Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Joke du jour

Thanks to Chris Huffman for this one.

Q: Why did the Buddhist refuse to fill in the job application?
A: Because Form is Emptiness and Emptiness is Form.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Picture du jour: Music notation at its best

The Babe emailed this to me today. She got it from her friend Stacey, who got it from somewhere else.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh love it!


Sunday, October 02, 2011

Blog post #1004

Well, gosh, I'd planned a party and everything... and I missed the occasion. Blog post #1000 was a quote du jour a week and a half ago.

Oh, well. Go read Kewbism or Oglaf and have a good time today!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Baby changing station

Here's your laugh for the day:


Monday, September 26, 2011

Kewbism, an online cartoon strip

If you're looking for something different and entertaining, check out Kewbism, drawn by a friend of mine.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Brilliantly sarcastic responses to completely well meaning signs

This picture montage comes from a link at, which is good for spending hours on as it is. It's a collection of signs, flyers, and billboards that have been substantially improved by people with a magic marker or can of spray paint. Or they've at least cranked up the schnarkiness level considerably.

Quote du jour

Seen on the Internet:
Mark Zuckerberg screwed over his classmates and his best friend. Do you honestly think he cares about your opinion on the new layout?


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Hedtke's Law #12

I should've remembered this one ages ago. I think I started saying this in the early 80s if not before. I don't know where it comes from or if I coined it, but I've never heard anyone else say it, so it's mine now! mwahahahahaaaaaaaaa!
Hedtke's Law #12: Life is like a rose bush. Enjoy the flowers and ignore the occasional prick.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Self-publishing is not ALWAYS a good thing

Just because everyone can have a voice does not mean they should use it.

Read the reviews. Also note the price: wotta bargain, eh?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Physics is fun with dogs!

I particularly like the brief image of the cat on the banister post staying way the hell away from this.


Dave's Killer Bread demo

We saw a sign at Market of Choice that said "Dave's Killer Bread Demo--3:30 to 6:00pm," which made us think of them demonstrating killer bread in action on unwitting volunteers from the crowd. We do like Dave's Killer Bread very much, so we looked for the demo in the store.

A cartoon of Dave is on the label of the bread, but Dave in person... well, he looks like something out of a Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers comic book. The Babe posed with him.

All his breads are good, but you should really try the Sin Dawg, which is more of a cinnamon roll than anything else. 


How to keep idiots off the Internet

This test won't keep people with obnoxious opinions off the Internet, but it will help make sure that they're actually literate.


Saturday, July 23, 2011

"Mean Little Kitty"

Cuteness with an early rap beat.

Post #994.

Addendum: The Mean Kitty video channel is here. There are videos of Sparta and Loki, both of whom have birthdays celebrated on May 20th.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Are you the hero of your own life?

This short clip is inspirational.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Roasted Brussels sprouts

The Babe's been making roasted Brussels sprouts every so often. I've gotten requests for the recipe, so here you are. Even non-Brussels-sprouts fans have liked this one. I'm amazed.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Science joke du jour

Chemist #1: Know any good jokes about sodium?
Chemist #2: Na.

Addendum: Jon Singer added this rimshot:

Chemist #1: Well, okay. Let's consider potassium, then.
Chemist #2: K.

Addendum from Brian Gonzalez:

Q. What do you call an amalgam of sulfur, thorium, and ferric uranium ore?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Quote du jour

"A man who is good enough to shed his blood for his country is good enough to be given a square deal afterwards." -Teddy Roosevelt

Monday, June 27, 2011

Business news du jour

Apple has scrapped their plans for the new children's iPod. Apparently, iTouch Kids is not a good product name.

Monday, June 20, 2011

I'm getting old

No doubt about it: I'm getting old and cranky.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

My favorite story from Jim Weldy

I have always liked this story of Jim Weldy's. It was with great satisfaction that I discovered that he'd written it up and posted it on Facebook. I bring it to you here:

With some stories you just don’t know where to start so I’ll begin with the end of the story. This story ends with a group gesticulation with milk glasses. Seemingly simple movements of drink glasses at the supper table don’t really seem “an expressive gesture” as Webster describes gesticulation, even when the movement was in synchronized swim team precision but you should read the story and decide if I over used the word, you see if you think I used the term appropriately.

Raised on a 100 acre family farm and born to the start of the Boomer generation I got to see modern growth and expansion from a slightly different direction as most folk. Remembering my first taste of pasteurized milk in school I wondered why everyone didn’t have at least one milk cow so you could get the good stuff like I had at home on the dairy farm. Bringing in fresh milk still warm and taking a small sip as the cream rose before being chilled was a “MMMMMM” moment. Not that Dairy Farm life was easy by any stretch but it was a grand way and place to grow up.

The first year after purchasing our little family farm the crop was so poor my father decided to plow the corn under as the land had been so depleted by the previous owners misuse that the crop was worthless. So my Father drove Semi truck for income and used Hired Hands for the dairy while he built up the herd and the land. My father found it necessary to add the income from driving Semi Truck on long halls to make ends meet but the land was sound and able to be much improved with modern organic farming techniques. Organic in my youth meant my sisters and brother and I’d be embarrassed by the smell of the organics gathered from cleaning neighbors chicken houses and pig sty waste along with poultry processing waste and the ever present cow manure that was spread on the fields in the spring and winter, ripe when the school bus brought us home in time for evening chores.

Our little farm grew in value and production capacity with my fathers acumen, organic material that sometimes included chicken organs, and our Hired Hand Ralph’s strong back. Ralph was not the natural intellect that might manage a farm but he was a willing worker when given appropriate direction most of which was from my mother as my father was often on the road. At first not fully understanding the precision needed for instruction in every event Mother learned lessons quickly enough. For instance she learned to be very explicit from one time when the onions came up late and we discovered at harvest they were misshapen; twisted. When we asked Ralph about planting onion sets, Ralph remembered deciding the side with the hair must belong on top.

Mother was an English major in college and taught Math as well as English while I was in school so as you can imagine we were expected to use proper grammar, and being the age it was, we used proper manners. Not to say that puns and banter were banned from the supper table for that would have been impossible but such expletive words as “darn” or “shoot” were banned based on there being euphemisms. We often were, however, required to explain he dinner conversation to Ralph when a pun was not obvious - but not always.

I do recall when on a serious note at the supper table we learned that my older brother's I.Q. test placed him in a separate class proving as we suspected that he was very bright. Ralph not wanting to be left out told us he had been asked to take one of those tests once and he remembers having gotten a score that was nearly perfect! Even at my tender age I was pretty sure that meant nearly 100; well likely above 80 at any rate. I tell you this so you might know that Ralph was not inclined to ask rhetorical questions and expound on theoretical concepts but was a more practical fellow.

I recall one eve at supper when my father’s big White Diesel Truck was still warm and hitched to his refrigerated trailer out by the barn. My father said to Ralph, “So I see you have old Pat kept in her stanchion in the milk house. Is she not well?” (all our cows had names even when we milked 50 or more twice a day)

“No” Ralph said, “She Kicked me tonight”. “I’m goin’ out to talk with her about it after supper.” Now I know some of us have pets that have good memories and that Dogs particularly have a great sense of shame, but Dairy cows, while some were smarter than others, - Well let’s just say we all got a good chuckle out of Ralph’s high expectations.

