Thursday, September 30, 2004

Spite Strikes Again
I am declaring the James Cameron prohibition against Peter Jackson: I will never see another new Peter Jackson movie. Ever. That means, I can watch movies he has directed up to the current day, but I will not see any movie released from now 'til Kingdom Come. As a further measure, I will never watch any of the three The Lord of the Rings films, either. Cross my heart and hope to die, stick a needle in my eye. I declare this prohibition because Peter Jackson is New Zealand's most famous son, because he loves New Zealand, and because I despise New Zealand. In 1985, New Zealand passed a law prohibiting nuclear weapons anywhere in New Zealand, and barring nuclear-powered ships from the islands' ports. This means that large percentages of the United States Navy's vessels are not welcome in New Zealand. No one dictates to the United States those ships we can and cannot have in our navy, you Kiwi sons of bitches. Furthermore, I am imposing upon NZ the same travel restrictions as on Spain, and I will do everything I can to avoid doing business with New Zealand firms or in any way contributing to New Zealand's economy.

Were it withing my power, I would reduce New Zealand to ashes, and leave her people to starvation and disease. I hate New Zealand, and I will never see another Peter Jackson movie.
On Pardon the Interruption, Kornheiser and Wilbon were debating possible names for the Montreal Expos now that they are moving to the District of Columbia. Their best suggestions:
Washington Grays*
Washington Nationals
Washington Senators**

*the Grays were one of the best teams in the old Negro Leagues, and if Washington isn't a black-majority city, it certainly has a substanial black plurality. The Grays is a sweet name.

**before the Texas Rangers were the Texas Rangers, they were the Washington Senators. On the other hand, the Washington Senators weren't the Cleveland Browns; so, I'm not sure it's necessary to keep the old name.

My two cents: Both Grays and Nationals would be good, though I think Grays is a better and more meaningful name.
Parker Posey Appreciation Day
In the coming months, look forward to Ms. Posey and the monsters. In early October, she stars in the USA Network movie Frankenstein, which is seen as a backdoor pilot that, if successful, might be spun into a full-fledged series. Later in the Fall, she's the single best reason to see Blade: Trinity. In the former, she's hunting the mad doctor and his infamous monster; in the latter, she's the head monster. Versatility, boys and girls, it's a great thing.

You all know that I'm no fan of baseball, but come on, there's no need to shoot at the players. Hyperlink!

Vote For Kodos - Mano a Mano
Tonight's the night, Bumbling Bush versus the American Cicero. Though my fellow GOPers have been hyping Senator Kerry's debating skills, I think it can fairly be said that the English language is not a friend of either of these men. Kerry would require seventy-four words to answer to question, "Do you love your wife and children?", whereas W. just can't speak. The man can't talk. And for the love of Bog, the word is NUCLEAR! Not "nuk-u-lar," nuclear! Gah! I have a bachelors degree in political science from the University of Michigan; so, I am required to care about the presidential debates. But really, are these three exchanges truly important? The President has been in office for three years eight months. What are you going to learn about him in a ninety minute debate that you haven't learned in the last three years eight months? Senator Kerry was the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination a full year ago, has been the presumptive Democratic nominee since March and the official Democratic nominee since July, and a United States Senator since January 3, 1985. What can you learn about him tonight, and in the other two debates, that has not already been said? But, though I don't like turkey, it just wouldn't be Thanksgiving without turkey. And it just wouldn't seem right to go through an election without a few of these farces. So, let the childish name-calling begin!

I'm not saying I favor Roman-style gladitorial combat, but wouldn't it be kind of neat if the candidates actually went mano a mano (which means "hand-to-hand," not "man-to-man")? I think Kerry, at 6'4" to W's 5'11", would have the advantage because of his longer reach, but on the other hand the president's overall health is in the top 2% of men his age. He might take a licking and keep on ticking. Hmmm, I'm sure somebody could create a realistic HAL model of Bush vs. Kerry pugilism. Shake hands, go to your corners, and when the bell rings, come out swinging.

Have a night squared.
"Victory for ZIM!"

THX 1138
American Graffiti
Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope
Star wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace
Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones
Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

I wonder what George Lucas's next film will be after Revenge of the Sith? Boy howdy, I can't wait!

Honolulu Blue
Man, the Lions are totally going to kick the crap out of Bye Week! Bye Week doesn't stand a snowball's chance in Hell. Bye Week's got no offense, Bye Week's got no "D." I think it'll be all Lions from non-kickoff to non-last whistle. Lions 0, Bye Week 0. Woot!

And Now a Word From the Dark Bastard
To be perfectly honest, it doesn't really bother me that I'm a twenty-five year old virgin. I mean, were sex my primary goal, one would think I'd pursue it much more actively, and with girls for whom I feel nothing. What kills me is the reality that I'm never going to find the girl of my dreams. In my life, I've loved two girls, neither of whom loved me. It is difficult to imagine this ever changing. People say, "Oh don't worry, you'll find someone," but it's just talk. What the hell are they going to say? "Ha, jackass, you're going to die alone!" It is human nature to reassure, even when there is no reason to believe there is any hope at all. I suppose I could take my own advice, lifted from Babylon 5, and attempt to foster the hope that there is hope, but to be honest that seems rather foolish. The sort of lie you would tell a child. I guess all that's left now is to become (more) bitter, buy into the cliches, and denounce all love as a lie.

Well, at least it's a to do list.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Vote For Kodos
I was listening to The Diane Rehm Show this morning before class and on my drive to school. The guests were a Democratic pollster and a Republican pollster. If not an actual majority, it seemed as if the majority of the Democratic callers had questions about the draft and the scurrilous rumors that in a second Bush term, the draft will be reinstated. Are you guys really that pathetically desperate? So bereft of ideas that instead of debating policy you must resort to fearmongering about the draft? There are a lot of really smart people in the Democratic Party and a lot of really smart people who vote Democratic. If that's the best you guys can do... well, that's just sad.

Also, why it is 'Un-American" as The New York Times has said, for President Bush and Vice President Cheney to say that the country will be less safe from terrorists under a Kerry-Edwards Administration? Both Senators Kerry and Edwards say with regularity that the Iraq War has made us less safe. Why is one okay and the other "un-American"? Then again, this is the Times speaking, the home of Jayson Blair.

I was driving today when I noticed that the car in front of me had a sticker in its rear window: "100% Pure Whoop Ass." Dude, you're driving a fucking Grand Am. 100% lame ass, maybe....

It is much easier taking out the garbage with the new runway-sized driveway. The problem with the old driveway was that it was incredibly uneven; no two slabs were on the same plane. This made it not just inconvenient, but actually somewhat difficult, to roll the garbage cans down to the street. (I know, I know, tough life, huh?) Now, it's like sliding them down a ramp. So easy. Thanks, ridiculously enormous driveway!

I took the Mousemobile to Mr. Front End for a front end alignment. It can't be a good sign that the guy behind the counter, Mark, knows me by name.

Hello, Kitty
After being nearly mute for a couple weeks, Sam appears to have recovered his voice. He's whining and meowing again, rather than just opening his mouth as if to whine, only to have no sound emerge. That was creepy; so, we're glad he's noisy again. Of late, he's also been demanding cheese, but then showing no interest in it when you try to feed him. He's a spoiled old cat, and we're very well trained.

Have a superpowered night. Very apropos since Wednesday is new comic book day, no?

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

"Real/simulated evil Lincoiln is baaack!"

Help John Kerry!
This is an open call for submissions to The Newsletter. In the late October issue, I will be writing a column expressing and explaining my support for President Bush and my intention to vote for him on Election Day. In the interest of a balance, because I feel I owe The Newsletter's audience the opportunity to hear from both sides, I would like to publish a column expressing and explaining support for Senator Kerry. Unfortunately, I cannot find a Kerry supporter. To be more specific, I know and have located many who intend to vote for Senator Kerry, but I cannot find one who will submit that support for publication.

And so, though there is heavy overlap with those I have already asked, I turn to you, you poor saps who read this inane blog, and ask for your help. Surely one of you believes that if I publish a column in support of W., it is in everyone's interest to present a column in support of Kerry. Please, explain in a maximum of 800 words why you intend to vote for John Kerry and why John Kerry shoudl be President of the United States. If you are unwilling to attach your name to this column, I am willing to publish it anonymously or under a pseudonym. Please help me present both sides.

My Bush column will not be a rebuttal of the theoretical Kerry column, it will be written in isolation; no one who submits to The Newsletter will be in any way taunted here on the Secret Base (thanks, Never Girl!); John Ashcroft's thugs will not take you away in the middle of the night, though Rummy's henchmen might...; you have nothing to lose, and so much to gain. Ask anyone who has ever submitted to The Newsletter, it's much more fun than it should be. Please help me present a balanced view of the upcoming election.

