Tuesday, February 26, 2002

Stop hitting yourself! Stop hitting yourself!
One analyst now contents that instead of AOL bringing up Time Warner, it's now dragging it down.
AOL's stock price: $23.12.

Where do you want to drive today?
Recent reports highlight the fact that car websites (who knew there were 170?) really haven't done much to learn about their customers. The report breaks the types of customers into three main categories and then suggests how to reach each of them. I tend to agree. A few years ago I was preparing to buy a new car, I went to GM BuyPower. I figured GM sells more different cars than anyone else, so maybe they could help me in my search. No such luck. Before I could browse cars, I had to tell them if I wanted a Chevrolet or a Pontiac or a Buick, etc. I didn't know. I just wanted to see all the convertibles offered by GM or all the mid-sized sedans. But that wasn't possible. Nor was there any way to communicate with GM. I later bought a Dodge. Not really because of their website or anything.

Buy my book! Buy my book!
Yes, a "Critic" reference. Anyhow, I'm trying to sell a Warner Bros. Pictures coffee table book on eBay. It's pretty cool... over 300 pages, lots of pictures, lots of information. Very classy. You should buy it.

Don't recycle your old computers!
If you're recycling your old computer, it's most likely going to China, India or Pakistan where people earning less than $1.50 a day are stripping your computer of its precious metals. How are they doing that? Smashing dangerous pieces, burning plastic components and pouring dangerous acid onto the pieces. They're destroying their environment, their drinking water, being exposed to dangerous chemicals and generating piles of garbage. Basically they're still being dumped, just in another country.

Interesting Read...
I found this on the internet. I haven't yet read the entire thing, but it's kind of interesting... it's the masters thesis of a teacher in Alaska. "Computers and the Internet: Listening to Girl's Voices"

There are no heroes anymore
Was Greenspan complicit in causing the recession we're now in? Maybe yes, maybe no.

Backwards progress... gained a few. But it'll go away again. I will have positive progress. Last night: dinner was savory chicken, peas in a pod and carrots. cheat: two squares of chocolate that my wife gave me. pre-bedtime: 3 slices of turkey lunchmeat. This morning: pre-breakfast: half an apple. Breakfast: cheerios. Mid-morning: pineapple. Lunch: salad and half-bagel.

Monday, February 25, 2002

AOL and Yankees form new TV channel
This is further proof of where AOL's going with things. You'll think it's news, but it's actually just non-stop advertising for the sports team or league paying for it. They're doing the same thing soon, converting CNN/SI into something owned by the NBA. Expect news from other leagues soon enough.

AOL Synergy Question...
This morning on the local news they had a story about Richard Lewis being on 7th. Heaven. Then they went to commercial... promoting Richard Lewis on 7th. Heaven. Question... is Richard Lewis being on 7th. Heaven news? Or was this just a built-in ad? Not sure.

This just in... you'd better go back to downloading MP3's...
The government is recommending that internet radio stations pay more than regular radio stations to stream music over the internet. Enough to put most internet radio stations out of business.

The economy improving?
MSNBC thinks so... from a recent mailing of headlines:
Data hint economy well on the mend
Mortgage rates fall again
O'Neill: Economy is recovering

OurInvestorsWouldHaveToBeLameRON? CheatRON? WassupRON?
Enron's changing its name. You know, that's all well and good, but who really cares? No matter what you change the name to, is anyone going to ever invest in this company again? It seems like the only hope is for some other company to purchase its assets, fire everyone, sue the hell out of Kenneth Lay and then sell off all the little pieces so that Enron can never exist again. I know that's like trying to kill that other Terminator, perhaps all the little pieces would scurry back together and reform evil, but it's worth a shot. Speaking of shot... oh, ok, fine. You already know what I think of Kenneth Lay.

We're sorry... please come back to work?
United asks 1,200 flight attendants to come back to work. Personally, I'd resolved to never fly United again long before 9/11, but I'm glad to see that people are returning to the skies.

This is too easy...
Of course, Boeing's firing 1,000. So we're almost even again. Sales of satellites are down so they're letting some people go. Nothing funny here. I just hope Boeing told its employees and they didn't have to read about it in MSNBC. Unlike some unnamed studio started by two brothers with the last name Warner.

