Cats Playing with String Theory

NEW 95

"There's a difference between the fact that the universe is inherently unfair on a cosmic level,
and the fact that life is unfair because people are actively making it so."
- -John Scalzi


      Happy Autumn to you in the Northern Hemisphere, and Happy First Day of Vacation to me! I want you to read this with your pulse pounding in your temples on the edge of a seat electric with tension, as my wish-list for this week includes "Clean Closet" and "Laundry," and so this is as exciting as it's gonna get.

      I went to the Coventry farmer's market for the second and last time this year, as a 26-mile round trip is hard to justify. It was packed, both with vendors and customers, as harvest time is here. I saw a small llama, a lot of dogs barking, some merino sheep, a lot of barking dogs, and a rabbit in a cage nearly shaking to death in fear because of everybody's stupid barking smelly dumbass moron dogs. Oh, with some screaming toddlers poking the bunny. Sorry, I count this as animal abuse. Can you imagine a cat in that cage? People wouldn't think it was cute. They'd be too busy screaming about how poor dog, poor tot got their poor noses, poor hands ripped bloody by the razor claws of vengeance. I didn't notice what the booth was selling, just walked away angry.
      Next booth to catch my eye was selling Indian food. Chicken tikke! I fought the urge to buy some, but only because I've planned to buy that exact dish at Taj Mahal today for weeks. I used to go to Taj every 2 weeks, then every month, but I recently restricted myself to every other month. Eating out is expensive. It made no sense to buy the same thing twice in a few hours. But I felt bad about it, as no one was in line.
      Next I bought some fresh local salsa from SalsaDelivery. With a name like that, one would assume that they--no, no they don't deliver salsa. Right now, it's just the name. Like naming UPS with the PS standing for "Pretty much not at the moment--Sorry." Before I had a bit of their hot salsa I made my usual disgruntled comment on how "hot" store salsa is never hot, but more like chunky ketchup. Oh, this was good! "I like it a little hotter," I said, and bought some anyway. It took me a while to notice that the heat lingered on the tongue, and that's always a good sign. I was the only person in line there.
      Then I bought some Bartlett pears, 8 for $3, which is not cheap but they were fresh enough that one still had leaves on the stem. Finally, I got the reason I come to this place (when I can afford it), some Beltrane Farms goat cheese. I was the only person in line again. This, I think, is because most people are stupid.
      When home, I ate 6 Fritos Scoops' worth of the salsa. It was a lot hotter than I'd thought from my previous small taste. I didn't just need a glass of ice water, I needed to hold the water in my mouth surrounding my flaming tongue. That'd be a good superhero name, "The Flaming Tongue." Okay...maybe it'd be terrible.
      After a while, I wasn't just craving chicken tikke, I had a tongue aflame with desire for it! I pulled Taj Mahal's menu out and called up the first number. "Number not in service." Odd. So I dialed the second--"Number not in service." ARRGH! They've gone out of business in the last 2 months?! It's a mile away, and gas ain't cheap (especially after driving 26 miles), so I walked there, even if it meant crossing the deadliest street in town. They sure looked closed, with signs in the window. "Closed for Remodeling." That's a relief! There was a building permit in the window, and it looked like that was all they were doing. But why turn off the phone? Why not have an answering machine that says "Closed for remodeling, open again in XX/2008"? Most people will call once, then just throw the menu in the trash and check the Yellow Pages for the next closest Indian restaurant. I didn't think to ask when they'd reopen at the other Indian-owned restaurant in the plaza, the only place in town--maybe the world--where you can get chicken tikke pizza.
      After a period of disappointment, I ordered hot wings from the other place I can walk to, the comrades at the People's Choice Soviet. This involves not crossing the deadliest street in town, so naturally, I was almost run over. By some tard in his big gas-guzzling old van. He was driving from the apartment complex across the street to the...apartment complex directly across that street. A trip of mere yards. Wanna bet every time he fills up, he curses them greedy Ay-rabs, and hopes McCain begins to DRILL DRILL DRILL? But walk across 'm'street? He ain't no ECO-FAG!
      Is it a bad sign when you're leaving the Pizza Soviet, and one of the workers is returning with a big, empty bag of McDonalds? If that means the food is different than McD's, no, it is not. I suppose that if I worked in a pizza place, I'd get sick of even the smell of it. Then again, I work in a liquor store, and yet I believe that I will now have me another beer!
      You can now sit back in your chair and wipe your forehead and go "PHEWW!" I know my day's been a wild ride!



      Science proves that you're more likely to be a right winger if you're scared by pictures of spiders. McCain should've passed on Palin and gone with Miss Muffet.


      If you're wondering how my vacation is progressing, yes, I successfully did my laundry! And watched some movies.
      Lord of the Rings, but I watch that every year on my fall vacation. This year, I decided to watch it as it was originally released, and not in the Expanded Version. That really only has one bit I really think should've been included in the theater release. Gimli starts off the first movie hating elves, but by the end of it, he thinks they're the totally awesome cool. The expanded version throws in the bit where he meets Galadriel and falls in chivalric love with her---which also improves the scene where she's tempted to take the Ring. I mean, it's not as "Why wasn't that in there?" as Star Trek II, and the excised scene that explicitly stated that the dead trainee was Scotty's nephew, or Aliens, when we're not told that the reason Ripley defends little Newt is because her own daughter died of old age in the time she was in both the rescue pod and suspended animation. Mainly because, crimeny, the LotR scene involved more than just dialogue. You need special effects to make Rhyss-Davies a fucking midget, but not to have the guy from My Two Dads read one line, and thus make the movie so much better.
      My Two Dads, if you've never seen it, was a late 80s sitcom set in a Bizarro universe where people had half a car in their living rooms, but didn't have paternity tests. In comparison, ALF was a docudrama.
      I saw The Great Race, a 1965 movie I loved as a kid and haven't seen since...Don't know when. But I watched it every time it came on TV, back in those pre-VCR days. I enjoyed seeing it again, but that may just be nostalgia. There was a bit too much slapstick in it for my current tastes. But that's what it wanted to be, a 60s version of a silent movie. It's even dedicated to "Mr. Laurel and Mr. Hardy," and near the end everyone runs into a room full of pies. A scene like that never involves anyone sitting down and eating said pies.
      If you were ever a fan of the cartoon "Wacky Races," well, Hanna-Barbera never had an original idea, and this is where they stole that one. Jack Lemmon as Professor Fate and Peter Falk as Max--Dastardley and Muttley. They even stole the look of their car.
      (I get why did H-B stole all their ideas, but why, to this day, does the studio lie about it? "Flintstones" wasn't ripped from "Honeymooners"! "Top Cat" wasn't ripped from "Sgt. Bilko"! Sure, we got an actor from Bilko to voice the same character that we gave the same name, but that's just a coincidence!)
      Also, Superman Returns: I was never any great fan of either the comic books or the earlier movie series, and people who were never gave it any great reviews, so I made no attempt to seek this when it first came out. But I quite enjoyed it. Lowered expectations, maybe?
      But when it was was just over. What was the deal with Superkid? That was so minor, it didn't even need to be in the movie. While the star, Whatshizname, was great as Superman, he didn't register as Clark Kent. In fact, for the first time I found myself wondering why there even is a Clark Kent. When the comic started 8,000 years ago, it was because working for the Planet was the way Superman found about world crises. Because they had teletype machines. Does he need to pretend to be this dweeb when he can sit at a PC with an internet connection? Or when, as the movie claims, he can just orbit the Earth and hear what he needs to deal with? Like Super Green Beret's magic hat? Umm, I think science told me a long time ago, you can't hear sound IN THE VACCUUM OF SPACE.
      But, okay, suppose you can. Dang, I went along with the "nobody knows who Clark is when he takes his glasses off" crap, even if as a kid I knew I couldn't become invisible by taking my glasses off. (I believed that nobody could tell who Spider-man was because he put on a mask, until 1968, when I went trick-or-treating in a Spider-Man mask and every parent in the neighborhood instantly knew who I was anyway) But why does he need to pretend to be anybody but Superman? If people start to pester him, shit, there's a place at the north pole and it's called "The Fortress of Solitude," and not "The Fortress of Pester-Me-A-Lot-tude," right? And since you don't need to eat or even breathe, go sit on Mars for a month. And if you have some desire to mingle with these fragile humans that you'll outlive by, what, a few millennia, jeez, wear a hoodie and go to Starbucks or something. Sure, maybe you need human companionship. But if you don't need food, if you don't need air--why the FUCK do you need A JOB?
      And you're a literal illegal alien from a town so small they fucking named it Smallville, no, you ain't getting a job at the only big newspaper. You'll get a job in retail. In the midwest, most likely at Wal-Mart. But you're fucking Superman. "OH NO! Braniac has launched a giant asteroid at the Earth! But my shift doesn't end until six!"
      Fuck that. Blast a hole through that store's roof, save the fucking planet, and don't bother to come back for your last paycheck. If you actually need money--wait, given that the needs for food, clothing and shelter are already crossed off your list, why would you? If you do, squeeze some fucking coal into diamonds. If the paparazzi bug you, either go to the Moon or, HMM, do they have cameras, or HEAT VISION? Set a few photographers on fire! AHHH-HAHAHAHA! They don't follow you NOW, do they! Sure, there's multiple murder warrants--but can they serve them to you on VENUS?
      Oh, wait--! Put your glasses back on! Now you're invisible!
      Well...I liked it except for that part. But it's possibly that I have mental problems.


      Oh, c'mon, Stupidest Things Ever Said Calendar! I can hear stupidester things on the evening news!      Yes. Why, yes, exactly. "That's why I say I, like every American I'm speaking with, were ill about this position that we have been put in. Where it is the taxpayers looking to bail out." Yes. Why, yes. Just what I was going to say, possibly via a photo of an adorable LOLCat involving its hamburgers. Well--who hasn't said with who I'm speaking with themselves that? Looking to bail out that? And the rest of you--wait, oh crap! Palin's not speaking in TONGUES again, is the Veep?!
      May I be pardoned for just a wee bit to Google an image?


      Yeah, that looks like the one.



      Oh, CHUCK! I'm sorry that I blew off making fun of your drain-bamaged cartoons last week, or should I say--last WEAK?! Sorry to phrase my question in the form of an answer that matches how lame you were, Chuckles. Oh, but today, you give me such gifts! Such as the above!
      WHAT'S NOT TO LOVE?! Yeah, the best way to show your 72-year-old candidate is in a boxing match with a younger and healthier guy. Wait, how long was McCain's medical report that he didn't allow anyone to read for more than an hour again? Like 1,100 pages? I'm sure that there's nothing so wrong with him that it requires 1,100 pages to list! Yeah, put him in the ring and get punched by someone! He's SO BRAV--
      Wait, BRAVE candidate who, until HOURS BEFORE IT, RAN AWAY from tonight's debate? THAT, my friends, is GUTS! He couldn't stand on a stage and have a civil debate with another candidate, he had to run--or limp, or drool, or whatever septugenarians do when startled. Fill their Depends, mayhap. He's afraid of A DEBATE, but he'll take on those bad guys, one on one! He'll tire them out, with all that running around the ring covering his face while screaming "Don't hit me!" while Benny Hill music plays! Hey, can't he just get his Veep to shoot those guys from her plane like wolves, while he hides under the covers sucking his Geritol?
      And there's plenty of guys to shoot! OH GOD NO NOT THE VENEZUELANS AAAHHHH! Every American's WORSTEST NIGHTMARE! is --Venezuelans! MY BED IS FULL OF THE SMELL OF ME PISSING IN FEAR FROM--THE VENEZUELANS!!! And, NO! not the dreaded North Kor--wait a minute, what, is North Korea just a retarded guy wearing a bike helmet? And "Terror" is wearing boxers with hearts on them? Whoa, and looka them Irans and Putins, drawn so TERRIFYI...Jesus, they're not fucking scary at all! Is this the "World Leader Look-Alike" contest held at the Special Olympics? Oh, no, wait! In the back is the hulking, dopey-grinned "DEFICIT"! Uh, Chuck--you DO realize that that's Bush-Cheney's retarded stepchild, right?
      Seriously, Chuck. You drew this drunk and sobbing in your Oxycontin, knowing your time has passed, and right-winged elites like you will be sucked into the morass of the banking deregulation disaster, right with us poor people.


      Oh, no wait--you don't. You've lied so much about the Dodd/Frank Bill, you can't even remember which lie you told! They were trying to bail out average homeowners being foreclosed on, but you lied and pretended that they were all about bailing out the predatory lenders, and now that it's Bush/Cheney bailing out billionaires--NO NO NO, Congress did it! NO NO NO Mommy and Daddy say the bruises and broken bones are from me falling down the stairs! MOMMY AN' DADDY DON'T LIIIIE. They don't--sob--LIE! If I tell the truth, they'll--Me and the economy just walk into a lot of doors!
      You're right, Chuck. Some people do keep voting for people who just make everything worse. Sometimes, they want to do it for the third time in 8 years!


