Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Mayberry, South Dakota

Today’s rant is dedicated to one of the five greatest television actors of all time, Don Knotts. Barney Fife was always one of my heroes.
It’s probably fitting that Barney’s memory is brought up today, as in the past few weeks our state has done everything they can to transform us back to the innocent days of Andy, Barney, Opie, Floyd, Goober, and Gomer (although Gomer’s questionable sexuality set a precedent 45 years before Brokeback Mountain).
Not that there’s anything wrong with Mayberry. It’s the model fantasy of small-town America. Everybody knows the other townfolk, and the sheriff doesn’t need to carry a gun (although Barney famously carried one with a single bullet in his shirt pocket). The kids fished and played baseball, and the only real problems always came from outsiders and were quickly taken care of by Andy and his crack deputies.
Guess what, folks. Not only was Mayberry a fictitious town, but the show started it’s run 45 years ago! That’s not just the last century; it’s almost the half-century before it. This old man wasn’t even born yet!
What has our elected officials done for us in the last few weeks? Plenty, and little of it is good. Gun permits are now confidential information, but anybody convicted of any sort of sexual crime can’t live in 90% of the cities and towns. (I’m sorry but there’s a huge difference between a child molester and a pissing behind a building offender.)
Those are small potatoes, however, compared to the travesty that occurred this last week when the legislature passed an anti-abortion bill so extreme that even President Bush has condemned it. He favors exceptions for rape, incest, or to save a woman’s life. Yes, the official statement includes the “save a woman’s life” portion, but if you actually read the bill a woman would have to be seconds from sure death.
Ok, the legislature shot down the silly abstinence laws. But this supposedly bastion of liberal thought city that we live in has already been forced to move in this direction. Speaking of Sioux Falls, a letter-writing campaign has made our Mr. Magoo lookalike Mayor to reconsider his withdrawal from the Mayor’s race. Not that most of the other candidates are that impressive, particularly the moron who thinks that pornography is a problem in our city. As I said last week, somebody PLEASE tell me where this porn problem exists!
Unfortunately, South Dakota is not transforming itself into a state-wide version of Mayberry. Instead, we’ve become a nationwide joke…even Arkansas is starting to look good compared to us. We’re the butts of late-night talk show wisecracks; various organizations are contemplating boycotts of our state.
People can’t just blame the Republicans for this onslaught of idiocy. There’s plenty of blame to pass around. My kudos go out to the half-dozen or so Senate Republicans who voted against the abortion bill. A similar number of Democrats voted ensured its passing by voting for the bill that polls show that the vast majority of citizens feel is too extreme.
Is it surprising that the Democrats bailed under the pressure of the extreme right? This is a party that can’t find a candidate to run for Governor; a party that just gives away a number of political seats throughout the state; a party that does nothing but run scared. They get what they deserve, but both parties have failed the people of our great state this year.

This Week's Poll

The just-concluded Winter Olympics were a ratings disaster. What can be done to improve viewership in the future?
Broadcast Events Live
Allow Other Networks to Show Highlights
Get Rid of Fluffy Personal Profiles
Get Rid of Couric, Roper, Costas, etc.
Don't Prempt Judge Judy
Make Female Figure Skating a Nude Event
2 Drink Minimum For Skiing Competitors
New Format - Olympics With the Celebrities
Hire Flavor Flav as Master of Ceremonies
Live Targets For Shooting Portion of Triathon
Free polls from Pollhost.com

This Week's Poll Results

Since I have gone almost ten years without an accident, I can expect one soon. What distraction will be the cause?

1. Hot Chick Walking, Jogging, Tanning, Etc. (33%)
2. Iowegian Drivers (21%)
3. My Own Damn Fault (18%)
4. Hot Chick in Car (8%)
5. (Tie) 44 License Plate Drivers/Turn Lane Straddlers (5%)

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Hudson's Guide to Satellite Radio

I’ve been giving some serious thought to moving into my vehicle. No, I’m not going crazy. Looking through the mess in the front and back seats earlier today, I discovered a full set of clothes, a couple of winter jackets, a number of books and magazines, and a couple dozen CD’s.
Plus my vehicle already has both a tape deck and CD player…along with two Ipods (including a video Ipod) and both Sirius and XM satellite radios. With drive-throughs all over the city, all I would possibly need is an occasional shower.
I know what you’re thinking – why, Mr. Hudson, do you have a half dozen different audio formats? Well, I filled one Ipod so I certainly needed another…and the second satellite receiver was a wonderful Christmas gift so I could check out Howard Stern’s new show.
I know, I’m a crazy “mo-fo”. Yet this craziness could actually be beneficial to Prime readers. With all of the hype surrounding satellite radio, usually written in favor of whatever format the author has installed, who better to compare and contrast the two formats?
Truthfully, however, I can’t really come out and say that either one is superior. I love them both, and for different reasons. Right now I’m probably listening to Sirius more than XM, but that’s only because that’s the most recently acquired toy. Inevitably, that will change in recent months, just like I’ll probably eventually share time equally between the two Ipods.

Hardware. There’s not a lot of difference between XM and Sirius players. Each of them has relatively small receivers that can be used through either the cassette deck or by utilizing an empty space in the FM dial (I use 107.5). Both systems also come with a magnetic antenna that you must attach to the roof of your vehicle and then hide the attached wire through the nooks and crannies of your vehicle. While that may seem a bit intimidating, it’s actually surprisingly easy.
The Sirius player came with a suction-cup attachment that you stick to your front window, while my XM player came only with a piece of Velcro that lasted a week at best. A simple bracket connected the player next to the radio.
With additional accessories, both players can be used in the home, although reception can be a bit tricky if you live in a wooded area. The best method is to just stick the player in the southernmost window and use the FM modulator to pick up the signal on a boombox or stereo.
Both companies also offer portable players. Sirius’ portable unit can hold a full gig of  both downloaded Sirius programming and your own MP3’s. Unfortunately, you can’t listen to live Sirius programming when it’s “on the fly” (in portable mode). XM’s portable can only save five hours of material (and no MP3’s), but one can listen to live programming at any time.
One more important note – subscribers to either service can also listen to content online. Unfortunately, this is primarily limited to the music channels. Most syndicated and/or talk show channels are not available (although XM’s Opie and Anthony show is online).

