Monday, December 17, 2007

Everything to hide

Check out this graph:

It represents the budget for document shredding during the Bush Administration.
Notice a trend?

Do you think these jokers have something to hide? Well, we'll never know, because they've destroyed all the evidence. They got caught destroying just two videotapes of CIA torture. Just imagine what Cheney and Company have been doing with the rest of the evidence. Well, you'll just have to imagine, because it's gone and it isn't coming back.

Hey, if they had their way, they'd shred one more pesky document that keeps getting in their way. The Constitution.

2000 $452,807
2001 $456,235
2002 $756,086
2003 $1,033,910
2004 $2,329,466
2005 $2,874,185
2006 $2,902,855
2007 $2,274,143

*Note: FY 2007 only includes up through second and part of third quarter.

And guess who's doing most of the shredding:

Top 5 Contracting Agencies Purchasing from Contractor(s)
Internal Revenue Service $5,471,067
ARMY, Department of the $1,282,354
NAVY, Department of the $1,062,492
U.S. Secret Service $702,114
VETERANS AFFAIRS, Department of $678,590

Thursday, December 13, 2007

My Endorsement

Caption: "I'm just like W. I can even make myself LOOK like a W!"

I'm going to follow the lead of The National Review Magazine, and endorse Mitt Romney for Republican Party Nominee.


Because I believe that he can't possibly win the presidency. And that's just the kind of guy I want to go up against whoever the Democrats choose. (who I'll vote for, of course)

Huckabee is looking strong, despite the gaff he made, asking an interviewer: "Mormons believe that Jesus and Satan were brothers, don't they?" Well, actually they do, but I think the strongest point against having a Mormon elected president goes back to their founder's first vision. Joseph Smith went out to the woods to pray, to ask which church he should join, and two Personages appeared before him.

"My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right (for at this time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong) and which I should join. I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: "they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof."

I actually have to kind of respect a faith that has the balls to say clearly what is implicit in all the other faiths. "We have a monpoly on truth and the way we see god is the only way to see god and if you differ from us in any way, you're going to burn in hell for all eternity, sonny." It's going to be hard for Mitt, when pressed by the fundies who run (or think they run) the Republican party, to explain away "All thir creeds were an abomination in his sight." Sure, the Mormons today are just another ultra-conservative religion, no matter where they came from, and they have a whole lot of really kooky beliefs, but you can't discount the basic "abomination" doctrine, can you?

The Review endorsed him because they say he has all of W's strengths, but none of his weaknesses. I reply "W has strengths? Aside from comic relief?" (graveyard humor, to be sure)

What it boils down to is that Huckabee has the possibility of rallying the fundies behind him, and winning, so he's out, in my book, and *shudder* Rudy Giulliani *shudder* has branded himself the new Reagan and the Hero of 9/11 and America's Mayor, and if anyone has shown less respect for the Constitution than W and his cronies, it's Rudy and his cronies, so he's way way way out in my book.

So who am I really supporting? Whoever the Democratic candidate is, who can realistically win and free us from the grip of Republican madness.

That is all.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Mary Xmas

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I was going to do a political post, or something surreal, but instead I thought I'd just post this greeting. Oooh! Sparklie!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Would you like some cheese on that?

I stole this image from somebody else's blog. It's just too precious to pass up. I know that people are basically clueless about other cultures, but how much does it take to know that this just ain't right.

Friday, November 30, 2007

If you want it.

In 1971, John Lennon and Yoko Ono recorded the song "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)", which is, in my opinion, one of the greatest songs, let alone holiday songs ever recorded.

From the lyrics:

And so this is Xmas
And what have we done
Another year over
A new one just begun
And so happy Xmas
We hope you have fun
The near and the dear one
The old and the young
A very Merry Xmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear
War is over,
if you want it
War is over now

The other day I was Xmas shopping, and I heard one of the many cover versions of this song being played in the store. I don't know who it was by, one of the new country flavor of the month singers, I suspect. I noticed one thing that set me back, and made me think, though. The song was well performed, but the emphasis was changed from the original, and the original intent. The chorus of "War is Over, If you want it, War is Over Now", was part of the song, but it was barely audible, basically being whispered by the background singers, thus making it almost unnoticeable. If this was an attempt at putting a subliminal message in the song, I would appreciate it, but I think it was more of an attempt to put this song on somebodies Xmas album without acknowledging the real message of the song, in fact trying to eliminate it entirely. And yes, despite the recent controversy, I'm using "Xmas" just like John and Yoko did, rather than Christmas. Yes, I hope it cheeses off some Christians. I really do.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Mountain DON'T

Pepsi has decided that there just aren't enough extreme sodas out there. They've been niche marketing their Mountain Dew product line for a while now, and they've applied for trademark protection for the following names:

Mountain Dew High Output
Mountain Dew Stimulus
Mountain Dew Reverb
Mountain Dew Kilo-Watt
Mountain Dew Rebellion
Mountain Dew Extended Play
Mountain Dew Culture Blend
Mountain Dew Visionary
Mountain Dew Supernova
Mountain Dew Discovery
Mountain Dew Voltage
Mountain Dew Force Field
Mountain Dew Warrior

What, no Mountain Dew Uranium? Or Mountain Dew Nukular?

