Cafe 227

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

A Word to my Loyal Readers...

Sorry for the recent preponderence of random links and absence of my usual substantive and entertaining soliloquizing. The truth is, I simply haven't been around much lately. And when I have been around, my energies have been focused on bringing my clients' pesky future cash flows down to size by discounting them.

So, where exactly have I been? Well, I was actually back home in Pittsburgh for an extended labor day weekend, which explains the Pittsburgh focus of my recent posts. Then I spent the next 60 hours of daylight in the climate-controlled oubliette that I call my "office." Luckily, I was released in time to attend a kick-ass wedding at the Four Seasons with a bunch of doctors. (Much more fun than lawyers, with whom I'm generally bored.)

Then I flew out to San Francisco, which (despite the similar topography) is the diametrical opposite of Pittsburgh. You'll be happy to know that my streak of watching the worst movies ever on long-haul flights is still alive. This time, I was treated to Poseidon, which I'm convinced United showed us to prove that there are worse ways to travel than being wedged between an obese, torpid stranger and a porthole offering a glimpse of certain death for 5 hours. I also had the chance to view the pilot of NBC's new series Friday Night Lights, which is exactly like Varsity Blues down to the most inane and inconsequential subplot. I mean, if there were ever a case of script plagiarism, this is it. The only discernable differences between the series pilot and the movie were (1) the coach in the TV series is a good guy, (2) Dawson doesn't seem to be involved, and (3) no whipped-cream bikini.

Anyway, I got back from San Francisco (aka "Bizarro Pittsburgh") at about 1am last night, got to bed by 3am, and had to wake up at promptly 6am this morning.

Which is why I can only offer more random links right now. It's hard to form coherent thoughts when you're running on fumes.

Most of the following news stories are from Pittsburgh-based media outlets, not surprisingly:

  • Let's actually start out with a rather serious piece from Salon.com about President Bush's military tribunal bill, which included the following paragraph: "Bush's bill would allow CIA interrogators in a special program to employ what Bush has called 'tough' interrogation techniques that would otherwise contravene the Geneva Conventions. In the past, those CIA interrogators have reportedly subjected suspects to simulated drowning, prolonged isolation, slapping, sleep deprivation, reduced food intake, and exposure to light and loud sounds." Doza, who sent this article to me, took issue with the inclusion of "slapping" among such torture techniques as "simulated drowning" and "sleep deprivation." I, on the other hand, found the inclusion of "exposure to light" to be much more out of place. Who precisely are we capturing in Iraq and Afghanistan - vampires?
  • Now, onto the absurd. First, a "T-ball coach's desire to win at all costs became a crime when he twice asked an 8-year-old boy to hurl baseballs at a disabled teammate for $25." But it's OK, because he was just joking.
  • Down in Florida, a 31-year old man was trying to help his daughter Meagan rid her fear of heights by jumping off the Lantana bridge 25 feet into the Intracoastal Waterway. This worked out just as well as you'd think.
  • I'm not even going to provide the details of this one. You can just click through to it if you want.
  • OK, enough Pittsburgh bashing. Here's an extremely well-done piece from NPR about 3 generations of Pittsburgh steel mill workers.
  • Now, back to the Pittsburgh bashing. Who the hell let Myron Cope out of MayView? I mean, you heard his speech at Canton, right? Are we all in agreement, then, that he definitely shouldn't be operating a vehicle?


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Finally, let's not forget what today is: the 10th anniversary of Tupac's (alleged) death. The rap game hasn't been the same since September 13, 1996.