New as a thing that's Very New

"Give a man a fish, & he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish, & someday he'll harpoon you, gut you like a flounder, & slice you up like tuna steaks. If you keep giving him that fish, he'll become your slave or starve to death. This is also called 'working for a living'."--Bill Young

Vacation Day 4

Don't worry, I have no idea from what twisted inner recess that quote came from either. OK, maybe that means that you should worry.

Today was also to be the day I went to the state park, but it rained Tues. That was OK; it was my already designated Day To Do Nothing. It's the day my favorite radio show plays. Which I never get to hear anymore, as I now work every Tues (you lucky geeks who get the Net at work can tune in between 1 & 4PM here, if you like). So I defrosted the fridge (which literally requires a hammer & a chisel...How damn old IS this fridge, anyway? At least KK found it terribly fascinating to watch). Steady rain up here means it rains, it drizzles, it stops, it drizzles, it rains, lather rinse repeat. But it was pouring at 10AM & still pouring without pause at 3AM, so I decided to pass on slogging through the mud at the park & went to the movies today instead.
It was either see Frequency or Shanghai Noon. I'm a sucker for time-travel pictures, but I passed on Frequency. Every review has lauded it, but I dunno. I'm not sure if I wanted to take a risk on this cutting-edgy new Hollywood concept of a plot involving a "serial killer." SARCASM!! It's getting rare to find a movie without a serial killer. At this point, I'm surprised that Disney hasn't done a musical toon version of Jack the Ripper (Jack's sidekick: adorable wisecracking bonesaw). The trailers ran before Jackie Chan's Shanghai Noon, my IQ slipping from my cereberal cortex with each new summer blockbustin' brain-rotter. 1 was all ominous & growled:

"This Summer..."

"Prepare To Enter the Mind..."

"Of a KILLER! You goddamn serial killer obsessed FUCKS! What's with you LA freaks?!" I screamed at the screen.

Internally, that is. Inside voice, Billy, inside voice!

"...Of a KILLER!"
Whoa. Shock-a-roony.
The movie is The Cell, an idea which I'm sure was sold by some Armani'ed, latte-sucking Hollywood shit4brainz saying "There's a SERIAL THE MATRIX!" And all the Abercrombie Fitch'ed, Pepsi-sucking morons will go see it. I was also abused with trailers for The Kid, a Bruce Willis HAIR movie (NEVER SEE A MOVIE WHERE BRUCE WILLIS HAS HAIR! DON'T SAY I DIDN'T WARN YOU!!), some frat boy please-arama called Coyote Ugly (truth in advertising with that name), & Chicken Run. Billy, he like the Wallace & Grommit people that make this, but he kinda wary of clay-animated movie that really really looks like The Great Escape with chickens. And they didn't show the Bullwinkle trailer! DAMN YOU, DAMN YOU ALL TOM HELL! Oh dear, I got so mad I spelt "to" as tom. And I don't even know Tom Hell. Cardboard stand-up in the lobby: "DeNiro. Russo. Alexander. Moose. Squirrel."
Of course, I'll take the lamest trailer in the world over the ads. Especially those Pepsi Q&A for Idjits things. Q: What are the duties of a best boy on a movie set? A: 1.2 billion pounds of chocolate! Uhh, I think you got the cards mixed up there.

Shanghai Noon was...OK. I didn't see Rush Hour, but I've seen a lot of Hong Kong Jackie Chan flicks, & this 1 seemed toned down. It was really enjoyable, but not as loony as I'm used to. And the Indian Wife as Deus ex Machina...I'll grant any movie 1 impossible rescue, but when it hits the point where every No Way To Escape! scene involves it...A REAL Jackie Chan movie would've had ol' Big Nose find his own way out. While banging people in the head amusingly.

I may still go see Frequency. I hear that it addresses the 1 thing I hate in time travel stories: That this 1 bad guy, he can go back in time & fuck everything up, but when the good guys go back, they can instantly make everything Just The Way It Was. OK, that would make sense if you went back in time to 5 minutes before Bad Guy got there, then shot him in the head as he exited his time machine. But that would make for a very short story.
So blah blah blah, Bad Guy makes the Nazis win WWII, Good Guys battle Nazis, change everything to *exactly* the way it was. Huh? But if it's that easy to change it 1 way, it should be harder to change it back. Cuz you're not making things the way they were (Nazis lose war), but changing them from the altered version of Nazis Win. It's like faxing a fax. The copy doesn't get clearer the more times you send it, it gets more screwed up. I want to see the movie where the heroes switch things back, & arrive in the "present" to find they made things WORSE. Whoops, Hitler didn't conquer the world, but Stalin did! So they go back, defeat Stalin, come to the present & find that, I dunno, Joe McCarthy became President & nuked the world in the name of Democracy. So they go back AGAIN...The end of the movie would be when they finally give up & settle for a completely alien, but not all that very unpleasant, reality.
My worst example of Bad Time Travel Movie was...umm, I think it was called The Final Countdown (it starred Martin Sheen & Kirk Douglas & came out in the early 80s). This gigantic & unexplained Time Tunnel swoops up an entire nuclear aircraft carrier near Hawaii And Guess What. It dumps it the day before Pearl Harbor. Not the WEEK before, not the day AFTER, but Dec 6, 1941. And the WHOLE MOVIE is the characters debating whether or not they should JOIN THE BATTLE. And...Option #2 is, what? HIDE the aircraft carrier & a few thousand horny sailors for FORTY YEARS?! But of course, at the end they decide to prevent the massacre, & Guess What Again. Oh no, guess. That's right! That damn Time Tunnel appears out of nowhere & sucks them up & PUTS THEM BACK AT THE EXACT MOMENT THEY LEFT! WHAT THE FUCK?! That means the movie was about NOTHING! It was no different than if they HADN'T gone back in time, & I'm geting mad cuz I'm typing in CAPS again!
OK, why not skip the whole "should we alter history argument," which to me makes as much sense as Sherman's constant reminder "Gee, Mr Peabody! If the Donner Party doesn't consume the flesh of humans, all the history books will be wrong!" Why the HELL would you go into to the past if NOT to change it? "Gee, Mr Bond, should we destroy Blofeld's secret volcano base that he's using to conquer the world? He put so much work into it!" Why not skip the argument & dump the carrier right as the Zeroes come over the horizon on the Day that will live in Infamy? Wham bam, that's the end of that sneak attack. But what's next? Does FDR admit we have a time traveling nuclear aircraft carrier? It could end the Pacific War in months...Until the F15s ran out of spare parts & jet fuel. Then the carrier would be secondary--forget the advanced technology, the important thing is that every person on board knows how WWII turns out. "So, the Commies are the ones that win the war by bleeding the Germans dry, but then it's this "Cold War" for the next 40 years? Well, then let 'em die on the Eastern Front. We'll take care of our "comrades" once they've beaten the Nazis for us, heh heh! So, this "bomb" thing...The guys that run the ship's nuclear engines prly know as much about this "bomb" as our boy Oppenheimer. Let's build a few! BOOM! Auf weiderschien, Shicklegruber, & Berlin, too! Hey, Uncle Joe! Kiss your Kremlin goodbye! BOOM! Mao Tse Whoosis? I wonder how long that march will seem when we toss a few kilotons on him! BOOM! Hey, Korea! You don't fool us! Why should we wait 5 years, when we can get rid of you now? BOOM! Mexico! Yer lookin' at us funny! BOOM! BAHAHAHAHA! OOOH, what's that, Martin Sheen? Don't like our heavy-handed tactics? Hey, shoulda kept your mouth shut about the future! Slap him in irons! We'll extract what information we need later. For I am now Darth S Truman--President For Life! MUWHAHAHAHA!" (plays the Star Wars "Imperial March" on piano as daughter sings)
Now THAT might be an interesting movie. And that would only be the 1st half. But that would take more imagination than Hollywood puts into its "product."

OK, to make up for that incoherent tirade on nothing, here's a link: The Movie Abbatoir. Funny, brief reviews, & lots of them. Don't look at a movie you haven't seen, though want to, for Here Lie Spoilers.

Vacation Day 5

...And I still have 4 more left!

Re the above unwritten time travel movie: It occured to me that every big shot with access to the temporally-displaced sailors would want to know exactly what personally happened to themselves. Soon, Generals MacArthur & Patton would find out that 1 was canned by Truman over the Korean War, & the other that he died right after the war. Of course, they'd do their best to prevent their fates. MacArthur's plan to end the Korean War was to bomb China (which would've ended that war, all righty. By starting WWIII), & Patton wanted to start a war with the Commies as soon as we defeated Japan (his plan to counter the large number of Russian troops: re-arm the Nazis, especially the SS. Yeah, THAT sounds sane). So they'd make better bad guys than Truman, who's really not very scary.

On the other movie suggested above, Govynda sez:

I'd pay to see Disney's Jack the Ripper.  I nominate Anthony Hopkins to voice
Jack and Nathan Lane to voice the bonesaw.  Special appearance: Eliza Dolittle as Mary Jane
Kelly.  Jack: "Heigh-Ho!"  Kelly: "'Oo, me?  I'm a good girl, I am!"
My feet are all atingle; I went to the state park today. I noticed that the trails were all loops around a central lake, so I figured that if I took trails that led away from the parking lot & didn't repeat any, eventually I should end back where I started, in about 2 hours. I don't go walking in the woods to co-mingle with the Hu-Man, & I was glad to see only a few people near the trails--a woman with pre-school kids (they won't be in there long), & some old guy with a fishing pole (he wasn't going in at all, not with the pole & a beer gut that looked like he'd pulled his shirt over his marching band kettle drum). I'd forgotten the bug repellent, so I still had plenty of company as I hiked (though I don't think I actually got bitten--Evil Bug season is still about a month away). It was beautiful in there--green green green. The only plus to living where there's winter is that it makes me appreciate the summer more.
It wasn't "old growth" forest, as there's no such thing in CT. Up until the 50s this was all farmland surrounding small industrial cities & mill towns. When the economy shifted to service, the farms were sold to make suburbs. Any forest in this state can be easily dated by the fact that almost all the trees are the same age. There'll be a swath of 15 year old trees, a section of 30 year olds, etc. The occasional majestic 100+ year old oak just shows where Farmer Brown didn't clearcut. Gay City Park is still criss-crossed by old stone walls in now-inaccessible areas, so the State must've bought up a bunch of farms when they created the park.
It was thankfully free of both humans & their trash, but there were signs of human habitation. There was an old mill site, now just huge stone blocks that were it's foundation from whatever century it'd been built in. A collapsing wooden shed in the middle of nowhere; someone's old treehouse; a gas pipeline with "DO NOT DIG HERE" helpfully written on each post, just in case someone was hiking in the deep woods with their backhoe. Which begged the question...How'd they get there in the 1st place? Since they were marked "Algonquin Gas Transfer Company," maybe the Indians built them 500 years ago. A section marked Dept of Environmental Protection had a fenced-off area piled high with chopped-down trees & a rusting pickup truck with rusting barrels of something in its back (our DEP sucks & why, yes, we have a Republican governor). Weirdest: a lean-to made of sticks & bungee cord, atop a high boulder with a huge roll of chain-link fence (prly stolen from the DEP site, as most people don't slip that into their backpacks before hiking). The lean-to was topped with a plastic toboggon, & underneath was a tire, some rugs, & some tea lights. I haven't a clue why, folks. Satanists, I'll bet! Or tire-worshippers. Or stoners.
At 1 point I was attacked by a psychotic robin. Don't you look at me like that, I was! It jumped into the trail in front of me & fluttered back & forth screaming. I thought that it had a broken wing or something, & wanted to get away but couldn't. Nope, it flew just fine, & it was pissed, as was its mate in the tree next to me. I managed to survive unpecked, & walked a few yards further up, to a weedy meadow with regularly spaced, scraggly low trees growing. A sign warned that this was a DEP pesticide testing station. OK, maybe now we understand the mad robin. They're testing those pesticides that they used in 70s environmental-revenge horror movies. In a few months, there'll be reports of missing mountain bikers, then this 50 foot tall man-eating robin will smash out the forest to destroy the DEP. Serves 'em right, the corporate-blowing bastards. GOVERNOR ROWLAND (badly dubbed): "OH! Robin Rodan!! It is smashing my gubernatorial mansion, like it was HO scale model! Where is Godzilla to save us in our perilous hour of monsters? Hai!"
I thought my trip would take 2 hours, but well past the 3 hour mark I ended up in someone's backyard, & decided that it was time to leave. That, & the fact that the piles of dog & horse shit other park users had thoughtfully left as trail markers were now replaced by a heap of something inbetween their pile-sizes with deer prints around it (apparently all these years of doing the InExOb really *has* made me a Shit Connoisseur). That still took 45 minutes. Looking at the park map, I discovered that even with 4 hours of wandering, I still hadn't hit all the trails. And I think I walked about 12 miles.

Vacation Day 7

I have decided to be a weblog. Or as the rilly kewl say, a blog. Blog sounds like a band that sings about intestinal problems. But I want to be Kewl. Here is my "blog," I hope it doesn't harm your intestines.