      I normally don't make the cartoons this big, but I made an exception for this one. So that you couldn't figure out WTF the tiny labels say either! Let's just ignore the "Friendly Media" bullshit and try to read: "Energy Policy" (of course, it means "NO DRILL," as this is One-Note Chuck), "Surge Denial" and "Flip-Flops" and "Tax Policy" (I think I've gone over those lies here enough already), and "Reverend Wright" (what, AGAIN?!), and of course, the most important issues of the day:
      "Couch Pouch," "Brl Ayrr," "Born June Vote" and, worst of all, "Cungmmg to Goons and Reliq!"
      Obama CUNGMMGS TO GOONS AND RELIQ! And yet you still want to vote for him! Well, you should take a look at the McCain picture! You SHOULD be voting for the presidential candidate with the BIGGEST BOX OF USED HYPODERMIC NEEDLES.
      "YEAH, Babar! Right there! Just one more NEEDLE IN MY FACE! GOOooOOood...That...BOTOXYCONTIN--yeah...yeah...Botox, that's what it is...Botox...I am SO READY for my DEBATE! Where's the exit, again? Just in case?"

      There's one last one. It's another in Chuck's ongoing series of "There is no minority more abused and discriminated against than the incredibly over-rich! Am I right, my friends? Huh? Am I right?" And I'm not going to say any more about it, other than it's about how the LIE-berals want to--GASP!--cap CEO compensation, as a condition of BushCo. giving them a fucking trillion dollars of free taxpayer money. I'll just let you decide whether Chuck's cartoon makes you empathise with these poor, poor oppressed people...


      ...or cry, "TO THE GUILLOTINE!"

      Chuckles, you are truly the master of your craft.


      When I said that Chuck's cartoons of last week were "weak," I meant that they just didn't give me anything to work with. Sure, there was the one in which he used the phrase "BUSH/CHENEY FAILED POLICIES" and followed that with one blaming the Democrats for the economic meltdown, via a calm conversation on a park bench between an average citizen and the personification OF FUCKING DEATH. (You do know that you see the ones I don't dissect here, right?) However, there is one that's kept preying on my mind. It appeared the middle of last week, which is appropriate.


    the middle of the week is Wednesday Thursday Friday!!
      Whoa, what is THAT about? The GOP is a bunch of fat drunken slobs? Sarah "Caribou Barbie" Palin is really ugly? (Seriously--how many teeth do you count in the first panel? I see ONE) Nice fucking dress, too, snowbilly, if it's 1933. And did your eye also think that those tiny, cold black hearts in panel 2 were flies hovering over the rotted stench of the males, too? And "babe!" Yes, ancient wrong-wingers like Chuckles really think that women will vote for McSame because Palin has a vagina, as that's the only reason that matters to them. And to please their drunken, smelly idiot husbands, of course!



      The first half of my vacation: teh awesum! The second: wuz not so grate ackshually.
      It basically rained Thursday night until Monday morning, but it didn't matter, as I spent Saturday morning through Monday afternoon sick with nausea and diarrhea. I wasn't utterly incapacitated. Except for all the sleeping. But there are better things to do on vacation than sleep and shit.

      And I apparently awoke in some Alternate Universe! They voted against the "Give Cheney a TRILLION DOLLARS, no questions asked" bill?! They gave him the PATRIOT Act, they gave him the Iraq War, but after 8 years of him beating the country with a baseball bat with spikes in it, they decided that maybe this time, it was a bad idea? What will they do when Cheney's beloved "I must eat ALL your babies!" bill comes up? Refuse him any mustard?
      I'm no economist, but "Give me a zillion smackers so's I can buy up bad debt with no strings attached, and no I seriously pinkie-swear, not one red cent will be going to Halliburton this time, HA! HA! HA!" crowed while Cheney lightly salts a squawling newborn...Ah, that doesn't seem like a very good idea. If every restaurant in America is about to go bankrupt because instead of buying food, they bought the rotting carcasses of diseased rats, um, why would I want to buy their dead rats? Aren't there better uses for 700 billion dollars than buying something that's worthless? Why am I supposed to be happy when a restaurant feeds me a dead rat, yet rush to them with bankloads of my cash when it looks like they might have to eat one, too?
      Enjoy your rats, assholes. And I mean the ones on your plate. Not the ones in the White House and Congress.


      Free bonus quote, which turned up today on QotD:
      "No man needs a vacation so much as the man who has just had one."--Elbert Hubbard
      ...At least if you're going to work still sick.
      I think it's done now; we'll see. And I think I know what caused it: POUTINE! Indirectly. On Friday I got it at Chez Ben for a second time. The last time I was there, I wondered why they had 2 rooms seperated only by a doorframe, as no one was in it. But that was during late June. In late September, there's a Catholic high school and a tech school right across the street, and it's not summer vacation. The students were all in the other room, and it was as loud as a school cafeteria in there. And schools are germ factories. Somebody gave me something while I ate. Hopefully, it's done, but I thought that yesterday, and it could be one of those "feel like crap for hours every day after getting up for a week" things I sometimes get. As I am a terrible, whiny sick person. I imagine even the near-deaf cat tires of listening to me.

      Longer than most articles I link to, but worth the read, "like having Gidget address the Reichstag":


      Because of my work schedule, I have the time to watch the TVs tomorrow. I'm torn between watching the Vice Presidential debate or my Netflix rental, The Worst Witch. And, really, that is a total, unplanned coincidence.
      One is supposed to be a near-legendarily badly-done unintended comedy, and the other is from Netflix.


      I noticed the time just before the Veep debate was to begin, and I still haven't eaten, so I guess I'm not watching it. I'm sure every political website tomorrow will be linking to YouTube clips anyway.

      So how about something that we know will be stupid! UPCHUCK!
      This latest lot turned up all at once yesterday, much in the same way a vacant lot quickly fills up with garbage and old mattresses.


      FLY GUY's back! Wow, and all that stuff actually was working until January, 2001, just like it was with North Korea's nuke program! And then some guy started calling three countries, none of them allied to each other in any way, and two of them mortal enemies that had fought an 8 year war that killed millions, part of his made-up "Council of Doom". Then he invaded one of them over the objections of the whole world. And then the other two decided that the only way that they could be safe from this lunatic was to actually have WMDs. And every time Iran could be coaxed to the bargaining table, BushCo started screaming about bombing them, and, HUH, the negotiations failed. Sure, every UN inspection team said that Iran wasn't making bombs, but those dupes said the same about IRAQ!
      As I've said before, the only way to make a paranoid person less paranoid is to make him more paranoid! That's why we should elect a president who sings songs about bombing them! We Will Win--through KARAOKE!
      Also, bombs.
      Hey, what was that other country in the Axis of Evil, the one with the actually insane leader who told the world he was building an atomic bomb? The one Bush kept us safe from through direct diplomacy, when it became it was clear that they could deliver on their threat? No, not Pakistan! They only GAVE those two countries their nuclear bomb technology! Well, I guess that it was decided by The Decider that the North Koreans were nice and friendly and not a threat worth bombing and invading. At least until Exxon discovers a way to extrude oil from kimchii...
      The rest of Chuck's cartoons for the week were surely spilled out in a fever. You know how the "Bail Out Rich People (latest in a series) Bill" was defeated in the House by liberal Democrats and right-wing Republicans? I guess Chuck and me are on the same side of the fence! For different reasons, I'm sure. "Al Qaeda will kill us in our sleep! Pass the PATRIOT Act NOW! Don't think about it!" was the reason I was against the PATRIOT Act. The only votes against it came only from congressmen who actually read it. And this was quickly followed by "Iraq will kill us in our sleep! Invade them NOW! Don't think about it!" and THAT WORKED OUT GREAT. And now it's "The collapse of mumble mumble will kill us in our sleep! Give us a TRILLION FUCKING DOLLARS NOW! Don't think about it!" Hey...let's wait and think about it. After 25 years, we're still waiting for "trickle-down economics" to give any evidence that it works; let's actually think about this. Wasn't "Buy a house NOW! It's a super great idea DON'T THINK ABOUT IT!" one of the factors here?
      Of course, the right-wing Repubs are always in favor of deregulation and corporate profits and gummint non-interference, so that's why they voted against...wait, that's the main thing that caused it! I have no idea why they're against all that NOW! unless it's an election year and they're afraid being voted out by their constituents who've been stockpiling guns and canned goods since the USSR years.
      Chuck? He hates the bailout! I want time to figure out what we should do. Chuck? He's sure of what to do!




      KILL THE SPECULATORS! (These would be the same people that he held blameless for rising oil prices in this cartoon, where he blamed it on FLY GUY, less than 3 months ago)
      NOW! Chuck says we should also KILL Congress and the Media! FASTER, Chucklehead! KILL! KILL!!


      TOO LATE! The already-undead and GAY vampire Barney Franks-enstein will drag you into the graveyard, and there he'll vant to Suck your--probably not Blood! HE'S GAY!
      Oooh-hoo, boys and girls! He'll drag you into the cursed Graveyard of...Fannie Mac? Umm, what? He's still going on about that? The "Must stop Dodd-Franks Foreclosure Bill that would help average people, while throwing a small amount of money at"--ARRRGH! EVERY TIME he brings this up, it's not just farther from reality, it's farther from what he originally said and believed! NOW that bill is the cause of EVERYTHING wrong with the economy? In a month, what will he be blaming it for? His years of endless constipation? "My liberal doctor said it was my poor diet, but someday I'll prove that it was VAMPIRE BARNEY FRANKS, doing me up the butt while I slept!"


      I remember this short I saw once nearly 40 years ago, but I don't remember what Disney movie ran after it. That tells you something right there.
      It would never be made today, and it hasn't been seen for years, so apparently Disney wants to pretend it never existed. Because it presents Evolution as a fact? Because it ends with 5 minutes of 1969 Gilliamesque clip-art trip-out cut-outs? Because the pro-vegan hero ends up as a meal? You be the judge of whether or not It's Tough to be a Bird. (Three YouTubes that play with a pause between segments)





      I'm writing this while also taking a survey for HomeScan. It's amusing when you say "No" to the question "Is there a female head of household?" and then they ask "Is there a male head of household?" Oddly, "hermaphrodite" is not a choice.
      Just now they asked me "How many people live in your household, including yourself?" and the drop-down menu started at zero.

      Two years ago, Jessica and me were to go to the Connecticut Renaissance Faire. It rained, so we went elsewhere. Last year, she couldn't go, so I went alone. The weather was reasonably warm and semi-sunny at home, but bizarrely became overcast, cold and windy 15 miles east at the RenFest. I stayed only 45 minutes, as I didn't bring a coat, and the events had 15 minute gaps between them. This Sunday's weather, when we tried to go again? The prediction was for Sunny and 62 degrees!
      ...When I went to bed. Twelve hours later when I awoke: 48 and RAIN. But we were determined! Fuck you, weather! We're going! Well...we didn't really fucked youed the weather. We wore coats. She wore a scarf, and I wore gloves (except when handling things, when I dropped gloves)
      For two smart people, we were rather stupid. We were given a program and a weekend schedule at the gate, and we only looked at the latter. This told us what was happening when where, but not what it was. That was in the program. Duh. So we just wandered around finding events as they happened. Usually, we just walked towards wherever there was noise.
      Jess stopped us at Su--no, I won't say the name, lest she find me via Google. She was a storyteller with sock puppets, and was so bad that we walked out when the little kids did. Some story about a bullfrog who sings "I'm a great big bullfrog!" as he meets other animals, all larger than him and slightly larger than the last. We lasted through porcupine, rabbit, pig and fox, although foxes really aren't bigger than pigs. There really didn't seem to be any point to the damn fable, and for all I know, she's still there, just now working her way up to "blue whale."
      We went to Curious Magic, which was a contortionist fire-eater and a sleight-of-hand guy. They were entertaining, but after the bullfrog story, what wouldn't be? We caught the end of "Zoltan the Adequate," who was a comic juggler. As opposed to a tragic juggler, I guess, one who fails at keeping the chainsaw aloft.
      We wandered towards the noise and ended at the Pub Sing, which was drinking songs, and part of a day-long theme, "The Wedding of Guinevere and King Arthur." It was fun, although if we'd read the program, we would've been elsewhere.
      Next was Smee and Blogg, Singing Executioners. Literal gallows humor, although since it was all-ages, they could also be called "Corn on the Macabre." At the end, I tipped them $2, as that would get me a fake tattoo (currently on the fridge). Jess gave them a buck, and also got one. Suuure, $2 for me, half-price for the hot babe!
      We had fair food, of course. A cup of hot cider, while the poor guy selling "ICE COLD LEMONADE" on this ice cold day had no business. I got a Scotch egg, what with being half-Scottish (we walked past the kilt shop, me explaining that as I was half-Scots, I could only wear half a kilt). A Scotch egg is a hardboiled egg, rolled in sausage and deep fried. Deee-lish! Jess got some fried dough, which was greasy even for something deep fried, so she only ate half. I bought the only other thing either of us bought, a little statue of Bastet, the Egyptian cat goddess. Because nothing says "Renaissance Faire" like "Ancient Egypt." It was very inaccurate, as it was an all-black cat. Cat goddesses are all-white cats!
      We decided to see the Royal Wedding, but the previous show was running late, so we wandered. Thank God! Literally! The show we missed because of the Pub Sing was "Pope and Cardinal." That was their G-rated show, and we'd stumbled into "Poprah!" the one that wasn't PG as listed in the schedule, but "R-rated, occasionally NC17 and running to Z" as the Pope said. Every other act we'd seen was funny, but clearly scripted. This was all improv, very rude and totally hilarious. We were talking as it was beginning, and I reacted when one of the characters said "fuckwad." We were pointed out to everyone by the Pope, although Jess wasn't even paying attention to them, as her reaction was a comeback to me calling her a dick. Some family tried to sit down, but they were shooed away. "This is adults only!" said one actor, and when they tried to sit down, the Pope said "We just said 'fuckwad'." Their 2 young, blonde, face-painted daughters looked a bit baffled, but dad finally took them away. Another little kid wandered in sans escort and carrying a box of granola bars. The Cardinal offered him a dollar for it before realizing it was just a box of trash. Okay, okay, you hadda be there. Eventually they began reading off the rules (after pointing out the "Woman in the black and white scarf and her husband, gay friend...?" "STRAIGHT gay friend!" I said, but that just caused more confusion and humor) and they were already near the end of their half-hour time slot. It was all improv, and face-achingly funny. A lot of these acts do ren fests for a living, traveling from one to another. I don't know if Pope and Cardinal are locals, although one actor's stage was named "Bolton Colchester" after a pair of nearby towns.
      Then we saw Zoltan's Weird Show--apparently, there are 3 different guys with different acts all being Zoltan. This was geek stuff, sucking on razor blades and lying on beds of nails while a cinderblock is sledgehammered on his chest, sticking a huge needle through his arm. The couple behind us left when the needle went in. Jess was sure it was fake, as his hands were dyed the same color as hers after she'd used fake blood for her daughter's school project and YES, we are both so strange that I never even asked what the hell type of school project THAT was. I wasn't so sure it was faked, although I suggested that latex "skin" might've been involved.
      We passed a guy on stilts in an Ent costume. While having a camera on me, I didn't take a shot of him or anything else. What a dope. In passing we heard that a joust was going on, and that was cool, albeit obviously staged. No one fell in the big pile of horseshit. Part of the shtick involved the joust being over the honor of a stablehand, the villainess taunted the stable girl with "If you are as good with cleaning up after the horses as they say, perhaps you will be as good cleaning my enemy's body off the field!" and yet she didn't point at the steaming pile and ad lib "By the way--YOU MISSED A SPOT!" I'd be a terrible jouster, but I think I'd be funnier.
      And then we left before it ended, before the traffic got medieval on our bumper. We stopped at the famous Rein's Deli, and due to the still-digesting Scotch egg, I barely finished my chic sal sandwich. With half a fried dough in her, Jess had a giant corned beef reuben, a side of fries, and 3 pickles. Yes, she has a supermodel's body and yet can eat like a pig. I'm glad I'm not a woman, as I think I'd hate her.
      Odd moment: abruptly realizing "There are only WHITE PEOPLE here!" Seriously, total Honky Town and Cracker Central. Also: you can see lots of (white) women walking around with their tits hanging out of tiny tops, and yet none of them are attractive. The hottest babe I saw (besides the one I was with) was a blonde in a wheelchair. The first underdressed woman we saw looked liked she was carrying a cafeteria tray of Jello shots chest-high. "It was like she just stuffed her boobs and fat up there!" said Jess in disgust. In retrospect, the only really overweight people we saw there were half-nekked women. Weird.
      We should've planned things better, but it was so much fun that we're going next year.


      Last night I watched The Worst Witch, one of those movies that's so bad that it's--pretty dang bad, actually. It's a no-budget story of a school for witches, full of the crappiest special effects a video from 1985 could muster. Since it's obvious that a series of British books aimed at kids about a school for magic could not be made into a movie that didn't insult their intelligence, and never would be in the future, they insulted your intelligence.
      The acting was like an amateur production with only one rehearsal. It says something when the actor who chews the least amount of scenery is Tim "Rocky Horror Picture Show" Curry, and it says more when the second-worst actress is Dame Diana Rigg! Worst went to not young Farina Balkan...Fair Use Bulkbuy...Flemish Chalk, whatever her name is, but to that y'know, old lady on that sitcom. "Facts of Life" maybe? Dammit, now I have to look it up...Charlotte Rae, I guess? In a dual role, she was okay as the Nice Headmistress, and fuck-all mountain of uncured ham as her twin sister, who kept forgetting that she had a terrible Deep South accent for minutes at a time.
      Characters were introduced for no reason--the Headmistresses' niece (clearly they were related, with their terrible American accents) crashes through a window offscreen (no budget to show that), and then gets about 4 lines in the entire movie. The bad witches spend the whole movie just standing somewhere and conspiring. The heroine, spunkily bland Fezmonkey Caulk, defeats them by reporting them to the authorities, which is like a James Bond movie in which 007 dials 911 and then it ends. And the bad witches were also singing! Yes, you know it's a bad kids' movie when the singing starts! Soundtrack by That One Guy With a Casio!
      And that's what got me to rent this crapfest in the first place! I saw this clip of Curry singing about Halloween, with so many bad effects that it looks like a Chromakey demo reel, and it was goofy enough to make me rent it. Does your dog turn into a cat on Halloween, or your dentist into a queen? Or are they just making up lyrics that rhyme with Halloween? If you see this, you've seen all you need to. And I'm talking about a movie that had MULTIPLE KITTENS! Bizarrely dubbed with offscreen meows when their mouths weren't moving, and clearly by a human male.
      Amusingly, the credits included a guy named "Kant Pan," who I would've expected to be a cinematographer, not a sound editor. The movie should've been made by Kant Direct from a screenplay by Kant Write.
      "Gremlins gonna mess up every cassette from London to Idaho!" You know it's the 80s when the beasties and goblins threaten your A-ha cassette tapes!


      Snippet from a work conversation:
      CUSTOMER (talking to a friend as he comes to the register): It's not illegal to be stupid in America!
      ME: If it was, half the country would be in jail!
      CUSTOMER (laughs): And the Republican vice president candidate would be in for life!




--Patriots coach Bill Belichick, after the Pats lost to the Chiefs (thanks to Jim Clark)


            Wow, I completely suck at updating here. And I can't even read my tiny stream of email, let alone answer it. Regarding a slow reply to her email, Lily said "No worries re: tardiness...again, last time I checked you had A Life. :)" No. I have a job and a commute that eat up too much of my time, and I frequently just want to read the net, not add to it. And even that's with UpChuck taking a week off (maybe he ran out of stupid). Again, I suck.

      On the way to the mailbox, I noticed that the recycling hadn't been picked up yet. Oh, right, it's Columbus Day, BIG GOV'T workers get the day off. I then dropped my Netflix rental into the locked outgoing mail box. So that it would get there on Tuesday, and I'd have a shot at getting the latest Indiana Jones movie when it--wait, it's Columbus Day! There's no mail!
      I went to the state park up the road (one of the reasons I've lived in the same cramped condo for 22 years: there's a state park up the road). The place was packed! Why are there so many people here on a Monday--oh. Right. Columbus Day. Then I went grocery shopping, and the place was packed! I wonder why?
      As I was leaving, I heard one of the store workers explaining why it was so busy:

      That's where I go on my day off. To work.

      The Netflix DVD I returned was Speed Racer: The Next Generation: The Fast Track: The Movie, which was titled by someone paid by the colon. It's a cartoon version of the show, and and on Nickelodeon (I haven't had cable for 7 years, so it was news to me). I rented the first disc it for the hell of it, and was surprised to find that it was entertaining. I thought that to be a fluke, with it just hitting me on a good day, so I rented the second, SR: TNG: TFT: TM, when it came out. And I liked that, too! At first I thought "What the hell is with this jerky animation?--Oh, wait, it's Flash! Jeez, rip off!" But the exciting parts were reasonably exciting, and the funny parts funny. Because it's an action comedy. And while I hesitate to compare it to Ionescu or Dadaism, the humor is frequently absurdist non sequiturs, and when the jokes come, they come fast enough that I didn't really pay much attention to the ones that fell flat. The DVDs are short, only 66 minutes (ie, 3 TV eps minus the ads long), so I also hesitate to recommend renting them. But I liked 'em.
      I also rented Speed Racer: The Movie That Really Is A Movie. I loved it in the theaters, as you probably remember from when I wouldn't shut up about it. But I wasn't sure if it was worth renting. I questioned why the filmmakers made it look so great on the big screen, as it seemed like it would look awful on DVD, the real place movies make their money. That's why I paid to see it twice in 2 weeks. It looked less awesome just going from a giant screen to a smaller movie screen without Dolby Surround. What would it look like on my 21" screen? Like a totally different movie?
      And it did. It looked like a Speed Racer cartoon. Exactly like a Speed Racer cartoon--everything looked so realistic in the theater, yet so cartoony at home. The cars, which had a real heft and weight to them, now looked like Hot Wheels. Sets that were perfect CGI reality became painted cels. And I'm not saying this pejoratively; it looked great, just completely different. It didn't always help--now the Family Talk scenes seemed longer, and the stuff that had too-many-details-to-take-in on the big screen barely registered. But it's certainly worth the rental, and I may buy it when (not if) it becomes ludicrously cheap.
      Unfortunately, there was no Making Of featurette. The cars looked so solid that I assumed the Wachowski's so-called "2 and a Half-D process" involved building the bodies and then digitally manipulating them (I found out elsewhere that I was wrong; not one nut or bolt was real). There was a weird 15 minute short about the "cars" that involved a lot of spinning wireframes and more made-up technobabble than the entire run of Star Trek: TNG, and another apparently for the people who felt that the movie lacked enough fucking Spritle and Chim-Chim (IT DIDN'T, which was another problem with the script). It began with one of those anti-DVD-piracy ads, using clips stolen from Casablanca (wait--that's piracy itself!) which actually compared using BitTorrent to collaborating with the Nazis. It was like those anti-marijuana ads on TV when I was a kid that said that toking up inevitably and immediately led to heroin addiction, something so over the top that you just laughed at it and then did whatever they said you shouldn't. This was followed by the trailer for Fred Claus. You want a reason to never pirate a movie? Watch Fred Claus.



      Speaking of heterosexuals I'd never vote for, Palin as President.


      It took me a while to find this useful, but I did: Book Sale Finder. Yes, it's exactly what it sounds like, so you can either stop reading or start salivating. The site is...interesting. It claims to have existed since 1994, and it sure looks like a site from 1996 (and that's coming from a guy with a site that looks like it came from 1997, because that's what it is). You really only need to click on the banner on the upper right and give it your email. You'll get short weekly maills telling you about used book sales in your state. Since I'm not going to drive 40 miles to buy from a random selection of old books, I didn't get to use it until this week, when it told me that there was a sale a half-mile past my job. For the 5 years I've worked there, that sale has been every November and they always put a sign up in the store. Not this time. Without the Finder, I would've missed it this year.
      I bought The Boardgame Book, a large but thin hardcover filled with old boardgames. You lay the book open and play the games right on it, with the provided sheet of cut-them-out-yourself game pieces. And I remember this book--it was at some bookstore in a mall I worked in, discounted but still expensive. I picked it up and put it down many times, before deciding not to buy it. And there it was, 20 years and $2 later.


      Oh, no WAY that picture's real--oh, wait, yes it is. And the Photoshopping has already begun.


      "Better to elect a rhino than an ass": The Top 20 Satirical Candidates Of All Time


      I keep seeing YouTube embeds for a very literal version of A-ha's "Take On Me," which is one of my favorite 80s songs that you've actually heard of (most of my favorites never cracked the Top 100, let alone 40 or 10). I suppose you've run across it by now, but if you haven't, it's pretty dang funny.


      This is a bit sophomoric, as it's from College Humor (geddit? College? Sophomore?), but it's still funny: "Does this outfit make me look gay?"

      Ah, crap. Just when I think Chuck's gone away for good, he comes back. Mind you, I'm not secretly hoping for his tragic death in his sleep. I'm openly hoping for his comic death when he drops a penny in the garbage disposal and tries to get it out with his teeth. But he disappears for 10 days, then horribly, tragically, posts seven cartoons at once. Fortunately (for me), four of them are about the Credit Crisis and how it's the fault of Democrats, and the Bailout, and how it's the fault of Democrats. Fortunate, as I can ignore most of them and just show one:


      Which party was it that wanted to privatize Social Security and place the money in the hands of Wall Street again? Because it was the only part of BIG GOV'T they hadn't looted? Look, there's Pelosi and Reid and--wait--that's Dubya and Paulsen! Wednesday Thursday Friday?? Am I in agreement with Chuckles about something?! Well, statistically, I suppose that it had to happen.
      Here's another one:


      "...And they left the barn door open after the horses escaped until the cows come home as the crow flies and let sleeping dogs lie! Jumping Jehosophat and Holy Toledo!" How old is Chuck again, like a million years?
      And if you don't get the reference to ACORN, they hired a bunch of people to GOTV for Obama, and some of their new hires created fake registrations. ACORN caught them and fired them. So ACORN solved the problem, and they were the only victim of "voter fraud." Of course, the real comedy is Republicans complaining about voter fraud (c.f.: 2000, when Bush got 5 votes for president, and 2004, when Diebold gave Bush more than 100% of the vote in parts of Ohio. They stole 2 elections and got away with it. The only way they won't steal this one is because they know America's going into a new Depression, and they want a Demon-crat as president so that they can spend 4 years blaming him for the bed that they shit) But I do give this cartoon points for its surrealism. A flying chicken laid an acorn on top of Obama's head. Chuckles, don't mix Oxy and Percocets with Geritol!
      By Jove, enough of this folderol and tomfoolery, you benighted jackanapes! Let's have a big slice of red meat, BBQ Chuck style!


      ...And maybe lay off the meth too, Chuck! Hey, where's Hitler? Or Osama HUSSEIN Laden? I particularly like that America's beloved pixie of the airwaves Katie Couric is here, for daring to ask that shitheaded veep of theirs questions Sarah was too dumb to answer. And please ACORN, don't dress as an acorn every year. You'll just end up like Charlie Brown, with a bag full of rocks. A bag of rocks as dumb as Palin.
      I can only barely read what the Grim Reaper's scythe says--NARAL, maybe? I'm surprised it isn't NAMBLA.

      Here's one last one:


      Ha ha ha! It's funny because it's true! (except for the "responsible homeowner being dog whistle for not a minority" part) The bailout is no different than the Iraq War, just another blank check our spineless Congress gave W and his cronies, giving them another way to transfer wealth from the poor and middle class to the super-rich assholes who caused--
      I think if there's much more of this, I'll be stockpiling canned goods and ammo while watching Red Dawn over and over in my fortified basement!


      Y'know those DTV converters you can get for free, before your TV stops working? Well, you can't. KMart had the converters, but they were $50 and the BIG GOV'T coupon is only $40. Maybe I'll try someplace else. Also, thermostats range in price from $12 to $50, and I have no idea which one to buy, especially since the instructions on one said to "turn your thermostat off" before installing it. Turn it off where? For all I know, the Keebler Elves control the damn thing.
      And why was I shopping for a thermostat? Because I have no heat. You in the warmer climes are saying "No heat? Can't you just open a window?" while you Canadians are saying "No heat? In October? Shouldn't you be dead?"
      You New Englanders know that while having no heat is, well, problematical at best, it isn't fatal. I live on the third floor of a brick building that faces due west, and the sun heats it up during the day, and brick dissipates heat slowly. It won't become fatal till, well, tomorrow, when the highs won't leave the 40s and there's no sun at all.
      I called the condo association, since they turn the heat off every summer. I'm not sure how they could turn the heat off in only one unit, but, hey, I'm no Keebler Elf. I was really hoping it was their fault, so I don't have to pay for it. They used to pay for anything that went wrong, but over the years, they started only paying for things that were wrong outside the unit. The "outside of the unit" area kept becoming bigger, first including the outside windows, then the garage 2 stories down. I realize that the Universe is expanding, but at this rate, "outside the condo" will soon encompass the Hoover Dam and broken Sputniks. I was told that it was either my thermostat--thanks, I guessed that--or the Flow Valve. Oh course! The Flow Valve! I sure as hell know what THAT is. And here I was, foolishly thinking that it was the flux capacitor. Or one of those giant stone heads on Easter Island.
      Fox Oil turned up 90 minutes after I called them ("We take cash, check or credit cards!" said the woman. Oh good, I'm too cheap to pay $10 for a DTV converter; I can't wait for that bill) The guy checked the thermostat, and it was fine. He went in search of the Flow Valve, source of many a legend and lost in the mists of time, or at least in the garage and covered with a lot of dust and cobwebs. He got his tools, which were a bucket and some hose, and not a Tricorder or a Proton Pack, which would have been my first 2 guesses. He then drained some stinky liquid from the Valve of Flowing, and then I had heat again. He left to fill out the paperwork, but I could hear him talking on the phone for a long time. He came back and said "I have to purge a bunch more of these; they'll bill it to your condo association." HAH! In your FACE, Condo Ass!! Actually, in your wallet, and not mine. And thanks for nothing, Ernie Keebler!
      Expense successfully averted, I got my mail. Ha ha ha! Did you see what happened there? I made you read about me going to the mailbox! When I first started going to freebies websites, I got something from Our Lady of Fatima. Despite being an atheist, I felt bad about taking something from a religious charity. But I immediately began getting a fat Fatima envelope every single week. Charity my secular humanist ass! Rip-off artists, that's what they are. This week's "GIMME YER $$$ OR VIRGINMARY KILL U!!" demand went right into the recycling bag. I also received an offer to join the Navy. Umm...what? A 125-pound, 49-year-old man getting cold calls from the armed forces? Are they that desperate? I double-checked to see if it was from the Village People (because they wrote that "In the Navy" song, not because I'm gay. As you know, I'm asexual and reproduce by budding). I thought, well, (I said "well" a lot today) 49's not THAT old. Then I remembered that the only people older than me left footprints in Olduvai Gorge.


      Scientists Create 'World's Most Relaxing Room'. I want a 3-bedroom house with like 10 of these.


      Note to cell phone users: There is no Cone of Silence following you. We can hear you, as you walk around the store barking into your Bluetooth "He needs to go to Sexaholics Anonymous! He has a SEX PROBLEM! He's a FREAK!"

      New Killsy cuteness, which I have failed to get a photo of yet: She sleeps in bed with me. That's hardly new, but lately she's taken to bringing a stuffed toy mouse into bed with her, and then hugging it with her front legs like it was a teddy bear. Sweet, sweet little girl.

      You'd think someone so in love with cats would be a vegetarian. I'm not; much beyond salads and potatoes, there's not a lot of veggies I like. You'd think that someone who's an environmentalist would shun meat, too, and you're right: cow farts are one the top sources of the greenhouse gas methane, and carbon-sink rain forests in South America are being plowed under to make feed fields for them. I rarely eat more red meat than the pepperoni on a pizza. I stopped eating veal as a teenager, when I found out how it was made. I soon after gave up on pork when I found out that pigs are smarter than dogs and cats, and I wouldn't eat a dog or a cat, now would I? I decided to only eat stupid things, like poultry or fish. I was an early adopter of dolphin-free tuna, and to this day, will not buy Chicken of the Sea and Bumblebee, as they didn't switch to dolphin-safe until they had no legal choice.
      PETA has just decided to rebrand fish as--believe it or not--Sea Kittens. "Sea kittens are just as intelligent (not to mention adorable) as dogs and cats, and they feel pain just as all animals do." Yes, they feel pain. As does a cockroach. "Just as intelligent (not to mention adorable) as dogs and cats"? Are you fucking kidding me? I had an aquarium as a kid, and when the 1973 New England Ice Storm knocked out the power for 3 days in subfreezing weather, the fish all died and I did not care. They were fish. They swam in circles. If our dog had died, I would've freaked out. My friend Kev has an aquarium, and he's really into it. I can understand that, but I'm a proven not-fish guy. I like pets, cats and dogs and guinea pigs, ones you can talk to and touch. Mammals.
      I thought PETA was cool when I first heard of them in the 80s, and their "throw red paint on people wearing fur" campaigns. Yeah, fuck fur! Wear wool, it doesn't kill anything! It took a while to dawn on me that the people who wear fur are rich. Would getting paint thrown on their coat convert them, or just make them more likely to buy another fur coat, maybe out of pure spite? Did PETA actually increase the sale of fur?
      And the more I learned about them, the more I wondered if they were being funded by the mammal-killing industry to make their enemies look insane. For every good idea they had, there'd be ten idiotic ones like protesting cow chip throwing contests, because "they take away the cow's dignity." Look, a cow shits in a fucking field, how damn much dignity do you think it has? It at least has more sense than to pick up a BIG PILE OF SHIT and THROW IT. Who had more dignity at those events, the cows or the rednecks picking up piles of shit and playing with them?
      They also say that "having a pet is the same as SLAVERY!" What? Being a "slave" is getting to do whatever you want, having food you didn't work for placed in front of you every day, getting the damn toilet cleaned for you so you don't even have to make the incredible efffort of putting a seat down and flushing? And America fought a huge war to stop slavery? WHY?! SIGN ME UP, BABY! Wait--slavery was being forced to work until you died from being whipped to death by your psychotic, drunken master, while he raped your wives and daughters. It wasn't curling up in bed with your loving friend and protector to sleep cradling your stuffed toy mouse. And now there's the whole "PETA kills almost all the strays they get" thing.
      Hey, give your "slave kitten" a live "sea kitten" and see what happens. One of the two will be very happy.


      The lawyer across the street asked if he could give away some free keychains at our store. They're also bottle openers. The have his name, phone number, and say that he specilaizes in...DUI cases. On a bottle opener you carry with your car keys. That's a way to drum up some business! It's like a felony defense lawyer giving away personalized handguns.


      Mr. Green Genes, the glow-in-the-dark cat.



      Since there are a few Connecticut residents who read this, some election news.
      I heard an ad on the radio saying "Vote YES on Question One." The ad defined "?1" as something that would allow us to vote "directly on the issues" and "cut out the politicians" in order to bring "true democracy" to our state. Other states can do it, so why not us? It certainly sounded like a good idea, but the ad ended by saying it was piad for by "Vaguely-Named PAC You've Never Heard Of," which had enough money to buy these spots. Hmm. What if this was really like Proposition 8 in California, the latest attempt to ban gay marriage? Funny how these homophobic ballot intiatives have turned up in swing states, but only during presidential elections, and always pushed by Republicans. So that the crazy right-wing fundies turn up to hate on the homos and, hopefully, vote for whatever corporate puppet they're running this cycle. And half an hour later, I noticed that there was a "Vote YES on Question One" sign across the street from the store. Outside the Catholic church. Now I had to check it out.
      Googling turned up a page that explained it. Everybody for it was right-wing or a religious group. Everyone against wasn't. The first anti group listed was the ACLU, of which I'm a card-carrying member. Those guys will protect the free speech rights even of the fucking American Nazis, so if they're against it, "?1"'s not about granting people rights, it's about taking them away.
      There's a difference between "democracy" and "mob rule." If Little Rock, Arkansas had this back in the 1950s, do you think the schools would've been desegregated? Do you think that they might've made lynching legal? Do you think I'm voting for this evil initiative?
      Most people don't know what questions are on their state's ballot. Me, for one. You'd think that the state would send out a mailer explaining them, or even have a website about, but they don't. You find out either from a radio ad or when you're in the voting booth. If I don't know what a bill's about, I don't vote either way. Finally someone came up with the great idea of ballotpedia, a state-by-state listing of what you'll be voting on. Given that CT will have its usual huge voter turnout in a very liberal state, many people will see the brief question and vote for it, thinking that it would've let them vote against the Iraq invasion or the Wall Street bailout, when instead it'll give the regressive ones in power more strength. Fortunately, it's only the first of two steps that would pass it, so we have time to educate people about ?1 even it becomes law. How does this affect you who don't live here? There may be a deceptively-marketed initiative on your ballot this November. Go to ballotpedia and find out now.

      Speaking of bad influences...Yes, kids, it's time for UPCHUCK!


      "Heh heh heh! Yes, kids, it's me, your old friend Count Floyd again! Ooh, have we got a scary one for you this Saturday night! It stars all your worst nightmares! Who hasn't tossed and turned in a bath of cold sweat, terrified that under the bed, the COUNTLESS WAXMAN HEARINGS might eat you! How about that Capital Gains Tax, hows that grab you? You'd be mighty scared if you were rich! If you were an oil company, the evil Windfall Profits Tax will eat up...all your...unearned profits! You'd wake up to find the bloody, gutted corpse of your Barbados tax shelter, all over your antique Persian rug! And Filibuster-Proof Congress! That seemed like a nice, kind, housebroken whatever the hell that thing is when you got it from the shelter at the Inhumane Society when Republicans controlled all 3 branches of government, but now, WOOO! Scary Stuff! And UNIONS! Defying our blessed Corporate Overlords, who couldn't even get a lousy trillion dollars of your money! Pass-Through Taxes! Yes, the Demon-crats want to TAX even your POOPIES! You'll have to pay tax every time you try to resell that corn you ate last night! Ooh, creepy FREE HEALTH CARE, from cradle to grave! That's what they won't tell you--everyone who gets free health care, like in Canada, or as it should be called "Satana," DIES AT SOME POINT ANYWAY! And, no, not the terror that flaps in the night, Freedom of Choice! What, you WANT your kids to be ruled by a Devo album? Singing "Whip it good!" while wearing plastic flowerpots on their heads? Woo, oh boy, thank your lucky stars we have a sane and reasonable man like Chuck to spray spittle about it while cowering inside his tool shed bunker!
      "I'm not sure what that is above Windfall's shoulder. It may be the ghost of Jabba the Hutt! He'll turn you into Bantha doo-doo, and eat all your frogs! Or maybe it's Harry Knowles, I always confuse those two. He'll leap out of your closet and start screaming Ain't It Cool News posts in ALL CAPS! And we all know how scary that can be, eh kids?"


      "OW-OW-OWOOOO! Obama will ABORT ALL BABIES on January 10th! Especially the babies of clones! Black feminazi clones with glasses, the worst kind! Oh, wait--Count Floyd got a bit confused. That's not a baby, it's a white Precious Moments figurine. Forget I even mentioned it."


      "OW--OW...Okay, kids, Count Floyd isn't going to lie to you. I have no idea what's going on here. Unless it's 2000, and that kid is Halliburton in disguise. Maybe he's ZOMBIE JFK! Chuck sure likes Democrats. As long as they're dead.
      "Hey, kids, want to hear a funny story? A priest, a rabbi and a blood-sucking monkey walk into a bar, and--Okay, my producer is making some wild throat-cutting gestures at me. I'll tell you a different one.
      "McCain's brother Joe got stuck in traffic, so he called 911. 'What's the nature of your emergency?' 911 sinisterly asked. Joe said 'Nothin', I just want to know why the traffic's so slow!' Heh heh heh! True story, kids, true story. So now Joe has quit campaigning for his brother. John McCain's lost Joe McCain. But he still has Joe Six-Pack, Joe Lieberman, and--"


      "THIS is more like it! I mean, WHOA, look at that Joe the Plumber! He's bald! That's scarier than McCain's combover! He's all threatening to bend over in front of Obama, showing his sca-ary butt crack! When you stare into the plumber's abyss, the hairy abyss stares back!
      "AWAY, my dogs of war! GET HIM, my pretties! My minons of the night, FACT-CHECK! Stop not for man nor beast, slay all who stand before you until you discover that Joe will not be taxed more under Obama's plan! EAT THE FLESH OF THE HOLY until you find out that he doesn't make the $250,000 a year he claims he will, like all the other average Americans like him! BURN THE ORPHANAGES until you find out that he owes back taxes! HOWL AT THE DEVIL MOON--like this, OW-OW-OWOOO!--when it's clear he not only doesn't want to pay more, he doesn't even pay what he's supposed to! This is surely the stake that will kill the the Barack Ovampire!
      "But yawn about something nobody heard about, something about a goverment whose main cash export is cocaine being run by drug gangs and killing people. Because that could never happen! Columbia's government is as pure as the driven snow!
      "Wooo! Scary stuff, kids! Try to sleep tonight, but remember: 'The Carbon Tax will getcha if you don't watch out!"


      Yes yes yes, I know that I said I won't link to Cracked anymore, but not linking to their annual and always-greatt Insane Halloween costumes article would be like me not linking to the annuall Bulwer-Lytton awards. It's just not done.

      Fascinating John le Carre article on his real-life experiences, The Madness of Spies.


      I briefly mentioned the "McCain's brother has anger issues too" thing in the last UpChuck. The 911 transcript has been released, and he's an even bigger dick than I thought. (Warning: autoplaying audio)



      Despite her fearsome name, Kill Kill has always been a bit of a fraidy cat. She's made great strides, due to her remarkable intelligence and observational skills. She used to hide under the bed until 20 minutes after a thunderstorm, but from watching the behavior of me and her mainly-deaf brother (who doesn't know that thunder even exists) during them, she now barely bats an eye. But she hates, hates, hates any change at all to any routine. I can leave the house for work, think, Oh, I forgot something, and walk back in 10 seconds after shutting the door, and she'll scurry under the coffee table. Not hiding, really, just worried about what even this tiny change means.
      One of the units in my building was having plumbing work done today, so the water was to be turned off. I hate changes to my routine, too, especially when they involve waking up 75 minutes early (and I hated it even more when it turned out that they didn't turn the water off until 15 minutes before I would normally get up). But I showered etc. early, then sat at the computer to kill time before work.
      And she had no idea what to make of this. If I shower and put on black jeans, she knows that means I'm leaving for work very soon. If I sit at the computer in the morning, that means it's either a day off or I woke up early on a work day, I'll be in my jammies and won't shower until the time the alarm clock would normally go off. But I was wearing work clothes, including shoes, and not going anywhere! She sat in the exact same spot in the next room, watching me. For 75 minutes. She only moved when I put on my coat, and then she went under the coffee table.

      I was passing by the register at work, when the store radio mentioned that today was the 70th anniversary of the Orson Welles "War of the Worlds" radio broadcast.
      CUSTOMER: No one would fall for that today!
      LARRY: Nah, we're too cynical now!
      MARSHA: Yeah, "War of the Worlds, ooh!" Whatever!
      ME: Oh yeah? IRAQ. We started a real war based on made-up bullshit!
      Everyone laughed, but it was kind of a ruefull laugh.




      An update to There is No Cone of Silence Following You When You're On Your Cell:
      LIQUOR STORE COWORKER, holding the third beer I'd seen him drinking in 75 minutes: "I'm hungover at work, so I've started getting drunk again!...Yeah, that Halloween party was awesome!...Oh, you did? I must've already blacked out when you called."
      Yes, there are people who only get jobs in liquor stores because they're drunks, just like there are people who become priests because they're pedophiles. There was a liquor store near my last job that went out of business because the owner was such a lush that by the last couple of hours he was open, he was so drunk that he'd sell to minors. A delivery driver told me about a place in Hartford where he found the store owner passed out on the floor in the middle of the afternoon. "I just dropped his delivery off, stepped over him, and stamped the invoice and left."
      Hey, I like drinking, too! But I also like the idea of having a functional liver. I love cats, but I have no intention of hoarding a hundred of them, either.

      I've mentioned this site before, and I'll mention it again: The Way of Cats is essential reading for the cat-owned. After almost a decade of sharing my life with a little white angel, and over half that with a crazy bigfooted lil' devil, I still find out things on that site that I never knew. And you can get a chuckle from the Cheezburger LOLcat picture they use to top every post (the current one is a doppelganger for baby KK).
      Another reason to read it? They GIVE YOU STUFF. I just won a Litter Robot, a self-cleaning litter box! This is a very generous offer from Way of Cats. I didn't know how generous until I went to the Robot site and found out that they sell for $329!! As a single-income, lower middle class worker in one of the most expensive areas in America, that's a huge chunk of change! I've never won anything this expensive in all my life!
      So I turned it down.
      I don't find cleaning the litter box to be that onerous a project. And WoC has given me so much information that I feel like I should be giving them money. I briefly thought of getting it and then having my own contest for the cat lovers here to win it, but delivery's USA-only, and that rules out a good third of my readership. And all you needed to do to win it was read the site I've linked to twice before and enter the contest. I even thought, Well Bill, if you're so poor, maybe you should get it and sell it on eBay. No. That just feels wrong. So I wrote her back, asking her to either give it to someone else, or donate the purchase price to the Humane Society or Helping Paws, the local cat rescue place.
      The thing does look cool. Like a cat-powered robot designed by Daleks, running around shooting cat poopies at humans while shrieking "EX-TURD-IN-ATE!"

      Byron sleeping like a pretzel:


      Byron many years ago:


      He's got him some feet, that's for sure.


      From Daily Kos' Cheers and Jeers:      HA! Maine, whose only export is weird sea insects you're supposed to actually eat, and whose main GDP is frostbite? You dare challenge Connecticut, the most liberal (ie, "not retarded") state in the country, with an historically high voter turnout? I ACCEPT! (slaps face with glove--my own face, I'm clumsy)
      And you readers! BAH! CONNECTICUT will vote for Obama even more morely than you! Florida? Yeah, hang your chads right here, baby! Nebraska? I got your Mutual of Omaha riiight here! Georgia? Don't make me puke a peach! (Because it would hurt) Pennsylvania? Oh, no, don't get up and vote, eat your damn cheesesteak wit' Wiz! Washington? Don't spill your damn Starbucks! In fact, I'll put Connecticut up against even the other not-gay-marriage-hating states! Hey, California, Massachusetts, Oregon? We'll make you look like Palin-crazed rabid homophobes! (Especially California!) You wanna piece of me? Then go out and vote for change!
      Actually, Vote for FUCKING SANITY. You want another 8 years of this bullshit? Then stay home and don't vote. And make sure to find yourself a nice, comfy refrigerator box to live in. Because you'll need it, pal. You'll need it.
      And you readers in Canada, Australia, Mexico, the UK? Couldn't you...I dunno...dress up like an American and sneak in and vote? The whole world's fate depends on this one. To pass as a Yankee, you may need a fat suit.

      Shocking, I know, but the world did not end this weekend. Although it may end tomorrow...

      ...Although I still bought work clothes today. Don't end, world or job, because I just spent money on pants!
      Cheap ones on sale at KMart. I'm not that optimistic! The GOP stole the last 2 presidential elections, and nothing will stop them from stealing this one, too, unless they want a Democrat in the White House so that they can spend 4 years pretending that he and not Bush is the reason everything's gone to shit (and it will).
      I take a 28 waist, but I buy a 30, as that's the smallest size I can find. Jessica is the same height and weight as me (5'7, 125), and she has to shop in the juniors' department. My belt is the smallest size I could find, and I've had to make five extra holes in it, just to keep my damn pants up. Will I be shopping in the boys' department soon? To my amazement, I found two pair with 29 waists! These are really cheap jeans, and the crotches rip after 18 months. But they're cheap, and I'm a miserly bastard frugal person. I also bought some buy one-get one free D vitamins, a sale that the grocery store used to have every week, until the economy went sour. And some 50%-off Reese's Halloween candy, 2 big bags, enough candy to last me months.
      "Would you like to contribute a dollar to Saint Jude's Hospital?" asked the cashier. I was buying only things that were on sale, half of them 50% off, so "Sure!" I watched the register screen to make sure that the sale prices rang up right. I questioned whether the vitamins did, and the cashier pointed out politely the part of the screen that said they did. I felt dumb. I don't work at KMart, why should I know how their registers work?
      The jeans were $16.99, on sale for $10.99, but the screen said .99. 99 cents off? Not wanting to sound like an idiot a second time, I said nothing. The cashier said "Wow, a pair of jeans for only 99 cents! Can't beat that!" And she rang them through. Clearly someone at Corporate had programmed the jeans--probably only the rarely-purchased 29W/30L ones--at $16 off! She didn't care, and I said "Must be the good karma from donating that dollar to St. Jude's!"
      I swiped my credit card, a receipt printed and she sent me on my way. "Wait," I said, seeing the transaction still on her screen. "I don't sign anything? I don't want your register to be short!" Sure enough, she'd hit the wrong button. Look, I just saved $20 on the jeans, I'm not burning up my instant karma getting a nice cashier in trouble. I reswiped my card and paid my $17.34 that should've been $37.34.
      My corollary to the Golden Rule: Don't Be An Asshole.


      There's nothing unusual about Killsy racing ahead of me when I first get up in the morning to plop down on the bathroom floor and get a belly rub. Her purr is so quiet, sometimes I can only hear it when I put my ear on her chest. But it is unusual for her to purr loud enough for me to hear her when I haven't bent down to pet her. In 9 years, I've never heard her purr louder and sooner than I did when I got up this morning. "Honey," I asked, "are you purring so loud because you think Obama will win today? I hope so too!"
      My lungs get congested while asleep, so there's nothing unusual about me getting a hacking cough in the morning. From the sound, you'd think I smoke a carton of Camels a day. It is unusual for me to cough so violently that I get a spontaneous nosebleed. I geysered hemoglobin in the shower; I think I donated a quarter-pint to the bathtub drain. Yes, my election day began with a literal bloodbath.
      The only cure for a nosebleed is to blow your nose and lay on your back with your head tilted back, so the capillaries can clot. But I had to go vote! I jammed some toilet paper up my nostril and brushed my hair, having to repeatedly replace it when the blood overwhelmed the paper and began running into my mouth. I finally laid on my back, stanched the bloodletting, and went to the polling place.
      I was the second person in my line, and the first guy couldn't vote, as he was at the wrong station. And then I was done, hoping that the next bloodbath would be a Republican humiliation at the polls.
      The liquor store was much busier than usual, with lots of expensive champagne being bought to celebrate, and not by the likely McCain voters.
      930PM, my first look at when I got home: Obama's ahead, but that's to be expected with only the Northeast reporting.
      945: Wait, now he's much more ahead. He got PA! Maybe Diebold isn't going to steal this election!
      1015: There's no way McCain can catch up now!
      1045, as the electoral votes click over past the magic 270: YES WE CAN!!!
      And just now, at 1120: YES WE FUCKING DID!!!
      Popular vote: still pretty close. Electoral vote: BLOODBATH.
      I'm going to bed, and for once on election night, I won't be tossing and turning. The last hit this page got was from Pennsylvania.
      From a town named New Hope.


      Caption: "Sen. Joe Lieberman holds up a sticker that reads "Another Democrat for McCain" yesterday. (GETTY IMAGES)"


      OLD LADY: "Gol Dang. You're pathetic."
      WOMAN IN BACKGROUND: "What? A DEMOCRAT for McCain? WHERE? Are you standing in front of him? Move out of the way! I've never seen a unicorn or dragon, I'd sure like to at least see one mythical creature!
      "Oh, wait--you mean YOU? When were YOU last a Democrat, FUCKWAD? Are you at least happy that you don't have Republican cock in your mouth until the NEXT election?"


