Welcome to the Website for the Walking Wounded

NEW 4.1

"I like to believe that people in the long run are going to do more to promote peace than our governments. Indeed, I think that people want peace so much that one of these days governments had better get out of the way and let them have it." --President Dwight D. Eisenhower


      My first words this morning, and this is a direct quote:
      Scream of pain. Literal scream of pain. My right side was killing me. I limped to the kitchen for a drink of cranberry juice. I'd left 2 bottles in there, one opened and the other unopened. I was confused when I found only the opened one. Where'd the full one go? I crawled back to bed to suffer some more agonizing back pain.
      When I finally got up for good, I was more confused when I saw the empty juice bottle sitting in the recycling bin. I drank the open one, put it there, then opened and drank some of the full one? Why didn't I remember this? Then I went to the bathroom to find out why I was in pain. I lifted my shirt and saw 2 parallel 6-inch-long cuts in my skin. What? I fell hard enough to put me in agony, but I don't remember doing it?
      I looked around the condo for some evidence that I'd had a violent fall. There was some stuff on the desk in the bedroom that was now on the floor. The desk was the right height for the wounds. But I DON'T REMEMBER DOING IT. Just like the juice...
      I mentioned a "cat mystery" recently--a roll of toilet paper had gone from the top of the tank into the trash, and it was wet. I was confused as to how Kill Kill had managed to move it from the tank, into the leaky tub where she plays, and then get it in the trash. I guess that she didn't. I must've gone to the bathroom, picked up the roll and dropped it into the toilet. And forgotten.
      I always get up during the night thirsty and drink from a half-gallon pitcher of water. Sometimes after dawn, I get up expecting the pitcher to be half-full and instead it's empty. Okay, it's the middle of the night so that's something that I might not remember. But to open a bottle of juice, finish it, screw the lid back on, walk over to the recycling bin, put it in, walk back, open another one and drink some of it--That requires conscious thought. And why didn't I remember nearly smashing my fucking ribcage in? Am I doing some version of sleepwalking? That's kinda scary.
      Fortunately, I'm going to see my doctor tomorrow anyway. And even more fortunately, he's not named "Caligari."

      Gone and Forgotten has updated! I wish I hadn't found out today, as laughing hurt. Hell, breathing deep was hurting earlier.

      The topological quantum computer is the next step.


      The wonder of the Internet: Talk about an injury, and you get condolences from 3 countries. Thanks for the concern! I, umm, think...Wakboth in Finland:

Weird happenings in the bathroom, related to the bath
tub? Check.
Memory loss in conjunction w. mysterious drinks?
Guy wakes up in pain, w. mysterious wounds on his
torso? Check.

You'd better check if you still have all of your
kidneys, or your spleen. And what about pancreas?
People never check if their pancreas is still there
when they leave the house...
Real-life friend Scott does the same joke (I woke up in a waterbed, guys, not a bathtub full of ice!), and adds a comment on my "missing time":      
It seems to me the GREYS have moved from Trailer parks to Condo's.
      Aldo in Mexico talked about the missing time, too:
i think that
sleepwalking might be a reasonable explanation. a few years back i was in
chihuahua, near the border, and so it snowed, and was in an aunt's house.
being military, she had a roommate, and both had a very strict schedule that
made them go to sleep early. well, it was so cold everyone went to bed
early. so we were scared a few times by listening to someone go outside to
the yard, wash, splash, and do stuff around, leaving snow in the kitchen,
until we discovered it was her roomate, he got up, went outside and started
washing his clothes. all asleep.
      At least I'm not doing that. Yet. (It snows in Mexico? Who knew?)

      I went to my doctor today. The appointment was ostensibly for the hernia, but he really had no interest in that. Fine with me; I couldn't do the "turn your head and cough" thing without agony anyway. And I may've cracked a few ribs last night, so that's a tad more important than a mild maybe-hernia. The doc's a great guy, but he's one of those practitioners that gets a wee bit too enthusiastic about your injuries. "That's a really nice contusion!" he said, enthralled. I was expecting him to give it a pet name, like "Throbby the Playful Protuberance."
      Surprisingly, he also shrugged off the missing time thing, which concerned me more than the actual injury. He gave me a scrip for a "powerful painkiller," and I didn't ask what it was. Generic Lortab. What's that? I went to the nearby Walgreens for it and was told that it'd take 20 minutes. To put pills in a bottle? Are you making them from scratch? It took 5 minutes. I was near BIG!Lots, so I bought some more of that cranberry juice that was indirectly responsible for the injury. Hair of the dog, y'know? Grunting with pain (it hurts to get in and out of the car), I took the Lortab with the cranberry juice in the parking lot. I looked at the label and discovered that it's acetominaphen-based. For those of you who've never managed a drug store, that's Tylenol. Crap. That stuff never works for me; I'm an aspirin/ibuprofen kind of guy. And it really doesn't work that much--I can breathe without pain (just an ache), but I still can't clear my throat without a stab in the side. (When I got home, I joked in an email to Jessica--whose post-booze-store career has been in medical offices--that I'd "hoped that they'd give me Vicodin or at least Flintstones Chewable Morphine!" Googling "Lortab" led me to the discovery that this IS Vicodin. The equivalent of 60!! mg of codeine. Coulda fooled me. (And, NO, California Girl, I am NOT sending any to you). If the x-rays reveal this to be bruised ribs, which the doc said would heal after a week, I won't be concerned. But if it's cracked ribs and I'm looking at a month of pain, I'm asking for something else. Aspirin based.
      I killed time waiting for my x-ray appointment by going to Target. Their website has a complaint about a minifridge they carry. Apparently, it gets too cold. PERFECT! I personally think that the guy complaining is a doofus. He claims that at its lowest setting of 1, it's 22 degrees inside. He didn't say anything about setting it to 10 and seeing what happened--what, did it drop into Kelvin temps? I think that the lowest setting means the lowest temp. I could've bought it, but the prospect of dragging even a small fridge up 3 flights of stairs struck me as "heavy lifting," and the doc said to not do that. Someone else is going to have to drag the 30-packs into the cooler for a while.
      I got to the x-ray clinic early. Hey, nice array of magazines. You can always tell when a doctor's office buys magazines for the patients, and when they just recycle the ones they get at home. "Popular Photography"? "Golf"? Golf's too boring to watch, how interesting can it be to read about? There were also several small, ad-packed magazines that I assume they got for free, with names like "Medizine" (rolls eyes). All the ads were 3 pages long; 1 page for the drug, and 2 more of microscopic text explaining the side effects. Except for the ad for Cool Whip. But they were a step up from one at my doctor's office. It was a Reader's Digest with a headline that was something like "HORRIBLE BLOODY GORY SURGERY DISASTERS: Is Your Doctor Selling Your Organs To Purina?"
      They x-rayed me 8 or 10 times. Will I Hulk out now? "Take a nice deep breath; hold it, don't breathe--" *DING* "Okay, you can breathe now." the tech said every time she dosed me with Roentgens. I had to put my ponytail into something bun-like, which was odder-feeling than it sounds. Magazine in the room: "Birds and Blooms," which was about...birds and flowers. There's yer niche market.
      Speaking of niche markets, this all occured within 2 miles of the DumpStore. How low-class and white-trashy is it over there? I passed a store that, no shit, dealt in "NASCAR Collectibles & Bail Bonds."

      Speaking of the DumpStore...As I've mentioned before, the biggest downside to working there is Poopypants. This isn't a personal bias of mine. Every person who's ever worked with him has hated him instantly. Saturday a co-worker laughed about the fact that he thinks that no one knows about his pants-shitting incident. Hell, the liquor salesmen know. Delivery drivers know. I told the co-worker that, thanks to this page, people in EIGHT COUNTRIES know. A week ago, I started to go off on him here, but decided not to. Saturday it struck me that I should go off on him, as he's raising my perfectly balanced blood pressure, and this is the perfect place to vent. Yes, liddle kadiddles, rising from the grave of Newses Past, it's the return of the SHAWT! Except that the Stupid Human At Work Today is always going to be the same human. Wait, his exact species is as yet undetermined. Maybe the SMAWT (Stupid Monkey) or SSHAWT (Stupid Sub-Humanoid)? No, SPAWT. The Stupid Poopypants At Work Today. And "SPAWT!" was probably the sound his nether regions made when the dam burst.
      To catch up, here's selected bits from the last week. I've probably forgotten a few incidents, as there sure are plenty of them.
      2 weeks ago Poopypants was on vacation. He went to Florida, and kept telling customers that it was with "my friend" and then pointedly referred to the friend as "her" and "she." Probably to give the impression that he was off to STEAMY FLORIDIAN SEX WITH A BABE, and not just helping his 60-year-old godmother move.
      When he got back from vacation,he couldn't wait until 4PM when I went to the DumpStore to call me. Was it "Hey, thanks for covering the store so that I could go on vacation"? Of course not! PEOPLE do that, but ASSHOLES don't. He couldn't wait to start bitchin' me out over a terrible crime against humanity that I crimed terribly. "Y-Y-You left some 6 packs on the-the-the import 12 packs!" It took several minutes for me to decode what Max Headrooms-for-rent was trying to complain about: He'd way over-ordered 6 packs, and rather than break open a case that there was no room for, I neatly kept them aside (and not ON anything). "Wh-wh-what if I didn't see them and ordered more?!"
      Well, obviously you saw them, or you wouldn't be BITCHING ABOUT THEM. And what difference would it make if you didn't? They're only there because you ordered too many. So what if you ordered too many twice? (The store's still trying to get rid of some Pete's Summer Ale 12-packs he over-ordered 9 months ago) Plus, I knew he'd find them, as I knew that the first thing he'd do after vacation would be to comb every square inch of the store looking for something petty to whine about.
      He took a 45-minute lunch break that day. He shrieks when anyone else is minutes late on their break, but the rules don't apply to him. Wednesday he worked 6 hours. That means he gets a 15-minute break. Instead, at 5PM he took a 30 minute lunch, and then at 7--only an hour before the end of his shift--he took a second lunch, this one 45 minutes long. Almost a quarter of his day was spent on break. And the real point is that here, we get paid for our lunches. A quarter of his shift, paid to do nothing.
      The next day, I wondered about the days when I get to the DumpStore at 4, and Shelley leaves right after that. There was a day where there were 3 of us on from 4 till 5, and Poopy went on his break the second Shelley left. Was he taking a half-hour on her shift, then another on mine? So I called Shelley to ask about it. He answered the phone. When we hung up, he interrogated her about the call. "It's none of your business!" she said. "If he wanted to talk to you, he would've asked for you!" But he kept on her about it. Why so paranoid? He's doing SOMETHING he shouldn't. I think that he believes that one of the reasons I was put back in the DumpStore was because I caught Betsy BadThief. Who does he think I'm going to catch next?
      Quote from Thursday, on being asked by one of the owners to sweep the floor: "Yeah, I should just stick the broom up my ass and walk around!" Good idea. As it's usually your thumb you have up there when you're walking around doing nothing. This is coming from the petty dictator who orders other people to mop the floor when it's snowing or raining.
      Speaking of his semi-opposable digits, the blood stopped circulating properly in his hands and they got a jaundiced hue. And he couldn't feel anything in them! Oh no, that's usually reserved only for your BRAIN! When I got (apparently) a hernia, I waited 2 weeks before I did anything about it, just to make sure it didn't go away. He panicked then & there. He couldn't talk (okay, stammer) about anything else. He described it to customers. He called his doctor. He called the owners. He talked about leaving for the emergency room. Over the course of TEN MINUTES. At the 15 minute mark, it went away. Gourd forbid he stub his toe; he'd be looking to amputate it after 90 seconds.
      Friday there was $32 missing from the deposit. HMM, $100 went missing just 3 weeks earlier on a Friday. My theory on the first time: Since every person who saw him the next day said that he had an obvious hangover, he went out drinking (he goes out boozing at 8PM even if he's supposed to be back at work at 8AM), spent all his money, decided that it was a good drunken idea to go back to the store and steal from someone else's register drawer. He had a perfect alibi for the next day--"Oh, I b-b-borrowed some money and forgot to leave an IOU!" But he didn't. Meaning that he wanted to see if he got away with it. Suspicion turned towards him, and over the next few days, first $50 magically appeared, then another $60. Missing money don't do that under its own power. We're still waiting for the $32 to reappear.
      An owner asked me to check the register journal for any anomalies. He had the strange theory that a credit card sale got rung under cash, and then that one sale got lost. That's more likely than, say, an interstellar wormhole eating the money and sucking it into the Black Hole at the center of the Milky Way, but not by much. And, man, did Poopy get obviously worried. He went outside to smoke a cigarette, and kept looking in the window to see what I was doing, and what I was writing down. Later, I had to leave the register to help a customer. Normally he doesn't give a shit how long the line gets--ringing qualifies as "work," and he does as little of that as he can. But the instant a second person got in line, he ran up. And kept looking at what I'd written about the missing money...Such a guilty conscience. One almost thinks he's done something illegal, hmm?
      The next day was Saturday, the busiest day of the week. I had maybe $10 in ones in my drawer, and there were no more in the change fund. There was an order for more change, however. "Did you call this in?" I asked. "Oh, no, I forgot!" So I called it in and left 10 minutes later to pick it up, which meant that I had to wait for them to get it. When I got back, he triumphantly barked, "You know what YOU forgot?! The DEPOSIT!" No, I didn't forget. I'm not here in the mornings, when they come from the main store and take the DEPOSIT! over to the bank. How am I supposed to know that they don't do that on Saturdays? Later, he went to the bank to make the DEPOSIT! He drove over there, then drove all the way back. Know what he forgot when he went to make the deposit? The DEPOSIT! Idiot.
      The last 20 minutes were insanely busy. The 2 registers never had less than 10-12 people in line. Me and Dan pounded the scanners and keyboards, trying to keep things under control. And Shitster? He should've been talking to every customer, helping them find what they wanted in order to get them out the door before closing. But instead, he paced a quiet corner with his eyes on the floor, since making eye contact might mean that he'd have to help someone, and, well, that means work. Suddenly, after 15 minutes of chaos, he wandered up front and angrily yelped, "JESUS! GUYS, if you see my jacket on the FLOOR, could you pick it UP?!" And I yelled back, "You really think that I'm paying more attention to your JACKET than the REGISTER?!" in a tone of utter disgust. It totally sums the guy up that he thinks that the location of his jacket is of greater importance to the business than a few dozen customers. You could see that he wanted to start a yelling match, but he doesn't pull that shit with me. Anyone else, yeah, but not Detective Bill. One wonders why! Seems that the guilty conscience is still working. Even if he rarely does.
      And so ends Week One of the SPAWT. Trust me, this is one subject that I never expect to run out of material for.
      At least until I catch him stealing.


      "OOH, I'm DIEIN' again!!"--Bugs Bunny
      People will pay $5-$20 for one Vicodin on the streets? WHY? It don't work! I'm not looking to get high, I'm just looking for it to give me some pain relief. But it's the opiate of the wusses!
      I assume it's just my mysterious inability to be affected by Tylenol products. But this stuff really, really doesn't do its duty. Poor Killsy tried to sleep with me last night, but the random shrieks of agony sent her scurrying under the Lay-Z-Boy. It was worse today when I was on the meds than it was yesterday when I wasn't. It wasn't just the "If I move this way, it's gonna hurt," it was also random spasms of pain when I wasn't doing anything to strain myself. Like driving in a straight line. I was supposed to start my shift in the New Store and finish it in the beer cooler of the Giant Store, but I put in a request to stay in New. I'd warned them yesterday that they should overstock the cooler, as I sure wasn't going to be dragging handtrucks of beer in there the next day. Today I wasn't sure that I could even get 6 packs in by hand, and asked to stay in the New. I also called my doctor for a different prescription. Different in the sense that it might be one that works.
      The hernia would go away when I slept, and then get worse as the day wore on, but this pain seems to do the opposite. It got better (in a relative sense) the longer I was out of bed. Of course, I still have a frickin' hernia, so as my back got better, the hernia got worse. It's a lose/lose situation.
      The doctor's office was kind enough to call in my prescription for me. How convenient! They were unkind enough to not request the generic, so it cost me an extra $20. How annoying! This one is for Vicoprofen, and you can probably guess how it differs from Tylenol-based Vicodin. And this seems to work...better. Still hurts, but at least it hurts less than it did on the other scrip. Vicodin only allieved enough pain to let me breathe deeply; it still hurt when I cleared my throat. On Vicoprofen, I can do both. But GOURD how I want to be able to cough again!
      Hey, I thought of a joke! You know what Viagra is? The opiate of the flaccids! Ha ha ha!
      No, you shut up.

      Links? Yeah, we've been all journal not at all bloggy this week. Big whoop, sez I! I still consider this a journal first. At any rate, an old site that stopped updating a long time ago popped into my head today. As with any site I've looked at for years, I just assume that everyone else knows about it, too. But sometimes no one does, so I figged that I'd plug it again. And lo and behold, Computer Stupidities is updating again!
      If you've never seen the site, it'll take you days to read it all (and that's a good thing!). I have a submission buried in there, namely the time Jessica saw the "mailto:" link on my old page, and decided to click it and send me an email. This brought up Outlook Express or some other email program that she hadn't configured. When it said "Unable to send email," she concluded that the reason I didn't get it was "Your computer must not have been turned on."
      My personal favorite story (which I'll paraphrase, as Gourd knows where it's buried in there) went something like this--An old man called tech support:

      Speaking of pages I assume everyone knows about, today I was wearing my Animal Rescue Site fleece and a customer asked about it. Bookmark aspenleaf.com for a compilation of free-clicks-for-charity sites, if it isn't already your homepage.
      (Dammit! I told the customer "Go to aspenleaf.com," but there's no direct link. Memo to self: Tell people to Google aspenleaf.com charity with no quotes, and it's the 2nd through 4th links)


      The x-rays are in, and the good news is that I don't have a cracked rib! The bad news is that I don't have a bruised one either. It's a fracture. I'm looking at 6 weeks of waiting for it to heal itself. Hoo-frickin'-ray.
      Comparing Vicodin to Vicoprufen is like comparing M&Ms to elephant tranquilizers. Normally if I have back pain, I refuse to take anything for it. I want to know I've screwed up my anatomy so that I don't screw it up any further. But I have no choice but to take VP, unless I want people to think I'm some randomly-screaming Tourette's sufferer. It's weird to do something like pick up a case of wine and realize from the pressure on Rib #10 that while my brain is singing "La-dee-dah," my body is actually screaming "AAARRRGGHH!!"
      Part of the problem is that I normally spend 5 minutes every morning hacking my lungs out. You'd think that I smoked a pack a day of Luckies with Extra Turpentine, but it's really my dust mite allergy. Anyone who knows me in Real Life is now saying, "Your house has DUST MITES?! Bill, that's impossible! Dust ferrets, sure; dust bison, maybe. But only MITES? With the amount of dust at Casa del Splut, wouldn't they just overeat and die of morbid obesity?" But I still can't cough as hard as I want, even on a drug strong enough to knock out Monstro the Whale. I've got like a river of post-nasal drip building up behind a Hoover Dam of lung congestion. There's a whole line of Robotussin that you can take when you DON'T want to cough, but what do you take when you WANT to? Off to find a bottle of decongestant tomorrow, I guess. Before I start diggin' down my throat with a grapefruit spoon.

      The plus side to this is that I'm going to have to work more in the New Store, which is a Poopypants-free zone. And the customer base is a smidge less gutterish. Such as the middle-aged woman who walked into the Dumpstore today and whose first words were, "I'm homeless, and he's 64--and HE has a protective order against me! And he's the one who's been beating me!" We were instantly in the conversational territory of "Okay, crazy lady, you can leave now," but she launched into a five minute monologue about he took all her court papers and her clothes, and the judge told her to stay away from him. "But he has all my clothes, does that make sense? The judge told me, 'And don't ever come to court drunk again!' and I was hel-LO?" which she said as if this was the most ridiculous request possible. "Do you have a phone book?" she asked. I glanced around and said, "Not that I see," making sure to not look where the phone books are kept. Maybe you need to get bail bonds and NASCAR collectibles, but you can leave now. It amazes me how some people go out of their way with personal information to make sure that total strangers know what losers they are...

      Okay, I've spent most of writing time here trying to cough/clear my throat, and it not only is starting to hurt through the T. Rex tranquilizer, I can physically feel how much the affected area has swollen since I've started. Wow, fractured ribs, they suck.

      Here's another SHAWT, although the "T" stands for "lasT week": We had a grubby white trash woman come into the Dumpstore (wait, why do I always specify "white" trash? The SHAWTS are 95% white). She had some deposit bottles when I was too busy (and the only person in the store) to check them, and when I went to put them away, I discovered that she had about 50 cents less than she claimed. An hour later she came in and said she had $3.50 worth, when it was painfully obvious that she didn't. She actually had a dollar's worth. If you excluded the grocery store brands that we don't take, she had 20 cents. Word went out to everyone in the store to watch for her tricks. Her next attempt didn't involve empties. Instead, she tried to pay Shelley with a twenty. More accurately, the CORNER of a $20 bill. "The bank takes these!" she claimed. "Then take it to the bank!" said Shelley. I imagine that she had 3 other "twenties" in her purse, and one more with no corners.

      Apparently there is some natural law--Hell, I'm probably not the first to note it, but I'm calling it "Bill the Splut's Law of 80s Internet Dispersal" until proven otherwise: "Eventually, everything from the 1980s will be turned into a web application." Case in point, The Online Speak'n'Spell. Why did someone make this? See above Law.
      After playing with this for a bit, I want one. Why? I think that it'd might make a good party/drinking game for the literate. Of course you can spell the words--But can you make a brief joke or reference based on them? M-O-T-H-E-R: Fucker, of course. B-L-O-O-D: test? beach? ymary? And so on. If you got stuck, you lose/take a drink etc. I think that it won't let you progress until you spell every word correctly, so if you're the sucker who gets stuck on that screen, you lose points/take a sip. Look, I thought of it just now, and I don't have a Speak'n'Spell to experiment on except this online one, so cut me some slack.

      Ebert on "Under God":


       Yesterday was like a white-out, due to the heavy rain and the thick fog from the melting snow. Visibility was like driving in a blizzard. (Thank YOU to the idiots who didn't turn their headlights on!)
      Today was like driving in a blizzard, because...well, there was a blizzard. (Thank YOU to the idiots who turned their headlights on, but didn't clear off the snow blocking them!) There was a nice layer of ice under the snow. In 6 miles I went into 4 skids, the first and last ending with me bonking into a snowbank. I was lucky; one of our coworkers was involved in a 20-car fender bender on the highway (he's okay). You're probably as tired of my weather reports as I'm tired of the weather, but here's the breakdown of the predictions the local news stations made yesterday with their Super Doppler Mega Weather Ultra Radar 9000 Computer Frankenstein Radio Gods:

      If the Inevitable Invasion for Oil turns into a disaster, either in Iraqi lives or American ones or both, every Wrong Wing newspaper, radio show host and blogger won't say "This is what the Left warned us could happen." They'll say "THIS is what the Liberals were HOPING would happen!" It'll be a complete and obvious lie, but it'll be spread by every one of them in the course of 24 hours, until the Mass Media starts repeating it as if the Big Lie was The Truth. It's been the pattern so far...

      And here's what the experts were saying about invading Iraq just a few years ago. “To occupy Iraq would instantly shatter our coalition, turning the whole Arab world against us, and make a broken tyrant into a latter-day Arab hero," says one. Another says, “To have brought the (first Gulf) war into the populous Iraqi capital of Baghdad where Hussein is based would have involved a different type of military operation than in the desert, and would have put large numbers of Iraqi civilians and hundreds of thousands of our troops at risk of being killed.” Who are these obviously bleeding-heart peacenik-fag liberal-traitors?--Well, read the article. How times change when it becomes convenient, hmm?


      "BLOOD FOR OIL! BLOOD FOR OIL!" That's what they weren't chanting next door this afternoon.

      Before we opened the New Store, we were expecting to get business from 2 of our neighbors, the Senior Center across the street and the Veterans of Foreign Wars outpost next door. But the VFW has a members-only bar that's very cheap, and seniors have this thing about their friends knowing that they drink at all, so they don't come here. They go to our other stores and buy wine in the gallon jug, which they insist on having put in a bag, despite the fact they only way it can be carried is to reach into the bag and grab the bottle's handle. If someone buys liquor that's in a plastic bottle, I put it in a plastic bag (it's cheaper than paper, which is why grocery stores make plastic their default bag choice) But I gave up doing that at the Dumpstore, as they always demanded the paper bags that no one can see through.
      Last night the VFW commander came by to tell me that they were having an anti-peace--excuse me, a "Support Our Troops"--rally today. He was going to make sure that no one used our parking lot during it. Thanks, that's very considerate of you, I said. It goes without saying that you have a right to express your opinions, no matter how ignorant they may be. It's a free country. At the moment.
      I got to the store at noon, just before the rally was to start, drove past the tiny hand-lettered signs that said "NO RALLY PARKING," and got the very last parking spot. Every other spot was taken up by the rally. Over the next 2 hours, we got about a third of the normal customer count, and the few who came in said that they'd found the only open space left. So other people were driving in, and around, and finding no spots and driving somewhere else. It cost us about $200 in business; I have no idea how much the other places, which are restaurants, lost during the lunch hour. So we not only didn't get any business from the VFW, we had it driven away by them. If this had been a peace rally, our owners would've been foaming at the mouths if even 1 car parked in our lot. But of course, this they made justifications for. "Well, if we had to pick the time of day for it to happen..."...I would've picked 9AM.
      They had about 300 people there, or about 999,700 short of last month's peace rallies in this country. (I've tried to verify the count the VFW gave me, but the websites of the 2 local Connecticut news stations that I saw covering it don't even mention it. One's top story is "UConn [college basketball] Shares East Division Title," and the other's is "Local man brings rare bible to antique appraisal fair") The antiprotesters really didn't have the courage of their convictions; most of the signs were utterly generic, such as "Support Our Troops." "I support our troops!" said one of our few customers. "That's why I don't want them to die in a war for nothing." There were a few other signs, such as "Peace Through Strength" (Peace Through War? Why, your logic is un-peccable!). "Support Our President and Our Country," as they're one and the same. One guy must've not gotten the "Don't say what this is really about" memo, as his sign had a picture of a gravestone with "Saddam Hussein, 1937-2003: Real Peace Begins Here!" And in words that even a President could understand, this one summed up the entire intellectual argument for invasion: "Saddam is Evil America is Good." It was done in bright colored marker, and by someone who was in his mid-40s, not the 3rd grade.
      About 75% of the crowd was above retirement age. Since this was sponsored by the VFW, that's not surprising. And you can hardly call actual Vets "chickenhawks." (Pause and bend over--Do you see your ass? THOSE guys saved it for you) It took a while for it to dawn on me, but there were literally only about half a dozen males in the 18-32 age range there--the draft age demographic. Stranger was the fact that they had several signs on the roadside saying "Honk If You Support Our Troops." Since that's like a sign that says "Honk Unless You Beat Your Children" and several hundred cars drive past there every hour, I was expecting to hear a lot of honking. But about 1 in 25 honked. One car stopped at the light and, until it changed, gave them the finger. If the invasion's this unpopular before it even starts, how low will it go when it does?
      I kept stepping outside to hear what their speakers were saying, but their speakers were a bit too far away and also pointing in the wrong direction. And by "speakers," I mean the "kind of speakers you find on a boom box." Because that's what they had, a boom box playing a pre-recorded tape. Kinda downplays the whole "grassroots" thing. Just like the teenagers that were bussed there in a van that said ARMY RECRUITMENT on the side.
      Speaking of the not-protesters' vehicles of choice...Is it surprising that the bulk of them were SUVs? One group of bozos actually rented an SUV stretch limo. Now THESE guys admit what the invasion's REALLY about!!
      Last month, the hundreds of thousands of the northern tier of anti-war protesters faced sub-zero temps for hours, even all day in NYC. Today was the first nice day since before Thanksgiving; bright sun and temps not only above freezing (finally!) but actually pushing 50. And the pro-invasionists couldn't even stay there for the 2 hours their rally was supposed to last. I guess that the boombox's tape was only 75 minutes long, or they had all this important stuff to do like gas up the SUV or sign their kids up for the Army, as 90% of the crowd instantly dispersed at 1:15. Now we'll get our parking lot back! I thought. But the 10% who stayed were ALL PARKED IN OUR PLAZA. And the 1 or 2 open spaces we had kept getting filled by people who thought that the whatever-the-word-is-that's-the-opposite-of-protest started late. They were fun to watch. There they were with their brave signs of "KILL SOMEONE WHO'S NOT ME, but LEAVE MY PARTIPICITATION TO WATCHING IT ON MY 32 INCH TV" and they were greeted by 2 dozen people in an empty VFW parking lot, waving "HONK" signs at a road where no one honked. We finally got a reasonable amount of open spaces a half-hour later. And then he walked in.
      The commander of the VFW. He asked me, "You didn't have any problems, did you?"
      That threw me for a second. Is he kidding? No, he's sincere! Then I said, "We had no parking lot for 2 hours." And that threw him. "But--I put those SIGNS up!" I said, "Well, you know how people are. The rules apply to everyone but them." I didn't find out until the last cars filled up that these were the cars of the people organizing the rally. His own lieutenants ignored his request to play nice. And I had to tell him, "Compared to last Saturday, we lost about $200 in sales."
      We're obviously at opposite ends of the Blow Up Everyone Argument, but I have no actual argument with the VFW Commander. He's polite and respectful, and despite what you may think you know of me from my steam-blowings here, so I am I. I respect people, especially those who treat me with respect in turn. And I'm shocked that he treats the guy with a ponytail like an equal, and not some guy who literally might not have even been born if not for his generation. I have to stop myself from calling him "Sir" just because he treats me like an equal. But he is worthy of such respect, and more. How could I not have respect for him? He fought in a real war, a war where you didn't stealth-bomb from on high, but where you had to look that other poor drafted bastard in the eyes before you killed him at the same range that he could easily kill you. In a true war against Evil, against a worse psychopath with an uglier moustache and an even sicker devotion to "gassing his own people." Thank you, sir. You saved the our asses, sir. The ass of every human alive today. Thank you.
      He was obviously very upset by the domination of our parking lot. He wanted to respect our businesses and have his rally not hurt anyone. He sincerely apologized for what happened while glumly looking at the floor. There's something just damned wrong with reality when a WWII vet feels that he can't look you in the face. I ended up apologizing to him for even mentioning it. He left saying "I'd better talk to the other businesses about this." By "talking," he meant "apologizing." When was the last time you heard a Wrong Wing warblogger apologize?
      He went into Pizza Turk next door, I rang up a customer (one of our first since the VFW sanctions ended), and saw him leave the pizza place very quickly with an ashen face. He drove out of the plaza without entering any of the other businesses. And a Pizza Turk walked out with a big grin on his face. I guess that he went in to apologize, and the Turks pointedly told him exactly what they thought of his rally, his war, and his President.
      It's the type of story that I'd quote as a joke, if I didn't know the details or the people. Now I quote it because I'm seeing the threads of America starting to fray. And I don't like it.


      Gather round the campfire, kids, as it's Mea Culpa Time! (That's Latin for "My Bad")
      I finally found an article on the rally yesterday. I made some errors in yesterday's post.
      I did only see about 6 people of draft age, as I excluded what I thought were high schoolers who were bussed over to the rally by Army recruiters. I assumed that they were potential recruits, but they were ACTUAL recruits. I don't know their feelings on Iraq, but if you're in favor of war when you have an actual chance of getting killed by it, I give your opinion much more weight than I do the opinions of people who know they aren't going into Baghdad with an M16.

      I also fully withdraw this line of mine:

      It turns out that the purpose of the rally was, and only was, "Support Our Troops." From the article:      Mr. Robotto would be the VFW commander I mentioned yesterday.
      In retrospect, at the rally's start, ALL the signs were on the "Support Our Troops" theme. "The mood there was initially somber as demonstrators held up photographs of their [enlisted] loved ones abroad" as the article says. The belligerent pro-Bush/pro-War signs didn't start turning up until 45-60 minutes later, and they seemed to gravitate into one knot. I get the feeling that they didn't know about the rally until after it had started, and hastily made some signs thinking that it was a Bomb Iraq rally. That's what I thought, and that's what those 24 out of 25 cars that didn't honk to show support thought. But that's the kind of misunderstanding that happens when your President uses the word "Peace" to mean "War."
      Some of these latecomers, like the family with the "Butcher of Baghdad" sign or the guy with a sign that something about "Kuwait" on it didn't arrive until the rally was basically over. I wonder if the rally ended early because these off-message guys who didn't have family at risk turned up, eager to have the real ralliers send their kids to die because Bush and Rush say they should. (I forgot to mention the sign that I thought was the dumbest: "9/11/2001: NEVER FORGET." Apparently you've forgotten, pal, but that guy wasn't named Saddam, but bin Laden. And he wants this war more than you do, and it's not because we're "liberating the Iraqi people." He just needs a fresh supply of martyrs)
      Now I feel even worse over the WWII vet who organized the rally. He was unhappy enough about filling our parking lot; I wonder how he feels about the misconceptions people like the pro-invaders (or me) formed about the rally.
      About the only mildly amusing thing to come out of this was me saying yesterday, "Thank you, sir. You saved the our asses, sir," about the VFW commander. I didn't realize that I was saying "Domo arigato, Mr. Robotto."

      Terry Jones: "And yet it worries me that Mr. Bush says that one of the reasons he wants to kill a lot of Iraqis is because Saddam Hussein has also been killing them. Is there some sort of rivalry here?"

      Ray Vaughn rips Bill O'Reilly 800 new ones!

      To lighten things up--When I saw that Something Awful had a page of cat photos, I almost didn't click on it. I was expecting to see them Photoshopped into blenders or Chinese food ha ha that's so funny. But they're really just cute and funny cat pics. Kitties make sadness go away! You should click!

      Even Aliens have quality standards....


      Memo to Space Waitress: My posts do have dates on 'em, ya know! (If you're here from her site, it's the 3/8 entry; do read the "Mea Culpa" that follows the next day)

      No matter how sick I get, I'm usually out for no more than a day, maybe 2. It's hard to break free of that mindest with this fractured rib. I'm supposed to take the Vicuprofen every 8 hours. I've been taking it every 7-7&1/2 hours due to the pain. Saturday, I went almost 11 hours between fixes! I'll probably be okay by Tuesday! I thought, even though that doctor dude said it'd be 4-6 weeks. What does HE know? Of course, today it's worse than it's been since I got the meds. Man, but this idea of 6 weeks of healing is being rejected by my brain.
      You know that feeling you get when you pop your knuckles? My McRib keeps doing that. It doesn't hurt, but it's freaky. It's like developing an elbow in your ribs. Stop movin' around down there!!

      You know who I miss? Gail Simone and her hilarious column, You'll All Be Sorry! I was hoping that she'd started a blog or whatever in its aftermath, but I guess she's too busy earning a living as a writer. Of comic books. And while she had columns that I didn't "get," as I haven't read a comic in a dozen years, the majority of her work I loved. It's been a year and a half since she stopped the column, which is long enough for me to have forgotten the jokes. I spent late last night browsing through the archives. It brought a new meaning to "side-splittingly funny," given the fractured rib and the fact that every time I laughed my sides were, indeed, splitting open. Damn that new elbow!
      You can just go through the archives and randomly click on just about anything. (Avoid the "Buzzline" ones, unless [unlike me] you have a pretty deep knowledge of modern day comics creators [Well, except maybe this one, which includes not only the origin story of YABS! but Grant Morrison and his "highly-trained wee monkey"]). Not that they're all about comics, as this Star Wars Crapisode One DVD commentary track proves. It skewers the movie and especially Lucas. Other highlights, truly chosen at random:

      Here's a recent interview with Gail Simone.      Nice rant: "The USA has been taken over by non-human life forms." "In 1886, the US Supreme Court reached the rather bizarre conclusion that these cash-based entities are somehow entitled to the same Constitutional rights as their carbon-based subordinates. Unfortunately, the result of this decision was to make corporations more powerful than we mere mortals."

      "I don't need to explain why I say things. That's the interesting thing about being the President. Maybe somebody needs to explain to me why they say something, but I don't feel like I owe anybody an explanation."--George W. Bush, to Bob Woodward


      Surely you have better things to do than to look at this page!


      HERCUBUSH! AHH-HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! Look at that before you waste your time here!

      Tuesday morning I thought, "I don't want to go to work, and I like my job! It feels like I don't even have a weekend!" Then I thought--And what have I done on my weekends for the last 6 months? The same thing I do when I get home at night, sit at the computer. And that's the same thing that I do at work! I need the temps to get above freezing and melt the damn snow so I can take a nice walk in the woods!
      And that's why I haven't posted. Just got cabin fever and had enough of it. Plus, all week at work I've been doing inventory, which is brain poison anyway. So I'll be needlessly detailed and boring tonight to make up for it.

      I called in a refill for my prescription last night, asking the doctor's office to call it in to the Vernon CVS. I got there and CVS had no idea what I was talking about, and of course, this was hours after the doctor had gone home. I had 1 pill left, and I needed 2. Well, I'll need it more at work tomorrow than I'll need it while sleeping, so I went bed after taking a useless Vicodin.
      I was convinced that I've been healing. Not when I woke up this morning! YEEEOWW, the pain's the same as 10 days ago! Fortunately, I figured out that there's 2 CVS's in Vernon, and that the other one had my scrip. I got there 35 minutes before I had to leave for work. I expected that it'd take 10 minutes including travel time, but it took half an hour, as the pharmacy tech seemed to have severe data entry problems with my Blue Shield. Behind the counter they had a series of devices that I never knew existed, Home Drug Tests. "Amphetamines, Methadone, Marijuana, Esctasy..." they said on the box (with a pot-only test that was a bargain at $14.99). I recommend not buying one of those with a credit card, unless you want the DEA looking your way. And it's kinda pathetic--obviously, you buy one because you want to toke up as long as possible before the interviewer asks you to pee in the cup.

      The only plus to the busted-up rib is that I'm in the New Store and lead a Poopypants-free existence once again. The only times that I'm in the Dumpstore are times when he isn't. So when I got a fractured rib, I lost a pain in the ass. But that ended the SPAWT before it even began. However, I've been filled in with a coupla stories about Nobody's Favorite Liquor Store Worker.
      His latest brainfartstorm for a million dollar business: A combination laundromat and bar. Does that sound like something only an alcoholic might think of? I'm sure that the 40-watt utility bulb of an idea popped up over his head when he was doing his laundry, and realized that he was going to be forced to be sober for the next 90 minutes. Don't most people do their laundry during the day, when they aren't getting drunk? I wonder what you'd name it...Instead of Battistons, Booze-A-Ton. Swiss Cleaners? DrinkTillYouPiss Cleaners! How about Suds 'n' Suds! If you get so drunk you piss yourself, clean your undies as you soil them!
      I remember a coupla years ago. A customer, who obviously knew il Poopaduce from outside of work and hadn't seen him in a while, asked "So how's Sheba?" El Pooparacha gave him a look that was the blankest of blank looks ever blanked, or approximately 1/1000th blanker than his usual blankness. There was a pause as he tried to place this "Sheba." The other said in an exaggerated, sarcastic tone: "You know, your CAT?!"
      Last year, he went away on vacation and wanted Shelley to house-sit his cat. He insisted, I mean really insisted, that she stay there overnight for days. To feed a cat whose name--whose existence--he can't remember? One assumes Sheba has long since learned to live without the attention of a guy who's either at work or out boozing until he passes out until he wakes up and goes to work before boozing again. He insisted she stay there overnight to the point where it seemed like he just really liked the idea of a female woman of the opposite sex who has breasts'n'stuff sleep in his bed and use his shower. Close as he's ever gonna get, y'know? She didn't, of course, especially after she saw that he'd replaced the sheets on his twin bed with satin ones (How did she know that they were replaced from the regular ones? He'd told everybody about the ones he'd received as an Xmas present from his mother. They were Miami Dolphins sheets. When he was 30. I wanted to ask him if she gave him Miami Dolphins Underoos, too). On the first day, she took the opportunity to snoop around a bit, and found a drawer with 2 things in it: A porno mag, and ONE sweat sock. That ended her snooping.

      ANOTHER rally at the VFW next door tomorrow. Worse than that, from a business point of view--They're meeting at the VFW, then going to a Support Our Troops parade in Hartford (20 minutes away). So if they clog our parking lot, this time they'll clog it a lot longer. Their deputy commander told me about it today, I told him about our lost business last Saturday, and he was pissed. We hope that THIS time there'll be someone to tell people to park elsewhere.
      He told me that he was "dead-set against this War." He did 3 tours of duty in Nam, so he knows bullshit wars for politics. He mentioned coming back from Viet Nam and being spit on. I clearly remember those news reports, too. My parents were against the war, so I was too. But I saw this "baby-killer" crap and people spitting on them on "60 Minutes" or something, and despite being in middle school I became outraged. Hate the war? Spit on Nixon and Kissinger! Not the draftees or volunteers who risked their lives!
      Then he said that when he wears his VFW gear, people don't say hello to him. A few give him the finger. That is so wrong. But like the Nam vets, he's becoming the target of people's dissatisfaction with their chickenhawk government. Thanks for being the "Uniter, not Divider," Dumbya. Good work on keeping the country together.

      Starchaser feeds the Lobster by sending me a copy of the 1981 classic Tarzan, The Ape Man, starring Bo Derek, The Non-Actor. I don't know if I should just try to plow through the dull climax of Gymkata just to get it over with, or stop where I am and start a new Trick Lobster. This movie (hmm, Bo Derek, one wonders if there's gratuitous nudity therein) is described on the box as "A fine, eye-filling spoof, this is the part of the Tarzan story [Tarzan played by Miles O'Keefe--"How much keefe does this movie have?" "MILES o'keefe!"--MST3K)] we've always wondered about--the secret side of that naive jungle duo, 80's style! 'A lot of fun...There's plenty in this movie...and best of all, Bo Derek, so sweetly appealing.' (Gene Shalit on 'Today')" WOW, the ever-discerning non-critic GENE SHALIT liked it?! And he used all those "..."s in his review? The original review probably went "A lot of fun can be found when you take a big shit and poke around in it with a pencil! There's plenty in this movie, just like there's plenty of corn and peanuts in my doody! Corn on the cob the morning after in the toidy bowl is fun to poke at, and best of all, like Bo Derek, so sweetly appealing. When it's butter and sugar corn! Know what I like more than shit? EVERY HOLLYWOOD MOVIE EVER! I'm Gene Shalit!"
      Killsy gave the mailing box extra attention, sniffing every square inch for about 15 minutes. Star Chaser has cats, one of which tried to hide in the box. Even after being mailed from Florida to Connecticut, she could still find a scent.
      You want "80's Style"? You can't HANDLE 80's Style! At least not when it's--MY 80'S HAIRSTYLE!
      (Note to my sister Pat: Sheena Easton wants her hair back!)


      Another video in the mail today, submitted for Lobster disapproval: The Killer Eye. Negaduck aka Kim aka "one of the Major Reasons that I actually got involved on the Web, due to her encouraging words on the Ghost Planet ML (along with Snard and Spotti and GroovyGirl [and that bolt from the blue, Sailor Kitty])."
      Here's a scan from StarChaser's submission, Tarzan the Horny Ape Man:

      Nipple Wars! As Groucho once said, "It's the only movie I ever saw in which the male lead's tits were bigger than the female's."

      And without comment, as none is necessary (besides "I'll bet that we're seeing all 3 special effects in the entire movie"), here's NegaKim's submission. Of which she says "THIS WILL BREAK YOUR BRAIN. ENJOY!":

      I hope to see this one with Kevin and Scott. That way, we'll only break a third of each of our brains. Maybe if I sit in the back, they'll break half their brains and I'll get out with an unbroken one!


      I saw an ad for a new place the next town over called "Lots & More." We all know how I salivate over stores with "Lots" in the name. And they said that they had $8.99 Lava Lamps!
      They'll be out of business by Autumn. There's a difference between a junk store and a junky store. A lot of their stock seemed to have come from other junky stores that went bankrupt. I bought a dusty 6-outlet adaptor that had a price sticker from "Wild Bill's." They had a lot of electronic flatulating "Fart Man" dolls; like the singing bass thing, there's a very limited market for those. And the sign said "Lava Lamp $8.99," which was very accurate given that they only had the 1 lamp. However, if I ever need my own personal home sand-blasting machine, I know where to go!
      But we went from days where "above freezing" felt like Spring, to actual Spring. 60 degrees, and tomorrow they're predicting 65. I don't care how much snow and mud there is, tomorrow, I go for a walk in the woods!

      "French Kissing will now be known as Liberty Licking." As for me, I'm probably going to go back to an old InExOb and rename it "Tod Holton, Super Green Floppy Hat."

      Speaking of terrible comics, here's a short series of Gonterman's self-insertion again. He's the greatest! He says. How old is this guy? 35? And he's drawing his little revenge fantasies about someone who dissed him over a game of Magic?


      La la la, happy thoughts! La la la, Hap-hap-happy thoughts! World not blowing up! La la la!

      However briefly, we return to everybody's favorite topic, Bill the Splut Goes for a Walk in the Woods! It's only notable for the fact that I got Cabin Insanity last week, and the weather took pity on me. Sunny with a high of 70! After today, we're back into the 40s. I paid my first visit to Valley Falls Park in over 6 months. Here at my condo, all the snow's gone except for the plow-piles. But the park itself still had some snow cover, and the pond's mainly covered in ice. I only knew that there was a beach because there was a lifeguard chair at the shoreline. I tried walking the perimeter, but the snow was compacted down, melted, frozen, remelted, refrozen into ice. I've developed a healthy concern over tripping and falling lately, as I know damn well what part of my body will impact the ground first. I decided to make for the Rail Trail, although that meant climbing a literally slippery slope. Where there was still snow, it wasn't bad going, but where the trail narrowed it was ice. I became a tree hugger in the truest sense of the word, grabbing every branch and trunk that might help me maneuver the trail. Converse All Stars make very poor hiking boots.
      The Trail was a mix of conditions, depending on the shade from the hills and whether the trees were leafless or pines, the ground changing from snow to ice to slush to mud to thick ice with water squishing underneath, which would burble up from the breaks in it as I walked. Dead leaves sank inches into the ice, making perfect outlines of themselves from being heated by the sun. It was probably much warmer where the sun looked directly down, as the sunlight was reflected by the snow. I had the unusual experience of wearing a t-shirt while having ice water in my sneakers (why Converses have those pointless eyelets just above the sole is a mystery). A few bird calls, but besides the occaissonal overflying plane, the only sound was that of water. The rocky ravines on the hillsides that were dry and quiet all Summer were now alive with rushing snowmelt. I REALLY needed this walk, so I went as far as LUNKERS (Local Underwater Neighborhood Keepers Encompassing Rheotatic Salmonids, which I just typed from memory and is thus hands-down the biggest waste of cells in my brain). 7 miles round trip. In the 2 hours it took, there was now a beach visible at the pond. That much melted that quickly.
      For some reason, flocks of migrating birds love the condo courtyard. They prefer it over the woods behind us, which is the eastern end of the Rail Trail. Less trees means less chance of predators, maybe. Or even Terminators. A noisy flock of squawking black birds visited for a bit, and it was like the latest Hollywood blockbuster to the kid:

      I watched Kiki's Delivery Service last night. I've mentioned before how Miyazaki's anime never has "bad guys" so much as it has "characters with differing agendas." This one didn't even have that! Yet he made a totally engrossing, entertaining film anyway. As always, there's plenty to look at. He fully animates tiny details Disney wouldn't be bothered with. Kiki is a witch, and as every witch must, on her 13th birthday she leaves home to find a town of her own to live in. There must've been a backstory to the alternate-universe that it takes place in, but we're never clubbed over the head with it. Witches aren't common, but they're not that unusual, either. Some work as fortunetellers or sell their potions as medicine, and Kiki needs to find her own witchy niche. I don't know where or when the story's set--The architecture is Victorian European, and the population appears to be Caucasian (anime Big Eyes 'n' all); the clothes and technology seem late 1960s sometimes (B&W TVs, a transistor radio), but also 1930s as well (cars are streamlined, and giant biplanes and dirigibles are in the skies; I suppose that in a world where people like witches are born with the natural ability to fly, aviation tech might fall behind). I watched it with a big smile on my face throughout. It has not a speck of the mean-spiritedness that most American movies seem to have been marinated in. (Although I still think that the last word in the movie should be "Kiki" and not "Meow.")
      Having said that about American movies, I now disavow it. After Kiki I watched Disney's The Emperor's New Groove. Damned funny and frenetic movie, and also without a core of mean spirit. Sure, there's a villain who's "Scary beyond all reason," but she's ineffectual and her henchman's more likable than the real bad guy: The egomaniacal hero. The story arc is how he gradually realizes what a dick he is. It's not a film that's going to age gracefully over the years, I'm afraid, but it's worth the rental if you haven't seen it. "Squeak squeaky squeaky squeak'n'squeak."

      5cott informs us, on the topic of Poopypant's inventions:

      La la la la! But remember: They got their invasion. They got what they wanted. Everything that happens now, good or bad, is what they wanted. If it goes their way, good for them, and we were wrong. If it doesn't...We warned you. What happens next, good or bad, from invasion to open-ended occupation to the economy to the world's reaction to renewed terrorism--that's to their credit or fault. I'm hoping your scenario works out, guys, now that we have no choice in the matter. But just as I won't take the credit if it all works out, I'm not taking the blame if it doesn't.
      I doubt that you have the same guts to admit it if you turn out to be wrong.


      La la la, happy thoughts again!
      Everything else I might post would be UNhappy thoughts, so here's a search I got today:

"HULK" sucks fucks tits
      "Don't get me angry, McGee--You wouldn't like me if I got angry! Or if I sucks fu--" McGee: "Now I REALLY don't like you!" Banner: "ARRGH! Hulk SMASH! Hulk SUCK! HULK FU--Umm--WHAT ARE THESE ON HULK?! HULK HAVE MAN TITTIES?! HULK'S WHOLE WORLD-VIEW AND MASCULINITY THROWN INTO CHAOS!! AAARRRGGHH!!"


      Euphemism of the Moment: NPR has just announced that "The opening phases of the disarmament of Iraq has begun." That would be 3,000 PGMs. Perhaps they've confused "disarm" with "dismember." Slate has a scorecard for the first few days of the INVASION "disarmament."

      I wasn't looking forward to THAT, but I always look forward to Business 2.0's yearly 101 Dumbest Moments.

      Search oddity: someone at some skateboard company wanted to know about getting "busted buying vicodin over the internet." Ha. Ha. Ha. For some reason, it seemed funnier 5 minutes ago.

       Please, world, don't end. Please.


      Since The Big Thing is going to be analysed to its constituent molecules in every media, old, new or middle-aged, I'm not going to spend much time on it. Most of my customers today seemed much more interested in the UConn basketball game than the Disarmament. I do like how CNN said that Iraq fired "At least a dozen" missiles at our troops, which an hour later became "No less than 10," which an hour later became "4 to 6." Was this report done by a weatherman? At this rate, it'll be "scattered light bullets" by midnight. It reminds me of the last Gulf War, when the first SCUDs were fired at Israel. CNN claimed that they had "poison gas warheads and hit a hospital." I frantically worried that the next bulletin would be "Baghdad has been replaced by a mushroom cloud." But over the next hour, they kept backtracking until it became "it fell in a field of daisies and the warhead was delicious S'mores."

      L.-T. Readers of This D. will remember the New Store's former incarnation as a laundromat (hmm, it was Suds then Suds). Then Pizza Turk filled up the old lint trap in the floor with grease and we had a rancid flood in the store. The landlord acted with blinding speed to fix the trap and sent some guys over today, 9 months later. And didn't tell us. So they ripped up the carpet and went down in the hole. It was pretty disgusting looking down there. I was expecting to see a guy with a feathered doo and a Stormtrooper suit saying "What an amazing smell you've discovered!"
      It's like the Plumber's Mystery Spot. The blueprints to the complex have been lost, and nobody knows where the pipes in the trap lead, or why they become strangely differing sizes. The landlord's guys waited and waited for the arrival of the Honey Wagon. This is a local septic tank service, and their motto is "Number One in the Number Two Business." They came to pump out what bilge was lying at the bottom of the Pit and so they could try to figure out where the pipes go. Great; we had a septic truck parked in front of our door with a big hose leading in. It looked like we getting a delivery. "Hey, you got that new Chunky-Style Bukoff Dark? I hear that it tastes a lot better than the regular kind!"
      They pumped it out, spilling some unpleasant looking blobs of it in the parking lot. The biggest blob looked like Hedorah, the second-billed character in Godzilla vs the Smog Monster. ([singing] "We have cobalt, it's full of mercury! We've got a big pit, and it smells like pizza pee! SAVE THE EARTH!!" Ha ha, only I got that joke!) The 4 of them took turns the next 20 minutes, staring down the Pit and reflecting a flashlight off of a mirror on a stick, and exclaiming in amazement. It becomes a 4 inch pipe when it should get bigger! It's unpossible! It's a plumber's version of seeing the face of the Virgin Mary in a septic tank! Plumbers, it seems, are an easily excited breed.
      Then they threw a board and a rug over it. I tell people that it's our new security system, a trap door with a hungry porcupine inside. (If this story had been reported on CNN, the Pit would've started out the size of Carlsbad Caverns and full of sulfuric acid, but would now be a divot with an angry beetle under it).

      "Here is were people are gathering together to tell France that the city that use to be called "San Francisco" don't even want a little of them in there name. We see that "Franc" is stuck right in the middle of our old name, and that's France money so we want it out now. That's why we now are trying to tell Mayor Brown and the rest of the World that we now want to be called "San Freedomfrisco!""
      I signed their petition (sig #11! Only 999,989 until they hit a MILLION!) because it's so obviously FOR REAL: "U should calls it SAN MONKEYFRISCO as monkeys R kewler than Franse!!!!!"

      Interesting interview with Roger Ebert:

      Short-Term R's of T. Drivel will remember a week ago, when I asked my doctor for a refill on my scrip for Vicuprofen and it went to the wrong pharmacy. I called in a refill days early today to be safe, gave them the phone number (which I triple-checked) for the correct CVS, and of course CVS had no idea what I was talking about. I asked them to call the other CVS, and was told "They have something there for you from the 14th." Which was the last time I was there. Huh?! So I went to that CVS, and found out that "They have something there for you from the 14th" means "They don't have anything there for you NOW, but they did a week ago!" Hey, thanks. So now I have to call the doctor AGAIN and hope that they don't screw it up this time, as I'll run out of pain pills on Sunday and will have to suffer until Monday (assuming that they get it right THAT time).
      By the way, if you want hits for your page, try using words like "Lortab," "Vicodin," "Vicuprofen," "Saddam Hussein, 1937-2003," and the ever-popular "chickenhawk sex pics." (?!)

      This is odd and clever: Some people use TTY, a service that takes text sent from the deaf and reads it aloud to a phone recipient, and use it for sampling:

      Random Dumbocities from Today:

      Question no one has ever asked (including me): What ever happened to Monkeymaniac and IronBall? Like the question "How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop"--The world may never know... You GAY FAG LOOSERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      (I hope Nega the Duck doesn't mind!)


       Stupid Lotto machine!
      One of it's (dys)functions is that it speaks to us from the Great Beyond via the Message screen. Or Message scream, as it obnoxiously goes BEEP!...BEEP! every second until you hit Bet Clear, then Cust Clear, then Msg. If you don't hit all 3 in the correct order, it just keeps loudly honking at you until you get the magic sequence in correctly. Most of the Stupid Lotto machine Msgs tend to be stupid (A government office and it's gonna be closed on Christmas? Thanks for the warning; no WAY could I figger that out with my own head brain!!). Today I was informed that we were to send back all copies of scratch game #496 Extra Cash Bingo. That would be useful info if we actually had that game to send back. The message stays on the Lotto terminal until they send a new message. So why did they send the SAME message EIGHT times in 5 hours, including TWICE in the same MINUTE? And each time beeping insistently until I hit the magic key sequence? Because it's a STUPID LOTTO MACHINE!!

      In between the unintentional irony of 60s anti-war pop songs, the Oldies station at work is running half-hour updates from CNN on The Thing. Possibly influenced by Lotto's example, they ran the exact same "update" 4 times in 90 minutes. They finally broke in with an updated update--The attack on Baghdad has prompted Saddam to sing "No matter what they take from me, They can't take away my DIG-NI-TEEEEE!" Wait, that's not Saddam! That's Whitney Houston! She's gone over to the enemy!! Throw her in jail with the Dixie Chicks! It's not a song on the station's playlist, and they switched from the local feed back to Whitney, so it was coming from CNN. Maybe they accidentally tapped into "Wolf Blitzer's Target: Karaoke."
      Then they gave up and played Major Lance's "Monkey Time." Why? Cuz MONKYES RUL3Z!!!!!!!

      Yesterday I explained to the doctor's office that I was asking for a refill early, as I would run out on Sunday when their office was closed. No problem, she said. Today she said that they didn't call in my refill because I called it in early, and I shouldn't be taking the dosage recommended on the bottle just because I was in pain. Oh, and they couldn't be bothered to call and tell me. Good thing the scrip wasn't for insulin! What, do they think that I'm getting HIGH off this crap?
      "Heyy, Freak-Out Freddy! I hear you got some good shit!" "Yyyyeah, maan! It's called Vicuprofen! Shit fuck you up, bro!" "What's it do?" "Well, first you yawn a lot, then you sleep for 10-13 hours a day! Then you get mild constipation! And that ain't all!" "SWEET! What else it do?" "It makes you break out with ACNE!" "AWESOME!! I'll bet ALL the cool, narcoleptic, constipated, zit-nosed kids are freebasing VICUPROFEN! So...Y'got any?"
      Then I went to work and got yelled at because I asked for Sunday-Weds off next week. I'd written on the Main Store's scheduling calendar back in January, that page of the calendar had been turned over for 3 weeks, and I told the guy complaining that I was taking those days off a week ago. The problem is that we get a lot of deliveries the last few days of every month. Possibly, like me, you were unaware that there are only 26 days in March. I eventually convinced them that March on Earth would run until Monday, giving us 3 or 4 more delivery days. Okay, I didn't really convince them. I actually slipped some VICUPROFEN into their coffee and watched them TRIP OUT and then BREAK OUT!! FAR OUT, my sleepy pimply hippie brothers!!

      The Coalition of the Willing or Whatever supports Bush in Iraq. And you thought that you felt relieved that the awesome might of Bulgaria was behind us? Some are so proud of siding with him, that they've chosen to remain anonymous (from this funny article):


      Jessica and I had a lovely day antiquing, and I spent 2 hours typing it up. Then it got EATEN, despite me saving after every paragraph. I don't know what to trust on this computer. Maybe tomorrow I'll try to rewrite it, but for now, here's Sunday's white cats:



       There's apparently a conspiracy afoot to prevent me from fully enjoying my vacation (I'm off through Weds). Yesterday 20K of text went into the Land of Neverwritten, despite me saving after every paragraph. It did save it, but saved it as the rectangular Os you get when you look at a page in a foreign alphabet without the proper language plug-in. Today, after a wonderful walk in the woods on a sunny, warm day, I went to pick up that damned prescription that's been such a hassle. I was told by CVS that it STILL HADN'T BEEN FILLED despite having been called in 5 days ago. Why? "Because you have a 30 day supply." NO, I have 30 pills that I'm supposed to take 3 times a day. "Oh, the other CVS must've filled it out wrong--They put 'take 1 a day.' We'll fill it out correctly. But your insurance might not cover it." Because YOU fucked up, *I* should pay more?! So I went home for the 20 minutes that it would take to fill it, not knowing how much I'd have to pay for their incompetence.
       Know what I hate? People who are "nice" enough to hold up traffic by waving other people to move in front of them. They're being nice to that 1 person, and rude to every other person behind them. I've been 1 of a dozen people who've ended up stuck at a light because of a "nice" person like that. On 2 lane roads, I've come very close to being hit by the person they're nice to, as they rush into a lane of traffic without looking.
       Can you guess why I choose now to bring up this pet peeve?
       He peeled out of the Dairy Mart, literally burning rubber, I swerved into the right lane to avoid him, but the distance was so short and his speed so high that he slammed into me. I asked Dairy Mart to call the police, and saw him screaming into his cell phone about "He just kept on coming!" Already in a bad mood, my rarely displayed temper flared and began yelling back at him--until he said that some woman had waved him into the lane. He was looking at her, not me, and she was several SUVs ahead of me, so I couldn't see her. Then I apologized for yelling. It was more his fault than mine, but the fault was mainly hers. And the fault of CVS, as I wouldn't've been on the road right then if they'd got my scrip right the first damn time. We waited for the cop to fill out the accident report. As in every accident in my life, I got my license & registration back first. I've learned what that means--I'm not going to be the one who gets the Talking To. The other driver (who was a nice guy, once we calmed down, even if he did keep saying that I ran into him--Yeah, my door hit your front bumper. I really should stop driving sideways) was told that the accident was his fault. He was shocked; "You mean, I don't have the right of way when some lady goes [British Royal little wave-to-the-peasants gesture]?" "It happens all the time," said the cop, "people wave cars into traffic, and they slam into each other." Fortunately, who should pick this moment to turn up but the "nice" lady. She wasn't there long, but I hope Officer Prattson broke her of her stupid habit.
       When I tried to leave, back to the light where the accident occured--Some guy waved me in ahead of him. He probably wondered why I sighed and sadly shook my head before I pulled out, looking every which way with pure paranoia.
       CVS was lucky that my insurance covered all but the co-pay, or I would've not been "nice" myself.

       But, nyeah nyeah, Conspiracy! I'm still going to enjoy my vacation, even tomorrow when you attack me with radioactive badgers. Living well is the best revenge! In fact, I'm even going to try to recreate Bill and Jess' Excellent Antiquing Adventure now. At least when I save in Notepad, I get the reassuring whirr of the A drive to let me know that it's not saving it in Mandarin.

       "One king of king, one less bottle of hair."
       You know that strange realm of not-awake/not-asleep, when your brain tells you very strange things? That pearl of wisdumb is how my Sunday started. I figured that it'd be the least intelligible string of words I'd hear all day, but the Cattle Tattoo Pliers were still in the future.
       This was the first time me and the beauteous Ms Jessica have gotten together all year. It's been long enough that I gave her her Xmas gifts, the complete collection of the 80s Hair Cartoon Jem and the Holograms, plus all the songs from the show on CD. I had to deal with an eBay thief (which ended in my favor, not his), then a different and honest eBayer, despite having Canadian customs open the package at the border and sieze the CDs as copyright-infringing contraband. They took the CDs, but not the videos, which should show you the ridiculous power that the RIAA wields. That, too, ended in my favor, due to the eBayer's expertise in smuggling. Hooray for Canada!
       I took her to the Pomfret Antiques Barn, a place that I've always wanted to show her. But it closed, and closed in the "And Never to Open Again" sense. It was being transformed into the Pomfret fitness barn. And, sadly, the pest control place was closed too...


