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

Lakshmi Mittal and family



Sir Richard Branson £1,200m

Transport, Internet, Mobile phones


Joanne Rowling

Novels, Films


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! 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


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.

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

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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


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.

and of course.....

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.
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.
THE buffalo FROM Buffalo WHO ARE buffaloed BY buffalo FROM Buffalo ALSO buffalo THE buffalo FROM Buffalo.

"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


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


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


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.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Countdown to the end of the world.

Here's a picture of a beautiful yet slightly menacing part of the CERN supercolider.

You remember that one, the one that's going to destroy the world?

I spoke to a physicist who I work with, and I asked him why, since it's started up successfully, hasn't the world been destroyed.

He tells me that they're only operating at partial power, and that it will take quite some time before they will be able to operate at full power. I asked when it will be at full power, so I'll know when to stop buying milk, and he said a year or so. Uh oh, says I, that means 2012! We know that the world is going to end then! The Maya told us so! Just like the world ended in 1999! And 999! and 666! And every other time some religious nut has decided that it was, in his or her opinion, time to hit the reset button. Guess what? I can tell you when the world is going to end, with much greater certainty than any of the current crop of nut-jobs.

The world will end when the sun expands and becomes a Red Giant Star, in about 5 billion years, so sometime around 3:04 on Friday the 20th of April in the year 5,000,002,009. How did I come up with such a specific date and time? Like all the other prophets before me, I pulled it out of thin air.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Questions about Twilight. Really.

Although I don't remember that much about it, I think that I actually kind of liked the film Twilight, although I am neither a teen age girl nor a 40 year old girl.

I haven't seen the second Twilight film yet, but since it's out and in the news:

I have several questions about Twilight:

1. Why do the vampires keep going back to high-school? Isn't four years of misery enough for them? From the wall of mortar boards in their home, they just can't seem to get enough of high-school, and presumably, college. If they're looking to maintain a "normal" public face in the community, firstly, WHY, and secondly, wouldn't it be easier to claim they are home schooling?

2. A hundred year old high-school vampire who is attracted to a teenager he won't have sex with, but he will sneak into her bedroom and sit up all night, watching her as she sleeps in her underwear. What's wrong with this picture? OK, how many things are wrong with this picture? And why doesn't it bother the teenage fan's parents?

3. Why don't the townspeople notice that the "Father and Mother" vampire are just a couple years older than the "high-school" age vampires?

4. That's a really nice house. What are the vampire's jobs, that they can afford a house like that? I'd think the "I can come to work any day that it isn't sunny." would limit one's prospects. And why do they have such an elaborate kitchen, and why do they even know how to cook?

5. Sparkly in sunlight? Really?

And honestly, I do want answers to these questions. Please pass this post on to whomever you think can answer them in the comments, seriously or otherwise. Eventually I'm sure I'll have questions about the Werewolves too. When does the Mummy show up?