Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Coaches begin annual fasting period

That might explain it. I have no other explanation. Last night's gala coaches dinner was cancelled. I don't really know why, so I won't hypothesize. (Far be it from me to make stuff up.) It's too bad, though. It is nice to get together with folks socially to talk about what's going on in our little world. I'm sure it will happen at some point. It's a good idea and everyone benefits from it.

I am now rooked into writing the piece for Rostrum. I'm going to talk about resolution brainstorming. I do believe that one of our strengths as a team is our knowledge of resolutions, and God knows, the more people arguing the resolution, the better for all of us. I'll no doubt work it out here, or at least post it here (I mean, who among us reads Rostrum other than me). It's due 10/1, but I'll probably write it next week, since I'm off from work. I know what to say, mostly. It's just a matter of saying it.

For anyone thinking as far ahead as the end of October, the Manchester invitation is out. I, for one, AM thinking as far ahead as October. As a matter of fact, I've put in for all the necessary vacation days for the rest of this calendar year. As always, I'll go to Monticello, Bronx, Newburgh and Little Lex. And Bump. Pretty much all of the other weekends are Saturday Ls of the MH or CF persuasion. As far as Manchester is concerned, it's a possibility, the first, for some of us to try a little Pffft, given that there's a 5-LDer limit. The only thing is, there are so many debate alternatives that weekend that the need to go Manching may not be all that strong, or not so strong that some of the team pair up and pffft just to visit the home of the albino bagel. We'll see. In any case, I will devote a little time to prepping on the Oct Pffft topic, just for the hell of it. We've got nothing to lose, assuming that it's an interesting enough topic.

Which reminds me, I need to note the possibility of Pffft in the Cur. Tomorrow. Tonight, the first chez, which for all I know will be attended only by the Endorian, who believes so strongly in unmitigated rights for all that he may just teleport himself into Nov-Dec. (Hmmm. Pffft. The Cur. Chez. Endorian. I'll bet the readership of this blog, if any, wishes that more of it were in English.)

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

For Caveman fans:

Camille Paglia interview—check it out.

Help for parents

I'm sitting here looking at an advertisement for a book entitled "Protecting Your Teen from Today's Witchcraft." Finally, an aid for parents in rescuing their children from me.

Tonight is the coaches' dinner, about which more after it has been consumed. I have no idea who's coming other than O'C, and he may be going to the wrong restaurant, so I can't even vouch for him.

There's this software called OpenOffice (from which I was seriously considering stuffing down Little Elvis's throat last night, but I changed my mind halfway through the download. Little E has Word in his PC mode and Appleworks in his OS mode, and if the latter doesn't suffice, then we're probably overdoing it. Of the 9,327 features of Microsoft Word (I use the OS version 11.1 in the office), I use 6, and really need only 3. My assumption is that keeping Little E thin will keep him swift, so I will resist the temptation to check out every piece of software that isn't nailed down. At least for now. Hell, I haven't even looked at half the software that came with the thing, and I swore up and down that I would do that before anything else. Which may keep me from EVER doing anything else, but that may not be a bad thing. Anyhow, I ported the Cur over last night to Little E's desktop and converted it to cwk. The new year has almost begun for real!

O'C tells me he's got my Voices Bump entry lined up. 1 down, 119 to go in LD. Speaking of which, I am seriously considering adding Pffft next year, if enough rooms open up after the construction settles down. Has it settled down? God only knows. I'll pop over there next week maybe and pick up some bus request forms and sniff around for signs of sawdust.

Monday, August 29, 2005

"Meet the Fockers" sucks

I include the information above in the title because: 1) it has no business being in the body of one of these entries; 2) it does need to be noted somewhere.

Okay. Back to the main event.

I have a note to myself to send the Yale rooming list to the hotel today. So it shall be written, so it shall be done.

There's a comment from O'C that the Vascar Races will be more fun this year than when I went. Figures. I was up in that neck of the woods yesterday golfing at McCann. There were street decorations throughout Po'keepsie celebrating the RR. They're promising all sorts of things. Parades. Fireworks. Three-legged races. Human sacrifice. Sounds great.

Meanwhile, back in the Inbox, Jason Baldwin is soliciting articles for Rostrum, and I think I just volunteered. I have no idea what I'd write about, but there is always, "How to Avoid Fast Food on the Debate Circuit," and "YDKJ Tips for Teens," and "Why You Should Never Rummage Through the Teacher's Desk When the Teacher is Actually in the Room" (a particular favorite of mine).

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Beta Bump

Not to be confused with Bada Bing. There are now two little jpgs over there on the right (on the left, if you're looking at your computer in a mirror). I'll make another last run-through of Beta Bump in a couple of days, at which point, bada bing, bada boom.

Speaking of the MHL, we did come up with an LD-only venue for 10/22. At which point I discovered I could edit the html code directly in Geocities, thus circumventing my need to find a barebones HTML editor for Little Elvis, a voyage on which I was just about to embark. Sorry, Little E. At least for the moment, you can rest easy. (I don't want it to know I'm about to sneak up on it and try to install Classic. That's why I'm typing this on my PC. Ssssssshhhhhh!)

Friday, August 26, 2005

The Day the Earth Stood Still is hardly obscure

Jeesh! Doesn't anybody see movies made before last Wednesday? (This is in response to a comment, below. Comments get mailed to my Yahoo account, so they float like dynamited herring on a sea of Nigerian spam, if you can follow the metaphor.)


Finished a rough draft of the Bump invite. We're almost there. When I have it, I'll update the site and link to it out of here, but I won't bother annoying the world at large until maybe the end of September. It's not as if everyone doesn't know it's the same weekend as always, the same food, the same jokes, the same crappy prizes. Come to think of it, I didn't mention CPs in the invite. But I probably won't. Not that the CP closet isn't now totally filled to capacity. I couldn't fit another book on Portuguese fly fishing no matter how hard I tried. That special O'C prize has sunk to the back somewhere. Oh, well. It should turn up before December.

Barnes seems to be shaking his head in despair over all my LDEP comments. He must be wishing he'd never asked my opinion, since whatever it is, I'm against it, and I'm about as consistent as some really inconsistent thing that I'm too dull to think of since I'm all worn out after that herring analogy.

The Vascar RR (i.e., O'C) sent out its participant list, which needs to be ranked. I passed it to Ewok. I haven't heard of any of these people (including Ewok and O'C). But Vascar was fun the one time I went, and I'm sure our Endorian will enjoy it.

I had lunch with CLG yesterday, and we argued about the topic. My mind is now clear. Her objection to the aff is that people should not be treated differently: We shouldn't treat immigrants differently than citizens if there's a suspicion of evil-doing. To which, I think, the answer is obvious. Although, of course, I must point out that she is right. So we may be on the road to an aff here, folks. Thank God for ex-debaters. We also talked about the one reason she continues to judge for us: YDKJ. I do have one old iteration I've never launched, but it will require loading Classic OS onto Little Elvis. I understand Classic is on one of the disks in the packing box; if you want it, you've got to load it yourself. I used to have to use Classic in the office, and it was pretty sturdy, although word on the street is that it's not very stable. Well, we'll see. I have until, oh, Lexington, to make it work.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

My short career as an IMer

Once, long ago, when computers were young, I said to myself sez I, Let's try out this newfangled Instant Messaging thing here from good old AOL. This was a time when AOL was cool. (There was that three week period back in 1997.) So I fired up the software and logged on, and lo and behold, as that Haze woman might say, I'm IMing. I mean, I can't log on and there's this debate person who shall remain nameless (because he's still in the activity) blathering on and on about absolutely nothing and I just can't shake him. He's knows when I'm sleeping. He knows when I'm awake. He knows when I've been bad or good.

I said to myself sez I, I need this like a woman needs a bicycle, and I ripped it out of my hard drive and I've never missed it since.

Now Google has IMing (how revolutionary!) and Noah, Mr. Why Don't You Come Up and Videocam Me Sometime, wants us all to sign up and chat with him. Of course, it's PC only, and the one thing I haven't bothered to do with Little Elvis is network Virtual PC to Little E's internet connection, and the last thing my clunky real PC needs is another reason to go slow. So, Noah and I will be forced to communicate the old-fashioned way. Email.

That is soooo 1998.

Meanwhile, the Speech contingent seems to want to organize itself. They want to do all sorts of wonderful things like recruit and raise money. Live long and prosper, I always say, but I'm sort of imagining that we'll recruit the way we always do (we usually get the odd boatload of folks on opening night and spend the rest of the year trying to get rid of them—the day we actually assign work is always pretty effective) and fundraise the way we always do (lots of talk, not much funds, although I would like to get the Family Night back on the books, not for the fundraising so much as for the socializing). I think they're also concerned with organizing a meeting plan. Not easy. It's taken me years to organize my plan (yes, I do have an organized plan, you lout).

And O'C wants to sign up for Bump housing. For 2006. This planning ahead is admirable. So is saving the whales. Personally I think he should spend these last few weeks of summer doing the latter while he still can. They'll be plenty of time for counting when the deal is done.

Today's quiz: how many stupid references can you find in this entry? My banality sometimes amazes even me.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


All right. I got the resolution backwards in my mind. I really like that I was wrong. If the neg has to uphold democratic values, the neg can't critique democratic values. I think of it as a (probably unpremeditated) preemptive strike on the part of the wording committee. They should make it the law going forward. In all resolutions, if the affirmative must uphold a literally negative statement, then negatives must actually run a case (to wit, an affirmation) and "all I have to do is prove the resolution is not true" goes down the proverbials. Of course, affs must also run a case, because they can't respond to what hasn't been said yet.

It might end up being a lot like debate.

Last night I added a (rather punk) graphic to the MHL site, and linked the HH site to the MHL site through the graphic. This took a bit of time for some reason. Maybe because I work on both the PC and Little Elvis simultaneously these days. The PC mostly chugs along upgrading podcast subscriptions through iTunes. Anyone running the old original PC iPod understands the complexities of that. How slow can your computer go? Try it and find out. Meanwhile Little E and I groove along doing everything else.

Kurt has the MHL invoices going out. Everybody owes money; it's just a question of how much. I am so happy that I have nothing to do with that side of things.

I sent a bunch of research leads out yesterday on the listserver. One debater who will remain nameless complained that they didn't write the case for him. Jeesh. And I thought we would have been able to eliminate all the thinking on our end by visiting just the right websites. I was so wrong. (And no doubt he'll complain about this comment.)

And HoraceMan, the superhero with no superpowers, is apparently the only one going to Wake. I'm not surprised. It's a lot of energy and investment early in the year, especially with the energy and investment of Yale following so quickly on its heels. So I signed him up, anyhow. And I put signup deadlines for Monti and BB into the group calendar. I'm assuming that we will send oodle-loads to both, even if O'C is doing all the cooking himself (at both of them—he's pretending to be a parent at Monti just to practice his chops). Speaking of which, I wonder if it's safe to go back to the MI5 website. Last time I looked there were so many mocassins I was tempted to throw Little Elvis out the window, but I'd only do that it O'C were walking by at the opportune moment. Baudrillard was SOOOOOOO right about commerce and reality!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

LDEP, and Wines of the World Unite!

The Lincoln-Douglas Education Project Their goal seems to be making LD safe for the ages. Barnes, an old Hen Hudder, has grabbed the problem and is actually trying to organize folks to do something about it. The problem, of course, is the tendency to argue anything but the resolution, to argue in such a way that the debate is inaccessible to any but a specialized audience, to use materials that are inappropriate to high school, etc. I've been looking at their proposed ballot. I have some reservations about their speaker-point system. It's not a bad idea, necessarily, but a hard one to get across because of embedded practices. That'll be interesting. The ballot also stated: The affirmative must persuade the judge that the resolution is true, and the negative must persuade the judge that the resolution is false. This I don't buy as a paradigm. Not that it's necessarily untrue sometimes, but it's a license for weasely negs that have no offensive thrust. As I've said about a bazillion times, the neg is not just the absence of the aff. So, we'll see how that pans out.

I do like the idea of a general speaking point system adapted by one and all. It's really ridiculous that at a given tournament every judge has a unique idea of what points are for and how they should be rewarded, especially when we're attempting to give speaker awards based on these unique ideas. Throw in those non-English-speaking judges, and Whoa, Nellie. That's why I've posted judging materials on the MHL site, and why I'll distribute those materials at tournaments.

Meanwhile, O'C is up in arms over our team calendar—why is he on our team calendar—which pointed out that the food at Big Bronx, when they had any (there was a year or two when the best you could hope for was Hobo Stew over an open fire at the subway yards), wasn't exactly up to Iron Chef standards. Iron Stomach standards, maybe. If you've read his invitation, you'll notice that this year they're doing a Wines of the World tasting or something like that. Beers of the World? Diet Cokes of the World? God only knows, because aside from promising it, there's no explanation of what it is. Not that we need a menu down to the last peanut and coriander leaf, but this Buffets of the Bronx thing isn't exactly clear. Sips of Science? Feasts of Forensics? Lucullian LD? Pastry Puffs of Policy? (That one's got a ring to it.) Whiffs of Pffft? Whatever. Well, I'm reserving judgment until the event. (Oh, yeah. I've been communicating with BA Gregg who's doing Pffft tab, and he sounds open to torturing O'C as much as I am. We might have to install a take-a-number system, the way things are going.)

Monday, August 22, 2005

MHL is live

I sent out a bazoogle of messages today pointing people to the MHL site. I'm surprised how few of the messages bounced, and how few people wrote back and told me I should fold it seven times and stuff it.

I did cancel the first chez. The thing is, the meeting is specifically to give early prep to Ewok and HoraceMan, and neither could attend. Poor Ewok has to go on vacation with his parents. That'll bum you out... I mean, if he doesn't want to go, they can always take me. I could use a few days off. And HoraceMan (with God knows what strange superpower) is still out there making mocassins from birch bark.

Anyhow, all the mailing lists for MHL are up and running, and the next big job, after some calendar management (don't ask, cause I ain't a' gonna tell), is the Bump invite.

Little Elvis update: My portable mouse (a two-click jobbie) works like the proverbial charm. It Apple-mouses for the Apple, and PC-mouses for Virtual PC. Go, Little Elvis. Go!

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Good news, bad news

But I'm not sure which is which.

According to Erin, I am banned in China. I am used to being banned in small venues. It's nice to know I've reached the big time.

According to O'C, there was a joke pic of me on DMZ. Of course I missed it, because the site is mostly pix of people on the premises making mocassins out of birch bark. Parochial, shall we say? Of course, you know I love the site. With great abandon. (Which means I've sort of abandoned the site at least until the mocassin-making is over.) Will I rot in hell for not consulting it every two seconds? I wonder if it's banned in China...

According to Burgers, there is a blog devoted entirely to burgers. (Okay, there were only two categories and this is a third thing, but can't you be a little flexible?) Figures. And it figures he would know about it.

I wonder if people in China are eating hamburgers, wondering where I am while they read about mocassin-making at DMZ?

Friday, August 19, 2005

Who are these people?

I'm putting together a mailing list for the MHL. My starting point was my mailing list for Bump. Good gravy! There's a couple of hundred names, and I can identify maybe 3, and 2 of those are Lynne C's. I asked Kurt to add his names, and we'll send it out, I hope, the beginning of next week. After the delivery failures and the don't-darken-my-electronic-door-ever-again responses, we should whittle it down to a reasonable number.

The season slowly creeps toward us. I'm looking forward to a small chez next week, although no one has really confirmed. Ewok will just be getting off the gunboat from his camp, and Horace is still at his camp sewing moccasins, so who knows? Worst case scenario, I'll do some research. Although this new topic makes it pretty obvious what we can expect. Certain gonifs will drag out their democracy Ks, other gonifs will miss the whole point, and nine people on the entire east coast will actually debate the topic. Claire, who has strong feelings that all immigrants should be run into the ocean, was worried that her personal opinions might cloud her judgment. As if she'd actually get to hear people debating the topic! I'm seeing her next week, probably, so we can sort that out in person.

My next big chore is the Bump invite update, followed by organizing the meeting plan for the year, followed by meditating over the team appointments. Aside from putting NoShow in charge of Attendance, I really haven't figured any of it out yet. Speaking of which: Has NoShow moved out of the District? Would we know if he had?

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

"I survived the Bump tournament"

Kate, who is literally on her way to Thailand at the moment, i.e., somewhere over the Pacific Ocean reading Harry Potter VI, made a remarkable discovery in the attic before she left. Somehow she managed to uncover about half a dozen old "I survived the Bump tournament" tee shirts. These amazing pieces of couture are black with white writing, and there is the suggestion of a bump at the word Bump. I've already got one, of course. I wear it often, but always under another shirt so no one can see it. The reason I still have mine is that I haven't thrown away a wearable item of clothing since the Carter Administration. But that's just me.

I wonder what I should do with these things. They are beyond crappy prizes. They apotheosize the concept of crappy prizes. Any suggestions gratefully accepted.

Speaking of Bump, some schmegeggie just e-mailed me that he wants to judge. His credentials look fine, aside from my suspicion that he's part of the O'C posse. I like people who plan ahead, but I'm not quite ready to open the Bump books just yet. I thought I'd get the invitation written first.

And last night I finished the MHL website. It is to websites as Wonder Bread is to the Napoleon. That is, it is of the vanilla persuasion. I'm hoping that eventually I can pass management and design of the site to someone with the time and skills to make it sing. Or even hum. I've managed, at most, to put it on life support and feed it through a tube. But, it should get the job done. if you want to take a look.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The return of the chez

I've just scheduled the first chez. With Ewok and Horace emigrating to various early events, we'll need to get cracking. Assuming at least one of them can show up—they are of the "I will camp till I get married or maybe even later" persuasion—we'll have it. Yale folk can wait, maybe, but then again, school starts so late this year, and then there's novices to contend with (with any luck), so an early start may be beneficial to one and all. Yeah. As long as there's a marginal quorum of anyone, we'll have it.

Maybe NoShow will show up. What are the odds?

I'm going to move this year's chezzes to the basement. There's chairs there now, and there's a certain debatey feel to the place. Fewer comfy chairs, to make things clear right off the bat, but that will keep down the fist fights. There's also enough computers to run NASA, but then again, I think they run NASA on a wing, a prayer and an Apple IIe, so that might not be saying much.

If there were any question that debate season has started, the offers have started pouring in to sell me things like topic briefs. These are, of course, written by experts. Curiously enough, these experts tend to be college freshman and sophomores who struck me as pretty idiotic not all that long ago. Apparently they mature quickly. To tell you the truth, I think they're missing a bet. They're willing to research for you, and write your cases for you, but why aren't they willing to debate for you too? If I ever go into the briefs business, I'm going to go all the way. Why should you have to do any work at all? Want to sleep in on Saturdays? Want to skip that hellish bus ride? Buy "Jim's Debaters." We do it all for you!


Monday, August 15, 2005

Debate season officially begins

Resolved: In matters of U.S. immigration policy, restrictions on the rights of non-citizens are consistent with democratic ideals.

Thus reads the Sept-Oct resolution. Which, as it turns out, we did not vote for. We hardly ever vote for the winning resolutions. So far we've gotten two out of four, and one of them was the Nationals topic, which we didn't debate, and which everybody probably voted for, which is why it was the Nat's topic in the first place. I guess you can say that we Hen Hudders are blue state debaters in a red state debate world.

Not that it strikes me as a particularly bad resolution, at least insofar as the subject is new and interesting (immigration, that is, not democracy). The reason it's not a stunner is that it's so narrow (if argued well). Narrow topics can be good in some respects, as they force you to argue well because there's not much case variation from round to round after a topic gets established. But the rub is, there's not much variation from round to round. Oh, sure, the CT brigade will tell us that we're exluding aliens from our democracy or some other obvious point, let's say along colonialism lines, but that's obviously the point. So this boils down to relatively straightforward policy issues, but in aid of achieving those wonderful "democratic ideals." Of course, that parenthetical "argued well" means that I can envision without too much difficulty all sorts of bizarre interpretations of "the rights of non-citizens" that will ask judges to do everything but consider the real world issue that this topic is asking about.

That said, I suggest that the idea of "real world issue" inform anyone who wants to start researching. There's plenty of real and good stuff on this. It's a big issue today (and not just because of terrorism).

Little Elvis update: I've loaded Windows versions of Word and Excel. I own those fair and square, and now if I need 'em , I've got 'em. I also loaded my good old AOLPress program for HTML editing. Pretty bare-bones WYSIWYG, which I've been using for years. My websites aren't cute, but they do the job.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

The Little Elvis that Could

I guess it's no surprise. Or at least it's no surprise to Claire. Buy yourself a serial to USB connector, plug one end into your HP 4P and the other into Little Elvis, try out a driver or two (there was none specifically for the 4P, so I ended up with a generic 4), and voila! The word "Test" comes out on a nice little piece of paper. And here's the thing. I love my HP. It's a war horse. No silly photo printing, no changing the cartridge more than once a decade. Put paper in, printed pages come out. It's older than Pip, I think. And will outlast Pip VIII.

And from the OMG division, I report the following. I went to Dia in Beacon yesterday. Great Googly-Moogly! They actually did have the pile of dirt on the floor from Caveman! They have negative sculpture! They have a lot of formalistic stuff, where some schmegeggie arranges things in a lot of ways and the reason it's art is not because of the material (string or flourescent light bulbs or boxes) but because of the arrangement. Lots of Warhol. A collection of white paintings on different media. (Makes those decisions at the art store so easy. "What'll it be today, bub?" "Oh, why don't you give me some white this time.") A lot of people from the City had moseyed up to the joint, looking like they had moseyed up from the City, if you know what I mean. That is, a lot of people were there who don't occur in nature, or at least nature as it is practiced in the Hudson Valley. It's a short walk from the train station. I can imagine their joy, taking a two hour ride up on the hottest day of the year, walking a couple of blocks in Death Valley sun and paying $10 each to see a series of paintings where the guy paints the date of the painting according to the style/language of the country. That's all the paintings are. Years of them, marked with the date. Little rectangles, all done by hand (I'll give him that). There was even that remarkable day in February when he painted two of them. Oh frabjous day!

If anyone wants to see the future, take the field trip to the Dia. Send me a postcard. I did like that wall of automobile sculpture pieces, and they had a nice picture of that. Send it to me care of the Musee D'Orsay. I'll be there looking at the Monets.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005


Last night I started organizing the response stuff for what I will simply call unorthodox cases. You might call them krappy kritiks, but not me. I am genteel. I don't look at critical theory and say, oh look, a blight on the intellectual landscape, or, gosharooni, big new words to hide little old ideas. Oh no, not me. I am civilized. And for anyone in or going to college, facing professors who dish out that (I won't call it nonsense, so how about this:) material, I feel your pain. Needless to say, we can't preempt everything, but if we have a sense of what may come from people whose goal is not to engage in rational dialogue but to win rounds through obfuscation, we'll be better off than if we don't.

Of course, the crux of the strike against modern theory was in Caveman. Also in P: A Very Short Introduction. And that crux is its sterility. But you don't need me to tell you that—

Okay, I'll stop whining.

Heard from the Nostrumite, by the way, and found out why we haven't heard from him in a while. He and Odelie are on a missionary trip. All right, Odelie's on a missionary trip, and the Mite is on the expense account. Whatever. Thank God she's not a preacher of one of your poorer religions. Anyhow, they're working their way through heathen Canada, apparently. To be honest, I was not aware that this was one of your heathen hotbeds, but I'm just going by what the Mite told me. Those Canadians can be pretty hostile to proselytizers, he says, and more than one Episcopalian has found himself being boiled in one of those big pots with the carrots and onions floating around him while the local frostbacks twirl the bones in their noses. "The worst of them are in the Baby Seal Clubbing Clubs," he reports. "Most of them are either Lutherans or Baptists, with maybe the odd Zoroastrian riling up the fringe element." Beware of fringe element Canadians, I always say. The lad reports that he has been unable to even think about TWHS while he's up there, but he expects to be reporting from the front around when school starts up again. "Besides," he says, "who cares about debate in the middle of August, aside from the O'C?"

Personally, I fear that the Mite's removal of self from the front does not bode well for next year's debate season at TW. Hell, even I'm up to my eyeballs (all right, I'm up to my liver at best, but I'm up to something) in debate in the middle of August. If nothing else, I have to keep up with Burgers' blog. I can't wait till he gets back to school. It's time for him to stop surfing the internet. Maybe he can start going to banjo festivals with his father; jump into the old Deliverance wagon and head out to where the grass is blue and the necks are red... Hee-haw!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Dell to Little Elvis: Drop dead!

Of course, if you weren't born when Gerald Ford was President, that headline won't be quite the piece of humor it's intended to be. But as McGrath always says, if you were smarter, I'd be funnier.

So Little Elvis will not power the Dell printer. When I looked at the Dell documentation, it quite clearly said that this baby would only run under Windows. Now it's not inconceivable that I could make it work through Virtual PC, but it doesn't seem worth the energy to try. And, oh, the HP 4P connects through those things called serial ports, which I don't seem to have on Little E. Now maybe I could find a connector of some sort, but I can probably buy a new printer for less money. And the Epson, as I reported earlier, works fine. So the printer experiment comes to a crashing halt. The fact that I can print TRPC stuff on the Epson with Little Elvis is all the comfort I really need.

I still haven't tried to sit Little E down at the Yamaha. Once I get over Caveman postpartum depression, I'll probably give it a try. My Garageband manual is almost bigger that Little Elvis and the box he rode in on! Not to mention the Yamaha software. An adventure waiting to happen...

Monday, August 08, 2005

I'm done


(And added to the LD corner on the website.)

I've deleted the entry here; who needs it? The pdf is the whole kit and caboodle, nicely formatted, ready for printing. Make sure you have LOTS of paper, sports fans.

On to better things...

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Awfully buggy

Caveman, which I just finished editing on paper, has an awful lot of typos. Be warned. I'll have it clean on the HHHS website within a few days (the whole thing), so clean you can eat off it...

Friday, August 05, 2005

Batten down the hatches, sports fans

Caveman Part 5, first draft, is finished. I will run it through the spell checker (I was sorely tired of it last night when I wrapped it up, so there is that last step still) and post it here to prove that it does indeed exist, probably tomorrow. After that, a final polish of all 5 parts and I'll post it to the HH website, most likely as an addition to the Hillary Duff. (Pt 5 will make no sense if you don't have 1-4 under the old belt, so if for some bizarre reason you're reading this but haven't read those, well, you've been warned.)

As for the refutations and whatnot, I'll post them to one of our team databases. Good, bad or indifferent, they are nonetheless potential positions that we might want to keep to ourselves for a while. I'll get to them next week.

Oh. I did just officially sign up again as coach for next year. This keeps the school's state trooper from shooting me on sight when I show up unannounced in the building. All right, actually, it doesn't keep him from shooting me on sight when I show up unannounced in the building, but it's the best I can hope for. I had lunch with Olivieri yesterday and I was telling that I'm sort of climbing the walls with boredom waiting for the season to start. The old Olive's doing well, if you're wondering.

When does school start, anyhow?

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Latest news from Hermie

Dear Mr. Menick:

Hello. How are you? I am fine.

Thinks are pretty quiet here at HQ, as you can imagine. The first herd has been shooed out of the stables, we've mucked everything out after them, put in new hay, and are ready for our next session. Now we're just waiting.

I thought you might be interested in my job during all of this. As you know, when little kids go away to summer camp, the administrations often do elaborate web pages for mommy and daddy back home to keep abreast of what junior and juniette are up to. We understand that some parents consult these pages with maddening frequency, although we have also heard tell that other families, after shipping off their spawn, ship themselves off to obscure love nests with heart-shaped jacuzzis and can't even remember their children's names during the ensuing festivities. Be that as it may, we have taken a leaf from the pages of these sites, to coin a phrase, and here at JLA we too publish a website full of photos and diaries of the activities of the day. Unfortunately, when those activities are actually taking place, we are too busy to publish any photos and diaries. So my job, in the interlude between sessions, is to make up photos and diaries. I have been busily visiting summer school sessions at La Jolla High (pronounced La Hoy-a Joll), where there are actual classes taking place—mostly remedial work for LD students where the LD does not stand for Lincoln-Douglas—and photographing these students as they learn their numbers and ABCs. Also, I have been creating diary blog entries for each day of the session (all of the names are taken from the many high school debate soap operas that infest the internet; we figure no one will recognize them as fictitious). When the session starts, we will post these pictures and diary entries one right after the other, bang bang bang. Every time a parent logs on, they'll see us in action. Sort of. They'll never see any real JLA kids, of course, and more to the point, they'll never see their own kids, but our guess is that they'll just assume that their kids will show up on the next posting. Or the next. Or the next... Eventually they'll give up and go off to one of those obscure love nests, or assume that their LDer (where the LD does stand for Lincoln-Douglas) is just out of the picture, on the right, next to Ham Buglaroni. ("Look, Ma! Isn't that Timmy Mae's left elbow?")

I hope you will follow our adventures when they begin next week, even though I may have spoiled your enjoyment by pointing out that they are entirely a fantasy. Meanwhile, I hope you have been enjoying your summer. I look forward to seeing you on the circuit next year.

Your friend,

Herman Melville
Cub Reporter

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

A subtle shift into first gear

Well, up till now we've been idling, except for the couple of folks who went to Camp Gahskif-Tadabayt. But I sent out a notice yesterday about Yale, and people are beginning to confirm, and I was entering data into the signup db, and all of a sudden it feels real again. And Craig is trying to drum up business for Wake, which I think is a bit of a stretch if one does a CBA, if the C includes corraling parents as well as spending money. I'm a firm believer in the need to corral parents, obviously, but judicious corraling is necessary. Debate lasts three or four years, there's a tournament practically every week, and when Mother Teresa's kids were doing LD even she told them that every once in a while she wanted a weekend without hearing about the social contract, feminism, or the metanarrative.

I would be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel with Caveman—I actually am up to metanarrative and Lyotard—if I could only kill the Hydra in God of War. Which, if you know God of War, means that I've gotten exactly nowhere. I wonder if I was cut out for this videogame business. If anyone HAS killed the Hydra, would you please tell me what I'm doing wrong.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Caviar and champagne would have made it a doubles bid!

I just faxed some ballots to Kurt, as a template for the MHL. I stripped everything out of them except the times of the LD speeches. I figured, if they need to know how to judge, they can pick up our handy dandy judge instructions. This of course excludes the ever confusing "22 points = Excellent" issue.

I'll get to the Yale registration shortly. We will have to confirm, because room lists will be due at the hotel. The Speech monster is, coincidentally, rearing its forensic head, with Dave telling people to itemize their pieces. The only result I saw was a senior begging to be dropped from the list. It is ever thus.

O'C is promising a wonderful Big Bronx this year. Well, actually, he's promising good food, since he knows the two are synonymous as far as I'm concerned. I've always maintained that BB would be an octos bid in both policy and LD if only they had served more free shrimp cocktails during the wilderness years.

The new profile pic, if you don't know, is a still from HERO. This is one of the most gorgeous movies I have ever seen. You could watch it with the sound off and love it. It's also pretty good with the sound on...