Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Dragon*Con Musings


I attended my first full four day Dragon*Con Science Fiction and Anything Else We Feel Like Convention this Labor Day weekend in Atlanta. I had gone for part of one day a few years ago, but couldn’t get into any of the sessions I wanted to, so I left. This time, I had it all planned out, maybe a bit over planned, but I had a great time, met some really fun people, attended some sessions with people I really wanted to hear about, and saw a lot of costumes, and an amazing parade. Just for fun, I also handed out little posters that my friend Bruce created for me from an idea I came up with, "Rock Out With Your Spock Out. I both handed them out and left them on tables around the con, and I took photos of some trekkies holding them. I think they went over well.


Here’s some random musings.

At every session, there will be someone who asks a really crazy stupid question. If you had a chance to ask Morena Baccarin (Queen Lizard from V) one question, would it be, “ So, hypothetical situation, you’re in traffic and someone cuts you off. You yell the name of a Peanuts character. What character’s name do you yell out?” Yep, great question. For the record, she was a great sport and said “Charlie Brown”.

Speaking of Morena Baccarin, she is one of those people who is lovely according to the inverse square law, that being, the closer you get to her, the more beautiful she gets. Her session was first thing Friday morning, and the other actors from V cancelled, so it was just her and about a hundred fans. Aside from the idiotic question above, we all had a great time. She’s also charming.


Costumes. People put insane amounts of time and effort into these. Go here to see a bunch of excellent ones.


http://io9.com/5630809/epic-and-eclectic-costuming-at-dragoncon/gallery/

I find that I recognize about 20 percent of the characters, understand maybe another 20 percent (generic steampunk) and the rest, I have no idea who they are trying to be. Usually I assume it’s a general character from anime or some book series or videogame that I don’t know of. The level of detail and accuracy is absolutely insane.

At least this year there were no Gollums, which I did see the last time I went. There were several, and consisted of a skinny guy in a loincloth with thinning, greasy hair, crawling around. There were plenty of Zombies. I caught one not shambling, and told him to shamble. He said “Yes, sir” in a very good zombie voice, and shambled off. POWER! Not many furries there this time, but I did see a Furry/Ghostbuster. And "Mr." B. Natural.


So I wet to sessions with people from V, Stargate, Star Trek, Warehouse 13, Firefly, Eureka, and, Mystery Science Theater 3000. But the best sessions I went to were with my evil twin (or am I the evil twin?) Adam Savage from Mythbusters. Aside from Adam, I think the best guests were Martin Gero, a writer from Stargate, and Saul Rubinek from Warehouse 13. For me, the best speakers are funny and spontaneous, and most importantly, if they are asked the same question in two different sessions, don’t just spit out the same answer twice. One of the best questions I heard in several sessions was: “Did you steal anything from the set?” Most said no, and the others were honest. Scott Bakula asked if he could have one of his costumes from Star Trek: Enterprise, and they said no. Then, at a convention in Germany, a fan came up wearing the same costume that he had asked for, which he had bought at an auction. He was very mad. Garret Wang, another Star Trek actor said: “That’s why everybody steals something from the set, and nobody asks to!” The worst guest was Jason Momoa, from Stargate: Atlantis, who wore a hat and dark glasses, answered every question with a grunt or two, and apparently fell asleep. Nice.


The best party I went to was “Nuts on the Road”, which was an improv quiz show with Adam Savage, all the MST3K folks, and the creators of The Venture Brothers, which I’ve never seen, but now I want to, because they were very, very funny. One of the games is like a debate, and this year Adam Savage was told that he had to defend “Why Psychic Powers are REAL”. He failed miserably, but was hilarious doing it. Another game involved being given a statement about yourself that is either true or a complete lie, and you have to talk about it and answer questions, and then the other team has to say whether it was truth or a lie. TV’s Frank, it turns out, has written a Cinderella musical with Katie Perry. Nobody believed it, so he won that round. I’m going to this thing every year.


Now some observations about digital cameras. This is both about “real life” and for at the convention. Digital cameras are great, but it’s very strange how they have changed everything, and not all for the good. I sat behind one person with a high end camera on a tripod with a zoom lens. She had it focused on Christopher Judge, who played Teal’c on Stargate SG1, and although there were five other people on the panel, aside from her taking a few shots of each of the other panel members, she took a picture of his face, every two seconds or so, for the entire length of the session. Not kidding. You could make a flip book out of the photos. It was very OCD. Also, I saw a guy with a similar camera on a monopod, while on a line outside the convention hotel, waiting for a session. Now, there are a lot of young ladies in costume, and he would ask them for permission to take their photograph, which is customary. Almost everyone says yes. The women sitting across the street on the steps of another hotel didn’t say yes, because he didn’t ask if he could use his zoom lens to photograph up their skirts. Creepy! Super Creepy! Finally, I gotta say that it’s annoying when people have nice equipment, but have not a clue as to how to use it. Seriously, people, if you’re fifty feet away from your subject, inside or out, TURN OFF YOUR FLASH! It does nothing but illuminate the backs of the heads of the people in front of you, under-exposes your photo, and blinding and annoying the crap out of the people sitting next to you.


But, all in all, I had a great time. I saw some great friends, and made some new friends. I saw some amazing things, and saw some things I wish that I could un-see. And I only regret one thing. I saw a woman in a chain mail bikini, and my camera phone was out of batteries. I would have asked her for a photo, because, when I attended my first Science Fiction convention, CapriCon, in Chicago in 1984, I came up with my cardinal rule of SciFiCons: “Never, ever go out with a woman in a chain mail bikini, no matter how good she looks in it. Nothing good can come of it.”

Monday, June 28, 2010

Short short story

On The Bus

By William Grewe-Mullins

I ran into myself on the bus today. One minute he wasn't there, the next he was. He didn't introduce
himself, as I immediately recognized me, and of course he remembered that. I turn out a bit
chubbier, and wrinklier with a lot more white hair, but still a lot of red, and still in a ponytail. He
had a mechanical hand.

"Still wearing the ponytail." I said.

"Shut up." I replied.

This is going to get confusing, so I'm going to refer to old me as he or him, even though it's actually
me.

"We only have about 5 minutes," old me said, "So let me do most of the talking. I came here
because I knew you'd be here, because of the bus schedule. An easy target, as it were. First off,
have that lump on your collarbone looked at."

As soon as I promised him that I would, in the space between seconds, his mechanical hand turned
into a regular fleshy hand.

"Wasn't it cool to have a mechanical hand?" I asked old me.

"Who had a mechanical hand?" he replied.

"Well, if you didn't come here to fix your hand, what did you come here for?" I said.

"I don't know what you're talking about. I came here to tell you that in about twenty-five years, we
develop time travel, and that although it is fun and sometimes pretty cool, it's also pretty much
worthless. Before you ask, I could give you the lottery number that I have for next week's lottery,
but by the time I get back to my time, the number I brought you won't be the number that's in the
historical record, the same one that I copied to give to you. My coming back here has changed
everything just a little. Many have tried that, none have succeeded. Perhaps I did come to fix my
hand, but now that you will keep me from losing it, I never lost it. That actually makes sense." he
rambled.

"Yes, that actually does make sense." I replied.

"Shut up." He said. "Historians are going to waste about five years going back into history, seeing
what actually happened at controversial points, but each time they go back to, say, JFK's
assassination, where everybody goes, they don't see the other travelers there, and every time the
scene is a little different. It's like this, Oswald is the shooter in all the scenarios we've explored, but
in some, and only in some, there is a second shooter, sometimes a third, and in one, as many as
eight, on the overpass, behind the fence on the grassy knoll, whatever, but also, the other shooters
never make the shot. Miss every time. Our theory is that there is a very narrow range of possible
outcomes, and that history always bends back towards the timeline of the original traveler's reality.
When you go there, carry an umbrella. That's the rule. You won't see anybody else with an
umbrella, although you will show up on the Zapruder film. Don't turn to the camera. Just don't. And
by the way, you can't kill Hitler, because without Hitler, no German scientists developing
electronics, without electronics, no time travel. So many have tried and failed that it's banned,
except for documentaries about how it doesn't work. The one called "Stop Trying To Kill Hitler, It
Doesn't Work" is a good one. And you can't go back to before Homo sapiens evolved. We still
don't know why, so no dinosaur hunts, although seeing the pyramids brand new is pretty awesome.
Any questions?"

