Tuesday, January 20, 2004

It's time once again for blog filler, the all-cereal, content-free look at the world around us. (And by "us," I mean "me.")

- John Kerry? Well, I hate to drag the infrequent political commentary here down to Maureen Dowd-ian levels, but will America really elect a man who looks like the kindly-but-serious apothecary from a Washington Irving novel? Kerry would've made a great president in the 1880s - just slap on a long ZZ Top beard or a set of burnsides, and he'd fit right in next to Rutherford B. Hayes or James Garfield - but it's undeniable that public image is nine-tenths of the law in the television era.

- Richard Gephardt? I blame it on Michael Bolton. This is, of course, not the first time Bolton has ruined a political career - from the candid snapshots of Bolton on Gary Hart's lap in 1988, to the infamous cadre of senators known as the "Bolton Five" who swindled the Isley brothers out of millions of dollars during the savings and loan crisis, to the Boltongate scandal when former president Clinton received a Bolton-like mullet haircut in Air Force One while blocking the runway - but you'd think that someone as experienced as Gephardt wouldn't have made the same mistake. Especially when Rick Astley was available.

- The Vegas tourism board's slogan is "What happens here, stays here." OK, that's good, although I'm guessing that the massive credit card debt, alcoholic relapse or crippling gonorrhea will not actually stay in Vegas. But I wish they had gone with "Your pitiful human 'morals' have no place here." Or "Y'know, Clorox and a little industrial solvent will get rid of those blood stains."

- I bought an iPod last week. (No better cure for the whole crisis-of-meaning thing than a completely unnecessary consumer purchase.) I don't mean to turn this into an unsolicited gush (especially since Apple isn't compensating me for my endorsement), but it's pretty damn awesome. The interface is slick and intuitively sensible and the sound is surprisingly good, even in the tiny earbud microphones. And this is coming from someone who hates the Mac OS and generally thinks that Apple's much vaunted "ease of use" reputation is highly overrated. My main qualm is with iTunes for Windows, which is a resource vacuum that doesn't work particularly well with my two year old PC. I'd also prefer a longer lasting battery (mine lasts about 8-10 hours, which is about par for the course), even if it made the player larger. But those are minor complaints - overall, I'm very pleased.

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