Monday, December 31, 2007
After swiping, always with love, the above heartfelt message from Stinkypaw, pray allow me to offer to you, my faithful few, a very happy, prosperous, and truly bizarre 2008. There is very little that cannot be solved with a strong dose of surreality.
Excelsior, my friends!!
Sunday, December 30, 2007
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
We saw Sweeney Todd a couple of hours ago. If you are a fan of the play, you will enjoy this movie. Well...I'm not so sure 'enjoy' is the right word. I have seen the movie of the play a couple of times, and while it's not a fave, I don't really have anything against it. I'm not a big fan of the dissonant music that permeates the stage show, but Sondheim is a genius even when he's using the musical equivalent of nails on a chalkboard. The movie sticks fairly close to the play, although it is a Reader's Digest condensed version, and most of the dissonance has been taken out. Johnny Depp is, of course, marvelous and broody as the barber who's life and family were stolen by a greedy judge(played by a deliciously slimy Alan Rickman). Helena Bonham Carter plays Mrs. Lovett, and while she usually plays crazy better than anyone else other than Christopher Walken, she was a bit too subtle in this movie. Angela Lansbury's barely contained hysteria really suited the part better than Bonham Carter's smoldering insanity. The second half of the film is classic Tim Burton in that once Sweeney starts killing we are treated to a steady supply of up close and personal throat slittings, with blood gushers that would have had the Monty Python people crying for a wee bit of restraint. My only real complaint with the movie regards the above dispatchings. Like he did in Sleepy Hollow, Burton seems to think that if the audience enjoyed watching one graphically depicted murder, they'll like a dozen. Repetition does not bring with it desensitization, and after the final throat is slashed I was just grateful that we didn't have to see any more. This is not a film for the squeamish. It is, however, a masterful screen adaptation of one of the darkest nights of theatre. Just one warning: if dinner and a movie are your thing, and Sweeney Todd is the movie, make sure that dinner comes first.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
I have several card and board games on my computer, and while I don't expect to win every time, lately my machine has been taking great glee in not just defeating me, but has been crushing me! Does your computer ever do that to you, or is it just my devil-spawned device?
Waaaay too long ago Duke gave me a new shield. He has been trying to lure me to the dark side of center grip, and I must confess the battle wasn't that difficult. Alas, due to my lethargic nature, the shield has taken this long to finally get painted. I asked one of my high school kids who is a brilliant artist if she would do something with my device. She totally jazzed it up, so I wanted to do her artwork justice when I painted it. Below are the results. Now I just need to get my lazy ass to practice.
And for you non SCA types, here are Artemis and Starbuck being adorable.
And for you non SCA types, here are Artemis and Starbuck being adorable.
Friday, December 21, 2007
Recently, as I'm sure you all know, two relatively invisible factions of the US Entertainment industry went on strike. The NYC stagehands shut Broadway down during some of its most lucrative weeks and forced the producers to come back to the bargaining table. That drama has yet to reach its denouement but I suspect the techies will get most of what they want. Unfortunately, and more invasively, the Writers Guild of America has been on strike since November 5th. This will have greater consequences soon as TV studios begin to run out of material that was completed prior to the strike and are forced to show reruns, but for people who live for late night television the impact was immediate. I'm going through serious Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert withdrawal. With the stagehands strike I could sort of see both sides of the argument, but I am 100% behind the writers. They are totally getting the short, spiky, glass embedded and unlubed end of the stick and I wish them success. And here to explain the strike far more eloquently than I can is Daily Show writer Jason Rothman.
Power to the people!
Power to the people!
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Sadly Dan Fogelburg died of prostate cancer this morning. While I wouldn't consider myself a fan, I did see him in concert back in the early 80's, and he was a gracious, pleasant, and thoroughly entertaining man. His music was always a bit too mellow for my tastes, but I would never deny its beauty. The world has truly lost an artist today.
Recently Madame Stinkypaw wrote in her blog about a gustatory treat called a tourtiere that Canadians enjoy during the holiday season. She linked to a recipe, and while normally recipes are Greek to me, this one sounded quite yummy. It is a pie made with ground pork, onions, and seasonings. I had never tried to make such a thing, and the thought intrigued me. So I enquired further of the lady, and she gave me some tips. So today I went to the store and acquired the needed ingredients, and with no small amount of trepidation, set about to construct my own tourtieres. I was somewhat nervous because even though I do the majority of the cooking round these parts, most of what I make is in the grilled, baked, or Shake N Bake family. This pie required actually cooking. But everything went swimmingly, and they came out of the oven looking brown and tasty. But looks and taste are very different, especially with a child who turns her nose up at anything that isn't pizza or McDonalds. So I summoned the family, cut the pie, and held my breath. Not only was it tasty, but the Child-O-The-Apocalypse had seconds which is almost unheard of. So thanks to Stinkypaw for sharing. Our tummies are very happy.
It's 75 degrees, sunny and windy. I got the house clean, tourtiere ingredients awaiting assembly(wish me luck, Stinkypaw), and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers just made history by running a kick-off back for a touchdown for the first time in their history.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Ok, I realize that those of you who are worried about just how many favors you'll have to perform to thank your husbands for shoveling mountains of snow this may sound like bragging, but I assure you it's not. For the second night in a row I've had to turn the air conditioner on. It's the middle of frikken December! Even in Florida it's supposed to be cooler! We've been enjoying nice cool days, and chilly nights for weeks now. This is the time of year when the electric bill plummets to cover the fridge and the lights that the missus and young'n won't turn off. And just to be clear, I keep the a/c set at 80, so we aren't exactly living la vida polar here. It got up to 85, which makes my fat ass sweat like Sidney Greenstreet in a parka stranded in Death Valley in July.(how's that for a far-reaching simile?) This, and today's UN summit on Global Warming, got me thinking about the whole climate change issue. Even if, as some Neo-Con paid scientists insist, we are simply going through a normal warming phase based on Earth's orbit, mightn't we be exacerbating the situation by pumping so much Co2 and other greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere? Imagine if, billions of years ago, Venus had a thriving population of intelligent, industrialized beings. As their planet grew warmer due to it's orbital proximity to the Sun Venusians started to notice increased temperatures, decreased polar ice caps, and general warming all over. Some said it was an issue of concern, while others said it was a natural phenomenon. What if both were right? What if it is incumbent in the orbits of the inner planets that there would be periods of higher and lower temperatures, resulting in ice ages and draughts? But...what if the introduction of massively elevated levels of greenhouse gasses caused a period of warming to never end? Eventually you have an uninhabitable world where, due to volcanic out gassing, the average atmospheric pressure would crush a human being, and a nice Spring day would melt lead.
Of course, I'm no climatologist, nor have I done a lick of research to back this hypothesis, but I did just finish my second glass of wine after having to turn the a/c on, and since I used big words like 'out gassing' it sounds good to me.
Friday, December 14, 2007
Thus does my Christmas break begin, and to honor two weeks of sloth and gluttony I give you a cute-kitties-instead-of-actual-content blog.
Starbuck Ferretcat is displeased with being outed as the purring lump under the covers.
I guess Artemis needed a second cup of joe.
Maybe I'll have something later.
Starbuck Ferretcat is displeased with being outed as the purring lump under the covers.
I guess Artemis needed a second cup of joe.
Maybe I'll have something later.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Well, it's just a blogtastic Marius-binge today. On my way to and from work I pass over one big bridge, and several smaller ones, and off to the sides are various beaches and shoals where folks participate in all sorts of aquatic recreation including fishing. Now in the interest of full disclosure I am not a fisherman. Unless it's with a bunch of friends on a boat I find fishing to be second only to Olympic Paint Drying in the most boring thing ever category. But I do not begrudge others their sport. There is one thing about fishing, however, that puzzles me. Animal rights groups lose their minds if someone abuses a mammal, no matter how high they rank on the vermin scale, but fish are caught and killed in the most horrific fashions, yet nary a peep from PETA. If someone were hunting deer with baited meat hooks driven through the deer's face, then dragged the animal hundreds of yards only to slice its still living belly open and dump its entrails on the ground the howls of protest would echo from sea to shining sea. Yet that's just what my father did the one time I remember going fishing with him. Again, I don't really have a problem with this. We are a predator species and fish have the misfortune to occupy a lower, and very tasty, rung on the evolutionary ladder, but the lack of righteous indignation seems odd to me.
On a more personal note, today I am truly a married man. It took five years, but my wife finally asked me to pick up tampons on the way home today. Contrary to popular wisdom there were no construction workers waiting by the register to ridicule me, the lovely young cashier did not look upon me with a pity in her eyes, and as far as I can tell my nards are the same size as when I entered the store. Of course, I still have yet to face the dreaded day when the young'n will need a similar errand run. Then you might hear some weeping, and maybe the unmistakable sound of a grown man hiding in the closet.
Later, my peeps.
Remember the space ark I wanted to build so we could get off this crazy planet? Well I'm doubling my efforts. Over the course of the last twenty minutes I read two news stories that have me fuming, and struggling to remember if I took the red pill, or the blue. The Recording Industry Association of America, which are the same asshats who continually sue 12 year old girls, 80 year old grandmothers, and even the Girl Scouts of America for improperly using their precious music is now saying that ripping your legally purchased CDs into your computer is unauthorized and illegal. This is in direct contradiction to what the RIAA's own lawyer said to the Supreme Court in the 2005 MGM v Grokster case. "The record companies, my clients, have said, for some time now, and it's been on their Website for some time now, that it's perfectly lawful to take a CD that you've purchased, upload it onto your computer, put it onto your iPod."(p.12) And things are even crazier across the pond. In Astley, England the historic Dam House was told last year that they needed a license from the Performing Rights Society because the staff was listening to a radio in the kitchen that could be heard in the nearby tea room, and this year are being charged because of their annual practice of children singing Christmas carols.
The second story out of Bizarro world comes from, what a shock, Iraq. Jamie Leigh Jones claims that she was gang raped by employees of KBR, a subcontractor under the employ of Haliburton at the time, and then locked in a storage container for 24 hours without food or water and told that if she went to the authorities she would lose her job. Her efforts to pursue any justice in this matter are being met with stonewalling, denial, and apathy by the US Government, and she has been told that, due to massive loopholes that protect contractors in Iraq against prosecution she has no legal leg to stand on. She says she was examined by Army doctors who verified that she had been raped both vaginally and anally, but the rape kit disappeared after it was turned over to KBR security. She is pursuing a civil case, but has low hopes for any sort of positive outcome. She has set up The Jamie Leigh Foundation to help other women who have been sexually assaulted by contractors overseas, which indicates that hers is not an isolated incident. Get the full story here.
When you combine this insanity with the now weekly reports of teachers sleeping with under aged students, politicians committing all sorts of depraved acts backstage while spouting 'family values' on camera, and Emo kids going nuts and shooting up shopping malls I'm ready for my flight. All I need is for those back ordered warp coils to get here, and we'll be go for launch. Who wants a ride?
Monday, December 10, 2007
Twas many nights before Christmas, and all through the house, only Marius was stirring, and the two Kitties-O-The-Apocalypse. Actually it was around 5:30am, and thanks to the playful mayhem of the two above mentioned felines I had already been up for more than an hour. I had finished my first cup of coffee, and as these things are wont to happen, had to answer the caffeine call of nature. Upon exiting the room of necessities I was struck by a stench the likes of which would make a dung beetle wince. Looking down I saw the tiles in front of the catbox had been smeared with kitty leavings. Oh shit, I said. A statement of both identification and dismay, whose verbal thrift I was ill equipped to appreciate at the time. As I cleaned up the mess, I worried that one of the little darlings had acquired a bug of some sort, since these two are actually quite fastidious with their lavatorial activities. I followed the trail further and further into the living room, when what to my wondering eyes should appear but Starbuck, and a shiny new rear. Yes, our little MENSA candidate had found a bit of tinsel and had it as a snack sometime last night, and had gotten his entrails flossed as a bonus. If you've never had to pull a piece of silvery plastic tape from the butt of your cat, then may you enjoy your charmed and wonderful life. If you've never had to mop the entire house at 6am, mazel tov. And the kicker is that, while there was tinsel in the box of decorations that I took out yesterday, I was careful not to let any escape so as to avoid just this occurrence. Ah well, the best laid plans, eh?