Sprint PCS sucks in Atlanta

Where's Waldo? Or Farzeh? Or Esteban? Or Hanjour?
There are some 35.1 million visitors, business-people and students in the United States on VISAs right now. And the government cannot keep track of them all. If we can't keep track of them and American lives are potentially at stake, here's a thought... stop letting people in until you can get things under countrol? A new computer system is being installed, but there isn't the man-power to go hunt down people who overstay their VISAs or never show up for classes at the school they've enrolled in.

MSNBC's broken
This is an interesting article on the challenges MSNBC faces. It and FOX NEWS started in the same year, but recently FOX NEWS kicked CNN's butt while MSNBC had only have the viewers that FOX NEWS had. MSNBC saw a spike from the Olympics, but they know it won't last. What to do... what do to...

Hello, caller, I'm not listening because I'm not real...
I thought this article was fascinating. I knew this technology was used to do top-40 countdowns, but I had no idea that they were using it to do entire radio shows... this story is about how KISS radio is becoming a national brand, even to the point of hiring college students to help them find out what's popular in a town, then giving that info to a DJ in another city who pre-records an entire several-hour block, as if they're really in that city. The end result, you think you're listening to a local DJ doing a live broadcast, but you're not really.

More Enron?
I think this one is interesting for so many reasons... Enron owes the government $1.2 billion. Well, not exactly. They owe these quasi-U.S. government things.... one is a bank, of sorts. The other I don't quite understand... It makes loans, people pay for the loans and it doesn't cost the taxpayers anything. My explanation lame? Yeah, it's confusing. But isn't it amazing how every day you learn new things about our government?

Diet Watch
Fortunately, the weekends don't count. I'm still at about 186 to 187. So possibly a tiny bit of progress. Today started with half an apple for pre-breakfast, a bowl of cheerios for breakfast, pineapple for mid-morning, salad and half a bagel for lunch and yogurt for mid-afternoon.

10,000,000 blogger posts
This guy, without even knowing it, hit the 10,000,000th. blogger post. Interesting site, to boot....

Friday, February 22, 2002

Big scam or scared of the mob?
So this guy has been selling figurines on eBay since 1997. He didn't much care for or about figurines, but there was good money in it. He managed to rack up 6,100 positive reviews and about 50 negative reviews over that period. He announced late last year that he had acquired a lot of really sought after figurines in an estate sale and put them all on eBay. Lots of people jumped in and bought them. Then he wrote to the people who came in second and third for each auction telling them the winners had fallen through and they were now the winner, so they paid as well. A few days after the auctions ended he liquidated about $220k from his family's accounts (and they suspect there were others that his family didn't know about) and then one day announced he was going to lunch and never came back. They think he disappeared with about $400k. Information from his computer suggests that he may have gotten in really bad with online gambling. So perhaps he's running from the law. But you have to laugh (I did) at the people who got taken... sending cashiers checks and stuff like that. How stupid.

Distributed Reflective Denial of Service (from Tom)
This is a really tough read and most of my normal readers shouldn't even attempt it. But it's an interesting look at how to really cause headaches for ISPs and take down the internet.

Waaaaah.... waaaaah.... (from Lori)
The whiney baby poor sports (and perhaps inferior athletes) of Russia are crying. If Canada gets an extra gold medal, they want one, too. I agree. Free gold medals for everyone. You don't have to be the best, you just have to trade votes or raise a large enough stink. So now the Russians say that depending on how the judging of the hockey game against the United States goes, they may go home. That is, if they don't win, they walk. I say good riddance. But I say that they shouldn't get to keep the toys. If a country leaves the games early, they should have to leave the medals behind. Stupid whiney babies.

Sprint PCS sucks in New York

Meercats (for Lori)

   Fred wants to know why anyone who only weighs 188 (down to 187 now! woo) would see the need to diet. I know Fred. He was my college roommate for several years, so he probably saw the weight go on gradually. But I swear, I looked in the mirror yesterday and thought "This is what Homer Simpson would look like if he got fat." It's time to lose some weight. Exercise? Maybe.
   The rest of day 3... pre-dinner snack: two hard-boiled egg whites... dinner: dijon chicken and green beans... cheat: a handful of cheez-its... pre-bedtime snack: egg-white and lunch meat omlette
   Day 4... pre-breakfast: cantelope... breakfast: bowl of special k... mid-morning: cantelope... lunch: salad with lunch meat... mid-afternoon: yogurt...

Thursday, February 21, 2002

Are you a consumer or user?
(from Emil) A long article on how the content industry wants to limit the power of computers so that future computers are less useful than the computers of today.

Sprint Sucks in Columbus

Diet, days 2 and 3
    Gained a pound. 189 (day 2). WUWT?
    Actually, I learned that coffee with sugar is not a cheat. Yay!
    The rest of day 1... pre-dinner snack: two hardboiled egg whites w/ celery salt (throw away the yolks)... dinner: hamburger patty and steamed green beans and milk... bedtime snack: 3 slices of deli-meat (turkey)
    Day 2... pre-breakfast snack: half an orange... breakfast: bowl of Kellogg's Smart Start cereal... mid-morning snack: dannon yogurt... lunch: hamburger patty and salad... afternoon snack: 3 slices of cheddar cheese... pre-dinner snack: 2 hard-boiled eggs (Whites only)... dinner: salad with lunch meat... pre-bedtime snack: forgot. *cheat* 3 cookies at small group... it would have been rude not to have had any. And they were spread over 2-1/2 hours' time. Not like I just sat there stuffing my face.
    Day 3... pre-breakfast - an 1/8th of a honeydew... breakfast: bowl of Kellogg's Smart Start and Special K (ran out of Smart Start)... mid-morning snack: yogurt... lunch: salad and bean & bacon soup... afternoon-snack: carrots
    I have high hopes for the diet. It gives you a lot of different food choices and you eat a lot. I've already been chastised because I don't eat things when I'm supposed to... but at least I didn't go out to eat on the second day of the diet.

16 Palestinians die
Perhaps more today. I'm really serious. Would someone go over there and tell them to knock it the hell off?

Comet coming
Apparently it's the return of a comet from the 1500's. That's kinda cool. Puts Halley and it's 70-odd year cycle to shame.

Colin Quinn gets his own show

Microsoft and DVD's
So Microsoft is accused of collecting information from you when you play a DVD using Windows Media Player. And it's contrary to their own privacy policy. Their response? Rewrite the privacy policy. Sheesh.

Microsoft profiting from settlement?
See? I'm not all pro-Microsoft. Apparently Microsoft's response to the settlement terms is just like their response to anything else that doesn't go their way... screw 'em in a different manner. If nothing else, Microsoft is really really shrewd when it comes to being devious.

Rental firm must stop GPS tracking
A while back I read about a rental car company that was using the cars' built-in GPS systems to determine if people had been speeding in their cars, and if so, they got $150 charges added to their bills. I thought it was pretty cool and pretty funny, especially for some loser who got 3 "tickets" added to his bill. (Speeding was defined as exceeding 79 MPH for more than two consecutive minutes.) But even though it was in the contracts people signed, a loser judge has ruled they've got to give the money back and stop it. Bummer.

Bill clinton homepage
I thought this was pro Bill Clinton, but I guess not. Kinda funny. Or sad. It's a shame the man didn't have more respect for the office. Granted, he's not the only president to ever do bad things while in the capacity as most powerful man in the office, but that he was too stupid to keep it hidden and that the types of lowbrow things he got caught doing... which begs the question... was he stupid, or did he purposefully get caught doing certain things so as to distract people away from more insidious doings? Like killing Foster.

Tuesday, February 19, 2002

Why I Don't Watch Buffy
Those of you that know me know that I had a lot to do in a off-to-the-side capacity for Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Sanctioned, but just barely, by Joss and employed by a different company, I had a role. A tiny, insignficant role. Perhaps larger to some fans, but overall tiny and now insignificant. Now I can't stand the show. Anyhow, a co-worker today on why she doesn't watch Buffy and never has "You don't have to do drugs to know they're bad."

Weight Loss
    Well, we started on "The Skinny Pill" diet again. Basically, there are two versions of this diet... the first version involves an actual "skinny pill" along with dietary changes, and the second, the method we're currently prescribing to is just the dietary changes.
    So, now we have a pre-breakfast snack, breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch, mid-afternoon snack, pre-dinner snack, dinner and bedtime snack.
    It feeds you lots of small meals. Before noon, those meals block fat. In the afternoon, those meals burn fat. We will slack a little on the weekends. We're allowed to have all the coffee, diet drinks and water we want.
    For today, it was: Pre-breakfast snack: 1 pear; Breakfast: Half a toasted bagel with honey; mid-morning snack: 2 snackwells cookies; Lunch: Half a bagel and salad; afternoon snack: 2 slices of cheddar cheese. (Cheat: small amount of sugar in my coffee... very small.)
    For the record, I weigh 188 pounds. I hope to lose at least 15 pounds.

