Cheez Whiz Loves Me This I Know, For Velveeta Tells Me So

NEW 86

"You tell the truth when you go to the guillotine
You lose your head, but your conscience is clean."
--J.G. Thirlwell


      Wow, this is crazy! Liquor stores in Connecticut are closed on Sundays, so I have Christmas Eve off for the first time in 24 years! (Unless you count 14 years ago and the Unmerriest Christmas of all, which fell in the year I was unemployed)
      Checking the calendar, it's also the last I'll have off for 11 years.

      A newly-discovered reason to hate the 1970s: the Beatles medley from hell, 1977. It starts off a bit slowly (and it's 15 minutes long) with our star, Ted "Who?" Neely, but quickly degenerates into madness. Hey, it's "Strawberry Fields Forever," sung by the Majarishi and his dancing strawberries! It segues "Here Comes the Sun" into "Helter Skelter," with a dance version of terrorism and war and stolen portable TVs! "Back in the USSR" is performed by...Well, you'll just have to see. The only intentional humor follows in the next song snippet.

      10 myths -- and 10 truths -- about atheism.


      There's a town in Alaska named North Pole, and every letter that gets addressed to "Santa, North Pole" ends up there. The entire town is Christmas-themed year-round, even the McDonalds. In fact, the current mayor won election because residents thought the place wasn't Christmassy enough. It's the holly jolliest place on Earth!
      Or not:      A well-written, very strange article that answers the question, Why can't every day be Christmas? Because it can drive you crazy.

      As for my Xmas, it was okay. Niece Cassie invited me to play with her new toy, which I thought was a video game as it was hooked up to the TV. Then I noticed that it was pink and called "Digi Makeover." It has a little cell phone quality camera in it, and you line your face up into a cartoon template. Then you get lipstick and mascara and such added to your face. I did not make a very attractive woman. I looked like Paris Hilton with a beard. I never did get fully made up, due to Cassie's refusal to read the instructions. After several attempts at a photo shoot, she declared "I can't work with you people!" and attempted it with a stuffed monkey. She couldn't work with the monkey, either.
      Since some people like to hear about other's loot, I received: a calendar with a built-in compass (it has glow-in-the-dark monthly star charts; given the light pollution in my part of town, the only way I'll be able to see the stars is by hanging them on my wall). Three books, "Weird New England" (coincidentally I'd bought the first volume, "Weird US," at a used book sale just last month), "Even More Bushisms" (Dear Leader's retarded misuses of the language), and "Sh*t Happens, The Book" (basically News of the Weird's "Undignified Deaths" feature, taken through history. It describes itself as schadenfreude, but I'm pretty sure that that's something you feel when bad things happen to people you already don't like, not random strangers). A mini lawn gnome, whch is just what it sounds like. And Amazon gift certificates. I was hoping for about $75 worth, so that I could complete my collection of (used) Freddy the Pig books, get a copy of "A Massive Swelling: Celebrity Re-Examined As a Grotesque, Crippling Disease and Other Cultural Revelations" (review: "If the subjects of [author] Cintra Wilson's loathing continue to appear in public after this book is published, it must be because they can't read.") and get a keychain flashlight that isn't a piece of shit so that I don't step on Byron. However, I got $175 worth of certificates and no idea what to spend the rest on. Since Amazon now sells everything from auto parts to furniture, I suppose I can find something over the 2 years it'll take before the certificates expire.
      And, most importantly, Mom's home cookin'! And a LOT of it. My grocery bill won't include entrees for about 6 weeks. All home-made, I have spaghetti sauce, parmesan chicken breasts, Hungarian goulash, fried filet of sole, rice pilaf, pork medallions, turkey shepherd pies (not sure what those are, unless they're pot pies under a different name), and fancy pants hamburgers (like cheeseburgers, except the cheese is on the inside--delicious!). She also threw in egg noodles, tomato sauce and spaghetti, which might explain why I have 3 boxes of spaghetti, 2 of them unopened.
      Notice what I didn't get? Yes, a Stupidest Things Ever Said calendar, the one thing that's made me update every day this last year! Amazon has the new one, but it takes 3 weeks to ship, and I assume that it'll get cheaper after the first of the year. And I can get it from the source--hopefully, they charge less to get it by email than they do for a physical copy. If they don't, why should I get it? (Just checked, and no, you can't just buy it and get it as email. How stupid) Yeah, I've got all that money from Amazon, but it still seems like a waste to buy the paper version just to get the email to cut&paste into this stupid page.
      And what did the cats get? To celebrate my first Xmas eve off in a quarter-century, yesterday they got a quarter of a can each of white tuna, which they devoured with gusto and much lip-licking. Today they got the rest of the can, which they nibbled at and then wandered away. Kids today. So spoiled.


      Jon Carroll had his yearly impossibly hard Xmas quiz yesterday (don't believe me? Give it a try. I got maybe 3 right, and I mean 3 partial answers). Today he had the answers. One question was "After the ratification of the Constitution, which was the first state to seriously consider seceding from the Union?" Answer:      Holy shit. We RAWK. lifelong fantasy of a nation called New England almost happened. The USA declared war on Great Britain because the chickenhawks thought that invading Canada would be a cakewalk, even with insufficient troops (SOUND TEH FAMILIAR?!?). When Washington started economic sanctions against New England's main trading partners, Canada and England, it led to a collapsing economy and talk of secession. Which Washington couldn't have stopped because--get this--the troops were stretched too thin.
      Man. In some alternate reality, I've spent my whole life in the American version of a very small Canada.


      "Rising seas, caused by global warming, have for the first time washed an inhabited island off the face of the Earth."


      Remember that coworker who stole $20K in lottery scratch tickets to support her drug habit? I found out today that her parents (I should point out that she's 31, long past the point most people depend this heavily on their parents) bought her a new car AND her own business! And I thought that "failing up" mainly happened in the Bush administration. Maybe she'll get a Presidential Medal of Freedom next. "Heckuva job, Thievey!"



      Since we're closed Sunday, New Years Eve came a day early to the likker store. People came in waves, inundating us with customers for ten minutes, then ebbing away for five. During one of the busiest periods, I was behind the counter along with almost everyone else in the store. A woman yelled "STOP HITTING ME! STOP HITTING ME!"
      Everyone looked to see what was going on, especially me. Many has been the time I've come close to dialing the police over a drunk. But she and her male friend were behind a display so that I couldn't see them, and it was too busy for me to leave the registers. I kept an eye on them, and also an ear. She continued to yell something or other every few minutes, still out of my sight. Her companion could barely be heard giving his side of the argument. A coworker assumed that she'd started drinking a little too early, but since her loud speech wasn't slurred, I became convinced that she was mentally ill. I was ringing up people when the couple came into view, her still spewing anger and him looking like a whipped puppy. It kept going on while they were in line. "I can ring you up here!" said co-worker Melanie, but the crazy lady continued to bark at her humiliated target. "I asked to help her, but she's so busy yelling she can't hear me," growled Melanie. Everyone, customer and coworker alike, was by now either irritated or uncomfortable. Except me! There was a brief pause in the line because of the screaming bitch, and I left the register with a big smile on my face, getting away before I burst into laughter in front of them and made it worse.
      They were the couple of assholes who tried to run over Byron last year!
      She really IS the crazy bitch she seemed to be when she tried to kill my cat, and there he was, refusing to meet the eyes of anyone during his public humiliation and beatdown by the harpy from hell. If that's what he has to deal with every day, I'm surprised he hasn't run himself over. They deserve each other, the shrieking psycho hag and her pathetic punching bag.
      The old saying goes "Living well is the best revenge." But I finally feel that I've had my revenge over their attempt to kill my beloved boy. Because "Scumbags living in hell with each other is also a good revenge."

      The worst sex passages of literature, 2006:
      "Tom Yew got on her and sort of jiggled there and she gasped like he was giving her a Chinese burn and wrapped her legs round him, froggily. Now he moved up and down, Man-from-Atlantisly."
      Eww, yuck, it just hit me that Whipping Boy probably only tolerates Psycho Bitch's public abuse because she's the only human who doesn't make him pay for the sex. And that's a sex scene I NEVER want to know anything about.


      ...And so ends the appearances of the Stupidest Things Ever Said calendar on this site.
      For a while. I found one cheap on Amazon, so at some point this month it'll turn up again.

      The 2007 List of Banished Words.


      A regular customer sought me out in the store today. "Everyone else got one, I don't know how you got missed!" she said as she rummaged in her purse for a late Christmas present. And it was--Blimpie's coupons! Wow, thanks!
      On the other hand, it was far more than I got her.


      I was annoyed yesterday when the mail carrier didn't take my outgoing mail. If you remember, we had all our outgoing mail stolen not that long ago. But it turned out that postal workers got a freak 3-day weekend: New Years plus a dead president.
      My mail carrier prly wished that he hadn't had it off. Not only did he have to pick up 4 pieces of outgoing and leave 5 pieces of straight-to-the-recycling-bin junk mail, but my Xmas Amazon purchase came. In 6 seperate boxes.
      Six seperate boxes that the cats are very happy about.


      My DSL modem died last night. I tried to make it work, and when that failed, tried to make it work a different way. Realizing that it probably wasn't going to work, as the power button blinked red most of the time, I decided to call the help line. But first! let's make a dial-up connection so we can connect that way, and spend less time on hold if/almost certainly I got the password wrong (which I did get wrong). When the tech confirmed that I now owned a doorstop, he recommended going to Best Buy to get a new one. I thanked him, hung up, looked at the clock and found that I had exactly enough time to drive to Best Buy and have the doors locked in my face. But I got the password I needed for dial-up! And discovered that under "username" I'd misspelt my own first name.
      I flirted with the web in 1995, and became a confirmed user ("user" in the sense of "addict") in 96. And I connected back in the Pleistocene faster than I did last night. 21.6 kps is rather slow when you're used to a connection 400 times faster. Remember when you'd have 2 windows open, reading one while waiting for the other to download? Except 11 years ago you didn't hover over the STOP button to kill any graphics that tried to load after the text, just to speed things up. And yes, the first thing to load on every site are the ads.
      I went Best Buy after work today and started to worry when I could only find cable modems. Oh, crazy me, looking for modems in the section marked "modems"! DSL modems were in that aisle that had nothing but routers--an entire aisle of routers, except for 1 brand of modem. I've been out of "real" retail for 9 years, and forgotten about the thing "We haven't restocked since Xmas, so we filled half the store with the stuff no one bought then." I imagine the CD section was 90% Kevin Federline albums.
      We're back in business with a dinky new modem (how tech shrinks after only 4 years!), although it has an extra button, "Internet," which has yet to light up. I'd check the instructions, but the modem instructions consisted entirely of a simplistic picture on the back of a box showing where the plugs go. Everything else is about establishing my new SBC/Yahoo DSL account. I guess even grandma can hook up a DSL modem in her sleep now.

      First paycheck of the year, and you know what that means--I get another big slice of that Bush tax cut sky pie! This year, it's a whole 41 cents a week! Yes, I know you're envious! (if you live in Somalia) That's an entire Jackson a year! That equals 2/3s of a tank of gas, or 2/3s of my weekly grocery bill! I'll bet Dick Cheney now gets a whole TWO BUCKS A WEEK more!

      Thanks to Lavender Grey in the Comments, here's Cat Macros. No, not cats in Robotech, that'd be Cat Macross.
      Most, like anything on the web, are only okay. But there's always at least one that makes me laff. Here's today's. I like absurdity.

      Every year I link to the "Wacky Warning Labels Awards." This year is no different--except that it's to a story that indicates that they have an agenda. Critics say that "the contest is part of an effort to pass laws that shield businesses from liability for those they hurt." What, in Bush's America?! That's unpossible!

      Government recruiting an Army of the Undead. What, in Bush's America?!


      Yesterday I found a quarter and a nickel on the floor at work. Today, a dime and a penny.
      I've now doubled my weekly tax cut!

      And I found something in the mail today.

      Whew! That was a bunch. Now we're all caught up with the Stupidest Things calendar so far this year.



I've started reading through every political cartoon on GoComics every Monday, and Wayne Stayskal is the Ferd'nand of politics. And he needs to teach his pony a second trick.


      You may remember him doing the EXACT SAME JOKE last month. In fact, this the fourth time he's done it in a month, and the third in a month involving shoveling snow.
      A tad obsessed is he--so obsessed with his single brilliant argument "Global warming isn't happening because it gets cold in the winter!" that I wonder if his paychecks are signed by Exxon.
      By the way, on Saturday it hit 72 degrees here. Over twice the norm. It's been 10 to 20 degrees above normal almost every day since October. I don't know where Stayskal lives, but "Tribune" makes me think of Chicago. And today, it's 10 degrees above normal there, and, like here, with only a trace of snowfall all season.
      Maybe he lives in Colorado. But Colorado's getting it's own freaky weather, with too much snow. And no matter what the GW deniers fantasize, freaky weather is the true calling card of the coming worldwide disaster.
      Oh, wait--he works at the Tampa Tribune in Florida! He knows all about snow. And today, in Tampa it's only 13 degrees above normal. Since Tampa is one of the parts of Florida that'll be underwater in a decade or three, he can draw--well, "scribble" is a better description of his style--his cartoons wearing a warm'n'snug scuba suit.

      Via Kirk and other people, Cyriak's animated GIFs loop. Pretty awesome!



      Something that everyone will find boring, it's Neil Innes and some Python guy singing Boring. Don't blame me; told you so in advance.



      A doddering old customer, precariously half-walking on a cane, asked me for help in finding a bottle of Camelot chardonnay. He was easily in his late 80s, and with his white goatee looked like the generic old men who populated early 1930s cartoons.
      I asked him if needed help carrying his purchase to his car, but he declined and bravely staggered on his one good leg and his cane. That's when I noticed that he was wearing a Frank Sinatra ballcap. And an Iron Maiden leather tour jacket.
      I think he was "Eddie's" father.


      I'm a fan of crossword puzzles and love the Boston Globe puzzle that's in the weekly free paper, and so is one of my coworkers. Except that I like to solve them, and she likes to do them with the answers in front of her. If she can't immediately figure out a clue, she looks at the solution, fills it in, and moves to the next clue. I really don't get the appeal of that. She's probably one of those people who only watches movies that have trailers that give away the entire plot.
      Somebody brought in the Hartford Courant (America's oldest newspaper), and to her dismay, their crossword only had the answers to the previous day's puzzle. She had to figure out today's herself! And I found out why she likes having the answers in front of her: she sucks at crosswords if she doesn't.
      After 2 hours, she'd filled in about 8 clues. I just glanced at it--some of us are too busy at work to splay over the counter doing crosswords. But given a 3-letter word for "Many Star Trek characters," my guess would've been "E.T.s" She went with "men." Well, it is true. So would be "alive," but that's too many letters and discriminates against the redshirts.
      While I know next to nothing about modern French literature, six letters for "onetime friend of Camus" would lead me to guess "Sartre," as they were contemporaries. But she reads People magazine, and thus knows more about the lives of celebrities than I do. I guess that's why she went with "Vickie."




      Chibis of The Doctor's Girls (click to enlarge, obviously). Always been a Leela man m'self.

      Warblogger Hairy Sadass sings The Ballad of the Yellow Beret to the rest of the pro-war military-age college Republicans.


      Apropos that the band is called "Wintersleep," as it is winter and their music puts me to sleep. Cool video, though.

      Dinesh D'Souza is a right winger I only recently became aware of, when Wolcott referred to him by the nickname his NYC paper gave him: "Distorta D'Newsa." He has a new book out, blaming liberals for causing 9/11 (YAWN--what, again?) He's like Michelle Malkin, another child of recent immigrants that has yet to learn that their real place in the Right Wing Ecosphere is "Useful Idiot." Yes, Dinesh and Michelle, as brown Asian people, you'll only be the second people against the wall when the Christian Fundie Xenophobe Revolution comes.
      The only thing better than Colbert tearing him into little strips of flesh is that no matter how much Colbert tries to twist Dinesh Dimwitta's agenda--Dinesh agrees with every bit of it ! Even that FDR "indirectly" caused 9/11 70 years ago!

      BREAKING NEWS! Or, one of the few things I look forward to every January, the Worst Of lists. And the best of them all is always the Buffalo Beast's 50 Most Loathsome People in America!


      Connecticut had its first snowfall of the season on my drive home tonight. It wasn't cold enough for it to collect anywhere but on the grass, and it turned to rain before I was halfway home. I did 70-75 on the highway, as the road was simply wet. But some people drove as if it was a foot of snow. I loved that most of them made sure that they were "safe" by doing only 45 (in the fast lane), while leaving a mere 5 feet between their car and the one in front of them. Because your gas pedal might go crazy in the snow, but your brakes will always stop your car instantly.


      The oldest woman in the world lives 2 towns over from me. Credits longevity to God not killing her.


      There is a weekly Hsu and Chan serial, "The Mummy's Tooth." It's just begun, so there aren't a lot of strips.



      Man, if I had the money (and I don't) I would so be going to this show! (Of course, this is the same place I'm going to see Spamalot. And they claim those tickets are still available, when it sold out 6 months ago)

      From the J-List mailing list (which I would link directly to, if I could find it), something that I found amusing. For an obvious reason.

      It's Monday, so I read through all of GoComics' editorial cartoons for the week. And, yes, here's another visit from our old friend Whine "Tain't No Global Warmings Goin' On (not so long as Exxon writes me checks)" Stayskal:

Buhh--what? I've cracked my head trying to find to the "joke" in Ferd'nand for years, but where's the Rosetta Stone for this conundrum? I saw this TEN HOURS AGO, and I'm still working on it. Obviously, it must mean "There's no global warming!" as that's what his one-trick pony always says, but his God-Hero BUSH says there might be GW, so it there MUST be teh global warming! But the PAYCHECK says that there ISN'T! But BUSH--(Stayskal's brain begins to boil)--he says--Global Warms...GAH! "POLO SHIRT! POLOOOOO SHIIIRT!" *bang!* go Wayne's brain!
      Is Bush wearing a polo shirt because--it gets WARM in the WINTER, contrary to Staythecourseskal's only talking point? Did the latest memo from his owners tell him to pretend that everything BushCo has ever said on the subject suddenly vanished down the memory hole, in the same way that he never really said "Iraq has WMDs" or "Mission Accomplished" or "Stay the Course"? Will the State of the Union address talk about alternative fuels in the same way Bush once talked about how we were going to go to MARS? Meaning--he'll say it, but it's a load of total shit? Or shirt?
      We'll have to wait to see what Dumbya says tomorrow, but I'll bet that his conversion to global warming is a load of shit. He'll pretend he cares, like he cares sooo much about the trooops that he wants more of them to die. But it'll be interesting to watch his media apologists scramble to reverse and reeducate on us on the subject, pretending that Oceania has ALWAYS been at war with Global Warming.


      Well, we haven't done a lame net quiz in a while:

Which famous feline are you?

You're Hobbes. First of all, the makers of this quiz would like to congratulate you. You have our seal of approval. You are kind, intelligent, loving, and good-humoredly practical. You're proud of who you are. At the same time, you're tolerant of those who lack your clearsightedness. You're always playful, but never annoying. For these traits, you are well-loved, and with good cause.
Take this quiz!

Quizilla | Join | Make A Quiz | More Quizzes | Grab Code

      Hey, wait--that's not lame at all!
      "You're always playful, but never annoying." After all those ruthless pounces, I think that Calvin's opinion may differ.


      Want extra hits for your page? Put CHEEZ WHIZ in the header! I get 5 hits a day that are Whiz-related. I doubt that I get anybody who reads this page a second time, as their searches never lead to what they were looking for. For instance, one of today's was "is cheese whiz safe for cats?" One would assume I would know, but then one is also assuming that I feed Cheez Whiz to the cats, or even buy it in the first place. And do you know what one would be in said situation? Wrong is what one would be.
      On the other hand, cats have 17 times the tolerance for mercury poisoning as humans do, so you can feed them canned tuna. Yes, that I do know, and it is a fact. The mercury levels of Cheez Whiz, sorry.

      There's precious little on the possible Pee-Wee's Playhouse movie in this article, although we do find out that Paul Reubens was a smoker and used Conky as an ashtray.

      I used to link to the 101 Dumbest Moments in Business every year, until they switched a few years ago to a "read these few capsule stories, then PAY US to read any further!" While I assume that the people who subscribed to Money after reading the yearly 101 Dumbest Moments in Business was about 1 in ten-thousand-plus, the amount of people who subscribed to Money just to read one article was probably about Zero in None. Maybe they should've listed that particular business decision.

      I'm reading a Cintra Wilson book, and by amazing coincidence, the local free paper has started carrying her new column. It's not as good as the book, but it's not trying to be the book (a collection of essays), but more of a traditional gossip column. Still plenty of harsh celebrity hating, with some prime political snark: she describes Bush in Iraq as "Bluffy the Quagmire Stayer." There's a link to a daily blog, but I clicked on it and 3 times it killed my browser. Best not to go there for a few days.

      The best albums of--1978. Well, don't know about that (who is this..."Van Halen"?). But it includes MP3s from 2 great Eno albums ("The Belldog" is his best vocal work, IMO) and a song from the neglected group Wire. Not my favorite Wire song, but it does have the most singably non-sequitur lyrics of all time. "Our belief structure--the egg timer."

      Hilarious comedy gags from a Victorian jokebook. "What's the difference between a rowing boat and Joan of Arc? One is made of wood and the other is Maid of Orleans." ROTFYawning.


      As if there wasn't enough to worry about, Cat owners at risk of bird flu. Helpful hint: keep them indoors and away from wild birds. Someday, I'll have to stop collecting wild bird feathers for Byron. Although I suppose that it means that if he goes, the whole household goes, but I think that that would be the best way for the 3 of us in a global pandemic.


      Okay, I admit it: I'm only linking to this science article because of the title. The Invisible Sex Dance of Psychedelic Spiders. If I ever travel back in time to the 1960s, I'm going to form an acid rock band with that name.


      Totally unfair and biased attack on Star Wars fans, using every "lives in his momma's basement" cliche, and also several years old. But Triumph vs "Attack of the Clones" geeks is painfully funny, and the geeks involved enjoy the joke. And I'm allowed to post it, as I'm a Star Wars fan. Well, of two movies. The other four sucked bantha ass.


      I never found the old Dick Van Dyke show very interesting. Admittedly, it was in syndicated reruns at the time. And that was also the time that my sophisticated sense of humor thought that there was nothing superior to a monkey clobbering Gilligan with a coconut.
      And what could be more boring than the Dick Van Dyke Show? How about a Dick Van Dyke Show comic book! No, wait--a website about a Dick Van Dyke Show comic book that doesn't have a single scan of an interior page, just the covers! Okay, maybe a Jerry Van Dyke Show comic book set in BIG!Lots would be duller. But just the covers? What could be interesting about that?
      Plenty, if the cover editor was a crazed stalker. You can skim or skip the synopses of the comics, the real meat is the sad, strange story of Walter "Her name is LAURA!" Zwart.

      Speaking of the deranged, Sadly, No! takes funny look at the latest drooling from Michelle Malkin. (If you're unfamiliar with her, she's A: a bone-thin Ann Coulter wannabe hater of immigrants and brown people in general, and B: a child of immigrants and, umm, brown. Nothing wrong with her sense of denial)


      (Hey, is that like Space Waitress? Prly not)

      The Bush administration's idea for fighting global warming isn't reducing carbon emissions, but all smoke and mirrors. LITERAL smoke and mirrors: deliberate particulate pollution and giant orbital fucking space mirrors. I assume that they ruled out a giant sun-blocking umbrella, as that might cause Maggie to shoot Mr Burns Bush.
      What is it about the Giant Orbital Fucking Space Mirrors that immediately brings to mind the phrase "No-bid contract for Halliburton"?

      I thought that it was a mite odd that this page got a search for "a political cartoon of the treaty of ghent." While Oliphant and Tom Toles weren't around during the War of 1812, I assume there was some woodcut in "Ye Times Of New York, Formally Ye Times Of New Amfterdam" or "The Weekly Whig" mocking it with balloons a hundred words long each showing a snake marked "THE BRITIFH EMPIRE" wrestling Lady Columbia, who probably had a grass skirt and her boobs showing.
      When the second search for the exact same unlikely phrase turned up a day later, I wondered if this was some class assignment. Then, it turned up a third time, just hours later. I didn't note where the first hit had come from, but the second was from Naugatuck, CT, and the third from Herndon, VA. Not likely that they have assignments from the same goofy history teacher. A mite odd, is all. Speaking of political cartoons...

      After a few Mondays of reading every political cartoon on UComics, I've found that the right wing ones really don't have a lot of ponies with tricks in their stables. Global warming is a hoax, Bush is Just Like Washington and Lincoln (!!), and that's about it, except for exactly one shtick:


      ...DEMONcrats hate the troops and "embolden" the terrorists!
      From before the invasion even began, I've never understood how "Support the Troops" meant "Let Them Die for Nothing." I understood it even less when it became "A Magnetic Yellow Ribbon on My SUV Supports Them Dying For Nothing."
      As to the latest magic word "emboldening," the right wing-controlled press nods in agreement when Cheney and Lieberman repeat this insanity. Is there some actual evidence that passing a non-binding Senate resolution increases violence in Iraq? If I was a native of Baghdad and knew that my neighbors could kidnap me and then use power drills and blowtorches to torture me to death, I'm pretty sure that I wouldn't be spending my time watching CSPAN and reading opinion polls from another country.
      And if this unproven (and, let's face it, totally bugfuck insane) hypothesis was true, wouldn't the exact opposite also be true? Couldn't Congress just pass a non-binding resolution that Bush is GOD and EVERYONE in AMERICA thinks the war will be won? Then wouldn't the insurgents ("insurgent" meaning "anyone we've just killed") just go "Crap, they're all united! UNCLE! We quit!" Hey, wait--wasn't that pretty much the case from 9/11 to about a year after MAD ("Mission Accomplished" Day), when most Americans and their wicked retahded congresswimps supported this manifestly shitacular Iraq War idea? How come it didn't work then? Why shouldn't it work now? I mean, technically the Surge is Surge Number Three, although this time it's soooo different because it's named "Surge" this time, after a Mountain Dew ripoff. Hell, let's just declare V-I Day and have a big ticker tape parade and sailors kissing random chicks in Times Square with "PEACE! IT'S WONDERFUL" headlines on the New York Times. Goddamn bin Laden will give himself up to Jack Bauer THEN!
      So far, the biggest "sacrifice" the Decider has demanded has been "Keep shopping." If we really want to scare the crap out of the terra-ists with our iron will and national resolve, let's BRING BACK THE DRAFT. That'll show them we mean business! Right, war-lovin' Republican brave heroes?!
      Huh. Funny, they were here a second ago...


      When Powerball was won last week, someone asked me if it was won in Connecticut. "Of course not!" I said, as the winners are always in the midwest. "It was probably some cow farmer in Missouri."
      Well, he isn't a cow farmer, but he is from Missouri. And he'll get a lot of enjoyment from it, as he's 84 years old. He'll buy a diamond-encrusted walker and a solid gold colostomy bag!


