NEW 125

If all ideas have equal validity then you are lost, because then, it seems to me, no ideas have any validity at all."
--Carl Sagan

Jump to the Newest of the New


       I bought a pound-sized bin of Temptations cat treats, as it was 50% off. I should've bought more, as that's as cost-effective as it's going to ever get. I did find an advantage to getting the smaller ones in bags. I dropped the bin, it exploded open, and I had to shovel the treats back into it. Of course, I had 3 helpers. One mammal's disaster is another mammal's dream.
      It could've been worse. I could've spilled the catnip.

      Having exhausted all the CDs at two libraries, I went to the next closest. It looked like they had a few--and I mean, like very, very few--I would borrow. They're free, and mine forever once they're on iTunes. It looked like maybe 2 visits worth. I passed on classical for now, as that spinner rack had a very heavy table blocking the lower shelves. Although the Xmas music rack was easy to get to, which is helpful in January. I grabbed about 25, and went to check out. And that's when they slapped the cuffs on.
      I'm a fugitive from Library justice! The one I haven't gone to in over a year claimed I still had 1 CD out. Yeah, I have iTunes, I don't need to physically steal anything. I searched the only likely places it could've gone. I have some vague recollection of getting home after the last time I was there and finding 1 leftover CD that I put in the book drop, which you're not supposed to do. But I wasn't expecting to be liable for $16 for stealing a CD that I have no need to take. The librarian at this place said that maybe they put it on the shelf without processing it. That would mean that no one's checked it out since then. I can't imagine why one of their top rentals wouldn't be the soundtrack to "Pride and Prejudice," 1995 TV version. I think Beyonce was on it, or maybe some other of today's big stars like Mary J. Blige or those guys who did "Lump".
      When I said that I had no problem getting CDs from the 2nd library I went to, she let slip that "They're on a different computer system than we are." A-ha! The flaw in your plan! I'll go to the fourth closest library, and continue my bloody reign of borrowing! I renounce the name Bill the Splut for my new crimes name, Borrowin' Bill Scarface! (although I may still go by Spitball Jones)
      I checked their collection online, and like all libraries, it makes no fucking sense. I was under the vague impression that libraries had this thing called "the alphabet." But Nah, just put 'em in any order you want. I searched under "CD Music" because I had to, and then had to click on "CDs" because Dewey and his decimals were murdered I guess. I tried to figure out how things must be kept in their department. Why, when looking under Rock, do the same titles appear in Pop? And Alternative? And Rap? Why is everything under everything else? Why did a David Halpern CD--which, in my old Lechmere music department would've been in New Age, have EIGHT different categories? Of course, 4 of them were "Relaxation," "Meditation," and "Music for Meditation, " and "Music for Relaxation." One of the categories was for this CD alone. In fact, every CD was hashtagged as "CD," so don't go looking in the 8 Tracks. Things must've been organized in some Mandelbrot set of fractals. Maybe it's Schroedinger's Library, and titles only turn up where you didn't look. Maybe everything was just dumped in one big section, haha!
      (nods) Yep.
      The sections were New, Classical, and Everything Else. And it was handily placed at waist height, except for 2/3s of it, which required crouching on the floor to look through, so sorry about your arthritis Grandma, no Coldplay or Barenaked Ladies for you! (There were a lot of the same artists, over and over. One series: the BBC Sound Effects Library. One was called "Industry," and the tracks are "Brewing -- Milk bottle plant -- Textiles -- China Factory -- Stainless steel making -- Refuse skip -- Grinding -- Water-mill" because who us hasn't needed 8 minutes of fucking china factory sounds on our mix tapes)
      I went in looking for 1 Halpern CD, 3 Mobys, and 2 Enyas. I found the Moby. The Enya wasn't there, unless it was (I'd never seen the cover, which turned out to look pretty much the same as an earlier album by her, so I might've flipped past it). The Halpern, I later learned, went missing in 2017. So sure, keep it listed online. I need to find the guy who has it, so that he can join me in my looting frenzy. Especially as the website listed Halpern not as "Missing" but as "Billed."
      Librarian looks around in a panic at an empty CD section: "We've been--BROWSIN' BILLED!"

      "For Howard, Things Are About To Get R'lyeh Crazy!"
      From a bin at Dollar Tree, "Howard Lovecraft and the Undersea Kingdom" and yes, it's a kid's movie based on HP Lovecraft. It has the voices of Mark Hamill of "(the Star Wars franchise)", and Academy Award-winner* Christopher Plummer. If you wonder what the asterisk is for, it's "*2010: Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role: Beginners". Maybe it's a different Christopher Plummer? Little Chrissie Plummer, age 5?
      If you scroll to the bottom of this page, you can watch the trailer and see the fine CGI and productional values and stuff that went into making this. Given the fact that it was marked down from $24.95 to a dollar in less than a year, the thought of watching it fills me with a loathsome, unhallowed, shambling, cycoplean, employee-did-not- wash-hands-after-using-bathroom dread. Well, here we fucking go. I survived "Food Fight!" without being reduced to gibbering madness. There's only one way this could be worse! It could be boring!
      Howard's a bit macrocephalic. Like a watermelon on a toothpick. He has bags under his eyes. He has bags over his eyes. Despite getting plenty of sleep, as he awakens from a weird dream. Which, I bet, sure doesn't mean he's not still dreaming. Oh. He is. There are fish swimming outside his window. He is dragged into the water, grows gills, and meets--CTHULHU! Except he's floating and glowing and named...Spot. Spot is his friend, and calls him Master constantly. Then he wakes up again. Mother wants to send him to school, and she's clearly evil, lusting after Howie's book. Is it the Necronomicon? Then, from the twisted Mythos of Lovecraft, comes an abomination so foul, so blasphemous, so horrifying, that I must shield my eyes! OH NO, NOT--*poof*
      Whaaat the fuuuck? Is this Smurf Village? Some noseless, befreckled cutesy-wootsie kids from the Land of Care Bears? Who talk all wike dis, oh so sweet? I think they're bipedal fish? They're going to see King Didntcatchhisname, and the Littlest Angelfish says "I hope he has something to eat!" Girl Sea Monkey says "I hope it's crispy!" You're a fucking fish person! The last crispy food here was a serving of Your Grandmother & Chips.
      There in the castle, which was "once covered in ice" (there was a first HP movie, involving the "evil king Abdul Alhazred" who was Cold Miser I guess) There are also some Minions or shit, little cute goblin bat clowns doing slapstick--the Slapstick of the ETERNALLY DAMNED! Wait, are these those Mi-go bats? Please tell me no, I beg you, for the sake of my sanity!
      Mi-god-I'm-cute Bat says the King won't see them. Genuine Lovecraftian dialog from the Fish Children: "No way!" Oldest fish, who has no nose but does have ears and earings and sounds like she came from the mall, "No way!" Are you trembling now?
      The King refuses to see them. A kid says "It's Gotha, David, Twat and Innis!" That's what it sounds like. The door bursts open and--CTHULHU!! "SPOT!" scream the kids. Spot hugs them and says "SQUID KIDS!" and hugs them.
      Whaaaaat the fuuuu
      Spot astrally projects to meet Howard, who is still going to school with Evil Possessed Mother. On July 19th, 1898, we are told for some reason. School's in session in July? What unpseakable eldritch horror! Spot goes to some Land of Little Bee Gnomes, sniffing out Howard literally. He ain't there. Maybe it's July 20th? Spot then goes to outer space, where he sniffs some asteroids. Then he goes to Antartica maybe, and the voice actor doing coke? I hope he's on something to get through this.
      HP's at the asylum, dragged by his Mom, and there's Alhazred, and he has HP's real parents, and demands of Howie "All I want is the trout!' What? (turns subtitles on) "All I want is the journal!" Dude, you said trout, I'm sure of it. Spot recommends that they flee, and HP says, in that inimitable way of Lovecraft dialog, "You don't have to tell me twice!" Alhazred says he cast a spell that will turn Howie into a Deep One, which...sure, yeah. Nameless Other Bad Guy doing a clear Darth Vader voice (is this Hamill?) warns that his father will not tolerate failure a second time! Was watching the first movie actually a requirement? Did this crap come with homework? Spot is caught by Al in a fishbowl, and he will awaken him as a Dreamer and Destroyer. So...Spot is Cthulhu? HP's in the Miskatonic U library with Dr Armitage, and Spot's name is Thu Thu Hmong. Does he own a pho restaurant? Howie's journal is part one of the Necronomicon, and Spot is "not yet Cthulhu." Look, we're only 15 minutes into this, I think I'll sit back and just watch this mountain of madness.
      Okay, now we're 18 minutes in, and Howie's got Innsmouth hands. "I'm turning into a fish!!" Nameless other Bad Guy is, you got it, Nyarlathotep. Howie's dad isn't with Al, he's on campus a few yards away. Shoggoths say "Tikeli-li" in the same wrenching, abominable, inhuman voices that one hears only in the depths of gibbering insanity or when someone says "Leave room for cream" at Starbucks. They also have a melodious laugh and only say "Tikeli-li.". Dad screams at HP "LIAR LIAR PANTS ON FIRE!" Man, I guess I really don't remember those books at all.
      Finally! A string of Lovecratian adjectives! Crazy-ass Daddy Lovecraft says that HP's being "transmogrified" into "one of those slimy, gill-breathing, web fingered, gross, disgusting little fish men!" I should point out that the adult actors are having fun chewing the scenery, while HP is so bland, I think he won Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role: Beginning to Devolve Back Into a Lungfish, so at least this part of the script he can do.
      Okay, Nyarly has got to be Hamill, because this is such a dead-on Vader. The way he pronounces "insignficant--as a small worm!" and then onscreen, his Cheez-Wiz animation hand makes a teensy lil' "like a worm this teensy" gesture. It's funny. Now, Armitage trains Luke--um, Howie--to levitate boulders. Daddy uses odd diction: "Impatient, he is!" Huh. That seems kinda familiar...
      The next 20 minutes has a bog-standard fistfight with Al and the Shoggoths, which are pronounced shog-GOTH and are hideous floating Beholder-style demons that shop at Hot Topic. Then a flashback to Crazy Daddy's early days with Dr Herbert West. The box says that a voice is supplied by a guy from Re-Animator, so, parents, if your kids like this movie, rent them that next! Crazy Daddy goes to the Distant Planet Yuggoth and meets Dagon, and this drives him so utterly, irretrievably insane that he says "La-dee-da!" a lot. Then they go to the Shunned Circle, aka Crap Stonehenge, and Crazy starts digging with a shovel that I guess was in his pocket, and says some more Lovecraftian dialog: "Time to get DIRTY! LAND HO!" I guess this is where he buried the prostitute's body. Then they're in the Undersea Kingdom, HP gets nabbed by Dagon, don't worry he's a good guy, lots of name-dropping from the Mythos, Azathoth is the real bad guy, they get teleported to the Undersea Kingdom which is where I thought they already were, then Azzy says "outside the ordered universe is an amorphous blight of nethermost confusion, which blasphemes and bubbles at the center of all infinity." Surpisingly, he does not add "Badabing! You snooze, you lose, fart-face!"
      Then Howie has to face three Indiana Jonesish challenges, which are so boring I'm skipping them. Although the Fish Men wearing sport coats and matching vests are notable. He and Spot return so that Al can raise Cthulhu, but this doesn't work because only a Lovecraft can do it, so nice fuckin' plan, Al. Dagon randomly appears and Howard, Crazy Dad, Fishy Mom and Spot disappear in a scene they didn't bother to animate. Nyarly hits Al with force lightning while Dagon stands there like a big goofus.
      Back at Miskatonic, Howie gathers all three trout--um, Journals, and binds them into the Necronomicon. The Necronomicon is a Good Guy, too! He saves his Mom, who has become so much of a Fish Lady that her name almost became Mrs Paul. Crazy Daddy introduces "This is Cthulhu, he eats reality! My wife once ate a whole chicken!" The Necronomicon is so powerful that it obviously inspires a sequel (yeah, good luck with that), but the ever bland HP says that his house is protected by ryunes. "Runes" throughout the movie has been pronounced as "roons" or "ruins," so this is a nice change. Cthulhu/Spot returns to R'yleh, where the Squid Kids are having a fucking tea party--but what about the Mi-go Little Ponies? How will there ever be a fandom of Mi-gonies? And then, at home, there's a knock at the door and it's--HP LOVECRAFT ALL GROWED UP! OMG! LOL! POOP EMOJI!!
      The credits inform us that this was a film by Sean Patrick O'Reilly that was produced by Michelle O'Reilly. Then--a post-credit scene! Cthulhu walks a few steps, then gets knocked out by some colour out of space. Wow, sign me up for the next movie! The credits continue, and seven out of the first eight names are surnamed O'Reilly. Hamill actually did Armitage, while Nyarly was done by a guy doing an imitation of Hamill doing an imitation of James Earl Jones. Christopher Plummer did Dr West, who had maybe 10 lines, and Ron Perlman was Shoggoth, with one repeated line, "Tikeli-li." Then, there's a post-post-credits sequence, which is a bunch of Shoggoths saying their unforgettable catchphrase, "Leave room for cream." "Howard Lovecraft will return in The Kingdom of Madness." Sure he will. Sure he will.
      It was worth a dollar. Even if the animation sometimes wasn't that much better than this:




      His feet and wrists heavy with shackles, he struggled into the room of kids in his orange jumpsuit. Smug kids, proud of their crimes. They will soon be...SCARED STRAIGHT.
      "You maggots!" he growled. "You know who I am? I'm...Borrowin' Bill Scarface!"
      They stared in terrified silence. One finally sputtered "W-who?"
      "BORROWIN' BILL! You may know me better as--SPITBALL JONES!"
      The kids cowered in the corner. One pissed his pants. One began to cry.
      "HOW OLD YOU PUNKS?!" he screamed.
      "We--we're in kindergarten! I want...MOOOOMMEEE!"
      "You know what happens to shit like you in prison? You smile at a man, he smiles back, and then before you know it--HE DRINK YOUR JUICE BOX!" He looked each of them in the eye, coldly. "AND IT WAS THE BEST JUICE BOX FLAVORZ!"
      "See this tattoo? This is what you get in prison!" He lifted his sleeve, showing a bleeding, blistered, ragged hunk of skin. "You know what this is?!"
      One child stammered "R-really kinda gross?"
      "YES! It's--eww. Wow. It is kinda gross. Actually, it's Dawn Wells in a bikini riding a robot dinosaur." He sobbed, then choked it back long enough to say "It was my life dream, this tattoo. All I gotta say, if you don't wanna be like me, here in the Library Jail, is 'Don't do the Crime, if You can't DEWEY DECIMAL the TIME!"
      "M--Mister the Spitball, h-how long you've been here?"
      "Huh? Like 5 minutes. I walked in looking for the bathroom. Wait, did I read the script wrong? 'DON'T DO THE CRIME--UNLESS YOU PAY THE OVERDUE FINE!"
      "Huh? How much was the fine?"
      "Oh, nothing. Weren't no crime, so there were no fine. Where's the bathroom again?"

      My life as a fugitive from Library Justice was brief. As the Ellington librarian thought, my overdue CD was sitting on the shelf in Rockville. I took out maybe 50 CDs once I knew that was cleared of all library crimes. Not in Rockville, of course; I'd tapped that place out a year ago. And now, for the edification of exactly nobody, my reviews of central CT library CD collections!
      Rockville: I was not explicitly told "All we have are the CDs that no one could be bothered to steal," but it was heavily implied. Your only source for that Crown Jewel of CDs, the 1995 BBC soundtrack to "Pride and Prejudice." CDs in pretty bad shape, so expect that weird chuff chuff noise when they play. This is not a sound I've ever heard on any CD before. I would soon learn that it's the "borrowed too many times" sound.
      South Windsor! Insane collection of truly sprawling styles. Most libraries don't even have ONE Eno CD. CDs in generally good shape; some chuffing. So many odd and differing CDs that it's the only library that I couldn't use up in one go (excepting the ones with strict borrowing limits)
      Manchester. The fuck. I don't even know how you could scuff a CD like this, unless you were involved in some secret Pentagon CD-scuffing project. Were they cleaned with steel wool? Used as pucks in street hockey? Good place for Indigo Girls CDs, if that's what you like. I mean, like every Indigo Girls' CD. You can often tell what the CD-budgeting person likes. Also, in the impossible event that you ever borrow the Manchester High School 2003/04 Instrumental CD and put it in iTunes, I PUT THE TITLES IN, BEEYOTCH! Immortality at last!
      Ellington: Whoa, whoever decided to get rid of the fragile jewel boxes and go for these cases is a genius! I assume they have a name; I've always called them "2-button" as the center that holds it in has 2 buttons, and not that "plastic starfish asshole one that breaks into tiny shrapnel so that the disc falls out" kind. Not a single scratch on any one! Also, they let me take out 50+ in one go, despite being the ones who caught me not returning that CD that I did return.
      Warehouse Point: Dunno, Copper! I never went there. The catalog lists 148 CDs of fucking utter blandness, the newest being from 1998 and 50 of them are Xmas. East Hartford: catalog defaults to Manchester's. Huh? This is like going to D'angelos and being told you can only pick up your food at Subway.
      I'm going to drop off my CDs at Ellington, as we have a Three Strikes law here, and I'm think I'm done with library CDs. And I'm going into the Witness Protection Program. From now on, I'm Spitball JOHNSON
      After this, I went grocery shopping and Airline Food, Amirite?! When you go to the store for one thing, and then buy everything but the one thing you came for? I remembered just as I was about to leave--wet cat food! Funny that I only just thought of that, thinking how Killsy would be disappointed if I didn't get any! As I went, I noticed that the music playing was the Eurythmics' "There Must Be an Angel." The Fantastic Plastic Machine's version of this was playing the night I brought tiny Kill Kill home. I began crying that day, knowing that there was an angel playing with my heart, and she was what I'd never had in 40 years of living. Coincidence that I thought of her that second?
      YES! I ain't no gay fag looser who tears up about kitten memories! I'm so manly that I just flushed my Gillette razors down the toilet, and will now exclusively shave with only broken shards of glass from Bud bottles! Hey, why's my toilet overflowing?!

      I've been reading Jason Colavito's blog. I'm aware that cable has things like the Ahistorical Channel, Moron Discovery, and TA-LC (The Anti-Learning Channel) and other cable networks based on "How stupid are Americans?" like Fox. I didn't realize how prevalent these shows are until now. Did you know there's one hosted by noted scholar of Transformerology Megan Fox?
      Colavito's headlines include "Andrew Collins Claims Native Americans Were Ruled by Hybrid Denisovan Giants Who Masterminded Mound Building" and "David Wilcock Tries to Link Q-Anon Conspiracy, Space Aliens, and 'Hamlet's Mill' While Promoting New Documentary" about the Cabal, a coalition of Reptilian extraterrestrials, Democrats, and Jews working to destroy the conservative white Christian lifestyle." And you wonder why the country's so dumb it's run by Trump!
      A thing I never heard of, but apparently is a big deal, is "The Curse of Oak Island". This is where all the treasure in the world is buried, starting with Captain Kidd. Who fled the Indian Ocean to fart around Nova Scotia. "These have included pirates, Inca, Romans, Vikings, Israelites, and of course Knights Templar. For more than two centuries men have dug holes in the ground trying to prove that Oak Island conceals some fabulous treasure of myriad faces, everything from Spanish gold to Shakespeares lost plays to the Ark of the Covenant." I can only picture all these guys there at once, with a pirate screaming at an Incan "HEY! I WAS GONNA BURY THERE FIRST!! Hey, Francis Bacon! I CALLED DIBS!"
      "He comes dangerously close to (accurately) accusing the shows producers and guest stars Kathleen McGowan (the widow of Ancient Aliens star Philip Coppens who thinks herself a descendant of Christ and Mary Magdalene), Alan Butler (who once wrote that future Freemasons built the moon when time traveling), and Janet Wolter (wife of America Unearthed host Scott Wolter) of intellectual fraud by pushing discredited claims and outright hoaxes to play to the Da Vinci Code audience." Dude, that's not how you build up! "Wife of Scott Wolter," who cares? How about "Wolter, on their wedding night, ripped off his Bigfoot mask to show that he was actually the Loch Ness Monster! Janet then ripped off her mask, proving that she was Amelia Earhardt and also the clone of Kaiser Wilhelm! Then, their wedding bed ripped off its mask, and it was the Bermuda Triangle Wolfman or some shit, I don't know. The bed ate them."
      (And if you want to back up there--yes, there are people who think the Moon is hollow and made by time travellers. And why is there not a show about trying to find the Secret Fish-Mines of Moncton?)

      One of the Fifteen (you are one as well) mentioned in the Comments that he's reading this page again because of a dream, in which he undoubtedly bolted upright in bed covered in sweat like they do in every movie, although he might've not screamed but just muttered something about the bottom 6 inches of his tie. (Fun Fact I just checked: that single-slice toaster would cost $195.54 today) Jay has a has a blog about fried chicken that I mention because why wouldn't I? And this becomes something I was going to talk about here anyway, the terrible way my blog doesn't work.
      I found out that, because my shitty web editor saves every fucking way it wants that doesn't work, the old News from 30 to 102 are impossible to access. Unless you change, say, to Likewise, every newer old New can only be read by changing, say, to whatever the number is supposed to be, such as last year's being Sometimes, you have to add an "l" to ".htm" I tried fixing it, but the editor made new/new into new/new/new. I'll figure it out someday...



       Yes, you can finally see, in all its 150 minutes of splendor The Swarm! Now you can find out how little I exaggerated it!
      Plan Nine! Voyage Into Space! Gymkata! King Kong Lives! There truly are very few movies that really are "so bad they're good, that being because Holy Shit, they sure think they're good!" You don't need wisecracking robot puppets to laugh at this movie. There is no way it could be any funnier, with its terrible acting, ludicrous story, and lousy effects! Unless--
      "Ja kunde aldrig dromma om att edet skulle vara bina! De har alltid varit vanner." Unless it's subtitled in Swedish. Did you know that Swedish for "Alert" is "Varning"? That was the first subtitle, when I didn't know it was subtitled. I thought it was a joke, and the next title would be "Mynd you, mse bites Kan be pretti nasti..." but no, it's actual Swedish. Which has words like "fart" and "slut" and my favorite, when Crane yells "TITTA!" and General Dick says "Doesn't look like a bee to me!" Dude, he just told you it's a titta.
       If this is your first time viewing it, try to ignore the subtitles and focus on just how bad it is. And it most likely will be your first time, as I don't think it was ever released on anything but VHS in the USA. Maybe this is because of the whole "Kill the Africans!" dialogue, which is sometimes screamed. Richard Chamberlain calls them "Colombian," and Michael Caine shrieks "It doesn't matter what we call them! They're a mutant species of AFRICANS!" so apparently it does matter what you call them. Later, as they begin to exterminate them, "Tomorrow, there will be no Africans, at least in the Houston area!" Note that there are exactly 2 very briefly glimpsed POCs in this movie.
      Along with all the other insanity, and the fact that there is not a single character you care about because they're all either assholes or morons, you get the language lesson. "Vi vet inte mangastick de har fatt Africanz bis!" Okay, I forget what that meant, but it's fun to say! It weirdly adds to the movie that it has subtitles like a profound Bergman film. As when Paul, the Eee-Whee-It's a Bee Boy yells "Det ar ett BI har inne! Hjalp!" at the giant imaginary bee. That quote at the start of this was, of course, about the impossibility of imagining bees not friending us. Next time you're in Stockholm, you can solemnly intone "HOUSTON--brinner. Kommer skulden att laggas--pa MIG ELLER BINA?!" Or inject yourself with bee venom and say (while sweating--My god, I was sure not joking in my old review about all the sweating in this movie) that your blood levels are rising to "Laskiga navaer!!" Was that blonde skiier a rude SOB? No, en ortig typ! Or just mention in some cafe "Och arden forste officeren i historen som far stryk av en mass insekter!" even if you are not getting your butt kicked by a mess of Scandanavian bugs. Then spit your coffee out, declaring "Det ar farligare an giftet den Australika kubmanetin!" Or just listen to the dopey English words, like the total evacuation of Houston being helped by the fact that "Most people stayed indoors, or went to church." Or the accents, which sometimes change during the same sentence. Or the way Crane eats sunflower seeds, which is to shove an entire fistfull down the back of his throat, swallowing them without chewing.
      I imagine that this will be online until someone finds out, so make sure to use this chance to finally see "KATASTROFPLATZ HOUSTON"!

      Yeah, or maybe not watch The Swarm from that link, as something gave my computer a minor virus. Malware removed it. All I saw was occasional freezing, and every few hours, MSN insisting that I connect my wifi to Xfinity. Which I don't use. Not sure what was going on there.
      To make up for it, here's some more bad translations!
      Also... Maybe dont turn real-life racist H.P. Lovecraft into the cuddly star of an animated kids movie? Yes, guess which beloved franchise THIS is! It's Tikke-li Elmo!


      She's home. She's comfortable. But I don't think Kill Kill is going to last the night.
      But it will be at home, safe, surrounded by her loved ones, and in her sleep.
      But...please don't. Honey, please--even one more day...


      6/16/1999 to 2/18/2019

      I almost wrote here the good news that Kill Kill's thyroid was in remission. Her health is great!
      10 days later, it was morning wet food time. She's normally first in line, that day she wandered off to the side. She only ate a little. I guess she doesn't like that flavor.
      The next day, she did it again. Then DJ started freaking out. He stood right above where she lied, and began almost hopping up and down, crying at her for attention. And it went on for a long time. That's when it hit: she's not eating, and I can't remember the last time I saw her drink! She had discharge around her eyes.
      Of course, this was Sunday and the vet up the road was closed. Now it was my time to freak out. I called Cat 911--Jessica--and had a panic attack that I was watching her die. She thought that I was overreacting. She calmed me down.
      The next time, Killsy was a little better, but still barely eating and very listless. I'd gotten so upset the night before that I made myself sick. I decided to wait another day. Since any time there's a cat disagreement, someone gets scratched near the eye, maybe she had an eye infection. I decided to bring her in the next day, because if this was something that could be fixed with a vax, it should be done.
      The vet had a "This is bad" look the second he walked in the room. She was dehydrated, hence the discharge. She'd lost 2 pounds in 2 weeks. Her temperature was 5 degrees below normal, and her blood pressure very low. My hopes of a quick cure faded instantly. "She is effectively a 20 year old cat," he said. "It's probably systemic; maybe her kidneys." They gave her intravenous hydration and forced some high-calorie food into her mouth.
      I called Jess again with the bad news. Kill Kill did seem to recover some strength after the visit, but the vet said she may have at most 2 weeks. She wasn't in Pain.
      Then she began to slide. Every day, ate and drank less. Slept constantly, but with her rheumy eyes open. My plan was to let her pass at home. But she got so weak...Then yesterday I woke up realised that I hadn't been eating either. I spent the day stress-vomiting stomach acid. She would get up, walk a few feet, plop back down, trying to get comfortable. Finally she staggered into the room, fell to her side, and began making tiny, weak cries.
      I called the vet and asked to come in. I called Jess one last time. Tragically, just 2 days before she'd lost her cat Paul without warning. I asked her if I should bring her in. "I got up and found Paul had passed! I would've wanted it to happen in my lap! You're doing this for her because you love her!"
      She was too weak to fight it. She was so dehydrated, they couldn't find a vein on her back leg, so they had to shave her front one. Yes, it took two attempts. I was handed a flyer for the cremation, and it wanted me to choose the tyle of tin for her ashes. I'm thinking of home decor right now?!
      Both boys noticed she didn't come home. DJ spent 10 minutes circling every room in the house, no doubt looking for her. After sunset, Byron suddenly began screaming every hour all night for...something. I think he'd figured it out.
      I thought I'd be a pool of tears. Instead, I puked. Now it's just so weird to not have her here. I guess I'm still in shock--she went from perfect health to the end in 9 days.


      I knew it would be bad. Just not this bad.
      I don't eat, I don't sleep, but I also barely leave bed. I now wish I hadn't had her cremated. Picking up her ashes was horrifying. Looking back on it, it's like trying to remember a nightmare.
      I never noticed that when I leave a room, even the bathroom, I do a quick mental survey for where each cat is. That was hard, as she was always the first I thought of.
      DJ is extra affectionate to both Byron and me. (Maybe a little too much--I know my personal hygiene has taken a hit on some days, but I don't need a face bath at 3AM) Byron stills screams at night for her.
      I saw my mother this week. That helped. After almost 20 years, she still grieves for my Dad.
      The dam still hasn't burst. It came close when I got her ashes. Then there was a card in the mail, from the vet. I thought it was generic, like the "happy birthday" postcards they send. No, it was signed by the whole staff. I got my Cat-a-Day calendar late this year, and today it finally turned over to her last day. The text ended with "Any extra days BB gets to spend with his owner, Lisa Young, are automatically great ones." Her name was KK, mine is Young...
      When I got home on the day I was told her time was short, I called Jess to break the bad news. I suddenly realized that iTunes was playing a song by the Temptations: "My Girl." That was one of our songs! "Talkin' bout my girl, Kill Kill!" A few songs later, it was more Motown: The Supremes, "My World is Empty Without You Babe." 24,000 tracks, and both have played themselves since.

      Not to make this all darkness, here's a thing that came out of me, on a Brian Eno Facebook page. I thought it came out good, although you may not get any of the references

      This is the only thing that's made me laugh since this nightmare began:Terrible Pictures Taken By Real Estate Agents

      And to anyone who left a comment here or on Facebook about My Girl, thank you. Especially for not saying "She was only a cat."


      I'm better. Not good, but better.
      I got cards. One from Pat (the Cool Sister). One from Jessica. As one would guess, it was covered in her handwriting. All kind and reassuring. "I remember the moment she came into your life. 'Her name is Kill Kill! Isn't she the most beautiful cat you've ever seen?' I said in return, 'She is an angel.' And so, the passion of our feline friends ignited. She loved you as much as you loved her. Death is just death, but love is forever."
      And there was a handmade suncatcher in her honor. It hangs now on my monitor, from the Shrinky Dink portrait our Disney artist friend made me so many years ago. Sometimes it just lays there very still. Other times, it moves constantly. Just like a cat.

      Well. Let's just write something then.

      Hey, how about the movies I've seen since...(checks Netflix) December? There's a thing.
      Alien Planet: I've seen this many times. It's from Discovery Channel I think? It's based on a good book that was much better than this. Downside: it's from Discovery or History Channel, so every time there's about to be a commercial break, it tells you EXACTLY what will happen next, so you don't change channels. Ever be sitting in front of one of those guys who saw the movie, and HAS to give every plot point away to his GF who keeps saying "What happens now?!" very loudly? I fucking hate that. But it's well worth watching, if you want to see something where the aliens are alien, created by a biologist, and not just some Star Trek biped with a goofy forehead.

      Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey: The Sub-subtitle. 2 dogs and a kitty go home, in a bound ward way. I liked it. But why, in this kind of movie, do the dogs always get it easier than the cats?

      ALIEN JELLY! No wait, Space Jam. This was only on my list because I have the magnets. When the VHS came out, at Lechmere we were giving away a 4-pack of fridge magnets with each purchase, as advertised on the front of the flyer. I let anyone in the music video department take ONE set, but told them to never give out any to the other depts. Because when we ran out, we'd be the ones getting screamed at. Hey, guess what! Every person from every other dept wanted them, but refused to buy the video! Hey, guess what happened when my coworkers gave them out anyway! (It was screaming)
      Oh, also, Space Jam isn't very good.

      The Rocketeer: This was based on a comic book that was inspired by the old serial "Commando Cody," or as long time MST viewers will say "Nipple Nipple Tweak Tweak!" This is a great movie, and I rented it because I came across a review of Rocket Ranger, an old computer game that was literally unplayable. You didn't fly by nipple tweaking, you had to run at the exact right pace to launch. Then you fought a Nazi zeppelin, "Big balloon" doesn't sound hard, but it killed you instantly...and you were right back where you began. Running to fly and chase a gasbag. If you beat the zeppelin and died...Yep, right back to running to fight a blimp again. The Rocketeer is actually awesome, so if you haven't seen it and are in the mood for something Indiana Jonesy. With dead Nazis, which is always a plus in my book.

      Incredibles 2: aka, It took us 14 years to make a movie with the exact same plot.

      Annihilation: It was very good and you should see it, but...The Hell?

      Avengers: Infinity War: The Third Viewing. How did Nebula know to send the Guardians to Titan? She doesn't know Thanos is going there! Why did Team Stark go there? They didn't know Thanos was going there! Thanos only went there, as far as I can tell, because Dr Strange went there, so he could get the Time Stone! MOVIE IS RUINED

      Teen Titans Go Oh Fuck No! I ain't going there. Maybe I shouldn't rent movies where the entire audience is expected to have not hit puberty for 2 more years?

      The Third Reich: Rise and Fall. This was interesting--all home movie footage from Germany from those years. Also: History Channel telling you at every fucking ad break "YOU WON'T BELIEVE WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!" and then telling you what happens next. Not how clickbait works, assholes.

      Tangled. I'm sure everyone watches this after they rented a documentary about Nazis. I kinda liked it. There was a frying pan. Okay, I really don't remember that much. Imagine how clogged her shower drain must be! (I have long hair so I can make that joke)

      Twin Peaks: The Other One. Oh fuck no, this was awful. I made it 90 minutes in. I almost didn't make it 30 minutes in, when there was this big glass box, and there was this guy staring at it, and this girl stared at it with him, and I just sat there thinking "And then some monster in the box kills them," and then some monster in the box killed them. I was expecting creepy and weird, I wasn't expecting BORING.

      KEDI! I needed to refresh my palate, so that wonderful doc about kitties in Turkey. Note: Kiterally nothing happens in this movie. Just kitties! (and proofing this--I spelt it "kiterally" and it was unintentionally)

      Gidget. I made it maybe 15 minutes into this. I wanted Yvonne Craig in a bikini, and I got that, but also one of those 60 year old movies where the high school students are in their 30s and talk like no human being ever has.

      Mad Max: Fury Road. Oddly, this did not have Yvonne Craig in a bikini.

      Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Okay, I liked it, but even at 90 minutes it was long. The songs always did what movie songs should do, advance either the plot or the characters. But there were way too many songs. I'm still unclear on what exactly happened in the ending.


And then she got sick. And then she died.

      And then Bedknobs and Broomsticks floated to the top of my queue, like that one turd that won't flush. I'd heard it described as "the worst Disney movie" so of course I had to see it. In fact I had, about age 11 or 12, and all I remember from seeing it in the theater was kids squirming in their seats, or falling asleep and then waking up crying "It's not over?" It's about as long as an Avengers movie! Now I just watched it numbly (I was pretty numb then, and it was like 3AM, I hadn't slept for days, girl) Yes, it is very bad. It begins with the Bayeaux Tapestry, which you know even if you don't think you do, and there's Angela Lansbury riding her broomstick on it. Ha ha, I thought, are you gonna show the NAZIS next and they showed the Nazis next. Nice detail work on the armbands. Because this is the Disney movie where a witch fights the Nazis!
      I could've edited this movie down to a reasonable, kid-friendly length. First, get rid of the songs. They advance the plot no more than 20 seconds of dialog could. You know how you sometimes exit a movie humming the songs? You'd be humming the sounds coming from a Taco Bell bathroom before these. There is one kinda good dance number about the mixing of cultures in World War Two Britain--oh, did I leave that part out? It's set in that charming moment in Britsh history, the wonderful Blitz when the Luftwaffe was bombing everyone to death! True fact: the English government ordered all families to send their children from London to the countryside, because separating young children from their parents couldn't possibly be traumatic! The main characters are 3 children, a boy about 13, a girl about 11, and a boy about 8. They can also be described as Horribly Awful, Girl Who Is Kinda There, and Idiot. You know what? Cut them out too.
      There is my god, the longest song in history from some street charlatan. Cut him out. Roddy McDowell, pretty obviously looking for work before there's a planet of apes, is a horny pastor who...literally, I have no idea. He's in 2 brief scenes, maybe Disney had a contractul obligation to run out. There's a cartoon visit to a cartoon land, and it's literally just recycled animation from Disney's fox-based Robin Hood. It's about a soccer game! YES, it's that interesting!
      At the literal two hour mark, the Nazis invade. It's about as entertaining as this movie gets. So. The movie could've been 20 minutes long, featuring Angela Lansbury fighting the most dorky, incompetent, American-accented Nazis ever. And it still would've sucked!
      I gave it 3 stars out of 5. There are a fraction of movies so bad they're good, a vast majority so bad they're bad, and there's this occasional turd that's just..."So WHY is this movie?! WHO DECIDED MAKE MOVIE"

      I only saw 2 Oscar candidate movies. Both had "Black" in thir titles. One was an MCU punch-em-up. The other was BlacKkKlansman. Wow, that should've won. (Based on the 2 movies I saw) It's funny and exciting, although KKK members in the real 1970s would never have had facial hair or long hair! It's almost like Lee was trying to compare them to how modern racists look oh right.

      Captain America: The First Avenger. THIS is how you fight Nazis! With a garbage can lid!


      It's on Youtube, so hopefully it won't give your computer a virus, or worse, give it an autism vaccine. You know how I sometimes yell "I watched FOOD FIGHT for you people!!" Here's Food Fucking Fight. I can guarantee you will not make it to the end. Even JonTron bailed halway through, and watching garbage is literally his paying job.




      I gathered up the last loose end: her insurance claim.
      For some reason the PDFs of her vet receipts didn't make it to them. But ASPCA Pet Inusrance emailed me that they'd contact my vet. A week later, they said the claim was being processed. Then that it was completed. I got about a third of the expenses back, right up to the cremation. Now I had to face cancelling her insurance...
      Their next communication was a phone call. It was conolences over my loss of Kill Kill. The caller was reading from a script (she named DJ and Byron), but had real emotion in her voice. She either had the job--which would be a terrible job to do every day--because she was a good actress, or because--more likely--every operator has to do this at some point. Yes. I cried. You would've cried when her voice cracked.
      The next day, Discover sent me notification of a refund to my account. What? It was the ASPCA again. I didn't have to cancel. They did it for me, and refunded my last month's payment.
      If you ever want pet insurance, call the ASPCA.
      As for me, I've gone from the horror of watching her waste away, to the shell-shock of her not being anymore, to just a dull ache that I accept. This is the new reality.

      I'm not even going to attempt a segue here, just say--WOW Food Fight! really sucks! If you made it through that whole thing, congratualtions and I'm sorry you hate me now.

      A movie that did cheer me up: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. It tried to be a comedy, a superhero movie, a family drama, and succeeded on all counts. The plot was kind of "teenager finds out he's the Chosen One," but I sure enjoyed the journey. Two major reveals I didn't see coming. And it really was funny! Make sure to see the end of credit scene, which plays as a dopey parody of all of the Marvel post-credit scenes, and features a Spider-Man that will never get a movie. And then follows it up with a cartoon about a talking pig. Yes, a post-post-credits scene.

      Silly and Cruel Beauty Gadgets That Were Destined for Failure


      I was happy that my dead battery only cost $53 to fix. I wasn't as happy when I was told that it was probably caused by an open door. The car's seat belt has a tendency to randomly not rewind all the way, so it might've been open only a seatbelt's width, and I didn't notice. They gave the battery a rechargs, and since my last 2 batteries died after exactly 3 1/2 years, I should be good until late 2022.
      I did better than the young couple ahead of me. Maybe mid-20s, with a cute maybe 4 month old baby. I really wasn't paying attention, just reading my Kindle. But I caught that the owner came up with an estimate for a new engine. I thought, I had that done, it cost like $700. Cheaper than a car! Then the auto guy said "You need to look at these. The prices are crazy stupid." What type of car this guy drove, I don't know. The phrase "3 headers" was used, which is meaningless to me. At the end of my visit, he was recommending that they pick out an engine and get it shipped to the shop as the cheapest option. He wasn't trying to sell them anything; I know this is an honest shop. The husband finally said "This is going to cost us 3 or 4 thousand." Most Americans don't have 10% of that saved.
      $53: because I didn't check to make sure a door was closed. $3/4,000: because they didn't change the oil and kept driving...

      All the rest are just links.

      The Odd Cat Sanctuary of Salem, Mass. Meet the cats!

      How a Gang of New York Troublemakers Struck Americas First Blow Against Hitler and the Nazis

      That Time Scientists Thought Lambs Grew On Trees

      Officer Cat warns, dont jump out into the street! Japan makes interesting safety videos.

      Uri Geller promises to stop Brexit using telepathy : Three years before you became prime minister, I predicted your victory when I showed you Winston Churchills spoon on my Cadillac, which I asked you to touch. He sent her a letter. I guess his telepathy was too spoony that day.

      A Brain Museum in Connecticut Features A Steak Signed By Pavlov. I'm drooling already! This should be a chain restaurant. "Pavlov's Mouth-Watering Hot Dogs."

      Gullible People That Believed These The Onion Articles Were Real. To me, the article's highest point was informing me that Melting Ice Caps Expose Hundreds Of Secret Arctic Lairs.

      A strange post on the Brian Eno FB page (by someone accidentally): "There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge". -Isaac Asimov
      Someone responded "Yeah, I agree, but what does it have to do with Eno?" So I said

      One person responded with "Huh what?" He probably gets confused by the Onion.

      The Dreams Of A Man Asleep For Three Weeks

      There was a 70s anime that got turned into the stoner-friendly US TV show, Battle of the Planets. Someone made a "movie" of it. It's just episodes hacked up, but it must've been done by a real fan. It highlights the unending repetition and cheapness of the American version, but also some great Japanese animation (as in the first minute of the opening sequence. Check out the lighthouse and the waves). You could guess without ever seeing more than the following that 7-Dork-7 and his stupid robot dog were just shoved in there, because all US sci-fi in the immediate post-Star Wars era needed some R2D2 wannabe. I love how it includes the only time they included 2 of the Japanese characters are in the same scene, and..."off-model" is too weak a word. I think, in my teenage years, I described the characters as "The boring guy, the asshole, the fat idiot, the retarded alien kid, and the girl who keeps flashing her panties." See if you agree!






      I went to Yelp to leave a good review about my car mechanic, and then remembered why I don't use Yelp. Every 1 star review is clearly an asshole with an ax to grind against the merchant, and possibly the state of their own sad life. Here's one:

      I'm not sure how a company could stay in business for 40 years by randomly killing their customers. The fact that "they arent the first shop to screw with me" indicates that you're a video game boss.
      And now, a bunch of links! Yes, it's Thoughtviper circa 2003 Days!

      Okay, this is basically a text version of an unboxing video, but the writing is superb. The Quest to Acquire the Oldest, Most Expensive Book on the Planet

      "Squishful Thinking: Earth is (always has been) round, so why have the flat-out wrong become so lively?" First article I've seen that actually adresses the question "Why do they believe this crap?" (For the same reason Creationism still exists--they want to be God's Special Gift)

      The Day the Dinosaurs Died No, literally. What may be a fossil find of the moment of the dinosaur extinction. (Or not)

      All The People God Kills In The Bible
      "Take, for example, 1 Samuel, in which God destroys three cities, then smites the surviving populations with hemorrhoids to punish the Philistines after they steal the ark of the covenant. After the Philistines bring the ark to the city of Ashdod, God disciplines them: The hand of the Lord was heavy upon them of Ashdod, and he destroyed them, and he smote them with emerods [hemorrhoids]. (1 Samuel 5:6) The Philistines apparently arent very fast learners, because their solution is to move the ark to another city, which God once again destroys, again smiting survivors with hemorrhoids (5:9). The Philistines still dont get it, though, moving the ark to a third city, which God also stubs out and hits the survivors with, you guessed it, hemorrhoids (5:11-12). The Bible never specifies how many lose their lives in this grotesque punishment, or how hemmorhoids were even fatal." Well, that would've changed the ending of Raiders of the Lost Ark...


      "I'm sure you know why this hearing has been called. You let 253 people--"
      "I SAVED MY TEAM!"
      "YES. You saved your FOUR PEOPLE, while you let 253 people die in an apartment fire!"
      "I SAVED MY TEAM!"
      "YOU--you fuck! You're a firefighter! You took your team out, let 253 men, women, children die in an apartment fire! Your job is to stop the fire! Not WATCH IT BURN WHILE YOU GO TO SUBWAY!"
      "They...had $5 footlongs..."
      "Well, don't do it again! Now, apparently, Houston is on fire, so we need you to go there and also fail."
      I watched Mission Impossible 4: Laughfest because it was stupid to the point of being funny. Mission Impossible 5: Fuckyou is stupid to the point of being insulting. They don't even bother to connect one scene to another. There is no plot, besides what they had last time. The imaginatively-named Syndicate is here to be Evils! Or, as I called them in my last review of this crap, the DIGDUGS, for "Deadly International Group Doing Underwear Gnome Schemes." STEP 1: Spread anarchy worldwide! STEP 2: ???????? STEP 3: PROFIT! This time, it's been honed to STEP 1: DETONATE H-BOMBS! STEP 2: No, that's it.
      It begins with "a Norwegian nuclear weapons expert who hates religion" (why...would Norway have experts on nuclear weapons?) I'm not sure why the Evil Atheist card is played, but he detonates H-bombs in Rome, Jerusalem and Mecca, and cackles evilly. Y'know, blow up the Vatican, and the Catholic Church doesn't have a going-out-of-business sale the next day. ("Pedophiles Half Off!") This, of course, is a clearly obvious ruse by the IMF, revealed when the walls of his room fall over and...why was there no roof? It's in a warehouse, he didn't notice there was no roof?
      Well, forget about that! It's time to MEET the SPOILERS! So stop reading now. Lil' Tommy Cruise meets Superman's Mustache, and if you haven't instantly guessed the first "big surprise" double-cross, you haven't seen one of these movies before. (I've seen ONE of these movies before. Everybody double-, triple-, quadruple-crosses until you just sit there thinking "Yeah, I should invest some time into believing this fucker.") Angela Bassett, totally wasted here, is the CIA boss who is a bad guy, a good guy, a really bad guy, and then a good guy again. It really sums up this movie: Nothing means anything. It's just a link to the NONSTOP THRILL RIDE ACTION!! that is this movie.
      If someone sat next to you in a theater, and screamed "NONSTOP THRILL RIDE ACTION!!" in your ear, it'd get your attention. If they did it for 150 minutes, you would first get mad, then just get numb and bored. If you have a favorite Marvel movie, think of it now. Was your favorite scene people beating the shit out of each other? Maybe it is. To me, it's the quiet, character-driven moments between the insanity. The beats that make you care about the character. That's what the 2 movies in the IMF franchise are to me--the exact opposite, just some guy screaming "LOOKA ME I EXCITINGS!!!!! NONSTOP THRILL RIDE ACTION!! Also--BLAAAARRRGH!"
      No matter how much Executive Producer Tom Cruise cares about main character Ethan Hunt played by Tom Cruise, I don't. Hey, Tommy, maybe lay off the engrams and not have another scene where a teary-eyed character sobs about how Executive Producer Tom Cruise Ethan Hunt is a perfect angel sent from Heaven? For 3 minutes? Why is that? Tommy Boy, you ever ask yourself why many people find your ego unappealing? Don't ask John Travolta, he doesn't know either.
      There is a scene--it's the 2nd time CIA Angela is now a bad guy--that erupts into a firefight. It's the IMF vs the CIA! Except that half of the bad guys instantly now attack the other bad guys, because absoultely no reason. It's a 3 way! Then...there are immediately, and I mean within seconds, TWO MORE FACTIONS shooting at everybody. Will this be explained? Ever? I leave that to your imagination.
      I should point out that these really aren't spoilers. That would imply that anything means something. Here's your spoiler: NO IT NEVER DOES
      There is no feeling like watching a movie that is hypnotically bad, and yet you wish you'd never rented, like the beginning of the climatic scene! You say "OH THANK YE ODIN TIS BE OVER" And then see--there's HALF a FUCKING HOUR LEFT. It's not a positive feeling, mind you.
      Have you ever done this? The bad guy starts a doomsday red LED clock counting down to the End of the World, and see it's "15 MINUTES" and then check the time it actually takes to end? And there's THIRTY FUCKING MINUTES TO GO? Yes, it's that movie.
      We get constant reminders of how many seconds are left, apparently in dog years. There is no way, as depicted in this movie, that everything could be done in less than an hour. Kill the good guy? No, wrap her up in extreme bondage rope! (that she'll escape from) Kill the bad guy who did it? No, wrap him in extreme bondage rope! (that he'll escape from) Hilarious bit: one of the bad guys (there are several, figure it out yourself which one at this point) decides to die with his "5 megaton nuclear explosion" but tells the other bad guy to fly away in a helicopter to "the safe zone." With 15 minutes left. Look, I'm just going to go with "there is no safe distance from an H-bomb you can reach in 15 minutes in a helicopter," but the copters are shown flying at about 30MPH, and...7 miles away don't sound so safe. You'd think they'd fly as fast as possible, but Tommy needs to run with his weird arm-flailing thing and jump on, and...Oh god, this movie is bad. The bad kind of bad. They win at the litera--the literal--last second, and if I may quote myself from 20 years ago, "It's about as exciting as watching a microwave count down. Oh no, will my Hot Pocket be done?!"



      I watched Ant-Man and the Wasp for the second time, and enjoyed it a lot more. First time, it seemed like it was trying too hard to be the first movie. But I always did love the fact that there's no real bad guy. The idea that Receding Hairline Man is as close as it gets is only beaten out by the fact that every problem stems from Dr Hank Pym being a bridge-burning asshole. And I came across this:


      "So, there's this rich guy, right, 10 years ago? Terrorists have kidnapped him, I mean REAL bad dudes, and he's held in a cave by these guys, and he's got nothing but some pots and pans, he don't even got floss, and if you saw this guy's teeth you'd say "Whoa, there's a flosser!" So he builds an iron suit, right, out of like a calculator and a rice cooker, and--"
      "And he punches this Nazi right in the face, and he's 'MAN! Is that your face? That don't look healthy! Try some SPF 1000 or something!' And this Nazi, well he's pissed, because Nazis, they're all the time mad about something, and--"
      " he's all, DAAAMN, here I am with this space racoon and some talking Chia pet, who is like, verbose, you know? Verbose tree? And then, this like Kree guy comes up and..."
      "Aaaand--SNAP! Man, asshole, right?"

      I got in the car and the iPod was drained. I've been having trouble with it since I switched out the used-so-long the wires are-exposed connection. is it the wire, or the Pod, or--why would the power drain? I turned the key, and--the battery was dead. Again!
      So I called Larry's, the place that I gave a 5-star Yelp review to after last time. Larry, or whoever runs and/or owns the place, turned up in some mid-80s "luxury car," aka "a tank." He said "Is that your radio playing?" He got in and said "Your lights are bright...hmm. Try turning it over." I did, and the car didn't. He was genuinely puzzled. He checked the battery, which was fine, but gave it a jump anyway. I turned the key and said "OH MY GOD! I...think I just figured it out!" And I used the fucking electronic fucking deadbolt that I have to disable every fucking time I use the fucking car. Distracted by the iPod, I'd forgotten to, and I literally face-palmed.
      Not. Embarassing. At All.
      The avuncular Larry Guy tried not to laugh. "Hey, it happens! We can remove those beep-beep things." (He twice referred to the deadbolt as the "beep-beep thing," and said how much he hated them)
      I said as he left, "Should I follow you back? How much do I owe you?" He laughed and said "Nothing! We take care of you guys."
      Can you give 6 stars on Yelp?


      I got the recall on my Honda's airbags done. Again! Somehow I ended up with it having to be done twice, because some of the first ones had the defective bags replaced with defectvie bags. I'm not sure how they knew this. (KYOTO HONDA FACTORY: "Sakamoto! The airbags you sent to the USA--did you take them from the box marked 'BAD BAGS' or the one marked 'GOOD'?!" Sakamoto: "....Goooood?" [quits during lunch break])
      At first I thought it was a clerical error, but Honda assured me that I was "one of 685 cars worldwide affected." I can buy a Powerball ticket, but this is the lottery I win.
      It was free. I sat there with my Kindle. I can't see without glasses, but I can barely read with them if I'm reading anything close to my face. ("The World Without Us," if you're curious) I glanced up every 5 minutes or so, as Kindle kinda doesn't like my eyeballs. Every time I did, there was a women with her back to me, but her face staring right at me. Why? Got me. I couldn't see. She was wearing glasses, so you think that'd be a thing she understood. Around the 3rd time, I thought maybe she worked at Stop & Shop, just not enough that we ever talked? Like 9 months ago? I'll never know. She got up after 15 minutes and left. Strange.
      Strange: I stocked up on food at S&S literally one dang hour before went on strike. I almost wish I'd stayed at that awful job, just so I could go on strike.
      When my car was finished, I had to dash across 4 lanes of traffic on the busiest road in town to get home. I saw the leading edge of the traffic island exactly late enough to slam into it and think "Please tires, don't burst." I got home, checked the tires, knew I had enough air to maybe make it to Larry's Auto a mile away, hit every light for the maximum amount of time, and did just barely make it. So, a 3rd visit there in a month because I'm stupid, and another $139. Just the tire. They didn't charge me labor! I wonder if this is because I left a good Yelp review, or this is just how they do business. (They've been in business 40 years, and Yelp has only existed for 39 years, so I guess both)

      Sick burns from History

      Speaking of history--it's retro time!

      Is this the best 80s music video ever made? Possibly, there was nothing in the redacted report to say that it isn't! It does not say if the guy has more than 2 arms, not anywhere, okay, so it does, there, and there, and...NO! We'll just keep saying he has 2 arms, and you'll believe it!


      Okay, not sure why that suddenly stopped playing...the url is here. Also, that is exactly how I dance at weddings.

      A certain redacted report made me think of The Blurb Racket. I once saw a movie poster that gave enthusiastic quotes from both Siskel and Ebert. I said "I saw that review! They HATED this movie!" The movie company just redacted what they didn't want people to hear about it. S&E even did a segment on it.
      Which I couldn't find, despite relentlessly searching all the way through the first Google results. I did find what, to me, is a great nostalgia fest. A whole trove of their "Worst Movies Of..." programs. Movies you've never heard of, movies you probably have. These guys were never funnier than when they argued whether something was good or bad, or when they agreed "THIS SUCKS!"



      I like how the end of the first one, there's a brief, incredulous mention that Eddie Murphy and Dudley Moore could make a bad movie. Oh, to be so young and innocent...

      Of course, Redactoachella isn't over. I have to admit that the fake idea of Fake News is brilliant in its evil. As the saying goes, there are 2 ways to be stupid: Believe everything you hear, or disbelieve everything you hear. Trump found a third way: Believe everything he says, and call the rest fake news. He could've solved his whole Wall Crisis just by saying "We built it, it's done, because we built it until it was done!" and his followers would just nod into their Coors. So I bet they'll do what they've done, alternate between "witch hunt" and "Exonerated, no collusion delusion, no obstruction dysfunction!"
      What they should do is just move on and hope that everyone forgets. But Mr Twitchy Twitter Fingers won't. He's going to be like a guy who puts laundry detergent into the dishwasher, and when it floods the kitchen with bubbles, tries to stop the flood by pouring gasoline on the dishwasher and lighting it, and then when the fire spreads to the house, tries to put the house fire out by ramming the house with his car, and when his defective Honda airbag inflates so explosively that it throws him through the back windshield, and he flies a mile and a half, goes through an electric fence and lands in the pig farm, stands up in the sty, wipes the mud from his eyes, licks his lips and says "Oh, that's pig shit alright, doesn't taste like dogshit at all," and then he says "I know exactly who made the mistake here. Time for me to sue the guy who invented dishwashers!"
      "Then I will start my next most successful business ever out of all my great bankruptcies," (holds up something deep-fried on a stick) "CORN DOG SHITS!" (begins chewing and nodding) "Now THIS is dogshit!" (keeps chewing) " I like eating shit? Too late to back down now!" (also eats the stick)


      "Pics or it didn't happen!" But the pics from my sister's phone came out as gibberish code, like
      7dExifII* (12i%&samsungSAMSUNG-SM-G935AHHG935AUCS9CSB12019:04:21 16:20:31px"'Ȑ0220     |bXt 0100      LHD' O&aUaUaUaUP`3aUqUqfafafafafafa"
      Yeah, let me get that pic framed.
      This is really because I don't know to use these new-fangled "no-telegraph Morse code Edison-mabobs," and being old, have little desire to. So...Guess it didn't happen.
      The Ponytail Eternal was now one big knot. I tried teasing out, with a fucking pencil, because it was as thick as a Viking helmet. This led to one of 2 results: Lots of hair coming out with the knots, or the deknotted result looking like some bouffed-out afro puff.
      So I got it cut off.
      It was Easter, and haircuts are FREE! when you have a sister who loves to do them and is a registered hairdresser, and yes, I could've had my hair cut for free most of my adult life. But I liked the tail. We'd spent 26 years together! But it got as matted as a feral cat's fur over just the course of 6 months. I heard "Wash your hair every day, but don't shampoo if it doesn't need it," so I only did it on work days. Then, I didn't work anymore, so you can guess how that worked out. Sister Pat: "You don't need shampoo every day. But you need conditioner."
      My ponytail was once 2 feet long and wide as a 1950s tie. But the Knot swallowed it. It looked like I was some Aquaman character, with the back of my head covered with a horseshoe crab that was sucking all my hair into itself. My tail was a foot long and a scraggly inch wide. I remembered when it was still growing 25 years ago, and saw a guy with what I immediately classified as "the ultimate Denial Do." He was as bald as a Shaolin monk over all of his head, except for his ponytail. You old enough to remember 80s rat-tails? It was less impressive than those. It was the thickness of a Number 2 pencil, but 2 feet long, and moussed to the point that it looked like a pencil. It stuck straight out, parallel to the ground in a way that might actually work as evidence for the Flat Earth. Then, in the last 2 inches, drooped down. No doubt it stuck out like a...a...I don't know. I should call David Attenborough and ask "What's that animal with a toothpick dick that's all droopy at the business end?" but he never answers my calls. I stared at his hair's trained eathworm, and said "If my tail ever looks like that, it's gone!"
      After Easter brunch, and if you have any homeless friends, Jeez, I have no idea how much food my family throws out at these events. There were 9 people, and enough for twice that amount. "Bill, you want some bagels? We have like 12 left over." "Sure," I shrugged. He plopped down an obviously heavy bag. Did he give skinny me all 12? At home, I found that No, it was only half that, plus some gourmet cream cheese and a big plate of mac & cheese! I suppose I'll get my American citizenship taken away, but I hate mac & cheese. Why he gave it to me, who has never eaten any at any family gathering, is a mystery. And when I say "at home," it was 18 hours later, just wrapped on a paper plate with foil at room temperature. yeah. I'm eatin' that. I hate mac & cheese, but I sure love salmonella!
      Sister Pat and I went to her house--already set up for haircuts, as 2 of her sons were at Easter--and did her best. She got the tail off, three blind mice style, and said "Yeah. We need to go my salon, and goop this up with conditioner."
      Lucky it was Easter and they were closed! It took almost two hours for her to get that knot out. When I walked in and saw myself in the mirror, I said "It's like I have a man bun without a bun!" My hair was in the exact shape it had been with the ponytail holder in. Then I took a look at what she'd done up till then and said "THAT'S a good look! 'Marty, we need to go back in Time!'"
      She took pictures to send my Mom, who was never a fan of my long hair. I asked her to send them to me.


      Obvious Plant Products

      What is with this weird new Cracked censoring thing? "F**k," sure whatever. But there've been 3 articles since Saturday that changed "h**o". In one, it's homosexual. Saturday, it was "h**o sapiens" and "h**ogeneous," which even isn't pronounced that way. I really had to think hard as to why in this article it's spelled "sus**cious". I mean, "pi"? Ohhh.riiighht... This is the type of stupid thing Cracked would usually make fun of. If you're offended by "cons**cuous", you're reading the wrong website. There was another article about "Stars who hated on their fans," that had some sportsball coach use "an f-bomb every 3.8 seconds," which it quoted in full. Weird: it edited "f**cking", but not the first word in his diatribe, which was "FUCK." This brilliant Skynet tech can be defeated by ALL CAPS.
      They seem to have fixed it, if today's lack of "s**cy" is any clue. If I'd seen that, I think that I'd still be wondering what they were censoring, because in context, my brain easily could've decided it was "saucy," not "spicy."

      MST3K has a number of antecedents. People have been making fun of bad media since media was invented, but I think the 1966 "movie" What's Up Tiger Lily? would be a true progenitor. It took an existing Japanese 007 rip and redubbed it with goofy dialog. I'd guess it's true parent was 1982's It Came from Hollywood. It was some TV stars making fun of bad movies, complete with little skits between them.
      One I'd forgotten about until just now is 1979's J-Men Forever. A couple of Firesign Theater guys took a bunch of RKO serials, mashed them together, and redubbed them. So it's the Tiktaalik in this evolutionary chain.
      I thought it was funny! Although I watched it as intended, Very f**king Stoned. The first 10 minutes isn't in the best of shape, as it's taped directly onto VHS from basic cable. But it quickly improves. I would say it was taped within a week before 22 February 1985 . Friday the 15th, Sat 16th, or Fri 22nd. As--and here's the best part--that's when the Jeff Godblum movie Into the Night hit theaters. It doesn't just have all the ads, it was recorded from USA's Night Flight! With announcer Pat Prescott! And the ads, outside of that Goldblum one, aren't repeated. And are so 1985.
      So take your favored muscle relaxant and watch it. Added bonus: it includes Lance and LINDA from Manhunt on Mystery Island, in the amazing cliffside enema scene. (don't worry; she's okay)


      Blond lady, I said, "DON'T WORRY"!


      I finally watched a movie I'd put off seeing for decades, Breakfast at Tiffany's. I'd always heard that it was a very good movie, except for That One Thing. Which certainly isn't Audrey Hepburn, as charming as possible here. Or George "future A-Team guy" Peppard as her love interest. Or the fact that, in 1961, they're both sex workers. (Although the male-female pay gap is evident--Audrey's always trying make ends meet, and George gets the modern equivalent of $2500 making ends with his meat) And it's certainly not the cat, Cat! A big orange meatloaf himself.
      If you have seen the movie, or like me, avoided it because you heard about That One Thing, you know it's Audrey's neighbor. He's Japanese!
      Actually, he's Mickey Rooney, and about as Japanese as Irish soda bread washed down with whiskey. In 1961, Hollywood had just gotten over blackface, but they still had yellowface. And redface for native Americans, and the same day as I watched this movie, I read an overview of West Side Story. Puerto Rican Rita Moreno, playing a Puerto Rican, had to wear brownface to make her look more Puerto Rican.
      If you look at that picture, he's got a kerosene heater. Because he's Japanese! And he has giant Coke-bottle glasses and fucking bubba teeth, and, as one might guess from his facial expression, all the calmness that the Japanese are noted for. Also his accent is "So solly, Amelican! YOU DIE YANKEE DOG BANZAAAIII!" Also, the character's entire personality. He sleeps on a tatami mat (He's Japanese!) with a paper lantern (He's Japanese!) hung 6 inches from his face, so he hits it every time he sits up. I myself sleep with a metal desk lamp on my chest, so that it may bash me in the lips if I move. Also, when he hits that paper lamp--and it happens twice--he acts like the pinata is made of fucking cement.
      I really wanted to see if his character was essential to the movie. He's in it not 5 minutes, and every time it's to complain that Audrey's having a loud party. The first 2 times, it affects nothing. The 3rd, he calls the cops. Audrey and Hannibal look out the window, expecting Mr T jumping a van, and see the cops arrive. They sneak out without incident. Mr Tojo has no relevance to the plot at all. Audrey could've said "My neighbors must have called the cops!" it would've served the exact same story purpose. If a character can literally be reduced to 7 words of throwaway dilaog, why's he in the script at all? LORD OF THE RINGS, Frodo: "Wow, this Sauron is a real asshole!" (MOVIE ENDS)
      The director is to blame, not Rooney. He's Blake Edwards, best known for directing the Pink Panther movies and then, tragically, directing more Pink Panther movies. He tends towards slapstick. I guess he thought this was funny. I wonder if author Truman Capoat did. (In the trailer, his name is pronounced like it rhymes with "goat")
      I tried to think "Wasn't there a movie that I liked Mickey Rooney in?" It took a while, but yes there was. He was Nelson "Stubby Index Finger" Stool in Evil Roy Slade. This was a TV movie that was a comedy Western, and sort of a G-rated Blazing Saddles--and came out two years before the Mel Brooks movie did. So if anybody ripped off someone else, it wasn't Evil Roy Slade.
      Who is evil, nasty, and greedy, and played by John Astin. If anyone can play a hilarious and lovable sociopath, it's the actor who was Gomez Addams. I thought that this was the funniest movie I'd ever seen in 1972. Watching it again, I still LOL'd. It does a very tricky bit of comedy, the Callback. Make a funny joke, then half an hour later, refer back to it in a way that builds the joke, and it's even funnier.
      Nothing's more personal that humor. If you aren't laughing before the opening credits, maybe pass. Maybe sit aound the campfire, singin' that song about the Stubby Index Finger.




      Modern "Beauty" Products. All of these look like something that if the 15th century had plastic, would be used in conversations that were largely "CONFESS YOU ARE A WITCH!"

      The Vernon Historical Society had its annual book sale. I bought 5 50c CDs of new agey stuff, and a couple of DVDs. Ones that I'd rented so much that I might as well buy them for $2. One was Looney Tunes: Back in Action, which is really funny on the surface, and every time I see it, I find a new easter egg. (One I got the 2nd time around: a shot in Paris that includes Toulouse-Lautrec with a naughty lady, and a Red Balloon) The other was basically the only good superhero movie before Marvel came along, X2, the 2nd X-Men movie. Superhero movies largely died with X3, the one where Magneto is just plain an asshole. He abandons Mystique?! Bullshit, call I! I think this quote I found sums that entire movie up nicely: "Some time later, on a road somewhere, a convoy is escorting a large truck somewhere." Yeah baby, what's memorable about that movie can best be summed up as "something somewhere. Truck, I guess?"
      I finally saw "Avengers: The Big Hoopty-Doo". Because the internet now considers a movie that comes out on Friday something you can scream about on Monday. Saying "SPOILERS!" is a good warning, if you don't include any fucking spoiler in the article's headline. One I saw was "About So-&-so's ending," and it's a time travel movie, okay, I figured it out from that. If you've seen it, you probably know which character I'm talking about.
      Well, HERE COMES A SPOILER! One NO ONE'S GIVEN AWAY YET! Buckle your socks, because here it comes! Better rip your own eyes out, Oedipus! HERE COMES THE SPOOOILER TRAAAAIN!
      The Hulk is bi!!
      Yes! Banner once had the hots for Black Widow, because who can blame him, right? ScarJo's my Chris Evans' ass! But now he's dating a male guy of the masculine kind! I know, it's not only unbelievable, it's Incredible! And unbelievable that Scott "Ant-man" Lang would turn down free food. I mean, he'd be asking for a doggie bag as soon as he's passed that enormous bowl of scrambled eggs.
      Now that I've BLOWN YOUR MIND, "Avengers: It Needed Dinosaurs, Why's There Time Travel and No Dinosaurs" was...something somewhere. It existed. It was there. I had to use the "Reserved Seating" thing for the first time. I went on Discount Day, of course, but there was a fee of $1.70 to...c'mon, really? I pay extra to have a computer do what a human being could in the theater? Whatever, you truck somewhere. The Magic Rune of Scanning disappeared from my government cheese phone as soon as I got the register. I was alarmed that I was going to the 11:55 showing, and there was only an 11:45. She asked me for the credit card I used, said "Oh, here's a number! 101...Oh. This isn't for this theater. This is for Milford."
      Ready to fight with my Captain America haircut, I said "WHA--" and stopped. "I know exactly what happened. What are my options?" Because Steve Rogers would first find an option that didn't involve fighting. There website must've gone not from their Manchester one, but from where my IP was. It thinks I live in New Haven. I've pointed this out before, but in New England, you have a distorted sense of distance. People love to whine about "How there's nothing to doooo here!" when they literally are a 2 hour drive from NYC and Boston, where things may be happening. "What am I going to do in Hartford? There's only 2 art cinemas and a symphony, and a world class art museum! Where's my NASCAR!?"
      She said I could cancel my reservation at the theater on the Moon, and "There's plenty of seats available!" Which...was the whole reason I used the stupid reservation thing anyway. I used my cheesephone to cancel---with 4 minutes to spare!--and got a seat dead center, but about one row closer than I would've liked. Poor me!
      And that was about the most exciting thing about the movie. Really, it was a truck going somewhere. It was always entertaining, never too confusing despite the epic juggling of plots and characters. SPOILER IN YOUR PANTS: Everybody comes back. Except the ones that don't (except one who sure will). I was expecting the usual Marvel comics trope of "Everything goes so back to normal that no one notices" but no, that ain't happening. It'll be interesting to see if this is just ignored, or addressed. I'm going with the former, because holy shit does it raise so many questions.
      In summation, wait to rent it. Or don't pay $1.70 extra.

      Failed Airlines That Were Too Weird for This World

      And now, ALL "THE AVENGERS: TOILET IS NOT FLUSHING" spoilers!!

      CAPTAIN AMERICAS DISCOVERS WHITE CASTLE AND JUST EATS BURGER THE WHOLE OF MOVIE unless that was captain marvel, too many captains for one movie. unless that was the "captain of crunch"
      Black Widow eats a bite of a peanut butter sandwich and is criticized by Tony for getting fat.


       Someone mentioned on Facebook the 1940s comic book version of Frankenstein. It started as a straight horror story. In one, Frankenstein (that's his name, not "the Monster") goes to Nazi Germany and joins the Gestapo. Enjoy your upcoming nightmares! Then, he got his own comic, and it abruptly became a humor strip. And it is BIZARRE. It's funny, which is not a thing you expect from something 70 years old. Given how things were back then, it looks like the artist/writer just started with an idea, and ran with it until he said "I made my page count," and then it just ends. We see Frankenstein fall asleep reading about Noah's Ark, so you know that it'll end with "It was just a dream!" But it doesn't. The artist just goes through every stream of consciousness / non sequitur / "I smoked too many jazz cigarettes" options and bang, done. Despite this being the only Noah story that involves the Ark being sunk by a Nazi U-boat and a hideous aberration against God's creation trying to stop a volcano from erupting by taking a shit in it.
      Yes, that sentence is correct. Also, BEEN DONE BEFORE. That's so ripped off from an episode of "Friends."
      The horror roots still show. I wonder what I would've thought as an Addams Family kid when the "Wax Museum" trope is used, and the coed from the college newspaper gets murdered and then her waxed statue breaks open and her dessicated corpse breaks through. (No, I don't wonder. I would've never read a comic book again) But that's an exception. It's weird and funny, but always WEIRD, and the stories rarely go where you think they would, because the artist sure as hell didn't know.

      Avengers spoiler memes They're not all funny, and...if you haven't seen the movie, don't read them. Man, you do NOT want to know who eats the other half of the peanut butter sandwich! (It's Ant-man--OH GODDAMIT I RUINED THE MOVIE)

      I saw that other spectacular space movie, 2001. The only movie that everyone hates until they get spoilers. (The Monolith is a toaster, and everyone gets free Hot Pockets!) It's a movie I watch with my jaw dropped every time. It's set in some weird alternate universe where the USA decided that spending all our tax money not dropping bombs might be a good idea. Cray-cray, right?!
      I've seen this in theaters enough to know that everyone laughs at the jokes! All 2 of them. 3, if you think Pan Am would be a thing in 2001 (or past the 70s). One, of course, are the instructions for the Zero Gravity Toilet. The other one that always got a laugh--okay, four jokes if you thought "Ma Bell" would have that logo, or exist--is the phone call from Dr Brown to his 5 year old daughter. Everyone laughed when we saw that this phone call--from lunar orbit--cost an astonishing $1.70! Ha ha, phone calls cost a dime! Maybe someday, a whole quarter! I checked and $1.70 in 1967 is $12.93 today. You'd shrug that off in roaming charges. And you're not roaming from the fucking Moon.
      Thing I never noticed before: Why is there so much eating? I used to think "Oh, they're on the Moon, but they complain about sandwiches because the Moon is their new normal." I gradually got, over my literal decades of watching this film, that when the monkeymen discover tools, the first thing they do is kill something for food. The next thing they do, is to kill some other monkeymen over a dirty waterhole. Then, monkeyman throws his bone weapon to the sky and it becomes an orbiting nuclear weapons platform (spoiler?). Now, the monkeymen are the USA and the USSR, fighting over another dirty waterhole, the Moon. Now, it's just...Man, there's a lot of eating in this movie! Obviously, you need to eat to survive, so...I guess we're fighting over the same damn shit? Even nearing Jupiter? Maybe the villain (his name is the THAL-NOS 9000) could be beaten by stuffing a ham sandwich in his drive? It's 2001, so I guess it's a CD-ROM drive, although you might get a slice of American cheese in if it had a 3.5 inch floppy.


      I resisted joining Facebook. I quit it maybe twice, back when everyone was joining it. Now I'm there, as everyone but Trumpers over 65 and Russian bots leaves.
      I joined a handful of Groups. I'm currently on 5. I joined and gave up on bunch. There was the "weird record covers" group that posted the exact same pictures from the first results of Google image search every day, always including "I Like To Blow," which was a bad and obvious Photoshop. And the strange films page, which was divided into thirds: the exact same movies (Eraserhead, Santa Sangre), long forgotten if they were ever remembered DTV no-budget horror movies, and "Here's a movie I saw!" (Someone posted The Last Detail. "How's that weird in any sense?" asked someone. "Well," said the poster, "it was weird when it came out!" Response: "IT WON 3 OSCARS!" I quit when I thought "They'll post Dirty Dancing next," and someone posted a rom-com that was aimed at the same audience) Something called "Rude Comics," which changed its name to "Comics, MOTHERFUCKER!" and was probably quite funny to 13 year old boys.
      I was prodded by MotherZucker to join "Cat for Love." As you might guess from the name, English is not its first language. It has 300K members. Oh, cute cat pics, from all over the world! Uusally.
      Sort of.
      It's mainly from Asian countries, such as India or Malaysia. There's only so long you can read "Why is my Cat sick?" and answer "Take him to the vet!" before you realize that maybe people in some countries can't afford to. Or they've so many people, emergency visits have long waiting lists. Maybe moving to the front of the queue requires a bribe. The group's diagnosis might be the only thing people can do.
      You see a lot of sick cats. Which leads to seeing lots of dead cats. Usually, "Here's my favorite picture." Sometimes, "Here's her cold dead body." I'm not going to judge other cultures' ways.
      Most of it was harmless pics of cute cats. But 300K members and not enough admins, there will be shitposting. One pic I didn't see was caught by FB itself. The image text read "May contain picture of a dead animal." The post itself: "Here is a cat crushed by a cow." Even without an image, I had no interest in investigating that further. I glanced at a comment that said "WHO POSTS SHIT LIKE THIS?! BAN THEM!!!"
      A recent one had a video of an all-white cat, which caught my eye. Also the fact that a gloved hand was removing a tick from her cheek with tweezers. I watched because the cat wasn't flinching. And the tick came out...and out...and OUT...Imagine your head is proportionately the size of a cat's. Put your thumb by your cheek. That's how big this black, scaly, slimy horror was getting pulled from her. It was titled "botfly larvae removal". If that's the size of the larvae, how the fuck big are the flies? Like pigeons? It was only a few seconds, and I thought "Well, the cat seems okay--" and then ANOTHER one started to get pulled from a kitten. There were 4 minutes left to the video! Oh hell I bailed. Who posts shit like this?
      I must've seen that in some 3AM insomnia episode, because my brain deleted it. And then yesterday, some kind soul posted it again. I'd forgotten it before, but even after seeing just enough to remember "The white cat one" I think I may never scrub it from my brain. But I did scrub that group from my feed.

      This sounds short from the title, but it's actually very long, starting in the early 1800s: "The Last Temptation: How evangelicals, once culturally confident, became an anxious minority seeking political protection from the least traditionally religious president in living memory." Fascinating in you'e into American religious history. It shows the progression from the "Postmillenialists" who believed Christ would return after humanity proved it was worthy with a thousand years of peace. They were replaced with the Premillenialists, who think Jesus will come after the world becomes a thousand times worse, and send them to Heaven while killing everyone they don't like. So, fuck all the shit up! No wonder they love Trump. He's better than a red calf born in Jerusalem!


      Smelliest Customer Ever. Yeah, I wasn't there, but I don't know about that. Back in the toy store 30+ years ago, every Xmas the Polish-American Club would come in to buy toys for their wonderful party for poor children. They'd drop $1500 minimum, which was actual money back then. Always 3 guys would come in, 2 who talked, and one who didn't. Who was easily 450 pounds, had a bloated nose that looked like it was either going to fall off his face or explode like a cherry bomb. The literal second they walked in the door, every employee and other customer involuntarily looked at their shoes. He literally smelled like dog shit. And they'd be in the store for an hour. I can only imagine what it was like to be in a car in December with him.

      Can't have abortions past 6 weeks? Here's my idea! At 6 weeks, the father has to pay child support until the kid is 18. Hey, it's not her fault he didn't wear a condom!
      Apparently this new law is impacting tourism down there. I have an idea for that as well!
      "Visit the new Six Flags Over Alabama park! One flag is a Confederate flag, one is the Nazi flag, one is a white flag for surrender, and one is a pit-stained Kid Rock tshirt on a stick because the government there thinks that's a 'flag,' and there are 6 more random ones, because they just kept a-counting until they just runned plain outta fingers. Make sure to visit the pig troughs! It's called 'OUR SENATE'."

      Via Kirk, Fire: The Next Sharp Stick?


      I have nothing to say, but I'm saying it. Time to post links so that I can close some tabs!

      I was going to link to the Doom Patrol pilot, which was available to watch for free. At least, 10 days ago it was. Oops.
      I liked it. This may because it was one of the few DC Comics that I read in my adult comic-booking phase. I was curious as to how they'd depict Mr Nobody. In the comic, he was described as "looking like someone you glanced out of the corner of your eye." The artist pulled this off by making him a Cubist mobile, with some human features but mainly just hovering in space. This was pretty much what they did, except he has an unsettlingly moving mouth. I almost didn't watch it, because I wasn't going to see any more of the show, and as one character says "Another superhero TV show, I know." It's on the DC streaming service, which you can pay for to fill all your endless viewings of Suicide Squad needs. I wouldn't subscribe to a Marvel streaming service if there was one.
      Oh right there is. Disney+. Yeah, let me pay a fee every month to watch one Star Wars and 2 Marvel movies a year. It'd be cheaper to watch them in the theater. My plan is to wait 6 or 12 months, sign up for a month, watch everything I can, then cancel. And I still have yet to get the answer: All the Netflix Marvel and Disney material will be gone from Netflix streaming. What about the DVDs? Is Disney going to buy them back, or prevent them from renting them? That'd be evil. But this is Disney. About 15 years ago they came up with a DVD technology that would let you play one for 3 times, and then it would turn itself into inert landfill. This somehow failed to take off. The DVDs were much cheaper than regular ones, but I know from 3 sisters that little kids want to watch the same damn movie every damn day.
      And now that everybody has or is getting their own streaming service--isn't that why people cancelled cable and got streaming? So they don't have to pay for channels they'll never watch? Maybe somebody wants to pay for cable and 10 streaming Our Content Only services, but I'm not that Mr Somebody.

      Send your name to Mars!
      Usually when you see a headline that describes some online comics as "Brillaint!" or "Hilarious!" it's just clickbait, and the comics are inert landfill. However, I thought these are worth your wasted time.
      Dogs on the 4th
      Nathan Pyle

      Focus your glims, Gates and Barbecues, and bust your conk on some 1948 era jive slang. Bible, it's blip!

      Moving onto more serious stuff: The People Who DontAnd Sometimes CantForget

       The Bitter Life Of A Shattered Jockey: A Mostly True Story



      "Does a hobby horse have a wooden dick?"
      One of those "I forgot that was in my queue" Netflix movies: Road House. Is it the worst movie ever? No. (carnival barker points at curtain: "See, if you can bear it, the sight of the only man to ever watch Food Fight!--TWICE! And yet--HE LIVES!") Is it the dumbest movie ever? Hell yeah. As I stated in my previous review of like, umm, 10 years ago or something, it's a Mary Sue fanfic written by a suburban 14 year old boy whose entire concept of the Adult World comes from sneaking down at 1AM to watch Cinemax at Night. The concept: Patrick Christmas Swayze is a world famous bouncer. NAME THE SECOND ONE. Yes, this is a world where beating up drunks means you get $500 a day. This is a world where "I heard that he once ripped a guy's throat out with his bare hands!" is foreshadowing. A world where a dive bar in rural Kansas can afford $500 a day, despite having literally every piece of furniture and glassware smashed every night. A world where the bar's named "The Double Deuce," which sounds like hipster place that only serves laxatives. A world where that can be turned around, and make it the hot spot of the jet set in 3 fucking days. A world where the bad guy owns the local cops, but apparently there are no state cops, because multiple arsons wih explosions and a monster truck smashing through car dealerships okay, you got the picture.
      Motivations change not from scene to scene, but even within scenes. A hero who is an asshole, who all the men want to kill, and all the women want to sexy with at first sight. Dialogue that only "Plan 9" can rival in "What did they just say?" and a plot that only "Gymkata" can rival in "Wait...I mean...WHAT?!" A guy who gets his throat ripped out (by hand) who needs a few seconds to figure it out he's dead.
      It's dumb, I'm saying. One of those very, very few movies that are "So bad it's good" that actually are. Get some frosty beverages, some friends, and some snacks and you won't need any wisecracking robots. It's that dumb.

      Okay, kind of an Avengers spoiler, if you count the one from a year ago.
      Watching Captain America: The FIrst Avenger, I thought "Huh. In the original comic about the Cube, the Red Skull seems to disintegrate, but it turns out he got teleported somewhere."
      So in Avengers: Son of Flubber, Thanos meets the Skull on the planet of the Soul Stone. I went "Huh. Well, I guess I got that right."
      So my first thought as Avengers: What If It'd Been an Infinity Shoe, huh, THEN WHAT?! Cap has to go back and return the Stones to their original places in the time stream. This means the Soul Stone had to go to...
      FLOATING RED GUY: "Welcome, Steven, Son of --ACH MEIN GOTT! SCHEISSE! SCHEISSE! Um--I...don't believe we have met before."
      Steve says nothing, just shifts his shield..
      "Um...Whoa, nice frisbee! You may be confusing me with my cousin. I am...the...Magenta...Boner."
      PAANG! with the shield in the bony face. Steve: "I can keep doing this FOR ALL OF TIME."

      I may see Godzilla on discount day. But, second movie, and you're already doing Destroy All Monsters (that was groovy!), Godzilla: Final Wars (that was...not groovy) and Shin Godzilla (hilarious, but fans only)?

      Here's proof that every movie is improved by adding Godzilla
       Non-Toho Kaiju movies
       The 13 Most Ridiculous Things About The Godzilla Franchise

      I flipped my Alley Cat Allies TNR claendar over to June. I thought "I wonder what day the 16th falls on? It's Kill Kill's birthday."
      It's Father's Day.

      If you follow me on Facebook, you've read this, but here it is for my easy reference.

      If you live here in New England, you know the grocery store Stop & Shop. If you know Stop & Shop, you know Marty. It's the robot with glued-on googly eyes that wanders around. The dopey eyes were added in the hope that it "wouldn't frighten children." I worked there when the thing was first rolled out, and yeah, little kids were terrified of this fucker.
      First thing I heard today when I walked in to shop was "Clean Up in Aisle 21. Clean Up in Aisle 21." Stupid robot, I think. I deposit a check into the ATM, and I keep hearing "Clean Up in Aisle 21. Clean Up in Aisle 21." I go to buy some frozen food, and hear "Obstacle Detected. Obstacle Detected." I glance over, and at the end of the aisle (which is Aisle 21) there's Marty. Marty has bumped itself against a floor display. Marty expects the display to move. Why should Marty move? What's next, Marty opening some goddamn pod bay doors?
      "Obstacle Detected. Obstacle Detected." Nobody has come. I've been in the store 10 minutes by now. Now, Marty informs any nearby fleshbag "Obstculo Detectado. Obstculo Detectado." Hey, World's Dumbest Dalek, maybe I only speak Dutch! Say "obstakel gedetecteerd" and I'll be right there.
      Funny thing: I started laughing, and every other shopper just pretended Malfunctioning Braniac wasn't even there, calling out for help. I know where the reset switch is on these things, but I'm not responsible for R2D-fective. I left after 20 minutes and there was still a clean-up on Aisle 21. Apparently, the employees would rather hear Marty whine than give it any aid.
      This technology is what corporate America wants to replace its workers with. A thing that walks into walls, and then gets mad at the wall.


      Totally unrelated facts:
       1: Your Favorite President was in the UK, where he had a big Twitter meltdown over "washed-up Psycho" and "sick scammer" Bette Midler.
      2: The next day "When the president left, to polite applause, dancers took the stage and swung into a high-energy performance to "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy," the wartime hit by The Andrews Sisters."
      3: What was the song that launched Midler to fame in the 70s? What an unplanned coincidence!
      I've always heard that the people of the British isles can brutally yet politely insult Americans right to their faces, and the Yanks smile and nod because we're too dumb to even notice. Maybe that's true! Like HRH giving him the gift of a book. The crestfallen look on his face was perfect. "Churchill? What deals did he art?!" was the abridged version. Snap! Don: "The...History of....W W Eye Eye by... THIS GOES ON FOREVER!" (throws book with all his might; it lands 1 foot away) "ERIC! Push the book to my foot so that I can kick it across the room!" (kick!) "YEAH! It went 2 whole inches! An entire erect penis length!"

      How did Gozilla stand in that iconic poster shot?

      A neural net tries to name shelter cats.

      I wrote my Mom "Next time we have lunch, I would like something from the toddler cookbook."


      I always think "I should update my page. It's been like 3 days" and it always turns out to be a week. Time flies when you're unemployed and have terrible insomnia and you can't percieve its passage!

      Hey, remember when I used to post about Chuck "Asswipe" Asay, the crazy right wing political cartoonist? Or when it was comics of Ferd'nand the Unexplainable? Well--here's both!
      Mallard Fillmore is a strip that may appear in your local newspaper, which is like the web but the links never click right. This is about a duck blankly staring at the reader, talking without his duck lips moving. Is he using telepathy? If he is, does he not notice what people think about sentient bipeds who go out in public with no pants?
      The strips look like they were done, from first idea to finished product, in less than 10 minutes. Mallard hates more than anything welfare bums and socialists who want everything for free! Which is funny, what with him being a welfare bum who gets money for doing nothing. The Reverend Moon decided he wanted a comic that would be the opposite of Doonesbury, which has a liberal perspective but is largely apolitical. It's well drawn, beautifully written, consistently funny with most of the humor coming from well-developed characters.
      The Reverend Moon succeeded! He got a strip that was the exact opposite.
      I loved politcal cartoons as a kid. Every so often they're be a slow news day, and the paper would run an interview with their cartoonist. They always made the same point: "I have ideas all day, but I don't draw one until an hour before the paper goes to bed. You don't want to do one about a change in parking regulations and wake up to a war."
      This is not an issue with Dullard Failmore. He is nothing but "What they were talking about on Fox News...three WEEKS ago." So there are refs and "jokes" that are puzzling to anyone outside that bubble. I might go "Umm...what--oh right. Obama wore a tan suit 3 weeks ago. That's news." It can be embarassing, as when Fox decided that The Most Important Headline was Michelle Obama's inaugural bangs. Fox dropped that immediately, as probably even their viewers knew it was stupid. 3 weeks later, here's our duck spending 3 days on it. Or he'll do one about "Gun violence is not a problem!" and it runs 2 days after the Las Vegas shooting. Or "There's no racism in America!" a week after the news is all about some blatantly racist police murder. Most cartoonists would race to stop these being published. Not Mallard! No matter what he does, the cold dead hand of Moon will send him a paycheck from whatever Hell Korean billionaires go to.
      Did I mention he's a fucking hack? 90% of his stripes is that duck, staring. His best was about Obama: "I have the most transparent presidency in history!" Besides the word balloon, it literally was blank. Whew, that took a lot of work! And...if I can't see Obama...that means he's transparent...JOKE FAIL. It defeats it's own premise, the one stated in 8 words.
      "There's no racism in America!" on Monday will inevitably be followed on Weds by "Well, there is, and lots, but only against straight white male Christian Republicans!" and bang, Friday will be "How come THEY can say the N-word and I CAN'T?!"
      In the last few years, even this moron has realized that maybe this isn't a good long-term investment of his minimal skills. So he's tried to pivot from "WHAT LOU DOBBS SCREECHED LAST MONTH!" to some sort of gag-a-day strip. If you've been wondering how Ferd'nand ties into this, here's a recent one:


      Explain this to me. Explain it to yourself. I googled, and this means nothing. Did Laura Ingraham talk 3 weeks ago about dropping cookies? Does it mean anything? Here's another attempt from the same week:


      God, I hope he drew this as a gift for his wedding anniversary.
      "I drew this for you!"
      "Why, thank y--I give you the shits?!"
      "UMM--no no no, it's not about you!"
      "Your wife is not one of your MANY relationships?!"
      In 3 weeks: Mallard drunk and listening to country music in an empty house.
      I'm sure the merchandising deals are ready to roll in!


      Hey, maybe I can get a job! If the guy who Photoshopped this did!


      It's GiraTodTang-Woman! She was bitten on the neck by a radioative giraffe, a radioactive toddler on her right arm, and an orangutang on her left arm! Her power is the inability to eat a slice of pizza. Just as well. All her weight goes to her head.

      I spent some time typing this up for a Brian Eno Facebook group, and why waste that effort?

       I really, really don't want to type this out. I couldn't find it online, despite using Google AND Bing for like 2 pages in. It's in a font that an ant crawling across it would say "I can't read this! For once, I wish there WAS a magnifying glass!" (See, little kids burn ants with--nevermind) So you'd better like it! Send it to your undereducated Grandpa who thinks Eno is something dumb like fruit salts and 7 types of Friskies. What does HE know?
       It's from the Sony Eno box's Vocals 3-pack-plus-booklet from c.1994. There will be an occasional [interruption] by me.
       INTERVIEWER: Is it possible to answer a really good question in one word?
       ENO: Yes.
       I: You have 32 words to answer the question--who are you?
       E: I call myself an artist, which means I work in several different media. I make videos, installations,soundtracks, records, and I am also a record producer. I lecture in America and Europe on culture.
       [we're all friends here, so just admit: you went back and counted every word in that answer. If you didn't--it's 32]
       I: You have 12 words to answer this question--are you pretentious?
       E: I don't know if I'm pretentious or not. I don't really care.
       I: You have seven words to answer--what is a boring question?
       E: A boring, I'll start again on that. One to which, start again. One to which you know the answer. Shall I do that one again? It was rather a good answer.
       [up till this point, I assumed this interview was conducted by using one of those crazy new-fangled inventions, "email" or "chats" or "the tele-maphone" or "writing it on the back of a dinosaur and spanking it in the general direction of the interviewer." Then it hit:
       He's doing this in real time. He's giving perfect answers while *keeping track of the word count.* My respect for him grew 3 sizes that day]
       I: It was a good answer.
       E: I'll do it again, then, because I didn't start it well.
       I: What is a boring question?
       E: One to which you already know the answer.
       I: Thank you. You now have 8 words to answer: Is this a boring question?
       E: I guess not because I really don't know.
       I: Teetered on the edge of brilliance, that reply.
       E: It did didn't it. It teetered on the edge of one of those complicated logical paradoxes. I wish I could think of a better answer, though. Oh, I know the answer...
       I: You have nine words?
       E: eight...
       I: You actually have 8 words to answer the question--Is this a boring question?
       E: There must be a good answer to this.
       I: You have twelve words to answer the question: which is the best answer to a question you have ever given?
       E: The very best answer I ever gave was over 200 words long.

      And the next day, someone on the group posted this video. It has several of the same questions, so maybe it was the finished aired interview. It's half an hour, but both the interviewer, Paul Morley, who from context seems to be a comedian trying something new (and doing well at it). It's not LOL, but it's always fun and worth watching if it interests you at all.




      I was back and forth on seeing Godzilla: King of the Monsters after the reviews. The visuals were said to be great, the story just kind of there. I finally decided to see it in the theater. It's only the 4th Godzilla movie I've seen that way. The others being the first one in this series, a free showing of the Japanese Godzilla 2000, and a Rifftrax of that horrible first American one. I decided to go on discount day, as it looked like it wan't going to even be in theaters much longer. It opened bad--not as bad as Dark Phoenix or Men in Black--and in a week went from 11 showings to 4. One showing was way too early at 10, and the next way too late at 4:20. Was that deliberate?
      I don't get "reserved seating." I picked my seat when I got there, being maybe 1 row farther back than I'd like. The seats in the 2 rows I wanted were full. Full with 3 people each when it started. Do people reserve seats just to cancel at the last minute?
      I won't give any spoilers, because there really weren't any. The complaint about the first movie was "too few monsters." I saw the trailer for this, and thought "Bet the new complaint is "Too many monsters." I'd call it "Too many humas." All the dialog is dumb and bland, and the story goes exactly where you think it always will. Who even is this main character, who bosses everyone around when he's not whining? The human bad guys are eco-terrorists, and their plan is to save the world by destroying it. Sure, makes sense. The boss is followed by an elite group of murderous soldiers, and what does he pay them? When all of humanity is dead, what good's money?
      We get an explanantion for how monsters travel so fast: the Earth is Hollow! Thanks for answering a question no one asked. Doesn't going down miles to some tunnels and then climbing out of them make it slower than traveling on the surface? Since 3 of the 4 monsters can fly at supersonic speed, why just say "Godzilla just swims real fast, OKAY?!" Try maybe explaining how 400 foot high monsters don't get crushed through the Inverse Square Law.
      Boston is evacuated--apparently in about an hour--to Fenway. Which apparently doesn't count as "in Boston," and has a much greater seating capacity than I would guess. This is to not make a Green Monster joke. Maybe even this movie thought it was too obvious.
      If you like Godzilla, it's good enough to rent.


      If I had something to say, I'd say it. I don't have much.

      Last year, NOAA predicted that the Northeast Atlantic states would become the Pacific Northwest. Chilly and rainy. There was a month-plus when that's all it did. I hoped that this would be the first summer in 18 years when I didn't have to run the AC.
      It was a mild day with little humidity. I did my periodic check on the cats. Byron was hyperventilating! A full in-an-out every second, if not faster. I got up to check on him, and he opened his jaws as wide as he could. This is only good when a kitten plays too hard, because all that happens is they fall asleep. I googled quickly, and saw that there were no other good reasons. I shoved the AC in the window as quick as I could and turned it on. After 15 minutes, he was still going, but his face said that at least he was more comfortable. It took 2 hours for his breathing to go back to normal.
      I have no idea why this happened, but the AC has stayed on ever since. I don't want to lose another one...

      I watched every second of the Democratic debates. Every second that Stephen Colbert and Seth Meyers said. (it's on YouTube)
      IMO, Warren won the first and Harris steamrolled the second.
      Losers: Beto. I knew he'd whip out the Espagnol at some point, but in the second sentence? At least Booker and Castro used it in proper context. Then that Telemundo moderator asked him a question, and you could smell the brain cells burning. Freshman Spanish does not qualify you for president. He bought into the media hype from his failed run against Cruz. I'm sure some commentator said "He could be president someday!" That's said about every male candidate who's young, good-looking and has charisma. That doesn't mean you're John Kennedy. He certainly proved he can't strategize. I would have said "I almost beat one of the most powerful Republicans! Another Texas senator's up for re-election, I'll bet I could beat him! Then maybe I can run for president in 2024 or 2028!" Nope, he wants it now now now! Only 4 months ago he was #3 in the polls. He went into the debate in the single digits. I felt he came across as shallow and incapable of thinking on his feet.
      Biden got stomped by Harris. Did he really think no one would bring up his praise of segregationists? Best part of that praise: "[The racist senator] never called me 'boy'." Why, were you a black man back then? As Harris spoke, he stared at the lectern, then doubled down. He listed 3 reasons why what he said was okay, although 2 were the same thing. Then he cut himself off, because that's all he had.
      Obviously, I'll vote for whoever runs against Trump, but "better than Trump" is literally the lowest bar even as a human being. Of course, all but 6 of them haven't the nearest shred of winning the nomination. The bottom tier is vying for veep or a cabinet position, unless they're just running because of ego. Hopefully they'll drop out after the next debates, which aren't until September, sigh.
      "You're not the water, you're the faucet.": Quotes from Marianne Williamson, candidate and senator from the great state of Space.


      Ram the ramparts! Take the airports! We must win the Revolutionary War of 1812!
Breakdown of Trump's 4th of July Failures


      Pets converted into Pokemon. My knowledge of Pokemons / Pokemen / Pokemany clearly doesn't extend to pluralizations, or anything, period. It's amusing and the art and photos are cute. But there are 56 of them, so it wears its welcome out eventually.
      Waaaay back in the distant mists of time, I wrote an epic series of one post about my adventures as the world's most disgusting superhero, the Vomiteer. My sidekicks were Wonder Kills and her Super-Cuteness Disarming Attack, and Ferret Boy's Berserker Mode. I have no idea what DJ's power could be, except to keep me from falling asleep at night.
      And after TEN DAMN YEARS, he finally seems to have stopped doing that. My insomnia has been the worst I've ever had, and so I started shoving him away when he'd lick my face. Not to the floor, but head-over-heels onto the bed an arm's length away. I mean, it's not hard, DJ. If I'm on my stomach, I'm trying to sleep; if on my back, just waiting to be tired enough to sleep. But he seems to have figured it out.

      I'm almost embarassed to admit this after 16 years with him. Cats have 5 toes on their front paws, 4 in back. Byron Bigfoot has 5 in back, and 5 1/2 in front. Well, he did. They were in the center of his paw pad, a single knuckle with a tiny claw. The claws got worn away by him walking, and the knuckle is probably still there, but the pad grew around it. So, he has 5 now in front, and...SIX in back! He has a tiny one on the far side of each paw, again, just a single knuckle with a claw. It only appears as a toe when he's lying down; standing, it juts out at 90 degrees. I thought it was a dewclaw, but I found out that those are only on the front legs, and nowhere near the feet. Maybe that would be his Pokecat power: enhanced ability to catch flies. Fly balls at the baseball field.

      To break things up, here's something about cats! I'm reading The Wild Road, which I got from BookBub, a budget Amazon ebook site. I believe I got it for free, as they'll sometimes do with the first book in a series. It's a fantasy told from a cat's perspective, although the only fantasy part has been that all animals speak in complete sentences and can understand all other animals (but not "dulls," or humans). So far, it's very good. The plot involves a mystic, one-eyed cat ghost sending the hero, Tag, on a Chosen One quest. But it's done realistically. An extended sequence involved him aiding a pair of escaped show cats by finding shelter them shelter in an abandoned housing development, feeding the sickly starvelings with a stolen breast of Tandoori chicken.
      Books adapted for Kindle always have odd typos. This one's almost looks like it was retranslated from another language. More than once it's replaced "the" with "die." As in "The, Bart, The." I can guess the meaning from conetext. "Wanner" means "warmer," I guess. "File" means "words." "Ruseating" means...rusting? What language/s is this from?

      I coined a concept of blogging a long time ago: if a personal website doesn't update for a month, there's a 33% chance it never will. This increases monthly until it hits 99%. It will never be 100% unless the site is removed entirely. It's rare for me to delete links; I just stop reading them.
      For no real reason beyond boredom, I clicked on the Fortean Times site today. It had a "weird stuff in the news" feature that vanished into the aether about 10 years ago. Now it was just subscription info for the print magazine. You know how much it costs in postage to get a magazine from the UK? But I found that they have a blog. If you want to read it, go ahead. On the other hand, the only article with a date in in is from July 2014...And it just seems to be the entries on that page. Back up to 99%, I guess.


      A bit out of date to mention, but a nephew & his GF went to Trump's Fourth of July Salute to AMERICA. They were there for the fireworks, so they were nowhere near the rally. I was only following on a site that gave periodic updates. Around 3PM, all the cameras in DC were on--except for the one on the Washington Monument that looked over the rally's size. It came back on after it ended. Hmm...So that's why Trump didn't brag about the crowds. Around 4, both the flyovers and the fireworks were near cancellation, but the worst of the storms passed.
      The fireworks were shot low to avoid the clouds, and my nephew said that after 15 minutes, all they could see was smoke wafting through the crowd.
      On the subway out, a large group of people were taking picutres of...the ceiling? Had these rubes never seen mass transit before? No, bobbing along was a helium mini-Baby Trump balloon. He'd scoured the city before the fireworks trying to find one, but they were all sold out.

      Stuck in a loop of insomnia, I somehow came across CivicScience Polls. The point of these is I Dunno. Maybe the results get sold, or maybe it's trying to overload me with ads. Answer enough polls, and the blocked ads go into the thousands. The questions are frequently phrased so badly that it's hard to tell what they mean. It took a while to get polls that might explain how weirdly the results skew. I found out that the 50+ years demographic is equal the combined 49 & under one. Fox is the main (meaning only) source of news for 40% of those taking these, or about twice the next closest. So Trump usually gets high numbers, and any of them new-fangled gizmos The Kids Today use get slagged.
      What's entertaining is that when you're shown a poll's results, you get some strange correlations as to why. The only sources of news are Fox, CNN, and MSNBC. You answered because you use one of the only 3 vehicles available, an SUV or a sports car or rhe city bus. If you like any tech newer than a 10-inch Philco B&W TV set, it's because you play video games. You chose because you like comedy or action movies. Or because you like cats more than dogs, or vice versa. Or you watch more than 6 hours a day of TV. Not 5 hours, just 6, even if your answer was "I don't watch TV." You like Pepsi more than Coke bcause you like dogs or bite your fingernails. If you have no birthmarks, it's because you play video games. Your favorite chore is cleaning if you've been stung by a jellyfish. If your favorite sport to play is basketball, you like to watch baseball on TV; if your favorite type of movie is sci-fi you like horror, even if you specifically said "sci-fi" or "basketball" and skipped past horror or baseball or said you hate sports in the poll. Yes, those are all actual results it's given me.
      One question asked "Do you live in your home state?" By definition, isn't my home state where I live?

      I'm greatly enjoying Gabriel King's book The Wild Road. The fantasy quotient has bumped up, but it still stays grounded in the real world. I'm 75% finished, because I've been rationing it. "Bingeing" is not a thing I understand. Watch a whole season of TV in one go? Don't you want it to last, to have time to reflect on it?
      I think I've figured out what the weird typos are. It looks like the original text got run through a scanner and never re-edited. It just spells words by what it thinks they may be. So, there's Mend for Friend. Fhr for fur. Amd for and. Oiiy for oily. The Indian city of "bornbay." "Then-" for their. Gunstnoke, after the old American TV Western (I assume it stars marshal "Math Dillman"). Why is a cat in England referring to that? She's a bit bonkers, having been experimented on by the most famous Alchemist you've ever heard of, although he's better remembered for his other works today. And Ounce-roach, which is...umm...(googles) Oh, it's a type of European fish. "What's for dinner, Mom? I'm starving!" "We're having poached roach!" "I'm...not that hungry now..."


      Seen at the grocery store: Twisted Ranch dressing! What could be more insane than America's blandest salad lubricant? What do they do, go all crazy nuts and put garlic in it?! (They put garlic in it) This was on the same page of the flyer that listed Heinz Mayochup. What a head-spinning time to be alive! Also seen: Paleo toaster waffles. Just like the cavemen defrosted!

      I finished the latest DC movie, Shazam!, and turned iTunes on. First song queued up: Bowie's Life on Mars. "But the film is a saddening bore, because she's seen it 10 times before."
      It wasn't as bad as that,'s a DC movie. A Marvel movie, and the critics all ask if it's as good as their last blockbuster. A DC movie, they ask "Does it suck as bad as Suicide Squad?" If it doesn't, that's some sort of victory. That's like saying "Is this 3-week old roadkill possum corpse writhing with maggots better with Mayochup?" A good DC movie is a mediocre Marvel one. And the good ones tend to be pretty clearly ripped off from a recent MCU hit. Wonder Woman was the first Captain America movie, just with different Germans. Aquaman was Thor: Ragnarok with crabs. I'm not sure exactly what Shazam was, maybe Ant-Man crossed with Spiderverse, or a PG-13 Deadpool. It was a comedy, or so it seemed to think, constantly winking at the audience. The villain was non-dimensional. His minions were the Seven Deadly Sins, so each of them had their own distinct personalities and powers ha ha, no, they were totally generic, crappy grey CGI demons. How come when this is used in a movie, there's one monster with a lolling giant prehensile penis-tongue that only menaces female characters, even if she's 8? (eww)

      Speaking of grotesque penis-mouthed monstrosities, how about that President, huh? I had a co-worker who was of Filpina descent. Her parents came to the US after WWII, so she was second generation American. So she was exactly as "from the Philippines" as I am "from Scotland."
      She hated when people would ask her "Where are you from?" (We worked in a mall, so there a lot of people asking) I told her to do what I did when asked: say "I'm from America." You'd be surprised how many people just will not take that as an answer. So I got her to say that. As people pushed harder, "No, where are you FROM?" she'd say "New Jersey!" and "No, where were your PARENTS from?" "TRENTON!" People really didn't like that, but who the hell are they to keep asking?

      Still on the subject of slimy guys...I was rooming with a woman named Bethel back in 1979. She was all excited one day when I got home. "I need you to drive me to Dairy Queen tomorrow!" (I was the only one in our social circle with a car) "A fashion photographer wants to do a shoot with me!" Bethel was a 19yo blue-eyed blonde with a Playmate body. She said "Just drop me off and he'll pick me up!'
      I thought, I'm sure he will. I was to leave her, and he'd drive her to his "studio." I said "I'll go with you. Tell him that your boyfriend [who I wan't] will follow him in his car." She started to get suspicious, finally. We waited 45 minutes, and he never turned up...
      About 6 months later, I was at my parents' house. My mother was enthusiastic. "A fashion photographer wants to do a session with Patty!" She was my sister, quite beautiful, and about 17. "All I have to do is drop her off and he'll take her to his studio!" Holy shit! How many young women had this creep tried this on? I explained the situation, and said "Have her tell him her boyfriend will be with her." Said BF was the high school quarterback. The guy never turned up, huh.
      I suppose he wasn't hanging around CT at the time, but was his name Epstein?


       Even with the AC continually running, Byron had another attack. Hyperventilating with his mouth agape like a cottonmouth snake. He began puking and shitting outside the boxes, and it was the foulest cat shit I'd ever smelled. After a while, it went away, and he's been fine since. If this happened to a human, I'd say "Must've eaten something bad." But eat what? There's nothing bad for him to eat here. Dogs may root through garbage because they're idiots, but housecats won't do that. Ferals that are starving do. I'd say that if it was DJ, because he sure likes to hunt flies, and eat them. Byron can't track bugs like he does, being deaf.
      It made me aware I've something I guess I've always done: sort living things into past-present-future. In my last post, I mentioned my old roomie Bethel and my sister Pat. I assume that Bethel is still alive, but she's in my mind as Past. I haven't seen her in decades, and probably never will. Pat is still Future, as I know I'll see her again.
      It might be clearer if I use my cats. Six months ago, they were all past-present-future. I have a long series of happy memories about them, forming new ones as they grow older, expecting more memories to come. But then suddenly, Kill Kill became past-present. She was dying. After a horrible 8 days of watching her waste away, she's now only in my Past. Sometimes I whisper to DJ "I miss your sister Kill Kill," and he closes his eyes and I believe remembers her as well.
      And now I've had two glimpses of Byron wheezing and panting, when he suddenly became past-present. No guarantee that he wouldn't slip forever into the Past like her. My father had cancer for 4 & 1/2 years, never suffering until literally the last few days of it. (Literally--he and my mother had made plans for the weekend he died) He too spent a brief time in my mind as past-present. If I ever get fatally ill, I suppose I'll put myself in past-present. Hell, I've put a loaded 12 gauge against my head, I was past-present with no future then.
      Ah, but you say "I come not hither to hear your dorm-room philsophying! Prithee, jester, perform some of your merry japery and Jinks that are Hi!" To which I say "If you're going to talk like a scurrilous poltroon, get thee to a nunnery or your nearest Medieval Times banquet franchise. Fucking varlet."

      Why Do British People Not Like Trump? ha ha, joke's on you, Britain! Now you've got your own bleach-blond ass-clown leader! Who has a name like from a Bullwinkle character. Badly-disguised guy with a Russian accent: "My name is Boris...Johnson! Da, Johnson!" (Rocky: "That voice! Where have I heard that voice?!")

      One of the L-Tiest of the LTRotD, our Man in Mexico Aldo posted a thing on Facebook about Tonayan. A liquor that's "as related to tequila as Bukoff is to vodka...Its also just a bit more than a buck for a quart bottle, so yeah its dirt cheap and just a step above varnish." As a scarred veteran if the Four Loko Wars, I checked it online. I found a page that sounds like its review was auto-translated from Spanish to English via Klingon. It's a brief and funny summary, and proof that snark can cross a language barrier. I won't spoil any of the jokes, but it begins with "The Tonayan mezcal comes as the poor cousin of tequila. In the first years of independent Mexico the masses of the country took tequila to celebrate, forget the pains and emboldened to suck. [...] They began to look for other hard liquor and low price. They tried alcohol pharmacy, but could only consume once since the esophagus was destroyed, though free of germs and bacteria. They found a not so poisonous liquor as the healing spirit and not as expensive as the tequila." There's your ad campaign! "Not So Poisonous! Recommended by doctors who promise a germ-free esophagus!"


       As we head into a world of "everybody has a streaming service and we all die from climate change so who cares," Netflix's plan seems to be "It will hurt less later if we lose now!" They raised the price of their crappy streaming service, but kept the DVD-only service the same halving the amount of times they send you them. I've always had the "Unlimited One at a Time" service, which meant with careful timing I got 2 DVDs a week. Now, I get 1 a week for the same price, so they've essentially doubled the cost. They pretend they get the returned DVDs in 2 days and that it takes 2 days to send a new one out. (If you're reading this west of the Mississippi, you probably live in a county bigger than my state, so yeah, bullshit Netflix. I could walk from here to Hartford in 2 fucking days. If the USPS used fucking camels it'd get there in a day)
      Captain Marvel came out 2 months ago, and was the Second Biggest Movie EVAR because they pretended you couldn't understand Avengers Endgame without seeing it. Yeah, well, I didn't see it and understood it. My only problem with Endgame was understanding how it would be any different if her character wasn't in it. She punches through the most powerful spaceship in the universe like it was made of a tissue-thin marketing ploy! Who cares? Instead, I've seen 2 major box office bombs.
      "Bombs" only by modern standards. A movie needs to make 150-200% of it's budget to be considered profitable these days. Shazam barely made that lower margin. It wasn't a bad movie; but like "John Carter of Not-Mars," it just wasn't all that good. They were like buying a car for $100M+, and then finding out they forgot to include seats. (Side note to Shazam: It takes the titular wizard 45 fucking years to find a candidate for Shazamhood because he must be "pure of heart." The Chosen One is Billy Batson, who we first meet after he's called in a fake 911 call, locked the responding cops in a bodega, steals their squad car to steal information for his creepy stalking. Pure of heart, my pure white ass! Where is the bodega's owner? I'm betting Batson put him in 15 different Hefty trash bags in 15 different dumpsters)
      This time, I was happily surprised to get "Missing Link." I don't know how much it cost, but it made $16 million, which for Hollywood is like cashing in some deposit cans. I heard it was good, but badly hurt by a pair of trailers, one of which made it seem like it was made for pre-verbal children, and another that made it look like a film for older audiences that wanted to see a parody of Two-Fisted Victorian Adventurers, like everybody wants to see. These kids today with their love of Alan Quaitermain or however that's spelled! That's like expecting kids to watch a Saturday morning cartoon that's a parody of silent movies about Royal Canadian Mounties!
      If I'd paid to see this in a theater, I would not have been happy with it. But it's just really odd, and the perfect length at 90 minutes (US minutes, not Commie Euro-metric minutes, with their 100-second minutes) It took me a bit to think "Hey, this isn't CGI! This is stop-motion! Hey, this is by Laika, the Soviet space dog who also made "Coraline," "ParaNorman," and "Kubo and the Two Strings," and other movies I thought were awesome before forgetting they existed!"
      Maybe it was lowered expectations. I had basically none for this. I expected Shazam to be like scraping off the bottom of my shoe. At this point, I expect Captain Marvel to be whatever I scraped off that shoe. But it had Hugh Jackman as the Victorian gentleman, doing his best Huge Jackoff impersonation. Zoe Saldana did her best Lupe "Mexican Spitfire" Velez impersonation. Emma Thompson did her best Dame Diana Rigg impersonation. Zach Galifianakis did his best Zach Galifianakis impersonation. It made for a nice contrast.

      In other things I'm a fan of that you'll probably despise, the 25,000+ tracks I have on iTunes coughed up something from the weird Groovy Cosmic Love Hour CDs. It was a rock song based on Shortenin' Bread. "Mama's little baby loves etc something about one baby being sick and the other one's dead--Oh, wait, "bumped it's head," which I guess is better. For some reason, this has always been some default in my mind as The Worst Song Ever (except for "Sometimes When We Touch" by Dan Hitler Hill). But why? Why this and not "Jimmy Crack Corn," and now you have both of those in your head?
      According to Wikipedia, it was a favorite song of noted fan of peace, love, all the drugs ever, and also sandboxes Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys. "Elton John and Iggy Pop were also bemused by an extended, contumacious Wilson-led singalong of 'Shortenin' Bread', leading Pop to flee the room proclaiming, 'I gotta get out of here, man. This guy is nuts!'" If you're like me, and for god's sake I hope you aren't, you immediately thought "WTF does contumacious mean?" and looked it up. According to Merriam-Webster, The Underlying Ontological Syllogism is "Legal contexts are one area where you might encounter this fancy word for "rebellious" or "insubordinate." The concept of Iggy Pop suing Brain Wilson for playing "Shortenin' Bread" because it's insubordinate is the most NOT Iggy Pop thing ever. Stop thinking of it; you may cause the world to implode.
      Then I got it. I said "It comes from that Saturday morning cartoon parodying silent movies about Canadian Mounties! Kids LOVED those!"




       Stuff you were supposed to buy because of Y2k.
       I wasn't that worried about Y2K, at least no more than anybody was being told to worry about it. I was always being asked about it by my family, as I was first person to own a computer. (In 1988! My Tandy HX was the size of 3 garages, and to boot up required 4 days and it's own coal-burning power plant! Which meant 6 more garages)
      A reason that I didn't care too much was that I was reading Kirk's blog at the time. My 20 year old memories may be inaccurate, (did I really have a hot romance with Ms Pac-Man?) but he was saying "Sorry I haven't posted in a while, but I'm making octuple overtime saving the world by making it know what fucking century it is LOL!" (He didn't say "LOL," there were no web acronyms back then except "Y2K" and "MPISITFMAO!" ["My Penis Is Stuck In The Fax Machine Again! OW!!"])
      I also remember waking at the hellish hour of 8AM EST just to make sure that the first place to get hit with the year of 2000 on local year 12/31/1999, New Zealand, wasn't being turned into a country of sheep herders stockpiling buggy whips like they were going to have to party like it's 1900. It never occured to me that they already WERE a country of sheep herders that stockpiled buggy whips.
      It turned out that a couple of Pentagon computers went a bit off and sent a trillion dollar order to Auckland to build Bob Semple tanks, and that was about it. Except for Kirk buying his Moon Condo, and no one even thinks about it anymore. Was it because people like Kirk saved us, or because it was overhyped by the media? Like how in the Winter, never turn on the local TV station for a snowstorm? NOAA: "30% chance of 1 or 2 inches." Local station: "THE LIVING WILL ENVY THE DEAD. Don't rush the supermarket to buy milk and bread, stockpile your most TENDER RELATIVES, because by Tuesday morning's rush hour we're all going to be throwing a DONNER PARTY!"

      Apparently out of pure spite, Netflix sent me Captain Marvel, to arrive in four fucking days. It was good. But they made her too powerful. It's like one of those really old Superman comics. "Oh. So G*D can stop a safecracker? Whoa. Slow down there Ace. I'm trying to breathe here." Next Issue: Superman slaughters 15 people because they were in line ahead of him at Starbucks! "Grande with expresso shot and no Kryptonite, CLARK!" Superman: "Fuck! Why do I keep not saying Kal-El?!" (murders whole store with heat eyeballs) Screams "MANAGER! This foam does NOT look like Streaky the supercat! I said, HELLO?! ...Oh, right...murdered them with heat eyballs." (flies away without leaving a tip)

      Yes, in the day I only dated the Atypical Girls because of this song. It led to...atypically weird relationships.




      I have a very good reason for not updating. I couldn't play Solitaire.
      My mouse got all weird, with the cursor disappearing for a few seconds, and reappearing on some part of the screen that made it go "Doodley-doot." It did this every minute or so. Doodely-Doot became my inescapable "Old Town Road with Baby Shark" sound. It got real annoying, real fast. It went on for about a month, and then stopped working at all. I'm sure that this was because of manufacturing defect, and not me angrily slamming it on the mousepad. I found another mouse, plugged it in, and remembered that this was the last mouse that didn't work. One click might work, or it might take 6 for it to do anything, and then 1 click might magically equal 2 or 3. This made Solitaire (the good one, not that Microsoft shit with the endless video ads) not just frustrating, but physically painful. It also refused to copy&paste or even place the cursor properly, which precluded writing this. I had other mice, but they have serial ports. Remember those pre-USB things? 90s nostalgia is big now; they should bring those back. (Thing found while searching: an AOL CD-ROM. I'm surprised that I didn't find a slap bracelet with an attached POG)
      I went to Staples and wandered lost for 40 years. Why do they have headphones in 3 spots, but just one tiny rack of one brand of mouse? I found (with help) where they were. All of them were cordless, except for one. It was on sale!
      There was a long line at the register. The only one open had a woman with a giant receipt that looked like it had dozens of items on it, and the cashier couldn't get it to do...whatever it was she was trying to do. I finally heard her say "The register won't process it, it keeps saying 'Item Already Returned'." What the woman was returning: a 3-ring binder. Wow, those are crazy expensive! There was a massive war fought over those in Middle Earth! "One 3-ring binder to bind them threely," that was my favorite part.
      An older man, a little overweight with a crazy big white beard, rushed up to open another register. A little kid he passed said "HI, SANTA!" and he said "Have you been good all year?" and those of us standing in Binder Gollum's line all chuckled warmly like Herbie the Dentist Elf. (The kids ended up right behind me, and turned out to be not so good, grabbing at the candy rack, their mother telling them not to in her calm but clearly "OH GOD SCHOOL PLEASE START!!" wit's end voice)
      Santa rang me up. He saw my cat-themed credit card and said "Kitties!" I said "That's why I have to buy a corded mouse. Otherwise, I'll wake up one morning and say 'OK, where is it?!'" I tie the cord to the desk. I'm not pointing any fingers at who does this. I could point a thumb though.

      Speaking of nobody in particular, Byron made it quite clear that he could see the bottom of a food bowl (there are 3), so I went to get some dry food and grabbed a chicken wrap. I scanned it and thought "$6 for this?! Crap, I'll just get it." I took a bite, and holy shit, your Himalayan lamp doesn't have this much salt. I checked the wrapper, and the RDA of sodium was 73%. These are made in-store, so I guess they were either told to keep it below 75%, or they were using up last winter's parking lot sweepings. A dozen Slim Jims have 69%. People, like me, were buying the chicken wrap thinking it was health food.
      I had lunch with my Mom, and she loves to cook. She proudly said "We're having Chick-fil-A!" I said "Mooom..." in a voice that I likely haven't used since puberty. "Oh, not literally Chick-fil-A! I found a recipe online so you can make your own! They taste the same. I made some for a friend of [cool sister] Pat, and she gave me the same look when I said what it was. She said 'Mom--you know he's gay!' I felt really bad."
      We had our sandwiches, and at my first bite I said "Whoa, this is hot!" Without a missing beat, we looked at each other and said "Well, you'd be hot too, if--!" This was a thing her mother would always, always say. "You'd be hot too, if you were from a frying pan / in a 400 degree oven / in a boiling pot / just re-entered the Earth's atmosphere from orbit!" Then I said "This is really salty." "Oh, you soak it in brine, that's what makes it so tender!" I am currently so full of salt that I could be mined.

      Ha ha, remember when Obama cancelled a state visit to Europe because no one would sell him Greenland? And then said that he was the King of the Jews and the Chosen One? Sure glad we got rid of that nutjob!

      For fans of the movie Kedi: In Turkey, There Is a Town Built Just For Stray Cats And It's Inspiring

      Big Cats Are Gorgeous, But Often Make Incredibly Strange Noises!

      FUNNY! at least to a former music department guy: How your pretentious local record store asshole got that way, which is the same way every person in retail is always one inside, because of people. I'll bet even Staples Santa has some dark inner thoughts about his personal naughty or nice list.

      A cat's life, in 3 words.


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