NEW 2.3

"Filibuster vigilantly!"
--They Might Be Giants


When the going gets tough, the tough listen to old TMBG albums.
While I think that the lyrics to "Birdhouse in Your Soul" are brilliant & quite singable, after 11 years I still have no clue what that song's actually about.

My grandparents had this hi-tech thing in the 60s. The 1st clock radio. The Longines Symphonette.

BFD: Beautiful Frickin' Day. Maybe the last 1 of the year *effusive sigh*
So I did the Grand Tour of Gay City State Park today. 2.5 hours, 7.5 miles. The trees started getting leaves 2 weeks later there than they did here in the Spring, and they've lost those leaves 2 weeks earlier than the trees here, only 2 towns over. Odd.
Odd & painful to the feet. Can't see the many rocks on the trail when they're covered with leaves.
But beautiful anyway. The weather's been consistent for a month: Sunny & 70s Tuesday to Saturday, cloudy & rainy & low 50s every Sunday & Monday (can you pick my 2 days off out of that?). Last Monday had a wind chill of 36 degrees. I love my dinky little state, except for the weird weather.

I find it less than reassuring that the Government is so sure that it'll smack down the Taliban & snag bin Laden that they're already talking about who'll rule Afghanistan next, when they can't find some froot loop in Trenton, NJ, who's mailing anthrax in clumsily wrapped envelopes. Christine B. sends this link that she calls "cute" but actually is reassuring: "Experts Debunk Bioterror Risks."

Possibly the bluntest answer to the "Why do they hate us so much?" question. (Answer: We don't hate Americans, we hate your bullying Government & rapacious megacorporations) Contains at least 1 factual error--that Bush gave the Taliban millions in War on Drugs aid (hey, I bought into that, too) & I've noticed that every article that mentions how many Iraqi children have been killed by the sanctions has a different total. But it's worth reading for context, & for the fact that the Mass Media over here refuses to address these questions. It's not unpatriotic to question the Government's actions. It may save lives the next time.
I've already picked the next in America's long line of "sleazy dictatorships that are our friend, then become our worst enemy du jour." The list includes Iran, Iraq, Panama, Afghanistan, & next will be Pakistan. I don't think that on 911 the second most Fundie leader after the Taliban Pervez Musharraf's heart grew 3 sizes that day. He's playing us for markers to be used against India. And you should be worried that Pakistani extremists killed 40 Indians in a terror attack in Kashmir last week, & that India retaliated just as Powell landed in Pakistan. That article linked above & written 12 days ago, says "India...has so far been fortunate enough to be left out of this Great Game. Had it been drawn in, it's more than likely that our democracy, such as it is, would not have survived." And now they're in the Game.
World wars are made from such things.

Sanctions: How STUPID. The idea is that the people of a country will suffer under them, & then put pressure on their leader to back down. Yeah, that'd work against New Zealand or some other democracy, but it sure ain't gonna work on a dictatorship. You actually have to give a shit about your people before it'd work. In a country where you get tortured or killed for complaining about the Leader, it's worse than useless. Why? NO ONE cares about politics when they don't know where their next meal's coming from. And it gives the Leader a perfect excuse for everything that's wrong in the country. "The American sanctions!" If Iraq was keeping your dying spouse from penicillin, would you blame Dubya or Saddam?
If sanctions work, explain why Castro's still there, 40 years of sanctions later.
We occupied Nazi Germany & Imperial Japan. We fed them. We clothed them, we healed them. We rebuilt their countries as democracies. We showed them that we were NOT a Great Satan. We didn't just keep dropping bombs on them for another decade, letting Hitler & Tojo live & pretending that they would magically see the error of their ways if we made enough of their oppressed people suffer & die.
Iraq lost the Gulf War. Saddam won it. His power over the Iraqis is greater than ever. He'll die of old age in his sleep. Good work, Bush Sr. And Clinton, too.

Some notes spelled L-I-T-E:

I watched TV yesterday! No, I did! I wanted to watch the Ebert show I THOUGHT that I'd taped, but they changed the time of that & I got "Showtime at the Apollo" instead. But "Emperor's New Groove" was on. Wish that I'd known. I saw 3/4s of it & it was funny, despite having David Spade as the voice of a llama. Jackass would be more appropriate. "Konk" was the highlight, as the least effective Evil Henchman ever. Good cook, good squirrel translator, lousy henchman.

Kill Kill is asleep in her wine crate. Her legs & face & tail are in a knot tighter than the ones depicted in "Survive Safely Anywhere." Cuteness abounds when KK's around!

Thank you, BIG!Lots, for carrying Millwheat RSVP Onion & Garlic Snack Crackers! They are good, & luckily the onion & garlic odor will be ignored by Killsy. That Friskies Salmon Dinner she just et is now officially THE stankiest cat food in the world.
But why are these crackers so good? Ah! Because they're Canadian! Only goodness flows from Canada!
Except for back bacon. That shit's just gross.

More from Christine:

"I'll paraphrase (probably illegally, but hey, I'm a rebel) from a company wide security alert today:

"When opening mail or packages, be wary if the item is:

Take the following steps if you feel you've received suspicious mail at work: Now, I don't know about the rest of the secretaries and assistants in the world, but the FIRST thing I do when I get a stained, lumpy package is lick it to see what the stain is. Sometimes we even pass it around and play "Name that residue". After removing the contents of said package, it's usually rubbed all over our bodies, then all over our bosses chairs, then placed in their inboxes. It's S.O.P.! Yeeeeeeah.

So my fellow prisoner, er, coworker and I were joking with her boss, an attorney, about the new procedures for handling mail (though they failed to provide us with HAZMAT suits, I'm suing), and he quips that we assistants are the "first line of defense to protect the important people". Of course this prompts elaborate plans for a statue or monument in our building's plaza.... The Tomb of the Unknown Assistant.... killed in the line of duty, licking lumpy, smelly packages for her boss. Her tongue will be missed. She took one for the team.

However, I failed to realize that one of the smoking sections already in the plaza IS a memorial!!! About two dozen employees were killed in a plane crash several years ago, en route from a conference. An entire department was literally wiped out at that point. I figured it was just an elaborate smoking section, and not being a butt-head, I never wandered close enough to read the names of the employees lost on the flight that had been etched into the marble.

Talk about foot inserted in mouth. I recovered by quipping that "my inappropriate humor quota has officially been filled for the day, thank you all for participating. Satan will be pleased."

As for a survival kit? Coca-Cola, milano cookies, and a certain appliance that is similar to Luna's Hello Kitty phone... except it's not a phone :)
I'll survive for years."


I'm late in posting tonight, as I found too much stuff to read. Stuff that made me stop reading it as I was reading. Stop & fret anew.
In increasing levels of what is either paranoia, or questions no American wants to confront:
"I don’t know about you, but I’m having difficulty understanding how my going to Disneyland or the mall or out to dinner is going to do a damn thing toward resurrecting a stricken economy or making the world safe from terrorists. "

"The US, founded to protect basic freedoms, is now insisting that its critics are its enemies."

"Another piece of serendipity for Bush - The War on Terrorism is expected to go on for years and years. So more then likely, the audit [of the Florida votes] will never be read, its results never made public. His legitimacy never challenged."

