Eric the Half-a-Blog

NEW 2.8

"Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."
--Cyril Connolly


"Cyril Connolly?"
"No, semi-carnally."
Chorus: "Cy-ril Con-no-lly..." (whistling ensues)

You either got that, or you didn't. If you didn't, congratulate yourself on your lack of UTTER PATHETIC GEEKINESS.
If you did get it...Welcome to the UPG Club.

From StarChaser: More Internet quizzes. Let the backlash begin!

And here's the Next Big Thing, in terms of theme: The Human Virus Scanner. Says it won't work with MSIE though I haven't tested that.

"I think that most people, when they do get involved with it, they'll see that there really is a God," he says. "To tell you the truth, I wasn't much of a believer, it's just that I know that there's a God now because I've seen so many different things through this organization. We have 500 technologies we literally have on hold right now, waiting to bring out to the world, because we don't have no finances for them, but when we start selling the power, we will."
...Krieg has been following Lee's claims since 1996, when he saw a full-page ad for one of his demonstrations in the Philadelphia Enquirer. His first reaction was laughter. "It was amusing how he had butchered science and manipulated all these redneck people," he says.
But then he discovered that people were buying into it...

The bizarre story of Hitler's Jewish psychic. Like Miss Cleo, he was able to "predict" everything except his own end.


Speaking of psychics, today was the 6 week mark. Every 6 weeks, KK gets her talons trimmed. I asked her if she wanted Food, meaning her daily treat of a teaspoonful of Friskies' wet, and she said "Yes yes!" in eager kittenese. "Oh, wait," I said, "you can get that a little later. We have to do something you don't want to do first." I got my coat, and she'd run and hid in a place she'd never hidden before, under the park bench in the living room. It actually would've been impossible to get her out if she'd stayed under there, but she bolted and I grabbed her. She fought harder than ever to prevent going into the carrier. I really had to jam her in there, while she used her 6 weeks of claws to snag every available nook or cranny. It only takes 10 minutes and all they do is trim her claws! Why the fuss?!
She's never run when I've put my coat on before. No idea how she figured this out. But one thing I've learned about Little Miss Einstein: Once she figures something out, it stays figured out.
Miss Cleo predicts that every 6th week for the rest of our shared lives will be NO FUN.

Then I was off to the Trout Brook Brew Pub, to meet Kevin & Jay before going to the movies. I got the first parking spot, mainly because it was closed. On a Sunday? That's not a good thing.
"What's Plan B?" I asked Kevin when he pulled up. "Sit in my car and listen to the new Prince album!" "What's Plan C?"
We went to Tangiers, a falafel place. It was only take-out, so I guess that Plan C entailed sitting on the sidewalk eating Lebanese. But the take-out had closed 5 minutes before.
So then we unveiled Plan D, going to another brew pub called City Steam (uninteresting butt-ugly web page here). We ended up on the fourth floor of the dining area--Unlike the website, it's really a gorgeous place, but we had little time to absorb the atmosphere before the movie. Kevin led the way to the theater--the wrong way, as it turned out, sending us around the block and adding 5 minutes to the 5 minute trip. But there's always 10 minutes of trailers, and we found our seats halfway through the last one before Metropolis began.


Roger Ebert says it better than I can (of course):

It sure does. The main characters walk through a world that's fully populated with nobodies doing things that have no connection to the plot, but are fully animated anyway. A guy grabs another across a diner counter, and a squeeze ketchup bottle flies. A drug dealer tries to sell his stuff. Some thrill-happy kids on a flame-belching go-cart race by. Giant Art Deco statuary, brand new and gleaming in the rich part of Metropolis, grimy and forgotten in the poor parts. The whole movie's like that--overattention to detail that isn't lingered on. Astonishing.

It's based on a manga from 1948 (the same year Orwell would write 1984 half a world away), and based itself on a movie from 1926, the original Fritz Lang silent film. It follows the rough storyline of Lang's work, which was a visually interesting but overlong and plodding film. The mighty Ziggurat, the pinnacle of Metropolis' technology and home of its powerful, towers over the subterranean slums that were formerly the original city's street level, where the poor cling to a hand-to-mouth existence. They have robots but still rickshaws; anti-gravity but still zeppelins.

The characters' movements are amazingly lifelike. The characters themselves aren't. To me, they had that Speed Racer caricature look (right down to names like "Skunk" and "Ham & Eggs"). Kevin thought that they looked like something out of WInsor McCay's "Little Nemo" from a century ago; they're best described as a mix of the two. (Given the obsessive detail given to architecture and perspective, I'm sure that McCay was a major influence to the movie) This was a distraction for about a minute; it actually helped in the end, as the distinctive drawing style made it easier to keep track of who was who: Red Duke's power-mad corporation in the Ziggurat; the scheming politicos of Metropolis, unhappy that they're losing their control to the Ziggurat; the fascistic Marduks, a group of Luddites that kills any rogue robot ("rogue" being defined as simply leaving their areas of segregation); the revolutionary human underground, who hate all of the above but also the robots that took their jobs; and the marginalized, drudge-drone robots, that are callously, even indifferently, killed by every side.
The robots are fascinating, while also being the thing that the movie deliberately focuses the least on: They're manual laborers and their form is their function. Robot floor polishers look like...a human being cross-bred with a floor polisher. The ALBERT II series picks up garbage, and looks like a walking trash can crossed with--since this is a Japanese movie, they don't wear orange prison-work jumpsuits, but they could.

The first really close look that you get at the robots are the members of the fire department. Man-sized, clanging with sirens, they hop down the city's stairs on their wheels, then sit at the perimeter of the fire, waiting. Eventually, dog-sized scuttling robot roaches race up and leap onto the the first robots, building a bigger, aggregate robot. And still they wait. Next, the robot firehoses race up to attach themselves to the bigger robots. In a typical touch, one hose-bot has a small leak.

I haven't really said anything about the plot. I was expecting this movie to be slow, but it never stopped for a minute. I noticed a couple of groups of people in the theater that laughed at inappropriate times. I also noted them sitting bolt-upright in their seats at the same time in spite of themselves. This is one jaw-dropper of a movie.
DO NOT think "I'll just rent it" if you have ANY chance of seeing this on the big screen. There's too much detail that you'd miss.
I'm really kind of mad that I saw this at the last possible time I could before it closed. If I didn't have to work until 8PM the next 2 days, I'd be there, seeing it again. (That Sony site mentioned at the top has a showtimes button, if you want to see if it's going to play near you)

Or go here to listen to Ebert's co-worker Richard Roeper prove why his parents named him "Dick"...I'll save my "I Hate Roeper" rant for another day, but how can you pretend to be a film critic and simply write off entire genres because "they're not for me"? It's like being a food critic who only eats at McDonalds.

These brides need to be stripped bare by bachelors! (Now there's an obscure joke!) Thanks, Negs, for the link!


Since it was in the 50s the last 2 days, I decided to open a screen window for Killsy to look out of today. Guess what--if it's 50 degrees yesterday in New England, it'll be 30 today. I went home on my lunch break to shut the window. It's a 20 minute round trip, so I decided to check my email while I was home.
The computer didn't boot. So I hit reset.
The computer booted, but the trackball didn't work. So I hit reset.
That didn't fix the trackball, so I rebooted again.
That didn't work, so I plugged the mouse in and rebooted.
THAT worked. I now had 2 minutes to check my mail.
On the third attempt, I connected. Then my connection slowed to nothing.
I deleted my Hotmail spam, and left for work.
After work, it booted fine, my trackball was working again, and my connection was good.
The computer. It knows, and it hates me.

On my way to work (the first time), I saw a "Guerilla Billboard." It's a truck with a skinny body that displays...well, a billboard. It "was founded in 1999 to meet the underserved mobile outdoor advertising market." Yes, that sadly underserved...made-up phrase of yours, the one that serves my need to cut off a slow-moving truck with an ad on it, instead of a normal slow-moving truck. The ad was for Weetabix. It took me a good 30 seconds to remember that truck before I wrote this ("Didn't I see something odd today? On the way to work?"), and another 30 to remember that it was Weetabix. Which I only remember from buying a copy of "2000 AD" 15 years ago, a British comic that had Judge Dredd in it, with A FREE WEETABIX BUTTON!

I bought the comic for the button. If I didn't have that button, I'll bet that I would've forgotten the Guerilla Billboard. And my mobile outdoor advertising market needs would have languished underserved.