Wake up.

Physically leave bed. Kill Kill goes "meerrww," rolls on her back to be petted, runs away as soon as I pet her.

Check my mail in my underwear. Umm, I mean, there's no mail in my actual underwear, I just got out of bed & never turned the computer (or "Pookie") off. Mail consists of spam. Other open window is This was a Yahoo! Pick of the Week right around the same time as the InEx, but then it was really crappy scans of Hostess Fruit Pie ads from comic books. Now it's this massive freak-out of hilarious bile. The Nintendo section makes me scream from the hilarity. Some guy on the SGML had pointed out that there was a Space Ghost faux-Hostess ad on this site, but it sucked. It mixed Sugarman's, the Makers of Meat By-Products to the Stars or such, with Jan & Jayce. It wouldv'e been much better with Moltar or Zorak. Jan was only cool--er, kewl--in that 1 60s ep with the Vikings. She was in bondage & about to be horsewhipped when SG saved her ass. And I mean that literally. Yeah, that'd pass S&P today.

Make tea, go potty. Umm, I'm new to the blogging--Am I supposed to mention bowel movements? Whatever's kewl is OK by me. I want to be kewl. I want to be loved. I want to fuck you like an animal. As long as the animal's not an armadillo. Armadillo sex is just wrong, plain wrong!

Out of the shower, so that means between the bathroom & bedroom I'll be greeted with a small white angry thing. KK knows that this transition usually means Mommy Goes Away, so she makes angry meows, then goes "brrrrip!" & runs onto the waterbed to either try to get me to play or roll on her back to be petted, then immediately run away.

I leave to go to a multi-family tag sale. The road there is 1 I haven't travelled in 10 years, when I travelled it daily. It's changed. Changed into an Ant Farm, the miserable stores/cheap apartments/stores/huge burby houses on micro-lots that make Billy's skin crawl.
Pull over to side of road. My skin crawled off, jumped out the window, & made a run for it. I cause multi-car pileup as I scamper along the shoulder with pulsing red muscles on my skinless form. BAD skin, BAD! No Jergens for you this week!

Multi-family tag sale is at an ant farm. Dinky crowded houses, so close that you can tell when your neighbor is pumping the babysitter or his kid goes "Ahem, DAD, please!" It's all little folding card tables in different driveways. I don't know what I expected, maybe a big carnival with clowns on stilts & performing monkeys doing "Cabaret," but I do not stop. The houses, the houses! Ant farm, ant farm! Must--escape! Want to live--in Sea Monkey Castle! With beautiful Sea Monkey wife with big shrimpian hooties!

Go to work, which is in the most anty-farmy part of the tri-county area, to get my paycheck. Shelley is exiting the store as I enter, & I yell "Good EEEEEve-ah-ning!" which is this hilarious thing we say to each other cuz this 1 time, this guy said it to us. Hey, did I say that YOU'D find it hilarious? Screw you, Hu-man! I command thee--Cease the reading of my Blog! Thy, in thy unworthiness, are not worthy of the reading!

LOSER! You can not stop reading my Blog! You are powerless in my grasp! Bah-hahaha! Fetch me more wine, you waddling toad!

Deposit paycheck at the Stop&Shop ATM. Decide to go antiquing a few miles up the road.

That led nowhere.

Go to Blockbuster, which is built in an old bank that I think was previously a nuclear missile silo or impregnable bunker that Hitler died in, as it's this squat, ugly, metal-roofed building that looks like it goes 5 stories underground. They are having a used video sale. They have many hundreds, nay, thousands! of used videos. I have actually heard of scores, nay, half-dozens! of the titles. And I watch Ebert every week. And channel Siskel daily. I do not want to buy these videos. I do not wish to RENT these videos. I do not want to know that they EXIST.
Jodie Foster is playing on the video screens when I enter, & I instantly know that it's a scene from "Contact." The chick behind the counter is this short blonde Fosteresque babe, but I do not use the perfectly good pick-up line "Heeeyyy, baby! Can I buy YOU used? I'd sure like to 'Contact' your space-spanning wormhole!" cuz by now she's heard those. I'd kill Reagan to win her love, but at this point, how hard can THAT be? Just disconnect the auto-drain on his chin-mounted drool-catcher, & he'd drown in his own juices.

Greeted at home by the Small White, who eagerly sniffs the mail. Sorry, no Friskies samples, but let me get some...oh Gourd...some nice fresh...UGH...Friskies Tuna with..PHEW!...Egg Cat Food. Extra stinky, just for you! *GAG* Cats, they love the stinky food.

Back to the Web while I look through the mail. A coupon book puts the lie to something I'd thought just days before, when I was looking for state park info: "Every business should have a web page!" It's! This is about 1/4 mile from where I live. Good food, but I don't know what would embarass me more: Having a 2-year-old page with 543 hits, or having 1 with 2-year-old mispelings in every other paragraph. The seafood pot pies are made with..."shrip"? And there's an online coupon that expired last Veteran's Day. The last time I was there, they were selling T-Shirts that had TASTY CHICK emblazoned on a chicken-skin yellow background. Just the thing for that attractive young female in your life who has no sense of shame! I think I'll get 1 for Jodie at Blockbuster. "Hey, Tasty Chick, last night I was thinking of you & I busted both my blocks!" No, wait, that's too subtle.

What, am I your fucking stopwatch?! Just guess at the time, waddling toad! And where's my wine?!
n/p: "Little Green Bag" by George Baker Selection, on--8-TRACK! Mid 1970s, bag of something green--Oregano, prly.

2 freakin seconds later
Reheated the Pizza Hut thin slice pizza I got from their hut of pizzaness yesterd
This sucks. The cat doesn't have to update a blog every few minutes! She sleeps on her back in the sun & eats stinky food & chases moths! She doesn't know from blogs & webcams of corn growing & the Tasty Chick website! She lives in paradise! BAH!

This is the part where the punchline goes.
"Screw you" is our punchline. I told you to stop reading this half a page ago. I'm gonna roll on my back in the sun now.

Vacation Day The Last

I just checked the page, & it got 16 hits since Sat. And I'll bet that every one is from this page. Maybe they'll update it now that they got this surge that's 3% of their total hits in 2 years.
Yeah, right. I'm willing to bet that if you look at my Sisto page, there's a NEW! .gif on something that's been there since Thanksgiving '98. I can't even answer email in less than a week.

Sun I went to "Southern New England's Largest Tag Sale!" in Colchester. It was such a waste, I can't even say anything interesting about it. Except that if you put up a booth for your storm-gutter cleaning service, it's prly not gonna get the attention that the Beanie Baby booths do. But it'll still get more than the Burn In Hell booth. "What ARE the THREE REASONS that will keep you from HELL?" I didn't ask. Maybe the giant poster of NYC in flames was off-putting. Worst part of the sale: Woman screaming Jazzercise instructions while bad, bad country/disco music played & a group of red-faced sweaty people boogied about. Their pop-eyed, bloated faces pretty much said; "It's 95 freakin degrees out with 75% humidity! Oh God, please let this just END!" It's the exciting new Heat Prostration Diet! Guaranteed to shed all those unwanted pounds! Also the wanted pounds. It's easy to lose weight when you collapse & die!

Next stop was the Willimantic flea market, which couldn't be any worse. It wasn't much better, but I did buy 4 old copies of Popular Mechanics. Leafing through, I can safely say that there'll be an Ob or 2 out of these. I flipped through 1 & saw this 20-year-old hot chick. Oh, MAMA! Then I realized that this was printed in 1948, so The Babe is now either 72 or worm food. Ewww, either way. "Where Will You Park Tomorrow?" is the cover story, & they mean where you'll park your personal helicopter. Everything in the Future looks all futurey if it's '48, but even then I would've thought readers would've found it odd that everyone still dresses like it's '48. Except--1 man is not wearing a hat. FREAKY! He's the parking attendant at the Helicopter Lot, which can hold 2 whole choppers & is splayed directly over an intersection. It has a stop light dangling from it, & it's an ancient birdhouse-shaped model. That'd be like picturing the Man of the Future using a cell phone with a dial on it & a satellite dish strapped to his forehead. Oh, yeah--there's a big article in it about the 1 & only flight of that hi-tech wonder, Howard Hughes' stupid giant "Spruce Goose" plane. But here it's breaking news.
What comes to mind when you read this 1961 title? "TV Hit From A Cartoon Factory." Yep, Hanna Barbera. A caption mentions that, in the wake of their runaway hit Huckleberry Hound, next season they're doing a show called "The Flintstones." A 1959 issue screams "RACE TO THE MOON: Are the Russians Ahead?" & pictures the 2 stupidest-looking space ships ever drawn. They look like giant dildos that double as golf-ball carriers. The Russian 1's all red, of course. Red like SATAN! Or his golf balls. 007: "Hmm, Slazenger 666." This issue is notable for the number of mail-order gun ads. They all claim to offer "protection," but they're all pocket pistols, the kind you shoot point-blank against someone's head & then steal their crack. The .22LR Derringer ad drools that it was "used to assassinate President Lincoln" in the 2nd sentence. And just a few years later, Lee Harvey O made his famous mail-order gun purchase.
The 67 issue was like every other 1 of these ostensible DIY mags from that era--There's *always* some ref on the cover to the latest wonder weapon we were using to win the war in Viet Nam. This time, it's the damn battleship New Jersey, to this day a floating embarassment & tribute to America's collective problem with its penis size. Right after this is a brief article on some forgotten old TV show called "Star Trek." Interesting thing: a medical team used "the 'beep' that the Enterprise crew uses in connection with their portable communicators" as a signal "instantly recognizable by doctors who carry small pocket receivers tuned to their emergency call service." that why they're called "beepers"? And were the MDs able to use the thing without yelling "I'm a doctor, not a [fill in blank]!" Funniest: That the crew uniforms were based on "actual NASA designs for long-range missions." NASA once had that high an opinion of velour turtlenecks? Though I can picture some nerdy NASA types deciding that the long-range missions should have really hot female crewmembers wearing miniskirts, hip boots, & black thigh-high stockings. There was prly a long debate on the effects of weightlessness on bra-lessness that day, too.
I bought that issue cuz of the cover story "My LSD Trip: A non-cop, non-hippie report." I haven't read it, but there's a sidebar involving the experiments of Dr Shagass (soon to be the villian in Austin Powers III). CBS had a special on LSD a few years ago that mentioned this guy: he was a psychiatrist that would give monitored acid trips to alcoholics. He had a phenomenal success rate, something like twice what AA achieves. AA requires that you keep going to their meetings; this guy did twice as well in 1 session. This was the lead report on the CBS show. I thought that, yeah, it's the 90s, it's about time we had a balanced look at drugs. But of course the rest of the show was Drugs Are Bad. My fave part was when some ex-acidhead decried the use of LSD. "When I see you, I don't so much see a man, as I see a bunch of colored dots in the shape of a man," he said, explaining his tragic inability to watch another 3D movie ever again. "It messed my head up permanently, & I only did it for 3 years!"
"How many times did you do it?" asked Dan Rather, internally shuddering at the thought of the time he tripped on acid & hallucinated getting the crap beaten out of him cuz he couldn't tell Kenneth what the frequency was.
"Oh, about 500."
WHA-A-A-T? (gets out pocket calculator) 3 times 365 divided by 500--EVERY OTHER DAY?! You tripped your brains out every ALTERNATE DAY for THREE FUCKIN YEARS & was surprised when it AFFECTED you? Listen, Mr No Synapses Man, if you ate a bottle of Flintstones Chewable Vitamins 500 times in 3 years it'd fuck you up! "When I see you, I don't so much see a man, as I see a modern stone-age kinda guy. With really weird stubble. When I walk, I keep passing the same window, lamp, & chair! I have to start my car with my feet, & my garbage disposal is a wise-cracking pig! It was DINO, man! I shouldn't've taken so many DINOS!!"
Don't take the brown acid. Or the green Wilmas.

Oh yeah, this is funny, & it's for real: Bill Gates' testimony. Note his clever use of the "Reagan Iran/Contra Defense," the 1 where you simultaneously sound like the world's worst liar & the world's biggest retard. The judge frequently sounds like he's ready to throw the book at Gates. The Bible, a volume of the Encyclopedia Brittanica, any book light enough to throw but heavy enough to crack Gates' skull open, spilling 1s & 0s everywhere. Fave bit: the utter non-sequitur of the founder of a globe-spanning computer empire isn't sure about the way email prints out.


I rang up 10 customers in the time Shelley rang up 1. She's not slow, but the customer was. He paid his $7.71 bill with a check. The numerical amount part he filled out for $17.71. The written-out amount he made to 777.17. He then had to start a new check. He filled it out for 17.71 again. Shelley explained "Here's where you put the date--here's where you sign your name..." By now, she had a Bad Feeling about the whole thing, & asked me to OK the check. His ID was a driver's license that expired 9 months ago. I turned him down & tried not to laugh out loud at his t-shirt. It read "Yes, I Am A Rocket Scientist."

At the opposite end of the spectrum: My 1st sighting of an actually appropriate "FEAR THIS!" sticker. It was on a Driving School Car.