Thursday, June 30, 2005

And Now...A Fart Joke

A guy goes to pick up his date for the evening. She's not ready yet, so he has to sit in the living room with her parents. He has a bad case of gas and really needs to releive some pressure. Luckly, the family dog jumps up on the couch next to him. He decides that he can let a little fart out and if anyone notices they will think that the dog did it. He farts, and the woman yells, "Spot, get down from there." The guy thinks, "Great, they think the dog did it." He releases another fart, and the woman again yells for the dog to get down. This goes on for a couple more farts. Finally the woman yells, "Dammit Spot, get down before he shits on you."

Thank you.


Wednesday, June 29, 2005

G 8 Summit and On-line Petitions

Greetings, Faithful Readers,

Today I received a bit of feedback asking my opinion on the upcoming G8 Summit. I usually only casually skirt the edges of politics here at The Corner, not because I have no political opinions (those of you who know me can attest to that), but because I don't want to post rumors or inaccuracies. So to do a truly political comment would require homework, and I usually don't feel like doing homework. (I'm a teacher, dammit. I give others homework) ;-) But, be that as it may, I have spent some time reading transcripts of the foreign misiter's meeting that occurred in London last Thursday. It read more like a UN meeting, but they touched on most of the major hot points in the world. I'll list a few here:

1. The need to maintain the economic infrastructure of Gaza after the proposed Israeli pull-out.

2. Iran's nuclear program, and the need to keep it from becoming a weapons program. They also expressed concern about Iran's human rights and freedom violations.

3. Kosovo's efforts toward stabilization. There was talk of Kosovo turning over the remaining indictees from the Srebrenica massacre of a decade ago to The Hague.

4. UN reforms were discussed in light of recent administrative impropriety. Some of the measures mentioned were the "establishment of a Peacebuilding Commission to assist countries emerging from conflict", and "the need for an enlarged and more representative Security Council that was able to address effectively the challenges of the 21st Century".
5. Concerns over conventional weapons proliferation in unstable regions, and a UK proposed arms trade treaty.

6. Darfur was discussed in detail, with the hope that, with assistance, the African Union Mission would be able to get the situation under control.

7. North Korea must return to the 6 point negotiations. And Kim Jong Il must relinquish his ability to transform into a giant, heavily armed robot fighting machine. (what, you expected me to stay totally serious?)

8. People in Iraq should just keep on keeping on.

9. Syria needs to keep its fingers out of Lebanon.

10. The government of Zimbabwe needs to make things all better there.

11. Haiti's a mess, and we all need to pitch in to fix it.

That about sums it up. I'm not sure what it all means, but we have seen politicians in the past who are very good at saying what must happen, but not so hot on how it will happen. The summit itself is next week, and I will keep an eye on what goes down and give my opinion after.

Now, as for the agenda of the person who asked me to look into this. They sent me a link to a web site dedicated to sending a message to President Bush through a form you can sign. If you want to check it out, the url is:

Ok, some of you have heard me say this before, but now I'll put it here on the blogosphere. On line petitions are an easy, relatively anonymous way to get your voice out there, but they carry very little weight in Washington. There are two things that motivate our elected officials: money and votes. A better way to get your voice heard is 1) register to vote, and 2) contact your senators and congresspersons. Here are links to do just that.

Direct e-mails carry much more weight, and good old-fashioned paper letters even more so. Now I'm not saying that on-line petitions don't have any effect, but when the current administration was planning to invade Iraq, and hundreds of thousands of people gathered in protest, they acted like it never happened. How much more easily can they hit their delete key?

Tomorrow: More fart jokes!

Politically yours,

Sunday, June 26, 2005

This Totally Rocks!!

By Thor's never empty beer fridge! I feel like a pre-historic hunter/gatherer who has just been given a submachine gun. A month ago we got a new computer. Nothing fancy, but it has a processor that runs in the gigahertz range, with a huge 60 gig. hard drive. Trying to save a bit of green I didn't get a monitor since I already had one. Alas, my poor old monitor was just too dumb for the new computer, and no matter how slowly I made it talk, the antique CRT just wouldn't listen. So there the new computer sat, silent as HAL after he proposed to Daisey, awaiting payday.

Friday was the day. Staples had a sale, and I bought a monitor. This morning I hooked it up. We also signed up for DSL. Today I am WIRED!!!!(there should be a triumphant fanfare here) I never realized how pokey my 6 year old machine was until today. I can download programs in minutes, or even seconds, instead of hours. I can watch streaming video. I can even, dare I say it, download music. Oh sweet mystery of life, at last I've found you! (if you don't know the tune to this, rent Young Frankenstein) And best of all, the phone works when I'm on-line, so when my wife is spending the whole day reading Harry Potter fanfic I can actually get in touch with her.

Now, of course, I can further my internet addiction. If any of you have had this experience you'll understand. Last October my power supply fried, and took most of the computer's innards with it. I was without a computer for nearly two months. At first I didn't consider it a problem, but it soon became painfully obvious just how accustomed I had become to being able to instantly answer any question. To suddenly lose that was jarring. And the fact that it was jarring was even more jarring. I got jar-jarred. (sorry, couldn't resist)

So here I am with an even faster connection, and a machine that can handle it. I don't know if it's right or wrong, but if it's wrong, then I don't want to be right.

Your speedy correspondent,

and just for the sake of my marriage, I haven't even considered the porn capacity of this new set-up. ;-)

Thursday, June 23, 2005

LIghts, Camera, Blog!

Hi Folks, remember me?

Sorry I haven't posted in a while. I spent an hour Saturday morning writing a review of Batman Begins, which included some marvelous word play, and brilliant cinematic insight, but when I hit the post button my computer decided to crash. I'm only just getting over it. [well, ok, at least the part about spending an hour writing it, and the computer crashing is true. ;-)]

Anyway, I am going to regale you now with some opinions of the movies we have recently seen. Two at the theater, and three at home. So, without further ado:

Batman Begins

More than two decades ago, Tim Burton (the second wierdest person in the US) made what many, including yours truly, thought of as the definitive Batman film. It was dark, edgy, and well written. It sold well enough to spawn several sequals, each one getting stupider, and flashier. Finally Joel Schumacher made Batman and Robin, the silliest, stupidest film yet. The Batman franchise imploded in a rubber-nippled (except for Batgirl, I might add) puff of homo-erotic irrelevency, punctuated by nauseating editing, vertiginous camera work, and a longing for the Wonder Twins to lend the film some gravitas. When the day-glo dust settled it was clear, and somewhat comforting, that there would be no more Batman films.
Then, a few months ago, the buzz began that there would be a new Batman film. One that would go back to the beginning and show just how Bruce Wayne became The Batman. I held my breath, and dared to hope. And I wasn't disappointed. Batman Begins does not redefine the genre, nor does it push the envelope of special effects, but it does one thing very entertains. I had a blast watching this movie. Christian Bale does a servicable job as the Dark Knight, mixing equal parts method angst with Saturday morning cartoon camp. Micheal Cain was born to play Alfred, and Liam Neeson...well I don't want to spoil the surprise, but at least he finally makes it to the end of a film. And the Batmobile is finally what it was supposed to be all along, a freaking tank! So wait for a matinee, buy the biggest tub of popcorn you can carry, and go have a great time at the movies for a change.

The other film we saw at the theater was Madagascar. It was cute. The animation was well done, and the story didn't quite conform to the 'be careful what you wish for' mold it seemed to be heading toward. The high point, and reason why this movie should at least be on your rental list, is the penguins. They kick ass!! If you have ever wanted to see a mega-freighter hijacked by an elite squad of Special Forces penguins, this is your film. There is one scene that might be a bit much for the younger kids, but overall a good family pic.

In the rental category, I'll begin with Team USA. Parker and Stone are absolutely insane, and I haven't laughed so hard since the South Park movie. They attack everyone from Arab and Russian terrorists, to the hyper-liberal Film Actors Guild (F.A.G.) with equal venom. And the puppet sex scene, which had to be cut down to avoid an NC-17 rating, is as erotic as watching Barbie and Ken do it. (the MPAA really needs a sense of humor transplant) If, like me, you grew up watching The Thunderbirds, and you enjoy South Park, you'll love this movie. A word of warning, though. This one should only be watched when the children are very, very asleep. ;-)

The last two flicks we rented were National Treasure, and Cursed. Both were entertaining, and ultimately inconsequential. Nicholas Cage does his usual excellent job as a man searching for clues to a treasure that has consumed his family for generations. It's a Disney film, so the bad guys are menacing, but lousy shots, and the intrigue never really rises to the level of stressful, but it's a fun ride.
Cursed is Wes Craven's latest. It's a werewolf movie starring Christina Ricci. She has grown to be quite the actor, but her talents are wasted in this one. It's pretty standard fare: a girl and her brother are attacked by a large, scary animal, then they spend the rest of the film trying to figure out 'what's happening to me?' There aren't any surprises, except maybe the fact that Rick Baker is using CGI now, which I found a bit disappointing. It's odd to say this, but the most unbelievable part of this whole movie is a kiss at the end. (nerd-boy brother gets the girl, but in a very contrived way) Again, if you feel like a pitcher of margaritas and a good-bad B movie night, this is a worthy rental.

Ok, time to go to work. The next flick on my radar is The War of the Worlds. I'm not a huge Tom Cruise fan, but I am a huge H.G. Wells fan, so we'll see how it goes.


Wednesday, June 15, 2005

I Haven't Forgotten You

Greetings, Faithful Readers,

Pray forgive your tardy blogger. The new job is keeping me quite busy. The theatres were cared for by a gentleman who did so as a side job, so while things are better than they could have been, they are still quite a mess. He kept things functioning, but had no time to do any real, in-depth cleaning or organizing. I finally got a shop-vac yesterday (please, hold your applause) so the crap removal has shifted into high gear. I realize that this is extremely exciting news, so I'm glad I could share it with you today. ;-)

Another reason I have been so quiet of late is that, until I get paid next week, we are too broke to do anything but sit at home and watch the tube. There are all kinds of groovy things to do here, but most of it costs. For example, there are two IMAX theatres here, and at least one of them will be showing Batman Begins. We also live within walking distance of Busch Gardens. In fact I like to watch the roller coasters on my way to work. Ybor City, where I work, is full of groovy stores, great restaurants, and rock clubs(Kayce and Erin, you guys will love it when you come to visit). And we haven't even begun to explore Tampa itself. So as we get out more, I will report more.

Adieu, for now. :-)

Saturday, June 11, 2005


Greetings, Gentle Readers,

Well, you may have noticed that not much is happening here at The Corner. That's because your friendly, neighborhood Marius is going through something of a reverse culture shock. The denizens of this sprawling metropolis consider Tampa to be a medium sized city, but after three years in Pineville I feel like a goldfish suddenly released into the ocean. (yes, I know that fresh water fish wouldn't survive in the ocean. don't take the simile too far) Anyway, amongst the sensory overload not much has happened. I'm settling in to my new job, and trying to sort out everyone's feelings about me being there. Some folks are obviously thrilled to have a professional technical director on board, but others definitely harbor some resentment that the guy who was doing the job has been replaced. To their credit the ones who disapprove haven't shown it directly to me, and some have even admitted that the man I am replacing wasn't the best at interpersonal relations, so hopefully I'll be able to win them over eventually. I had a long talk with him on my second day, and for someone who took care of the theatres as a side job, he did so remarkably well. We disagree on some basic points, such as the benefits of having a 30+ year-old lighting system and the use of students to run the rentals(he wouldn't), but those are relatively minor issues. There are some equipment and facility problems, and some potentially serious safety issues, but all in all the spaces, while antiquated, are all quite functional.

As for the apartment, well it's coming along slowly. My wife has been ill this week, so she hasn't been up to doing much unpacking. But, as we are effectively broke until payday, guess what we'll be doing this weekend. ;-)

All right. This has been a pretty dull post so far, so I'm going to have another cup of coffee and go watch some cartoons.

Love and kisses,

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Technology Rocks!

