right now, Barack Obama leads in the delegate count, in states won, and the popular vote. Let’s hope it stays that way. I’ve been saying for close to 2 years that I want to vote for this guy, and now it looks like I might get the chance.

Bush: Keep a conservative in White House


President Bush, in a rousing speech to fellow conservatives, exhorted his ideological cohorts to “fight for victory and keep the White House in 2008.”

This statement implies that we have a conservative there now… I don’t think so.

Consider Bartlett’s review of Bush’s major domestic legislative accomplishments. He teamed up with Ted Kennedy to pass the No Child Left Behind Act, which increased education spending by over $20 billion and legislated a massive new federal intrusion into local schools. He co-opted Joe Lieberman’s proposal to create a gigantic new federal bureaucracy, the Department of Homeland Security. He has mostly abandoned free trade in favor of a hodgepodge of interest-group-pleasing tariffs. And after initially opposing it, Bush signed the Sarbanes-Oxley bill with almost pathetic eagerness in the wake of the Enron debacle, putting in place a phonebook-sized stack of new business regulations.

Want more? He signed the McCain-Feingold campaign finance bill, a bête noir of conservatives for years. His Medicare prescription-drug bill was the biggest new entitlement program since the Great Society. He initially put a hold on a wide range of last-minute executive orders from the Clinton administration, but after a few months of “study” allowed nearly all of them to stand. And he has increased domestic discretionary spending at a higher rate than any president since LBJ.

Bartlett even has a bone to pick with the most prominent feature of Bush’s record that’s incontestably conservative, his almost religious dedication to tax cuts. Yes, Bush has cut taxes. Yes, that’s generally a good, conservative thing to do. But as Bartlett correctly points out, cutting taxes without cutting spending doesn’t do the conservative cause any good. Bush and the modern Republican Party plainly have no interest in cutting federal spending, and the resulting massive deficits will eventually force “the largest tax increase in American history”–one that will be entirely Bush’s fault. Some conservative.

Now, I’m a conservative by nature. Ask my (liberal) friends [[:-)]]. But, now that there’s no conservative left in the race for president (was there ever one?), it’s time for the most liberal choice to get my vote. Why? Well, if the country wants liberal, it should get REALLY liberal. If he or she succeeds and the country is better off, then why shouldn’t we go in that direction. And, if he or she fails miserably, maybe the country will be ready for a real conservative again (hint: we haven’t really had one in a long time).

Poll: Obama erases Clinton lead


Democratic Sen. Hillary Clinton is losing ground to Sen. Barack Obama in a national CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll released on the eve of critical Super Tuesday presidential primaries and caucuses.

This is excellent news. I don’t think I’ve ever voted for a democrat for President, and I know that I’ve never done so in a primary. But, being an unenrolled voter here in Massachusettes, I can vote in any primary I want to. And this time, I’m voting in the democrat primary, and voting for Obama.

Tiger’s big 65 finish adds Dubai to title list as Els fades

From Golf News:

Tiger Woods birdied his last two holes Sunday to rally from a four-shot deficit and win the Dubai Desert Classic, starting his season with two victories that looked nothing alike.

I haven’t seen this yet, but I have it Tivo’d at home. I can’t wait to watch the final 9 holes! [[Tiger]] is the MAN.

Out-played, Out-coached, Out-classed

We’ll tackle these in reverse order.

I have to say that I’m quite disappointed in Bill. Belichek. For him to walk off the field, and take most of his team with him, before the game was over was really classless. He can argue if he wants to that the game was already over, except that it wasn’t. The ref was right there telling him so.

Perhaps he was just embarassed by how completely he was out-coached leading up to and during the game? I could definitely believe that. I think his game plan was as simple as this: “All we have to do is stop them from scoring too many points. There’s no way that they can stop this offense.” You think I’m exaggerating? Consider:

  • Why was he ignoring the game while his offense was on the field? There was a shot of him with his back to the field working with his defense and a white board. While this was going on, his offensive line let Brady get pummelled. Had he cared a little more about that, he might’ve made some adjustments.
  • Why not kick the field goal? Sure, it would’ve been a 48 yard attempt, but that’s within the range of Guskowski. He said in the post game interview that it was about field position. Yeah right. Going for it on 4th and 13 because missing a field goal puts them on the 38 yard line instead of the 31. Those 7 yards were meaningless. The only reason that makes any sense is that you believed that the Giants couldn’t stop your offense, and that 3 points woulddn’t make any difference. Uh…. you were wrong.

And speaking of being outcoached… what were the Patriots doing at the end of the game throwing the ball down field to Moss in double coverage, not once, but twice! Starting out at their own 25 yard line, they needed about 45 yards to get into field goal range. They had 35 seconds on the clock, and all three time outs. I know it’s a tall order, but all they needed to do was throw short, quick passes and march down the field for a field goal attempt. It was almost as if they said to themselves, “We’ll show them! We can make the long pass!” Instead, they line up trying to make a long pass and Brady gets sacked for the 5th time of the night giving them a 3rd and 4th and 20 yards. Out coached indeed. The coaching staff had one massive brain-fart at the end of the game.

Let’s be fair too. The Patriots defense wasn’t outplayed. They played a great game, holding the Giants to just 3 points in the first 3 quarters. How could you ask for anything more from them.

The Patriot offense is another kettle of fish entirely. The offensive line could do nothing to stop the Giants from hammering Brady.

Why Obama and not Hillary?

Here’s a good summary of (some) issues with Hillary from SlashDot:

Policy differences between Clinton and Obama? Minor.


I worry about provenance with Clinton. Why was she the head of the Healthcare task force? A recognized health expert? A well-known elected official? Wife of a guy who got 43% of the vote? That ‘mandate’, plus too much secrecy, doomed a not-so-bad health care plan and has cost us a lot of jobs and bankrupt Americans in the last 14 years.

Then again, why was she on the board of Wal-Mart? We mention that (well, she doesn’t mention on her website that she was the first female board member of America’s #1 retailer). But, why? Was she a business expert? Run a corner store? Worked her way up from the mailroom? Was she the wife of the governor of Wal-Mart’s home state?

Obama has taken every step. He’s sprinted to the top, no doubt. But, he’s gone from knocking on doors in the projects to fighting a political machine in his district to convincing both rural and urban Illinois to inspiring a generation. No shortcut.

Not to say she’s been a bad senator. But, the Iraq vote is very troubling. Only six Senators are on record as checking in to the locked room to read the full (96 page) intelligence report. Yes, it was full of lies. But, John Edwards **did*’. Clinton? McCain? Neither. They believed.

And thinking of Iraq. The ‘*only** way out of Iraq is to offer a new deal to the Iraqis. Clinton? The wife of a man whose crippling sanctions and annual bombing runs caused a whole lot of misery and entrenched the regime? Sure, from here we can say the sanctions were a good thing. But, for the man on the street who lost a child to deprivation? We need a president who is not connected to that legacy.

OK, that’s a lot more rational than any of my rants would be. She got to where she is because of who she married, not because of any innate qualifications that she had. Obama has earned everthing. Remember this when you vote tomorrow.