January 31, 2003

wild party girls caught on tape

Ya want it? You want damning proof that Iraq is lying? The Bush administration says they got it.

Electronic intercepts by the NSA are considered the most jealously guarded of all U.S. intelligence secrets and government officials are normally loath to even refer to their existence for fear of tipping off targets and drying up invaluable sources of information.

But in this case, officials said, the intercepts are so damning and dramatic that officials say their release outweighs the potential harm?especially given the increased likelihood that the United States will shortly be launching an invasion of Iraq anyway.

“Hold onto your hat. We?ve got it,” said one U.S. intelligence official familiar with the evidence gathered by the NSA.

I wish he had said “Hold onto your butts,” instead. That would have been damn cool, givin’ the ol’ hat tip to Jurassic Park like that.

sense the taint

Set aside the next ten minutes of your life and check out Something Awful’s Photoshop Phriday. Today? Recalled Foods. You’ll find most of these products in the new ‘tainted food’ aisle at Cub.

Tainted food: Helping undergraduates and the local poor fill their gullets with red tide starfish and rotten yams.

January 30, 2003

the mouse goes…

Ok, let’s try something. Let’s see what happens when I’m quite stressed out and it’s only the second week of school and I’m feeling like I really do nothing but run around and fill out petitions to make sure I actually graduate when I graduate…

Let’s see what happens when I clock the current time: 10:43. Let’s see what happens when I lay off the delete key and allow myself only FIVE MINUTES to hack out something. Ready? Let’s do it.

So last night our Friend Commander Keane decided he had to leave for Tuscon, Arizona, so we threw a little party at his place. Normally an event of little public significance, except in the Commander’s case he lives in a TENT. A canvas wall tent, twenty-five minutes out of Duluth, in a forest, next to a clearcut, on public land. I have crazy friends, I do, as the Commander lived there with two other fellows. The Hobo and the Jon.

The Hobo has hobo gloves and surly hair that sticks out every which way. The Jon built an outhouse and a wood box (as it gets 19 below in their tent so they need a stove and tons of wood to keep the place warm) but he built them both out of the same plans! The same blueprints! He’s an architect! A one-man comedy team! One act Charlie!

So I ask the Jon if he ever accidentally craps in the wood box instead of the outhouse because they both look the same. He said never. Never accidentally. On purpose? Sure! There was a mouse that lived in the wood box but didn’t live in the outhouse and one day the mouse woke up in The Jon’s sleeping bag and the Jon went AUUUGGGHH!!!! So he came home from school that afternoon (as just because you live in a canvas wall tent doesn’t mean you don’t have to go to school) and there was the mouse stuck by its little tiny legs in a frozen pail of water. So Jon gets a hammer and cracks the mouse good and hard into the ice, and it shattered and went skrit and a little nugget of blood came out.

(Right now I’m having trouble doing the math, and figuring out if I need to stop typing now. What did I say, 10:43? Now it’s 10:49. Umm… That’s… er… SIX MINUTES! WHOOPS!)


January 29, 2003

world news rodeo

Leave to to the wires to print the news. The news that matters.

“When I have visitors, they sleep there with the fresh scent of toothpaste,” Kolpakov, 36, told The Saginaw News for a story Tuesday.

Creeped out yet? The rest is complete proof that the cold war is over.

A woman who says she bought magic wands from a self-described psychic to erase negative thoughts says $5,400 of her money was all that disappeared.

It’s not that she’s a sucker that makes this interesting. It’s that it happened in Bethlehem. I always thought Jesus would be reborn a spunky teenage girl pop singer. Perhaps the Son of God is a phony psychic, instead.

Lies, Lies, Lies! All I hear are lies! Funny. I thought today they would be lining up those lost mason jars of anthrax and heaving sledgehammers at them. Meanwhile, Bush wants to throw a kegger down at the U.N. on the 5th, at which he’ll get everyone sloshed enough that he can reveal new evidence for the case against Iraq, without anyone actually remembering anything the morning after. Allies are all for partying. France and Germany are still busy pissing their pants and might not RSVP.

And just for fun, here’s a picture of a clown.

sotu tofu

Lileks is up with his review of the State of the Union Address. The speech is part one in a four-part series. SOTU, Bush/Blair, Powell before the U.N., War Time Live from the Oval Office. Collect the whole set.

January 28, 2003

like super glue for the evening jitters

What do aircraft wings, capitalism, rodents in Finland, and human hearts all have in common? Why are socialism and benevolent dictatorships such appealing economic and political philosophies, but so prone to corruption?

