Sunday, July 29, 2007

John M. Scalzi's Weekend Assignment #176: What's Overrated

For this week's Weekend Assignment, I thought it would be fun and interesting to think of all the things think too much has been made of: The overrated.

Weekend Assignment #176: Tell us of one piece of culture -- book, movie, album, painting, play, architectural "masterpiece," whatever -- that you think is wildly overrated. Note I said to focus on an object, not the artist: for example, explain why Sgt. Pepper's is overrated, not The Beatles, or The Godfather, not Francis Ford Coppola.

Extra Credit: Have you ever changed your mind about how good a book, movie, etc., was? You know, you read a book once, hate it, come back to it several years later and find out it wasn't so bad after all.

Dear John,

Hope this missive finds you hale and hearty, with all dependants likewise. Things remain the same around the old home place. The burdocks are knee high to a giraffe, the kitten on the porch has decided I'm not so bad, because I bring it food each morning, but my wife remains unable to catch the furry little feline and the dog is still the devil incarnate in its little blue eyes.

Heat has been this week's theme. In the eighties and nineties. In Maine! In July! Who'd a thunk it? The air conditioner needs recharging in the car and doesn't work at all in the “blimpmobile” but that'll have to wait until the snow flies before we've saved the money needed to fix them. Being poor sucks. Speaking of sucking, the bloodsuckers at the town office have upped taxes again this year. I am now paying the equivalent of buying a used car every year to keep them in paper towels and sharpies. And there's a new hatch of black flies eager for my vital fluids to aid in their reproductive process. I thought they were bad here, until I saw this video that Miss Shauney made of the experience she and Dr. Garth had camping on the Scottish Moors last week ... positively makes the black horde here look anemic.

This week marks the fourth anniversary of the birth of The Daily Snooze, if such things were able to celebrate or be born, for that matter. Not that it matters, really. I still have thirty or forty visitors a week. With the overall paranoia of the populace ratcheting up into the stratospheric range in response to the administration's machinations, this bit of fluff and stroke is of “no nevermind” in the grand scheme of things. No new directions planned for the Snooze as we head into the fifth year of this nonsense.

OK, time for this week's meme question. Over rated. Overblown. Most so-called “rock stars” of the day can't play their way out of a wet paper bag, but that's an easy target. Most things are overblown in this day of public relations hype and corporate bluster.

Here's one: “The March of the Penguins.” A movie that puts me to sleep. I just don't see the attraction. I hear the wind whistling over the ice, the droning of the narrator's voice, the up swell of the typical Hollywood musical score and it's like someone turned off my switch. “Poof” and I'm out like a candle. I did watch it, once. Never again. We'd bought the DVD because of the hype – that's probably the last of that type I'll ever buy again. Any way, in my lexicon, it's a prime example of “over rated” - your mileage may vary.

Do behave yourself, keep your lovely wife in the manner she wishes to become accustomed to and spank Athena for me, on general principles. By the way, your editor called. What's up with the request for the extension because you have had to deal with “hordes of Christians” - is that a case of sore loser or what?


P.S. Now, John, you know me. When my mind is made up, it's like Fort Knox -- with “Montezuma's Revenge”, that is. Of course I've changed my mind on a few of the classics. Moby Dick isn't bad at all, despite the weary slog of my high school years. “Catcher In The Rye” isn't all it's cracked up to be, as you so ably pointed out. I couldn't stand Philip K. Dick when he was alive. Now, I love his stuff. “Dahlgren” seemed pretty cool to me in my twenties – pretentious twaddle now. The likes of John D. McDonald and Robert Parker seemed to be “trailer trash” reading in the seventies and eighties – the economy of the writing, the immediacy of dialogue – pure genius from my perspective now. Wish I could write like that...

MEME: Unconcious Mutterings -- Week 234

8 hours, 24 minutes ago

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

  1. Traditional :: ballad

  2. Popeye :: The Sailor Man

  3. Gin :: & Tonic

  4. Harsh :: Mistress

  5. Topless :: Dancing

  6. The thing :: The Blob

  7. Defiant :: H.M.S.

  8. Huge :: tumor

  9. Food :: fight

  10. Lenny :: Bruce; Kravitz
    You can play along, too. Just sign up for yourself with La Luna Niña to receive email notices when the words have been posted.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

MEME: Saturday Six -- Episode 171

It appears below that Patrick has been hitting the copier fluid again. That, or I've just committed bigamy and married Otowi. Hell, even my real wife hasn't got access to my blog! I must have gone balmy in regards to Otowi, eh, what? See for yourself:

I received a comment this week from one of our regular players who suggested a good quiz that could serve as one of this week’s questions. If you’d like to ask a question here, drop me a line!

But first, Otowi of “The Daily Snooze,” was first to play last week. Congratulations, Otowi!

Here are this week’s “Saturday Six” questions. 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! To be counted as “first to play,” you must be the first player to either answer the questions in a comment or to provide a complete link to the specific entry in your journal in which you answer the questions. A link to your journal in general cannot count. Enjoy!

1. If you could forever save one kind of animal, besides human beings, from extinction, which would you choose and why?
Dolphins. Because we need an intelligent, social creature to rule the seas.

2. If you could make a pet out of a wild animal (and could guarantee that it wouldn’t go “wild,” which would you choose and why? I'd like a wolf or two to join my pack...I've always felt a strong attraction to wolves and all canids – even the hyenas.

