"There's only one thing that I know how to do well,
And I've often been told that you can only do what you know how to do well,
And that's be you,
Be what you're like,
Be like yourself."
--TMBG, "Whistling in the Dark"
Noooo interest in typing. But I refuse to let myself go more than a day without posting.
The Snow Domes of the Apocalypse. Okay, A Snow Dome. I can't wait for the one with the swirling dead cattle or newborns.
It seems to be legit. Is it? Well, you'll find out from me, as I ordered one. My PayPal message was half the same as all my PayPal messages, and half different:
"Please DO NOT use UPS! Please use US Postal Service. Please do not take my money if this a joke. Or stuff like that. Umm."It cost $6.83. Shouldn't that be $6.66?
If you're an astronomy fan like me, check out these
pics from the Hubble's new camera. GUH! The unimaginable beauty and majesty (and just plain size!) of the Universe makes me believe that there's a God. The unbelievable hatred and intolerance humans assign to Him makes me sure that there isn't one--or at least, hope that He wasn't foolish enough to REALLY design us in His image.
Does Gourd also have a useless appendix? I mean, if we really are in His image, maybe he gets diarrhea, too, and that's when He speaks through the mouth of Pat Robertson.
Bush will Wag the Dog. First it was Korea, then Iraq, the Iran, then all three, then, each in their turn again! But it will be somebody.
I'm not a paranoid guy, but there's never been any doubt in my mind that when Bush Junior was magically wished into the Presidency, Bush (meaning George the First, the CIA guy) started getting ready for 2004. By making sure that that election is all rigged good and proper, before it's even started. "Oceania will always be at war with Eurasia."--1984.
Okay, enough crankiness.
Yahoo now has a category of "Humorous Personality Internet Quizzes." Go do them! Go away and leave me be! Darn smoochers!
(Early quiz results: I'm Dead Jim Morrison, a Neutral Good Elf Bard Thief ["Follower Of Oghma"], and most likely to have Star Wars Sex with--Jabba the Hutt?! BLEAH! I think I'll stop now!)
From my Elf personality test result: "Neutral Good characters believe in the power of good above all else. They will work to make the world a better place, and will do whatever is necessary to bring that about, whether it goes for or against whatever is considered 'normal'."
Sounds like a reasonable way of life to me!
What took so long?
This is titled "The Hulk (Nibbs) has just raided Liquor Zone":
Fortunately, not the Liquor Zone I work in, which opened today (and what's up with that woman's face? It looks like a stretched Silly Putty transfer of a face). 30 customers over 12 hours, for a grand total of $222 in sales. Given the meager profit margin we work with, I believe we cleared enough to pay for the 4 hours I worked today. Meaning that we started taking a loss when we turned on the electricity.
But that's without us even having a sign near the sidewalk announcing that we're open. Business will build over the days to come. In the meantime--to quote Depeche Mode, Enjoy the Silence.
"In a prayer written for the National Day of Prayer, May 2, the Reverend Lloyd Olgivie, the Senate chaplain, asks God to 'bless our President, Congress, and all our leaders with supernatural power.' He didn't beseech God to endow them with strength and wisdom--a more reasonable request--but to make them superheroes."
"Strange fish swim beneath the sea of the future waves of time!"
"CRISWELL Predicts YOUR NEXT TEN YEARS" came in the mail today. The "10 years" in question are the 1970s. Let's just grab at random...(All excerpts sic; if you've seen "Plan Nine," use that stentorian "Future events like this will affect us all in the Future!!" voice)
Q: What will be the most shocking event of the next ten years?
A: I predict it will almost sound like science fiction, but it will all be true! A South American Communist controlled nation will openly admit a hospital clinic of unspeakable horrors where girls and women are bred to animals of all kinds, with very horrifying results. The sperm is built up and can be accepted by the human female womb! A nightmare of unspeakable orgy!
Q: Will we ever have a national curfew?
A: I predict that America will have a national curfew for ten p.m. each night starting January 1, 1974 after the Boston burning and the sacking of Bridgeport, Connecticut!
THE STRANGLING, CHOKING DEATH
I predict that on a quiet Sunday afternoon, the sulfuric gasses from outerspace will sweep the world when it passes through a gas belt. This gas will strangle and choke to death millions of people. Animals will survive for they will bury their noses in the dirt, but Man will perish in great numbers, for he has been softened by 20th century living! Once man faced this same element, but survived, but this time man will perish! Date: June 25, 1978.
I predict that the Church, the Chamber of Commerce and the American Legion will crack down on a dangerous, daring and detestable musical which portrays world scenes with the cast absolutely nude. The Crucifixion, Washington Crossing the Delaware, the Signing of the Declaration of Independence, Betsy Ross making the flag, the Battle of Gettysburg, the Last Supper, Custer's Last Stand, and other historical and religious events including Moses handing down the Ten Commandments--all with stark naked actors!
THE AUTOMATIC ATOMIC PLAGUE
I predict that during the next ten years we will be faced with what the Historians will call "the automatic atomic plague" which will sweep parts of the world! Our miracle men of medicine will search for a miracle to control this galloping, astounding and shocking disease!
SYMPTOMS: Slight chills due from poor circulation. Certain dizziness and loss of balance! Ravenous appetite! Cravings for pastry, rich gravies, confections and candy. Skin blotches of purple, shortage of breath and tired aching muscles will be followed by the abdominal muscles giving away and the intestines dropping to the floor, completely unattached!
TREATMENT: The patient should take to bed for a period of an hour, then must walk an hour to restore circulation. After the third day the intestines drop to the floor, and the abdomen is open, bleeding and could mean a certain fatality in some cases, but in others the intestines remaining grow back together, as Mother Nature mends!
DESTINATION: The destination of this epidemic-plague will cover most of the world effecting half a billion citizens of all countries. The hard hit will be the Orient and Africa, France, England and Nova Scotia.
LENGTH OF PLAGUE: I predict that this automatic atomic plague-epidemic will run its course within three years and will depart as mysteriously as it came like a thief in the night who stole a half-billion lives!
A NEW RACE
I predict that the new race of man, which will appear after August 18, 1999--the end of the world--will crawl on all fours, with our hands and feet becoming claws for physical protection!
"The Pipe Bomber is your Friend!" says the Pipe Bomber.
A woman gets the 419 scam, and plays it to the hilt.
I pulled a 12-hour shift at The New Store Saturday. That's like a month in Big Store years.
12 hours, 24 customers, $250. That's like a slow hour in either of our other stores. But we still don't have a sign by the plaza entrance, and you'd have to look 90 degrees to your right to see us from the road. But I've no doubt that every customer who came in is coming back, so it's just a matter of time before it takes off. And in the meantime, I'll be spending 28 hours a week being paid to read R.A. Lafferty and Criswell.
And so far, the customers are neither *incoming unfair generalizations* the snobs that frequent store number 1, nor the slobs that frequent #2. Another plus is that the rest of the plaza is a covenience store with a faux-Subway Blimpies, a Chinese restaurant, and a Pakistani pizza parlor. Which means that once dinnertime has passed, there's no reason to go there. This is the opposite of the other two stores--They always have some idiots happy to make total strangers work unpaid overtime by sauntering in 30 seconds before closing time. Here, I count down my drawer and put the money aside at 5 of 8. If someone buys something, I'll just put their cash aside and close out at exactly 8PM. But there hasn't been anybody after 730PM so far. Sweet! Plus, after 6 months, I'm finally back to 8 hour shifts and Sunday-Monday off. And there was much rejoicing.
Rejoicing, too, as today is a beautiful day. A great day to stretch out in the window, watching the birds flit by, hoping one gets close enough to nibble.
But birdwatching is strenuous work! Eventually, one tires of the exertion, and one must take a nice nap in the sun...
But basking in the sun is hard work, too! Oh yawn!
Fan mail! Again with the lack of hate mail (the Canadian guy never wrote back, surprisingly enough). It was from Mike in the UK. He has a page with humour on it, collected from the net. I'd only seen a couple of those before, and I only didn't get the overly British ones. And it led me to tubcat.com.
I would've thought that I would've got the Britishy ones. I've watched all the episodes of Monty Python and The Young Ones, so that makes me an expert, right?
Maybe not. I haven't seen The Young Ones since MTV cancelled it for something much better, like The Real World or The Brothers Grunt. But there's a page of transcripts, where I found my favorite quote. They're trying to get a loan from the bank, and communally write a nice, polite letter:
"Darling Fascist Bullyboy;
Give me some more money, you bastard!
May the seed of your loin be fruitful in the belly of your woman;
In the "who cares, Bill?" category, I bought the second round of Road Warrior figures via eBay yesterday. For half what they would've cost me otherwise, thenk yew. If you're familiar with the movie (as opposed to "weirdly obsessed" like me), the choices for the new four are curious: the Golden Youth (who got the steel boomerang in the forehead), Toadie (who got the steel boomerang in the fingers), Mad Max (maintaining the line's 33% Mel Gibson quotient--ostensibly, it's Mel from the first Max movie, but his accessories include the tank of gas from Road Warrior), but still no Papagallo, one of the three main characters. Instead, the fourth figure is Bad Cop. This was several guys who wore a police uniform, dark glasses, a riot helmet, and a studded leather bandana across their chins--Okay, it was ONE stunt man dressed like that, pretending to be several guys by hiding as much of his face as possible. I suppose that the third set will include "Grinning Mohawker," a guy that gets killed early on, but then reappears Bad Cop-ly in the climax as "a totally different stunt man" who's just the same guy with the mohawk died blue and not grinning.
Multiple Bad Cops I can overlook, but the reappearance of Grinning Mohawker (that's how he's credited) is really jarring. He's killed in a very early scene that establishes where all the characters lie on the moral spectrum. I almost didn't go to this movie back in 1983 because a review mentioned that it had a rape scene. In 80s American movies, this meant that it was done by the bad guys, so you could pretend to hate the rape if you were in the theater with your girlfriend, but shot in close, intricate detail as if the viewer was a participant, so the males in the audience could also get a guilt-free hard-on, or even cheer if they were girlfriend-free. But I read a review in Danny Peary's Cult Movies book at the same time that gave thumbs-up to Mad Max, and I've never seen a movie that he's recommended that wasn't worth watching. So I went to the matinee.
Being an Australian rather than American movie, the rape scene was treated as it should be. It was not shot up-close-and-personal, but literally distanced by Max and the Gyro Captain viewing it through binoculars. And it was ugly, brutish and cruel. When the rapists killed the victim, the Captain put down the binoculars in horror. Despite all he'd seen after the Apocalypse, there were still things that repulsed even him. And Max raced to the scene--not to save a dying man, but out of greed for a reward.
In one quick scene, the movie established how evil the villians were, that there were still survivors that had empathy for others, and how much of a "burnt-out shell of a man" that Max had become. And the movie was about how he regained his humanity from this low point.
With cars blowing up!!
Whoa...Days off sure lead to sidetracks here, don't they? I really brought up the whole figures thing because the seller had a used video games page!! Wow, maybe I can add to my purchase by picking up that old NES game based on Road Warrior that I'd foolishly passed on years ago! I highly recommend this page even if you have no interest in Old School video games. It's a good lesson in "why you shouldn't let the web designer do whatever he pleases." Is there a customer-friendly page simply listing all the games they have to sell, or even one listing them by system? No! Too Old School! Instead, clicking on a system leads to a pop-up window, which leads to insanely anal drop-down menus, such as this for Colecovision:
Accessory Accessory / AC / 1st-Party Action Action / Adventure Action / Maze Action / Platform / Fixed Screen Action / Puzzle Action / ShooterOkay, where would you find "Road Warrior" on this list? (note: this is just the "A"s of the list for this one system) Ya got me; I gave up looking when I discovered that clicking on a category led to another pop-up window. "Action" included "The Cabbage Patch Kids," which is probably the LEAST action-filled game EVER. I sold these same games for years in the 80s, and even I have no clue what "Action / Platform / Fixed Screen" even means. And of course, clicking on a category or a game or a different category opens a DIFFERENT POP-UP WINDOW! This is the second-worst designed site I've ever seen!
Another unsexy sex spam title: CUM SLURPING GRANNIES.
Crash! Bang! They're replacing the 30-year-old oil tanks around the condo. Today, they're doing the one down the hill and behind another building. Kill Kill is fascinated by the noises. She will be less fascinated when they do the one directly under the window she's looking out of, and that'll be sometime in the next day or so. She'll be under the waterbed all day. I hope that there'll be enough oil in the heater to give me a warm shower.
Did the Condo Association (or, as I've always called them, the "Condo Ass") tell us that they were going to reshingle the roof or replace the gutters? No, because then we'd know to move our cars and not get blocked into our garages. Did they tell us that they were going to paint the windows on our garages opaque white, so they can't be seen out of? No, because then they would've had to explain why the hell they did it in the first place. Did they tell us that they were going to replace the oil tanks? Of course! As they're charging me $550 for the privilege, and I wouldn't know to cut them a check if they didn't. Did they tell us that they'd decided to charge us $550 to replace the oil tanks before they decided to replace the oil tanks? Take a guess...
It was supposed to be gray and drizzly today, but I was determined to go State Parking anyway. Mr Weatherman was wrong; it's even more gorgeous today than yesterday. They'd finally opened up the Park's non-Winter parking ("Winter" to the Park's mind starts in October and runs until May Day). Not a single soul did I encounter, nor any Bitches to be Fucked-Up. Bliss...
Then, off to BIG!Lots to buy delicious Hansen's Black Ice Tea (only 59 cents!). Ya know what's weird? Driving behind an ancient & rusting VW Rabbit that has two dozen noddy-head dog statuettes in the rear window, all bobbing their flocked heads in agreement to something-or-other at you, that's what. And then there were the standard "only at B!L" kinds of stuff: Hebrew Trix, Korean Pop Secret, Gulden's Mustard in the 8-pound Death Jar ("I find your lack of condiments...disturbing."), and a failed Kellogs cereal called "Keepers." "With fish-shaped marshmallows!" Fish-shaped everything, in fact. Ever have a craving for a big bowl of cold fish first thing in the morning? Well, that's why it ended up at BIG!Lots.
I went to the grocery store to deposit my paycheck at the ATM. The ATM was down, the teller line was therefore very long, "Try another branch." I went to the one here in town, and it was down, too--"Try another branch." No thanks. They're all down, obviously.
Checking my online banking, I saw that I was one check away from my checking account dropping below $1K--which means a month of checking fees. So I transferred the amount of my paycheck from savings into checking. I'll just deposit my check into savings when the ATMs are back up. Gourd, but I love the Web!
(Did I say "The story of my day is really interesting"? No, I did not! Your own fault for reading this then, really)
From Kirk, a look at the shady practices of John "Crossing Over" Edwards. It's interesting, but it isn't news to me; I saw a documentary on Edwards and people like him long before he became The Latest Sensation. I said, "He's just a cold reader, and a pretty crappy one at that." The same documentary had a cold reader do Edwards' shtick, and do it much better and faster--and this guy was an athiest! That link gives you some of Edwards' other underhanded ways of conning people into thinking he's communicating with the dead, while making himself a millionaire (it also has some of its writer Michael Shermer's trademarked self-aggrandisement--"Last month Skeptic magazine was the first national publication to run an expose of John Edward..." National magazine Skeptical Inquirer did a cover story on him last year).
Since I talked about Road Warrior yesterday, the movie I've seen in theaters more than any other, today I'll briefly talk about the movie I've seen more than any other on video, Voyage Into Space. An eBayer's selling the TV episodes that the "movie" was cannabilized from as a 7-DVD set. It's very obvious that he simply has the videos and a DVD burner, so when this Priceless Collectible is sold, he'll crank out another. Obvious to me, anyway, but not to some of the bidders--it's over $100 right now. I'd like to buy one, but the Law of eBay's Diminishing Returns says that the next time it's up for bid, it'll sell for less, and then less the next time...I hope to grab one for about $30. Of course, I'll have to buy a DVD player, too. At any rate, the seller has some thumbnails that only hint at the absurdity of this movie. Yep, there's the extremely not-scary Giant Floating Hairy Eyeball!
Kill Kill and I were asleep this morning when rumbling could be heard outside. They'd come to replace the oil tanks. Killsy raised her head, then settled back to sleep. Then a shriek of the damned roared, and KK bolted for the safe zone under the coffee table. At least she wasn't so frightened that she'd run under the bed.
They were using some giant saw to cut up the sidewalk. I closed the window, for all the good that did, and figured that I might as well get up a little early today.
There was enough hot water for a 3-minute shower, which was long enough for that saw to have stopped. As I put my clothes on, Kill Kill jumped onto the bed and laid down. I stroked her physically and verbally, praising her courage in the line of fire. She purred, and curled up as if to nap. I went online.
I'm not sure what the purpose of the saw was, since the next step in removing the sidewalk was "HULK SMASH!" A backhoe spent 15 minutes slamming its bucket into the ground, making the building shake. And Kill Kill looked for the better part of valor under the bed.
And all they did was pull the old tank out! We seem to have hot water, but I think we'll see some more cold feet from the Small White tomorrow.
I'm 1/3 through the Criswell book, and he's made over a hundred predictions. Not only are none right, none are even remotely twistable into a form that resembles the 70s, or even the last 30 years. Okay, he did say that there'd be the first woman on the Supreme Court, and that Orlando, Florida would gain some fame. But Justice O'Connor wasn't appointed in the 70s and he predicted that by 1980 all 9 justices would be women, and that Orlando's fame would come from the life-altering wonder drug, Oil of Mink. He contradicts himself constantly, sometimes on the same page. He'll rhaposdize on how lucky we'll be to be alive in the 70s, "the most eventful and most wonderful!" of all times. War will end, medical care will be free, "undreamed of inventions which will stagger your mind..." Pong, maybe? But this is just pages before or after The Second Civil War between the North and South, and an "American Armageddon!" in which Boston Conservatives massacre the "Red Liberals," the return of the Black Plague and nation-wide epidemics of head lice and "rotting teeth," volcanos that lead to "a harvest of destruction in 1972-1973-1975 never before witnessed by mankind," climate change reacting with recreational drugs that "will effect the juices in the body, leading to a gurgling death!...Over one million teenagers will die!" and the Government will open Concentration Camps for its enemies (of which Criswell approves!), the "best seller of the 1970s will be The Cannibal Cookbook!" (which he claims is because of "the rise of African culture, habits and living patterns"--!!)...And that's just in the first 32 pages!
The second prediction after his description of "the most eventful and most wonderful" 1970s is this:
EYES TURN TO JELLY
Of course, Criswell is so ridiculous that he's probably just goofing around. To be accepted as a "psychic" you generally keep some of your predictions vague enough that eventually you'll get a few that you can twist to match events after they've happened--You know, A major leader will die! A popular sports personality will be caught taking drugs! War will break out in the Mideast! National headlines will be made when a shocking crime is committed against children by one of their own parents! Those aren't predictions, they're statistical near-certainties. But you've got to think Criswell was giggling over this, which brings new meaning to "What would you do for a Klondike Bar?":
"While 69% of Americans see Canada as a separate nation, 30% view it as just another state, along the lines of Oregon." Another True Fact: 50% of Ameriduhians think that the Sun orbits the Earth, too.
The EXTREME TEEN BIBLE!!!! DUUUDE! That's not like some lame-ass Onion joke, it's like all Barnes & Nobely!! A real book with MAJOR RAD AWESOME 'TUDE! Read the customer reviews before B&N shuts them down! Dude!
Seanbaby's site has been pretty quiet since he started getting paid to be a Professional Snark. Here's "the Director's Cut" of an article for EGM called "The 20 Worst Games of all Time." And I totally found that link all by myself!! Did so!
Hey, cats that are person owners! Have your moms check this out! I was changing KK's litter just now and a coupon fell out.
The way it was folded made it look like "Free Kitten by Mail." How mean to the kitty! But it turned out to have a web address on it--Purina's Free Essential Kitten Care Kit! Well, Killsy's going to be three next month, hard as that is for me to believe, so she won't need the kitten food coupon. But the litter coupon, yes! And the "Relaxing Music CD created especially for your Kitten"! Ah, yes, Kill kill's relaxing kittenhood, when she'd play for half an hour straight as soon as I got home, then nap for another half-hour, then go back to rampaging, repeat as necessary until I gave up and went to bed. The really appropriate music for a kitten is alternate half-hours of soothing Ambient and loud Death Metal.
Okay, I fibbed about KK's age on the site--months, instead of years, a la "Star Trek II" (SAREK: "You lied!" SPOCK, raising eyebrow: "I exaggerated!"). And it's USA only, but given that under "states" there's choices for "US Armed Forces" overseas...Hell, it's not like you Damn Foreigners have to spend a stamp to try it out, right?
The site gave me a hard time using Netscape, insisting that I didn't have Java working. Umm, yeah, I do, I don't look at enough pr0n sites to warrant turning it off. It worked in MSIE; I don't think that they so much meant "Java" as "Cookies." And due to all my recent PayPalling, I have MSIE set not to "Accept all cookies" so much as "Accept cookies rammed up my ass until Oreos come out my nose."
Hell, I'm SO LAZY that I'm not just going to steal this link from Kirk, I'm going to plagiarize my own post on the Space Ghost ML!
SPIDERMAN'S GREATEST BIBLE STORIES!
The Estate of the Super-Crank.
I suppose that it's living in a country where people detonate pipe bombs in order to make a really big smiley face that's made me hide in an Insaniquarium all night.
(Thanks to Starchaser for all the fish!)
They predict cold and rainy for my days off, so I thought that I might take in a movie.
The first reviews of Star Wars: Episode Two are beginning to trickle in..."I've got a bad feeling about this":
Belated happy Victory Day!
That's a Russian holiday celebrating the defeat of the Nazis. How come we no longer celebrate V-E Day, as it was called? I wouldn't mind throwing a party with a Hitler-shaped pinata that you set on fire after beating the stuff(ing) out of it. Not that I'd know what to put in a Hitler pinata. Jagermeister and bratwurst? No, wait, he was a teetotaler and a vegetarian, and thought that it was cruel to boil lobsters. Well, I'm with him on that last one, but we all have our priorities...I've pretty much struck "psychopathic genocide" off of my list.
Hitler vs Stalin, The Comic Book. And I mean comic book--It looks like a battle between Baron Mordo and Dr Strange, with a version of the X-Men's Cable thrown in who's even more of a Fascist wet dream than the original!
If you were thinking about ordering a Snow Dome of the Apocalypse, it turns out to NOT be a joke! I got mine today. It's not as big as a "normal" Snow Globe, but it's made of glass with a resin base. Pretty cool, even with the dreaded "Made in
Hell China" sticker on the bottom. There was a letter accompanying the globe:
Soon enough, we will have the Three Days of Darkness dome available for you. When Moses meant dark, he wasn't messing around. He meant really really dark. There won't be anything to see in the Darkness dome, no Egyptians, no Nile, no nothing. Just inky blackness and a whole lot of time of your hands...
If you're playing with whatsbetter.com and see this image:
Vote "better," as that's the only one I could upload before they shut down the "add" feature. And exactly how can you have a "What's Better" list without Eno?
Oh, yeah...I keep forgetting these. A coupla links to the first "Criswell Predicts" book, one from the Onion A.V. Club in 1999, and another from The Fortean Times in 1996, which plots it out in a timeline. Which would be impossible with the sequel that I own, what with the contradicting-itself-on-every-other-page thing it has. So, the Supreme Court bans "all use of guns to protect your home," but a page earlier the postman and even the paperboy are toting six-shooters?
Rainy, chilly day with nothing to do...
So I went Crap Shopping!
I went to Railroad Salvage's Going-Out-Of-Business sale. The place has been there for 50 years, and it's beyond amazing that they lasted that long. They started out as a close-out place--as the name "Railroad Salvage" implies, they originally bought the contents of freight cars that were rendered less than perfect--because they were involved in TRAIN WRECKS.
We shall pause a beat for you to let that thought sink in.
They became famous in my childhood for their ads involving their founder, the oddly-named Ruby Vine, and his wife "Choo Choo." She dressed in a railroad engineer's outfit and was very loud and obnoxious (in the ads, anyway), and Ruby had a head like a gargoyle, huge and 50% of it nose. His vocal delivery would've made Tom Carvel cover his ears.
The store, appropriately enough, was a train wreck itself. I remember going there as a teen one time, and Ruby had some plastic mugs for sale. They had the logo of some high school soccer team on them with a mid-70s date. The logo was all smudged, but still he wanted a buck for them! Years later, I went back and found the SAME MUGS still there, at the SAME PRICE. I never went there more than twice a year, but my first stop was always to make sure that those mugs were still there. And at the same price. And they always were.
This is why it's amazing that the place lasted into the 21st Century. They never bought new stock, and they never, ever marked anything down. Those Michael Jackson themed school folders are still there, at the same prices from 1985. I remember going there in 1988, and they had a front endcap (translation for non-retailers: the place near the checkout where you pile impulse-buy goods) that was entirely stained, dented cans of paint. Some had no labels--Who's gonna buy an unlabeled can of paint? Then something caught my eye--The hairstyle and the outfit of the model on the label, on the ones that had labels. She was retro in the sense of "we haven't invented retro yet." I picked it up a can and discovered that the paint was made in 1968! After 20 years, they were still trying to sell it! How many distinct layers of chemicals had that paint seperated into by now?
The same paint cans were there today. Subtract 34 years from your life, and that's when that paint was made. And priced.
I remember back in the late 80s, when Railroad Salvage decided to focus on furniture and carpet. Maybe that should read "furniture," as it was entirely from the Sauder particle board line. My girlfriend of the moment and I walked into their furniture department. We were the only ones there. We could hear a cricket chirp chirping from under the shelves. Without a word, we began walking slower and slower. Eventually, without a word we stopped in the middle of the aisle. chirp chirp. We were in the section that had high shelves packed with mattresses. chirp chirp. I said, "There's rats in here." I had no evidence for this, but I sure felt it. "Yes," Lori said, "there are." We quickly left.
Today everything was 33% off--No matter how much of it is ancient junk from the early 70s, people will go to a Going-Out-of-Business Sale. Today I couldn't find the soccer cups, but I did find Los Angeles Olympics napkins, CB radios, and several books on how to use your Commodore 64. They had records, but they were mainly the same ones, including a good hundred copies of a 1972 Burt Reynolds LP. To give you an idea about just how old this place was, they also were selling about a hundred 78RPMs. 78s!
And here's all that I bought:
Okay, when did the US Navy start using pink helicopters? And why is a US soldier emptying his M16 into it?
"I feel happy, HAP-PY! I think I'll go for a walk!" "You're not fooling anyone, you know!"
A search for "Railroad Salvage" turned up the interesting fact that these guys aren't the only ones with that counter-intuitive name. I did find an interesting (if kinda disjointed) article about a local who used to buy LPs from them. "I went back there in 1997 and was surprised to discover they had several hundred LP's stashed in their back room (don't bother going there, I bought all the good stuff)." Yes, I'd picked from those same LPs before he got to them. That also explains how they ended up with nothing but Burt Reynolds LPs.
After that, I went to the Sofia's Plaza Indoor Flea Market, on Jessica's recommendation. Eh. Nothing much. I did get an opportunity to buy Mae West's "Sextette" video for $2. I remembered a funny review of it, and decided that re-reading a long review would be less painful than sitting through it. I mean, it's a sex comedy--and the sexxxy main character is 87 years old.
Hey, I actually did some work today! I moved Gonterman's "Sailor Moon USA" off of Geocities. Now you can read it without those damn pop-up ads, and rediscover the creepiness that is the Amazing Gonterman! Discover the wonder all over again! (That bit of Jen Whiting is how Kitty and I met, back in the day!)
From an email from Brian:
First off, I really enjoy the site, the InExOb's are hilarious, and your piece on working at the record store kept about 5 people in stiches for a good 1/2 hour, then we realized that we knew all the customers on the list, they must have moved. I was reading your most recent update to the news, and your piece on Railroad Salvage reminded me of a local store that went out of business about 5 years ago. It was called Western Auto, it was a combination hardware store/department store, without the clothes section. The store had been in the same place since the late 60's, and the last time anything was moved was circa '78. Anyway, the owner decided to retire, and everything was 30% off, so I went in, figured I might catch a few good deals. The most recent item I could find in the store was He-Man, and there were stereo systems with 8-track players in them, new in box. While I was in there, I overheard the following conversation between an employee and some customers: Customer: This paint is 30% off? Employee: Yes C: So it's 30% off $22? E: No, that's the marked down price. C: No that's the original price. E: No, we marked it down to $22. C: If that's the case, why it that the original sticker? E: That's the marked down price. C: You mean to tell me this paint was almost $30 when new? E: It's good paint. This went on forever. I walked over and looked at it, the label had a copyright of 1979. Turns out anytime you asked what the marked down price was, they said the old sticker was it, apparently they never marked anything down, the owner forbid anyone to give a discount. If you tried to argue about it, the employees would gang up on you, repeating what I typed above.That reminds me of another area anachronism, a department store in Manchester called "Marlowe's," aka "The Store That Time Forgot--On Purpose." When I say "anachronism," I mean that I didn't understand how this could be a "department store" even when I was a kid in the late 60s. It was small and cramped and weirdly organized--a department store was W.T. Grants or something! And a Grants would've been about half the size of a modern Target, or a fitting room in
Re new store: Looking good! The owners were in a panic when last Monday we made a whole $134, with the first customer not showing up until we'd been open for 7 hours. And AGAIN I said, "We need signs near the road so that people know we're actually HERE!" It's not like the people driving by are craning their necks 90 degrees saying, "Say, has that bankrupt laundromat been replaced after being closed for over a year? Nope, not today. Better crane my neck again tomorrow!"
We finally got some cheap plastic signs, and Fri & Sat we did 3 times what we did Mon-Thu. The place a thousand feet up the road we'll probably never put out of business--it's been there for 70 years, so they must be doing something right. Damned if I know WHAT, as no one has a kind word for anything about them, beyond the fact that the owner's a nice guy (and the husband of Jessica's old boss at the hospital, who's been promoted enough times that she's making so much that his package store's income doesn't matter). In fact, his big counter-attack against our opening has been to actually, finally turn his beer cooler on. Yeah, maybe people who buy beer want it COLD because they're planning on actually DRINKING IT.
If you took advantage of that Purina Kitten CD Offer, DON'T use the litter coupon! I found out KK's opinion of "Tidy Cat" after posting. She took a nice steamy dump right in front of the bathroom sink, right where I'd step in it. And she NEVER does that.
It's awful. The litter almost smells worse than cat crap, in its sickly perfumey way, and Killsy violently tries to remove it from her paws, far more than she does with other litters, and thus spreads it all over the bathroom floor. And the Tidy Cat scientists have triumphed over all other litterologists--They've invented a litter that steadfastly refuses to clump! How many years of research did that feat take?!
One wonders what the "Soothing Sounds for Kitty" CD will contain...75 minutes of pots crashing and dogs barking?
Introducing the New Bush Doctrine: "Allies: an unnecessary distraction." "'So Dick,' I say, 'We support this guy, right?' But Dick says No can-do. Why? He's gay! Yes, a right-wing openly-gay bald guy running for president! That's how WEIRD some of these allies are! Shows how important it is to do your homework. And then some animal rights freak shoots this guy dead! The bald guy was named 'Pim'. His party is called 'Pim's List'. Their current president is named, 'Vim' --yeah: 'Vim Kok'. No, I'm not joking."
Kirk's set up a collection of Tom Voice's comic strip 2600. Good Gourd, but some of these are hilarious!
...And here's a really lame ripoff of 2600. All of these are not hilarious.
..And this is just weird: Twisted Kaiju Theater, with posed Godzilla toys.
Oh great. There's a Bender figure out there. One more thing to buy...
Speaking of Japan, I subbed to the J-List Update, a thrice-weekly email from the gaijan that runs it. It's pretty interesting, if you're into either Japan or just the "how life's different in other countries" thing. You can sub here, which also has the most recent excerpts (under the flag-fan), so you can see if you think it's worth getting. (Half of every email is a list of new products, which you can skip over)
How to get fired in 3 hours or less. It's harder than you'd think. Why is the article 1 page's worth of text spread out over 4? Is the web designer trying to get fired, too?
Via Lilly the Babe:
BILLSPLUT IS 20% GAY!
You're a walking, talking, red-blooded hetero guy! Just way too straight for these times, mate!
I think that the extra 10% prly came from the question "Do you think your best friend is hot?" Well, that'd be Jessica, so I'd have to be gay to NOT think she was. I mean, crimeny--she IS.
"Do you care that your best friend is hot?" would be a question with a different answer.
And what's with the rhyming in the answers? Or am I too not-Gay to understand that?
Moving that Sailor Moon comic finally got me motivated to start moving the InExObs off of Geoshitties. This "bandwidth use" rule of theirs means that ol' Vienna 9938 can't be seen half the time. The text-based stuff can stay there for now, but the picture-based parts need to go here. So I took a 3.5 full of downloaded InExes to work to clean change the urls and move to the new site.
And then I go look at Pop Culture Junk Mail and there's a link to an old InExOb, the one with the animal crackers. Further proof that it's about time I did this...
A PopCJM highlight is Gael's Alt-Log, with stories from a wide variety of "alternative weeklies." From that, here's a one-woman war (via business cards and an insulting answering machine) against SUVs. Respondents outline their highly -thought-out reasons for buying these monsters. The usual "reason" given is "I have a lot of kids!"
My employers used to have a small pickup to move stuff from store to store. Eventually, they replaced it with a pair of Ford Expeditions. These things are HUGE. And they hold nothing! We could fit more in the pickup that was half their size! We would've been better off buying a freaking cargo van. They're cheaper, roomier, get better mileage (better than CRAP, anyway), and are safer to drive.
The first time I had to drive one of the War Wagons, I got stuck at a light. A really hot, bimbo-ly dressed chick was walking along the sidewalk. I glanced at her, thought "Wow...those are large!" and went back to staring at the light. I gradually became aware that Bimbo was staring at me. Well...That was a first. Since I still looked the same as I did when I got into the Leviathan, clearly she wasn't attracted to me but the idea that I could afford such an overpriced gas guzzler.
And that's why people buy SUVs. They have no "utility," no more than the Cadillacs that were bought in days past. I had a friend at Oberlin who had a 9-year-old Caddy--it had cigarette lighters in every armrest, but it took 2 people to start the damn boat--One to turn the ignition, one to hold a screwdriver on the sparkplugs to get the engine to engage. You don't buy these cars because they're any good, you buy them to prove to the world that you have money to burn. Literally, every time you gas up.
This Carol Lay "Story Minute" isn't about SUVs--but it could be about the type of thinking that causes people to buy them. In a sense. Okay, it's a good cartoon, and this is a bad segue.
Tyranny of the Twit: "That's the problem with the criticism you read on the Web, especially at sites like Amazon, and especially by those goobers who write tome-like reviews or list their 25 favorite books on existentialism. One of the great appeals of the Internet is that actions in cyberspace appear to have no consequences. You can be who you want and spout any gibberish you think and it doesn't matter!"
Lore "Brunching Shuttlecocks" Sjoberg has a blog! It's, umm, not as good as I'd think it'd be.
Straight from "Road Warrior": "The first of the V-8 Interceptors! A piece of future history!" It'll be a shame when they blow it up.
Sorry, kids--I just didn't have any cool links, interesting stories, or funny comments to relate over the last few days. And I have none now!
In fact, I can't even find anything to say about this picture of Jerry Van Dyke grabbing his crotch and comparing it to a five-foot pole.
I've pinpointed why I've had no desire to do anything here for the last few days--New Store is slow enough that I can fill my time with reading, thinking, or finally getting off my ass and moving the InExOb off of Geocities. I opted for the first 2 options until a few days ago, when I started cutting&pasting code into the old Obs. It's tedious and mind-numbing and that's why I've put it off so long. But when I'm getting paid to do it, after all my real work is done and when there's no customers...
Seemed like the ideal setup at first. But, as I should've guessed as I know people who work with computers as their job--Some of them don't touch a computer at home, because it just reminds them of their job. And working on a web page just makes it seem like work, and who goes home to do more WORK? You, maybe, but not me.
And, of course, I can't even get into Geo because they're doing "maintenance." So I cleaned all their CRAP out of my files, uploaded the html, and can't finish what I'm doing because I can't get to my jpgs to move to this site. Tomorrow, maybe. Or not. No, just plain "not."
Kirk has a collection of Star Wars-related links that are interesting.The "Empire vs the Federation" thing is clearly biased on the side the Empire (which survived the rebellion and is run by--"Emperor Solo"?! Did I miss something?), as it clearly ignores THE salient point of the whole Star Wars mythos. From Episode IV: A New...screw that, from STAR WARS:
LUKE (disguised as Stormtrooper): I can't see a thing in this helmet!
That's it right there, geeks. Think about the Stormtrooper-shots-fired to shots-that-hit-rebels ratio in any Star Wars movie, and there you go. The Empire has poorly-trained draftees firing inaccurate weapons while wearing substandard armor. Those squinty eyeholes may make you look mean, but they restrict your vision, making your already inaccurate blaster fire all that more randomly. And what's with the armor, ceramic jockstrap and all? I noted back in 1977 that if these heavily-armored guys got hit in the elbow they'd flail over backwards and die. Does the armor just increase the hit and make sure that they die, cutting down on paying the medics?
A war between the Feds and the Empire would be bloody, but let's face it--Unlike Star Trek, all the soldiers in the Empire wear Red Shirts. And forget this technical stuff about the energy output of turbolasers--It's all fiction, and so it'd be a case of the Side That Never Lost vs the Side That Got Its Ass Whooped By Jar-Jar. I love both franchises, but let's face it: If it was Jar-Jar vs even Old Fat Kirk with a Toupee...Old Fat beat Alex the Droogie, man!
"The Case for the Empire" piece is undercut by the fact that it's in the Weekly Standard. In almost any other magazine, the piece would be taken as sarcasm, and there are deliberately-placed words that seem to represent sarcasm in it. My conservative bosses sub to the Standard, and believe me, if there's a magazine that would call a dictator "benevolent" and actually mean it, even a Nazi-war-criminal-harboring neo-Fascist who tortured and murdered thousands like Augusto Pinochet, it would be the Standard. Only anti-American and/or Commie dictators are bad in their view. A 30s European-style Fascism in America would be just fine by them, so long as they were the class on top.
Ahh! That was refreshing! Writing and not coding! And I don't have to go back to work for two days, so expect a return to the usual updating soon.
My uninteresting day:
Had a lovely night's sleep with the usual unusual dreams (all forgotten by now). Kill Kill is stretched out beside me when I get up a half-hour later than I do for work. At 11:50AM. Ahh, how second shift suits my basic sleep pattern. Brew tea while KK meows loudly for no discernible reason, then I settle in for my weekly half-hour of television, Ebert vs Roeper. I idly switch channels in the minute before the show comes on, and find a local station showing Star Wars. That's odd, as I was sure that I'd got the Luke quote I used yesterday wrong, and here was my chance to correct it. And I'm going to Episode II tomorrow.
It's the "new" version of SW. I was in the shower and missed the digitally inserted Jabba the Hutt footage, but I did see some oddities--Is my memory faulty, or did Han shoot Greedo first in the original? And how could Greedo or ANYbody miss at the range of a table? Why did Lucas include that not-all-that-useful "Luke meets Biggs before the Death Star attack footage," but leave out the classic C3PO line, "Let the Wookiee win"?
I haven't seen this movie in years, although I'd seen it a zillion times. And still I was shifting nervously in my seat during the final battle. Damn, this is far from the greatest movie of all time, but it certainly gets my vote for the most fun movie of all time. The dialogue is always amusing, with about as many geek-quotable lines as Holy Grail.
Seeing it today might make tomorrow's visit to the matinee worse. The best reviews seem to lean towards "it wasn't as bad as the last one." How reassuring. So's anything short of anal sex from a jackhammer. And it contains...Lucas directing a love story. Crimeny, the last film this guy directed that was good was SW (he didn't direct and only co-wrote the best SW, Empire). And he's never given any hint of being able to direct people, as opposed to effects (whoever did the casting for SW really gets as much credit as the actual lead actors in how memorable their characters became). I've got a bad feeling about this...But I'm still going. One thing I learned from Crapisode One is that the special effects in the theater are enough to overload the crappy script. Crapisode I was entertaining in the theater, but unwatchable on TV.
When Star Wars ended, I went for a walk in the woods behind the condo. Funny how 55 degrees in March seems like a heatwave, but seems really chilly in May.
There was someone headfirst in one of the condo dumpsters. Right in there, diggin' away, for at least the few minutes I walked by. Huh. And on the trail, there was a fat, balding bearded guy dressed like a biker, accompanied by a guy dressed a la pimp--Broad-brimmed leather hat, leather duster, funky clothes. Pimp was talking into his cel phone, but all I really caught was him repeatedly saying "I'm in Vernon, Connecticut, and Bolton, Connecticut." How many times do you tell someone the state you're in in one conversation? They stepped off the trail and observed something off to the side of the woods. As I passed them, it turned out to be a rotting old pallette. I doubled back at the end of the trail, and they were squatting down looking at the vegetation off the trail. I have no idea what was going on, really I don't.
Then I came home to alternately download from Geo/upload to thoughtviper.com InExObs, type here, and fight to get one lousy image onto whatsbetter.com. It was Speedie the Occident Pantry Pal. I was amazed to get an email from Mark the Vet--he was playing on whatsbetter.com and saw Plastic Goofy Teeth, "and almost pee'd myself laughing." It's the same image that I'd put up a week ago, but I would've laughed, too, if I unexpectedly saw something from any of my friends' pages there. I also put up Drunk Boris & Migraine Natasha, and, since I was downloading old Obs anyway, Eraserhead, NAZI UFOs!!, Pucker Up & Bark like A Dog (and the last two's source, Fridge Magnets), The Twist, ALIEN GUTS!, Lil No-No, Hitleriffic!, Jar Jar Toy from HELL! (somebody stop me, PLEASE!), Humpy the Horny Robot, Jellied Veal Loaf, Too Many Big Macs, German Gummy Toilet Rat, and *whew*! I think that I'll give up with the all-time classic, "Cat & Mouse." And the Bob Semple tank. And then put links in this entry so that I can easily track them. Ha ha! You just read one of my bookmarks!
And such was my uninteresting day.
With the revelation that Bush was warned about 9/11 and did nothing comes this damning report: "Did the threats of war levied against the Taliban on behalf of [oil company and Bush-buddy] Unocal spur Osama bin Laden into murderous action on behalf of his host nation? Was his attack made easier because the Bush administration willfully weakened our intelligence apparatus so as to avoid offending potential client states? Is it possible that the dust and ruin in New York and Washington are byproducts of a pipeline deal that was pursued before the attacks, and has been allowed to come to fruition in the aftermath?" Scary shit. But don't worry your pretty heads about it--the giant corporations that own Dumbya also own the Mass Media, so you'll never hear about it. I mean, it's not like willfully ignoring the worst-ever terrorist attack is as impeachable an offense as a blow job, is it?
Karl sends this page of MP3s, recommending "Osmonds=Filth" (fifth up from the bottom of the page). I recommend it too!
And now we've come full circle...evening is falling, and Kill Kill is stretched out asleep in the last rays of the Sun. G'night, all.
My uninteresting day yesterday ended with an odd moment--I went to close the window around 9PM because it was getting cold, and witnessed a fireworks display! Must've been quite a ways off--they were exploding just over the horizon, and I heard no sound. And what were they for? What's the significance of May 19th?
Today's uninteresting day began with me turning on the Public Radio classical station, and immediately hearing "The Love Theme from Episode Two."
Appropriate, as I saw "Star Wars: Attack of the Stupid Subtitle" today. It was actually entertaining! Although they almost lost me--I love the way that a Jedi's first response to almost anything is "jump a thousand stories above the pavement and just grab something on the way down," but the exciting first 15 minutes are followed by 45 minutes of people talking, and not just talking anything, but talking Lucas dialogue. He said that he named it "Attack of the Clones" because it sounded like the title of an old movie serial, but here was 3 weeks worth of serial episodes spent on very little.
I found the constant cross-cutting between the Anakin and Obi-Wan storylines annoying. Just as you'd start to get into one plotline, you'd be back at another.
But it was--of course--great to look at, and once things got actually moving again (when Anakin leaves Naboo and Obi-Wan literally butts heads with Jango Fett) really enthralling. Hayden Christensen was surprisingly good for a Lucas movie; he seemed a bit creepy at times, and the Vaderization process is a lot more believable that it was with McDarthley Culken in Ep 1. The last hour of the movie is like a serial, with constant cliffhanging escapes and a final battle that's just amazing--Wow, them's a lotta lightsabers! And three monsters that make the Rancor look like a Hello Kitty toy. And, of course--Christopher FUCKIN Lee, BABY!!
So, thumbs up. Just schedule your potty break for minutes 15 through 60.
An interesting review of the movie on Ink19. "One character dying exactly when they do is just a touch too neat," it says, although from the personal experience of my father waiting for me to come to his bedside before dying...Maybe not. Maybe not "too neat."
Yes, I was one of those people who took objection to Crapisode I over the "rascist" content. Jar-Jar was just a bit of Lucas being clueless, but how do you explain the Trade Federation? He didn't just dress them in a Chinese style, he didn't just give them Chinese "no tickee, no washee" accents, he gave them FRICKIN FISH HEADS. Christ, why not just have them come from the Planet Chinkulon?
But now there are people claiming that Ep II is rascist against Hispanics, based on some really shaky ideas. For one, the Clones are the GOOD GUYS, and at no point did I think that I was watching "waves of illegal immigrants"; for two, Temeura Morrison is a Maori, complete with New Zealand accent; for three, if at some point Boba called Jango "Baba," I missed it. Evrytime I heard him refer to him, it was "Dad." Since some of the people admit they haven't seen the movie they're attacking, I think that maybe they got confused, as Jango always refers to Boba as Boba. And this whole "Baba" crap means that the Fetts are...Arabs? AND Hispanics?
Much is made of the fact that the planet of the Cloners is named Kamino, which sounds like the Spanish word "camino." Yeah, and "Dooku" sounds like "Doodoo," too. Hey, maybe Lucas really just hates those weird old Chevy car/pickup hybrids.
X-Entertainment on ads for Star Wars toys. And I gotta get me a box of Christopher Lee FUCKIN cereal! With Dooku marshmallows!
The next movie I want to see.
"You cannot stop me with paramecium alone!" Zany mistranslations from video games. Zany, I tell you! But the guy really needs to lay off the Gay jokes, especially if he's above the age of 14.
Hey! Ribbit! is back!
