Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Apology & Status Report

Hello all. I have been ensnared in a deep depression for the better part of a month, combined with nursing my wife, who is recouping from knee surgery. The NaNoWriMo project is stuck at Chapter 5 for the moment. It is now just a BlogNovel, having missed the deadline for completion and completeness by a wide margin. And so it goes.

Depression is an insidious disease. I experience several different kinds of depression. I have a cyclical depression which runs in a seven year cycle, as well as hints of bipolar proclivities which fortunately don't usually run to intolerable extremes. I also have been clawing past the post-surgical depression suffered by most open-heart surgery survivors for the last three years (while the less fortunate ones who fail to survive may suffer depression, I can't prove it, you know) ... then there's seasonal affective disorder. AKA S.A.D. (an acronym I loathe) which occurs every year about this time to me and will be with me until May or June. Add the stress of writing a novel and some other personal crap and voila! -- we have lift off.

So, I sincerely apologize to you for my silence. It is how I cope. I can say the worst has probably passed by and I will begin posting in a more frequent manner, although no where near as often as before. Things just aren't that interesting right now.

Get out there and finish up your holiday preparations. Spend the time with your family, loved ones, coworkers and cohorts. It's all good -- even the nightmare family holiday meals have their own charm if you're half in the bag. Happy Chanukah, a joyous Kwanzaa, a marvelous winter solstice, my Wiccan sisters, and Merry Christmas to the Christians. May the season bring you joy and peace. Forget not the young men and women in Afghanistan, Iraq, Korea, Kosovo and wherever else they have been posted by the megalomaniacal hawks of this and the previous administrations. For many, it is their first time away from home. It is very cold and lonely where most of them are serving this year -- they deserve your warmest thoughts and prayers, even if, like me, you believe they have been sent on a fool's errand.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Tuesday Tickler - Political Correctness

Two doctors opened an office in a small town, and put up a sign reading: "Dr. Smith and Dr. Jones, Psychiatry and Proctology."

The town council was not too happy with the sign, so the doctors changed it to: "Hysterias and Posteriors." This was not acceptable either, so in an effort to satisfy the council, they changed the sign to: "Schizoids and Hemorrhoids." No go.

Next they tried: "Catatonics and High Colonics". Thumbs down again. Then came: "Manic Depressives and Anal Retentives". Still not good. How about: "Minds and Behinds"? Unacceptable again. So they tried: "Lost Souls and Ass Holes." Still no go. Nor did "Analysis and Anal Cysts", "Nuts and Butts," "Freaks and Cheeks" or "Loons and Moons" work either.

Almost at their wit's end, the doctors finally came up with a business slogan they thought might be acceptable to the council: "Dr. Smith and Dr. Jones, Odds and Ends".


Monday Madness - A day late, a dollar short

Otto's suffering a case of post-election blues. So, "This week we'll choose one or the other of the following... my answers are in red.

1. bar soap or shower gel
2. cd's or cassettes
3. television movies or documentaries
4. wall calendar or desk calendar
5. dsl, cable, or dial-up
6. summer or winter
7. city or country
8. camping or stay in a hotel
9. gold or silver
10. fiction or non-fiction books
11. mashed potatoes or baked potatoes
12. ranch, italian, or catalina dressing
13. solid or spray deodorant

Be sure to get your questions and post a link to your answers in the comments to Monday Madness

Monday, November 15, 2004

The Sunday Brunch - Sweet Thang

Each week, Erica plys us with various illicit drugs and sexual favours, all to the point of eliciting responses to her weekly meme, The Sunday Brunch. This week's a particularly sweet one. Sign up and get your own questions mailed to you each week. Or, you can wait until Monday mornings and retireve them from the Atlas Jelly Jar on Funk & Wagnall's porch where they have marinated for 24 hours in morning dew and tobacco juice. Your choice.

"A little nonsense now and then, is cherished by the wisest men."
- Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

1) What is your favorite flavor of M&Ms?
2) Is there a special edition of candy that you wish they would make a permanent item on the shelves?
They finally did - Almond Kisses
3) What is your favorite flavor of Hershey’s Kisses?
4) What is your favorite candy bar?
5) Do you prefer milk chocolate, dark chocolate or white chocolate?
Milk Chocolate, baby. Smooth...

Have a great week and thanks for playing!

Unconcious Mutterings - Week 93

I say ... and you think ... ?

Childhood:: trauma

Trust me::
A Likely Story ... NOT!
Give up::
Cookies & cream::
ice cream

Want to get your own words? Sign up at Lunaniñ Also, post a link to your answers in the comments there. Have a good week -- don't take any wooden nickels - just get change for a couple of dimes.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Saturday Six - Episode 31

Each week, that demented troll of a television producer, Pattboy92, burdened with overwhelming stress and responsibility, lets fly with the flattus we call "The Saturday Six."

If you'd like to join the fun, it's quite simple: to play you can either answer the questions in a comment at Patrick's Place, or put the answers in an entry on your journal...but either way, leave a link at Patrick's Place to your journal so that everyone else can visit! (And if you're playing for the first time, please be sure to say so in the comment -- tell him "Wil sent you!"!) Enjoy!

1. Who is the last house guest you invited into your home and was it a pleasant visit?
A young couple returning to Maine from the West Coast - the wife is a friend of SWMBO. Their children (both under 2) are hellions and we are not set up to host children. I'd say we were all glad when they got their own place.
2. Other than to work or school, where was the last place you drove?
To vote.
3. In terms of emergency supplies, how many of the following do you have in your home? A) Candles B) Fresh batteries C) Containers of bottled water
All of the above, as well as food, kerosene for lamps and heat, gasoline for vehicles. I've been "iced in" for 10 days here before.
4. You're invited to a pot-luck dinner: what specialty do you offer to bring? (It has to be something you can cook yourself, not something you bring from a store!)
A Wheat Pilaf dish, dessert actually, that I learned to cook from a bedouin woman. I have since substituted raisins for dates and maple syrup for blackstrap to make it my own dish.
5. Which of the following do you feel is the most true based on your own life experiences:
A) It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.
B) The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.
C) To have a friend, you must first be a friend.
D) Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.
E) Never judge a book by its cover.
F) The tree of knowledge bears the noblest fruit.

