Project Threeway .3

Challenge: For episode three, the designers drew inspiration from small dogs and design a dress for a fictional dog owner. The resulting garments were surprisingly strong, with only a few real duds.

Katherine. :(

Katherine's crime is simplicity and lack of construction experience. I like the color sequence from the top to the waist, and the look is young and smart. Unfortunately for Katherine, the rest of the group delivered garments that had less construction issues. Her work is better than the losers from Season One and Season Two, but she wouldn't have lasted much longer on those seasons or this one. Vincent will join her soon. (He hit the time machine again this week, this time taking us back to Janeane Garofalo's closet circa 1991. Oy!)

Winner: Uli

Uli did a great job with this design. It is playful, sophisticated, and somewhat ambitious. The leopard skin print could have led to a disaster, instead she used it for an appealing set of straps in the back. The jacket complements the dress without adding unseemly bulk. Great job, Uli. I knew you were a contender...

My Contenders

So, let's take a glance at my three contenders. Since we've discussed Uli, I've inducted Michael as an honorary Contender.


Laura submits another tasteful, elegant design. However, I feel this is a step backward from last week's Miss USA gown. I guess this should be called Ginger Plaid with Fur Tendrils. Laura's a glamorous contender, but I want to see something that doesn't require additions that are shiny or fuzzy.


Angela's design for this challenge is a little disappointing. She was tasked to design a dress for the imagined owner of a dog, instead she submitted a design for one of her supplemental personalities.

I'm almost sold on the vest, but it needs some type of layer underneath. The black trim doesn't work, either. If you'll recall, she made a bad trim decision on the first challenge, too.

The skirt's waist begins to tell an interesting story, but the rest of it is a schizophrenic mess. Angela's still a contender, but she needs to figure out how to edit the details that aren't going to work for these judges. She may not like Vincent very much, but she's basically his female equivalent. Watch out, Angela, or you'll share his fate.

Honorary Contender Michael

Michael's an honorary Contender this week. His interweaved top is serious, innovative, yet wearable. I'm surprised he didn't make the top three, but this is a tough field of competitors. Michael has proven to be a contender so far. Let's just hope that he doesn't get Laura pregnant before the season ends.

Past Episode Commentary

Hot Tuna
Episode One
Episode Two
Episode Three

Episode One

Frowny Face Now

So, it seems like the Israel/Hezbollah fiasco continues.

It's unfortunate that there aren't a lot of major progressive bloggers covering the issue. Jewish magazine The Forward notes the strange silence .
Bloggers β€” as the feisty class of Internet pundits are known β€” love to paint themselves as free-speech warriors who bravely tackle the hard truths that mainstream media outlets either ignore or distort. But as the fighting between Israel and Hezbollah raged on and conventional media outlets covered the news from the ground, major players in the liberal blogosphere were keeping, by their own admission, decidedly quiet.

Liberals are definitely blogging about this issue, and I thought I'd post a few of them up here. Billmon writes up a few hundred words, but the first and last paragraphs sum things up well.

I've felt many emotions about the Israelis before. I've admired them for their accomplishments -- building a flourishing state out of almost nothing. I've hated them for their systematic dispossession of the Palestinians -- even as they smugly congratulated themselves for being the Middle East's only "democracy." I've pitied them for the cruel fate history inflicted on the Jewish diaspora, respected them for their boldness and daring, honored them for their cultural and intellectual achievements. But the one thing I've never felt, at least up until now, is contempt.


If there's one thing that should be obvious from this God awful tragedy in the making, it's that history has a savage sense of irony -- cruel and pitiless almost beyond belief. That Israel, haven to Holocaust survivors, should find itself in this situation, and respond to it in this way, is enough to make the very walls of Jerusalem weep. As I weep now.

At the Axis of Logic Akiva Eldar looks past Lebanon for another narrative.

When he heard the prime minister say on Tuesday that the crisis in the north is an "Iranian trick," Yigal Carmon did not know if he should be shaking with fear or exploding with anger. (Carmon is the founder and director of the Middle East Media Research Institute.)

"It isn't a trick from the Beitar Jerusalem soccer pitch," he says, furious with Ehud Olmert. "It worries me that even the president of the United States, the leader of the free world, doesn't understand that we aren't talking here about Hezbollah 'shit,' or about regional tensions, but about a crisis on a global scale."

"The current crisis has the makings of being able to create a new order in the region, or even a global conflict," stated a MEMRI position paper released yesterday. It refers to the danger of the traditional allies of the United States - Saudi Arabia and Egypt - losing their senior regional status to Iran, which is in the midst of an advanced process of acquiring nuclear capability.