Music. There is little difference between the two systems. Both feature almost every genre available, from traditional gospel hymns to hardcore death metal. Yet there are subtle differences in the programming of each channel. For example, Sirius’ college rock channel focuses primarily on indie guitar rock while XM’s feature more beat-heavy material. Likewise, XM’s 80’s alt-rock station seems to be more well-rounded than the corresponding station on Sirius.
One other major difference between the two is Sirius appears to rely more on actual DJ’s. In fact, Sirius as a whole is much more personality-driven then XM. Tony Hawk, Eminem, Little Steven, 50 Cent, and Lance Armstrong all have stations (supposedly) devoted to their tastes and hosted by their friends. (Little Steven’s Underground Garage, featuring everything from Eddie Cochran to the White Stripes) is quite possibly the best station on either system. Sirius also has stations devoted to Elvis and the Rolling Stones (a Bruce Springsteen-only station, highlighted by bootleg outtakes and live concerts, recently concluded a three-month run).

Sports. This is the one area that may help many decide which company is the best suited for their tastes. Besides ESPN and other sports talk channels that appear on both networks, each company has their own exclusive deals with college and professional sports. Sirius has the NFL and NBA, along with some college programming. XM’s big coup is a deal that airs every Major League Baseball game, including spring training, along with the PGA and basketball and football games involving the Big Ten, Pac-10, and ACC college divisions. Both companies air the NHL, and while Nascar is currently on XM they will move to Sirius in 2007.

Talk. Just like the music categories, there are few differences between XM and Sirius when it comes to talk radio. Both systems have channels devoted to comedy, religion, kids, truckers, CNN, public radio, and a handful of simulcast television channels (E!, VH1, CNBC, etc.) Each also have channels dedicated to conservative and liberal talk radio. XM covers both sides with Air America and Fox News, while Sirius combines a number of syndicated shows (including Fargo native Ed Schultz on Liberal Talk).
Yet there is some exclusive programming on each system. Sirius has deals with Martha Stewart, Maxim, and Cosmo (along with a gay lifestyle channel), while XM is the home of PTI’s Tony Kornhsier (although his show will end later this year when he joins Monday Night Football) and Bob Edwards. XM also has recently made headlines with an extremely lucrative deal with Oprah Winfrey.
Of course, there’s also “shock jocks”. Sirius has made plenty of headlines in recent months with the debut of two channels (soon to be three) of uncensored Howard Stern programming, but XM actually was the first to air this sort of material when Opie and Anthony came on board 18 months ago. Both channels battle for my attention every day. Stern is nowhere near as nasty as the media would love for us to believe, but he does give couch space to infamous people such as Jenna Jameson and Star Trek’s recently-outed George Takei. Opie and Anthony’s strength is their friendships with seemingly every comic in America, including Jimmy Norton, Patrice O’Neal, and Dane Cook. While both programs air live simultaneously, replays throughout the day and night provide plenty of opportunity to check out each show.

The Future. As much as I personally love satellite radio, it may come to most as a shock that I really don’t feel that they’ll be a serious threat to terrestrial radio. In fact, I believe that the ability of Ipods to store and randomly play up to 15,000 songs is a bigger threat (but that’s a future column).
That’s not to say that the future for satellite radio isn’t bright. They will continue to grow by the millions every year, and as more car companies sign deals with both companies they will become more and more a desirable option for car owners.
In the meantime, the most intriguing changes in the near future will be in the hardware. Players will inevitably become smaller and easier to install. Special features such as storing favorite songs and shows will be fine-tuned, and the bugs that currently plague the portable units (reception quality, “on the fly” restrictions) will be eliminated sooner rather than later. Eventually, deals will probably be struck with cell phone companies and/or Apple’s Ipod.
As for the programming, there will always be minor (and sometimes major) changes. Channels, formats, and personalities will come and go, particularly on the talk, lifestyle, and sports channels. More and more special events and concerts will be simulcast, as will specialty channels such as those dedicated to the Stones and Elvis (I’d die for an all-Replacements channel).
One refreshing aspect that will never change is the quality of the music, as that is their bread and butter. There will always be at least a couple of channels that mirror your particular tastes, no matter how esoteric you are. Hell, if Scott Hudson can find channels that please his challenging standards then anybody can!

Friday, February 24, 2006

Sex Pistols Turn Down Hall of Fame

From the Hollywood Reporter

Feb. 25, 2006

Sex Pistols turn down Hall of Fame honor

By Chris Morris
The Sex Pistols have opted out on appearing at their induction into
the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The groundbreaking English punk rock group officially declined the
honor -- to be handed out March 13 at a dinner and performance at the
Waldorf Astoria in New York -- in a crudely scrawled, mispunctuated
handwritten message posted on the band's Web site Friday.

"Next to the SEX PISTOLS rock and roll and that hall of fame is a piss
stain," the statement read. "Your museum. Urine in wine. Were (sic)
not coming. Were (sic) not your monkey and so what?"

The statement slammed Hall of Fame voters as "music industry people,"
and excoriated the high price of attending the exclusive event
--$25,000 for a table, "or $15,000 to squeak up in the gallery."

It concluded, "Your (sic) not paying attention. Outside the shit-stem
is a real SEX PISTOL."

Other 2006 inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame include Black
Sabbath, Blondie, Miles Davis, Lynyrd Skynyrd and industry executives
Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss.

Susan Evans, executive director of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Foundation, said of the band's announcement, "They're being the
outrageous punksters that they are, and that's rock 'n' roll."

The complete statement is posted at www.thefilthandthefury.co.uk

Scott Ehrisman's State of the City Address

Should He Run For Mayor? I agree with almost all of his points.

'We need an idea man for mayor'
Scott Ehrisman

I've heard the campaign promises of the dozen or so Sioux Falls mayoral candidates and frankly none of them are worth a fart. I have lived in South Dakota almost my whole life (I'm 33) and I can attest to one thing, we are short on progressive thinkers, just look at the cesspool of candidates. Besides the usual promises of FREE drinking water and back massages, very few of them have offered much more then what our current criminal in city hall would have offered. So what's the point of running if you aren't going to send something new our way? In Mitch Richter's case, It's something to do besides making chicken strip baskets.

