Saturday, April 30, 2005

The Brooklyn Bridge, one foggy day. Posted by Hello

Enter, Rhapsody

It's a beautiful day here in New York. The sun is not shining, it's foggy and misting. But it's a beautiful day. A soft day, as you might say in Ireland.

I downloaded a few songs from RealAudio last weekend. And the other day, I got an e-mail invitation to join their free version of Rhapsody. I'd heard of the premium version ( $10/month ) , which gives you an unlimited right to play from their vast library of songs, including entire albums, and was thinking of joining it, now that I have a decent " broadband " connection.

But there's a free version, which I just downloaded. It gives you the right to listen 25 songs a month from their library. And it gives you twenty commercial free internet radio stations.

Among the first songs listened to : " Rich Girl ", Gwen Stefani, " Little Bit of You " , Laura Cantrell, " Cool Water ", Marty Robbins, " Mi Rancho Grande ", Freddy Fender, " Autobahn ", Kraftwerk, " Fields of Athenry" , Paddy Reilly, " I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" and a few others by the king of them all, Hank Williams. Tried to sample as eclectic a mix as possible of the stuff that I like, and there was a lot to choose from.

The sound quality is very good, clean. The computer interface is easy to use and 100% intuitive. I think that I will like this very much.

How can they afford to put out a service like this? It is sponsored by Chrysler, whose image appears on screen, so that is a start. And some users will download the songs they hear. And others ( like me ) will be enticed to upgrade to the premium service. With the premium service, you can download any song in the library, and I may do this when I get a portable MP3 player.

This is the future of music, this and satellite radio. Over the air radio in NY and most everywhere else is a waste for music ( except for hip-hop/rap/crackhead music ) . There's some good stuff on NPR and college radio, but I want to listen to music on my schedule, not theirs .

And I want to be able to listen to country music--NYC has not had a country radio station in many years. Rhapsody gives me all I want, lets me be the DJ all the time if I upgrade to premium, and with no commercials in either the free or premium versions.

Like Humphrey Bogart says, this could be the start of a beautiful friendship. Good job, Real Networks. I may upgrade to premium tomorrow.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Verizon DSL has been working properly at 3000 kbits for three nights in a row. This trouble ticket has been closed.

Air America : the Ugly Face of the Left

There should be more of a political debate in America. Bush needs to be challenged , and the Tom DeLay element of the Republican Party does not exactly inspire confidence.

But what you have is shouting, and the nastiest of the shouting comes from the Democratic side of the aisle, now that the party has been completely hijacked by the wing.

Over a year ago, Air America was created in attempt to counter the hugely popular right-wing radio network shows by Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, etc. That's cool, except that this network is so shrill, so nasty, so completely unfunny that it has very few listeners.

A recent incident won't help them. On a recent broadcast, an Air America piece against Bush actually featured shots being fired at President Bush They have apologized for the "mistake".

Man, this brought back memories. I was in the dining hall at SUNY Binghamton the day President Reagan was shot. I remember being shocked and astonished at the many lefty students who were genuinely happy that the President had been shot, who hoped that he would die. High fives were exchanged. Today, I would have gotten in their face. I could not believe people would act like this. But they could, and they do.

The Air America incident, apology aside, was not a mistake. Look around and observe. Closely.

Brooklyn Nets- " NJ Blew It" Says Stern

It is sort of strange that the Nets, who originally wanted to move to Newark, are making the move to Brooklyn. While the Devils, whose fans seem really hostile to the idea, are the ones moving to Newark after all.

The Meadowlands was always a terrible location for a basketball/hockey arena. Super-easy to get to if you have a car and live in NJ, very hard to get to if you live elsewhere or do not have a car.

I'm not sure that the Devils' arena will do much for Newark, a city which that has serious problems. Would have made more sense if they would have both Nets and Devils.

But the proposed Brooklyn arena could be an very positive thing for the borough on many levels.

Go Brooklyn!

