Reading The News is EX-cre-mental!

NEW 2.9

"The happiest is the person who suffers the least pain; the most miserable who enjoys the least pleasure."
--Jean-Jacques Rousseau


After almost a year of inactivity, I'm BRINGING BACK THE INEXOB!!

April fool. Victor von Frankenstein teamed with George Romero couldn't bring that corpse back to life.
Big ole page on April Fools , an Anglocentric view of the Top Ten April Fools Jokes, and a joke sends the Canadian dollar's value down. And, please tell me that this is a joke. She looks a bit like Kill Kill, except in the leg department. (And I think it is a joke--note how different her face in pic #1 is from #2)

The reason that Connecticut's liquor stores close at 8PM is often said to be from the "Blue Laws" of the Puritans. Apparently not!

To continue my Connecticutcentricness, here's a 1982 bit from that big ole page of April Foolery:



Kristine says "Today's strip of funnyfarmcomics made me think of you."

Huh? I'm lost here.
I don't have a "goatee," I have a "Puerto Rican beard" (Google whack! Spread the meme and make it a Google bomb!).
Okay, I'm trying to have a Connecticut-style Puerto Rican-style beard, which is a goatee connected to thin sideburns via a tenuously tiny trail of turnip. BEARD! Not turnip--sorry, I got carried away with the alliteration.

Mark the Vet says: "FYI...Munchkin cats are for real. A genetic mutation perpetuated by idiots. No complaint from me however, it is situations like this that keep me in business ;-)"
I'm sorry to hear that--I was hoping that it was a "Bonsai Kitty" kinda joke.
Munchkin cats make Baby Jesus cry. Adult Spluts, too.

The One-Question Personality Test.

Roll, roll, roll your eyes, gently down the stream: A columnist for the Boston Globe sneers at blogs thusly--"If you've read this far, you may have enough time on your hands to become a blogger yourself." He makes a big (negative) point of how many update throughout the day, and "This is roughly equivalent to writing a daily newspaper column, which no one has done here since--" the time of some dead guy. He seems to be missing the salient point that "columnist" is a JOB, "blogger/online-journal-writer" is a HOBBY. He compares some guy who posts golf tournament standings *for free,* to his august paper that people *pay for* some way I didn't grasp. I wouldn't pay to read about golf, which is one of the reasons that I cancelled my newspaper subscription, and also my cable. Sports? I don't care!! If a certain Californian wants to go off on hockey in her LiveJournal, or a Floridian on Tori, or a Coloradian on her lousy day, or a Missourian [sp?] on just plain whatever--cool! I've never met these people, but I feel like I know them. If I PAID to hear some columnist blather on about his whateverness, well, fine, but it had better be WORTH the MONEY.
I've read columns like that, but, as stated, I haven't subbed to a slab of paper in over a year. The comics, the articles, even the coupons I can get online, without all the drivel I have no interest in.
Lileks would've done better than to use that particular Elvis Costello quote in his email to the author, but it ain't like the guy was all that pleasant to him in the first place.
That last link contains Lileks' "Newspaper of his Dreams," in which he wants Tom Tomorrow as his comics editor. WHAT?! Lileks is the guy who went all drooly-psycho when TRAITOROUS COMMIE Aaron "Boondocks" McGruder actually DARED to use the punchline "PRETZEL, SCHMETZEL! THE GUY WAS DRUNK!"
Seriously. He acted as if someone had accused Dumbya of being a lazy drunk who got a girl pregnant and had his Dad pay for her abortion while going AWOL during the Viet Nam Wa--Err, as if someone had accused Catholic priests of sodomizing little childr--ERR, as if Ariel Sharon was engineering the Apocalypse--errr....
I need to live in an Alternate Reality, and I need it NOW!

Groovy. Right now, the classical station, WNPR (yes, the NPR, they're in CT) is playing Holst's "Mars, The Bringer of War," which is 500 tracks on the 500 track collection "DOOMSDAY: The Soundtrack."

I'm Destiny!
Which Member of the Endless Are You?


I'm disappointed in myself that this has, finally, gone all bloggy. Blogs are too easy to write. Hell, you don't have to write squat! Let others do the heavy lifting!

Dumb joke involving Vanilla Ice. Ice's participation does, however, make it even funnier that if it involved Mr T.

Hilarious SomethingAwful piece on those God Hubbard-damned Scientologists. "YOU!"

"Genetically modified food has restored my sense of wonder and delight in the future. It was the beans that did it. Apparently the mad wild-haired scientists in India are spending their research budgets figuring out how to make beans less farty. I guess in India they eat a lot of beans, and the farts really add up. It's a big social problem, right up there with the nuclear tensions and the Thuggees. In fact, I think it might contribute to the nuclear tensions."

Hmm, so that's why Mac users are so loyal...

"I was stunned. These signs were all over town, in scores of different designs, and they were all the work of one company. A super-secret Fortune 500 company that never put it's name of it's ugly ever-present signs.
"I walked down to the mini-mart with my head spinning. All of these signs...all of this trash...all over Sacramento. One company was responsible. I had to track them down & I had to expose them! Also, I had to get photos of the offending signs & start keeping track of the numbers so I could build a convincing case and find the whole story. Maybe my sign-sample just happened to have one source.
"On the way back from the mini-mart, I found a little one of these dumb mini-fliers taped to a news stand. It had the tell-tale figures of my mystery company, $500-$3,000/mo pt, $3,000-$10,000/mo ft. I immediately was the same people.
"It was exciting... I was almost scared."

Always ready to step up to the plate of massive privacy invasion, "Top financial companies are working to figure out how to use public and private consumer databases to catch possible terrorists."
"Information in such consumer databases includes whether an American is a homeowner, has a job, owns a car and subscribes to certain magazines."
If I was a terrorist (NOTE TO TOP FINANCIAL COMPANIES: I'M NOT!!), the first thing I'd do is buy a home! A big palatial estate with a butler and a maid, or at least a sex-slave dressed as a maid. Whatever I could afford on what IRAN pays me! I mean, it's not like I'm going to have to worry about a mortgage payment before I become FLAMING MEAT CONFETTI.
(Notice how our "peace mission" to the Middle East was really a "find out if we have anyone to join us in starting a war with Iraq mission," and as soon as we discovered that the answer was "Fuck off!", Dumbya's crew started in on Iran? We'll start a war somewhere, by gum! Oceania will always be at war with Someone!)
And I'd get a job! As a pilot.
A car? DUH! Of course I own a car! Where else would I put the BOMB?!
And I'd subscribe to certain magazines! Like "Terrorist," "Terrorist Today," "Entertainment Weekly--FOR TERRORISTS!," "Highlights for Blowing Up Children," "TV Guide (the "TV" stands for "TERRORIST VIOLENCE"), "Sports Terrorized," "Motor Trend's Guide to Car Bombs," "Modern Not-Letting-People-Live-To-See Maturity," "Martha Stewart's Killing," and "Maxim." That last one would be to throw them wily sleuths off my trail!

Jeez, I whine about my blogging and keep forgetting that I have an actual story to relate! And for once, it's pet-related but doesn't involve felines.
My sister Sue told me about her pug Chip. The day before Easter, he managed to open the kitchen cabinet that's full of snacks and devoured a pile of them. Then, either out of guilt or a spirit of sharing, picked up granola bars in his tiny mouth and dropped one on each of her three sons' beds. And two on the bed of her and her husband...Pets are smarter than you think.

And "flaming meat confetti" is a Google whack. For now!!


Happy Birthday to me. Unhappy day for others.

Christopher died on Thursday. He was the coworker who gave me a kitten 3 years ago.
I haven't had any contact with him since a few months after that. His brother also worked in the store for their uncles, the owners, and he (the brother) was caught embezzling $20 by me. Closer inspection showed that the $20 was just what he'd snagged in his first few minutes of work that day--The total ran to $3600 over several months. Some of the stealing occured under Chris' register ID number. That astonished everyone--his brother, sure! He was a sleazeball. But Chris?! His brother must've done it while he was covering the register on his off-duty hours, when Chris was injecting insulin.
But, no, Chris confessed to stealing it. They were both fired. They could've been arrested but weren't, after giving promise of restitution. Chris immediately began paying his share. His brother did not.
A few months later, Chris came down with lymph node cancer. He told his uncles that he really hadn't stolen anything--He was just covering for his brother, hoping that "his" share of the loot would keep his brother from getting charged with grand larceny.
As Chris began to die, his brother still refused to pay. What a total scumbag.
On Monday, the cancer spread to Chris' liver. The next day, his kidneys shut down; the day after, his liver. He went peacefully and quickly, fortunately, just like my father.
But my father was 72. Chris was only 23. Jessica's age.
Thank you, Chris, for Kill Kill. I don't believe in "Heaven," but there is an afterlife: In The Memory of Others. And you will live on in mine, every time a little white cat purrs.

And now a pause for a link.
The Most Overrated Events of the 20th Century. It dates from (surprise) 1999, but this was prescient on the subject of the Nobel Peace Prize:

There's also a Most Underrated, too. He makes the interesting point on the "Who was worse, Stalin or Hitler?" debate. Me, I would've gone with Mao in the Kill-Your-Own-People Sweepstakes, but he notes thatI may get inspired to write up something similar, in a vein of "Most underrated events of World War II." Hell, if this webpage is the only use that my failed English major will ever get, might as well get some mileage out of that failed History minor, too.

Last night I went to Jessica's, ostensibly to watch a movie. "The Turkish Superman," after our great fun in mocking "The Turkish Wizard of Oz." These videos, plus "The Turkish Star Wars," were an early birthday gift from me to myself (You'd know all about them if I had a video capture device besides "My Snappy, the Doorstop"). But it never found its way into the schedule.
Her daughter Jacqueline was up, to say "Happy birthday!" I got a really cool noddy-head doll of a little white cat, and a couple of pieces of Jess' artwork, transformed into giant fridge magnets. Their plastic frames and weak magnets mean that they ain't going on the fridge, unfortunately. She gave me some photos she'd taken over the last few months. I don't expect that these will have any real interest to you, but I'm putting them up here anyway.

It's a few minutes till sunset. My window faces due west. On the horizon is a farm silo. Two days a year the sun sets directly behind it. One of the days is April Sixth.
My own personal Stonehenge.


