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A few reasons to prefer cats to dogs

Clean - like my conscience
SEATTLE, Washington - Cats have quite a few characteristics that make them better to have around then dogs. The first one is obvious - the typical cat has much more contempt for humans than the typical dog. I like that.

One other thing is the cleanliness angle. I was at a friend's house last weekend, and they have a dog, and the dog smelled a little bit. Not a lot, probably the average dog smell, but it's noticeable and this is in spite of the dog getting bathed.

I've had my cat for 11+ years and never cleaned her. Yet, I just took a deep sniff of her torso, and she smells like she just popped out of the clothes dryer. They handle this themselves.


The cruel inevitability of the Seahawks key lime jersey

SEATTLE, Washington - When the Seahawks unveiled their uniform overhaul in 2002, it was noted that there was some really loud lime green piping in the uniform, and in the little eye of the (now slightly edgier, more angry) hawk itself. At the time it would have been absurd to have an entire jersey in such a color.

When Deion Branch arrived with the team in 2006, he was sporting receiver gloves in the lime color. It looked bad, but that's as bad as it could get, right?

A lime jersey appeared this spring as part of a April Fool's hoax... a Photoshopped lime green jersey, ha ha.

The next day, April 2, a more official-looking green-jersey graphic was leaked, and the TNT Seahawks blog wondered whether "that’s the imagery you want to project to an opponent like the Chicago Bears on Sunday."

Now, today, against the Bears, they arrived, and they were the disaster everyone thought they would be.


Football Lock of the Week

SEATTLE, Washington -

Record: 1-1

This week: Georgia (-12) vs. Arizona St.

UPDATE: When did Dennis Erickson teams start showing spine and grit on the road? They lost 20-17, so I fall to 1-2.


Now that's what I'm talkin 'bout... The Swinery

SEATTLE, Washington - The Swinery is in full effect. Maybe it's time to watch the carbs again, after probably averaging a pint of ice cream every other day for the last four months.

The chicken liver pâté - very smooth, a bit more sherry flavor than most. Still has a bit of a pink hue, so it's not overcooked (as people so often do with liver, pâté and otherwise).

Bacon burgers - ground beef with bits of cooked pancetta right in the mix. Allegedly a 75/25 mix, it looks less than that, but it's certainly enough to give the burger a bacony flavor. The grind is very coarse, barely burger-ish if you're used to wispy supermarket grinds. I like the change of pace and the mouth feel.

If you're panicky about the prices at a small shop like this - the ground products did seem a bit on the spendy side (in the $10/lb neighborhood) but are certainly distinctive products, and the whole cuts are not much pricier at all than other higher-end places (e.g. New York steaks at $18/lb). Creatures like quail and goat were in the case.

There's plenty of variety, cheeses, bulk and cured chorizo, assorted forcemeat products - something for everyone.


Where were these chicks when I was at Clemson?

Another Dagny wannabe
SEATTLE, Washington - I noticed in the October 2009 issue of Reason that one of their summer interns, Amanda Carey, is a student at Clemson. She is the editor of the miniscule "right-wing" student paper, the Tiger Town Observer. Very cute, as you can see. Per Reason she talks "a little natural rights, a little Atlas Shrugged" in a regular Friday get-together, followed by a trip to "Super Taco."

Where were these types when I was prowling Tiger Town? I knew one of the members of the Observer staff at the time and he never mentioned cuties (or any women at all, that I recall) at the paper. Otherwise, I'd have also been hanging out with them, talking natural rights.

And Super Taco must be new, because I was quite well versed on cheap eats when I was there and I don't recall it. Does the local Pizza Hut still have a $4 lunch buffet? For the sake of the current students, I hope not. Is Nick's still peddling cheap pitchers of Lowenbrau Dark? Is it a good thing or bad thing if they are?


Football Lock of the Week

NEW YORK, New York -

Record: 1-0

This week: Cardinals @ Jaguars UNDER 42.5

UPDATE: Jacksonville got garbage-time points, unfortunately, to push the game over. Record: 1-1.


Haven't been to Barnes & Noble in a while - rather traumatic

NEW YORK CITY, New York - I've turned into a real grinder in book buying. Used, over-runs, Half Price Books, yard sales - anything but actually walking into a big-ass Barnes & Noble.

I went into one in New Jersey and I've been grinding for so long, I was shocked by the prices. The minimum I saw for a novel was $13.95, and many were $16.95+. I'm used to paying $4 to $7 nowadays. If I really need something that's not available via my usual channels, I'll order it on Amazon for about $10.50 max, and I pay for that with a voucher from a Coinstar machine so it feels like it's free.

Oddly, given my parsimoniousness on this issue, I never read a book from the library.

Do the authors make any money when I buy used? No. Do they make less when I buy at clearance? They must make less, or none at all. What can I say, write for the love of the game. Many of the authors I buy are dead anyway. Our Leaders have blessed us with the First-sale doctrine - take advantage.


Football Lock of the Week

SEATTLE, Washington - I was 8-5 (61.5%) last year and 27-13-1 (67.5%) over 3 years.

So let's get started!

This week:
Wake Forest (-3) vs. Stanford

UPDATE: Wake scores a TD with two seconds left to cover the number, 24-17!

Record: 1-0


300th Post - greatest hits

SEATTLE, Washington - Some hits and misses from the last 299 posts:

The Arts, broadly defined

DeQuincey on drug prohibition

Did N.W.A. lift lyrics from Vladimir Nabokov?

On putting a supercomputer in a former chapel

Review of The Decline and Fall of Practically Everybody

Some people drop Big Oil into every conversation

Seattle and Washington

Useless "Landmark" Denny's in Ballard finally allowed to die

Washington State - similar to the Moon

The (former) momentum at the West Seattle Whole Foods site


Harrison Ford looks like a Cap Hill old gay guy

George Takei: similar to the losers from your small hometown

I knew Christina Ricci was short, but holy crap

Orson Welles and the Islamic Revolution


Sports betting gene isolated

Fantasy vs. reality for California card rooms

Should you masturbate before gambling?


Movie Review - District 9

SEATTLE, Washington - There was a bit of buzz about this movie before and immediately after its release - that it was a bit more thoughtful than most sci-fi fare, a little more cerebral. Some of these same thoughts were expressed upon the release of The Matrix in 1999.

I've now seen District 9 and it's competent and entertaining enough but it's also utterly conventional. Where exactly is the nuanced, cerebral part... the parallels to apartheid that are as subtle as a brick hitting you in the head?

This movie does what many movies do, rolls out an interesting concept and then ends the movie with a 30-minute shootout that could have been lifted intact from another movie. In fact, that's the exact criticism Roger Ebert had of The Matrix when he reviewed it.

This phenomenon is not limited to sci-fi... L.A. Confidential established a great, Chinatown-ish mood through most of the film, then ended with a big gaudy shootout. The powers that be must have demanded a sweaty Guy Pearce in a firefight. Chinatown has a bullet or two fired at the end, but it's faithful to the tone of the rest of the film.

How far back do we have to go to find some sci-fi without a long concluding firefight? 2001: A Space Odyssey? How about THX-1138? And the latter probably doesn't have a shootout because George Lucas didn't have the budget. I'm surprised he hasn't gone back and plopped a Clone Army into THX.