If interested or if you have any questions, email

And no matter what you do, no matter what policial agenda you support, please vote on November 2. Unless you're a Democrat, for you guys the election is on November 3. *wink*

The Netflix Project
Thanks to an invitation and complimentary month of rentals from Daddy Dylweed, today I received my first batch of movies from Netflix. I have never signed up for Netflix for the very simple reason that I simply can't justify $22 a month for movie rentals; I just don't watch that many rented movies. For free though, I'll take it! I'll let you know how it turns out.

My Netlix Queue:
Hellboy - Saw it in theaters. Multiple times.
Walking Tall
Matchstick Men
Not Another Teen Movie
Richard III
Henry V - Rented it years ago.
Much Ado About Nothing
The Limey - Rented it a couple years ago; Terrence Stamp is fucking awesome! Plus, Luis Guzman! Holy shit!
Sleepy Hollow - Saw it in theaters.
Run Lola Run

I know, an odd combination of formulaic-looking teen comedies and Shakespeare. What can I say? I'm a rotund man of erratic/eclectic tastes.

The Cloak's World
One of my favorite heroes (from amongst my creations) is the Green Machine. Mike Nordstrom has an alien computer lodged in his brain, which he calls the Green Meanie; together they are the Green Machine. The Meanie is the sophisticated artificial intelligence at the heart of an advanced piece of Martian military hardware, a cutting edge Deimos-type Planetary Annihilator. The Meanie might be from another dimension, or maybe a remnant of our Mars... which was sent into another dimension by the Pax... er, something. I have a lot of ideas to sort out/discard. In any event, within the Meanie are a number of sub-artificial intelligences, one of which, Defensive Combat Protocol A.13, acts as a sort of sidekick, known as The Martian. In my beloved tradition of men falling in love with things that aren't quite girls, The Martian has a female persona, which Mike Nordstrom has nicknamed "Marvin."

In his own words: "I'm in love with a girl named Marvin. And she isn't even a girl!"

In the same vein, the White Cross is in love with the bioengineered warrior Nautilus. I mean, Nautilus is a lifeform, she's just an artifical construct of the Aquans, not a traditional biological being.
Today, I wore my MxPx "Left Coast Punk" T-shirt, blue jeans, and my All-Stars. These are three of my favourite things. I love it when it becomes jeans weather.

Why don't I have anyting to say? I always have something to say, but now? Nothing. What the hell is going on?

Have a night going to pieces.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Have a Gladys Knight.

Have a Jack Knight? Have a Bobby Knight?
"Go tell the Spartans, stranger passing by,
That here, obedient to their laws, we lie."

Vote For Kodos
Miracle of miracles, my mom actually expressed an opinion about a matter of policy! I love my mom to death (she's my mom), but it is nearly impossible to have a political discussion with her. Not because she isn't interested in politics, she is (not as much as my dad or me, but she's still an interested and dedicated voter), but because she hates to discuss policies or facts, instead preferring generalizations and emotions. But as we were eating brunch this morning, Meet the Press was on in the background, and during a commercial break, a Kerry campaign ad enunciated the virtues of Senator Kerry's four-point Iraq strategy. The first point was to garner greater support and aid from our allies (primarily in Western Europe). To my astonishment, my dear mother scoffed. Scoffed! She opined that it is ridiculous to expect that the French or Germans will commit troops to help stabilize Iraq under any circumstances, and that Mr. Kerry is guilty of foolishness of the highest order if he thinks President Chirac or Chancellor Schroeder will aid our cause in Iraq simply because he is president. I was shocked. This is my thinking exactly, and it is very rare that my mother and I agree on a matter of foreign policy (or domestic policy, for that matter). Nevertheless, she still intends to vote for Senator Kerry, and I still intend to vote for President Bush.

W '04, boys and girls, W '04.

Go Honolulu Blue
I love the Detroit Lions. Not as much as I love the Michigan Wolverines (football), but more even than I love the Detroit Red Wings. The Marty Mornhinweig era was painful for me. So it is with great joy that I have greeted the improvements under Steve Mariucci. And though there have been great strides made towards respectability and, perhaps, playoff contention, we must face the reality that unless the Lions play a flawless game, it will be nearly impossible to defeat the Philadelphia Eagles. As I write this, there are approximately twelve minuts left in the fourth quarter and the Lions trail the Eagles 27-7. It is highly unlikely that my boys will prevail.

And so, tomorrow I will wear my Detroit Lions T-shirt. This Fall, Neutral Man has been following the Lions and asking himself, because they finished 2-14, 2-13, and 5-11 the past three seasons and began this year 2-0, if he is a fair weather fan. With that nugget (salmon?) of doubt in mind, I thought about wearing my Lion shirt after the Chicago or Houston games, but elected to wait until the Lions' first defeat to show my support. Because I cheered for a 2-14 team, I know that I am a true fan; now that the Lions are greatly improved and the future much brighter, it is more important than ever to stand by the team in the dark moments. And so, if the Lions lose today, I will publicly show my support for them tomorrow. To misappropriate a phrase from Thomas Paine, I am no summer soldier, no sunshine patriot.

The Cloak's World
One of the heroes of whom I am most fond, but about whom I know the least, is Sean Pepperdine a.k.a. Spartan. He wears on his chest the Spartan lambda, he believes in loyalty above all, but that is not to say he supports the hoplite-helot divide that was at the center of Spartan society.
Vote For Kodos - History is Fun!
It's four in the morning, I can't sleep, and I'm watching one of the presidential debates from 1984. Fritz Mondale pronounces the word nuclear the same way W. does, "nuk-u-ler." What in Bog's name is so hard about nuclear? Nu-clear. Sheesh!

Also, Reagan laid the smackdown on Fritz, "The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan didn't happen on our watch... Iran didn't happen on our watch." Hee hee. God bless ya, Gipper, rest in peace.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Call me lazy (and I'm the first to admit I am), but I detest doing yard work within an hour of waking up. I always have. I need more time to wake up, or it ruins the whole day. I've now been up half an hour, and Darth Vater already expects me to be hacking away at a bush. *grumble grumble* *rassum frassum*

Friday, September 24, 2004

I was driving this evening when I passed by the local Home Despot, or as the sign on the front of the building announced, TH HOM DEPO. Does anyone else find it humorus that a home improvement store would have such difficulty with light bulbs?

Hello, Kitty
"Time is the fire in which we burn." With no choice but to get used to Sammy's diminished capacity, I'm getting used to Sammy's diminished capacity. I try not to let it bother me when his legs almost give out under him, since it happens nearly every time he moves. He stumbles, but he doesn't fall. He spins around sometimes, when his rear legs are particularly weak, which is (I'm a bad, bad person) kind of amusing. And he doesn't curl up as often as he used to, leading to the very odd sight of Sam, who is a very long cat, all stretched out in the middle of the family room. But, that might just be because it isn't yet chilly.

Vote For Kodos
Mrs. Teresa Heinz Kerry said the other day that she believes Osama bin Laden will be captured shortly before Election Day, to the political advantage of the president. Maybe I missed something, but wouldn't the capture of bin Laden be a good thing? Not for President Bush, or Senator Kerry, but for the whole world? Wouldn't it be a good thing if Osama bin Laden was captured tomorrow? Or right before Election Day? Or right after the election? Or just before the New Year? Does anyone honestly believe that were the capture of bin Laden imminent, the Bush Administration would hold off actually nabbing him for political advantage? Oh, that Mrs. Kerry, she's priceless.

Watching C-SPAN earlier in the week, the National Journal's Hotline electoral scoreboard, compiled using polling data from around the country, estimated the current electoral totals as Bush 294, Kerry 181, with 63 tied/up for grabs. If those numnbers hold, even if all the undecided states go for the Democratic challenger, President Bush will be reelected 294 electoral votes to 244. There are five weeks to go, and we have not yet had the debates, but given that the president had been trailing in most polls for a large portion of the past year, this is encouraging news for an evil, evil, evil Republican like myself.

Have an uplifting night.
Victory for ZIM!

Thursday, September 23, 2004

I had a very weird dream this morning. I was in some kind of boarding school, and a Finnish princess (Finland is a republic, not a monarchy, by the way) told me she was in love with me. I told her that we should at least go on a date before we decide if we're in love, but she was certain she was in love with me. The next moment, with no preamble, I was driving an Aston-Martin Vanquish. Because it's a British car, I was sitting on the right side of the car. Instead of a steering wheel, there was a yoke, like on a large commercial aeroplane, and it was mounted precisely in between the two front seats. Skeeter was sitting in the left hand seat, and as I was driving at an unsafe speed, she reminded me that the car is a stick-shift and that I don't know how to drive a stick-shift. Promptly, I burned out the transmission and we came to a complete stop. That's when I woke up. Whatever happened to the Finnish princess?

The League of Nations
Robert Mugabe, the de facto dictator of Zimbabwe, spoke before the UN General Assembly today and criticized the invasion of Iraq. Given that Mugabe is president-for-life in all but name, that the last several elections in Zimbabwe have been blatantly rigged, and that his reverse-Apartheid program has changed Zimbabwe from the breadbasket of Africa into a net-importer of food, I would call his condemnation a ringing endorsement of American policy. If Mugabe's against it, it must be a good idea. Once again, Kofi Annan has been relatively silent on the plight of Zimbabwe, as Mugabe's thugs kick white farmers off their land and beat and kill any blacks who stand up for the white landowners. Once again, the moral authority of the United Nations in action.

