Friday, July 29, 2005

Tour de Paris

For anyone wondering where the hell I've been, Marcela and I spent the early part of this week in Paris. First to witness the end of the Tour de France, and then to do a little shopping and exploring of the parts of Paris (especially the food) we didn't see the first time around last summer.

The last day of the Tour de France was a whole lot of waiting (six hours) for the racers to arrive on the Champs-Elysees and then watch them zoom by sixteen times on their eight laps around central Paris. So how did we kill six hours? Thumb wars! That and watching a jumbo screen placed near the finish line which showed the progress of the final stage as they approached the city.

Around 4pm, the peloton showed up and the crowds lining the avenue pushed forward to catch glimpses of their favorite riders. Just picking out someone, like Lance Armstrong, wasn't all that easy because they raced by at an amazing pace. But we had our sixteen chances and I managed to get at least one photo of Mr. Armstrong as he passed our vantage point. Marcela's one and only shot was somewhat less than successful. She did get part of a wheel at least.

We were pretty close to the finish line and could just barely make-out the riders that made it onto the podium. Even made a short video of the end of the anthem played in Armstrong's honor. Sorry for the crap quality. My camera only does so much.

Other highlights of the week:
  • The Pantheon: Basically an elaborate crypt for famous dead Parisians like Voltaire and Victor Hugo, with a great view of the Paris skyline at the top.
  • Shopping: Marcela's new favorite place to shop is the Galaries Lafayette where she rediscovered her love of Zara.
  • Centre Pompidou: The modern art mecca of Paris. Best part was before we even stepped in. Marcela got into it with the pigeons. Here's a video of another pigeon episode.
  • Gli Angeli: Great, great Italian restaurant. Don't have any pictures or a link to any website, but it was great. On rue St-Gilles if you can find it.

So now we're still recuperating from the five days we spent there. Next up on Marcela's visit is a trip up to Bernkastel-Kues tomorrow where dinner at a winery awaits. It's our attempt at sophistication. More about that on Sunday.

Related link:

  • Paris photo and video gallery: Some more photos from the trip and seven short videos I took. The videos are around 3mb apiece, and play best once fully loaded. Enjoy.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

If You Don't Care Who Sits On The Supreme Court

After making my last post, I got to thinking: not everyone cares about politics. Why the hell should I alienate my readers who are into just enjoying life and not being burdened by these huge issues? These issues are not only hard to grasp, but can also detract from what is important in life -- namely mindles entertainment.

So in that spirit, here's your mindless entertainment for the day. Enjoy.

Sit Back And Enjoy

Now that Bush has made his nominee announcement for the Supreme Court, here are a few things you'll hear going into the battle over whether or not he gets to actually replace O'Connor:
  • "American values"
  • "Roe v. Wade"
  • "Strict Constitutionalist"

You're going to hear those three things until your ears bleed. Kinda like how the word filibuster still makes me feel a little nauseated after the last battle over judges. Come to think of it, you're going to hear the word filibuster an awful lot, too.

But for those of us who are going to stick it out, let's be clear. The first and last are catch-phrases that don't really mean anything. They just sound good. The second is what the coming fight is actually about: abortion. Conservatives can try and tie the nominee to bullet-points one and three until their heads turn blue, but it is actually about point two. Liberals will probably focus only on point two and pretty much ignore anything else about this guy, which is a mistake.

No matter which side of the abortion issue you're on, this will be entertaining. A big batle over this has been brewing for thirty years. Anything less than Howard Dean and Rush Limbaugh in a cage-match to settle it all will be a huge letdown.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Pulp Fiction Redux

Here's one of the best movies ever, Pulp Fiction, in thirty seconds, re-enacted by bunnies.

And here's an audio commercial for the editted for TV version.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

That's Gotta Hurt

She falls.

And falls.

And falls.

If she gets stuck, use your mouse to help her fall some more.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Sign Of The Apocalypse: The Press Doings Its Job

Finally some members of the press realized they had a job to do and began hammering away at the White House for answers on the whole Rove-is-a-traitor-to-this-country thing.

Here's a video of it all. Just have to get past the press secretary's introductory remarks to get into the good stuff. Goes well with popcorn and a beer.

Best part:

Q: Scott, can I ask you this: Did Karl Rove commit a crime?

MCCLELLAN: Again, David, this is a question relating to an ongoing investigation, and you have my response related to the investigation. And I don't think you should read anything into it other than: We're going to continue not to comment on it while it's ongoing.

Q: Do you stand by your statement from the fall of 2003, when you were asked specifically about Karl and Elliot Abrams and Scooter Libby, and you said, "I've gone to each of those gentlemen, and they have told me they are not involved in this"?