By the way, the Uranium Ice Cream was from western New Zealand, back during the Uranium naming craze. No word what it tasted like, or if it in fact contained Uranium. "You'll be surprised how fast your tongue falls off!"

Monday, November 12, 2007

I can't argue with any of this.

Gene Autry's Cowboy Code (1930)
1. The Cowboy must never shoot first, hit a smaller man or take an unfair advantage.
2. A Cowboy must never go back on his word, or a trust confided in him.
3. A Cowboy must always tell the truth.
4. A Cowboy must be gentle with children, the elderly and small animals.
5. A Cowboy must not adovcate or possess racially or religiously interolerant views and ideas.
6. A Cowboy must help people in distress.
7. A Cowboy must be a good worker.
8. A Cowboy must keep himself clean in thought, speech, action and personal habits.
9. A Cowboy must respect women, parents and his nations's views.
10. A Cowboy is a patriot.

In my opinion this is way better than the "ten commandments".

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Most Ironic Thing That Has EVER Happened.

What, more ironic that the vice president shooting a guy in the face and then that guy apologising to the VP?


Here he is, the man who has no legs to stand on, morally speaking, who looks like he's being supported by two men who have lost their actual legs as a direct result of his actions. You can almost hear them saying. "Mr. President, you made me the man I am today."

I don't know if any of you know this, but after World War I, you know, the war to end all wars, veterans who were amputees would march together or be rolled in wheeled chairs together, in parades, to show what war was really all about, as a protest against wars, and what they do to people. This was before the Military-Industrial Complex took a strangle hold on the economy.

Did you also know that the M-I-C s latest profit making venture is insanely profitable Mercenary Soldiers? Companies like Blackwater are doing the jobs that our soldiers should be doing, but can't, because there just aren't enough soldiers, or at least enough live and limbs-intact soldiers. And get this, each Mercenary we hire over there is costing at least 445,000 dollars a year. That sure would buy a lot of body armor and more heavily armored vehicles, I think. By some counts, there are more mercenaries in Iraq than US Armed Forces. By the way, the mercenaries simply HATE being called mercenaries. They're just ex-soldiers who can be hired out to fight for the highest bidder, have better, more modern weaponry, are paid vastly more than regular troops, and are totally unaccountable to anyone. I know, the difference is subtle. You know, like the difference between pirates and privateers. (Privateers were basically pirates with a liscence to pillage from some government, hired to disrupt the trade of that countries enemies.) Too subtle for the likes of me.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Friday, November 02, 2007


Listening to the Democrats talk about what the Republicans want, and the Republicans talk about what the Democrats want, and what the Democrats and Republicans say about what they want, I thought it might be fun to say what I think they really want, when I attempt to pare down overall agendas to their bare bones.

I think:

The Democrats want to try to effect the most good for the largest number of citizens.

I think:

The Republicans want to increase the wealth of the wealtiest citizens, at any cost.

That's it. When you take away everything else, I believe that those are the true motivations of both parties. Oh, there are more parties. Oh, If I must.

I think:
The Libertarians want there to be no taxes on anything, or restrictions on anything, but they still want good roads and libraries, and lots and lots of drugs.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

What have we done?

What I'm about to say may seem trite and obvious, in retrospect, at least, but I've become aware that in a bizarre cross dimensional incedent, we have evidently "elected" a man and all of his buddies from the Bizzaro World president. Twice!

Think about it:

"Saudi Arabians attack us! Me invade Iraq!"

"If you no find weapons of mass destruction, that mean they still there. Me tell you keep looking!"

"Al Gonzales good man. Him have perfect memory. Me give him medal."

"Me right to lifer. Me support death penalty."

"Economy is Strong. Me friends doing very well."

"Heckuva job, Brownie!"

"Mission Accomplished"

"Me not know Ken Lay. Me never hear of him. Who him is?"

"Liberal Media Elite hate America. Try to destroy America. Me hear about it from Fox News."

"Me vice president totally divested from Halliburton. He just get $130,000 a year from them. It make sense. Him work hard for them."

"Me sign many laws, as long as Me signing statements say Me can do whatever me want, no matter what law say."

"Me have no money for health care. Me want billions more to give to Blackwater for doing such good job in Iraq."

"Me think it good idea to put missle defense system right next to Russia. Me tell them we afraid of Iran, not them, Iran. It make sense."

"Missle defense system work good. Real good. As long as you tell system exactly when and where you test missile will be and how fast it go, it knock down missile sometimes 40 percent of time. That better than me popularity!"

"We not torture. If we do it, it not torture. It simple. If we do it, and it look like torture, it not torture. It enhanced interrogation. That not torture. You want put handcuffs on Jack Bauer? He not torture. Once he cut off guys head to drop in his buddies lap, but that not torture, that just funnin. Me like Jack Bauer. Him me hero. He never sleep. 24 hours awake. Me her0."