"One, there is the premise that what this de facto administration is doing now is a 'response' to September 11th. Two, there is the premise that this attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon was done by people based in Afghanistan. In my opinion, neither of these is sound."

"So who benefits? The answer is obvious and very disturbing."

I'm not saying that I agree with all of that. But you should think about what you're being Told. And I do agree that if your only news source is owned by a giant corporation, you're just a deluded fool who'll jump every time that they jerk your strings. TV networks owned by conglomerates with heavy bottom-line interests in defense spending? And they're telling the truth, 100% of the time?


From Luna's buddy Kiru:

"I had a survival kit. It consisted of: the rationale being, if I'm dead, what do I want to have been doing with my last moments? Why, drawing, of course.

Then I realized that was more of an oh-fuck-we're-going-to-die kit. My survival kit would be this:

A sketchbook
A pencil
black pens
coloured pencils
plastic eraser
Preacher 1-9
a month's supply of water.
That's how I survived all summer, so it'll probably work in a crisis, too.

Kiru also sent a Birdhouse picture:

Let's see...
Blue canary in the office by the lightswitch...check
Nightlight/little glowing friend...check
A picture opposite me of my primitive ancestry, which stood on rocky shores & kept the beaches shipwreck-free...Check! But where are the screaming Argonauts?

Among today's spam:
I KNOW THE FUTURE! from a psychic. Did you see the part where an obscure webpage goes '"HA HA U R A BIG RETARD!GAY FAG LOOSER PSIDEKICK! I PRINT OUT YOR EMAIL & USE IT 4 TOILET PAPERS! ON MY STANKY ANUS!!!!!!
No, I'll bet you didn't. Please use that as a subject line next time, & then I'll read your scam-spam.
"Bio-Chemical GAS MASKS . -| !/* As Low as $59"
" . -| !/* "? What the hell smiley is that? Is it a smiley with a gas mask?
"What does heightened alert mean? What can we do to protect ourselves?
In countries in constant state of war alert, gas masks are a must against biochemical airdisbursements.
A suicide terrorist can find many ways to disburse biochemical agents such as Anthrax gaseously. You want to be ready when it happens."
Yeah, "gaseously"! A suicide terrorist could sprinkle it on his BEANS!
Wait--Not "anthrax," but "Anthrax"? That's a BAND! Anthrax's gonna gaseously disburse their next CD? What, are they playing the colon tuba now? Now THERE'S a way to beat Gnutella MP3 copying! "Dude--The new Anthrax album STINKS!"
"Playing the colon tuba"--I just made that up right now, in my own head brain! (TM) Bill the Splut!!

I haven't tried these yet, but they sure look cool! Atari rules!


Chilly, windy day under a cobalt-clouded sky. Fall. Really. Sucks.

"How are you?" I said to a customer.
"Oh, better. I was sick in bed for a month!" Then he started pulling stinking, wet empty beer cans out of a garbage bag.
Hey, thanks. I'm fine! Until NOW.
I boiled my hands afterwards.

Hypocrisy is bipartisan: For 5 weeks Congress urged Joe Average to fly planes, spend money, & "return to normal," so as to not show any fear to The Evil Terrorists. Now the House of Representatives decides to take a week off--with pay, of course--as they're all ascared of the anthraxes. The unweaponized, noncontagious anthrax sent in obviously suspicious envelopes. We'll show those terrorists that we can't be frightened! In the meantime, the Government is closed. We're not ascared! Not so long as it's you little, unimportant Americans that are being threatened.
Hey, the House knitted you a sweater. It says "KILL ME, NOT MY CONGRESSMAN" on the bullseye.

Asholecroft says that anthrax hoaxes are no joke! Embarassingly, two of the bigger hoaxes have been here in my state. But people forget that there has been Fundamentalist terrorism in this country before--when Christian Fundies shot at or blew up abortion clinics. And then a Republican president named Bush did nothing about it. Any guesses as to how vigorously Ashcroft will prosecute the sudden wave of anthrax hoaxes at abortion clinics? "Not at all" sounds reasonable. Just like how we'll destroy any government that sponsors terrorist attacks--unless it's Pakistan in the Kashmir.

I'd rather see a misguided peace rally (uh, any actual suggestions on how we could negotiate our way out of the war, hippy guys?) than some crypto-Nazi killemall bullethead gleefully hoping for genocide in a war he knows/just thinks he's not going to be at risk in. But here's a good opinion on what the Left should not be doing, & what it should.

Yes, once again it's Abrupt Segue Time!

"Poker" is one of Kill Kill's nom du chat's in her list of "My nicknames are legion." As she loves to poke around. Throw a bag on the floor, & a second later, her head's in it. But throw an empty Iams cat food bag down, & she's just lost. Staring at it, sniffing it, looking at me, meowing. It must smell like some sacred temple into which she's not allowed entrance.

Now playing on the radio: Aaron Copland's "Lincoln Portrait," a very moving patriotic piece. Freedom is what the country's supposed to be about. But not moving when the text is read by Willie Stargell, an ex-baseball player. Dude..."said" is not a two syllable word!! Did you get beaned a lot?

Real funny Funny Paper this week. If your name has both "Kit" & "Splut" in it, page down about 2/3s of the way, to the picture near the "Dilbert" entry.


It's NO SEGUES AT ALL night!

What REALLY happened on Gilligan's Island?!

Uncle Sam the Dancing Bug.

Funny, sleep-deprived Lileks' view of the Teletubbies: "blubber-arsed schmoos with the voices of child-molesting clowns."

Lileks mentions anthrax worries, but Kirk has a link on why you shouldn't worry about stupid shit: "This stuff works based on your body weight, what a crop duster uses to kill bugs won't hurt you unless you stand there and breathe it in real deep, then lick the residue off the ground for while. Remember they have to do all the work, they have to get the concentration up and keep it up for several minutes while all you have to do is quit getting it on you/quit breathing it by putting space between you and the attack." The guy seems to know what he's talking about, but he does get nearly chipper over the odds of escaping a nuclear attack. Put some newspaper over you!

I read this quote late yesterday: "People who are willing to give up freedom for the sake of short term security, deserve neither freedom nor security." What? Saying that so-called "civil liberties" are more important that the illusion of safety?! He must be some anti-American, unpatriotic traitor! Who does this Ben Franklin jerk think he is, anyway? Somebody on the 100-dollar bill?!

Stop it, criminals! You're embarassing my state! You'd think that "casing a bank" to rob it might involve actually checking as to when they're open. You'd think that it might seem important to check the SECOND time you get there after closing.

Christine sends a paranoid link on a company that looks to profit big time over the anthrax scare. Despite being sleazy incompetents.

She also demands Kill Kill pictures. Which is odd, as I thought of putting 1 or 2 up tonight anyway. From the primo kitten stash of pics!

Trying to get mommy's attention away from that stupid Pookie!

And it worked--back when she did this, she'd always hit num lock & key lock, rendering the keyboard useless.

It's those ears that get me. They must've been half her body weight 2 years ago. And as the rest of her grew, they never got any bigger.


Tain't got much tonight.

MILLIONS WILL DIE IN A TERRORIST BIOSTRIKE! according to this guy who saw some drawings that were on a page done by an Arab. Note how the "clear drawing of the Pentagon" has 4 sides. Ya see, bin Laden is using this guy's drawings--done years ago--to communicate with his followers. The yellow plant CLEARLY means mass death by germ war. As does the ...other yellow thing. The "mask-like figure." See for yourself.

When heightened security meets Ameriduhian stupidity: A guy is kept off a plane because his book has a picture of a hand holding dynamite on it (what, not a box cutter?). And it only gets more ridiculous. I suppose that the 2nd time, they were suspicious because that book had a vaguely Arab-sounding nonword in the title.

I gotta plug my pals: An article by Kirk Israel on a C64 game. There is a download.

A movie that I really want to see. As the old opening titles to his TV show said, "Read Gene Siskel--Trust Roger Ebert"!

Ann "Batshit Insane" Coulter has another brainfartstorm: Defeat the terrorists by deporting a million Muslims to somewhere or other. Interesting, that you have to be intelligent to be a Liberal columnist, but it's pretty much required that to be a conservative one you just have to write down what your inner 12-year-old says out of its ass. But I guess that it's not nice to make fun of people like her.


I didn't look all that carefully at that "people like her" link above until after I'd uploaded the last entry. Sure, it's goofy, like how the kid grows 3 feet & gains 100 pounds between panels 1 & 2. But that pic above is just plain creepy out of context. The future of America?

Apparently, the correct quote is: "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."-- Benjamin Franklin. Thanks, Star Chaser!

Went antiquing today. Bought a tiny planter in the shape of a little white cat & planted chamomille in it. When that grows, a little white cat will nibble it away. Nice closed-system loop.
One store had a little Grateful Dead themed mirror in it. It caught my eye, as it wasn't framed & had no hook on the back, so it couldn't be used as a wall mirror, but also had no handle, so it couldn't be used as a hand mirror. Oh, wait--It's a coke mirror! Mass-produced with a band's logo on it. You don't see marketing decisions like that anymore.

No fun links today, just serious ones.

Our next "best friend that becomes our worst nightmare" might not be Pakistan, but Saudi Arabia. Always presented as a pillar of stability by Washington, it's in a worse position than Iran was in 1978: "corrupt, alienated from the country's religious rank and file, and so weakened and frightened that it has brokered its future by channelling hundreds of millions of dollars in what amounts to protection money to fundamentalist groups that wish to overthrow it.
"The intercepts have demonstrated to analysts that by 1996 Saudi money was supporting Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda and other extremist groups..." Hey, I thought that we were going to pound any government that supported terrorism--so far it's only a war against Afghanistan.
...And let's hope that, now that it's entered the ground phase, it's over soon. Not that I have any expectation that it will be. But I hope so for the sake of us here on the home front (or is this the front line?), more for our troops on the ground, & especially for the innocent in Afghanistan. The Afghan winter begins in a few weeks, & mass famine will begin if this is still going on.
Read that article--It just keeps getting scarier, and it's from the New Yorker, not some paranoid website. As someone says in it, "It's time to start facing the truth. The war was declared by bin Laden, but there are thousands of bin Ladens." Mass death among Afghani civilians will just create more bin Ladens among the survivors.
Of course, Ann Coulter would just say "Then let's kill the survivors!"

Sanctions might actually work in this case--except that they're being applied by Americans against Americans, for exercising free speech. Death threats are briefly mentioned. This is not the free country I want.

On that same subject, free speech, here's a short op-ed piece on the role of journalists.

From Snard: What are your Constitutional rights worth in wartime? Not much. A bit dry of an article, but it makes the interesting point that Lincoln violated the Constitution by suspending habeus corpus, but he also did it again with the Emancipation Proclamation.


A cold, rainy day in early Spring is almost preferable to a warm, sunny day like today in early Autumn. In the Spring, you know that warmer days are ahead, but in the Fall, you never know which one will be the last one.
For the next six months.
It was a beautiful day in the state park, despite predictions. Friday's said Monday would be rainy; Saturday's said rainy then cloudy, Sunday's said mostly cloudy, but that's not what Monday decided Monday would be. It's nice when the forecast errs in my favor.
But in the 5 minutes it took me to bundle up the laundry & head for the communal washer, it went from 5% cloud cover to 100%. The plus side to living in this little rathole of a condo is that it faces due west from the crest of a hill, & the sunsets can be spectacular. The downside of working until 8PM every day/night is that most of the year, I see 2 sunsets a week. Seems that I won't be seeing one tonight.

I'm making the best money I've ever made, but old habits from my 18 months of unemployment, at the worst of the last recession, die hard. Did you know that laundry dryer sheets can be used repeatedly? When they start to wash out, just use 2 or more old ones together! I emptied out the lint trap from the dryer, and...uh...took 5 sheets lying in the trash can. They're still good! I'm recycling, not just half-Scottish!
What I didn't know was that cats--or at least one cat--loves dryer sheets. She just rolled all over them, rubbing her face on the pile & purring. I made sure that she wasn't so ecstatic that she ate one. 15 minutes later, she's finally come off of them to sleep her Downy buzz off on the waterbed.

A cover story in USAToday's Mcpaper Saturday was about the children left orphaned by the WTC attack--2,000 of them (if the number seems high, most were from single-parent households). I got 2 paragraphs into it, then had to put it down. It was just too painful to think about, let alone read. But here's a story of a little survivor with eight lives still to go: An injured cat that survived 3 weeks amid the destruction right across the street from the WTC.

Funny review of the new Michael Jackson album, by someone who hasn't even heard it.

Gotta plug my pals--even if it seems to be the same damn guy: Kirk gets yet another dream done in Slow Wave. Hey, is that Kill Kill in the 3rd panel? (Prly Mo's cats)
Well, ha ha Kirk! I'm on a page today too! Umm, because I wrote it & put it there, before I saw yours. And apparently I forgot to put the words "that big" after the word "all." Actually, don't look at that. It's only 68 words about local cheeseburgers anyway.

I'm kinda bummin' over losing my Stop & Shop grocery card. By "mine," I mean "the one I found on the floor that was someone else's, screwing up the database that they're building on both of us in order to sell said database to someone else." Now I have to use mine--as in "really mine"--to get the sale prices (or switch to Shaw's, as I found 1 of their's on the floor, too).
Last night I used Ad-Aware to check my computer for software that does the same thing, compiling my surfing habits into a saleable list. It found 55!! items related to spyware. Almost all were from Gator or Comet Cursor, 2 programs that I didn't want that were downloaded with programs that I did--and both of which I uninstalled immediately. No matter how many roaches you squash, there's always more.
Small file, quick download, finds the roaches, does the job. Get yourself a copy, too.

"Beware the consequences in Afghanistan," from a journalist that's been covering the country for longer than the last 6 weeks. "Unlike the bombing, this is the only sort of international action that will make a difference."

Seanbaby has 2 modes: Painfully funny, & painful. When I saw that his latest subject was his pet peeve, retarded lawsuits, I knew which mode it'd be. "I'm somewhat of an expert on lifeguarding. I've seen several commercials for Baywatch, and over a hundred Baywatch-like layouts in pornographic magazines. Not once have I heard of lifeguards being trained to fight sharks. Sending two unarmed lifeguards out against a three ton fish monster would be like your fries launching themselves at your face to save their cheeseburger friend. It would be like a fireman trying to headbutt out a man covered in napalm. Sure it's brave, but a brave napalm-covered shark-bite victim is scraped up with the exact same shovel as a pussy napalm-covered shark-bite victim. Honestly, once a shark decides to bite you and you're armed with a speedo, your only hope is peeing on yourself enough that you're not appetizing anymore."

For all your moms & grandmoms out there, how to cross-stitch a picture of a dung beetle & his big ball of yummy-yum poops. "Before I begin, I just like to say this was my first foray into the excessively girly art of cross-stitch. Taking up The Craft was like taking up smoking: suddenly I had a friend everywhere, an instant conversation opener. I was not longer a loser sitting on a wall, I was a loser sitting on a wall having a cross-stitch."

And now it's raining. I was outside in a tiny, perfect window of weather today. Luck is good when it happens.


I got a call from Scott today, inviting me over to a small party at his place tomorrow. I never get to see the guy, given that he works 3rd shift, but I had to give only a tentative yes--That cold I've been dodging for 10 days decided to kick my lungs in this morning. "Are you taking Cipro?" he asked. I don't know if it's more funny or less that Scott's a mail handler for the Post Office. Today they started wearing face masks as they worked.

We have Def Star! The Star Wars gangsta rap video.

Vlad the Entertainer: They're building a Dracula theme park in Transylvania. The article manages to work every possible vampire pun into the text. The Romanians are lucky they don't speak English, or they'd hear "wits" slapping their knees saying "This place--SUCKS!" every 2 minutes. That'd make me turn a whiter shade of--impale!! Ha ha ha h--
No, fuck you.

Britney Spears is good for something after all--repelling wild pigs. If Vietnamese monks had known that 35 years ago, there never would've been a Super Green Beret.


I don't get it.
Tuesday I woke up with what felt like a colony of hermit crabs using my throat & lungs as shells. Made it through work OK that day, pumped a bunch of echinacea into me when I got home, & slept for 10 hours. I was tired yesterday, which I put off as a side effect of the echinacea. I felt fine by the time I went over to Scott's home with KMDS & Jay. Then I woke up today feeling like an exploded monkey. And, no, I don't know what an exploded monkey feels like. It says something about how I feel right now that that's the 1st phrase that came to mind. I left work after 3 awful hours.
Fortunately, Robitussin was on sale. Unfortunately, that means I have to take it. Man, you can taste that shit even when it's in your stomach. I even grabbed a Slim Jim in the checkout line, just to kill the taste. And I still tasted it. And I'm going to be living on Robitussin for a few days, I bet.

Weird weather--record warmth with a howling wind, gusting at 45MPH. Kill Kill is riveted to the window, watching the autumn leaves scatter wildly like a flock of deranged sparrows. I dare not try watching with her; for some reason, she jumps down when I near the window, making a strange "brrraio?" sound. When I leave, she jumps back up. I don't get this. A cat who has never been scolded over anything has a guilty conscience over nothing.

Quirky Japan. "If you live in Tokyo, there is a good chance that someone will invite you for cherry blossom viewing in April. Unless you like looking at mountains of garbage, listening to portable karaoke machines, and stepping over drunks passed out in their own vomit, give it a miss."

They've passed the so-called "U.S.A. P.A.T.R.I.O.T." bill (yes, it's an actual, ridiculously long acronym). And here's what we all just lost God Bless America & Sieg Heil. And here's why the new laws won't make it any harder to commit terrorist acts anyway.

I've forgotten the name of a book from the early 50s I bought many years ago, but I think that it was written by Erich Remarque ("All Quiet On The Western Front"). It was about an East German border guard shooting someone escaping to West Germany, and how this one simple act implacably escalated step-by-step into WWIII. No government in the book made any illogical decisions, they just consistently made the wrong ones. I was thinking of writing something similar a few weeks back, about a single US soldier in Pakistan panicking over a rock-throwing mob & opening fire, which also gradually led to WWIII. I decided that I didn't want to think about it. Someone else has thought about it. Pretty pessimistic, but it is fiction. For now.
Scott sent me a picture he made that could be the cover image for that article.

Let me see what I can remember about last night at Scott's. Not that I got drunk or mainlined echinacea or anything, it's that I'm using an exploded monkey brain at the moment.
He lives in the thriving, vibrant metropolis that is the Insurance Capital of the World, Hartford CT. Just kidding. Our state capital could only be less vibrant if it was made out of Legos. And populated by little Lego insurance salesmen.
His apartment is cool if you like old places (I do). Prly not so cool to live there, what with the old radiators, creaking meandering stairs, & even a toilet which is that weird, not-ass-shaped kind they haven't made in forever. But that suits Scott's groove, I think. If you went there now, you'd say "Wow, you really did this place up for Halloween!" No. It always looks that way, with tribal masks on the walls & gargoyles & skulls & worshipful frogs & general weird shit everywhere, everywhere...I've never asked if he's a recovering Goth, or just into the Misfits more than most people. (Not that my place is any more normal--his place is like the Addams family mansion built in the Twilight Zone, whereas is my place is like that but with an equal amount of Pee-Wee's Playhouse)
The inside of the front door was surrounded with autographed photos that I never got a close look at, although from the couch I recognized Eddie Munster, TV's Batman, Michael Myers (from "Halloween," not SNL) & David Prowse as Darth.
We ate pita bread with hummus & drank Woody's Hard Blueberry & Guinness & watched "Tales From the Gimli Hospital." This is a cult film that you've heard of if you're into David Lynch. We gave it a resounding 4 thumbs down. Nice visuals, "but in service of nothing" as KMDS so aptly put it. Whoever made it watched "Eraserhead" & thought, "Hey, I could do that!", you can't. Weirdness for the sake of weirdness here, missing all that made "Eraserhead" what it is (i.e., "Eraserhead"). There's going to be some MySTing antics whenever we see a movie, but when that's all it becomes, the cause is lost.
"Scott, there's something wrong with your DVD player!" said KMDS, using the remote when Scott was in another room. "It ejected the DVD by itself!" "And the DVD broke itself in 2! And it just flew out the window! On fire!" I added. Scott, after much fumbling, found the video that he'd made with his digital ...damn, I got monkey brains here. You know, what do you call them, those...
CAMCORDERS! Digital camcorder! (No, I'm not being goofy; it took me 2 minutes to remember that word)
Where were we? He directed a couple of shorts on his "CAMCORDER" & edited them on his computer, making his own soundtrack, too. Amazing what one guy can do with that stuff. The 1st one had a plot, the 2nd mainly seemed to be fiddling with digital visual effects. But they were both more interesting than "Gimli Hospital."
Did I mention how "Gimli" was so boring, KMDS missed the part where the guy had sex with the other guy's girlfriend's corpse? When even that doesn't register on your brain, you're talking a mighty powerful dull.
So CNN was now on, which immediately degenerated into KMDS & Bill screaming at the TV about This War Thing. The Talking Head (not Tina Weymouth, sadly) talked about the Russians leaving Afghanistan "20 years ago" & the other guy didn't seem to catch how incredibly wrong that date was. And this is where most Ameriduhians get their news.
Scott channel-surfed until he found "Barney Miller," & we were all TERRIBLY TRAUMATIZED by the sight of the WTC still standing. Why hasn't that been digitally edited out yet?!
Umm, then I got tired so I went home.
Sorry. Usually I end my little stories with a punchline. But I'm only working with monkey brains tonight. Exploded ones. And I've been home 4 hours.
Time for more Robitussin.


I feel better, thanks to 12 hours in bed & plenty of Robidisgustin. But I don't really have anything right now, except this link from Karl that I couldn't get to work until tonight: The next big collectible. "I'd pass it on to my kids, but I don't think I'm going to have any since I bought it!"

And this from Vyn: The Japanese version of the Backstreet Boys, or a nightmare we've all had. A long download for me at 56K, but...Nice leaves, guys!


I tried to update yesterday, but the computer froze before I could save what I'd written...which was only about taking KK to get her nails trimmed, then later snuggling on the bed with her for a mutual purr-session. And it wasn't worth reading. And I didn't get any material out of helping my Mom move today either. So I wasn't going to update today, until I found a vital part of lost InExOb lore: "Kinky, Slinky (Leather is SO kinky!)--Boots, boots, ah-Kinky Boots!" The KINKY BOOTS MP3!
I was so excited, I immediately got hiccups. HATE hiccups.
This MP3 isn't on the same level of quality as the one I had, but they can't take my page down for linking to it, now can they?
And if you have "Kinky Boots" already, there's also the B-side, "Let's Keep It Friendly," which isn't as freakish, but is still worth an open-mouthed, blank-eyed listen. Don't give up the voice lessons, guys. What's with the chorus going "Meee-ow"? I think, given that it's from 1964, it's referring to the Bond movie "Goldfinger," in which Honor Blackman appeared as (let's all roll our eyes in unison!) "Pussy Galore" (GEDDIT?!) & had a "judo session" wink wink nudge nudge with 007.

Back to Normal, 2005. Thanks for the link, Kiru!

I just got rid of the hiccups. It's all in knowing how to breathe.


Today I finished reading "Fads & Fallacies in the Name of Science" (1952 revised edition). It's about what it sounds like it's about, crazy pseudoscientific theories that people bought into, like "Orgone Radiation" (which is powered by orgasm) or insane racial theories about non-whites being soulless animals (the book pointedly attacks 1952 America, which even segregated blood from black & white donors, as a "shameful monument to the persistence of crackpot racial views"--a brave statement that could get you killed back then). It prly wouldn't be republished today, due to the critical chapter on the then-bankrupt--and obviously insane--Lafayette Ronald Hubbard. Today, the Scientoligist weapon of choice is the endless, pointless lawsuit. They'd take the whole publishing house down.
It ends with a chapter on ESP. That's the simplest form of crap to dispell, in my opinion: If it exists, the psychic powers card has been in the deck in the 3.5 billion years of life on this planet. It'd be such a powerful card to play in terms of survival--so why hasn't any species evolved that obviously uses it? Would a gazelle need lightning-fast reflexes if it had precognition, & knew that there was a cheetah stalking it? Would a cheetah need to sprint at 60MPH, if it could just use telekinesis to cause it's prey to trip & fall?
If the literally trillions of species that have existed on this Earth never played the psi-card, why would humans? We're the least likely species. Why use precognition, when that big brain lets you discover fire & build structures to protect yourself from predators? Why have telekinesis, when that old opposable thumb lets you make tools like the bow & arrow or the gun to catch prey?
And if there are psychic powers, why did no one at Psychic Friends Network or Miss Cleo predict either the WTC disaster--or their organizations going into bankruptcy & lawsuits?
Not that I don't wish that there were psychic powers. EVERYone wishes that there were--so long as they were the ones that had them! The book ends with a bit from the always-entertaining Charles Fort, who "accepts" that poltergeists are little girls with telekinesis. Which would be helpful in hunting down Mr. bin Laden:

Nicely written. I think that I'll next read that 1930s copy of the collected Charles Fort I've had for years.

FEAR! It's New & Improved!

"The Age of Miracles is Through," to quote Heaven 17. The FBI wants to restructure the entire Internet so as to better wiretap everything you do online. And, in the UK, the Gummint wants ISPs to keep a log of every website you visit, newsgroup you look at, or person you email--And keep that log for a YEAR.
My big problem with the U.S.A.P.AT.R.I.O.T. bill is that it's so open-ended. You can be jailed without charges or even evidence because you "aided a terrorist." Do they define what "aiding" means? No. Remember that the last time the Government went paranoid-schizophrenic was the 1950s, when being "pro-Commie" meant criticizing the slightest thing about American society. Who's to say that that won't be the case in a year or so? That you won't disappear in the night because you looked at the wrong website, or complained about something the Government did, like ruining the economy?
"It can't happen here," right? Well, there's already over a thousand people who've been detained "for questioning" since 9/11, and 7 weeks later, they haven't been charged--in fact, their names haven't even been released. And check out this true glimpse of the coming Security State: "When a half-dozen different cops tell you you’ve done something wrong for two hours straight, there’s a tendency to start believing them, even if you haven’t done anything. That shadow of a doubt regarding my rights as a citizen and a journalist in the so-called sterile zone kept telling me that considering the “war” was on, I should have known better, that I deserved to have my photographs erased, my notebook confiscated. The enormous pressure to “stand united” with the country in the War on Terrorism added to my feelings of guilt. But how could I stand united when the very freedoms we were supposedly defending from the terrorists were being stripped away before my eyes--not by terrorists, but by fellow Americans?"

But not to worry! Andrew C. Bulhak has "a Modest Proposal": Use nanotechnology to make the World love America!

Note to FBI: I'll cave at the 1st sign of being sent to jail. Just drop me a line, OK?


When Halloween falls on a weekday, it's never busy in the liquor store, it's busy the weekend before the 31st. And it was busy last weekend. But then it became extremely busy between 4 & 6PM today. I guessed that it was because people weren't sending their kids trick or treating, but having Halloween parties for the kids & their 'rents. Cuz, ya know, WTC, Pentagon, then Al Qaida's anthrax-laced M&M's being handed out. I mean, who's to say that that guy wearing a Frankenstein mask isn't wearing it only to hide his EVIL TURBAN?

I went grocery shopping on my break, as it's cold enough *ALREADY!* to keep the food in my car until I get home (this being New England, tomorrow's weather will be 20 degrees warmer than today). Grabbed the stuff I needed, then--as always--went to the prepared foods section in the vain hope of buying the rotisserie turkey breast that KK & I love so. And which they never have, as they make too few. But lo & behold--TWO of them! And Godzilla-sized, too; so big that they wouldn't fit in the regular plastic trays. Fine by me; I'll get 2 meals out of each 1 rather than 1.5. They were overwrapped in cellophane to keep them from falling out of the trays.
And that's when I realized why they hadn't been sold: I know from working in retail that even in "normal times" people won't buy something with the slightest cosmetic defect, like a ripped label. People prly passed on these thinking, as they always do, that they've been TAMPERED WITH! I don't really feel like running down my long list of examples to prove that this strange thinking exists, but, believe me, it's insane but very true. Like someone's going to anthrax a turkey (I've just invented a new verbing!) & make then it obvious that they did. Did they use the 757s to skywrite "WE'RE CRASHING THIS INTO THE WTC!"?
"Everything's changed," they keep telling us. But people have the same idiot thinking that they always have had.

Everything's changed, except Ferd'nand! I've mentioned before how you can only tell what's supposed to be the strip's punchline by the fact that you're looking at the last panel. But can anyone explain this to me?

His 2 cents' worth? His contact lenses? Solidified radioactive fragments of his profusive sweating? The eyes of Cthulhu straring from the NecronomicaLedger? Is Ferd'nand declaring the pennies on his eyes for the Taxman?
Theories can be sent to inexob*

Gotta plug my pals: Karl has a review of Stockhausen & also a great illustration of his here.


This is gonna be a long one. It's 10PM as I type this, & I'm nowhere near the end of my regular reads.
(Side note: I get out of work at 8PMEST. There's really no point checking for new News any earlier than 11PM)

What, only 1 theory on the Ferd'nand cartoon's punchline? 5cott says:
"My guess is that the accountant couldn't balance the books because there was an errant 2 cents. So, in the end he either took the extra two cents out and put them on top or he added two cents of his own to make up for the shortage. Either way, a little too cryptic for a comic strip."
I think that it would be too cryptic even if it was a crop circle. Maybe that's what it is--2 tiny crop circles. Aliens abducted Ferd'nand's punchline!
Every email I've received about the News of late says "I don't agree with everything you say..." 5cott actually doesn't agree "with most of what you say," which is a nice variant. I guess if you still read the page when you disagree with it, at least you think it's entertainingly written, so I'll keep taking that as a compliment.
I hope to get someone saying "Your page makes me wish you had kids, so I could kill them all cuz I hates you so! Keep up the good work!" or "Me hate page! Me want you keep up bad work! Is big crime to make anything perfect on Bizarro World!"

The MAME Song! This is really great! Thanks, KMDS!
(MAME stands for Multi-Arcade Machine Emulator. Curious? Find out more on MAME here)

"The Laureate walks among us!"

"Free speech is sacred"--so shut the hell up!

They're going to blow up the Golden Gate bridge--during rush hour--between 11/2 & 11/9? How the fuck do they know THAT but totally missed anything about 9/11?
"As a friend lay in the intensive care unit suffering from a heart attack, his wife informed him that he wasn't to worry but she had to leave because their house was on fire.
"Sound familiar? Well, it should because that's the same message being put out by the U.S. attorney general, the chief of homeland security and nearly everyone else in the Bush administration who can't seem to stay off television."

A nation of 11,000 people is destroyed by TERRORISTS! USA to intervene!!
Oh...Uh, apparently the island nation of Tuvalu in the Pacific is being destroyed by the rising ocean from that nonexistant "global warming" crap in that dopey "Kyoto Accord" that we refused to sign. "On other islands, another 7 million are threatened."
USA to ignore corporate rape of the planet, stick thumb up its ass, bomb some people somewhere.

"It's apparent that our leaders have returned to 'business as usual' after the Sept. 11th attacks. Congress is leading the curve right back to the same preposterous fallacies that hallmarked it's late-20th Century record. Republicans would like us to swallow the line that the House package will restore business investment, stop job losses, and restore consumer confidence in time for that all-important Christmas shopping season. Even a devoted coprophiliac would have trouble taking all of that down."

It's been announced that we'll keep shifting the rubble in Afghanistan around through Ramadan, and even more stupidly, through the winter. The Russians learned to simply call the war off in the Afghan winter. You'd think that the 1st thing the Government would've done was examine the Soviet War in the greatest details, but I guess that they subscribe to the same dumb theory most Americans seem to have, that we'll win simply from virtue of being *AMERICA*. Them Commies only put a quarter million ground troops in, armed only with tanks & heavy artillery! WE'VE got a a few hundred Super Green Berets living out of their backpacks in there! Doing...something important, you bet! "Bouquets for the boys!"
"The current policy of bombing, while helpful to President Bush domestically, is, in a wider sense, politically counterproductive.
"First, it prevents food aid from reaching the Afghans. Second, even smart bombs can do dumb things, like hit civilians. The bombing is sending a powerful unintended message to Muslims everywhere that bin Laden is telling the truth when he says that America is at war with Islam."

Would you collect the $5 million reward on bin Laden? The fear felt by Salman Rushdie would be nothing compared to what Al Qaida would cause for the guy who collected THAT giant novelty check...
"Yeah, Johnny, could you spot me $20 for some food? I spent the 5 mil on plastic surgery, a new identity, and the bunker. Johnny? You there? Don't hang up!"

A 1985 Halloween in "As If!" Dig Angela's costume! She should've dressed Hunter's dog up as "1-Rover-1."

I had a SHAWT Saturday but forgot about it until today.
Jessica called me today, but 1st called the Small Store out of habit. She got Mr Poopy Pants (the alkie co-worker who soiled his shorts on company time not so long ago). So clueless is he that he's convinced that he has a shot at romance with the female co- and/or ex-workers who despise him. For instance, he's repeatedly treated that total sweetheart Shelley like shit, then hit on her. He still thinks he has a chance at Jessica, despite her fiance.
On the phone to me, Jess did the same thing we all do when we quote him: Use that annoying, high-pitched stammering voice of his. I stammer too, when my brain races faster than my mouth. But his problem is the brain can't keep up with the tongue, like turning the ignition on a frozen car engine in the middle of winter. Start, damn you, start!
I remember last summer, before we went to KMDS' veggie BBQ. She brought her daughter Jacqueline to the store & talked to Poopie for a while, as tiny Jacqueline pulled on her mother's hand with all her tiny strength yelling "I want to talk to Biiiiiiill!!!!" in her tiny voice over & over. Jess finally left Poopie & he had this big "Yeahhhh, that hot babe totally likes me!" smirk on his face. As soon as she turned his back on him, Jess rolled her eyes at me & laughed "What a DORK!"
Ah, yes, SHAWT from Poopie. The Small Store has had no ice to sell in over a week. Plastic bags of frozen water are really the one & only thing that we make an excellent profit on, but he decided that it was less important to sell them than it was to defrost the freezer that we keep the bags of ice in. Saturday he was defrosting it by sticking a wooden dowel in the door, propping it open by about half an inch. And he left the freezer plugged in. "I-i-i-it may take a few days to work," he said to me. Yep. Maybe less if there's a power failure.

OK, I started with a warning not to look here before 11PM, but tomorrow's the regular Alternate Friday With Jess, so I prly won't even be home till after that. Check Saturday, maybe. I'll be back in the Small Store then, & there might be more Poopie stories.
Oh, wait! His drug deal last Saturday! Sorry, but it's too late to type that up now...


OK, just a quick one.

Nothing exciting about tonight with Jess, but we had a good time. With her in her PJs, we just sat on the couch talking, while her muscle-head cat Marjoriam purred all over us in turn (though he mainly stayed with his mommy). I made sure to wash my hands in some fruity-scented Jess soap, so that KK wouldn't get mad when I came home with Other Cat Scent on me. That's the kitty version of lipstick on the collar.

Dates From Hell! I was actually kind of disappointed in this article--maybe because The Hartford Advocate solicited stories on the subject for months & I got my expectations up too high. But some are pretty funny. "Ew, Gross!" is prly the best.

Kirk found a video in "The MAME Song" vein that's pretty funny. The name of the video appears to be The Video.

Vetrinarian Mark Bridge says of the mysterious Ferd'nand joke: "Ferd is doing profit/loss type stuff. He comes up with the business valuation being two cents." Hmm, maybe the business is a dotcom!
Today's Ferdie continues the balding man & strange objects theme:

Outside of the fact that it's hard to imagine what horrible music you could make using only drums & a saxophone, why would bubbles make it more bearable?
Wait--"bubbles"?? Those are the same weird, round objects that he used on the LAST balding man! I think that the next panel in each of these strips had the objects leaping onto the bald man's forehead, & sucking his brains dry until he becomes a Ferd'nand-controlled FLESH-EATING ZOMBIE BALDING MAN! Soon, ALL will be POWERLESS in the face of the ARMY OF FERD'NANDIAN UNDEAD!
Why would Ferd'nand do this? Because only ZOMBIES can enjoy his strip!


I actually had more yesterday than I have today.

A checklist: How to tell you're watching a war on TV. Actually, that's British, so it's a "ticklist."

Speaking of Ticks, the live-action Tick show looks like it'll suck haaaard! Who thought that the Tick should be a short, chubby-faced guy who can't even Intone Stentorianly? And Die Fliedermaus is now called--wait for it!--BatManuel? The funny part about Die Fliedermaus is that he was a Millionaire Playboy like Bruce Wayne, but he became a superhero & stayed a lazy, cowardly Millionaire Playboy. The fancy clothes weren't to fight crime, but to impress chicks. I guess that the "joke" about BatManuel is that he's not a playboy, but a playah. Ha. Ha.
And American Maid is now "Captain Liberty." Whatever. I'll still buy a tape for this sure-to-be-cancelled-in-3-weeks oddity. Just to show the grandchildren! (of my sisters)

News Bulletin!! A brother of Osama bin Laden is threatening DEATH to America!!



In merchandise credit, not redeemable for cash

GUILTY of threatening DEATH to--

Well, obviously I didn't put a lot of work into that, but the joke didn't really warrant it.

Of course, I dropped $15 at BIG!Lots just today. $15 at B!L is like dropping 50 grand at the car dealership. Mainly food, junk food, "irregular" dress socks, a baking sheet, etc. Kill Kill exhibited unusual interest in the bags as I walked in the door. Apparently she detected the catnip. She's been a nip-induced stoner since I got home.
Do all cats eat all the nip you put out, or just her?

I work at the Small Store for 5 hours every Saturday, instead of the 40-48 hours a week it was for 4 years. It's convenient, as that's where the BIG!Lots is & also right past the bank where I can deposit my Saturday paycheck. I left from the Big Store 15 minutes earlier than usual this week so that I didn't get stuck in line waiting for the bank to do their ritual 3PM emptying of the ATM. Ah, lucky Bill the Splut, today they started 15 minutes early. I was 2nd in line after a woman with a neck brace & a really weird hairdo. She

At this point, I was grumbling to myself silently. I would've been done with my TWO transactions in the time it took her to do the wrong half of any of hers. "What, does this woman have BRAIN DAMAGE?!" I thought to myself.
Then I noticed that she had a weird haircut because parts of the back of her scalp were shaved, and above the neck brace were 2 recent scars from brain surgery.
And I stopped grumbling right then.

In the mail:

"...Or Food!"

The cartoonist did a nice job on the faces, but why are their legs fused together? Oh, they're Republicans, and this is their stance preventing premarital sex. "Keep your legs together!"

The Democrats are running a guy named Richard Meth. If that was my last name, and I had a daughter, I'd name her "Crystal." And I'd get a Labrador Retriever as a pet. "Here's our dog, the Meth Lab!"


Kill Kill has the Ultimate Mouse in her paws right now. It has short fur, eyes & ears & nose, leather tail, rattles of different sizes inside, and...a feather in its ass! Unfortunately, she doesn't really grasp the "feathers come from birds" concept, & she's been licking the feather for 5 minutes.
She slept with me this morning right up until I got out of bed. She ate, she went "outside" (the common hallway), she had some catnip, we had a long, violent session of chase-the-mouse, she used the litter box, she lounged in the bathtub until I needed to shower, she looked out the window, she followed me into the bedroom while I dressed, then she napped on the bed. That's everything she ever does, all done in 2 hours.

As for me, I went to Radio Shack to find a splitter for RCA jack VCR cables, and failed. So I have to keep unplugging, plugging, & replugging to use Super Joy. Since I had nothing else to do, I went next door to Kay Bee Toys to see if they had something KMDS told me about, "DotCom Monopoly." It featured real--and now bankrupt--dotcoms like as properties. It was marked down to $7.99 months ago when he saw it, so I figured that it'd be even cheaper by now. But it was gone. Plenty of Star Wars Monopolies still left.
But this was the realm of nightmare, the same Kay Bee that I worked 65-90 hours a week in as a manager 15 years ago. The familiar shape of the store itself was creepin' me out. Some managerial-looking guy suddenly came walking very deliberately towards me after I'd gone down a few aisles, with a mean ole look on his face. He followed me up the Barbie aisle & it hit me that he must've thought that I was a shoplifter?! No idea why he'd think that. If he had any loss prevention training he'd have noticed the group of boys clumped close together at a display rack near the front, who were as equally interested in the toys as they were in which adults were watching them.
Me, a shoplifter. I've been the loss prevention Nazi at every store I've worked in. At Sam Goody, there was a group of professionals who worked the East Coast. They'd hit our store every 3 months. But after the 1st time they encountered the watchful eyes of me, Luis & Kim, and left empty-handed, they'd only hit on days the 3 of us weren't working. I really have a dislike for thieves.

Today was the day I hung up the Christmas lights! But Bill, you say, I thought that your 18 years of retail have made you think of Xmas as nothing but 6 weeks of Hell to be survived, not enjoyed! I thought that you consider all holidays as just an excuse for the average person to act more like a conforming robot!
And you'd be right. These lights are the ones that are up 24/7/365. They're enough light to do anything except read. 1 of the 2 100-foot strings burned out in Sept, & I've been waiting with growing impatience for Big!Lots to stock some replacements. Impatient, as Big!Lots dragged out all the Xmas crap except lights right after Labor Day! It was only this week that they brought in some lights.
It's a real pain to take down a string & then put up a new one. And it's a bigger pain when the 1st string doesn't reach to the 2nd one. Not a problem; I bought these deep purple Halloween lights a month ago, & they're the exact length to connect the 2! Except that they only have ONE PLUG, so that they can only connect at one end. Dammit. I don't want to wait a week to go to Big!Lots & buy more, but I also don't want to go out again. But I do go out, to B!L's rival, Ocean State Job Lot. Grab a 50 light set, a blank video to record the Bad New Tick Show on, & 1 of those cheap emergency rain ponchos to throw in my new paranoid obsession, that survival kit in the car trunk (recent additions: small binoculars, liter of water, surgical mask to use against smoke inhalation, deck of cards in case I get bored during Armageddon).
So I string those lights up. And find that the 2nd string only lights up 1/3 of the way. Then doesn't light at all. Yep, it picked TODAY to die.
I'm going to see "Iron Monkey" in its last week at the Macroplex tomorrow, which is in the same plaza as a Big!Lots. So I'll be buying Xmas lights 3 days in a row despite of my hate of Xmas.
One last note on Kay Bee in Vernon: While I was slaving away there in the mid-80s, another person thought that it was the greatest place in the world, and went there almost every weekend. We both wonder how many times the 26 year old me & the 8 year old Jessica were right next to each other, never knowing what the future would bring.

From Karl: "Each bear will be linked with nurses' stations so that staff can be alerted if, for example, a patient does not respond to a robot's electronic greeting. 'Robot therapy will be very important in care of the elderly in Japan,' says Ozawa." Robot teddy bears! That's just dumb! WHERE ARE MY ROBOT MONKEYS?!


"Pastrana said he researched the matter and fired Italie after receiving legal advice from lawyers he knows. He said he realizes he can't fire someone based on gender, race, religion or sexual orientation, but that firing someone for political views is legal." Welcome to the 1950s.
The irony is that the guy worked for a company called "Goodwill," which makes flags to go on military coffins. They may need the extra workers soon.

And the FBI is considering using torture on suspected "terrorists." Welcome to the Land of the Free.

With THAT out of the way...

brrrring! "TALIBAN!" I think the funniest part is the fact he looks like Mr Bean. It's the Talibean!

One word review of "Iron Monkey": WOW!
What an entertaining movie. The crazy "wire-fu" stunts of "Crouching Tiger," but without the deeper philosophical subtext. And you know what? It's better that way!
"Iron Monkey" doesn't take itself seriously, and all the superhuman jumping & head-pounding works better in that mode. Nice characters, too; I like how all the good guys are leading double lives, either literally as is the case with Dr Yang (secretly the Robin Hoodish Iron Monkey), his "Robin" Miss Orchid, or Wong (an herbalist with a grudge), or more subtly, like Chief Fox. His sense of duty puts him on the side of the corrupt Governor, but when Fox gets a bribe, he immediately spends it on medicine for his soldiers.
If it's still playing near you, go see it. It's lots of fun. Otherwise, it'll make more than a worthy rental.
(Although I did see it in the tiniest theater in the Macroplex--125 seats, with 120 empty, & so regularly unpopulated that they store the rug-washing machine in the back. That's to be expected when a flick's at the end of its run, and it's been there for 4 weeks. Not to be expected, and Gourd knows why, but the couple in front of me left 30 minutes into it. The couple behind me gasped & laughed & loved it as much as I did.)

And I Big!Lotted again. The Xmas lights are up. I bought a spare 100-lighter in case they burn out next September. I'm saving the Halloween lights in case the 50-lighter tanks too. I'd list my other purchases, but the highlight was a grout-cleaning brush, so it's best we just skip that bit.
I also hit up a nearby SalvArmy. And I heard the hated LITE FAVORITES station in both places! I only have 2 days off a week, and I DESERVE to not hear the Backstreet Boys then!
(I also had to watch no less that a dozen ads in that damn slide show thing at the cinema that were for Britney Spears. One slide asked "What immensely talented group accompanied Britney on her last tour?" It was N'Sync, answered the next slide. I think that the person writing the slides was being immensely sarcastic)
But I went into a dollar store nearby. Yeah, it was owned by a guy from India. And he was playing Indian music! Good for you, pal! Every other non-Caucasian-owned business in the tri-town area is plastered with flags & United We Stands. Out of patriotism, or fear of moronic rednecks?
Dollar stores have lost their once-close place in my heart. Most evaporated out of their strip plazas since their heyday in the early 90s, mainly because they just carried the same cheaply made crap all the other dollar stores carried. Umm, I mean "cheaply made crap with no character." This place was cool! For my wind-up toy collection, I found a foot-long "Emulator Snake," a wheeled cobra with moving jaws! A watch with Disney's 7 Dwarfs from Snow White on it, & Woody & Buzz from "Toy Story" on the package--I think that there could be some copyright infringement going on here.
The watch scanned poorly, & the snake wouldn't fit, but I also found these:

GALAXY FIGHTER is described as a "RUBBER BAND SHOOTER PLAYING SET," and GALAXY FIGHTER himself can be seen shooting rubber bands. But the toys are "Boxing Guns." Note that the Gun on the left is somewhat Dragon Ball Z-ish. A deformed, fat, lipsticked Gohan (sp?) wearing a little red tank top & no pants. At the bottom we're warned that "This toy contains a small ball." Given the amount of steroids that the Dragon Ball Z-ers must use, maybe they mean two small balls.

What do you get when Mr T gets a job at Sanrio?

You get a HELLA Kitty!
"Dressed in pink, silky wings all a-flutter,
On a floral breeze she floats, fitting pitter pitter patter
That ain't no jibba-jabba, that's pitter pitter patter!! NO ONE mess with Hella Kitty!"
(Hella Kitty seems to be a flashlight keychain, since there's a lightbulb in her feet. But the part where the button that would make it actually work would be isn't there)

"Are you so FLABBY
that a camel can fit through the eye of a needle easier than you can squeeze through the Pearly Gates?

Do you want to burn off those extra calories, just not in the flames of HELL?

Do you want to lose 15 pounds of weight WITHOUT having Herod cut your head off for Salome?

Then it's time for AEROBICS WITH JESUS!"

"THROW those arms up high, girlfriend! Work that upper body!
Lift, praise, lift, praise!
Sweatin' to the Oldie Testament!
Work it till it hurts, work it until you get stigmata!
Look at my abs--I've got Ten Commandments AND a six-pack!"


Little sticker on my trenchcoat: "I VOTED."
(Actually, I took it off once I left & stuck it on the envelope that had my car insurance payment)
I got up 15 minutes early, more than enough time to vote, as the polling place is right up the road from m--
CRAP! It is being held at the high school, isn't it? 15 minutes is plenty time to go there & vote, but not enough to get to the 2 other places it could be at it & still make it to work on time.
But as the sticker implies, it was at the high school. I was the only person there who was not one-half of a couple with someone using a cane or walker. I usually skip the local local elections (mayor, board of ed), but with a work schedule that allows it, I'm voting in all of them from now on. OK, it was also to vote Not Republican, and because, for now, it's not a terrorist act to vote. OK, & also to enable me to sneer at all the flag-wavin' proud-to-be-an-Americans who are SO proud that they won't allow their greatest right and responsibility to take up 10 or 15 minutes of fuckin' TV watching time.

It didn't take 15 minutes; from into the car at Casa del Kill Kill to into the car in the high school parking lot, it took 6 minutes. But there was a new DOLLAR STORE that's just opened between our house & the school! With my free 9 minutes, I found a pair of Y connectors so that I can use Super Joy & the TV without unplugging. Or, I hope I have. They're not the greatest fit, & it took some jiggling to get the cable to come in without the TV image throwing a seizure. I figured that I'd bought enough crap yesterday, so I passed on "Sweet Love Douche." To paraphrase Betty Crocker, "Nothin' says lovin' like douchin' your muffin!" There was a quite ugly Ariel ripoff called "My Lover Mermaid." Lover? She's tuna from the waist down! I don't know how to do it fishie style! This toy brings a whole new meaning to "blowhole."


Eh, I don't feel like typing tonight.
But click on this Onion article, "If I Don't Get My Medium-Rare Shell Steak With Roasted Vegetables In The Next 10 Minutes, The Terrorists Have Already Won." And then read this. Don't worry; you'll know why when your gag reflex kicks in.