Best of Denver

This is a steady read each year – when Westword publishes its best of issue. And some years are better than others. But giving the nod to Mike Landess, and creating some fun categories such as best place to rent a poochie for a day makes for some entertaining reading this time around.


I Am No Bobby Fischer

I have talked about my New Year’s resolution to learn chess on perhaps to many occassions this year. And admittedly, it has become an obsession. An obession that has worn off onto others, with most of my immediate friends now playing chess. I recently bought a book on fixing amateur misconceptions for the novice chess player as well as a swell portable mini chess set to take my game and study on the road. In the words of my sister, I have become an Uber Geek. But the real chess geek, the ultimate chess geek, the man considered to be the best to have ever played the game is apparently just plain nuts. Of course, I am talking about Bobby Fisher, who is a racists, anti semitic and more than just a little nuts. A chess savant, perhaps, but clearly not able to exist in the real world, with the rest of us mortals.
It is my pledge that I will never be near as good as him, nor will I go off the deep end in any way, as he certainly has.

Friday Fives

1. If you had the chance to meet someone you’ve never met, from the past or present, who would it be?
Mark Twain or Ambrose Bierce. I love a good story teller.

2. If you had to live in a different century, past or future, which would it be?
1850s London

3. If you had to move anywhere else on Earth, where would it be?
Iceland. Reportedly a very nice place.

4. If you had to be a fictional character, who would it be?

5. If you had to live with having someone else’s face as your own for the rest of your life, whose would it be?
hmmm. Interesting. I wouldn’t mind looking in the mirror every day and seeing old school Elvis. Or that kid from That 70s Show – Ashton Kutchter. It must be rough going through life looking like that.


Setting A Musical Mood,
Each And Every Day

For fun and frolic, here is a link to download a different public domain MP3 every day of the year. Some really, really odd stuff here. What the guy does it takes those old use records you see for sale at thrift stores, used books stores and even garage sales, finds some gold and then burns them to an MP3 and uploads them. Hilarity ensues. It is inspired. The link for today comes from from a Paul Winchell and Jerry Mahoney Album of the 1960s entitled “Chips of Wisdom.” Winchell was a very popular ventriloquist and Mahoney was his wooden dummy – the chip of wisdom. You will recognize the voices as he does lots of commercials and cartoon voice dubbing. After that, go to the archives section and have fun.


World War 2.5

Here is a flash animation presentation/game scenario that tries to explain, using dark edged humor, the war in Iraq (I refuse to refer to this as a sterile operation – it is a war) and the probable outcomes our our involvement in initiating the war, based on historical, geographical and psycho-social analysis. Make sure to check out the “Ashcraft Online” link on the same page. Hysterical.

  • Gulf War 2 (aka World War 2.5)
  • 91520813

    Dogs of War

    “That plan’s just crazy enough to work.”

    The Washington Monthly has put out a piece on the reasons why we are at war. Vaguely similar to the piece posted earlier that appeared in the March Esquire, this piece in The Washington Monthly is darker and is much more ominous in tone. Chaos and war in the Middle East is the overall goal, according its author. I can’t vouch for any of that but it does strike me as probable that after Iraq, the dogs of war will point their tales at Iran, Syria and other pesky non democratic neighbors who aren’t willing to play ball by the United States rules.


    Rook Takes Pawn

    Good Lord! The chess bug is outta control. I currently have six games in progress in the email chess engine Red Hot Pawn. It’s free and simple. So if you haven’t gotten on the bandwagon, RABNurse is Sage, Miasma is Jenn, Beaker is Mark, Kevin is Lono and I am majikwah. Sign up and play. A low key way to game that uses your brain not your Nintendo thumb.


    The Word Is Official

    I guess I should make this an official announcement.
    I have a job.
    I have secured work.
    I have retained a position.
    On March 20 I started at Finali Corporation. Located right in the heart of nowhere, on the outskirts of Westminster. I am officially an eSpecialist for an outsourced customer contact center.
    I know, I know, I said that I would do anything first before going back into customer service, but things being what they are, a boy can’t be too picky.
    And unlike Teletech, these guys actually seem to know what they are doing. I am a three month temp to hire and hopefully will be a full time employee by June. It is a rather small company with about 110 employees, but has contracts and sales growth projecting them to be at 550 employees by year’s end.
    So far so good. The company has a very relaxed, open and honest company culture and a chance at rapid promotion and development. With my Nextel experience, I am looking forward to really making a contribution. It is a bit exciting in these times to be a part of a dot com startup that actually had the wherewithal to ride out the post 9/11 bust.
    I will be working on their newest accounts for Western Union and Bidpay.com. Primarily the work will be email and chat with a little bit of phone work.

    I am sure I will develop an annoying play by play at my blog as this develops, but in the meantime I thought I would drop a note and let you folks know I am alive and well and back to being a contributing member of society.

    Friday Fives

    Special Sunday edition.1. What is one thing you don’t like about your body?
    I need to get in shape period. I have a tightness in my back from lack of exercise and I don’t like that much.

    2. What are two things you love about your body?
    I have great eyes and my curly wavy hair, after years of fighting it, has become one of my favorite things.

    3. What are three things you want to change about your home?
    Paint in the livingroom, kitchen, dining room. But to hell with all that. I need to move further West.

    4. What are four books you want to read this year?
    What Should I Do With My Life by Po Bronson> Delano by John Orozoco> No One’s Even Bleeding by Lenny Castellenata> Lake Effect by Rich Cohen.

    5. What are five promises you have kept to yourself?
    Wow, this is hard. To finish college; to be more courageous at work; to learn chess; to never lose my keys or wallet; to floss regularly.


    The Bombs Bursting In Air

    It is day three of the war in Iraq and I have already tired of the constant television coverage. As talking heads guess what is going on thousands of miles away, with images of bombs exploding in glowing technicolor behind their heads, we are quickly learning that the information being given is premature and sometimes often inaccurate. Is Suddam dead? Is he alive? Was the speech recorded? Is it a double? And on and on. I find myself quickly looking for more accurate and thoughtful sources concerning the aggression. Some resources can be found here:

  • Metafilter.com, of course

    Careful discussion of most everything going on

  • and

  • Cyberjournalist.net
  • A blog of sources for gulf war coverage, including some blogging from embedded journalists.


  • How to watch the war on TV