Forbidden Fruit Loops

NEW 92

"It's a good thing the average person's sense of humor is not highly developed.
Otherwise, we might either revolt against the stupidity of civilization
--or laugh ourselves to death at our dignified solemnity."
- -May 31, 1922 Modesto Evening News


      The Worst Rob Liefeld Drawings. Well...that'd be about all of them, wouldn't it? What makes this is the commentary:      ...And, of course, do not give him feet.


      One thing I've never been asked for in 10 years of the liquor business is "Do you have Cake Wine?"
      ME: "Cake Wine?"
      HER: "Yes, Cake Wine."
      ME: "I don't know what that is."
      HER: "It's Wine. For Cake."
      "Wine for Cake?"
      "You know, fruitcake."
      "What--to make fruitcake with?"
      "No, to drink with fruitcake!"
      And you know what? Just an hour before, I'd picked up a bottle of sweet red wine and read the label on the back, and laughed when it said that it was "Perfect for fruitcake!"
      But this knowledge served me naught. They bought the 3-liter jug of Riunite Lambrusco. They must have a really, really big fruitcake.

      This is awesome with a capital F-A!: "A new biochip technology could eliminate animal testing in the chemicals and cosmetics industries, and drastically curtail its use in the development of new pharmaceuticals." And it does it better than animal testing. Hooray for Science! If you were a girl, Science, I would totally marry you!



      Recent movie recommendations: Once, which is not what you'd think. It's a romance about 2 people on the rebound, but it's not. It's more about music, and about...well, just real life. Nothing happens in the movie that couldn't happen in reality. And the ending isn't what you'd expect, but makes perfect sense. And leaves you wondering: about what, or who, are each of them thinking about in the last shots? A really enjoyable, quiet and subdued movie.
      On the other end of the spectrum, I saw Bender's Big Score, the Futurama "movie." In quotes, as it's meant to be the new Comedy Central season of the show next year, with the "movie" cut down into 4 shows. And you can see the point where each show ends. It was funny, but not as hilarious as the show was. I think it was hurt by the inclusion of every little beloved bit from the show--Zap Brannigan, sure, but seriously, what was Robot Santa doing there? Twice?
      If you're one of "our many fans," by all means rent it. Bonus features include an episode of the 31st century's favorite show, "Everybody Loves Hypnotoad." I loved it! In fact...MUST WATCH AGAIN
      ....AND AGAIN...
      ....AND AGAIN...


      Christmas isn't the most Wonderful TIme of the Year, it's the most expensive. And, lucky me, to have been gifted with so many unplanned expenses! And they're all necessities, and had to be replaced. Byron broke my glasses (can't drive a car without them); I took my car in for a $15.99 oil change, and ended up with over $1000 in repairs (can't drive a car without a car); and just as I figured out that maybe I wouldn't have to take too much out of my savings acount this month to cover it all, I get a $520 property tax bill (unless I want to live in my car). That's almost 2 grand in money I didn't intend to spend. I wondered today what the next bill from the blue would be; probably a traffic ticket or CRACK! No, not drugs, it was the sound of my desk chair as I sat in it. The back fell off.
      Not all the way, as one side's still attached. But I only have 3 other chairs. One is the armchair, and it's not fitting under the computer desk. The other 2 are from the early 60s and my sprathood. They have a wire back and a seat "cushioned" by a layer of thin vinyl and cardboard. We called them the "torture chairs" back then. I only have them as I use one as a stepstool, and the other as a sidetable.
      I tried adding a pillow and a blanket, but I found out that the real torture comes from the anti-ergonomic angle they force your back into. So I tried to fix the desk chair, somehow. I really don't keep a chair repair kit hanging around (do you?), so I did my usual extemporizing and have--for now--fixed it with a picture hanging kit. I loosened the screws from the metal plate that snapped through, wound braided picture wire around the back, and tightened the screws. It won't hold forever, but maybe it'll hold until I can afford a new chair, which is another necessity. At which point, my waterbed will burn down.

      It's that time of year again, for the best worst-of list around: the Beast's Most Loathsome People. My local free paper this year has its own version, The Clowns of 2007.





      I wished Killsy and Byron a "Happy New Year!" at midnight, and they celebrated it as cats should: She slept, he yawned.


      2007: Seven Things We Should Pretend Never Happened.
      "No producer of goods in the history of man has sold so much while caring so little. The combined love and craftsmanship in every copy of Windows Vista sold in 2007 would roughly equal that put into one toddler's Play-Doh snake."

      The War On The War On




      What killed the dinosaurs? It's hard to tell, as there's no discernable difference in the fossil record between 5 minutes and ten thousand years. Was it an asteroid impact? Supervolcanoes? Climate change? Cigarette smoking?
      Facts are facts, but DAMN, bugs?! That would be so lame. Like Tokyo being toppled not by Godzilla, but by termites.

      A nice travelogue of weird America. I've always wanted to see the House on the Rock before I die. On the other hand, I really don't want to go to Wisconsin.

      I wasn't going to point to a local reference to Bikini Bloodbath, the Connecticut-made slasher parody flick that stars my friends: Cos as the "Death Chef," and Kevin (unseen) as a boom mike operator. But it's now available on NETFLIX! With a very long wait. Dunno if it's actually worth the wait, if you don't know people involved in its creation.
      Kev has a photo from the shoot framed in his house! It's above the toilet.


      This Is True's Weirdest News Stories of 2007.


McEnroe on the Illinois caucuses,or the Iowa caucuses, or Ialaska caucuses, or whatever buttfuck state they have those things in: "Nobody understands their dopey caucus system, especially the Democratic side of it, which is so capricious and agreeable to manipulation that Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier would have rejected it as too undignified a way to secure the throne of Haiti."


      The crappier New Zealand criminals of 2007.



      2008 Election, Mortal Kombat style. I like the intro, as the game is too hard for a relic who's used to his controls being a joystick and one button.


      Are you a registered Democrat in Michigan? Do you possibly know one? Then vote for Mitt Romneybot! (post gives very good reasons for this, especially karmic payback)

      Remember those gawdawful late 60s Looney Tunes? Sylvester vs Speedy, Cool Cat, Merlin the Magic Mouse? Man, those sucked.
      There was one good one. Well, one good and strange one, Norman Normal. I saw it maybe twice on Nickelodeon 20 years ago. But as soon as it began, I knew that it was from an LP I had that sampled a snippet of it. I put it on every mix tape I made for years: "Success! That's the main thing. Learning to--fit in. Don't make waves, Norman! Fit in! Learn to--fit in...Norman..." In fact, I typed that from memory...Norman.

      Usually, when I have a turkey burger, I add cheese and pour on a bit of a can of tomato sauce, which I eat straight from the frying pan, given how messy it would be on a bun. Then I let Byron lick the pan. Cheese, turkey juice, YUM! He even likes the tomato sauce.
      But tonight I had a hot curry salsa pepper turkey cheeseburger. I left the pan on the stove so that Byron wouldn't lick--Byron! what are you doing up there? no, you don't wanna--okay, go ahead if you think you wanna lick you some curry...
      He gave it a lick or two, then ran away to get some water. Hopefully he didn't get enough to influence the contents of tomorrow's litter box.


      Interesting, if longish, article on AHHH! STRESS!      Note: Gets all sciencey, if that kind of thing causes you stress.


      I hope that you read Scalzi's Whatever every day. But if you don't--
      "Another day, another letter from someone who thinks that having work out there in the market means that I need to shut up about the political process here in the United States. This is not a wholly uncommon occurrence for me and usually plays out like this: Someone reads Old Man’s War, assumes because it’s military fiction that I am some stripe of conservative and/or Heinleinian libertarian, comes here, catches me on a day I’m writing about politics, has the veins in their neck pop, and then writes me a letter or makes a comment suggesting that I shouldn’t write things they don’t like because then they might not be able to buy any more of my books, hint, hint.
      To which my response is always the same: Kiss my ass, hint, hint."


      Yesterday, in 10 hours the forecast for tomorrow went from 4 inches of snow to 9, then 6, then 1 whole inch. Which of course means that when I got up today, it's now a foot.
      Of snow. Because as bad as that is, if it rained somebody's foot, that'd be kinda gross.
      The plus side is that it's my day off, so I don't have to slog through a 20 mile commute, with only a baked potato for food and warmth. The downside is that it's my day off, so I had to go to the grocery store not only on a Sunday, but the day before a snowstorm. It was packed, with those crazy people buying bread, eggs and milk. As I've said before, apparently the ultimate survival food is French toast. And we don't live in some remote Alpine village where we'll get snowed in for 2 weeks, we live in fucking Connecticut, where we'll be plowed out an hour after the snow stops. The worst that can happen is that the power goes out, and then what will you do with that fridge you filled with perishables?
      What I really don't understand is that this happens every storm. You'd think that after the season's first storm, people would get that they don't need a shopping cart's worth of dairy products to survive. But I guess that they think that the dairy juju mojo is the reason they lived, because they're in the stores every time an inch is predicted.
      I also don't understand why nobody uses the self-serv robo-registers, no matter how long the lines are at the ones with actual cashiers. You're a rugged survivalist, ready to live on nothing but French toast for weeks, but you can't bag your own groceries? America: Land of the Panicked Lazy-Ass.
      If you're wondering what was on my emergency grocery list, it was yogurt for my work lunches, some chicken and turkey, and hair spritz. Because if I'm snowed in until the fourth of July and go all Jeremiah Johnson, fighting the cats for the Friskies, I WILL NOT have crazy hair.
      Then I went to Taj Mahal and got me some chicken vindaloo. I'm used to it being so spicy that I need to take a few minutes between bites, but it was so hot it made my ear canals hurt! I have no idea how THAT works, but the reason I buy Indian food is to freak my brain out, so job well done.

      Here's an odd little YouTube video I came across last night looking at something else: Stop That Tank! It's Disney animation from World War II I've never seen (or heard of) before. It's about a British antitank rifle. Yes, not an an antitank cannon, an antitank rifle. You might wonder "Wasn't the reason they invented tanks was because they needed something bulletproof?" and you'd be right. This was a weapon that would've been quite effective if WWII had started in 1929. Every army had these when the war started in 1939, and they all were obsolete. Except against armies using really shitty tanks, and those armies usually still had cavalry, and charging heavy machine guns while on horsies generally worked out poorly.
      Even the cartoon shows this, as the rifles don't destroy the tanks, just set them running as if they were stung by bees. Is it significant that the poor slobs using these are shown leaping from ambush from inside a horse's ass? This does defeat the tank commander, apparently Charlie Chaplin off his meds, but this is followed by actual instructions in the rifle's use, which boil down to "If this your job, you are SO FUCKED." There are 4 parts to the video, but you don't need to see the rest. Except for the very end, when the soldier so loves his gun, and is so far from his last touch of a woman that he's in bed with the rifle and passionately kissing it, apparently about to have rifle-butt secks with it. There's a bit in part 2 that instructs you to use this piece of shit to destroy tanks by shooting at the seams of the turret. Shooting at that tiny bit of real estate while a FUCKING TANK is bearing down on you requires a skill that I'll bet very few people lived to perfect.; it'd be like grabbing a fly with chopsticks, and that only happens in Hong Kong movies.
      Side note: After the war, you could buy Finnish antitank guns, with full magazines, by mail order in America. While they were useless against tanks, they sure could do some damage to a police car. As to what they could do to a human being...this is the type of gun that could shoot you in the hand and you'd die. You wouldn't just no longer have a hand, it'd take most of your arm and you'd die screaming from shock trauma and blood loss. I suppose hunters might've bought them. If they were hunting dinosaurs.


      Well, the weather forecast was right: It snowed 4 inches. Right if you count the very first of the multiple forecasts, and none of the ones afterwards.

      Time is running out - literally. "In some number of billions of years, time would cease to be time altogether - and everything will stop.
'Then everything will be frozen, like a snapshot of one instant, forever,' Prof Senovilla tells New Scientist magazine."

      Foobie Jesus.


--menu items at various Asian restaurants (thanks to Neil John Smith)      

The Top 100 Quotes from Fundie Christian websites.

      Note to crazy Fundies: It's spelled "atheist." An "athiest" would be the person who is the most athy.


      I was working 2 or 3 extra hours a week at my job. I was getting paid for them, so that was nice. But it's the slow season, and until it picks up again, the extra time has been cut out of the budget.
      This week's schedule had me down for coming in an hour late for 3 days. Late is lame. I come in at 1PM every Wednesday, and after an hour, it's not noticeable. Especially since I usually either sleep an hour longer (or just lie awake in bed longer, like I did today--Killsy and Byron were both in bed with me, and that makes it hard to get up), or I get up and surf the web for a while. Which just cuts down on the time I'd normally spend doing it at night. So I brokered a deal that lets me leave 2 hours early tomorrow instead. That should be noticeable.
      A downside to my schedule is that I work late. I've always been a night person, so that's not a problem. But it is somewhat annoying to see even the briefest of sunshine after work for only 6 weeks a year. And now I work until 9PM 3 days a week, which lowers it to only a few days a year. Leaving at 6? That ups it a lot.
      I was wondering if there was a way that I could find out when I'd see my first sunshine after work, if this does become my new schedule. And lo and behold, what should coincidentally appear in my inbox today but the Farmer's Almanac sunset calculator. I should start seeing at least a bit of light on Thursdays starting the third week of February, and full sun once Daylight Savings kicks in on March ninth.
      This may not be of any utility to you people with normal schedules, although it also lists the time of dawn for you poor souls who actually have to greet that rosy-fingered motherfucker.



      MC Hawking's video for "What We Need More Of Is Science."


      Old joke: Guy takes a pee in a public restroom, then accidentally drops a quarter into the urinal. He stares at it for a few seconds, then takes a hundred dollar bill out of his wallet and throws it in. The guy next to him says, "What did you do that for?!" The first guy says "I'm not going in there for a quarter!"
      While I'm an avid recycler, it does kinda suck to be part of the recycling chain. Connecticut has a "Bottle Bill," whereby people get a nickel back on their deposit cans. What does that make me? Bottle Bill, the man who has to handle their wet, scummy recyclables.
      What would you do for a goddamn nickel? I'm sure you've heard that poor people will dumpster dive for them. But if you owned a car, and it was January with subfreezing temperatures, and you were transporting your empties inside your enclosed car--would you do what a guy did a few years ago? Bring back a Molson Ice bottle full of stinking vomit? In the store, I could smell it from 6 feet away. If that same nickel was lying in a pool of rancid vomit, would you stick your hand in and grab it?
      I assumed that he was the absolute nadir of "I'm not going in there for just a nickel!" Until today. Somebody returned a Seagram's wine cooler with a dead mouse inside it. Actually, a rottting mouse.
      What would he have done if that mouse had died in there with a dime in its stomach?



      I don't follow sports at all. I do smile when the Red Sox win, but that's a) because they've been underdogs for so long, and b), as a customer once so succinctly put it, "It's not so much that I like them, as much as there are so many Yankees fans who are assholes."
      I don't suppose anybody remembers Mr Poopy Pants, the bane of everyone's existence at my last job, but that's the guy I always think of when of when the Yankees lose. He used to get so mad at that karmic hammer blow.
      The only sports I sorta follow is the question of who'll be in the Stupid Bowl. But that's purely work-related. Newbies in the biz always think that we'll have some hugely busy Saturday before it, but we almost always don't. Maybe long ago, when the game was played during the afternoon it was, but now it's at night, and everybody has to go to work the next day. It's only a busy day if the teams are local ones, like the Giants or the Patriots. THEN it's a big deal! Any other teams and it's no big--WHAT?!?!
      It's the Giants VERSUS the Pats?!
      (rubs temples) That's going to be one looong Saturday...

      Izzard on Genesis: "No, I want an Ark! With a big room for poo!"

      In the most "Well--DUH!" scientific research study ever done, it was discovered that children hate and fear clowns. Even when they're 16! "Can't sleep, clown will eat me!"
      In a totally related article, here's the The Top 10 Reasons Clowns Are Scary.


      Via Pharyngula, the only blog I always read that has a name I no idea of how to pronounce, the exciting super-duper video game Noah's Adventures. Check out that teaser--boy, that, umm, sure makes one want to, umm, buy this steamer. The constant action! (People wiggle in place) The stunning voice talent! (It would make Forrest Gump say "What are these people, fucking retarded?") The realistic effects! (Skip to the 5:30 mark when you start to get bored--which will around 2:15 mark--and see the meowing sheep, and the 80MPH elephants that smash down the only tree in the world, rather than walk around it) The exciting gameplay! Which is what, sexing badgers and building that big room for poo?
      No, check out the second gameplay video. Noah must get cowboy hats for elk, and "soccer footballs" for pandas. It's in the FUCKING BIBLE, LOOK IT UP!!!
      I assume that, since Biblical literalism is the theme, that there's a post-Flood scene where you repopulate the world by getting Noah so drunk, he impregnates his daughters. That is in the Bible, BTW.
      (Even if the entire world's humans were so evil that only Noah's incestuous family of alcoholics could be saved, why were only 2 each of the animals spared? Were there really that many sinful gophers? Couldn't have God just given all the animals waterwings for 40 days? He IS God, after all; you'd think that he could swing that)

      Along with Funny Times and Seed magazines today, I got a hand-addressed envelope. I was from the Hobotopia guy! I got a PayPal giftcard for Xmas, and I had no idea what to do with it (and if you get one, you're better off not knowing. The instructions claim that registering it will "link it to your PayPal account," and if you think that means "just like how an Amazon giftcard works, using up every penny before it charges you differently" you will find yourself wrong. You have to enter the code on it every time you want to use it, waaay at the bottom of the page, because otherwise, it won't take). He offered, for only a few hours, original LOLCat art with a free "Pip Fan Club" membership. Since I would get it all for FREE on the giftcard (or not free at all; see above), I clicked through.


      The ID card is sitting on a can opener, but that didn't come out. Because hoboes eat things from cans! Like stew!
      You could get 2 extra ID cards, but why would I need those? Then I went "O YAH!"



      I also has TEH SEKRIT that all Pip Fan Club members get. You will not get it here! FAIL!



      When I get home from work, Byron is always at the door. He has a very narrow range of sounds that he can hear, and apparently, the garage door opening and closing is one. It took him 4 years to connect that sound with "human comes home."
      Or did he somehow learn it from Killsy? She's been at the door since kittenhood. These days, she hangs just behind the bigfooted one. Then they both race ahead of me to the kitchen, where they get pets.
      She does, but he doesn't, understand "day off." She sees that I wear different clothing on a day off. The first thing she grasped is that on a day off, I turn on the computer. On a work day, the first thing I do is brush my teeth. Byron has never picked up any of this, and makes a certain sound ("brrHH?") when I get home when it's still light out. But they both understand that on workdays, "The mommy comes home after dark."
      This is the second Thursday I've come home 2 hours earlier. Only Kill Kill was at the door both days. Instead of running ahead of me, both times she just stood there, perplexed. Byron was asleep on my chair, and brrHH?ed awake both times. And then he's perplexed. It's like they don't expect me home that early.
      How the hell do they know? It's still dark out! The only explanation I've come up with is that I always leave the radio on when I leave. Before she came here, I heard that that was a way to keep kittens from feeling lonely when you're gone. I leave when classical music is playing, and get home when jazz is playing. But on Thursdays, it's talk and news. Does Kill Kill know the difference? While that makes sense--how does Byron know? Is that in his narrow band, too? And does that mean he knows when I talk to him?
      Animals: Always smarter than you think.

      I received a FREE! offer for an ass-trology reading, so I took it up my astrology. The link only works from my IP, although, as you may guess from this part of its url, "", and the page is titled Ordering Processing Gateway, it's received by every idiot who believes hunks of rocks orbiting a billion miles away controls their fate. Excerpts:

      THANK JUPITER it's not a normal year! Then I'd only have until the 28th! THEN I'D BE DEAD.      ...and as your newfound friend and advisor, I want to make sure you are protected during what is predicted to be quite a financially dangerous leap year. within my means, cut expenses, pay down any bills, and spend only on what I truly need?      GOD I AM SO DUMB!! What I need is to SPEND money on a MAGIC MEDALLION! Made of 24K VERMEIL! Because vermeil is so important! It's so valuable! It's so ULTIMATE! It's...umm, no, I have no idea either.
      Wikipedia says that it is "sometimes called silver gilt, is a combination of sterling silver, gold, and other precious metals." Oh, that's great! It's actually silver, not gold, but there are precious metals in it. It's not gold, in other words. But at least better than the Glassman family's kids next door, who got those gold-foil chocolate coins every Hanukkah. (Wait--no it's not! Chocolate you can EAT!)      August 8th 1908 was in a different millennium. As were the years 08/08/1008, 08/08/1108, 08/08/, wait, same millennium. Apparently it happens every century, not millennium. And, of course, 08/08/2108 will never occur. UNLESS YOU SEND ME MONEY!
      Huh. From what "School House Rocks!" told me, three was a magic number. But now 888 has always been the magic number. Funny how I've never heard that before.
      This would, of course, be completely different than the people who scheduled their weddings for the magic dates 01/01/01 through 07/07/07. They all got divorced. After killing each other with razor-sharp slices of wedding cake from their freezers. Yes, their karmic wedding dates were so bad, they got divorced after their mutual murders. BUY MY VERMEIL DINGUS! lest this happen to YOU!
      There are magic numbers in mathematics?!


      Just put in 888, DUMBASS!

      Now, if hospitals only used sterling silver leeches, and placed vermeil dead pigeons at patients' feet to draw out the bad humours--we wouldn't NEED doctors!
      I give up. It just drones on and on like that, mixing vague newage sewage with vague handwavings at science, as if they're both the same thing ("Specifically, both sides of your Amulet of Ultimate Protection have the Ouroboros, an ancient symbol of a serpent or dragon swallowing its own tail. It can be traced back to Ancient Egypt 1600 years before the birth of Christ. The Ouroboros is a dramatic symbol for the integration and assimilation of the opposite, and thus gives your amulet the power to turn negative energy and bad luck into positive energy and good luck. So powerful is this symbol that the organic chemist August Kekulé claimed that an image of the Ouroboros that he saw in a dream inspired him in his discovery of the structure of benzene."). Bottom line: "only four easy installments of $ $6.95 in shipping."
      Certainly the best way to avoid a recession is to spend my money on a fantasy! That, and Lotto tickets!


      Who wants to live to be 800 years old?
      Not me! Take a look at that 121-years-young picture: Yeah, bet she has an awesome quality of life, her brittle hips snapping every time she even thinks of bending over. And since the experiment has only been carried out so far on yeast, it's unclear as to whether this is "not aging," or "not dying." It makes me think of the Struldbrugs from Gulliver's Travels, who are immortal--but still age. By age 250, they're drooling, incontinent, senile, immobile sacks of wrinkles. Yeah, sign me the fuck up for that.


      Noted on Hotmail ads: "Anorexia Nearly Killed my Wife: A husband's insight into powerful eating disorder" Next to it was an ad with a picture of a scale at zero pounds, and the title "Lose Weight & Win Prizes! Join the Challenge."


      From Ebert's Little Movie Glossary, The Clean Air Duct Principle: "Whenever the protagonist attempts to sneak through a secure building ("Die Hard," "The Simpsons"), the air ducts are always clean and dust free, never coated with dust bunnies or causing so much as a sneeze." --Darrell Hird, Rolling Meadows

      To which I would add this corollary:


      I really don't want to give you a mental image of me on the toilet--oh, wait! Too late now!--but thereupon seated, I saw a spider web under the heater. Hmm, I thought, placing chin on hand much like Rodin's statue The Shitter--dammit, I did it again ! Sorry! I thought "I wonder if that spider is the one that was living under my computer desk." If you're wondering why I knew he wasn't living under there anymore, or just plain not living,


      ...That town wasn't big enough for the both of them.
      (Crap at the top of the picture: things Byron has knocked off the desk. Big things in front: Killsy's "picu," her habit since kittenhood of ripping small pieces off of things and strewing them about the house. Tiny bits: Litter. I guess they get tracked in by cat's paws. Overall: I own a vacuum, yet never use it)
      Meanwhile, back was I was crapping my intestines out (SORRY! Won't do it again! Well, I mean I won't mention it again, as obviously I'd die pretty quick if I didn't take a daily huge, steaming, smelly shi--SORRY!!!), there was a dead bug at the bottom of the web. No, wait--a live one. No, wait, not a bug, another spider! Most likely this was the one from under the desk and--oh, jeez, they're doing the spider love dance. And then they disappeared into the heater. I don't mind spiders, but 2 of the same species AND they're of opposite genders? That just means HUNDREDS OF BABY SPIDERS. In my HOUSE.
      So I allowed them their conjugal visit, then today gently swept toilet paper under the heater, to remove the mom, all aglow with her pregnancy and the juices she'd sucked out of her slaughtered hubby, in order to cast them out the window. And I came up with a bunch of webbing, dessicated bug corpses, and cat hair. Mom was nowhere to be seen.
      Somewhere in my house tick...tick...tick... goes the Baby Spider Timebomb.

      I went over to Kev and Meg's tonight, and they had great beer and great pizza--nay, fucking legendary pizza round these parts. And what did I bring? The night's, ahh, entertainment, Dragon Wars. Or D-War, as the filmmakers were so convinced that it'd be so huge a success that they gave it its own nickname.
      And it was huge--in South Korea, its greatest grossing movie of all time, where it was made. With roundeye actors. Or, umm, somewhere where there were no, and I mean no, not-white people who weren't the 2 black guys and one Hispanic chick. Kev called it "the stupidest movie I've ever seen," and I said "You didn't see Transformers?" Which is what it was. Michael Bay is asked to make a Godzilla movie or a Lord of the RIngs movie, can't decide, so he makes both . Meaning: looks fucking awesome, is never boring, never makes any goddamn sense. Entire scenes were seemingly missing (why does the heroine end up in the hospital? Why does--shit, why does almost everything that happens seem to happen for no reason?) Sometimes it's like scenes are missing during scenes, as when the hero blocks a high-caliber bullet meant for the heroine at point-blank range. In a normal bad movie, you'd joke about how the bullet should've gone right through him and into her anyway. Here, he falls over dead, and then immediately jumps up in perfect health, no explanation given or apparently even needed. And this after two scenes in which the black sidekick is beaten nearly dead, and he has a tiny Band-Aid in the next scene. Kev's wisecrack "He'll be fine!" actually became a running theme.
      But, holy shit! Never mind the endless missing scenes, like how did the FBI find the girl? Just by aimlessly driving around the streets of an LA being fucking devastated by a giant snake? Because LA is DEVASTATED BY A GIANT MOTHERFUCKING SNAKE! I thought that it would be one of those "boring until the final monster fight" movies, but it's Michael Fucking Bay of Inchon here. SHIT NEVER STOPS BLOWING UP. And if you hate cars, I got your autocidal porn right here. If there's a car, it will be smashed. If there are hundreds of cars, Jesus, don't watch this movie if you work for Geico.
      Did I mention that it made no sense? Why are they summoning the dragons when the bad guys have one already, and also giant lizards with fucking 16th-century rocket launchers and ride-on dinosaurs and pterodactyls exactly like in that trilogy made in New Zealand with orcs and hairy-footed midgets, I forget the name, and bulletproof armies that sprout from nowhere, and they're MORE powerful than the dragon, and then at the end they're in Mordor, and twice in 5 minutes at the beginning they use the "But it was only a dream!" bullshit, and could someone please give the main villain a tin of Sucrets?
      Megan gave up on it (feh! Girls! What do they know about movies?!) and Kev admitted that it wasn't any worse than Transformers: The Incomprehensible Mess. And me? Get a couple of MST3Kish friends, some good beer and pizza, and get ready for some fun. But if I'd seen it alone, I still would've laughed. I'm weird that way.

      The 5 Most Ill-Conceived Action Figures. Okay, I link to this only because--except for Stretch Armstrong--I sold every one of these crappy things when I was a Kay-Bee Toy Store manager 20 years ago. What, no "Supernaturals" or "Bionic Six"?
      Hey, did you hear that a certain evil toy store chain went completely out of business and closed every store last Saturday? Here's a hint as to who it isn't anymore: Its name had the initials "K" and "B"! HAAAA-hahahaha! Assholes!





      I don't know how many of you bookmarked Big Picnic, my favorite (largely) political site that no one ever heard of. The proprietor sold the name for some good money, and it went away.
      And now it's back, as Foreign Dignitary! Very short and pithy statements on politics and Strawberry Cheetos.


      The pre-Super Bowl buying was busy, but not Super Busy. Not like a major holiday. Although it ran right up to the very last minute, and we took in 40% more than a regular Saturday. Meaning, today we did $13,400. That's a good chunk of change. Although the liquor business isn't as profitable as you'd think--our Gross Margin was 23%. When I worked in "soft goods" at JCPenney, they refused to carry anything below a 55% GM. (And before you complain about the prices at the grocery store, even the huge super-dupermarkets have GMs that only run in the single digits)


      Raymond Scott performing his greatest hit--in fact, one of the greatest tunes of all time--live on 50s TV: Powerhouse. If you don't recognize the name, you'll recognize the tune. If you've ever watched a Looney Tune or Merry Melody.

      Doing your taxes online makes it faster and easier, but it doesn't make it any less of a yearly pain in the ass. Although finding out that I'm getting $1500 in refunds was quite the balm to the buttocks.
      I printed out my copy, and was amused by the paper I used. We let people drop flyers off in the store, but one was of the "Oh, hell no!" variety. I was going to throw it out, but then I thought "This is good quality paper, and the other side is blank. I can use this to print out grocery coupons." So my 1040 was printed on the other side of

      I like the way the first questions are so directly answered in bullet point four--but what about my back? Is it still breaking? Also: best way to pick someone up in a bar? When she asks you if you have a job, just say no! That always impresses people. Also scratch yourself a lot, and point at their drink and ask "You gonna finish that?"
      Oh, and his secret plan for super success? Mail Cleveland T. Byers $2 in cash! This is why I wanted to throw the flyers away; it's a scam dating back to the invention of the post office. Cleveland T. Beyers (a name that Google can find no matches for, almost as if it was made up) will then send you his magic formula.
      Fuck no, he won't! He'll keep your damn two bucks and hope that it's a small enough sum that you won't track him down at 97 Sigourney St, Hartford CT 06112. And Google says that the address exists, just not with that Zip code. Almost as if Cleveland knows that he'll get mail at that address even though it's wrong! And if he really does send you something, I'll bet it just says "Copy the flier you grabbed, put your fake name at the end, and wait for suckers like you to send you $2. Good-bye!"


      The 25 Most Nonsensical Protest Signs. It starts with that pro-Iraq War guy-with-mullet's classic sign

      so you can only imagine how much worse it gets.

      To my surprise, Netflix sent me Bikini Bloodbath, the only movie made by people I actually know (Kev held the boom mike in one scene; Kos had the role as the killer). It was either a very funny parody of idiotic slasher movies, or incredibly stupid, sometimes within the same minute. The gratuitous nudity started in the first scene, and they got points for the inevitable "hot chick slumber party with lesbian overtones," as all hottt chix are lesbos that like guys in these movies, and having the football players (a bunch of guys so not-football-player looking that they wear shirts over their wobbly beer bellies helpfully labeled "FOOTBALL PLAYER") have their own homoerotic party. Which was funny, but hammered the joke home a bit too much.
      Kos plays Chef, a chef of murderous intent. His hat is seen looming like a shark's fin before each goofy kill. While the movie was in production, Kev said that Chef would kill people and say something cooking related. I asked, "Does he kill someone and say 'BAM!'? Or kick someone in the head, saying 'Time to kick your head up a notch!'?" He didn't know. It turns out that he just mumbles something in French. One I thought of as I was putting the DVD in: "Yan can KILL!" They shoulda hired me as a script doctor.
      Also amusing was the soundtrack provided by fake Hair Metal band "White Liger" (or is that fake hair Metal band? They seemed to be wearing hair they found in the dumpster behind the Dolly Parton wig factory). You can see the theme song on YouTube, with its brilliant lyrics

      At the end, they change that rhyme to things like "Eat a kidney pie!"

      In other YouTubery, this awesome video is either some guy in a Ronald McDonald costume, or a mashup of Japanese McDonald's ads. Or maybe in Tokyo, the Happy Meal comes with a tab of ecstasy.


      When I was a kid, the morning newspaper the Hartford Courant had a feature called "Stargazer." It was a horoscope that read "1-24-16-5-" etc. You'd match the numbers up to a table of words numbered 1, 24, 16, etc. and get a brief sentence. A code game like the Jumble more than anything else.
      Eventually, they added a "real" astrology column. Soon, the evening paper (yes, you are officially old if you remember when every city had morning and evening papers) the Hartford Times added a competing astrology column.
      And the three never agreed. The stars are always right, except when they're in seperate papers.
      Me, I never believed it. There are billions of people in the world, but there are only 12 possible days? If astrology worked, wouldn't people born at the same time all die at the same time? It's was so patently ridiculous to me as a child that I still don't grasp why people believe it today. But that's why people believe in magic invisible space gods. They believe because they want to.
      My younger sisters got into astrology. I overheard a conversation when Sue read her morning horoscope, and it said that she'd have a fight with a friend that day. She got mad over this as yet unoccured event: "I'll bet it's with [X]! Or with [Y]! YES, I'll bet it's with Y! It'll be with Y!" I don't know if she did, but it sure seemed to me like a self-fulfilling prophecy. Did people read their horoscopes, and base their days on what they were told would happen? I decided to test my theory, by reading the today's horoscopes tomorrow.
      And I was right. You might match your day to the horoscope, but your horoscope never matched your day.
      Remember the "24K Gold vermeil Amulet of Ultimate Protection"? I sure do. I get hits for it every day, and I'm Google's top link for that. I somehow signed up for a weekly horoscope (apparently they're called just "astrology readings" now). I decided to wait until the day after before I read it. The email began with this:


      The Hermit for Bill

      Oh my starsigns and garters! That's me all right! As my horoscoper says:

      Ah, no, "second thoughts" are things you have before you make a decision. I believe that the word you're groping for is "regrets."      No, The Hermit suggests that you SHUT UP. Everything happens for a reason? If a busload of orphans crashes into an oil tanker, killing everybody and also all the seagulls, what the fuck was the reason for that? There is no reason for that. That's just your desperate attempt to pretend that everything happens for a reason. Your entire family gets killed in a car crash, but you survive, paralyzed from the neck down! If there's a reason for that, I want to find the guy responsible and beat him to death.

      Here's her prediction for yesterday:

      *sigh* I don't make any rash decisions involving money. This is why I have zero credit card debt, and will have my mortgage paid off in 9 months.      HOLY CRAP! I went to KMart yesterday to buy the office chair they had on sale! They didn't have any, so to not waste the trip, I bought a shirt for work! $7 off the clearance rack! You are so right!      Hey, dear ass, you're completely wrong. I'm poor and there's another Bush recession going on. I spend money only when I have to. My discretionary spending is limited to Indian food and the occasional good book.      My "ability to meet the people who can make things pay off for you in the long run"? WOW, that's specific! Maybe I'll find out! In FIFTY YEARS!
      My "inet worth" is either Apple's next product, or the inability of the Stars to give my horoscoper a spell checkr.
      So: She was right about me buying a shirt. Will her incredible run of successful predictions continue? We'll find out tomorrow!


      Horoscope:      We have the new Lottery machines at work. Oh, hooray, we were in the fist wave! We're the fucking beta testers for their latest made-by-the-lowest-bidder devices!
      They have touch screens, a satellite connection, and the laser printers are much quieter than the clunky ol' ones. And they also have repeated paper jams and eat tickets that we can't cancel. "Can't cancel" means we're out of that money. Eventually, Lotto will pay us for them. But we used to get $2 a week in those tickets, now we get 10 times that every DAY.
      We do not enjoy being beta testers.
      As to the horoscope, I was twice asked yesterday how to cash out Lotto. I have not cashed out Lotto since--well, if someone got pregnant the last time I cashed out stupid Lotto, they recently gave birth to a bouncing baby future gambling addict. I twice said, "Why are you asking me about this?!" So "You are apt to be excellent at explaining concepts to folks that seem a bit confused today, my dear" is completely wrong. Although the coworker I was addressing always calls everybody "dear," so maybe there's that.
      "Your ideas are spectacular, my friend, and you can express them beautifully right now." OF COURSE THEY ARE, YOU ASS-TRO-ILLOGICAL HOROSCOPE WHORE!!!! THEY BE MY IDEAS!!! BITCH, GET ME A BEER! AND MAKE IT BEAUTIFUL!!!
      "If you find yourself within a group situation today, you are apt to feel quite comfortable." Well, I was at work. I feel comfortable at a job I've had for 4 and a half years.
      Overall: No, my dear. No matter how I twist Tuesday to your advantage, you blew it. Now, where my beer?!


      Given their ubiquity, I'm not much of a bOING bOING linker, but the Silver Surfer story from Not Brand Ecch?!??! That was my most favoritest comic as a kid! It was Marvel for MAD readers! Even if you're not familiar with the original story, it's pretty funny. It includes a line that was a private joke between me and myself for a decade: "I own a hundred pair of STRETCH SOCKS!" From now on, I am SO working that into every conversation where people won't think that I'm insane.

      Co-worker Yolanda asked "What's my 'job title'? Cashier or Store Clerk?"
      "Store Clerk sounds better," I said, wondering why she asked. She was filling out a several-page form. "What's that?"
      "I have to fill this out for my colonscopy."
      What? They need to know your job title and where you work for that? "Oh, sorry! You're only a cashier, so we can't look up your ass." Do they call us afterwards and say, "Sorry, Yolanda can't come to work tomorrow, we couldn't get the camera out"?


      This is already becoming remarkably tiresome for Bill.            I am a Rock, I am an Island! And a Rock feels no pain. From STUPID HOROSCOPES.
      I have a blog, does that count as "shouting from the nearest mountaintop"? Even with my audience, I think more people will hear me here, than if I drove 150 miles to Mount Washington, where I would most likely be shouting "OH GOD I FREEZIN TO DEATH!" exactly 4 minutes before I froze to death. Is that what you WANT, Crazy Horoscope Magic Vermeil Medallion Lady? Is that what you WANT?!      WOW. Incredible! My email might involve IDLE CHIT-CHAT! Usually, it involves me devising the Unified Field Theory! And it could be important, or possibly exciting? Not when I'm getting messages from you, it isn't!      Dealings with relatives: Zero.
      Dealings with neighbors: None.
      Dealings with associates: Do you mean coworkers? If yes, HOLY FUCKIN MACKEREL, YES!!! it was a weekday and I WENT TO WORK. YOUR PSYCHIK POWERS IS TEH AMAZINGS!!! Man oh man, you threw THREE groups of people into the mix and got one right! It amazin how you do?!?!? U MUST B PSYCH!!      Do you define "impulsiveness" as taking a big dump in their mailboxes? I sure do!      What? Sorry. Wasn't paying attention. Busy doing something else.
      This is your mailbox, right?


      SHAWT: College kid on the half-barrel of Keystone Light he just bought: "Do you guys fill the kegs here at the store?"
      Yep. Just like how Dairy Mart has a herd of cows upstairs to fill the milk bottles, and a dead dinosaur in back to fill the gas pumps.
      I thought that you had to be smart to go to college...

      In today's latest research study titled "Well, DUH!": Video Games Activate Reward Regions Of Brain In Men More Than Women

      No wonder the only game I still play is Civilization II.


      YES! I hid in the bushes outside the houses of my siblings, relatives, friends or neighbors, wearing a giant genital sore mask, then jumped out screaming "I'M HERPES COMPLEX INFINITY!" and I had a hole cut out for lips and went "SMOOCHY-SMOOCH!" at them!
      Man! Wish I'd set up a "Buy Clean Underwear Here" concession! I woulda mopped up!
      Monetarily. I sure wouldn't have wanted to literally mop up after them. HOO-whee, what a stink!Yeah, after that incident, I've been spending a lot of time at home. In the basement, with a loaded shotgun. Some people have no sense of humor. Especially any sibling, relative, friend or neighbor.





      Winter started 2 months early, so I was hoping it might end 2 months early. There was a week or so where it looked like it might, but it was a no-go. Yesterday in bed, listening to the howling wind, I thought "Wow, it feels cold outside the covers." And it was. When I got up, it was 62 inside. The heat was on, so that meant that at some point overnight, the heating oil tanks emptied out. And I saw them filling the tanks just a week before. It took 6 hours for my home to warm 6 degrees.
      Today it snowed, but the forecast kept downgrading until it was only 1 to 3 inches. Not a huge dealio by New England standards. It was no fun driving in--it was the light, fluffy kind of snow, but it was so cold that the first accumulation melted on the road and then froze--but it wasn't terrible, even if they hadn't plowed anywhere, even 3 hours after it had started snowing. Two miles from home I slowly pulled over to the right to take my exit off the highway, thinking "There's a lot more snow here than on the rest of the road" when I hit a patch of ice. I instantly spun out of control and did a one-eighty. My front end missed the guardrail by inches; if I'd been a foot further to the left, I would have missed it completely. But I wasn't and clunk CRUNCH! I came to a halt facing the highway the wrong way. If I had missed it completely, I don't know if that would've counted as luck. I would've kept on spinning, right back into traffic, and there was no way that anyone else could stop, not even at the 25 to 40MPH speeds they were going. I could've started one hell of chain reaction. Especially given that the first vehicles that roared past me were 2 tractor trailers and a bus. There could've been a 30-vehicle pile-up, with the lead car containing 135 pounds of hamburger that started out as me.
      Me? I'm fine. The driver's side headlight was working, but the plastic was smashed in, and the rear blinker was also functional, although a dent popped its cover off a bit. Well, that's what car insurance is for. I called it in right after I got home. Hopefully it won't take more than a day to fix. Kinda sucks, but shit, it beats being hit by a bus!

      Unappetizing site search-string hit of the day: "how to cook chicken with fruit loops."

      Yeah, I kinda gave up on the horoscope thing. They were always wrong, of course. Does today's warn "Don't drive"? No, it says

      With who, AIG Insurance?      Oh, there was a surprise today! I received some wonderful dents!      Yeah, I was all about driving to fancy restaurant after smashing up my car. I ate fucking microwave meatloaf. And it wasn't that good.      "New ally"? Am I invading Normandy?
      There were no difficult people I dealt with today. Christine at AIG was very pleasant, and we even joked as I filed my claim. She was in New York, and complained that they hadn't plowed any roads there yet, either.Why, yes I do like the outdoors! But not in a SNOWSTORM in FUCKING FEBRUARY, the coldest and also stupidestly-spelled month.      I'm glad you think so, astrologer Bethea Jenner, because ARRRGGGHH!! I HAVE A CHAINSAW!!! Stop running away!!      I believe that I will begin by pointing out that "misunder- standings" is a very inefficient way to spell a common word.

      Ms Jenner has been most generous with her time; she's sent me several very, very long emails. She doesn't talk about the vermeil amulet anymore, though. I thought that it was supposed to be the most important mystical object found outside of an Indiana Jones movie, but maybe it's now in a crate in a huge government warehouse. She has however since tried to sell me

      Which has Ursula Andress from Dr No on the cover, for reasons unknown and perhaps unknowable. I suppose that I could score with chicks that hot, if I follow my horoscope and became Sean Connery 50 years ago. And it comes with a pair of rocks in a little faux-velvet bag.

      Why, sitting at the bottom of that long, slender sack, they might look like something suggestive! Such as, I don't know, a banana with terrible gout! It would only cost me $14.95, "a savings of $30" over some other cheaply-bound book with something from a Boy Scout's rock tumbler.
      Recently, I was given this amazing news:

      Well, my school bus was a different size, yes.      Naive atheist that I am, I assumed that "angelic keys given to archangels" was meant in a spiritual way. I was supposed to pray or sacrifice my first-born or something, although how Christianity and astology somehow mesh is lost on me. Fortunately, "Bernard's" part of the email set me straight:      Yes! Remarkably, the key is physical! And I can somehow bribe a fallacious metaphysical concept for the low, low price of $106.70! I'm buying a stairway to heaven!
      Or I would be if I was still on that short bus. If I'd been hit by that other one tonight, I'd be there now.



      Valentine's Day isn't a Booze Holiday. People may buy a bottle of wine, but generally, they go out to a fancy dinner.
      Not this year! It wasn't insane, but we did a lot of business. Until dinnertime; then it ended. Is the economy so bad that people abandoned the fancy dinner this year, to eat and drink at home? After all, a bottle of wine in a liquor store costs the same as 2 glasses of it in a restaurant.

      The oldies station we play at work spent the last week announcing that they'd play "The Beatles' Love album." I assumed that, since it was Valentine's Day, it was a collection of their love songs. Just before I turned the work radio off, it was described as "they cut up parts of the songs, add different vocals and instruments'll blow your mind!" I decided to listen on the drive home, as that description made no sense. It's what the kids today would call a "mash-up." Nothing I need to hear again, but interesting. I assume that they played it on V-Day only because it was titled "Love," as there are no more romantic words in the English language than "Yellow matter custard, dripping from a dead dog's eyes." Oh, honey, a rotting dog skull, you shouldn't have!

      I'll use that as a segue to my review of the movie Across the Universe, which came out on DVD last week. I've never heard of a movie that the critics so disagreed on--it wasn't "Eh, it was okay," it was "TOTALLY AWESOME!" or "YOU PIECE OF SHIT, FROM THE HEART OF HELL I SPIT AT THEE!" except with more exclamation points. Its fans were full of praise, and its detractors had nothing--nothing at all--positive to say. There was no middle ground. I saw the review on Not-Ebert & Roeper, and halfway through it said "I MUST SEE THIS!" I think that I actually said it aloud, startling the cats. If you think that you can get this feeling from watching the trailer, no, you can't. It makes it look like a standard drama set in the 1960s. It's a musical.
      It's based on Beatles songs, but not like the horriffic Sgt Pepper's movie with the BeeGees. It is one of the most gorgeous movies I've seen. The cinematography is never less than "WOW" and frequently reaches points of eye-popping jaw-dropping. The choreography is magnificent.. And while it's based on songs, it never dips into the obvious. Yes, there's a character named "Maxwell," and at one point he misuses a silver hammer, but it isn't on anyone's head. "I Want You" is sung by Uncle Sam, drafting Max into Viet Nam. "I Wanna Hold Your Hand," one of the happiest songs ever, is turned into an aching longing over unrequited love. But it's a fun movie! If there's a downside, it's a bit long at 2 1/4 hours, but it's hard to find anything to cut out. I guess that the Sadie/Jo Jo subplot could've been cut. And there are a couple of scenes with Bono and Izzard that basically say "people in the 60s took drugs," but those are two of the most visually arresting scenes in a movie that spills over with them.
      Of course, you'll hate it. Well, 50% of you will, based on the reviews. If you don't like the Beatles, hell, don't bother. I guess that this is the first movie that shouldn't be rated PG-13, but YMMV.




      Oh, Like You Could Shoot Down A Spy Satellite: "Everybody knows that hindsight is 20-20, and those of us who worked on 'Operation What Could Go Wrong?' — which was subsequently rechristened 'Operation Nothing to Worry About' and then slightly modified and relaunched as 'Operation Aiiiieeeeeeeee! Run!' — cannot help but notice, every time we pick up a newspaper or turn on a newscast or watch a late-night comedy show, that everyone is suddenly a big, gosh-darned expert on how to shoot down a spy satellite."


      I love feeding my cats wet food, mainly because of how they act after they're done: While licking their lips, they stretch langorously, then wet their arms and wash their faces. Are cats pawed like humans are handed? Because both of them always wet their right paw and wash the right side of their face, before switching to the left. And when they're done with that, they both lick the left side of their bodies.
      To which I will only add HENTAI TENTACLE PORN MONKEY POOPYS just to see what searches I get for "they both lick the left side of their bodies."

      Oh, wait, Bethea the Astrologist has something for me: "Bill, on February 29th, the ancient dragon and the moon will combine to bring you an avalanche of luck"
      Oh, do they now. Is that Earth's moon, or the far cooler moon of Jupiter Io? Io has fucking sulphur volcanoes that launch shit all the way into space, bitch! Top THAT shit!

      Gah! Okay, okay! Maybe I asked for that, what with the "top that!" comment and all. But did I ask for some bold-faced ellipises?! No one asks for ...! No one!

      GROAN. Lemme guess...this Jade's a mystic object of unspeakable power, prized throughout all the ages of man, and      NO, not the "gold vermeil" part! I already just ASSUME that it's made from gold vermeil shark fin rhino horns! The other part, the inevitable other part!      I KNOW THE MOON HAS A NODE! Everyone knows that! It's a completely provedified scientifical factoid! Get to the IMPORTANT part!!      Gee, I don't know. Had I swallowed an entire bottle of Oxycontin? Were the clouds from my opium pipe? HMM, not sure. I just checked my "Diary of Insane Drug-Addict Hallucinations," and they're not in there. The last entry was "Took Dayquil at night, the colors, THE COLORS!!!" so, no, that was not me. That was you, Doctor Lizardo.      Did you vomit? That happens before the cool parts when you take peyote. Umm--so I've heard! It's not like I went to college in the late 70s!
      NINE HUNDRED WORDS LATER: (no, I'm not kidding. The email went on for NINE HUNDRED WORDS MORE before it cut to the chase):      Is it just me, or does any email that uses the words FREE GIFT that much always end up with      YES! That's what I was waiting for! It's for sale, and only--only--costs $79.80! That's a bargain for something that has, and I quote from the email,      I once bought one that was from the Magnetic South Pole of the Moon, near that crappy strip mall of the West Node, and it didn't work for shit. That jade dragon made me drive into potholes!      Emphasis added. Yeah, you're sick and have no health care in the richest country on the planet. So don't vote for universal health care in November, buy a fucking magic rock and hope that it cures you. Clutch it in your cardboard coffin as they lower you into a pauper's grave, but keep that faith in magic vermeil rocks!
      Why? Because they both lick the left side of their bodies!

      Wait, here comes an avalanche! Of CASH and GOOD LUCK!! Oh, here it comes, so HUGE in its--
      Holy shit. That's one huge avalanche! Too bad about those skiers! And here comes a TSUNAMI of GOOD LUCK! Oh jeez, sorry about that, Indonesia! And here's an ASTEROID STRIKE right into the center of LONDON made entirely of JOY!! No, wait, it's made of one of those rocky asteroids like the one that hit the Gulf of Mexico and killed the dinosaurs. Oh, that'll wipe out civilization. But WAIT! Here's an ERUPTION of GIANT VOLCANOES of POSITIVE ENERGY in SIBERIA like the ones that almost wiped out all life on Earth millions of years ago...
      Good thing I got my vermeil jade dragon! That'll save me!!




      How not to kill Castro, some really stupid ways that the CIA tried. Seriously--not one, but two attempts to oust him by making his beard fall out? Like he couldn't go to a wig house and buy a false one.
      By the way, let's keep up that 45-year-old Cuban embargo. Like that lottery number you've played for half a century, it's bound to work any day now!

      Remember that Bush State of the Union Address a few years back, when the Decider decided that we needed to go back to the Moon, and then to Mars? He never mentioned it again, but Nasa's funding was diverted to that, and away from things like keeping the Hubble telescope working, to fund his scientifically useless goal. Was he afraid that Hubble would keep pissing off the Religiously Retarded Right by showing that the universe wasn't created in late October, 6006 BC? Was it just to divert attention, however briefly, from the endless disaster that is the $2B-a-week Iraq War? Or was it something else?!
      "Saturn's orange moon Titan has hundreds of times more liquid hydrocarbons than all the known oil and natural gas reserves on Earth, according to new data from NASA's Cassini spacecraft. The hydrocarbons rain from the sky..."
      Of course not! I'm just kidding! That's a new discovery. But if we suddenly hear about a renewed interest in space exploration from the current administration, it's because where "hydrocarbons rain from the sky" will seem to Cheney how that Simpsons ep with the donut rain seemed to Homer.
      ...hmm, this new press release says that the White House believes that Iran has ties to "al Qaeda on Saturn"...

      "Bill, on March 1st you can discover a miraculous power, opening the door to all the health, wealth, and happiness you deserve"
      Yes, it's Bethea of the Gold Vermeil again. Golly jeepers, do you think she's going to try and sell me something? AGAIN?
      Why, yes, she is! This time, it's the "Cross of Lourdes," another piece of shitty Chinese-prison-crafted costume jewelry, and again assuming that at some point that the Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury decided that astrology was accepted religious dogma. Oh, and this time, it's SO AWESOME that they can't even tell me how much it costs!
      The sad thing is that there are probably people in miserable straits, spending money that they should spend on food or rent, but instead buying this magickal crap. Hoping that it will bring "luck," and enable them to afford food and shelter. While Bethea is throwing plastic bottles of water in her southern California mansion and screaming at the maid, "I don't drink POLAND SPRING! MIDDLE CLASS IDIOTS drink Poland Spring! I SAAAID get me some WATER! The GOOD water! Do you WANT me to report you to Immigration and send your children BACK, BITCH?! I have VERMEIL AMULETS of MAGIC POWER to sell here, BITCH!" Then she returns to writing soothing email New Age scams, cackling as she counts the cash she gets from desperate suckers who can't afford it.




      Here's a bizarre 1934 cartoon from Imperial Japan involving Toyland being attacked by snakes, bats, crocodiles and a fanged Mickey Mouse. While watching, I thought that a Japanese from 75 years ago wouldn't've have found this any weirder than I would a Bosko cartoon today. And read the comments either before or after watching; they explain the socio-political context nicely. Yes, Mickey represents the USA, and our devilish surprise attack on Toy Harbor.
      Hmm, Bosko...if this bit of Tojo surreality is on YouTube, maybe the legendary unseen cartoon "Bosko the Doughboy" is there, too! And thus it am. Set in World War One, complete with bad army rations, muddy trenches filled with stagnant water, fleas, and constant death. WHEE! it's so fun! Cute liddle cartoon ami-nals find adorable lil' ways to spraypaint No-Toons Land with each other's cuddly-wuddly guts. I think Akira had a lower body count.
      (Note: there were 2 versions on YouTube, and this is the better looking one. Meaning this one looks like shit, and the other looked like shit with worms moving in it)



      How was your day? My answer would be "Expensive!" although it didn't involve a near-miss by a giant Swedish meatball (see above).
      It also didn't involve "survivalist" friend skills woman gun dog car road pain sleep or misunder fuck girl video sucking, despite what you might think from this page's recent search hits.
      You probably don't remember my borken desk chair, the one currently held together with picture frame wire, because, shit, why the fuck would you? (This is how I get hits for "fuck," and will soon get them for "borken"). I wired it as best as possible, but even that inch it's sagging down is slowly throwing my spine out of alignment. Thanks, I work retail, and retail means lots of lifting, and that means back problems, so no thanks. Time to break down and buy a new chair before the broken back.
      Well, a "pre-owned" chair. I went to the local office furniture place, a cavernous showroom that reminded me of the last shot from Raiders of the Lost Ark. I was surprised that the most comfy of chairs ("Get--THE SOFT PILLOWS!") was also the cheapest, at $129. I assume that it was cheap because the rest of the set was covered in coffee stains--apparently it came from an office where they did a lot of spit-takes; one even had a coffee stain on the back. It's a very comfy chair ("Have you got all the stuffing up one end?!"), like an arm chair on a desk chair's base. It was difficult to fit into my tiny car ((I thought that the chairs were available unassembled), but they jammed it into the trunk and tied it down with some sturdy twine, and I drove around town with the trunk lid joggling up and down, certain that I'd look in the rearview and see a chair bouncing out into traffic, causing a 900-car pile-up. This did not happen.
      Due to brilliant planning on my part, that was my first destination. With my trunk chomping on the chair's legs like Pac Man on a particularly chewy dot, I next went to KMart to get a mouse. My old mouse died. It was full of cat hair WHO COULD EVER SEE THAT COMING? I had a new mouse, a FREE wireless one from my buddies at AJ Nielsen HomeScan. I ordered it because my backup mouse had no scroll wheel, and it's amazing how used to that you get. It took 2 weeks to get here, and it's amazing how used to not having a scroll wheel you get. I really wasn't thrilled about the wireless aspect, as it only meant that I'd need to buy batteries. I was even less thrilled when I spent 10 days trying every fucking way to install it, and the only way it would work was if I plugged my old mouse in when I booted, then swap it out with the new one. That would just wear out the PS/2 port, and who the fuck wants to buy a new computer because of a borken mouse? (Now I'll get twice as many hits!)
      KMart had 3 pegs for mice, but the only one they had was a tiny little one for laptops. I went across the road to the grocery store, and remembered that that a Staples section, despite there being a Staples across the road. They had 3 pegs for mice, but the only one they had was the exact same tiny little one for laptops. Does Barbie make a laptop? Seriously, all it had to be was pink and it would've been a perfect match for the Hello Kitty laptop. After reducing my grocery bill from $49 to $21 through judicious use of coupons and sales, I went to the Staples across the road and bought a mouse. Chair stickin' out the bouncing trunk all the way.
      I then filled the car with free gas, and then found that lugging a fully assembled desk chair up 3 flights of stairs is as fun as it sounds. Byron, of course, was eager to help, although he really didn't do anything. Ms Killsy wisely stayed in the bedroom, and when the old chair was moved--a chair she'd never acknowledged beyond meowing at its inhabitant when she needed attention--she immediately planted a flag that said "MINE!" She's been sleeping in it ever since. Don't worry about the boy with the feet, as Byron has stomped all over the new one, and when I'm out of it, it's clearly going to be his new sleeping/inappropriate-place-to-vomit spot.

      "FREE gas?!" you may have said. I didn't pump and jump. There was a Budweiser rebate, where you bought X amount of their product, sent in a rebate, and they sent back a $20 gift card. Okay, I didn't buy any of their water-flavored beer, other people did, and I saved their receipts and matched those to UPCs when I was doing the empties returns. All you can do in this crappy economy is reduce expenses or increase income, and the second is hard to do. Today I got a free bag of Flat Earth Veggie Crisps--mighty tasty, like Doritos except healthy, as they're not made out of shit. I got that because of a coupon for a free bag I got on Absurdly Cool Freebie Finder. That doesn't have a lot of stuff; you can find more on Freebies of the Day, although you have to dig through a few pages to find all the offers. Two I've only looked at over the last day: No Junk Free Stuff and Free Stuff Channel. The first doesn't update as frequently as the others (although it will save you time by telling you which offers have expired, as free offers can go within hours), and the second seems to have a lot of jump-through-hoops forms attached to its offers--if it seems like a too-good-to-be-true insane deal, it is, so if there's more than one step, don't waste your time. It also has bizarre shit like the Vacation in Burma (It's a RIOT!) CD.
      Obviously, use an email you only use for dumping spam into. And I may be a bit more into giving out my phone number, as I always have the answering machine on and am on the no-call list. But if you can get free shampoo, toothpaste, cat food--nothing reduces your expenses like getting something for nothing, yes?

      It's been like, what, 2 years? And you think that I don't update often.
      Speaking of which, have I linked yet to The Way of Cats? Well, I have now.

      "When the indigenous tribes first converted to Christianity, the locals named their children after the missionaries who preached to them. Subsequent generations started favoring words and names they were familiar with but didn't have a good understanding of.
      "'They may have heard of these names and personalities and it sounded nice to them,' Syiemlieh said. 'But it doesn't mean that they relate to Hitler or Frankenstein.'"

      Since we began with a decontextualized image, let's end with one.



      I'm not an Internet Meme guy, but this one Negaduck got seemed like my kinda thing:      These are in the order I think are easiest to hardest, but I may be wrong. (the first is a gimme, as there are 6 movie titles you could give and still be right). I think that they may get too hard after a while, as many of my favorite movies are pretty obscure. And there are more than 15, as IMDB doesn't have some of my favorite quotes. It has so few for my all-time favorite movie that it turns up twice. Put your answers in The Comments.      I'll post the answers whenever participation drops off, which could be tomorrow for all I know. Also: some of my favorite movies are really bad ones.


      One of my coworkers was rubbing his hands with glee over the FREE MONEY the government will soon be sending him, via the tax rebate. I asked how this was any different from the "tax rebate" of 5 years ago, when Bush sent $300 to you--and then deducted it from your tax refund the next year. I've since checked, and, yeah, it's the same deal. They're giving you money now, and then taking it away from you in the future.
      The last thing you should do with this money is what they want you to do: spend it all immediately. Either put it in your savings so it makes interest, or use it to pay down any debt, so you save on interest.
      It astonishes me that, after 7 years of looting the country, people still think that the Bush Administration would actually give money to the poor and middle class. You want free money from them? Change your name to Halliburton.


      I guess that I should've linked this 2 days ago when I first heard of it, as it's propagating all over the web: garfield minus garfield. Just Garfield strips minus the cat, making Jon seem insane and for some odd reason, quite funny. "Odd," as Garfield has never been funny.

      Those Flat Earth Crisps that I got for free were really pretty tasty (and also not made from shit), and I found out that you can get 2 coupons for a free bag, so here's the link for that. "Eat 'em! EAT 'EM!!" as the guy from the movie Q said! Wait, that was when a giant Aztec lizard was eating people...nevermind. That might put you off your lunch.

      I mentioned movies a day or so back, so I think that I'll give some capsule reviews of my recent Netflix rentals.

      Band of Brothers: I don't know why I occasionally rent TV series. They always suck. But this was the exception that proved the rule. No huge budget, no big stars, no ridiculous and idiotic script. The story of the 101st Airborne in WWII, and based on fucking FACT for goddamn once. I can't wait for disc #2.

      Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: This was the disc that had the longest wait in my queue--over 3 months! And the one the least worth the wait. While I've seen all the Potter movies, I find that I have very little memory of any of them. The one with the werewolf and the time travel? That I remember. The rest? Umm...I remember that the Bathroom Ghost Girl has the most annoying voice that I've ever heard, and that the one before this had a lot of that boring game on broomsticks, Quit-it. That's what it's called, right? Because I sure start screaming "QUIT-IT!!" any time they start playing it.
      I was going to blog about this the day after I saw it. But I remembered nothing. Nothing! Just a bunch of kids pointing sticks and yelling "POW!" And Valdemort, you should get in a cocaine treatment program. Your septum is more deviated than David Crosby's.

      Eragon: I rented this the same weekend as Potter, and this was TERRIBLE! Terribly HILARIOUS! It's so, SO unredeemably stupid and awful, that it's like the screenplay was written by a homeschooled 15-year-old!
      Oh, wait--IT WAS. Grab a 12-pack and a large pizza and your snarky friends, and oh the fun you will have!

      Film Crew: Wild Women of Wongo: By the Sci-Fi years guys of MST3K. Not bad, some good chuckles; not that good, no need to rent unless you really like the Sci-Fi years. Just get your witty friends and Eragon instead; you'll have much more fun.

      The King of Kong: I love me a good documentary! This wasn't as good as the critics say, but it's worth watching for video game geeks. It's about a guy who breaks some other guy's record Donkey Kong score. And the world, it yawns. But the champion has used his high score to build a mini-empire of hot sauces, and it's peopled with fawning lackeys who follow like rabid pitbulls. Why? Who knows? Maybe this pathetic bit of hanging on to some marginally "famous" asshole is the closest to any kind of fame they'll ever find. The film makers don't pass any judgement, as they don't have to: The first time you see Billy and his perfectly-coiffed Jesus mullet and black suit, your first thought will be "DOUCHE." And he lives right up to that. When his Donkey Kong high score is beaten, he (and his posse) refuse to accept it, as it's on videotape. It could be paused, and done on a non-regulation Donkey Kong machine! (There are regulation DK machines? Who knew? Who CARES?!) When the guy beats his score live, Billy sends in... a videotape. The worst videotape ever. And his sycophants declare that the new winner...And it just goes on. Over a fucking high score on Donkey Kong.

      Diva: I saw this, what, 25 years ago. It's awesome. Umm...really, that's my review. Although one of my favorite moments in cinema is when you find out what the ruthless skinhead has been listening to on his Walkman.
      "WALK...MAN." It was like an iPod. Ahhh, you kids today! In my day, we played records! And when we wanted music when we walked, we strapped Victrolas on our backs! And we liked it!

      Stephen King's Cat's Eye: Hey, there was a cat, so I rented it.
      I'd forgotten that there was a brief flourish of comedy-horror films like this and the Creepshow series in the 80s. It was funny, had a great special effect for its time in that gnome-monster (meaning: looks like absolute shit today). The scariest part was the in the opening credits: "A DINO DE LAURENTIIS FILM." No, nooo!!!

      There was also Fargo and Quiz Show, but I really don't have anything amusing to say about those. Based on the assumption that I've said anything amusing in the first place.


      Since my movie quote quiz only involved Negaduck (who got numbers 1, 3 and 12), and Ernst Bitterman (who got 9, with some other good guesses), here are the answers. The rest of you? FEH!
      (Remember: I did say that my tastes tended to the obscure, and frequently the very bad)



--correction note in the Citizen (UK)


      I was having a dream about Killsy, Byron and Byron's EVIL DOPPLEGANGER. Well, he wasn't all that evil; he was just using his perfect resemblance to Byron at about 4 months old to insuate himself into the household. (I assume that this is because yesterday I saw the cat across the condo courtyard, who is an astonishing all-white twin of Kill Kill when she was that age. Today Killsy herself finally saw her. I don't know what she was thinking, but she began to purr) I picked up the doppelganger to throw him out of our giant dream McMansion when the real Spock with a Beard woke me up: Byron, puking inches from my head. I stumbled blearily from bed, thinking "Why was I throwing that Byronesque kitten out? We had a huge house, there was plenty of room!" I cleaned up the warm goop before his stomach acid ate into the wood of the bed's headboard (trust me, it does). It was the crack of dawn, both in the literal sense (645AM) and the figurative (I usually get up for work at 11AM).
      I read my email and comics pages, but realized that this just making me more awake, so I tried to bore myself to sleep with Google. Hey, are there any new Dawn "Mary Ann" Wells pics online? Where's my site on her in the rankings? And guess what! I found Dawn's blog!
      Or not. It will only take a second to read; it's just 3 posts, and one's a deleted YouTube video (the still is apparently of Racquel Welch in One Million BC. I assume the connection is the True Fact that Ms Welch auditioned for the role of Mary Ann, but the casting director decided that the fresh-faced farm girl from Kansas role shouldn't go to someone with a bigger cup size than Ginger). If you're wondering why I'm bothering to link to this, it's because, while I assume a human had a hand in it, the text reads like something from a computer that got an F on its Turing Test. It begins with      Wow! Lesbian omission! That is so to sex of it. It was all posted by someone named "Scarlett," a name sure to invoke involuntary retching on the part of anyone who reads this page's Comments.
      I also found another Evil Doppelganger, this time purporting to be Dawn's MySpace page. Some people seem to believe that it is, but the url says to me, Oh No It Isn't.
      Never did fall back to sleep. I should've gone to my pre-net standbys, reading the Guinness Book of World Records (the old dictionary-thick version with almost no pictures) or the Dictionary of Wars. The entries of either one are individually interesting, but the constant stream of dates and numbers eventually put my brain into cold shutdown. From the latter I know that there was a War of Jenkin's Ear, when England went to war over a guy getting his ear cut off, but not so cut off that he couldn't keep it in a pickle jar. How about the War of the Oaken Bucket? Two city-states of old Italy went to war when one of them stole their bucket. While this is the second-stupidest war ever fought in all of history (the winner being Iraq War II: The Quickening Bankruptcy), it was, even more sadly, not fought between angry walruses and cats who is have cheezburgers.
      (Note: I just checked my old Hotmail account, and there's an ad for "SYNC by Microsoft" that uses the line "1337 in-car voice technology." Yeah, it's 1337. So expect within months an ad featuring a walrus screaming "WARE MY BUKKET SEATS?!" Why they think that you would trust your car to Microsoft, a company that is synonymous with the words fatal crash, is beyond my comprehension)

      Reviews: I went to the Indian restaurant and got onion bhajia, which is what we up northeast call hush puppies, but I think most of the country call "fritters." If you call them neither of those, they're basically like big oniony Tater Tots, without the taters. They were the first Indian food I've had that I didn't like. Not spicy enough, and I can only blame myself for eating something so oniony. I like onions, but the rest of my body doesn't. My mouth tastes like soap for some reason the next day, and my colon--well, it really doesn't like too many onions, let's leave it at that.
      On the other hand, I got some mind-flayingly spicy vindaloo, so I guess that it balances out from a D - and a B+ to a C.
      I got a free sample of JOOSE at work. As you might guess from its moronically misspelled name in a motorcycle-club faux-Gothic font, it was one of those "Red Bull and Booze" drinks. It was 9.9%! alcohol, double the proof of a regular beer, and at 24 ounces, double the size. It took me a long time to drink it. It was a weird and disorienting buzz, completely unlike regular beer. I'm glad that I have a 6-foot cat tree right next to my computer chair, as every single time I stood up after drinking JOOSE I had a major head rush that did its best to send me crashing to the floor. If I'd had, say, a curio cabinet next to my chair, I'll bet that I would've bashed my head in. Grade: D.
      Almost every film critic hated The Fountain, saying that it was too confusing and weird and incomprehensible. I found it confusing and weird, but by no means incomprehensible. The movie TELLS you what the Spanish story is about halfway through, and that's the key to unraveling the rest of it. Not incomprehensible at all. Okay, I'm an English major, and finding obscure meaning is in the job description.
      Half of the critics absolutely despised Across the Universe. I found it brilliant .
      So I rented Death at a Funeral, which half the critics hated, calling it unfunny. The review on Ebert and Some Guy was split that way, but the clips they showed looked way funny. And I found that--sometimes the other half of the critics are right. Your comedy's most likeable character probably shouldn't be the villain. And "funny" is in the "comedy" job description. Grade: 2 stars on Netflix.
      It was one of those 2-sided discs, with pan&scan on one side and letterbox on the other, and I put it wrong way up. The sides had different trailers; the P&S side was all comedies, and the LB side was all dramas. Are LB viewers like me considered more serious, or just less easy to amuse? Do Jim Carrey movies have the Eternal Sunshine of the Beautiful Mind trailer on the LB side, and Ace Ventura promos on the other? I guess that I'm just saying "LET ME ASS YOU A QUESTION!"

      Have you noticed that on my 2 days off, I barely update on Sunday, but don't shut the fuck up on Monday? I have. Odd, really.