"How's Patty?" I asked.

"She's fine, surrounded by dogs as usual, more dogs than you can imagine. Seriously. I think that
may be actually why I came. Don't stop playing the lottery, and only when it's over a hundred
million jackpot. Just don't. You're going to need a lot of dog food."

By the time I could say anything else, in the space between seconds, I was gone.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Beloit College Radio WBCR 1965





This was broadcast at Beloit College in 1965. I was one year old. I wasn't there, of course, I didn't get to Beloit until 1982. A lot of my friends broadcast on WBCR, but I don't think they did anything this cool. Two of the reprobates had a show called "Bad Moon Rising", which got in trouble for saying the word Noogers, which isn't even a word.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Kim Jong IL's secret weapon, revealed!

The world says he is crazy.

Crazy like a fox, perhaps.

How can the world resist?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Paging Dr. Schadenfreude

I probably should have used this image in yesterday's post. It's a fake ad that was actually used on the website of a company that just got busted for actually selling OxyContin through the internet.

A few years back, Rush "inexplicably" went totally deaf, at least for a while. That we should all be so lucky when even accidentally having to listen to him.

For years, his blowhardness would disdainfully refer to Jerry Garcia, Janis Joplin, Jimmy Hendrix, etc, as "Just another dead druggie." Then, the inexplicable became completely plicable (is that a word?) when it was revealed that Rush had become Just Another Deaf Druggie, and was a huge OxyContin addict, due to blah blah blah excuse excuse excuse. He Took Enough OxyContin That It Made Him Deaf! Sadly for us, when he went to rehab, his hearing returned, and now we have to deal with even higher levels of ignorance, arrogance and hypocrisy than ever.

Yes, I know that this is old news, but I found that picture, and it reminded me of things I wanted to say at the time. So sue me.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Conservatives are children, trying to recreate a fictional past.

There was an amazing segment on The Daily Show the other night. I can't seem to get the video to imbed in this post but please go

HERE

to see it. It very persuasively argues a point that I've been trying to put my finger on for a long time. When you watch or listen to them, remember one crucial thing:

Conservative Pundits are Children

Sure, they're OLD, at least physically, but if you really look at the way they act, and what they say, from Pat Buchanan to Rush Limbaugh to Sean Hannity to G. Gordon Liddy to Sarah Palin, to ESPECIALLY Glen Beck, they are just selfish, petulant, angry, spoiled, bullying children. They want everything to be the way they want it, right now, and if they don't get it, they will get angry and yell and stamp and cry and scream and bully and hold their breath until the country turns blue, or red. Red, I guess.

I think this partly goes back to the Reagan era, where it was proposed that all of society's ills could be traced back to the breakdown of the family that started when women thought that they should have the right to leave the home and get jobs. This was, of course, in complete opposition to the natural order of the universe, and the perfect ideal to which all society should strive towards, as presented in what they thought was a documentary about the perfect society: "Leave It To Beaver". Ever since women started wanting to be treated like actual people, society has gone straight to hell. And the only way to change it is to demand that we turn all the clocks back to whatever delusion they think that their ideal past was. Fictional or otherwise.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Star Wars - The Short Version

Here's my version of the short version of Star Wars. Please forgive me.

The movie is as you know it, until this point.

INTERIOR: REBEL BLOCKADE RUNNER -- HALLWAY

Princess Leia is led down a low-ceilinged hallway by a squad
of armored stormtroopers. Her hands are bound and she is
brutally shoved when she is unable to keep up with the briskly
marching troops. They stop in a smoky hallway as Darth Vader
emerges from the shadows. The sinister Dark Lord stares hard
at the frail young senator, but she doesn't move.

LEIA: Darth Vader, only you could be so bold. The
Imperial Senate will not sit still for this, when they hear you've attacked
a diplomatic...

VADER: Don't act so surprised, Your Highness. You weren't on any
mercy mission this time. Several transmissions were beamed to this ship by Rebel spies.
I want to know what happened to the plans they sent you.

LEIA: I don't know what you're talking about. I'm a member of the
Imperial Senate on a diplomatic mission to Alderaan...

VADER: You are a part of the Rebel Alliance...and.... wait a minute.... you seem familiar, very familiar. I'm going to use my awesome dark side of the force powers to reach into your mind and.... holy crap, you're my DAUGHTER! Your midichlorian count is off the scale, sweetie! You should join me and we will rule the galaxy as father and daughter!

LEIA: There's no way I will ever join you!

VADER: Are you sure of that?

LEIA: More sure than I've ever been of anything!

VADER: Are you really sure? I mean really really sure?

LEIA: Certain. Don't ask me again.

VADER: Oh, well. (He chokes Leia to death with his awesomely awesome dark side powers and tosses her body against the bulkhead.) That never gets old.

VADER: Lackey! Come here! Have the command crew set course for the Death Star immediately! When I used my truly awesomely majorly awesome dark side powers on Leia over there, I was able to see that that dick, Kenobi hid both my children's existence from me. If I know that jerk who chopped off my legs and my arm, and I do, he's hidden himself and my son on my old stomping ground, Tattooine. He probably hasn't even given the kid a different last name. We shall test the Death Star's planet destruct-o-beam on Tattooine. This will serve to rid me of Kenobi, the teen-age son I don't want to think about, and probably a smuggler and wookie or two while we're at it. I just don't want anything that reminds me of Padme to exist any more.... (sobs quietly through mask).

SPECIAL EFFECTS SHOT OF TATTOOINE BEING DESTROYED BY DESTRUCT-O-BEAM

THE END.

Roll credits.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

"We did not have a terrorist attack on our country during President Bush's term"



OH FOR CHRIST'S SAKE! The levels of complete and utter self delusion among the right wing idiots never ceases to amaze me. Hey, Dana, if what you were saying were true, it would render Rudy Giuliani effectively mute. Think about it. The biggest blind spot among conservatives is that 9-11 happened on THEIR WATCH! They blew it, and 3000 people died! Then 8 months later, the shoe bomber happened. They blew it again! And he was tried in civil, not military court, so now, the hypocrites are saying that the underpants bomber needs to be treated as an enemy combatant and tried in a military court. And right away, the President admitted that on the underpants bomber, we "screwed up" and he's making sure that we do our best to untangle the rat's nest of intelligence gathering that was left behind by..... oh, I don't know who could have left such a mess.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Appalling. Truly Appalling.

PLEASE click the image to biggify.

Very interesting graph. Whenever I hear the conservative dupes saying that we have the best health care system on earth, it makes me shudder, especially when you look at a graph like this. So we pay three times more than the world average per person for health care. Is there a reflection on our life expectancy? Not so much. You would think that if we spend so much on health care, our life expectancy would be at least marginally higher than average, not just below average. Then again, maybe I'm mis-interpreting the meaning of "best health care system". Perhaps they mean "best" as in "best at generating wealth for the health care corporations". Yes, that does begin to make sense. If the main aim of the companies is to make profit, we sure do have the rest of the world beat. Appalling.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Shouldn't she be number one? She is in my book. I'd like to have lunch with her.

The Times of London publishes its Rich List every year.

Here's some of the rankings



1
Lakshmi Mittal and family
£10,800m

Steel

32

Sir Richard Branson £1,200m

Transport, Internet, Mobile phones

101

Joanne Rowling
£499m

Novels, Films









214

The Queen £270m


Head of state

Sunday, December 27, 2009

When I was little, this scared the heck out of me.

The marionettes from "The Sound of Music" song, "The Lonely Goatherd". Yep, something about them scared the bejesus out of me. Not all marionettes, just them. I don't know what it is about them. Something viscerally creepy, I think. Perhaps like the fear of clowns, we don't have to know why, we just have to fast forward past that scene. Please.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

I enter the 20th century!

Merry Christmas!

I have officially entered the 20th Century! I have been given an iPod. It's the greatest thing ever. Ever.

Not much else to say about that, aside from that maybe someday in the distant future, I may join you in the 21st century. But it looks pretty scary from here, so maybe not.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

KRAMPUS!

KRAMPUS! A tradition that needs to be brought to America!

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Krampus is a mythical creature. In various regions of the world – especially Austria and Hungary – it is believed that Krampus accompanies St. Nicholas during the Christmas season, warning and punishing bad children, in contrast to St. Nicholas, who gives gifts to good children.

The word Krampus originates from the Old High German word for claw (Krampen). In the Alpine regions, Krampus is represented by an incubus-like creature. Traditionally, young men dress up as the Krampus in the first two weeks of December, particularly on the evening of December 5, and roam the streets frightening children and women with rusty chains and bells.[1] In some rural areas the tradition also includes birchingcorporal punishment with a birch rod – by Krampus, especially of young girls. Images of Krampus usually show him with a basket on his back used to carry away bad children and dump them into the pits of Hell.

Modern Krampus costumes consist of Larve (wooden masks), sheep's skin, and horns. Considerable effort goes into the manufacture of the hand-crafted masks, and many younger adults in rural communities compete in the Krampus events.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Drunky the Snowman (redux)

This is a re-post of my best winter post from last year. I won't be posting tomorrow, as I should be driving for at least 14 hours. We'll see if I'm even up for posting the day after. If I don't see you, Merry Xmas!

Drunky the Snowman

BoingBoing had a posting about an article in Smithsonian Magazine about Snowmen in popular culture

Snowmen

In the past, snowmen were portrayed as quite the drinkers, so I've adapted the classic song to that image. Some parts you can't sing to the original tune, just say them in your best drunken friend voice. Enjoy!



Drunky the Snowman

Was a jolly happy soul

With a corncob pipe and a button nose

Bleary eyes made out of coal.

Drunky the Snowman

Is a fairytale they say

He was made of snow

But the children know

How he came to life one day

There must have been some magic

In that bottle of Gin they found

For when they placed it in his hand

He began to drink it down

Drunky the Snowman

Was alive as he could be

And the children say

He could weave and sway

Just the same as you and me

Drunky the Snowman

Thought the sun was hot that day

So he said let's run

And we'll drink some Rum

Now before I melt away

Down to the liquor store

With a six pack in his hand

Running here and there all around the square

Saying “You’ll never take me alive, coppers!”

He led them down the streets of town

Right to the traffic cop

And he didn’t pause a moment when

He heard him holler stop

Drunky the Snowman

Had to hurry on his way

But he waved goodbye

Saying “I love you guys, I reealy love you guys. I’m not just sayin’ that. You guys are the best. We should get together and do this more often. Don’t tell me when I’ve had enough, I’ll tell you when I’ve had enough. Is it hot in here? I gotta go lay down somewhere. Can I crash on your couch, or your front lawn? I love you guys.”

“And I’ll be back again someday,

probably next weekend!”

Thumpety thump thump

Thumpety thump thump

Look at Drunky go

Thumpety thump thump

Thumpety thump thump

Over the hills of snow


Monday, December 21, 2009

The best secrets are the ones that are kept.

Every Monday morning, I go to the PostSecret site. People send in anonymous postcards with secrets that they want to tell the world, but honestly probably just want to get a vicarious thrill from people knowing what they say are their deep dark secrets. But sometimes I read them and I think, this isn't a secret, this is a lie, a fantasy, a telling of a tale that perhaps they wish were true, or at least a little more true than it is. Does that make any sense?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

What am I doing in this box?

I never volunteered for this.
If you see that jerk Schrodinger, punch him in the mouth for me. You can find me right here, or maybe not. I'm either alive or dead, or neither, perhaps.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schr%C3%B6dinger%27s_cat

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Before and After

So Chevy decided to give an0ther half-hearted try at an electric car. This time, they created a hip sports car with radical huge wheels and a really narrow windshield. At least the prototype had that. Take a look at the lower photo the production model. The 2010 Chevy Volt. I think it looks just like any other piece of crap that Chevy has made for the last ten years. And are they using the regenerative braking system like the Prius, the system that has proven so successful? Nope. The Volt will have a whopping 40 mile range on just electricity, they you have to use a gasoline generator to power the electric motors after that. Honestly, they're hardly even trying to disguise that they're making a car that is destined to fail, and then they can go right back to all gasoline cars. Again. We've done this dance before, guys, with the EV-1, that people couldn't buy even if they wanted to. They could only be leased, and then you couldn't renew your lease, because they wouldn't let you. Then ALL the EV-1s were taken out to a dump and shredded. Literally Shredded. And they said the "experiment" failed due to lack of interest. I hope Chevy fails completely on this one.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

I never thought I'd have to say this.....

Kill the Bill.

President Obama needs to grow a pair, and do the right thing. He needs to VETO the "Health Care Reform" bill. It is not a health care reform bill at all, it is a complete concession to the health care industry.

The Democrats do not seem to know the meaning of the word compromise. Or possibly they think it means to negotiate from a position of power and then give away everything to your opponent. This seems to be what they think it means, as it is what they have done. From where I'm sitting, it is better to have no bill at all than to have the travesty that is being foisted upon us.

Please, Mr. President and whatever Democratic Senators and Representatives still have enough spine to do what's right, instead of what's expeditious. Kill The Bill, and come back next year and start over again. Perhaps Santa Claus is bringing you "a pair" that you could use next time around. You have the power, dummies. Use It!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Medical-Industrial-Complex runs the show.



In his farewell address in 1961, President Eisenhower warned: "In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex." Well, nobody listened to him, so we have had a series of wars for the main aim of making profit for companies like Haliburton and the mercenaries at Blackwater.

But no level of profit is enough, so the health of the entire nation has been sold off to the new hotness, the Medical-Industrial-Complex. The bottom line of profit is the only thing that matters. The patients are only important in how much they can be squeezed for. Just look at the debate going on now, where the senators and representatives, who were elected by the people, ignore the will of the people in favor of their corporate masters, the ones who pay their "salaries". From all that I can see, the majority of the American people, somewhere between 6o and 70 percent, want a public option. But that doesn't matter, because the people can't bankroll the politician's re-election campaigns, and the medical industrial complex can. They work for the people, but they answer to their masters. Bought and sold. How come if they're the whores, we're the ones getting screwed.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Don't trust your dog.

It's a sad story, and one that gets told too many times. My dog loves going for a drive, and we do, every Sunday. We roll the top down, and he sits in the back seat. Then one day, I come home to meet an insurance agent coming down my driveway. He tries to sell me some insurance, and I say no, and he laughs to himself. Then, like every Sunday, we take our drive around the top of a tall building, and all of a sudden, the accelerator is stuck at full speed, and the brakes fail. Then, the steering goes out, and as we careen off the top of the building, who bails out the back, but that bastard Rover. His barking sounds like laughter as we plummet towards the pavement. Rover you son of a bitch, I hope it was worth it!

Like the magazine says "This Can Happen to YOU!"

Don't trust your dog!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Jimmy Carter

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy



I just got back from a tour of the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library Museum. To be clear, going in I was already a fan of President Carter, and I think that for many years now, the Right Wing Media Machine has, very incorrectly, painted his presidency as a failure, mostly based on the Messiah Complex they have built around Ronald Reagan. I have always thought that was a bunch of nonsense, that Carter's presidency, while it had it's flaws, was very successful, especially at getting us out of the hole (again) that the Republicans had gotten us into (again). Towards the end of the exhibit, there were two video segments where Brian Williams was interviewing him about the Iranian Hostage Crisis. It was from the same interview posted above, and I can't find it anywhere online, so you'll have to go to the Museum to see it. The Right Wing myth is that the hostages were freed because the Iranians were so terrified of Reagan, that they let the hostages go to both appease him, and to give Carter a black eye. For those of you who don't remember, the hostages were freed within hours of Reagan becoming president. But the interviews on display basically outline the behind-the-scenes efforts of the Carter White House to freeze so much of the Iranian government's assets, both domestically and internationally, that they couldn't maintain their economy any more. He says that he did not sleep at all for three days before the inauguration, negotiating with banks and governments. I believe the figure was 12 billion dollars frozen domestically, despite the efforts of "greedy bankers", and at least that much internationally, including 2 billion in Iranian gold frozen in the Bank of England. So, the way I see it, the freeing of the Hostages was not the first act of the Reagan presidency, as is commonly and wrongly asserted, but the final act of the Carter presidency. President Reagan even asked President Carter to go over and greet the freed hostages in Germany, and he was nervous about meeting them, but they were not hostile to him, and greeted him very warmly. I think they knew that it was his efforts, not fear of Reagan that led to their release. Also, Reagan did not knock down the Berlin wall with one mighty punch, as the Right Wing Nuts keep telling the public is true. Reagan was neither messiah nor superman, just the best puppet the conservatives have ever had.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

False Advertising!

Oh, for the god's sake, please

CLICK TO BIGGIFY!

False Advertising! I used to drink Ovaltine a lot as a child, and as far as I know I never once woke up gay!

If this were true, wouldn't the chant be:
"We're Here, We're Queer, We Love Chocolatey Ovaltine! Join Us!"

Friday, December 11, 2009

The my favorite sites awards for 2009.

Here's a little list of the sites where I spend my time. I hereby award them the My Favorite Sites of 2009 Award. No real prize.

http://www.boingboing.net/

http://www.neatorama.com/

http://gizmodo.com/

http://www.bookofjoe.com/

http://io9.com/

http://icanhascheezburger.com/

http://consumerist.com/

http://www.shorpy.com/

http://www.snopes.com/info/whatsnew.asp

http://www.salon.com/

http://www.slate.com/

http://www.theonion.com/

http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/

http://www.darkroastedblend.com/

and of course.....

http://www.homestarrunner.com/

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo

Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo. That is a perfectly good sentence, invented by a clever professor in Buffalo, NY (where else.
Confused?
Think of it this way:

Bison from Buffalo, New York, who are intimidated by other bison in their community also happen to intimidate other bison in their community.
or
THE buffalo FROM Buffalo WHO ARE buffaloed BY buffalo FROM Buffalo ALSO buffalo THE buffalo FROM Buffalo.
or

"Buffalo buffalo (main clause Subject) [which the] Buffalo buffalo (subordinate clause Direct Object) buffalo [subordinate clause Verb] buffalo [main clause Verb] Buffalo buffalo [main clause Direct Object]."

Thank you, Wikipedia! I know some people are skeptical about whatever they see on Wikipedia, but I still like it.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Flying

A Taiwanese airline has a couple of their planes branded with Hello Kitty, inside and out and every which way. I'm a fan of the whole Hello Kitty thing, sort of in a fascination with the extreme pervasiveness of it all. She's everywhere, and she's everything. I can't imagine the number of hipsters with Hello Kitty tattoos. Don't even try to. Your head might a-splode. I especially like the concept of the HK plane, but something about it makes me uncomfortable. What happens if the HK plane crashes? Doesn't the extreme cuteness of it all make the tragedy ever so much more tragic?

I used to fly in planes a lot, not so much any more, and I miss it. I find the experience mostly relaxing. Something about the sound of the circulation fans chills me out and puts me to sleep. I sometimes was able to sleep through takeoff, which is a somewhat disassociating thing, to wake up suddenly at 30,000 feet. So I usually catch a quick nap, and then read uninterrupted except for the soda and peanuts, and then I'm someplace new. I just like flying. Once I flew in a Southwest Airlines plane decorated to look like the orca whale Shamu. It was like the HK plane, decorated on the exterior, with the napkins, pretzel bags and plastic cups decorated with images of the plane. The stewards and stewardesses wore neckties decorated with the SWA and Shamu logo pattern.

I learned something interesting the other day. When Delta Airlines started the first passenger service in their DC3s the first qualification for being a stewardess what that you had to be a licensed, registered nurse! Then again, in those days the planes were barely insulated, and the ride was very rough, and almost everybody aboard got sick, sooner or later. But the seats were huge! Bigger than today's La-z-boy chairs, from what I could tell. Almost as big as the behemoths in today's first class sections. I've never flown first class, but it sure must be nice. So nice that they have to put up a curtain, to shut themselves off from the peasants. Must be nice.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Rare video of Michael Steele singing!



I know that I promised to stay away from politics, but I guess you just can't trust me. Perhaps I am a politician. Anyway, it does sound like Republican strategy, and he does look a little like Michael Steele, doesn't he? Like it or not, they have become the party of NO. No matter what the President does, no matter what he says, they have to oppose it. Karl Goebbels, er I mean Rove, and Dick Cheney, and all the nut jobs at Foox Newz say that they have to. If the President issued an executive order stating that puppies and kittens were adorable, they'd come out with press releases detailing how dangerous, ugly, disease ridden, and deadly puppies and kittens are. And the Teabaggers would make a new addition to their ridiculous "Don't Tread On Me!" flags. They would add "Tread On Puppies And Kittens!", and then they would.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

3263827!

A very good friend of mine is one of the ultimate SciFi geekettes. She knows more about Star Wars than most... humans. She waits in line for hours to get autographs and pictures of her favorite Actors. I've seen a photo of her wedged between Nimoy and Shatner. And the title of this post? She knows what it means!

Aside from that, she's a huge English Football (soccer) fan, and says that she was a tomboy growing up.

Well, her young daughter is going through a "Disney Princess" stage, and while Mom is completely supportive, she has said that she wouldn't mind if her daughter was a little more of a tomboy. That might be a bit much to wish for, but, what about combining princess or ballerina with a STORMTROOPER! A Stormtrooperina! A Stormtrooperincess!

I say Go For It!

Valid excuse



I know I said I would be posting every day in December, but I have an excuse. I made a long distance trip yesterday, driving, to run a long distance errand, and what do I run into, but first, snow, and then, a bad accident that had me stopped dead for an hour and a half, fourty miles south of Nashville. All this turned a ten hour trip into a fifteen hour one. But at least I got some nice pictures. And I got to see an amazing sunset at Lake Nickajack, which I wouldn't have seen if I hadn't been delayed. I've been meaning to do a post about how amazing the camera on my phone is. It's just a little flip-phone, not a smart phone or an iPhone, but it sure takes nice pictures. I'll post twice today to make up for the skip day. Please click the photos to biggify.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Born, not made.

There is an endless debate as to whether sexual orientation is inborn, or a choice one makes.

From my perspective, I'm pretty sure it is inborn, because one of my earliest memories is watching the Sid and Marty Kroft television show "The Bugaloos". I was maybe 4 or 5 years old, and I thought that the character "Joy" was the nicest thing I had ever seen. Specifically, I remember thinking "She has really pretty legs."

Tell me I was wrong. I dare you.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Unattributed.

Here's a bunch of my favorite quotes. Unattributed, because in some cases I don't remember who said what, and in most cases because I don't want to know who said it. I don't want to put importance upon it because "somebody smart" said it. I just like them because I do.

When starting or joining a Revolution, don’t forget that the Army will never run out of bullets.


Data is not information, information is not knowledge, and knowledge is not wisdom.


The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity.


It's foolish to expect a man to tell the truth, when his paycheck depends on him not telling the truth.


Only that life is worth living which develops the strength and the integrity to withstand the unavoidable sufferings and misfortunes of existence without flying into an imaginary world.


We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be


Man is a rational animal who always loses his temper when he is called upon to act in accordance with the dictates of reason

The rash assertion that 'God made man in his own image' is ticking like a time-bomb at the foundations of many faiths, and as the heirarchy of the universe is disclosed to us, we may have to recognize this chilling truth: if there are any gods whose chief concern is man, they cannot be very important gods.

Most of the greatest evils that man has inflicted upon man have come through people feeling quite certain about something which was, in fact, false.

Philosophy is written in the vast book which stands open before our eyes. I mean the universe; but it cannot be read until we have learnt the language and become familiar with the characters in which it is written.

If space is, it will be in something; for everything that is, is in something; and to be in something is to be in space. Space then will be in space, and so on, ad infinitum. Therefore space does not exist.

Man differs from the animal only by little; most men throw that little away.

Geological eras, periods, and epochs are human inventions; they are man's attempt to put huge stretches of time in their place and make them seem reasonable comprehensible. Nature was indifferent to such fine distinctions. Time flowed on continuously with one phase changing imperceptible into another without dividing itself neatly into segments.

But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.


There should be a law, that if you find God, you get to keep him.


The greatest sin is to do well what should not be done at all.