- I -
a squub.com conglomeration

Not Powered By Anything
(especially not TYPO)


All Out

I'm over here now.


Here, Not There

That's here because it's not there.


All In?

This is a sorry excuse for anything. I haven't dug up the old software again to do this shit the right-wrong way, so I'm still doing it the wrong-wrong way, which means, among other things, that there aren't permalinks. So it's really note even really a blog at all now, is it?

My wife and I are moving in early July. We just figured this out at the end of last week. We're moving back to the town in which we were both raised, which is about 120 miles from where we're living now. About 130 miles from my office. I'll be working from home 4 days a week, usually, and making the long haul to the office on Mondays.

There is such an unbelievably huge amount of things to be done. I can't fathom, it makes my head implode. Selling our town house ASAP is the first of a number of big-ass hurdles.

So I probably will continue to be as timely with updating this thing as I've ever been lately.

Of course eventually there'll be permalinks again.



not even close

I just noticed that my old comments are apparently working now. I stopped using my make-shift globber program in part because the comments had stopped working for no apparent reason. It seems that occasionally my webhost changes something that breaks all my shit and then they occasionally change it back. Which is a comfortable feeling. So I'm going to try putting a comment link here and everything will be grand.

We still hope to return soon under the power of rubber bands.



not standing anywhere

We're currently disfortunate. The TYPO weblog software turned out to be horribly inept at being a weblog that doesn't do horrible things to the hosting service's server while i'm not even doing anything with it.

We hope to return soon under the power of rubber bands.


standing in the middle of the road

New! Less good! More generic! I, Squub! Tastes like melted styrofoam!


hiding in the basement

Three bags of snack-size, brand name candy is not nearly enough to feed a marauding horde of neighborhood children. At least I assume they were neighborhood children. They had to be from SOME neighborhood, right? We were down to an Andes candy and a basket when we shut the door and turned out all the lights, hoping no one was on the way when we did it. We had considered emptying the cupboards of canned food and old pretzels, but decided that'd only make it worse. If I'm not around after tonight you know what happened.



no title

Aside from the horror of working with this piece of software I wrote and never finished, to which there are enhancements screaming at me (or maybe that's one of the neighbor kids out in the tree that's going to fall on my house,) to imp.ement, I've remembered or rediscovered why it is that I don't write here anymore: I'm not in the B L O G O S P H E R E anymore. I do not occupy that same space. Since posting here a few days ago for the first time in months I've been following the links in my sidebar to the other weblogs I used to frequent, and I'm amazed to see that most of them are still going as strong as ever. I can't seem to do anything always. I can't balance the this with the those things.

Some moons ago I stopped writing here, stopped reading everyone else's weblog, stopped following everyone's links; then I stopped paying so much attention to politics and stopped following what the hell anyone's talking about in the hopes of having something to talk about later. So I'm currently right now re-paraphrasing my already unstable constabulation of assault up there: I'm not in the A N Y T H I N G S P H E R E anymore.

Again, not true. Those other occupants of this consciousness have overtaken this one a lot in the past months. I've

HOW IS IT THAT THIS WOULDN'T BE BORING? I'm out of the loop so I've got nothing to talk about that's related to the loop. And

It's not the case, clearly, that I've got nothing to talk about. The case is that I'm out of the practice of talking about the particular brand of nothingness that I'd inexpertly sunk my claws into here when this place was in its hay. When I'm in that state this is what you get -- three days of me talking about how I don't talk about anything. Then I go away, occupying those more comfortable places. So I stay out of practice, and the squublog becomes nothing more than a lot of disconnected instances of boring rants about how I can't properly rant.

I will now



beware of falling heavy things

This whole thing is horribly out of date. I just want to, just, I just want to. I just. Man, I just. I've got, I wrote some thing, but then, this is.

Horrible. Just horrible. Look at THAT, would you? There's a dead... something... on the, is that a chimney? When did that get here? There's not even a fireplace, it's like it's a hole in the ceiling connected to a hole in the roof by a tube, or a chamber, or something, and it's going up to the outside and there's, it's raining, you keep commathetically separating all of your disparate sources.

It's a wonder I even still have the key. Obviously I nearly didn't.

This was supposed to be brief, just this thing about how this place is horrible, but now it's not brief, except it's not long either it's just pathetic. How'd you get in here, anyway?



is this thing on?

I don't remember. I'm stumbling around here. thanks, taleswapper, for the weeks old comment that I just noticed, causing me to need to do this stumbling around. I couldn't figure out how this stupid fucking globber program even works.

So I'm actually here because I'm considering doing this NaNoWriMo thing. For anyone not knowing about this thing and not wanting to follow that link: National Novel Writing Month starts November 1st. Some sort of a harnassing of the power of a mob, cooporative motivation for writing a 50,000 word novel in a month. udm did this last year, and I think maybe he's doing it again this year though I can't quite tell. I've been way outta touch. I haven't decided yet if I'm actually doing this thing. Kingo's probably doing it, is the biggest problem. I don't want to compete with that weird fucker, he might come in here and do unspeakable things to my keyboard.

This is all. I should really do something about this clunky ass Globber piece of shit. It's such a pain in the ass getting this shit all ready to go, I nearly lose my whole ass in the preparation. I'm sure if it weren't for that I'd have written a whole heaping tablespoonful of goodness just now instead of whatever that was.



now today act soon

If you act sometime soon, anytime now, you, only, except other people acting too, can receive for your very own self, free of non-included charges, this thing that we have for you today only or soon if you or whoever says something in the next acts soon!

Acts in the says something next, this thing for you, you get it and you just only need to apply now or send some cash or something and you get it! It's very much one of the things that are available in the world, through this offer, and if you act you can be having it for only what it costs!

That's right, you read it, you heard it, you saw it, this thing will only cost you the price!!! Most people can't believe things! But this is before your eyes, and it's a true, that you can get this thing for the cost of it!


THIS THING IS FUCKING AMAZING, TOO, I don't mind saying, I can say "fucking" with capital letters because we're on the internet.

This advertisement will be cross posted in five offerings. Void where not available.



New Oppurtunies (a proposition)

Dear Time Management and the Further Selves at SquubPile.Squub:

Please recently remember that we have been ing in receipt of your recent advertisementing papers and investitures and are very curious and interested and entirely believing that your campaign for noodel management (our own recipe) will be so unable to be stopped as to make ours the marketing force to be reckoned with in the next coming years! This is very happy we are to announce to you this day your very kindly offer to be our primary and sole advertisement packaging coordinator and developer of marketing strategy and real world wide contempt. It is a nice package offer and it comes with a Senegal.

Please consider promptly and respond intentionally with your greatest confidence that your vision and creative architecture will be met with deaf ear and a blind eye to your talents, which are considerable and therefore slightly great above our own talent in coordinating our own product which you know is Market Safe Crepe Tooth Sauce.

Previously of course our slogan was "Market Safe Crepe Tooth Sauce: You use it!" And we were not satisfied beyond intention with our response from the market as a whole which we are well awares that is huge and vast for this sort of our product which is still to this days without rival in the space.

Your suggestion of recent that we include a new slogan of your designing of thing like, "Market Safe Crepe Tooth Sauce: You've gotta use it!" are very much received in our shipping dock with such aplomb as to be at no mercy for things to sell! We can ship more of this sauce this way with happy workers in the loading area.

Other suggestion of your we weren't so much fond of such as that we stop manufacturing our Market Safe Crepe Tooth Sauce and begin making something else, or that we actually change the name of our flagship product to something like Tooth Paste, which we do not like the touch or texture of "paste" and so thinking this to be a mistake.

You are now consider our sole market and advertisement maker and your suggestions and work will be considered in highest esteem. We will be to pay you as our regular agreement incl. in encl. env.

Thank you for your hard efforts in this work and for being our new developmenter of advertise and market space. We will all be proud!

- Diumdivern Yurilmetungtung
vice Carpet Cleaner
Market Safe Crepe Tooth Sauce, Inc.




"We knew he wasn't guilty! And we also knew he was a mannequin! We don't care! He can touch my babies all he wants because he can moonwalk and wears white socks and black shoes!" said some screaming moron by a fence being squashed between a hundred other screaming morons.

As Tito, Janet, and Latoya Jackson were escorting him to his gigantic, black SUV thing, one of his arms fell off and thunked to the blacktop. A bodyguard, following from behind, hurriedly picked it up and shoved it back through the sleeve and held it there until they had Jackson safely hidden away inside the vehicle.

As the SUV pulled off, a number of Jackson fans threw themselves under the tires. A plastic hand was then seen waving through the vehicle's sunroof.

Michael Jackson is best known for its work with early 70s proto-funk pioneers Parliament Funkadelic, as well as for hit albums in the 1980s. The mannequin was designed by a guy in Italy in 1969 and purchased by the Jackson family shortly thereafter. Although some children are obviously afraid of it, others treat it like an imaginary friend.

("Hanging" Chad Wolfytits, Boston, Detroit)



a few, small repairs

At some point, the man ended up with a piece of the wire in his neck.



caterpillar machines, not ham, the completely wonder of the sea, say experts (guest post)

Experts at San Pablo Ridge's Expert Facility, a government created abstraction designed to release statements that sound important as they're attached to experts from the expert facility, have recently released a statement that indicates that a study could have been completed showing that Caterpillar Machines, and not Ham, be the completely wonder of the sea.

When asked for comments, the Expert Facility's Chief Expert, Darryl Pepper, said that, "yes, that is what the study is saying that the release could've proven when it were performed."

Following a round of slap-and-tickle with a particularly attractive, diminutive, ambiguously asian/mexican/african american female reporter, the expert retired to his bedchamber while shouting over his shoulder, "The statement really could be saying that the research really could have been performed and could have proven this thing! I should know, I'm the expert!"

The female reporter was busy getting her support hose back on at press time.

(Pester Bognivodich, staph-infected reporter)



book report about lobotomy (guest post)

In reading about the history of lobotomy, started as leukotomy, one would do well to remember: Phineus Gage was actually a really human person with a penis and eyes and everything. That weird doctor Greenswallow or Thigglebury or Stewartashus or Thistlefield or Dalrimple or Armenhammer or whatnot really just took it too far, carried, I mean, it too far, by it I mean that I'm talking about the practice of stirring up peoples frontbrains, because that's what, it's what, he was, he had a, when he was young his father whipped himself instead of him in punishment for something he'd done (him, who would later become Doctor Tidbutton who would even later become known as Doctor Icepick, or something,) and so Doctor Thagglepot grew up to become the pre-eminent brain scrambler before anyone seemed to even have gotten a wiff of what was going on. Or certainly everyone had to have gotten a wiff, but no one said anything.

No one, that is, except Peter Pillbung, who screamed from many a mountainous area about the dishumanity, the man's hume, Britt Hume, the huge loss of, what, brains, people were, personality, solved one or two maybe hard to say victims of.

He became known as Doctor Toothpick the Lesser and grew hair on his knees.

Long, straggly hair like airport socks.

In the brief time period during which he was rampantly practicing his icepick lobotomies he "cured" some sixty million people. It lasted until he cured the same woman a third time and she died from internal bleeding which frankly I'm not sure how it didn't always happen how did he go about missing the veins all the time?

Frances Farmer, a famous magician/actress/political something/uppity woman at the time, with a name called "Frances Farmer," was in an asylum and he went there and ice-picked her brain, too, and she was cured, inasmuch as being cured meant she was free to become slothful and fat and just work out the rest of her life as a clerk at a hotel and not actually be uppity anymore.

People got tired of seeing the zombies walking around and so an uproar was made. Doctor Moniz, some french guy who had invented the Leukotomy which involved injections of some chemicals into the head through holes in the top of the skull so as to destroy the connective tissue, got a nobel prize during the time during which was when Doctor Petersonvilledavidsmom was performing his surgeries with the assistance of his partner surgeon dude some guy name Davis or Will or something. This nobel prize was unsure of why it was asked to get into all of this mess.

Doctor icepick, after having his license to stab people in the brain removed for having stabbed the one lady in the brain three times and the third time killed her, had a mobile trailer thing he drove around and called the lobotomy-mobile, or something. He was trying to prove that his surgeries were helpful and that he wasn't a terrible person just stabbing people in their brains for no real good reason. He wrote some books, too. About something, like some doctors killing themselves who were friends with Freud.

Albert Brooks has not ever made a movie about this experience, but the book and movie One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest was about it, but not really because it only really happens (spoiler) at the end of the movie before the Indian guy breaks out and goes away because Jack Nicholson had his brain stabbed.

- by Smushmouth Engerbean
(references are available in the back of the book that this is a report about. It's all for real stories.)




can't remember a damned thing

I remember when I used to update this thing.

But only vaguely. I'm on the wrong machine. I was going to include the results of an online stupid thingy I did, following the lead of Swapping Tales. But... well...

Anyway, I've switched hosting accounts. There's been quite a lot of instability as a result. I did it primarily so I could split the account with someone else who's running a separate site on it. I've been pretty remiss in getting squub back alive.

This is as alive as it's gonna get for now. The spiders are everywhere, but when I spray them it lets the ants in.



the weird fucker shot himself...

...or that's what they'd have us believe. His son is being quoted as saying, "Hunter prized his privacy and we ask that his friends and admirers respect that privacy as well as that of his family." Sounds like a cover-up to me. But what do I know. They say he shot himself, who am I to argue.

Here are some post-mortem news pieces:

HUNTER S. THOMPSON: 1937-2005 Original gonzo journalist kills self at age 67 'Fear and Loathing' author, ex-columnist for S.F. Examiner dies of gunshot wound from the SF Chronicle.
Writer Hunter S. Thompson Kills Himself from Newsday.

...and here are some random links to shit about Thompson:

Thompson on 9/11 in Salon.
Hunter S. Thompson: surprised he's still here

Now I'm returning to my hole in the ground. See ya again in a few years.




My new book is a nice 240 page book, with a center photo insert. I wrote this reminiscing about the `60s and `70s. Here you will find many true storys and events of that time. It Seemed like a big project at the time. I Pieced together the many fun times and good time and weird incidents that transpired thru them years. Sometimes I wonder where the Hippie Daze went.

Them Hippie Daze must be right there in this guy's spelling mashine. Author: Honorable Dr Lou Who.



hello? hello?

Can't talk. Try write book.

Alternate Entry:

Only One Solution, from toothpaste for dinner, which I found doing a google search for "how to pee." From that it's probably goddamn obvious that I'm trying to write x number of pages for my book every day, and haven't done any yet today.

What that particular cartoon reminded me of (if you didn't go look at it, I strongly encourage you to do so now, as it'll take you fifteen seconds all told, and then you'll know what I'm talking about here, which you'll know anyway, even if you don't go there, but I'm not going to say what it says because I like to write sentences that never, ever end,) is that the other day while my wife and I were driving ourselves slowly insane, I mean shopping, there was some guy having a really, really stupid conversation on his cell phone. He was having it very, very loudly. This will surprise no one, because it happens a lot. Recently, while sitting still in a mess of traffic on my commute home from work, I watched the cars going the other way, and no less than half of the ones I saw contained people talking on cell phones.

While shopping that day, I thought about that device I wrote about here, which is a remote control that just turns off all of the tvs nearby. I still think that's stupid. However, if they made another one that disconnected all cell-phone connections within a 100 foot radius -- that would rock.



open letter to the universe

Dear Universe:

Please stop kicking me in the balls. I'm down, already.

I, Squub



A response

This is a response to Addendum to "On 'Left' and 'Right'": the values question, by Blimpish.

There's no doubt that I can't argue in defense of any of the institutions of the Left. I'm in no position to do so. I'm certain my viewpoint here isn't unique, but I'm nevertheless presenting this only as a personal reaction to the right/left dichotomy that Blimpish presented. As usual, I've got more starts and stops in here than I know what to do with, and I'm afraid I've not managed to make all of this coherent. After a couple hours of this, though, I'm stopping where I am. I hope there's something interesting in here.

"- The Right see values as wholly given. [...] Values are simply how we interpret 'right' and 'wrong' as goods relevant to this world, here and now. Values consequently have a natural and common hierarchy, according to their current rightness. Choice is limited to allowing some varying balance between values of similar rank within that hierarchy; these choices are to be judged against the hierarchy.

- The Left sees values, as something we choose, existentially. That is why some on the Left seem to place authenticity and resolve - that the values are freely and sincerely chosen - before the specific values themselves. After all, if values are down to personal choice, then it becomes difficult to impose a common hierarchy on them. This view is truly pluralist, in expecting people to hold to different sets of values, and rather than judging them against an external hierarchical standard, judges them instead on their pluralist spirit."

also: "Metaphysically, the underlying position of the Left I've outlined here is ultimately nihilistic - or, put another way, it has no solid ground from which to argue, and so stands right above the abyss."

As I see it, the Right to which Blimpish is referring is religious. It's suddenly become, in my dealing with this, impossible to separate Conservatism from Religiosity. Faith is, I think, a belief in something unknowable, or at least unprovable. Whether the items of faith are traditions or God or a set of laws laid out as absolute in an ancient text, they are the things that form the foundation for a Right-thinking person's morality, and they are the things that form the basis for a politics of the Right. This realization at once simplifies my stance, in that at the very least I can state without reservation that I'm not this kind of person, and complicates it, in that my viewpoint essentially stands in opposition to the validity of faith as the underpinning of morality, and I've got no shortage of friends who are faithful people, and I don't want to offend them. (In fact I'm hoping not to offend anyone; the post to which this is a response was, I think, very respectful, and I'm trying to acheive that level of discourse here.)

I think Blimpish stretches too far in order to show a contradiction on the Left between believing that all values are created equal and that space must be therefore made for all values. ("To function, you see, pluralism requires that each person provide space for each other's values, which means values then have to be judged.") Leftists, in general (though I'm sure individual examples can be found,) would never argue that a value system that encourages, say, sacrificing every family's first born in the name of science is somehow acceptable in practice purely by virtue of the fact that someone believes in it. What I think we do have trouble with (I certainly have trouble with it,) is stating categorically that a person who holds any particular belief should be devalued simply because he or she holds (note the word "holds," not "practices,") that belief. The reason I have trouble with that is that I'm accutely aware of the fact that all moral systems are flawed.

So then I need to get into the discussion about how it's ridiculous, and dangerous, to blindly say, "oh, it's okay that they believe that... they aren't PRACTICING it." It's around this matter that I've seen a lot of people on the Right getting very indignant about the views of the Left. People don't have moral systems that they value without some possibility, or intention, of practicing. If you allow that it's okay to teach first-born killing you're going to have to live with the possibility of there being, at some point, an epidemic of killings of first borns. And of course that's unacceptable.

But there's the rub: while not ALL systems of moral belief contain something akin to first-born killing, many do. There is no fulcrum upon which to weigh all of these varying belief systems except whatever fulcrum one has available. So while people on the Right (and, of course, many on the Left,) have this wholly-given morality to use, those of us who have not been given one (and how is this thing given?) are forced to accept that all such systems are flawed. This Includes the system that would allow us to believe that because we are able to create our own moral code we should create a code such that we can do whatever the hell we want, whenever the hell we want.

If all moral systems are flawed, then why not get rid of all of them in favor of the one, true moral system, the one that we've cut from whole-cloth, the one that is flawless? Hmmm?

Possibly because there's no such thing. We may dream of a time when we can at last jettison all traditional moral systems in favor of some Utopian system that will solve the world's problems, just as soon as we figure out what that system consists of, but that's not a realistic goal. Maybe the realists among us, who don't want to legislate a Utopia into existence, are just struggling to keep monolithic institutions from being accepted as The Way. If there were such an institution that didn't have flaws, we'd believe in it. Which would of course mean we would no longer be Leftists.

In his post, Blimpish refers often to the idea that the Left has no solid ground on which a declaration of right and wrong would stand. To which I'd answer that the ground on which the Right stands its declarations of right and wrong is only solid if you agree with them. Any group of traditionalists is going to have a different ground, and none is any more solid than another.

"The Left has thrown off the hang-ups of metaphysics, of ultimate right and wrong, in favour of the machine of choice so that everyone can get as much out of this life as possible; the Right is unsure where this has taken us and where it will take us, and whether we might be assuming too much about our power over the world."

I'm not sure who's claiming to be sure of where this has taken us and where it will take us, for starters. Certainly not me. But from my perspective the premise is off. I threw off the hang-ups of metaphysics, of ultimate right and wrong, when I came to the conclusion that they were insupportable for me. The fact that the Right is presented (as it is here) as having no doubts about ultimate right and wrong means one of two things (possibly one or the other, depending on which adherent you're dealing with):

1. The Right has no doubt about the black and white nature of right and wrong. There are ultimate, inviolable laws of moral behavior. I do not know what these laws are. I don't know how to find common ground on this point, as these things cannot be argued and are therefore perhaps beyond the realm of discussion. You either get it or you don't. I don't.

2. The Right clings to a solid foundation, to concrete definitions of right and wrong and a mythology to give them weight, as a canard. We are talking about society and how to better it, or how to maintain it, and the Right is convinced that the best approach to this is that there be an explicitly defined moral code to which society can adhere. Their traditions and institutions are therefore designed to support this code.

(I'm not proposing that either of these describes anyone in particular. My inclination is to assume that there must be conservatives who fit each side. The way I've presented the latter sounds harsh. It's also probably how we get so many conspiracy theorists on the left. Regardless: I can't discount it. These hierarchies that the Right espouse have powerful things at the top, by definition. They have an ultimate authority at the top of the pyramid. If the people at lower tiers of these pyramids accept the word of whatever's at the top as wholly given, who's making sure whatever's at the top is on the level?)



exit loop

I've been in some sort of infinite regression, here, looping around in circles, with nothing happening to allow me to exit the loop. This entry could be complicated, except that I'm working, so I've got to keep it short. It's going to include something I wrote Sunday linking to something else I wrote Sunday. Paperclypsy has an entry today linking to something to which the longer this I wrote on Sunday referred. In seeing that link I was prompted to get this stuff out here before it just becomes another non-entity.

If none of this makes any sense, so be it.

From Sunday:

Further stabs at using PHP: Squub's index page now includes two enhanced features. Or it's been enhanced by two new features. Whatever. The little greeting at the top is no longer static, but pulls randomly from a list of such things. (Now I just gotta add to the list, or take it further...) Using similar logic (actually I used the same functions to do both of these things, so that's pretty cool,) beneath the list of recent squublog entries (which I haven't updated in over a month,) there's an "Out of Context" quote that pulls randomly from whatever's in my main weblog page. It's a little stupid, but it's semi interesting.

I've got some enhancements in mind, like populating the list of recent entries dynamically; it's a little tough right now though as when i put those there I make decisions about what piece of the entry to include that I don't currently encode while writing the entries. So getting this to work would require the inclusion of some kind of tags in my entries that would serve as an abstract. Or something similar.

Off my rocker: I started a huge post that went in a hundred different directions. Usually when this happens I run out of time and just leave the text somewhere on a harddrive and never get back to it. In this case I'm thinking I'm going to post the stuff as a separate html page, and link to it here, and maybe summarize what I'm talking about. This leads to some functionality that I think could be useful, and outside the bounds of standard webloggery. This, and other pages like it, would be works-in-progress, not snapshots of my thoughts at a single time like regular entries. I'll include a comments link on it, hoping for some feedback. Eventually the thing (or things) might get finished. Or they could just be forever evolving.

(of course the problem with this is that I've gotta make a whole damned html page for this thing and manually encode the comments link thing and that's more work. Eventually i could automate that. Mmmm-hmmm. I'll probably get right on that.)

(In starting to tackle this, what I'm talking about sort of looks like a Wiki. I haven't seen them used in exactly this way; but I tend to be pretty much oblivious to how anything's used until years after the fact. Okay, so maybe I should think about installing PhpWiki. But that'll require more space than I've got here, I'm sure, and so is one more reason to get moving on a new host.)

(Everything I write today is a series of side-notes. I am more than a little disturbed by this, as it feels like it's becoming the rule instead of an exception.)

Driven to Distraction: The piece that I began writing today, for this space, has so far gotten itself twisted into two sections. The first half discusses my inability to concentrate or focus on tasks, and about how time-saving technologies seem to be doing nothing to save me any time. The second half talks about conservatism and liberalism, and why I don't think those categories work. The second half is even less fully baked than the first.

In between there are some notes about where I think I'm trying to go with this.

As I mentioned, I'd appreciate feedback or discussion.

Furtherance (briefly):

Sunday night, late, I read an entry by Blimpish concerning 'Left' and 'Right.' The piece was enlightening, for me. I went to bed late after reading it, and couldn't sleep for a while, tossing and turning while my head chewed through this stuff. He's presented the dichotomy very clearly. I haven't been able to get back to where I want to be as far as responding; the second half of the long post of mine, linked above, which I wrote Sunday could work my responses in pretty well if I could clear up the time and mental space. I've got no idea whether or not that'll happen, but I encourage you to read his piece.




I don't know what to say about this. Ex-Pantera and current (until now) Damageplan guitarist "Dimebag" Darrel Abbot, was shot at point-blank range, and killed, while onstage performing with Damageplan in Columbus, Ohio. At least two other people were also killed before the gunman was killed by a police officer who arrived shortly after the shooting began. This happened 24 years to the day after John Lennon was shot and killed in New York city.

I've been a Pantera fan since I heard their second (major label) album Vulgar Display of Power sometime in 1992; unfortunately I'd never heard Damageplan until this morning, when the radio station to which I was listening played a clip from a song after a news item about the shooting. Damageplan was formed by Dimebag and his brother, drummer Vinnie Paul, also ex-Pantera. The clip was excellent, and it makes me just that much more sad that I didn't even know about this band until this happened. I think the news broadcast I heard this morning also said Vinnie had been killed, but based on the AP article it looks like that's not the case.

(Official Damageplan website.)




I want more time. For Christmas. Whoever can get me that, that's what I want. More time in a day, more time in a week, more time in a month, more time in a year. Time so that when I want to write I'm not hurrying to finish and get to bed so I can get up after not enough sleep so I can rush to the office to spend not enough time to satisfy them that I'm...

More time.




Outerlife makes the argument that books make bad gifts.

Here's a taste:

It's very unlikely that the recipient will enjoy the gift. At any time, you can choose to read any one of a million or so books. How many of those million books would you enjoy? I'm guessing very few. If instead I chose your next book, would your chances of enjoying your next book increase or decrease? Even if I had superior taste and discernment, and was familiar with your reading preferences, I'll bet you'd be happier, on average, with the books you selected yourself.

It seems to me that his problem here is with the gift-giving concept itself. All gifts are subject to the possibility of being more problem than joy for the recipient. What do I do with this weird lamp? Do I look like I want another tape measure?

Obviously some gifts can be poorly chosen because they're purchased in desparation, only out of obligation. Some gifts could be exactly right if only the recipient didn't already have it. But this is true of all gifts, not just books.

Gift giving is supposed to be a pain in everyone's ass. That's the point. As children it's wonderful: we get a whole bunch of crap we've got no way to get for ourselves because we don't have money and even if we did store clerks wouldn't be able to see us over the counters, and in return we give our parents some cut-up and glued-together construction paper that we had to make in school; later we'll give our siblings things that our parents bought for us to give to each other. But we pay for all of those windfalls when we're older. We struggle to find things to buy for people who, if they really needed anything, would've gotten it for themselves. We see lots of things that we'd love to have, but we can't afford to buy right now because we're using all of our money being generous and jolly. Besides, it's bad form to buy yourself things just before Christmas... someone else might've already gotten you that very thing. (Sure.)

Outerlife's solution is to offer lists of reading suggestions as gifts, and, if pressed for gifts with actual value, give a gift-certificate to a bookstore, too.

To that I say: well, duh. First of all, why give a gift certificate when you can give cash? Gift certificates suck just as much as gifts, if in different ways. Having a gift certificate means you've got to shop wherever the gift-giver's telling you to shop. Of course the solution to that problem is to give cash.

Cash is the best gift ever! You can do whatever the hell you want with cash. Don't want to shop? Put it in the bank. Don't trust banks? Put it under your mattress. Don't have a bed? Bury it in a jar in the woods. What's not to like?

Except, now why am I giving you thirty bucks while you're just giving me ten? How about this: I'll keep all my money, and you keep yours. So there's no need for a card to hold the money anymore, either; I'll just keep that $2.50, too. Perfect! In fact, let's not even get together this Christmas. It's a long drive back home, and there's all that traffic, and we're not going to have anything to do if we aren't giving each other junk we don't want anyway. This Christmas is gonna rock!

Gift giving is how we connect with one another. While thinking about what things the people we love might enjoy, or need, but don't already have because they haven't thought about it yet, we're really just thinking about those people. Seriously, what else could possibly be the point?

(Note: the list-of-recommended books thing is a pretty good idea, actually. In a way. Of course it wouldn't work for me: the people to whom I usually give books don't live anywhere near a Borders or anything larger than a Waldenbooks. And that Waldenbooks, at last check, had fifteen books in it. And two were duplicates.)




To Outer Life I have not previously directatiously linked. I'm doing it now because I go there regularly, though not as regularly as I will once I put it (him) in my stack over there to the right, which I will also be doing now. I know he doesn't mean it, but I just found discovered Squub under his heading of "Better Blogs." (You may or may not have recently noticed Outer Life's Evil Twin, which a little potato was kind enough to lead me toward recently and which I then placed, oddly, into its own little slot in the stack over there. I've got no idea, at this point, what had possessed me to have been acting in that bizarre manner. Perhaps the bugspray again. Clogs the vacuoles.

What, then, is this, that I'm writing now, about?

Nothing. Absolutely. Say it again. Huuuh.




Because "PHP" sounds like, "ffffp" to me.

I didn't know I had access to PHP on this webhost. I didn't know because I didn't care because I'd never taken the time to think about whether or not it was something I should figure out. Recent events have given me a need to test the waters of ffffp, though, and I like. I'm not your average tech geek. I'm the kind of tech geek who's only a tech geek to people who don't know other tech geeks. I don't play with this stuff that much.

At any rate I had to block image hot-linking. There are a few web boards which recently started tearing up my bandwidth by hot-linking images. I wouldn't've minded except that in two days the two boards were each in my top five monthly bandwidth users. So I asked them to stop, which went amazingly well, because people fucking rock. (It has nothing at all to do with any apparent recent desire of mine to get into the middle of, or start, flame wars. Really. Nothing is my fault.) At any rate, ffffp provided a good solution; now you can link to my images if you actually link to them; you can't use them inline. (I got much useful information at A List Apart.)

Having done that (and also, incidentally, having gotten myself banned from one of the offending bulletin boards because I made a few remarks about how no sysop-type person did anything about my original band-width overload messages yet surprisingly the sysop private-message fuckers happened to pop up when I used the word "dipshit" in a post. Because they don't want to offend any childrens. Childrens who wouldn't otherwise be offended by the availability of emoticons doing things like shaking their naked breasts,) I decided to play around with parsing my weblog file. So now, as you may or may not have noticed, my "editor.htm" gets redirected to "editor.php", which basically right now just parses the htm file and removes all but the first 10 entries. This way there shouldn't be such long load times anymore. Also, if you're bored, you can go up into the address bar and tack on a "?count=x" after the URL, where x is some positive integer, and you'll then see x number of entries. Although you'll only see as many as are in the actual htm file; it won't go back and grab 'em from the archives if you try to see a whole boatload of 'em.

So now I'm thinking of creating some ffffp stuff to let me update this thing online. And wouldn't THAT be a grand waste of time; redeveloping my weblog thing in ffffp instead of just getting one of the other clients that are available.

