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Friday Afternoon Scrachpad

Oscar Tool: Better Late than Never

Well, it's a few weeks too late to be of much use, and I've done only the bare minimum of testing, but the Make-Yer-Own Oscar Pool Page is finally up and running. Please report any and all bugs to me.

Hog Heaven

Our old "Half Pint" microwave was taking upwards of fifteen minutes to cook popcorn. And the Little House on the Prairie theme song would get jammed into my head every time I saw the name. So we finally ditched it and picked up a new model, one featuring a bevy of food-specific buttons like "Baked Potato," "Vegetables," and "Bacon".

You know, if every major appliance in my home had a "bacon" button I'd be the happiest guy alive.


The roots of defective yeti are planted in a paper zine called The Game Report. Edited by Peter Sarrett, the quarterly features reviews and news relating to board games.

When I returned from the Peace Corps I resolved to start writing again on a daily basis. So, in 1997, I wrote a review of a card game (Titian: The Arena), sent it to Peter, and was thrilled when he agreed to publish it the following issue. I contributed a handful of reviews over the following two years, and soon thereafter launched my own game website entitled Aces Up.

The problem was that, after a year or so of maintaining Aces Up, I was thoroughly sick of writing about board games. I mean, there's only so many times you can use the phrase "elegant design" before it begins to wear thin. In thinking that I could ape The Game Report, I completely underestimated Peter's dedication to the subject matter and ability to write reviews that never sounded repetitive. So I gave up and started a blog where I could write about anything, and thus defective yeti ambled onto the scene.

Now, Peter Sarrett has thrown his hat into the blogging ring with Static Zombie, a site devoted to "television and less important things in life". And, ironically, he cites defective yeti as his main influence. Now all I need to do is somehow turn dy into a print magazine about games and the circle wil be complete.

Peter is an excellent writer, so be sure to check S.Z. out. This is an fine place to start.


US Unveils World's Largest Mechanical Pencil

Three Things That Distinguish Miami From Seattle

  • Ice cream vending machines in the airport.
  • Sandals for sale at Texaco.
  • Ratio of manatees to banana slugs considerably higher.

Posted on March 14, 2003 to Scratchpad


when my cellphone, computer, cd player, and car stereo have a 'bacon' button, i will die fat and happy.

Posted by: cat on March 14, 2003 9:57 PM

I want a "manatee" button.
Wait, no. That didn't come out how I meant it.

Posted by: Jessica on March 14, 2003 10:36 PM

Ratio of unemployed dot-commers to employed Disney costume wearers: nearly reversed.

Posted by: Dean Esmay on March 15, 2003 3:53 AM

I've noticed that:
a) You think you are incredibly funny
b) You think you are incredibly intelligent

These delusions have formed some sort of perpetual feedback loop where they feed a desire to write blog entries which in turn feed the delusions themselves.

I think this is what G.S. Mendensky called "the eternal ultracrepidation of punditry"

Posted by: Dave on March 15, 2003 10:10 AM

Had to look up ultracrepidation! This found via googling:

(OED) ULTRACREPIDARIAN adjective and noun, 1800-29: from Latin (‘ne sutor’) ‘ultra crepidam’ (let the cobbler not go beyond his last): 1) adj. Going beyond one’s proper province; giving opinions on matters beyond one’s knowledge. 2) noun. An ultracrepidarian person; an ignorant presumptuous critic

ULTRACREPIDATE verb intransitive, 1800-29: venture beyond one’s scope

ULRACREPIDATION noun, 1800-29: the action or fact of criticizing ignorantly

So, Dave is "guilty" of ultracrepidation! Is there a word for ignorantly criticizing as an anonymous coward? How about ULTRACREEPIDATION?

Posted by: lee on March 16, 2003 9:56 AM

If you search on google for 'ultracrepidation', you'll find this page comes up at first. Unless you have spent the last three months living in an gambrinous ambry making love to american nazis, you will understand that this proves the point I'm making.

Posted by: Dave on March 17, 2003 4:13 AM

What the f*** is superimposed?

Posted by: Dave Beefoven on March 17, 2003 11:47 AM

Thanks a lot, Dave@doesnotexist.com. It often takes only one peevish comment from one smug killjoy to cancel out the morale-boosting effect of dozens and dozens of positive comments and emails and make you want to chuck the whole weblogging thing in. So those of us who think that Matthew's doing a pretty good job here, and that someone who says he would enjoy flying more if he had been "bitten by a radioactive grouse and was therefore able to fly around unassisted" is a damn sight funnier than an anonymous sniper who sneeringly drops the word "ultracrepidation" into conversation, now have to comment at least 34 times each to restore the balance. Way to go. Don't you have a Convention of Incredibly Funny and Intelligent People you should be giving a keynote at instead?

Posted by: Rory on March 17, 2003 3:10 PM

Is it "in an gambrinous ambry" or in a gambrinous ambry? Frankly, if I found myself in one, I would care little while in my dipsomaniacal condition. On a side note. A few years ago, while I working in corporate America, (I won't name names, but the initials are BEST BUY CO.), a certain vice president questioned why the advertising dept. would insist on being so damn inconsistent in the usage of the words "a" and "an" in our ads. For example, a digtal camera, an auto focus camcorder. "Why can't you use 'a' or just 'an' all the time? It's TOO inconsistent!!!" They liked when I left.

Posted by: NICk on March 17, 2003 8:22 PM

Um, the convenience store on the corner here in Seattle sells... socks. Multi-packs of them for $5. Not bad.

Posted by: dayment on March 23, 2003 5:57 PM

How about buckets of humor? Do they have a sale on that? It seems to have been siphoned out but the cynicism stayed.

Posted by: NICk on March 25, 2003 3:45 PM