Silflay Hraka

8/31/2002





My Secret Shame

Letter from Johannesburg decides that the Harper's Index model is the way to go. I guess we know who LfJ doesn't read.

Amount needed to provide a basic education for all who don't now have it, world- wide, annually: US$6 billion
Amount spent annually in the United States on cosmetics: US$8 billion
Amount needed to provide basic water and sanitation for all who don't now have them, world-wide, annually: US$9 billion
Amount spent on ice cream in Europe annually: US$11 billion
Amount needed to provide basic health and nutrition for all who don't now have them, world-wide, annually: US$11 billion
Amount spent on pet food in Europe and the United States, annually: US$17 billion


Oh, the guilt, oh the shame of it all! I painted my daughter's toenails tonight, never realizing that but for me and mine, a Bagledeshi child would have had his geometry lesson. I could have prevented a malaria death in Togo, but viciously chose to have three cats instead. The half-pint of Haagen-Dasz in the fridge means that when a drunk British soccer fan in Brighton looks for a street corner loo, he will not find one, and will suffer the indignity of having to obtain sweet release in an alleyway. Had I only known!

Perhaps in future the environmental movement will do me the favor of stationing activists with informative leaflets in the frozen food aisle at the Harris Teeter, so that when I am face to face with the question of French Vanilla Bean or Schistosomiasis, I can give them the finger and ask them how much their hemp shirt cost, obtain an estimate of the relative value of a sterling silver nose stud versus a malaria vaccine, and determine whether the three-color yin/yang tatto with extra kanji lettering was worth any number of Kwashiorkor ridden Somalis.

In the spirit of spending other people's money to solve the poblems of the world, the statistical staff here at Hraka have come up with a list that we believe is at least as economically sound as the one listed above.

For the same amount of money that environmental activists in the United State and Europe spend on organic farm produce and free range chicken, the world could have clean water to drink and food to eat.

The cost of a delegateship in Johannesburg would buy AIDs drugs for a South African for the rest of their lives.

The amount of money Peta spends to pay personalities to wear bikinis made of lettuce would free every lobster in the greater Boston area for two weeks.

The price of Ed Begley Jr's electric car batteries could wire every house in the Rio slums for electricity.

You could buy that Sting CD, or you could vaccinate an entire Pakistani classroom against anthrax. It's a win/win situation!

The amount of money the World Wildlife Fund spends on junk mail every day would buy 400,000 acres of Amazonian rainforest.

We call on the members of the groups named above, consumers of PC produce, adult rock listeners and Ed to send us that money instead, so that we here at Hraka may use it to more efficiently solve the world's problems, minus a small administrative fee, of course.


Postscript: First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself. Also, you're currently at the old site. Fresh Hraka is posted every day at our current location.





New Friends of Hraka

Brilliant Corners - and his photolog - The weblog evangelists are constantly getting a more bloated view of their "profession." I ranted a while back how all these weblog books are pretty pointless, but I think statements like "publishing is dead" are even more ridiculous.

Weblogs are really nothing more than a version of online journals with a catchier name. Sure, some tackle politics and the tech sector and the media all at once, but many are tightly focused on one topic alone. While 10,000 unique visitors is a good audience for a weblog, that's still nothing compared to the 1-million-plus circulation of the New York Times.

I don't think there should be weblog "jobs" [b] either. If you can't have a current employee set up a Blogger account, and update a page once or twice a day, in addition to normal duties, then maybe you've got too much money to waste. With all the books and hype, it seems like the push is to get weblogging recognized as a legitimate profession.

In my opinion, weblogging isn't journalism, and it'll never replace traditional publishing. I'm happy that when I do read the newspaper, I just get the news, and not the news, and then a little snippet about so-and-so's humorous encounter at the mall.


Mindscapes, Heartstrings & Soul-searching -
Zod: Heathcliff, Heathcliff!
Quiet you.
Zod: So what, you read the title and thought "Here's a likely place to go learn more about Glock semi-automatics!"?
No, I thought "Hot damn, that's another rung up in the ecosystem."
Zod: Link slut.
It's alway's sex, sex, sex, Zod. Is it because of your....
Zod: Quiet you.
I just think we ought to at least read the blog before you decide it's all about passion on the moor.
Zod: Fine.
Fine.


Mindscapes, Heartstrings & Soul-searching - Just because I choose to embrace my femininity does not mean that I'm any less effective a feminist. I just happen to believe that only when society accepts femininity and womanhood on par with masculinity and manhood, learning to value both equally, will equality truly come into effect. Someone once called me "a lady with feminist ideas" and listened to my ideas with interest... hell, I think that's better than being labelled a radical harridan and dismissed out of hand because of the stigma attached to such behaviour.

Some believe that we need to be like men to achieve equal status with them.

Some believe that we need to bring the development of feminism up to comparable stages around the world before we have any chance in hell of finally decisively moving towards a real sexual revolution.

Still others believe that we need to attack the whole issue through education and enlightenment.

And then, again, there are those who believe that activism and chest-beating and picketing forms the solution. It always has done in the past and it will do again.

These are all worldviews and choices.

And I respect them even if I don't agree with them.

Because that's the gift feminism has given to women (and men)--the gift of choosing and being true to yourself.


Whoa.
Zod: What's a girl like that doing in a place like this?
I dunno. Blog-slumming?
Zod: There's a new motto "Silflay Hraka, for when a girl needs a dirty night out."

Balloon Juice - I am nearing a volatile explosion from impatience when a car pulls up and a woman comes rushing into the store.

The woman embodied every negative stereotype you have ever heard about West Virginians (as a West Virginian, I feel allowed to pick on us- if you can't laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at). She is short and fat, about 5 feet tall and nearly as wide. She is wearing lavender stretch pants, the kind you only see at wall mart, and she has a huge gut that isn't quite where her stomache should be but still above where her nether regions should be. She is wearing what was once a white 'Tweetie" bird t-shirt, but now it is a yellowy/dirty beige. She has thick glasses, the kind that make your eyes look 3 times the real size, and they have the ear pieces that extend from the bottom of the lense (the kind that went out of style 20 years ago).

And. She stinks. Really bad. She has that musty odor that is a combination of 1 part not bathing, 1 part dumpster grunge (you know what I mean- that juicy bile that stays in the dumpster after they dump it, where it just sits and ferments), and 1 part 40 packs of cigarettes without a change of clothing. Essentially, she smells like a popular nightclub bathroom floor on Sunday morning.

She charges to the front of the line, which startled me and infuriated me at the same time. She then looked at the lady behind the counter, and blurted out, "I got's the diarrhea, I'm gonna dirty my pants."

You could hear everyone in the room breathe in, and at the same time, everyone took a step away from where the woman was standing. Also note that there is NO public bathroom, and the only doors are to leave or to go into the employee area behind the counter. The lady behind the counter looked like she had been shot, and before she could respond, the woman this time yelled out:

"I GOT'S THE DIARRHEA, I'M GONNA DIRTY MY PANTS."


Zod: That's more like it. Zod is pleased
Oh, goody.


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You Give Me Fever.

It's been raining for a week, and drought or no drought, we need it to stop. Cabin fever has set in, and from the amount of toe stepping going on you'd think we were in the deaf-mute beginner's competition at the annual Walk In Closet Square Dance Championships (nighttime division). It's made Ngnat bipolar, so she's either goose-stepping around the coffee table shouting "Elmo, Huwwah! Huwwah, Huwwah, Huwwah!" or screaming like an Inquisition victim when some small thing doesn't meet her approval, like the cat sleeping on the foot of her bed. Putting her down for a nap involves chasing her down, telling her very sternly not to get out of bed, again, and hoping that the neighbors don't decide to call Animal Services to come and remove the dyspeptic family of howler monkeys we're apparently housing on the second floor.

The sainted wife and mother's project for the four day weekend was toilet training, which are the chocolate shavings on the giant sundae of stress. Pee score so far, 1 potty, 2 carpet soakings and 2 sofa cushions which will likely smell funny for a month or two. I'm no help, because my basic idea was to put the child in timeout each time she had an accident until the accidents stopped. Apparently this makes me the Genghis Khan of toilet training theory, as it was dismissed with the kind of look you give a person who kicks dogs in the park. I say you shouldn't reject an idea like that out of hand. Before you can criticize a man, you should sit in his daughter's sofa cushion pee pool.

We have managed to get out of the house twice today, braving the savage elements (67 degrees, with a light rain) to take the cat to the vet and visit the bird feeder store. Before we even got the pet carrier out of the door, Grey (that's the cat. I named her. You can always tell which one of us named the cats. Sainted wife gives them names; "Toby", "Jack." I give them adjectives: "Hissy", "Grey"), had muscled up to the bars and voom!, out she went, scrabbling for dear life on the linoleum to get away from us. We stuffed her back in, and made makeshift repairs to the plastic piece of crap that was supposed to hold the door in place. Sainted wife then loaded her in the car and drove off, trailing anguished metronomic cat howls behind her. It's a horrible sound, combining the oh so painfully annoying quality of fingernails on a blackboard with the demanding yowl a cat makes when it wants something that it suspects you are too stupid or slow to delivery in a timely fashion, like an open door, and it comes once every second for the ten minute duration of the trip. And once you get there the vet is slow, and has overbooked, so a five minute examination is preceded by a 30 minute wait, and the cat screams all the way home as well, even though the vet visit is over you dumb shut up kill you shoot you in the head if you don't stop that infernal wailing goddamn animal!

