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April 2003 Archives

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April 30

Baseball and Rome should not be in the same sentence unless we're talking about this Rome or the jerk with the goatee.

The Blue Jays are considering changing their name to just the "Jays" and wearing more black. Great, another team like, the Reds, the Mets, and the Royals that look stupid with that color. And they're not like the Devil Rays who should have started as just Rays to begin with.

Miranda went to the doctor today and the pediatrician believes she has a hyperextended left knee, just like Joe Smith

April 29

Edited another episode of Silver Screen Test. All that's left are character graphics. I really screwed up the ending of one show during the taping where I tripped my tongue over simply telling the viewers they can write or go to the web to be a contestant. I put in the audio of a totally different show over that flub and the video of the three contestants. Such is the magic of editing.

Watched the CSI episode "A Night at the Movies". A dentist is found dead in a repertory moviehouse when his cellphone won't stop ringing. The calls to the phone are traced to a patient who filed a sexual harrassment suit against him.

Later, she's found dead of an apparent suicide, but Gil doesn't believe it at all. He finds the moviehouse's schedule in the toilet and finds written on it the parking space number of a dancehall slimebucket. This guy had a sexual harrassment suit filed on him by one of his dancers.

Then it all comes together as a rehash of Strangers on a Train. Two women with sexual harassment problems decide to kill their harassers instead of the expense of a lawsuit. The dancer kills the dentist, but the patient won't go through with her end of the bargain, so she gets killed. The dancer is careful, using gloves all the way, but is betrayed by her special lotion concoction she uses to keep her legs in shape.

In the other plot, a teen-aged boy is found dead in a warehouse riddled with 109 bulletholes. The trajectories trace back to a single vertical line in the middle of the room.

Five boys concocted stunts in the manner of Jackass. One was "Speedway Surfing," which involved balancing on the horizontal surface of a motor vehicle moving at high speed. Another called for standing in the way of someone driving a golf ball at close range. The dead kid brainstormed "Bamboo Russian Roulette". A handgun spirals down a bamboo pole that is in its trigger guard, firing all the way.

Watched the CSI: Miami episode "Grave Young Men". An ex-con out on parole that Horatio helped put away asks him to find his missing son. Turns out the kid killed another boy for refusing to participate in a Columbine-style assault. Horatio heroically wrestles the kid, of course dressed in a long black coat.

In the other plot, Speedle appears to get involved with a woman who probably killed the man found dead in her apartment. Rena Sofer, supposedly a show killer, though not in the Alison LaPlaca class, plays the all-too-transparent femme fetale.

Horatio is getting creepy, coming on to his brother's widow.

April 28

It's Dis Creed Day. First of all, Creed got seven blackballs in Craig Barker's 128 Band Tournament of Champions. Each nominator had 46 1-point votes, 2 2-point "Powerball" votes and 2 negative one-point "Blackball" votes. So, many people felt it necessary to single out Creed for exclusion.

Now from Tricia Southard:

Tricia: So who did you use your blackballs [Craig's upcoming "best band of all time" poll] on?
Tim : Creed. There was never a doubt in my mind about that one. The difference between Christ and Scott Stapp is that Christ never pretended to be Scott Stapp.
Andrew: Hmm…maybe they should treat Scott Stapp like he really was Jesus. Heh, heh.
Justin: But what if Scott Stapp is actually Christ resurrected, and figured rock music is the best way to send his message to the masses?
Edmund: God owes us an apology.
Tim: You know what I'd like to see? I wouldn't mind seeing the resurrected Christ come back, hire a decent lawyer, and start filing libel suits. Jesus vs. Falwell and such.

Then there's this: Rock fans sue US band Creed. So they wanna sue over the three hours of their life they want back as opposed to the 6000 hours they've wasted being a fan in the first place?

April 27

It was supposed to be a day I took it easy. Whitlock took Miranda to sing with the cherub choir this morning. Then they went to Mary's mother's house.

I was doing bills, washing clothes and cutting the grass. Then I decided to go pick up a few things. Not a half mile from home, I heard a funny rhythmic sound frequently associated with flat tires. I stopped, looked back, and found a flat tire. I considered driving the mile to Pep Boys, but just decided to go home.

I called AAA and the tow truck took 2 hours and 45 minutes to arrive, which gave me more time to do bills. I considered going to Just Tires, my favorites tire place, but they close at 4 pm on Sundays and the tow truck left at 3:45. Instead I went to Pep Boys who finished the job in an hour.

While waiting, I did what you're not supposed to do in a strip mall - wander about the stores. I went into Modell's, Michael's, Staples and Target. I did a quick Google search and didn't find much on the strip mall vs. enclosed mall debate. While enclosed malls are more expensive, they create a captive audience. Once you've shopped at one place, you are enticed to spend your money elsewhere in the mall. In a strip mall, you're more likely to get what you need and go. The most recent enclosed mall in Upper Montgomery County is Lakeforest in Gaithersburg which was built in 1979.

After I got home, Miranda played in our next-door-neighbor Stephanie's new swing set. Whitlock planted Lily-of-the-Valley from her mother's house.

April 26

Rough day. It started last night when Wendell Wagner, bringing home world-famous media fan Martin Morse Wooster, got a flat tire outside our house. Wendell wanted to fix it himself, but I talked him into calling AAA and waiting in our house, instead of trying to put on the donut spare in the cold and damp. The tow truck took more than an hour, but the three of us sat in my darkened living room, talking and waiting. They left about 1:30.

Then this morning at about 5:30, Mary's mother called. She was in Suburban Hospital for low blood pressure. She needed Mary to go to her house and pay the cleaning people. She's fine and Mary brought her home after taking care of the cleaning people.

The rest of the day we just spent catching up on our sleep. I watched or slept through three soccer games and two baseball games.

April 25

Hosted the Knossos meeting. The book was Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift. I didn't finish the book, but I noted that when Gulliver was adbucted by a Brobdingnagian monkey, and carried to the top of a building, it reminded me of King Kong.

April 24

Took a look at the Expos and Orioles 2002 draft:

DC Colleges-2
Maryland Colleges-2
Maryland Junior Colleges-1
Northern Virginia High Schools-4
DC High Schools-1
Maryland High Schools-0
Local total-10

DC Colleges-0
Maryland Colleges-1
Maryland Junior Colleges-1
Northern Virginia High Schools-0
DC High Schools-0
Maryland High Schools-1
Local total-3

So that's Minaya's strategy? Sign with us so the home folks can watch you play?

April 23

Rick Santorum is on the hot seat for this comment:"And if the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery."

But I think he digs himself into a deeper hole with this:

Santorum:That's not to pick on homosexuality. It's not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be. It is one thing. And when you destroy that you have a dramatic impact on the quality --

AP: I'm sorry, I didn't think I was going to talk about "man on dog" with a United States senator, it's sort of freaking me out.

Here's the full interview on WCAU-TV.

April 22

Watched the Enterprise episode "Judgment". Rehashing a portion of Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country, Archer is subject to a Klingon trial and sentenced to the dilithium mines at Rura Penthe before a tensionless rescue. At the very least, Rick Berman and Brannon Braga are not credited with the story or the screenplay.

J.G. Hertzler, General Martok from Deep Space Nine, plays Kolos, Archer's defense attorney. John Vickery, Neroon from Babylon 5, plays the prosecutor. Kolos tells us that Klingons are not all warriors,"Now all young people want to do is take up weapons as soon as they can hold them. They're told there's honor in victory -- any victory. But what honor is there in victory over a weaker opponent?"

Archer got in trouble for helping refugees the Klingons branded as rebels. He escaped, merely disabling a ship captained by someone we assume is a member of the Duras family. However, they never bothered to show exactly how Archer was turned over to the Klingons. What were the diplomatic maneuvers? Is he still in trouble with Star Fleet and the High Command? Just thank goodness the Bermaga machine didn't get its grubby fingerprints on this one and we got to see some fun acting.

Watched the Twilight Zone episode "Another Life". Wood Harris plays a rapper named Marvin Gardens who gets visions of being interrogated by the police for a cop killing and being called Dwayne. Like Buffy in the mental institution, we find the police station is the real world and the rapper life he created to cope.

The other episode was called "Rewind". Eddie Kaye Thomas plays a gambler who gives three bucks to a street person and gets a magical tape recorder in return. It rewinds time back up to five minutes. He makes a killing playing poker and vows to "beat the house," the owner of the casino. Turns out the owner has a rewind device of his own.

April 21

Took off a little early to pick up Miranda from school. This day was originally a holiday, but added because of the days cancelled due to snow. Unfortunately, the day care center never adjusted their calendar, so they were closed. Miranda read Cam Jansen and the Mystery of the Babe Ruth Baseball.

April 20

Cleared the last of the leaves, then dropped some grass seed down. Miranda enjoyed it so much, she spread some herself. Then we had Easter dinner at my parents house - Chinese takeout.

April 19

Watched the CSI episode "Precious Metal". A couple of ATVers turns into the gratuitous blonde hair falling out of helmet shot. The airheads find a barrel with a body inside turning to soap.

The body belongs to a former tank driver who has turned to building those radio controlled robots you find on Battlebots, Robot Wars and Junkyard Wars. I try to explain to Whitlock the fascination of violence with no humans getting hurt.

The plot centers around a warehouse that serves as arena and workshop for the builders. A bitchy bimbo named Ginger owns the property and serves as den mother. The victim crushed his opponents one night with much glee, leading to a room full of pissed-off suspects. The perpetrator switched transmitters and convinced the victim's partner that he did it.

With the dwarf and robot builder subcultures profiled on recent CSIs, will one of their writers turn up at Game Show Congress and Viva TRASH Vegas? Will we see some plot where a TRASH player with skills, but no class get his final buzzer on a booby-trapped Judge? Maybe one of them could have a gambling problem.

In the other plot, a man's body is found but not investigated for 10 days because of bureaucratic error. The teary wife has been bugging the police the entire time to no avail until now. The murder weapon appears to be a very bad attempt at primitive fetish sculpture.

An empty box leads to suspicion that a coin collection was specifically stolen and we learn Greg knows quite a bit about the hobby. He helps bust the fence who did the murder. Seems the fence found out the couple would be out of town and burgled the coins, but was interrupted by the husband.

Went on to the Angel episode "Inside Out". When last we saw this show, they'd finally caught on that Cordelia was evil. Then Connor comes in and rescues her.

Angel captures Skippy the demon guard. Does Skippy have a gambling problem? They bind Skippy to the lobby of the hotel to interrogate him. Skippy infodumps that impossible manipulations served to put evil in the place where it wants to be. Angel has to kill Cordelia before whatever's growing inside can get out.

Meanwhile, Connor captures a virgin, about to be killed by a vampire. Cordelia needs her blood for the labor-inducement ritual. Darla appears, acting like the First and looking like Marg Helgenberger, trying to talk Connor out of killing the girl. Connor's mom is there a while before Cordelia comes in to figure out what's going on. To me, this seemed like that cliche where the mom pleads with the son,"Don't marry that tramp!" Connor kills the girl anyway. He must rub the fresh blood on Cordelia's abdomen. Angel turns up and much fighting ensues.

Back at the hotel, an earthquake starts which frees Skippy. Of course, nothing Fred, Gunn or Wesley can do can harm him until Wesley finds a little tiny hole through which he fires a bullet.

A lot of light comes out of Cordelia, replaced by Zoe from Firefly. Angel and Connor are mesmerized.

April 18

Seems MLB wants to enforce "ticket discipline" which means kicking somebody out of a section if they don't have the right ticket. Let me get this straight, they want to harass people in the most expensive seats that are unoccupied for one of the following reasons: They're too expensive and can't be sold, or the people who bought the tickets care so much about the team, they didn't bother to show up. You want to kick out people who have spent their time and money to come to the game and leave empty those seats most likely to appear on television, leaving the impression that no one comes to the games. This is favored over big scary security guys or limiting alcohol sales. Does this policy have less to do with security or more to do with preserving the "premium value" of those seats? If they're not causing any trouble, leave 'em alone.

Thanks to Dave Barry, This article says the participants found the experience uncomfortable. I understand. It's pretty noisy, but I know there must be someone out there who would probably be turned on by it.

Due to some confusion Wendell turned up. He showed off his Salman Rushdie-autographed books.

April 17

On Baseball Musings, David Pinto says this:

When I was a regular at Fenway in the 1980's, they had a very good solution to security. They hired football players from the local colleges as bouncers. They were dressed in navy blue blazers and wore ties so they looked professional and authoritative. If someone was causing trouble in the stands, you could seek one of these men out and they would come talk to the offending person, and if needed escort them out of the park. If some fan ran onto the field, they would chase them down (and yes, they were good runners), tackle them, and lead them to the hoosegow. It was a win for everyone involved. The players had a summer job that gave them time to practice, they got to hang out at Fenway, and they worked cheap for the Red Sox. And the games were more enjoyable with them around. Someone should revive this practice.

Pinto's reader Craig Damon responded with the following:

Just a slight correction: At least when we used to have our season tickets (88-94), Fenway hired the BC hockey team. They were even better than football players if something really got started and they could pin someone against the wall in nothing flat. But college hockey players have also learned to control their temper in the midst of violence.

That sounds great. The Blackhawks aren't busy, heck, neither are the Red Wings, says the Capitals supporter tempting fate.

The BBC has some on-field tips from Mia Hamm: Footy's Most Famous Female. Women's soccer is still thought of as a freakshow there, but then the women's partipation level is about 21 times higher in the U.S. I remember seeing an article in FourFourTwo contrasting the English and USA U-17 girls teams. Back in school, the English girls were outcasts framed by the tomboy-lesbian stereotype. The American girls were the cool ones back home. Of course U.S. media can also turn Mia, Brandi Chastain and Heather Mitts into sex symbols.

Thanks to Marlena Bruce. Click the picture for the complete shot.
April 16

Fantasy art makes its way to Iraq. Shag-dad art is mine! Doll Gilliland insisted that Rowena Morrill always depicted men with erections. Even the baby from The Divine Invasion?

April 15

Those wacky St. Paul Saints are at it again. Fun-loving Saints to create Randy Moss hood ornament. Thanks to BallPark Watch.

A technical difficulty in the broadcast of the Lightning-Capitals game on Comcast SportsNet resulted in the goal camera inside the Washington net as the only shot shown. So for the first two minutes, you saw nothing but Olie Kolzig's butt.

April 14

Matt Bruce has been commenting on the feedback on the Yahoo! boards about the NAQT national tournament. This excerpt from one post looks like a parody of type frequently seen on the board, if not for the earnestness of the rest of the message:

Looking over my notes from the weekend, I see tossup after tossup that should have been rewritten. A Popul Vuh tossup that began with the phrase "Council Book." An R.U.R. question that mentions the play's two most important characters in the first line. A John Cage tossup that begins with a reference to the I Ching and proceeds to tell players about the prepared piano, at a bizarrely early point in the question. An Appalachian Spring question that begins with the German title "Springtime in Pennsylvania." A Protestant Ethic question that mentions "calling" and "Puritan" in the first line. A Mandelbrot set question that begins with an allusion to the Julia set. A triangle inequality question that can be answered almost instantly by anyone who knows the definition of a metric space. An atrociously bad tossup on "The Negro Speaks of Rivers" that begins - amazingly enough - by talking about rivers! The list goes on and on... I could easily double or triple my "bad question count" if I felt like taking the time, but I think you get the idea.

I hope that didn't scare away potential players. Quiz questions could be written like standardized tests where pure in-depth knowledge triumphs every time. I know a lot of people in the quizbowl community wish they could make a living writing quiz questions. I don't know anyone who wishes they could make a living writing for ETS.

Watched the Twilight Zone episode "The Placebo Effect". Sydney Tamiia Poitier of Abby plays a doctor with a hypochodriac patient played by Jeffrey Combs of several Star Trek roles. He has an imaginary disease he read about in a science fiction book, but has managed to make it real to the point of spreading the virus to others, including killing his cleaning woman. The doctor figures that an imaginary disease needs an imaginary cure. Grabbing a headline about a meteor shower, he convinces the patient that material recovered from the meteor can cure him. The treatment works for him and everyone else's symptoms disappear. Unfortunately, he also worried about the meteor starting a new ice age and that's how the story ends.

They continued with the ice theme for the second segment,"Cold Fusion". A brilliant physicist is sent to an Alaskan research station they've lost contact with. The station is working on Project Gemini which will produce large amounts of energy. He finds a physicist, a marine corporal and the commanding officer, all being haunted by a mysterious man named Chandler. The corporal believes that Gemini is a bomb that will destroy the world. When the physicist accidentally kills the corporal, the man disappears, as do the other people when he shoots them. He meets Chandler who explains that this is all a complex hallucination built up from the guilt of building such a powerful weapon. He kills Chandler, but it morphs into himself.

The funny part was that the three people driven mad didn't need to be on the ice pack. It could have been just any workplace.

April 13

Finished taxes and went up to Frederick to buy Miranda some shoes. The Animal Welfare League of Frederick County had some cats on display at Frederick Towne Mall for adoption. One of the cats was a black one, just a few months younger than Kauai.

April 12

Taped two more episodes of Silver Screen Test. You know how they say any landing you walk away from is a good one? I have two usable episodes so it was a good one. Thank yous to Jimmy Albert, Spike Bowden, Yen-Ming Chen, Cameron Jones, Pam Mandel, Bob Mattia, Alem Mengesha, Ally Potter, Larry Sheingorn and Victor Soto.

April 11

Another day preparing for Silver Screen Test. Thanks to Jimmy Albert, John Buckley, James Katz and Larry Shiengorn for putting up the set.

Saw some trees, a fire hydrant and an electrical box knocked down on the corner of Seneca Crossing Drive and Tall Forest Drive. Must have been an least an SUV in that accident.

April 10

Spent the day at home preparing for Silver Screen Test. I don't like the Yankees putting their 100th anniversary logo on their hat. I'm fine with it on the sleeve. I just barely tolerate World Series logos on the hat. I can't take looking at it all year.

April 9

James Dinan has previously listed some questionable television series ideas from Here's a dubious concept from the SciFi Channel:

Dead Lawyers. DreamWorks Television (Steven Spielberg Presents Taken) produces this one-hour series, about hotshot defense attorney Jimmy Quinn, who is run over by a bus and finds himself in a law firm composed of unscrupulous lawyers who must return from the dead to redeem themselves by defending everyone they screwed when they were alive-pro bono!

And they cancelled Farscape for this? With a local setting but filmed in Vancouver nevertheless this so-bad-it-could-be-good tv movie:

Snakehead Terror. In a small town in Maryland, a school of freakishly large man-eating snakehead fish overrun a lake and take to the land. It's up to the local sheriff to reel in the creatures before they can go on a massive feeding frenzy.

April 8

Here are a few links thanks to Patrick Nielsen Hayden. Steven Berlin Johnson sees the Pirates of the Caribbean in a new light:

I've probably gone on that ride 25 times in my life, but this time, an entirely new thought occurred to me. Forgive the flair for the obvious here, but those pirates are terrorizing that town: they're firing on it with huge cannons; they're setting fire to houses; they're drunkenly chasing after local women, presumably to rape them; they're shooting off weapons indiscriminately into open windows. If you think about people in the actual Caribbean towns hundreds of years ago, being attacked by pirates must have been just about one of the most terrifying things you could imagine. Pirates were the Al Qaeda of the 18th century. But on the ride, they're not even supposed to be scary; it's all played for comic relief. All of which made me wonder: in two hundred years, when we've all moved on to new fears (gray goo and sentient machines, no doubt) will Disney roll out a new set of rides? Suicide Bombers of the Middle East? Terrorists of New York?

And this one from The Adventures of the Accordion Guy about a creepy encounter with a girl who needs serious psychiatric help.

Max Sawicky notes this article about rebuilding Afghanistan, co-written by that crazy tree-hugging liberal Jack Kemp. As a naturalized citizen, I know what U.S. citizenship is worth, but here's a reminder. On a personal note, I went to grad school with Max although he's a few years older. We communicated again just recently by discovering each other's blogs.

April 7

The schedule is out for episode #9 of Silver Screen Test and hot dog, it almost looks like a real time slot:
Mondays, April 7, 14, 21, 28, 7:30 pm
Wednesdays, April 9, 16, 23, 30, 5:00 pm
The programs will appear on the Open Channel in Montgomery County, Maryland, Channel 19.

April 6

Watched the Enterprise episode "The Crossing". The ship gets caught by a megaship occupied by wispy lifeforms composed entirely of energy. Trip experiences being one of them and enjoys the non-corporeal lifestyle. However, T'Pol discovers they really want to take over the crew's bodies because their ship is dying.

Archer concocts some scheme gassing the possessed crew members to a temporary death to drive the creatures out. If these creatures were getting desperate, why not just take over the crew quickly and don't bother with being nice about it?

April 5

Had dinner with people who don't exist. Watched the CSI: Miami episode "Double Cap". A woman sunbathing poolside at a hotel is found murdered, shot execution-style, in broad daylight, in full view of lots of people. She is the mistress of a witness protection member. The Feds brought her, the witness' wife and daughter down from Philadelphia to rat out drug kingpins.

The murderer found the victim because she arranged to bring her mother down to Miami as well. Both the murderer and the witness worked together on a bank robbery, but the witness ran off with the money. When they get the murderer, the feds hold onto him because he'll rat out a hitman.

They get their dates confused because I can't tell whether the bank robbery happened 18 months or four years ago. Also, the mother claims the witness insisted she have a gaudy emerald ring, though she doesn't know his name. We also get to meet Calleigh's alcoholic Dad played by John Heard, not William Hurt or John Hurt.

Jar-Jar Binks' head on Jaromir Jagr's body.
Jar-Jaromir Jagr: Meesa running from bookies and IRS.
April 4

Thanks to John Cooper for this article: Fans Outraged at New Character in The Return of the King. However, when I hear the name Jar-Jaromir, something like what's on the left comes to mind.

April 3

A new AA baseball stadium opens up in Frisco, Texas for the Texas League RoughRiders. It features a bullpen actually in the stands and the area above the seating bowl looks nothing like a baseball stadium. I was hoping that the Virginia Baseball Group would take a similar route and make the roof look like Mount Vernon, but they pretty much came up with a Camden Yards clone.

April 2

Because of the presence of Hideki Matsui on the Yankees, several of the advertisements at Skydome were rendered entirely in Japanese, even the one behind home plate.

James Dinan notes a lot of bare midriffs in prom dresses. I can imagine in ten years letting Miranda out the door in a low neckline, off-the-shoulder or a slit skirt, but midriffs just don't seem appropriate. I guess I'd use the Oscar red carpet as a standard. Watch, she'll end up dressing like Bjork.

April 1

Even more embarassing than the Lions or the Tigers.

After opening day, the Yankees share first place with the Orioles and Devil Rays. Now that Millennium Trammell is out, maybe the Bombers can buy out Original Trammell's managerial contract to come back and play short for a while.

The Undertow...
|And the Terrorists Won|
|Can We Trust?|
|What Would Journey Do?|
|Sanctuary- Episode Avenue|
|Sex Tips From Rusmfeld|
|Football Mascot Scrapbook|
|Doug Pappas' Business of Baseball Blog|
|Freedom Ads|
|Stadium Page|
|Pigments Through the Ages|
|Edgar Governo Historian of Things That Never Were|
|Saving Private Lynch|
|War is Good|
|The Price of Liberty|
|Pillagers Strip Iraqi Museum of Its Treasure|
|Periodic Table of Haiku|
|The Reason Why|
|Things You Dont Talk About In Polite Company|
|In Praise of Vulgarity|
|Are You Entitled|
|American Military Operation Name Generator|
|NBA Jersey Generator|
|DC Comics Cities Map|
|Something Suspicious in the Air|
|Japanese Scarves|
|Write It 100 Times|
|Our Long National Nightmare is Over|

|Dave Barry|
|Chris Barylick|
|Mike Burger|
|David Bykowski|
|Jessie Connolly|
|Mark Coen|
|Jon Couture|
|Victoria Groce|
|Arianna Huffington|
|Idle Words|
|Tricia Southard|
|Julie Stalhut|
|Eric Steinhauser|
|Summary Opinions|
|TRASH Times|
|Eva Whitley|

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Last revised April 30, 2003
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