Thursday, September 30, 2004

Posted by Hello

So you can't bring yourself to vote to re-elect George W. Bush as president for the next four years, but you hate John Kerry? No problem -- there are millions like you across the country. Now, someone has created a web site for folks like you: Kerry Haters For Kerry. No need to hide your disaffection from the RNC - join with others of your kind and hang out where no one will think badly if you say "I hate John Kerry, but he's a better choice than Bush for the nation this time around."

Special thanks to Wonkette for bringing this to our attention.

Politics - Bush's Flip-flops (and Kerry's Flip-flops, too)

I had a phone call last night from the RNC telling me to focus on bringing at least three people into the Bush camp for the coming election. If only they could have heard me cackling, snorting with mirth and outrage! As if! I like my friends -- why in hell would I want them to be exposed to the radical right-wing political bullshit that is masquerading as the "Republican Platform" lately?

Interestingly, the RNC would have us believe that John Kerry is the biggest flip flop artíste ever to grace the halls of Congress. At least that's my take on a recent attack ad showing here. (An aside - it really isn't fun to be in a so-called "swing vote" state. The advertising by both parties sucks, the level of telephone calls seeking support and funds are dangerously annoying and the lies being told by both sides simply astounding. But I digress...)

So CBS News has a story on its web site about George Bush's 10 biggest flip flops in the last 4 years. Give it a read. The Republicans would have you believe that changing one's mind upon learning new or additional information is the sign of a weak character. Seems to me that an imdividual unable to change his or her mind after learning new facts is a danger to themselves and society as a whole. But I digress.

And, in the interest of fairness, CBS News also has a second part to the story: John Kerry's 10 Biggest Flip-flops (Just in case you thought they and I cannot behave in a politically responsible manner, unlike both party machines).

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Did you read the NY Times Magazine last Sunday?

Did you catch the Wonkette on the cover? Here's an example of one of her finds that tickle the living daylights out of me:

It's No Axis of Evil or Anything, But We're Still Pretty Proud

By wonkette on whitehouse

Mr. Sun lets you write your own George W. Bush stump speech:

Thank you for that warm welcome. It's great to be under the complete control of Dick Cheney! This election may well be the most important in history. Now more than ever, America needs John Ashcroft reading your email. My opponent is on both sides of every issue. You know what I stand for: a bill our grandchildren cannot possibly pay. If I am re-elected, in my first two weeks I pledge to have a chuckle about it with Prince Bandar. After September 11, I stood in the rubble with a bullhorn and shouted: We will have vengeance against the people who didn't do this! Now, three years later -- I ask for you to at least get me to the Supreme Court; I'll take it from there. I have been blessed in my life, and I want you to know that laws have a lot of big words that I don't understand. In conclusion, I would like to say I love scotch. Scotchy, scotch, scotch.

Goes a little Ron Burgandy at the end there, but mostly we're pretty sure it's the same one he gave in Toledo.

Make your own George W. Bush stump speech!
[Mr. Sun]

Go forth and make your own version. Just for grins and giggles.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Monday Madness: Triplets

Yesterday, Otto said, "'Tis almost Monday once again ... you know what that means! Madness, my friends, madness!!! Welcome to our new players, and thank you to all our 'old faithfuls' for supporting this meme every week!! =)"

"(If you want to pick and choose 5 (or more; or less) out of the following 10 to answer, go ahead. I know this could be a big challenge and I'd rather you answer some of them than none of them at all.....)"

My answers are in red.  How close are they to yours?  Don't forget to post your URL in the comments at Monday Madness.  Tell them Olddog sent you!

Name THREE of your........

1. Pet Peeves:

Bad Drivers
       Cell Phones

2. Favorite Sounds:

Baby's laugh
       A jet engine
       Sound of an old diesel powered vessel accelerating through the water

3. Desk Items:

Letter opener
       Old coffee cup full of pens

4. Biggest Fears:

       Being caught in the open without a weapon (I'm old and don't move too fast)
       Freezing to death

5. Biggest Challenges:

Adapting to handicaps
       Waking up
       Staying sober

6. Newest 'Toys':

Deck Bag
       CDRW drive

7. Most Used Words:

And so it goes ...
       But I digress ...
       It's my fault, I'm sorry.

8. Most Mispelled Words:


9. Favorite Disney Characters:

       Scrooge McDuck

10. Bookmarks on Your Homepage:
       So This Is A Treadmill
       What's New, Pussycat?

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Sunday Brunch #86 - Flowers

"Arranging a bowl of flowers in the morning can give a sense of quiet in a crowded day - like writing a poem, or saying a prayer." - Anne Morrow Lindbergh

1) If you had a wedding, what flowers did you have at your wedding?

Magnolias graced our wedding ceremony.

2) What is your favorite flower?


3) Do you have flowers as part of your landscaping outside or your interior decor?

I have a hydrangea and some rosa rugosa.  Everything else is wild, except for lilac and apple blossoms in the Spring. Some of the wall paper has flowers. It is left over from previous owners. The silk flowers that my wife carried as a bouquet now form a garlad over our bed.

4) If you went to your high school prom(s), what kind of flower did you wear in your corsage or boutonniere?

An ordinary, unadulterated, white carnation poked through the buttonhole on the lapel of my tuxedo.

5) Do you like to receive flowers as a gift or do you think it is a waste of money?

They're so extravagant, I think they approach the "silly thing to spend money on" category. SWMBO disagrees. She wins.  Get your own Sunday Brunch - click the link and sign up for the mailing list.

