Preternatural Selection

NEW 87

"Ink is handicapped, in a way, because you can blow up a man with gunpowder in half a second, while it may take twenty years to blow him up with a book. But the gunpowder destroys itself along with its victim, while a book can keep on exploding for centuries."
- -Christopher Morley


      Here's something you don't see every day. Or this



      Yes, "the first day back at work after a vacation sucks!" Any other insights you coworkers want to share? Like, I dunno, sandpapering your balls and then squatting in mashed chili peppers smarts a mite?
      I dropped off some mail at the mailbox (I used to drop it off at the sewer grating by the rabid weasel farm, but I never got it back). There was a strange brown trickle of water running by it--and getting bigger by the minute. I wondered if someone was powerwashing their car with mud. But no--when I got home there was a piece of paper on the mailbox saying that there was a water main break (AGAIN?! Seriously--AGAIN?! This place has water main breaks as often as I have TOAST! [Full Disclosure: I have toast about once every 4 years]). So the SECOND day of work after vacation will be the worst one: they're shutting the water off, so I have to fill the tub with cold water tonight to wash myself off tomorrow. Oh well, I'll consider it practice for the waterboarding every anti-Bush American will get when he makes torture and secret imprisonment without charges legal. To safeguard our FREEDOM! They hate our FREEDOM, so we must let the Prezint arrest and torture anyone his super giant mondo-brain decides is an "enemy noncombatant.," which thePATRIOT Act has already defined as "any person on the planet he decides is one."
      Normally, I'd go find some cute lil link so that you could leave here without a bad taste in your brain. But fuck this. The Preznit NEEDS to torture us, but doesn't need to even think about global warming. Someday soon a bathtub full of cold stagnant water will be the greatest luxury I've ever seen.
      Fuck the world. We're all fucked.

      Or...I guess I could just not take the cold, miserable bath that they want me to. Maybe I could look forward to the nice warm shower I'll get when I'm home. Maybe I could stop thinking about things that I can't do, and focus on the things that I can.
      Maybe I should stop thinking like I'm already beaten.


      It's a good thing that I got out of jury duty while I was on vacation, or I'd be at the trial now. And it's a good thing that my vacation was last week, because I'd be going to work tomorrow anyway.
      For the third time in as many years, an employee at the store has been caught stealing thousands of dollars. And, most retardedly, in instant scratch tickets.
      Not caught in the legal sense. They won't confront her over it until Thursday. But someone has been stealing packs of scratch-offs, activating them (so that they can be cashed in), and then, according to state lottery security, cashing them in first one town, and then later in another. And the first town was where she lived up until a few months ago, and the later one where she moved next. Occam's Razor dictates an idea of who did it.
      Here's a hint for retail thieves: Don't. You are not the first person to create the Perfect Crime, you just haven't stolen enough for people to take notice yet. The Perfect Crime would be to quit while you're ahead, but no, you got away with it a few times and decided thay you're Professor Moriarty crossed with DB Cooper. Then you get caught.
      And for Gourd's sake, if you're going to risk a grand larceny charge, try stealing some actual money. Not potential money like scratch tickets. For every thousand bucks worth of tickets she stole, she probably only got 300 to 500 dollars. She seemed to have become a gambling addict over the last few months--just yesterday I overheard her saying to a regular and equally addicted customer, "I can't believe how much money we spent on $20 scratches yesterday!" And I can guarantee that' like any lottery addict, every dollar she won went right back into more tickets.
      Sad, really. She was a fun person and my fellow cat-lover. She's so well-liked that we'll probably lose business when she's gone (but not thousands of dollars of business). And she worked here 8 years, making good money and bennies for retail work. I'm not going to make a laundry list of some of the shit she's gotten away with here that would've had her fired anywhere else (short list: like taking2 hour paid lunches followed by her disappearing for a half-hour afterwards and then leaving early, drinking on the job, and spending any remaining time at work talking on her cell) , but she had it damn good here. And she blew it away for nothing. Nothing but scratch tickets.
      And, since we had a skeleton crew to begin with, me and another guy are going to be working 6 days a week for the foreseeable future. That sucks. But not as much as losing your job, and having to lie about why for the rest of your life.

      Ooh, 2600 fun! A bunch of classic video game MP3s. I have the "Story of..." Atari records; they were 75 cents back when I worked at Kay-Bee Toys.

      Support the Troops: "Stick magnetic ribbons on your S--U--V!"


      They didn't shut the water off yesterday! Which meant that they shut it off today.
      Like Wednesday, I prepared. I closed the tub's drain, then I laid a rubber jar-opening...thing, whatever they're called, over that. Then I put the metal stopper over that, with an inverted coffee cup over that, then I filled the tub, so that I'd have some nice icewater to splash on the parts one finds normally stinkiest after a night in bed, the armpits and the naughty bits. The cats weren't going to like this much--the tub is where they expect their water bowl to be. I filled the bowl to the brim and put it on the toilet tank, hoping Byron wouldn't knock it to the ground like he had yesterday.
      I had an hour left to sleep before the alarm went off, and I needed it. I wasn't thinking about my co-worker who was gonna get busted. At least I think I wasn't. But I didn't fall asleep until 5AM, but since today I didn't have to get up until noon wasn't that bad. With an hour left before the alarm went off, the alarm went off: "YEEEOOWW! YEEEEEE--OWWWWW!!!!" Oh, hello, Byron. I filled the food bowl, although it wasn't empty. Then "YEEEEEEEEOOOOWWW!" again (and believe me, there's no way in print to make you understand how blood-curdling his banshee wails are. Suffice to say, the first dozen times he shrieked them as a kitten from the living room, me and Kill Kill raced in. I thought that he'd fallen and broken a leg). I checked the water bowl, and that was full. And it just went on.
      Eventually, I gave up and closed the bedroom door. This, of course, had the salutary effect of making him SCA-REAM while trying to claw the door down. I opened it and tossed as the clock ticked down to my icy bath.
      As soon as I was up, both cats raced into the bathroom. Killsy leapt to the toilet then took a swan dive to the tub and in the exact second I thought NO DONT FULL OF COLD WATER she landed in a perfectly dry tub, and turned and looked me in the eyes. "LOOK, mommy!" she was clearly thinking. "The tub has no water in it now! Isn't that GREAT?!"
      Actually--no. And I wouldn't have a nice shower until after a long, sweaty eight hours at work.

      My co-worker signed a confession, and promised to pay back what she stole in scratch tickets. Her final tally, according to the Lottery Police: $17,000. I've been working on the math, and I think it very unlikely that 17K in tickets would've netted her more than $4,000, 5K max. Again: she would've been better off just stealing cash. She'd have less to pay off. And they would've caught her back when she'd stolen only hundreds of dollars.
      The only perfect crime: Steal like $20 when you're sure that no one will know, and then never do it again. Or even better--steal billions while working at Halliburton. As long as you're not stealing from Cheney's company, but with them, from American taxpayers. That's perfectly legal, so far!


      I think that the funniest thing about that is that it happened at "Salmon Arm." Was it named after some pervert who was caught with his arm up a salmon, or was he some mutant superhero with the power of having a salmon for an arm? As mental pictures go, they're both pretty ugly.

      Booming voice from 400-story-sized xenophobe: I AM ULTRA-DESTRUCTIVOUS, SMASHIFICATOR OF WORLDS!! EARTH, YOU ARE SOOOO DEAD!
      SALMON ARM: Not as long as I have my arm made of SALMON!
      SALMON ARM: ARM!!! Made of SALMON!! And now you're going DOWN, little mister!
      SALMON ARM: NOOOOOOO!!! *schmear, crunch*
      GUY WITH HIS ARM WAAAY UP A SALMON: I think I'll leave town now.


--President George W. Bush, on improving Americans’ health and fitness


      Today I got together with my friend Jessica, for the first time since May. Of last year. The plan was to go to the Renaissance Faire, but it rained all day. So we did what we usually do when we get together, and went to Putnam CT, and its antiquing district.
      But first, we exchanged gifts. We hadn't seen each other in so long that I said "Happy birthday, Merry Christmas, Happy birthday!" I gave my favorite Chapstick addict a pair of lip balm tubes from the state lottery ("They're loser flavored!"), and big, framed work of Mimi art. It was a gorgeous poster of Jessica's favorite TV show, "Jem and the Holograms." Here, they were "Jess and the Holograms," and Jem had brown hair and freckles, just like my favorite babe. She loved it! Her first words after "This is AWESOME!" were "Thank you, Synergy!" She's made me watch that old cartoon enough to get her joke.
      I got a pair of Wacky Packages stickers--I bought those as a kid, but I'm pretty sure they're long-gone. And a chewing tobacco-like container of "Wild Bill's Original Jerky Chew." Their mascot is a deranged gun-toting toothless codger who exclaims "Ya Don't Need 'TEEF' To Enjoy Our 'BEEF'." She warned me not to eat it--"I bought it a long time ago." But since the first thing listed in the ingredients is "Sprayed with Potassium Sorbate to retard mold growth," I don't think that I will. My main gift was a sweeet old school Donkey Kong shirt. I was never a big fan of the game (more of a Burgertime man, myself), but it's a really cool graphic.
      We cruised up to Putnam. Maybe it was the rain or the cost of gas, but there were very few people there, and at least 3 businesses were closed. Jess, as always, scored a fine vintage purse for her collection, and it was only $4. (When I say "collection," this woman has a closet with nothing in it but purses and handbags. An entire closet!) I bought a Herb Alpert picture-sleeve 45 ("The Happening," my favorite Supremes' song, b/w "Town Without Pity," my fave Gene Pitney song [and who was from my town]), a fridge magnet with a picture of the Worst President Ever ("LIKE A ROCK only dumber"), and an adorable made-in-Japan chibi-Kill Kill. It was in a locked case, so we had to call on the aid of...THE CREEPY GUY. He's always there. He always stares and stares at Jess. And I think he's the only male on the planet who isn't doing so out of lust. It's actually more of a hostile glare. And how creepy? "Bodies buried in the basement" creepy. I apologized in advance to her for having to ask him for help. And he couldn't find the key for the display case on his keyring. He tried every single one, and it took almost 5 minutes for him to find it.. Or did he? Maybe he didn't want to find it, so that he could continue to radiate glowering creepitude at us. Strange, strange little man.
      We had a groovy time. Hopefully it won't be 18 months until the next time we get together.

