Goose the Blog 2.0

"Oh, ha! Sarcasm: The last refuge of sons of bitches!"


State of the Union Address Presidential drinking game

by John at 1/31/2006 07:33:00 PM

1) Drink a fifth of Jack
2) Deliver State of the Union Address to Congress

No? Ok then, Wendy emailed this one to me.


All Elias, All the Time

by Wendy at 1/29/2006 06:12:00 PM

Funnier than Cartoon Network, more precious than the Puppy Channel(SM) ... its E!TV (What, that's been taken?).

Contact your local cable provider for details


second GtB anniversary

by John at 1/24/2006 07:01:00 AM

Huzzah! Two years of pointless, incessant barking (plus baby photos).

Also, happy seven month birthday to Elias (said baby)! If it goes my way, there will be cake.

You might also be interested to know that Elias pulled himself up to standing from a sitting position yesterday evening for the first time ever. If I have time later tonight, I might post some exciting screen caps of his unstoppable new standing technique.

Update: From the comments, Wendy posted up some great video of Elias's climbing monkey kung fu.

Update 2: There was no cake.


Another Stupid Bush IdeaTM

by John at 1/23/2006 01:24:00 PM

Health Savings Accounts are Another Stupid Bush IdeaTM that President Bush will most likely talk about (between mentions of terrorists and terrorism) at his upcoming State of the Union address. Ezra Klein has a cogent breakdown of what they mean for health care in the USA at TAPPED.
The idea here is simple. Conservatives believe Americans have too much health insurance, that they spend heedlessly and wastefully on care, procedures, and medications they would simply forego if insurance plans didn't pick up the tab. Ergo, HSA's, which end risk pooling, forcing care to come directly from pockets. Newly responsible for their medical bills, consumers will be spurred by the Magic of the Market to make smarter decisions, show more prudence, lead healthier lifestyles, smile more often, and smell springtime fresh. It's gonna be awesome.

At least if you're healthy. Because what HSA's really do is separate the young from the old, the well from the sick. Currently, insurance operates off of the concept of risk pooling. Since health costs tend to be unpredictable and illness isn't thought a moral failing, we all pay a bit more than we expect to use in order to subsidize those who end up needing much more than they ever thought possible. The well subsidize the sick, the young subsidize the old, and we all accept the arrangement because one day we will be old, and one day we will be sick, and no one wants to shoulder that alone.

But HSA's slice right through this intergenerational, redistributionist arrangement: they're a great deal for young, healthy folks because they don't force subsidization. Just don't get sick. And if you're already sick, don't think you can hide by remaining in traditional insurance plans: when the healthy rush towards HSA's, older plans will hold only the ill, and insurance companies will send premiums skyrocketing to recoup the difference.

Thankfully, when you're old, sick, poor, and bitter, schadenfreude will keep you warm. Eventually all those young bucks who left you for their HSA's will get sick, and when they do, it's all coming out of their pocket. And if, like most Americans, they're not terribly good savers and their HSA only has a couple thousand (or hundred) in it, it's all coming out of their bank accounts. Currently, more than half of all bankruptcies are due to medical costs. Post-HSA's, expect that number to rocket upwards. Lucky thing, then, that the financial industry, along with a compliant Congress, just made it harder and costlier to declare bankruptcy.

There's more. Check it out if you are so inclined. You might also be interested in this article by Malcolm Gladwell on The Moral-Hazard Myth (previously blogged in GtB).

in need of some new music

by John at 1/23/2006 12:58:00 PM

Robert Sapolsky wrote that the human brain has developed to avoid innovation as it ages. What this boils down to, among other things, is that 35-year-olds stop listening to new music and just keep listening to the same things they listened to in college. I am that 35-year-old. But I am sick of almost every album I own, and I want some new stuff.

I have $25 to spend at Amazon, and I need suggestions. I think I'm going to get Asobi Seksu (you can hear some of their tunes at their website) but I still have room for one more. What new (or new to me) bands are great?

(No, I don't have anything by The Arcade Fire yet).


rethinking Miyazaki

by John at 1/21/2006 07:12:00 PM

Over the last couple of days, I watched My Neighbor Totoro and Porco Rosso, and I may have spoken too soon. I really enjoyed both of these films, and on the basis of these two movies I can understand why anime fans get so gushy over Miyazaki.

If you don't hate animation, I highly recommend both films. I think they would also both be excellent films to show kids, from say 5 years old and up.


drool? don't mind if I do!

by John at 1/16/2006 08:03:00 PM


New Elias photos now available! Just click on the picture...

you already are a brain in a jar

by John at 1/16/2006 09:33:00 AM

For your consideration:

"A majority argue 'I'd rather be the real me.' This is an irrational choice because you already are a brain in a vat (the cranial cavity) nurtured by cerebrospinal fluid and blood and bombarded by photons. When asked to select between two vats most pick the crummy one even though it is no more real than the neuroscientist's experimental vat. How can you justify this choice unless you believe in something supernatural?"

from "Mirror Neurons and the Brain in the Vat" by V.S. Ramachandran


by John at 1/16/2006 08:09:00 AM

Sorry I haven't been posting with any kind of frequency lately.

I've kind of given up on politics and war for now1, and nothing else of much interest has popped up.

Well, maybe this: I've been watching Hayao Miyazaki2 films on TCM for the last couple of weeks (they are having a month-long Miyazaki festival), and I think he is over-rated. I first saw Spirited Away a couple years ago (after it was nominated for an Oscar) and I thought the animation was beautiful and the production design fantastic, but I wasn't impressed by the story. I rewatched it last week (I appreciated the story a bit more, this time), and now I've seen Princess Mononoke, NausicaƤ of the Valley of the Wind, and Castle in the Sky, too.

They are all okay3, but of the four I'd only recommend Castle in the Sky, and even that is a guarded recommendation.

Man-oh-man I am boring. Anyone want to see new pictures of Elias? I plan to post some tonight, so get your clicking finger ready.


1. I haven't stopped reading or caring about politics and war, I just don't want to write about them.

2. Or Miyazaki Hayao (surname first).

3. For the anime nerds: Yes, I am sure they are much better in Japanese.


isn't shee-eee

by John at 1/10/2006 07:36:00 AM

This morning on my way to work I heard "Pretty in Pink" by the Psychedelic Furs.

It reminded me of a couple of highschool friends. It seems that their musical tastes were largely influenced by the soundtracks to John Hughes movies (e.g. Pretty in Pink, Some Kind of Wonderful). The IMS (Insufferable Music Snob, and I write that with affection) I knew thought this was hilarious and sad.

Well maybe, but it also made sense. We lived in a place and time when the only radio stations we could hear played Top 40, Classic Rock, Hard Rock, and Oldies. I listened to the Oldies station, because it offended me the least. MTV wasn't much better (Winger! Great White! Whitesnake! What's with all the "W"s?) unless you were a devotee of "120 Minutes" late on Sunday nights.

Where am I going with this? I don't know. Just thought I'd put up a crunchy blog nugget for the habitual clickers.

Summarizing: Hughes "highschool movie" soundtracks in order of decreasing excellence
1) Ferris Bueller's Day Off
2) Pretty in Pink
3) Sixteen Candles
4) Weird Science
5) Some Kind of Wonderful
6) Breakfast Club

Do you dispute it?! Dispute it!

Also, am I forgetting a good radio station? I'm leaving out KTCL because I couldn't get that except up in Boulder, until they put in the repeaters to broadcast it down in Denver, and as I recall that didn't happen until after I left for college.

Update: I fixed the link for the Sixteen Candles soundtrack. Also, after discussing it with Wendy last night, I considered moving Weird Science up in the ranking. But I looked it over today, and I stand by my original assignment.


My Last Painting of 2005

by MarkJumblie at 1/03/2006 03:41:00 AM

Hey everyone, Happy New Year!

Here's Harvard viewed from the opposite side of the Charles River.
3x4', oil over acrylic base.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and days of auld lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

I say bring Jeff back into Goose Land.