Dell tech support tells me that a USB 1.1 flash drive isn't compatible with USB 2.0 and vice versa. The latter I know to be true since my USB 2.0 key won't work with my desktop. Is the former true as well, that a 1.1 won't work with my laptop, which has USB 2.0? Say it ain't so. I don't much feel like adding a PCI card to my desktop.
Let's try a new feature here, focusing on the best of something. We'll begin with the best fast food french fries. Take your pick from any fast food restaurant of your choosing. For me, it's Ranch 1 by a mile. Don't get me wrong, McDonald's fries have this wonderful salty taste going for them, but oh that seasoning on Ranch 1 fries and the golden crispiness. My mouth is all a tingle just thinking about it.
Just how stupid do these people think I am? I receive an e-mail from American Express (wink wink) with the subject line "Update Contact Information." Right, and next, there's a bridge right here in NYC that they'll want to sell me.
A recent study shows that most college professors are liberal.
By their own description, 72 percent of those teaching at American universities and colleges are liberal and 15 percent are conservative, says the study being published this week. The imbalance is almost as striking in partisan terms, with 50 percent of the faculty members surveyed identifying themselves as Democrats and 11 percent as Republicans.
So let's say I suggested that maybe the underlying reason for this is that conservatives just aren't as interested in thinky stuff like academics as liberals, preferring instead more lucrative careers in corporate America. Do you think the same people who insist we should be open-minded about suggestions that women just may not as be interested in thinky stuff like science as men wouldn't see my suggestion as prima facie evidence of bigotry against conservatives?
| You scored as Tino Martinez. You are TINO MARTINEZ! You're loved by all, no matter if they hate your or support you and your cause. Within your group you're a great friend, always trying to do your best and come up big when it counts. You're glad to come back to a familiar place, and will do what you can to make the most of it. People believe magical things can happen now that you're in town.|
Which NY Yankee are you?
created with QuizFarm.com
In honor of the heavyweight match-up on WFUV next week, this edition of Name That Tune features two sets of lyrics, one from each artist. Obviously, knowing the artists in advance greatly simplifies things, so the next time around, I'll make it harder.
The first selection is from my favorite song ever. The song is such poetry that it pains me to select only a snippet from it, feeling like I'm doing it injustice, but the following lyrics are my favorite from the song.
As the radio plays
Roy Orbison singing for the lonely
Hey that's me and I want you only
Next up is the best musical put down ever. Hands down.
Yes, I wish that for just one time
You could stand inside my shoes
You'd know what a drag it is
To see you
Don't blurt, be subtle, leave a clue.
Dilbert is no longer available on My Yahoo!. Oh where, oh where will I get my daily fix? Making matters worse, Yahoo has pulled the plug on Peanuts and Rose Is Rose. Yeah, life is so tough, isn't it?
Dietz writes today about a Colorado Supreme Court decision overturning the death penalty in a rape case because the jury used the Bible to inform its deliberations. Via the New York Times (reg. required):
The jurors in Harlan’s 1995 trial sentenced him to die, but defense lawyers discovered five of them had looked up Bible verses, copied them down and talked about them while deliberating a sentence behind closed doors.
The Supreme Court said that "at least one juror in this case could have been influenced by these authoritative passages to vote for the death penalty when he or she may otherwise have voted for a life sentence."
Relying only upon what's in the New York Times, I agree with the court's decision as well as Dietz when he asks, "[H]ow then can we argue for a modern legal code in the Middle-East if we are going to accept a reliance upon biblical law in our own courts?"
However, I will draw a distinction. The issue I have with the jury's decision is not that some members relied upon the Bible to help them reach a decision, but that apparently certain passages from the Bible were debated for the entire jury to consider.
We all have our reasons why we do or don't support the death penalty. I, for one, would probably never get on a death penalty case because I could not sentence someone to death. I don't believe we have the right to decide who lives or dies. That's my own moral code, informed by beliefs acquired throughout my life.
For other people, their moral code is informed by the Bible, and if they believe in an "eye for an eye," then I don't think there's anything wrong with that informing their decision in a death penalty case. It's when they argue the Bible to persuade other people, when they enter the Bible into the larger overall discussion for all to consider that they've gone too far. That's when we start basing policy decisions on religion in a society that is ostensibly religion blind.
I've been a bit off my game this month. I think the trip to West Des Moines in early March started me off on a weird footing. I was unable to muster the energy to do much link-searching from a hotel room whilst exhausted. But I'm going to make up for that a bit today with a Subvert the Dominant Link Hierarchy post.
Pinko Feminist Hellcat readjusts your viewing angle on the recent wage gap study. Bitch Ph.D. gives the story a welcome dose of snark, while Rox gives us the missing reasons that explain the original viewing angle.
Susie points out an interesting Washington Post article about the widening cracks in conservative support for Bush's proposed Social Security
privatization personalization plan.
Trish Wilson saves me from what would have been an obvious mistake.
Elayne lets us know that New York may no longer be Book Country.
During its membership drive next week, WFUV radio is hosting a special musical event. A showdown between two titans of the industry: Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan. All week, the station will be playing songs by both and asking listeners to rate them. But not to rate them based on whom you think is the best artist. Instead to rate them on which artist personally resonates more for you. Interesting question. I think I know, but I will give a listen before weighing in. In the meantime, if you already have an opinion, share with your reasons why.
Lesley, Dietz, and Rick all correctly guessed the answer to the first Name That Tune puzzle: Lola, the gender bender song by The Kinks. John points out an interesting fact about the song I never knew. No, not that Lola is a transvestite, but that the line "cherry cola" was substituted for "Coca-Cola" in Britain because of the commercial reference.
In answer to the omnipresent question from those opposed to pulling feeding tubes in any circumstance, "Would you let a dog starve to death", let me give my answer the only way it should be answered given the reason it's being asked. If the dog was terminally ill and only capable of sustaining life through the use of a feeding tube in its stomach, lethal injection was not a legal option, and the dog's owner did not want a feeding tube inserted, yes. I would not let a perfectly healthy dog starve to death. Neither would I support letting a perfectly healthy human being starve to death.
To the people asking this question, let me ask another one. If giving dogs lethal injections were illegal, would you require by law a pet owner to insert a feeding tube into the stomach of a terminally ill dog in order to keep that dog from dying by starvation?
You know it's a sad state of affairs when you're doing so badly in the office pool that you're hoping to finalize your lock on last place just so you can get your money back. So I just want to say...
