Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Ambrose's Antidote: ABSURDITY

ABSURDITY, n. A statement or belief manifestly inconsistent with one's own opinion.

daily dose of w

It's clearly a budget. It's got a lot of numbers on it.

5 May 2000
Reported by Reuters.

A classic to get you warmed up for the SOTU this PM.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Ambrose's Antidote: ABSTAINER

ABSTAINER, n. A weak person who yields to the temptation of denying
himself a pleasure. A total abstainer is one who abstains from
everything but abstention, and especially from inactivity in the
affairs of others.

Said a man to a crapulent youth: "I thought
You a total abstainer, my son."
"So I am, so I am," said the scapegrace caught --
"But not, sir, a bigoted one."


daily dose of w

Even though we're at war, even though we're at recession, the State of our Union has never been stronger.

30 Jan 2002
Speaking in Winston-Salem, NC the day after giving his State of the Union speech to Congress. Source: CNN.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Ambrose's Antidote: ABSOLUTE

ABSOLUTE, adj. Independent, irresponsible. An absolute monarchy is one in which the sovereign does as he pleases so long as he pleases the assassins. Not many absolute monarchies are left, most of them having been replaced by limited monarchies, where the sovereign's power for evil (and for good) is greatly curtailed, and by republics, which are governed by chance.

daily dose of w

One year ago today, the time for excuse-making has come to an end.

8 Jan 2003
Washington, D.C.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Ambrose's Antidote: ABSENTEE

ABSENTEE, n. A person with an income who has had the forethought to remove himself from the sphere of exaction.

daily dose of w

The important question is: How many hands have I shaked?

23 Oct 1999
Quoted by the New York Times. This was candidate Bush's response to a question about why he hadn't spent more time in New Hampshire.

I did a google search on bush important question in hopes of finding "is our children learning", or whatever that quote was. Sadly, the results all seemed to be about domestic spying.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Ambrose's Antidote: ABSENT

ABSENT, adj. Peculiarly exposed to the tooth of detraction; vilifed; hopelessly in the wrong; superseded in the consideration and affection of another.

To men a man is but a mind. Who cares
What face he carries or what form he wears?
But woman's body is the woman. O,
Stay thou, my sweetheart, and do never go,
But heed the warning words the sage hath said:
A woman absent is a woman dead.

Jogo Tyree

daily dose of w

A tax cut is really one of the anecdotes to coming out of an economic illness.

18 Sep 2000
Spoken while a guest on the CBS show "The Edge With Paula Zahn".

This is going to make Ambrose's Antidote even more potent...

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Ambrose's Antidote: ABSCOND

ABSCOND, v.i. To "move in a mysterious way," commonly with the property of another.

Spring beckons! All things to the call respond;
The trees are leaving and cashiers abscond.

Phela Orm

daily dose of w

We got no better friend in that part of the world than the Philippines, and as the (Filipino) President said, there are a lot of proud Philippines living in America.

20 Nov 2001
Speaking to reporters in the Oval Office during a visit from Philippine President, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Aired on CNN.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Ambrose's Antidote: ABRUPT

ABRUPT, adj. Sudden, without ceremony, like the arrival of a cannon-shot and the departure of the soldier whose interests are most affected by it. Dr. Samuel Johnson beautifully said of another author's ideas that they were "concatenated without abruption."

daily dose of w

The administration I'll bring is a group of men and women who are focused on what's best for America -- honest men and women, decent men and women, women who will see service to our country as a great privilege and who will not stain the house.

15 Jan 2000
Spoken during the Republican debate in Des Moines, Iowa.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Best Spam Name Ever

I would have posted this over at the GeoPDF blog, but I'm afraid that it just wouldn't go down right. I've been having to skim my spam folder because we've been getting some weird false positives on some really important email. I've gotten so that I can't even see the spam and just pick out the stuff that shouldn't be there. But this name stopped me in my tracks: Irreligious C. Traitor. What in Sam Hill is this cat trying to sell? GNUS, delete this article forever!

Photo Burst

What's up with the photos? I signed up with Flickr. My flickr photo url is http://www.flickr.com/photos/rantzilla.

One Hump, or Two?

John in Atlanta asked about the Camel Lamp's humpage. If this is a one humper
Camel Book's One Humper
I'm guessing the lamp must be a two humper...

Ambrose's Antidote: ABRIDGE

ABRIDGE, v.t. To shorten.

When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for people to abridge their king, a decent respect for the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel
them to the separation.

Oliver Cromwell

daily dose of w

I look forward to seeing [Tony Blair] at Chequers. And we sat next to each other at my first EU (European Union) luncheon -- NATO luncheon -- anyway, at the first luncheon with leaders I sat next to Tony.