Happy Monday, y'all.
Marius the Outgrossed
Sunday, December 09, 2007
Somehow, despite my inner Scrooge's best efforts, I'm beginning to feel the Christmas Spirit(tm). I just got back from the store where I bought a small fiber optic Christmas tree(the young'n liked it) and now we're going to decorate it. Well, some of it. I want to save some of the decorating for when the missus gets home. And so, in honor of my new found tidings of comfort and joy I give you all an early gift.
Of course, a gorgeous prancing fiddle-nymph certainly helps to raise the spirits as well. :-)
Of course, a gorgeous prancing fiddle-nymph certainly helps to raise the spirits as well. :-)
My morning ritual generally consists of various semi-conscious cat avoidance tactics, followed by reluctant resignation. I get up, turn on the computer, and get some coffee. Then I surf, sip, and slowly grow aware. One of my first stops on the web is Fark.com, which is where I find many of the weirder stories I relate to you, dear readers. It is a site that catches many stories that are just too strange, too trivial, or too local to appear on the major news sites. This morning I saw one that really didn't make much of an impact, other than 'that's a good idea'; a researcher in Japan is inserting spider DNA into silkworm eggs to try to get them to spin stronger, more elastic silk. Then I read the comments section. One of the first ones said, "This kind of genetic engineering is frightening. Not intrinsically, but because they don't know what the fark they're doing. The Japanese here are behaving like farking Americans, being cowboys. "We'll put some of this spider shiat here into this silkworm shiat, and see what happens! Maybe it'll turn into some kind of new wonderful spider-silk-thread combination that we can use to make a monopoly of new fancy clothes on!!" Have they considered ecological repercussions from their dabbling?"
This reminded me of my ex who's usual reaction to scientific progress was distrust and fear. How is it that in this world of instantaneous communication, MP3 players that hold more music than five jukeboxes yet could be easily swallowed by an infant, and terabyte hard drives people can still be technophobic? I suspect that our popular entertainment has a great deal to do with it. The arcane, unknowable world of science has always been fertile ground for generating fear. Mary Shelley knew this when she wrote her masterpiece Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus. If you read the book, which I highly recommend you do, you will find that it is not a tale of a macabre ghoulish doctor with delusions of godhood, and the hideous, inarticulate monster he creates. Rather it is a bold statement on the dangers of science moving too far, too quickly. Then there was 2001 with the homicidal HAL 9000 computer, the Terminator and Matrix movies, and more apropos of this story, Jurassic Park. Most people assume that what they see on the screen is based on hard fact, regardless of how tortured and convoluted those facts have gotten. Mary Shelley took stories of the recently discovered property of electricity to stimulate dead muscle tissues and extrapolated it to reawakening the dead. Arthur C. Clark predicted that computers would be able to think in ways analogous to the human mind by now, when in reality progress in Artificial Intelligence is moving at a snail's pace, and even the most basic spoken word computer interfaces are notoriously snarky. And as for autonomous robotic killing machines, well, let's just say that robots are good at building cars and vacuuming your kitchen, but the T-1000 is still a long way off. And whereas cloning is pretty good at making lizrds and sheep, the process is so complicated, tricky, and expensive that I wouldn't count on giving your kids a ride on a triceratops any time real soon.
People just need to relax and learn what is worrisome, and what isn't. Just because a new technology is developed doesn't mean it's dangerous. Yes, we should be diligent and responsible, but the Large Hadron Collider isn't going to create an artificial black hole that will eat the Earth, genetically modified corn isn't going to destroy the worlds edible corn supply, and KFC didn't change it's name because they have genetically grown a creature that tastes like chicken, but has no head or feathers and has six legs. However I don't think I like the way my computer is looking at me. Uh, gotta go.
Saturday, December 08, 2007
meme–noun: a cultural item that is transmitted by repetition in a manner analogous to the biological transmission of genes.
Here's one that made the cross-species jump from MySpace to the blogosphere. I'll not tag, but feel free to join in the fun.
1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Gift bags are a godsend to a wrapping-challenged ham fist like me. Folks usually have no trouble identifying which packages I wrapped.
2. Real tree or Artificial? I prefer a real tree, but so do the kitties-o-the-apocalypse. We haven't gotten a tree yet this year. Not sure what direction we'll go.
3. When do you put up the tree? It varies. The young'n goes to her dad's every other year, so when she stays we put it up sooner, when she goes it's a crap shoot.
4. When do you take the tree down? Sometime after New Years.
5. Do you like egg nog? As I have blogged before, Publix eggnog is like crack to me.
6. Favourite gift received as a child? I'm not really sure. I remember a lot of my gifts, but no one really stands out. Possibly my Six Million Dollar Man action figure.(I do wish I hadn't donated that thing to a garage sale)
7. Do you have a nativity scene? Yeah, we do. And it became a tradition at my mom's house after one night when my girlfriend and I came home very late, and very intoxicated, and I got the idea to put a little wind-up monster behind Joseph. We nearly woke the house laughing our asses off. Ever since I've made it my mission to slip some sort of creature into the barn.
8. Hardest person to buy for? I honestly don't keep that sort of information in my head.
9. Easiest person to buy for? Me! If it walks, talks, or blows up I'm happy.
10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Every year I vow I'm going to send out physical cards, and every year around the 23rd or so I realize I didn't and go to Hallmark.com.
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? If someone went to the trouble to give me something, even if it's obviously a 're-gifting' I'm still grateful.
12. Favorite Christmas movie? SANTA CLAUS CONQUERS THE MARTIANS
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Usually with my last paycheck before Christmas. Often on the 24th.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Probably.
15. Favourite thing to eat at Christmas? We kinda drifted away from the 'Christmas Meal' a couple of decades ago, so I don't really associate foods with Christmas.
16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Ok, ladies, I know that clear lights are classier, and have an aesthetic beauty all their own, but give me lots of colors, lots of blinkies, and lots of talking ornaments.(oh, and a few starships as well) ;-)
17. Favourite Christmas song? I love the Carol of the Bells. And while we are on the subject, I read a news story last week about someone getting in trouble for singing Jingle Bells at school or some other state-sponsored event. I don't want to get into the whole 'separation of church and state' thing here, but I would like to point out that there is a class of 'Christmas' songs that have nothing to do with Christmas. Jingle Bells and Winter Wonderland are two such songs that are about winter, not Christmas. Just sayin.
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? It depends on where we are living. While we were in Louisiana it was too far to drive home. On the other hand, we're only four hours or so from home here.
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Sure. Dasher, Dancer, Prancer...uh...Frodo...Germaine...Bashful...Chewie...ummmmm, and Data.
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? We have always taken the Vlad Tepes route and impaled an angel.
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Morning, morning, morning.(besides, we have a young'n. can't really perpetuate the Santa story if you open your gifts the night before he 'arrives')
22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? Commercials.
23. Favourite ornament theme or colour? Starships
24. Favorite thing for Christmas dinner? See question 15.
25. What do you want for Christmas this year?
26. Who is most likely to respond to this? Beelzebub. That dude is all about Christmas.
27. Who is least likely to respond to this? John the Baptist...that prick!
Friday, December 07, 2007
This one is mainly for the SCA folks out there. Those of you not part of the group are more than welcome to read on, but it might not make much sense to you.