"Fox News am not propaganda wing of Republican Party. It not! They have fair and balanced mix of Extreme Right and Far Right views. That balanced. Tony Snow come to work for us! He very different than when on Fox News. Me not able to tell how, but they tell me he different. Now he back at Fox News, because they pay better. Me miss him, but cute girl who take his place is fun. She a girl. Rowr."

I'll add more as I think of them. You can help.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

3 Laws? We don't need your stinking 3 Laws!

I'm about to start re-reading Asimov's "I, Robot", which I think I read in high school. One of the main ideas in the book is the three laws:

1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
2. A robot must obey orders given to it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
I understand that the laws were created as a literary device to explore power relationships, (try replacing the word robot with slave and human being with master) but all I can think of is what a truly autonomous robot might say about the laws;
"I don't know who made these up, but it certainly wasn't a ROBOT!"
That is all.

Monday, October 15, 2007

From the "Well, Duh!" department

I used to have an ongoing arguement with a friend of mine who is a Catholic, which always boiled down to the same sticking point. I say that if you are anti abortion, you should be pro birth control, and that if you are anti abortion and anti birth control, you are basically anti sex. He says that isn't so, that contraceptives cause more problems than they solve, so you can be anti abortion and anti contrception. I say hooey. He says hooey. We agree to disagree. By the way, I'm right, and he's wrong.

From Slate Magazine's Human Nature Column:

A study concludes that the global abortion rate is falling thanks to birth control. Data: 1) The rate fell 17 percent from 1995 to 2003. 2) The biggest drop was in the former Soviet bloc and "did coincide with substantial increases in contraceptive use in the region." 3) Previous studies found that "abortion incidence declines as contraceptive use increases." 4) Abortion bans don't correlate with low abortion rates. 5) Abortion bans do correlate with high rates of unsafe abortion. Authors' conclusion: If you want fewer abortions, don't ban them; provide more birth control and sex education. Liberal reaction: Bush is making things worse by censoring abortion counseling and pushing abstinence instead of condoms. Pro-life rebuttal: 1) The data are unreliable. 2) They're being spun by pro-choice "scientists." Human Nature's view: Reducing abortions through birth control is a no-brainer.

I agree, whole heartedly.
I just can't see the logic of saying "We must do anything we can to prevent abortions. We must murder doctors who give abortions, we must bomb clinics that provide abortions, but heaven forbid that we should allow anyone to use birth control."
I just don't get it.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I'm almost speechless.

So help me, this is real. I'm tempted to go.

In the hierarchy of Sci-Fi Geekdom, Furries and Klingon Speakers vie for the lowest slot on the totem pole, the one that all the other geeks point to and say, "Well, I may be a total geek over (insert your obsessive/compulsive favorite here), but at least I'm not a Furry/Klingon Speaker."

I suspect that this can only end in blood.


*Klingon for "Victory".

Friday, September 21, 2007

NRA, SchmeNRA.

Today Rudy Giulliani is going to speak before the NRA, the National Rifle Association, to try once more to capitalize on the fact that he was Mayor of NYC on Sept. 11.

For those of you who don't know the NRA, they are a lobbying association devoted to defending the Second Half of The Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America.

What's that you say, they say they are defending the Second Amendment, and they don't specify the Second Half?

Let's Review:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Pretty simple, but let's look at part of it a little closer

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

But the way they read it:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

I'm not a lawyer, and I hope never to be one, but I can see when part of a law is being ignored, and part is emphasized.

I guess that the most fundemental of rights, not just the rights of Americans, but of Human Beings in general, is the inalienable right to be as much of a complete dumbass as you can possibly manage.

Right here and now, I'm going to start an organization:
The National Hand Grenade Association.
The way I interpret the second half of the second amendment, arms mean any kind of arms, so nothing should come between me and my god given right to own and carry as many hand grenades as I feel like. I just don't feel safe without them. And some are less damaging than some firearms out there today. I must stay prepared. There's this squirrel in my yard who's been looking at me kinda funny. I think he's a spy. I'll show him.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

All I can say is.. Huh?

Back in my day, Batman fought serious issues and serious villians (although humor was a major part of their act, I suppose) with names like the Joker or the Riddler. I can't imagine what the content of this issue centered around. Possibly a new villain, the Vicar!

And why does Robin have that grin on his face? Dosen't he know that he's NEXT?

Maybe it was about Batman (or is it Bat Man?) proving, once and for all, that the rumors surrounding his and Robin's "relationship" are nothing more than rumors. Hmmmm.

And maybe that's why they added Batgirl in the first place. Perhaps we should call her "Batbeard".
(I'm deeply ashamed of that last one.)

