Classic Dishes...

Please Tell Me It Isn’t Ventilated

Former WCW Champion David Arquette raises money for the hungry in a luxuriously furnished plastic box (brought to you by your friends at Snickers!) in New York:

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Would someone PLEASE explain to me what the hell Courtney Cox was thinking?

(I hear David Blaine was twenty feet away, waving at reporters yelling “But I was in a block of ice! Underground! In water! This guy’s an amateur! Over here, everyone!…)

What’s He Like

This is why you don’t ever want to piss off your copywriters:


Prick with a fork, indeed.

(Yes, it’s probably a ‘Shop, and some Googling indicates this picture’s been going around for at least couple of years. I don’t care. It’s still making me giggle like an idiot. :))


Okay, let me get this straight:

Perfectly useful apps are getting denied access to Apple’s App Store, but a completely blatant Peggle-ripoff? “Absolutely! Step right this way, sir! Here, let me hold the door open for you…”

Clearly the people in charge of these things are being misused. I gotta think somewhere at Apple there’s a room containing an infinite number of typewriters that could use a workout.

Open, Sez Me

Considering I’ve been working at Microsoft for the last few years, many would assume that I’m opposed to the notion of open-source software, because it’s “taking away my livelihood” or something equally silly like that.

Nothing could be further from the truth. I love the idea of free alternatives being out there. I especially love the idea of there being free competition to non-free applications. Competition breeds excellence, especially when the competition is pressuring the folks who make the non-free app to improve the product to justify what you’re paying for it.

Plus, I’m cheap.

However, as much as I like what the open-source movement is doing for computing as a whole, the politics of it can be maddening sometimes.

I mention this because I recommended (from this point forward to be referred to as OO.o) to someone as an alternative to Microsoft Office earlier this week. Figuring that if I’m going to recommend something to someone, I should at least try it out myself, I grabbed it and installed it on my machines here at home. And yep, it works pretty well, and certainly would work just as well as Office for most people.

There’s one catch, though: interoperability. When Office 2007 shipped, the standard default formats (.doc, .xml, .ppt, etc) that Office had been working with for well over ten years were supplanted by new XML-based ones. (Don’t worry, Office still opens and saves to the old formats just fine.) Needless to say, a lot of open-source proponents are not happy with the idea of Big Bad Evil Microsoft being the chief proponent of an open document format. Not because it’s a bad format, necessarily, but because it’s Microsoft and everything Microsoft does is evil and anyone associated with them should die in a fire. Again, or something.

Anyhow, sometimes the price you pay for using open-source stuff is that some things aren’t quite COMPLETELY baked. In the case of OO.o, it can read and open Office Open XML documents, and it can save in those formats, but something’s goobed; an OO.o-created .docx or .xlsx or whatever file throws an error when you try to open it again in Office.

So I did a little research to find out what was going on, if it was something I could fix with a little tweaking, what the deal was. And many of the forum threads I happened across responded to the reasonable question of “why aren’t Office Open XML formats completely cross-compatible between OO.o and Office” with “Never mind that, just save to .doc.”

It’s the Why Would You Want To defense, and I’ve seen it before. Ask a community, particularly an open-source one, about a shortcoming of their software over their competition, and without fail someone will come back with “Why would you want to do that? The way we do it is better!”  (Come to think of it, Apple is pretty good at this too.) It drives me INSANE. Tools are supposed to work for US, the way WE want them to, and to say “I don’t agree with how you want to use this tool, so I’m going to make you to use it my way instead” is hubris writ large.

You’ve read this far, so I should probably pay off with a punchline: It’s no secret that Google and Microsoft have been at odds over the last few years, and that Google has been playing the “OMG we’re so open and free!” card as their main thrust of their PR attack. So, following the series of Why Would You Want Tos I found while researching this, you might see the same irony that I did from the following Google search:


“I named him ‘Willy’…”

Electronic Arts announced today that there have been 100 million creatures created in Spore.

I am setting the over / under for “creatures that resemble male reproductive organs” at 4,000,000. PRACE BETS NOW

You Donkey

We’re in the fifth go-round of Hell’s Kitchen, right? It seems to me that the show’s been around long enough now to be established.

So why is it that none of these people can, you know, cook? And I’m not talking about highfalutin’ complicated dishes, I’m talking basic staples.

If I’m going to throw myself at the mercy of Chef Ramsay, there are three things I’m damn well going to make sure I know how to do flawlessly before I even fill out the application:

  • Cook perfect scallops
  • Make a risotto
  • Prepare Beef Wellington

Five years in, Chef has those three items on EVERY menu he’s EVER had on the show, and we still have jackbags who can’t pan-fry a freakin’ scallop. Come ON.

Look. If I’m going to be on Survivor, I’m damned well going to make sure I know how to make fire. I’m not going to go on The Amazing Race if I’m agoraphobic, because I know at least one task is going to involve being up really really high. And I’m not going to be on Big Brother unless I know how to jump into a giant salad dressed like a cucumber. (Wait, what?)

(Aside: could that BE a more frightening picture of Julie Chen? And Les Moonves has to hit that. Yikes.)

Now Batting…The Catcher…Seymour…Butts

Apropos of nothing, but I was playing The Bigs on the Xbox tonight ($10 at NewEgg, yo!) and it struck me:

Wouldn’t it be funny as hell if ten or fifteen years down the road, Albert Pujols is being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, he takes the podium to deliver his acceptance speech, and says:

“Hah! All these years I’ve fooled every single one of you! It’s a hard ‘J’, morons!”

Public address announcers across the major leagues would be jumping out of second-deck windows. Sportscasters would be slitting their wrists. It’d be awesome.

They’re Gonna Love His Nuts

Shlomi? Vince The Shamwow Guy’s last name is Shlomi?

Man, I love it when I don’t even have to write the schtick…

I Should Think He Would Need Help With That

After watching the game yesterday, I’ve been paying half an ounce of attention to the sports websites, mainly because at the party I was at, we were all left slack-jawed that the final Arizona offensive play (where Kurt Warner might-have-fumbled-or-was-that-an-incomplete-pass) didn’t undergo a booth review. All game long, far less questionable plays earlier in the game were being reviewed pretty much instantaneously, just to make sure they got it right. So why wasn’t this one?

(It’s possible that they did and I missed it, because I haven’t seen a flurry of “OMG WTF BBQ HOW COULD THEY NOT REVIEW THAT???!?!!!!!ELEVEN” posts. But that’s neither here nor there.)

Anyhow, as a result, I happened to poke my head in at for the first time in a while. (Honestly, I haven’t had very much use for them ever since they lost the NHL deal to Versus and the NHL themselves put up a really good site for scores and highlights.) And I checked out Bill Simmons’ column on the game (which was halfway tolerable seeing as the Patriots weren’t involved in the game this year), and regretted it not even two sentences in:

…when James Harrison unleashed his amazing 100-yard TAINT with help from the officials…

Apparently it stands for “Touchdown After an INTerception.” Who knew?

Everybody Wants To Wield Political Power Sufficient To Hold Sway Over All Of The Civilized Nations On Our Planet

From Dustin McNeil, the genius behind the literal translation of a-ha’s Take On Me, I am pleased to present his somewhat-lesser-known take on another ’80s classic: