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2006 Q4

December 31, 2006

I'm a few days late on this, but here are the top 10 movies of 2006 (plus ties), based on exclusive cin-o-matic critic ratings:

  1. Pan's Labyrinth (opened last Friday in NY/LA)
  2. Borat (can vouch for this one ... best I saw all year)
  3. The Death of Mr. Lazarescu
  4. The Queen
  5. Fateless
  6. 49 Up
  7. Iraq in Fragments
  8. L'Enfant (The Child)
  9. Three Times
  10. The Departed
  11. Letters from Iwo Jima
  12. Children of Men (dyin' to see it once it gets to MSP)

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It's that time of year again. Time to get velvet pants at ridiculous discounts.

In The Bag:

Calvin Klein Velvet Pants

CK grey stretch cotton blend velvet flat front trousers, via bluefly, $47.99.

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Clothing with animals having sex has always been extremely appealing to me, and moose getting it on are certainly no exception.

Under Heavy Consideration:

Jack Spade Moose Love Wool Hat

Moose love wool hat, via Jack Spade. $65.00.

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How you know the execution of Saddam Hussein didn't go so well: The hangmen chanted "Moktada! Moktada! Moktada!" as the trapdoor was about to open.

December 29, 2006

Ow-Wii

WiiMy buddii Adam Sellkii picked mii up a Wii yesterday and I had mii first Wii experience. Now that I'm back from Urgent Care I can tallii it up:

  • - a strained abdominal muscle
  • - a pulled hamstring
  • - a partially torn right bicep
  • - a doctor bill for $527

Thanks Nintendo!



December 28, 2006

Gerald FordThank you, Mr. Ford:

"Well, I can understand the theory of wanting to free people," Ford said, referring to Bush's assertion that the United States has a "duty to free people." But the former president said he was skeptical "whether you can detach that from the obligation number one, of what's in our national interest."

December 21, 2006

Know Your Footballs!

Wrong Ball

Yo WaPo: This is clearly a pro football, not a college football. Forget the different shape and missing white stripes, the text "National Footb..." is maybe a clue.

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In my wildest dreams I didn't think Shrub's presidency would unravel so fast, that the curtain would be pulled back and everyone would see Oz wasn't just a midget, but a buck-ass naked midget. So fucking sweet. Now I'm off to go shopping more, as Shrub pleaded yesterday.

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In The Bag:

Flight 001 Flask

LIFEPOD HIP FLASK, via Flight 001. $28. Useful for kids' Christmas plays and presidential press conferences.

December 19, 2006

In dack.com's continuing effort to recycle old content, here's a happy holiday wish from Playmobil Santa Claus:

YouTube page: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLWLcO0lwi4

December 18, 2006

Special Note: Apologies for anyone who had to witness my ridiculous dancing to Naughty By Nature's OPP at the Wild Onion on Saturday night.

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Already the hands-down winner of dack.com's "World's Worst Pundit" award, Thomas Friedman is now the reigning champ of the "World's Ugliest Tie" prize. Yesterday on Meet the Press he actually wore this technicolor monstrosity:

Fat Friedman

Click to watch the tie in action, and see Tom make yet another vacuous point, undeserving of hand gestures, or of being broadcast.

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In The Bag:

Vader's Light Saber

Darth Vader Episode V FX Lightsaber, via amazon.com. With realistic power-up and power-down glowing light effects, and digitally recorded and motion sensor controlled authentic sound effects such as power-up, power-down, idle, movement sounds, and clash sounds. (Readers can decide if this gift if for a Star Wars-geek son, or Star Wars-geek dad.)

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Other stuff In The Bag. Youth jerseys and helmets:

This one is OK, I guess:

Bucs Jersey

This one hurts:

Bears Jersey

This one is absolutely killing me:

Vikings Jersey

December 15, 2006

Talladega Nightsdack.com movie rating (0-10): 4

Geez did this suck.

Worthwhile only for Sacha Baron Cohen, a couple of Steve Earle tracks, and the relentlenss ridicule of NASCAR and other lowbrow culture (e.g. Applebee's). It's basically a 30-minute idea stretched to a ridiculous 2 hour gruel-a-thon. Should've been 80, 90 minutes tops, and even then it still would've been lousy.

(Can someone please get Adam McKay an editor?! Anchorman was also over 2 hours.)

In other news, I've reached my Will Ferrell breaking point. At some point a shirtless chubby white guy jammed into tighty-whities stops being funny.

December 12, 2006

Captain's Log: Stardate 2006.12.12

Fucking KirkI'm a few days late on this, but all hail TV Land for bringing back Old Trek. Even if I didn't have childhood memories of Klingons and tribbles and Joan Collins I'd still *love* this show.

Now that all the red shirts, and even Bones and Scottie are dead, who's next? Spock or Kirk (both age 75)?

(I guess given that Spock is a Vulcan -- average lifespan of 250 years -- this is a dumb question.)

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There's justice in the world:

A judge rejected a request by two fraternity brothers to halt the DVD release of the hit spoof movie Borat. West Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Joseph S. Biderman also refused to order the removal of a scene that includes the two men, who claim they had been duped into misbehaving on camera.

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Highly recommended: "The Atheist Delusion"

Atheist Delusion

Excellent Flash movie based on Richard Dawkins' "The God Delusion."

December 8, 2006

The war in Iraq didn't just fuck Iraq. It's also apparently fucking Jordan and Syria, too:

Uneasy Havens Await Those Who Flee Iraq

As they leave Iraq at a rate of nearly 3,000 a day, the refugees are threatening the social and economic fabric of both Jordan and Syria. In Jordan, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis are trying to blend into a country of only 6 million inhabitants, including about 1.5 million registered Palestinian refugees.
December 6, 2006

My new hero. Australian golfer Paul Gow. PGA Tour-quality player. Family man. Drunkard.

Paul Gow

After finishing 8th at PGA Tour Q School, Aussie Paul Gow was interviewed by Golf Channel's Curt Byrum:

Curt Byrum: When we talked to you at the end of the Nationwide year this year you were pretty beat up. How did you get it turned around and play so well here?

Paul Gow: You know, I went home and, uh, got drunk a few times. It was just a long year and I spent six weeks away from my girls, my kids, and went home and just relaxed, believe it or not. My preparation is normally very well and, you know, I prepared correctly, but this time I went home and had a bunch of Jim Beams and come back with no practice and this is what happened.

(Hat tip: Richard Warzecha)

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In The Bag:

DSquared2 Boot

Kick-ass DSquared2 boot, via Zappos.

November 30, 2006

Great Salon piece breaks down what's real and what's not in Borat.

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Imperial Life in the Emerald 
Citydack.com book rating (0-10): 8

I fully enjoyed Rajiv Chandrasekaran's Imperial Life in the Emerald City, and if you have an interest in what went down in Iraq in the 15 months after the invasion, it's a must read. Many of the stories are mind-blowing in their mind-blowingness. One criticism of this book and the recent Frontline report: the idea that if only the CPA wasn't staffed by completely incompetent GOP hacks and a clueless viceroy everything in Iraq would be peachy. Wrong. Invading and occupying a country in the Middle East was doomed to fail. The fucking war was over before it even started.

"Mind-blowing in their mind-blowingness," you ask? OK. Page 10:

A mural of the World Trade Center adorned one of the entrances (to Saddam's palace). The Twin Towers were framed within the outstretched wings of a bald eagle. Each branch of the U.S. military -- the army, air force, marines, and navy -- had its seal on a different corner of the mural. In the middle were the logos of the New York City Police and Fire departments, and atop the towers were the words THANK GOD FOR THE COALITION FORCES & FREEDOM FIGHTERS AT HOME AND ABROAD.

(Excuse me while I puke.)

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Movie Math: Elementary Lesson


Nativity Story
=
Thirteen
+ Jebus
Jebus

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dack.com is a huge fan of Earnest Sewn, especially when their jeans have a 35.5" inseam! Under consideration:

Earnest Sewn

Earnest Sewn navy cotton 'Fulton' straight leg jeans. $126. Via bluefly.

November 29, 2006

Way to go, US troops!

If we didn't kill girls and babies over there, we'd have to kill girls and babies over here.

U.S. Troops Kill 5 Girls in Assault on Insurgents

American troops killed five girls, including at least one baby, and what the military described as either a boy or a man, when the troops attacked a house Tuesday in volatile Anbar Province after they suspected insurgents of firing at them from the roof of the house.

See also: Iraq is a total goatfuck? Blame the Iraqis. God what a joke.

November 28, 2006

YouTubeI'm spending my first significant time as a contributor on YouTube (I'm putting all my movies online), and I'm shocked at the quality of the experience. Hopefully the Google Guys can fix the broken signup page, the error messages when there aren't errors, the 500 server error messages, and loads of broken images. The site feels like it's held together with duct tape and bubble gum. It is, however, the only way to fly to get your shit out there to the masses demanding blood-spurting decapitations, animated Playmobil blowjobs, and freak-dancing Barbie dolls.

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Speaking of YouTube, they just announced a deal with Verizon to show their most popular videos on cell phones.

Wow, have we come a long way. Me and a buddy were one of the first to make movies for cell phones back in 2000, and the best we could do were stick figure snuff films (all with head removal).


Karate Kid, in letterbox format.

November 27, 2006

Argh. Due to some server re-jiggering I'm being forced to abandon my beloved PINE and use either a desktop email client or gmail. I am bitter, angry, and just generally in a disconsolate funk about it. If anyone knows about a support group for this kind of thing, please let me know.

Just found this article comparing PINE to gmail. Guy works at Google, tried gmail for 5 weeks, and returned to PINE. Even with all gmail's cool features, that outcome would be predicted.

November 16, 2006

This would qualify and ES (that's Extreme Schadenfreude for the uninitiated) if it weren't so tragic, but remember the silly-ass idea that Iraq would become a beacon for democracy in the Middle East?

I definitely remember David Rees hilariously mocking the idea days before the invasion:

Freedom Car

Anyhow, it ain't working out that way:

Sectarian Strife in Iraq Imperils Entire Region, Analysts Warn

While American commanders have suggested that civil war is possible in Iraq, many leaders, experts and ordinary people in Baghdad and around the Middle East say it is already underway, and that the real worry ahead is that the conflict will destroy the flimsy Iraqi state and draw in surrounding countries.

Whether the U.S. military departs Iraq sooner or later, the United States will be hard-pressed to leave behind a country that does not threaten U.S. interests and regional peace, according to U.S. and Arab analysts and political observers.
November 15, 2006

Lacking the Energy to Write Weblog

Rising Sun

While my wife is on an 8-day shopping excursion in The Land of the Rising Sun (pictured above, left), I've been on solo duty in The Land of the Rising Son (pictured above, right). He likes to wake up at 6:30. (And crap his pants.) If he could talk, he'd probably say he misses his mommy, and is tired of having pizza for dinner.

November 10, 2006

Frat Boys Don't Liiiike

Two University of South Carolina frat boys are suing 20th Century Fox for their appearance in Borat. The third frat boy, not party to the suit, apparently realizes it's not Sacha Baron Cohen's fault he's a flaming idiot.

(I was a frat boy, too, once. But only a slow, smoldering idiot.)

November 9, 2006

Someone Pinch Me

Next Stop: The Hague

What's next? News that Dick Cheney shot himself in the face?

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Now that the Republicans managed to lose *both* the House and the Senate, I was wondering ... what impact did all the GOP's manufactured noise about John Kerry's flubbed joke actually have? Is there a number less than absolute fucking zero?

November 8, 2006

Sweet, Sweet Schadenfreude:

By any measure, the result was a sobering defeat for a White House and a political party that had just two years ago, with Mr. Bush's re-election, claimed a mandate to shape both foreign and domestic policy and set out to establish long-term dominance for the Republican Party.

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The Great Shrub Repudiation was as strong here in Minnesota than anywhere in America (except for maybe Santorum in PA). Mark Kennedy, who was a virtual Bush Boy while in the House, was utterly destroyed by Amy Klobuchar for US Senate. You know it's bad when CNN could call the race even before any votes were counted:

November 7, 2006

Praise Jebus! The day is finally here!

If I see/hear one more political ad I'm going to go back to Dunn Brothers and throw a ceramic coffee cup at that guy's nutsack.

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Overheard on Minnesota Public Radio yesterday afternoon: "... drug-fueled homosexual trysts." Try to use that phrase in a sentence today, preferably in a meeting.

November 3, 2006

So I'm now sitting next to some jackass at Dunn Brothers coffeehouse, and if I hear him say either "It is what it is." or "At the end of the day..." one more time he's going to get a scalding hot cup of Kenya AA "Tembo" tossed at his nutsack.

November 2, 2006

God, if you do in fact exist, please help us.

October 30, 2006

Separated at birth?

Osama Bin Laden and Borat! director Larry Charles?

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IdiocracyAttention Mike Judge fans: Idiocracy, his latest critically acclaimed movie that was released in 3 theaters two months ago, will be available on DVD January 9, 2007.








October 27, 2006

One of my favorite restaurants in the Twin Cities is Chino Latino, and not just because they serve great food and top it off with evil fortune cookies, but because they put stuff like this on the bottom of their sushi menu:

Chino Latino

October 26, 2006

Extreme Schadenfreude doesn't get any more Extreme Schadenfreude-y:

War Now Works Against GOP

Just three months ago, Republican strategists believed that doubts about Iraq could be contained -- or even turned into an electoral advantage -- if the battle was framed as a vital front in the war against terrorism. Voters would be invited to choose: Stand firm or capitulate.

But the issue is not playing out that way.

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All Hail Italy!
All Hail Yoox!
All Hail Diesel!
All Hail the Tulle Jersey Tank Top!

So I'm at my consulting gig today and get asked to show a UI element I like on "that shopping site you always talk about." So I browse to the Italian clothing site yoox.com, randomly click on Diesel, and then get presented with possibly the most beautiful thing I've ever seen:

Diesel Tank

Diesel tank top. 92% Nylon, 8% Elastane, 100% lovely. Price: don't know, don't care

October 24, 2006

This blog has been so lame lately because I took a trip to San Diego, and here's the scoop:

The Weather

dack.com rating: 9

Sunny and 70 every day, with zero humidity. Someone please tell me why I live in Minnesota, because I don't know. Tomorrow's forecast: 47 and partly cloudy ... and that's a *good* day.

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Torrey Pines South

Torrey Pines South

dack.com rating: 4

Redesigned by Rees Jones in 2001. Site of the Buick Open every February. Site of the 2008 U.S. Open. Blah, blah, blah. The city of San Diego should be embarrassed about charging tourists like me (or anyone else) $130 to play this golf course. Sure, there are some special holes, like #3 and #4, but its conditioning was worse than just about any muni I've ever played. As one of my playing partners said (who was a 60+ crabby local and paid just $25 green fees), "The entire goddamn course is ground under repair!" Not far from the truth.

What also struck me was the hostility of the locals to what's been done to their golf course; basically that it's set up for one week in February and the rest of the year it's a dump.

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Torrey Pines NorthTorrey Pines North

dack.com rating: 5

The North course has some gems, particularly #5 and #6. #5 has to be one of the best holes in the world, a medium-length par 4 with an approach shot framed by the Pacific Ocean. #7 is an odd, slightly unfair par 4 with the Pacific to your left, and after that it's completely forgettable, the back 9 not better than your average muni, and again the condition of the course (with $80 green fees) slightly worse.

Next time I'm in the area, I don't think I'll play either one again.




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On a much brighter note, whenever I'm in Southern California I make a stop by by friends at allyn scura eyewear.

dack.com rating: 10

I picked me up a pair of their latest design, the Parker, as modeled by Michael Caine in The Ipcress File:

The Ipcress File

October 20, 2006

Extreme Schadenfreude for Friday:

Bush Faces a Battery of Ugly Choices on War

But whatever choices he makes -- probably not until after the Nov. 7 election, and perhaps not until the bipartisan group issues its report -- they will be forced by a series of events, in Iraq and at home, that now seems largely out of Mr. Bush's control, in Iraq and at home.

As tragic and wrong and criminal and dumb as the war was, at least it seems like it's not going to get escalated.

Wow, is history going to completely ream these bastards or what?

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Upon Further Review

I missed the initial airing of the Project Runway season finale Wednesday night, but upon further review via DVR (twice), I'd conclude Uli got screwed. Jeffrey was clearly the most talented designer of the bunch, but Uli's final collection -- contrary to what the hack Michael Kors says -- was more consistent, and didn't include any duds. Michael was third, and a distant, way-the-fuck-back fourth was Laura. I thought some of her dresses, with feathers and sleeves like wings, might actually take flight.

October 12, 2006

Belle 
de 
JourIs there a hotter (in an ice-cold kinda way) swinging chick of the '60s than Catherine Deneuve? Anyone? I was reminded of her greatness last night while watching the "erotic masterpiece" (yes on both counts) Belle de Jour (playing in October on FLIX and Showtime ... highly recommended.)











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On the extreme other end of the beauty and erotic scale, more pictures from Dack's Packer Weekend. Here is a 300lb. hairy, sweaty, shirtless guy with a giant paper mache helmet, and some random woman pretending to suck his nipple:

Stadium View 1

A few minutes later he rode the mechanical bull:

Stadium View 2

October 9, 2006

This Helps Ease The Pain (A Little)

In The Bag:

Packers Pabst Hat

Hand-knit green and gold and beer can hat, via a little old lady outside Lambeau Field. $20.

(The coolest In The Bag feature of all-time?)

October 6, 2006

I don't know whether to file this under Extreme Shadenfreude or Hallelujah!

Evangelicals Fear the Loss of Their Teenagers

Despite their packed megachurches, their political clout and their increasing visibility on the national stage, evangelical Christian leaders are warning one another that their teenagers are abandoning the faith in droves.

At an unusual series of leadership meetings in 44 cities this fall, more than 6,000 pastors are hearing dire forecasts from some of the biggest names in the conservative evangelical movement.

Their alarm has been stoked by a highly suspect claim that if current trends continue, only 4 percent of teenagers will be "Bible-believing Christians" as adults. That would be a sharp decline compared with 35 percent of the current generation of baby boomers, and before that, 65 percent of the World War II generation.
October 5, 2006

'Last Throes' Watch

4 More GIs Killed, 21 Since Saturday
October 4, 2006

If You Love Me You'll Buy This*
*Mom, Dad, Wife, Rich Stalker Chick, that means you.

Geochron

OK. So the hairstyle looks a little '80s, the device itself looks a little '70s, and the readouts look like they belong on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise (original, not the lame-ass Next Generation), BUT this is the coolest damn thing you can ever have hanging on your wall (except for this). The Geochron doesn't just tell time, but indicates exactly where the sun is shining around the world at any moment. I've seen this in action and it's just the coolest. So buy it already. (I'll take the Original Kilburg model with the black goatskin finish, please.)

October 2, 2006

The Wrong Lessons. So. Totally. Wrong.

Woodward:

A powerful, largely invisible influence on Bush's Iraq policy was former secretary of state Kissinger.

"Of the outside people that I talk to in this job," Vice President Cheney told me in the summer of 2005, "I probably talk to Henry Kissinger more than I talk to anybody else. He just comes by and, I guess at least once a month, Scooter [his then-chief of staff, I. Lewis Libby] and I sit down with him."

The president also met privately with Kissinger every couple of months, making him the most regular and frequent outside adviser to Bush on foreign affairs.

Kissinger sensed wobbliness everywhere on Iraq, and he increasingly saw it through the prism of the Vietnam War. For Kissinger, the overriding lesson of Vietnam is to stick it out.

Kissinger

There's something especially appropriate about war criminals taking advice from a war criminal ... who picks his nose in public. Christ. THE VIETNAM WAR WAS NOT FUCKING WINNABLE! Even the "idiot" French figured that out back in 1954, a failure nose-picker is re-fighting it, and people in power are actually listening to him.


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