Steven has the words. Steven always has the words. If a day comes when Steven doesn’t have the words I’m going to brace myself for the moon to drop into the ocean and the earth to spin into the sun. Just like South Carolina sixth graders, Steven’s writings manage to hold reality together.

January 27, 2003

sticky q & a

I really don’t know what to make of this. The leaders of all anti-war countries are running around, calling for Baghdad to cooperate fully with the weapons inspectors. That’s all they got. What if Baghdad doesn’t cooperate? What if Baghdad hasn’t been cooperating for twelve years? What if Baghdad lied on their dossier and didn’t account for everything? What if Baghdad has committed a material breach?

Germany, France, Russia and Canada said the arms experts needed more time, as did Secretary-General Amr Moussa of the 22-member Arab League and states neighboring Iraq.

“We are of the opinion…that the inspectors will get more time for their work,” Schroeder told journalists in Berlin.

At a later news conference after meeting Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Schroeder said: “We are both of the opinion that nobody has the right to undertake any kind of action without a decision of the Security Council.”

Chirac, who discussed the issue with Schroeder by phone, echoed his call and urged Baghdad to give the inspectors “full and entire cooperation.”

Germany’s Joschka Fischer, also attending the EU foreign ministers’ meeting in Brussels, said: “War is no alternative. I think one can conclude that the inspectors are doing a great job which should definitely go on.”

There the answers stop. They only have answers as far as it would supposedly take to prevent a U.S. attack. Besides war they have no answers beyond the actions that have been unsuccessful for years; for the last two months. I really wish other world leaders had better things to do than get on the phone with Saddam and tell him to please play nice, pretty please, with sugar on top. Resolution 1441 was Iraq’s last chance to voluntarily disarm. They blew it.

It’s like a bad porno. A weapons inspector knocks on Saddam’s door. Saddam answers.

“Oh. You’re not my regular milkman.”


“Please, come inside.”


“Here, let me help you with that.”



Iraq had every chance to avoid a war. Every chance for twelve years. How, you ask? Well, there is this…


Meanwhile, the British Foreign Secretary says Iraq is making a charade of the inspections, Kofi Annan calls for more party games, Colin Powell says Iraq is running out of time, Australia’s Prime Minister says Iraq is in material breach, and Daschle is asking for hardcore proof.

He’ll get it, but he won’t get it until a few days before the war starts. We need to get the proof out to sway the public (and the world), but we need to do it in such a manner that it won’t give Iraq any upper hand in the war. As soon as Iraq knows what we know they can piece together where that information came from, kill the persons responsible, and relocate the weapons. They could also figure out, from what we know, what we don’t know and use that knowledge against us.

It’s a sticky business. If Washington comes forward with hardcore proof they could make a compelling argument to the world for military intervention, and lay to rest all this craziness (though, from the other side, it would just replace it with another brand of craziness). However, if they reveal too much too soon they risk losing the war to win the popularity contest. Well, we won’t lose the war, certainly, but it could get a hell of a lot messier as a result. It’s all cost/benefit analysis.

Watch carefully what Bush says tomorrow. If we get specifics, we’re going in soon. Very soon.

The full text of Hans Blix’s statement to the U.N.

the warehouse chronicles

Well now, that was some lucid dreaming. It all started with me and some friends, who were driving a van across the country. We heard rumors of an abandoned warehouse in the neighborhood we were tooling through, so we drove up at night to check it out. We ran around inside with flashlights and eventually I ended up in the basement. I found a neat cup (it wasn’t the Spirit Valley Days cup that I got last year, and it wasn’t the matching Spirit Valley Days cup that I got a few weeks ago, but I did look around the basement trying to find them), and soon the sun was coming up and we needed to get out of there.

We needed to get out of there now! In the sunlight we could see that the warehouse wasn’t abandoned after all, and there were lots of racks of blinking lights that I suppose were supposed to represent networking routers or something. As we were running to the van my friend saw the cup, and said that he wanted one, too.

“Dammit, we don’t have time! The workers are going to be here any minute!”

He wouldn’t listen to reason so I dashed back in the warehouse. I slid down a rack of employee work shirts (they were an ugly green color, and I considered putting one on so I could blend into the approaching crowd) to the basement. I found the cups, but they were all covered in green paint and malformed, so it was really hard for me to find one that was decent. For some reason, a mug I got while on the Hopkins nordic ski team was there, too. I started browsing some terra cotta pots, and then remembered I had to get out of there now!

