Saturday, March 31, 2007

Friday, March 30, 2007

Sweet!





If this doesn't make you go 'awwwww' then you need to check yourself into a funeral home.

Marius

Thursday, March 29, 2007

It's Finger Crossing Time...Again

The University of South Florida, which is paradoxically in Tampa, called me this afternoon. They want to interview me for the Technical Director position I applied for there a few weeks ago. Please cross whatever extremities you wish, light some candles, sacrifice a newt, or whatever for me. To quote a well known musical, 'Oh, God, I need this job!'

Peace out, y'all.
Marius

Sunday, March 25, 2007

The Sacrifice of a Loving Cat


Seeing that I had fallen asleep while reading, Starbuck valiently threw himself upon my book, lest I lose my place. (Mrs. Marius snapped this shot of the men of the house enjoying a lazy Sunday afternoon)(and yes, we are apparantly holding hands...paws...er...whatever)

Saturday, March 24, 2007

300...and then some.

Hi Folks, and welcome to The Corner. Sorry about the paucity of posts of late, but the fam and I were in sunny South Florida all week, and I was trying to rest. But, we did get to the movies, and here is what we saw.

300 kicks ass! If you like gladiator movies, or just like seeing a grown man naked, this is the movie for you. There are more six packs in this flick than in a walk-in cooler at a NASCAR marathon. But fret not, oh heterosexual men, there is plenty of female nudity here as well, though some of it is surrounded by such libido-crushing creepiness that your mind virtually has a tug of war with your pig-brain over whether to be turned on, or just grossed out. The movie is based on the graphic novel(we can't call them comic books anymore) by Frank Miller, and it tells the tale of King Leonidas of Sparta taking on the Persian army of King Xerxes at Thermopylae. The catch is that Leonidas has 300 men, and Xerxes has thousands. There is a kind of fuzzy, ill defined sub plot regarding the political machinations that prevent the entire Spartan army from waging war, but what's important is that 300 chiseled, leather speedo clad warriors held off an army for 3 days. The action is non-stop, and the battles are bloody, and believable. There is just enough weirdness thrown in to paint a thin glaze of the supernatural over the events, but not so much that we have to throw our willing suspension of disbelief into over drive. And if you ever wondered what it looks like when an elephant falls over a cliff, this is your film. The battle tactics are pretty solid, although most of Xerxes' warriors have all the prowess of Imperial Stormtroopers, and the CGI is used with a deft, and fairly light touch. All in all it is well worth seeing on the big screen.


Peace out, y'all.
Marius

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Selfishness, It's Not Just For Dinner Anymore

Today I drove from Tampa to Wellington, Florida. Along the way I stopped at one of those great monuments to urinary relief and consumer excess: the Turnpike Rest Stop. It was raining, and as usual I was enjoying watching people act as if hydrochloric acid were falling from the sky. I put on my jacket and hat and sallied forth into the downpour, anxious to create a downpour of my own, when I witnessed an act so unbelievably asinine as to set me to thinking. A young, healthy man in a car with Virginia plates parked in the handicapped spot closest the doors, leapt out of his still running car, and ran inside; acting for all the world as if tiny razor blades were falling instead of raindrops. I stopped, making sure that my assumptions were founded, for there were no tags or stickers announcing his right to park there. This is a particular pet peeve of mine. And while visions of tire slashing, or paint-job keying played across the movie screen of my mind, I had an epiphany. RFID's.

Radio Frequency Identification tags are a boon to store security managers, and a bane to privacy advocates, but these innocuous little devices could finally bring down the massive horde of handicapped parking spot invaders. An RFID is a tiny device that, when put close to the proper transciever, emits radio signals containing whatever information is needed. In an ideal world, you could fill your shopping cart with RFID equipped groceries, walk through a special scanner tunnel, and have your amount tallied and deducted from your account without ever having to wait for a check-out person to call for a bag boy to find out how much your jar of Vasline and extra strength Trojans cost. And they can be very tiny. There is even talk of putting them in passports to speed up the customs process. (not a good idea, in my opinion, but that's a story for another day) So here's my proposal. All handicapped parking spaces would be equipped with a mechanism that tags any vehicle that parks there with an RFID that tells the time, date, and location of the parking event. Police officers would routinely scan vehicles to see if they had any of these tags on them. If they did, and they had not the right to use said space, voila! Ticket. Not quite as satisfying as doing major damage to the asshole's car, but justice would be served.

Thank you.

Marius the Semi-Drugged

Monday, March 19, 2007

Sacrifice?




Lovingly swiped from PIKARESQUE.

Sue









Wierd Al strikes again!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

This Time I Really, Really, REALLY Mean it.

Kate Blanchette is in talks to play Indy's love interest in the soon to begin filming fourth Indiana Jones film. I'm guessing it will be called Raiders of the Lost Dentures. Or maybe Indiana Jones and the Temple of Viagra. Or Indiana Jones and the Last Hip Replacement.

I bet you all can do better than those weak jokes...or can you?

"Throw me the idol, I'll throw you the truss."

"Male nurse with sponge...very dangerous. You go first."

"Jello. Why'd it have to be Jello?"


Muahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!

...And One More Thing.

Why is it that Easter, the Eed Plebnista (only you really hard core Trek fans will get that one), the holiest of holies in the Christian calendar, has the most garish decorations and accouterments? How do chicks and ducks and geese in hues so horrifically bright and garish as to make the brain squirm of its own accord commemorate one of the most horrible, and wonderful events in all creation? I just got back from Wally World, and the panoply of pastel putrescence is just breath taking. I think the wavelengths reflected off of those plush atrocities have permanently scarred my retinas. It makes me long for a crowd of Emo/Goth kids on their way to a funeral at midnight just to sooth mine eyes.

Ok, now I really, really am done for the day.

Peace out, y'all.

Marius

A Preponderance of Ponderances

Yeah, yeah, I know I said I was done for the day, but I just got back from a 5 or 6 mile bike ride(Home Depot seems a lot closer by car) and something crossed my mind while I was waiting for that runner's high I hear so much about.(I'm inclined to think it feels an awful lot like angina, but I'm just guessing) Anyway, if I might parse from that wholly remarkable book, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy,

"I refuse to prove that I exist," says God, "for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing." "But," says Man, "the Babel fish is a dead giveaway isn't it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves that you exist, and so therefore, by your own arguments, you don't. Q.E.D."
"Oh dear," says God, "I hadn't thought of that," and promptly vanishes in a puff of logic
."

My question is this: does proof deny faith? And if so, why? Is it written somewhere that if God were to give unambiguous proof of his existence that man would cease to believe? That seems rather counter intuitive to me. It seems more likely that it is a rationalization by the faithful to make those of us who require a bit more than the words of superstitious nomads who lived 2-6 thousand years ago shut up. I want to believe, and if an angel were to show up here in my living room right now and show me unquestionable evidence that there is a God I'd be the first one in line at the communion plate next Sunday. Now don't get me wrong, I speak not to disprove what anyone else has spoke, yet I am here to speak what I don't know. Any opinions?

Secondly, and lastly for today, can anyone explain why Starbuck, the Kitten of the Apocalypse, rushes into the bathroom every time I get out of the shower meowing and purring as if to say, 'Thank Bast you're ok! I thought I lost you that time!"?

Ok, here endeth the lesson. You are now free to roam about the firmament.

Marius the Puzzled

Good Day, and Welcome to Sunday, eh.

Yea, verily we find ourselves at another Sunday, so what shall we talk about? I'm enjoying a rare bit of solitude this weekend since Mrs. Marius and the COTA have gone down to WPB. I'll be following tomorrow for some much, much needed R&R, with special emphasis on the first R. I need to recharge my batteries, so I won't be doing my usual running around trying to see everyone I know and not getting any rest, but you dear readers will, of course, be the exceptions. Deb, Mayi, Elf, Puddy let me know when would be a good time to get together. I'll be there til Friday. And should there be anyone out there lurking in the wings that I did not mention, pray drop me a line. I want to see everyone, but this job of mine is so draining that I am forcing myself to relax...not something I do easily. And since I'll be staying in Wellington, if anyone can meet me a little farther West that would be greatly appreciated too. :-)

There really isn't much going on in the world that has me outraged right now. I'm enjoying the continued implosion of the Bush administration. It seems that the next person who will soon be getting a 'fall on your sword' memo will be our lovely Field Marshall...um, sorry, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. I kinda liked the guy when he was confirmed. But then again, compared to John Ashcroft Freddy Kruger would have been a good choice. But Gonzales' constant boot-licking and disregard for the most basic of civil rights has proven that he is more interested in being a Bush toady than in being the ultimate law enforcement officer. I have been trying to capsulize this US Attorney scandal for you, but I must confess the intricacies of it have eluded me. The best I can tell is that, while what was done was not illegal, it was certainly unethical. The President has the right to replace US Attorneys at will, but the mass firing of 8 of them is highly unusual, and smacks of political reprisal rather than performance based removal. Gonzales claims that there was no political angle, but all but two of the attorneys had just received good performance reviews, and there has been growing evidence that they were let go because they were pursuing investigations that the Bush administration did not want to have concluded. And finally, finally people are making Bush's cronies take responsibility for what they say on the record. For the last 7 years the talking heads in Washington have looked at a blue sky, and told us it's red, and expected us to just say 'yes, of course it's red.' You're doing a heck of a job, Gonzie.

As for the Democratic proposal to set hard dates for troop withdrawal, when I hear the conservative pundits and politicos calling it 'defeat' I just want to puke. We have accomplished our objectives over there. We deposed Hussein, and 'liberated' Iraq. The Iraqis are the ones destroying it now, and that should no longer be our concern. From a strategic point of view it is bad policy to advertise the withdrawal date, but there is nothing wrong with setting secret deadlines. I know that there are people who will yell about transparency if that were to occur, but this is war, and wars require some secrets. While things like the goings on in Guantanamo and Abu Graib should be transparent, battle plans need to be kept as secret as possible. As for considering a withdrawal a defeat, if it saves American lives then I can handle defeat. And if conservatives are so ego-deflated that the idea of retreat rankles them so, let's let them go fight. Give every soldier, airman, seaman, and marine a free pass home if they don't mind admitting defeat, and let the 'true warriors' stay. I'm willing to bet that only those who don't have to fight will remain.

I wonder if there is a flak jacket big enough to fit Rush Limbaugh.

Ok, that's enough thinking for now. I'm going to spend the rest of the day killing digital monsters, and defeating super-villains.

Excelsior!!

Marius

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Follicles Unite!!


This is a wake-up call to all subdivided hair. Rise up and challenge the blow!!!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Daylight Sucking Time

Ok, I was planning to hop in the Wayback Machine(tm) and kick Ben Franklin in the nads for inflicting us with the annoying Daylight Saving Time crap, but being a slave to accuracy I had to research just when he invented it. It turns out that he mentioned it in a humerous essay in 1784, but it was ignored until 1907 when William Willett suggested it to the British Parliament. Willett proposed advancing 80 minutes in four moves of 20 minutes spread out through the Summer months, but Parliament said no thanks. Then, in 1918 they created British Summer Time, and even though we had cast off most things English by then, we followed suit. So now I am going to laud Guy Fawkes as a failed genius. Maybe if he had succeeded in blowing up Parliament in 1605 I might have been able to sleep a bit later today.

Marius the Tired and Grumpy

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Fight Smarter, Not Harder.

It's just crazy enough to work!

Happy Sunday :-)
Marius

Friday, March 09, 2007

Insular Conectivity

I just read an article in Discover magazine in which the author was lamenting the increasingly automated nature of the automobile. He waxed nostalgic about the days when driving a car was something of a challenge, a badge of masculine honor. But as things like power steering, and cruise control increased to the point that some high end cars can even park themselves, he posited that it is a symptom of our society's growing impersonality. The iPod, the portable DVD player, the cell phone, they all serve to cut us off from our fellow humans...in a face to face sense anyway. And I don't argue that point, but in a way I think he is missing the bigger picture. I have never been one to spontaneously visit my neighbors, and I have lost touch with many dear friends over the years because I totally suck at letter writing, but thanks to the cyber world I have managed to keep in touch with folks I would have long ago lost, and have rekindled old friendships via this marvelous medium. I won't deny that, were it an option, I would probably spend most of my life in an underground lair, communicating via holograms and email, but I convey more by those media than in most phone conversations. I like talking less and less as I grow older(ironic given my vocation) but I feel more connected to the world than ever. The Internet is the most revolutionary human achievement since a couple of bicycle repairmen got bored with wheels and though about wings, and if the 'real world' seems to be fading a bit, the 'unreal world' grows more tangible every day.

So what do you think?

Cyber-Marius

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Justice, If there is such a thing.

I know I've commented about this before, but now it's a reality. John Evander Couey, the subhuman piece of filth that kidnapped, raped, and buried 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford alive two years ago has been found guilty on all counts. I would have been incensed by this anyway, but as the step-father of a 9-year-old I cannot help but imagine my little girl in that situation. Sure, she drives me crazy on a daily basis, but what this...this, creature(not even an animal would treat another animal this way) did to that girl...

I'm sorry, I know it may seem melodramatic, but I am actually trying to relate to you exactly what my thoughts are right now, and they are filled with pauses while I try to restrain the rage I feel whenever I think of this disgusting act. I don't know if the English language, or any language for that matter, has the right words to describe the depths of abhorrance that this man, and I only use the word in the sense of his species, encompasses. I am an admitted liberal, bordering on Libertarian, but I would gladly make an exception in my general disapproval of capitol punishment in this case. I have read accounts of Medieval excecutions by torture that seem well suited to this wretched waste of DNA. It is only by the most extreme act of will that I don't describe, in exquisite detail, just what I would like to do to him, but suffice it to say that I can think of stuff the Inquisition would have deemed over the top. I don't want a humane execution, with pain killers and last meals. I want this bastard to suffer far more than any human has suffered, and then I want him to suffer some more. I want him to think on the victims of the Third Reich with envy. And when it's all over, I want to be able to resurrect him and do it all over again.

I'm sorry this isn't funny today, but the rage and disgust in me just won't let go. I can only imagine what her family is going through. If prayer is something you do, then please pray for them that they find some peace in all this.

Marius

Thursday, March 01, 2007

And The Loser Is...

I was just pondering the replacement of 'and the winner is' with 'and the Oscar goes to'. I can't recall exactly when that happened, but I do recall noticing, and thinking it unnecessarily PC. So I was just letting that thought percolate through my newly awakened synapses when I wondered what it must be like to be the sort of person who gets offended at stupid stuff like that. How malformed an ego must one have to object to an implied slight, for I'm sure the logic, if I might call it that, of the change had to do with the fact that calling one person a winner implies that the other 4 or so are losers. This is the same mentality that has us white folks wondering just what the hell we are supposed to call people of color this year, or if someone in a wheelchair will try to run us down if we don't use the current euphemism for their particular condition. I have no doubt that the vast majority of people who fall into these categories couldn't give two bowel movements about the issue, and that it is a very vocal minority that get all up in arms when Tiger Woods isn't referred to as a Poly-Ancesterous-Golfing-American or some other outrageously non-threatening epithet, but what is it like to go through life offended at every unimportant adjective? Is it overblown self-importance, an underdeveloped sense of self-worth, or are they just plain assholes? I know that I get a bit miffed when someone calls me a Trekkie...everyone should know by now that all rational Trek fans prefer the moniker Trekker, but I don't write letters to TV stations every time that particularly unforgivable misnomer makes its way onto the nightly news.

Anyway, what do you think? Do you know anyone like this? Can you offer any insight into the sad existence of these people who must daily suffer the slings and arrows of words hurled from talking heads that they'll never meet? This is one Follicle-Challenged, Temporally-Advanced, European-American who wants to know.

TTFN, Kiddies.
Marius