We here at The Corner have recently acquired a device that, were it made mandatory in every household, could end most domestic strife. I am referring to the Digital Video Recorder. We have digital cable here in our new digs, and I wasn't terribly impressed until last night. The box has a built in DVR, and while watching a stand-up comedian my wife came into the room, and as women are wont to do, started talking to me. (now before you get all pissy, ladies, I'm not making a character judgment. It is simply true that most women don't think twice about conversing while the tv is on. I watched my wife and mother-in-law do it to each other quite a bit over the last three weeks.) My wife, however, has the uncanny ability to speak at exactly the right moment to obliterate either a punch line or very relevant plot point. But, since I am a child of the 'Mars/Venus' era, I have learned to be tolerant of such interruptions, though they bug me no end. So, true to form, my wife spake unto me right as the punch line was delivered. As usual I gave her my attention, then returned to watching, while trying to extrapolate what the missing words were. Then, in an epiphany worthy of a Terry Gilliam animated segue I remembered those commercials...'you can even rewind or pause live tv!' I grabbed the remote, found the rewind button, held my breath, and pressed it. Lo and behold the comedian froze in mid-joke, then proceeded to wander backward about the stage. I pressed play, and heard the missing punch line! And there was a loud Hosanna!! As God is my witness, I'll never miss an important line again!!!!!!

Now, I wonder if I can get the thing to filter out those obnoxious Enzyte commercials. I'll keep you posted.

Yours in Domestic Bliss,

Saturday, June 04, 2005

The Better Part of Valor, and other Crap

Morning, Gentle Readers,

Well, I was going to post a moment-by-moment chronicle of the move, but that would just depress all of you, and piss me off anew, so I'll nutshell it and then move on. We learned several lessons on this journey:

1. When you rent a truck on-line, make sure you find out which dimensions are which. The truck was listed as being 15'X6'2"x7'4". I had assumed the 7'4" was the height. I was wrong. (getting tall furniture into the truck was something of an adventure)

2. Allow an extra day for your travel. If you can't get your truck over 60mph without it wanting to flip over, it slows your progress immensely.

3. Find out when the office at your new apartment closes, and make sure that you can get in after they go home.(we couldn't and we got to spend an extra night in a hotel less than a mile from the apartment)

4. If you can at all avoid it, don't move into a place without seeing it yourself. My mother-in-law did her best to evaluate this place, but if I had seen it myself I wouldn't have chosen this one.(Em likes it, though. So I'm doing my best to attribute my uneasiness to exhaustion and aggravation from the move.)

Ok, that's enough bitching. Let's talk about something else. The other day I read a letter in TV Guide from a mother who was complaining that the new Star Wars movie wasn't child friendly, and how could George Lucas do that to her. I just want to say to that woman...Bite me!!! The last two movies were worthy of the freaking Power Rangers, so he finally did one that we adult fans of the movies could enjoy. Get over it. I am so sick of parents who think the whole world should be child-proof and sanitized. I grew up playing on asphalt playgrounds, using toys with small parts, and potentially toxic plastics. I watched Johnny Quest, The Adventures of Superman, The Six Million Dollar Man, and other violent tv shows. I ate Cap'n Crunch, and Sugar Pops, and other non-healthy cereals, and I survived fairly well, thank you. I never even owned a bicycle helmet until I was in my 30's! I'm not a sociopath, or sickly, or (no comments, please) even slightly deranged. Get over it, parents. We are raising a generation of wimps, full of fear and self-loathing if they dare to enjoy sugar. And interwoven amongst all this parental angst is a culture of declining parental responsibility. I don't go to movies very often, because I know that my 7 year old won't sit still for it, and will disturb the other movie goers. I don't use the tv as a babysitter, nor do I expect her to use any character on the boob tube as a role model. I don't care what comes out of Hollywood, or Burbank, because I know what she is watching, and I make sure it's appropriate or I, and this is the radical part here, turn it off.

Oops. I guess I didn't really stop bitching, did I. Oh well. I have more boxes to unpack. Talk amongst yourselves.

Love and kisses,

Friday, June 03, 2005

I'm Baaaack!

Hey Y'all, and welcome from Tampa!

The moving ordeal, at least the sweaty, carrying heavy boxes up stairs part is over. Now the unpacking part begins in earnest. I'll chronical the whole saga soon, but I must go and help with the placement of our crap. Tune in tomorrow for more in-depth coverage. :-)

Marius the Exhausted