chanda loses

Another early end for ChandaWatch: Chanda loses in the first round, 7-6, 6-3. She started out up 5-0 in the first, but (I presume) those knee problems kicked in. At least the writeup is a very nice pro-Chanda piece:
Rubin is one of those players who seems to have been around for decades, and indeed it is 14 years since she made her Grand Slam debut at the US Open, at the age of 14. Much of her career seems to have been a tussle with injury, and her ranking has see-sawed correspondingly. Yet she managed to finish 2003 on a career-high year-end ranking of number nine at the grand age of 28, which makes her, Martina Navratilova aside, of course quite an old lady around the lawns of SW19. Today she was giving away the best part of nine years to her French opponent.
Moreover, Rubin is certainly one of the most lauded players in the game, having won no end of gongs and prizes for being a jolly worthy person. She has been named the Player Who Makes A Difference, won an Arthur Ashe Leadership Award and an Outstanding Celebrity Award, been pronounced one of America’s Most Caring Athletes, and even had her face on a stamp issued by the US Postal Service in 1996, which makes her something akin to royalty. Certainly tennis royalty, in any case.

texas wifi, decemberists

Texas to set up WiFi at rest stops. It’s sad that I’m as much of a geek as I am, but this will probably mean I’ll stop once or twice on the drive to Austin or Houston or Shreveport.
Those interested in Cajun issues may want to check the comments of this post, where Reese Fuller and I are having a discussion on the future of Cajun identity. This post will no doubt some day form the backbone of an anthropology dissertation.
Saw The Decemberists and The Long Winters last night. Much rock joy was had, particularly when Crutchy McGee strapped on a big marching-band-style bass drum and started wandering the audience in a black Rasputin beard.

the sad tale of

Quick question for you domain-registration junkies: There’s a domain I really, really want. For the purposes of this post, let’s call it
For the last 10 years, it’s been owned by a company called Acme Corp. It made sense for them to own it. But about five years ago, Acme Corp. changed its name and brand to something new. Since then, has just been a placeholder page, with a few lines saying “Acme Corp. is now Blahblah Corp. Visit our new web site at”
Did I mention I really want to own this
So today, on a whim, I go to There’s nothing there. Not a 404 error — just IE’s standard “We can’t find” error, the one it throws off when you go to an unregistered domain.
So I ran a quick whois to see what’s up. Turns out that Acme Corp. — on purpose or by mistake — has let expire. It expired on June 3.
I immediately try to register it. But alas, my registrar (Dotster) tells me the domain name is taken! I try another couple registrars, and they tell me the same thing — it’s taken. But the whois entry (verified at several whois servers) clearly says Acme Corp.’s claim on the domain has expired, and the site is clearly gone.
What can I do? Is there some sort of rule on a window of time after a domain expires when someone can renew? Do I need to jump through any special hoops to get this domain? Help me out, people, I’m dying over here! I need this domain!
Anyone who can help me get this domain gets $20 and a six-pack of beer.

chandawatch, wimbledon 04

The return of ChandaWatch! Chanda Rubin — professional tennis star and one-time high school classmate of your proprietor — is getting ready to start another run at Wimbledon. You may remember from recent ChandaWatches that Our Hero is having knee problems, which has dropped her down to the 17th seed — the lowest she’s faced in a major in recent years. But she’s fared well on grass in the past (winning Wimbledon in juniors, winning the Eastbourne tuneup the last two years), so there’s hope as long as her various hinges remain operational.
Anyway, she’ll face Francophile Marion Bartoli in the first, with Maria Elena Camerin and Ai Sugiyama likely to follow. If the knee is holding up, she can beat the higher-seeded Ai, no problem. Then would come Dementieva and probably some trouble.

slimecon 2004

Hey, children of the ’80s! Did you while away childhood hours watching You Can’t Do That On Television, Canada’s greatest export south of the 49th parallel? Did you ever, even once, in elementary school giggle when someone said “I don’t know” because your youthful imagination pictured a bucket of green slime pouring down on his/her head?
Well, if you’re still living in the first Reagan administration — and after this month’s hagiography, who isn’t? — SlimeCon 2004 is for you! Yes, you can finally (a) have an excuse to fly to scenic Ottawa, (b) see what comedic genius Les Lye looks like with white hair, or (c) ask Christine “Moose” McGlade what her motivation was in some random 1983 episode.
Hey, I loved YCDTOTV as much as the next kid. But it’s been 20 years. Perhaps it might be time for some people to move on. Check out this clip of the “best” of SlimeCon 2002. Gotta love the awkward intros of past cast members, particularly the guy who you can tell is thinking: “I wonder if anyone will notice I’ve gotten enormous in the last 25 years.”

kris cox rox

Can I give a shout out to Kris Cox? Kris and I went to school together, he two years ahead of me. Now he’s two shots off the lead at the U.S. Open.
I’m telling you — between him and women’s tennis star Chanda Rubin, my small town Louisiana high school (enrollment 240, grades 6-12) has produced more than its share of athletic talent.

no french speakers in la

The MLA Language Map tracks the linguistic makeup of American places. In other words, it is a database, derived from census data, of who speaks what languages where.
Regular readers of this site know I’m a proud Cajun and very interested in all things related to language persistence. Just a few decades ago — until World War II — Cajuns were almost entirely Francophone. (Some spoke English, too, but only to talk to those damned Anglos.) The rise of a national popular culture and a host of economic factors have since pushed French to the sidelines.
(To put this in my family’s context, my great-grandmother, Oureline Dugas Mouton, died in 1988 without knowing a word of English. My grandmother Mazie grew up speaking only French and didn’t learn English until grade school — but she barely spoke any French in her last few years. My mother knows enough French to get by, but hasn’t used it in conversation for years. And by the time I was a kid, French was the language the old people spoke when they didn’t want you to understand what they were saying. So while I took French class in school, my language skills are mediocre.)
Anyway, I used the MLA site to run a few numbers for Louisiana. This is the sad result.
You’ll notice that there are still 194,314 French speakers in Louisiana — the largest total of any state and more than one-tenth of all French speakers nationally. That’s still a lot more than the second-largest minority language in Louisiana — Spanish, which has 105,189 speakers.
But look at the age breakdown on that chart. Among children aged 5 to 17, there are 16,395 who speak French at home. But there are 20,689 who speak Spanish at home.
In other words, among today’s children, French isn’t even Louisiana’s secondmost popular language. And this is in a state with a relatively tiny Hispanic population.
Depressing — particularly with all the evidence out there about the benefits of being bilingual. At some point, folks Zachary Richard — who tie concepts of Cajun identity with the persistence of the language — are going to have to realize that battle is already lost. If a Cajun identity is going to persist, it’ll have to do so separate from the language.