NEW 109

"You can't have the escape without the prison."
--Jon Carroll


      The sign of a really bad, but really good bad movie, is that one keeps finding funny crap one missed before. Plan Nine is made of that for at least 20 viewings. The sadly unavailable not-movie/refractured Japanese 60s TV show Voyage into Space (which is available for download--at your internet peril) I've seen maybe 50+ times, and I still catch little pockets of undiscovered hilarity in it.
      Sadly, I don't find them in anything I've reviewed on Trick Lobster. As I watched those things with a microscope. I inadvertantly Netflixed Gymkata when it wandered to the top of my queue. Hilarious once, not hilarious much more than that.
      I was cheated out of both new releases The Muppets and even Puss in Boots today, and the next thing there was King Kong Lives.
      Yes, it is still one of the funniest bad movies ever. One of those that you don't try to MST riff through, but just laugh from one hilariously stupid moment to another. Which are all of them. Bike-wheel bone saw! Fake heart bigger than Kong's head! The endlessly repeated phrase "MORE SUCTION!" Max Lansky! "DON'T BREATHE THE DEADLY GAS!" followed by everybody instantly taking their gas masks off! Monkeys in heat as the ONLY plot point! The sign "Primate Holding Divison." Repeated scenes of Kong turning up and everybody running or driving from THIS side of the screen to THAT side, crashing cars that have no reason to be there! Drunken William S. Burroughs in his PJs with a shotgun! And, for those of you haven't read that old review of mine--BAAAALL CAAAAP! ah-HAHAHAH! Ball cap scene! And a billion times funnier if you imagine the movie existing in exactly where it claims it does: in the alligator-filled swamps, high mountains, deep forests, and vast canyons in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. Where giant boa constrictors live in caves.
      This viewing actually did have some unnoticed trash: When (in Atlanta) a TV reporter says "Kongmania has invaded academia, and this place has literally gone bananas!" and a little boy runs in front of the camera, enthusiastically waving a Confederate battle flag. And the little kid is black. What, couldn't they find tiny enough Klan robes for him?
      Thing I also never caught: Dino de Laurentiis really hates the US of Americans. Every character besides the unattractive leads (Linda Hamilton "Please, Terminator, kill me before I make this movie!" and...THE KERWIN) are inbred, gun-toting, drunken, insane rednecks. And yet the current Republican candidates were still TWO DECADES into the future!

      Also, I think I will never top the current Comments link's horrific graphic. It only needs glitter to be worse. I DARE you to look upon its grim visage for the next 3 months!


      Oh no, another CFL bulb of mine just burned out! My second one in
      7 years. After rebate and store sale, they cost me a WHOLE DOLLAR EACH. Maybe invest in those. At least by replacing your crappy old ones.


      The work radio had a list of places where cell phones are lost the most. I don't remember it precisely, as I had better things to do and I've never lost mine. I think #5 was "bars" (REALLY?!) and #1 was "apartments." Yours? Someone you met in a bar's? One you shot it through a window with a catapult?
      On lunch, I decided to check my phone because no one calls me on it. (The last text I got was from no one I know, and read: "Hii. Haters luv me<" Nah, I'll stick with hating you) And it was GONE! I usually tuck it into the pocket of the sweatshirt I wear in the beer cooler, so I tried calling me, wandering around the store where I'd taken the shirt off. It picked up, but no ring.
      The only other time I didn't have it was the only time I needed it, so I hoped I'd get home safely without it. It turned up on the bed. No doubt I'd put it in the shirt's pocket and it fell out when I sat down to tie my shoes. In my condo. It's not an apartment. That list was so wrong!

      The dumpsters by work are in a plaza that gets no traffic after 9PM (even the town's only movie theater closes), so it's a dumping ground. Somebody left 2 giant rolls of old carpet in front of the dumpsters, because putting them in wouldn't be worth that extra erg of energy. They sat there for a week, until the plaza moved them...about 10 feet to the right. Where they sat for a month.
      Today, a garbage truck came, all black except for the logo. 2 guys fed the moldy carpet through a special shredder. They were from out of state.
      I assume that it's some EPA regulation--carpet would never rot in a landfill. But, still. There are people whose job is to munch carpet (wait, that came out wrong) shred carpet. How deep does our ridiculous modern First World's infrastructure go? 25 years ago I marvelled at a business whose sole purpose was powerwashing shopping carts. Not walls, just shopping carts.
      I couldn't grow my own food, or even identify an edible plant outside of a grocery store. People here barely coped when the power went out for a week. What will happen when this global house of cards is hit with a global warming-caused ice age?

      In lighter news: "But that trick never works!" It did this time, Rocky: Cat Survives 19-Story Fall by Gliding Like a Flying Squirrel. She bears a remarkable resemblance to a young Killsy, although I hope my girl doesn't decide to recreate that stunt.


      Dear college kid wearing tight hipster jeans, an ironic checked long sleeve shirt with a Tin-Tin hairdo? Do you know who looks good in that?
      Not even Hipster Tin-Tin.
      (Says the guy whose college outfit was jeans and a tshirt, with a corduroy dress suit jacket and Castro hat. I was ironic before anyone even got it!)
      ((Wait, did that sound hipster?))


      Bill's Law of Blog Updating: every month that a site doesn't update equals a 33% chance of it never updating again. Thus, at 3 months, the odds are 99% that the site is deader than the non-reptilian section of Rick Santorum's brain.
      However, it costs nothing in time or space to keep a dead link in the bookmarks. There is still a 1% chance it may magically return to life, like a dried lungfish after a rainfall or movies about Smurfs.
      Being a Link Hoarder can have its benefits. For no real reason


      Fruitboots? Fruitboots?!

      I decided to check up on the aptly named Gone And Forgotten, which I gave up on over a year ago. Yeah, there goes my day off! The updates were infrequent, but just as funny as when it was a weekly read. Well worth wasting your time on. If you like reading about stupid comics.

      Also, the reliabley-updating Stupid Comics has a readers request post, with many a clickable link, if you want to only waste an hour.

      Never a waste of time, Way of Cats has a link to The Life Sausage, a post about Banana, a cat who got lucky late in life. Do not read at work, unless you have no problem with people seeing you cry.


      Did anyone read The Life Sausage? Yes, it's sad that the cat dies at the end. But we all die at the end. And his Sausage is awesome! Err, read it and know what I mean.
      The Sausage is a graph of Banana's quality of life over time. He had a decade of starvation and misery until he was adopted and found true happiness. He died quickly, and he died loved. Go read it, and you'll be thinking about your Sausage of Life, too. From ages 10 to 25, mine was a thin straight line. I'm still amazed that I'm alive today. Now I've got a pretty WIDE Sausage!


ANSWERS, STUPID BUT LOGICAL      This is harsh, but accurate:


      This one's REALLY harsh (and 9 minutes) and if it loses me any readers...That's from your free will! Unless it isn't.





      Megamillions Madness at work today. Everybody had to get a ticket! According to the radio, you are 20,000 times less likely to win the 1:176M odds jackpot than you are to die in a car crash. Funny how everyone assumes that the good thing will certainly happen, then drive like idiots after leaving the store to increase the odds that they win the other.
      More than 1 person bought over $300 in tickets in our store. A coworker and a delivery driver said that this was "being greedy." After both their families bought $50-70 worth of tickets. Unless you bought those tickets hoping to lose, it's not greed, it's just stupidity. The smartest customer of the mania bought $5 worth of Mega, then a state lottery ticket, reasoning "No else is buying those." Which I agree with: the prize is a measly $4.6M (who could live on that?!), but the odds are 25 times greater in your favor.
      I love when everybody spins their tale of imaginary winning. They always say "I'd give almost all of it to charity!" I really wanted to ask "And how much do you give to charity now?" The reason "Trickle Down on Me" economics doesn't work is because the more money certain people get, the more obsessed they are with spending it either on themselves, or not at all. You'd be winning money, not a new personality. If you spend all your money on yourself now, never giving to others, I doubt that you'd suddenly start. One coworker who talked about all the "charitable trusts" he'd found in his name is the one who yells about "Socialism!" and "My taxes should be NOTHING!" all the time. Yeah. You're a giving soul. In your Fantasyland.

      Speaking of which, someone put a second sign on a bridge on my way to work. I'm sure it's the same guy--and trust me, no way it's not a guy--who put up the first one, as it too was on the wrong side of the bridge's fence. It took me a month to figure out what the first one said: "Ron Paul 2012." Ah, the Garden Gnome Galt! It's notable that both "BIG GUMMINT DONT TAX ME GET OFF MY BACK!" signs were posted on publicly-funded bridges above interstate highways. I want to add a sign that says "If Paul Was Prez, You'd Be Driving on a Dirt Road."

      There's another bridge that has another sign that took me forever to figure out, as it's not a sign, but a bedsheet. Tied only at the top, so it flaps upside down in the slightest breeze. I think it says "LIFE OR DEATH/JESUS OR HELL/Your Choice." I'm sure Jeez is quite happy with this proclamation on a dirty old, flappin' in the wind sheet. Sorry, True Beliver, but it only reminds me of that scene in A Confederacy of Dunces when Ignatius J. Reilly leads a work protest, led by a banner that is one of his bedsheets, barely held onto by its corners by 2 marchers because of the strange yellow stains on it...

      Byron understands sign language, but he doesn't speak it!


      The Imaginary Monsters of U.S. Cities. I think there may be something to these, like the Skunk Ape. As in, you won't see them if you didn't smoke so much skunk.


      Some lucky (or now cursed) people won the Megamillions jackpot. This was announced before the drawing, because they sold so many tickets that every possible combination came up. We ended up selling $4000 worth! If you're thinking "At least your store made money," well, sort of. We get a whole 2.5 cents on the dollar. So...a hundred bucks. The state got $3900, and we did all the work.
      Someone in CT got a $250K winner. The closest jackpot winner was in Maryland, which is close only in the "both on the Atlantic Seaboard" sense, which we also have in common with Greenland and Namibia and the Falkland Islands. I really hope that it was won by someone who bought a single ticket, and not anyone who bought $300 worth.
      I won the exact same amount as my lucky coworkers who bought many, many tickets. Note that I didn't buy a ticket.


      If you're quick, you can catch Cute Overload's April Fools page! It's really funny!

      Yesterday I thought that if my favorite Sunday AM radio show had the dj I expected it to have, he'd do some ham-handed and lame April Fools joke. It was him, and yes he did. He solemnly read a news release saying that, after 30 years, the WWUH Ambience show was going off the air, to be replaced with folk music. I assumed that he'd play a few seconds of "Foggy Mountain Breakdown," then cry "APRIL FOOLS!" I was wrong. He played 15 fucking minutes of folk music. Maybe longer; I turned the station off after 2 minutes, but it was still playing at 15 minutes later, and didn't come back until 20 minutes had passed. I wonder how many people left it off.
      I think that most April Fools Jokes miss one word in the name: "jokes." Jokes are supposed to be funny. Telling someone something bad, but believably and seriously, has no punchline beyond "Don't trust anything I say." My boss Drunken Toddler's idea of "comedy" is to say "I heard you're going to be FIRED!" to people who have very good reasons to worry about losing their jobs--and NOT on April 1st. That's not comedy. That's being a fucking asshole.
      When that radio dj came back on the air an hour later, he said "The phone rang off the hook! I didn't answer it." No doubt every call was "This is a 'joke,' right?" but, being an asshole, he didn't have even the meager guts to actually pick up and say that. If I knew the name of the program director, I would've called up using it and screamed "YOU ASSHOLE! You're FIRED! Also, the police called to say your wife just died in a car crash." Would that have been funny? No. I did think of asking for my recent $40 donation to the pledge drive back, but since this is my least liked dj, I just think the next time WWUH's pledge drive comes up, I'll not donate to his show. That is not a joke. I imagine he'd say to that "Where's your sense of humor?!" which is always what people without actual senses of humor say when no one laughs and get pissed off at their non-jokes.
      I hope neither that WWUH dj nor DT reads 6 Prank Gadgets That Only a Sociopath Would Actually Use, as they would think that they were hilarious!

      In lighter news--and I mean news, as I can verify from living in Connecticut that this is all true--Colin McEnroe: This Stuff Is True - No Fooling. "This is why I am not writing an April Fool's column today and why, ever since I wrote my first Hartford Column (30 years ago), I have never seen the need to do one. Life is so generous in the foolishness department! It would probably make more sense to dedicate one day of the year to making sure nothing ridiculous happens. Good luck with that."
      Turns out that McEnroe had an earlier column on the same subject, You Really Had Me Going There: "I also object to the term "April Fool's joke." A joke is a much more generous thing than what happens on 4/1. A joke is something I tell to make you laugh. I want to amuse you and make you happy. Your laughter is then my reward. Imagine that Stephen Wright or Chris Rock or Bob Saget had an act that consisted of misleading the audience for the private amusement of the comedian himself. How long do you think that person would last in show business? A joke that the audience is meant to take seriously is, in fact, the exact opposite of a joke. It's an anti-joke."



      A mysterious package was at my doorstep. My arms were full, so I prodded it in by foot. Byron gave it a brief sniff. DJ raced up and gave it a thorough investigation. Killsy did the follow up; I guess the hearing cats knew it was out there after UPS rang the bell. I had no idea what it was. From Pennsylvania? Who and why?
      Obvious answer: Belgium! Yeah, my forgotten Stella Artois chalice, engraved, quite small but also beautifully, with "Bill the Splut." (I took several photos, but, eh, all bad)
      I filled it with a Leffe Brown Ale, and it is pretty much the perfect beer glass. It even has a spot to rest your thumb for a better grasp, while showing the lesser people your teensy weensy inscription. If they really squint.
      I hope you got your own! But what did you have to do to get it without the code? Skin a warthog and write in unicorn blood or something?
      It will be a family heirloom! Until one of the boys smashes it on the floor. C'est la vie en biere!
      (and eternal thanks to the beautiful genius who named me "Splut")


      Hey, I remember selling Captain Power And The Soldiers Of The Future toys back in the (hellish Kay-Bee) days! Wait, let me rephrase that: I remember having those for sale. We got a case of 6, and I don't think we sold a single one. It was a toy gun and a VCR tape and super expensive and...that was it. People were more interested in buying the NES. There was a TV series? Yeah, I...think there was. Maybe at 6AM. The post explains why nobody knows about it today.

      Eh, I give up. I've seen this 3 times on 3 wildly different sites in 2 days, so you've prly already seen it. So play it again, Sam:




      My friend Lily got to see Able Gance's Napoleon, a silent film only 8 hours long. Since she's in CA, I didn't go. I also missed "Weasleystock, featuring George's Left Ear, Bella and Le Strangers, The Whomping Willows, Justin Finch-Fletchley and the Sugar Quills, Lauren Fairweather and The Blibbering Humdingers." Yes, it's "Wrock," Wizard Rock music based on Harry Potter, and strangely centered in southern New England. Specifically, Connecticut. If it had happened over my upcoming vacation, rather than right now, I might've gone.
      Thing that I most certainly will see on my vacation: ROBOT DINOSAURS! Although, sadly, there won't be Dawn Wells in a bikini riding one. DANG! Still, that's most of the way there!
      Even if the robodinos are from the "Mesozoaic Era," which isn't an actual thing. Possibly it was between the Juurassic and the Cretaaceous. Or the Tricycle-assic, when giants rode the Earth on Big Wheels!


      I was about to take my morning meds when I noticed that I was missing my gemfibrozil for my elevated blood sugar. Made sure to take one, as missing those for a few days made me sick enough to miss work not long ago.
      Not that I would've missed going to work today. "Happy Birthday!" said several emails from automated corporate sites. Domi arigoto, that's very heartfelt, Mr Roboto.
      My mom sent an email: "HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU, HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR BILL HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU! Be happy that you can't hear me singing." That's true. The phrase "I can't carry a tune in a bucket"? My family can carry a tune in as a casket, as our voices murder everything we "sing".
      Somehow they knew at work, likely because a coworker has her birthday on 4/9. They bought me birthday cupcakes (well, someone did. I know that the douchebags there didn't). One (douche) immediately extinguished the towering inferno of 3 tiny birthday candles. "You know we can't have fire in here!" Not even DT's endless cigarettes? I thanked them, while thinking "These aren't going to play nice with my hyperglycemia" and "Only a douche wouldn't eat one."
      Since I was going to my car for lunch, I took one and began eating it, so that all could see. You know the size of a cupcake? These had more than that in frosting. And as Muppet heads; I believe I gnawed Elmo's face. For as long as I could. I threw a third of the frosting into the parking lot. And began feeling ill. Next time, they can get me a bran muffin.
      It took 2.5 hours for the taste to get out of me. And then I got reeeealy tired. And then my body tried to reject the cupcake by the 2nd-fastest method (note: by mouth is the fastest). Once home, I had what I guess is some sort of diabetic crash, becoming exhausted. I was psyched that the radio was playing Prokofiev's Classical Symphony, to be followed by Grieg's Holbert Suite, 2 of my favorite pieces! I heard most of one violently doing the 2nd-fastest method. Happy Crappy Birthday!
      (Once properly and bodily disposed of, and with an extra dose of meds, yeah, I'm fine But NO NOM MORE CUPCAKES FOREVER!)


      There were 3 horrible murderous cupcakes yesterday, only 1 of which I threw in the parking lot. Since I sure as fuck wasn't going to eat the remaining 2, I offered them to today's work crew.
      ME: "These kinda made me sick. I have hyperglycemia."
      Beer-Bellied Coworker: "My doctor says I'm hyperglycemic! What's the difference between hyperglycemic and diabetic?"
      ME: (thinking: either you have a shitty doctor who explains nothing, or pay no attention to him, or am I talking to a child? Let's phrase it it as simply as possible): (holds one hand up high): "Diabetic." (holds one hand slightly lower): "Hypergylycemic. Pre-diabetic."
      B-BC: "Yeah, that's what my doctor said!" (he proceeded to inhale 2 cupcakes with fist-sized Muppet-shaped frosting in 20 minutes)


      I had a lovely family Easter. Ate a ton of food, as my family always makes more than there are people. After we'd all stuffed ourselves with plates of appetizers and then a big dinner, a sister sighed that her dessert (out of 5 selections) was still mainly there. Her husband said "You did make 24 of them." There were 13 people there. And literally 75 servings of desserts. I got to take home Fave Niece's Cassie's grasshopper pie that she made for my birthday. (pie does not actually include insects)
      At dinner, I was glad to see that there was no hot mustard. Instead--WASABI! Love that stuff! A brother-in-law saw me eating it and had some. And spent 5 minutes gasping and coughing from the heat. Another b-in-law asked for it, to show how manly he was maybe, and it was funny watching him wheeze and gag and pretend that it wasn't hot. Cassie and I exchanged eye-rolling glances, and she said "I guess some people have never had sushi."
      I should also mention that Cassie is writing some fiction because she enjoys writing (HOORAH! for writing for pleasure!) and after verifying "You're not writing Twilight fanfic, are you?" came the only time I've ever used the name "David Gonterman" in front of my family.

      I did not have a lovely Easter Monday. The car needed an oil change, which at my dealer is free. Also tire rotation, which wasn't, so it cost me about the same as if I'd done it at a regular oil change place. Which would take 15 minutes. I was told it would take 45.
      I wasted some time at the dealer's computer, read the paper, paced, wasted more time on the web when the filter would let me (I can't read Cracked?!), paced and paced. Don't tell me it'll be 45 minutes when it's twice that. Don't say "Give me 5 minutes to order the part [from when they screwed up my repair after that accident] and print your invoice" when you mean "You can watch your car, ready to go, sit there for 25 minutes." Thanks, Liberty Honda! And OH BOY I get to go back and sit and wait wait wait for them to fix something they should've fixed last year.


      A post on Weird Universe features the hippy-dippy music of Kali Bahlu. By a funny coincidence--well, here's the comment I left:      Ha ha! Coincidences are funny when they're funny coincidences!

      I have very detailed dreams, which rarely ever feature people I know. Or even cats I know. So it was odd when my kids turned up in a dream this morning. Actually, it was awful. The rest of us watched helplessly while Byron had a massive heart attack. I don't know what a cat heart attack looks like, and hope I never do, but if it was like the dream one, Byron thrashing and choking, in so much pain that he couldn't even scream--I woke myself up at the point where I had to drive him across the state to the only open vet's office. And woke again, bolting from bed, when the real Byron began choking in the kitchen! Just horking up a bit of food he ate too fast, but I've had more restful nights.

      DT is on vacation. But he called today and asked (after not recognizing my voice after 8+ years) "Do you know who Barry is?" Yeah, I've met him, but I never really talked to him. He worked in the store before I did. Everyone knows him. His brother still works on holidays, and was here for Easter. And here's the word-for-word transcription of the call:
      "He's dead! Like 2 hours ago!"
      "HOLY SH--WHAT?!"
      "I'll call back, I got a guy working on my air conditioning." CLICK
      Nice job breaking the news, DoucheBob DrunkPants.
      Not 10 minutes later his brother was in with his wife, both openly crying, to buy booze to soothe the pain. Barry had died of a massive heart attack, at the age of 45.
      Byron's human age is about 45. The reason that I never really talked to Barry was because he was deaf. Like Byron.
      Tragic coincidences are only tragic.

      I was relieved to see my deaf man looking out our front window when I got home.


      Went antiquing and Cracker Barreling with Jess today. I'm surprised we did; she'd just received news that one of her feral foster kittens had died, days after another from the same litter had. A litter of 7, from a 5 pound mother! Mom was emaciated when she rescued her from a white trash couple, the kind with empty beer cans in the front yard. I imagine they fed her table scraps. But she cheered up when she began talking about her successes and adoptions to loving families. That's why she does it.
      We went to our usual place, the one that's had things that have been there for the 10 years we've going. No one wants the quartet of mariachi singers made from taxidermied bullfrogs? She bought a "Sand Cat," a tiny figurine that she collects, and a "dog angel" pin for a friend who'd recently lost her dog. I think she spent $3. Her church gift shop wanted $8 for the dog pin, which she got for a buck.
      And we saw a cross-stiched alaphabet, based on mythical creatures:


      Okay, not exactly the greatest picture. We spent a while trying to identify the things, and some are easy (Centaur, Dragon, Elf, Fairy) others were just baffling. Maybe you D&D players can name them all. The ones we were most mystified by were A, B, I (I just got those 2 now), J, K, O (what IS that?), Q, R (a bird, but not a Roc), X and Y. I'll give you our version tomorrow, and leave it to you to figure it out yourself.
      We went to a place that was basically a musty old garage filled with rusty junk. It was across the street from the devastation wreaked by the Massachusetts tornadoes of last summer. It missed that guy's place, and destroyed every house after it. There were trailer homes where people were still living as they awaited new homes. One wonders if they'll be in those trailers for the rest of their lives.
      We next went to a nice store, very wide, well-lit and organized. There was the Booth of Bill's Regret, featuring the damn action figures I used to sell in the 80s for $4 for $60-$150. There was a cap bomb made of wood with paper wings with "Stuka" printed on them, and the rest in German. Yes, a Nazi toy. Have fun pretending you're bombing, future Hitler Youth! And 1960s Batman clip-on ties. The logo clearly was not from the TV show, so, a knock-off. I got me a Precious Momentsy cat fig for $5. Every link seems to go to the same eBay auction, so click here if you want to see it. Hint: green-eyed, pink-nosed white cat.
      Yes, we have confirmation that next month she wants to see the ROBOT DINOSAURS! I said "I need you to distract the museum guards so that I can hijack the T. Rex, and rampage through Hartford screaming 'I'M GODZILLA, BITCHES!!'"


      I'll wait to give our guesses on the cross-stitch, as I was hoping that more people would want to guess than one. Thanks, Fal-Chan! Here's hers:      Egyptian mythology! We never thought of that! I did say "Anubis" but then said "Wait, then it'd have a human body." Ra, yes, that makes sense. We only came up with Raven or Robin, niether bird noted for their green color. I had Incubus for I, and O was so confusing that we didn't even know what form it was supposed to be. So much so that Jess' guess was "A bird flying down into a tree stump." Me: "And it hits it and says 'OW!'?"
      Kirin, yeah, I can see that. I thought those were more dragony, but then I work in a liquor store and only see the beer. It's hard to tell from my crappy photo. To help, here's what we got from top to bottom on the far right: Goblin, Mermaid, Troll, Zeus. It's also hard to tell from the original. Is the Mermaid in a sack race? Jess: "Mermaid? Merman? I kinda see a boob there, but the hair is really short." Me: "Lesbian Mermaid?"
      I think that we'll never really know. And I think that the key is J. Outside of Q below it (Qetzalcoatal is all I could come up with, but it looks like something out of a European medieval bestiary, and had no feathers), J is the only close up of a face, and big and centered and looking at the viewer. Was J the initial of the person this was lovingly made for? And then put for sale when the relationship ended? Some letters, like X or Y, may be indeciphreable in-jokes.
      "I" could also be Icarus with really bad sunburn.


      ABCs. These are what we got, with ? for the ones we didn't (in paras, ones Fal probably did):
      ? (Anubis), Basilisk, Centaur, Dragon, Elf, Fairy, Goblin, Hippogriff, Incubus (Isis), ? (we thought Jabberwocky, but decided it didn't look like the classic Tenniel version), ? (Kirin), Leprechaun, Mermaid, Neried, ? (Osiris), Pegasus, ?, ? (Ra), Satyr, Troll, Unicorn NO DUH!, ? (she's hanging out all nekked, so we ruled out Virgin), Wyvern, ??? (it's holding its hands by its head, if that's any clue), ??? (I said "Y--DO I EXIST?!"), Zeus.
      That's as best as we could do, and we stared at it for 10 minutes right in front of us. I wish that we'd taken it off the wall to see if there was more information on the back, even just the artist's signature. Or the name of the person selling it. I doubt that we'll be back there before late Summer, but if it's still there, I'll try my best. Or even buy it!



      Do Big-Box Stores Help Create Hate Groups? "The amount of Wal-Mart stores in a county was more statistically significant than other factors commonly regarded as important to hate group participation, such as the unemployment rate, high crime rates and low education, the research found."

      Wow, TMBG's classic album Apollo 18 is so classic that it's now 20 years old? A series of games based on each track, and yeah, even the seconds-long ones. Interactive Fiction games, so they're BORING. I hate those things. But maybe you don't.

      The radio is currently playing what the band on the Titanic would've played on the cruise. It's so cheesy, I wonder if they played to the end because no one would let them on the life rafts. Or if everyone assumed "They'll be okay, floating away on their giant rafts of cheese." I'll listen to Gavin Bryar's "The Sinking of the Titanic" instead.


If you follow politics like I do, I pity you (and me). Somebody no one had ever heard of said that Mitt Romney's trophy wife had "never done a day's work in her life," and our "Liberal Media" pounced on this as an attack at all stay-at-home moms. That's hard work! Yeah, but she's a stay-at-mansion mom. I really doubt that being married to a guy who gets $20M a year just to remain alive means she polishes all the gold-plated faucets in the 6 bathrooms. She has staff for that. Lots of staff. And, I am so sure, paid as handsomely as a guy who gets $20M a year for breathing would pay. By which I mean, as little as he can IT'S HIS MONEY YOU PROLES HANDS OFF! TRICKLE DOWN IS WHEN I PISS ON YOUR FACES! I suppose now you want Christmas off! Our giant dinner isn't going to serve itself, Mr & Mrs Mexican! Or would like a nice ICE deport for an Xmas bonus, Maria?
      But of course, Mitt Romney says �all moms are working moms� but mothers on welfare �need to go to work� Because working multiple jobs builds character, you filthy thieving nig--I mean, "Welfare Queens." If it's too much work for you, just hire some maids, too! Man, Republicans barely even pretend that they're not the party of the Billionaires, the Bigots and the Batshit anymore, do they?

      Fat Cat can haz Buffet rule--PLEEZ NOTS?!


      For a recent obsession of mine that isn't politics but a movie, The AVENGERS!


      They've played it pretty safe with the trailers through all the movies leading up to it. Here's a scene that clearly says that the Tesseract (sorry, guys, it's always gonna be called the Cosmic Cube to me) is the plot point. The first Avengers comic featured Loki as the villain, but really just as a catalyst that brought the team together. Since the most given law in comics is "If you don't see the body, he ain't dead," does the Red Skull come back, all super-powered, as also happened in the early comics? There has to be a second, more powerful villain than Loki, who lost to only one Avenger. I like thinking about this, but I really don't want to know until I see the movie.


      I wanted to get the Gold's wasabi my sister Pat had on Easter, and she said it was at Stop & Shop. The one she uses is half the distance as it is to my job, but since it's all stoplights, it'd prly take the same time to get to (and use more gas). The one up the road from my condo didn't have it. They did have one called Inglehoffer's, with a cute cartoon mascot of a fat Bavarian. What, it's Japanese and German? If I put it on Italian bread, will I restart World War II? (Insert old Woody Allen quip about German-Chinese food: "Half an hour after eating, you're hungry for power again")
      I decided to try it when I got home by squeezing some onto my tongue. Since my eyes are not in mouth, I squeezed more than I thought I did. It invaded my mouth like an Axis of flavor! And immediately blitzkrieged my brain. THAT IS GOOD WASABI. Then it Pearl Harbored my empty stomach. I've had worse ideas, though fortunately, not as bad as joining a war with an army with enthusiasm as limp as overcooked ziti Okay, the metaphor's getting away from me now. Like it did at Dunkirk OK STOPPING NOW.

      Talking about my condo, as I did in 1 word back there, the association sent me a bill. The stamp was 45 cents, it was printed on 2 sheets of the finest qualty bill-sending paper, triple folded by someone or expensive folding thing, then placed in a windowed envelope, address facing out, then licked by some one/thing. The bill is for 91 cents. They could've come come ahead if they'd just written off the 91 pennies.

      CATS--IN--SPAAAACE! The funniest part comes at the end of the credits:




      Vote every day for the rest of this month and you'll give free cat litter to a shelter. Only a pound a day, so I'm only going to be giving a single 14-lb box when it's done. But that's only from my vote, and it's per vote, per person. The shelters, on day two, already have 2000+ votes! That's a ton of litter! Literally--that much litter IS AN ACTUAL TON OF LITTER.
      It's not a long list and just a click, so you can pick one close to you, or pick a new one every day. I'm awaiting verification that the Second Chance Animal Shelter, East Brookfield, MA is the one Jessica volunteers at. It's only 10 miles from her home, so maybe it is. Unless it isn't.

      I got her reply. It wasn't what I wanted to hear.

      And a little later:      She does this heartbreaking work out of love and kindness, to save those who can't help themselves. Please, if you will, go to Give Litter every day until the end of the month, and vote for whomever you want. I'm voting for Second Chance, which is third before the bottom of the list.

4/20, dude

      Whoa! In the Tons of Free Litter contest, Second Chance shelter has jumped to SECOND PLACE! Keep voting, even if not for them! Every shelter voted for gets free litter! Win-win for shelter cats!

      It took a dozen years for anyone else to notice it, but this waterslide is now in "bad taste." To people dead for a century. Let me know when someone makes the "Roller Holocoaster: It will scare you out of your AUSCH-WITS!" Now that would be offensive!

      20 Rejected Movie Posters For 2012. There's...going to be another GI Joe movie? Netflix the first one someday. It'll clear your sinuses. Also, your colon.


      OK, I was wrong, Second Chance Shelter was not in second place; the page randomizes the order so that the first ones don't dominate. Feel free to click on any of them for the next 10 days!

      Just as I was pulling onto the highway, a not particularly happy hornet flew past my face and began head-butting the window. I immediately lowered the window, but instead of flying out, it crawled out and sat there as I put the window up. I was on the onramp and only doing about 20, but it stayed there, facing butt first into the wind. Within 30 seconds, that wind was 70MPH. Did it fly off? No, it clung like a crazy bug to the door. For 5 miles, its wings looking like they'd snap off over its thorax. At the offramp, I slowed to 60 and it took off. Did it decide in its tiny collection of nerve cells that this was as good as it was going to get to escape, or just fall off from exhaustion? More importantly: Who cares? If it had taken a minute longer to make itself apparent, it might've blown back into the car and stung me in the eyeball and that would've been a good reason for a car crash. He sleeps with the Zoraks now.

      A customer returned a bottle of vermouth because it tasted bad, as it was so old! It said 2001 on the bottle! I told the cashier to let him swap it for another, as he's a good customer. He asked me about it afterwards, and I said that there's no way in a store as busy as ours that something's been on the shelf for 10 years. It was a bottling lot number. I showed him a bottle of the same brand, and the "year" was 1534. WHOA CALL THE SMITHSONIAN WE FOUND THE LOST VERMOUTH OF POCAHONTAS!


