Saturday, March 31, 2007

Worst Dad Award Nominee -

I don't understand how ANY father could do this with a child of this age. Even living in Baghdad! I hope to hell a local LEO recognizes this asshole and turns him over to a DA up for re-election this year...

Worst Dad Award Nominee -

And the extra credit sad part? His mother is shooting the video!

As Louis Black would say, "Fuck me; fuck me now."

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Architecture Portal News: World's Biggest Railway Model [Pics]

Architecture Portal News: World's Biggest Railway Model [Pics]
Now that's a model railroad layout! Too kewl -- a whole warehouse!

Great photos of it, too.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

John Scalzi's Monday Photo Shoot: Working Outside

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Your Monday Photo Shoot: Take a picture of people working outside. Because now the weather's right for it (mostly). If you have a photo in your archives of people working outside, that works too.

From the archives, because I don't usually get out early enough to get photos of people working outside, we have three "white hats" confering on the working deck of a construction crane on the Prospect side of the Penobscot River where MDOT is replacing the 87 y.o. suspension bridge over the Prospect -Verona Narrows after testing revealed significant weakening of the primary cables. This was shot just under two years ago in May, 2005. The bridge opened for foot traffic in October for a dedication and is now open for vehicular traffic. Here's a second shot, pulled back so you can see the crane cab in context of the tower it rests on:

Here's a photo of the completed bridge: New Penobscot Narrows Bridge with the old Waldo-Hancock County suspension bridge behind it on

MEME: Wednesday Mind Hump - Purrfect Pussy Cats

Rfduck took a moment from petting his pussy to say, “Greetings humpers! Today is Respect Your Cat day.”

1. Do you have a cat? How many?
It's more like they have me. There are two resident indoor felines, Lucifer – a 5 y.o. black neutered tom and Lexy – a 13 y.o. spayed female Maine Coon Cat that came to live with us last summer after my brother died. Outdoors there's a pack of lazy semi-feral cats headed by an alpha female named Grace and an alpha male named Pumpkin, Uncle Fred and Aunt Patches, a rheumy-eyed lieutenant named Little Pea, a calico yearling named Thing, a monster junior tom named George, two catlings named “OJ” and whomever else may attach or detach from the group at any given time.
2. How do you show your cat or cats respect?
By allowing them to live in the manner they do – fed daily and otherwise not harassed.
3. If your cat or cats could speak right now, what would they say? I'm sure they'd have all sorts of demands involving food, sleeping accommodations, sibling rivalries and the usual complaints voiced within a family unit. As I used to tell my children, “it's my way or the highway – you don't have to put up with this horrid treatment one second longer than you can bear.”

If you'd like to play along, click the link above and get yourself a clean copy of the questions and leave a link to your answers in the comments there so we can all find them. Ciao! Or is that Meow?!

Season of Discontent: Spring Cleaning

We all know about the ritual of "spring cleaning." But, I'll bet you a doughnut you didn't know they need to clean the river up every spring! Take a couple of minutes to watch this Bangor Daily News photo slide show with voice-over of two US Coast Guard tugs on ice-breaking duty on the Penobscot River, cleaning out the passage so fuel barges can get up river to resupply the city...

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Rfduck took a moment from sweating out finishing all he has to complete for this semester to say, “Hi again, everyone. Today is Make Up Your Own Holiday Day, so I hereby proclaim today as Drummer Day!”

1. Name some of your favorite drummers. Or name A drummer if you don't have any favorites.
Buddy Rich, Ginger Baker, Ringo Starr.
2. What song contains your favorite drum performance?
Buddy Rich's 1978 album Buddy Rich Plays and Plays and Plays has the Mickey Mouse Mambo on it. How bizarre!
3. Do you prefer the drummer to simply keep a beat, or do you like him or her to show off a bit?
If I'm in the mood, I like drummers who know how to strut their stuff. However, if it's “all about the music”, I love a drummer who knows how to make his contribution a seamless part of the whole.
4. If you were a drummer, how would you personalize your drum kit? I'd have typani's and congas and bohdrains and top hats and bass snares and any other percussive instrument I could think of in reserve for just the right tune.

The rules are, there are no rules!!! All you need to do is copy and paste the above questions into your blog and add your responses. After you've finished, return here and leave us a comment so we'll know you've Mamboed. Be sure your Mambo is linked back to so others can dance too.

Remember, there are no right or wrong answers. If one of the questions doesn't inspire you then simply "pass" it. Just use your imagination and dance like crazy!

If you don't have a blog or you're an exhibitionist *woo hoo* feel free to Mambo right here in our comments section. There's absolutely no pressure ... although it's called the Monday Music Mambo you can Mambo on any day.

Until next time, this is your music-lovin' Mememeister saying have a good Monday and a good Mambo!

MEME: Monday Madness

Here are this week's questions. Have a great week and thank you all so much for playing! =)

1. What kind of automobile do you drive? A '97 Saturn SC2 sedan with a little over a hundred thousand miles on it.
2. What kind of automobile do you WISH you drove? An H-1 Hummer with a .50 caliber machine gun and a bed full of RPG's.
3. When is the last time you bought a vehicle (new or used)? About 10 years ago...
4. What is your color of choice as far as vehicles go? Up here, it's something darkish that stands out to other drivers – red is good. Anything that heats up and melts snow is very good. Down South, I think I'd go with white or a pale yellow pastel...
5. Do you regularly have your oil changed? Not as often as it should be, sorry to say.
6. How long do you generally keep a vehicle before thinking about buying a new one? Generally, I start thinking about a new one far, far sooner than I ever actually buy one. I only get serious when it is evident that permanent mechanical death is imminent. I'd guess it's ten to twelve years on average with new cars, five to seven with used (they're already five to seven years old when I buy them).
7. What kind of automobile will you buy next? An SUV or Pickup. Depends on SWMBO – getting a new pickup while I still own my '78 Chevy will be a trick, let me tell you...

Get your own copy of the questions by clicking on the banner above.

MEME: Unconcious Mutterings

Week 216

2 days, 16 hours, 17 minutes ago

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

  1. Groovy :: Tuesday

  2. Jealousy :: Green-eyed Monster

  3. Watching :: Birds

  4. Kenny :: Rogers

  5. Games :: Board

  6. Bread :: and Circuses

  7. City :: scape

  8. Stems :: boles

  9. Birds :: flying rats (AKA Seagulls)

  10. Listener :: fine

Click the linked picture above to get your own (blank) list of the words to work on.

Sunday Seven - Episode 82

Patrick takes a moment from his grueling workout, lifting paper clips, to say, “I've been on this MUSC weight loss program. At a recent weekly session, one of the behavioral experts suggested that I should come up with some rewards for myself for meeting certain goals or for maintaining healthy behavior for certain lengths of time. As I mentioned over at Patrick's Place, they weren't all that amused when I suggested that I'd like to set a meal at Outback as one of my possible rewards. So that got me thinking about this week's question, particularly considering that I have to have a list of suggested rewards as a "homework" assignment for tomorrow's session.”

But first, kudos goes to Allison of "We're all mad here," said the Cheshire Cat to Alice because she was first to play last week!”

Time to play!”

Suppose you're on a weight loss program and you're urged to come up with "rewards" for yourself for sticking to the program. Name up to seven rewards, that can't be related to food, that you would set for yourself.

  1. The new Nora Jones CD

  2. A new tie

  3. A bottle of good whiskey

  4. Cuban Cigars

  5. A fast lap around Darlington in one of their “Rent-a-Racecar” dealies.

  6. A long weekend visit to the Cape Lookout National Seashore

  7. A long weekend visit to the Brothels of Atlanta to take care of those other needs or yours, Patrick...

Saturday Six - Episode 154

A few weeks from now, there will be a special edition of the Saturday Six to commemorate the start of its fourth year in the blogosphere. Who would have thought? I hope you all had a great workweek, and I hope you'll have an even better (and more restful) weekend!

Last week, Travis of "Tilting at Pinwheels" was first to play. If I'm not mistaken, this is Travis's first time to play at all, so it was quite an accomplishment to be the first of the week to play. Congratulations, Travis!

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 favorite kind of museum?
While I haven't met a museum that I didn't like, my favorites are the historical Colonial thru mid-nineteenth century life museums: Williamsburg, Sturbridge Village, Shelburne Museum.
2. How long has it been since you walked through a museum?
Last summer, in June.
3. When you enter an art museum, what type of art do you generally visit first?
I head for the cuurent exhibit or traveling show.
4. Take the quiz: What Famous Work of Art Are You?

You Are Best Described By...

By M.C. Escher

What Famous Work of Art Are You?

5. Judging your own personality, how well do you think the quiz's result matches you?
Well, I DO like Escher.
6. If you could own any famous piece of artwork for your own, which one would you choose?

Deja Vu all over again, Yogi! Didn't you ask that question a while back? Or was it Scalzi? Anyway, my choice would be "Christina's World" by Andrew Wyeth.

Non-Conformist? Moi?

You Are 74% Non Conformist

You are a pretty serious non conformist. You live a life hardly anyone understands.

And while some may call you a freak, you're happy with who you are.

All via Shelly, herself a 59% wishy-washy weirdo...

Mouse steals Waterville man’s dentures

Well, we've been away from the computer due to issues with disappearing DSL and going away for the weekend. Back now, and we'll try to get caught up, albeit slowly.

First up, I saw this story on the evening news last night and thought y'all would get a kick out of it:

Mouse steals Waterville man’s dentures

A Waterville man who's on the losing end of a cat-and-mouse game says a field mouse made off with his dentures.

Or, check out this video from the regional news channel.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Wednesday Mind Hump

Rfduck took a moment from extolling his fish and chips experience over the weekend to exclaim, “Hello all! Wednesday is here again, so it's time to hump! Today is Single Parents' Day, and while I have great admiration for those who raise children on their own, I don't think that makes for a very fun Mind Hump topic. So we'll go with tomorrow's theme, International Goof Off Day.”

List your top five methods of goofing off.

  1. Reading – books, newspaper & magazines, catalogs, etc.

  2. Messing about on the computer, reading blogs and the like

  3. Watching TV

  4. Listening to music

  5. sea kayaking and messing about on the water.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

A Hard Day's Night of the Living Dead

John! Paul! George! Ringo! Zombies!

See them all in this YouTube send-up of a movie trailer for the old Beatles' move Hard Days Journey Into Night.

A tip of the hat to Boing, Boing where I saw it first.

Oh My!

Blame Shelly...!

Take this quiz at

John Scalzi's Your Monday Photo Shoot: Night Shots

Your Monday Photo Shoot: It's Night! Take a picture. Naturally, taking a picture inside at night (i.e., where it's well lit and indistinguishable from day) won't do; take a picture that captures some of the quality of the night time. Also: No sunset photos. We'll save them up to do another time.

Slumber Disturbed By The Boss

Here are a few of the dozen or so feral cats that occupy my porch. They really weren't appreciative of the flash in their eyes at O-dark-hundred!

That's enough cat-cuteness for one day. Back to Your Mud Season of Discontent, already in progress.
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Mud Season II

It lies there. Silent. Deep.
Just waiting to swallow a car or cat that dares to approach.
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Mud Season I

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Now Begins Our Season of Discontent

It's the Vernal Equinox this evening. That point where the length of daylight and darkness are equal. It happens twice a year, Spring and Fall. Here, it's marked by the onset of Mud Season:
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Monday, March 19, 2007

MEME: Monday Music Mambo

Rfduck lifted his head off the table, stared blankly with severely bloodshot eyes at nothing in front of him, coughed up a lung attempting to clear the cobwebs from his throat and then was heard to mutter as he played pocket pool looking for a pack of fags, “Hello again! This last Saturday was St. Patrick's Day, so we'll do an Irish-themed Mambo this week. Bloody Hell!”

1. What's your faviorite Irish artist?
Enya? The Chieftains? Bono? Sinead O'Connor? None of the above?
2. What artist, album or song makes you think of the color green?
The Green, Green, Hills of Home, Lyrics by Nick & Charles Kenny --- Music by Abner Silver
3. Irish music is all about enjoying yourself. Name a song (Irish or otherwise) that you enjoy a lot.
There's got to be at least a hundred thousand Irish tunes. And you want me to name one I enjoy? Come on, let's tighten up our questions, just a wee bit. Ok, I'll nibble. Here's one: “Tall Ships” by Wolfstone
The rules are, there are no rules!!! All you need to do is copy and paste the above questions into your blog and add your responses. After you've finished, return here and leave us a comment so we'll know you've Mamboed. Be sure your Mambo is linked back to so others can dance too.

Remember, there are no right or wrong answers. If one of the questions doesn't inspire you then simply "pass" it. Just use your imagination and dance like crazy!

If you don't have a blog or you're an exhibitionist *woo hoo* feel free to Mambo right here in our comments section. There's absolutely no pressure ... although it's called the Monday Music Mambo you can Mambo on any day.

Until next time, this is your music-lovin' Mememeister saying have a good Monday and a good Mambo!

MEME: Monday Madness -- Insomnia Edition

Otto was in a very odd mood this morning owing to her frequent bouts of insomnia and irritable bowel syndrome. Pulling her stuff together, she managed to utter these famous words: “Ok folks, these are just right off the top of my head!” =)

1. How many times do you wake up during the night? An average of twice a night.
2. On an average, how many hours of sleep do you try to get? I get 4.1 hours, according to the meter on my CPAP. Yep, you read that right – I've got a meter on my bed. Wanna make something of it?
3. What day of the week do you do your "major" housecleaning? I've not cleaned him since his promotion to General.
4. How often do you move your furniture to clean behind it? Furniture moves? Who knew and why haven't I been told???
5. Do you do your dishes by hand or do you own a dishwasher?
I have a 1961 model – my wife. Needless to say, no dishes have been washed in five years since she became sole wage-earner.

You, too, may play along – just go to the Monday Madness web site and copy the questions and answer them in your blog each week. You'll be glad you did and your prescription for HPV salve will magically refill itself the next time you visit the pharmacy!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Sunday Seven - Episode 81

One of the stops I had to make today was at the grocery store. And that got me thinking...

But first, Frida of I Really Hate Blog Names was first to play last week! Congratulations, Frida!

On to this week's question!

Name the last seven specific items that you purchased at the grocery store.

  1. Diet Coke

  2. Skim Milk, half gallon

  3. Rotisserie Chicken, Seasoned

  4. Bag Salad

  5. Package of Chicken Weiners

  6. Weekend Newspaper

  7. Hershey's Choclate Bar

If I Still Drank...

this would probably have been me last night:

With special thanks to Tammi, whose blog I stole it from...

MEME: Unconscious Mutterings – Week 215

Free association is described as a "psychonanalytic procedure in which a person is encouraged to give free rein to his or her thoughts and feelings, verbalizing whatever comes into the mind without monitoring its content." Over time, this technique is supposed to help bring forth repressed thoughts and feelings that the person can then work through to gain a better sense of self.

That's an admirable goal, but for the purposes of this excercise, we're just hoping to have a little fun with the technique. Each week I'll post ten words to which you can respond to with the first thing that comes to mind.

"Rules are, there are no rules." There are no right or wrong answers. Don't limit yourself to one word responses; just say everything that pops into your head. AND you don't have to have your words up on Sunday. Take all week if you want! Read the FAQ for more information.

Week 215

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

  1. San Francisco :: Bay

  2. Sadness :: melancholy

  3. Spirits :: liquor

  4. Harriet :: Ozzie

  5. State :: of Mind

  6. John :: Glenn

  7. Offense :: Misdemeanor

  8. Timeless :: tale

  9. Account :: closed

  10. Refuse :: No!

You can obtain your own list of words by following the link above to La Luna Niña's site. You'll be glad you did – she puts on a mighty fine spread of words for your enjoyment.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Saturday Six - Episode 153

I hope you're having a Happy St. Patrick's Day. If you go partying tonight, remember to hand someone you can trust your car keys. I expect to see you all for the Sunday Seven as well!

Last week, Frida of "I Really Hate Blog Names" was first to play. Congratulations, Frida!

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 was your favorite animated cartoon series when you were little?
Rocky & Bullwinkle.
2. What was your favorite "live action" children's series when you were little?
What? They weren't live? Ok, all kidding aside, it was The Howdy Doody Show.
3. Who is your favorite muppet character?
The Swedish Chef. “Bork, Bork, Bork!”
4. Take the quiz: What is your Sesame Street personality?

You Are Cookie Monster

Misunderstood as a primal monster, you're a true hedonist with a huge sweet tooth.

You are usually feeling: Hungry. Cookies are preferred, but you'll eat anything if cookies aren't around.

You are famous for: Your slightly crazy eyes and usual way of speaking

How you life your life: In the moment. "Me want COOKIE!"

The Sesame Street Personality Quiz

5. Have you ever appeared on a locally-produced children's show, or would you have ever wanted to?
No, although I have been a cameraman on one.
6. Cartoons like "The Flintstones," though animated, were really intended for adults. What's your favorite adult (non-porn) cartoon?

I enjoy Fritz the Cat

and Tripping the Rift...

John M. Scalzi's Weekend Assignment #156: Your Favorite Weekend Assignment Entry

John takes a minute to stretch and yawn his way to some semblance of conciousness, stands and looks around, scratches his butt a moment, and then speaks:

“Today marks the 156th Weekend Assignment, which means -- using the powers of math! -- that we've been at this thing for three years now (more or less; lazy sod that I am, I may have skipped a sequential number here and there along the way. Even so). Three years is a long time to do anything, and yet I know that many of you have been plugging along doing the Weekend Assignments, if not every week, at least often enough to have built up a small library of assignments. So, let's plunge into those:

Weekend Assignment #156: Repost your favorite Weekend Assignment from the past three years. Or, if you can't choose, post the first Weekend Assignment you ever participated in.”

Extra Credit: Should we keep doing the Weekend Assignments? Or after three years, should we give it a rest? Let me know; I'm curious.”

I was on hiatus when you first started the Weekend Assignment, so can't go back any farther on them than June, 2005. By the way, I'd vote for continuation. You haven't scratched the surface yet! After looking them over, I decided on this one:

Weekend Assignment #52(!): Going Hollywood

This Week's Weekend Assignment marks its one-year anniversary -- a whole year! That's a lot of assignments and some of you have done nearly every single one. I want to thank all of you for playing along, and here's to another year of interesting assignments for weekend Journaling fun.

For this week, we go west for the star treatment:

Weekend Assignment #52: Congratulations! Hollywood is making a movie of your life, and you get to choose any actor you want to play you -- yes, even if they're dead (the things they can do with special effects!) Who do you choose and why?

Extra credit:
Name the musician/band who will play the theme song to the movie.

Me ~~~~~~~~~~~ Kris

See the resemblance?
What do you mean, no?

Easter Weekend, 2005

Dear John,

First, allow me to congratulate you on a years run of the Weekend Assignment. Propagating a meme for that long is a testament to your staying power. No wonder Krissy married you! :)

Also, it is good to hear your far-reaching intellect is searching out the answers to the important questions. 'Good equals Holy '- OK, I'll buy that. Now explain why Congress declares an Easter recess when the governmental promotion of religion is specifically enjoined by the Constitution? Or why those same numbnuts think THEY have what it takes to resolve a dispute even Solomon would abstain from deciding? Nah, I didn't think you'd know, either.

I do know this, however: if Hollywood ever chose to make a movie, or actually, a series of movies a la Gene Autrey or Lassie, the fellow I see playing me would be Kris Kristofferson. Starting from Kris's return from Germany to the present, he epitomizes the wastrel lifestyle I have pursued, the rugged good looks, craggy countenance and whiskey-soured voice I have. And the man can sing, something I am so completely unable to do...

I think a nice three-parter ought to do it. Unlike the theme of this weekend, my life story ends with the whimpers of an old man, not some jazzy holy ghost flitting hither and yon. But the music... I think "Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas" writer Michael McDowell would be great for bringing my story to the screen, while Danny Elfman's score and Tim Burton's lyrics would do the right amount of justice to my checkered past.

Have a great holiday weekend. Teach Athena the true meaning of the celebrations around the spring solstice ~ returning fecundity to the fields and the fillies after the barren winter of the soul has passed ~ That is the true meaning of the Easter Bunny's celebration. The Church long ago realized that to contradict it was a guarantee the Church would fail, while rites of fertility would survive, so the least offensive of the symbols and rites were adopted as a sop to the common woman -- the true leader of home, hearth and society.

As always, our best to you and your ladies. May the weather gods smile upon your venue and offer blue skies, warm sunbeams and silky breezes to accompany your Easter bonnets.

Grins and giggles,


May the road rise up to greet you,

May the wind be always at your back,

May the sun shine warm upon your face,

May the rains fall soft upon your fields...

And may you be three days in Heaven,

Before Satan knows you've passed!

Friday, March 16, 2007

People Are Strange...

Mainers are known as a hardy, resourceful breed. World renowned for the taciturn turn of phrase, Yankee thrift and clannishness.

Bet you didn't know we were all addictive personalities, too...

I was driving home from town tonight after a fuel run. It was snowing, in fact it had begun only forty minutes earlier, but it was already sticking to the roads and windshield where the wipers don't swipe. The weather cretins are overjoyed, forecasting 6 to 11 inches of the white stuff by early morning, to be topped off by a half inch or more of ice and a two inch changeover to sleet and rain. Important stuff for a place that lives and dies by the weather forecast. So it's snowing a fair clip, with small flakes of snow that make lovely swirls as the wind blows them around in the eddies of wind from passing cars. Then I saw it – all lit up inside, but no signs or other exterior indication of being open for business, except for one anomalous fact: the tiny parking lot was full to overflowing with cars waiting for others to leave so they could enter.

Tomorrow is Saint Patrick's Day, but more important around here, it is opening day for the Gifford's Ice Cream stand. As a practical matter, the proprietors know a shakedown is a good thing. So, for two hours the night before the Grand Opening for the season, they give away, free of charge or obligation, a single scoop dish of any flavor on the menu to one and all who show up. Tonight, the time frame was set from six to eight PM. At approximately 7:45 as I drove by, I observed about 120 cars in the lot, with people qued up (standing in a line) at each serving window, stretching almost a hundred feet in each row across the parking lot. In some cases, blocking the entrance and exit to the lot! Perhaps 250 people in total, waiting patiently in the driving snow for their fee half cup of ice cream.

Did I mention the temperature was 26°F? That the wind was blowing about fifteen miles per hour? That these nutcases had a half hour wait before they'd get to the head of the line? All for a half cup of ice cream?

That's true addicition, if you ask me...

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Monday Photo Shoot - Winter's Last Gasp?

The little furry fuckers will be back at it in no time --
that's a 36" Poplar that's stood for over a century!

View From Camp to the NorthNorthEast - Still lots of ice

Saturday Mid-Morning 03102007

John M. Scalzi's Your Monday Photo Shoot: Post any winter photos you didn't get around to posting earlier.
Because winter is going, going, gone, baby. Think of it as a last salute.

Wednesday Mind Hump - Genius Day

Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900), The Critic as Artist, 1891

Rfduck, BDInsanity mememeister extraordinaire, took a moment from his busy day chasing the hot hens in his pond, to expound thusly: “Hi everyone! Ready for another Mind Hump? Today is Genius Day.”

“Tell me who you think is a genius . . .”

Movie director – While it might be popular to say Martin Scorsese or George Lucas, Alfred Hitchcock is who I think of as a “genius” movie director.
Author – Love him, hate him, feign indifference or look down your nose at him, Stephen King is the nearest thing to authorial genius we have today. Enjoy him – he won't be around all that long. And if you think he's just not even close, I offer as an alternative: Kurt Vonnegut.
Musician – This is a tough, tough choice. During my lifetime, the musician closest to a genius in my mind is Andre Segovia. Seconded by George Goebel. Truly inspired masters with that little extra j'ne sais qua...
Historical figure – Hmmm ... anyone I might choose is bound to get me attacked, flamed, contradicted or laughed at. And so it goes:

Alfred E. Newman isn't real [Oh No! Say it ain't so, Mr. Bill!].

Winston Churchill and Franklin Delano Roosevelt are hated as much as they're loved (amongst many).

George W. Bush's genius is so hidden we must send in forensic teams to examine every square millimeter of every “nukeular” missile silo in the United States to find any trace.

Ben Franklin was more insane than genius on his good days, as was Nicolai Tesla...

So I'm taking the easy route: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. At fourteen, for crying out loud!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Science Fiction Book Club List

There's a meme making it's way around the blogworld once again, involving the Science Fiction Book Club list of the Fifty Most Important Novels in the past fifty years. I've done my enumeration over at Snoozelets; it's my literary/writing blog.

In case you were wondering.

Monday Music Mambo -- Albumology

Rfduck halts his celebratory “March Madness” and “Oregon Won” dance to say, “Aloha! Once again, I don't like the given theme for the day, so I'll make up my own. Today we'll talk about album structure and sequence.”

Before answering Rfduck's questions below, I just want to say that I've never given these matters any thought until now. It just wasn't one of those things that concerned me, as I have no intention of producing an album nor any reason to be more than an active consumer of music. I am rather fond of classical forms. I like the fact that there is most often an overture to an opera, so you may familiarize yourself with the theme(s) and melodies of the tunes to come. It's also why I like Mozart's symphonies and his use of the reprise – it brings it all to a logical and often emotionally satisfying close. Rarely have I seen these forms employed in popular and rock music with some notable exceptions, such as Jesus Christ, Superstar, Hair! , Tommy, The Wall, Days of Future Passed, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and the Beatles' White Album.

1. What's your favorite album-opening song?
That's a toughie. I think George Martin did it right with his 1998 album of remade Beatles tunes entitled In My Life by starting off with Robin Williams singing “Come Together.”
2. What's your favorite album-closing song?
The Moody Blues' "Nights In White Satin" / "Late Lament" on the previously cited Days of Future Passed album. Although, it's really hard to pass up citing the closing orchestral piece of Jesus Christ, Superstar, "John 19:41." (According to the Wikipedia entry, “The title is a reference to a verse in the Bible about Jesus being laid in the tomb (Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid John 19:41”) Here, after the high energy of the title song followed by the angst of The Crucifixion, the final orchestral closing is just so appropriate a close.
3. What's your favorite one-two-three punch of album-opening singles?
There's too many to think about. Truly. For sake of an answer, one need only hearken to the three lead-off songs on the Sgt. Pepper album, "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band", "With a Little Help From My Friends"& "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds". That's quite the successful triad.
4. How many songs do you think an album should have? Finally, an easy answer. Sixteen.

MEME: Monday Madness

Monday, March 12, 2007

Otto shook herself awake and exclaimed, “Once again, our good friend tricia has offered some questions for our answering! Thanks, Tricia! And remember, if YOU have questions you'd like to see here, please email me any time! Thanks to all of you for playing.”

1. Do you believe in reincarnation? No. While I grasp the concept and even find it an admirable construct for facing the nothingness of death, it doesn't follow logically that this occurs.
2. Do you own any anime figures? No.
3. Are you one of the fanfic writers over at Nope.
4. Do you review stories which are posted in No.
5. Are you looking forward to seeing the third Spider-Man film? I guess so – it isn't a high priority – I'll wait for the DVD to be released.
6. Are you looking forward to seeing the Fantastic Four sequel? No.
7. Do you like "Deal or No Deal"? Not at all.
8. Are you a television watcher? Yes, drama, movies, cooking and some sit-coms. This year it's House, NCIS, The Unit, Bones, The “F” Word, Good Eats, Iron Chef America, CSI, Criminal Minds, Medium, Ghost Whisperer, Top Chef, Dr. G, Medical Examiner, Shark, Anthony Bourdain, Sopranos, NASCAR races and related programming, World Rally racing and the coverage of the Dakar Rally, Boston Red Sox games (before they go into the crapper in August), and dog shows.
9. Do you write letters to people? No, not anymore. I use email or the phone these days.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

MEME: Sunday Seven - Episode 80

I've made this invitation before, but never quite like this! In a few weeks, you'll see the reason I'm asking. So get ready to put on your meme-writer hats!

But first, though Jude of My Way was first to play last week! Congratulations, Jude!

On to this week's question!

Name seven questions you would ask if you were writing an upcoming edition of the Saturday Six. Don't answer the questions: just leave the questions themselves.

  1. Has Spring arrived where you are?

  2. Given that Easter is about the Resurrection, what has been resurrected by the melting of the snows or the raking of the past years detritus from the yard at your place?

  3. What's your favorite thing about Spring?

  4. What's your least appreciated thing about Spring?

  5. Take this quiz ...

  6. Was that the dumbest quiz you've ever taken or what?

  7. Name your favorite flower to appear in the Spring around you?

John M. Scalzi's Weekend Assignment #155: Childish Things

Weekend Assignment #155: Recount a distinctively childish thing you did (or your children did) when you or they were children. Because things like painting your hands pink, or trying to make chocolate milk with mud, or arranging a marriage between your stuffed animals? Not something you're likely to do when you're older.

Extra Credit: The name of your favorite stuffed animal growing up.

Dear John,

Howdy friend, from the frozen freaking North Country. Where, today, we are having a heat wave – it's currently 37°F after a week of subzero highs with gale force winds and wind chills in the -20's and -30's. Where the low temp the other morning was -16°F – not Alaska cold, but cold enough for this old phartoid.

All things considered, I bring this level of misery upon myself. I could have abandoned hearth and home for Louisiana back in November, but no, not this dumbkopf. I have to stay right through the bitter end of winter in one of the more forsaken locales in the lower forty-eight. Why? Just plain stupid, I guess. This petulance? Just plain childish, I guess.

Speaking of childish, my grandfather Will used to run a furniture and dry goods store and out front, he had one of those new fangled hand pumps to gas up the horseless carriages. It was 1919 and my six year old father loved to tag along with his dad. On this particular day, he was glued to his Pop's side as the local doctor, Asa Adams, was fueling up his Model T. They were deep in conversation, to the point where Grampa had stopped pumping long enough to make a point to Asa. Neither was paying any attention to my father. Grampa was wearing bib overalls, so the story goes, so my dad took the nozzle out of the car and put it in his father's pocket. Grampa finished his discourse and started in pumping the handle again – only to discover he was fueling his nether regions! Of a sudden, he was hopping up and down and cursing to beat the band ... my father was seen beating feet down the alley to the rear of the building.

When cornered later, my dad's sole excuse was he wanted to do everything “just like Daddy.” Instead of owing my Grampa for gas, Gramps owed the good doctor a dollar for the salve to treat the chemical burns on his thigh, penis and scrotum.

Gives a whole new meaning to “childish” doesn't it?

As always, my best to your lovely wife and prodigious progeny. Keep them warm and happy and may you avoid any repeats of “just like Daddy” that get you where the sun don't shine!


P.S. Extra Credit: His name was “Spots” and he was a very small, plush dog I received when I had chicken pox. He mysteriously disappeared after I recovered from same – my mother swore she didn't know what had happened to him. I looked high and low but no trace was ever found ... the second of many hallucinations to come.

MEME: Unconscious Mutterings -- Week 214

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

  1. Contribution :: Deductible

  2. Ryan :: Newman

  3. Minimal :: expenditure of energy

  4. Cleansed :: filtration

  5. Centered :: clay

  6. Arrow :: point

  7. Beyond :: excruciating

  8. Execute :: guillotine

  9. Intuition :: Woman's

  10. Apology :: Futile

    You can play along by getting a clean list of words at La Luna Niña's place.

MEME: Saturday Six - Episode 152

Patrick explains, “Sorry for posting these later than usual...I was tied up all day on a project and had to upgrade some software to boot. It was a crazy day...which helped inspire the theme of this week's set of questions.”

Last week, it was Donna of "Just Me" who was the first one to post the link to her post in which she answered the questions, so she was last week's "first to play." Donna also managed to beat Nichole of "My Two Cents," who was in line to break the all-time record and become first to be "first to play" for four weeks running! Donna's already 25% of the way to setting the record herself: will she do it?”

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's the craziest thing you can imagine yourself actually doing?
Climbing the proverbial Watchtower and shooting all the pretties running for cover, heheheh.
2. What sport or pastime do you think someone would almost have to be crazy to attempt?
Competitive Dog Eating
3. How likely would you be to do that?
Not very... I hate the taste of raw dog.
4. Take the quiz: How insane are you?

How insane are you

0% insane

get a life

5. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most stupid, how stupid would you rate that quiz?
It's right there at the plateau between 9 and 10.
6. What do you really use your computer for?

Downloading .mp4's and puppy porn.

There. Is that insane enough for you, Patrick?

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Wednesday Mind Hump

Rfduck took a moment out of his busy schedule rearranging his pin feathers to quack, “Hello humpers! Let's get going on another week of mind humping. Today is Cereal Day.”

1. Favorite type of cheerios - honey nut, frosted, or good ol' plain?
Good ol' plain.
2. Do you still dig for the prize in the box?
No – I wait until I choke on it.
3. Do you actually eat the non-marshmallow pieces in Lucky Charms?
I don't eat Lucky Charms, period (shudder).
4. Do you go cuckoo for cocoa puffs?
Not in the least.
5. What is your favorite brand/kind of cereal? Raisin Brand, and I usually buy the house brand of all the cereals. SWMBO is fond of the frosted corn flakes. For obvious reasons, I tend to buy unsweetened cereals for my own use.

Totally Stupid, Man!

John Scalzi was pimping this over on his By The Way AOL Journal ... says I'm 5% Stupid! How stupid are you? Click Here!

Guess I'm not as stoopid as I look!