Waste Case Scenario

NEW 4.5

You can't flush mojo!


       The Montauk Project, the ultimate conspiracy theory. CIA mind control, Satanic cult sex, ex-Nazis, aliens, psychic powers--And it wasn't just the Kennedys that "THEY" killed, but the dinosaurs.

      You'd better click on this link, after all the time I spent trying to track it down. I even had to switch to the Backup Computer, since Kevin "upgraded" the Old Pookie in a way that made it incapable of playing sound files. Star Trek Rhapsody is 70 seconds of pure comedy gold-pressed latinum. The voices are perfect.


      Anyone want a free kitten?

      That was cute up till recently. Now, he crawls behind the computer several times a day and begins batting at my fingers. Unfortunately, I have one of those keyboards with an autodestruct switch, a button marked POWER. One swat of a paw and the computer shuts down. This is happening every single time Byron climbs back there, so I'm rebooting a half-dozen times a day. He's as fucking obstinate as Kill Kill is cooperative, and no amount of "NO! BAD BOY!" seems to dismay him. Lately, he's been getting severely punished (by my standards, anyway) with Time-Outs locked in the bedroom. He hates that, and almost every time I let him out, he runs right back behind the keyboard and shuts the computer off again!
      Today, he did it enough times that the Main Computer got fucked up. It won't completely boot up. I fired up this, the Backup Computer, and found out that he'd also somehow fried the trackball. Which I bought for $40 6 weeks ago. Oh, and he knocked down my collection of Studio Ghibli Spirited Away keychains, and 2 of the 6 are totally missing.
      I got so mad that it kicked off my vomiting thing. He's damn lucky that I'm not one of those assholes who smack their pets around. I'm damn unlucky that I didn't think of the obvious solution--rather than pretending he's a smart cat like Kays who knows that being told "BAD!" once means "I guess that I should stop doing this," I should've pried the stupid POWER and SLEEP keys off and taped over their slots. Note to self: Stop trying to alter his behaviour, and start altering your own.
      And I was kidding about the free kitten. He's mine forever.

      Today was probably the last beautiful day we'll get for this year. The upper 70s is pretty warm for this time of year in New England, so there's a very good chance that the pattern of the last few years will continue: Harsh Summer, Harsh Winter, Mild Summer, Mild Winter, Harsh Summer. The difference between Harsh and Mild is 6 weeks of winter, like 2001, and 6 months of it, like last year. I know it's caused by Global End-of-Earthing, but I have to drive 20 miles to work now, and I don't want to be doing it in another snowstorm-twice-a-week winter.
      My last walk in Valley Falls park for the year was probably today. The crunch of the leaves, the rush of the brooks, the roar of the bulldozer. They're flattening a whole section of it! Why? "Because we can!" or something as lame. Yeah, who wants to go to the woods to see trees? We need more lawn!
      Went to Buck a Book for no real reason. Al Franken and Bill "SHUT UP!" O'Reilly shared an endcap. I saw something funny there! Forget what! Went next door to Staples. I liked the Palm display; somebody had written "There cheaper @ Office Max" on the demo unit. Driving home, I passed the most low-slung sportscar I've ever seen. I towered over the black wedge in my Tracer (which is a Ford Escort made by Mercury). It was like a doorstop with wheels. Vanity plate: "A RUSH." Getting a glimpse of the driver, I guess that he picked that as "HOW DO YOU LIKE MY MID-LIFE CRISIS?" wouldn't fit.

      Oh, don't even pretend that you get it! It is interesting to note that, since I'm assuming that this is a chronology and not Ferd's antique radio collection, that 1) Ferd was an adult in 1920, and 2) he hasn't changed clothes in 80+ years. And what's with the vest? Are those things buttons? Then why do they look like udders?
      Anyone for a glass of the milk of human Ferdness? Didn't think so.

      This page got a hit from Uruguay today, most likely a misdirected Google search. And one from "U.S. senate sergeant at arms." GAH! Trent Lott's gonna shoot me!

      Byron woke up and immediately climbed behind the keyboard. He flailed around, but the POWER key ain't there no more. Any solution that works.


      Wakboth of Finlandia (not the brands of cheese or vodka, but the country Sibelius wrote symphonies about) opines Ferdiously:

      Yet Mike the Snard says:      Except for Uncle Walt, who's like 900 at this point. And what's with that half-wit guy's Kill Killish cat, who's been a kitten for 30 years?
      But name a comic that draws attention to the age of the strip. Does Dagwood mention how he and Blondie have been married for 70 years? Yes, Garfield recently did a 25th anniversary strip, when a real cat wouldn't live that long and Oh GOURD how I wish Garfield was DEAD and the strip was probably completely done by Davis' assistants and he just signed off on it and why isn't Jim Davis dead because he SUCKS OUT LOUD, he sucks like he's ON FIRE WITH SUCK GASOLINE no matter who does that crappy strip I mean why doesn't he just start a mutual strip with "Cathy" and SATAN and see how much he can make us all suffer, suffer like we were eating live bugs covered in sulfur, pitchblende and Chicken Viola! and what was I talking about again?
      Proof? Here's today's Ferd'nand:

      Let's ignore the long-term effects of Ferd's decision ("Our love is no longer a living thing that grows taller and stronger every year, but a termite-infested home for bracken fungus that sits in the backyard rotting! And the dog just pee'd on it!"). Mrs future-Ferd is a hippie! It's the 60s! If Ferd was an adult in the '20s, she should be dressed like it was 1915. I know that Ferd's not dressed like a hippie, but I'm starting to think that the suit's not a suit, but his skin.
      Mike again:

      Yes. Yes, I can.
      "My God, I can't take anymore of this!"
      Yesterday I got my "Galactica" 10-DVD set. I found it used on Amazon (although it came new and shrink-wrapped). At $1.49 a DVD, how little entertainment could it give me for my money? I tested that by putting in the disc that pushed me over the edge in my decision to buy it: Little Shop of Horrors. I used to watch that every time "USA Up All Night" would show it, and that was pretty often.
      It didn't disappoint. This is the legendary Corman film that was "shot in 2 days while they were still writing the script." I still find that hard to believe, although it's true--It seems more like some Catskills comedy troupe's production that they'd spent years polishing and honing. The script is sharp, the characters as well-defined as comedy can get, the performances perfect. And everyone--besides Audrey Jr, the man-eating cross between a "Venus fly-trap and a butterwort," is so likeable. Okay, even Audrey Jr gets some points when the talking plant whines "I need some chow!" Audrey--umm, Senior, I guess, is a ditz but sweet and kind; Mr Yellow Vest (he has a name, but that moniker has always stuck with me) eats flowers and offers helpful advice; the 2 teenaged girls who speak phrases in turns like a group mind; Seymour's hypochondriac mother ("No one cooks like my ma!" says Seymour, as she serves a soup of cod liver oil and epsom salts); the aristo-crusty woman from the New York Society of Silent Flower Watchers (or whatever)...And of course, let's not forget our heroes, utter schlub Seymour Krelboin and his landsman boss Gravis Mushnick. They are flawed, Seymour with his lust for Fame, and Gravis with his lust for Money. Archetypal in their greed, they literally allow others to be eaten alive to support their lusts, while figuratively being eaten alive themselves.
      KIDDING! But while their performances are comic, you really can see the dichotimic battle beneath the surface. KIDDING! Wait, no, I'm not. They're feeding corpses to a man-eating butterwort, but you gotta like the guys. They really don't want to be doing this, but they end up doing it anyway. I think my favorite moment in black comedy is Seymour feeding dismembered body parts into Junior's maw while trying to distract himself by singing "Tis the season to be jolly, fa la la la la, la la la lah!" over and over.
      Mushnick talks in Old Country-influenced English, and his flower shop has signs such as "Lots Flowers Cheap" and "We're Not Letting You Pay So Much." That's a damn brilliant minor touch for a movie done in 2 days. There's stuff that you don't catch until you watch it more than once, such as the flower shop's main customer, who comes in every day to buy funeral bouquets for today's dead relative. She's named "Mrs Shiva." There's a chase scene down a street with an easily-avoided pothole filled with water. Everybody stomps in it. Including the cops who make the "Dragnet" guys look like they're in touch with their feminine side:
      SMITH: How are your kids?
      FINK: I lost one today.
      SMITH: How did it happen?
      FINK: (pulls out cigarette) Playing with matches. (Strikes match; lights cigarette)
      SMITH: Those are the breaks.
      Oh, and of course--Jack Nicholson. If you remember any line of dialogue, it'll be "OH, don't stop NOW!!!" Well, that and Junior's "FEEEED MEEEE!! I'm star-arved!!"
      Maybe I'm overselling it, but if you find this as a rental, go for it. Most likely, it'll have bad sound and picture quality, but you won't notice after a few minutes.

      On the other side of the 2-sided DVD: Neophytes and Neon Lights. Like Little Shop, it was a micro-budgeted movie which was obviously put together at the last minute with a lot of improvised dialogue. This is also like saying that, like Citizen Kane, they used a camera. This one of those movies--no, wait, "movies"--that is so excremental that you can't even make fun of it. Judging by the age of 90% of the cast, this was someone's film school project. How this got released on DVD is impossible to fathom (no, wait! The producers of it are Brentwood, the same people who made the DVD set! WHAT ARE THE ODDS). And why is this on a science fiction DVD set? (See above note, re Brentwood) They don't have airplanes, they have teleporters! Which you never see and deposit you in a terminal exactly like an airport would have. Well, not exactly like an airport terminal, but a hall in an unused office building overlooking the Sydney Opera House. Constantly overlooking it. I've seen more of that damn Opera House than some actual Australians by watching this shite.
      Other oh-so-sci-fi elements in this crazy alternate world ("Imagine if things were a little different," begins the film. Accent on the "little"): People have tattoos on their face! Some are like tree branches, others like dots, and all are obviously done with Sharpie markers. People dress like they would--in an ALTERNATE REALITY! Or if they went to a rummage sale at Adam Ant's house. And, umm...Oh, yeah, they drink URINE! Which turns up so late in the movie--and, like everything else, means nothing--that's it clear that they just thought it up at the last second.
      Plot? A guy comes through the unseen transporter to the office hallway without a suitcase. He's so mad that his suitcase got lost on "the transport beam" (and totally not the "luggage concourse thing" because that would be so not sci-fi) that the local pickpockets decide they should steal it. But it takes a while. THE END. Yep, there's yer plot. In its entirety.
      The pickpockets always say "Welcome to Sydney!" before they pick said pockets and, due to the budget, outnumber the victims several times over. You'd think that the Sydney Transport Station would have a warning sign that said "Beware lame pickpockets dressed like New Romantics with Magic Marker scribblings on their faces," but no.
      Wait, no, I forgot that there really was a scene showing the transporter in use. It was a 3-second cartoon in the credits. There was also an MS-Paint shot of what I assume was the "jet ferry" mentioned as endlessly as the Opera House was shown, and I should've guessed what this implied: "Bruces and Sheilas! I know a guy from film class who can do a 3-second cartoon, and a roomie who knows MS Paint! We should use them both as surely as one cooks shrimp on the barbie! Now THIS is a knife! Immanuel Kant was a real piss-ant who was very rarely stable, and other colorful Oz expressions! MATE!"
      If only I'd but heeded that warning. There's a scene where, for no reason, a character juggles bowling pins. For no reason except that he can...sorta, kinda, really lamely juggle bowling pins. So they stuck it in the film, no matter how badly he could juggle and how little sense it really made. Later, the same lame does an entire scene standing on his head. Because he can, y'know! Stand on his head! Hey, Mr Performing Monkey Man--can you bite your own head clean off? I'll give ya a Milk Bone if you do!
      "My God, I can't take anymore of this!" was the line of dialogue that made me say "Me too, dawg!" I hit the fast forward button. First it was FFx2. Then it was FFx4. Then it was "Let's see what this baby can do on the open road!" and I floored it to FFx8. Know what was in that guy's suitcase, the thing that caused all this folderol and hubbub? MARBLES! Just marbles. They spilled all over the place, in horrifically artsy slo-mo. They--LOST THEIR MARBLES! WOOO-HOOO!!! Now that's got me some fiiiine filmy-makings!
      Okay, I FF'd through the last 20 minutes. Maybe it then became a masterpiece of Opera Houses and Sharpies and tattooed pickpocketing koalas that hate Quantas. Hey, you go watch it and let me know.
      Me, I want my $1.49 back.

      Cool crazy music CD you can download!

      Worst Album Covers Ever. Well, if you say so. I really don't get what's so wrong with #2 (it's certainly no worse than CHA-CHA-CHA) but #7 will make you scream in terror.


      Apparently, Byron did not destroy the trackball. It works, as long as it's plugged into the USB port and not the serial mouse port. Sure, that makes sense, oblong titanium slat, whatever. Maybe the main Pookie also works again, but that requires switching too many plugs in an uncomfortably small space for me to be motivated to attempt it at the moment.

      "It is thought that the planes have flown on a route from the US over the north pole to bases in Europe and the Mediterranean. The size and scale of the movement suggests that the US may be preparing to strike at a country in the Middle East in the next week to ten days." Let's hope that that's just a rumor. I mean, even HalliBushon wouldn't start a third war without having finished the last two, would they? Sure, that's exactly what was promised in the PNAC manifesto, but it's not like those crazy people have any influence over the White Hearse! Pearle, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld...nope. Never heard of them dudes.

      Worst. Inventions. Ever. I dunno. The titanium bear-proof suit sure looks cool. It runs on a motorcycle engine, can resist shotgun blasts, collisions with pickup trucks, 150-foot falls and attacks by baseball-bat-wielding bikers, and can spray bear repellent at the flick of a switch. No one really knows how it'd fare against bears, however, as they run away when it approaches. But that's as bearproof as you can get!

      Space Geek News: Good ol' Voyager is still amazing science with its discoveries 26 years after launch. And it should keep on working for another 17 years, unless it runs into some catastrophe. Like becoming the villain in a crappy Trek movie.

      CAT TOWN is just plain getting VVEIRD and damn, wish I'd thought of that.


      The Church Sign Generator:

      Oh, wait, that's not a Catholic church, is it?

      I'm so going to Hell except that there isn't one!

      Last night I decided to watch something or other. It was too late to beat--er, treat--myself to another selection off of "Galactica," and I didn't want another gem like Neophytes & Neon lights to bore into my brain (The title was only half right: While there wasn't a single neon light in view during the entire film class project that got an F "movie," there were plenty of neophytes. If you're unfamiliar with the word, it means "utter amateurs" [or, if you watched a lot of Bullwinkle and add the word "swimmer," "A neophyte is a swimmer that's made out of rubber"]). So I dragged out an old VHS tape called "The Odd & The Outrageous," featuring the classic cartoons of the beloved Van Beuren Studio.
      The Van Who? Y'know, they created such immortal characters as Flip the Frog and Tom & Jerry! No, not that Tom & Jerry! The Tom & Jerry who were like Mutt & Jeff, except without discernable personalities. All their characters were like that, devoid of characterization and only the heroes because the cartoons needed someone to carry the plot. Ever see one of those old Warner Brothers' "Buddy" cartoons from the early '30s? They were all like Buddy; tall Buddy, short Buddy, Buddy the Frog named Flip. And Buddy had as much dynamic star appeal as a lump of meat gristle.
      There's nothing "outrageous" on the tape, as they left off the only truly psychotic Van Beuren cartoon, "The Pincushion Man." And...oh, wait. That's Ub Iwerks. He was good. And he's the "Flip the Frog" guy. Okay, forget what I said about Van Beuren making anything good.
      Let's rewind and say, There's nothing "outrageous" on the tape, but there is something Odd. There's an actual chance you may have seen bits of this in the 80s--The King of Cartoons showed a clip on PeeWee's Playhouse, and USA's "Night Flight" ran a chunk of it frequently. It's "Borden Presents The Sunshine Makers." As day breaks, a group of gnomes awaken. They're religious fundamentalists, and they do their ablutions while chanting "ALL HAIL THE SUN!" Using the technology of the most advanced civilization of gnomes on Earth, they bottle the Sun's rays and go about delivering them like milkmen (Why milkmen? "Borden Presents." This 1935 cartoon has a corporate sponsor!). They sing "Sunshine, Sunshine! Lots of good old golden Sunshine! Sunshine, SUNshine! Just the thing to keep you feeling fine!" Why you need a bottle of gold old gooden Sunshine delivered like milk when the Sun's out is because...Moving right along, a guy dressed like an undertaker in a dark trenchcoat shoots an arrow at the Sunshine driver. Possibly he's a music critic. He misses, spearing the Gnome's hat to a tree (and making it look pretty severely like a used condom). He shoots another arrow, misses again, and the Gnome throws a bottle of globs of goody Sunshine at him. It breaks and makes his spine--and only his spine--glow radioactively. The Gloomy Guy, who's the leader of the Bad Guys--let's call him "Sadman" for clarity--runs home to his country. It's a grim, impoverished place. It looks like it's been suffering under UN sanctions for over a decade. The people there all look like Sadman, just like all the Gnomes look the same. They drudge about and sing this song from the cartoon. "We're happy when we're sad!" This is the world's first appearance of Goth culture.
       They prepare for war against the Gnomes, arming themselves with bug sprayers of the Flit gun variety, filled with Gloom Gas.
      The leader of the Gnomes has a perpetual smirk combined with a blank expression. He says, "Sadman has proven that he has Weapons of Mass Depression! He has Gloom Gassed his own people! We cannot wait for the final proof--the smoking Flit gun--to take the shape of a musty Gloom cloud! He has a thousand liters and 3 cups of Sadthrax, and is reconstipating his Atomic Glum project! We must make Gnomerica safe from terrism! We are Good, and they are Evil! They hate us because they hate the Sun!"
      Acting unilaterally, the Gnomes attack first. They use a hollowed out tree trunk to fire bottles of Sunshine, good old deadly Sunshine, in a massive bombardment against the near-defensless Sadman loyalists. The shells fall in the trenches, hitting evildoers in the face, and hitting every house in their capitol city, WeLikeToFeelBad,Dad. Then a fleet of Stealth Dragonflies drops bottles on them, carpet bombing every village.
      And you know what? THEY LOVE IT! They welcome the Gnomes invading army with literal open arms! They throw flower petals at them! There's so much dancing in the streets that you'd think that the paving job was done by Saint Vitus!
      (Note: Only the obvious bits are the ones I'm adding, the rest is true; they really do throw flowers, get carpet bombed, etc)
      There are some remnants of Sadman's regime who hold out. They must be bath-ists, because a bath is what they get! Actually, it's a lot more like a Baptist full-body baptism in a central fountain. When they still resist, they literally

      get Gnomerican ideals forced down their throats. But it goes down easy as pie, and the liberated people sing "And now the World looks bright and fair, Because there's Sunshine everywhere!" And you can tell that the Evil Ones have changed from the inside, as the "Sunshine" glows in their abdomens like depleted uranium, showing their spines, ribs and pelvises like in an X-ray.
      It was a CAKEWALK! And just like how the invasion turned the evildoers into happy productive citizens in an instant, the country of Gloomistan became a beacon of free-market capitalism that transformed the neighboring countries of Ogresville and EatBabiesLand into Democracies, POOF! just like magic!! And they all lived happily ever after!

      Of course, this is a cartoon aimed at very young children. How many adults could possibly be so infantile and gullible not to recognize an impossible cartoon fantasy when they see one?

      Side Note: HalliBorden reaped huge profits from the reconstruction when they resold Sunshine at double their cost!


      I don't know how many of you took Microsoft Reader up on its promise of free ebooks, but it runs "through November." Time's runnin' out.
      This week's offerings include Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woods, about his trek along the entire 2,169 miles of the Appalachian Trail. It's on a subject close to my heart, so maybe I'm biased. But if you're a fan of the Scalzi/Lileks style of writing, it's worth the download. Umm, okay, it's free, so it's worth more than that.
      I've fantasized about hiking the Appalachian, even if the greatest distance I've ever hiked is 12 miles round trip. I've also fantasized about having sex with Betty and Veronica and Sabrina the Teenaged Witch, and either one of those daydreams is just as likely to happen as the other. My big adventure of the day was finding an MP3 online of a song that I wanted to hear, without digging through my 3000 vinyls LPs to find it. Everybody look at your hands.


      Update? Sorry, I was asleep.
      I woke up yesterday with a gargling-razor-blades sore throat, so I gulped some echanaceia and went back to bed. Over the course of 36 hours, I was asleep maybe 28. I never saw daylight. It's funny; I sleep 3 hours late on a day off, and I've feel that I've wasted a day. Sleep for more than a day, and I feel like I've accomplished something.

      I really didn't have anything to report anyway. My big news for Saturday was getting caught in a traffic jam. Note to highway department: Don't schedule roadwork the same day that there's a UConn football game further up the same road. See? Was that worth me posting? No, and I just did anyway.
      That morning Killsy awoke me by making a loud meow, short in duration but eager in urgency. That's not her "Food bowl's empty!" cry I thought ("rar-RAIRR!!"), and I went back to sleep. A wee bit later the alarm went off, and I found out when what she was warning me about. Byron had found a new version of his favorite toy, the Zip-Loc bag, one that was filled with trail mix. Accent on "was." There were banana chips and raisins everywhere. I don't know how he got it open; either through relentless battering or use of those thumbs of his. "You know, I described you to the people at work," I sighed to him, "And they asked if you were Satan."

      I tried watching my tape of Ebert when I finally removed myself from bed for the second time. The station must've changed the time, as I ended up with "Wheel of Fortune" instead. So I waited for another station to show it late at night. I killed time by watching something called : "Maximum EXposure," a show clearly directed at people with "Calvin peeing" stickers on their vehicles. This particular episode was about Shit Blowing Up. It was utterly empathy-free; a fire in a fireworks warehouse that levels 60 houses is "totally AWESOME!" The utter lack of causalty statistics made we wonder if some of the video footage included deaths. TUBULAR! TO THE MAX X! Interesting, too, was that if something bad happened to an American, that meant he was stupid. If it happened to a foreigner, it meant that the whole country was stupid. Canadians eat "penguin patties"! Because it's so cold and they're in Antartica! One short clip involving a Russian car being blown up used thepp word " craPP Y" 3 times and By9ron, could you PLEASE stop smacki=ng the damn /keyboard
      99999999Okay, with that, he's gone to attack stuff on the floor. I figured out the whole thing last week when he kept shutting the power off, even if I threw him the bedroom for a time-out for doing just that: He thinks we're playing. If I ignore him or walk away, he finds another game.

      Today I got up bright and early (just in time for the noon news). Checked online and gourddamnit, Bob's has all sneakers on sale again. So I made my third attempt to buy Converse hightops. Failure! Went to the SalvArmy near the old Dumpstore to see if they had anything interesting, They had a mug in the "Kiss Me, I'm Irish" vein, except it more accurately said "Kiss Me, I'm Desperate." They had a cookie jar shaped like a frog, licking its lips while holding a happy bug labeled "COOKIES." Mr Bug will be less happy when he discovers who the cookie is when Froggie goes a-chowing. And they had a years-old, used, "Sold As Is" scanner for $90. The Salvation Armymen need to check what new scanners go for these days.
      Although it was only a half-mile drive, I fastened my seat belts. There's a lot of cop cars around the DumpStore. Sure enough, there was one slowly cruising the parking lot of BIG!Lots. As I was walking in, the manager said to 2 employees, "Get inside! The cops are driving around here, and I don't want them to see you!" 'Kay, that told me more about Jerry Van Dyke's hiring practices than I needed to know. Employees were still discussing the cops as I shopped.
      Did you know that there's such a thing as "EXTREME pudding"? Now you do! There was Hulk pudding and Barbie pudding and they were EXTREME! becasue one was green and the other pink! WHOAH, life doesn't get more EXTREME! than food coloring!!
      I actually, finally bought something, some cranberry juice and Hershey's Chocloate Drink (not Milk, Drink) and a Homie from the vending machine. They now have a Homie line called "The Palermos," cute little Mafiosos. The Sopranos for children. What a world, what a world!

      The Wing-Nut Dictionary, defining the right-wing bloggers abuse of argument. Some of these are pretty funny, but to get all of them requires more knowledge of the Blogosphere than I have.
      The latest ridiculous hair-splitting from the Wrong Wing involves whether or not Bush said that Iraq was an "imminent threat." Apparently, the point is moot because he never used that exact phrase. Sure, we couldn't give the UN inspectors any more time to search for WMD because we "can't wait for the final proof--the smoking gun--to come in the form of a mushroom cloud." That doesn't sound like he was implying the threat was imminent, now does it? So, if they "never said exactly" that the threat was imminent, that they knew where the WMDs were, that post-war we'd be greeted as liberators--then what the fuck we'd go to war for? When did BushCo say that the threat was minimal, there were no WMDs, and the reconstruction would be a nightmare? When it becomes obvious that Iraq will never be a democracy (please--name one Middle Eastern Arab democracy. "President for Life" doesn't mean it's a democracy), they'll start denying that they ever said we invaded to set up a democracy.
      And when did they say that the big reason we were going to war was to reopen schools? Schools, by the way, that almost all stayed open during the war, and schools that Iraqi parents now refuse to send their children to, given the chaos and violence? Why is it an example of how "great" we're doing when we crow about how things are "almost back to the pre-war level"? So...where would things be if there'd BEEN no war? Shitty. Wow, we've almost got things as good as they were after a devastating first war and 12 years of sanctions! Iraq is TOTALLY AWESOME TO THE MAX X!


      Billmon on Jessica Lynch and the backlash from the NeoTards who initially made her their star but now savage her: "Having a pretty blonde soldier (GI Barbie) to dress up as a war hero is one thing. But having a talking Barbie, and one that doesn't just repeat the little catch phrases burned onto her chip, is another."

       Speaking of chips, Chipping Away at Your Privacy

     Yesterday I wanted to watch another bad DVD from that Galactica set, but there was a delay when the quirky local college station began playing 4 hours of music dedicated to a certain small domesticated animal. One both affectionate and aloof, playful and lazy, infuriating and endearing. After a while, another bit of music was added to the chorus: "mmmmm? mmmmm?" It was Byron, curled up at the foot of the back door, making one of his strange not-cat noises. I thought, Where'd he learn that particular contented snore? before I realized that I make a similiar sound when little cats awaken me in bed.
       Tonight he made his nearest-to-a-meow sound yet from the bathroom. No idea what he meant by it, though. While his sounds have moved away from the ferret noises he made was he was a kitten (who played with ferrets), they still sound more like the calls of some insane bird than that of an actual cat. High-pitched squeaks and squeals usually. He's also invented his very own sounds for exactly one emotion--It's either an awful wheezing noise that sounds like an asthmatic who worked a day in a coal mine, or a low, chesty urf! urf! They mean, "I'm not quite estactic enough to purr, but I'm pretty close!" The wheeze generally preceeds the purr, the urf! generally follows.
       Urf! is close to ARF! and a doglike cat Byron often is. Not just in his insistence on sleeping with me (and throwing Kill Kill out of the bed!), but in his uncatly obsession with food. Fortunately, I've got him out of the habit of attempting to grab some chow by actually jumping in an oven set at 500 degrees. Today we had turkey breast, a favorite food of the whole household. Killsy wandered away when it was put in the oven, confident that she'd get some when it was done. Mr Man just perched himself in front of the oven door and stared, stared, because you never know when that dead luscious turkey might kick the door down and make a run for it.
       Seriously, dude's gotta have a stomach the size of my thumb and he still couldn't get enough turkey. He tried grabbing some more when I left it on top of the oven. He can't jump up there yet (thank GOURD), so instead he climbs up the kitty condo, leaps to the shelves by the window, climbs over the radio/tape player shaped like a jukebox, straddles the edge of the recycle bin (only by virtue of the extra toes), climbs over the toaster he's knocked over, pushes his way through the dish rack, straddles the edge of the sink, knocks over anything inbetween the dish rack and the oven, walks onto the oven, then gets grabbed by me at the apex of his journey and gently placed on the floor. At which point he climbs up the kitty condo...
       Cats remember their kittenhoods for a long, long time. Kill Kill still, when the food bowl is filled when it's empty (and only when it's empty) will grab a mouthful of food, run 6 feet, drop the food and eat it, then go back to the bowl and eat. No doubt that when her litter was weaned, she, being a small cat, was forced away from the communal food bowl by her bigger sibs. Being also a very fast and smart cat, she learned some commando tactics to guarantee that she got at least some food right away.
       Byron was found, alone and abandoned, at the age of about 18 days. No one knows how long he was alone, but at that age he would be hungry constantly. And without teeth. If he found any sustenance in the scary world, he couldn't eat it. Maybe he found some dirty water and desperately licked it up. But since his rescue, he's eaten like a starving man, sometimes eating until he falls asleep in his food. When he drinks, he inhales the water as if it was his only hope. The first 10 weeks or so he was here, when he awoke he'd shoot bolt upright and look around in fear. After a few seconds, you could see the tension leaving his body, and he'd start to purr. I learned to awaken him gently, nuzzling him and making purring sounds. He'd awoken in some scary places, and he needed to remember that this was the Safe Place.
       I wonder if all those Byron-only noises of happiness come from some little realization that he's got food and water and warmth and safety and a big sister and a replacement mommy and damn this is a good life for a little grey kitten! Maybe I'm anthropomorphising. Or maybe he just remembers what his life could've been. Cold, hungry, alone.

       Sirens are screaming beyond the walls of Splutopia right now; must be a fire somewhere. Or--THE APOCALYPSE! I sure hope it's not a big a disaster as the movie I watched last night, Warriors of the Wasteland. It looked to be the best the least worst of the Galactica budget 10 DVD set. Certainly couldn't suck as much as Neophytes & Neon Lights. It's one of those crappy early-80s ripoffs of the Mad Max series, as you might guess from the title ("warrior of the wasteland" is a line of dialogue in The Road Warrior). Got a cute robot? Put it in a sci-fi film and you've got Star Wars! Got a man-eating sea bass? Put it in a horror film and you've got Jaws! Got a bunch of cars and a desert? You've got The Road Warrior! Got a good screenplay, a competent director, actual actors? NAH. What would they add to it? The reason the movie was a hit was the sea bass!!
       I consider The Road Warrior to be the best action movie of all time, but I will grant that the basic premise is ludicrous: After the Apocalypse, there's no way it'd be harder to keep a few guns working than it would a fleet of cars. And one Uzi would end the movie in a minute. Yeah, there's a last outpost pumping gas that they're all fighting over. But just over the horizon, is there a last outpost making transmission fluid, and another just past that making brake linings? But I'll accept that bit of suspension of disbelief for a great movie. Hell, any movie involving spaceships going to other solar systems involves the contravening of the known laws of physics, and I'll grant that, too.
       Unless the movie sucks.
       Apparently, after "the nuclear holocaust of 2019," there wasn't just a brake lining factory still running. There were also functional lipstick and eyeliner factories, and a huge percentage of the survivors were hairdressers. Well, this is post-Armageddon Italy, so I suppose that they might be the more fashionably accoutre'ed amongst the devastated. What, is that a Versace water decontamination kit you're carrying?! That is so 2018! It's Gucci for Geiger counters now!
       Of course, "all the actors" are NOT Italian. They all have American names, including "Thomas Moore"! He really IS a "Man for all Seasons"--including nuclear winter!! (Dammit, that'd be Thomas More! Way to ruin my lame and obscure pun, WotW!)
       The Apocalypse itself is a missile--actually, a very Atari 2600 Missile Command-looking missile--falling behind a Godzilla HO-scale city model. It EXPLODES! to the MAX X!! by making dry ice fog slowly creep along the fake skyline. The filmmakers show us every second. They are proud of this astonishing effect. They probably also proudly tell their friends how they remembered to wipe this morning with the toilet paper on the "up" side of their palms.
       The first real scene makes me believe that this was thrown together when the "crappy Italian copies of Star Wars" movies market ended. We get shots of skeleton-filled space suits, and the first one has 2 big transparent globes on its chest. Why space suits? Why big transparent globes where breasts would be? Indeed, why "guns" that shoot sparks and make tweee! sounds when fired, like lame versions of Han Solo's blaster? Why are the cars "solar-powered" but really look like goofy tricked-out golf carts? (well, besides the fact that they are goofy golf carts, I mean. In one scene, they line up "menacingly," with a driver and a pair of baddies leaning on it from opposite sides. It laughably obvious that only one person could fit in the Shriner Doom Car, and that the other 2 are leaning because if either one let go, the whole little clown car would fall over) Because they're leftover props from other movies, is why. And why would a space suit have big transparent globes where the boobies go? ITALIAN schlock movie, people. Italian.
       Yes, okay, it's the "far-off distant future world of--2019!!" Bleah. Bleah, I say to thee, BLEAH! Don't forget, a much more believable movie was set in the year 2017, and do you expect flying cars and replicants in 14 years, Rick Deckard? Every time a movie gives me the actual year in which the action's supposed to be taking place, I mentally deduct it from the year I'm seeing it. Thus, 2019! becomes 2003-16=1987. Yeah, back in '87, I was selling Care Bears for Kay B-Evil Toys and really assuming that by now I'd be so driving a solar-powered car with optional cannon and buzzsaws.
       Yes, wait, they're not just golf carts! It's like James Bond and Inspector Gadget designed a whole automotive line. They have cannons (that shoot sparking shells), machine guns (that shoot sparking bullets), extendable rotary saw blades on pivoting arms, and guns that shoot some kind of acid that the bad guys use repeatedly to burn holes in their extendable rotary saw blades on pivoting arms. And they shoot them for no reason, implying that there's a whole industry making sparky-shoot-guns-ammo AND replacement roatary saw blades. With such a booming economic base, why is there any fighting?
       Because the evil Templars have decided that the human race proved that it was evil with the nuclear fog-war and that means that everyone should die so they're killing everyone. One would assume that this agenda would mean that "Charity begins at home" and they'd kill THEMSELVES at some point, but they really don't seem to want to die at any point in the movie. It's like al Qaeda as chickenhawks. "Humanity is BAD because they killed humanity so we're going to kill humanity to prove that humanity's BAD because...Umm, guys? Our philosophy really doesn't hold up real good. Y'know, if I ate nothing but cheeseburgers, that'd kill me eventually anyway. So why don't we just make cheeseburgers for everybody? It's less than work than driving around in these damn golf carts! And less embarassing! And, Hell, doing ANYthing leaves you dead eventually! Hey, Templars! I'm starting a new crazy religion called, uh, Kelly Temp-lars! We'll only kill humanity a few hours a week! Who's with me? There's cheeseburgers!"
       Wait, I didn't describe the hero Scorpion's "futuristic" car: It's like Mad Max's V8 Interceptor, except that it has big shiny metal cheap hoses. They come from the engine, then go right back into the body of the car. Y'know, just like the exhaust pipes or brakelines on your car. It's safer to have major internal components on the outside of your car, so long as they go back in! And there's a spoiler that sticks straight up, which would kinda defeat the purpose of a spoiler (maybe they're the "solar power" panels). And a damn big dome on the top, looking exactly like the top of George Jetson's car. Except...umm, it's on the roof. It would only have a function if you regularly felt the need to stand up inside your car while driving it, an urge that's yet to strike my fancy. And it glows green like a big fishbowl when you drive it at night! (Wait...when you drive your...solar-powered car...at night?! BILL! Stop thinking about movie! That way lies madness!)
       Of course, at one point Our Hero Scorpion (named that because his ass stings or something) jumps out of his armored and armed supercar to chase the villains on foot. This is because he's too fucking retarded to get a job bagging groceries, and so a bad guy can chase him with his extendable rotary saw blades on pivoting arms and I've just hit the Guinness WORLD RECORD for the most times that the phrase "extendable rotary saw blades on pivoting arms" has been used, and of course it's this scene that goes on so, so so long that even the tiniest child in the audience says, "Mommy, if the bad mans weally wanted to kills the nice mans, couldn't he just drive faster than THWEE MILES PER HOUR?"
       Oh ho, but the tiniest tot is too beguiled to notice! Their brains are addled by the Star Wars Rip-Off Cute Robot Effect, as they decide to throw in a kid character! Inspired by the Feral Kid in Road Warrior, they put in a little boy who's not only a deadly fighter (using a slingshot rather than Feral Kid's steel boomerang), but he actually is a MASTER MECHANIC and a better driver than Our Hero Scorpion! And, hmm, also apparently 4 feet taller when driving the car. The kid is SIX and is a master mechanic. YEP. Oh, and to make him more appealing, they don't dub his dialogue, but have him speak in English. Except Kid speaks Italian. So he does a "Pink Lady & Jeff" and phonetically speaks English in an accent that makes-a him sound-a likes he gots the mouths full-a tha spaghetts!
       The movie has XTREME TO THE MAX VIOLENCE! To dummies. No, not the actors, literal dummies. I'm sorry, but when your first taste of the old ultra-violence is a decapitation of Resusca-Annie and I'm in hysterics...Don't keep doing it. "People" explode or are smashed or whatever, and it is so, SO fake--and yet, shown in slo-mo...! If these were brief glances of dummies, brief enough that they didn't get a chance to really register as dummies, then it might work. But in slo-mo?! "That dummy cost 5,000 lire, and I want to see every centisimi on the screen!"
       Eventually, an American named actor who is American turns up! Well, American, but not an actor. It's Fred "I put the Draggin' in Enter The Dragon!" Williamson. You'd think that he was Italian and Pink Ladying it too, but that's just Fred and his inability to put the right stress on the right words. He's got a *magic* *bow* just like Hawkeye or Green Arrow from really dumb comic books. Apparently there's also an exploding arrowhead factory still running somewhere. Oh, and his character's named...wait for it!...Nadir. Well, ya nailed that one, guys.
       Y'okay, this was one of those movies that instantly deleted itself from my memory as soon as it was over. As I recall, the bad guys lost. Coupla lines that stuck in my head:

       When the movie does finally end and the Hot Babe with lots of post-Apocalyptic Italian makeup smiles at Scorpion, he immediately reaches out and takes the hand...of the grubby little mush-mouthed 6-year-old mechanic boy. In the distant year of 2019! apparently there's an Italian version of NAMBLA.
       With friends and canapes and festive bubbly drinks, this movie would be fun playing in the background. My current rating of the Galactica set, with each movie costing me $1.49: 1 great, 1 awful, 1 amusingly bad. Overall, $3.50 out of $4.99.
       Seven more to go. And I don't expect the next $10.43 to get any better.


      Hey, a funny thing happened to me today!
      No, wait--Didn't.
      Luckily, we have some guest hosts to step up and do the heavy lifting.
      Starchaser supplies today's mandatory Amusing Link!
      Pamela R supplies today's mandatory Bush Sucks link!


      I grabbed a Smirnoff Ice Triple Black at work. That's one of those "malternative beverages," as we call them in the liquor biz. It tastes like a vodka & tonic, not sickly sweet like a Mike's Hard Lemonade. I wondered what it would taste like if you used it in place of the second ingredient in a Tanqueray & Tonic.
      It tastes like wheee!
      In other news, expect typos from here on in. wheeeee!

      This morning, the impossible happened.
      I'd left my half-gallon jug of water in the (not-so-freezing) freezer last night, and when I went to fill the kids' water dish this morning, I'd found that it'd frozen. So I cleared out a lower shelf by removing a near-empty Saranac beer 12-pack. I put the box on...one of the other many cat-friendly boxes on the kitchen floor. Kitties, they love them thar boxies, and they keep them from clawing other things.
      While I was in the shower, Killsy knocked the box down, spilling all the water from the bowl. So I filled it again, then gave them their beloved breakfasts of Friskies Wet.
      Kays slurped happily at her Turkey & Gravy, but Byron protested. There was water in the booowl! The booowl! he cried. So I poured it out into the sink. He still wouldn't eat the food, whining and pacing. "What? You won't eat your wet food--because it's wet?!" I cried, "A few days ago you ate BAKED BEANS!" He still refused to eat any of it. Kill Kill gladly pushed him away and gobbled it down herself.
      When I got home, we had a cocktail shrimp ring. It must've been made on a Friday afternoon, as the shrimp had many a black line up their backs (that's the alimentary canal, and don't eat it unless you like shrimp shit). I cleaned the messy ones and fed chunks to the kids. Byron saved his last piece and batted it around the floor as a toy for 20 minutes. Eventually I brought the last of the shrimp from the fridge and he wanted some. Kill Kill wandered in and ate his shrimpy plaything (EWW! It must've been all cat-hairy by this point!). Then Byron looked for his hairy old piece of icky prawn, and was upset when he didn't find it. Well...You could've eaten it in the first place, Junior.
      The impossible has happened. The little grey guy who eats Pringles and beans and corn is now a finicky eater. Betcha that lil' boy don't even wants him a bite of this here roadkill possum I done found for him down by the ole scrapyard!!

      SHAWT: A woman grabbed a bottle of Walnut Crest chardonnay with a mail-in rebate tag on it that read "Save $10 off a 6 bottle case purchase." She expected us to give her $10 off when she bought it. Off her one bottle that costs $8.99. "Here's your free bottle of wine and a free dollar!" That business model is why most dot-coms went bust a few years back.

      Book of the Dumb for only $7.77!! That's the Pricepoint of the Bookseller Who Lives Next Door to the Beast, but I'm getting mine anyway!

      Both sad and uplifting, Blogumentary has an interview about Space Waitress' dark moment of the soul.


      Day Two of the Windstorm. Gusts of 45MPH are one thing; sustained winds of 25-35 are another. I've had my 2 feet of ponytail thrown in my face before, but today was the first time that it not only also got in my mouth, but between my teeth.
      And it felt exactly as good as how you'd imagine flossing with your head would feel.

      Overheard SHAWT, related to the high winds:

      So why exactly is Dumbya going to the UK, where he's about as popular as head lice? "One Republican source, close to the White House, has a theory as to why the Queen is such an important catch for the image makers. 'Look, Americans don't know shit. They're not going to recognise the prime minister of the Philippines. The only foreign leaders they could pick out are the Queen of England and the Pope - and we've already got those pictures.' With the Pontiff in the can, the Queen is the co-star the president needs." And like the Pope and the Queen, he wasn't elected by the people either. We won't find out until next year whether he, too, expects to serve for life....


      I can't imagine that anyone who visits here doesn't visit there after all this time (and incestuous linking), but this is really fun: Let Them Sing it For You. You type in text and it plays it back with snippets from songs. It doesn't have an extensive vocabulary yet. I couldn't even get "My name is Bill Young" out of it, as "Bill" is too rare a word for it. And Plan 9's classic line, "All you of Earth are stupid minds! You're stupid, STUPID!" didn't work, as it didn't recognize "Earth" or even "You're" (although "your" works). You can get it to pause a beat with a comma, however.
      I ran as many words as possible together, although I don't know what the upper limit is. If you want a quick demo of how it sounds, cut&paste this into the box:

      It's interesting how your brain (or at least mine) really can't logically follow a long series of random lyrics-wth-music like that without having the words right in front of you (or at least me). The lack of flow is really disjointing.
      But I dare you to come up with "lyrics" that end better than the coda of "before." If you come up with any fun ones, send them to me. The longer or more ridiculous, the better!

      HIM: You got any job applications?
      T: (looks) No, we're out. Try back next week.
      HIM: Y'all get an employee discount here?
      (pause as we wonder why this is the first question asked about working in a liquor store)
      T: Umm, yes.
      HIM: How old y'all gotta be to work here?
      T: 18.
      HIM: DAMN!! I'm only 17!
      Sorry, dude, the "employee discount" doesn't apply to minors. Why don't you go to CVS and ask about the discount on OxyContin.


      Endoscopy tomorrow. I'll prly be too drugged to post then. If several days pass and I still haven't posted, check here.

      Fun Facts About Uzbekistan!

      Like Puke, Albania, add this to my list of places where I'm glad I don't live.

      Ashcroft's ongoing war on Free Speech: He's using an obscure law that hasn't been enforced since 1890 to go after a Greenpeace anti-logging protest.

      Back in my Kay Bee Toys days, we had a customer who was famous for buying a bunch of stuff every week, then come back the next week to buy more--and return half of what she'd bought the week before. She got the nickname "Jesus Smurf" when she returned a cheap-ass Smurf-themed baby monitor. She claimed that she heard gospel music on it. Yeah, G*d's talking to Junior through a Smurf, 'kay.
      Turns out she was right. The monitor used an AM radio frequency that was close to one that a Christian radio station used, and if the atmospheric conditions were right, it'd pick it up. Good thing that this was in the days before AM talk radio. Gospel music is one thing, but Rush Dimbulb?
      Okay, this is from World Nut Daily, so grain of salt, but Wal-Mart is selling subliminal brain-washing soothing sounds for baby machines. These Chinese-made junkers make a clicking noise that says "I HATE YOU" according to some dumbos.

      Yeah, that's the best way to get back at us! For whatever they're getting back at us for. Keeping their dictatorship afloat with billions of dollars by being their biggest importer, they hate that!
      We all know that tiny babies, when you whisper "grow up to be a millionaire" in their ears, always grow up to be millionaires. That's clearly logical. And babies that hear "I hate you!" coming from their baby soothers grow up to think "SCREW BEAGLES!" and then these kids would have sex with beagles, and a degenerate race of half-human, half-dog monsters would overwhelm America with their floppy ears and chew toys. Meanwhile, the Chinese baby soothers in China would whisper "I HATE FLOPPY EARS!" and their babies would grow up to be monster-mongrel haters and we'd have no choice but to turn to their Elite Dog-Man Killer Swarms of Martial Arts Ninjas to wipe out the Beagle Boys, and then where would we be? Up to our armpits in Chinese Ninjas and banjos! (The banjos are too complicated to explain right now, but believe me, I thought it through very logically after pondering the various ramifications of dog-man killing ninjas and squirting 3 cans of Scotch Guard up my nose) With America now under the control of China and their baby placaters, we'd have only one place to turn.
      YES, the Moon People! Infamous loathers of chow mein and banjos, they'd send down their vast armies of dog-man-killing-ninja killers, which they just happened to have laying around in their Moon garages next to the big stack of Moon newspapers they keep meaning to recycle. And what would happen next? There'd be damn Moon dust everywhere! And where could we turn NOW? To the world's biggest manufacturer of vacuums, David Oreck! His Oreck XL only weighs 8 pounds, and we'd get a free handheld vacuum with every one! Could we turn down such a deal? No, and what would happen next? Well, DUH, we'd all turn on the vacuums at once and suck all the air from our lungs! And WHERE could we turn now? Nowhere but CANADA, where they make all the air! They'd make us pay for their delicious if vaguely pine-scented air through our noses--figuratively AND literally--and what do Canadians always want in payment?
      BANJOS! But there's no banjos left! (see above, "Moon People, Banjos, Hatred of") So all of America would be herded into great banjo-making internment camps, leaving our infrastructure and mousetrap factories to wither and die like fruit on the vine. And now, HELLO, armpits, mice, up to in! As all our fruit has withered, what will the mice eat?
      CLAMS! A mutant aquatic race of mice evolves as quickly as Earl Scruggs can pick his banjo, and all our house cats would evolve into hose cats, which are 50% cat and 49% Oreck XLs, sucking up the mice from the sea while using their scuba tanks (the remaining 1%). Now, it's obvious what happens next. Must I spell it out for you? Well, Dr Einstein Brain, the oceans are gone and turned into cat pee! Where would they go when they had to wee? The closest thing that they could find to a litter box, the deserts! Oh, the famous Arizona Painted Desert is painted now, all right! If SEA-PEE is a color! We're now forced to abandon the banjo factories and scoop the fucking western states! And where could we possibly find 300 million litter scoops?
      They've got it alllll figured out.


      I gave myself a "Get Out of Posting Free" card yesterday, but I'll save it for another day.
      Endoscopy? No big deal, no cool stories. The hospital called me Friday, which was a good and bad thing. Bad, as I just rolled back to sleep, assuming that it was the usual confirmation-of-appointment call. It turned out that I was supposed to call them for "pre-registration." They were only doing this because I'd changed insurance companies. And good that they did, as the dope who scheduled me called Manchester Hospital, when I told them I wanted Rockville Hospital.
      As stated, this was no big deal. I got to hear a lot of the Lite Favorites station, first in my sister Pat's van, later my mother's car and inbetween in the hopsital itself. I supposed if you're going to be listening to calming blandness, a hospital is a good place. I wouldn't want anybody inserting an IV drip into my wrist while the Ramones blitzkrieg bopped in the background. (On the other hand [which would be the one without the IV], did I need James Taylor crooning "Just yesterday morning, they let me know you were gone...The plans they made put an end to you"? Good thing my name isn't Suzanne, or that might've been mildly creepy)
      The Room of Endoscoping was playing the Beatles. I'd've preferred Eno or the Cocteau Twins, but not a bad choice. Since "Get Back" was followed by "Let It Be," I assume that it was that #1 hits collection. An hour earlier, and it would've been "Help!" followed by the ever-depressing "Yesterday."
      The doc stuck the anaesthesia into the drip. "This might burn." It tingled a mite. "You may feel dizzy, and the room might seem to spin." "Huh, yeah, it is. I can't seem to keep my eyes focused on any one spot." And then it was 90 minutes later in a different part of the hospital. No segue, no "I feel slee-ee-py," not even going to sleep, just a switch being toggled off and immediately back on.
      OF COURSE they didn't find the more recent theory as to what Young's Syndrome was, polyps in my sternum. I really didn't expect this to be any more fruitful than any of the other crap I've gone through since April. I twice referred to the endoscopy as "the latest straw we're grasping at." I get the final results on Thursday, and I'll bet that as successful at finding out what's wrong as David Kay's been in finding WMDs in Iraq. (Hmm, maybe that's what it is--After the fall of Baghdad, Saddam fled Iraq and has been hiding under my esophagus! No wonder I vomit, he never trimmed that bushy 'stache!)

      And, as if anyone cares, here's the fourth installment in my reviews of the Galactica 10-DVD set. The criteria for a positive review is: Was this movie worth the $1.49 it cost me to buy it? I'm trying to watch them in the order of what looks to be the least painful to what I'm sure is very painful. Killers from Space will be the last one, as I've already tried slogging through that stinkbomb once in my life.
      The Day Time Ended was last night's feature. There wasn't a single sucky actor in it (this is praise of the highest order after Neophytes). I'm not saying that they're great actors, of course. But the little girl who's the main protagonist was quite natural and unaffected in her role. Another actor was one of Robert Mitchum's sons, who looked just enough like his old man to make you realize that Mitchum had that Bogart-like "handsome in an ugly way" look, and his progeny just had the "ugly." Something about his head kept making me think of a small, wide jack'o'lantern.
      The plot? An extended family moves into their new home in the California desert the same day that "the radiation from a trinary supernova that happened 200 years ago" finally hits Earth. Weird stuff happens. A glowing pyramid appears in front of Jenny, the little girl, then shrinks to a handy pocket size. Lights turn on and glow green inside the house and the faucets turn themselves on, then turn themselves off when Jenny's done washing. She takes it in stride--"Thanks, lights! Thanks, water!" Later she goes to the bathroom offscreen, and I was disappointed that they didn't continue the joke by having her say, "Thanks, Mr Toilet!" after we hear flushing.
      A tiny stop-motion green alien dude appears at her bedside, squeaking and making "Come here!" gestures. She follows, thinking that they're going to play, but a thing that looks like a flying toaster oven crossed with a lawnmower menaces her. The green alien disappears and tries to get her grandparents to help. Grampa tries taking down the machine with his gun, but the thingamajig extends metal arms, stops the bullet in mid-air, and disintegrates it.
      This movie was released in 1979, and for the paltry budget and its time period, it just doesn't just have special effects that are of good quality, but it has them in astonishing quantity. There's at least 3 different types of spaceships flying around using different styles of effects. Sure, a lot of them are simple mattes or Claymation, but in 1979 the theaters were overflowing with shit Star Wars ripoffs that came from major studios and had crappier effects, and far less of them.
      But that turned out to be the whole of it--special effects. When a giant stop-motion monster appears out of nowhere and is instantly killed by a different stop-motion monster from nowhere, I really started to wonder how they were going to explain all these strange plot elements. Then I wondered, "Is this some feature-length version of an FX demo reel?" And it was. There's lots of cool looking effects (for 1979), but they don't make any attempt to explain any of this shit. They created the effects, then looked for a way to connect them. This is why I don't watch the newer James Bond movies. They're just random stunts linked together by a plot that exists only to link the stunts.
      Was I bored? Not for one second. Low expectations can do that. I got my $1.49 from it--heck, I got at least $1.53!


      "I'll bet I regret doing this," I thought. But I did it anyway. I threw toys for Byron to chase.
      Why would I regret it? Because I knew he'd love chasing flying mice and whatnots, and I'd be throwing them and then picking them up again to throw again. Kill Kill made me do this for years. Know how many toy mice, fliers, shooters, milk cap rings, foil balls and bottle caps we have here? Well, me neither. Can't count that high. At least when half of them are under something somewhere someplace anyway.
      I knew he'd like thrown toys. He gets so very focused on playing that if I reach down and pet him, he jumps. Kill Kill is his opposite, as she generally is. She's focused, but focused on everything. When I'd get out of bed in the night, she'd be right there to see what I was doing. Even though I always have an old TV set tuned to static at night, to drown out any traffic noises. She'd still know I was up, no matter how softly I tred on the carpet.
      She's always right at the door purring when I get home. At first I thought that this was because she heard the garage door opening 3 stories down. But I'd see her hanging out in the front window as I drove up the hill, and see her jump down to run to the door as I did. From the third story and a hundred feet or more away, on a driveway that sees a hundred cars a day drive by. "She must know my car by sight," I guessed. Then I had 2 new neighbors in our same unit, using the same garages, and they both had the same car as me. One was not only the same make and model and year, but the same color. Yet she always jumped from the window when I came up the driveway.
      It finally hit me. More accurately, I finally asked the most obvious question: And what's a cat's most powerful sense? Hearing. It's so important to them that a deaf cat is like a blind human. Kill Kill was picking out a sound that my car made, a sound that my crappy human ears couldn't pick out. Maybe it's the engine. Maybe it's that radio antenna that wobbles boi-oing every time it's in motion. I don't know. I'm not a cat.
      In contrast, Byron is almost always asleep when I get home. Sometimes he's asleep and I can't find him. I used to get worried when this would happen, and get more worried when I'd walk around yelling "BYRON!" while clapping my hands, and he still wouldn't appear. I learned that he'd eventually turn up. He's a very sound sleeper.
      Today I was throwing toys for him for the first time, and Kill Kill came into the room and jumped on a handy kitty box to watch (not a litter box, but one of many cardboard liquor boxes strewn about the floor for cat exercise and scratching). I collected up a pile of Kay's old mice and such in her wicker basket for mice and such, and Byron ran about very excited. He made some excellent catches far in the air. Killsy seemed jealous, so I threw a few her way. Then I began to notice something.
      Her eyes followed every toy. He did too, but there was something...odd. He was following his eyes, and only his eyes. I started experimenting how I threw things, where I threw things. Stopping sometimes and waving a hand while scratching at the side of the desk where he couldn't see. Kill Kill always looked where the action was. He didn't.
      Byron settled down on the floor, tired from all the play. His eyes were still slits, in that cat not-yet-asleep mode. I threw a couple of pen caps right behind him. Then I threw a nail clipper that landed just behind him. He turned his head a tiny bit at the clatter, then returned to sleep. Kill Kill stared at or ran up to each of them. He's asleep at my feet right now, and ignoring loud handclaps and shouts of "BYRON!"
      He's not overly focused. He's not a heavy sleeper.
      He's deaf.
      He's a Man of Mystery. How did he end up alone and abandoned at 18 days old? Did he get thrown out of his litter for being a runt? Unlikely, as he's small but not that small. The extra toes? That seems even less likely. Or did he just wander off and get lost? Maybe his momma cat went searching for him, crying out for him, and he just didn't hear. Because he couldn't.
      Maybe this is why he's never made sounds that are very catlike. He's never heard another cat. Or me.
      A deaf cat is like a blind human.
      It could be that he's not completely deaf. Maybe he's just very hard of hearing. After all, he has been a very lucky little boy. He was lost then found. I was lost and found, too, at a key point in my life. But we met in an utter fluke, and he came here. Where he'll always be safe, where he'll always be loved.

      Funny. The only reason that the beautiful little kitten who would be named Kill Kill wasn't adopted was only because she was all white and still had blue eyes at 8 weeks. People thought that this meant that she was deaf.
      The three of us, we're the lost and found.


      I still do it. When Killsy wanted to mooch a little Friskies action while Byron was elsewhere, as always I held a finger to my lips and said "Shhhh! Don't let your brother hear!"
      GAHH! Okay, little bittersweet moment over. The exact second I finished typing that sentence, who should come barrelling in from "outside" but Toe Monster himself, proudly laying down the huge black cricket he'd killed in the common hallway. Right while Kill Kill was getting her Friskies on, usually his greatest obsession, but all he cared about was his first major combat victory. He proudly danced around batting at it, making "Mommy! Look what I did!" squeaks. That, and eating it. Effusively saying "Good Boy! Good Boy! Have some Friskies!!" doesn't make that great an impression on someone who can't hear you.
      I finally snuck the damn corpse into a piece of paper towel, distracted him with wet food, and sent Mr Not-So-Lucky Cricket to his watery grave (ie, the terlet). Nice job, Conan the Catbarian, but we have a thing called ChemLawn round these parts, and they regularly irradiate the local bugs with stuff we don't need you ingesting.
      Well, that was unplanned as well as unpleasant. Makes a good segue, however. "A deaf cat is like a blind human." Izzat so? Then catch a cricket with your white cane, Longstreet! (If that's not 70s-obscure enough, write your own joke involving Caine, Master Po and the name "Grasshopper") I don't think that it would've taken me 3&1/2 months to notice that he was blind. He's certainly compensated for his handicap.
      Many people at my old job wanted to adopt Byron, back when he was teeny-tiny and known as "Dustball." His foster mom Amanda decided that I was to be the lucky parent, mainly because I was the only potential adopter who wanted him to be be an indoor cat. (And possibly because I had a better name than "Dustball") That was a wiser decision than anyone could have known. Nobody knew he was deaf. He's certainly gifted enough with his other senses that he makes a fine and capable housecat. But an outdoor cat? That one dog or car that he didn't see coming...He might be gone by now. Without anyone ever knowing the real reason he died.

      Idea for a website I got today, or about 8 years too late: Worst AOL Freebie Disc Passwords. I did an InExOb on the subject once. The password was "Farce Filthy." We got one at work today ("1,045 Hours Free!" How'd they hit on that number?) and the password was, no shit, "Birth Giblets." What was wrong with just "Placenta"? I wish that long ago I'd started an archive of weird AOL passwords. Too late now.

      Know what I love about this time of year? EVIL TOYS!! And I mean EVIL toys:

      "WARNING! DO NOT EAT! KEEP AWAY FROM FACE AND HAIR" screams the Nickelodeon Super Scented Soda Fountain. Maybe they shouldn't have included "Mint Chocolate Chip" as a flavor. I can't figure out what the damn thing even IS, if you're not supposed to get it near your head.
      On the other manipulative organ, my family owned Jarts. Lawn darts. And Mom & Dad didn't think that they could be harmful until they started seeing news reports about fatal skull piercings.

      Okay, who are you ToonZone Forum people and why do you keep looking here? I don't look at your page! Know what you are? Well, I'm lookin' right at ya and I can tell you what you are! You're a bunch of pathetic adults hunched in front of computers who think that CARTOONS are a superior form of entertainment! What a bunch of LOSERS! And I'm lookin' right at y--
      Umm, nevermind. That was the mirror.


      "I was told to call about the results of my endoscopy."
      "Oh, we don't get those results back for a week. Call back Monday."
      "But this paper they gave me said to call today."
      "What paper?"
      "The one they gave me at the hospital."
      "Oh, Dr Stein [who did the endoscopy] filled that out. He doesn't know how long it takes to get results back."
      That's encouraging. You'd think that would be a piece of knowledge he might've picked up along the way. Given that this is what he does for a LIVING.
      "Oh, Dr Stein was told to put his shoes and socks on, so he always puts them on in that order."

      Hmm...If Byron's deaf, then why does he make those insanely high-pitched cries? Maybe because he can hear certain tones? Let's test...
      He hears when I bang a metal spoon against his metal supper dish. Or when I drop a cat treat into it. Hmmm...

      Unusual, but believed, Kennedy Assassination Theories. Including suicide. Ones they missed:


      I don't have anything, so I guess that we'll have to turn to the mailbox for people who do.

      Heidi Fotohut sends an X-Entertaiment link that asks, "What DO you do with a 10 year old can of pasta?" You don't eat it, thank Gourd.

      I was wondering where all those Toonzone Forum hits were coming from, and Ellie takes the credit. She'd stumbled across The News while searching for
      (And we pause now, so that a tiny minority of you can begin openly salivating while you normals roll your eyes, thinking "GOD, not THAT loser again!")
      When we last left Daveykins, "The Internet's Most Dangerous [to sanity] Cartoonist," he was..."writing"? "drawing"? Sorry, those words seem inappropriate to his oeuvre. He was "thinging" a comic strip called "Planeswalker" and being paid in Magic: The Gathering cards. He only got the gig because the site was about to go belly-up and needed content of any kind.
      The Grimmoire is apparently back, but now Davey-free. His comic strippy thing, based on the game Magic, still seems to be updating. And it's just as..."good"...as it ever was.
      Possibly one could make a comic strip out of a card game. Hell, how many years have those crappy cartoons Pokemon, Digimon, and Yu-Gi-Oh been running? I never saw that Dungeons and Dragons movie a few years back, given how universally ruthless the reviews were (Ebert said that it looked "like they threw away the game and photographed the box it came in"). But would've the movie been any better if instead of setting it in the world of the game, they'd simply filmed people playing D&D? That's what Davey does. People playing Magic. On international TV. Of course, Magic is also real. And there's a Russian insane asylum and men turning into women that turn women into elves in bondage gear and giant rats because the Pied Piper is in on it and...Enough. Even I've lost the energy to try and explain this crap. I tried picking it up roughly where it left off when Grimmoire dumped it, and I haven't the slightest fucking clue what's going on. Continuity was never Daveykins' strong point, and it isn't helped by unreadable fonts combined with his legendary difficulties with basic spelling and grammar.
      There's actually no way to quote him out of context, as the context never stops changing. Try reading from the beginning; it doesn't just make no sense from chapter to chapter, it makes no sense from page to page or even panel to panel. Case in point: If you click on nothing else, at least Read This Page. One sample quote:

      "That war" being the "Veitnam Era," although the vets look like they're 13 years old.
      *sigh* He's just not as deranged as he used to be. Sure, he still sucks, but it's a suck suck, and not a "my Gourd, why isn't this man in an institution?!" kind of suck like it used to be.
      It's been over a year since I invoked his dread name here. If you, err, short-time readers of this drivel want the easier route rather than the crash course, there's always the Jen White Collection on the old Geocities page, or The Gonterman Shrine. The footnoted NiTRO is Gonterman's seminal work. He goes to the MST3K Satellite of Love and kills Sonic the Hedgehog. If you haven't read that, trust me. It's one of the stranger trips into someone else's brain you'll ever take. And he was writing his little fantasies about Sonic and Sailor Moon when he was in his thirties. IGNITE X2!!

      (Seems he's found a different M:TG site for Planeswalker. One that not only won't host his crap, but won't even directly link to any strip but the newest.)


      A year ago today, there was 2 inches of snow on the ground. With the addition of another 6 feet it would still be there in March, before being briefly refreshed in April.
      Today, I hiked in the woods and the highs were in the upper 50s. They're currently forecasting the same temps next Monday--which is in December! In New England! And those mad scientists claim that this "global warming" nonsense they made up would make the weather act all crazy!
      I was the only one there, excluding a couple of seniors walking their dogs. At the same part of the trail, I seem to keep coming across "Mac," an adorable Scottie. I'm not a "dog person," but I really like dogs, especially the smaller, more cat-sized ones. "Mac" didn't lose any points by being all white.
      I'll bet that I was definitely the only person there thinking about Gonterman. It hit me that part of the reason his stories are so incomprehensible isn't just his inability to create a cogent, linear plot structure (ie, "not pulling every Etch-A-Sketched panel out of his psych-drug-addled ass"). It's also the unusual feat of simultaneously making every character look exactly alike, while not making any character look the same from panel to panel. Honestly, the reason I couldn't keep up with the Magic duel was because I couldn't figure out who the third guy was. He turned out to be the first guy, the hero, just drawn differently/badly every time he appeared. And that hero is Daveykins himself! When egomaniacs can't even draw themselves...

      Finally got the results of my endoscopy today. "Nothing." On the plus side, I've had no symptoms for 3 weeks. And that's with me not taking the Nexium, which I never was convinced was doing anything anyway. So the mystery continues, although we can hope that Young's Disease does not.

      "The emerging accounts of thievery in the world of mutual funds confirm, for me at least, something I have suspected since the go-go 1980s -- the existence of an economic predator class."

      What's playing at the California Capitol Cineplex? "ACTION! ACTION!...Umm, ACTION!" sez Schwarzenor Governegger! (Isn't making him into a cartoon kinda redundant?)

      I've seen this "apex of hillbilly craft-istry" (as Camilla describes it) before, but I don't think I've read the magic poem about the angels themselves. A perfect Xmas ornament project for the kids! Just be glad they're not also recycling, if you get my drift.


      Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Eve. That's not a recognized holiday like the eves of Xmas and New Year's, but in most of the retail world, it means the last day before the Xmas onslaught. In the retail liquor industry, however, it's the second busiest shopping day of the year.
      We're going into it with 3 cash registers. Okay, 2 with working UPC scanners. The scanners of registers 2 and 3 stopped working correctly last week. Store manager B. tried to fix #2 by reconnecting the plugs in back. I wish that I'd been less busy when he went at it. He's one of those people who say "I don't know anything about computers," when he really means "My lack of knowledge of computers is worse than not knowing anything!" It was already too late for me to stop him when he held up the keyboard plug that he'd removed--forcibly, with needle-nose pliers.
      We received a new scanner for #2, and it works. Except that if something doesn't scan, you can't look up the UPC as the F keys on the keyboard won't work with our 1986 DOS-based software, ShitWare. SALTWARE! Dunno why I called it that first name, sorry. That also means we can't discount the discounted cigarettes or give people their bottle return money. That slows things down, at a time of year when we can't slow down.
      Reg 3's scanner kinda works, if you unplug it and then plug it back in again. Every 10 minutes. Which, I'm sure, means that it's going to severely die soon, and at the worst possible time.
      And the new scanner for 2 just plain died itself today, at the tender age of 5 days. Scan an item and SuckWa--SaltWare, sorry, the program based on DOS-BC, the program written by Cro-Magnons using chewed hide and small rocks--crashes. It took many phone calls by the owner of our stores before he figured out what was wrong and fixed it. "It's this one connector," he said. "It's damaged, and comes loose every once in a while." We all quietly nodded our heads.
      As soon as he left, I asked, "That's not the connector B. removed with the pliers, is it?"
      I'm sure that you can finish this anecdote by yourself.

      Since I don't have cable, I don't get to see Cartoon Network's Adult Swim any more. So I'm happy that Brak's Puppet Party is online! Say, who made that Brak doll? The same person who made mine!
      Downside: It uses Real(ly sucks)Player only. Which I had to download, and you know what's as interesting as this sentence is grammar-abusing? I ran Ad-Aware just a few days ago and found 6 pieces of spyware from the weeks I've been using this, the back-up Pookie. And as soon as RealPlayer was downloaded, it found 24 spyware components! WHATTA COINCIDENCE!

      Every so often, I Google myself. I started searching for "Inexplicable Object of the Week" back when I needed an InExLink every week, and realized that anybody who linked to that might've linked to some other site that had something that I could use. It didn't occur to me until yesterday that maybe Googling "super green beret" might turn up some of the same silliness.
      And of course it did. Here's a nice collection of shit comics links and an excerpt from their fine summation of Tod Holton:

      There's more links to other good pages about bad comics there. They're all familiar to me, but maybe not to you. Oh, and even if you don't click there, just mouse over that previous link and see what is one of the stranger domain names you'll ever hope to see.

      And there's a magazine called Comic Book Artist that promises "An irreverent look at perhaps the worst super-hero of all time, TOD HOLTON, SUPER GREEN BERET." That's in its June issue, which apparently still has yet to be released.

      Coolest link? The UNH! Project's links page! Damn funny site that I linked to months ago. And right next to our boy Tod is this: Doom: The Comic. How funny is the commentary? VERY. How bad is the comic?

      Now, that, my friends, is dialogue!


      I was thankful just for Byron letting Kill Kill sleep in the bed with us this morning. Sometimes he gets territorial and chases her out. Today when he went after her, it was to plop down next to her and get a tongue bath. I think that his big macho shows are for my benefit. When I'm not around, they probably snuggle all the time.

      The power went off last night. This was odd for several reasons. One is that I didn't wake up, despite having an old TV next to my bed tuned to static for white noise. Another is that when I went to turn the radio on, I could hear tinny music playing. That's because the CD player always comes on after the power returns. I'd had the headphones on last night, so that's why it was tinny. But the player wasn't on. The headphones weren't plugged in. The power strip that the stereo was plugged into was turned off. "Byron," I thought. He must've stepped on it at some point. But the source of the music was a sport radio. Umm...And how did that get turned on?
      Damn poltergeists.

      Happy Thanksgiving Day to you all! Well, all you Americans, anyway. You foreign readers, go celebrate Godless Communism Day or whatever it is you heathens do. And since everybody reads this at work the day after I post...Err, Happy Thanksgiving YesterDay, I guess. Happy We're Eating Damn Turkey Sammitches For The Next Week Week!
      We all had little name cards on our plates, courtesy of niece Cassie and nephew Ryan. "There's a special message inside!" said my Mom. I opened mine and said, "Mine says You Suck!" Actually, it didn't! Ha ha, fooled you. Like everyone else's, it said "I Love You." But mine was the best. Everyone's had little T-giving themed stickers on them, but on mine, Cassie had drawn a little white cat. Not too bad a likeness, either, if you ignored the feet that looked like meatballs. Everyone knows that that'd be Byron.
      Mom mentioned going to my old place of employment to buy her holiday wine. "The guy who carried it out to my car had a real case of the grumps!" she said. "He was in a bad mood as soon as they asked him to help me. I tried to make small talk, saying 'It's too bad that you have to do this,' but all he did was mumble something. I forget his name, but I'd know it if I heard it." I gave her a name and description, and she said "That's who it was!" "Mom," I said, "You read my webpage. That was the legendary Mr Poopie Pants!"
      So he's in the main store and hating it. HOORAY! Instant Karma's gonna get you, gonna knock you right in the head! Okay, it took ten years for it to go get him, so it's not that instant.
      The kids got Friskies wet food and Pounce treats and leftover turkey and that rarest of rare splurges, some 2% milk. No reason why they shouldn't get stuffed with chow, too.

      Food you probably wouldn't want to stuff yourself with at Rude Food. More rude in name than in taste. It's reminiscent of another Cruel Site of the Day, and I only looked through 3 or so them before I said, "I'll bet that they have a certain InExOb in here!" And they did. You'll recognize it when you see it.

      Why don't the Iraqis appreciate what we're doing for them? Sure, we may wipe out entire families of innocent bystanders by mistake, but we give them a few hundred bucks after doing it! It all balances out, right?
      But invading Iraq made Americans safer! That's why Bush went there today and spent a whole 2 hours there, and didn't tell anybody about it until after he'd left. Because it's so safe. Just like how he wanted Queen Liz to put bulletproof windows in Buckingham Palace, and let Army troops use battlefield weapons against unarmed protesters in London. Because we're so safe now!
      Exactly how many Americans were killed by terrorists between 9/12/01 and the invasion? And how many since "Mission Accomplished"?
      There's plenty of things to be thankful for in this country, but our Government isn't one of them.


      Byron isn't Kill Kill, and vice versa. The last 2 days he's screamed, screamed in his squeaky voice for leftover turkey, no matter how much he'd already inhaled, while Killsy each day said, "No thank you, I'm stuffed!" and politely refused another piece. Today he kept on crying until I gave him 2 helpings of mashed potatoes. A teaspoonful total, but he's a cat for cry-eye. What's with the spud-love, Dr Idaho?
      And there's his doglike fascination with water. Today, for reasons known only to him, he decided to explore the bathtub. With the shower running. He was smart enough to try to get behind the shower curtain, but claws can't grip porcelain and he slid right into the middle of the tub and the wettest part of the maelstrom. He got scared and ran the wrong way, getting further drenched before escaping. At least this was better than his last visit to Splash Mountain, when he fell into a toilet filled with flushable cat litter...

      Does anybody know a way to add a "comments" link to only certain posts? Most of the time I don't want to deal with Comments, due to the "troll" and "spam" issues, but sometimes a feature like that would be useful. (Not having one means that if you do know how to do that, it's thoughtviper # fastmail*fm)


      I have dozens of clocks. I think that they're cool. However, I have so many that I never buy any anymore, as I have pretty much every style there is. I'll admit I don't have one like this...

      The FBI's Zero Files, communications they've received from the reality-challenged.

      How to be a Superhero, using techniques culled from books that don't look much more believable than the Zero Files.

      Testing, 1-2-3-4 By Ferd'nand, we now have a comments feature! (Which will be used very sparingly) Thanks, Kirk!

      Kirk suggested using an icon to indicate that comments were active. Good idea. Until I actually find an icon I like, I'll just steal them from a Google image search for "comments." So if you see something that looks like a comment icon and it's clickable, it's prly a clickable comments icon.