Random Blather

Feverish Ravings of a Middle-Aged Mind

Douglas Moran

Douglas Moran
Austin, Texas,
June 25
Low-level Technical Weenie
TechnoGypsy, family dude, technical writer, frisbee golfer, movie buff, political junkie, gadget fiend, computer nerd.


Editor’s Pick
MAY 17, 2010 10:07PM

Playground Diversity!

Chesapeake Playground Equipment
Plastic blob-o-rama playground equipment

Lenore Skenazy has a great article in Salon today that, if you're a parent (or planning on becoming one), I urge you to read.  Because for me, it puts in words something that I've been thinking about playgrounds ever since my kids arrived. /Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MAY 5, 2010 2:21PM

Louisianans Ain't Ignorant Hicks


My pop, who works for Halliburton--frequently offshore--could have been there

I love the blogger digby--I read her (and her co-bloggers) pretty much every day.  But one has to bear in mind that she's an unrepentant, California, Baby Boom leftie.  Which is one of the reasons/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 8, 2010 6:05PM

Phrases I'm Weary Of

 Updated below

Fair, shmair!

We get the government we deserve.  Who do you mean, "We," Kimosabe?  I don't think I've ever gotten the government I deserve.  I contribute money, fill out questionaires, answer pollsters, call, write, and email my Senators and Congressmen (… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 18, 2010 3:26PM

It *Is* Terrorism, You Boneheads!

* Updated Below *

When 9/11 happened, even though it was terrifying and I thought it was horrible, as it was 3000 miles away I had a little trouble connecting with it.  Maybe I'm just dense, but sometimes I need to be whapped in the face with stuff. 

Well,… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 12, 2010 7:55PM

Don't Mess with Comedians

Last night, Conan O'Brien obliterated his own network--well, his network for now, anyway--with a routine that can call up all those overheated adjectives that lots of other folks will use; you know, like "blistering," "devastating," "scorching," and whatnot.  I'm not a big Conan fan, but I certa… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 27, 2009 8:15PM

The TSA's Flying Circus

air terror
The shoe bomber's spirit of stupidity and ineptness lives on.  Unfortunately.

Look, I don't want to get blown up in a plane.  I travel a lot, and I certainly don't want to be on a plane that explodes, crashes into buildings, ditches in the ocean,… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 20, 2009 2:08PM

Most Entertaining Films of the Decade

As I've mentioned before, I don't judge films on their "quality."  I'm not entirely sure I know what "quality" means with regard to art forms that are, by their nature, subjective.  For example, I haven't read a lot of reviews of the film Shoot 'em Up, but I would guess that… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 16, 2009 11:11PM

Before There Was Cameron's Avatar . . .

The marketing tide is swelling, and shortly will be swamping over us like an entertainment tsunami, for James Cameron's new film, Avatar

Like a lot of science fiction movies--even some really bad ones--it looks really cool.  And I must admit that I have yet to watch a… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
NOVEMBER 13, 2009 1:45AM

Illegal Immigrants: Republicans Can't Do Math

I know health care reform is the hot topic of the day, but as Orlando was working on our plumbing while Carlos and Jesus were doing the yard work, and having passed a couple of hispanic guys unloading a truck by the Italian restaurant down the street, I was thinking about… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
NOVEMBER 4, 2009 3:31PM

Thought for the Day: Separated at Birth?

Is it just me, or does Doug Hoffman--the far right-wing losing candidate in yesterday's special election for New York's 23rd Congressional district (waaaay upstate New York) not look like Steve Buscemi in one of his more out-there roles?

doug hoffman  buscemi

Creepy, or just Doug Paranoia?

Not on… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 10, 2009 3:17PM

Why We Trust Jon Stewart

A couple of weeks ago when a Time Magazine poll found that Jon Stewart, of all people, was considered the most trusted newscaster in America, it got a bunch of folks in a serious lather.  Even Stewart himself was dismissive of this poll, noting that he's a comedian, not a newscaster. … Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 3, 2009 9:20PM

Dear Shortsighted NIMBY Boneheads

Dear NIMBY Boneheads,

It was with some alarm that I read a wire-service story about San Francisco Peninsula cities opposing a high-speed rail line through their cities.

With all due respect, and from a person who rides public transit quite a bit, let me just say:  screw you.

The last… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
APRIL 25, 2009 2:59PM

Auto Industry: The Death of Brands

(I wonder if I should put the word "sex" in the title to improve my hit count?)

In 1983, Honda introduced their new Civic model with the ad campaign, "We make it simple."  I particularly remember that they bragged about the fact that you only had one key for the car;… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
APRIL 8, 2009 3:29PM


This is a post about . . . Mahwidge:

Now, I will admit right up front that when it comes to some social topics, I'm not liberal or conservative, I'm an out-an-out radical.  Take that as a given.   Even so, I am continually and absolutely baffled by people… Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
APRIL 6, 2009 5:05PM

Time Out: What's Playing on Doug's Tiny Screen

Enough with all the depressing posts; time for something a wee bit lighter, yes?

I've mentioned it before, but it bears repeating:  I love my iPhone.  It is a great companion for a traveling technogypsy who is usually 1700 miles from home.  Books, movies, games, music, email, web surf… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 20, 2009 5:13PM

Outrage Overload

Maybe I'm just tired.  Maybe 8 years of Bush, immediately followed by (and overlapping with) a financial meltdown has just burned me out.  Maybe I just don't have any left.  Maybe my personal worries over my job, my finances, my family--hell, even my dogs--has just overwhelmed everythi… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 4, 2009 11:59PM

Guilty Web Pleasures

I geek for a living and, as such, spend an awful lot of time on the web.  More than is probably safe, honestly, especially if you count the time I spend watching TV and movies on my iPhone.  (Not to mention reading books on my iPhone!)

Such is the life of… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 4, 2009 3:57PM

Basic Economic Math

I have read, by now, dozens of stories talking about the budget Barack Obama has put forward, and how it is "huge," "unprecedented," "too expensive," "spends too much," and on and on.  And all I can say to these people is:

Can't you add?

Yup, $1.75 trillion is a staggering, back-breaking… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 7, 2009 11:43PM

Ordinary Beauty

Years ago, when I was commuting over The Hill from my home in Santa Cruz to Silicon Valley, I would sometimes glance out the window and look at the landscape around me.  I don't really have a hometown--my dad was in the Navy, and we moved around quite a bit, so… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 5, 2009 6:22PM

At Last, Straight Talk

One of my recurring (non-sexual) fantasies is that the inside-the-beltway folks will be forced, all of them, to be fisked in person.  And the designated fisker cannot be denied; he will get to hammer on Sen. Inhofe about global warming; Justic Scalia about his moronic Bush v. Gore decision; Bush… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 29, 2009 2:57PM

Baffled by Congress

Saturn Smith has a good post up about John Boehner, the Republicans, and the stimulus bill.  And after I had rattled off 4 paragraphs as a response, I figured I better post it here, rather than as a comment there.  Sorry, Saturn.

In raw, partisan, politics-only terms, I guess I… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 26, 2009 10:04PM

Inauguration Photo Thoughts

There's a wonderful, zoomable photo of the inauguration [h/t Andrew Sullivan] that I spent 'way too much time looking at earlier this evening.  (I'm in California and my family is in Texas; what else am I going to do with my time?)  Here are some random thoughts that I'm going to… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 8, 2008 1:57PM

The Hellhole

This past summer wasn't good to my family.  To put it simply:  I couldn't find any work at all.

Which is what caused me to accept a job in a place that Sami referred to as "The Hellhole. "

Now don't get me wrong:  I don't work in a mine, or… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
NOVEMBER 4, 2008 11:08PM

Liveblogging: For My Son, Joseph

This is for my son, Joseph, adopted from Taiwan, and always worried because he was "brown" when Mama and Papa were not.

Joseph:  the brown man won. Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
NOVEMBER 4, 2008 9:26PM

Liveblogging: Schadenfreude Part I

As the Republicans have clearly been twisting in pain this year, I have held my schadenfreude in check as well as I could.  But it's hard.  I went to college during the Reagan years, and suffered under both Bush economies.  Triumphalist Repubicans have had it coming for a long time, an… Read full post »