3. Have you ever believed in the concept of “guardian angels” or “spirit animals”? Which of the two do you think are more likely to be real? No. Neither.

4. READER’S CHOICE QUESTION #97 from Otowi: Take the quiz: What is your spirit animal?

Stupid Quiz Alert. The quiz writer has slanted the ratings so that only deists and other believers in woo can score as honorable or possessing nobility – thus rendering the quiz invalid. I was ranked a Chipmunk.

5. How accurately does your spirit animal’s description fit your personality? Not in the least.

6. If you could make a pet out of your spirit animal, would you want it? No, I don't like rodents as pets. They are vermin which serve as food for other things, in my book.

If you choose to play along, click the banner up above to get a clean copy of the questions and to leave a link to your answers.

Friday, July 27, 2007

This Clever Line Tickled My Fancy...

Jul-20 1984 Chevy yard plow truck-it WILL snow again- be ready - $1200 (camden)

Friday Fill-In #30!


1. Yesterday I was _hot_.
2. Today I am _likely to also be hot_.
3. Tomorrow I will _probably be very hot_.
4. Someday I'm going to _cool – and wet_.
5. I will never _be 150 pounds again while still alive_.
6. I might _get down to 200, but I doubt that, too_.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _Chinese food_, tomorrow my plans include _hanging out at camp_ and Sunday, I want to _finish the Harry Potter book_!

Don't forget...have fun!

If you want to play along, you can get a clean copy of the questions, as well as leave a link to your answers at Fond of Snape.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

MEME: Wednesday Mind Hump – Frozen Delight

Greetings, humpers. Today I'm going to ask you questions about that wonderful summer treat - ice cream!

Cone, waffle cone, or dish? None of the above – I prefer a frappe.

What flavors (you get three scoops)? M&M, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Moose Tracks.

What toppings? Jimmies, cherries, chocolate syrup.

Who are you going to share it with? My wife is my partner in ice cream crime.

Click the title above to play along, read the rules and locate other motherhumpers. And fatherhumpers, too!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Monday, July 23, 2007

MEME: Monday Music Mambo – Too Cute

Rfduck must be scraping the bottom of the proverbial barrel. See what I mean?

“Hello good people! It's time for another Music Mambo. Today is Cutesy-Wootsie Day. Awwww, isn't that just cute? Today, we'll celebrate all things cute in music.”

Cutest song: My Favorite Things, sung by Julie Andrews in “The Sound of Music”


Cutest band: Herman's Hermits – Then: and Now:

Cutest instrument: Mandolin

And finally, your nominations for
King and Queen of Cute: Donny and Marie Osmond (creepy!)


and Now:

Want to play along? Too cute! Just click the cute little freckle-faced fellow up there and he'll hustle you along to the Big Kahuna himself, RFDUCK! Yay!

Hi, y'all. Mistress Otto must have been planning a dinner party:

This week's questions are all about food. Let's begin! =)

1. Are there any weird "food rules" you have? Feel free to list as many as you like. Never serve live elvers and mung bean sprouts in the same dish – the thought of wriggling sprouts gives me the willies.

I didn't get to 300 pounds by being picky...

2. When you were growing up, what ONE thing did your parents always remind you of, when it came to meal time (or cooking)? “Wash your hands, you filthy buggers!”
3. Is there anyone you know whose food you won't eat (for one reason or another)? Yes. Discretion being the better part of valor, they shall go unnamed.
4. Is there anything you "specialize" in cooking, that people actually ask for? My wife likes my meatloaf and the garlic smushed potatoes I make...
5. When you were growing up, what one meal do you remember as being your favorite? Beef Stroganoff on a bed of wide egg noodles.
6. Today, what is your IDEAL meal?
Simple, not too bad for you, not too tough on my diabetes: Steamed lobster with a large tossed salad, olive oil and apple cider vinegar for a dressing. Lemon Sorbet (artificial sweetener) for dessert. Yummy!

You can play along – just visit Mistress Otto's Barbershop and Pleasurable Pain Parlour, where, for one thin Benjamin Franklin, you, too, can have your pudenda and pate waxed simultaneously!

MEME: Sunday Seven -- Episode 99

Patrick must be thinking of getting a new car, more befitting his station in life. He says, “America and its cars: as much as they cost these days, I supposed we’re justified to feel a certain pride in the models we buy. But where does your brand loyalty lie? Chevy or Ford? Cadillac or Dodge?”

“But first, though Julie was first to leave a comment, she didn’t leave a link to the specific post in which she answered the questions, so the rules dictate that the second commenter, Otowi of “Otowi” must be declared the first to play last week’s question. Congratulations!”

“On to this week’s question!”

Name the seven makes (not models) of cars you are most likely to buy.

  1. Honda

  2. Toyota

  3. Volkswagon

  4. Chevrolet

  5. Scion

  6. Nissan

  7. Subaru

My answers aren't just blowing smoke; I own three of those seven brands I listed, plus one other not listed. For my money, Honda is the most reliable of any manufacturer's vehicles on the road, seconded by Toyota and Nissan. We've been in the market for a new vehicle over the past year or so, and have considered available brands, etc. My wife prefers the Volkswagon and I the Subaru. We ended up buying the “blimpmobile,” a used Chevy Suburban, because we wanted something we could haul lots of stuff in, plus a travel trailer, in addition to the dog (almost as big as a trailer herself).

Click the banner above if you'd like a clean copy of the question to use with your blog.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Unconscious Mutterings -- Week 233

6 hours, 54 minutes ago

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

  1. Deputy :: Sheriff

  2. Name :: Address

  3. Arrested :: custody

  4. Trade :: route

  5. Old :: MacDonald

  6. Fingerprint :: file

  7. Dwarf :: Red

  8. Newspaper :: Grey Lady

  9. Gabriel :: Peter

  10. Certificate :: Death

You, too, can play along. Just visit for a free copy of the words and to leave a link in the comments there to your entry.

MEME: Saturday Six - Episode 170 - School Daze

Patrick has a new pet peeve this week:

“The annoying emails from services like, which seemed like such a good idea when I first signed up, still come in. “Hey, Patrick, 7 new people did searches for your name.” “Hey, Patrick, 3 new people signed up from your graduating class.”

Of course, the people who searched for my name were looking for a different Patrick, and the 3 new people who signed up as being part of my class are people I’ve never heard of. And I venture to guess that if I break out the old yearbooks, there’d be no mention of them.

And I can’t find out any specifics without paying their monthly membership fee, which is outrageous for what you get.

Anyway, as you might have guessed, this week’s questions may have something to do with high school.

But first, Otowi of “Otowi” was first to play last week. Congratulations!

Here are this week’s “Saturday Six” questions. 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! To be counted as “first to play,” you must be the first player to either answer the questions in a comment or to provide a complete link to the specific entry in your journal in which you answer the questions. A link to your journal in general cannot count. Enjoy!”

1. Think about your best friend in high school: how long has it been since you’ve seen him? I think it was 1978 or so. Can't really recall at this point. I recently got back in touch via email.

2. Think of the last time you saw more than one of your high school classmates together at the same time: how did you happen to run into each other? Since I left after graduation, that has never happened. I don't travel in the same social or economic circles they tend to be in.

3. How many of your teachers do you think you would love to visit in person after all the years since you graduated, just to talk about having them as a teacher and catch up: one or two, three to five, five to ten, or more than ten? None. The only teacher I had any feelings for passed away many years ago.

4. Take the quiz: Could you pass high school? These days? I'd probably squeak by. It's been a long time, so I'd want to bone up for the GED before taking it. The quiz, not a representative group of questions, thinks I'd do alright. For the record, I average a B- in my senior year. Not so good, prior to that. I was never a big fan of academia. I could do the work, for the most part, but only excelled when I was truly interested in the subject matter.

You Passed High School with an B

You have the brains of a high school graduate... at least!

Could You Pass High School?

5. What was the best lunch food your high school served? I was fond of their Swiss Steak with onions, gravy and mashed potatoes.

6. Did you participate in any extra-curricular activities in high school, like sports, band, etc? If so, how many? A few, I was on the newspaper, the yearbook, camera club, and I played soccer for a short while until injured. We didn't have a band and I was never an athlete nor all that competitive, truth be told.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

John M. Scalzi's Weekend Assignment #175: TV or Bacon?

John's “feeling a bit daffy at the moment,” to wit:

Weekend Assignment #175: TV or Bacon?
By which I mean, you have to choose one of these two things. Whichever you choose, you get to continue to enjoy. The one you don't, you lose forever. So which will you choose? The pixellated, phosphorescent pleasures of television's hundreds of channels? Or the smoky, meaty pleasures of bacon? You must choose!

Why TV and bacon? Well, because they are two things most people seem to like, and they are (usually) entirely unrelated, which makes choosing between them more interesting.

Caveats: Assume "TV" also to mean any form of entertainment originally broadcast or intended for TV; no "well, I'll just watch Heroes on my computer" weaseling out allowed (you can still watch movie DVDs on your computer). If you're a vegetarian and/or Jewish and/or Muslim (and therefore don't eat bacon), you may substitute some other beloved food product, but has it has close to a bacony experience as your dietary restrictions allow. For non-Americans, assume that all bacon sub-types are involved here, not merely the narrow American definition of it. Got it? Excellent.

Also: Aside from dietary restriction scenarios, no "bacon" substitutions, like Kevin Bacon or Roger Bacon. Honestly. That's just silly.

Extra credit: Current favorite TV show and/or variety of bacon.

Dear John,

I'm going to make this short and sweet.

If I am given this choice and only this as a choice, the bacon has to go. My already clogged arteries thank you. My FNP (Family Nurse Practitioner, i.e. my primary care provider), especially thanks you. My cardiologist thanks you. The programming departments at numerous over-the-air and satellite/cable networks thank you, too. Heck, even Nielsen, Arbitron and Gourmet Magazine thank you.

I confess, I watch way too much television. But, as I hinted above, I probably eat more bacon than I should, too. Old habits die hard (they are also a bear to get off, but that's a whole different story). I figure I have a pretty good chance of simply dying from a heart attack or stroke. But, there is that fear that I will get shoved into a nursing home after surviving a bloody stroke (because there's no assisted suicide allowed in this great country of ours) leaving me with naught to do but watch TV, spittle drooling onto my chest, for twenty-four hours a day (between naps and bed baths – I likes me a bed bath (kinky, I know)). Despite your overwhelming preoccupation with bacon, the thought of spending the entire day unable to get out of bed, forced to watch the nursing home cat stroll in and out of my room with it's bacon taped to it's flank is more than I can bear.

So give me TV or give me death. Or both. Just make it swift.

Hugs and kisses to your lawful issue and that really cute Doctorette of Philosophy...


