Friday, December 23, 2005

Overheard at the UW-Madison bookstore

"Do you want it to say Bucky, or do you want Bucky?"

Doesn't Bucky always say Bucky?
Good word

"I'd never steal from Santa, 'cause that ain't right."

-- Run-D.M.C., "Christmas in Hollis"

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Honkytonk angels

Like my article "The South in his Mouth," which ran a few weeks ago, my cover story in this week's Isthmus is autobiographical. "I Saw the Light" is about how I came to be attending Episcopal church services, even though I grew up Presbyterian. Yes, it was a bold journey from the Scots Reformation to the English Reformation:
Actually, these days I am in church most Sunday mornings, although I am more likely to sing "A Mighty Fortress" there than "I Saw the Light." But it was not always so. I came to be a churchgoer again only after a long period away. And truth be told, churchgoing sometimes feels like just one more incongruous element of an identity I am still trying to piece together: gay, Madisonian, Southern, Pol Pot-studying, Hank Williams-singing alternative journalist -- and Protestant.
The piece is up on, which presents selected articles from various alternative newspapers.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Good word

"When the President does it, that means that it is not illegal."

-- Richard Milhous Nixon

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Tivo time

All I wanted for Christmas was a Tivo, and lo! Santa has blessed us with one. Pop some corn; we're going to watch television.

Tivo has been hailed as a breakthrough for consumers, a computing device so simple anyone can set it up. I'd buy that, with one important caveat: Tivo is easy to set up if you have a landline telephone. But as I noted at about this time last year, our home is landline-free. So now what?

For cases like ours, Tivo's technical-support Web site recommends depending on the kindness of strangers -- or anyone with a television and a telephone line they won't be using for eight hours. Fat chance, right? But a little Web sleuthing turned up a few more possibilities.

And so now I have Tivo up and running, courtesy of this monstrosity I cobbled together, which lets Tivo connect to the Internet via my PC. It's as unlikely as it looks, and I had to fiddle with obscure settings on the Tivo and the computer to make everything work. I also used a hacksaw at one point.

But work it does! And I only took the better part of two days to figure it all out. I am insane.

Monday, December 19, 2005


More here.

Know what's nice about biking to work when it's minus two degrees out? There are plenty of spaces in the bike racks.