Here is a pretty good ffffp manual. Here is a Comprehensive Guide to .htaccess. Here is Blorch.net, which is, you know, Blorch.net.





I'm breathing fumes from some bugspray in a can. It's not in a can anymore, or the parts I'm breathing aren't . I feel it settling in my temples, speaking in throbs; I feel it digging around in my sinus cavity. "Hello in there," it's shouting. "Anyone need any coat hangers?"


The spiders we ate for thanksgiving tasted more like frog than turkey. Some people like to call turkey chicken. The gravy came sometimes from jars, but more often from bags and pans. I watched, dazed, as all of our pet hamsters, brought together for the first time in years, dragged the half-carved carcass from the kitchen table and across the linoleum. "I never knew before why they called it linoleum," I said, unable to stand up. "Now I understand."

and under

We all had our humvees parked on the hill in front of Uncle Travis' house. Only one of them had a parking brake worth a damn; the rest we let roll down into that one, which we'd strategically placed at the bottom of the hill to give the others a foundation. They prevented anyone else from driving up that hill, but no one in that town was going to say anything to us about it. We were known for the way the trigger mechanisms in our various rifles and shotguns were shaved, so that the tiniest nudge on the things could cause them to go off. Many of the locals had the holes to go with the stories.

never around

We hadn't really expected to do this at Uncle Travis' place again, not after last year. No one can even remember how many days it was before the first one of us to sober up realized we'd nearly ruined the inside of the house by playing tic-tac-toe on the walls, using burnt wood and knives to make our marks; and whoever it was that started trying to stop us ended up buried beside some tree, but nobody can remember where. Nevertheless we were back again this year, with a promise to ourselves to drink no more than was absolutely necessary, and to clean up the spidery mess before we left. We still had to have our guns, though. It ain't Thanksgiving without the guns.



level 4 walkthrough: the furniture

Some lunatics gave me a credit card. I don't know who these mad fuckers are, but their card says "Discover." Whoever they are they must not do any research. They must be handing these things out to whoever asks. If they'd done their homework they'd have "discover"ed that I'm a flight risk.

Twelve or so years ago a whole slew of these people let me have a bunch of these things. First time I pulled one out at the record store my buddy asked, "Hey, what the hell's that?"

"It's free money, dude!" I said. "They keep sending 'em to me in the mail!"

The cash register said "ka-ching" and I went home and listened to some Jethro Tull or something.

The most recent edition of the little piece of paper I get in the mail every month says that at this point I only owe another $3,000 or so on that CD. Awesome.

So maybe these "Discover" people just figure I'll use their piece of plastic for some more CDs and pay them like a couple hundred thousand bucks in ten years. I don't know. But hey, free money. It came in the mail.

Months ago my wife and I ordered some furniture. The lady at the store said it'd be delivered in four to six weeks. This was sometime in early September. Last Friday afternoon I got a phone call from a guy who said he had our stuff. He told me someone would be calling Monday night to tell me what time on Tuesday they'd be dropping the things off.

Sometime Monday evening the phone rang; the caller ID had some dude's name on it, like "Alan Smith" or something. Normally we don't answer that devil machine if someone we've never heard of is listed on that ID. It's always some crazy person, mispronouncing shit and talking about... well, I don't know what they talk about, I always scream at them and jerk the cord out of the wall before they've had a chance to whisper their voodoo spell into my ear. But this time we were waiting on this call from an unnamed contact, and I wasn't taking any chances. I only signed a couple of papers back when we picked this stuff out, and we didn't give them any kind of collateral. I thought those people traditionally wanted money; in this case they were letting us just swear to pay for them later. It was like that hamburger guy on Popeye opened a furniture store. So anyway, I didn't really read what was on those papers, so I figured there might've been something in there saying that failure to answer the telephone by the second ring would indicate our rejecting the delivery or something.

So I grabbed the receiver and shouted, "Yes, yes, I'm answering!"

A deep, husky male voice on the other end said, "Be home between 3pm and 7pm tomorrow." Then the line went dead.

So yesterday I worked from home. By a quarter to seven I was pretty sure we'd been duped. I was trying really hard to remember what exactly those papers said. In fact right then it became blindingly obvious that I was a sucker; not only that, I'd dragged my wife down with me. Who the hell ever heard of somebody giving away new furniture to a couple of morons who wander in off the street? Not only had I believed them, I'd convinced my wife to believe them, too.

At 7:00 I was getting ready to pack a grip and get the hell out of town. I'd have to call my wife on her cell phone from my car. If I didn't get through hopefully she'd notice that I wasn't home when she pulled up after work and she'd turn around and get to a safe place. I had given those fuckers our address.

At 7:01 I heard the pained, whining noises of what was either a heretofore assumed extinct bird creature, or a mammoth truck that was using a malfunctioning washing machine for brakes. I opened the front door and there was a big, white panel truck creeping down the street that leads to our parking lot. The same kind of truck everybody thought the DC sniper was driving back when I was wearing a helmet to the gas station. I felt sweat burst out on my forehead. Whoever these people were, they'd given me plenty of oppurtunity to get a head start before they chased me. But, as usual, I hadn't figured out the game until it was too late.

I ran out the front door as the truck pulled into the middle of the parking lot. I looked left, then right, unable to decide which way to bolt... there was nothing to hide behind. "Hold on!" I shouted. "I should've gone out the back door. Can I get a do-over?" My fingers were twitching to save the game before I got shot; I thought there might be a way out even after having made such a fundamental mistake so late in the mission, but I knew for sure I wouldn't get it right the first time. And if I had to start the level from the begining I'd have to go through that whole election thing again.

A guy stepped out of the back of the truck. "Guy" is as general a term as might possibly apply. This creature was massive. He must've been seven feet tall, over 350 pounds. In a low, quiet voice he mumbled something that I couldn't make out. I knew that the calm, hypnotic waves of his voice were meant to disarm me. I was taking a step backward, away from him, when I saw another dude step out of the driver's side door of the truck. This guy was even taller, but thin and wiry.

"Where's the fucking power-up?!" I screamed. "I don't even have a pistol!"

The guy from the back of the truck repeated what he had said, except this time he was closer so I understood him. "I've got to go inside and see where we're putting the couches," he said.

I showed the guy my living room. Twenty minutes later we had a new couch and a new loveseat (with the old couch shoved into a corner.) I only had to sign one more piece of paper. When I was doing it the guy was talking about how the lady before me had signed the wrong line, and could I sign the one she was supposed to sign, and he'd put arrows. So I scrawled something on a line, then put my pen away. Then he said, "Could I use the pen? I need to put arrows."

So beneath my scribble he put an arrow, pointing at this other scribbled mess that was supposedly some lady's signature. Then he put an arrow, pointing at mine, above her scribble. Then he handed me my pen and left. The other guy already had the truck running.

I'll be gone for a few days, temporarily unable to take your calls. If you hear a beep, please vacate whatever building you're in. Once these people realize I've got their "Discover" card and their furniture, and they've got nothing from me but some scribbles on paper, they're bound to take it out on somebody. Watch your backs.

I'll be back next week, if I can survive the impending battle at the end of this level. I hear that in that part you have to fight against six hundred thousand people driving cars on a total of about twenty lanes of highways all spiraling out from the center of the map. That's gonna be a tough one.

Have a turkey. Or a... whatever you have if you don't eat turkey.



dear beloved

Haven't updated Letters to Squub in a long time. But a letter I got today really warmed my heart.

"The Bible made us to understand that Blessed is the hand that giveth. I took this decision because i know that there are alot of poor people suffering from different kind of disease and nobody to come to their aid. With God all things are possible. As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the contact of the bank."



Time Enough at Last

Where is everybody? Well, I guess this'll have to be one for the angels.

Nevermind. The start of my month-long binge, Two Characters In Search of An Exit, was also the start of my un-mentioned puzzle. I'm not sure I specifically thought about it that way at the time; I'm also not sure I specifically think of it that way now. Maybe more of a trivia-challenge.

I certainly didn't do it all off the top of my head. That first entry I came by honestly; I thought it was a good title for the post, and it just happened to be a play on the name of an episode. Two entries later I had to think about it, but I was pretty happy with the resulting title, A Most Unusual Remote Control. (At least as happy as I can be about something so silly as what I, at that point, was pretty sure I was starting to do...)

Of course the title sounded strange enough that I figured there'd be someone who made the connection. I assumed, too, that whoever that was would post a comment saying, "Oh, hey, look what you did." No one did; I wasn't sure whether that meant the gag was missed or nobody figured there was any real reason to point it out. At any rate I figured I'd keep going with the every-other-entry pattern, although that guideline got stretched further later on.

Next I decided to go for the obvious by using The Eye of the Beholder as a title. It had something to do with something in my post, though I had to go back just now to see what, exactly, the post was about. The thing was about how fast people read. So, you know. Eye.

That didn't work. So from there I think I just figured it'd go on until the end, and then I'd say, "hey, there's this thing about the titles," and someone would say, "oh, yeah, I know." So I pushed blindly ahead, with The Masks, The Time Element, The Invaders, The Mirror, and The Fear. Then I used Walking Distance, which I sorta thought would ring somebody's bell. Or not. So I kept right on going with The Changing of the Guard (definitely didn't come up with that one off the top of my head...) Then I remember thinking that I could at least get someone to ask, "What the hell's up with your title, here?" when I named my post about the Stick Figure Gallery Uncle Simon. I mean, clearly I don't have an uncle Simon, and if I did he wouldn't be a stick figure on a warning sign. Hell, I don't know, maybe he would.

That one might've come too rapidly between others, anyway, as it fell on deaf people. Heavily. Thud.

Looking at my archive now I see that I stretched my bounds further than I remember having stretched 'em after that thud. I skipped two days, and something like five entries, before coming back strong with The Two of Us Are Dying, which is pretty damned clever, if you ask me; not only did it refer back to the Two Characters in Search of an Exit thing that started it all, it fit the post AND was another gimme. But you people... man.

Valley of the Shadow was another tack-on title, I think. I'm pretty sure that's got very little to do with my post about saving webloggerdom. Ah, well, it sorta might... fit, the gravity of the situation I was, postscribe prescript

(sidescript: There is this woman at work. I don't talk about people at work in case anyone there ever gets nosy and finds me here. But this... this is just unFUCKINGbelievable. I'm working from home, I'm taking a break because I didn't take one for lunch, and I'm writing this. She found me on Instant Messenger, and started... I can't even begin to describe the level of frustration this woman causes me. She's a QA person, a tester... a breaker. Whatever. She's got one problem tracker of mine to fix before a release. I explained it to her in detail yesterday, as much as I could over top the din of her interrupting what do you mean am I supposed to go to this screen? my explanations okay but are you sure I'm not supposed to do this first? between every other Should I start from this screen or that screen? fucking What do I do if this happens? word. So now she's Instant Messaging me because she's "not comfortable" releasing this because she doesn't know how to test it. And I could give two shits, because the boss wants it released, and this ain't my fucking problem. But the boss is on the phone, so she keeps Messaging me with bullshit about "He's still on the phone." At some point she changed the color of her font from black to hot pink. At this point, after her fifth IM about the boss (now he's in his office with the door closed, after she IM'd him while he was on the phone, which I told her not to do,) I think he's ignoring her too. I think maybe he sent the thing without her ever figuring out how to test it. I think I'm going to put her on my fucking ignore list. Her last message was, "Now what do I do?" Boy, do I ever want to tell her.)

The Whole Truth hardly counts -- that post could've been called anything and I wouldn't have expected anyone to notice. (In fact I'm thinking that's the case about all of my posts.) Finished up with The Purple Testament and finally, The Lateness of the Hour, where I finally let on that there was something aflutter.

It occurs to me, having just finished pasting the URLs to those entries into the empty anchor tags I'd left there for 'em as I wrote that, that this might come of sounding like a big, self-congratulatory piece of fluff. For the record: I'm not in the least bit fluffy. I've never been accused of being fluffy and, to be honest, I don't think I care for your tone. This entry is, quite simply, a pointless exercise in writing to write. I don't know what my point was in doing this thing, I don't think I had one. But Taleswapper found me out (though at first I didn't understand that he'd found me out, so, you know, take that for a pot of fish,) so it's time to clean up the windows and batten down the cucumber cutters. And, of course, to reward Taleswapper with a nice big can of a quality of mercy. With Sulu, I think. (Oh, oops. Looks like it's Spock. I know Sulu was in one of 'em.)

Can't leave this string of irrelevance without linking to this site, which proved very valuable to me when I was trying to come up with titles to match my gibberish. And then there's this wikipedia entry, which I found when I accidentally typed my search into Firefox's address bar instead of going to google to do a search. I didn't know Firefox would bring me right to a site based on typing a search-term into that bar. Neat-e-o.

On to biggers and betters... someone will probably not notice if I don't point it out here that my list of weblogs has changed, ever so slightly, once again. I've removed one of 'em out of what may be my first inter-weblog personal explosive dramatic... uhm... whatever, I got pissed off and I don't need to be going to someplace that's always pissing me off anymore. Not that I'll stop going there, I just don't need to be pointing it out to people anymore. I don't think he ever once had a link to this place anyway.

Also, I added daveblackwood.com, which doesn't go to a URL called www.daveblackwood.com but goes to his site which is called that. I'm always moving his links around, because he's always changing where he is then coming back then not doing anything there then saying something funny when he does come back then changing the name of something... anyway, there's a bunch of stuff there I hadn't seen before, if you're interested.

This entire, cryptic in still not directly answering the question, "Where were those titles coming from?", and also cryptic in not getting into the drama of my disgust with a rabid... whatever, has been brought to you by the letters Squeegy and Buscuit. More will, inevitably, follow.



sort of like a waring blender

The title of this post just transmogrified itself straight through about four different incarnations before I typed a word. Let's just see if I can leave it stuck there like that.

I'm in a daze now, not sure exactly how to proceed. I'm going to lay out a few things.

I'll be removing a lot of the posts from this main squublog page soon; probably Monday or Tuesday. I was planning on doing it immediately after my month-long outpouring, but I'm thinking I'll leave 'em there for long enough... well, there's no sense to it, really. It's a pretty big page right now, and some of you are probably tired of waiting for it to load. I'll take care of it this week. The Monday landmark is just sort of hanging around in my head because I think maybe some people don't read this thing over the weekend. It's possible that really not many read it anyway, and fewer still post comments. It's the comments thing that's making me leave shit up, ultimately: my big, unkempt, unfortuate wrap-up post is sort of sitting there all lonely-like. Not that there's any particular response I'd expect from something like that. (Except there is one thing, related to the metamorphosis of the title of this post: I'm still waiting to see if anyone even gives a flying fry-daddy about my title-thing. There was a title I was going to be using for this post but it'd give it away, (or, hell, it probably wouldn't if it's not already been figured out by everyone, which maybe it has...) so I didn't use it in case you smart, concerned citizens haven't read that post yet to discover that there's something someone's supposed to humor me by figuring out.)

I'm almost out of room on my host. I've been very happy with them (nomonthly.com,) but I'm thinking about switching. I've done a little research and found a few that are well-reviewed and offer more storage space at a lower cost. I guess there's the option of sending someone at nomonthly an email asking if they'd match someone else's price, but I can't imagine things like that actually work in this sort of environment. This place has been pretty rock-solid, though, as far as keeping squub online. I've not had to deal with any data loss or anything, and there've only be one or two times when this site's been down, and it's always come back up very quickly. So I'd stay if I could; but 75 megs of space isn't cutting it anymore. So we'll see.

I'm thinking about redesigning, at this squublog page. I'm still sort of toying with the RSS idea, though no progress has been made in that direction yet.

There's also the idea of a sort of style or substance shift rattling around in my head. The problem is that I don't know where that might take me. I've considered focusing on some kind of weekly update schedule, where my posts may be longer and more substantive. I've proven to myself that, if I foresake everything else and let car insurance bills go unpaid and incur fines from the state and ignore my wife and don't wash my car and never finish cleaning my basement and don't take showers and don't exercise and don't play video games and don't go to movies and don't eat food then I can update this thing daily. Ah, who am I kidding. The basement wouldn't have gotten clean anyway.

So if I could just channel that energy into something useful, or at least mildly entertaining, I might have something here that I can point to in a year and say, "hey, look, there's a thing here." (I don't know what the hell I'm talking about right now. Bear with me.) There's definitely something intriguing about the idea, though, of having a mildly entertaining weblog. Cob knows there are weblogs that I visit that are, to say the least, mildly entertaining.

Eh, it's just a thought. Really, maybe there are enough mildly entertaining sites on the web. Frankly, the internets could stand a few more boring, unfocused, unfunny, self-immolating, un-spell-checked, insipidly irrelevent weblogs. (It just now occurred to me, in a flash of what has to be the most overduest realization ever, that Insipid Irrelevence, which is technically, sort-of, in some alternate view of things, the name of this entire website, is a pretty cool name and describes, exactly, the focus of this focusless weblog. Perhaps a name change is in order? But how could there be a weblog called Insipid Irrelevence on a website called Insipid Irrelevence without confusing the entire order of the whatnot totally and completely? I definitely don't want to cause a ruckus.)

This is getting out of hand. Believe me, it was never meant to go this far. I was supposed to be posting three brief sentences about how I might stop writing now on here for a while, with some other words thrown into the phrase just to make it sound cooler. It wasn't supposed to stretch into this extensive gibberish about names and... and... whatever else I was just talking about. Hell, I'm writing this right in my globber software window, which I try not to do for longer posts as this machine is apt to crash at random times and this software isn't smart enough to have anything silly like a save feature. When I save this shit this shit is saved, with a capital letter in the middle except not. It just writes an html file and another html file and that's all she wrote. I can't get in there and edit it without using notepad or something. Man, when I write it out like that right here it really sounds like this is one hideously underdeveloped piece of software.

The software, in fact, is always due for an overhaul. I don't expect it anytime soon, though. I may add a spell-check to it, though that'd possibly be fighting the aesthetic I've struggle so hard to maintain here.

Now I'm sitting here staring. Apparently after all that I have come to the end. I started ramping up there for a big expungement on some stuff and some other stuff, and then I just stopped.

This is the first day of the rest of my weblog. Jeepers.



0? -1?




the lateness of the hour

I may have made a dreadful miscalculation. Even at this late date (yes, it's late -- at least of this much I'm sure,) I can't decide how to decide if I've miscalculated. Yet, by nature of the very fact that I can't decide, it's clear that regardless of the technicalities, it's effectively the same whether I've made the mistake or not.

This is because of my nature. Mine is not the sort of nature with trees and hills and flowers and a rainbow sometimes and a stream trickling through the middle of it that magically doesn't make anybody have to pee. The sort of nature I'm talking about, my own, that is, is the kind that highlights the ugly crack running up the wall next to the other ugly crack. The kind that smells like something must've fucking died around here.

My nature dictates that today, while I'm fretting that I may have miscalculated, I will not accomplish the thing I could have been accomplishing had I gotten this all straight earlier in the game. Then tomorrow the possibility that I've just let it slip by without marking it will leave me mentally de-rugged, lying on my back, gasping for breath, with a stinging pain on the back of my head.

My nature has that simple tenet: always blame my nature. That's it.

There are little pieces of my nature that contribute, to be sure. Aside from that foundational piece, that steady floor there beneath it all, holding it all up, there are the warts that so clearly distinguish it as the thing to blame. I have trouble with ones, is one piece of it. The concept of what I'm talking about there is so slippery I can't even hope to describe it rationally. You go from ten down to zero and how many do you have? Eleven? From ten to one, do you have nine? Or ten? from five to fifteen -- ten or eleven?

Numbers are the most solid things there are, more solid than any physical things. Yet I'm always ending up with one more or one fewer than I would've thought I should've had. If a train leaves my house at 9:00am on a Sunday and arrives at my neighbor's house at 9:00 on the following Sunday did it take it a week or did it take it eight days? I mean it took way too fucking long, that doesn't even make sense. Is this some kind of ant train?

I know all of this is obvious. I don't have trouble subtracting. I can subtract like a dynamo. I'm like a calculator without buttons. Seriously, I'm the wizard of subtracting single digit numbers from each other. But when you start counting 0 as a number... let's just pretend this is all a fever dream brought on by something those Zombies of Indeterminate Detriment kept putting in my sody-pop back when I was taking programming classes in college. I'm pretty sure a few of the professors were ZIDs, and they were probably shooting dumb-rays at the back of my neck all the fucking time. They were drilling that gibberish into my head for so long about arrays with an element in position 10 having 11 elements that one and zero lost their distinction. Which is, frankly, pretty counterproductive if you're trying to convince someone that these "computer" things actually keep track of things with nothing but ones and zeros. (Yeah, talk about your "conspiracy theories." Shit.)

So the first element in an array can be at index zero, sometimes, or at index one, other times. Depends on whose gibberish language you're using. In fact I haven't seen an array that didn't start with a zero index for so long now that my polarity has, in effect, been reversed. I lean toward eleven. Count to ten, how many ya got? ELEVEN! BOOYA!

(This stinking lake of freezing water I've apparently jumped right the hell into has nothing at all to do with arrays and the numbers programming languages use to index 'em, so if you've got no idea what the fuck I'm talking about that's fine. Just trust me when I say that the people reading who do know what I'm talking about are wondering what the hell I'm talking about.)

That foray does lead me to another of the building blocks of my nature: tangents. Generally anything I say here could be said within the course of one sentence. Give me the right noun, verb, and whatever comes after the verb and you've got yourself my point in a can you can label "Condensed Stupid" and sit on a shelf in a roadside family market thingy and assume it'll still be there fifteen years from now when you're back in town trying desperately to find someone selling a battery for your watch at nine o'clock on a Friday night in this godforsaken town. Except shit, that's just what the watch says. That must be when it stopped. Is that clock behind the counter right?

But I won't actually spit out what I'm trying to say because then it's just condensed stupid. And one thing I give myself credit for (probably way too much credit, but still) --I know I'm not smarter than most of the people any of the time, but the people I'm smarter than some of the time won't be able to make heads or tails of this shit and so will assume I'm a genius, and the rest of everyone else will feel good at watching the idiot trying to impress himself but forgetting what he was talking about in the middle of trying to talk about it. So maybe it's just for those people exactly as smarter as me that I write this. Those three guys, who don't actually know about this place, would probably know exactly what I'm trying to say and think it's pretty profound. They'd fill in all the gaps where I passed right over the right phrasing in my effort to grab that one, perfectly worded thing that would've been pretty damned funny if I only could've not been distracted back there when I couldn't think of a word for whatever it was I thought I should probably say to clarify the sentiment I set out to express four paragraphs ago.

Of course those guys would find profundity in a Buster Poindexter lyric, too, cuz they're so high on weed they can't figure out how to turn on their dad's computer.

"Hey, man... this IS hot, hot, hot. Dude, you've got a corn chip on your dick."

I came up with that "tangent" bit while actually trying to get to what I thought at the time was one of the more crucial of my natural flaws, but then I figured I didn't need to talk about it yet because there was that tangent thing that I could talk about instead. But now I'm here and I've hopelessly mangled any opportunity I might've had to make a joke out of it by dribbling all this verbiage out all over your eyes and embattled cortex (whichever cortex is responsible for letting you still be here after the abuse you've taken so far,) so I'll just go ahead and say that it's procrastination, obviously, that I'm talking about. Better late than early.

I don't remember shit too well, either; the only reason I remembered that I needed to talk about how I procrastinate was that I typed the word "procrastinate" at the bottom of the chunk of text I was typing as I discovered that I should probably mention it. Had I not done that I'd have, instead of talking about it just there, been talking about the fact that I was just then talking about nothing at all in my effort to stall while I tried to come up with that one other thing I was supposed to mention. Much like I'm doing now in lieu of finally, at long last, concluding any of this long-form stupid. Naturally I didn't assume there was any need for including a word or two by way of a reminder for myself to see when I got to the end of my contortions. Which makes the fact that I can't remember what I was going to say here perfectly understandable: it's in my nature to leave out the most important piece.

Here's the thing: there was supposed to be a summary post; a well researched and carefully considered treatise on what this hastily started and semi-enthusiastically executed project had taught me about... about something. There should've been a few days where I posted very brief entries while, at the same time, constructing the brilliant final chapter to this month of exacting focus. On the last day I would be able to unleash that monster upon the blogalaxy, the blog-o-verse, the whole of the blogriffic blogtacular blogality. I was supposed to be ready to let loose a fully formed and impregnable construction of logic and reason. I was going to save the... I was on the path to transform the... the road ahead of me was, it was, totally, you wouldn't believe how exactly, it just. Man. I was going to say something cool in a minute.

But I don't know what the last day is. I started this on the 20th of October, and today's the 19th of November. Not only do I no longer understand whether to represent a real-world collection of days with a zero-based array or a one-based array, I don't have any good understanding of what a fucking month is, or whether that's supposed to represent some specific number of days or not. There are more days between the 20th of October and the 19th of November than there are between the 20th of February and the 19th of March. I mean I think there are. Shit, I don't know. I should've tried out to be one of those savant guys, like Dustin Hoffman was in that movie about the guy with the toothpicks and Judge Judy. Jeopardy. Judge Jeopardy. Don Pardo might've been there, too, with a dusty can of Condensed Stupid, shaking it in the face of the old lady behind the counter who just wanted to let him take it for free because she didn't even know she had that in the store and she had no idea how much something like that should cost but it really didn't matter, she didn't think anyone else would ever buy it anyway. But the character Don Pardo's playing, man, he's honorable. He's gotta have shit right, precise, all lined up. He's the OCD guy to Dustin's savant, and everything has to be right in the proper place. Then there's all this dust, and he had to put on these latex gloves before he could even consider picking up that can, but he always carries those things with him everywhere he goes just in case he needs to touch anything outside his small bubble of acceptable risk. Fortunately the woman behind the counter can't see well enough anymore to notice that this old, well-heeled freak is wearing surgical gloves while he's shaking a fifteen year old can of something in her face. All she knows it's a can of "Condensed Stupid."

Funny thing is, this savant guy doesn't know how much this shit costs. He's got the prices of every piece of inventory in this old timey corner store memorized, yet he's got no price in that weird, beautifully malformed computer he's carrying around on his neck that matches anything called "Condensed Stupid."

"Eagle Brand Condensed Milk," he says, "Fifty Nine Eighty Four for ten cans is sixty cents for a can, of course it's fifty nine and eighty four hundredths cents but that's sixty cents, yeah, sixty cents, definitely sixty cents."

"It's not condensed milk, you moron, it's condensed stupid. How much is condensed stupid?" the Don Pardo guy says, because he's not got much patience for this bumbling, mumbling calculator machine.

"Definitely don't have any condensed stupid in a store, definitely not. Condensed soup, campbells, soup is good food, yeah, condensed soup is sixty two cents. Mmmm-mmm good."

"Goddammit, Raymond, just... just forget it," he says, slamming the can of condensed stupid down on the counter in front of the confused old lady. She's not played by anybody you've seen before but she's playing that part to a t. She's got that part nailed down tight, hang up the phone, unplug the cord, we don't need to see any other auditions for the part of "old lady in store," because this dame's got her stuff together. Might wanna think about casting someone other than Don Pardo here, though, he's a little pushy with the soggy guy, and anyway isn't he supposed to be shouting out prices? We can't have Hoffman here rattling off prices and Pardo acting like he's got no idea how much anything costs. There's no verisimilitude there, it's just not believable. Rod Roddy and Don Pardo know how much everything costs. America counts on these guys to get the price right. Right?

Shit, you idiot, why are you still rolling? Film doesn't grow on trees, you know.

Where's Pardo?


(sounds of crickets, snapping rubber bands, yawns, stretches, blue-jeans against vinyl seats making fart sounds...)

I think I must've gotten off track. I do know this: no one's commented on/asked about/pointed out the significance of the titles of a decent number of these posts this past month. Either the un-stated game's too obvious to need pointing out, no one pays attention to my message titles, the intersection of my audience with the group of people who would notice what I'm doing (and care) is smaller than I thought, or everybody thinks it might be embarrassing to mention it because I probably mentioned it somewhere in one of these posts and you haven't read them all because, shit, how could you keep up with this torrential expulsion of... of... I'm out of similes and metaphors, here, but this part at the end's just the end-credits, the thank yous and the also featurings, the gaffers and the staffers and the catering crew, nobody reads that part except the die-hards and the people who know the guy who used to date the lady whose cousin worked for the company that did the publicity for this thing and maybe that one story about me got passed along and so he stuck my name on here...

The part that comes tomorrow's just the other piece, the piece they stick on after they're sure everyone's left the theater except the guys with the brooms and the sweaty, smelly dudes who never look like they've shaved recently but also never look like they're actually trying to go a beard. It's not clever, at all, it'll just seem to the one or two people who watch it like it probably means something, but they won't ask anyone because that'd be a sign of weakness, and amongst these uber-geek past-the-end-credits-watchers there's a code. If you don't know I ain't gonna tell ya. Duh. You're so stupid, you probably liked Backdraft.

(two days running using "verisimilitude!" What a craptastiphone!)



the purple testament

There was a time, back before I lost my brain to the Zombies of Indeterminant Detriment*, when I would get drawn into arguments with "scientific creationists" on BBSs and similar houses of geek-repute. These zealous, evil religionists had already towered over enough of my upbringing; how dare they try to take Science from me, too?

It was obvious to me that the majority of these bastards were alarmingly unarmed. On occasion I'd step into one of the forums where these guys tried to force their wares upon the unwashed masses, those places where twelve year old kids argued about MUDDs, ASCII art, or Nirvana, and I'd read some crap about missing links or the earth being fifteen years old or the footprint of the baby human next to the footprint of the adult human next to the footprint of the T Rex neatly arranged in the petrified mud next to a river that a scientific creationist had proven was only three thousand years old using carbon dating and Jesus shoes. I'd read this and the blood would leak from my ears and my teeth would turn all fangy and my eyes would suddenly be rolling around on my desk. Then I'd get out some books and take these thugs to task, backed by data and evidence and proof and, and, and goddammit the validity of carbon dating's theoretical, too, so how can you use that as evidence, you hump?

These guys would come back and say, "Yeah, well the dust on the moon should be a hundred feet deep but it's not, so there!"

Unarmed, they were. But I didn't care. They were wearing ignorance like a crown and nobody was challenging them because it was their right to believe whatever they wanted because the bible said something metaphorical and they could hardly even read let alone understand metaphor so they misinterpretted it to mean something really fucking stupid. So I read this other book to which they kept referring, called "Scientific Creationism," and I blew apart into little fragments of astonished me, and then I tried to argue the points therein on a piece-by-piece basis with a couple of these gumhairs, and surprisingly enough they didn't know what the hell I was talking about because they hadn't actually read the book. The point was, there was a science book about creationism, so it was a theory every bit as good as the theory of evolution and it doesn't matter if I was using logic because they were never taught that devil math.

I may be exaggerating a tad to make a point. My point was, and this is the best part, that I used to argue with those freaks because I couldn't believe they weren't being challenged. BBSs were pretty isolated in that way; you get a couple of Christianists from out in the sticks who somehow got their hands on a modem and it seems like half the world'd gone fucking mad. Then I gradually came to realize that it wasn't half the world that was mad, just a handful of people**. Granted, these people were still (are still,) trying to crowbar their superstition into public schools in the guise of science; but at some point it stopped feeling quite so much like I was the one tilting at windmills ***. There were others fighting the good fight; I was probably doing more harm than good onaccounta the way I couldn't keep my arms from flailing and my hair from catching on fire and my huge, demonic bat wings from sprouting from my shoulder blades everytime I was within sniffing distance of one of those Witlesses for Jehosafat.

(My point is almost here... there is a quiver in my fluttering wingtips as I reach for it...) There are still people fighting this battle, except they're coherent, and for that I am grateful. In addition to the National Center for Science Education, which I linked recently in my asides in a throwback bout of evolutionism, there's Jaquandor who recently had this to say about the subject, which was a followup to when he had this other thing to say, before. In celebration of all of that, I've added his weblog, Byzantium's Shores, into my list o' weblogs 'neath my asides. Oooooooooh, lucky him, huh? Big honor. I bequeath thee. Bestow. He's quite often got good things to say, and he says 'em well.

Meanwhile, I'll be over here dousing my flaming head and cleaning up this pentagram that's somehow carved itself into the concrete floor around my chair.

(I feel like it might need to be said here -- I'm not the anti-Christian that I might be working myself into a frenzy sounding like. 's why I made a half-assed attempt to differentiate here using that "Christianist" word. It's that scary, weird, decidedly un-Christ-like literalism**** that chafes my wings. That and the damned Jesus shoes.)

* Or ZIDs, for short, though I wouldn't blame you if you'd prefer not to use the short term, as it's really a wrong short-hand, like WMDs. Obviously it should be ZsID, and WsMD. Compare those to the later mentioned BBSs, which is short for Bulletin Board Systems, which keeps the "s" exactly where it belongs, and is damn proud of it. So you can go ahead and use the long form, Zombies of Indeterminent Detriment, when you're talking about this at work tomorrow.

** Then very recently I revised the estimate again... just half the country. - evil, overzealous politics man

*** Tilting at windmills? Is that really the thing? I've never read that damned Don Quixande guy thing, but I could swear it's tilting at windmills. Is tilting the same as jousting? Or is this like some dude bending slightly at the waist in the general direction of windmills?

**** There's a discussion on Making Light that led me down this path wherein I'm deliberately not using the word "fundamentalist" s'much anymore. Although I'm probably just doing that to be cool, and not because I've got any real concern about what to call these anti-logical persons.



brief PSA

"Under the proposed language, viewers would not be allowed to use software or devices to skip commericals or promotional announcements "that would otherwise be performed or displayed before, during or after the performance of the motion picture," like the previews on a DVD."

According to this Wired article, the U.S. Senate could be voting on HR2391 (��Intellectual Property Protection Act of 2004��) during the lame-duck session. "The bill would also undo centuries of "fair use" -- the principle that gives Americans the right to use small samples of the works of others without having to ask permission or pay."

I found this through a Mayhem & Chaos entry, which also offers a link to help you contact your senators and representatives about this. I've sent a letter to my Senator all of one times in the past; that was about some ludicrous thing where they were trying to charge internet radio stations fees per song played, which monies would go to the RIAA, regardless of the fact that a lot of those song plays would be of songs by bands not represented by the RIAA. But now that I've voted for her, I figure I can stand to send another one.



important announcement

Hi, Phil Filtray here with a tip from your mother.

Always check unexpected visitors for booby-traps, trojan horses, small arms, and taffy. Even if they're wearing nice suits and carrying bibles.

Especiallyi if they're wearing nice suits and carrying bibles.



the whole truth

(Today Only! Special For All! A question and an answers with friend of Squub! Get Book! This Good Now!)

Q: Why aren't there any bluesmen that wear Mexican wrestling masks? i mean seriously, there's no one!
A: You right so! There are hardly no one body, but it is enough that Los Straitjackets will to do?

Q: I believe that's a huuuuhhhhhhhhheheh instance?
A: You may be? My computer not do so good at now. I no link for huuuuuhhhhhhhheheh instance.

Q: Translation for the elderly- either here or there -
A: Was question I think, yes? I was speak of many successfully day of write blog entry! Each every! Then say my next move is to take old time commercial challenge: potato chip maker said "bet you can't eat just one!" I say, "What me eat one and go get good fun too!"

Q: Just make it Moxie for mine.
M: I don't know was question, or was not, but was bring interest.

"Contains not a drop of Medicine, Poison, Stimulant or Alcohol. But is a simple sugarcane-like plant grown near the Equator and farther south, was lately accidentally discovered by Lieut. Moxie and has proved itself to be the only harmless nerve food known that can recover brain and nervous exhaustion, loss of manhood, imbecility and helplessness."

Q: Why you so many democrat?
A: I politic with all day!

But Nobody Ask These:

Q: What to doing if demon soul attach to get out?

Bathing in water with sea salt added to it is a quick solution.
1.gives you a reprieve from most of attached "things"
2. can purify enough to make the lesser ones plain die or be replused for good.
3. can buy you time enough to gain back energy and health while you go get a more permanent solution to said "thing(s)"

Q: What is disturbing me so?

An unwelcome presence in the memorial is a children's playground placed there some years ago, which disturbs the tranquility of the area. One of the first steps in restoring the Pinery is to remove the playground equipment.

Q: Can see more big, ugly spider?
A: Yes!



mexed mitaphors

When opening a can of worms, there are things one would do well to keep in mind:

  1. Worms will chew right through flesh.
  2. Oil and worms do not mix.
  3. The trick is to turn the lid away from the body. Away from the body.
  4. The men with their spoons will be along shortly. Have your spear held at the ready.
  5. This is not the cat about to be let out of the bag. This is the can of worms. These are two distinct concepts. DC WITDB?
  6. When the cat ran away with the spoon, he left behind a mourning and ruined family of silverware.
  7. If you find that, instead of worms, a lot of springy, paper snake things jump out at you, you have been the victim of a practical joke. The thing to do in this case is to obtain legal representation and sue somebody.
  8. Worms will not help you in the end. Nothing will help you in the end. In the end, you will be but soap. Unless you are not a horse.

If you find that you are now thinking twice about opening this can of worms, then it is obvious what you should do. Put the can down, very slowly. Walk away. Do not look back.



Valley of the Shadow

It's not been easy, this task to which I set myself. There've been days when I've felt that it would be psychically impossible for me to post anything at all. There've been times when I've been so tempted to give it up that the towel's already been flying into the ring before, at the last second, my other, non-throwing hand reached out and grabbed it, snatching it back and so snatching back also, in the process, what few fragile strands of self-respect and honour I had left. At one point I nearly hurled myself into the masses of cars on Interstate 270 during rush hour. The only thing that stopped me then was the fact that no vehicles on 270 during rush hour travel any faster than three miles per hour, and a bump on the knee would not have ended my suffering. There have been all of those things but I have prevailed.

I'm not too humble to admit that I've become a martyr, a still-suffering symbol for all of the would-be ex-bloggers out there who have considered hanging it up. My decision not quite a month ago to post every day for a month has forced me unwittingly into that spotlight, that terrible, blinding eye of public scrutiny, that always unwelcome pedestal of iconoclast and role-modelship. I have, through no small measure of selfless dedication, allowed myself to bear this mantel with dignity, always knowing the good I was doing for the children of America; even for the children of humanity.

As I begin the final week of this period, able at last to feel confident that I will be able to make it through, I look back on the past three soul-searching, gut-wrenching, heart-pound, cliff-hanging weeks and I allow myself to smile with pride. It is I who, through divine providence and self-sacrifice, have alone saved the institution of weblogging for the ages. Though I know that I shall not be congratulated, or even thanked, for this thing I have done I can be content in just knowing that I have found the strength to offer this gift to the world.

It's also a good time for me to ask an important question: what now? Now that I have nearly laid to rest the myth that weblogging cannot be performed daily for an entire month, with exceptions being few and then more than made up for with multiple posts immediately following the missed entry, what should I next cast my substantial strength of will upon?

When asked so plainly, of course, the answer is obvious. It only takes but a small fraction of my super-human creativity to imagine the next step. It will be a greater challenge, but I have faith in my ability. With the confidence of this past almost-month already behind me I feel confident that I am fully equipped to handle it.

I will prove, once and for all, that one can, given the correct attitude, fortitude, vicissitude, verisimilitude, and gumption, eat just one chip.




There's just nothing gonna fucking come out of me tonight.



the two of us are dying

Well, Skippy, looks like we're coming to a headlong afrontery, that crossroads collision where pieces of everything are going to be separated from their usual adjacencies and sent end-over-end into the grass and onto the sidewalk and along the blacktop. A struggle of wills and awful greasy food clogging up everything about us as we sit here mired in it all. You think this all some fucking shot to your ego, therapy session, and soapbox all humped together in one neat little fucking package. I'm here to tell you that fucking sucks and you can take that to the fucking

Last night was one of those nights. My car insurance was cancelled last week and I just found out about it last night. Just as I'd sat down to contemplate what I was going to write my wife shouted down that there was a cancellation notice sitting there in a stack of mail that I apparently should've looked at previously. As is probably obvious from what I ended up posting last night, it took the wind out of me. For the record, it was unrelated to that post a few weeks ago talking about the letter from the MVA. At least I think so. Though between the two things now I'll probably end up owing the state two fines. I'm fucking happy about that.

So you're going to fucking ignore me, is that it, Skippy? You think people want to listen to this shit?

The sky was emptying today; while out driving I found that nearly all of it had been emptied into a circular area just about twenty-five feet around. Some massive sinkhole had engulfed the road. Still, the crazy fuckers in their SUVs were playing the part of the delusional with a Moses complex, thinking their hulking vehicles would somehow cause this sea in the middle of Father Hurley Boulevard to part. I watched one brazen fool drive a gray Honda out into the middle of it and then sink like a stone. She didn't even have time to stick her hand out the window and wave goodbye.

Still the moron behind her went ahead and followed suit. His cell phone was right across his eyes like one of those bars that tricks idiots into believing we don't know who we're looking at when we see their pictures. I imagine their impenetrable fortresses on wheels rubbing together down there, wherever that sinkhole leads.

Not similarly pathological, I pulled my car across the grassy median, took a different route. They'll be digging people out of that rubble for months, and every one of them will have a stupid grin smeared across their lips while their eyes show the horror they discovered just as they realized that this whole rock doesn't spin for their convenience just because they've got their windows rolled up so that everything outside looks like a TV show.

This is hard, man. It's not that it's easier just to talk about my day. This comes from observation: usually that's what I'm looking to read when I read these things; I want to see what goes on in everyone else's lives, see how ordinary everything can be.

You don't even know what the hell you're saying. Ordinary? You want ordinary, go sit on the couch. Digest that lump of animal fat that's turning you into a grotesque meatbeast. Stare at the fucking wall. That's normal.

Either way, Skippy, you ruined this shit for me. You outsmarted me, you dragged me down to your level. Well fuck it, it's ruined anyway, so if there's a little continuity issue, what's the difference?

Captain Hooligan's left left foot kept kicking in windows. He'd been walking these same sidewalks for more than thirty years without a problem and then last week his leg just took to breaking shit.

The leg was planning to ruin the rest of his life whether he was up for it or not. Some kids on bikes rode by and laughed when he missed the window pane on the front of the Family Dollar and hit the brick wall instead.

"You think it's funny, you little twats? You see how funny you think it is when somebody you've been friends with all your life just decides to turn over on you with no word of explanation! See if you're laughing then!"

Of course that made it worse, and they rode off laughing even harder. He'd kicked the wall on purpose. He caught it that time, the leg went off and kicked at the window on its own but he'd been waiting for it, and just in time he twisted the rest of his body just enough so that he'd miss the window. Of course he could still feel the pain shooting up from his crammed big toe. The leg'd do whatever the hell it wanted, but it hadn't stopped sharing the pain.

I've been working on my Globber software. Ran a utility to convert it to .Net. It seems to be working now, though I'm still using the old version for the time being. I'm trying, again, to figure out a way to have the thing create an RSS page/stream/whatever at the same time it creates the html. Trying, but not trying very hard.

This morning I woke up with a migraine. It's been coming and going ever since. Stress, caffeine, weather, everything. And there's this voice...

Yeah, real clever, Skippy. Just gotta "tie it all together," right? Fucking moron. Nobody cares. Write something interesting next time or I'll kick in a fucking window.







Scallion, the color-coding machine, leaves its marks wherever marks were not previously found. Yellows and purples and goldses, armadillo and patriarch, orange, shiny, Lebanon.

"We had a war there, you know," and yes I say I do know, but who "we" is in this case is, as always, more difficult to tell the older we grow. Hair on the crown of the head replaced with longer hairs in less sightly places, such that everything seems to have sunk downwards, outwards, toward earth.

Scallion was birthed by our Aunt Hazel in a fit of anger one night when she finally realized (years after the fact) that Murder, She Wrote and Matlock were no longer being filmed and Andy Griffith had, in fact, been killed in Vietnam. She was so late in coming to this knowledge that she missed the phenomenon of Touched By An Angel altogether. That night she lay back right on Archie Bunker's rocker, more recently usurped for use by Frasier's limping father (both of whom were played by the always eager to wear old-people suits Billy Graham, before he was on Saturday Night Live,) and out came Scallion with software recently upgraded to a ripe old version of 3.35, service pack 2 included.

Scallion was quick to color-code many of her possessions, marking such things as her paper bags full of newspapers, her jams and jellies, her old lady shawls and afghans, and her full assortment of old lady wigs none of which looked any less like a dead animal on her head when she wore them (which was rare, to be honest, at this late stage in her life.) It also painstakingly tagged each and every window pane in her house with a small, teal square.

Dear Auntie Hazel, possessed of a singular desire to grouse and whine at the redundancies of the few programs she enjoyed watching on her ancient and deteriorating television console, was at first confused and immediately thereafter simply galled at this intruder from her nether regions' nerve in implying that her things were not arranged just so. Scallion tried to color-code the television, too, but was quickly disabused of the aspiration by her barrage of surprisingly well-aimed knitting needles.

Of course Scallion knew it wasn't wanted there, with her, in the place of its birth, and, being devoid of any human emotion, it quickly moved on to wider spaces where it could practice and hone its art. Houses, firehalls, street signs, fences, whole towns became acceptable targets for Scallion's rampant branding. Passing cars were marked hickory, mustard, plutonium. Screaming children had stamps of primary green applied vigorously to their foreheads. Doors of houses left open for years were from that time forward closed and locked, and marked with stripes of lemon and custard.

The unwanted and unloved machine grew large, bumbling, dangerous. Entire seacosts were splotched red with polka dots. The Tropic of Cancer was painted red.

It was something of which the family, and, by extension, our home town did not speak. No one mentioned the reasons for the locked doors, chartreuse bands across the windows, or the sienna speckling on the faces of the babies. Obviously we were ashamed of our cousin Scallion the machine, but it went deeper than that. We were left with deep questions about our own part in bringing about this monstrosity. In private we mumbled to ourselves about what past transgressions could have caused God to foist upon us such a hideous punishment. Always alone we'd wonder but never would we find answers.

Recently Maltheus Needs Garumond, a town recluse, characterized as either dumb and mute or loftily intelligent, depending on the person doing the characterizing, has undertaken the daunting task of cataloguing the categories represented by the patterns and schemes Scallion has used in its color-coding over the years. It is rumoured that to date he has a handwritten volume exceeding a thousand pages deep, painstakingly ordered, indexed, and footnoted. It is unlikely that anyone will see the work, as Maltheus Needs is, if nothing else, utterly repulsed by human contact.

We do not know what became of our Aunt Hazel. When we see re-runs of Murder, She Wrote, we tremble and do not speak, and we quickly change the channel.




I hate you. You hate me.
Let's just yell some more.

So yesterday I followed Mad William Flint's link to this piece of work by someone called Moxie. Or some weblog called Moxie. Or something that has something to do with Moxie. And I read it, and I didn't laugh because I didn't think it was funny, but that's because I'm an asshole. I mean an asshat. I mean a moonbat. I vaguely understood it for what it was -- a reaction to the anger the Right feels coming at 'em from the Left. I was tempted to comment, but then I couldn't orient myself; amidst the dripping sarcasm and irony that's evident in the post and the comments, I was left utterly unable to figure out what the hell anyone's talking about anymore. It's clear that no one there's just saying anything outright, everything has to be re-filtered through a misunderstanding of what someone on the other side might be saying. I thought about posing as a liberal posing as a conservative posing as a liberal, but that didn't quite make sense because I'm more of a liberal than a conservative. So then I figured maybe I should pose as a conservative posing as a liberal posing as a conservative posing as a liberal. I couldn't really parse anything that way, though; the back-and-forth filtering actually filtered out everything. There was nothing left. At that point I was tempted to write something about gummy bears, or maybe shoe horns. But then it'd be obvious I was just a crazy person posing as a crazy person, and that wouldn't be sufficiently ironic. Plus there's no national Crazy Person party, unless you're a rabid rightwinger as envisioned by me, in which case the Democratic Party is the national Crazy Person party.

So today I found Fuck The South while browsing this nothing-but-links post on TangleBones. Now this I can get behind, because every other word is "fuck," or some derivation thereof. This is how to tell someone off if you want (whatever that word is that describes the thing you feel when you break a bunch of shit just to get relief.) None of this stupid post-ironic shit where an atheist pretends to be the embodiment of a fundamentalist "christian" as envisioned by an amalgamation of all the hard-Left propagandists whose valid points are weeded out by the filters of the pundits to whom the atheist chooses to listen. Give me my "fuck yous" straight up, please and thank you.

"Fuck you, Generic Rightwinger!" says Generic Leftwinger.

"No, fuck you, Generic Leftwinger!" says Generic Rightwinger.

"Fuck you, Squub, for ripping off that stupid fucking 'I love you, you love me,' Barney song, which rips off the nick-nack-paddywhack song, and getting it stuck in my fucking head!" says Alleged Squublog Reader.



howard dean may chair national Democratic Party

MONTPELIER, Vt. - Former presidential candidate Howard Dean is considering a bid to become chairman of the national Democratic Party. (Found through Byzantium's Shores.)

Admittedly I just read about this a minute ago, and I'm new at the real politics side of politics; but this sounds like a great idea to me.



hey man, is that freedom rock?

I just noticed that the version of WinAmp that I use (ver. 5.05) includes a list of links to Internet Radio stations. Browsing through it I found Technicolor Web Of Sound, which streams kick-ass late 60s psychedelia. From very obscure (The Neighb'rhood Childr'n, Embryo Infinity Rebirth (really dug their tune, Walls))to more recognizable stuff (just heard "Life's a Long Song" by Jethro Tull, much to my surprise and delight, and some Beatles and Captain Beefheart.) The quality's not the best (56KBPs)

Of course this kind of thing can lead to chases. I'm now fascinated by a band called Pearls Before Swine, and their founder/main-dude Tom Rapp. I just heard a track called The Surrealist Waltz, and tracked down info. on the band on Allmusic.com*. Seems that they recorded some interesting psychedelic albums starting in the late 60s through the early 70s. Tom Rapp then recorded a couple of solo albums before leaving the business and eventually becoming a civil rights lawyer. Over twenty years later he up and jumped back into performing and recording (whether or not he entirely left in between I don't know, but he wasn't doing anything publically available.) In 1999 he released an album called A Journal of the Plague Year, which I'd love to hear. Here's a bit from Allmusic about one of the tracks:

Possibly the most vibrant statement on Rapp's return is the ten-minute, three-part epic "Shoebox Symphony," which was adapted from a tape found in a shoebox that was left over from his days with Pearls Before Swine. The piece passes through straightforward folk-rock to frightening psychedelic elements before it is seemingly spliced to an old children's folk song.

(There's a lot more information at this Pearls Before Swine fan page.)

Another groovy thing about the station: they've got occasional station-breaks which consist of commercials and interviews from the time this stuff was popular. A minute ago I heard an interview with a couple of the Monkees, and before that there was a commercial for Hertz Rental Cars which sounded pretty damned dated. Whoever put this thing together put a lot of work into it.

I'd love to find some more of these genre/period specific stations. Probably there couldn't be many that I'd find more entertaining than this one, but there's something cool just about the fact of being able to listen to a collection of stuff that's so tied to a particular time and culture. Subculture. Whatever. Damn hippies.

I also enjoyed a track by The Left Banke, and am starting a similar bout of information gathering on these guys, though I'll spare the details. This stuff makes me severely miss the early days of file-sharing on Napster and Kazaa, when I'd be able to track down some more material to listen to and get a more solid picture of what these artists sound like**

* - Allmusic's new setup, requiring users to login, perform various rituals (only a small amount of blood is involved,) and then finally to volunteer in something called Uncle Tom's Bee Hunting Brigade, doesn't allow hot-linking, otherwise I'd link directly to the write-up in question.

** - Allmusic's "listen" links are brief and usually don't work for me on my antiquated get-up here, though they're at least a semi-decent excuse for this horrible new big-brother situation the site's hooked up.

Final Note: As I was finishing up my previous entry, which I was doing at the exact same time that I was creating this one, with some minor chronoffset, I was hearing a song by the 13th Floor Elevators. Right when I was writing about elevators. IT'S FUCKING CRAZY, AIN'T IT! And now there's some song called Buffalo Billycan by Apple, and it fucking rocks. Someone needs to send me a CD with a bunch of this shit on it. Send it general delivery to... wherever you want. I imagine I'll find it.