I've been encouraged by a few people (2 to be exact) to put my name in the hat. That's not going to happen, unless I can get one of Leslee Unruh's ANONYMouS donors to give me a million to run. Here's a couple of reasons why I will not be running: I have no idea what the balance is in my checking account let alone the city budget (Munson had a problem with this one to). I hardly can take care of my dog let alone hundreds of city employees (and trust me, if you have to encounter any of these yahoos, it takes a lot of care and understanding to guide these people). I can't tie a tie, or own one, but am pretty good with the hair gel (thank you very much Darrin Smith). And lastly, I hang out at Scarlett's and the Top Hat too much (I guess Kevin Kavanaugh likes the drinky to).

I am however an idea person (especially after about 3 vodka tonics) and I want to pass a few of these on to the numbskulls that are running right now.

1) Though this was originally Hanson's idea, I think we should pursue an East/West route between Kiwanis and Louise at about 26th or 22nd street. My idea differs from Hanson's though and in the end would actually create revenue for the city and the state. Once we've booted out the Country Clubbers (give Prairie Green to Minnehaha CC and a little cash on the side) We can build the road, but I wouldn't open the land to development. I would make the course into a State/City Park available for camping. The Country Clubbers claim that the land is a Audobon reserve, so what a beautiful place for a campground, hiking and biking trails! On top of that it would probably be one of the most used Parks in the state, being less than a mile from the Empire Mall. I would also leave space open for expansion of other roadways such as 18th street and possibly 33rd. We could also use the existing buildings at the club for public picnics, showers and restrooms (besides we need some new places where gay men can meet up for stranger-anal-ranger sex). I'm a big supporter of refurbishing buildings which brings me to number 2.

2) We need to cut back on new construction permits and give out more for remodeling and refurbishing. Helping to save our current infastructure should be number one priority in a city of our size. The failed sewer systems were a testament to this, that our planning department conveniently blamed on God. We should be fixing up the older neighborhoods in Sioux Falls by increasing community development loans and grants and stop building cracker jack boxes in cornfields.

3) We need to pass a city ordinance that makes contractors accountable for cost overruns. If a mechanic tells me it will cost $200 to fix my car, when I pick it up, it better be $200 not $400. I think the contractors in SF who are winning these bids are laughing all the way to the bank. This needs to end before Halliburton shows up to town to start building streets.

4) While we are on the topic of ordinances, elected officials need to be punished when they break them - that means you Munson, and we need to pass a new one that doesn't allow people to sit on city council when they have gross conflicts of interest - this means you De Knudson.

5) Banish all TIFS (tax free zones) if I have to pay property taxes on my house, Jeff the Streaker has to pay them on his big-ass insurance building on the river.

6) Free parking downtown. This one is a freaking no brainer! Tear out the parking meters and stop closing streets downtown - this helps development!

7) Don't build an events center downtown, Hell don't build one at all. We can refurbish/expand the Arena in Sections while still using the facility. And as for parking, I may not be an engineer, but I'm sure we can build parking ramps next to the facility in the current parking lot.

8) While were on blowing money for things we really don't need, I want to talk about 2 problems we have that can be fixed with one solution. Of course I'm talking about the Zoo and the Kirby Science center. Sell the Zoo animals (except the flamingos-we can donate them to Touchez). Close the Zoo. (people ususally drive 2 1/2 hours to the south to see a real one in Omaha) Sell the property. Move the Delbridge (dead animal) museum to the Kirby Science center.

9) And lastly - arts funding. This one is a big turd no one likes to talk about! I think if as taxpayers we are going to fund SEAC and the Pavilion, some of the money should go to actual artists in our community. Require these orgs to give 50% of the city's gift as direct payment to artists who do work for the organization. If they refuse - cut off funding.

I doubt any of the A-holes running read this. Vernon Brown is probably busy drawing up his contract with SDN communications (his current employer) for his 311 number idea and I'm sure Lora Hubbel is busy looking for porn surfers on the internets (maybe you should check the planning office at city hall, Don is the name, kiddy porn is the game).

It just goes to show the most qualified candidates are too busy masturbating to give a rip. Good Luck Sioux Falls.

Real or Fake?

I was just checking my email, and I found the email reprinted at the bottom from "Jeff Gannon". Could it be the real Jeff Gannon? If so, I think it's safe to say it's my first correspondance from a gay escort...and for that I'm proud.

"The comments on your site:

Take the case of Jeff Gannon, the gay escort who was hired by John Thune's
campaign to create anti-Tom Daschle propaganda for conservative blogs.

are factually incorrect and should be removed. I never worked for Thune's
campaign for any purpose nor were any of my news stories "propaganda".
Everything I reported was 100% accurate.

The election is over. Thune won, Daschle lost. Stop being a sore loser.



Thursday, February 23, 2006

February New Releases!

Months ago, I announced plans to include occasional music files of notable purchases. At the time I was just jumping on the music blog bandwagon, and after a couple of posts it became another good idea that I failed to follow through.
But I’m going to give this another try. With outlets for music becoming fewer and fewer (except for MySpace.com, I guess) how can a person discover new (and old) artists without a little help?
Her are a few things I’ve purchased in recent weeks. If you find anything you like, please support the artist by buying their album.

Arctic Monkeys, “I Bet You Look Good On the Dancefloor”.   The Arctic Monkeys are the next big thing in England, but for once the hype may be justified. Sure, there’s a bit of the Franz Ferdinand thing going on, but they’re much more than merely clones. There’s an attitude missing in 90% of today’s rock that’s present throughout this surprisingly rocking release.

Cracker, “Teen Angst (What the World Needs Now)”.   When the members of Cracker discovered that their former record label was putting out a greatest hits album, they weren’t happy. Unable to stop the album’s release, the band decided to re-record nearly all of the tracks that were set to be on the major label compilation, and release it on the same day. What a great “F.U.” to those weasels!

K.T. Tunstall, “Another Place To Fall”.   Tunstall has been a critic’s darling ever since her album was released in England last year, nabbing high places in almost every major magazine’s year-end poll. Her album was finally released in America a couple of weeks ago, and it’s easy to see how she justifies the acclaim. Mix a little bit Lucinda Williams, Shelby Lynne, Rickie Lee Jones, and even a tad of Carole King.

Nine Black Alps, “Shot Down”.   I know nothing about these guys, except that the Left of Center show on Sirius plays this Replacements-ish track quite often. A new full-length album will be released on February 28.

Ray Davies, “All She Wrote”.   After 40 years of leading the British Invasion’s most underrated band, the Kinks, Ray Davies has finally released his first solo album. While musically it’s a bit softer than maybe most fans would desire, lyrically he hasn’t lost his touch.

The Minus 5, “With Gun”.   What does a multimillionaire guitarist do in his spare time? While most sit out by the pool of their mansion, R.E.M.’s Peter Buck records and tours with former Young Fresh Fellow leader (and current auxiliary R.E.M. member) Scott McCaughey. Besides McCaughey and Buck, this album also features Colin Meloy of the Decemberists, John Wesley Harding, the Posies’ Ken Stringfellow, and Wilco on an album of pure power pop.

The Subways, “Rock & Roll Queen”.   Another British sensation, this trio conjures up memories of the Vines. Hopefully, they won’t implode like that infamous Australian band.

Willie Nile, “Best Friend’s Money”.   Nile has been around the music biz since he was lauded as a next-generation Bob Dylan back in the late 70’s. Aided by Dylan’s son (and Wallflowers leader) Jakob, Nile has released his first album in over six years. Nile’s cover of the Clash’s “Police On My Back” almost made an appearance, but the pure pop of this tune could be the real highlight of the album.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

My good friend Amber and her beautiful baby girl.

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Vote For Me!!!

My good buddy Todd Epp is running a "best blogger" contest at his SD Watch blog. I wasn't going to beg for votes, but since every other blog listed on his poll have made their plea I might as well join the crowd.

He's got a few other polls over there, so vote often.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

This Week's Poll!

Since I have gone almost ten years without an accident, I can expect one soon. What distraction will be the cause?
My XM or Sirius Satellite Receivers
Jenna the Ipod
Teagan the Video Ipod
Hot Chick Walking, Jogging, Tanning, Etc.
Hot Chick In Car
Yelling at Talk Radio Program
Iowegian Drivers
44 License Plate Drivers
Turn Lane Straddlers
Spilled Coffee
My Own Damn Fault
Free polls from Pollhost.com

This Week's Poll Results!!!

When the New Mayor is Elected, What Should Be His First Act?

1. Appoint Scott Hudson as Culture Czar (23%)
2. Ban the Use of Term KELO-Land (20%)
3. (Tie) Ban KELO and Book Next Year's Porn Awards at Convention Center (13%)
5. Ban Karaoke (9%)

No Non-Resident Politicos Needed

If one is to believe the romanticized tales routinely printed in virtually all of the state’s publications or aired on television, the citizens of South Dakota are an independent bunch. We don’t follow trends or search for the next big deal (obviously); we live by old-school common sense.
For a state that brags about its independence, we sure let a lot of outsiders influence our politics. To be fair, some of these are out of necessity. It makes sense for those running for national office to hire experts from bigger campaigns. Quite often, though, it leads to some embarrassment. Take the case of Jeff Gannon, the gay escort who was hired by John Thune’s campaign to create anti-Tom Daschle propaganda for conservative blogs.
Outsiders are now putting their marks on the state’s laws. A good percentage of the anti-abortion crowd comes from out of state. According to one Representative that I chatted with last week, they’re pests that plague their entire tenure in Pierre. They follow them around town; they send daily mass emails; they even interrupt discussions of any other political topic. “Just once I’d like to eat lunch in peace”, he told me.
In the past, these pests have for the most part stayed in the background, allowing locals such as Leslie Unruh to do their bidding. This year, however, they’ve become much more open and outspoken. At last week’s Senate hearing on the proposed bill to completely outlaw the procedure, Planned Parenthood’s beautiful and talented Kate Looby was outnumbered by anti-abortion crusaders from all over the country. Why should they even have a say in our state?
Outsiders are also a major player in the most controversial ballot issue of this year. The Judicial Accountability Initiative Law, aka J.A.I.L., is an amendment to the state’s constitution that would create a Special Grand Jury composed of South Dakota citizens who would put so-called “activist judges” on trial by those who claim to have “complaints of judicial misconduct”.
Technically, this ballot issue was put together by South Dakota citizens, including one Tea resident who claims to have spent over $130,000 of his own money. But the campaign has hired a California lawyer,, along with a Nevada company to run the petition drive.
But the actual language of the amendment came from an initiative designed by California resident Ron Branson and his JAIL 4 Judges organization. According to the daily paper’s David Kranz, their initiative was originally planned for the California ballot but it “required too many signatures to be successful”. They immediately looked at South Dakota because, as Branson himself said, was “initiative-friendly”, and the resulting publicity could help them raise the money to move on to bigger states.
Want to know how wacky these people are? Just check out the J.A.I.L website. Jack McLamb is supposedly a retired military veteran and peace officer who claims that Russian, Chinese, and Cuban militaries are gearing up to combat the U.S., and their plan is to cause martial law. His wacky views go on and on, but let’s just say that Tom Cruise won’t be starring in the movie version. Even he’s not crazy enough to fall for this.
Another J.A.I.L. friend, Irwin Schiff, is one of those guys who doesn’t believe that he should pay income tax, and has a lengthy rant that claims it’s the fault of the judge. Ooookay. And Branson himself is missing a few screws. He dreams of a national J.A.I.L. organization with “military-esque ranks and titles”. Of course, he’s the National J.A.I.L. Commander-in-Chief, a sort of five-star general.
These people are scary, and from what I’ve read on other blogs, they show no mercy for anybody who doesn’t agree with them. After the state legislature condemned this initiative last week, some members of the legislator complained that they had received emails from J.A.I.L. backers accusing them of acts of treason and that they should be “punished by hanging”. A so-called “survey” that I received a few weeks ago asked me the same question at least two dozen times to get me to abide by their beliefs.
The political landscape in this state is scary enough when it’s left to its own devices. It becomes downright evil when people with no true vested interest in the state demand political clout. It’s time for the Hudsonland border patrol to keep these clems away from our great state. At least then we have only ourselves to blame for our screwups.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Tim Johnson Slammed in Village Voice

Iowa's Biggest Loser

Repulsive "Wifely Expectations" pact emerges in Iowa kidnap case

Meet Travis Frey. He's 33, he lives in Iowa, and is currently facing charges that he tried to kidnap his own wife. Oh yeah, and he also faces a separate child porn rap.

He's not your typical Iowegian...or is he? This fool wrote up a bizarre four-page marriage document that established guidelines on clothing, pubic hair (landing strip only), and sexual activity. For example, she could only wear thigh-highs and thongs...except during her menstrual cycle. She also was required to be "naked within 20 minutes of the kids being in bed", and must sleep in the nude. She was also forbidden to whine, whimper, argue, complain, raise her voice, or even "ask for anything from me or for me".

Yet Travis had some empathy. His wife could earn "Good Behavior Days" by being extra-special" - complete compliance with extreme enthusiasm. The GBD's could be used for a variety of things, such as wearing sleepwear. These GBD's "can be redeemed anytime after you receive them to the end of the next quarter." A noon notice was also required.

On bad days, Travis' contract called for him to take back GBD's. If there were no GBD's to void, then Mr. Genius' penalty called for her to be tied to the bed.

That's only the tip of the iceburg, as the contract goes on to describe what is expected sexually by the beautiful bride, including a wonderful yearly birthday present of a new sex toy that she must by for herself.

Travis' obviously never signed the contract, but now that it's in the hands of the cops you can read them here.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Could the Record Industry Be Any More Idiotic?

RIAA Says Ripping CDs to Your iPod is NOT Fair Use
February 15, 2006

From Electronic Frontier Foundation

It is no secret that the entertainment oligopolists are not happy about space-shifting and format-shifting. But surely ripping your own CDs to your own iPod passes muster, right? In fact, didn't they admit as much in front of the Supreme Court during the MGM v. Grokster argument last year?

Apparently not.

As part of the on-going DMCA rule-making proceedings, the RIAA and other copyright industry associations submitted a filing that included this gem as part of their argument that space-shifting and format-shifting do not count as noninfringing uses, even when you are talking about making copies of your own CDs:

"Nor does the fact that permission to make a copy in particular circumstances is often or even routinely granted, necessarily establish that the copying is a fair use when the copyright owner withholds that authorization. In this regard, the statement attributed to counsel for copyright owners in the MGM v. Grokster case is simply a statement about authorization, not about fair use."
For those who may not remember, here's what Don Verrilli said to the Supreme Court last year:

"The record companies, my clients, have said, for some time now, and it's been on their website for some time now, that it's perfectly lawful to take a CD that you've purchased, upload it onto your computer, put it onto your iPod."
If I understand what the RIAA is saying, "perfectly lawful" means "lawful until we change our mind." So your ability to continue to make copies of your own CDs on your own iPod is entirely a matter of their sufferance. What about all the indie label CDs? Do you have to ask each of them for permission before ripping your CDs? And what about all the major label artists who control their own copyrights? Do we all need to ask them, as well?

P.S.: The same filing also had this to say: "Similarly, creating a back-up copy of a music CD is not a non-infringing use...."

Dylan Begins Work On New Album

Dylan rehearses new material at the Bardavon

By Sandy Tomcho
Times Herald-Record

What happens when one of the greatest living songwriters walks through the door? Chris Silva, executive director of the Bardavon 1869 Opera House in Poughkeepsie, has always been a Bob Dylan fan.

Guess who just spent four days rehearsing his new album at, of all places, the Bardavon? We'll let Silva tell the story:

I have been after Dylan since the day I walked in here 12 years ago. We almost had him back in '94. But last month, I got an e-mail from his agent, the second time this has happened in six months.

It said, "Artist looking for rehearsal space." No name. And then he finally said, "Yeah, it's Dylan. You got the dates or what?" Around the 18th or the 19th it got hot and heavy and on the 23rd it was confirmed for the 31st. I came in at 8 a.m. to get my job done so I could go watch him.

It was a rehearsal with material for a new album he was gonna go into the studio with the next week. He was playing with all kinds of different things, from old blues to kick-ass rock 'n' roll to Hawaiian-tinged music to Rudy Vallee.

He had a slide guitar player in there and a fiddle player and his keyboard, plus he had a pedal steel. Tony Garnier (with Dylan since 1989) plays bass, but the other guys had mandolins. First-rate musicians.

Dylan was all business. He would show up, walk to the keyboard, work for four or five hours straight. He was very low-key, in jeans, you wouldn't have even looked at him twice in the street, which I'm sure is on purpose, so he can sort of disappear. He was a working musician and he came to work.

There was a lot of conversation back and forth about "Let's try this key. Let's try it faster. Let's try it slower. Hey, whaddya think about that lick? Whaddya think about that lick? Let's turn it around here. Let's turn it around there." He was calling all the shots and he was counting off every song.

He's in the studio now and he's recording in New York. Whatever I was hearing for four days, it could just be turned on its head. Who knows how it's gonna end up? It was constant experimentation and that's what was so fascinating about it is that here's this guy that's been doin' it for so long and he's just an experimenter. He's not like, "I got it. I know exactly what it is." He's like, "Let's experiment. Let's find it." He never took a break.

I was in the wings. Every day I waited for him, and when he was done, he just left the building. At the end of the last day, he walked right over to me, and I froze. He thanked me profusely for the space and how much he liked it and how he'd like to come back. I didn't stammer, but I thanked him back and said, "Anytime." I just couldn't get my hand out to shake his. I was too stunned. I was like, "Maybe he won't take my hand," ya know, all these stupid thoughts.

I've met a lot of stars. I've had Al Pacino here and I really enjoyed Al and he was very nice and friendly and everything was cool, but this was a whole different thing. It's just that Dylan thing, that mystique. It was a thrill.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

This Week's Poll!!!

When the New Mayor is Elected, What Should Be His First Act?
Fix the Streets
Ensure Sufficient Water Supply
Build Unnecessary Buildings
Appoint Scott Hudson As Culture Czar
Pass New Law - Death Penalty For Those Who Can't Navigate Turn Lanes
Enact Toys For Adults Program - Free Vibe For Every Adult at Christmas
Book Next Year's Porn Movie Awards at Convention Center
Ban the Use of Term KELO-Land
Hell, Ban KELO
Change City's Name to Hudsonland
Enact Nascar Tax
Ban Karaoke
Free polls from Pollhost.com

This Week's Poll Results!!!

What should be Mayor Munson's next gig?

1. Greeter at Wal-Mart (34%)
2. Wilbur at Gigglebees (16%)
3. KDLT Anchor (11%)
4. (Tie) Lobbyist and Greeter at Falls Park (8%)

Our boy has a great future ahead of him!

Lora Hubbel, Get Out of Town!