Thank you, Michigan State! Your victory cements my last place status. I'm retrieving my $10 tomorrow.
...to all those who celebrate it.
Oh yeah, and to all you Peter Cottontail-loving freaks who once again are driving up my site traffic looking for this song.
DVRs are great. This year, I haven't heard bunnies singing once.
I gather today, from my reading, that since I support the rights of people to refuse life-saving medical care, including feeding tubes, that makes me, in the eyes of some, "in love with the culture of death." So I guess it's true confessions time.
*Although, in fairness, I'm not in love with him.
Sorry, everyone. Comments problem fixed. I entered a new URL pattern into MT Blacklist to try to prevent all the idiot "holdem poker" spammers, but clearly screwed it up. I deleted the offending entry, and now everyone should be able to post comments again.
My Mangled Movie Plots was a bust, but in the interest in getting a game going along the lines of Dietz' Name That, I am trying Name That Tune. Song lyrics from a song of familiar or unfamiliar vintage. Your task: identify the song and the artist.
The first entry is of very familiar vintage and should be a piece of cake for anyone who's listened to the radio in the last 40 years:
Well we drank champagne and danced all night
Under electric candlelight
She picked me up and sat me on her knee
And said dear boy won't you come home with me
Remember, in the immortal words of Dietz, "Don't blurt, be subtle, leave a clue."
. . . Aquaman.
Yogi Berra is famous for his quirky quotes. "It ain't over 'til it's over" or "It's deja vu all over again."
Yet, I don't think he ever said anything quite as silly as the ESPN announcer for tonight's match-up between the Miami Heat and Phoenix Suns. Of Suns' point guard Steve Nash, he just said, "He can pass right, he can pass left. He's amphibious." Next stop for Mr. Nash apparently is trying out for the U.S. swim team in the 2008 Olympics.
I've never really liked Kirstie Alley. Her character on "Cheers" annoyed me. We won't even discuss the "Look Who's Talking..." movies. But after watching her new show, "Fat Actress", it's possible that I like her even less. Could there be more offensive stereotypes? Let's see. Overweight people? Check. Black people? Check. Gays? Check. For that kind of humor to work, the stereotypes have to be done with affection, which I'm just not seeing at all.
One of FASB's favorite ways of providing investors with more information is requiring public companies to disclose information in the footnotes of their financial statements. This is where the disclosures about the cost of employee stock options or off-balance sheet financing appear. This sounds fine in theory, since a savvy investor or research analyst will simply read the footnotes and adjust the financial statements accordingly.
Unfortunately, it only sounds fine in theory. A new study indicates that auditors don't care much about errors in the footnotes (WSJ, reg req). Fortunately, auditors have independent oversight. Hopefully the PCAOB will take this study seriously and tighten up auditing standards.
"South Florida," he said, "is working off of a totally new economic model than any of us have ever experienced in the past."
It is? What's changed? Housing prices are no longer correlated with interest rates and wages? Housing demand suddenly exists in a vacuum?
Of course not. You can lose money in real estate in the short-term. Alan Greenspan is already making noises about the housing market being over-priced. The Fed is considering adding housing prices to the CPI. Do you know what this would do to the rate of inflation? It wouldn't be so low any more. Typically the Fed hasn't seen asset value as its business, but given the current state of the housing market, they are beginning to think it's their business. If they see inflationary pressures as a result, interest rates go up by more than a quarter point. They can raise rates enough to cool off the housing market. Although mortgage rates are driven by the market, not the Fed Funds rate, there is still a high degree of correlation between the two rates.
An environment of rising interest rates will also have an impact on the labor market. As businesses find their ability to borrow at attractive rates constrained, they will invest less. As they invest less, they will hire less. They may even fire workers. Workers will have less power to negotiate pay increases. Nominal wages may stagnate. Real wages may fall.
Mortgages rates go up, making monthly housing payments more expensive. Wages stagnate or go down. Less people may be working. This equals less demand for house purchases. If you only own the house you live in, you're more likely just to stay where you are (assuming you can still afford to with your other, adjustable rate debt, such as credit cards). If you invested in real estate that you're planning on renting or flipping, you're in a worse position. Real estate investors generally don't go for long-term fixed-rate mortgages, like those who live in the houses they buy do. They either go for short-term ARMs with balloons or short-term interest-only mortgages, where payments increase after a few years. Monthly payments on ARMs will go up, while those in the interest-only mortgages will also eventually face increased monthly payments. Rental prices are already stagnant, and most real estate investors aren't making a profit through rental income. Therefore, they can't cover the increase in their monthly payments by raising the rent. The market won't bear that.
What you wind up with in this scenario is a housing market where most people will stay where they are, but some people will be forced to sell since they can't afford the monthly payments. In other words, there's more supply than demand. What happens when supply is greater than demand? Prices go down. The only question is by how much, the answer to which would vary by region. In previous housing busts, average declines have been in the 15-20% range. Given that a fair amount of the current housing market is spurred by speculators, leading to greater than average price increases, there is a real possibility that we would see greater than average price decreases in a housing market downturn.
Let's end with a cautionary tale.
At the Nexus party in Brooklyn, Steve Nguyen, Ms. Romano's fiancé, said he was heeding Mr. Trump's [ed. real estate] advice. "He says buy, buy, buy," Dr. Nguyen said.
Donald Trump's casinos have declared bankruptcy twice, and he only staved off a personal bankruptcy because the banks were willing to subsidize him. Chances are the banks wouldn't be as patient and forgiving with you, Dr. Nguyen. You don't owe them enough money.
...about the religious right in this country. At least you can't be arrested for writing a satirical book about Jesus. Let alone a book you wrote and published in an entirely different country.
In Greece? Not so much.
I'm not going to offer my personal opinion about Terri Schiavo. I don't think I have any standing to do so. The only way I would consider myself to have standing would be if I believed one of the following two things:
I don't believe either of those two things. Which leads me to the inescapable conclusion that this is a family dispute. We have mechanisms for dealing with family disputes. They're known as courts of law. Sometimes courts make good decisions. Sometimes they don't. They are, however, the best mechanism we have to resolve these kinds of disputes. Obviously this gives you a good indication of where I stand on the Congressional intervention. What it does not tell you is whether I think the courts made a good decision in this instance or not. And I'm not going to tell you that, so don't ask.