And now, the news...

Cell Phones: You're Next!
Microsoft and Intel are preparing to do what they've done for computers... steal all the profit away from the manufacturers and keep it all to themselves by offering chips and software.

Fake Cats...
(From Lori) Yep, they've cloned a cat. But is clone the right word? It doesn't seem to be the same as the existing cat, it just happens to share the original cat's DNA.

Are you addicted?
(From Fred/Kevin) He wonders if I'm addicted to the internet, but even more importantly, he marvels at the existence of a "Center for Online Addiction"

Buzz Aldrin - To Mars and Beyond!
Buzz Aldrin has a great vision... of gravity-powered ships looping between Mars and the Earth, much in the way that the moon loops around the earth without any power needed to move it. And space taxis... and vacations in outer space... fun stuff.

Ultrawideband - beyond broadband
I don't know a lot about this new technology, but it's making a lot of headlines on the tech sites. It's a new wireless transmission type that uses quick bursts so short that they can go in the same "space" as other wireless technologies, without interrupting them. It'll probably be years before we see products that use this technology, but we'll eventually hear more and more about it.

Sprint PCS sucks in San Francisco

I'm going to turn your phone off now. Have a nice day.
My friend said that OnStar's ability to unlock your car doors is bad news. He said that it wouldn't be too difficult to hack into it and unlock people's car doors by "faking" the satellite or cellular signal while standing near the car and convince the car to open up for you. And I believe him. He started and runs his own computer security firm where he gets paid to break into people's computers. (Don't worry, it's legit, he only breaks into the computers owned by the company paying him, not the clients' competitors' computers.) Well, today I read about a new technology that would allow you to remotely shut down a stolen cell phone, PDA, pager or laptop. Or worse yet, delete the contents of its memory or hard drive. Great idea, but it seems like it'd be put to evil uses way too quickly. Someone who works for a cell company gets fired and burns out everyone's cell phones on their way out the door.

Like basketball? No? You're paying for it anyhow.
These sports deals are so expensive that they're moving to cable where the cable channels can demand a fee from the cable or satellite operator, for each person that subscribes. (Yep, $2 of your cable bill already goes for ESPN, even if you never watch it.)

Mmmm.... pocket sandwiches
Sandwiches that last for years, self-heating jackets and other cool stuff, thanks to the Army.

Thursday, February 14, 2002

FUNNY! At least I haven't been assaulted by AOL yet...
This is pretty funny. I won't spoil too much of the story before you click on it to read it, but don't worry, the guy writing the story is ok. No harm done. Though he doesn't say what happened to the old ladies or nearby cars. Beware the AOL flying aliens!

Tuesday, February 12, 2002

Just for fun...

Sprint PCS sucks in New York

You make us want to throw up!
Large groups are all getting together to send letters to NBC complaining about hard liquor ads on TV. Good for them. Bad for free speech? Maybe. I mean, can you really effectively advertise the benefits of hard liquor? Are there any? I mean beer ads aren't real, they're just pretty people jumping around. Because what really happens with their products don't make good ads. Just lots of stumbling and slurring in darkened rooms. I mean, hard liquor isn't that different... sure, the parties are larger and the drinks tastier, at least in the beginning.

Let's Remain Friends
One more year and $1 mil per episode, per star. Let's hope it doesn't suck as bad as the last season of Mad About You where they each got a mil.

Sprint PCS sucks in Raleigh/Durham

Let's Just Be Isolationists Again
Let's see... 710,000 foreigners working in the United States on H-1B visas... And 600,000 more of those visas will be granted over the next 3 years... and companies have laid off over 640,000 people since September 11th., not to mention a lot of people before that. And companies are also moving high-tech jobs to other countries... no wonder it's tough finding work.

Bye, bye NextBank
It's the fourth bank to fail this year, but the first internet bank ever. On Feb. 7,
the FDIC closed NextBank. NextBank was weird... they offered credit cards and other stuff, mostly CD's for $100,000 or more, but no checking or savings accounts. Bizarre, considering that the FDIC only insured accounts to $100,000.

Local national commercials
The WB Network is readying a system that will allow an advertiser to buy national coverage, but then show different ads in different parts of the country (or a different ad on each of the WB's 104 affiliates.) Kinda cool.

Sprint PCS sucks in San Francisco

Ooops... they did it again
A second internet-only bank is calling it quits. G&L Internet Bank of Pensacola is ceasing operations. If you were wondering if G&L stood for Gay & Lesbian, you'd be right. Perhaps to niche a market? Or do you really want to "out" yourself every time you write a check or get cash from an ATM?

Monday, February 11, 2002

Hello... it's been awhile. And in the meantime, they've been piling up...

Fred's asked for a re-link... says I linked too deep and you'll miss his progress into the Peace Corps.

So funny it hurts
It's almost comical how bad it was... Enron actually had people go pretend to be power-traders so that when investors came through, they would think Enron was busier than they really were. I cannot believe that there are so many people corrupt enough ot perpetrate this.

Salt Lake City from space...
Space.com's got pictures of Salt Lake City from above. Kinda cool if you're interested in the Winter Olympics.

Digital tags in the grocery store...
Wal*Mart, Target and some other big companies are sponsoring technology that would allow them to tag every item in their stores with little radio transmitters. They're passive, have only a short range, tiny battery life and only respond when the right kind of signal is sent to them. Basically, they want to better automate inventory within the store. It would allow people to checkout almost instantaneously, would deter or prevent theft, and would allow computers to automatically reorder items before they ran out of stock. (They figure that right now on any given night, 8% of what people are looking for is out of stock. Except Sundays where it's closer to 11%.) There are some people that are concerned that these tags would later be able to track them and find out where they lived or in what rooms of the house they were perusing the tagged nudie mags they had bought and such other nonsense. I say don't buy stuff that can embarass you. Or at least claim it's a gift. And why not have a "tag return" in the parking lot? Maybe get 5 cents back for each tag you turn in. Or a "tag-killer" just outside the doors of the store? Go through the doors and it fries the tags.

From $100,000 a year to $10/hour...
CNET had a great story on people who got nailed by the dot com bust and are now doing stuff they haven't done since high school, just to pay the bills. It's kind of sad, but it's also nice to know it's not just me... and that it could be worse...

Sign-language translation...
An 18-year old kid has invented a glove that can "read" sign-language and instantly translate it. It would allow those who don't know sign-language to instantly be able to know what the deaf person was saying by reading a little screen. Pretty cool and way to go!

Why isn't Lay in jail?
I've called before for Kenneth Lay to be jailed. I've even asked if there was anyone willing to kidnap Lay and take him to Congress. Well, last week he said he didn't feel like going before Congress. Now I guess they're making him but he's planning to take the fifth ammendment. Stupid amendments. Stupid free speech. Kenneth Lay is a bastard. (No, I own no Enron stock and don't know anyone who works at Enron. I just think that Kenneth Lay is getting away with, well, murder. At least as an accomplice in the death of that guy who killed himself even though most accounts had him as one of the good guys.)

We didn't think they were important...
Tyco spent $8 billion in the past three years buying other companies that they didn't tell their stockholders about. They said the deals (over 700 in all) were all too small to really be an impact individually. Are they the company that made the R/C car I had as a kid? That was a fun car. Anyhow, rumors now that they may need to split into multiple companies...

But who gets the medal? Nike or the athlete?
Nike and other companies are doing some pretty cool stuff to try to make atheletes faster, more aerodynamic.

I'm not the only one...
It turns out that analysts are starting to grumble about AOL. Time Warner used to tell how each division was doing, but AOL's trying to focus more on the health of the entire company. In some ways, I can understand why. Time Warner was more like a group of cats duct-taped together than a real horse. (Simpsons fans will hopefully get that.) Time Warner was a bunch of little companies that all cared about their performance, even if the way they did business negatively impacted other factions or 'fiefdoms'. AOL has really worked hard to build synergy, tie all the units together and make the company as a whole stronger. Time Warner execs used to get their bonuses based on how their division did, but now all bonuses are based on the larger company. (Something tells me bonuses won't be that good this year.) Anyhow, that means they aren't breaking out the individual divisions in their reports. Which is making analysts unhappy... they're saying it's harder to know if things are going well are not at AOL.

Is this still such a good idea?
Hmmm... two 80 story towers, standing alone on the edge of Central Park. At its base, the world headquarters of an American mega-media company, responsible for spreading the American culture to the world through its holdings in music, television, movies and all other forms of media. The design is beautiful (first saw the ads in Architectural Digest), but I don't think it's a good idea. I'm not making light of terrorism or what happened at the World Trade Centers... I just fear a repeat... and that Central Park would make a good visual approach for alignment purposes.

Ok, so I'm a few years too late to the party...
I wrote to Google just before Halloween suggesting they make jack o'lanterns out of the o's for Halloween. Turns out they've been having fun with their logo for years and years and years.

When "I Hate You" means "I Love Them"
Someone bought f***generalmotors.com. It has two links on the page.
One links to Ford.com and the other links to a site about how Ford sucks. But if you don't do anything, it takes you directly to Ford. Well, Ford sued saying it violated them somehow, or gave them a bad name. So they're suing the guys responsible... the ever-fun-loving 2600. They're hackers and I have to be nice to them because otherwise they'll delete my blog. Lately it seems like they're having a lot of fun and success tweaking people from underneath the freedom of speech. It's pretty funny. They'll go after anyone.

We're smaller, but we're bigger...
Despite being available in fewer homes, Fox News has more viewers than CNN. Disclaimer: I still prefer MSNBC when I watch cable news, which isn't too often. I wish someone down here would start something like Northwest Cable News. Like CNN, only local. Great concept.

It's not over 'til it's over...
Office building vacancies are at the highest since they started keeping track. Apartment and retail vacancies are also coming up quicker than people had anticipated.

It's not over...
Is the housing market next? Opinions are divided.

Those bastards...
Terrorists were also planning to hit the Space Needle and L.A. International Airport. Those are in my two favorite cities. And the attacks were probably moved up. Apparently it could have been much, much, worse. So when we're asking God how this could have happened, let's pause and thank Him that it wasn't worse.

Thursday, February 07, 2002

Thanks to Allison for this. It'll have to do because I haven't had time to compile any new headlines. (But some quick Enron news... 1) Kenneth Lay quit the Board of Directors... about time... 2) Kenneth Lay decided that he wasn't going to appear in front of Congress... why isn't this man in jail? Can someone in Houston go kidnap him and drive him to D.C.? ... and 3) Pensions from the executives were protected while the 401k's were going down the drain.)

Beijing (SatireWire.com) -- Bitter after being snubbed for membership in the "Axis of Evil," Libya, China, and Syria today announced they had formed the "Axis of Just as Evil," which they said would be way eviler than that stupid Iran-Iraq-North Korea axis President Bush warned of in his State of the Union address.

Axis of Evil members, however, immediately dismissed the new axis as having, for starters, "a really dumb name. Right. They are Just as Evil... in their dreams!" declared North Korean leader Kim Jong-il. "Everybody knows we're the best evils... best at being evil... we're the best."

Diplomats from Syria denied they were jealous over being excluded, although they conceded they did ask if they could join the Axis of Evil.

"They told us it was full," said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

"An Axis can't have more than three countries," explained Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. "This is not my rule, it's tradition. In World War II you had Germany, Italy, and Japan in the evil Axis. So you can only have three. And a secret handshake. Ours is wicked cool."


International reaction to Bush's Axis of Evil declaration was swift, as, within minutes, France surrendered.

Elsewhere, peer-conscious nations rushed to gain triumvirate status in what became a game of geopolitical chairs. Cuba, Sudan, and Serbia said they had formed the Axis of Somewhat Evil, forcing Somalia to join with Uganda and Myanmar in the Axis of Occasionally Evil, while Bulgaria, Indonesia and Russia established the Axis of Not So Much Evil Really As Just Generally Disagreeable.

With the criteria suddenly expanded and all the desirable clubs filling up, Sierra Leone, El Salvador, and Rwanda applied to be called the Axis of Countries That Aren't the Worst But Certainly Won't Be Asked to Host the Olympics; Canada, Mexico, and Australia formed the Axis of Nations That Are Actually Quite Nice But Secretly Have Nasty Thoughts About America, while Spain, Scotland, and New Zealand established the Axis of Countries That Be Allowed to Ask Sheep to Wear Lipstick.

"That's not a threat, really, just something we like to do," said Scottish Executive First Minister Jack McConnell.

While wondering if the other nations of the world weren't perhaps making fun of him, a cautious Bush granted approval for most axes, although he rejected the establishment of the Axis of Countries Whose Names End in "Guay," accusing one of its members of filing a false application. Officials from Paraguay, Uruguay, and Chadguay denied the charges.

Israel, meanwhile, insisted it didn't want to join any Axis, but privately, world leaders said that's only because no one asked them.