Thursday, April 28, 2005

A Very Intense NY Yankees Blog

Curt Schilling: The Passion of the Punk and other baseball news

Schilling Shoots Mouth Off
Curt Schilling goes after Lou Piniella and Lou gives it right back to him. Maybe, as Gary Shelton of the St. Petersburg Times says, there is something wrong with this guy's head. Schilling is a great athlete, and he been a part of two World Series winners, but he's crossed the line by attacking Sweet Lou Piniella like this.

Wait until this Schilling comes into Yankee Stadium again. Though it has been ages since he last wore the pinstripes, the Yankee fans still worship Piniella, and will not take kindly to him being attacked, by a guy they already despised. Come on up to Yankee Stadium, Curt. We'll show you the Bronx.

Rocker, Pride of the Yankees
Since it was announced that John Rocker was returning to organized baseball, I've been saying that I could see him playing for the Yankees. I think so more than ever now. The Yankees REALLY need relief pitchers, and if this guy is healthy, he could make a huge contribution. Plus it would be an unbelievably large story in NY and nationally, which George S would just love. You heard it here first. Ruth, Gehrig, Rocker. Pride of the Yankees.

David Wells Out for more than a month with Foot Injury
Oh, that's really too bad. With the way this guy keeps himself in shape, you'd think he'd never get hurt.

Oh, and did I just hear that Schilling's injured too?. There is a God, there really is.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

The Hill of Tara

It has survived for 5000 years, but is about to be desecratedPosted by Hello

Irish Govt to Hill of Tara: Drop Dead

The Hill of Tara is a beautiful place, the ancient seat of Irish Kings. It actually predates Egypt's pyramids.

It was on the Hill of Tara that the Ard RĂ­, or high king was crowned, hence its title as the Seat of the High Kings of Ireland. The Tuatha de Dannan are said to have been the first race to settle in Tara. This tribe of fierce warriors and sorcerers were believed to have brought the Lia Fail, or Destiny Stone with them. Legend has it that this mythical stone could determine the identity of the true high king. It would let out three loud roars once touched by the man fated to be ruler.

But this majestic site may not last long. The Irish government plans to build a major road ( the M3 ) right next to it. There are alternate routes that could be used, but the road builders seem set on this location. But not everyone is along for this lorry ride to hell. See the following, and help if you can:

( The first site above apparently is not on blogger's server so I cannot do a direct link to it. Please cut and paste to it.)

There was also an article in Monday's NY Timeson the subject

An article from The Guardian on this issue.

Historical information the Hill of Tara

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

I Punched Saddam Hussein In the Mouth

If this story is true, I would like to shake this guy's hand ( From the great Little Green Footballs, see story with link and many comments )

Verizon DSL Resolution? / WNYE

Something's going on. For the first time in two months, my Verizon DSL is actually doing what it supposed to do. Hitting 3000 kbits a second, repeatedly. This must be a technical error, proper performance is never supposed to happen with Verizon DSL in NYC. Whichever Verizon employee hit the " full speed ahead " button will undoubtedly be punished by Verizon management.


On WNYE, something called NYC TV was on earlier tonight. Snappy glimpses of New York, esp Tribeca. Pretty neat, though I can't describe what it is.

Now on WNYE is some Norweigian guy eating a shrimp in some fjord and talking about Oslo. I've been in Oslo, but do not recall eating shrimp there.

Sometime later I will recite the great Norwegian poem.

Atlanta, Atlanta

Made a short business trip to Atlanta.

Interesting place. Downtown is stagnant, not unusual for most US cities. All major action is in the suburbs, and a lot of people almost never go into town and never, ever, ever take the MARTA subway or bus.

Drove a rental from Atlanta Airport into Buckhead, the heart of the action. The major highways are big, pothole free concrete roads, for the most part well designed. Had an easy time for the most part driving through Interestates 75 and 85, which go right through downtown and Turner Field, of the Atlanta Braves on the way to the suburban promised land.

Atlanta Airport is a big, pleasant, well-oiled machine. It may be the best American airport. Like a hot knife through butter, you get to your flight and make your connection. Thats all I ask.

Boeing Hits a Home Run

Boeing has had two great days in a row. Yesterday, it sold a bunch of the new Dreamliner 787 planes to Air Canada ; today,
a big fat order from Air India

Boeing has had a tough time recently, but this plane looks to be a huge home run for them. It's really quiet, it looks cool, and it uses 20% less fuel than any competitor. You sure this is an American plane?

Monday, April 25, 2005

The Phantom Thinks Deep Thoughts

What should the next posting be? Where should the next vacation be? What does the infield fly rule really mean? Posted by Hello

The WTC was hard for you, but so what

The US was " responsible in some way " for 9/11 Attacks

So says Maggie Gyllenhaal She's in a new movie " The Great New Wonderful ", which deals in part with the destruction of the WTC.

"I think what's good about the movie is that it deals with 9/11 in such a subtle, open way that I think it allows it to be more complicated than just, 'Oh, look at these poor New Yorkers and how hard it was for them,'" Gyllenhaal told the NY1 cable channel.

The ( subtle ) rewriting of history begins. Keep your eyes wide open ; there will be more of this.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Back then Posted by Hello

New York Baseball Update / All the News You Need to Know

The baseball universe revolves around a NY axis, but the poles have reversed. This year, North is South, this year the Mets are good and the Yankees are bad. This may be a false spring, but that's how it is now.

Despite today's win, the Yankees see Yankees website, which if you look it today you will see a cool clip of a Jeter homerun, caught by a guy in the right field stands, who kisses the wife/girlfriend cool is that?have a record of 8 wins and 11 losses.

And the Mets where if you look at their website today, you'll see a replay of the Mighty Piazza hitting a three rbi double into left, in a loss to the new Washington team are better. Much better. They are now 10 wins, 9 losses. ( If video clips do not come up automatically, hit " Video Highlights " )

Pitching is more than 50% of the game, and the Yankees starting pitchers are old. Really old.( Though it is not true that their starting pitching rotation consists of Methuselah, George Burns, Francisco Franco, Rodney Dangerfield, and Archie Bunker )

One of their starters, forty year old Kevin Brown, gets $15 million a year, earns none of it. ( Last year, he punched a concrete wall in frustration when he could not get batters out ) He is being booed this year, quelle surprise. Mussina and Johnson are ok, the other starters are unknown.

And there are other question marks all over the rest of the team.

But across the East River, the Mets have done interesting things. They signed one of the best pitchers in baseball, Pedro Martinez, over the season, and he has been wonderful, far in excess of high expecations, since joining this year.

And other free agent signings are so-far so good with the Mets including new centerfielder Carlos Beltransince he joined the team this year.

This trend could continue. The Mets have a very good new General Manager, Omar Minaya , and a great new field manager, Willie Randolph, an ex-Yankee who learned a lot in his years as player and assistant coach.

And the Yankees were caught flat-footed when Petitte left, Clemens double-crossed them, and wall puncher Kevin Brown signed in at three times what he might have been worth . They're in a bad spot, just as the Mets may be turning it around. Lets watch this.

The Motorcycle Diaries

The Motorcycle Diaries very recently.

This movie portrays Che and his pal Ernesto as a bumbling Latin Butch and Sundance , so likeable here that Pinochet would fall in love with them and buy them lunch. We see gorgeous shots of Latin America, and see the social injustice that made these sons of privilege become " revolutionaries ".

Only one problem--while Che was undeniably committed to his cause, he very soon grew into a stone-cold killer of Cubans, organizer of firing squads. As far from a romantic idealist as has walked the earth.

This is a propaganda film. Charming, but morally dishonest.

Phantom and the little Phantoms

this is an audio post - click to play

Saturday, April 23, 2005

BBC / Fair And Balanced?

Those who believe everything from the Mainstream Media ( MSM ) tend to think of the BBC as the absolute cream of the crop. Well, better shield them from this
little bit of news about the BBC

If all get all your news from the are being manipulated, and you don't know it.

Look What I've Done

Well, it's 2005, time to get with the technology. So I just ( legally ) downloaded " Look What You've Done " by the Australian band Jet . A historic moment in my livingroom, as this is my first formal music download. Won't do illegal downloads, not of any ethical concern, but because they would be lousy with viruses.

Downloaded it from RealPlayer's music store. For 99 cents, I got this one song. But that is the only one that I wanted, so it is a million times better than buying the album. Very few musicians will have more than three good songs on any album, so legal download not a bad deal for now.

Sound quality is good. This is a lovely, simple song. Sure, Jet ripped this style off from the Beatles, but listen to the early Beatles ; they ripped off Chuck Berry and everyone else.

The clip language says that Jet wants to give rock and roll back to the filthy, long-haired teenagers - where it belongs. I'm cool with that.

Next : Somewhere Over the Rainbow, by Hawaiian artist Israel Kamakawiwo'ole and Spirit in the Sky by the Kentucky Headhunters.

this is an audio post - click to play

World Trade Center in Movies

On April 12, I mentioned the The 10048 Project , a site that catalogues movies in which the WTC appears. But I've been dissapointed, as this site is incomplete. And though it asks for updates, when I have given them additional movies, they have not added them to the site.

But today, I have stumbled upon what looks like a more comprehensive site, WTC In Movies . It has a longer list of movies, and also has movie posters featuring the buildings.

It looks like this site is updated frequently. I have made a suggestion to them to add " Serpico" to the list.

Such an honest face, too

Maybe they have nice chili in the prison Posted by Hello

Friday, April 22, 2005

Audio Blogger

this is an audio post - click to play

Just learned this feature. I like. Give a listen. This is an MP3 file, so it should work on any computer.

Oh, and bought an Olympus digital camera. It is an Olympus Olympus Evolt E300 8MP Digital SLR , which is in a league that I am not used to. Can't wait to get it.

Fickle Finger of Fate Points to Fraud?

This past March 22, a certain Anna Ayala claimed to have found a human finger in an order of chili that she had ordered in a California Wendy's.

While I don't think Wendy's chili is supposed to be vegetarian, it would be bad form for it to contain human fingers. It's almost gross.

This has become a huge national story. Late-night comedians have spoken of it constantly. The dull-witted, unfunny Jay Leno said " I didn't know Wendy's served finger food. I guess we know what Wendy's did with their [ recently deceased, and much- loved ] founder, Dave Thomas. " Har har.

Well, it soon became known that this Anna Ayala has a litigious history, including a lawsuits against her employer, against General Motors --and against fast-food restaurant El Pollo Loco. A coincidence, surely.

Her story never made any sense. Chili is made in small batches, and this batch was made by a ten-year veteran of Wendy's, who would have seen something foreign in the product. And noone in Wendy's, or their suppliers had reported losing a finger or any other body part.

Now, today, Anna Ayala has been arrested in connection with this case. There will be more details out soon. But if this story is what it appears to be -- a clumsy act of fraud -- how does Wendy's get its reputation back?

Not that it ever lost it with me. I like them, always have. I'll eat something at Wendy's this weekend, whether I am hungry or not. Add a side of chili, please.

And welcome to hell, Anna Ayala. Make yourself at home. You'll be here for a very long time.

CNN Story here.

Latest News from Germany

How would you like to be a juror on this trial?,

Look What You've Done

At Keats, a while back, heard this song and tried to learn who sang it. Noone knew, but all agreed that they really sounded like the Beatles. Well, it is from a group named Jet. And the vocals, the words, the style, everything are so like the Beatles, there's nothing coincidental about it.

But this song does stay in your head. A perfect song or a perfect copy? Reviews found on this site and on Amazon

Jet is a band from Melbourne, Australia, so they must have practiced awfully hard to get that Liverpudlian accent just so. Still, great song.


Thursday, April 21, 2005

Learning Blogs, HTML, a bit at a time

What I've wanted to learn for a while is how to give a hyperlink to another page, not with the hierogliphics that is the true address, but from plain text that is part of a story. Now, after reading this book , I know how to do it. The book is not exactly well-written ( I hate the cutesy-pie phony jokiness that all of these " Idiots" and " Dummies " books feel they must use in every paragraph ), but most of the the information seems to be there, along with all the clutter and bad writing.

Now, lets see what the Mets did tonight

Latest News From Chicago ; Verizon DSL War

Yeah, Chicago


Verizon DSL in Brooklyn yesterday was too slow to be measured...slower than dialup. Their technical support people are completely out of the loop and cannot say what the problem is. Tonight, it beat dialup-- it is all the way up to 68.4 kbits.

Called Verizon's billing dept today, and they gave me a rebate of $60 for the past two months of horrid service. That is fair, but I would prefer to have something close to the level of service I am supposed to get. ( 3000 kbits download )

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Joe Pesci Elected Pope

A specialist team of Guamanian hackers broke into the website and came up with the above top secret document. At least that is what Andrew told me when I ran into him in the Raccoon Lodge.

New Scary Free Fall Ride Coming to Coney Island

Can't wait, baby. Later this month, Coney Island will get the " Super Shot " , which will take you ten stories in the air, then drop you in a free fall at 30 miles an hour. The owner says it will be a " rather pleasant experience ". No it won't. It will scare the living bejasus out of anyone crazy enough to ride this thing, and I will try to be one of the first.

Sounds like Disney World's Tower of Terror, but this may give you a steeper drop. Unfortunately, the internet version of the Post does not include a picture of this ride.

Philadelphia's City Hall

This does not do justice to the size of this building. Not a skyscraper, but a big strong mass of a building. 104 years after it was completed, it is still the tallest and largest masonry building in the world. It's the center of Philadelphia, right in the middle of Market Street ( which runs east-west ) and Broad Street ( which is north -south ) Posted by Hello

Back From Philadelphia

My Amtrak 1142am Metroliner train to NY was cancelled to do the system problems, so downshifted to a regular, very full, train that was fine. Even with the cell-phone idiots.

On the way out of the hotel, the enthusiastic, maybe new to the job bellman asked me where I was going, and for my last name. I said 30th Street ( train ) station. He asked me which airline I was taking. I said it would be Amtrak, not an airline. Then, as the door closed on the taxi he said " Have a good trip Mr. Amtrak ", then started to correct himself.

Philly's ok. Intend to learn the city a little better. A big, tough, cynical place with a fair amount going on.

Philadelphia's City Hall is immense. Walked through it twice yesterday, to and from meetings on either side of Market Street. Saw a plaque on one side devoted to the Irish signers of the Declaration of Independence, and to John Barry, the Irish-born Philadelphia man who founded the American Navy.

On another wall, a plaque from the St. Andrews Society of Philadelphia,
honoring the Scottish born men who served as architects for the building and as the sculptor of the statue of William Penn.

Hot in NYC today, 88 degrees.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Enter Pope Benedict

Will be interesting to see how the Poles and Israelis react to the idea of a German Pope.

By all accounts, this is a good guy. But not a politician in the secular sense. Don't expect him to bend to the fads of the 20th - 21st centuries.

Oklahoma City / Connection with World Trade Center Bombing?,2933,153635,00.html

When Oklahoma City bombing took place ten years ago, and maybe not even the FBI, had heard of Al Queda. But there is speculation that Timothy McVeigh may have been aided and abetted by them.

There is supposedly evidence of many phone calls made by him to the Philippines, incl. one to a known safe house used by Ramsy Yousef, involved in the 1993 WTC bombing.

Amtrak Dead?

As a huge train buff, it kills me to admit it, but this article is entirely correct. There is something wrong with Amtrak that may only be cured by killing it.

Every single European country has better trains than America. There are a lot of reasons for that, but piss-poor management by Amtrak is one of them.

The Streets of Philadelphia

Am staying in downtown Philadelphia for a few days. Interesting place. Lots of good restaurants, bars, museums. Majestic streets, and plenty of beautiful buildings. Just one thing: there does not seem to be a whole lot of people in these streets.

This isn't Detroit or Newark, which are dead cities, or Cleveland, which despite heroic attempts to recreate some sort of downtown, is near dead. But it's hollowed out. Get the feeling that most who could moved out to the suburbs in the 1960s or whenever, and are in no hurry to move back. And they don't visit too often.

There is a lot worth seeing here, though, and I want to explore it a lot more. I don't even mind the occasional aggressive panhandler. I remember pre-Giuliani New York very well, and the street smarts are still here.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Beijing Goes Nuts

An unnecessary campaign with racist overtones continues. Very dangerous for Asia and the world. The Communist govt in China is out of its mind, as this xenophobic campaign will set back relations with a frightened Japan for 50 years, leading Japan to draw much closer to the US and yes to Taiwan.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

WTC Terrorist Sues US Govt,1299,DRMN_21_3652219,00.html

Ahmad Mohammad Ajaj, convicted in the first ( 1993 ) WTC bombing is party to a lawsuit against the US govt. Seems he does not like the fact that he had to breathe second-hand smoke in his Colorado federal prison ( smoking is now banned in prisons ) .

I think Mr. Ajaj does deserve some justice. I beseech the US govt to drive him to Liberty St in NY. Drop him off in front of the firehouse there, give us a little advance notice, and perhaps some justice will be done.

Ronan Tynan: Yankees' Secret Weapon

When the Irish tenor sings " God Bless America " the Yankees win 85% of the time. And he won't sing for any other team.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Blair / Labour Win Imminent?

If this happens, that would mean that the major allies in the war who have faced elections - Bush, Blair, Howard in Australia -have all been re-elected. After the Iraq elections went well, after the elections in Afghanistan also went much better than anyone predicted.

Hey, wait a minute, wasn't this Iraq thing supposed to end in debacle and defeat for all who supported it? Where's Michael Moore? Bush may not be holding four aces, but he's close to it.

Queen Mary 2 Moves to Brooklyn

More ships will follow.,0,4845247.story?coll=ny-region-apnewyork

Nancy Whiskey, Whole Foods, and Raccoon Lodge

This is the website of Nancy Whiskey Pub, photo and mention below

In yesterday's NY Times, it was announced that Whole Foods will open a branch on Warren Street, right near Raccoon Lodge. Now, you'll be able to buy designer kumquats after having a few Buds with the real people. Progress?

Nancy Whiskey Pub: The Real Deal

The Honorable One and I made a reconnaissance mission to Nancy Whiskey Pub the other day. It is on West Broadway and Lispenard St, just south of Canal St. Friendly atmosphere, cheap as hell, and the Guinness was Dublin-like, it was that fresh and delicious. This place shall receive further investigation. Posted by Hello

Friday, April 15, 2005

NY Times Sends My Computer to Hell with a Chinese Hijacker Virus

Well, that may take some explaining on my part.

As you know, have endeavored to keep current on the anti-Japanese riots in China ( not to be confused with the anti-pollution riots, or the unemployed coal miner riots, which are entirely another matter ) .

So, as I read this article in yesterday's NY Times yesterday,
an interesting article that makes reference to an anti-Japanese website " japanpig " that you should NOT link to.

The first reason that you should not link to it is that it is in Chinese, which you may not be fluent in. The second reason is that this site is crawling with viruses, spyware, trojans, hijackers, and all sorts of malevolent code.

After logging off from " japanpig " I noticed a nice new toolbar attachment, in Chinese characters, with English characters " " . That's the hijacker.

The other stuff ( the viruses, spyware, trojans ) were mostly cleared up by Spybot-Search and Destroy and Ad-Aware, but none of them could do much against japanpig's secret weapon.

Had to get extra IT help to dislodge japanpig's little present.

Beware, beware. And shame on the careless NY Times for providing a link in a web-accessed article to a site filled with bad code, for all their readers to get infected with.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Death Penalty Supported by 100% of those Polled, incl Amnesty International for this offense

Even Amnesty International enthusiastically supports Death Penalty for those that do this

Story, and headline idea, shamelessly stolen from Irish blog

Strange Doings In China

In today's NY Times, and also in the London Times,,3-1565554,00.html there are major articles about -- large and serious -- riots in China. This most recent one was due to anger about extreme pollution caused by chemical plants. Which are owned by people with friends in high places. Which have devastated the nearby farm economy. And which are built on stolen land.

What is interesting about this recent riot is that a lot of the participants were described as " elderly ". Things have to be pretty bad before you get an army of " elderly " Chinese peasants angry enough so that they riot in the streets.

The changes in China are not all good, and there are a lot of pissed off and hopeless people over there.

Not in favor of riots, by the young or the " elderly " but am not in favor of the Communist government stealing peoples land and polluting it all to hell either.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Willie Randolph. Watch him, watch this team.  Posted by Hello

Willie Randolph's NY Mets Win 1-0

Jose Reyes just won the game for the Mets, with a grounder to make the score 1-0 in the bottom of the 11th.

Clemens pitched very well, as did Mets starter Ishii.

Franco came in to get --one-- batter out.

Games like this , with few runs, and a focus on pitching, defense and strategy, are real baseball. Rarely seen in the steroids era, esp in the American League, they may become more common now that the players are supposedly off the juice.

The Mets could be really interesting this year. Lots of good player moves, yeah, but don't forget that they now have a real manager, for the first time in years -- Willie Randolph.

Randolph, who learned a lot from Billy Martin, and learned more from Joe Torre, gets to show what he can do. Watch this team. Watch this manager.

At Shea Tonight He's Ba--a--ck

From the 2000 World Series, as a crazed Roger Clemens is about to hurl a jagged bat at poor Mike Piazza. The Mets have just beaten good-guy Andy Pettitte, lets see how they do with the bad guy. See today's Post Posted by Hello

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Escape from New York. Cult classic. Posted by Hello

Escape from New York / WTC / 10048 Project

This was a great " B " movie, released in 1981. I saw it in college, and boy did we love it's campy weirdness.

I've decided to try to see some of the movies in which the World Trade Center appears. See below for a list of such movies--it is not comprehensive--for example, saw the great " Serpico " last week, and noticed a shot of the WTC in the distance as Pacino went up the fire escape of a building in Brooklyn.

10048 Project - Movies with World Trade Center scenes

Saw " Escape from New York " again tonight. The year is 1997, and all of Manhattan has been turned into a maximum security prison, without guards. The prisoners rule themselves, in a law of the jungle filled with gangs.

Air Force One, with the president aboard, is hijacked by terrorists, and crashes into lower Manhattan. The president escapes in a protective pod ( again, you have to suspend disbelief in this B movie! ) . Convicted criminal Snake Plisken ( Kurt Russell ) is allowed a shot at freedom by the authorities if he will go into Manhattan in order to free the ( wimpy, amoral ) President. He does-- by flying a small plane that lands on top of the World Trade Center.

The WTC here is an empty, graffitied shell , symbolic of the hell it sits in. Broadway, and the rest of the city, is under the control of violent, starving convicts.

Isaac Hayes is a stone killer and the head gangster ( "the Duke" ) ; Adrianne Barbeau is a scientist's girlfriend ; pro wrestler bad-guy Ox Baker has a gladiator type battle to the death with Snake; Ernest Borgnine is a over the top taxi driver, and looks like he had the time of his life doing it.

No great movie, created as mindless fun in a very pre-Giuliani NY , it still has that element going for it , but now the symbolism of the WTC in an apocalyptic movie has additional meaning.

June 11: Old Timers Day As Tyson Straps 'Em On Once More

Hope this McBride guy has ear-guards.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Shine Your Light

Burning bright Posted by Hello

Best Blog by an Australian Who Quit After His First Posting

but what a posting it was. This guy is my hero.

Because Bush Is To Blame For Everything

This is a laugh-out loud funny political site. Don't overlook the comments. Don't forget to blame Bush today!

Clemens: The Arch-Deceiver Returns

Roger Clemens will slink into Shea this Wednesday for a 710pm start. I don't care if the Mets lose every game for the rest of the year, or the decade for that matter, so long as they beat this Clemens one last time.

A Piazza moonshot into the parking lot would be nice.

Jeering Update: Six Jamokes Arrested

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Jeers at Tribute to Pope at Soccer Game ( really )

If you're not from this (general) part of the world , none of this makes any sense. You'll think that this is a misprint. But if you're familiar with this corner of Europe, it's no surprise. At all.

I feel bad for the team ( Hearts ) that tried to host the tribute.

Bay Ridge Blog

See companion site Bay Ridge Blog Took some digital photos today and posted them on it.

The View from 103

This shot is actually from the observation deck of 2WTC, but its the same building, and height is virtually the same. On a beautiful, clear day like today, the view would be like this. Posted by Hello

Verizon DSL Truce?

Have been complaining to Verizon over their substandard speed in Brooklyn. I'm supposed to get 3000 kbits for downloads ; but I've been getting more like 500-900 kbits during the evening. This is a very common issue in Brooklyn and elsewhere in the region.

They called on Friday to say that the problem has been solved. Actually, it's not, but the performance has been much better. Speeds still erratic, but tending higher, from 1400 all the way up to the promised 3000 kbits.

This problem does not exist on RoadRunner Cable Internet. They are superior. Maybe the Cable technology is better, or maybe Verizon's implementation is a mess. But RoadRunner consistently delivers the goods, and Verizon DSL does not.

Why don't I switch to RoadRunner? Tthey charge $50 a month, as opposed to Verizon's $30 a month, and I am too, shall we say, " thrifty " to pay that. And I live in hope that Verizon DSL will one day deliver what they promise.

Verizon Online Speedtest Indicator

Latest News from Australia
Sydney Airport baggage handler seen wearing a camel costume a passenger had checked in his luggage. I hate Quantas!

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Message to Michael Jackson

Cut a deal now. The way the evidence has been going, the only thing in question is which jail cell you're moonwalkin' into. Thats BAD!

Yankees 8, Orioles 5

Went to Yankee Stadium again today, with Mike and Christine. The seats were good, the weather was good, the final score was excellent. Yankees were down 5-1, but with help from a right field home run from Giambi and a right handed bomb to left center from Ruben Sierra, came back.

Mariano came in to close it up in the ninth. He was cheered. There was a scary moment when he gave up a leadoff double to the rightfield corner to some guy named Roberts, but he got out of it.

A standing gourmet dinner at US Fried Chicken ( 3 greasy slabs of chicken and 20 pounds of excellent fries ) and that's a perfect outing.

Another thought on John Rocker: I'll bet that if he does well with the Ducks, the Yankees will think about signing him. Steinbrenner would sign the Devil himself if he could help get batters out, and the Yankees will need bullpen help this year. Go Rocker! Cotton Eyed Joe!

Friday, April 08, 2005

John Rocker signs with Long Island Ducks
It will be so nice to have John back in the metropolitan area! God, I miss him. So this means he will also be playing games against the Atlantic League's Somerset Patriots and Bridgeport Bluefish, and will also play in Newark's Riverfront Stadium, where I am sure he will have lots of friendly interaction with the locals. Maybe we'll see him at Iberia in Ironbond buying a round of sangria for the house, then catching the PATH back to Manhattan after a fun night out in Ironbound.

See the Ducks website. Love that quack quack

Israel's President Greets Syrians and Iranians at Pope's Funeral

Wouldn't have expected this
See ( from major Israeli paper )

and even from Al-Jazeera!
Understand that some of the jihadis are mad at Al Jazeera for providing respectful cover of the Pope's funeral. Don't worry, boys. Al Jazeera will jump right back in your pocket in a few days.

Test Message

test. This thing is acting up

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Farewell Karol Wojtyla

Farewell, John Paul Posted by Hello

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

The Bay Ridge bike path in winter. Thanks, Judy. Posted by Hello

The view back in better days. Posted by Hello

Last message tonight

You can make posts, and then delete them. Just posted one, then deleted it. Posted this, then changed it. This is cool. Good night.

Introduction to The View From 103

Hello, selected few. I have decided to learn blogs by creating one. Watch this space!