So the question I'm going to ask about this entire tragic situation is only this - Do you think this case would be getting the kind of non-stop media blitz it's getting if Terri Schiavo was not an attractive white woman? Because I don't. First Laci Peterson. Now Terri Schiavo. Tragedies happen to non-attractive, non-white, non-women too. We just don't get blitzed with them.*
*Not that I'm suggesting we should. I'd prefer if we didn't get blitzed with these types of stories at all. Sad? Absolutely. However other things are happening in the world which directly impact a lot more people and should be getting a lot more attention.
Received in my e-mail this morning.
I am passing this on to you because it definitely worked for me and we all could use more calm in our lives. By following the simple advice I heard on a Dr. Phil show, I have finally found inner peace. Dr. Phil proclaimed "The way to achieve inner peace is to finish all the things you've started." So I looked around my house to see all the things I started and hadn't finished, so, before leaving the house this morning, I finished off a bottle of Merlot, a bottle of White Zinfandel, a bottle of Bailey's, a bottle of Kahlua, a package of Oreos, the remainder of both Prozac and Valium prescriptions, the rest of the cheesecake, some saltines and a box of chocolates. You have no idea how freaking good I feel. Please pass this on to those you feel are in need of inner peace.
Crank up your mp3 player, put it on random, and list the first 10 songs.
Discovering a new musical artist that you really enjoy can be like catching lightening in a bottle. A sometimes serendipitous occurrence that brings something magical into your life. I stumbled upon the wonderful Patty Griffin, a contemporary folk singer, while channel surfing one night and stopping on Sessions at West 54th, a now defunct live musical series on PBS. That week, I bought her first CD, Living with Ghosts, and have been hooked since. Other discoveries have come from listening to the radio at just the right time.
The one artist I will be forever grateful for having found is John Hiatt. Anything but a household name, Hiatt is one of the most respected musicians in the industry. His songs have been covered by artists ranging from Bob Dylan to Iggy Pop to Bonnie Raitt. When Raitt made her comeback in 1990, she did it on the strength of a Hiatt song: "Thing Called Love," which first appeared on his album, Bring the Family.
My first experience with John Hiatt came at a Robert Cray concert at Manhattan's Pier 84 in the late 1980s. Hiatt was the opening act for the then-popular blues guiatarist. While most opening acts fade from memory almost immediately, Hiatt made such an impression that almost twenty years later, I still listen to him, but don't even own a Robert Cray CD.
Hiatt's strength lies in his ability to craft a good story. Make no mistake, he is a talented musician whose sound has matured over time to encompass a range of different genres. From the straight-ahead rock of Stolen Moments and Perfectly Good Guitar to the blues-tinged Crossing Muddy Waters to the roosty, bluegrass sound of Beneath this Gruff Exterior, he has succeeded with evolving styles while always managing to sound like himself.
More than his music, it his stories that have attracted other artists to his songs and kept me as a fan all these years. He has a terrific sense of humor and irony that shines in songs like "Your Dad Did," an irreverant look at how sons take after their fathers. You can't help but smile at lines such as:
As the two year old says grace/She says help the starving children to get well/But let my brother's hamster burn in hell/You love your wife and kids/Just like your dad did
In other songs, he is brutally honest and introspective. Unafraid to tell the stories of his own life as a struggling artist who finally made it and found love after his first wife tragically killed herself.
On Stolen Moments, he tells the story of "Rock Back Billy," a musician who endured years of bad gigs and a battle with drugs and alcohol to rise from the ashes with a "red hot sound/They could not defeat." The song seems an echo of Hiatt's life. It took him thirteen years before he finally scored with 1987's Bring the Family, a time in which he struggled with alocholism, depression, and being dropped by one record label after another.
Bring the Family is full of songs that seem dedicated to the memory of his first wife - on "Tip of My Tounge," he writes, "I broke your heart/With the back of my mind/From the tip of my tounge/To the end of the line" - and written for his second wife, whom he married shortly before the album came out. The songs "Thank You Girl" ("You stood by me baby/When I didn't think we'd ever see the daylight") and "Learning How to Love You" ('Cause I only got to where I am right now/Learning how to love you") sound like unmistakable expressions of gratitude to her for helping him out of the abyss.
Here is one person who thanks John Hiatt for the beauty in such songs, for all the wonderful music over the years. The stories and sounds that are as fresh, fun, and touching today as they were the first time around.
The most recent issue of Infoworld has an article on tools to assist IT departments in complying with all the security regulations that have popped up. There's a sidebar on the "Top 10 Ways to Fail a Security Audit". Number 10: make sure you have a fair-use policy to let employees what they should and shouldn't do with their PC. After all, "[h]ow should employees know that downloading MP3s is forbidden if you don't tell them?" Um, let's see, they could use common sense? I don't need a policy to know that certain things are no nos. The PC, after all, belongs to my company, not to me, not to mention with all the viruses floating around, why would I do anything that increases the risk of placing a virus on my machine?
A co-worker and I were debating the relative merits of Madonna as an artist yesterday. His take: she has no talent and produces nothing but pop drival. My take: sure, most of her stuff is drival, but she has a talent for marketing herself and for producing music the public eats up. Besdies, she has done three songs that are examples of good, fun pop: Holiday, Borderline, and Get Into the Groove. She may not be on the level of The Beatles, but then again, who is?
Finally we find out what the nearly invisible George Pataki has been doing for the last 10 years. I did once see him in a restaurant in Manhattan too. So presumably he also eats, at least once in a while.
Would you sick fucks just stay the hell away.
Yeah, all right, so people, most of whom are women, are subjecting themselves to dangerous and invasive medical procedures for superficial reasons. How does this affect me? And surely it's secondary compared to Social Security!
Lord knows I understand the desire to look good. To look younger. To be attractive. I really do. I spend a lot of time and money on skin care and hair care.
What I don't understand, though, is why perfectly fine-looking women feel the need to undergo plastic surgery to "make" themselves look good. I'm not talking about women who were born with disfigurements, have been in accidents, lost a breast to cancer, or anything like that. I'm talking about women who look fine. They don't look like movie stars, but then again, most of the time movie stars don't look like movie stars either.
Yesterday, when I was home sick, I had left the TV on low in the background. At some point, Oprah came on. She had devoted her whole show to people who had undergone "extreme makeovers". I'm looking at these women (and one man). Not one of them needed plastic surgery to look better. A better haircut. Contact lenses or lasik surgery*. A little makeup. A different skin care regimen. Some nicer clothes. That was it. It's not even hard, and, with the exception of lasik, it costs a lot less than plastic surgery.