Have a great Sunday, folks. The fog is lifting and it is time to get my ass in gear. Heading towards the coast with a friend of SWMBO. Time to get some pretty pictures to grace these pages, so to speak. To my stepson Matt and his family, I offer my positive thoughts for your safety and survival this day. Hunker down. Blue skies will return.


Unconscious Mutterings #86

Free Association is a kick. Take a minute, concentrate, read a word and type a response. It's easy. It's fun. No gerbils were mutilated to create the list of words this week, although the voles under the porch may have been terrorized by repeated assaults by the three remaining kittens and the garter snakes ... And so it goes.

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

1. Diminishing:: Returns
2. Fed up:: End of my rope
3. 3:00 AM:: And all is well
4. Interfere:: reception
5. Often:: Never
6. Hay:: Fever
7. Prediction:: Fortune Teller
8. Homophobia:: Homosexual
9. Booty call:: Strip club
10. Enunciate:: Clearly

Get your own words for free from LunaNiña - just click the button!

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Saturday, September 25, 2004

Saturday Six #24

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Every Saturday, Patrick provides six questions; you supply the answers. Click on the banner above to get yours. My answers appear below in red.

Saturday Six - Episode 24

1. Who is the last person you took a photograph of?

My wife was the last human subject I photographed. I mostly shoot other things than humans.

2. What decade do you hold the most dear and why?

I'm an old beatnik & flower child of the sixties. Civil Rights, folk music, Jack Kerouac & Ken Kesey, Arthur Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Richard & Mimi Fariña, The Kingston Trio, jug band music - that was my era.

3. Take the quiz: What mystical creature are you?

ex v
You're a Vampire. Vampires were the creatures of
the night that were believed to live off of
human blood. Count Dracula, being the most
famous vampire, set the stereotype. They had
dark hair and pale skin from being away from
the sunlight. If they actually existed, it's
very possible they had the skin disease that
made you allergic to the sun so whenever the
sunlight would hit it, it would hurt like
crazy. They were usually snobbish and control
freaks and kept werewolves as pets.

What Mystical Creature Are You? (Pictures)
brought to you by Quizilla

4. What is your favorite alcoholic beverage?

Bourbon. With or without ice. In a social or business setting, in a highball glass with soda and lots of ice. Of course, as an alcoholic, clean and sober for over sixteen years, the strongest beveridge consumed these days is decaffinated coffe. Nope, it's just not the same, I agree.

5. What do you normally wear to bed?

A t-shirt in summer, a turtleneck and long johns in winter.

6. READER'S CHOICE QUESTION #24 from Cherie: What movie character do you most identify with?

I have an affinity with Zachary Bass, the character played by Richard Harris in the 1971 movie Man In The Wilderness. Based on a true story, "this film follows the trials of Zack Bass (Richard Harris), a hunter for an expedition led by Captian Henry (John Huston. He gets malled by a bear and left to die. The crew along with Captain Henry are faced with guilt and fear he is coming to haunt them. At one point even the Indians believe he is dead. Zack survives the ordeal and uses his wits to survive. He encounters many things along the way back, that teach him just how precious life really is. The photography in this film is stunning. It is well directed and although there are very few lines in the movie, the soundtrack is beautiful. It is a pleasure to watch and you come out of this movie feeling wonderful. Highly recommended!"

Then again, I also identify with Randle Patrick McMurphy and Daryl Poynter for entirely different reasons. But I digress ...

Have a wonderful weekend. My sincerely hope that those in peril by Hurricane Jeanne's passage survive without loss of life or property. It has been a tough hurricane season. None of you need another one. For the rest of us, be safe out there. The life you save just might be mine!

Image Credit: Patrick's Place ©; Image Hosted by

Randomosity - Which Internet Subculture Are You?

As if finding out that I'm a pentultimate crazy (see below) wasn't enough, I then had to click to figure out what subculture on the Internet I belong to. Now, I've used the handle "Olddog" online and on bulletin boards before the Internet was an option for anyone other than the military. But until I saw an episode of CSI concerning this particular subculture, I didn't even know it existed. Imagine my surprise at being labeled a Furry! Do you suppose my book, Fur and Lather In The Farmyard, had anything to do with it?

Which internet subculture do I belong to? [CLICK]
You are a FURRY!
You are a sick, sick, individual. Stop lusting over animals! Take off that fursuit and quit yiffing. No-one likes furry art! STOP NOW!
More Quizzes at

Randomosity - How To Make A You

There I was, minding my own business, reading a blog or two when Shelly's CyberChocolate blog had this button that said push me or some such. So I did. This is what I got for my trouble:

How to make an Olddog learn new tricks

5 parts competetiveness

5 parts crazyiness

5 parts ego
Stir together in a glass tumbler with a salted rim. Add lovability to taste! Do not overindulge!

Friday, September 24, 2004

Weekend Assignment #25 - Elizabethan Knight Crowned!

Weekend Assignment #25

John M. Scalzi's infamous Weekend Assignment #25: Share a favorite story that features you and a sibling. For those of you that are an only child, you can substitute a cousin or a best friend.

Extra Credit: Need I say? Pictures, baby! Pictures from the past are good, but recent pictures of you and the siblings are just peachy, too.

You can get your own Weekend Assignment by visiting John at his By The Way journal where he plies his trade as a blogging guru to the AOL Journals Community.

Dear John,

Another equinox, another hangover. Got to stop celebrating sidereal events with Grape Nehi. But I digress...

