Atheist in a Foxhole

NEW 4.2

"Ignorance is not bliss. Ignorance is a death wish."--John Berger


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4/1/03

      It's the Official Make Fun of Cheney Day! I wish that I'd known this before yesterday, as my little attempt is only now up. It's "Dick" Cheney: Ultimate Soldier. Enjoy! Or not.
      (Well, I got my first link from a major site in a long while, even if most people got their site's name listed, and I'm proudly "here" number 3)
      Oh well. At least I get linked from a guy about to break into the Net's top 100K sites! (Congrats to Kirk Israel!!)

      If you're as big a fan of Peter Jackson's LoTR movies as I am, there's news of his next project!
       Wow...That's...Exciting...
      There are better footsteps to follow than those of Dino de Horrendous.

       I'm a premier source for Pressure Walking Anomalies!!

4/2

       Sing-a-long time!

The Arrogant Worms, 1995

4/3

      Well, I ain't got much tonight. I went over Scott's with Kev and watched the Eraserhead DVD, so it's late. Late enough that I got yelled at in no uncertain terms by the Small White when I opened the door. But our amigo in Mexico Aldo sent this:

      Guess I'd better be home on time from now on, unless I want Killsy to get all Robot Holocaust on my ass!

4/5

      Well, I ain't got much tonight. (Michael Palin: "I've got the strangest feeling of--deja vu!") I got this odd "referrer" in my hit counter, a big page of webcomics. No direct link to me, obviously. Possibly the fact that it lists As If! as a favorite, I dunno. Sometimes the counter seems to latch on to whatever page they were last looking at, maybe? Dunno. Also dunno about As If! getting rated for "language." Err, English, maybe? It also lists Pokey the Penguin for "Violence"--GUN! Biff!) At any rate, it's a pretty damn huge page o links, so...umm...Yep, that's about as much of an update as yer gettin', Liddle Kadiddles. The very few strips that I recognize are regular reads (have I ever plugged Bruno the Bandit before? Don't think so). So go read that. Because all else I've got is...ahh...umm...Hey! I got a bill that was entered on wheresgeorge on Wednesday at the Dumpstore. Then today, at the same place, I got another one--apparently from the SAME PERSON but SIX MONTHS APART! Wow! How, umm, interesting is THAT!
      (One slice of raspberry tart without so much rat in it later:)
      Not very.

4/7

      Happy Birthday to Me? Actually...No, not really.
      As soon as midnight came on my birthday, the 6th, my computer crashed. Nothing particularly unusual about that. Not being able to connect to the Web afterwards, yes, that would be unusual. After an hour of screaming and swearing at the computer (which apparently has also become nothing particularly unusual, as Kill Kill sat on the floor and calmly watched), I gave up, said "It's late" and went to bed.
      The next morning I called tech support. Appears that the DSL modem is fried. "But the place where they reorder modems is closed today." What? The computer modem is the symbol of the modern 24-hour always-on world! The tech support guy was in INDIA, on the other side of the planet where it was probably already tomorrow! But Tony the Modem Guy takes Sunday off? So we spent our birthday partying like it was 1995, playing Civilization II and Solitaire and watching TV and being VERY BORED.
      So I planned to get up early today. Which was an hour earlier than early, because of Daylight Savings Time. There was a major Winter (Spring) snowstorm coming--5 to 10 inches, starting in the morning. If I was lucky, the reason I needed to get Tony's approval was because he could

*grumble* Stop doing that!
      Where was I? Yes, maybe Tony could tell me to go to the SBC up the road and just trade in my modem for a new one. So I needed to beat the storm.
      I got up at a time that won't sound early to you but was for me. It wasn't snowing. Back to bed.
      An hour later, I got on the phone and tech support was--apparently--in America. She had no accent, and she went "Um, err..." a lot more than the non-natives.
      WHAT?! Where?! My computer's become a liquid?! Its name is "IP Frequently"?! OH NO!
      GRR! Verdammt!! The tech woman said
      ARRRGGHH!!
      DO YOU FUCKING NOW! WHAT A PEACH YOU ARE, STOPMESSENGER.CONJOB!!
      My story is getting interrupted in realtime here. These are happening as I type. With a pop-up killer active, BTW. So ANYWAY, tech support said
      Now it's Male Organ Enlargement. Okay, at first it seemed like it would be funny to type these. It isn't anymore. Excuse me for a sec.
      I don't see how to turn that off. That's 4 in 5 minutes. Let's see...Tech support. They have to mail me a new modem. 3 to 5 business days. That means that it could come Saturday, and if it needs a signature, I wouldn't get it until Monday. Great. Pass my thanks on to Tony.
      Two words: They begin with "F" and end with "uck that!" I head out to Best Buy. Gonna get me a modem. If it's cheap enough, I'll keep it. If not, I'll return it for store credit.
      First I go to the Police Department to get my accident report. You'd think that an insurance company could just get that electronically, but they can't. What is this, 1996? Ha Ha! (dramatic foreshadowing) I went on Sunday, but Records must be married to Tony, as it was closed. The Police close on Sundays, whew, there's a relief. Today their staff of one sold me my report for a wheresgeorge.com dollar. She had stuffed animals all over Records, and up front was a dove holding a flag marked PEACE in its bill.
      Best Buy. Gourd, I hate not just the Mall but the Mall Area. It took nearly 10 minutes to drive a mile. I asked about DSL modems, and the clerk said "Let's see--SBC Yahoo! modem, that's probably too specific for you..." NO! That's exactly what I'm looking for, a Speedstream 5360! (I learned that from repeating it to tech support) Whoops, out of stock! They may more in, hmm, 3 to 5 business days?
      CompUSA had 2 models, and both were cable. If you're not a "cool kid" who's "in the know," let me "rap on you" that CompUSA sucks. "Word!"
      As for the midmorning snowstorm, it was now after 1PM and it hadn't started. As I drove from the Area to the grocery store, I tried to think of what to do next.
      BUGS BUNNY (reading "1001 Arabian Nightmares"): "OH NO! IT'S TOO GRUESOME!! But I'll do it!"
      Any port in a storm. Even if the storm hasn't started. When I got home, I began digging. It took a while, but there it was, my potential short-term salvation: An AOL startup floppy...from 1996.
      At first I threw it back in the drawer when I noticed that it mentioned Win95 as if it was new. But what did I have to lose? And the password was "FLIPS-CLOCK." So it'd been waiting 7 years for that one Daylight Savings Time to come into effect...
      And, obviously, it worked.
      Mainly. It connected me at "High Speed," 24KPS. Want to "Browse" this new "Web" they've invented? Sorry, the browser's a seperate download! It's MSIE 3.0! It crashes a lot! You get 50 hours of FREE time for the first month because, crimeny, it's not like there's more than 90 minutes a day of content out there! Hey, you fancy-pants Scalzis and Atrioses and Space Waitresses, on AOL 3.0 your blogging software looks just like MY page!
      FTP didn't work, which I figured was from the ancient software (and got confirmation from Negaduck on that). So I downloaded v7.0. And took a nap. Then took another nap. Then, after 3.25 hours of download and nap time, I'm AOLing in style! Everything seems to work--ESPECIALLY those AOL Messenger pop-up spams I got while writing this!
      The storm I was outrunning started at 330PM. Seven hours later, it's dropped maybe an inch. Not much of a storm, really. But it's been our snowiest winter...since 1996.

4/8

      billsput@aol.com, Day Two: Life is slow at 28KPS.

      Starchaser says "Welcome to the Dark Side" and adds re the spam I was getting, "First call I got on it was from this lady with a little Betty Boop voice, who said 'I'm getting messages about getting big suckage.' I had to put her on mute and crack up, the voice and the message were just such a bad match."

      Thank yous to Space Waitress and Aldo for the birthday wishes (and the Fark contest where Aldo used a Kill Kill pic!). See, you send me birthday wishes, you get a link. Too late for the rest of you who didn't! My massive audience of 60 will remain unaware of your existence until next April 6th. And As If!'s artist Mimi gets 2, as she sent me an actual gift!!

      YAY! She says that she "whipped this up just now. Hope you like," as if! she'd just made some Hamburger Helper. A perfect cartoony likeness, right down to the eye color and the wink that she gives me when she does something mildly mischevious, like jumping onto the freshly-cleaned laundry yesterday. She knows she's not supposed to do that, but she knows I won't do anything but laugh. And so she winks.

4/9

      billsput@aol.com, Day Three: If you want a deluge of hits from people who have no interest in your actual page, put a ref to "stopmessenger.com" on it.
      (And if that's why you're here, scroll down to the bottom of today's entry)

      Spending a good chunk of the day talking to insurance companies--actually, a small chunk that felt like ALL day--is no fun. Call my company, leave a message, get a call back, fax them the police report, get a call back from them when I'm not there, call them, get called back, get told to call the driver who was at fault's company, find out it's not the right number, call that one, talk to a person, get asked for an email address which she thinks is "dillsplut@hotmail" (DILLsplut?! What kinda freak'd want THAT?!), laugh when I realize that the woman who caused the accident by waving the other driver in has the last name of "Colon" (and here I was, thinking of her as "Asshole"! If I'd but thought a little deeper), wait for a call back, have to ask one the owners to cover the register for me (who fortunately was there at the time, otherwise it would've just been me) while I gave a recorded deposition, fax the police report to THEM...Yeah, it's as interesting as I make it sound. I wish people wouldn't hit my car. It takes up hours of my time. And I'm probably only at the halfway point of this odyssey.
      About the only funny thing that happened was while I was giving the taped testimony. The insurance guy asked where I was going at the time of the accident, and I said "To CVS to pick up a prescription." Then he asked if I was under the influence of any medication, and I said "No, that's why I was going to CVS!" and he said "Oh, so you were about to...!"
      Wait. That's not fucking funny. It's only funny relative to an insurance interview.

      I want my car fixed. It's a dent in both doors, but I no longer can use my rear driver's side door, as it opens about 2 inches. Today I bought my minifridge at Target, and it didn't fit in the trunk. And then it didn't fit in the passenger seat. 'Kay, better fit up front, or I'm returning it. It did. When I got to the Dumpstore, damn straight I locked the doors. Then remembered that I can't unlock the driver's door from the outside since the collision. I'd have to unlock the passenger side, drag out the fridge, crawl across the seat, pop the door, crawl out, put the fridge back in, fax the police report, get a call back, etc. So I brought it into the store. Where it almost got stolen by an owner and taken to the main store. DUDE, that's MINE! (Liquor stores get odd gifts from the distributors, such as fridges)

      I guess that this is eveywhere already, April Winchell's MP3 collection. Enjoy while me and my 28K connection can't (I think that that's the fault of the DSL software, not AOL, as it slowed my 56K modem to that as soon as I installed it). No one seems to recognize that she's Paul Winchell's daughter. If you don't immediately recognize the name, you'll recognize the voice: Through the decades, he was Knucklehead Smith, Dick Dastardley (and about a million other Hanna-Barbera cartoon voices), Tigger, Gargamel. I was surprised to see an MP3 of the theme to Frankenstein Junior and the Impossibles, as I was thinking of that old cartoon just yesterday for no reason.
      No reason. Just popped into the old head brain. Maybe it was because the oldies station was playing at work, and the Impossibles were the Beatles crossed with the X-Men. Okay, the Ass-Men. They were a famous rock trio that would turn into superheroes. When I was 7, hey, that's COOL! I want to be a rock'n'roll superhero! ('n' a fireman 'n' an astronaut 'n' a paleontologist! Funny how "Or a manager of a liquor store!!" never made that list)
      The Impossibles had a full rock band sound, despite the fact that all 3 played guitar. (Hmm, were their session musicians also second-string superheroes?) They had goofy adventures against ridiculous H-B 60s villains. That was appropriate, as they had the lamest superpowers:

      Face it, the Impossibles would've lasted exactly 2 seconds in combat with Space Ghost or the Herculoids. And all they would've had to send were Blip the Space Monkey and those Silly Putty blobs. Hell, I coulda beat them!

      (SCENE: The terrible fortress of Dr Bill von Splutenheim)
      DR SPLUTENHEIM: BAHAHAHA!! I've found the secret at LAST! Ahhh--HAHAHAHAHA!!!!
      (A huge misshapen monster shuffles up. Its beady eyes spot a sleeping bat on the ceiling and a rabid rat on the floor. With one swoop, it grabs both and eats them, spitting their cleaned bones out)
      DR: Kill Kill! Use your BOX for those! And, by the way--AH-HAHAHAHA!
      KILL KILL: Okay, I'll bite. GEDDIT?! Cuz I just did! What's the secret?
      DR: GAH! You can talk?! Never noticed that, giant mutated monster honey. AH-HAHAHAHA! You see--the bartender overcharges the gorilla for his drink, which is why he's never had a gorilla as a customer before!!
      KILL KILL: (sigh) Can I go kill some more moose now?
      DR: NO! Not until you clean all those antlers from your room! Oh, and you want to know another funny thing? MWA-HAHAHAHHA!!!!!
      KK: So...Trucks don't have antlers, so I can crush some more trucks now?
      DR: BAWWW-HAWHAWHAWHAW! No wait it's really funny! Behold--THE DEATHINIZOR OF DOOM!
      KK: Ooh, nice, nice! So that's what you've been doing with all those Kleenex!
      DR: Err....Yeah. The Kleenex. Yep. Noticed all those used Kleenex, huh? Yes, Kleenex and that race car and a TV and ESPN and the DNA of Dale Burnfart, whatever his name was. I made a DEATH RAY! Or, as I like to call it, a DEATHINIZOR! It broadcasts a 24 hour loop of NASCAR into every victim's brain! Once they believe that 500 left-hand turns is INTERESTING, their brains get caught in an unending LOOP!
      KK: And?
      DR: And what?
      KK: And...they die? From that?
      DR: BAH-HAHAHA! I've totally forgotten what we were talking about!!
      *KER-SMASH!!* Three superheroes crash through the wall!
      FLUID-MAN: WE are the IMPOSSIBLES!
      COIL-MAN and MULTI-MAN: US TOO!
      (FLUID-MAN turns to snot, as COIL-MAN begins bouncing and MULTI-MAN turns into 8 copies of himself and begins helping himself to the DRs fridge)
      (DR sucks up FLUID-MAN with a wet-vac; KILL KILL yells "TOY!!" and bats COIL-MAN's intestines apart; MULTI-MAN falls in the fridge and locks himself in)
      DR: BWA-HAHAHAHHAHAHHAAHHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAHHA! Tee hee!
      KK: I know an evil scientist who needs to lay off the Prozac.
      DR: He overcharged the GORILLA!!

      Well, that was the textbook definition of Much ado about nothing. Oh, yeah, Frankenstein Jr was a Space Age Robot, he's at your command--No wait, that's GIGANTOR, which Frank Jr ripped off to a point that wouldn't be tolerated today. Why the giant flying Frankenstein robot with bolts in his neck'n'all needed to wear a Robin-style domino mask is beyond me. To protect his secret identity as a mild-mannered 30-foot tall Frankenstein robot with bolts in his neck?

      Just checked the new fridge. After less than 3 hours, we have ice cubes on the lowest shelf. Houston, We have Freezer Burn! AOK, Houston, Roger that! Keep the new fridge!

       And if you're YET ANOTHER AOLer looking for "stopmessenger.com," Negaduck recommends:

      So now you can STOP LOOKIN' AT ME!
      BAH-HAHAHA!

4/11

      billsput@aol.com, Day Five: I've wondered if I'd ever see some upsurge in hits like I had back from Yahoo! and Cruel Site of the Day. Like if some site with a decent-sized audience stumbled across the the InExOb Archive, and it bled over to here. Well, I got my big surge, and it's entirely AOLers looking for stopmessenger.com. Hundreds a day of them, and ALL from AOL. They're not here to read The News, but since stopmessenger.com stopped bothering me after I followed Negaduck's advice above, hopefully they actually found something useful here. And if that didn't work...try this and LEAVE ME ALONE!
      I was pretty excited to see a Post-It on my door last night. The USPS has my modem! I can pick it up before...work...tomorr...SHIT. Not the USPS, gourddamned UPS. They deliver during business hours when--hey, guess what!--everyone's working at a business. And so I had to redirect the delivery to my place of business, and since this was 2 hours after the cut-off time, that added a whole business day to the delivery. Meaning Monday. Minimum. 4 to 5 more days of AOL and 28kps. I checked their site before leaving for work, and, yep, the modem was still sitting there in Hartford 8 hours after arriving. IF they took modem reorders the day I first called, IF they'd used the USPS, IF they'd connected me directly to the modem reorder dept. so that I could've told Tony not to require a signature, I'd have it NOW.
      And less than 2 hours later the UPS guy was there.
      CNN was on the store radio, and he asked me "Have they found HIM yet?" He's paste on a wall, I said, and then pointed out something CNN had just said that was pretty scary: The Bushies are snarling at Syria about how they sponsor terrorists (true), armed Saddam with military hardware (night vision goggles?! You can buy those at Sharper Image!), have Saddam's WMDs that we can't find (Suuuuure they do--They've been enemies for 30 years. What, the Israelis didn't want his SCUDs with spoiled meat warheads?), and they must get out of Lebanon.
      Can't we wait to at least bury the dead from this war before we start another? If you thought that
PNAC was some weird joke, forget it. Unlike the Illuminati, this conspiracy exists. They wanted war with Iraq, then Syria and Iran. Remember 4/11/03 as the day when the media bombardment began, pounding the drums that Assad of Syria's the Next Next Hitler. In 6 months, every Wrong Winger will claim that they always knew he was a terrible threat, just like they started doing 6 months ago with Saddam. In fact, before the brainwashing starts, ask them now just how upset they are over Lebanon. Expect a blank look today, and a list of non-reasons from Ari and Colin in 6 months.
      With minimal cursing but more time than I'd like, I got the new modem to work. All my fault; I had exactly 1 cord in the wrong plug. Thanks to the small white assistant who oversaw my every move. Believe me, nothin' makes you appreciate 100mps like 5 days of 28kps. And so billsplut@aol.com is now gone. Or about to be. I'll wait a few days to check my AOL email, to see if putting my address here repeatedly (which was deliberate) leads to a folder full of "You've Got Spam!"
      I wonder what the name for the invasion of Syria will be. "Operation Just Cause We Can," maybe?

4/12

      Heavy rain in the 40s this morning led to bright sun and a high of 67 mere hours later. Purdy kewl if you have the day off. Kinda sucky if you work in a liquor store. That just means that the last 90 minutes will be crazy, especially when people aren't yet used to Daylight Savings Time. "OOH! Sun God hide from sky! Must not not face Moon God sober!" So it's painfully slow during the day, and wildly busy at night.

      Our exciting wave of hits from people who don't care continues, but now they're coming from places other than AOL. StarChaser sent some advice back when I first mentioned the problem, so as long as I seem to be some kind of web resource for dealing with stopmessenger.com, here's his advice for those not using AOL:

      That link is actually a pretty cool firewall tester, so you people who actually READ this page regularly should click it.

      KirkJerk--hey, don't look at me, apparently that's what he wants to be called now (conversely, any mail sent to "Bill the Asswipe" will be ignored) has a cool link to some awesome Japanese made micro-RC battling tanks! Whoo, I'd get me a pair if they weren't $50 a pop. They're kawaii versions of Shermans and Tigers and Panthers, oh my! I like the fact that you can fight with them in a toy mode, or "Advanced Battle," where they have the rough characteristics of their historical versions. A Nazi Tiger tank can take out a Sherman with 2 shots, while the Sherman needs to score 8 hits to beat a Tiger. (>tankgeek: While that's accurate, it wouldn't have happened much. Shermans were "breakthrough" tanks, lightly armored and fast enough to exploit holes in the enemy lines and smash through to cut off their supplies. Tigers were basically slow-moving bunkers, designed only for defense. So why does Konami's Tiger move faster than their Sherman? Probably doesn't make a big diff on a coffee table, but it sure as hell did in WWII. It ties directly into a bit of WWII trivia that could be called "Why your direct ancestors were alive long enough to give birth to your family, and why their progeny doesn't speak German." The Panther/T34 set would be a more balanced mano-a-tanko. />tankgeek) Of course, real tanks don't flash and spin around like breakdancers when they're hit either. (That page is worth less for the little movie of the microtanks in action than it is for the Babelfish babble talk: "Whether now or now, the turret revolving specification where appearance waits.")
      They also have JDF tanks, though unfortunately they're Type 74s and not Type 61s. If you've ever seen a 60s Godzilla or Gamera movie, you've seen toy RC Type 61s. That's what they need! A Godzilla vs Type 61 set! With F101 jets on wires! Of course, you'd need only 1 Godzilla to the hundreds of the rest...

4/13

      Is Winter finally behind us? It looks that way. There's very little green in the woods besides skunk cabbage, but the trees on the hills I overlook are turning auburn. They're budding. The Green Bomb is ticking...In another month, I'll hear my favorite sound, leaves rustling in the breeze.
      We had so much snow, followed by so much rain, that there's a pond in the woods behind my condo. It's usually only around for a few months in the Spring, then it evaporates into mud. It's the biggest I've ever seen it now. Big enough that something was swimming in it today. My first thought was "frog," but I could immediately tell by the way it moved that it was a mammal. A bold one, too, poking around near the water's edge only a few feet from me. It was the size of a large rat, but it wasn't a rat. With it's rounded face and flipperlike tail, it was a born water mammal. It dipped beneath the shallow surface and swam for many feet before surfacing. I guess that it's a young river otter. COOL!
      But how did it get here? The Connecticut River isn't that far for me, as I have a car. But it's a 15 mile walk for something that swims. Through suburbs and strip malls and lots of busy roads. How did it get here? Where will it go when the minipond dries up? What will it do now, as there's no way there's enough food in such a small place for a carnivore?
      I stepped a bit too close and crunched some leaves, and the otter swam away. On the way back, I couldn't see it. There were loud people on the trail, so it probably was hiding on the other side. I'm pretty sure I didn't hallucinate it. I think I'll stop by my vet tomorrow and see if they can recommend who I'd turn to to get the little guy rescued and relocated.

      I've always been a fan of Peter Payne's looks at Japan from an American's perspective, but he's been there for a decade. So I'm also groovin' on our old pal Luna's teenaged adventures as Aviv in the Land of the Rising Sun. A walk in the woods is as adventurous as I get.
      (I should have pointed out a month ago that Russiagirl has been putting entries from her first trip's diary online, which is another great read if you're into the Smart, Funny Americans Abroad kind of thing like me)

      Gone and Forgotten is apparently monthly again! This month, Superman is in the far-off year of--2001! As seen from 1976. Y'know, even if we did rip the laws of physics asunder and discover antigravity, would its major use be floating Lay-Z-Boys? Personally, the thing I like about chairs is that they DON'T float. In fact, I like that about every home furnishing. Who wants to literally fall out of bed and discover that it's 10 feet off the floor, and have your fall (and ribs) broken by the microwave that decided to waft into the bedroom? The flying litter box is flipping itself over, RUN!

      From his mailbag, there's a link to another bizarre Superman story: A 1940 review of an issue by the Nazis. The literal NAZIS. Number of refs to one creator's Judaism in the first 4 sentences: 3. "Instead of using the chance to encourage really useful virtues, he sows hate, suspicion, evil, laziness and criminality in their young hearts." Yeah. Because in the story, Superman beats up the Nazis, who always were sowing love and goodness.

      I thought that the quiet just before sundown would be a good time to check on our friend in the minipond. He was in that same corner, then swam away to nibble on a tree limb hanging just above the pond. Since I earlier saw him eat what I think was an acorn, and I got a better look at his tail, I think that he's not an otter but a muskrat. He doesn't look like one, as he (or she) is very slim. Maybe it was the harsh winter. Since they're largely vegetarian and can walk miles to find a new home, I think that he's safe. Maybe when the minipond shrinks, he'll make it to series of brooks and ponds a mile away. And I can't report him to the authorities, because you just know that a muskrat would get Deputy Dawg sicced on him.

4/14

      Know what today was? The anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic! I know this because I was listening to a college radio station that played all-Titianic themed music, and also because I kinda indentified with the boat today.
      I slept until 2PM yesterday, so I vowed to get up early today (meaning 1120AM). I turned the alarm off just before it was about to go off, and slept until 130. Well, there was still plenty of daylight, so I showered and went to the woods.
      Beautiful day, for once. Bright sun and very few people at Valley Falls; I was serenaded by the rush of the water and the roar of the chainsaws. Yep, don't know why the town was out trimming tress in the woods, but there they were. I noticed shadows flitting about me, and 7 hawks sailed over to hover above the workers. Maybe they were hoping for someone's chainsaw to slip, so that they could grab a tasty lost finger or limb.
      On the return loop through the woods, I thought, yuck, I feel kinda not-so-good. A few minutes later, I really didn't feel good. Then I just wanted to get to my car and go home. When I got to the car, I started dry-heaving. All I wanted now was to get home before I started throwing up. Lucky me; the car ahead of me stopped at the longest light while it was still yellow. It's right by both the police and fire stations, and apparently they can make the light go red in every direction if they want. An ambulance and a squad car raced by, and then the light turned green the OTHER way. I was heaving to the point of involuntary tears running down my pale face. I got home just in time to vomit. I collapsed on the bed next to a confused cat, and was up and in the bathroom immediately. I had the memorable but distinctly unpleasant experience of simultaneous diarrhea and vomiting, leaning over from the toilet to toss in the tub. I crawled back to bed while a recreation of the Titanic's cruise band's last performance played.
      After 90 minutes, umm, I wasn't doing cartwheels, but I didn't feel like death. And I wonder what THAT was all about.

      It's official: Syria's next.

      "Sometimes the United States and its allies are wrong, and the rest of the world is right.
      "The opponents of war in Iraq France, Germany, Russia, China, Canada, Mexico, the Arab nations and the many others were vindicated last week when Baghdad fell just 21 days after the U.S.-led invasion began."

      I subscribe to A-Word-A-Day, an emailing that's about exactly what it sounds like. Today's word was sang-froid, and there was this comment from its author:

      Is there going to be a point where the Francophobes realize what ineffectual buffoons they are, or is this going to go on for years?
      AWAD always ends with a quote, and today's was "People hate as they love, unreasonably."- -William Makepeace Thackeray

      On the lighter side, a quick review of the Easy-Bake Oven. Yep, they're still around.

4/15

      A diminished version of The Sick today. Dry heaves and diarrhea, but nothing along yesterday's lines. Enough to undermotivate me at the keyboard tonight, anyway.

      Blimpies mailed me a sandwich for my birthday. A coupon for one, that is. They sell grinders (or sub or hoagie or po'boy or monkey-on-a-bun or whatever they call grinders in your neighborhood). Why you'd sell a low-fat, healthy food like that and call yourself "Blimpies" is beyond me. Despite the shape, nobody calls a "sub" a "blimp" or "food-laden zeppelin."
      Blimpies is in the same plaza as the New Store, so I was annoyed to find that the card had vanished from my car. It didn't get swept up with the mail, it wasn't mixed in with the various magazines in my rolling library. It wasn't in my glove compartment, although I did have about 4 pounds of Blimpie napkins in there. I went to the passenger side of the car, where Kevin once found the checkbook that I'd thought that I'd lost by the condo mailboxes and spent $15 to put a stop-payment on. I found the free sammitch card! And the belt from my trenchcoat. And the upper torso of a one-armed Robocop figure. Yeah. Of course. What car's complete without one.

      That explains that: The reason that the Grimmoire, a Magic: The Gathering site, picked up a Daveykins comic stricrap was because they were desperate for any sort of "content." Now, they're out of business. PHRACK!

You're Ash, baby.
Gimme some sugar baby.

Which B-Movie Badass Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

      Shop smart--Shop S-MART!!
      (Giving my second-choice answers made me Buckaroo Banzaii, which is also cool. Though I'd really like to be Dr Sidney Schaeffer from The President's Analyst, although that was an "A" picture. "TAKE THAT, YOU HOSTILE SONS OF BI--"ratatatatat!!
      (And just because I linked to a review on a Lew Rockwell site does NOT mean I'm Libertarian)

4/16

      Still a bit sick. Someone mentioned to me today that "Allergies are everywhere" and I think that they hit it. It did happen while I was walking in the woods, during the first time this year that I've left the windows open overnight. I suffered from severe hayfever as a kid, at least until they cut my adenoids out. I kept a glass of water near my bed so that I could unstick my glued-together eyelids in the morning without ripping out my eyelashes. So I've always thought of "allergy" as meaning cold symptoms, and not flu-like ones. All these years where I've thought that I've caught some weird bug were probably allergies. Since I frequently have several days when I'm really sick for the first few hours that I'm up, maybe pollen gets released early in the morning.
      While dealing with, ahem, today's flu-like symptoms, on the toilet I thought, "Hey! I haven't cleaned the litterbox since I've been sick!" Or possibly longer, as my comment after removing its top was "OH MY GOD! Kill Kill, I'm so SORRY!" Every day I click on a site to remove landmines, and here I was with a minefield right in my own bathroom.

      They look at us as liberators! Yeah, whatever.

      Fascinating (but 9-page) article on parallel universes. They're not just for Star Trek anymore! And the Multiverse isn't just for Marvel superheroes:

      I hearby change my name to "Bill the Hand Smacking the Bottom of a Ketchup Bottle."

      ...Ummm...

      

      So...Did he miss? Did he hit? The joke makes the same (non)sense either way. But what's with the last panel? Is Ferd giving him the pistol? Is it because he missed at long range, or because he hit?
      What a long range strip it's been!
      (Apologies to Deadheads. And pun-haters)

      (And exactly what is the bald guy wearing--culottes?)

4/18

      I went to bed early, as 1:45 is early when you work second shift.
      I didn't fall asleep until well after 4AM.
      At 9AM, they brought a woodchipper into the condo complex.
      I was still feeling nauseous from my allergies.
      The water I was shaving with was scalding.
      The water in the shower went ice-cold just after I'd lathered up. I ran it for 5 minutes, but it never got warmer, and I had to rinse in cold.
      The water in the sink was STILL scalding.
      I was running late for work, so naturally I got stuck at every light. Naturally the traffic was heavy, and always running 10 miles under the speed limit.
      I got to work 5 minutes late. At the Dumpstore. On a busy holiday weekend. While tired, sick and with a ponytail half-full of unrinsed shampoo and a water bottle that turned out to have unidentifiable stuff floating in it. While facing a full shift working with Mr Poopypants.
      Well, I guess that I could be living in Iraq, so it wasn't THAT awful.
      And how was your Bad Friday?

      Via Kirk, a page of slash fiction involving Roy Orbison getting Saran-wrapped. It'd be better if it weren't a joke (And it is, given his homepage--He's the originator of the "French Existentialists go to Afghanistan" thing that everybody got in their email a year ago), but it's pretty silly on its own.

      Would you pay a buck to see a million toothpicks? I would, especially after reading the story behind the idea. A true-life short story, although the last act hasn't been written yet.

      Dean for President. No more damn Democrats that want to sound like fucking Republicrooks!

4/19

      It's Cheeseday in Monroe!
      I was watering the plants tonight when I glanced at the envelope that my last issue of Cool and Strange Music! magazine came in. There was something inside it. A sheet of paper announcing the death of their long-planned compilation CD, but you could download the MP3s! Until FIVE DAYS AGO. Jean Claude God Damn!! They couldn't have put the sheet IN the magazine where I would've seen it?! I wanted to hear those weird old thrift shop rarities! I was going to BUY that CD!
      I tried searching for it and failed, eventually turning to my own personal Jesus, Kevin. He found it in a few minutes, and here it is! They took the link down, but not the MP3s. They're all short and odd, so download them now before the 31 MP3s are taken down with the rest of the site. Trust me, this is a very good investment of your time. Highlight: That song that somehow failed to become a Christmas classic, "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Syphilis."

4/22

      Allergies have had me unmotivated enough to not post the last coupla. It rained today, and enough of the pollen was washed away that I wroted an entry at work. And have spent the last hour-plus trying to retrieve it from the floppy it's saved on. Don't look like it's gonna happen, just like me rewriting 6K of text tonight ain't. So just a few links until I can get the 6K back on a work computer tomorrow--if that's possible; I don't get a corrupted file warning, but I can get the other .txt file on the floppy to load. Annoying.

      Kirk finds a strange comic strip, featuring the same clip-art of dinosaurs every day. Like Pokey the Penguin, read a bunch and it grows on you. Yes, and so does athlete's foot, but you know what I mean.

      That strip makes fun of its own limitations with a "Choose your Own Adventure" shtick at one point. Here's a choose-your-own called Brad: The Game.

      Scalzi on bad chocolate. Maybe I'm just a sucker for anyone who'd write a sentence like "Artificially flavored chocolate is to chocolate as grape soda is to grapes, which is to say a concoction whose only relation to its natural analog is that it is within 10 Pantone strips of being the same color."

       Jesus Plus Nothing: Undercover among America's secret theocrats. Ever wonder why the tiny numbers of Fundie Christians wield so much power in Washington?

      WM(onetary)D: "Whether they buy oil in Alaska, Norway or Bahrain, today's customers pay in US dollars.
      "But when the United States launched its military attack against Iraq last month, many Muslim clerics began demanding that Arab countries sell oil for euros, not US dollars. That move could send shock waves through the world oil market and the US economy." That's just great.

4/24

      I know that I've been pretty poor updating here for a while. But you don't understand how debilitating these damn allergies are to me. Sure, it looks all exciting and glamorous in a Holly wood movie, but spending the first few hours of every day with your head in a toilet dry-heaving loses its panache after the tenth day. No, I can't be a normal person and take Claritan, I have to get flu-like symptoms. It goes away after a few hours, but never totally away. Sometimes, like tonight, it doesn't go away at all. I really don't have the energy to post much here once I limp home.
      I feel so wretched right now that if this persists into tomorrow (and it will), I'm making a doctor's appointment. Maybe there's something they can give me for this nausea. But I did manage to recover that post from Tuesday, so here it is.
      I'm probably the only person who was happy when the beautiful weather went away today and the rain started. Hopefully it'll wash the pollen out of the air and I can stop being murderized by allergies. I used to feel bad for a couple of hours after I got up, then I'd be normal. For the last week, "normal" has been "I've stopped dry-heaving until tomorrow."
      So, what have I done besides feel sorry for myself? Easter I went over to my sister Pat's house for the family dinner. There were structured activities, like spinning hard boiled eggs to see who got the longest spin time. I almost won the Fabulous Prize, a bunny bobblehead. Then it was the old "8 S. on a S. S." quiz. I teamed up with my mother, and of course a current librarian and an ex-English major got the highest score. Unfortunately, the Fabulous Prize for this event was a can of SPAM. To remove it from the can, it instructed you to "Squeeze until it pops." Food should not have the same prep instructions as a pimple. We tried to talk one nephew into eating the entire can for $45, but he refused. None of us would eat it. We were always sorry as kids when Mom got sick, because we knew that for dinner dad would make fried SPAM. It either got slipped to the dog, hidden under the dinner plate or furtively flushed. Dad also liked to butter his bread with bacon grease. People who grew up during the Great Depression had a different idea of what "edible" is.
      Monday it was gorgeous, so I went hiking. Not quite a stroke of genius, that, given it made my allergies worse. I decided to vegetate watching my birthday gift from Scott, a double DVD of 2 Italian sci-fi masterpieces, War of the Planets and War of the Robots. They were released right after Star Wars, during that period when Hollywood and its foreign competition thought that people wanted movies set in space. Not if the movie bites the wax tortellini they don't. It really wasn't even a rip-off of Star Wars, but a crappy version of Star Trek. A professor and a babe get kidnapped by aliens, I guess because he's discovered a way to make artificial life. I say "I guess," as an hour into the movie, we find out that the aliens are--ROBOTS! This relevation is handled with the same level of who-cares that finding out what their favorite Jelly Belly flavor is. The robots are guys wearing gold lam`e jumpsuits and shoulder-length blond wigs. They're like an avenging army of Carol Channings, except that Carol would last longer in combat. They get mowed down by the hundreds in every battle (more accurately, by the half-dozen, as it's obviously the same few crossdressers over and over).
       The real aliens are wearing bathrobes and are like a million years old and all shrivelly, so old that it's like you're at Strom Thurmond's high school reunion. Oh, and the professor and the babe are really the bad guys. The kidnapping thing is never explained, or why the Alien Geezers made her their Empress. This is one of those movies that's basically the heroes run, fight robots, get captured, escape, run, fight robots, get captured for 2 hours. There's a good guy alien, and you can tell he's an alien because he's wearing eyeliner. Eat your heart out, Industrial Light and Magic!
       Their only real attempt to ape Star Wars is with a final space dogfight. This goes on for-ev-er. They didn't bother to make models, they just did some crappy matte paintings that they pan past. There's only one painting of the good guys' X-Wings (the X standing here for "X-tremely Shittificacious") and they use it in every shot, even though it makes it look like the fighters can only fly to the right of the screen. They have close-ups of the fighters' cockpits, and run random film of ships flying behind them, making the battle scene incomprehensibile to follow. The heroes kill about 9,000 of the aliens' (crappy matte paintings of) flying saucers, but of course Earth is doomed if they get through. C'mon, from what we've seen, these robots couldn't overwhelm a spelling bee. And the name of their commander is General Gonad.
       The heroes' ship is named the Trissus. I thought that Trissus was something Italian that meant "All-Powerful Supership" but they couldn't translate it as it says TRISSUS in big letters on everyone's spacesuits. I found out in the credits that "Costumes courtesy Trissus." So it really was like they named their ship the "Gucci" or the "Gloria Vanderbilt."
       Speaking of the credits, this is the worst DVD transfer I've ever seen. The credits wiggle. Like someone's shaking the camera, except the background isn't moving with it. For some reason, every name in the credits has been changed into an English one, with the exception of Trissus and the supplier of their main special effect, the blond wigs. Since I've seen better dubbing done with Mr. Ed, I doubt that anyone was fooled into thinking these are Americans. The soundtrack is one guy with a Moog, and he mainly likes to make grating squeaks and squawks. The already boring fight scenes aren't punched up by his decision to play marching music under them. It's about as effective as playing "Here Comes the Bride." He also functions as the foley guy, which was pretty stupid. And also not helped by the many times he forgets to put in the sound effects, usually when someone's shooting a gun. Oh, and the guy who did the DVD transfer decided not to letterbox it, but use pan & scan. Unfortunately, he forgot the "pan" part. An average scene will have people talking, with nothing above their necks visible. Or they'll be on opposite sides of the screen, and all you'll see are their arms.
       It wasn't a very good movie. It was so not very good that, during the climatic final battle, I hit pause and took a nap. I don't think that anyone's ever done that the first time that they saw Star Wars. I thought that there was about 5 minutes left to that interminable scene, but there was 15. Okay, now it's Thursday again, and I feel like shit. Good night.

4/25

      After that unpleasant little coda last night, I went to bed only 2 hours after getting home. And I stayed there for the next 14 hours. I would've slept the entire time, too, if someone didn't start pounding on my door at 9AM. "Ain't gettin' up for no fuckin' Jehovah's Witness," I thought blearily, "no matter how long he's poundin'." Then the phone rang. Normally I'd ignore that offer to change long-distance plans, too. But I'm on the no-call list and it was too weird a coincidence not to investigate.
      ME: "Hullo?"
      THEM: "Mr William Young?"
      "Yuh."
      "This is the Vernon Police. The Fire Marshal believes there's a gas leak in your home. Could you open the door for him?"
      That'll wake you right up.
      The Fire Marshal guy said that there was a gas smell in our garages, which I mentioned seemed unlikey, due to the fact we don't have gas lines here. "Oh, no, there's an odor there. We just wanted to make sure that you weren't cooking something and fell asleep." "No, I wasn't cooking. I WAS sleeping." He smiled and apologized for awakening me, but I should've been the one apologizing. I've seen me in the morning.
      No idea what that was about. When I got up for real 4 hours later, there was no smell in the garage, or fire engines with guys in biohazard suits chasing mouth-foaming monkeys with Taco Bell bags in their hands. Maybe someone had a leaky gas grill, or it was the guy downstairs' motorcycle that he's just started using again. Whatever this mysterious odor was, it affected my allergies. The first thing I checked was the pollen count on Weatherunderground: 11.4 on a scale that only goes to 12. "Today's WORST Cities [in the USA!]: Number 1, Hartford CT." It was the end of allergy sufferrers' world--and I felt fine.
      Probably not due to any contaminants in the garage. Either the 14 hours abed because I was so sick yesterday cured me, or I was so sick yesterday as it was the last gasp (or, in my case, dry heave) of whatever tree was trying to kill me. I was still horribly tired, but as a lifetime sleepmonger I know that that can come just from sleeping too long. Hopefully I'm past this hurdle, at least until the inevitable return of July Disease.
      I actually got up an hour earlier than I needed to. For one, if I was still really sick, I wasn't going to work. But also because the yearly used book sale was on at the Historical Society and Grange. Wow, that makes it sound like I live in the lovely rural countryside, doesn't it? Yeah, maybe 50 years ago, it was. I picked up a couple of volumes of wood-pulpy goodness, Bob & Ray and Imponderables collections that I didn't own. It was quite quiet there, excluding the fat lady booming into her cellphone. "He looked at my chest and said, 'WOW, you're excited!' And I said that he was such a JERK! Blah blah blah! He's so inconsiderate! Blah diddy blah! You can say stuff like that in front of YOUR kids, but there's other people's kids here!" Like the ones standing by you at the book sale as you screamed. There's some inverse square law for cell phones; the louder the conversation is, the less interesting it will be. But also the more irritating. Wait--more equals more? That's a...perverse square law! Ahh, I can't do math worth crap!

      (Better commentary than I could come up with on the subject at Kos)

4/26

      You hear a lot about sleep deficit these days. This week I read an (offline, dead-tree) article about it. Even missing an hour a day over the short term will mess with your memory and reasoning skills, and you won't even notice it.
      But where are the articles on the sleep savings account? After 14 hours of sonambulence yesterday, last night the right half of my brain got into one of its "I'M NOT GONNA SHUT UP TONIGHT!" modes. I got about 4 hours sleep, and not in a row. Juuust about to conk out when the downstairs neighbors decided to wake up, clunk drawers, talk and run the shower, until an hour later when the other half of them decided to clunk the same drawers, talk LOUDLY and take a shower. About 10 minutes before the alarm was due to go off, I said screw it and decided to take a long shower. Maybe the neighbors are taking in transients, as their shower was STILL running. Which means I had a nice warm shower--for a while. So I spent the extra time juggling with the cat. Umm, that's WITH the cat, not "juggling the cat." She lies on the bed on her back and I throw her a toy mouse; she grabs it, bites it and then throws it the air and tries to catch it with her claws. She often succeeds, but just as often bats it across the room. If it flies off the bed, so does she in hot pursuit. Then she's back on the bed with that "AGAIN!" look in her eyes. She purrs her head off the whole time. It's fun for all.

4/28

      Yes, yes, I know. I suck. I update every other day at best and never have Kewl Links anymore. Normally I'd say "Well, don't come here then." But looking at my hit counter, a third of you have made that decision yourselves already.
      I just spent 2 minutes staring into space, trying to determine what my reaction to this is. I remember a coupla years ago when the InExOb had an abrupt 25% drop in hits (out of 2500 a week). This made me very sad, and I didn't update The News for 3 months. That was when I figured out that ever since that webcounter had been bought by MicroSoft, it'd been going down constantly and wasn't registering 25% of the hits. I found out only after changing counters.
      My reaction to the current slowdown: This affects me how? Not at all. "Don't come here then." I'll post when I post and lately, I don't feel like it. I'll keep this thing going even when the hits become 1 a day, and even if that's just from me checking it before I post.
      Of course, when I say "a third of you think I suck and chew on babies" I mean "it went from 65 hits a day to 42." But that just means I still gets wuvs from my speshul-weshul fwiends wike OOO, yes we do yes we do!!
      Crap. The daily hits just dipped to zero.
      KILL KILL! Come look at Mommy's page, sweetheart! Put your little paw here and click!

      Again, to the utter and complete disbelief of any human who's ever met me, I cleaned the house. I'm A) a notorious packrat, B) someone who's incredibly anal about Store Appearance at work and thus too tired to do it when he's not being paid, and thus C), very lazy on days off, and D) decided that the world needed not one but TWO movies involving Clint Eastwood and orangutans. (One of those is false! Can you guess which?!) I've discovered that the thing for me to do is designate "sectors" that need to be cleaned, then just keep thinking about it until the Sector bothers me enough to begin decontamination. Two sectors have been successfully attacked this way. Part of Sector Yesterday was a shelf that pretty much slipped into disuse when the Innernet was invented. This would be 1997 for me, as EVERYTHING (mainly TVT and Manifold CD catalogs) on that shelf was from 6 years ago. I don't know what's more disturbing, that this shelf hasn't been cleaned off in that many years, or that it hadn't been added to in that long.
      I created a "to-do" area on one half of the 70s coffe table. A Unibroue box with all the DVDs and videos I have yet to watch, and a few magazines and books that need to be read. The other half instantly became KK's New Place to Laze Out. As it's right next to the Lay-Z-Boy, this is an unexpected and most welcome development.
      Then I watched my Road Warrior DVD! Or is this why people don't like me no more? Talking about crap like this? Ehh, it's a journal. If you can't stand the boredom, get out of the url. This was to be my first DVD purchase (greatest action movie EVER!), but Amazon's ratings made it clear that it was just slapped together. Bad picture, bad sound, not letterboxed. Then they recently remastered it, but there's no commentary track on the ONLY DVD WITH A COMMENTARY TRACK I'D EVER LISTEN TO. The sound is fantastic, but why did they not fix the scene where the arrow goes into Papagallo's leg? You can see the string it's on in the VHS version, if you know to look for it. Here, they might as well as packed a toddler with a red marker with the DVD, to rush out and circle it on the screen and scream "ARROW IN LEGGIE!!".
      Then, at 1030, I went to bed!
      Why don't you people like me anymore? I've got my BEDTIMES here ferchrissake!! Hot Bill-On-Bed Action!!!
      Also, just for YOU, when I get up! It's like a text-based webcam! 530AM. Crimeny. Trucks and construction vehicle noises. From where? Couldn't see. For why? Well, it stopped before rush hour, so I figged that they were doing construction at the intersection, since there were new spray-painted "Here's the gas line" gobbledygook on the asphalt there. It hit me that while there were constant VROOM VROOMs from the trucks, but no beep beep beeps of them backing up, it meant--Uhh, no idea what it meant, really. And not a clue as to what they were or were not doing when I got up. HOT TRUCK-ON-TRUCK ACTION!!! You get it all at thoughtviper.com!!!
      Then I did a laundry list of chores, which also included the laundry, so let's not get into it. Despite it involving wet laundry on hot dryer sheet ACTION!
      Then I was to leave for Trout Brook with Kevin at 545. He was late. That was surprising. It used to be the norm; if I wanted him somewhere at 545, I used to tell him to be there at 530 so that he'd be there at 6. He said that there was a lot of traffic, and there sure as hell was, and it was everywhere. I guessed that there might've been a bad accident during the rush hour. We finally saw the accident on the opposite side of the highway. A burned-out car. Yeesh. At this was at the end of whatever happened. How many cars had they already towed away?
      Trout Brook, a local (and excellent) brew pub and restaurant, shocked us last year when they were closed on Sunday. They were open today, but only a tiny little bit. And the floor staff was ONE. A combo waitress/bartender. Their normally fantastic veggie burgers were just awful. The beer was still top notch; a porter with the right amounts of chocolate and bite, a Belgian-style raspberry framboise that was head-spinning. And there was almost no one else there. Yep, sad to say, but Trout Brook is not long for this world.
      I got my belated b-day gifts: A rip of that Cool & Strange Music! non-CD and a copy of "Stupid White Men" by Michael Moore. Apropos, as Guess Which movie we were going to see. Here's a hint: I'm glad that it was a warm night, as this is one movie where I wouldn't feel comfortable wearing my trenchcoat. Yep, Bowling for Columbine.
      And here's where we end. It's not a movie that you can sum up after seeing it; I need to chew on this for a day or more. Short review: the first third is hilarious. The rest has humor, but it's more serious about the issue. It's never boring. Highlights: The South Park version of American history; the amazing differences between the USA and Canada (which has a tiny per capita gun-murder rate, but an insanely higher gun ownership rate); and the closing interview with none other than Moses himself, in which Heston lets slip the real reason he thinks America has a higher gun murder rate. And, both shockingly and sadly, it's just what you think it'd be. And, oh yeah, the other highlights would be all the rest of it.

4/30

      Maybe, I thought yesterday, I should try posting every other day. So here we go.

      Apparently, the decline in hits here was just a fluke. It was hard to tell what I was getting anyway, what with the tripling of my traffic (which is still a very low number) that occured during the time that I was Google's #1 boy for info on www.stopmessenger.com. But it wasn't any big deal. I can only connect names to about a dozen of those ISPs I see, but I recognize the rest as "regulars." It's the Core Group that that matters. It's like, you know, the people that send you Xmas cards every year, even if you never get to meet them any more.

      Of course, I want to enthrall new readers with my exciting -run-naked-through-the-streets life! SPLUTS GONE WILD!! Today--and I hope you're sitting down, on the floor, with pillows on any hard edges, with a defibulator handy--I GOT A SPARE CAR KEY MADE!!!
      WHOOO!!! And you thought that Mr Toad had a wild ride!!!
      And if that wasn't enough--It was in the same plaza as DOLLAR DREAMS!!! It's like a SADDAM PALACE of LUXURY and DECADANCE except filled with CHINESE CRAP!!!! To the CEILING!!!! Which is VERY VERY HIGH!!!!!!! EXCLAMATION POINTS ARE OUR FRIENDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      I'll stop that now.
      They had a nice section of fishnet lingerie (with the world's most housewiferly-looking white woman as a model) right next to a big section of du rags (with America's most housewiferly-looking black man as the model). I ended up with my first-ever purchases there. It was Hammurabi's Code and some winged bull terra cottas. Okay, it was some Lovely Kitty stationery (guess what color Lovely Kitty is) and an octopus fridge magnet, incredibly lifelike with its orange and yellow color scheme and Simpsons-sized eyes. I almost bought a wrestler figure. Normally, this will be a ripoff of the WWF (or whatever they call it today, the WRSFA, the World Retarded Steroidal Freaks Asylum, whatever), but this was a Mexican masked wrestler. SANTO! If only they had an Aztec Mummy figure...
      I'm ashamed to admit that I was hungry enough to want Cheetos, and was right near BIG!Lots. I needed some ice tea, too, and maybe some Clark Bars. I entered a truly Jerry Van Dykian scene. Registers open: 1. Cashiers: NONE. A register with the light on the pole lit, but no cashier. Someone was doing returns and giving money back at that register, but no one was selling anything and taking in money. Probably checking a price, I thought, and I went to grab my stuff. And there was still no one at the only register. There were 3 other B!Lotters loitering up front, but none were touching the registers. After spending twice as much time in the line as I had shopping, I decided that I really couldn't wait for Godot any longer. Good retail boy that I am, I put all my items back exactly where I found them, thinking, NOW the register will be open. But it wasn't. Only at B!L would the customers STAY there.
      Speaking of "only at...", I spotted a big display of a failed form of Cheerios. "Richard Petty's 43's," complete with needless '. I guess that 43 i's hi's car number. They're NASCARiffic! They're Dieselly Delicious! Silly Rabbit, 43's are for White Trash! It's like hitting a wall at 200 miles per hour, flipping over a dozen times, having your body torn to shreds, and then exploding in a giant fireball of FLAVOR! No, wait, that last would be "Dale Earnhardt's Deadios."
      I hated Cheerios as a kid. They taste like they smell, and they smell like feet. Has anyone ever really been cheered by Cheerios? They probably sold poorly when they were called Depressios.
      I really could go for a Clark bar right now. Damn you, Jerry van!

      Thanks to those of you who wrote me about my internet ennui the other day. Yeah, thanks a LOT for writing enough that I still have email and/or replies to answer!! (Kidding) (Though I still do)
       Wakboth in Finland--WHOA, that's weird. WNPR just now, no joke, started playing "Finlandia" by Sibelius. Good thing that I'm not eating Finlandia cheese while drinking Finlandia vodka, or I'd go so completely mental (I must say) that I might go BACK to get MORE KEYS MADE!!
      NO! That's too crazy! Wakboth and I had this exchange:

> You know, I think adding the words "Hot Truck-on-Truck
> Action" on your homepage will net you a couple of
> hundred hits from people who are looking for
> Transformers porn...

It could happen.  I ran a Google for "transformer slash fiction," and
came up with nothing.  And you can just bet SOMEone is looking for it...

Trapped in the cavern with no hope of escape, Optimus looked into
Megatron's deep blue vision receptors.  "I--I never noticed," stammered
Optimus, "how big your gun mode was before!"
      That "transformer slash fiction porn" ref is going to get me many misdirected search engine refs. Hey, be glad that's all I remember about the Transformers from my 80s toy store days, or I'd write up a full one! "Robots in Disguise," INDEED!
      (NOTE: If any of you guys actually is inspired to WRITE something in this as-yet nonexistant short story category, you know who'd post it here)
      "So that's why he's called 'Starscream.' He woke up the neighbors for miles!"

      Continuing through the mailbag, Saint Gally sends The Truth About Bowling for Columbine. This was also the subject of an Ebert Movie Answer Man a few weeks ago. Yeah, if you've followed his career, Mr Moore plays fast and loose more than he should. A lot less than our own government, of course. (Remember, "It's a matter of emphasis") Or that former site's owner, whose practice is in "protecting 1st and 2nd amendment rights," but as usual, really isn't all that concerned with the 1st, or he wouldn't be pushing to get Moore's Oscar taken away.

      A guy I will tenatively name as Stormdog until I hear otherwise (his other name is a-wet-dog. Eww, smells like Cheerios!) says

I had a couple of things, back in the day, that
I was tempted to send you for the InExOb.  Part
of the reason it appealed to me was I find myself
drawn to some of the same sort of inexplicia
myself...  You'd like the AOL disk I have with
the password BAKED-TEEN for instance.
      Dude! I so understand! I like got SO stopped by the MAN from buying CHEETOS today! And Jerry van was the MAN! --WHOA! VAN...=MAN!! I SO never noticed that before! Know where there's some Cheetos, dude?
      Yeah, I know that that's a variation on every stoner joke I've ever done. But once back in college in the late 70s, 3 of us ate the only munchies we could find.
      Tums.
      Hey, at least we were getting our calcium!

      If you read only one Boing Boing link today, make it the eBay feedback left by andy46477. Hi-frickin-larious. Make SURE to read the username of the auctions he's praising, as frequently that's a big part of the joke. How was this done? The 200+ feedback comments are frequently done only seconds apart, but are very often keyed to the other user's eBay name.

      Holy Crap! I still have stuff I could post here! Tomorrow, maybe. And I still need to proof what I just wrote. I guess that every-other-day posting can backfire.


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