Postus Scriptus Interruptus: This week, Top Chef and The Next Food Network Star were amongst the favorite shows. While it's rare to get a really bad piece of bacon, my favorite is Maple Flavored Bacon by the Smithfield Packing Company, Smithfield, Virginia; thick slices, natural and artificial maple flavors with a wonderful touch of maple smoke.

Friday, July 20, 2007

MEME: Friday Fill-In #29


While Janet sits on pins and needles awaiting the release of Harry Potter and the Deadly Hallows,

she asks if you play, please link back to her blog, Fond of Snape,

and leave her a comment there, letting her know you played, so she can come visit!

1. _Cotton Candy_ makes me remember my childhood.
2. I like to use _butter_ when I cook.
3. _George W. Bush_ really pisses me off.
4. I've been thinking about _Lynne Luce_ lately.
5. The last song I heard that I liked was _Peter Cincotti's Goodbye Philadelphia_.
6. _Making love_ by starlight.
7. And as for the weeked, tonight I'm looking forward to _leftover rice and mystery meat stew_, tomorrow my plans include _hiding the parrot cage_ and Sunday, I want to _veg out_!

By the way, if you want to play along. Get thee to Fond of Snape to snag some clean questions and join us, baby!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Note To Self

When attempting to covertly emigrate to Australia (or, in this case, the USA), be sure to wear long undies and an oxygen bottle. Better yet, work another year as a dishwasher to make the $11,573 needed to fly first class with a tourist visa.

This 'n' That for Thursday

Happy Thursday - we're nearing the end of the work week and heading for the weekend. Looking like it'll be overcast and rainy up here. Hope your weather is better.

Found this quiz over at Christine's "infinitepink" blog and thought you'd enjoy giving it a whirl -- it's short and not too silly.

Where is your spirit craving to take you to?

Somewhere Secluded

Right now you are craving to find some place that offers simplicity because you need peace and serenity in your life. You find the world to be overwhelming at times and need reassurance of the beauty that exists apart from man-made things. You are going to feel fulfilled when you find someplace that brings you to feeling who you truly are.

Personality Test Results

Click Here to Take This Quiz

Quizzes and Personality Tests

In my wanderings on the web last night, I stopped by Youtube for some music as I wasn't able to make a connection to Last.FM for some reason and rediscovered this seminal performance by Eric Clapton and Sting, two of the more unpretentious "superstars" of the age, recording It's Probably Me. The video is nicely done, too, with cuts between the studio and clips of the movie this tune became the introduction for ... Enjoy:

Recently a big web to-d0 was made of a crop circles image of Homer Simpson and some sort of Pagan with a stately erection. Now, by way of the J-Walk Blog, linking from Pimp my rice paddy comes this photo:


"Each year, farmers in the town of Inakadate in Aomori prefecture create works of crop art by growing a little purple and yellow-leafed kodaimai rice along with their local green-leafed tsugaru-roman variety."

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

103? No Way!

How Will I Die Quiz

How Will I Die Quiz

You will die at the age of 103

You will die when your underwear gets too tight and cuts off your blood circulation

Find out how you will die at


MEME: Wednesday Mind Hump – Weinerlicious!

Hello humpers! Today is Wiener Day. Kind of an odd theme, but I'll go with it:

1. What's your favorite kind of wiener - all beef, beef and pork, brat or veggie?
I prefer a Kosher, all beef frank, but the wife prefers the generic wiener with a mix of pork, chicken and beef, so guess which one I eat the most often these days?
2. What do you like on your wiener?
Ketchup and onions, chili with hot peppers in winter, sometimes I just want a brat with sauerkraut.
3. How do you like your wiener cooked - grilled, boiled, steamed, fried, or some other way?
I like mine roasted in a cast iron fry pan on medium heat with a little unsalted butter and a Nissan New England style bun toasted a golden brown in the same butter. Yum!
4. The Wiener was named after the city of Vienna, Austria. Who's your favorite person who comes from that city? Antonio Lucio Vivaldi (1678-1741), Italian Baroque composer best known for his quartet of violin concertos known as The Four Seasons.

Clean copies of the questions and a place to note the URL of your answers can be found at Blogdrive Insanity.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

HUMOR: Who's Your Daddy?

This one was voted "best joke in Australia":
A man walks into his bedroom with a sheep under his arm and says:

"Darling, this is the pig I have sex with when you have a headache."

His girlfriend is lying in bed and replies: "I think you'll find that's a sheep, you idiot."

The man says: "I think you'll find I wasn't talking to you."

Monday, July 16, 2007

MEME: Monday Music Mambo Episode 422

RFDuck is in a fowl mood, to wit: “Hello folks. It's time to mambo again! Today is Talk To A Telemarketer Day. We don't like telemarketing, so . . .”

Name five songs that say what you want to tell telemarketers (i.e. songs with angry titles telling them to buzz off!)”

OK, here goes. I confess to using Google™ to accomplish the task set by RFDuck, Mememeister Muy Oddicus, today:

  1. Get Out Of My Life by Aaron Neville on the “Tell It Like It Is” album

  2. You Keep Me Hang'n' On – various artists, written by Holland, Dozier & Holland.

  3. Fuck It (I Don't Want You Back) – EAMON

  4. Fuck You – Lil Kim

  5. I Hope You Die – Bloodhound Gang

    If you want to play along, click your ruby red ah, er, slipper heels together and then click on the banner above. Ignore the old man behind the curtain...

MEME: Monday Madness - Discipline

Ms. Otto tries valiantly to cover the fact she and her “Master” visited PornCon'07 last week in Vegas with this lame excuse:

Sorry about last week. We were off to the windy city for our daughter's freshman orientation. Thanks for playing and have a great week, everyone!” =)

1. Do you feel that children these days are disciplined enough? Judging by the behavior of children I see in public, the answer must, perforce, be “Not at all.”
2. What are your thoughts about the "time out chair?" Fine for minor infractions and to offer a “cool down” for the overwrought child. Useless beyond that as a general rule.
3. When YOU were a child, what form of discipline did your parents use most often? “NO.”
4. Did your parents have to constantly remind you of the guidelines they set for you, or did they just have to LOOK at you as a "gentle" reminder? With three boys, each about a year apart, my mother mastered the “death ray” early in the game. Father merely had to clear his throat. Beyond that, there be dragons.
5. What are your thoughts about screaming kids in public places? Parents, if you don't shut them up – I will. I AM the monster in their nightmares.
6. What do you feel is the BIGGEST mistake parents make when it comes to disciplining children?
Listening to claptrap on TV. Oprah and Dr. Phil haven't a freaking clue, folks. Set boundaries, explain expectations and let no transgression go unpunished – ever. “Consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds.” doesn't mean you let children get away with murder; it means you strike the fear of DEATH into their little brains as soon as they can distinguish right from wrong. Earlier, actually. Let your babies know there are rules and if those rules are broken there are consequences. Often times, severe consequences. Forget about “damaging their wee minds.” The real world they will have to inhabit beyond your protective sphere of influence doesn't give a flying fig about their psyches or whether they live or die. Life is hard and life is earnest. There's no such thing as “fair.” The world simply is. For so long as you are within the gravity well of this planet, things fall on your head when you pull them down. One tantrum at work gets you fired. Period. No appeal. No second chance. One rude gesture on an LA freeway may get you killed. That is the way it is – shielding children from the harsh realities of life does them and the rest of us a terrible disservice. So stop it.

You can get your own copy of this week's questions by visiting Ms. Otto at the Monday Madness web site. You'll be glad you did when those boils on your butt heal overnight!

HUMOR: Disparate Truths

One day a mother and her young daughter were riding in a cab through New York City. Suddenly, the girl noticed some scantily clad women loitering on a street .

"Mommy," the little girl asked, "what are all those ladies doing?"

"They're waiting for their husbands to come home from work." the mother answered.

"C'mon lady, they're hookers!" retorted the cab driver.

After a stunned silence, the daughter asked, "Mommy, do hookers have children?"

"Of course," the mother replied, "where do you think cabbies come from?"

Courtesy of Brampton, Ontario's resident humorist, Mustang Bob!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

MEME: Unconcious Mutterings -- Week 232

16 hours, 6 minutes ago

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

  1. Situation :: Normal – All Fucked Up (SNAFU)

  2. Theme song :: Born To Be Wild

  3. Kelly :: Girls

  4. Club :: Med

  5. Swerve :: curve

  6. Couch :: potato

  7. Bigfoot :: legend

  8. Arbitrary :: decision

  9. Inventor :: Thomas Alva Edison

  10. Blazer :: Chevrolet

You can play along too. Just click the little icon up there and it'll be “Calgon, take me away...”

MEME: Sunday Seven - Episode 98


Name the seven sections, features or columns of a newspaper you are most likely to read.

  1. Front Page – headlines

  2. State – this includes the local news

  3. Entertainment

  4. Comics

  5. Classifieds

  6. Editorial – including Letters to the Editor

  7. Obituaries

    You can play along, too. Just click that banner up there and hold onto your hat...

Saturday, July 14, 2007

MEME: Saturday Six - Episode 169

Patrick seems to be having the time of his life. Witness these comments he made this week, introducing this episode of the Saturday Six: “Recently, Steven Colbert, of Comedy Central fame, visited his old stamping grounds of Charleston. Colbert was honored by ice cream giant Ben & Jerry’s with a flavor created in his honor. “AmeriCone Dream” is a mixture of vanilla ice cream, fudge-covered waffle cone pieces and a caramel swirl.”

“Just recently, another Lowcountry resident won a national contest to create her own flavor of Blue Bell Ice Cream. Jae Hegley’s “Southern Hospitality,” features vanilla swirled with pineapple, roasted pecans and a strawberry swirl.”

“Ice cream — and desserts in general — becomes the subject of this week’s questions!”

“But first, Wil of “The Daily Snooze” was first to play last week. Congratulations, Wil!” (Yeah, ME!)

Here are this week’s “Saturday Six” questions. 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! To be counted as “first to play,” you must be the first player to either answer the questions in a comment or to provide a complete link to the specific entry in your journal in which you answer the questions. A link to your journal in general cannot count. Enjoy!

1. What is your absolute favorite dessert? A lemon cheesecake that my first wife used to make. Unlike regular cheesecake, this filling was as light as a feather and simply burst with the flavor of Meyer Lemons.

2. When is the last time you had it? Let's see. We got divorced in 1985 and had been separated for a little over a year. So sometime in 1983, for sure.

3. If you had to give up one of the following for life: cookies, cake, ice cream, pie, or chocolate, which would you choose never to try again? Cookies. I'd miss them, but I'd survive. Whereas, life without chocolate isn't really living, now is it?

4. Take the quiz: What flavor of ice cream are you?

You Are Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

You are kind, popular, and generous.
You tend to be successful at anything you try.
A social butterfly, you are great at entertaining a crowd.

You are most compatible with strawberry ice cream.

What Flavor Ice Cream Are You?

Not even close, I might add. Although, I do like Chocolate Chip Ice Cream.

5. If you attempted to make the dessert you like best, how well do you think it would turn out? I have tried, several times. I don't have the knack. 'Barely edible' would best describe my most brilliant recreation.

6. If you were going to invent your own flavor of ice cream to be carried by a company like Ben & Jerry’s, what ingredients would you require? Hmmm, let's see. Jim Beam Bourbon whiskey, raisins, roasted pecans, cream, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla and M&M's chocolate candies. With a vanilla ice cream base, it's a “Rocky Road meets Bo and Luke Duke on a back road” kind of treat. Let's call it “Kentucky Moonshine Rock Slide”, shall we? We'll sell millions of gallons of the stuff to alkies alone!

Friday, July 13, 2007


One year ago today my youngest brother died.

I'm still having a hard time dealing with it.

It was simply too short of a journey for him.

And it sucks to be the one left behind, guys.

Update: Chickie suggested providing more info about my brother and that period of time. Take a look at these entries: There's Always A Reason For Silence , Time Flies..., and Once there were three.

MEME: Friday Fill-In #28


1. _Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows_ is the book I'm most looking forward to reading this summer
2. Dogs _Rulz_.
3. _Halifax, N.S._ is a town I'd like to explore.
4. Silly people _squander wisdom_.
5. I'm longing to _have a lobster feast_.
6. _Life,_ so scary!
7. What are you doing this weekend? Tonight I'm looking forward to _sleep_, tomorrow my plans include _messing about at camp_ and Sunday, I want to _go swimming_!

If you want to play along, just visit Janet at the link above to get your own copy of the Friday Fill-in.

Just Another Day In The Neighborhood, Fred...

From today's Bangor Daily News:

A moose in the Megunticook River. Photo by David Dickey

Wandering moose visits downtown Camden

By Tom Groening

CAMDEN - A young male moose wandered through downtown Camden on Wednesday evening, following the Megunticook River, even where it flows under Main Street.

David Dickey, owner of the Riverhouse Hotel, said he heard noise outside his building about 6 p.m. that he assumed was "the neighborhood raccoon," he said Thursday.

When he began investigating the area where the river flows between concrete walls and under buildings along Mechanic Street, he was surprised when the moose jumped off a 5-foot wall toward him.

The animal, which had antlers that Dickey estimated at 6 to 8 inches long, then went over the wall into the stream area, going upstream under the building that houses the Bagel Cafe.

"How he made it, I don’t know," Dickey said, because the animal would have had to negotiate cribwork and a waterfall. The moose later was spied near the Tavern on the Falls restaurant in the former Knox Mill complex.

Officers with the Maine Warden Service were summoned, and they were ready to tranquilize the moose if it appeared unable to leave the river, but by morning, it apparently had followed the river under Main Street, down a water flow and into the harbor. The moose left tracks through Harbor Park and apparently out of town.

Lt. Randy Gagne of the Camden Police Department said he believed the moose was about a year old."

Thursday, July 12, 2007

MEME: Wednesday Mind Hump -- Things Could Be Worse Day

Rfduck, mememeister extraordinairre, greets all and sundry thusly, “Hello everyone! Welcome to another Mind Hump. Cheer up, because today is Cheer Up day!”

1. What makes you cheer up?
Well, it's hard to be down in the dumps when you're screaming along a woods road at 150 mph in a Tiburon...
2. Who makes you cheer up?
Robin Williams. Back before he gave up the cocaine. Too fucking funny...
3. What location makes you cheer up?
St. Moritz, the Seychelles, Tenerife, Sydney...
4. What food or beverage makes you cheer up?
Macaroni and cheese, Haggis, silver dollar chocolate chip pancakes and maple syrup, Hawaiian Kona coffee..


Two blokes are walking along the quayside.

One is clearly down in the dumps, bemoaning his lot in life and the unfairness of it all.

The other fellow, clearly of the 'glass is half full' persuasion, looks at his companion after listening to this litany of woe for a while and says “Cheer up, things could be worse.”

So the first fellow took his advice to heart and cheered up a bit.

Sure enough ... things got worse!


Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Patrick was commenting that his blog obtained a "G" rating despite a questionable word or two, so I thought I'd run the Snooze through the wringer to see what popped up.

Free Online Dating

Surprise, surprise, surprise! Despite the "MF" in the link from the "Weekend Assignment" I only rated an "R" because of the repeated use of the term "anal" in the selfsame post. Hmmm.

Oh, well. I'm not going to lose any sleep over it.

By the by, SWMBO is having a diagnostic procedure this afternoon so posting will, of necessity, be nil until she's safely ensconced in bed with her teddy bear this evening. Try to play nice in my absence.

I'm still working on that meme, Carly. It may take a while.

Monday, July 09, 2007

MEME: Monday Music Mambo

“What luck! Today is Rock and Roll Day!” At least, that's RFDuck's take on the situation. His attendants say it's best to humor him, so here goes...

Name your favorite rock and roll . . .

1. Band: Jethro Tull
2. Singer: While Leonard Cohen is my favorite singer-songwriter, he's only a rock 'n' roller part of the time, so I guess I'll nominate Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits) as my favorite rocker. Even that's a stretch of systematics.
3. Guitarist: So many to choose from...
Eric Clapton springs immediately to mind. So does Jimi Hendrix. You choose.
4. Bassist: Again, so many basses, so little time to love them all. Today my favorite is Victor Wooten (Bela Fleck) – probably the most technically skilled bassist performing today. There's none better in the studio and few can hold a candle to his artistry in concert.
5. Drummer: Ginger Baker of Cream fame.
6. Album: Dream Letter by Tim Buckley. Nothing finer...

So you want to play along, do you, Bunky? Just hie thee to visit the qwazy qwacker, rfduck, our intrepid leader, to get your very own copy of this week's questions.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

MEME: Sunday Seven

So yesterday was supposed to be the luckiest day of the year because of the once-per-century alignment of dates forming three consecutive sevens: 07/07/07. Since you’re here reading this, I assume that you were at least fortunate enough to have survived the day.

I suspect that if the day had been the luckiest day of the year, it would have fallen on Sunday, so that we could be playing the Sunday Seven on 7/7. Maybe that’s too much good luck for a single 24-hour span.

In any case, as you might have guessed by now, luck is the subject of this week’s question.

But first, Verbiosa of “Game Schooling” was first to play last week’s question. Congratulations, Verbiosa!

On to this week’s question!

Name seven of your favorite good luck charms.

Sorry, Patrick. Just as there's no Santa, Easter Bunny, Yahweh, Allah, Jehovah, Jesus or other mythical religious constructs, so too the absence of good or bad luck. Don't get me started on charms, my dear Wiccans...

But wait! I just thought of some for you to choose from -- your daily dose of breakfast woo:

Lucky Charms

MEME: Unconcious Mutterings -- Week 231

23 hours, 17 minutes ago

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

  1. Happen :: Occur

  2. Terribly :: horribly

  3. History :: Geschicte

  4. Master :: Electrician

  5. Petrified :: visage

  6. Moan :: suppress

  7. Attack :: retreat

  8. Picture :: this!

  9. Students :: fledglings

  10. Potter :: brother

You can play along, too, simply by visiting La Luna Niña's place to get a clean copy of the words and to leave a link off to your answers. Ciao!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

MEME: Patrick's Place -- Episode 168

So this, the 168th edition of the “Saturday Six,” becomes something historic, because it is the first one that is being played here in the all-new “Patrick’s Place.”

When I began this weekly meme, my blog was located on AOL. Back then, there was one blog, and the “weekender” memes were right there among the more “normal” posts. Now, that’s the way it is again…a return, perhaps, to the good old days.

But before the questions, Cat of “Sweet Memes” was first to play last week. Congratulations, Cat!

Here are this week’s “Saturday Six” questions. 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! To be counted as “first to play,” you must be the first player to either answer the questions in a comment or to provide a complete link to the specific entry in your journal in which you answer the questions. A link to your journal in general cannot count. Enjoy!

1. How many cups of coffee do you generally drink in a single day?
One or two, usually, and then they're likely to be decaf coffee.

2. Other than coffee, what drink gives you the most caffeine over the course of a day? Iced tea.

3. If you go to a coffee shop with friends, how likely are you to order something other than coffee? Not very. Sometimes an espresso and biscotti. But, I drink all coffee black, so froo-froo drinks are out of the question. “Santa's lactose intolerant, kid!

4. Take the quiz: What does your latte say about you? Stupid Quiz Alert.

What Your Latte Says About You

You are easygoing and pretty simple to please. You don't put up a fuss... ever.

You are a very serious person. You don't have time for silly antics.

You have a good deal of energy, but you pace yourself. You never burn out too fast.

You have a healthy relationship with caffeine. You're definitely not dependent on it.

You are responsible, mature, and truly an adult. You're occasionally playful, but you find it hard to be carefree.

You are complex and philosophical, but you are never arrogant.

What Does Your Latte Say About You?

5. Who serves the best cup of coffee in your town? (If you don’t drink coffee, where would you most likely go if you were going to try a cup?) The Coffee Express on State Street by the hospital.

6. How do you feel about iced coffee versus regular coffee, and iced tea versus hot tea? “To everything, there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

If you'd like to play along, visit the ALL NEW Patrick's Place.

Friday, July 06, 2007

MEME: Friday Fill In, #27


1. On a hot summer's day _swimming_ is my favorite thing!
2. When I think of summertime fun, I think of _seakayaking_.
3. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough_ is my favorite flavor of ice cream.
4. My new favorite drink is _Iced Tea with Lime_.
5. One of my happiest summertime memories is _camping in Washington_.
6. The best place to watch fireworks (or submarine races) is _from the Electric Boat docks in Newport News, Virginia_!
7. What are you doing this weekend? Tonight I'm looking forward to _sleep_, tomorrow my plans include _watching the race_ and Sunday, I want to _go swimming, weather permitting_!

Click the radio button above if you'd like to play along.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

This is SO not the way to go...

Exact Cause of Va. Farm Deaths Unknown - "BRIDGEWATER, Va. -- Exposure to methane gas led to the deaths of four family members and a farmhand, but whether they suffocated from the fumes or drowned in 18 inches of liquefied cow manure may never be known, authorities said."

John M. Scalzi's Weekend Assignment #173

John has this to say about this week's assignment: “I'm busy packing for a (yet another) trip, so I'm going to make this Weekend Assignment dead simple and hopefully fun:”

Weekend Assignment #173: Share a joke. Make it funny. Also, since I'll want to link back to them, and I am, after all, but a cog in the great AOL machine, keep it reasonably clean and free of ethnic/sexual put-downs. You know.”

Extra Credit: So, ever been to Kansas City? Because that's where I'm going.

Dear John,

Being an old phartoid, most jokes that I can recall, on a day when the synapses even remember what jokes are, tend to be of the lewd, crude and tattooed variety. So be it. I'm more or less happy in this skin after wandering the planet in a fog for nearly sixty years, so I admit that my sense of humor isn't the mainstream. Couple that with CRS¹ and I am not the man you turn to for a postprandial comedy routine. For that, you need a Groucho Marx, Milton Berle or Bob Hope.

Now, you probably AREN'T going to be able to share this one with your AOL readers, but what the heck – it tickles my funny bone:

Did you know anal tourism was a big deal in academia?

A female undergrad walks up to the desk for help.
"Hi, I'm looking for anal tourism research." She says.
I could not have heard her correctly.
"Um, what?" I reply.
"I'm looking for anal tourism research."
Like Thailand and Vegas? "I think there is a typo." I counter.
"No, my professor was very specific about anal."
I don't ask if there was an oral exam. "We can take a look, but I don't think that's right."
"Please? Anal research is important, I need it bad."
I start searching in the catalogue, typing in 'annal' to end this.
"It's anal, A-N-A-L. Anal was at the top of the list of the things he wanted."
I bet it was. "We don't have it under that listing."
"Well, how can I get Anal Tourism Research?"
Some Barry White, some K-Y, some minor discomfort...
"How about we try some variant spellings?"
"But I want anal."
"Please trust me on this." I don't want my boss to walk over while she shouts "I want anal!" again.
"Here we go, Annals of Tourism Research."
"But, anal…"
"Is something very different."
I could see the dawning in her eyes as she made the connection.
"I, anal, oh my god."
"Is there anything else I can help you with?"
Even when coeds are begging for me to give them anal, I'm still a professional.

From The Society of Librarians Who Say "Motherfucker".

Alright, alright. Not safe for consumption by the grandkids. But, you gotta admit, it was funny.

Here's one. Clean, safe for most, doesn't attack any ethnic group that will burn flags or effigies in the morning, likely to pass over the heads of any grandchildren under 24 or so:

Julie Andrews turns 69 -

To commemorate her 69th birthday on October 1, 2006, actress/vocalist, Julie Andrews made a special appearance at Manhattan's Radio City Music Hall for the benefit of the AARP.

One of the musical numbers she performed was "My Favorite Things" from the legendary movie "Sound Of Music".

Here are the lyrics she used:

Maalox and nose drops and needles for knitting,
Walkers and handrails and new dental fittings,
Bundles of magazines tied up in string,
These are a few of my favorite things.

Cadillacs and cataracts and hearing aids and glasses,
Polident and Fixodent and false teeth in glasses,
Pacemakers, golf carts and porches with swings,
These are a few of my favorite things.

When the pipes leak,
When the bones creak,
When the knees go bad,
I simply remember my favorite things,
And then I don't feel so bad.

Hot tea and crumpets and corn pads for bunions,
No spicy hot food or food cooked with onions,
Bathrobes and heating pads and hot meals they bring,
These are a few of my favorite things.

Back pains, confused brains, and no need for sinnin', (slightly edited for content)
Thin bones and fractures and hair that is thinnin',
And we won't mention our short shrunken frames,
When we remember our favorite things.

When the joints ache,
When the hips break,
When the eyes grow dim,
Then I remember the great life I've had,
And then I don't feel so bad.

That's what YOU have to look forward to in a few decades, my son. Ain't life grand?

Kansas City -- great steaks and barbecue, smoky dives and wonderful blues. Food and music. Good rye whiskey to be had locally, too. That's what I remember about KC.

Best always to Krissy and Athena – be sure to wind up Kodi and settle him into attack mode as you head out the door. Wouldn't want the women folk getting molested by the restless natives thereabouts.


¹ CRS = Can't Remember Stuff.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

How I spent My 4th of July

Making an avatar at the Simpsons Movie web site

SORRY - busted embedding

Things That Go Bump In The Night

This thing, purportedly a Catamount or Mountain Lion, was seen in a rural backyard near Interstate 95 just south of Waterville in Sidney, Maine recently. While there have been sporadic sightings of Catamounts over the years in Maine and neighboring New Hampshire, Quebec and New Brunswick, biological evidence has been scarce. Photographic or video has been nil, until now.

According to this story in the Lewiston Sun Journal on Friday, June 29, 2007, Maine Inland Fisheries and Wildlife are taking this sighting very seriously, sending a wildlife biologist to the scene to take measurements of the rocks and trees to establish scale, collect any biological evidence to be found and to interview the homeowner who photographed the elusive creature.

A photo making e-mail rounds Thursday that shows what looks like a big, rare cat in a Sidney backyard is real, according to the Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife spokesman.

Whether that's actually a mountain lion leaning on a rock wall is up in the air. The cat's tail, the easiest way to tell a bobcat from a mountain lion, is hidden by a tree.

"That's why we're sending someone out there," said Mark Latti. "Maine doesn't have a wild population of mountain lions."

The picture came in to IFW on Thursday. He said the homeowner wants to be anonymous. A biologist will go out soon to look for other evidence, like tracks, and measure the size of the rocks where the cat stood to get a sense of scale.

Maine hasn't had wild mountain lions since the late 1800s, Latti said. Vermont and New Hampshire don't have them either.
UPDATE 7/4/2007: