Silflay Hraka

7/06/2002





Annoying the Wife - Chapter Six - Rock-a-bye baby


Big thunderstorm last night, and the Powerpuff girls were on, so even though I’m less than three feet away, the first clue I have that anything is wrong is when the sainted wife and mother screams “Help” in her emergency voice. It’s a voice I don’t normally hear, and it carries the overtones of “I’m paralyzed from the neck down, and there’s a rattlesnake in my pillowcase. And he’s got a gun.” It spins the adrenaline shunt to wide open full, and I’m spinning around, looking for pirates, ready to charge headfirst in the maw of whatever danger has happened to appear in the master bedroom at 9:00 pm on a saturday night. This is all totally autonomic on my part, so it must be hardwired into the male system. It probably springs from a time when it was useful to be up and moving before you knew what it was going on. Probably scared the wolves right out of the cave.

So I’m spinning, spinning, ready to confront any intruder with my deadly crane style. Well, the suburban computer geek version of crane style. Call it Primitive Crane style. You’ll note that Primitive cranes are extinct. And French, so the only intruder I’ll have a chance against is an Italian ornithologist, or maybe a Belgian. Definitely not a German. German ornithologists are the terror of the bird world.

But once I’ve spun, spun, the tableau that presents itself is more Madonna and Child than Giuseppe the nocturnal bird-watcher. There they are, reclining on the bed, surrounded by a soft golden halo of…of…

Helllllllp mmmmeeeee.”

My god that’s a lot of vomit. The next thought queued up in my head, caring, loving father and husband that I am, is “I sure am glad that’s not my side of the bed.”

Mom really is paralyzed, since if she moves there’s gonna be vomit in places where you don’t normally see vomit, like the middle ear. She’s holding the newly rotten fruit of her loins straight up in the air, looking like Abraham offering Isaac up to the Lord, assuming that Abraham had on a low-cut blue silk nightie and Isaac was blowing chunks. She’s got a halo all right, and it’s about an inch deep. Lumpy too. We really need to start cutting up the child’s food better, there’s what looks like an entire pear half and a couple of Cheez-Its right there on her.…….her….……chin.

“Taaaaaake the baaabyyy.”

I wonder if this is how they train ventriloquists? Her lips didn’t move at all! I don’t really want the baby, the baby is looking distressingly roman emperorish, as if she really needs to finish cleansing out the system before the Lark’s Tongue Pie arrived, and really, what’s the point in all three of us being covered in goo?

“Taaaaaake the baaabyyy nowwwwww, dammmmn youuuu…”

Ok, that last bit she only said with her eyes, but they said it really loudly. So it’s grab the child and go for a new personal best in the 10 yard mad dash around the bed to the master bath, with points automatically deducted for any spillage along the way, and FOR GOD’S SAKE DON’T JOSTLE THE CARGO!

I jostled the cargo. The cargo leaked several more immense pieces of slime covered pear and let loose a despairing wail.

Step one, plant toddler in bathtub. Soothe toddler.

“It’s ok, honey, It’s okay. You just got sick. Daddy will clean you up.”

“Pooh jamas.”

“I’ll get them off honey, we’ll get new pajamas. You want some water?”

“uh-huh.”

Ok, there’s nothing in her hair yet, so Pooh and piglet get peeled downward rather than pulled upwards. Warm water in the cup, show her how to rinse and spit, ok, rinse and dribble is good too, wipe her down, get her more water, dry her off, say good night to mommy frantically scrubbing herself in the shower, put on new pajamas, start to put her in the crib, and realize that there’s still an unholy mess in the bedroom. If I put her down at this point, that mess becomes my responsibility.

“You want to rock in the rocking chair with daddy?”

“uh-huh.”

“That’s my girl.”


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No blogging today, unless fiver or woundwort show up. I'm more likely to see them and kehaar at our camp reunion today though. Have a good Saturday.


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7/05/2002

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I'm sorry, Herr Politibetjent. Bill Quick made me do it.