I hope you are making great strides on the Rough Guide to Science Fiction Movies. By the way, I checked for Old Man's War at B. Dalton's the other day. They are predicting availability on January 31, 2005. What's up with that? I have it at the top of my Christmas list for 2004. Should I be looking for another choice for reading material this Noel? Or are they just jerking my chain?

We've been having a great week of weather here. Crisp, clear sunny days, great sleeping weather at night. If only it could last a while longer. I got a kick out of your photo of the end of summer garden. Gardeners here are still waiting for tomatoes to turn red. It is a race against time, now. Will blossom end rot or frost be the winner this year, or will there be bushels of green tomatoes hardening off in spare bedrooms, wrapped individually in newspaper with prayers for even a partial harvest? We have had slightly more than half the sunny days this summer than we had last year, some 47% fewer days with temperatures above 75° this year than last and nearly twice the rainfall this summer as compared to summer 2003. Gardens are a disaster area, except for coolth loving greens like kale and kohlrabi, cabbage, brussel sprouts and broccoli. Other things are officially 'not doing so well.'

So you want a tale of my siblings. How about the bloodcurdling tale of the day that Ricky became a knight ... and damn near lost his ears in the process?

I have two siblings, both brothers, both younger than I. One is living, just a few miles away, in fact. He's the youngest. Then there was my middle brother. Let's call him Ricky (no protection for the guilty and the dead).

Ricky came along when I was barely a year and a half old and really upset the apple cart, you know? *I* was supposed to be the center of attention. *I* was the apple of my father's eye. But no, Ricky had to come along and have attention focused on him. On his long lashes and naturally curly hair. On his remarkable resemblance to my maternal grandfather and my mother's brother.  It was a scion of the old country, according to these first and second generation Irish-Americans, no doubt about it. I hated him from the start.

I hated him and I took out my anger on him about the abandonment I felt, real or perceived, every chance I got. I pinched and I poked and I bedeviled the little sucker until his squalling brought my poor mother running to see what was the matter. I, of course, got my little bottom paddled for my efforts. As we grew older, the punishments grew stronger in keeping with the grief I'd give the kid. Then baby brother came along and I resigned myself to having no chance of ever regaining that exalted position I'd once held. My attacks on little Ricky moderated in frequency even as they grew more sophisticated. 

We were living in Pennsylvania in a tiny two bedroom cottage named "Windy Woods." Naturally, I took him for a walk in the woods and somehow managed to leave him behind. Wouldn't you know it, Jet, the family cocker spaniel, led him home again. I figure the dog did it simply to get rid of him, he was screaming his head off so loudly at the outrage of abandonment!  Let him know how it felt, didn't I?

One late spring day, I was three going on four, we were all three of us playing in the backyard under the watchful eyes of the aforementioned spaniel while my mother attempted to get the kitchen in order or some other household chores, looking out on us now and then to be sure all was right in the world.  (This was back in the early 1950's.  It was an innocent, naive time.  The Lindbergh Baby kidnapping had been many years prior and child snatching wasn't all the rage the way it has become of late.  Kids played by themselves outdoors, without lots of oppressive supervision in those days.  It was another era, sadly long gone.)  We were playing some kind of game involving helmets and stick swords and knights in shining armor.  We improvised.  I had an old angel food cake pan form as the "King's Crown," the kind that the center cone lifts out to make it easier to extract the cake after cooking.  Somehow, I managed to persuade Ricky to allow me to knight him.  Seems this involved a transfer of the crown to his head, which I then seated onto his noggin firmly with a couple of whacks of my trusty sword.  Encountering resistance in the form of aural appendages, I hauled off and gave the crown a mighty smote with my beknighting tool and faster than you can say "Bob's yer Uncle," the crown was over the offending obstructions and gracing the neck of the screaming, crying, little pain in the... er, brother.

Sadly, the moment of my crowning glory, (so to speak) was brought up short by the not so dulcet tones of my mother inquiring as to the nature of what had befallen middle brother and how much was he bleeding?  For "surely, any kid screaming that long and that loudly must be bleeding severely and Oh my God, what have you done?"

And I had truly done it this time.  Ricky was inconsolable with his aluminum crown around his neck, blood dripping from both skinned ears and completely unable to see over the rim of the cake pan.  I'd already attempted silencing the little buzzard but all attempts at removing the offending cookware were to no avail.  It was on there, but good. 

Mother tried water. Then dish detergent (he only screamed louder, the little wuss. Something about burning...) and glycerin and rose water. No luck. The only thing coming off was my mother's belt in anticipation of whipping me within an inch of my life, not undeservedly, I hasten to add, lest you think her an ogre.  It was necessary to maintain some semblance of order.  Three boys, all with less than two years separating them from the next sibling, were more than a handful. We were a nightmare. Cowboys and Indians. Soldiers. Bomber and fighter pilots.  From dawn until well past dark, we were a boiling mass of needs and contradictions.  But I digress...

Despite her best efforts and the efforts of some neighbors, the cake tin was winning. There was nothing to it. Professional help would be required to remedy the situation. So we all piled into the 1953 Chevrolet sedan and drove into the village to the blacksmith's shop.

The blacksmith found the whole situation amusing at first. However, by this point, little Ricky was no longer just upset, he was in a rage. He was terrified of pain (with me as a brother, who could blame him) and frightened by strangers. Particularly big, dirty men with greasy black hair, a stubbly beard and broken finger nails holding a blow torch in his hand! Ricky was having none of it. The blacksmith no sooner laid a hand on that cake tin than Ricky commenced with a scream of rage, frustration and fear so loud it brought at least a half-dozen mothers, the mechanics from the garage across the street, Mrs. Beatty - the volunteer fire chief, and the local constable all running.

It took all of them to hold him down. One on each arm, two on each leg, another held his head still, others soothed him, some soothed the littlest one and my mother, I sat there in complete awe at the hullabaloo this little snot was raising. Slowly, inexorably, the blacksmith cut into the rim of the cake tin with a hacksaw, then down through the tough aluminum with tin snips, then hack sawing through the bend of the metal at the bottom of the sidewall where it forms a small shelf to support the bottom and the cone. Finally, with sweat pouring down his face and all of our eardrums near bursting, he snipped through the last part of the "Elizabethan Crown of Angels" as I'd referred to it when Knighting Ricky in the first place. Angels, my ass.

Ricky never forgave me, not that I blame him. He grew up to be a tough-minded competitor, able to handle whatever was dished out.  At least that's the way it seemed most of the time. But he never let me near him with an angel food cake tin ever again, either.

Sadly, Dr. Ricky is no longer with us. All photos of the event were long ago destroyed by the injured party in the hopes of memories fading in time (fat chance that your brothers would forget THAT one).  Rest in peace.
Well, John, that's what you missed by not having three boys in the space of four years. Kiss Athena on the forehead for me tonight, give Krissy a hug and thank your lucky stars that birth control is easy and affordable today. 

Grins and giggles,


Thursday, September 23, 2004

What Type of Social Entity are You?

I was reading blogs last night and came across an entry in shellys555's CyberChocolate Jr. that intrigued me. So I followed the link and this resulted:

The Lone Wolf
Category V - The Lone Wolf

Though you'd be welcome in most groups, you prefer a more solitary path.

What Type of Social Entity are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Autumn Haiku

Dark, rich, moist, fecund,
Tropical vegetation.
Summer's end is near.
Posted by Hello

"Dick Cheney's Modeling Days Aren't Over Yet..."

Image credit: Metrospy!

Posted by Hello

Special thanks to that tail-wagging little bitch known as Wonkette for bringing this to our attention.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Monday Madness

Otto is showing signs of stress. This is "all" he could come up with this week! I'd sure hate to see a week when he was spot on... "Write a 1500 word discourse on carrots in the past tense. No carrot cake allowed. Extra credit will be awarded by finishing before sundown."

You can get a copy of the questions for yourself by clicking on the Monday Madness logo. My answers are in red and follow Otto's questions. Except for fill in the blank. You'll understand completely by nightfall...

1. My sectional sofa is the most used piece of furniture in my house.
2. The one electronic 'gadget' that I use most often is my
3. My favorite appliance, and the one I absolutely cannot live without is the
washing machine
4. One thing that I thought I just HAD to have at one time, and I now barely ever use, is my
police scanner
5. I find it easiest to keep in touch with family and friends via
6. I own more cd's (or other music media) than I do
7. All my important addresses are stored in/on my
8. If I had to live without TWO keys on my keyboard, I would choose the "Brackets/curly brackets" keys.
9. I probably own about
pieces of software that I haven't used in years.
10. There are a few food items that I try NEVER to run out of, and those would be
flour, salt, and sugar - you can make biscuits or coffee cake, if nothing else

Have a great day folks. Do at least one random act of kindness today, just to prove to yourself you can.

Sunday Brunch II

"It's like deja vu all over again."

There's another new player on the block, except she's official. Everyone, give a big Blogger welcome to
Erica of Moira's Little World. She's the new headmistress of The Sunday Brunch.

Like all good headmistresses, Erica is concerned that her charges get off on the right foot, so to speak. So this week's meme concerns your preferences for school supplies. Kinky!

School Supplies!

1) Do you prefer wide rule or college rule notebook paper? I like college rule paper, but lately my carpal tunnel syndrome has become so severe and painful that grasping a pen that hard to make the precise movements necessary to stay remotely within the designated line is literally beyond my grasp. So, like it or not, I'm working with fat pens and fatter lines.

2) What is your favorite writing instrument? My all-time favorite is a cartridge fountain pen. Messy, leak-prone, but the flow of the ink onto a page of quality coated paper is superb. The ability to vary the width of my line and thus the weight of my words - priceless. First runner-up is a gel ball point; second runner-up is a Pentel Number 5 (5mm) mechanical pencil.

3) What is the one office or school supply that you can’t live without? White-out.

4) Staples or paper clips?
I like both, depending on the intended use. But my ultimate holder is the "binder clip", blue spring steel with wire bail handles. Able to hold an entire manuscript together, in the larger sizes. Available from the micro-mini to the truly gargantuan.

5) Describe the contents of the top of your desk. It's a pig sty, I tell you. Left to right, front to back, I have a stack of current mail, bills and projects. Behind is my secondary printer and stacked thereon is a 10-pack of 100MB zip discs, a stack of catalogs, a green enameled, cast iron string dispenser anchors the catalogs from the force of the air flowing from the fan. Moving to the right, there's a cell phone, a ziplock baggy of rechargeable batteries, an old Pringles can with a slot cut into the top, jammed full of coupons of the sides of Marlboro packs (so-called "Marlboro Miles"), a headband, a mini B/W TV/AM/FM/WX radio unit, a flat Rolodex file, a jar of chocolate chips with the original "chicken schmaltz" label, a 30 tier holder for zip disks and a 16 ounce red plastic beer cup filled with pens, pencils and culch.

Directly in front of me is a remote thermometer/hygrometer sending unit, an architect's scale, a 28.8 Courier Dual Standard modem, a six switch electrical unit, a handheld calculator or two, a couple of Epi-pens (expired), a box of lancets, a comb, a laser light I use for tormenting the dog and cat, an inkjet refill box, a small electric torch, a small sheath knife, a computer mike, an assortment of hair elastics depending from the microphone, a coffee cup made by my brother filled with pens and screwdrivers, a carved duck and loon in wood, painted, a soapstone whistle, a 35mm film canister with screws and miscellaneous hardware for the computer, a 19" monitor with a half dozen phone books stacked thereon, a very small analog clock (busted alarm) a dozen pill bottles filled with change, a stop watch, a pocket watch and a packet of pop-up index tabs, a drill sizer from the Handyman's Club of America, a wooden caterpillar pull toy and the speakers for my computer as well as the keyboard.

On the right we have an external tape back-up, a zip drive, an answering machine, an all-in-one printer/copier/scanner/fax, a box of Kleenex, a flatbed scanner, a stack of envelopes containing 35mm photo prints and negatives, a stack of post-it notes, about 100 3 1/2" floppy disks, a bunch of CD's and CDRW's, another couple of boxes of inkjet inks, a can of compressed air and a telephone.

There you have it. The second Sunday Brunch for this week. Enjoy the riches. We'll be back to pauper's repasts in a week or so.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Sunday Brunch ... The Tradition Continues

My hat's off to Danielled1 who has picked up the fallen mantle and proposes to carry on's time for Sunday Brunch!

"Due to a series of unfortunate events in Jeanne's life, who used to host Sunday Brunch each week, she is taking a hiatus, but I am going to be filling in while she is gone, at least here for you guys."

Thanks to Dalyce for help with this week's topic.

So, without further ado, the next edition of Sunday Brunch.


1. Regular joe, fancy frothy stuff, or none at all?
Regular Joe, although I like the varietals, Kona, Jamaican Blue Mountain, Nicaraguan, Ethiopian Ebony and the like. Can't stand "flavored coffees" - so much swill to me.

2. Decaf or regular?
Sadly, post-CABG only decaf am I allowed. High test gives me tachycardia and that can lead to a trip to the ER. No fun, expensive, unnecessary.

3. Do you know how to make a good pot of coffee? Who taught you?
Sure, doesn't everyone? I'm self-taught on the perk and drip methods, was taught to make woods coffee and sling coffee by old Maine Guides.

4. Coffee breath – good or bad thing?
As a coffee lover, it's an aphrodesiac. I can see where it might gross out the tea and soda types amongst uss. Then again, I used to smoke and that was enough to bring complaints from non-smokers as I passed by in the office, so it depends on your olfactory sensitivity, I guess.

5. If you were a coffee, what would your name and description be?
Hermit's Hovel - a unique blend of Columbian, Ethiopian, French Roast, Italian Roast and Hawaiian Kona. Full body, rich aroma, toothsome. May contain bird feathers, cat hair and other adulterants, as we make Hermit's Hovel by sweeping up stray beans from around the grinder every week.

Unconcious Mutterings # 85

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Patricia over at Unconcious Mutterings has conjured another list to focus your mind upon and share a glimpse of its inner working with the rest of us. You Rock, Girl!

Week 85

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

1. Pointless:: death
2. Sadistic:: bastard
3. Bunny:: wabbit
4. Betrayal:: Shakespeare
5. Oliver:: Twist
6. Star Wars:: Lucasfilm
7. Let it ride:: Roulette
8. Ray of light:: Dan Wheeler's "Happy Freaking Ray of Goddamn Sunshine"
9. Tight:: wad, ass
10. Gadget:: guru, freak

Those are my answers. You can get your own words at the link above or make your own list off the top of your head.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usUnconcious Mutterings

Have a great Sunday, folks.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Talk Like A Pirate Day

Posted by Hello

Most of you are familiar with Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson from your reading, or the movies or television. Take it to heart, take it to the limit, take it to the max. This is what you get:

Avast Me Hearties, "Bloody Sam Read" here. I be advising you that tomorrow, the Lord's Day, Sunday, September 19, is the "International Talk Like A Pirate Day." Your participation is desired, matey. So skip the pious mutterings, you gobs, and get your barnacled arses in gear. You've sails to strike, decks a needin' swabbing, they do. Cannon to clean, swords to sharpen, clothes to wash. Look lively now, man the 'buckle boys, let's haul anchor and get under way...

It is a day to act and talk like a pirate and to give some thought to the role of pirates in literature and history. It is the brainchild of two Yanks, Mark "Cap'n Slappy" Summers and John "Ol' Chumbucket" Baur. It has captured the imaginations of impressionable folk the world over, particularly those whose lives are already touched by the sea.

It doesn't require too much effort on your part. Stop off, answer a few questions and get yourself a pirate name at the pirate name generator. Then it's off to visit Chumbucket and Cap'n Slappy's site, the official "Talk Like A Pirate Day" web site, to brush up on pirate lore and stuff so you sound more like the real ting and less like a swashbuckler from the Saturday Morning Cartoons on CBS.

Swing by the British TLAPD site, Mad Cap'n Tom's, for your free poster. Visit a few sites in the Pirate's Web Ring, accessible from either site. Buy a book, a game or just a song. Wander in to the Pirate's Pub, grab a wench or a wino and have yourself a little fun, if you get me drift.

Above all, have some fun with it. Aaargh!

Friday, September 17, 2004

Politics - Republicans and Bush

Remote Image Posting by Hello

Don't let my looks fool you. I'm a Republican at heart. One of the not so rare breed that the current administration likes to call "RHINO's - Republicans In Name Only." They do that to marginalize folks like me that disagree with them. The RNC has never been the party of inclusivity, despite what they'd like you to believe when they televise the convention. I am a fiscally conservative, socially moderate, cussedly independent in my thinking and I fail to spout the party line more often than not.

I have come to the conclusion that re-electing George Bush and Dick Cheney & Co. could be the biggest mistake for the future of this nation that the electorate could have made in the past 50 years. Far more damaging than electing Richard Nixon to a second term, despite all of the signs in evidence of mental instability, political shenanigans and wrong-doing on a scale unseen in the White House for a long time. More damaging than allowing the Democrats to overwhelm President George Bush in 1992. More damaging than all the crap foisted upon this nation by the Democratic presidents and Democratic Congresses during that same time period. Far more damaging than allowing Ronald Reagan a second term, despite the evidence that the assassination attempt had left him with lingering mental issues which were later exacerbated by Alzheimer's disease. This could be as earth shattering as dropping H-bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan.

So, am I a hypocrite? A RHINO in truth? That's for you to decide. But before you take ME to task, I suggest you take the following quiz and see whether you have a problem with reality, stupidity or hypocrisy yourself. It starts about six paragraphs down the entry.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Computers - Software: Talk To The Hand

“It always struck me as quite ironic that I can search the Internet faster than my own hard drive, and that the results of a Google search are always so much easier to understand, as opposed to a huge list of filenames that I need to sort through....” says Dave Collins, one of the pundits at Lockergnome.

There were over 50,000 files on this machine the last time I noted such things. But which one has the recipe for SWMBO’s maw-maw’s King Kake? (Answer: none. The wife doesn’t cook. It’s just an example. Carry on as you were)

The advent of longer filename strings in Windoze has made it somewhat easier. Instead of the 8.3 / filename.ext DOS convention, say “TGMKCAKE.TXT” you can now have “THE WIFES GRANDMOTHERS KING KAKE RECIPE.TXT”.

OK. Now, try to find that on a hard drive with 50M files. Oh, and make it the one with anise, not the one with raisins - SWMBO loathes raisins.

Enter Filehand Search v2.0. Dave Collins can’t praise it enough in his September 10 article describing the new release.

All I can add to the discussion is I have used Filehand for longer than I can remember and I would be lost without it. Try it -- it’s donationware without nag screens or annoying popups. Its fast, thorough and what the “Find” utility in Windows should have been.

For Windows 2000 and Windows XP only. Not available for Windows 3.1, 95, 98, 98se or ME.

SWMBO= She Who Must Be Obeyed

News -- Be careful what you say on the net

Online publishing is not outside the law nor should it be, argues technology commentator Bill Thompson.

Seems the BBC got its huevos in a wringer. "The debate about who is responsible for material published on the internet took an interesting turn this week when the Sunday Herald newspaper paid former Nato secretary-general George Robertson undisclosed damages after admitting it had libelled him on its website."

Read the full article here and keep it in mind the next time you might be tempted to libel John Kerry or George Bush, Wil!

Monday, September 13, 2004

Photography -- New Lens Banishes Blurry Snaps

According to this report out of BBC NEWS, a "specially shaped camera lens and processing method to ensure images are always in focus has been developed."

Blurry photos are caused by a loss of information

Aimed primarily at military night vision scopes, the technology is likely to show up in cell phone camera systems. Wouldn't that be a blessing. An end to blurry, out-of-focus, low resolution cell phone snapshots. Be still, my heart.

Moody Monday

Moody Monday -- Lonely
©1999, 2004 Wil Mosher All Rights Reserved. Posted by Hello

Definition: lonely

1. Without companions; lone.
2. Characterized by aloneness; solitary.

2. Unfrequented by people; desolate: a lonely crossroads.

1. Dejected by the awareness of being alone.
2. Producing such dejection: the loneliest night of the week.

It is odd, but I am rarely lonely. My brothers were and are mostly the same way. I am able to spend extended periods of time alone with just myself to keep me occupied and I am just fine with that.

I trace it to being forced to spend every waking moment in high school with other young men in a boarding school after my mother died. There was no reasonable expectation of privacy. If it wasn't a roommate, an upper classman beating on you for simply existing, a kind-hearted professor or priest or their spouses looking in on the new kid, or one of the "Monitors" checking to make sure you have lights out at curfew - you just never had a moment's peace.

I served as an altar boy, which meant I was up at 5:45AM to be at the Chapel at 6AM for the early morning service every other week for seven days straight. Curfew was 11PM. The rest of the time was spent in the company of others. For an overly sensitive, grieving little snot, accustomed since the age of 10 to having his own room, this was a miserable state of affairs.

I've been a "Serial Loner" ever since. I have an exaggerated need to be alone. If I don't get enough alone time I go crazy, relationships deteriorate and the old dog starts growling at the world, howling at the moon and stars. This has been an element in all of my failed relationships and marriages since high school. Women want "togetherness" -- my pathological need to be alone much of the time is the antithesis and is received, perceived, as rejection.

I like to be "alone." I get into trouble when I get "lonely" and go off seeking companionship. A recurring thread in my life. And so it goes ...

Monday Madness

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Otto says, "A few weeks ago, when I was using questions submitted by our participants, I received a full set of questions to this one..... If you could start your own meme (And you can!), what kind of questions would you ask? So I thought I'd use them; thank you Mom, for offering these and for allowing me to use them!!"

You can get your own personal copy of the questions over at Otto's web site or by clicking the button below. Don't forget to post a comment at Otto's site with a link back to yours. My answers are in red. Your mileage will vary. You thought maybe you were special???

1. You are given 1 million dollars. You must give it all away before the donor gives you $1 million. Who would you give it to?

Primarily I'd donate to literacy organizations, the local library, the Carnegie Foundation (if it is still funding libraries) and the organization that makes LARGE PRINT and Braille books available to those who have sight impairments.

2. If you had $1 million what would you do with it FIRST?

Pay the IRS share, then my debts. Then I'd set up an annuity to provide for my wife after I am gone. That would eat up most of it as the interest rates today are so low that the return on a million dollars is less than $40,000 a year if placed in T-bills, for instance.

3. Do you participate in lotteries? Rarely.

4. Name 3 of your best physical features.

My eyes, my hair, and my ears. The rest of me is only suitable for dog meat.

5. ..... 3 of your biggest virtues.

Patience ... revenge is a dish best served cold. Ruthlessness ... I get the job done, obstacles in the way not withstanding. I have other skills -- none are virtues.

6. ......3 of you biggest vices.

Years ago, it was booze, cigarettes and coffee. They ruined my health. Now there is chocolate - but they are taking it away due to my diabetes. Soon, I'll be so goddam pure, I'll blow away!
(Do you suppose swearing belongs on the list?)

7. ...... 3 of your favorite pleasures in life.

Grandchildren, sex, and rising to see another day.

8. If you were a member of the opposite sex, what would you choose to do for your occupation?

Bear children. Bare children. Turn tricks. Hell, I don't know. What else do women do that men can't?

9. If you were to come back after death as another animal, what animal would you choose to be?

A predator. A dolphin, actually. They're predators, pod animals with highly evolved social structures.

10. What kind of 'baby' are you... Water, clouds, beach, garden?

Geez, didn't I answer this recently??? I'm a water baby.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Unconscious Mutterings - Week 84

Week 84
13 hours ago

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

1. Self-esteem::poor
2. Migraine::headache
3. Phoebe::Cates
4. Nervous::Nellie
5. Punctual::anal
6. Liver damage::booze
7. Legal disclaimer::software license
8. Reverend::Jerry Falwell
9. Supple::leather
10. Binder::ring

Get your own words at "Unconscious Mutterings."

PTSD Cures - 09/11/2001

If you're like me, you get a bit somber and depressed after thinking too much on the events and the aftermath of September 11, 2001. A friend of mine in South Africa, no stranger to post-traumatic stress, sent the following years ago to help relieve the symptoms. It brought a smile to my face this morning when I stumbled upon it looking for something else. Here's hoping it has the same effect on you.


Drive to work in reverse
Braid the hair in each nostril
Dance naked in front of your pets
Pay your electricity bill in one cent coins
Tattoo "Out to lunch" on your own forehead
Find out what a frog in a blender really looks like
Forget weight watchers and send yourself a candygram
Make a list of "Things to do" that you have already done
Make up a language and ask people in the street directions
Jam 29 tiny marshmallows up your nose and try to sneeze them out
When someone says "Have a nice day" tell them you have other plans
Leaf through a "National Geographic" and draw underwear on the natives
Go shopping for clothing, buy everything, sweat in it, return it the next day
Start a nasty rumour and see if you can recognize it when it comes back to you
Stare at people through the holes in a fork and pretend they are all in jail
Send your doctor a bill for the times you spent in his waiting room
Lie on your back eating celery, using your navel as a salt dipper
Read a dictionary upside down and look for a secret message
Pop some popcorn without putting the lid on
Fill in your tax returns in Roman numerals
Use your MasterCard to pay your VisaCard
Polish your car with ear wax

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Saturday Six #21

As I slowly pack and haul my stuff off AOL, more and more will appear here. Like this - The Saturday Six. I am making this move like porcupines making love - very carefully.

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Well, kiddies, despite a severe case of "foot 'n mouth" disease, Patrick (pattboy92) rose from his sickbed and provided us once again with annoying, intrusive queries into the folds and wrinkles of our minds. I got my questions over here. You can too, if you want to play along. My answers are in red.

1. With about 50 days left until the election, you suddenly have the chance to recast the two presidential candidates. Who would you want to replace Bush and Kerry?

Well, in my omniscient wisdom, I'd place Secretary of State Colin Powell, with former Senator and Secretary of Defense William Cohen as his running mate in the Republican's slot. Former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell and Senator Hillary Rodham-Clinton would make good foils for the Democratic ticket, don't you think? Of course, my bias is showing here -- I truly want to see an intelligent, moderate Republican take office. I have had enough of puppet governments run by unelected hard-line crazies.

2. What color would you never wear in your wardrobe?


3. Other than a journal, what was the last website you visited?

I think it was the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce site last night. Nope, it was the Verizon site, about 4 o'clock this morning when I was looking for DSL deals.

4. Have you ever had the exact same dream more than once? Have you ever had a dream one night pick up where the last night's dream left off?

Yes. I have several recurring dreams. I have also had recurring serial dreams, too. Just because I am deeply disturbed doesn't mean I don't dream all the time.

5. Which is more organized: your kitchen, your medicine cabinet, your computer desk, your office, or your car?

Hobson's Choice - None of the above. At the present moment, the bedroom is the most organized room in the house. Of the list above, my car is the least disorganized. Then again, it isn't able to be driven, so there hasn't been much opportunity to mess it up beyond what it was when parked.

6. READER'S CHOICE QUESTION #22 from Robin: Are you a native of the state you currently reside in? If not, how many states have you lived in since the state you're a native of?

No, I have the misfortune of wandering this earth as a "stateless" man, having been born in the District of Columbia. At last count, I have resided in five states during my lifetime. Excluding foreign countries.

Have a good weekend and let's be safe out there. And take a moment in recognition of the day they stole your children's peace of mind. I fear for the sanity of these children. Truly.

Friday, September 10, 2004


[Note - I wish I'd been the one to write this. Hat's off to Sam Spade (a truly loony conspiracy theorist) for finding it... wil]


What Plague Are YOU?

I was being a good boy. No, really I was!
Then I came to Cyber Chocolate Jr and
The Shells had this Quizilla quiz
about Which Plague are You. That's all it took...

st. anthony's fire
Congratulations! You have St. Anthony's Fire! Today
known as Ergotism, this illness is caught
through ingestion of a fungal infection of grain,
usually rye. If you are not already, you
soon are going to be suffering from dizziness,
hallucinations, and a sensation of burning in
the limbs, thus giving the disease its name. It
could result in gangrene. The good news: there
is a 60% chance you will survive it! The bad
news? You will wish you had not. You will have
lingering symptoms for the rest of your life,
including mental impairment and being more
susceptible to it in the future rather than
having immunity. You probably live in a rural
town undergoing a very wet winter to have
caught this skin-reddening sickness.

Which Medieval Plague Do You Have?
brought to you by Quizilla

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Monday Madness - Labor

Well, Otto's mom offers up the questions for consideration this week. Sad to say, my answers do absolutely nothing to dispel those Monday Blues on a Tuesday. But then again, for those who had Labor Day off, this is your Monday. And there's nothing much in the workplace worse than two Mondays, is there?

You can get your own personal copy of the questions over at Otto's web site or by clicking the button below. Don't forget to post a comment at Otto's site with a link back to yours. My answers are in red. Your mileage will vary.

1. Please tell us a little bit about your job (or your classes).

I'll tell you about my old job as I am not working now. I was a glorified building inspector -- a one man band for a small community. I did all enforcement of local ordinances, all building, plumbing, electrical, mechanical and fire safety inspections. In addition I was liaison for the local Planning Board, serving as its paid planner, the local Zoning Board of Appeals and whatever committees I was dumped on over the years.

2. Do you enjoy your job?

Yes, for the most part. I didn't like making decisions that would put someone out of their home or in front of a judge.

3. What would make your job more satisfying for you?

Help. During the nine years in the community I worked for, I presided over nearly 50 million dollars of construction and infrastructure development, processed and reviewed close to 2000 building permits, including construction of more than 180 homes. I had a part-time plumbing inspector and some secretarial help from the clerks out front, if they could manage it. The rest I did myself.

4. Name one thing you don't like about your job.

The lack of a social life. I routinely worked 18 hour days. I grew fat and out of shape. I literally lived and breathed my job, rather than my life. I burned out and my health reflects that.

5. Do you feel you are compensated adequately for what you do?

No. We are talking local government. Compensation stunk.

6. Any thoughts on social security and health benefits?

Frankly, if we, through our collective effort as a nation, cannot provide cost-effective health care then the time has come to mandate that employers provide it. As a nation we have no excuse for over 45 million residents to be without insurance other than laziness and temerity. It may cost us a few bombers and ships, but they are becoming less and less important in the new global war on terrorism. It is a conundrum as to how we will fund Social Security, however. I suspect that one of these days, a moderate Democrat or Republican administration will grab that colossal bull by the horns, freeze COLA increases to start and eventually adjust the method of figuring the COLA to the point where an SRO (single room occupancy - like an old-style boarding house, you rent a room and share bathing and cooking facilities), bread, water andpharmaceuticals will be all you can afford on Social Security retirement benefits. The economic realities of BOSWASH, California, Chicago and most costal areas of this nation are such that we are there already in those places.

7. What are your thoughts on the current minimum wage?

It is a joke. It fails the intended purpose.

8. What kind of advice do you (or would you) give your children regarding their future and their career choices?

If you are professional or semiprofessional, you will have a minimum of three careers in your lifetime. There is no longer any purpose or value to thinking the "company" will provide for you so no company loyalty is required. Do something that makes you happy, that engages your mind and your heart. Never stop learning for learning truly is a lifelong process. As to what to get into? Over half the professional and technical jobs were unheard of just twenty years ago -- I'm not that good at prognosticating the far future. So find what interests you now and go for it. Except in very rare instances, college or trade school will be required for entry level positions. Truly, if this nation is going to turn its fortunes around from the current downhill slide, sixteen year education provided by us, the government, will be mandatory -- there's too much to learn to think it can be done in twelve years.

9. What is your 'dream job?'

A job that can be done from my home at hours of my choosing. I rarely go more than four hours without falling asleep, so I need to be able to put the work down and resume when I awaken. There are damn few jobs in this world that even brush the neighborhood of that description. Fifty years ago, I'd have been dead by now, so I have that to be thankful for.

10. At what age will you be (or were you) able to retire?

Sadly, I am involuntarily retired already -- just not eligible for a pension or disability. Assuming I will be able to go back to work someday, I will work until I die -- it is highly unlikely I'll ever see a drop of Social Security. While your life expectancy as a middle-aged adult might be late seventies, mine is sixty -- if I am very lucky. It's just the way things go.