old and busted


Randy Couture, Me, Al and Matt LindlandI’ll just put the last picture back up. Randy Couture’s coming out of retirement and fighting current UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia on March 3 at UFC 68. I’m hoping that means I’ll have recently shaken hands with the man who will rid us of Sylvia.

I haven’t done any UFC blogging outside our recent excursion to the video signing, so I’m just going to leap in:

Couture nailed it in his interview on Inside the UFC this evening: Sylvia doesn’t fight to win or reestablish his right to the title … he fights to not lose and to keep his belt, which he adores.

When he’s pressed on the issue, he insults fans who are bored with his caution by accusing them of being knuckleheads who just want to watch a slug match and claims the “real insiders” know what he’s up to. That is self-serving pap. I don’t even much care for the strike-heavy matches. They can be dramatic, and obviously striking tips the balance a lot, but I’m a much bigger fan of a clean and dramatic submission than a knockout or a TKO. I don’t want to see Sylvia get pummeled … I just want him to engage meaningfully. He’s a giant of a man and his caution … timidity even … look as outsized as the rest of him.

His fight with Andrei Arlovski was a snooze (though perhaps that was as much Arlovski’s fault as his), and his defense against Monson was more of the same: staying out of harm’s way, taking no risks, relying on the fact that he’s 6’8″ and can’t be touched unless he chooses to mix it up.

If Couture’s got some special formula to erase the height advantage and put him down, I’m all for it. In the meantime, I think it’s a mark of how poorly received Sylvia is, and maybe how weak the UFC heavyweight division is, that Couture’s getting a crack at him right off the bat. I’ve read contract disputes are keeping Brandon Vera from getting a title shot, though, so maybe this is more about last-minute card-shuffling than anything. Got me … I don’t follow it all that closely.

Also, Alison learned today that one of her coworkers is Chris Leben’s mom.



Sad Dinosaurs

On the other hand, here are some sad entries in the aggregator:

They’re all marked as dinosaurs in NetNewsWire, which means they haven’t updated in 60 days or more. They’re all in a special folder now, where I’ll be able to notice extra-quick if they change from the brown of dinosaurdom to the blue of “freshly updated.”

And soon to fall onto the list:

  • pk, who has announced a suspension of operations, at least until after the new year.

On the bright side, all the people on the dinosaur list can be in a comic book in my head where they’ve been pulled away to a hidden dimension and they’re fighting for their lives, and they get one chance to step through an interdimensional rift and reach out to the one person they all know in common: ME! And then I can go to the hidden dimension and help them KICK ASS!

Icarus! Icarus! Mind Your Wings!

I’m back from the little private studio where the Kojo Nnamdi Show sent me to do this morning’s panel. It was a pretty interesting experience, if only because the whole setup they used to make it sound like I was sitting across a table from Corey Flintoff has a lot of blinking lights, and because “tell us what you had for breakfast” seems to be the standard “get his levels” question from people on either end of the link.

The interview itself? Eh. I was in there with a law professor and a professional spokesman, and they both know how to operate down in the deep end with a radio leviathan like Corey Flintoff. I, on the other hand, eventually decided to wait to be asked questions and tried not to pull a Nick Parks over niggling technical details that might have detracted from the main point, which is that you should never, ever try to seduce teenagers over IM in your workplace.

And I’ll admit to some residual heartbreak that I came home to find a mail explaining that the Lehrer News Hour won’t need me to be back in the studio this afternoon. Stupid North Koreans.

Update: How many times can one man say “Um?” in one hour. I better stay in print.


I wish Web designers who write the code to validate e-mail addresses in their forms would get over the fact that the “+” character is perfectly legitimate in an address. It is. Honest. And it beats the pants off the awkward “create an address that can’t use your base name or any other address we may already have in our millions of addresses” method you get from some of the big providers for creating throwaway addresses.

I’ve seen people arguing that less-than-trustworthy organizations are somehow savvy to the menace plussed addresses pose to their spammy ways. I think it’s more likely that the validation expressions web developers are using don’t allow for anything besides numerals and letters left of the @.

lol internet hype

[‘Snakes on a Plane’ fails to charm moviegoers


“Snakes on a Plane,” a camp thriller that generated an unprecedented tsunami of online hysteria during the past year, crawled into the No. 1 slot at the North American weekend box office with estimated ticket sales of just $15.3 million, its distributor said on Sunday.

Worse, the outlets that are trying to spin it as a big win are comparing it to the 2-week-old comedy it knocked out of number 1.

I’d say “there’s a blow to the model,” but it’s not because studios are working as hard as they can to dismantle the influence movie reviewers have over opening weekend receipts, and they’re not going to let disappointing results from their efforts to save a real turd stop them.

An analyst looking at “Snakes” says “This tells you that you need to have a compelling story or premise to get an audience for your movie,” which hints at a future of movies like “The Island” and “Con Air,” which are high on premise, but made even more shoddily in anticipation of needing to only pack the rubes in for that precious first 72 hours, after which they’ll become as disposable as last month’s Will Ferrell comedy.

On the upside for bloggers and other useful idiots of the shill machine: Expect a bumper crop of studio-supplied clip art for the parody sites you erect hoping to rake in a few pennies of AdSense revenue when Digg goes bananas over your “Turd on a Rocket” Flash game.

Oh … and “long tail! long tail!” when eight special editions of “Snakes” arrive at your local Best Buy a hair earlier than the normal cycle would predict.

Oh … and get an early start on your parody site with suggestions from Nerdmeyr.

The Future Hates You

Philadelphia Inquirer | 08/17/2006 | The new medium of the instant message:

In a focus group conducted by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, teenagers said they viewed e-mail as “something you use to talk to ‘old people.’ “

That’s awesome.

Sonic Boom

After only five days, the contractor arrives to replace our old and busted water heater.

Update: Aiieee! Hot! So very hot! I will step from my next shower glistening and pink like a newborn babe!


fatalitySo, last week or the week before or before that, when that guy headbutted that other guy, pk mentioned it and I mentioned that there was this animated gif that tied that in with Mortal Kombat.

So that was what was in my head when I opened up my big book of clipart looking for something to make a banner for what was supposed to be the “.plan and nothing but a .plan” version of the site. Which will not happen. The banner for which I am sharing here. Or rather on flickr, if you click the picture over there.


*bzzzt crackle phhhhft*

watertankThe water heater died yesterday, and it died in a menacing and spectacular fashion.

It developed a leak high in the tank that ran down into the electrical works and shorted them out. It filled the basement with a horrible burnt plastic stink and blackened water dribbled from the bottom of the panel to pool on the floor.

Marvin the Contractor says it was pretty bad.

Yay cold showers!

Oh dear.

Via MeFi (where there are more shenanigans).

© Michael Hall, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States license.