        ...And the Giant Ant was gone.
       Fortunately, the town of Putnam was still standing. Usually, Jess walks out with a pile of stuff and I don't, but this time she bought a $4 60s pocketbook and I had 2 bags worth. The first thing that I got was


       No, wait, Giant Cat, that wasn't it--It was a dinner bell for $2. On a stand with a wooden orange slice it said, "Good Bread, Good Meat, Good Gosh, Let's Eat! FLORIDA" Sorry, I'm not hungry enough to eat Florida.
       Next we found a new store, Recovered Memories. The one-stop source for brainwashed CIA mind-slaves? No, an unfortunately named place that sells OLD TOYS! Whee! We both walked around saying "I had one of those!" about toys from different decades. Jess also said "My dad had one of those!" about things from my childhood, but that just means that she's really young and not that I'm old, of course. I got cooties! Of course, you know that already, but I also now have a 1960s Cootie game, just like the one we played with at my grandparents in Summit, NJ. It's the not-cute version, not the 70s redesign, but the scanner's having issues again so I can't show you it. I was a little too enthusiastic; I didn't notice that the game was missing an antenna, a leg, and an entire body. Only 3 people can play Cootie at my house. It did still have the parts re-order list, and a piece of tinsel from a Christmas 40 years gone. I wonder how many preschoolers, like me, learned from Cootie their first big word, "proboscis."
       This was the first store that I've been in where the register clerk simply said, "Most of our business is on eBay." They had a lot of board games, as apparently every TV show in the world spawned one at sometime. The Six Million Dollar Man, sure, why not? But Starsky & Hutch? Exactly how did they make games out of Barney Miller and The Waltons anyway? They also had the Welcome Back, Kotter "Up Your Nose with a Rubber Hose" game.
       Next we went to Pink House Antiques, a place that's always been closed when I've been there with Jess. I've found some cool stuff there, so I was enthused to see that it was open. I saw an old school clock in excellent shape for $5. I picked it up and the clock motor crashed to the floor, right next to the register counter. They didn't even react. Next, Jess looked at some clothes, but only briefly--they were crawling with live moths. Free pet with every purchase, and so much for that place!
       We crossed the street to Don's Antiques. This was in a new location. His old one was half normal antique store and half dungeon. In the basement of a century-plus old building, he had stuff piled on stuff piled on..."Could I have a look at the table down here at Level Three?" It was so claustrophobic that Jess desribed her only visit there as "mildly traumatic." It was single file without a sprinkler system; one narrow hallway had mirrors hung lopsidely on an uneven stone floor, with ancient pipes gurgling with water exposed by your head. My dreams are always like that, cramped spaces full of bizarre items that I couldn't describe or even imagine while conscious. So this was kind of my dream store. It also could've been designed by Stephen King. Another antique place went out of business, and then he moved everything there.
       ...And piled it all on top of each other with single-file aisles with no sprinkler system. One prays Great White never has a concert there. And the prices...It was obvious as soon as we got there that everything was ridiculously overpriced, but we kept looking because they were ridiculously funny. He wanted $195--for a THERMOS. A fucking THERMOS. Are your ritzy rich friends going to impressed by your old Thermos when they visit your mansion? He had 2 beat-up 70s B&W portable TVs for a mere $149 each, and for one you needed to supply your own antenna! The cheapest thing we saw was a $5 shoehorn. I held my hand over the price tag of a shelf of some cheaply-made, tiny toy horses (sorry, the photo I took didn't come out well) and asked Jessie how much she thought that they were. "$20?" No, $39. Each! We went a few more display cases down, and there was a shelf of horses that were $49 each. We really started laughing--Hey, maybe we'll see a shelf of $59 horses next! AND WE DID! We were practically on the floor when we saw the shelf of $69 horses. At this point, we were expecting to be charged $5 just to LOOK at the next set. Jess said that we obviously had started at the wrong end of the aisle--If we went the opposite direction, those $39 horses would've looked like the Everything Must Go! Blow-Out Special.
       What really made our jaws drop was the final room. More overpriced furniture was on display in a small room with the door propped open--the bathroom. They had stuff for sale in the bathroom! With 2 open toilets! Apparently, you just squat and do your duty while people shop around you. We figured that the toilet paper went for $10 a sheet.
       Going there kinda ate up more time than it should've, but it was worth it for the laughs we had. We crossed the street to the Cosmic Cat, a New Agey place with crystals and tarot decks and "Eve was Framed" bumper stickers. I'd only been there once, when it smelled pretty badly of cat pee. There was a friendly, lazy, fat cat with his tongue sticking out. I thought that he was very old and had urinary problems, and as it'd been a couple of years, I expected that he had since gone to the Rainbow Bridge. But he popped out from under a table when we came in, tongue still out but many pounds lighter. His so-soft fur indicated that was eating good food like IAMS. "Phantom" was originally a dumpster cat; he'd cut his tongue on something and it'd never healed right, and he'd lost a few teeth. I suppose that I'd first seen him right after his rescue, when he was eating regularly for the first time in his life and hadn't quite figured out the whole litter box deal. He paused to scratch at a bookcase, and he had the rapt attention of both us and the store's 2 clerks. Hey, we're cat people, what can we do?
       After buying some cool fridge magnets (a detailed grasshopper and ant, the last in honor of the Giant), we went into what used to be Don's top floor. A big smelly dog sniffed the cat on Jessica, but didn't bite her. They had Cattle Tattoo Pliers. But no Bottle of Hair.
       Next was the Mother Lode, the Antiques Center. Four floors of STUFF! We had 90 minutes before closing, but that's not enough time to explore it all. After 30 minutes, I ditched her so that she could focus on her interests (jewelry, furniture and fashion) and I could focus on mine (kitsch, Inexplicia and white cats). You saw the white cats yesterday, but here they are again:


       A lovely porcelain cat, looking like Kill Kill at a few weeks, or at least looking like her when she wasn't going nutzoid. Salt and pepper shakers with little angel wings (I still remember her first night here: I was playing with her on the kitchen floor when Fantastic Plastic Machine's version of "Must Be Talking to an Angel" came on the stereo. "There must be an angel, playing with my heart..." I still get misty-eyed over that). And the kitten in the basket is from our early days, when she figured out that I had to work for a living. At first, she'd get mad and untie my shoelaces to stop me from leaving. Then, she started getting sad, and would hide in any of her designated "mope boxes" so I'd know how sad she was. I learned to get up a few minutes early every day, as I knew that she wouldn't be sad if I could get her to purr. Now, she leaps on the bed as I get dressed, and I praise her and pet her until she purrs and curls up to sleep.
       I also got this, from the Spy-Fi days of the 60s James Bond craze:


       It's a butane lighter designed to look like the gun Sean Connery held in the 007 ads. Sooo coool! Note that on the right corner of the box, it tells you to use it to light birthday cake candles. It's cake time at Chuckie Heston's place! More tellingly, the other side recommends it as a desktop accessory for "executives." Yeah, I wanna work at a place where the boss asks me if I want a light for my smoke, then points a gun at my head to do it.
       We didn't buy this:


       It's a little out of focus (the digicam had it's own issues yesterday; it only let me take 3 crappy pictures before declaring that the batteries were dead). We thought that it was a RABID BABOON, but the tag said that it was a "dog pull-toy." If you have any children who are tough enough to not be traumatized by clown toys, here's the next best thing. GRRR!
       As usual, we closed the town (at 5PM). We had delicious thin-crust pizza and glumly discussed the War and the inevitable Recession that will follow. Is Dumbya such an obvious one-termer that he's trying to do as much damage as he and his fellow America-rapers can do before they're thrown out of office? The next 10 presidents can be combined clones of Lincoln, FDR and Superman and they won't be able to undo the damage he's done in 3 years.
       We spent a short amount of time looking at the Putnam waterfall. It raged from the melted snow, stronger than I've ever seen it. The water was yellow-green and it stank from the winter's rotted vegetation that it had scoured from the riverbeds. Most of the water ignored the main part of the man-made falls, and smashed over the rocks and trees to the side. The water was angry, and would not be contained by man. This was the day that the real rain had come, here to wash away all the garbage from the world.


      Sunny, warm, windy day at Valley Falls park. After walking in the woods, I sat on a bench overlooking the lake with Andy Taylor's radio show (Tuesdays 1-4PM) playing the new George Deuter CD on my microradio. The music was a perfect match for the day. The wind cut patterns on the lake's surface; a small red and black-winged butterfly flitted from grass stem to grass stem on what most likely was its first day of life; 3 ducks were in the nearly ice-free water below. One male and a female simply hung out by the edge of the last of the ice, while another male disappeared under the water and swam for what seemed a long time and distance for such a small creature. I don't think he was going after fish, as it's too small a lake to have any and the other ducks weren't diving with him. It seemed to be just him celebrating the fact that he could. He'd paddle over to the couple, who would swim a bit closer together, but there didn't seem to be any hostility between the 3. Then he'd wander off to dive again. Yesterday, I saw 4 squirrels running after each other. I've seen squirrels chase each other, screaming and nipping over boundaries and territory, but this wasn't that. They ran after each other, then reformed as a lazy group, making quiet chirp-sneeze sounds. I know I'm anthropomorphising, but they just seemed to be having fun and enjoying this blessed relief from that endless winter. I sat on that bench for a long time, feeling at peace in a world that isn't.
      Then I remembered a day from a decade ago when I was unemployed for months during the worst of the last recession and not expecting to ever find another job. I was at the shore of a mountain lake in Vermont and thought, What a perfect day! Then I thought, Every person's life will have one last perfect day before it ends...And they'll never know which one it'll be. And with that depressing memory I decided to leave. I took a different path down and passed another bench, off by itself by a tiny waterfall. It had a plaque that wasn't "In Memory of" somebody, but "In Appreciation of." And below the dedication was another plaque:

      And there was a major upgrade to my mood.

      And then I went to the SalvArmy and bought a Bibleman video! The website--which is entirely pop-ups--is probably the only place you'll find a computer whose "cryogeneric subliminal databases are able to hack into almost any computer system not protected by the Word of God." Is Word of God available for WinXP?
      Oh, and I suppose that you want me to go watch Bibleman now, huh? Well, it's bill-paying time, so I can do both at once.
      It's not a good sign when a 40-minute video is stopped at the 20 minute mark. And that's as far as I got. I guess that it's meant for kids too young to appreciate Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. There's a totally not-frightening comedic not-comedic villian (named Primordeus Drool, who sings Sinatra karaoke on a Fisher-Price Sing-A-Long tape player--"Start spreadin' the ooze, I'm leavin' decay!") and a cast of thousands, or possibly a number closer to 5 (excluding the 20 family members on folding chairs on a talk show fronted by a guy dressed like Ed Grimley in an Afro wig). Every 5 minutes, there's a reference to it "Only being a show." It's too much aware that it's a joke to be taken seriously or as a joke. I think even a little kid might wonder why they're given narration vaguely talking about the terrible attacks on Biblesville or wherever, and they show stock footage of the Berlin Wall coming down, protesters holding a banner that says "Freedom For Baltic States," and Nazi soldiers running around. One Christian character said "Never underestimate the power of foolish people in large groups." Which is the same thing that I'd say about faith-based Republican Fundies.
      I'd watch the remaining 20 minutes, but I paid all my bills already.

      Okay, okay, I went back and watched the rest. Something kept bugging me about the Evil Talk Show Host Who Hates Bibleman, "Sammy Davey." I watched a bit more, and it hit me: He's a caricature of a JEW! Evil Christ-killers! That's what our kids' wholesome Christian entertainment needs more of--EVIL JEWS!
      The Plot: Drool threatens Bibleman. Bibleman goes through "full armor sequence": "Waistbelt of Truth! Breastplate of Righteousness! Shoes of Peace! Shield of Faith! [I should point out that "Shoes of Peace" is flashed by so quickly that you need the pause button to catch it, probably because too many kids laughed at that] Helmet of Faith! And the Sword of the Spirit!" Bibleman fights Drool with no-budget SFX and a lightsaber--err, the "Sword of the Spirit." Drool escapes. The Berlin Wall falls. Bibleman is tormented by a JEW talk show host and his folding chairs because he can't solve the problem of the Nazi soldiers running around town or whatthefuckever. An old lady tries to attack him, and Bibleman leaves the show. Drool has a full-length and pain-inducing music video, a la Sinatra whom all the kids today just love. Bibleman is in his secret hideout the Biblecave (which is like the BatCave only made from papier mache and has stained glass windows), and he and his sidekicks, Cypher and Biblegirl, go and pray. Then, it's full armor sequence again in it's entirety, Shoes of Peace 'n' all (there's a lot of padding here for a 40-minute video). Bibleman fights Drool at a closed carnival and quotes the Bible a lot, as the Holy Word of God gets pretty specific about dealing with superpowered mutants. Drool throws energy bolts like they were baseballs and Bibleman uses his lightsa--Sword of the Spirit to bat them away. Like baseballs. Fifteen times. Cypher and Biblegirl say "Bibleman's in trouble?!" but don't do anything. Bibleman is hit by Drool's lightning. Then it ends! What a cliffhanger!
      Episode title: "Jesus Our Saviour, Part One." Yep. Jesus Our Saviour, that's sure what I got out of the Shoes of Peace and Sinatra karaoke.

      Yesterday I was thinking about how the War isn't quite going the way it was described on the box. I'll bet that the Bushies did what they've done from day one of the Residency: Looked at all the information that they could find, then put the reports that fit what they wanted to believe in the IN box, and threw all the rest in the garbage, telling the intelligence agencies "Research this CORRECTLY next time!" And, well, guess what:

      Read the article, it gets worse: Wile E. Rumsfeld, SU-per Military Genius, micromanaged away every recommendation that the career soldiers made, because he believed that the War would last TWO WHOLE DAYS. Did you notice how on Day 3 Bush and Rummy started saying that "The war will be longer and more difficult than some people said"? Even though THEY were those people?

      Oh, I guess that now we'll have to boycott poutine and hockey! (Note to Canadian readers: There's been NO anti-Canadian sentiment down here. Just like the French thing, these guys are creating it from whole cloth. And just like the French thing, expect the loyal Ameriduhian Zombibots to start talking about how they've ALWAYS hated that country they've never paid any attention to before they were told to)

      The Liberators:


      Today was supposed to be the worst day of my brief vacation, 50F and rain. They were still predicting that when it was 67 and sunny. Best day of the week.
      I took my mother to lunch for her birthday. The food was delicious and awful. How could it be both? I was eating 2 hours after I'd got up, and I normally don't eat until after about 10 hours. It tasted great, but my body rebelled against the thought of food eaten while the sun was out.
      Mom told me about her unending nightmare with AOL. She'd cancelled her account 3 months ago, but there was a monthly charge on her credit card. After she'd cancelled, they gave her "2 months free" then de-cancelled her. She spoke to 4 different operators, each one doing their best to say "I can't help you with that" and "We can sign you up for 2 months free!" She ended up cancelling it for real--maybe--after hanging up on them. It looks like it's easier to quit the Mafia than it is to quit AOL. I told her to dispute the charge on her card; that's the only thing that gets some people's attention.
      In the "small world" department, our waitress was one of my customers. In every other retail job I've had, I would've described her as a "regular customer." Meaning, I've seen her enough to recognize her. But in the booze biz, "regular" means "once to several times a day."
      And of course, I went back to the park. You readers in the warmer climes get to avoid real Winter, but you miss out on the beauty that is Spring. It gushes forth like the brooks filled with the water from the melting snow. I was surprised to see how much has changed in the course of 3 days. The trees have buds on their branches, most of the snow is gone and the brooks are a bit quieter, the more primitive plants (the ferns and skunk cabbages and such) are starting to grow. I went back to that bench with the plaque to see who it was "in appreciation of" (Mary Glenn; Google turns up nothing useful) and heard the weirdest sound--it was as if chickens and ducks were having a gargling contest. In a swampy patch, little frogs quieted as I neared. They were fresh from winter hibernation and croaking out a chorus of "Me So Horny!"
      All was less serene with the ducks. The 2 males were dive-bombing, torpedoing and dog-fighting each other. Now there was a second female, coupled with that single male from yesterday. They were fighting over territory, a pond more than big enough for 4 ducks. The couples kept retreating to opposite ends, over a hundred yards apart, but then the males would go bonkers and attack each other. It's nice to know that ducks have the same brains of most of the world's leaders, and vice-versa. Duck for brains.
      In the "small world" department, a person at the park was one of my customers, and we talked a bit about how great the park is. Again, "customer," not "regular customer," AKA "drunk."

      The REAL reason we're at war with Iraq: It's not WMD, it's WUFOD!

      Camilla sends her condolences over the car crash ("I am sorry you were the victim in this and hope it hasn't further hurt your chances at a lucrative career as an international rib model.") and also this a-bit-too-good-to-be-true-sounding story about a human shield heading towards Baghdad.

      Speaking of condolescences, since I'm a forgetful jerk I never acknowleged the get-well card Gally sent me 3 weeks ago. It's cute, and involves whitecatocity. Lots more Action Cat Cards here.

      Good thing that the Gummint's ignoring these guys! It's not like they're insane, heavily-armed and blew up any Government buildings in the last decade! By which I mean--They're white and not Muslim!

      Marvel Comics has a site with online previews of their comics. I haven't mentioned it before now, as it usually reminds me why I stopped reading comics. But I think I'm going to actually go into the comics shop near the DumpStore and buy 411. Yes, I'm the descendant of an Irish freedom fighter who had to flee for his life to America, what of it? (Be warned, if you have a pop-up killer active, you'll need to disable it)

      Govynda sends a pic and says, "i think someone's buying real estate in st. augustine while you're at work."



      Back to work today. Bleah. That first day back always seems to not just go slowly, but to run backwards. (But only 9 weeks until the yearly REAL vacation in June)

       Thoughtviper.com has broken into the Web's Top Million Sites!
      Yeah, sure, whatever. And you can put your own site in and see what it make-believes for yours. The last time I looked a few months back, I was like in the Top 1.6 Billion Sites or something. How I achieved this huge upgrade via year-old links and inept searches is either because of my amazing writing skills or a big-ass flaw in their system.
      (More understandable links can be seen via familiar non-words like "Starchaser," "Kitsplut," "Kisrael" and "Spacewaitress.")
      Although it is believable that "People who are interested in thoughtviper.com" also bought the Canadian Dental Aptitude Example Tests & Soap Carving Guide. WOO! Canadian Dental Soap Carving! Don't chew too hard, you'll foam at the mouth!
      And you can "Be the first person to write a review!"


      For those of you with websites that didn't check that link yesterday (replace "thoughtviper.com" with your url in the location bar, or read the 2 reviews I magically have received since then), Christine sends a reason that you should:

      From the funniest political blog ever, a pic of a pro-war antiprotester:


      The most depressing War thing you'll read until the next one: "Baghdad will be near impossible to conquer" says the London Times. Sadly, it sounds a lot more believable than "bomb the fuck out of them and they'll greet us as liberators."


      Latest search result, and a Russian site's 404 message:

      This will comes as a horrifying shock to anyone who knows me in real life, but yesterday I cleaned a room. Right here, the kitchen/computer room. There were boxes lying on the floor from a year ago. My immediate inspiration was the disappearance of one of my earliest White Cat tchotckes (and, at $15, the most expensive), the Carved Tagua Nut Cat. I haven't found it. This makes me sad.
      I usually have a helper when I do projects like this, but she slept it out. When she wandered in from the bedroom, she seemed very confused and made sad little mews at the unexpected cleanliness, even though I saved every box that she uses (and found an unbelievable quantity of cat toys). She'll get used to it.

      That was pretty much my day. I refused to go outside as it was SNOWING! AGAIN! I watched another of my very belated Xmas gifts, Miyazaki's Laputa: Castle in the Sky. Has Studio Ghibli made ANY films that aren't great? I've now seen 4 out of the 10 that I'm aware of, and have yet to see one that doesn't keep my jaw on the floor.
      These all came from one man's mind? The broad mythic epic of Mononoke, the sweet and silly Kiki, the crazed dream-world of Spirited Away? Laputa (that word will be dropped in the American release, as Disney found out that it's Spanish for "The Whore") is a pretty straight-forward comic adventure story. It's the first of his movies that I've seen with an actual, identifiable villain. But it's wild stuff anyway. It's set in some Jules Vernian alternate 19th century, where automobiles are rarities but giant airships plow the skies. They're those silly pre-flight fantasies of the Victorian era, planes that fly with mechanical wings based on birds or bugs, and the hugest of airships can be flying hotels as long as they have enough propellors. It's lavishly animated and drawn, of course. Somebody drew every one of the bricks in those old buildings. Houses sprout improbably on steep hillsides. The Pirates' little planes fly like insects, but there's an astonishing sense of physics to their wings that make them seem almost possible. Oh yeah, there's a story and great characters, too. Like all his movies, I wanted to watch it again even before it was over. I guess that it's available stateside, but there are other places that you can get his films, including ones not released here yet. (Err, they're $146 each, but that's Hong Kong dollars. US$19)

      Today I crossed the border to Massachusetts to go antiquing (WASTE of time. Overpriced and nothing remotely interesting) and to buy liquor. I know that that sounds crazy, given where I work. But they have Chartreuse, the Incredible Hulk of Liqueurs, both in color and in strength, with a retail price that's lower than Connecticut's wholesale price (and there's no sales tax on that 110 proof $33 bottle). On the way back, I decided to stop at the Connecticut Welcome Rest Stop. Maybe there'd be CT souvenirs! No, there were bathrooms, 3 vending machines and a bunch of pamphlets for such exciting tourist attractions as the Iwo Jima Memorial and the Manchester Super 8 Motel 3 miles from here. As I've always said--"Connecticut is a nice place to live, but I wouldn't want to visit here."
      The best part were all the signs in the parking lot that said, NO LOITERING, POLICE TAKE NOTICE. Cause alll the kewl kids hang out at the Connecticut Welcome Center!

      Negs sends us news that US troops in Iraq are being urged to pray for Dumbya. Not the other way around. As she says, "I hope that Bush is praying for the the men and women whose asses are in danger of being shot off because of him. Note that talking to the media about praying does not count. God does not watch CNN." One hopes that they pray he'll grow a brain.

      Speaking of getting a brain, Space Waitress posted that picture of the "Morans" guy, and she got this in her comments:

      Mimi sends the war opinions of another moran, Daveykins Gonterman: "It's all about Saddam Huseain's Karma." So if he used feng shui in his bunker, his Chi would solve this? It's not quite as lusciously retarded as any Phrack Whore might want, but there's gems like this (for every obvious typo, take a drink!):      Hey, Mr Connerly, can I have a can of Coca-colalition with my wontonly soup? And a napkin to vipe myself? Oh yeah, he also quotes that famous "poet" Paul Anka. And I thought Rumsfeld was clueless.

      And on that theme, let's close this month with this quote, from Dumbya to Baba Walters: