Saturday, December 25, 2010
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
I started entering this blog post with the intention of logging his contribution to the growth and development of the English language, but when I started checking online, it appears, alas!, that Daniel is too late, too late, too late.
I'm sorry, dude. It was a valiant try.
Monday, December 20, 2010
Son takes his father to the doctor. Doctor gives them the bad news that the father is dying of cancer. Father tells the son that he has had a good long life and wants to stop at the bar on the way home to celebrate it.
While at the bar, the father sees several of his friends. He tells them that he is dying of AIDS.
When the friends leave the son asks, "Dad, you're dying of cancer. Why did you tell them that you are dying of AIDS?"
The father replies, "I don't want them fucking your mother after I'm gone!"
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Thursday, December 16, 2010
GIVEN that if you put instant coffee in a microwave oven, you go back in time;
GIVEN that if you put a mirror face-down on a copier, you fall into another dimension;
THEREFORE if you put a mirror in a microwave, and instant coffee on top, the instant coffee will go back in time to another dimension.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Monday, December 13, 2010
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Mr. Narayanan Krishnan
Akshaya's Helping in H.E.L.P. Trust
9, West 1st Main Street,
Doak Nagar Extension,
Madurai 625 010. India
Ph: +91(0)452 4353439/2587104
Cell:+91 98433 19933
E mail: email@example.com
Tuesday, December 07, 2010
Just stay the hell outa my way for the time being and we'll all be happier. Yuck. :(
Thursday, December 02, 2010
Well, I'll have our taxes filed months before that, so I guess that's all to the good.
I really people who're so specific about the end of the world. As long as they're not describing an asteroid strike or something factual, they're whackjobs, but it's kinda in the "C'mon, lads, we must get a winner one day" spirit.
Wednesday, December 01, 2010
Susan the Wonderchild hit me with this one last night:
Q. Why did the chicken cross the Möbius strip?"
A. To get to the same side.
When I told this to Ginny Morey, she replied with:
Q. How many hipsters does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A. It's a really obscure number; you've probably never heard of it.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Given the premise that one might conceivably want to devote leftover mashed potatoes to something other than a vehicle for gravy and butter, the Babe found a lovely recipe for Cheesy Potato Casserole Bread, which uses leftover mashed potatoes that have, for some reason, been dubbed as "excess" potatoes.
I'm going to reproduce the recipe here for convenience, but all credit goes to Anna P, who posted the recipe on food.com. She says she got it from a flyer, so who knows who did this originally?
Cheesy Potato Casserole Bread
By Anna P. on May 20, 2003
Prep Time: 1 hr
Total Time: 1 3/4 hrs
Yield: 1 Loaf
1 (1/4 ounce) envelope active dry yeast
1 cup warm milk
1/3 cup vegetable shortening, at room temperature
1 large egg
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup mashed potatoes, at room temperature
1/2 cup shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Grease a deep round or oval 2-quart casserole and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the milk and let dissolve.
- Add the shortening, egg, salt, pepper, and 1 cup of the flour and beat till smooth, about 2 minutes Stir in the remaining 2 cups flour, the potatoes, and cheddar till well blended, scrape the dough in the prepared casserole, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm area till doubled in bulk, about 40 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Sprinkle the Parmesan evenly, over the top of the dough and bake till golden brown, about 45 minutes.
- Transfer the bread to a wire rack to cool, then cut into slices.
Things worth noting
You'll put the initial ingredients in the bowl as directed, blend it vigorously with a beater, then add the rest of the ingredients and most of the flour save the last cup and beat that, then add the last cup and use a stiff spoon or large fork to mix everything... but you don't knead it! It's all mixed in the bowl and then you pour it right into the greased 2qt cooking dish, cover with saran wrap, and let it rise right there. When it's risen, you don't punch it down, but just slip it into the oven. The eggs provide the glue that you'd normally create by kneading and building up the gluten. So it's a cross between a quick bread and a yeast bread, but it doesn't leave that slight baking soda flavor in the back of the mouth. And it's very tasty!
Thursday, November 25, 2010
May your stuffing be tasty,
May your turkey be plump.
May your potatoes 'n gravy have nary a lump.
May your yams be delicious
May your pies take the prize,
May your Thanksgiving dinner stay off of your thighs!!
Dinner's in 45 minutes here.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
At a news conference, after announcing the invention, a large group of men took Dr. Rickson outside and kicked the shit out of him.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
Many families will celebrate Thanksgiving TSA style. To get to the dinner table, you either go through the kitchen past the microwave or go through the den and have a brief chat with creepy Uncle Ted. --Bill Swallow
Friday, November 19, 2010
It's WW II.
Karol Wojtyla is running through woods in Poland, being chased by a Nazi soldier. Capture's imminent, so he prays while running, "Oh, Lord, please save me!"
Suddenly, the clouds opened and a voice boomed out to both of them: "Do not harm this man! He will one day be Pope and be revered by billions!!"
Karol Wojtyla dropped to his knees, clasped his hands, and said "Thank you, Lord!"
The Nazi soldier looks up at the sky and says, "OK, Lord, but what's in it for me?"
The voice boomed back "One day, you'll be Pope, too!"
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Monday, November 15, 2010
"The masses have never thirsted after truth. Whoever can supply them with illusions is easily their master; whoever attempts to destroy their illusions is always their victim." ~ Gustave Le Bon
Sunday, November 14, 2010
This is just so massively, completely, totally unsafe for work. Or anything else, probably. And really funny!!
Bonhoeffer said, in The Cost of Discipleship, that Christianity is not easy and that it is a mistake to think so. He differentiated between "cheap grace" and "costly grace." In this, he said:
"cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline. Communion without confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ."And this brings me, rather circuitously, to today's rant.
I recently listened to a couple videos of sermons from a "good" preacher in Hedgesville, WV, who pontificated about homosexuality. He actually did two sermons on two successive Sundays. The first talked about how it was not appropriate to act with hate or violence towards gays. I suppose that was a step forward: "no, no, you can consider them accursed of God, but you cain't lynch 'em anymore, Billy Bob!" The second sermon, though, was the same old stuff we always hear from these jackasses: he jumped backwards through flaming hoops of snot to show that that one line in Leviticus about homosexuality was relevant, but all the other stupid rules in Leviticus could be ignored. (This was impressive.) It's clear that he doesn't have much information outside of the box, because if he did, he'd be sharing it with the congregation. The first sermon was not bad for the six inches forward it went; the second sermon was nothing but mental masturbation--"BB-stacking" as my ex-wife used to describe it.
This guy was recommended to me by someone whose opinion I am interested in who attends this church, so I listened to the entirety of both sermons. I've asked him to read things like Mel White's exceptional "Stranger at the Gate," so it's only fair that if he asks me to watch a video, that I do so. And I really was curious to hear where this pastor was going to go with all of this. I wasn't particularly surprised, though I was disappointed, that the same unthinking conclusions are still being bandied about as if they're something new or even valid. I mean... LEVITICUS??? Give to me a fucking break, please!! What kind of idiot selectively points to Leviticus and says "Well, this piece is really true, but the rest of the stuff is just totally silly?" Someone who's willing to dive backwards through flaming hoops of snot to support their own shabby little prejudices as being "God's word" and not their own responsibility, that's who.
But there was value in listening to these two sermons, quite apart from the fact that the pastor (shallow thinker that he might be) has a very good delivery style and is quite nice to listen to if you don't listen too hard. That value was this: I realized that the Westboro Baptist Church is no different from the many other churches that play the "hate the sin but love the sinner" game for homosexuality except in degree... and the WBC may actually be less dangerous than the rest because you can TELL they're lunatics because of the way they're screaming. People who speak softly are often mistaken for people who are not lunatics even when they're spouting pure toxic waste. And that's dangerous because it can get under your skin.
If homosexuality is a "choice" (*cough* bullshit! *cough*), then condemning people for choosing homosexuality is sadly judgmental on the part of the people doing the condemning. It sure isn't a strong sales pitch for a God of Love. But if homosexuality is inborn (as with thousands of other mammals and birds and fish species), then telling people they were basically born accursed of God is just the same as any other form of racism. People are indeed welcome to have any opinion about who they want to hang out with, but when they start inflicting this on children and other people, it should be dealt with like any other form of racism: mocked, reviled, and shunned by decent people.
As Bonhoeffer says, "God loves human beings. God loves the world. Not an ideal human, but human beings as they are; not an ideal world, but the real world. What we find repulsive in their opposition to God, what we shrink back from with pain and hostility, namely, real human beings, the real world, this is for God the ground of unfathomable love." It would be good for Christians to remember that. Running around telling people that they're wrong, they're living in sin, they're doing it wrong is just plain stupid if you're trying to demonstrate the brilliance of your theological position. Trying to bludgeon people into converting by doing this is no less stupid. As Bonhoeffer also pointed out, "Jesus himself did not try to convert the two thieves on the cross; he waited until one of them turned to him." The world would be a better place if people inclined to proselytize did so by the far more effective method of letting their light shine and not thwacking them with a Bible. Good proselytizing, in fact, great proselytizing, never needs the proselytizer to say a single word to prove the validity of their point of view.
If you're a Christian who grew up without a lot of social understanding about gay people and you have things to deal with, it's perfectly okay to say "I'm not comfortable with this," "I have to grow into accepting this," "I don't like this," or to refuse to hang out with people who are gay, but it is not an act of love for anyone to revile these people because they think their God tells them to. Do what Jesus did: act with love and acceptance of all people as brothers, and say nothing on the subject whatsoever. That's going to be a really hard part for most Christians: you don't get to be judgmental about this if you're a Christian, which is the part that most of the shallow breed here in this country seem to forget.
Moreover, not everyone thinks that being gay and being Christian are incompatible. There's a wonderful book called "What the Bible Really Says about Homosexuality" that provides an excellent discussion of the context for the handful of references about homosexuality. The ToC is available on Amazon and one gets a clear idea of what's being discussed and may be able to grow wiser just from that. If you're not familiar with the concepts being discussed in the sample pages, consider buying it. It shows what most of the rest of us already knew: people who quote Leviticus as a "justification" for so-called Christian beliefs about homosexuality are both laughable and ignorant.
If someone thinks that someone else doesn't measure up to their standards of Christianity, then the best way to encourage them to be better is to be a better Christian yourself. Not a smugger Christian, not a more self-righteous Christian, not a holier-than-thou Christian--even one of those in the world is way too many--but a Christian who really shows people what that line about "not hiding your light under a bushel" means. I met one, once, you know. He continues to be an inspiration to me 20-some years later about what Christians might be and aren't.
SIDENOTE: I realize as I write this that this one true Christian is, in small part, indirectly responsible for my general disgust with the rest of the breed because almost all of them that I've met are such woeful failures at it. I knew when and where I'd developed such an intense loathing for Christians: it was working at Raima Corporation in the late 80s. The company was run and staffed by as dysfunctional a bunch of people as I'd ever seen, all of whom claimed loudly to be Christian. The company was formed out of people who attended Mt. Highlands Community Christian Church, some megachurch on the Eastside of Seattle. My first boss, John, was a decent man who I admired for his integrity, but the joke-that-wasn't-a-joke among the staff was that you could always tell who was management (or sucking up to management) because they had the leatherbound KJV Bible on their shelf with the words of Jesus in red. When I signed up there, I'd merely disliked assholes like Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson. Two years of watching how most of these people actually treated themselves and each other was eye-opening and horrifying. However, I'd never figured out until I wrote this that it wasn't merely revulsion at the way 99% of them are willing to eat their own young and each other; it's the revulsion at the shallowness and total lack of spirituality for people claiming a religious label. Sadly, with the exception of this one true Christian I met there, most of them I've met since are just as shallow. Some have integrity and try hard (like my first boss) and I've met some who are sincere, but as the saying goes, "95% of Christians give the other 5% a bad name!" I would really like it to be otherwise, but the feeble bleat of "We're Not All Like That!" rings hollow when I don't see the NALT-sorts trying to do something about the ones they're not supposed to be like.
Don't like gay people? You don't have to hang out with them. But if your children or your brother or your sister or your best friend or even one of your parents says "I'm gay," then if you're a Christian, you'd better be ready to respond with as much love and acceptance as you can, and then go find more in your heart, because that's how that job description reads. Yeah, it may be hard, but nobody who knew what they were talking about ever said that real Christianity was supposed to be easy. And that's probably the most important thing that Bonhoeffer said.
Addendum: I wanted to post the link to the sermon archive church that inspired this journey of self-discovery in writing. They're at Hedgesville Church and the sermon archive is here. (The website is very well designed, btw!) The two sermons in question are still up, but they look like they may roll off soon. If you'd like to listen to them and see if your conclusions match mine, listen quickly.
Friday, November 12, 2010
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Tuesday, November 09, 2010
- Muslims do not recognize Jews as God's chosen people.
- Jews do not recognize Christ as the Messiah.
- Protestants do not recognize the Pope as the leader of the Christian world.
- Baptists do not recognize each other at Hooters or the liquor store.
Monday, November 08, 2010
That was all; do carry on....
Sunday, November 07, 2010
Saturday, November 06, 2010
Friday, November 05, 2010
Thursday, November 04, 2010
Wednesday, November 03, 2010
So, as I say, I'm not particularly surprised that the GOP made such massive gains in the house, but I'm not taking it (as Fox is putting it repeatedly in that "lets all repeat that key phrase as if we each just thought it up" way they have of doing things over there) as a "referendum on Obama's policies." I'm rather looking at it as the impatience and general cluelessness of the American electorate, who can't figure out that it takes a lot longer than 2 years to get out of a hole that took 8 years to dig... particularly when the worst of things only started happening 3 years ago.
More to the point, though, if this had been a real victory for the teabaggers, they would've elected even one of the bigname candidates that Sarah Palin had backed: O'Donnell, Tancredo, Angle, Miller. All of them ate a bucket of fail last night. It's still amusing that the teabaggers cannot figure out that they've already been totally co-opted by the GOP, who are writing their marching orders. If they really dislike the GOP so much--and many of them do--they'd have created their own party. No, they're clearly bought and paid for and they don't realize it.
I read a very interesting article by Alvin McEwen about what the election means.
My favorite quote from this article: "Now that the Republicans have Congress, they can now reveal that incredibly, wonderful master plan to cut taxes, bring down the deficit, and increase the work force. Apparently the plan is so awesome that none of them wanted to reveal it to the media or each other." I will truly be listening for that, because if they could do all of that, I and much of the rest of America would be interested. (Why stop there? Add hair restoration and erection enhancement to the label and go for the clean sweep.)
BTW, it's been 12 hours since becoming the Heir Apparent to the Speakership of the House, and John Boehner is already touting how good they're going to make it for America by... putting their energy into repealing Obama's healthcare package. Because, yeah, when I'm out of work and my unemployment's running out and the economy sucks, I really want someone telling me that they're going to fuck with my health insurance. I'm sure that's what the marching morons who voted for these people wanted. (But, oh, no, they won't touch Medicare or Social Security. What hypocritical jizzbags!)
Monday, November 01, 2010
Sunday, October 31, 2010
I think my fave is this one:
Go look at all of them, though. They're fun!
While I do often think of my pets as my children, I really hope that if I ever do have kids, I never have to utter a phrase similar to this one: "Bello, for the love of God, STOP HUNTING YOUR SISTER!"
Saturday, October 30, 2010
I looked online for recipes. I know you can create your own, but I was after something with a little provenance that was really good and sour. And lo! I found it in Carl Griffith's 1847 Oregon Trail Sourdough Starter. This is a culture from a sourdough starter that traces all the way back to the Oregon Trail in 1847. It was in Carl's family for the last 150-some years.
Carl was a generous guy who gave sourdough starter to any and all during his life and his friends have been continuing this habit now that he's gone. You can get enough sourdough starter culture to get your own sourdough starter going for the cost of an SASE. If you're thinking you aren't going to use it often enough, here's information on how to dry or freeze sourdough culture.
I'm still on the primary growth phase of the culture; I'll be feeding it with more flour and dried potatoes tomorrow. But it's growing nicely at this point and I've a container ready for it.
Friday, October 29, 2010
The thing is that, as part of this, there's a strong sense of preparation this year. I've been wanting to can, to bake, even to brew beer, something I've not done for over a decade. I sent off for a sourdough starter I'll tell you about shortly. They're making me feel better and safer, but I've been wondering why.
These things are all harvest related but I also recognize that for me, this is Samhain nesting behavior. The Goddess is life and rebirth, to be sure, so the yeast cells are Hers. Putting them to work is the God's side of things. During a vision quest decades ago, I thought that the Goddess is all things, and the God is the understanding of all things. So where the Goddess is plants, the God is agriculture. Where the Goddess is nature, the God is science. And where the Goddess is grains and yeasts, the God is baking and brewing.
So every time I do baking or brewing, the smell of yeast reminds me of the God and how the God will understand the Goddess a little better each time.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Monday, October 25, 2010
I was ready to fight dragons, but my life has been small spiders and stepping chewing gum.
(I could have dealt with dragons....)
It's been like that today. Or maybe like this:
Saturday, October 23, 2010
(BTW, the subtitles are from the movie. That's that the lyrics are supposed to be saying. Oy.)
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
I'm not much for techno music, vastly preferring that fiddle-and-banjo crap, but if people learn contradancing, it's all to the good. (Thanks to Anita Anderson for this link.)
Monday, October 18, 2010
And her website is even fruitier. She's a squirrel. No, really, she says so.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Wednesday, October 06, 2010
Tuesday, October 05, 2010
Monday, October 04, 2010
Every action is a result of a thought. When we are talking about preventing suicide, and more specifically, preventing the deaths of more young gay people, we are gravely remiss if we do not address the "shoulds" behind the attempts. More specifically, no gay suicide has been attempted without the following equation:
= I shouldn't be alive
Sunday, October 03, 2010
You know why the Democrat's symbol is the letter "D"? Because it's a grade that means passing, but just barely. You know why the Republican's symbol is the letter "R"? Because it's the sound pirates makes when they rob you and feed you to the sharks. --Bill Maher
Friday, October 01, 2010
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Here's what Utah's up to. Jesus H. Christ in a baggie! They deserve mockery and scorn.
Monday, September 27, 2010
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
"That's the thing about salted-down possum: it's just as good the second day."--Jed Clampett
Of particular interest are the books on states and countries from 30, 40, 50 years ago, such as this book on the Soviet Union from 1968. (Insert "In Soviet Union..." joke of your choice here.)
Sunday, September 19, 2010
What I'd like is something that I can start seedlings in really early and also grow some of the things that need hothouse conditions, like peppers and cantaloupes. This year was so disappointing for even growing tomatoes that I'd like to be able to start seedlings very early next year and get a solid leap on the weather. And even keep some things in the greenhouse if I need to.
I'm thinking of something rather like this one, which is 6' x 8':
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
I've been filled with inertia at the very ads. This has struck me from the word "go" as a really awful film. But I didn't know why until just 5 minutes ago (during which time, I got to see the ad yet another time).
The words "M. Night Shyamalan" just danced across the screen when they flashed the credits.
Do we need anything more to tell us how bad it's going to be? No wonder the ads look like shit. Like "The Last Airbender," the trailer may be the best part.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010
Friday, September 10, 2010
Imagine what your life would be like if you were totally awesome. What would you do? What would your typical Tuesday be like? How would you feel? How many of your dreams could you turn into reality?You go on 52 1-week "missions," each of which take about an hour.
The cost for this? $52, a buck a week.
I got misty reading a lot of this. He sounds very much like a man I would have liked to know.
Thursday, September 09, 2010
Wednesday, September 08, 2010
I didn't have any way of running more than one drive and the DVD/CD, so I went out to buy a SATA card. Best Buy had one, their website said, but when I drove out to Springfield, they couldn't find it. Bugger. :( Springfield's to the east of Eugene. I drove first to the Office Depot in Eugene only to discover that they do sell SATA cards, but only online. I then drove to the far western side of Eugene and found what may be the only SATA card for retail sale in Eugene at a small computer store. It's slower than I wanted and was about twice as much as the same thing online, but I really NEEDED this card to get back to work. So I bought it, brought it home, and configured the computer. I'm alive again.
A much better (and slightly less expensive) card is coming on Saturday and then I'll hook the rest of the SATA drives up and do some more backing up. Meanwhile, I've deadlines that I want to get back to. And I really really really have had quite enough problems with electronics, technology, or ANYTHING for quite a while!
Monday, September 06, 2010
But here's a good quote du jour that a friend who signs himself "Miles Vorkosigan" on FB said today. It's a darned good quote:
Watching the Fringe Christians and the Fringe Muslims trying to one-up each other in bad behavior is like watching the Voldemort-vs.Sauron Global cage match mixed with a Dr. Seuss morality tale.
Wednesday, September 01, 2010
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Sunday, August 22, 2010
At this point, I am going to slither off to a hot bathtub and soak the owies away, then come back up here and work on a contract.
Friday, August 20, 2010
It's now 6 years old and still going strong. I've got it in the bathroom and it blooms regularly. Here's the first bloom of this season.
Hey, it's Friday. You needed this.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Well, worry no more! Thanks to GodChecker, you can find a new god for yourself! GodChecker lists almost 3000 gods, with more being added all the time! There are Australian gods, Mayan gods, Chinese gods, Roman gods, Finnish gods, Tibetan gods, Celtic gods, Norse gods, Mesopotamian gods, and many, many more! New pantheons are being added all the time, so if you don't see anything you like, check back regularly and you're sure to find something that fills that god-shaped hole in your soul (assuming you have one and your chosen deity requires it).
So if you want a god who's Mr. Nice Guy, a cannibal demoness, a dragon king, an all-powerful god who can rain down fire and destruction, a god of bats, or even a band of Russian superheroes, GodChecker has it all!
(Note: Past history with a god should not be considered guarantee of future performance. Consult your local priest before mixing and matching deities, as some restrictions may apply. Christian saints, martyrs, and hermits packaged separately.)
Monday, August 16, 2010
Now, I can see arguments about why having no religious institutions at all is a good thing--and don't have a lot of problems with that idea--but if you're going to allow one or some, then by definition, you get to have any of them. That's what "Freedom of Religion" is all about. (If you believe that the 2nd Amendment in the Bill of Rights gives you the right to own and carry guns all over the place, it's hypocritical to not believe in the rights stated in the First Amendment.)
Even more interesting, though, is the fact that this place isn't actually on the site. It's a couple blocks away. And this fact brings up something interesting that completely vitiates the toxic waste and idiocy spewed by Sarah Palin (idle thought: does she have any other mode?): this isn't "hallowed ground." How do we know this? Take a look at these photos. If the area a couple blocks away were truly "hallowed," we sure wouldn't be seeing some of the other establishments out there. A house of worship and prayer really beats the snot out of Burger King for overall sanctity as a general rule.
(For those who want more data, I refer you to John Boswell's detailed and extensively documented book, Same-Sex Unions in Premodern Europe.)
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Researchers were conducting a study comparing the views of men in their 20s who had never been exposed to pornography with regular users.That's not a surprise, really: men are men and, as Jeff Foxworthy says, men's motivations tend to boil down to "I'd like a beer and I'd like to see something nekkid!" But what was rather interesting was that porn wasn't the corrupter of sexual preferences that it's popularly made out to be:
But their project stumbled at the first hurdle when they failed to find a single man who had not been seen it.
"We started our research seeking men in their 20s who had never consumed pornography,” said Professor Simon Louis Lajeunesse. “We couldn't find any."
The study found that men watched pornography that matched their own image of sexuality, and quickly discarded material they found offensive or distasteful.So, men like looking at dirty pictures (quelle surprise!) and it doesn't change their basic sexual makeup.
Prof Lajeunesse said pornography did not have a negative effect on men's sexuality.
“Not one subject had a pathological sexuality,” he said. “In fact, all of their sexual practices were quite conventional.
“Pornography hasn't changed their perception of women or their relationship, which they all want to be as harmonious and fulfilling as possible,” he added.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Monday, July 19, 2010
There are several RealAudio clips on their website, such as the Second Brandenburg Concerto, the Dance of the Reed Flutes, and a version of one of my top 5 all-time favorite pieces of music, dubbed Rhapsody in Bottles. There are also a lot of concert clips on YouTube: an entire concert, in fact.
Something you'll notice in the concert clips is that the conductor will cue everyone by making a sudden gesture raising his arms. The band members will frequently respond. Keep an eye out for it.
I scored 4 on this test. (0 is perfect.)
I first met this when I had the honor to be singing with the Washingtonians, an 80-90 voice mixed choir run by the many-talented Scott Warrender. It's one of my regrets that I didn't discover them years before I did, because I would've loved performing with them for years and years. Funny, great music, wonderful shows, a joy to be with. ~sigh~
This YouTube clip is the best I've found so far. The video portion just shows a flickering fireplace, so you can crank up the sound and just listen. Headphones are desirable. You're going to want to crank this up.
I so love this piece.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
But the funny thing about this that she told me today was that she was in the master bedroom looking for whatever might be salvaged and there were only two books that weren't damaged by fire, smoke, or water: the two copies of "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Disaster Preparedness" I'd sent her. In other words, the book I'd co-authored with Dr. Maurice Ramirez on how to survive disaster seems to be reasonably fireproof.
I guess my personal mana extends a thousand miles away even to my books. Hey, am I fuckin' cool or what?
Saturday, July 17, 2010
1. I will not pick off friends, family or neighbors of the Hero one at a time. This annoys the Hero and drives him into action. They'll still be there when he is dead.
2. There are thousands of people who want to be vampires. Why pick someone who doesn't?
3. The Hero will come armed with holy water, a cross and a stake. I will come armed with a 5.56 mm assault rifle, a rocket launcher and grenades.
4. When biting women to make them slaves, I will bite them in discreet areas, such as the inside of the thigh, the lower part of the breast, or some similar location not requiring painfully obvious alteration of clothing or ridiculous accessories to conceal.
5. I will equip my home with a marvelous device called a Burglar Alarm with an automatic dialer. It will be difficult for the Hero to kill me in my "sleep" while he's under arrest for attempted break and enter.
6. My coffin will be concealed and will be a plain wooden box. The elaborate oak coffin with gold trim resting in the basement will be equipped with claymores designed to shred the body of anyone who opens it.
7. I will wear a watch, and verify what time the next day's sunrise occurs, every evening, before heading out for the night's activities.
8. The formal attire with cape will be reserved for special occasions. Jeans and a t-shirt will be fine for everyday wear as they are less noticeable.
9. I will not engage in a battle of wits with the Hero. I plan on killing him anyway so what's the point?
10. There will be no windows, doors, elevator shafts, or air vents accessing my Hidden Lair that have any sort of access to the outside through which sunlight can be directed to my Lair using mirrors.
11. If there must be windows, they will be painted over and backed with steel plate so the Hero will face a rude surprise when he throws something through it at sunrise.
12. When I take the Hero's True Love to make her my concubine and eternal slave, I will not show her off to torment the Hero. That would goad the Hero into making an attack. She will be tucked away in a quiet room watched over by my loyal servants until the Hero is dead.
13. I will not transform children. Their bodies will stay the same age forever while their minds grow older, and they will become whiny and disobedient.
14. I will not use bug-eating morons as servants. Pretty females dressed in little French maid outfits are more visually appealing and can also distract the Hero.
15. While castles and mansions are traditional and have a certain flair, the two-bedroom bungalow is less noticeable in suburbia.
16. My home will not have wooden furniture, the legs of which become sharp, pointed sticks at inopportune moments.
17. My home will have mirrors, but they will be located in places such as the bathroom, where I am unlikely to be present at the same time as the Hero or his friends.
18. I will not change into a bat, scuttle up walls, fly, or hypnotize people when there might be witnesses.
19. All my concubines will be fully aware that they are not to seduce, attack, harass, or even mildly bother visitors staying in the castle unless they have express permission from me.
20. The blood in the refrigerator will be stored in a tomato juice jug, and there will be ordinary food in there for camouflage.
21. I will get a good voice coach and change my name. "Hi, I'm Bob," is less suspicious than "I... am... Count... Dra...cu...la."
22. I will not associate with vampire theatres, vampire whorehouses and prostitution rings, vampire bars, or vampire biker gangs. They attract attention.
23. I will spend no more than 10 years in any one location, and when I move it will be somewhere distant. I will not return to a previous home for a minimum of 80 years. This way, anyone who previously knew me will either be dead or senile.
24. I will be able to explain porphyria and why that unfortunate genetic condition is the reason I cannot go out in the sun.
25. I will force myself to look concerned, rather than hungry, when someone accidentally cuts himself.
26. A Kevlar vest with a ceramic trauma plate located over the heart is a rather trendy fashion accessory.
27. I will take seriously anyone who approaches me with a water pistol and a confident expression.
28. Backpacks and small bags capable of holding sharp pointed wooden sticks will be taken from visitors by a servant at the door. Anyone refusing to part with their accessories will be taken into a side room, shot in the knees, handcuffed, and chained to the wall, where they will provide lunch for my concubines.
29. Crossbows, spears, arrows, and other antique weapons with wood or large blades will be banned from the castle. There is nothing wrong with a fine collection of rifles and handguns.
30. Before dining out with anyone, I will verify that garlic is not a major spice at that restaurant.
31. All servants, concubines, and assorted slaves will be under strict orders not to show excessive devotion to me in public.
32. Servants, concubines, and assorted slaves will have a zero-tolerance rule: one mistake and they're dead. I can always create more.
33. When recruiting new blood, so to speak, I will first enslave those who might notice odd behavior in my future concubines and do something about it. Thus, when I hit the local all-female school, The Tomboy Who Could Be Attractive With The Right Makeup goes first, followed quickly by The Misunderstood But Brave Social Pariah, and The Attractive Girl With The Heart Of Gold. The good-looking cheerleaders, the sexually repressed teachers/librarians, and the oversexed bimbos can wait.
34. All future concubines will be screened and have complete background checks. Those with relatives named Van Helsing will be removed from consideration. The irony is not worth the risk.
35. Nothing says the Hero can't be a cripple or be suffering massive trauma from a shotgun blast before he becomes lunch.
36. I will not personally finish off the Hero. That is what loyal servants, concubines, and assorted slaves are for. Besides, the Hero's True Love is probably tastier.
37. All future concubines will be strip-searched for rosaries, crucifixes, and garlic before I approach them.
38. All cute but spunky kids in the community who express an interest in the supernatural will be identified and observed for sudden changes in behavior.
39. I will be an upstanding but otherwise undistinguished resident of my community, and will make sure that I cultivate enough friends that I will be warned of anyone spreading malicious rumors about me.
40. Since it will be the last thing they would expect, I will hire a Mafia hit team to take out the Hero and his friends. Let's see that crucifix protect them from an hail of gunfire.
41. All villagers will be encouraged to send their children to the schools I will secretly finance. After a few years of modern education they will dismiss the legends told by their grandparents, several of which will undoubtedly be ways to destroy me.
42. I will ignore all attempts to appeal to my former sense of humanity. I don't have any. That is why it is former.
43. I will remind myself that I am immortal, not indestructible.
44. All concubines will save the loose, transparent, flowing silk dresses for special occasions. I'm a modern sort of guy so I like a woman in leather, which provides more protection so they last longer in a fight.
45. Although firearms are useless against me and the concubines, they work quite effectively on the Hero and his friends. Therefore all concubines will be armed and taught to shoot. They will use hand and fang in attacks only as a last resort.
46. All bodies of former meals will be destroyed in a manner which will make the absence of blood and presence of bite marks impossible to identify.
47. I will not send the bodies (or parts thereof) of former friends, relatives, mentors, or lovers to the Hero in order to demonstrate my complete mastery over life and death.
48. I will not demonstrate knowledge inappropriate for someone of my apparent age.
49. I will not begin a vendetta against someone who has destroyed a fellow vampire. They have clearly demonstrated they have the ability to destroy me. I'll off them when I have the chance, not make it my life's work.
50. As cute as the Slayer is, there are other girls just as cute who are not capable of destroying me.
51. More vampires means a lower prey ratio: I will carefully consider if I really want more of us running around.
Friday, July 16, 2010
It's fun to know that, but the article points out that there are potential applications for this knowledge. But for a Friday after quitting time, I'll go for the baseline idea and be happy right with that.
The new housecleaners were here today and cleaned the front portico and the tag from the bottom of the doormat fell off. Shoot, I hadn't even known there was a tag. It's pretty funny. It says:
Information you should know about your doormat
Warning: Do not use mat as a projectile. Sudden acceleration to dangerous speeds may cause injury. When using mat, follow directions: Put your right foot in, put your right foot out, put your right foot in and shake it all about. This mat is not designed to sustain gross weight exceeding 12,000 lbs. If mat begins to smoke, immediately seek shelter and cover head. Caution: If coffee spills on mat, assume that it is very hot. This mat is not intended to be used as a placemat. Small food particles trapped in fibers may attract rodents and other vermin. Do not glue mat to porous surfaces such as pregnant women, pets, and heavy machinery. When not in use, mat should be kept out of reach of children with CFED (Compulsive Fiber Eating Disorder). Do not taunt mat. Failure to comply relieves the makers of this doormat, Simply Precious Home Decor, and its parent company, High Cotton, Inc., of any and all liability.
A co-dependent clause will stay with a main clause long beyond the point that it's healthy for either of them.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Anyway, this article from Lifehacker is something fascinating about caffeine and how it works.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
It's a very good book. I just finished it a half hour ago and I needed to come tell you about it right away. You should buy a copy. Or even two.
I fed it a big chunk of blog writing (my essay on Reagan, which seemed like a long enough sample) and let it happily chew on it and it turns out that my political writing analyzes like George Orwell.
But that's for non-fiction writing. I fed it a chunk of my second novel and I got this:
I could do worse than writing fiction like Salinger. My plotting isn't a patch on his, though. Better stick to the non-fiction for now....
Saturday, July 10, 2010
"The man who never alters his opinion is like standing water, and breeds reptiles of the mind."
Friday, July 09, 2010
But it worked out really well, you know? I had the idiot box on in the background and had lots of episodes of The Closer on while I debrided and swept and sorted and sifted.As a result of the enforced downtime, I was able to:
- process a large stack of mail (mostly junk) that's come in over the last week
- write checks and send payments on half a dozen bills
- fill up my wastebasket and recycle bin, empty them, and half fill them again
- dusted and swept (always an issue in this office)
- boxed up some spare computer stuff
Best of all, the computer is now working again! Whatever was wrong with the hard disk was fixable using the RECOVER feature from the WinXP boot CD. A few massaged sectors, a repair to the registry from the backup logs, and ~poof~ all is well again.
But the day did inspire a considerable amount of cursing, so it's significant that early this morning before the computer died on me, I saw the Periodic Table of Swearing. (Warning: This is so beyond the concept of "NSFW" you can't even see it from there.)
Addendum: I got a report of a link problem for the picture, so here's a copy. But try the source first, please: they deserve the credit.
"Let's not forget who killed Jesus -- ambitious politicians pandering to religious conservatives."
Thursday, July 08, 2010
In response to this, though, there was someone who posted a really lovely comment:
All of you against gay marriage, indulge me and explain one thing, Without using the words God, Bible, Christianity, Sin or any other theological notions, tell me why two people who love one another enough to make a commitment as serious as marriage should not be permitted to do so? And spare me the argument that gay marriage would ruin the "sanctity" of the institution. Heteros did that a long time ago.
They're adding more maps all the time, so be sure to check the dropdown list for the latest offerings.
Wednesday, July 07, 2010
And here's a quote for today:
“Like everyone else who makes the mistake of getting older, I begin each day with coffee and obituaries.” --Bill Cosby
Tuesday, July 06, 2010
Monday, July 05, 2010
A friend of mine (cackling over how The Last Airbender seems to be going down in 3-D flames), pointed out John Scalzi's illustrated recipe for a schadenfreude pie.
Sunday, July 04, 2010
Other vendors there were Shopdog Woodworks ("Artisan Furniture Crafted in the Presence of Dogs") and a really good local hatmaker named Viki Neville who I am very disappointed to say has no website. We liked her hats very much.