MCCLELLAN: And if you will recall, I said that, as part of helping the investigators move forward on the investigation, we're not going to get into commenting on it. That was something I stated back near that time as well.

Q: Scott, this is ridiculous. The notion that you're going to stand before us, after having commented with that level of detail, and tell people watching this that somehow you've decided not to talk. You've got a public record out there. Do you stand by your remarks from that podium or not?

MCCLELLAN: I'm well aware, like you, of what was previously said. And I will be glad to talk about it at the appropriate time. The appropriate time is when the investigation...

Q: (inaudible) when it's appropriate and when it's inappropriate?

MCCLELLAN: If you'll let me finish.

Q: No, you're not finishing. You're not saying anything. You stood at that podium and said that Karl Rove was not involved. And now we find out that he spoke about Joseph Wilson's wife. So don't you owe the American public a fuller explanation. Was he involved or was he not? Because contrary to what you told the American people, he did indeed talk about his wife, didn't he?

MCCLELLAN: There will be a time to talk about this, but now is not the time to talk about it.

But then again, the public at large has no clue what this is about and won't give a damn as long as the next season of American Idol begins on time. That and the Republican are circling the wagons around Rove quicker than Bush can forget he promised he'd fire whoever was behind the leak.


Here's an open letter to the terrorists involved in the London bombings last week.

Another Why

Just saw Collateral (yeah, I know -- a year after anyone else. I was busy.), and besides some obvious questions like why the hell would Vincent still drive around in a busted up cab that draws all sorts of attention to itself instead of just getting another cab and driver, I have another question: if he's already killed all the witnesses, why does he have to kill the lawyer, too? No witnesses, no case, right?

This makes less sense than the rock, paper, scissors thing.


Question: Why does paper beat rock? I understand that scissors beat paper because it can cut it, and I understand that rock beats scissors because scissors can't cut through a rock or the rock just bangs the hell out of the scissors, but how exactly does paper beat rock by simply covering it?

Questions like this consume too much of my time during the summer months.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Dam Good Time

So I finally made it to Amsterdam this weekend. Got to see all that you think of when you picture Amsterdam, namely canals, windmills, marijuana and whores.

Oh, and we also visited the Anne Frank House, took a bus ride around the city, toured the Rijksmuseum, floated through the canals, and walked through the red light district. Twice.

Highlights included:

  • The Sea Palace Restuarant: A floating chinese resturant that serves great, great food. Pricey, but good.
  • The boat houses: They ranged from trashy to adorable. Makes me almost want to move into one. Almost.
  • Bikes: Never seen so many people on bicycles in my life. Two-wheeler heaven.
  • French fries and mayonnaise: Saw lots of folks munching away on them, so I had to try it. To my surprise, I kinda liked it.
  • The Anne Frank House: Brings the horrors of World War II home, so to speak.
  • The coffee shops: Watching folks sip coffee and roll their joints bordered on quaint.

    Overall Amsterdam was great and definitely a place I'd recommend to anyone who wants a town with a healthy sense of history and a live and let live attitude toward life

    Amsterdam Trip Photo Gallery

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Zurich & Munich

Spent the last few days on a drive south into Switzerland and Bavaria. Much of the trip was spent dodging raindrops, but overall was a sucess -- Munich, especially. It may now become my favorite German city.

My mom and I had originally planned a trip to Interlaken instead of Munich, hoping to end up on top of Jungfrau. But with the dodgey weather, we opted for the safer option of heading for the Bavarian capital. Turned out to be a good choice.

First Zurich. It rained and rained, but we did get a good Swiss/German meal out of it. I'm sure Zurich is a lovely city, and I'm sure the views of the lake are spectacular, but I won't know until I return because we couldn't see much because of the weather. Stayed at the Park Inn hotel by the Zurich airport, which has a McDonald's theme going. You haven't lived till you've dozed off with the Golden Arches serving as your headboard.

Munich was much better, both in weather and scenery. Though it rained off and on the afternoon and evening that we got there, the next morning awoke without a cloud in the sky. Ended up retaking many of the pictures I'd shot the night before just because of the improved lighting. Took a bus tour around the city with a trip to Schloss Nymphenburg, the summer palace of the Bavarian royal family. The jaw-dropper of that trip is the portrait gallery that Ludwig I made of his mistresses or other young girls that caught his eye. Imagine being his wife and having to walk through that room.

We explored much of the rest of the old town part of Munich around Marienplatz. Had a light dinner and a HUGE glass of beer at the world famous Hofbrauhaus. Followed that up with another beer across the street at the Hard Rock Cafe.

Next day was spent re-exploring the area with a climb up one of the Frauenkirche towers for its commanding view of Munich. Well worth the three euro fee. Then we watched the 11am clock tower show at the Neus Rathaus while sitting at one of the outdoor cafes in the Marienplatz. Then we hoofed it on over to a quick tour of the luxurious Residenz, where Bavarian royalty spent their time during most of the year. If you ever plan on seeing the Residenz, be prepared to do a lot of walking.

Then we packed up and drove up to Dachau to see the concentration camp memorial site. That was a sobering experience, though slightly detracted by noisy and disrespectful high school kids out there on field trips. Some of their behavior was shocking based upon where they were at. For instance what kind of kid takes pictures of themselves throwing gang signs in front of barracks where thousands of prisoners of war starved to death? Never saw any of their teachers or parents say a word to them. In some ways that was more depressing than the exhibitions.

So now that I've finally been to Munich, I can't wait to go back. I'm already trying to figure out when I can squeeze it in before the end of summer. August is looking good.

Tomorrow we leave for Amsterdam.

Photo Gallery of the trip.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Pink Floyd at Live 8

Pretty much watched the whole London concert with a few skips over to the Philadelphia, Berlin, or Paris feeds. BBC was great in the coverage they had. From what I'm reading online about how MTV butchered the telecast of Live 8, I'm very, very glad I wasn't trying to watch it back in the states.

The highlight for me was seeing Pink Floyd reunite last night. I saw the Rogerless version of the Floyd back in 1994 and it is still the best concert I've ever seen. Saw Roger Waters on his own a few years ago, and while that show didnt' come close to the 3/4 Pink Floyd of the early 90's, it still was better than 95% of the crap out on tour now. But from what I've read, MTV cut away from the Pink Floyd set last night to show some VJ talking and then went to commercials. If anyone reading this still thinks MTV is worth watching, that should settle the issue once and for all. MTV hasn't been worth watching for over a decade, and the fact that a "music" channel cuts away from one of the biggest moments in music history says it all.

Here are some of the comments posted on Fark in their Live 8 message board last night right when MTV decided the "M" stands for Money if not music.

2005-07-02 06:21:47 PM hollywood_town_hall

MTV must die.

2005-07-02 06:21:49 PM LineNoise


god bless you AOL.

2005-07-02 06:21:54 PM chug

Not a Floyd fan. Never seen them play before.But I must say I'm impressed. They sound damn good...especially the dude who's playing the guitar solos and singing. I'm guessing that's Gilmour.

Oh good. The veejays are now talking over Comfortably Numb. Thanks so much for that.

2005-07-02 06:21:56 PM barneyfifesbullet

HA HA HAGoddamn MTV/VH1, you truly sealed your legacy today.

2005-07-02 06:22:00 PM theborishone

Damn MTV VJ's

2005-07-02 06:22:02 PM wydok


2005-07-02 06:22:05 PM kanesays


2005-07-02 06:22:05 PM sparky828


2005-07-02 06:22:29 PM Cerie

shut biatch!I knew it! I just farking knew it! MTV you farking suck azz you shiatty farking bastards! Who is farking producing this 14 years olds!

2005-07-02 06:23:19 PM spacin007

cue the dip5hit vj's

2005-07-02 06:23:21 PM mcwilson

SHUT THE FARK UP STUPID GIRL! I hate the DJ people...

2005-07-02 06:23:53 PM ChickenGeorgeVII

nope....there they go....way to go MTV....

/would they cut off bee-noyce?

2005-07-02 06:24:08 PM SuburbanCowboy

You have to be f'ing kidding me.The only possible explanation for this is that they can't legally show the whole set.

Or else Mtv just sucks c worse than any network in history

2005-07-02 06:24:30 PM The Traveling Retard


2005-07-02 06:25:02 PM Discordian36

I cannot believe they just cut off the end of comfortably numb.

MTV: You get an F for this telecast.


2005-07-02 06:25:03 PM PoTBoT


2005-07-02 06:25:10 PM twobux

Nice of MTV to cut away from Pink Floyd. Thanks, asshats.

2005-07-02 06:25:37 PM FoamyIsKing

Stupid vj . I think my head is going to explode with rage >.< . The vj biatch interupted comfortably numb.

2005-07-02 06:25:38 PM Peaceboy

Unbelievable. Maybe the greatest rock and roll moment of the last 15-20 years, and they completely fark it all up. Unbelievable.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Quick Movie Review

The War of the Worlds: Dumb.