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02 September 2012

Today may very well be the best day of my life, absolutely ever.

Assuming everything goes as planned, I'll be attending a radio taping of The Fixx doing an acoustic show.

You read that right. The legends themselves. And I've posted about my love (albeit with a hint of shame) back in 2004.

And I'm bringing my five-year-old daughter with me because she needs to learn about good music. She keeps singing that fucking Train song. Which one? I don't know, the FUCKING ANNOYING ONE!

29 August 2012

17 August 2012

There's nothing "bold" about being a self-entitled jerk...

I've been seeing that word thrown out a lot recently, you'd think it would be used for the likes of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot or Garry Kasparov, you know, people TRULY being oppressed.

But they use it for this guy, who took it upon himself to wear a rude t-shirt while catering at an Obama event. First of all, Obama never said anything like "Government built your business" so the t-shirt is insanely idiotic in the first place. Secondly, you notice he wasn't so principled that he refused the job (or informed his business partner what he was going to do).

But never mind the politics of it, and of course, he has the right to express his opinion, but I think if I were running an event and hiring a caterer, I'd want someone with a modicum of professionalism. I'd certainly think twice about hiring this guy the same way I wouldn't want someone passing out CDs of their nephew's hot new emo band to my guests.

And by the way, like him or hate him, he's the President of the United States. I wouldn't expect respect for that office from these guys, but how about just acting like a damn grownup?

*sigh* This is why we can't have nice things.

11 August 2012

Ryan...Ryan..that name sounds familiar...

Oh, yeah, the guy who had no problem taking loads of aid for government projects but is telling all of us that we can't afford Medicare anymore. That guy.

Not that my opinion means anything, but I don't see how this doesn't mean Romney's toast. He's still trying to win over the base? STILL? He just put Florida in play, too. And the best part for me will be when Biden finally gets to take off the chains and go Jet Li on him in the veep debate. Gotta make some popcorn fer that...

06 August 2012

Please get me a napkin for my eye...

Turns out those eye problems I was having weren't strain-related, I've got a staph infection in my left eye. For those of you wondering, it's about as much fun to have as it sounds. Fortunately, the steroid-antibiotic drops I was given have reduced the desire to murder by as much as ten percent...

But I guess I could be this guy...

23 July 2012

A simple question, really...

As with the situation in Virginia Tech, the recent tragedy in Aurora has invited numerous people to assert that if someone in the theater had been armed, the killings could have been averted.

Here is the question: How do we know for a fact no one else in that theater was armed?

18 July 2012

Want to see the FLOTUS on Friday?

Just wanted to let you know that while I was on line initially and waited about an hour with Mrs. Nevskaya, there's no line now and tickets are still available. Just head over to the Downtown Mall and 4th Street and you'll see the table...

17 July 2012

Danny, I'm killing my eyes...

So this weekend I was hit with a somewhat nasty cold, with one of its lovely side effects being my left eye swelling up and turning red and pus-drippy.

As a result, it became painful to look at a computer screen or television, to the point where on Monday I tried to forego the internet entirely, which unfortunately revealed to me the depths to which I had become addicted. I knew it had to be the one day something actually interesting happened on Facebook and it drove me nuts that I couldn't look at it...

Fortunately, today the swelling and pain diminished to the point where I could get through the workday, despite my duties solely consisting of staring at computer screens.

And lest my tone not make it clear, I am fully aware that blowing out one's eye to the point of not being able to surf the web is the very model of a modern major white person's problem. This post has been made to invite ridicule, not sympathy.

And it's always a good excuse to post this...

10 July 2012

Daring Duckie to debate? Good luck with that...

I feel for challenger John Douglass, who is challenging Robert Hurt to five debates even though it's almost certainly a futile exercise.

After all, Hurt ducked debates repeatedly two years ago and still won. Actually, that was probably the smart move, because when he did deign to share a stage with Perriello, he got his clock cleaned.

But accountability has never been a strong suit for Mr. Hurt; this is the guy who "promised" to be as accessible to his constituents as Mr. Perriello was. He may as well have promised to fart out free gold ingots for whatever expectations he had on being called on it.

So good luck to Mr. Douglass for trying to hold his feet to the fire, but he's got a real big hill to climb...

04 July 2012

Put your money where your mouth is, or you ain't saying nothin'...

[Started this one when the storm hit, thought I'd go ahead and finish it up. - n42]

I am very heartened to see headlines like these touting the big donations that have come in since President Sullivan has been reinstated to UVa. A few million here and there won't change things too much in the long term, but if the University does manage to close out its capital campaign in the not-too-distant future, it might relieve some of the pressure that Sullivan's facing and silence some critics.

I doubt alumni will be super-pleased with McDonnell's decision to reinstate Dragas, however. More than anything else I find the decision baffling. Colleagues noted to me that McDonnell wants things to quiet down as quickly as possible, and while I agree with that, I fail to see how keeping Dragas on accomplishes that. McDonnell's weak justifications and use of the passive voice ignore that this was a manufactured crisis started by Dragas in the first place, so he either has no idea what's going on or doesn't care. I'm guessing the latter, and as far as that affects McDonnell's future political ambitions, well, maybe there aren't that many UVa alumni in the world.

Happy Independence Day!

01 July 2012

Viva Italia! (or something)

Halftime at the Euro Cup, just chillin' with the missus at fry's spring station. Who else is watching?

30 June 2012

Holy fuck, what a storm...

Hope you're safe and keeping cool. We lost our power around ten last evening and got it back about noon, thank the heavens. Felt so sorry for our little Monty, that double coat doesn't help you in the summer, and the uncomfortable sleepless night was punctuated with his panting away...

And by the time I got around to try to buy ice in the morning, everything was sold out. All of this has helped to reaffirm my belief that I have no survival skills whatsoever and in a postapocalyptic society I would be one of the first ones eaten. I would be hard-pressed, for example, to build you a fire without matches, unless my coke-bottle glasses could produce a flame a la Piggy's specs in Lord of the Flies. But you would have probably sliced my jugular with your razor boomerang and just put the glasses in your ammo kit, all the while roasting my skin dry for a nice bag of jerky to munch on as you trudge back to your tribe in New Blood City...

It hasn't helped that I just read "The Road" either.

Well, stay cool!

28 June 2012

Doesn't the sky seem especially bright and blue today?

I swear, if someone told me on Monday that President Sullivan would be reinstated, and the Affordable Care Act would be upheld, albeit by an unnecessarily razor-thin margin, I'd have told that person to put the pipe down! But sanity, for a day or two, has managed to prevail! So sleep well, everybody!

27 June 2012

A few more thoughts about yesterday...

- This comment by GT Shin on Cvillenews sums up beautifully the extent of chicanery that occurred at the hands of Dragas and her cohorts, and why her sticking around (for now) is a little hard to swallow.

- Having said that, I honestly have no idea what McDonnell's going to do about it. My first impression was that the vote of confidence (eyeroll) for Dragas at the end signaled she was going to stick around, but I don't know if the guv would necessarily want to reward her for the unnecessary shitstorm she stirred up. Not reappointing Dragas would signal that he has at least a bit of concern for UVa's reputation, but up to this point he hasn't shown much to me beyond a desire to have it all blow over.

- I can't help but wonder how Mark Kington and Peter Kiernan are feeling; it seems that they were helping Dragas with everything, yet they fell on their swords while she (so far) gets off scot-free.

- And almost needless to say, I received a fundraising e-mail from the College today. But I think I'll follow the lead of the Facebook group that formed to reinstate Sullivan and send a token donation to the President's Fund For Excellence.

26 June 2012

Well, THAT was surprisingly anticlimactic...

President Sullivan was voted back unanimously; as an obvious sop to the BOV, Dragas was given a vote of confidence as well as a good tongue-bathing by Fralin... Hey, I'm all for moving forward and working together, especially if that's what all the parties involved TRULY want, but I will say that all the forceful assertions that Dragas was a person with integrity wouldn't have been necessary if she hadn't facilitated this unnecessary crisis.

25 June 2012

UVa 1, WSJ 0...

As Waldo documented today, the Wall Street Journal ran an editorial on the Teresa Sullivan firing that was a crime against good writing and sound logic. The comments section ran like Bizarro Yahoo, as the audience took it upon themselves to correct the numerous errors and false assertions.

The most glaring error concerned a statement signed by ten of the eleven UVa deans calling for Sullivan's reinstatement. The WSJ supposed that since the business school dean was the holdout, it was proof that the faculty were anti-business and saw the Sullivan firing as a threat to their tenured positions. Of course, the only dean that didn't sign was in fact the dean of the undergraduate School of Commerce, Carl Zeithaml, who had just been named interim president and was not asked to sign the letter out of respect for his difficult position.

Meanwhile, Dean Bruner of the Darden Business School provided his own smackdown, noting that not only had he signed the Deans' statement, he was one of its writers.

While the Wall Street Journal has noted the correction, the actual content of the editorial has not changed, with "UVa faculty vs. Dean of Business School" becoming "UVa faculty vs. business in general". When your unsupported conclusion is already in place before you begin to write, shifting and removing inconvenient facts isn't that difficult.

What is all the more galling is that this piece of dreck screams Hill & Knowlton, the PR firm that's being employed by Rector Helen Dragas to repair her reputation and paid for with funds from a UVa foundation. I wonder how donors will feel about their philanthropic dollars being used this way.

And when it all shakes out, I hope McDonnell remembers what happens here should he decide to run for Senator later. Because Virginia will.

24 June 2012

I stand with President Sullivan...

I attended the rally today and came away very impressed with those that spoke out in favor of her return. And as shocked as I have been over the past two weeks, I was resigned to it happening, and as excited co-workers talked about the Faculty Senate's actions, I, sad to say, was dismissive and cynical.

"Oooooh, the faculty's not happy! What are they going to do, tear off the leather patches off their jackets? Have sex with their hot grad assistants in protest?"

Shame on me. And good on them for keeping the noise up and making forceful yet reasonable arguments. McDonnell's mealy-mouthed statement was disgusting; the bulk of the letter is spent chastising the alleged "tone" of those seeking Sullivan's return, but the graffiti on the Rotunda was nowhere near as offensive as the action that precipitated it.

I hope against hope (and despite what I think will happen) that President Sullivan will be back. No one deserves to lose their job like she did, but she didn't deserve to lose it in the first place.

UPDATE: Silly me for not mentioning Waldo Jaquith for his fantastic reporting on this issue. The Daily Progress has been surprisingly good as well, but I only look on that site on my smartphone because I'm afraid the malware that pops up on that website from time to time would destroy my ancient computer...

10 May 2012

I'd call this an "open thread" if people read this blog.

Wikipedia tells me that thalidomide was taken off the market in 1961.

But when you read the comments left on Yahoo News articles, you end up questioning that.

07 May 2012

Yes, yes, f***ing count Ron Paul out already...

This article had the link "Don't count out Ron Paul yet!" Oh Lord, spare me from these insane maniacs...

Oh, wait, they're torturing Romney? Go at it, you patriots, you! Your mission is not insanely idiotic at all!

20 April 2012

...and John McCain's an asshole.

Way to stay classy.

Man, these elections are going to be especially painful...

03 April 2012

Rush Limbaugh is a racist dick.

Disagree and be wrong. And when someone significant invariably calls him on his bullshit, the fake outrage will spew from his loathsome tongue for hours on his show tomorrow, which I will be busy ignoring.

Jesus Christ, what an asshole.

02 April 2012

Another issue of "things I wish I never read"...

The headline says it all:

Ann Romney: ‘Unzip him and let the real Mitt Romney out’

There's not enough "ewwwwwwwwwwwwww" and "ickkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk" in the world...

27 March 2012

Pointing out racists are racist is racist yet fucking again...

God fucking forbid people can't even agree that a kid should be able to walk down the street and not get fucking shot. How can this even be an argument? How?

And yet I read the yahoo comments on these articles and I'm just floored. I shouldn't be; people who comment on yahoo have long ago proven the continued underground use of thalidomide by their mothers. But every time I think we've hit rock bottom they replace the moronic drill bit...

14 March 2012

Since I've been slacking...

...go ahead and read Commander Sue's blog. She's still the wind beneath my wings...

18 February 2012

La la la, it's the procrastination tango...

In my heady grad student days, I could knock off a ten-page paper in about three hours, with a couple of cups of coffee, and maybe a quick wanking break in between. Now as I try to finish one for my business certificate, I find myself stuck on page 7 with nary an end in sight. As it is due on Monday, I'm not in full panic mode yet, but having a job and a family makes it really hard to get back into this sort of focus. I'd just rather spend my time doing something, ANYTHING else. And so it's back to my semi-retired blog.

I understand how Santorum is hot and surging from behind (nyuk, nyuk) but the idea that he would somehow be a better presidential candidate than Romney is absurd. Actually, the idea of him winning the GOP nomination is absurd; the guy is totally amateur hour as a candidate. He didn't even get on the Virginia primary ballot. Remember those old wrestling shows they'd show on Saturday morning where Jake "the Snake" Roberts would beat up on some ham-n-egger for two minutes just so they could promote a house show where the stars would REALLY fight each other? Santorum's that ham-n-egger, and what does it say about Romney that this guy is still in the race?

OK? Hmmmm, maybe if I strip the paint off all my cabinets my paper will magically finish itself.

12 February 2012

Nah, don't have the heart...

I had a couple of Whitney jokes ready to go, but really, it's just sad.

And to make things worse, there's a family conflict; apparently, some of her family wanted an open casket, but Bobby Brown wanted a closed-casket funeral.

So in honor of Whitney, they decided to give her a little crack.

29 January 2012

8 Bits O' Nevsky - My Top Five of the Year

Ah yes, I know I'm a bit late with the "best of 2011" lists that every videogame website with a budget of over $50 has put it out, but look at it this way, you've seen the rest, now look at mine!

Of course, with my relatively limited budget, I've only played a handful of the games released last year, but still, looking at this list, I can't help but think that you, the reader, will find that I'm exactly right. So let's get crackin'!

5) Mortal Kombat

I've said in the past that I love fighting games even though they don't really return the favor. And even the fighters I find most fun to play invariably retire to the shelf after I hit that sticking point. My limited dexterity and refusal to buy game guides mean once I've reached that level of competence, I'm not going to get many new experiences after a while.

Still, good ol' MK lasted quite a bit thanks to the developers' decision to take what was in effect a freakshow spectacle and turn it into an actual fighting game. So while you still had the ludicrous characters, idiotic dialogue, and demented pseduo-torture porn settings, there was also something actually worth learning and playing.

And don't think I didn't appreciate having the moves listed on a pause screen rather than have to figure them all out through GameFAQ.

4) The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

This fall there seemed to be a glut of "10"s handed out by gaming magazines, scores usually reserved for games truly groundbreaking and trendsetting, such as Mario 64 or Grand Theft Auto III. Skyward Sword and Uncharted 3 were given 10s so casually that I can't help but wonder if my relatively low placement here stemmed from the mild disappointment I felt when I first played them. Uncharted 3, so far, seems to be pretty much Uncharted 2 with wonkier controls (and I'm not sure how that happened). Skyward Sword, however, has grown on me rather pleasantly, but I'm finding its charms not to be in the much-hyped motion controls (because you still waggle as crazily as you did in Twilight Princess) but the fantastic level design and the surprisingly fun story.

3) Portal 2

I can't argue with anyone who called this their game of the year. The three-hour original was practically perfect in every way, so multiplying that experience by five and fleshing out the story and puzzles while maintaining that ridiculously high mark of quality was something I was afraid could never happen in a million years. So fuck me, they did it. On top of that, the co-op puzzles with my like-minded friend were simply fantastic and perhaps my single favorite gaming experience of the year. Even complaining about the nominal drawback seems so petty I feel like a shit for mentioning anything, but if there is a difference between this game and the two others listed below, it's that I haven't felt the need to revisit this world having completed it (unless even more DLC is on the way). But this is the one game on the list that everyone who has a console should own, period.

2) Dark Souls

Basically, Demon's Souls sold me a PS3; I'm the sort of person drawn to perverse curiosities, so when I heard about this game that mercilessly kicks your ass every step of the way, I had to try it. I wasn't disappointed in the least, either. And save for the lack of novelty, Dark Souls is an improvement on the franchise in every way. I understand why RPG fans would hate it; in a lot of ways, I find Dark Souls to be more analogous to Resident Evil 4 than any role-playing game. It's survival horror with more options. But these options are what gives this game such replayability. Oh sure, you get your ass kicked, but if it was just headbashing against a wall, even I'd give up. But there's always a new weapon to try, a new spell to acquire, a new upgrade to achieve, a new discovery you made about that enemy's attack pattern, a new reason to go up against that giant monster that just two-hit killed you for the thirtieth time. I've put 60 hours into this game and I'm guesstimating that I'm about halfway done. The world is so fantastically deep and detailed that you can't wait to get back into it, and the pants-shitting terror you feel as a new villain jumps you is just a bonus.

1) Mass Effect 2

AHA! The PS3 version of this game came out in January of last year, so this technically counts! Everything I loved about the games above is here in bucketfuls; an expansive, detailed world that was a sheer joy to explore, a narrative that compelled you to play just to find out what happened next, strategic combat that got your heart rate through the roof yet required you to think, and well-written characters that actually made you care about the responses you gave. Goddammit, I know I COULD have played as a "Renegade" and still cultivated the loyalty my shipmates showed to me but I DIDN'T WANT TO! Two playthroughs as a Paragon, and that's the Shepard I'm carrying through to ME3.

And how can you hate on this?

22 January 2012

Has the world gone mad?

I thought Steven Tyler was fine; he sounded like the lead singer from Aerosmith with a voice husky with age. I actually was listening to it and thinking to myself, "Hey, not bad."

It was a helluva lot better than Cristina Aguilera's mangling...

21 January 2012

I'm just burning doing the Newt-tron Dance...

I don't know if the predictions that Newt is going to win South Carolina by a decent margin are testimony to Romney's incredible unbelievable shittiness as a candidate or the South Carolina GOP's complete divorce from reality.

Probably a little of column A, a little of column B...

17 January 2012

It's a feature, not a bug...

This Congress just finished its most unproductive year, ever. I'm sure electing a bunch of do-nothings whose job was to make sure nothing got done so they could blame the President for not doing it had nothing to do with it.

If you could read that convoluted sentence, you've just exerted more brain power than the Tea Party collectively exhibited this past year.

15 January 2012

File this one under "child is parent to the grown-up"...

Took my five-year-old to Bodo's, which was overrun with returning students:

Kid: "Daddy, when were you a student?"
Me: "Oh, a long time ago."
Kid: "Now you're just an adult?"
Me: "That's right."
Kid: "Are students adults?"
Me: [perplexed silence]