Monday, February 28, 2005


Today the Warrior Monk received a haircut with which he is exceptionally displeased. "I look like a Chia Pet" he informed me mournfully. "No you don't" I responded. Ever the supportive partner, I am. And truthfully, he doesn't. A Chia Pet looks like this:

Posted by Hello

"I wish I were bald" he said, heading off to go inhale some second hand smoke with Atomizer. As he was leaving, the seven year old dashed to her bedroom. "Gotta change my underwear!" she chirped brightly.

Our motto here at Spitbull is "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Or it should be.


We've gotten some feedback on our recent post about a British TV show the existence of which makes Pee Wee Herman seem ultra-manly. To all you doubters: yes, Spitbull is often not to be trusted but on this one issue we're stone cold sober. Here are several articles from BBC News about the "hit" show, which ran from 1972 to 1992. However, a line from one of the articles does give us pause:
There was a time when children's shows were not ironic, post-modern or anything more than innocent fun, a time when Rainbow ruled the roost.
UPDATE: OK, turns out the show, Rainbow, was for real, but the naughty episode was sort of not. That is, it was created by the team at Thames Television as a Christmas party prank not intended to be aired but seems to have eventually been broadcast anyway. I guess the show really was "innocent" fun, most of the time...

(Thanks for uncovering the mystery, Nancy "Drew")

Saturday, February 26, 2005


First we're told that squid are taking over the world. Now we discover they're all committing suicide. A biologist at Stanford University's Hopkins Marine Station in Pacific Grove, California scratches his head:
They appear to be mentally deranged, not physically ill. It's clearly something abnormal.
Make up your minds already! You're creeping me out.

Friday, February 25, 2005


With all the recent gay cartoon hoopla, Spongebob SquarePants, Tinky Winky and Marge Simpson's sister Patty coming out of the closet, it may be instructive to discover that it was ever thus. Check out the classic 70's British kids show Rainbow. Sample dialogue from one episode:
The sketch opens with Zippy peeling a banana...

Zippy: "One skin, two skin, three skin, four.... "
George: "Zippy, where is Bungle?"
Zippy: "I think Geoffrey is trying to get him up"

We see a view of the door and hear Bungle moaning from behind it.

Bungle: "Geoffrey, I can't get it in"
Geoffrey: "You managed it last night"
Bungle: "I know, let's try it round the other way around. Ooooooh, I've got it in"

Bungle and Geoffrey enter the studio with Bungle carrying a hammer and peg kit

Bungle: "Would you stick this on the shelf, George"
George: "I can't reach, you'll have to stick it up yourself,

Geoffrey (to camera) " Hello everyone, today we are talking about playing"

Bungle: "Playing with each other, Geoffrey?"
Geoffrey: "Yes Bungle, do you have a special friend that you like to play with?"
George: "Yesterday we played with our balls.

Are we going to play with our friend's balls today?"

Bungle: "Yes, and we can play with our twangers as well."
Geoffrey (to camera): Have you seen Bungles twanger?
Zippy: "Oh I have, I showed him how to pluck with it."
Bungle: "It's my plucking instrument."

Geoffrey asks the audience if they can pluck like Bungle

Zippy: "I can, I'm the best plucker here."
George: "And I'm good at banging. My peg's hard isn't it Zippy?"
Zippy: "Well of course it is, Your peg wouldn't go in if it was soft."
Geoffrey: "Let's get back to Bungle's twanger."
Bungle (excited): "Oooooh Geoffrey, we could all paint our twangers couldn't we?"

(Thanks Lea!)

Click here for the rest of the episode's dialogue or to see a clip. Holy molely! How did the parents watching the show back then explain to their kids why they were cracking up? Oh yeah, parents usually didn't watch TV with their kids in the 70's ...