There's a knock at the door that I adore
There's a face at the window, a smiling yellow face
There's a knock at the door
And if I were at home they'd find me there

There's a note on the door that I would see
And the furniture's barely been moved from where it was
There's a note on the door
And the note would say when it rains it snows

When it rains it snows, I wonder why
And now I know that when it rains it snows

There's a nut with a shotgun bang bang bang
There's a doctor, a waitress, a fireman with a hat
There's a nut with a gun
There's enough so they'll never know which one

When it rains it snows, I wonder why
And now I know that when it rains it snows

      --They Might Be Giants


--Internet ad


      (Image via Tbogg:)

      Near-Bostonian Kirk has his his thoughts here, along with a YouTube of the "hoaxer" planting his lil' toys. Which has the greatest Atari-inspired music EVER. I wish I knew who it was, as I'd buy that CD in a nano.
      My favorite line on the subject, from Crooks and Liars: "These were Lite Brites - children's toys that light up. The Mayor and the rest of the city government threw the city into a panic, when they could've solved the "crisis" by talking to a ten-year-old.
      "Good God. Wait until somebody leaves a Speak and Spell lying around. They'll probably send in a hostage team to negotiate with it."
      Other favorite comment, via Lavender Gray in The Comments: "I can't believe ANY police force could be so retarded. IT WOULD TAKE SPECIAL SKILL. Perhaps they studied Retard-Fu in a secret monastary in the Himalayas."


      Driving home in the snow, I listened to Geetanjali, the Indian music show on WWUH. A beloved Bollywood singer had died, and they were playing songs both by him and from his most famous movies. One I'd heard before, and it was one I've always loved, despite hearing it maybe every other year. I've always called it "Hello Mister, How Do You Do?" after almost the only English that appears in the chorus. I wish I had this album, I thought, but I don't even know what it is! Oh, wait, the radio station has a playlist page. I found it with great effort (It was hard to reach the keyboard with Byron lying on one arm while my other hand petted him). Given the time it was played, it must be "Mera Naan Chin Chin Chu." Googling that turned up a few pages, but also Google's suggestion "Maybe you meant Mera Naam Chin Chin Chu?" A click on that, and there was the YouTube video! Of a 1950s Bollywood musical number! Internet--Best Thing Ever.
      And if you're wondering, here's the video, and it's pretty much guaranteed to get your head a-bobbin'. "Be Sailor Too!"

      And here's a cool Guinness ad with a soundtrack that sounds pretty Bollywood, starring some guy's hands. No CGI like some of the recent too-cool-to-be-shown-to-dumb-Americans ads, just still photos Harryhausened into a movie. (A brilliant one that couldn't possibly ever be shown in this scientifically-benighted nation is the jaw-dropping, knuckle-dragging classic Evolution--a broadcast of it would be impossible here just because of the title)



      Since I became aware of the site, I've been waiting for Project Gutenberg to republish "Edison's Conquest of Mars." And, lo, after all these years, here it is!
      It's a sequel to HG Wells' "War of the Worlds," a favorite of mine. The original ends with the battered earth in ruins. Scientists have tried to back-engineer the Martian's main weapons, the devastating Heat-Ray and the xenocidal Black Smoke, but to such disastrous ends that no one dares experiment with them again. Nothing is said of the literally invasive species from Mars, the choking Red Weed and the vulture-like monsters that are the Black Birds, but one assumes that they remain as a new threat to the survivors. It seems a certainity that the Martians will invade Earth a second time, although it's hoped that their invasion of Venus was successful enough that they don't return. It's not an optimistic ending, but a realistic one. It would've been interesting if Wells had written a sequel, set a decade after.
      But the unauthorized sequel came not years later, but after six weeks. And, umm--well, I've read only 4 chapters, but outside of the first few pages, it's not very good. Instead of Wells' clear and distinct prose, we get Garret P. Serviss's Victorian sludge. His rules are "Never use a simple word, when you can use a ten-syllable one you found buried in the thesaurus," and "Never write five sentences, when you can mash them together into one compound comma collision."
      And it's revenge porn. An interesting and suspenseful story might be made of humanity's desperate and sloppy reconstruction of a Martian Flying Machine and Heat-Ray, as our primitive science tries to emulate their million-years more advanced technology before they attack again. But Thomas Edison instantly invents an even better version that can fly to the Moon and back before the servants ring the bell for supper-time. The next day, he creates a Disintegrator (which, I'll grant, was probably the first time the word was coined). It works on vibratory blah diddy blah frequencies, which every element (such as "iron, or pine wood") has. He uses it on a crow, changing the vibratory blah diddys in the color of its feathers to white. Then he disintegrates it, using the "crow muscle and bones" setting, I guess.
      I wasn't expecting this to be great literature, but it's...not very good. I suppose I should read it with that expectation. I've certainly tried to read worse books. And at least it's short.

      I've read War of the Worlds: Global Dispatches, a collection of stories set during the War of the Worlds. It also involves historical personages, ranging from Teddy Roosevelt to HP Lovecraft to Emily Dickinson. It's worth the $2 you can buy it used on Amazon, if the conceit interests you. It's pretty "Star Trek movie," though--every odd-numbered story is pretty bad, while almost all of the even-numbered ones are great. Highlights would be the one set in the court of Imperial China, and the last, when Robert Service witnesses a captured Martian being used in an Alaskan dog fight.

      Another book I've downloaded, although haven't read a word of, is "The Field Guide To Sponsored Films" by Rick Prelinger. Yes, that Prelinger. The Onion AV Club gave it a good review, although it left a link for the download that wasn't a link to the download (it's really here). Yes, I'm giving a link to something I haven't read. I've never gone through the Prelinger Archives, simply because there's so damn much there to see. This, I hope, should give me some good starting points.


They say that the ads are the best part of the Super Bowl, and I've always had to take their word for it. I don't follow any sports, or even have friends who do. (When a coworker yelled Saturday "Who are we rooting for tomorrow?!" everyone else yelled "Bears!" or "Colts!" and I yelled "GO METS!")
      AOL has the ads, and in a nice interface, too. And if these ads are the best part...What's the game like? Do they see which team can freeze an ice cube first?
      Seriously, these are awful. I didn't watch all of them, so maybe I missed some (sarcastic voice) REEEEAL GEMS (/sv). The Bud ones were particularly retarded. And, like every ad I saw, had nothing to do with the product. I should drink your beer because of a hungry dog or CGI crabs? Should I buy a GM car because the job is so bad that it even makes the assembly-line robots want to commit suicide? Or drink Coke, because it's apparently pissed by assembly-line robots?!
      Only two caught my attention: Robert Goulet's 3-second Spiderman impersonation, which was only funny because I read the apparently defunct Hitch! Magazine, and they have this Goulet obsession. And the GPS system ad, because exactly how many Stupid Bowlers are going to recognize an Ultraman parody anyway? The ad was made by...(makes vague hand waving motions)...those people with the GPS device. $87,000 a second just to air it, and I have no idea what their name is. Money well spent, my Ultraman fan GPS guys, money well spent.

      Speaking of Hitch!, I meant to link to a republished article of theirs, The world’s most dangerous bookstore. But I forgot.

      ...And shouldn't the Taco Bell lions have been trying to pronounce "E. coli"?


      Huh! Remember back when--actually, waaay back when--"Blogumentary" was being made? I linked to some early snippets of it, having been made aware of it by an early friend of this crappy site, She who was then known as Space Waitress. In fact, she's in it. And it's done, and even linked to from no less a site than bOING bOING!
      It opens as one of those immediately-playing videos. I only watched 5 minutes--of course it had to premiere the day my work week started, when I have to make a spare hour to watch it. But I'll bet it's worth it, from what I saw as it was being made.



      "Wow, it must be someone important!" I thought when I caught the tail end of an announcement on the work radio about someone being rushed to a hospital. Then the DJ added, " a casino." Oh. So it's not someone important, just someone famous. And, of course, it was a bleach-blonde bloated golddigger famous only for being famous.
      Four Americans died today in Iraq. No one got excited over that. It's not like American culture will ever bemoan their loss.

      There haven't been photos here of the cats for a while. This because I never got around to reinstalling for like the millionth time Photoshop 5.5 (the one so old that it saves your photos as triangles and squares on wet clay slabs, using its patented CuneiPhorm process). I do have my Kodak software installed, but I couldn't find the original disk when I got my new computer, so I downloaded it from their site. This was the version that Kodak sent me once, overwriting my old software. My review after using it for 5 minutes was "Oh, hell no," and I immediately deleted it and reinstalled my original software (which now gets appraised highly on "Antiques Roadshow").
      The Kodak software was just as counter-intuitive as I remembered, but I finally figured it out. As to the backstory: Converse High Tops are the shoes I wore as a kid, and they're still the most comfortable I've ever worn. But they have a flaw--after exactly 2.5 years, they disintegrate. First there's a tiny rip, then over the next 2 months they decompose to the point of--well, to the point that you can't look any more like a hobo wearing them unless you carried a bindlestiff and smoked a tiny cigar butt on a toothpick.
      My pair were largely reduced to their constituent molecules two weeks ago. The heels opened up like the jaws of a great white shark, and just in time for temperatures that haven't left the low 20s. I do have an older pair in slightly better shape that I could've worn, but they've been left open to the elements, and their black is a snowy white from shedded Kill Kill cat hair. Huh. They're in a corner, why would that happen? Of course, the newer-older pair tore apart on Tuesday. If they'd done it on Sunday, laundry day was Monday, and I could've washed the older-older ones into presentability. And of course, Tuesday is the beginning of my work week, so I could only buy a new pair after work, and I hate doing stuff after work. After paying a grand to fix the car and my property tax the same month, it's not like I'm rolling in money. Oh, if only I'd married an octogenarian millionaire and got me a reality show! It's so hard being me!
      So I said, what the hell, I've got a gift certificate and they sell every other damn thing short of polonium-210, so maybe...And, yes, I found out that you can buy sneakers on Amazon. They arrived today.
      As I laced up one, Kill Kill became very interested in the one on the floor. She sniffed it, then she rubbed her cheeks on it, so I put the laced one down and then she

      orgasmically writhed all over the damn things. When I went to finish lacing the other, their black was a snowy white from shedded--hey, WAIT! Dammit! So that's where it came from! Crazy foot fetishist cat!!

      And for you other foot fetishists out there, here's a picture I found on the camera.

      Imagine the size of HIS sneakers.

      Oops, almost forgot: via BTW (which you plry read anyway) The Science of Godzilla.

      The Soccer War. A heartwarming story about how Bush wins over the hearts of Iraqi children and warms and them and--never mind.


      Who wants a fridge magnet? My job just got a metric assload of fridge magnets. They want us to hand them out to every customer, but if we do, most customers will need to buy an extra refrigerator. I don't think they'll miss 30, if I take them a few at a time. BUT: You must send me a local fridge magnet in trade, and also NEVER CALL the phone number on the one I send you. Because if you do, I will so hate you forever. So send me a magnet, and I'll send you one back. Maybe two!


      Your results:
You are Dr. Doom
Dr. Doom
Poison Ivy
Lex Luthor
Green Goblin
Mr. Freeze
The Joker
Dark Phoenix
Blessed with smarts and power but burdened by vanity.
Click here to take the "Which Super Villain am I?" quiz...

      SO CLOSE to Magneto. I think that by default, I should be RefrigetorMagneto.
      Hmm...if Dr Doom and Magneto ever met, wouldn't they just stick to each other?

      Strangely fascinating and also kinda disgusting look at History's greatest banquets. They make your biggest Thanksgiving dinner look like that time in college when you were so poor, for dinner you had half a roll of Certs.



      A brief look at what al Qaeda was thinking on 1/29/07, before the day of Boston infamy.


      Yes, thank you Superdickery, for the image. Funny how familiar it looks! But I love World'O'Crap, and maybe the comment I left with a link to The Only Really Funny Thing I Ever Did will gain it a few hits.


      That link I put in the World-O-Crap comments led, surprisingly, to them putting Tod Holton on their front page! Although maybe I shouldn't be so proud of The Last Funny Thing I Ever Did, given that it was 7 years ago.

      Sweetly cute in the first half, then pretty funny in its second half, Otto loves perfect strangers. Warning: May make you want to adopt a stray cat.


      ARRGH. The computer's fine for 5 or 10 minutes, then it locks up for 2 minutes, then it's fine. Then it locks up again. It's drivin' me crazy, it's drivin' me nuts! I've opened and closed browsers and programs and rebooted 4 gourddamn times, and no combination seems to work. It must be the computer. Which is FIVE MONTHS OLD.
      Today's the first time it's happened, and it had better be the last. I can barely afford these stupid blood meds I have to buy now, much less a computer every few months.


      I never did find out last night what was fucking the computer up. Today I wondered if it might just be the start of the Machine Uprising, as before I got home I went to the grocery store.
      I had me a hankerin' for some La Mexicana hot salsa, but that's not justification for an additional trip to Stop'n'Shop. But I could buy a rotisserie turkey breast. Not cheap at $8.49, but I can get 3 meals from one, eating slowly. "Eating slowly" as the cats are fat guy goes nutzoid over turkey breast, and I end up feeding them faster than I feed myself. I also was about to run out of stamps, so I could go to a register run by an actual human and buy some, instead of the self-serv robo-registers I use during the day, when it's busier.
      They were sold out of turkey. I grabbed the salsa and some ines (I guess that unsalted saltines are called "ines"), and the human-staffed registers had long lines, so I ended up at a robo-register anyway. I paid with my Discover card, and robo told me to sign the signature pad. I did. "Please sign the signature pad again" said robo. So I did. "Please sign the signature pad again" said robo. So, annoyed, I did. "Please sign the signature pad again" said robo. JESUS! I signed it extra mad and scribbly this time. I assume scribbly; you can't see how you're signing with their plastic stick. "Please sign the signature pad again" said robo. I signed SUPA-MAD and XTRA-HARDS. "Please take your receipt" said robo, and as I did, "Please sign the signature pad again" said robo. "Fuck you, robo!" I thought as I walked away. "Please sign the signature pad again" said robo. "Please sign the signature pad again" said robo. "Please sign the signature pad again" said robo. "Seventy-nine cents" said robo, as the guy behind me in line scanned his turnips or something.
      Obviously, the Robot Rebellion had begun, and I should have taken it as a sign. You know, "For today, avoid situations where you need the pod bay door opened."
      But tonight the computer didn't want to play 2001, tonight's feature was Gaslight. It wasn't going to kill me, just slowly drive me insane. It did the same "computer hangs" crap, except that it did it every other minute for more than a minute. Except when I used Explorer--it only hung when I was using Netscape...
      The only I noticed different about my computer yesterday was the first time I rebooted, and there was a lil' dingus on the screen saying that I had an "upgrade" from Microsoft pending. Not an upgrade that it asked me if I wanted, one that was there whether I wanted it or not. HMMM...
      Oh, how odd! One closes all one's Explorer windows, leaving only Netscape, and THE COMPUTER WORKS JUST FINE.
      An upgrade from Microsoft that makes things worse! What a STRANGE IDEA.
      I'd already imported my IE bookmarks into Netscape so--I just won't use IE anymore. Simple solution to a stupid problem.
      Anyone wonder why I have no intention of buying Vista?


      "Kinda Missing The Point" would also be a good description of a customer today. He was apoplectic about the fact that our copy of credit card receipts gives us the entire card number and expiration date. And I agreed; I've brought it up for years with the manager, but he waves it off as "That's something the bank puts there." The guy was shaking with anger over this, because "In California, they took this same information and charged 3 $200 tickets to a rock concert to me!" He underlined all but the last 4 digits of the number, saying that the last 4 were all we could have there due "to state law."
      Well, I assume that if it was against state law, the bank wouldn't do it. But after 5 minutes of railing about how we could steal his credit card number, he handed the same information over to us, and with it handily underlined. When I see that on my credit card slip, I black it out. All he did was give us a primer on what we had to do to steal from him. And he was so rude about it, I'm surprised that people don't do it to him, out of plain spite.

      My clever plan to foil whatever evil Microsoft had inflicted on my computer yesterday kinda missed the point. Avoiding IE for Netscape worked until I checked the last post by "viewing in system default browser." It worked long enough for me to make sure there were no typos and FTP it up, but since the default browser was IE, things went straight to hell after that. Everything would freeze for a minute out of every 2 minutes. I went to bed, vowing to change the default and never open IE again.
      Today it took me 45 minutes to do gourddamn nothing. Netscape froze continually, without IE ever being opened. So I gave up, opened IE one last time, and downloaded Firefox Foxfire and imported my bookmarks. And all is well.
      I've no idea what that IE download was that caused all this, unless its purpose or side effect was to kill Netscape (although not Mozilla). But while Foxfire works all kickasseriffic, I've used Netscape since I first got on the net, with version 2.02! Even when I got online, I kept using my offline email downloader Juno, until that stopped working. I used the same provider, nee Connecticut Online, later called Netplex, until I got DSL. I don't like getting rid of things that work. I don't like saying Goodbye to an old and trusted friend.
      My next car would be a Mercury Tracer, if they still made them.



      I wonder if I'm the only person who, when cleaning out a litter box and finding an upright petrified poop that looked very much like an Easter Island head, loudly asked his cats "Hey, who left the fecalith?!"


      I'm a week late posting a page of weird old valentines, but here's a page of weird old valentines. The comments aren't that great, and they dispense with them entirely by the end. If you want an idea of just how weird some of these are, here's Flying Love Robot with X-ray eyes, as romantic as your last fever dream.


      My new word "Fecalith" was a made-up combination of "monolith" and "cat doody," as it looked like an Easter Island head (and was made of cat doody). It turns out that it is an actual medical term, meaning--well, what do you think it means? "Compacted feces."
      Although "fecalith," in the sense of "a monumental work made of utter shit," could be a useful word. For example, you could use it to describe Bush's war in Iraq. That's definitely a fecalith that will stink up the world for generations.

      To totally change the subject from shit to cheese: Someone's found and restored the lost footage from Leonard Nimoy's "Bilbo Baggins" video. Yes, it's real. I love that goofy song.


      A look at Conservapedia, the right-wing and reality-free version of Wikipedia. No, it's not an Onion article. it's real. At the moment, it trumpets on its main page "A Conservapedia contributor helps defeat mandatory vaccination." Since they link to a video rather than an actual page, I didn't take the time to find out what disease they think people deserve to get.
      Oh wait, yes, it's cervical cancer, the disease that we must NEVER prevent because it makes young girls think about sex somehow! It's so much better to let them DIE than hear that there's sex!


      Toygers, cats bred to look like little tigers, and they'll retail for a mere tuppence (i.e., $4,000).
      Good idea! It's not like there's millions of unadopted kittens waiting to be killed in shelters or nuthin'! And those kittens never have interesting looks, like having extra toes or being all white. Why get the knockoff handbag, when you can pay so much more for the Versace?


      From Negaduck in the comments, on yesterday's topic:
      Well put. I have a pair of Domestic Shorthairs, about the closest thing to a feline mutt there is. And while I've marveled over Byron's gigantic paws-with-thumbs, and Killsy's dignified beauty, it's not their looks I care about. She's sweet and smart, he's crazy and funny, they're both affectionate and great companions. They could be the ugliest cats in the world and I wouldn't care.
      I have a friend who's been offered modeling jobs, but I'd have nothing to do with her if her personality didn't so outshine her looks. Whether feline or human, the important thing about a friend is their friendship, not some other arbitrary standard.



      Speaking of things Japanese, their army now has a mascot, and he's exactly the mascot you'd picture from Japan: a supa-deformed lil' rascal named "Prince Pickles." Let's try Iraq war fashionably and have a joyful chat with nice Saudi Arabian who also is a Prince!
      If that's not goofy enough for you, there's a clip of the Japanese version of Spiderman, involving a machine gun guitar, giant robots and Spiderman yelling into his webslinger/two-way wrist radio something that's in Japanese but sounds like "SPIDER MAGIC! T.P., dammit!" Uh-oh, in the heat of battle, Spidey made some "magic" in his Underoos! Not very heroic, but I guess that it happens.

      I wondered today if I've ever mentioned that Mimi's new comic comes out in 2 weeks. I checked her bloggy thing, and she says

      GAH! I preordered mine a long time ago, but never paid for it! So I did, and Amazon apparently filled my order. But I think you should act fast and preorder yours if you want it. I've seen a few pages, and it's worth it.

      "Behold, this bizarre demographic. Behold this odd and simmering and rather shockingly large hunk of the American population because chances are very good that at least some of them live right next door to you and breathe the same air and steal your parking spaces and often don't shower for six days at a stretch."


      I saw a "This Car Climbed Mt. Washington" bumper sticker today. I hadn't seen one in a while. I mentioned the sticker in Super Green Beret, simply because I knew no one outside of New England would ever get the ref, and precious few who live here even would.
      I listen to NOAA radio every morning for the weather, and along with the local forecast they give useless weather conditions for the major cities in New England (okay, except for Boston, that should be spelled "major" cities in New England, in the sense that Lincoln is a "major" city if you live in Nebraska). Seriously, I don't think most people in Connecticut commute to Burlington, Vermont every day. The only highlight in the tedious list is the weather on Mt Washington. No matter what time of the year it is, it's usually no degrees with hurricane force winds and a heavy downfall of grand pianos, tapering off to a light drizzle of ball peen hammers in the evening, 40% chance of glaciers and avalanches of yetis.
      Coincidentally, today I saw an article on Mt Washington. Where it gets so windy that the original buildings are chained to the ground. Assuming you consider 231MPH windy, that is.
      There was a family trip to New Hampshire where we hoped to get a "This Car Climbed Mt. Washington" bumper sticker, but they wanted $25 for us just to drive up a road, and (I may be misremembering) that was it--we couldn't leave the car. Hurricane force winds or some other dumb excuse. And it was $25! (Or today $121, according to the AIER calculator) And I'll bet that they charged you for the sticker, too.
      I just checked, and of course there's a website from the 4 guys (and a cat) living in isolation there. "Another quiet morning on the mountain, except this time it snowed upward." That entry ends with      It must get very strange up there.

      Scalzi kills Hitler! Eight times!





--from the movie Friday the 13th (1980)



      A while back I mentioned my new medications, and the pain one of them was causing me. Pain caused by simply trying to buy it. It was Triglide, for my lipid-gushing fatty liver. The 'scrip came with a debit-card-thing that took $20 off of the $57.50 (after co-pay) cost. The pharmacy at Stop & Shop took so long to figure out how to use the card the first time, I had to leave it there. The second time took them a half an hour to figure out. Last week, it took them 20 minutes to declare "We had a software upgrade, so we can't take the card at all. You need to call the Triglide people to fix it." I need to call them about your software? In case they have any questions, can I take one of your registers home?
      My first thought was to transfer the scrip to the CVS across the road, but then I realized--shit, I can't afford this even with the card! $37.50, I don't spend that on groceries in a week! I know that there's no true generic for Triglide, but there must be something like it that's cheaper. At the doctor today, he was annoyed at Stop & Shop for refusing the card ("I'll have to talk to my vendors about that"), couldn't believe that it was costing me so much, and said that "There's a generic like Triglide, and it plays nice with your current medications, but it might not with any ones you might later have to take." Before I could say something about crossing medication bridges when we come to them, he said "Let me see if I have any samples." And he came back with three and a half months worth. Well, one month was on another gourddamn card, but I'm transferring all my scrips to CVS anyway. And the Triglide he was probably glad to give me anyway, as the 6 week supply is 8 weeks from expiring *. "This should keep you in groceries for a while." I have a really awesome doctor.
      "Is this like the high blood pressure medicine?" I asked. "Am I on it for life?"
      "If you were 300 pounds and sitting on the couch all day, watching Springer and Oprah with a bag of potato chips on your lap"--this is an example he's used like 3 times with me--"I'd put the fear of god in you, and get you to change your lifestyle. But that's nurture, and you're more nature: a genetic switch has been flipped on in you, and, well, yes. You're on this for life." Which is obviously preferable to the only alternative: Not on it until I'm dead.
      There's also the possibility that I could get another 2 months free. There's a clinical study for "metabolically high blood sugar" types for me coming up! Free meds, and all I have to do is be a Human Guinea Pig! I'll advance medical science 'n' shit! Of course, the way these trials work, there's a 33 to 75% chance that I'll be given either a useless placebo or an untested-on-humans drug with side effects that never give you superpowers. The best you can hope for is "slight monsterism."
      (*: It expires in 5/07, except that it doesn't. The drug industry fought expiry dates for a long time, as they didn't want to credit retailers for expired medicines, but had no problem with consumers buying medications that have become inert. The compromise came when they realized that if they put expiration dates on OTC meds, people would throw them out when the date on the bottle passed. The date is artificially low; it represents when it's only lost 10% of its efficacy. Meaning, it'll still work for months or years later. At least that's how it was when I managed a Rite Aid 18 years ago)

      It was an overcast and blustery day, as opposed to a dark and stormy night. I was sitting at the computer and thought, "Hey, the sun came out!" and stood up and was startled to see that yes, it was sunny, and a snow squall was blowing. I couldn't see 100 feet straight ahead, but the sun was out, directly above. One cat tried to smash through the window to attack the flakes; the other looked, said "I'll be in the bedroom if anyone wants me" and went back to sleep. I leave it to you to decide which cat did which.
      And 10 minutes later the sky was, as Nixon would say, perfectly clear. Later it was time to get the mail, and I discovered another miniblizzard. After the short trip to the mailbox, I was covered with white, like a very skinny Yeti or a human/snack food hybrid that crossed a man with a powdered doughnut. One cat took a step back in horror; one briefly looked up and then went back to sleep. You decide which!
      Then the answering machine went off. It seems that Stop & Shop wanted to know when I was going to pick up the Triglide scrip they wouldn't sell me last week. O I WILL GET TEH RIGHT BACK TO U!!!

      Via Kirk, it's A Dictionary of Common Sci-Fi Metaphors, complete with examples so bad that the only thing that kept them from being published is that they were made up. Maybe you've seen it, as it's on Something Awful. Or maybe you haven't--I'd forgotten SA even existed. The Internet is so big a series of tubes, one can't keep track of all of it.


      For a while, I reviewed my latest Netflix rentals. Then I stopped. Not sure why; most likely I felt the need to be "clever" writing them, or just my general distaste over writing anything here over the last months/years. Of course, those considerations didn't stop me from posting about my damn meds yesterday, did it? Yeah, that was riveting to you total strangers I am like so with the sure. You might actually get something out of a movie review.

      The Prestige, by the director of Memento, or as we all know him, "the Memento guy." Mementos, the Freshmaker! The candy you'll always forget!
      Damn, I'm already going on tangents, aren't I?
      It announces in the opening narration that it's about a magic trick, and one can infer that the movie itself is a trick. That's what Memento was, and it was probably the most fun I've ever had at a movie. It certainly was the one I most wanted to end, and NOW, just to see how it came out, and also wanted to keep going on, as I was enjoying the torture. When it ended, it was a great rush to see how everything fit together perfectly. (Perfectly, except for when he changes clothes with the drug dealer--that only happened to keep the plot moving forwards. Or backwards, in that case)
      I really didn't have that feeling at the end of Prestige. It looked great and was always interesting, if occasionally confusing. But, despite an ending that pretended to be happy--or something--there was no reason to root for either main character. They're both equally unlikeable obsessives who do nasty things to everyone around them. At the end, it's a movie not only without humor, but at its core, without hope.
      I'll grant any work of fiction one egregious unbelievable coincidence or character behavior. Like "changing clothes for no reason." However, when one of your minor characters is Nikolai Tesla, you're basically marching a one-man-band carrying a sign that says "HERE'S THE TRULY UNBELIEVABLE THING" across the screen, and that only raises more questions than it answers when the movie's done. But this is a thumbs up, provided you understand that this isn't the feel-good movie of the Victorian Years.
      Anticipating Prestige, I rented a movie that I'd never heard of, nor ever would have if I hadn't searched Netflix for "cat." Cats Don't Dance. It's a cartoon described as a "nostalgic animated version of classic MGM musicals" set in 1939. What? Most kids movies today have stuff aimed at entertaining the parents in the audience, but this is the first aimed at their grandparents. (Not a bad idea when you think about it, though) It's a Warner Brothers cartoon from 1997, so there was that frenetic, hyperkinetic energy that fans of "Animaniacs" would like. The first 20 minutes flew by at a such an attention-span-of-a-gnat speed that I thought only 10 went by. And it was pretty funny, the songs didn't suck, and Darla Dimple was a great villian. She was Shrilly Temple, a child star apparently raised on a diet of live wolverines, with a Sunset Boulevardian bodyguard of Kong-like proportions, but with the personality of a Panzer Division. And it was 2-D animation! There's some CGI, but it's barely noticable. If you want something light and funny to balance out your darker weekend rental, this is an overlooked bit of fun.



      Here's something we haven't done in a while--SHAWT!
      An older and pleasant gentleman bought some lottery tickets, then asked "Did anyone win Powerball last night?" No, I said. "Then I'm still in the running!" he said, exactly at the same time as his nose started running, and a long trail of liquid snot drooled down to his coat.
      We're all lucky that he didn't say "I hope I win a shitload!"
      An hour later, I was paged to the registers and told to shut them all off. I guess the main computer had gone down. As always, it picked the busiest time of the day to do so. "It'll be back up in a minute!" the 2 managers in the upstairs office said every other minute for ten minutes. By that point, we had a line of a dozen people waiting, or not waiting, in the case of a woman who left $30 of booze on the counter when she walked out. Like a traffic jam, any delay at the start means a longer delay down the road, and the backup wasn't cleared until a half-hour later.
      And the problem was? Oh, it didn't crash at all! They decided to shut it down so that they could install a patch that would update Daylight Savings Time this weekend. Not like they could've just done it manually before opening Monday morning. Not like it EVEN MATTERED.
      The old man cracked a joke about his nose running even as I thought it, and said that it had happened ever since he served in World War II. No, he wasn't the SHAWT. The Stupid Humans At Work Today were the ones in Charge of Work Today.

      For some odd reason, I got a mailing from the avant garde band Bang on a Can today. A physical mail, you know, those things that have stamps on them. Doubly odd, as I received 2 of the same mailing. So I don't feel guilty sharing the semi-secret code word SAVEFIVEBUCKS at checkout when buying, even on downloads. In fact, use two, as I don't expect to be using any. 1-Bit Music looks crazy cool--a CD that you play by plugging your headphones into the case, as there IS no CD!--but there are no samples of the music, and even with the coupon, it'd be $20. Neato-keen idea, though. At least until the batteries or whatnot burn out, and all you have is this 1-time bit of conceptual art.

      Green Nazis is frontrunner for odd book prize.


      I was searching for some quote the other day, and came across, well, Quote of the Day. I've been reading it for a few weeks, and it's a short and interesting page. Especially for the likes of you who come here for the Stupid Quotes I steal from a calendar. From today's:

      A while back, I mentioned "specific dates for sci-fi series that now seem ridiculous," such as "Space 1999." Here's one I forgot, although I watched and laughed at it a few times back in my days as a stoner: THUNDARR the Barbarian!
      If you have any idea of astronomy--such as, say, the moon doesn't orbit the earth from 5,000 miles away, and "runaway planets" aren't quite that common, or small, and that splitting the moon in 2 and ripping the earth's atmosphere away won't lead to crazy mutations beyond "everything dies"--I'm sorry, I forgot what I was talking about. It features Hookla, the mock Chewbacca, who is a giant hamster with anger management problems and is also terrifyingly stupid, if you watch any of the accompanying YouTube clips. Although ocean liners and VW bugs and George Foreman grills will be remarkably well-preserved after the Hamster Holocaust.



      Latest movie: Pan's Labyrinth, finally out on DVD (at least in Korea, where Kevin downloaded it from). During the Spanish Civil War, a young girl is caught between her sadistic stepfather, a Fascist officer, and a bizarre fantasy world where she will be a princess if she accomplishes 3 quests. If you think that the fantasy world contrasts with the ugliness of the real world, it doesn't; it compares. The key to the story is not only how both stories turn out, but whether or not one is really happening. It has great visuals and special effects and a fascinating storyline, but the stepfather is a truly brutal and hateful villain, and you'll cringe every time the story switches from fairies and giant toads to his world. It's an excellent, thought-provoking and well-crafted movie, but if you expect David Bowie and muppets from this Labyrinth, you're in for a shock.
      While there's no release date for the DVD set yet, it's still kicking around actual theaters. In fact, we could've seen it today in one, and we both wished that we had.


After watching Pan's Labyrinth last night with Kev, I had enough time to watch a Netflix rental. I also wanted to mail one of my rentals out today, so as to at least get a shot at getting Casino Royale on Tuesday. I watched Johnny Legend's Complete Weird Cartoons.
      Complete? So it's every weird cartoon ever made? No, I think that they're referring to the 2 editions of Weird Cartoons Rhino put out 20 years ago. And it's not--where's "Bambi Meets Godzilla"? Oh, maybe they mean "complete public domain cartoons. Except that they're not complete; some are excerpts. So...they're weird, right?"
      20 years ago, I would've said Yes. But I've seen every danged Betty Boop and Bosko cartoon there is, and there are weirder ones. Okay, maybe it is a bit odd when Bosko merrily uses his musical saw to decapitate a mouse, and then plays the saw using the rodent's head. Maybe I'm jaded.
      But I would've found them weird, back when they got me on my search for weird cartoons. But the cartoons are so old and beat-up, and they couldn't even be bothered to clean the hiss and noise from the soundtracks. There are better versions of these cartoons out there; I've seen them. Plus they're public domain! You could find them on YouTube!
      ...he thought, until he tried. I only looked for the weirdest ones, most of which were stop-motion. I found Starewicz's "Frogland" there, but the transfer's even worse than JL'sCWC, and the soundtrack is fucked up. I know that Hasher’s Delirium is there. But Starewicz's "The Devil's Ball" isn't, unless you count a tiny excerpt that ran on Night Flight back in the 80s. (Remember USA's Night Flight? Them were the cable golden years, my friend)
      I (inevitably) found the most racist of the 3 racist cartoons on the DVD, "Nigra's is lazy subhuman apes with watermelons"--that's not the title, but might as well be. In fact, I found multiple versions of it. How quaint. How repulsively quaint that that's the one I found the most YouTubes of.
      I did find a truly complete version of one of the dreamlike stop-motion shorts that are the gems of JL'sCWC, "It's a Bird", aka the more accurate title on the original VHS, "You Auto Lay an Egg." But it's TOO complete--there's 45 seconds of annoyance from the person posting it preceeding the short, and you can tune in at the 5:45 mark without missing anything. Well, except for a Barbara Bush doppleganger who uses English in the same way one of her dimmer progeny does: the movers deliver her furniture "with promptitude!"
      So, a worthwhile rental if you haven't seen most of the cartoons involved. Drugs and alcohol couldn't hurt, either.

      The only TV that I watch is "Ebert & Roeper," or as it's been for almost a year now, "Somebody & Roeper." Roger Ebert had cancer of the salivary glands--yes, you can get spit cancer, which means you can get cancer of the anything. Multiple mouth surgeries I can see precluding him from public speaking, but in that near-year, he's written two print reviews. Like Siskels' abrupt end, I don't think we'll be seeing Roger for a while, if ever.
      A few month's before his cancer was announced, I'd linked to an article about his life. It mentioned in passing that Disney has always lost money on the various versions of his movie review show over its 25 years. It's a prestige thing for them. I assumed that when Ebert was taken from us, so would the show.
      They've kept the show running with Roeper and a guest host ever since. For the most part, they're either knowledgable film critics or media smiley faces, and so far, the twain have never met. They're critics made of cardboard, or they have screen presence and are vapid.
      Since I doubt that the only TV show I watch will exist much longer, here's a new feature guaranteed to interest everyone, defining "everyone" as "only me"! It's called "Review the Guest Reviewer"!
      This week it's Kim Morgan, "chief film writer for, contributor to Salon!" She also probably reviewed "Legally Blonde" for her high school newspaper. As Kev said, "I'm a reviewer for!" So I guess he's next week's host.
      I liked her just fine until she opened her mouth. Hey, where's Nicholas Cage? Because Valley Girl's here! She's one of those wave people whose lips can't move without wave her hands wave moving, moving, MOVING wave with EVERY wave SINGLE wave WORD. She was quite fond on making the "OK" guesture, but never doing it to mean "OK." When the teleprompter was on, she was as stiff as Lincoln in his Memorial, and read with same heartfelt emotion that Dubya uses when he's not talking about killing people. I realize that she was nervous, but after her first disagreement on a movie, she whimpered "You still like me, right?" to Roeper. She and Soap-on-a-Roeper generally agreed on the movies, but her style of speaking? You know? She really liked wave movies that like wave mallrats would like and stuff?
      So, Kim Morgan, you get the first thumbs down! However, you did have a very interesting thumb--You seemed to be double-jointed there, so the last knuckle was at an angle from the vertical. That's cool.

      Mike Nelson on the worst kind of bad movie, comedies that aren't funny. But one could also say the same about the latter years of MST3K.

      Moving on to better things, today's the release date for Divalicious! So go buy it.

      To get the free shipping for Divalicious!, I poked around Amazon for a while, then discovered that the complete "Cool McCool" DVD was coming out. It was a cheap 60s cartoon, and the pitch session went "It's Get Smart fighting the villains from Batman! We can even get Bob Kane to give his blessing, he's that poor!" Those were my 2 favoritest TV shows back in the kid years, so I loved Cool McCool, too! I have some budget VHS tapes I've watched repeatedly for a dozen years.
      Of course, you'll fucking hate Cool with a passion that burns like a thousand flaming hemorrhoids. Something I passed on as an add-on was the last book by John Scalzi. Eh, I'll wait for the paperback. He's posted the first chapter online for free, and it's a lot of fun. I'm gonna be John Scalzi when I grow up! (Wait, I'm older than him. Crap. I can't plan anything right)

      I've been linking to stories about this for years, so why stop now? Staying hungry means living longer. With properly balanced nutrition, duh. Otherwise, Karen Carpenter would be the Highlander.


      Last night's movie: Borat. Very nice, yes?
      No--not really. It was funny, but when it came out, there were people who called it the "funniest movie EVER!" Possibly those people have not seen any movies not starring Adam Sandler, or that had the word "Jackass" in the title. It was funny for a while, then at the hour mark it began to drag. Note: prolonged sequences of fat hairy naked man is not inherently the funny time, per se. Very overrated, yes!
      But I suppose that everyone will find something lame that I found funny. There's a scene with rich southerners who live in an antebellum mansion on "Secession Lane," and they love having Borat as a dinner guest. Even when they have to explain what a toilet is, after he brings a baggie of his own shit to the dinner table. They don't react in horror until he brings a black prostitute to the table. And then they immediately throw him out, threatening to call the police. That's as close to satire and class war commentary that you'll ever see in any American movie, especially one that made a quarter-billion dollars at the box office. So, thumbs up. Just not living up to the hypes, yes?



      The Odd Couple Sings! Well, actually, they don't.

      ...The FUCK?
      I left the computer on last night, and Microsoft did another of those "Upgrades we don't ask you if you want" again. And it turned huge blocks of everything in "quotes" in my web editor INTO HUGE BLOCKS OF ALL CAPS. Page up and take a look, it's everywhere! Do you know how LONG it'll take me to retype this shit?!?!? FUCK YOU MICROSOFT!!!!!!!!!!!

      Okay, I saved the page source's cache on Google, so I only have to retype 5 days worth. I'm still pissed. This is the second unannounced-until-it's-installed-itself Windows "upgrade" in less than a month that's fucked my computer. Where do I go to turn these off?



      Deadly pet food recall details here. Science Diet, Eukanuba and even Iams? Wet food only, thank Gourd. I've fed the kids Iams since they were baby kittens. Me, I'd eat at Taco Bell even after the e.coli nightmare, but my kids? Maybe I should stick with CareOne.

      Mp3s fromThe Ed Wood Zone. Note that "Bride of the Monster" is of Ed Wood quality.

      Did you know that there's an Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie? I didn't, until last week. The trailer was funny, in a "trailer to a nonexistant movie" sense. And also the Frank Frazetta-ish poster (or is that "Someone making fun of Frank Frazetta's making fun of his own style with the National Lampoon's Vacation poster-ish" way? Meta-meta-post-ironic-ish irony?)
      Any way, here's the first review. They don't like it. But if the movie succeeds, haven't the 1/31/07 Boston terrorists already won?



      "I used to do drugs. I still do drugs. But I used to, too."--Mitch Hedberg.

      And the circle is complete: Once I had pet guinea pigs, now I am one.
      I signed up for the metabolic high-triglycerides study. The reason I was asked to participate: My pant size. (Apparently people who take a 30 waist only because the sizes smaller are in the boys' department aren't supposed to get all lipid-y) It's a drug interaction study; they want to combine a bunch of proven meds into one pill, and I get to find out the side effects. They're all safe and proven meds, said the woman running it, and I'll get "top-of-the-line drugs" and "great medications." Lady, I went to high school in the late 70s, so you had me at "drugs"!
      They pay for everything, the Great Drugs, the office visits, and the monthly bloodletting. If I'd asked, I think I might've gotten cab fare out of them.

      A medical condition possibly conspicuous for its absence round these here parts: Young's Syndrome. Its departure coincided with the arrival of the blood meds, but I assume that's just a coincidence, as it predates my blood problems. And it went into remission for 6 months in 2005, only to return with renewed gastrointestinal fury, so I'll believe that it's gone when it's been gone for a few years.
      One thing that I despised Young's Syndrome the most for: The only action that would make me vomit with 100% consistency was drinking a cup of tea. I love tea! Just a cup after awakening on my days off, but something in it made me recreate scenes from The Exorcist with clocklike certainty. The tannins maybe? Which is kinda ironic, given that tannins are what make tea healthy.
      I went two and a half years without drinking tea. But after that many months of no puking, I figured I'd try it again. And I kept it down! The only drawback: Avoid all caffeine for 20 months and you'll become more paranoid than a midwestern militiaman, and such a shaker you might as well make fine furniture. Or get really shitty at metaphors. But I didn't think of that today when I decided that I was still thirsty after the tea, so I grabbed a free-sample-from-work bottle of Celsius ginger ale. Ginger ale with B vitamins and taurine and green tea and lots of caffeine AAAAAAAAAH TEH CAFFEINE, IT BURNS! I was like all wired and knotted in the stomach and what's this doing to my blood pressure nothing good is what I bet and it's like I'm on drugs and not those good ones from high school and I have to buy groceries but I don't want to leave the house because my metabolism is like a fruit fly's now, I've got a 24 hour lifespan I'll be killed by Islamofascist ninjas can't sleep clown will kill me but I went anyway and I got groceries but I'M TIME TRAVELING, because I left the house at 135PM and I left the store at 2 but only 5 minutes went by and WORLD WHY ARE YOU VIBRATING SO MUCH
      But after 90 minutes, the caffeine wore off and the time dilation effect stopped before I ended up in the year 2525. Which was good, as I'll bet we still won't have the damn flying cars even then.

      Oh, if I'd but known of the effects of too much caffeine last night, when me and Kevin saw the theatrical rerelease of El Topo. My review: El Don'tGo. It's a legendary cult movie--in fact, it's the first "midnight movie," and it's been out of circulation for decades. Because of copyright issues, not because it was an ultrapretentious egofest that made no sense. The artsy-fartsiness could only be more blatant if every few minutes a narrator yelled "SYMBOLISM! APPLY DIRECTLY TO FOREHEAD!!" 3 times. Okay okay, the writer-director-star is JESUS, we get it even without the stigmata and the no-shit-he-really-yells "Father, why hast thou forsaken me?!" But WHY is he Jesus? So I could mutter "JESUS, this sucks!" under my breath every 5 minutes? It was time travel in reverse--after 2 hours, I checked my watch and found that 50 minutes had gone by, with over an hour left. A sad, slow hour of more "Here's another thing that looks like a penis!" to go.
      It was pretentious, but who would've thought that a movie with so much gratutious sex and (especially) violence would be so dull? Thankfully, I can safely say that no animals were harmed in the making of this movie. Animals were massacred in the making of this movie: disemboweled donkeys, owls and sheep literally crucified (HE'S JESUS YOU KNOW), and, bestest of all, dozens of cute lil bunny wabbits killed by giving them rat poison, judging from the loving close-ups of them twitching in their final spasms of agony.
      Kevin liked it. There's no movie so bad someone won't give it a good review.

      ...Which segues into the new feature here that no one requested the return of, "Review the Guest Reviewer on 'Not-Ebert and Roeper'!" This week's fill-in: David Edelstein of New York magazine. He didn't have a Resonant Television Voice, but he was knowledgeable and funny, and he punched Roeper down a few times with sarcasm. In fact, he apologized for not disagreeing with Roeper more. That I would've like to have seen, as Roeper tends to shout people down like Bill O'Reilly, and like a middle-schooler, seems to think that if he gets the last word in, he wins the argument by default. I wouldn't mind seeing Edelstein again.
      Review of his Thumb: Nice in the Down position, but oddly pudgy and truncated in the Up. Thumbs down on Edelstein's thumb.
      (I apologize for saying "Bill O'Reilly or a middle-schooler" in the same sentence. At least a middle-schooler has an excuse for being a big whiny baby)

      ...Which segues us right back to El Topo! The Circle is Complete again! Danny Peary's book Cult Movies was the first book on the subject, and a bible to me for years. I intended to watch every movie he recommended, even if that was an impossible task when the book came out. In 1981, the VCR was something rich people owned. But every movie I came across in theaters, and in later years on VHS, was worth watching. He'd reviewed El Topo. So why did he finally recommend a bad movie?
      I reread the review and found that he didn't. He thought it to be self-important wankery, too. You can read his essay on it here, in eye-stabbing white-on-black text and with many peculiar typos. But where else will you find the auteur proudly telling the world that the many penis-shaped things in his masterpiece were based on the size and shape of his own personal pee-pee?

      ...And the Circle becomes a Moebius strip: Today QOTD had a quote from Mitch Hedberg, a comedian mentioned at the top of this post, and who I've never heard of. Nor are likely to, since he's dead. Too bad, he seems really funny. Here's QOTD's collection, and a longer one that doesn't overlap much with the first.

      ...And now the Moebius strip is...umm, sorry, nonfunctional seque. A video for William Shatner's subtle interpretation of "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds." Apply directly to forehead.


General Comments for Winter 06: