5.27.2008

Go forth, performance metrics

Guess what business this is talking about:

"Establish tangible performance metrics for each of the unit leaders and hold them accountable for results."
Right! It could be any business! It's b-school gobbeldygook!

But what makes it doubly rank is that it's talking about the UC system. What on earth is a "performance metric," in that context? I don't mean to be all Emersonian here (see this to get an example of what I'm talking about), but surely, in some sense, education is an obligation, not an output.

In fact the way we hang the public universities out to dry these days is one of the many evidences that we have no civic spirit -- and that is what causes decline, not homos marrying. In fact this (from the same op-ed roundtable) seems shameful -- although par for the course in California:
In 2004, UC President Robert Dynes and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger abandoned the idea of a public university in favor of a privatized model. Dynes accepted a $1.5-billion permanent cut in the university's annual $5-billion core operating budget, and agreed to substantially increase tuition every year, in exchange for a promise (now broken) of modest increases in state money while UC sought private money "to support basic programs."

5.26.2008

Sydney Pollack RIP

If only (but not only) for Tootsie, which,, as Virginia Heffernan points out is one of the greatest comedies of all time -- one of the few with the structure to keep it being funny all the way through.

Overheard

Two guys, late 20s maybe, are walking down the street.

Guy 1: you're getting older, you've lost a step

Guy 2: I'm still expressive.

Guy 1: No, you're a cold-hearted asshole.

Guy 2: [chuckles]

5.25.2008

Shoot

I forgot to put up my "Red Wings in 4" post yesterday, and now I look like an idiot, or Plaschke.

But trust me. The West is much better than the East.


UPDATE: Also, Versus was terrible -- they kept trying new angles so you kept just missing the play.

5.20.2008

Wait, Ben Silverman isn't finished with it yet.

NBC Limping To The TV Seasons End - TV Decoder - Media & Television - New York Times Blog: "“The prime-time performance makes it all the more impressive that NBC has managed to stay in first place for its evening news, late-night lineup and early morning,”"

5.19.2008

Send in the Latrines - New York Times

This op-ed (about the need for waste management in the aftermath of the cyclone), brings up a question I've always wondered about, which is, once we get up to 9 billion people, what are we going to do with all the shit?

5.18.2008

One nice thing about jazz

One nice thing about jazz is that you can be listening to it on the car radio, park, go into a store, transact your entire business including helping the cashier to add, walk back to your car, get in, start it, and the song will appear to still be in the exact same place you left it.

5.16.2008

America's Important Obscure War contest

Who would win -- the French and Indian War or the Mexican War?

I vote for F and I, but then I've been to Fort William Henry.

Also, from our "You know you're reading a conservative paper when" department:

Thanks to the influence of Spain's military tradition and the help of mercenary soldiers, the Mexican army was well-equipped and well-trained.
Get it? Without Spain, and (presumably European) mercenaries, that army would just be a bunch of Mexicans [shudder].

Fox cutting back on commercials for two TV shows - Los Angeles Times

I am super in favor of this; I have always wondered why the networks wanted to shit up the experience of their customers. Maybe they all used to work at airlines or something.

Fox cutting back on commercials for two TV shows - Los Angeles Times: "Fox executives said the shift came in response to annoyance among viewers at the heavy commercial load in popular prime-time shows. The network believes that if there are only a few 30-second spots per commercial break, viewers might be less tempted to flip to another channel or fast forward through the ads while watching episodes on digital video recorders."
Two other notes on this:
• What really need to go, of course, are all the network promotions.
• Funny that this doesn't apply to half-hours. 30 seconds more makes a big difference; that's a joke or two that could really tickle someone.

5.13.2008

Yes, another hockey post

sI'm watching Flyers-Penguins on Tivo and it reminds me of one of the irritating things about hockey announcers (maybe only US hockey announcers), which is that they don't pay attention to line matchups.

To the uninitiate, hockey looks totally random, but in fact there's some strategy in personnel matchups, and you never get the sense from the announcer that a team is intending to do anything. There are probably too many former players in the booth, and not enough former coaches -- although hockey coaches are notoriously uninformative. Maybe Ron Wilson might help.

Sonnet

I promise not to crosspost everything from the other blog, but I rather liked this sonnet I wrote (a takeoff of this sonnet which I didn't:

A Trophy Wife
Anywhere on the Westside

Beauty like hers is genius. It takes pains --
The surgeon's silicone, the salon's dye,
The trainer's sweat, and every tool whereby
She turns all heads in preschool dropoff lanes.
Her husband's ex, a gossipy mom explains,
Was the woman who brought him his first script
Which starred this wife. (Remember? Her space suit, ripped?
And how she wore those glasses to show brains?)

As many men are horndogs in their youth,
But tamp it down to taste responsibility,
And discover depths in their connubial she;
Her husband, like a sophomore, without ruth
Will ditch this trophy wife if she gets gray
Hence her pains with art and science Time to stay.

5.11.2008

Can I just say

I don't give a shit about making hockey more popular; that will probably just make it worse, to me. I get Versus on my cable system, so I don't really care who else is watching.

The last thing I want is Vic "The Brick" Jacobs talking hockey.

5.10.2008

Reminder

When I am not posting here it is because I am posting over there

5.01.2008

Today's Double-Dactyl: Buzz Bissinger

Dude, watch your spittle, there!
WRITER "Buzz" Bissinger
Can't stand reporting
By unpriestly hands

Though I'm not one to wax
Blogotriumphalist --
People will read them when
This shit hits the fans.