The point of all this has been to give the flavor of Ralph and by flavor I don’t mean his habit of getting his not too clean thumb nail in the butter when he passed it but rather to understand the dynamic of family and farm hand that lead to the following conversation on another occasion when my father was home. “Carl” addressing my father Ralph continued. “What’s the difference between grade A and grade B and grade C milk?” Did I mention My father was also raised on a dairy and as his father died young he carried the responsibilities of life heavily on his back and with college education felt and indeed was more than capable of explaining many things. He replied with a litany of requirements for a Grade A dairy including the depth of cement the milk house needed to have, the temperature required of the milk within the first hour after milking, the distance required between the barn and the well for water used for cleaning the dairy equipment and on and on. Looking like the entire evening was to be used in this explanation Ralph interrupted catching my fathers attention with the second of quiet “Carl, Carl. What I meant was if just a little bit of shit falls in the milk - does it make it grade B?”

As a group My Mother, Father, Brother. both Sisters, and I reached out and in a group gesticulation moved our glasses to the center of the table, and finished our Supper dry with no further mention of grades of milk.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The world's smallest Klein bottle

There should be a drumroll for this.

The world's smallest Klein bottle, also available as earrings or a necklace.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Quote du jour

Should any political party attempt to abolish Social Security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are a few Texas oil millionaires.... Their number is negligible and they are stupid.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, November 8, 1954.

Friday, June 03, 2011

The Bechdel Test for women in movies

This is simple and rather disturbing. Once seen, it cannot be unseen. The Bechdel Test is going to be something I think about whenever I see a film from now on.

The three questions are, in a movie:
1. Are there two or more women and do they have names?
2. Do they talk to each other?
3. Do they talk to each other about something other than a man?

Consciousness raising happens when you least expect it.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Quote du jour

"Life in Lubbock, Texas taught me two things: One is that God loves you and you're going to burn in hell. The other is that sex is the most awful, filthy thing on earth, and you should save it for someone you love." ~ Butch Hancock

Monday, May 30, 2011

Repost: Former Christian Apologizes for Being Such a Shithead for All Those Years

This was written last January, but it's really a powerful statement. It's someone who had bought the whole nine yards of drivel and finally saned up.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Quote du jour

QOTD from David Darnell:

My ex-girlfriend made me watch Twilight while we were together....

I have a boyfriend now.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Installing Rapture v1.02


███████████████░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░ 44% DONE.

Install delayed....please wait.

Installation failed. Please try again. 404 error: Rapture not found.

EVENT "Rapture" cannot be located. The rapture you are looking for might have been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Tech writer joke

Knock knock.

Who's there?


To who?


Here's a new word for you!

New word of the day for you: "Rapturebombing." This is a Rapture-related photobomb. (And a photobomb, as we all know, dear ones, is having someone/something unexpected in a picture.)

These are great pix of people who've been Raptured. (Yes, it happened; didn't you notice? I guess you weren't taken, either....)

(And this is post #978, btw.)

Latest Rapture quote du jour

These Rapture folks are just a gift of stupid that keeps on giving. It's a vein of comedy gold you simply can not mine out, sorta like Dick Cheney shooting that poor guy in the face.

"Harold Camping is one tent short of a bivouac." 

No, it's not mine, but it's elegant, ne c'est pas?

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Quote du jour

"Of course, if the whole Rapture thing doesn't happen, it's not the end of the world."

Monday, May 09, 2011

Green (as in ecologically) condoms

Ecologically better condoms. Well, okay, then.

FWIW, I always liked Stealth Condoms. Their motto was "They'll never see you coming." They came in a B-2-shaped package of 3: one each red, white, and blue. Northrup wanted to prevent their application for trademark. John Hughes, the owner of the condom company said that there was no POSSIBLE chance of confusion of the two products and, besides, he said, "We offer a heck of a lot more protection than the Stealth bomber, at a lot less cost...."

And, digging through my files looking for the info on Stealth Condoms, I spotted this list of possible slogans for National Condom Week:1. Cover your stump before you hump.
2. Before you attack her, wrap your talleywhacker.
3. Don't be silly, protect your willy.
4. When in doubt, shroud your spout.
5. Don't be a loner, cover your boner.
6. You can't be wrong, if you shield your dong.
7. If you're not gonna sack it, go home and whack it.
8. If you think she is spunky, cover your monkey.
9. It will be sweeter if you wrap your peter.
10. If you slip between her thighs, just be sure to condomize.
11. She won't get sick if you wrap your dick.
12. If you go into heat, package your meat.
13. While you are undressing Venus, dress up that penis.
14. When you take off her pants and blouse, suit up your trouser mouse.
15. Especially in December, wrap your member.
16. Never deck her with an unwrapped pecker.
17. Don't be a fool, vulcanize your tool.
18. The right selection, check your erection.
19. Wrap in foil before checking her oil.
20. A crank with armor will never harm her.

"I spy, with my little feline eye,...."

Playing "I spy" with a cat.


Thursday, May 05, 2011

Too fun and flippant not to include :)

Here's an article on Pacman tattoos.

Cool steampunk stuff

I stumbled over a bunch of neat steampunk links.


Quote du jour

"If Saddam were still in power, close to a million people might still be alive and the US might not be broke, and that would be awful." --John Fugelsang

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Really funny French video clips

I got the first of these, "March of the Emperors," yesterday. Brian Chinn sent me the Existential version of Star Wars, which was good, too. There was a link on YouTube for more clips from Canal+, the company who did the first clip, and I've added more to the collection. You don't have to speak French to get these; they're subtitled.

Canal+ "March of the Emperors"

Canal+ "Brokeback Mountain"

Canal+ commercial

Canal+ "Versailles"

This one isn't a Canal+ commercial, but it's good even so.

Existential Version of Star Wars


Quote du jour

"Nobody gets into heaven without a letter of reference from the poor."--James Forbes, former pastor of Riverside Church in NYC, as quoted in The God Article.

Friday, April 29, 2011

A Friday poem from Susan the Wonderchild

Susan's friend, Erin Keenan, wrote the following on FB:
a more decent sort of critter
would stop and seize & shiver
dare never
to call this awful abode, with its trashful clutter
a more decent sort of critter
the kind without the nervous jitter
would spend its sundays only half in slumber
would write a list, list each item with a number
cross the items off & have them dismembered, all but disremembered
before going back to slumber
in the shiny, sanitary (rarely solitary) bed in the clean abode
a more decent sort of critter

but not this one.
Susan wrote the following response:
A more decent sort of critter
would surely clean the shitter
address the laundry pile
and do it with a smile
the dishes would be cleaned
the bathroom floor degreamed
the cat box scooped with glee
the ceiling cobweb free

however, this is, oh my,
a critter who simply is not I
who lays all morning in a bed
visions of kickball in my head
Tomorrow, perhaps, I may be neat
Today, I'll kick balls with my feet.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Picture du jour

Thanks to Kathryn Poe for this one.


Blunt cards!

I just discovered It's even tackier than

Here's an example:


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Quote du jour

"My favorite part of the Bible is where Jesus gives money to the rich, tells the poor to suck it up, and asks for Caesar's birth certificate."