So I was pretty glad the wife did it, at least until I discovered myself sitting in warm pee that wasn't even my own.


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8/30/2002




Money Dance! Thanks to our Paypal tipster! Only $399,995 to go for the communal beach house.


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Superman May Fly Again

Found on an AOL NEWS page:

Paraplegic Woman Walked After Nerve Graft

By ANDREW BRIDGES
.c The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (Aug. 30) - An experimental nerve-graft surgery allowed a paraplegic woman whose spinal cord was severed in an automobile accident to reacquire limited use of her legs, an Italian doctor reported this week at a conference in California. In a 14-hour surgery performed in July 2000, Dr. Giorgio Brunelli, of the Universita' di Brescia, Italy, removed a portion of the 28-year-old's sciatic nerve and used it as a graft to connect the undamaged portion of her spine to muscles in her buttocks and thighs. He said the graft allowed the regrowth of nerves connected to the central nervous system into the muscle tissue. The unidentified patient first showed movement in her legs in September and since has begun walking with assistance, Brunelli said. The woman had used a wheelchair for five years prior to the surgery.


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Guns A Blazin'

Hey, great news!!! Guns 'n' Roses are back............and apparently they suck! Admittedly, I was a fan of the group, but someone apparently forgot to tell Axl that it isn't 1987, and nobody cares anymore. Hell, they aren't the same band anyway. They have changed members more often than Menudo or Destiny's Child.

Here is a critique of their performance last night at the MTV Music Awards (did anybody even know that was on???), found at Metal Sludge. Apparently Axl's voice has disappeared just like his hairline.


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Overture! Hit the lights!

Sammy: Ladies and Gentlemen. Mr. Daffy Duck!
Daffy Duck: Thank you, thank you. You're too kind. Thay, what am I here for, Thammy?
Sammy: You're here to introduce the next link, Daffy.
Daffy Duck: Tho I am, Thammy, tho I am.
Zod: These guys better not be making more than scale for this.
Daffy Duck: Thut up, Thod.
Sammy: What he said, baby.
Daffy Duck: And now, without further adieu, the next link. "Meryl'th Thulking"
Zod: That's it? I've got to wade through duck spittle for the next two days for that?
It's important to do things right, man.
Zod: Goddamn birds are unsanitary.
Daffy Duck: Kith my ath, Thod. At leatht I have a career. C'mon, Thammy, let'th go to Wolfgang'th plathe and get thome thuthi.
Sammy: Ciao, baby.


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Cockpit Conversation

Bigwig's description of Iraq lobbing SAMs at our guys made me start thinking about what those pilots might talk about when they are flying over that God forsaken region of the world. This is the description of the images that ran through my head after reading that. It is my idea of a possible conversation between pilot and co-pilot in U.S. Aircraft flying in the "safe zone" near Iraq:

Co-pilot: Chandler is so much funnier than Ross.

Pilot: No way dude, Ross is funnier and gets a lot more chicks.

Co-pilot: Sure he gets more chicks but then he turns them into lesbians.

Pilot: He doesn't turn them into lesbians, they were.............

Co-pilot: Hey, wait a minute.

Pilot: What's the matter?

Co-pilot: Did you see something down there?

Pilot: No, I didn't see anything.

Co-pilot: I'm pretty sure I saw something……..I'm going to shoot a missile.

Pilot: You can’t just shoot a missile because you thought you saw something.

Co-pilot: Sure I can. I mean, who really gives a shit?

Pilot: Shouldn’t you wait until we see something else, or pick up something on the radar?

Co-pilot: What for? People do it all the time, and who cares? It’s Iraq for Christ’s sake.

Pilot: Isn’t there a rule against it or something?

Co-pilot: The rule says that we should blow their shit up before they can blow our shit up.

Pilot: What movie did you get that from? Was it Reservoir Dogs? Or Die Hard maybe?

Co-pilot: No dumbass, he said, “Yippee Kai-aaaaa, Mother Fucker.”

Pilot: Oh yeah...........but he did blow some shit up.

Co-pilot: Now, let me see……..I’m going to shoot this one right into the middle of that barn and send it right up that camel’s ass.

SWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

(Quiet…………….)

BLAMMMMMMMMMMOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!

Pilot: Oh, my God!!

Co-pilot: Holy shit, did you see that?

Pilot: Dude!!

Co-pilot: Dude!!

Pilot: Dude!!

(Quiet..........)

Co-pilot: But don't you think that Rachel is much hotter than Monica?


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New Friends of Hraka

Assume the Position -
Zod: Go into doggie submission!
Quiet you.

Assume the Position - I am not talking about escalating the War on Terror if sufficient evidence is found linking Iraq to direct support of international terrorism, I am talking about the ongoing war (state of armed hostilities) with Iraq. The war where Iraq routinely launches SAMs and fires AAA at US aircraft and the US routinely blows up their SAM, AAA, integrated air defense, and command and control sites. Let's look back one year ago, prior to the WTC / Pentagon / Flight 93 attacks, to August 2001 and see what was happening with Operation NORTHERN WATCH (ONW) and Operation SOUTHERN WATCH (OSW) in the No-Fly Zones in Iraq:

August 7, 2001: "Iraqi forces launched surface-to-air missiles (SAM) and fired anti-aircraft artillery (AAA) from sites north of Mosul while ONW aircraft conducted routine enforcement of the Northern No-Fly Zone. Coalition aircraft responded to the Iraqi attacks by dropping ordnance on elements of the Iraqi integrated air defense system."

Aug 10, 2001: ". . .Operation SOUTHERN WATCH Coalition aircraft used precision-guided weapons today in a routine strike against military communication, radar and missile sites in southern Iraq. . ."

August 14, 2001: ". . . Operation SOUTHERN WATCH Coalition aircraft used precision-guided weapons today to strike a surface-to-air missile site in southern Iraq . . ."

August 17, 2001: "Iraqi forces threatened Operation Northern Watch (ONW) coalition aircraft today by firing anti-aircraft artillery (AAA) from sites north of Mosul. Coalition aircraft were also targeted by Iraqi radar while conducting routine enforcement of the Northern No-Fly Zone. Coalition aircraft responded to the Iraqi attacks by delivering ordnance on elements of the Iraqi integrated air defense system."

August 25, 2001: ". . .Operation SOUTHERN WATCH Coalition aircraft used precision-guided weapons today to strike a mobile early warning radar system in southern Iraq . . ."

August 27, 2001: "Iraqi forces fired anti-aircraft artillery (AAA) from sites north of Mosul while ONW aircraft conducted routine enforcement of the Northern No-Fly Zone. Coalition aircraft responded to the Iraqi attacks by dropping ordnance on elements of the Iraqi integrated air defense system."

August 28, 2001: ". . . Operation SOUTHERN WATCH Coalition aircraft used precision-guided weapons today to strike Command and Control sites in southern Iraq . . ."

August 30, 2001: ". . . Operation SOUTHERN WATCH Coalition aircraft used precision-guided weapons today to strike a military radar in southern Iraq . . ."


And

War Liberal - Let me exercise my rights -- while I still have them -- and say that 49% of Americans are a bunch of subliterate, underintelligent, drooling, mouthbreathing, cryptofascist jackasses who deserve to spend the rest of their lives watching Touched By An Angel reruns on the PAX network.

Zod: What, no blathering about the New Left?
That's not ready yet
Zod: You got a perfect example here.
When it's done
Zod: Pussy


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mmmmmm.....cheesy

Every now and then I toy with the idea of posting massive lists of useless personal information to the 'Net, something like an alphabetical listing of of all my compact discs, as if someone would stumble across it and experience an epiphany. Holy Cow! He owns Banarama's Greatest Hits and every Cake cd! Truly, this cd listing has convinced me that the man should start his own religion, and I shall be his number one disciple.

The older I get the lesser this impetus is. First, it would be a gigantic pain to type them all in. Second and more importantly, lists like that are boring. Third, the most likely insight into my soul? Man, this anal loser has some really crappy musical tastes.

I don't care. This Bananarama album rocks.


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Fear my mighty mipples!

Ok, so the 1632/1633 book review has become the Energizer Bunny of posts. I get another.... what should I call them? Meme ripple?...mripple?...mipples? Ooooo, mipples. I like that. I get another mipple every couple of days.

Philosoblog just finished reading 1632, and has compiled a list of American moral principles as expressed by the characters. Among them;

It’s okay to own a gun.

Our system of values enables our lower class to live vibrantly good lives and to be morally equal to anyone else in our society.

Classism is wrong.

One should be prepared, on a hair trigger, to protect obviously innocent people from danger in a
way that is unselfish and devoid of considerations of class or nationality.

It is good to proclaim that we accept that last value and to threaten those who threaten
innocents.

Girls and women may be exuberant about life and need not cover their bodies or be passive.

The presumption of an individual’s leadership authority based on status, power, and even past accomplishments is rightly and abruptly shattered by the slightest hint of arrogance.

One should have an unswerving commitment to judge by action, not by irrelevant group
membership.

It is fundamentally important to be impartial.

The fact that we aren’t morally perfect doesn’t show that our values aren’t the best.


'Course, he doesn't say if he liked it or not. Well, Philoso?


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The Return of Zod

A reader comments that....
Zod: What do you mean "a" reader?
It's a person, he's reading.
Zod: "a" implies that you have multiple readers.
We do have multiple readers.
Zod: Only if you count me and the two bugs.
Fine, I'm counting you and the bugs.
Zod: Just keeping you honest.
You done?
Zod: Certainly.
Fine.
Zod: Fine.

A reader comments...
Zod: His name's Andy. Can't you just say Andy?
I using the editorial voice, you ass.
Zod: Is that the one you used to try out on the dog after you read Dune?
I'm trying to do a post here.
Zod: "You will fetch the stick, Towser."
Fine, just keep talking, I'm ignoring you.
Zod: The book said only a Bene Gesserit could use the Voice.
One of our many dedicated readers, Andy Freeman...
Zod: But no, you thought you could be the Kwisach-Haderach.
wrote in to say that he couldn't remember...
Zod: Your mother looked for that nutmeg for weeks.
The Drunken Philosopher's song.
Zod: Still, better than that time you decided you were the Antichrist.
This is basically the same to us as waving...
Zod: And now there's this reincarnation of Churchill obsession.
a red flag in front of a bull..
Zod: Megalomaniac.
You're calling me a megalomaniac, Mr. "Bring me the son of Jor-el?"
Zod: Well, look who's back. Once again we know who's zooming who.
"Who's zooming who?" What, you channeling Aretha?
Aretha: You know it girl.
Zod: Ahhhh! Begone, foul shade! Back to the pit that spawned you!
Aretha: You better give me some R-E-S-P-E-C-T, or I'm going to kick you right in the T-E-E-T-H, white boy.
Zod: You will submit to Zod!. There can be only one!
Highlander: There can be only one!
Zod: Shit.
Aretha: Unless there's a sequel, or TV show, or a breakfast cereal...
Highlander: Look, I asked for final cut, but the damn producers...
Umm, Guys?
Zod: Zod will destroy you!
Highlander: Oh, shut up, Little Dick.
Zod: Zod does not have a little dick!
Getting kind of crowded in there guys.
Aretha: Aretha knows better, honey.
Zod: That water was cold and you know it!
Highlander: A man's sword must fit into his sheath.
Zod: I'll do you, mate. Keep talking.
I'll just let ya'll thrash this out, ok? Get back to me when you've decide who the primary voice is.
Zod: You can have his mind when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers.
Aretha: I am going to smack this honky's ass into next week.
Highlander: My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my fadda...Wait, that's not right...

Ok, while I've got some peace here. Andy Freeman not only couldn't remember all of the Drunken Philosopher's song, the part he did remember he misquoted, which to a deep down soul pedant like myself is the same as a red flag to a bull.

The Philosopher's Drinking Song

Immanuel Kant was a real pissant
who was very rarely stable.
Heidegger, Heidegger was a boozy beggar
who could think you under the table.
David Hume could out consume
Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel,
And Wittgenstein was a beery swine
who was just as sloshed as Schlegel.

There's nothing Nietzsche couldn't teach ya
'bout the raisin' of the wrist.
Socrates himself was permanently pissed.

John Stewart Mill, of his own free will,
after half a pint of shandy was particularly ill.
Plato, they say, could stick it away,
'alf a crate of whiskey every day!
Aristotle, Aristotle was a bugger for the bottle,
and Hobbes was fond of his Dram.
And Rene Descartes was a drunken fart:
"I drink, therefore I am."

Yes, Socrates himself is particularly missed;
A lovely little thinker, but a bugger when he's pissed.


Zod: Ok, that's taken care of. Now where......oh bugger, he's done.


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8/29/2002




Educational Freedom?

Just read this by Kathy Kinsley over at "On the Third Hand". I've been following the story about UNC having incoming freshmen read a book about Islam.

You know, I'm a UNC grad and this is my take on the whole thing. Seems like all the PC folk over there at UNC are up in arms about "educational freedom", but is it educational freedom to FORCE incoming students to read a book about Islam? If I'm a student coming into the University, I am there to study what I WANT to study, not what you think would be good for me to study. That's MY educational freedom. I don't want or need a bunch of academics that live in a sheltered campus world to tell me what it's important for me to study or what it's important for me to know, especially the PC crowd at a liberal university like UNC. I spent the better part of 8 years on that campus, graduating with an English degree. I had it worse than most. It's practically required to take a look at every piece of literature from a feminist perspective, or a Marxist perspective, or from a gay perspective. Political Correctness is rampant on campus and it saturates everything that goes on. It's like trying to legislate morality. You need to consider everyone's point of view in everything and be sensitive to everyone's point of view and not hurt anyone's feelings. What a load of crap. This is the kind of thinking that leads a murderer to blame his or her crime on "society". "It's not my fault. I am what society made me." Bullshit.

The point is, I wouldn't want some PC ex-hippie telling me or my kid that I have to read this book on Islam. I think it is the height of hypocrisy to cry educational freedom and then force feed incoming students with a book about a particular religion, gender or political viewpoint. Get over yourselves and join the real world.

And it might surprise you, but I consider myself a liberal! I must be getting old. Geez.



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Comic book stuff seems to be getting caught in my filter today.

MIT is full of geeks, so it's no surprise that when they needed an image of a sexy chic in battle armor to sell to the Pentagon, they ripped one out of a comic book. Link via Chris Ruzin

Enter The Iraqi Goblin!

Achewood, via Lileks

John Ashcroft needs a handjob. Well, duh.

The guy who did Bobbins has a new strip, Scary Go Round.



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Bad Coder, Bad!

Archives are screwy, and the republishing trick doesn't work yet, but the error is interesting. Here's a url that is not working at the moment

http://silflayhraka.blogspot.com/2002_08_25_silflayhraka_archive.html#85394025

Here's the error message

The requested URL /2002_08_25_silflayhraka_archie.html was not found on this server.

So no, I'm not a jughead who can't update correctly. Some fumble-fingered idiot at Blogger obviously just updated the code, and didn't check to see if it worked or not before uploading it to the servers.

Update: and it's not just me. Checkout this error for an Unremitting Verse archive

The requested URL /2002_08_01_unremittingerse_archie.html was not found on this server. There's no letter "v" to be found, and there should be two. Something in their code is stripping out all instances of that letter.

Oh, Evvvvvvv!

Update: Aaaand they're back, at 3:01 EST. I wonder if the 200 times I clicked on the Ev link above made any difference


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Out of all the Western news outfits, biased left or right as they are, which one should you trust the least? Bloomberg.


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Will The Threat Come Bak(lava)?

It can't be this easy. To say that Greece is downplaying the threat of terrorism for their hosting of the 2004 Olympics might be the biggest understatement of the year, perhaps second only to the statement that Saddam is "not always nice." I am thankful that members of the group November 17 have been arrested, but isn't it a bit premature to claim that this particular threat has been eradicated? They round up 15 members and suggest that this is everyone, how can this be?

Does this mean that the group that has been threatening civilized society for 27 years only managed to recruit 15 people to join them in their crusade? Hell, they could learn something from the Mormons and the Hare Krishnas. Perhaps November 17 would have been better served by riding their bikes across the desert or selling roses at the airport. I think I could get 15 people to follow my beliefs just by having a porn party once a week and bringing some beer.

I have my doubts that Athens has completely eliminated this threat, and am sure that some other nut carrying the November 17 flag will wave it proudly as he tries to blow himself up in the produce section of the local grocery. Greece should be pleased with the arrests that were made, but are most likely aware that the threat may continue to be present. Perhaps this "NO THREAT" campaign is simply the work of an overpaid advertising agency who brought us such gems as New Coke, and the Reebok adds where the man fell out of his shoes while bungy jumping (does anyone remember that banned commercial?).


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Screed

Worried Saudis Try to Improve Image in the U.S.

The Saudi government has spent millions of dollars on well-connected lobbyists and national television advertisements since Sept. 11 in a drive to improve its image among Americans and is poised to spend more as the anniversary of the events approaches.

"Millions for pretense, but not one cent for pursuit" pretty much sums up the entire Saudi attitude towards the war on terrorism.

Saudi officials said the publicity was intended to counter intensified anger or skepticism among Americans toward their country, which was home to 15 of the 19 hijackers and which has clashed publicly with the Bush administration over a possible attack against Iraq.

Assuaging the anger would like, hard? So we're not going to do that, ok? Plus it's like a lot easier to pay someone to tell you how good we are than to actually do anything? Duh, that's what money's for? It worked with the imams, and they're a lot more a pain that you people are, ok?

(Editor's note: Apparently I was channeling some sort of Saudi Valley Prince here, but that's ok, because we know they like the malls)

A striking sign of the Saudis' eagerness to reach out to the United States has been an 11th-hour scramble within the royal family to find a gesture of solidarity with the American people on the anniversary of the attacks.

Nothing substantial, you understand. Just a gesture, like offering to clean up the cat puke on the carpet once you're positive that wife's almost done with it. "Honey, can I get that for you?".

The royal family has considered presenting the racehorse that won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes this year as a gift to the victims' families, according to one adviser to the family. The horse, War Emblem, which was owned by Prince Ahmed bin Salman, who died in July, would be part of the commemoration at Ground Zero.

They're awfully sorry about the little mixup, you know the one where 15 of their citizens helped kill thousands of ours? But everything will be ok, 'cause they're gonna give us a pony! Apparently the image the Saudi's have of us is more Lisa Simpson than Dirty Harry. And that's bad, because you know how the Saudi's treat women.

In all, the Saudis have hired several public relations firms and have already spent more than $5 million, according to new Justice Department filings.

Five million? That's like giving a panhandler eight or nine pennies wrapped inside a dollar. You're just doing it to make him go away. Five mil is nothing to the Saudis, which means that we're nothing to the Saudis. Total Saudi effort in the War on Terrorism so far? Pocket change and a pony. "But's such a nice pony! You can ride him whenever you want, and feed him apple and sugar cubes!"

These firms include one of Washington's most prominent, Patton Boggs, which received $170,000 in the first six months of this year, according to the filings. Patton Boggs is especially known for its contacts among Democrats. It was founded by Thomas Hale Boggs Jr., a well-connected Democratic lobbyist, whose father, Representative Hale Boggs, was majority leader, and whose sister is the journalist Cokie Roberts.

If you'd like to contact Patton Boggs and ask them why they're profiting from the deaths of thousands of Americans, you can call them at 202.457.6000. Their website features the PattonBoggs motto, which is "seeing things differently". You witnessed the collapse of the World Trade Center and saw tragedy. They saw a profit opportunity.

If you like to talk to Mr. Boggs directly, his email address is tboggs AT pattonboggs.com.(munged because even war profiteers don't deserve spam).

(Notes: Mr. Boggs has given $3000 to the DCCC since August of last year)

The Saudi government has also hired Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, a firm founded by Robert W. Strauss, the former head of the Democratic National Committee, paying out $161,799 in the first half of 2002, the filings show. Frederick Dutton, a former special assistant to President John F. Kennedy and a longtime adviser to the Saudis, received $536,000 to help manage the Saudis' handling of the aftermath of Sept. 11 — and he has a continuing contract with that government.

Because if there's one American firm willing to sell out the country for cash, there's another one that will do it cheaper. That's the glory of capitalism.

Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld
202.887.4000
Email addresses

The Saudis have also turned to lobbyists with Republican credentials, hiring James P. Gallagher, a former staff member for Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, and the media-buying firm of Sandler-Innocenzi, which has strong Republican connections.

Can't find anything definitive about Gallagher, he may be the president of the University of Philadelphia, or it could be a guy with the same name.

Sandler-Innocenzi
Candidates who also hired them. I wonder what they'd say about using the same firm as a group that sponsors hatred of all things not Islamic.
Email: gibson AT sandler-innocenzi.com

Adel al-Jubeir, an adviser to the Saudi government and a key figure in the new effort, said his government was appropriating the techniques of an American political campaign to overhaul its image in this country. The strategy involves hiring a new publicity team, being more accessible to the press, sending officials on speaking tours, cultivating research organizations inside and outside the Washington Beltway and polling Americans on their opinions.

"appropriating the techniques of an American political campaign"? We can expect them to start slinging mud any day now.

.......

In one ad produced by the public relations firm Qorvis Communications, the Saudi and American flags are hoisted together while a narrator intones over soothing piano music: "In the war on terrorism we all have a part to play. Our country has been an ally for over 60 years." A second ad shows Saudi leaders meeting with an unbroken string of American presidents since Roosevelt.

Qorvis Communications, which presented Saudi Arabia with a short-term and long-range media strategy, is paid $200,000 a month.

The company, whose other accounts include the campaign to allow for oil exploration in the Alaskan wildlife refuge, has distributed position papers featuring friendly remarks by Bush administration officials toward Saudi Arabia.


Qorvis does a somewhat better job of hiding e-mail addresses than the others, perhaps because they realize how slimy they are.
Karen Vahouny Partner, Qorvis Communications kvahouny AT qorvis.com
Douglas Poretz Partner, Qorvis Communications dporetz AT qorvis.com. (Note: According to OpenSecrets, Peretz gave $500 to Rep. Thomas Davis on the 9 month anniversary of Sept. 11th.)
September 11th is just around the corner. On that day, do you really want to see commercials telling you how good the Saudis are, how much they feel your pain? If not, reach out and touch the bastards that take blood money to make them.

Update: Bill Quick read the same story.

Maybe if your royal family stopped funding people like Osama bin Laden, the murderer of thousands of Americans, and stopped paying to build madrassa schools around the world to teach your savage Wahabi version of Islam, and cooperated with the United States in its War on Terror, and allowed us to use the bases we built for you against our (and your) enemy Saddam Hussein -
But no. That would be too obvious, wouldn't it? Better to offer us a race horse bred, born, and rasied her in the United States that you bought with your greasy Oilbag bucks


Spoons knows what we can do with the horse. return the horse... Corleone style.

Laurence has a timetable of events
Horse offered to families of victims.
Governor Pataki and Former Mayor Rudy tell Saudis to go fuck themselves.
Cynthia McKinney writes letter telling Saudis that they need the horse for other things in America.
Saudis present Cynthia McKinney with horse.
America tells Cynthia McKinney to go fuck herself and the horse she rode in on.


The MCJ offers some free advice
Why not employ a woman as your foreign policy spokesperson? You can still get your lies viewpoint across and you might even convince a few people here that you don't think women are nothing more than two-legged baby vending machines.


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8/28/2002




Movie Review: Signs

...

Oh my GOD, it's bad. I don't know who keeps going to see this movie or how it got to be the number one movie AGAIN this week, but it is HORRIBLE. This is the worst movie I've seen since "Pearl Harbor", and I've seen a lot of movies since then. (I had to go see a lot of movies after Pearl Harbor. It's kinda' like forcing yourself back onto the horse after it's thrown you.)

Where do I begin? What a heavy-handed, ham-fisted, piece of CRAP!

Okay, here's the plot. Space invaders leave symbols in the corn field of a farmer who used to be a priest (Mel Gibson), until he lost his faith because his wife was killed in an accident. The aliens eventually invade. The priest must find his faith again in order to save his family from the alien invaders. The end.

...

Breath in. Breath out. Find your happy place. Let it all out. Calm. Caaaalllm. There. That's better.

Here are my problems with the movie: from the very outset of the movie, you can tell the movie is going to be beautiful cinematically speaking. There's a beautifully framed shot of the corn field from the window of the farm house to start the movie. I have no problem with that. I start to develop a problem when you get the feeling that the director (M. Night Shyamalan) is POINTING out to you how beautifully filmed everything is. You get the feeling that he's saying "See, look how beautiful this shot is. Can you see how I've framed Mel in this doorway with the light behind him, and see the outline of the crucifix where it used to hang on the wall? See, it used to be there when he had faith, but then his wife died and he took it down. See? See? Neat, huh?!" It's like that thoroughout the entire movie. New scene. Pause on actor. Actor poses in doorway, gazing thoughtfully at something, or nothing. Pose. Pose. Pose. Cue actor to move slowly across the room. Slower. Slower. SLOWER. Now pause. Pose. CUT!

And then the camera angle switches to some out of place fish-eye lense or something. I felt like I was watching a f*cking Tums commercial.

You know, I'm not stupid. You don't have to spoon-feed me all this depth and heaviness. But you get spoon-fed from the very start. The movie OOZES somberness, because, you know, questioning faith is a heavy topic and we should all consider it in a very somber way. The actors all appear as if they were forced to swallow sedatives before every scene. No one smiles. Everyone moves slowly and acts very somber and concerned and far away. No one so much as blinks throughout the entire movie. I am not lying or exaggerating. I can count on ONE hand the number of blinks in the entire what-felt-like-7 hours of the movie. It's not natural.

What else? Oh, the aliens are a joke. Most of the alien scenes are some guy with a rubber hand pawing under the door. OOooohh, scaaary. Gimme a break. Evidently aliens can't work doorknobs or bust through doors or windows if they have so much as one board across them. Oh, EXCEPT for towards the end where one unexplicably manages to break in a boarded up window without being heard WHILE EVERYONE IS IN THE SAME ROOM. This one was out for personal vengeance, evidently. There is one scene in which you get to see the alien up-close and personal. My immediate thoughts: "What a horrible rubber suit that is."

I do have to mention one notable almost-positive about the movie. The almost-positive is the little girl, the priest's daughter. She is played by Abigail Breslin. She's somewhere between 8 and 10, and if she weren't forced to play a child zombie, she would have been wonderful. She reminded me of Carol Ann in "Poltergeist", except that she had exceeded her recommended dosage of Ritalin. Blink! Blink, damn you!