I guess it was Saturday so the workers never showed up, but once I got back to the van the mud monsters emerged from the basement. They were these huge black dripping things and moaned a lot, nevermind the fact that they were made out of mud. The only way we could defeat them was to burn down the warehouse, but attempts with gasoline didn’t work. Dear god, the enemy is immune to gasoline! What is one to do? My father showed up and turned on all the gas mains, filling the warehouse with a wavering, groovy-smelling atmosphere. He set up the furnace to spark in 150 cycles, which to us translated to just enough time to hop in the van and drive away.

It took us quite a bit longer to escape than expected, as Homer Simpson showed up and had to have his say in things. Eventually we found ourselves at the top of a cliff, watching the warehouse and mud monsters explode into a messy oblivion.

I had another dream after that, but the details are a bit sketchy. It ended with Mazataka as the cruel and ruthless head of a trans-global multi-national corporation. He was pasted up on billboards everywhere, wearing a North Face jacket and Oakleys with yellow lenses. He was holding a Coca-Cola bottle.

January 26, 2003

restless winter moonlighting

I’m in a restless mood right now, and it’s been that way since the end of last semester. I spent most of winter break running around like a lunatic, overdosing on endorphins and all the other bio-chemicals that the non-academic world had to offer, and enjoyed every minute of it. .The return to Duluth was pleasant, and it was great to see my Lake again, but the slow purgatory between frantics and school were a bit difficult. Hence the sudden redesign here at the Bored.

It’s strange to talk to other people and ask them how their break was. “It was nice. So relaxing.” I can’t even fathom the concept of a ‘relaxing’ break, as right now I find relaxation to be anything but. After summer camp and last semester and winter break, I now need to keep myself busy in an almost compulsory manner. I need to keep moving, progressing, advancing, knitting.

Maybe this is the reason I’m not a fan of winter. I love snow and cold for its recreational opportunities, and life in Duluth for its arctic bragging rights, but beyond that I wouldn’t mind a catastrophic axis shift each year that puts northern Minnesota at the equator for nine months. In any other season I can just throw on my Chacos and dash out the door at leisure, but during the winter I actually need to fill out a mental checklist before I can leave the apartment.

Jacket? Jacket’s downstairs. Hat? buried somewhere in the floor of your room. Gloves? Which pair? You’ve got ice-sparring gloves for fighting off yetis and such, lobster gloves for nordic skiing that are great if you need to mop up snot, mittens for warmth with no dexterity…

I finally collect everything and am almost out the door when I remember my hat. I stumble up the spiral staircase (more than a month later, my broken toe still hurts), dig around my room, find the hat, scold it, fall down the stairs and again make for the door.

Shit. Glasses.

And it goes on like that until I am worked into a bloody fever and finally leave the apartment a shrieking wraith. Properly dressed for the weather, of course. No tattered rags, usually. Now, when I want out, I want out now. I don’t want out five minutes from now, and with winter daylight at such a premium, I find the required planning and organization infuriating.

With winter, it feels like everything stalls out for a couple months. Nature knows well enough that it’s too much work to try and leave the apartment, so it just gives up until conditions are a bit nicer. Trees drop their manes, birds flee, lakes freeze up, bears quit hanging themselves in bear bags… I guess I just can’t stand the sudden lack of activity. I draw heavily on my environment for inspiration, and when it feels that there ain’t nothing worth doing it leaks into my head and makes my brain as useful a pile of wet cardboard.

And such is my life of mixxed bizziness. While it is simulaneously frustrating and exciting, it seems to make writing exceedingly difficult. To be able to chunk something out in words you need to have a starting point, some sort of center that you want to entertain and develop. There are always a million starting points, and the trick is to just pick one and run with it. That’s what I’ve done in the past, but right now it seems I can’t even get those points in order.

The problem is that all these activities snowball. I have little desire to sit in my squalid apartment and squander away even ten minutes to figure out something to write, because I know that if it starts going well and I get off on all sorts of tangents and such, that ten minutes will become an hour, and that’s an hour more than I wanted to spend on the computer. I would much rather resolve to hang out with some friends for a couple minutes, and accidentally whittle away the evening. I love writing, and when I feel I’ve got something I’ll stick with it until the end, but I get really cranky during the process. I’ve snapped at many a roommate who just wanted to make an honest inquiry into what the heck I was doing.

And thus leads us to the irony of blogging. The amount of content that gets pasted up onto the internet is inversely proportional to the amount of content that is being produced in the real world.


January 25, 2003


Ok, blogs have now hit big time. Dave Barry’s even got a blog, now. He insults the Midwest. We take it. He says its cold. We run him down with snowblowers.

Think that’s ugly? His latest one is hosted at Blogspot!