Saturday, April 23, 2011

That smell of books

Karl Lagerfeld, the designer, is developing a perfume that smells like books. Do I need to say more? I think not.

Friday, April 22, 2011

A great shopping receipt

There is nothing on this receipt that doesn't say "I'm so glad that Lent is over and I'm going to have an incredible weekend!"


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Hedtke's Law #11

Hedtke's Law #11 is something that probably should go much earlier in the list, but it's one of those things I just thought of when I said it, so #11 it is:
All things being equal, it will always take longer.
This is something that I'm sure other people have said in similar ways, but I'd like to record this here and now for whatever it may be worth.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

How to say things in llama

This is not very practical, but it's definitely fun.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Cartoon music things you never knew

There's a fast little piece of music that's used as a vamp for all kinds of things. Most recently, it's showed up on "Family Guy" with the vaudevillians, but it's been around for decades. Here's a video clip that shows the vaudevillians dancing and playing the piece in question.

What you probably didn't know was that this is a piece by Sam Fonteyn called "Galloping Gertie" (yup, just like the bridge). Sheet music isn't hard to find and I'm told it's not that hard to play. It's just fast.

While we're on the subject of music in cartoons, the music you'd always hear in Warner Bros. cartoons whenever they were showing a factory at work or an assembly line is called "Powerhouse" and it's by Raymond Scott. There were two pieces of this theme; the thing you'll recognize instantly is this, which is actually the second half. But you'll also recognize the first part if you're a fan of Warner Bros. cartoons. Here's a clip of both parts.

Something that I, classical music buff that I am, have known for years, but you may not is that the music you'd hear when the Road Runner blazing down the roads to is by Smetana (a composer I've always loved for his piece, The Moldau). The piece you're hearing is "The Dance of the Comedians" from his opera "The Bartered Bride."

And, just because it needed to be said, Lucy and Linus's last name is "Van Pelt."

Picture du jour


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Quote du jour

"Remember when teachers, public employees, Planned Parenthood, and PBS crashed the stock market, wiped out half of our 401Ks, took trillions in TARP money, spilled oil in the Gulf of Mexico, gave themselves billions in bonuses, and paid no taxes? Me neither." --Bob Trembly

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Blog post #957

No, I don't have a lot to say (except that I'm going to go back to work in a second). But I'd been noticing that I was getting up towards my 1000th post. I did a count of the draft posts (which get figured into the Blogger total posts number) and this is #957.

I realize that this sounds like "The Simpsons' 138th Episode" show, but, if nothing else, it's a quick marker for me to count from as I approach #1000.

Spam is good for something after all: haiku!

Green Harbor Publications has a Spam Haiku generator. This generates haiku using the subject lines from spam (with no changes or corrections to the capitalization, spelling, or punctuation).

Some of these are pretty good, you know:
This will make your day
10 things girls love about men
Your dreams have come true

Start Working Today
A babe-filled life awaits you
Plans for the day's end

No workout, lose weight
Ardorize for your woman
Russian dating site

Be cool, think different
Treat your pain with Percocet
Love them and leave them
Green Harbor Publications also has a lot of information about the Writing 69th, a group of journalists in the European theater of WWII that included Walter Cronkite, Andy Rooney, and many other notables. There are some great photos and stories.

Many thanks to Richard Hamilton for bringing this gem to my attention.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Stabs from the past

I had a Commodore 64 about 20 years ago. It was lovely for what I used it for (running a ham radio hardware plug in). It had a fantastic keyboard for its day, one that I still think is superior to many keyboards even now.

The Commodore 64 computer has been revamped. As you can see here, it's now a state-of-the-art computer but one with the same old interface. I'm tempted to try one out just to see how it feels.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Joke du jour: an oldie but a goodie

I've always liked this one. It's the difference between Heaven and Hell:

"Heaven is where the Swiss are the bankers, the Italians are the lovers, French are the cooks, the Germans are the mechanics, and the English are police.

Hell is where the Swiss are the lovers, the Italians are the bankers, the French are the mechanics, the English are the cooks, and the Germans are the police."

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Handspring Puppet Company: The genius puppetry behind War Horse

The sheer elegance of the puppetry of this full-size war horse is hard to convey. Watch the whole clip. It's worth your time.


Think your cats aren't pampered enough?

Think your cats aren't pampered enough? Are you guilty because you haven't done something for the little friskits lately? If so, check out Buzzfeed's review of the 20 best cat towers.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Too stressed? Life getting you down?

Try "Not giving a fuck!(TM)"

(Warning: really bad language in this clip.)


Monday, March 28, 2011

Statistics on pastors

I'm honestly not sure what to make of this. It really sounds like a fairly depressing picture for pastors. The amount of depression they're talking about makes me sad for them.

Wizardry stamps from the Royal Post!

The Royal Post has come out with a series of wizardry stamps from several different venues. The one below is Rincewind.


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Joke du jour

There is a doctor in my village who hands out body parts. He gives me the willies.

Word of the day

Sargasm: Writing something so witty, reading it makes you climax.

Film of downtown San Francisco 4 days before the 1906 quake, and after

This is a 9-minute 35mm film of Market Street heading east towards the ferry terminal building shot from the front of a cable car.

These are the comments from the poster on YouTube.

Dir...Miles Brothers.

This film, was originally thought to be from 1905 until David Kiehn with the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum figured out exactly when it was shot. From New York trade papers announcing the film showing, to the wet streets from recent heavy rainfall & shadows indicating time of year & actual weather and conditions on historical record, even when the cars were registered (he knows who owned them and when the plates were issued).. It was filmed only four days before the quake and shipped by train to NY for processing. Amazing but true! Copied from

Additional comments from the person who sent me this link:

This film was "lost" for many years. It was the first 35mm film ever that has come to light. It was taken by a camera mounted on the front of a cable car as it`s traveling down the street. You feel as if you're really there, standing at the front looking down the street, an amazing piece of historic film. The number of automobiles is staggering for 1906. Absolutely amazing! The clock tower at the end of Market Street at the Embarcadero wharf is still there. How many street-cleaning people were employed to pick up after the horses? Talk about going green!
Great historical film!

No wonder there had to be laws created to regulate driving habits. This is insane. Good thing they couldn't go very fast. This is a fascinating movie. A camera on the front of a street car 105 years ago. Look at the hats the ladies were wearing and the long dresses. Some of the cars had the steering wheels on the right side, I wonder when they standardized on the left? Sure were still a lot of horse drawn vehicles in use. Mass transit looked like the way to get around. Looks like everybody had the right of way! And the >people in San Francisco were already jaywalking!

This next one is the same film, but it's been cleaned up. There is additional footage at the end that's worth seeing, even if the music is not half so good as the previous clip.

A trip down Market Street. The original version of which can be downloaded at suffered badly from "Film Roll" at the beginning and end, this version however has had those faults corrected and shows a lot more detail particularly at the end were the film froze and skipped frames.

Finally, the footage from four days before the quake has been displayed side-by-side with footage of the same trip, but right after the quake and fire.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Repost: IKEA was here before the Druids and before Stonehenge

Okay, it's always been IKEA that was the social meme behind everything. Go look; the instructions are very clear about this.

Addendum: Sarah Day pointed me to a song about IKEA that says it's been here before the Gods. :)


Why you won't get into Heaven

Very interesting video by someone who had a lot of time to pick up some interesting comments in the Bible about why you, me, and nobody any of us know anywhere at any time is going to go to Heaven according to the rules dictated by Jesus.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Absurd video games

I got turned on to a truly absurd video game. It's a version of "Waiting for Godot" done in Atari 8-bit game format. Here's the one player version of the game:

There's a two-player version, too. Oy veh!!

It captures the absurdity of the play beautifully.

Okay, I thought that this was really cool and I laughed watching the two-player version. And then I thought that this was it.

Au contraire!

New friends Gavin & Sophia told me about a video game version of "The Great Gatsby." NO! I said. Yes, really; it's from Nintendo and can be found here. This is ostensibly the whole game and looks like all classic early Nintendo games. (How they handle Gatsby getting shot, I don't know.)

While I was talking to them, I started thinking evil literary thoughts, and evil thoughts invariably involve doing horrible things with Jane Austen, so I googled, and lo! I found this lovely nugget from last April about a company that thought that Jane Austen was a great idea for a game series. Note how many games they sold and also the punchline at the very end of the article. :) (BTW, the link to the original article is in the title so you can see the original if you wish.)
Jane Austen Inspired Video Game Company Declares Bankruptcy

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – The Jane Austen inspired company that devoted itself to developing, “World class” video games based around the novels of Jane Austen declared bankruptcy after three years of business and having sold less than fourteen copies of their games.

“We simply overestimated the interest for Jane Austen video game porting,” said Cal Witherington, the CEO of the now bankrupt corporation.

The company released three video game titles, “Sense and Sensibilities", “Pride and Prejudice” and “Emma". Despite, an aggressive ad campaign, the games hardly sold at all. Developed for the PS3, Wii and XBox 360, the games were given high scores for video and look, but dismal scores for actual game play.

“It looks wonderful! The animation is down right perfect,” noted Adam Jones of IGN. “The problem was, there was no action in the games at all. One goal was to just walk around slowly, while talking. One mission included going on a long walk in the rain. That mission took two hours to finish!”

Some implementation of the game didn’t work too well either. In order to playing on the PS3 or Xbox 360, the player needed to press one button to act nice, another button to act proper. “In the end, the game became more of a button smasher,” according the IGN review. Players playing on the Wii really just needed to jerk the nunchuck and waggle to Wii Remote to get the same affect. The faster they shook, the better the score.

IGN went on to note, “One potential benefit of the game for ‘Pride and Prejudice’ was that you could play as many of the characters, including Mr. Darcy, though you needed to unlock that by scoring over 200 points in the dancing portion of the game, a hard feat. But in the end, it became nothing more than a waggle fest to brood.”

The company lost more than $20 million since they started three years ago and were forced to shut their doors. It remains unknown whether anyone will pick up their latest project, and first to move off from Jane Austen, “Little Women".

Yes, they did one of "Little Women," too. What are they going to do when Beth dies? Or can you possibly save her? I don't know....

Apparently, though, not to be deterred by the potential lack of action suitable to video games in Jane Austen novels, or the almost total non-intersection on the Venn diagram of the two sets: "Jane Austen" and "video gamers," a company has developed a composite of several Jane Austen novels to create (drum roll) Matches and Matrimony. You can romp around the website and see screen shots and get an idea of the game.

Oy veh....

Addendum, March 24, 2011: It's been pointed out to me by Daniel Reitman that there's also a RPG for The Drones Club.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Great flyers!!

Seven of the most brilliantly pointless street flyers.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Back from South by Southwest

I got back from South by Southwest a few days ago. It was as good as the last one, though in a completely different way. I got to see several old friends, notably Brenda Huettner, speaker and co-author extraordinaire, and made any number of new friends.

Also, thanks to Phylise Banner, I ended up hearing the Discovery astronauts speaking the day after they got back, meeting them, and getting their autographs on a couple of t-shirts for The Babe. We then got a 3-hour private tour of Houston Mission Control and even got to sit in the space shuttle training simulator. I'll point you to photos of that some point soon.

Mostly, what I wanted to say in this post was that the the cool giveaways at SxSW in the dealer room were:
  • 1gb and 2gb flash drives. Between all the different vendors giving them away, I snagged 7 or 8 of them. Y'can't have too many free flash drives.
  • A color flashbook: they'd film you for 6 seconds doing whatever, then print it out in color in a pocket flipbook. The Babe instantly identified that I was doing a Michigan J. Frog sorta thing. It was very silly.
  • Pint jars of hot salsa from a company named Salsa.
  • Urinal mats.  (Women, if you're not familiar with these, urinal mats are a male piece of gear. They're plastic mats with holes or slots or baffles that go in the bottom of a urinal so there aren't splashes when the pee hits the porcelain and you also have somewhere specific to aim, which seems to be a male preoccupation). Why would we want a urinal mat, you may wonder? It's certainly not something one carries from place to place. Well, this one has a picture of Charlie Sheen's face. It was a fun idea. In fact, I saw this item actually in use at a sports bar near the convention center before I even knew it was a giveaway. I approved.


Monday, March 07, 2011

Quote du jour

"In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H.L. Mencken

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Dumb jokes du jour

A dog goes to a telegraph office. On the form, the dog fills out, "Woof, woof, woof, woof woof, woof, woof woof, woof."

The clerk looks at the form and says, "You've only filled in nine words here. You're entitled to another woof for the same price."

The dog answers, "But then it wouldn't make any sense."

Then there was the girl who named her dog Seiko. It was a watchdog.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

The Hood Canal Bridge

When the Hood Canal Bridge sank in the late 70s, one of my ex's classmates from Library school toured the Puget Sound with her Texas family in a plane they'd rented for the afternoon. They flew over what was left of the bridge and she pointed to the two chunks you could still see and said "That's what's left of the Hood Canal Bridge. It used to be the world's longest floating bridge over a saltwater tidal basin." Her father looked at it and said "Yup. Now it's the deepest."

The Redhead song

I stumbled over this and I love it. I don't know Russian so I don't understand the lyrics, but it's a very pretty song. According to the comment, it's a Belorussian folk song. I'm going to try the melody on the banjo.


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Hedtke's Law #10

The latest addition to the list:
Hedtke's Law #10: Trying to figure out 'crazy' isn't going to make any sense to you if you're not.


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Fun stuff

Here's yet another website for things to waste your time with. It's Stupid Internet Tricks, which is run by Brad Whittington, who runs other fun blogs as you'll see if you go to his main website.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Joke du jour

Thanks again to David Darnell for the joke du jour:

A young doctor had moved out to a small community to replace a doctor who was retiring. The older gent suggested the young one accompany him on his rounds so the community could become used to a new doctor.

At the first house a woman complained, "I've been a little sick to my stomach." The older doctor said, "Well, you've probably been overdoing the fresh fruit. Why not cut back on the amount you've been eating and see if that does the trick?"

As they left the younger man said, "You didn't even examine that woman. How'd you come to your diagnosis so quickly?"

"I didn't have to. You noticed I dropped my stethoscope on the floor in there? When I bent over to pick it up, I noticed a half dozen banana peels in the trash. That was what was probably making her sick."

"Huh," the younger doctor said, "Pretty sneaky. I think I'll try that at the next house."

Arriving at the next house, they spent several minutes talking with an elderly woman. She complained that she just didn't have the energy she once did. "I'm feeling terribly run down lately."

"You've probably been doing too much work for the church," the younger doctor told her. "Perhaps you should cut back a bit and see if that helps."

As they left, the elder doc said, "Your diagnosis is almost certainly correct, but how did you arrive at it?"

"Well, just like you at the last house, I dropped my stethoscope. When I bent down to retrieve it, I noticed the preacher under the bed."

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Awwww, cuuuuuuuuuuuuuuute!

I've been a fan of Cute Overload for and the Daily Squee for pictures of adorable animals (and occasionally human babies).

But Ealasaid pointed something out to me that I have to add to the list: F-Yeah, Baby Animals!, which is pretty cute, too. It's even sorted by type of animal for that perfect cuteness fix.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Joke du jour

Bubba is driving down a back road in Alabama. A sign in front of a restaurant reads:
HAPPY HOUR SPECIAL ==> Lobster Tail and Beer
"Lord-a mercy!" he says to himself, "Them's my three favorites!"

Thursday, February 10, 2011

William Shatner still can't sing...

...but it is fun when he has an interesting song. :)

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Quote du jour

"I'm gonna get a tattoo that says 'Helvetica', written in Arial. When a woman corrects me on it, I will marry her."
--Albert Nafikov in the UK.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Quote du jour

From @mikeopedia: "I hate when someone tries to shoot you and you deflect the bullet with a sword and nobody you know sees it. This happens to me all the time."

Mind you, it's equally cool if'n you do it off of the big metal cuff bracelets, too.

Friday, February 04, 2011

When life hands you lemons...

This is a fine example of how a positive attitude can make your life better. I am told it's from Chicago during Snowpocalypse 2011.


Maps of Ancient London

This article shows hand-drawn maps of London from the post-Roman/pre-Norman period. What I find particularly fascinating is how the names of people and places translated to place names now, such as Totinge (Tottenham), Brixges Stan (Brixton), and Grenewic (Greenwich). Some of these come from the names of people or things 1500 years ago: Wemba Lea, Wemba's forest clearing, is now Wemberley, and a cheese farm, Ces Wican, is now Chiswick.

Here's the entire map of London in high-res. It's worth a look.


Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Can you tell if you're a sex addict?

OMG, it's yet another bunch of fucked-up self-denying Christian wackos who are going to (stop me if you've heard this before) Stamp Out Porn: the

Gasp. ~yawn~

What brought this to my attention is that Matt Hasselbeck, the Seahawk extraordinaire has joined up with this group of dum-dums. They're going to stamp out porn by... um... the power of good thoughts and clean living, as near as I can tell. They're against sex before marriage, homosexuality, and the usual laundry list of perversions, personal habits, and so on. And it's all the Internet's fault, too! And liberals! And post-modernism!! We need more fundamentalist Christianity to combat these loose morals!! BY GOD, LET REAGAN BE REAGAN!!!!!!

You know, as I write this, I realized that there's a real "white knuckle" feeling to the website. There's a definite problem in some people with an unhealthy addiction to Internet porn and so on, but I'm thinking they're busy trying to repress the thought that they're horny because they're not getting laid at home and they don't know what to do with all that energy. But 'tain't Christian somehow, so it's eeeee-villl. You know, Utah is the state with the most online porn subscriptions, so if there's any connection to be drawn between religiosity and porn, it seems to be that the more uptight you are, the more you're likely to buy porn. But hey, that's just me.

These folks at have even thoughtfully provided a Sexual Addiction test. You should consider taking it, because, then you'd like, uh, know. The only problem is that the test is utter flaming horseshit. I've grabbed some of my favorite questions (they're all Yes/No) and put down answers. You may be able to spot the problem with their test right away.

3. Do you often find yourself preoccupied with sexual thoughts?
A. Of course; I'm male.

9. Are any of your sexual activities against the law?
A. Probably, but anti-oral sex laws are still on the books in many primitive states, like Georgia. I'm smart enough so that I don't have to live there.

11. Do you hide some of your sexual behaviors from others?
A. "Um, no, gee, I feel perfectly comfortable randomly jerking off in front of strangers when the mood takes me." [What a stupid question!]

13. Have you felt degraded by your sexual behaviors?
A. Just the ones where I wanted to be.

15. Do you feel controlled by your sexual desire?
A. (See #3.)

19. Has sex (or romantic fantasies) been a way for you to escape your problems?
A. Yes, just like EVERYONE ELSE. Getting laid or a good wank is a wonderful stress relief and who hasn't done that at some point?

24. I have purchased services online for erotic purposes (sites for dating, pornography, fantasy and friend finder).
A. I met and married The Babe because I was on dating sites.

28. I have subscribed to or regularly purchased or rented sexually explicit materials (magazines, videos, books or online pornography).
A. Yes, I used to buy Penthouse Letters regularly in the late 80s. Which I didn't read for the articles, I'll tell yuh! And???

29. I have been sexual with minors.
A. When I was one, although truth be told I liked older women then, too.

42. I have cruised public restrooms, rest areas or parks looking for sex with strangers.
A. Not really, but do bars and music events count?

44. My sexual behavior has put me at risk for arrest for lewd conduct or public indecency.
A. Not frequently, but it sure is fun when you get a little daring sometimes.

45. I have been paid for sex.
A. If someone was willing to have sex with me, I'd gladly give it away for free. Why throw a stupid obstacle in the way of getting laid?

This is all just a variation on abstinence-only education, which is another colossally stupid idea. We have 2000 years of experimental data to prove that this doesn't work, so I wish they'd come up with something new. But if they were bright enough to come up with something new, they'd probably be bright enough to see their own bullshit. I don't think they qualify.

Offensive drawing.

As David Darnell observed, "I have such a dirty mind, I fail the Rorschach test of these drawings. I see all the 'dirty' stuff!"


Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Nerd jokes du jour

Here's a collection of silly nerd jokes:

Some helium drifts into a bar. Bartender says: "Sorry, we don't serve noble gasses here." The helium doesn't react.

A neutron comes into a bar, asks for a drink. The bartender pushes a shot of scotch over the bar to the neutron, who asks "How much?" The bartender says "Hey, for you, no charge!"

Q. Why did the chicken cross the möbius strip?
A. To get to the same side.

A neutrino walks into a bar. The bartender says "We don't have anything for neutrinos here." The neutrino says, "I'm just passing through."

Werner Heisenberg: great physicist, terrible lover: When he had the right position, he didn't have the right speed. Whenever he had the energy, he never had the time.

The tachyon leaves. The bartender says "We don't serve tachyons." A tachyon enters a bar.

A hydrogen atom walks into a bar and says "Gimme a drink; I just lost my electron!" The bartender says "Are you sure?" The hydrogen atom says "Yes, I'm positive!"

A. To get to the other side.
Q. Why did the tachyon cross the road?

Why did Heisenberg hate driving?
Because every time he looked at the speedometer, he got lost.

‎"Physics is like sex: sure, it may give some practical results, but that's not why we do it." - Richard Feynman.

Quote du jour

From @BuzzEdition, quoting @BrianLynch: "Charlie Sheen's going to continue rehab from home. Throw a Karsdashian in and you have E!'s newest reality show hit."

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Capture funnies

We're all familiar with those capture widgets that come up to prevent spam on contact forms. I was emailing a company today about something and the capture widget came up... and one of the words was in Greek!

I was curious what I could get by asking it to pronounce this, so I clicked the "say it out loud" function. Frankly, I'd be better trying to figure out the Greek equivalents on the keyboard than trying to figure out how to type this.

Quote du jour

"The day Microsoft builds something that DOESN'T suck, it will be a vacuum cleaner."

Thursday, January 27, 2011

"Nibs" in Eugene

We went to dinner tonight at a new place for us: Nibs.

Boy howdy, what a great place! The service was excellent and the food was foogasmic. The Babe had cinnamon-smoked buffalo short ribs; I had Ancona duck breast with black trumpet mushrooms and butternut squash tortellini. Dessert was a buckwheat and rye chocolate soufflé with salt caramel ice cream. Even the coffee was first-rate!

They make a great cosmopolitan and they serve Kriek lambic by the glass cheaply. Life was good. We're going back there again.

The United States of Awesome

As a direct counterpoint to the United States of Shame article from the other day, FlavorWire has put out an article (and a graphic) on the United States of Awesome. As the article puts it, "Because isn’t it nicer to congratulate Michigan on its heart health than dwell on Louisiana’s gonorrhea problem?"

The United States of Shame

This is a lovely article from Pleated Jeans on the records of shame held by the various states. What is your state last in place for? Mississippi actually has number of records. :) There's a great chart, too.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Apropos of the post a few days ago

Given the post about Sarah Palin the other day, I thought it appropriate to post this as well. It's from a couple years ago, but it's delightful: John Cleese saying that Michael is no longer the funniest Palin in the world.


A really cool emoticon

From Miles Kurland, a Cthulhu Emoticon:


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Haiku du jour

(This is a different category, I grant you, but it's really good. From Karen Mulholland.)

Somebody "fixed" something,
Now everything is broken.
Word that starts with F.

Quote du jour

"Only in America can you be Pro-Death Penalty, Pro-War, Pro-Unmanned Drone Bombs, Pro-Nuclear Weapons, Pro-Guns, Pro-Torture, Pro-Land Mines, AND still call yourself ‘Pro-Life.’" ~ John Fugelsang

Something you may not have known about Sarah Palin

(Warning: bad words ahead!)

I tend to say "Sarah Palin is a narcissistic bitch." (Actually, "bitch" is not the noun first to my lips, but it'll do.) I'm not damning her in any wise because she's a woman; hell, I'll call her a narcissistic sonofabitch, a narcissistic idiot, or even a narcissistic prick, if you like. The noun isn't really the hot issue; it's the narcissism and the complete failure of her "human" test that's the key point here. But in fact, this is all shorthand that sounds like casual name calling for something that is actually much more serious. Yeah, she truly is a narcissistic [use the imprecatory noun of your choice], but there's more to it than that.

Sarah Palin has a borderline personality disorder. I've seen it before in maybe half a dozen people. Statistics say that this is predominantly in women, though about a quarter of all cases are in men. In her case (and in the others I've personally encountered), it's related to money. It frequently comes from some combination of growing up in grinding poverty, with daddy issues, substantial emotional and/or physical abuse, incredibly low self-esteem, and lots of ridicule in and out of the family.

The manifestation is most visible as being "poor" rather than "broke." What do I mean here? "Broke" means having no money. "Poor" means believing you'll never have money. We've all been broke at one time or another in our lives. Being broke is, generally, transitory, but there's frequently light at the end of the tunnel. We may be waiting out a crappy economy, having to wait until we complete a degree, or even finishing an existing job, but there's hope. We know that the money tree may be poorly leaved, even bare right now, but there's the possibility of it blooming again.

Being "poor," on the other hand, is an eternal condition. People who are poor are poor right to the bone. They believe they'll always be poor. There's nothing for it. No matter how much money they get in, they won't be able to do anything long-term to better themselves or their living situation because they don't feel they're in control of their money or their personal fortune.

Some of this is a learned response to growing up in grinding poverty, but it's a self-destructive pattern that doesn't fit well. I've known several people who are worth millions, making more interest on safe investments than they could ever need, enough to retire on happily and clip coupons and be a benefactor to personal causes... and they're still worried that this could all vanish in a moment and nevermore be seen. Well, sure, things can happen as we've seen thanks to the clowns on Wall Street, but the kind of money we're talking about is enough to buy gold, real estate, Swiss bank accounts, and Picassos, and these folks still feel like it's all at risk. This isn't healthy.

Okay, but how does being poor rather than broke work out in the symptoms for this type of borderline personality disorder? If you're poor, you believe that everything could be taken away from you in an instant, trickle through your fingers, and you've got no real control. This seems to go more to the idea of unspent money in investments or savings, because it's just "numbers." So one of the things you see with this disorder is compulsive spending. "I may lose my money tomorrow, but at least I'll have these clothes, this car, this flat-screen TV." There's little point in longterm investments if you can't depend on there being a long term. This "gimme, gimme, gimme!" mentality translates to other things as well. It's a very childish and self-centered response. (Also part of the pathology.)

This disorder has a number of common contributing factors: dominating but emotionally distant fathers and an attempt to gain their approval, likely sexual, physical, and/or emotional abuse, and growing up incredibly poor and being teased about it. It's a fairly common mental disease, unfortunately. From what I've read, it's not very treatable and the people who suffer from this are particularly resistant to treatment. Start thinking about behaviors you associate with "trailer trash." You'll recognize a lot of these as "thinking poor."

How this translates is that if you're in a position where everything you have could be taken away from you, then you're always in danger of losing it. As a result, you can't entertain doubts. Being wrong could mean that One Fatal Misstep that costs you everything. It's all black and white thinking: "if you're not for me, you're against me." It leads towards religious fundamentalism and other weird, rules-based pathologies. (Drinking alcoholics and white-knuckle drunks have this problem, too, which is why our former president was such damaged goods.)

But because there's no room for doubt, nobody around you can entertain doubts in you, either, because they're then not to be trusted. As soon as someone shows the slightest uncertainty, it's as if they were completely disloyal: it's a betrayal and they are now an enemy. There is no forgiveness for this kind of thing, either: if they doubted you once, everything about them from now on is suspect. And remember: if someone's doubting you, it means that they're threatening your income stream and your very existence... which in turn means that they're threatening your life. It becomes a survival issue... and there are no rules in a survival fight. That's why SP sounds so shrill when she's responding to critics and that's why anyone who doubts will be cast out.

And that's why there are only true believers around SP, little slavish idiots with their forebrains on "simmer" who have no critical thinking and are taken in by the glamour she's casting. Fuck 'em all for being stupid and failing their "human" test. Many of them suffer from the same mental disorder, but not all of them, certainly: I've seen lots of people who think she's great who are unthinkingly Republican because they're not very bright to begin with, but who aren't actually mentally diseased: just ignorant peasants.

Hand-in-glove with this pathology is that SP has been attending a Dominionist church. It's all rules-based stuff with this pathology, and the harder and clearer the rules, the better for people like this. You remember how Faux News made a big fuss about Obama's church and the Rev. Wright? It seemed like a tempest in a teapot. I never quite got the nature of the complaints people were making: he thought that black people (well, anyone who was non-white, really) were still being oppressed by an essentially racist society and that everyone needed to band together and address this, something like that? Well, I think there's a strong case to be made for that: this is still an essentially racist society, though not nearly as bad as it used to be 50 years ago, thank goodness, and we could all do a helluva lot better. As far as I could tell, that was most of the complaint.

I didn't see a real issue with the Rev. Wright at the time, particularly not when you're looking at a candidate for Vice President whose church has the tenet of believing in Christian theocracy. Dominionism is part of Christian Reconstructionism, a movement founded in the 70s by R. J. Rushdoony. He felt that we need a government based on the laws of God, which would require all citizens to observe the strict Reconstructionist form of Christianity, and which would punish moral sins ranging from blasphemy to homosexuality with death.

I know people who don't think this connection is anything significant. My feeling is they're not paying attention, they're ill-informed, or they may just be in denial: some people don't like to think that folks can be that malign and toxic. (We call them "the slow gazelles in the herd.") Evangelical Christians who think that they need to be running the country as an evangelically-conservative Christian country make me want to reach for my wallet and my weapons, and not necessarily in that order. They've got the look of Jesus in their eyes and they will kill you in order to save you and/or to stop your sins from corrupting the rest of Amurr'ka. We've already seen what they think of witches. (For those interested in more about the dangers of this set of beliefs or who just doesn't believe that Sarah Palin could be that fucked up, you can read this, too.)

There's a difference between knowing you can slide down the ladder and not wanting to be broke, versus being poor. It's a bit subtle, but there's a clawing, low-class greed to the latter. I believe that there will be more money and that the money tree is never completely bare, though it may take some real doing to harvest something. I believe this. Chances are that you have a similar belief, too. SP does not. Any money that comes in might truly be the very last that she sees.

SP is not a Horatio Alger story. According to a Faux News producer I know, she's loathed by all the old GOP hands up in AK who say that she's never once failed to bite a hand that fed her. From just what we can see publicly, her narcissism knows no bounds. From what we can also infer--like when she brokered a deal to keep her daughter out of jail a couple Xmases ago--that's only the tip of the iceberg. She's a ghastly excuse for a human being and you'd never want to be associated with her.

I am completely mystified why anyone would admire this bitch. Her character flaws are visible from blocks away. Anyone who is capable of admiring intelligence, articulateness, and political acumen should run screaming, as these are all qualities that SP lacks in abundance by any possible measurement. I can't see admiring someone who I don't care for morals or values of.

For example, I am really impressed by effective public speakers. Well, Hitler was an amazing public speaker. Really. He used to practice speeches continually and had dozens that he could just whip out at the drop of a hat. He had exceptional timing and a good voice. Even if you don't speak German, you can watch footage of him and see how his pacing is flawless. And if you do speak German--and I do, some--you can hear the rhythm of his language, too. Hitler practiced EVERY day in stray moments. You can appreciate this quality in him, but ignoring the rest of his, uh, personal shortcomings is asking an awful lot of anyone but Pat Buchanan--who has expressed a great admiration for Hitler on many public occasions. So looking at someone who might have risen from trailer trash beginnings to a brief elected office that she quit, but is herself a complete moral, social, and intellectual vacuum is, similarly, asking way too much of anyone paying attention. There are people who've accomplished an awful lot by being honest and grateful and not by being greedy, narcissistic pigs that I can list who are far more worthy of admiration.

SP is poor to the bone. I mean, she really thinks of herself as "poor" and she doesn't believe that she's going to ever be able to hang on to money. The pathology fits perfectly. With this kind of borderline personality disorder, she could have millions--hell, she does have millions!--but there's a belief that she can't hang on to this. There's a clawing need to her that can't ever be stopped. She's clawed her way to where she is now, and I suppose that that does count for something, after all: becoming Governor is no mean feat for anybody, let alone an ignorant, fairly stupid woman who came from nothing and went to four colleges. But that's her one major accomplishment against a backdrop of being completely awful.

You can describe Sarah Palin as a woman who is suffering from a rather specific and largely untreatable borderline personality disorder that leads her to public displays of ignorance and narcissistic desperation. Or you can just cut to the chase and call her a stupid cunt who's a boil on the backside of American politics. Either works.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Quote du jour

"A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort." -- Herm Albright (1876-1944)

Friday, January 21, 2011

A fun, weird project

Okay, this is definitely weird... so I'm definitely inclined to tell you about it!

For everyone whose been involved in Zombie Walks in the last year or two, you really need to be part of the 3D Zombie Puppet Musical. Go read the associated page and watch the video. You'll love it. You can be part of it!


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Writing the current chapter

Writing is a complex and delicate art, which for me, requires the appropriate background noise. In this case, the appropriate background noise is Disc 1 of 18 of a wonderful Christmas present from the Babe: the 100% Complete Bullwinkle. It's all 163 episodes of the Rocky and Bullwinkle show. This is something that will do wonders for my writing. It's always good to have the perfect environment.

How not to drink vodka

My stepmother Elaine, who is from Texas, told me once about how, when she was a college student in the DFW area, she and two friends were off at a hotel once. They had a room and were talking about classes and drinking shots of vodka and getting quietly blasted.

This had been going on for a while when one of the guys said "Hey, let's drink vodka like the Russians do." How's that? the other two wanted to know. "We float cracked black pepper on the surface of the vodka shot." Well, that seemed like a good idea, so they start sprinkling pepper liberally on the surface of the vodka shot and knocking it down and, yes, it was really quite tasty.

Elaine woke up the next morning with a really rare hangover. As some of us know, the hangover you get from, say, a dozen shots of vodka is really quite spectacular by itself, but the... unpleasantness of the vodka hangover is actually secondary compared to the nuclear glow of Cerenkov radiation coming from the scant quarter cup of black pepper sitting in a pool of acid in one's stomach. And as Elaine lay there with her stomach glowing with pain, wishing she could just die and get it over with, she swore a mighty oath that if she ever saw this yahoo again, she would kill him on the spot for suggesting this idea in the first place.

When Elaine told me this story perhaps 35 years after the occurrence, a thought occurred to me and I asked if she had, in fact, ever seen this guy since. "No," she replied, "and that's a damn good thing, because an oath like that doesn't grow dim over time."

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Divvying up an estate

(This odd blog post is coming up because a dear friend's mom died and she's about to go through this process. I know nothing of her family dynamics, but I'm reminded of hearing this when my mother died and it was helpful.)

Whenever someone dies, there's a bunch of stuff that needs to be divided up. Here's a reasonable way to do it when there's more than one sibling to divide things between to minimize the muss and fuss:
  1. List everything that's up for grabs that isn't listed in wills, codicils, or are just "everyone knows" of the "Mom always said that so-and-so should get her wedding ring and this other person was to get the china" sort.
  2. Identify everything that counts as a "big" thing, such as cars, boats, jewelry, silver.
  3. Everyone gets to pick a big thing. If there are enough big things to make two rounds of choices, have a second round. If you don't have enough big things to make an even round--such as 4 big things and three siblings--pad out the incomplete round with a choice of, say, 2 items from the "small" list to equate to 1 item from the big list.
  4. Tip: You can determine who goes first any way you like: oldest first, youngest first, drawing cards. When you have subsequent rounds, make sure that nobody is stuck with the same position. Best way is probably to come up with an order the first time, then move the first person to the end of the line and everyone up one.
  5. When you get to the small stuff, everyone cycles through picking items from the list until they're all gone. Write everyone's choices down on a big piece of paper or even on a whiteboard if you're that organized.
  6. Haggle. If you weren't able to get the big thing you wanted, see if you can come up with something to swap for it with the person who did. Maybe they'll sell it: there may be a great value to one of the cars, so if you wanted the 2008 Honda, you may need to haggle with your checkbook as well as the mantle clock and Xmas ornaments that you got in the "small things" list. Nobody is likely to get everything they want and that's life. Be civil.
  7. When everything's as settled as it's going to be, everyone should take their stuff and make arrangements to get it home.
This is a reasonably equitable process, but remember that even for the best of families, there will be a lot of emotions charging things up. Try to be as nice and gracious about everyone as you can.

Monday, January 17, 2011

I really like apple brandy

You know, I really like apple brandy. It's a wonderful spirit, warm and tasty and crisp. I was thinking a nightcap might be nice and I went downstairs and saw the bottle of Clear Creek Apple Brandy and said "Yes!"

Clear Creek Distillery is a local company, based in Portland. They do all kinds of fruit spirits with locally grown fruit. They give tours, too, with samples. Try them out if you haven't already.

I see faces everywhere....

This is a strange and appealing little photo array. It's things that have faces that you wouldn't have expected to have faces. Like these....


Quote du jour

My girlfriend is a porn star.

She's going to be so pissed when she finds out.

Optical illusions to lighten your day

Here are a couple optical illusions just for the pleasure of them.

The first is the winner of the 2010 Best Illusion Contest. Watch the video at the former link or here. More information on that one illusion can be found in this article.

The other optical illusion is a video of lined grid illusions that are fun to watch.


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Day by day, we make incremental progress

I'm making incremental progress with the computer problems. I've got a new DVD drive in my #1 computer to replace the one that toasted with the old power supply and I've been able to get the #2 computer's boot drive reformatted, wiping out the old WinServer2003 installation.

Funny thing, though. This is the computer I'd been using for a few years for my Wonderware work computer. It'd BSOD on me occasionally and then with increasing frequency until by the time I stopped using it, it'd be BSODing 4-5x/day. I'd been thinking it might've been the RAM going bad somewhere, but I hadn't done much about it.

I had it BSOD on me again earlier today when I was installing Windows from the CD. Okay, no problem, I got it restarted and it's working now, sorta, but I was having some problems getting it to recognize the MS Mouse off the USB ports. I got a msg that the USB ports weren't being recognized correctly. NOOOOOOOO problem, I'm now up and running and can reboot this computer happily.

While I was booting it, I went into the BIOS to change the boot order so it'd hit the hard disk first and not the CD. Plugged that info in, and hit F10 to save, pressed Y and then ENTER, and BLAM! DOS/ASCII garbage on the screen.

Gee, that doesn't sound like a RAM problem, I said, that sounds like some kind of a CMOS/motherboard problem.

I tried to change the boot sequence in the BIOS again and at the same point I got EXACTLY the same DOS/ASCII garbage on the screen. Even with the same colors on the characters.

So, I'm going to identify if this is the motherboard or something repairable. If worse comes to worst, I can always buy a new mobo for this tower for $50-60 and plug in the CPU chip and I'll be in good shape.

What's nicest about all of this is that I'm now solving problems on the #2 computer, because the #1 computer is actually up and running still. Hot damn!

Saturday, January 15, 2011


Oh, I just heard rain on the windows. It's been raining all day. Nothing special, just a nice hard, solid rain.

But the thing is that tomorrow is supposed to be "really heavy rain" as opposed to this. It will be a good day to be inside.

Quote du jour

From a HuffPost article on Showtime rejecting a miniseries about the Kennedys:
The network said in a statement that while "'The Kennedys' is well acted, well produced and a quality miniseries, it doesn't fit the Showtime brand."


Friday, January 14, 2011

Quote ju jour

This is just from around the Interwebz:

"I'm so tired I could sleep a horse."

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Dot and the Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics

"The Dot and the Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics" is a classic cartoon from Chuck Jones and MGM. It's a delicious cartoon, something you'll enjoy terrifically. It won an Academy Award. Watch it until the last second, because it's important for you to see everything. You'll know what I mean when you see it. I would suggest that you also maximize this to fill your screen, as some of the graphics will benefit from it.

It's narrated by the great Robert Morley, noted English actor and writer, who, according to the photos on Wikipedia had three chins even as a young man. (You'll recognize him immediately if you don't know him already just by his name.)

BTW, there's a fair chance that this will get cleaned off of YouTube shortly and the link I've posted will no longer work. The cartoon is copyrighted material, after all, so YouTube is likely to sweep it clear. Not to worry, though: if this proves to be the case, you can always click this link to search YouTube for "The Dot and the Line." The cartoon is 10 minutes long, so be sure to find something that's the right length.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Why women like "Twilight"

I was looking at The Oatmeal for information on how not to design a shopping cart (which is an exceptional article that is particularly relevant for me at the moment) and I saw they had something on "Twilight." I'm not a "Twilight" fan, having identified it as chick porn with vampires, but the description of how and why it's so appealing is spot on. Here's a video about the plot that was created from The Oatmeal's description and illustrations.


Monday, January 10, 2011

What books were best-sellers the day you were born?

This fun little application tells you what fiction and non-fiction books were on the NY Times bestseller lists the day you were born.

The Mapping Stereotypes project

I think this has something to offend everybody, you know? It's maps of the world or various parts thereof labeled according to the popular stereotypes of various countries. Examples are "The World according to USA," "Europe according to Germany," "Europe according to Britain," and "Italy according to Posh Italians."

This is delightfully tasteless.


This is just strange.

Robert Frost and Hernando's Hideaway

(I thought I'd posted this many moons ago, but apparently not.) Everything outside is crusty with ice. The roads are slick with black ice; it was a pest just putting the recycle bin out this morning. It's snowing in Seattle, Portland's getting up to a foot of snow on Tuesday night, and we may be in for snow on Wednesday. It seems appropriate to point out that Robert Frost's famous poem, "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening," can be sung very well to the tune of "Hernando's Hideaway," as the following example shows:

Whose WOODS these ARE I thinkIknow.
His HOUSE is IN the villagethough;
He WILL not SEE me stoppinghere
To WATCH! hiswoodsfillupwithsnow (O-!).

Friday, January 07, 2011

Tasteless Joke du Jour

Thanks to David Darnell for this really awful joke.

I was in the restaurant yesterday when I suddenly realized I desperately needed to fart. The music was really, really loud, so I timed my farts with the beat of the music.

After a couple of songs, I started to feel better. I finished my coffee, and noticed that everybody was staring at me.

Then I suddenly remembered that I was listening to my iPod.

Quote/word du jour

Thanks to Laurell Haapanen for this: "I believe in enthusanasia."