Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Et Tu, Brute?
What the devil is going on? It is as if the men in charge of Detroit's professional sports clubs have gone out of their way to recruit the most vile, reprehensible players money can buy. You'll never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. First, the Pistons signed the greatest villain in the modern history of the University of Michigan, Chris Webber, and now the Red Wings have acquired a genuine criminal, Todd Bertuzzi. How many times has Nicklas Lidstrom, Steve Yzerman's successor as team captain, been nominated for the Lady Byng Trophy? Pavel Datsyuk won the Lady Byng last season! Goons are an integral part of hockey, but there is a world of difference between the goony intimidation of Darren McCarty and the malicious brutality of Todd Bertuzzi. Outrage is not a strong enough word for this betrayal.

I cannot be a party to this. As long as the monster Bertuzzi wears the once noble winged wheel, I cannot support the Detroit Red Wings. I am not a Red Wings fan for as long as that foul creature is on the roster. Sports must be about more than winning at all costs, because if it's not we might as well cut out all the pretense and revert to the Roman gladitorial games, where Todd Bertuzzi would feel right at home.

I promise to finish and post "To Be or Not to Be" this weekend.
Cheaters Never Win
Actually, cheaters usually win, but not always: what's bad for Airbus is good for Boeing, and what's good for Boeing is good for America. Airlink.

Caution: Vulgarity Ahead.

Mission: Unpossible
At the risk of jinxing myself, so far so good. A week ago, I thought I'd be in much greater trouble by this point. I do not have a girlfriend; so, the only "sex" in my life is with Miss Michigan. I am experiencing neither of two scenarios I lifted from the fine folks at Seinfeld (after all, if you're going to steal, steal from the best): I have not experienced a Flowers for Algernon-esque increase in mental prowess as George did when his girlfriend was thought to have contracted mono. George was of course not deprived of the self-serve option, but for the first time since puberty his brain was freed from the tyranny of lust, thus unleashing his true potential; my encounters with Miss Michigan are, as mentioned, the only "sex" in my life, thus creating the tenuous parallel between my situation and George's. Neither am I experiencing the difficulty sleeping and generalized irritability that plagued Jerry, George, and Elaine during the infamous contest from "The Contest."

Riding again at the edge of hubris, all but engraving an invitation for disaster to be visited upon my head, I appear to have become the eunuch I always claimed to be, at least regarding my numerous gal pals. Marvel before the asexual "man"! Of course, we are a day short of a week since Ash Wednesday, and Lent is six long weeks long. My Lenten sacrifice my yet go as terribly awry as I initially predicted. As in all things, only time shall tell, and Easter is yet quite far off.

BTW South Song of the Day
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, "Devil's Night Out" (live) from Live From the Middle East (T.L.A.M.)

Monday, February 26, 2007

BTW South Song of the Day
William Shatner, "Common People" from Has Been (Mt. Love)
The Anniversary Party
Five years ago to the day, this is what was on my mind: third post Until last spring, when the Mountain of Love, The Guy, and I jointly visited K. Steeze and The Professor at BTWest in Los Angeles, that was the greatest Spring Break of my oft-extended collegiate career. I didn't go anywhere. I worked a few lifeguard shifts, watched a lot of TV, and read a lot of comic books. I was all alone at 1213 for nearly a week, the longest period of serene solitude in the three years of my residence. Ann Arbor was buried beneath a nearly unbroken blanket of virgin white snow. I kept most of the lights off and walked through the darkened hallways by the illumination from the powerful lamps around Yost Ice Arena and Schembechler Hall, our neighbors across South State Street. It was the best Spring Break of the six years I spent in Ann Arbor and I spent nearly every minute of it alone. In the long nights of loneliness to follow this coming summer's dissolution of BTW South, I shall rememberly fondly the coziness of that blessed solitude now five years past.

BTW South Song of the Day
The Blues Brothers, "Viva Las Vegas" (live) from Live From Chicago's House of Blues (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: Lead vocals by Brother Zee Blues, the blood brother of the late "Joliet Jake" Blues. And as the last song on the album, included on the track with "Viva Las Vegas" is "I Can't Turn You Loose," the traditional entrance and exit music of the Blues Brothers.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

The Explorers Club
No. XIV - The oddly unrelated red panda (Ailurus fulgens) and giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca).

Very few people know that aside from eating bamboo a giant panda's favorite pastime is driving English and/or Japanese automobiles (left side steerage).

Earth Starfleet
Vulcan High Command
Andorian Imperial Guard
Tyger, Tyger, Buring Bright
Were the world a cheesy summer sci fi blockbuster, our "endearing" everyman-type hero, or perhaps his long-suffering but yet-undaunted wife, would say, "It's like the animals know something." By Lucifer's beard, I hate that New Age, pseudo-animistic nonsense! Still, it does seem odd that two so similar incidents should take place in such a short period of time: the tiger in China and the jaguar in America. Of course, there is no other of Almighty God's creatures so mercurial and capricious as the cat.