What is wrong when so many fine-looking people hate themselves so much that the only way they think they can feel better is to undergo voluntary surgery or have someone inject their faces with neurotoxins? [If you don't believe they hate themselves, listen to them speak about their desire to undergo plastic surgery and hear how many times the word "hate" is used.] I know I can be accused fairly of being a lesser victim of the same obsession. I do think, though, there's a fundamental difference between applying a skin cream (okay, multiple skin creams and oils) and being cut with a scalpel. Between having facials every month and having a doctor shoot your forehead full of poison.
I'm not advocating that we all walk around looking unkempt. I'm not advocating doing away with cosmetics (although, could we please not call them "cosmeceuticals"). I'd be the world's biggest hypocrite if I were. But shouldn't we be worrying when we're encouraging people to undergo dangerous and invasive medical procedures just because they hate themselves? I know what it's like to look in the mirror and hate what you see. But that's just a feeling that's not based in reality. Wouldn't we be much better off if we helped people accept the reality, rather than celebrating as we slip further and further into a fantasy?
UPDATE: Via Cruella-blog. Corsets, a known cause of physical problems in women, are coming back into fashion. Yes, you too can have an unnaturally small waist. Just as long as breathing easily doesn't mean all that much to you.
*I don't consider lasik surgery to be plastic surgery, since lasik does correct an actual, measurable physical defect.
I thought I was feeling better, but standing up proved me to be wrong. That's par for the course these days. I thought I was just suffering from bad allergies, but that was wrong too. So I'm not going to write the somewhat more substantive blog post I had in mind.
I will, however, take the laptop to bed, so I can read other people's blog posts.
Does anyone out there actually think Rudy Giuliani would make a good President? If so, why?*
*And would you mind letting me have some of what you're smoking, because it must be some pretty powerful stuff.
You know, it occurred to me today that I could name a lot of female mystery novelists off the top of my head, but very few men. No, really. This is true.
Female mystery novelists
Male mystery novelists
And I only know the Spenser and Fletch books because they made a TV series and a movie about them, respectively.
The more I thought about this, the odder it seemed. Why can I name so many more female mystery novelists than male? I finally realized there are two likely explanations for this:
Because it couldn't be that I have a bias towards female mystery novelists or anything like that.
It's about damn time someone took the growing threat of kindergarteners seriously. Too bad the wimpy prosecutors decided against filing charges.*
Via Ilyka Damen.
*Yeah, hi, in case any of you can't figure it out, I'm being sarcastic. So no stupid comments, please.
One of the fabulous things about life here in the Big Apple is the range of ethnic foods. It's actually easy to become jaded because there are so many choices. If you want Asian food, you can choose not only from Chinese and Japanese, but also Vietnamese, Korean, Thai, and Malaysian. Yet, there are times I have passed on one of these choices because I am tired of Asian food, even though there are notable differences between these foods.
Alas, I digress. This afternoon, I walked from my apartment in Forest Hills to Shea Stadium, obviously not because there was a game, but because it was a nice afternoon for a walk. Instead of walking home, I hopped on the 7 train to Jackson Heights to transfer to a train back to Forest Hills. As I was descending to the Queens Boulevard line, I remembered that Jackson Heights is home of the wonderful Jackson Diner, an Indian restaurant. On the spur of the moment, I decided to get some take out, which turned out to be goat curry, rice, and Nan. I just polished it off a few minutes ago. Delicious and well worth the side trip.
Now, if I want to do some work the rest of the evening, I won't feel I am missing out, having spent an excellent few hours this afternoon. Nor will I feel bad about being cooped up tomorrow when bad weather hits. I even have some goat curry left over for lunch.
1. I have watched replays of completed matches to satiate my thirst for quality tennis.
2. I have even watched replays, sometimes years later, of matches I previously watched just to enjoy the artistry and the magical moments one more time.
3. If we were playing Scrabble and proper names were allowed, I could spell Likhovtseva, Schiavone, and Kuznetsova without a crib sheet. As a matter of fact, I just did it now. (Ok, I did go to the web to double check the first two.)
4. These names roll more easily off my tongue than Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers rolls off the tongue of your average ten-year old.
5. I know that the Woodies are not some newfangled Hollywood awards show, but are instead the highly successful doubles tandem of Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde. I can even pick them apart in photos.
6. Where most people can tell you who the Olson twins are, I am better acquainted with the Bryan twins, another well-known doubles team, at least in tennis circles. But the only reason why I can pick these guys apart is that one is left-handed, though I confess to not knowing whether it’s Bob or Mike.
7. I recognize all but two of the top 20 players in the Men’s and Women’s rankings. Things get a bit dicey when you expand to the top 30, but I still do pretty well.
8. I am proud of each and everyone of these facts.
Impairment charge. Financial controls. Discretionary reserves. Intangible assets. Good will. Bright line standard. SAS 70.
No more persuasive argument can be made for building the Second Avenue subway in New York than Wednesday's stand still on the Lexington Avenue subway. When signal outages shut down the 4, 5, and 6 lines for much of the day, hundreds of thousands of commuters were left scrambling for alternatives in an area bereft of them. Above 23 Street, there is only one subway corridor on Manhattan's east side. On the west side, commuters can choose from 4 separate north-south trunk lines. With the federal government seemingly on board to help fund the Second Avenue subway, it is up to Governor Pataki to join the game and show us the money. Hopefully, he will play and not punt.
Eliot Spitzer announced, today, that he was opening an inquiry into the amount of dust in the universe. "New Yorkers live in the universe. Therefore, we consider it within the venue of the New York State Attorney General's office to investigate the amount of dust in the universe and the adverse impact it has on the health of New Yorkers. We hope the universe will cooperate with my office in reaching a reasonable settlement." When asked if he would consider filing a lawsuit if an amicable settlement could not be reached, Spitzer replied "We're not ruling out any options at this time."
The universe was unavailable for comment.
A six hour meeting about Sarbanes-Oxley when you're not feeling well.
On the upside, Sarbanes-Oxley = More jobs for accountants and auditors. Sure, people scoff at me for being an accountant, but who does the government love, baby?
I'll be doing some Yankees blogging over at the Coalition of the Dark Side. The lovely graphic to your left will also take you there.
I always thought Darth Vader was the coolest Star Wars character anyway. What does that say about me?
A Daily News reporter used his pregnant wife to test how long it would take for subway riders on SRO trains to offer a pregnant woman a seat. This little experiment strikes me as a sham. If she's able to traipse about from subway line to subway line, then she doesn't need a seat, does she?
Whenever I travel into Manhattan from my job, I have the choice of taking the Long Island Rail Road for free, since I work there, or taking the subway. I often opt for the subway, to the surprise of a co-worker, who tells me it costs me $2 whenever I take the subway. Not true. I own an unlimited ride pass. The first person who can correctly tell me how much it really costs for me to take the subway wins. . . well nothing, except for my admiration as someone who understands the principles of economics.
This obsession with building a new stadium for the Jets on the West Side of Manhattan has got to stop. They're even considering slating it for the 2010 Super Bowl, even though the stadium doesn't exist, and there's no guarantee it will ever exist.
Any Jets stadium in New York City belongs in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, adjacent to Shea Stadium and the National Tennis Center. There's ample room for a stadium there, the site is easily accessible by car and train (the subway and the LIRR), and isn't located smack dab in the middle of one of the world's most congested areas. It's got to be cheaper since you don't first have to put a platform over existing rail yards.
When Philadelphia built new stadiums for all three of their pro teams, they put them all in the same place. Ditto when Seattle built separate stadiums for the Seahawks and Mariners. Besides, aren't most Jets fans from Long Island anyway and would have a much easier time traveling to games in Queens than Manhattan.
Have I convinced the world now? Say yes.
You're going to jail
Accounting fraud doesn't pay
Don't steal the coffee
Our crack troops on the ground have just informed us that Bernie Ebbers is no longer a free man!
Jay Caruso and his brother, Matt, are offering up one-of-a-kind Yankees 2005 t-shirts for $23 a pop - The Empire Strikes Back. I've already ordered one.
If you want to find out which horseman of the apocalypse you are, head over to UsefulGenius, where Justin has a handy dandy quiz that will typecast you as one of the four horseman. He's pestilence, I'm death. Hah hah!
Tonight at dinner, I realized what my top most memorable movie quote is. It's not the one that first comes to mind when I think about memorable movie quotes, but it unfailingly comes to mind under certain circumstances. I was eating dinner at an Egyptian restaurant, and we ordered some fuul.
Fuul is made of fava beans.
No, we didn't have a nice chianti.
I've listened to Blue Oyster Cult's "Godzilla" many times and never felt any desire to attack Tokyo.
On my trip to Iowa, I was able to start and finish Choderlos de Laclos' controversial novel, Les Liaisons Dangereuses. You're all likely familiar with the movie based on the novel (or perhaps with more than one of those movies), but I highly recommend the novel itself. Written in the epistolary form, it is a very enjoyable read.
Interesting, to me, are the contradictory views of women portrayed. The three main female characters are the Marquise de Merteuil, Madame de Tourvel, and Cécile de Volanges. Merteuil is, along with Valmont, the novel's protagonist. Throughout her letters, Merteuil constantly derides the double standard applied to the behavior of men and women. Where Valmont is celebrated for his conquests, were Merteuil's publicly known, she would be vilified. Despite this, she is portrayed as Valmont's equal in every way if not, perhaps, his superior. Certainly she considers herself superior, and although apparently ruined in the end, she gets off better than Valmont. He, after all, is killed for his sins. Merteuil, however, absconds to Amsterdam with a fortune in stolen jewelry. Her ravaged looks, the result of the illness she contracts after her outing, would easily be concealed with the heavy makeup common to the time.
If you stopped there, you might conclude that this is a feminist novel. There is a school of thought that considers it one. However, I am not comfortable with that analysis. Yes, Merteuil is Valmont's equal. Yes, she ultimately wins their "war". Yes, the double standard is decried. However, the portrayals of Tourvel and Cécile belie any feminist ideals.
Tourvel starts the novel as the paragon of virtue. But Laclos relegates female virtue to those who are too unattractive to be tempted. That, in and of itself, is a thoroughly non-feminist idea. Further, despite her many attempts to resist Valmont's advances, ultimately, Tourvel's virtue is no match for his deceit. Although the movie makes it look like in the end, Valmont repents of his evil ways as he discovers his love for Tourvel, the book does not. That is the "happier" Hollywood ending, not the ending of Laclos. Valmont considers her flight to a convent, where she dies of insanity brought on by her betrayal, to be the final feather in his cap, the proof of his masculine superiority, and a victory that none could rival. There is nothing feminist about Tourvel and her fate.
Cécile is just a silly girl easily led astray. As a character, she is fairly inconsequential. She is nothing more than instrument of revenge. But through her, Laclos perpetuates the "notion" that women enjoy being raped. No, you don't see that in the movie. In the movie, it appears that Valmont successfully seduces her. In the book, it is much clearer that he rapes her. This is brushed aside, though, because she feels "she didn't resist as much as she might have" and "the experience wasn't wholly unenjoyable". Even Merteuil suggests that female resistance is nothing more than a pretense, a way of enjoying oneself without blame attaching. Need I even say more about feminism and this book?
So, no. Although certain feminist ideals do appear, this is not the world's first feminist novel. As far as I'm concerned, that honor still belongs to my favorite book of all time, Jane Eyre.
Being, I suppose, something of a sucker for punishment, I'm about to embark on Samuel Richardson's Clarissa. Wish me luck.
Lesley and I are having disagreement about the most salient issue in last year's Presidential election. In a post yesterday, I bemoan the fact that the Repbulican administration, including Congress, is putting big business ahead of average people, making budget and legislative decisions that help corporations at the expense of people who really need help. Mom questions how these same people who are "being shafted" voted for Bush. My response was that moral values swayed the election more than any other issue, to which Lesley responds that her quickie election analysis showed security and the economy to be the hinge issues.
In reality, I'm not sure that Lesley and I are truly in disagreement here. Her point is that more people cared about security and the economy than cared about moral values. Without doing a weighted average analysis, I will cede that point. Still, my point is not which issues people cared more about, but which issue or issues swung the election.
Going back to Ohio as a proxy, since it was truly the swing state, an an analysis of the exit polls shows that moral values swung the election. I have a handy crosstab that demonstrates this if anyone is interested or if Lesley is willing to post it.
In short, though, here are the key results:
1. Of the people who voted for Bush, 15% voted for him because they felt he would do better on taxes and the economy than Kerry. However, because people much more heavily trusted Kerry on the economy, 45% of the people who voted for him did so based on taxes and the economy.
2. Of the people who voted for Bush,
32% 37% voted for him based on security issues (Iraq and terroism), compared to 28% 23% of the people who voted for Kerry because they trusted him more on this issues. Bush scores a victory here, but not enough to swing the election in his favor when you combine security with economic issues. Kerry would have won the election if you stopped here, with 626,000 347,000 more votes in Ohio than Bush. (Updated percentages and vote tally reflect an error I had made in the crosstab.)
3. Of the people who voted for Bush, 38% voted for him based on moral values, accounting for 1.1 million votes. Only 7% of the people who voted for Kerry did so based on moral values. There is a 919,000 vote gap between the two candidates on these issues, swinging the election back in Bush's favor and putting him over the top more than any other issue.
Thus, to Lesley, I repeat, "Rabbit season!"
In its latest entry in the 100 Years Series, the American Film Institute is ranking the 100 most memorable movie quotes of all time. The evaluation is based on the degree to which a line has endured over the years and become a part of the popular lexicon. "Show me the money" is one of the nominees not because it is a brilliant line but because of the way it permeated throughout our culture, becoming the cool way to say, "I want what's mine" or "put your money where your mouth is."
Some of the nominees surprised me. They don't seem to be especially resonant or worthwhile. Reading others made me smile, as I enjoyed hearing them in my head and felt the same emotion as when I first heard them. It is, after all, the way the lines are delivered as much as the words themselves that make them endure "as time goes by." Sidney Poitier's conviction in saying, "They call me Mr. Tibbs" that lends the line its aura of authority, gives its staying power some thirty years after the movie opened.
For me, the most memorable line is "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn," since it immediately came to mind. Second is "What we have here is failure to communicate," the signature line from Cool Hand Luke.
Results will be broadcast on CBS in June. In the meantime, play along if you like, noting your most memorable line.
Back from West Des Moines. Too tired to blog. But I gotta have more cowbell, baby!
The little folk get shafted to protect the interests of the privileged few. First there's the bankruptcy bill, which Rick analyzes nicely. Now, senior Republicans in Congress are moving to save farm subsidies at the expense of food programs for the poor. Feed fat cats, but let people who really need help go hungry. How do these people look at the themselves in the mirror?
Ok, the Mangled Movie Plot concept is officially a bust. Can't seem to drum up any interest in it.
The answers to Mangled Movie Plots 3 & 4, which will be the last ones.
#3: Two Academy Award nominees, including the winner, from 2004. Million Dollar Baby and Finding Neverland.
#4: Two classic Cary Grant comedies. The top ranked Grant comedy according to the American Film Insitute, Bringing Up Baby, and my favorite, His Girl Friday. Dap to Mom for her excellent clue and knowing both flicks.
Would you please convict Bernie Ebbers already?
Thanks for your consideration.
It's hardly a scientific sample, as it's based on only four responses, but the votes are in for Cary Grant's best comedic, romantic, and thriller role.
Our panel of experts was split on comedy, with Bringing Up Baby, The Philadelphia Story, and Arsenic & Old Lace each getting a vote. (The fourth voter, John, didn't weigh in.)
All excellent choices, and as far as the role alone, I agree with Dad on Arsenic & Old Lace. Grant is at his slapstick best in ths movie. His facial expressions when he's tied up by half-brother Jonathan (no relation to me) are pure brilliance, again showing the tricks he picked up while working as a mime in the circus. I can think of few actors who can crack people up more with facial expressions alone than Grant. In terms of movie, my choice is His Girl Friday, which gets my vote for best comedy of all time. In the words of the New York Times, it is "fast, fast, fast" with a brilliant performance
by Rosalind Russell as Grant's ex-wife. Along with Katherine Hepburn in Bringing Up Baby, Russell is the only female lead ever to keep pace with Grant, and in my book, she actually outshines him.
Two voters, Lesley and Mom, punted on the question of best romantic part, while Dad voted for An Affair to Remember and John (via Unspecified Chatter) gave his nod to Charade. The problem with this category is that An Affair to Remember is the only true romance that Grant ever filmed. All his other romantic leads came in dramas or comedies. For this reason, I give the nod to An Affair to Remember, but Mom might be right when she says all his movies.
North by Northwest is the unanimous choice as best thriller. No argument here. The American Film Insitute agrees, ranking NxNW as the fourth best thiller of all time. It is higher than any other Grant thriller.
In the end, no matter what you choose, you simply cannot go wrong with a Cary Grant movie. There is a reason why he is the number two actor on AFI's top actors, second only to Bogie himself.
One of the most delightful TV shows to come on in years, Wonderfalls tells the story of disaffected 20-something Jaye Taylor. A modern-day Joan of Arc, she hears the voice of what we presume is God through animal knick-knacks as they guide her into doing good deeds. In one episode, a penguin admonishes Jaye to "bring her back to him." We find out what this truly means at the end of the episode in a beautifully touching moment.
Unfortunately, the show lasted only four episodes before Fox cancelled it. Yet, now out on DVD, it seems to have picked up a new audience and is surpising everyone with robust sales. Also with a website dedicated to saving the show, it seems to have earned cult status. All of which tells me it's time to give the show another chance - the creators had a story arc covering the first three seasons - whether it's on Fox, basic cable, or a premium channel such as Showtime, which airs the equally delightful and quirky Dead Like Me, the brainchild of one of Wonderfalls' co-creators and also about a disaffected young woman guided into doing the right thing.
My initial reaction to Dodgers outfielder Milton Bradley wanting to be a good role model was cynicism. "For whom," I thought, "other malcontents?" Bradley has a history of poor behavior on and off the field, including a temper tantrum that got him suspended for the final five games of last season.
After reading the article, though, I wish Bradley all the best. It sounds like he's genuinely committed to being a good role model, already having taken several positive steps. He's been through anger counseling, opened a baseball academy, and approached leaders about organizing speaking engagements in front of youth groups.
In his latest Name That, Rick offers us "An Affair to Remember", noting that of Cary Grant's roles, "it would be hard to pick [one] more definitive of his status as a romantic leading man." Not having seen "An Affair to Remember", Just John points to "Charade" instead. I will differ with Just John and go with Rick since I wouldn't classify "Charade" as a romance, even though Grant did play a romantic part, as he did in most of his movies.
It got me to thinking about all the different role types that Grant played and how well he played each one. He was a brilliant comedic actor, owing to his days as a mime in the circus, arguably the top romantic actor of all time, and equally as strong in serious and suspense roles.
Taking the question further, I am curious to hear other people's opinion on Grant's best romantic part, his best comedy, and his best thriller. You know my opinion on romantic, but I will stay mum on comedy and thriller (of which I have clear favorites) for the time being.
Ok, I'll try this one last time before scrapping the venture. I've taken the lack of responses for a lack of interest, but maybe it's that my plots are too esoteric.
I offer up two plots this time. One that should be a give me for anyone with good short-term memory. The other tests your knowledge of movies past with the leading man from Rick's latest Name That. Your mission is to identify the two movies referenced in each plot, but remember, don't blurt, leave a subtle clue. And if you want dap for knowing them, don't tell me over the phone. Leave a comment.
#3: A washed-up playwright’s chance meeting with an aspiring boxer gives him one last shot at glory as he trains her for the role of a lifetime in his play about the child within all of us.
#4: A scheming newspaper editor, upon learning that his ex-wife is about to remarry, sends her to scoop all other newspapers by getting an exclusive interview with an escaped leopard about the dinosaur bone it has buried.
But no corn. The restaurant didn't have corn. They did a nice prime rib, though.
Alas, no one is playing along, so the answer to the second installment of Mangled Movie Plot: the original "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" and the remake coming out later this month, "Guess Who", in which the roles are reversed. An African-American woman brings home her white boyfriend to meet her parents. With Bernie Mac in the Spencer Tracy role and Ashton Kutcher in the Sidney Poitier role. Yes, it seems that movie remakes have slid to all time lows.
Construct a sentence containing the words pot, kettle, and black. Compare and contrast.
Via Body and Soul.
So, if you happen to live in a state that has a large Italian population and you visit a state that doesn't, don't order "Italian" food.
Steak and corn, dammit! From now on, I'm eating steak and corn. I'm in Iowa, for chrissakes! What was I thinking?
In the second installment of Mangled Movie Plot, I offer a mix-up of a classic 1960s movie and a movie that is coming to theaters later this month and is now being advertised on TV. This one should be easier than the last.
The plot: an African-American couple are aghast when their white daughter brings home her African-American fiancé, a stockbroker aspiring to be a medical researcher for the United Nations, to dinner for their approval of the marriage. The father, a liberal banker from California, is the hardest to persuade, while the mother, played by Judith Hepburn, is open to the idea after having a moment to think about it.
I think the puzzle presented in the first installment was more difficult than I thought it was. Lesley didn't know any of the movies, while others had difficulties as well. The movies are also of ancient vintage, which might have thrown people more than current releases would have.
Without further preamble, the movies are "The Wrong Man", "The Man Who Knew Too Much", and "North by Northwest". Kudos to reader Rick, who picked out two of the movies – he didn’t get “North by Northwest” – but not to reader Hitch, who left great hints, but should have since Hitch was me in an effort to plant some subtle clues. (Update: kudos also to Mom & Dad, who got two of the three, though in the future, if you want dap for knowing it, then play along and post a comment.)
Although “The Wrong Man” is not the typical Hitchcock thriller, it does have the familiar Hitchcock theme of the ordinary man placed in extraordinary circumstances. Starring Henry Fonda, it tells the true story of a New York musician wrongfully accused of holding up an insurance company. Jimmy Stewart and Doris Day head “The Man Who Knew Too Much”, playing parents trying to save their son from spies. “North by Northwest” is arguably Hitchcock’s most breathless and stylish thriller, starring Cary Grant as an advertising executive forced halfway across the country in an effort to save himself both from a notorious spy (James Mason) and the law.
Easily my favorite Hitchcock movie, “Northwest” substantially inspired my own movie script, “Endgame”. I patterned my villain after the suave Mason, while in the showdown between my protagonist and the villain, I crafted the dialogue based on the brilliant interplay between Grant and Mason. Lastly, in my climactic scene, I sought to devise something that would rank with some of Hitchcock’s greatest stunts, such as the crop duster scene in “Northwest”. Hubris maybe, but all movies are derivative of each other, and if you’re going to copy someone, it might as well be the master.
I have arrived here in West Des Moines, Iowa for a business trip. I'll be heading to the office tomorrow, but right now I'm exhausted. This is the first time I've been to Iowa, and there's not much I can tell you about it yet. My only observations to date are: It's cold. It's windy. It's flat. The people are friendly. The first two clearly are related to the time of year. The last two are not. At least I hope not, since it would be rather scary if, during the summer, Iowa became mountainous and the people turned into raving lunatics. But that's something best left to a Stephen King novel, not real life.
One of the odd things about being a native New Yorker is how weird you feel when you leave the New York metropolitan area. It's a very different kind of life outside the hustle and bustle of New York City. Even other large cities in the U.S. don't move at the same breakneck speed, although they come closer. I won't say that this is the "real America", because that would imply that I live in some mock America, which I do not. Downstate New York and its environs are still part of the United States. I'm just as real an American as someone from the Midwest or the South. We may have different lifestyles and different beliefs, but for all that, we are, every one of us, real Americans. [Spare me the reminder that there are New Yorkers who feel superior to Midwesterners and Southerners. I know that. Just as there are Midwesterners and Southerners who feel superior to New Yorkers. There's no dearth of that in either direction.]
It's a slower pace of life, though, and that takes some getting used to for a native New Yorker. We have to reset our expectations and our pace. That's harder than it might sound. It's not necessarily relaxing, because frustration doesn't breed relaxation. One of the reasons I often limit my personal travel to big cities is that I like the speed of a big city. I'm used to it. I find it difficult to give it up. I never understand New Yorkers who insist that they want to get away from the problems of New York for a while, go out to a more rural area and expect service to be as fast as it is in New York. The speed and the hassles of big city living are inextricably intertwined. If you want to escape the hassles, you have to give up the speed.
So today, when I stopped off at a Starbucks cafe in a Barnes & Noble here, I took a deep breath. I was the only person in line and was in the midst of completing my transaction, when the manager walked up and decided that would be the perfect time to count the money in the cash register. At first, I started thinking "What the hell? Couldn't you have waited until I finished making my purchase? We were nearly done." Then I reminded myself I wasn't in New York and the extra few minutes wouldn't really matter.