      Yesterday, a very nice regular customer was handing out asparagus stalks that he'd picked fresh from his garden. I was asked if I wanted any, and I said "No thanks, my pee smells weird enough as it is."

      The worst movie ever, as voted in an internet poll by people with short memories and little experience watching many movies. Note that out of 20 titles, only 7 were made before 2000 and only one before 1990. It came in at #17. Really? #17 is better than "Titanic"? It's better than almost anything besides "Birdemic: Shock and Terror"? WTF movie is that anyway?
      I'd really like to read a list compiled by real film critics as to what's the worst. As they don't search out bad movies any more than food critics go to the diner with roaches crawling on their salmonelled food. I no longer even have much of an idea of what constitutes a bad movie. Plan 9 is fricking hilarious! Battlefield Earth I couldn't get more than 30 minutes into both times I tried watching it. For me, bad is "Not Entertaining in Any Way."
      What is the Worst Best Film, and the Best Worst Film? Not in the sense of just a movie, but in the sense of what it did to the world outside of it. I think the Worst Best Film is one that's praised by critics with many caveats: Birth of a Nation. Because it invented the close-up! Really? Once there was a caveman who invented stabbing people, and while he may have been a genius for doing so, I don't think he's all that worthy of praise. This 1915 movie made heroes of a then-nearly forgotten tribe of stabbing cavemen, the Ku Klux Klan. Hundreds, if not thousands, of Americans were lynched and murdered because of this film. Eisenstein invented the montage, but the Odessa Steps sequence didn't lead to Stalinism.
      The Best Worst Film? Kolberg. As Germany's answer to Gone With The Wind, it took almost 2 years to film, involving a German town's fight to the death against the invading hordes of the conquest-mad Napoleon. The lavish spectacle was released in January, 1945.
      If you just thought "January 1945--in Germany?!" yes, this started production after the Nazis had already lost the war, but were still in denial about it. The premiere was held in a Nazi occupied French city, with film prints parachuted in due to the slight problem of "being surrounded by Allied troops." It cost millions of marks, used tons of gunpowder for blanks, built an entire fake Napoeonic era city as a set, gave the extras period uniforms. How many extras? Some Wehrmacht troops, taken from the front lines. 187,000 of them. Why? Because the #2 Nazi, Dr. Joseph Goebbels, was the executive producer. Because the film would inspire Germany to repel its foreign invaders! Because when your nation is ruled by crazy people, crazy things happen.
      The movie was the film equivalent of the Maus tank. They could have made a hundred or more regular tanks from all the time and resources they poured into a never-finished tank so huge that it couldn't actually use any roads. Instead of more tanks, instead of a verdammt entire army corps fighting the Allies instead of playing make believe, they made this movie. Which is awful, according to anybody who saw it. Not the final audience, as they left few reviews. It closed in the smallest theater in Berlin, the Fuhrerbunker. "Can mein popcorn have extra cyanide?"
      187,000 troops and all those resources dumped into this insane movie. Of course, the war already was long lost by the Axis. But WWII could've lasted how much longer--maybe days, maybe weeks, with how many more dead, mainly civilians?--if it had never been made. It was the opposite of Birth of a Nation--this scheisse movie saved innocent lives by being a bomb, rather than by being made into actual bombs.


      After waiting twice as long as I was told I would for a freakin' oil change 2 weeks ago, I finally made an appointment with Liberty Honda for them to fix the windshield washer system that they should've fixed the first time. "We have to take the bumper off to do it," said the service guy, one of at least 15 mechanics running around the garage. "It should take 90 minutes." Suuure it will, I thought, and retired to their free computer. And hit every of one my regular web reads as I could remember. Wait, now isn't banned? Cool! That killed 90 minutes.
      I saw my car in the lot. Is it done or not? Yes! And No. Seems that defective part they installed 2 visits ago had more defective parts. So I get to go a THIRD TIME for the thing that should've been fixed the first time. How long will it take for them to not fix it next time? Fuck you, Liberty Honda.

      Since we talked about Good Bad Movies yesterday, how about we touch once again on Bad Poetry! Here's some bad poems! Here's the worst one, if you're short of time. It amazingly reaches critical suck after its first 2 words. Here is A Tragedy. Indeed it is.

      WAIT--I am INSPIRED! By the Muse of Poetry, Errata!


      I'm sure that there are entire sites devoted to go Full Mental Nerd on the Avengers movie where I could see all the crazed speculation and fanboy ejaculations, but I'll stick to puzzling it out myself.
      on the IMDB cast list, there's a character named The Other. Looks to me like a placeholder name for the "real" bad guy. Once you could look at a photo of an actor and say, "Well, he ain't gonna be Thanos." But this guy with today's CGI and mocap, who knows? (It won't be Thanos) With sfx, he could pass as the Red Skull, but with more sfx he could also work as Ultron. Yes, my mind is always occupied with such thoughts of deep portent.


I came across 2 early reviews of The Avengers, although since I wasn't looking for any, it's more accurate to say they came across me.
      They're both very positive. One is not 100% fanboy-drool positive, so don't read the comments unless you want to weep for humanity. None of the commenters can possibly have seen the film, and if they read the review to see how "hateful" it is they must have the reading comprehension of a horseshoe crab. Also, review was by a woman, so you can guess which descriptive nouns get used by the mysoginists. Makes me feel ashamed to be a nerd.
      The other review falls all over with love for Avengers Assemble, as it's called in the UK, either to differentiate it from the classic Steed/Mrs Peel BBC show, or to reeeally differentiate it from the utterly dead-fish-stink movie based on that show. Both almost go out of their way to stress that Loki is the only villain, although the second contains the line that Loki is "in cahoots with an enemy so dangerous that even a god doesn't frighten it." It? And its "metal army"? Yeah, that sounds kinda Ultrony.
      I admit to being a little disappointed by the latest trailer. I thought that the effects would be better.





      Analytic Thinking Can Decrease Religious Belief, Study Shows. Yeah, well duh. While he's not related, I find it amusing that the study's author is surnamed Gervais.



      Is it already time for the Vernon Historical Society's annual book sale? It feels like I went to one only a year ago!
      No big scores this time. I bought a few Anne McCaffrey paperbacks, so I now have books 1 and 3 out of 2 series. Hopefully reading them won't be like skipping The Two Towers and more like not seeing Back to the Future 2.
      I bought a book of epitaphs, which I'll read and then give to fellow gravestone enthusiast Jessica in 2 weeks. I grabbed it without noticing that one of the epitaphs on the back of the book is "Going, But Know Not Where" from Putnam, CT, where we frequently go antiquing. I wonder if it's in the same graveyard that Dubya's grandparents are buried, hopefully in salted earth.
      There were only a few miscategorized books. Shouldn't A Million Little Pieces be put not in biography, but under fiction? The Great Literature section had David Copperfield--not the Dickens, but a book by the magician. The Left Behind series was in sci-fi, as they didn't have a section called "Stuff The Lord REQUIRES You To Read, Even Though It's Really Sucky." Interestingly, the little room with the sci-fi was shared with "Religion/Spiritual," but it wasn't in that section. Someone's editorial comment?
      Still nothing by...crap, what's his name, his name begins with K? No, C! Michael Chabon. Lots of Tom Clancy and Barbara Cooke, though.
      At home, I cooked a Perdue turkey-breast-in-a-bag, which went over well with me and the cats. Especially Byron, who camped out by the stove as it cooked. And except Byron! He who loves people food! He meowed in anger when I offered it to him. I threw his 2 pieces in the dry food bowl, and an hour later, he devoured them. How odd. But that's my unpredictable bigfoot.



      After getting their wet food, Byron sat on his boxes while Killsy and Deej had a licky love fest. Poor Bigfoot, from the ages of 2 to 7 weeks he never saw another cat, and so never quite grasped the whole "grooming" thing. He watched them with great interest. He slowly walked over, they looked at him--and he stopped, walked away. The Cat without Fear, too shy?
      They started in again with their hippie love orgy, and he came back. And stopped. And walked away.
      Minutes later, DJ was alone. Byron walked up, and as he rarely ever done, gave DJ an exploratory lick on the head. Lick-curious. DJ repsponded with a lick back
      AND SEVERAL BRUTAL BLOWS TO THE FACE! Well, not "brutal," but that made you keep reading. More like "repeated and unnecessary blows." Byron tried not to fight back, as it wasn't why he was there. Then--POW! He grabbed DJ by the back of the neck and chomped down as hard as his massive bobcat jaws could.
      Normally, this is the point where I barge in and break it up. But normally, actually always, it's DJ doing this to the older two. He chomps and they scream, as a bite on the back of the neck is not a wrestling hold cats can break out of. I said just days ago to the victims "If you'd bite his neck, he'd learn not to do it!" They didn't understand me, unless they did. Byron clamped down and DJ squirmed and screamed for 30 seconds, when B let him go. "That's painful and frightening, isn't it, DJ?" I said. "That's why I'm glad someone did it to you!" And DJ retreated to the bedroom for 5 minutes, and gave Bigfoot a wide berth afterwards.
      They've had both delicious turkey and a few minor scrapes since them, with DJ backing off. Good. Senior citizen Killsy can kick either of their asses, but Byron showed him that bullies don't like being bullied back.
      In less dramatic news, I think that Byron can hear classical string music at least a bit. Just maybe not as much as he hears the shower.


      I bought groceries today! Aren't you proud of me? I even wore my big boy pants!
      The store needs to change its clock. Not for Daylight Savings, for when it stopped during that snowstorm. On Halloween.
      I don't often buy candy (cf, above: birthday cupcake, hypoglycemia). Since they were 75% off, I bought some Easter candy. The traditional hollow chocolate bunny, named "HOPPER," as one needs to know the name of the food one's murdering. This is for that endlessly parodied one painting, Hopper! *chomp* Now to find a chocolate bunny named Edvard Munch, and make it SCREAM! *munch*
      I also got a white chocolate "Candy Cross," which is just what it sounds like. Some candy flowers in the middle, rather than a candy crucified guy. Even the clerk helping out at the self-serve checkout picked it up and gave it a bemused look. I declined from saying "It's sacralicious!" Or "That candy is to die for!" or "It'll be resurrected in three days--IN MAH POOPIES!"

      In what I hope will be the end of Avengermania here, it's the 1990s again!


      I think even I could take that version of the Hulk in a fight. Just not in a dance off.


      If you live in Minnesota, you can call Rent-A-Tank and rent a tank. And then use it to pulverize your house. Sadly, not by cannon fire.


      "A news release from Heartland says 'the billboard series features Ted Kaczynski, the infamous Unabomber; Charles Manson, a mass murderer; and Fidel Castro, a tyrant.'" What do these people, along with Osama bin Laden have in common? They're history's greatest monst--! Wait, it's global warming?!

      Ebert reviews The Avengers. I'm starting to wonder if "The Other" is an actor who appears after the end credits as the villain for the inevitable Avengers II.