      Interesting AV Club interview with Best Brains, aka MST3K.


      SHAWT: Customer, looking for Canei wine: Do you have canine wine?
      But of course! May I recommend a 2003 Chateau Malamute? It's a rich, beefy wine, appropriate with to serve with either kibbles or bits, or just for relaxing after a long day of chasing cars and barking your head off for no damn reason. It starts off with hints of liver and Milk Bone, dry as your finest naugahyde toy, yet finishes with the robust flavors of pig ear and cat doodie straight from the litter box, as fruity and juicy as a well-chewed slipper. And the nose! You will sniff the fascinating aroma of poodle anus, and when the full notes of rotting squirrel become clear, you'll want to roll around in it! Robert Barker of Whine Advocate rated it a 93, calling it "a vintage with a taste that will have you humping legs all night"!



      A co-worker seemed like he was sane, until Wednesday, when he suddenly began shrieking about how "Obama better not start with his SOCIALISM!" and "We need a FLAT TAX! Why shouldn't a rich man keep all he worked for?!" and talked about how he was ready for an Obama presidency because "I have my guns!" I'd better not let him know about what will happen next!


Get the latest news satire and funny videos at





      Via Kirk, the theme song to the next James Bond movie, Something of Whatsis:


      Interesting short article on the latest theory on genetically inherited mental illness: In a Novel Theory of Mental Disorders, Parents’ Genes Are in Competition

      And I link to that article because it's fascinating, and not just because there's this guy who says your dad's sperm may disorder your mind is named "Doctor Badcock."

      On a happier note, Joyful Music May Promote Heart Health, while stress-inducing music may not. Umm, duh.

      You may have noticed (with a great sigh of relief) that there's been no UpChuck for 2 weeks. Week one was weak tea, some very lame and half-hearted toons from Chuckles the Clown. I expected some sparks of anger last week, but he wrote all his cartoons before the election. Isn't making contemporary political commentary his fucking job? Most political cartoonists seemed to have a cartoon ready for last Wednesday or Thursday--I would guess that they had two, one for each possible outcome. Otherwise, it'd be like watching Hannity crow for a week about President McCain's landslide mandate, and just today notice that he lost. But not UpChuck! He must've been busy stockpiling ammo.
      But he's just uploaded a couple of cartoons, and they're the thought-out and carefully measured balanced thinking you'd expect from a reasonable mind like Chuck's. I present them without comment, from a cartoonist who has done more than one cartoon on how liberals are "deranged" and "hatefilled" when it comes to President Bush.






      FASTER, Polar Bear! KILL! KILL!
      (Yes, he has one nostril and she has three...but it averages out)


      The gift that keeps on giving:

      PALIN IN 2012!
      Shit, PALIN IN 2016, 2020, 2024...2100...Palin for Republican Prezydent until the Sun burns out.


      "Cat Slinky, Cat Slinky, for fun it's a wonderful toy!
      "Cat Slinky, Cat Slinky, it's fun for a girl or a boy!"




      Gee whiz, but the power's been going off in my part of town a lot lately. I got a letter saying that the power company's going to replace the substation nearby. It went out tonight, an aggravating 15 minutes before I got home, which meant that it would be off for a long time. I managed to rustle up dinner from cold ingredients, a cheese and precooked bacon on garlic naan sandwhich, which is always better heated. I had 3 bites and the power came back on, only 75 minutes later.
      But they're going to fix the substation. Starting in January. And hopefully ending in...June. I think I need to keep more cold dinners on hand...

      Thinking about meals, the Homescan panel I'm on sent me a survey that began with this:

      112? In 182.5 days? That works out to 61% of a pizza every day, or, realistically, a pizza every day. Homescan, don't let your bachelor programmers write your surveys!
      For the first time in the 15 years I've been on Homescan, they sent me an open invitation to get people to join. You scan your purchases' UPCs, and they send you points that you can redeem for stuff. When my oven exploded in a shower of sparks a few years ago, and I found out that it couldn't be fixed because it was so old no repairman could read its serial number, I realized that my best bet was a toaster oven. And I immediately got one for free from Homescan. It'll take you 6 months before you can "buy" the cheapest thing they have, but if you treat it as an emergency replacement fund, it really comes in handy (I used the solar powered flashlight/radio I last got from them when I came home to the darkness tonight).
      If you buy a lot of stuff, especially groceries, I imagine it could be tedious to scan it all. It's no real trouble for an unmarried miser like me. If it sounds interesting, give it a shot--especially in this collapsing economy, where every bit of income counts. Note that you'll only be accepted if you fit an open demographic niche--in January 1992 they told me I'd get the first open spot, and it was June 1993 before there was one.
      But this is the closest I've ever seen to an open enrollment. So if you could use a little economic cushion and like taking polls and don't mind about 5 extra minutes of work a week, it can't hurt to apply. (USA only)

      Obama's choice for the First Puppy. Even cat owners might tear up.


      My beloved local Indian restaurant, Taj Mahal, closed a couple of months ago. But a new one has opened in the same space, named Utsav (Sanscrit for "Festival"). I saw them hanging the Grand Opening banner on election day, the same day they hung the "Under New Management" banner over the USA. With the economy, it's a dangerous timme to open a new restaurant, or become the President.
      Their hours are weird. They're open 11 to 230, then 5 to 10. I called at 345, thinking that they'd be open only for take out. Nope, the kitchen was closed. But they took my order, saying it would be ready at 515.
      It wasn't. They'd clearly forgotten my order, and started it when I walked in. Oh well, new place, there's always going to be some bugs to work out. The server was apologetic, and gave me a glass a water. Around 515, he seemed worried, like he could lose a new customer. I work in retail, and thus don't get angry over nothing, as so many customers have done to me over the last 25 years. He came over with the bill, seemingly just to give me something to do while waiting, and I said nothing when I saw that it was for the full price, not the "10% off all take out" it said on the front of the menu. But he caught it himself, and fixed it. At 525 my chicken tikke with basmati rice arrived. I glanced in the bag and thought "Why are there so many containers in there?"
      Emptying the bag at home, it was like a Russian nesting doll of food. Not just a large portion of rice (with peas) and my tikke (on a bed of many vegetables), but some crispy flatbread as thin as a wafer and 3 dipping sauces, a big bowl of something (a thin soup, or was I supposed to pour it over the rice? I'll use it as a chicken marinade), and another marked "Desert Gold." Hah? What's that? Sounds like Arizona marijuana. I think it was supposed to say "Dessert, Cold," as it was sweet and fruity and...well, I don't know what they have for dessert in Bangalore, but it was tiny noodles with tiny shrimp. Super delicious, but after eating only half the tikke and veggies, I was full. Is this what they give everyone, or was it because my food was late? I guess that I'll find out next time. Even just the tikke and rice made 4 meals. Eating out is the first thing people stop doing when the economy starts to tank, but this was actually a great value. Next time, I'll order closer to 5PM.
      The only thing I didn't like was that my name and telephone number were on the receipt. Which I didn't give them. I suppose that caller ID is necessary for restaurants to cut down on the prank orders, but it seemed a bit weird. Like the place was run by Dick Cheney, and if I didn't pick it up, I'd be renditioned to Mumbai and curryboarded.

      A favorite part of my Sunday morning is reading Slacktivist's take on the "Left Behind" books. I linked to this a long ways back, when I was lucky enough to catch his page-by-page destruction of it near the beginning. It would take you a long, long time to read through all of those now. But he's beginning a new series, starting with the LB movie. It's someone making fun of a shitty movie right now, just like I've done many a time. But in a few weeks, he'll start the second book.
      What's great about his looks at the books is that he doesn't snark dismissively about them like an atheist like I would. He is an evangelical Christian like the authors, but unlike them, is a liberal and clearly has taken theology courses. He knows his bible, rather than throwing out random quotes. Fundies may love to crow about how they love JAY-ZUS, but Jesus was a radical liberal and they really love them some Old Testament Crazy Jealous Vengeful G*D wrath. He doesn't just pick the LB books apart on their total shit writing, but their flawed and fraudulent theology.
      He's just goofing around a bit now, but the real deal will start again, and this is your chance to get in at the beginning.

      Another site I've recommended once but read all the time is Izzle Pfaff!, just some guy's personal blog. Skot's just starting a series on his trip to la belle France, and so here's another chance to join a very worthwhile read as it begins again.


      Recently watched DVDs:

      Kung Fu Panda: Big budget CGI cartoon, with all-big name voice talent, about 10 major characters and...2 with actual personalities. Why give major talents minor roles? Nearly nonexistant roles? While it had some laughs, live action crazy-ass kung fu is entertaining, but cartoon animals doing it? Not so much.

      Boogie Nights: People have been recommending this to me for a decade, and the song turned up on the oldies station at work, so why not?
      The DVD stuck at the 25 minute mark. FF didn't work, nor did chapter skip. I should've been outraged, as I'd bought this DVD player only a month before. But the movie had so bored me that I asked "Do I want to watch the next 2 hours?" and said no and ejected the disc.

      The Incredible Hulk: Short review: HULK SAY WATCH OR HULK SMASH! It completely discarded the first Hulk movie, that angsty, depressing and weird Ang Lee version, and rebooted the TV series. I was too old when the TV show was out to watch it, but I did like the comics as a kid. Kevin disliked the effects, and I didn't, but I'll cede that point to me because I was right.

      Futurama: Bender's Game: Well, bite my shiny metal ass if the third time's not the charm! The first DTV movie crammed too many characters into too little time with too little regard as to whether it made sense, the second just wasn't funny, but this one was right up to the old show's hilarity levels. If you've ever played something like D&D on paper or computer, you'll have a nerdgasm; if like me you haven't, it's still really funny. I believe that there's one last movie in the works.

      Get Smart: What the Star Wars is to you kids from the 80s, the James Bond spy-fi was to us 60s kids. I loved, loved, loved Get Smart as a TV show as a kid, and it joins the 60s Batman as the only show I loved as a kid for one reason, and loved again for other reasons as a teen and then as an adult. I liked them as light adventure as a kid, and as satire when I was older. Of course, I could say the same about the Emma/Steed The Avengers, and holy SHIT was that one turned into one of the worst movies ever made. And there really aren't a lot of Batman movies that didn't suck, either.
      I saw the trailer twice while watching Speed Racer in the theaters, and oh fuck did it look dire. Not funny at all. But the reviews were generally good, so I rented it. And--loving it! They changed Max from the bumbling, clueless but self-serious dork of the series to a socially inept, self-serious but brilliant nerd, to the point that when 99 says "That's brilliant, Max!" he actually did something brilliant. The exchange in the TV show generally went like this:

      But they hit on every trope from the series, from the catch phrases to Agent 13 to brief refs to Fang and Hymie, and 99 even wore a bobbed wig that looked like the Sexy Years of 99. They changed Siegfried from the KAOS version of Max to a creep, and Larabee from the only person in CONTROL dumber than Max to an asshole, but it worked. The first half was funnier, but they seamlessly changed over to "spy movie action parody" so well that I didn't notice. I assume that I'm biased, but nonfans might like it anyway.

      Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Suck: The opening sequence involves Indiana Jones, so old that his AARP card has been replaced by an APSOTSTD card (Association of People So Old They Should be Totally DEAD) escaping an ATOMIC EXPLOSION that happens DOWN THE STREET by duck 'n' covering in a REFRIGERATOR that gets blown about FIFTY MILES before BOUNCING DOWN THE DESERT TWENTY TIMES and when he gets out he's not a pulped mass of broken hip bones who can't get up no, HE'S FINE.
      Only twenty minutes in and I yelled at the screen "If I want to watch an Indiana Jones movie, I'm NOT going to watch a FUCKING ROAD RUNNER CARTOON."
      The originals were grounded in the tradition of the old serials, but this Jones wasn't Indiana but Chuck. There is one kick-ass truck chase, but it ends with a hero swinging on CGI Tarzan vines past CGI monkeys before landing near CGI giant man-eating ants. What, no Acme Rocket Sled? OH WAIT THEY HAD THAT TOO.
      I accepted the Russkies as bad guys, but this was such a cartoon that I expected Indie to say "Nothin' up my sleeve!" to Fearless Leader. They go over a giant waterfall in their amphibious truck and they don't die, then go over another and more giant-er waterfall in their truck and don't die, and then they go over an even more giantest one... Yes, they decided to remake not Raiders but Temple of Doom, the favorite Indy movie of exactly no one. The "humor" was almost always awful--Indy's first quip is "I like Ike!" and it's actually dumber in context than it is without. It was like one of those crappy Italian 80s ripoffs of Raiders, except with a budget bigger than the world's largest cheese wheel.
      Oh, and Natasha's eyes burn out of her head because...because she's the villain, and we need that melty-faced Gestapo man moment! Seriously, she delivers the lamest artifact in the history of these movies to the all-powerful gods aliens, who really should be grateful. She only dies because the plot was written using Indy Mad Libs. "The evil [foreign nationals] want to steal Indy's magical [vaguely defined Maguffin] so that they can rule the world by its powers of [um, we never really explain this part] but after several [CHOOSE ONE: exciting, retarded] action sequences, they are defeated by face melting [that's the only choice]."

      Tonight's movie? Robot Jox, the one set in the far future, where wars are settled by giant robot fights with the Soviet Union. Pray for me.


Religions as Pokemon cards, God Trumps.

      Y'know, finding out that a movie's a cartoon when you weren't expecting a movie to be a cartoon is bad, but finding out that a movie's a cartoon when you were expecting a movie to be a cartoon is good.
      Robot Jox was pretty goofy, but enjoyable. (Warning: I thought the same about Tank Girl) My expectations were boosted when I saw that the screenplay was by Joe "Forever War" Haldeman--yes, a sci-fi movie written by an actual, award-winning science fiction writer! I was wrong about the USSR still existing; the bad guy had a Russian accent but he was from "The Confederation" and the American-accented good guys were from "The Market," but there never was another hint as to what nations composed these hegemonies. It used that silly old sci-fi conceit of "Lone combatants settle all the grievances between nations," something that I'm pretty sure has never happened in actual history. I really think that was to limit the amount of Giant Robot Suits they had to make. But make suits they did. It was actually refreshing, in a retro way, to see not CGI but guys in suits, blue (not green) screens with miniatures, and even Harryhasuenesque stop-motion effects.
      Being written by an actual writer, there clearly was a history and backstory to this world that they didn't feel the need to pound you over the head with. And it was goofy fun--the characters all took the story seriously, just like you or I do, no matter how absurd our lives might seem to an outside observer. I also liked the final battle, which started with laser-firing giant robots but ended up with the "robot jox" trying to kill each other with rocks.
      I don't feel any need to watch it again, but it was more fun than Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Metal Plate in the Writer's Skull. Caveat: YMMV, and I liked Tank Girl.




      You won't find a Christmas tree in my house. Even as a kid I thought it a stupid custom--"Let's kill a tree for Jesus! No, wait--let's torture it first!" When people ask me if I have a tree up, I usually say No, I have a Christmas cow. I cut her legs off and put her in a bucket with an intravenous feed, then hang hot lights and weighted hooks on her. Sure, the agonized mooing gets annoying, but it's part of the season! And before New Years, we throw her on the edge of the lawn for the garbagemen to take away.
      But if I had a tree, and money to waste on cool but useless stuff, I'd sure get me some of these Xmas ornaments. Can you guess which ones? (Hint: One from row 3, and all but one from row 4. Especially that last one)



      "We need high culture when the index is low" An Anglocentric rant, but the prinicple applies in the States, too.      Kevin had his bachelor party last night. I was the last to arrive, because of work, and the first to leave, also because of work. More specifically, because a coworker gave me a cold. I wasn't incapacitated, but "I think I'll take it easy at work today" doesn't apply to my job. After 9 hours of running around stocking shelves and dragging out kegs, I was beat. I was only at the party for 90 minutes, so I can't report on it in any great detail.
      Kev's mom let him use her house, and she left. After the near-inevitability of Google Map directions screwing up and almost getting me lost (it had me taking a left onto Road A and then a right onto Road B, except that Road A didn't exist) I arrived, and everyone was in the kitchen whooping it up except for one surly guy in the living room. I got my beer (from a Blue Point toasted lager 1/6 keg, which I donated) and started eating. I wasn't planning on staying long or drinking much, as it was a long trip home. I'd even fixed the headlight assembly that broke during my February snowstorm spinout, as the last thing I wanted was to give a cop an excuse to pull me over after I left. Suddenly Mr Surly became angry, screaming with seething hostility about "the table! I want it fixed NOW! Or I swear I'll beat the shit outta that guy!" I asked Scott the Gruntled Postal Worker "Who's the asshole?" "He lives here," Scott said. Kev's mom had left, but not her boyfriend. "We offered him our beer, and he said 'I can't drink that, or I'll get angry and punch holes in the wall.' He seems to be doing that just fine on his Busch Light." Later, I saw him dragging a near-empty 30 pack of it. What had happened was that somebody had (stupidly) sat on a table, and a screw popped out. Ooh, world crisis! It took a Phillips head and a few minutes to fix it, so the only problem really was the angry drunk. He remained a douche throughout the entire time I was there, so that was also a factor in my leaving. If I want to deal with drunken assholes, I'll go to work.
      Kevin was by far the drunkest guy there, but you could only tell by how loudly he talked/yelled. Otherwise, he was perfectly coherent, and didn't even slur his words as he told funny anecdote after funny anecdote. He was the opposite of Surly Guy.
      But I left and arrived home without incident, except for passing the cop who surely would've pulled me over if I hadn't fixed that headlight. Then I slept like shit and feel like it now. I really hope I can ditch this cold, as Thanksgiving week isn't a time I can take a sick day, or stop moving at all at work. And hopefully I didn't infect anybody at the party except for Surly.


      Well, that was frustrating. At KMart I bought a 4G USB Flashdrive, hoping to back up my computer. I was a tad optimistic, as there's more than that on the computer. It must be more like 10G to save at least the minimum, and probably 20-25 to save everything. After failing, I tried to delete what I'd put on it and use it for storing--I dunno. Something. But the computer keeps claiming that it's not accessible. What, you can only use it once? Of course, it was in a plastic blister pack that I had to totally destroy to get it out, so I can't return it. Glad it was on sale, so that I only wasted $10. Of course, I spent less than $20 on groceries this week, so this inert chunk of plastic and metal could've been half a week's food. I hate wasting money.
      Speaking of which, I went back and forth about whether I should care that TV will be digital only next year, and if I should buy a converter. There's a $40-off government coupon, but the thing costs 50. The only TV I watched was "Some Guy & Roeper," but they got replaced by some bunch of twits hired from Entertainment Tonight. I taped and watched one episode and gave up. I briefly taped and watched the crime show "The Mentalist," but it was just a crime show.
      But I figured, buy the DTV converter now or maybe regret it later. I set it up with no problem, and could connect it to my VCR--if I buy a new one! I only have Out ports on the back on mine, no In ones. Another $10 essentially wasted. If I'd wiped my ass with two tens, I least would've saved money on toilet paper.


      Duly noted:
      One package ramen=too little food.
      Two packages ramen=waaaay too much food.
      That is all. (falls over and bloats)


      There may be downward indicators in most parts of the American economy, but not in the stable and largely recession-proof Booze Sector! Good thing that after running around like a maniac all day, I have this awful cold to help me pass out at night!

      The Biggest College Geek Pranks of All Time. It starts with brief mentions of the ones you've prly heard of already, but then moves into the less famliar.

      Just in case you didn't follow my recommendation of Izzle Pfaff's trip to France, there's a new post. If there's another humor blog that refs things like The Triplets of Belleville and "quantum superpositions" in the same post, please let me know.

      Correction: this page erroneously reported that the DoucheBag at Kevin's bachelor party was his mother's boyfriend. Kev informs me that he's just a roommate. Which is excellent, especially for his mom. I really like his mom. And I really didn't like that guy. Hopefully she can get a new roommate.)


      I had a fine Thanksgiving with the famlity, with the traditional turkey, pumpkin pie and jokes about dismembered fingers. (You don't know my family)

      I haven't done UpChuck in a while, as he's become remarkably boring. Like every other right wing cartoonist, he's trying to terrify us by saying that Obama's cabinet choices are--gasp!--just like CLINTON'S! Who can even bear to think of that horrible stretch of eight years, years completely free of unending and unwinnable wars, a Big Brother government, and the total collapse of the economy? The horror, the horror!
      So what's Chuck thankful for this season? Absolutely fucking nothing:

      There is no more oppressed minority in America than conservative white Christian men! And just because they're naive, inflexible shitheads! (Hey, those are Chuck's words, not mine!)
      Here are some other words that aren't mine, from Pharyngula:


      Apparently misunderstanding the concept of "Door-Buster Specials," customers impatient for a Wal-Mart to open busted down the doors, trampled an employee to death, then continued to shop for their useless, cheap, Chinese-prison-made shit that they don't even need. New customers walked by emergency workers trying to save the victim.
      In a just world, they would've evacuated all the workers and sealed the doors, and BURNED THE PLACE DOWN with THOSE SCUM STILL INSIDE. Wow, that cheap plasma TV suddenly doesn't seem that great a bargain when you're dying, does it, you worthless fucks?
      This is why America's economy has always been a house of (credit) cards. Two thirds of it is based on "consumer spending," i.e., "idiots buying crap they don't need, and throwing out the crap they don't need from last year." We don't make anything any more, we just keep passing the same Monopoly money around and hope that the stock market keeps trading its imaginary magic beans.
      Make sure you stupid fucks keep the box that giant TV came in! In a year, it's going to be your HOUSE. You stupid fucks, who think a human life is worth less than saving $40 on that iPod you "need." Fuck you, Average American, fuck you, fuck you.
      Black Friday indeed.


      From Kirk, an amusing look at the eternal Star Wars vs Star Trek debate:

      James Wolcott on Black Friday and the media's complicity:



      Yesterday I awoke to sleet and hail, and then we had freezing rain for the rest of the day. Today I went for a hike in the state park without a coat.

      Humanity May Hold Key For Next Earth Evolution. Note: will not turn you into a member of the X-Men. Unless you want to be Corpserine.

      Got leftover turkey of the dark, chewy, fatty, weird-looking and odd-tasting type that even the cats turn their noses up at? Boil it with some ramen. That makes it tender and boils off the fat. Not quite turkey soup, but much tastier than it is on its own.

      ...And eating 50 cents worth of ramen mixed with free leftovers leads into our next link, Black Friday not bleak for retailers. "Shoppers spent an average of $372.57 this weekend, up 7.2 percent over last year’s $347.55, according to the NRF’s Black Friday Weekend Survey. Pent-up demand on electronics and clothing, plus unparalleled bargains on this season’s hottest items helped drive shopping all weekend," said NRF President and CEO Tracy Mullin. "Holiday sales are not expected to continue at this brisk pace, but it is encouraging that Americans seem excited to go shopping again."
      Oh, really. This is interesting, because it's the same thing that they said last year. If people are willing to stand in a line for 8 hours overnight in late November to save $100 on a TV, it's NOT because the economy is good. Those people do that to get the lowest prices possible, and they're not going to spend another penny after Black Friday. If they have to buy something else, it'll be some scented bath beads from the fucking dollar store.
      And that's exactly what happened last year. Big BF sales = terrible Xmas sales. Even our sales are down, and we sell booze! People don't drink less in a recession, they just drink cheaper. Svedka instead of Absolut, Dubra instead of Popov. But that's because people drink when they're happy, and they drink more when they aren't. But they spend less on what booze they're buying. Liquor stores are to consumer spending what canaries are to coal mines.
      I predict a "Pent-up demand" for food, clothing and shelter, when millions are losing their jobs, will be a tad more important than the perceived desire to buy More Crap To Replace Stuff That We Already Have. And I'm speaking as a guy whose job depends on people buying stuff. The only difference is, when that bottle's empty, ain't nothing gonna replace it except a full one...



      Man, I am so glad that I didn't do a seperate UpChuck site. Seriously, look at this crap:


      I heard on the news today that the first bailout, the trillion dollar banking one, the one Bush pushed through pretending it had to done NOW NOW NOW just like the Iraq invasion, the government has no say over how the banks spend the money. Billion dollar bonuses to the CEOs, with truffle-covered hookers and solid gold crack pipes? Perfectly legal. Almost as if the Republi-klepto administration wanted it that way! But now the Democrats want the luxury jet-flying auto CEOs to explain what they'd do with their measly 25 billion, and Chuck's all mad. You would think that a "conservative" would like what they're doing, but if a Democrat is in favor of it, Chuck's automatically against it.
      But did you notice something about that cartoon? A bit crowded and wordy for a political cartoon, dontcha think? Now look at the next 2 he did--I only say "look," but you can read them if you've got all day:




      The pictures keep getting smaller, the text wordier, the ideas wackier, the conclusions drawn from the ideas more insane, and of course, the dreaded specter of LOUIS SOMEBODY, former head of SOMETHING SOMETHING!!!!! invoked.
      Anybody remember this guy? You know, the "Free Binoculars for Everybody on the East Coast!" guy? The obviously schizophrenic guy? All websites by crazy people look like his. They're always a single huge page with endless rants on unconnected themes and a disassociated stream of random pictures that only mean something to the guy who created it and his inner demons.
      In other words, they look like Chuck's latest cartoons.

      Chuckles is a creationist, so he certainly would froth mightily over Ebert's review of the creationist movie "Retarded: No Intellygences Aloud". I may be a bit off on the title.


      SHAWT: A woman demanded, really, she DEMANDED as soon as she opened her mouth that we give her the state minimum price on her 3 bottlles of Santa Margherita pinot grigio. Sorry, we only give that price when you buy six. "EVERY liquor store in the STATE gives me that price!" Well, EVERY liquor store in this state is required to be a thousand feet apart, and in our town, they are. There's 3 a thousand feet from our store. Maybe you should drive the quarter-mile to one of the EVERYs then?
      "I don't have time for this!" she barked after spending more than 5 minutes proving that yes, she did have time for this. And then she proved us wrong by--buying her 3 bottles for $75.
      Yes, it was $23 a bottle. The state minimum is $20. If you're paying $20 a pop for a wine wih a market niche of "No better than a $10 bottle of pinot grigio, so we expect suckers to buy it to prove how 'sophisticated' they are"...saving $9 is the least of your problems. She then declared "This is why I NEVER SHOP HERE!"
      And after she left, I found out that this was the fifth time she's performed this same drama. I missed the part when she said that she'd already bought 3 bottles this month at that price. And it's only the fourth! Buy the damn 6 bottles then, you drunk!
      SHAWT at someone else's work: I had to go buy groceries after work, as I'd overestimated how much dry cat food I had. I went after 8PM, when most of the smaller departments at Stop & Shop are closed, like the bakery, pharmacy, etc. A senior couple walked into the very obviously closed floral department. And walked around yelling "HELL-OOO?!" There only could be employees in the department if they were hiding behind the darkened register counter. And if they were, why would they come out? They would have already learned the first rule of How Not To Be Seen, "don't stand up!"


      Chuck upchucked another cartoon, and amazingly, it is not 48 tiny panels with 600 words. It's 4 panels and 69 words.


      Kids say the darndest things! Like "I was just saying that it's obvious that this song doesn't apply to those in Washington who have a bailout mentality!" You can't walk past an elementary school these days without hearing that a dozen times!
      And, from the seemingly random title, kids lie and cheat because of the bailout! JUST NOW and ONLY BECAUSE OF the bailout! No kid ever lied or cheated before late 2008! And since it's Bush's bailout...Who's responsible?
      Hey, wait...didn't Chuck say a coupla days ago that slowing the auto bailout was bad? But today, all bailouts are bad? Somebody's gettin' schizo again!
      Forever mindful of the minimal intelligence his readers have, Chuck helpfully labels a cartoon with a group of children singing a song about Santy Claus published in December as "Winter Break Choir Practice," because otherwise you'd think that they were gibbering idiots screaming about yams on Memorial Day. Hey, wait again--isn't winter break after Christmas? Now I'm all confused! Please add some more signs, Chucklehead!!

      Also, Happy 75th Birthday to the Repeal of Prohibition! I have a job, thanks to that!
      Yeah, the First War on Drugs turned out sooo well. Let's keep the second one going on forever! It's going sooo well!


      Amusing little widget from Kirk, The Royal Nickname Generator. Bill Young leads to "Bill the Intruder" ("HELLO ! Just thought that I'd bust in a window and take your blender! Cheerio!"), while William Young gives "William the Mecklenburg Venus," not something I'd ever have expected to be called. Leaving off your last name leads to more results.

      Ship of Fools' annual 12 Days of Kitschmas. Man, I've looked everywhere for a figurine of the Pope taking a dump in the manger!


      The Kids may be back in the Hall.




      If I was the FBI, I would've waited a week on the governor of Illinois. He probably would've posted an ad on Craigslist. "SENATE SEAT FOR SALE $1M or B/O!"
      I hadn't heard anything about this until yesterday, and my first thought was "Corruption in Chicago politics?! Who'da thunk?!" That's the city that saves money everytime there's a new mayor. They don't have to buy new letterheads, because the mayor always has the same name.

      Well, it's Wednesday sigh, so let's see what's been up chucked by UpChuck.


      And here we go! Republicans have been in charge of all three branches of government since the Eocene Era, so that means that everything bad that happens now is the fault of the OTHER party! NOT 8 years of deregulation that led to the subprime mortgage crisis, but any attempt to FIX it! Which was....Christ, the Dodd-Frank Bill? You still on that, Chuckles? Oh, and again, Trillion Dollar Bailout for Billionaires, GOOD! Short-Term Loans with demands for actual performance: BAD! I especially like Dodd kicking the fat ass of the CEO. Because those retards, the ones who kept making SUVs when hybrids like the Prius had 6-month waiting lists before people could buy them for the last 10 years, THEY were the geniuses! "What will the profits be like next year? WHO CARES! It's only this QUARTER's profits that matter to our shareholders--and our BONUSES!"
      Chuck, you want an example of American corporate greed gone mad? It's called THE IRAQ WAR. Two BILLION dollars a WEEK for almost SIX YEARS! And to show for it--a sea of American and Iraqi blood.


      You--you--I FUCKING HATE YOU CHUCK! You actually want to PRETEND that OBAMA, who ISN'T THE PRESIDENT YET, SHITHEAD--is RESPONSIBLE for the red ink? NOT Iraq? NOT the trillion-dollar bailout of the banks? NOT the MORON who inherited a budget SURPLUS from Clinton, and turned it into a deficit ONE YEAR LATER? And who just kept making it worse by SPENDING MONEY WE DON'T HAVE? And ONLY HAVE because we've borrowed it from CHINA? So his BILLIONAIRE BACKERS could have LOWER TAXES, while the middle class and poor pay MORE? All of a sudden you hate everything that Bush did, now that you can proactively blame it on the NEXT president? Would you be even pointing these things out, if MCCAIN had won?! You never did during the last 8 years, so, NO!
      Yes, it begins. Everything that the Republican controlled governement did to fuck America is now all the Democrats' fault. Get used to it. The corporate-owned media will spend the next 4 years playing Pretend about this, and in 2012, it'll be President Palin. Who will fuck the country back into the Stone Age. Which they'll blame on Obama. Or Clinton. Hell, I read a wrong-wing article not long ago that blamed the housing crisis on Jimmy Carter, 30 years ago.
      Oh, Chuck, you nag nag nag the Democrats! But you NEVER say anything about your future Saint George! Surely you have SOMETHING positive to say about the worst president ever!




      The Story of Santa, from 1930 Nightmare Theatre.


      I decided when I started getting things from the freebie websites that I'd never get anything from a charity. Those "Christian" sites that are obviously not charities but money pumps, that's different. Give me your free shit! Waste the money you were only going to use to sucker in the rubes! The "Our Lady of Fatima" people? If they're so hard up for money for their crazy prophecy bullshit, why do they send me a fat mailing every WEEK? It's clear that every cent they get that they don't spend on their organization gets spent on conning believers into sending them more money. They never say anything about what they DO--they just babble about their "prophecies" and demand more cash. They aren't helping the poor; they're helping themselves.
      So today I got the hilariously named PANORAMA OF PROPHECY cd-rom. "An Epic Bible Study Adventure," all about the END OF THE WORLD that the Bible doesn't really talk about. This "Revelations" hogwash is just a bunch of randomly-picked verses from all over the Bible that these people think means that G*D's coming back in 2007. Yes, in 2007, 25% of Americans in one poll were sure that Jesus would come back. Last year. I'll bet the same people think that he's coming back in 2008. And/or 2009; it's getting late.
      I wish I had a scanner, so you could see the HI-larious angels on the cover, who are clearly based on Crockett and Tubbs from Miami Vice. Well, actually, Tubbs has a little beard and a lot of Jeri-Curl.
      I flipped it over and laughed at the stamp: It said "author" and had a balding white guy with glasses! It's ARTHUR C. CLARKE, noted AGNOSTIC! But wait--he's not been dead long enough to be on a stamp, and wasn't he British anyway? Oh. The stamp actually was of James Michener.
      I flipped it over a second time, and the DJ of the classical station I was listening to announced that he was playing "Also Sprach Zarathustra" and said "There's more to this piece than what you heard in 2001."
      IT'S A SIGN! As sure as any Virgin Mary toast or Jesus doggy door! PREPARE, sinners, for your Childhood's End, as the Starchild is coming to take you to a Rendezvous with Rama!
      What's on the cd-rom? Got me. I ain't watching it!


      Conversation at work today: Kevin (not that Kevin, the coworker Kevin) said that his wife wanted to go to the movies and see Marley and Me. She works at a vet's and is a dog person, cat person, fish person. So is Kevin, but the trailer left him cold. He was thinking of letting her watch that movie while he saw another.
      KEVIN (not that one): So which movie would you see, Marley and Me or The Day the Earth Stood Still?
      ME: What, the one starring Keanu Reeves? Maybe they should've called it The Day the Acting Stood Still! I hope he plays the robot, as that's what he does in every movie!

      Hey, someone uploaded my favorite Christmas cartoon, Peace on Earth! It's a pretty good copy, although the darker bits of the image are hard to make out. Oh, and how dark? Peace on Earth is established by the utter and complete extermination of the entire human race, and its replacement as the dominant species by a mutated race of hyperintelligent bipedal rodents.
      No, really. That's what happens.


      As an early adopter of the Web over 10 years ago, I used to say "If you spend enough time looking, you'll find anything!" That is no longer true. Now, you can find anything if you spend no time looking.
      Case in point: Doctor in Distress, a 1985 45 I own. The Beeb was going to cancel Doctor Who during the Sixth Doctor's regeneration, and a bunch of British rockers did a protest song about it. I forget who, lemme check, it's right here...
      Oh dear. I have several rhousand pieces of vinyl, so many that I don't know where they end up. Maybe they're in here--EWW, cobwebs! Buncha 45s there, but no, it's not there, maybe this collection of 45s...Let's see, "Dark Entries," Bauhaus, "Manny, Moe and Jack," the Dickies, "Those Were the Days," Mary Hopkin, "Walk Like an Egyptian," Bangles, "I Helped Patrick McGoohan Escape," The Times (not the Prince guys), "Rossmore Road/Win a Night Out With a Well-Known Paranoiac," Barry Adamson, "The Hitler Rap," Mel Brooks, "Gigantor," the Dickies again, "Strange Thing," the Buzzcocks, "Lightning Strikes," Klaus Nomi, "Da Do Run Ron," Spitting Image, man but I have a lot of 45s, "DMV," Jeanne and the Weenies--ah! Here it is, "Doctor in Distress," by Who Cares! Now I can tell you who did it! It's by...lots of people, like that one guy from Ultravox and 2 guys from the Moody Blues, Floid from, umm, "Hot Gossip," and from "Buck's Fizz," it's--
      Shit. Who knows? Anyway, it's a big slice of 1985 cheeze, and it's simultaneously the dopiest thing you ever heard and the catchiest. Sure, they don't always sing in the same key, but they're singing about Daleks and Cybermen! The Brigadier, the Master and the croak-voiced Doctor all get parts, and the best voice you hear immediately follows, and it's Peri, a derided companion because of her bad American accent, but one much beloved of me, as she was the Doc's sidekick the last time I saw an episode and she was SMOKIN' HOTT. If I was the Doctor, I'd find that one alternate universe where I could do a three-way with Peri and Leela.




      I wasn't planning on buying groceries until Sunday, but the plan went awry for a few reasons:      But I drove by one Stop & Shop and saw that the parking lot wasn't that full, so I went to the one in my town. And I was in and out in 10 minutes. Too bad that my Iams cat food coupons were at home. Buying anything is all about saving as much money as you can.
      And when I finally got home and opened my mail, there was a coupon for a free 3.5 pound bag of cat food.
      But I'm done. I don't have to go grocery shopping until after Xmas. All I have to do is drive in a huge storm (twice) and hope that I only do what happened in the last one--spin out into a guard rail and smash my car, and not keep spinning into the path of 2 tractor trailers and a speeding bus and die. If this page abruptly stops updating, you can assume that I killed on my 40-mile-a-day commute.

      The United States Death Map Revealed. And I actually live in one of the safest parts of the country! Except in winter.

      Speaking of things that make you wanna die...


      Also, Obama and his hateful "Hope" and "Change" are responsible for everything bad that happens in Chicago. Republicans, who have held either 2 or all 3 branches of government for 28 years, are responsible for nothing that goes wrong. Also, New York is wormy too! Why? I don't know. I'm not Chuck. I live in reality.


      "Yeah! That made-up number of Chuck's would've been so much better if we'd followed Bush's plan to invest Social Security IN THE STOCK MARKET!"


      Unions decided to keep making those SUVs! Unions decided to not build hybrids and small, economical cars! The CEOS only got tens of millions in bonuses for destroying the last industry America actually had!
      And, as always: Detroit bailout, BAD, trillion dollar bailout to rich people on Wall Street with no strings attached SO TEH AWSUMZ! that Chuck will never mention it again.


      "Dear Leader! Under Saddam, we would have had them all brutally tortured and shot! Under Bush, we have them brutally tortured and imprisoned indefinitely, just like you taught us!"
      "Heh heh heh! See how I dodged that shoe? I'm totally awesome at dodging responsibility for my actions! And you should see how the media in my country has watched me imprison, invade, torture, steal TWO elections, shred the Constitution, destroy the economy and turn my country into the next Third World nation! Y'know what they do? They SUCK MY COCK! Speakin' of which, Maliki Lick-Mah-Dicky, it's time for you to do some face time with the Little Decider, too! Heh heh heh!"



      That's the third day in a row the Stupidest Thing Ever Said people described one of their quotes as "actual." Does that mean that all the rest are lies? Or are they just the kind of people who say "Then I literally did this, and then I literally did that!" Thanks, you did it, we actually got it.


      The worst thing since Life Day, The 1977 Bob Hope Christmas Special Star Wars Skit.


Comments for Autumn 08: