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Ass News at 9
March 31, 11:30 am

No smartass commentary from me, just read this article. Sy Hersh's New Yorker article a few weeks back put the pressure on Richard Perle to resign, so his sources aren't exactly hacks.



Activity for Hump Night
March 26, 9:30 pm

Please comment on the following picture:

Connect Four: 0wn3d



March 21, 9:40 am

My co-worker and I are spending a silent Friday morning pretending we don't notice the other not doing anything. Spring break + Friday + boss out for the day + everyone glued to the war or basketball (or both) = slaXXX0r zzzz (watching paint dry).

Let's see here. You can now view the last 15 search strings that random people used to reach this site. As you can see, the Ann Curry/Enrique Eglasias/execution pics lovers have already made themselves at home. (*snicker*) has an excellent PHP script written for displaying search engine referrals. My "mod" (if you can even call it that) was to display the results inline instead of in their own window. Whoo-wee look out PHP, here comes the mattbot.

Spring begins today, though you'd never know it by the look of things around here.



Special Soapbox Edition
March 18, 10:55 pm

The poll, however, also pointed to some doubt among the American public about the merits of going to war. Of the 66 percent who said they approve of Bush's decision, 21 percent said they were not sure it was the right thing to do, but they supported the president regardless. :::: Poll

I started writing several paragraphs of...opinions, but it came off as a jerk-ass whiner dumping yet another set of opinions in the pundit landfill. While I still care, I've lost all interest in convincing you that a) you should care, and 2) it's not that simple.

I wonder how much support there would be for military conflict if Iraq was presented as the years-long rebuilding responsibility that it is rather than the military opponent that it will be for about ten days.

Ah well, it's all moot at this point; let's just get this damn thing over with and start reconstructing roll.


Alford 1987

Lousy Smarch Madness
March 12, 10:00 am

Bracketville has all the NCAA brackets since 1985 archived. Kinda fun to go back and look at all of Iowa's second round exits to Duke and Kentucky over the years. The 1987 bracket holds a special place in my heart, as that was the year I learned to yell at TV. Iowa blew a 16-point halftime lead to #1 seed UNLV in the Elite Eight. Little did we know back then that that game would be the high point of Dr. Tom's career at Iowa.


New Yorker

March 10, 10:45 pm

I got rid of the Ass News at 9 action since no one likes to be told what to read and I'm tired of reading (and linking) opinions about an inevtiable war. Thus, the section hadn't been updated in several weeks. My final recommendation for reading would be the piece on John Walker Lindh in this past week's New Yorker, "Lost in the Jihad." It's worth buying a copy on the newsstand, it's that good (unfortunately it's not available online). The author doesn't need much of a thesis and lets some recently declassified documents and Lindh's lawyers notes do most of the storytelling. The government's prosecutorial zeal competes with Lindh's ignorance for the distinction of being The Saddest Part.

If you're really interested in the article and don't mind cobbling together the pages, the article can be found here: page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. As always, the New Yorker manages to sabotage its own journalism with hilarious, inane cartoons.

UNRELATED UPDATE (3/11): DUNK SONDY DUNK! has been updated and is now ready to document postseason dunking.


Neck Brace

Marion Van Claims Third Victim
March 7, 7:45 pm

Motor Pool administrators at the University of Iowa were shocked to discover that a third Marionite had fallen victim to a mysterious (but apparently highly contagious) neck injury ravaging the van in recent weeks. Details are sketchy, but sources agree on the basics: Mick, the guy that always sits in the passenger seat, arrived for afternoon pickup wearing a neck brace that had not been in place during the morning commute to work. Mick is the third passenger in the van to have worn a neck brace over the course of the last month.

Speculation that perhaps something unique to free downloadable mystery case files cheats the supplement dogs van itself had caused the most recent injury ran rampant throughout the van pool community. One hypothesis under thorough investigation concerns the constant passing of Girl Scout™ Thin Mints from the back to the front of the van. Doctors worry that the quest for ever more treats on the ride home is creating a Pavlovian neck-whiplash reflex in van pool members as they quickly turn and reach back across either side of their body in order to pass and receive various "goodies." Another hypothesis under investigation holds that Marionites are exceptionally clumsy and tend to fall down a lot.

At this point it is unclear how serious Mick's injury is, though preliminary reports are encouraging, as he was heard to snore most of the way down Collins Road in Cedar Rapids Friday evening.

Related coverage: "This is Insane": UI Employees Bemoan Heating System in Ford Econoline Van (10/26/02)

Unrelated coverage: Scavenger Hunt 2.0



*sigh* Asstastic: Blog Speed Ahead
March 5, 9:55 pm

We'll see how long this lasts.


Snowed In
Snowed in.



Top Five Big 10 Thugs, 1996-present
March 4, 2:20 pm

5. Jacob Jaacks & Chris Kingsbury, Iowa (tie)
4. Lucas Johnson, Illinois
3. AJ Moye, Indiana
2. Tom Coverdale, Indiana
1. Brian Cardinal, Purdue



From the Local Writer Earns Pulitzer department
March 4, 11:40 am


Heartland Band strikes patriotic chord

Burlington, IA, March 3, 2003 - Burlington's Memorial Auditorium was almost full for a Sunday concert by the United States Air Force Heartland of America Band.

It might have been completely packed if auditorium parking had been available rather than gobbled up by Catfish Bend patrons, especially for elderly taxpayers who weren't willing to risk broken hips walking several icy city blocks.

Heartland Band puts on a good concert, but it was a little too restrained, a little too vanilla, considering the band's built-in power. Music isn't about safety, and when you've got the brawn of the U.S. military behind you, it would make sense to punch up the arrangements.

When you're driving Uncle Sam's hot Humvee, floor that sucker and make it smoke.

Ah ... then came the first march. There is nothing more musically stirring in the American heart than a good march - America is an oompah state if nothing else - and Sousa's "Aviator March" got the red blood running.

"Ghost Train," a contemporary piece by Eric Whitacre, was a sublime mix of music and sound effects done by traditional woodwinds, including the throbbing engines, minor-sixth train whistles and Doppler effects of an iron horse rolling down a moonlit prairie.

If only Burlington's wee-hour BNSF racket could be so sweet.

And chaos! Yes! This piece ended with what could only be called an auditory train wreck.

The centerpiece in the second half was the "Notables" jazz ensemble, stripped out of the main orchestra and featuring vocalist William Mitchell. Again, pleasant music, but the listener leaned expectantly into each delivery, waiting for the band to get hot and syncopate.

The Heartland Band performs again tonight in Keokuk; the music is worth the drive for those who missed Burlington's concert.

If these men and women were to be the first assault on Iraq, perhaps a war would make sense to everyone.

The full article can be read here:


In like a lion...

March is here
March 2, 6:13 pm

first post


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