Black Cheese and Grey Wine

NEW 72

In an expanding universe, time is on the side of the outcast. Those who once inhabited the suburbs of human contempt find that, without changing their address, they eventually live in the metropolis.
--Quentin Crisp


      On vacation, so back to work.

      I spent my first day of vacay in bed. Slept a bit late. 530PM, to be exact. If there's a crappy, cold, rainy day on summer vacation, I always spend it sleeping (insanely) in. And today was it. It looks like gorgeous weather for the next 8 days. To once again use my favorite Kitspkut quote, "Sleep is the best game." And the cats like to play, too!

      Reagan's dead. Boo fuckin' hoo. For those of you too young to remember him, he was Dumbya's precursor: A powerless figurehead serving as a tool of the corporations and the Fundies, who used him to put an affable face on their mission to loot the treasury, rape the environment, and burn the Constitution. His administration let Saddam use poison gas on the Kurds, trained a nice fellow named bin Laden in the ways of terrorism, and used drug money to finance death squads in Central America. And, y'know--he was SENILE THE ENTIRE TIME HE WAS PRESIDENT.
      Billmon encapsulates Reagan for those who don't remember.

      Ah, how we "built democracy" in Central America. I still have no fucking idea why we supposed to care if some microscopic and impoverished country built in the swamplands went Commie or not. Well, Reagan did say that eventually they'd invade Texas (Billmon in a different article: "Reagan famously warned that Nicaragua was just a 'two-day drive from Harlington, Texas.'")
      Ronnie considered the murderous Contras to be the "moral equivalent of our Founding Fathers." Yes, who can forget Benjamin "Mass Grave" Franklin, or Thomas "I'm Gonna Rape 'n' Murder Me Some Nuns!" Jefferson! Here's a little collage I did 20 years ago over just that:


      The best thing about Reagan dying for Dumbya is that it puts Nancy's pet cause back in the limelight: Stem cell research. Which Bush is agianst because, ahh, you're a human soul when you're 36 hours old, but you're a worthless piece of cannon fodder once Momma squirts you out at 9 months. Maybe stem cell research might get more attention now.
      Otherwise, the only truly sad thing about Reagan dying is that it happened 20 years too late.


      Gorgeous weather is the prediction for my vacation's duration, and I plan on hitting Valley Falls state park every weekday (they charge you on weekends, and the parks are packed--hell, I'd pay to be the only person there, but not one of scores). School's still in session, we're right after a week were lots of people take vacation time, so I planned on having the place to myself!
      And I get there and it's CLOSED. Through SEPTEMBER.
      They're doing construction there, something about "crushing and burying a culvert." Yeah sure whatever, culvert burying, that takes 3 fuckin' months. Not 3 months in SPRING, not 3 months in AUTUMN, but the 3 months when people might actually want to GO THERE.
      The road in was blocked, and, most annoyingly, I could see that the parking lot was empty and hear that no heavy machinery was operating. They shut it down even though they weren't doing anything.
      Ha ha, screw you! I went to the park's back door. It adds 45 minutes and more than a mile and a half to the round trip, but it got me in. And for once...I really did have the place to myself. I realized that "This is what it would be like if I owned this park." I sat on the bench that overlooks the park and imagined where my house would go. It'd be a bit back in a cleared meadow. I wouldn't need the current parking lot, but it would be a nice place to put the automated machine gun turrets.
      This might actually work out perfectly, if they don't start ripping the place apart until next week. My own private Valley Falls.

      Then I went to my two fave stores, the Salvation Army and BIG!Lots. "CLAM JUICE!" yelled a guy at the SalvArmy. It's a funny comedy joke! He was holding a pot that you could use for steaming clams! That might yield juice! Of clams! He explained it to his friends. His joke about the juice. From the clams. If you have to explain it, it's not a joke; if it's about clam juice, it can't possibly be a joke. We take our clam juice seriously round these here parts!
      I violated the current rule of "No more buying breakables until Byron becomes sane" and bought a little music-boxy thing shaped like a white kitten playing with a ball of yarn. I'm like an old lady when it comes to cute cat things. It plays "We Wish You a Merry Christmas," for reasons beyond my ken or even my barbie.
      At BIG!Lots they had flip-flops, which I sneered at. Then I realized that I didn't really have an actual reason to sneer at flip-flops, so I decided that, if asked, I'd say "Because they make your feet explode! Everyone knows that!--Except YOU, I guess!" without any evidence and then repeat it enough times that people might think, "Jeez, maybe they do!" and then we'd all happily live in a flip-flop free world.
      They also had some cat treats that promised to "Reduce the foul odor of stool." I would've bought them (Byron) for one of (Byron) the cats (Byron), but Mr Stinky-Poo doesn't eat cat treats. He eats cheese. Umm...Is there a causal relationship there?
      I also bought Dr Phil's (TM) SHAPE UP! diet shake-in-a-can. "But, Bill!" you say, because you always say shit like this, Christ, can you cut me a break for once? "Didn't you just lose 10 pounds on your THROW UP! Involuntarily diet?" Yes, and now I'm trying to lose some of this pesky bone marrow! No, I bought it because it says "meal substitute" on it. And it is kinda filling. And I HATE FOOD. Eating is a freaking chore. When are they going to invent them damn Jetsons food pills, anyway? I'll be first in line.

      I don't care if you loved or despised the man, but Reagan's corpse is going on a national tour?! Will they sell tshirts that say "Necropalooza 2004"?
      For a Johnny One-Note with his hit song, "Commies Are Bad," he's sure getting the Lenin's Tomb treatment. Why don't they just stuff him and mount him on Trigger? It's like the 19th century, when they'd shuttle Egyptian mummies around the country, showing them at county fairs.
      Speaking of Lenin and inept segues, I once found a 1950s book in the public library titled "Stalin is My Uncle" or possibly "I Am Stalin's Nephew" or "One of My Parents is Stalin's Sibling" or "I'm My Own Grandpaw, and Grandpaw's a Fucking Psychopath." It was by Stalin's nephew! The only thing I remember from it was his story about Lenin's Tomb. For those who don't know, when Lenin died the Commies pickled his corpse and put it on permanent display near the Kremlin. It was sort of like going to Bolshevik Disney World, except that if you didn't go to visit Tomb-yland once a year, the NKVD would take note and you'd be spending your next several years' vacation in Siberia. This meant that there would always be a long, slow line to file past Pickles. One day, the line kept moving slower and slower, and then it stopped. The security goons wondered what was happening after a while, and went up to the sarcophagous to investigate.
      Seems one of Pickles' ears had fallen off.
      They shut down their version of "It's a Small Lobe After All" for a week, then replaced Pickles with a wax dummy. Hey, it's true! Stalin's nephew said so!
      Screw it. If they're going to drag Ronnie Raygun's Really Really Final Tour out all week, I'm doing the same with my tribute to the senile sock puppet:

      Oh, sweet Space Waitress! She introduced me to John Scalzi, and now she enlightens me about FafBlog! It's just damn funny. Highlights: the interviews (with bin Laden, Jesus, and An Enormous Pumpkin), Fafnir's thousand-page novel about whaling ("The first half is narrated by the whale. The second half is narrated by the sea. The third half is narrated by a Faulknerian idiot man-child.") and his literary agent Chalabi; and most anything that begins with "Giblets is Angry!" And that's just the last 2 weeks!

      Imminent Second Attack!! Imminent Second Attack!! Imminent Second Attack!! Now in its third year!


      Today I didn't even bother taking the back way into the park, I just left the Vomitmobile in the driveway by the barred gate and went right into Valley Falls. That's because I now own it, by default or squatter's rights or a monkey's paw that may or may not currently be in my possession, or some other reason I may make up in the future. In fact, I'd thank you to call it "Kill Kill Valley and Byron Falls Park," as I have so decreed in my benevolent munificence.
      Once again I was alone, unless you count my friends of the "flying flesh-gnawing swarms" variety. The horseflies and mosquitos will be out in force in a week, but there were plenty of specimens from the species kamikaze idioticus about. One is the bug that just flies an inch from your nose until you kill it, then its vengeance-crazed brethren fly an inch from your nose until you kill them. The other is the beloved "Let me fly right into this guy's ear--Hey, Wait! I'm in some guy's ear! What the Hell! I'll do a few violent somersaults in here, then fly right out! Hey, there's a guy's ear! Let me fly right in!" bug. That is the scientific name.
      My attempt to grow my own maple tree ended in failure when Byron knocked the planter to the floor, spilling potting soil in a pile. When I came home, he was sleeping in the dirt. In case I have yet to mention it, he's insane. And if you don't believe me, here he is, taking a nap in the crap:


      After I took the picture, he woke up and followed me and sneezed. "You wouldn't be sneezing if you weren't sleeping in the dirt!" I said, before realizing how that sounded like something my mother might've said 35 years ago. Prly just as well that he can't hear me.
      I came home with an overly salty pizza, which Byron wanted to eat (cf above: Byron, insanity of). The car parked next to me at Pizza Splut Hut must've been owned by a professor of Birdology at the Gull College, because it had the heaviest coating of aerial-launched guano I'd ever seen. It was all over the "University of Margaritaville" alumni sticker, and we all know how hard is to get into that college. Hmm, maybe those were parrot droppings...

      I don't have any "Reagan sucked!" links today, but that won't stop me from continuing my celebration of "Hey, Know What? REAGAN SUCKED!" Week here. I remember when he gave a speech at the beginning of the Presidency he won in a "landslide" (he got 50.75% of the vote, or about 25% of the voting-age population's approval, but the corporate-owned media declared that he had a "landslide" and a "mandate"). He said, "For the first time in Man's History...umm, duhh...I'M PRESIDENT!" Well, that's certainly true! I laughed. It took a couple of days to sink in: This was him thinking on his feet. A guy who could blow up the world. In fact, a guy who WANTED to blow up the world, as he thought that we were living in "End Times."
      It took a couple of years before we figured out that, no, he wasn't retarded. He was senile. And wanting to blow up the world...

      The next isn't a Summer rerun, it's a never-ran. Back in the day when I first bought the domain name, I planned on having a feature called "The Sodomizer," starring every child's favorite abuser of the petting zoo, Sodomy the Lawn Gnome. It was basically a rant that was enhanced with sidebars. Like everything I start, it never got completed. The first one was going to be about the radio station that I was being forced to listen to at work, "Lite Favorites." WHOSE FAVORITES?! Not mine, pally! "Home of the No-Repeat 9-to-5 Workday!" No, just the same songs every workday in a different order.
      Part of the problem was that I had all the sidebars written, at least in my head, but I never started the main article that was to be the core of it. Well, now that I've come across the old files and they all date to a month before 9/11, maybe having to listen to Whitney and Celine didn't strike me as quite the problem it originally had been.
      Here's what I found on the old HD. Some of it's lost; I never actually wrote down the interview with Phil Collins (in which he explains how he always decided that all of his album covers should be "close-ups of my fat balding sweaty scary head"--and 90% of them are, if you don't believe me). Also finished mentally was my tribute to all the damn Disney songs that were played by this station (it was owned the same megacorp that owns Disney! The coincidence is unfathomable!)--it was a comic strip, and well beyond my meager artisitic talents, and that was the end of my look at their obsession with playing the excreable "House on Pooh Corner" every day (the strip was to be called "Winnie the Pooh and Terminator 2").
      Well, that's a lot of build-up for very little. Here are the only scraps from that failed experiment, Compare & Contrast and Sodomy's column.

Compare and Contrast These Lite Favorites Artists!

Michael Bolton
Rod Stewart
Bryan Adams
Phil Collins
Prince Otto Von Bismarck (1815-1898)
Has a singing voice like a Karaoke drunk who smokes 3 packs of Marlboros a day: Yes Yes Yes No; more like a nonsmoking Karaoke drunk Unknown; career predates invention of recorded sound
Balding? Yes No No God yes; sheds like a yak Yes
Mullet? Yes Yes No No No; but only because mullets weren't invented yet
Pudgy? No Not with all that stomach pumping, ha ha! No; keeps weight down with steady diet of Count Chocula Yes, and sweaty No; merely big-boned
"18 Till I Die" arrested-adolescent macho posturing covering up fact that he's really a pussy-ass momma's boy, trying to appeal to both the sexuality & maternal instincts of his middle-aged white female audience: No No Yes, yes, yes, YES YES! No "Momma's Boy"? Momma's boys don't besiege PARIS, now do they?!
Emits unpleasant, saurkrautish odor when sweaty: Yes Yes No; dainty as a lilac-scented doily No; more of a rotting skunk-carcass smell Eats German food; smells like that without sweating
Album cover art as uninteresting as his music: Yes Yes No, he seems to be doing aerobics, which is more interesting Big fat sweaty bald scary head! Yes, but Daugerrotypes really just don't bring out his inner glow
Unified disparate principalities under Prussian dominance into a single autocratic government: No No No No Ja wohl
Is the subject of an amusing story involving a stomach pump:
(Note: all of the singers' music can be related to stomach pumps, as it frequently achieves the same basic regurgitative effect on unprepared listeners)
No Ohhhh, YEAH!! No Yes; choked on own sweat from bald fat head Yes; in the brutal siege of Paris during the Franco-Prussian War, as giant cannons laid punishing fire on helpless, starving civilians, Otto ate some potato salad that had gone bad in the sun. The funny part is, it was German potato salad!! (source: A.J.P. Taylor's Bismarck: The Man, The Mystery, The Moustache, p.378)
Did a wretched cover of a Motown classic, forever displacing the original's memory in the minds of middle-aged white women: Yes, repeatedly Yes, repeatedly No, not yet; desecration of Marvin Gaye still in development Yes, once Predates the invention of the classic "Motor City" sound, but was known to play "Ride of the Valkyries" on air cello
Sleeps with... Hotter chix than I ever will. There is no God!! Anything that moves, and several that don't His "He-Man" Underoos on An open bag of pork rinds That really cool helmet with the big pointy spike on top! Look out if he rolls over, though
Masturbates to publicity pictures of self: Yes Yes Yes, but first pastes his head-shot on a photo of Daisy Duke No. But I mean, Christ, look at the guy!! No, the helmet spike tends to get stuck in the headboard
Hideous sound emitted while masturbating: Sings "When a man loves a Bolton" At climax, screams "STOMACH PUUUUMP!!" Squeeeals like a pig! Porky Pig, in fact Goes "HAW HAW, HAW HAW!" like in "Mama" song while being very sweaty indeed None; sexually repressed nature forced him to invade France instead
Is the leader of...: North Dork-ota! The United Kink-Dumb of England, Scotland, & Cum-Gargles!! Wuss-ylvania! PudgySweatyBaldyJerkistan! Germany!
If a tyrannical race of man-eating Alien Slavers took over the Earth, would immediately betray humanity to serve the Alien Overlords by using his evil power of crooning love ballads to herd people into the Alien Fattening Pens, so that they could be eaten alive by the Aliens' horrifying giant maggot offspring: Yes Yes No; would hide under bed, praying that his Luke Skywalker action figure would come to life & protect him No; so plump & juicy, Aliens would eat him at once Yes; but would only herd non-Germans
* Stewart's anagram only works if his name's really "Rod R Stewart," but, what the hey
*Another good anagram for Bolton is A MOONLIT BELCH, which pretty much sums up his singing style


