Whiffle Ball and Chain

NEW 4.5

Beware the March of Ideas.
--Andrew C. Bulhack


      I'm on vacation, and not really planning on updating much before Monday. Yes, I'm sure you're desperately wanting to hear me review Hellboy and Troll 2, but I more desperately need to not write about them. I need a break from typing.
      For now, I'll cop out and link to some things you've already seen:
      The Economist has a funny cover image on "Ways to Attack Bush." And Patriotboy responds with "Ways to Honor Bush." the second's the funnier one, but read them in that order or they won't make sense.


      Maybe try back next Monday.


      Or maybe tonight.
      A whole week! That's the longest hiatus I've taken in years. The problem is, not writing leads to more not writing. But I just feel like I had nothing interesting to say. If it bores the person writing it, how can it be for the people reading it?
      That having been said, THIS IS VERY BORING. Maybe if I just flush it out of my system (eww!) I can start all minty fresh.
      Week in Review: Thursday, last day of work before 4 days of vacation, I watched Troll 2, said to be the worst movie since Ed D. hung up his angora sweater. Actually, it was a deliberate attmept to make a bad movie, as far as I could tell. It was Canadian, so it was a tad more subtle than American satire, which tends to be of the Scary Movie blunt head-force trauma of understatement. The movie begins with a guy in a dunce cap being chased by goblins, which are blatantly obviously midgets in Halloween masks. The goblins (there's no trolls in Troll 2) eat peolle, but they're vegetarians. Yep. So they trick people into eating green donuts that turn men into trees and women into green Jello. The goblins are based in a town called Nilbog, and yes the protagonists are so dense it take sthem half the movie to figure what Nilbog spells backwards. It's a parody of all those crappy mid-80s Gremlins rips, y'know, Ghoulies, Munchies etc., and for the most part it works as a deliberately bad movie. It certainly has a crazy defeat of the bad guys, in which the kid hero uses a...well, you can read any smug review on the web to find out what his deadly weapon is, but I'm not spoiling it. It makes sense in a nonsensical way, and it's surely the only time the main villain's last words are "What about the cholesterol?!"
      Friday I had nothing to do, then realized 15 minutes ahead of time that Friday is New Movie Day. So I went and saw Hellboy. Cotton candy movie; good going down, but when it's done, you're left empty. The humor worked better than the action, such as Hellboy's love of cats. Where else are you going to see a demon fight a Cthulhian horror from the nether realms while holding a box of kittens? It was hurt by the lack of good villains, despite the fact that there were 3 of them. You'd think that they'd get more mileage out of Rasputin (yes, the Rasputin), and Ann Coulter's cameo as a vicious blonde Nazi was totally extraneous. And redundant. The freakish 107-year-old martial artist and near-undead body-modifyier with a clockwork heart, Kroenen, was pretty cool. But when he went up against Hellboy, it was like Lobo fighting Elektra. Smash, pound, crack.
      Then I threw up! Syndrome! It's not just with caffeine anymore!
      Saturday I watched DVDs. I'm not even sure what. Troll, I guess, as it was on the same disc as #2. Oh, I don't know. This is why I didn't post. My life is boring, and I make you read it.
      Sunday was the only day with weather that was sucky, as opposed to very sucky. The devine Ms. Jessica and I went antiquing in Putnam, CT, for the first time in a long while of whileness. As always, a great time was had. The town wa strangely deserted for a Sunday. Apparently, the biggest place in town decided that I was "ugly rich guy with hot young trophy wife," which I found more amusing than Jess did. It got us better service, though, even if she's the one with more disposable income. Our visits tend to develop a theme out of nowhere. Once, everywhere we went we saw birdcages; another time, it was Victorian pickle servers. This time the theme was "Boobs and Balls." Naked breasts, and a series of neutering tools. (okay, you had to be there)
      I bought a bar clock that lights up bright enough that I don't step on little grey Underfootniks when I get home after dark. She scored a necklace, 2 pocketbooks (she has a closet that's literally just shoes and pocketbooks), one of which had a seductive note from the guy who bought it to the woman he gave it to (since it was still in the 35-year-old pocketbook, odds are she never read it), and something that I found for her--a pair of $1 90210 comic books. Jess still has a crush on Luke Perry.
      Monday I did the groceries and then I vomited. Removing caffeine from my diet has only slowed Young's Syndrome down, not ended it. Possibly caffeine just aggravates something else. The mystery continues, a year later...
      I watched Revolutionary Girl Utena. Amazing how a movie in which 90% of the dialogue is exposition can be only 10% comprehensible. Favorite line: "You're not the only one with the power to turn into a car!!"
      Then I went back to work, wrote this boring crap that I'm not going to proof right now, the end.

      Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Easter Bunny. No, really.


      Apparently half of The Audience of Fifty took me at my word when I said "Maybe next Monday." You, however, did not. And here's another day of meager stuff for you!
      As for you, welcome to Monday! All that more to read for you. Win/win all around!

      You know what's one thing I hate? It's--wait, there's 6 billion things I hate, and most are bipedal hairless monkeys. I especially hate the talking apes when they're at the bank. They either clog up the teller line with things that they could do at the ATM, if they were not-dumb enough to use an ATM, or they clog up the ATM with the things they can't do without help. I went to deposit my paycheck today, and the monkey with a PIN number ahead of me stood tansfixed at the ATM screen. I looked over her shoulder and saw that the screen read, "Cash withdrawals must be in multiples of $20. Please hit CANCEL to proceed." She stared. And stared. Mouth open, button-pushing finger orbiting the keypad. And stared. I almost said, "Hit CANCEL, and proceed" while proceeding to hit cancel, but thought better of it. Finally she made her move. Was it to hit CANCEL? No. It was to re-enter her withdrawal. In a multiple of $20? No, she asked the ATM to give her $3.20. Since my bank is in a grocery store, and I needed to buy IAMS and BacOs, I left her to her finances.
      Did she really want the ATM to give her 2 dimes? Did she think that "multiples of $20" also included 20 cents? (which, technically, I suppose it does) Or--maybe, just maybe--was she fucking stupid?

      Happy Birthday to Me! 2 days ago. And what did you ingrates get me? Nothing! However, Mimi of As If! fame sent me some b-day goodies.

      Little plastic nametags for the midgets! I particularly love Byron's gleeful look. He's certainly the world's happiest cat. After his childhood days of being alone, hungry and frightened, he knows he's got it good now.
      About a year ago, Mimi and I had a conversation about a dream I'd had, wherein Killsy was an adult human. And...well, she was HOTT too. She still had some cat features in her eyes and ears. She made this awesome postcard pic titled "If Capcom got hold of the kits":

      Byron should be a tad more demented looking, given his real persona, but check out the number of fingers! And I really don't want this spread around, but--
      I'd totally be doing my cat if she looked like that. Yowza!!

      And now, to bring everyone down: Why are the Bushites already talking about postponing elections if there's another terrorist strike? I'd put this off to paranoia, if they hadn't lost the last election.


      Inconsistently entertaining link night!

      Big Fat Whale, a comic in the style of Reuben Bolling's Tom the Dancing Bug. Very very very in the style of. They aren't Bolling-level funny, but the guy's getting there.

      A record from 1957, Folk Songs for the 21st Century. Actually, they seem a lot like songs for 50 years ago. About half are just silly, but there are good ones themed around science fiction (such as It Conquered the World, John Ashcroft's favorite song Big Brother, and the Lensmanly Space Opera) and thermonuclear Armageddon (like Radioactive Mama, Walking on the Ground, and Crawl Out Through the Fallout: "I'll hold you and kiss those radiation burns away!").


      My life's as about as uneventful as it can get. And I like it that way. I had a food-filled family Easter (and apparently caught a cold) and today a walk in the woods. The weather wasn't perfect, cool and windy and cloudy, but that's also the way I like it. It means I'm mostly alone when I'm there.

      (Byron the poet, not the cat)

      Gone and Forgotten do that thing they do, disappear for months and then update a lot. Includes the origin story of Wonder Woman's shoes.

      Why space exploration doesn't need people:


      This isn't that much of a cold, but damn if I haven't been home only 2 hours, and I can't keep my eyes open. I'm goin' to bed.
      Tom Toles nails the 9/11 memo in this cartoon.

      The 2004 Muzzles, an "award" to those Americans who've done the most to impair free speech.



      Old Hickory takes apart Dumbya's latest press-fest.


      As a matter of fact, I do suck.
      As I say to people who comment on how I'm frequently quiet, "I only talk when I have something to say. The world is full of people who only talk when they don't." And I just haven't had anything of interest to say--no funny work anecdotes, no cute kitty stories, no innerestin' links. But if I keep telling myself that, I'll never update.
      I'm not sure if there is or isn't a connection between my lack of interest here and my Netflix subscription, although they do seem to have overlapped. I don't really watch a lot; on weekends, maybe 2 movies; on weekdays, an ep or 2 of some TV show (minus the commercials and credits, that's about 20 minutes). And at least I try to watch stuff that might make my brain work, rather than shut itself down. I just went through "Penn & Teller's BULLSHIT!" America is a wildly gullible nation. It seems the more ridiculous the claim, the more it's believed. There are plenty of studies that prove that ESP, ghosts, talking to the dead, aliens, whatevah are without merit. But it's good to have these guys screaming "BULLSHIT!" about them. It's the only way to get anybody's attention anymore.
      The show is frequently funny, and they take on everybody. I don't know how well that always works, though--most shows, they can troop out a bunch of scientists to refute the goofy claims, but sometimes they fall flat. "There's no Global Warming!" program uses Bjorn Lomberg as its only proponent (using Lomberg to prove the environment's just fine, thenk yew, is like using Rumsfeld to provide proof of WMDs in Iraq), and the program against the restaurant smoking ban (whuh? Who cares, besides smokers?) uses as its sole expert a "New York Libertarian radio DJ." Yuh-huh. He's probably also against banning guns and heroin in restaurants.
      In a sense, the show could also be called "CHICKENSHIT!" as they interview the gullible suckers and money-making rip-offers with a tame interview, then make fun of them in the studio. It'd work better if they confronted them face-to-face, rather than play "Joel and the bots" with the footage. But I still recommend the series. Although if you believe any of the crap they go after without ever having thought any of it through, you'll get all pissy and defensive when they do. The bonus material has a few good bits, especially "More Bullshit," which features clips that they didn't use. One guy actually made me wonder if he was an Alien, as humans sure don't have teeth THAT fucked up.

      The movie for the weekend was Trekkies, a documentary about Guess What. Not bad. It takes a very sympathetic look at the fringes of fandom. Outside of a few total freaks, they don't seem that crazy. If someone walked into the liquor store wearing a Starfleet uniform, it'd be the subject of jokes for months or years. Last week, a guy came in wearing a full Boston Red Sox uniform (complete with batting gloves and someone else's name on the back), and no one batted an eye. Except for me: I thought, "Hey, nice Underoos, DORK." But it's okay to be obsessed with sports, or buy every magazine that mentions an actor from "Friends," or talk about nothing but Benets and Petersons. A normal obsession is what society decides is normal.

      Speaking of work, The Thief is about a week from being arrested. He's made no attempt at restitution, and his parents demanded copies of the evidence against him. Then they refused it when it came by certified mail, then came and picked it up a few days later. Since he is a very good liar, I wonder if he's convinced them, like he did my co-workers, that I somehow framed him.
      I suppose that he could make some lame case in court that he confessed under duress, and that the evidence doesn't point to him. Every time it happened, it happened when he was working, but he could pretend that he didn't work those hours. We don't have a time clock, just a printout of the schedule. It'd be a stretch, but it's not like endless lying and stonewalling hasn't kept Dumbya from impeachment.

      Sunday my mommy took me to lunch. I didn't get a Happy Meal, what with me being 45 and her 70. We went to Red Robin, an extremely popular place by the Mall. Why is it popular? Got me, pal. The food was good, but when it's $9 for a freakin' burger & fries!! The milkshakes were only a dollar less than the infamous "$5 malteds" from that place in Pulp Fiction. For that price, I want to do the Batusi with Uma Thurman!
      Ambience: Cheap plastic-framed posters covering every inch of wall, and some of them I've seen for sale at BIG!Lots. Decibel level: Sticking your head into a 747's engine. Cheese factor: Chuck E. The hyperhappy staff apparently has a meth lab in back. They sang Happy Birthday to a teen, and it was "Hap-py, happy! Happy happy Birthday! Hap-py birthday, happy happy day!" to the tune of "Frere Jacques" (interesting copyright weirdness: Any time a movie or TV show or restaurant sings "Happy Birthday to You," they have to pay the great-great-great-grandchildren of the original, 1880s composers royalities!)
      I know how this has been keeping all of you in suspense or even Spandex, so I must relate that the long quest has ended! Yes, I bought a new pair of Converses.
      The store always either didn't have my size, or they had my size but the wrong color, or they had my size and they were black but they were low tops, or they had my size, my color, my style, and when I got them home it turned out that some jerk had replaced them with a different size. Since Red Robin was right next door to the only store that carries Chuck Taylors, I went in. Maybe my problem was that I always tried to buy them on sale. And there they were, perfect in every detail!
      At the register, I bought them from Mr Pimply Teen, who never gave me the slightest acknowledgement. He was hitting on Cute Girl Teen at the next register. Or was, until he said "Of course, her being a GIRL, everything she said was a LIE!" Which seemed to cool Juliet's ardor like a blast of liquid nitrogen. I said "Thank you" at the end of the sale, and he finally noticed my existence by going "Hurmmm" and looking doefully at Juliet. And the sneakers turned out to be on sale anyway! Oh, star-crossed lovers, think not of your lost amore, but of my $5 savings!
      Some marketing genius decided that the Chuck Taylor's shoe box needed 2 metal eyeholes, just like the sneakers. The only thing that I hate about Cons are those damn holes. "Don't walk in water deeper than an inch with these! We make screen doors for submarines, too!" It's like selling a Geo Metro with the phrase "Dispose after use."
      And the box also says, "This box deserves another chance to hold a pair of Converse shoes. Please recycle." Yeah, well maybe you should've left THE DAMN RIVETS OFF THE BOX. That would make it RECYCLABLE. Oh, and the ever-heartwarming phrase, "Box Made in China." Thanks. Thanks to the political prisoner you've got punching fucking pointless rivets into the unrecyclable box.
      I need a new style of shoe.

      It's April, so it's Summer. 86 degrees and sunny, just like Bjorn Lomberg says that it isn't. I was psyched to go into the woods, at least until I went to the Salvation Army. They're across from a school, and their parking lot was empty. Aw, crap, Spring vacation. I left after viewing a lovely cheap plastic-framed poster like the ones in Red Robin (it was a yard tall, and a cartoon of a golfer with a bag full of bent clubs returning home to his loving wife, who'd fixed him a frosty beverage. And he was wordlessly, emotionlessly, painfully punching her in the face! Because he'd had a bad day of golf! How did this end up at the SalvArmy? Really, who doesn't want to stare at a big poster of alcoholic wife-beating every day? Hey! Here's a poster of puppies in a blender!! Oh, wook at the widdle kitten standing on the cwocodile's snout!)
      Valley Falls Park was, naturally, very cwowded. "CRowded," sowwy. Screaming chldren, smelly big barking dumb dogs, surly fishermen, a kid trying to drown a garter snake while his mother chuckled approvingly, a white trash momma asking why her youngest was "so sad" just after shrieking generally at her brood ("I din do it! I din do it!!" sobbed the 3-year-old, terrified of whatever Momma was shouting about this second. Christ. What a homelife those poor kids must have). This is not why I go into the woods. I go in to not experience the knuckle-walkers. The closest thing to a plus were the overdeveloped, underaged 15-year-old girls whose parents let them shop for clothes at "Gap for Crack Whores." They reminded me of a favorite website--Boing Boing!! Ahahahah....Sowwy.
      I'd timed my hike to take place before school let out, not realizing that school was out. I walk a big loop; it starts with the low creeks and moves up to the hillsides, and then back again. There's never anyone on the hillsides. It occured to me that everyone I'd seen on the way in was on the way out. If I'd gone later, I would've seen less people. And boobies. I did see wildlife: bumblebees and birds and bugs and garter snakes that I didn't try to kill. Not the most appealing menagerie, but they still mean SPRING to me. Life.
      Since the park traffic was thinning, I decided to sit on the bench that overlooks the lake. I wondered why no one was resting their feet (or boobies!) there, until I noticed that the local wildlife also included the New England Bench-Sitting Giant Hornets.
      Then I went home, and there was a man on the roof with a leaf blower. But of course, why not! He was blowing the gutters, which isn't as pornographic as it sounds. Hmm, I thought as I was thinking, I'm on the third floor and there's a gutter right outside my front window. I wonder if...
      Yes, they blew that, too. Kill Kill was nowhere to be found (a leaf blower's enough to scare the crap out of her, let alone a guy stomping right outside in plain view). And Byron jumped a mile the first time he spotted me--even the little deaf boy doesn't like humans tramping around right outside.
      And, umm...That's it. Hopefully I've broken the Curse of the No Postings. In the meantime, this may or may not work, but Jessica did me up as a Garbage Pail Kid. She got the vomiting right.
      (And if it didn't work, and you don't read the Comments, Cat Town has a coupla new eps up)

      ((BTW...that kid drowning the garter snake? The snake got away. "Oh no!" said his mother, disappointedly))


      Remember the InExOb about a pamphlet titled "Communism, Hypnotism and the Beatles"? That's right, it's real! Apparently I was wrong in my memory of it being written by Billy James Hargis. Given its Tulsa, OK, publication (where his "ministry" was based), maybe he was only the publisher.
      Billy James must be glad that the first Google hit for his name is about Christ-like love for his fellow Christians. Be they male or female. The rest of that '97 article on reverends cleaving to the sins of the flesh is pretty entertaining, too.

      Scalzi looks at the Meaning of Life. Or, more accurately, how the Question of the Meaning of Life can be answered, or even phrased.

      Via Scalzi's other blog, a look at how combat between space navies might actually happen. It begins with an historical overview before getting into the actual weaponry. It's long, and either very interesting (to me) or toxically boring (prly to you).

      Whoops. I burned my dinner of catfish a mite and opened the window to air out the kitchen. I didn't pull down the screen, and now Byron's half out of the 2nd story window. Gotta go!


      Bush's Retardlicans were very insistent on Kerry releasing all of his military records. I wonder why. Maybe their own closets are so skeletonly that they assume everyone else's are, too. Maybe they forgot that Lt. AWOL still hasn't released all of his military records, and they're counting on the corporate-owned mass media to continue to ignore that. Maybe they've forgotten that Oily Dick still hasn't released anything from that energy policy meeting 3 years ago. You know, the one that almost certainly consisted of "Okay, here's how we divvy up the oil in Iraq. Now, what are you gonna give us?"
      But Kerry released the records, and Kos has a comparison between his service and Dumbya's. Short version: While Kerry was fighting the Cong like a coward, Bush protected the homeland by "plunging into all-day water volleyball games."

      Apocalypse Please: "US policy towards the Middle East is driven by a rarefied form of madness. It’s time we took it seriously."




      I mentioned a day or so ago that I'd burned the catfish. Tonight, I went to burn some more when I found out what I'd left on the baking sheet last time.

      I could probably sell it on eBay.

      Yesterday I went to throw the cardboard into the recycling dumpster. It was a nice day, and an old and frumpy lady spent it riding her bicycle to the dumpster. She stopped, opened up a Chinese take-out container, and poured the contents into her mouth. Along with a flood of liquid or sauce or amniotic fluid, which poured down her chin and onto her shirt. Unfazed, she threw the container in the trash and continued on her merry cycling tour. Ugh.

      Speaking of disgusting, here's the BBC Disgusting Survey. I found it surprisingly undisgusting, but I think that may be caused by the fact they don't tell you what you're looking at. Skin disease? Hey, I have 2 regular customers that I've mentally named "the Rot Faces." Pus? I thought it was mustard! Yeah, that guy's teeth are nasty, but--What? Those are MAGGOTS growing in his GUMS? Yeah, I'd have found that a lot more gross if I knew what they were. Like "YEEEARRGHH!"-level gross.


      Via M3, a combination of the Dover AFB casket photos, Doonesbury and Get Fuzzy, and songs about soldiers in World War One. Effective in a way I can't describe.
      Notice how the White(wash) House claims that they're "protecting" the families of the fallen by preventing the pictures being published, to the point where they will fire anybody who does, and also her husband who didn't (and their little dog, too!). Protecting them from the publicity. Of anonymous caskets. And they also illogically attack the Dover pictures because some aren't the dead from Iraq, but from the last Space Shuttle crash. Since they claim no one noticed that...doesn't that prove that they're NOT protecting their privacy? If no one can tell the difference between one unmarked coffin and another...then who are they protecting, and from what?
      They're protecting themselves by pretending that no one's dead if no one sees the body.

      After you've dried your eyes from that page, check out the exact polar opposite, and laugh at the Doonesbury strip as done by General Christian, with a different, less heroic protagonist.

      Today in Iraq is a page I check every day. Caveat: It spews random code in Netscape, and needs a page reload to fully show up in IE. And it's not a page of good news. Anyone who thinks that "the Liberal Media" is downplaying "good news" about Iraq is a fucking idiot--there IS no good news.
      At any rate, here's a Molly Ivins piece he linked to: "There was the president at his press conference looking just like a turtle on a fence post." Site author yankeedoodle prefaces it with: "(T)he reference to a 'turtle on a fence post' comes from a saying about Lieutenant AWOL: 'He’s like a turtle on a fence post: You know he doesn't belong there, he can't get anything done while he's up there, he looks stupid sitting there, and you know he didn't get there by himself.'”

      Mr Nobody.


      There are days when I hate having a webpage. Sometimes, there are months.
      This April would be one of those months.

      What to get for Mother's Day...how about a coffee mug celebrating the WWII Nazi invasion of Russia?

      The Harbin, China Ice Festival.

      It'll cost me $25 to not see the Connecticut Franken/Coulter mano-a-fascisto slugfest.

      You can't get much more original in your linking than Get Your War On, now can you? Unless you cared.


      Helpful Hints! Always unbuckle your seatbelt when vomiting while driving! Otherwise, you won't be able to lean out the door far enough, and you'll puke all over the car's floor!
      Always keep a Kleenex in your pocket! It will spare you the embarassment of asking the cashier in the supermarket check-out lane for one, while you're snorkling blood back down your throat from that spontaneous nosebleed!
      Yes, spontaneous nosebleed is our latest body malfunction. Today is the first day since Thursday that I haven't had one, or several (and the day's not over yet!). Why? No clue. It's not like I'm picking my nose with a chisel. All of a sudden, my nose starts running, and it runs red with blood. The first time it happened, I was running the Lotto machine and had to run and grab a paper towel. The woman I was waiting on looked with horror on my corpuscalur flood. Most people would have asked me if I was alright, hey why don't you take a break. But this was a Lotto Loser, so she went right back to spitting out her daily numbers. When you're bleeding $50 a day on that, other people don't matter.
      Helpful Hint: Blow your nose. Sounds counter-intuitive, but the hole in your sinus is only going to clot if it isn't under a fresh flow of heart-juice.
      I think that the 45-year-warranty on my body just expired. Tomorrow I expect to start having fingers fall off.

      bOING bOING (or somebody) had a link to a page that was getting banned by Google ads for having mildly political tshirts on it. I went to check them out, probably along with a hundred thousand other people who never knew they existed before the banning. That'll show 'em, Google! They actually had a tshirt that I've wanted for decades: one based on the "NO" Circle. I'm not kidding; when the "NO" symbol started being used 20 or whatever years ago, I wanted a tshirt of it. I've had that symbol--just a blank "NO"--on my front door ever since I moved here, 17 years ago. And the shirt's only $5!!
      Also bought: a retro White Cat sticker (for an obvious reason!) and a Bendy Kung-Fu Man. The photo makes him look like John Kerry. Enter the Botox Dragon, to let fly his Fists of Fury on the Game of Death, 2004!

      (segue) "Bush was Prince Hal and Kerry King Henry and, when it comes to maturity of judgment, they remain so to this day."

      If you're a fan of The Boondocks, the most political fists-of-fury comic strip around, you'll want to read this interview with creator Aaron McGruder. Includes his run-in with Condi "Gaps in my Teeth, Gaps in my Stories" Rice.

      Speaking of comic strips--No, wait--speaking of comic strips that EAT YOUR EYES LIKE VISINE MADE FROM MAGGOTS AND BLEACH--after a gourddamn MONTH, Mr Daveykins finally enlightens us with the answer to "the personal question" "Motohead" wanted to ask. Yes, the answer appears to be that Daveykins is Godlike. Jeez, I had to wait a month for THAT?! I already knew he thought that!

      Our loco Mexicali amigo Zefiel sends a few pics. Easier than me making any content!

      In a sequel to the "Bloody Foot Torture" lollipops, here's VIRUELAS, the lollipop that's made of...blisters. Do the blisters have a cream-filled center?

      "See you in the afterlife!"
      "Why? Because I died for your sins!"

      And the reason why no one messes with traffic cops in Mexico: They pack more than guns.


      Cat trivia, and other crap.

      Kevin has a welcome mat that says "A Spoiled Jack Russell Terrier Lives Here." When I chuckled at it, he said, "Oh, yeah, like Kill Kill isn't spoiled!" I said "She's not spoiled, she just gets treated like she deserves. Like she's Queen of the World!" She currently gets her back scratched with--well, a back scratcher, one of those bamboo ones. She makes the happiest face when her pre-tail butt area gets massaged. When she's had enough, she swats the scratcher away and bites it a few times. Byron watches from a distance of inches, but he has absolutely no idea what's going on.
      Kill Kill used to get wet cat food when I got home from work. Eventually, she demanded it for breakfast, too. Now she wants her breakfast in bed. Under a chair in the kitchen or the coffee table in the living room, 2 spots that, if she could write, would have signs saying "KIL KIL'S FORT NO BIRONS ALOUD!!!" I have to bring her the food in her metal Courvousier plate.

      She's always at the door to greet me when I get home. Byron isn't always. She hears the garage door open, and he hears nothing. If they're both there, it's because they were sleeping together and he woke up when she did. If not, he turns up quickly. I wondered how he figured out that I was home, until I noticed that he's compensated for his deafness by sleeping with his eyes open. Just a tiny slit open and with his pupils jammed into the corner of his eyes, but it seems that it's enough for him to sense that the lights are on.

      Ah, these kids today with their excuses for underage liquor buying. If you so much as point to liquor in a store, we have to card you; that's considered "participating in the sale." We also have the police dept. literally across the street. 2 underagey-looking chickadees came in (it's Spring Weekend at the college up the road), and I asked for ID. One handed me an NY license (the fake ones are always out of state), and the other offered nothing. When I asked for hers, her friend said, "Oh, she just came from Great Escape!"
      The whuh?! What the fuck does THAT mean? The Six Flags 25 miles from here? What does that have to do with anything anyway? I wanted to say "She doesn't look old enough to go anywhere but Chuck E. Cheese's!" She, the underaged, bolted from the store as soon as I questioned her lack of ID. Maybe we need a new sign outside the door--"You must be this tall to get drunk here."

      Killsy has hands like a fistful of razor baldes, tiny clear claws that can rend your damn flesh faster than you can say "Freddy Kreuger lives in my cat." She's at heart a gentle soul, so I rarely get a slice cut offa me. Byron's claws are much blunter. That's because he walks on them. And that's because they won't retract fully into his paws. As his paws are twice normal size, that means even his massive mitts can't accomodate his weed whackers. They're twice the size and length of Killsy's talons. And he has thumbs. KK's claws can be avoided by moving the hand away from the claw. He wraps his enormous meathooks around me like a baby grabbing a finger. There's no way to go but through...

      I've lost 10 pounds. That doesn't sound like a lot to people who've never seen me in person, but I'm not a hulking mass of man-flesh. I'm 5 foot 7 and scrawny. Or scrawnier, as I now weigh 120 pounds. My first thought was "My scale must be broken!" But there was a scale at the Salvation Army, and I weighed the same there clothed as I did at home. My next thought was, "Where am I losing the weight, my friggin' bone marrow?!" But I do have a bit of middle-age spread around my (nonexistant) hips, and now my pants are falling off. My 30 waist pants. I guess that I have been on Atkins for basically my whole life, eating lots of meat without any real carb intake besides beer. And I've cut down on the beer. Maybe only a can or 2 a day, but I guess that's where the weight...Jeez, I have no idea why I even brought this up. In other news, my nose no longer geysers blood round the clock.

      I could type more on kitty idiosynchrasies, but maybe tomorrow. There's plenty to go around.


      Sorry. Bad weekend means no posting. Here's an amusing link, and some old song lyrics. That are not about any president or accomplished mission in particular, of course.


      I don't care about the site any more. Just don't.

      I saw Home Movie, a documentary about people's houses. A gator-wrangler's houseboat; a New Age couple living in a missile silo; an actress living in a Hawaiin treehouse that's as much tree as house; a crazy man with an all-electronic home, a robot, his dead stuffed dog. And a house designed solely for cats.

      People with weird genetic abilites.

      Just. Don't. Care. I'd rather live my life than write about it.


      Sometimes at Liquorama, there's a drunk guy yelling out slurred incoherent stories while stumbling around, getting angry for no reason, swearing over nothing. When he stands still, he doesn't; he shakes.
      People will pull me over and ask, "Are you allowed to serve people like that?" And I say, "I have to. He's my boss."
      Yep, my boss doesn't just drink at work, he gets drunk at work. Last week we figured that he downed nine Heinekens before he left, then grabbed 2 more. For the drive home. The 25-mile drive home. In the Friday rush hour. Oh, and he takes prescription pain pills, too.
      He caused several thousand dollars of damage to his car last winter when he "hit some black ice on the way home." Which was interesting, given that the temperatures were in the 40s that day and it rained the entire time. Maybe the black ice had an umbrella. He hit a guard rail; I'm praying that some time he gets in a fender-bender and gets busted for DUI--before he slams into a school bus full of orphans and kills them all.
      Two days ago, I found some lottery tickets still in the machine. I glanced at them, and they were played by a customer so regular that I recognized him from the numbers. I stuck them under the register, as I knew that he'd be back the next day. Our Drunken Leader found them, and I explained whose they were, and why we should hang onto them until he comes in. He (with 4 beers minimum already in him at noon) said something about "Lemme see if these are winners!" He checked the numbers, mumbled that they were losers, and threw them away.
      The guy came in not much later, asking for his tickets. Turned out that one of them was a winner, for $333.50, in fact. Drunk Man happened to be leaving at that point, and immediately began angrily screaming about how "It's not OUR fault you didn't take your tickets! I threw them away!" When the guy went to check the trash can outside where Drunky--okay, Bob, that's his name, it's not like anyone at work even knows I have a webpage, and I don't plan on telling them--Bob got even more hostile. The guy made a brief attempt to find his tickets, and then left.
      Hell, maybe he's too proud to dig through the trash for $333, but I'm not! I've gotta dump the damn thing anyway, so I sorted through it. There wasn't all that much trash, and it was entirely paper. And my target was 6 lottery tickets stapled together--how hard could that be to find?
      Hard enough if they weren't there. It hit me that Bob was standing next to a trash can when he declared the tickets to be losers, but went outside to the big can to throw them away. Why make the extra trip? You got it, my dear Watson: to STEAL the winning ticket. This is a guy who makes $1,200 a week, a Trump-like sum for retail. He stole from 2 regular, well-liked customers. Scum. BAG.
      A mystery is why he's always complaining about going to work at 6:30AM. The store doesn't open until 8. One of co-workers spotted Bob a day ago, at 6AM. She stayed in her car and made sure that it was Bob who went in the building, and him who came out a while later.
      It was a methadone clinic.
      And to think how I used to complain about Mr Poopy Pants...

      The video's in German, the hosting site in Scandanavianish. There's a bit of a possibility that some polylingual reader (hi, Wakboth!!) might give us a heads-up as to whether this is a real workplace safety video or some over-the-top parody of one. It'd sure be something that I'd always remember after my first day of training. It starts very slow, but it builds into a combination of Python's "Samuel Peckinpaugh's 'Salad Days,'"Evil Dead 2 and MST3K's "He tried to kill me with a FORRRK-LIFT!!!" song. Via the null device, which turns up the damnedest things at times.


      All over the web already is a site about what a guy's got in his junk drawer. The descriptions are what make it--they're usually not funny, just well-written and interesting.

      The Americanization of Music:

      Improve Your Vocabulary!


      The serendipitous arrival of Kill Kill into my life led to many recommendations as to What She Should Have. One was "Get a laser pointer! Cats love to chase the dot!" And so I bought one, back when they weighed 2 pounds and cost 13 bucks. She chased it like crazy that first day here--for 15 minutes. Then she stopped. She batted at the dot with a thoughtful look on her face. Then she wandered over to me, stood up and sniffed at the pointer in my hand. Oh, that's where it's coming from. Know what? You can't catch the dot! What a dumb game! She doesn't like chasing, she likes catching. And she never paid attention to it again.
      Similiarly, she batted at the TV screen the first few minutes she encountered one. Then she stopped, reflected, walked in back of it, came back out. Realizing that there were no tiny people living inside the box, at least none that could be caught and chewed upon, she never paid attention the the TV ever again.
      Byron will bat at the TV. It's more fun for him (and distracting for me) to attack the cursor on the monitor while mashing the keyboard. To distract him from doing that, about 10 days ago I dug out the old pointer to watch his reaction.
      Pure, violent joy, of course. He'll race after it full-tilt until he crashes into Bagland, then race back the opposite way to hit some crumpled newspapers I've laid down so he has a soft landing. Funniest is when I wave it back and forth right in front of him; his head waggles along with it as he paddles the dot with his enormous feets. He'll chase it to the point of collapse if I let him. But I don't. A dog's panting is cute, but a cat's panting is frightening. It looks like a heart attack. I order a time out until he naps.
      Interestingly, like Killsy, he knows he can't catch the dot and that it's coming from a device in my hand. But he doesn't care. If I'm not playing with him, he'll come over, stand up and pat my arm. That's cute! If I don't react instantly, he'll claw me. That's painful! He's become so enamored of the damn pointer that he wants the light on even when he's not chasing it, like a toddler carrying around a favorite toy. This, of course, burned out the batteries, so I opened it up and went to the fridge for more.
      When I came back, the cap that held the batteries in was gone. I'd placed it on the desk, so where did it go? Byron stayed behind, and I'm sure that he batted it away somewhere. I searched and searched, prodded on by arm-clawings when I stopped, but I can't find it. This isn't the first time this happened. When we got a locking cash box for the store, I was given the spare key to it. I didn't put it on my keychain, as I had to hand it off to someone else the next day, so I left it on my wallet so as not to forget it in the morning. And it was gone. Byron had seen Nice Shiny! and knocked it away. I did, finally, find it. On the opposite side of the room. Four months later. Wherever he'd knocked it, he'd found it and reknocked it.
      The next day I went to buy a new pointer. Byron, like KK, doesn't get crabby when you don't do what he wants. No, he does far worse, he gets really, visibly sad. That wouldn't do. I went to the place where I'd bought the first one 5 years before, KMart. They didn't have any. Of course, there were plenty of other places to try, 2 of which I knew with iron certainty would carry them. Seven stores later...
      After a renewed floor-crawling search the next night, I surrendered and ordered one online, from 9thTee, a reputable place. I grimaced when I saw that they only used UPS for shipping. They only ship during business hours, and HEY GUESS WHAT UPS, NO ONE'S HOME THEN. Like an idiot, I forgot to add in the comment box "Do NOT require UPS signature at delivery!" That only adds a day (or two) to getting it. And sure enough, when it came, it didn't: they wanted a signature. And that was Friday, meaning Monday was the earliest I'd get Byron's toy. And that meant hanging out at home until the Brownshirt showed up. Fortunately, the delivery time was listed as "Between 2:30 and after 5," so I could get up at a reasonable hour (noon), and get things done. One was a hike in the woods for the first time in 3 weeks, the other included the laundry. I meant to hang a sign on the door telling UPS that I'd be back in a minute if I was laundering. I forgot that, but as I was going to load the dryer, the UPS guy arrived, hours earlier than I expected. If he'd arrived 2 minutes later, I would've missed him. If he'd arrived 5 minutes earlier, I might not have heard him knocking, as I was busily Syndroming in the bathroom. I happily opened up the Prize Package and inserted the batteries. This was a keychain-sized pointer, much easier on the wrist than the old heavy one.
      And it's a piece of shit. The light is a barely-observable pinprick at 3 feet, but so poorly focused that it's the size of a nickel at 6 feet and a half-dollar-sized fuzzy blur at 12. It flickers on and off. Byron can barely see it. And, after less than 30 minutes of use, the batteries died! Good thing I bought extra batteries (and that they gave me 3 packages instead of the 2 they charged me for). Well, one last try, then it's off to bestbuy.com to buy another $13 pointer (which will undoubtedly arrive the day before the cap from the first one reappears).
      Hey, the problem was the first set of batteries! It's not quite as good as the old pointer, but the beam's collimated enough that at 12 feet, the dot's clear and dime-sized. And much insane frolicking and gleeful stampeding followed.

      After a quarter-century, Books and Birds is going out of business. More or less; twas the internet that done the deed, and they'll continue to sell online. Just as well; there were usually 65,000 titles in the store at any given time, and all stored spine-out. Meticulously alphabetized, but impossible to browse. I'd usually only go there if I was looking for a particular title. I went in Sunday looking for Harry Keeler and forgetting to look for Catch-22 (which I might not've found anyway. It's all hardcovers and trade paperbacks, not regular paperbacks). The one thing I bought was in the one place I browsed, the cat section. I'd been planning on rereading Cleveland Amory's The Cat That Came For Christmas. I'd first read it across the street from B&B, in what 2 years ago I called The New Store. They had a copy of it, but so do I. Beat-up with a big coffee cup stain on it that isn't even mine. Hey, he wrote a sequel! Hey, he wrote TWO sequels! Hey, here's all 3 in big hardcover in unread condition! For 6 bucks!
      The first book ended with the author speaking of how, as a kid, he loved books about animals--except at the end, when the animal died. The first book ended with his beloved cat (who looks like a giant male version of our delicate flower Kill Kill) still quite alive and happy. Since the time period covered by all 3 books is about 18 years...I don't think the last one ends that way. I'm hoping that I don't have to face those two final chapters in my own life for 15-20 years.

      Well, let's get the offensive links out of the way first. The deliberately offensive ones I mean, before we get into politics. UnPopArt is like "Piss Christ" on a pogo stick, pop-like renditions of nasty stuff. Rather fixated on Manson and Hitler, including "Chef's Boy Adolf's Pastikas," festive swastika-shaped Spaghettios for the Aryan youth.

      Really funny article on the worst job ever, editing porn magazines, including one aimed at the AARP set. With 2 pictures that are not safe for work, or even human eyeballs.

      "The Misunderestimated Man: How Bush chose stupidity." Not the hatchet job you'd expect from the title, but a good look on Bush's personality and motivations.

       "You're doing a superb job. You're a strong secretary of defense and our nation owes you a debt of gratitude," Bush said today about Rumsfeld. Okay, maybe he is stupid. My gratitude for fucking up everything, Rummy! We sure owe you a debt--trillions of dollars worth, you incompetent shitbag!
      BIllmon has his theories as to why Bush Karl Rove doesn't want Rummy the Dummy fired, and Kos makes a very good point: If Rummy's gone, they'll have to immediately find a new Secretary of Offense, and the Senate confirmation hearings would be brutal.
      I'm of the theory that these people are pathologically incapable of admitting being wrong. They scapegoat or they lie about what they originally said or did. The rushed and public courtmartial of one of the Abu Ghraib "abusers" should be interesting. No way he's not getting "persuaded" to take the fall for the higher-ups. "I was only following orders!" doesn't excuse his actions, but it also doesn't exonerate the people who gave the orders. I'll bet that the blame never gets higher than the MP general who was in charge of the prison--the one who was forbidden to enter the parts of it where the torture was taking place.
      Every Empire eventually falls. I think the American Empire has fallen, with the fatal mistake of a needless war based on lies, Dumbya's personal revenge and Halliburton's profit margin. Funny...If a different person had been president, and we'd taken that good will the world gave us after 9/11 to really get bin Laden and fix Afghanistan, we might today be beginning that Pax Americana that the neocons thought they could create by simply bombing the shit out of Iraq.

      "If the corporation were a person, would that person be a psychopath?"

      Now that SuperSize Me is in the theaters, someone has taken up the challenge to try and prove the opposite of the movie's claim: She says that you can eat 3 meals a day at McDonalds and stay healthy. Why she'd be so dedicated to preserving Micky D's reputation is odd. Odder still is the fact that the site is funded by conglomerates, such as one noted for its concern for the health of the users of its products (cigarette giant RJReynolds), one for its love of the environment (Exxon), and, coincidentally I'm sure, McDonalds' prime supplier of high fructose corn syrup, Coke.
      Her site doesn't have much on it yet--and apparently never will, as her 30 days began on April 2nd, and all she has to show is the receipt from day one. She carefully points out how few calories she consumed. But as Ebert points out, it's not the calories that count. It's the amount of fat, sodium and sugar that comes with them. Of course, if she quit after one day, we'll never find out how "healthy" her diet was. She probably had to rush off and teach some oil-soaked baby seals how to smoke.
      The SuperSize Me site, however, has added a theater finder (I can see it next week if I want) and a Pac-Man game. The ghosts are evil clowns. As if there's another kind.

      Choose Your Own Adventure: New York. Is funny!


      It looks like there'll be more hearings on the ongoing Iraqi torture scandal. I think that Rumsfeld made an error at his; he didn't, as they always say, "Open with a joke!" Here's one I wrote that he can use for free!
      FIRST IRAQI: Why is Donald Rumsfeld in Iraq?

      Izzle Pfaff! on his visit to Vegas.


      I was taking a case of booze out to a little old lady's car. She said, "Could you put it on the front seat?" I asked, "On the passenger side?"
      No, moron, she's going to balance it on her head.
      Yes, I was today's SHAWT.

      A book without verbs. I dunno; the idea just doesn't do anything for me. GEDDIT?!

      Another reporter tries the all-McDonalds diet, and loses 10 pounds! But he also goes to a doctor to check his progress...and Guess What.

      Via Negaduck, a review of Manos: The Hands of Fate, uncut version. With Torgo's theme!


      The actual trademark probably refers back to the namesake, but I hereby declare me, Bill "the Splut" Young, as the originator of the verb "to Spurlock," after the Super Size Me creator, Morgan Spurlock. It means to "do something you know is probably really bad for you, as an experiment for 30 days." This guy spurlocks Wrong-Wing media for a month, and gets the brain version of toxic liver shock.


      The Franken/Coulter debate came and went. Unlike me. The tickets had sold out so fast (all 3,300 of them!) that they opened a second venue where you could pay $25 to watch it on simulcast. That pretty much sapped my interest. Just as well, as I ended up with Young's Syndrome that night anyway.
      Here's a local story on it, which isn't really worth having to go through an invasive registration process to read. It's short both in length and on details; hopefully someone else will write something more on it. Ahh, the hell with it, it's posted on the Comments, at message 129.

      I've linked to some potentially offensive stuff over the years, including conspiracy theories, political extremism, and Ferd'nand, without a blink or blush. But I don't really know if I should link to this reaction to my boredom with my page ("Panic in Vipertown"). It's, uhh, effusive praise. I guess that I still have enough of that Irish Catholic upbringing left in me to not know how to react to that. Thanks, Ellie, and I have no plans to end the page, just put less time in it. I have other things to do, like scritch Kill Kill's butt with the back scratcher, make Byron chase the laser pointer dot, and vomit.


      I saw Super Size Me today. It was actually better than I thought it'd be. It's funnier than I expected, and also scarier. He's naturally funny, and the topic's very serious. The "Eat McD's for a Month" thing is just a hook to hang the movie on; it's really about the obesity epidemic. And he lays blame on everybody--your health is your responsibilty, but the food industry shouldn't be doing its best to make the world eat garbage. He shows documents from McDonald's deposition on the lawsuit against them, and it repeatedly says that it's "common knowledge" that their food "is very unhealthy." Funny how their slogan isn't "McDonalds! I'm Dyin' From It!"
      Of course, the people who need to see this movie, the people who are eating the garbage, aren't going to see it. Too bad; it's a must-see. Since it's playing on very few screens (like 120), and you won't miss anything by waiting for the DVD (the picture quality's not that great at times, being a low-budget indie film), and with it being a documentary, it should be out relatively soon.
      He has a blog, which, unsurprisingly, is only about the interviews he's doing non-stop to promote the film. He mentions that the film, in it's second week of release, has made $750K. That wouldn't have covered Brad Pitt's zit makeup for Troy, but that's a great showing for an indie doc. If it's playing in your area, it's worth going if just to invest a few bucks in the career of the next Michael Moore.
      The blog also mentions that he has a cat, who NEVER ONCE APPEARS IN THE MOVIE!!!! At the halfway point of the film, there was a scene in his apartment with his Vegan chef girlfriend and I thought, these are the type of people who you'd think would have a cat. Sorry, Mr Spurlock, but I must dock my review half a star for never showing the kitty.
      His blog's start coincides with the start of his press junkets on 4/19. He never mentions another event that occured that day, which certainly would've made the news on any interview program: McDonald's CEO dying of a heart attack at age 60.
      As to the movie's effect on me personally, I ordered a pu-pu platter from Panda Palace afterwards. Possibly my grease-ingesting genes were stimulated.

      Speaking of the news, today there's this picture. Sadly, he is not being arrested for making "Billions and Billions Obese and Hypoglycemic."

      The movie features artwork from Popaganda.

      Speaking of movies, don't get anyone a NetFlix gift certificate. They need a credit card, because NetFlix is going to try and charge them for a subscription when the "gift" ends. Wow, a gift that steals money from the recipient if they don't remember to cancel it on time. What a great way to expand your customer base. By pissing them off. What idiots.

      Speaking of NetFlix, I can move onto heavier documentary fare (The Fog of War), or cleanse my palate with Eegah! as served hot 'n' cheezy by Joel and the Bots. One from Column B, please.

      Rumsfeld didn't just know, he ordered the torture.

      Huh! Know what important anniversary today is? (Or was, as it was yesterday) Me neither, I forgot too! 5/16/97 was the day I made my first Geocities page. It was "live," but no one knew. I fiddled with it for 2 more weeks before THE WHOLE WORLD (ie, the Space Ghost Mailing List) knew about it. As a celebration--or, more accurately, the only "Summer rerun" I've never rerun--here's what I consider the first pretty funny (if a bit dated now) thing outside of Sisto that I'd ever typed:


      Yesterday's showing of Super Size Me was preceded by 6 minutes each of trailers and commercials. Trailer=2 minutes long; Ad=30 seconds long. The ads were not exactly cued up to the movie about to be shown. The first 2 were for soda, starting with a Coke ad in which some Latinos compare the shape of a sexy young woman to that of a glass Coke bottle (yeah, like those are easy to find) as she gets on a bus. Then a fatter--and, it goes without saying, older woman, as any woman above the age of 25 can't be sexy--gets off the bus. And they compare her shape to a 2-liter bottle! Oh ho, the japery! From this, I guess I'm supposed to buy Coke because:

      In the film, there's a segment about a man whose diabetes and weight are so bad that he gets his stomach surgically "reduced to the size of a small apple." And guess what? He drank a 2 liter bottle of soda a day.
      COKE CAN KILL YOU! Niiice product placement, Coke. The movie repeatedly mentions Coke by name, which would explain their funding of that anti-Spurlock site I mentioned a few entries back. I doubt that anyone walked out of that theater craving caffeinated high-fructose corn syrup.

      From the Department of Utter Mundanity, I got some chores done over my weekend. Yesterday, I put the air conditioner in the window. Kill Kill has long since moved into a supervisory role in such projects, but Byron is still eager to help. "Help" this time was climbing out on to the narrow brick ledge outside the open second-story window. By the time I got the AC unit in the window, the only part of him that was inside was a foot and a tail. One thing you always have to bear in mind with a deaf cat is that if he can't see you, he thinks you're not there. When you touch him, he'll get startled. And jump a mile. I gently increased my hand pressure on his tail, then reached out and dragged him in by his chest, with him screaming "I want to go OUUUT!!" and clawing at the window frame.
      I've thought of getting him a cat leash to indulge his interest with Outside, but his obsessive-compulsive reaction to the laser pointer has ruled that out. I work 2nd shift, and there's about 6 weeks a year when there's a more than a few minutes of sun left when I get home. He, in his doglike way, would want to go out late in the winter or in the dead of night. He's invisible in the dark, even in the "dark" of a suburban condo with a computer monitor and lots of other ambient light. If humanity vanished and cats were left to fend for themselves, it would be but a blink in evolution's uncaring eye before all former housecats developed his coat color. Kill Kill's kind would move north, to be Polar Cats.
      Today's chore was defrosting the 30+ year old fridge. Again, Byron was very helpful, at least to the point of trying to drag a can of Friskies out of it. It used to take me 2 hours of hard effort to defrost the relic, but now it takes 30 minutes of lazy effort. I know you REALLY, REALLY care how its done, so here are my tips:

      Ahem. Don't use a blow dryer; that just melts the surface while the underside changes from frost into pack ice. Instead, boil 2 big pots of water. Stick one at a time in the freezer part (I'm assuming your freezer part is metal, like mine. Otherwise, go get a blow dryer or a flame thrower). Using a dinner knife and a hammer, chisel under the chunks until they fall off. If they don't fall off immediately, go sit down and let the pots melt the ice a bit. Break chunks off, throw in sink to melt, watch kitten bat stray pieces around the floor, laugh at the silly boy. The End.
      Martha Stewart never told you useful shit like that.

      Today was a gorgeous day. Brilliant sun, perfect temperatures, no humidity, a nice breeze, all the maple trees decided to let loose their little helicopter seedlings at once. Of course, only 30 miles to the north in Massachusetts, it was raining fire, brimstone, frogs, locusts, Swaggarts, Chicks and Falwells cuz GOURD was mad that they wuz lettinum FAGS get hitched!! I also have it on good authority that absolutely NO water was turned into wine there today!
      No, wait, they had the same weather we had. Mysterious ways, I tell you brother, MYSTERIOUS WAYS!
      I wish I was a Fundie, so I could now divorce my big-haired wife and blame it all on the GAY FAGS ruining the sanctity of marriage!
      I think my lasting contributions to the Net are going to be:

      Ahem. Popularizing the use of three fake words, Splut, Pookie (for "computer"), and Gourd (for "God"). The first two I can take no credit for, being creations of Her Divine Splutness, KitSplut. The last is mine, although also derived from that friendship, in my invented Yamsylvanian religion of IslYam. Their Holy Trinity was The Yam, The Gourd, and The Friendly Ghost. I recently saw "Gourd" used on an ex-GF's page, with whom I've no contact for 5 years. Actually, I won't be famous for that. Really, let's admit it, it'll be for the cats.
      Byron was not in his usual place when I got out of the shower this morning. Normally, he wanders around the bed while I dress (because he knows he'll get some Friskies soon). Instead, he was in the front window. Which he'd closed.


      I realized that he'd seen a bug! I've been hoping that one would wander in here. Since placid, gentle Killsy gets all Fat Guy Goes Nutzoid when she sees one, what would Adrenaline Boy do?


      I was thinking along the lines of one of those teeny white moths, and not what he'd actually cornered: a wasp the size of Rodan. Thank Gourd that he'd unintentionally pulled the window shut. It was one terrified wasp, what with Toezilla deciding that it was a smack-magnet. There was the tiniest of openings in the outside storm window, which I'd taped over in the past. But the tape had dried and curled and The Giant Claw had made its way in. A few minutes of Byron's batting, it decided that it wasn't safe being around something it couldn't sting, and it somehow found its way back out.
      Toemaster B at rest:


      If you look carefully, you can see that he's dead asleep--with his eyes still open.

      Big Picnic lets us in on the secret advice memos Ralph Nader is sending Kerry.


      20 years ago I opined that of the films of Star Wars, there was one that everyone thought was the best. Empire. And what was different about that one movie? Lucas neither wrote nor directed it.
      Of course, now there's five films, and 3 of them are universally despised. Is there any hope for the next one? Sure, so long as Lucas doesn't get near it.


      I've had a nice brisk walk in the woods. At 11PM. It's the best time, once your eyes adjust to the dark. Even with the sound of the highway traffic 3 miles distant, constantly--I was about to say "roaring," but it's too far away to be a roar. It sounds more like someone blowing in a cardboard tube. I've been doing this for almost 15 years, and I've never run into another person. Umm, by "doing this" I mean walking in the woods late at night, not blowing into cardboard tubes. That's just weird.

      A reader whose name I hope really isn't "Dirck de Lint" (which sounds like a superspy who has a cache of hi-tech gadgets in his navel fluff) found my hellhole from a link to Stupid Green Beret. I actually have a hit counter on Tod Holton. While the InExOb is all washed up, and everything on this site is just never going to go anywhere due to lack of ambition, there's still this odd bit of hope that my masterpiece might get some attention from some Big Web Site, like bOING bOING or something. When I wrote TH, SGB, I said "Ne plus ultra." Which is Latin for "GAME OVER, DUDE!" I'll never be that funny again.
      I'm not sure where he saw the page, but there was a tiny uptick in activity after it was mentioned on godawful.net. I bring this up only because the person making the mentioning is As If's! Mimi! It's a small web after all!
      Dirck says: "Here's the link. Chilling, it is. I suppose as the US lacks government ministers, you'll have to call it the Department of Thought." Hard lessons from poetry class: Speech is free unless it's critical:

      What's the Eternal War on Terror about again? Oh, right, they hate freedom.

      This is supposed to be funny and offensive, and given that that it's from Negativland, it will probably be both. I'm still downloading, and given my luck, I won't be able to play it. So let me know what's up with >a href="http://www.negativland.com/mashin/howto.htm">The Mashin' of the Christ.


      Byron got his second encounter with a bug. It was a giant, gangly male mosquito, surely the insect world's answer to Jerry Lewis' spazzy retard routine. He got in a good swipe, but it escaped. Unfortunately, our Bug Hunter Supreme, Bwana Kill Kill, was late answering the call to action. Byron obsessed over it for the next half-hour.

      Eric Idle's love song to the FCC.

      I've always been interested in "cargo cults," in which Pacific islanders, overwhelmed by the combination of the sudden onslaught of Western technology and their own long-standing beliefs, created strange amalgrams of both. I always thought that they were created when the Allies swept across the islands during WWII, but they started as early as the 18th century. When colonialism became a plague in the early 20th century, they developed some interesting theologies:


      Random fragments of my day:

      That giant male mosquito returned. A cry of "BUG!" brought Kill Kill straight into the action. Last time, I'd smacked it repeatedly, but only to bat it down to cat-level. This time, hell with it, gonna squish it. It went into a corner that I could only reach with the only weapon I had at hand, a bamboo back scratcher. I broke off a tooth with my swing, but the skeeter went down behind some stuff. "WOO!" I high-fived myself, "I'm now the best hunter in the house!"
      Then Byron freaked out. It had survived, and it wasn't taking chances getting near any of us, and it vanished into the shadows.
      Given time, all bugs go to the shower. And then down the drain, on the Waterslide to Hell. Byron's second safari wasn't exactly perfect, but I'm expecting more.

      Girl, about 11, to her mother: "You get to drink a whole bottle of vodka, but I can't even have a little in my juice!"

      Handy Travel Tip: Keep a big empty Burger King milkshake cup in easy reach in your car, and you can drive and vomit at the same time! IT REALLY WORKS!
      Remember that you'll need a new cup afterwards.

      From the "I'm sure to never regret THIS decision in years to come!" department, a young woman had a large, obvious tattoo on the back of her neck. In inches-high Gothic letters it said "HOG."

      "Since the defining moment of the Bush presidency, the preposterous flight-suit, Fox News-produced photo-op on the Abraham Lincoln in front of the banner that read 'Mission Accomplished,' the shaming truth is that everything has gone wrong. Just as it was bound to go wrong, as many of us predicted it would go wrong--if anything more hopelessly wrong than any of us would have dared to prophesy. Iraq is an epic train wreck, and there's not a single American citizen who's going to walk away unscathed."




      My excuse for the lack of posting: the weather was bad.
      Stop rolling your eyes, it's true. Sunday we had six thunderstorms roll through town, 3 of them right on top of us. There was about half an hour between each one, and I shut the Pookie down 5 times.
      Byron loved it! He couldn't hear the loud crashes of thunder, so he just stood all excited in the window, watching the wind and rain and blowy stuff. Until the wind shifted and he got wet.
      Kill Kill used to be terrified of them, hiding under the waterbed until 20 minutes after the storms had passed. Then she'd tip-toe out, carefully glancing around in case it started again. She was better if I was home; she'd hide under something near my feet until it ended. Now, she runs under the coffee table at the first rumble, but otherwise sits placidly during even the biggest right-outside-the-window BANGS!
      Here she is, just before the storm, resting peacefully in her tower that overlooks the front window:


      ...And here she is after that first rumble, under the coffee table:


      So Sunday, the computer was off more than it was on. Monday, they said the weather would be worse: a line of t-storms that stretched from New York City to New Hampshire, with 60MPH winds, dime-sized hail and even a chance of a tornado. Hey, thanks, but if I wanted Oklahoma weather, I'd move there. My original plan was to hike the woods then get the errands done, but the hail-on-the-head threat made me decide to do the errands and then see what the weather was like. So I went grocery shopping. Hey, you know those people who panic-buy when there's even the slightest chance of snow? They do it when there's thunderstorms, too! Since the most likely result of a t-storm is the power going out, I don't get why you need to fill your fridge first. Maybe when the tornado sucks you up, those giant-size sacks of Cheetos work like airbags.
      But the storm moved northeast, giving Vernon only a rumble or two. I went to the park, and I was the only one there. Score!
      The mail contained good news for Byron: 300 AG13 button-cell batteries for his laser pointer! With $63 of postage on the envelope (it was from Hong Kong). That's roughly a year's worth, at less than 10c a battery. I tried to get a good shot of B-boy rampaging after the laser dot, but even kitties have their off days. This mild gallop was the only shot he'd allow me:


      The envelope was very unsealed, and anybody could've simply undone the string holding it shut to see what was inside; possibly it's a customs thing. The twine that held it all together was a hit with the kids.


      It smells like half a world's worth of postmen!!

      I've always said that you can tell more about a person by how he acts over the little things he thinks no one notices, than you can over the big things everyone sees. For instance, it's not how big a bouquet you send to the funeral, it's how you cared about the deceased when they were alive. Every single person in the Bush Misadministration has this freaky, pathological need to lie even when they have no reason to; refuse to acknowledge even the tiniest of mistakes; and, when it's obvious that a mistake has been made, to blame it on somebody else. Case in point: Bush falls off his bike, gets an owie, and the next day White House spokesperson Trent Duffy claims, "It's been raining a lot and the topsoil is loose. You know this president. He likes to go all-out. Suffice it to say he wasn't whistling show tunes."
      I have no freakin' idea what that part about "show tunes" means ("The President is NOT TOTALLY GAY!" maybe?), but someone checked and it hadn't rained in Crawford for TEN DAYS.
      Jesus Fuck! Bush didn't fall, TERRORIST TOPSOIL did it. Damn those foreign fighter earthworms! If someone had pointed out that the weather wasn't rainy, they'd've claimed that the weathermen "withheld crucial data from our study." And they would've been Clinton's weathermen.
      He fell off a bike. And there's already an official cover-up. If they'd lie about something everyone would forget about after a day...What about the history that will be remembered for centuries?

      I've never used "Froogle," so I have no idea how it works. Based on this hit my page had, I guess that it just takes random phrases and matches them to a dollar sign. I've no idea what that search was looking for, and I'm insulted that they think I'd part with Byron for $7.98! NOT FOR A BILLION!!


      A yearly tradition of late is Lily sending me a birthday card. "Late" would be the operative word this year, but, given the theme, it could also be considered an early jump on the important birthday, 6/16. The Kids' shared day.



       Mmm, love it! If you don't get the joke, you haven't been enough of a long-term reader of This Drivel.

      We had a milestone on Monday. I bought a bag of cat food! Maybe that sounds less milestonish than it should. But I mean, "as opposed to a bag of kitten food." Yep, little Byron will be a year old. And Killsy, hard as it is for me to comprehend, will be FIVE!
      My crappy attempt at a page for Kill Kill is here. The random Byron pages are:
      4 weeks old
      5 weeks old
      Our first month as a family of 3 (an old New, but it has my fave photos of Byron--him battling a toy mouse as big as his head. That's our boy! Boundless optimism!)
      "They grow so fast!" is a rank cliche. But there's only a month between these photos of Byron at 12 weeks and those of the tiny round stumbly kitten called "Dustball" from those earlier ones.

      Give a big space to the festive dog that makes sport in the roadway. Classic Carroll column on mistranslations.


      New York, London, Paris, Munich, everybody talkin' bout, mmm, pop monsters! Shooby dooby doo wop!


      The Anti-Bush Game, a very entertaining Nintendo side-scroller and factoid generator. The factoids are all about the economy, which usually makes my eyes glaze like a donut. But here, they're funny and well-presented. It takes a while to get through the game, although if you die, you can continue, and you can play as "Fat-Ass He-Man." BUT! there's no "save game" feature, and don't do what I did: get 60% through it and then accidentally hit the "back" button on the trackball. Allll the way back to the beginning...But not tonight, thanks.

      More political humor, from what appears to be a real site. Getcher puppet government!


      Kerry's Top 20 Veep Choices.


      My week's vacation from work begins next week. My week's vacation from THIS albatross begins right now. Please don't waste my bandwidth checking between now and 6/6, as there will be NOTHING NEW HERE.
      Feel free to use the comments; I may turn up there.


      If you've come here from urbandictionary.com, please leave a note in the comments about why. I thought that it might be over the word "splut," and was psyched when I saw that it related to "the HAND of GOD," until I found out what that meant.

General Comments for 4/04: