Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy Birthday!
Happy birthday to my mom, The Worrywart! I've always told her how lucky she is so many people around the world brave the elements and pour out into the cold to celebrate her birthday; she insists that they are instead celebrating New Year's Eve, but I've tired my best to disabuse her of that silly notion. Happy birthday, Mom!

Also, Happy New Year, one and all! Everything's going to be great in '08!

The Explorers Club
No. LVIII - The Jamestown Colony, founded in 1607, the first English settlement in the New World.

I would never have forgiven myself had I allowed 2007 to pass without in some small way marking the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown. Without Jamestown, there would be no United States of America, and without America what hope would exist for this world of woe and wonder? Odd to think that the fate of the world entire turned on the fortunes of Captain John Smith, John Rolfe, and a handful of Englishmen who came to this "Virginia" because of their lust for gold. History is a funny thing.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Holiday
John Williams & the London Symphony Orchestra, "The Battle in the Snow" from Star Wars Trilogy: The Original Soundtrack Anthology, Disc 2: The Empire Strikes Back (T.L.A.M.)


Need I say more?

Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Real Can of Yams, "Christmas Should Be Lasting All Year Long" (live) performed and recorded on 30 Dezember 2002 (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: Five years ago to the day. The previous rendition of "Christmas Should Be Lasting All Year Long," chosen last Sonntag, was from 30 Dezember 2004, two years after today's Song of the Day.

"Christmas Should Be Lasting All Year Long" is also notable for the lyrics of the chorus, which are the more correct "Christmas should last all year long."

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Those fiends at F.S.N. broadcast three of this weekend's four G.L.I. games, all but the final between Michigan and Michigan Tech, the tournament's co-hosts. This is an outrage! So, I was not able to divide my time between Penn State's triumph over Texas A&M in the Alamo Bowl and the valiant Wolverine's overtime win over the technological Huskies at ye olde Joe Louis Arena. Still, all was right with the world as the Big Ten prevailed over the Big XII and the C.C.H.A. prevailed over the W.C.H.A.

In two days of play at the Great Lakes Invitational:
Goals scored by Michigan: 7
Goals allowed by Michigan: 0

Go Blue! No. 1 in the country and once again kings of the G.L.I. at the J.L.A.!

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Duvall, "Go Tell It On the Mountain" from O Holy Night (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: I have loved this month's Christmas/winter/snow theme, but I'd be lying if I said I was not looking forward to getting back to the normal, out-of-left-field Songs of the Day. This commentary was not meant to cast any aspersions upon Duvall. Duvall is rad, and I love "Go Tell It On the Mountain" and O Holy Night.

Fountains of Wayne, "All Kinds of Time" from Welcome Interstate Managers (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: For Tom Brady, a Michigan man, on the occasion of this season's sixteenth victory, and also for Anthony Morelli, who threw a stunningly beautiful twenty-two-yard pass on a third-and-twenty when the militant Aggies rushed a meager two men, affording the oft-woeful lad all kinds of time.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Never mind, there's to be no C.C.H.A. blood feud at the G.L.I. What a grand evening! First, the dastardly Spartans bumble their way to defeat at the hands of the chumpish Boston College Eagles in the Champs Sports Bowl(s), and then they were routed by Michigan Tech at the Great Lakes Invitational! "Victory for M.S.U."? Not tonight, you cretinous goons!

Tomorrow we reclaim our rightful G.L.I. crown! Bring on the Huskies! Go Blue!
There are too many games to watch tomorrow night: Michigan in the G.L.I. final, Penn State against Texas A&M in the Alamo Bowl, Tom Brady and the Patriots' bid for perfection. I suppose the Golden Boy will have to fend for himself; I'll check in on the N.F.L. from time to time, but the majority of my time will be split between Big Ten action in the Alamodome and a C.C.H.A. blood feud at the Joe (presuming the dastardly Spartans prevail over Michigan Tech in the first round).

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Leon Redbone, "Christmas Island" from Elf: Music From the Major Motion Picture (T.L.A.M.)

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Better late than never...

The Explorers Club
No. LVII - The Nordic cross.





Damn Dirty Neutral Sweden


The Most Wonderful Time of the Year
Sweet mercy, last night's Purdue-Central Michigan game (the Motor City Bowl) was fun! Made ever more so by the histrionics (just short of gnashing of teeth and rending of clothes) of my father, an alumnus of both schools: Purdue is his alma mater, but years later, while still working full-time, he got his master's degree through C.M.U.'s night school program. I sense another defeat-laden bowl season for the glorious Big Ten, but by Jove if we go down we'll go down swinging!

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, "Go Tell It On the Mountain" via iTunes (Doctor Hee Haw)

Commentary: Doc Hee Haw should never be confused with the Second World War traitor Lord Haw Haw.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Barenaked Ladies with Sarah McLachlan, "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/We Three Kings" from Barenaked for the Holidays (T.L.A.M.)

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas! God bless us, every one!

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Holiday
Brian d'Arcy James, "Michigan Christmas" via iTunes (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: I discovered this song in the immediate aftermath of my Texile; for the rest of my days, it will be infused with massively powerful emotions, paramount among them a deep and abiding appreciation for that odd mixture of comfort, safety, and immense well-being we commonly describe as "home."

"The Dude abides."

Monday, December 24, 2007

Through no design of my own, the result of naught but happenstance, today I am wearing my polar bear boxer shorts and the next pair in the rotation, for Christmas Day itself, are the snow flake boxers. I have no Christmas specific boxers; so, these are the closest equivalents. Festive!

Merry Christmas!

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Holiday
Dance Hall Crashers, "North Pole" from The Old Record (1989-1992) (T.L.A.M.)

Sonntag, 23 Dezember
Real Can of Yams, "Christmas Should Be Lasting All Year Long" (live) performed and recorded on 30 Dezember 2004 (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: R.C.Y.'s cover of the old Murky Transport Disaster standard, from our latest, but most assuredly not last, show.

"Christmas = happiness."

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Mu330, "Three Days 'til Christmas" from Winter Wonderland (T.L.A.M.)


"Just two more days 'til Christmas,
I still haven't seen a package,
One that stands about 5'5",
With little air holes in the sides.
I'd run downstairs and open it up
Before anyone was even up.
I would throw the wrapping to the side
And you'd the standing there all smiles."

Codename: PANDORA isn't 5'5", but she'd need a couples inches of overhead clearance, right? Just to be comfortable on the long voyage from old New Amsterdam.

The Victors
I watched the lion's share of today's Michigan-U.C.L.A. basketball game in astonishing H.D. I'm disappointed that we lost, but not devastated; sad, but true, after being terrible for long enough, you get plenty used to it, comfortable even. And I am buoyed by the thrill of our halftime lead: 27-24. We've mastered Beilein-ball for twenty minutes, now we just need to learn to play it for the full forty. Baby-steppin' our way back to respectability, mayhap even glory. Go Blue!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Ricky Fitness
This morning, I made the decision to skip today's exercise, citing fatigue. It was a done deal, signed, sealed, and delivered. Then, a gruff voice from the back of my head bellowed, "Get your fat ass to the gym! You're going, and you're going to run your ass off." And so my fat ass went to the gym, and I pushed myself during today's run and increased each and every weight during today's lifting. And I loved every second of the exquisite agony. Jumpin' Jack Pratt, I love those S.K.P. Machine moments!

Self-loathing is the key to self-improvement. To paraphrase Dr. Cox, the moment you're satisfied with your body, it's all over.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Duvall, "Joy to the World" from O Holy Night (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: I believe this to be the season's first instrumental.
Man, I can't wait to see Juno. If the film is even half as good as I infer from the previews, Michael Cera's presence on a project will be very nearly enough to bank on the ensuing quality. That kid is a comedic genius!

Project TROIKA
I am endeavoring to keep my eyes on the prize, but my random word generating muse refuses to play ball. I respect her tenacity.

The Clockwork Doom
The Man Who Made War on the Sun

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year
I am nearly always glad that there is not a television in my bedroom, but at this precise moment I wish I could have the Utah-Navy game (the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl) on in the background. Once finished here, I shall get back to it post haste. What do I care about the United States Naval Academy playing the University of Utah? Not a blasted thing, but these are the waning days of that most halcyon age, the college football season. Short of shirking familial or religious duties, it is vital to watch as much college football as possible between now and the B.C.S. Bullshit Bowl in mid-March (a slight exaggeration), to feast before the merciless famine that shall reign until the Fall.

Also, Lloyd Carr shall finish his illustrious career with a stunning triumph over the wretched Urban Meyer and his verdammt Wunderkind Tim Tebow. Victory shall be ours! Go Blue!

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the day
Mu330, "This Year More Than Ever" from Winter Wonderland (T.L.A.M.)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Seoul Man
South Korea joins Germany, Canada, and France on the list of stable democracies that have replaced center-left governments than were intransigently hostile to the United States (at least as long as President Bush remains in office) with center-right governments more interested in patching up bilateral relations with the benevolent American behemoth; to this I say, Huzzah! (Of course, Australia has recently gone in the exact opposite direction, but, you know, win some, lose some. In geopolitics, you've got to play the long game and not lose your head over developments in the immediate present, either for good or for ill.) The next president of the Republic of Korea: To paraphrase Mu330, "R.O.K.! R.O.K.! R.O.K.!"

I had a South Korean co-worker back in Ann Arbor whose jaw dropped to the floor when he learned that I knew the Korean War had been fought between June 1950 and August 1953. For that one moment at least, the stereotype of the ignorant Ugly American was dispelled. Good on me.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
The Chinkees, "Christmas" from Peace Through Music (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: A clichéd plea, but one well worth repeating: this holiday season, please try to remember those less fortune that you and your kith and kin.

"Sometimes Christmas isn't like T.V.
Some kids got no presents under their tree.
They're plates are empty,
They've nothing to eat.
Holidays just remind them what they haven't got.

That's why now sometimes Christmas hurts...."
"What do you want for nothin'? Rrrrrrrrubber biscuit!"

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Seven Days 'til Christmas!
I suggest blind, stinking, run-around-with-your-pants-around-your-ankles panic.

I had such plans for this evening, such aspirations of productivity, but gave myself over to the enticements of the Science Channel. Bog, what a spectacular idea! I have a lot of catching up to do, but I consider the time well spent.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Eartha Kitt, "Santa Baby" from Elf: Music From the Major Motion Picture (T.L.A.M.)

Monday, December 17, 2007

When I checked my email a moment ago, I found two new messages: a "Save the Date!" message from my sister, The L.A.W., replete with a hyperlink to her and The Maine Man's wedding webpage, and a notification from Netflix that Red Dawn had shipped and was on its merry way to me. There is something about that pairing that I find greatly pleasing.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, "Hava Nagila (Christmas Arrangement)" from Ruin Jonny's Bar Mitzvah (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: Set to the tune of José Feliciano's "Feliz Navidad," including the chorus, "I wanna wish you a Rosh Hashanah / I wanna wish you a Rosh Hashanah / I wanna wish you a Rosh Hashanah from the bottom of my heart!" Ruin Jonny's Bar Mitzvah is a live album recorded at the actual Bar Mitzvah of a kid - sorry, technically a man - named Jonny. On the album, "Hava Nagila (Christmas Arrangement)" is preceded by a more Gimme-style, punked out rendition of the traditional "Hava Nagila."

"Hava Nagila (Christmas Arrangement)" takes up only about one minute fifteen seconds of a nearly thirteen-minute-long track; the rest is silence, crowd sounds, a delightfully ridiculous French-English hybrid rendition of "Seasons in the Sun" (covered on the Gimme Gimmes' album
Have a Ball) by Jonny's uncle, Roger, and Jonny himself playing drums - quite well for a thirteen-year-old - on "Sloop John B" (from the album Blow In the Wind). Best. Bar Mitzvah. Ever.

If you have the means, I strongly advise that you engage the services of Me First and the Gimme Gimmes for all of your wedding receptions and other important functions.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Explorers Club
No. LVI - Timur "the Lame" (1336-1405), immortalized as the fearsome Tamerlane, indelibly imprinted on the Western imagination through such works as, among others, Kit Marlowe's two-part Tamburlaine and Edgar Allen Poe's "Tamerlane."

Say what you will about Kathmandu, Timbuktu, or the fabled Xanadu, for my money there is no place (more specifically, the idea of the place) more exotic or intoxicating than Samarkand.


Ricky Fitness
I did not fulfill my ambitions of running and lifting today, though I remain committed to eventually exercising on the weekends. Someday. However, I did get some cardio and weight training in thanks to six inches of snow and the enormous driveway I like to call Wilson Field. On that note...

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Lena Horne, "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!" from Elf: Music From the Major Motion Picture (T.L.A.M.)

Saturday, December 15, 2007

The most interesting tidbit here, President Petraeus? Webblink.
I've blundered enormously! For years, I have referenced my Blues Brothers-style hat as a "porkpie." 'Tis not so! The true porkpie has a flat top, whereas the Blues Brothers and we imitators sport a hat that looks for all the world like a fedora, but with a far smaller brim. This hat is in fact called a Trilby, after the novel Trilby, which also introduced into the English language the word "Svengali." I own and occasionally don a Trilby, not a porkpie. Please forgive the egregious and oft-repeated error, 'twas entirely unintentional.

Sweet fancy Moses, I love wearing my Trilby!

The Endurance
Who know what goes well with my Trilby? My imperial, also called a soul patch, which sadly I have not sported for over a year now. The Trilby and the imperial go together like gangbusters! The lone upshot is that Codename: PANDORA endorses the imperial's absence. Of course, this drives the mischievous contrarian in me to yearn all the more for its return....

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Mu330, "Christmas Merry Christmas" from Winter Wonderland (T.L.A.M.)

Friday, December 14, 2007

Locate your local comic book purveyor. Sojourn to said purveyor's shop. Purchase Lobster Johnson: The Iron Prometheus No. 4. Read the issue; you'll be confused unless you've read Nos. 1-3, but entertained and possibly even intrigued. Examine closely the "Hellmail" page following the featured story. It will be worth your while.

* * * * *

Here's an impossible question, Which is the superior British comedy director-actor duo, Ricky Gervais & Stephen Merchant (The Office and Extras) or Simon Pegg & Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz)? All this and Doctor Who? This is a damn good time to be an Anglophile.

Lousy Redcoats.

In a lovely confab with Codename: PANDORA, we were discussing her spectacles and she mentioned that she knows several people who wear spectacles with plain glass plates instead of lenses. They don't need corrective lenses, they're just a fashion statement. She took umbrage, and cited the wheelchair example: people think it is okay to wear eyeglasses even if they aren't required, but how would you look if you rolled around in a wheelchair because of simple sloth? The very next day, I trekked to good ol' McFarlen Library to reserve a copy of Beowulf, the contemporary Seamus Heaney translation. (I have not seen the animated film Beowulf, but I hear it is a travesty, yet one more reason to hate Neil Gaiman.) Leaving, I was proceeded through the exit by a gentleman in a wheelchair, zipping along with great celerity toward his car. What are the odds, the very day after The Sardine's delightful rant? How often do I find myself pondering wheelchairs? I'll have to maneuver her into conversing about mermaids and then spend the next day skulking about the vicinity of Thread Creek. A long shot, but you never know.

Baseball Sucks
This Mitchell Report brouhaha is my favorite baseball story since the strike. Bog, how I enjoyed the strike. In conclusion, baseball sucks.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Bob & Doug McKenzie, "Twelve Days of Christmas" from Great White North (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: Take off, you hosers.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Ricky Fitness: Catchall
Patronizing the gym first thing in the morning rots, but it is preferable to the afternoon/evening-after work option, which consists of me saying to myself, Ugh, not today, I'm too tired, but I'll go tomorrow. And repeat.

Need a shady way to feel better about yourself? Use an upper body machine directly after a thin women. You'll believe yourself to be some kind of Herculean he-man when you're lifting five or six times more weight than her.

The gym is just like the real world: hot girls stick together, ordinary girls do the same, and never the twain shall meet. Hot girls only talk to muscular guys. Muscular guys scoff at fat guys. Same as always.

There is a biddy who gives me the stink eye each time I look up after finishing a set. I have a feeling that were I ever to talk to her she'd by like the old bag to whom Ed Robertson dedicates "If I Had $1,000,000" on Rock Spectacle. Lady, what have I ever done to you? In what way have I wronged you? Too fat to share your exclusive rec facility? Hate my tattoo? Lousy crone.

Tuesday of last week, I saw the most amazing girl. She looked like Wonder Woman, only blonde. Not too thin like so many, but without a trace of pudge; she was obviously very powerful, but still conformed to an impossible feminine ideal. The crone is omnipresent, but Wonder Woman I saw but the once.

Dark Bastard Dinner Theatre
The next couple days will be high times for the dark bastard. I shan't be in the emotional doldrums, it's simply that the time has come to pay the Danegeld. The dark bastard is vicious and cunning, but ultimately lazy. He stands for nothing himself, he is entirely oppositional. I could fight the dark bastard and assuredly force him back into his chambers, but he'd eventually find an exit and strike at the mosy disadvantageous time. This way, vent is given to his fury at the cost of the least damage possible. It is an imperfect solution, but not without some degree of elegance.

The time 'round, he is haranguing me for my insufficient knowledge of medieval pilgrimage customs. And he's right, I don't know as much as I should about reliquaries and veneration sites, about saints' bones and the man miracles ascribed to their holy power. And now he's lambasting me for blogging about this instead of pouring over dusty volumes for information about Rheims and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. And he does have a point, I am unacceptably ignorant on a whole range of issues across an impossibly board range of subjects.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Fountains of Wayne, "Valley Winter Song" from Welcome Interstate Managers (T.L.A.M.)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Kokomo Kids
My sincerest congratulations to Daddy Dylweed and his lovely bride Mrs. Dylweed on the occasion of the birth of their third son, Dylweedling K! My sympathies also to K's directly elder brother, Dylweedling Z, who has now been devoted from the baby of the family to the weird middle kid. Bets of luck, Z, from one middle kid to another. Back on topic, welcome to the world, Dylweedling K! We find ourselves surrounded by nearly endless splendor, by wonder and woes beyond imagining, of transcendent joy and exquisite pain. Count yourself lucky, K, you hit with jackpot with your parents; Daddy and Mommy Dylweed are spectacular, and I know your brothers will also look out for you as you grow into resplendent manhood.

This is just astounding. Look at what they've done! Dylweed and wife have brought into the world three new lives. I know people have kids every minute of every day, but it's different when you've known one of the parents since middle school. Dylweed is somebody's day. Three somebodies' dad. I am in awe of the responsibility he has shouldered and the manner with which he's borne it.

My love and best wishes to the Dylweeds and their ever-growing brood of Dylweedlings.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Duvall, "Away in the Manger" from O Holy Night (T.L.A.M.)

Mayhap the rings of Saturn are not so youthful and sprightly as we'd believed: ringlink. Clearly, further observations must be taken, using up-to-the-minute tools and techniques and a vast new celestial armada of mechanical minions. On that subject, well done, little Cassini space probe, you've earned the gratitude of your distant human masters.

The War for Civilization
Another assassination in the land of milk and honey, this time of a high-ranking army officer: Lebanon. Also, for God's sake, didn't the people of Algeria suffer enough during the '90s? Algeria.

I sometimes wonder if I lean too-heavily on hyperlinks. I think I mostly post hyperlinks of substance, not Rod Serling's bane, dancing rabbits hawking toilet paper, and I always prefer to provide my own brief commentary; so, I think I'm in the clear. But it is a source of ongoing concern. Hmmm, does The Secret base need an ombudsman? Also, would that position be as much of a paper tiger as the ombudsmen at the major newspapers?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I agree with Jasper, "What a time to be alive!"

Programming note: as soon as I make the time, I shall regale you with the tale of my parents' new plasma television and my time as "The Vitruvian Man." Oddly enough, those two seemingly disparate items are joined at the hip. Stay tuned.

The best vanity plate I saw today: BRAND X.

Project TROIKA
This evening, K. Steeze and I had a long discussion via instant messaging. This project continues to be fascinating on two distinct levels. The first is Project TROIKA itself. We are coming up with a heck of a yarn, and settling into a nice pattern where I propose a series of ideas, Steeze critiques them, and then he comes back with a whole new set of ideas derived from mine; we are having a sort of arms race of ideas, with each forcing the other to defend his positions, thus resulting in an ever better, more logical, more entertaining story. It's a pleasure and a treat, even though I must constantly remind myself when he is approaching a plot point from another angle that No, in fact, he doesn't know what I'm thinking, not unless I tell him.

The second is the paramount nature of Project TROIKA. Anyone paying even the slightest attention will have divined that I had a rambling, flighty magpie of a mind, always jumping from one notion to the next, forever flitting from place to place to place. Already, I have had an idea for a sequel to Project TROIKA, even before we devise the ending. I have also been tempted to revamp a long dormant idea, A World On Fire, my stab at creating an anime. Yet the screws have been able to wrangle both ideas back into their cells, leaving Project TROIKA alone the apple of my imagination's eye. I've not forsworn my other darlings, I can occasionally flirt with A World On Fire or Polis or Antæus, but my eyes remain firmly affixed on the prize: Project TROIKA.

Of course, before I dislocate my shoulder patting myself on the back, I must remember that I've not done this on my own. How was I able to focus back in my school days? The threat of teachers and later professors. Left to my own devices, we go back to being a gypsy inside my own head. It is my responsibilities to K. Steeze and The Professor that are keeping me from my usual tangents. Still, they are, and I think we've really got something cooking here.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Spike Jones & His City Slickers, "All I Want for Christmas (Is My Two Front Teeth)" from The Spike Jones Anthology (T.L.A.M.)

Montag, 10 Dezember
Jackson 5, "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" via iTunes (T.L.A.M.)
We're all going to be X-Men? Mutationlink.

M2K4... 5... 6... 7...
Sweet fancy Moses, look what Spirit's discovered now: silicalink! I love those plucky little robots! Whenever the long night comes, the names Spirit and Opportunity will be honored in the annals of early human spaceflight; they may be robots, but so very many of us live vicariously through them.


Monday, December 10, 2007

A day behind schedule, made all the more odd as this is one of the first ideas I had for The Explorers Club in the Fall of '06.

The Explorers Club
No. LV - Spacecraft of the Romulan Star Empire (22nd Century-24th Century) in the fictional Star Trek universe.

The Stars My Destination
Atlantis... denied! Great in '08. S.T.S.-122 has been postponed due to a consistently malfunctioning fuel sensor. Verdammt sensor!

This is just a minor pause, though, and there is still plenty of nerdy goodness coming out of N.A.S.A. thanks to the Desert R.A.T.S.* and the next generation Orion spacecraft.

*Three cheers for Field Marshal Sir Bernard Law Montgomery's "Desert Rats" for beating the snot out of Erwin Rommel's vaunted Afrika Korps during the Second World War. Hip hip! Hooray! Hip hip! Hooray! Hip hip! Hooray!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Happy Birthday!
Happiest of birthday wishes to The L.A.W.! This is her last birthday as a single girl, for by this time next year she'll be one lucky beggar's old ball and chain. I hope 'twas a grand day, sister of mine, and fondest hopes for many happy returns. Happy birthday!

Among other delights this weekend, I watched the first of four direct-to-D.V.D. movies, Futurama: Bender's Big Score! "It Just Won't Stay Dead!"

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Katiä & Scott, "Christmastime" from the Katiä & Scott E.P. (T.L.A.M.)

Saturday, December 8, 2007

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Mu330, "December" from Winter Wonderland (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: My personal belief is that the cold is something to be embraced, not fought, but it's still a damned good song.

Freitag, 7 Dezember
"Weird Al" Yankovic, "The Night Santa Went Crazy" from Bad Hair Day (T.L.A.M.)

The Stars My Destination
Okay, third time's the charm: S.T.S.-122, Mark III.

Friday, December 7, 2007


This is Pearl Harbor Day, and President Roosevelt was right, 7 December 1941 - sixty-six years ago to the day - is a date that has continued to live in infamy, the date that air and naval forces of the Empire of Japan doomed their nation and their cause by provoking the wrath of the United States of America. We Americans are by nature of true believers and idealists, which makes us uniquely dangerous, because true believers and idealists know little restraint in the service of their greater good. It seems clear the Japanese, neither the command elites nor the common people, knew the doom they were calling down upon themselves.

And not to draw an inappropriate parallel, but the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor bears a resemblance to the betrayal by Judas, an act of gravest perfidy necessary to summon a greater act of justice. Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan were evil incarnate, one need look no further than their respectively treatment of European Jewry and the Koreans to know this, and both regimes might yet hold dominion over vast swaths of the earth had it not been for America's entrance into the Second World War. But do not surrender to the temptation of misty fatalism; none of it was "meant to be" and thus moral in the grander scheme of things. Think of the dead from the U.S.S. Arizona and her "Battleship Row" sisters and you'll never again doubt Pearl Harbor's infamy.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

The Stars My Destination
Okay, so Thor's Day was a bust and Freya's Day (or Frigg's Day) - tomorrow, in either etymology - is out; we'll just have to wait until Saturn's Day to "rend the heavens and claim as our own the celestial domain of the old heathen gods" yadda yadda yadda: S.T.S.-122, sooner or later.

Yes, the same old heathen gods after whom the days of our week are named.

Project TROIKA
I have commissioned from The Watergirl a sketch of the male protagonist of Project TROIKA. If all goes as well, I should like to commission additional works of staggering genius, beginning with the female protagonist and the (to date) principal antagonist, and then continuing with other characters as they are realized and their roles in the story are defined. Project TROIKA is a nascent novel, not a comic book or motion picture, but I am predominantly visual. I start with pictures before my mind's eye and these gradually spawn words for the printed page.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Steppenwolf, "Snowblind Friend" from 16 Greatest Hits (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: The "snow" in this song is blow, not actual snow, but the word snow is featured in the title and, dammit, I'm bringing some variety to the Dezember theme month! Don't worry your pretty little heads, there will be plenty enough Christmas cheer and winter's fury for all before we're through.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Zooey Deschanel Appreciation Day
The enchanting Ms. Deschanel has been haunting the corridors of my mind of late due to the three-night, six-hour miniseries Tin Man, in which she portrayed D.G., an analog of L. Frank Baum's original heroine Dorothy Gale, and U.S.A.'s repeated concurrent screenings of the instant holiday classic Elf.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Zooey Deschanel & Leon Redbone, "Baby, It's Cold Outside" from Elf: Music from the Major Motion Picture (T.L.A.M.)
The Stars My Destination
On Thor's Day, we once again rend the heavens and claim as our own the celestial domain of the old heathen gods: S.T.S.-122. Godspeed, Atlantis.

DC Comics has ruined completely the word "countdown," but they cannot touch the majesty of the principle of a diminishing ticking clock.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
The Bird and the Bee, "Carol of the Bells" via iTunes, Single of the Week (T.L.A.M.)

Monday, December 3, 2007

Knife Fight in Caracas!
Even though F.D.R. did a mostly laudable job as President of the United States (with the damnable exception of gift-wrapping the whole of Eastern Europe for Josef Stalin), the Twenty-second Amendment was ratified less than six years after his demise. Hugo Chavez, friends, is no F.D.R.; so, my heart soared upon learning the Venezuelan people rejected Chavez's naked grab for life-long power: El Jefelink.

The Great White North
Egads, who doesn't get along with the Canadians? They are a nation dedicated to being as inoffensive as possible, even at the cost of being, with the brilliant exception of hockey, just about the most boring people on Earth: Persialink.

The Body of Chinese Gordon
As I remarked to a colleague last week, every time I try to fend off the sad tide of anti-Islamic hysteria and anti-Muslim bigotry, something like this or the Danish cartoon lunacy comes along: Teddy bearlink. The Cross and the Crescent were mortal foes for a millennium, but it doesn't have to be that way anymore. We can live together in peace! Idiocy like this is intensely unhelpful. It was just the name of a teddy bear, you hair-trigger buffoons!

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Student Rick, "In the Cold" from Soundtrack for a Generation (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: Let the earth be smothered beneath a flawless white oblivion. Let the Accursed Sun be cloaked by an endless gray ceiling. Let there be pitiless ice and a merciless wind that chills to the bone. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

"The cruel, hot Summer
Led into the long, hard Fall
Becoming the dark, killing Winter
Until Spring replenished us all."

Welcome to the dark, killing Winter.

Sunday, December 2, 2007


The Explorers Club
No. LIV - The terrorist bombing of the Grand Hotel in Brighton, England, the United Kingdom - an attempted assassination of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher - by the Provisional Irish Republican Army on 12 October 1984.

The Victors: The Undiscovered Country
I rarely find myself in agreement with Mitch Albom, but even a broken clock is right twice a day: good riddance to bad rubbishlink.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Green Day, "Church on Sunday" from Warning (T.L.A.M.)

Samstag, 1 Dezember
They Might Be Giants, "Snowball in Hell" from Then: The Earlier Years (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: For twenty-four hours, the television screamed at us, spewing forth dire predictions of snowy doom and an icy demise. In the end, blades of grass poked up through the less than an inch of snow. The drive to Mass was free of black ice, though I had joked with my mom, "If you die on the way to Mass, that makes you a martyr, right? Saint Michael, I like the sound of that."

"Like Saint Michael the Archangel," she said with a smile.

"Way better than that guy."

Foul weather preparedness is one thing, but this was inexcusable fear-mongering. In the words of T.M.B.G., "If it wasn't for disappointment, I wouldn't have any appointments."

Freitag, 30 November
Steppenwulf, "Born to be Wild" from 16 Greatest Hits (T.L.A.M.)

Saturday, December 1, 2007

The Stars My Destination 5.0 is awesome: per aspera ad astra!


The Victors
Ooo, has also been given a pretty sweet makeover: Go Blue!