Thursday, May 30, 2002

Not So Clear: If you like irony (doesn't everybody?) you'll get a kick out of this Washington Post article on radio behemoth Clear Channel. If you don't know, Clear Channel is the outfit that owns well over a thousand radio stations nationwide and has them all reduced to formulaic formats that often have as few as 20 songs in rotation at any time. In this article they brag that every decision they make is given the thumbs up or thumbs down based on whether they will increase market share and profits.
As regional vice president of Clear Channel's eight big Washington area stations (and 18 smaller stations arrayed from Ocean City to Frederick to Winchester, Va.), Zier has little room for experimentation or "WKRP"-like wackiness. "Every issue we discuss, every decision we make," he says in his Rockville office, "comes down to a simple test: Will it increase ratings or revenue? If it doesn't, let's move on."
The results of these decisions have effectively eviscerated any creativity or originality. Every station sounds like the next. All playlists and formats sound the same. No chances are taken, you get prepackaged blandness instead of anything interesting or stimulating. Now, I am absolutely in favor in companies making profits and making decisions that will make them more profitable. So is Clear Channel and they rightly don't deny that's what they are about. But then we have this:
The company lost money every quarter last year, piling up an annual loss of $1.1 billion. Clear Channel also is shouldering $8 billion in debt -- the legacy of its deal-a-minute expansion spree. With a long advertising slump afoot, the company's stock is selling at about half its peak price of two years ago.

The other day, Clear Channel reported that it lost $16.9 billion during the first three months of 2002, mostly as a result of writing off devalued assets.
and this:
Clear Channel's most popular station in the most recent Arbitron rankings, WASH-FM, rose no higher than sixth among listeners ages 25 to 54, the most coveted group among radio advertisers. And not all of Zier's recent moves have paid off. When he converted the faltering "Jam'n Oldies" '70s station to Top-40 Hot 99.5 early last year, the station's revenue fell to $11.3 million in 2001 from $17 million the year before, BIAfn says.
You really have to wonder whether instead of asking themselves if an idea will be profitable, they should ask themselves if they have even the smallest clue what constitutes a profitable idea.

This reminds me of the auto industry in the late 70s and early 80s when they were so sure they knew their customers and knew exactly what to produce to maximize their profit and the Japanese ate their lunch. It wasn't that they were blindly pursuing profit, it was that they thought they knew how to blindly pursue profit when if fact they didn't.
Poetry: The truth about...


I awake. Darkness.
No movement.

Create movement. Assail
The large pink creature.

I am flung. The wall is

I groom myself
With dignity.
That will show him.

The arm of the chair
Will suffer.


I awake. Darkness.
No movement.

Oh how I must pee. Alas
I cannot wake the pink God.

Distraction: Smell my own butt.
No! It's no good! I must pee!
I must pee!

I have peed.
Oh shame. Oh disgrace. I
Belong in a corner.

But I am still a Good Dog.
Aren't I?

You've Been Framed: The Klez virus - you may have heard of it - is officially the worst virus ever, at least in terms of the breadth of infection. According to this CNN story, it now infects one in every 300 emails. It is particularly insidious because it can make your friends think you're infected when you're not. Let's say you're In your address book is and Where as previous viruses would attack your machine and send mail from you ( to everyone in your address book, Klez will send infections and use names from your address book in both the "to" and the "from." So it might send an infected message from your machine to from You then discover Barry and Charlie are not speaking because of something to do with email, and no one has any idea it's your fault for getting yourself infected.

The mind reels at the scandalous emails you could send and, when confronted, blame it on the Klez virus.

But that would be wrong.

As always the thing to do keep your virus definition up to date and NEVER OPEN AN EMAIL ATTACHMENT if you aren't sure what it is.

Monday, May 27, 2002

Happy Happy Joy Joy: I wore sandals and shorts today. And I slept in. And I sat outside at Conor O'Neils on Main Street and wrote. It's Summer in Ann Arbor. The Top of the Park schedule has been announced - lots of bands I never heard of (big on "Americana" which is the hot sound), and regulars like Al Hill and Five Guys Named Moe and George Bedard. Maybe I'll get down there more than once this year. Plus, you'll be shocked - shocked! - to hear there are actually two movies I want to see. The Importance of Being Earnest and About a Boy. I leave it to you to figure out why.
The Birth of the Brave New World: The New Yorker has unearthed this amazing article, written in 1936, about an early TV demonstration. The article was written by E.B. White (who wrote Charlotte's Web) and his dry skepticism is a delightful to read.
We sat in a darkened room squarely in front of a receiving set and, as we understand the matter, the persons and objects which we saw were down on the third floor of the same building, where they were first photographed televisually by an iconoscope, thence sent by direct wire to the Empire State Building, and then came back on a megacycle to the sixty-second floor of R.C.A. The magical unlikelihood of this occasion was not lessened any by the fact that a stranger wearing a telephone around his neck was crawling about on all fours in the darkness at our feet. This didn't make television seem any too practical for the living room of one's own home, although of course homes are changing.
If only current day techno-pundits could write so well. And get this:
Try and appreciate our situation: we were in a dark room looking into a television set at a television set which was showing a picture of a moving picture.
Somebody should have shown them the Sopranos.
My Thoughts Exactly: Tom Mabe has a lot of fun with telemarketers. If it wasn't for caller ID I'd be tempted to try this stuff myself. Listen to: Stupid-ass Telemarketer or Blood on the Carpet. I bet the CDs are a riot. Found this stuff via Sheri~SHOT.
Saved by Zero: Good tunes: Zero7 - Simple Things, groovy-funky-mellow-chill-out-while-you're-updating-your-weblog music.

Saturday, May 25, 2002

I Am Not The Keymaster: Why do we still have a Caps Lock key? It has never been anything but an annoyance since I was in Junior High and used it for a few seconds to type the title of a paper. Just now I spent about fifteen minutes trying to figure why my ISP password was getting rejected, carefully verifying it one keystroke at a time (your password doesn't actually appear on the screen, just dots as placeholders). At first I thought my ISP must have screwed something up, until I tried from another PC. Nope, worked on that one. So I decided to sack it, call the ISP in the morning to sort it out, and opened Word - when I started typing I realized what was going on. Passwords are case sensitive and I had hit Caps Lock somewhere along the way.

Look, computer vendors (I know you're reading), if you're going to include a stupid Caps Lock key on every machine, at least make it flash and glow in the dark and possibly make that beeping noise that trucks make when they back up. Geez.
I've Heard That Song Before: Hannah and Her Sisters has been playing on TCM as I've been writing this. One of my favs - I've seen it a few times. It's Funny Woody in New York. Kind of a grown up Annie Hall. Ebert gets is right. (Just so you know, Sex and the City's New York can't come close to Woody's.) The use of music in the soundtrack is absolutely perfect. It was scored by the great pianist Dick Hyman, as are many of his films. Each sequence, and occasionally each individual scene, is triggered by a song to set the mood - done absolutely perfectly. In its own way, the New York portrayed in this film is as elegant and erudite as the New York of the '30s.
Don't Fight the Future: A fine article in Business 2.0 about eight technologies that will change the world. I am absolutely convinced if I can survive the next 20 years in reasonable condition I shall live forever. Although I may be mostly bionic, which means I could run really fast in slow motion - cue music: do do do doooo - do do do do do do do do doooo. Of course, living forever just means I get to procrastinate guilt free.


That reminds me. I should do a nanotechnology roundup for ya.
How Can You Not Look?: I have scrupulously avoided all reality shows, all the so-called extreme game shows, and especially celebrity boxing. I have erred. I should be watching all of it, and documenting it for the sake of comedy, like this:
Darva cruises to a unanimous decision, as Rose sums things up by saying, "Just too much Darva Conger, really." Meanwhile, poor Olga has an "I know I lost, but I still get my $30,000 right?" look on her face. This is just horrible.
OK, so, what's the next piece of trash coming around? I won't miss it.

Thursday, May 23, 2002

Weekly Reader: I'm thinking of altering my site updates to once a week. This doesn't mean I'll be posting less material, just less often. The main reason for this is that it will allow me to focus my time better. Rather than come home and only be able to devote a few minutes to everything, I'll be able to focus more extended periods to specific tasks. For example, as it stands, I typically come home, try to do some chores, gather some site material, and write fiction. If it's a workout day, you got throw that in too. So in the interest of more useful time management, I'm thinking of cutting down the frequency of tasks and upping the time devoted to each on any given evening. (I know the assorted minutiae of my life must be fascinating.)

Another advantage to the plan is that it would allow me to post with regularity. As it stands I post every two or three days, with no exact pattern. It's possible that if I were to post, say, every Sunday night without fail, I might be able to build some habitual Monday morning readership - rather than having folks check in randomly and only maybe getting an update. I don't know. I haven't made a final decision yet, so if you have strong feelings please speak up.
You Can't Get There From Here: There are four levels of summer road construction in Michigan: bad, really bad, absolutely bloody impossible, and never mind I'll just walk. Dexter, pop. ~5000, has just reached the absolutely bloody impossible level. At one nearby intersection they have closed the entrances to the freeway and redirected everyone about a mile or two in the opposite direction to a different entrance. Unfortunately, for a couple of days, there was a different construction project going on the freeway itself. As a result, people suffered long delays before being detoured off in the opposite direction to a freeway entrance that was effectively a parking lot.

Clever me, I use the back roads to avoid the freeway, ever since a fifteen minute highway trip began to take three-quarters of an hour. Of course, today I discover that a stretch of back road, which was closed last year to be fixed (but only ended up more mangled), was closed again and traffic was redirected right into the backed up overflow traffic from the above mentioned freeway detour.

Good grief.

The scary part is that although they really don't do a terribly good jobs of traffic management, they do an excellent job of long-range forecasting. For instance, around here we all know that the current construction is going to take "several months" to complete. When they are done, after a brief respite to allow everyone to drive unimpeded on the icy winter roads, the current detour is up for repair and the current construction area becomes the new detour.

It shall be 2004 before I can get anywhere.
If You Can't Take a Joke: Certainly, Fawlty Towers was the most purely funny shows ever. It existed for exactly thirteen gut-busting episodes, and John Cleese has wisely never attempted to resurrect or modify it. It stands as is for all eternity, like a perfect thirteen stanza poem. The series was based on a hotel Cleese (and the rest of the Pythons) stayed at that had a "wonderfully rude" manager. Now, after all these years, the wife of the wonderfully rude manager has decided to take issue with the portrayal of her husband and herself in the series. Here's a clue: Taking offense at being lampooned is not the best way to show that you were not ill-natured to begin with. Especially when it turns out the lampoon is correct.
One word - Bioinformatics: I've often found so-called hot jobs listings humorous. Usually they amount to a cursory listing of high-tech type positions with a couple of low-tech industries thrown in because everyone else will be going into high-tech. This listing from Smart Money, however, is quite interesting. They give you areas of specialization, so rather than computer programmer, you get Data Miner; rather than Lawyer, you get Intellectual-Property Attorney. Basically they looked at trends in industries and extrapolated. Ah, if only I could start over...

Tuesday, May 21, 2002

Junk Drawer: These links have been sitting in my junk drawer for a while.
  • Beware: the 100 Greatest Games On-Line. Do not be tempted. You have more important things to do. Well...maybe just one...

  • Cat fight! Another police officer said Cocoa was "a Siamese cat with an attitude problem."

  • What you have here is an instant classic.

  • Read. Jump to page 1. Laugh. Repeat.

  • Here's hoping Peter stays on his "little corner" of the web.

  • From the I-didn't-really-want-to-know file: food, theoretically.

  • A primer for Arctic life.

  • It turns out Leonardo Da Vinci was a weirdo.

Saturday, May 18, 2002

The Latest on Everything: If I was really really really smart, like Stephen Wolfram, the guy in this article, I might be able to understand whether this is something significant or not. He claims to have discovered a sort of theory of everything, a concept that is going to completely overhaul our understanding of existence. That's nice, but so does every street person and conspiracy theorist I have ever met. Difference is that Wolfram is a certified super-genius - Ph.D. in Physics while in his teens, creator of incomprehensible software, Mathematica, that solves the sort of horrendous equations that caused me not pursue an engineering degree. (That, and it interfered with my video game habits.)

I suppose when this work is released in full, there will all sorts of real-smart and poseur-smart people who will weigh in on it. Perhaps they'll have some sort of conference for people with smart credentials - you know, folks with a strange fashion sense, odd behavioral ticks, and lots of letters after their names. My guess is that won't make it much clearer to mere mortals.

And when all is said on done, they still won't understand their tax returns.
Mom, You're Not Helping: You know those movies where the elegant and erudite art thief uses all sorts of clever devices and scams to get past the supposedly impenetrable security to steal the painting and bring it back to his chalet to enjoy privately over a fine glass of Chateau LaTour? Well that's not what went on here. Apparently a certain French fellow (age 51, but still lives with his mother - hmmmm) has for the past 5 or 6 years been in the habit of stealing patinings from smaller art museums around Europe - primarily France and Switzerland. According to a radio interview I heard the other day, his modus operandi was to enter the museums with his girlfriend, have her stand look-out, cut the paintings out of their frames with an exacto knife, then walk out with the painting in his coat. He often picked up little pieces of silver and sculpture that would fit in his pockets also. Presumably, the security at these museums consisted of Pepe, the overfed, wine-besotted, retired constable, whom the police had trouble waking during their investigation. Quel Dommage!

Remarkably, he got caught for a smaller infraction and was only linked to all the robberies when his Mom panicked and destroyed all the paintings he had stolen over the years so there would be no evidence.

How can I presume to write comedy when stuff like this goes on?

Thursday, May 16, 2002

Sickness and Health: I am in the grips of a horrendous disease: a decidedly uncommon cold. I feel betrayed. I take vitamins, I stay in shape, I do all the stuff that is supposed to make me healthy, wealthy and wise, and yet...excuse me while I hack up a lung. In any event, give me a day or so to recover and get some fresh material.
Maybe Later: Movies I have not seen: Lord of the Rings, Spiderman, Attack of the Clones. Actually, the only movie I have seen this year is Harry Potter, just because I was stuck in a hotel with little else to do - it wasn't bad despite the rather uninspiring ending. I suspect I'll see them all at some time or another in the upcoming years, either on HBO or TNT or AMC, depending on how many years I wait. Somehow, I think Roger Ebert's review of Attack of the Clones is probably more entertaining than the film itself:
Too much of the rest of the film is given over to a romance between Padme and Anakin in which they're incapable of uttering anything other than the most basic and weary romantic cliches, while regarding each other as if love was something to be endured rather than cherished. There is not a romantic word they exchange that has not long since been reduced to cliche.

No, wait: Anakin tells Padme at one point: "I don't like the sand. It's coarse and rough and irritating--not like you. You're soft and smooth." I hadn't heard that before.
Guffaw. Follow up here and here, where his partner disagrees in one of the geekiest exchanges I have ever read:
Ebert: You like the fact that Yoda turns into an action figure now with his light saber?

Roeper: I think that that is a scene [with Yoda] that "Star Wars" fans are going to absolutely love, I loved it.

Ebert: It's totally out of character for him.

Roeper: It's not totally out of character for him! That's part of his skills. He's not just this brilliant philosopher, he's also a Jedi warrior!

Ebert: Listen, if you're Yoda and you have the Force. ...

Roeper: He's a Jedi master.

Ebert: ...If you encompass the Force, you don't need no lightsaber!

Roeper: You do when you're going up against another Jedi dude who's also got super-duper mind powers!
I can just picture them having that argument over a game of Dungeons and Dragons.

Tuesday, May 14, 2002

Drugs Please: I'm fighting what I suspect is a losing war against a vicious cold. At this point, it's just making me feel lethargic; I'm sure the worst is yet to come. I am convinced that the proper way to deal with a cold is with sleep and drugs. It's generally best to balance the two, but since I feel guilty if I sleep too much too often, I have to balance it out with extra drugs. It's only fair to mention I do operate machinery while on drugs (computers mostly). That may become more evident as you read on. Or, at least, that'll be my excuse.
Headgear As A Metaphor: A very insightful essay from David Brooks outlining some of the differences between childhood today and childhood in times past.
This sort of childhood is different from the childhoods Americans have traditionally had. It's not an independent childhood, like Huck Finn's or the Bowery Boys'. Today's middle-class kids, by and large, don't live apart from adult society...
Excellent observation. And many good points about the primacy of self-improvement.

Aside: Ironically, or perhaps not, the notion of having adult expectations of children, while extending youthful pursuits well into middle-age is an underlying theme to my third novel, Misspent Youth. (Don't hold your breath.)
RIP X-Files: I know there's a big two-hour series finale next week, but I lost interest in the X-Files a couple years back; not surprisingly coinciding with The Sopranos (new season starts 9/15) appearing in the same time slot, the loss of David Duchovny's wry understated delivery, and most of all, the complete abandonment of humor or irony. The previews for last Sunday's show looked promising what with a Brady Bunch theme to it, so I watched it along with The Legendary KK. We agreed that it was cute, but a bit cheesy and trivial.

It made me think back to what were my favorite episodes from the past and I did a little research. It turns out my favorites (in order) were:
  1. Jose Chung's From Outer Space - that was the one with Charles Nelson Reilly

  2. Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose - that was the one with Peter Boyle as the guy who could see the future, won an Emmy if I recall.

  3. War of the Coprophages - that was the one with the cockroaches taking over and an entomologist named Bambi

Anyway, it seems they were all written by the same man, a fellow named Darrin Morgan. The guy must be one of the most talented screenwriters alive. The Jose Chung episode is one phenomenal piece of drama of any type. If anyone knows what show Darrin Morgan is writing for today, please let me know.
Fat Is Phat: Anyone who's paid attention to health issues since, oh, forever, knows that what's bad for you this year will be good for you next year. I consider myself to be very healthy and not just for my age (apart from the aforementioned vicious cold) - I have never smoked, I am only addicted to caffeine, I workout like a demon - my only vice is that I eat WAY too much junk food. The thing is, I've been around long enough to see that what everyone snootily declares as unhealthy now, may be what we should have been eating all along. At one point, the key to long life was a carb-heavy, low-fat diet. Now, there's a cadre of folks who believe you should count carbs, not calories. Steak was once a killer, but according to this, things seem to be changing again. Until they come up with a study to show Taco Bell is the key to longevity, I will continue to file the Grand Philosophies of Diet under "W" for Whatever.

Saturday, May 11, 2002

Miscellaneous Madness: Places to go on a lost weekend:
  • Whatever this is, I hope it includes a more accurate calendar. [[edit 5/13]] It was a "big event coming soon" page with a date of March 13th when they meant May 13th. Turns out is was just a big sale at Yahoo Shopping. Waste of time. Idiots.

  • McSweeney's is a wonderful place, full of odd humor. For example, check out these lists. See what I mean? Odd.

  • You know you're a Russian redneck if you have a Space Shuttle up on blocks in your driveway.

  • Note to all talking heads: please review this list of logical fallacies before speaking from now on.

  • I better be careful when I buy my new Camry.

  • Piracy worthy of Han Solo.

  • Baseball minus the between pitch package adjustments.

Thursday, May 09, 2002

Uh, Thanks For The Info: Trolling around on some web design sites I happened to spot a link to this review on
My friend is named Dan and he really likes this book. He first showed it to me outside during recess. We are both only 13 . If I had to chose over either this Ed Ruscha book or a Sega dream cast, playstation 2, alot of chocolate, a gun that looked real but wasn't, but felt real cause it was so heavy, I would choose the gun, probably because I couldn't get a gun now( I am not 21) and because none of my friends have ever seen a gun, it would be cool. But I still would like to flip through this book, but I don't know if I'd buy it, especially with my own money.
Alrighty then.
The Ugly European: Mark Steyn goes over-the-top in dissing pretty much all of Europe, but this line caught my eye:
You’re six times more likely to be mugged in London than in New York. The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea has a worse crime rate than Harlem.
Does anyone know if that is true? If so, it's quite a change from the last, oh, fifty years.
Life Imitates 70s TV Shows: The Bionic Man was cool, cuz he made that oscillating sound when he ran sixty miles per hour in slow motion. Of course, these aren't the Wonder Years anymore, so we get Bionics for real. Eyesight to the blind. Amazing stuff. I'm counting on being mostly machine by the time I'm in my 130s.

Monday, May 06, 2002

Cheap Rags: Best Deals Magazines is a real find for magazine subscriptions. You can either get new subscriptions or renew existing ones dirt cheap. There's a whole section of good stuff for $3.95, which is pretty close to free. These are big name magazines, too. I'm getting Men's Journal, Conde Nast Traveler and Business 2.0 for $3.95 each. Lots more available. Check it out. You friends and family don't have to know you only spent $3.95 for their gift.. (Note: I have actually done this both for new subscriptions and renewals. It is not a scam, from my experience.)
Cinco de Mayo: Actually it was yesterday, but that doesn't mean I can't direct you to some cool tequila sites. A general tequila FYI might be what you're looking for, but I recommend you read Tequila for Grown-ups, for the scoop on what's hot and what's not. POf course, it puts me in mind a great article I once read about the perfect Margarita.
Not Sublime, Just Ridiculous: WWW stands for Wild, Weird and Wacky. Here's my proof:

Saturday, May 04, 2002

Any Hurons Left?: My undergraduate degree is from Eastern Michigan University. Back then, we were The EMU Hurons. Years later, in a fit of political correctness, they became the Eagles, presumably after the bird, but who knows - it could be an homage to Hotel California. In any event, I'm looking for a place to buy EMU Hurons clothing, just like we had in the old days. I'm especially interested the green sweatshirts with the Huron logo on the front. Anybody got any ideas? (No, I will not pay you for your ratty old one that doesn't fit you anymore. I want a new one.)
Mo' Better Blue: I raved about the Discovery Channel mini-series The Blue Planet when it ran a few months back. In the nick of time I discovered that four new hours are going to debut tomorrow (Sunday). Lucky I happened on promo, otherwise I may have had to wait a day or two until they re-ran it. Count on it being at least a cut above your garden variety nature show; if it achieves the quality of the first, it will be astonishing.
RIP Linda Lovelace: I stumbled on this sensitive, well-researched and exceptionally well written obituary of porn-queen-turned-ersatz-feminist Linda Lovelace, by Joe Bob Briggs. It put me in mind of one of my favorite movies, Boogie Nights. For those who haven't seen the movie (or those who are snickering about it), Boogie Nights is a fictional portrayal of the pornography industry in the late '70s. There is plenty of nudity and sex, but it is anything but erotic. What's amazing is its portrayal of the odd motivations of the players in the industry - none of them are truly evil or even mean spirited, they are, in fact, simple minded to a certain extent and driven by an incredible desire for attention and praise. They live an insular existence, almost as if there were in a cult. It is a unique and exceptional film. You can get the same sense from the obituary.
Turn to Page 2: If you follow sports, the very best place on the web is ESPN Page 2. That's where things get irreverent and free-wheeling. That's also where you'll find Hunter S. Thompson.

Thursday, May 02, 2002

Roy Rogered: Believe me, there is nothing more pompous than a writer with an award. Falling into this category is the insufferable Indian novelist Arundahti Roy who, after winning a Booker prize for writing one of those smarmy socially conscious novels that the New York Review of Books labels "groundbreaking" or "definitive" or some other dime-a-dozen adjective, promptly got herself arrested protesting the building of a dam (huh?), insulted the presiding judge, and found her spoiled backside in a jail cell for a couple of days. Naturally, she emerged shamelessly claiming herself a hero for enduring such a terrible ordeal.

I once read that the job of a satirist is to Puncture all Pomposity. Perhaps that's why it pleased me so to see Amrit Dhillon puncture her pomposity in this properly pointed article.
It's Blog-alicious: Blogmistress Sheri over at Sheri~SHOT dropped a line to say Hi. Sheri~SHOT is a top-drawer personal blog. Unlike many bloggers Sheri actually has something to SAY, and she says it well, and in a lively voice. Makes sense as she has had some experience in journalism. You can also peruse her personal page where you will find she is employed as a night auditor in a hotel. I can relate. I used to be a night auditor. Actually, I wasn't a night auditor, I was the boss of night auditors, but I got the calls at 2 am when the night auditor didn't show up. Oddly, I am overcome with morbid fear whenever the phone rings since then. Anyway, put Sheri~SHOT on your short list of blogs.
Kill Your Cineplex: I knocked off this brief screed about what a truly nasty experience it is to visit a movie theatre. Apart from the entertainment value, it will also provide you a glimpse into the future. When I am an old man, I plan to rant and fume pointlessly like that pretty much non-stop. Consider it a retirement goal.

(BTW, don't be shocked. I'm starting to move all the features to a new document template that looks more professional and less like some marginally cogent typist scrawled them out in a fit of lunacy. Or something.)

Wednesday, May 01, 2002

So Sorry: I promised you more content by today but I'm still behind the eight ball. Tomorrow for sure. In the mean time, amuse yourself with the latest issue of Forbes FYI, and especially Christopher Buckley's coverage of Supreme Court Decisions. Guffaw.