NASA gets a bad rap. NO, their spaceships do not always blow up! Space science is only news when it fails, it seems.
It's to be expected that there are failures--after all, this is rocket science! But for every spectacular failure that the news tells you about, there are great triumphs--Galileo is still working in Jupiter's orbit, despite having taken several times more radiation than it was designed to; the Hubble Space Telescope is redefining the Universe, and it's early optical problems were caused by Congress cutting a $100K test before its launch, leading to a billion dollar repair job that cost almost as much as the whole original project; a Shuttle blew up to a tragic human cost, but that again was caused by cost-cutting on the Government's side; and Vanguard, America's answer to Sputnik, was launched in 1958 and is still orbiting the Earth, long past its warranty period.
And there's Pioneer 10. 30 years after its launch, NASA sent a signal to it, and it duly responded. And both Voyagers are presumed to still be working, just without enough power to respond over the vast distances between them and Earth.
Though it is too bad that one of them will become V'Ger, and try to kill Kirk and Spock in a really stupid movie.

Not all technology is that reliable... "We're lucky Shakespeare didn't write on an old PC." The first English census, the Domesday Book of 1086, is still readable. Its follow-up from 1986, to which over a million people contributed, is on scratchy laserdisks that can only be read by a computer nobody owns anymore.

A news report on the store radio: There's severe abuse in nursing homes! Pathetic losers that take out their frustrations on the helpless?! Well, color ME shocked!!
If it's a choice between decrepitude in a nursing home and a 12-gauge in my mouth, the duck shot gets full veto power. Even IF there's no abuse.
We may be living in the only time in US history that there are nursing homes--It's only been since the late 60s that we had any real study on proper nutrition, and only since the 70s that we became "health-conscious." No, wait, end thought thread--people still chain-smoke and pig out at Mickey D's. START AGAIN!
We may be living in the only time in US history that there are nursing homes for people who had a clue. Those that have will certainly live longer and healthier; what you do with your BRAIN may be the real key.
To recap for those new, eating right and taking the multi-vitamins is great, but exercising your brain is as important as exercising your body--Let your muscles atrophy, and you'll be in a walker; let your brain atrophy, and you'll get Alzheimer's.
Ways to exercise your brain: Do a crossword, do a cross-stitch, write, read (like you're doing now! See? It's not so hard!), or just plain THINK, LEARN, CREATE. Way to atrophy your brain: Watch TV to excess.
Odd coincidence that I'd be thinking about this today, and read a perfect Lileks' Bleat on the same subject.

"OH! I'm having my most luckiest of lucky days, I must say y'know!!"


It's All-a-Blog tonight.

Space Ghost reports on a comedy festival in Aspen.

BIG Things in Australia! I sent this link to Bill "Zippy th' Pinhead" Griffith, as his strip has a fascination with giant figures (as in today's strip, in fact). Highlights: the menacing Giant Lobster, the mangy Giant Koala, and the bizarre Giant Ned Kelly.

John Ashcroft is batshit insane. Can you imagine Janet Reno keeping her job as Attorney General with only half of his..."eccentricities"? Like being anointed with cooking oil when he gets a new political appointment, because that's what happened to King David in the Old Testament? That's either the ultimate in hubris, or a clear sign of mental illness. And, oh yeah--can you imagine the Republican reaction to Reno beltin' out show tunes? Yes, Ashcroft sings a song he wroted all by himself. Move over, Bill Shatner! His lyrics are what I used to call "Hippie lyrics," from second-string late 60s bands whose rhymes were so simplistically obvious that not only could you guess the next line's rhyme, but frequently the next line in its entirety.

The weirdest Lord of the Rings casting idea yet! And, apparently, it wasn't a joke. Well, "The Road Goes On and On" isn't that far from "The Long and Winding Road," is it?

A great interview with Jello Biafra.


I went to a SalvArmy, a BIG!Lots, and 2 dollar stores today. So I must have a raft of material to snark upon, right?
Wrong, to both our surprise. The SalvArmy had nothing except an infestation of SENIORS, as Weds is Senior Discount Day. BIG!Lots sold me some iced tea. One dollar store had nothing, but I found a coupla items in the other.
I've heard of Dollar Tree stores before, but I'd never been in one. Impressive, actually, as it's frighteningly well stocked. I found this fridge magnet:

Feed the cat before HE KILLS YOU AND EATS YOUR EYEBALLS. Try giving him some IAMs rather than a fish skeleton next time, he might be less psychotic.
The sign is actually on a pivot. You can turn it over, and it says "brush cat." Using the skeleton?

More cat silliness.

And more, via Kirk. He likes the music, but I couldn't get it to play. Damn stupid Shockwave don't like my revitalized Pookie.

I also bought a grab bag marked "A Surprise for a BOY," as well as one "for a GIRL," since I'm going over to Jessica's place on Friday to watch the Garbage Pail Kids Movie. She emailed me a Valentine's Day greeting before the last time I was over, and I said in reply that I'd bought her some chocolates. But I was hungry and ate them. So instead, I was going to give her a Valentines can of sardines. When I went over, she said "You're not getting in the door without giving me my damn sardines!" She let me in anyway.
So I pried the staples off of her GIRL bag, and plunked in a can of sardines. Well, *I* think it'll be funny.

My bag contained a few Halloween-sized candies like Smarties and Razzles and a lollipop called "Mister Pop's," the Mr being a humanoid lollipop wearing sunglasses and a ball cap, as every fucking kid-oriented corporate mascot has for the last 15 years. Apparently this is some autodefault of Coolness. If you don't believe me, start looking at products orientated to the kid demographic. If there's a character, he'll have sunglasses and/or a ball cap. If there's 2, one will have the glasses, the other the ball cap.
It doesn't always work, of course. This "Hot Dog Gum" was also in my bag:

If you're going to give your hot dog mascot lips, do NOT PUT A HOT DOG IN THEM! It just looks...wrong. It makes your hot dog look like a ho dog. Drips of unexplained liquids flying from its mouth doesn't improve the picture.

I also got a "Personal Pager," a toy noise-making beeper. It was clearly from store stock, as it was stapled at the ripped peg holder. I guess it wasn't a big seller. But who has beepers anymore? They also had toy cell phones, car-key remotes, and even PDAs. No toy pepper sprays, though.

From the Onion, another poorly-thought-out mascot, McDonald's Hammurderer.

They don't give comic book characters names like these any more!

Interesting article on the economics of Dumbya's policies on America's dominance of the world. It argues that unilateralism will actually erode our dominance, as we move from the Globalism of the New World Order into a new American Imperialism. Ironic, as the NWO's front man was Daddy Bush.


Sorry, kids. All I have today is something that left me speechless: "Heartless? Inhumane? Maybe we've just redefined inhumanity here."


Yesterday's brevity was due to a customer hacking all over me Tuesday. I backed as away as I could while ringing him up, took his literally filthy lucre and tossed it into the till as quickly as possible. Since I was wearing my fingerless gloves (it's 35 degrees in that beer cooler, buddy) I figured I was safe. But I guess I inhaled some of his effluvia.
My first thought on waking up sick yesterday was "Am I sick again or sick still?" If still, a sore throat, congested chest and fatigue after three weeks can only mean (duh nuh nuh nuuuhh!) MONO! But it faded over the day, so it was just a cold virus, and most likely one I've already been exposed to. Still damned tired today.
I would've liked to have slept in today, and easily could have, as I didn't have to be at work until 3PM. But it was also 60 degrees out, and the Call of the Wild wildly called me to go tromp through the woods. This made Kill Kill mad. She made an angry meow and ran under the coffee table to mope. She thought that this was a day off for me--Work day, I go straight into the shower; on a day off, and like I did today, I go straight to the computer. But how did she know it was a work day an hour later? I usually leave the house for an hour or three on my days off, and she never reacts like this. Then I realized that she was meowing at the bottle of water in my hand, which I only take to work. Dang, this cat's smart.

So I went to the woods, went to work, went to John Harvards' with Jessica. I told her how an old regular at the store was asking about her. And who, for some reason, knows she's getting married, but thinks she's marrying ME.
Then we went to her place to play Super Joy. I gave her that "A Surprise for a GIRL" bag and she freaked out. "Close your eyes!" she squealed (yes, she squeals when she's excited) "You'll NEVER GUESS what's in here!!" She put the can of sardines in my hand and I said "Happy Valentine's Day!" and she laughed as she got the joke.
I got a toy beeper in my bag, and she got shiny "metal-plated" jewelry that she actually thought looked cool. So I guess I got the pimp gear and she got the ho's.
And then I went home. I play with cat now, then go to beds. Tired.

Thank Karl for our lone link tonight. Karl sez "rjyan-cex drove down to his guitar center to help white guys release that pressure that makes them listen to limp bizkit and go wild, punch the air and each other."

