Tuesday, December 30, 2008


This was lovingly swiped from Celebhith's blog.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Corporate Lackey Gets Shat Upon

This is a clip of William Shatner letting some sound booth goob have it with both barrels. It's brilliant. It comes from the Howard Stern show, but he's not really on it other than the intro.


Sunday, December 28, 2008

Big Bad Hair

My Starbase 66 co-host, Kennedy, has created his own podcast about 80s music called Big Bad Hair, and I had the extreme pleasure and honor to be the guest on his debut show. We discuss the Blue Oyster Cult album Imaginos. I'd love to know what you all think about it.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

To Boldly Go...

Cyberspace, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the podcast Starbase 66. And it's finally happened! The address is http://starbase66a.podbean.com/ or just click here. Let me know what you think either here, or at starbase66@gmail.com. Hope you like it. :-)


Thursday, December 25, 2008

And So This Is Christmas

I was afraid that today would suck ass like no day ever had, but it's actually been rather nice. Mrs. Marius had to work, but she was home by 10:30am, and we opened our pressies and have been pretty much slugs since. I went out for a bike ride a while ago, and found that Albertson's was open, so I got some mushrooms and fresh asparagus to go with our steaks for dinner tonight. Talked to my dad a little while ago. He sounds like he's coping as well as he can. Oh, that Charlie Brown-esque display above is our Christmas tree. My mother-in-law got it while I was away, and I'm grateful since I really couldn't have cared less about Christmas this year. The Mrs. and I didn't go crazy with gifts this year, but we both loved what we got so that's the important thing. I got her some books, and a fairy figurine and a ceramic gekko, and she got me some dragons, and a tee shirt that has a bunch of Imperial Stormtroopers that says 'Support Our Troops'. My in-laws gave me a beautiful dragon, and a Best Buy gift card that will go a long way toward bringing C's old computer back to life. Now we're just chilling. She's playing on the desktop, and I'm here on the laptop.

I do want to share a lovely thing that happened last night. I have gone on at length about the SimplySyndicated.com forums and podcasts. Well they have a weekly podcast that goes out live, and we can call in, called Richard and Allison's Super Happy Fun Time, or SHaFT for short. They had debated doing a Christmas Eve show, but worried that no one would tune in. Well, the most people ever to tune in to a Simply Syndicated live show showed up last night, including yours truly. Over 100 people were listening live at one point, which is at least double the previous record. Something I haven't mentioned here is all the support I got from the folks on the forums during my mom's illness and after, and I finally got a chance to thank everyone on the air last night. Allison, the den mother to us miscreants and n'ere-do-wells recently lost her mum, and we had a very poignant and emotional moment that I think was really good for both of us. These are really, really good people and even though we have never, and may never meet face to face, they prove that all the bullshit about the internet being an impersonal and cold place is just that...bullshit. In fact, if it weren't for my wife, my brother, and all of you out there whose support I so desperately needed, I don't know if I would be as OK as I am today. And that was the greatest Christmas present of all.

Thank you all for your love, support, and friendship. God bless us, everyone.


Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Elephant in the Room Has a Scythe

This entry is why I haven't been blogging much lately. I know that I have to do this, but I've been dreading it. Don't ask me why it is an imperative, and it will come from a dark place, so if you are filled with the Christmas spirit, and don't want to read a downer post, I won't be offended if you move along.

Since my mother died I've been on an emotional roller coaster that has me not knowing from one minute to the next how I'm going to feel. I suppose that is to be expected, but it seems to be totally disconnected from any sort of mental stimulus. It's not like I see something that reminds me of her and I get depressed. I just get waves of grief, or ennui, or apathy, or anger, or worst of all an overbearing feeling of futility, and nothing seems to cause the changes. It's a very good thing that my daughter is away at her dad's right now, because my fuse is very, very short. I don't understand this. I usually can at least tell the cause of my emotions. I have been hitting the Xanax pretty hard lately, and I'm feeling the effect. I drift easily, and I keep losing words. I'm going to try to stay away from it for a while.

Flashback to last Tuesday. Jesus Christ! It's only been a week! Ok, so my mom went into the hospital the Monday after Thanksgiving. By the end of that week she was in a Hospice room. (my fingers are trying to refuse to write this) I had to go into work last Monday to get final grades posted and some loose ends tied up. Our vacation didn't start til that Thursday, but my boss didn't object to my leaving early. Tuesday morning at 7:30, as soon as my daughter was on the school bus, I left for West Palm Beach. Never has 70mph seemed too fast, or red lights too short, as I hurtled toward a destination I desperately didn't want to reach, yet was terrified I wouldn't get to in time. My brother called me a few times during the drive to relay the warnings from the Hospice nurses that time was short. I got there a little after noon. My brother and dad were there in the room. She was unconscious, and every breath was an obvious effort for her. I spoke to her, said what I had to say, and I have no idea if she heard. Then we waited, but it didn't take long. By 12:50 her labors ended. The nurse simply said, "She has passed." Unexpectedly, and without warning the tears tore out of me, and I hid behind the curtains. I can't be all Zen and say that it was beautiful. It wasn't. It was horrific, and those last minutes of her life haunt me in the night. But the fucked up part of it is I'm glad I was there for it. Even if she didn't know I was there, my dad did, and he needed that. It's hard to say what my bother was feeling as we both tend to play our emotional cards close to the vest, but we both dove into the details of preparing the service. He took care of the nuts and bolts, and money part, and I focused on the memorial. There was friction at a few points, mostly due to miscommunication, but nothing lasting or worth chronicling. That week was excruciating. But eventually Monday night came.

My dad was worried that no one would be there, and that the place would be devoid of flowers, but the house was full, and thanks to some very generous folks, some of whom frequent this tiny corner, it was beautifully flowered. At one point I broke down, again completely out of the blue. Then, suddenly, it was over. Folks left, the hall was cleared, and the next day the family and I came home.

Closure is a word I had always taken as an annoying psycho-babble buzz word, but something changed inside once the chapel was dark and empty. I can't describe it, but it was noticeable. Yet now I'm roller coaster man. My wife jokingly said now I know what women go through once a month, and if so you have my sympathies. I would never have described my relationship with my mother as particularly close, but she was always there for me, despite a lot of really messed up shit I put her through over the years. I truly loved her, and even liked her, which I have found is a rare and wonderful thing. She was a SCRABBLE whiz, and I will never forget how she taught me the word 'quixotic'.(if you know your SCRABBLE, imagine that spanning a triple word score.) We were political opposites, and there were certain subjects we simply didn't discuss, and she was a consummate button pusher. No one could piss me off quicker than she could, but it also passed as quickly. I could complain that she smoked herself into an early grave, she was only 64, but she was one of those people who are so addicted that it is literally impossible for them to quit. She tried several times; each time using the latest medical aids, all for naught. The last time she tried was just a few months ago.

