Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Holy Radiation Burn, Batman!

Through a rather stupid clerical error on the part of my expedition quartermaster, we did not have enough sunblock for all yesterday. I sacrificed myself so that my fair-skinned nephew and brother might survive the beach ordeal unscathed. The pain will fade but my quartermaster will not soon forget the flogging he received for his mistake.

My expedition to the darkest parts of northern Wisconsin continues. We seek elusive prey. We have so far found specimens of the Sprecher's Ravin' Red and Leinenkugel's Berry Weiss. I hope to bag one of the lesser known species of this region, the Greater Spotted Cow, some Sprecher Perry's Cherry and possibly some other Leinenkugel's varietals.

Monday, July 30, 2007

On Vacation

Will be back Monday August, 6th.

My parent's DSL connection is not exactly awesome, in part because I think I am dialing in to Chicago from the Far Frozen North. Anyway, I will post something about all the fun I had with the Uncanny Canadian crashing BlogHer. All I will say is that I got an awesome t-shirt. I will post a picture as soon as I can.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Admit Defeat Before You Embarass Yourself

The Pretentious Bastard is engaged in a geek off with Shannon of See Glass Run. She just poked the bear.

If we are just listing our creds on our sleeves, mine would be forty fucking feet long, toots.

I spent my birthday at a screening of The Thing From Another World. +1 Geek.
The screening was outside. -1 Geek.
I am serially single. +0 Geek.
I ask a woman out at least once a month. -2 Geek.
I read webcomics. +1 Geek.
I read more than 10 webcomics. +1 Geek.
I spread the love of said comics to others. +1 Geek.
I have more than 2 game systems. +1 Geek.
I have more than 3 games per system. +1 Geek.
I have downloaded emulators to play games that are more than 10 years old. +3 Geek.
I have spread an MMORPG to another. +1 Geek.
I own and play pen and paper RPGs. +1 Geek.
I own more than 2 pen and paper RPGs. +1 Geek.
I have bought RPG sourcebooks knowing that I will never play the game. +2 Geek.
I am currently the Dungeon Master of one campaign and participating in one other. +2 Geek.
I can fix my own computer. +1 Geek.
Most of the time. -1 Geek.
I get into wild debates regarding the minutiae of movie adaptations of my favorite childhood TV shows, comic books and video games. +1 Geek.
With myself. +2 Geek.
I relax by baking noobcakes in PVP combat. +2 Geek.
I read stacks of science fiction novels. +1 Geek.
I hacked my phone to unlock hidden capabilities. +2 Geek.
I communicate almost exclusively through email. +0 Geek.
My last date came from the internet. +1 Geek.
We met through blogging. +2 Geek.
I have a system for taking notes. +1 Geek.
I am a music snob. +1 Geek.

With a score of 26 I could go on, but you are already standing in a smoking crater, Shannon. Don't make me pull back and nuke your blog from orbit, even if it is the only way to be sure.

Too Good To Be True

I am off to Chicago for the weekend and then the great frozen north, Wisconsin, for the next week.

All I am gonna say is that I hope we don't get arrested for rocking in public this weekend.

In other totally unrelated news, the cows are exploding in the Old World. I can't wait to see if I get in the Beta or not. If anyone from Mythic is listening, I will pimp your game on this site and others if you let me in the Beta. If you have no idea who I am and how much traffic I get, run a search for "Video Store Clerk vs Tucker Carlson". It's about time that incident got me more than notoriety.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Best Birthday Present Ever

Took me a couple viewings to figure out what the hell was going on. I love it.

Genius Day

It is my birthday. Yay me. I will be celebrating by watching The Thing From Another World at Screen on the Green. How appropriate.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Excuse me, Fred Thompson, you've got something on your face

What is that? Is that egg? Mud?

Possibly even humble pie? Are humbleberries in season?

Scroll down to "Documents Detail Fred Thompson Work for NFPRHA"

Thanks to my Super Secret Sexy Spy Friend, Social Security Administration.*

*This is a nickname only and in no way reflects where this friend works or any government affiliation.

See also, the NY Times.

You know what's fun? Midnight trips to the Puppy Emergency Room.

I don't own a dog, but I have a friend with one. This dog had a seizure at 10:30 pm Wednesday. I got a call from Jennb asking me to meet her at the Friendship Animal Hospital in Tenleytown. I was on my way back from the domecile of one of the brothers of indeterminate number and said I would meet her there. Seizures are nothing to joke about, even puppy ones, and a friend in need is a friend in need.*

The things that they do to dogs are generally not cool to joke about either, except when they are. Basically, the doctor** told us that there was not a whole to worry about unless the dog has another seizure and that any tests would be money poorly spent. This was refreshing. I thought that we were in the clear until the doctor mentioned getting some stool. It did not take long for me to realize two things: she was not offering me a place to sit and I am glad I am not a dog. So I wrestled the dog up onto the table and helped hold her in place while she looked uncomfortable. Then came the grossest sentence I have heard since I asked my sister-in-law to look at my fucked up ankle. "Her anal glands are rather full and I would like to express them."

I am so glad that I am not a vet. Or a dog owner. This incident pretty much clinched the argument against intelligent design because what kind of moron builds an animal with glands that block easily and can cause injury to the animal if another creature does not come along and help them out? It's not like there are cleaner fish that roam around looking for canine anal glands to 'express'.***

So the end result is that we were at the animal hospital pretty damn late. Apparently, vets are not trained in insect care.****

*The original saying doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.
**Nice, professional and cute as a button. AG would have liked her.
***I just threw up a little.
****She had no idea why Helob is not eating anything.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

How does that shoe fit now that is on the other foot?

Better? or worse?

Also, this story has me laughing. Destruction of property is no joke and this was a crime, but that doesn't mean I am not going to laugh at the guy. Or the morons who wrote "FOR THE ENVIRON" on the side of his car. After "FOR THE ENVIRON" you give up? was "MENT" just too much? Did it cross some line of vandalism to scratch 17 letters and so you stopped at 13?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Adorable Girlfriend's New Job in Delaware

Apparently, AG works for A&E.



Potter Publisher Profiteering Prompts Prickly Proceedings?

Anyone who hasn't been living under a rock or reading blogs like Paste Line* knows that the last Harry Potter book hits the streets this Saturday at 12:01 AM. Kids all over the country are probably driving their parents nuts with all the excitement. There are more than a few adults that are pretty psyched about it, too. I just paid for my copy over the phone at Politics and Prose in DC. I had planned on just picking up the book sometime this weekend while I was in Baltimore, but I figured that I would support my local bookseller.

I am just the kind of asshole who refuses to buy music at Starbucks. I have lately become the kind of asshole that refuses to buy books and DVDs in supermarkets. I was flipping through my email when this story flashed in the RSS feeder. That is pretty damn funny. The idea of a price war over Harry Potter book sales gets a little silly when everyone is fighting over a penny a sale. It gets less funny when you realize that the supermarket stands to make far more money selling the book at 1 penny over the stock price while the average indepedent bookstore is forced by the market to sell the books at the same price. Giving Barnes and Noble and Borders the finger, I paid for mine over the phone at Politics and Prose. Cuz I am that kind of asshole.

*Fans of that site may indeed know about Harry Potter, but I got a massive brain cramp after trying to read the post last week about Jack Thompson. I doubt that fans of that cerebral sinkhole can remember their own name after reading more than two posts.

Friday, July 13, 2007

That Transformers Movie Thing

Hey Steven Spielberg? Next time you want to make a Transformers movie, shoot me an email and I'll give you a movie that won't leave the smell of Michael Bay's ass on the screen.

Also, the sequel should maybe involve the Dinobots? Cuz they are freakin' sweet, especially GRIMLOCK.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Father's Day Post I Totally Meant to Publish a Month Ago

My Dad taught me a lot of different lessons when I was but a wee genius. Some lessons he had to teach me over and over, like the one about the consequences for hitting my younger brother. Other lessons, I only needed to learn once like how to break in to a suburban house without a security system. Some lessons, I am still learning.

My brother is only two years younger than me and we have been basically the same size since as far back as I can remember. Except for his feet. His feet have always been size 14. When he came out of my mom, the doctor shit himself at the size of his feet. My brother was sleep-walking three days later. I have never been an intimidating figure to my younger brother and this has resulted in a number of fights that should have ended with my brother being pummeled and hung by his underwear. Instead, we just fought until my Dad got involved and then I got spanked for fighting. Being a genius, I tried to gain advantage by using tools, as I had seen many nature programs* and knew that tool use is what separates chimps from leopard food. It is enough to say that using a tool in a fight ends with a much more severe punishment. My father was never one to withhold a deserved spanking but he never used a belt. This is a lesson that sinks in only as I write this post.

My father taught me how to be mostly self-sufficient. My parents locked me out of the house for most of my middle school years because my Dad thought I wasn't responsible enough to keep a set of keys, even though both he and mom worked past my school hours. My Dad was not the most responsible guy either because he kept leaving the work shop unlocked until the fifth time I used his tools to break into the house during a rain storm.** After he started locking the workshop, I used his ladders to open the window in my parents bathroom which I knew could never be locked until he finished fixing it.*** I also learned how to cover my tracks by immediately replacing the ladder and closing the window.

My father taught me how to fix a lot of problems around a typical domecile. I watched him re-shingle our house and subsequently learned to be someplace else when Dad was working on the roof.**** I helped him build our workshop and learned a lot about drywall. It is both heavier and more fragile than it first appears. I learned that small jobs frequently become larger jobs once you are finished with the exploratory surgery on, say, the peeling paint on your bathroom door. I learned that a good job requires hard work and that hard work is never easy because good is not spelled e-a-s-y. Or c-h-e-a-p. I learned that electricity flows like water but the two like each other maybe too much. I learned that mowing other people's lawns for cash was the best way to get said cash and also kept me away from the house when my father was working on the roof. I learned that sometimes, you have to dismantle a '70s orange Volvo in your front yard before the neighbors get the hint about asking you to mow your lawn. I also learned that your wife will never forget this. I learned that sometimes a real lemon of a car can still last you 100,000 miles. I also learned that Peugeot station wagons are surprisingly good at off-road driving.*****

Dad, I'll see you soon and I am eager to see what I am going to learn next.

*Wild America < Nature < Steve Irwin
**Step One: Check for open basement windows. Step Two: Check for open ground floor windows. Step Three: Older windows (70 years or so) can be open with a prybar or a durable screwdriver, but will leave tracks. I recommend a shim or other extremely thin tool like a metal ruler to unlock the swivel-lock-doohickey by sliding it between the upper and lower windows. Disclaimer: only use this to gain entry to your own house in a rainstorm. Do not burglarize people's houses, that isn't right.
***I think this was an obtuse lesson in priorities. Second floor bathroom windows are less important than, say, front doors, kitchens, electrical wiring, and insulation.
****Shingles are a BITCH to clean up from the yard, especially after your father starts whipping them into the ground like throwing knives.
*****Some sedans are, too: Dodge Neons and Dodge Spirits, in particular.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Hey Fred Thompson! Remember that time you lobbied for the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association?

Fred Thompson is a pretty typical Republican't. Except for the fact that he lobbied for the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association (NFPRHA). The website of NFPRHA says:
The National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association (NFPRHA) is a non-profit membership organization based in Washington, D.C. that has served as an important source of advocacy, education and training for the family planning and reproductive health care field for more than 35 years. NFPRHA's mission is to assure access to voluntary, confidential, comprehensive, culturally sensitive family planning and reproductive health care services and to support reproductive freedom for all. NFPRHA represents providers of care: public, private, domestic and international as well as researchers, educators, consumers and advocates. NFPRHA members provide reproductive health care services at nearly 4,500 clinics to more than 4 million women annually.

This is an organization that matches my political ideals and is the EXACT ANTITHESIS OF EVERY REPUBLICAN'TS'.

If Fred Thompson wants to support an organization like NFPRHA, that is great and more people should, but I would appreciate it if he would be more honest in his rhetoric. Of course, I should remember that Republican'ts are rarely honest about anything. Instead, they issue denials. If Fred Thompson had been a customer at my former place of employment, I imagine a typical conversation would go something like this:
ME: Mr. Thompson, your account has a rather severe late fee and I'm afraid you have to pay this before I can let you rent...If These Walls Could Talk?
FT: There is no possible way I could have accrued any late fees.
ME: Well, our records indicate that you kept Bloodrayne, Alone in the Dark and House of the Dead for more than three weeks.
FT: No I didn't.
ME: Remember that part in Bloodrayne where Meatloaf is surrounded by all those naked Romanian hookers? Wasn't that great?
FT: Yeah, that was awesome! I watched that over and over for weeks!
ME: This is the part in the conversation where you admit to keeping the movies for three weeks and pay the late fees. I'll even let you use campaign contributions.
FT: I didn't keep those movies for three weeks.
ME: You just said you watched Bloodrayne for weeks.
FT: No I didn't.

And so on.

Some people rush to defend Thompson because they just love him on Law & Order. As much as it pains me to link to Paste Line Blog:
But a lobbyist, like lawyers in general, represents clients. To assume that a lawyer always agrees with the clients he represents is not only juvenile, it tends to undercut the premises on which our legal system is based. A lawyer needs to be able to represent, for example, a man accused of homicide without being labeled pro-murder.
This is technically true. For a public defender. If we look at the text of the LA Times piece:
Fred D. Thompson, who is campaigning for president as an antiabortion Republican, accepted an assignment from a family-planning group to lobby the first Bush White House to ease a controversial abortion restriction, according to a 1991 document and several people familiar with the matter.

We find a different story. Lobbyists are not soldiers who must march off to war regardless of the feeble justifications and outright lies of their Commander in Chief.

Fred Thompson's flunky, Mark Corallo, "adamantly denied that Thompson worked for the family planning group.'Fred Thompson did not lobby for this group, period,'" according to the same LA Times article. Mark Corallo is not one to let the facts deter him: both former President of NFPRHA Judith DeSarno and former Representative Michael Barnes say that Thompson accepted the lobbying job.

The situation boils down to this: Thompson has a mighty big skeleton in his closet that makes him look like a munchwad. I almost used the word hypocritical before munchwad in that sentence, but really for a Republican't to take money from one group and then claim to support the other side of the argument is standard operating procedure. Rather like Cheney's infinite deferments or Bush's invisible tenure at the National Guard. Maybe Thompson is exactly the candidate the party needs.

If I weren't such a lazy bastard, I would have blogged this yesterday when my source contacted me to show me this. Maybe I would have beaten the Huffington Post to the punch.

Captain Helob and the Continuing Adventures Through Subarachnoid Space!