Friday, May 28, 2004

I would like to learn more about the artist named King Of Woolworths.
News: "Chilean Court Strips Ex-Dictator Pinochet of Immunity"

Do it. Do it.

News: "Death, says Radcliffe, is the only logical destiny for the hero of J.K. Rowling's blockbuster saga. "

Do it. Do it.

Ahmad and Me - Defending Chalabi. By Christopher Hitchens

No no no... Don't do it!

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Catching up on over-one-week-old Friends paeans... Edmonton's Colby Cosh::
Seinfeld and Friends should, I think, almost be regarded sociologically as one continuous series. If you're between 30 and 40, you probably remember what it was like to see Seinfeld for the first time. Here was a show without syrup, full of irritable, selfish, basically nihilistic people dealing with insane neighbours and bosses. Now this was a recognizable universe! For Seinfeld characters, family was a plague rather than a refuge, religion and traditional morality were present only as old people's cranky taboos, and the concept of a lifelong steady 'career' was simply absent. Reality TV, so-called, has never yet attained quite that level of rococo realness.
You can totally see John Kerry's daughter's boobs.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

As far as I could tell, we were the only non-Arabs on the seven-and-a-half our bus ride from Nuweiba to Cairo. Remarkable, then, that they should choose to play a video of "The All New Adventures of Laurel & Hardy: For Love or Mummy" in the original language (albeit with Arabic subtitles). Yet they did. Isn't globalization just grand.
I just posted something on A Fistful of Euros about a topic I know very little about: EU tax law. Go ahead, read it.

I believe it was Doug Arellanes who described what he called "Iva Kubelkova Syndrome" which is the theory that "your knowledge of who Iva Kubelkova is is actually displacing useful knowledge from your brain, like Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, the Third Law of Thermodynamics, or EU taxation law." (Also known at the Joyce DeWitt syndrome.)

Oddly enough, I know absolutely nothing about either of those two people, and yet simultaneously I know diddly-squat about EU taxation law, or even those two other things he mentioned. Worse, the other day I utterly failed to even come up with Tina Yothers's character's name on Family Ties. Anybody?

Monday, May 24, 2004

Here's something I just learned circuitously via G.A. Cerny. I haven't been paying much attention to this Gmail thing, but apparently it's something some people really, really want, and if you're a Blogger user, you might be eligible for an account -- or better yet, an invitation, which you can use to swap for lots of weird shit on GmailSwap.

Things such as... a puking cat.... US$35.... Hillary Duff's AIM screen name (yeah right)... A season of X-Files... A silver coin of Emperor Constantine... 12 Viagra... homemade austrian alternative-hiphop instrumentals.... The Dalai Lama's aviator shades...

See the list of Nifty, Neat and Noteworth Swaps. I also saw a guy offering a Persian carpet and a Syrian shishah earlier, but it looks like that's already been taken.

The world sure is funny!

(Ignore the asshole posing as "scottymac" offering "Czech beer." That loser imposter probably doesn't even need an account anymore.)

As for me.... It's my blogspot name, zavinac, gmail.com. Woo hoo!)
You Dumb-Ass Dipshit: "'Ten miles from Syrian border and 80 miles from nearest city and a wedding party? Don't be naive,' said Marine Maj. Gen. James N. Mattis in Fallujah. 'Plus they had 30 males of military age with them. How many people go to the middle of the desert to have a wedding party?'"

Jeez, let me think about this for a second. If you're a member of an Arab tribe living in a village way out in the desert near the Syrian border ... and you're planning a wedding... then you might have the wedding...

Wait! Hold on a sec. I just realized I was at a party -- at least I thought it was a party at the time -- on Saturday night with over 30 males of military age!

Holy shit! I was at a meeting of terrorists!

UPDATE: On a more serious note, I've read a few articles and blogposts on this wedding/terrorist gathering business, and the only truly sensible one I've come across is this one, by Kevin Drum, which basically says: WTF?!?!?!


Even though I swear I paid the bill over a month ago, Zoner has cut off the tulipcafe.cz domain name, so if you want to send me email, please write to scottymacinprague-zavinac-yahoo-dot-com. Until further notice.

Hey, this is totally unrelated, but I've been meaning to ask a random question for all you Mac users out there: I am the proud owner of a Macintosh Classic II, manufactured in 1991, running on standard American 110 volts, natch. I dragged it over from the States several years ago and I've been trying to plug it in ever since. Even with a heavy duty 220-110 converter, it's always blown the fuse. Now it's an object d'art in my apartment.

All's I want to do is get the files off the hard drive. There's got to be somebody out there who can yank out the hard drive, hook it up to a modern Mac and burn the files onto a disc. Right?

Sunday, May 23, 2004

Naturally I'm tempted to write one big post about all the funny things that happened to me in Egypt and Jordan, but I guess I'll post things in dribs and drabs instead.

I found Cairo to be a lot like a baby -- a baby with 16 million people, that is. Do you remember the first time you held a baby? The baby immediately freaked out, because it sensed how nervous you were about holding a baby. Later, you relaxed and got into the idea of holding a baby, and then the baby was cool, too. Well, Cairo's sort of like that.

Probably the best "find" of my four days in Cairo: At the book market in Ezbekiyya Gardens on Sair Klut Bay (that's a street, not a body of water) -- across from the Sednaoui department store, which truly out-Kotvas Kotva -- jammed into one of many vertical stacks of old paperbacks, a long-neglected title I've had my eye out for: Edmund Wilson's Memoirs of Hecate County. The thing smells like it was sitting in that pile at least since the last Bush presidency. (And I'm totally kicking myself for not bargaining those two lurid Pan potboilers into the three-dollar deal. Argh!)
This essay, written by an American journalism teacher who spent some time in Central Asia, is quite cute.

"If Uzbekistan invaded Kyrgyzstan to annex the Kyrgyz part of the Fergana Valley, what would you want the United States to do?"...

"You must defend us," they said.

"But we can't," I responded. "That would be meddling."

"Oh, no, it would be different if the Uzbeks invaded. You wouldn't be meddling. You would be defending us."
I especially liked the glowering "key lady" at the beginning.

Via The Way of the Intercepting Fisk.
Theo, in the comments below, posts some bits from Chalabi's "Wasn't me!" interview on NPR.

I decided to run a background check on Ahmed Chalabi using the handy new site search feature on scottymac.blogspot.com. From September::

Speaking of Chalabi, a friend and I at the wedding party on Saturday discovered a delightful new expression for use in daily conversation: 'Where's Chalabi?' (Example of usage: 'This restaurant sucks. Who's idea was it to come here? Where's Chalabi? What? He's off somewhere else? With his own private army and a golf course? That was never part of the plan!')
While I'm shamelessly promoting my site (if I don't, who will?), you might want to re-visit this exchange, which took place in my comments section of this site back in October.

Whatever happened to Izzy, anyway?
Due to bad weather, today's scheduled BBQ at Tulip has been postponed until next weekend. Sorry for the inconvenience, if any's been caused.
The new PM of India's a Sikh. Here's the Sikhism Home Page.