Preschool kids: not just playtime anymore

If leading council day-care experts have their say, the national day-care experience will no longer be a daylong game of ring-around-the-rosy. Surburban Ishøj Council is in the process of implementing a groundbreaking new preschool curriculum, to be introduced in council nurseries and kindergartens, that will supplement unadulterated play with curricular-based activities designed to prepare children for school.

"Tøday's Danish Children are tøø fun-løving and carefree." said Yutte Hermsgervørdenbrøtbørda, famøus Møøse Wrangler and mayør øf Ishøj. "All play and nø vørk dø nøt make Jan a dull enøugh bøy. This lightness øf heart amøng the yøunger generatiøn threatens øur vørld-famøus humørless bureaucrat expørt trade."

In Ishøj, small toddlers will be challenged in activities that encourage 'following directions.'

Any resemblance to previous germanic vølk activites is purely coincedental. Dressing your toddlers in the pre-school approved black and red onesies with silver piping will encourage this ability to blindly follow orders, according to a newly published study by the Vibbentrop, Hilter and Bimmler scholastic foundation.

Older, kindergarten-aged children will be engaged in games that stimulate their logical-mathematical faculties, such as counting the number of children in their classroom, then counting a like number of cups or plates.

And, once successfully counted, loading them onto trains.

Musical intelligence will be stimulated by teaching kindergarten-aged children about musical notation, and of learning time signature through clapping rhythms.

All together now, kinder!

Deutschland, Deutschland über alles,
Über alles in der Welt,
Wenn es stets zu Schutz und Trutze
Brüderlich zusammenhält,
Von der Maas bis an die Memel,
Von der Etsch bis an den Belt -

Deutschland, Deutschland über alles,
Über alles in der Welt!


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TANSTAAFL's post about the Enemy reminds me of C.S. Lewis somehow. Maybe it's the capitalization, maybe it's the writing about evil. Maybe it's because I have a daughter too.


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Get your freak on

I can only hope that the person who visited us after googling for "being caned having to pee" eventually found what they were looking for.


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mmmmm....patriotic.

Link via the somehow always excellent Ye Olde Blogge


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Movie Review: Men In Black II

Went to see Men in Black II last night. It was mildly entertaining. As with most sequels, it attempts to capture the spirit and feel of the original, and as with most sequels, it falls short. Yeah, there are some funny bits and I didn't leave feeling like I wasted my money. I went to be entertained, and I was. I didn't leave disappointed or let down. (As opposed to when I left "Attack of the Clones". Massive let down even though "Phantom Menace" did a really good job of keeping my expectations low.)

The big problem with the film is that it is so derivative. The plot of MIB 2 is essentially the same as the first. Powerful and grotesque bad alien comes to Earth looking for powerful relic hidden by other peace-loving aliens. MIB must retrieve said relic first in order to prevent the destruction of the Earth. Will Smith plays the funny man to Tommy Lee Jones' straight man. The good guys win, the bad guys lose, sorry if you think this gives away the ending.

Somewhere between the original and the sequel Zed (played by Rip Torn) and agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) picked up some kung-fu moves that recall The Matrix, but they seem poorly done and out of place. In one fight scene, K kicks an alien in the crotch, expecting said alien to be out of action. The alien turns out to be a "Ballchinian" which immediately brings to mind South Park's "Boy with Balls on Chin" episode, and less immediately brings to mind a line spoken by Iman's character to Captain Kirk in "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country". ("Not everyone carries their genitals between their legs" or something like that.)

The roles of the talking dog and the worm aliens from the original movie are reprised and enlarged. The alien arms-dealing pawn shop owner character is back, sprouting new heads, but there are no new and interesting aliens that play a significant part in the movie. There was one new alien bad guy with a second evil head, a la the Mike's Hard Iced Tea commercial. He is pretty entertaining and has potential, but he disappears about half-way through the movie. The only other new character that stands out is a neophyte MIB agent played by Patrick Warburton, lately of "The Tick" television series. His character is not too vaguely reminiscent of The Tick and he too disappears early on.

That being said, I still enjoyed myself, even though the popcorn was a bit stale and I had to sit next to two kids that kept fighting over their common armrest. I give the movie a B or three stars on a five star scale.

On another note, the preview for the new Austin Powers movie, "Goldmember", was pretty entertaining and had the audience chuckling. I expect that movie will be the comedy hit of the Summer, unless "Bubba Ho-Tep" comes out of nowhere.


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Deep Linking Threat

Seems like the deep linking issue just won't go away. A while back, the fuss was about NPR's deep linking policy. Now the Danish Newspaper Publishers' Association doesn't like it. Neither does The Dallas Morning News. My advice to these institutions? Go suck an egg.


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Pointed stick? Oh, oh, oh. We want to learn how to defend ourselves against pointed sticks, do we? Getting all high and mighty, eh? Fresh fruit not good enough for you eh? Well I'll tell you something my lad. When you're walking home tonight and some retired mounties come after you with a bunch of loganberries, don't come crying to me! Now, the passion fruit. When your assailant lunges at you with a passion fruit...


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7/04/2002

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Dismantle the recording industry

Article by Janis Ian arguing for free downloading of music. It's well-written and well-supported.


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Graphical Internet

TouchGraph GoogleBrowser. It's the coolest thing I've seen on the Internet in a while.


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If you don't want wet spots on the Wall, then you should stop having sex there!


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Dismantle ICANN

This article should be read by anyone with an interest in how the Internet is run.


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Why we blog


Somewhere in the suburbs: July 4, 2035

"Grandpa, what did you do in the War on Terrorism?"

"I was a warblogger, honey."

"Did you carry a gun, Grandpa? Did you fly a jet? Did you drive a tank?"

"No, not really honey. Lots of warbloggers had guns, though."

"Were you in the Army or The Navy?

“Nope, none of those honey. I stayed home the whole time. I never even saw an enemy unless it was on television or the Internet.”

"What good was a warblogger, Papa? You didn't kill anybody?"

"Well hon, there are lots of different parts to a war. Killing people is only a part of it. Maybe one of the biggest parts is the fight between the ideas on either side. The US lost the Vietnamese war not because the other side was stronger, but because it had better memes. We won the Cold War not because we killed a lot of people, but because our memes were stronger. The country was so strong then that it didn’t need a lot of people to fight. We didn’t even try to step up recruiting. But people still wanted to do something, so a lot of them started writing about it. People made fun of them, and called them names, and said they were useless, but they kept writing. I did the same thing. When I started, I couldn’t tell you why I wrote, I just know that it felt right."

"Meme, what’s a meme?"

"Well, do you remember when you had the flu last winter?"

"Yes, it was awful. I had green snot, and the dog ate some, and mommy made a face."

"Well, memes are like the little bugs that cause the flu, except instead of infecting your body and making you sick, they infect your mind. Why did Tommy throw up all over your grandmother’s couch this morning?"

"Because he saw Elmo spinning around on the holovision, and he started spinning around and around and around and then he fell down and then he threw up! He ate corn last night! "

"That’s right. Tommy got infected with the Spin Around Like Elmo meme, and it made him act differently. Lot’s of people just call them ideas. Tommy caught it from Elmo, and Elmo got it from somebody else. People are full of all sorts of memes. The older you get, the more you have, until you’re just a big walking collection of them. There’s the Elmo meme, and the Jesus meme, and the “There’s no such thing as Jesus” meme. But every meme that ever existed had to start somewhere. It didn’t exist until somebody created it. That’s what I did, during the war, along with thousands of other people. I made memes."

"Was it hard?"

"Sometimes. Sometimes it was really hard, and sometimes it was really easy. It just depended on how I felt, or what I had read. Other times I helped spread other people’s memes, or tried to add something to them. Most of the memes I made died because they weren’t able to infect anyone, or ran into another meme and got eaten."

"Eaten? How do you eat a meme?"

"Well, we don’t eat memes, honey. They get eaten by other memes. You’ve learned about evolution in school, right honey?"

“Duh! They teach it in first grade, papa! They have to! Just like algebra. Babies know about evolution!”

“Okay, well just like animals, memes go thru natural selection, and only the fittest survive. The blogosphere was one of the darwinian environments that memes were born and lived in. There were so many bloggers making memes that there were more memes than ever before, and more memes means better memes in the long run. Most of the memes I created, just like most of the memes everyone else created, died. But I would make another one, and people would pass it on, or incorporate it with another meme they were already infected with to make a whole new one. Sometimes I would see the reflection of one that I made in a stronger, more developed one. So some of them lived. The memes that I and the other bloggers created all had to fight with other memes to survive, and the ones that emerged were very powerful. Your great-uncle Laurence created a meme that infected people all over the world. Once they combined it with their memes, they had a whole different way of thinking about things. Killing people helped win the war, but changing the way people thought made sure that we wouldn’t have to fight them again.”

"Who saw your memes, papa?"

"Mostly just normal people, or other bloggers. They would either ignore my memes, or pass them on. I did the same to them. But I had people visit my blog everyday from the government, or from the military. Now there's no telling who those guys were. They probably weren't generals, or senators, but they might know generals or senators, and the memes they read here might then get passed on to where they made a real difference. And I was just a little fish. Bloggers like Glenn Reynolds had lots of people pay attention to him."

“Glenn Reynolds? The president of Mars? Did you know him, grandpa?”

“Well, no honey. I learned the importance of dropping his name into a conversation early on, though. He did send me an email once. And he talked about my memes a couple of times, which meant that they got a lot more attention than they would have otherwise. You never know what's going to happen when you create a meme. It will probably die, but sometimes, rarely, that meme goes on, and the person that created that meme would have made a big difference in the world. It’s like being a butterfly. One flap of a butterfly’s wing at the right time, and that little gust of air eventually becomes a gigantic storm.”

"So………war bloggers were like butterflies?"

"Something like that, honey."

“You were a war butterfly!”

“Sometimes. When I had a good day, perhaps. Maybe the Malachite butterfly. That one would be appropriate.”

"Why that one, papa?"

“They eat bird poop, honey.”

“You’re gross, grandpa.”

“Your mother thinks so, too.”


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Personality Disorder Test

DisorderRating
Paranoid:Low
Schizoid:Low
Schizotypal:Moderate
Antisocial:Low
Borderline:Low
Histrionic:Low
Narcissistic:High
Avoidant:Low
Dependent:Low
Obsessive-Compulsive:Moderate

-- Click Here To Take The Test --



Link via Dr. Weevil.


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Dead Russian Composers

If I were a Dead Russian Composer, I would be Sergei Rakhmaninov.

I lived in the early Twentieth Century and was well known for my compositional, conducting, and piano skills, yet I am melancholy despite this talent. My famous works include my nearly-impossible piano concerti.

Who would you be? Dead Russian Composer Personality Test



Link via Doctor Weevil and Bigwig's earlier post.


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Happy Birthday, America

I hope that everyone's 4th is safe, happy, and full of fun. I've been out to the local July 4th street festival. I don't know if it's the heat (98 degrees on the pavement), the threat of fresh terrorist attacks (I looked. I didn't see any suspicious activities.), or the fact that you can get approximately $10.00 worth of food for a mere $20.00, but the street festival was a bit thin this year. Normally, notwithstanding the heat and expense, the streets are packed. I don't want to assume that it's fear of terrorists, so I'll assume it's the fact that the headline band at this year's festival is General Johnson and the Chairman of the Board. Beach Music. Not exactly the band to draw a crowd. I think that their last gig was a family reunion.

Anyway, there's still pool, fireworks, and the like to go. Happy 4th of July, everybody.


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This is the dawning of the age of Aquariass, The age of Aquariass, Aquariasssssss.


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What do you call it when several memes collide head on? memeplosion? meme-meld? Anyway, here's the result.

Link via the Captain


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7/03/2002

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Well, the opposing forces crossed my T early on, and sank my battleship.


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You know, every time I start to think "Yep, I'm geeky enough, along comes someone who shows me I'm still just a poseur."


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Bob Ballard has linked to us! No, not that Bob Ballard, the one who spends all of his time on the ocean. A completely different Bob Ballard who spends all of his time on the ocean.


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The official home of big rocks that want to kill you.


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Junk Science. The effects of junk science. The son of a bitch trying to profit from junk science. What's the head of the World Health organization doing? Promoting more junk science.

Update: Environmental junk science. Environmental junk science debunked.

Remember kids, Give the Nature Conservancy your money and give the World Wildlife Fund your finger.


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Scientists estimate 30 billion Earths. So, according to the Drake equation, there should be about 600 extraterrestrial civilizations out there. This number is almost certainly too low.

A.) The percentage of stars with known solar systems is only going to go up. Right now we can only see the giant planets, and they're popping up all over the place.
B.) The "life zone" right now includes Mars and Venus. An estimate of 30 billion earths would logically mean 30 billion of those two, as well. That triples the number of extraterrestrial civilizations right there.
C.) The more we investigate the depths of the ocean, the the more our understanding of how life arises expands. The life zone then gets bigger. Toss two moons of Jupter into the mix, and we're at 3000 extraterrestrial civilizations.


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New Hubble pictures.
No, not the guy from "The Way We Were", geez.


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Capra intimidatus

Ok, no one is going to get that. But it's not going to stop me from inflicting it on you.

Update: You wanted a picture? You got a picture.


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Och!. You dinna come from 'ere didya, you blouse-wearing poodle walkers!


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7/02/2002




AIDS Epidemic Surges, 70 Million May Die

Spent some time in the library today, checked out a copy of the 1989 world almanac.

Angola
Life expectancy in 1989 - Male - 42 Female - 44
Life expectancy today --- Male - 37 Female - 40
Botswana
Life expectancy in 1989 - Total Population - 63
Life expectancy today --- Total Population - 37
Malawi
Life expectancy in 1989 - Male - 42 Female - 45
Life expectancy today --- Male - 37 Female - 38
Mozambique
Life expectancy in 1989 - Total Population - 47
Life expectancy today --- Total Population - 36
Zaire
Life expectancy in 1989 - Male - 48 Female - 52
Life expectancy today --- Male - 46 Female - 50
Zambia
Life expectancy in 1989 - Total Population - 47
Life expectancy today --- Total Population - 37
Zimbabwe
Life expectancy in 1989 - Male - 57 Female - 61
Life expectancy today --- Male - 39 Female - 36

It's just depressing to read. And there's blame aplenty to spread around. You don't really hear a lot about it from the left, since after all, less people is good for the environment, isn't it? On the right, it's "Shoulda kept your cock in your pants", when it's not "Drugs are bad, m-kay?" You'd think people would realize that the more people who have Aids, the more likely it will mutate into something worse, because it gets to practice on everyone it infects. Just because you only get it from unprotected sex and sharing needles now doesn't mean that those are the only ways you'll be able to catch it in future. But that's a ways off, and we don't like to think that far in advance. Maybe it's time for something different. After all, it worked for the Africans once before.






If the UN really wants to cure aids, then the UN should put a bounty on it. $10 billion. 10 Billion dollars to the person who develops the cure for Aids. That might get results. That would be worth the money we give them.

Update: The Truth Laid Bear has more numbers, and a shocking graph.


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The curse of the infidel asks the question. "A century ago Muslim intellectuals admired the west. Why did we lose their goodwill?"

The author of the above, Karen Armstrong, is supposed to be a pretty good historian. Her rep must be over-rated, otherwise she could have answered this question herself.

At the beginning of the 20th century, nearly every single Muslim intellectual was in love with the west, admired its modern society, and campaigned for democracy and constitutional government in their own countries. Instead of seeing the west as their enemy, they recognised it as compatible with their own traditions. We should ask ourselves why we have lost this goodwill.

Well, Karen, maybe it's because 100 years ago 75% of the muslims in the world were ruled by the West, in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Let's see, the only Muslims actually ruled by Muslims were in the Ottoman Empire, a theocracy ruled by a Sultan.

"His rule was a theocracy and he was dedicated to the advance of Islam -- the Sunni branch of Islam. Ottoman sultans had seen it as their responsibility to extend Islam as far as they could."

Sound familiar? What was life like when you were ruled by a Sultan? These people could tell you. So could these.

So Karen, it seems pretty freaking obvious why we lost the goodwill of Muslims all over the globe. We stopped ruling them, and let them rule themselves. Perhaps it's time we corrected that mistake.



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Ein Volk! Ein Reich! Ein Euro!


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7/01/2002




I was going to write about Ann Coulter one day, but the whole exercise just seemed depressing. Fortunately, procrastinating has once again paid off. Meryl's done it for me. All I have left is the title I was going to use.
Ann Coulter: Only Pretty on the Outside.


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What is the copyrighted sound of one hand clapping?
Link via the Public Nuisance


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The extra-solar planet count stands at 96.


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Palestinian jobless storm Arafat headquarters

Thousands of banner-waving Palestinians marched on Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's Gaza offices Monday, protesting the lack of jobs or financial support for the unemployed.

Thousands of unemployed Palestinians? Heads are going to roll in marketing! How could they have not heard of the new, exciting and renumerative opportunities Hamas has open in the personal explosion division? A. You've got a job for life. B. You have a blissful, heavenly retirement. C. No Sales calls. D. All you have to know is your belt size. E. We really mean it, NO SALES CALLS!

About 4,000 demonstrators, many accompanied by their children, took to the streets, some with rounds of pita bread fixed to the top of their banners to symbolize their struggle for daily bread.

"Hunger is destroying us!" claimed Ahmed bin Ahmed "Why, after buying headscarves, petite camoflauge uniforms and fake plastic explosives, we barely had enough money for the banner bread!"

Arafat's security guards, unwilling to use force against the unarmed protesters, stood by as the crowd broke through the wrought-iron gates of Arafat's seafront compound chanting "We want jobs! We want food!"

Despite their lack of employment, none of the crowd's accepted the security guard's offers to switch places.

Arafat was not in Gaza. A cordon of Israeli tanks have kept him penned inside his West Bank headquarters in Ramallah for the past week.

A dazed and somewhat bewildered Arafat exited his compound later that day, handing out chocolate and cigarettes to the bemused Israeli tank crews, thanking them all for their efforts in guarding him from "that vicious arab street rabble"

Majed Abu Qaria, a 41-year-old father of seven children, said he had been unemployed for the past 17 months and received no welfare benefits from the Palestinian Authority. He said that while he had no quarrel with Arafat, he believed that other Palestinian officials were enriching themselves at the expense of the poor.

"Ptah!" spat Qaria "Worldcom was not the hot stock Abu bin abu mohammned al-arib bin ahmed de von ausfern schplenden schlitter crasscrenbon fried digger dingle dangle dongle dungle burstein von knacker thrasher apple banger horowitz ticolensic grander knotty spelltinkle grandlich grumblemeyer spelterwasser kurstlich himbleeisen bahnwagen gutenabend bitte ein nurnburger bratwustle gernspurten mitz weimache luber hundsfut gumberaber shonedanker kalbsfleisch mittler aucher von hautkopft of Ulm said it was."

"We love him and support him fully," Abu Qaria said. "But there are some people around him who are stealing our rights and ignoring our demands."

"If this keeps up, soon I will lose all self-respect, motivation and sense of worth. I might as well be French."

Before the September 2000 outbreak of Palestinian-Israeli violence, an average of 125,000 Palestinians crossed daily into Israel to perform manual labor jobs that were the mainstay of the Palestinian economy, bringing in $3.4 million each day, according to U.N. figures.

They hammered in the morning. They hammered in the evening, all over that land. They hammered out danger. They hammered out warning. But they can't go back until they hammer out a peace agreement.

The closure of Israel's borders to Palestinians in October 2000 cut off that flow almost completely, the United Nations says.

However, it has almost completely failed in stopping the cross-border flow of illegal immigrants from Latin America. Asked how he managed to cross the heretofore unknown Israeli-Mexican border, a Mr. S. Gonzales replied "We are very treeky, senor."

In addition, Palestinian Labor Minister Ghassan Khatib has blamed Israeli curfews on Palestinian towns and villages and blockades on roads for a severe blow to employment inside the Palestinian territories. "Right now the percentage of unemployed and unable to work in Palestinian society is 78 percent of the labor force," he wrote in a recent appeal to the international community. Before Israel's recent incursions, the jobless figure stood at 44 percent, he said.

"My fertilizer and nail company was pulling three shifts, " Khatib went on. "I was really hoping to branch out into rat poison and broken glass, but you just can't find the workers." When it was pointed out that he was after all, in the middle of a labor riot, or really lack of labor riot, Khatib replied "These lasy bastards? Oh, I wouldn't hire them as the lowest fetilizer taster. I'm looking for more of those Mexicans."

Standing among Gaza protesters, 29-year-old Sami al-Shami said he has been without work for 18 months and is struggling to feed his wife and three children. He said he has received $240 in Palestinian social security payments over that time. "What can this do to help a family?" he asked.

"Were it not for the residuals from Wolly Bully, I might have starved long long ago."

The Palestinian Workers' Union is helping about 1,500 unemployed members, but the aid it can offer does not go far -- about $100 each in one-off payments, spokesman Rezeq Hassan said.

Motto of The Palestinian Workers' Union: Every Man for Himself!



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Did you ever wonder?

Again, via my friend Beth. If you're the curious type, you might enjoy this site: Did you ever wonder...?


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Personal Information on the Internet

This courtesy of my friend Beth. Check to see if your drivers license information is stored in this database. National Driver's License Records Bureau. Just goes to show that you can find anything on the Internet.


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6/30/2002




You have been awarded the TPM medal of distinction! This is our second highest award for outstanding service on the intellectual battleground. The fact that you progressed through this activity being hit only once and biting no bullets suggests that your beliefs about God are well thought out and almost entirely internally consistent."

Measure your belief at Battleground God




Link via The Rat's Nest.


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Hi Meryl! Here's what my sister-in-law saw at the Sondheim festival you wished you had tickets for.

We are home safe and theatrically satisfied. Stephen Sondheim was right behind me during Sweeney Todd. I can now die happy. I burst into tears when i saw him!


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When you care enough to send the very worst.


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If I were a Dead Russian Composer, I would be Aleksandr Borodin.

Son of a 19th Century Russian prince and a...non-royal...mother, I went to medical school and became a biochemist. Most people, however, (and probably my twenty cats as well) agree that they'd trade all of my scientific discoveries for another set of "Polovetsian Dances."

Who would you be? Dead Russian Composer Personality Test




Link via War Now, even though I'd seen it before.


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Blogger was down, and it was crappy pretty much all day before this, so I was blogging on notepad . I was getting pretty damn tired of checking blogger.com every minutes to see if it was back up, so just for a change, I took a look at the source code for the down message and saw this jewel embedded in the comments;

(Pro users can go here.)

So, about 30 seconds later, I'm a pro blogger. I just don't understand why the link was commented. Talk about your missed marketing opportunities. Guys, I don't mind that the service sucked, it was free, but you'd better hope some elementary school crack pushers don't start a blogging company. They know what to do after the first free taste.

Anyway, I also dropped 12 bucks on removing the ad from up top. I hope both our readers appreciate it.


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Hurricane Hugo, My first honeymoon, constant volcanic eruptions and now this. Montserrat just can't catch a break.


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Annoying the Wife - Chapter Five - Revolving Infant Wormhole Ejection Scenario.


Today I learned, again, that screaming “Don’t puke on the carpet!” doesn’t really impact a cat’s decision process. I also learned that picking a cat up while it’s busy puking on the carpet and tossing it into the kitchen is an excellent way to get lumpy warm bits of half-digested cat food onto the coffee table and wall, among other things. Other things in this case being a distressed toddler, said toddler’s snack, and said toddler’s mother, who was….less than pleased. Other educational activities included a test on “Why do you care, you never clean it up anyway!”, during which time expired before I was able to fully answer the question, and a makeup exam on “Suppressing your laughter during an apology” which I failed miserably. Not the first time I've failed that one, either.

I fail the majority of these tests, even the ones I self-administer. “Juggling a sippy-cup full of red kool-aid near white sofa in attempt to impress daughter?” Failed it. “Frantically scrubbing red stains off white couch before wife notices?” Did not receive passing marks. I also botched the oral exam on the question “Why on earth would anyone other than an complete idiot show a child how to juggle a sippy cup?” and its follow-up “How do you get kool-aid stains off a couch?”, the correct answer to which is not “Ask you to do it?” Helpfully mentioning that the couch hasn’t even been off-white since the baby started walking, perhaps more of a beige, doesn’t really improve things, as none of these colors are still anywhere close to red, which joyfully shouts out its presence like a drunk in a gospel choir.

None of which bothers my daughter, who gives far easier tests. “Playing with water hose” is a slide, as is “Running slowly away from little person with water hose”. “Loud startled arpeggio when little person unexpectedly sprays Daddy’s crotch with cold water” is her favorite, though. It’s right up there activity-wise with crawling into her nylon play tunnel and having Daddy pick up the whole shebang and swing her around, singing “Who’s daddy’s pretty girl? Who’s daddy’s pretty girl?” over and over again, until halted by a mother with visions of her precious flesh and blood being ripped thru the space-age tunnel fabric by the immense centrifugal forces built up around the rapidly-rotating father-daughter locus. Call it the “Revolving Infant Wormhole Ejection Scenario.”

Daddy’s good for lots of things, in her opinion. I figure I’ve got 6, maybe 8 more years if I’m lucky before her estimation of me takes its inevitable nosedive into the adolescent cellar, where my view of my parents dwelled for years. At fast food restaurants I sat as far away from them as I could, a behavior my younger brothers soon copied, leading to a dance Dad called the “McDonald’s Ballet”, as we all circled the floor, searching for the exact locations that would leave us all as distant as possible from a blood relative. To complicate matters, Dad would often wait until we had settled into our respective Lagrange points, and then, with a fiendish glee not normally found in a Methodist minister, move to a different table, leading to another ballet that annoyed Mother and the rest of us almost as much as it amused him. Since the behavior, insulting as it was, allowed Mom and Dad to have a more or less peaceful moment to themselves, they never really objected.

My biggest fear for those rapidly approaching years is not her opinion of me. I’ll take the free time as the gift my parents took it as. It’s the apparently hellish social world of the teenage girl. Pretty much the only things on my mind as a teenage boy were planning my route around school so that my path intersected as rarely as possible with whatever hulking brute had expressed his displeasure with me on days previous, and drawing dungeons on graph paper. In case anyone wonders, graph paper dungeons are a hulking brute magnet par excellence. My friends stayed my friends. We didn’t have to deal with the shifting alliances, backbiting, exclusion, rumors, name-calling, and psychological manipulation that is a girl’s lot. I mean, we did all that stuff, but we really sucked at it, and in any case didn’t have any alternatives other than each other in the rural sports-mad school system we were ostensibly educated in.

The only metaphor I can find for this feminized total war is the politics of the harem. I’m almost certainly wrong, but it’s the only plan of attack I have. So I’ll try to keep her as busy as possible the older she gets, on the Victorian theory that busy bodies and active minds don’t have the time for paying attention to gossipy machinations, and cram as much self esteem into her as humanly possible between now and then. Maybe she’ll have enough stored up by the time she’s 10 to make it through the next 8 years without too much scarring.

I put her down for her nap today, and as I tiptoed out, she started singing to herself.

“Oo’s daddy’s pitty girl? Oo’s daddy’s pitty girl?”

So far, so good.


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The Learning Channel wants to promote a greater understanding of archaeology. Excellent!. The more kids with sense of history, the better off we'll be!

" TLC's "A Dating Story" is looking to feature a single archaeologist, ages 25-35, on our daytime documentary style show. We are looking to feature interesting, talkative, t.v. savvy people. If anyone is interested
in more information please contact me, Katie, via email at datingstory@yahoo.com or call (215)928-1414 ext. 7166. Enclosed is an attachment which describes the show in greater detail. I look forward to speaking with you!

Katie Monson
datingstory@yahoo.com
(215) 928-1414 ext. 7166"
Link via Explorator

I dunno. It's always been my experience that the single archaeologists were the first ones snapped up by the women of Kappa Delta. Those cocky bastards flash one 4" WHS Spear & Jackson Trowel, and the women swarmed around like bees.


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Rosemary Clooney dies.
Frenzied A&E crews complete filming tonight's Biography 14 minutes later.



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Advertising penetrates a new market.


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