Why in Bog's name hasn't President Bush called for Annan's resignation? I anyone can honestly defend his record as Secretary-General, please speak up in the comments section. There may be positive actions that I am overlooking, though it seems unlikely.

Have a clean night.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

"Doomsday device, you say? Now the ball's in Farnsworth's court! I suppose I can part with one and still be feared."

Ye Olde Melting Pot
Did anyone else see the footage of Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R, Colorado) on the floor of the Senate in the full ceremonial garb of his tribe on the floor of the Senate? I thought it was fantastic. It's not that I'm an huge fan of Indian culture; personally, I believe the reservation system should be phased out of existence. My blood is English, by religion I am a Roman Catholic. One of my best friends is half-Korean/half-European mutt, and a Lutheran. I have friends who are atheists, Hindus, and Jews. Friends who are German, Slavic, Italian. Because it doesn't matter where our ancestors came from, we are all Americans! The reservation system serves no purpose but to keep Indians separate from the rest of American culture, and as a side effect it keeps Indians disproportionately poor. In any event, I was glad to see Sen. Campbell in the clothing of his grandfather, because it served as a powerful reminder to our xenophobic European friends that the United States is the multicultural world they only pretend to be. I am tired of ignorant European college kids calling America a racist nation, when the only diversity their lily-white asses have ever seen is their equally lily-white friend in the corner with pretentions of being a neo-Trotskyist.

I'm touchy today because I was having a conversation with a friend about the tendency of many minorities to self-segregate into homogenous groupings (she's ethnically Chinese, her parents are from Taiwan, and she hates that Chinese kids all band together), when this pissant kid, as lily-white as me, breezes by and sneers, "Easy for you to say, you're white." In a perfect world, it would be acceptable for me to have beaten him to within an inch of his life for not-so-subtly implying that I am a racist. Alas, ours is not a perfect world and as soon as he sneered his little remark, he disappeared into a classroom.

Being The Last Angry Man
I pay homage to spite, and embrace it as one of the central pillars of the code by which I live my life. As such, I brook no dissent, and a gesture with no practical value I have no tolerance for those who would insult Star Wars. Thought I enjoy the NPR show Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!, several years ago the host, Peter Sagal, remarked that he felt George Lucas owed him a refund for the price of his ticket to Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace, and if I ever meet Mr. Sagal, I shall make a point of conspicuously refusing to shake his hand. I very much enjoy Invincible, a comic book written by Robert Kirkman and drawn by Ryan Ottley. However, in the latest issue, No. 15, the main character, Invincible, called The Phantom Menace "crappy." I am being entirely honest when I tell you that I am now seriously considering dropping Invincible from my pulls, i.e. not reading it anymore. NPR is free, except for my tax dollars I don't pay a dime to support Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! But each issue of Invincible costs two bucks, and I'm really not sure I want my Washingtons going to support a Star Wars hater. There is a far better than even chance I have read my last issue of Invincible. Spite!
Dark Lord of the Seth
It has been brought to my attention by my friend and old Gargoyle chum Dr. Seth that on Sunday, I mistitled Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith as Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Seth. Best. Typo. Ever. And make no mistake, the Dark Side of the Force is strong in young Seth, the Dark Side and Hee-Haw.

The Gargoyle, for you poor, deprived souls who may not know, is the University of Michigan's official campus humor magazine, founded way back in 1909. Largely due to the fact that The Gargoyle was only available for purchase, whereas other campus humor rags were free, our circulation was very small and we were not as well known as the poor man's version/rip-off of The Onion, The Michigan Every Three Weekly (the name was a play on the school paper, The Michigan Daily). Nevertheless, the staff of the Gargoyle was where I met Neutral Man, and during my three years with the organization, as a writer and eventually lathargic Business Manager, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. We weren't widely read, but we had a damn good time. The F.R.A.T. Party was originally launched as a promotional stunt for The Gargoyle, until it all went terribly wrong as I was actually elected to the Michigan Student Assembly (the incredibly self-possessed student council).

Democracy: it's all fun and games until someone get elected.

Found Objects
Because I'm too lazy to actually think up interesting content, I now present the CDs that are sitting next to my HAL.

The Peacocks, It's Time For The Peacocks
The Nijas, Platypus
Mu330, Chumps on Parade
Mu330, Crab Rangoon
Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, Are a Drag

Have a cozy night.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

The League of Nations
This afternoon, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan equated the abuse of prisoners at the Abu Ghraib facility with the beheading of civilian hostages. There is no moral equivalence between these two vastly disparate types of acts. Of course, one should not be surprised that Annan cannot differentiate apples from oranges. At the same time that the UN Security Council is contemplating action against Sudan for supporting genocide in Darfur, the Sudan is a member of the Human Rights Commission. The UN sees no contradiction between perpetrating genocide and sitting as a member of the body that declares when genocide has occured? How can the Secretary-General not see the ridiculousness inherent in this situation? Sudan both SITS ON THE HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION and IS ACTIVELY COMMITTING GENOCIDE. The "moral authority" of the United Nations in action, folks.

I remain deeply, deeply disappointed in President Bush and his entire administration that they have not called for Secretary-General Annan's resignation. At the same time Annan allows Sudan to pass judgment on human rights abuses, he feels it necessary to slander the United States. If the world's sole superpower and the UN's principle funder is a criminal nation, how can the United Nations continue to work with American officials and accept America's money? I'm upset that no one seems to care that we've been called criminals, and I'm upset that a president in whom I have so much faith feels it unnecessary to respond to such scurrilous accusations.

Vote For Kodos
The best news organization in America is C-SPAN. Fox News obviously has a conservative bias, but that does not mean it does not provide much useful factual information. Dan Rather obviously has a liberal bias, but that does not mean CBS News does not provide much useful factual information. But with C-SPAN, there is no bias. I mean, how can a camera be biased (unless you're fat)? C-SPAN provides the best news imaginable, because all it provides is news. No commentary, just the actual video of what happened. Man, C-SPAN and C-SPAN 2 are fantastic. Why is this post an installment of "Vote For Kodos"? Because in this acrimonious election season, the news is even more important than usual.

My next Newsletter column is all about the state of modern journalism, and I do not intend to be kind. C-SPAN, though, shall be spared my rhetorical wrath.

Go Honolulu Blue!
The Detroit Lions are 2-0. In the entire 2001 season, the Lions only won two games, and now they have done it in just two weeks! This is fantastic! Too fantastic, in fact, to last. It is only a matter of time before the Lions lose a game; after all, they aren't the 1972 Dolphins. But after the suffering of the last three years (2-14, 3-13, 5-11), I think we have all earned a few moments of celebratory smugness. Woo hoo, the Lions kick ass! "In your face, space coyote!"
I finished Thomas P.M. Barnett's The Pentagon's New Map this evening. I urge each of you to read it, as it demonstrates how truly close we are to the long-held dream of world peace. Though I had planned to move on to Tobias Wolff and Douglas Adams, I feel the urge to stay on this non-fiction kick; so, I think I'll begin Stephen F. Hayes's The Connection before I hit the sack. Sweet fancy Moses, books rule!

Darth Vater wants me to read Unfit For Command, but I feel that if I were to read a book that blatantly partisan, I would also have to read something like Maureen Dowd's nigh-fictional Bushworld. And I grow physically ill whenever I read anything by the atrocious Maureen Dowd.

The Newsletter
We have actually received a submission from co-founder Uncle Jerry. Be advised, Hell has actually frozen over, which may or may not have an impact on global atmospheric conditions.

Have a cruising night. I hate the Woodward Dream Cruise.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Fairly or not, it makes me nervous whenever my dad spends any significant time on the Internet. I have no idea if he's buying more guns (he owns at least four, but only admits to owning two), or just typing out more misspelling-marred tirades for non-publication in the local paper, The Flint Journal a.k.a. "The Urinal." My father is not unintelligent, he has his bachelor from Purdue Univesity and his masters from Central Michigan University, but from the letters to the editor he has asked me to read, one would think he has never completed high school. He randomly capitalizes words, usually nouns, making me feel as if I am reading German. In a recent example, he capitalized both words of the phrase "Islamic Terrorists." In the same submission, he failed on multiple occasions to capitalize the word "iraq." Since the spring, he has included several factual errors in his letters to the editor, such as when he criticized Senator Chuck Hagel (R, Nebraska) for comments that were actually made by Senator Tom Harkin (D, Iowa). Perhaps as a result of this, he has not had a letter published in months. I have to believe that in addition to the factual errors (which I attribute to being induced by anger to act without thinking), the typographical errors have negatively affected his chances of publication. Full disclosure, of course I have committed more than my fair share of typographical errors. What was my original point? Oh, yes, my dad should not be allowed to spend two or more consecutive hours sitting before his HAL and on the Internet.

Vote For Kodos
I'm not trying to be a dick, I just honestly don't understand the following statement.
IMUS: "Do you think there are any circumstances we should have gone to war in Iraq, any?"

KERRY: "Not under the current circumstances, no. There are none that I see. I voted based on weapons of mass destruction. The President distorted that, and I've said that. I mean, look, I can't be clearer. But I think it was the right vote based on what Saddam Hussein had done, and I think it was the right thing to do to hold him accountable."

1983 - Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi
2005 - Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

George Lucas, you magnificent bastard!
Go Blue!
Maaaaaaaan, I don't want to play Iowa. I hate playing Iowa. They have our number! We can't beat them! Run away! Run away!... Okay, sorry about that, I feel better now. But seriously, if you had only seen Iowa's games against Michigan the past few seasons, you would think Iowa was the best team in college football. They always play their best game of the season against us, and right now I have very little confidence in any facet of our game. The offense is wobbly and turnover-prone; the defense gives up big plays; and the special teams... well, compared to last year they are a dream, I won't complain about the special teams. Simply put, I am afraid of Iowa. Kirk Ferentz haunts me!

The Space Pirates Project
the Scarlet Narwhal
* the Atari's Revenge
* the Skipjack
* the Tigerfish
* the Detroit Miss
* the Cora

the Walrus of Nova Scotia
* the Supernova Scotia

the Blackdevil Angler
* the Bristlemouth
* the Rattail

the Star of Canberra

the Devil's Comeuppance
* the Hittite
* the Dante
* the Virgil

the Sarcastic Fringehead

the Red Fox

the Clever Shad

Have a shattered night.
I have the best friends in the whole world.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Vote For Kodos
Though my character has been maligned, I really am interested in genuine debate. I sincerely wanted "Whack-A-Mole" to be a serious discussion of the issues and candidates; it saddened me that not one of my many Democratic-leaning friends would stand up for their beliefs. As a service to my readers, here are the official website for the two major party candidates, President George W. Bush,, and Senator John Kerry, There's interesting reading to be found at both sites.
The Girls of September '79
Happy birthday to The Watergirl!

Go Blue!
At halftime, San Diego State is leading Michigan 21-17. It ain't over 'til the fat lady sings, and I still have faith that we'll pull this one out, but Bog help me, I'm not sure how we're going to do it. As I've said before, Henne will be a great QB by the time he's an upperclassman, but right now he's a true freshman. And I want all of the offensive linemen cut; they are playing as if not a single one of them has ever started a college football game before, when in reality three of them are returning starters from last year. What's going on?! Just play well, you idiots! That's what you get free tuition to do! And once again the defense is a wall, an impenetrable wall! The Aztecs' offense can't do anything! Oh, wait, yes they can, they can do anything, seemingly at will! Rats.

We're going to win this game, but just barely. And as I said, I don't have the first clue how we're going to do it. This first half against San Diego State has made me much more pessimistic than the second half against Notre Dame. It's going to be a long, disheartening year, despite Saturday Night's Pollyannaish assurances.

Crap - One Night Only Return Engagement
The Darkness
The Darkness sucks so bad there aren't even words to describe how bad it is. If you like The Darkness, you suck that bad, too. You suck. You suck and I hate you. You need a brick to the face. You need a rabid squirrel to bit you in the eye, and they you'll run around screaming and screaming and screaming, but even as you struggle to keep your bloody eye from falling out of your head and the pain is so great it threatens to overwhelm you, you realize that being bitten in the eye by a squirrel isn't as painful as listening to The Darkness. And then you realize what a fool you've been. You realize that The Darkness sucks and that you suck for ever thinking that they don't suck.

Have a somnambulant night.
Yes, I'm upset. No, I won't calm down.

Friday, September 17, 2004

The League of Nations
Hyperlink! I still maintain that the United States must demand Kofi Annan's resignation as Secretary-General of the United Nations. Why hasn't President Bush responded? By Jove, Annan called us criminals! This slander cannot go unchallenged. I know the Administration is largely of the opinion that the UN doesn't matter, but we can't just tolerate this kind of attack on our character, not even from a pampered diplomat.

Do you read The Newsletter? If not, what in Bog's name is wrong with you? Seriously, if you read this pathetic blog on a regular basis, you'll adore The Newsletter, it's a billion times better. Email:

But I digress. In his first column of the revived Newsletter (Vol. V, No. 2; February 24, 2004), Kiel wrote of the virtues of Image Comics's series Invincible. For too long, I, like many others, did not pick up the book. Now that I have, I'm addicted, and I cannot fathom why I was hesitant. Read Invincible, dammit!

Invincible (Mark Grayson)
Omni-Man (Nolan Grayson)
Atom Eve (Samantha Eve Wilkins)
William Clockwell
Debbie Grayson
Allen the Alien
Rex Splode
Black Samson
the Mauler brothers
Cecil Stedman
The Immortal (dead?)
Monster Girl
Shrinking Ray
Damien Darkblood
the Lizard League
@ Doc Seismic
@ Darkwing
@ War Woman
@ The Red Rush
@ Martian Man
@ The Green Ghost
@ Aquarus

Thursday, September 16, 2004

"GIR, quickly, ride the pig!"

"Computer, take me to the weasels!"

Hannibal Lecter vs. Hannibal Lecktor
I am a fan of director Michael Mann; I mean, The Last of the Mohicans, Heat, The Insider, Collateral, these are great flicks. I am also a fan of the film Red Dragon. To combine these two interests, I have long-desired to see the movie Manhunter, directed by Michael Mann and based on the novel Red Dragon by Thomas Harris. This week, courtesy of my local video rental outlet, I have seen Manhunter. LET THE RECRIMINATIONS BEGIN! Er, let the comparison begin.

I am entirely aware that having seen Red Dragon before Manhunter, I am predisposed to prefer Red Dragon as the "proper" version of Harris's novel. However, I feel my affinity for Mann will render me objective. Manhunter just isn't very good; the primary problem with the film is that it must have felt dated two weeks after it was released. The sets all look the same. Each of the houses, the office buildings, everything is done in the same white monochrome, making the entire thing feel empty, sterile, lifeless. The acting performances are all fine (it's nice to see that before C.S.I., William Petersen was once an actor), but none are earthshattering. And if there's one thing worse than the horrible production design, it is the music. Shrieking keyboards are hardly the best way to set the stage for an unsettling murder. Red Dragon is set in the mid-/late-80s, yet it feels timeless. It could take place anytime fromt he 1960s to the present day. Manhunter suffers because it feels so locked into one very specific period of time.

It's weird to say it, but mano a mano Brett Ratner outdirected Michael Mann. (Of course, Mann improved as both a writer and a director.) Having seen all four "Lecter" films, it now makes sense to me why Anthony Hopkins's Hannibal Lecter from The Silence of the Lambs entered the public's conscienceness in a way that Brian Cox's Hannibal Lecktor from Manhunter never did.

I've been thinking about adding Thomas Harris's novels to the reading queue.
Me: If Michael Bloomberg offered me candy and a ride in his limo, should I take it?
Skeeter: absolutely.
Skeeter: and if he offers you, say, Malta, you should take that, too.

Man Up, John McCain
I am both an admirer and a supporter of Senator John McCain (R, Arizona). In 2000, I donated money to his presidential bid, the only time I have ever given money to a political campaign, and voted for him in Michigan's primary. That said, it's time for McCain to man up, take responsibility for the consequences of his actions, and stop engaging in the kind of doubletalk he deplores in others. McCain is broadly seen as being a straight-talker - his 2000 campaign caravan was called the Straight Talk Express - but regarding the 527's that are partially defining this Fall's presidential race, his statements have been, at best, misleading. Yesterday, I received an email from Senator McCain that said the following:
I hear it all the time these days, from political pros on the left and the right. The McCain-Feingold campaign-reform law, they tell me, turned out to have a big downside: the rise of so-called 527 groups, with their billionaire backers and nasty, negative television ads that threaten to bring politics to a new low. There is only one problem with this argument. It is completely false....

Why are these groups allowed to break the law? Because of the Federal Election Commission's despicable failure to do its job.
My only problem with Senator McCain's position, which is factually accurate, is that we all know the FEC never does it's job. The FEC is a paper tiger! He knew the FEC was powerless when he and Senator Feingold exerted a Herculean effort to get the McCain-Feingold campaign finance legislation passed! In both his books, Faith of My Fathers and Worth the Fighting For, McCain chronicles the many creative ways money (and with it influence) finds its way into the political system. He anticipated that political operatives on both sides would find ways to circumvent McCain-Feingold; so, now that those operatives have found a way to circumvent McCain-Feingold, why won't he just admit it? Obviously, he doesn't want 527 status to be abused the way it is today, but he knew before he authored McCain-Feingold that the FEC is all but powerless. It is a cop out to say that this entire mess is the FEC's fault, since he knew full well that McCain-Feingold would force soft money to be spent in new and different ways and that the FEc would be unable to stop it.

I'm just disappointed in McCain. He spends all of his time saying people should stand up for what they believe in, that they should take responsibility for their actions and the consequences of their actions, but then when the opportunity comes for him to stand up and say, "The abuse of 527 status is an unfortunate side effect of campaign finance reform. That does not mean that campaign finance reform was not a good idea, it only means that now we have to take further steps to stop the abuse of 527 status," he instead chose to blame everything on the FEC. Today, he sounds like just another politician.

Have a blood sucking night.
I only have one VCR, and I loooooove taping stuff; so, this weekend is going to be busy for me. In addition to the regular episodes of Teen Titans, Justice League Unlimited, and Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends, there's both a sneak peak and, apparently, the premiere of Atomic Betty. Woot!

"I love stealing, I love taking stuff...."

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

The Girls of September '79
Happy birthday to Skeeter!

The League of Nations
Hyperlink! Kofi Annan, Secretary-General, has said that last year's American-led invasion of Iraq/overthrow of Saddam Hussein was illegal. As has been mentioned in the comments concerning yesterday's "Vote For Kodos" post, the United States is the most powerful and influential member of the UN Security Council. What's the use of being powerful and influential if some twerp in an expertly-tailored suit can call you a criminal? The United States should refuse to pay any money for the operations of the United Nations until Annan has been removed from office and a new Secretary-General has been named. The US pays roughly 22% of the UN's expenses; it is time for that money to talk.

Top Ten
1. George W. Bush - President of the United States
2. Dick Cheney - Vice President of the United States
3. Representative Dennis Hastert (R, Illinois) - Speaker of the House of Representatives
4. Senator Ted Stevens (R, Alaska) - President Pro Tempore of the Senate
5. Colin Powell - Secretary of State
6. John Snow - Secretary of the Treasury
7. Donald Rumsfeld - Secretary of Defense
8. John Ashcroft - Attorney General
9. Tom Ridge - Secretary of Homeland Security (jumped the queue)
10. Gale Norton - Secretary of the Interior

Now don't you feel better knowing Rummy would be President before Ashcroft?

Have a spatula-through-your-head night.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Ben Stein Broke My Heart
I have just watched an AMC-produced documentary titled Rated "R": Republicans in Hollywood. In it, Ben Stein - I will win all of Ben Stein's money! - said that Arnold Schwarzenegger (the documentary was inspired by and made during the California recall process) is not a real Republican, because he is pro-choice. Maaaaaaaan, why does Ben Stein have to rain on my parade? I am reluctantly pro-choice. Does that mean I'm not a Republican? Listen, I do not like abortion; elective abortion is about the single greatest act of personal irresponsibility I can imagine. I do not like the idea of killing babies (and if we are to be honest with ourselves, that is what abortion is), but I am trapped by reality. Women are going to have abortions, nothing will stop that, and as long as they are, I would prefer that those abortions occur in a controlled medical environment, rather than in the filthy alleyways of the bad old days. I am pro-choice because I do not want to go back to the bad old days. In a perfect world, there would be no abortions, but this is not a perfect world, and we must make some allowance for that. Does that mean I'm not a Republican? Much as I respect Mr. Stein, I must disagree with him. Both Governor Schwarzenegger and I are Republicans.

Wilson Field
After two days of work, we have a new driveway. It is, in a made-up word, gi-normous. All my life, we have had a tradtional and unremarkable two-lane driveway. Now, it is closer to four lanes in width. The aperture onto the street is unchanged, but at the entrance to the garage the concrete extends far afield of the outermost wall of the garage (though my parents have discussed demolishing the expanding the garage once the Camero is ambulatory). Seriously, the image it most readily invokes in the deck of an aircraft carrier. With the Camero in semi-permanent residence in the garage and The Last Angry Van in Ann Arbor with the Mountain of Love, it is not unreasonable to expect five automobiles to be regularly parked in front of the house: the Impala, the Lumina, Woody, the Purple Haze, and the Mousemobile. The new driveway would not look weird with four cars parked on it (we shall assume that the Mousemobile will continue to be parked in the street so as to minimize oil stains on the virgin concrete).

"the Purple Haze" - '79 Chevrolet Corvette
the Camero - '85 Chevrolet Camero IROC Z-28
"the Mousemobile" - '86 Chevrolet Celebrity
"The Last Angry Van" - '88 Chevrolet Astro
the Lumina - '95 Chevrolet Lumina
the Impala - '95 Chevrolet Impala SS
"Woody" - '95 Chevrolet Caprice Classic stationwagon

Have a religious night. I really do like the ring of "Father Mike"....
There are forty-six states in the United States, and four commonwealths: the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the Commonwealth of Kentucky. (Kentucky? Yeah, dudes, Kentucky was admitted to the Union in 1792. That's old school enough to be a commonwealth.) The rest of the states are called states, as in the State of Michigan, the State of New York, the State of Colorado, the State of Hawai'i, etc.

France Bashing!
The United States Constitution (I agree with Sarah Vowell that this is a nigh-religious document) was written in 1787 and ratified in time for the election of George Washington as the first President of the United States in 1788 (inaugurated in March 1789). Same government since 1789, conveniently the same year the French Revolution began. Since King Louis XVI was beheaded, France has been governed by the First Republic (1789-1804), the First Empire (1804-1815), the Bourbon Restoration (1815-1848), the Second Republic (1848-1852), the Second Empire (1852-1870), the Paris Commune (1871), the Third Republic (1871-1940), Vichy (1940-1943), the Fourth Republic (1945-1958), and the current Fifth Republic (1958-present).

America: 1 government.
France: 10 governments.

Yessiree, Bob, they sure could teach us a thing or three about governance.
Vote For Kodos
I need to spend more like listening to Richard Holbrooke. I had complete forgotten that before March 2003, no Arab nation or individual had even committed a single act of violence against the United States or Americans abroad. Before the unilateral American invasion of Iraq (Great Britain, Italy, and Poland being the 51st-53rd states), every single Arab nation on Earth was governed by a strong, democratic government and was rapidly completing programs of economic modernization and social liberalization; it was only after America attacked all Muslims worldwide that oppressive regimes came to power. How could I have been so blind as to not see the truth Holbrooke was spouting? There was no more peaceful or stable a region on Earth as the Middle East before George Bush threw a temper tantrum and overthrew the government of Iraq.

I've just returned from, where I learned that in a Kerry Administration France and Germany will committ large numbers of troops to Iraq and NATO will take over primary responsbility for training Iraqi security forces. Wow! That's incredible! The site also asked me if I wanted to buy the Brooklyn Bridge, which I had better do quickly, because it is a limited time offer.

I also learned it is President Bush's fault that people are dying in Darfur. Apparently, W. has the authority to order the UN Security Council to act to end the genocide in Darfur and has chosen not to. The President commands the UN Security Council? Shit, that's great news! Has anyone told him this? I thought the Security Council was composed on representatives of many sovereign nations, some of which have publically announced their desire to serve as an obstruction to American power (that is the honest to God public position of France); I had no idea it was an agency of the American Executive Branch. This is great! The Security Council will be all kinds of effective now!

Monday, September 13, 2004

"Either way, your seed dies with you."

The Secret Society of Mystery Men
1936 - The Founding Five
The Cloak (Ian Somerset)
Lightning Rod (Desmond Gray)
The Spade (Henry Carlisle)
Sebastian Adair
The Mandarin (VIII, Chang Shao-feng)

2004 - Echoes
The Cloak (Ian Somerset, hasn't aged a day)
Lightning Rod (II, Lindsey Gray, granddaughter)
The Spade (III, Juliana Carlisle, grand-niece)
Sebastian Adair (hasn't aged a day)
The Mandarin (IX, Kevin MacGuinness, no relation)

Life Eternal
The Roman (Portia Horatia) - born 182 B.C.
The Prussian (unknown) - born A.D. 1701
The Fiend (Roger Pennington) - born 1901
Sebastian Adair - born 1902
The Cloak (Ian Somerset) - born 2024, arrived in our time 1907

Have a spontaneously combusted night.
Go Blue!
It is important too note that I am not saying Chad Henne is a bad quarterback. I'm merely saying that at the present moment he is too young and too inexperienced to be Michigan's starting quarterback. He needs to mature in practice and become much more comfortable with the offense before we can fairly judge his abilities. He's a true freshman, he's barely nineteen years old, it's hardly fair to expect him to carry the weight of Michigan football on his shoulders.

Vote For Kodos - History is Fun!
R) George W. Bush (Texas), Dick Cheney (Wyoming)
D) John Kerry (Massachusetts), John Edwards (North Carolina)

R) George W. Bush (Texas), Dick Cheney (Wyoming) - WINNER
D) Al Gore (Tennessee), Joe Lieberman (Connecticut)

R) Bob Dole (Kansas), Jack Kemp (New York)
D) Bill Clinton (Arkansas), Al Gore (Tennessee) - WINNER

R) George Bush (Texas), Dan Quayle (Indiana)
D) Bill Clinton (Arkansas), Al Gore (Tennessee) - WINNER

R) George Bush (Texas), Dan Quayle (Indiana) - WINNER
D) Michael Dukakis (Massachusetts), Lloyd Bentson (Texas)

R) Ronald Reagan (California), George Bush (Texas) - WINNER
D) Walter Mondale (Minnesota), Geraldine Ferraro (New York)

R) Ronald Reagan (California), George Bush (Texas) - WINNER
D) Jimmy Carter (Georgia), Walter Mondale (Minnesota)

R) Gerald Ford (Michigan), Bob Dole (Kansas)
D) Jimmy Carter (Georgia), Walter Mondale (Minnesota) - WINNER

R) Richard Nixon (California), Spiro Agnew (Maryland) - WINNER
D) George McGovern (South Dakota), Sargent Shriver (Maryland)

R) Richard Nixon (California), Spiro Agnew (Maryland) - WINNER
D) Hubert Humphrey (Minnesota), Edmund Muskie (Maine)

R) Barry Goldwater (Arizona), William Miller (New York)
D) Lyndon Johnson (Texas), Hubert Humphrey (Minnesota) - WINNER

R) Richard Nixon (California), Henry Cabot Lodge (Massachusetts)
D) John Kennedy (Massachusetts), Lyndon Johnson (Texas) - WINNER

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Great Caesar's ghost, it was ugly, but the Lions fucking won! On the road! WOO HOO!

Also, woot!
The Spanish Main
I mourn for all the innocent victims of the savage train bombings in and around Madrid, Spain, on March 11, 2004; I sincerely believe that the monsters who perpetrated the attacks will not find Paradise in the afterlife, but rather a specially prepared corner of the Inferno. A scenic view of the lake of fire, perhaps. But, I object to referring to the Madrid attacks as "Spain's 9/11." I object not because the manner of attack was different, nor because the loss of life was on such a greater scale in New York, Virginia, and Pennsylvania; I object solely because the American and Spanish reactions to the two horrors were so radically different.

Whether of not you agree with the Bush Administration's conduct of the war on terror, or whether or not you feel it is appropriate to conduct a war on terror at all, since I know there are some pacifists out there like The Plate you feel that violence is never the right answer, it cannot be denied that in the wake of September 11, 2001, the United States has aggressively confronted transnational Islamist terrorism. In contrast to this confrontational approach, in the wake of March 11, 2004, the Kingdom of Spain complied with the demands of the train bombers and withdrew all Spanish forces from Iraq. (On similar grounds, I object to referring to the Soviet adventure in Afghanistan as "the Soviet Union's Vietnam.")

Whether or not you think that Spanish troops should have been in Iraq as part of the post-Saddam occupation/stablization/reconstruction effort, it is an accepted international primciple that civilized nations do not give in to the demands of terrorists. Yet, this is exactly what the voters of Spain did rejecting then-Prime Minister Aznar in favor of current Prime Minister Zapatero. I oppose the French ban on Muslim headscarves and other prominent religious emblems in public schools, but I applaud the solidarity and strength France has shown in the face of the terrorist kidnpappings of French journlists and subsequent demands for the repeal of the headscarves ban. France has stood up to terrorist, the same people to whom Spain now kowtows. It is because of this weakness, this willingness to give in to those who view deliberate violence against civilians as a legitimate tool of political discourse, that I view Spain as the most contemptable country in Europe.

Thus, I make the following pledge: unless I am one day in the employ of the U.S. government (Colin Powell may think I'm a loser now, but I'll prove myself to him yet!) and am assigned to Spain as part of my official duties, I swear on my sacred honor that I will never set foot in the Kingdom of Spain. I will not explore the Alcazar of Segovia. I will not experience the local color of Toledo. I will not tour the battlefields of Wellington's Peninsular campaign. Whenever possible, I will not do business with Spanish firms, as I do not wish to contribute to the wealth or well-being of those despicable people. And if one day the ETA terrorists succeed in creating an autonomous Basque homeland, it will be a direct result of Spain's retreat in the face of Islamist terror.
The Spanish Main
I mourn for all the innocent victims of the savage train bombings in and around Madrid, Spain, on March 11, 2004; I sincerely believe that the monsters who perpetrated the attacks...

There was much more contained within the above post, but it was lost. Lost because sometimes when you click on the "Publish Post" button, Blogger decides to malfunction. This was a post that I had been thinking about for several weeks. Once my anger subsides, I'll probably try to recreate it. But we all know that it will never be exactly as it was, and exactly as it was was exactly as I'd wanted it to be. The entire point of a blog publishing interface is that when you attempt to publish a blog post, the post will be published. If this does not happen, it is because the people doing to programming are not qualified to perform the work they are paid to do. They are hacks.

If you work at Pyra Labs, fuck you.
If you work at Pyra Labs, your mother is a dirty whore.
If you work at Pyra Labs, I hope you die of the most painful form of cancer known to Man.
If you work at Pyra Labs, fuck you.

Have an early night.
Complaint Dept.
You may have noticed that we have added a commenting feature compliments of those loveable scamps at Haloscan. Comment away and, yes, your opinions will be held against you. Enjoy!

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Go Blue - 4 Loses in 2004!
What the fuck is wrong with Lloyd Carr? As evidenced by the touchdown drive in the fourth quarter (by which time it was already too late), Michigan has a potent offense. So, why was Carr willing to settle for field goals for the vast majority of the game? In the third quarter, Notre Dame pulled within two points on one good play. What was Michigan's offensive response? Run up the gut, run up the gut, short pass on a third and long, punt. Was Coach Carr aware of what was happening in the game? Did he perhaps think his team was winning 28-7 when the score was 12-7? That's the only way I can explain his lackadaisical attitude.

And who the fuck thought going to a 3-4 defensive formation was a good idea? Notre Dame's offensive line was porous against BYU, yet we were able to put almost no pressure on Brady Quinn. I do not know if the decision was made by Jim Herrmann or Lloyd Carr, but whomever is responsible for the 3-4 and our subsequently ineffectual pass rush should hang his head in shame. As feared, Markus Curry and Marlon Jackson are not nearly as good as they believe they are, nor as good as their press clippings would lead one to believe.

Chad Henne will one day be a good quarterback, but right now he's a scared little boy who prefers to throw short passes rather than wait and see if a downfield receiver can get open. I pray Matt Gutierrez is hurt, because if Henne is starting solely because he is our best quarterback, we are in real trouble. It was nice to see Braylon Edwards drop one pass and deflect another into the waiting hands of a Notre Dame defender. I've said he was overrated since the day he arrived and I say he's overrated now; it is an embarrassment that he is allowed to wear no. 1. I sincerely wish that he had entered the NFL draft, because as long as he's here he will continue to have too many balls thrown his way and will drop an unacceptably large number of them.

Prediction: This year, we will lose three or four games. I think we will lose four, but I GUARANTEE we will lose three. If Michigan finishes the season with fewer then three losses, I will write Coach Lloyd Carr a letter - not an email, but a letter - apologizing for my lack of faith and I will publish the aforementioned letter here at the Secret Base. If Michigan loses more then four games, I retain the right to leave bags of flaming poo on Coach Carr's porch.

It is going to be a long, frustrating, heartbreaking season. *sigh*
The pre-game ceremonies in South Bend were nice, understated, and appropriate. It will be interesting to see what commerations occur tonight at the Tigers game.

I've been thinking about 9/11 a lot in the past weeks, between the Republican convention and the 9/11 issue of The Newsletter. So, I don't really have anything more to add right now.

'Vette Redux
It turns out that the first Corvette my dad bought had a severely rotted frame; so, he sold it to the folks at Drago's Corvettes for parts, and bought another Corvette they had sitting around. The new 'Vette is a '79 (the first was a '76), purple in color, with the words "Purple Haze" painted over the license plate. Bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha! All of the external metal, except for the wheels, was gold, but fortunately Dad had it replaced with the standard chrome/silver. There's a hole in the left front fender, but all in all I like it a lot better than the '76. Not calling this car, now and forever, the Purple Haze just isn't an option.

There are no words written beneath today's smiley face. However, the smiley is made up in such a matter that were there to be a caption, it would very clearly be: "Have a mime night."
I'm conflicted about last night's game. On the one hand, it's always good when Florida State loses (no offense meant to the Professor). On the other hand, it's never good when Miami of Florida wins. Whenever any of the Florida schools play each other (Miami-Florida State, Florida State-Florida, Florida-Miami), the only thing I can root for is the Comet. "The Comet" means that the only outcome with which I would satisfied is if a comet (or other meteor, I'm not picky) were to fall out of the heavens, crash into the stadium, and annihilate both teams. Go Comet!

Michigan State just missed a field goal against Central Michigan. Bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha! Let's go Chippewas, do it just like Rutgers!

It seems like every year a bigger and bigger deal is made out of the NFL season. Make no mistake, I love the NFL. I have supreme confidence that my beloved Lions will never make it to, much less win, a Super Bowl in my lifetime, but that doesn't mean I don't want them to prove me wrong. Honolulu Blue and Silver forever! But as much as I like the NFL, it's not the college game. The Fall is the best four months of the year, primarily because of the college game. I love college football. There are so many teams and so many kids and it's great! I admire guys you can make a career in the NFL, and be the cornerstone of a team for a decade, but what's truly great about college football is how little time a kid has to make an impression. You've got two seasons, three if you're lucky. Get it done and you win the loyalty of ten of thousands of alumni for years (Charles Woodson will always ALWAYS be the man); screw us an win eternal infamy (I sincerely want Drew Henson to suffer a Joe Theisman-style career-ending injury, complete with bones sticking out of his leg). College football is the best thing in the world.

What I really like about Northwestern's Ryan Field is that it looks like a high school stadium. Neat!

And remember, don't be a cretin: the plural form of stadium is stadia. "Stadiums" is not a word.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Thursday, September 9, 2004

The Girls of September '79
Happy birthday to Mrs. Blinky!

The League of Nations
The African Union is standing by to send more troops into Darfur. What are we waiting for? The Nigerians and Rwandans are willing to subdue the janjaweed. Let them do it! Of course, now that Secretary Powell has publically called the genocide in Darfur genocide, I'm sure the French will still insist on not setting a deadline for action. Beacon of civilization and decency indeed.

Send in the African Union troops. If that doesn't do the trick, send in the Marines. People are dying, Bog damn it, this is not a time for poltical posturing! By Jove, what the hell is wrong with France?

ESPN Classic
ESPNU - New! Woot! All college sports all the time! Again, woot!

Alien (1979)
Aliens (1986)
Predator (1987)
Predator 2 (1990)
Alien 3 (1992)
Alien Resurrection (1997)
Alien Vs. Predator (2004)
The League of Nations
The Security Council's "deadline" for the Sudanese government to disarm the Arab janjaweed death squads has come and gone. In response, the UN has (surprise surprise) done nothing. Way to go, guys.

The Arab League has of course voiced it's full support for Khartoum. Of course, this is the same Arab League that refused to condemn Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait and the same Arab League that raised a stink about Abu Ghraib, but remains mum about the routine human rights abuses that pass for a justice system in the Arab world.

Wednesday, September 8, 2004

I got my ZIM today! Woot!

Invader ZIM
Volume 1: Doom Doom Doom

Invader ZIM
Volume 2: Progressive Stupidity

Girl X
It's too bad that the whole Girl X situation turned out to be a waste of time and an absolute debacle. Too bad, not because she's all that great (she's not), but because "Girl X" is such a sweet pseudonym. Yes, I'm decided, I shall certainly use it again. Girl X is no longer "Girl X," she's nothing, and if I never see her again it will be too soon.

Even with the adventure in the Mousembile, I got the latest issue of The Newsletter, Vol. VII, No. 1, off in today's mail. I love it when things are on schedule. Woot!

Everything's coming up Wilson.
I had a blowout today. That was a new experience. I was just getting off the freeway when - POOF! - there wasn't a dramatic exploding sound, but the Mousemobile began to shudder violently and was rapidly losing celerity. I pulled over to the side of teh road, activated the emergency lights, and exited the vehicle to inspect the damage. There was a hole the size of a fist in the sidewall of the right front tire. No pansy-ass nail for Mama Wilson's oldest boy, this sucker was huge. (When I first got home and told him, Darth Vader didn't believe me, but he was singing a different tune once I showed him the tire in the trunk.) The real lesson here is that I need to stop speculating; just the other week, I was wondering what it would be like to experience a blowout. It's like my very own Stay Puft Marshmellow Man.

Hello, Kitty
Sammy is doing even better today than yesterday! He's still limping, but he's moving around much more; his appetite also appears to have returned. Hurray!

Every time I eat grapes, I think to myself, "Why don't I eat grapes more often?" Grapes are awesome.

Have a movie night.

Tuesday, September 7, 2004

Vote For Kodos
Pat Buchanan is against the war in Iraq. If that's not a good reason to support it, I don't know what is.

Hello, Kitty: Salvation
Thank Bog! We didn't have to put Sammy to sleep! While he is still walking with a substantial limp, it now seems that he is either suffering an arthritic inflamation or he has suffered a nasty fall. His symptoms don't indicate a blog clot, and there is no external evidence that he was mauled by another animal; so, most likely he fell (missed a jump?) and hurt himself. The vet gave him an antiinflamatory injection and now he is getting around with less difficulty. I mean, he's still moving very tenderly and tentatively, but way better than yesterday; he is not whining nearly as much and he is much more alert. I was so scared last night. He could barely walk and he seemed almost comatose when lying down; I woke up this morning convinced that we were going to have to put him down. I'm going to be more upset when Sam dies than when any of my grandparents* (three in the last five years) died. But hurray, Sammy lives!

We've got to get a new litter box as the lip of his current box is high enough to cause him difficulty. He can climb over it, but not as easily as just a few days ago. I feel bad that I wasn't here when he hurt himself, but that's just irrational guilt. (I'm Catholic.) I wonder what he did. I hope he keeps getting better, because if he retains his current limp, well, that's just sad. But hurray, he's alive! I love that fucking cat.

Nickname I'm most fond of (just devised yesterday!): Y the Last Man. Piss off, you wankers, I'm sure Kiel gets it.

Have an unravelling night.

Monday, September 6, 2004

Hello, Kitty
My parents are back from visiting The Law in D.C. I told them about Sam's weird behavior, all three of us looked at him, and I offered that I could take him to the vet tomorrow. My dad said, "We're not going to put a fortune into saving him." Yeah, we better save our money so you can buy another car without telling Mom. Or buy a few more rifles that you will lie about not owning. On your death bed, you horrible thing, I will say, "We're not going to put a fortune into saving him."

It's almost certainly wrong to ask God to kill someone, but I have done so in the past, and a few moments ago I did so for the first time in years.
Pug Uglies
My time with the pug uglies, Tyson and Patrick, is at an end. All in all, despite the early mornings, I enjoyed babysitting them. They show affection very differently that a cat, but then again the only cat with whom I am familiar is Sam, and for all I know he's an odd duck... for a cat. I can't say I'll miss rinsing out their cage, nor the face licking, but I will miss the sentiment behind the face licking. Make no mistake, I still loathe dogs as a species, it's just that these two are okay.

Hello, Kitty
One of two things is happening: Sam's leg is asleep, interfering with normal locomotion, or something has gone dreadfully wrong inside him and I need to get him to the vet post haste. We shall wait and see, and make a decision tomorrow; I pray we're looking at the former scenario.

Have a floral night.
I Miss the 20th Century
Hey, do you remember when Steven Spielberg didn't suck? Yeah, those were good days. I used to proudly describe Mr. Spielberg as one of our finest filmmakers, and he was responsible for some of my favorite films of all time: Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1985), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), Jaws (1975), Schindler's List (1993), Empire of the Sun (1987), Hook (1991), Saving Private Ryan (1998). But, the twenty-first century has severely marred his legacy. Spielberg has not directed a decent film in the entire third millennium: A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001), Minority Report (2002), Catch Me If You Can (2002), and The Terminal (2004). To be fair, I haven't seen The Terminal, but given the advertisements I've seen and Spielberg's modern track record, it would take a significant bribe to inspire me to see it. I do not in any way hate Mr. Spielberg, but his name is no longer any iducement to see a film. Any of his films that I will see in the future, I will see despite his attachment to the project, not because of it.

Sunday, September 5, 2004

Curse you, Amazon, where is my ZIM? Bring me my ZIM!!!

"Nooo, you lie! YOU LIIIIEEEE!"

"No, GIR, these piggies are for science. Science!"

"Prepare to meet your--"
"Say 'moosey fate'... say 'moosey fate.'"
"...moosey fate."

"Don't cry, little wormmonkey. Ultra Pei-Pi will live on... out there... in space."

"Do you understand, GIR?"
"I reeeaaally don't."

"This won't work, ZIM!"
"More organs means more human. It will work."

Saturday, September 4, 2004

Let Me Specify
Thus, by the logic of those who opposed the Iraq war as being entirely unrelated to 9/11 (an opinion I have heard quite often, as I listen to a lot of NPR), we had no right to wage war against the Nazis.

{Post edited because I am a jackass who too often fails to realize that not everyone shares my love of rancor and argument. I apologize if I have offended anyone. I really am sorry.}

Vote For Kodos
Senator Kerry has said that Vice President Cheney is unfit to lead the nation, presumably in the event of President Bush's untimely death, because he never served in the military. If Kerry wins November's election, Senator Edwards will become vice president. In the event of Kerry's untimely death, Edwards would then become president. Yet, Edwards has never served in the military. If, in Kerry's opinion, Cheney is unfit to be president because he never served, why is Edwards, who similarly never served, fit? Or, does Kerry have a running mate and potential vie president whom he considers unfit to be commander-in-chief? I find John Kerry a very confusing man.

Maybe he's just in a bad mood because of the latest polls?

Have a night behind enemy lines.
The Connection
Was Saddam Hussein the mastermind of the 9/11 plot? No. Was the Iraqi intelligence service actively involved in supporting the hijackers as they snuck into America and laid low? No. Were Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein poker buddies and best friends? No.

I've been thinking about the Second World War recently. You know, the Nazis had nothing to do with Pearl Harbor; it was a Japanese operation from beginning to end. It was authorized by Tojo's junta, planned by the Imperial Navy staff, and executed by Imperial Navy pilots. Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany had a cooperative relationship, but the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor was entirely Japanese.

By the logic of those who oppose the war in Iraq, we had no right to wage war against the Nazis. Impeach Roosevelt! End the occupation of Berlin!

Pug Ugly
The Guy was right, Tyson and Patrick are almost more porcine than they are canine. They don't bark so much as they snort. Filthy monsters. Of course, when I call them filthy monsters, I mean it in the best fo ways, as "filthy monsters" is, predictably, a ZIM quote. "Filthy... monster!" I believe ZIM was talking about a hamster.

Friday, September 3, 2004

Carlos the Jackal
If I ever become a freelance international terrorist, my first target will be PayPal, Inc. The Plate just sent me some money for The Newsletter. So, I had to jump through an entire collection of hoops to sign up for a PayPal account, only to learn that my account was not sufficient to allow me to receive payments. Then what the fuck was the point of signing up for an account? So, I updated my account, they refused to send me a check (apparently, my postal address isn't good enough for them), and now they should be routing the funds to my bank account. Of course, had The Plate sent me a check, I would have received the full $50.00 he sent; but, because he chose to use PayPal, those bastards took their cut and now I will be receiving $48.25. Does this make sense to anyone? What the fuck is the point of this? Side by side:

Had he sent me a check through the mail, it would have taken 2 days to get to me and been deposited or cashed the next day. The cost of a stamp is $0.37. Net: $49.63 in 3 days.

Because he sent the money through PayPal, it will take 4 days to transfer the funds to my bank account, and this only after those rat bastards take their blood money, $1.75. Net: $48.25 in 4 days.

In sum, you have to be a TOTAL FUCKING MORON to think PayPal is a good idea. If anyone ever sends me money through PayPal again, I swear to God in Heaven that the very next time I see them, I will fucking punch them in the face.

Have a toasted night.
Pug Ugly
These aren't pictures of the actual dogs, but they might as well be. Here's almost Tyson and almost Patrick. Aren't they hideously adorable?

Thursday, September 2, 2004

GOP in NYC: A Vote For Kodos Special
W '04, motherfuckers! The President only makes two kinds of public statements (speeches, press conferences, interviews): really good and really mediocre. Tonight's convention speech was really good. Not as good, obviously, as his speech of September 20, 2001 (that's the best political speech made in my entire life, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" included), but way better than January's lackluster State of the Union address. The thing I like about watching the convention on C-SPAN is that I can just watch the convention, not Wolf Blitzer or Chris Matthews or Mara Liasson trying to make themselves the center of attention.

Also, I love the accuracy of C-SPAN: Edward Cardinal Egan. Not Cardinal Edward Egan, as one will lamentably often see in the press, but Edward Cardinal Egan. We're a weird, old faith cholk full of eccentricities... get used to 'em!

I offered you Lefty chumps a chance to convince me to vote for Senator Kerry, but no one was interested. W '04, all the way to victory.

Pug Ugly
I think they mean well when they lick my face (Tyson more than Patrick), but, man, it freaks me out. Good thing they are pugs, meaning they are hideously cute; otherwise, Houston, we'd have a problem.
A joke from Dicky Barrett: What's the difference between The Mighty Mighty Bosstones and a moose? On a moose, the horns are in the front and the asshole's in the back.

"You guys are just asking to face the moose."

Vote For Kodos
Remember the old movie Network? I'm mad as Zell and I'm not going to take it anymore?
Hair Razing
The only problem with my haircut is that I'm not dedicated enough. To make it look like I want it to look, I need to cut it every two weeks; on average, I cut it between every three or four weeks. Curse my sloth. I've been thinking about cutting my hair for a week now, and always internally griping that it was too long; so, I have rededicated myself to the two week schedule. I was cutting it today, and had just finished up with triming the very back to level 1, when I thought "Fuck it" and did my whole head on level 1, instead of my customary level 2. My hair is so short that the top of my head looks not brown but gray, meaning you are seeing more scalp than hair. The nice thing about cutting your hair too short is that it will always grow back. The only times my hair has even been this short, prior to today, are when I've cut it in preparation for shaving my head, or when my hair was growing back after Big 9. (On the Grand Blanc High School Boys' Swimming and Diving Team, we shaved our heads before the Big 9 Conference championship meet.) Seeing my gray head, I briefly thought about shaving my head, but then a ZIM quote that I've been saying a lot lately, usually without any provocation or bearing on immediate events, popped into my head: "Noooo, don't be silly." I already have a receeding hairline (male pattern baldness on both sides of the family); once my inevitable bald spot appears, I'm just going to pull a Coach Oldham and shave my head. But we have not yet come to that point.

The great difficulty in quoting Invader ZIM in writing is that the voice work throughout the show were the most creative and unusual voice performances I have ever heard, and I watch a hell of a lot of cartoons. It is hard enough to imitate the voices on ZIM, but how in writing can I capture the profound and overpowering glee in GIR's voice when he sez, "I made it myself!" Or the anguish of, "Why, piggy? Why? I loveded you, piggy! I loveded yoooouuu!" And then of course there's what may be my favorite quote from the whole show, ZIM's boast, "And now to unleash screaming temporal doom!"

I chose to describe the voices of Invader ZIM as "creative and unusual" both because they were in fact both creative and unusual, and also because when I was in fifth grade (and the Mountain in second), we won those awards at a Cub Scout Halloween party. I went as a gasoline pump, the kind you find at your friendly neighborhood gas station; the Mountain went as a tank. My costume was a carboard box with arm holes in the front (to hold my trusty Masters of the Universe pillow case) and a vacuum clearer tube sticking out of one side as the nozzle and hose. David's tank was a series of carboard boxes, perhaps as many as five, somehow stuck together. Tape? I honestly don't remember. He was completely inside this contraption and had limited vision and mobility. I remember at the time, and still to this day, I could not understand why and was slightly offended that my costume earned the "Most Unusual Costume" award, while he won the "Most Creative Costume" award. Why was his tank more creative than my gas pump? And what made mine more unusual than his? At least you could see my head!

Of course, all this was when I was ten and did not yet understand that I was weird. At the time, I knew I wasn't very popular, but I hadn't yet realized what that meant. In middle school, I accepted that I was weird, that I didn't fit in, and typically I was very depressed by this. In was only in high school that I began to revel in my oddity and to thank the Almighty that I'm not normal.

Just then, when I meant to type "normal," I typed "moral." As in "to thank the Almighty I'm not moral." Freudian slip, anyone?

Girl X
I was right the first time, it's time to start saying things that can't be taken back.

Pug Ugly
The Nies cannot return quickly enough, I am so damn sick of the pug uglies. What can I say? I'm an unsympathetic monster with no compassion. I think I'm okay with that.

Have a completely possessed night.

Wednesday, September 1, 2004

GOP in NYC: A Vote For Kodos Special
Senator John McCain, former Mayor Rudolph Guiliani, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, First Lady Laura Bush, Senator Zell Miller, Vice President Dick Cheney, President George W. Bush. From the White Tornado to the Governator to W. himself (though not until tomorrow), this convention kicks ass. Michael Reagan versus Ron Reagan, what more could you ask for?

"U.S. forces armed with what, spitballs?" Bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha! Now THAT'S comedy!

The Faithful
In reading about the 400th anniversary of the writing (begetting?) of the Sikh holy book, I have learned that Sikhism is the world's fifth largest religion. I suppose the five largest faiths are:
Girl X
Okay, now I'm just confused. Very very confused.

Battle of the Fallen Emperors
Who do you think would win in a battle to the death between the living members of the former Hapsburg dynasty and the living members of the former Hohenzollern dynasty? One night only, the Holy Roman Emperor versus the German Kaiser! The First Reich versus the Second Reich in a pan-German grudgematch! Two men enter, only one leaves! Get your tickets here! One night only!

The winner faces the victor of the Romanov-Bourbon deathmatch.

Also, on this day in 1939, the military forces of Nazi Germany crossed the Polish frontier, sparking the Second World War. Sixty-five years ago today. I'd like to congratulate World War II on it's sixty-fifth birthday, and I hope it enjoys it's retirement in Florida. You've earned that gold watch, buddy!

Have a poisonous night.
Girl X
It's time to start getting angry. It's time to start insulting people. It's time to start saying things that can't be taken back.