Anyway, it's over. I'm mostly ok, but at night, when it's too quiet, and I'm not sleeping, the horror and futility wash over me. Only then does it become real. And reality is a cold, lonely place.

Good by, mom. I love you, and I miss you.



Hey, folks. I'll be back to regular blogging soon, I should think. I'm still wrestling with some demons, most of whom attack me in the night, while also trying to build up any kind of Christmas give a shit. On the up side, we recorded our second attempt at the first episode of Starbase 66 last night, and the editing on this one should be much easier. So with a little luck I'll have it posted and linked here very soon. The CoA is away, so the Mrs. and I are going to the movies this afternoon. Not sure what's out there just yet, but fingers crossed Quantum of Solace is still playing.

So now, without further ado, a parrot petting a cat.

kitty petting parrot

Monday, December 22, 2008

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Majel Barrett Roddenberry Dies.

Can this year suck any more?

NEW YORK – Majel Barrett Roddenberry, the widow of "Star Trek" creator Gene Roddenberry, has died. She was 76. Roddenberry, an actress who appeared in numerous "Star Trek" TV shows and movies, died Thursday of leukemia at her home in Bel-Air, Calif., her representative said.

At Roddenberry's side were family friends and her only son, Eugene Roddenberry Jr. Gene Roddenberry died in 1991.

Her romance with Roddenberry earned her the title "The First Lady of Star Trek." A fixture in the "Star Trek" franchise, her roles included Nurse Christine Chapel in the original "Star Trek," Lwaxana Troi in "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and the voice of the USS Enterprise computer in almost every spin-off of the 1966 cult series. She recently reprised the voice role in the upcoming "Star Trek" film directed by J.J. Abrams.

How We Look From Over There

One of the best things about being involved in the Simply Syndicated forum is that most of them are not American, so I have been getting a better idea of how we look from the other side of the oceans. For example:


Real posts coming soon.

Marius the Nearly Returned

Friday, December 12, 2008

For Flurrious



Gather round, kiddies, and Uncle Marius will tell you a tale of a feline idiot. His name is Starbuck, and he is 15 pounds of dumbass. Starbuck's hobbies are eating, sleeping, and eating things he shouldn't. Such things include string, thread, tinsel, shoe laces, and anything else that looks vaguely stringlike. As one might imagine, such things don't always agree with his digestive system, and he has been known to indulge in a little regurgitory self expression from time to time. Well, last week he was puking a lot more than usual, and when he did so twice in a few hours we decided to take him to the vet. An appointment was made, and the yowling beastie was crammed into his carrier to go have things stuck into, and taken out of him. Ninety minutes, and $160 later the vet said all seemed normal, but that we should give him anti-hairball meds. He did take a blood sample just to make sure there wasn't anything unseen, and we all went home.

Fast forward to yesterday. Mrs. Marius calls to say that our little genius had just yakked up a rubber band and what looked like wood or hay. I suggested investigating the CoA's room for anything unusual, but that search proved fruitless. I then postulated that, since he has been spending more time hiding in the closet and under our bed lately than a thirteen-year-old boy with his first Playboy perhaps there might be something in one of those places. Sure enough, there was a forgotten kid-sized broom under our bed that had been mostly eaten away. The broom disposed of, as befits such a tragic comedy, the vet called to say that the blood work was normal. As my wife put it so eloquently we spent $160 to find out he had a tummy ache.

The furry oaf is lucky he's so adorable, or he'd make a great hat.

Marius out.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


The service for my mom will be at the Del Lago chapel in Lake Worth, on Monday evening at 6-8pm. Anyone reading this is welcome.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


The service for my mom will be held on Monday evening between 6-8pm, with the actual service beginning at 7. If you wish to attend let me know and I'll give you the details.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

It is done.

My mother, Sharon Jinks, passed away at 12:50pm today. Thank you to all of you most wonderful people for your words of love and support. She passed peacefully, and with her husband, and two children by her side.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

The anguish of last night has become a moot point. I was informed today that my mother has taken a turn for the worse, and isn't expected to make it another two weeks. I'll be heading down to West Palm on Tuesday morning. My Mother-In-Law has offered to come up and help out in my absence, which is a huge load off my mind, but please understand to anyone down there that I won't be doing my usual rounds of visits and socializing. I'll post updates as events warrant. Right now we are trying to figure out where to hold a service. For some reason my mom canceled her life insurance last year some time, so we can't afford a funeral home. Nor do we know any clergy in the area. Any suggestions would be welcome.

Please bear with me, my friends. I am not programmed to respond in this area.


Friday, December 05, 2008

Feeling Fecal

My mom's back in the hospital with pneumonia, and my brother was hoping I could go down there this weekend to check up on her. The problem is that my wife needs more notice than this to ask for a day off, so I'd have to go down Saturday morning, but be back by 5:30 Sunday morning to take her to work. On top of that we don't own a washer or dryer, and I have to do the laundry at some point this weekend. And asking my car to make an 8 hour drive in one day is just asking for trouble. So I feel shitty for not going. He is not unjustified in asking, I just can't do it. I'm making arrangements to go down for four days next week, but now I just feel like a huge turd.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Prop 8: The Musical

See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Space Battle Compilation

I had forgotten how well Deep Space Nine mastered the art of the space battle. Enjoy.

Star trek Deep space nine - More Free Animes

Monday, December 01, 2008

Why I Shouldn't Be Left Alone

Yesterday sucked. Let's just get that out of the way right off the bat. I was to meet my Mother-In-Law at Yeehaw Junction to pick up the CoA at 3pm. It's just under two hours to drive there, and I left a tad bit early to leave time to get gas and lunch. When I was about half way there I get a call from the MIL saying they were delayed and were just leaving. Hmph! Oh well, thought I, I'll just go wander about a Wal-Mart for a while. Which I did. Then I got back on the road, and due to torrential storms arrived at Yeehaw at just about the same time as they. Well, not quite at. About two miles from the main intersection that is Yeehaw Junction was where traffic came to a standstill. As I sat there, inching forward, I noticed my temperature gauge kept creeping up. Not good. Finally I realized that nasty things would happen long ere I reached my destination, so I pulled over onto the other side of the road, and called to have them meet me there. The handoff was made, and the CoA and I began the return home.

20 mile later we reached more tail lights. About a quarter of a mile ahead were numerous emergency vehicles, and traffic was not moving. I, and many others, turned off the car and got out to see what was going on. Before too long a chopper landed near the crash, so I knew it was going to be a long wait. After nearly an hour the chopper took off, and the word came down the line: at least two hours before the road would be clear. For those of you unfamiliar with Florida, there are excellent interstate highways running along both coasts, but few straight shots across the width of the state. So I decided that rather than wait there with an increasingly full bladder, and an increasingly restless kid, I'd head back to Yeehaw and go north to I-4. This I did, without incident, but what should have been a 4-5 hour long jaunt became a 10 hour ordeal.

Which leads me to today. I took the car to the shop 10 minutes before they opened, and was the first customer through the door. I figured the cooling fan motor was dead, and that they could fix it quickly and I'd be on my way. Alas, no. The coolant temperature sensor needs replacement, and they won't get the part until this afternoon. Oh darn...day off. But, after a while I got bored. I played a bit of City of Heroes, and then I got silly.

And now, lunch.


Saturday, November 29, 2008

Bring Out Your Dead

So Celebhith choked her computer to death with pictures and videos of Clay Aiken. Consequently she bought a new one. The technician who set it up for her took the old hard drive and put it in the new machine, and she gave me the rest of the old computer. I had hoped to move my hard drive into her old machine since it has a far superior processor, but alas I have found that without the Windows installation discs I cannot do this. So what I have decided to do is turn the old, driveless machine into a unit with but one purpose...to play City of Heroes. To that end if any of you lovely folks have any old computer bits laying around just waiting to be recycled, can I have them? :-D Specifically I need DDR PC2700 RAM, a 350-400watt power supply, and a working monitor. So if you have any old stuff laying about that is just taking up space, I can make it live...LIIIIIVVVVVE!!!!!!!!!

Sorry, got a bit carried away. :-)

Rum and Egg Nog rules!!

Dr. Frankenmarius

Reflection(warning: whining ahead)

It's very quiet here in Castle Marius this morning. It's cool enough that the ever running fans are silent. The Child-O-The-Apocalypse is at her grandparents, and even the usual post-breakfast feline house trashing is over. The only sounds are the bubbling of the cats' water dispenser, and the ticking of the bathroom clock. And in this relative silence I find myself pondering the events of the past six months or so. I know that death and sickness are the natural consequences of life, but I somehow thought there would be another twenty years or so before I would have to grapple with those particular horsemen. Thursday, as you all know, was Thanksgiving here in the states, so as soon as Mrs. Marius got off work we piled into our remaining vehicle and went South. Four hours later we dropped the CoA off at her grandparents' and went to see my folks. I had intended to cook dinner for my parents, a plan I had hatched before my mom took ill, but several people descended upon them ere I could arrive and gifted them with enough turkey, stuffing, and other traditional dishes that all we needed to do was show up and help warm the plates. All things considered my mom looks well. She has put on a bit of weight since I saw her in the hospital, and the radiation treatments did not rob her of all her hair. She is very weak, however, and has little to no appetite. So dinner was shared by my dad, wife, and me. Hercules, the Shi-tzu puppy that is the newest addition to the household, was oblivious to the dampened spirits at the table, and it was a tasty, if not overly festive meal. After dinner was cleared we visited for a while longer, but soon everyone was yawning, and we left to go back to the In-Law's for pie and sleep.
Yesterday my wife and her mother braved the sales of Black Friday, and I even went out to get some shoes. All too soon, however, it was time to come home as Mrs. Marius was only able to get one day off. So now I sit in a dark, chilly, nearly silent house and try my best not to succumb to the cloying tendrils of woe that beckon just beyond my periphery. Perhaps this will help: Dear Santa, I have been a very good boy this year, and would really like it if you could kindly ask the universe to stop kicking us in the balls...just for a little while.

Sorry for the bummer of a post, and I hope none of you actually read this. There just seems to be something cathartic about posting my sorrows. It's almost like an emotional ipecac. I've been bottling this up for a while now, not wanting to unload on you all, my wonderful intertube friends. And don't worry, I'm sure before long there will be some news story that sets me off, or another Star Trek tidbit that stokes my outrage furnace anew, and The Corner will be a fun place again.

At least I really hope so.


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! :-)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

There But For The Grace Of God...

The best part of yesterday was getting two cavities filled. I'll let that sentence sink in a bit before I move on. Yes, I said the best part of my day yesterday was getting two cavities filled. We got a new dental plan at work this year, and so I finally got in to get a check up for the first time in an embarrassingly long time. I had one teensy little cavity, and one area that might become a cavity. So I went in yesterday to get the work done. The appointment was at 11am. I arrived at 10:55. By 11 I was in the chair. The dentist suggested that he could accomplish his work sans Novacaine, but if I felt anything at all he'd give me a shot. At 11:13 I was out of the door with two new fillings, no numb face, and having paid $20. It was the most amazing dental experience of my life. Then I went to work.

At this time in the semester my student workers become scarce as the due dates on the papers they've been putting off grow nigh, and being the Tuesday before Thanksgiving most of my help are busy packing for the trip home. But I did have a couple of kids come in to work, so we got a bit done, then I left early. But not to go home. As some of you may remember I spent one hellish year teaching at a local high school for the performing arts. A couple of weeks ago the Dance teacher contacted me and asked me if I would design the lights for their annual Nutcracker ballet. Out of all the misery and unpleasantness of working at the high school, working with the Dance department was the one of the only high points, so I said yes.

When I got there I met the new Technical Director. Actually this poor guy is the second TD they've had since I left, so it wasn't just me being a whiny bitch. Alas, poor N is being crushed by an even greater work load than I was. When I was there we had a 4 period day, with each period lasting about 90 minutes. N has an 8 period day, and is now teaching Drama 1!! Despite the fact that every single TD that place has had has told the administration that the job is too much for one person, they keep piling on the work. N is only half way through his first year there, and is already burned out. I'll be very surprised if he is still there next year. As for getting the lights set up, they are mostly there now, although I was there about 4 hours longer than I had hoped. I had forgotten how much harder it is to work in that monkey house, since the students are, for the most part, determined to break or abuse every piece of equipment in the place, and many of the lights no longer work properly. But it'll get done, and it'll look good enough. And the best part...I get to walk away at the end.

Sorry, N.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Bad Day at Work

Have you ever wanted to do something like this?

Friday, November 21, 2008


Yeah, so, um, haven't been blogging much of late. Truth be told I've kind of gone into hibernation. It's almost like my brain has shut down a bit after the events of the past few weeks. Also, nothing much of note has been happening. I spoke to my mom yesterday, and she has finished her radiation treatments. They seem to have helped with her memory problems, and though she is weak she is no longer unaware of her surroundings. We'll be going down there for Thanksgiving. I'm going to cook. Pray for us all. ;-)

If all goes well we'll be recording the first episode of Starbase 66 on Sunday. I don't know how long it will take me to edit it for release, but hopefully not too long. I'll post a link as soon as one exists. The topic will, unavoidably, be the upcoming movie.

Things are slow at work, but I have several projects to complete, so we're staying busy. The semester is rocketing toward its finale, and before too long it will be Christmas break. It certainly seems as if someone greased the slippery slope of time.

And Winter has finally arrived to our tropical paradise. This is the second morning in a row that I've had to turn the heat on. And yesterday, when I took the CoA to the bus stop, the condensation on my windshield was actually ice! I'm surprised the news wasn't full of panic yesterday, as folks down here tend not to deal with ice very well, unless it is floating in a glass of scotch. :-D

And that's about it for now. I'll endeavor to snap out of my torpor and post a bit more regularly. I wonder if I'm subconsiously rebelling against the NaBlowJoeNoMo this year and posting as little as possible during November.

Mayhap I'll get out the Ouija board and ask Dr. Freud what he thinks.

Mayhap not.


Monday, November 17, 2008

A Ray of Hope

So the new trailer for Star Trek is out...officially. You can see it here. I have watched it nearly frame by frame several times, and I think I have figured something out. The starship interiors we have been seeing, with the white plastic walls and Vegas attraction panels may very well not be the Enterprise. There is another ship, The USS Kelvin, that plays an apparently sizable role in the film. That would explain the wrong layout of the bridge. So if that is truly the case, then I think I can set aside my quibbles about the outboard design of the Enterprise.

We shall see.

Marius the Slightly Ameliorated

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Coming Soon

I had a marvelous conversation with my podcasting co-hosts tonight, and the recording of that conversation seems to be good. I'll listen to the whole thing tomorrow, as we talked for over an hour and a half, but we have a good chemistry and the time flew by. So stay tuned, gentle readers. Starbase 66 is nearly ready for launch.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

J.J. Abrams, You Have Some Esplainin' To Do

You want to do a prequel to Star Trek? Fine. I accept that they'll need new actors, different interiors, new situations(even though we know no one important can get killed) but the one thing you cannot mess with is my ship. Yes, I said it, MY FUCKING SHIP!!!!! That...thing...up there is the Enterprise from the upcoming movie. Does it look like a precursor to anything we've seen before? NO! I can deal with the 90210 cast, I can deal with whatever continuity fuck job they want to do, but don't fuck with the gods damned ship!!!!!!!!!!! There had better be a freaking great explanation for why this one looks more like the movie ships, and no where near like the TV Enterprise. It's not a bad looking ship, if it were to come from sometime after the V'ger encounter, but as the Enterprise just a few years prior to the series it just doesn't work. The deflector dish is wrong, the nacelles are in the wrong place. About the only thing that does work for me is the size and shape of the Primary Hull.

I know, I know, wait for the movie, but this is just giving me a really bad feeling. I'm sure I'll calm down, and if the movie is good enough I'll accept the hatchet job they've done on Matt Jeffries's beautiful design. If.


Ok, I've calmed down a bit(and yes, I know I take this shit way too seriously) and I think I've located the source of my ire. The change between the Enterprise of the series, and of the movies was deemed a 'refit', but I always had trouble with that. There seemed nothing of the original ship in the refit, but all the external features were in the same place. The umbilicus between the Primary and Secondary hulls still connected in the same location, as did the nacelle pylons. Maybe it's because of my occupation but I look at this 'new' ship and I see that moving the umbilicus forward to where it will end up is not just a matter of changing the hull plating. It is a major redesign of both the exterior and interior of the ship. The same goes with the nacelle pylon placement. I also realize that I will be in a very small minority of Star Trek fans who would even care about such a thing. In fact, this may lead to some lively discussion on an upcoming podcast, since I know at least one of my co-hosts likes the design.

Ok, I'm going to bed now.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

A Rational Religious View of Gay Marriage(yes, it's for real)

This is a brilliant editorial by Salt Lake City columnist, Robert Kirby.

Kirby on gay marriage: It's official - I don't care
Tribune Columnist
Article Launched: 10/24/2008 01:00:00 AM MDT

Robert Kirby

Posted: 7:15 PM-
A couple of years ago, I wrote a column in which I announced my official position on gay marriage. Basically, I don't care.
Not only do I not care if gays get married, it is none of my business. As a flaming heterosexual, it's a full-time job for me just to keep my thoughts clean in church. I don't have the energy to fret about somebody else's libido.
The column must have resurfaced on the Internet. I'm getting mail again telling me what a failure I am as a Mormon because I'm not solidly behind Proposition 8. As I understand it, the California ballot item would prevent the domestication of homosexuals. Or something like that.
Here are just a few of the attempts to get me to see reason.
"Are you a member or not? Do you want gays to get married in the temple? Please follow the brotheren's [sic] council [sic] on Proposition 8. This is a important gospel principal [sic]." G., e-mail.
"No unclean thing can enter the house of the Lord. Gays are unclean because of the Scriptures. You have to be hot or cold about it or the Lord will spat you out." T., e-mail.
"Were you listening in church when the letter was read from the First Presidency about supporting proposition eight?" R.Y., e-mail.
"Get with Prop 8 or your [sic] a homo." Anonymous letter.
Hard as it is to counter such brilliant logic, my position hasn't changed. The only serious concern I have about gays getting married is that they'll register someplace pricey.
The church is serious about the sanctity of marriage. I get that. But aren't more potentially "dangerous" marriages already being performed out there?
For example, I hear in church all the time about marriage being ordained of God. But I also hear about how the glory of God is intelligence.
Shouldn't it be against the law for stupid people to get married? What's more harmful to society - two well-dressed men getting married and settling down, or two idiots tying the knot and cranking out any number of additional idiots?
You should have to pass a harder test to get married than the one we currently have. Essentially, there are but two questions: "How old are you?" and "Is that your sister?" Hell, you could pass this test just by guessing.
There are drawbacks. Most people get married when hormones and youth make them about as dumb as they'll ever be. So, even a relatively easy test would by default raise the age limit to about 40.
With an increased marriage age limit, there would be fewer births. Genealogy would become easier to do. With fewer births, there would be fewer children born gay. Hey, isn't that what Heavenly Father would want?
OK, I was just kidding about that. But if you're really serious about putting a stop to gay sex, let them get married.

Saturday, November 08, 2008


This is a shameful, heart-breaking, but well done internet hoax. A website was claiming that a Wonder Woman movie was in the works starring Megan Fox as the Amazonian princess. However, upon further investigation it turned out to be a Photoshopped fake. Sigh. You can read the full story here.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Red Herring

Let's face it, the old Soviet Union was no more Communist than we are a Representative Democracy. Those sociological labels were/are just starting points for governmental ideologies that morphed over time to become the hulking beasts that, in the former case, imploded, or in the latter case has ground to a near standstill. The Conservatives of this country scream like a cartoon wife who has just seen a mouse whenever the word 'socialism' rears it's head, but don't seem to mind government intervention when they're about to go bankrupt...or they just met their son's boyfriend. There was a lot of rhetoric from the Right that Obama's tax plans are designed to 'redistribute wealth' as if The Communist Manifesto is what he reads to his children at night. I have attempted to decipher Obama's tax plans, and they don't seem to be all that different from what we already have, except that instead of giving the tax breaks to the big corporations in the hope that they'll trickle the joyous bounty down to us little folks(how's that been working for you all so far?), the tax breaks will now go to those of us at the lower end of the ladder. We've endured eight years of being trickled on. Eight years of watching CEOs make obscene salaries while the workers of this country barely scrape by. We've seen jobs shipped overseas where labor regulations are non-existant, and the minimum wage is pennies. The rich have gotten richer, some of whom I will grant you worked their asses off for it and have every right to want to keep it, but the poor are getting poorer. And many of the poor are working every bit as hard as the rich, but without the tax balloons and stock options and other fiscal safety nets available to those at the top. I don't advocate rewarding welfare scam artists, or people who won't work, but I see nothing Communist with shifting the focus from those who don't really need any sort of help, especially since we have seen in graphic detail just how much some of the richest bastards couldn't care less about anything but the bottom line, to those who just can't get a toehold on the American Dream. Obama is not going to put on a green jerkin and start raiding corporate bank accounts and then dump the cash from a helicopter over 'the hood'. Hopefully what he'll do is make it possible for lower income families to finally make some progress toward not just getting by, but maybe even getting a little bit ahead. I don't think that makes him the new Lenin.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


Isn't that a pretty picture? It felt so good voting for someone instead of against someone else for a change. Now let's hope that Obama keeps to his word and doesn't become just another disappointing politician.

The only fly in the ointment from last night is that too many inbred, knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing, Bible-thumping, brain dead redneck retards voted for Amendment 2. Ah well, we may have lost this battle, but the war on intolerance and bigotry continues.

Man, I need more sleep. Maybe tomorrow.

Ciao, Darlings. :-)

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Thanks, Weathereye

I Voted

The sticker says it all. Go Obama! Death to Amendment 2!!

Marius the Democratic


Would you imagine that anyone could walk away from this with only some bruises and soreness? At the very least, Saturns are safe cars.


Saturday, November 01, 2008

Not Hurt

Ok, that was pain, this is pleasure.


This song suddenly makes sense.


This is a little over the top, but it is entertaining.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Well...Isn't That Special

So, just when I thought I could deal with all the crap going down, yet another cosmic curve ball comes rocketing over the plate. I went in to work this morning, gave some orders to my minions, then headed to Home Depot to pick up some more set building stuff. As I'm pulling out of the parking lot my phone rings, and an unfamiliar voice asks if I am who I am. I reply in the affirmative, and he tells me that he is a paramedic who just took my wife out of a car wreck, and she's fine, but they are taking her to the hospital to confirm that she's fine. So I race back to the shop, drop off the stuff, bark some orders, tell my boss what's happening, and haul ass to the hospital. The parking garage is about five miles from the ER, but I eventually get there. She's in a bed/gurney thing with a neck brace on. They wheel her off to get a CAT scan and x-rays and I wait. During the wait a police officer drops by to give her a ticket for running a stop sign. He was very polite and as pleasant as possible given the circumstances. Finally she comes back and we wait. She's banged up, but not too badly, and managed to not get the airbag in the face. The car is apparently a total loss, but the insurance company will have to make that determination. I would imagine so from what was described to me.(I haven't seen it yet) Finally, after numerous tests, and a very unpleasant IV, they determine that she is bruised, but unbroken, and we can go home. It's now 4 hours since I arrived at the hospital. We pick up the COA on the way home, and then I had to go back to work to try to get something done. Fortunately a couple of my more dedicated students came in to help, but by 9pm I was physically and emotionally drained. I have to really bust my ass over the next few days since the show opens on Thursday, and hopefully our insurance has a rental car provision, otherwise I'll be taking her to work at 3am, picking her up at 9:30am, bringing her home, then going to work myself.


Let the fucking sunshine in my ass!

Marius the Grumpy

New Phase

On this day of Samhain I want to turn away from sorrow and sadness, and use the power of light and hope to bring healing during this time of trial for my family. I can't promise to not get outraged over the goings on of this world, but I will make a concerted effort to be more positive. I thank all of you for your wonderful, and humbling words of kindness, hope, support, and love, and if there truly is power in prayer then we shall be well taken care of. So I now cast away the shadows, and ask the light to come in.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Facts Found...Sort Of

Why can't doctors just say what's going on? I got to the hospital this morning and the nurses wouldn't tell me anything, kept asking my mom what she knows about her condition(sometimes everything, sometimes nothing) and finally the doctor came in. After he checked her vitals he and I stepped into the other room and he started explaining what had happened that day. I finally stopped him and told him that I had no idea what was going on, and that as far as I knew my mom had a stroke. Then the dance began. No stroke, or if there was it was not of any consequence in light of the lesions in her brain, and lungs, and liver, and the tumor in her lungs that they had just biopsied. Finally, after several minutes of him spewing jargon and refusing to tell me just what the fuck was really happening I explained to him that I needed to tell my brother in North Carolina what was going on. A few more minutes of tip-toeing later I had pieced enough of his spiel together and stopped him. "What you are saying is major systemic cancer, right?" He sighed and nodded. They were still assessing the data when I left, and will be discussing treatment options. I will most likely not blog much about this, unless it is good news, but those of you with a need, or desire to know what's going on may contact me privately for updates. I honestly can't even guess at the outcome, and right now I'm too tired to think about it.

Thank you all for your words of support and prayers. It means a lot. We have our first technical rehearsal for Reckless on Saturday, so I'm going to be working my ass off for the rest of the week, so I may not be blogging much. But fear not, I'll be back, and Starbase 66 will still launch...just maybe a little later than we had hoped.

Take care, my friends.

Fact Finding Mission

I'm in West Palm Beach and I'll be going to visit my mother in the hospital in a couple of hours. Hopefully I can find out what the real story is since talking to her on the phone is a bit disjointed right now.

More when I know something.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Littlest Sith

Tonight we took the COA to Halloboo at the Museum of Science and Discovery. She was one of many tiny Sith lords, and clone troopers running about. But she had a good time, and we got to see two of my favorite students from back at the high school, so it was a mostly good night. I talked briefly to my mom on the drive home, but she was so sleepy that I didn't stay on the line long. I hope that sleeping a lot means faster recovery. Anyway, there are more pics, but I'm too tired to put them up now. Mayhap on the morrow.


Things Cool, and Uncool

Greetings, Friends. It has been a bumpy couple of weeks here on this sandy little patch of peninsula. The show I'm building at school, Reckless, is coming along, but we're still a bit behind and I'm quite weary upon my return home every night. It is now what Eckerd College calls 'Fall Break', so the students have Monday and Tuesday off. This is a built in buffer against hurricane skulduggery, so should we have lost any days to Mother Nature then these days would make up for it. But since no storm felt we deserved a smack down this year the kids get some time off. Theoretically so do I, but there is too much work to do, so I'll be going in on Sunday, and probably Tuesday. At least we hired a lighting designer for this show, so I have the oh-so-rare luxury of only having to worry about building the set.

On the uncool side of the ledger my mom had a stroke sometime last week. She had been feeling unsteady and had a headache that wouldn't go away, so she finally got to the doctor (she's worse about that than any five guys you might know) and had an MRI done. She was admitted to the hospital yesterday for tests and observation. I spoke with her on the phone and aside from sounding like she was on pain killers, which she isn't, she sounded ok. So as strokes go, this one sounds minor, but I'll keep you posted.

Back on the cool side of things I am finally going to be doing a podcast of my own. I have been wanting to do one for a while, but the questions of what to do one on, and who to do one with, since I doubt I could be interesting on my own for more than a few minutes, were daunting. Finally I posted a query on the Simply Syndicated forums asking if anyone would listen to a Star Trek based podcast, and if anyone would be willing to do it with me. The avalanche of support and encouragement I received was quite surprising. So I have asked two of the folks, a man in Canada and a woman in Maryland, to be my co-hosts, and they have both agreed. We are in the process of working out the format, and technical details, but I will let you all know as soon as we are go for launch. We do have a title...Starbase 66...and it will cover all things Science Fiction and Fact with the orginal Star Trek as a jumping off point.

And now here's a bit of ultra cool. NASA has released pictures of the new Lunar Rover. Rather than being a skeletal dune buggy, this beast is a twelve-wheeled, pressurized space RV designed to carry two astronauts without spacesuits. These shots are from trials in the Arizona desert.

And that's all for now. Big things in the works, and big hopes for a full recovery for Mom. Thanks for tuning in. See y'all soon.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I'm Still Fuming

I had sort of planned to apologize a little for last night's tirade, but this morning I'm only a little less pissed off about Amendment 2. I was looking at my sample ballot last night as I was planning to continue researching my local races when I looked ahead to see what else was there. That's when I came across this thoroughly repugnant and offensive screed: This amendment protects marriage as the legal union of only one man and one woman as husband and wife and provides that no other legal union that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized. Gah! It still makes me want to fill this space with enough profanity to make Blogger's servers blush. I am appalled that this affront to human decency made it to the ballot, and I will do everything in my power to fight it. I couldn't care less about the presidential race now. My path is clear, and this amendment must fail.

That is all.
Marius the Furious

Monday, October 20, 2008

F*#k Off, Tallahassee

Why is it that asshole Conservatives who claim to support smaller and less intrusive government can't wait to legislate their own twisted, 14th century, limp-dicked, frozen vagina morality? Amendment 2 proposes to 'protect' marriage as only between one man and one woman. You know what, if my friends K and T were to get married, it would not affect my marriage one bit...well, except to give us one hell of an excuse to party. This whole thing is such a blatant fucking smokescreen, yet all the mouth breathing Neocons out there will eat it up like the whole damned planet will go up in flames should this amendment not pass. Bullshit like this just makes me want to grab every last redneck-minded simpleton who thinks that this amendment is anything other than a weapon of mass distraction and shake them until all the stupid falls out of their single-wavelength tuned ears.

Tomorrow morning I'll be voting early. I just wish I could vote twice.

I know I'm preaching to the choir for the most part, but please, if you value human dignity, or if you believe in what the Republican party used to at least pretend to believe in, vote no on Amendment 2. I don't care who else you vote for, but shoot this ridiculous, bigoted, narrow-minded, hate-filled piece of bogus legislation down for good. Please.

Good night,


I grew weary of losing bits of pictures and/or text to the narrow template. How do you like this one?

Oh How I Wish...


Call me a Luddite, call me a technophobe, call me whatever you want, but all I need my cell phone to do is send and receive calls. And I really don't care what other phones can do.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Something Made it Inevitable

Your result for The Which Lolcat Are You? Test...

Lion Warning Cat

60% Affectionate, 64% Excitable, 49% Hungry

You are the good Samaritan of the lolcat world. Protecting others from danger by shouting observations and guidance in cases of imminent threat, you believe in the well-being of everyone.

To see all possible results, checka dis.

Take The Which Lolcat Are You? Test at HelloQuizzy

And Now A Political Commentary

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Goodbye, Dinker.

Sixteen years ago or so our next door neighbors had a bit of a problem. A little tan and brown puppy was hold up under their propane tank in their yard and wouldn't come out. My mom, who normally could charm Cerberus himself had no luck in getting the critter to come out, and I figured I'd give it a try. To everyone's, including mine, amazement the puppy came to me. She was very tiny, scared, and hungry. We took her inside and gave her something to eat. I was in college at the time, but I said that she would be my dog. My mom then asked where my broke ass was going to come up with all the green to keep a critter, and quickly convinced me that it would be best for everyone if we took her to The Dome, the no-kill shelter in West Palm Beach. I went to school, and by the time I got home she had a name, Princess, and a permanent place in our home and hearts. She was the weirdest looking dog, and even the vet couldn't guess at her lineage. The best way to describe Dinker(we rarely called her Princess) was she looked like a Dachshund/Doberman mix...and no, you don't want to imagine either way that might have happened. She was longish, with stubby little legs and Dr. Seuss feet, and long tan and black fur. She was playful, protective, and very loving, although she had to get to know you first. She also had an addiction; an addiction that all our dogs get...Milk Bones. The ritual was always the same whenever I would come to visit. Knock on the door, bark...bark...bark, oh, it's you. A few perfunctory kisses then it was time for a cookie. Eventually she stopped eating them and just started a collection. Sometimes I could just palm one I had already given her and give it to her again, but I had to make sure she didn't see me pick it up. She was pretty smart for such a goofy looking animal.
You probably know where this is going. My mom just called to tell me that they finally had to put Dink to sleep. Sixteen is very old for a dog, and she had lead a good, safe, happy, cookie-intensive life, but she had lost control of her bowels and her back end was all but useless. When we went home last month I had a feeling it would be the last time I'd see her. But even then her tail was held high, and wagged freely. I loved that dog, and I'll miss her, but I'm glad she won't suffer any more. And if there is a doggy Heaven, then I'm sure she's making life miserable for spectral lizards, and squirrels, and cats even now.

And now I think I need to cry a little bit.

Actually it ended up being quite a bit.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

We Will Add Your Photographic Distinctiveness To Our Own

Paramount have finally released several production pics from the upcoming Star Trek movie. Here are some of them I have...ahem...assimilated. I'm curious as to your opinions. You can see more here.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


I just got home from an amazing afternoon of theatre. My friend, Dahlia, who also starred in my Summer show Standing Still, was in a production of Hair at the University of South Florida, and she got the missus and me a couple of tickets. Oh...My...God! What a show! I had only seen the movie, and wondered why the show was still considered a classic, but now I understand. I don't know if I can convey to you with mere words the gamut of emotions evoked by this incredible play. The music is amazing, and most of the singers were well up to the task. The plot is paper thin, but makes perfect sense since the entire thing comes from the minds of the perpetually stoned hippies that make up the cast. The songs jump from theme to theme with little reason, but plenty of rhyme, and seem tailor made to piss off anyone who always colors inside the lines. There is vulgarity, scatological humor, and a fair bit of nudity by both genders, but amazingly none of it seems gratuitous. In fact at the end of act one the entire cast strips completely naked and sings the final few bars of the song directly to the audience. On the surface one would think that seeing 20 or so young, fit men and women completely naked would be erotic, but it is actually the opposite. Rather than them being made vulnerable in their nudity they became empowered by it, almost saying 'fuck you for being clothed!' It was a powerful moment.
Act two gets a bit heavier when one of the main characters, there really isn't a lead per se, gets drafted and goes to fight in the Viet Nam war. We don't really know if he lives or dies, and I found the final number, Let the Sunshine In to be somewhat ambiguous with some of the singers smiling, and others seeming angry, and I loved that ambiguity. This show did not spoon feed me one thing.

As for my friend's performance I have nothing but praise. I have seen her in several shows now, and even had the unparalleled honor of directing her, but this was her finest performance I have seen to date. She played a pregnant hippie chick who is in love with the guy to goes to war, and is a bit unhinged. When she first came out on stage it took me a while to realize who she was. She totally submerged herself in the part, and her solo sounded nothing like the woman I know off stage. I always knew she had talent, and it is gratifying to see it grow and mature.

As many of you know, I have been doing theatre for nearly two-thirds of my life, and I don't impress easily. Most of the time I find it difficult, or impossible to enjoy a show and not notice the technical aspects and/or mistakes. This show kept me rapt and focused on the players, and I appreciate that more than anything. Normally I feel that standing ovations are given far to easily, and too often, but when the curtain call began I was one of the first people on my feet. This is what theatre is supposed to do. It is supposed to engage the emotions as well as the senses, and even when the story is vague and somewhat random, the mind. USF's Hair did all that. It will go down in my mental scrapbook as one of the finest theatrical experiences of my life. My only regret is that today was the closing show, because I would have loved to see it again...and again.

Peace, y'all,

Thursday, October 09, 2008

You Load Sixteen Tons...

So due to my illness last week we're a bit behind at work. I've been working late all week to try to catch up, with some success, but damn, I'm tired. That's probably why I said I wouldn't be blogging about the election any more. On the night of the recent presidential debate my wife was channel surfing and stopped on it just long enough for me to hear McCain say something like 'My opponent wants to raise taxes...' and I got so disgusted that I really wanted to hide under my bed until the first Tuesday in November. But don't worry, I'm not really going to do that. And once I have a bit of breathing room I'll catch up on what's going down. I'm sure there will be plenty of outrage to fill the next three weeks. Oh, yeah, that reminds me. The other day as I was driving home and listening to Dan Carlin talk about how a Conservative columnist received death threats because she dared to criticize Sarah Palin, I saw a car with several bumper stickers. One said 'Obama Sucks', and another said something like 'Vote No for Hussein' or some other ignorant stupidity along those lines. It never ceases to amaze me how so-called Conservatives will rant and rave about how great it is to be an American, and how the rest of the world hates us because of our freedoms, but then get all bent out of shape when someone actually exercises their freedom to have a differing opinion. I don't care for McCain's policies, and I think that Sarah Palin is dangerously unqualified to be Vice President, but I would never put up a sign accusing them of being terrorists, or use a coincidence of naming to try to make a political statement. It truly frightens me how lock-step people are with their respective parties. I don't think Obama walks on water, or that Biden would make a very good president, but I like them a hell of a lot more than the other candidates. But I will also be looking closely at our local candidates, and vote based on qualifications, rather than party line ignorance. I just wish others would do the same.

Gotta go to work. Buh bye.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

And Now...Cute

Here's a bit of adorableness to soothe your frazzled nerves. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you...a loris.

Adorable Loris

Old Joke, New Punchline

My friend Jenn just sent me this:

While suturing a cut on the hand of a 75-year old Texas rancher whose hand was caught in a gate while working cattle, the doctor struck up a conversation with the old man.

Eventually the topic got around to Sarah Palin and her bid to be a heartbeat away from being President.The old rancher said, 'Well, ya know, Palin is a post turtle.'

Not being familiar with the term, the doctor asked him what a post turtle was.The old rancher said, 'When you're driving down a country road and you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that's a post turtle.' The old rancher saw a puzzled look on the doctor's face, so he continued to explain. 'You know she didn't get up there by herself, she doesn't belong up there, she doesn't know what to do while she is up there, and you just wonder what kind of dumb ass put her up there to begin with.'

To be perfectly honest, unless something monumentous happen between now and Election Day I'll probably not say much more about the race. I've reached my tipping point as far as my disgust for the process goes, and I just want it over. I'm sick of having to translate the lies and low blows and I'm ready for it all to be over. As Tim Robbins said on the Daily Show Monday night, I just want somebody smart to run the country!!

See ya soon,

Sunday, October 05, 2008

RIP, Bennett Strange

In mid-2002 I was getting ready to leave grad school and was looking for a job. I was introduced to Tammy Killian, the Artistic Director for the theatre at Louisiana College. We got along, and she invited me to come for an interview. I went, and was hired. Not long after that I received a letter from China from a man named Bennett Strange. He was the head of the division of which the theatre program was a part, but he was out of the country. Based solely on Tammy's description of my visit he wanted to personally welcome me into the family. When I finally did get to meet him, picture a slim, well groomed and somewhat grumpy Santa Claus, we got along quite well. He constantly thanked me for my efforts, and was always glad to engage in conversation. He was something of a curmudgeon at times, and a devout Christian, and on very rare occasions we didn't always agree, but I respected, and loved him dearly. And now he is gone. He was diagnosed with cancer several months ago, and seemed to be doing well, but I just received word that he passed away. I don't know the details, but I do know that the world has lost a good man, and the river of tears that must be flowing in Louisiana will be deep, and swift.

Good bye, Bennett. If there is a Heaven, you are surely in a place of honor there.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

She Ain't Pretty, She Just Looks That Way.

Ok, I've been reasonably fair, and tried to look at the shenanigans of both candidates, but Palin has gone too far. Yesterday she accused Obama of seeing America as "as being so imperfect that he's palling around with terrorists who would target their own country." This ludicrous claim is based on the fact that Bill Ayers, a founder of the radical Weather Underground, an organization responsible for some early 70's bombings, lives in his neighborhood. Obama has said he has met the man but does not sympathize with the 63 year old, who he describes as "somebody who engaged in detestable acts 40 years ago, when I was 8."

It was bad enough when people were trying to connect Obama to his whack-job former pastor, but at least that made a modicum of sense. To accuse him of palling around with terrorists because an aging radical lives in his neighborhood is bullshit of the highest degree. I had hoped that Sarah Palin was a good woman who got thrust into a position she wasn't really prepared for, but now I see that she is every bit as disingenuous and evil as Dick Cheney and Karl Rove, and between her infuriating condescension during the debate, and this latest round of repugnant falsehoods I have lost any and all respect for her.

Marius the Indignant

Friday, October 03, 2008


As I have mentioned many times I enjoy the podcasts and forums of SimplySyndicated.com. They are a group of Brits who do podcasts about movies, and TV shows, and current events, and just about anything you can think of. The forums are frequented by people from all over the world including Hong Kong, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, and of course the UK and US. As a result of this I have found some Britishisms working their way into my colloquial lexicon. Some of them I had heard before, and some were new, and the new one that is most relevant right now is 'poorly'. It is what someone from Leeds says when they are feeling ill. It is obviously short for 'feeling poorly' but the feeling part has been lost in the mists of time and now one merely says, "I'm poorly." I love this phrase because even in its abbreviated state it is far more grammatically accurate than our equivalent "I feel bad."

The reason this phrase is so much on my mind of late is that I am very poorly right now. I've mentioned having a bit of a cold, but this is the absolute worst cold from Hell I've ever had. Normally I feel like crap for a day or two, then it gradually decreases in its intensity over the next few days. Well this started last week and I feel every bit as lousy today as I did on Monday. I went to the doctor today and they took very good care of me, giving me numerous medicines and orders to stay in bed all weekend, but I still feel poorly. At least C's laptop is the gift that keeps on giving, and I am writing this as I lie on my deathbed...um, I mean couch...trying not to cough too much. So if I'm a bit less productive, blogwise, over the next couple of days I hope you understand.

Buh bye.

Marius the Infirm


The web site Factcheck.org analyzed the VP candidates' statements from last night's debate, and uncovered several obfuscations, misstatements, and outright lies. Behold:

Biden and Palin debated, and both mangled some facts.

* Palin mistakenly claimed that troop levels in Iraq had returned to “pre-surge” levels. Levels are gradually coming down but current plans would have levels higher than pre-surge numbers through early next year, at least.

* Biden incorrectly said “John McCain voted the exact same way” as Obama on a controversial troop funding bill. The two were actually on opposite sides.

* Palin repeated a false claim that Obama once voted in favor of higher taxes on “families” making as little as $42,000 a year. He did not. The budget bill in question called for an increase only on singles making that amount, but a family of four would not have been affected unless they made at least $90,000 a year.

* Biden wrongly claimed that McCain “voted the exact same way” as Obama on the budget bill that contained an increase on singles making as little as $42,000 a year. McCain voted against it. Biden was referring to an amendment that didn't address taxes at that income level.

* Palin claimed McCain’s health care plan would be “budget neutral,” costing the government nothing. Independent budget experts estimate McCain's plan would cost tens of billions each year, though details are too fuzzy to allow for exact estimates.

* Biden wrongly claimed that McCain had said "he wouldn't even sit down" with the president of Spain. Actually, McCain didn't reject a meeting, but simply refused to commit himself one way or the other during an interview.

* Palin wrongly claimed that “millions of small businesses” would see tax increases under Obama’s tax proposals. At most, several hundred thousand business owners would see increases.

For full details on these misstatements, and on additional factual disputes and dubious claims, please read on to the Analysis section.