With Mayor Munson's announcement that he won’t seek a second term as Mayor, it seems like everybody and their dog has announced plans to take his seat. Really, I wouldn’t be surprised if a dog actually entered the race. Hey, that’s not a bad idea. My dog occasionally gets mail; maybe I should fill out the paperwork and get Sam on the ballot. Think of the fun I’d have!
Every day, I check the website for our local television stations and the daily paper to see who is the latest clown prince or princess destined to lose to either Darrin Smith or Vernon Brown. For a fleeting moment this past Saturday, I actually had a moment or two of optimism. These euphoric thoughts lasted little more than a moment or two, however.
Articles on new candidate Lora Hubbel began strong. She’s against cronyism and sweetheart deals. Her emphasis would be on the streets and insuring we have a sufficient water supply. She’s also not in favor of the deal that was finalized this past week for the Zip Feed property. Sounds like a perfect candidate for the King of Hudsonland to support!
Unfortunately, the articles didn’t stop with those paragraphs. Reading on, she thinks we need to put restrictions on check cashing businesses. While I agree with this idea, that’s a state legislative issue, so there’s little she could do about this issue.
She also believes that the city should construct giant radiation shelters just in case terrorists decide that striking Sioux Falls would be beneficial to their plans to destroy our country. Uh, ok. I think we’re starting to see which side of the fence she’s sitting on. It’s not just on the right side, it’s way, way out past the right field foul lines.
She’s not done, though. Her biggest claim to fame…or infamy…is her desire to crack down on pornography in Sioux Falls. “Most people don’t realize there is a problem with that in Sioux Falls”, she was quoted as saying. “I think there is.”
There is? Really? Where? I’m serious, where? I need to know.
Pornography is not a problem in Sioux Falls. Considering the size of our community, there are few businesses that can even loosely be described as dealing with anything with adult content. There’s one strip club in town, and it’s been here for years. Aberdeen, a city one quarter the size of ours, has a handful of such facilities. The only video store that rents or sells adult videos has downsized in recent years from five locations to two. Prostitution remains an occasional isolated incident, and our local publications have none of the escort ads that make for quality reading in other cities.
Ok, the number of “toy stores” has actually doubled in recent years…from one to two. That’s obviously what this twit is referring to; an adult novelty shop that opened last spring. I remember the fake controversy that…uh, erupted…when news of this business came to light. We were headed to Armageddon. Children that lived in trailer courts six blocks away would no longer be able to play on Benson Road. The truck repair shops and other blue collar businesses that make up that part of town would be overrun by child molesters and rapists.
Guess what? The retailer opened and the sky didn’t fall. To this day, few people even realize that the store in question even exists. Children can still run in and out of the 45 mph traffic. There are no hookers and drug addicts roaming the neighboring streets.
The question remains, however, are the products they sell pornographic? I say no. The items that make up the bulk of their inventory are called marital aids. Yes, even Christians have sex. (Actually, the most hardcore Christians I’ve met over the years are easily the freakiest people I know.) Isn’t a safe and healthy sex life one of the main tenements of a healthy marriage? More power to a couple who utilizes massage oil or vibrating toys to bring them closer together.
Ms. Hubbel, you have a few good ideas, but your desire (and others of your ilk in the state legislature) to remake this country into a 50’s-ish Leave It to Beaver society is frightening. If sex to you is just missionary position for procreation purposes only, I say more power to you. What others do in their bedroom is none of your business. If toy stores and strip clubs go against your beliefs, then I just have one piece of advice for you – stay away. I refuse to enter Wal-Mart because they offend me; I expect others to do the same with businesses that go against their principles.

Monday, February 13, 2006

The Only Valentine Song Worth Hearing

The Replacements, "Valentine"

Well you wish upon a star that turns into a plane
And I guess that's right on par
Who's left to blame?

If you were a pill
I'd take a handful at my will
And I'd knock you back with something sweet and strong
Plenty of times you wake up in February make-up
Like the moon and the morning star you're gone


Tonight makes love to all your kind
Tomorrow's makin' Valentines

Hey you pop up in this old place
So sick and so divine
Are you strung out on some face?
Well I know it ain't mine

If you were a pill, I'd take a handful at my will,
And I'd knock you back with something sweet and strong
Trouble keeping your head up when you're hungry and you're fed up,
Like a moon and a lone star you're gone


If you were a pill, I'd take a handful at my will,
And I'd knock you back with something sweet as wine
Yesterday was theirs to say, this is their world and their time
Well if tonight belongs to you, tomorrow's mine


Happy Valentines Day

The Cure, "Lovesong"

Whenever I’m alone with you
You make me feel
Like I am home again
Whenever I’m alone with you
You make me feel
Like I am whole again
Whenever I’m alone with you
You make me feel
Like I am young again
Whenever I’m alone with you
You make me feel
Like I am fun again

However far away
I will always love you
However long I stay
I will always love you
Whatever words I say
I will always love you
I will always love you

Whenever I’m alone with you
You make me feel
Like I am free again
Whenever I’m alone with you
You make me feel
Like I am clean again

However far away
I will always love you
However long I stay
I will always love you
Whatever words I say
I will always love you
I will always love you

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Warning to Ipod Video Owners

Anybody who regularly visits this site knows that I have nothing but love for the Ipod. Nothing but love. I love Jenna and Teagan (yes, I named my Ipods) more than anybody except for my son and family.
But Teagan does have a flaw. Well, not really – the real flaw is with Apple’s software for the video feature on their new Ipods.
When I purchased Teagan a few weeks ago I had no problems. I immediately went to TVtorrents.com and downloaded the latest episodes of The Office and My Name is Earl. They played flawlessly. Seriously, I was amazed at the quality of the picture. Sure, I had to download a couple of programs to transform the avi files to the mpegs that Apple requires. But that was surprisingly simple and quick.
Yet late last week I was ready to toss Teagan in the trash. With my son working Friday evening, after work I decided to spend some time catching up on missed episodes of Earl and the Daily Show. I grabbed a cup of joe and settled down on Black Sheep’s ultra-comfy couch and fired up Teagan. It played fine for a minute…and then it temporarily froze before continuing with no sound. If I rewound or fast forwarded a second or two, it would go back to playing perfectly for another minute or so before repeating the problem.
At first, I thought the problem was with the video files. After all, they were not from official sources. To verify this, I selected an older file that had previously played fine. Same problem.
Now I had something to do on a boring Friday night. I checked out Apple’s website to no avail. I checked out Ipodlounge.com and found a couple of mentions of similar problems but no solutions. Finaly, I stumbled on an Ipod message board where this exact situation was an extremely popular topic.
It turns out that the problem is in the software. Every few weeks, Apple sends out updates sends out a message the first time you subsequently hook up your Ipod to Itunes. With no reason to believe there will be a problem, one always clicks okay. Video Ipod updater 1.1, dated 1/10/06, contains a flaw that somehow caused my problem. Yet Apple doesn’t acknowledge it’s existence.
Luckily, it was a relatively easy fix. A short hack program eliminates the update, and then one has to reinstall the original software that came with the player. The only current problem is that every time I hook Teagan up to the computer I get a message urging me to update its software. I won’t make that mistake again until Apple acknowledges and fixes the error.

This Week's Poll

What's Mayor Munson's Future Occupation?
Higher Political Office (Governor, Senator, President)
Lower Political Office (State Legislator, School Board)
Chamber of Commerce Director of P.R.
NFL Referee
PTA Treasurer
Greeter at Falls Park
Greeter at Wal-Mart
Dog Catcher
Animal Feeder at Zoo
Charlie Chaplin Impersonator
Wilbur at Gigglebees
KDLT Anchor
KELO Weather Practitioner
Free polls from Pollhost.com

This Week's Poll Results

Who Should Be Our Next Mayor?

1. Captain Caribou - 23%
2. Andy Howes - 12%
3. Wilbur From Gigglebees - 11%
4. (Tie) Darrin Smith, Rick Knobe, and Cade - 9%

Unfortunately, I only received 3 votes. Then again, unlike some people I didn't vote for myself.

The Grammies Versus Reality

So tomorrow night is Grammy night. Excuse me while I yawn. We all know what will happen. Mariah Carey’s size-16 body will be jimmied into a size-6 miniskirt showcasing miles and miles of fleshy thigh and breast. Odds are that a Janet Jackson controversy will ensue the moment she starts screeching her dog-howl-ish high notes. After all, there’s only so much tension that any fabric can handle.
We’ll also probably see Kanye West bumrush the stage after he loses an award to somebody he feels is inferior…which in his mind is anyone other than him. At least he has a point, though as his album was one of the best of the past year.
What else will happen? I’m sure the metal awards will continue the Jethro Tull tradition and be handed to somebody who’s connection to metal is questionable. The Best New Artist award will go to somebody who will vanish before the evening is even over, and somehow Bonnie Raitt, Tina Turner, and/or Sheryl Crow will win an award or two even though their careers have been over for more than a few years.
Even if none of those predictions come true, you can bet the farm on the following. Some time during the evening, probably around 9:15 or so, the head of the R.I.A.A. (or some other suit) will come out and give a “State of the Record Industry” speech. After a few minutes of backslapping concerning their response to Hurricane Katrina, Live 8, and other charitable works, there will once again be an impassioned rant about how downloading is killing the record business.
It’s all a bunch of you-know-what. Sure, sales were down once again. Yes, plenty of record stores, both big and small, were forced to close their doors last year. And I’ll also admit that part of the problem is illegal downloading…but a negligible part at best.
I realize that I’ve ranted about this myth in the past, but let’s recap some of the facts. The dollars that previously were spent on CD’s and tapes are now also being spent on DVD’s and video games. Don’t believe me? Just try wandering through those sections at Best Buy on a Saturday afternoon. People who never bought movies in the past are now purchasing deluxe box sets of the most awful television shows. Movie companies are copying the mantra of record companies and reissuing the same movies over and over with just a few extras each time. And there always seems to be a new video game format.
If you’re still not convinced, a new survey provides some startling new data that the record industry would love for you to not hear about.
In a poll commissioned by Rolling Stone Magazine and the Associated Press, the numbers don’t match what you’re going to hear tomorrow night. 92% of those polled have never downloaded music, and 80% say they’ve never done it.
More worrying for the suits, 75% say compact discs are too expensive, and 58% say music in general is getting worse. In other words, the music industry’s approval rate is worse than George Bush’s.
I won’t go so far as to say that music is worse today than in the past. There are plenty of great acts making just as wonderful music today as in any other time in history. It’s just become harder to find, and I blame the Spice Girls.
Why these awful twits, you ask? While they ceased to be a group five or six years ago, their creation, along with the consolidation of the radio and music biz, completely changed the way the record industry works.
Sure, there were created acts in the past. There always has been, from Pat Boone to Fabian to the Monkees (who I actually like) to the Archies to most disco acts to Debbie Gibson to New Kids On the Block. Those acts, however, were never treated as artists, and real artists were not threatened by their chart action.
Since the Spice Girls, though, the entire record industry has been about going after the quick buck with created acts whose “talents” are questionable at best. It’s been more about celebrity than music ability. The songs are as forgettable as their hair styles. Don’t believe me? Quick, recite the lyrics to any hit song from 2002. It’s not easy. All genres, from bubblegum pop to country to hip/hop to even hard rock suffers from the disposable tag. This is how Jamie Fox is able to top the charts, and this is why chart-toppers are selling a fraction of what they did a decade ago.
Again, it’s not like there’s not some great stuff out there. There has actually been a revival of sorts for alternative rock in recent years. Modest Mouse and Franz Ferdinand went platinum; Death Cab For Cutie and Bright Eyes went gold. Arcade Fire, a virtually unknown Canadian act, sold a quarter of a million copies on an indie label with zero publicity outside of word of mouth. This cult-ish scene exists in all genres. True hip-hop fans don’t listen to Nelly or Diddy; true country fans don’t enjoy Faith Hill or Sugarland.
What is the solution to the problems of the record industry? It won’t be easy but here are a few steps. First off, quit signing people based on the potential for People Magazine coverage. Paris Hilton and Kevin Federline don’t deserve a record deal, nor do the stars of any Disney movie or WB drama.
The use of song doctors must also be, at the very least, diminished. I’m not saying that every artist must write every tune they record, but I do have a problem when acts such as Bon Jovi, Liz Phair, and Korn are using the same factories that created the Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears.
More importantly, though, it’s time for broadcasters to actually serve their listeners. The Clear Channels of the world need to tear up their national playlists…or at the very least make them a bit longer and wider. The practice of testing songs by playing snippets in phone polls must end as many great songs cannot be experienced by just a chorus (this is why so many songs are little more than a catchphrase).
Even worse than Clear Channel is the complete disappointment that MTV and VH1 have become. There was a time when both of these channels had a little for everybody. College rock fans had 120 Minutes, metal and rap fans had their own shows, and there was always the possibility of some of these tunes crossing over to the normal rotation.
Now there is no rotation. MTV is nothing more than dating shows, and each new program is exceedingly worse than the last. Does anybody really enjoy Next, Date My Mom, or that silly new one where a person picks the person most like their musical idol? Meanwhile, VH1 has become little more than a copycat of E!, with countdown shows and celebrity myth-making.
I’m not saying that either or both of these channels need to once again become music-only channels. I understand the appeal of some of these shows (particularly those with hot chicks). There just needs to be a better balance, and a lessening of the amount of time devoted to the Lindsay Lohans of the world.

Monday, February 06, 2006

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Saturday, February 04, 2006


For some reason I haven't been able to access my site. I apologize if anybody else has this problem.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Kornheiser to Monday Night Football?

IMHO, this would be great. I'd actually sit through that awful Joe Theisman if I could hear Mr. Tony.

X's and a Lot of O's: Media Giants Seek Kornheiser

By Paul Farhi
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, February 2, 2006; C08

All of a sudden, the hottest, most sought-after franchise player in the sports world may be a guy who describes himself as "fat, bald and old."

Tony Kornheiser, the Washington Post columnist and ESPN yakker, has become the object of a bidding war among media companies, with deals worth millions of dollars -- and the lineups of newspapers, TV and radio stations -- hanging in the balance.

The list of Kornheiser's suitors includes ESPN, XM and Sirius radio, Bonneville International Corp., The Washington Post and Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder, who wants Kornheiser as a host for his newly purchased string of radio stations.

Kornheiser, suddenly the prettiest girl at the prom, says he's unsure whom he'll dance with next. "It's causing me a lot of anxiety," he said yesterday. "There aren't enough stomach pills in America to calm me. Does Pepto-Bismol make industrial-strength tablets?"

He calls the attention "incredibly flattering" and "an embarrassment of riches."

ESPN is talking with Kornheiser about taking over one of the color-commentary chairs on "Monday Night Football" next season, when the games will move from Disney-owned ABC to Disney-owned ESPN. Kornheiser is under contract to ESPN for "Pardon the Interruption," the daily sports talk show he hosts with fellow Post columnist Michael Wilbon. The "MNF" job -- which Kornheiser tried out for five years ago before ABC picked comedian Dennis Miller -- would more than double Kornheiser's reported $900,000-a-year "PTI" contract, according to sources.

The hitch: It's unclear whether Al Michaels, "MNF's" play-by-play man, will return to the booth next season. Michaels reportedly wants to join NBC, which will carry NFL games next season. If ESPN lets Michaels out of his contract, he would be replaced by ESPN's Mike Tirico, with Kornheiser and former Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann as commentators, sources said. If Michaels stays, however, ESPN plans to use only Theismann for color.

Kornheiser also is being sought by the two rival satellite radio services, Sirius and XM, which want him to host a daily sports talk show. Sirius is allied with Snyder, who last month bought three small radio stations in the Washington area and plans to convert them into outlets that will broadcast Redskins games and other sports programs.

Those deliberations, in turn, affect Kornheiser's involvement with four local media outlets: WTEM-AM; the new WTWP-AM and FM; The Post; and WRC-TV.

Kornheiser hosts a weekday program on WTEM (980) and each week writes three Post sports columns (or "columnettes," as he calls the short pieces that appear on Page 2 of the Sports section).

Kornheiser said it's possible that because of time constraints, he would take a leave from his Post column if he landed the "MNF" job. His fear of flying would put him on the road (in a specially outfitted bus) five days a week, he said, leaving limited time to write for the paper, which he joined in 1979. But Kornheiser and the newspaper want to continue the relationship.

"We want Tony to be a big part of this newspaper for years to come, and we'll work with him on a new schedule to see that it happens," said Emilio Garcia-Ruiz, The Post's assistant managing editor for sports.

Bonneville, the owner of radio station WTOP, is seeking Kornheiser's services for its new station, WTWP, which it will launch next month in conjunction with The Post.

Separately, Kornheiser works intermittently for WRC-Channel 4 as a panelist (and substitute host) on "Redskins Report." It's unclear whether he could continue on the show given his other commitments.

Why all the attention now for the 57-year-old Kornheiser?

"He's got an established name, whether in The Post, on radio, or on TV with 'PTI,' " said Joel Oxley, Bonneville's senior vice president. "He's proven to be successful. The guy pulls in an audience. He has marquee value. Plus, he's local. You've got a very interesting combination of factors. If you can get someone like him, and get him at the right price, you do it."

Said John Walsh, executive editor of ESPN: "I love Tony. I love everything Tony does. I've loved him from the day I met him in 1970 when he walked into Newsday. He's the most talented guy in the history of sports media, a multimedia guy in the Dick Schaap tradition."

The biggest loser in the Kornheiser sweepstakes could be WTEM, the sports talk station. Kornheiser so thoroughly dominates the station's weekday programming that the station could almost be renamed WTK. His two-hour show at 9 a.m. is repeated at 11 a.m., giving him four consecutive hours on the air daily. In addition, he participates in the station's "Sports Reporters" program and is heard on tape at other times. The station also has rebroadcast the audio portion of "Pardon the Interruption" during the evening (XM rebroadcasts Kornheiser's WTEM show, as well).

Snyder has direct connections to Kornheiser via WTEM's former managers, Bennett Zier and Tod Castleberry. Zier, who oversaw WTEM and seven other Washington area stations owned by Clear Channel Communications, left the company last month to run Snyder's Red Zebra Broadcasting, a new company that will operate Snyder's media ventures. Zier was joined a week later by Castleberry, who was program director of WTEM and three other Clear Channel stations.

Kornheiser would be prohibited from writing for The Post if he accepted a position with a Snyder-owned company. Under the newspaper's conflict-of-interest rules, a sportswriter cannot write about a team while accepting payment from it.

Staff writer Howard Kurtz contributed to this report.

© 2006 The Washington Post Company