At the same time, Russia, which is described as an ally of Iran, is once again taking up position against the United States, as a world power that wields influence in the Middle East and in Europe, where Russia is the principal supplier of oil and gas.

As such, the structure of a dual-superpower world is being revived, complete with all the rivalry between the East and West blocs in the Middle East that was characteristic of the Cold War era.

I'd rather not see a war between the US and Iran, but I do think there are signs that Iran is initiating some type of monkey business. It's unfortunate that our current administration isn't capable of nuance, especially during the summer vacation season.

I guess this post is kinda all over the place. To sum up, Liberals are definitely discussing the [whatever] in Israel/Lebanon. Juan Cole, Josh Marshall, Matt Yglesias, Eric Alterman, James Wolcott, and other progressives have plenty to say about the situation. Some are discussing the the global (and blogosphere) politics of the situation. Some speak clearly in defense of the Lebanese, while others are clearly more supportive of Israel. And then there are others that see this as a proxy move by Iran.

I've run out of blogging time this evening, but I think I'll return to this subject sometime to share my thoughts.

Cycling + Drugs = Champions

So, Tour de France winner John Landis tested positive once for testosterone. He'll be re-tested, but the damage has been done. The world is once again questioning how fairly athletes compete against each other.

Of course, I'm left questioning who the hell actually cares about cycling, but for this post we have to assume that somebody out there is very, very concerned.

I thought this would be a good time to announce that I have always approved of drug use in athletics. I disapprove of most spandex cycling attire, though.


Project Threeway .2

Challenge: So, now we've finished up the second episode of Project Runway. The designers had to submit Evening Gown designs to Miss USA for her competition at Miss Universe. She chose seven designs, and the selected designers paired up with other challengers in teams of two. This is a good challenge because it offers a unique reward to the winner: Miss USA in his/her design in every form of media across the globe. I hope the rest of the challenges offer rewards that the designers are willing to fight for, instead of settling for not going home every week. (I think this was a factor last season.)

Losers: Malan and Katherine

Let's take a look at our departing designer's work. Malan Breton, we hardly knew ye. Perhaps if you had sought inspiration in your previous work, you might have created something more befitting of Miss USA. As I look at this piece from your CineMalan line, I ask myself whether we saw the true Malan or not. Perhaps you and Laura could team up later on a project that will surely delight all fur lovers.

The judges deemed that the one who designed this vertical turd must be sent home forthwith.

Is this design worse than Vincent's? I'd have to say YES, it most certainly is. The color palette and texture are too heavy. They don't emphasis the body, they are the fashion equivalent of a Klingon cloaking device. We ultimately want to see Miss USA in a dress that accentuates all of her curves. This design camouflages the body and leaves the head floating on a pair of arms.

Katherine worked well as an assistant, and offered criticism that should have snapped some sense into Malan. At least he listened amicably to her instead of shutting her completely out like Vincent did. Ultimately, Malan did not have a good plan for the hem work and allowed substandard workmanship strut down the runway. He chose the colors, and he oversaw the development of the bust that was not flattering at all. I hoped to see Malan last a few more weeks, but I agree that he was the worst designer in this particular challenge.

Winners: Kayne and Robert

Kayne and Robert work together to execute Kayne's design perfectly. Kayne seemed to take a gamble with the color selection, and I respect how Robert handled the situation.

This gown works well for Miss America, and the team should be happy with each other's performance. They both have the potential to make it to the Final Three.

My Contenders

So, let's take a glance at my three contenders.

Uli & Bonnie

Uli continued to show us why she's a Contender. The judges all agreed this was the most modern of the designer's fashions. Maybe it was a little too modern for a beauty pageant. I think the belt should have been lower on the waist, and used to control the reveal of the layers as the dress went down the runway.

Uli and Bonnie worked a little too well together, and formed a ubiquitous giggly entity known as UliBon. It seems like Uli is a capable designer that can execute a project from concept to runway. I'm interested to see more of Uli's work, and I hope we see more of her personality that goes beyond the German caricature we've seen so far. I'm surprised she hasn't whipped up a batch of linzerschnitte yet...

And who is Bonnie? Let's hope we find out sometime soon before she's cut.

Laura & Michael

Laura submitted an interesting concept that intrigued Miss USA. She took a slight gamble picking a complete stranger for a partner. Fortunately, Michael was the perfect foil for her ideas and they produced something interesting. The dress allows the model's body to speak clearly. The sparkling appliques provide the visual hook for this dress. They transform the column into a silver movement that demands your eye. Unfortunately, they didn't have enough time to complete the job and deliver the full concept Laura sold to Miss USA. It was close, and deserves praise for a job well done.