      A local columnist had this published in Funny Times (link, if you want to subscribe--yes, they ain't so dumb as to give their stuff away), and it does answer a question I've wondered about: How did they first domesticate cats? Easy; let 'em hang out in the granary eating the mice. But what about dogs? "Report of the Advisory Committee on Wolf Domestication: A Blueprint for Responsible Change. Chairman: Man Who Looks Like Tree."

      Note to person who found this page searching for "How did you steal cash and get away with it": YOU DON'T. I believe my "advice" was "steal $20 once and then stop." Seriously--you think someone's going to commit the perfect crime, then blog about it? "And next, here's the perfect way to get of Jimmy Hoffa's body..."

      I've been using a password-protector called Roboform for the last 2 weeks. How well does it work? How the hell should I know? I'll only find out if it doesn't prevent ID theft. It certainly seems to work, though, and it's been recommended by people who know more than I. It's supereasy to use. It can't hurt.

      Joe Lieberman has a new ad which is simplicity itself. As simple as it is stupid. (Waiting to hear Joe's "new idea" on Iraq? It's "keep doing the exact same thing that hasn't worked for almost 4 years") Here's the General's version.



      Via Kirk, Something Awful Art, with its realistic and angry versions of scenes from old video games. I guess that your favorite one would be from your favorite game, and mine's Burgertime.

      We have our first proof that Kill Kill dreams. Unlike Byron, who's a full-body dreamer, she only dreams with her twitching tail.


      Yes, I know that I said that I wasn't doing any more reruns, but here's one. Yes, I know that if I stopped pretending that it was still May 1997 and had a "real" blog, I could just link to an old post.
      But I am and I don't, and it's long. So it's beneath the YouTube video, so that you don't have to read it. I just want to prove that No, I wasn't making anything up about this weird cartoon and how it STILL seems to be what Dear Leader believes is happening in the Mideast.


       As day breaks, a group of gnomes awaken. They're religious fundamentalists, and they do their ablutions while chanting "ALL HAIL THE SUN!" Using the technology of the most advanced civilization of gnomes on Earth, they bottle the Sun's rays and go about delivering them like milkmen (Why milkmen? "Borden Presents." This 1935 cartoon has a corporate sponsor!). They sing "Sunshine, Sunshine! Lots of good old golden Sunshine! Sunshine, SUNshine! Just the thing to keep you feeling fine!" Why you need a bottle of gold old gooden Sunshine delivered like milk when the Sun's out is because...Moving right along, a guy dressed like an undertaker in a dark trenchcoat shoots an arrow at the Sunshine driver. Possibly he's a music critic. He misses, spearing the Gnome's hat to a tree (and making it look pretty severely like a used condom). He shoots another arrow, misses again, and the Gnome throws a bottle of globs of goody Sunshine at him. It breaks and makes his spine--and only his spine--glow radioactively. The Gloomy Guy, who's the leader of the Bad Guys--let's call him "Sadman" for clarity--runs home to his country. It's a grim, impoverished place. It looks like it's been suffering under UN sanctions for over a decade. The people there all look like Sadman, just like all the Gnomes look the same. They drudge about and sing this song from the cartoon. "We're happy when we're sad!" This is the world's first appearance of Goth culture.
       They prepare for war against the Gnomes, arming themselves with bug sprayers of the Flit gun variety, filled with Gloom Gas.
      The leader of the Gnomes has a perpetual smirk combined with a blank expression. He says, "Sadman has proven that he has Weapons of Mass Depression! He has Gloom Gassed his own people! We cannot wait for the final proof--the smoking Flit gun--to take the shape of a musty Gloom cloud! He has a thousand liters and 3 cups of Sadthrax, and is reconstipating his Atomic Glum project! We must make Gnomerica safe from terrism! We are Good, and they are Evil! They hate us because they hate the Sun!"
      Acting unilaterally, the Gnomes attack first. They use a hollowed out tree trunk to fire bottles of Sunshine, good old deadly Sunshine, in a massive bombardment against the near-defensless Sadman loyalists. The shells fall in the trenches, hitting evildoers in the face, and hitting every house in their capitol city, WeLikeToFeelBad,Dad. Then a fleet of Stealth Dragonflies drops bottles on them, carpet bombing every village.
      And you know what? THEY LOVE IT! They welcome the Gnomes invading army with literal open arms! They throw flower petals at them! There's so much dancing in the streets that you'd think that the paving job was done by Saint Vitus!
      (Note: Only the obvious bits are the ones I'm adding, the rest is true; they really do throw flowers, get carpet bombed, etc)
      There are some remnants of Sadman's regime who hold out. They must be bath-ists, because a bath is what they get! Actually, it's a lot more like a Baptist full-body baptism in a central fountain. When they still resist, they literally

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

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

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




      This is funny and damned brilliant: Album Art War.

      Dispatches From Planet Fundie


      The Biology of B-Movie Monsters.

      Hey, macaca! The George Allen Insult Generator, with 1 to 3 responses for each group. Won't be funny if you don't already know what it refers to.



      I had dinner over at my Mom's condo yesterday. She'd sent a letter to her cousin, Tom Mcguane, a succesful author. Not successful as in "best-selling," but as in "critically-acclaimed." Hell, anyone who can make a living writing is a successful author in my opinion.
      She was writing about a story in his latest collection, Gallatin Canyon, which was set in Fall River, Mass, in his/her grandmother's house. He'd changed the names, but everything else was exactly as she remembers it. It cleared up a couple of childhood mysteries of hers. One was her black sheep uncle, a WWII vet who came back from the war depressed and alcholic, and who never married. Apparently, it was because his best friend was killed in the war--and his best friend was also his beloved. She also remembered how no one was allowed on the second story porch--the door was always locked, and if she and her cousins tried to sneak out there, there was always an adult to stop them. But never a reason was given why it was forbidden. Wild childhood speculations followed, of course.
      In the "Six Degrees of Seperation" game, I'm connected to just about everybody through my second cousin Tom. He had books made into (long-forgotten) movies, and even directed one adaptation, 92 in the Shade. From the cast of that one movie alone, I'm only one degree away from favorites of mine such as the Batman TV series (Burgess Meredith, who played The Penguin), Repo Man, Kelly's Heroes, any number of David Lynch productions, and even Pretty in Pink (all from Harry Dean Stanton), and, best of all, "Space Ghost Coast to Coast" (where Peter Fonda was once interviewed).
      While making that movie in the anything-goes 70s, Tom and Peter became best friends, and swapped wife/girlfriend with each other. Tom's first wife divorced him for Peter (with his blessing--they're still good friends to this day), but at the time they were married, I was a degree or so away from Davey Crockett (she was the King of the Wild Frontier's direct great-great-great-grandaughter). Peter's girlfriend then married Tom. She was Margot "Lois Lane" Kidder, so I'm connected to the entire Superman movie franchise. She and Tom would make it back into the news 20 years after their brief marriage, when her lifetime of bipolar disorder erupted into full-blown paranoid schizophrenia. She became convinced that he was trying to kill her, died her hair and cut it with a razor, removed some of her dental work, and tried to fake her death.
      He also wrote a truly awful movie (I couldn't finish it) called The Missouri Breaks, which starred Marlon Brando and Jack Nicholson. Thus, I'm a degree away from Apocalypse Now and The Shining. Hell, with all these actors, I'm probably only a degree or two away from every major star in Hollywood.
      All that I already knew. Yesterday, I found out that I have an in-law. Mom said, "He's that guy--what's his name, the one who got arrested at an airport the other day with all those drugs...Jimmy Buffet!" Tom's been married to his sister for 30 years.
      It's amusing to me, but I have such a low opinion of America's Cult of the Celebrities that it's really not something that I'll mention to people. It's not like I can call him up and say, "Hey, I'm a second cousin you've never met. Whaddya say you, me and Jack Nicholson get together this weekend?" Plus, I don't see any "Gilligan's Island" connection in these people that would put me next to Dawn Wells.
      Oh, wait--the mysterious and forbidden second-floor porch. The cousins all had their own fanciful theories as to why they weren't allowed there, but unfortunately, it wasn't that an idiot deformed son was kept chained and muzzled there. It was because the porch was riddled with dry rot. Truth is sometimes times more mundane than fiction.
      (Huh. A quick look at the IMDB indicates that while they never worked together, Dawn Wells and Burgess Meredith did appear on 3 different 60s TV series as guest stars, including one of my favorites as a kid, "The Wild Wild West"...)


      Top 10: Life's greatest inventions, including things like eyes, brains, and sex. Sad how few people in this world use brains.


      I listened to "the liberal media" news on the radio today. They mentioned that the Lancet, the British medical journal, had estimated that 665,000 Iraqis have died since the "liberation" 3 and a half years ago. And that was "20 times the highest estimate." What? The Lancet last was part of this controversy about 2 years ago, when they said that 100,000 Iraqis died.
      Oh, turns out that this number came from the quote "That figure is 20 times the figure that you cited in December at 30,000." That's from a reporter at Bush's press conference today. Yes, happy fantasy boy Bush is the ultimate authority and decider over what's really happening in Iraq. I remember when he said that last year. He shrugged as he said it, like 30K dead civilians meant nothing. Well, they mean nothing to him, of course. It's like last month, when he referred to the 3000 dead American troops as "a comma."
      He then said "I am, you know, amazed that this is a society which so wants to be free that they’re willing to…you know, that there’s a level of violence that they tolerate." Yeah. Who wouldn't tolerate mass graves and car bombs if it meant the freedom to fill mass graves and set off car bombs?
      "Tally-ho, tally-ho! Our King and Country's honor we will save! Tally-ho, tally ho! We're marching into History and the grave."--The Arrogant Worms

      Time to Throw the Rascals Out, Lieberman version: "Let's vote him out a second time!"

      Scalzi eviscerates 2/3s of the Star Wars series. I have to agree with him. Lucas only made two good movies in the set, and the best one he didn't make at all--he neither wrote the script nor directed the movie. Most people at that point would've been hit with a clue lightsaber, but not Georgey. He next invented Ewoks, then turned his back on his Big Thing to bring the world Howard the Duck. Yeah, that's a genius at work.


      I got a Google for "drain the blood of the retards fuck the world." I think I'll get a tshirt that says that.

      Speaking of blood and retards fucking the world, a conservative writer--in fact a Pajamas Media writer--lists the Top Ten GOP Excuses Regarding the Casualty Estimates. And his conservative commenters are largely on his side.
      The tide will be turned in Iraq only when enough people, left or right, realize that it was the STUPIDEST FUCKING IDEA FROM DAY ONE.


      Byron has thumbs, and he uses them. Every so often the kitchen cabinets will be open when I get home. He's always hungry (or thinks he is), and he can open the cabinet under the sink where the dry food is easily. But then he realizes that it's the same food that's in his bowl, and he leaves it alone.
      He opened the upper cabinet, grabbed the bag of cat treats inside it, and clawed it open. And then he realized that he doesn't like cat treats, so he didn't eat any. Killsy loves her some treats--and she didn't eat any, either. Why? If there ever was a cat who could thnk "No, that would be wrong," it'd be her.

      I'd describe the short Fast Film to you, but it's pretty indescribable. Hundreds of movie clips made into a train wreck. Literally. It's 14 minutes, but you'll decide pretty quickly if you're not interested, or if you stare at it with jaw agape.
      The first decision is yours, and it's not easy: quick loading, muddy-looking YouTube or slow loading, crisp-looking QuickTime in a tiny window.


      Q: Miss, were you cited in the accident?
A: Yes, sir, I was so ’cited I peed all over myself.--actual courtroom testimony
      Ever wonder what the world would be like if humans disappeared?
      I have. And here's an article on the subject. (if you're in a hurry, here's the USA Todayish infographic)
      I think the article misses one point--there's no way that the most successful domesticated animal after humanity's collapse wouldn't be the cat. Cows and sheep are bred to be stupid and docile--how else would you get them to take that slaughterhouse slide down to the guy with sledgehammer? Dogs are pack animals, and would eventually run out of large, dumb animals like cows to eat. I'm sure that they'd switch to more normal fare like deer, but cats are small loners, and there'd always be rodents or birds for them to catch. And dogs would take a while to breed out their dependence on humans, whereas cats without human contact are feral at birth.
      Dogs would eventually return to their lupine ancestors, and I suppose that the little furball curled up at your feet would evolve into something bigger.
      The article assumes that *poof!* humans just vanish, so as to dispose of the 6 billion corpses we'd leave. It doesn't look at the most likely scenario for human mass extinction, global warming that leads to a new ice age. While that would lead to the deaths of billions, it wouldn't cause the extinction of homo sapiens. Like rats and roaches, we're great generalists, and we'd survive in some form. And, like the last ice age, we'd keep the dogs and the cats at our sides; the dogs to help with the hunting, the cats to keep away the rats feasting on the unburied dead.
      Well, that was fun. Have a good day now!


      NEWSPAPER CORRECTIONS, VITAL--correction in the Philadelphia Daily News—after they ran an item noting football great Johnny Unitas’s 70th birthday


      The Ten Worst Congressmen. Be sure to click on the "play" button and make the corrupt bastards morph. It's funnier more often than it's not.


      Seven Wonders of the World? Eh, most of those don't even exist anymore! So why not vote for the ones that do? "Be part of the making of history!" (registration required)
      There's only 21 to choose from, and really, what's so damn "wondrous" about the Sydney Opera House? Or anything else built since the Industrial Revolution? I'm willing to bet that the Great Wall of China and the Easter Island Spooky Heads required more actual work. My criteria for a Wonder has always been, "How did they make that?" I wish that one of the choices was the Apollo Program. Man on the Moon--not much more wondrous than that.
      Only 21 choices, but a lot of them really are wonders. Too bad there isn't that castle that got destroyed in every Japanese kaiju monster movie from the 60s. Around the fifth time I saw it get smashed, it got kinda comical.
      If you're curious as to how I voted: Pyramids, Petra, Maachu Picha, Taj Mahal, Great Wall, Easter Island, and that crazy Bavarian fairytale castle. (Or will, if they ever send me the promised email authorization)



      FINALLY the Bushies have decided to increase port security to defend from terrists! They're checking foreigners to make sure al Qaeda doesn't smuggle in any suitcase nukes!
      Wait--no, they're not. Now there's a valuable use of resources.
      Next item to be banned on the terra list: poutine.

      This Just Breaking: Cats Will Eagerly Lick the Crust From Pumpkin Pie; Experts Baffled



      POODLECIZE! Mariko Takahashi's Fitness Video

      Man, is this page ready for the boneyard. I make a pathetic excuse for a post like that, and then I forget to upload it.


      Now, I shall continue my lameness with links that I not only stole, but stole from Big Important Sites!

      The Worst Video Game Names.

      The Worst Politician Websites. Longer and not as funny as the previous Worst page--it's mainly sites that are "Under Construction" even just days now before the election. My two faves: this one and this one. Well, also the one written by the candidate's dog. Except that if I ever ran for office, you know who'd blogging on my page.

      Site prly only funny if you're voting in CT in 2 weeks, but here's LieberME for ME!


      Sleeep. It is the greatest invention ever.
      I leave a few extra minutes on the alarm clock every morning, as I really resist getting up. But days like today, when I'm not half- or all-asleep when it goes off, snd I'm still dreaming...Wow, that's a mental state that's hard to escape from. I always know that I'm dreaming when I'm dreaming, but my dreams are so vivid, even if they're crazy, that it takes a few minutes to readjust to reality.
      Today I was having a typically logical dream: I had to drive to work in an ice storm, but it was so slippery that I abandoned my car and tried to drive to work in my refrigerator. Because of course they work better in icy conditions! But it was very slow, and it hit me that I was somehow going to have to somehow get it back up three flights of stairs by myself when I got home and BRRRINGG! time to get up. I laid there for 4 minutes, using up all of my extra time. Then Killsy raced ahead of me into the bathroom and threw herself on her back for a belly rub. I could use my remaining time to make her purr or shave. Now my face is scratchy.
      Byron was dreaming by my feet today, tail and toes atwitch. Then he BOLTED awake, ran a few panicked steps, then looked at Kill Kill in her usual sleeping spot. And he stared and he stared, obviously quite agitated. After a few minutes, he went to another room, then came back to stare at her some more.
      What did he dream? He'd started a tussle with her an hour earlier, and as always, his butt was handed to him on a slice of toast. Maybe he dreamt of the fight. Or did he dream of the only thing he actually fears, losing his family? Did he dream that she was gone, like his mother and the rest of his litter? Only he knows, but the cat without fear was clearly upset by his nocturnal vision.

      Raqi, The Three-Legged Horse War.

      Man, remember "Liberality for All," the comic book that was to star the bionic trio of Hannity, Liddy and Ollie North, fighting the NIGHTMARE DYSTOPIA that resulted when Antonin Scalia allowed Al Gore to be president? I meant to buy it when it was first announced, and then forgot all about it.
      Three issues of it are out now, and I guess it's not so good. Seriously--Alternate Histories need to have some logic behind them, and "After 9/11, Gore made bin Laden King of Afghanistan" is a bit on the severely retarded side. But then again, so is making Sean Hannity a superhero fighting the Liberal Dictatorship. In this reality he's all for the Iraq disaster, but it's not like he's signed up to go fight that personally.
      There's a link at the start of the post that leads to a more detailed analysis between a liberal and a drooling idiot--sorry, a "conservative"--but even the conservative thinks it's awful. I may go to a comic book store in a year and get the series once it starts showing up in the quarter box.


      Battlestar Galacticon--apparently the Wrong WIng was all joyous when Battlestar Galactica seemed to be about the Cylons being "Islamofascists," but now they're all poopy-pantsy about it being about them being the Americans in Iraq. It is sad when your totally made-the-fuck-upped robots turn out all wrong.

      Since yesterday's post was an unproofread mess, I'll leave it at the top for today.


      When you think of animals "playing dead," you think of possums. Me, I think of that Bugs Bunny cartoon. You know, Bugs tricks Elmer into attacking a bear instead of himself, and the angry bear gets ready to devour him up some Fudd. "Play dead, Doc!" is the advice, and Elmer falls on the ground. The bear sniffs him, makes the funniest "PEE-YEW!!" take ever, and doesn't eat him. Instead, the bear grabs a shovel and buries him.
      Here's an interesting article of why and how animals play dead, and there are a lot more species that do it besides oppossums and Fudds. Some aren't as convincing as they think they are: "When Gerald happened on a death-feigning hognose snake in the wild, he flipped it back to its normal, stomach-on-the-ground position. The snake rather damaged the cadaver illusion by rolling belly-up again."
      The article also teaches you how to hypnotize chickens. Always a plus.



      Man, what is up with me? Last night I was walking across the kitchen when I suddenly lost my balance, slammed into the fridge and fell to the floor, holding out my hands to break my fall. Lucky I didn't break my hand. Instead, I just have a swollen, gnarled finger that's gone from puple to blue to a blue-black shade. Fractured, I guess. We'll find out at the doctor tomorrow. Thank Gourd it was on my left hand and not the index finger, or I couldn'ta done me nuthin' at work today.
      What's with my ongoing (and losing) War with Gravity? It was like my sense of balance just shut off for a second. I'd just got up from a nap, so I was a bit disoriented, but still. I had a lot of ear infections as a child--is that affecting my balance?
      On the plus side, I had a ready-made Halloween costume. Cap'n Bill the Hook! Badfinger! Guy who'd go "AAARGGH!" when he bumped his finger!


      Unlike the co-workers that prodded me to go, my doctor and his UCONN med student assistant weren't impressed with my smashed finger. "The best we could do would be to splint it," and they didn't even do that. "Let it heal" was the advice.
      Awesome. Thirty dollar co-pay to be told "Don't worry about it."
      What they were worried about, like me, was the loss-of-balance thing. THey seemed to be thinking that I was falling-down drunk. Yes, I had 3 beers, but then I took a 75 minute nap. And I never awake "refreshed" from those, just groggy, so that's my theory. But they also found out that I have high blood pressure. I've never had less than perfect blood pressure, and the last time that this was confirmed was 2 years ago. There's a possibility that's the problem. I'll find out at the end of the month when I get a physical.
      You know, you'd think that 9 fingers were enough to do most anything. But they're not. At least as long as one of them is still there and fractured.

      WFMU has a post on spoken-word 45s of years past. I only clicked through two, and the second was a parody of the first. The first is that old Lincoln/Kennedy assassination AMAZING CONNECTIONS thing (or TOTALLY RANDOM WHO-CARES BULLSHIT COINCIDENCES thing--you know, "Lincoln had a secretary named Kennedy, Kennedy had a secretary named Lincoln" thing, which isn't even true). It's only amusing for its ridiculous obsession with the letter-counts in the names of people, and the "It happened 100 YEARS APART!" stuff--yeah, well, that proves what exactly? The name of it is "History Repeats Itself," so I guess that repeats itself in ways that can be carefully cherry-picked for supporting "facts."
      But there's a great "answer record" to it, Great Men Repeat Themselves, comparing Kennedy's successor with another great American of the mid-sixties.


      I leave my email address on my page, apparently so that every three years I can get a cranky missive from some Canadian about my Fun Facts About Canada! page who doesn't get that I'm not an American who's clueless about Canada, but I'm pretending to be one. I got an email about that just this week. Maybe I should go with what Python did in the Architect Sketch, and flash "SATIRE SATIRE SATIRE" on the screen.
      Remember my review of Dead Men Don't D!e? I got an email from one of the Marmosteins! Someone with an actual sense of humor about the whole thing, too. I'm going to write back and ask permission to quote the email here. There's interesting stuffs about the movie in there, and also the old TV show "Dark Shadows."


      Wow. There are a lot of gay-hating-in-public Republicans who really are gay. Probably far less than there are Republicans who LOVE FREEDOM and show it by destroying the Bill of Rights because freedom is BAD when it means Republicans can't be dictators. But there seem to be more every day.
      Haggard's defense is actually worse than "I did not have sex with that woman--depending on exactly how you parse the word 'is." Oh, and that evil heroin addict Clinton claimed that he smoked pot, but "never inhaled"!
      Our holier-than-everybody evangelical who had a weekly phone call with Saint Bush, why, he only had a massage, but instead of hiring a masseuse to give him one, he hired a gay male whore. And he did buy $200 of meth from said gay male prostitute, but only to "look at it" and immediately throw it away.
      Yeah. THAT'S believable. While I do own a bamboo backscratcher, it's a bit more convenient for me to fly to Thailand and pay a 12-year-old girl to use it on me. When I'm there, I always buy $200 worth of food, just in order to take it to the men's room and flush it down. Why? Because JESUS TOLD ME TO. Oh, I suppose that because of that YOU hate JESUS, you hypocrite!


      I doubt that this will sound very impressive in print, but I had an interesting encounter on my lunch break. Seated in my car at the end of a cul-de-sac just off the busiest road in a busy town, I was reading Skeptical Inquirer when something slinked out of the woods. A bobcat mama, and her 3 kittens! I expected her to take the other side of the cul-de-sac to avoid me, but she confidentally strode to my car and passed by within 5 feet.
      Bobcats aren't as big as you think. She wasn't that much bigger than a large housecat. I've seen bigger Maine coons. Her body was porportioned like a housecat's, but her head was bigger and her legs much longer. She was a cat built more for chasing than climbing, although they're good at the latter, too.
      Best, of course, were the kittens. Only a few months old but as big as Kill Kill, and still built like kittens, pudgy and stumpy-legged. Mom was following a straight course--the exact same course that I saw a flock of wild turkeys follow this same time last year, so maybe they were tonight's menu. The kittens would sniff each other, stumble a bit, get distracted by something in the grass, then realize mom was getting ahead of them, and then they'd waddle after her to catch up.
      She gave me a cursory glance as she strode by. One kitten stopped and stared at me from a yard away. I wiggled my fingers at the squirt, and got a confused look in return, and--oh, mom's over there! And the kitten bobbled away.
      When I got home, me and my kids had a dinner of not-wild turkey.


      Stop reading, it gets all whiny now.
      I guess that it is better to feel ill on your weekend rather than at work, or at least it is if you know you're not feeling bad enough to justify calling out. I guess.
      I slept a lot yesterday, watched a DVD, then went to bed extremely early. Which was a good idea, as I had a lot of things to get done today: get a very overdue oil change, find out why the Check Engine light is back on AGAIN, take what would prly be my last hike in the woods for the next few months, buy groceries, take Byron on his weekly adventure to the garage. I got up only a few minutes after the alarm went off--something that's not easy for me to do on a day off--and was up a good, solid 15 minutes before I went back to bed for 2+ hours. So that scratched most everything off my list.
      I'd left outgoing mail by the door. Hey, somebody peed all over it! BYRON! There's $35 in rebates in there! That would pay for my groceries! Fortunately, only the envelopes were ruined, and I even got the stamps off. I thought of "punishing" him by not taking him on his beloved trip to the garage, but decided that he wouldn't make the connection between the two. And he was just as naughty in the garage as he was squatting over my mail, trying to climb into my neighbours' locked storage areas.
      Then I puked. A lot. Good ol' Syndrome! All that food I bought today, and there's nothing I want to eat now because of my damn stomach.

      The DVD I watched was Monster House, which I liked despite my general eye-rolliness over non-Pixar all-CGI films. Those usually are top-heavy with stupid pop culture refs. If I was going to make a kid's movie, I'd shoot for "enduring classic (with long-term sales life)" a la Disney, rather than "Chris Rock making jokes no child will get in 5 years."
      Monster House didn't have any of that. And what really made it work were the kids, acted and animated like kids of almost any decade. The body language was perfect. It was more thriller than comedy, like The Incredibles, and well worth the rental. Although it had the most annoying feature tat I've seen on a DVD: the audio setup had 2 choices, Dolby 5:1 English and Dolby 5:1 French. Don't have a home theater setup? Then, like me, the dialogue gets muffled to the point of inaudibility. I turned the subtitles on for the last third, which is not the ideal way to watch a movie in your native language.

      Other recent rentals: Office Space. You see, there's these people in an office, and...Oh. You've heard of that already? So you know it's also good? Kay. Movin on.

      American Movie. Another not-exactly-new release. It's a documentary on an aspiring filmmaker with a lot more optimism than money, hoping to break into Hollywood with a horror movie. One that's 35 minutes long. It took about that much time for the doc to really get moving, but it's funny and kinda sad at the same time. Best is his supporting cast, such as his doddering Uncle Bill, sure that his investment of $3000 is going to be wasted (although he lives in a trailer home, he mentions that he has 100 times that in his savings). And Mike, his acid casualty best friend, who adds most of the humor in the movie. The short is named Coven, but pronounced "COVE-in," as the auteur doen't want his movie to "rhyme with oven."
      The extras include COVE-in. It's not as bad as you might think; in fact, it's shot quite well, as Mark the director/writer/producer/editor/star's influences are "Ingmar Bergman and TheTexas Chainsaw Massacre." The story makes no sense, especially when a guy gets killed at the end and I didn't know who he was (I think he's a guy that in every other shot has a full beard that he shaved off during the several years of filming). It's something about an AA-type organization (something that Mark seems like he might have personal experience with) that's actually--well, a cove-in, I guess. Actors tell their stories of substance abuse, and, as usual, it's burnout Mike who's the funniest, as his seem to be the only ones told from real life: "People at work said I was always coming in drunk, and I decided to show them they were wrong! So I came to work on 3 hits of blotter acid..."

      BULLSHIT! Season 3. I hope that there's no season 4. This show's become bullshit. I've wondered about it ever since they did an episode in favor of second-hand smoke, and their only "expert" was a magazine writer. Not the health editor, not the science writer, just a guy who wanted to blow smoke anywhere he wanted. The show's shtick is to depict people opposing the viewpoint they're in favor of as clueless assholes, so they usually pick clueless assholes. But...they couldn't find someone with a degree to say second-hand smoke is okay? A single study not funded by the cigarette companies? It seemed like they picked a contrary position and ignored any evidence that didn't back it up. If that doesn't sound like a bad thing, that's what happened with Iraq and WMDs.
      When politics comes up, they always side with the libertarian/right wing/corporate side of the issue. I was wondering about their episode on how Big Brother can't be watching you. Then I started getting mad during their one on how gun control can never work, especially when they laughed off a statistic on how many children are killed every year by parents leaving their loaded and unlocked guns around, and then saying that concealed handguns are awesome because there was this one woman, and her gun was in her car right, and some guy came into the restaurant and shot all these people, but she coulda totally pwned his ass if she'd had her Glock, and presented it as if it was something that happens every day. It sure does! In IRAQ! Oh, to live in that paradise of gunny freedom!
      I didn't even finish one episode. It was about how the Endangered Species Act is BADNESS because developers can't build wherever they want. They trotted out an "expert" on it, who works for the "CEI," which stood for "Center for Environmental Impact" or something that I didn't catch. Who are those guys? Is it another one of those corporate funded fake think tanks that just tell lies, like the ones Exxon funds to pretend that global warming isn't real? Before I had time to digest that, their next anti-EPA expert came out. "You gotta believe him! He was one of the cofounders of Greenpeace!" The FUCK? I've heard of this guy! He sold out environmentalism to become a corporate shill, and his whole shtick is "You gotta believe me! I was one of the cofounders of Greenpeace!" Yes, and one of the Revolutionary War's best generals was Benedict Arnold--for a while.
      I didn't even have time to stop sputtering at the screen before they brought out Congressman Richard Pombo. "ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!" I screamed. Yes, the guy known as the the most anti-environmental Republican in Congess! (from that link: "Pombo Authored Legislation to Weaken the Endangered Species Act. In 2005, Pombo authored and voted for a bill to expand private-property rights under the 1973 law that is credited with helping keep the bald eagle from extinction." Yeah, stupid symbol of our country! Who needs you when there are WalMarts to build!) Hey, Penn & Teller, don't you think that your audience might have a different view of your "expert's" opinions if they knew their real backgrounds? What's next? A show on pedophilia, with the experts being jailed priests and members of NAMBLA?
      When the subject is ghosts or ESP or something that no intelligent person should believe in, they seem right. Or is that just me? I don't believe in that, so am I just uncritically trusting whatever they tell me? There was one more episode after that one, and that was all I could think about.
      Season 4: "The Holocaust never happened! You've gotta believe him, he's Mel Gibson's dad!"

      Oh, and remember: On Tuesday, Democrats, Greens and Independents vote. Republicans vote on Wednesday. Write that down, and tell all your Republican friends.



      After yesterday's election, I went to bed depressed. Yes, depressed. Not because Ned Lamont lost--the polls made it pretty clear what was going to happen about 2 weeks ago. And he was the one who got the first fire burning--if Ned hadn't challenged that sack of sanctimonious ego Lieberman in the primary and won, most of the "netroots" candidates never would've run, or have received the attention that they got--and then win. But he lost because of self-proclaimed Democrats! That 20% who apparently were for Lieberman without having paid the slightest attention to him in the last 6 years. One coworker was upset when she found out that she couldn't vote for Lieberman (I think she went to the wrong polling station). She's Hispanic and working 2 jobs--she thinks Bush's Favorite "Democrat" gives a shit about her? Well, get a million dollars, your own PAC and become a lobbyist, and yes, Lieberbush just might.
      No, I was depressed because I wanted more. More governors, more House reps, more senators! More HOPE. I was especially upset about the 50/50 split in the Senate. Cheney will break every tie. He'll make sure that global warming is a reality. And then--the World Ends.
      It looked better in the morning, if a 51/49 split is really better. That just means Bush will veto everything that does get passed, and his rigged Supreme Court will back whatever crime comes within gavel reach. And then the World Ends.
      Of course, if Bush does veto everything that really represents what the country wants, the media will explode with outrage! and...No, they won't. That's why the election wasn't a total blowout with every Bushite thrown to the curb. They're owned by the same corporations that own Bush, and they lied to the idiots who think like my coworker. It's just going to be the Clinton years all over again, except the new Person to Blame will be Nancy Pelosi. The same people who voted in indignation against the crimes and incompetence of Bush yesterday will go back to wondering what happens next on Lost. Somehow, the Iraq disaster will magically become the Democratic Congress's fault, not the people who actually created it.
      But I could be wrong. I sure as fuck hope I am.
      Yes, obviously, things could've been worse. We could've "lost" every Diebold election 51 to 49. But we've backed a wounded, rabid animal into a corner. And this is the Bush Administration, and for the last six years, the worst has always been yet to come.





C&L has the election round-up late night monologues.



      Fun Puke Fact! When you totally empty your stomach, you become very hungry--but you don't want to eat anything, because you're afraid you'll just puke it right back up! Doncha wish you were me?
      Because I don't.

      I saw Pixar's Cars last night. Entertaining up until an hour had passed, and I realized that the plot was predictable formula. When it ended, I realized that if it had been a live action movie with the same budget, I would've hated it. Especially the cornball saw-it-coming ending--what, Lightning could've have gone another 10 feet and then do what he did?
      Pixar seems to switch between kid oriented pictures (like this one and Finding Nemo) and more older-skewed stuff like The Incredibles and Toy Story 2. I know which I like better.

      John Kerry Tries To Tell Other Jokes:

      Bad news: sci-fi magazine "Subterranean" #4 is sold out. Good news: because it is, you can download a free PDF of the whole issue! Well, good for you, as I actually paid for my hard copy (which I then left where Byron could play with it, so it's not exactly MIB any more).
      It's well worth the read. All the stories are rethinkings of old sci-fi cliches--last man on earth, brains in jars, etc--but none of them take the easy way out and just make fun of the cliches. A couple of stories didn't work for me, but most are good and a few are great, particularly the comedies ("The Last Science Fiction Writer" and "A Finite Number of Typewriters"). There are also some fun essays on cliches, and even a collection of haikus:
      Speaking of cliches, Why it's best to let sleeping dogs lie, or how literal interpretations of cliches would kill us all. As Kitsplut once said, "If wishes were ponies, then we'd all be up to our knees in horseshit."


      Worried about the flu? Want to take antibiotics? Maybe you should just take a big dose of vitamin D. More technical than most things I link to, and, unfortunately, never tells you how much D you should take.

      It's not really "about" anything, but I liked this sweet, short trip down memory lane, The Kitchen Sink.
      (2 weeks ago I took the "Accent Quiz" that inspired it, and was totally wrong. It said that this lifetime Connecticut resident was from the south. And not Southern New England)

      The cats are terrible at slobbering their food. They spill kibble everywhere. So I've taken an extreme step and placed the bowl on a plate and moved it to an easier-to-clean spot.
      And it's been THE END OF THE WOOOORRRRLLLD! ever since. "We will NEVER eat from this misbegotten horror of a food bowl ever again! Oh, you'll be sorry in the morning when you wake and we've both STARVED TO DEATH!"
      I moved the bowl a whole TEN INCHES TO THE RIGHT.
      (Addenda: It's been 15 minutes, and one of them has just ended the hunger strike. Some Ghandi you would've made, Mr Bigfoot)


      Whle Byron's attempt at protesting the Horrible 10-Inch Move of the Bowl of Food didn't last long, Kill Kill has become a lifetime crusader against it. A veritable Cat-etta Scott King of the Eat 10 Inches to the Left Civil Rights movement. Last night, when I'd get up to pee or get a drink of water, she'd race to the bowl, pointedly remove one piece of kibble, move over to where the bowl used to be, and then eat the kibble there. The she'd loudly MEOW "Hell No, Bowl Don't GO there!" She did this four times.
      Since I've been home tonight, Cesar Chatte-vez has not once eaten from it. She's made her usual demands for Scritch, which is when I take a bamboo backscratcher and scritch her spine while she eats, making her "glharhh glharhh glharhh" noise (I think that it's the sound of her purring with her mouth full). No, she accepts the scritching, but marches around the bowl, never eating from it, meowing in protest.
      Oh, well. She can afford to lose some weight. And given the level of food in the bowl, I think her protest marches are only for when I'm not at work.


      BOWL OF CONTENTION: Kibble Crisis Continues
      Yes, it's day 3 of Killsy refusing to accept that the food bowl has moved 10 inches to the right. She never did take a single bite from it before I went to bed. When I got up during the night (to drink water, go wee, etc) she'd changed tactics. Now she'd eat from the bowl--if I petted her. "If I have to eat from this gourdforsaken spot, then you will pay! Pay in PETS! glharhh glharhh glharhh"

      The grocery store flyer always has some random factoid above the weekly pet food ads, and this weeks is: Over 90% of cat owning households have more than one cat. The average household has 3.2 cats
       In the Comments: If you have a cat, how many?
      (I, obviously, have two: a bigfoot who eats from the food bowl, and a drama queen who would rather chew the scenery)


      "The bowl?" says Kill Kill today. "I've never had a problem with the bowl. Now fill it and pet me." All is back to normal.

      Quote of the Day:

      --anonymous, in the Hartford Advocate


      Face Front, True Believers! If Stan Lee worked with Jack Chick. It doesn't require any knowledge of Marvel's convoluted cosmology, but it's funnier if you have some.

      If you're going to break into a liquor store, it's best to do it before you get drunk. But I suppose that's the only reason the dimwit thought it was a good idea in the first place.



      I was over at Kevin's tonight, the first time I've seen him since his epic trip to China (read about it here--lots of great pics and observations). He brought me a set of the 3 "See no Evil" monkeys (made out of "genuine camel bone," which I guess is a big selling point in China), and a Chairman Mao Fridge Magnet! The Great Wall gift shop clerk wanted 80 yuan for it--ten bucks! He dickered her down to 20 yuan. In a different city, he saw the same magnet for 10 yuan. As he walked away shaking his head, the clerk yelled "5 yuan!"
      I saved some money today with a coupon. It was $5 off of a purchase of $25 at the grocery store. I had to run back into the aisles to grab a $1.69 bag of cat treats, as I was that much under the mandatory $25. This is the first time I've ever gone to the grocery store and found myself spending too little money. And it's a bit ironic--I started the day saving money with a coupon for a $15.99 oil change. Which became $958 by the time I left the shop. The rear struts were kinda...ready to explode and kill me ("See this spring?" pointed out the mechanic. "It should be on the inside"). The last time I took the car in I was warned about this. And that was a different place, so this was the second opinion. "I can't afford that! Let me think about it." thinks: Afford it or not, I'm going to die if I don't get this fixed. I gave in when the shop knocked 10% off of the price and threw in free wiper blades (yes, the passenger side one is held on with STRING. It ripped apart on the way to work, and that was all I could find in the car to fix it. Plus, I generally don't drive the car from the passenger side). So that saved me $150. I suppose I could've said "I can't afford that! Unless I transfer some of the $20K I have in my savings account!" But I never think of that as money that can be spent. That's why there's $20K in there.
      Skipping ahead in time, Kev and I had Pizza Hut's buffalo chicken pizza, which tasted just like buffalo chicken on a pizza. Then we watched this truly insane Japanese movie called "House." "It's like Sid and Marty Krofft made a Japanese horror movie!" Kev quipped early on, and that turned out to be an accurate assessment. After one guy started driving around in a dune buggy before animated backgrounds (and after getting his ass stuck in a bucket for some stop-motion tomfoolery), I fully expected at least one of the Banana Splits to make an appearance. In fact, late in the movie that guy met a sinister melon vendor. He defeated him by telling him his favorite fruit was bananas, and the melon vendor's skin flew away and was replaced by a cartoon skeleton. Our Hero then died by turning into a big pile of bananas. And THAT WAS THE SANE PART.
      I...guess that it was supposed to be a depiction of a childhood nightmare, where nothing really makes complete sense? Because it sure didn't. It finally crossed into the realm of that old Ebert dictum: "When anything can happen, who cares what happens?"

      Bush went to Viet Nam and said (paraphrased): "Someday Iraq will be a country like Viet Nam, if only we do not quit!"
      So...Iraq may someday be a communist dictatorship? When did THAT become a good thing? "We will bring democracy to the people of Iraq! Or, failing that, Stalinist repression!" And correct me if I'm wrong, but in Viet Nam didn't we kinda sorta...QUIT? So, Iraq will be a worker's paradise like Viet Nam, as long as we don't do what we did in Viet Nam?
      Reagan had Alzheimer's. What's Bush's excuse?




      Three words for Thanksgiving: Papaya enzyme tablets. An amazing aid to digestion. Pop one of those after bloating yourself and 2 hours later you'll have room for leftovers.
      Niece Cassie personalized the placecards. She put more effort into some than others. Her father got a scribble and a cousin got just "Hi." I got a nice rendering of a white cat saying "Muo." Possibly the cat thought she was a cow. When I pointed out to Cassie that cats don't go "muo," she opined "Maybe it was a stupid cat."

      Hot Christmas Cartoon Koala Coitus!




      I used to think that getting blood drawn was the worst part of a physical. Now that I'm old, it's become the "gloved finger jammed up the ass and the doctor scraping his fingernail on the rectal wall to get a bit of shit."
      On the other gloved hand, that happens to me every few years. It's part of his daily routine.
      And I now am old. Up to 2 years ago, I had perfect--and I mean perfect--blood pressure. Now I'm "just on the cusp" of high blood pressure. And that shit can kill you. So now I'm on blood pressure medication, and DAMN YOU KIDS GET OFFA MY LAAAWN!! Yes, even my "I'm so old" jokes are that old.
      For some reason, at work I'm breaking my nails a lot. I don't feel them break, I just look down and there's a big hunk of cuticle waving in the breeze. The doctor said, "That's a shortage of keratin." Now I'll NEVER fly like Peter Pan!
      (If you didn't get that. maybe you should read the Comments more often)

      Speaking of bad cartoonists, here's a Ferd'nand strip that makes NO sense!


      Even his boss doesn't get it! I mean, what, the company's only worth two...cents...
      WTF! I'm not going to plow through 9 years of The News both here and on my old Geocities site to prove this, but this awful joke IS A REPEAT. It was run just a few years ago! Like 5 or 6 years ago! And--wait, I don't think I have a program to blow the panel up, but isn't the copyright 1992?! So this is at least the third time this utter and complete negation of a joke's been run?!


--British deputy prime minister John Prescott
      A guy bought a 4pack of 187ml ("single glass") bottles today. He'd already taken them out of the 4pack, and wanted them in 2 bags. Fair enough. I ripped apart a divider (a piece of cardboard from inside a liquor box--we put them between bottles so that they don't rattle against each other and possibly break). "What a good idea!" he said. A minute later, I took out the broken-down liquor boxes to the cardboard dumpster. Then I saw that the trash can was full, so I went to take that to the nonrecycling dumpster--and right on top were 2 bags, 2 dividers, and 4 empty little bottles. He'd powered down a FIFTH of wine in a few seconds.
      I'm not sure what the elaborate "I need 2 bags" ruse was about. I guess it was those times when I worked at Sam Goody or Lechmere, and some 15-year-old boy would buy some awful little girl boy band pop crap CD, and loudly volunteer the disinformation "I'M BUYING IT FOR MY LITTLE SISTER!" Yeah, I bought stuff for my little sisters when I was 15 alll the tiiime. Just buy your Backstreet Boys or wine 4pack and it won't even register in my mind. Trying to explain away a question that no one's asked does the opposite. It's like a combover; it only draws attention towards what you're trying to hide.


      Hey, did you know that you get 8 months in prison for threatening the President's life? Or, more accurately, his nuts? Even when you're already locked in a psychiatric ward?
      I picture an heroic Secret Service agent flinging himself between a terrified Bush and the totally-believable-threat assailant who's armed with a plastic spork while screaming "NOOOOO!!" in slow-mo.

      Hey, my condo complex is in the news! For...having our mail stolen. Actually, don't click on that, as you may get some local news station audio screaming about the danger of clogged gutters. It's "two piles" or "three bags" worth, depending on which paragraph you read. Well, I guess that explains why six weeks later my water bill check still hasn't cleared.


      Ever hear of the Antikythera Device? It's a 2000 year old clockwork gadget of unknown purpose, made most famous by people who claim that Ancient Astronauts were behind all of mankind's oldest achievements. Why Aliens with faster-than-light stardrives would make things out of clockwork and not silicon chips was never addressed.
      They've figured it out.

      Returning to mysteries still unsolved, I got a call from my doctor's office. My bloodwork was back. My blood glucose is up, and my triglycerides are off the chart--normal is 150, mine is 625. I checked an online medical site and there are several possibilites, none of which appeal to me. I have none of the symptoms of any of them, except of course vomiting.
      With my luck, it won't be anything treatable. It'll be that goddamn inexplicable Young's Syndrome again.

      An entertaining interview with Al Gore. And there's a Futurama movie coming!


--headline in the Washington Post
      The First Human Ritual discovered. And the local people still believe in it, 70,000 years later! Coolest because it totally sounds like something from Conan the Babarian! SNAKE GOD!
      Yeah. Right.


      Pretty much how I would've written the ending of "A Charlie Brown Christmas." Except for the very end--instead, I woulda taken Chuck to a bar and got him lit up like a Christmas tree.


      Maybe I'm about 3 weeks behind the meme here, as there are several "Im in ur [blank] [blank]ing ur [blank]s," but most of the pics I've never seen before and they're ALL KITTAHS. Worth the click for "Invisible Bicycle" alone.



      The Seven Garbage Wonders of the World. Scarier than it is funny.

      Funnier than it is scary, another Python/Trek YouTube mashup, Who Mourns for Frenchmen.

      As long as we're YouTubing, here's your obscure 80s video--Kid Creole And The Coconuts - Endicott. No Endicott in me.


      The greatest "You kids get offa my lawn!" idea ever.

      I guess that I'll link to another YouTube video of a fave song, Lene Lovich-Lucky Number. EH-OOH EH-OOH! Great music, and one the worst music videos ever. Hey, it was 1979, who made music videos back then? It's like complaining that you lost the Indy 500 driving your Model T.
      (My lucky number was always one, but now it's three. Purr)
      I also remember when people thought that The Art Of Noise - Close To The Edit was HARRIBLE NOISE, while it was my favorite dance tune. Sounds almost tame, 25 years later. But not tame enough to still be AWESOMENESS. "HEY! HEY!" Great no-budget video.


      This is a Christmas decoration I've been joking about making since I was in high school 30 years ago, so it really doesn't get any points for originality, just points for actually doing it.
      "A neighbour complained to the municipality and but was told Metchosin couldn't do anything because the cross is on Wright's property." Because it's in Canada! The reason I never did this is because, in America, someone wouldn't complain, they'd just burn my house down.


      Holy moley, Matinee at the Bijou is coming back next year! And in HD!
      MAN did I love that show 25 years ago! I was interested in old movies from an early age, even if they sucked--they showed how different things were Back Then. MatBijou recreated the old 30s/40s matinee experience, with trailers, cartoons, newsreels, serials, weird other shorts, and a B-movie. But they picked stuff that showed how things had changed--strange cartoons, inaccurate newsreels, terrible movies. My favorite was "Cowboy Commandos," about Nazis attempting to infiltrate a cattle ranch, with the featured song "I'm Gonna Get the Fuhrer Sure as Shootin'."
      Once it showed an anti-nature "documentary." Some total 1930s asshole went to Africa, openly sneered that the natives "are very stupid!" because they didn't speak English (he, of course, went to central Africa without knowing any of their languages, which made him smart). We see a pitched battle between two "mortal enemies," a wild boar and a big cat (I forget which species--cheetah, maybe). The battle to the death mainly consists of the terrified cat trying to claw her way up out of the pit, screaming while the boar that's twice her size repeatedly gores her with his tusks. Yes, the pit. They conviently just happened to find a place for their camera at the bottom of a deep pit, where a cat and a boar conveniently fell to fight to the death. Picture a kitten and a rabid pit bull mauling her to death, and you'll get the "entertainment" here.
      He chases a mother rhino and her child, which would be a very dangerous thing to do, if he wasn't buzzing them at low altitude from a plane. The panicked mother and child race in circles as he says that he's deliberately trying to give the mother a heart attack and orphan the child--because "My wife hates rhinos, because they're so ugly!" If you want ugly, look in the mirror, bastard.
      I watched that and wanted to find a time machine so that I could throw that guy into a pit with a boar, but that's what I liked about the show. The "it was a different time" knowledge, a past not seen through the rose-colored glasses of false nostalgia. There never were any "good old days," in an absolutist sense of the term. If MatB '07 retains that sense from the original series, I'll be happy. But given that the host is the sweet'n'chirpy septugenarian Debbie Reynolds...we'll have to wait and see, I guess.


      YouTube videos from the reincarnation of Matinee at the Bijou. By gosh, cats and kittens, they're swell!
      Here's my favorite of the clips: Yukon Flight. Want to pick up girls in bars? Dress up like a Mountie and then sing her a song about how ugly she is. I mean, shit, you've tried everything else!



      Today I got an email that makes me a Christmas card-carrying member of the ACLU:
An Overdue Visit

'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the nation
Friends of Freedom knew it was a special occasion.
Lady Liberty stood taller just off the shore
Her torch shining brighter than a few weeks before

But it wasn't the flame turning her cheeks all rosy
It was thoughts of Snowe, Feingold and Nancy Pelosi
And leaders from every side of the aisle
Who would soon bring the Bill of Rights back into style.

The Amendments had all hurried out of their beds -
Which was no easy task, they were nearly in shreds -
And they rushed to the window on papery feet
As a jolly old man flew right over their street.

"Could it be!?" they inquired as the roof shook and trembled
And they crept toward the mantle, peaceably assembled,
Just as someone emerged from the chimney with flair
In a shiny red suit, with a shock of white hair

And a top hat, and pants all in red, white and blue -
"Wait a minute," the Amendments exclaimed, "Who are you?"
"Don't be frightened my children," he said, "it's no scam.
"You can't have forgotten your old Uncle Sam!"

"Holy crap!" said Free Speech. "Stop right there!" yelled Bear Arms
And Privacy cried "Who shut off the alarms?!"
The Fifth remained silent, but Uncle Sam said
"We've been having some trouble, but Freedom's not dead."

The Amendments were cautious. "It's just been so long
"We've seen Liberty lost, we've seen so much go wrong.
"The President's trying to mangle and warp us,
"The Fourth is in tatters, so's Habeas Corpus!"

The old man sat down - he had had quite a ride -
But he told them "Don't worry, the Law's on our side,
"'Cause the nation's fed up and more people are crying
"For Justice and an end to illegal spying,

"And secret abductions by the CIA,
"And laws that would take women's choices away,
"And Gitmo tribunals and secret detention,
"And other intrusions too numerous to mention - "

"Not so fast," said a grinchity voice from above
And Don Rumsfeld pushed past the Fourteenth with a shove.
He was covered in soot and he looked kind of scary.
It seemed like his Christmas had not been so merry.

The Amendments said they weren't happy to see him:
"You tried to throw all of us in the museum!
"You've done so much the Constitution forbids!"
"And I would have gone on, but for you meddling kids!"

Uncle Sam told him "Rummy, your plans just won't do,
"So we've got a brand new timetable for you!"
And as Rumsfeld retired and crept into the night
The Amendments cried out "Have a good secret flight!"

From the distance they heard him reply with a snort.
"Bye-bye, Rummy!" they answered, "we'll see you in court!"
Uncle Sam rode the chimney up out of the room
And, like Frosty, he said "I'll be back again soon."

But they heard him exclaim "Oh, and just one more thing!
"This year, when the holiday bells start to ring,
"Try to honor religion. Honest faith can't be wrong.
"It's America, can't we all just get along?

"So, on Christian," he cried, "Muslim, Hindu, and Jew!
"On Quaker! On Shaker! And Atheist too!
"On Buddhist! On Taoist! And to show we're not chickens
"We'll file a few lawsuits defending the Wiccans!

"Your belief is your right, so get out there and savor it.
"Uncle Sam's not a preacher, and he doesn't play favorites!"
So this holiday season, whatever you do,
Warmest wishes for Freedom, from the ACLU.


      I arrived home tonight at the exact moment one of my neighbors did. She had an armful of crap, including a long stick with a feathery end. Since they have a cat named Smokey, I was about to say something about making sure she hid his Xmas present. But she called over, "We have a new addition to the household! Joey!" And a little 4-month old purring boy, a Creamsicle colored shorthair tabby, was in her arms. "Hiii, Joey!" I said in that dopey voice pet lovers use when they meet a new critter too small to try and kill them at sight.
      Seems that they'd tried a kitten on their lone cat, "And Smokey went right for the throat." I've heard that it's harder to introduce a cat into a household with a male who's been alone for most of his life. And I'm sure it's harder in one of these little 3.5 room shoeboxes.
      Good luck, pal Joey. I'm rooting for you. And if Smokey just gives you a chance, he'll be glad that he did.

      Y'know what I hate about working retail at Christmastime?
      And also when I hear people bitch about how they just came from this store, and the lines were SOO long and WHY don't they just HIRE more PEOPLE?
      And they're bitching about THE DOLLAR STORE. Hmm, let's do some math--when everything you sell is a DOLLAR, what do you think their profit margin is? If they hired more people, do you think that they then would have to charge MORE? Then all you'd do is scream about how it's now the "Dollar and a Quarter Store," and never shop there again.
      Strangely, I find this even more annoying when the complaint comes from a coworker.

      "The Twelfth Planet sooner or later has to be engineered over here--it's hollow...and then the fake planet part melts off, and there's a big cubic core inside, and the Christ Android has to get activated, then the Cube has to drop down on the Earth--No, no, it's very complicated...No, my family knows these fuckin' secrets NO JACK I NEVER TOLD YOU THAT!...I know the Devil PERSONALLY! I've known the Devil personally for BILLIONS OF YEARS!"
      Well, yes, okay, obviously. And that's the sanest part. It's been a long time since I found any Crazy Sites, but here's some MP3s from one WFMU found. They think it's one side of a phone conversation, but since the guy starts screaming "NO! NO! NO!!" before anyone else could get out more than a syllable, and the fact that it was apparently recorded during a hurricane, it seems more likely that the violent argument is going on in the guy's head.
      NSFW unless you want your coworkers to think it's you on the phone. That'll stop them from bothering you.

      The JOE SQUAD! In COLOR! (Okay, maybe I just like a good penny-farthing joke)


      The store had the biggest set of deliveries it ever has had, and we're talking in 20 years. Part of it is because the store's business just keeps growing at a phenomenal rate. But we also used to have to buy a month's worth of booze to get the good pricing, which wasn't a problem, as we didn't have to pay the bill until a month went by. Now, we have to buy 2 or 3 months at a time, with Xmas and New Year's thrown into the mix. So I spent a lot of time hefting heavy boxes way up above my head.
      Ow. I hurt my shoulder, and for 2 days the pain was pretty bad. And not helped by the fact that I had more of those giant deliveries to put away. It's now more of a constant ache, but I hurt it 2 damn weeks ago. This morning while in bed, it got really bad again. A deep growling pain well into the joint, so bad that I got up to take something for it. And instead of getting up, I woke up. And felt fine. I'd dreamt it.
      I can touch things and taste food in dreams, but this was the first time I've dreamt pain and felt it. I didn't know you could do that.
      (I also don't care for the eating dreams, because the imaginary food tastes so good that I wake up with a Homer Simpsonesque puddle of drool on the pillow)


      Ha! Ha! He wears shorts while he shovels the snows! He is a stupid dupe of the Liberal Conspiracy that is trying to foist its lie of Global Warming on us! OB-viously, there is no Global Warming, because it still gets cold in the middle of December!
      In notoriously winter-torn Connecticut, today it was 55 degrees. I just checked, and over 6 hours after sunset, it's currently 51.
      That cartoon was from a few days ago. Here's today's, from the same deep thinker:


      Gourd, it's the SAME "JOKE." It gets cold in the winter, so there's no Global Warming! How can there be, when it gets COLD in the WINTER! It should be 200 degrees EVERYWHERE!
      Tomorrow our forecast calls for it to be SIXTY degrees. In mid-December. And it's not like the icecaps are melting or shit. And I'm not using my local temperatures as some proof of GW--it's always been predicted that GW would make the world generally warmer, but it's main effect will be to make the weather crazy. A friend reported temps in the 20s--in "Hotlanta," Georgia. She's freezing, and hundreds of miles to her north, I had the windows open. Giant wildfires, floods, droughts, tsunamis, the worst hurricane season ever followed by a very mild one--crazy.
      I understand why global warming has been made into a political issue by the Republicans and their lackeys in the media--they're both owned by the same corporations that want it to be denied. God forbid that Exxon only make incredible profits for one quarter rather than obscene profits, and so its millionaire polticians and media stooges pretend that GW is still a matter of debate.
      But what are liberals supposed to get out of trying to stop it? Does Gore have the patent on hybrid cars, or does Pelosi own a solar panel company? Why is it presented as a "liberal issue" when liberals have nothing to gain by getting us off of oil addiction and into alt-energy sources? Is it because that might give us an even better reason to not be dying in Iraq? Have you ever heard a right winger explain exactly what liberals have to gain by fighting GW?

      Dammit! While I was typing that, the wily predator with extra toes stalked and attacked his helpless prey! Helpless because you usually don't see a strong defense mounted by SALTINES.
      Great. Cracker crumbs in the carpet. Good job, Mighty Byron of the Serengeti!


      For years I've linked to the annual Most Dangerous Toys list, but this year it just wasn't that entertaining. The safety laws are seemingly catching up to the toys, and they're just not all that "Holy shit, someone thought kids should play with that?!" anymore.
      So here's The Most Dangerous Toys Ever. I guessed that there would be 2 on the list that I had as a kid, ie, Jarts and the Original Creepy Crawlers. I was surprised to see at #2 one that turned up in an InExOb.

      The funniest thing I've seen today, The Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny.


      Remember that page with the funny cat pictures, such as "Invisible Bike" and the variations on "IM IN UR..."? Here's the latest iteration, which has all of those, and more. Plenty of Christmas ones (or too many, if you ask me), but "Invisible Bikes Crash Into Invisible Ladder" is worth the look.


      Handy Holiday Gift Guide 2006!


      I've been following Gallery of the Absurd for years, but I don't think that I've ever linked to it. I really despise America's Cult of the Celebrity, and this guy makes a living caricaturing it ruthlessly. (In the grocery store today I glimpsed a tabloid headline about the hell of living with Brit--Who's Brit?)

      And here's a blog I just became aware of today, Cartoon Brew. All about animation; I've only looked at the most recent page, but there was plenty there to keep me interested (such as a collection of Ray Harryhausen's greatest hits).

      Blog cliches that must die! Ok, I've used "teh" more than I should, but they're right. Especially with "[adjective]-y goodness," which has always made my skin crawl. Wait, that's a cliche too, isn't it?


      Remember the SHAWT? Hell, I don't have time to those anymore. I don't have time to even remember what happens at work anymore! I get home all tired from doing my (and frequently, SEVERAL OTHER PEOPLE'S) job(s), and it's either blog and read web, or read blogs and play with cats. Guess where my sympathies lie! There's millions of blogs out there, so go read a better one.
      And here's one: Thrilling Days of Yesteryear. Old movies and TV shows, although I guess that "old" is a matter of your personal context. I remember reading a review of my second cousin Tom McGuane's movie "92 in the Shade" in Newsweek in 1972. I've been reading TDoYY for months now, and it's very well done, assuming the subject interests you. And today, they talk about Tom's movies. Not that should motivate you to read it, t's buried in a post oh MAN I'm tired never mind, I'm going to bed I don't care anymore. I AHTE XMAS IT MAKLES ME WORK TOO MUCH and those aren't ironic typos I'm tired and I WANT TO GO TO BED I HATE THIS STUOPID BLOG


      I went to the doctor (he typed as if it mattered to anyone but himself) and my blood pressure is lower, like a rock you throw at the ground, but still high, like that rock ricocheted offa a tree root and bounced back and kneecapped you. So, yay, new meds! And my triglycerides are awful, so yay, new meds! And I've got a fatty liver and I'm prediabetic. Yay!...wait, that's not a yay. That sucks!
      "Something genetic went off," said my doctor. "Some gene turned on, and this is what you've got." AWESOME! I'd cut salt, sugar and fat from my diet, but I did that 16 YEARS AGO.
      So, go eat a bag of potato chips dipped in lard and refined sugar. Skipping it didn't do me any good.


      I had 3 prescriptions to fill at the pharmacy in my grocery store, and my next days off are Xmas eve and the holiday itself. I have no intention of entering any retail establishment on those days. Today is the day I'm scheduled to come in an hour later than normal, so I decided to get up at the usual time and do it before work. While they filled the scrips, I could buy the few groceries I'd run out of, and avoid next week's grocery shopping altogether.
      I stayed in bed longer than usual and took an extended shower. It always takes me 20 minutes to shop, so I left the house 40 minutes before I had to leave for work, just to be safe.
      Two of the meds were generic ($10 copay), but one wasn't ($37.50 copay). But it came with a debit card voucher worth $20 per refill for 6 months. When I picked up the scrips, I handed it to the Pharmacy tech. "It'll just be a minute while we activate this," she said.
      Five minutes later, one of the pharmacists joined her in figuring it out. Five minutes later, so did the other pharmacist. The tech came over and said those encouraging words, "I hope this works!" She swiped it in the credit card machine and pressed buttons. It didn't work, so she tried again. And again. And again. I pointed out that she was pressing "$0 Dollars Back" each time and mentioned that I needed to go to work, so she pressed $20. And it didn't work. One of the pharmacists came over, and, like George Bush in Iraq, did the exact same thing that didn't work for the sixth time.
      I finally hit my limit, both in time and patience. "Forget the one with the card, I'll fill that one later. Just ring up the other 2." For reasons I don't understand, she took the bottles out of their barcoded bags and scanned the barcodes on the bottles. "$47.50? Why's it so much?" I asked. "It must not be a preferred item on your health insurance." I picked up the bottle and said, "No, this is the Triglide! I don't want to pay for the one with the card, I want the other 2!"
      She looked blankly at me, then squinted at the bottles. She did a weird little dance in a circle in front of me, and then held up the card. "We'll figure it out in a few minutes!" "I don't have a few minutes! I have to go to work! Just ring up the other 2!" She looked like the world's dumbest deer in headlights the size of Ohio. And she waved the damned card again. "I don't have time for this! I'll come back next week!" The deer was now looking like Cleveland had driven over head, and Columbus was bearing down on her. "I'm sorry, I'm not trying to be rude. I have to go to work. I work in retail, it's Christmas, I have to go." Yes, I was apologizing for their incompetence. "If you leave the card, we can..." "YES. I'll see you next week," I said thinking "This medication's supposed to treat my blood pressure, not raise it! And how many Stop'n'Shop pharmacists does it take to screw in a light bulb?"
      I raced to work--where 3 coworkers spent 20 minutes trying to figure out how to cash out a store gift card.
      Apparently light bulbs were very difficult to screw today.

      Weird Al interviews Federline. "So--how does it feel to have a closetful of wife-beaters, and no wife?"


      Aw, my
favorite megalomaniac has died! The article mentions that the self-proclaimed "Father Of All Turkmen" renamed January after himself, but leaves out my favorite: putting a giant, gold-plated, motorized statue of himself atop a building, which always turned to face the sun. A more entertaining link to his history of wackiness and brutal oppression can be found in the Wikipedia entry, such as "urging young people not to get gold tooth caps or gold teeth, suggesting instead that they chew on bones to preserve their teeth."
      His greatest claim to fame on the world stage: He was one of Bush's "Coalition of the Willing" who helped invade Iraq. A deranged, homocidal Islamic Stalinist who liked to boil political prisoners alive, helpin' Bush make the world a democracy (except for his country).


      The radio is on WJMJ (WJesus Mary Joseph) currently, the quirky Catholic Archdioscese of Hartford station, because it plays classical at this time of night. They started with Beethoven's Pastoral symphony, which is his only "program" work, i.e. one with a story. He goes into the woods, gets caught in a violent storm in the 3rd movement, then everything's fine in the 4th movement.
      The 3rd movement ended, and the 4th began with...the overture to "Babes in Toyland"? Y'know, "March of the Wooden Soldiers"? Well, it didn't for long. It faded out after a minute. And there was good, solid 90 seconds of dead air. Did I mention that I remember hearing this DJ 30 years ago, so I assume that he's in his 70s by now?
      Then he played the 4th movement of Beethoven's--no, wait, he played the overture to "Babes in Toyland" for a few seconds. Next, he played the overture to "Babes in Toyland" for a minute, then stopped it. After a pause, he played, yes, the overture to "Babes in Toyland" to its finish. And then all of it. And I always thought that it was Schubert who wrote that Unfinished Symphony.
      When it finally ended, he never mentioned the missing movement, and instead said "This is Cut Number Fo--" before cutting off that extraneous note to himself. Punchline: he prerecords the show 12 hours before it airs. So all he had to do was erase the multiple mistakes and tape over it. Professionalism in action!
      Starting on Xmas, they'll start playing 100% Xmas music--until January sixth. Maybe on the 7th they'll finally play the 4th movement of the Pastorale.





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