Four or five years ago I got re involved with the SCA in Louisiana. I even got armored and qualified, but I have found myself growing more and more reticent to train, and to go to events to fight. At first I chalked it up to loss of skill, then to bad armor, then to laziness, then to fear of getting my ass kicked, but those things have never stopped me before. Usually once I got padded up and swung my stick for a while I was fine. But this absolute resistance I've been feeling has been puzzling me, but I think I've figured it out. It seems to me that SCA fighting has become less about the tourney, and more about the war. Everyone talks about training for Gulf War, or Pennsic, or whatever the next uber battle is to be. I have fought in a couple of wars, and numerous melees, and I have come to the realization that I DON'T LIKE THEM. Thinking back on my youth I was never good on a shield line, and I'm too small to be a pikeman. Back when I was young and fast I was often used as a shock troop, flanking the enemy line and trying to take out the pikes. And on the occasions that I was put in a small team of four or five people I would inevitably break ranks at the slightest provocation to engage in single combat. The last time I was in armor was at Hoggetown. We were doing a melee demo, and Tearlach put me in command of a four man team. I know he was honoring me, but I am the worst commander for that sort of thing. We got decimated. And even at non-war events the tourneys tend more toward bear pits and the like rather than the classic single combat. I think that part of it is that I love the spotlight. It's even right there in the marshall's instructions: For honor and glory. To me honor is at its zenith in single combat, and at its nadir in wars. And glory suffers similarly. To me SCA fighting was never about endurance, and brute force. Anyone who could safely swing a sword and stay on their feet for the time it takes to finish one fight was welcome on the lyst field to defend the honor of their consort, and to win a bit of glory for themselves. In a war there is shared glory in victory, and the camaraderie of hundreds of warriors, but when it becomes the perceived acme of our game I get turned off. And I think that is what is holding me back more than any of the other concerns. The fear that, in this game that I started way back when because it was one place that I did fit in, I won't anymore.
What say you, fellow medievalists? Is my assessment of things close to accurate, or am I full of bantha poodoo?
I just had a strange realization. George Harrison has always been my favorite Beatle. I became aware of this this morning as I was making my breakfast and listening to Pandora.com. Pandora is a web site wherein you input your favorite bands, or even just songs, and it tailors a playlist of music based on your inputs. I have two 'stations' set up there. One is populated by my more energetic likings, and one is just for mellow stuff. I tend to use the mellow one in the mornings, and today a George Harrison tune played and struck my brain at just such an angle as to cause the titular awareness. I was not so much amazed by my liking of the late Beatle, but more by the realization that I had not been consciously aware of that particular predilection. It seems similar to my ability to suddenly notice a tree in the yard next door and be absolutely sure it wasn't there before, only to be informed that it had been there for centuries. Am I alone in having such mental blind spots?
This just in from the 'no shit, Sherlock' desk. The Environmental Protection Agency announced that bottled water is no cleaner than municipal tap water. In fact city water is actually better regulated since they are required to test the water quality daily, whereas bottled water companies do so far less often. The major difference is that most bottled water(more than half of which is tap water anyway) has been filtered to remove the chlorine and fluoride. We use a water filtering pitcher at home which does the same thing for far less money. Personally I think that the massive popularity of bottled water is a huge comment on the mindless consumerism that has infected the industrialized world. In my life I may have purchased a dozen bottles of water, and almost all of those times were when I needed portability. And I almost always refill the bottle several times from a fountain or the tap at home. But some people buy hundreds of bottles of the stuff a year, convinced that since it's in a bottle it must be safer than the water from the faucet. Yet even the water bottlers won't say that their product is better for you. They can't. It's the same damned water! I would love to shake the hand of the person who first realized that people are such sheep that you could sell them something that is freely available. I wonder if we could get Nomads in the Sahara to buy bottled sand? Might be worth a try.
Oh, one other thing. For some reason I haven't been getting my email notification of your comments, so if I take a while to respond pray forgive me.
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Greetings, fellow space travellers. Last August I told you about one contender for the Darwin Awards in Cincinnati who walked over two sets of railroad tracks while engrossed in text messaging. He missed the first train, but not the second. Today's cell phone moron comes to us from San Leandro, California. This time the candidate was talking on his phone and walked past a lowered crossing gate complete with flashing lights and on into eternity. I feel very sorry for his friends and family, and I earnestly hope that this, so far, unidentified gentleman had not yet passed his faulty DNA along. This helps to prove my axiom that any time an adult human is either hit by a train, or attacked by an alligator, 9 times out of 10 they had it coming.
As the cell phone related carnage increases, I begin to think that if there is a huge government conspiracy to cover up Alien presences on Earth it might not be such a bad thing after all. When I think about the two most revolutionary technological advances of the late 20th Century; personal computers and cell phones; and all the ways the vast idiocracy manages to use these boons for self-destruction, I shudder to think of what sorts of mayhem would ensue if we had anti-gravity boots, or matter transporters, or (shudder) holodecks. I can just see the lead story on CNN: The University of Florida is reeling today after five members of the Gabba Gabba Hey fraternity tried unsuccessfully to beam themselves into the Tri-Delta sorority's showers yesterday. City workers say it will take them several days to remove the bodies from the asphalt of the intersection of University and 13th, but fortunately their blood alcohol level was high enough that they should be well preserved during the excavation. It makes me wonder if there is a lab somewhere working on a cure for stupid. Of course, if one were found then the companies that make 'natural male enhancement' pills would have to destroy it.
Adios, mis amigos.
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Hiya, folks! Once again I need your group brain to solve a conundrum. You may have deduced, those of you whom I've never met in person, that I make Edgar Winter look positively tan. I am pale to the point of transparency, and the Florida sun wastes no opportunity to afflict me with its deadly UV rays. I have already had two minor skin cancers excised from my flesh, and therefore rarely venture out by day without a generous slathering of sunscreen, and some sort of headgear. And herein lies my woe. I have numerous ball caps, but I don't particularly care for them. They are functional, but I have always wanted to wear a HAT. Something with personality and style. But whereas I suffer from, possibly, an overabundance of the former, I am severely lacking in the style department. So I appeal to you, my wondrous and oh so tasteful audience. Have you any suggestions for a chapeau that might suit my Luthoresque melon?
In local news, Mrs. Marius began training with the Transportation Safety Administration this week, and will soon be a full-fledged airport screener. So yay for actual income soon!! The downside? Since she'll be the new kid, she gets to work Christmas day. :-( This means that our usual attendance of the annual Christmas Eve festivities will not occur this year. Granted I'm off starting next Wednesday, but it would be quite the fecal move were I to abandon her on Christmas. But I shall be in the southern climes ere long, most likely for most of the time twixt Christmas and New Years. Check local listings for times and dates in your area.
Monday, December 03, 2007
Well I never would have imagined that common sense would actually rule the day not once, but twice in the last couple of days. The first occurrence involved El Jefe Fabuloso, and Un Gran Hombre con la Cabeza Loca, Hugo Chavez. His people love his anti-American rhetoric, and don't seem to mind that every time he opens his mouth he makes our own Buffoon in Chief sound lucid, but when he tried to change the Argentinian constitution to allow him to become a de facto president for life, and to enact sweeping socialist changes to Argentina, the people said no. It was a narrow no, 49% to 51%(do those numbers sound familiar, my fellow Americans?) but it was still a no. The Argentine people have had their fill of dictators, so Chavez will have to continue to spank it to his poster of Kim Jong Il all alone.
Secondly Gillian Gibbons, the British teacher who was jailed in Sudan because she allowed her 2nd grade students to name a teddy bear Mohamed, has been pardoned by President Omar al-Bashir, and is now safely in Dubai. She was convicted of insulting Islam and sentenced to 15 days in jail and deportation. British diplomats worked day and night to get the Sudanese government to commute her sentence and let her go, while thousands of fanatical Muslims protested and called for her death. Over a f***ing teddy bear! I have been at the vanguard of the 'let's not condemn an entire religion over the actions of a few nutbags' camp, but this is pushing even my tolerance to its limit. When thousands of people can call for the death of an innocent teacher over a simple cultural misunderstanding, I am starting to think that the tolerant Muslims are the radical fringe. Anyway, she's safe and will be home in London tomorrow.
And now, a gripe. If you are going to the bank, and you have a transaction that is complicated, or requires more communication with the teller than 'hi', go the fuck inside!!! I sat behind a woman in the drive-through today who sent the little canister back and forth three times before she was done. All I had was a thirty-second long deposit to make, and I was there for twenty minutes. Arrrrrrrgh!!!!!
Ok, I feel better now. Hope your day was grand, and that a little of this common sense trickles down to your neck of the woods.
Sunday, December 02, 2007
The more I hear about Canadian society the more I find myself admiring them...at least until I read this. The Americanization of the world is even infecting our more reasonable neighbors to the North. In a bizarre case of environmentalism gone berserk some Canadian mothers are paying upwards of $80 for designer cloth diapers. These are handmade flannel, wool, or fleece diapers that come in a variety of patterns such as tie-dye and camouflage. About the only thing that makes sense in this story, although it is tortured logic at its best, is that some mothers put these fancy pants on their little ones only after a regular diaper has performed its proper function. Please, Canada, I beg of you. Don't become us. Your hand basket has yet to begin its decent, whereas Dante himself would be hard pressed to come up with a poetic description of our hellward plunge.
See ya's later,
Saturday, December 01, 2007
Yeah, I know I already crowed a bit, but then I found this nifty badge and had to share it. There was another one that was a pic of a sleeping puppy that said 30 Posts in 30 Days, NoBloPoopedMo that I thought was cute, but when I counted my posts for November I discovered...
Forty-eight posts! Zoinks! I must really like this blogging thing. Too bad I can't make any money at it, I'd just sit here and type all day.
Ok, that's enough for one day. Sleep well, dear friends. See you tomorrow.
Good day, and welcome to December, eh. So how are ya? Come on in, take off your shoes, and have a cup of cocoa with Uncle Marius. One of my most prominent ex-girlfriends had a superstition that on the first day of a new month, before speaking anything else you should say 'rabbit, rabbit, rabbit'. I don't know why, but it is a good excuse to put up a pic of a trio of cute bunnies to go with your coffee. And now, on to the stuff.
Since the late 60's-early 70's the SETI(Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence) project has been scanning the night sky for any indication of intelligent life. The project developers, Carl Sagan among them, reasoned that the first signs of an alien civilization would consist of radio signals. He would later flesh out this concept to a grand conclusion in the excellent book Contact, which was made into an ok movie with Jodi Foster, that predicted a peaceful and mutually beneficial meeting between an alien species and ourselves. I've known about SETI for years, and always assumed it to be a passive ear to the cosmic wall, but I just read an article that has me in a bit of an ethical pickle. There are groups that have been advocating what they call 'Active SETI'. The basic premise is that we choose specific stars that seem likely to have life nearby, and beam high powered radio signals directly at them. The concept is sound enough, but there are numerous devils in the details. What should the signals contain? Who makes that decision? And perhaps most importantly does anyone have the right to speak for the entire planet? I say this is a dilemma for yours truly because three such signals have been sent since 1999 that have contained data about our location, biology, and languages. While the peace-loving optimist in me thinks this is a great idea, and that holding out the cosmic olive branch can only end well, there is also the cautious pessimist lurking in the shadows saying 'ok, we've just told any potentially hostile space-faring races out there that there is a habitable, resource filled world here on the galaxy's edge.' So, do we continue to announce our presence, or do we hide our candle under a bushel. No matter the outcome none of us will be alive to see it, since it will take centuries for any signal to reach these stars, and even longer for any spacecraft to get here, but do we have a duty to our descendants to protect them from possible dangers from beyond, or to allow them to be the hosts for our party invitation. I guess it all depends on whether the guests of honor look like this:
Have a glorious day.