Choice "B" is a winner in my lexicon of experience, although "A" and "E" are also somewhat true.

6. READER'S CHOICE QUESTION #31 from Cherie: We have all watched movies and TV shows that have inspired us to want to do what the characters in the show are doing, (doctors, lawyers, politicians, fire fighters, etc). Has there ever been program that you watched that made you realize that the occupation of the characters was something you could NEVER become?

"Never say never" is a pithy nugget of wisdom. Fred Sanford turned me off to being a junk man, though.

Have a great weekend, folks. I'm going on a "Postal Turkey Shoot" with my friend Alphonse "Little Ricky" Genoviese. That's where we go down to the Post Office and shoot any turkey who refuses to get out of Little Ricky's way. Having friends in the Mafia is a trip, let me tell you...

Friday, November 12, 2004


Took THE TEST. Got the results. Fits me to a "T" -- wanna make something outta it?



I am one of those people that love to hear the sound of their voice. That and my lousy attitude make for a mixture as toxic as next-day-mexican-dinner-ass-drip.
Take the ASSHOLE/BITCH test at

Thanks to sanantoniotexas at You Think You Know, But You Have No Idea.. and st0rmwhispers at Storms Whisper and Oceans Scream for the original linkage.

Weekend Assignment 33 - Sing, Song, Sunk

Each week, AOL's "Blogfather", John M Scalzi, celebrated author of the "Book of the Dumb" (Volumes 1 & 2), "Old Man's War" and several others, leaves the AOL Journal community a meme for the weekend on the front doorstep.

Wait, it's the cat who leaves a mole on the front doorstep.

John leaves a meme for your consideration and entertainment on his AOL Journal each week about this time. This week, it's about music. Sort of. Leave a link to your answer in the comments over at
By The Way.

Weekend Assignment #33: You can have any person, past or present, sing any song for you that you want. What is the song, and who is singing it for you?

Extra credit:
Name a singer you wish you could sing like, but can't. So that means even those of you with excellent voices have to pick someone you can't sing like.

Dear John,

Hope this finds you all in good health, or at least better and recuperating. And I hope you are having much more success finishing that
Rough Guide than I have been having with my NaNoWriMo, tentatively titled Four Horsemen. Enough of writing and health issues. Let's get down to the really important stuff: wine, women and song. I'll bring the booze and the music (your taste in music is highly suspect) and you bring the women. Fair enough?

So, assuming enough cups of grog and attention from the gals, we are confronted with choosing a song and a singer to perform it. This is going to be tough. But given my druthers (and those were the terms specified), I would have to choose my former college roommate as the singer, Peter Havas. As a young man in France, he recorded a couple of singles and an album that was well received there, but did nothing here. Sadly, the US had moved to bubble gum and schlock rock in the mid-60's; there was no future here for a balladeer, raconteur and folk singer. I lost touch with Peter shortly after we split as roomies. I have heard that he has retired to France after running a successful Jaguar dealership in Southern Maine for many years. He has married a luscious French Attorney and he is attempting, with some success, to make a retirement living as a writer of children's stories. Peter had a clarion tone to his voice, excellent phrasing and a wicked good sense of humor he allowed to spill over into his performing. His rendition of Gordon Lightfoot's "Canadian Railroad Trilogy" and later, "The Wreck of The Edmund Fitzgerald" won high praise from Gordon himself. I so wish I had a tape from those days. So my choice, for very personal and nostalgic reasons, would be to listen to Peter Havas performing the "Canadian Railroad Trilogy." It brings tears to my eyes, just to remember it now, some 32 years later.

Now, understand that I once upon a time had an acceptable singing voice. Too many years of cigarettes, whiskey and bad choices, coupled with the damage done by surgeries and extended intubations, have rendered me little more than a humming accompanist. That is, if I can find and hold the key, stay on tune and remember the harmony or counterpoint to the song in question. So I admire singers and hold good ones in high esteem. If I could have anyone's voice, though, it would have to be Placido Domingo's. Imagine being able to do "Danny Boy" at the pub on sing-along night with that voice ... I'd have them crying in their bitters, I would.

So much for fantasies of singing and music. Time to get back to the grindstone, sharpen my mind and put some more words down. Snow is due tomorrow, so time to hunker down and get serious. Here's hoping your week goes well. Kisses all around for the gals and a hearty slap on the back for you, too, me boyo.

Grins and giggles,


Friday Funny - Riding Mower
Posted by Hello

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Thoughts On This Veteran's Day 2004

(local) Vet20004.gif
Today is Veteran's Day. I wrote about the history of this day and it's meaning to all Americans last year. It's message is still relevant this year, sad to say. Nothing new to add to that discussion as it has been made abundantly clear that the majority of voters equate loyalty with patriotism, and patriotism with the office of the President of the United States. I suggest they all read "The Emperor's New Clothes" and ponder upon the relevance today.

Another 1500 US service men and women have given their lives this past year while on active duty or serving as a reserve-duty warrior for our country. I salute their valor and validate their sacrifice for our country so the rest of us need not get off our fat asses and even think about why we are the most hated, reviled society on the face of the planet.

Enjoy your holiday, if indeed your state recognizes this day of remembrance and your employer doesn't make you work it for economic reasons. Do remember there is more to life than money -- honoring our fallen comrades at arms is as honorable an activity as slicing and dicing on the sick and diseased amongst our ranks; it is certainly more honorable than asking, "Will that be cash or credit?"

Copies of the Annual Veteran's Day poster may be obtained via download for free from the United States' Department of Veterans Affairs.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Monday Madness: We Three Things Dis-Orient Are

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Sherry must be riding Otto's back to get organized for winter again because he asks some damn fool questions for a guy ... Name 3 (or more, or less!) things...

1. cannot live without.
Air to breathe, water to drink and food to sustain the metabolism.

2. CAN live without, but cannot seem to part with.
My incomplete collection of the collected works of Carl Jung, my L.P.'s and my saxophone.
3. wish to accomplish this COMING week.
Ready the plow truck for another winter, winterize the pipes, get the air conditioners out of the windows.
4. have accomplished this PAST week.
Hmmm, nothing of significance come to mind.

5. ...on your holiday (or non-holiday) 'wish list.'
Books, CD's, some clothing. You can see most of the list here.
6. would like to change about yourself.
Just about everything: age, weight, height, appearance, personality.
7. like about yourself.
Nothing comes to mind, today.
8. should be doing right now instead of what you ARE doing.
Writing my NaNoWriMo novel. Working on the truck. Fixing breakfast.
9. your life that could use a little more organization.
Start with the biggie and work down ... my life, my wife, my mind, my desk, my books ... no one has ever mistaken my organized work persona with the real me in my everyday digs.

Have a good week. Avoid wooden nickels and Cabinet appointments if you value your sanity.

Get your own copy of the questions direct from Otto here. The post a link to the answers in your blog in the comments over at Otto's site. Ciao!

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Sunday Brunch - Eat Your Veggies

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The Sunday Brunch is up! (Finally, it wasn't up at 7AM when I did the other stuff this morning...)

"The finest qualities of our nature, like the bloom on fruits, can be
preserved only by the most delicate handling. Yet we do not treat
ourselves nor one another thus tenderly." - Henry David Thoreau

1) What is your favorite vegetable and your favorite fruit?
Sweet corn is my favorite vegetable. Tomatos are my favorite fruit.
2) How many servings of fruits and vegetables do you eat a day?
Generally four. If I am shy on required servings there is always juice. V-8 and I go back a long way.
3) Did your parents force you to eat vegetables when you were younger?
Yes. Wise on their part. I have dealt with others' children who are picky eaters -- absolutley ridiculous for some 4 y.o.snot-faced kid to be dictating food choices for an entire family.
4) What vegetable can you absolutely just not get down, no matter what
you are bribed with?
I have yet to meet such a vegetable. There are some which bring me more joy than others. Mostly, it is a matter of how the food is prepared.
5) What is your favorite way to eat fruit?
I prefer fruit in as near natural state as practical. So husked or peeled, chopped up in a mixed fruit salad is one of my favorites.

Thanks for playing! Get your own list of questions straight from the author's site. Don't forget to leave a link to your answers at the comments to this week's entry.

Unconcious Mutterings - Week 92

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I say ... and you think ... ?

1. Small Talk::wasting time
2. Evidence::circumstantial
3. Drifting::aimlessly
4. Hostage::situation
5. Beauty::skin deep
6. Automatic::manual
7. Asking for it::Bush
8. Visene::hangover
9. No string attached::Too good to be true
10. Frizz::bad hair day

Give the button a click if you'd like your own list.
Don't forget to leave a link to your answers over

Saturday Six #30 - Reconciliation

Every weekend, Patrick asks a half dozen questions. Every weekend, I answer them. There seems to be a pattern, but I'm unable to discern it. Do you suppose I am too close to the events to see clearly?

1. If you could invent your own cable channel, what would it be called and what type of programming would it show?
  It'd be called OFC - Old Fogey's Channel. And it would be geared to the sensibilities of the over 60-crowd. Depends, Ensure and Polident commercials, the major soaps, Lawrence Welk, Golden Girls and Murder She Wrote reruns ... you get the picture. It's an untapped market.

2.  What is your typical Thanksgiving dinner menu?
Roast Turkey, Stuffing, Smashed Potatoes, Candied Yams, Green Bean Casserole, mashed Squash or a Maple Syrup baked Acorn Squash instead of Yams, Apple and Pumpkin Pies for dessert.

3. What was your first job?  Was it within the career path you ultimately intended to pursue?
Mowing lawns & nope - not even close. Then again, I never did have a clear career path. Life would have been simpler if I did.

4. You're at home by yourself:  do you prefer to wear shoes, slippers, socks only or go barefooted?
While I'd prefer to be barefoot, the only option most of the year is heavily insulated booties. This house is over 150 years old, was poorly made to start with and has had little or no maintenance.
5.What's your favorite restaurant appetizer?
Broiled, stuffed mushrooms or crab rangoons, depending on where I eat out.

6. READER'S CHOICE QUESTION #30 from Carly: Do you have a single comment that was ever left that you really enjoyed to the point you still remember it?

Sadly (and this speaks to my own faults and deficiencies, not those of my commenters), no.

Get a copy of the questions for yourself over to Patrick's Place and leave a link to your answers to this week's questions in the comments over there.

Friday, November 05, 2004

What It's Really About

Right after the election, the victors usually gloat a little in this day and age (witness George Bush "Spending my political Capital" remarks yesterday), particularly after a campaign as hard fought and divisive as that which we have just concluded. Instead, Remo was magnanimous and expansive in a recent email. At the same time, he raised an interesting question. I thought y'all would benefit from our discussion. Remo gave his blessing to my sharing it with you, too. And just for grins and giggles, I include my reply for your edification because it struck a chord in me upon a second reading -- one that resonates with symbiotic energy. And in this time of dirty tricks, name-calling and rancor, it's nice to know I can rise above it. Well, sort of. See for yourself.

"Since you are likely more Libertarian-leaning than Republican (as am I), I'm interested in your take on the issue of the Libertarian and Green Party candidates being ARRESTED in St. Louis when they tried to serve their lawsuit at the debate.

I don't give third-party candidates a snowball's chance under the current system, but it just smacks of a Banana Republic junta to have these guys arrested when they were technically the third and fourth most-likely participants in the debates in the first place.

Where is Oliver Stone and Michael Moore when you need them?"


To which I replied:


This country appears to have embraced divisiveness as a national philosophy, i.e. allowing for only two points of view. I suspect the majority has done this due to the extreme pluralism portrayed by the mainstream religion. To the vast majority, it is all about good and evil, black and white, rich and poor -- you name the issue, the majority allows for only two views: for it or against it. In such a world view, there is no room for shades of gray, nor for political viewpoints which only incorporate a portion of the mainstream mantra while retaining the "right" to think for themselves, no matter how "wrongheaded" they may be. Heck, it may even be a function of Romance languages in which only two states of matter exist: masculine and feminine.

If you agree with the oversimplification above, it then logically follows that anyone espousing employment of gray matter or, for that matter, shades of gray, in the decision making process is automatically suspect. There is no possible way that such a party or individual can become credentialed, because they are otherness, a state of matter or affairs outside of the known and accepted realm of experience. After all, just such a dichotomous state of affairs has been going on in the history of mankind since the very first cavewoman picked up a burning brand from a lightning-struck tree and wondered, "Gucci or Donna Karon?"

Arresting and subsequently killing and burying one's opponents was an acceptable method of dealing with the disloyal opposition up until the 17th century or so in Western Civilization (Eastern Civilization, never having aspired to any political system more grandiose nor plebeian than Distributed Dictatorships, has never confronted the issue of representative democracy. Perhaps the East can teach the West new tricks, eh, Dawg?).

Therefore, it should surprise no one that the Federal Election Commission, created and funded as an "independent agency" of the Federal Government by the bifurcated, bicameral, progress obstructive legislative machine known as Congress, being controlled wholly by the denizens the two party system, would brook no interference of it's quadrennial activities by the otherness. That they resorted to employing local, state or federal constabulary to accomplish it's goals is a given. After all, one of the two aforementioned parties control said constabulary and its airheads, er, administration at all times (save Burlington, Vermont - political home of Representative Bernie Sanders, Independent, neo-marxist and former Mayor. Then again, Vermont hasn't been right nor Right since Ethan Allen fell off the victory wagon and froze to death in the snow.)

In my not so humble opinion, arresting the advocates and candidates of the disenfranchised Left and Right was the appropriate response for the political Cro-Magnons in charge of things in Washington these days. God forbid the public even gets a hint that there might be divergent views out in the hinterlands...

Not likely to happen, though. Oliver Stone, Michael Moore and my own cousins, the Campbells, are all hanging around LA about now, schmoozing with the money men, trying to pitch docudramas on Bush's "landslide victory" or Kerry's "overwhelming defeat." They are interested in only one thing: Power.


Thursday, November 04, 2004

From the "Happy To See You " File...

As only Wonkette could: We Think It Happened During Cheney's Speech But That Doesn't Make It Any Less Creepy

THOs we used to call them

As Wonkette's wardrobe malfunction operative noted: "Guess that speech was, uhm, pretty exciting."

[REUTERS/Rick Wilking]

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Night The Music Died...

For all the good it did us, we voted. At least our electronic vote tabulator has a locked bin that all the ballots go into after being read by the electronic tabulator. Unlike past Presidential elections, it took a total of 15 minutes in line to vote, even though it was 30 minutes after the end of first shift and there was a fair group in line to vote. A good thing, too. It was just starting to rain in earnest when we got in through the door. Seems I recall it did the same thing last time around --
poured like Hell's own reservoir had sprung a leak. Maybe that was indicative of the disappointment to come.

It's now after 2:30 eastern time and supposedly the only thing in Bush's way is Ohio. It doesn't look good for the future of this country at all.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Unconcious Mutterings #91


Free Association. Get your own list of words by clicking on the link above or in the sidebar.

I say ... and you think ... ?

  1. Right now:: pronto
  2. Halloween:: All Soul's Day
  3. Provider:: Health Care
  4. Rescue me:: Supremes
  5. Confidence:: Over
  6. Fungus:: Among Us
  7. Candy corn:: dreams & pop corn skies
  8. Reunion:: High School
  9. Winner:: Loser
  10. Tradition::Hide-bound
Have a great week, y'all. Tomorrow starts NaNoBlogMo - I'll keep you abreast of my progress in my writing blog, Snoozelets; the actual work will be able to be viewed over at Four Horsemen.
Wish me luck -- I'm going to need it. Anyone got some jimson weed? I can't have caffeine anymore...something is needed to accelerate the firing sequence of my neurons long about the middle of the month! (Note to DEA Agents and local LEO's - I'm just kidding. No, really. Nothing stronger than decaf coffee allowed to the old pooch. Doctor's orders. Anything stronger and that nice thumpa-thumpa starts sounding like Ricky Martin with his bollocks in a wringer. Shortly thereafter, I'll be needing one of those epitaphs below.)  

If a man says something in the woods and there's no women there, is he still wrong?

Monday Madness

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Each week, Otto poses his questions and we answer. Each week, we post a link to our answers in the comments at his web site. It isn't rocket science...but what can you expect for a Monday morning?

I hope you've not answered these before, but if so, humor me and answer them again!

Do you.....

1. Code your own website or use a template?

Template, modified as I go along.

2. Use a digital camera or a film camera? If digital, do you print your own pictures, order them online, or send them out?

I use both. Film is processed at the local Sam's Club with 4X6 double prints the usual order, unless I know there are landscapes I want, the 5X7. They also are the only ones who do my panoramic pictures.

With the digital, prints are usually proofed by printing myself. If it is something I want on archival paper then I send out for prints and enlargements.

3. Make your own cards or buy them at a card shop?

Buy them. Also moving to e-cards slowly.

4. Draw your own graphics or get them from the internet?

Internet. Can't draw. Very sad.

5. Take showers or baths? Showers.

6. Make your own candles or buy them? And are they soy or paraffin?

Buy them, parafin but the favorites are beeswax for the smell.

7. Celebrate Halloween or not? Not.

8. Sleep in on weekends or get up early even if you don't have to go to work? Sleep.

9. Correct other people's grammar, or just let it go?

Mostly let it go. When I correct things, I tend towards foot-in-mouth disease.

Monday Morning Musing

May none but honest and wise men ever rule under this roof (White House). - John Adams, 2nd US President, and the first one to live in the White House (1735-1826)

I imagine that John Adams has been a regular whirling dervish in his grave since November 2, 2000. So let us end his vortexical torment. Get out tomorrow and vote. Vote the bastards out of office if you have any love for this country left. If it doesn't matter to you it sure as hell matters to the rest of us. Some reports say the determination of the election came down to a couple of hundred votes in Florida last time. If that isn't incentive enough, consider this. The next president will have the Herculean task of restoring the treasury to some semblance of order. Whose administration will achieve that? The friends of the man who gutted a surplus and ran up a debt so vast that it may take the efforts of your great-grandchildren to eliminate?

Are you one of the baby-boomers? How do you plan to spend your declining years? Have you practiced saying "Do you want fries with that order, Sonny?" Counting on nonexistent help from Social Security?

One of those sheep who believed the "Company" had your best welfare at heart, so put everything into the company retirement plan, only to let G.H.W.B's fiscal policy provide the Company with the biggest landfall ever seen, in the form of converted retirement set-asides? Have you scrimped and saved, sacrificed to the future for the good of your family and the generations to come? I didn't think so. The combination of the survivors elation of many of the troops returned from WWII and Korea, mixed with the horrors of the Great Depression that most experienced as children forged a generation that created, in your parents or grandparents, the drive to provide for the future.

Maybe you are one of the postwar generation, "Baby Boomers." The baby boomers are spendthrifts, given everything they ever desired and more; most of those gifts were squandered. They (we) possess a total disregard for the future, preferring a "the future will always take care of itself, Grasshopper," attitude. They think (thought) that Social Security would be enough -- it was for their parents.

Then there's the "Disaffected," AKA Gen-X, my children's peers. "Future? What future?" seems to be their credo. Meanwhile, their children have had even less discipline than they had and they were sorely lacking. And being clueless gits in the first place, they think Ronald Reagan, George H.W. and George W. are (were) all (choke) "Great Men" with absolutely no understanding of history to back up their misbegotten opinions.

Or, perhaps you are one of the forgotten generation -- the twenty-somethings struggling in an apocalyptic landscape to make heads or tails of the failure of the future you envisioned. Clueless of history, believers in a Technicolor, technological, polyglot future, where the solution to "problems" will be a few lines of code and a hit or two of "Exstasy." Get real. Because life is real, life is earnest. failure will leave you trodden down in the dust. No cell phone cum Palm Pilot cum camera cum walkie-talkie cum GPS cum tampon-pulling appliance will solve your ills or put food in your Technicolor refrigerator or on the plate at your favorite hash house.

All of us -- all of you have but one thing to do of earth-shattering importance tomorrow:


Sunday, October 31, 2004

Sunday Brunch - Halloween Edition

Happy Halloween!

Erica posts a series of questions each week at her
Sunday Brunch web site. This week, she said:

"I am posting this early today (Saturday) as I'm sure everyone has a BUSY weekend ahead, including me! Have a very safe and happy Halloween!"

1) What candy are you passing out on Halloween night if you are staying home?

If we're home, I suppose it will be something with chocolate in it.

2) What was your best Halloween costume?
I told all about it in a Weekend Assignment entry a week or two ago. Check it out.
3) Are you doing anything on the night of Halloween if you are not staying home to pass out treats, and if so, what are you doing?
SWMBO has worked six days straight at a demanding job as a Wounds Nurse in a 30 bed skilled nursing unit. I imagine we'll be asleep by the time Trick or Treat comes around.
4) What is your favorite Halloween decor? (ie, witch, ghost, pumpkins)
I'm OK with pumpkins, in keeping with the harvest festival theme of this time of year.
5) Do you carve jack o'lanterns?
Nope. While we did for the kids when they were little, as I did as a youngster, Halloween is not a holiday or source of celebration in my life. Add in the whole "pins and needles" crazies and I lost patience with Halloween years ago. For many years, living alone, I merely left the porch light on and put out a stool with a bowl of candy on it for all comers when I left for work in the morning, as I often worked until 10 o'clock at night. After discovering some little rat fink had cleaned out the bowl by 2 o'clock one day when I had to come back to the house for some forgotten papers, I stopped with the whole candy-left-out routine.

Get your own copy of the questions and leave a link to your answers by clicking on the button below. Happy Trick or Treating. Just remember that treats are a gift and tricks must never be mean-spirited, no matter how awful the trickee may be. Stick to TP on trees and shrubs -- it's enough of a bother to clean up that they'll remember, and you aren't likely to be convicted of vandalism, even if charged. Whereas, I have charged and prosecuted kids who set fire to bags of horse droppings on someone's porch -- it's a Class A felony and is known as Arson. Minimum sentence upon conviction is incarceration for three years in a correctional facility. Keep it in mind, kiddies. It's dangerous to play with matches -- the life you save just might be your own...

If a man says something in the woods and there's no women there, is he still wrong?

Blame it on Shelly - Sunday's Meme

Really, it's all Shelly's fault.

You may be more of a nerd than a geek. Do things
because you like to, not because you have to or
you don't know what else to do. Life is for
enjoying as well as producing.

how seriously geeky are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Saturday Six #29 - Halloweenies!

Tearing himself away from the television screen long enough to notice our existence, TV mogul, Executive Producer to the stars, Patrick deigns to ask the rabble a few questions in a feeble attempt to understand why we buy as much toothpaste as we do. Here without further ado and even less falderol, is Week 29 of The Saturday Six!

1. What is the most clever Halloween costume someone you know has worn (that you wish you'd have come up with yourself)?
I recall seeing a jaguar costume once that had my complete attention. The woman was a dancer and the costume was handsewn Lycra. No panty lines. Nigerian blue-black skin and expertly applied make-up. The transformation was electrifying
2. You're invited to a Halloween party that begins in one hour. You have to make a costume only from what is already in your house. So how would you dress up?
As a lumberjack; but, I could also do an odd walrus creature with an old mask on hand. Ko Ko Ka-choo!
3. What is the amount of the last check you wrote?

4. How many keys are on your key ring, and are there any that you've forgotten that you even had?
Seven; no, but I pare the daily ring down frequently.

5. Who was the last musical performer you saw live in concert, and was it worth the admission price? Frankly, I don't know. In general, I avoid concerts without fixed seating -- I do not like mobs -- I tend to become anxious and likely to kill the first stupid lout to step on my toes ... not good, what with today's intolerance for mayhem.

Wait! It just came back to me -- about 10 years ago, I saw Lyle Lovett and his Large Band live in concert. Worth the $50 bucks/head, but then again, he's one of my favorites.

DaBabysBack: What is your favorite day of the week and why?
Back when I worked 80 hours a week, Sunday was my favorite day as I could stay out late Saturday and sleep all day Sunday 3 times a month. The other Sunday I'd have to participate in on-site visits with a Planning Board in a very active community, development-wise.
Nowadays, they all the days run together...

Don't forget to get your own copy of the questions and leave a link to your answers over at Patrick's Place. Tell him "Wil sent me!"

Have yourselves a great weekend, folks. Make sure you examine the kiddies' candy before they get at it. If partying with strangers, drink only from a can or bottle you have opened and never let it out of your grasp... and have a care out there. The life you save may be your neighbor's kid.

Then again, if that zombie has gobbets of gore dripping from him, hitting him is a safe bet - nothing can kill the undead. I've already had my romp in the moonlight this week. It's a shame, too. I'd so like to feast on a wayward child again...

Friday, October 29, 2004

From the "Turnaround Is Fair Play" file...

  Bill Clinton Loves Pressing the Flesh

By wonkette on democrats

no no i can still do it just have to do slow or uhm even slower if you know what i mean

Back on the stump, indeed. . .

From the "Things That Make Me Cringe" file...

  What Red America?

By wonkette on democrats

when nascar moms attack

David Brooks must be shitting himself.

[AP Photo/Laura Rauch]

From the "I Wish I'd Said That" file...

  Bush Casts Out the Demons

By wonkette on republicans


The president demonstrates his proposal for a faith-based approach to Head Start.

Weekend Assignment #31 - Write Your Epitaph

Weekend Assignment #31: Your Own Epitaph

Every week, Blogmeister and AOL Journals' guru, John M. Scalzi, suggests a topic, such as what you see below:
Weekend Assignment #31: Your Own Epitaph

"Boo! It's time once again for the weekend assignment! I give you a topic, you write it up in your AOL Journal or blog, and then drop back a link in the comment thread. Anyone can do it -- but only the beautiful people do.

This week's Weekend Assignment is another reader suggestion, this time from isckwootton, and just in time for Halloween:

Write your own, preferably rhyming, epitaph.
For example,

Here lies Jed,
He fell out of bed.

Extra credit:
Write a cute epitaph for your favorite loved one, relative, or family pet.
Suggestion: keep it light. You might want them to continue being your favorite loved one, relative, or family pet. Nothing is worse than having Fido dissing you over some silly words on a gravestone."

Dear John,

The frost is on the pump handle and the tractor don't start, less of course I haul a salamander out and fire up the oil pan for ten minutes or so. Nothing like a 3 foot flame shooting out under a $150,000 piece of equipment to serve as impetus to fix that fuel leak, don'tcha know...

I have lost my cotton-picking mind and signed up for NaNoWriMo, except I'm doing it as NaNoBlogMo. That's right. I'm writing a novel online for folks to ridicule and line cyberbirdcages with! It'll be schlock, of course. After all, writing at least 50,000 words between November 1 and November 30, 2004, on top of all the other things on my busy schedule (cough, cough), Thanksgiving, my wife's surgery on her knee on the 22nd and subsequent nursing and catering I'll be doing for her... what in heck posessed me? But I'll think of you, banging out the Rough Sci-Fi Movie Guide during the same period and you will have my sympathy. So, if my missives are a trifle tiny or even (gasp) absent over the next couple of weeks, you know whyfor.

Halloweenie theme this week, I see. You want me to write an epitaph for me, and rhyme it at that. And for extra credit, I do it for a loved one? Not bloody likely.

Ho, ho, ho - he's dead meat.
Couldn't float - sank in the peat.

He tweren't hard to find...
being a legend in his own mind.

His corpse bobbed up all covered in goo...
Damned but what his horse did too!

All right, that didn't cut it for you. Something more respectful? Not likely, coming from me. Let's see if any of these tickle your funny bone. Tombstone is courtesy of
"The Original Tombstone Generator" by J.J. Chandler, now consigned to The prose is mine.

There you have it, John. Here's hoping that last night's excursion afield as a ghost in search of chocolate produce naught but fine memories... the cost of fillings keeps going up. Give my best to the women in your life and put those fingers to the keyboard - you have a book to finish in a hurry. Best of luck with it.

Grins and giggles,


Thursday, October 28, 2004

NaNoWriMo / NaNoBlogMo Update.

Well, as of now, I am aware of Turtle, Ladydriversammie, myself and possibly Patrick, all participating in the madness of writing a 50,000 word novel in a month. It'll be interesting - we are all procrastinators to one extent or another.

My blog for the event will be The Four Horsemen. I'm guessing that entries here and in The Daily Snooze on AOL will be severely curtailed. Given my typing speed and predilection for distractions, those 3 to 4 hours needed to produce the minimum wordage for the day, every day, will severely curtail my blog reading time, too. So to all involved, I wish you the best of luck. I'll be around, but not in evidence as much as some have been accustomed to me being around.

Come visit and read the samples I leave for you. Your criticism and encouragement is needed to make this project a success.

UPDATE: Make that Barbara, not Patrick. Seems that Patrick has to deal with "sweeps" in November. I just can't imagine why he thinks that will occupy all his time [evil grin]. Good luck fighting the Arbitron Marauders and Nielson Nasties, Patrick!

The West Wing - Season IV Premiere

Picture from Hometown

Long anticipated, the fourth season of the Emmy Award-winning and People's Award winning favorite one hour drama has commenced with what was essentially a two part episode. Donna is still alive, despite my doubts at the end of last season. But several "regulars" are going bye-bye. Jimmy Smits and Alan Alda are joining the cast. It's a bloody shame to lose "Leo" to a heart attack. It was an ignominious way to go and a cowardly plot line through these two episodes. It lacked class.

And that is my biggest criticism of the series so far this year - it lacks class. It lacks humor. It appears the actors are going through the motions. Looking especially tired this season is President Bartlett. Is it a trick of the make-up, or is Martin Sheen feeling the strain of four straight years of being the lead in an ensemble cast of a one hour drama? Lesser men have faltered and Martin has a history of cardiac trouble. He just doesn't look right.

The exodus of main members of an ensemble cast is never a good sign. The John Spencer and Richard Schiff departures indicate the beginning of the end. It may drag on for a year or two, but the end is in sight. Too bad; it's one of my favorites.

They Did It!

Picture from Hometown

I've said nary a word up to now for fear it would jinx the outcome. I have seen them lose a done deal in the not so distant past. So I have bit my tongue and kept my peace. But no longer.

After an 86 year drought, the wait is over. It's official. The Boston Red Sox are the World Series Champions for 2004 and I can't think of a more deserving team. The "Curse of the Bambino" has run its course. May there be many happy returns of the day in future.

My team has finally pulled it out of their collective ass. About time, too!

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

So I get this email from Turtle...

telling me that Shelly has found a new quiz. Now which of Shelly's 127 blogs she might have posted the link in might be problematical for me to find, so Turtle is kind enough to provide me with the link. Which I do for you, too, below.

So just what kind of a writer are you? It appears that I am:

"What kind of writer are you?" - Results:
You're a Smut writer!

What kind of writer are you? brought to you by Quizilla

Republicans Urge Minorities To Get Out And Vote On Nov. 3

MIAMI, FL—With the knowledge that the minority vote will be crucial in the upcoming presidential election, Republican Party officials are urging blacks, Hispanics, and other minorities to make their presence felt at the polls on Wednesday, Nov. 3.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Quiz: What's Your Blog's Rating?

So there I am, minding my own business, reading about the different monsters created in the preceding "Monday Madness" entry on others' blogs when I spy this rating at the bottom of the page. You know me - if I can click it or flick it, I will. And away we go...

What rating is your journal?

brought to you by Quizilla

Monday Madness - My Monster

Image Hosted by

Otto is in a strange, gholuish mood this week. That, 
or it's his "time of the month" -- almost a full moon! 
Here's what he had to say for himself this week:  
"With Halloween just a week away, I thought I'd use 
these great questions, offered by Bryn, THIS week! 
Thank you, Bryn! =) And thanks everyone, for playing!!" 

My monster has:
Eyes like _the blacksmith's coals, glowing
cherry red in the carbon depths of a
midwinter's night_
Teeth like _the carbide-
tipped cutters of the sawmill's blade_
Hair like _tendrils of seaweed, drifting in

an oily tide_
<>Face like _ground pork, lumpy, writhing
mass of strings of fat and proteins_

But no matter how _horrific_ my monster is,
I love her anyway...Just the way she is!

Image Hosted by

Quiz: Who Would You Vote For, If You Voted On The Issues?

"Turnaround is fair play'" someone once said - at least I think that is what was said. Anyway, I've been getting comments here from st0rmwhispers lately. St0rm operates a classy dive down by the docks called "Storms Whisper And Oceans Scream" - I commend it to your consideration. St0rmy stole the thunder on my Classical Literature quiz, which I got from Shelly at Cybercholate which she got from someone (being a meme spreading from blog to blog is the point of these things, after all). The upshot of all this is *I* stole a quiz back from St0rm. It's particularly apropos, given my profound dislike for what President George Bush and his administration has done to the Republican Party and to this country in four short years (but an agonizingly slow passage of time, that).  As you no doubt know, if you read the drivel here on occasion, I have been urging the legal overthrow of Dubya and his cronies since I started this piece of fluff over a year ago.  It's interesting to see how far I have strayed from my Republican leanings in just four years. Utter contempt for a thief and incompetence will do that, I guess.

So, take a look at the
journalistic stylings of St0rmwhispers or jump straight to the quiz. You won't go wrong with either one. But do let us know how you make out with the quiz in the comments here or there.


You preferred Kerry's statements 60% of the time

Voting purely on the issues you should vote Kerry

Who would you vote for if you voted on the issues?

Find out now!

Which Piece of Classical Literature Are You?

You are Lord of the Flies!
You are Lord of the Flies! You teach a great
lesson, sadly this lesson is really depressing
and people probably don't like you too much.
You poor, tormented little soul. Life really is
a shitty as you think, but at least we're all
suffering together...and we're not putting
pigs' heads on sticks. You might be interested
in Fahrenheit 451 and being friends with me.

Which Piece of Classic Literature are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

All because I saw it at Cyberchocolate...

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Pre-frontal Pumpkin Lobotomies

Sadistic New Hampshireites Torture Gourds.

Unconcious Mutterings #90


I say ... and you think ... ?

  1. Blackout:: Blitz
  2. Platinum:: Ring
  3. Leather and lace:: Dominatrix
  4. Court:: Citation
  5. Mind your own business:: What are you hiding?
  6. Gambling:: Foolish
  7. Lily:: Tomlin
  8. Evasive:: Action
  9. Turn-on:: Sexual
  10. Suspect::Investigation
 Get your own words and play along. Just click on the button above. Don't forget to leave a link to your answers over at


Sunday Brunch: Parents

Mistress Erica, blogmother of The Sunday Brunch, has gone off and gotten herself "in the family way," as we used to say when I was a kid. This week, she wrote:

"Parents are often so busy with the physical rearing of children that they miss the glory of parenthood, just as the grandeur of the trees is lost when raking leaves." -Marcelene Cox

This week's meme is in honor of parents, as I just found out this past week that I am going to become one! I am five weeks (I think) pregnant with my first child!

1) What do your parents do for a living?
They are both dead. Prior to dying, my mother was a coutourier. My father was an industrial and sales training and motivation specialist with The Jam Handy Organization. His primary accounts included General Motors, Coca-Cola, USS Steel, Pittsburgh Steel, Hershey Company and AT&T.
2) How old were your parents when you were born?
My mother had me at 24, my father was 37. I was their first child.
3) What is the most important lesson that you learned from your parents?
To survive, relying on myself.
4) What is the harshest discipline that you ever received from your parents?
Strapping with a leather belt (before you get up in arms about child abuse and the like, I was 14 and I'd earned it, without a doubt).
5) What is the thing that you are the most grateful to your parents for?
Exposing me to a wide variety of cultures and experiences.

Want to participate? Get your own copy of the questions by clicking the Sunday Brunch button below. Don't forget to post a link to your answers at the Sunday Brunch web site.


Saturday, October 23, 2004

Quiz: What Common Breed of Dog Are You?

I was reading through some blogs and Shelly's CyberChocolate had this quiz. Took it and came out a Doberman Pinscher. Odd, that. I bred and raised German Shepherd Dogs (and have been kept by a few Rotties) for a number of years. While I like Dobies, they aren't my favorite by a long shot. Anywho, a big "tip of the hat" to Shelly and take the quiz for yourself and let me know how you made out. The results just might surprise you.


brought to you by Quizilla

Saturday Six - Episode 28: High School Daze!

This very odd man, former welterweight Golden Gloves Champion from Richmond, Virginia, pugnaciously snuffling through his career as a television producer of kiddy porn (except when his Coke supplier is serving time with Marion Barry), offers a set of six questions every Saturday as part of his buildup to a weekend of wanton carousing with the Czechoslovakian editor down in the videotape lab.

This time, he was heard to mutter, "This week's Reader's Choice question will have you remembering your high school years.  But first, here are the people who played last week's "Saturday Six" for the first time (or posted that they had played for the first time):

Welcomes go to Andrea, Barb, Melissa, Jazdia, Lahoma, Diana, Miles, and Holly.

As for the first one to play, Scott was back at the head of the pack, just edging past Jeff

Now, on to this week's questions.  To play you can either answer the questions in a comment here, or put the answers in an entry on your journal...but either way, leave a link to your journal so that everyone else can visit!  (And if you're playing for the first time, please be sure to say so in the comment!)  Enjoy!"

1. Think back to your years of Trick or Treating:  Which one of your past Halloween costumes are you most proud of?
I'm most proud of the time I dressed up as a bohemian, beatnik chick, complete with a black beret, fake eyelashes and makeup, a shaggy, baby-shit tan and black diamonds argyle sweater, a black leotard and black espadrilles. The make-up was done by a retired stage actress and I was simply gorgeous in a willowy, androgynous way. Nobody guessed who the beatnik chick was, standing there cool and serene with a two foot long cigarette holder, snapping her fingers and mouthing, "Hey baby, where's the litter box? This kitty has to like, go!"
2. What is the format of your favorite radio station?  (In other words, what type of music does it play?)
Eclectic...classical music, modern music, jazz, Celtic, world music, alternate rock, punk, with healthy doses of real news, in-depth examinations of the issues of the day, children's stories, radio drama, and call-in discussion shows on local issues. In other words, Public Radio. The best investment Congress ever made.
3. What is the oldest thing in your medicine cabinet?
Probably my razor. It's an antique Gillette, takes double-edged safety blades; they install by removing the handle, separating the top from the bottom and inserting the blade between them. It belonged to my Grandfather. Probably dates from the 1920's.
4. What kind of book do you most prefer:  hardback, paperback, audio or library?
Hardback for most things, but a pain to carry in a jacket pocket, so I end up squinting at tiny print in paperbacks and cursing Time.
5. What is your favorite comfort food and when was the last time you felt bad enough that you needed a big helping of it?
Chocolate. Last week, but the urge is creeping up again right now.
6. READER'S CHOICE QUESTION #28 from Tara:  
Dust off your high school yearbook.  What was your Senior quote and/or what were you voted ''Most...'' or ''Most Likely To....''?
Sorry, lost track of my high school yearbook in a move years ago. I haven't a clue of what it said, if anything. I am not sure but what it didn't say anything other than name and activities one participated in under the picture of the seniors.

Have a great weekend, folks. Drive safely, drink moderately and send all your troubles to President George W. Bush. He'll sweep them under the rug for you...