Laura and Michael appears to have worked well together. Kudos to both of them, Laura's still a Contender and maybe I'll have to make Michael an honorary Contender, too, if he continues to do so well.

Vincent & Angela

There's probably not much left to say about this Power(less) Couple. Vincent's design is either sci-fi retro chic (good) or mistakenly post-ironic (bad). The model doesn't look hip or chic, she looks like a sad young woman trapped in the early stage of some fashion yupster's nervous breakdown. (Catfish and I will probably blog about the quality of models this season sometime soon. They all look like Morose Communications students and they walk like they just finished a double shift at KFC. I'm not asking for all of them to look like Sasha Pivovarova, maybe just half of them.)

Fortunately for Vincent, Miss USA would look better in this dress than Malan's. That's why Vincent is IN and Malan is OUT.

Angela is still one of my contenders, even after all the crafty anti-maneuvering she displayed on this episode. She strategerized herself all the way to the Bottom Two, and then nearly wrote herself out of the script entirely. She's one of my Contenders, so I feel that I have to speak up for her. But there's not much I can say.

She had a right to speak up when she felt Vincent's design headed in a weird direction. He should have listened to her and worked harder to establish a dialogue. The color choice was inspired... by a linoleum countertop from 1942. He should have just put a hula hoop through the loops and complete the look. Can Vincent turn kitsch into high fashion? I doubt it. He'll be out soon. Is Angela still a Contender? Sure, absolutely. I just hope the judges will can see it.

Past Episode Commentary

Hot Tuna
Episode One
Episode Two

Episode One


Pic of the Day

Texas Governor Rick Perry's boots

Catfish Nuggets

A review of the second episode of Project Runway is forthcoming, but for now you can snack on some nuggets of info.

If Rachael Ray, host of popular Food Network TV shows 30-Minute Meals, $40 A Day, and Tasty Travels, had remained single, then I would probably blog about her a lot more often. Since marrying John Cusimano, she's become, well, normal...almost. She's lost the old maid syndrome, which made discussing her so much fun. But I do keep some tabs on her, and some people may be happy to know that she will have her own daytime show, beginning on September 18. She plans to have her husband come on the show to "cook and play music for her." What a treat!

Regretfully, David S. in St. Louis stumbled across this graphic too late to warn the residents of Helicon, Alabama - you experienced yesterday's worst weather! (Thank you Accuweather for the lovely graphic)

It looks to be another hyperactive hurricane season, which I have no readily available data to back up this claim. I can, however, tell you how hurricanes affect fish. According to host Joel Block, "Fish that live near the surface do feel a little turbulence. Research indicates that fish may avoid the washing-machine motion by swimming a little deeper. But in general, for a fish out at sea, a hurricane is no big deal." Hot Tuna, though, is a land-living fish, and I hope he didn't get too discouraged by last year's unnecessary exodus from Houston - I'm sure he'll have to do it again.

Finally, and this may be bad blog ju-ju, but according to Kinky Friedman's webpage, the Dallas Business Journal conducted a poll on the Texas gubernatorial race (that means governor's race), and Kinky was in the lead by 45%. Following were Hair Perry with 26%, One Tough Grandma with 19%, and Democrat candidate with 8%. Unfortunately I cannot find this poll on the Biz Journal's webpage, but perhaps they don't archive their polls. It's too early for endorsements, but you can tell who we're leaning for! And yes, you may buy the Talking Kinky Action Figure from the Kinkster's webpage.



NOTE: I apologize for the crappy formatting on this post. I'm using tables for the poll data, and it has left a ton of white space on screen. Frowny Face...

Here's an interesting poll from Gallup. It asks Republicans and Democrats which nominees are acceptable and which are not.

Some of the Democrat numbers are interesting. More Democrats would find Howard Dean an unacceptable candidate. Even though the Dean Scream will stay in our hearts forever, it appears that he'll never be the President of the United States.

But... Wesley Clark's numbers are somewhat close to Dean's. I would've thought Clark would be considered acceptable, but I guess not. Denis Kucinich's numbers are not surprising. But a 20% acceptability rating is a bit higher than I'd expect with regard to Kucinich's crunchy Granola factor. I guess we'll probably never see a Dean/Kucinich Presidential ticket, but maybe a groovy Ben & Jerry's ice cream is possible.

John Edwards seems to be the most acceptable, least hated candidate. He's slightly ahead of both Gore and Clinton.