The combination of eBay and my birthday is either a good thing or it isn't. It gives me the excuse to drop cash on stuff like Space Ghost Action Figure Dollies, which were actually a bargain. They would've cost me $5 more to buy them at Suncoast, a store I refuse to patronize. Okay, I think I actually will patronize them: "Oh, Suncoast/Sam Goody of the Musicland empire, let me spell out the LABOR LAWS for your cute lil' illegally-firing heady-head! You can't fire someone 2 years after you'd hired them because they can't relocate! Not when you hired them KNOWING that they couldn't relocate! OOH, that's a bad giant corporation! Off to your room without your supper, you criminals!"

I also bought Brian Eno's Thursday Afternoon video, which was a shock. I'd lost every other auction for this sucker ever since I'd discovered eBay years ago, and fully expected to lose this one. It's a bargain at $33. No, really, it is; I've seen it go for a lot more. NO, really, $33, a bargain IT IS! (he keeps telling himself...)

I went to the movies yesterday.
It was an 1913 silent serial called Fantomas. I arrived with 5 minutes to spare, but Trinity College had no, I mean NO, parking spaces left. I ended up parking at the cemetary, a 10 minute walk to the theater. Or 3 minute run, as it turned out. I arrived a few minutes late, but that turned out to be several minutes too early. It was part of their annual French film series, and I heard "We're here for the class" from a group of students as I went in, panting from my unplanned run.
"The class" meant that some French lady talked about the movie before it started. Then, some other guy talked. And for this I ran?
At least the film was run at the correct speed, 18 frames-per-second. If you've ever seen a silent movie, everyone runs around all crazy (like me on the way in), and that's because the film's being run at sound speed, or 24 FPS.
It was nice to see it in the same way that 1913 Parisiennes would've seen it (and with live piano accompaniment!). But it gets an "Ehh" review from me.
It was very interesting from the "historical artifact" viewpoint. Very few movies from this time were shot on location, and certainly this is the only one to actually put the camera inside a moving subway! There's a lovely shot of a Paris square early on, and a women totes a girl with her. She's probably 5 years old in the shot and, in today's world, either 94 or long cold in the grave. It jarred me to think that in a year, this blonde petit jeune fille would see World War One, and by 30 see Paris conquered by the Nazis. What waits in our futures?

This is supposed to be one of those "breakthrough" films--The first popular serial, with the first director to use mise-en-scene, in which every part of the background is doing something different. And it does, except for that scene when a train is leaving a station, and everyone walks towards the camera LOOKING at the camera, until obviously the director yells "Stop looking at the camera!" and they abruptly don't. The first use of montage in Battleship Potemkin a few years later is much more effective than the first use of mise-en-scene here. It's no different than Birth of a Nation being heralded as the first use of close-ups. I went, yeah, there's the mise-en-scene thing, right there, the same way I said, that's sure a close-up in Birth of a Nation. Of an uppity darkie, forced upon the gallant, defeated Confederacy as a state senator, taking off his shoes and picking his feet in the capitol building! Or trying to rape himself a white woman! But that Flower of the South throws herself to her death off a cliff, rather than be touched by the hands of a white actor in blackface! HOORAH! And now the KLAN has come to the rescue!!
Birth of a Nation sucks.
Fantomas had its share of goofy moments, such as the heroes sitting down at the only table in a crowded restaurant, which amazingly is 5 feet away from the table the evil villianness is sitting at. When they demand to know where Fantomas the Lord of Terror is, she points to the next room. Wow. Lucky.
They try to arrest the mass-murderering master criminal Fantomas by sending him a note asking him to please meet them outside. Instead of darting out a window, he gets his coat and gets grabbed by them. They march him down the street when he suddenly bolts away--leaving them holding his "coat of arms," which had mannequin arms in the sleeves! They're fighting a psychotic Benny Hill!
Later, Fantomas tries to kill our hero Juve with his "Silent Exectutioner." Juve doesn't know that it's a giant boa constrictor, although before going to bed to be killed by it he spends a tedious 2 minutes prepping, putting on a SPIKED CORSET. "All the better to wrassle with you, my dear!" he doesn't say, and the boa looks suspiciously dead during this battle.
And every time that it's "night," even "midnight," there's bright sun.
The story and the influence of the series is more interesting than the finished product. Click on the above picture and learn about Fantomas, a series that led to both the serials and the pulp fiction of the 1930s, and that inspired the Surrealists, especially Magritte.
It wasn't much of a bargain at $7 for a one-hour movie (part of a movie, actually; this was the second part of a 5-part serial that originally took a year to finish). Lord of the Rings would've cost $21 at that rate. But, when it ended, they gave me a French pastry. Really.

The 6 Biggest Continuity Errors in Star Trek: The Next Generation
"In this episode, Picard and Geordi LaForge fight over the last dinner roll at the table, and Georgi falls to a vicious fork-stabbing. This episode also marks the first appearance of Will Riker's second chin. In scene 16, Riker beats himself senseless with a Tribble, and lays comatose in Sick Bay for the remainder of the show, mumbling about ham."

"$1 million for science to discover God's plan"


On that last link, Kirk says "That link to discover god's purpose had the quote...
'Is there a fundamental purpose in the cosmos?'
I misread that as 'fundamentalist purpose,' which actually is a nice little brainslip."

Sure, we all know that Harry Potter is convincing our children to become SATANISTS!! But did you also know that he's also convincing them to become--NAZIS?!?!
They know that the Onion is a joke, but still think that their article "actually portrays the real truth of what is happening to our children as they become Harry Potter fanatics."

Another nightmare scenario: The Net, 2004. "Flicking the remote beside you kicks your digital music player into action and you marvel that 95% of its computing power is dedicated to the sophisticated digital rights management system it contains"

"Hey, kids! Let's film our own 'Blair Witch Project'! In case Danielle turns out to be a bad actor, we just won't tell her she's in the movie!"


A tree fell in the woods today, and I heard it. But since I couldn't see the tree for the forest, did it really fall?

Gorgeous warm day with a cloudless sky--Time to finally explore Bigelow Hollow State Park.
I needed a sunny day, as it seemed from my cursory first investigation on a globally-warm December day to be heavily forested with pine trees, and thus much cooler than the real ambient air temperature. But it was low valleys of pine, with steep rocky slopes that led to wide deciduous groves atop hills that basked in sun. The meandering Blue Loop Trail twisted around the shore of a lake, only a few feet away from the gently lapping water at some parts. It was only 3 miles from the highway, so the dull drone of traffic could be heard. But once the foliage is out in a month or so, that'll be hard to hear. What a wonderful place.
I only came across a couple of other people. That's a plus, since if could eliminate all Involuntary Human Interaction from my life, I sure as hell would. One was a young blonde woman reading, with a walking stick by her side. That reminded me of something I'd forgotten to mention about Fantomas: walking sticks and cigarettes. In the film, there were more canes than at alumni day at the school for the blind, and people blew more smoke than Dick Cheney at a press conference about Enron.
The path wandered around the lake, then back into the woods. A sign by a fork in the trail said "Lake Overlook .4 Miles." I guessed that it took another bend around the curves of the lake, so I went in. There was another fork. The more traveled trail led into someone's backyard, so I doubled back.
I wasn't sure where I was in relation to anything; there were 2 large signs labeled HIKER'S INFORMATION at the parking area where I'd started, but, unlike Wolf Den or Gay City parks, neither of them had a map of the trails. Instead they had park rules and pictures identifying the fish & fauna "of Eastern Connecticut." The fauna included a brown bear, which is so rare in CT that they might as well as pictured a dinosaur.
Well, the Lake Overlook wasn't that way. Back at the fork, two roads diverged in a wood. So why not now try the one less traveled by?
And that made all the difference.
That trail led to an open grove, where the trail could go anywhere. I'd already noticed that the trails were much more poorly marked here than in other state parks. Sometimes they were marked far out from what looked like a fork, sometimes they told you to go straight when they meant take a turn, sometimes the markings were grouped very close, and sometimes spaced very far apart. I was well into this new maze when I realized that I wasn't on any trail at all. That damned Lake Overlook sign was missing an arrow--It wasn't telling me where I was going, it was telling me where I'd been.
I tried to find a pathway out of it, but it wasn't working. So I doubled back again, only to discover that I couldn't even find the original non-trail that I'd taken in! OK, no need to panic so long as there's no little Blair Witch twig figures.
So I simply gave up trying to find my way back. I decided to head in the same direction I came from, Lewis-&-Clarking my way through the underbrush. Eventually, I'd hit the trail again. Like a King Of Wishful Thinking, I decided to Go West.
There's not a lot of underbrush this time of year. Except in Bigelow Hollow. There's this weird short tree that keeps its waxy leaves throughout the year. There's a clump of them all over the state, but there were whole groves of them in the Hollow. I smashed my way through the dead branches, glad that I'd worn long pants and a long-sleeved shirt. And that it wasn't poison ivy season yet.
But on I pressed! I would persevere! Did Scott give up hope when he was lost in Antartica?! NO! And didn't he survive?! NO! Umm...find a better survival metaphor, Bill.
Finally I crashed my way to a high rocky ridge. Along the top strode a young blonde woman with a walking stick. Success!
The blonde kept stealing glances at me walking behind her. Okay, so I crashed through the underbrush, in a way that's either vaguely menacing or really dumbassed. What've you got to worry about? You're the one with the quarterstaff! (DAFFY: "It's really a buck-and-a-quarterstaff, but he doesn't need to know that!") She was walking slower than me--at this point, I'd had just about enough of Bigelow Hollow's semimarked trails, thenk yah, and I wanted to go home. As I caught up to her, she quickly turned and forced a smile. A smile like a frightened chimpanzee might snarl, eyes full of fear and teeth bared behind the lips. I forced a smile back, and as I passed she immediately unzipped her backpack and pulled something out. I didn't look back, as it was less likely to be a bag of trail mix than a can of mace.
Bill Young--135 pounds of pure fuckin' menace.
The Blue Loop's meandering had crossed over from endearing to irritating at this point. Finally, I hit a wide dirt road. I could go in two directions, but was there a sign telling me which way went which? Hell no! If people don't get lost in here, how are we supposed to feed the brown bears?
Finally I saw asphalt ahead--I'd made it to the road inside the park! Of course, I'm going to have to guess which way to go to find my car--
And an SUV thundered by at 60MPH. I'm actually outside the park.
At least I know which way to go; I haven't crossed the lake, so Go west, man Young. I'm glad I put new BIG!Lots foam-cushion insoles in my Converse hightops this morning.
Halfway into the road leading into the park, in the middle of NOTHING, there's a sign. It does not inform me on what a skunk looks like; it's the only sign I've seen with a map. Yes, if there'd been an arrow pointing left on that dirt road, I would've completed the Blue Loop.
I think I'll go to Bigelow Hollow on a weekend, and tell Ranger Smith that his trail markers are really cool, SO cool in fact, that this blonde with a walking stick wants him to grab her ass! If she pulls something out of her backpack and points it at his eyes, it's just the cologne she likes her lovers to wear!

Weary of foot after my seven-mile-walk-cum-bracken-stomp, cushion insoles or not, I was glad to stumble home, looking for Kill Kill to welcome me. But what to my wondering eyes should appear on the doorstep, but A PILE OF STUFF FROM THE USPS!!
Yes, my latest eBay winnings (excluding the coupla Lafferty books I snagged Monday), all here a mere 3 business days later. My Space Ghost guys (Zorak! I love you, man!), and my Brian Eno video. I didn't mention that this is the only video in history that requires you to tip your TV on its side to view. Why? Got me. I stuck it in to make sure that it was in good shape, and there's no reason to turn the TV over. They're all digitally-abstracted soft-focus "video paintings," using the best technology a 1984 Mac could deliver, while Eno's "Thursday Afternoon" slowly unfolds. (Eno! I love you, man!) "Thursday," btw, was the first musical piece purposely composed with the compact disc in mind.
And a mysterious envelope--from Lilly! Despite the big box that the SG figs came in, KK was only interested in Lilly's gift. Especially the ribbon, which she immediately batted and nibbled. It took me a while to remove that (since I also had to remove a tiny Hello Kitty lock!!), but when I took off the shiny silver wrapping, KK was all over that, too.
And you can view the card and the gift here (the pics are kinda large; you may want to right-click the link and view them in a seperate window).
What a great day off! Bracken-smashing and near-pepper-spraying included!

And I really did hear a tree fall. Weird.


I saw this on two different blogs today, and it's on Salon, so I'm probably not imparting any amazingly arcane knowledge here. But, if interested, read this article on George Lucas: Galactic Gasbag.
I thought that the guy was a genius in 1977--A science fiction movie that DIDN'T suck?! IMPOSSIBLE! And before I'd seen Star Wars, I'd seen THX 1138, which was also very good (at least for the early 70s; I haven't seen it since). But while The Empire Strikes Back was even better, it wasn't directed or fully written by him. And, according to the article, based on a draft script that Lucas supposedly threw out. After the writer became conveniently dead.
I was sure that Lucas was just a hack that lucked out once (after seeing Howard the Duck), and then again (after seeing Star Wars: Crapisode One).

I guess that I'm not the only one who thinks that Lucas' stock has gone down. I only became even dimly aware that Attack of the Clods is coming out next month a few days ago. Remember the months-long media blitz of 3 years ago, when everyone said that they'd avoid movie theaters the week that Jar Jar Wars came out, because the lines would be sooo long? I expect to plop down in my seat in a near-deserted matinee showing of Attack of the Clown Cars the same week it opens.
But I'll keep my fingers crossed--Not even a zillionaire could fail to stop and smell the reviews and box office receipts from Crap1. Maybe he's hired somebody else to do the heavy lifting. Someone with talent Lucas doesn't possess. Just like Empire.


BIG!Lots has a local competitor called Ocean State Job Lot. The stores are bigger and with more selection than B!L's, but generally their prices are a smidge higher. They ran an ad today for "camoflauge army jackets," which normally would've led to me instantly paying no attention. But these were Canadian army jackets! Only slightly less cool than New Zealand! I guess that they can't be camoflauge and have a big red maple leaf on them, so I tried to see if they had a website that would give any more info.
Apparently not. The second link out of ten Google pages' worth was, weirdly, the Manchester CT location that I was going to check out. But that had no info beyond the address. A few down from that was something called The Cranky Cashier. Thinking that it might be along the lines of my defunct SHAWT or Jet Wolf's equally defunct "Operators Standing By," I clicked it. Oh no, it's some poor soul's hellacious encounters with EVIL RETAIL WORKERS. The page's clipart shows a clerk strangling a customer, but you know what he considers EVIL? Not making eye contact or saying "Have a nice day."
This man deserves to die.
He should be gutshot, and handed a phone and told to call 911. He needs a Holiday in Cambodia--he needs to learn what suffering REALLY is, and there sure as hell aren't people being killed by suicide bombers or shot at by tanks complaining about someone not saying "Thank you" AFTER SOME SHIT CUSTOMER IS RUDE TO THEM, and they can't be rude back for fear of losing their miserably-paying job.
Do you think that this guy has ever worked retail? Of course not. Whatever job he does have, do you think he pisses and moans about how rude people are to him? Of course, but to his cramped little brainpan, he's the one with a real job, and retail wage-slaves are just that: Slaves. They go "Yassuh, massuh!" and get off the sidewalk and to the back of the bus when HIS big fat head comes waddling by, OR ELSE. Man, I HATE fucks like this dick. The Sun does not revolve around your unkissed ass, you shit.
Is my bile showing? There were times 20 years ago when I was new to retail, and my blood would pound in my temples thinking about how I really wanted to KILL this kind of dainty little "oh my poor feelings" kind of scum, who searched for any tiny imagined transgression to shriek in offended misery like it actually mattered, and then took it out on me, trying their best to make my job hell, or even get me FIRED. Fired over their 5 seconds of perceived "I am suddenly not the only and most important-est person in the world" shitheadedness.
But then I realized that I was raising my blood pressure, and that's bad for your health. And people like Mr No-Dick are raising theirs over minor crap, and they were the ones that'd fall over dead from a heart attack when some fast food clerk didn't enthusiastically say "Enjoy your little ketchup package!" In certain ways, allowing certain bottom-feeders to dial 911 is bad--Letting self-centered, hyerventilating retards NOT die really thwarts Evolution's need to thin that herd that lies underneath the bottom of the DNA barrel.
I remember the last recession 10 years ago. CT got hit harder than most states. I myself was out of work for 18 months, when Lechmere saved me. At the same time, the insurance companies and aircraft engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney--basically representing the entirety of central Connecticut's economy--laid off thousands of decent, hardworking, upper middle class people. Many of them ended up at Lechmere, which was their first experience in retail from the other side of the counter. While the store was still setting up, a bunch of us Retail Vets were talking with the Retail Newbies in the break room. One woman told me how Aetna Insurance gave her 6 month's severance pay, and use of the company's health club for 18 months. I thought--Well, you're in for a shock.
Just before opening, the Vets were swapping Horrible (but Very Amusing) Customer Stories the way every Vet does. Since we can't yell "FUCK YOU!" into the face of the assholes the way they literally do to us daily, this is done in every retail job. (So if you've ever gone out of your way to "prove" you're "right" in a retail environment, pat yourself on the back for succeeding in NOT proving your "point," and making yourself a laughing stock to dozens or even hundreds of people) The Aetna woman became quite indignant, and told some story about how she perceived some imaginary rudeness in a cashier ten years ago. And a silence fell over the breakroom. I thought, she's in for a REAL shock when we open.
A week after opening, I went into the breakroom, and she was surrounded by people trying to calm her. She was hysterically sobbing. "How can people be so mean?!" she said brokenly. Because they can, I thought, Because they're allowed to, when it's retail.
She quit the next day. Every single non-retailer was gone within 6 weeks of the store's opening. Because certain people go OUT OF THEIR WAY to be mean, to find fault where there is none, to needle every exposed surface of your skin because they know that you can't call them on it when you're in retail. Or meet them in the parking lot and smash your stupid, ugly face against the curb like we'd do if we were a customer (NOTE: and you deserve it, DICK! In fact, there's NO WAY the Earth could be WORSE off with you a BEATEN BLOODY PULP! [ha ha, just kidding! You're awesome when you soil your Depends! Cuz it's FUNNY!!!!])
Every year, Americans become ruder, stupider, and lazier, and more convinced that they are the height of Gourd's Creation simply because they are bigger assholes than they were 12 months ago.

My solutions?
#1: Be like Switzerland! Instead of drafting every male into the Army for 2 years in his lifetime, draft every Ameriduhian into retail for 2 weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Once everyone's on the front lines, they'd realize what it's like being every frustrated asshole's bitch, and learn to walk a mile in my name-tagged shirt.
#2: Require the name, phone number, driver's license number, and, most importantly, WHERE YOU WORK before needlessly bitching about retail service. Yeah, when I have the same power over you that you have over me, would you use it so indiscriminatley? Why aren't the customers forced to wear name badges when they come in a store?
#3: I came up with this idea 15 years ago, and I think that it'd work perfectly: Every retail worker gets government-supplied cattle prods.
It works like this: Every year, you get a GReCaProd (Governent Retailworker's Cattle Prod). It has three charges. If somebody is viciously rude to you, you can give them an incapacitatingly painful prodding. But you couldn't use the prod more than once every four months, or you'd be heavily fined or even arrested, thus disencouraging overuse. Of course, the prod would have a built-in 911-dialup feature, to save the worthless, miserable lives of the assholes you'd be forced to prod. Then the paramedics would take away the convulsing dipshit, and your prod would be down one shock.
At the end of the year, the Government would give you $250 for every shock you didn't use. So you'd have to think, "Is this guy a big enough asshole to waste $250 on?" And he probably would'nt be, as he'd know that there was no reason to be a dick, if it meant writhing on the floor in as much physical pain as he was intending you to feel in emotional pain.
WHINY DICK CUSTOMER: You didn't kiss my ass when I bitched about prices that you have no control over, then you didn't say "Have a Nice Day!" like you REALLY MEANT IT after I complained to your bosses about my tiny little hurt feelings, and tried to get you FIRED!
RETAIL SLAVE: (slapping PROD in hand) ...Cool by me--DICK. **BRRRRZAAAAPPP!!!!**
Eventually, every customer would be nice (from fear of receiving the pain that up till now they'd been giving), and every retail person would be nice (from that extra $750 in their meager paychecks--or that look on that asshole's face when he realizes that IT'S PAYBACK TIME).
And the "Cranky Cashiers" dork? He'd get so many electroshocks that he'd gain everlasting fame! As the Ripley's Believe It Or Not Odditorium's "Smouldering Human Toast Stick." And his shocked smile would be permanent.


Re last night's rant, Scott the Postal Worker said:

And people are always joking about going POSTAL.
"Oh god you work at the POSTOFFICE, are you gonna go POSTAL?"
Why?I work at a fucking country club.
Where else can you play cards 5 hours a night.
How about calling in sick every other day.
Take your time,someone else will do your work!
Its the only place ive seen where if you can't get 1 person to do his job then
you will get 5 temps to come over to do it for him.(so they can have more time
to read or play cards)
So fuck going POSTAL 
How about going RETAIL!!!!!
"We will either carpet you in gold or carpet you in bombs." A look at the War on Everybody Terror that'll make you think. Unless, like most Ameriduhians, you don't like thinking. In that case, go watch Fox news and be told what to think.


which "monty python and the holy grail" character are you?
this quiz was made by colleen

"That's a good doggy! Oh GOD, oh YEAH, a good, GOOD doggy!!
Oh crap. The Press is here."

I guess that Laura isn't putting out these days.


I was brushing my teeth this morning when I noticed Kill Kill in the mirror. She was stretched up as far as she could by the tub, diligently sniffing the bathroom wall and looking above her. Odd. She did this for the whole time I brushed, so it was a good minute of this behaviour. Then she walked over to me and repeatedly meowed with determination over ...something. She was trying to tell me something, but I didn't know what. If I hadn't looked at her but where she was looking, I would've known.
I went into the shower and on the window crawled a thumb-long hornet. Correction: A thumb-long DEAD hornet, after I squished him and sent him down the river Styx, which in this case was the bathtub drain. In my bathroom, the severely retarded design puts a wood-framed window in the shower, and it was open just the tiniest bit, both on the outer part and the inner storm window. How this escaped me throughout winter is a mystery (Oh, wait, we didn't have a winter this year. And possibly not even a Spring, as it hit 92 today)
What KK was trying to tell me was "Look! BUG! Let's play with the BUG, Mommy!" That's good fun when the bugs in question are Tiny Moths, but not when they can hurt a Tiny Cat very bad. I'm just lucky that I saw the thing while I was home.
When I got home, I spotted another giant on the window in the common hallway, another KK play area. I swatted it with my mail a bit too late, only winging it. I swatted again, which made it fly to my knee. No doubt with any good intentions, either. So I slapped repeatedly, stomped on it when it fell, then kicked it over the edge a floor down. Believe me, ever since I discovered a yellowjacket nest in my front yard as a little kid and got the fuck stung out of me, stinging flying things don't get any friendship from me.
What's the deal with hornets, anyway? Monday they were all around the dumpsters at work, but on Saturday they were nowhere. It's not like you see a few little baby hornets for a week. Suddenly & out of nowhere they're bad-asses and everywhere, like ugly on an ape or Constitution-hating on an Ashcroft.

I live near Hartford CT, The Insurance Capital of the World. That's like living near the Child Molestors' Hall of Fame sometimes. Case in point: "When a company well-versed in insurance codes comes to Hartford to buy COLI policies, Hartford does not pay attention to whether 'insurable interest' needs to apply, Chasnoff said.
"Camelot Music was also sued in the same case after former employees, including many part-time workers making close to mimumum wage, discovered they were insured for between $273,000 and $368,000 each. All are former employees, who left the company by 1998, and say they are rightful owners of the policies." Giant corporations make a profit when their wage-slaves die! That'll promote workplace safety!

Dumbya's owners take another page from 1984: The Memory Hole. The White House transcriptionators are replacing Bush's idiotic errors with corrections, to lie for all posterity.

A pretty clever random generator, They Fight Crime! "He's a maverick skateboarding vagrant plagued by the memory of his family's brutal murder. She's an enchanted goth fairy princess with her own daytime radio talk show. They fight crime!"


I'm posting because I'm BORED, and thus the posting may be boring.

I should be doing something useful, like moving that classic Jen White Sailor Moon Mysting off of Zelko's Page of Yams. Geocities shuts it down over bandwidth use every month. But that would be like work, and this is not a day conducive to working.
Not just because it is my day off, but because it's 95 degrees out.
Wednesday: 95. Sunday: 55.
We have a simultaneous Drought Advisory and River Flood Watch.
"'Global Warming will make the weather all crazy'? Get out of here, you hippie tree-hugging nut! There's no such thing! So an Antarctic ice-shelf the size of Rhode Island broke off from melting! It'd been there for 12,000 years! Do you think that you'd drive your SUV for 12,000 years without something breaking?! The only way to protect the environment is more oil drilling! DUH!"

  • How come my web editor doesn't have a paragraph tag that I can easily click on, but these 5 useless tags do?
  • Sorry. Digression. Bored.

    It's sunny and hot, but the humidity is minimal, so it's really quite comfy. Although 2 members of the household would disagree, one in a fur coat and another with an internal CPU temperature of 141 (even with an external fan blowing on it).
    And it's Green Bomb Time, when every day you can spot more green than the day before. I'm surprised that you can't actually watch the leaves unfurl before your eyes. So I went state-parking today. I brought a bottle of water, but it was half gone 2 miles into the park. It was all gone soon after; hunger I can ignore, but not thirst. And then my spine started complaining about something, so I skipped the last 1/4 of the Grand Tour. I stopped at a liquor store/minimart to get something, anything, to drink. The soda cooler had water, 3 flavors of Coke, and Sprite. Wow, nice selection. I bought Sprite and the woman cashiering gave me the least sincere "Hi, how are ya?" you could get (Oh no! I'm becoming that Cranky Cashier dipshit!). Maybe she used her alien mind powers to see that her store might be losing business to a new liquor store opening a few miles up the road, and that she was selling soda to its manager.
    That bit of news I was told just 2 weeks before it's going to open. It has a Serlingesque name:

    You're traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of booze. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of intoxification. That's the signpost up ahead--a signpost you just hit with your car, you goddamn drunk--your next stop, the Liquor Zone!
    I used 4 of the 5 tags. Digression. Bored.

    As Rod Serling once said of his series, "A third of them were great; a third of them were okay; and a third of them were real dogs." We'll soon have 3 stores. Hopefully, this one won't be a dog.
    In a Twilight Zone twist, the owners want to make believe that this store has no connection to the other two--The prices will be a buck higher than the other two, which are state-legal-minimum rock-bottom. Connecticut has a weird law: there's a point that we can't price below, but there's no ceiling. You can pay, say, 12.99 for a big bottle of Fetzer chardonnay in our store, then go a few miles away and get gouged for 20.99. The Twilighty part is that I'm supposed to pretend that this store has different owners, despite the fact that I'll be working in the other 2 stores at the same time. "Umm, yeah, I, uhh, got tired of getting good pay and benefits, so I quit my fulltime job to work 3 parttime ones. Yeah. Really. And 'To Serve Mankind' is a cookbook!"

    I agree with Serling's assessment of his own work. Everyone remembers the good ones, but no one talks about the deadly serious episode in which the giant alien invader turned out to be inflatable, and went sssssss at the end. Or the one starring

  • Carol Burnett
  • Tom Bosley
  • and a laff track.

  • There. That's 5 out of 5.

    I went to Job Lot, and the Canadian army jackets had 0% Canadian Content. False advertising! There wasn't even a special pocket to hold your Molson's.

    On the way to the psot office return my copy of Turkish Star Wars (the guy who sold it to me isn't the one who left it in a VCR set to record, but at $20 a tape I really would've expected the safety tabs to be broken off!) I saw smoke from the general direction of my condo. Rational person that I am, I immediately pictured an electrical fire destroying my house, cooking my Kill Kill, and me subsequently blowing my brains out. A minute later, I couldn't see any smoke. Possibly it was a dark cloud viewed from an odd angle. My brains are currently in an unblown state.

    Unsurprisingly, there are people who think the Crisis du Jour in the Middle East is the beginning of Armageddon. And I think that one of the signs of End Times is that I agree with what William "the F. was for Fuckhead up to now" Buckley:
    "My vote is that Ariel Sharon's offensive is the stupidest campaign in recent memory. Defined here as a campaign that has solved nothing, increased Israel's problems, intensified Palestinian hatred of Israel, estranged many Europeans and Americans, and fanned Islamic hostility."
    Well, I don't agree with him that shooting Arafat and his aides would've solved things, but it probably would've been better than killing civilians in the name of ending terrorism. Here's Mitch Wagner's take on the situation: "A dying child doesn't care whether he is an Israeli or Palestinian, the child doesn't care if he was killed by an Isreali or Palestinian, and he doesn't care about the rightness of the cause that his killer is fighting for. The child doesn't care about much of anything at that point but survival and making the pain stop."

    I was formerly pro-Israeli, but I think that only an idiot at this point can say that only one side is wrong in this nightmare. I've talked to people who are terribly conservative (pun intended), and even they agree that Sharon is a nutcase, if not a terrorist himself. But if your only source of news on the conflict was Lileks' Bleat, you'd get the impression that the only Palestinians that've been killed were the suicide bombers, and Sharon was invading only to hand out fruit baskets. GAH! I live in a world where William F. Buckley makes more sense than James Lileks!
    Actually, I do believe that only one side is wrong: The side with the religious fanatics that won't be happy until the other side, from grandmothers to infants, is completely dead. Hey, waitaminnit!

    You know the "Six degrees seperates every person" thing? Turns out that it's a load of crap.



    I am 56% CANADIAN!!!
    (Take the Canadian-ness test)
    Fries with gravy, sure, but alcohol with maple syrup in it?! Crimeny. I guess that I'll never truly be a Canuck.

    They've invented the Thinking Cap!! Science is wonderful!

    They've invented the Cure for Sleep! Science is evil!
    Think about it...D'ya think that it's remotely possible that Giant Greedy Corporations might see a buck in making workers take this drug "optionally" (in the "keep your job" sense of optionally) and make people work 40 hour shifts? D'ya think? How about in Malaysian sweat shops, d'ya think?

    The Liquor Zone--henceforth from this day forward, simply referred to as "the new store," as I don't want any clear connection between this site and my job--will have a Lotto machine.
    Legalized gambling is evil, I--umm--think. It does keep my taxes down, by being a voluntary tax on the stupid. Or at least those too dense to understand simple math. Buying 10 tickets instead of 1 for Powerball or The Big Game changes your odds from tens of millions against to...10 in tens of millions against. Some cliches become cliches simply because they're true: "You've got a better chance of getting hit by lightning than hitting the Lottery!"
    Another one that's true is "Money can't buy happiness, even if you win a gazillion in Lotto." "One study found that instant millionaires are no happier than recent accident victims."
    I wish that there was a whole page of this kind of stuff--In fact, I once thought about creating a page called "Lotto is for Losers," but didn't know where to start. That link is specific to only one state; there must be thousands of stories like those. I read about a woman who won about 6M in a state Lotto; less than two weeks later, her car was hit by a drunk driver, killing the passenger (her sister), and leaving the winner paralysed from the neck down. I never saw a follow-up on this, but I'll bet that 6M put that one drunk-driving bastard away for a looong time.

    Okay, that's not a story about a Loser. That's just an ugly irony, where a burst of great good luck is replaced by a nightmare of terrible bad luck. But I remember a few news stories from our CT Lotto:
    The first winner of our Lotto married a trophy wife and started a limousine business. The wife divorced to the tune of half his winnings (he was too trusting to get a pre-nup), and since he'd never run a business before, drove it into bankruptcy.
    A guy who won several thousand in a scratch game went into a bar ("Stop me if you've heard this one"), bought a round for the house, and flashed his cash around while bragging about his success. He left the bar quite drunk, and was mugged by some of the guys that he'd bought the round for.
    There was a big story in the Hartford Courant about how the people who'd won the most on games like the Daily Numbers or Cash 5, winnings in the $100K range, were also the people that were on the bankruptcy list. To win that $100K, they'd spent $200K. They were mainly owners of stores that sold Lottery tickets, where the temptation was always there.
    Another guy won $100K. After he collected, it was found that he was a delinquent dad. Almost all his winnings went to penalties and back payments for child support. Which is actually pretty funny!
    The biggest CT Lotto jackpot was split between a couple in their 50s, and a 25-year-old busboy (this happened 10 years ago, so some of the details may be blurred in my memory). The busboy divorced his wife, got a trophy wife, and 18 months after winning, died of an overdose of alcohol and Percodan. This was called an "accident," but believe me, I know from my drug store managing days that if you want to get stoned on prescription drugs, all you need is the time to go from doctor to doctor until you find one who'll prescribe them, and the money to pay for all the visits. A "friend" described him as being "the same as he always was--if he didn't like you, he'd tell you straight to your face." So either he was always an asshole, or someone who became one once he $14M in his pocket. His two exes each collected half of his millions. One wonders how distraught they were about that. And what subsequently happened to them.

    Early on in Lotto Fever, a Pennsylvania couple mortgaged their house, sold all their possessions, and invested in $16,000 in Lotto tickets. "We're sure to at least break even!" said the math-impaired. They won a few thousand, and went into bankruptcy.

    There's nothing wrong with buying a Lotto quick pick. I do it myself, when the jackpot gets high enough that I can fantasize about giving two weeks notice, buying a house, spending my life playing with Kill Kill, working on my website, and making sure that a very few friends have great presents. But I'm dropping a buck on a few day's fantasy, not pretending that I'm investing in my future.
    I know from selling Lotto that the people who get hooked get hooked BAD. And its mainly the people who shouldn't be wasting their money on Lotto in the first place, the poor.
    There was a woman who came in pleading with us not to sell scratch tickets to her mother--When she got her monthly Social Security check, she'd spend all $350 on tickets. And she wasn't the only person who'd drop that kind of cash at once. Another senior spent his day walking from Lotto dealer to Lotto dealer, buying $100 of tickets a day. He walked, as he had no car. A car he could've soon bought, if not for his Lotto addiction.
    The scratch games and the Daily Numbers are the worst. Nobody drops huge sums on Lotto until the prizes get huge (and they always do, as they're designed so that no one can win--In CT, there's been 3 winning tickets in 2 years), and that's because the odds are against winning anything at all. But the scratches and the Dailies throw back a pittance every so often--usually just enough to waste on another ticket--but it's enough to keep that sad flame of hope alive.
    A guy read off his long list of Daily Numbers to Jake, and one was "1977." "Still playing that, huh?" Jake asked, meaning that that the guy'd been playing it since the year 1977. "Has it won yet?" "No," he said, "But it's bound to come up any day now!" This sums up how Lotto People don't understand math. If Lotto was a raffle, yes, eventually 1977 would come up. But they don't retire numbers like ballplayer jerseys; the whole thing resets to zero every time it's played. It's random. The Game could go on for a billion years, and 1977 might never come up.
    Another regular would drop $15 on the same "lucky numbers" every day. One day one of his numbers came up, to the tune of $500! Since he was a nice guy, we were all excited for him. He was not excited. It turned out that he played the same numbers in different stores up to 5 times a day, but that day he only played it once. $15 X 5 X 7 days=$525. All he'd done is offset his losses--for a week!
    Over years, $525 a week becomes a house.
    But to them, they play because they have no hope left except for Lotto. It's really like the same mindset some Palestinian with a bomb strapped to his waist has--What other way is there out? And its end result is almost just as pointless. Kill civilians and continue to wreck your chance at statehood, or kill your chances of escaping poverty by spending all your money. On a voluntary tax on the stupid.

    "IdEAL ORDER Psychic TV to Zap British News and Lottery Broadcasts" The hell?!


    Quote of the Day:
    "I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of the country."--Thomas Jefferson, 1814.
    Sorry, Tom. They won.

    Incident of the Day: I awoke thinking that Kill Kill had jumped on the waterbed, but instantly realized that a 10-pound cat couldn't pick up the bed like a giant pair of hands and violently shake it. My next bleary-brained thought was "Is this what an eathquake feels like?!"
    It happened a mere 275 miles away in NY. There, it cracked foundations and crumpled roads; here, it knocked the hula girl push-puppet off the Commie lunchbox Vyn gave me.
    I wished that it'd happened when I was awake. Animals with excellent hearing can detect earthquake tremors before they hit, as they make some sound undetectable to humans. A customer said that her cats went crazy just before it came, scratching at the door like dogs to get out. Killsy seemed unaffected when I got out of bed 4 hours later. Perhaps, like me before I went to work and found out that there really was an earthquake, she just thought that it was some unusually vivid dream.

    Negaduck (and vote, darn ya! Umm..for "Jen White," that is! Um.) sends this picture:

    Negs says "When I got this fortune cookie, I thought of you. Why? See the wrapper.
    "How many fortune cookies are wrapped with an image of an adorable little girl chowing down on carpet tacks?"

    Only at BIG!Lots:

    Yes, it's a Basket of Moses! And it's "field-tested," whatever that means. A field of reeds? Baby M is made out of the same material as most cat toys, but sadly not stuffed with catnip.
    Item is not colored as pictured, basket not assembled or decorated as pictured. Here are some fun decorating tips! (Items not included)

    "Raffia"? "Woodsies (TM)"? Why only round cereal, but both round and stick pretzels? Terrorist pretzels almost killed our beloved unelected President!

    Communion Wafers   Shed Leper Fingers   Wing-nuts   1-800 Televangelist Donation Number
    NRA stickers   Rubber bullets   Eye for an Eye eyeballs
    Seed-Spilled Whore-Belly   One of Those Big Piles of Biblically-Correct Foreskins

    "So the basic idea behind Wpoison is to trap unwary and badly engineered address harvesting webcrawlers, and to fool them into adding enormous quantities of completely bogus e-mail addresses to the E-mail address data bases of the spammers, thus polluting those data bases so badly that they become essentially useless, thereby putting the spammers who are using them out of business, or at least shutting them down for a time and causing them some major headaches while they try to clean up the messes in their now-heavily-polluted e-mail address data bases." Unfortunately, it doesn't look idiotproofed enough for me to download. And I'd still get 50 Spams a day from retarded Hotmail anyway.

    Speaking of the mail, StarChaser comments on some recent things in this space:

    [Me, I answered the test honestly the 1st time around, and went back today to answer as Canadiennely as I could, and got an 89%. And I think that I have had liquor with maple syrup in it, as Yukon Jack has a nasty, syrupy taste to it. However, while it says "Imported from Canada" on the bottle, a couple of Canadian customers were laughing at it last week, as it was something they'd never seen Up North. Well, you can't buy St Pauli Girl beer in Germany, either. They don't export the good stuff!]About 15 years ago, I went into a liquor store to buy some beer. When I saw the huge line at the counter, I immediately turned around to leave. "I can help you here!" said a guy at another counter. Noting my confusion, he explained "That line's just for Lotto."
    "Oh!" I said. "I noticed that sign in the window that you'd had a $100,000 dollar winner here. Is that why the line's like that?"
    He nodded ruefully. "Yeah, and now we get all these people we've never seen before buying tickets here."
    I smirked, "Because they think your machine's 'lucky,' right?" "Yeah," he said with a tinge of "people are such dopes" in his voice. "And most of our regular Lotto buyers buy elsewhere now, because they think that the machine's used up its luck!"
    People are such dopes.

    If I'd posted last night, I would've posted the following. Glad I didn't, as Mark the Vet found a much longer version than the one I'd read. Hopefully, you haven't seen it yet. "She always wore a smile."

    Excerpts from messages on The Queen Mum's Board of Remembrance:
                  "When Diana died I swore I would never smile again, but
                  eventually I did. Now the Queen Mum has gone I cannot imagine   
                  that I will ever smile for the rest of my life, but I will
                  probably break that one too". 
                  "She was one of the old school, all the remaining royals
                  are shit"
                  J.Clement. Grantham.
                  "I thought she would never die, she has let us all down
                  very badly"
                  D.Holmes, Somerset.
                  "She was a trooper and she never gave up. I remember one
                  time she was visiting a school and I asked her if she would 
                  like to make a visit to the cloakroom before she left.
                  'No' she replied, 'I didn't give in to the Nazis and I won't
                  give in to the bladder'.
                  That's how she was, a fighter, who refused to be beaten by
                  anything. She pissed herself later though, it was sickening".
                  B. Forrester, North Yorkshire.            
                  "She was a marvelous woman, and a wonderful lover". 
                  L. J.Worthington, Penrith.
                  "I am absolutely devastated, at least we could have got
                  the day off".
                  S.Wilson, Bristol.
                  "How refreshing to be able to mourn the death of a member
                  of the Royal family without being accused of being
                  J. Fletcher, High Wycombe.
                  "Her death should act as a warning to others who think it
                  is cool to experiment with drugs". 
                  E. Franks, Cheshire.
                  "On behalf on all blacks, I send the sincerest condolences".
                  T.Watson, Ilford.
                  "Perhaps if we automated her old golf buggy it could still
                  drive around The Mall on its own and bring pleasure to the
                  Y. Powell, Slough.
                  "Once again the Queen is not upset enough for my liking,
                  the woman  should have a bit more compassion, how would she    
                  feel if it was her mother?" 
                  W.Waugh, Richmond.
                  "It is such a loss, God has shat on our heads".
                  K. O'Neil, Inverness.
                  "I am sure the Queen Mum will not let this setback put an
                  end to her public duties". 
                  N. Wallace, Swansea.
                  "I hold Princess Margaret in no small way responsible for
                  this terrible event" 
                  E. Thompson, West Lothian.
                  "Bomb Iraq for us Tony, its the only thing that will make
                  us feel better" 
                  P.McGregor, Southampton.
                  "We must do all we can, send blankets, food parcels, jumpers, 
                  anything to help these brave souls who are queuing up to
                  walk past her coffin". 
                  R. Thompson, Bath.
                  "I have been unable to masturbate for five days, and will
                  not do so again until her majesty is buried" 
                  B. Giles, Oriental Bay.
                  "Good God, who is next, Geri Halliwell?".
                  R. Combes, Romford.
                  "No matter how she felt, no matter the situation, she
                  always wore a smile. Just like a retard" 
                  G. Hollins, East Sussex.
                  "I remember she came to visit us in the East End one time.
                  She was so kind, so generous and so sweet
                  She whispered softly in my ear, 'you
                  know its not true' she said, 'you don't smell of shit'.
                  She was a wondrous person". 
                  E.Collier, London.
                  "Whichever way you look at it, it just is not as exciting
                  as Diana".
                  G.Williams, West Midlands.
                  "She was one of us, and by that I don't mean she perpetrated 
                  insurance fraud or lied about expense claims. She was like
                  us in a good way. God bless you ma'am". 
                  L. Weller, Harlow.
                  "If only I could get my hands on that fish bone right now,
                  you heartless bastard!" 
                  J. Hedges, Cowdenbeath.
                  "She had such a difficult life, always battling against
                  adversity and misfortune.
                  Let us hope that if there is a next time round
                  she is given a life of privilege and comfort."
                  T.D.Wainwright, Hastings.


    Since we had an Official Heat Wave a few days ago (3 consecutive days of temps above 90), it only follows that today I could see my breath. And tonight there's the promise of an inch of snow.

    I left the shower this morning and for no reason that I can recall, I thought of the old Brak "HEY! Where's My Baloney Sammich?" t-shirt. And 8 hours later, a guy walked into the store wearing that exact same shirt!!
    THAT'S my superpower?! The psychic ability to randomly guess future t-shirt sightings? I want my money back! I want the ability to guess winning Lotto numbers instead! Or at least make heads explode like in "Scanners." Or at even more least, the ability to forget that I ever saw crappy movies like "Scanners."

    "There will be a Christopher Walken toy coming soon to your Happy Meal." And it's about DAMN TIME.
    Can a Dennis Hopper figure be next? "MOMMY!"

    Not the funniest Seanbaby, but after virtually nothing over the last few months, why complain? It's a review of a tape on Dirty Dancing called Dancing Dirty.
    "Actual Dancing Dirty Narrator Advice: 'The arms and hands can travel all over the body as desired. Improviiise.'
    "Actual Dancing Dirty Reaction to Narrator's Advice: After seeing these beasts grab each other's beast parts at the same time you hear a voice say some creepy shit like that, the only thing you're going to have to improviiiise is every attempt at an erection for the rest of your life."

    As Freud said, "Sometimes a golf trophy is only a golf trophy."
    This is not one of those times.



    I didn't mention that Mr Poopy, the universally despised coworker, went on vacation and I spent 10 days in what was my store for 4 years. Today I returned to the Big Store. I don't how they're going to put me in the New Store if this is what things look like when I'm not around. I don't expect you to know what my job entails, but everything was a wreck--the coolers, the warm beer section, the empties, the spare 6-pack holders, even the fucking ICE. "Make Ice! Put in freezer up front!" How do you screw that up?
    The really amazing part is that FOUR PEOPLE were doing the job of the one me. I'd say that they did it half-assed, but given their quantity, I guess they each did it eighth-assed.

    Kitties! Weird kitties in an alternate universe, where they dress and act like Americans in the 1940 to 1965 era. And the dogs are still dogs. Unfortunately, there's no way to blow the images to a larger size, as there's a LOT of detail in each postcard. Usually, it's something in the process of spilling.
    The kitty Rock Band implies that the artist had never seen a rock band before, but did find a picture of a Stratocaster. Note how the band consists of four guitarists, all using the same Strat. Though that might make sense, as I imagine an all-guitar band would sound a lot like howling cats anyway.
    Most of these fall into the Poker Playing Dogs meme. The humor is that they're cats--Acting exactly like humans! Ha. Ha. It is to laugh. But every so often, they'll be a sly bit, such as the Track Meet--Three cats jump the hurdles, while a fourth jumps through the hurdle in pursuit of mice.

    Bruce Sterling's speech at some computer thing. Do page down past the highlights; the whole speech is good, but these sig-file quotes just steal the best bits. Though I'll give you a taste, just to get you to read it:

    A review of 11 Years, 9 Months, and 5 Days: Burger Store Episodes and Frustrations. Sounds interesting, but $18 for 90 pages? Get a website, dude! It does deal with a subject dear to our Splutty heart, Retail Slavery.

    What did I do with myself 10 years ago this week, when I was illegally fired by Sam Goody, back before the Web? I read, I listened to music, I didn't play with the cat (didn't have one then), and I did a hell of a lot of crossword puzzles.
    "One such famous puzzle appeared on election eve in November 1996. A crucial fourteen-letter clue hinted, 'Lead story in tomorrow's newspaper.' Outraged solvers quickly jammed phone lines, protesting the constructor's chutzpah when they learned the right answer was 'Clinton Elected.'
    Other callers, however, complained that the right answer, 'Bob Dole elected,' was factually incorrect. What both discovered, of course, was that the constructor had covered his bases -- and earned his place in crossword lore -- by writing the puzzle so that both answers fit perfectly. (The first down clue was 'Black Halloween animal'; both 'cat' and 'bat' worked.)"


    "Open the door, you'll find the secret/To find the answer is to keep it"

    I went back to Bigelow Hollow State Park today. I didn't recreate the lost -in-the-woods-and-almost-pepper-sprayed scenario of 2 weeks ago (though I did slip on some leaves, and almost gave myself whiplash trying not to fall a hundred feet down a steep slope).

    "What can it mean, what is the reason?"
    Several signs said "No Ground Fires." As opposed to...what kind of fires? I suppose that you'd want to keep Air Fires legal, in case the park's villagers need their torches to chase Frankenstein away.
    If they really wanted to prevent Ground Fires, it might be a good idea to get rid of the dozens of low, concrete fireplace things that were scattered everywhere. I passed about ten that had obviously been recently used for fires. Usually there were empty beer cans or bottles right by. Fire and alkyhol! Two great tastes that kill great together! I could tell that Spring's well on it's way: 2 weeks ago, the trees didn't have more than buds, now they have leaves; 2 weeks ago there was no litter, now everywhere there are empty Buds.
    The Blue Loop was 5 miles according to the signs, but it was really 7. They don't count the Yellow Trail part that actually completes the Loop. So it's more of a Blue Arc.
    I didn't want to take the long scenic route around the lake on the way back, so I cut across the penisula by way of a shorter trail. That led to the opposite shore...and then to a parking area about I mile from where my car was. How did I get on another trail? There wasn't one intersecting it, and I'm pretty sure that I didn't walk on water on the way in (although I did heal a leper! He only tipped me a buck, so I made his fig tree die). So was this the Blue Loop, or a Moebius Loop?

    "Is this the end to all that we've done?"
    On the way back, the highway overpass that led to the onramp had 3 State Police vehicles parked on it, and 3 troopers standing by. Using radar guns to track the speeders below, I assumed (The worst stretch of highway in CT is I-84 from Tolland County to the Massachusetts border. It's so underpoliced that there's nothing unusual about people driving 100MPH. On the way up, I saw a guy doing 95 come within a couple of feet of two cars and almost cause a 3-car massacre, cutting them off because he didn't want to wait the literally 2 seconds it would've taken him if he'd waited for the other guy, who was also doing 95, to illegally pass a car). But no--they were parked behind some treetops that blocked both their sight and any radar gun. They were just enjoying the day. Like I was. But hey, I'm on my day off, and my taxes pay your salaries! Get out there and take some bites out of crime! How do you know that I don't have a trunkfull of nailclippers being delivered to Al Qaeda? According to Ashcroft, I regularly aid terrorists by criticizing Bush!

    I just don't get enough hate mail. Not that I'm looking for any, it's just that a Conservative-hating Athiest who (once upon a time) had a 2500-hits-a-week web page would've expected more. Or any.
    When the InExOb about the Valentines Day gifts became a Yahoo! Pick of the Week I got some mail regarding the Maccabees crack, but I didn't clue into that some of it was angry until one guy, after I explained myself, wrote back saying "Well, I guess you're not anti-Semitic after all." Umm. Yes, that would be the correct assumption. Anti-Ariel Sharon, sure, but that's just being sane. And proof that your son will grow up full of hostility if you give two girl names. (Please don't write explaining that Ariel and Sharon are perfectly good names in Hebrew--that was also a joke)
    More typical are the inexplicable emails, like I got when I posted Sisto III to the Space Ghost mailing list. It read in its entirety:
    "Cyborgs do not use contractions."
    Oooookay. Given that he didn't say "don't," I guess that he was speaking as a spokesman for the Bionic-American community.

    Today I got this from Rene Rajotte, regarding "Fun Facts About Canada!"

    Hi Bill Well i read your Canadian facts and well i read lots of those (I am 
    Canadian) and i don't mind that at all. But yours are lame. Come on the you 
    had one or two funny. 3 max. Come on next time take your time and think a 
    little before typing. To me you work like an hour on all of your work abut 
    the facts. Thank you René. Oh by the way what is the link between Germans 
    and Quebecers?
    So it's not funny. But...why would you email someone over that? Does he think it's a joke or for real? I thought that I made it pretty clear at the start of the piece that the joke was "Americans know nothing about Canada." At least he said "don't," so he's clearly not a cyborg.
    But what the hell. I sent him this.

    "Take your time and think before typing." Then spell everything wrong. Oh, these kids today. (And I spelled "Prime Minister" wrong. And, of course, Canadians have PRIME RIBS!)

    Don't download a thing called "Radlight" if you want to keep AdAware on your HD.

    AGAIN with the buying of stupid things! I just ordered this from Donna Kossy:

    0535 Criswell Criswell Predicts Your Next Ten Years 
    Grosset & Dunlap, NY, 1971; trade pb; 96p; out of print; 
    In this sequel to "Criswell Predicts," the wackiest 
    prognosticator of them all forecasts: insulated hatching jackets for 
    pregnant women, a national Black Friday when many will suffocate from 
    air pollution, legalized LSD, pandemonium in our nation's capital, 
    and the spread of cannibalism.
    Yeah boi! I was a Criswell..."fan," I guess is the word, long before I'd seen "Plan Nine From Outer Space." In fact, I sought the film out in those long-gone pre-VCR days on the New York TV stations, just because his spit-curled mug was doing the narration. "Can you prove it didn't happen?!"
    I wrote an article involving this guy for the South Winds, the not-very-cleverly-named student paper at South Windsor High in 1976. Maybe I'll type it up later, if it doesn't turn out to weigh too much on the "painful juvenalia" aspect.
    "CRISWELL PREDICTS! Bill will be too lazy to type up ten inches of column! Then get eaten by CANNIBALS in PENNSYLVANIA!"

    "Man has looked out to Space in wonder, for thousands of years..."
    OOOH, looks like someone left Tom Servo's Sarcasm Generator on high again!
    Fan of space exploration that I am, you'd prly think that I take issue with The Pointer in this Onion farce. Actually, he's right. I think that the International Space Station is a waste. For what it costs, how many robotic probes could we send out? I could be wrong in the long term, if the ISS leads to, say, a permanent human presence on the Moon. Hubble's great, but what could a telescope on the Dark Side of the Moon reveal? Besides a stoner listening to Floyd, that is.
    And, of course, it's pretty obvious what'll happen to the ISS. It'll get invaded by The Green Slime! Just like last time!
    "Something screaming 'cross your mind--GREEEEEN SLIIIME!"
    Just for you, I got all motivated when that thought appeared in my very own head-brain, and Googled you a short review of The Green Slime. Like me, the reviewer is enough of a dinosaur to remember the very short TV ads--about 15 seconds, I think--that preceeded its release. A guy went "AUUGHH!" as GREEN SLIME ate his FACE! Like the BLOB! But MEANER!
    Or so it looked. It turned out that the Slime themselves were midgets in slime suits. You could see their little footies when they ran. And, really, midgets aren't that much scarier when they're slimy.
    The review doesn't mention that this was an Italian-American-Japanese co-production. The actors in this axis of evil of movie-making (think Dino DeLaurentis-American International-Toho) each spoke in their own language, with the "foreigners" dubbed in later in Italian-American-or-Japanese. So the actors couldn't understand what the others were saying in their dialogue scenes. And, boy, did that help the ensemble acting.
    The Vanilla Fudge-like theme song is downloadable. I LOVE this song! I got my copy from a record store dude back in the mid-80s. The music is cool 1968 psychedelia, and the lyrics are...not-all-that-great 1968 psychedelia.
    "Is it just something in your head?/Will you believe it when you're DEAD?! GREEN SLIIIIME!!!"
    I've been quoting the lyrics all through this. They're much better than the ones for the worst rock song about aliens ever, "Monster-a-Go-Go." I was upset when Joel and the Bots actually talked over it! I'd spent hapless years explaining this hideous movie to unbelieving people, just like I'd spent my childhood trying to get people to believe that there was a cartoon called "Super President"!
    The lyrics consisted of "Go, you monster, go!" repeated repeatedly for 3 minutes, with only one different stanza:
    "You may be from beyond the Moon,
    But to me you're just a goon!"

    I'm now getting paid to write The News. Paid piece-rate by the parantheses, italics, and words-with-dashes-between-them I use. I just made like $10!!


    "All" I did tonight was type up that aforementioned High School article on Criswell. It's here if you're interested. There may be typos; it's late.
    It was controversial in it's day (1976, that is). Our only Xtian Fundie teacher was upset that I dared to use the word "hell" as an exclamation, and not to mean "a place where people like me would burn."
    Ah, those were the days! When the rest of the teachers sided with the student, and not the Fundie.
    Those days are gone.


    Well, my best-laid plans ganged aft aglee today. I had it planned down to the minute: I only work 4-8PM tonight (good news; bad news: that means I work 8AM-8PM tomorrow...). I'd get up at the usual time and get the bulk of my daily surfing done, as that makes the short space between leaving work and going back there seem a little longer. Then, I'd hit the used book sale at the Vernon Grange. This should take until about 1:40, which would give me the exact amount of time to hike the state park and still get to work by 4.
    The weather website said that it was going to be 55 and sunny. I looked at that just before I walked outside and discovered that it really was 45, very windy, and not just cloudy but sprinkling. So much for the park.
    And how many people would be at the book sale on a work day? Only bored retirees! I'd have the place to myself.
    My, but there's a lot of bored retirees in this town.
    Nothing too exciting in my purchases, though I did find a book I'd wanted a while back, "The Decline and Fall of Practically Everybody." By "a while back" I mean "so long ago I'd forgotten that it existed."
    I also got "FLYING SAUCERS ARE HOSTILE: UFO Atrocities from strange disappearances to bizarre deaths." "The evidence set forth in this new book is terrifying--and true! YOU DARE NOT ALLOW YOURSELF TO IGNORE IT!" Sounds like Criswell in Plan Nine. "Future events like this will affect us in the future!"
    "I wrote the best anti-terrorism report written." Criswell? No, a quote from "The Wit & Wisdom of George Bush," meaning the first one. On visiting a Nazi death camp: "Boy, they sure had a thing for crematoriums, huh?"
    I guess I'm know officially a male Cat Lady, as I bought "The Cat Who Came for Christmas." This was a best-seller about 15 years ago, when I never would've entertained the notion of buying a book about a rescued cat. But, it's by Cleveland Amory, who's good, and the cat is all white. Looks like Killsy's male twin. Another cat-themed bit of Xmas was a Christmas LP with another all-white cat on the cover.
    And then I went home. My aglee plans were to Kill Kill's benefit, anyway, as we got to play and hang out for a few extra hours. And you get a bunch of reading today.

    Remember my advance screening of Jason X? Roger Ebert reviews it with a machete.

    Wedding Porn. Pretty entertaining look at Yuppie romance novels and the freakhouse that is the TV show The Bachelor.

    Also from Salon, literature of a higher caliber, the earliest known novel by a slave. The most interesting part is the work spent determining whether or not it's a forgery.

    Tom Tomorrow on The Bachelor: "Here's the thing: the real value of The Bachelor is that others value him. The women want to be chosen, to have their value affirmed, because others are in competition for the same goal. It's capitalism made e-z."
    We're also informed that the Bachelor in question's favorite reading material includes The Economist. EEEEEEEUUUWWW! I read The Economist! My brain is so dense with knowledge that it's causing the Earth to wobble in its orbit!

    I'm familiar with this story, but if you haven't heard of the 18th-century chess-playing robot Turk, check it out.

    Of course, no one today would believe in a wooden robot. We're much smarter today!


    Well, if yer gonna get stuck working a 12 hour shift in a likker store--It's best when the store isn't open.

    At the last minute, I was told to Zone out--err, go the New Store. 8 hours of paperwork, then fiddling about with my store, making it as best I could MY store. Clean and effecient and customer-friendly, just like my Old Store was before they gave it to Mr Poopy Pants, who made it clumsy and unorganized and plastered various versions of "DON'T DO THIS!" everywhere. The NO SMOKING sign was mine, and I could go along with his "No shirt, no shoes, no service" sign. The latter is standard, and the former is state law. The "SHUT COOLER DOOR BEHIND YOU!" sign I don't like. Research has proven that too many negative signs make customers feel unwelcome. And putting a sign on ALL 14 beer cooler doors saying "Single beers this way," followed by a few final ones screaming "SINGLE BEERS IN COOLER BEHIND YOU!"...Christ, it's just his power trip. He can't get away with calling the customers "stupid" or "moron," like he does with employees in front of customers, so this is his weird way of oppressing his Iron Will on them, too. We tried a "singles door" for the first year the store was open, and it was a flop. People will grab from a 6-pack anyway, and if you graft those 6-packs-that-are-now-5-packs into a single cooler door, you just end up with a random collection of weird shit that no one will ever buy. If they see that 5-pack of Molson Canadian, they know that other people have grabbed from it, so they will too. Eventually, the 5-pack becomes a no-pack. Segregate those beers on Beer Leper Island, and no one touches them.
    There's a Molson's Canadian in Poopy's cooler. It's been there since last Summer. It will taste bad. That doesn't matter, as it has a label on it that will make no one buy it, as Molson's changed it last Summer, so everyone will know that it is Old and Bad. Someday soon, it will go into Second Fermentation and explode like a Hell's Angel in a Nevada casino.
    There is no Singles Door in My Store. "Singles?" I will boisterously laugh like the stout yeoman of Ye Olde Pub. "We care not for such dictatorial nonsense! Grab, good fellow, grab as you may from our expansive selection of fine brews! Sample the bounty of Brother Barley and Sister Hops! Savor the taste of BEER! Enjoy the taste, stay for the mild buzz! In moderation! And pay 25% more for The Singles! Engorge our bottom line! Inflate our pathetic 20% gross margin while you inflate your bladders! KEEP ME EMPLOYED by ding-battedly buying beers in measures less than six! Ya dopes! I got health insurance you're paying for! Note thee the M.A.D.D. ribbon that hangs from my rearview! Drink and drive, and I'll KILL YOU, MOTHERFUCKER!"
    To keep my Stout Jolly Yeoman thang goin' on, I should probably work on that "Kill you" bit.

    Working there meant I missed my weekly trip to BIG!Lots. Perhaps Jerry Van D misses me, as there were 4 copies of their flyer in my mailbox when I arrived home. Or maybe the Post Office is using a mail sorter bought from BIG!Lots.

    "Muslim Brothers in Palestine, do not have any mercy neither compassion on the Jews, their blood, their money, their flesh. Their women are yours to take, legitimately. God made them yours. Why don't you enslave their women?"
    And that's from the National Review, which could only be more right-wing if it were the National Socialist Review.
    Liberals and Conservatives both don't like the Saudis. Why is it that? Lefties hate them because they're a repressive, backwards dictatorship straight out of the Middle Ages, with the money and power to crush their people with the money from their corruption. Rightwingers hate them because they say Naughty Things about America in their state-owned newspapers. And, umm, other stuff ignored about Fundie Islamic Gummints before 9/11. What part of "repressive, backwards, utterly corrupt dictatorship straight out of the Middle Ages with the money and power to crush their people with US support" doesn't apply to China, except the part where China buys from us and not vice-versa? And for all the conservative cawing against Saudi Arabia, where's the part where they make Dumbya put his money where his Corporate Mouthpiece is: The biggest funders of Al Qaeda have been, will be, and ARE NOW, the Saudi Royal Jokes Family. Why isn't Bush bombing or even criticizing them? (Oh, yeah--he's an oilman)
    "Let's Roll," let's bomb Iraq, attack Iran, destroy North Korea, just so long as we suck up to the Sauds. They're everything we hate, we're everything that they hate, they are crazed Fundie terrorist funders, they ARE Evil, but they sign Cheney's bonus checks!

    Speaking of giant monsters, here's somebody's attempt to make a Godzilla role-playing game. Not stand-alone, unfortunately. If you haven't watched any of the recent Japanese Gojira flicks, the timeline will confuse the sushi out of you--The fun, goofy '60s Godzilla has been retconned from the story, and replaced with a serious one. Who'd wanna play that game? Where's Jet Jaguar? (Although MST3K's the "Gamera is good to eat" song is better known, for my money, the funniest thing they ever did was subtitle the Japanese lyrics to the Jet Jaguar theme. Maybe because I'd taped the song, goofy even in Japanese, off of the TV long before the existence of Crow T. Robot)

    Of course, I just blundered across that Godzilla RPG thing. Googling turns up crap, such as this awful Geocities page: "Pic a monster or a robot at the Mon Pic Page, then make up a person that dose stuff that the monsters can't!!! If you have no idea what Im tlaking about you will!!!" No. No, I'm pretty sure that I won't.

    If you ever come across a copy of "The Cat Who Came for Christmas" for 50 cents like I did, pick it up. Hell, buy it new if you're cat-oriented. Friday night I decided to read a coupla paragraphs to see what it was like, and ended up reading a coupla chapters. On my half-hour break, I made it halfway through the book. It's hardly demanding reading, but that doesn't mean that it's not well-written. It's the kind of book that you read with a smile on your face, chuckling frequently and laughing occasionally.
    Cleveland Amory is one of the founders of the modern movement for humane treatment of animals, the Fund for Animals--not "Animal Rights," per se, as in PETA. Half my friends are vegetarians or Vegans, and even they roll their eyes at PETA sometimes. Tossing red paint on fur coats? I think that's actually pretty cool! But I find it hard to believe anyone who can afford to buy a fur coat isn't someone who couldn't just go buy another. [Me, I'd throw the paint on their own hair, and leave them with the choice of shaving it off] But when they protest cow-pie throwing contests because "it humiliates the cows"--Well, that just makes them look like idiots, and distracts from their real message.
    I've got to admit that I'm kinda on the fence on that whole issue. I mean, Mary Kay, fuck her! Do we really need new types of makeup? If we do, why don't we just operate on the presumption that rubbing it in eyes is bad, and just put "Don't rub this in your eyes, you damn retard!" on the package and let Darwin take care of the people who do? I don't go to zoos, circuses, or even aquariums with marine mammals. I also don't go to jails, and if there's a difference between them I missed it.
    But then there's medical testing. Do PETA members refuse to take aspirin? That's probably been tested on animals. If they had cancer or AIDS, would they just die, rather than let some genetically-altered mouse try the medicine beforehand?
    But then, what about chimps? They're test subjects because they're 98.7% genetically identical to humans. And what about cats? Their brains and nervous systems are the next-most similar to humans, and they get tested on, too. Even a mouse can feel pain, but two animals with enough intelligence to understand that they're being tortured?
    Okay, I've wandered far enough afield. There was a whole two pages in "The Cat Who Came for Christmas" about experiments on cats, so don't categorize the whole book by this. But I was horrified and angered by one Amory mentions: A scientist--I use the term loosely here--attached electrodes to week-old kittens, and when they approached their mother to nurse or cuddle, he'd give them electroshocks. The closer they got, the higher the voltage. Of course, the mothers would try to help their screaming children. Then he'd shock them more. The mothers attacked the "researchers" or tried to remove the electrodes. When they realized what was happening, they started to force their own babies away from them, to spare them the pain.
    The purpose of this experiment? To study juvenile delinquency. The guy was torturing kittens in front of their mothers to find out why people become evil.
    Try looking in the mirror.
    In the meantime, I've got an experiment of my own--"Do sociopathic researchers enjoy having cattle prods rammed up their asses for the rest of their lives?"
    I'm on the fence, but my legs are on the PETA side.


    The most interesting that happened to me today wasn't very interesting. There was a long line at the register at BIG!Lots, but a very nice young man pulled me out of line and rang me up. That worked out great! Then I went next door to buy groceries. Tip to Stop & Shop: The Express Lane is a bad place to put your slowest cashier. Defeats the whole "express" concept, really. He was trying to scan some old lady's coupon, and failing. 10 minutes later, after I'd taken my 12-items-or-less to another line, he was not only still wrestling with that 1 coupon, he'd finally turned the damn Blinking Light on, the one that called someone over to do something about it. It was a real yin-and-yang experience; the teenaged black guy with the bad facial hair who was polite and fast, followed by the late-50s fat white guy with the Ultimate Mullet (long in back, but bald on top--and of course, looking unwashed) who was the kid's antithesis. For all I joke about Jerry Van, the B!L shopping experience is never as bad as the grocery store.

    As that's my Interesting Story, I now lazily abrogate all resposibility and just leech the next 3 links off of Star Chaser.:

    "All Look Same shows you pictures of 18 Asians, and you're supposed to decide whether they're Japanese, Chinese or Korean. I got 7, average."
    That's the same score I got, but it considers "average" to be "very bad." Sorry, but they did all look the same to me--They look like Americans.

    "And Incriminati, the game where you have to clean up the apartment before your parents show up..."
    The game's quite easy--Unless you're wasted, which I think is the assumed default. But it's also quite funny.

    He also sends a weird Russian who makes music with a 386 and a voice synth. It's funny, and odd.

    And I thought that those "Sex on the Farmyard" spams were pointed at a small audience: "DIRTY FLEA BITTEN WHORES DOING ANYTHING YOU WANT!!!" Wow, dirty and fleabitten?! COUNT ME IN! I hope that they have head lice, too!
    I never got spam on my Hotmail account until Microsoft bought them. Then it was an instant torrent. There's no way to remove your saved messages on Hotmail to your HD that I'm aware of. You'd think that MS would supply a way, as it's their HD storing all my crap.
    The spam just kept getting worse, and then a coupla months ago, Hotmail announced that you could buy more storage space! If your inbox is filled with the spam they don't filter, you'll stop getting new messages! What an odd coincidence! You get all that spam, you can't move the stuff you want onto your computer, so the only solution is to give Bill Gates more money! WHAT ARE THE ODDS?!

    "Why should we accept this? Is it our country, our communities, our economic destinies—or theirs? Wal-Mart’s radical remaking of our labor standards and our local economies is occurring mostly without our knowledge or consent. Poof—there goes another local business. Poof—there goes our middle-class wages. Poof—there goes another factory to China. No one voted for this . . . but there it is. While corporate ideologues might huffily assert that customers vote with their dollars, it’s an election without a campaign, conveniently ignoring that the public’s 'vote' might change if we knew the real cost of Wal-Mart’s 'cheap' goods—and if we actually had a chance to vote."

    A tribute to the Canadian military, in the wake of Ameriduh's Friendly Fire massacre in Afghanistan...
    And the inevitable show of kindness and respect one has learned to expect from retarded Americans: Booing their national anthem at hockey games, and burning their flag. Think that anyone could burn an American flag today, and not get beaten to death? GOD FUCK AMERIDUH!

    "World War III will not be two egomaniacal superpowers battling for supremacy and bragging rights. It will be scattershot and bewildering, a hundred different battles fought on a hundred different fronts for a thousand ever-shifting reasons, each and every one twisted and distorted by regulation GOP spin doctors who somehow convince the bulk of the populace that it's somehow patriotic to be cavity searched and fingerprinted and beaten with a stick when you buy groceries.
    "We are so close. We are on the verge of something very dangerous and irreversible. You can hear Dick Cheney breathing hard, just aching to press The Button. The human animal is capable of staggering atrocities and deadly choices and the thick-necked frat boys in charge right now are the most darkly capable we've suffered in decades."
    I read that cheery World's-Gone-to-Hell article right before reading Roger Ebert's essay on "Umberto D," which includes this quote:

    And sometimes, that's really all you can do.

    To end on a less somber note, that essay is part of Ebert's Great Movies series. I was lucky enough to catch it when it had a dozen titles; it's since grown to about 150, with another added every other week. It makes a great bookmark--Explore it at your leisure, or just start at the top and work your way down. Yeah, it does have those Important Movies that every critic has weighed in on, such as "Citizen Kane" and "2001." But one of the great things about Ebert is that he's not a pompous ass (as Kevin succinctly put it, "Unlike most film critics, he's not full of himself"). So there's "My Neighbor Totoro" and "Yellow Submarine," "Goldfinger" and "A Hard Day's Night," "Silence of the Lambs" and "Un Chien Andalou" in there too. Another great thing about Ebert is that he's such a great writer. Even if you have interest in seeing the movie he's reviewing, the essay is always worth reading. And, given the films I've seen on his list, they really are great.
    Note: Overuse of adjective "great" in last paragraph was deliberate.

    The Hell?!

    Nevermind. It led me to Unnovations somehow. Funny! Weird! British!