Dumbya is against ending the trade embargo against those dirty Commies in Cuba. This has nothing to do with the fact the his brother Jeb is running for re-election in a state where you can't win without the Anti-Castro vote. Or the fact that the embargo's been a giant failure for 40 years, and Republicans always insist that the only way to make the most repressive government on Earth more democratic is via free trade--said government being dirty Commie China. The funniest part is Dumbya's repeated insistence that Cuba needs fair and unrigged elections, and him saying it while in Florida.
"Hee-YUK! Lookie them car chases on the tellyvision, Clem! This shor beats Springer!!"
Wow, and they're being pushed by Fox, the unthinking man's network, who woulda guessed. Understatement of the Day award goes to the Fox "News" guy who said, "I'm not smarter than the audience." I have a sack of hammers watching Fox right now, and they agree!
Jeez, I completely forgot something 2 days ago that I was sure that I'd remember: Happy Fifth Birthday to Thoughtviper.
I have very vivid, realistically detailed, although often bizarre dreams. I like that. It's a free trip to the weirdest movie show in town every night! What I don't like is that they can so realistic that I'm going crazy trying to find my latest jury duty summons--Did I get one, or just dream it? It doesn't seem to be anywhere, let alone right where I would've put it. And I "forgot" about it until tonight, when I glanced down into a drawer and saw my Get Out of Jury Duty Free card from 3 months ago. I may have to embarass myself with a phone call. I don't want a $120 fine over this.
Sorry, kids, not much of a posting tonight. I *think* that all the InExObs are finally here and not on Geo. But I need to check each one to make sure that it works, then change the Geo Archive so that all the links go here. They do if you hit hit the "Objects of Previous Weeks" button, but most people just use "back." So not changing those would defeat the purpose of moving everything. And then I have to copy the code for Super Green Beret...Ugh.
Before closing today I went out to bring in our signs. They're cheap yellow plastic signs like you'd see for a tag sale, but damned if they aren't 99% of the reason that people know that we're actually open. Why bring them in? Somebody already stole the BEER sign. Gourd knows why.
I went to pull the first of them out of the ground, and right by it was...an old InExOb!! Well, very close to one--a Bomb Bag, with a different cover image than mine. Mine had 1970s American jets flying cover for WWII German troops, this had 1970s NATO jets flying cover for WWII Russian troops. But it was identical on the back:
Really, really weird.
And guess what--That same inExOb I linked to is missing a jpeg. GREAT. The rest of the night is going to be no fun for me.
Is Your Neighbor a Terrorist? A handy quiz.
More on "What Did They Know Before 9/11?" on Tom Tomorrow (that entry and the next several below it)
"Remember to grab that floppy with the copy of the Geocities InExOb Archive saved on it!" I thought while in the shower, and I popped it out of the A drive. Cool! The end of my
torment tenure on Geo is into its final chapter!
But that disk was in the desk drawer beside the Pookie. So that didn't get done today.
Hopefully tomorrow. I don't care how "slow" the store is now, now comes Memorial Day, the official beginning of Get Drunk Every Weekend Season, and I'm not going to be code-botting Friday or Saturday.
Well, that dumpy old liquor store up the road from us must be feeling a pinch. I personally thought that the guy had lost all the business he was ever going to lose, and he had some hard-core customer base that just went to his place because--well, they've never been in a real liquor store before. If your store's been open since 1935, you must be doing something right.
Or not. I thought that the only sales that we were drawing from him were the "shot and a beer after work" blue-collar guys, and the people who usually bought from us, but didn't want to "drive 10 minutes to the other side of town right now, so I'll go to him" convenience shoppers. But he ran an ad yesterday in the same paper we did, listing everything we did, except for two items. He also punched up the fact that he has "plenty of free parking." Huh?! Parking is free all over town, and the reason he has "plenty" is his lack of customers. And of course, we're matching his sale prices. And the prices of his parking.
Did I mention that his other big counterattack is to turn his beer coolers on? Yes, he had beer coolers, but he never had cold beer. This is why a guy I'd never seen before brought up a six of Heineken today, and rubbed a bottle all over his face: "If it's not cold, I ain't buying from you again!" Oh, it's cold, I said, it's 36 degrees in our cooler. I didn't add "And you're buying at least that fucking beer even if it isn't!
One disgruntled ex-customer of his said that Yeah, the cooler's on--but it's set at 55 degrees or something, so it's really not that much more drinkable.
A beer salesman showed up with his PDT (a pre-modem archaic bit of 80s technology that allows you to send simple data streams over a regular phone receiver--my Nielsen ScanTrack works the same way) and asked to use the phone. Right as I said "Sure," the ever-gorgeous Miss Jessica came in, bearing an ever-delicious Shady Glen vanilla milkshake for me. To me, she's always my best bud and Kill Kill's Auntie Jess. When I see her after my work, she's generally in cotton jammies that have been washed a million times. But she dresses for her desk job at the hospital like she's going to the fanciest restaurant in town, and when I see her after her work...Well, then I remember that she's one DAMN beautiful woman. But still my buddy Jessie-Babes.
The salesman's eyes bugged out when she walked in, and we didn't have a conversation that he didn't join into. And when Jessie left, his PDT, the thing he uses to send his orders, the orders that he gets his commission on, the thing that pretty much is the electronic signature on his paycheck--he left it behind.
Like in that old Jayne Mansfield movie--"The Girl Can't Help It."
Salon on late 70s Italian Spaghetti Space Operas "inspired" by Star Wars. I saw StarCrash but I remember nothing about it. I do have a clear memory of seeing a Japanese rip-off called Message From Space. I saw it on its initial run in the second-string theaters--yes, 25 years ago there were multiplexes, but they hadn't crushed all the tiny theaters.
A guy--possibly the owner?--told us that the movie was "fun" and that "the good guys' ships looked cool." And he was right! The movie was AWFUL, but it was FUN. Nobody went to Message From Space expecting anything great, but it was goofy and stupid and cool and entertaining. The good guys' ships were cool, done with those Toho-like SFX; they looked like a cross between space ships and sailing ships. The bad guys' ships were ridiculous--it certainly is the only time I've seen spaceships with fur on them.
It was a silly movie. The heroic team was built up like the Magnificent Seven Samurai, except that you knew that you were chosen by the faux-Force when a flying glowing walnut dropped itself into your drink or hit you in the head. I mean, why make it flying and glowing and then make it a freakin' walnut? Make it a little brain or a horse chestnut with legs or something.
A classic bit came when the Japanese hero and the obviously-Travolta American hero (who in a very weak attempt to simulate the Luke/Han dynamic spend the entire movie bitching at each other over nothing, to the point that you just wished that one of them would get killed to shut the other one up) are with a ditzy version of Leaia or however you spell it. She decides to exit the spaceship wearing only a fishbowl on her head and a SWEATER. I said "You can't go out into space wearing a sweater!" as if this movie reflected any semblance of reality, and my friend Paul said "I have to! It's cold out there!"
That theater was a bank that became a movie house. The building's still there, but I forget what it's become since. And as for the Macroplex...One viewing of "Attack of the Clones" was all I needed, thanks.
But I'd sure like to see Message From Space again...
"Tonight on CNN--TERROR!!!
The "Oh, Really?" Factor. "There’s a valuable lesson here for 'Factor' watchers: When O’Reilly is most certain, you should be most skeptical."
A very true--if depressing--look at American politics, and why Dumbya gets away with murder.
I got a nice "Happy Birthday to the site" email from Crystal, and here's her (much better-looking than my 1995-style) (much-better named) blog, Space Waitress.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have an eBay auction to win. NO, not win, but to CONQUER!
I came, I saw, I got my butt kicked.
I'm referring to my brag about the eBay auction I was going to CONQUER! yesterday, of course. I read the other bidder's purchases, and thought that it was odd that a guy who bought a lot of Texas history books would be interested in Commie music. Namely, Aram Khachaturian's "Gayne" ballet, as recorded by Loris Tjeknavorian back in 1977. Not that I question his taste; it's great stuff, and my favorite classical work of all time. Tjeknavorian did a remake a few years ago, and it was nowhere near the perfection of the original performance.
I got all caught up in EBay FEVER!, that mode where you're actually bidding against someone, rather than just skulking in an alley, waiting to bid at the last second. Kinda slimy, I know, but that's the only way to win on eBay. If someone knows you're bidding, they'll just bid higher. And that way lies madness. Then you get the FEVER! and end up spending more than you wanted. I wanted to spend the cost of a CD plus tax minus shipping, but that was too low a bid. But I got the FEVER! and I pumped it up to the point that was more than I really wanted to pay, and then lost anyway.
It was the FEVER! that made me bid so high--I OWN this thing, but only on a record that I'd beaten up on my old teenage-years stereo, and my only good copy is from a friend, on tape. But we all know how eBay works--the next time it turns up, it'll sell for less, and the next next time, less again.
A highlight is the "Dance of Welcome," a great, fun bit of music with this crazy shit where the orchestra is playing in 2/4 time while the piano is playing in 3/8. It's totally counter-intuitive to the point where it almost sounds like the piano's playing backwards, and it works perfectly.
And believe me, you HAVE heard part of "Gayne," and it's the "Sabre Dance." It's been used in constant movies and TV shows and commercials. Even if the original was--in what sounds like a satire of Stalinist Russia--a ballet set in a tractor factory.
Oh well. I can still listen to my ancient tape. The REALLY important auction comes on Sunday, and there's no bids on that one yet...(crosses fingers, doesn't proclaim conquest prematurely).
Speaking of eBay, someone doesn't know how < h > tags work... (Page down, until the point that your eyeballs explode)
" The US Must Deploy Turtle-Men To Afghanistan!"
Amazingly, the FBI is using its new-found "anti-terrorist" powers to harass Americans whose politcal views are contrary to theirs. Whoever saw THAT coming? Besides everyone with a BRAIN when they passed the U.S.A.P.A.T.R.I.O.T. bill, I mean.
The interesting story behind the Bush-bashing book "Fortunate Son." "Bush-bashing," but the book was true.
India? Where's that? Oh, yeah, that country that keeps saying it's about to fight a war over someplace I've never heard of. Who cares?
War College simulations show that no matter what happens, eventually one side eventually uses nukes. And while simulations are far different than reality, a nuclear war anywhere is a bad thing everywhere.
On a lighter note, I have to mention something that I haven't seen in any review of SW: Ep II: When we get the first close look at the Clones in a giant cafeteria, the narration tells us that the Clones have identical feelings and tastes or something to that effect, but what we do we see? A Jango Fett-clone that seems unhappy with his Purina Clone Chow, and glares at the people watching him.
Oh, if only the whole movie had been done with that detail...And removed that 45 minutes of "Young Darth in Love"."
Every Friday night I listen to Gitanjuli, the local Indian music show on WWUH. The host dedicated the entire show to the "war that's about to begin." He was all gung-ho for it, just like America was after 9/11--and for the same reasons.
This seemingly inevitable war made page 22 of today's paper. And it could kill three million people--minimum.
Eh. They're all brown and have weird religious beliefs. Why should WE care? They found Chandra Levy and that Kennedy nephew is on trial for murder! Robert Blake! Season finales of X-Files and Survivor! THAT'S freakin' NEWS, boy!!
Yeah, our brother-in-arms for the defense of FREEDOM, Islamic extremist military dictatorship Pakistan, did round up a bunch of terrorists at the insistence of Dumbya's handlers. And then LET THEM GO. Hey, not our problem! We have Jonny Quest Lizardman scuba divers to worry about!
Scuba divers, yeah. Next we'll be warned about IMMINENT ATTACKS by parachuting suicide-bombing poodles. With rabies.
"I say, Charles! Did you hear about the assassination in Austria? Some Archduke or suchwhat." "Eh. Who cares, Arthur? How could a dead European affect the whole world? These things never lead to much, don't you know!" As the Archduke Ferdinand bled to death from the gunshots that hit his wife, he said to her "Live, Sophie! Live for our children!" And they died. Then all Europe died in WWI. And all WWI did was cause WWII. And an India/Pakistan war could lead to...?
And I thought that I was disseminating untrue "facts" about Canada...
Script revision for Episode IV.
"When people dying from painful diseases are allowed medical marijuana, then all our children will start dying from painful di--Err, no wait, skip that, I've got a better reason...why...Umm."
The New Store got BUSY! What with Memorial Day weekend and all. Okay, busy like an average Thursday in my old store, but still. A good sign. Because I like it there, and want it to stay open.
Those cheap signs we have by the road--I've already mentioned how the BEER sign disappeared. It was during the day, which was weird. Also weird was the fact that the sign with the store's name on it was uprooted and turned so that the arrow on it faced across the street twice today. Is it the package store up the street that's doing this?
If it is...Well, too damn bad. I thought that they'd had no business left to lose, but the customers are making it clear that I was wrong.
More likely, it's just kids fooling around. But why do they pick that one sign? Guess I'll have to spend less time reading and more time looking at our crappy yellow signs.
It was busy enough that I got hungry enough to crave Chinese food, and we have the Jade Garden right next door. It's been there for 20 years, so, you know, they must be doing something right. Dork that I am, I craved the exotic Pu-Pu Platter. Those are always listed as "appetizers," but there's only so many fried-dough-covered shrimp that I can eat before I'm bloatedly full. I didn't make it through even half of it. Good thing that I didn't order the Pu-Pu-PU Platter. "You notice there's an extra pu there. It's the extra pu that makes all the difference! I could have taken the easy road and did a Pu Platter, but who wants a platter with just one pu?"
Frontiers in Web Misery: Pop-Up ads suck, but Pop-Under ads (like the X-10 Wireless Camera) suck worse, as you don't know that they're there until they've fully loaded, forcing you to at least know what product's being pushed. The latest hateful technique is being used by Trip.com--it somehow makes my mouse cursor move all jerky and slow, forcing me to look at their ad even longer as I try to hit the "close" button. It's like one of those magazine perfume samples, except that it squirts itself into your eyes every time you try to turn the page.
Upshot: Never, EVER, buy anything from Trip.com.
Long Bets in Science. Long article, too, so bail if the subject doesn't interest you.
Goths vs. Dieters in the Streets of Montréal! I was halfway through this before I realized that "Dieters" didn't mean "people on Slim-Fast" but "Now is the time on Shprockets vhen ve dance."
The Fandom Menace.
Tom Ridge's Color-Coded Terror Weather Map.
The Cute Beatle should stick to songwriting. (Sorry, Kitty)
Want a Hello Kitty laptop? Why not make your own!
From Mark the Vet, Andy milonakis - child actor. And check out the hate mail as proof that there's an infinite amount of people who can't tell what's even the most obvious joke even if it was hitting them in the head with a turkey drumstick (although my old Monkeymaniac LiveJournal proved that already).
I went to a party at Scott's last night. I had a good time, but not a lot of good stories to relate from it. Since I work in a liquor store, I figured that I should bring some beer. There was barely room in Scott's fridge for even half a 12 pack. His girlfriend brought some more beer. As people arrived, so did more beer. Fortunately, the second-to-last beer-bearer brought a rolling cooler. I brought Bass, and there was Flying Dog, Newcastle, Spaten Optimator, K cider, Mikes Hard Cranberry...and then a guy walked in with cans of Bud. What's WRONG with some people?! When you buy Bud, you're not buying beer, you're buying an ad campaign. How's that can of CGI frogs tastin' there?
Flying Dog makes great beer in the ugliest packages imaginable. Look, I like Ralph Steadman, but not on something that's going into my mouth. I had the only wheat beer I've ever liked last night. Its name is "In Heat Wheat" and has a horny dog getting her ass sniffed on the label. And there's another beer called "Horn Dog." That one's artwork isn't so bad, but other labels have a flea/dog mutant hybrid spitting blood, another has a dog biting a tire with blood spraying, another has a dog puking...Thank Gourd Steadman isn't designing marshmallows for Lucky Charms. "Green vomit! Purple aneurysms! Yellow diarrhea! Hey, why's nobody always after me Lucky Charms anymore?"
Crash! just went something in the living room. Don't know what Kill Kill did, but she's okay, strutting around in that "I didn't do nothin'!" way cats do after they've Done Something. And I just verified something that I'd been suspecting for a while...Those beautiful eyes are changing color again! First blue, the green, then golden, now green/gold, like a light emerald color. Maybe she's been buying colored contact lenses.
Meanwhile, back at the party...Scott the Postal Worker showed off his fifth handgun purchase. Don't worry, he's a gruntled postal worker. This was a Ruger target pistol. I asked him to justify the rest of his guns; He also has a 357 Magnum ("Stopping power"), a .22 revolver (which he didn't justify), a 9MM ("Everyone's gotta have a 9 mil!"), and one of those dinky .25 calibers, which he described as his "shoe gun." "In case you get attacked with a shoe?" I asked. Scott said that it came with a manual that instructed that if you were attacked, "empty entire magazine into target's head." And then run away while he picks the underpowered bullets out of his nose.
Jay looked at the guns, then spilled Bass all over them. In Texas, that's a legal reason to kill someone.
The movie of choice was the 1915 French serial "Les Vampires," by the same guy who did "Fantomas." When you think "serial," you generally think of those 30s and 40s Hollywood ones, with as much action packed into them as their tiny budgets would allow (if you haven't seen one, they're what inspired Indiana Jones). But this was 1915, so there wasn't that much action. But it was a 10 hour silent movie DVD, so it was basically video wallpaper while a 98-song MP3 compilation disc Scott burned played. When it was time to turn the DVD over, we put in an intermission feature: "Walking With Jesus."
Which is where Jesus and his Talking Squirrel came from. It's really really awful, and proof of something that I've noticed when listening to the Archdiocese of Hartford radio station. It doesn't matter if your song sucks and your talent is a black hole, Praise Jayzus and someone will buy it. This had animation that would've made Yogi Bear look like Princess Mononoke. Did you know that the reason all early Hanna-Barabarian animated characters like Yogi wore collars and ties (but no shirts!) was so that the animators only had to draw the head when they talked? Well, it's good that 1st Century Palestinians wore togas, because then you only have to draw below the knees when they walk. And draw it at like 2 frames per second. This was the highlight:
They showed "demon possession" as the guy bobbing his head up and down and going "ARRGH!" with his toungue hanging out. Then Jesus kills some pigs. Way to exorcise, Son o' God.
The video alternates with Muppet-like Fundies who talk in rhyme and burst into crappy songs. Highlight of those was when the little Fundie Muppet (Fuppet?) gets sick. Is Granma going to take her to the doctor or buy her medicine? No, she's just going to pray her back to health. Hope little girl Fuppet doesn't have appendicitis.
I had no good stories from the party, and I just typed about 10K about it. Sorry.
I notice that every day since a week ago when I saw it, Attack of the Stupid Subtitle is getting worse in my memory. Just like Crapisode One, it was all fat and no protein--a pile of delicious special effects doesn't stick to the ribs like a good story would. The story's what keeps you thinking after the Dolby Surroundsound has echoed out of your mind. I remember hypothesizing about what the movie after Empire would be like for 3 years. I really don't care how the next one ends, except to wonder how Lucas plans to end it happily, what with the Empire in place and Vader in a walking iron lung.
Brunching Shuttlecocks goes after the movie with a vengeance that only a Star Wars fan could. I liked the movie, but I also have to agree with every negative thing he has to say about it.
The new movie isn't the first time 3CPO spouted dopey puns, either-- Remember the cartoon Droids? I do. I have one of the figures, because you just didn't see good guy action figures with pink half-Mohawks back in 1985. And it was $1.50 in my Kay Bee managing days. Guess that I should've stocked up on Boba Fetts back then...I'd be an eBay millionaire today.
Speaking of eBay, here's that Very Important Auction that I won yesterday for $2:
And aren't you excited.
ARRGGH! Sorry. The last leftovers from my Jade garden meal I just tried to eat...Just some crunchy noodles. No duck sauce left, so I had them with Chinese mustard. Allow me to repeat: AARRGGHH! Crimeny, that shit's BEYOND hot! I think I just burned off all my nose hairs.
(dabs tears from eyes) Whew. Wasabi's not as hot as that. Where was I? Ah, yes, Sam Weskit on the Planet Framingham. I'm not surprised that you've never heard of it--I'm surprised that I've heard of it. And I've spent the last 30 years looking for it.
I had a thousandth of a teaspoon of that mustard, and now it's trying to escape my body by tunneling through my stomach.
A friend had this book when I was a kid--When my family would spend a weekend at their house, I always made a point to read it. Sooo funny. Hopefully, it'll still remain funny today, but so far my memory of William Johnston's books has been correct. I replaced all my old Get Smart books back in my teenage years from used bookstores, and they were still funny. These were my first exposure as a child to absurdist humor. I also recently picked up a replacement for my old Monkees' book, Who's Got the Button? and it was just as I remembered it--awful. Just like my F Troop book was. Sam Weskit on the Planet Framingham is the only thing that I've ever seen by him that wasn't a TV novelization.
Why was William Johnston so inconsistent? I always wondered that as a kid--He was either funny in a way that seemed effortless, or just painfully, obviously, I'm-a-hack unfunny. He sure had a long career--He started doing novelizations of Bonanza in the very early 60s, and was around long enough to do Welcome Back, Kotter books in the late 70s.
The answer, of course, is that like Tom Swift's "author" Victor Appleton, "William Johnston" is a house name. Different people wrote under it. Some were hacks, one guy was brilliant. I guess that I'll never know who wrote Sam Weskit, or why it wasn't released under his own name.
But still--after 30 years, my quest is over! (Or will be, when I get the book) That's even longer than my 25 year quest to find a copy of The Moog Strikes Bach LP by Hans Wurman. I missed out on it the first 2 times it was on eBay--People bid it way too high for my tastes. Finally a copy turned up with "slight water damage to the cover," and I knew that sucker was mine. I was buying it for the music, not for its "collectability." $6 it cost me.
Then a week later, I went to the Salvation Army and right in front of their record rack was The Moog Strikes Bach. For 99 cents.
Happy ending: This copy had a beat-up LP and a perfect cover. So I combined my two into one near-mint version.
Pig-drowning Christ, but I'm chatty today. Here's something useful: Dashteroids, a fun "button game" Kirk made. I meant to link to this earlier, but I forgot that it was there until he released a new button game today. Programmers, man but they can do some crazy stuff with code. Too bad I'm stupid that way. BARBIE: "Math is hard!"
Speaking of stupid, I just have to quote this from Fucked World:
If you're wondering why the bicycles on Planet Framingham have square wheels--So you can park them on hills, duh!
I was kinda bored last night, so I Googled "Inexplicable Object." Not out of vanity, but because I've learned that if people have linked to my page, they may have other links that I'd enjoy. This is how I found a lot of the InExLinks.
One caught my eye, as it was written more recently than a year ago when the Ob went to wherever good pages go when they die: RussiaGirl's Diary. She's an American living in the former Soviet Union for some reason; college, maybe. She's an excellent writer with an eye for "how things are different here," which, like J-List's comments on Japan, I just love:
Speaking of Yahoo Sites of the Week (okay, now that was vanity talking), here's one from this week's selections: A Futurist at the Movies. He reviews movies more on the plausibility of their science than their entertainment. I found it really fascinating.
Speaking of movies, Michael Moore's "Bowling for Columbine" won a prize at Cannes. Of course, expect the right-wingers to claim that that's only because those effete liberal Europeans hate America. Here's a review (by an American) that argues the opposite: "Here at last was proof that dissent does exist in the U.S. In the post-September 11 world, with the Bush regime establishing a 'you're either with us or against us' polarity, it seemed that an entire nation was being cowed into fearful submission."
Speaking of our Brilliant Leader, here's Tom Tomorrow with a couple of recent bizarre verbal gaffes by Dumbya, including a question that wouldn't be asked by anyone who's not a rascist at heart. Right below it is a story on the source of all those "imminent second attack" crap-warnings we were pounded with over the last week: "OHH! It is GODZILLA!!"
Speaking of lame segues that begin with "speaking of," here's "Cat Bathing as a Martial Art."
Speaking of cats which are...umm...bathed...umm, here's some bathed cats.
Kill Kill ignored her nightly teaspoonful of Friskies wet last night. But after a demure wait, she decided that she might sample a little bit. Actually, she slurped the stuff down so fast and LOUD that I twice commented on this unladylike way of eating. I've never heard her eat loud before.
Though it wasn't as loud as her barfing it all back up a minute later. I mopped it up with a paper towel, and it hadn't even had a chance to get warm in her stomach before it went on its return journey. I told her "This is what happens when you wolf your food!" Which was probably first said by a Cro-Magnon mom to her child while she gobbled down mastodon.
A long time ago I had a link to an MP3 of a bizarre "song-poem"--you know, those things that amateurs would pay to have set to music in a "professional" recording. It was a prank whose chorus began with "Stevie Wonder's penis is erect because he's blind." Unfortunately, that MP3 was one of two that made my Geocities/Inexob page go goodbye a year ago. Here's the story behind the song, and a fresh link to the MP3.
The other MP3 was "Kinky Boots," which I also replaced. ha ha, Geocities! I have everything you took from me, and bit by bit, I'm moving stuff from you to me! How's the click-thru on those ads on my old page going?
I moved Super Green Beret here, but I screwed up the HTML and have to redo it tomorrow. I only have 2 more days to fix code. That's because it's enough work that I only want to do it at work, and after Saturday...nine days vacation!
One of the owners caught me editing and thought I was "doing email." Nope, editing. "I'm really hooked on the email!" he said. Which just seems like an odd thing for someone to say in 2002. Of course, this is the same guy who bought computerized registers for the first time in 1997. I brought some old mouse pads from home for them. He stuck them under the registers, because he didn't know what a mouse pad was for.
He's also the same guy who...The ice making machine at Big Store was leaking. That usually means that the tube that drains the overflow into the bathroom was clogged. His brother asked him to go into the bathroom while he (on the other side of the wall) checked the tube. That brother blew into the tube and heard a scream from the bathroom--Other brother had for some reason held the tube up to his ear and had been hit with a faceful of skanky ice machine water.
Not that I've never done stupider things.
THE NEW FBI lays down the LAW!!
I love reading about Pigdog's "Spocktails," although the likelihood of me ever downing anything with ingredients that usually include 151 rum and diet pill/legal speed Metabolift are nil. A Day in the Life of a Beverolotogist is the longest Spocktail story yet. The drink involved uses Metabolift, vodka, and codeine. I'll stick with a Bass ale, thenk ya.
When it's humid, there's nothing unusual about a big thunderstorm smashing across Connecticut, then leaving lower humidity and temperatures behind it. A line of t-storms followed by a line of t-storms followed by a line of t-storms followed by tornadoes in the course of 3 hours...Now that's unusual.
The tornadoes weren't all that close to here. One hit Litchfield county, the northwesternmost part of the state. That's all farmland, so hopefully it didn't do any real damage. The second one supposedly hit (the radio said it, but I haven't found any confirmation) near densely populated New Haven, which is right up the road from New York City. It's not like you hear about a lot of NYC tornadoes.
You'd almost think that the weather was all screwed up by some weird "global warming" kinda thing, but Dumbya says that that doesn't exist. And he knows everything! Except that there are blacks in Brazil.
The last name "Young" is the 28th most common in America. Where do you rate? (Doesn't seem to list every possible surname, including those of people that I've met, like "Pleines" or "Beezer," but "Butt" is 5,069th--and "Kill Kill" 30,172nd)
Drugs are Cool--but you may not be.
Looking for a fun new hobby? Build your own cruise missile!
That DIY Cruise Missile costs $10K--enough money to buy 1/3 of a golf cart bought by the Army. Yeah, I know that they need that $83 billion in
corporate welfare new defense funding to prevent terrorist attacks with that new box-cutter-seeking missile they're working on, so why shouldn't they be excused for spending $4600 to bring SAND to SAUDI ARABIA? It's not like there's sand there already or anything.
"Charge of the Light Entertainment Brigade": Banksy, graffiti artiste. With an "e" at the end. The best link of the day, really.
Why the FBI sucks. Same reasons it sucked 30 years ago, when the sweet transvestite ran it.