Okay, now the little link is no longer alone. "The Night Devo Scraped My Brain Fresh." I, too, remember that SNL episode, and I, too, was the only one in my circle that got that it wasn't a skit.


I am now the proud owner--as if there could be any other kind--of a HELLO KITTY VIBRATOR!
Only 2 weeks and 2 days after my order, my J-List stuff is here (the t-shirt shipped from San Diego and was here a week ago). That's faster service than I got the last time I used Amazon. And Amazon is not on the other side of the planet.
Saturday nights there's no music on the radio that I can listen to, and finally, I can listen to the 4-volume collection of soundtrack MP3s that Kevin made for me last year (the old version of Pookie would play 1 MP3, then stop, until I manually clicked on the next track. On this CD there's...let's see...267 tracks). I just skipped ahead to whatever was the next soundtrack I hadn't listened to, not knowing what it would be. It turned out to be the "Nemuri Kyoshiro 1963-1966 Anthology," so I had some appropriate music while I looked at my stuff. And it's all as it was desribed on the page, in flawless condition and tres cool. If anyone was interested in buying from them, but wanted to know how my experience turned out first, they get 2 thumbs up. And only because I don't have more thumbs.
The closest thing to a down side was the part on the international shipping label where they had to declare the package's worth. 5,000 Yen?! This box cost me $50! It'd better be worth more than 5,000 yen!! That's like 3 pretzels and a bottle cap!

"Things you who don't work in liquor stores never learn about" department: "Second Fermentation."
Ten minutes before closing I was ringing register when POP! and beer began geysering. We have some discontinued bottles of beer for sale up front. The Boont's has been kicking around one store or another for a long time--long enough that the beer had a second fermentation, and the CO2 inside it built up such a pressure that it exploded the bottle. Right by the computers and the electrical outlets below them. So there was a hasty cleanup. It sucked that it happened 10 minutes before closing, but it would've sucked much more if it had happened 10 minutes after closing, when no one would've been there to mop up the beer before it wrecked the computers or started an electrical fire.
A co-worker mentioned a time it happened with a display of the larger beer bottles called "bombers" had some self-destructors. There was a time when I would've made a joke about "suicide bombers," but that doesn't seem so funny these days.

I imagine that everyone knows the dollar-tracking web page Where's George? by now. I received only my second marked bill in 2 years last week. I never found out what happened to the first one I entered into the site. And I needed to spend that $20, so I wrote down the serial number & year before using it. Then, I went to the site and honestly answered the question "Do you have this bill in your possession?" not knowing that honesty was rewarded by getting the submission thrown out. Yesterday I thought, that kinda sucks, since it took me 2 years to come across a second "Where's George" bill. How long would it be until the next?
This one I had in my hands, though I would've lied if I had copied its info and spent it. It's travelled a meager 47 miles from southeastern CT to here in central CT.
Of course, the interesting thing is "What are the ODDS that I'd get TWO in less than a WEEK after TWO YEARS?!"
Better than one would think. The guy who put the "WG?" tags on this $20 has done it to 26,749 bills.
Where's George? A better question might be--"Where's your life?"

I've never had the urge to key a car, until I see some dork's Corvette parked in the middle of four spaces in a parking lot. seems SO tempting. I've never done it, of course, but something tells me that I'd be helping the Karmic balance if I did.
Interestingly, until today I never had the urge to blow up a parking garage before...

Of course, I'm only joking when I say that I want to blow something up! Unlike a certain government I could name. Yes, America will strike first, and use them for good reasons like "against targets able to withstand non-nuclear attack" (suddenly I LIKE daisy cutters, if the A-bomb was going to be the next step), or "in the event of surprising military developments."
"Surprising military developments." How specific.
Didn't it used to be "Only if some other country tried to wipe us off the face of the earth with a massive nuclear attack"? Now, it's "Only if we feel like it." I'm so reassured! Aren't you reassured?

Of course, if Dumbya does start flinging a few bombs around, and it starts an atomic war that leads to nuclear winter...Then everyone in the world can have the same fun that they have at Colorado's Frozen Dead Guy Days! See? There's a silver lining in every mushroom cloud!


Looking a little further at Where's George? last night, I saw that one guy had entered 124,142 bills. That would involve, I assume, at least a couple of minutes work for each bill. That would work about to approx. six solid months of Georging. Even if they guy got good enough at it that he could shave it down to 30 seconds, that's 6 solid weeks. Not counting eating or sleeping or pooping or that kinda nonsense.
The Top Ten Bill of All Time has been entered into the database a whole twelve times. I assume that the vast, vast majority of the 16 million bills entered have gone in even only once exactly a whole never times. This doesn't really strike me as an interesting hobby.

What better way to celebrate the Sabbath than by linking to Absurdities in the Bible! And people insist that this thing be taken literally? Less amusing--scary in parts, really--are the Bible's Family Values. Keep those in mind the next time some Fundie claims the moral high ground.
The main page has some nice links. Such as this one, "Divided, We Stand."

From my local paper, an interesting overview of movies on the Viet Nam War. There's also a sidebar poll on your "Favorite War Movie," with currently only 33 responses. I went with "Dr Strangelove," since there could be "surprising military developments" in the near future.


I really have nothing against Jerry Van Dyke.
That just started as a running gag on the InExOb after BIG!Lots flyers began turning up in my mailbox. I really bet that Jerry himself treats the B!L gig with all the seriousness it doesn't entail. If I saw him in person, I'd ask him for his autograph without ever mentioning "Coach," just BIG!Lots and the "Courtship of Eddie's Chicken Fingers."
Richard Roeper? Now him I HATE.
If you don't know the name, he's the replacement for Gene Siskel on the "*** and Ebert" show. I always went more with Ebert than Siskel, but Siskel was a funny guy. The best part of their show was when they'd disagree, and they'd go back and forth at each other. Whoever got the next review also got in the last word. When it was Siskel, it was frequently a funny, sarcastic putdown that still had no real meanness behind it. Ebert would laugh, and so would I, whether I agreed with him or not.
Then Siskel died. Ebert had many guest hosts over a few months. Some were okay, some were very good, one sucked. And guess who got picked!
Dick Roeper stuck out like a sore Richard, as he was the only one of the potential replacements that was not a professional movie critic, and also the only one that worked at Ebert's paper, the Chicago Sun-Times. I guess that the Chicago Tribune retired the movie critic post after Siskel died.
Look, I don't want my movie reviews from Joe Schmoe. I want someone who knows what he's talking about. I'm having my surgery done by a surgeon, not a guy who watches "ER" a lot. And that's what the guy is; he has no real knowledge of film, and no real interest in much of it. He likes it, or he doesn't, and it isn't based on any deep thinking. Hell, I could do that. If I want the opinion of the average filmgoer--I don't ask! I'll ask Kevin or Scott, who have more knowledge than me, and tastes that I can weigh against mine.
Now the WORST part of the show is when they disagree. It was a give and take with Siskel & Ebert. With Roeper, he just starts screaming, shouting down Ebert like a drunk in a sports bar arguing over what team has the best quarterback.
And he's just damned ignorant. He wrote off "Metropolis" for no other reason than that he didn't like the way the characters were drawn. The reason that I could never be a film critic is that there are many genres that I'm predisposed to dislike. But am I trying to make my living as a film critic? No. So why is Dick?
I think the thing that sums him up best was at the end of yesterday's show, titled "If We Picked the Oscars." The segment was "What I'd Most Like to See Happen at the Oscars." Ebert pointed out Robert "Gosford Park" Altman's contributions to a lifetime of filmmaking--innovation, excellence, an unwavering personal vision. Ebert wanted him to finally, at age 77and after decades of filmmaking, get a Best Directors Award. And Roeper's wish? That "Lord of the RIngs" get no awards! Because it was long and boring! and dumb and smelly and had cooties and is SO TOTALLY GAY!!
A wish from a life-long lover of cinema, and a wish from a petty, stuck-up jerk.

Umm...Actually, I only got myself started on that because I was slightly disappointed that yesterday's show was a special, rather than a regular review show. Ebert did a nice print attack on "The Time Machine," and I wanted to see some clips. Instead, late yesterday I found an even funnier dissection of the movie. I have no plans on seeing it myself (the original was boring enough, thenk yew--I remember seeing it in elementary school, and laughing at its idea that civilization was destroyed by WWIII--in 1966. Although the rotting Morlock was pretty cool).
There's a bunch of funny movie reviews on that site, but I guess that they don't update very frequently, as some of the reviews are 3 or 4 years old.

From StarChaser: "An Indian intramural basketball team has chosen a white man as their mascot to try and show how offensive it is that a bunch of teams use Indians."

Who would've ever guessed? There's a bizarre Eraserhead-Jerry Van Dyke connection.


Britney Spears is doused with buckets of human urine. Baby One More Time! Number One a Hundred Times!!

Coming out of the atheist closet.
There's this bizarre myth that capital-R Religious people are more moral than those without a belief in Gourd. If humans didn't have the fear of punishment in Hell and the promise of reward in Heaven, they'd immediately begin robbing, raping and killing. This is so demonstrably untrue that I can't believe that even those who think that Noah literally sexed a pair of dust mites for the Ark could swallow it. Is every crime committed by atheists? Europeans are much less religious than Americans--When was the last time you heard about Fundamentalist Belgians?--but their crime rates are much lower than here. Oh boy, your theory's gone to Hell!
And here's a quick checklist of how Fundie religion makes you a morally superior person:

No, Fundie, when you say that "only religion keeps people from robbing raping and killing," you mean that it's the only thing keeping YOU from robbing, raping and killing. Me, I don't have to be threatened by Santy Claus putting me on the "Naughty" list to make me realize the consequences of my actions. I don't rob, rape or kill because I know that *I* know it's wrong.
By your logic, we should abandon law and prisons. Hey, criminals are only going to spend eternity giving Satan a rim job! Why bother punishing them now?
I live my life like it's my only one. I listen to my favorite music like I may never hear it again; I make my sarcastic comments on my page because I may never get another chance; I love my cat and my friends like I may never see them after today--because I truly might DIE tomorrow. And then bang, that's all folks. I guess that the religious get hope from thinking, "Well, I'll see them again in Heaven." But how does that make them appreciate life now? "Well, she's dead, but we'll have all eternity!"
But what if you don't?
I like being alive. I may roll my eyes at idiots, but I'm the guy who *doesn't* lean on his car horn when someone cuts me off in traffic. Why raise my blood pressure and shorten what time I've got?
What's so immoral about using the Golden Rule? "Do unto others as you'd have them do unto you." Do I want others to suffer the torments of the damned forever? No. So why do they want me to, because I offend their concept of the all-forgiving God who's really into torturing ad infinitum those who don't act exactly like them?
Well, I could go on all night. This sums it up better than I could: "The truly moral person is the atheist who behaves well."


This is one of the funnier things I've seen lately: A review of Satanic Freak Brothers! Some deluded and no-doubt-teenaged worshipper of SATAN turns Super Mario into a game involving SATAN and WEED and BAD ATTITUDE. There are other reviews too, but that one's the best.

That's all I gots now, homies. Maybe more later, since I'm getting together with "the gang" at Scott's. What time, I asked? Scott answered "At MIDNIGHT the darkest of hour,its B.Y.O.B(bring your own BABY for the sacrifice)." Hmm. I think that he's been playing Satanic Freak Brothers.


You are Robert Frost
You've had your fair share of acclaim and criticism. You have the desire to share your thoughts and knowledge with others. You view life as a challenge that you are prepared for! Nature inspires you.

Take the Which Poet are You? Quiz - brought to you out of boredom and pretention!

The description fits me, but I guess that I'm just not balls-out enough to be Byron.
What's "pretention"? Before the Boy Scouts set up camp?

I could just go with the Festival of Links I've got here tonight, but I still prefer this thing to weigh more heavily on the "journal" side than the "blog."
Of course, it's already 1030PM, and so far dinner has consisted of Fritos, a beer, and a hard-boiled egg. When will Science invent those damn Jetson food pills already! So actually, I'll break with tradition, FTP what I've got now, and if you're so inclined, check at the bottom later tonight or the next time you read this. I'll make chicken in the meantime.

John Berger on John Ashcroft. "The thing that’s truly disturbing about Ashcroft is the fact that, despite his proclivity for carving out exceptions to due process and Constitutional privilege, despite his fanatically rabid devotion to his duty, despite the fact that God is clearly on his side, he hasn’t accomplished crap."

"Motorist, dummy in HOV-lane accident." By "dummy" they mean "a dummy."
The police criteria for legally being in the HOV lane is that your passenger "be breathing." Uh-oh...I'd better go get my "Weekend at Bernie's" friend out of his seatbelt...I got him real cheap from some crematorium in the South!

Believable reasons why the CIA couldn't have been behind 9/11, by a guy who doesn't like the CIA very much to begin with. "Failure of intelligence" indeed.

"Lowry makes Coulter sound like a girl," said in reference to "Batshit Ann"'s replacement at the ever-open-minded National Review for UltraConservative Batshits. This guy thinks that we can solve all our problems by nuking Mecca. "That'll show them sand niggers we means business! Hey, Clem, why don't we blows up thet Jerusalem place, just to show every religion that nobody kin mess with Americky! Hee-YUK!!"
"But Cletus...if'n we don't nuke Stonehenge too, we all gonna be up to our waders in them damn Druid terryists!"

"But to the state of Florida, the [license plate] is 'obscene or objectionable,' according to a letter Miles received last month from the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. That puts the personalized plate on the department's blacklist, right up there with epithets, expletives and words describing certain body parts."
What's the vanity plate say that's so offensive?

Saw some movies last night with "The Gang," as Scott calls himself, his g-friend, and 3 other people. First up was Series 7: The Contenders. It's a well-made indie production (set in CT!) about the logical extension of Reality TV: a group of people hunting & killing each other on camera. According to Ebert, “The movie was filmed before the first airing of a 'Survivor' episode,” which is pretty amazing. It’s like Survivor, except that the voting is done with bullets.

I like it more after thinking about it overnight. But I still think that it was severely hampered by one flaw in its conceit: That the unwilling participants are chosen by some unexplained “Government Lottery.” If you “win” by killing everyone else, you don’t get a million dollars. You’re forced to play again, until you die. This idea has no backstory, and it becomes a huge distraction because of that. Why does the Government force people into killing each other, and how does the Government benefit? Since apparently everyone in America is in this Lottery, who the hell convinced everyone in America that this was a good idea? It would’ve made perfect sense if people volunteered for this--hell, watch Springer sometime if you want to see people who’d kill to be on TV; The Contenders could be the people who would kill to be on TV! It’s such a jarring logjam in the suspension of disbelief that it draws your (well, mine, anyway) attention away from the movie. They really wouldn’t’ve had to make that many changes in what happens, anyway. It’s one thing to dream of being famous, but it’s another entirely to be famous. It might seem like a good idea when you’re unemployed with 3 kids to apply to the show, but then seem another thing entirely when you discover you’ve actually been accepted to fight to the death, and “Bloody Mama” is your opponent. And, obviously, the satire would’ve worked much better. Nobody is forced to go on the Sally Jesse James show.
That said, the thing really took off in the last 15 minutes. And if it was a MAJOR HOLLYWOOD PRODUCTION, the last 15 minutes would’ve been 2/3 of the movie, with cornball explosions and overall stupidity. So marginal thumbs up from this Splut.

Thanks to the technological wonder that is peer-to-peer file sharing, we got to see Jason X six weeks before its theatrical release. I sure had never heard of this--It’s “Friday the 13th, The Most Finallest Chapter of Them All, Unless It's the Newest Beginning Yet.” From the website:

2455 A.D.

The Earth is dead.

Once the shimmering blue jewel of the galaxy, humanity's former home is now a contaminated planet abandoned for centuries -- a world of violent storms, toxic landmasses and poisonous seas. Yet humans have returned -- not to live but to study.

In the remains of the Crystal Lake Research Facility, an archaeological class has discovered two frozen ancestors -- a beautiful woman and a hulking, rotted carcass wearing a strange mask. Their cryo-storage disturbed, the two bodies are taken to the students' ship: The Grendel.

Forget what has gone before. Welcome to the future of horror.

Check your brains at the door. Welcome to the future of “Direct to MST3K Releases.”

It's Jason Goes to Space. I immediately started crackin’ wise on how Jason and Freddie should team up to fight the Aliens and Predators (“And Chucky! And Bride of Chuckie!” Scott suggested. And Bride of Re-Animator, too!). But it really WAS that...except, umm, Jason was the Alien. The future of horror turned out to be plagiarism.
I also said "Blast Jason out the airlock" as the way to "kill" him this movie. During the credits, I think.