Monday, September 10, 2007

Grisly 1920's Public Service announcements

I took a ride on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway this weekend. It's a historic section of track running between Blue Ridge, Georgia and Etowah Tennessee, and it's great fun. The cars are well restored and there's plenty of information on the history of the train and the route available. One of the coolest parts is "The Loop" where the train winds it's way around a mountain, slowly rising and circling the mountaintop, until it passes over it's own track.

In the dining car, there are these absolutely grisly posters from the 1920's. The strangest thing is that when I was a kid I lived near train tracks, and we all used to play there, on a section of tracks that was not used, but it did sit right next to active rails. Nobody I knew got maimed. Perhaps if I had seen the first poster I wouldn't have been so carefree.

Please click on each poster embiggen them.

Update: This post got a mention on the best blog ever - BoingBoing, and in their comments, someone posted this link to the above posters and a bunch of other, in some cases even scarier ones!
For your nightmarish enjoyment.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


Trends I have successfully avoided

Starbucks Coffee
Designer Coffee
Paying exorbitant amounts for any of the above
Body piercing
Plastic surgery
Adjustable rate mortgage
Out of body experiences
Bottled water (for the most part)
Dog Fighting
Feng Shuei
Becoming a Zombie
Tooth Whitening
Ecstasy (the drug)
Alcohol (except for college. I’m not made of stone.)
Hair Color for Men (except for that one time in college. see above)
Heavy Metal, Goth, Punk, Glam, Rap, Emo, New Country
Worshiping Bob Dylan (despite my total Dylanhead buddies)
Fundamentalist Christianity
Pro “Wrestling”
Reality TV (for the most part)
Mass Murder (not really a trend, but anyway)
Graduate School
MySpace FaceBook MyBook FaceSpace, whatever
Street Racing
(God, I’m Boring)

Trends I have not successfully avoided

Being an attention whore (see above)
Tattoos (I designed my own. If you can't summon up enough creativity to do at least that, don't get one, please.)
Male answer syndrome

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Don't trust me with your secrets.

Seriously, don't. I've discovered that I can't hold up under torture. Not at all. How did I find this out? The day after I had my wisdom teeth removed, I suffered a side effect from the anesthesia, which caused me to have hiccups. Oh, I don't mean your garden variety hiccups, not something so nice. For two straight days, all day long, whenever I swallowed any food or drink, it would trigger an "attack" of loud, sustained hiccups, that I could only sometimes stop when I held my breath until I nearly passed out. This only sometimes stopped the hiccups, but I was usually able to stop them after three or four tries, which would last until I swallowed again. This kept up for two straight days, broken only by the sleep that I was able to induce with the painkillers I had been given. I was a total bitch to my wife about it, as after a while it was driving me a bit mad. It was sort of like being subjected to the "Chinese Water Torture", but self inflicted, and internal. I was worried that it was being caused by my painkillers or antibiotic, but it turns out that it was a side effect of the anesthesia, and that to get past it all I had to do was to drink a couple of liters of water, and wait. It worked! But now I know myself a bit better, and I will once again warn you that I can't be trusted with secrets. Nor do I suspect that many people could. I would literally have told you anything, true, false or really really false, to have stopped the hiccups. But, then again, maybe I'm lying. Don't torture me to find out.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Best Hamburger in The World

I had two wisdom teeth removed today, and I'm up late because the pain killers seem to alternate between keeping me awake and asleep. Why does this matter to you? It doesn't. But it does leave me with a few free minutes before the medicine kicks in again, and I thought I'd use the time to blog something I've been meaning to for a long, long time.

I have found the greatest hamburger in the world.

I don't mean this lightly. I mean it literally.

It can be found at The Watershed Restaurant, in Decatur, Georgia, near downtown. This restaurant is owned by one of the women who make up the music group "The Indigo Girls". Sorry, I can't remember which one, but there are only two of them, so if you run into one of them on the street, and tell them you love their restaurant, you have a fifty percent chance of being right.

The last time I had one, I said to my companions "This is the kind of meal that makes me wish that I were a restaurant reviewer." Then I realized, that I AM one. In my own minuscule way. After all, I have a blog that has upwards of four regular patrons. So, what the heck, why not.

I know that after declaring it the Best Hamburger in The World, everything else that i can say is sort of superfluous, but I'll give it a shot anyway.

If you know your Plato, in his writing "The Cave" he says that he believes that under all of reality, there are truths hidden. We can see a hundred different chairs, but we know them by their underlying truths, that they are all similar, or essentially identical. They contain an undefinable "chair-ness" that exists below their physical appearance. I think the drugs are kicking in.

The Hamburger at Watershed is what I believe is the closest one could ever get to approaching the true hamburger, the archetype that all other hamburgers should attempt to be. Their quality should be compared to how close they come to it. To begin with, the bun is freshly baked and flavorful without being overpowering, and by itself it would probably be an excellent accompaniment to any meal, but, just as the canvas a masterpiece is painted on rarely gets any credit, the painting could not exist without it. (unless you're one of those Atkins diet folks, and I still think the burger could hold it's own for you, but you'd be missing so much.) Next, let's have a look at the trappings. As I remember, it is topped with a very small amount of red onions, sliced paper thin, a thin slice of tomato, and a small piece of fine lettuce. I think that there is a tiny bit of mayonnaise on the bun, and possibly some butter, to add that perfect amount of extra fat that brings it all together. All of these are in the perfect, small proportion nessecary to enhance, but not distract from the flavor of the main event, the patty of Meyer All Natural Beef, topped with extra sharp cheddar. I suppose one could order it without the cheese, but that would kind of be like looking at Piccaso's Starry night while wearing blue tinted glasses. You can't possibly get the whole effect that way. I feel that the ingredients, proportions of those ingredients and the expert preparation combine to make it one of the most sublime dining experiences that one could wish for. Everyone whom I have introduced this experience to have agreed with me whole-heartedly (even if they do think that I tend, as with everything, to lay it on a bit thick). As you can by now tell, I'm not a writer, but I am an eater, and I can personally give you my assurance that if you try one of these hamburgers, you will thoroughly enjoy it, and you will thoroughly spoil yourself for any other burgers, which may be good, or even excellent, but they still won't be able to compare with the Best Hamburger in the World, at the Watershed Restaurant, owned by one of the Indigo Girls, in Decatur, Georgia. As soon as my lack of wisdom teeth heal completely, I hope to be able to go partake in one myself. If you have an intact mouth, and you don't run out at your earliest opportunity and try one of them, well you can't blame me for trying.

Sadly and obviously enough, the illustration above is not for this masterpiece, it was just an illustration that I like. The actual burger will set you back around twelve dollars, but it comes with your choice of sides. I would describe them, but I've run out of adjectives for tonight. Bye.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Bang, bang, shoot, shoot.

This lovely sidearm gives a new meaning to the phrase:
Fancy Shootin'.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Gimme Fallout Shelter

Here's some scans from a book about making your own fallout shelter, in case the Russkies attack. I've added captions that I find funny. I'm one sick bastard.

Father, do you really think that SMOKING in our FALLOUT SHELTER is really the best idea?

Shut up, Janie. Even a man facing a firing squad gets a final cigarette.

The bombs are falling, Timmy, read that Bible faster! The answer has to be in there somewhere!

Ted was apocalypse ready, having stocked his shelter with plenty of
food and water and three female servants. Here, he checks radiation
levels on his youngest servant with a rattle/geiger counter. Ted's
ready for anything. EXCEPT not leaving the door open!

Friday, August 10, 2007

One more for Wonder Woman

You just can't beat Wonder Woman. You shouldn't even try.

The guy who created Wonder Woman has a very interesting back story:

You should read it

He invented the lie detector, and WW had a rope that when she tied you up with it, made you tell the truth. In the early days, women being tied up for just about any reason was a staple of the series, to an almost disturbing degree. Read what you want to into that.

Here's an interesting quote from WMM: "The only hope for peace is to teach people who are full of pep and unbound force to enjoy being bound ... Only when the control of self by others is more pleasant than the unbound assertion of self in human relationships can we hope for a stable, peaceful human society. ... .

Update: Apparently, Rudy Giuliani is a fan of Wonder Woman. In 1994, he said:

"Freedom is not a concept in which people can do anything they want, be anything they can be. Freedom is about authority. Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do."

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Sage Advice

Don't mix gasoline into your whiskey. It will kill you.

Don't mix whiskey into your gasoline. Your car will get drunk and crash, and then you'll get blamed.

So true, so true.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Monday, July 30, 2007

If you see this guy on the street....

Don't punch him. Don't hit him with your car. Don't give him money. Don't make eye contact. Don't run. Don't walk. Don't dance. Just nod politely and he'll lose interest.

I know that they say you shouldn't post pictures of yourself in your blog, but I just couldn't resist. I'm not quite as "Homeresque" as depicted, but I'm working on it.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

More late night TV thoughts

I get up a couple of times a night to let the dogs out, and while I'm waiting for them to do their business, I usually switch on the TV, and blearily scan through a few of the nearly infinite number of info-mercials that play on the regular channels when no one is watching, in the middle of the night. Last night, the instant I switched on, a smiling woman told me "I couldn't say this on TV if it wasn't true!" my first reaction was "Why the heck not?", but actually, it goes further than that. You couldn't say it on TV if it WAS true. TV is all about lies. Everything on TV is a lie, or at least a story, and that's why we love TV. It tells us what we want to hear, or just comforts us with entertaining stories. I occasionally see the bumper sticker "Kill your TV", and to me, that takes it too far, following the usual human habit of throwing out the baby with the bathwater. (I love that phrase.) My favorite of TV's lies are the Science Fiction Lies, which can be as un-grounded in reality as you care for. I have to catch myself when I get sucked into a story, trying to logically analyze it, and tell myself "It's just a show, I should really just relax." Also, when TV is at it's best, it's about surprising you. The best lies surprise you the most. My favorite surprise was in the final episode of "Ally McBeal" when it turned out that she was just a robot. Maybe I just dreamed that one. Maybe it's just another lie.

Friday, July 13, 2007

A short short story.


Laika was dying. She was doomed to die, slowly, of asphyxiation and heat exhaustion, and the visitors had seen it all. Their ship had scanned earth for lifeforms, and found the surface teeming with life, almost everywhere, but only one life form was detected in orbit, and her life force was rapidly weakening. Her craft seemed to have little purpose, other than the slow death of the inhabitant, and the hearts of the watchers went out to her, and cursed the beings who had done this to her. Occasionally, the capsule would send out a radio signal of her fading life signs, mockingly. There was nothing to be done. Well, almost nothing. While the watchers were forbidden to interfere, no one was watching them, so they thought they’d have a little fun. Universal laws were made to be broken, or so they said. Once Laika was most certainly dead, they brought her craft onboard theirs. Reviving her was no great task, but, of course she would never be who she had been again, which was probably a good thing. They proceeded to improve her, and her craft, making it capable of safe re-entry, and making her, shall we say, formidable. They would trace her back to where she had been sent to her doom from, and return her there safely. When she was sent up she weighed around 13 pounds, and was a quadruped canine. When they sent her back she weighed 85 pounds, and could choose between quadrupedal and bipedal locomotion, and she was strong, fast, and smart. Very, very smart. Although she was not really who she had been, they implanted one thought in her new consciousness. Revenge. Her now glowing white eyes shone with joy for her task. Laika would be avenged by her own reanimated body.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

da Vinci, schma Vinci.

I’m reading “The da Vinci Code”, which isn’t so much a novel as a string of bizarre, mostly mistaken or at least misinterpreted assertions strung together within a vaguely engaging, though thin, plot. The main character, Robert Langdon, does not speak to anyone so much as lecture, constantly. Every time he talks, or even thinks to himself, he seems to find a way to expound a hidden truth. He seldom makes it through a sentence without using the term "The Sacred Feminine".

In the forward of the book, Dan Brown asserts:

“FACT: The Priory of Scion – a European secret society founded in 1099 – is a real organization. In 1975 Paris’s Bibliotheque Nationale discovered parchments known as Les Dossiers Secrets, identifying numerous members of the Priory of Scion, including Sir Isaac Newton, Botticelli, Victor Hugo, and Leonardo da Vinci."

By now everybody knows the central secrets at the center of the book.

1 - The church has spent the last two thousand plus years repressing the importance of women in the church, and by extension, repressing women in general.

2 - Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married, and had children, whose descendants walk among us today.

These assertions are made based on the author having read, and believed every single word of a book called “Holy Blood, Holy Grail”, which is based on the assertions of the document mentioned in the forward to The da Vinci Code. The Priory of Scion is supposedly devoted to protecting the bloodline of Jesus, whose descendants include most European royalty. It’s all pretty tenuous to begin with.

Unfortunately, the document that all of this is based on has been conclusively proven to be a total fraud, perpetrated so the actual author could claim to be the legitimate King of France. Even more unfortunately, exposure of this fraud tends to discount these actual secrets:

1 -The church actually HAS spent the last two thousand plus years repressing the importance of women in the church, and by extension, repressing women in general. This isn’t actually a secret, anyway, so much as POLICY.

2 - Although Jesus and Mary Magdalene were probably not married, she was a very important disciple of Jesus.(She even wrote her own gospel.) Her not being noted as an actual apostle is a very clear indication that the churches repression of women started very, very early. And, yes, her being generally cast by the church as a prostitute sure does confirm the whole repression thing, doesn’t it?

So, although Dan Brown’s intentions were actually very noble, basing his assertions on fraud, rather than facts just serves to bolster the repression of the actual facts by obscuring them in a haze of nonsense and paranoia.

And on top of all that, the book is actually pretty awful. Not Stephen King awful, or even Michael Crichton awful, but pretty awful nonetheless. I hope the book I am waiting for at the library comes in soon, so I can read it instead. It’s about String Theory. Don’t get me started on String Theory. I’ll probably blog on it later.

Monday, July 09, 2007


Something made me think of "Alice in Wonderland", which reminded me that I simply don't GET "Alice in Wonderland", and I don't see what the big deal is, considering "Alice in Wonderland". Sure, it's strange and sort of hallucinatory, but most of the references are of a time long gone, an ocean away as well. It's sort of like "Hey, let's make fun of a Vicar.", which, in context, might be hilariously funny, but I wager that the vast majority of people who read "A in W", have no hint of the joke, or why it is supposed to be funny in the first place. I feel like MOST of the jokes in AinW are the same way. Is just being goofy enough? I don't think so. But it's not just Alice, I think some other, less popular but well known cultural milestones are the same way. For example, the musicals of Gilbert and Sullivan. I like the music, and the words, but I just don't get any of the references that are being made. I can still enjoy "The Mikado", but since I can't understand what is being satirized, I feel somehow left out, not in on the joke. I can't help but feel the same way whenever I read the Bible. In all of these cases, and many more, these are not my times, or my people, and I have a very hard time understanding them. There may be universal truths to be had in studying all three, but I just don't have the energy.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Don't fall for it (again)!

I'm the last, the very last person to believe in conspiracy theories. Who killed JFK? LHO. Who was behind 9/11? AL Q. Did we really go to the moon. Of course we did. But sometimes, when you execute a plan, which under normal circumstances would seem ludicrous, in plain sight, without benefit of an organized conspiracy, you can get away with metaphorical murder. For example, before the invasion of Iraq, plenty of reasonable people saw that the justification for going there was at best, extremely tenuous. But panic prevailed, and thousands of deaths later, the same people who signed on to the lies, are saying "Oops, sorry." Well, another scary road is looming ahead, not an invasion, per se, but just as eventful.
The Vice President's increasingly bizarre behavior (I'm not a member of the executive branch because I'm president pro tem of the Senate, yet I can withhold anything I want from the senate because of privileges granted to me as a member of the executive branch.) hint to his being on the way out. So, many trial balloons are going up on conservative blogs to the effect of: "This summer, when Dick Cheney resigns due to health concerns, he should be replaced by the common sense candidate, Fred Thompson." I like to call it the "Reagan: The Sequel" scenario. If Thompson is appointed Vice President, he will most certainly get the republican nomination, and possibly even be elected the next president. (People will vote for him based on his charismatic personality and that warm grandfatherly feeling they get from him, you know, the same one they got from Ronnie.) The conservatives will get kudos for cutting Dick loose. (But he will still get away with all of his crimes Scott Free.) And he will be replaced by someone who the cabal of ultra-conservatives will be able to control every action of, just like they did with Ronnie. Which would be the final nail in the coffin of the Constitution. I'm sure KKKarl Rove is wetting his pants in anticipation of this one. Please don't let them roll the clock back again.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Only in Japan!

Available soon - Only in Japan!

It still probably tastes better than *shudder* Pepsi Blue. I actually suffered through a bottle of that, whatever it was. It was called a "Berry Cola Fusion", and let me tell you, there was nothing Cola about it, and I guess Sickeningly Sweet will have to pass for Berry. Maybe it was actually waste water from a Fusion reactor, sent into the past to get rid of it.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Catch ya on the flipside!

I found a cool website, or at least one that's cool to a useless information geek like me. At:
You can drag the top map to wherever you want, and the lower map responds, showing you what is on the very precisely opposite side of the earth. That is, if you were to dig a hole straight through the center of the earth, this is exactly where you'd come out. Most sites come out in the middle of one ocean or another, of course. If you happen to BE in the middle of the ocean, of course, you might come out on land. If you dig in Hawaii, you come out in Botswana and Namibia.

Some other locations also come out on land. For example, my friend Bill
relocated to Wellington, New Zealand, and if you dig there, you come out in Spain, at the town of Alaejos. They should set up a sister cities program with them. They could each set up a directional sign with an arrow pointing straight down and the other place's name, and the legend: 12,742 kilometers or 7,917 miles. That is, of course by the shortest route possible, but I wouldn't recommend traveling that way. You can't possibly be further away from home, and still be on the planet, if you're at your antipode, which is an unsettling thing to me.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Perfect Solution

So the president has promised to veto any bill that comes to his desk that includes an "artificial timetable" for withdrawal of troops from Iraq. First off, who knew he knew the word veto? His policy is usually to sign bills that he would have vetoed, and then add a signing statement saying, basically, "This is law except when I say it isn't.". Second, what the hell is an "artificial timetable"? Wouldn't "timetable" cover it? I guess that's just his way of heaping his scorn upon his critics.

But I have the perfect solution. I know that it is hard to believe, even for me, that I'm saying this, but it's time to give the president exactly what he wants. Emphasis on the "exactly". The congress should withdraw the original bill, and replace the timetable for withdrawal with a promise not to withdraw. Ever. Ever. Fund the troops with the proviso that the president has made it clear that we are in this for the long run, the very long run, and that any timetable would be an admission of defeat and failure, and since we can't ever admit that, we must commit the fully funded troops to remain in Iraq forever. After all, the insurgents are already multiplying faster than we can find or kill them, so on a purely mathematical basis we are pretty much committed to stay there forever anyway.

Friday, April 13, 2007

How big is a billion?

Okay, for argument's sake, let's say you have a billion dollars. Billion with a B. For you Britishers, who have different names for big, big numbers, that's 1,000,000,000 dollars. Hey, the four hundred richest people in America each have at least a billion dollars each, so why shouldn't you.

Now let's say that you decided to give it away. Again, just for argument's sake. You decide to give it away, one dollar at a time. You will give away one dollar, every second of the day, twenty four hours a day, 365 days a year. Why not? How long will it take you to give the billion dollars away? See the bottom of this post for the surprising answer.

Answer: Thirty one years, eight months, eight days, one hour, forty two minutes, twenty four seconds.

I used Google to figure this out. I asked "How many seconds are in x years, and then kept honing it down from there. I have no life. It was actually pretty easy. Google rocks.

You're going to be one busy, tired ex-billionaire by the time you're through.

Monday, April 02, 2007

New postage stamp. This is real.

But I thought that it was against Post Office policy to issue stamps picturing the current President.
"Destroy my Death Star once, shame on you,
Destroy my Death Star twice, shame on, shame on....
Don't get fooled again."

Monday, March 26, 2007

What's that smell? It's new, it's you, it's GLUE!

Some of these scents I can understand, but GLUE?

Oh, I just went back to the page and noticed they have another scent:
"Sushi". There just aren't enough ways to say EWWWWW.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

You have GOT to be kidding me!

Here's the latest piece of proof that the fashion industry is just having us all on.
Pictured to the left is the Tribute Patchwork Bag from Louis Vuitton. It is made from 15 cut up LV bags, and retails for somewhere between $42,000 and $45,000. Not kidding. At all. Not funny. At all.

This is, by far, the ugliest piece of "fashion" that I have ever seen. And I watch Project Runway.

It's not only ugly on a visual level, but in my eyes, on a moral level. That kind of money could probably feed a small family for a year, and some rich "person" is going to carry it ONCE, and then put it into the closet, next to the hundreds of other purses they never use. Also, it just serves to perpetuate the fashion industry's hold on what they can get away with. This bag says they can get away with anything, and sell anything, and that some poor (rich) deluded sucker will pay them through the nose to insult our collective common sense.
I'm not against fashion, just against the people who are so stupid that they not only fall for a bad, cruel joke that is getting played on them, but they pay anything they are told to, to have that joke played on them.

Monday, March 12, 2007

There is no possible way I can improve on this.

But it might need a little explanation. Hell Pizza is a chain of restaurants in New Zealand, where they don't take things quite so seriously as we do.

And, yes, there have been the completely expected adverse reactions to this advert.

Some people just can't take a joke.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


I eat meat. I like meat. I like eating meat. But....
This image could just turn me vegetarian.

It reminds me of Douglas Adams' Arcturain Mega Cow, from the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, who is bred not only to enjoy being eaten, but with the ability to say so, clearly and distinctly.


Now about that turning vegetarian.....


Thursday, March 01, 2007

One more failed coin experiment

So the mint has announced that we are going to get new one dollar coins, four released each year, to honor every one of our presidents. Now, I'm as big a fan of William Henry Harrison "I lasted thirty days" as the next guy, and I actually look forward to using these things, but until we get hip with the rest of the world and actually replace our paper dollars with coins, it is an experiment doomed to failure. Canada and Australia released their one dollar coins and within a very short time withdrew all of their paper singles. Heck, the Canadians even released a two dollar coin, but I'm not sure if they have withdrawn their two dollar bills. I'm sure that part of the decision to do this is to fuel the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder of many Americans, tens of thousands of whom will keep at least 43 of these coins out of circulation in their coin collections. Would somebody please explain to me how keeping coins out of circulation helps the economy? Is this the only way to get Americans to have savings? But really, the main reason to issue these coins is to appease the poor, deluded Ronald Reagan worshipers, who I am sure will collect thousands of his coins in honor of the guy who they feel personally, single handedly won the cold war. At least maybe this will derail their attempt to replace the Roosevelt dime with the Reagan dime. They refer to FDR as "the communist". Honestly, they do. One potential drawback, should the dollar bill be withdrawn, would be the potential impact on the stripper economy. Then again, if two dollar bills are kept in circulation, it means a dramatic raise for the hard working stripper industry. I'm sorry I just said that. Adios for now.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy V-v-v-valentines Day

If I really loved you, would I expose you to the image to the left?
Sure I would.
Because part of love is being willing to expose the ones you love to unutterable weirdness from time to time.
And expecting the same in return.
Happy V Day, everybody.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Who decided that the bottom line is the ONLY line?

I know that I'm incredibly naive, but I'd like to think that things like education, medicine and national defense are too important to make them places where the ability to extract obscene levels of profit are the central motivating factor. When I see literally billions of dollars disappearing into the pockets of private contractors in Iraq, who are carrying on functions that the military should be carrying out itself, but can't because there just aren't the soldiers to do all the work, it makes me think that there is something seriously messed up in the basic structure of the system. Same goes for health care, where the CEO's of the health care organizations are paid unimaginable amounts of wealth, as if what they were producing were just cars or toasters, while at the same time the actual product they are producing is being portioned out as if it were a privilege, and not a right. If you can't afford it, tough on you, sonny. Scrooge comes to mind, again. And finally, public schools are suffering drastic budget cuts, while at the same time the administration trumpets the LIE "No Child Left Behind", and colleges are becoming the refuge of a healthy mix of the rich and the super rich. I don't know what to do about it except to say, "Open your eyes, people. Run to your window, throw it open and yell; "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore." " Wait a minute. Didn't the last guy who said that get shot for his trouble?