I do not understand how anyone, even your mainstream movie reviewers, found this movie to be suspenseful or frightening or entertaining. I was bored out of my mind inside of 15 minutes. I kept thinking to myself: "Was this movie made in France? Where is the sad happy clown of life?" How bad was the movie? There were bits that were supposed to be funny, evidently, and people laughed. People laughed because it was so obviously not funny, that it was funny. People laughed in the serious parts of the movie too. Everyone around us kept up a running commentary on how horrible the movie was, and I'm usually the only one that talks out loud for everyone to hear in movies.

Some poor *sshole gave this movie FOUR STARS. Wha'? How?

I guess I'm so worked up because the movie just felt like it had to force all this heaviness and thought-provoking stuff down your throat, as if you weren't bright enough to pick up on it if the director bothered to disguise it in any way, shape, or form. Steven Spielberg, the director is not. Not even close. This one makes my worst movies of all time list. Others include the aforementioned "Pearl Harbor" and "Battlefield Earth", if that gives you anything to go on. The trouble is, someone is going to win an Oscar for this movie, and I just don't know why. Prediction: this movie will win Shyamalan Best Director at the Oscars next year. Rating: D- or One Star

Update: Letter from Gotham hated Signs as well.


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The Devil's Excrement explains Venezuelan politics to his Argentinian friend, Carlos.

-Hi, Claudio?
-Yes, it’s me, who is it?
-Shit, don’t you recognize me?
-It’s me Carlos Mamut
-Carlitos, to what do I owe this miracle?
-Well, what can I say? I had to call. I am watching on CNN that an opposition group is in front of the Presidential Palace, burning tires and throwing stones. Tell, me what is happening in Venezuela?
-Claudio, that is not the opposition, the ones throwing stones are Government supporters.
-Don’t be nuts Carlitos, that is the opposition. How can Government supporters create havoc, put up barricades and throw stones? I saw the police repressing the demonstration!
-Well, yes, what happens is that…I don’t know how to explain it, but it happens that the police are the Government’s enemy; nevertheless they are trying to stop the demonstrators from overthrowing the Government.
-Listen to yourself, you are saying nutty things, I am watching on TV hooded demonstrators shooting against the marchers that are going towards the Presidential Palace.
-You are right, and now that you mention it I don’t understand it either, the point is that the demonstration that you are watching is in favor of the Government and those that are shooting, are shooting against the cops which are led by the Mayor of Caracas, who by the way is not in favor of the Government.
-Nuts! Are you kidding me? I have just seen the Mayor of Caracas saying that he backs Chávez.
-Carlos you have to understand that that is another Mayor, I am talking about the one that does not back him.
-Ah! The one that directs the cops?
-No! The police are being led by the Mayor that backs Chavez; I am referring to the Metropolitan police
-Well, the Metropolitan police does not belong to Caracas?
-Yes! But that one belongs to another Mayor, the one that does not back him!


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Killer Waves, Dude

This wave must have been bitchin'.


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Somewhere in Afghanistan

Ahmed: What's he saying? What's he saying?
Shamir: Quiet, ass hair of a pig! You're breaking my concentration! B-U-R-Y-
Ahmed: Bury? Bury what?
Shamir: I can go no faster, mouth of a thousand flies! The Sheik moves the pointer as he desires, not as we do. U-R-S-E-LV-E-S.
Ahmed: Bury Urselves? That's doesn't make any sense!
Shamir: You missed the the Y and the O because of your constant chattering. If I wanted to hear flighty nonsense from the mouths of idiots, I would go home to the wives.
Ahmed: Then let me talk to Osama. It's boring as hell in this cave. I've already read the Penthouse about a dozen times, and the goat hasn't stopped bleeding yet.
Shamir: By Allah's sword, you do not have the sensitivity necessary to stay in touch with the Spirit World! Do you not recall your last attempt? Tell me, what exactly does "UPI SHIUD STR GIVLRF ,SU S;;SJ JSBR ,RTVU PM UPIT DPI;" mean?
Ahmed: It's in code, I'm sure of it! I just haven't figured it out yet!
Shamir: It's a communication from beyond, dumbass. You think Osama encoded it because the Americans can listen in? Omar, are you writing the letters down while dipshit here is distracting me?
Omar: Of a certainty, husoor.
Ahmed: Fine. Why does the beloved leader speak to us in the language of the enemy, since you know everything?
Shamir: ...........
Omar: Truly, they do not make Ouija boards written in Pashto.
Ahmed: I am so tired of using American technology for every little thing. You would think at least that we would have invented the nose hair trimmer.
Shamir: Can you not go a day without mentioning your nose hair? Every bloody day, praise Allah, I have to hear that annoying "ahhhhhhhhhhhhh" sound you make while that thing is shoved halfway to your sinuses. And you never empty it outside! I could make a pillow big enough to seat 5 houris out of the leavings in here.
Ahmed: I cannot help it. It is the mountain air, it promotes growth
Shamir: You should have hair down to your ass like a woman then
Ahmed: Like your wives' perhaps?
Shamir: It was not Nasrallah's fault that her burka had lice! There was nothing to do but shave her...
Omar: The message is complete!
Ahmed: What'd he say? What'd he say?
Shamir: Shut up you. Give the man a chance.
Omar: "Bury yourselves outside the American encampment at midnight. Leave all weapons behind. Just before dawn, emerge from the ground and charge the camp. The sentries will be asleep at their posts."
Ahmed: What, like they were the last three times?
Shamir: Who are you to question the words of our beloved leader?
Omar: "Take their weapons and kill them all."
Ahmed: Look, all I'm saying is that we've lost a bunch of jihadis since that thing started giving us orders.
Shamir: I tried telling you this before. Osama sees the big picture. All you see is the little picture. He does strategy. You do tactics. He sits at the right hand of Allah. You sit on a rock in a cave. Are you questioning Allah?
Ahmed: Truly, I am not. I am but a worm to Allah.
Shamir: Then let us proceed. Omar, was there anymore to the message?
Omar: Nothing important, Shaheed
Shamir: Fine. Then let us depart. I bid you farewell.


Later:

Osama: Guys? Hello? Hello! Where did everyone go? I left a band five hundred strong here six months ago.
Ayman: They left a note, great leader. I cannot read it.
Osama: It says "Bury yourselves outside the American encampment at midnight. Leave all weapons behind. Just before dawn, emerge from the ground and charge the camp. The sentries will be asleep at their posts. Take their weapons and kill them all." What kind of a dumbass plan is that?
Ayman: I bet that damn Ahmed thought it up. that boy always was a beer short of a six-pack.
Osama: There's more. "Let's roll!" How odd. Truly, this is a mystery.
Ayman: ALLAH'S MERCIES!
Osama: What? What?
Ayman: That piece of pointed wood, it moves!
Osama: H-A-H-A-H-A-H-A-H-A-H-A-H-A-H-A-H-A-H-A-H-A-H-A............
Ayman: Let us leave this place, it frightens me.
Osama: All right......Have someone bring the Ouija board.


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Keith Olbermann says that if there is a baseball strike, it'll be over on September 8th.

Sunday, Sept. 8, 2002: During a joint news conference with Fehr and owners negotiators Rob Manfred and Bob DuPuy -- but not the soon-to-be-scapegoated Selig -- it will be announced that logistics will demand that the games can't resume until Monday.

Each side will pronounce itself dissatisfied with the compromise, and that the real reason they were so willing to make such concessions was their side's overwhelming and abiding primary concern; the one thing that has animated them throughout these 10 long days: their awareness that, at all costs, the games of Sept. 11, 2002, had to be played
.

I don't think MLB is that smart, but I also don't care. I want my grandchildren to look up at me one day and ask "Papa, what's professional baseball?"


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The World Turned Upside Down, Again.

Maureen Dowd follows Frank Rich's lead as the left re-positions itself to bash Bush on Saudi Arabia.

Making the case for going to war in the Middle East to veterans on Monday, the vice president said that "our goal would be . . . a government that is democratic and pluralistic, a nation where the human rights of every ethnic and religious group are recognized and protected."

O.K., I'm on board. Let's declare war on Saudi Arabia! Let's do "regime change" in a kingdom that gives medieval a bad name.

By overthrowing the Saudi monarchy, the Cheney-Rummy-Condi-Wolfy- Perle-W. contingent could realize its dream of redrawing the Middle East map.

Once everyone realizes that we're no longer being hypocrites, coddling a corrupt, repressive dictatorship that sponsors terrorism even as we plot to crush a corrupt, repressive dictatorship that sponsors terrorism, it will transform our relationship with the Arab world.


The blogosphere doesn't particularly care for her, but if the Democrats follow up the thinking at the NYT, then what's bad for George will be good for America. Plus, it'll give Bill another reason to vote Democrat.

I predict the meme shows up in a Democratic presidential candidate by the end of next week, unless McCain beats them to it.

Update: Oxblog agrees with Maureen. In other news, cold front enters Gehenna


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You know you're funny when the Onion starts ripping you off. Congrats to Meryl.

Update: Homeobox claims that The Onion is actually ripping off his rip-off of Meryl. Let's instead say that the Onion has been infected with a meme, first introduced by Meryl that contains some memetic DNA later added by Homeobox. Is everyone happy now?


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McDonald's Must Be McStupid

This appeared on an AOL website:

'McAfrika Burger' Riles Aid Groups

By DOUG MELLGREN
.c The Associated Press

OSLO, Norway (AP) - Humanitarian groups criticized McDonald's for a new sandwich called the McAfrika, saying the offering is poorly timed because millions of Africans are facing starvation. But aid officials on Monday welcomed an agreement by the fast-food restaurant chain to inform customers about the potential famine in southern Africa and tell them how they can help, Tarje Wanvik of the group Norwegian Church Aid said Monday. McDonald's announced last week that the new sandwich, made of beef and vegetables and wrapped in pita bread, will be sold at 15 restaurants in Oslo. The sandwich was advertised as being based on African recipes.


What's next, the Ethiopian buffet? The Chinese Human Rights Happy Meal? The Iraq Pack with a bobblehead doll of Sadam inside?


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8/27/2002




Today we re-visit the 1916 sexual education book my beloved grandmother presented to me upon the occasion of my 12th birthday. It had repercussions I still haven't come across.

Once again, excerpts from chapter seven of Professor T.W. Shannon's The New Perfect Manhood.

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8

Part 9 - Ovulation and Menstruation

The real founders of Rome.

In the healthy woman, from puberty until the change of life, a period of some thirty-five years, once every twenty-eight days, the ovaries ripen a germ cell, called an ovum or egg.

It is at this time that you are most likely to find your loved one riding a horse on the beach, wearing her favorite white outfit. She is invariably accompanied by her mother during these times, also in white, also on a horse.

The ripening of this egg in an ovary and its passage through the oviduct into the womb is the function of ovulation.

This knowledge would be more widespread, had the FCC not prevented the airing of the Schoolhouse Rock series on Human Sexuality.

Once every twenty-eight days the mucous membrane of the womb secretes a bloody mucus.

Much like the nostrils of the FCC chairman the day after Prof. Shannon punched him in the nose. He'd spent a lot of time on those songs.

This is the function of menstruation.

How could they turn down Menstruation?




When Dorothy was home with the "flu", (uh huh)
The doctor knew just what to do:
He said "Ovulation,
Is the cause of menstruation."
And Dorothy uttered some imprecations!

"Damn! That's cold!"
"Crap! That hurts!"
"Shit! That's not fair, putting the forceps all the way down there!"

Menstruations!
Cause excitement,
Or emotion!
They're generally recognized by the sentient,
By a bloody maxi-pad,
Or by a tampon when the flow is not as strong. Mmmm...

Though Geraldine played hard to get, (uh huh)
Geraldo knew he'd love her yet.
When he tried relations,
Despite her menstruation,
That Geraldine hollered some imprecations!

"Asshole! I've got bad cramps!"
"Leave me alone! I've never been so pissed off in all my life!"
"Hey! You're kinda cute!"

Menstruations!
Cause excitement,
Or emotion!
They're generally recognized by the sentient,
By a bloody maxi-pad,
Or by a tampon when the flow is not as strong. Mmmm...

So when she's snappy,
Or sad,
Or frightened,
Or mad.
Not excited,
nor glad.
Her menstruation probably starts that night!

The game was tied at seven all, (uh huh)
When Franklin found he had no balls.
It wasn't castration,
He was built for lactation,
And there and then she had her first menstruation!

Damn! You throw like a girl!
crap! You just lost the game!
Hurray! I'm for the other team!

Menstruations!
Cause excitement,
Or emotion!
They're generally recognized by the sentient,
By a bloody maxi-pad,
Or by a tampon when the flow is not as strong. Mmmm...

So when she's snappy,
Or sad,
Or frightened,
Or mad.
Not excited,
nor glad.
Her menstruation probably starts that night!

Menstruations!
Cause excitement,
Or emotion!
They're generally recognized by the sentient,
By a bloody maxi-pad,
Or by a tampon when the flow is not as strong.


The passage of the mucus from the vagina is called the menstrual flow.

Because calling it the Monthly Ketchup led to all sorts of problems at the Little Rock McDonalds.

The function of menstruation and the flow last from three to six days, four days being the average.

Starting a betting pool with your friends on the termination date is not considered sporting. You have inside her information, after all.

If the woman is irregular, menstruation may come oftener or she may miss a month or several months.

Irregular women are often cheaper and can found at shops specializing in factory seconds. Keep her well covered and out of the public eye, and no one need ever know that you have married a flawed woman. Be sure to discreetly inquire amongst her friends and family to ascertain her exact flaws before finalizing your engagement.

Ovulation may proceed or follow menstruation.

In Arabic countries, it it required to follow menstruation at a distance of five feet.

In rare cases it may occur between two menstrual periods.

An inexperienced male might assume that all ovulations occur between two menstrual cycles. This is incorrect, as menstruation has the power to bend the space/time continuum. Many are the experienced husbands and fathers who will attest to periods that last for what seems like months.

The egg or ovum may descend into the womb before the menstrual period;

By rappelling down the side of the womb, or simply falling off and bouncing to the bottom. This biological process was the inspiration for Pachinko

most frequently after the cessation of the menses; in very rare cases, midway between the menses.

See above space/time reference

The sperm cell of the male may meet and impregnate the ovum either in the womb or in an oviduct.

The sperm most likely to succeed at this activity carry tiny little martinis, which they give to the egg prior to the impregnation attempt.

It is possible for a healthy wife to conceive any time that an ovum is passing through an oviduct or lingering in the womb.

Ovum for future juvenile delinquents are often found malingering in the womb.

The period of greatest probability is the next ten days immediately following cessation of the menstrual flow.

"Greatest probability" does not mean she is better at gambling during this period. People who do believe in gambling during this period get their payout nine months later.

The period of least probability is the next ten days.

Catholics are more apt to gamble during this period. Judge the results for yourself

Between this last period and the beginning of the next menses is a period of four or five days.

The Reign of Menses was interrupted by the Trojan invasion. He was succeeded by his daughter, Nefertility.

Conception is not as likely to take place during this last period as during the first period mentioned.

Good God almighty, man! How many damn periods does a woman have? Are they always pre-menstrual?

Intercourse should never take place during the menstrual period.

Limit your activities to oral sex.

Wives naturally repel the approach of their husbands at this period.

Mild acquaintances and strangers make them hot, however. Confine her to quarters for the duration.

Sexual relations at this time lead to many complications in the genital organs of the woman.

Typical of these is "Confused Uterus". It doesn't know whether it's coming or going.


Why the Woman Has the Right to Set the Date of Marriage

It keeps them from complaining about suffrage for a bit.

At times during courtship a young woman is not so loving and attentive to her suitor as at others.

She may threaten you with grievous bodily harm, or have her family set the dogs on you. Pay her no mind! This is simply a chemical imbalance, rectified only by your constant attentions!

Where young men do not understand this, they are likely to misunderstand the apparent indifference.

Secretly she wants you, and longs for you at all times. Go to her window, and croon soft poetry to her in the wee hours of the morning.

In setting the date of marriage, the young woman tries to select a date that will fall midway between two menstrual periods.

This is typically a thirty minute interval.

The duties and excitement incident to the approaching date of marriage may hasten the arrival of each monthly period a few days.

Or maybe she doesn't remember when they occur. This is known in the Vatican as Infant Roulette.

Should she find that marriage and a menstrual period are likely to come on the same date, she will ask that the date be made earlier or later.

Unless it's bad for the caterer. In which case, tough on you.

It is for this reason that she is given the right to set or change the date of marriage.

That, and the fact the the men who care, who really, really care about the date of marriage? They're not likely to be interested in the ladies anyway. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Coming Soon:
Frequency of Sexual Relations
Like you have a choice in the matter
and
Unbridled Liberty
Never molest an unbridled horse.


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Nature: Red in tooth and claw, now with extra irony!


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Stop The Insanity

This appeared on an AOL website.

By ERICA WERNER
.c The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (Aug. 26) - Hoping to combat childhood obesity, the nation's second-largest school district is expected to ban the sale of soft drinks at its 677 campuses. The sale of soda is already prohibited at elementary schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District, and the school board is set to vote Tuesday to extend the ban to the district's approximately 200 middle and high schools.


Honestly, I don't care if you stop selling sodas at school. That isn't the issue here. The issue is, are they really doing it in an effort to combat childhood obesity? Give me a break. If they are truly interested in battling obesity in America's teens, then serve better lunches. Don't give them a Coke, but they can go through the line and choose a good ol' slab of pizza, with more grease than bread. Certainly that would benefit our teens more than restricting their tendencies to abuse carbonated and caffeinated products.

Surely the school system has another reason to restrict the sale of soft-drinks at schools other than the weight of the students. If they were making a load of money on the project they most likely wouldn't care if all children tipped the scales at 300+ and couldn't fit into their gym shorts. Have a Coke and a smile.........but lay off the damn twinkies.


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Drawn and Quartered

A slide show of some of the more hideous state quarter designs.

The slides drive home the point that art designed by committee is uniformly predictable, unimaginative, and boring. Did anyone ever think that South Carolina wasn't going to stick a Palmetto on its two-bit piece? A more honest rendition would have been a overweight female in a tank top, smoking a cigarette while smacking the buttons on a video poker machine. Or it could have conveyed the attitude of its citizenry towards its major political issue by depicting a Klansmen carrying the Confederate battle flag.

I'd like to see renditions of each state as perceived by people outside the state. The Tennessee state quarter? Elvis on a toilet. Texas? A picture of the JFK motorcade, motto "Down, and to the left." Nevada? A man surrounded by hookers. Utah? Same picture, just dress up the hookers a little more and call the man "Joseph Smith". West Virginia? Robert Byrd riding a pig. Idaho? A can of Planter's Mixed Nuts. Kansas? Tornado in a trailer park. I'm getting dangerously close to deciding that I need to do all fifty, so I'll stop here.

Even better would be a state-wide lottery, with the winner getting to put whatever they wanted on the coin. "Welcome to Rhode Island, home of Connie Raynor and her cats, Mittens, Toby and Eartha."

Update: This post is the most popular thing we've done in days. When I finally posetd it, it was with the thought "Piece of crap. Glad that's over with. Now's let's go produce something worth reading, you hack bastard." I try not to classify various posts as good writing or bad writing, because; A.) People who look at something they've written and think "Damn that's genius" are the same people who keep the vanity press in business. Plus, they're really boring at parties.. B.) When I do slip up and judge, it's always wrong.

Anyway, here are some of the people linking;

Nick Danger, who wonders what the Massachusetts state quarter would be under that system. That's easy. Either a man in a uniform vacuuming out a couch: motto "That's our money, ma'am. Now where's your purse?" or Michael Dukakis in a tank.


The Fat Guy, who doesn't care for the Texas quarter design. An he's right, it's hideous. I almost used it instead of SC as my example. "
"The Lone Star state put a Lone Star on its quarter! How shocking! Someone get the defribbril...defibbrila...Someone put the paddles on Grampa!, that quarter done knocked him daid!"


And War Nowwho takes the idea international

AUSTRALIA - The Crocodile Hunter buggering a crocodile
NEW ZEALAND - Rusell Crowe buggering a sheep
INDONESIA - A pile of bodies, with a KOPASSUS officer trying to block your view
SINGAPORE - A man with hair that touches his collar being dragged away by police
MALAYSIA - Dr M crying that he won't stand again. That doesn't actually represent the country, it's just such an appealing image...
FIJI - An Indian family fleeing their burning home while a crowd of Fijians cheers
SYRIA - Mushroom cloud
IRAQ - Mushroom cloud
SAUDI ARABIA - Mushroom cloud


He's wrong about Australia, though. It would depict The Crocodile Hunter holding a Fosters: motto "Australian for Beer". The fact that this would enrage the Australians, "Fosters is Australian for Shite, mate!", is gravy.



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Peter Pan Poem

When I was a child, I spoke like a child.
I thought like a child, and I acted like a child.
But when I became a man...........
I clutched my immaturity to my chest with both hands,
refusing to let that boy die under the demands of a mature job title or young dependents.
I will make someone force feed me maturity through my tightly sealed lips,
While displaying my immaturity like a badge of honor.
Just as the tides continue to change, and the sun continues to rise,
I too will continue to laugh anytime someone poots.
It is one of the constants in life that I depend on.
My immaturity will leave me only if it is pulled from my cold, dead hands.....
Will someone please pull my finger?


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8/26/2002





They Shoot Horses, Don't They?


See this post and others like it at Blog Critics.

The 1632/1633 review was pretty well received over at Blogcritics, with most of the comments on the book running warm to hot in favor of it. Among the dissenters was James of Hell in a Handbasket, who had read the book but felt it failed the suspension of disbelief test in two areas;

The book showed great promise, started with an interesting situation, and then kind of fell flat. The "psychological attack" was one weak spot, another was when the local sheriff stops a calvary troop charging straight for him with his .40 handgun.

Gee, I wish MY handguns could do that.

James


The psychological attack he refers to is one similar to what the US Army did to Noriega in Panama, in that the translocated miners play 20th century music at soldiers in a castle under siege. While I'll admit that the scene does feel like Flint created it after a 6-pack and too much CNN Panamanian war coverage, I think that James is underestimating the terrifying effect that "Positively Fourth Street" would have on 17th century foot soldiers.

His other criticism deals with this excerpt from 1632.

Dan hefted the pistol in his hand, watching the oncoming cavalrymen. For a moment, he was tempted to draw the weapon in his holster and shoot two-handed. The notion appealed to his sense of history. Sid Hatfield, by all accounts, had fought so at Matewan. A weapon in each hand, as he gunned down the company goons from the Baldwin-Felts detective agency.

Firmly, he suppressed the notion. True, family legend claimed that Sid Hatfield, the sheriff who led the coal miners in their shoot-out with the company goons at Matewan, had been a distant relative. But Dan was skeptical of the tale. Practically everyone he knew claimed to be related to the Hatfield clan, the West Virginia half of the famous Hatfield-McCoy feud.

Still, Dan was tempted. Whether or not Sid Hatfield was a blood relative, he was most certainly an ancestral spirit. Company goons or Croats, his town was under attack.

But that was in the old days, when police officers were not really professionals. So Dan resisted the amateurish whimsy, and brought up the .40-caliber automatic in a proper two-handed grip. The first line of horsemen was forty yards away.

The first wheel locks were discharged at him. Dan ignored the shots. As inaccurate as the weapons were, especially on a galloping horse, he would only be hit by blind chance.

As he started squeezing the trigger, Dan forced another thought out of his mind. That was a much more difficult struggle. Dan disapproved strongly of cruelty to animals, and he was especially fond of horses. Still—

Professional.

He emptied the twelve-round clip, methodically mowing down the horses in the front of the charge. Most of his shots struck the cavalry mounts in the chest or throat, killing several of them outright. Even those horses that were only wounded stumbled and fell, spilling themselves and their riders. Then other horses, uninjured by bullets, began stumbling over the corpses. Within half a minute, the charge had piled up like water hitting a dam.

Long before those thirty seconds expired, however, the street had become a charnel house. As soon as Dan's first shot went off, the deputies and armed citizens in the upstairs windows began firing their weapons. The range was point-blank, and the street below was packed with horsemen. Due to their excitement and fear, many of the citizens—and not a few of the deputies—missed practically every shot they fired. It hardly mattered. It was almost impossible for a bullet not to hit something.


As I do not have the handgun horsekilling experience necessary to respond adequately to the argument, I turned to a man who might, the FusilierPundit. Fuze went to great pains to profess his love of all things equine before he proceeded with the discussion on how to kill them.

Jeff Cooper (PBUH) calls felling a horse a task for a rifle. Stopping a charging (toward-the-shooter) horse (full-size, what? 1 ton? armored?) with rider (armored?) within 40 yards requires shot placement to an internal organ that results in immediate stop. Heart or brain. Horse's small brain is in sorta small thick head at end of long neck that moves the head around enough to rule that shot right out. The bullet would have to be FMJ to penetrate the tack (if any), muscles and lungs and reach heart. Any hits on heavy bone are wasted in this caliber. FMJ is an unlikely choice for someone carrying a .40 for non-military purposes, an expanding bullet is more likely, which opens up and penetrates to less depth.

(Not knowing horse anatomy) the frontal area presented by a horse looks very muscular, too much material to penetrate to the vitals with the .40. Your shooter would have to empty the magazine in two seconds, leaving the third and fourth seconds for the horse and rider to collapse in front of him, instead of upon him. More likely outcome, the horse slows down from hemothorax, pneumothorax, or pulmonary edema, and collapses of asphyxiation ~5 minutes after the dismounted shooter has been stomped into the turf.

If the .40 is all the shooter has, well, Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum . . . aim for the _rider_. Even if the rider is armored in steel,
even if the bullets are hollerpoints. A riderless horse is, well, riderless.


So it's possible, maybe, but not likely. Fuze may have more thoughts after he reads the passage above. Flint does leave himself wiggle room by not specifying how many horses were in the front rank, and the sheriff is not a lone shooter, after all. I'll have to agree with James that it is one of the weaker spots in the book. To give credit where credit is due, Flint does bring David Weber to co-write 1633. Weber is fairly well known for his knowledge of military history, which presumably would give similar scenes in 1632 a more realistic ring.


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New Friend of Hraka - Philosoblog, who points out that when you really get down to it, Americans aren't very deep.

There is no systematically recorded great American moral philosophy. There is no great American moral philosopher. England has Locke, Hume, even Butler and Smith. Germany has Kant. Ancient Greece had Aristotle. Ancient China had Mencius. America: The Founding Fathers? Rawls and Nozick? The latter pair are of passing interest: an unsound argument for left-liberalism, and a predictable statement of libertarianism. Even Butler will outlive them. The Founding Fathers are lacking not in truth or depth but in systematicity of philosophical justification. They produced works of profound political insight and a great political system, but they gave us little in the way of thorough and systematic treatment of crucial philosophical problems or rigorous philosophical justification. "We hold these truths to be self evident" is a phrase which makes my point. Strokes of genius follow it, but it announces that it will disappoint demands for justification or worries over conflicts between intuitions about what follows from the self-evident truths.

Philoso, felafel. Felafel, Philoso.


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Who are the bloggers in your neighborhood?
In your neighborhood.
In your neighborhood.
Who are the bloggers in your neighborhood?
They're the people that you link
When they really make you think.
They're the people that you meet, each day.

Link via Poet and Peasant. Howdy Neighbor!


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Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to work we go.
Between the sheets we can't be beat,
Hi ho, hi ho.


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Iraq Said to Plan Tangling the U.S. in Street Fighting

President Saddam Hussein of Iraq will try to compensate for his armed forces' glaring weaknesses by raising the specter of urban warfare if the Bush administration moves to attack the Iraqi government, according to Pentagon officials and former United States government experts.

Shortly after this announcement, the Iraqi President called a rare press conference to discuss his defensive tactics. The Iraqi leader, wearing dark sunglasses and a blue jumpsuit trimmed in gold lame, had this to say.

"Thankaverramuch, ladies & gentlemen. Me and ma boys," waving to a confused and fearful looking group of men carrying various instruments, "Have somethin' to say to Shrub. I think you'll like it."

Street Fighting Man

Everywhere I hear the sound of marching feet, George
Cause autumn's here and the time is right for dying in the streets, George
‘Cause what else can I do
To disrupt the US plans?
In my dusty Baghdad town
Everyone will be a street fighting man!
Whoa!

Hey! Think the time is right for Iraqi revolution?
But where I live the game to play is Yankee persecution.
‘Cause what else can I do
To disrupt the US plans?
In my dusty Baghdad town
Everyone will be a street fighting man!
Whoa!
Whoa!
Whoa!

Hey! Said my name is called disturbance
I'll shout and scream, I'll be the king, I'll kill all of your soldiers
‘Cause what else can I do
To disrupt the US plans?
In my dusty Baghdad town
Everyone will be a street fighting man!
Whoa!
Whoa!
Whoa!

The Iraqi leader left the stage immediately after the performance, pausing only to plant a long, soulful kiss on Helen Thomas, who had thrown at least three pairs of Depends undergarments onto the stage during the chorus, pulling off each one in time to the music, according to a newly blind Reuters correspondent.

"He's so dreamy!" cooed Ms.Thomas, 412. "I'm so glad he's not with that bitch Georgie Anne anymore."

President Bush is said to be considering an official response, perhaps something to the tune of the Katrina and the Waves hit "Walking on Sunshine", though he has been urged by advisor Richard Perle to at least look at Perle's "Imagine There's No Baghdad", set to a John Lennon tune the President had never heard of.

Senate Majority Leader condemned both choices and urged the President to pick something from the Leslie Gore canon.

"How is Leslie?" asked Mr Bush, upon being informed of Senator Harkin's remarks. "I don't think I've seen him since Florida."


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If You Can't Lick 'Em

Two men were walking down the street when they saw a dog sitting on the curb licking his balls.

One of the men turned to the other and said, "Boy, I sure wish I could do that."

To which the second man replied, "Oooo, that dog would bite you."


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True Lies vs. True Thighs

This has shown me how shallow I really am, and how much I appreciate movie special effects. God bless Industrial Light & Magic.


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Larry The (Genital Pinching) Lobster

Not only does crime not pay, it can hurt like hell.


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8/25/2002




New Friend of Hraka - The Devil's Excrement - Venezuela, Orchids, Serendipity and the truth about the coup. A few more blognames that refer to feces, and we can start our own webring.


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Going to the chapel
And she's up and feeling harried.
Going to the chapel
And the chores she does are varied.
Gee, she hasn't eaten and she's
Gonna get married
Going to the chapel of love.

Congrats to Friend of Hraka Michelle on her wedding day.


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Annoying the Wife - Chapter 9 - Disease of the Week.

"How come it's always' me getting thrown up on?" she asked plaintively, pulling on her fifth shirt of the day.

Best not to attempt an answer to that, really. It would end up being some variation of the "you're a vomit magnet" theme, and I already know that's not particularly appreciated. Untrue in any case, as I myself was on the third outfit of the day.

Amazing the difference 8 hours can make. Happy playful energetic toddler at bedtime turns into limp, oozing thirty pound bag of plague by the morning. Touchy huggy parents now swaddle her in layers of towels, wash constantly and obsess over every inadvertent contact.

"Crap. Her hand touched my lips." Now I am doomed. Soon I will be throwing up a clear liquid, one that oozes from my nostrils as easily as it does my mouth. Soon I will have the thousand yard stare, gazing through everything in front of me as if the world had turned to crystal.

The stare was what worried her mother the most. Nothing removed the blankness in her eyes. Not Elmo, not Wiggles, not Baby Doolittle. Nothing roused her as she lay in my lap, staring unblinking at the ceiling, moving only to breath or to puke up the pitiful remnants of fluid still in her stomach.

"I found a mosquito bite on her arm last night."

"She doesn't have West Nile."

"She has all the symptoms."

"Honey, she has all the symptoms of e.coli. Remember that Russian kid who crapped all over the side of the baby pool yesterday? She's throwing up and has a fever. She could have a million things."

"You think she has E. COLI!!"

Stupid, stupid man. Why don't you talk about the hepatitis A just down the road next? Perhaps you could season the conversation with a soupcon of leukemia.

"No I don't think she has e.coli. I think she caught something from the new kid kid at daycare. I'll call the nurse's hotline and see what they say."

"I hate the nurse's hotline."

"I know, that's why I said I'd call them. You don't have to."

It's not the nurse's fault. It's the way the damn thing works. Parents who aren't thinking about taking their kid to the hospital don't call the hotline. Mr. Freakout the Panic Man isn't actually in the house yet, but he's pulled in the driveway and opened up the car door to get out. It's a black car, Ford's new Mustang Hearse convertible.

When we do call the hotline, we don't actually get to speak to a human. We speak to a machine that instructs us to leave our number s-l-o-w-l-y and c-l-e-a-r-l-y and don't forget the a-r-e-a c-o-d-e. At some point thereafter the answering service in charge of the g-o-d-d-a-m-n m-a-c-h-i-n-e calls us back, verifies that yes, we do indeed have a baby on death's door, and tells us in a irritated, why did you drag me away from my Soap Opera channel marathon? voice that they will contact the nurse on call, who will get back in touch with us just after the wake.

Fortunately, the nurse on duty called us back in something less than geologic time. I described Ngnat's symptoms, all the while struggling not to mention West Nile. Must. Not. Look. Like. Hypochondriac. Dad. In. Front. Of. Total. Stranger. Yes there was something going around. They'd been taking calls about it all morning.

"Has she been able to keep anything down?"

"No."

"What have you been giving her?"

"Water. Apple Juice. Chirren's Tyrenol."

I could feel her disapproval emanating from the cordless. Apple juice? You gave her apple juice and medicine? Are you barbarians?

"Sir, what we need to do now is give her stomach a rest. No apple juice, and no medicine. You may give her a tablespoon of water every ten minutes, or she can suck on ice chips. No food for 8 hours. If she keeps the water down, you can give her more." Her tone indicated a belief that this was a task beyond our abilities, that the next time she heard from us would be because we had inadvertently set the child on fire.

I thanked her for her emasculation of our parenting abilities, hung up and went back downstairs

"Did you ask her about West Nile?"

"No, I didn't ask her about West Nile! She doesn't have West Nile! The nurse said there was something going around and to give her ice chips every 10 minutes."

"Ice chips?"

"Yes, ice chips. And a tablespoon of water a table spoon of water so she won't get dehydrated."

"How do you know if she's dehydrated?"

"I don't know. Look at her lips or something."

"I should've talked to her."

"You hate talking to the nurses!"

"Well, I hate you talking to them more."

At this point Ngnat decided to move for the first time in the last four hours, sliding off her mother's lap and lying face down on the carpet. The sainted wife and mother scurried off for ice chips, and I spread blankets out into a rough mattress on the floor. Ngnat lay there for the next five hours, sucking on ice ships and occasionally puking up water until we put her to bed.

When she got up this morning, her mother asked her how she felt.

"I had a good night, Mommy," she said, and promptly threw up.

Update: That seemed to have been the last of it, though. She's kept water, Sprite, crackers, toast and Gerber Graduate Fruit Juice Snacks "The snack food you give your child when they aren't old enough for Starbursts" down since this morning, so her mother is not longer worried about her. Now she's convinced we'll both wake up ill tomorrow, unable to move from the pool of sick in the master bed, as a healthy Ngnat wanders around the house with a pair of steak knives, prying at the electrical sockets.

In other words, things are back to normal.


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