In the year 2008 or something, the “Crystal Lake Research Facility” (built out of dead horny teenagers) throws “Jason the Unkillable Killing Machine That Just Keeps Killing, and Killing, and Killing...” Rabbit into a cryogenic vault just like Walt Disney’s. He kills everyone before this, of course, then jabs his adamantium machete through the foot-thick vault door to stab the Replacement for Jamie Lee Curtis. Which amazingly freezes them both. Just like how if there’s a guy on dialysis, and he stabs you through his dialysis machine, you get A FREE KIDNEY!
Is there any follow-up to find out how this Army-run project got EVERYONE KILLED? With the big freezer leak? Of course not! Do they still keep paying the utility bills on the freezer for the next 400 years? Of course!

And then the Earth is destroyed by an event that destroys the Earth. It’s not explained. I personally suspect evil monkeys. I suspect that these same monkeys sneak into my fridge at night and put mold on the food that was PERFECTLY GOOD 6 months ago.
My back-up theory is that it was done by Mumm-Ra from “Thundercats.” With help from the evil fridge monkeys.
Or possibly Skeletor.’s 2455 AD and everyone got a free spaceship. Big-ass battlecruisers are used to give field trips to “an archaeological class” to romp around on the monkey-devastated Earth. Why? Crimeny. In the first 15 minutes the plot holes are big enough to eat the single one in the concept of “Series 7” a hundred times over. It's like a Plot Black Hole, sucking in everything in the movie!
So they find Jason and marvel that he’s wearing a “hockey mask!” “What’s hockey?” asks Future Victim, Queue # 8. The Robo-Chick programmed with useless sports trivia says "Hockey is a sport that was banned in 2042!" ("Oh no!" says Lilly. "This really IS a horror movie!" [Houston, we have in-joke!]) Yeah, that's a handy robot that knows what sports were banned 400 years ago. How come my PC "Help" file won't tell me why I can't find tickets to a Shakespearean bear-baiting online?
It's quickly established that in 400 years, everyone knows who "Jason Voorhees" is. However, no one, not even Chick-bot, connects "Jason" with "Hockey Mask" with "Crystal Lake" with "Bloody Machete" with "Frozen Hot Babe with Stab-Wound from Machete in her Abdomen Surrounded by Corpses Kilt by Machete Stab-Wounds." I could SO beat these guys in Trivial Pursuit, Psycho Killers Edition.

You know, when you go to BIG!Lots--don't get the "Fritos Chili & Scoops." The Scoops are good, but it all just sits there, in between the chicken and the hard-boiled egg. And you get chili-burps that smell like Fritos.

I'm sorry, where were we? Ah, yes. They take the Tasty Chick and the "hulking, rotted carcass wearing a strange mask" onboard their ship, just like you would. "Hey, are you guys just gonna leave this perfectly rancid maggot-infested hulking rotted carcass wearing a strange mask behind?! DIBS!"

The ants are nanites--yes, Nanites! I said that this was a direct-to-MST3K release, didn't I?--and they fix the Frozen Hot Chick and also a guy who got his arm chopped off by the still-frozen Jason.

Then Jason comes back to afterlife and kills everybody for an hour.

It's not a very good movie.

I don't care how much disbelief you suspend--an unkillable ...whatever Jason is, gets really boring. "Everyone will get killed except for Jamie Lee Wannabe, who will kill Jason only after several fake-out killings of Jason." The dopiest fake-out was when Chick-bot (certainly one of the Cherry 3000 models) abruptly appeared in a dominatrix outfit with giant guns and blew Jason's head off. She turned up in her lovely de Sade for spring outfit after taking about a second to change clothes and arm herself. Well, maybe robots can do that. But how come suddenly the guns--FUTURE guns, mind you, guns that have probably had to be used in bloody hand-to-hand combat against EARTH-DESTROYING FRIDGE MONKEYS--how come they finally WORK on JASON?! About ten thousand rounds have been discharged into Jason the Pincushion at this point, and all that happened is making him do the hokey-pokey. WITHOUT turning himself about, as he's JASON. Now they blow his ARMS off, they blow big WILE E. COYOTE-type body-shaped holes in the wall behind him and he falls through, then he gets HIS WHOLE HEAD AND HOCKEY MASK BLOWED REALLY VERY OFF!
Those would've been the first guns I would've used.

"Hey, guys! He's this legendary mass killer who couldn't be destroyed! So let's leave him here! I mean, we could blow him out the airlock, but we still have 20 minutes of movie left!"

"LET GO THE ANTS!" Yep, they crawl out and heal Jason and his exploded head bits.
One might point out that it's already been established that the Ants cure anything. So...why didn't they just LET GO THE ANTS! everytime someone got killed? I don't know. If the villian is unkillable, why not JUST ONCE put him up against unkillable victims?
Oh, right.
Writing that script might've been work

Of course, the Ants don't just rebuild Jason, they make him...all together now! "Better, faster, stronger!" Bionic Jason! The Six Million Body Count M--er, whatever he is. He also gets a new techno-mask! He's like a Transformer now!

Then more shit blows up. The entire ship, in fact, with Jason Austin on it.

It was actually intentionally funny in parts. Such as when the crew uses something...well, it's really hard to describe, so I think that I'll just make up a word like "Holodeck" from a thing I'll also make up called "Star Trek." They recreate "Crystal Lake 1980" on it (yes, this is a good moment to roll your eyes: they have that in their database. Do they also have a condo in Vernon CT, 2002?), and it's complete with Teenaged Bimbos. "Want to drink some BEER?" asks Boozin' Bimbo. "Or--Smoke some POT?" says Tokin' Bimbo. "OR--" they chorus, taking off their tops in what I understand is the absolute latest boobies have been shown in a Jason the 13th flick, "--Have PRE-MARITAL SEX?! We LOVE pre-marital sex!" Then Jason beats them to death in their sleeping bags while the holograms go "Ow! Ouch!"
Then, FINALLY, they blast him out of the airlock. Which--sigh--isn't enough.

Oh yeah, the incredibly indestructible spaceship Grendel FINALLY explodes (after destroying a giant space station by side-swiping it--believe me, it makes about as much sense as crashing your Geo into the Chrysler Building and driving straight through it untouched, while the skyscraper crumples to the ground). Then the next good bit comes as Freezer Burn Woman sees Jason somehow rocketing from the exploding ship to her escape pod: "You have GOT to be fucking kidding me!!" But, poor ole Jason ends up burning up in the atmosphere as he plummets to Earth. "Look!" cries a Horny Teenager on Earth. "A shooting star!" "It landed in the lake!" says her those-who-do-not-learn-from-history-are-doomed, doomed, DOOMED!!! horny boyfriend. "Let's go check it out!" And Jason's techno-hockey mask sinks to the bottom of Crystal Lake, the only place outside of the West Bank where property values go down by the hour.
I thought that that the Earth was "a world of violent storms, toxic landmasses and poisonous seas." What's with the smooching teeners? Who were dressed in early 80s clothes?

When this comes into your local theater--Skip it. Unless you want to yell out the spoilers I've told you here, just to piss off anybody dopey enough to pay to see this. I'd give it thumbs down, but my thumbs have been cut off. RELEASE THE ANTS!! BABY NEEDS NEW THUMBS!!


If you tried to click on the links marked "Ebert" and "Jason X" yesterday, and all that happened was getting jumped to the top of this page--Damned if I know why!
There wasn't a problem with the coding of the links, but they didn't work. And I tried every damn thing to get them to work. Then, today I pasted them randomly, and they worked. So I pasted them back over the absolutely identical a href=s in the editor, and they took.
No idea why it happened, or how it worked. But it did, so I'm ready next time. GI Sailor Joe Says: "And knowing is half the battle! Tee-hee!"

I forgot to mention yesterday...I went to bed a little bit later than usual, as I prefer 9 hours sleep over 7. But 7 hours is not bad. It doesn't start to sting until it's 5 hours or less.
Then I was awakened after...5 hours! By a CHAINSAW. Yes, just what I want to hear the morning after watching a Friday the 13th movie. I figured that it was the damn Phone Company sawing trees down again, as they have apparently begun a town-wide deforestation campaign and are staffed entirely by Brazilians. But it was very close to the condo. I didn't see anything from the window, and returned to bed to toss sleeplessly in the sheets.
When I went to work, they'd been using the chainsaws to decapitate the condo streetlights. The old lantern-shaped lights lay in a big pile, like heads fresh from the Guillotine.
"Come to POL POT'S Lighting Center! We've cut our overHEAD and MASSACRED our prices! We've passed a mass grave of savings on to you! Every day in our store is a Holiday in Cambodia of BARGAINS!"

The Totalitarian Clock. Like the Nuclear Scientists' "Armageddon Clock," except counting down to a different kind of Doomsday: dictatorship. They seem to be "Stop the N.W.O.!" Libertarians, but they have a good point.


Ahhhh...the refreshing prospect of four days off.
I'm taking a coupla vacay-days added onto my regular days off. I was hoping--expecting really--that given our mildest winter ever, I'd get to hit a state park or two. But the weather looks unpromisingly cold. The best day, fortunately, is the only one that I have real plans for, tomorrow. Me & Jessica are finally going antiquing in Putnam together. We always have fun, but I think that this will be extra fun.
When I asked her if she wanted to go with me, she said, "That's [her fiance] Ron's birthday weekend." Oh, okay, forget it; we can do it some other time. "No, he wants to spend the whole weekend lying on the couch watching basketball! I can do that Saturday, but I'll go insane if I have to do it Sunday, too!"
The UConn Huskies are some bigass college basketball team, so to some locals it's important. I just checked, and they won a game today 86-37. I don't know anything about basketball, but a game with a 50-point spread sounds about as exciting as a NASCAR race with one car and fifty Big Wheels. Or, actually, any NASCAR race.

I either post a lot or barely at all over vacations, but I can tell you what tonight's will be: Barely.

Me sweet ole Oirish mither came to Paddy McDrunkie's today to give me a wee loaf or two of her authentic homemade Irish soda bread. I was at the bank doing the deposit, and she was waiting in her car in the parking lot when Oi returned. "Well, you certainly get some...interesting characters here!" she said. A guy (who kept chewing on some loose change) told Shelley that some things outside the store were bombs, and that she had to call the police before they went off. Shelley told him that whatever they were, they weren't bombs, but he kept insisting that they were and that she call the cops. Finally, she went outside to see the "bombs," and he pointed at the plaza's trash cans. She gave up and said that she'd call the cops before al Qaeda blew up all our Bukoff.
Mom said, "That's when I told her that I'd wait for you in my car."

Got another bill stamped "Where's George?" with the stamp that you have to buy from the site. I punched it in, and it turns out that it'd never been entered before. Maybe it was from one of those people who've entered tens of thousands of bills. After stamping a pile, he stared at this 5 and finally said, "What the hell is wrong with me?!" Then he spent it on a 6-pack and some Fritos, which is an investment guaranteed to give you more entertainment than getting a hit on "WG?"

Not quite as funny as "Satanic Freak Brothers," but Pink Floyd The Wall is certainly even more bizarre. Hey, let's take Donkey Kong and turn him into a " hammer-shooting dancing asshole!"

Not quite as good as that "100 Dumbest Moments in e-Business" from late last Summer, but this 100 Dumbest Moments in Regular-Type Business is certainly entertaining.


"I've got the itch, and want Barker's lice powder quick!"--A Chicken

When I put in for my vacation back in January, I figured that this winter has been so not-a-winter that by Spring, it'd have to be in the 60s. And it was, a few days ago.
Today: an inch of snow. The temps will be in the 30s, and the sun isn't supposed to come out all week.
But we had a nice day for our antiquing field trip yesterday. We were thrown out of the last place we were in when closing time came, and there were still a few more places that we could've seen. We'll time it better next time.
Jessica was the real winner, scoring 3 awesome 60s handbags for a grand total of $11 (I brought my digicam, but forgot to snap a shot of her with them). I bought some crapola. As usual.

The cat is more of a cream than white, and the nose should be pink, but otherwise, this is Killsy at 3 months. What really sold me is the look in her eyes, and it's the look I'm getting right now. It's the quiet stare that means "Playtime, please!"
The little pixy on the phone just struck me as the type of crapola I always buy. So sue me.
That other thing is a highly stylized cat. It wasn't until I got it home that I realized it was a letter opener.
I also bought Barker's Illustrated Almanac. That's the cover, a jpeg too big to put right here. There's really odd 19th century clip-art on that cover, like the bow-legged freak on the left, tugging on a rope.
The Almanac is for 1919, and must've been written while World War One was still raging. Every even-numbered page is a calendar with sunrise and high tide times and etc. on it; every odd-numbered page is a weird, very busy cartoon ad for Barker's various livestock remedies. Half of them involve bloody military themes, such as this. The jovial cartoon animals in trench warfare, fighting hand-to-...hoof. Note Freddy the Pig-Sticker stabbing a bayonet into some poor demon labeled "Disease." You'll wish you still had that rifle after the War, Freddy, when Farmer Brown teaches you what "Easter ham" means! The animals also have a destroyer, a bank of machine guns, and several torpedoes (they need those, as "Microbe" and "Germ" have a U-Boat).
The ones without military themes aren't exactly paragons of sanity either.
It also contains "Reliable Cooking Receipts" (not "recipes"), such as "Grandma's War Cookies" (replace baking powder with gunpowder, replace chocolate chips with jagged shrapnel, serve via howitzer to the Hun Hordes), and how "To Pack Eggs." "Boil five quarts of water (set away to cool)--add one quart liquid glass; put in stone jar; place in as many eggs as will cover well (this amount will cover about eight dozen). Tie thick paper on top cover with a board to keep tight, keep in a cool place." That would make more sense to me if it was written in Martian. I guess that you'd do this because in 1919, you didn't have a refrigerator, but...How does this work? What the hell is "liquid glass"? Is that like "Plastic Wood," or do they mean actual liquified glass? What, no icebox, but you've got an industrial smelter lying around? I also like the fact that it's just assumed that you have a giant stone jar free.

(I just ate a hard-boiled egg--from the fridge, not the Giant Stone Egg Jug. And it's freakin' snowing again!)

Of course, 83 years from now, things we take for granted as common knowledge today will seem like they're from Mars to the average person. One sign of how much things have changed is a trivia page which begins with "The average human life is 31 years."
"A firkin of butter weighs 56 pounds." Believe it or not, I know what a firkin is--a full churn of butter. "A tub of butter weighs 84 pounds." Jessica and I want to loudly work that into a conversation some time--"This damn thing must weigh a firken!" "Just be glad it doesn't weigh a tub!"

There was a 60s baby doll in a microminiskirt that I named "Slutty Suzie." Then, I added "I mean, even you wouldn't wear a skirt that short!" Which is the type of line that when you're a friend gets a big laugh, but when you're the boyfriend gets you no sex for a week.
They had some cool mannequins there for sale--$150, which is actually reasonable (but like I have the room for something like that--plus, Madge would get jealous). One was dressed like a ho. I wanted to take her home, dress like a pimp, and slap her around. "Where mah money, bitch?!" Jess pointed out that she'd already had a rough life--all 5 fingers on her right hand were broken off. I said, "I guess that if she gives you a hand job, she charges you 50% off."

A big part of the reason that we made such slow progress was that Jess is hoping to buy a house before her wedding in a few months, and she drooled over every bit of cool old furniture we came across. We drooled together in the pizza place over a copy of Antique Homes magazine. I was looking at the website today, and found this listing. "A touch of TLC will deliver the magic to bring back the sparkle." It's a $430,000 fixer-upper? Hey, for $430,000 it'd better COME with magic sparkles!! If it costs that much, I want the TLC to be done by the band TLC! Hey, Lisa "Left-Eye" Lopez! You missed a spot! Sure, it's sparkling, but is it MAGICALLY sparkling?!
("Magic Sparkles"--Isn't that a sugar-heavy breakfast cereal?)

Forget that big bowl of Magic Sparkles--Eat like a caveman!

A helpful weekly planner.


Spring is in the air! As well as more snow. 3 inches worth.

What a boring vacation. I haven't strayed farther than the mailbox in 2 days. Just be glad I'm not spelling it out in detail here. Put it this way: The highlight since Sunday has been downloading SolSuite. When people ask me tomorrow what I did on my vacation, I'll truthfully answer "The laundry."

One of my sisters' had a nose job. But I don't think she'd go so far as to have wings implanted.

Was the Universe created by aliens? "It's conceivable that more intelligent beings -- perhaps even our own descendants in the far future -- might possess not only the knowledge, but also the technology to build universes," says Harrison. He seems to be some sort of scientific theist, believing that while intelligent life can create universes, God created the first one, since everything has to come from somewhere. This has a flaw: If something can't be created from nothing, who created God? Why not cut out one level of hocus-pocus and say that the original Universe-Prime created itself? This is about the most literal application of Occam's Razor that I've ever seen. (The Razor is usually interpreted as "If there are two explanations for something, the less complicated explanation is the more likely one." The original quote is "Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem," or, "Entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily." Or levels of hocus-pocus.)

"There's a bottle of Pert in my shower. Can it possibly compete with a new line of Extreme Hygiene shampoo? Will anyone drink ordinary tangerine juice now that Tropicana is coming out with Ruby Red Tangerine Extreme? And what teen would use old-fashioned dental floss when a Massachusetts company has Extreme String?"

Science fiction writer R. A. Lafferty died yesterday. Who? Never heard of him, myself. But I think I'll check his stuff out, based on this clumsily-English German tribute page. He had a non-sequitur writing style, bizarrely titled stories, and plots that can be synopsized as: "The story of Karl Riproar a human torpedo, whose glands were salted with Melerex-X instead of Murder-X. To the disappointment of the parents Epstein Riproar and Nastasia Hectic-Smith." Check out this demented excerpt.

Ha! I have a Lafferty story, in an old Sci-Fi Book Club release, "Galactic Empires." It's "Been a Long, Long Time." It's about a subject very dear to my heart: The room of infinite typing monkeys trying to recreate Shakespeare. You can read it here, sorta...All those " ? "s are supposed to be "--"s, and there are Google artifacts and some odd formatting, but hell if I'm gonna type the whole damn thing up.

A coupla links relating to Lafferty: A good one and a pedantic one. Nice excerpts in each from his writing, and both compare him to cartoons. Conservative ultra-Catholic cartoons. Hmm, I need to find some of this guy's stuff...


Vacation ends, sun comes out, temperatures go into the mid-50s. OF COURSE.
But I don't have to be at work until 3 tomorrow, so I can go hiking before work, right?! NO. This is a one day fluke, and it's already FREAKIN' SNOWING AGAIN. Only in New England would we get Spring all Winter, then as soon as Spring starts get Winter. BAH HUMBUG.
Way to make even worse that worst of days, the 1st day back to work after vacation: Kill Kill going into Full-Bore Mope Mode when she realizes that I'm back to working for a living. I barely made it in on time, as I spent a few minutes to pet & reassure her before I left, which seems to help. How do real parents stand partings such as this?
I suppose that real parents deal with their little partings from their young'uns by the greetings they get when they finally arrive home. A purr is worth a thousand mopes.

This seems to be just what it says it is, "Jesus is always with you." Be you simple carpet layer or humble French horn player, a butt-ugly juggler or even Ozzy Osbourne on "Unplugged," Jesus is always with you. Not that Jesus does anything when he's there, except grab your shoulders if he really likes you (the uncomfortable trucker seems to be getting one of those "I LOVE YOU, MAN!" things from a drunken Jesus). I personally think that Jesus H. should stop hanging out with cracker American suburbanites and maybe go stop the violence in the Mideast, but he's real busy helping golfers while pretending to be a lawn gnome.
The artist claims that he had no drawing experience before this divinely-inspired project, and he's pretty good in the Norman Rockwell might-as-well-be-a-photo style (which I don't care much for--If it could be a photo, why draw it?). Except for that French horn player, who apparently has his right hand stuck in the bell of the instrument. Maybe that's why He seems to be saying, "Whoa, whoa, Frenchy! Let ole Jeez show you how to toot your fangdangler, before you spray the spit valve all over yourself!"

The Gettysburg Address, Power-Point edition.

Star Chaser clears up a few things mentioned here recently:

My favorite part of "News of the Weird" is the "Least Competent Criminals" stories. Here's a funny page called Dumb Crooks. (The main page indicates that the site's author believes in ghosts and angels, but we'll forgive him that dumbness)


From the mailbox:

From Sean:

It's nice to be the expert on something. However, that's the New that featured "English as She is Spoke," and I didn't even think that "gridelin" was a real word in English.

From Mark, on "Jesus is With you Always":

Of course, the topper comes from real-life friend Scott:

What's the opposite of semiotics? Semiopathy. "Only an Australian Department of Posthumous Jurisprudence could be responsible for the sign at a railway crossing in Melbourne: 'Warning! Touching overhead wires causes instant death!...Penalty $200.' And outside the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency establishment at Fort Halstead in Kent you are, apparently, warned that 'Police Club Visitors'. Best not go there, then."


From the latest BIG!Lots flyer:
No, YOU sit in the love seat with him!!

The Toynbee Tiles.


What a wretched two days.
I woke up around 6AM yesterday. That's damned early for me. I couldn't fall back to sleep, despite several tries. So I gave up & got up. At 2PM I was back to bed, slept until it was too late to bid on a Lafferty book on eBay (which I could've had for a DOLLAR), then stayed up to my usual bedtime of 130AM, feeling groggy and unhappy all the way. It's really unusual for my sleep patterns to be so disrupted, but I didn't give it any real thought.
Today the alarm went off. I felt like HELL. The sleep disruption must've been phase one of...something. "Felt like HELL" was basically my only symptom, besides headache and dry heaves. I called out of work, slept until 445 (despite the fact that again there were chainsaws outside my window; this time, they were pruning the trees). I was in and out of bed or puking for the next two hours. Five hours later, I feel like HECK, which is bad but not as bad. I assume that I'll make it into work tomorrow. I'd rather be at work bored than here miserable.
I need to see a doctor. I never get sick, and this is twice in a month. Maybe my physicals need to be less than 15 years apart.

Lilly blogs the Oscars' pre-game show.

Six Degrees of Greasy Pig Fat: Using the All Music Guide's "similar artists" section, a guy puts Britney Spears as only 4 degrees removed from Brian Eno. Before you snicker, your precious Radiohead is only 3 degrees away.
"I have a theory that there is no artist that cannot eventually be matched to Britney as being a 'Related Artist' via transitivity. Britney now rules the music world; she is the center of all music."
Oh really. Well, let me think of a band that's the total opposite of her in style, era, and politics. The Dead Kennedys, for example.
She's only 7 degrees from them! And that's without me even trying to do this in as short a path as possible. Okay, now let's see if this is because she's the "center" or because this whole AMG thing is screwed up due to its insistence that Hanson is like Chumbawumba which is like the Mekons--Yes, that's what is, as she's only 10 degrees from both Zeni Geva and the Boredoms! Obviously, this thing works the same way that Amazon doesn't, as in the time they told me that because I bought "Space Ghost's Musical Barbecue" that I'd just love the Spice Girls. But try it with your own favorite group.
Throbbing Gristle is not really all that similar an artist to Kraftwerk, by the way.

I guess I really let myself wide open for this one, again from Scott:

Thank Gourd he only has one picture of me, or next I'll be on the World Trade Center with Tourist Guy.


I drove to work really wishing that I'd called out. Wished it more when I got to work and realized that whoever replaced me there yesterday never touched the cooler or the literally thousand empties that were waiting for me to sort. But I'm glad that I didn't; I was miserable the first two hours, but then my skies cleared and I felt normal again.
I opted to use yesterday as my Relaxing Day Off rather than eat up another sick day. I think I'll keep the remaining 4 I've got, if unexplainable X-viruses with implausible symptoms are a part of my future. So OF COURSE tomorrow, which would've been my day off, is going to be the first nice day in weeks that would've coresponded with my time off. Groovy.
But, since I wasn't scheduled for tomorrow, I can leave at 6 rather than 8, which is a real rarity. I may see a few last traces of sunlight on the way home for once.

If you were ever a fan of the Garbage Pail Kids, here's the home page of one of the main artists, including three that were too harsh for Topps' tastes (like Abe Lincoln with a Playbill in his hand and a bullethole in his hat)

"The real Robinson Crusoe loved rum more than truth, took to bestiality with the goats on the island where he was stranded, and died at sea, his untamed search for easy money halted finally by tropical fever." Goat sex? Too bad that he didn't have a Man Friday after all...

S'funny, but I seem to be getting a lot of hits from ISPs I've never seen before. I'd like to think that my verbal brilliance lights up the sky like...that big yellow thing that's hot, you know, that thing? But the News seems to be the opposite of a Roach Motel: Surfers check in, but they immediately check out! Probably some weird Googley search-effect draws them in, then they're spun away by the sheer force of Splutocity. At any rate, I spotted a hit from CyberBeach. The page has a palm tree, lit up by a beautiful...big yellow thing that's hot, in the sky, you know, that thing I was just talking about? So is the ISP in California? Florida? Hawaii?
In Canada. That's one cold, dead palm tree.

Via Kirk, a brutally funny assault on the Oscars:
"[Tom Cruise] was chosen to frankly address the post-Sept. 11 whither-the-Oscars conundrum head-on. 'Should we celebrate the magic the movies bring? Now?' Tom asked, his eyes boring into the eyes of the TV multitudes and implanting rays of total domination. 'Dare I say it?' He flashed a smirk with his robotically flawless teeth. 'More than EVER,' he hissed, laying on his most Extreme Scientological Unction. He had been commanded by the Elders to Obi-Wan-Kenobi-ize the audience into rebelieving in the importance of the obscenely superfluous Oscars. Tom Cruise is becoming the Scary Flaming Eye from 'The Lord of the Rings,' and I fear that nobody can stop him.'"
And you gotta love the author's byline: "Cintra Wilson is the author of 'A Massive Swelling: Celebrity Re-examined as a Grotesque, Crippling Disease and other Cultural Revelations.'"

