Sat-Mar 31 2007
Will No One Rid Me of This Meddlesome Stiftung???
"...the US Republican Party has become a deeply corrupt institution top
to bottom. It's not just George Bush and his retinue. It's not just the human
shields of the Congressional GOP. It goes beyond the think-tank eunuchs and
"conservative" media cheerleaders to the most pathetic marchers in what's left
of the right-wing blogosphere, down to the poorest spellers in their comment
sections: the Republican Party has spent a half-dozen years distilling itself
down to an apparatus for justifying massive executive power wielded by and for a
self-designated elect of "real Americans," and declaring everyone outside the
elect to be fair game. We can disagree on how the Republican Party reduced
itself to nothing but cheerleaders for the prerogatives of its own leaders
against the rest of us - I have my theories like anyone else - but the rot goes
all the way down.
It will take a whole new cadre of Republicans to turn the party into
something that deserves to be trusted with a meaningful share of American power.
Those people don't really exist yet. Put it this way: to the extent that they
exist now, the "real Republicans" vituperate them and drive them off. You can
see the dynamic whenever a formerly "reliable" blogger like John Cole or Der Commissar sets
the Kool-Aid cup down and begins describing the jungle compound as it actually
looks. You see it in the loathing for Chuck Hagel, who was all talk and no
kissing until just this week. Behind George Bush is Alberto Gonzales. Behind
Alberto Gonzales is John Yoo. Behind John Yoo are a dozen functionaries who
think like him but whose names we don't even know. In front of them all is a
clown show of jesters and justifiers."
Via The Poor Man Institute
Fri-Mar 30 2007
I've added IP-address logging capability to my Pollxn comments-engine.
The next step is to add IP-blocking of comment spammers.
Thu-Mar 29 2007
Lost - Ep #314 - Expose
First Thoughts: Somewhat surprisingly, it didn't suck. Paolo and Nikki were
real shitheads, their little dirt-naps (literally) were both fully deserved
and even creepier than Patchy's sonic-fence brain-meringue. I loved watching
Hurley play detective.
Tue-Mar 27 2007
Lost - New DHARMA logo
If there's another Dharma logo, does this mean there's
another, as yet unseen, station?
The Line Logo
Mon-Mar 26 2007
Sat-Mar 24 2007
Tinker, Adjust, Fiddle, Repeat
I think I've managed to get the Internet Explorer and Firefox rendering of
Utility Fog Blog to look pretty much the same on both Windows and Linux. It
certainly helps to set Firefox so that it doesn't override the way the page wants
to be displayed.
Thu-Mar 22 2007
Lost - Ep# 313 - Man From Tallahassee
- A: Holy Crap- Magic Boxes that can produce Locke's
off-Island no-good father. If the sonic death-fence was sci-fi
fan-boy gizmo goodness, this is fine, strong weirdness of the highest order.
This really changes everything. And of course we don't know how.
- B: Whoever says Lost is fading is nuts. Maybe it's more
incoherent, but it's one hell of a ride.
- C: I hope we don't have to wait until next season
to see those giant hamsters.
Mon-Mar 19 2007
Penn Jillette has a seriously funky house:
Via J-Walk Blog
Lost - Ep# 312 - Par Avion
- This episode begins with what sounds like a clock ticking, which is
actually a turn-signal indicator. I wonder if you can synch "Par Avion" up with
"Dark Side of the Moon, just like favorite Lost reference
The Wizard of Oz
- The opening scene of Claire waking up in a car wreck is a nice reference
to other scenes of Losties waking up in the crashed plane
- Claire's idea of using tagged birds sounds good to me. If they came
from outside they might return there.
- Charlie calls Desmond a "boar-hunting pict"
- I don't think Danielle is as crazy as the Losties think. But if she
doesn't want to know about her daughter because Alex won't remember her why
is she interested in getting her back?
is that the Island changes reality in response to expectations and desires, and
that Danielle doesn't want her ideas of Alex to be manifested by the Island.
- We've got another Patchy info dump. And all because Kate asked some
- Kate: So how'd you get here? How'd you get onto this island?
- Danielle: Don't waste your breath. Whatever he says will be a lie.
- Patchy: I was recruited when I was 24. I was approached by a ma...
- Kate: I didn't ask you when, I asked you how.
- Patchy: They brought me on the submarine. Locke is very interested in the submarine.
- Kate: So your people, they can come and go whenever they want?
- Patchy: Go, yes-but two weeks ago our underwater beacon stopped emitting
it's locater signal. There was an event, an electromagnetic pulse. It would
be impossible to come back.
- Kate: Why would you want to come back?
- Patchy: You would not understand.
- Kate: Try me.
- Patchy: I misspoke. What I meant to say is, you're not capable
- Kate: And why am I not capable?
- Sayid: Kate...
- Patchy: Because you are not on the list. Cue ominous music.
- Kate: What list?
- Patchy: The man who brought me here, who brought all
of my people here, he is a magnificent man....
- Kate: If Ben's so magnificent, why did he need one of us to save him?
- Patchy Ben? Ben is not.....I will try to make this as simple as I can.
You are not on the list because you are flawed. Because you are angry,
and weak, and frightened.
- Sayid: The more I learn about your people the more I suspect you're
not as omniscient as you would have us believe. Don't speak to us as if
you know us.
- Patchy: Of course I don't know you, Sayid Jarrah-how could I?
And you, Kate Austen, are a complete stranger to me. But you, John Locke,
you I might have a fleeting memory of. But I must be confused, because
the John Locke I know was pa.....
- Danielle: Hey! Look at this! Shutup Danielle, we're talking here!
Observations and Implications
- If Patchy was recruited when he was 24 and he's been on the Island
for 11 years that would make him 35. I would think he was older.
The Russians were in Afghanistan from 1979 to 1989. If Patchy was born
in 1969 his age during the occupation would be 10-20
- Locke really perked up when the submarine was mentioned.
- The Island can't be found without the sonar beacon. This begs the
question of how people (like DHARMA) got to the Island before it had
- Flawed people are incapable of understanding why the Others stay
on the Island.
- There is a man (described as magnificent) who brought all the Others
to the Island. This man is not Ben and it's implied that the man made
the list of people who aren't flawed. I assume this man is
Egoplex thinks that Jacob's full name will turn
out to be Jacob Bohme.
- Patchy might have ascribed flaws to specific characters:
Locke=Angry, Sayid=Weak, Kate=Frightened
- Patchy suggested that he knew Locke off-Island. If Patchy was
going to say the "the John Locke I know was paralyzed" then
there's a possible time problem: Locke was paralyzed 4 years ago
and Patchy has been on the Island for 11 years. This could be explained
by Patchy leaving and returning to the Island. We've seen Ethan off-Island
on Other business.
- Why would Desmond sabotage Claire's bird-catching? How would her capturing
a seagull lead to Charlie dying? If she had the bird Charlie wouldn't need to
go scrambling around dangerous lava fields.
The Sonic Weapon Fence
- They could have circled around until they found a gate. Fortifications
- Who built the fence, DHARMA or the Others, and more importantly,
why? Who or what was the fence designed to to defend against? As Kate
demonstrated, the fence is ineffective against a small group equipped
with only a axe. If the fence was supposed to work against people it
would need to be patrolled or monitored constantly to keep the enemy
from climbing over. My guess: It's an anti-Smokey barrier.
- The Others apparently didn't know the fence had been activated
against Patchy. Either there is no alarm (stupid) or it doesn't work
- I love the sonic fence and it's size, strangeness, and
- Here's a nice screenshot of the
- Again in this episode we have an undependable/dumb Locke. Pushing Patchy
into the fence could be expected to do one of two things: hurt/kill Patchy
and/or set off an alarm. Locke may have wanted to kill Patchy to keep his
paralysis a secret, but he risked warning the Others.
- Locke's "sorry" after getting Patchy's brain fried was very lame.
- Patchy wanted to die, either to protect the Others or because he
killed Mrs Klugh.
- Locke lied about not knowing the Flame was rigged to explode. He's got
a plan and a brick of C4 explosive, and he isn't interested in saving Jack.
- Claire is Jack's half-sister. No big surprise here.
- Jack's father is a "fixer" too, though I suppose you could say that
about all doctors.
- Wow, Claire really has a huge head. She's like a real-life anime character.
- Danielle's idea to use the C4 to blow up a pylon is dumb. Maybe the Others
wouldn't hear them chopping down a tree, but an explosion like that is likely
to give the Lostie rescue party away.
- There's a very prominent shot of a "Bondi Beach" towel.
"Bondi" or "Boondi" is an Aboriginal word meaning "water breaking over rocks"
or "noise of water breaking over rocks." This forshadows where Desmond captures the
bird and where Charlie would have died.
- Charlie just folds up the note and somehow attaches it to the bird's
leg. Gosh, I hope that bird never gets wet, or the note is toast.
- In today's Craphole Island bookclub, Sawyer is reading
Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead
Sun-Mar 18 2007
Sometime in the last hour Utility Fog Blog passed the 100,000 hit mark.
I'd sooner snort broken glass than buy a $275 plain black t-shirt
Thu-Mar 15 2007
Lost - Ep# 312 -Par Avion
First Impressions: I don't know why, but this episode creeped me out
(in the good, horror-movie way) more than any other Lost episode.
Maybe it was the way Locke pushed Patchy through the security barrier
and then just said "Sorry" after it mushed his brains. I do agree though, that you
never know when a brick of C4 plastic explosive might come in handy. Be prepared!
Wed-Mar 14 2007
Mon-Mar 12 2007
"While each cat was viewing the photographs, it was held by a laboratory assistant. To ensure that the cats were not influenced by stroking or other unconscious cues from the assistant, the assistant was anesthetized prior to each session. The cats' reactions were assessed for changes in pulse rate, respiration, eye dilation, fur shed rate, and qualitative behavior."
Feline Reactions to Bearded Men
Sun-Mar 11 2007
Thu-Mar 08 2007
Lost - Ep# 311 - Enter 77
Hooboy-it's gonna be a bit before I cook up the full entry for this episode.
I know I'm going to have to watch it again at least twice. But at I can offer
up 2 quick thoughts:
I really don't think Patchy's real name is Mikhail Bakunin-
But if he's taken the name of a famous revolutionary and anarchist, maybe some of
the other Others have false names too. Ben could be Ben Franklin and Tom could
be Thomas Jefferson. And I could be Napolean.
Island Bakunin said a lot, but what was true and what was a lie? Such is
the nature of answers on Lost.
You Gotta Be Sure
"Serbian vampire hunters rammed a wooden stake through the heart of
former dictator Slobodan Milosevic to stop him "returning from the dead".
Miroslav Milosevic, no relation to the former president, gave himself up to
police who have launched an investigation."
I'm a sucker for any story that contains the magic phrase "Serbian vampire hunters".
Sun-Mar 04 2007
"Lots of ink has been spilled about how Democrats and liberals suffer from a 'religion problem' -- a perceived hostility towards Christianity and religion in general.
But Pew Research Center exit poll data from the 2006 midterm elections shows the opposite.
Democrats crushed Republicans among secular voters, broadly defined as those who attend church seldom (favoring Democrats 60% to 38%) or never (67% to 30%). Republicans retained strong support among those who attend church more than weekly. But among those who only go weekly -- the larger portion of the religious vote -- the Republican lead shrunk from 15 points to 7.
In short, Republicans failed to be competitive among secular voters, while Democrats were at least competitive among regular churchgoers. And since the secular vote is roughly equal to the regular churchgoing vote, according to the last several national election exit polls, that means Republicans and their conservative base have a far bigger secular problem than their rivals have a religion problem.""
I've always taken church-attendance polls with a grain of salt, my theory being that Americans
will say they go to church more than they actually do.
The Conservatives "Secular" Problem
Via Follow Me Here...
Sat-Mar 03 2007
Lost - Ep# 310 - Trisha Tanaka is Dead
Initial thoughts: Whew-after the lackluster "Stranger in a Strange Land"
this episode was a relief.
- For the first time this season, ABC didn't just jump into the show with
with "An all new episode of Lost starts now. All this means is
I taped a commercial along with the end of whatever-the-hell show came
- The song on the flashback boombox and the van's 8-track was
Three Dog Night.
"Wash away my troubles, wash away my pain
With the rain in Shambala
Wash away my sorrow, wash away my shame
With the rain in Shambala [...]
Everyone is helpful, everyone is kind
On the road to Shambala
Everyone is lucky, everyone is so kind
On the road to Shambala [...]
How does your light shine, in the halls of Shambala?"
There's no rain in this ep, but there was pain, sorrow, helpful people, and
and lots of luck.
Shambhala in the Buddhist
"Shambhala is a Sanskrit term meaning "place of
peace/tranquility/happiness". Shakyamuni Buddha is said to have taught the
Kalachakra tantra on request of King Suchandra of Shambhala; the teachings are
also said to be preserved there. Shambhala is believed to be a society where all
the inhabitants are enlightened, actually a Buddhist "Pure Land", centered by a
capital city called Kalapa. An alternative view associates Shambhala with the
real empire of Sriwijaya where Buddhist master Atisha studied under Dharmakirti
from whom he received the Kalachakra initiation.
Shambhala is ruled over by a Kulika King, a benevolent
monarch who upholds the integrity of the Kalachakra tantra. Some religious
scholars believe that this figure developed out of the myth of the Hindu
conqueror Kalki, a similar personage. However, the dating of
Hindu texts come into question, as Buddha is also mentioned in many of those
texts. The myth of Shambala and its location is also more
developed in Buddhism. The Kalachakra prophesizes that when the world declines
into war and greed, and all is lost, the twenty-fifth Kulika king will emerge
from Shambhala with a huge army to vanquish the corrupt and usher in a worldwide
Golden Age. Using calculations from the Kalachakra Tantra, scholars such as Alex
Berzin (see his website) put this date at 2424 AD."
- It's weird seeing Cheech w/ hair.
- The candy bar Hurley's dad gives him clearly forshadows Hurley eating in
response to his father abandoning him. I've seen various attempts at identifying
the brand of the candy bar. It's not an Apollo bar, but some have called it
a "Glacier Bar". It does look like it has an arctic theme, tying it in with the
- Hurley's Dad (David Reyes): "You gotta make your own luck". It's
this episode contrasts philosophically with "Flashes Before Your Eyes". Instead
events being destined or fated (in a "course-correcting" universe) Hurley
his fate (or luck) through hope and belief. For an excellent essay on this
read The Luck of the
- David Reyes + Amah (on motorcycle) = DR + AMAH = DHARMA, maybe.
- You have to admit that Hurley is better on the Island than before. He was
a withdrawn mess after he won the lottery. Now he's engaged with his life and
other people (not just his mama). Before he was reading comics, now he's reading
- I tracked down the brand of Hurley's shirt. He's wearing
, which is nice reference to the theme of father issues. The logo of Big Daddy
includes a crown, which ties into the meanings of Hurley's real name,
"heart, mind, or spirit" and "kings".
- Charlie is wearing a "Bob Dylan, Highway 61 Revisited" t-shirt. Lots of
- From Highway 61
Revisited (the album)
"Highway 61, sometimes called the "Blues Highway," stretched
from New Orleans through Memphis and from Iowa through Duluth to the Canadian
border. It was regularly featured in blues songs, notably Mississippi Fred
McDowell's "61 Highway" and James "Son" Thomas's "Highway 61." Bessie Smith met
her death in an automobile accident on that roadway; Robert Johnson was said to
have sold his soul to the devil at the crossroads of Highway 61 and Highway 49
(itself the subject of a Howlin' Wolf song); Elvis Presley grew up in the
housing projects built along it; and Martin Luther King, Jr. would be murdered
at a motel just off Highway 61.
"A lot of great basic American culture came right up that highway and up that
river," Robert Shelton told a BBC interviewer. "And as a teenager Dylan had
travelled that way on radio. ... Highway 61 became, I think, to him a symbol
of freedom, a symbol of movement, a symbol of independence and a chance to get
away from a life he didn't want in Hibbing.""
- Highway 61 Revisited (the song)
"Oh God said to Abraham, "Kill me a son"
In the Bible, Abraham was Jacob's grandfather. The name "Jacob" has appeared at
least twice in Lost, as the creator of a list of Lostaways that Jack
wasn't on, and in Karl's brainwashing video.
Abe says, "Man, you must be puttin' me on"
God say, "No." Abe say, "What?"
God say, "You can do what you want Abe, but
The next time you see me comin' you better run"
Well Abe says, "Where do you want this killin' done?"
God says, "Out on Highway 61.""
Highway 61 Revisited
- Like a Rolling
Stone: Or a rolling Van. The song's subject is someone who was rich and now
is poor, and who finds themselves "with no direction home".
- Tombstone Blues: The Island part of this episode starts with Hurley at
- From a Buick 6:
"I got this graveyard woman, you know she keeps my kid
But my soulful mama, you know she keeps me hid
She's a junkyard angel and she always gives me bread
Well, if I go down dyin', you know she bound to put a blanket on my
Hurley has a graveyard woman: Libby. Stephen King's novel From a Buick 8
is about a "car" that is actually a portal to another world.
From a Buick 6
- Desolation Row:
This song is so dense I could spend weeks tying it into
Lost. Let's just quote from Wikipedia and leave it at that:
"The song describes a town of some sort, full of lowlifes and
losers. Desolation Row would seem to lie on Highway 61, perhaps at the end of the line
in Dylan's native Duluth, Minnesota, where the horde of freaks congregate
after being rejected from elsewhere."
- Hurley: "Death finds me", and right then Vincent appears with
part of a corpse.
The Dharma Van. Sooooo many issues with this, so let's wade right in. First of
all, I'm totally buying into the suspension of disbelief necessary to go along
with a car that has been abandoned in the jungle for more than 20 years being
able to start, let alone roll. One alternative to letting this impossibility
slide is to theorize that the van hasn't been there all this apparent time, but
rather was manifested by the Island or Smokey (or Vincent, what the hell)
recently just so Hurley could find it. This would explain why 40 people scrounging
for fruit (and Locke out hunting) haven't come across the van before. It can't be
far away from the camp, because Hurley can't run long distances.
Personally I hope the van was there all the time. I can live
with temporary appearances of people and animals, but if a totally fictitious
van can be suddenly created, so can anything else, and this way lies chaos.
I'm also letting slide the condition of poor Roger. Bodies don't mummify in
the jungle-they rot and are eaten by various insects and beasties.
So what is Roger's story? His uniform has a Swan logo.
Was he taking beer to or from the Swan hatch? Seems kinda informal for a place that's
saving the world. And why did he wreck, and why did he die? The best theory I've heard
is that the van crash is related to "the incident" mentioned by Marvin Candle. If
"the incident" screwed up DHARMA's operations on the Island this would explain
why no one came looking for the van.
- Hurley and Locke's ex-boss's full name is Randy Nation
- Did Hurley throw himself in front of Randy when the meteorite hit? He
was on top of him on the ground.
- That meteorite is a strong argument for the existence of a curse.
- Paolo and Nikki deliver a stirring 2 line drama about the lack of oat bars.
I've got to consider this a deliberate effort by the writers to make fun of
themselves regarding the complaints about how P+N just appeared.
- The apathy on the beach towards the van is just strange. It's not
like there's lots of entertainment alternatives. I know I'd be "Hey, something
new and diverting that isn't trying to kill me, cool, lead me to it"
- The dart in Sawyers foot came from the imploded Swan Hatch.
Here's a screenshot of Desmond finding the dartboard after
he turned the key.
- In Kate and Sawyer's jungle talk she starts with calling him "James" but
ends with "Sawyer", symbolizing that they are back to the way things were
before being captured. Their failure to make a fresh start is mirrored by
Hurley and his father.
- Sawyer: "Are we there yet" - classic car trip reference.
- Of course they drank the scotch. What else would they do?
- I loved how Hurley's genuine happiness at seeing Sawyer totally
dissolved Sawyer's anger over his stash.
- Kate, Locke, and Sayid: OMG, actual sharing and discussion of vital
information. If this keeps up they may actually figure something out and
- That meal of burger, fries, and lasagna was so sad. Hurley must be the
only innocent on the Island, because he never killed his mom. If I has 176
million dollars I would have bought her a house and gotten as far away from
her as possible.
- While the Reyes are eating there's a TV showing a tropical beach scene.
- Hurley: "I'm not going anywhere with you"-echoes what Walt said
- Screenshots of the van map
- Mr. Eko's stick.
The "John 3:05" may have provided the compass bearing.
- Kate tells Danielle about Alex: Double secret OMG, yet another bit of
information sharing. It'll be interesting to see what crazy-dynamite-and-traps
lady does with knowledge.
Thu-Mar 01 2007
Good Impulse Control
"HEY I HAVE A BUITIFUL 1986 BUICK HEARSE W/74/K ORG DROVE BACK AND FORTH TO CEMETARY.. AND A COUPLE OF SIDE JOBS IT SILVER/W BLACK VYNAL EVEN HAVE AM/FM TUNES. BLUE INTERIOR. I NEED HELP ITS GO TO GO TONITE PLEASE !!!~ CALL ME ON MY CELL XXX-XXX-XXXX I KNOW IT LATE BUT MONDAY BY 2 PM WOULD WORK
ON THE WEB GO ETO HEARSE CLUBS THEN GO TO RAIN DAILY CLUB THEN TO PICTURES THEN FIND LILLY PHYLLIS U CAN SEE IT 4 UR SELF ANY QUESTIONS CALL ME CRAIG XXX-XXX-XXXX THANKS I REALLY NEED TO GET RID OF THE TOYY GREAT OP TO MAKE EXTRA MONEY U ASK I WILL EXPLAIN"
Let me tell ya, last Sunday night I was this close to calling Craig and heading out to West Seattle
with $750 to buy myself a hearse. Then my inner adult regained control and I realized
that this might not be a suitable daily driver for a 200 mile weekly commute. But
if I already had a working car and a place to park a hearse, right now I would
have one serious funmobile.
More pictures of the loveley Phillys