Yes, acceptableNo, not acceptableNo opinion
Howard Dean40546
Wesley Clark424910
Dennis Kucinich215127
John Edwards71254
Hillary Rodham Clinton69291
Al Gore68311

On the Republican side, here are the numbers I found interesting. John McCain is somewhat acceptable, but his not acceptable numbers are high. But they aren't as high as Jeb's or Cheney's. It's almost like the Republican base is rejecting the current administration. Will history reject him, too?

Yes, acceptableNo, not acceptableNo opinion
John McCain55415
Jeb Bush44524
Dick Cheney34615

Frowny Face

Dear Middle East,

Sometimes I wish you would just chill out. Seriously. You have hookahs, hashish, and opiates.

Now, after you chill out I want you to think about a few things.

1. What the hell is your problem with women? Just treat them like normal people, not property for bartering. They can (kinda) drive. They can vote. They don't need to wear the bee-keeper suit all of the time. (However, that's negotiable if all your women look like Star Jones.)

2. What's with all the faith-based violence? It'd be alright if you could all kill each other at the same time, but that's never going to happen. Just learn how to live with each other's differences, or just choose not to live at all. I've always supported mass suicide, but mass murder is lamer than American Idol. Seriously. Just deal with each other.

Hot Tuna

PS If you can't figure out how to share the Promise Land we are going to take it away and give it to armed Pagans. They will enjoy the hashish, treat the women right, and will probably blow less of it up than the rest of you people.


Project Runway .1FC

Since a new episode of PR premieres tomorrow, I wanted to quickly throw in my thoughts on last week's episode. Tuna does a good job of summarizing the fashions of the designers we're watching, but I want to add a new one to the mix - Michael Knight (not to be confused with this Michael Knight ). At first glance, you probably wouldn't give much credit to a black guy from Atlanta, whose fashions sometimes look specially made for Lil Kim. But I really liked the dress he constructed from coffee filters. On the show, however, it looked far more flattering on the model than it does in this picture.

Honorable Mention: Malan Breton. His pretention is nauseauting, but I was surprised with the sophistication of his design, and really, how well constructed it looked, given the timeline. It reminds me of Issey Miyake circa 1994 or so. Very elegant. Again, this is not a flattering picture, as it makes this model look like she's carrying a bit of junk in the trunk...and front. I didn't get the same impression when I saw it on the show.

The models: Obviously the show isn't about them, but can't they find some women who can walk?!

Blame 9/11

I could have edited the last post, but I thought these numbers should stand alone in a separate post - they are culled from the same page.

Net job creation during the Clinton administration: 22.7 million

Net job creation since Bush took office in 2001: 2.6 million

Doesn't seem likely that Bush will be able to create an additional 20 million jobs in the next 2.5 years, in order to even match his predecessor. I doubt enough McDonalds could open in the U.S. to create that kind of job growth.

Let the rich get richer

After checking out the July issue of the Hightower Lowdown, I thought I would share these fun facts with you. We know how the so-called conservative party has trashed our economy and turned a healthy surplus into a dangerously astronomical deficit. But I wanted to focus on the estate tax, which the conservatives are itching to get rid of permanently. I'm not sure how I would sleep at night, knowing Paris Hilton might have to pay taxes on the inherited millions that her grandfather worked for.

Amount of money that repeal of this tax will take from our public treasury and put in the coffers of the richest families in just one decade: $1 trillion

Number of superrich families that have quietly funded a stealth campaign for the past 10 years to promote the repeal of the estate tax: 18(including the Waltons of the Wal-Mart fortune and heirs to Gallo wines, Campbell soup, and M&M candies)

Total savings that just these 18 families would reap if the tax is repealed: $71.6 billion

Yes, that's right, these 18 families alone would gain an extra $71.6 billion. For these same families, Bush's 2003 tax cuts put an extra $500,000 in their diamond-encrusted wallets. And how much extra money did it put in the pockets of someone like me? $10. I won't get into the argument of how foolish it is to think that these tax cuts stimulate the economy. It's payback to the ruling class, the rich, plain and simple. I'm not dumb, and I'm not going to listen to that crap, "It's for the economy, Stupid!"

Most importantly, what do the families of Bush and Cheney stand to profit from the permanent removal of the estate tax? Bush's family can avoid up to $6.2 million in taxes, while the Cheney clan can dodge up to $61 million in taxes.


UPDATE: Soccer Con #4

Just got back from visiting Hot Tuna in Hot Houston. Went to the beach in Galveston, but I'm a freshwater catfish, and don't care for saltwater - AT ALL. Among other things, we celebrated the anniversary of Tuna's birth.

Loyal reader David S. in St. Louis, while not seeing the Comment function, has submitted another link worthy of posting. Let's revisit my soccer post:

Con #4 - This is the con that I have the biggest gripe with. Full grown men
have brought this sport to a new low. Once a player is remotely touched by
another player (or sometimes not touched at all), they pull out as much
drama as possible to embellish the purported foul. They do flips, grimace as
if in extreme pain, and many will repeatedly touch their nose, hoping blood
will appear to validate their foul. Fortunately, the refs usually aren't
fooled by the dramatics.

Here's a humorous video exemplifying Con #4.

My verdict? Soccer is acceptable as a fitness sport, but is totally worthless on the stage of competitive sports.


Project Threeway .1

Challenge: The first challenge required the designers to grab whatever they could find in their apartment and construct a garment out of it. This challenge reminded me of the grocery store challenge from the first episode. It forced the designers to be creative, innovative, and forward-thinking. The last season allowed the designers to remain in their comfort zone far too often. I hope that won't be an issue this year. I give this challenge a 8.980743A on a scale of 2-11.

Winner: Keith Michael. Our first winner flat-out rejected Tim Gunn's advice to add excessive bullshit to the look. The chains looked like crap on the garment, and Keith made the right choice to remove them.

The dress by itself, while inoffensive, is a little boring. It's not exactly innovative or fresh. However, he benefitted by having the model with the perfect skin tone to complement the color of his garment. She can wear two pounds of wooden spheroids around her neck without turning the entire look into a Carrot Top comedy routine. The dress is a little too safe for my tastes, but the model and accessories add some delicious sexy irony to the entire equation. Good show, Keith Michael.

Loser: Stacey Estrella. According to her bio, she is a marketing executive at a high tech company. In addition, "she has an impressive education background...".

Yes, it's unfortunate that her impressive education didn't include basic machinery. She couldn't use an unfamiliar sewing machine, and lacked the cognitive ability to figure it out. I initially thought she seemed a bit like a dullard. That was before I read her biography. Now I suspect that she has Multiplex Developmental Disorder, a type of autism that would allow her to gain an impressive education background but prohibit her from learning common skills.

The dead giveaway here is the fact that she is a marketing executive at a high tech company. What's the difference between a crazy vagrant and a high tech marketing executive? Evidently just a diploma.

But this show is about her design, not her poor life choices.

Stacey lost because her dress was uninspired and boring. Basically it proved that she could wrap a sheet around a mannequin and trim the bottom. Every designer demonstrated at least a minor amount of skill beyond Stacey's. Unfortunately her impressive education in Powerpoint Slide development didn't prepare her for success on Project Runway.

My Contenders
So, let's take a glance at my three contenders.

First, we have Angela. (Her model looks a little like Sven Vath in drag, too.) This is an interesting look. The skirt is sophisticated and a little dangerous but the top says, "Hey, I was a placemat so I'm totally stain resistant." The Amazonian belt just ties the whole package together.

This week we saw that Angela believes in strategery. She packed up all the crap in the apartment, just to prevent anybody else from using it. Her strategy didn't work, but it is indicative of the calculating mind that lurks beneath her crunchy granola exterior.

Next we have Laura with her Faux Fur Bathmat GlamouRobe. This look is a lot of fun because it's fashion gauche. If it was made of expensive material, it would still be nine miles beyond tasteful. In it's current configuration, it's high fashion for the trailer park elite.

Is Laura still a contender? Absolutely. There's something about her that I find intriguing. She's like a cross between a drag king and a drag queen Leona Helmsley. This is a perspective missing in the fashion world IMO.

And finally we have Ulrike's submission. I like the color pallete featured with this look: soiled dishrag grey, mustard yellow trim, and lime sorbet. If this dress was electronic music, I'd file it under mushroom jazz. Unfortunately, we didn't learn much about Uli this week. Let's hope she isn't one of those designers that just gets lost in the background.

Overall, this was a good episode to kick off the new season. I can't wait to see what Catfish has to say about it.


Get out of my car!

Hot Tuna has a suspicion that Tyler, being a German, is a closet fan of David Hasselhoff. Unfortunately, that suspicion can now be confirmed, as I caught Tyler watching this last night. If you can stomach it, I encourage you to watch the whole thing. It just gets better and better.


Layed Off

I just thought I'd follow up on Catfish's post on Ken Lay...

It's obviously a hoax. I expect Alex Jones will be covering this conspiracy sometime soon. There's just no way that he could have such a fortunate fatal heart attack.

The Sonic Elderly

I had the good fortune to see Sonic Youth a few weeks ago in Austin at Stubb's BBQ. I hadn't seen them since 1995, and was very excited to hear the new album, Rather Ripped, live.

Stubb's is a great outdoor venue and the weather was perfect. Well, for us Texans anyway. The band could have changed their name to The Sweaty Youth, because they seemed a little warm. However, they always seem to enjoy playing Austin and this night was no exception.

The show kicked off with Incinerate from the new album, Thurston belted out the opening lyrics:
i ripped your heart out from your chest
replaced it with a grenade blast

From that point on, the evening belonged to the Youth. The new album was played in its entirety, interspersed with five classics. They went back to Sister for the songs Catholic Block and Schizophrenia and surprised the crowd with a rocking version of 100% from Dirty.

Daydream Nation was represented with Eric's Trip and the final encore concluded with Shaking Hell from 1983's Confusion Is Sex.

I've really enjoyed the new album a lot, but I have to admit that it is a bit more sophisticated than the earlier Youth material. Would the old songs stick out like a sore thumb, or would the new songs contain the off-setting distorted harmonies that SY are known for? It's safe to say that the new album sounded just fine with the older material, and yet it showed the maturity of this timeless band.

Highlights of the evening included Do You Believe In Rapture, 100%, and Shaking Hell. The most memorable performance however would have to be Turquoise Boy kicking off the first encore. Kim Gordon's voice bordered on the ethereal, and time just seemed to slow down so we could bask in the moment. Beautiful. Thanks for the great show, Sonic Youth. Please come back to Texas again very, very, very soon. For more photos from the show, check my Flickr stream.

Turquoise boy I must confess to you
sweet liberation has come
you are a legend in a lovely game
but now I feel I must run
turquoise boy the sky is calling me
sweet isolation in the sun
you are a soldier in a sad charade
how can you lose whats never found

RIP Kenny Boy

Thanks, Hot Tuna, for the support. Didn't realize soccer rifled your gills so much.

Most have heard the news that Kenny Boy escaped his jail sentence by having a heart attack in his vacation home in Aspen (Is it just in America that white collar criminals are allowed to spend time in their un-seized Colorado vacation homes, after being convicted?). That news alone is enough to make anyone vomit. Thanks to David S, our loyal reader in St. Louis, we have this gem of a comment concerning Ken Lay:

"He was a great Christian person, and he wasn't afraid to tell people about his faith," Cretcher said.

Are Christians smoking crack these days? Is this what we have to accept as Christianity these days - a religion of greed and materialism? One doesn't need to point out the absurdity of reconciling Ken's deeds to this religion. If you continue reading the article, however, you'll read that Kenny Boy made a donation of $1.1 million to the University of Missouri, only to ask for it back several months later to help pay for legal bills. Chuckle.


Project Threeway

Catfish and I are most excited about the upcoming season of Project Runway. It's quite likely that we'll be blogging after each episode. So, if you're a fan of fashion, drama, dramatic fashion, or fashionable drama then you should return on a regular basis for our expert commentary.

Now, you might think that it's a little early for predictions, but I think I've figured out who the contenders are.

First, Angela Kelsar is a contender. It's obvious from her online bio.
She enjoys yoga, gourmet cooking, anything Elvis, snorkeling, visiting the elderly, working with children, high bush hiking and caving in southern Belize. She also loves flower and vegetable gardening, mushroom hunting, solitude, laughing, and any activities that extend her limits and annihilate her preconceived notions of possibility.

Obviously, anybody who likes high bush hiking and laughing is a WINNER. I don't know why she has a prejudice against caves that aren't from Southern Belize, but I'm sure that will be revealed on the show. Maybe she hunted down some bad mushrooms in Northern Belize.

Next we have Laura Bennett. Let's glance at her bio, shall we?

She spends her spare time researching and studying 19th and 20th century jewelry, and follows international jewelry auctions and museum exhibits. Laura is the mother of five children.

She graduated from the University of Houston, so that deserves multiple snaps. She's obviously the next American fashion designer, because she STUDIES jewelry. And she's totally fertile. Fashion thrives on virility. I'm also digging the Annie Lennox haircut with matching wax lips. It's a good thing they didn't use a white background for that picture, because then we'd just be left with a floating wig, eyebrows, and lips. I applaud her rejection of the sun and any form of can tan. I don't know why she's wearing a doily on her chest, but maybe that's just what jewelry scholars wear.

And finally we have Ulrike Herzner.

Ulrike Herzner, who goes by the name β€œUli,” is a 35-year-old German native who currently resides in Miami Beach.

Basically she looks like Sven Vath in drag. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it usually isn't good. However, if she brings any type of acid techno vibe to the party she should walk away with the title.

Stay tuned and come back for all of the critical commentary that you need in order to understand the new season of Project Runway. If it goes well, we'll be blogging the next season of Deadliest Catch! (It's slightly less fashionable, but with more crabs!)

Welcome Back

So, Fried Catfish brings her knowledge of government and politics to come back and post about soccer. Eh, whatevah.

As far as I'm concerned, there are no pros to the soccer problem, just cons. In fact, I think this soccer crap has really gotten out of control. I can understand it being on Channel 138 at 2AM, but let's keep it off the real channels please. I don't care if it only happens once every four years or not. I've had to set a parental lock on my cable box just to ensure that I won't accidently see any of that filth in my home. (That solution works pretty well for Fox News, too.)

Anyway, welcome back Catfish. Maybe this blog will come back to life again after all.


Fried Catfish has been sleeping with the fishes, but has awakened from that long slumber to post about...soccer.

Even here in America you can't escape the commotion that somewhere in Europe, there's something called a World Cup taking place, with millions of non-Americans going fanatical over it. As my husband Tyler is a German, we started watching Germany in the quarter finals. In case you can't make up your mind over whether or not this is an exciting sport worth watching, I'll help you out.

Pro #1 - no clock stoppage. In other words, no commercials! They play through injuries, while remembering how much time was used for injuries - they then add this time to the regular 90 minutes. Begs the question - why don't they just stop the clock when someone goes down? I'm sure a die-hard soccer fan can help on this one.

Con #1 - They aren't allowed to use their hands. Well, duh, it's soccer, you might say. Evolution has endowed us with wonderful hands, and I simply don't think that anything you can do in soccer could compare to a sport where you use your hands. There is exponential potential in the athletic feats you can do with your hands. Manipulation of a ball (and with something to hit that ball) with your hands will exceed what you can do with your feet alone.

Pro #2 - They aren't allowed to use their hands. Let's give some respect to the fact that they're only using their feet, and their heads. However, I wonder if I'm the only one that thinks hitting a ball with your head is unnatural.

Con #2 - Personal Records are far less tangible. What is there beyond blocked shots and goals?

Con #3 - I don't know if this is a con per se, but issuing a yellow or red card for a foul looks so silly. It's like someone out there received a traffic violation.

Con #4 - This is the con that I have the biggest gripe with. Full grown men have brought this sport to a new low. Once a player is remotely touched by another player (or sometimes not touched at all), they pull out as much drama as possible to embellish the purported foul. They do flips, grimace as if in extreme pain, and many will repeatedly touch their nose, hoping blood will appear to validate their foul. Fortunately, the refs usually aren't fooled by the dramatics.

Con #5 - Where is the real strategy in this game? With football and basketball, you've got clock manipulation. Add baseball, and these three sports are all about numbers - statistics play such a huge part in the way these games are played now. That's why you see such large coaching staffs. Particularly with baseball and football, each play is like a game of chess. Perhaps I just haven't watched soccer enough to see this aspect of it. Unfortunately, this is the aspect I love so much about sports.

Most likely, my list of pros and cons applies to hockey as well - don't like it either, and mostly for the same reasons (well, they use their hands). I suppose a lot of people like the intensity of a game that doesn't stop, but I adore strategy side of the game.

Germany beat Argentina, but only after double overtime and in penalty kicks. I think throughout the entire 90 minutes, Germany only took about 12 shots. It was a great big snooze-fest, and I truly fail to see why billions of people outside of this country are fanatical about this sport. Germany then lost to Italy in the semi-finals, where Italy scored in the last minute and half of the second overtime. I'm sure I developed more cons while watching these games, but have forgotten them. I'm not even sure this sport was worth spending this time blogging about it.


Fourth of July Launches

I guess there are two major launches to discuss on this holiday.

First, the space shuttle Discovery had a successful launch. It shed a little foam on the way up, but that's to be expected. The foam desbris is a design issue that has existed since the first shuttle flight. If a piece had not hit Columbia in the wrong place, the public would never discussed it. Unfortunately, we all know what happened to Columbia. That leads us to the media circus we see today.

I watched FOX News yesterday before the launch. It was the Dayside program and it featured an astronaut on-hand to answer questions. Too bad the audience was only interested in asking the same question, over and over and over again. The post-launch press conference was basically a repeat of the same.

I'm not saying that the media doesn't have a right to ask these questions. However, I wish that they would communicate the history of this issue and provide a little bit of context. But then again, this is the same media that refused to engage in a legitimate debate during the buildup to the Iraq war...

The other big launch occured in North Korea today. That would be six launches, actually. I'd say that this sounds like bad news to me. It almost seems like North Korea was more of a serious issue than Saddam Hussein... Bummer.



Sometimes I can't tell the difference between The Onion and the ramblings from Republicans. Take, for example, this speech from Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) about the use and structure of the internet, errm, internets.

There's one company now you can sign up and you can get a movie delivered to your house daily by delivery service. Okay. And currently it comes to your house, it gets put in the mail box when you get home and you change your order but you pay for that, right.

But this service isn't going to go through the interent and what you do is you just go to a place on the internet and you order your movie and guess what you can order ten of them delivered to you and the delivery charge is free.

OK. I think he has a loose grasp of the workings of Netflix. Now, the delivery charge is probably part of the overall monthly charge. Let's continue...

Ten of them streaming across that internet and what happens to your own personal internet?

I just the other day got, an internet was sent by my staff at 10 o'clock in the morning on Friday and I just got it yesterday. Why?

Because it got tangled up with all these things going on the internet commercially.

Alright. Now, this is our point of departure. Stevens seems to believe that ten streaming videos on the internet will slow down your personal internet. Or maybe that your personal internet will be slow if you're watching ten streaming videos at once. Of course, either option is nonsensical. Once you add in all the dark fiber not utilized by the telcoms, there is enough bandwidth for waaaay more than ten streaming movies on the internet at once.

But I think it's the fact that he was sent an internet by his staff at 10AM on Friday and only received it the following Wednesday. Now, I guess I'm confused about how somebody sent Stevens an internet... over the internet? And it got tangled up with "all these things going on the internet commercially"? OK. Maybe he meant to talk about an email that was sent Friday and he didn't receive it 'til Wednesday. I wonder if it's because of the commercial internet, or maybe because the mail server was down...

So you want to talk about the consumer? Let's talk about you and me. We use this internet to communicate and we aren't using it for commercial purposes.

We aren't earning anything by going on that internet. Now I'm not saying you have to or you want to discrimnate against those people

So, is he talking about multiple internets? What the fuck is he talking about?

The regulatory approach is wrong. Your approach is regulatory in the sense that it says "No one can charge anyone for massively invading this world of the internet". No, I'm not finished. I want people to understand my position, I'm not going to take a lot of time.

Stevens is proposing a massive new regulatory approach to the internet. But yet the regulatory approach is wrong? Who the fuck is invading "this world of the internet"? What the flying fuck is the world of the internet? I don't think he even understands his position, much less anybody else...

They want to deliver vast amounts of information over the internet. And again, the internet is not something you just dump something on. It's not a truck.

It's a series of tubes.

And if you don't understand those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you put your message in, it gets in line and its going to be delayed by anyone that puts into that tube enormous amounts of material, enormous amounts of material.

The internet is a series of tubes? Does this include all the internets he's talking about? What about wireless internet? Would this be tubeless tubes? Can this get any stupider? Oh yes, it can...

Now we have a separate Department of Defense internet now, did you know that?

Do you know why?

Because they have to have theirs delivered immediately. They can't afford getting delayed by other people.

Um, no. The DOD has it's own internal ethernet because of security. Every government agency, major corporation, and university does. And do you know what happens if you work for the DOD and you are out of town? You log in remotely through the regular internet... The one made out of tubes.

Now I think these people are arguing whether they should be able to dump all that stuff on the internet ought to consider if they should develop a system themselves.

Maybe there is a place for a commercial net but it's not using what consumers use every day.

It's not using the messaging service that is essential to small businesses, to our operation of families.

The whole concept is that we should not go into this until someone shows that there is something that has been done that really is a viloation of net neutraility that hits you and me.

Let's get something straight. This guy is a pawn of the major telcos who are arguing that they cannot delivery high-bandwidth On-Demand video services unless an expensive two-tier internet is created. Maybe THEY should develop their own system. Oh wait, they already have. It's called the internet and the telcos have already laid enough fiber to run all of their high-bandwidth needs. They would rather try to milk us for more money to actually light the fiber.

Now, it seems like Stevens is worried about not receiving his emails, and he's concerned about the messaging service that is "essential for the operation of families". Maybe Ted needs to get a lesson on text messaging. Except maybe he would get really, really freaked out by the lack of tubes...


Update Time!

With any luck, this blog will be seeing some action again. I'm finally updating the blogroll. I guess it's time to get rid of all those 2004 election links. I'm also discarding the politically charged links for now, because you see the same ones everwhere else.

The other blogger, Fried Catfish, is supposedly about to begin blogging here. Yeah, it's a couple years late. But who's counting?