      In the non-stop roller coaster that is my life, today I washed out a litter box and went to the half-off book sale. I believe I was overcharged a dollar, but I think I can afford $2.50.
      As usual, I actually bought more this time. Not because they were cheaper, but I think that they have books that they don't have enough room for in the earlier sales. I got Uncle John's GREAT BIG Bathroom Reader, inexplicably filed under sci fi (maybe John Scalzi was a contributor, but no author names appear). Opening to a random page, quotes from Sherlock Holmes books: "Crime is common. Logic is rare." Ad near the end is for their upcoming Guide to the Year 2000.
      Also in sci fi, a Book called CAT-a-Lyst: "The fur flies in this purrfectly out-of-this-world adventure!" I may end up wanting my 50 cents back. Random line: "To you I'm just Granny Marj, the lady who darns your jockey shorts." Crime is common, good writing is rare.
      Second book with big book in the title, National Lampoon Presents True Facts: The Big Book. My favorite part of a magazine I haven't read in 30 years. Very possibly True Facts was an unconscious inspiration for that little inexplicable website I had a ways back. Random photo: A fast food place's marquee that reads "SCREAM UNTIL DADDY STOPS THE CAR"
      A Dickens of a Cat and Other Stories of the Cats We Love. Back cover blurb: "In that minute, I realized that healing had begun...The cat didn't need something from me. I needed something from him." No idea why I bought it.
      Random line: "How's That for a Muse? Charles Dickens's [sic] daughter had a deaf cat named Master who liked to perch on the author's writing desk. The cat enjoyed batting out Mr. Dickens's candle flame. When Dickens would relight, Master would bat it out again." A deaf cat, the name of the book, and a Dr Who villian? At random? Huh.
      And, for Jessica although I'll read it first, The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy & Other Stories by her favorite filmmakerTim Burton. Cover price $19.95, although it looks like each of its 110 little pages would take 19.95 seconds to read. Random:      Huh.
      It's suggested that it should be library filed under "Abnormalities, Human--Poetry."
      Speaking of books for Jess, in Grave Matters I found this epitaph, and at line 2 thought "I think I've heard this one before":      ...familiar because we were at that very grave in Coventry CT last summer. It's the "Casually" that makes it: "Yeah, lungs filling with water, dying, but y'know, it's no biggie." Skungamaug River is currently a golf course, so maybe in 1789 it just was a particularly harsh water hazard.


      You don't want to hear about my (latest) crappy work day any more than I wish to write about it. Instead: angels at rest.




      Big Movie Fun Time tomorrow! Avengers! (2D) And from Netflix, Hugo. Apparently Scorcese may be doing more kids' movies.




      The Avengers: damn fine! I don't know if it qualifies as Best Superhero Movie Ever, but it's certainly very near the top. I think the second X-men movie did a better job with the "mulitple characters" thing as far as giving them personalities. It's certainly the best Non-Stop Thrill Ride Movie I've seen, and I usually hate those. I did recently rewatch most of the pre-Avengers movies and read a lot of Marvel back in the day, so I'm not sure what people who haven't done the homework would think of it. It just kind of barrels into the plot assuming that you already knew who they were, although I had no problem following it. Of course, in Thor, I knew who "Barton" was instantly just from the name, so I may have overstudied.
      It's full of Marvel tropes going back to the beginning, such as "The first time heroes meet, they will fight each other." And the "Superheroes in groups always bicker, get their asses kicked, the come together as a team." Both of those have been used so often in the comics that I wonder if it represents what Stan Lee had to deal with daily with his assembled volatile creative types. It's so steeped in Marvel geekiness that there's a Life Model Decoy joke.
      It's the dialog that really makes it, and the likable actors. There's enough action to keep you interested during the first 2/3s of it, which is good, as the final near-hour is stuff blowing up so real good the Farm FIlm Report guys would've collapsed in ecstasy. But, even as an army of aliens attack New York, it's pretty clear who's where and doing what, as it was in the big battle scenes in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and as it was not in every Transformers movie. And there's always a humorous line or moment to keep it livelier than just KA-BOOM! all the time.
      Minor notes: Apparently Affirmative Action at SHIELD consisted of hiring a black guy with a minor disability, then filling every other position with white J Crew models. And I was wrong about The Other. He's Loki's liason to someone not seen until the credit cookies, when there is the tiniest shot of the obvious Avengers II villain, introduced with the perfect line, and I am quite happy about being wrong. And why do people leave these movies as soon as the credits start? There's actually 2 in this one, the last coming after every credit has rolled. Apparently filmed just a month before the movie's release as a little throwaway scene: the heroes eating at restaraunt right after the battle. That there's no dialog makes wonder if that's the point: they're tired, and they don't know each other well enough to have anything to say. Or maybe they don't like gyros.
      "See it in the theaters," says me, especially in an uncrowded matinee. My ticket was only 6 bucks, a steal these days for a first run movie. If exploding superheroes are your thing, anyway.


      "I have to say that Loki beats the crap out of both Thor and Captain America at table tennis."

      Remarkably accurate:





      Vacation at last! I don't think I've ever needed one this badly. And Happy Motherfuckers I won't have deal with for a week's Day!

      So this is why we haven't seen Gonterman lately...He's running North Korea.




      My favorite musician/thinker of all time is Brian Peter George St. John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno. If you are a sad specimen with little knowlegde of his music, it's Mother's Day. Local college station WWUH celebrates it with a show of 3 hours of his music, listenable here between 9PM & 12 EDT. I know that's a pretty tight window, but I found last year's show archived here.


      Vacation is nice. I'm glad that the forecast was wrong. Saturdaythey said that it was supposed to rain every day this week except Thursday. I took a walk in the state park today, and 10 minutes after I got home, wham, it downpoured. Nice timing!
      Yesterday I watched Hugo, and WOW was it awesome! It's the only movie that I wished I'd seen in 3D, but its release fell over Xmas, which is not a good time for retail slaves to schedule things. I forgot until it was only 2D.
      Every critic said that it was the best 3D movie ever, nothing I'm sure to do with the fact that some newcomer named "Scorcese" directed it. Man, to have seen any of those big, uninterrupted tracking shots in 3D! Instead, I got a lot of dust motes in the light. I'll bet they added to the film in 3D, but they were just as distracting to me as real ones are to Byron when he sees them.
      But who cares? The story was great. A love letter to the movies at its core, but a fun, smart, engaging and human story in its heart. Do rent it, whether you love good films or love film as a medium.

      Did the Germans launch a crewed rocket into space in 1933? No, obviously. But...

      Seattle �supervillain� Rex Velvet issues another warning video: "Rex Velvet is back, and he's somehow even more histrionically pissy than the last time he issued a video to the citizens of Seattle." Put him in Avengers 2!

      Well, I have something to do now on my Netflix-dereft vacation days: Watch Network Awesome (WARNING: autoplay). It's really just YouTube videos, which of course can be taken down on a whim. So don't expect to see the MST3K version of Godzilla vs. Megalon anymore, or even watch more than a few "Godzilla Sells Things" TV ads before you get a "User no longer on YouTube" error message.
      Here's the proto-MST film It Came From Hollywood. In those days when VCRs were advanced technology, it was the first time most bad film fanatics like myself had ever seen even a single second of Plan 9. It was sadly stuck with scripted unfunny framing skits from SNL/SCTV people like Radner, Candy and (ugh) Akroyd, although Cheech & Chong improv their way through clips of a good movie, and they're the film's highlight. I saw this movie not only in a theater, but a theater with cafe seating that served alcohol, and the audience only laughed at C&C and at the film clips.


      It was to be a rainy day, so the perfect time to go to the Connecticut Science Center and see the ROBOT DINOSAURS! Giant prehistoric beasts that stomped the earth, when we mammals were tiny shrew-like creatures, scurrying in the dark and none of them were wicked smart really funny smokin' hot best friends!


      I picked Jess up just across the Mass border, as far as her narcolepsy allows her to drive, and she gave me a bag of used shirts. Ones her husband doesn't wear. By total coincidence, I was wearing one she gave me a few years ago, and by weird coincidence, I dreamed about wearing exactly what I was wearing except the shirt was red, and she gave me that exact shirt. I really need to dream about winning the lottery.
      I gave her some goodies, such as a pair of CDs that were electronic variations on Vivaldi's Four Seasons, one of our personal favorites. I gave her the Tim Burton book I bought for 50 cents, expecting "Oh, how nice" and instead she SQEE!!ed. She'd been to an exhibit of his art that had many of the poems and drawings from The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and she was surprised it wasn't in the gift shop. I assume it went out of print, maybe quickly, as this was a first edition. She immediately found and read a poem from it called "Matchstick Girl and Stick Boy," and said she'd been planning on making her own figures of them. I thought that the book of epitaphs Grave Matters would be anticlimatic, but it went over almost as well. Finally, a bumper sticker I made using BuildASign, the tiny preview is:


      That clip art cat looks exactly like her departed best friend Majoriam. Because of that I was nervous about including it, but she loved that too. In fact, she was too happy, especially about the Burton book--I didn't know that narcoleptic attacks can be brought on by sheer excitement ("I'm percolating inside!" she enthused). She gave a few amusing readings from both books as we headed to Hartford, which I think calmed her down.
      At the Center, our greatest fear was realized: school field trips! MANY school field trips. The cacophany of shrieking urchins, and rude as hell. It is a kids' museum, with many hands-on exhibits, none of which we could use because so many hands were using them. In one quiet(er) section, the Space part, I was watching a brief video on the Apollo missions. I was halfway through the second to last one, when some little bitch walked up, hit a button, the video changed, and she just walked away. Another free seat was an interactive Travel Over Mars video. A little boy came up to me and shockingly asked "May I please use that next?" Shocking because he didn't just say "Go to bed, old man!" I immediately said yes and stood, but not immediately enough, as his mother grabbed him and began berating him. "You don't do that!" What, ask politely? Should he have punched me in the ding-dong first? No wonder the rest of the spawn were so rude.

      We eventually escaped to the roof garden (Jess in the elevator, after barely avoiding getting in one filled with screamers, "I hate children!" and she wasn't smiling when she said that), just before the rain, and they were hyper even there. Hey, little girl, having a nice time laying face-down in the mulch? Maybe you should crawl into the compost bin. On the way down, Jess said if there were comment cards, her's would say "Too many children."
      We went to the furthest corner of the cafe for lunch to decompress and hopefully get the ringing out of our ears. I had a surprisingly good chicken salad brioche with unidentifiable greens, and she a salad. "Everything's healthy now!" she said, dumping a bunch of salt on hers.
      We went to the gift shop, as we had an hour to kill before the movie, and Jess bought some rock candy (yeah, everything's healthy now) and I a boingy-legged T rex fridge magnet. Then we tried the penny squishing machine, in which one places 2 quarters and a penny and it squishes said penny with a design. She got a pair of Einstein-sticking-his-tongue out "SCIENCE IS COOL" ones, and I got an "Inner Geek" one. I wasn't sure what to do after my coins dropped, she said "You turn this crank" and then some brat child with a Twix bar held in her teeth began turning it. RUDE! and actually--a Center employee, just very short and small. Still, rude. It must rub off after a while. I saw her reason for her impatience (although I sure could've turned that crank faster than some 4' 10" elf girl) as she emptied it. A great crash of coins fell into a plastic bin. You put your coins in there and actually use your own physical labor to make the finished product. That machine's pure profit once it's paid for. How many times a day does it get emptied?
      The field trips trooped out, the field trips trooped in, as we waited for our 3D movie, Debbie Does Dinos. Wait, no, I just downloaded that. It was Flying Monsters 3D, or Rodan: The Childhood Years: The Constant, Endless Screamening. To our great relief, 3 teenage girls were the entire rest of the audience. The film was a bit dry, but relaxing. Hey, one flying monster's Quetzalcoatlus! That reminded me of that mysterious cross-stitch we saw last time we met:


      Fal-Chan said "X might also be something Aztec-ish?" And Jess had guessed Xelhua, using an encyclopedia of mythology. She Googled for a pic on her phone, not finding anything, so she went to Wikipedia, and it was described as Aztec. I think we have the full list! Well, except for J, but I still think that was the avatar for whoever it was made for.
      And then we left, having conversations on more serious stuff on the drive back. We had great hugs before we parted ways.

      Hmm, what? You say I missed something? Something involving
      It was the first exhibit we went to (well, we sure weren't there for a video on insurance fraud, funded by one of Hartford's many insurance companies--"KIDS! If you think your parents burned your house down for money, TURN THEM IN! You can have fun living with the DYS!") There are many pictures.


      They were all life size, so imagine that thing pooping on your car!


      "Oh, uh, hi there. I'm...a racoon. Looking for trash cans. Hey, do you mind turnin' yer back while I pour steak sauce on you?"


      "I'M BIG BIRD, AND I ATE SNUFFLEUPAGUS AND MR HOOPERASAURUS!" Sesame Street was a harsh place 100 million years ago.
      Here's a thing you may not know. It's pretty clear that at least some dinosaurs had feathers. Jess didn't know it, and a thing I didn't know is that they had several types of feathers. Not for flying--although that's certainly why some birds evolved from dinos--but initially as insulation. This freaky guy was too big to include his feet, which really made him look like a giant chicken. In Hell, this guy's chasing Colonel Sanders, forever cutting off his beak.




      They were motion activated, I guess from the head. This Allosaurus (and if you did not just pump your puny mammal fist and yell "YEAH BABY, IT'S AN ALLOSAURUS!!" you may be reading the wrong page, or have never been an 8 year old boy) was the size of a fucking bus and, I guess for space reasons, facing the wall just feet from his head--you can see a service door below his jaws. He didn't move. Jess went around to take a picture, and then he came alive, lunging right at her, and she jumped. I've always wondered if that's the fascination with these long-dead monsters: in some tiny part of our brain, we're still the things they crushed without noticing.


      Dude, it's Protocera-stoner-tops! He's thinking "We break out of these ropes, man, and it's a totally different diorama! Wait, whoa--Diorama, dinosaur! That's weird, dude!" And if you're wondering why he wants to leave--


      Feather Raptor has the munchies! And there's a T Rex not far behind.


      Since it's not all over the news, I assume that you realize that we did not hijack the T Rex and rampage through Hartford. My accomplice did not dress all slinky as requested, and the guard was a woman. NEXT TIME, Giant Robot T Rex! Next time.


      The business end. Whoa! Humans would be 2 bites and a swallow.


      "No! We were--comparing manicures!"
      (Rex looks at tiny, 2 fingered arms, stomps away sadly)


      GAAH WTF?!



      She didn't know that dinosaurs could be feathered, and I didn't know that they had different kinds of feathers. As in T Rex hatchlings may have had the fuzz you see on baby chickens! Some of the proto-feathers were more like hair:


      "This dinosaur eventually evolved into the Beatles. Then it became the briefly-lived Glam-osaur."


      "Buzz to Houston! Buzz to Houston!"
      "sigh Yes, Buzz?"
      "Houston, you sent me to a PLANET OF DINOSAURS!"
      "Buzz... you're still in your trailer. On Earth. Is that why they call you 'Buzz,' Buzz? Because of all the drugs you smoke?"
      "I have no idea what you mean by gurgle gurgle gurgle, cough!...wait...DINOS IN MY SPACESUIT NOW, HOUSTON!"
      "You're taking one giant leap into rehab, Buzz."


      Here we see one of the world's first skyscrapers, 1911's Traveler's Tower. You will note that it is sadly bereft of
      Next time, Bitches.



      So what else have I been doing on vacation?
      Yesterday I did the laundry! Today I woke up, thought "I'm still tired" and went back to sleep!

      Ever see a 1970s Hanna-Barbera cartoon and think "There's nothing worse than a 1970s Hanna-Barbera cartoon!"? Well, there is something worse than even a 1970s Hanna-Barbera cartoon! It's a 1970s Hanna-Barbera cartoon you never heard of!
      Making absolutely no attempt to build a new holiday tradition out of shit cartoons based on December holiday traditions, The Thanksgiving That Almost Didn't Happen. As opposed to The Christmas That Almost Didn't Happen, The Easter That Almost Didn't Happen, The...Fourth of July That No One Lost Fingers On, you know. The plot of almost all holiday specials is "the one time it almost didn't happen."
      See how much repeated animation is in the opening credits. Including random starbursts and dots. And I hope you like that song, because...!
      What's it about?


      Jesus and his Talking Squirrel!
      Ha ha! I kid! Jesus is only indirectly mentioned at the very beginning and end, the last time by the talking squirrel. Also, some Oregon Trail guys are Pilgrims, a Pilgrim and Indian boy who are so similar that they're off the same model sheet, and if you can make it through that song about going home, you can get through anything!
      Except maybe The Easter That Almost Didn't Happen.
      "No, Timmy. There'll be no Easter this year."
      "S-so...I won't get any candy on Easter now? sob!"
      "Well...well, when you put it that way, Timmy...Hmm! I think that there is a way to have an Easter!"
      "OH BOY! What is it? Can I help?"
      "Ha ha, of course you can help, Timmy!"
      "So what should I do?!"
      "Turn me over to Pontius Pilate and have me CRUCIFIED!"
      "Thank you, Jesus! Literally. And now there will be jellybeans for EVERYONE!"
      "Timmy...You're forgetting something about Easter...!"
      "I'm sorry, Lamb of God. What is it?"
      (together) "Thanksgiving's great, there's much to eat!
      Even our dessert is made of meat!
      From the Indians we bought their land by plots!
      "You Pilgrims paid us all in fuckin' ROCKS!"
      Here, have blankets laden with smallpox!
      "Well, Honky, here's your mystery!
      You've Just Died of Dysentery!"
      "I'm just a squirrel, so at me don't holla
      But I've been shitting on my Thanksgiving chair all day and now you all have CHOLERA!"
      TALKING SQUIRREL: "This IS the Thanksgiving that isn't! MWAHAHA"



      "HOUSTON, this is Buzz! THE TALKING SQUIRRELS ARE SAYING GRACE!!! I MUST LEAVE EARTH NOW while there is STILL TIME! This is worse than The 4/20 That Almost Didn't Happen, Because I Smoked All Mine on 4/19, But Then I Found This Guy With Squishy Teeth Who Sold Me Meth, So I Guess I Learned A Valuable Lesson!"
      "Unlock the capsule doors, Buzz! Unlock the doors before you launch! You aren't in your trailer, Buzz!"
      "...You're in a dishwasher, Buzz."
      "GAH, cough, spit HOUSTON! SPLASHDOWN ALREADY?!"


      Hey, do you know what momentous moment today marks the anniversary of? Napoleon Bonaparte was proclaimed Emperor of France by the French Senate, well, duh. But not that.
      15 years ago my web page went live. 1997's like the Dawn Of Time on the web.
      I didn't announce for a couple of weeks, as I was still learning what to do. It was just stuff I'd sent to the Space Ghost Mailing List. It went on to very minor fame. I think my biggest day hit-wise was 14,000, after the InExOb became an early Yahoo! Pick of the Day/Week/Month/Year.
      One interesting thing that happened was that, sometime along the way, John Scalzi began reading The News. Why? No idea. The InExOb had long since crossed the Bandwidth Bridge. I did send him an email 10 years ago when I found his site back when you could read it in a day, praising his essay I Hate Your Politics. He even wrote back! But I think it was months later that I started seeing hits from central Ohio. By this point, The News was getting maybe 50 hits a day, and I recognized who a lot of them were. It's a near-certainty that you, Dear Reader, were one of them.
      One day I swiped a link from a webpage as minor as mine, and the next day it turned up on Scalzi's AOL blog. I thought, "Crap, it's going to be all over the web by tomorrow!" But it wasn't. Hmm...
      I didn't get proof until Scalzi wrote this strange defence of James Lileks. Note that I'm linked in the addendum. I noted that I started getting thousands of hits as soon as it went up--just a few hours after my post. (I responded to his response here, on 1/14) I had no comments section then, but my email was there if you wanted to shriek at me. And no one did. I guess that his readers are smart enough to understand sarcasm.
      Eventually, he blogged about accidentally deleting all his bookmarks, and those central Ohio hits stopped coming the day before, and they never came back.
      So who cares? Indulge an old man on his blogaversary! On my 10th anniversary in 2007 (plus a coupla months) I mentioned my site's age. Mr Scalzi, then still a reader, was prepping a book titled Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded, a collection of his online essays. The day after that post, he announced that he was pushing back the publishing date by over a year--so that it came out on his blog's tenth anniversary. This humble little blog actually changed the release date of a major writer's work.
      I mention it as it's funny how the net sends unexpected ripples in every direction. What really makes me happy is that every person I'm friends with on Facebook that I've never met IRL came together from this page. Some of you are friends because you met through this page. Heck, it even led to a long distance relationship that lasted years! (You know who you are)
      And that's what makes me happy that I've stayed with my dinky, low-hits little page. You. The LTRotD. Now a small circle of friends, from all over the USA to Mexico to Canada to Taiwan. Thank you for reading this drivel for so long.
      Here's to the next 15 years of drivel! Cats, media bad and good, SHAWTS--wait, no. I sure as hell don't want to be writing about SHAWTS in 2027! If you want, raise a glass in toast of 15 years with the best friends I'll likely never meet!




      There's nothing like going back to your shit job after a week's vacation that doesn't make you want to die in a car crash getting there.
      Or getting home to 3 furry friends that makes you glad that you didn't.

      Personality test: Which of these sounds stupid to you? An exhibit of "invisible" art that doesn't actually exist, or a mask that lets you lucid dream? You can actually vote on whether the first is stupid or not.

      The first includes "Warhol's work Invisible Sculpture - dating from 1985 - which consists of an empty plinth [podium], on which he had once briefly stepped, one of many explorations of the nature of celebrity." The second "is to allow people to have the dreams of their choice, from driving a race car to flying to having lunch with Abraham Lincoln."
      If a waiter places a urinal on your table and declares it "food," it's not food. If the same waiter takes a urinal, signs his name on it and submits it to a gallery and declares it art, yes, it is art. Marcel Duchamp did that with a urinal and thus founded the Dadaist movement. If some gallery declares empty space to be art, it's art, because art is whatever you can convince someone is art. It would be very difficult to declare nothing as food, except maybe to someone with a very bad eating disorder.
      I love dreaming (usually; it depends on the dream), so the second isn't automatically stupid. Lying on my back wearing a mask with blinking lights--okay, that's stupid, as I'd never fall asleep. I've been lucid dreaming for 30+ years without a mask. In fact, that article (in the always-reliable Daily Mail) reeks of "artists pulling off a hoax on a gullible Murdoch paper." And, as a great man once said, "Why would you have lunch with Lincoln, except to ask why he grew a beard but didn't cover up that big fat wart? It can't be easy to shave around that thing!" except he wasn't a great man, he was Sisto from some ancient Space Ghost fanfics, my page has been online FOREVER.
      Food for thought. Urinals and air not for food.





      Hey, guy--and I know you're a guy--in fact a guy from Van Nuys, and I don't even know if that rhymes--finding my page three times while searching for "granny opens stinky pussy cheese"...I'm not on the first page. That's where I stopped looking. At what page did you stop?

      The Biggest Movie Merchandise Fails. Some of this stuff is downright inexplicable!

      Well, kitties, we don't wanna, either.




      A very strange clock. Warning: autoplay, and neither the video nor the article explain by what "the Chronophage then eats the minute" means--is it figuratively the minute, literally a piece of the clock, or literally the minute? If the last, has anyone called the Doctor?
      And while I have a big collection of odd, I do not want a giant mutant fly eating a clock in my house. It'll only lay maggots that are writhing wristwatches.

      You will likely like this if you've ever seen an 80s music video, and more likely like it if you have an idea of how Fun the Job of Animation is.




      SHAWT: When I see the word "McDonalds," I think "crappy junk food." When I see the word "McJob," I think "crappy junk work." So I really don't know what I was expected to think of the guy proudly wearing a tshirt that read "McStud."


      "Bill and I went to see the mechanical dinosaur exhibit in Hartford. We had a good time, even with the annoying screaming kids!"
      Jessica posted her photos to her (private) Flickr account, but I doubt she'd mind me sharing a few. And just a few, as most of them are of the dinosaurs. And much better than mine. Because she...has a better camera! Okay, and she loves photography, and she's good at it. Her Flickr account has 180 pages. Here's an example:


      Yeah. A bit better than any of mine.
      One thing I'm surprised neither of us photographed was the Triceratops. There, behind the T Rex, and also behind a wall. We spent time trying to figure out how they got the dinos in and out of the room. Obviously, they were in pieces, but the seams were nearly invisible. Except on the Triceratops, where they were over an inch apart and stuffed with what looked like Saran Wrap. There was a literal butt crack around its tail. So they hid their family embarassment away, like a mad, deformed cousin in the attic in a Gothic novel.
      Here's another pair of old dinosaurs!


      Get it? I'M OLD! Want proof? This next one she took is captioned


      "Bill trying to figure out his camera!"
      Which is true. I mistakenly put my camera into Video mode on my first pic, and couldn't figure out how to delete the memory-hogging file. Hey, I've only had this camera 10 years! I handed it to her, and it took her about a minute.


      One of the lesser known pterosaurs, the LSDadactyl.
      Actually, this was outside of the Robo Dino exhibit, and part of a kinetic mobile.


      View from the rooftop garden. I always roll my eyes at sci fi cities where every building has been replaced with ones in a "futuristic" style. That never happens, except for cities that have been leveled (cf. San Francisco 1906; Hiroshima 1945), and even then they keep as many old buildings as they can. Where do the people live while they're building the sci fi City of the Future?
      That's the Old State House, built in 1796, when I assume it was called the Futuristic State House. It's where the start of the Amistad trial began, and was smashed up a lot when an SUV rammed into it. Not at the same time.


      Also the rooftop. Those flowers aren't dead, just the blackest ones either of us had ever seen! One would think a garden in a science museum would have signs, but no. Jess thought it was a pansy, and a quick Google says she's right. I just learned that there's a variety called �the Pink of my John.� Sure, why not.

      Well, time to do my least favorite annual chore, hoisting the AC into the window.
      Done! DJ found the process baffling, fascinating, and slightly scary. Killsy and Byron took it in stride, knowing that this means "No more humidity!" Here's a pic from 4 years ago to the day, titled "bhumid," showing that in humidity, cats change from a solid to a liquid.




      Jess and Belle and Sock Monkey.
      Belle was the only survivor of a litter of seven Jess was fostering. One died in her arms. While she will still continue her Sane Cat Lady work of feral trap & release and kitten rescue, Jess is done with fostering.
      Sock Monkey became Belle's best snuggling pal once she was all alone, and went with her to her loving Forever Home. Jess saved her.
      Her website of cool cat figurines, proceeds going to Alley Cat Allies and her rescue work.


      The AVMA Pet Food Recalls page hasn't updated since last year. Real responsible in the years since the Chinese melamine tragedy. Here's an alternate site that's very current. The url says "cats" but it includes dogs, too.



      I was trying to remember when I last saw Kev, and realized that it was at Cinematic Titanic, which was...when was that again? I was in the shower at the time, and realized that the autographed poster I got at the show had the date on it. Hmm, I left it where I could see it every day so that I'd remember to get it framed (and obviously hadn't). I need to move that, or some day I'll come home and find it on the floor and covered in Byron pee. I went to move it, and gasp it was gone! Two seconds went by as I decided whether I really wanted to know what happened. It was on the floor...untouched. There was a fly in the house all morning, and the boys had been rampaging, determined to get it. The poster's safely in a drawer now.

      After 4 months (he has a full time job and also takes a big schedule of online courses), Kev and I went to Wood'n'Tap, a fine restaurant/pub up the road, and had bison burgers and Long Trail Double Bag from the tap. I'd never had bison before, but I'll sure have it again, even if it violates my usual rule of "don't eat mammals."
      Next, time for Movies at Kev's! It was instantly narrowed down to Iron Sky, the Nazis from the Moon movie, or John Carter, the movie about...a guy named that? Seriously, naming it Jimmy Carter probably wouldn't have hurt its box office. It had a budget of only a quarter billion dollars. It's made that back worldwide, although it was such a domestic stink bomb that the Disney Boss Guy lost his job, even though all he had to do with the project was the misfortune to be around when it was released. Oh, to make a profit? A movie has to make at least double its budget.
      The initial title was John Carter of Mars, but that was axed as it thought that it sounded "too campy." First word of the movie? Mars. And to make sure everyone thought it wasn't campy, they gave the title role to a guy named Taylor Kitsch. I don't think I've seen this guy before, but if they said "Our other title was John Carter, Generally an Asshole of Mars," he sure nailed the role.
      Was it terrible? No. Was it good? Watchable. Was it confusing? Hell yeah! If it takes 2 people to figure out what was going on, what with too many characters with gibberish names and wearing armor with only the occasional color guide to ID them (red bad! blue good!). The budget was there--man, those CGI Tharks were great! But it was clearly focus-grouped to death. You don't spend $250M and not want to make sure it's as mentalling challenging as staring at a bowl of oatmeal. We eventually became aware that many action scenes really seemed like ones from the Star Wars prequels. That is not praise. The dialogue frequently sounded like something from pulp novels written over a century ago, which was the original source. And yet one of the screenwriters was Michael Chabon. Y'know, that guy who won the Pulitzer at least once. Probably wrote the only good parts, and got paid more than every advance he's ever gotten (at least in a just world, he did).
      And then there was that part where...
      Oh dear. I only watched this 3 hours ago, and it's one of those movies that leaves your brain as your eyes are seeing it. It looked great, but so do my cats, and I don't have to waste a Netflix rental to look at them. *shrug* If you want to see what a quarter billion dollars looks like, you can rent this, or you can rent Avengers, which cost the same. Better than all 3 Transformer movies combined, though! Also: if given a magic medallion that can transport you across worlds, don't throw it away. Especially, don't throw it away THREE FUCKING TIMES.

      Time to get serious.
      Massachusetts hates rescue � HB 1445 must be stopped. Replace the word "dog" with "cat" if you must, but this is insane. Professional breeders are trying to make it impossible to run animal rescue operations in MA simply to make buying from breeders the only option--and rescue shelters will basically be forced to close, and rescued animals will be destroyed. Breeders will not be affected by the bill, which basically gives police state powers to the MA Department of Agriculture, which--surprise!--has many breeders on its board. If you just want to skim, go down to the utterly insane regulations that they want to apply not just to shelters, but to people who adopt! If that blog post sounds over the top (it Godwins), read this newspaper article.
      There's an internet petition, and yes, those can do a lot of good. People like that hate when the spotlight falls on them. If you live in MA, drop a brief email with "Oppose HB 1445" as the subject line to your lawmakers:
      Senate emails and House emails.
      If you're like me, you can send an email to any of them and just don't say that you're not from MA. That's not lying, that's just withholding information. I wrote and got an autoreply from the senator and an instant "This bill has many problems and I'm against it" from the representative. Yes, the rep with an R after his name responded and the senator with a D didn't.

      Did you do something, or even anything, against HB 1445? Then here's your reward! A sci-fi ABC called S is for Someday, ostensibly for kids. But with that eye-popping artwork of a retro-future Perfect America? And quotes at the bottom of each page from such beloved childrens' authors as Dali, Picasso, and Proust? If only "W is for--" would ever be true.



      Yeah, no posts lately. The funniest things that have happened were of the "You Hadda Be There" variety. Such as Byron's ridiculous snore/whine noises just now. I was cracking up and Killsy was slowly blinking her eyes, looking at him and then me, the cat version of "Yeah, it is kinda funny."
      And the coworker who asked me what Steel Reserve tasted like. I think the look on my face said it, but I added "It's not as bad as the really cheap malt liquors, like 11/11." He said that he bought some as an offering to "a young lady" who shot him down for a date, and you know--I really wouldn't try to woo a maiden fair with malt liquor that comes in a 40. Especially if I was in my mid-30s. "May I interest you in this fine vintage wine, recently decanted from the Farm of Boones?"


      12 Hilariously Honest Product Names What, this didn't make it?









      Hey, Rifftrax is doing another live simulcast of movie mockery! Do you know which movie?


      I'm wondering if it's coincidence that they're doing it now, or's that print.
      Every one I've been to, which is all of them, was worth it. Is it coming to a theater near you? Check here.

      Apparently, now they riff video games, too.





      Quote of the Day: "?>--Byron
      Yes, he held down Shift with his left paw, and hit 3 other keys in succession.

      Via Kevin: Welcome to America, Please Be On Time: What Guide Books Tell Foreign Visitors to the U.S.

      I fully intended to post yesterday, but my Netflix choce was Piece of Shit Tree of Life. DJ loved it! Because he loves sleeping with me. It put me to sleep after a half hour, which I think is a new personal worst. I was either asleep or barely awake and cranky the rest of the day. When I stumbled out after my first catnap (nap with a cat), I thought of the old Siskel & Ebert show about being film critics, when Siskel said "What I want from a movie is 'Show me something I haven't seen before'!" I thought, Well, that's prly why every so often they give big thumbs ups to pretentious, boring junk. Tree of Life was certainly something I'd never seen before. And still haven't, nor ever will.
      This was my second Netflix disappointment in 2 days off, the last being Singin' in the Rain. If you just said "But that's the most feel-goodiest of movies!" please don't say "feel-goodiest" ever again. I opened the envelope and said "New sleeve! New copy!" Then it told me it was pan & scan. What, they still make those? I ejected it to see if it was old enough to be one of those "P&S one side, Widescreen on the other" DVDs. No, it was even older than that. And scratched to hell. It played 80% of the way through, then stopped. And no trick could make it play further; not switching players, cleaning it, even "skip to the last chapter and FR backwards." I realized that it had a new sleeve, because the last person who rented it probably did what I did: wrote "DEFECTIVE DISK" on it. One would think that Netflix would appreciate people doing their testproofing job for them, but they just printed out a new sleeve and sent it out. Of course, in the past they've sent me DVDs with thumb-sized chunks missing from them.
      Hmm. I just posted a review on Netflix saying as much, and Netflix refused it, as I used a word so filthy that it's banned from Netflix reviews.
      That word is "Netflix."
      I changed it to "they," but I wouldn't expect to see my review of their shoddy service any sooner than "never."


      My disrupted sleep patterns continued from Sunday into yesterday and even today. Last evening I took a miserable not-nap, the kind of choppy and restless sleep that leaves me feeling worse than before I slept. I had a dream that was actually easily explained. It came from an email exchange with Kevin about our upcoming RiffTrax show. I told him of the Manos restoration project, and he said "They had set a goal of $10,000 and 818 people eventually contributed $48,130." He added that it would be great if they used his restored print, and I wrote back "Given that he's a Something Awful goon and with Rifftrax's long association with SA (remember the weird cartoons written by "LowTax"'s 4-year old daughter?), I'd say that it's nearly a CERTAINTY."
      So I had a dream that we were at the RiffTrax showing, and Mike, Kevin and Bill (the RiffTrax Kevin and Bill, not the ones mentioned on this blog that over the years you've learned to semi-know and reasonably tolerate) were doing a presentation with the Something Awful Guy. The restoration had gone over budget (it cost $15,000), but he was going to give the remaining $30K+ to charity. We could vote on which charity got the cash. Running a big Power Point slideshow behind him, he listed the charities as "The ASPCA [screen shows a slide of the ASPCA logo], The Humane Society [HS logo], Alley Cat Allies [Jessica's favorite charity, so there were several glamor shots of her posing all supermodely with adorable kittens], OR--!" [slide of a baffled cow wearing a bad black toupee, with a square black mustache clearly scribbled on in MS Paint]
      RiffTrax Guys: "COW HITLER?!"
      SA Guy: "Whoops! 'Cow Hilter' is my spec script for a Sy-Fy Channel movie. I meant to show this!"
      [Stern-looking kangaroo wearing a large blue hat, one hand tucked into his pouch]
      "YES! He will conquer Europe in leaps and bounds, and will not rest until Austria and Prussia are in his front pocket! He will tell Wellington at Waterloo to go jump in a lake!"
      [slides show Kangaroo Napoleon riding a majestic steed (with udders), being crowned Emperor of France (crown shaped like an upside down udder), and the Empress Josephine (dress modestly covering her udders)]
      Mike Nelson: "Why is Kangaroo Napoleon so involved with...udders?"
      SA Guy: "Because he's a marsupial, duh!"
      [Everyone instantly accepts this obviously reasonable explanation]
      Mike: "So, to recap, you're either going to donate to an animal welfare charity, [ASPCA logo] a different animal welfare charity, [HS logo] another animal welfare charity [adorable kittens posing with Swedish Bikini Team] or your little fever dream." [baffled cow on balcony with Mussolini]
      Everyone: "COW HITLER?!"
      My brain decided that this little skit was so brilliant (in the "Flowers for Algernon/actually-retarded" sense of brilliant) that it ran it 2 more times in succession.
      I stumbled out of bed, thought back on the dream, and my brain said "Shouldn't Cow Hitler have been with Moose-ilini?" because my brain can be a very interesting place to live. Groggily I remembered the last time I blurted out Hitler gibberish, which was "FLYING ROBOT HITLER SPACE WHALE" and Google led me instantly to


      THAT, I decided to see what "Cow Hilter" led me to.
      Which would be THIS:


      "Cow Hitler" is the title, although the YouTuber says "Lol cow hitler I foudn this on the web so all credit goes to whoever made this so prepare for the cow hitlerness" so yeah, no actual Hitler Cow in the video. I watched it twice, thinking "I've never seen that, so why is it familar?" turned the computer off and crawled back to bed again. "WAIT!" thought my brain that never shuts up, "It was exactly like the type of weird song played before a RiffTrax show! It even sounded like Mike singing!"
      It sure did, but it wasn't. Apparently by a guy named Dana Lyons.
      My brain is a funny place to live in.


      Thing I won't be going to: Blondie and Devo hit the road for �Whip It To Shreds� Tour. The closest they get to me on their epic (3 week) tour is Chicago, 900 miles away. If I went due north that far, I'd run out of Canada somewhere in northern Quebec. And about an hour after that, I heard about a Wisconsin classical concert involving sci-fi music from the stars (Trek and Wars), hosted by a Mr.Takei. Won't be seeing that, either--oh, wait, I'll also miss him on WPR tomorrow talking about it. Great.

      If you've ever won a game of Civilization II, you know that you're given the option to continue to play without scoring. I tried that once for about 30 turns. This guy's been doing it for the last 10 years. "The ice caps have melted over 20 times (somehow) due primarily to the many nuclear wars. As a result, every inch of land in the world that isn't a mountain is inundated swamp land, useless to farming. Most of which is irradiated anyway.
      "As a result, big cities are a thing of the distant past. Roughly 90% of the worlds population (at it's peak 2000 years ago) has died either from nuclear annihilation or famine caused by the global warming that has left absolutely zero arable land to farm."
      In the game (as in the real world), global warming is preventable--if you do something about it, exactly as the USA, China and India currently aren't. The nuclear war thing, that's an odd fluke of the game. Countries will build single nuclear missiles, declare war, bomb one of your cities, sue for peace, then nuke you as soon as they build a second one. I read the first page of the thousands of comments that have appeared in the single day since the article was posted, and they range from noting that this dystopia bears a strong resemblance to Orwell's 1984, to actual fanfics. Civ2 has a pretty strong grasp on some people. (Me included; the only reason I don't play it still is that Win7 doesn't support DOS, and the download I got from Abandonware crashes the instant I try to do anything)
      Way to win Civ2 that I've never seen mentioned anywhere, so I guess I invented it: Build a veteran air force of Fighters and many Spies; use Fighters to attack enemy capital and take it with ground troops; next turn their government will likely collapse; use Spies to bribe cities to revolt and join you; don't build the Manhattan Project until the turn before you win.

      Of course, that's just an old computer game. No way we need to worry about that in the real World! So why bother to teach our children about useless things like Evolution? "Most Americans have trouble balancing a checkbook � ever witnessed a confused high school student try to make change at a fast-food restaurant � so what the heck do they need algebra for? Why even bother with basic arithmetic? Teach them how to use a calculator in first grade, bam-pow, math education is done.
      "How many Americans read a novel as adults? How many bother with magazines, even, short of looking at the pictures? You don�t even need to read to be able to navigate our highways � knowing symbols and names are enough. Teach kids the alphabet, show �em how to write their name and roughly recognize place names, and wham-bam-zowie, reading is done by second grade. Ship �em out into the workforce by third grade."
      If you find that TL;DR, here's the shorter: Why the Last Thing the USA Needs is More Goddang Teachers.


      Called out sick today, something I do maybe once a year. Every day since Sunday I've felt worse, with yesterday and today leaving me barely functional.
      Ever wake up sick, and then think back on what you ate the day before, then cringe in pain at that potato salad or whatever and realize that you have food poisoning? I did that today, thinking about water. I have a half-gallon pitcher I fill with water and then usually drink every night. I haven't cleaned it since I don't know, maybe Warren Harding was president then, and I noticed mildew right on the spout last week. That would explain why I wake up feeling sick as a dog (how sick are dogs? Cats are very good at hiding when they're sick), then eventually feel better, after the puking and pooping and not drinking from the pitcher, then wake up sick again after rehydrating. Guess that I'll find out when I wake up tomorrow, as I bleached the pitcher and found some bottled water to drink tonight. Year-old bottled water, so I'm unsure if that'll be an upgrade.

      Email I just sent to fellow MST3Ker Kev:

      I made it all the way though. But I'll bet that even the female MSTers aren't Manos enough to do it!



      June Sixteenth! And we all know what that date means!
      Happy Birthday, Killsy and Byron!
      He's 9, and she is now officially a teenager. Just weeks ago I read an article that said a 7 year old cat is considered a "senior," while a 13 year old is considered "geriatric." Both my boys are solid muscle and she's kind of flabby, but guess who of them has never once, including today, lost a play-fight? My sweet old lady. May all of us spend many more happy years together!



      Yesterday I went to the Coventry farmers market. I guess that I should've predicted the massive crowd, as it was both a flawless day and--FREE BOOZE! Yes, tastings of beer, wine, moonshine. I was hoping that the lines for the booze would cut down on the lines for everything else, but no go. I didn't even bother with Cato cheese for more than a minute--the guy said "Who's next buying something?" as opposed to mooching free samples, and the line that I was far in the back of didn't move, so I Ieft. I bought some Beltane Farms goat cheese. "Awesome shirt!" she at the booth said of my Plan 9 T. "Awesome movie!" I replied. This is at least the 2nd time someone at Beltane has reacted very positively to it, so maybe they're fans of bad movies that are good. I also bought some Yummy Hummus. "It's still a little warm," she said. "I made it just an hour ago." I ate a samosa from the Indian food cart, and got out just before the massive traffic jam. I just really wasn't in the mood to wait and wait. Like I would today.
      I had an appointment to get my car fixed at Liberty Honda (of Hartford CT). I think most everyone who reads this has me as a Facebook firend, so I won't go into detail. (Short version: Thing that wasn't fixed the first time I was going in to have fixed FOR THE FOURTH TIME) I got so preemptively mad in anticipation of being told "Yeah, we finally got the right part. Be careful driving home, as we accidentally cut your brake lines and set the seats on fire" that I ended up getting 4 hours sleep. I consider "too little sleep" to be "9+ hours," so I was barely functional in the morning, despite having taken all my sleep pills (melatonin, generic Benadryl, busiprone, vitamin D[J, the redheaded boy in bed purring beside me]). I had a Red Bull after I semi-awoke, which did not give me wings, just made me feel worse when it wore off. So I delayed the appointment for a week. Otherwise, I'd have really Hulked out, and then they'd be sure to fuck my car up. Need a week to calm down. Deep breaths, Splut, deep breaths.

      This will cheer any fan of both Star Wars and cartoons up! Long, like 2 hours, and filmed at a con, so low production value. But it's really funny.


      THE BRAIN: "Obi-Wan. You're my only hope. To escape this BOOB Pinky!"




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