On Cloud 8 in Sixth Heaven

NEW 93

"For money you can have everything, it is said.
No, that is not true.
You can buy food, but not appetite; medicine, but not health; soft beds, but not sleep; knowledge, but not intelligence; glitter, but not comfort; fun, but not pleasure; acquaintances, but not friendship;
servants, but not faithfulness; grey hair, but not honor; quiet days, but not peace.
The shell of all things you can get for money. But not the kernel. That cannot be had for money."
- -Arne Garborg


      I sent back the free wireless mouse I got last month, and while a mouse with a scroll wheel was something I Needed, I decided to use my HomeScan points to get something I Maybe Needed, a shredder. Not just from the fear of identity theft, but because I was throwing away paper that could be otherwise recycled. (I was originally planning on just shredding sensitive documents, such as payroll stubs and bank and charge statements, but I've decided to shred random junkmail, too, just to reduce the signal-to-noise ratio, especially when the first thing to be shredded was something with my Social Security number on it and it was still potentially able to be pieced together)
      Byron was fascinated by the two boxes it came in, but Kays was, oddly, more interested in the actual machine.


      She slept in front of it for 2 hours. KK+Royal StripCut Shredder model#js800=BFF! Yeah, I thought, and when I turn it on, you'll love it just as much as you do the vacuum. And when she left and I tried it out--she actually watched it gobble paper with great interest, not scared a bit. Unusual for a cat who'll run away when I come back in the house because I forgot something a few seconds after leaving.

      In the spirit of fairness, here's Toemaster B sunning himself in the courtyard window this morn:


      And if you squint really hard above his shoulder...

      ...there's the Kill Kill Klone Kitten across the way.

      A ways back I linked to a story about the worst walk to school ever. I don't have the link anymore, but you'll recognize it from the second picture on this story about its happy ending.

      One big page of thumbnails of pre-web sci-fi fanzine covers. Most are of the roll-your-eyes variety, although you might think "Before there was a net--I might've bought that!" Just be glad that you live in a time when your only sci-fi geekdom choice wasn't limited to Logan's Run. There's only one that I really like for itself:

      "You never give me your money; you only strangle me with your Force powers..."

      I've been reading Mallard Fillmore, a terribly dumb and unfunny comic strip that's all kneejerk right-wing talking points, combined with the drunk-driving trogolydyte cartoonist's bizarre tangents and art that frequently veers into the "that's a drawing of what, now?" territory. Every million or so strips, he says something rational, such as making fun of the Zero Tolerance policies of public schools. And he'll illustrate it not with a true incident like the 8 year old who was suspended for pointing a fucking french fry at another kid and saying "Bang!", but the girl who was suspended for bringing a 6-inch steak knife to school. That's like complaining that they confiscated her bayonet.
      Really, the only reason I started reading this was because of Duck and Cover, a site that makes fun of Mallard with pithy snark. I've toyed with the idea of doing the same with Chuck Asay, a competent cartoonist who's a kneejerk right-wing talking-points-spewing trogolydyte that specializes in Straw Man Attacks, and bathes in the rich, soupy lager of hypocrisy. My blog, of course, would be called "UpChuck."


      Whoa! The Axis of Evil, Franklin Roosevelt (Socialist!!), Jimmy Carter ("He's history's greatest monster!") and Thomas Jefferson (wrote the Declaration of Independence, much of the Constitution, lives on in the phrase "Jeffersonian Democracy," and slept with a Negress!!!) conspire! Who knew that beyond their many other crimes (such as Carter's vile creation of "Habitrail for Humanity," which forces poor humans to live in hamster houses and squeeze through plastic tubes to get their food) that they were also graffiti taggers? And apparently, Liberal Fascist FDR had his Nazi mad scientists abort innocent stem cells to give him the ability to leave his wheelchair! No doubt, when they did this he shrieked like Dr Strangelove, "MEIN FUHRER! I CAN WALK!" Yeah, Mengele did it. Because I don't think Jesus would do that "You may walk again" shit.
      Hypocrisy: Yeah, damn Demon-rats won't let the PEOPLE choose their candidate! I've been subjecting myself to this guy for a year, and believe me, his big dilemma after the choice is made is how he can call Clinton "power-mad" without using the word "bitch" and giving away that he hates women, and how he can call him "HUSSEIN!" Obama to make people think he's a secret Muslim without letting on that he really thinks that Barack can't be president because he's an uppity nigger. But that's really the whole Republican party's challenge this year, isn't it? Getting Joe Six-Pack/50-IQ-Points to get the subliminal message?
      Oh, the hypocrisy part: Because the PEOPLE elected Bush president. Twice. Five People on the Supreme Court in 2000, and in 2004, the People who programmed the Diebold machines.
      But I don't know if I could do a blog on him. There are too many times like today, when I look upon his mighty works and despair, jaw agape:


      Hypocrisy? You're soaking in it!
      WWJnotD? Anything about climate change! He was all about protecting oil company profits! Sure, it will doom the whole world, but unless there's a Tribulation, he ain't gonnna come back!
      Hypocrisy, panel by panel: Feeding the hungry. Sharing resources. Reaching out to those less fortunate. Clothing the naked. SOCIALIZED MEDICINE! As a total: Helping the poor and homeless--=WELFARE STATE! You think Chuck Asswipe is in favor of those things? Of course not! Every other cartoon by him hates that evil stuff that might alleviate the suffering of the least of my brothers--in fact, ALL of the world's brothers and sisters--by raising taxes on the rich and corporate. Render unto Caesar? Are you nuts?! Blessed are the profit makers, for they will inherit the stock dividends! Blessed are the meek, for they will work in our sweatshops!
      But damn those fucking Southern Baptists!! They're the most bleeding-heart liberal moonbats in the world! WWJD? He'd fuck the world! Christ hates polar bears, it's in the bible!
      I don't know if I could blog Chuckie. I am on blood pressure meds, you know.
      And if I did, then I'd just be a part of the Atheist Apocalypse.


      I watched No Country For Old Men last night. WOW. Really good. It's one of those movies that grabs you with the first shot, and doesn't let go. Of your throat. While it's killing you.
      Which is pretty much what it was about. Some cowpoke stumbles across a massacre of a drug deal gone bad, and two million dollars. He decides to keep the money, but then decides to bring some water to the only guy in the massacre who's still (barely) alive. And that is a very big mistake.
      He draws the attention of a fixer armed with the most bizarre weapon seen outside of an 80s 007 movie, and he's an implacable and cold-blooded killing machine--how cold-blooded? Bose-Einstein condensate-blooded! He's that cold!
      (I apologize to any readers who hate Kelvin jokes)
      Some were confused or disappointed by the ending. And it doesn't so much have an ending, but just ends. I didn't find it confusing at all, and if you want a "satisfying" Hollywood ending, shit, don't you watch you no Coen Brothers movies from here on in. My take is that (not a spoiler here, I think) one character is ineffectual, another soon to die, and the other....Well, that could be a spoiler. It's definitely worth the rental.

      Somebody left a batch of FREE TICKETS at work! Oh, wait, "Admit one child under 12 yrs." I'd need a lot of Nair and also learn to pitch my resonant radio announcer voice in a Michael Jackson octave for that to ever work. Let's see, it's for the "KID'S FUN FAIR & AWESOME TRAVELING ZOO." It's billed as "A Comfortable Fun Indoor Event." One can "RIDE THE ELEPHANTS & CAMELS," although the clip-art shows a girl riding a Galapagos turtle. It also shows animals from 4 other completely different bits of clip-art.
      There's a zebu and an emu! I don't know what a zebu is (a zebra crossed with a gnu? I don't think that's biologically possible), but Emu! I loved his stand-up work in the 90s! Whatever happened to Emu Phillips?
      "See the UniCow It's real, it's live, it's here!" It's a poor mutant cow with one fused horn. It'd better shit rainbows! "Teenie Weenie Horse--Giant Rat" I hope that's a steel cage match! Where "Only one will trot or scamper away!" and, best of all--"REAL MONKEY FARM"
      Holy shit no way! Not some sham Monkey Farm! Not some lame-o Monkey Co-Op! A REAL MONKEY FARM!! Is it like a puppy mill, and they breed them? When they finish their hot monkey sex, do they smoke a cigarette, or gaze into each other's eyes and ask "Honey--do you want to go fling poo at the neighbors?" "Oh, sweetie, you're so romantic!"
      Or is it an actual MONKEY FARM? Are they dressed in overalls and carrying little pitchforks and plow the sorghum? Do they saddle the Teenie Weenie Horse and lasso the Giant Rat? Milk the UniCow? Do they chew banana tobacco and talk about ethanol subsidies?
      HOLY MONKEY POO! I almost missed the best part! They promise a "GIANT PYTHON" John Cleese will obviously be there!!

      There was an url on the ticket, so I checked it out: Commerford Zoo. And you think that my page hasn't changed in 11 years? Besides the embedded video, their webpage looks like it hasn't changed since 1953. While there is not ONE TINY SCRAP about the REAL MONKEY FARM, there is a very brief shot of UniCow. Mainly it's exciting stuff like a beer-bellied senior in a red polo shirt leading a camel around. And "rides" that apparently involve stuffed animals getting reamed up the ass by rotating poles, just like your child's most favoritest hentai anime.
      You need to watch the video. Sure, it took 8 minutes to load all 94 seconds of it, and I have ADSL. They can't upload quickly, they're stuck in 1953! And the fat guy in the red polo shirt has camels to lead! And REAL MONKEY FARMS to cheat us out of! First Tod Holton ripped me off with the magic monkeys, now this! WHERE MY MONKEYS, stupid internet!


      That weird drawing of Cap'n Crunch counting his Benjamins that's the current Comments link? I just grab the first Google image search for "comment" that makes me laugh. I never checked the actual context.
      Today someone came into the store wearing a shirt clearly by the same artist. It was a psychotic Sylvester the Cat, strapped to a suicide bomber's vest, but with all the TNT replaced by rolls of hundred dollar bills.
      No, I have no idea either.


      No matter if you "denounce and repudiate" someone, you are personally held responsible for everything everyone who isn't you ever said, even if you disagree completely with it. Think of it as "Six Degrees of Joe McCarthy."
      No, I have no idea why the out-of-context quote "God damn America" is spelled "God. Damn America." When I stub my toe, I don't yell "God. DAMMIT!!!" There is the possibility that Chuck was wanking as he finished drawing this, and didn't wipe off all the splooge.

      Inevitable Hypocrisy: But it's okay if you're John McCain. He sought out the endorsement of John Hagee, who considers Catholicism "The Great Whore," the direct cause of Hitler and the Holocaust, and thinks that the Pope is the Antichrist. It's okay because Hagee's an angry, hate-filled, bigoted religious whacko who's white.
      Think I'm exaggerating? Here's his cartoon from yesterday:

      Umm, church-given political endorsements are illegal, unless they want to lose their tax-exempt status. And you may be UTTERLY AMAZED to discover that churches violating this by telling their congregations to vote Republican aren't being prosecuted by Bush's IRS. When you say "God bless America--and DAMN TO HELL EVERYONE IN IT WHO ISN'T EXACTLY LIKE CHUCK ASAY!" that's okay. Especially if the politically-active minister is--wait, it's a color, but I can't remember which...
      Sorry. That should've read "God. Bless America."


      ...to which I might add, having worked in department stores, it was probably asked to somebody from Customer Service passing through the computer or TV department, where, no, they have not been trained to help you in a way you will find sufficient.
      New dept. store workers always try to help customers when they've started their jobs. And no matter how many times you preface that with "I'll try, but I don't work in the stereo/major appliances/blender department, so I don't know much about them," eventually you'll find yourself saying "I don't know; it's not my department." And then the asshole will snarl "I guess you don't know much about ANYTHING!" And you'll say "No, I work in the music and video department, do you have a question about that?" And they still blame you for not knowing what you have no reason to know, and stomp away cursing.
      Hey, that construction worker building an addition to the hospital? Why don't you ask him to do your fucking appendectomy? It's not like they don't work in the same building!

      Apropos of that, there's a comic strip called Retail. I always decry these narrowcasted strips, but this is obviously written by someone who worked in retail, and possibly still does, so I approve narrowcasting to me. Possibly only funny if you work retail.

      Well...UpChuck is updating more than I thought. Will this be a daily job? Is it worth my time and yours? Take the poll at the end!


      Whoa! Ya threw me there, Chuck! You're actually admitting that there is a recession, and that the problem is Bush's policies? You really don't think it's because of Obama's pastor, or Hillary's husband? What, you some kinda fucking commie now?!
      And--I kinda agree. If the solution to everything is just "lower interest half a point," there will be a point where there's no interest to lower. And Greenspan's constant lowering of interest led directly to the subprime crisis that could destroy the whole world's economy.
      One has to wonder what Chuckie's solution would be. The Republican Tax Cuts For The Rich Panacea? The Cut Funding For Social Programs, Fuck the Poor Fix-It? It's a pretty safe bet his choice isn't the real drain on the economy, the Stop Spending $10B a MONTH in Iraq Solution.
      My solution? Tonight my dinner was about 60 cents worth of Flat Earth chips, and 12.5 cents worth of ramen.

      Do you like this, or am I annoying you? Take the poll! It's called Your Title, because I didn't know that field was mandatory!




      My store has several restaurants behind it, and next to the trash-only and cardboard-only dumpsters, there are 2 grease-only dumpsters. Little squat things. In all the years I've worked there, there was never a problem with them. But recently there's been cooking oil all over that part of the parking lot. I wondered if one had been spilled when it was being emptied.
      It's a huge oil spill. Viewed from our second-story stockroom when it rains, it's amazing to see. It can be a downpour and all of the parking lot is pooling in water, but it just beads off of the slick.
      I was in the stockroom today, and saw a guy using a short length of cut garden hose to siphon the used grease into a jug. Which means he had to suck on the grease hose to get it going, eww. Then he noticed that it wasn't locked down, and he used his other tools, the top halves of some bleach bottles, to scoop it out and funnel it in. And he was dripping the shit everywhere. Here was our Exxon Valdez. And he had a whole routine down: a roll of paper towels to repeatedly wipe the rancid grease off, and he walked all the way over to the sidewalk to scrape it off the soles of his shoes.
      I guess that he was taking it for biofuel. Which is weird; I read an article on cars that run on that 2 years ago, and one of the advantages the bio enthusiasts listed was that restaurants are happy to give the grease away, because it means that they don't have to get rid of it. Why was this guy going through the trouble of stealing it, when he could just have it for the asking? It's like purse-snatching someone's plastic bag of dog shit.
      And if he's doing it for the environment--all that spilled oil's going somewhere. When it rains, most goes right into the storm sewers. I'm sure that's appreciated.

      Speaking of dog shit, I got my first FREE thing from my visits to free internet sites! "Pet Butler"--they had me at "free fridge magnet"! And--well, that's as far as I went. I got my magnet today, as well as a bumper sticker I can't imagine any human being using, unless it was the only way to keep the bumper from falling off: "GOT POOP? We Scoop!" I thought that it was for some doggie doody grabbing device, but no, it is for a service that picks up your dogshit so you don't have to. Don't believe me? Check it out (and get a free magnet, and a lot of dogshit-related puns). Sadly, I can't tell you what this service--which could be just as easily handled (ahem) with a few plastic bags--costs, as they don't offer it in my zipcode. The franchise for handling other people's dogshit is open! DREAM JOB!
      While I have your attention, I feel I must take this moment to say the words "cats are the superior pet" and "litter box."

      Jeez, 5 votes on the poll?! I guess that I can assume that most people have no problem with it. For those who voted--and maybe you lazy asses who didn't--let me rephrase the question, and don't choose answer 2 unless you mean "I'd bookmark it and read it":

      Of course, it is a holiday weekend, so maybe people have better things to do. Maybe do the dishes; that's probably a better use of your time. I'm going to run the poll at the bottom of each new post for a while (since you can only vote once anyway), while I figure out what I'll do.




      I didn't even know Mr. J. H. Christ was on the ballot!
      Okay, this is the first one to make me wanna upchuck. Apparently the image of Jesus that Chuck carries in his mind is the horrifically tortured and painfully dying Jesus of The Passion of the Anti-Semite Mel Gibson. Unless that's a dirty homeless wounded veteran suffering from PTSD and who can no longer afford any pain meds, and I doubt that a right-wing loonie like Chuckie looks on them with any "love." His idea of "love' would be seeing them desperately begging on the street and screaming "GET A JOB!!"
      It's so weird. There's no ironic comparison of the candidate's viewpoints with Love. In fact, unless you think "progress" and "experience" are bad things, the one who comes off the worst is McOld. He's going to help his friends when he's prez? Thanks, but we've had that "heckuva job" kind of cronyism for 7 years. Note the background crowds--they're all happy (a nice touch on Chuck's part--no, seriously, I mean it; Chuck's a gifted cartoonist with a great eye for detail--is Bill in the Clinton one). Happy except in the last, where everyone is horrified. Shit, I'd be horrified too, seeing someone that horribly tortured. Why Chuck didn't just draw a Happy Smiley Jesus is beyond me. The "Happy Easter!" at the bottom makes it sound like it's being spoken ironically. (movie trailer voice) "COMING this spring! Happy Easter!--ZOMBIE JESUS has RISEN FROM THE DEAD! And this time, your BRAINS are the loaves and fishes!" That's what really makes this kinda inexplicable. I feel like I'm looking at one of those weird only-the-artist-understands-this Jesus comics Jonny Hart would periodically whip out in B.C. (Did Hart even know what the letters "B.C." meant? To cavemen? They didn't stand for "Before Cable")
      HypocrAsay: (Did you see what I did there?! Hypocrisy crossed with Chuck Asay! Me genius!) Showing a tortured Jesus from a guy who's pro-torture; calling "LOVE" the greatest virtue from a man full of hate; and what would Jesus think of the endless Iraq war Chuck so loves? WWJCB? Who Would Jesus Cluster Bomb?

      Same poll from yesterday. If you voted already, you can't again (although you can comment on it). Current results overwhelmingly favor keeping it here. Fine with me; while it'd be cool to have a "modern" blog with a blogroll n stuff, I'd have to learn how to do that. Voting will remain open for the next few days.




      Easter with the family was good (read: brief). I was ordered by my mother to bring a bottle of good wine, and I did: Sharpe Hill's Ballet of Angels, a delicious, crisp white grown right here in Connecticut. I won't make that mistake again. Everyone muttered about it, acting like I'd brought a bottle of Shit Heap's Barrel of Monkey Piss. One glass was drunk, and it was by me. I assume that the next orifice that tasted it was the garbage disposal. Because why would you trust a wine recommended by some guy who's worked in a fucking liquor store for over a decade?


      Good thing I'm not a doctor. They'd get a bladder infection, I'd recommend antibiotics, and they would apply leeches to their carotid arteries.

      I bought some Purina One cat food today, as I had a coupon about to expire, and the One bag had a coupon of its own: Two free cans of Fancy Feast "Elegant Medleys." I like me the free! Each can was double the price of a can of Friskies, while only being half the size. Gotta give this to Fancy Feast: it looks good enough for a human to eat. Both kids came a-runnin' when I opened the One dry food and gave them some. Both regarded the Fancy Feast with utter disdain. Neither had even a single bite, and 90 minutes later, it doesn't look like they ever will. Is that Fancy Feast's market? People who are so poor they have to eat cat food? Throw a can into some ramen, you might have a meal!
      No, I am not testing my theory. With the way the economy's going--maybe next year I will. Hope there's a coupon!

      If I sounded unduly thrilled to get a fridge magnet from a dogshit removal service, it's because I was beginning to think that I wasn't going to get any of the freebies I ordered. I thought that they'd start coming at a steady stream around mid-March and--hey, here they are!
      Today I got a Pledge Multi Surface Wipe, and a $1 off coupon. Recommended for wood, glass, metal and "DO NOT USE AS A BABY WIPE." What makes them so sure that my baby isn't made of aluminum? I also got 2 packets of Sun Crystals Natural Sweetener (they assure you that Erythritol is natural, and not the name of an alien planet in Doctor Who, or an Elven city in Tolkein), with a $1.50 coupon, although it looks like I'd have drive 30 miles one way to redeem it. And a DVD! "The FINAL EVENTS of Bible Prophecy"! The cover has some explodey planet (Erythritol under Dalek attack, maybe), some hilarious random binary ("0011 1010 1111," etc) because that makes it TOTALLY more believable, a guy in a business suit and a gas mask either shaking his fist or rolling dice ("C'mon, 666! Baby needs a new apocalypse!"), an M1 tank, the Twin Towers exploding, and the whitest First Century Jew you ever did see, Aryan Jesus wearing a Burger King crown and conversing with the winner of the Littlest Aryan Nation Girl Ever contest (that award is called the "Goosesteppy"). The obverse assures us of "Stunning visuals and special effects" (that look like they came from a 15-year-old computer game) that lead "to when the earth will be restored to its Edenic wonder!" Depicted as Aryan Jesus Burger King of Kings rubbing himself against 9 children, exactly one of which is not lily white, and all wearing white robes and not, as you might think, brownshirts. I don't have the time to watch this now, but I'm sure you'll get a report at some point. So far, it stinks. Literally. I opened it up, and impossible as this sounds, it smells like plastic that's rotting. It doesn't smell as bad as The Apartment, but it still smells all gross and Antichristy.
      I held my nose long enough to see that the DVD has a website. Watching the trailer seems like work, so I won't bother. Note that its only review is a thumbs-up from the entire state of California.

      What I did watch tonight was the anime Vexille with Kev and Meg (and their puppy Stella, who loves me far more physically than someone used to the more gentle snugglings of cats). Here's pair of trailers, although it really doesn't tell you anything but its most basic premise. They also give no clue as to how absolutely gorgeous the animation is; in the trailers, it all looks like cutscenes from a Final Fantasy game. While it was entertaining, it's like many American action movies--looks great, never bores, and is really loud, confusing and dumb. Particularly the utterly unexplained Dune-style metal sandworms. (SPOILER--highlight to read) It also ends with what's supposed to be a happy ending, but involves every single person in Japan dying. Apparently it will eventually be available from Netflix.

