Mattress Shopping

I was buying a kids mattress yesterday. I took a casual tour of the store to see what the most expensive mattress was. $3599! Holy Belichick, that’s a lot! Me and the two-year old were dumbfounded.

Me: For that kind of money, this thing had better go down on me also!
Him: em.. meh! Scoo-bus! Daddy hide!

Links o’ Interest

Pat Buchanan nails it.

The dollar has plummeted in value, more so in Bush’s term than during any comparable period of U.S. history. Indeed, Bush is presiding over a worldwide abandonment of the American dollar. Is it all Bush’s fault? Nope.
The dollar is plunging because America has been living beyond her means, borrowing $2 billion a day from foreign nations to maintain her standard of living and to sustain the American Imperium.

All six Rocky movies in 5 seconds.

Holy cow. Flying humans.

Meet Sarah Carmen – 200 orgasms every day.

The mathematical basis of rap, or fun with Excel graphing. Just hilarious, for example:


A key endorsement for the presidential race. Chuck Norris!

An amazing wedding dance.

Fantastic trick play in football. Works in college also!

David Brooks on Globalization

It’s a pleasure to read a David Brooks column and agree with it. He’s absolutely right, immigration and globalization are good things, and the USA is still number one by a long shot. Apart from his bizzare obsession with giving every idea cute names (was there any reason to coin “Dobbsianism”?), Brooks gives a great rundown of the big picture.

Hopefully in a future column he will talk about how globalization can be good for the USA as a whole, but bad for some people in it.


I had my 20th high school reunion this week. Many of the things I’d like to blog about, I can’t, since a lot of the old high school gang reads Muttroxia. I’ll switch to one morbid train of thought, for one of the coldest posts I’ve ever written.

We’ve had four people from my class die, out of approximately 500. That’s an 0.8% death rate, over 20 years. That seems like it’s very low to me, so I tried to figure it out.

I looked at Social Security Administration data. I think if you divide the age=38 survival rate into the age=18 survival rate, that would mean the probability of surviving to 38 given that you had already made it to 18. I get 97.98% survival, or 2% death rate. Much higher than our 0.8%.

The CDC tables look similar, from them I get a number of 2.1%, that looks like a unisex cohort.

So our class is dying off more than 2 times slower than normal. Way to go!

Update: I’m told that the class size was closer to 525, and we have an unconfirmed fifth death. Let’s call it 1%. If anyone wants the list of the deceased, email me privately.

Bee Movie Review

Although I love Jerry Seinfeld, I was prepared to dislike this movie. The PR campaign had moved far past awareness and cleverness and into the realm of just-shut-up-already-I-get-it. And the first fifteen minutes of the movie looked like Antz with worse animation.

But I was wrong. It was quite funny. You can never forget you’re watching Jerry Seinfeld doing a bee character, but that’s OK. Jerry Seinfeld’s a lot funnier than a bee anyhow.

I watched the movie at the movie theater I worked at twenty years ago. As the lights came up, a sweet feeling came over me. It was the sweet sweet feeling of knowing it was someone’s else job to clean up all the crap my kids had spilled all over the floor.

I Can’t Wait for my Midlife Crisis

I can’t wait for my midlife crisis. I have a pretty conventional life. I want a motorcycle, the wife has firmly vetoed it. I’ve always wanted a Corvette, but instead we have 529 funds. Our big expense this year was a minivan.

If I’m having a midlife crisis, that’s my excuse to get all the cool stuff I want. Everyone knows that a midlife crisis makes people do crazy things. You don’t know what I could do. I could go wander Australia for six months. I could find me some hot young blonde mistress. When you look at it that way — building a recording studio in the basement, getting a sports car, entering the World Series of Poker — that doesn’t seem so bad, does it? Or at least that’s how I’m going to spin it to the wife.

What’s the earliest you can have a midlife crisis?

In Which I Appear in Playboy

Or at least some of my questions do.

A high school buddy of mine interviewed Pete Townshend via e-mail, and gave me the chance to submit some questions. The full interview is here, my buddy’s website is here. Below are my (somewhat edited) questions and his answers, with a couple comments. Some fans believe that you and your peers, like the Rolling Stones and Neil Young, are still turning out fantastic work that is being ignored by radio. Do you think there is any truth to that?

Townshend: I have no complaints about this. About six songs of ours were in the top 10 airplay charts in the U.S.A. for so long I think a lot of people got sick of them. Strangely, those six songs are now used a lot in movies and ads, probably because of their almost subliminal value in affecting the boomers who grew up with them. If they were on the radio they probably wouldn’t get used elsewhere, and those uses pay huge money to our record company and publishers — some of which reaches us, of course. When our music was on the radio we didn’t earn much from airplay. BMI executives just sent me loads of framed awards and went to the Bahamas on vacation. While you write the songs, we’ve heard that Roger often selects which ones go on the album. What happens to the ones you like that don’t make the cut? Do you have a favorite solo track that you presented to the Who, but they didn’t like?

Townshend: Right now, there are several songs left off the Who album which form part of the material for a theater musical in workshop called The Boy Who Heard Music. Roger doesn’t so much select what goes on the album as decides what he feels he can sing the best. He has often surprised me in his choices. On It’s Hard he took the vocal on “One Life’s Enough,” a song I had thought he wouldn’t touch because it was quite like a show tune. He did a great job. On Tommy we thought he would never be able to sing “See Me, Feel Me” simply because his voice was so gruff. One day he came in the studio and sang like a choirboy. He is full of surprises, always has been. One of my best songs is “Empty Glass.” The Who actually tried to record that for Who Are You and couldn’t crack it. It became the title song on my most successful solo album, and I still think it sums up the mood of the post-punk period of dissolution and self-immolation that characterized the fall of so many souls around me at that time. The last Who album, Endless Wire, features a lot of acoustic guitar picking, and more of it is in non-standard tunings. How do you feel your guitar playing has evolved over the course of your career?

Townshend: I’ve always worked on acoustic, and probably written most of my most well known songs on acoustic, rarely electric guitar. I think my cycling accident in 1991 was a point of change. My right wrist was smashed and has metal bars in it. I had to find a new way to play, both guitar and piano. I find it hard now to play drums, which I used to love. I didn’t intend to practice to become faster or more fluid or adept, I just wanted a new way to play. It turned out to be faster and more fluid, and I am more adept.

I was really hoping he would talk more about the tunings. I always find it dissapointing that so little of music journalism and interviewing is about the actual music. Why did you change keys here, why the horn section there, etc.? In the new film, we learn that you felt reenergized creatively after reuniting and touring in 1999. Do you still get a rush from performing in public?

Townshend: I am one of those strange performers that doesn’t get a rush on stage. Never have. I have come to relax and enjoy performing a little more than I used to. It’s not that I have never liked my job; it’s just that I have always felt it was a vocation, a fate I could not avoid. I’ve tried to get the best out of it, but often found it hard to enjoy. I’ve never been keen on groupies, drugs or the company of loutish men on tour. I am not a saint, or a snob, I just always wanted to live a good family life, and be classy and cool, like my elegant musician father. Twenty or 30 years ago I didn’t have the resources or knowledge to look after myself the way I can today. I am lucky. I don’t travel in tour buses, and I don’t travel alone. Now I am elegant and classy. My father would be proud of me.

Bull. You never get a rush on stage, my aunt Matilda. You have stated many times that your various addictions were at least partially trying to continue the high you got onstage, offstage. Get real. Maybe it’s not a rush anymore, but there’s no way to pretend that it never was.

Anyhow, that’s probably the closest I’ll get to meeting my musical idol. Come to think of it, probably the closest I’ll get to meeting a Playmate also. That’s a twofer!

Typing For Dummies

Recently I was sitting with someone while he typed an email. He didn’t use the shift key. Ever. Instead, he would hit Caps Lock, type the letter, and then hit Caps Locks again.

I almost burst a blood vessel keeping my mouth shut.