      5 Books That Can Actually Make You Stupider":

      I think that I'll just stop linking to It's surpassed Something Awful and even the Onion (my colon: "DON'T TALK ABOUT ONIONS!!") as the most consistently funny, intelligent and even goddamn informative site on the tubes. (Check out this article, which is very angry and depressing for a humor page) Pretty sweet for a site that once described their parent magazine as "the one you'd always buy as a kid--right after they sold out of MAD." Here's the link to their main page. Bookmark it, for I shall never link thereupon again!

      And to close, Gene Simmons Made of Kittens.



      You're supposed to dump your chicken vindaloo over the basmati rice, but I always save the rice for other meals and keep the excess vindaloo sauce to use as a marinade. I had turkey vindaloo tonight. It was so good, I swallowed my first piece too quickly. It blocked my esophagus and I began to choke. My thoughts raced--oh fuck CATS DON'T KNOW HEIMLICH! was the first, followed by HOW DO I HEIMLICH MYSELF?! and I stuck my fingers in my ears. CAN'T BREATHE, EQUALIZE AIR PRESSURE, DON'T BURST EARDRUMS was followed by involuntary tears of pain and OH GOD MY EAR CANALS ARE ON FIRE FROM THE VINDALOO! PLUG EARS!! and a lot off coughing after I swallowed the Doom Lump. All this lasted about 45 seconds, but that's a long time when you're choking.
      As you are reading this, no one deaded me. And, after finishing my potentially murderous meal, found out how to self-administer the Heimlich.

      Over 10 years ago, in the very first News, I said

      OMIGOURD! EVIL PUSHERS have created STRAWBERRY METH, a fruitastic new way to HOOK our KIDS! And they--of course--GIVE IT AWAY TO THEM ON THE SCHOOLYARD!
      Oh, wait--no they fucking don't.
      Damn, why is it so hard for people to think this through? Giving away meth would make addicts, in exactly the same way giving children sports cars will make them buy a Mustang. Hey, wait! Kids can't afford to buy Mustangs! That's a very bad business model there, Mr Car Dealer! And Mr Pusher Man, you think that you'll get rich off of people buying drugs with their allowances? "Daddy, can I get my weekly allowance increased from $5 a week to $200 a day? You wouldn't believe what they're charging for Yu-Gi-Oh cards these days!" And if kids started tweaking, they'd just get their Ritalin dose upped.
      It's the people who believe this transparently obvious bullshit who must be on drugs.

      Speaking of gateway drugs, here's a short video of a 3-year-old summarizing Star Wars. She has some very good advice re: Lord Vader.

      Magnetic Levitation Gives Computer Users Sense Of Touch. The article talks about how this technology could let your feel the texture of something you're buying online, as no one has any idea of what a DVD or book feels like. It ignores the entire history of the Internet and that this will inevitably lead to the first fuckable monitor. Life imitates Videodrome.


      I got a Netflix DVD today. My first thought ws "Why?" They should've only received my last one today. When I opened it, it was a brand-new copy of Band of Brothers, Disc 3. I got that yesterday, dammit! I checked my account, and they were sending me another disc tomorrow. I get 2 discs at a a time, except now I have three.
      My only guess is that the second disc is brand new (you can tell by how the DVD sleeve feels--the older it is, the more like batik it feels). Maybe they sent out the first, but someone complained that it skipped, so they bought a new one and sent that out next.
      Or not. I've learned to never report a bad DVD to Netflix. And I've had two that, when opened, came out in pieces. Report it as bad, and they freeze your account, and don't send you anything until you complain that they aren't sending you anything.
      I watch Band of Brothers on Mondays anyway. I'll send the old DVD back with my Sunday movie, and gain a second chance at getting the Tuesday new release.
      Speaking of Band of Brothers, it is incredible. Gotta love those battle scenes--terrifying utter chaos, but never confusing as to who's where, and what they're trying to do. And, as it's based on fact, you never know when a character's going to die. Everyone is Janet Leigh in Psycho. One episode opened with the words "Operation: Market Garden." Maybe your instant reaction to those words isn't "OMG those poor bastards!" but mine was. (Market-Garden was a disastrous Allied operation after D-Day, a tribute to both terrible intelligence and Field Marshall Montgomery's ego. If the words "Market-Garden" mean nothing, the words "Hey, there weren't supposed to be 2 crack Waffen-SS panzer divisions right here!" should)
      And they serve WW2 geeks like me. GIving the soldiers realistic firearms, sure. Making actual replicas of the tanks, that really was unnecessary . How many average TV viewers are going to know the difference between a Sherman and a Jagdpanther? Even I wouldn't notice if they gave the Brits Shermans instead of Cromwells, the the ugliest tank ever built. Hey, England, could you have found bigger rivets? It looks like it's held together with giant Mentos and that single button from Dagwood Bumstead's shirt.






      Thanks to Camilla and Lilly for the heads-up, but I'd already heard on the radio that Dawn "Mary Ann" Wells was sentenced for possession. How AWESOME. She's 69 years old! And check out that mugshot--obviously dyed hair, but yeah, you wish that you'll look like that when you're 69. (and apparently, that is how she looks--it's Tina "Ginger Grant" Louise who's had the unending facelifts). But she's 5'5"? She's either wearing heels, or standing on a box.
      The one thing that the article doesn't mention is that this has happened before. (I'd give you the link, but my Geocities page is down, almost certainly because of people searching for this story) And that was even cooler--she was caught buying weed for fucking Gilligan!
      And you people wonder why I love her so. Is it too late to get arrested for something and be her cellmate?
      One out of every hundred Americans is in prison. And now one of them is Mary Ann. Another might be Governor Splooger Spitzer, for banging whores. WHO CARES? These are victimless crimes. The rest of the world, outside of bugfuck insane Muslim dictatorships, laughs at our hypocrisy. If you're a politician decrying the decline of moral values, apparently it's a dead-on certainty that you're doing something worse. Cracking down on crime? Doing hookers. Republican who hates the hateful fags? Closeted fag-fucker. Defending our FREEDOM! against the Muslimist hordes? Destroying freedom, tapping everyone's phones, in love with torture.
      Thank you, America, from saving us from the terrible threat of pot-smoking Mary Ann! She could go into some sort of munchies-induced homicidal frenzy, and kill me for my coconut cream pie. It's not like you had anything better to care about. Like, dunno, some unwinnable war, or a crumbling infrastructure, or a collapsing economy. Just keep incarcerating those monstrous victimless crimelords!

      A haunting, near-poetic look at the Life and death of an urban recluse.

      This happened in Finland. I read a similar story in the English paper the Guardian several months back. It ended wondering how horribly lonely it must've been for the man who died, despite the fact that he'd willingly cut off all contact with other people.
      Hell, in 30 or 50 years, this is how I'll probably be found. Only my job would follow up on me not appearing without a reason, but I see my family 4 or 5 times a year, and my few friends all expect me to call them, not the other way around. Shit, you guys reading this will find out first, as I'd never permanently sign off this blog without giving a reason. I'm not planning on dying soon, but who's to say if there'll still be a web when I die?
      The thought doesn't bother me (hey, I'll be dead and nothing will be bothering me). All I hope is that I die after any cats do. Nobody will take care of them like I do.

      To continue with cats, and move on to a less morbid subject, I bought this year's Converse All Stars from a website with great prices, free shipping, and the utterly retarded name (does the word "cafeteria" have positive connotations to anybody?). Like last year, Killsy cat went all crazy, rubbing her face and body all over the shoes. Byron, normally the insanier member of the family, simply stared in disbelief. She even complained when I took the shoe away. I returned it, covered in white cat hair, and she slept with her head on it for a while. Then she crawled into the box it came in. And she's no size 7 1/2. (I took a picture, but it came out bad) Then she awoke and ignored the sneaker, as she will until the next time I buy new ones.



--from the movie Tarzan the Ape Man (1932)

      The 20 Biggest Record Company Screw-Ups of All Time. Although like many a list like this, "of all time" means "mainly the last 15 years."


      I had some empty bottles that I needed to return for deposit, so I brought a beer box home. Not to put the empties in, of course. They'd have to go in the old beer box that was already on the floor, as nothing spells Excitement!! to a cat more than a new box.
      Surprisingly, it was Byron who was first into the box. Then they had their wet food, and Killsy jumped in. She's always been a connoisseur of fine boxes. But Byron, who has never much cared for the boxy arts, decided like a toddler that if she wanted it, he wanted it. He launched a frontal attack, biting and swiping at her. Any military strategist will tell you that this is never a good idea against a defensive position, especially if the defender outweighs you, both in size and ass-kicking abilities. She cleverly drew him away by running into the living room with him in hot pursuit, then racing back to jump in the new box. One of the oldest tricks in the book, a false retreat!
      Eventually, she left it to eat. And he immmediately jumped in the new box. She appraised the new situation by giving it a sniff, then pawing at the shoebox from a coupla days ago. It had fallen over and closed itself, so I opened it up. She began batting at something inside it, leaning down to sniff at it, and making little pounces. Was there a toy inside? Or a naughty bug? Byron watched her, and couldn't fight his curiousity any longer. What was in the shoebox?! He jumped out to investigate--and Killsy instantly jumped into the new box. The shoebox held no bug or toy; it was empty. It was all a clever ruse!
      The amazing thing was that she didn't spend any time thinking this out. She immediately went straight to her cunning plan. She knew, somehow, the perfect way to distract him. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: animals are so much smarter than we think.
      And today? They've both had time to get their scents on the new box, and now neither cares which cat is in it.


      I've always been baffled by the sub-prime mortgage disaster--what did either side have to gain from giving houses to people who couldn't afford them? My only guess was based on the SNL bailout 20 years ago, under another Republican figurehead president: The government would bail out the rich guys, and let the real victims twist slowly, slowly in the wind. And that guess might be right:
      "This week, Bernanke’s Fed, for the first time in its history, loaned a selected coterie of banks one-fifth of a trillion dollars to guarantee these banks’ mortgage-backed junk bonds. The deluge of public loot was an eye-popping windfall to the very banking predators who have brought two million families to the brink of foreclosure.
Up until Wednesday, there was one single, lonely politician who stood in the way of this creepy little assignation at the bankers’ bordello: Eliot Spitzer.
Who are they kidding? Spitzer’s lynching and the bankers’ enriching are intimately tied.
How? Follow the money."




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