20 Jul 2001
BBC Interview.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Dominic's Lillys

Dominic Thomas dropped with some lillys. He was afraid they weren't going to work. Three popped the next day (recorded here for posterity):
Dominic's Lilly
They went so crazy, in fact, that Celine split them into multiple vases and put some Alstroemeria in with them to keep them company.

When is lamp more than just a lamp?

Behold the glory:
Camel Lamp
This remains one of my favorite wedding presents of all time. Because of the dramatic lighting, you might not be able to distinguish the stack of books upon which The Camel strikes majestic repose! It's mostly Huxley...

Multitasking my Ass!

Holy smokes! A real post! Anyway... a while back I posted a rant on multitasking. ACM recently sent out an article called Multitasking: Attention at Half Mast that dovetails nicely. Some key passages:

"It became a management fad and it sounds great if you've got an ever-increasing workload to try to do two things at once but, in fact, it turns out you're getting less done overall," Toronto career coach Robert Steinbach says.

"When you're dividing your attention on two tasks, you're not really present for either."

In fact, by trying to do two things at once, you're really compressing the amount of information your brain can access for either task.

That's backed up by a study last April of 1,000 office workers, commissioned by Hewlett-Packard Co., which found the distraction of checking e-mail or text messaging while doing another task can cause someone's IQ to drop between 5 and 15 per cent.

What's the task-switching cost?

The real problem in multitasking "is resuming work after a distraction," adds Dave Crisp, president of leadership coaching company Crisp Strategies Inc. in Toronto.

Without a strategy for recalling what you have done, you'll end up wasting a lot of time retracing your steps to get back on track, he says.

That can mean hours lost every day, conclude researchers Victor Gonzalez and Gloria Mark in the computer science school at the University of California at Irvine.

Following 36 corporate technology and finance employees in Southern California through typical office work days, they found that workers could seldom go more than 11 minutes before being interrupted by a phone call, urgent e-mail or discussion with a colleague they tried to handle at the same time.

But once their focus was shifted, it took them an average of 25 minutes to get back on track with the original task.

The researchers calculated that interruptions that require a shift of focus consume an average of 2.1 hours of every working day, or 28 per cent of the average person's routine, according to their report, published in September.

As Zippy might say: YOW! As PSan might say: Santa-ma-bitch!

Ambrose's Antidote: ABRACADABRA


By _Abracadabra_ we signify
An infinite number of things.
'Tis the answer to What? and How? and Why?
And Whence? and Whither? -- a word whereby
The Truth (with the comfort it brings)
Is open to all who grope in night,
Crying for Wisdom's holy light.

Whether the word is a verb or a noun
Is knowledge beyond my reach.
I only know that 'tis handed down.
From sage to sage,
From age to age --
An immortal part of speech!

Of an ancient man the tale is told
That he lived to be ten centuries old,
In a cave on a mountain side.
(True, he finally died.)
The fame of his wisdom filled the land,
For his head was bald, and you'll understand
His beard was long and white
And his eyes uncommonly bright.

Philosophers gathered from far and near
To sit at his feet and hear and hear,
Though he never was heard
To utter a word
But "_Abracadabra, abracadab_,
_Abracada, abracad_,
_Abraca, abrac, abra, ab!_"
'Twas all he had,
'Twas all they wanted to hear, and each
Made copious notes of the mystical speech,
Which they published next --
A trickle of text
In the meadow of commentary.
Mighty big books were these,
In a number, as leaves of trees;
In learning, remarkably -- very!

And the books of the sages have perished,
But his wisdom is sacredly cherished.
In _Abracadabra_ it solemnly rings,
Like an ancient bell that forever swings.

O, I love to hear
That word make clear
Humanity's General Sense of Things.

Jamrach Holobom

daily dose of w

I want each and every American to know for certain that I'm responsible for the decisions I make, and each of you are as well.

20 Sep 2000
From Live With Regis.

Unfortunately, he's right...

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Ambrose's Antidote: ABORIGINIES

ABORIGINIES, n. Persons of little worth found cumbering the soil of a newly discovered country. They soon cease to cumber; they fertilize.

daily dose of w

Bush: I talked to my little brother, Jeb -- I haven't told this to many people. But he's the governor of -- I shouldn't call him my little brother -- my brother, Jeb, the great governor of Texas.

Interviewer: "Florida."

Bush: "Florida. The state of the Florida."

27 April 2000
Interview with Jim Lehrer of The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Ambrose's Antidote: ABNORMAL

ABNORMAL, adj. Not conforming to standard. In matters of thought and conduct, to be independent is to be abnormal, to be abnormal is to be detested. Wherefore the lexicographer adviseth a striving toward the straiter resemblance of the Average Man than he hath to himself. Whoso attaineth thereto shall have peace, the prospect of death and the hope of Hell.

daily dose of w

The Bob Jones policy on interracial dating, I mean I spoke out on interracial dating. I spoke out against that. I spoke out against interracial dating. I mean, I support inter--the policy of interracial dating.

25 Feb 2000
Candidate Bush was referring to the official policies of Bob Jones University. From CBS News broadcast.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Ambrose's Antidote: ABILITY

ABILITY, n. The natural equipment to accomplish some small part of the meaner ambitions distinguishing able men from dead ones. In the last analysis ability is commonly found to consist mainly in a high degree of solemnity. Perhaps, however, this impressive quality is rightly appraised; it is no easy task to be solemn.

daily dose of w

Then I went for a run with the other dog and just walked. And I started thinking about a lot of things. I was able to --- I can't remember what it was. Oh, the inaugural speech, started thinking through that.

22 Jan 2001
From an interview with U.S. News & World Report.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Ambrose's Antidote: ABDOMEN

ABDOMEN, n. The temple of the god Stomach, in whose worship, with sacrificial rights, all true men engage. From women this ancient faith commands but a stammering assent. They sometimes minister at the altar in a half-hearted and ineffective way, but true reverence for the one deity that men really adore they know not. If woman had a free hand in the world's marketing the race would become graminivorous.

daily dose of w

If anybody harbors a terrorist, they're a terrorist. If they fund a terrorist, they're a terrorist. If they house terrorists, they're terrorists. I mean, I can't make it any more clearly to other nations around the world.

26 Nov 2001
Answering questions from the press at the White House. Source: BBC World News and The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer (PBS).

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Ambrose's Antidote: ABDICATION

ABDICATION, n. An act whereby a sovereign attests his sense of the
high temperature of the throne.

Poor Isabella's Dead, whose abdication
Set all tongues wagging in the Spanish nation.
For that performance 'twere unfair to scold her:
She wisely left a throne too hot to hold her.
To History she'll be no royal riddle --
Merely a plain parched pea that jumped the griddle.


daily dose of w

Uh, I support winning.

7 Apr 1999
Spoken on CNN's Inside Politics. Referring to America's involvement in Kosovo.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Ambrose's Antidote: ABATIS

ABATIS, n. Rubbish in front of a fort, to prevent the rubbish outside from molesting the rubbish inside.

We've had a proliferation of abatises in front of our Federal Buildings after the initiation of the War On Terror. People ask "WOT happened?", but that's the answer in many cases. - Ed.

daily dose of w

Ann and I will carry out this equivocal message to the world. Markets must be open.

2 Mar 2001
From the President's speech delivered during the swearing-in ceremony for Ann Veneman, the new Secretary of Agriculture.

Or not.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Ambrose's Antidote: ABASEMENT

ABASEMENT, n. A decent and customary mental attitude in the presence of wealth of power. Peculiarly appropriate in an employee when addressing an employer.


If you're still making it here for the dose, I thank you. A blog has got to have fresh content and frequent updates if it's going to keep anyone's interest. To this end, I'm going to half-ass it, and supplement the dose with a dose of someone who seemed to have the opposite of whatever it is that sullies W's brain, Ambrose Bierce. Just to get some extra post padding, I'm going to defer to a following post...

daily dose of w

I do not believe we've put a guilty -- I mean innocent -- person to death in the state of Texas.

16 Jun 2000
From National Public Radio's "All Things Considered".

What was it that Jesus said? Let the first person kill 'em all and let Me or My Old Man sort 'em out, or something like that?

Monday, January 09, 2006

daily dose of w

This is still a dangerous world. It's a world of madmen and uncertainty and potential mential losses.

14 Jan 2000
Quoted in the Financial Times.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

J Random Post

I'm cleaning house. No, really. Not metaphorically -- just cleaning house.

Friday, January 06, 2006

daily dose of w

Put the off button on.

14 Feb 2000
Advice to parents who have concerns about violence on television.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

The most important job is not to be governor, or first lady in my case.

30 Jan 2000
From speech in Pella, Iowa and quoted in the San Antonio Express-News.


Wednesday, January 04, 2006

daily dose of w

My view is that state laws reigns supreme when it comes to the Indians, whether it be gambling or any other issue.

4 Nov 1999
The Texas governor was forgetting that U.S. government treaties with the Native Americans always take precedence over state laws.

Once again, W reveals himself to be the Constitutional scholar.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The education issue ought to be discussed about.

15 Dec 2000
Speaking to press during meeting with Louisiana Senator John Breaux in Austin, TX.