      John McCain writes a computing machine pamphlet report. It's amusing; you should read it. I said READ IT, you motherfucking shithead asshole!

      Last day for the poll. It looks like it's all over bar the shouting.



      More free stuff today! It's like Christmas! A really cheap, crappy Christmas!
      A packet of "2X Ultra Tide with Dawn." No, not Dawn Wells, drat it. I'm also not sure what two times Ultra equals. Infinity? Or what putting dishwashing liquid in my detergent is supposed to do. "Helps remove tough food stains" it says, although there is no indication on how well it remove tough clothing from food.
      One thing about the freebie sites is that sometimes they take you directly to offers that don't explain what the product is. I think that may be why I ordered a sample of Nutrilite Rhodiola 110. I must've thought that it was a vitamin supplement, which it is, but for runners. It's vitamin C, caffeine, rhodiola and acerola and acerola cherries, whatever those things are (they're asterisked as "Daily nutritional value not established," so I would assume that they do nothing), and spinach. Well, blow me down! This should come in handy if I ever need to run after Bluto.

      Poll is done; 6 to 1 say keep UpChuck here. By a vote of 7; why the other 25 or so readers didn't vote, I don't know. I'll take silence as a "yes." And that one naysayer from the first poll who decided that they could "tolerate" it--maybe Chuckie's just a tad more insane than you've seen so far. You know that fake conservative cartoonist the Onion has? I thought that his satire was way over the top. Now I read Chuck. That Onion guy's a fucking lib.


      Crimeny, Chuck, half the stuff in a "health food" store is worthless. All you have to do is call it a "supplement" and not "medicine" and be sufficiently vague about what it's supposed to do, and it's legal to sell it. The reason you have to go to Mexico to get a coffee enema is because they're claiming that it's a cure for cancer, when it really doesn't do anything more than make your anus really awake.
      Ever notice how whenever rightwingers start barking about Big Gummint's powers, they always hit on the FDA, the EPA, OSHA, Medicare, Social Security...things that actually help the average person? But signing statements, habeus corpus, extraordinary rendition, wiretapping, torture--those are okay, as Bush needs those powers to save us from the Scary Brown People. But the one part of Big Gummint they're never against is anything the Gummint does to help giant corporations. Here, Chuck warns us about the goon squads taking away untested medications that don't work, and that's an Orwellian nightmare. Do you know how many CEOs whose Lambourghinis were repo'ed when the Gummint took away the healing powers of Thalidomide? Will no one think of the children?! (The CEOs children's trust funds I mean, not the Thalidomide children)
      Oh, but when it comes to some "science" that every researcher not getting a paycheck from Exxon says is correct, why, it's just like the ooga-booga mumbo-jumbo that the savage darkies (with bones in their noses) in Africa believe! It's not reasonable, like a fundamentalist Southern Baptist snake-handler writhing on the floor speaking in tongues would be in a civilized country! (I think Chuck's letting a bit more of his inner racist out here than he realizes--I'm surprised he didn't draw a big cannibal pot with Cheney and some watermelons in it)
      HypocrAsay: None. Hypocrisy is when you condemn somebody you oppose for something you approve of when it's done by someone on your side. It's not when you ignore reality. Bush helmed all the regulatory departments in the government with hacks and cronies, frequently hired directly from the industries they were supposed to oversee. Why do you think it took so long for Vioxx to be taken off the market? The FDA approved it without adequate testing, then dragged its feet over banning it even after it was killing people. The EPA doesn't give a shit about climate change. Is Chuck so fucking stupid he doesn't know this, or is he lying? Since I seem to have no memory of the time the EPA roughed me up for $850 in Gore blood money, I'll say "probably both."

      New rule for me: No Chuck before bedtime! I saw the above image just before logging off, and it pissed me off so that I couldn't fall asleep until 4AM. And yet, when I awoke, my brain had dutifully deleted it completely from my mind. I Googled him at work, as I didn't memorize the 2 sites I see his cartoons on. Yes, two. They show them in different orders, sometimes days apart. And I found a 3rd one, that also ran ones I haven't seen! It's as confusing as how Chuck dresses himself in the morning! Because seriously--the man is batshit bugfuck.


      The "kid hears an unfamiliar phrase and interprets it literally" is apropos when the protagonist is Jeffy in the Family Circle. When an adult thinks "gun violence" means "anthropomorphic handguns laying a beatdown on each other" in a literal pistol whipping, Chuck's saying that the average NRA member has the mental capacities of a 4 year old. If only there was room enough left for Forrest Chump to react to the "Cars" comment with a mental image of the hippie van from the Pixar cartoon getting savagely beaten by those rednecks Sarge and Mater.
      It's illegal to blow someone up with dynamite, yes? And exactly how many times in the last 65 years has Bugs Bunny tossed TNT at responsible gun owner and general retard Elmer Fudd? Too many! We must stop Anthropomorphic Rabbit Violence! And what about Anthropomorphic Robot Violence? Every day that Megatron walks free brings us a day closer to the Decepticon Caliphate! Cockfighting's illegal, sure, so why are Rock'em Sock'em Robots okay?
      Ignore that last paragraph. That's not what he's saying here. Again no HypocrAsay, so how about insanity+Asay=InsanitAsay as a tag? Chuckles isn't arguing here in favor of the 2nd Amendment, he's arguing in favor of gun violence. And vehicular homicide. Hey, murderers have rights, too!
      BTW, did you know that to drive a car, you have to take weeks of lessons, pass a safety test, get a photo ID, register every car you own with the government and get not one, but counting the plate, 2 licenses for it? Just like guns! Wait. No, in most states you don't have to do any of that to get a gun, just a car. But it's okay--you people who say that cars are rarely used to kill, when that's the only reason guns are for? I'll have you know that every day I ride to work on a sniper rifle.
      And when does Chuck start on the cars?


      Cars don't kill people, fuel efficient cars kill people! Who killed the electric car? It was either him or us!
      Seriously--WTF? Someone needs to explain to this motherChucker that a Prius doesn't get good mileage because it's made out of pretzels and Marshmallow Fluff and disintegrates when it hits a pothole. It also doesn't run better with a tank of freshly-killed human blood. And Christine was a 50s gas guzzler.
      America's automakers have so far used hybrid technology not to make sedans that get 80MPG, but SUVs that get 30. Due to their propensity for rollovers, SUVs are actually less safe than cars, trucks, vans and possibly anything besides a Roman chariot. Don't see Chuck making no toons against SUVs. Although I will grant him this: not one single person in history was ever injured or killed in a car before gas mileages got above 28MPG.
      Reality: Automakers and half of Congress have fought to keep CAFE standards no higher than they were 30 years ago. And if they ever improve them, the method won't be to "build the cars out of rabid baboons with baseball bats that feast on human spleens." But at least he can't get anymore droolbucket screamybrainthoughts than this! Remember back in the 90s, when Hillary claimed that there was "a vast right-wing conspiracy" to destroy the Clintons? Now THAT was totally crazy tinfoil hat paranoia!


      The Secret Society of Socialist Supervillains trying to control the world by reducing its carbon footprint? TOTALLY FUCKING-A THAT BE SO SANE! They may have failed to sap our manly essence with flouridation, but reducing the arsenic emissions from coal-burning plants? NO WONDER THE CLINTONS MURDERED VINCE FOSTER.
      Yes. Chuckie. He's totally sane. Expect his next cartoon to feature the SECRET DEMON-RAT GUMMINT PLOT to replace our atmosphere with the farts of hippie leprechauns, so that they may turn the Earth over to the rule of the patchouli-breathing Irish Communist Space Dinosaurs. The first step in their evil plan: better gas mileage!!
      Remember: Keep watching the pumps!


      Today's freebie came in a Wal-Mart box with a purposeless rubber band on it. My rules when I started getting free stuff were: don't order anything you don't need, and don't take anything from charities (unless they're religious nuts who are the opposite of charities). I would never shop at Wal-Mart, as they are the embodiment of corporate evil in this country. I get mad when people complain about jobs going overseas saying that "foreigners are taking American jobs away!" No, some giant American corporation gave your job away. Those are the people you should be mad at. And yourself--you're the one buying Asian sweatshop garbage at Wal-Mart because it's a few bucks cheaper. And Wal-Mart is the corporate version of the American Dream: everyone working 3 jobs because they can't live on the full-time one. Full timers get no bennies and $14K a year? I make good money, but only in the retail sense; I couldn't work there and live on less than half of what I make now. So my first thought when I pulled the box out of the mailbox was "Probably the only way Wal-Mart workers can survive is by getting free samples."
      But it wasn't for me. It was Meow Mix Wholesome Goodness cat food! A big bag, too, about twice the size I expected. About 2 bowls worth. Byron particularly loved it. And the ingredients were good and the nutrition high; another entrant in the foods trying to be as healthy as Iams or Science Diet, while being cheaper.
      Since it's been 6 to 8 weeks since I started getting freebies, and the original list of sites is on the last News, here's an update, listed in order of usefullness:
  1. Freebies This is the best. The site with the most items every day, complete with pictures. The closest thing to a downside is that they update between 8 and 9PM Eastern. Not a problem for me, as that's when I get home, or for people further west. I get first crack at the offers, including those Wal-Mart ones that they shut down as soon as they open.
  2. Absurdly Cool Freebie Finder Not that cool, but it updates daily with a few links that usually don't overlap with Freebies.
  3. No Junk Free Stuff It updated today, the first time in 2 weeks. With that lazy schedule, there's lots of overlap with the first two. It does cross out an offer if you've ordered it, or if it expires.
  4. Free Channel I listed this first time around, and I'm deleting the bookmark. The good offers are the same as the above sites, and most of it is pure garbage. If the offer sounds too good to be true, it is. No one's going to give you a free pair of Ugg boots. It'll just be a series of endless offers, and you have to sign up for stuff you have to pay for. If you pay for it, it ain't free! In particular, DON'T EVER try one that requires a shipping and handling fee. I bail the second I see that, because I've heard of the Focus Factor scam: once they have your credit card number, they'll never stop billing you, even after you've cancelled your "free" trial. If you bookmarked it the first time I posted, get rid of it. It hasn't done more to me than waste my time, but that's not something I give away for free.
      Downside: every offer wants your email. Either do what I do and have a Hotmail account just for spam, or try SpamGourmet. I haven't, but it gives you free temporary email addresses that you can use to never see any spam.




      I thought of linking to this Hobotopia sketch with "CON-DI-MENT! CON-DI-MENT!!" but I think everybody will get it anyway. With a little squinting.



      To which I would like to add, this is how the Stupidest Things Ever Said calendar presented that quote:      Actually, that's what it looks like after I cut&paste it into here. The original has not one ' or " in it, and they never do. They're not really people who should make fun of typos. (Having said that, now virtually guaranteed: that this post will have many typo?s)

      I filed my tax return electronically almost 2 months ago. My state refund came after 5 days. After 6 weeks, I wondered what was up with my federal refund. Turns out that my 1040 had been rejected; I'd entered my 2006 AGI wrong. Since they sent me an automated email telling me I'd filed successfully, one would think that they'd send one telling me when it was rejected a goddamn day later. I called the IRS, and was immediately given the correct AGI. I was told to edit the 1040, but of course I was sent into a loop where the website kept telling me that I'd successfully corrected my form, when it didn't actually let me change anything. So I started option 2, and refiled using a different service yesterday.
      And today I found out that I'd entered the wrong SSN. Bill E. Coyote, SUPERgenius!
      So I called the IRS again, and they told me to wait for it to be rejected a second time, and then lather rinse repeat. Hopefully doyourtaxes.net will let me correct it, which 1040now.net didn't. Otherwise, I get to spend a third Sunday filing the same damn form.
      And dealing with the IRS! It was like something...pleasant. Both times, the hold time was reasonable (15 minutes the first time, only 5 the second, amazing given how close we are to April 15th), and the operators were very helpful and friendly, when I'll bet that 90% of their phone calls start with someone screaming at them. I think on April 16th, I'll call them up and just shoot the breeze. "So, how 'bout them Mets?"

      I was quite disappointed Saturday. It was the first day in a week that the mail didn't bring me a freebie!
      Freebies I've received lately: Another sample of Tide, this one called "2X" and thus totally different than the one with the dishwashing liquid in it. Difference: this is twice as strong, so I only have to use half as much! It contains one load's worth, and is exactly the same size as the other Tide sample. Tide has a problem with math.
      I got some Unisom sleep aid pills. I had a terrible time with insomnia for most of my life. It was worst between the ages of 10 and 20, when I was guaranteed every year to have one hellish day when I was unwillingly awake for 36 hours straight. I started taking diphenhydramine (Benadryl) for this, and while it worked, there are few things more unpleasant than having your brain be REALLY WIDE AWAKE while some drug forces your body to go into cold shutdown. And the next day I'd need to drink coffee. Three cups of the cheapest instant coffee mixed into one cup of water, and if you that that sounds like it would taste bad, imagine what it would taste like if, like me, you think even coffee ice cream tastes bitter and disgusting. It got a little better when I started working for a living, but only in the sense of I got rid of that "awake for 36 hours" bullshit. Then finally a got a job where I worked 12 to 8PM every day, and discovered that my problem was that I was working retail. A regular retail workweek is 3 days, 2 nights, 2 days off. I was going to bed and getting up at different times every day, throwing my circadian rhythym off. Sleeping became easy after I established a regular pattern. Before getting the Unisom, I started using melatonin, mainly because second shift means you get no sunlight, and found that stuff really konks me out. So...got me some Unisom. Got it, unlikely to use it. But it was free!
      And finally, I got some Dove Intense Damage shampoo and conditioner. Oh no, girl shampoo! My hair is gay now!!
      Unlike those people whose hair grows forever, like Rapunzel or Kitsplut, mine is like a shorthaired cat's, and after reaching a certain length (2 feet, in my case) it just falls out. It's not really a problem; it's just a few strands a day, and I don't have to cut it. I wondered what Dove Intense Damage shampoo would do to my hair. Actually, I wondered what "Intense Damage" even means to hair. Lathering with lye? Driving your hair the wrong way over tire spikes? Having used it, and judging by the fistfull of hair I pulled out, I think the name means that it causes intense damage.

      There was a friend of a friend I used to see at parties Kevin gave. He was good-looking and smart and funny, as are most of my friends (I'm only the last 2--I think that I only got invited because of tokenism). He had a smokin'-hot blonde girlfriend. She was always a bit odd, but mainly because she seemed far shyer than someone with her looks. I remember one party where she clung to the wall, a frightened fake smile glued to her face, eyes darting around the room like a goldfish in a wine glass. Finally her boyfriend came arrived, but she seemed only a little less tense. He spoke to her briefly, and she completely relaxed. I asked someone about it afterwards. I don't know the clinical term for her mental disorder, but she could only vaguely remember who people were. What he told her was that he was the boyfriend that she lived with. She forgot that every day, in a real-life and less intense version of the fake syndrome the guy in Memento had.
      I met them only rarely, but I'd occasionally hear about some bizarre thing she'd done. Sorry that I can't give you any juicy examples. This was 15 years ago, and remembering that far back is my Memento problem. There was something she did that made me groan "Why does he put up with her?!" and then I paused and sarcastically corrected myself. "Oh, right. She's hot." After a few years, he broke up with her because of her mental illness. I heard that he never got her any treatment for it. I guess that she wasn't hot enough that he wanted to pay to help her.
      As you probably guessed, that's my lead-in to my review of the latest Disney kids' movie, Enchanted.
      It's about a Disney Princess who an Evil Queen hates (why are princesses always good, and queens always bad? Don't queens start out as princesses? The princess is obviously the representative of the children watching the movie, so does that make the queen the representative of their mothers? Do Disney princesses all hate their moms?). The queen throws the princess out of their literal cartoon world and into the real one. Times Square, actually. Now, if you were a Manhattanite, and you saw someone in a tattered prom dress screaming and banging on a billboard in the middle of the night, would you stop your car? Shit, it's New York, where you don't even make eye contact with the screaming people you see in broad daylight. (If you're ever in NYC, this is good advice. I glanced at one guy because I was amused, and he became an eye-contact-seeking missile. Fortunately, he was in a group of religious nuts. Making eye contact with a lone religious nut would've been much worse) If you did stop your car, would you call the police so that they could rescue her from her psychoactive drug overdose and/or return her to her room at Bellevue? Or would you get out of your car and talk to her, discovering that she thinks she's a cartoon princess and there's an evil queen and a wedding to a prince--and then invite her into your car? Which has your 8-year-old daughter inside? And, as she continues to babble insanely, not drop her off at the emergency room, but let her stay the night at your apartment? With your daughter? Are you that sure she won't decide that your kid is a dalmation and you're Cruella de Ville in drag, and she'll be found with your traumatized child 3 weeks later 6 states away in your Beemer, and only because your neighbors complained about the smell and the NYPD found your corpse with every bit of pointy cutlery you owned jabbed into your body?
      Sure you would! She's hot!
      In the real world, that'd be the only way that would happen. And assuming you were that fucking stupid. But not in this movie. Because the princess doesn't go from the cartoon world to the real world, but to Fakey Sitcom World. I liked this movie, but only the fish-out-of-water cartoon princess bits. The "real world" stuff is faker than the cartoon parts. "Real" people act less believably than the "cartoon" ones. But the parts I like are pretty entertaining, such as the princess using her Cinderelly-ish power to summon animals to clean up the guy's condo. Since it's Manhattan, all she gets are pigeons, houseflies and sewer rats. The movie really isn't more believable than a 50s Disney cartoon, but you may enjoy it if the concept sounds amusing, and you don't think about it too much. Like I obviously did.


      Man, a whole week goes by with no new Chuck cartoons, and then today there's 4, another whole week's worth. I need to choose just one site to check on him, not three. I'm not doing them all at once; I'll do them in the order that I read them. First up for UpChuck:


      So, I should either trust my health to a copy of a painting of a fictional idealization of a country doctor from 70 years ago, or to something that actually exists? Wow, Chuck, that's sure a stumper! If I get cancer, maybe all the children in the audience who believe in fairie cures can clap to heal me!
      This is like saying, "Do you want to drive all the way to the grocery store for dairy products, or have the milkman deliver it to your door in his horse-drawn wagon?" I'd rather go to the 1939 New York World's Fair than Disney World, but it really doesn't matter when one of my options doesn't exist, does it?
      But even if Dr Fictional Creation was real, why would I want Depression-Era medical care?
      "Why, Darla, your dolly has the same heartbeat that your mother had, after she died giving birth to her seventh child! Just like your siblings Shirley, Stanley, Gladys, Hank, and Mildred had, before they respectively died of whooping cough, chicken pox, measles, German measles, and typhus! Your little sister Ethel will be fine, once she understands that she'll never leave that wheelchair that polio left her in. It's sad that medical science will never advance so far that it could find cures or vaccines for these diseases.
      "Oh, and Darla--Happy 16th Birthday! Those years of childhood malnutrition mean that this is as big as you'll get. Well, I'm off to see your father about that dratted cough of his! I don't understand where it came from. He's been the picture of health all the thirty years he's been working in the asbestos factory! It's surely a stumper!"
      Okay, I know that Chuck's really talking about the horrors of SOCIALIZED COMMU-MEDICINE, because no one should be denied medical care unless they can't afford it, in which case, fuck'em. And if we got rid of that paperwork and left the caring and compassionate AMA in charge of all medicine, there'd be none of those bothersome malpractice suits! Huzzah for the free market! More kidneys and livers from the poor to harvest for the rich!
      Hey, if an old picture can solve the health crisis, me and Chuck will now solve world hunger!


      Because starving people need an inspiring picture of food more than they need food!


      It's funny, given today's Stupidest Thing opener, that last night I had a dream about food. I was the only person hired for the busy grand opening of a self-serve gas station/gourmet food shop named "Squobo!" While I ran register, the owner gave out free samples of Squobo! Soup. Everyone grimaced in disgust at the taste, but since they were told that it was gourmet, they all pretended that they liked it and bought it by the gallon.
      After closing, I took the day's profits to the owner, and discovered that the soup was fishtank water, cloudy with live mosquito larvae. The owner explained what "Squobo" meant. "I bought the tank from a squalid hobo!" he laughed as he counted his cash.
      I was glad that it had been too busy for me to try the soup.

      Given that dream, it's funny that today my job (the real one) got a mailing from Three Brothers Restaurant. I opened the menu, and the first thing I saw was their signature "ROAST BEE" sandwich. It's all in how crispy they get the antenna!

      Speaking of things that leave a bad taste in your mouth...


      Words that Chuck is angry that his editor won't let him use in his cartoons anymore:
      *Fatty-fatty two-by-four, Can't fit through the kitchen door!
      *Violent criminal.
      *White Southern Baptists (does not apply to crazy fringe cults like micks and spics, kikes, dot-heads and towel-heads)
      It's weird how the Fundies want to set up a theocracy, where they can discriminate against any behaviour or even thinking that they don't like, and yet still want to whine that they're most persecuted, oppressed group in Ameri--
      Hey, wait! One of these things doesn't belong here, one of these slurs just isn't the same!
      "People making wrong choices" instead of violent criminals? There's a movement that feels that strongly about hurting the widdle feelings of granny-stomping madmen? A Vicious Thug and Homicidal Maniac Anti-Defamation League? Really? Man, I must've not read the news that day. I need some diversity training!
      The best part is Chuck's moral equivalency: Parapalegic = Violent Criminal. Black, gay, overweight = Violent Criminal. Chuck's brain = pea.
      Note how every one of the churchgoers is bouncing off the walls, except for that one guy hunched over and holding his hands to his mouth. I think that in Chuck's church, they don't pass around the collection plate, they pass around the meth pipe.

      A day late, but Lies To Get You Out of the House is less about April Fools than the eternalness of human gullibility.


      If you're a fan of obscure 80s synthpop, here's ODW's Lawnchairs. They're everywhere!

      Let's get those last 2 UpChucks of the week done with, as they're not up to his usual insanitAsay.


      "Don't feel bad; they also walked out on the guy who said the earth was flat because he saw it from space in Bigfoot's UFO.
      "As for your 'research,' it might go over better if every one of your Power Point slides didn't have at the top 'ANOTHER FINE PRODUCT BROUGHT TO YOU BY EXXON-MOBIL'."


      Weird! This would be a socialist enviro-Nazi cartoon if it had different words in the speech balloon. You know, "Maybe solar and wind power and hybrids aren't such a bad idea!" or such.
      But it's about how safe nukler power is, as no one has ever died in an accident (Chernobyl), and because its waste is so easily disposed of, as it degrades into an inert powder so quickly (Yucca Flats), and that waste could never be used for an evil purpose (dirty bombs).
      I'm very confused by this cartoon. Is the message "Nuke plants are safe!" or is it "They're no less safe than coal mines!" or "Cheap energy is worth more than the cost in human lives to make it"? He's not against coal mines here. And using that as your "less safe" example is a pretty odd choice for a Bushie. Yes, coal mining is an incredibly dangerous job, but it became a lot more dangerous over the last 7 years, and the simplest Google will give you hundreds of articles telling you why. And that's not even counting the time that they got trapped in a mine that had caved in, and they had to eat Timothy, Timothy! (Joel Robinson: "I'll have you know that Timothy was a duck." And I think that we can see Timothy the Duck in the front of Chuck's mine)


      Most of my Squobo! dream was edited out. What I wrote was basically only the beginning and very end. The vast majority of it was me desperately trying to keep the long line of customers down, while making sure that no one stole the increasingly bloated bag of money I was filling, and wondering what the hell this "Squobo!" logo that was plastered on everything we sold meant. Boring! So I cut it out.
      On a whim, today I decided to Google "squobo." The first hit was someone's Deviant Art account. The next was kisrael.com; Kirk had posted my dream to his site, and I guess he gets enough traffic to move it to second place (out of 58). The third was amusing--souptoys.com. Because there was soup in the dream! Then I discovered that it's an actual word in Japanese, and almost all the rest were based on that.
      Then I noticed that that first hit, the DA one, was one that I'd apparently already seen. There was no art on the account, so it must've been someone who commented on some artwork by a DevArtist (people who frequent the Comments all go "Gee, I wonder who that could be!").
      That's what dreaming is for, as far as current science thinking goes. It's your brain searching through your memories, deciding which of the new ones are worth keeping, and which should be deleted. You were consciously aware of the type and color of every car you passed on the way to work, but your brain doesn't have infinite space to store information that has no future use. This is why your dreams may involve something that happened yesterday, but mix it in with family members you haven't seen in years while staging it in your third grade homeroom. People with a specific type of brain damage that prevents them from dreaming can't remember shit.
      And so my brain, filtering out the stuff it didn't need, fired up that forgotten synapse that had the name of a Deviant Art member I'd looked at once, plugged it into the dream, and another part of my brain wondered where it came from, and created a scenario that explained it at the end.
      Of course, now Squobo! has an actual concrete memory attached to it. I wonder if I'll have another dream of squobo.



      I saw this on the Onion "astrology" site today:      I found this amusing because I've become a big fan of Indian food (bought some super-spicy murgh tikke just last week, in fact), and also because it's my birthday. Couldn't they have said "You will win the lottery and live happily ever after in a mansion full of cats" instead?


      Thanks for all the well-wishing in the Comments, but my birthday was yesterday. It's not my birthday, it's not today! It's not my birthday, so why do you lunge out at me?
      Oh, right. I posted at 11PM last night. You didn't read it until today. Hell, you're reading this in my tomorrow! Now my birthday's 2 days ago! And it's further proof I'll use any excuse to quote an old TMBG lyric. Really, I wouldn't have even mentioned it, if not for that odd Onion synchronicity.
      And don't feel bad that you didn't get me anything. Got all I need already.


      Things I don't need: today I took my first hike in the woods in, what, 7 months now? Long winter this year. I came upon a woman poking a stick in some wet leaves while saying "Shit! Shit! Shit!" I thought, Please don't notice me. But she did, and asked to "borrow my eyes." "Only if I can get them back!" I said. She'd dropped her iPod into the muck, and couldn't find it. Neither could I. Now, if she'd dropped an 80s Walkman (which I still own although never use), it would've been right there on top. Note to self: Never buy anything that weighs less than wet leaves unless it costs less than wet leaves.

      Watched: American Gangster, a fascinating fact-based crime story, and very, very good. Although you kinda end up rooting for the cold-blooded motherfucker main character. Also, Sweeney Todd, which was good, but not very, very good. It certainly didn't rate with Tim Burton's masterpieces, such as Mars Attacks. KIDDING, that's one of my personal metrics for terrible films. I was an hour into it before I realized "Wait--this is supposed to be a comedy?" That is possibly the worst review anyone can give any movie. It'd be like watching E.T. and wondering when the alien begins trying to eat Sigourney Weaver. Schindler's List and waiting for Indiana Jones to kill the Nazis. Road House, and waiting for the part where it isn't hilariously retarded--oh, wait, that'd be all of it. Or Mary Poppins and shouting "When do we get to see her tits?!"--um. What was I talking about again?
      Ah, yes, Sweeney Todd. I guess that I was expecting a black comedy, and found myself watching not a musical comedy but a musical tragedy. It wasn't boring. I don't know if I'd use the word "entertaining." Or "enjoyable," as it was a tragedy. One thing I noticed was that all the reviews spoke of the HORRIBLE BLOODY VIOLENCE in the movie. There is one sequence with a lot of throat-slitting, but there's so much that it doesn't become gross, just tedious. He kills them, dumps them through the floor via a foot pedal, their heads smash, we GET IT ALREADY. And the geysering blood in the violent scenes really isn't any different than Sam (sniff) Peckinpaugh's "Salad Days."

      Exobiogenesis: Life on Earth seeded by ALIENS. Alien rocks. That still counts as aliens, right?


      With all the protests over China's Olympic torch passing through Europe, spoiling the ancient tradition with liberal politics, it was interesting to find out that the torch-bearing ceremony didn't spawn from ancient Greece, but from a much more modern nation. It was the created by--well, I'll let you guess. Hint: It didn't start until the 1936 Olympics, and all of the original torch-runners were Aryans.


      I'm glad that I didn't spin UpChuck into its own blog. Duck and Cover is lucky--I guess--in that Mallard Fillmore updates daily. Chuck, jeez, what a random schedule. Five cartoons in a day, a week with none at 9:45EDT 4/8, and yet two at 8:45EDT 4/9. One dated 4/8. Um, no, it was not there. People would've given up on a seperate blog because it would've looked like I was the one who wasn't updating. Maybe Chuck has to wait to collect enough Sudafed to fire his meth-binged cartoon tweakings?


      Whoa! Chuck's on the side of the anti-Olympics protesters?! I can't picture him not cheering on anti-war protesters getting their skulls caved in by an oppressive government. Or having their Constitutional rights shredded in the name of "Security." Oh, right, this a government of yellow rat Commies! Not white Republicans! Hypocr-Asay at it's finest!
      And yesterday's?


      You damn dirty apes! The ONLY Constitutional Amendment that matters is the Second! We all remember when Obama HUSSEIN said that he would ban all guns, and created his giant GOV'T. GUN CRUSHER droid, which is so much worse than W's GOV'T. CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS CRUSHER. If we don't have guns, how will we stop the Gummint from afflicting Americans with warrantless wiretaps, rendition to foreign prisons, the end of habeus corpus, and even TORTURE? Wait, don't answer that. FREEDOM! means guns. It says so right there.
      This would've been so much better a cartoon if it showed Obama RHYMES WITH OSAMA prying Heston's guns from his hands. His hands must be pretty cold and dead by now.
      (Note that both guns appear to be Colonial-era flintlocks, not the AKs, MAC-10s and Glocks that the Founding Fathers most surely had in mind when they wrote the Constitution 225 years ago)




      (long pause)
      (another, longer pause)
      Crimeny. What the hell is he talking about here? The ship is sinking (note the people bailing it out, with hate-fumes boiling over their heads), so why are the people on top so smug? They'll still drown. Are the people leaving the sinking ship (with hate-fumes boiling over their heads) like rats escaping a sinking ship? Escaping a sinking ship is the smartest thing to do. Who are these evil "House-Flippers"? People who made money before the housing bubble burst? How does the Democratic plan help them, but hurt the little people? And exactly when did Chuck start hating rich assholes?
      I looked up the Demon-rat bailout plan, and here's an excerpt:

      ...And Bush's plan for a bailout was giving $30 billion to Bear-Stearns. The Invisible Hand of the Free Market says that when middle-to-lower class people lose, that's their problem! But America is not a Free Market economy. When billionaires might become mere millionaires, that Gummint they so claim to hate rushes right in, and dumps billions of taxpayer dollars in to save them from their own stupidity. No wonder the sub-prime mortgage crisis happened--the people with the money knew that they had nothing to lose. You gambled and lost your house; they gambled and got to keep that house--plus a nice bailout from Uncle Sam to cover their time and effort.
      But the upper deck of Chuck's Titanic isn't marked Bear-Stearns. And those damned liberulz helping the poor people, they're dirty members of his imaginary Secret Society of Socialist Supervillians. Because the Government bailing out giant corporations is laissez-faire, and not an Invisible Hand-Out for the "Free" Market. Why is it "Socialism" when the government helps out poor people who need the help, but not socialism when they do it to help rich people who don't?




      Clinton is a Defeatocrat!
      Obama is a...a...an Inexplicocrat! Because "The best defense is a good judgment" makes no sense. Odd coming from a man so noted for his oratory skills. And not, despite what the drawing here makes you think, the fact that he has an Easter Island statue for a head.
      McCain is a Jowlocrat! Damn, Nixon would've pointed and laughed at those walrus cheeks. Before the primaries left him in the lead, Chuck considered McCain a Democrat. Yes, he did. Now that he has no choice but to like him, he's really shitty on the economy. Good selling point there, Chuck! Since his defense "strength" rests on his belief that the war in Iraq should last 100 years and his inability to tell Shia from Sunni (and if you're so dumb that you have to get crib notes from Lieberman...), his economic strategy probably involves trading cows for magic beans. "We can fix the deficit by stealing the giant's goose!"
      "Retreat strategy": Yes, it's a super-awesome idea to iniate an action that has no plan for if or when it goes wrong. Just assume that your plan will work! Late for work? Drive on the sidewalk! No need to find a way back onto the road, as it's impossible to run someone down!
      "The best defense is a good offense," I believe, started as a quote about football games. It 's not usually quoted as "The best defense is invading a country that's a threat to no one, with absolutely no plan as to what you do afterwards." To be fair, Bush had a postwar plan for Iraq:

      They had no Plan B. They still have no plan beyond "Keep doing the same shit that hasn't worked for the last five years over and over again." Oh, the Mighty Surge, you say? Violence declines where the troops are, and increases where they aren't. The main reason it seems to have "worked" is because of the Sadr Army truce--because they're saving themselves up to kill their Sunni opponents--and because we're arming and bribing the Sunni militias to lay low. Yeah, giving them guns and money, no way THAT could ever bite us on the ass. Just like when we funded and armed the Taliban, and the CIA trained some towel-head in terrorism. Osama bin Something was his name.
      Right wingers like to pretend that the Soviet Union fell because Reagan said "Tear down this wall!" No, it fell because it spent too much of its money on their military, and insisted on fighting an unwinnable war in Afghanistan. Their infrastructure collapsed, and it took their country with it. Twenty years on, there's still plenty of time for Bush's America to lose the Cold War, too.
      Other than that--right on the money again, Chuckles!



      The dry-erase board said "130: WILLIAM YOUNG CPE." Had I just been hired as a Certified Public Exfoliator for the Department of Flaying? Why, no! and if you thought that, what the hell's wrong with you. I was at the doctor's, and it meant Complete Physical Exam. Just above being flayed in the enjoyment department. Let the ball-cupping, anus-probing and blood-letting commence!
      While there are times when the first two can be pleasurable, they're not when done by a dude to another hetero dude. The third--damn, there's never a time when I find that any less than max stress. I don't really mind getting shots, but having stuff taken out of me just freaks me out. While I have no conscious memories of it, when I was two I spent 6 weeks in the hospital (10% of my life to that point) with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Every day they strapped me down to the bed and sucked fluids out of my knees. I still have some massive scars there. I had nightmares about it for years. I could never, ever give blood, which is self-defeating: my blood type is B negative, the second rarest. Any blood I gave would increase the chances that there'd be some for me. Fluids put into me? No problem. Fluids taken out of me?! I'm starting to get upset just typing about the damn idea, so let's move on nothing to see here.
      They took 2 EKGs, and the nurse left the first one. "Irregular heartbeat! Unknown blockage! Will BURST FROM CHEST and RUN DOWN STREET MUGGING OLD LADIES" it said. I may be paraphrasing. The doctor looked at it and said "Um, that's interesting" then grabbed my folder and pulled out the second. "Ah, a better one!" The EKG machine hadn't quite warmed up the first time. I had a slightly elevated heartbeat, but fuck, they hadn't taken my blood yet, so of course it would.
      There was a trace of protein in my urine. Was I pissing Ensure? Something to do with my blood pressure, he said. When it was over, he offered to continue to torture me. "Rip out some nails, strap some electrodes on you, that sort of thing." he joked. I said "What, do you work for the Bush administration now?" and he laughed. "I could waterboard you, sure."

      When I got home, there were freebies in the mailbox! My first in a week! There was a 3-bite-sized Quaker Oats granola bar, and a Hamburger Helper Microwave Singles packet. Because what 4 words scream BACHELOR more than Hamburger Helper Microwave Singles? I left it on the counter, as Byron wanted to sniff it. Then he knocked it to the floor and began violently batting, scratching and biting it. His second-favorite toy is empty Combos bags, so I removed it from his claws before there was orange cheese food product powder all over the floor. He meowed in protest, so I gave him some treats. This only settled him for a while. I went to the Winter Stash of wild bird feathers, his first-favorite toys, and drew out 3 little ones. One he lost, 2 he attacked with great abandon, stabbing me in the finger and ate, and then he konked out.


      Note that he sleeps on boxes, unlike Killsy who sleeps in them. Also, he has big honkin' feets.

      Seen: There Will Be Blood. Excellent, despite having not a single likeable character. From the previews, I thought that the Preacher would be the guy you rooted for, but he's as much of a manipulative, greedy liar as the Oil Man protagonist. The Little Kid gets some sympathy, but unless your idea of "boys will be boys!" impish pranks includes "trying to murder someone by setting them on fire," ahh, not so much. I usually hate movies without someone to root for, but this one was great. Stunning cinematography--every shot is amazing--and stunning acting, and an engrossing narrative, even the first near-wordless first quarter-hour. It's too bad that I saw this alone; if I'd seen it with someone else, "I drink your milkshake! SLURRRP! I drink it up!" would be a part of our shared dialogue iconography for years.

      Hey, check it out! Long-dead site Fresh Spam once again blogs amongst the living!

      I really, really hate when blogs dump a bunch of YouTube links on their pages, and then expect you to click on them with no goddamn explanation as to what they're about. Then it takes 3 minutes to load, and 2 minutes in you have to decide if it is the bullshit it appears to be, or wait another 3-5 minutes to find out if it isn't.
      Not me! Here, a somewhat befuddled cat plays the Theremin. It's a cat playing a GOURDDAMN THEREMIN, what the fuck, CLICK ON IT! (especially as it's only about 40 seconds long)
      Too long for you? Here's the greatest 20 seconds of music ever recorded, the end titles for the syndicated Underdog cartoon. Love that clarinet! (unless that's an oboe) This is the syndicated Underdog, when it was mixed with a seperate cartoon, Tennessee Tuxedo. Originally, the cop wasn't inexplicably pointing at the TT voice credits, but a big "POST NO BILLS" sign. I once had my dad explain what that meant, because even in the late 60s, no one ever saw a "post no bills" sign. Posting a sign that says "Don't post signs" kinda defeats the purpose.


      Looks like this is the end! But don't miss our next (kaboom!)...Thoughtviper post!


      Long, but Just Say No(t really) is a very entertaining read about a poorly thought-out naked drive to Austin, Texas that just keeps getting worse.


      Sign on the faux-Mexican restaraunt I drive by every day: "CINCO DE MAYO PARTY MAY 5." I wonder what day they have their New Year's Eve party?

      My boss told every employee and salesman who was willing to listen--and since he's the source of the paychecks of the employees and salesmen, it didn't matter if they weren't willing--the story of his ride home yesterday. It was rush hour bumper-to-bumper, and (according to him) the woman in front of him slammed on her brakes and he gently tapped her bumper. He got out and saw no damage, but she immediately began hysterically screaming "YOU REAR-ENDED ME! YOU REAR-ENDED ME!" over and over. She was so crazy that he "couldn't get a word in sideways," and he began to fear for his safety. Fearing for his life, he gave her his name and address, (I would've locked my doors and called the cops myself if there was an insane person threatening me, especially as I'm no veteran and victor of many a bar brawl, as is my boss. The last thing I would tell a psycho was where I lived) and then he left. Five minutes after he was home, the state police showed up. He was given a summons and charged with leaving the scene of an accident. All because of this crazy lady!
      And certainly not because of the half-empty Heineken bottle in his cup holder! Or the 8 to 10 beers he'd had at work before leaving! I'm sure he didn't leave because he was afraid of a field sobriety test!

      I hope that I'm not stepping on anyone's hopes and crushing their dreams by saying that Hamburger Helper Microwave Singles are actually rather gross. Dehydrated beef pellets taste like BBs of gristle.* Byron liked the leftover processed cheese food product sauce. Byron, as you may remember, will also eat until he pukes.
      *And such small portions!

      Hobotopia's DVD rental matches mine. SLURRP!

      And now that we've got the good cartoon out of the way...


      Wow, Obama is a liberal. SHOCK HORROR! And his shadow says...AAAHHHH MY EYES IVE GONE BLIND
      Fuck, Chuck! Where do you think they print your stupid cartoons anyway, on billboards? The sides of dirigibles or ocean liners or near-earth asteroids? I tried smushing my face up to the screen and reading it (First line: "More liberal than Ted Kennedy!" Wow, that's...umm, practically Vegan Hippie Pagan Communism! Or something) Most of the rest is barely readable, stuff like Partial Birth Abortions! and Repeal The HATE THE FAGS Defense of Marriage Act! and Leave Iraq! and I gave up halfway through. Every line ended with a ! I can only picture Chuck all tweaked out in the throes of a week-long meth binge, frothingly scribbling every tiny thing he hates about everybody to the left of Attilla the Hun, while feverishly trying to stop himself from just scrawling what his brain really thinks, the word NIGGER! 500 times.

      The Official Village Voice Election-Season Guide to the Right-Wing Blogosphere. Chuck-free, but full of other motherchucking idiots.


      Hey, Betty Crocker! Do you need a slogan for Hamburger Helper Microwave Singles? Here's mine!
      "Do you wanna rock and roll all nite and party every day? Then join the band KISS! Do you wanna FART all nite and sit on the POTTY all day? Then eat one fucking serving of Hamburger Helper Microwave Singles! You're in the KRAP Army now!"
      Betty, you gave me a free sample of Hamburger Helper Microwave Singles, so you can have my slogan for free, too!

      I've said on this page before that, given my musical dislikes, the worst music ever would be a country rap opera about the history of the accordion. And somebody's recorded it: The Most Unwanted Song, based on every genre or instrument people say they hate. A diva raps "Yo Yo, I'm a Cowboy Now!" over bagpipes and tuba. And it's hilarious! Too funny to be annoying, despite being almost half an hour long. Do all your shopping--at Wal-Mart!

      "That cloud looks like a rabbit!"
      "That one looks like a horse!"
      "That one looks like hundreds of Nike swooshes and McDonald's logos floating 300 feet above my head--oh, wait, that's exactly what they fucking are." Soon, you won't even be able to go outside and look at the sky without seeing ads.

      “It’s not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”
      These are the words that Obama ran into a room and screamed without any context, then ran away, laughing like the Joker. Speaking of jokers...


      Remember the 2006 campaign, when John Kerry flubbed a joke by leaving the words "like George Bush" out of it? Everyone knew what he meant, but Big Media pretended that they didn't. They flogged that dead horse into a pile of rotted flesh, trying to make it the biggest issue of the campaign. Are they really that stupid? No, they just selectively pretend to misunderstand obvious minor gaffes. They blow it out of all proportion, and beat on it almost like...they have nothing else to go on! Like there's no failed and endless war going on, or an economy that's collapsing, and all because of the Republican policies they so love to support. Almost like they're trying to distract America not with bright, shiny objects, but stupid, dull ones.
      As to the actual cartoon: You get that many people humping their religious icons together with that many guns, and the ensuing firefight is what will be bitter. And the inevitable straw man, because if you can't say something good about someone, just make something up and put it in their mouths. "Big Media"? Yeah, the liberals like Murdoch and Scaife who control almost everything. "Big Government"? Note that it's our weak-kneed and pathetic Congress, and not the biggest, most powerful and Constitution-destroying administration in American history, the Bush White House. The "Courts," Bush's five lapdogs. And, most a-scariest, the Leaning Tower of Academic Left, the MOST POWEREDFULL GROUP IN AMERICA. Cover your children's ears whilst I tell you a tale most terrifying--A tale about--Ward Churchill!!
      I do like the big goofy rocks being thrown at immigrants, especially since Chuck SOOO loves Mexicans.
      Of course, Chuck wouldn't try the same thing two days in a row!


      "In a world where some treat life as something to be debased and discarded, we need your message that all human life is sacred and that each of us is willed."
      Who said that today? Hint: started a war based on 935 lies that killed 250,000 minimum Iraqi civilians and over 4,000 Americans; signed the most death sentences in Texan history; future wife ran over a man in Reno, just to watch him die--
      Oh, wait, you got it on the first one! Yeah, it's Bush talking to the ex-Hilter Youth Pope Brainiac XVI. Each of us in the USA shouldn't be willed, we should all start filling out our wills.
      Ever meet a "pro-life" American who was against the death penalty, or in favor of gun control? One who's against the Iraq war? Once a child is born, do you hear them talking favorably about any government assistance programs that might actually let that baby live a fufilling life? No. No, you don't. "Screw them! Cut my taxes!"
      "Life" is defined by them as "pre-born not-yet kids" and the "Terri Schiavo-esque brain-dead," as in the above cartoon. Funny how their protection of "life" only covers those incapable of thinking for themselves.


      Some search strings from today's hits:
      8 bit stream +monkey poop
      dont scrap meth pipe better to leave it
      Despite what you might think from that third one, they didn't all come from the same person.


      Remember that The Most Unwanted Song from a coupla days ago? The same people did the opposite, and chose the things that people most liked in a pop song and made The Most Wanted Song. Pretty much what you'd hear on the local Lite Favorites radio station; i.e., DULL. But accurate. Your brain may shut down before it registers. I think that's the point.

      Do I think there's life in outer space? Since life has established itself in even the most implacably hostile enviroments on Earth, sure, why not. Do I believe in intelligent life in outer space? Statiscally, sure, why not. Do I believe that aliens are visiting Earth? Fuck no.
      The Earth has had life for nearly 4 billion years. There have been billions of species in that time. How many of those species evolved "intelligence"? One. How long did it take? Over 4 million years. How long ago did that one species develop technology? 4,000 years. How long ago did it invent a reasonably complex technology? 200 years. How long ago did it find ways to destroy itself through its technology? 60 years. How long did it take to find ways to destroy itself through the incidental byproducts of that technology, e.g., pollution and global warming? Pretty much the same time. What evidence is there that intelligence leads to a species' survival, rather than its self-inflicted suicide? None, yet. We became intelligent--if that is the correct word--only through a random series of genetic flukes.
      I'm no math guy, so I can't run the actual numbers. Somebody else did, and the odds in favor of extraterrestial intelligence are vanishingly small. Which makes sense--the Earth ran just fine for the billions of years until we started fucking everything up 200 years ago.
      Did you know that 99.9% of every species that has ever lived has become extinct? What makes humans so sure that they're in that 0.01%?
      Intelligent life in space? I'm not convinced that there's intelligent life on Earth.


      An unaltered shot from the later years of the opening credits of the 60s Batman TV series:


      Well, it is 4/20.


      I was second out of 4 hits for a Google search this page received for "Is Obama the antichristy". If you remove the gratuitous Y at the end, I'm in the top 10 of about 49,400 hits. America: You Are Insane.

      The little all-white cat across the courtyard was poking her head out the window, and I smiled. So much like Killsy when she was young. I looked again, and AHH! CAT IS OUTSIDE! I saw that her owner was watching her, so I went out myself. "What a beautiful cat! I have one who looks just like her!" I enthused. "Him," corrected the proud owner. I then proceeded to warn her about the Crazy Lady who tried to deliberately run over Byron. "Deliberately?!" she asked. "WHY?" "Because she's crazy!" I said. Which in retrospect wasn't the most compelling explanation (I should've added "who hates cats"--As the saying goes, you'll meet dog owners who say "I hate cats!" but you'll never meet a cat owner who says they hate dogs. Cat haters have their own little pathology going on)
      They didn't take him in, but they opened both ground-floor windows and propped their door open, and kept a watchful eye on him. He tried to approach the orange tabby who frequents the courtyard (and avoids the front, where HellBitch tried to kill my beloved Byron--whether that's through coincidence or direct experience, I don't know). Orange kept growling at White, who seemed persistent in making friends, until his humans took him home.
      It's not other cats White needs to worry about.

      Looking to save on gas? Here's a tip that everyone gives, but I can vouch for. I dropped my maximum highway speed from 75 to 65, and went from an average of 26MPG to 28 Not bad, given that half my commute is on roads with stoplights every hundred feet. I've always done the "anticipate stops" things by coasting up to red lights (what's with these idiots who accelerate to red lights, then hit their brakes? They waste gas 2 ways, and decrease their travel time by exactly nothing). But I've started driving using my tachometer. When I accelerated, I'd try to keep the engine from revving above 3000 RPM. I got 29.5MPG! Last week I started trying for a maximum of 2500. 31.5MPG!!
      Granted, I drive a compact 4-door sedan, hardly a gas guzzler to begin with. But over a year, my 200-mile-commute-a-week filling-up has gone from 8.5 gallons to 6.5. And gas here is already hitting $3.75. If your car has a tachometer, use it.

      Seen: Black Adder: Back and Forth. I love that series, and was surprised to discover that there was a 1999 special. An hour with all the original castmembers from the first 4 seasons! Would it be as good as that Christmas special they did?
      Slightly amusing, that's it. Oh--it's only 33 minutes long. (*And such small portions!) I suppose that it was over an hour if you counted the bonus material. By that measure, I suppose that my Citizen Kane DVD is about 5 hours long. If, like me, you're a hardcore fan, maybe worth the rental just to see what is. If not--I have a cunning plan!
      Don't rent it!


      Got a freebie today: DentaBurst! Since it takes weeks or months to get these things, I'd long since forgotten what I'd ordered.
      There was a gum called CinnaBurst. "A burst of cinnamon in every bite" I believe was their slogan. "DentaBurst"? What's theirs? "A burst of your teeth blowing out of your fucking head!" maybe? "Every time you use DentaBurst, it's like a billy club to your bicuspids! It's a RIOT in your mouth!"
      Actually, it's just one of those finger-cot things you use in lieue of a toothbrush. "It's like brass knuckles at your fingertips!" Seriously, what a bad name. Was it really that hard to come up with "DentaClean" or something?

      This is as bad as it gets, quality-wise, just some guy at a con camcording some screening. But it's for--Venture Brothers, Season 3!




      Well, the nut doesn't fall far from the tree. It stands to reason that if your parents are morons, you will be one, too. One might think that "kids" (ie, legal adults) may not so much be voting for Obama as against John "Four More Years of Bush" McCain and his "100 more years in Iraq" plan, which would involve them dying. But, no, they're just dumb like mom and dad, who voted twice for the candidate they most wanted to have a beer with.
      Nice "Six Degrees of Hating America" here, the game where you're in al Qaeda if you can somehow be linked to someone right wingers disagree with, except if you're the President and (literally) hold hands with the Saudi princes who funded al Qaeda. But what's with that "history" postscript? There's never been a black man this close to being president; there is no history. I can only assume that Chuckles means back when men in white robes and pointy hoods got away with lynching uppity niggers like Obama. Ahh, the good ole days! Before kids dressed like they do today, which in Chuck's mind is like Ward and June's kid the Beaver. WHY can't these kids today dress sensibly, in knickers?
      It's kinda ironic that this anti-African-American cartoon features elephants, an animal indigenous to Africa! Wait, African elephants have the big ears, Indian elephants have the smaller ones, so these must be American elephants, the ones that have trunks like withered, severely deformed penises.




      Whoa, remember this when it topped the news? Obama was totally humiliated by That Guy, and instead of taking it like the 2/3s of man black men count as, went crying to...that...Where You Complain About Interview Questions Organization. That's either run by the UN, or Obama's Mama.
      And those questions were hardballs INDEED! "Senator Obama, why won't you denounce your pastor, the one who calls Catholics 'whores'? Why do you claim to hate lobbyists, when you've literally slept with one? Why do you insist that we attack Iran, when you don't even know the difference between Sunnis and Shiites, or al-Qaeda and a milkshake?"
      Oh, wait, my bad--Those are the questions that the Hardball Media isn't asking Saint McCain.
      "John Gibson"? Did he invent that electric guitar, or that cocktail with the onion in it? Got me! I Googled, and I think that Chuckles is talking about that last Democratic debate (of course, Chuck couldn't mention the other host, George Stephacoccus, as he was once a Democrat before he became a shill). Even conservative commentators criticized that debate for asking nothing but "Gotcha!" questions for half its length. Gibson's main contribution? He was the "Why don't you wear you no FLAG PIN?!" guy. Republicans use these arguments because this trivial bullshit is all they have to go with now. Collapsing economy? Exploding gas prices because OPEC wants us dead? Broken army, so we can't do anything about that? Three trillion dollar war, and counting? Giving China an "OFF" switch for our country's wealth when they switch to Euros and they FOTFLMao Zedong about it? Nah, too important to actually talk about, since they're the reason this country is so fucked up, and going to get SO MUCH VERY WORSE in the very near future.
      But John Gibson totally nailed him on him not wearing a "Made in China" flag pin! SCORE! HI FIVE!*

      *Due to the decrease of the worth of the dollar, a "HI FIVE!" is now worth a "LOW THREE."


      On the way to work the traffic suddenly slowed, right by the exits for I-91. The onramp to 91North was blocked by a state trooper. Must be a terrible accident, I thought. I drove up a bit, and saw that they'd blocked off the entirety of the northbound lanes. Wow, must be an unbelievable accident! I saw a large helicopter hovering overhead--well, this is the road to the airport. It looked oddly military, though.
      Then I discovered that they'd blocked off my exit! I was forced onto 91South, and I had no idea how to get to my job! By utter fluke, I had once had a job at the town at the exit---30 years ago. I kinda knew how to get to work. Drive in this direction, turn here, and--shit, they've got every road into town blocked! The fuck?! As was said in the 007 movie Goldfinger, "Once is an accident., twice is a coincidence, three times is enemy action."
      I remembered a really long way to work, and headed that way. Amazingly, a co-worker passed by me, shaking her head in disbelief--and heading down the same road I'd just been on. "NO, GO THAT WAY!" I yelled and pointed, but she went the wrong way. I drove across 2 towns and got to work 20 minutes late, doubling my drive time.
      When I got to work, I found out that it wasn't because of a severe accident, but because of an unmitigated disaster: "Bush is in town." My immediate response: "One more reason to hate that bastard!"
      And, boy, is he hated! All day people complained not just about having to be stuck in traffic so His Royal Assness didn't have to potentially witness one of us peons sticking a tongue out at him, once started, they raged. Nobody said, "Well, we must protect our president." Everyone who voiced an opinion despised him; the half-wits who suppport him probably used that wit-half to keep their mouths shut. Notable exchanges:      Hmm. Putnam. I going there next weekend. I should find that grave. After drinking about 10 bottles of Mountain Dew...
      Why was he polluting our fair state? To give a speech for a Republican running for Congress. Given Bush's toxic poll ratings, that guy must have a death wish (and he sure lost the vote of everyone on the roads today). Oh, wait, no! That was secondary, because Bush can only write off his political speeches if he gives some bullshit address that makes it appear that it's all Presidentiatin'. He gave a speech about that terrible plague of Connecticut, not the War, not the collapsing economy, but malaria. While malaria's a thing that should be fought, killing thousands of poor people who are dark-skinned, did King George the Dumber frame it that way? What the fuck do you think?      MOSQUITO TERRORISTS! Tiny, tiny little explosive vests.
      Yeah, it really would "enhance the United States' reputation in the Third World." If the entire fucking world didn't hate us now. Step on a bug, they'll forget that you've been exploding the world for 7 years. Even a bug isn't so stupid as to think that.


      Kudos to you, Stupidest Things Ever Said calendar, for featuring the Doughy Pantload! As long as we're on the subject of anti-environment right-wing dipshits...


      "Biofuels" is a retarded idea. So retarded that BUSH LIKES IT, CHUCK. Yeah, let's cut down on foreign oil, so that we can cause world starvation. An idea only a Republican would love.
      The truly bad thing that Congress has done is to not pass a law requiring an increase in car gas mileage. If the average MPG of American cars was increased 10%, how much would gas use go down? 10%! An increase to 36MPG--far less than a 50MPG Prius, and a 50% increase on the average American car's MPG--would lead to...Oh, you get the idea. Gas prices aren't going to go down, not as long as we wage war in Iraq and continue our threats of war against every country that has oil. The technology to reduce our gas use is easily attainable; it's in American industry's hands, but their hands are too busy picking your pockets to do anything else.
      Chuck's super-duper brainstorm is no different than that of those retards 5 years ago who put "NUKE THEIR ASS AND TAKE THEIR GAS" bumperstickers on the Ford F250s that they drive to the mall. Wreck the environment! We will live like KINGS on the gas in ANWR!
      From Wikipedia:

      Of course, we can't raise MPGs, because fuel-efficient cars kill people. "Any ideas? NOPE!" pretty much sums Chuck up.

      A slightly more intelligent and perceptive look at politics than that, YouTube's 2007 Political Video winner Stop the Clash of Civilizations. Bit more nuance than one gets from Chuck's one-dimensional mind.

      And now, a bit of fun! Classic Atari 2600 games. Including such favorites as "Parachute Pete" and "Wild And Groovy Moon Combat."


      I wasn't planning on going to the Vernon Historical Society's annual book sale this year. I haven't bought anything the last 2 times, due to the fact I can only go on the 4th day, when everything's been pretty much picked over. My job won't let me take the day off to go to a book sale--hard to believe, I know, I know. But this year they added 2 more days, so that could only mean that they had more donations than they expected. Maybe I'd luck out.
      And I did. This is the first used book sale I've been to where I found something I'd hoped to get. A Canticle for Leibowitz, a post-nuclear holocaust tale that can't be too bad, as it hasn't been out of print in the 50 years since it was first published. It came with a bookmark, a ticket stub from a Mets/Dodgers game at Shea, 8/18/95. Hopefully the book's previous owner was a Mets fan, as I looked it up and they won.
      I also got The Mammoth Book of Comic Fantasy, which, at 529 pages, may or may not be mammoth, but it's definitely at least mastodon. Pratchett, Gaiman, Jones, those kind of guys. (Terry Jones, of a certain British comedy troupe) The stories date from 1998, when the book was published, all the way back to 1871. Also, Legends, Lies & Cherished Myths of World History, as I love debunker books like this.
      I bought 2 video tapes: Tremors, which I've seen maybe 6 times and would rent again anyway, and Waterworld. Yes, I paid a dollar to see Kevin Costner drink his own urine. I don't expect to watch that more than once, unless it turns out to be as badly hilarious as The Swarm or King Kong Lives.
      You may be surprised to learn that I passed on all the cat books. I also didn't get 300 Great Things for Kids to do Online. Copyright 1998. I imagine that there are probably about 20 urls in that book that still work. I was annoyed that somebody filed Carl Sagan's excellent The Demon-Haunted World under Fantasy, but amused that The Late Great Planet Earth and Dianetics were also there.

      Despite every possible Googling, the length of the traffic jam Bush caused Friday is apparently some sort of DefCon-1 State Secret. Meaning: it must have been that long, tens of miles and multiple hours. I did come across some info along the way: It cost the American taxpayer $200,000 so that Bush could raise money for his little Republican friend, and yes, the malaria bullshit was just a smokescreen to make you pay for it. He met with some basketball players and an ex-American Idol contestant--wow. That's some star power! Oh, and this is interesting: Check out the CT GOP Flickr stream for the event. Scroll down. Notice anything funny about the numbering?
      Notice that they deleted all the photos of the candidate on stage with Bush! He's happy to take the money Bush raised, but damned if he's going to be seen with him. Apparently they've learned their lesson from The Kiss.

      Stupid Comics is almost always funny, but particularly so with this Brady Bunch coloring book that my littlest sister owned.


PURPOSE: Fist-Aid Box (For Medical)
• Box for Storage of Boys
• Box for Storage of Home-Use Ware--two of the uses listed on a plastic toolbox label sent in for engineering evaluation from China (thanks to Ray Horvath)


      Well, this is depressing: "(In) the United States, even the people with the lowest usage of energy are still producing, on average, more than double the global per-capita average...The "floor" below which nobody in the U.S. can reach, no matter a person's energy choices, turned out to be 8.5 tons, the [MIT] class found. That was the emissions calculated for a homeless person who ate in soup kitchens and slept in homeless shelters."
      Well, I was going to brag about getting my car's average MPG up to to 32.3 last week, but I think I'll just reduce my carbon emissions by taking my car and running myself over with it now.


      Oh, this is retarded! The Doctor Who TARDIS USB Micro Fridge. How "mini"? It holds ONE 12 OUNCE CAN. And what shape is a TARDIS? Rectangular. What shape is a can? Cylindrical. What else is cylindrical?
      Daleks. DUH. Pretty obvious what shape it should've been now, right? Pass me a nicely-cooled Kaled Cola, would you?
      On the other hand, the Dalek Talking Alarm Clock will certainly wake you up. We're not told what it says when it goes off, but "E-VAC-U-ATE!" is probably what you'll do into your shorts. This is probably the first alarm clock that hates you more than you hate it.


      Happy Five Years of Triumphal Peace Day!      Ha ha, those fools! They thought that 9/11 would be the "beginning of the end of America"! Only 7 years ago we were the most powerful and stable, open and free superpower ever known! Today we have a secretive and totally corrupt government made up of torture-loving war criminals that started a war for oil and corporate profit based on 935 lies; a media run by billionaires that covers up all their transgressions; a collapsing, fatally wounded military; a bankrupt economy imploding because of foreign war and domestic greed that the Chinese could destroy by simply switching the billions they loaned us from dollars to Euros; out-of-control global warming; an entire planet turned against us--We sure showed them!!
      And somewhere in Pakistan, a tall, bearded man rubs his hands with glee and laughs "Mission Accomplished!"
      Meanwhile, in America, everyone worries--is Hannah Montana becoming some kind of slut? Dude, seen that picture? It's hot! You can totally almost see her spine!
      The terrorists really have "already won."

      I quoted the lyrics to this Arrogant Worms song when the Iraq Invasion began. I think I ran them again, on the anniversary. Well, here it is again, in You Tube! Or, more accurately, Dr WhoTube. (Ignore the video and listen to the lyrics)


      I find it kind of amazing that no one on YT has ever done the song using footage of the Bush administration. It really sums their accomplishments up.

      "Captain--this is most illogical!"
      "Spock--shut up and keep shining my boots. You keep missing that spot where I kicked you in the face. And could you please get that shoe polish stain off your chin?"
      "No, Spock I am not! Yoda I am!"
      "SULU! Who is this--small--wrinkly--green man?! Try and get him away from my shiny go-go boots!"
      "There is no try--there is only do, or there is FUCKING FAFBLOG IS BACK."
      One can only assume that Giblets commands you to read it.


      From the most frustratingly semi-informative science article ever:      ..And it then doesn't say when that will be. (rubs temples) Now, is that in the timeframe of "It's very close to dinner, so I should think of what I want to eat" or the timeframe of "I wonder what I'll have for dinner in 5 million years?"

      UpChuck hasn't updated in over a week. What, is he Gary Trudeau now? (Seriously, Doonesbury's been in repeats for five weeks! I appreciate that joke-a-day comic strips are brutal work, but taking a week off every 2 months for the last 10 years wasn't restful enough for him?)


      ZZZZZ...huh? Wha'?! Sorry, nodded off there.
      Chuck, that's it? All this time, and you didn't draw a cartoon of Obama's Pastor committing vehicular homicide against Betsy Ross with his Communist hybrid car that's fueled by the souls of Christians?
      Man, this is barely worth my time. Let's just run it down by the numbers: 1 Every bill that the Democratic "majority" in Congress tried to pass was blocked by every Republican, and couldn't clear the Senate because their majority of one was Joe Fucking Lieberman. 2 "Gas Prices"? Remember 5 years ago when every right-winger bragged about how cheap gas would be once we conquered Iraq? Notice how it really didn't start rising in price until Bush/Cheney started wanting war with Iran, and the Arab world said "You wanna fuck with us? Then why don't we fuck with you?" 3 "Housing Bubble"? Yes, Bush sure acted to prevent that one! No, wait--his Fed kept cutting the prime interest rate to keep the economy from natural corrections in order to induce an artificial "endless boom" for the sake of his fellow stock market billionaires, up till the point it made it profitable for banks to give those loans. 4 "Consumer Confidence." Hmm. Can't see how losing your job while your house is repossessed as inflation rises could affect the average person's willingness to buy a 52 inch plasma flatscreen for any reason except to live in its box, no sir! Of course, in "core inflation," inflation's really only gone up a tiny bit! "Core inflation" is a massage the Nixon administration gave economic statistics to convince people that inflation wasn't that bad, once you removed the "volatile fuel and food sectors." Because NO ONE in America needs fuel, or to FUCKING EAT FOOD. "Don't worry! The non-volatile luxury yacht sector only went up .03%!" 5 It's the Democrat's fault. Everything bad is controlled by the party that controls virtually nothing. Right. Gotcha. Sure. LAME, Chuck. LAME.
      Well, glad they switched you to meds that take you to a better place, Chuck. But I hope that you yell at the nurse and flush them, then do one of your completely normal cartoons where, I dunno, giant compact flourescent light bulbs with Socialist health care crush a major city like Godzilla, while average citizens are helpless to protect themselves because the Clintons say that they can't legally buy atomic bazookas. Y'know, something normal. For you, I mean.



      Today I was supposed to go antiquing with Jessica for the first time in 18 months, but she postponed it for the worst possible reason. No, I don't mean a lame excuse, I mean the worst possible reason: Two of her cats are so sick, they could die.
      Bogart and Majoriam developed some weird rash on their chins. It's pus-filled and bleeding, and the scariest part is that the vets don't know what it is. They've been given antibiotics and fungicides, biopsies and scrapings, but they don't know what it is. Poor Bogart has been so sick that he hasn't taken food or water for a week, and his temperature is going down. The vets gave up figuring it out, and are just going to remove "it" from them surgically.
      My guts are knotted over the fact that both these cats have already been rushed to the vet in the middle of the night, and would have died if they hadn't been. Both are on medication; Bogie because the walls of his heart are too thin, and Major because the walls of his heart are too thick. They may not make it.
      Man, I WISH it had been a lame excuse. Anything but this.

      Um, well. That was a cheery start. Now I'm even more upset. So...uh...there was still a day left at that used book sale! Yeah! So I went there! Even though I said that I wouldn't! Everything was half-price! Exclamation points were free, so I loaded up!!!!!!! Hoping to recreate my Canticle for Liebowitz score, yesterday I looked for a book I own, but can't find anywhere, The Clothes Have No Emperor. It's a sardonic look at the Reagan Years. Okay, I didn't look everywhere, just the places a book so beloved for so many years might have been filed. Possibly I leant it to someone who never returned it, or it's in the Book Closet. The Book Closet is 6 feet high, 3 feet deep, with 6 shelves of books two or three deep. It's not exactly conducive to casual browsing.
      Couldn't find it, of course. What I bought was in the "What the hell, it's only a quarter" category. The Pure Product by John Kessel. Never heard of him, but it's comic and satirical sci-fi short stories, and only a quarter. The Guns of August, one of the few history books to top the NY Times bestseller lists, about the first month of World War I. The Captain From Connecticut, and yes, it was the title that made me look at it. It's by that "Horatio Hornblower" guy, but what sold me is that it's set in the War of 1812, which has interested me ever since I found out that it came very close to becoming The War of the New England Secession. Cats Cats Cats, a book of cartoons from 25 years ago about--oh, you guessed it already. Flipping through it, it contains some cartoons by people who clearly hate cats, as was the norm in 1985. And a CD by the Norrbotten Big Band that was a newly-composed soundtrack to the silent film Witchcraft Through the Ages, which I have actually seen. Although I'm sure not with this sound track, as I think I'd notice the disparity between tales of medieval torture of witches and a happy, nigh-goofy big band sound.

      UpChuck Update! A Two-fer! He twice tackles the most important topic of the day! The War? The Imploding Economy? No, I already told you it was the most important issue in America!


      YEP. That guy. Most important thing EVAR.
      (Look, I'm as tired of this bullshit as you are. Trust me, it gets Chuckier later. Two words: FETUS DUMPSTER)
      Wow, biblical citation and everything! THAT PROVES IT! I've never seen a picture of Chuck, so I can't say with certainty that he's clean-shaven and short-haired, but I'll bet he is. Leviticus 19:27 says, "Do not cut your hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard." Yer goin' to HELL, Chuck! The Wholly Babble is ALWAYS TRUE!
      Hey, Chuckles, who put that yoke on Obama? You and the rest of the Republican talking-points vomiters. You're Herod, Pontius Pilate and Judas Iscariot combined, Chuck!
      Of course, this has nothing to do with race! McCain's being held to the same standard as his honky "Catholicism is the Great Whore!" buddy James Hagee! McLame's totally being held accountable for his totally minor slips of judgement!
      Christ. First we were supposed to vote for the presidential candidate we wanted to have a beer with, and now we're expected to vote against the presidential candidate on whose lawn we'd most like to burn a cross.
      Yes, I know that you're drumming your fingertips impatiently across your mousepad. But don't worry, here it is, FETUS DUMPSTER!


      I know that I've been saying for months that right-wingers are chewing their own legs off over the frustration they have that they can't come right out and scream from their spittle-flecked mouths "HE CAINT BE PREZDENT HE A DIRTY NIGGER!" Well, I certainly apologize to any spittle-flecked right-wingers in my audience, as this comic clearly proves that there is no racism in the Republican party. My apology does not extend so far as to wipe away your spittle. Get your illegal immigrant maid to do that, right before you post a comment on Free Republic about throwing out the Mexicans.
      Panel one: Remarkably, children of parents rich enough to send their kids to private schools do better! Children in underfunded public city schools do worse! I read a study recently that said that poor children perform worse in school because of poor nutrition. Stupid poor people! They could simply choose to be rich, but they selfishly don't!
      Panel two: FEEEEETUSSSSS DUUUUMPSTERRRRRRRRRRRR! Holy shit, I'd hate to work at Planned Parenthood in the summertime! The parking lot stink must be unbearable! Astonishingly, the poorest people in America--who tend to be black, due to their inherent laziness--can't afford unwanted pregnancies! Too bad Chuck's uncited study doesn't give us the statistics for poor white people as a comparison, and just lumps it all into "Race." Citings are only for the BIBLE, the inerrant word of Santa Claus! Also: FEEEEETUSSSSS DUUUUMPSTERRRRRRRRRRRR!
      Panel 3: Yeah! Because those stupid...negroes...What the fuck?! Chuckie Cheese, you sure you wanna inject this into the conversation? The "experiment" would've gone on forever, except it was revealed in a newspaper article, something that would never happen to the government today. Yeah, they didn't give the men syphilis, they just didn't tell them they had it, and they didn't treat them for it, despite a cure being invented 15 years into the 40-year experiment (if you're wondering what that exotic and expensive treatment was, it was fucking penicillin). They just let them continue to die and spread syphilis. And, despite your extensive one-second research of ass-pull-outing, it's NOT SPELLED "SYPHILLIS."
      Panel 4: And WHY WOULD ANY BLACK STILL BE PISSED OFF ABOUT IT? It's almost like those whiney Jews and their big Holocaust obsession thingie!
      And this is why I was mad that I couldn't find my copy of The Clothes Have No Emperor: If I had it, I could give you the exact quote, the day it was said and who said it, but I'll have to go by memory. Near the end of Reagan's second term, his secretary of Health and Human Services was asked at a press conference why the administration had done nothing to fight the spread of AIDS. His response:

      Meaning gays, drug users and...poor blacks.
      I'll just give you a moment to think about that quote.
      Okay. You didn't punch too many holes in the wall, did you? Those are hard to fix, and you could break your hand.
      I don't think the CIA invented AIDS, any more than they started the crack epidemic. I KNOW that the Reaganites deliberately did nothing to stop those plagues, as those are indisputable facts. So is the Tuskegee "experiment." Great job not making your point, UpChuck.
      BONUS POINTS! Check panel 1: There is exactly ONE minority student going to the private school, which is probably an accurate portrayal. Note that she's at the end of the line. Meaning that she was seated at the back of the bus. Note that the FEETUSS DUUMPSTERS are segregated, like old water fountains or diner seats. Chuck's not showing his racism! He just misses the good old days! When uppity niggers knew their place, and didn't run for president.
      Chuck isn't gnawing his leg off. He's wearing his cold, dead heart on his sleeve. Right near the armband.
      And if you'll excuse me, I have to spackle some holes in my wall.


      Send your name to the Moon! Lunar orbit, anyway, on a microinscription on board Nasa's next space launch. My name was around the 23,500 mark. As Bill the Splut, of course, as Bill Young is hardly that unusual a name. The internet being the internet, of course half the names sent in will be from wiseasses. No doubt there will be many Alice Kramdens going to the Moon one of these days.

      The world's 10 most disgusting beers. "Cave Creek Chili Beer This is the perfect beer for people who hate themselves and desire punishment."


      Faster, Speed Racer! KILL! KILL! I'll go to the movie if it's like this re-edit of the cartoon!



      One recurring local news story is the one about a new firefighter, who becomes a publicly -praised hero because he's always first to report a fire, and always the first on the scene.
      And then they find out that it's because he's the one who's been setting the fires.


      Who was it that set Iraq on fire in the first place? Fireman Dubya, arsonist-in-chief!
      Before you get as cross-eyed as I did, squinting at the scribbled name on Bush's buddy, it says "al-Monkey." Wait, no, "al-Mallomar." No, I think it's "al-Maliki," our puppet Iraqi prime minister, the one who has repeatedly said that the US must get out of Iraq. He's the one who's begun to wonder why Dubya keeps fighting these fires that didn't start until he showed up.
      But, what ho! Who are these scurrilous poltroons?! Since Chuck realizes the limits of his audience's intellect (i.e., cain't think much none, but can identify every NASCAR racer), he helpfully spells it out: Two guys labeled "IRAN" are lighting a fire with matches from a box labeled "MATCHES" and setting "IRAQ" on fire with a can of "GAS" but first with a can of "GAB" which either represents Tehran's fiery rhetoric (the deadly GIFT of GAB!) or that Chuck cain't spell him none, neither. This GAB also go SPLOOSH! HAW HAW! That a funny sound, Chuck! Make that sound agin, and then I'll make us some fart noises with my armpits!
      While al Qaeda is still being funded by our great allies and wonderful fellow democracies Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, OH NO! Iran is training terrorists to attack Iraq! Certainly not by the Iranian government, because if there was proof of that, we'd have heard of it by now. Just like the "proof" of Iraq's WMDs. They're just being trained in Iran, which is completely different. Where did those 9/11 hijackers get trained to fly planes? By that logic, we should've bombed Florida 7 years ago. And Saudia Arabia and Pakistan every day since.
      But you can only fight fire with fire, and that's why Dubya the Arsonist wants to start a third unwinnable war, this time against Iran. NO WAY that could blow up in our faces like a lit can of GAB!


      Maybe you don't remember my friend Jessica's cats, Bogart and Majoriam, and their bizarre chin infection that I honestly thought would kill them, given their weak hearts. Over the last week, my thinking went from "I haven't heard from her, and no news is good news" to "No news could be VERY BAD NEWS." I wrote her, and she wrote back: "Bogart came home on Sunday and is feeling back to his old self now, earlier this week it was touch and go. Major went in for his pre-op, poor thing lost another pound, he weighs 15lbs now! He used to weigh 25! Once he goes in the for the Radiocat treatment hopefully that will fix him all up. What a stressful couple of weeks!"
      Yes. I would think that it was! I think that I'd be pretty much stress-dead by now. Then she adds: "I still have to get through next week with Major, he is going to be gone for 4 days then after that we can only hold him for a half hour a day for 2 weeks due to the radioactive material. I have no idea how that is going to happen since anytime one of us sits down he is right there on us. I wasn't feeling good yesterday morning and slept for a few hours on the couch, he slept on me the whole time, he is such a love bug. I don't know what is going to be worse, not having him home for 4 days or not being able to cuddle with him all the time!" But it looks like he'll be fine.
      HA! Caught you! You don't know these cats, and you never will in real life, but I just caught you smiling in relief.
      Radioactive cat! That's just weird. We're getting together in a week, so maybe then I'll find out what that chin infection was.

      Early animation from the next Fututrama DTV movie. Looks less kitchen-sinky than the last one.

      Foldit, or Computer Game's High Score Could Earn The Nobel Prize In Medicine. It's a version of Tetris that could...cure AIDS and Alzheimer's.
      Holy shit. And there are still people who say that the Internet is a waste of time.

      If they ever discover the cure for stupidity, I know somebody who'll be out of a job.


      This is like one of those kids' comics like Slylock Fox and its "Find 6 Things Wrong with this Picture" features. Except that this has so many things wrong, the solution to this would be "There's only one thing wrong: It's set in an alternate universe."
      And Chuckles must be living in an alternate universe, if he seriously thinks that in a universe where gas is now $4 a gallon his readers have any sympathy for oil companies. The hose is marked "WINDFALL PROFITS TAX," which to everyone else in America does not mean "Oh, poor Exxon! Now your profits are merely Ridiculous, instead of Obscene! Now your CEO's annual bonus might be $50 million instead of $55 million! He might have to sell 10% of his 40 mansions! Oh, woe! Maybe I'll take on a fourth job, just so I can donate all my ramen to him!"
      Chuck, while I have NO idea what you're talking about here, I'd like to point out that Obamalinton don't have their own government. The money they're "stealing" from Exxon's beggar's bowl would be going to "BIG GUMMINT," but that would be Bush's government. The biggest in American history, in terms of executive power, spending, the surveillance state, and shredding of Constitutional rights. I know you mean the TERRIFYING prospect of a "Big Government" with affordable health care and social safety nets--you know, one that takes care of the least fortunate of its brothers and sisters, and throws the moneylenders and millionaires out of the temple of governance. But in this universe, any money that goes to the Bush administration is being flushed down the toilets marked "IRAQ" and "CORRUPTION."
      This cartoon makes so little sense that I think Chuck ran out of meth during it. Probably right after he drew the cab of the B.Govt truck; after the poorly-drawn exhaust pipes, it's all scribbles. And then there's the 3 people simply standing in the middle of the gas station, who are also at the lower right of the picture. Who just stands around the middle of gas stations, blocking one of the TWO pumps it has? Since they're spouting gibberish, one would guess crazy people. "Supply and Command"? WTF does THAT mean? I think Chuck got halfway through this cartoon, then just said "Fuck this! My readers are fucking idiots! They'll just nod and pretend to get something that isn't there! I'll make a few more scribbles--like this random fat guy in overalls--and then I'm goin' ta bed." (then writes note to self: "Buy more Sudafed tmw for lab")



      Sorry to ruin your Mother's Day, but your mom is dead.
      Your mom, my mom, everybody's mom, Mother Earth.
      "…if we wish to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed":      Seriously, don't read this if you aren't prepared to be very depressed. Game's over, kids. Game's over.


      Undoubtedly of no interest to anyone but me, Not Brand Echh ("Who SAYS a Comic Book Has to be Good?!"), my favorite comic book of my (late 60s) childhood. It was like MAD back in its 1950s comic book days--making fun of other comics. There's a parody of Jack Kirby's run on the Fantastic Four, by the King himself and with that ridiculous Oscar award on a flying surfboard guy, and Kirby's thrilling tale of the origin of Forbush-Man. which manages to never show his face and also not acknowledge that he's wearing the original Red Tornado's costume.
      But skip those, and just go to one that I actually remember reading back when I was 8, Gnatman vs Spidey-Man. I still think it's funny. How many old in-jokes can you get? If you get any--well, we'll both have AARP memberships soon, yes?
      Oh shit, I wrote that before I read the Silver Burper thing--I remember that even MOREly!


      "I own a hundred pair of STRETCH SOCKS!!" Fuck, dude--I've been laughing my ass off over that line for FORTY YEARS, and it's still funny! The only reason that I don't work it into every conversation is that I'm the only one who gets the joke! NOW YOU ALL KNOW THE JOKE.
      And you all know what that means, hmmm? URKK!


      Our Hero!      (wipes tears) Wow...such a sacrifice! He really does carry the weight of the world on his mighty shoulders!
      Oh, wait, read a bit further: "Actually, it is far more likely that Bush quit playing golf because he was suffering from knee problems throughout the latter half of 2003."
      Me, I gave up for the duration of the War mainlining heroin while setting fire to hobos during skydiving while having sex with the 1966 Dawn Wells. Not that I was doing those to begin with, but I didn't want to send the wrong signal.
      BUSH = HERO!! (Hero sandwich you find in a dumpster behind Subway two weeks after it was made)


      UpChuck Asswipe, if I may stoop to calling him that, apparently needs to create 3 cartoons a week. So sometimes he does 3 a week, sometimes 2 and the next week 4. Then he uploads them to the site I see them on, and sometimes I get nothing for a week, and then too much all at once.
      Actually, one Chuck cartoon can be too much, in terms of blood pressure raised and brain cells exploding. But not this week. He's unleashed 4 in 2 days, and they're all pretty ho-hum. Let's just get them over with.


      WHOA! Did UpChuck just say something about Clinton that's not a rabid, spittle-flying shriek about a dozen-year-old blow job?! Since when did he start to treat her like she's not Hitler?
      Only since it looks like the Uppity Nigger will win, DUH! He did a cartoon about a month ago that I didn't link to. It was something I'd seen both left and right wing cartoonists comment on in the same way, and it was no brilliant observation: The endless Democratic primaries were benefitting the Republicans. It was pictured as a boxing match, and I almost linked to it because, along with the cheering crowd of elephants, one elephant was fanning Hilary in her corner with a towel marked "OPERATION CHAOS." This is Rush Dimbulb's plan to keep Hilary in the race by having Republicans vote in open primaries for her. I thought that the same was a good idea to keep Romney in the race, but that wasn't because I thought like Limbaugh does: "The dream end of this is that this keeps up to the convention and we have a replay of Chicago 1968 with burning cars, protests, fires, literal riots, and all of that. That’s, that’s the objective here.”
      I didn't want to keep Romney limping through the race to kill people in riots. Another of the small differences between Dittoheads and the sane, and Rush and me. This, and the "not gone deaf from hillbilly heroin addiction and using someone else's Viagra scrip to go to Haiti and have sex with 10-year-old enslaved child prostitutes, and then being America's Greatest Voice for Morality."
      There's that, but I also think that he's just preparing us for McCain's future race-baiting. Framing it as coming from Chris "Melonhead" Russert is funny--the Meatheads of the Press guys aren't going to ask that question of McSame. They'll be the ones raging that, should McCain tell Obama in a debate to "Get your damn chitlins and malt liquor off the stage and shine my shoes!" that it's just those hypersensitive "Race Card" playing negroes who got offended over nothing.


      Look, I don't know. There are bad countries run by bad people that are in the UN. China, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia come to mind. So do the 3 pictured here. And...? The UN's not the One World Government, Chuck, despite what you think. The UN doesn't actually control their actions. Given that "HUGE MAKEOVER!" bit, maybe he thinks that the UN should throw out all the bad governments so that they couldn't negotiate with other countries. They tried that once, Chuck, and they called it "the League of Nations," and it worked out great. There was some minor thing like a world war, no biggie .
      I particularly like the guy at the left bottom of the last panel, who is either about to slash the throat of a really fat guy, or tickle him with a large feather, or feed him a big fish fillet. But he's got a turban and dark glasses! He MUST be evil! That fillet probably still has bones in it!


      Based on the first 3 panels, these people are Europeans! HAH! It's an American fiscal irresponsibility joke! Or--THEY'RE NOT THE FUCKING BUSH ADMINISTRATION, CHUCK! Biggest budget SURPLUS in American history in 2000, biggest DEFICITS in history by 2002! Forgot that already, Chuckles?
      Panel 4: FUCKING CONGRESSMEN! CongressFAGS, at that!
      First story I found on Google about this:

      HUH FANCY THAT, there's not ONE FUCKING WORD in the article about BANKS! It's--why, Chuck, it's almost as if--YOU'RE LYING!
      Remember that cartoon Chuck did back on 4/10/08, attacking Bush for bailing out Bear Stearns to the tune of $30 billion? Thaaat's riiight, you don't. Because he DIDN'T. Oh, wait, Republicans did that bailout, so it was okay. His name's not HypocrAsay for nothing!

      Oh, shit, not another one!


      "That's where they thought the American people were, son! Actually, only 28% of them were on Grandpa Chuck's side. 72% hated the wonderful Bush, which was even worse than they hated Nixon during Watergate."
      "Umm, grandpa Chuck, your story makes no sense and has no point. Your breath smells of Lucky Strikes and Old Smuggler whiskey. Your pants smell like you forgot to wear Depends again."
      (slaps grandchild) "LET ME FINISH, YOU LITTLE SHIT! 'And the creepy right-wing loonies all lived happily ever after--thanks to the magic of Diebold!'"
      (rubs bruised cheek) "I hate you, grandpa Chuck!"
      (cackling maniacaly) "HEEE hee hee! Not as much as grandpa Chuck hates THE WHOLE WORLD!"
      "Milk toast"? I think I've only heard that phrase because of all the 1930s musicals I've seen. And how old is Chuck? He's 66! So read Things Younger Than McCain (such as Mount Rushmore, and even AARP) and subtract 6 years. His cartoons make more sense that way--GET OFFA MY LAWN, you DAMN SMOOCHERS!)


      Another horribly depressing link.
      It's a link to a DVD that's not only needed today, but a necessity. And look who's sponsoring it! Can you imagine that just 7 years ago this would sum up what our government has done?
      You may have to think about it for a bit before you get why it's so horrible. Hint: What's the next DVD going to be about, multiple amputations and brain damage from IEDs, and why daddy or mommy needs those painkillers so much? Why mommy or daddy can't see, or even talk? Told to children by them?
      Remember when those guys only taught you the alphabet? Today's children need a whole new alphabet: IED, PTSD, DOA...
      But they'll only need the initials of the man responsible: G.W.B.


      All 136 pages of the 2 Tod Holton, Super Green Beret comics. That'd been my "one of these days" projects, but it'd been one for 8 years. So I'm glad that someone else had done it. They really are quite...interesting comics. He fights Hitler and the Redcoats, ya know. Not at the same time, obviously, but still!
      And thanks to Kirk for informing Boing Boing of my old site! I'll note that the site that posted the comics gives my version a name-check. Possibly where he first heard of that truly awful comic? Who knows?
      Unless things change, Sunday I'm returning to the scene of the crime, the giant antiques store where I first bought that comic. One doubts lightning will strike twice, but there's always hope.

      I received a mass-mailing today. It was from Geocentric Bible. Yes, they think that the entire Universe revolves around the Earth, and by "Earth" they really mean THEMSELVES. It's never been proven that it does or it doesn't, they say, although all they offered as proof was the Bible and a couple of "scientists" from the 1880s. Funny how they give credence to those guys, and yet almost certainly don't canter to work in their horse-bound drays and use only Victorian-era medial science. I assume that they have 12 kids, and pray that 3 of them live to adulthood. And they themselves die at age 45.
      The first thing I did was click on "PROOF," and it's mathematical gibberish from a book written in 1881, so outdated that the author refers to space as "the aether." "EVIDENCE" is some incoherence involving airline pilots and the cited text is someone else's crazy bible pamphlet. If it's in a book I didn't write, it must be true! For instance--The Bible! Quote from the pamphlet: "Literally dozens of Bible verses support the concept of the earth as a central point in God's universe. Even skeptical believers [skeptical believers?] can find compelling evidence in familiar and lesser-known passages in Genesis, Exodus, Eccles, Cheerios, Hairy Psalms, Judge Judith and more." Umm, I think I may have typed innaccurately near the end of that.
      From today's Quote of the Day, Ralph Hodgson said: Some things have to be believed to be seen. Think about it.
      Oh, and when I say mass-mailing--I mean actual, physical snail-mail. A slick, professionally-printed fold-out mailer, offering me a free copy of "A Geocentric Primer/The Geocentric Bible 7." Free via prepaid business reply mail. These loons are obviously well-funded. And it would be terrible of me to take their money by ordering their B-bile 7.0.
      BWAH-HAHAHA! (twirls mustache) Every penny they waste on a secular humanist like me is one they can't spend on some gullible half-wit. And note that if you click on "Ch. 10" (yes, they're so egotistical that they call their webpages "chapters," as if they were from the Bible), you can request your own free gobbelydegook.


      Stuff God hates. "Whew…ok…I feel better now. I always feel a lot better after damning things I hate to hell. And I think this blog-therapy has really been paying off in My Temper lately. Like, a couple of hours ago I could’ve totally killed this dumb baby I hate, but I was like, whatevs! I’ll let it live. For now."


      After a mere 19 and a half months (but who's counting?), me and Jessica went antiquing in Putnam. It was supposed to rain all day, OF COURSE, but it was quite pleasant before it did, and then it only drizzled, and even then only as we were leaving. As she would say, Cool Beans! a phrase I have never understood, because I certainly would not like a plate of cold beans.
      Bush's brilliant nonplan for the economy isn't doing the antiques business any favors. Many stores were closed, some obviously forever, and we had to sidestep a piece of a building that had fallen onto the sidewalk. Some had "be back at X O'Clock" signs, and they weren't back. One had locked up most of its floor space, and we could see it piled high with packing boxes and bubble wrap. Closing and moving, or closing and selling everything online? Or just closing? Another had a truck in front, and rolls of carpet and furniture in front. Moving in, or moving out? The guy doing either was sucking on a cigarette, and almost swallowed it when he saw Jess. Well, she's Jess, and even at 30, she's still...well, Jess. The girl can't help it, as they say.
      The first dismal place we entered was one of our favorite places of snark in years before. Cramped and dusty, shit piled on shit, priced outrageously. And some things don't change, they just get smaller. Also stupider. They'd removed large chunks of stuff, but there was still shit piled on shit needlessly. A box of magazines that I would've normally browsed through had a box of fucking scrap metal sitting on it! Way to make your store accessible, Dan.
      Every trip we've made to Putnam develops a theme, something we keep seeing over and over. In the dingy basement of Dan's, Jess pointed to to a mannikin head.
      "Bill, you should buy that head!"
      "Yeah, I could carry it around in a box, and walk up to people and ask 'Do you want me to give you some head? No, really, I'll give you some head!' And then I'll pull it out the box by its hair."
      Possibly it was funnier in context. But that became the theme. We kept seeing heads everywhere. Then we saw a birdbath, which was a cat standing on its hind legs and holding a bowl. "Bill, you could put the head there!" "Yeah, head or pussy, take your pick!" And it just went on and on; yeah, you hadda be there.
      And then there were the owls.
      We must've seen 50. Not in any one place, of course. Jess has become, a few years late, quite the fan of Twin Peaks. So much a fan, that she kept notes and drew up a flowchart of the characters (and she did correctly predict who killed Laura Palmer). And she now finds owls very creepy. And there they were, little ceramic owls and paintings of owls and huge ceramic cookie jar owls and owls welded from nuts and bolts, owls realistic and owls abstract, owls all, and all staring, staring. Like--CREEPY GUY.
      Yes, Creepy Guy was back. He's this guy (who's creepy) who glares at Jess. He doesn't stare at her. I've known this woman for 11 years, and believe me, guys staring at her is expected. But he glares with clear hostility. And yet he probably sets off gaydar on the Moon. I've had guys glare at me because I was with her (yeah, dude, your wedding's off! Maybe you should've learned her name before you registered the silverware pattern!), and believe me, it's weird. But this guy? Fuck, it's super weird. He used to follow us around the store, just to glare at Jess.
      Weirder still, today he didn't stare at her. We were baffled! My theory is that we used to go when she wore her hair down and didn't wear glasses. On the other hand, he wasn't there the last time we were there, so maybe he looks daggers at every hot babe, and was told to stop creeping the customers out.
      One shop we went into I remember having a bad feeling about. It was claustrophobic and nothing was priced (that last means that when you ask "How much is this?" the price goes waaay up). But we went in anyway, and I remembered another thing I hated about it: it smelled disgusting. Like dust and must and body odor. And then we found out another reason to hate it. We were trying to figure out what the deal was with the lamp with moving vanes at the top, and the aging biker who ran the place (self-identified as such) said it was a motion lamp, showing a forest fire. Ahh, how soothing! Does the lamp kill Bambi? "It goes for $500 on eBay," he said, spitting the word, "but this is only $350!" We politely nodded, sensing something wrong, and worked our way to the front door. "Maybe I should sell it on eBay!" he said, in the same way someone might mention that their grandparents died at Auschwitz. O-kay, we both thought, moving politely but resolutely towards the door. "Damn computers! I hate them! We created them, but someday, they'll run US! We created our OWN END!" "Yes, " "Uh-huh," and "Yep" said Jess. And we fled the Luddite's den of smelly madness. And wondered, exactly how much repeat business does this guy get?
      We decided, after our second encounter with a creepy guy, to go the bookstore. We didn't look at any books. It's also filled with toys and Archie McPhee goofs and fridge magnets. I bought a magnet of a title cel from a Secret Squirrel cartoon and a wind-up WWI German soldier (the things one finds!), and she bought a tiny McPhee flying cat and a flying rubber chicken for me, and a button that said something like "You couldn't handle half a woman like me!" If that sounds like something a stuck-up beauty would buy, you didn't know her 11 years ago when she was a broken spirit with a possessive, abusive white trash boyfriend. She's not that now, and that button sums up what she is today. Strong, smart, proud of her herself, secure in herself, a feminist.
      In what almost seems to be a tradition, we inadvertently pissed off the people checking us out at the big store. "That's a dollar?!" exasperated the clerk about the crappy, paint-peeling vase Jess bought, and then looked the seller's booth up to see if it was on sale. And that was the extent of Jessie's haul, one damn candy dish. Remarkably, she didn't buy a single purse. But that's because she has a literal closet of cheap antique store purses. She's simply run out of different styles, in much the way I've nearly run out of styles of clocks.
      And I'm down one style of clock! The Nuclear Submarine Clock, sure haven't bought one of those before! It's clearly made from a do-it-yourself clock kit, although the theme of "Nuclear Submarine" screams Connecticut (there's that nuclear sub base we have). It was next to a so-tempting Polaris sub lunch box, firing a thermonuclear warhead at the Commies. Nothing would've made my schooltime lunch more soothing than a cheese sammich, a Thermos of milk, and a daily reminder of WORLD WAR THREE!
      I was the one who spent. Not a lot, maybe 30 bucks. I actually got something I needed, an old metal Bayer aspirin travel-size tin. I keep several meds in my wallet in a plastic box, but it's begun to collapse. It was $2.40, not bad for something you can't actually buy anymore. Also bought: (sorry, I don't have a scanner, so bad pics will have to do)


      Flying Saucer Balloon instructions! I bought it because of the truly goony alien.


      In the same vein, a Campari ad from the late 50s with Sputnik. Hey, if we can't win the space race--let's get drunk! Check out that semi-threatening tagline. "You WILL learn to love it!"

      It was long, long ago on this same road that I came across Survival Taxidermy. It's long closed, but how I never noticed the name of the road it was on is beyond me.


      No wonder he found all those dead animals!
      And if he'd put his business on the next road over--it would've been on Payne Road.
      Jess INSISTED that she take a picture of me with some...some...well, we never figured out what they were. They looked like giant pig iron windchimes, the kind that only ring when a hurricane hits. She had the idea of making me put them on my foot so that it looked like I was wearing chains. "Look like you're in agony!" she said. The pic only makes sense at an extremely large size, so it's not here. And the "agony" pic is--well, you don't want to see that here every day. Here it is.
      That is totally going to be my passport picture.


      I forgot to mention 2 things from yesterday. One was something I bought, another something I'd wished I bought.
      Delicate white porcelain music box? LAME. Delicate white porcelain music box--with NINJAS? Weapons at the ready, three of them, facing towards their victim, the person who wound it up. Seriously, I should've bought that just to prove that it existed! Who the hell was the target audience, blue-haired grannies who like Shaw Brothers movies? And it even worked! (No, we couldn't figure out the tune) And only $8. Given the infrequency with which I go Putnam these last couple of years, someone will buy it before I go again. I'll never see the likes of it again. I actually came across something that I not only had never seen before, but didn't even imagine was possible.
      What I did buy was prophetic. A complete set of Tron bubble gum cards for $3. That movie's almost 30 years old now, but it's one of the few that I have a clear memory of when I left the theater, my eyes still bugged out not just because I'd seen an awesome movie, but seen something that I'd never seen before, something I didn't even dream was possible. A movie with effects made by computers! It would be almost 15 years before computers were used that heavily, and they all tried to do the opposite of Tron: make the effects look like they weren't done by computers. Today, CGI, meh. Every movie has it. But Tron--my head swam as I left the theater, and I kept shaking it as if to throw the incredible wonder out of it, and make my way back to the Real World. "Holy shit!" I said, followed by "Holy shit!" repeated as a mantra.
      Prophetic, why? I bought the cards not just from a memory of an old movie, but in anticipation of the movie I would see today.
      Speed Racer.
      My review: Holy shit! Holy shit!
      The list is short. Star Wars, the first sci-fi movie ever made with great effects and a great story. Tron, never seen anybody do that before, either. The Road Warrior, never seen an action movie like that before, and never will. Memento, holy shit, holy SHIT! The best time I ever had at the movies, even if I was punching my own leg in frustration, waiting for the puzzle box to open. And now, Speed Racer.
      "Live Action Cartoon" is what every one of the (few) positive and (many) negative reviews say. Yes, it is, but that's an insult. It is something I've never seen before. "Tron, umm, had these cool computer graphics." Maybe you're no fan of the movie, or young enough that that would sum it up. But I can't explain Tron beyond that. Speed Racer is like nothing I've seen before, and believe me, I've seen at least one example of every crazy permutation of the moving picture genre ever made. That is my review: You have not seen anything like this before.
      (wipes sweat from fevered brow)
      I mean, scriptwise, it really is just a Speed Racer cartoon. Exactly a Speed Racer cartoon, with cars that violate the laws of physics (in one scene, a character is saved when Racer X flips his car in a 360--a wheels over hood in the air 360--and punches a baddie in another car in the face at the 180 point). It moves so fast, and yet the race scenes aren't the total chaos you'd imagine; they're relatively easy to follow. Well, when your head and heart aren't both about to EXPLODE.
      I just stared at the keyboard for 5 minutes. Yes, words fail me. I can only offer the highest praise I can give: There is no reason to see this movie anywhere but on a big screen. I don't care how big your stupid TV is, the DVD release won't cut it. (Not that I don't intend to buy it) If it's still in the theaters in 2 weeks (and that's not guaranteed), I will see it AGAIN on my vacation, and I haven't paid to see a movie more than once since...well, The Road Warrior, back 25 years ago, when "VCRs" were still an expensive tech. I wished that I'd seen The Iron Giant twice in a theater, but I waited too long, seeing it in its third week, and then it closed. And I've regretted it ever since.
      Negative things, let's see...well, they should've cut the montage before the climatic race where they build the Mach 6, since the Mach 5 was intact in the previous scene. That was the only boring part. And that would count as a spoiler if they had, y'know, actually destroyed the Mach 5. Which they hadn't. Oh, and every review that loved the movie has mentioned how it was like the cartoon that they loved as a kid. I loved it as a kid and as an adult when MTV brought it back. That may be the key. Although the review that pushed me over the top in deciding to see it was this one...Oh, that's not online yet. Well, it neither hated nor loved it, and referred to it as "the first 120 million dollar experimental film." It recommended NOT seeing it in IMax, and I can vouch for that, as I walked into the IMax showing, and did you know that they show movies even if NO ONE BOUGHT A TICKET? It's all computerized now, you know. Anyway, it looked like shit. IMax cuts off the edges of the screen, and this is the most horizontally-aligned movie ever made. You need every inch. You need it when they're eating fucking pancakes, so lush and complete is the detail. Wait, THAT'S IT! The only place I see such perfect and insane attention to every detail is in my dreams. I'll need to see it again to be sure, but this has a placeholder on both of my very short lists, one being The Best Movies Ever, and the other Dream Movies, movies that I love because they're like my insanely detailed and semi-coherent dreams. For you, that might be less of a recommendation than it is a caveat.
      I suppose that a movie about cars epitomizes the net acronym "YMMV." But here's what I say: "Go see Speed Racer, GO!"

      Head aswim, I left the theater and did not drive like I was behind the powerful Mach 5, like I was a demon on wheels, chasin' after someone. I slowly accelerated, the best way to save gas, first to the grocery store. I bought a Hot Wheels Speed Racer car! It joins the Japanese Mach Go Go Go Hot Wheels I bought many a year ago from J-list--hey, I said I liked the cartoon! Then I bought gas. A studious use of the tachometer has got me up to 33.5 MPG, even with the long drive to Putnam and its endless hills. The DHL delivery guy on the other side of the pumps said "My company gas card ran out at $75!" I pointed out the price signs on the pumps: "See how they stopped using the flipcards on anything but regular, and started using something they printed out on their computer?" It took him a second to see what I meant, and then he said "The flipcards don't go that high!" The same thing happened back when Tron was still in the theaters, when gas first topped a whole dollar a gallon. They just assumed that gas would always cost nothing. Another thing that they never had seen before, and we will never see again.


      Just as I've noticed that every review that loved Speed Racer loved the cartoon, I've noticed that the reviews that hate the movie all say that they either hated the cartoon or had never seen it. So if you didn't like the cartoon, don't Go see Speed Racer.
      I've also noticed that the negative reviews make 2 complaints: There was too much chaotic sensory overload, and then there were these booo-ring parts where people talked. It's too exciting because so much is going on, and it's boring because not enough is for 3 minutes? Make up your mind! The action sequences are the bulk of the movie, and I needed those few minutes of dialogue between them to decompress my brain. Like a book or a piece of music or even a website, a movie either speaks to you, or it doesn't. On the other hand, sometimes you can be confronted with something that you've never seen before, and you just reject it outright.
      I forgot to mention that this is the first movie I ever saw where the theater gave me something from the concession stand! A free minibag of candy!
      For Speed Racer, they gave me a bag of Nerds.
      Were they trying to tell me something?


      Official Speed Racer music video. Yes, I will shut up about the movie now.


      Today I got my rental of I Am Legend from Netflix, and the inside ad was for a movie called Speed R--
      Oops! Sorry.



      Since this is an issue of nuance and intelligence, Chuck phrases it the only way his fans can understand it, as a fairy tale. Foolish pigs, they're doomed! If only they'd done what they did in the fairy tale! When the Big Bad Wolf attacked their homeland, they immediately invaded a local farm based on 935 lies, burnt it to the ground, hanged the farmer and his sons, killed hundreds of innocent sheep, then had to fight the formerly peaceful rats who turned hostile after the pigs blew up the barn they were living in. And the Big Bad Wolf looked on and rubbed his hands with glee. And they lived happily died endlessly ever after!
      The "Obama is responsible for things Rev. Wright says" meme never caught on, so this is the latest goofy slime, that "Obama wants to TALK TO OUR ENEMIES!" McCain actually recently was shocked, shocked! when Obama said Iran wasn't as big a threat as the Soviet Union was. Which is like saying "My paper cut is as bad as that leg you got blown off in Iraq!" Jesus Fuck, Iran and the USSR, apples and oranges, gerbils and T. Rexes. I know that this will blow your mind, Chuck, but we are NOT going to be eaten by Iran.
      Of course, Bush don't talk to nobody, no sir, and THAT sure has worked out fine. "We don't negotiate with terrists!" Well, terrorists don't negotiate with us, so sure. On the other hand, 36 years ago today, Nixon went to the USSR and negotiated an anti-nuke treaty. It led to the SALT anti-nuke agreements. Oh, he also went to China, then another of our sworn enemies (and not, like they are today, our landlord). And sometimes negotiating with terrorists is the best thing you can do--there wasn't peace in Northern Ireland until the IRA was brought to the table. There won't be peace in the Middle East until Hamas and Hezbollah are tamed. Maybe al Qaeda never will be, but they're a tiny minority of people. Or they were, until we invaded Iraq, not negotiating before we did, cuz only FAGS do that!
      Oh, and here's the inevitable "appeasement" crap! Look, right wingers, STOP REFERRING TO HISTORY YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND. They appeased Hitler not because they were afraid of him, but because they were afraid of another World War. Rather reasonable fear, I'd say. And because...THEY FUCKING LIKED THE GUY! The ruling classes hated Communism, because they thought the masses would rise up and throw them in the streets just like they did in Russia. Why do you think England and France let Hitler, Mussolini, Franco fester right on their doorsteps? Because the dirty Reds were on the other side of them. I'm not going to go over the Russo-Finnish war of 1939/40 again, as I already have in this space a few years back. Summmary: After WWII started, Britain and France were preparing to go to war against Russia, despite the fact that they were already at war with the Nazis, and doing nothing against Germany. Because the Commies were the enemy they wanted. If the winter of 1940 hadn't been so harsh, we'd be living in a very different world. Communism might've be wiped out much earlier, but the Nazis would likely be the Only Superpower.
      Ho-kay, that was a bit more than I intended to type. Summary: Chuck, is there an actual instance of us not talking to our enemies that led to peace? The enemy just saying, "Whoa, I'm totally being ignored, except for all the threatening! I guess I won't attack Pearl Harbor after all!" or such? Just curious. Because, as I recall, the pigs mounted such a strong defense that the horrible threat just huffed and he puffed, and then he gave up. The pigs didn't bomb Iran, and plunge the world into further chaos. But that's your wet dream, isn't it?


      Let's dispose of the rest of this week's UpChucks, as they're stupid. -Er than usual.


      Yeah, it's terrible when a Supreme Court oversteps its bounds and does something against the wishes of the people, even if it's something that affects NOTHING SUBSTANTIVE AT ALL, like gay marriage! So what if the "arguments" against people with similiar crotches marrying are the same arguments made against interracial marriages 50 years ago! (Miscegenation didn't become legal in all 50 states until 1967)
      Chuck, you're right! What if a Supreme Court gets so arrogant that ignores, say, the results of a presidential election, and appoints some lackawit figurehead to the Oval Office! Why, unscrupulous blackguards could use their willing stooge to loot the treasury! Oh, I'll bet that if that ever happened, you'd pen angry cartoons about it for eight years!


      If the guy in the hole was Bush, and the hole was labeled "Iraq," and then it said "subsidize Halliburton!" this cartoon would make sense. But it doesn't, so what the fuck is he talking about?! Here it can only mean "all BIG GOV'T subsidies," but that would mean Chuck's against the biggest one, the Iraq War. Maybe it's about that peculiar right-wing fetish, the one that compells them to rail against BIG GOV'T while pretending that Bush hasn't built the biggest, and worst, ever.


      Ha ha, idiots are giving BIG GOV'T advice! Even the idiot knows it! What makes it funny is that those are all things Bush did, but Chuck can't admit that, so it's his mythical BIG GOV'T's fault. Outside of "Global warming is a fake! We can run our cars on polar bear guts!" I have no idea WTF Asswipe's screaming about here. Again.



      Today I did something that I will never do again: buy $4.09 a gallon gas. Oh, how we will miss you, $4/gal gas! And then we'll look back fondly on $5/gal gas, $8/gal gas, $12/gal gas...Oh, if only 35 fucking years ago there'd been some some of "energy crisis" to give us a wake-up call! Why, if there had been some sort of "oil embargo" back then, surely the government would have mandated some changes, and by now we'd all be driving 100MPG cars and using solar and wind for power! Good thing that the lesson they learned from that was "Finite resources are infinite"! We can always drill for oil in ANWR, or kill us some more dinosaurs! And that's all we need to do!

      This is like ten flavors of awesome: the soundtrack to the 60s Spiderman cartoon. As someone who owns the 2 Sound Gallery CDs, it doesn't surprise me that it's by the same composers. Rich, lush, loud, and so of the 60s Cool Britannia era. It intercuts the muddy sound from old video tapes of the show with the crystal-clear masters from KPM, a company that made "buy this and score your cheezy-ass films with it" ready-made soundtracks. (An early LP purchase of mine was Ron Geesin on KPM; very short pieces for use in films, but I didn't know that was it's only purpose until today) It's quite a long podcast, and doesn't include the Spiderman theme, one of the 3 best cartoon theme songs ever (the other 2 were Johnny Quest, and that of a current movie whose title I am no longer allowed to speak).
      If you dig on the sound, man, Sound Gallery Volume 1 is relatively cheap on Amazon. Volume 2 is $79. Hey, remember that Space Ghost CD you got for $3 back in 1994? Only a mere $146 today!
      And if you were wondering what the deal was with that banned Spidey cartoon they talk about, here it is. Yes. The 1960s Ralph Bakshi. Even on Spiderman, I think he was using drugs stronger than children's aspirin.


      "But when they seek help, disabled veterans face a claims system so mismanaged and inefficient that they often must wait more than five years for any assistance. The Department of Veterans Affairs is choking on a backlog of some 600,000 unresolved benefits claims. Even after their eligibility has been established, thousands of veterans cannot obtain adequate mental health treatment. While they wait for the care they are owed, veterans are dying. About 126 veterans per week commit suicide. Vast numbers of veterans are living with mental illness, sometimes so severe that they are unable to work. Nationally, about 154,000 veterans are homeless on any given night and twice that many are homeless at some time during the year."
      Happy Fucking Memorial Day, courtesy the Bush Administration.

      "FafBlog: If only you knew at the time that that devious George Bush would use a war authorization to authorize a war!
CLINTON: You know, I guess I'm just too giving. Maybe I just love my country too much to deny it the universal health care and endless wars it so desperately needs. Maybe some theoretical secret black Muslim who hates America wouldn't have that problem.
FB: Maybe it didn't have to be an actual war, though. Maybe you coulda just met the president halfway by settin a big pile a money on fire an shootin a buncha random people."


      While not astonishing in plot--by page 2, you'll figure it out right up to the ending--this comic book story Jungle Justice is quite astonishing for its progessive tone. Anti-animal cruelty, and stars Sikhs as the heroes! And it's from 1945! Okay, they're the most Caucasian-looking Indians ever, but still.

      It was as humid as India today, but I didn't need a barometer to know that. When it gets humid...




      ...cats melt.

      When I had my physical last month, my doctor asked me if I had any side effects from my blood pressure meds. I said "No" but the correct answer would've been "Yes, and please sir, can I have some more?"
      It's probably coincidence, but Young's Syndrome went away when I started taking them. Y'know, that "random violent vomiting or dry-heaving up blood" thing. Maybe it was like the migraines I'd get 15 years ago; a health problem that came out of nowhere, dominated my life for years, then simply went away as abruptly as it started. Coincidence, probably, but shit! I woulda PAID for that! And I did pay for that, with doctor visits and scrips and that fucking endoscopy, none of which did anything.
      I've always been within my ideal BMI, and I take no credit for that. It's genetics, it's metabolism. But I did have some middle-age spread around my gut. As soon as I started on the meds, my stomach began flattening. My weight stayed the same, so apparently I was trading fat for muscle. Then my stomach got no smaller, but I began to lose weight. 10 pounds over 6 months. That's not a significant amount, unless you note that I only weighed 135 to begin with. But the doctor never said anything about it, so, not a big deal. And it's not like anyone else noticed.
      Jessica's first words last Sunday" "Hiii! Bill--have you lost weight?! AGAIN?!" Apparently it's noticable to people who haven't seen me in a long while. I explained what it was, and she countered "You shouldn't weigh what I do!" She's the exact same weight and height as me! With post-hoc "wit of the staircase," I know that I should've hit back with the fact that she's actually skinnier than me, given that I don't carry a good 6 pounds of extra weight around in my bra.
      And before YOU start, yes, in July I'll bring it up on my next appointment. And this is a very long introduction to Food Portion Sizes Then and Now. It's not novel to point out that "Large" is the new "Small" in drink sizes, but this lays it out graphically. That bagel is crazy! No wonder America's full of overweight people--they don't give you a choice.
      I went to K-Mart to buy shorts last month, and they had 2 in my 30 waist size. Not 2 styles, 2 pairs. Jess has to buy from the juniors section; soon, I'll have no choice but to buy from the boys department. The nice leather belt I bought 10 years ago was the smallest size that they had, and I recently made a fifth hole in it.

      LTRotD remember that one of very first posts (11 years ago today, I think!) was about stupid tattoos. Here's the reason you should've followed my advice Lo those many years ago, and learned dermabrasion. The first one is titled "Snakes on a Plane on a douchebag," and it actually gets worse.


      Somewhat long but very interesting article about a pair of gifted rappers in England who are laughed off the stage because they're Scots. They return with the same songs, except in an American accent, and are instantly hailed as the Next Big Thing. The Catch-22: They won't be rich unless they release an album, but then some of their old mates will out them as phonies, and then they won't be able to release any more albums. They string Sony along for nearly 5 years, partying as hard as they can and keeping only one step ahead of going insane. They're not just faking an accent, but an entire life history, and become different people. They think Americans are assholes, so they become assholes themselves. I was surprised that they didn't get outed when they named an anti-Dubya song "Cunt," a term I've never heard an American use in a way not specific to one gender.



      The store used to have sales flyers printed up by a local company. We stopped using them because they'd let the liquor and wine distributors pick the ads they wanted in it, regardless as to whether we even carried the product (we order from the Beverage Journal, which has so many products in it that it's actually the size of a phone book). We had the choice then of either ordering product that no one might ever want to buy, or not ordering it and pissing off someone who did. They wanted our business back, as we have 4 stores and are adding a fifth. So they sent us a free run of flyers!
      A lot of flyers. Ten THOUSAND flyers. 700 pounds of flyers. And not in boxes, on a pallet, piled loose and shrink-wrapped to hold them in place. And sent on a truck without a pallet jack, so a bunch of us had to climb into the truck bed and manually dump the thing on the ground. And then pick up handfulls and put them in boxes, and then stack the boxes. Which took about 5 minutes before they fell over, on their own, and had to be put in boxes again.
      Ten thousand! That's about a month's worth of sales. 10,000 sales, not 10,000 customers. We'd have to keep giving the same people these every time they came, and we still haven't given away the fucking 5,000 fridge magnets we got last year.
      And it would have to be in a month--the damn thing expires on June 30th! I was the first to point out that half the product in the flyer was product we don't carry. Which was the reason we stopped buying from the guy in the first place. And back then, we didn't have half a forest's worth of paper to throw in the dumpster.
      The guy really didn't pick the best way to win our business back. It was only slightly more likely to do so than sending us a million flyers that said "THIS LIQUOR STORE MOLESTS CHILDREN!" on every page.

      UpCuck's done the usual update-a-week-at-once thing, and I am tempted to get them all over with at once. But tomorrow's my last workday before vacation, so it may give me something to ponder and make the time go by quicker. Especially since one makes no sense at all. But this one is irritating me enough that I'll tackle it tonight:


      OMG Democrats are FULL-BODY SCANNERS! They don't stop at blowing up a guy's HEAD, they--
      Oh. Mr "Squeegee My Body Into the Cold, Hard Ground" isn't dead. The dreaded GREEN LOBBY is lying about the poor, poor oil companies. (and I'll bet she doesn't shave her legs!) Chuck: the oil companies would DRILL YOUR NOSE if they thought it had an ounce of oil. I'm not going to go over the ANWR thing again, except to say to repeat that they don't know what quality oil it even has, and even it's the best, it'll last one fucking year. Peak Oil's been passed, Chuck, it's an unrenewable resource, and does it really matter if it runs out in 2025, or in 2026? You'd think that if you owned an unrenewable resource, like the oil companies do, they'd want to stretch it out as long as possible. But the oil companies blocked anything that would have, not the incredibly powerful "Green Lobby" and the Democrats who've been out of effective power for 15 years. It was the auto companies that refused to build hybrids, or even just compacts that got better mileage, as smaller cars mean less profits. Say, didn't we also invade the Middle East to bite the hand that was feeding us? Here's a brief list of the stupid shit Bush did or didn't do that caused oil to go up.
      Every delivery we get at the liquor store has something that has to go up in price, and largely because of gas. I really, really hate listening to someone bitch about their booze going up a buck, and who then drives off in their SUV. And I'm willing to bet that Chuck drives a Hummer. Don't worry, Chuck! Maybe Halliburton will develop a way to run Hummers on the blood of Iraqi children! Bet you wouldn't complain about that!

      Starring your 2 favorite characters!


      Kirk points out something I totally missed about yesterday's UpChuck:


      "...And then we both voted to keep funding the million-dollar-an-hour Iraq war, because we're scared of being called cowards! Rush might make 'B-GAWK! B-GAWK!' noises if we didn't!"
      Then they pause, staring in utter disbelief: If that guy doesn't have a job, then he owes no taxes. If he got a job, then he'd have to pay taxes! Maybe he became jobless because he couldn't afford to pay his taxes...but...what fucking tax bracket is THAT? Maybe he had no withholding taken out of his pay and his house is foreclosed and he's up to ears in credit card debt and he lost his job--but what's that got to do with a farm bill? How did the farm bill fire him? Did he dare to fight the evil sugar lobby?
      Remember, kids: the solution to every problem can be found by lowering taxes! Even starving children can be saved by Bush giving billions of dollars in tax cuts to the rich! That really stimulated the economy! Ever throw a bug into the toilet and flush it down it? That bug thrashes his legs around because he's STIMULATED!
      One last question: Does Chuckles strike you as A) the type of guy who gives his change to the homeless, or B) screams "GET A FUCKING JOB CRACKHEAD!" then spits on them?
      There are 2 more cartoons to go from this week. And you have not seen the stupid ones yet.



      You know what? I DO care if Jimmy cracks corn! Cracking corn, cracking corn, all the live-long day! I HATE that sound! It's worse than a little kid with bubble wrap! Ever think that it's the reason the massuh's gone away, HUH?!
      What's that have to do with the cartoon? Nothing. What's the cartoon have to do with ANYTHNG? HOW THE FUCK SHOULD I KNOW, Jimmy!
      I don't care how you can spin it. How can you explain it? Nobody votes for anybody for an actual good reason, just shallow ones? Judging from this, I guess McOld will beat Obama, unless they've given 12 year olds the right to vote. Fat ugly women with no fashion sense can vote, but they look too angry to do anything but punch the voting machines. Doddering gnome-like senile dementia patients like Chuck will sweep the election! And crack corn like crazy.
      The only way this comic would make sense is if the geezer said "Remember--WE count the votes!" and the back of his sweater vest said "DIEBOLD."
      (Bonus note: "Young" and "idealistic" and "woman" are all negatives to Chuck. So naturally, his dream candidate is a cynical old man. I guess some people really do vote for the shallowest of reasons)
      And you still haven't seen his stupidest cartoon of the week! Jimmy Crack Corn? It's more like Jimmy Crack Head.


      Here's a real Stupidest Thing Ever Said--no, wait, a truly psychotic thing: “There is a series of moments and this is one of them. Our will is being tested, but we are resolute. We have a better way. Stay strong! Stay the course! Kill them! Be confident! Prevail! We are going to wipe them out! We are not blinking!”--George W. Bush, April 6, 2004 (hey, my birthday! Many an Iraqi's deathday!)

      I believe it was Negaduck who made a passing reference to the webcomic Girl Genius a few months back. I went there out of curiousity, and it's great. So great that I'm probably the only one out of the loop. If you're a fan of Lackadaisy, I highly recommend it. They're nothing alike thematically; Girl Genius is set in an alternate steampunk universe. But both are well-written with rounded characters with art that is truly breathtaking in its detail. I plunged right in with the current plotline, not always understanding what was going on in the backstory. Eight volumes? I don't have time to read all those old ones! But since I'm on vacation, I figured I'd try it from the start. And it breezes right along, while revealing its secrets slowly. There are a lot of pages, but there's not an overload of dialogue. You'll only slow down to gasp at the art. Here's page one. Save it for the weekend maybe. You could be hooked right away.

      Doctor, the sharpened carrot beckons like a flatulent walrus! Arrogant toast masticates giraffe. Does the kinetic vagabond not know of the Calvinist mountebank? Yet still isinglass joculates severely! Salubrious radish! Cease your impecunious yet squamous toadstool of airplane kayak!
      Yes, it's that time again, kids! Time for--



      "Don't worry, kid! We can adapt! We can grow gills overnight like Kevin Costner in that documentary Waterworld! Keep bear-paddling, we've only got 900 miles of open ocean without food or fresh water before we reach the nearest land!"
      "Hey, maybe these bears can read my sign!"
      "Oh, honey! That's silly! Bears don't have fuel!"
      "Fuel? Oh, sorry! I thought I was holding my 'Will Work to Make my Estimated 1040 Payment' sign!"
      Note the "Gore 2000" sticker on the boat. WHAT THE FUCK IS HE TALKING ABOUT? Global warming's nothing to worry about, because polar bears will turn into fish and it will only kill Democrats?! WHAT THE FUCK IS HE TALKING ABOUT?
      Normally, this is where I make some comment on the overall UpChuckian idiocy. But all I can say is WHAT THE FUCK IS HE TALKING ABOUT?!?!



      I am quite catlike in my thinking! Meaning I can jump to the top of the fridge! Well, I mean, I could, if so inclined and there was a ladder.
      Also, I like things to be the way they are and always have been, and not do anything spontaneous. I decided to get on the top of that damn fridge, and on the fridge I will stay. In the immortal words of America's greatest patriot: "I meant to do that!"--Pee-Wee Herman.
      Today I was going to go see (I have sworn to never type the words again, so please cover your eyes now) SPEED RACER again. (Okay, you can open them now) But it left the Showcase up the road last week, and my only choice was in IMax. I've only seen one IMax movie, X-Men 2 at the Crown in Hartford. While I liked it all those years ago, DO NOT WANT. IMax is 5 story pan & scan, and I watched a few minutes of (NAME OF MOVIE THAT WILL NOT BE NAMED WOULD BE HERE) after the traditional wide-screen. I found it lacking. Made my eyes cross, in fact. But this movie won't be worth watching on a TV! But if not IMax, then never again! Tis a sad comment when a movie closes after only 3 weeks in the theater. A sadder one when it makes $40 million and is considered a bomb.
      At the last minute I decided to not see it. Almost literally, as I changed my my mind only 5 minutes before I was going to leave. But I was on top of the fridge. I was going to see a movie on my vacation (you, umm, only make to-do lists for your vacation too, right? With dates that you cross off and change as your plans do?). I'd decided to see a movie, and now I wasn't going to see it, but here I am, Top of the Fridge, Ma! Let's make another spontaneous decision!
      So I wented to the Iron Man. Or, in cat terms, decided not to get off the fridge the way I got up, but leapt over to the laundry hamper OH SHIT IT FALLS OVER owww!! I meant to do that!
      (You do know which cat of mine I'm using an example here, right? Hint: feet)
      Not that Iron Man was bad, mind you. It was Netflix good, not $7.75 matinee good. There was no reason to see it on the big screen, not when it cost a day and a half's commute in gas. It was a superhero movie, a good one, but it was a superhero movie. I've seen those. SPEED R--No! I will not break my solemn vow! Umm..."VELOCITOUS DRIVER" was something I'd never seen before. Certainly not without its flaws (too long, it could've been cut by 10 minutes, especially the "heart-to-heart family speeches"--there's like 6 or 8--and "No, he's not the villain! He's not the--oh wait, you figured it out immediately, because anybody in a Hollywood movie with a British accent is ALWAYS the villain. You got that."), but I only want to go to the theaters to see something I've never seen before. Iron Man wasn't it.
      If "EXPEDITIOUS VEHICLE USER" had been in a normal theater, sure. But it was only non-IMax in a theater I'd never heard of in Hartford, our closest thing to a city, and on...PARK AVE. Fuck! I'm not going there! I'll be stabbed or some shit!
      After both liking and being disappointed in Iron Man (really, disappointed in myself, for not going to see the movie I wanted to see. I...well, I actually didn't mean to do that) I went to Kevin and Meg's. "Park Ave?" said Kev. "No, you're thinking of Park Street! That's the old Crown!" Where I saw my only IMax movie, X-Men 2. And "EXTRAORDINARILY FAST GUY" is in normal widescreen there. Until tomorrow.
      Nice view from the top of the refrigerator.

      Kev and Meg bought the beer, so I bought the pizza. "Bacon Double Cheeseburger." When we went to pick it up, I saw a sign in the window: "LARGE CHICKEN TIKKA PIZZA $11.99." "CHICKEN TIKKE!" I yelled (the sign spelled it wrong). "I LOVE chicken tikke!" Kev thought I was joking, but I just bought ChicTik from Taj Mahal in the same plaza on Sunday! I asked how spicy it was, and the not-Indian clerk said "Very" and I died so completely it was like I'd been cut in half with a machete of delicious. But we already had a pizza. Next time, ChicTik pizza. Next time, you are mine!
      Our movie? Walk Hard. Yes, walk hard, not "DRIVE QUICKLY." It's a rockumentary mockumentary. Kids, it's fucking hilarious. If you have the vaguest interest in rock music, and one assumes you do, possiby you've heard some in your life, rent this. The more you know, the funnier it is, and if you know nothing, it's still funny. It's the story of Dewey Cox, who's Johnny Cash and Roy Orbison and Jim Morrison and Brian Wilson and Bob Dylan, each one at a time over the years. And he meets the Beatles. Paul of the Beatles, John Lennon of the Beatles, Ringo who's just going to go take some LSD now...Look. It's late, I wanna go to bed, my review isn't going to be very good. But the 3 of us laughed continously, sometimes having to explain why we were laughing to each other. Sorta like that old show MST3K. It'd be worth watching more than once, as there are some jokes so quick that only one of us caught them (mine: in the bigamy scene, he has 2 wedding rings on the same finger). Get some pizza and beer and a Netflix. Well worth it.
      See? I said I wouldn't type that title again.


     (Oops! Wrote a post yesterday, then forgot to upload it! So you get 2 today. Why'd I forget? Maybe the title of the Stupidest Thing Ever Said quote is a hint!)

      Today I saw that movie, Corredor de la Velocidad (as they say in Madrid, or at at least as Babelfish claims they do). Still awesome, but unfortunately in the smallest of the macroplex's theaters. Eight whole rows! The only sweet spot for viewing was the dead center of Row 4, which I was able to grab due to the fact that this was the only movie I've ever been to where the entire audience was me. And they didn't have surround sound! They still have theaters like that? Ones less wired than a suburban living room?
      Even with the much smaller venue, this was still the way to see Coureur de Vitesse. I was pleasantly surprised that the slow parts went faster. That's always a sign that it's a movie worth repeated viewings. I have movies I've watched since the dawn of the VCR era, and they seem to be only a third as long as their actual running times.
      Know what they call it in Amsterdam? Snelheids Raceauto! It might've done better box office with that name! Go, Snelheids Raceauto, GO!

      Gentle Friends, may I humbly present UPCHUCK, wherein Charles Asay, Esquire, reduces Complex Geopolitical Issues to the level of an Eight Year Old:


      YEAH, US ARMY! GIVE OSAMA A WEDGIE A SWIRLIE AND A TITTIE TWISTER! THAT will teach him to not be in Iraq where we could do this! OH NO! A teacher spotted us!
      Here's fun! Find the one thing that's RIGHT with that picture!
      YES! You got it! McCain and the Republicans pretending that this is reality, while standing on the sidelines doing nothing but cheerleading! Well, that, and obviously also the fact that the 100,000-plus Iraqi civilians we've killed so far were all terrorists, and not "innocent people"!
      NEXT: Chuck pretends that there's an al Qaeda-run anthill in the backyard, and his magnifying glass is an orbital laser!


      Note to the world: If your video tape of Tremors is so fucked up that the only way to remove it from the VCR is by using dinner knives, and once removed continues to fuck up the VCR, the correct reaction is to "throw it out," not "donate to the used book sale so the same thing happens to the sap who buys it." Just a little tip.

      I did something today I haven't done in a long while (I just googled, and the last time was 6/25 2001): SHOWER! Haha! No, I went to Sturbridge, MA, with Jessica.
      It seemed weird to see her after less than 3 weeks, when the last time we got together before that was 19 months ago. Weird, but always welcome. We picked today as the weather was to be near-perfect, so I awoke to drizzle and drove through a downpour. The worst was just as I got there, and yet it cleared when Jess arrived, parting the rainy skies as Moses did the Red Sea. It was overcast and 60, not sunny and 75 as predicted, but at least the umbrella I carried was never used.
      She had to leave early, so I got up at the ungodly hour of 845AM. We went to McDonald's so that I could get some tea and wake up, but an obnoxious old man cut us off. He looked like a mummy, and one badly preserved. His giant ears were several clashing colors human flesh should never have, and were bushy with old man ear hair and oh yeah, pulpy and leaking fucking pus. He wanted a refill on his coffee and asked a worker who "wasn't doing anything" (except run the drive-thru) to get him it. She ignored him. The worker at the counter shook her head, "No more coffee for you." It was clear that he was a regular, and not a welcome one. I don't know how much business they lose from Rude Ear-Rot Man--seriously, who wants to see that when you're in line for food, even if it's the "food" they have at McDonald's?--but they lost ours.
      Otherwise, just the usual, antiquing. In the first store, she bought some Cabbage Patch minis and a gangly boy doll with sewn-in clothing. "I like skinny things with long legs," she said, "maybe because I am, too!" Using that same logic, she added the adjective "weird" and named the doll "Billy." I bought a wooden bug fridge magnet. Her bill: $4. Mine: $1. The other antique store was priced beyond belief. Halfway through we began quickly scanning the cases, just to find things to make fun of. Why look that carefully when you know you won't be able to afford it anyway? Example: know those tiny Wade porcelain figurines you get for free in Red Rose tea? They turn up in antique stores all the time, despite the fact they're about as antique as a Tivo. Usually they sell for a buck each. Here? A set of maybe 20 for...well, it really wasn't even a "set." The figurines are issued in a series; the current one being a pet shop. This was just 20 random figurines, some even duplicated, and they wanted $120. For something you get for free.
      We went to the candle store (her fave), and the most overstocked gift store you ever could find. They had displays in front of displays in front of displays, and that's no exaggeration. That one was full of breakables that you had to snake past two racks. Unbelievable. First Rule of Retail: No one's going to buy it if it's physically impossible to do so.
      Oddly, I drove 35 miles from Vernon, CT, to Sturbridge, MA, and one of the things they had for sale was a wooden sign that said "VERNON established 1808." So they meant my Vernon. It was a mere $23, so instead I got more fridge magnets (I only splurge on myself when I'm on vacation, and this is the last time I ever will. What I got in the very first seconds of my vacation when I picked up my mail on Saturday: a notice from my condo ass(ociation) that the monthly fee was going up 50% because of heating oil prices. $125 a month. The fees are now as much as my mortgage payment, which thank GOURD will be paid off in a few months. So, one last little splurge. One magnet was a little stuffed animal, a white cat; another a cat with the logo "How beautiful it is to do nothing...and then rest afterwards," another a goofy bobble-headed cat, and a white cat with the slogan "I know I'm not perfect, but I'm so close it scares me." They remind me of my roommates.
      They had a cheap plastic mug that I would've bought, if it actually had been cheap and not $8. It had a pair of cartoon pirates with parrots, peg legs, hook hands and all. The mug turned up repeatedly on the rack, usually with a name on it or some standard slogan like "HAVE A NICE DAY." This particular one read "I LOVE JESUS" and we laughed and laughed. Arr! I loves me some Christy!
      We also went to the Bates Motel. Here's my description of it, 7 years ago:

      Today we thought that it we'd remembered it wrong--it was much farther down the road then, and so much creepier. But that's because today all those "trees growing in a foot of water" are dead. It wasn't creepy, just bleak and depressing. We still made jokes about the slasher movie vibe of the old place, Jess talking about a car racing up the narrow road with Jason hanging out the window waving a machete. I told her, don't worry, I have a plan: We'll split up and investigate the place separately! "Of course, you'll trip and sprain your ankle!" "Yeah, and for some reason I'll get my top torn off!" "And you won't cover yourself with your arm, just run around all bouncy!"
      I just looked for that because for the date of our last visit, then checked to see if either the place or our memories of it had changed. It turned out to be the very last Newest I did before thoughtviper.com. I haven't reread it, but I did notice a point where I mentioned recently becoming online friends with someone named "Mimi" who had a comic strip called "As If!" The first post is about the last InExOb. Seven years...Jammer, dat was soms best grappig.

      UpChuck bravely addresses the most important events of our time!


      Oh noes! That guy's using the wrong bathroom! And has no taste in clothes, that's for sure!
      What? The economy is collapsing? BAH! Chuck has no time for trivialities! That there man is going to pee sitting down!


      Everyone remembers how hard the Republicans fought against bailing out rich people! Oh, wait--they didn't. They've controlled the White House for 8 years and Congress for about 16. I guess they never found the time, what with trying to destroy Social Security and taking away health insurance for poor kids.
      Once again, if the government does something Chuck doesn't like, it's the fault of the Democrats or "BIG GOV'T." Or both at the same time! I realize that this is an issue of crucial importance, but I'm surprised that he cares. The only way that there would be an increased threat of hurricanes, storm surges and coastal flooding would be if global warming was real! That's not important!
      Next: A week-long series by Chuck on how airline food is bad!




--terms used in the Walt Disney Company annual report

      Well, vacation was bound to have at least one disappointing day.
      First off, the AC is on. It's early June! I don't want no 100+ degree heat indexes this early! Why, one might even think that the climate was changing. I didn't turn it on so much for myself--bachelors don't need to wear shirts!--but for the children. One is peacefully lying in the room with the AC, figuring out that it was on as soon as it was. One walked in, ate some kibble, then went right back to the hottest part of the hottest room. I don't think that I have to spell out which cat did which.
      On today's to-do list was the Coventry Farmer's Market and POUTINE. The market had moved to the Nathan Hale Homestead. You know, "I regret that I have only bag of organic, locally-grown turnips to give for my country," that guy. I'm unclear why they moved. Especially as it doubled the distance for me, and I live in the nearest most populous town. It didn't seem like the best thought-out plan, given gas prices. I may go a second time this season, but that's it.
      I barely looked at anything, besides the Beltrane Farm goat cheese. In 6 months I may not be able to afford food, but for my last week of splurge--! "I'll have the dill chevre." "Where's the dill?" said the lady on the cooler. "Oh, wait, I'm sitting on the dill!" I said, "That makes it sound less appetizing."
      I looked--twice--at the kittens. About 6 weeks old, I would guess. They were from Kitty Angels, a place I've heard of. The woman who does their website told me that they were not only no-kill, but no-cage. They all live in a big barn. They were looking for volunteers--"You get paid in lots of kitty love." Maybe this was something I should do. I do love me the felines. Then I remembered 2003:

      I've thought about that cat with the lime green eyes at least once a week for 5 years. I could never work in a place like that. Or volunteer.
      Of course...the Kitty Angel cats aren't in cages...hmm. I'll think about it. I do so love cats.
      After that, 2 crappy tag sales. One had a price on exactly one item. That's never a good sign; it means bartering, and I hate bartering. The next one had prices, and was quite cheap, but it was all useless crap. There were about 6 giant tables pushed together to form one, and it was all shoes. I am not buying used footwear. Where's the underwear table?
      And then to the Notch Cantine, which according to the map, I had passed many a time without noticing. Oh--it's one of those tiny shacks with picnic tables next to it that only open during the summer. Readers of a sensitive disposition, do not read the next sentence!
      It chills the very marrow, does it not? At least they knew what it was, and didn't look at me like I was insane. But still...my only must-dos were seeing That Movie in a proper theater again, and poutine, and thwarted I was both times.
      Most of my to-do list is to-done. Still have to do the laundry, get an oil change, and replace the car's headlight, but it's supposed to be even hotter tomorrow than today, so a hike in the woods is out. No idea what I'll do. Not eat poutine, obviously. Or do anything else that's fun. Second disappointing day, I guess.


      Hey! Do you remember (he said, fully knowing that no more than one reader will answer in the affirmative and he already knows which one) that old SNL, where David Bowie wore a dress and there was this weird triangularly-dressed guy with a poodle stuffed with a TV? When you went "HOLY SHIT that's KLAUS NOMI!"?
      You didn't? Well, I'd already bought this single "Lightning Strikes/You Don't Own Me" because I loved nothing more in those days of New Wave than somebody doing a fucked-up version of a pop song from my childhood. I thought, umm, this guy seems pretty gay, and I think he's repurposed these songs to be about having random sex, but the songs are still cool! And then I bought the LP, and there was this AMAZING song called "Total Eclipse"! But it ran so close to the song before that it was impossible to add to mix tapes, where people might actually hear it before they bought it. And then when I worked at Sam Goody, someone opened up the VHS of URGH! A Music War, which despite having Gary Numan and other rad 80s bands on it totally sucked except for this triangular guy with the operatic voice.
      You know. That guy!
      Since I'm having a particularly obnoxious time getting either YouTube or IMEEM to run a video of--oh wait, the URGH! video has loaded--Isn't that great?! An opera New Wave dance song about being atomized in a NUCLEAR WAR! It's like Speed Road Tron Racer Warrior, something you've never heard before.
      Umm, well, I saw The Nomi Song documentary free online on Netflix tonight. Not recommended if you don't like his music, highly recommended if you do. Spoiler: his name was the first I recognized in a news story about that weird new disease they called "AIDS." This may alter your view of the song's lyrics. "It's a total eclipse!/Just a slip of your lips/And you're gone." I think I liked it better when it was just about thermonuclear war.


      Animator vs. Animation, a funny cartoon.

      Regime change in heaven: "God's thunderbolts pose an existential threat to mankind. Military intervention has become unavoidable."


      Laura Bush, Slovenia, 6/10/2008:


      Gilgamesh Wulfenbach, from Girl Genius:


      Hey, Laura! Hyu forgot hyu HAT!



--tennis player Andre Agassi, talking about his career so far

      Another UpChuck, and why I should've done it yesterday:


      Now, I'm sure you're rolling your eyes at how ridiculous this scenario is. But you should've seen this same cartoon yesterday, before he redrew it. Originally, it was titled "The Glass Ceiling!" which you can see as Obama's floor. I really rolled my eyes then, as that was the first, and surely last, reference to woman being discriminated against that Chuck the Misogynist will ever make. He sure hasn't said anything about what McCain calls his wife in public.
      Today I was going to say "I'm surprised it didn't say 'Affirmative Action!'" And guess what! Ku Klux Chuck decided to change the cartoon and go racist. He didn't want to offend his audience of inbred mouth-breathing Nazi shitheads who know that the real discrimination in this country isn't done against women and minorities, but against White Male Christian Republicans. And this is from the asshole who's done numerous cartoons whining like a baby about how Obama called people "bitter."
      No, I have no proof. Google doesn't have it cached, although note how the cartoon is tagged here. Next time, I'll save his cartoons as soon as I see them. But does it matter? Originally, I was going to make fun of his other 3 toons for the week, but I just want to give you a day to ponder this: Chuck changed the cartoon to make it more offensive to and bigoted against both blacks and women, not less. And it's still 5 months to the election. We can expect to see him depicting Obama rapin' him some white wimmens by then.
      Note: I don't blog this pathetic sick fuck Chuck because I like him. If he was on fire and being eaten by badgers? Then I'd LOVE him!



      I laughed at myself for ordering a freebie sample of paper towels. It was like 5 sheets of Viva. Very thick, though.
      Then there was an example of Byron's Syndrome, when he abruptly pukes. My own Young's Syndrome of random puking was a mystery; his seems to be because he eats too fast. Sometimes, some of the kibble is still kibble-shaped, meaning that he didn't eat it, so much as swallow it. The last time, some of it was still dry. And when I went to mop the slime up I thought, hmm, let's try us some Viva. I usually get the store brand, which is good for everything except cat vomit. I need to use multiple sheets, and get both of the unpleasant sensations of the gak's wetness and fresh-from-the-stomach heat. Yuck. But only one sheet of Viva cleaned it up, without any side effects! I going to buy some, and only use it for cat gak. If you have a cat that gaks, here's a coupon.

      Woo...Why do I feel like puking myself? Oh, it must be the UPCHUCK in the air!


      It's too bad that you can't make oil out of horses, because Chuck could've made several ANWR's worth from beating this one to death!
      Chuckles, oil is a finite resource, and if we do nothing--which, so far, is all we've done--it will run out in our lifetimes. It's not so much our "dependence on foreign oil" that's going to end, but our dependence on any oil. Unless you have some dinosaurs you've recently killed buried way deep in your backyard. And the problem is all caused by the fact that Congress is in bed with the almighty super-poweredful GREEN LOBBY! FEAR the POWER of the GREEN! THAT'S why we're in the thrall of of the dirty Arab oilmongers!


      Whoopsie! There's also that!


      Chuck will end global warming by killing everyone who tries to stop it. By beheading, like they do in Saudi Arabia, the Second Greatest Country on Earth! "Genocide--It Makes Things SO Much Simpler® !"


      HAH! Fooled ya! That's not by Chuck at all! That's by Steve Sack, a much better and saner cartoonist. Sack makes Chuck suck! Umm...that sentence scans weird out of context.
      It was out on Friday, which was the same day that I heard a news story that said that this is what everyone's doing with those "stimulus" checks: not blow them on useless consumer goods like Bush wanted, but use them to pay for gas. Since on the same Friday (the 13th) Republicans blocked a Democratic attempt to hit the oil companies with windfall tax profit penalties, the checks went straight from the oilman-controlled White House right into the pockets of the oilmen who control the White House! HUH WHAT ARE THE ODDS.


      Here's Chuck's version of the same thing. That woman's either horrified that "Why am I stuck in the cartoon that SUCKS?!" or thinking "That guy on the other side of the pump is complaining about the price of gas while he drives an SUV so big it has an ATTIC?"


      For 6 years I drove past the place that introduced me to the concept of poutine, Chez Ben. Why? Because I work second shift, and, to quote the article, "If you’re going to pay a visit to Chez Ben, you should know a few things first. They don’t take credit cards. They’re closed on Mondays [ed: My other day off]. And they close at 2 p.m." And I get up at 11AM to go work at noon, so I'd have to go before work. And poutine never struck me as a breakfast food.
      Last Sunday I went to a place that allegedly sold poutine, only to find out that they didn't. This was at 130PM. I realized that I could go to Chez Ben at that hour after all!
      And found out that the article should've read "And they close at 2 p.m.--except for that one day when they close at 1." GUESS WHICH DAY!
      Poutine! Why do you thwart my every attempt to eat you?


      June 16th?! Then it's the Most Important Day of the Year!


      He's five, she's nine! Do you believe that?
      For the second year in a row, they spent it on my day off, which won't happen again until 2013. They had the traditional birthday dinner of tuna, straight from the can.

      I used to review my latest Netflix rentals, then stopped for some reason. Yesterday I watched something that took a while to get, Life After People. Humanity disappears for (quite literally) no reason, and I mean "disappears" in the "leaves no trace" sense. No 6.5 billion rotting corpses, just POOF! I guess it was the Rapture.
      Fascinating information, awful presentation: A portentous narrator using the "IN A WORLD...WHERE..." voice, editing that consists of constant zooms and jump cuts and screens of static, and a soundtrack that's "ominous synth...drums...boom CLANK! Clank BOOM! ominous synth" over and over. Some of the SFX are laughable, like the fake grizzly on the Brooklyn Bridge, or the gloopy sounds used for the HORROR of stop-motion growing plants. We're told that "pet dogs will die after ONE YEAR!" and then told that they rule the world at year 25. Lions and rhinos stalk Wall Street, just like in Gilliam's 12 Monkeys. Except zoos are designed to be inescapable, and the animals only sources of food are supplied by humans, so, no. They'd be dead (in 12 Monkeys, they were deliberately let loose). Your pet cat doesn't get mentioned until year 100, although since they're born feral and a human collapse would lead to a rodent explosion, one would think that they'd be the first natural survivors. It does have plenty of fascinating bits, such as roaches dying off in the first northern winter without the heat of human homes, and why if everybody but you dies, the best place to go is Las Vegas, as it will take decades for the Hoover Dam to stop working, while every other power plant will shut down within days.
      It would've been much more interesting if it'd followed that line of thinking: What if You Were Legion, the last of the few humans alive, and had to survive in a world without any other people? That would've been awesome, but the filmmakers are more interested in their Cheez-Wiz ILM effects of the Eiffel Tower falling down (shown repeatedly, from every angle). It's worth renting if the concept interests you, but it frequently becomes laughable due to its over the top treatment. Boom CLANK! clank BOOM!


      The Mundaneum: "In 1934, Otlet sketched out plans for a global network of computers (or 'electric telescopes,' as he called them) that would allow people to search and browse through millions of interlinked documents, images, audio and video files. He described how people would use the devices to send messages to one another, share files and even congregate in online social networks. He called the whole thing a 'réseau' which might be translated as 'network' — or arguably, 'web.'”


      Anybody tried Foxfire 3 yet? As an old Windows user, I'm leery of anything until it's been out for a few months. Hell, years, when it comes to Windows. Does anybody use WinME, Win2000, or even the brand-new Vista anymore?



      ....not by Chuck, obviously. I just find it amusing that I saw both these cartoons on the same subject today.


      I didn't know that newspapers published on Opposite Day! "Al Qaeda On The Run"? Ah, no; Bush gave them their most powerful recruitment tool when he invaded Iraq and ignored Afghanistan. "Supply Siders Are Right!" HAHAHAHA!!!! YEAH, the economy's doing GREAT! And all it took was "Supply Siders" cutting taxes on the wealthiest 1% of Americans and shifting the tax burden to the middle class and poor! (That headline says something about "Growth," and it's wrong unless it's meant in the "baseball-sized malignant tumor" sense of growth) However, I will admit that the entire GOP plan for the latest oil crisis is to put more money into the pockets of the oil companies. That headline could just as easily read "GOP WANTS TO SUCK MORE OIL COMPANY COCK." Yes, Chuck, the GOP has the trifecta: An endless war 70% of America hates, a gas crisis caused by the war, and an economy collapsing from Bush's policies. Why are they so low in the polls?
      Because the Democrats control the media! Is this the same media that screamed "IMPEACH THE BLOW JOBEE!" all that time, and now barely mumbles about impeaching a fucking war criminal? The one that called everyone who asked how Bush was able to get Diebold machines in some Ohio towns to give him 133% of the vote in 2004 a "tin-foil hat wearer"? The ones who ignore or downplay every negative about Bush, until there's no way that they can ignore them? That media that Bushites only complain about when it stops reprinting White House propaganda and starts reporting reality? "And reality has a well-known liberal bias," as Colbert said. That media, Chuckles?
      The best part of this cartoon is that he complains about a media bias while showing propaganda fantasyland headlines that could've come only from FOX News or a Murdoch paper. "This just in: Black is White and Up is Down, says Bush! Fawning editorials agreeing begin on page 2!"

      Siskel & Ebert do a promo, circa 1989. Gets pretty funny at the halfway point, when the Jew and the Catholic start making Protestant jokes, and also acts as evidence for my theory that 20 years ago, Siskel came to work drunk.



      And Opposite Day continues!
      Umm, Chuck...restoring habeus corpus is protecting the Constitution, and HEY GUESS WHAT--That's what the Supreme Court does. I know you've been confused by all those 5-to-4 "fuck Americans in the name of King George" rulings since they appointed him Regent of the Land. But, really, that's their day job. You can look it up on Wikipedia.
      Funniest parts: The "NO GIRLZ ALOUD" sign on Bush's tree fort. The idea that the randomly-kidnapped-for-$5K bounties-no-questions-asked people who've been tortured at Gitmo for 7 years actually have anything to do with terrorists (although I'm sure that once they are brought to trial, they'll say anything Bush wants them to--that's why torture's against the Geneva Convention and so beloved of despots. It doesn't get information, it gets confessions, as people will say anything to make it stop). Most hilarious, of course, is the idea that Bush is actually interested in the war. "Hey, General! I'm gonna call yew 'Divizzy-Dizzy' from now on! Yew gone on playin' there with yer toy sojers! Kill 'em all! Me, it got me some brush to clear an' pretzels to choke on!"


      Huh. Given that Dodd was a presidential candidate and is my state's senior senator, I would've thought that I'd have heard of these shady, wide-stance bathroom shenanagins with Jack Abramoff, Jr. before now. Well, that's what Google's for.
      "Portfolio cited internal Countrywide documents showing that the company made two loans at special rates to Dodd in 2003. It took three-eighths of a point off a $506,000 loan to refinance a Washington townhouse — saving Dodd about $2,000 a year in interest payments — and knocked a quarter-point off a $275,042 loan to refinance a home in East Haddam, Conn., a savings of about $700 a year."
      2,700 whole dollars?! Holy shit, that's a huge amount of money!
      Both Dodd and Conrad claim that they knew nothing about the lower rates, which would be enough for Chuck to believe them if they were Republicans. Company emails only say that they were giving the lower rates because they were senators, but don't say that the senators knew. Who knows? That's for the Executive Branch the courts to decide.
      "Countrywide has come under fire for its lending practices, including providing mortgages with low initial 'teaser' rates that balloon higher than borrowers can afford. Dodd and other Banking Committee Democrats wrote to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke in December 2007 singling out Countrywide and calling the loans 'abusive.'"
      Maybe Countrywide was going to raise their rates later! Hey, do you know that I get lower rates on loans because I have a really good credit score? I hope Chuck draws a cartoon about me, too!
      But still, $2700! That's a big chunk of change to a senator whose salary is $169,300 per year! That's like $500 to me! Although no one wants to pay me for speaking engagements.
      "Vice President Dick Cheney's Halliburton stock options have risen 3,281 percent in the last year (2005), RAW STORY can reveal.
      "Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) asserts that Cheney's options -- worth $241,498 a year ago -- are now valued at more than $8 million. The former CEO of the oil and gas services juggernaut, Cheney has pledged to give proceeds to charity."
      Hmm. That's a bit more than $2700, especially given that the stock increased because Cheney started a war and bought it with American lives. But, don't worry! It's all for charity!
      "Since 2001, Cheney has claimed that one day his stock options in Halliburton will be given to charity, so that 'technically' he holds no financial interest in the company. But it's been FIVE years and Cheney still holds 100,000 Halliburton share options with a gross value of $3.2 million as of March 9, 2007."
      I'm surprised! I'd think that there would be at least one charity that could find a spot in Cheney's cold, shriveled and largely artificial heart. There's no Elizabet Báthory Fund for Eternal Youth Virgin's Blood Drive? Not a single mad scientist needing funding for transplanting the brain of a veep into an unstoppable giant war-bot? He couldn't even trick-or-treat for UNICEF? (No, not that one! Uncaring Nazi-like Industrialists Crushing Every Freedom)





      Whoops! That's MODOK. My mistake! Though a pretty obvious one, I'd say. It's really just an image on one of those new-fangled "T" shirts those damn beatnik kids are wearing today! Consarn them! Next they'll be wearing them some of those crazy new "underwears" I done heer'd about! Mebbe using that there super-scientifical "toilets papers," instead of an old corn cob, like GOD Almighty intended! PTUI! (spits chaw juice into spittoon, dentures follow it in)
      Interestingly, if you Google mccain anwr, the first page is all crazy right-wing sites screaming about his treason for not wanting to drill. If you Google mccain anwr flip flop, you get liberal sites that all say he's planning to do it.
      Given how much McCain has turned into a clone of Bush over the last few years (a MODOK, a McCain Organism Designed Only for Kampaigning), it's safe to say that he'll be for it soon. But either way, this is going to be a tough campaign year for Chuckles, unless they give him the candidate he wants. Maybe they'll reanimate Mussolini.

      And on to even stranger cartoons:

      "I'm With Stupid" (points at guy who does Ferd'nand)


      "This is 911, what is the nature of your emergency?"
      "The diaper! THE DIAPER! Where does the pin go?! Oh god, if only I'd bought Pampers!"
      "Stay where you are, sir, we're sending over a SWADdling Team!"
      "Please, please! Tell me where the joke to this strip is!"
      "Sorry, sir, but you'll have to contact the Bureau of Missing Punchlines."