Saturday, February 05, 2005


Client, n: A person who has made the customary choice between the two methods of being legally robbed

Getting back to myself after the craziness of the last couple of days (not often you have both a business crisis and a medical procedure to deal with simultaneously, although amazingly enough this isn't the first time it's happened; I had a particularly intrusive medical test a few years back and was feeling a bit under the weather after the event. I ensconced myself in bed and tried to sleep it off upon my return home when the phone began to ring incessantly. It turned out to be a colleague desperately trying to get me to participate in a conference call where my subject matter expertise was required. I had no warning of this call, and the gentleman in question had spent the entire morning attempting to track me down. Still partially under the influence of opiates, I joined the call and added absolutely no value whatsoever to the proceedings. I drew some flak for this, with the Sales Types demanding to know why We Didn't Put Out Best Foot Forward. One Sales Type actually had the temerity to demand an explanation of why I wasn't available earlier to help them strategize. I described in very explicit terms what I had just undergone and he still didn't get it).

I reviewed "Jeff Barry & Friends - Chapel Of Love" on Blogcritics last night. Dreadful little DVD. Rather sad because it's got some of my favorite songs and performers on there, but as I noted on Blogcritics, it's more suited to a tour of Florida condos than a real rock and roll celebration. The backup band was utterly toothless. Funny when you think of some of the backup bands playing for 50s and 60s vocal acts - sometimes they're inappropriately heavy (think of Chubby Checker's backup band in "Let The Good Times Roll") or astonishingly wimpy as in this DVD or any number of PBS specials (the big exception being a PBS special from the early 80s featuring Darlene Love and Lesley Gore; Roy Buchanan was the leader of the backup band. You can easily recognize this show as Ms. Gore has a cast on her wrist).

A couple of interesting books have crossed my desk in the last few days. "By The Neck Until Dead: The Gallows Of Nuremberg" is the story of a US Army officer charged with organizing the executions of Nazi war criminals. While the writing isn't the greatest, the story is indeed interesting and it debunks some myths that have grown over the years, but I think the most important part was the author's telling of how American soldiers in post-war Germany were subject to snipers and other murder attempts by "Werewolves". Most instructive for the LLL idiots who don't understand that our soldiers are going to be attacked in Iraq by elements that cannot accept regime change and democracy. It's a good vindication of Sgt. John Woods, as well.

Some of you may have noticed that I've titled a lot of my recent posts with Ambrose Bierce quotes, and I've finally picked up a copy of "The Unabridged Devil's Dictionary". This is a book that belongs with the best of American literature, it's up there with the best of Twain for my money. Between Bierce and Mencken I have enough cynicism to keep me in chuckles for years (although Mencken's nastiness was not of the contrived sort in certain cases, it was real personal animosity in some circumstances, eliminating the independence of the curmudgeon, and lessening him to a mere bigot).

"Luftwaffe Over America" will scare the hell out of you. Like "Target America" and "Sanger: Germany's Orbital Rocket Bomber in World War II" this recounting of Vergeltungswaffen and the plans to use them against the US will sober anyone up into thinking that our shores weren't being probed and tested for attack before 9/11. A good addition to your military history library.

In other news, CNN this morning reports:

UNITED NATIONS (CNN) -- U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said Friday he was "shocked" by an initial investigative report that found the man in charge of the U.N. oil-for-food program made illicit oil deals.

"We do not want this shadow to hang over the U.N. So we want to get to the bottom of it, get to the truth and take appropriate measures to deal with the gaps," he told reporters at U.N. headquarters in New York.


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