That is Rupert Holmes, the guy who did "Escape (The Fucking Pina Colada Song)." That bastard's my SWORN ENEMY!

Hay-zeus Christy! LOOK at that fuck! He so fugly, he has to use HANDCUFFS on his dates! And you can bet that happens just as she realizes that Ripe-Pert's "secret pina colada recipe" includes roofies.

So why does I hate this forgotten loser boy? Well, I knew Ru-fart once, back in 1979. We met in a bar called O'Malley's.

Yer ol' pal Soddy was pounding Guinness, while Dr. Fag-enstein there was slurping some white, gooey mush with an umbrella in it. It was a pina colada, but the white, gooey mush probably reminded him of himself.

So I gets into complaining that, you know, the 70s are so sexually free and easy, but where's the support for us animal fuckers? We're people, too! Unless we're lawn gnomes. So I sing Doo-doo-pert the chorus to a moving ballad I done wrote about the tender and touching subject of bestiality.

A month later, I turns on the radio, and it's this frickin' tripe:

"If you like pina coladas
And getting caught in the rain,
If you're not into yoga
If you have half a brain..."

FUCK! That's MY song! Spew-pert's got half of MY brain!! The creative half!!

Now, this here's the chorus I singed to him that night. Gee whiz, do you spot any fucking similiarities?

"If you like porking koalas
Or doing cows in the rear,
If you frighten the poodles
And also the deer
If you like makin' love at midnight
With a big hairy ape,
Then I'm the lawn gnome you've looked for;
So why not BEND OVER, BITCH!"

I admit the last line needed work. It just wasn't romantic enough.

So Ru-pervert stole my goddamn song. Ever wonder why he's kept such a low profile after his big hit? He knew I was after his ass! He went into hiding, like some Lite Favorite Salman Rushdie! And it was lucky for us both. If I'd met the scum 20 years ago, I woulda gone all Islamic on his ass. Now, I'm older, wiser, greedier. If I ever track the fuck down, I'm suing for all his back royalties, and sending him to prison. And when he's in jail, he'll be singin' a new tune: "Butt Rape (There's a Fucking Penis in my Colon Song)."

       Fafnir's exit strategy for Iraq, which is certainly as good as any plan the Bushies have come up with. Since, y'know, they haven't actually come up with one yet, I guess that Fafnir's plan is automatically better.


      There were people in MY park today!
      And they can have it. The insect life has become unbearable, as it always does between mid-June and mid-July. It takes about 10 seconds for a cloud of bugs to form around your head, and they don't go away until you leave the woods. Valley Falls is, of course, a valley, and the bugs ignore the higher elevations. I tried slipping in from one high trail to cut across to the other, but I took the wrong trail and ended up deep in the woods. I gave up after blowing the third bug out of my nose.
      I had another reason to leave--Young's Syndrome. Unfortunately, the symptoms came in reverse order. The diarrhea was first, and I was half an hour's walk from my car. Not being a bear, I wasn't about to shit in the woods, so I used my mighty power of "Clench of Steel!" and made it home just in time. And then I started puking. Back and forth, leaking from one orifice and then the other. Not my best day of vacation, really.
      Hopefully the usual will happen and it'll go away before tomorrow, when I plan on going to see the robot dinosaurs.

      Here are brief reviews of my recent Netflix rentals.

      The Fog of War: This interview with former Defense Secretary Robert McNamara was fascinating, except for the part 5 minutes from the end where I fell asleep.

      Catch Me If You Can: That was okay. Hey, I said "brief" reviews.

      The Rutles: Eric Idle's tribute to The Pre-Fab Four. I've always loved this movie.

      Bubba Ho-tep: Elvis and JFK, who are still alive, protect their nursing home from a mummy who sucks the souls out of old farts' asses. I really liked it, although I don't know what it wanted to be. It kept switching from drama to comedy, although it never really tried to be a horror show. It also has the best extra material, a commentary by Elvis, who's still alive, but who's not the Elvis who's alive in the movie, because that's just a movie and this hyar's the King! It was by the director of Phantasm and starred Bruce Campbell as Elvis, which probably gives you a better idea of what it was like.

      Holes: That was pretty good, even if the plot was one giant knot of coincidences.

      Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: I'd never actually seen any of these. I didn't even know that a new one was out until Ebert reviewed it. And I loved it! I'll be watching the second one tonight, and if I like it, maybe see the new one Friday.
      Everywhere but America it was titled "...and the Philosopher's Stone," because Hollywood thought that title would make it too intellectual sounding. A good point, as surely no kid in America had ever heard of this "Harry Potter" dude before. They might think that it was going to be "Harry Potter and the Existentialism of Sartre." Amusingly, everytime a character says "Sorcerer's," it happens offscreen.

      Various Box Sets: The best thing about Netflix is that I'm not buying box sets of stuff I might not watch a second time for years. In fact, hearing that The Critic box set was coming out was what got me to try Netflix. I still maintain that The Critic was the equal of the good-period Simpsons. I might buy Hitchhiker's Guide, as there are so many quotable lines in it (as well as Vogon poetry). The Young Ones I would've bought if it didn't have that third DVD (which I never rented--is it worth it?). Despite the fact I don't think I've seen it for over a decade, I still remembered almost all of it. Prly because MTV ran it so much. It does make me want to describe everything good as "BRILLIANT!" and everything bad as either "Girly" or "Really Heavy!!"
      I saw somewhere, a banner ad maybe, that A&E had a set of Courageous Cat and Minute Mouse out. A&E?! What, did they run out of Hitler documentaries? I thought, "I loved that show as a kid!" I was literally 2 minutes into the first cartoon when I asked myself, "Yes, and how old a kid were you when you loved this?" Like first through third grades, when Space Ghost and Herculoids came on the air. Wow, were these bad! No nostalgia or even kitsch value, just unmitigated crap. Courageous Cat and his sidekick drive their Catmobile out of their Catcave to fight colorful villians with gimmicky weapons--why, yes, it was created by Bob Kane, the creator of Batman! How'd you guess? He basically spent 1939 on reinventing Batman. Even his kid's version of Get Smart! had Batmanesque baddies (that cartoon was Cool MacCool, which I've seen as an adult and enjoyed. There's a box set they should make).

      Speaking of what I was just speaking of, M3 has a look at the MTV Music Awards, which includes this picture:

      It took 20 years, but the Vyvyan look is finally in! BRILLIANT!

      I Remember Reagan Better Than He Did Week continues!

      Reagan would always go to his cabinet meetings, unlike Bush who'd be more likely to go on vacation. He was pretty likely to fall asleep in them, or interrupt to tell a pointless and rambling anecdote. Once the discussion was welfare reform, and Ronnie chipped in with about how he'd heard that people with food stamps were using them to buy an orange, then using the change to buy a bottle of vodka! Since the maximum amout of change was 99c, that was going to be one tiny bottle and one enormous orange. The cabinet would look at him baffled when he was done, then get back to the actual work.
      One day, Reagan very intently scribbled on a sheet of paper. His aides were impressed; they'd never seen him pay such close attention to a topic. When they were done, they asked him about the notes he'd taken. Ronnie proudly held the sheet up and announced "I drew a cowboy!"

      And here's our Reagan link of the day:


      Open letter to Robot Dinosaurs: You suck!
      I knew that I was taking a chance, going at this time of year. This is "field trip rather than write a lesson plan" time of year. And, oh boy, they even had a big tent set up in the Springfield Quadrangle, teeming with elementary school spratlings. The younger ones made little crafts under there, while the older and more jaded single-digit-aged showed their Ameriduhian respect for Culture, Art and Science by chasing the pigeons and kicking the Dr Seuss memorial until it rang like a gong.
      And screeching. Oh Gourd, how the screeching did fill the air. Put 3 kids that age together, and you need earplugs. Put three hundred together, and the arena stadium next door starts complaining that they're drowning out The Who concert.
      Of course, this is only made worse by the adults screeching over the screeching. From the opposite side of the Quad, I could hear one guy bellowing to his own, non-field-trip brood, "I asked you if you wanted to GO, and you said you didn't want to GO, now you say that you have to GO, why didn't you tell me that you wanted to GO when I asked you if you wanted to GOOOO?!!?" He had just stepped out of the building with the bathroom, which at this point was an arduously painful hike back of about 30 seconds.
      And the dinosaurs sucked. Sucked and I had to pay $3! In American money! They were kinda ratty looking, although the presentation was nice: who knew that the mighty stegasaurous usually fed on a big yellow tarp? "WHEN TARPULIN RULED THE EARTH!" And they did really exciting shit like move their heads a bit and roar. Or maybe they yawned. One woman with a camera asked me at the T. Rex, "Do they open their mouths?" because she couldn't wait the damn 22 seconds to see if they did. 22 seconds later, it did, but she'd wandered away, having waited long enough.
      Me, too! The din, the din, the cacophonous din! The brats, the brats, the obnoxious brats! I fled the room (where they confiscated your little entry tag, so you wouldn't abuse the privilege of seeing cheezy Dinobots while going deaf again). But like flies on a dead squirrel, the little beasts rampaged through the science museum. Well, there's 3 more museums to go to. "Quadrangle," get it?
      I didn't really need to get all that involved in the science one, anyway. I'd been here only 6 months before with Kevin. We'd made the mistake of looking at every... last... thing... in the first 2 museums we'd gone into. Then we went to the boring planetarium, another $3 I'll never get back, and then we only had time to rush through the only other museum we wanted to see (the one with the paintings of pets), and just blow off the fourth. The fourth was the Springfield part, which included a Seuss exhibit. The permanent exhibits in the first we'd seen were still fresh enough in my mind that I could skip those, and the third was one that I knew I could escape the brattage: the art museum! This is America, and Art is Bad for Children and Other Living Things!!
      I didn't even care what I was looking at...I was, for a time, the only one there. I therefore renamed it the "Killsy and Byron Museum of Art and No Hideous Screechy Demon-Spawn."
      I skimmed the parts I'd seen before. The new temporary exhibit was AP news photos, which was interesting except for when it wasn't (they had a lot of ones that have become so iconic and widely published that there's no reason to see them again. See the actual Mona Lisa? That'd be something! To see a copy of the flag-raising at Iwo Jima or that Vietnamese guy getting his brains blown out for the thousandth time--strangely removed from anything resembling an emotion). I did like the political section. It had one after the Bush I/Clinton/Perot debate, with Bush 1.0 and Perot yakking at each other, while Clinton points at himself in response to someone unseen. He's prly just saying, "What, me?" but he also could've been saying "Who's your President NOW, baby?"
      They had a few stagey-looking political photos (although not "Mission Accomplished"), followed by one of Nixon shaking hands with a crowd--while blatantly checking his watch. Real people person, that Dick!
      I left the K&BMoA&NHSD-S to find the Quad largely deserted. The brats had all been herded into their buses or holding pens and returned to the Hell from which they sprang. Tip to anyone who Googles this page for "Springfield Quadrangle": get there after 1PM, and it's all yours.
      Despite the Seuss part, the Springfield Museum was prly the last place they would've taken the results of the leaky condoms. The Seuss room was small and stuffy. Despite Dr Geisel actually having lived his life in Springfield, it was sparse on Seussiana and half of it was dedicated to the making of the bronze statues that the viler tadpoles had been smashing on. Seems Springfield's main claim to immortality is that they made the Indian motorcycle, lots of guns, and, in a bit of inspired synergy, an Indian motorcycle with a gun on it.
      I didn't finish the whole place in 4 hours the first time I went, but I wrapped it up in 90 minutes this time. Here's a photo I took of one exhibit:

      "A group of 14th-century Native Americans count their bounty after a successful hunt at the Home Depot."

      Every time the news came on the radio, the lead story--repeat, the most important story in the entire world for Pete's sake--was "This just in! Reagan still dead!" No, I said, that's not news. "Reagan leaps from casket, screams "BRAAAAINS!" now THAT would be news. (And when I get home, this is all over the place: Bush-Zombie Reagan 2004)
      There's a point where it stops being "tribute" or "memorium" and just goes straight into "necrophilia." Tomorrow, NPR is planning to have 3 hours of live radio coverage of his funeral. RADIO FUNERAL, whoo! What could be LESS interesting than that?! Okay, Radio Golf maybe. But why doesn't Karl Rove just stick a fucking X-10 wireless camera in the coffin and start a site of streaming video of Ronnie rotting away? Decomposa-Cam!

      On the drive back, I say a van marked "WHYN NEWS-TALK RADIO." That's only funny if you pronounce the station call letters phonetically. "All WHYN, All The Time!"

      I passed a bar that promised "MS PIG ROAST SUNDAY" Is that an umarried pig, or has Bill Gates patented a proprietory hog-meat delivering system? If so, you know that that roast pig won't have an--Apple in its mouth! AH-HAHHAHAAHAsorry.

      After months of forgetting, I finally both remembered and had my camera along to photograph this family's nameplate by their mailbox:

      "Is the M-M-M-Master of the house at home?"
      Also on the way was "Torza's Golf Center." Possibly a cousin of Torgo? Must take a lot of practice to golf with those knees.

      And when I got home--How Cute Is This! They're holding hands!!

      Less cute than it was 10 seconds earlier, when they were looking into each other's eyes like the surrogate mother-and-child they are. Then Kill Kill said, "Oh Gourd, not the CAMERA!" and went all pointy-eared, which caused Byron to look for the problem. And I didn't get a second shot--KK hates that flashbulb.
      Maybe you can't tell, but since she's been back on cat food and not kitten chow, Kay's has really slimmed down. It was noticable after only a week. Byron makes sure she gets her exercise, of course. I think she's actually gained weight, as muscle weighs more than fat. We'll find out soon enough--the reminder about her annual shots came from the vet, and I make her appointment tomorrow. That's always fun, and it'll be just that much more fun jamming her into the carrier now that she's all that more powerful!

      Lily sent me a copy of "The Cat IQ Test," which I plan to look through over the weekend. Possibly I have a few assumptions as to who's going to score higher. For instance, Kill Kill knows that "camera" means "blinding flash." Here's Byron 3 minutes ago:

      ...with his head stuck in a box.
      (He did it repeatedly and deliberately, so maybe he just thinks it's fun)


      Today in Alternate History, a blog that's an almanac for parallel universes. Some are kind of dopey (they're not Republicans and Democrats, they're Communists and Socialists! Who elect the exact same people president. Grover Cleveland, a PINKO! Woo!), but some are clever. It's actually best not read as a blog, but by going to the archive and reading chronologically, ie, from the bottom up. They make more sense that way. (via the ever-inestimable null device)

      Here's a site I haven't looked at in years: Fortean Times. I remember them not having much online the last time I looked way back when, but now they have entire articles from the print edition online. Featured currently, some fascinating and well-researched biographies of writers and their experiments with drugs. I'd subscribe to the magazine, but, umm, $60 a only subs are to Funny Times, Science News and Skeptical Inquirer, and none of those are cheap, either. Guess I'll read the site for a while before I make my decision.

      Speaking of (and I was) things that assume you have a functional brain, I was very impressed with the new Harry Potter. IMO, the best of the series. And that's the extent of my review. "Go See." (And don't read Ebert's online review--he blows it for once, and gives away plot points that are barely touched on until the film's 2 hours in)


      Having been bred from pack hunters that wandered from place to place, dogs love changes of venue. Being territorial hunters at heart, cats hate any and every change to their environment. They'll dig through that same closet a hundred times, but don't move a chair. It unbalances the world!
      Despite having an enclosed litter box, The Kids need a rug outside to keep them from tracking litter everywhere. Despite having this rug, they do anyway, but let's move on. The rug had accumulated a lot of loose litter, and was all bunched up from little feet clawing at it, so I dumped the litter into the toilet. Byron witnessed this act with a stupefecation bordering on horror. The rug is not on the floor!! When I flattened it out, oriented on a different axis than previously, it was sacrilege. The rug is on the floor all wrong!! He gave a protesting meow, something he never does, and fled the bathroom. I took a shower, and when I got out of it, he came in the room. He was flummoxed by the continued insistence of the rug to Not Be Exactly Like Before. He looked at the towel I was using as if it were a mind-flaying tool of the Elder Gods, and slowly backed out of the room, his eyes pleading Don't use the towel! It is evil!
      Then I wrapped up my vacation with an exciting bout of laundry, and even decided to do the ironing. Now that is big news--I haven't ironed a damn thing in maybe 2 years. Sartorial splendor is not a prerequesite for selling to drunks. Byron took the ironing board in stride, prly already being completely jaded. It's not like it's a bathroom rug, after all! Kill Kill stayed away from it for a long time, then tip-toed as slowly as possible up to it. It was like the first appearance of the Monolith in 2001, except with cats and not screaming monkey-men. She spent a long, long time deciding if she should jump up on it, but decided against.
      MORAL: Always have a moral at the end, or people will think you just typed some pointless story! And you can take that to the bank.

      I made a few observations on Gonterman in the Comments. Since I know a lot of people don't care about that particular obsession of mine, I put it there (message 44).

      SInce it's a Salon blog, I'm prly not really breaking any major news here, but World O' Crap is my new favorite blog of the moment. The main part is great, but what really makes it special is Subliminal Cinema (on the sidebar), which artfully and hilariously bashes icky movies, then analyses them for deeper content, such as what Hercules in New York tells us about the future policy decisions of Governor Schwarzenegger.
      Also gets points for acknowledging the existence of Super President.


      Back to work; back to light updating.
      My job is considered to be some sort of crisis management--when I'm there. When I'm not, for a WEEK, nobody does it. And that's just fine. Because the guy to blame, me, isn't there.

      There was a customer with a laminated card in his pocket. It was titled "Mini-Mental Status Exam." This is it. Nothing spectacularly odd about it, I'm just posting in order to post. But it is odd that this business card-sized little thing appears to be how they decide where in the nuthouse to incarcerate you. I wonder if the Army in Iraq has a similiar one (although that prly just says "Is brown and looks at you funny"). If you ever need to use the Insanity Defense, I guess you should just do the opposite of what they ask.
      There's more of interest going on in the comments, but it's still all Gonterman. (In particular, the Splut/Zefiel look at Daveykins)


      I have nothing today. Except for one matter of great import:


      B-Toes' birthday is approximate, given his foundling status. But it certainly can't be more than a day in either direction from KK's. They've had extra wet food and catnip, and several exhortations of "Happy Birthday!" Even sung one time. Kill Kill continues to give me a look that seems to imply that she thinks me bonkers. If there's ever been a cat that can do the "one raised eyebrow" look, it's her. Byron just wants to play.
      Him being one year old I can relate to. Her being five...incomprehensible. It's like she's been here since only yesterday, and also my entire life.
      The pictures were chosen based on their adult personalities: Killsy's loving gentleness and beauty, Byron's upbeat goofy playfulness. I love these guys! Send them mental birthday wishes!


      Book review day!
      This is already all over the place, but Salon reviews some books looking at Bush's psychology. I'd give the guy the Mini-Mental State Exam myself.
      Are human males doomed to become extinct? I'd prefer that the review was more indepth, but it's the best I've found. It also doesn't answer the key question, is XXX girl-on-girl action still HOTT!! when there's no dudes to download it?
      Froogle is still stupid.


      Simon Hu wrote back!
      Oh, you remember Simon! No, wait, you don't. I barely do. He sent me unsolicited spam about me starting an "explosive cracking powder" franchise. I wrote back several times, mainly because I hadn't the fucking slightest idea what the stuff was. The website never said.
      But he wrote back! Ten MONTHS later.

Apparently, it really is the old Bullwinkle plot device, "Hush-A-Boom," the silent explosive. Except they've now decided to call it "CRACK.AG," which sounds to me like what you see when the plumber's under the sink. But it'll do this!

      Whatever, you know, that is.
       "ECC products are welcomed by fast selling in Marble, Granite quarrying and mining and concrete demolition market. And but also CRACK.AG® had an export to Spain, Australia, India, King of Saudi Arabia. They are enjoying the new expansive mortar experiences with our new technology in cutting stone in quarry."
      Apparently, it expands with water and cracks rocks open. I dunno; if this is a net hoax, it's much more detailed than some Nigerian merely needing my bank account number.

      On a semi-related note, 106 Science Claims and a Truckful of Baloney. And commas that look like ?, unfortunately.


      Lotto, lotto, lotto. How I hate it. As one example, there is Grandpa Lotto. That's what we call (to his face) an octogenarian who drops about $25 a day in our store on the Game For People Who Can't Do Math. Note that I said "our store"--We don't know how much he spends every day at other places. You'd think that there would be an age where you decided that the cost-of-playing/years-of-life-left would cause you to stop playing (what good's $50M dollars if you die the next year? Let your children play lotto). But, there also is the Reagan Factor: Grandpa Lotto's getting senile.
      For the last few months, he'll come in and start arguing about a ticket that he claims he cashed. It was a winner, but he says he never got the money. Peculiarly, he doesn't have the winning ticket, but he has the print-out showing that it was cashed. We never give those out. And how he got one without noticing that he never got the money is unanswered, too. Or why it's our problem--the terminal ID number shows that it wasn't cashed by us.
      We've told him that he needs to go to Lotto Headquarters to continue with this, although that won't do anything. They're not going to just give him the money on his say-so that he didn't get it. And the ticket's from 2/03. Once it's a year old, they don't do anything about them. As hard as it is for some Americans to accept, there comes a point where your problems become your problem, and no one else's.
      The start of this now-nearly-daily argument is Grandpa claiming we did cash the ticket. He first said, "The guy with the ponytail cashed it!" Guy With Ponytail was 6 months away from WORKING here in 2/03, Mr Crabby Old Shit. Then, the perp who cashed it and somehow convinced him that a 4-inch long strip of Lotto printout was a $50 bill became Gina. Then Tina. Then Bob, Yolanda and, today, Craig. That leaves just Dave to be accused of being the culprit. I should point out that the latter 3 haven't worked there more than 2 months! Next, he'll be accusing random customers. Or squirrels, bottles of Jack Daniels, Carrot Top, or Dr Winkenblinker, Magic Pixie of Candyland.
      Sure, money is money. Why wouldn't he fight to get his jackpot? I mean, it IS
      --$50. What he blows in 2 days.
      Lotto, lotto, lotto. How I hate it.

      If you're on the This is True ML, you can stop reading for the next 2 links. Here's a pair gleaned from it:

      PRBop looks at strange press releases. I liked the materials scientists looking at the tech of Harry Potter ("Liquidmetal, an exotic combination of nickel, zirconium, titanium, copper and beryllium that is categorized as a metallic glass...would certainly come in handy during the kind of twisting, high-speed maneuvers that take place during a game of Quidditch.") And I was pretty much sold when the first story I saw was about a car eight feet long, 26 inches wide and weighing 80 pounds that gets a tidy 1200 miles per gallon. Because it was built by students of the Rose-Hulman Institute. That just went over the heads of 96% of my readership, but it makes me wonder if it was by anyone I know...

      Failed English majors and word geeks like my own self enjoy the origins of odd phrases, and The Word Detective has the flummoxing whole nine yards of snake oil. And it's interestingly and amusingly written to boot and beat the band and raining cats and dogs and yes, I'll stop now.

      This is amusing: Australia's McDonald's combat Spurlock's documentary SuperSize Me by handing out food in the lobbies of theaters showing it. Big Macs? No, apples. Just like you can't buy at McDonalds. Isn't this just an admission of defeat more than anything else?


      Poor little white cat. She sleeps peacefully in the sunshine now, but today was the annual Shots at the Vet Day. I don't know who hates it more, she or me. I have to be the bad guy and jam her into the carrier to go and get poked. And I mean jam--every year, she reacts faster and more violently than the last, twisting and writhing and flailing. She somehow clawed a record album off the shelf this time. I had to fold all her legs inwards and stick her into the carrier head first, with the carrier pointing straight up so that gravity was on my side. A certain little man with giant feet rudely watched her from a distance of inches (wait a few weeks, Bigfoot, as someone else's needle time is due).
      It takes 2 of us to get her out of the carrier; me, to tip it straight down, and a vet tech to drag her growling corpus out. She actually pulled out a claw this time. Once she's out, she's fine beyond a few unhappy growls. She only resists passively ("You want me to stand up? You MAKE me stand up! And I'll keep lying down!").
      Last year after we went through all this, I told her "That's it for another year!" And 2 days later I got a postcard saying that she needed another visit for shots. Yep, they'd forgotten one. This time, I made sure that there weren't any extra shots due.
      She is, of course, in excellent health. She's gained a pound in a year (she weighs 13.9 lbs now), but that's not really surprising. Now that both the kids are off the kitten chow and on regular Iams, she'd obviously lost fat and gained muscle. Her problem was never that she ate too much, but that it was so hard to get her to play. Byron's taken on that responsibility now.
      There was one problem--the vet recommends a tooth cleaning. "As soon as possible." So she has to go to the vet twice this summer AGAIN.

      I saw Life of Brian in the theater yesterday. I couldn't tell you how many times I've seen Grail, beyond "a real whole bunch of lots," but I can tell you that I've seen Brian when it was first in the theaters, then once on cable in the 80s, then yesterday. There's some big laughs, but it's more amusing than actually funny. Too many scenes make their point, then continue to keep making them. It was "restored," whatever that meant, as it didn't mean that they'd added the deleted scenes. Having seen those scenes (near the bottom of the page), that's just as well. They're awfully long, and long on awful. One ruins the last and best joke of the entire movie, the Suicide Squad. There's a featurette on that page that might be funny, but it's RealAudio so I can't watch it.

      From Netflix I watched MST3K's Red Zone Cuba. I continue to find the Mike years unimpressive, unless Rhino is releasing only the ones with the original film's rights solidly locked, and not the really funny ones. And, wow, was that original bad! It was about the Bay of Pigs invasion, until it wasn't. It truly looked like they filmed the Cuba stuff, then realized that they only had an hour of movie, so they just randomly filmed whatever for another half hour. That would explain the scene where they stop their convertible to put the top up, but they can't put the top up, so they try again, and they can't, so they don't put the top up. Riveting entertainment, really.
      I also saw a DVD with the ungainly title of Godzilla (TM), Mothra (TM) and King Ghidorah (C): Giant Monsters All Out Attack. It also had Barugon, but I guess he doesn't have the star power to rate a (TM) or (C), so he didn't make the title.
      And it was pretty good! Good good, not the frequent Godzilla bad good. I know nothing about the movie, but it must be one of the highest-budgeted Japanese movies ever made. Yeah, it's still a guy in a rubber suit. But the CGI was good, the collateral damage to the miniatures excellent, and the story wasn't idiotic. I'm not saying that it was coherent, mind you. The monsters' motivation made no sense (did I just type that?). Y'see, Mothra, Ghidorah and Barugon are the "Guardian Monsters" who want to protect Japan, although they were killed a thousand years ago by primitive villagers (of course, modern weaponry have no effect on them), but then the villagers prayed for them because....something, and now they're the defenders, and also not really dead, and Godzilla is powered by the souls of Japan's WWII war dead, who want to attack Japan because of all the pain they caused the people of Asia, "who have more souls"...something something. And Godzilla has waited 50 years to attack Japan a second time. Yes, second time. And, what, third reboot of the series? Let me think...Off the top of my brainy part, there was the 1954 Godzilla, regarded as a classic in its native country, so all the versions accept this as part of their continuity. Then there was the second movie, the only old school G I've never seen. I don't know the Japanese title, but it was "Gigantis the Fire Monster" in America. Technically speaking, since Godzilla died in the first movie, Gigantis is the monster in all of the movies up until 1974. These were the beloved Goofy Godzillas, in which he was the good guy. The series lay dormant until the unwatchable "Godzilla 1985," which was basically a remake of the first. It ignored all of the movies since the first. Then he was kind of an antihero, fighting off worse monsters. Then...Well, I don't know what then. That version was still around in "Godzilla 2000," as far as I could tell. Then I guess they scrapped that entire new continuity a year later for this one. Now, there's only been one Godzilla attack in 50 years. Weirdly, they include in this version the stinky American Godzilla! ("The American experts think he was [Godzilla]," says a character at the beginning, "but our people have serious doubts.")
      If your favorite part of the Godzilla series was the stupidity, don't rent it. But if you really love monster fights...!!! Yeah, they're the height of kaiju. Even better than the recent gold standard, the new Gamera. They're actually pretty exciting. For once, the Japanese Defense Force realizes that they don't have a squid's ass of a chance beating the gargantuas. One general does bark "That lizard picked the wrong guy to pick on this time!" just before sending the JDF fighters off to their glorious reward. When he knows that his incompetence and hubris has lost the fight, he puts on his glasses and looks exactly like a Japanese Donald Rumsfeld...
      Toho still hasn't moved away from the "when Godzilla throws another guy in a suit through the air, it really looks like a suit without a guy" thing. If you want to MyST the thing, you may have a little fun. But if you always secretly liked kaiju movies because of the idea of giant critters pounding the sushi out of each other, you will like this thing. There's 2 sequels, apparently, and I'm looking forward to them.
      My next movie: Fahrenheit 9/11, Monday matinee. This is opening BIG all over the country Friday--I expected the local art theaters to show it, but the regional dominator Showcase? If you're planning on seeing it, remember: The earlier you do, the bigger it'll hit the news.

      The battered French fry and other lies of our times.


      Kirk finds an old GameSpy article, wherein a bot is released upon Star Wars Galaxies. And merriment ensues. Have a melon!

      I haven't indulged my clock-love in a long time, so here's a page called clocks-need-love-too.

      Big Picnic runs the disclaimer for all the Wrong Wingers who post comments on liberal sites.

      Eh. It's late, and I'm lazy. G'night.


      I haven't updated since Wednesday? I didn't even notice...
      Of course, you'd expect that, after such a long pause, I'd have plenty to say. But if I did, I would've posted something, so, no, I don't.

      Well, this didn't take long: a movie called Michael Moore Hates America. He also hates "hard work and determination," as far as I can tell from the trailer. Apparently, it's a big deal that the filmmaker couldn't get Moore to give him an interview. Funny, I had the same problem getting the Attorney General to sit for my film, John Ashcroft Eats Babies in Honey-Mustard Sauce and Screws Scary Clowns.
      Doesn't the Wrong Wing have a second insult beyond "hates America"? I didn't get that impression from watching any of his movies. He clearly hates certain Americans. Maybe that's how it works. But then, the guy making the new movie hates Moore, so then he hates America, too! Since it seems to apply to anyone who questions Bush, maybe that's what he means. I always thought that "The Leader=The State" happened in scary countries like Uzbekistan, North Korea, or that oily place we invaded not so long back. But the conservatives still hate Clinton, and he was The Leader for 8 years! Obviously, they hate America, too!
      That's the real problem with America today. Every American hates America! Why don't we all go back to Russia where we came from, us traitors!

      World O' Crap has linked to some political cartoons. The artist is a step up from Gonterman in the art department (in the same way that having your teeth bashed in with a nine-iron is a step up from having your skull crushed with a cinderblock). But he's several notches down in the sanity department. Here's the index. Check out the top one. The idea of a political cartoon is to get your idea across in an instant, but I'm totally unclear on what's going on here. It's like Ferd'nand. Since it's on the site of Hal "Late Great Planet Earth" Lindsay, the guy who basically invented modern day Fundie End-of-the-Worldism, I'm guessing that it isn't on the side of the hippies. Of course, the "heroes" look like ugly rejects from Shrek, so I'm not sure. Apparently, gas prices are high because some people are conserving gas and not wasting it. Y'okay, Waste is Good, excellent point there Mr Nuttyhead. They're also wasting perfectly good tomatoes. If I didn't have enough money for gas, I wouldn't throw my groceries away.
      I guess that it's because the hippies don't want offshore drilling. But the cartoon's titled "The End of Saudi Oil." So it's the Saudi's fault for running out? But they're going to run out eventually, it's a nonrenewable resource! We need cars that run on ketchup!

      A review of that big upcoming superhero movie, the one everyone's been waiting for--Catwoman! "Unbelievably, Patience takes this bizarre scenario at face value and accepts it almost immediately. I guess she just needed to hear any excuse that would explain her taking on feline attributes in the most frustratingly campy of ways; sleeping in the, uh, "rafters" of her apartment, devouring the contents of a large pile of tuna cans, and creeping around on her haunches amongst other things. It’s akin to seeing Peter Parker suck the blood out of his steak and then cocoon it in webbing before he eats it." If she really did become that catlike, she'd sleep for 2/3s of the movie. Which sounds like an improvement.


      Fahrenheit 9/11 is, after only 3 days, already the biggest-grossing documentary ever, and also the number one film in the country. Okay, it's only real competition is White Chicks (which, with still half the year to go, has made both Ebert and Roeper's Top Ten Worst of 2004 lists). And F911 did only $2M more than it. But take a closer look: WC opened in 2,726 theaters, and F911 in only 868, pulling in almost 4 times as much per screen.
      Not being a person who likes to spend $9.75 to sit in a crowded theater of teenagers talking through the movie, I always go for the Monday matinee. I expected there to be a lot of people at the cinema, as school is out, but I knew that they weren't going to be taking little Justin and Kayla to this movie. As usual, I wandered in 3 minutes before the scheduled start.
      And almost didn't find a seat! There had to have 200 people already there; a typical matinee might see 20. And they must've been people who don't go to the movies a lot, as THE SEAT, the one dead center at the perfect distance, was left open for me. And one of those people must've been behind me, as every 15 minutes he'd kick my seat.
      The audience breakdown was about 60% seniors and, encouragingly, those in the 18 to 24 age range. The people who usually don't vote.
      To be honest, I enjoyed Bowling For Columbine more than F911. Part of that was the fact that I knew all the stuff in F911, but a lot of BFC was new to me. And that BFC played more as a comedy than F911. That's deliberate, I'm sure. And there is plenty of funny stuff in it. But while I'm against (unregistered, unlicensed, uncontrolled) guns, that issue pales in comparison to Bush. He and his handlers would destroy the world for an extra dollar in pocket change. Guns affect me when someone points one at me, and that hasn't happened yet. Bush is pointing a gun at all our heads. The last 4 years will affect the entire history of the world, and for generations. What damage will 4 more do? I guess that takes the edge of off some of the comedy.
      The film also juxtaposes secenes that make you laugh with abrupt cuts to ones that will make you swear in anger or tear up in empathy. The 9/11 attacks are depicted by a black screen with audio, followed by the reactions of witnesses. If you don't choke up at that, you're a sociopath.
      There's a long scene that I think should've been deleted, involving Marine Corps recruiters in a mall parking lot. I felt it achieved nothing and made no point. I wish they'd left that out and run more of what seems to be new to people who get their news from TV only, the scene in which Bush sits out the immediate aftermath of 9/11 by reading "My Pet Goat" with a Florida classroom. Some people seem so amazed by this that they claim it never happened. I mean, it wasn't on Fox News, was it? That's the strangest moment of the film--I saw that footage just months after 9/11 on the web, but you don't get the close-ups of Bush that you do here. He's clearly not thinking about the classroom, as anyone wouldn't. But what is he thinking? My reaction was horror at the numbers killed, but that's not horror on his face. Moore uses the footage to link to other points, but I think he probably gets Dubya's reaction the best when he says, "He doesn't know what to do, and no one's there to tell him what to do."
      Go see it. If for no other reason than to show the Media that there are more of us in this country than they think, and they should start asking real, hard questions about our fake President and his cronies.

      On a lesser note of cinematic achievement, I watched Godzilla vs MechaGodzilla, the sequel to the long-titled movie I loved last week. The big-budget effects were gone, the story had way too much padding and too few monster fights. Oh, and there's a cute widdle kid with inexplicable access to the anti-Godzilla HQ. Was this a tribute to the cheeze-fests of the past?
      And that rewrite of the series that began last movie--they rewrote it again! Seems that there have been multiple Godzillas over the years (where they come from left unexplained), and Mothra really happened. As did The War of the Gargantuas, which is weird. That's a pretty obscure Toho picture, and it's obscure because it's a giant monster movie that lies outside of the Godzilla continuity. Until now, I guess.
      While you might turn the original Godzilla's skeleton into the chassis for MechaGodzilla, if you also made the ultimate Godzilla-killing weapon...Wouldn't you use it first, rather than wait until you can't? Yeah, I know that every Popeye cartoon would last 15 seconds if he ate the spinach right away, but they were trying to create a realistic universe here.
      I dunno. I've seen much worse G movies, but I really can't recommend this one. Not enough good or ineptly bad to make it really entertaining. I'm renting the new Gamera movies next.

      Negs recommended to me the book "Cat's Kingdom." Out-of-print, but I got mine through Yahoo sellers for less than $10. It's more a record of abnormal cat behaviour than anything; whether house pet or feral, cats don't normally live in one giant communal aggregation of 150 souls.
      There's a lot of pictures in the book, most not of the "cute kitty!" variety but illustrations of their lives. This one is cute, but requires a bit of setup from Jeremy Angel's book itself:

      I certainly won't either, especially that of the kitty in the middle.

      "Lord? Please Don't Let Me Die in a Funny Way."

      Last year and on the same day, the FDA said that you shouldn't eat certain kinds of fish, in particular tuna, more than once a month because of all the mercury in it, and the EPA said that it was relaxing its standards on how much mercury Bush's coal-burning fuck-buddies could release into our air. If pregnant women and babies shouldn't eat tuna, what about little cats? I stopped feeding them tuna. Then I stopped feeding them cat food with any sort of fish in it. And, outside of nice, safe farm-raised catfish, swore off of swimmy finny things myself.
      I've never found an answer, so I asked the vet during KK's visit last week. He seemed confounded--he looked a bit like the cats in the above picture--and said that he "hadn't heard that it was bad." This was also the vet who forgot to give Kill Kill all her shots last year. It was clear that he'd never been asked the question before.
      Short answer: Yes, you can feed cats tuna, so long as it's a supplement to regular cat food. Just thought I'd let you know: Kitties can have it as a treat, as they metabolize it differently, but lay off that stuff yourself.


      All my childhood (the later 60s) I was told the reasons why Humans were Superior to animals. Only We use tools! (Eventually we found out that, No, we don't; chimps do. Later, we found out that even birds do) Well, animals don't actually make tools! (Yes they do, even birds) Of course, animals can't teach tool-making skills! (Hey guess what) Umm...Well, we're HUMANS, we're special! We...are the only ones that feel emotions! (Y'okay. Zero for 4 here) Uhhh....animals have no sense of time, they live in an eternal present, free of a future or past!
      Kill Kill disproved that as a tiny kitten. She, in her "Underfootnik" phase, would walk between my feet and get stepped on. She'd emit that horrific kitten shriek of pain when I did. Then she started emitting a minor key version of it, and when I'd drop to the floor to apologize for treading on her tender tootsies, she wasn't only unhurt, but purring contentedly. Turned out that she wasn't yelling "You stepped on me!" but saying "You're close enough that you might step on me!" She was warning me. She had discovered Cause and Effect, and the existence of a Future.
      Byron sleeps with me most of the night; except for his first 2 weeks before he got lost from his litter, humans have always been his bunkmates. He gets up around dawn to eat, use the box, chase with his sister, and then watch the birds from the window. Then he's back for the rest of the morning, as I don't get up until 11AM.
      Today he came back from his Dawn Patrol, slept for hours, then got up. He came right back (I know this as it's a waterbed, and the seismic kitty vibrations always awaken me) and sniffed my face. Then he stopped, and went back to sleep. About an hour-plus later, he awoke and walked over to me. I was awake, but I was still really enjoying being inert, so I didn't react. He simply stood there for about 2 minutes, which was odd. Then he padded my arm, and when that got no reaction, he walked on my back. "Okay, I know what this is about," I said and dragged myself to my feet. Yep, food bowl's empty. I filled it, and as he munched I realized: This is what he wanted the first time he left. And he didn't leave the bed the second time. He woke up, thought "I'm hungry! No, wait--I remember, the Mommy hasn't filled the bowl yet! Prod the Mommy until he does!" and then went straight to wake me up. He understands Cause and Effect, and the existence of a Past.
      Why wouldn't animals have a concept of Past and Future? What good would not having that do them? They might not be as good at it as we are, but what evolutionary advantage is gained by forgetting five minutes ago, or not roughly figuring out what might happen in another five?
      Human chauvinism is what the assumption that "We're so different from animals!" really is. All us animals evolved together, why wouldn't we have similar basic skill sets? We're just the ones with thumbs, erect walking, big(ger) brains and the gift of speech. Just because we're better at certain things doesn't mean that they're completely the lesser.

      This page is Google's 8th best match for "how to get rod odor in flip flops"! Well, as a recognized expert, I'd say the best way would be to get Rod to wear them! Unless you just rub "rod" all over them! Ha ha! There's no other word "rod" that makes any sense in that context!
      Except for "rod" meaning--

      Wow, it didn't take long for Bush to Godwinize the election, did it? (Actually, some unknown miscreant started it with a Move On ad, and the cultural heirs of Goebbels Karl Rove's stormtroopers went all crazy foamy mouth over it. But it's okay when they do it! If the sauce is good for the gander, it's also good for the goose-step!)

      This is the part where I type more. Except that I will not. Tis late. Except for this thing that is FUN! Pamela R sends Hangomoto, which is Hangman except with a kaiju who smashes your city and kills thousands when you guess a letter wrong.
      And this is the story that you should point any of your non-voting 18-24-yr-old friends to: If they're already doing this, THERE WILL BE A DRAFT. Try carrying on your po-mo metrosexual ways in BAGHDAD. BUSH--NEEDS--BODIES!

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