Livin' la Vida Loafer

NEW 3.1

"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves."
--William Pitt


My vacation isn't off to an auspicious start. There's no hot water.
I got a last-minute invite from my Mom to have dinner, but it's 30 hours since my last shower and I don't smell like something you'd want at the table.
And the weather says that it's going to rain all fucking week.

Welcome to the Disinformation Age.
Monsanto was able to kill a paper on the dangers of genetically engineered food by posting lies from nonexistant people on a web page, and the Mass Media is printing "news" that's really just Government-written handouts.

I put up a bunch of pictures on What'sBetter last night, all of them styles of houses. I mean, they have all those sports cars, so why not houses? I'm never impressed by cars, especially the really expensive ones--All you're telling the world is "I have money to waste." But a big ol' house! Now that impresses me. Hell, a modest house impresses me, what with living in a condo for the last 15 years.
Evidentally, now the submission process is moderated. A good idea, since do you really need Natalie Port-A-Pottyman 9 times, or that same damn "If you ride alone, you ride with HITLER" poster under 3 different names? I put the houses in for the whole reason I like to waste time on What'sBetter--variety.

A preview of an upcoming Hsu & Chan comic book! And more Evil Monkey comics! They make Billy laff! The baseball one starts slow, but it really takes off when the home team gets off the bus.

Also funny is this part of Mimi's Grotto that I never stumbled across before. As is this part of her site. Howza bout fish for dinner?
Read them and be happier than I am about a week of rain on my vacation! Without a shower!


I guess that the Condo Ass eventually checked its voicemail, as the hot water finally went on--at 730PM! I don't put my checking to see if it was on for the hundredth time yesterday to Boundless Optimism or Dogged Persistence--if something frustrates me, and I'm not being paid to attempt it, my reaction is always "Screw this!" followed by quitting. It's more the reinforcement of the Obsessive-Compulsive Behaviour I've learned from being on the Net. "Let's check the email and the hit counter one last time this hour..."
Seeing steam from the kitchen faucet led to a yell of joy and enough water and shampoo for two showers. In fact, it was the most vigorous shower since--

...Lady Macbeth got the measles!

...Yo daddy sobered up and saw what yo momma look like!

*Leno version of previous joke*
...Anna Nicole Smith had sex with her husband, and at climax he yelled "I'M LEAVING ALL MY MONEY TO THE BUTLER!"

*Reverse Kafka*
...I woke up and discovered that I had turned BACK from a cockroach!

...The research team dropped that Petri dish at Porton Down!

*typical Bill*
...The one time that John Ashcroft looked into his soul!

*Kill Kill*
...A dog said "O no! I am DOG, and smelly and poop outside and dumb and my social life is sniffing butts!" HAHAHA! STOOPID DOGS! I am funny and very pretty! Now I go to sleep. ZZZZ...

Internet, I love you! Especially eBay. Yep, got some new stuff today (and from Canada!)--I Can Sell You Anything by "Carl P. Wrighter," a pseudonym if I've ever heard one. I was 13 or 14 when I first bought this, and It Changed My Life.
No, really. He's an advertising man who decided to spill the secrets used in TV ads. Of course, everyone says that they don't believe ads, but if they didn't work, why else would they make them? He spelled out how they basically find a way to lie without lying--ads let you connect some nonexistant dots in your mind and lie to yourself. This was my first carefully-spelled-out Personal Bullshit Detector. Pay attention to what they say, and you'll realize that they're saying nothing.
Once I learned how to be skeptical (as opposed to cynical, which is a dead end that leaves you just as impotent as a sucker who believes everything), I applied the lessons learned from this book about ads to politics, then crap like UFOs and ESP, then finally to religion.
I leant this book to someone 25 years ago, and he lost it. But, thanks to eBay, I have it again! Unfortunately, I didn't see the cover when I bought it, and it was totally different from my old copy. Unlike Sam Weskit, which was a first edition, this is the sixth printing, and from 1980. I could've replaced it 20 years ago by special ordering it at Waldenbooks. Darn.

Part of this makes me laugh, part of it really makes me mad: New York is censoring books used in the school system, without informing the authors. (Not-as-good but registration-free version of the story here) What are they censoring? Any references to sex, death, alcohol, religion or even...

Crazier still, one work "is truncated to eliminate some of the reasons Suzuki violin instruction differs in Japan and the United States, apparently not to offend anyone who might find the particulars somehow insulting. Students are nonetheless then asked to answer questions about those differences." Huh? Crazier still than crazier still, these tests are being given to high school seniors, who are old enough to buy Eminem CDs or go to R-rated movies, and have very possibly been exposed to at least the concept of alcohol.
All this is really going to teach kids is that education has no application to reality, so they might as well remain stupid. Go watch TV! Now that's the real world!

Today Dumbya gave a speech in which he said we could fight terror by "loving the lonely," and finally admitted that not only does Global Warming exist, humans are causing it. Hey, Bush! GET A HAIRCUT, YOU DAMN HIPPIE!!

Dumbya makes the even MORE amazing claim that the Presidency has been weakened--by "the spate of congressional investigations into administration activities, particularly during the Clinton era." THE FUCK?! Oh, YEAH, how BRAVELY the Right Wing Bastards like Gingrich stood up against THOSE malicious, politically-motivated investigations! YOU CAUSED THEM! Where's the investigation of ENRON, you LYING HYPOCRITICAL ASSHOLE HIPPIE?!

GOD tells religious people to do the darnedest things! "Tie a bomb to a forensics expert who got a cop killer sentenced!" He told some zany zealot in Tennessee, while telling some funky Fundie in Massachusetts "Drink boiled almonds and starve your baby to death!" Her lawyer insists that the child didn't die from starvation, but "rickets or scurvy," because I guess that it isn't illegal to give your kid rickets. Damn Scurvy! Find this Scurvy dog and you'll have your killer!
The lawyer's name is "O'Boy," which is a polite way of saying what I thought when I heard his defense and rolled my eyes.

Ironically, starving yourself may make you live longer. I read this in Science News years ago, but it's making the news again because it works on our closest relatives, monkeys. Yay for monkeys!!
When I read that SN article, I said "Oh, that explains me!" Like my mother and my 3 sisters, we've never eaten a lot, and we're all thin. I'm 43, but the last guess at my age was 26 (usually people guess 10 years younger); my Mom's 69 and she was pegged at "mid 50s" recently. Yeah, I get hungry, in fact I'm usually hungry, but that I can easily ignore. What SN said but MSNBC doesn't, is that the biggest stress your body regularly undergoes is the metabolizing of food. I know that that sounds counter-intuitive, but your body uses oxygen to do it, and oxygen is a really caustic substance. That's why iron and steel can be eaten alive by rust, in a process called oxidation...

Itn't that cute?
It turned up on the Links part of Mimi's Grotto that I mentioned yesterday. Among her links was Late Night TV Feces, a site that reviews infomercials. It's not as funny as I'd like, but I spent a good coupla hours there, so it's definitely worth a visit. It's pretty big, too; so far I've only made it through the the first two of six categories. Funniest yet is his review of Oxiclean and his attempts to destroy a "vacuumme" cleaner--he fails, and ends up loving the thing.

Here's a game we haven't played in a long time: What the Fuck's with Ferd'nand?

Okay, I get the "joke," if you define joke as "something that isn't funny," but what the hell's going on here? Is Ferdie's wife a recovering alcoholic? She must be, as he doesn't imagine her taking a sip, but getting bombed out of her oddly-coiffed head. So why's there booze in the house? Does the methadone clinic leave heroin lying around? And what kind of booze is it, anyway? The bottle's black when full, clear when empty, but she's holding a martini glass with an olive in it. When did they make black vodka? Why are the drops clear when they leave the bottle? And why the hell is she pouring it on his shirt?
She's not drunk. She's FUCKING INSANE.
Theories? It's inexob&c4*com, as always.


Ferd'nand theories:

From Mimi in Australia (who knows about such things, being the creator of online comic As If!, and an animator for Disney):

Ferd'nand?....Ferd'nand?....[gets out Comic History anthologies]...good 
GOD, that's old! My god...that's so....OLD!!
I think Ferd'nand belongs in that thankfully bare handful of syndicated 
comics that doggedly hang on until the readers who saw it through its 
heyday all die. Family Circus and Marmaduke spring to mind, too.
[looking at strip again]...Okay, it's a very dumb archane old gag, but 
the FIRST thing I thought was 'WHY is she IRONING with booze??'
Not only that, but she's left the iron face-down and is well on the way 
to starting a fire....armed with alcohol.
Unless of course, it's ironing starch that LOOKS like booze. 
Unfortunately, it would have been funnier to see Ferd swilling the stuff 
thinking it's a good cabernet.
From Kiru in Colorado, expanding on the pyromania theme:
Fer'dnand (dnand!  woo!) is startled because his wife is soaking his
clothes with alcohol before applying a hot iron to them.  From her happy
look in panel 2, she''l be glad to get rid of that shirt, and that
house, and with any luck, Ferd'nand. Also, in the last panel, check out
the chicken trying to escape from the laundry basket.  Methinks Wifey's
done a few to many loads of laundry.
From Li in Hawaii:
Both of them are actually vampires.  However, while fresh-from-the-source blood
is a refreshing drink, bottled blood, with help of certain anti-coagulants,
turns sour and somewhat alcoholic.  Now, some vampires indulge frequently in
this beverage--but it's only proper as a *social* drink.  He's concerned that
she may becoming a "bottlesucker", which is generally an insulting
term for one who prefers their blood from glass, as opposed to neck.

As he sees, to his astonishment, she is instead dousing his freshly washed shirt
with blood.  This becomes more confusing because of the missing panels, cut out
to maintain the eerie silence:

Panel 5
Ferdie: So.  You have finally decided to betray me.
Ferdie's Wife: Betray you?  Ha!  I laugh.  There is nothing to betray!

Panel 6
Ferdie: The centuries we've been together!
Ferdie's Wife: They are NOTHING!  I scatter tainted blood on your clothes!  I
curse you and your family!  FOREVER.

So you see, it's really quite simple.
What's interesting about this theory is that it doesn't make Ferd'nand any more creepy than he already is.
However, he has no mouth. Perhaps he sucks blood via his razor-sharp moustache?

From Mark the Vet:

Ewwww...everywhere I look any more it is dolphin sex.

Dolphin sex?! What does that have to do with Ferd'nand?!
"Flipper, Flipper, Porn King of the Ocean..."

The Stupid Weatherman is Stupid. It was supposed to rain from Tuesday through Saturday, which is pretty accurate if you count "Wednesday between midnight and 3 AM" as part of that week. Not that I'm complaining--although I will if that turns to be wrong, too, and it rains like hell for the remainder of my vacation.
It wasn't as perfect today as it was Sunday and Monday, the 2 days that they predicted would be beautiful and were, but it was still warm and precipitation-free. Having that original forecast prove true wouldn't have just sucked but ironically sucked--If I wasn't on vacation, I'd still have Sun & Mon off, and every Sun & Mon for the last month has been cold and rainy, meaning no hiking in the state park.
Yesterday I went to Bigelow Hollow (sorry, no interesting stories), and today I went to good ol' Gay City (sorry, incoming uninteresting story). It's amazing how different the place looks with everything green and leafy. Mmm, trees! I only saw one person in there, who raced by me on a mountain bike. I thought, yeah, Nature's not here to be enjoyed, but used. Try not to run over any chipmunks.
I brought my Walkmidget in order to listen to my favorite radio show, one that I only get to hear about 3 times a year, thanks to me working every Tuesday. Or semi-listen to; it's a low-watt college station and the signal faded in and out with every alternate step. The musical style is Ambient, and halfway through the show the DJ said "I'd like to change the pace here and play something different." Yeah! Please do! I only hear the damn show 3 times a year now! Play some polkas! Fortunately, while it wasn't Ambient, it was some guitar and tabla thing, so it was actually enjoyable. Christmas and New Years fell on Tuesdays last year, and I was psyched about the extra chances to hear his show. Of course, he blew both days off, and while one replacement DJ kinda sorta played his style of music, the New Years' guy said "I'm not into all that electronica stuff," and launched into 3 hours of soothing death metal. I turned that off quick.
Around this time I came across a sapling lying in the trail. Someone had obviously tried to uproot it, and failed. What for? I straightened it up, propped it in an upright position against another tree's branches, and tamped the soil around it's base back down. A few feet further up, there was another sapling. This one was beyond hope. Obviously, seeing that uprooting wouldn't work, whoever attacked the first tree changed tactics: Hold it to the ground with one foot, and stomp on the skinny trunk with the other until it snapped.
Again, what for? I wasn't done by Park Services; they would've used a saw, and they only cut down saplings that grow in the middle of the trail, not on the sides of it.
Over the next hundred feet there were 2 dozen saplings killed the same way. WHAT FOR? Nature's not here to be enjoyed, but abused? I know, "it's just a tree," but I don't grok the concept of killing anything for pleasure. Well, breaking the feet of the jerk who did this might be entertaining, because revenge I can relate to.
I left the park with 3 tiny green wedge-shaped bugs crawling on the inside of my car window. I rolled it down and shooed them away. Yes, I know I should've allowed myself the pleasure of pulling their legs off or setting fire to them before that, but I was driving. Driving to--BIG!Lots!
When I arrived, departing Our Favorite Store was a guy who looked ALMOST EXACTLY LIKE JERRY VAN DYKE!! It wasn't Jer, of course, as I could tell from the lack of paparazzi and roiling sulphorous clouds of brimstone in his wake. I bought the last 4 bottles of Hansen's Black Ice Tea in eastern Connecticut--NOW what am I going to drink?!--and a package of toy mice. I also went to the East Hartford Salvation Army, just because it was there. It gives "junk store" a bad name. I'm glad that the best SalvArm in CT is the one 2 miles from here. The EHtfd one prices everything way too high. It might've been amusing to buy The World's First Boom Box (a cinderblock-heavy, slab-like stereo in which the only way to play media was a fold-out record player!), but--$69.99?!?! And when something is cheap there, it's still expensive, like the "Build Your Own Clock Kit!" for $1.99. It was only missing one piece. The clock.
I went next door to the grocery store to deposit my check in the bank in the grocery store and to buy groceries, but not at the bank, but the grocery store that the bank's in...Modern life in America gets confusing at times. While in line at the ATM in the bank in the grocery store where one can bank and buy groceries but not get an oil change while-U-wait (yet!), the store intercom came on. "Clean up in aisle 7"? No, something that sounded like "JIBBA JIBBA JIBBA JIBBA JIBBA JIBBA JIBBA!" for 30 seconds in the grocery store bank in the grocery store. As it was not followed by 30 seconds of "JABBA JABBA JABBA JABBA JABBA!" and FOO'!-pitying, it was probably not Mr T. The verrrrry sloooow woman monopolizing the ATM turned and asked me "What was THAT?!" I shrugged and said "Someone's having an episode."
I went to buy groceries in the grocery store bank that sells groceries and home equity loans. Pretty much all I needed was eggs and their choliney goodness, and store brand bank eggs were 50% OFF! But--where were they? No eggs on sale for sale! Oh, wait, here's a dozen bank eggs on another shelf! Oh no! It's only here because one egg is broken! [surreptitious glances, and then Ninja Bill swaps the busted egg for another that's a NOT BANK-STORE BRAND EGG THAT'S 50% OFF, BUT AN EGG THAT'S 100% ON! It's the CRIME OF THE CENTURY!]
The road home is 5 lanes. The right 2 split off into a seperate highway. I thought about how every time I hit the point where they split, someone in that middle lane of 5 realizes that they're now in the slow lane of 3, and immediately moves 1 lane to the left for no reason whatsoever, besides the terrible stigma of driving in the slow lane. And it happened again as I was thinking that. A mile later, I was behind someone not going fast or passing anybody in the fast/passing lane, and thought how every time I start to pass them on the right (it's not like I'm being given any other options), they speed up. And as I thought that and changed lanes, the guy sped up to prevent me passing him. If you really don't want to be passed on the right, try driving that speed in the first place.
This is why I'm not afraid of any Robot Holocaust, when they make robots as smart as humans and they massacre us. No one would make a robot as smart as a human, as that just means that they'll be as stupid and illogical as an average person.
Off the highway and on the road home, an ambulance screamed by in the opposite lane. I understand why it has "AMBULANCE" written mirror-backwards on it. It's because SATAN wants us to get in subliminal accidents. But was there originally a big problem with large red and white trucks with sirens and flashing lights racing down the road, and people looking in their rearview mirrors and thinking "ECNALUBMA?! What the hell is THAT?! I'm not getting out of the way of one of those! It's not like it's an ambulance or anything!!"
Kill Kill knows bags of toy mice on sight somehow. I dumped them on the floor, and she sniffed and licked each one. As I scooped them up to throw for her, she pushed her face into my cupped hands and rubbed her head all over them. So cute! When thrown, she sorta chased them. "That one just went under the fridge!" I cried. "There's a mouse under the fridge! Where's your righteous indignation?" which caused her to trot over to the fridge and bat at the offending vermin righteously and indignantly. The rest she held up to her face with her paw, licked each righteously for a while, then indignantly body-slammed it to the floor, before moving onto the next one and doing the same. Have I mentioned how cute my cat is?
Then I looked for stupid links.

Almost inevitably, there's Rate My Kitten. There's an "Add Comment" feature, and totally inevitably, they ruin the page. Haha, there's one comedian who talks about killing and eating kittens ON EVERY ITEM, and it's just as funny the hundredth time as it was the first! ie, NOT AT ALL! Other comments are the standard Cretins with Keyboards crap like "Your kitten blows cock" or "I lern too spel rela gud in skool adn hear are my funy joke cometns!!! i hat yor kttien LOL!!!!!!!!!!"

Of course, I don't find LordCo offensive at all! Although isn't it really weird to look at such a sacreligious site and find out that it has a sponsor with Leviathan-sized pop-up ads?

The question isn't "What did they know before 9/11?" but "Why didn't they do anything about it?" I'd prefer not to believe this guy, but he makes a frighteningly compelling case, and he doesn't seem like another Conspiracy Nut.

...Which brings us up to 7PM. Kill Kill is in Post-Chase, Post-TV Mode, wherein she's not just stopped chasing thrown mice, watching them skitter by her like it was a TV show called "America's Most Exciting Thrown Toy Mice," but into the part where she lays tummy-up with me dropping the mice directly onto her, where they collect like a necklace. Like those onions or whatever on that Tori CD cover, but more colorful. Like Carmen Miranda, but without the frooty-tooty hat.
Hey, vacation always means that I Post Insanely, so expect to get the rundown on what I do from 7 until posting time tomorrow. You have been warned!


I had lunch with my mother at Shady Glen, the locally famous restaurant with the cheeseburgers that have melted cheese under the bun, and chewy cooked cheese on the outside. Tis a mystery how such a feat is performed. Mom loved hers, but I have to confess, it was a letdown for me. Probably because of the rarity with which I eat hamburgers--Switch to turkeyburgers for 10 years, and cow meat's inherent greasiness and saltiness is kind of overwhelming. It was also on the type of bun that you'd get at McDonalds. For $3.95, I'd expect more. But the vanilla shake rocked my gastronomical world, of course.
Mom bought a new car. She'd been leasing a Subaru, and loved it so much that she wanted to buy another. She went to a place right up the road from me, "Suburban Subaru." Boy, can't you just picture the "EUREKA! I'm brilliant!" squeal that the guy who first came up with that name emitted. Forearmed with knowledge gleaned from Consumer Reports, she wanted one thing: their best price, in writing. She went with my sister Judy, and they were greeted by a young salesman who began every sentence with "Now, ladies, if you don't mind me saying so..." Eventually, they did mind, as he refused to give her a price. And he eventually began frothing at the mouth--literally, with sheets of spit stringing between his upper and lower teeth. He didn't make a sale.
So she went to the other area Subaru dealer. This salesman slowly shuffled up to her and was wearing an eyepatch. Things started okay, but then he suddenly interjected, "I'll bet you're wondering why I have this eyepatch!" Uh, no. "I was in a real bad accident. I just got out of a coma!" Talking to him further, Mom decided "He really wasn't out of the coma yet."
She went to the Mazda dealership, and drove out of the lot 30 minutes later. And 10 minutes after that, locked her new keys in her new car.
After lunch, I went to the Maul to get Jessica's wedding gift. The wedding registry was a self-serv kiosk, with a touch-insensitive screen. The Magic Button would depress but not enter the information, so I had to do it 2 or 3 times for almost every character. I asked for the registry on LEDARD, but, ooh noo, that's not specific enough! Okay, J LEDARD. That worked. And brought up every name beginning with L. So why did it need the J? Or the edard?
And here's my tale of Filene's-created woe. The clerk was freakin' courteous! I got the last Villaware Multibaker 5230 in the store! I filled out a credit card application and got 10% off! The Multibaker was on sale, but it didn't ring up on sale, because someone forgot to take the sign down after the last sale ended, and she gave me the sale price without me even asking! Plus the 10%! She went to the equally nice customer service lady, to make sure that I got the free gift wrapping that I didn't know about until she told me about it, even though I was under the $50 free-wrapping cutoff point! It was wrapped beautifully! The whole process took maybe 15 minutes!
Sorry! That wasn't woeful at all! If you want to hear woeful consumer-related suffering (from the other side of the counter), read about Vyn's day at the bank!

Well, I guess I can't steal links from Pop Culture Junk Mail anymore. Gael's on to me! In the 6/4 entry, there's a link back (to right here, not the main page, oddly enough, although I haven't noticed any real uptick in the page counter). So I guess I have to give due attribution from now on, given that she must be reading the News.
She linked to that site I swiped from Mimi about infomercials, so she was giving me credit where none was due. Way to double-guilt me, PCJM!

Star Chaser explains Ferd'nand!!

And he's right. If you look in the last panel, there is a little sprinkler-head thing on the bottle. Yeah, that's not an obscure enough punchline. And that's coming from a guy who makes jokes about the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. "Two cats walk into a box..."
(Hahaha! A Petri dish--at PORTON DOWN! I crack me up!)

If there are more Ferd'nand theories, I've yet to see them. My C4 mail says: "Mail is Currently ungoing repairs, Please excuse the dust" Two inappropriate capitalizations, a missing semicolon, a missing period, and...It's "ungoing." Does that mean it's stopping? One confidence-building message there, guys.

Latest spam message line: "thoughtunu,Naturally Enhance your breast size." Given that I'm male, I could do that just by eating a lot of pizza and Budweiser.

"General Mills' Star Wars: Episode II Cereal Gets It All Wrong."

Can television get any more half-assedly retarded? Only with great determination--and they've succeeded! Why just watch reruns on Nick at Nite when you can watch REMAKES of reruns! What, the moneygrubbing graverobbing of John Edwards not asinine enough for you? Cross over with the PET PSYCHIC! And if that old carny trick isn't insulting the ol' intellygents enough, join the millions of Americans that think the X Files is a DOCUMENTARY!


Remember my little (very little) joke yesterday about my C4 email being down? "It's 'ungoing.' Does that mean it's stopping?" Why, yes. That is what it means, as it's still ungoing today. How much "repair" does it need?

No stories today. It rained all day, and I feel not so great, so the weather doesn't matter. I slept until 1PM anyway.

Yes, it's the latest Sanrio character, Beer-chan, the lovable binge-drinker. And yes, it appears to be real. "Beer-chan are fairies and always says it's so good !! Try to get Beer-chan surprised, and you'll see Beer-chan blowing their barm." Maybe I don't wanna see Beer-chan blowing barm, ever think of that?! (From PCJMail)

"White House Spokesman Ari Fleischer Revealed to be Advanced Muppet"

The Air Force Just Says Go to Drugs. Those jets that killed Canadians in Afghanistan were flown by pilots on speed--that the Air Force gave them. If that's not weird enough for you, the soldiers killed were from "Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry." The...what? That is the least threatening-sounding military name possible. If you heard that you were about to be attacked by Princess Patricia's Light Infantry, would you run for cover, or get out your Barbies and the Easy-Bake Oven? The modifying word "Light" just makes it worse. Know how many times someone has asked "...In the loafers?" to these guys? Like being bombed by flying junkies doesn't suck enough. They're just lucky that they weren't in the cavalry, as that's probably named My Little Pony's Canadian Prancing Mounted.

A short, really interesting (if 2-year-old) review of What If, a book about how history could've been changed by the tiniest of events. It's not mentioned here, but did you know how different the world would be if the Winter of 1940 had been mild, rather than harsher than usual?
Well, I'm on vacation, I've got the time, here's the scenario. (Caveat: I don't feel like researching this; it's based on history I read in college, so some details may be off. And it's a long history lesson, so if you have no interest, skip it)
Almost everyone before World War II started thought that it would be like WWI--bloody trench warfare that dragged on for years. Unfortunately, the "almost everybody" didn't include the German General Staff. They thought that they could take out a country like Poland in, say, only a couple of months!
More like days. It lasted 3 weeks, but it was really over before it began. France and Britain had the perfect opportunity to attack western Germany while the bulk of the Nazi army was in Poland, but clearly, the Poles were getting stomped because--Well, they weren't the Brits or the French. So the Allies stood behind the Maginot Line, waiting for the Germans to attack and be slaughtered when they did.
Hitler gave Stalin half of Poland to keep him as happy as a Commie clam when the invasion started. The Red Army attacked eastern Poland when the battle was already over. "That was easy!" thought Stalin, and decided that maybe everyone was wrong about this "trench warfare" crap. Why not wage a fun little war of his own? Stalin declared that Finland was a "threat to our security," mainly because they had the gall to put their country right next door. Late in 1939, the Soviet Union invaded, sending 250,000 troops against Finland's 11,000-man army.
In terms of relative sizes and populations, this would be like a war between the 6 states of New England and the rest of the USA--with New England winning.
Part of that was the condition of the Red Army. Under Stalin, years of military experience meant nothing compared to absolute obedience to the State--and Stalin. He was a genocidal psychopath worse than even Hitler, but only because Hitler wasn't around as long. The ability to parrot Party ideology was more important than actual ability, or even competence. He purged anybody over any imagined departure from the cult of his personality. The Red Army saw some of its heaviest losses not from the Civil War that followed the Russian Revolution, but from the Purges. In one instance, a 22-year-old lieutenant was promoted directly to general. Sadly for Stalin--and the poor grunts in the army--the ability to quote Lenin from memory isn't all that useful in attacking a motivated enemy.
How motivated? Finland had only been independent of Russia for a little over 20 years. Ask yourself: Would I be more motivated to fight for Stalin and his hacks, or defend my country from being run by Stalin and his hacks? You guessed right.
The Soviet attack was a disaster from the start. And it was because it was trench warfare--Trench warfare worked just fine, if you were stupid enough to attack as if it was still WWI. That's what the Germans did different: Don't walk straight into the defenses and let them mow you down, look for points where the defences were light, and send tanks rushing through these gaps to outflank or attack from behind. The Germans were the only ones with small, light, fast tanks that were used the right way. Everyone else had these slow, heavily-armored but weakly-armed things...and the "land battleships." These were even slower, poorly armored, and had 3 or more turrets, all with little cannons or machine guns. And crews in the 6 to 8 range, which is an awful lot of guys to squeeze into one metal box.
At one point, a Soviet tank division attacked a Finnish ski battalion that they outnumbered 6 to 1. They were quickly surrounded and wiped out with minimal casaulties. The tanks, I mean. 40,000 Soviets died. The Finns were guys on skis fighting tanks with an overwhelming numerical advantage, and the underdogs won. And everyone roots for the underdog.
Meanwhile, on the other side of Europe, France and Britain were involved in what was called the "Sitzkrieg." Because that's what they did; they sits on their asses doing nothing. Doing nothing about the NAZIS, mind you, who are in the Top Ten Worst Ever of Anythings in History. Part of this was because of that trench warfare belief, but part of this inaction was something else--The Nazis were the wrong enemy. Since 1917, the West saw the Commies as the big threat. Big enough that there was a war between America, Britain and France against the Russkies during (and after) WWI, in an attempt to overthrow Communism. Yes, there were American troops fighting on Russian soil once. (If you're saying "Bullshit! They never taught me that in school!" --well, you're right. There's lots of facts that they don't teach you in school. They're barely allowed to teach evolution anymore. Read about that forgotten war, if you don't believe me.) The Red Menace was considered a real threat (in America, also--read about the Palmer Raids if you haven't heard about that). Western European leaders had a real worry about the Working Class rising up against them, especially as Communism began to influence labor unions during the Depression . So it was a great relief when brave government leaders stood up as bulwarks against Communism--The first of these was Mussolini. The next was Hitler.
This, along with the fear of another WWI, is what led to the appeasement of the Nazis. So long as they kept the Bolsheviks at bay, who cares what they do to the Sudetenland?
And now the right enemy was being attacked. As insane as it sounds, the West basically ignored the fact that they were at war with the Nazis in order to take on the Bolsheviks. First, Britain and France sent supplies, such as guns and ammunition, to the Finns. Then, they quickly armed and trained volunteers to go fight for Finland. Then, they began plans to send the British and French armies over to Finland, to fight Russia directly. While Stalin was truly one of history's greatest monsters, and Finland was fighting for survival, they weren't at war with the Soviets.
The problem was how to get the troops over there. They couldn't go the easy way, via the Baltic Sea. That would require sailing right past Germany, as there was the slight chance that, despite the Allies' little memory lapse, the Nazis might remember that they were at war and attack the ships. The northern route, right through the Arctic Circle, was all that was left. But there weren't any major Finnish ports. The only real port was Archangel. This had the unfortunate disadvantage of being a Russian city. They briefly planned to invade Soviet soil and capture Archangel. Then they realized that there was an easier way--There were a few good northern ports in Norway. Which was another country they weren't at war with. The Norwegians had no interest in letting Allied forces cross their country, so the Allies began secretly planning to invade Norway, and if Norway didn't like that, too bad. If they actually fought back, the Allies planned to take the country over. Just like the Nazis would.
But the Norwegian-Finnish border was at the top of the world, while the fighting was going on in the Karelian Isthmus in the south. It would take a long time to march all that way, especially since the worst winter in a century was going on. With temperatures in the low 40 belows, many Allied troops would die of exposure. So, why not march across Sweden? Sure, they were another neutral nation, but that didn't really matter. While the Finns plead in vain with Sweden to allow the troops to cross, the Allies planned on marching even after Sweden refused the Finns.
The French came with an idea of their own--cut Societ oil production by bombing the Caucasus oilfields, from French bases in their colonies in Syria and Lebanon. In that hypothetical war between America and New England, this would've been the same as bombing Texas--it was nowhere near the actual fighting.
But the bitter weather that had helped Finland's defense proved its downfall. The Soviets were massacring themselves against the Mannerheim Line, a very effective, in-depth series of trenches that was invulnerable to attack (or at least, to attacks by inept political appointees who'd send their men right into the line of fire). The trenches were flanked with lakes. The ice had be come thick enough to let soldiers walk across them, but they were easy targets there. But finally, the ice froze enough to allow tanks to cross and outflank the trenches. The only antitank weapon the Finns had was their new invention, the Molotov cocktail, and that wasn't enough. Especially when Stalin was willing to sacrifice unbelievable numbers of Russians in the attacks.
The Finns were retreating, and literally running out of ammunition. They had lost 25,000 dead. They had no choice but to negotiate a settlement. Stalin was happy to do so. The Russians had lost a million dead in 4 months. Finland ceded 22,000 square miles of its land to Stalin, or, as one Russian general said bitterly, "We have won enough ground to bury our dead."
And so ended the Winter War. But World War II went on. The Germans got wind of the Allies' crazy plans to invade Scandinavia, and it made them nervous enough to do it themselves, by doing their own invasion of Norway. Norway and Denmark would be the last foreign soil still occupied by Nazi troops at the end of the war. About the only plus to come out of it was that it made Stalin realize what a lousy army he'd made, and he improved it--just in time for Hitler to invade. And just as the poor showing of the Polish army had led the Soviets to believe that it would be easy to invade Finland, the Winter War led Hitler to foolishly believe that the miserable job of the Red Army meant that an invasion of Russia would be a walkover. And that miscalculation led to the defeat of the Nazis. We didn't win WWII with the help of the Russians, but because of them.
But What If? What if winter had been normal or even milder than usual in 1940? Then the Allies would've gone into direct battle with the Russians. Do you think we could've beaten Hitler AND Stalin, if they were on the same side?
Eventually--inevitably, in fact--there would've been war between Germany and Russia. But when? After they and the Japanese pounded the shit out of Britain and France and won WWII. Would there have been an attack on Pearl Harbor, when Japan would have a good shot at taking India and Australia from the British?
I couldn't really tell you; there's too many variables. But we'd be living a world that bears no resemblance to the one we're living in now, if Spring had come early one year.


The "ungoing repairs" to my mail seem increasingly permanent. C4 started life as a metasearcher, and this is the promise on the search engine page: "C4 is going through many changes! Please prepare for our new look in the future!" I think the Many Changes include Bankruptcy, and the New Look will be a 404 page. If you try to use the search, it sends you to Google.
Nice of them to warn those of us with email accounts. So if you want to contact me, try thoughtviper&hotmail*com. Although I have the sneaking suspicion that Shotmail's about to stop being free...

The Stupid Weatherman is Stupid. He was Good Stupid earlier in the week, when he said that it would rain all through my vacation and was wrong. Then he became Bad Stupid, when he said that it would rain Wednesday, ending Thursday morning. We got 1.5 inches of rain all day yesterday, and that's not counting what we got today. It's windy and cold and I'm indoors. Yig.

I'm so bored that I'm A) finally checking to see that all the old InExObs got moved correctly (and instantly found 2 mistakes on the freakin' main Archive page!), and B) on I submitted Beer-chan, which made me think to submit the Hello Kitty laptop. Then suddenly, it hit me--I sure can think of whatsworse... "So, how dumb am I in finding out what's in this box?"

Yes, the riveting, tension-filled realism of Daveykins.
Maybe I shouldn't be making fun of incompetence given my screwing up of my own InExArchive, but at least I know when I'm dumb. And while I'm barely into it, this magnum opus is well worth the slack-jawed read.

That's the image that I put on whatsbetter. It really sums up Davey's little fantasy life. Although the middle panel of this strip works, too.
Did Daveykins really get praised by Stan Lee? Maybe, but that's not Daveykins! Yes, Gonterman has done a strip starring SOMEONE WHO ISN'T GONTERMAN! He's so RADICALLY DIFFERENT than Daveykins! You see, "Jim Goodlow" is a cartoonist who lives in St. Louis! And gets visited by a talking furry suit that instantly falls in love with him and needs him to save the world. That is so unGontermanly.
Daveykins can be seen in strip #4, smirking at the reader. A guest appearance just like Hitchcock, another master auteur.
Did I mention that the villian is a bunny suit named Pippkin?

I came across this on whatsbetter: a gif of Jonny Sokko's Giant Robot. See how long you can stand looking at that.
A recent eBay purchase was the complete set of videos of the the original TV series. They lack the sheer cumulative lunacy thatVoyage Into Space, the movie made from the show had. But that's what happens when you edit 13 hours of TV into 90 minutes.
Not that the show isn't BIZARRE. There's a scene in which a giant dog-headed Rasta-haired mutant swallows a train, and before your brain can digest that information, we discover that the Rasta Dog has a train station in his stomach.
The show is directed at children, but even kids would be insulted by it. The dubbing is so not-even-trying that entire episodes can have EVERY line of dialogue with the mouths moving an extra syllable after speaking. In the one I just saw, our heroic Unicorn agents Jonny and Jerry are captured by the evil Gargoyle Gang. This happens via the very clever Gargoyle trap of hiding in the back seat of Jerry's car. Gargoyle Gangsters dress in outfits obviously inspired by the snappy uniforms the Nazis wore. Except the Gang is better at accessorizing, with berets and sunglasses that make them look like Fascist Beatniks. Unicorn agents are dressed in sweaty-looking yellow jumpsuits with Speed Racer helmets that have antenna. When the kidnappers drive Jerry's car to the rest of the Gang, their leader Spider yells, "Unicorn morons! Get out of the car!" which is 100% typical of the dialogue. Ha ha, silly Spider! Somehow Jonny and Jerry overpowered the Gargoyles and switched uniforms with them! Thankfully, we were spared the sight of them all in their underwear. Now, even at age 5 I would've said, "Oh, COME ON!" Jonny is 8 years old and 4 feet tall. So why does the Gargoyle's uniform fit him, and vice-versa? It's not just dumb, it's needlessly dumb, just like the Unicorn salute. They hold their right hand up and snap their fingers, but oh no, the snap is replaced by a squishy-sounding slide whistle.
The monster in this episode was a giant walking beige manta ray with suckers on him that shot acid. The acid burned Giant Robot's hand off in seconds! Given that we've already seen Giant Robot survive a point-blank atom bomb explosion, one wonders how the Beige Manta's tummy holds in the acid. Exactly how gigantic a Tums will be needed to defeat such a beast?
In the movie, Spider is around for the first 30 minutes then strangely vanishes. He's easily the best actor, given his range of expression: Scowl, sneer, and pushing his sunglasses up the bridge of his nose. That last act happens enough to become like something out of a Giant Robot drinking game. In his larger role in the TV show, we see that he's expanded his repetoire to include taking the sunglasses off! Now that--is acting!
Tragically, the Beige Manta sprays Spider with acid. Or deliberately, as it does it for a good minute, while Spider says "What a world!" or, to be more accurate, "YEEEAAAARRRGGHHH!" It may have taken mere seconds to melt Giant Robot's mighty metal hand, but Spider takes a lot longer. He's finally reduced to a pile of soap suds leaking down a drain, which is weirdly done by having soap suds go UP a drain with the film run backwards. Spider's gone, but his snazzy Nazi clothes are untouched. Note to Unicorn: Make next Giant Robot out of Nazi clothes.


Note to self: Never, EVER, again try to find bugs on my page while simultaneously looking at Gonterman.

And there were plenty of bugs. Bugs galore there were, a Bug Party, a Bug Hoe-Down, a veritable Mardi Bug of errors on the InExOb. I fixed them through InExOb90, then stopped at the same time I hit #90 on that Gonterman...thing. Or tried to. Hey, Johnny...just a few more hits of Gonter, man! You know I'm good for it!
Whew. I forgot how addictively evil uncut Gonterman can be. Lay off the hard stuff, kids. It's like crack for...I dunno, your asscrack.
Okay, even for late 90s Gonterman, that thing was incomprefuckinhensible. Contradictory, confusing, and ca-reepy. First the Gonterman-not guy is told what a comics genius he is by Stan Lee, then there's his ca-reepy masturbatory love for his magic suit, then there's crime-fighting when people in bunnysuits rob a Jo-Ann's Fabrics, then the cops all want the guy in the girl animal suit to join the police even though no one knows what a "Zoot" is, then everybody knows what a "Zoot" is without any explanation, which is right after "THREE SIXTEEN!!!!" is used as a sound effect, then the Gont-not guy is told what a comics genius he is, then he eats a cracker, then he makes comical KASHEWW! noises which is embarassing because it's making him turn into a fox during the interview for a job writing a comic strip which involves the Gont-not guy being told what a genius he is, then he goes to the ladies room, then he gets really sick and channels a vision of Stan Lee calling him a plagiarist, then everybody in the world knows what a "Zoot" is and Gont-not becomes the most famous person/hack cartoonist in said world, then she/he is playing baseball and NASCAR and wrestling and caber-tossing and Missouri-rules Football and "FOOOSSSHHHH!!! LOUD CROWD" is used as a sound effect, then the gorilla with a diving helmet on his head brings all the dinosaurs back to life and they fight, then there's some more crime, and there's the sound effect "PITCH!! PITCH!! PITCH!!" as the bad "Zoots" get--PITCHED IN THE STREEET!!! LOL!! then the sentient mouse suit eats the man in the mouse suit in some way that involves cloth, so they take the mouse suit's Talking Head to the police, where it sadly does not say "This is not my beautiful mouse! This is not my beautiful wife! How did I get here?" and they put a midget in a wheelchair in him and he shrinks, then Bela Lugosi dies and is replaced with Gonterman's wife's chiropracter, then all these confusing characters that are all drawn the same come out of nowhere, and they all wear makeup that looks like their suits to make it harder to tell what's going on when they take their heads off, heads which keep yakking after they're off, then Torgo says "The Maaaster will be pleeased!" then the Gont-not guy is told what a comics genius he is, then they put a 2-year-old in one of these confusing "Zoot" suits and she tawks all kootsey-wootsey, then she and every other character except Gont-not disappear from the story, then the father says "Watch out for snakes!" then his/her daughter from Dimension Mindfuck or wherever this infestation of talking vermin is coming from arrives, and despite the fact that Daveyki--Err, "the guy who's totally not Gonterman" is in HER OWN MOTHER'S BODY she COMES ON TO HIM, and I had to go take a shower in BLEACH, and she/he suddenly tells slutty daughter not to hit on him/her mom despite the fact that Jimmykins is SOO HOTT and oh did I mention what turns her on is the fact that she sees his portfolio of blank pictures and thinks HE'S A FUCKING COMIC GENIUS?! because "I can't even draw stick figures!" and he says that this piece of shit is "St. Louis'sss favortie comik!" or such, then Mark McGwire appears AGAIN, then there's MORE useless characters, one of whom is a girl with (Theremin music!) PSYYYCHIC POWWWERS! which are never mentioned again and who thinks fucking Squirrel Boy is SOO HOTT even though Gonterman (who is totally not this guy) draws him like a potato sack filled with rotting Spam that's been left in the Disgusting Insect House at the Zoo for a week, then chili peppers burn his gut while he side-hacks, then this totally different personality-free horny "Zoot" girl goes to a store which is STAFFED BY A "ZOOT" CLERK! I mean, how common are these sentient alien suits that they put them on retail workers and 2-year-olds, I mean I go to the grocery store and not even NON-superpowered people in squirrel suits work there, maybe it's the dress code, and when they talk we get about the fifth obvious use of White-Out on the dialogue, although that represents about one-TENTH of the damn spelling errors so far, then there's some more sexual deviancy as apparently every female "Zoot" has a male host or as Daveykins Jimmykins says sexily with magic hearts floating around his oh-so-sexy FUCKING BUNNYSUIT "Are you boys ready for the GRIND?!" and I tore my eyes out and stomped on them for allowing those particular photons in, and I began rolling on the floor sobbing "Gamera is full of turtle meat!" and Cornjob gave me electroshock, then there's going to be HOTT XXX girl-fox-on-girl-skunk-on-shit-cartoonist-with-issues action and Baby Jesus didn't just cry when I typed that but broke my fingers, and he doesn't show the seXXXy barnyard action but instead "Thinks about the CHILDREN!" and draws himself with a giant dildo and a vaginal-looking bedpan complete with swollen clitoris right across from it and THANKS BUT THAT'S NOT REALLY AN IMPROVEMENT YOU GODDAMN MADMAN, then the comic strip made Hitler's brain come back from the grave and open a Jack in the Box, except it was called Jackboot in the Face, then Daveykins fights the KKK (!!!) or at least their road sign (???), then he says "Aw man, Scarlett. We've turned an unassuming girl into a hardcase sex kitten!" due to his RAW UNBRIDLED SEXUAL MAJESTY AND GENIUS CARTOONING SKILZ and God said "I can't believe I made this species!" and killed everyone in the world by sending a ravenous plague of poorly-drawn Daveykinses.
The End.
Or--IS IT?!
Then Robot Monster came from the cave THREE TIMES! ZZT! ZZT!! ZZT!!!

I'm not going to pretend that I know anything about how Hollywood works. I think a gaffer probably jabs fish with really big hooks, and when someone asks me what's the difference between a "Best Boy" and "Bob's Big Boy," I generally mumble something about "One of them isn't a fat plastic guy carrying a hamburger" and move the conversation to a cinematic subject like "Who would win in a fight, Darth Vader or a really huge Vader-Magnet? With spikes on it?"
But I'm not writing spec scripts. Like *involuntary shudder* Gonterman is!
He describes it in his Power Point Presentation as "a cross between ET and Terminator and Star Wars, but darker." I'd describe it as a cross between "ET the crappy, unplayable Atari 2600 game and Jabs in the Eye with Chopsticks with Wasabi Still on Them and Earwigs Laying Eggs in My Brain, but darker. And that ET game's on fire and also in my colon."
I don't know much about scriptwriting, but I know that a scriptwriter does NOT tell the director, the cinematographer, the editor, and the actors what to do in the script. A screenwriter just crosses his fingers and hopes that everyone else working on the movie doesn't change his writing too much. Except in his case:

It's a mountain, it's a wasteland, he's standing, he's crouching, it's snowy, it's still snowy. At least he can write great dialogue:I don't think it's meant to be self-mocking when a character says:

And it goes on for 69 pages. It's written using some website that does the HTML for you, so it looked like "Gonterman gets a spell check." But I turned to my resident Gonter-expert, Negaduck, to find out if anyone had MySTed this. 69 pages of straight, uncut Gonterman--I'm trying to quit cold turkey, man. Our correspondence (Negs is the >):

Negs has a Live Journal featuring art a LOT more accomplished than Daveykreep's.

Beautiful day today, so I went antiquing in Putnam. Too bad I went during the town's "Distracting Odor Days." The first store had a guy chimneying cigarette smoke all over the place when I walked in, and here's a tip to you smokers: Cig smoke really freakin' stinks. When I walked out, he'd been replaced by a woman eating something that didn't smell much better than the smoke. The tea shop smelled not like tea & scones but really strong lavender soap; the bookstore smelled like overpowering potpourri soap, and in one place, I walked into a hallway and thought "What the hell is that stink?!" as it was totally unidentifiable as anything I've ever smelled in my life. I can't even describe it, except that when I walked into the room that the hallway led to, in 30 seconds I ran right out as my gag reflex was seriously kicking in. You know the antique store saying, "Nice to Handle, Nice to Hold, But if you Blow Your Barm on It, Sorry, Sold!" But what was this smell, this smell that stank like Gonterman draws? The unearthly, indescribable stench of the Elder Gods! Cthulhu potpourri!
The only things that caught my eye were a pair of wooden salt & pepper shakers shaped like outhouses. One was labeled "I'm full of S" and the other "I'm full of P." Geddit? But they were in that place that never prices anything so that he can make up a high price and dicker when someone shows interest in an item, so I didn't ask.
The End.
No, really.

Saturday means that the classical radio station plays Click and Clack the Annoying Twins on Car Talk. That means that I if I want commercial-free instrumental music, I'm only going to get it from the Catholic Archdioscese station. They play Muzak. Real, honest-to-G*D Muzak. Not the syrupy strings associated with Elevator Music, but more like the loungey E-Z listening style. I'll bet only one person who reads this has ever heard Devo's E-Z listening versions of their own songs, but that's a good example (for those of you who are not Lilly, it's actually a clever musical joke--Devo as if covered in the weird styles of this kind of music. For example, "Peek-a-Boo" is done as an E-Z version of it in the style of the theme from The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly)
The station's pretty awful when Frank or Perry or Bing start croonin', but the inappropriate instrumentals can be amusing. Ahh, a lovely cover of Cream's "Sunshine of Your Love"! That makes sense. It's fun to try and sing along with the ones you know--fun, and impossible. The song's either slowed to half-speed, or they pointlessly throw in extra notes.
This morning they played a cover of "Ben." This was a notable song: It was Michael Jackson's first solo hit (when he had his first-gen nose), it went high on the charts despite being the theme to a movie that bombed, and it was a tender, heartfelt love song to a man-eating rat.
Williard was a movie about a creepy guy who trains rats to eat Ernest Borgnine. It was a giant hit in c.1972; Borg-9 complained that his worst career move wasn't starring in it, but turning down a percentage of the profits for a flat salary. They made a sequel, but title character Williard was unavailable, having been eaten by the rats himself in the oh-so-ironic climax. So the star of this one was Ben, the lovable leader of the rats. IMDb has this synopsis:

*sniff* Excuse me...(dab eyes with hanky, blows nose) That is so touching. And also probably the part where they start playing Michael Jackson's moving tribute to Ben. The only lyrics I remember are "Ben, you're always running here and there/It seems that you're not wanted anywhere." Mikey, he's a face-eating rat. I'm really not coming up with any places where he'd BE wanted. Maybe you and Bubbles could train him just to eat your nose when it needs replacing.
The "running here and there" is quite accurate, him being a rat and all. Possible equally accurate alternate lyrics:
"Ben, parasites are crawling in your hair"
"You spread gross diseases everywhere"
"You stripped Captain McHale's bones all bare"
"Your grotesque beady eyes cutely stare and glare"
"Thanks for leaving small brown pellets everywhere"
"You should meet Ric Flair and Tony Blair"
"You ate my brother Tito like he was a pear"
"Jermaine and Janet you caught unaware"
"My chimp and I like little boys in their underwea--EEEEK! Not the face, NOT THE FAAAACE!"
As...unusual as the original was, they gave it a game E-Z listening try, scoring it for Hammond organ and harmonica. Throw in the bagpipes and a yodeler and you've got the musical equivalent of being eaten by rats. It hit me that they shifted gears and suddenly started playing a different melody in the middle of "Ben." I hummed it to myself until I realized what song it was.
This was a medley of "Ben" and "Santa Claus is Coming to Town."
BUBBLES! Don't look in your stocking!! EEEEK!!


I'm posting for only 2 reasons: I want to post every day of my vacation (tomorrow being the last, *sob*), and I want to put off debugging the old InExObs.
The only highlight of today was another thing that I'd been putting off--taking Kill Kill to get her nails trimmed. 2 Sundays ago, I forgot about it until after 3, when "Suds & Scissors" closes. Last Sunday was the Smelly Day of No Shower, at least not until long after S&S closed. Today, Killsy & me slept until noon. I showered, got on the Web, and went for a walk in the woods while she napped in her wooden Opus One wine crate. She was still blissfully asleep when I got back at 2:15. She treats her nail trimmings like they were visits to Mary Kay for some experiments with that new cyanide-based eyeshadow. Forget Drama Queen, she's a Trauma Queen when she goes. Usually, I wait until she's walking around to grab her and jam her flailing arms into the carrier. But when she's asleep? I just can't do it. Let her enjoy her peace.
She should've slept another 15 minutes. At 2:45 she wandered over to see why I was struggling with the computer, and that's when I made my move.
The whole process from in the carrier to back out takes only 10 minutes, and the worst thing that ever happens to her is her ridiculous struggling to prevent being taken out of the carrier to get clipped. Then she's home, she runs up the stairs to meow at the door, she gets some wet food that she instantly inhales, then all is forgiven and forgotten. I pet her, she jumps in the window to watch the birds, then she falls asleep.
And the cat lived happily ever after. Until the next histrionic visit to Suds & Scissors. The End.

Why was I struggling with the computer? I want to do a Jonny Sokko episode guide. Not that there's any crying need for one, I just think that it's a project I might actually DO. (RICHARD BURTON: Don't talk about our Kill Kill page, Martha!) But I need a video capture card. Giant Robot fights the dumbest looking monsters! I was making my final attempt to get the damn Snappy to work. It used to tell me "No video source connected" no matter how I hooked it up; today it told me "Snappy hardware not connected," though of course it freakin' was. Well, at least this useless piece of crap only cost me $70.
I went to a page that reviews hardware, and the lowest priced item was my SnCrappy 4.0. At $11.13. Which is $11 more than it's worth.
So if anybody has a recommendation for a video capture device, let me know--it's STILL thoughtviper&hotmail*com, as the "ungoing repairs" still ungo.

My mention of my Devo E-Z Listening Disc (which replaced the shorter tape version I'd bought through Club DEVO) led me to playing it for the millionth time last night. It's the second CD that I ever bought! It made me remember a page that I'd seen years ago, about the Optigan, which is used on one of the tracks. "Beautiful World" had a loop of a banjo running through it. I always thought that it was something done on a computer, but it was really an old Optigan, or "Optical Organ." Mattel made this in the early 70s, and it used light to read an LP-sized disc that you stuck in it for rhythym sounds. The article's really interesting if you're into forgotten electronic musical instruments like the Moog, the Theremin, or the Ondes Martinot (if you've ever seen Tim Burton's Ed Wood, then you've heard the last 2 in action), or if you're an obsessive thrift store shopper (like me). If you aren't, the H4-sized font on a lime-green background isn't going to draw you in.
That article's author briefly mentioned that he (or she) wanted to record an album called "Optiganally Yours," and it took a coupla hours before that sank in. That CD's been advertised in "Cool & Strange Music!" Magazine for YEARS! There's a more readably-formatted version of that same article here--Skimming it, there only seems to be one major change. Unfortunately, it's the line at the bottom of page 2 which actually ruins the whole "thrift store hunt" aspect. Everything's collectible, once someone says it's collectible.
There are some MP3s of her (his?) album which make me glad that I never bought it. Although this is pretty catchy, for the 30 seconds that you get to hear it.

...Which, given all our Gontermanning of the last 2 days, reminded me of another page I hadn't seen in years, "Zork and Zeebil." It's WORSE than Gonterman. It looks like someone read "Pokey the Penguin," said "I can do that! Despite the extensive brain injuries caused by this pipe in my head!" So bad that I once used it as an InExLink titled "Beneath the Bottom of the Barrel." Not wanting to look at any InExObs, I Googled Z&Z and found out that the strip predates Pokey by years! And it sucked then, too.

The Ten Least Essential Films of the Summer. I thought that some of these were made up--Crocodile Hunter, the Movie? The Adventures of Pluto Nash?--but that just shows how rarely I go to the movies. I saw the trailer for "Like Mike," and if that wasn't on the screen right in front of me, I would've thought that that was a joke, too. Ya see, Lil' Bow Wow, a little kid actor or rapper and someone that I have no interest in learning more about, finds sneakers with "MJ" written on them. That means that they're Michael Jordan's! And give him impossible basketball-playing powers! Then how do they fit this 4 foot tall kid! Does he also have Jonny Sokko's amazing ability to shrink clothes to his size? Or are they Jordan's own sneakers from his childhood, miraculously preserved for future generations, only to be awarded to those worthy enough to wield them, like the Lady of the Lake's gift of Excalibur to a young King Arthur? Or does the movie just suck?
Say, do you think that after he wins all these games as a pro NBA player--yes, that's the plot--do you think the Bad Guy steals the Magic Sneakers, causing Lil' Woof Woof to decide that he can't play in the championship game without them? Then they're recovered at the last minute when his team is hugely behind,and he wins the championship, and then he finds that A: those were REGULAR sneakers that one of his teammates wrote "MJ" on at the last minute, or B: the "MJ" stands for "Mark Johnson" or "Motherfucking JERKOFFS! These were never Jordan's sneakers to begin with, and now here's the part where we learn that his powers came from his own self-confidence!" That's the moral of today's Afterschool Special, "Believe in Yourself, and Your Dreams Will Come True!" Just like in every other movie like this!
There are only 2 plots to kids' sports movies, and that's one of them. The other is the Team Sports One. They're a ragtag team of misfits! There's the fat kid, the nerdy kid, the ethnic kid (can be combined with nerdy kid, if Asian), the clumsy kid, the wise-ass kid, and of course, the kid who tries out for the team wearing face-covering protective gear and is a really amazing player then the kid takes the gear off AND THE KID'S REALLY THE TOMBOY THAT THEY EARLIER WOULDN'T LET ON THE TEAM BECAUSE SHE'S A GIRL OH WHAT A SHOCKER THAT ONE ALWAYS IS!
The Evil Other Team is all white and rich yuppies that are Evil and also cheat.
There are several comedic scenes where we learn that the Fat Kid is fat, the Clumsy Kid is clumsy, the Nerdy Kid get the picture.
But somehow this ragtag team of misfits makes it into the championship. The Evil White Rich Team cheats and our heroes are about to lose, but at halftime their coach gives them a locker room pep talk that inspires them all to play amazingly, and the Bad Whites lose and it's revealed that they were cheaters anyway, and their fascist coach has his comical comeuppance!
Now you don't have to watch any kids' sports movies any more!

I can't think of anything much less interesting than a review of celebrity interviews, but this (from that same site) proves me wrong. "Journalism" at its worst.


Another beautiful day, and the last one before I go back to work. So...Gay City state park, of course.
I took the 2&1/2 hour Grand Tour. Lots of tiny wildlife, but fortunately most of it wasn't flying blood-sucking insects yet (Swarming Season starts in about a week). I pretty much had the place to myself; so much so that the little local lifeforms were all sunning themselves in the trail. At different points and times, I saw garter snakes, a toad, and even more than one chipmunk hanging out in the trail, right until I walked up to them. The snakes I came close to stepping on before they moved away.
I was in there almost 2 hours before I saw another person, a mountain biker with a dog with a dog named "Jimmy" that he called a girl. I guess that mountain biking is good exercise, but so is walking, and one gets to enjoy nature so much more.
Just up the trail was a dead garter snake, twisted into an s-shape, with its head crushed and its spine broken. The two injuries were in a straight line from each other. It had obviously just happened, so the snake was probably run over by the guy on the bike. I'm sure that he didn't do it knowingly. In fact, he probably wasn't even aware that it had happened, given how slowly the snakes I'd seen earlier reacted. But it was another example of why Walking is Better. You kill less.
Just beyond that was something done deliberately. No stomped trees like last week, but a stone dam made in a brook. The oxbow bend that the brook originally took was now forming an island around 3 or 4 trees. Soon, they'd be underwater, their roots would drown, and they'd die. Sorry, Junior Woodlands Engineer, but your scale model of China's Three Gorges Dam offends my aesthetic sensibilities. Good thing that I used to play that old Colecovision game "Dam Busters." I moved 4 of the more strategically placed rocks, and within 5 minutes the water table was getting back to normal. My good deed for the day, in the cellulose minds of the trees.
That nearly-uprooted tree from last week that I righted was doing just fine. All the other trees that had had their trunks broken were dead, except for one that still had a connection to its trunk and roots. I wasn't sure if I should right it or leave it lying, but I propped it up anyway.
Here's where I missed my calling. Shoulda forgone the English major and gone for Forestry, and become a Park Ranger. With a gun.
JUVENILE DELINQUENT: Ha ha! It is fun to stomp on trees and kill them!
RANGER BILL: Yes. It can be fun to kill...GET HIM, KILL KILL!
JD: Ha ha! Gonna sic your little pussy on me?!
A SMALL WHITE CAT riding a 300 POUND MOUNTAIN LION enters the scene.
RANGER BILL: Yes. And she brought...FLUFFY. Fluffy! Din-din time, Fluffy!
RANGER BILL: Great. Fluffy ate his wristwatch, too. It'll be hours before we know what time it is!

You'd better not pout, you'd better not cry, If your fig tree's bearing no fruit then He'll make it die, cause JesusFest is coming to town!
"Please pray for God's favor with the facilities, volunteers, preachers, performers, exhibitors, finances, and promotion." Yes, please pray for the performers. Pray for the HANDS OF PEACE puppetry team and ventriloquist, that G*D may allow Mr Hands to successfully ventriloquate whilst drinking a glass of water. Pray that HEALTHKICK's Patriotic martial arts demonstration only kicks TRAITORS. Pray for the EVENING FOR YOUTHS AND ROCK LOVERS, that it may involve nothing overly youthful or rocking, and that when people say, "Oh, G*D!" when EMANUEL TRANSMISSION's name is announced, it is in a holy way, and not the sinful way of eye-rolling at bad puns, for that is the work of SATAN, and if there is any eye-rolling, let it only be done while speaking in tongues and rolling on the ground. And pray especially that when ONE ACCORD "(formerly The Happy Wanderers)" takes the stage, no SCTV fans start yelling "Where are Stan and Yosh Schmenge?!" or "Thanks to Mrs Vilve Yachke for the cabbage rolls and coffee!!"
And I have to work that day. God damn it.

"It is official: Hardcore Rules have been called! Star Mech Richard Kronos makes his return in a story that takes the world that takes a much grittier take on the classic Anime theme. Gone are the cute schoolgirls in colorfull costumes, thrown roses from boys in capes, and magic attacks that look more cute than effective. They've been sent home to their mamas so that the big guns can open up a can of whoop ass. And trust me on this, they're going to need an whole case."
The story that takes the world that takes a much grittier take! An whole case! And no more of those stupid Sailor Moon characters like Gonterman was obsessed with!
Yes, it's written by Gonterman.
Negaduck says of reading this "crap sammitch," "If you do, do so in small doses. Like half a panel at a time."
I'm scared. But that won't stop me from going in! How bad can it be?