Besides, there was something quite comforting about seeing a Barnes & Noble near my hotel. I don't have any friends in this area, so it was something recognizable in the midst of the unfamiliar. I welcomed it like a long-lost brother. Perusing its familiar bookshelves and the unchanging store layout, I felt warm, I felt happy, I felt really tired. [Okay, that last one probably had more to do with getting up at 5:30 am and the two flights I had to take to get here.] Small, local bookstores do have a charm you will never find in a monolith like Barnes & Noble. But when you're away from home, it's just nice to see something well-known.
Rick notes that it was Dietz who developed the idea of "Name That. . ." along with the admonition not to blurt the answer but to leave a subtle clue. My apologies to Dietz for this oversight.
As for the current puzzle, I will leave it stand the rest of the day before answering it tonight. A few clues to see if I can't nudge people along.
All three movies are Alfred Hitchcock movies. One of them is based on the true story of a New York musician and family man who was mistaken for a hold-up man. The advertising executive was mistaken for a U.S. government agent and spent the rest of the movie trying to bail himself, then his love interest out. One of the stars of the third was a famed singer, noted for her "pillow talk".
No, it's not what you're thinking. Do you know who Rashawn Brazell was? Do you know who Matthew Shepard was? Unless you're from the New York metro area and/or gay, chances are you know who Matthew Shepard was but have never heard of Rashawn Brazell. Go read the story about his murder and see if you can figure out why.
Last night's NYC Blogger's Dinner was a lot of fun! I finally got to meet Elayne and Julia, and also got to meet lots of bloggers I didn't know, like NTodd (who paid for dinner, thanks!), Susie of Suburban Guerilla, Tom Burka, Danielle of Dependable Renegade, Mary of PowerPop and Andrew of Meta Comments. Non-bloggers present were Mary and Andrew's children Rosie and Seamus, and Julia's family - John, Her Majesty, and Procrustes.
Elayne has pictures! NTodd promises to post some later too.
Inspired by Rick, I'm trying something new here. A mangled movie plot.
In the first installment, three movies are rolled into one.
Mistaken for a hold-up man, an advertising executive on holiday with his family soon finds his son has been kidnapped by spies. Forced to prove his innocence and save his son, his adventures bring him around the world, from the Stork Club in New York to London to a corn field in Indiana, with the bad guys always one step ahead and one step behind.
Can you untangle the threads and name each movie? But remember, in the paraphrased (or possibly exact) words of Rick, "Don't blurt it out, be subtle, leave a clue."
I've been completely remiss in not linking The Heretik earlier. Okay, I added him to my blogroll last week, but I didn't point him out. I'm fixing this now, and not just because I can't not link someone who recognizes the obvious truth that Satan is a Red Sox fan.
His latest post is one I totally agree with. I understand why we have Black History Month and Women's History Month, but these are just short-term fixes to get to the overall goal:
The Heretik would suggest that every month is Black History Month, as is Women's History Month as well. Recognizing the intrinsic dignity of our brothers and sisters does not end in a day or in a designated month.
But enough from me about him. Go read him about him!
A few days ago, I volunteered to maintain the Conservative Women Who Blog Politics blogroll over at What She Said! For a variety of work-related reasons, I wasn't able to spend any time on it until this morning. But it's now up and running. You may disagree with some of the categorizations, but if a woman's blog wasn't listed on the Progressive Women Who Blog Politics blogroll, I included it on this blogroll. None of the sites listed are clearly progressive, and the goal here is to have a resource to find women who blog politics, regardless of slant. The blogroll is a work in progress, so if you think of anyone who I haven't listed, drop me an e-mail at plumcrzy - at - gmail - dot - com (fixing the obvious).
Hot or not - do they curl your toes or leave you flat - do they have the certain something or are they just pretty boys who couldn’t light up the screen if they used a flame-thrower? I really want to know.
I was able to easily answer the question about the leading man in question, Ethan Hawke. He does nothing for me. But then I got to thinking whether I could explain why he did nothing for me. Other than to say I find him rather boring, I can't. I can't pinpoint it any better than that. He is attractive, objectively speaking. Tall and thin, which is my usual physical type, although I do find men of other physical types attractive too. Regardless, Ethan Hawke leaves me flat.
I can think of the qualities I like in a man (other than tall and thin or being Tino Martinez) - smart, funny, compassionate. Kind of geeky or artsy. Doesn't like long walks on the beach. I don't like "suits". I prefer men who are a little more offbeat than the average "suit". But I can think of lots of men who fit that general profile that I am not attracted to. There's obviously something more, but I have no idea what that "something more" is. I think it's just one of those things. You know it when you see it.
Who can wait until Friday to post a picture this cute. Portia plays with a cat doll.
BTW, she's adorable, but quite a handful for such a tiny cat. She's all of 6 pounds and not likely to get any bigger. But completely fearless. One of her nicknames is the Tiny Terror. One of these days I'll catch a picture of Emma and Portia standing near each other, and you'll see how a 6 pound cat can make a 9 pound cat look huge.
So enjoy this banquet of new music. Okay, two songs, but one of them is called "Banquet".
But some of the people quoted in Shellenbarger's article seem unaware that there may be a distinction between the individualistic ethos of the market and the communal ethos of the home. A Texas woman celebrated her family's separate accounts, remarking, "It's so freeing to be your own person, and not feel like someone is looking over your shoulder." It's not clear whether she's talking about a marriage or a real estate partnership.
Seems perfectly clear to me.
Via Trish Wilson.
What's four times better than Estrogen Week? Estrogen Month! So head on over to Elayne Riggs' blog and vote for the woman blogger you most want to see added to Elayne's blogroll. Add her to your blogroll, too, if she isn't already there.
...there are damned lies, and then there are statistics. Cruella-blog links to a BBC article about how rape convictions as a percentage of reported rapes have fallen to an all-time low in the UK. At first blush, one might think, "Well, fewer rape convictions mean fewer rapes." One would be wrong. Reported rapes are actually on the increase in the U.K. Rape convictions are not. The study reported in the article cites skepticism on the part of police and prosecutors about reported rapes, as well as an unsurprisingly greater likelihood of defendants to claim that rape victims had consented to the rapes.
Thanks to Wizbang, I think I found a compromise between deleting and restoring the weblog and just forgetting about the old trackbacks. Kevin Aylward has created a Standalone Trackback Pinger. Since I have over 1,600 entries, and importing takes a looooooong time, but only about 160 trackbacks, I think it's easier to just re-enable trackbacks on the old posts that had them, use the standalone trackback pinger, and voila! I will work on this tonight.
Thank you, Kevin Aylward.