Thursday, February 24, 2005


Powerline's HindRocket apologized recently for getting mad and cussing at an e-mailer (he was really pissed off at previous e-mailers but let loose on the guy who was unlucky enough to send an e-mail at the wrong time). Chad the Elder apologized for adopting another blogger's mistaken conclusions about the identity of another e-mailer. And the New York Times apologizes--no, corrects--two photo captions depicting two Iraqis crying and self-flagellating, supposedly out of the joy engendered by election results:
The caption on Feb. 14 for a picture by Reuters with the continuation of an article about the Iraqi elections misstated the reason Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, a Shiite cleric, was weeping. He was participating in a mourning ritual as part of Ashura, a holy Shiite festival - not reacting to results showing that his political alliance had won a slim majority of seats. A second caption for a Reuters photo misstated the reason a Shiite was shown flagellating himself in a Baghdad procession. He was taking part in the same mourning ritual, not celebrating the election outcome.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005


To bring attention to the plight of jailed Iranian bloggers Arash Sigarchi and Mojtaba Saminejad.

And shouldn't we get the mother of all blogswarms when both Hugh Hewitt and Juan Cole agree on an issue?


Tim Blair, moved by persistent theories that Rathergate is all Karl Rove's doing, has painstakingly reconstructed the happenings:

(Rove enters the Chamber of Destruction and greets his assembled operatives)

Rove: Gentlemen. Ladies. Mr. Gannon. Mr. Murdoch.

(Various responses: “Hiya!” “Howdy.” “G’day.")

Rove: People, you have done good work. You have tirelessly attempted to undermine John Kerry’s bid for the presidency. And yet the latest polling shows that Kerry may still win.

(Murmured complaints: “Dang!” “This is soooo not happening.” “Can’t compete with a Magic Hat.")

Rove: Silence! I cannot tell you how much this disappoints and angers me.

(An assistant appears at Rove’s side with a baseball bat. He is waved away)

Click through to read the rest... (Thanks John!)

Tuesday, February 22, 2005


When it's worried that no one is paying attention to it, the Washington Post can beef up the number of letters it gets from readers with a simple trick:
Publish a photo of a person riding a bicycle without a helmet or walking on a railroad track (with or without a helmet) and you can be sure to receive splenetic missives sort of like this:

"How dare you!?!? Have you no decency!?!? By your reckless and insensitive actions, you are clearly sending the message that you condone riding bicycles without helmets and/or the squashing of innocent people by heavy locomotives.

"I hope you're happy that the blood of countless poor victims will stain your hands. I have taken out a subscription to your pathetic newspaper in order that I may cancel it. Yours, etc."

(Via PoynterOnline)

We at Spitbull have taken note. Unfortunately, we suspect our readership couldn't care less about helmets. We need a different angle to spawn splenetic missives. Or, we could learn from others and simply write our own.

Monday, February 21, 2005


Mitch Berg liveblogged today's Nick Coleman Air America radio show. Well of course he wasn't after its content, but he also brought a radiohead's view to the proceedings, noting the commercial sponsors and getting irate at Coleman's 'theft" of U2 and the Pogues for bumper music.

Some liberal listeners of Air America are irate at the network's commercial sponsors:
I'm sad to say that today Air America Radio sounds a lot like my e-mail spam folder. I've learned how I can: Regrow hair! Become a millionaire! Improve bedroom performance! Enjoy adventures in travel! Lose weight! Get out of debt! Find true love! One commercial even suggested I sign up for e-mail bulletins so I can get weather forecasts straight in my Inbox!
Being a good progressive, this irate fellow e-mailed several complaints to Air America's advertising manager but didn't get a response. After he finally blogged about his beef, he got an e-mail from none other than Air America's co-founder Sheldon Drobny who sympathized:
We don't like these guys either, and they're gonna be gone.

When it comes to potential advertisers ... I don't really like big corporations in general ... [for example] I wouldn't advocate Archer Daniels Midland.
Thatta boy! Dis the advertisers. Now that's the way to establish a media powerhouse. But after all, you do have a dilemma on your hands when your target audience is used to commercial-free public radio...

Sunday, February 20, 2005


Yesterday the seven year old started wailing that the computer was broken. Upon investigation, it turned out she had not pressed the "on" button with sufficient force to, you know, turn the thing on.

This morning, time had to be spent re-configuring our wireless network which had stopped working for the downstairs computer. Strangely enough, all the desktop icons had been renamed with titles such as "iobujpane." The four year old, who had been playing quietly nearby, denied everything.

Saturday, February 19, 2005


  • Bloggers/radio hosts of the Northern Alliance Radio Network will broadcast today from the White Bear Lake Super Store. (Highway 61, north of 694). 12-3pm CST. No doubt inspired/appalled by Pioneer Press' Mark Yost's on-air interview of the gang a few weeks ago, Doug of Bogus Gold will try doing a more in-depth of interview of one of the NARNians, King Banaian (possessor of the 789th most popular name of his decade and big cheese at alleged group blog SCSU Scholars), after the show.
  • The Minnesota Organization of Blogs (MOB) has its first official spin-off: The M.A.W.B. Squad. It's a gal blog (glog?) for the overworked and underpaid XX solo-bloggers of the MOB. Cartoonist extraordinaire Chris Muir has kindly worked up a blogwarming gift:

    LearnedFoot of The Kool Aid Report also proffers a present. All this largesse worries us at Spitbull. Perhaps the M.A.W.B. Squadders should take care to avoid touching spindles on their eighteenth birthdays.
  • No one ever gave MOB member Nihilist in Golf Pants a blogwarming gift or even a wooden nickel. Clearly miffed by all the blogpayola it doesn't (yet) have a piece of, the blog has helpfully posted a price list.
  • Everyone--or at least everyone in the MSM--seems to think the Powerline guys have been showered with largesse for having such conservative views. They claim they're hardly better off than Nihilist in Golf Pants in this regard: "But we like funds, so if you're interested in funding us, let us know." They should rip off NIGP's price list idea. It would provide more fodder for another bloggish spin-off: N.A.A.P.A.L.M.

Thursday, February 17, 2005


The Larry Summers blogswarm fallout continues:
The overweight Summers is socially inept, with sloppy eating habits and poor grooming. Colleagues speculate Summers' lack of social skills might indicate he has the neurobiological disease Asperger's Syndrome.
(Via Gene Expression)

UPDATE: Larry Summers has released the transcript of his remarks that incited the blogswarm; there's no video or transcript yet of Eason Jordan's remarks. Go Aspergers!

Wednesday, February 16, 2005


A work in progress:

CBS News anchorman Dan RatherBased 60 Minutes report attacking President Bush on forged documentsLamelyWill step down as anchor on March 9, 2005; stays on as full time correspondent for 60 Minutes
CNN news chief Eason JordanAccused American troops in Iraq of targeting and killing journalists at the World Economic Forum in Davos, SwitzerlandNoResigned
University of Colorado Professor Ward ChurchillWrote September 11 victims were not innocent but instead "little Eichmanns" who deserved a penaltyNoResigned as chairman of ethnic studies department; continues as tenured professor
Harvard President Larry SummersOffered "innate differences" as one possible explanation of scarcity of female scientists at top universitiesRepeatedlyFaces faculty vote of no confidence at upcoming emergency meeting
Online website reporter Jeff Gannon/James GuckertUsed pseudonym and lofted softball questions at White House Press conferences; registered gay web sitesNoResigned

Tuesday, February 15, 2005


It appears Maureen Dowd did not have a happy Valentine's Day.


Britain is considering a creative new plan to get folks to say no to coke:
[U.K.] Foreign Office Minister Bill Rammell has called for people to reject cocaine in the same way they snubbed South African wine during apartheid. Rammell ... is considering launching a government initiative along with groups such as Oxfam, aimed at exposing the horrors of the cocaine-fuelled conflict in Colombia.
Funny, I never really pegged crackheads as the socially-responsible types. But perhaps Mr. Rummell is onto something; perhaps the PETAheads and organiphiles are actually on drugs.

Monday, February 14, 2005


They suffered the worst ratings since 1995. This despite the fact Triumph the Insult Comic Dog's CD, ''Come Poop With Me,'' was nominated in the category Best Comedy Album. From an interview in the New York Times:
I see your album is up against one by Al Franken, as well as another by Jon Stewart.

Forces to be reckoned with, yes? They sure took down the president. And Franken's liberal radio is really taking off. I own a conch shell with more listeners.

Some people say dogs are what Democrats profess to be, because they are so inclusive and welcoming of people regardless of social class. What do you think?

You're not going to get me, liberal media, but I do grasp the concept. Like a lot of Democrats, we dogs can remain loyal for reasons we can no longer understand.
Maybe the Grammys could have beaten out "Desperate Housewives" in the ratings if Triumph had won instead of Jon Stewart.


But beware, my eyes have been opened to your tricks:
Tiny creatures called dance flies don't have an ornate tail or much else to signal their sex appeal as, say, peacocks do. So the male shows off his fitness through his largess, bringing a female a big dead fly, for example, so that she can nibble on it while he mates with her. The hidden message: I am big and strong enough to schlep this carcass all over the meadow, and if you mate with me our kids will be big and strong, too.


Over the years, [the researchers] suspect, a few males decided to heck with lugging along a dead fly to their assignation, and instead bestowed just an insect fragment, wrapped in easily carried silk to make it look bigger. Getting good results, some males began skipping the snack and presenting just a worthless wisp of silk. That way, they got to invest less in sex (less foraging for a nuptial gift) and still reap all the rewards.

Nothing but an entire dead fly will do for me today. Don't try to fool me with a chocolate rose wrapped in a worthless wisp of silk. Hmph!

Friday, February 11, 2005


Is spun out in an 8 minute sci-fi/documentary-style Flash movie released last fall into the web (the movie was the 6th most popular link on DayPop on November 28). Well, I missed it (it appears to have made a big splash in geekworld). So here I launch it into the political portion of the blogosphere.

The movie "predicts" a future where news is sliced, diced, and narrow-casted down to the individual level. Bloggers play a part in editing the news people receive (and are paid for their pains), but the New York Times has "become a print newsletter for the elite and the elderly." And some folks end up receiving news that consists of "merely a collection of trivia, much of it untrue."

This future is presented with the trappings of doom: ominous background music, gravely serious narration. You expect it to conclude with a note that all the people died of some horrible disease caused by not being exposed to the protective quality of news selected by those who know better.

If you missed the hubbub last fall and you're interested in the media (and have broadband), the movie is worth a gander. But you can tell that the movie's creators are tied into the MSM.

Thursday, February 10, 2005


Local righty Bloggers are well-nigh despondent about Senator Dayton's recent announcement that he will not be seeking re-election. The proprietor of the blog formerly known as Dayton v. Kennedy is soliciting drinks. Frater Saint Paul is concerned about what will become of former Pioneer Press columnist, soon to be former Dayton media advisor, Brian Lambert.

Perk up boys! Al Franken plans to make an announcement live on his national radio show in Washington D.C. that he will be running for the open seat. The announcement is expected to come near the end of today's broadcast, which will be around 1:45 p.m. Think of the possibilities! After all, he's a very funny guy.

UPDATE: Hugh Hewitt mistakenly lists Spitbull (along with Powerline, the Fraters gents ("if sober"), Mitch, CaptainsQuarters, SCSU Scholars, and BogusGold) as one of the MN blogs who will clearly "beat the local papers on depth and analysis" on the subject of Minnesota's 2006 race. As you can see from our comments above, Hugh is clearly suffering from the triumph of hope over experience in the case of this blog. But we appreciate the sentiment. Hey Hugh! You aren't trying to boost our self-esteem, are you?

UPDATE II: Now we're depressed. Franken was just trying to prop up his Arbitron ratings. Where are we going to get our cheap posting humor from now?

Wednesday, February 09, 2005


A few weeks ago Anheuser-Busch decided pull an advertisement originally planned for this year's Super Bowl to avoid offense. The ad poked fun at last year's infamous "wardrobe malfunction" and would have shown a stagehand using Jackson's outfit to open a slippery bottle of Bud Light, causing it to tear. An Anheuser-Busch vice president reasoned "Why take the risk? All you need is one person to be offended."

So, by their logic, I guess they also should have pulled the ad they did run of airport travelers paying tribute to Americans serving in uniform, since it offended New York Times columnist Paul Krugman (from an exchange on Hardball):
KRUGMAN: We all support the troops. But this is exploitation. And it's part of the basic lack of seriousness about a lot of what's going on in this country.

MATTHEWS: Could it be that Anheuser-Busch was rendering a public service by creating a stirring portrait of what might have happened?

KRUGMAN: Oh, come on.

MATTHEWS: Those were real soldiers, by the way.

KRUGMAN: Yes. Nonetheless, it's business. You don't spend money— if you really wanted to support the troops, you would just do it without making it clear that this was from a beer company.

Plus, NYT reporter Stuart Elliott didn't think much of it, calling it: "[a] gauzy valentine to American troops, which ended with the Anheuser-Busch corporate logo superimposed on screen, was touching, but some viewers may have wondered whether "Busch" had been misspelled." (Via Michelle Malkin)

A-B! Offending the FCC is one thing, but offending Paul Krugman and the New York Times is another. What were you thinking!


More trouble at the United Nations:
"He said, 'Look, if you do something like this for the secretary general, he will never forget you,' " Mr. Ngwira [the whistle blower] said Mr. Hassan [the alleged embezzler] had told him. " 'People here get promoted not because of their work, but because they're nice to the powerful people here. This is an opportunity for you. If you don't take it, don't be surprised if you don't get promoted.' "
As much as $3 million, more than one-fifth of the World Meteorological Organization's training budget, has gone missing over three or four years and "[a] woman claiming to be Mr. Hassan's wife filed a death certificate, which Sudanese officials have told investigators is fake."

Spitbull's forecast for the UN: overcast, with threats of lightning.

Monday, February 07, 2005


What's this? Has our favorite blogfodder, Nick Coleman, finally started his own blog?!

We're skeptical. Although it has all the hallmarks of Nick's unique style and usual interests, it does seem a bit bullying, even for Nick, to go after a twelve year old in that way. What do you think?

Nick Coleman's got a brand new blog ... or not
What do you think?
You guys are so dumb! Can't you see Nick has finally found a way to speak truth to power
You guys are so dumb! Clearly an urban legend
View Result
Free Web Polls

Saturday, February 05, 2005


I have owned all sorts of "pets" (aka vermin) in my youth: rats, mice, gerbils, hamsters and a family of guinea pigs that followed me around in a line. I lived in the country, which explains only in part why my parents were so tolerant. So I know first-hand what liars kids are when they swear to take care of these so-called pets and how smelly the cages get when they don't.

That's why I'm grateful that the four-year-old can sate her guinea pig lust via intermittent weekend visitation from the classroom specimen, the aptly named "Princess."

This weekend we were granted one of the visits. Princess's cage is the size of a small couch. According to the book that came home with her, guinea pigs don't like wide open spaces. I hope that's the reason Princess has spent most of her time so far hanging out inside her plastic igloo, much to the disappointment of my kids, who have been trying to coax her out with shouts of "hey guinea pig! Either that or sheer terror.

Friday, February 04, 2005


Modern gadgetry is making mincemeat of the old game "which eight records would you take with you if you were marooned on a desert island?" When some students enjoying a "semester at sea" recently faced that possibility,
Students shared their iPods ("I was surprised at how many people grabbed their iPods" while getting their lifejackets, [University of St. Thomas student] Riordan said), played endless games of cards and talked.
The Warrior Monk scored an iPod for Christmas and has been hard at work ripping his vast CD collection. He has some logical (to him) reason for starting with the Christmas music. So, if shipwrecked right now, he'll be listening to lots of ho ho ho'ing as he turns lobster red in the tropical sun. Want to rethink that archiving plan now O Monk Brain?

Wednesday, February 02, 2005


Jonah Goldberg reports Groundhog Day is being used as a modern allegory.

(Thanks John!)

Have a happy Punxsutawney day.


Megan McArdle asks:
Question of the day is: what is the burn rate of the insurgency? In other words, how much money do they go through a month, supporting fighters, building bombs, and so forth? How long can they keep this up?
Well, capturing a military action figure instead of a real soldier only cost about $40. At this rate we could be subjected to years of plastic hostage abuse.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005


Gotta love them gratuitous links.

Paying it forward ...


Fearless Spitbull half-assed predictions: sometime this year,
  • A rock star will open his set conspicuously sporting an inky forefinger.
  • A fashion designer will send all the models out onto the runway clothed in tiny bits of fabric and purple-stained forefingers.
  • A movie star will be photographed in $500 sunglasses and $2 finger ink.
If I could figure out how to set up one of those poll thingys on Blogger, I'd ask you who and when. Whatever you think of the war in Iraq, the stain now symbolizes noble bravery. How soon does it infiltrate our popular culture?