Gray Flannel Dwarf


Desperate Yardwork

As warm as the weather was last weekend, I decided to get out and see what kind of yardwork I could get done. It’s still slightly too early to put down any seed or fertilizer and too late to plant any bulbs (we did that back in November anyway), and then I remembered my evil yard nemesis… the wisteria.

Some people love the stuff, and some hate it… I quickly turned into a member of the second group… not to mention that, from what I’ve read, it can be considered invasive in NC (no shit!). I guess the people who owned the house before us planted this, and I am not sure how old it is, but I also don’t know what the hell they were thinking. In the springtime it doesn’t look so bad, but in the winter, with all the leaves off the trees, one can see it’s already engulfed and killed one tree in the yard; the four vines the diameter of a nickel it has shot off, in addition to numerous pencil-sized vines, also were ready to take over another one.

Considering the fact that there was another wisteria in a planter — and almost engulfed by the big one — that never got put into the ground, I’m thinking they were gluttons for punishment.

Thus, the hand saw, the manual hedge clippers, and Black and Decker hedgetrimmers came out of the garage.

It was a battle to the death, just about. The electric trimmers were about useless, but the manual clippers were able to nail most of the 2cm stuff, and a handsaw managed to take a chunk out of the snaky vines taking hold of the other tree.

After two days and probably about 25 pounds of vines later — I also pulled a good number of vines that were left hanging in the tree, lest the wisteria use those to latch onto — the thing looks… well, naked.

I will see how it looks this spring, and if it stays well-behaved, I might let it stick around. However, if it begins to take over again — and I have a feeling it will — I will not hesitate to enlist the RoundUp army.

Tags: , , , — cswiii @ 5:28 pm


Like a Dog, Like a Dog…

xin nian kuai le!

Happy new year!

cswiii @ 1:40 am


Uber Deutschland

Well, you heard it here first, folks, Donny Deutsch has officially jumped the shark with The Big Idea last night.

I don’t watch the show much, but I’d had the TV on CNBC earlier for Mad Money and dude’s show came on later that evening.

In any case, last night’s show focused on “Overzealous Sports Wives”. They talked about the recent Antonio Davis incident and had Anna Benson on as one of the guests.

Although I don’t expect hard-hitting news from Deutsch — although he’s certainly more watchable than either Rita Cosby or Nancy Grace — this episode can’t be described as anything but “inane”.

Never have I seen anything so resembing Jerry Springer on CNBC until last night.

cswiii @ 12:30 pm


Drop it, Virginia!

Looks like someone in the Virginia House of Delegates finally has some sense.

Virginia Delegate Joe T. May, (R-Leesburg) is working to repeal the state’s law making it a crime to possess a radar detector in an automobile. Earlier this month May introduced HB 1120 which would eliminate the $96 ticket police currently issue to those caught with the device — whether it was in use or not.

cswiii @ 4:51 pm



Gwynnie and Chris are scared. Scared of what? Ghosts, apparently — or at least a ghost.

Friends of the 33-year-old actress and her Coldplay star husband say the pair have become increasingly anxious about the alleged spectre.

One said: ‘It’s well known Chris had a lot of trouble writing his latest album ‘X&Y’ and he’s linking it to the haunting.’

I think I read an article where he said X&Y is about sex. That’s kinda strange, then. Was the ghost disturbing their sex life? Doesn’t seem to be the case, as Paltrow has yet another [apple] tart in the oven. Did he get solicted by the ghost? Hm.

Tags: , , , , — cswiii @ 10:06 am


Reasons #4893 and #4894 to leave LiveJournal.

As of this writing, there are nine users listing an interest of ‘my hump‘ and fourteen referencing ‘my lovely lady lumps‘.


cswiii @ 9:20 pm


The Spin Stops Here.

Found a new weblog I like, Deadspin, a general sports commentary website. I initially found the site via this article which talked about Deadspin’s particularly cultish following of Redskins funny guy, Clinton Portis.

I do want to particularly credit them for this meme… pretty funny.

Tags: , — cswiii @ 4:35 pm


We are 11 days into the new year, which I guess makes me about 11 days too late to decide to look back at the last year and look ahead to what I should do next year and in the years following.

This whole past year has been chaos. Between job interviews, job acceptance, and the the move to NC in January, to the beginning of my weekly travels to Detroit, to the INS correspondences, to the months (and then weeks) of separation, I am pretty fatigued, and vacations and long weekends over the past few months have offered very little return on investment. I’ve noted my increased cynicism over the past few months. That went away after college, but it’s returned, which at least to me indicates some sort of rumblings in the belly of discontent.

I need a reset. I need to reprioritize. I need to play guitar again, need to get back in shape. I need to stay in touch with people I know and get to know more people in the town in which I live.

My “tour of duty”, so to speak, will probably be ending soon. Hopefully that will allow me to get everything back in order.

cswiii @ 2:27 pm


Miller Time

Inadvertent advertising choices by keywords can be fun.

Don’t know if anyone else will get the same thing, but I’m sitting here reading this article about Bode Miller talking about skiing drunk… and what are some of the ads I see on the site? A big Budweiser flash ad and a Google-affiliate ad for

Tags: , , , , — cswiii @ 9:33 am


King George

* Bush spies on American citizens and permanent residents, skirting FISA provisions. He claims that this was legal and necessary under presidential wartime powers. Bullshit.

* Bush signs the supplemental budget bill containing John McCain’s anti-torture amendment with the following signing statement, skirting it.


The executive branch shall construe Title X in Division A of the Act, relating to detainees, in a manner consistent with the constitutional authority of the President to supervise the unitary executive branch and as Commander in Chief and consistent with the constitutional limitations on the judicial power, which will assist in achieving the shared objective of the Congress and the President, evidenced in Title X, of protecting the American people from further terrorist attacks.

Translation: I’ll do what I feel I (want) have [ the right] to do. Bullshit.

What happened to the GOP mantra of always believing that “the government which governs least governs best”? Nevermind separation of powers.

Fuck every one of you who still levies unwavering support for this administration.

cswiii @ 11:48 am

Holiday movie list

Well, not really a list.

Saw two movies over Christmas/New Years — well, four if you include the DVDs of Forty Year-Old Virgin and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. In the theatres, we saw Memoirs of a Geisha and Munich.

Geisha wasn’t bad. I felt stupid for not knowing sooner — like when I first saw the book appearing on shelves in 1999 or so — that it wasn’t a true/autobiographical account, but a novel by Arthur Golden. It wasn’t until the credits that I found out, dumbly, that it was fictional.

I did find it a little odd — and I know I’m not the first to make this observation — that a “Japanese” movie starred three of the biggest Chinese names out there: Zhang Ziyi, Gong Li and Michelle Yeoh. Actually, I was also a little miffed that Gong Li got a bit slighted in the credits, at least in my opinion. After crediting Zhang, Yeoh, and all the other major characters, they then had the “And Introducing” credits featuring (I think) Suzuka Ohgo and then Gong Li.

Gong got second listing after some nobody, in an “introductory” credits section? Granted she’s been in mostly Chinese movies for the most part, but this was not her first film seen in the West — Chinese Box had her starring alongside Jeremy Irons. Also, it’s not like she’s a forgotten name amongst the many different film festivals — she was a jury member at some of them!

In any case — the movie was beautifully shot and told an interesting story. It also will perhaps set the record straight for morons who think geishas were prostitutes. And despite the good performances by most of the actors/actresses, I like to think that they could’ve found real Japanese actresses to play the major roles covered by “the big three” above, for historical (and visual) accuracy’s sake.

Munich was pretty good too, though very long — a quality not ignored by the two rednecks who walked out of the theatre muttering stuff about the movie and disturbing everyone else in the theatre. It’s basically the story of a tortured undercover agent/bounty hunter hired by Israel, seeking revenge for the Munich Olympic incident. With certain bits of humour, it comes across at times like an Oceans Eleven, but really it turns out to be a quite bitter, scary and emotional movie… not that this wasn’t expected, to some degree… I mean, Munich was real; George Clooney’s tales of bank robbery glory is just schtick.

Both of these movies were worth seeing, each for different reasons, although I did like Geisha more — Munich was missing…something, and I can’t put my finger on it. Would probably be a bit too rich to watch both on the same day, though.

Tags: , , , , — cswiii @ 10:59 am


DailyKos RPXP v0.421_unofficial

I’m a fan of DKos and a fan of Firefox. I’m also a fan of the DKos RPXP tool (mozdev page)… which made it quite the confusing notion of whether to upgrade to v1.5 of Firefox when the RPXP tool hadn’t been modified for v1.5 compatibility.

After waiting a while, seeing no new version, and having at least a modicum of a clue as to what the solution would be, I added Firefox v1.5 to the compatiblity list and repackaged the whole thing as version 0.421_unofficial, which can be found here.

This is an unofficial release. I can’t vouch for its reliability, but as I did little more than change version labels, I don’t think it should cause anyone any problems. It seems to work for me just fine. Note that if you are using a 1.0 version of Firefox, there is little need to install this, and I’d recommend you stick with the official versions. This was done only to create a temporary fix for Firefox v1.5+ users. I don’t have any plans on maintaining nor supporting this code. This said, let me know if you find any issues arising in this one that never existed in the official 0.42 release.

Tags: , , — cswiii @ 1:39 am

HAIL, Baby.

Tags: — cswiii @ 12:03 am