I'm Looking for the Joke with a Microscope

NEW 3.8

"I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude."--Henry David Thoreau


      Y'oookay...It's "BIBLE DOCTRINE NEWS: Grace Oriented Divine Viewpoint of Current Events," a site as obsessed with numerology as it is with the usual "End Times" hoo-hah.

      Wall Street news:      There are repeated references to "weather elephants," clouds that represent demons. There are also free gifs:

      This is interesting: Fat, The Bastard. Is the explosion of depression in the USA caused by the stress of modern life, or just our shitty, greasy diet? My own lifetime war with deep depression ended a few years after I moved out of my parent's house. My Mom's a good cook, but back in those days she was heavy on fried foods and red meat. Over the next few years, I cut that stuff out of my diet in favor of poultry and fish that were baked, and my depression went away.
      You know how some overweight people eat to "feel better"? They may actually be locking themselves in a cycle where they get depressed, eat omega-6 fatty acids, which makes them more depressed, leading to more eating...

      I got an email from StarChaser "recommending" some titles for Trick Lobster. One was Sextette, which was odd as I'd had a copy of that in my hands 6 months ago at a flea market, a place that I'd decided to hit again today specifically looking for crap videos. For $2 each I got Sextette (it was still there), which is a "sex comedy" starring Mae West...at age 87; Dead Men Don't Die!, which is a "comedy" about zombie newscasters and looks really bad, and EBN's Telecommunications Breakdown, which I already own but I suppose I could to give to someone as it's really good. It's like Negativland's sampling applied to video.

      Xmas party with Scott coming up! Gotta love the e-vites he sends out:

"Why couldn't Bilbo have been played by Vin Diesel?" is one of the "50 Reasons Lord of the Rings Sucks."

      Well, I need to look at a few videos a bit to decide which gets Lobstered next. Maybe more later, maybe not.


      We are experiencing a very long list of technical difficulties. Please Stand By.

      In the meantime, this:


      Panel One:
      BLACK MOUSTACHE OFFICER: Well, Ferd'nand! Your head is the flattest in all the land! And your brain the tiniest!
      CURLY HAIR MAN: B-but surely! Is not not MY head flat enough for the Microcephalic Berets?!
      WHITE MOUSTACHE OFFICER: I would not know, as my only job is to observe underwear! I note that Ferd'nands weiner hangs out, and that is much a plus in the MicroCeph Berets!
      WHITE MOUSTACHE OFFICER: Oh yeah, sure it is--AAAUUGGHH! It really IS!!! (passes out)


      GUY: Then I ate ANOTHER Big Mac!
      FAT GUY: WOW! I wish that I had a Big Mac to eat! Except that I really wish that I don't get eaten by the--HEADLESS SWEATSHIRT MONSTER!
      FERD: FUCK! Damn zipper's caught in my Hitler moustache again!
      FERD: What's that? Something about a...Headubba Sweatubba Monstergubba? SPEAK ENGLISH, LOSER!


      FERD: Another pair of empty boots! With sweatshirt lint! Oh well! I guess that the only recruit who could fill them is--CURLY LONGWANG!
      CURLY: Heh...heh...heh...!


      The aforementioned "technical difficulties" began a few days ago. I wrote about them at work, and when I got home, all excited that I could just bang up a post without any edits and start Lobstering. But for some damnable reason, the A drive kept insisting that the 3.5 floppy I'd saved onto needed to be formatted. But it worked an hour ago! I fought with this every way I could, then sent an email to the recently returned-from-the-dead StarChaser, Tech Supporter. He said some stuff about FAT23, but I only know from the Fat Albert, but I did as he said and formatted a disk on this XP system and copied from the Win98 system at work. Viola! as they say in Canada. StarChaser gets a free EBN video!
      And so THIS is the day where I fire up a post and DON'T Lobster. If I get this problem again, I know what to do; and tomorrow I'm tracking down that store TV/VCR of myth and legend and taking it to work. Post-Thanksgiving but pre-Christmas isn't all that much busier than normal, so I can Lobster at work. For now, pretend that it's yesterday...
      (wavy lines on the screen and "doodiely-doodiely-ooodiely" flashback music on the soundtrack)

      What a lovely lack of a weekend I had.
      About a month ago, I started doing nothing but sleeping and not wanting to do anything but sleep. While I'm president of the Unconsciousness Fan Club, 12 hours of sleep shouldn't leave me wanting 15. A week ago when I'd wake up, I'd feel pretty crappy for the first few hours, along with a hacking cough, but then I'd feel better. Saturday it never really went away. I went to bed, and in the next 36 hours I slept for 27. I felt bad Sunday and terrible yesterday. I ended up hacking so hard last night that I was dry-heaving drops of blood. Before I stumbled into bed for the last time, I incoherently asked Kill Kill to make "Magic Cat Wishes" so I'd feel better for work the next day.
      Today I have a slight cough, but that's it. The part where I felt the worst was when I realized that the coffee tasted weird because I was using the same mug that I'd had the Lipton chicken Cup'O'Soup in. Moral of our story: Never understimate the power of Magic Cat Wishes.

      I popped Dead Men Don't Die (or Dead Men Don't D!e depending on what part of the box you believe) into the VCR to see if it was lobster bait. Boy, was it bad, but it's a bad comedy and those can be hard to make fun of. Can I really point out lapses in logic in a movie about zombie newscasters? I gave up halfway through and decided that it was an impossible task. Of course, that's what I thought the first time I watched Bad Guys, and I was in a pretty zombie-like state myself. I may try again. At least it'd be a quick review, as less happened in the first 45 minutes than happened in any 5 of The Swarm.

      CNN has 117! pages of proposals for a replacement for the World Trade Center. Some seem to be by professional architects, some by amateur architects, some by grade schoolers with crayons, and some by people who should have their fingers broken before they touch MSPaint ever again, like the creator of this explosion at the .gif factory. CNN apparently hasn't edited any of these: There's a lot of proposals by Joe SixPacks who think that the building should look like a giant American flag, a giant Christian cross, or a giant USA. I'm no architect, but I question the inherent stability of a skyscraper shaped like a giant "S."
      There are ones designed by Usenet kooks and ones that seem like they'd be more at home as a GI Joe playset (all that one needs is "a speshil trap door for Snake Eyes to jump out of!!").
      When I say that CNN didn't edit any of these--well, I only looked at about half of them, so I can't say that there isn't a proposal for a 110-story Calvin peeing on a 40 story Osama, but there's at least one idea that'd be perfectly at home in The Onion. Two, if you count the guy who thinks the most appropriate tribute to the fallen would be a Space Mountain thrill ride.
      Most bizarre:

"GAMERA! Come save the children of MANHATTAAAN!!!"


      Yesterday the customer who has that stray cat (Brandy is now her name) said that her tummy became huge in a day. So, yes, Brandy's pregnant. And that's why her owners decided to abandon her outside at the beginning of winter. Yeah, don't take her to the no-kill shelter, just leave her disoriented by a busy road with no food. Because it's the cat's responsibility to get herself spayed! No wonder I like cats more than humans.
      I told her that, as much as I wanted another cat, I wasn't sure if my cat wanted another one. When I got home, as she always does, Killsy ran to the door purring. I gave her pets and then food, and then we played. After an hour, she climbed into a box near my feet, sat down, and for ten straight minutes she purred purred purred. And not for any reason beyond I'm happy. Life is good.
      I tried to picture this with a kitten. Kitten would be attacking Kills, or looking for attention from me, which KK might not like. I couldn't picture any purring.
      If I had some fallback position, ie someone who'd be willing to take the kitten after a couple months if they didn't get along, I might try it. But not if it meant taking the kitten to a shelter. No-kill or not, that's like taking her from a nice warm home and throwing her into juvie.
      Next time the customer's in the store, I will offer to put up a "Free Kittens" sign for her. And my potential Tura will go somewhere else...But Kill Kill is happy now, and will stay happy. Although we'll both never know if she could be happier.
      Why, before you make a decision like "New Kitten," can't you just hit Ctrl-S, and if it doesn't work out, hit Ctrl-L and go back to where you were before you got her?

      Interesting short article on Wild Man Fischer.

Karl on the CNN WTC replacements:


      Oh, and I suppose that you update every day.
      I still don't have anything novel to say, so here's some links I stole found.

      Via Boing Boing an extensive search by myself, the Turkish Star Trek. In the Trick Lobster queue are the Turkish versions of Star Wars, The Wizard of Oz and Superman, so I have no doubt that this is real.
      (Speaking of which, I brought that TV/VCR to the Store, so I guess that I don't have an excuse not to start in on that again)

      Also from Boing Boing my diligent surfing is this all-star retelling of Beowulf.

      Also due to my stealthy searching and surely not from Pop Culture Junk Mail is the excitng new game Michael Jackson Baby Drop.

My tireless energy AKA the Ghost Planet ML has a bunch of pop-up ads that (I guess, I don't have cable) were part of the latest Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Even if you've never seen the show, you've seen ads like these. Just not as funny. (There is some repetition)


      Okay, again, another day with not much. I worked on a Trick Lobster review of Dead Men Don't D!e at work. I made good progress, but I'm not so sure how good the review will be. No more bad comedies! There are plenty of ways to make fun of a serious movie that's laughable, but only a limited number of ways to say "Wow, this isn't funny!" Bad Guys came out okay because I skipped the vast stretches of unfunny noncomedy and went straight to the parts that were meant to be taken more seriously, but I don't know if the scene-by-scene deconstruction I'm doing now works. I'm determined to finish it just to see if I can do it. Although I'm fast-forwarding through the really cringe-inducing "funny" scenes. I laugh at actors in bad serious movies, but I feel empathy for the poor slobs stuck in a painfully jokeless comedy. I guess that I can understand the feeling that you get when you crack a joke that no one laughs at, but I really can't relate to exploding a nuclear power plant by using my deadly atomic butt.
      Well, I need to wrap up DMDD!e and then run it through rewrite tomorrow. Every other Lobster has been a first draft with proofing just for typos, which is telling. But once DMDD!e is a done deal, we move onto Gymkata, and lemme tell you...Hoo WEE! Crack a window!! There's some true garbage in that sucker. A scene-by-scene should take less time than Swarm or King Kong Lives, as this is the only movie I've ever seen where the action ground to a halt because an action scene was beginning. It also contains an ASTONISHING REVELATION every MST3K fan will want to see! Okay...I'll tell you now...
      JOEL was a CHICK!
      Okay, that's not it. Okay, it's not THAT astonishing a revelation, either, but a teeny bit of the MST3K mythos comes into question. Okay, so maybe we're not talking about something of interest to "MST3K fans," but to "MST3K geeks."
      I did re-edit some old movie reviews from the Summer into Film Festival at Scott's, but you read them a few months ago. Read 'em again if you don't remember such classics of the modern screen as Junk, Jason X or Dagon.

      If you're looking for something better, Scalzi is serializing his sci-fi novel Old Man's War. I've only read Chapter One, and it'll be late before I read Chapter Two (unless I cut & paste it to a floppy and read it at work tmw), but I recommend it based on Ch.1. And it runs through the end of the year!
      Heh! I was reading Ch.2 and noticing that these People of the Future have really traditional names. I wondered if it might work better to have have a grandmother named, say, Britney or something else currently trendy, or imply as he does that traditional names became the next baby-naming trend. Then he kicks in with probably the stiffest, untrendiest name in America: Bill Young.

      In an email yesterday to Star Chaser, I mentioned Monday's Ferd'nand strip:
      "Today we discover that he's an inbred freak" I said.

      He wrote back, "Heh. Maybe...would depend on what Mom looked like..."
      And this is today's strip.


      Off to feed the Lobster.


      When is a Scud missile not a weapon of mass destruction? Why, when it's bought by a repressive Islamic Fundamentalist dictatorship that has ties to al-Qaeda BUT it's an American ALLY! THEN it's a "defensive weapon," even if they LIED about buying it from a card-carrying Axis of Evil nation at first!
      A Scud is about as accurate as a water balloon launched from 900 miles away; it has no military use except to rain random death on cities. It's as "defensive" as a suicide bomber in an Israeli restaurant.
      But don't worry! There's no way that this double standard among the Fundies could EVER bite us on the ass in the future! Just like it didn't with Iran and Iraq and Afghanistan!

      Dead Men Don't D!e is up. It came out better than I thought, even if it's no Swarm.



Nothing tonight but a mea culpa. My "revelation" involving Gymkata and MST3K was that "At no point does anyone in this movie say 'HAIKEEBA!'" but it turns out that "Haikeeba" was actually from a totally different movie. I'm glad that I decided to fact-check that incorrect memory before I got more than a few paragraphs into the review.
      On the other hand, nobody says "GYMKATA!" either, like the bots used to yell. But the denizens of Putridstan do yell something along the lines of "DUMBALLAH!" And yell it a lot.

      Umm...*shrug* Well, that's all I got.


      Hey, what can I say? I at least hoped to nail the first 15 minutes of Gymkata tonight, but it got busy at work. Don't these people know that I'm trying to write a webpage here?! I also got my first experience with being on the "State's List." One salesman forgot to pick up one check from us, and the Store was now on the official list of deadbeats who have to pay COD for deliveries. We found this out yesterday and got assurances from the one company that we'd be off The List as of 4PM yesterday. Turns out that they submitted the clearance for 1PM tomorrow. So they screwed up twice, and half our deliveries were refused because, hey, guess what, we don't have several thousand dollars lying around the store to pay the drivers. There's an obvious utility to this law, but we've been around for 15 years, and you think that everyone would realize that we're good for it by now.
      A woman asked me today, "Do you have gift bags that you have for this, for me for taking to a party?" Yes, Edie Grimley! And we also have hot dog wiener franks for snacking, I must say!
      I might continue with Gymkata, but I don't think so. They're turning off the water (again?!) tomorrow, so I have to get up early if I want a shower. And I have the added aggravation tonight of dealing with an eBay crook. Over Jessica's Xmas gift. Yeah, I'm happy about THAT.


      They turned off the water AGAIN this morning, but at least they warned us this time. If I wanted a shower, I had to get up at the ungodly hour of 9:45AM. Stop laughing! Subtract 90 minutes from the time you usually get out of bed on a work day and tell me how psyched you'd be about that. I really don't need a 90 minute window between awakening and work, but it sorta was okay today. Kev and I were going to see the dubbed version of Spirited Away tonight, so I could get through my regular surfing in the morning rather than trying to do it after the movie, and after midnight. But last night Kevin told me that the showing had been cancelled. Disney, in it's infinite wisdumb, had delayed it until after the Oscars. Yeah, we got a potential Best Picture here--better make sure nobody sees it!
      So...A 90 minute window that wasn't needed. When the alarm went off, oh Gourd how I wanted to stay in bed. And continue the dream I was having involving sex with Sabrina, the Teenaged Witch (comic book version, weirdly enough). So I compromised: I showered, wrapped a towel around my dripping wet ponytail, and went back to bed. Never really fell totally asleep again.
      When they said that the water was being turned off from 10 till 2, they didn't mean 10:01. It stopped seconds after I got out of the shower. When I got up, I found that when they said the water was being turned on at 2PM, they didn't mean 2PM. They meant 11:30. Meaning that I could've stayed in bed anyway...

      New Trick Lobster. Gymkata is one fine piece of work!


      This is my last "real" weekend of the year, by which I mean "two days in a row." Since next Sunday I'll be up at Jessica and Ron's most of the day, and my next day off will be Xmas, I figured today was a good day just to hang at home with the kitty. So far, our quality time has consisted of her getting a breakfast of wet Friskies and her sleeping on the electric blanket for 6 hours. She didn't even come to investigate me doing that most mundane of chores, defrosting the fridge.
      It's a chore I've done twice a year for 15 years. This summer and fall was unusually humid, so the frost built up and I had to do it a third time. I take everything out of the fridge and put it in coolers, boil some water, stick the pots of water in the freezer and let the magic of heat convection do the work. Once the chunks of frost are slightly melted, I bang them out with a tack hammer and a dinner knife. I take special care around the tube that holds the coolant, obviously.
      Since it's only been 3 months since I last did this, it went pretty quick. There was one last chunk of ice to go, the one that always forms first: The one around the coolant tube. I yanked it off.
      GAH! It's leaking coolant! What do I do! DUCT TAPE! Wait, that doesn't work--SCOTCH TAPE! GAH! Why did I think that'd work! The sealant! The silicone sealant I bought for the leaky pipe in the sink! DAMMIT! Where is it?! It's been here forever, where is it?! Sink? No, closet no, bathroom no why am I even LOOKING in the bathroom HERE IT IS! DAMMIT! Why's there a tube of Ben Gay behind the microwave?! AARRGGH!
      So I gave up looking and raced to Sears Hardware. How hard could it be to find a tube of caulk or whatever? LONG, especially since I never found either it or someone who actually works there DAMMIT I found one right away when I bought that sealant at Auto Zone HEY RETARD YOU PASSED AUTO ZONE GOING TO SEARS HARDWARE! GAH! this one's set up different where's the sealant oh CHRIST they've got like 200 kinds of fucking sealant! Here it is oh c'MON, ring me up already, tires actually squeal as I leave the parking lot, is fridge coolant dangerous to cats? Oh CRAP, I just had to have THAT thought, didn't I, run up the stairs, can't find the flashlight I was using earlier and I need it to apply the sealant, wait use this flashlight GREAT the batteries are dead, good thing I have a THIRD flashlight, smear sealant all over it ACK! It's hissing coolant at me! bend it back, apply more sealant, smear it on, wrap it in tinfoil, breathe normally again. Please please please work, I could afford a new fridge, but that doesn't mean that I want to BUY one.
      Two hours later and the sealant-and-tinfoil repair seems to have worked. But I canna guarantee she'll reach Warp 6, Cap'n! At least now I have a Designated Spot For The Sealant.

      The News got hit by the search kids give me the shits. I'm sorry to hear that. If somebody hasn't already done this, someone else will: Make a page from the summaries search engines give to badly-framed search requests. The summary for my page:

      Here's two more, from that same search:      See? There's like a weird poetry in these things sometimes. It's like Willam S. Burroughs old "cut and paste" stuff. Let me just string some together from that search:12/16

      Last Real Weekend continued to be one of getting the drudge work out of the way. I did the NEW and IMPROVED! laundry. They'd replaced the run-down old coin washer and dryer with new ones. Good, as the old washer's coin slider needed a Gymkata kick to get it drop the coins. We need coins no more, since the new machines use a "Smart Card." I've asked the card repeatedly about whether the Big Bang implies the existence of God, but it just sits there, so it's not that smart a card. "You won't have the inconvenience of carrying quarters around with SmartCard (TM)!" said the flyer. Ah, the terrible burden of carrying around 8 quarters, when now I can carry a card that charges me 12 quarters to do the same amount of laundry--And Less! Yep, the dryer cycle runs 15 minutes shorter, although it does seem to run hotter. And I can purchase a quarter's more time if I'm, I dunno, making beef jerky in the thing. And no more The Inconvenience of buying a roll of quarters from the store's change fund for laundry, or getting one from the bank in the grocery store! Now I have the convenience of walking to a different building in the condo and finding the "Add Value" machine. They said it was the same building I do my laundry in, but a guy in our laundry room said it was the "one near the pool." He enthused, "It's so easy to use! I dropped a twenty in there today!" I continued unloading my laundry from the dryer, not pointing out that it's gonna take you a while to do $20 worth of laundry, while your Jackson sits in their bank account accruing interest.

      I went to the SalvArmy. There were a pair of perfect CVS plushies, Dudley DoRight and the Fractured Fairy Tales Fairy (bows, book goes SLAP!) at 2/$3. Hey, sold! I had to explain to the cashier what show they were from. She got it as soon as I said "Bullwinkle!" Moose and Squirrel are a proud part of our national heritage! Someone had donated a pile of videos, maybe a hundred, and another pile of DVDs, maybe fifty. Sadly, it was all 90s pseudo-crap, by which I mean stuff that wasn't good but wasn't bad enough to Lobster. The only good movie was Memento, but I remembered that when I left the theater, I said "WOW! That was AWESOME! No need to see it again, though."
      For no reason, I thought back a few years to when this place had 2 shelves of mid-80s computer games. Who's got a working 5&1/4 drive today, I thought, but checked them out anyway. I picked up Star Control and noticed something. I checked the other games, and, yeah, they were all for the Amiga, too. They sat there for TWO YEARS. I like to think that some Amiga freak found them and bought every last one, right down to the 1985 word processing program, but it's more likely that they're roomies in a landfill with a coffee filter right now.
      It was funny that I thought about that, as I next saw--
      A WebTV!
      For $69.99! The box still had the "Monthly Subscription Service Required" sticker on it. Let us all pray that no kid gets THAT for Xmas.
      I'm gonna go out on a limb here: Despite my love of the Coleco Adam, there will NEVER be nostalgia for WebTV. Does the "monthly service" even still exist for their non-replaceable 28K modem? If it was like $5 I might buy it as a joke. But even then I wouldn't know what to do with it. Put a 2600 or a Pong in your room, and at least people know what it is. Put an 8-track tape in a room and they do! But a WebTV...Umm, okay, this isn't going anywhere. I'm just wandering. I really loved Intellivision! That thing ROCKED! Ever play Dreadnought Factor? That was the best game for any system EVER!

      This is actually a few weeks old, but I've only seen it linked to once. Is Bush a moron? No, he's a sociopath. "He has no trouble speaking off the cuff when he's speaking punitively, when he's talking about violence, when he's talking about revenge.
"When he struts and thumps his chest, his syntax and grammar are fine," Miller said.
"It's only when he leaps into the wild blue yonder of compassion, or idealism, or altruism, that he makes these hilarious mistakes."


      Killsy's being a pest for once. She keeps crying for FOOOD! by which she means Friskies Wet, which she's already had, and not the IAMS Weight Loss Formula that removed 25% of her weight and increased her playfulness a hundredfold. Oh GOD, as an example of playfulness, I just threw a mouse and she spun and did a header into the fridge, and ran away scared. Excuse me.
      She's fine. I find these dings on her all the time, especially in her ears. Blood clots look so much worse on a white cat.
      Anyway, she cried for MORE foood even after I gave her treats. ME: What, do you have a tapeworm? KK: YEEOOWW! which is Cat for YES! ME: Well, you know, if you have a tapeworm, then we have to take you to the vet. He'll cut you open with an electric carving knife, your WHOLE BELLY OPEN, then pull pull pull all sixty feet of tapeworm out of you. Then, he'll stitch you up with a big needle and he'll use the WORM as the suture! So every time you look at your belly, there'll be a big dead worm there. Is that what you want? KK: YES!
      These kids today.

      I decided to check up on the status of WebTV last night. Yep, it's dead. Did you know that it was bought out by Microsoft? They felt threatened by that technology?
      A bigger surprise was that there are pages "Optimized for WebTV." That seems like having a TV optimized for black & white, or a car optimized for being started by turning the crank in the front. But there is a kind of sense in that. I've actually used a WebTV. There was an online demo model at Lechmere 6 years ago. It actually was a good idea, really--Give people a way to browse for $200 and not $1000. But the idea was crippled from the get-go. It had a wireless keyboard, so that you could browse from your Lay-Z-Boy, but there was no mouse. You'd think that they'd build at least a tiny trackball into the keyboard, but they didn't. So you had to use the arrow keys to tab between hyperlinks. If you want a recreation of this exciting experience, just start hitting TAB right now. Counterintuitive and tedious, huh? Since the other thing that killed WebTV was the 28K modem you couldn't replace, I guess that "optimized for WebTV" would mean "very small files and very few links."
      I found a few, long-un-updated optimized pages. Hey remember when YOU had a 28.8 modem and discovered that the Web had the amazing power to let you personally use such awe-inspiring programs as Mad Libs? What hath God wrought!! I put in my own fashionably jaded words here, but I actually like the Gee Whiz! nature of this Mad Lib template:

       Gourd. I've got nostalgia for 1996!
      My fave WebTV-optimized page is this one:
"I'm Techno,
The Chameleon.
I'm Hip,
You know what I mean !"
      Hit Page Down as soon as you're there, and you'll either be like me, laughing hysterically for no reason, or just staring at it saying "That Bill the Splut, he needs to get out more often." Dude--it's those emus!

      Wow, that was like doing drugs! But cartoon characters shouldn't do drugs, as Winny the Pooh and Poppa Smurf and George Bush once told us! I remember that show. Wow, it was stupid, just like how D.A.RE. grads are more likely to try drugs, this probably made more 3rd graders curious about drugs a few years later than scared any away. The thing I remember most about the special was that the teen's descent into Hell began with him stealing beers from his father's fridge. Hey, they're actually going to present alcohol as a dangerous drug! I thought. No. In fact, Dad didn't even seem concerned. A drug's only dangerous if a giant corporation isn't making money off of it.


      Yesterday I pulled into the Store parking lot at noon and noticed that the only car there was from Pizza Turk. The Store was still closed. It turned out that Carol, the morning worker, had asked for the day off and the owner said yes. And forgot to cover her on the schedule. They didn't find out until 11:45, the same time I was getting in my car to go to work. Well, the first 2 hours of a Tuesday there might've been about 4 sales, so no major loss.
      Today I got to work and Carol was in near hysterics, and 2/3s of the floor was under water. A pipe in the ceiling had frozen and burst and the fire department was on its way. We were lucky that it didn't burst until 11:45 instead of, say, 4:45AM. The water probably would've set off the motion sensor, but if it didn't, it would've gone into those drains that are still full of old pizza grease. And who knows how deep the water would've got. I thought that it was weird that it froze, since I left the heat at 50 last night. When we took the ceiling tiles in the bathroom out, I saw what the problem was: The jerk who'd put the insulation in had done just that, put it up there still in the packaging. They'd also left up an old duct from the Store's incarnation as a laundry, and it was funneling icy air directly to the spot that cracked. It's a good thing we have a wet-vac. The carpet actually looks better where it flooded.
      The landlord's guys fixed it quickly, and I took the opportunity to tell them about Pizza Turk's new way of saving money: Not having their dumpster emptied. There's 3 dumpster's worth of boxes, plastic Coke trays and rotting food back there. Like I want to come to work some day and find a nest of rats throwing a keg party in here.
      I wonder what new surprise tomorrow holds at 11:45.

      Aldo says: "Thanks a lot for that link to the review of 'Cartoon All-Stars To The Rescue' it was shown here in mexico too, but so long ago that when i remember it, i think it was all product of my imagination trying to escape from the reality. after all, Alf could never really eat Garfield, hm?" Good point! That would've been a nice plot twist. And then Bush could've said how this was proof of the terrible cost of getting "The Munchies."

      It's redundant to link to The Onion. Do not link to The Onion, as it's redundant. Everyone reads The Onion, including several people who read it. How come no one ever links to its nether zone, The AV Club? Especially when they run that holiday classic, the Cheap Toy Round-Up and Least Essential Albums of 2002?


       New Trick Lobster.


      In my junk mail folder I got an email that stood out. All of my spam tends to be about either my penis (and how I can "Bust down walls with it!!!"), or my penis ("FREE VIAGRA ONLINE!@!!") or my penis ("I WANT YOU TO SEE MY SECRET WEBCAM!!!!") and, occasionly, my penis (in conjunction with the word "barnyard"). One was not from "Harry Holes" but from "Chuck Verbatim" at sakebomb.com. It turned out to a weird promo for the new film by Being John Malkovich's writer/director Spike Jonze, Adaptation. As a big fan of BJM, I'm really JONZEing for this one! GET IT? Oh, Gene Shalit, eat your heart out! It's vignettes based on the journal of a production assistant on the movie, Lloyd Rice. Make sure you read the comments after you view the 1st three (as that's all there is so far).
      And here is the journal, which is much more entertaining than the videos. Go there first. And I'm confused. These are about BJM, so...the videos are based on what? Extrapolations of this? No wonder that it's better.


      I went up to visit Jess, her husband and our former coworker, Ron, and her 7 year old daughter Jacqueline. Nothing exciting; just to exchange gifts and have dinner. Jacqueline got--a PIECE of PAPER! All the kids this year want a PIECE of PAPER! Actually, it was from giftcertificates.com. Why they didn't send the plastic card and the gift envelope, I don't know, but we went online so that she could see how it worked. Being a kid, she wanted to use it right away, but we convinced her to wait until after Xmas. Ron got a Yassir Arafat punching puppet, which he didn't know he wanted. Everyone played with it, of course. I promised to give Jacqueline my other one, Yassir Arafat in Teddy Bear Pajamas. She came up with the funniest use, slowly pushing his boxing-gloved arms out together while singing "Kumbaya." "That's funny on so many levels!" laughed Ron, meaning the ones she didn't get.
      Jess got glitter lip gloss in a Coke-shaped bottle and a big fat IOU thanks to the eBay thief (I'm waiting for an upgraded version of the same gift to come from a different and more reliable source). I got homemade cookies (including some baked using my wedding gift to her), an ALF bobblehead, a bag of shirts that were going to Goodwill (not officially part of Xmas, but today's when I got them) and something that'll be easier to show than explain. So you'll see it when Jess sends me some pictures we took on her digicam.
      Usually when we get together Jacqueline is with her Biological/White Trash Daddy, but she specifically requested my company. She's very shy with some people and absolutely berserk with others. I'm in the latter category, which is cool, but she has no Off switch with me. Go go go! Run run run! Play play play! She invented several games to play with stress balls, including her own versions of catch, basket- and volleyball, and a type of hide and go seek. At first we hid the balls on our bodies, which didn't leave a lot of potential hiding places, so she tried hiding them on Jessica's body. I had my eyes closed, but from Jess' protests it was pretty obvious that she was trying to stick them down her blouse. To put it delicately, there's, uhh, not a lot of extra room down there. To put it obnoxiously, with eyes closed I held my hands out and made squeezing motions. "Hey, I found them! Wait, these aren't balls! They're too big!"
      It was "Just one more game!" for about 5 games, then she got all pouty when I left. She wanted to walk out to my car with her mom, but Jess wanted one damn minute of peace with me and she got even poutier. "Have a nice trip!" Jeez, 7 year olds have sarcasm?
      My trip home would've gone better if my brain realized that "East" did not mean "The Way Home," and I drove 20 minutes the wrong way until I saw that the signs kept telling me how far it was to Boston and not Connecticut.

      Lilly sent me something that I "had to have!" Apparently Lilly and Jessica are Great Minds, as they think alike. I actually like having two bobbleheads better than one.

      Cute Pet Story: Kevin has a new puppy, a little terrier named Fiona. He describes her as "the most cat-like dog I've seen." He told me that he went to find out why his answering machine kept saying "No New Messages" and found Fiona standing on her back paws, hitting the Messages button with her front paw...

      This has been on Boing Boing and Salon, so for the guy who just got a computer for Xmas and found me by searching for "ponytail bitch," here is Real, Live Preacher. If all religions were run by people like this, there'd be no Islamic terrorism, no Israeli tanks firing into refugee camps, no gun battles in Belfast. How many priests or preachers ever had a good word to say about an athiest? It's best read in order, via the calendar in the corner.


      You'd think that I smoke a pack of cigarettes a day if you heard me cough in the morning, and I don't smoke at all. My doctor said that since it only kicks in during the morning, I'm allergic to dust mites. Dust mites! Here! Imagine that! But it just kept going all day, that nagging, deep cough. Now I've got the scratchy throat and week knees of Some Kind of Bug. Yeah, I think if I'm deathly ill tomorrow, I'll just call out on the busiest day of the year. One hopes that taking echinaciea tonight will work.

      Here's a free liquor-buying tip: If you don't have your ID, it won't help if you tell the booze-seller that it's because today was your first day out of prison. Try using that the first time you write a check. (And he was driving!)

      I was really looking forward to Lileks' take on the Rankin-Bass holiday classic Rudolph when he had this snippet in The Bleat:

Haha! Then he finally puts it in his regular newspaper column and totally Bowdlerizes it. No more entrails, and now he's the effeminate elf. My point being that this guy regularly bitches about other people being PC. Doesn't count as PC when he does it, I guess. Last week he complained about some artists who SHOCK HORROR! made Xmas cards that depicted Santa as a homeless guy and cherubs as battered children. How awful! that someone degrades our imaginary made-up loads of shit to that level! Why, one might even think that they were implying that Xmas was a season to think of the less fortunate, rather than to buy ourselves Williams-Sonoma designer candy! And that same day, he cracked a joke about Iraqi babies being born brain-dead because of all the depleted uranium ammunition lying around there. Now THAT'S comedy!
      Conservatives. As gwbush.com once said, "It's about the hypocrisy, stupid."

      Speaking of brain-dead, Dumbya's handlers want the best and most accurate scientific advice they can get from their hand-picked yes-man conservobots.

      Whoops, almost forgot this. And it's harder than it seems:

      He left his wife a tip, ho ho!
      Or...DID he?
      Do they look like coins? Not if you look at them twice. They look a hell of a lot more like the little treasures I scoop every day from the litter box. Or are those not "surprise" lines around them? Then it just looks like a Tribble with a really bad hangover. With eyes made of cat poop!
      And why are those "whatevers" under the plate? And WHY is the newspaper so important to the "joke"?
      Seriously. This one's the biggest stumper since Ferd's freeway joke. You know where to send your theories. And don't tell me that "It's a tip!" unless you can explain why he tips his WIFE under a PLATE with CAT DOODY!


      Aldo has figured out Ferd'nand:

      The Store had it's first Xmas today. I asked that a second person be scheduled from 12-6, but based on our other 2 stores experiences, I was told that there'd be backup only from 12-4. The other stores are in the middle of retail sprawl, and between 5 and 6PM everything closes. I'm in a tiny plaza where every store would be open: 2 restaurants and a convenience store. Not only would they not close because of the nature of their businesses (take-out restaurants do good business on the Eve, since anyone who's cooking for 20 tomorrow ain't gonna want to do it tonight), but because you really don't sit around the tree carolling and slugging down the nog when you're Islamic or Bhuddist. (Or athiest!)
      Around 230 I started to worry. It was only as busy as a normal Saturday. This meant one of 2 things: 1) It wasn't going to get busy, and this would be the Shittiest Christmas Ever, or 2) it was going to get very busy later on. Option 2 would suck because I was alone from 4PM on, but Option 1 would really suck much more harderiffic as a crappy Xmas might lead to the owners selling off my beloved lil' Liquor Shoebox.
      And it was Option 2. I ran my ass off, but that's okay, as when I get rushed I get wired and extra cheerful. We had our kick-assiest day ever. In 2 days we did what we do in a normal week. "All I want for Christmas is job se-cur-i-ty."

      Random moments from the day, in chronological order:
      Jake asked me if I got my cat gifts for Xmas. No, I said, she usually gets some from people who know me, and if she got what she really wanted for Xmas, it'd be me staying home all day with her. Soon after my Mom came by with my gifts; she was making the rounds of her 4 "kids" in case we don't get together tomorrow. Currently they're saying 8 inches of snow on top of some sleet, then 14 inches total. So maybe Killsy's letter to Santa worked, and she'll get her wish. "There's no place like Home for the holidays..."
      An old guy, who was probably a friend of Bill W. since he hadn't "been in a store like this since I quit 18 years ago," wanted to buy some beer for a friend. "You must know John! He's got a ponytail and a trailer in his front yard and a couple of monkeys!" Well, dunno about the trailer, but he sounds like a fine upstanding citizen to me otherwise.
      Another old man who was very friendly had me find him $40 worth of booze. It hit a point where my Spider Sense started tingling, "This guy is a bit TOO friendly..." Oh, and could I do him one last little favor? "I don't have my credit card, just take the number off of this receipt." NO. "Well, you just lost a sale!" said the grifter, as he went off to play his con elsewhere. Yeah, I guess that I did, but I didn't lose $40.
      The woman I was working with is a nice person, but not very bright. I could rebuild the SHAWT around her. We were talking about the coming storm, and I told her that the radio said that it would start snowing at dawn and end at dawn the next day. She let this info sink in for a couple of hours, then we had this exchange(This is someone in her early 50s):

      Yes. And yes to your second question, too.
      (NO, I meant that it'll start over the 2 women standing behind TONY ORLANDO)

      I finally staggered home with my Xmas gifts in tow. In lug, really, dragging a huge cooler full of Mom's Home Cookin' and a black fleece pullover, a space-themed calendar and a bag of goodies for KK. See? Someone always buys her something. Of course she went digging into her bag as soon as I placed it on the floor. She got chicken treats ("Made of 100% REAL Chicken Livers!" since we've all heard about that gang of liver counterfeiters), "Cape Cod Cat Treats" (salmon jerky, and, umm, if they had salmon there it'd be called Cape Salmon, now wouldn't it?), a new cat bowl ("Dishwasher Safe Break Resistant Non Skid" screams the sticker that I can't get the FRIG off the inside of the bowl--"Now with Removal-Resistant Sticker!") and a really odd cat toy (head of a tiger on spring-coil body, like Tigger if his entire body between neck and tail was removed). And then she found the most exciting toy of all! Which was the bag it came in.

      I get rid of cable, and there's actually something I might watch if snowed in tomorrow: TechTV's Thunderbirds marathon. No, wait, my cable company never gave me TechTV. They didn't even give me SciFi! That's why I dumped them. If you do get it, pop a few frosty beverages with your MST3Kin' soulmates tomorrow and have a good laugh for me.
      I also can't see "Penn & Teller: BULLSHIT!" and also not even the trailer as I purged the evil Real Audio from my Pookie.

      Interesting article about the Indigo Children: Are they spawned by Aliens as the next step in Evolution? Or are their parents utter and complete New Age dipshits raising future neurotics? Oh, wait, did I let my personal opinion slip in just there?

      What do you see here?

      I see...a leopard attacking a bear over a NO PARKING sign! But I could be wrong!

      And, as we say here at this time of year, "And May All Your Christmas Cats Be White." Whatever your denomination, enjoy your day off.


      Yesterday they started off saying that we'd get a maximum of 6 inches of snow today. Then it became "at least 6 inches." Then 10. Then 12, then 14. Before I left for Xmas at my sister's today, it was up to 20. When I got home 3&1/2 hours later, they said we were going to get a total of 3. Inches, not feet. Pretty close, though.

      Yesterday there was a headline on nandotimes.com, "Diplomacy key for North Korean policy, Rumsfeld says" with this picture:

      He sure looks diplomatic! What they really mean is "We'll let North Korea build nukes because that's a war we'd lose." Amusingly, right next to this there was a collection of "Today's Top Photos" which included this:

      Rummy and Sweeney Todd, Demon Barber of Fleet Street: Seperated at birth?


      I think that today's called "Boxing Day" because when I awoke, it felt like someone had been punching me in the head. I get migraines all the time, but if I take some ibuprofen as it starts it won't get a chance to kick in. So the only time I get a full-fledged migraine is when it starts when I'm asleep and it takes a while for the pain to wake me up. It wasn't that bad when I got up, but when I went to work the sun reflecting off of all that snow and snowmelt was like a knife jammed into my brain.
      It hurt so much that I could barely see. Fortunately, Boxing Day is a traditionally slow day at work. When I told one guy I had a migraine, he said "I get those all the time! They're nothing!" Hey, thanks for the sympathy. If it's something that you describe as "nothing," what you're getting isn't a migraine. It's probably more an effect from you drinking a half-gallon of Dubra every day, the only vodka that's a step down from Bukoff. Another guy was sympathetic, and that was worse. He launched into a 5 minute description of his family and friends encounters with migraines, including someone's training in a Swiss nurse's school. Dude, it hurts to talk. It hurts to listen. Please leave me alone.


      Since I was scheduled a couple of hours later at work, I decided to go to the Post Office to pick up a package and send out 2 more (if you're in Florida and expecting something from me, it's on its way). I've mentioned before how Kill Kill knows that it's a day off when I turn the computer on. This means that she can whine for a new word she's learned, "breakfast." I was surprised that she has another sign I'm not going to work: tea bags. I never drink coffee on a day off or when I get up later than normal, like today. So I fed her, showered, went to the PO and then to the Salvation Army. They had an Atari 5200! With half a dozen games! It wasn't priced, and a worker told me that it had yet to be tested to see if it worked. How much would it be? "Really cheap; it's old." As I left, I saw under lock and key a Sega Genesis with a few games. I didn't see what they wanted for the system, but for a used Sonic the Hedgehog cart they were asking $49.99. Yeah. If you have that much money for a game, you won't be spending it on a system from 1990.
      Speaking of Sonic--and yes, this is a crappy segue, but it's also a segue to something crappy--in my mailbox was an email from Negs. Some "brave soul" had uncovered a Gonterman fanfic from his stinkiest era. It's like Gonterman porn, with Daveykins' ego as the object of masturbation. Don't worry, it's "not oficcialy racist" in Davey's unbiased opinion. Your opinion may differ. Oh, and the 26 year old author is playing with the Power Rangers in this one.
      When I got home, I opened my package (a Mad Max with Dog figure from Road Warrior) and dropped the mailing box on the floor. "Honey!" I called to Killsy, "There's an exciting new box in here!" And she immediately ran up, gave it a good look-over and climbed in it to sleep.
      I didn't have time to read the Gonterman before work, so I hit Select All and then ctrl-c to transfer it to a floppy. The computer went crazy when I tried to paste it into Notepad, automatically printing "ccccccccccccccccc" a zillion times. I finally got it saved by holding down the mouse button, even if the original file name was "ccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccc.txt." MSIE and Netscape both went screwy, with the cursor jumping around so much I couldn't do anything. Behold the Dread Power of Gonterstink! I couldn't even shut it down without hitting the power button. The "XP is closing" musical tone played, and KK's head popped up as she awoke. She knows that sound! It usually means that I'm going to bed, but she knew that it meant I was going to work. Dang, but that's one smart cat.

      The yearly Pigdog Xmas Story Contest's winner is A Very Orcish Christmas.

      Kevin sent The Top Ten Space Mysteries for 2003. Warning: The WORST pop-up ad variant I've ever seen. It slowly loads on top of the page, then won't let you read the text underneath until you click on it. Fuck you, Toyota! I'm not buying your goddamn cars just because of this.
      From the same site, the Top 5 Cosmic Myths. Jeez, I only didn't believe #3 already.

      Wow, I'm Google's second choice as the web's expert for Free perfect assed farting loudly! Umm, that's a good thing, right?

      Via the good ol' Psychoceramics ML, a novel by Baron Volsung. I know your brain's already had a workout from the Gonterman thing, but click on the first chapter and ask yourself, Is this guy, getting paid, by the comma?

      Kill Kill has spent most of tonight at my feet sleeping in her new box. Well, I told her that it was an exciting one. Plus it's from Canada, and she seems to have a thing for Canadian boxes with Road Warrior figures in them.


      Nothin' much to say.
      Is everybody's Hotmail account down, or did they delete mine? I'm guessing the former, as their homepage is an error page. And my second attempt at getting Jessica's Xmas gift STILL isn't here. And Salon's comics page has been down for a week, I'm getting weird error messages from my download of Netscape 7 yesterday and I can't figure out how I got ONE hit via Fark through this Florida news site that they linked to. Well, it could be worse. Mitch Wagner of 24 Hour Drive-Thru made the odd decision to rename his page "Monkeys in my Pants" and is now in some dispute with LiveJournal over republishing his blog. I don't know what "RSS" is, but but the people commenting on his request to have it stop sure come across as shitheads. And if you name yourself after a Deep Space Nine character and have a pic that shows you sticking out your tongue so that everyone can see its got a kewl piercing, you've pretty much removed yourself from calling anyone else a jerk. Just write "DIPSHIT" on your forehead using a stapler, because that's what most people are gonna think.

      Yep.. Seems like thoughtviper@hotmail.com got deleted by the kind fucks at Microsoft. Try billsplut*hotmail*com until I find a more reliable server. And if you can recommend a better email server than those assholes...


      And what am I doing for New Years Eve? Staying the hell home! This has been something that I've always done, but I'm even more dedicated to doing nothing since I began selling booze for a living. I KNOW how many drunks there'll be tonight! (The fact that there's thick fog and a vast army of cops out there doesn't make me any more interested in going out).

      Tip of the Splut to JB for recommending my new email address, thoughtviper#fastmail#fm. That billsplut mail's still there, but I don't intend to use it unless I have to. I'm not even going to enumerate the many ways Hotmail has pissed me off since Redmond bought it. Good riddance to bad rubbish.
      I'm still in the dark as to what happened with Hotmail. I guess that they deleted my account for no reason, but I can't reach their home page except by using Netscape 4. They claim that their own page is 404 in every newer browser. And while they say that thoughtviper@hotmail doesn't exist, when I tried re-registering as that, they told me that another user had that name. CHRIST, but MSN sucks. What sucks worse than losing 6 years! worth of saved email is losing my email address book. I can get you guys to send me yours just by asking here, but how do I get back the addresses of people who don't read this, like Jessica or my family? Somebody told me that there's this device that uses that same plug in the wall my Internet goes in called a "fone" or something, and you TALK over it, but I think they're all crazy-ass.

      Not worried about the upcoming War for Oil? You should be, based on a war game simulating the invasion of Iraq--that Iraq WON:

      Of course, we're going to build the Infinite Corporate Welfare Program called "Star Wars," that has only succeeded in shooting down missiles when they're equipped with GPS beacons, and have failed to shoot down even most of those, too. Interesting how many of our military "successes" depend on cheat codes. It's a very lucky thing that North Korea has no oil, or we'd have wargames that would write off the nuking of Seoul or Tokyo as "acceptable losses."
      (Side note: Imperial Japan used wargames in World War II to simulate their planned invasion of Midway. They didn't like the results, which had them losing 2 aircraft carriers. So they ignored the games and went ahead with the invasion. They lost FOUR carriers, and the War)

      Via Boing Boing, the game "Mafia."

      Tonight and tomorrow are likely to be the only times that I miss cable TV. Kevin's going to Tivo the Adult Swim marathon for me tonight (ah, CRAP, I've got to resub to all my MLs thanks to sHitmail! [And despite Googling, I can't find out how to resub to Ghost Planet...Didn't Joe change that at some point?]), but I'd like to see this tomorrow. I'd linked to the BBC version of this a few months ago. The Animal Planet site is both better and worse than that one, but worth the visit if you're interested in weird critters, evolution or have read a Dougal Dixon book. Actually, just watch the show tomorrow at 8PM.

      Oh, and a Happy New Year. May we all live through another.