Okay, I just discovered this blog, and it's my-t-fine reading for us unpatriotic traitorous Liberals who want the terrorists to already have won--in other words, who've figured out that Ashcroft's batshit. It has a .uk domain, but seems to be written by True American.

Yeah, the temps barely made it out of the 30s today, and now we have a severe thunderstorm watch. Rumbles in the sky mean it's time to turn the Pookie off. Peace Splut Out!


I got out of work at 430 today after I put away a month's worth of beer in record time, while making it all look danged purty in the process. The weather never got as warm as they said it should, so I didn't miss anything on that front. And KK was pleasantly surprised to see me home while the sun was still out. So it was a pretty good day after all.
(Since the downstairs neighbors' garage is next to mine, I've always wondered if Killsy ran to our door to greet me when it was them using the garage. I've discovered that she knows it's me and not them because when I get home, it's dark. If it's light out, she doesn't stray from the bed. Again: Smart Cat.)

Speaking of cats--"Change is bad. You know that, I know that, cats know that. The reason we have so many soothing aphorisms about change is to make us calm in the face of the inevitable.
"Humans say, 'This is all part of some larger unknowable plan.' Cats dash madly around the house and urinate in inappropriate places. I ask you candidly:
"Which is the better solution?"

Speaking of cats again, or at least those who keep them healthy, Mark the Vet is being tormented by Jesus. That damned blessed Jesus page keeps turning up! He sent this link that proves that Jesus H. really is With You Always! (I guess that my Ozzie joke was obvious, as they used it, too)

Speaking of cats, all the good little cats and boys and girls and talking gorillas and pastel-colored dinosaurs read Scott Shaw!s Oddball Comics every weekday, now don't we? It goes without saying!
(If not, please compare: InExOb, 163 episodes. Oddball Comics, currently 521 episodes)
Well, iffen we don't, there was a link today to a coolio page called theToonpedia. I've barely dug into this thing, but it looks great for anybody fascinated at some point in their lives by comic books, comic strips, or cartoons. Hey, that'd be me! For all my life!
The graphics seem inconsistent. The Bullwinkle entry's picture is terrible, while the entry for "Agent of S.H.I.E.LD." is astonishing--Yes, in the psychedelic days of the mid-60s, mainstream comic books had Jim Steranko filling the impressionable heads of tiny tots with visions Daliesque, forever warping the artistic sensibilities of the weirder children/me.
I scrolled through the alphabet (note how the fonts for each initial letter are swiped from comics! How many can you identify?) down to Z. I was happy to see Zippy there, as well as "Zot!"
"Zot!" is Scott Shaw!'s character (umm, Scott! has read too many comic books! and uses the ! a lot!), and I was chagrined, really, to remember that I never linked to "Zot! Online" when it was new. It's a total de-&-reconstruction of the storytelling method of comics. No matter how well told, every online comic I've seen is just a comic strip shoved in a scanner. Or Flash or Shockwave, which are really no different from the same techniques used in film since the Gertie the Dinosaur. I hope I'm not overselling this, but this is sequential storytelling that's really using the Web in an intuitive way; it's not a comic strip, it's a comics flow chart.
And it's a funny, exciting, glorious bit of writing/drawing. It has that trademark Shaw! stamp of a story that can combine the poignancy of Jenny's relationship with her family with the logical insanity of a world with bomb-tossing monkey-men and a cyborg villian who's so in love with Art Deco that he's chosen to make his head look like the Chrysler Building.

The thing that drove me away from buying comics 10 years ago was "DARK & GRITTY!" Yeah, that sounds like spinach that's spoiled in the fridge. Hey, Wolverine, can you and the Punisher just fucking kill each other so that comics can be enjoyable again? So that they're--uhh, "Light & Creamy" or something? But Shaw! doesn't have a cruel, nasty, mean bone in his Hawaiian-shirted body. And as a professional Sarcast, I like that. There are more important places, all of them in the real world, that need the laser eye of cynicism burning into them more than the little world of comics.

Umm...I oversold it, didn't I? Ignore that man behind the curtain! And his underlying ontological syllogisms! It's just a comic book! It's just good clean fun.
There's a preview page detailing the characters, but most don't appear in the story, which you can just jump right into and read here!

"Dark & gritty"? I forgot to mention that Zot! is "set in the far-off year of--1965!!" Yeah, Zot's lucky enough to live in the world that was imagined early in the 20th century, where you didn't just get the flying car, you got the flying boots!


Kiru informs us "Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure that Scott Shaw! (author of Oddball comics) and Scott McCloud (author of Understanding Comics, Reinventing Comics, & Zot!) are two different people. Some folks tend to object to McCloud because he considers himself to be the Messiah."
Oops! Indeed, she's right. I guess that I was thrown by the fact that Zot! Online was on Shaw!'s page, and also all those exclamation points!
Highlight of McCloud's page is the Morning Improv. He draws a panel a day, then posts it when he has a complete strip. The 3-part "Meadow of the Damned" is my favorite.

March Madness: On the road to the Final Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

On that same subject--sorta-- "If Iraq is really so evil then why did Cheney sell it $23.8 million worth of technology starting just four years ago?"

"To the believers, this science could mean the difference between a world destroying itself and a virtual utopia.
Non-believers will always consider it just another way for the weak-minded, the gullible and the idealistic to fantasize about such utopias, and aliens and flying saucers are merely the modern-day equivalents of gnomes, faeries, leprechauns and gods.
"Of course, they didn't attend the 11th Annual International Congress. If they had, they might have come away believing those ancient peoples deserved a little more credit.
"Then again, they also might have come away believing the world is crazier than they first thought."


Bleahh. 12 hour shift today, and it got crazy at the end, when the regular Saturday drunks collided with the "I'll just run down to the liquor store real quick" Easter buyers. Hey, folks--NEVER SHOP AT A LIQUOR STORE A HALF HOUR BEFORE CLOSING ON THE SATURDAY NIGHT BEFORE A HOLIDAY. We're open 12 fucking hours a day. Somehow manage to squeeze that into your schedule in the first 11.5 hours, or you're going to get stuck in a big loud line. And if you are stuck in a big loud line, don't fucking mumble when you are asked 3 times "What? I can't understand you!" and THEN bitch about how the pony-tailed guy "forgot my gin!" Enunciate, alky, E-NUN-CI-ATE!!

In the 80s I used to wear a button that said "Drugs saved my life." A remarkably large group of people didn't get the joke. But guess what--Drugs may have saved the human race's life, and I don't mean the penicillin kind of drugs: "Australian Aborigines used the nicotine-rich plant pituri to help them endure desert travel without food. And Andeans still chew coca leaves to help them work at high altitudes...Some drugs do have real nutritional value. For example, 100 grams of coca leaf contains more than the US recommended daily intake of calcium, phosphorus, iron and vitamins A, B2 and E."
BART: "Get me some Flintstones Chewable Morphine!" MARGE: "There's no such thing!"

On the other hand, culture can make you sick: A list of syndromes that occur only in certain cultures.
Is it surprising that Japan has "taijin kyofusho, a syndrome of intense fear that one's body, body parts, or bodily functions are displeasing, embarrassing, or offensive to other people in appearance, odor, facial expressions, or movements"?
My band's name was going to be "The Uranium Doped Marbles," but now I'm leaning towards "Qi-gong Psychotic Reaction."

Via Lilly:

My Bjork Song is Hyperballad!
You have an amazing song, Hyperballad! You don't have much control over your life, but you have ways to compensate. You can keep yourself happy when others do not. You are very passive, and people sometimes take advantage of you, but your tough. Stand up for yourself, because sitting is not cool.

This test was created by Zid! Visit my Livejournal zidanime or my Deadjournal nexttolastsong

Take the test HERE!

Now, go back and read the text in a breathy Icelandic Bjork voice. If you've heard her in an interview, it really sounds like her. I should transcribe that little bit in that Sugarcubes video in which she talks about a poet who told her about the television.

It's that time of year again...Time to vote in the Mysties!
Well, obviously, if it has the name "Jen White" attached to it, you should vote for it. But don't be so blatant; give yourself a week or two to read through the entries. Believe you me, there's always plenty of good readin' when the Mysties are up! Dig in, and watch out for snakes!
THEN vote for "Jen White."
(Free registration required for voting, but not for reading)