Fun With the Mother Tongue
There is only a one-letter difference between the words imperial and imperil.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

After having a tuna sandwich for lunch yesterday and tuna fillets for dinner, sweet merciful crap, the roast beef sandwich I had for lunch today tasted great. Stupid Lenten prohibition on meat on Fridays. (And yes, I am thankful that I live in the post-Vatican II world. Back in the day, the Catholic Church prohibited the eating of meat on all Fridays.)

I wrote M I K E on my left hand today for the first time in ages; it looks as awesome as ever. I really have to settle into a career that will allow me to get M I K E and the accompanying cross tattooed on my hand.

BTW South Song of the Day
MxPx, "Chick Magnet" from Life in General (Mt. Love)
A dynamic duo from the frozen splendor of Antarctica: the Lake Country and I(sis), Robot. I remember the astonished disbelief I experienced the first time I became aware of Lake Vostok, and how quickly my mind turned to frigid Europa and several of the other moons of our neighboring gas giants. Life beneath the ice? It's all too fascinating!

I have never felt the slightest inclination to scale Mount Everest (though taking the clog train to the top of Mount Washington was qute a thrill), but in the thirty-three years left to me I sincerely hope I am able to see the pulchritidinous desolation of Antarctica. preferably on a vessel named either Discovery or Endurance. Science!

Also, it may be time to emulate the ancient Spartan tradition of declaring war upon the Helots once a year, just to remind those uppity chimpanzees who's still the apex predator around here: chimpan-a to chimpanzee.

Friday, February 23, 2007

The War for Civilzation
With friends like this, who needs enemies? Maplelink. It's genuinely sad that the Canadians are so desperate to establish an identity, any identity, separate from America that they'll climb in bed with the dread foes of all the noble thigns for which the Dominion of Canada has always stood: tolerance, peace, and as much freedom and democracy as the Queen will permit.

BTW South Song of the Day
The Ataris, "Teenage Riot" from End is Forever (T.L.A.M.)
The greatest T-shirt ever? Maybe, maybe not, but it's definitely in the running. Hyperlink.

Success! Now I can blog about chemistry as much as I've always dreamed!
Boldly Go
The Mountain of Love and I have just completed our latest TV-on-DVD project, the last seven episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise's third season, the thrilling conclusion of the season-long Xindi saga.

"Azati Prime"
"The Forgotten"
"The Council"
"Zero Hour"

"E2" should be read "e-squared." I do not know the code necessary to represent squares. My thanks to The Watergirl!

By the stars, I love Enterprise! The show was never really given a chance and was gone too soon, and I fear Star Trek will never rise again. (J.J. Abrams is a hack par excellence; for proof, look no further than the abysmal Mission: Impossible III. His "Star Trek" project will be {a} an abomination and {b} not Star Trek.) Our next project was to be the last ten episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the grand conclusion to the years-long Dominion War storyline, but we're so enamored of Enterprise that we're going to watch a selection of episodes from the superlative fourth season, which was cholk full of "continuity porn."

"Storm Front, Part I"
"Storm Front, Part II"
"Terra Prime"

The Mountain and I consider, as indeed any right thinking person would, "Terra Prime" to be the true series finale of Star Trek: Enterprise. Boldly go, my friends, where no man has gone before.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

BTW South Song of the Day
Reel Big Fish, "New York, New York" from Cheer Up! (Mt. Love)
The Anniversary Party
Five years ago today, inspired by the now-defunct once and future blog of The Watergirl and the abandoned blog of Skeeter, I founded The Secret Base of the Rebel Black Dot Society. The depredations of New Blogger have deprived you, my treasured readers, of this august weblog's archives. To inaugurate this quinquennial anniversary celebration, it is my pleasure to present The Secret Base of the Rebel Black Dot Society from Thursday, February 21, 2002: first post and son of first post. Note that at this early juncture I had not even mastered such simple HTML commands as italicization and so denoted the title of The Newsletter with quotation marks. Oh, the jovial recklessness of youth....

The Haloscan commenting boxes were added later and applied themselves retroactively. There would be many other changes to The Secret Base, reflecting the changes in my life, but one thing has remained a constant: the anger. Yes, it's vitally important what brought us all together in the first place, a deep and abiding hatred for almost everyone and almost everything. Five years on and The Secret Base of the Rebel Black Dot Society's mission is the same today as on the day the credo was composed, "To kill some time and take my mind off other people, a topic that is altogether depressing."

"The Anniversary Party" will continue through Sunday, March 4 and I shall be republishing The Secret Base's first ten posts and commenting upon what this blog means to me, what I hope this blog means to you, the rise and fall of the blogging phenomenon, and the critical importance of pie to any family gathering. As ever, you have my most sincere thanks for your kind attention and my most sincere hope that I have not wasted too much of your time.

Ash Wednesday
Today is Ash Wednesday. I love Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday is my favorite day of the whole year to be Catholic. I am grateful every day for the existence of Christianity, but I wait all year for Ash Wednesday. The deadly sin of pride be damned, I love walking around all day with the ashes on my forehead. Back in Ann Arbor, I'd skip Flounder polo on Ash Wednesday because I didn't want the ashes to wash off. Today, I skipped the daily running and lifting sessions for the same reason. I was thrilled to see that Tony Reali, the host of Around the Horn, had ashes on his forehead during today's show. My glee was irrational, my exuberance excessive, but there it was. I love Ash Wednesday!

A caution, there is vulgarity ahead.

Of course, Ash Wednesday is not just a day to parade around like a peacock with incinerated palm leaves on your noggin, Ash Wednesday is the first day of the holy season of Lent, the time of fasting, prayer, and preparation for Easter, the most sacred day of the Christian year. And one of the most prominent, though Scripturally unsupported, parts of Lent is the personal sacrifice. I have given up chocolate more often than any other sacrifice. I've contemplated giving up pop for Lent, but dismissed the idea as the fevered dream of a madman; I could no more give up pop than give up oxygen and the other precious gases. Yet this year I have decided to brave the impossible. In the second bit of inspiration owed to The Watergirl in the span of a single post, I have decided to give up masturbation for Lent.

In this, I will fail. I have no doubt that I will fail. I am devoted to Almighty God, but I am also weak. I have not the willpower to resist my basest instincts for the entire Lenten season, but by the stars I will try. I will put every meager ounce of self-control I possess to this endeavour. Whether I masturbate tomorrow or successfully refrain will not determine if my immortal soul burns in the purifying flames of Purgatory or the punishing flames of Perdition, but it will stand as a symbol of the depth of my dedication to Christ. And symbols are important. I will surely fail, but what is more important is that I shall dare.

Addendum: I am fond, perhaps overly fond, of nicknames, codenames, and codewords. When I grew a beard, I christened the project the "Banzai Beard Bonanza." Sould I ever grow a mustache it will be the "Massive Mustache Mistake." The first time the Mountain cut his hair into a mohawk was called "Project Cobra." I thought about calling this endeavour "Operation Mongoose," but dismissed the name as it would invite all manner of puns about snakes and snake-like anatomical curiosities. Thus, welcome, long-suffering readers, to "Mission: Unpossible." (Thanks, Ralph Wiggum!)

Addendum to the addendum: Believe it or not, one of today's episodes of
Seinfeld on TBS was "The Contest." I don't believe in signs and potents, but that's just spooky. Or in the sage words of plain, simple Garak, "Oh, I believe in coincidence. Coincidences happen every day. But I don't trust coincidence."

And so it is with a nod to the Herculean labor before me that I present to you the...

BTW South Song of the Day
Lit, "My Own Worst Enemy" from A Place in the Sun (T.L.A.M.)

Two consecutive posts, both at 11:07pm, exactly twenty-four hours apart? On my honor, I did not monkey with the time stamps. Great Caesar's ghost, this day's getting spookier by the minute.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

BTW South Song of the Day
They Might Be Giants, "Minimum Wage" from Flood (Mt. Love)

Also, tomorrow is a very big day in the history of The Secret Base of the Rebel Black Dot Society. Brace yourselves.

Monday, February 19, 2007

BTW South Song of the Day
Skankin' Pickle, "I'm In Love With a Girl Named Spike" from Sing Along With Skankin' Pickle (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: I once loved a girl named Hell-ya, more commonly known by her full codename, A Girl Named Hell-ya. I blew my chance with her in extraordinary fashion: afterwards, I changed my modus operandi, the one small positive to crawl from the smoking wreckage of that debacle. A Girl Named Hell-ya....
The War for Civilization
Doom and gloom. However this turns out, whether to the satisfaction or dissatisfaction of the United States, the European powers, or Israel, it is increasingly unlikely to end well for the Iranian people.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Happy Chinese New Year!

Happy Birthday
Happy birthday to The Guy! Back in the halcyon days of youth, both of our families belonged to Ottawa Hills; so, I've known and liked The Guy for pretty much the whole of my life. But there's no other bond like Blue Tree Whacking. Happy birthday, buddy!

The Explorers Club
No. XIII – The Jacobite Rebellions, Part II: The Glorious Revolution of 1688, the First Jacobite Rebellion of 1715 a.k.a. “The ‘Fifteen,” and the Second Jacobite Rebellion of 1745 a.k.a. “The ’Forty-five.”

Some prefer the more more neutral terms "the Revolution of 1688" for the Glorious Revolution and "the Jacobite Risings" for the Jacobite Rebellions. The Jacobite cause stood for the restoration of the Catholic House of Stuart to the thrones of the British Isles, especially as that very Catholicism was the paramount reason the Stuarts were deposed in favor of the foreign, Protestant prince William of Orange. I am a Catholic partisan well known for scoffing at the charlatanry and arrogance present at the foment of the Protestant Reformation and for using the phrase "Protestant bastards." Why then do I use "the Glorious Revolution" and "the Jacobite Rebellions"? Because I believe that history not only is, but should be written by the victors; that this is so is right and proper. To the victor go the spoils, and what greater prize than dominion over history's judgments? Parliamentarianiam and Protestantism triumphed over Jacobism and Catholicism and earned the right to set the terms of the argument.

That said, the world is a dreadfully complicted enterprise with as many factors and variables to weigh as there are stars in the sky. Might does not make right, but sadly neither does right necessarily make might. The opinion of the victors is not always correct, as we shall discuss further in a later episode of "The Explorers Club" pertaining to the "Black Legend" of the Spanish Inquisition, but neither does losing automatically make one's cause noble (see: the Confederate States of America). A dreadfully complex enterprise; I favor the Glorious Revolution and the Jacobite Rebellions.

BTW South Song of the Day
Dashboard Confessional, "Again I Go Unnoticed" courtesy of ye olde internet (Mt. Love)
BTW South Song of the Day
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, "She Just Happened" from Pay Attention (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: I love "She Just Happened" and it's a sweet and lovely song, but The Bosstones sing about love so sparingly that I always find it a bit disconcerting. Dicky Barrett "singing" about social injustice? Par for the course. But love? Man, that's almost wrong. Almost, but not, because it's love, and love is awesome. Valentine's Day is evil, but love is awesome.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

I have been examined by an amateur chiromancer, but never by a phrenologist, neither professional nor amateur. I wonder, have I been missing out? In this matter, I am caught in a paradox. I would dearly love to believe in a Fortean world full of the fantastic and the bizarre, but I am a man of science. I believe in the power of science and reason to overcome all obstacles, yet at the same time I also believe there are, to crib from the Bard, more things in heaven and earth than can be explained through a purely rational view of the world. It's a pickle.

And of course there is quite a bit of weirdness in the world without invoking cryptozoology and the other pseudosciences: John Frum.

Have I mentioned how fond I am of J'onn J'onzz, the Martian Manhunter? Martian Manhunter, as an ongoing series, is my second most well-developed idea after The Magic of Shazam!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Happy Birthday
Happy birthday to Daddy Dylweed! Two rapidly growing sons, a lovely wife, and sooner than we'd like to think he'll be staring down the barrel of turning thirty. Odd to think that Dylweed's been my friend since middle school, which means I've know him for fully half my life. Cool. Scary, but cool.

I don't know a lot of your birthdays. I remember The Girls of September '79, of "The Girls of September '79" fame, because they are all attractive girls who are my friends and who were born in the same month of the same year; it's like its own mnemonic device. So, kindly send me an email informing me of your birthday and I will add that date to some manner of list and wish you, too, a happy birthday on your birthday. Happy birthday, Dylweed!

BTW South Song of the Day
William Shatner, "Has Been" from Has Been (Mt. Love)
Batman (Bruce Wayne)
Batwoman (Kate Kane)

I haven't been reading DC's series 52 as a matter of principle (that principle being spite), but I've been thinking about this and I think I'm okay with Renee Montoya becoming The Question.
Here's a neat little theory, pardon the pun, to explain the prevalence of conspiracy theories. And as Scary Go Round pointed out, "You can't say 'conspiracy' without 'piracy' and they can still hang you for that." The Beckwith siblings (in Wales!).

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Hat Day!
The Mountain of Love wore his black velvet hat and I wore his green transparent Las Vegas visor. Also, Jim's a vampire. I love Hat Day!

BTW South Song of the Day
Johnny Socko, "Shiznit" from Full Trucker Effect (T.L.A.M.)
The Holy Land
This is a broad statement, but one from which I shall not retreat: Muslims around the world need to calm the fuck down. The Temple Mount.
Damn the Man, Save the Empire
The Mountain's blog has been discovered by his manipulative and mercurial boss, who dispatched an email with the ominous subject "your blog." The Mountain deemed a scorched earth policy the most sensible and prudent response. This must be the "theft, pillage and rapine" Bester was talking about when the Mountain quoted The Stars My Destination.

Damn the Man, save the Empire.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

BTW South Song of the Day
The Aquabats!, "Lovers of Loving Love!" from The Aquabats! vs. The Floating Eye of Death! and Other Amazing Adventures, Vol. 1 (Mt. Love)

Commentary: "Lovers of Loving Love!" is the second most romantic song in the world after "New York City" by They Might Be Giants. Second place, but it's close.

Hooray! The Red Wings defeated the Stars 3-1 after entering the third period down 1-0. Man alive, the Wings are so good in the third period this year. Not bad for a team of old timers, eh?
MythBusters is a rerun and I had my heart set on a new episode; so, the question now is, What shall I watch? Rudy Giuliani is on Larry King Live. On the one hand, at this point in time it seems Rudy is the candidate I will most likely support in next year's Republican presidential primaries and it would behoove me to hear more about his views. (A pro-choice, pro-gun control Republican? Pinch me.) On the other hand, Larry King is an animated corpse, an honest-to-Bog zombie. Creepy. Ooo, on the gripping hand, the Red Wings are playing the (should still be the Minnesota North) Stars on FSN. Three cheers for the gripping hand.

Also, a reminder: tomorrow is Hat Day. Prepare yourselves accordingly.
BTW South Song of the Day
Liz Phair, "H.W.C." from Liz Phair (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: I chose "H.W.C." to lampoon Valentine's Day. The first verse and chorus and a warning, there is vulgarity ahead:

"Give it to me, don't give it away.
Don't think about what the others may say.
My skin's getting clear and my hair's so bright.
All you do is fuck me every day and night.

You're my secret beauty routine.
Na na na na, what my body has seen!
I am looking good and I'm feeling nice.
Baby, you're the best magazine advice.
Give me your hot, white come.
Give me your hot, white come."

The Mountain of Love didn't seem to enjoy my little jest. Of course, we have very divergent views of Valentine's Day. Even before he ever had a girlfriend, the Mountain claimed Valentine's Day as his own, making it a celebration of the very concept of romantic love. I'm all for romantic love, but I don't think the corruption of St. Valentine's feast day that we celebrate as "Valentine's Day" has a single damned thing to do with the splendor of romantic love.

Valentine's Day is an abomination. As a capitalist, I'm all for marketing, but the incessant Valentine's Day drumbeat of "If you love your girlfriend/wife you'll buy her a huge diamond" drives me up the wall. The question is never, "So, do your realize what a lucky bastard you are that a girl like Pandora has somehow seen past your myriad faults and found it within her self to love you?," the question is always, "So, what'd you get her for V-Day" or "To what restaurant into which you would otherwise never set foot are you taking her?" I would adore a festival devoted to the wonder and purity of romantic love, but the orgy of falsehood and banality that is Valentine's Day as celebrated in my beloved America is dreadfully far removed from that idyllic carousal. To my way of thinking, "H.W.C." is an abundantly apropos Valentine's Day anthem.

Steel yourselves, Team Bachelor. Don't let the tyranny of The Marrieds grind you down!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Vote For Kodos: Great in '08
I love John Howard. Aussielink.
Lies, Damned Lies, and the News
The amount of ignorance abounding in the world about the Roman Catholic Church is staggering. Aren't newspapers supposed to have factcheckers? Sickening. What the Associated Press arrogantly calls the "last rites" is actually the sacrament of the Annoiting of the Sick. There are only seven sacraments in the Church; so, is it too much to ask that they at least be described correctly? The Annointing of the Sick is not given to people only on the verge of death, it is for anyone who is gravely ill. That Weis was given the Annointing is not an indication of how close he might have been to death, it is a commentary on the fact that he was a) Catholic and b) in the hospital. A minor error? Perhaps, but if the Associated Press (and by virtue of disseminating the story the Detroit Free Press) cannot get the details of their stories correct, how can they be trusted to properly interpret events of greater import? The self-appointed tribunes of the Fourth Estate lie to you all the time. Be wary.

I'm glad Weis survived, though, since now I can laugh at him for being too weak and undisciplined to lose the weight on his own. Ha ha! I don't want Charlie Weis to die, I want him to fail.
BTW South Song of the Day
Blink-182, "Story of a Lonely Guy" from Take Off Your Pants and Jacket (Mt. Love)

Sunday, February 11
The Jamons, "Positive Friction" from Mailorder is Still Fun!! (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: The Asian Man Records compilation album Mailorder is Fun! has one exclamation point. The follow-on album, Mailorder is Still Fun!!, has two exclamation points. Subtle and brilliant. Bravo to Mike Park and Co. Sadly, the third Asian Man comp, Mailorder for the Masses, has not three but zero exclamation points. Way to fall asleep at the switch, guys.

The Mountain of Matrimony
I thought about putting all posts concerning my brother's wedding under the title "Buckeye Wedding" since the wedding will take place in the Buckeye State; after the wedding my brother and his blushing bride will reside in the Buckeye State; my sister-in-law-to-be is herself a Buckeye; there is a decent chance the Mountain of Love will attend THE Ohio State University and thus become a hated Buckeye himself; and any children resulting from the aforementioned union will themselves be raised in the Buckeye State, will likely root for the hated Buckeyes, and may very well aspire to become hated Buckeyes by attending tOSU. And my brother is quite senstive about his impending assimilation into the Buckeye Collective; so, "Buckeye Wedding" would be an unnecessarily provocative title. At the conclusion of this sentence, discretion shall henceforth be the better part of valor.

On Saturday, the Mountain and I sojourned to one of the local malls and at Tuxedo Junction I was measured by an apathetic employee. It was a far more cursory affair than I'd anticipated, but looking back I cannot think of what else might have taken place. I was there, after all, specifically to be measured for an out-of-town (thank Bog for small mercies) wedding, not to try on a tuxedo. The measurements were gathering in a jiffy and rightly so. This afternoon, I contacted the tuxedo emporium in Ohio and made all the necessary arrangements. I hope to be more lean by the time the wedding rolls around in September; so, with a little luck Saturday's expedition will have been for naught and a new set of measurements will be required.

Ricky Fitness
During Saturday's run, I was as usual talking to the Mountain inbetween gulps of air, which in hindsight might not be the least reckless thing to do, and to my surprise I swallowed my gum. And then, caught off guard, I damn near fell off the treadmill. Recovering in the nick of time, I lept off and once back on solid ground took a moment to access my condition. My breathing was not obstructed. The gum had apparently gone down the right pipe with a minimum of fuss. I took a moment to ponder my good fortune and with the usual half-false protestations of reluctance resumed by laborious trot. I coughed periodocally through the rest of the run, but I suspect this was largely psychosomatic.

Oh, the perils of vanity.

Perchance to Dream
Friday night/Saturday morning, I had a dream in which I was married. I was talking to my wife through the passenger side window of a car in which she was sitting, about to depart for I do not recall where. I do not know who was driving the car, nor what, not who, was seated in the backseat. How do I know she was my wife? It was a dream. In dreams we know things like that. I cannot picture her face, but she was not anyone I know in the waking world. She was beautiful, and though I cannot picture her face I'd know her again in an instant if I saw her.

And that was the whole dream, us talking for a few minutes about I know not what through a car window. Dreams, go figure.

As I type this, the Mountain of Love is sitting on my bed, also harnessing the power ye olde internet. We aren't talking, except for the occasional question about spelling, but this is really, really nice. Super Wilson Bros. Woot!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Well, that's awesome: pulp fiction Iron Man by Paul Conrad.
Before President (for Life) Mugabe began illegally seizing land that belonged to white Zimbabweans and redistributing it willy-nilly to his supporters, Zimbabwe was known as the breadbasket of Southern Africa. Hyperlink. And please do not misconstrue my opposition to Mugabe's autocracy as fondness for Ian Smith's Apartheidesque white minority government. I only hope that some day soon the people of Zimbabwe, all the people of Zimbabwe, get a government worthy of them.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

The Explorers Club
No. XII - The Jacobite Rebellions, Part I: James Francis Edward Stuart a.k.a. "The Old Pretender" to his opponents and "King James III and VIII" to his supporters and Charles Edward Stuart a.k.a. "Bonnie Prince Charlie" to all, "The Young Pretender" to his opponents, and "King Charles III" to his supporters.

Extra Credit: Henry Benedict Cardinal Stuart a.k.a. "King Henry IX" to the supporters of the Jacobite cause.

Brick Malloy
I've got an idea for a story set in an alternative, steampunk version of the Edwardian era. Young American soldier Brick Malloy (I don't yet know if "Brick" is his Christian name or a nickname) is kidnapped during the Boxer Rebellion by agents of the worldwide criminal empire known as Perfidious Albion. A member of the upper echelons of Perfidious Albion known as "The Doktor" forces Brick to ingest the mysterious Antaeus Serum, imbuing Brick with prodigious strength and astonishing durability; The Doktor's colleague "The Egyptologist," a mentalist and master of the hypnotic arts, bends the now inhumanly strong Brick to Perfidious Albion's will.

Later, in combat with Severus Kincaid, a pirate, supervillain, and implacable foe of Perfidious Albion, Brick is freed from The Egyptologist's thrall. Though a gentle and decent man before The Doktor's depredations, Brick dedicates himself solely to revenge, using his monstrous power to force Kincaid to act as his mentor in the ways of the supercriminal underworld. Later allies include a British spy Brick and Kincaid nickname "Agent Crowne" since he will identify himself no further than to say he is an agent of the Crown; Dr. Simon Westinghouse, an American inventor and science hero; and "The Dreadnaught," another victim of Perfidious Albion's ghoulish crimes against nature and Dr. Westinghouse's Man Friday. Other adversaries include "The Leper," Perfidious Albion's master assassin, and "The Croatian," the shadowy organization's even more mysterious leader.

I'm not yet sure if The Doktor's ministrations will leave Brick with his nautral appearance or a freakish deformity.
The Gnomes of Zurich
It turns out the Swiss have grown so comfortable with running their country off plundered Jewish gold, which is presumably "buried" in the vaults of the secretive bankers of Zurich, long nicknamed the "gnomes of Zurich," that they decided to bury their entirely cowardly populace in the event of a doomsday war between those who had had the courage to fight the Nazis, the United States and the Western allies and the Soviet Empire. Gnomelink.

The Cold War
The good old days are here again: Sovietlink? More likely, even a decade and a half after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Russians' pride is still hurting. The Russians are a proud, brutal people, still coming to terms with the notion that, really, theirs is a backwards country with almost more in common with the Third World than with the affluent Western democracies. So, bully for Secretary Gates for recognizing that Putin needs to puff himself up now and again and for not taking the Russian bluster too seriously.

Seriously, though, if those punks get out of line we can still come down on them like a ton of bricks. We beat the vaunted Soviet Union like a drum, chumps, we'd have no trouble crushing the rotting husk that is modern-day Mother Russia.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

I want to write about several topics, but my brain is refusing to cooperate. Consequently, I sound retarded; so, we shall postpone all non-essential blogging.

a) Buckeye Wedding & my tuxedo

b) Perchance to Dream: The Last Angry Wife

c) I swallowed by gum & other perils of the "gym"

BTW South Song of the Day
Less Than Jake, "Robots One, Humans Zero" from B is for B-sides (Mt. Love)
Church and State
Hyperlink. I stand with Cardinal Zen; on this point there can be no compromise, only Rome can ordain bishops. The Roman Catholic Church has stood for nearly two thousand years and will be standing as the one true church millennia after the People's Republic of China has turned to dust. In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti.

Also, His Eminence's name is Joseph Cardinal Zen, not "Cardinal Joseph Zen," you Anglican bastards.

Friday, February 9, 2007

BTW South Song of the Day
Catch 22, "Keasbey Nights" from Keasbey Nights (T.L.A.M.)

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Hey, neato mosquito, the Norwegians are building themselves a Fortress of Solitude: superlink. All they need now is a giant, golden key and a white dog with a red cape.

Hat Day!
The Mountain of Love wore my Pith helmet and I wore his black knit hat bearing Otis the bulldog and the initials "MMB" for The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, who are dearly missed. Also, our jaws dropped to the floor at the end of Scrubs. Dude, what the hell? Anyway, I love Hat Day!

BTW South Song of the Day
OutKast, "Hey Ya!" from The Love Below (Mt. Love)
One week until the feast day of Saint Valentine, a holy day desecrated in the United States as "Valentine's Day," the day set aside by the Marrieds and their dating lackeys to promote the societal view of singleness as the worst of all possible states, the saddest of all possible fates. Team Bachelor, prepare for Action with a captial A!

BTW South Song of the Day
Dance Hall Crashers, "Street Sweeper" from The Old Record (T.L.A.M.)

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

BTW South Song of the Day
Pet Shop Boys, "Go West" courtesy of ye olde internet (Mt. Love)

Monday, February 5
The Peacocks, "Older Than Punk" from It's Time for The Peacocks (T.L.A.M.)

Sunday, February 4
Electric Light Orchestra, "Mr. Blue Sky" courtesy of iTunes (Mt. Love)

Commentary: I was introduced to "Mr. Blue Sky" several years ago in the excellent Volkswagon commercial I think we all still recall. I still think there's legitimate potential for a highly-successful television show in that ad's protagonist, a wage-slave named Bill Briggs. There's even a build-in love interest with the mysterious woman in the office across the street! Mr. Blue Sky the television series will never materialize, but I still maintain there's more raw creativity in that commercial than in 90% of the situation comedies currently on network television. Long live Bill Briggs and his dream of owning a convertible VW Beetle!
The Batman
Elongated Man
The Sandman
Plastic Man
Animal Man

Am I missing anyone, not counting bad guys like Catman, Tally Man, and Calendar Man?

The "-men" I Missed (Ki-El's additions in italics)
Immortal Man
'Mazing Man
Negative Man
Amazing Man
(a completely separate character from 'Mazing Man)
Resurrection Man
Doll Man

Monday, February 5, 2007

The Explorers Club
No. XI: The life, career, and misadventures of the actor William Atherton. (Frivolous, I know, but I have a cold - thankfully, 'tis not the dreadful sick - and so am in a mood for something light and airy. If you feel like you need more to explore, compare and contrast the homonyms airy and aerie.)

Super Bowl XLI
I'm dismayed at the prospect of Peyton Manning appearing in even more television commercials, but, come now, did the Bears seriously expect to be able to win with Rex Grossman at quarterback? Take heart, Lovie & Co, you get to play Millen's Man Marinelli's Lions twice next year; so, that's two guaranteed wins right there. (I started "To Be or Not To Be" today, but was hindered by a bout of writer's block... and my own uncertainty as to how it will end, i.e. will I remain a fan of the Detroit Lions or forsake them forever? I am determined to have it polished in time for next weekend's Pro Bowl.)

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Dieu Et Mon Droit
Memorizing the kings of England (from the Norman Conquest to the present) is a skill like any other and requires practice. (It is through practice that I got to the point where I could list of the Presidents of the United States in my sleep.)

William the Conqueror (I)
William II
Henry I
Henry II
Richard the Lionheart (I)
Henry III
Edward I
Edward II
Edward III
Richard II
Henry IV
Henry V
Henry VI
Edward IV
*Edward V
Richard III
Henry VII
Henry VIII
Edward VI
Mary I
Elizabeth I
James I
Charles I
Interregnum of the tyrants/hypocrites Oliver Cromwell & Richard Cromwell
Charles II
James II
William III & Mary II
George I
George II
George III
George IV
William IV
Edward VII
George V
Edward VIII
George VI
Elizabeth II
~Charles III
~William V

*Never actually ruled anything.
~Probable line of succession.

BTW South Song of the Day
The Blues Brothers, "Going Back to Miami" from Made in America (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: "Going Back of Miami" was chosen in honor of Super Bowl XLI, the last real football game until the Fall, to be played tomorrow in Miami between the Chicago Bears and the Indianapolis Colts. There are two reasons behind the selection: a) Seemingly every other other Super Bowl is played in Miami; so, yes, the Super Bowl is indeed going back to Miami... again. b) The Blues Brothers are, of course, from Chicago, and as a loyal son of Big Ten Country, the very heartland of football and home to the NFC Norris, I very much want for da Bears to triumph over that smarmy Peyton Manning. Sure, sure, the Colts' current home in Indianapolis is very geographically close to Chicago, but this is s sham; we all know that Baltimore is the only true home of the Colts. Additionally, the Colts play in a dome, like pussies; the Bears man-up for games in wintery Soldier Field, on the frosty shores of Lake Michigan. (Yes, I also think my Detroit Lions are pussies for playing in a dome, as are the Minnesota Vikings.) Come on Bears, let's win this one for sweet home Chicago, the City of Broad Shoulders, the home of This American Life, a truly Midwestern metropolis.

Friday, February 2, 2007

Justice League Unlimited Analogs
The Ultimen for the "affirmative action heroes" from SuperFriends
Wind Dragon for Samurai
Long Shadow for Apache Chief
Juice for Black Vulcan (himself based on Black Lightning)
Downpour for Zan of the Wonder Twins
Shifter for Jayna of the Wonder Twins

Fortunately, there's no analog for the Wonder Twins' space monkey, Gleek.

Fate's Merry Fellows for the Defenders (from Marvel Comics)
Dr. Fate for Dr. Strange
Aquaman for The Sub-Mariner
Amazo for Silver Surfer
Solomon Grundy for The Hulk

BTW South Song of the Day
Less Than Jake, "The Brightest Bulb Has Burned Out/Screw Fall Out" from Anthem (Mt. Love)
Groundhog Day
Fucking groundhog. Due to the capriciousness of Punxsutawney Phil, whose one job is to see his shadow and give me a longer winter, I've been doomed to an early spring, which in Fort Worthless means 90 F on Easter. Thanks, Phil, you jerk.

Perchance to Dream
Last night, I had a dream that was essentially a short episode of Ugly Betty. Thanks for the cheerleading, PTI's Mike Wilbon, your persistance is what convinced me to give Betty a try. Ugly Betty is ever so much fun, edging out USA's Psych to be the best new show of the '06-'07 season, and satisfying and entertaining in ways the ponderous, self-possessed, and perpetually disappointing Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip should be but isn't. Be Ugly in '07: uglink.

Dreams! Woot! Now to dream of revenging myself on that cursed groundhog....

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Hat Day!
The Mountain wore his weird black hat that we agreed can best be described as sort of like Mushmouth's hat in that it descends far below the forehead and has a slit for the wearer's eyes. I harkened back to the very first Hat Day and wore my Pith helmet, the hat of choice of The Psychotic Mouseketeer's dread foe Pith Helmut. I love Hat Day!

BTW South Song of the Day
Blues Traveler, "Hook" from Four (T.L.A.M.)