Thursday, May 28, 2009

Objective ZED ALPHA
Twenty-fours hours 'til I face the three questions: "What is your name? What is your quest! What… is your favourite colour?"

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Believe: Going to Overtime Time
End of regulation: Red Wings 1-1 Blackhawks
Best of seven: Detroit 3-1 Chicago

Well, this is a nerve-raking experience I could have done without. Yes, a nice blowout (by Detroit, preferably) would have suited me just fine, especially considering I'll be in the Windy City for Objective ZED ALPHA.
Objective ZED ALPHA
Forty-eight hours to glory.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Dan Potthast, "Where's Teddy?" from Eyeballs (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: There he is. He'll get to meet his Uncle Mike on Saturday, if all goes to plan.

Victory in Game 5? Aye, laddies, aye. The Blackhawks will be desperate, like a cornered animal, but I believe their desperation will avail them little against the determination of the Red Wings. Nothing is decided yet, but the Detroit Red Wings against the Pittsburgh Penguins for Lord Stanley's Cup? It's déjà vu all over again.


The 38th Parallel
And exactly what "tough measures" will the D.P.R.K. face for its recent atomic detonation and rocket launches? They will suffer the wrath of (dramatic pause) a mildly worded scolding! Eventually… someday… maybe… after "some time." The world's paper tiger response isn't President Obama's fault, though, events are following the post-Cold War pattern established under President Clinton and repeated under President Bush. Step one: the D.P.R.K. rattles its saber and throws a temper tantrum to garner the world's attention. Step two: we bribe them to come back to the negotiating table. Step three: they agree to (once again) suspend their nuclear program in exchange for massive additional bribes. Step four: the West grows suspicious because even though the bribes have been supplied, keeping the North Korean state afloat, there seems to be precious little action being taken to deliver on the North's promises. Step five: the North Koreans become incensed that the world dares to doubt their honorable intentions. Step six: Pyongyang breaks off negotiations. Rinse and repeat.

Change we can believe in? Sorry, Mr. President, it'll take more than your considerable charisma to change this sorry and all too predictable sequence of events, a vicious circle that leaves the people of the D.P.R.K. suffering under a dictatorship that would have to be dismissed as too absurd to exist were it not so horribly, horribly real. Geopolitics is fun!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Scroll down to Saturday for complete coverage of Narwhal Day!

'Tis Memorial Day, the day we honor our glorious dead, those who died fighting for liberty against tyranny, those who made the ultimate sacrifice for these United States of America. Though I thank all of our living veterans, all those who survived the wars and returned to find home and hearth waiting for them, this day is not for them; we honor them on the 11th of November, Veterans Day/Armistice Day. This is day to remember their comrades who never came home. And this day does not commemorate, has never commemorated, those who died fighting to destroy this Great Republic, those traitors who served the hideous and sinister purpose of the Confederacy.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of Memorial Day
Jay Ungar, et al., "Ashokan Farewell" from The Civil War: Original Soundtrack Recording (T.L.A.M.)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Believe: Red Wings 6-1 Blackhawks
Eleven down, five to go. Best of seven: Detroit 3-1 Chicago.

To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, right makes might.


This Week in Motorsport
The Grand Prix of Monaco was incredible. I cannot wait until I see it in person, it is hoped as part of a glorious European tour in which I also take in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In a fortnight, the Turkish Grand Prix; in a month, the British Grand Prix… from Silverstone!

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Elvis Costello, "Veronica" from Spike (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: Why is it I wish to perish at sixty years of age? Because I refuse to suffer the titular Veronica's fate.
2nd Intermission: Red Wings 5-1 Blackhawks
Best of seven: Detroit 2-1 Chicago

If we could somehow make every game of the playoffs Game 4, Hossa would have more goals than even Franzen. If it's Tuesday, this must be Belgium, and if it's Game 4, that goal must have been Hossa's.

1st Intermission: Red Wings 2-0 Blackhawks
Best of seven: Detroit 2-1 Chicago

It's game four, which means it's time for Marian Hossa to score two goals. He scored twice in the fourth game against the Columbus Blue Jackets and twice in the fourth game against the no-longer-mighty Anaheim Ducks. The fourth game against the Chicago Blackhawks? One down, one to go. Shorthanded = awesome.

No Lidstrom? But… the captain's like a Terminator, albeit Swedish instead of Austrian-American: he doesn't tire, he doesn't rest, he doesn't stop. All he does is wear down opposing forwards and score goals by the bunch on the power play. Can we still contain the feisty young 'Hawks without the best defenseman in the N.H.L.? I believe we can. Go Wings!


This Week in Motorsport
The Indianapolis 500 is turning out to be a bust. "The Greatest Spectacle in Motorsport"? It's nothing but caution after caution after caution, interspersed with radio transmissions of Danica Patrick's whining from way back in the field. So far, IndyCar can't hold a candle to the excitement of Formula One. Later this afternoon: a replay of the Grand Prix of Monaco. Woot!

The Stars My Destination
Welcome home, Atlantis, a grateful world thanks you for preserving and repairing the Hubble Space Telescope. California dreamin': and

Saturday, May 23, 2009

narwhal (Monodon monoceros)

Happy Narwhal Day! Though the heat of the day marks this as truly the beginning of summer and seems very far removed from the frigid Arctic haunts of the narwhal, I know that on this day of days all our hearts are fairly bursting with sympathy for this bizarre behemoth of the deep. And on such a day who wouldn't want to make the very most of this Narwhal Day by celebrating in boisterous narwhal style? There are three components to the proper observance of Narwhal Day.

Protocol the first: wear an article of clothing gray in color. This need not to an observable piece of outerwear, unmentionables suffice, but in the true spirit of the day the displayed gray should be as public as possible.

Protocol the second: listen to "Sympathy for the Narwhal" by D.J. Seaghost, friend and ally of The Aquabats!

Protocol the third: recite "The Oath of Narwhal Day." This is the gravest of the rigors of Narwhal Day, for the tenets of the Oath are not to be entered into lightly, nor in jest. The Oath is an absurd and sacred trust, and those whose hearts are false will surely fall afoul of the ire of the narwhal.

The Oath of Narwhal Day
The narwhal is a noble, pitiable creature,
A magnificent, monstrous visage.
An asymmetrical tooth for a horn,
Or sometimes two, or sometimes none,
Half again as long as the beast.

I swear my sympathy for the narwhal.
I will not lie and convince it all is well,
But I will be a friend to the narwhal.
The mocking dolphins and snobby manatees
Will get their well-earned comeuppance,
And the narwhal will frolic all day.

I dream this dream of the narwhal
And celebrate it in all its improbably, oddball glory,
On this the ninth Narwhal Day.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of Narwhal Day
D.J. Seaghost, "Sympathy for the Narwhal" from Rice Capades (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: "All I can get is static… variations on a central musical rhythm."

I presently have the white seal impaled upon my Avenging Narwhal action figure, outfitted with the red tusk to suggest the presence of blood.

The Wayback Machinelink Tour of Narwhal Day
And now a tradition that dates back to the eighth Narwhal Day.

Narwhal Day '08

Narwhal Day '07

Narwhal Day '06

Narwhal Day '05

Narwhal Day '04

Narwhal Day '03

Happy Narwhal Day!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Believe: Corruption & Shenanigans
1st Period: Blackhawks 2-0 Red Wings
Best of seven: Detroit 2-0 Chicago

This is an outrage! For what possible reason was Kronwall given a game misconduct? For those of you not familiar with the rules of the game, a game misconduct penalty "involves the suspension of a player for the balance of the game," i.e., the player is ejected. The hit Detroit's Niklas Kronwall laid on Chicago's Martin Havlat was brutal, but completely clean and well within the N.H.L.'s rules. There is no justification for the zebras' decision to give Kronwall a game misconduct. If Gary Bettman had an ounce of integrity, he'd see to it that this officiating crew is barred from overseeing any other games in this year's Stanley Cup Playoffs, i.e., denied the chance to throw any other games in favor of one or another side. Of course, we all know that Gary Bettman doesn't have an ounce of integrity.

I cannot be a party to this farce and I refuse to watch anymore. I'll try again on Sunday, and I'll monitor the interweb to see if the league takes any disciplinary action against tonight's referees, though I sincerely doubt anything of the sort will happen. If this naked corruption of the game persists, I will be unable to continue as a fan of professional ice hockey, no matter much much affection I have now and will always have for the Detroit Red Wings. This is a disgrace. For shame!
Narwhal's Eve
Make haste! Make haste! Tomorrow is Narwhal Day! Today, I'm wearing my gray T-shirt bearing the image of a gargantuan narwhal with an Inuit, a polar bear, and a seal impaled upon its mighty tusk; tomorrow, I'll wear the original gray "NARWHAL" T-shirt; and then Sunday the blue T-shirt with the image of a large narwhal silhouette composed of lots of smaller narwhal silhouettes. Narwhal!

Can you feel the sympathy?

Objective ZED ALPHA
I looked at my watch this morning at 11:30 a.m. and the thought flashed through my mind, "In exactly one week's time, I'll be at my tripartite Jeopardy! audition." Bog, I hope next Friday finds me at my best.

The Rebel Black Dot Songs of the Day
Haberdashery, "The Narwhal Suite" via iTunes (T.L.A.M.)

Donnerstag, 21 Mai
MxPx, "Top of the Charts" from Secret Weapon (T.L.A.M.)


"They said we need to kick it harder,
They said, 'Rewrite the lyrics smarter,
'We can't quite smell platinum yet.'

From the bottom of our hearts
To the top of the charts."

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Believe: Red Wings 3-2 Blackhawks (O.T.)
Ten down, six to go. Best of seven: Detroit 2-0 Chicago.

Alas, an examination today precluded my watching last night's game beyond the first period, but I kept abreast of things through the marvel of ye olde interweb. I was mightily pleased by the result, but I must sound a note of caution: the jackals seem to have gone overboard in their declarations that the series is all but over. Excuse me, what in Bog's name are you talking about? The Wings defeated the 'Hawks by a single goal in overtime time. Overtime time! Overtime time scares the pants off me, anything can happen in overtime time. Had a single puck bounced differently, the series might easily be tied up heading into games 3 & 4 in the Windy City, a powerful moral victory for the callow Blackhawks. Now, make no mistake, I title posts about the Red Wings "Believe" not just in tribute to Konstantinov and Mnatsakanov, but because I believe in the Wings, in the way they handle themselves, in the way they go about things. I believe they will repeat as Stanley Cup Champions. But the home team, by nature the higher seed, is supposed to win the first two games! It's a coup for the visitors if they can earn a split, and astonishing if they can win both on the road. We court disaster if we begin to take the Blackhawks lightly, if we take Detroit's eventual triumph for granted.

That said, boy howdy, I'd enjoy a sweep, both on its own merits and because a rest would be nice before facing either Pittsburgh or Carolina for the Cup. Go Wings!


Another terrifying example of how then-Senator Obama clearly didn't think through the real world consequences of the many extravagant promises he was making to weasel his way into the Oval Office: Gitmolink. Bog, it's frightening when the Congress has to step in as the adult in the room. I suppose closing Camp Delta without any plan to deal with the remaining jihadist prisoners is change we can believe in?

Also, President Obama's desire to abandon our purely defensive missile shield program is looking wiser by the day: missilelink. Yessiree, the Iranians sure are harmless. Nosiree, they wouldn't hurt a fly. I hope you're all enjoying the parade of horrors.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
John Lee Hooker, "Crawlin' Kingsnake Blues" from "Boom Boom" and Other Classics (T.L.A.M.)
Now this a medical plan I can get behind! Sawboneslink.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Operation AXIOM
A decade hence: Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace. Those were glorious days, days my chums and I had the good fortune to experience and the good sense to relish even as they were happening. I'll never forget the excitement, the joy, the overwhelming power of that night, of that perfect moment in time. Thank you, Mr. Lucas.

May the Force be with you, one and all.

The Rebel Black Dot Songs of the Day
John Williams & the London Symphony Orchestra, "Duel of the Fates" from Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (T.L.A.M.)

Montag, 18 Mai
The Wombats, "Kill the Director" from A Guide to Love, Loss & Desperation (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: "Here's another song about a gender I'll never understand."

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Explorers Club
No. CXXX - The Falkirk Wheel.

Believe: Red Wings 5-2 Blackhawks
Nine down, seven to go. Best of seven: Detroit 1-0 Chicago.

Not that I habitually wear a hat—in fact, rare indeed are the occasions on which you'd find my head covered—but the phrase still conveys the intended sentiment: my hat's off to Chicago goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin, because he was dynamite during a flurry of shots by the Red Wings in the second period. Had he not stood on his head, the score might easily have been 7-2, even without Zetterberg's empty net goal. That said, therein lies the Blackhawks' doom, because for all his dynamism Khabibulin still gave up four goals, and the Wings' attack will remain relentless. You cannot hope to stop Detroit's offense, you can hope only to contain it; Chicago will need a new strategy in order to contain the multifaceted potency of the Red Wings.

Take a minute to let it sink in, kids: the Red Wings need fewer victories ahead than they have behind to repeat as Stanley Cup champions, the first team to do so since these selfsame Detroit Red Wings in 1996-97 & '97-98. History is calling. Will you accept the charges? Go Wings!


The Queue
C. S. Harris, Why Mermaids Sing
Agatha Christie, Death on the Nile
C. S. Harris, Where Serpents Sleep

Agatha Christie, And Then There Were None a.k.a. Ten Little Indians a.k.a. Ten Little Niggers

Agatha Christie, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
Agatha Christie, Murder on the Orient Express
David M. Friedman, The Immortalists: Charles Lindbergh, Dr. Alexis Carrel, and Their Daring Quest to Live Forever
Francie Lin, The Foreigner
Saki, When William Came: A Story of London Under the Hohenzollerns (from The Complete Saki)
Jacques-Yves Cousteau, "Exploring a New World Undersea," Great Adventures with National Geographic
Ernest Shackleton, South
John Toland, The Great Dirigibles: Their Triumphs and Disasters
Sloane Crosley, I Was Told There'd be Cake
John Hodgman, The Areas of My Expertise
Kim Newman, Dracula Cha Cha Cha

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Paul Butterfield Blues Band, "Born in Chicago" from Blues Brothers 2000: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (T.L.A.M.)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Operation AXIOM - One Week to Narwhal Day!
One week until Narwhal Day, people, one week. One week to gather the three ingredients necessary for the proper celebration, one week to summon up the appropriate level of sympathy for the narwhal. Narwhal!

Objective ZED ALPHA
A fortnight less one day until I face the tripartite examination that is the second of three steps to becoming a contestant on Jeopardy! How do I accumulate in the next two weeks all the trivial knowledge I have failed to acquire in the preceding twenty-nine and three quarters years? Fiddlesticks!

As Sunday is the day of rest (and there's both hockey and motorsport to watch), Monday shall see a renewal of Operation ÖSTERREICH after a slothful, gluttonous late winter and spring. What have we learned so far? Breaking the bad habits of a lifetime is difficult, even with full conscious acknowledgment of their deleterious impact. No one ever said CADMUS would be easy, Mike; it would be quite useless if it was. Remember that words that were spoken by that other Michael W., "If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got." Come Monday, bring on the ÖSTERREICH!

One octopus down, one octopus to go. Best of seven: Detroit 0-0 Chicago.

The only Blackhawks I saw game during the season just past was the Winter Classic at Wrigley Field, a 6-4 Red Wings victory under extremely unusual circumstances. So, what do I expect from this series? Why, victory, of course. I couldn't claim to believe if I thought less, now could I? I think not. There is slight concern that our boys may be a bit winded after the long, grueling series against the cursed Ducks, but despite the speed and enthusiasm of the young Blackhawks, I am convinced (by reasoned analysis, not just belief) that the depth and vastly superior experience of the Red Wings will carry the day.

Red Wings in five seems a little too cocksure; so, I'll say Detroit in six. The Campbell Bowl will be ours! Go Wings!


The Rebel Black Dot Songs of the Day
Ten Foot Pole, "I Don't Mind" from Short Music for Short People (T.L.A.M.)

Freitag, 15 Mai
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, "She Just Happened" from Pay Attention (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: Most appropriately, "She Just Happened" just happened to spring to mind throughout the afternoon.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Believe: Red Wings 4-3 Ducks
One octopus down, one octopus to go. Best of seven: Detroit 4-3 Anaheim.

Man alive, that was more exciting than it needed to be! Bog's wounds, I'm emotionally exhausted. I was so very scared for so much of the game. The Red Wings are, to my eyes, the demonstrably superior club, yet there is nothing else in sport so fraught with peril as a superior club allowing a scrappy, rough-and-tumble inferior club to hang around. If you don't put a club like that away definitively, they all too often find a way to gut out a win in the end. And let's not fool ourselves: with so few bounces going our way, the Ducks were perilously close to advancing to the Campbell Conference Finals in our stead. And yet it stands as a tribute to the drive and character of the Red Wings that they held the nefarious Ducks at bay, despite the all-too-clear intentions of the officiating crew. So, raise your class, and let's have three cheers for the Detroit Red Wings, now halfway to retaining possession of Lord Stanley's Cup:

Hip hip! Hooray! Hip hip! Hooray! Hip hip! Hooray!


The Stars My Destination
The work continues apace, despite a stubborn bolt: Hubblelink.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Sufjan Stevens, "Romulus" from Michigan (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: I considered choosing a more celebratory song, and it's not as if I've been particularly ashamed of my parents today, but, somehow, the R.B.D.S.O.T.D. just had to be "Romulus."
We're feeling very European today. First, a pair of brand-new telescopes to help us look to infinity… and beyond! Herschel and Plancklink. And then a survey of the European Space Agency's ambitions for '09: satellitelink. Our European friends still spend on the E.S.A. and their individual national space agencies a fraction of what we spend on N.A.S.A., but every little bit is appreciated, and we're going to have to lean on them more and more until the Project Constellation hardware—the Orion crew vehicle and the Ares family of rockets—become operational in roughly 2014-15 (assuming President Obama breaks his campaign promise to cancel all funding for American manned space flight. Oh, I really hope he was lying). Congratulations on the successful launches of Herschel and Planck, fellows.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Explorers Club
No. CXXIX - The life and infamous career of Matthew Hopkins (c. 1620-47), self-proclaimed "Witch-finder General" of England.

This seems as good a time as any to admit to a possibly controversial personal belief: of those accused of witchcraft over the ages, especially in Europe and its colonies during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and put to death, I am certain a dreadful percentage were innocents, but, by the same token, I am equally certain some percentage were guilty of actual witchcraft and trafficking with fiends. Angels and devils are as real as the Risen Christ, and devils live to ensnare mortal souls by enticing them into heresy and sin. So, why not witchcraft? I'm not talking about magic or somesuch superstitious nonsense, I am talking about the select use of the profane power still present in devils from their time as angels before the Rebellion and War in Heaven. Old Scratch is real, his legions of devils are real, and I find no reason to believe that there are not sons of Adam and daughters of Eve so debased as to have surrendered themselves in service to the Archfiend's infernal will, to the peril of their immortal souls.

The Stars My Destination
The Atlantis has grappled the Hubble, paving the way for repairs and renovations to begin: rendezvous in spacelink. My Bog, we live in an age of wonders. (I'll save the opening lines of The Stars My Destination for another time.)

Hey, look at that, an action of President Obama's with which I agree: photographlink. The only way this presidency won't end in unmitigated disaster for these United States (and the free world that is unwilling to defend itself and yet chafes at our protection) is if Mr. Obama turns out to have been lying about many more of his campaign promises. I decry the bill of goods he sold his pudding-minded supporters, but I am glad he decided, for once, not to play politics (and dice) with our national security. You made the right decision, sir. Good on you.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
James Darren, "That Old Black Magic" from This One's From the Heart (T.L.A.M.)
Believe: Ducks 2-1 Red Wings
Seven down, nine to go. Best of seven: Detroit 3-3 Anaheim.

Drat, drat, and double drat! I wrote that the Ducks' goose was cooked, and now I'm eating crow. Nevertheless, Game 7 shall be ours, oh yes, it shall be ours.


Eye of the Tiger
Tiger's doing that weird thing cats do where they run around the house at breakneck speed, seemingly without direction or purpose, almost like some kind of fit. Sam did it too. Of course, these late night fits are the only times Tiger ever runs; even when fleeing from danger (really, fleeing in terror, as she's never in actual danger), she waddles away at what in a human I would describe as a fast walk. Waddle, waddle for your lives!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Star Trek
At Ki-El's and Dylweed's request, I am going to write a full review of J. J. Abrams's Star Trek. I am going to, as in, I have not yet. It is no exaggeration to say that Star Trek (meaning the franchise that spanned five television series and ten motion pictures between 1966 and 2005) rivals Star Wars in my affection. And so I am not dragging my feet on the review, I am still ruminating upon everything I saw and heard last Saturday. I want to get this right, and to do that I need first to make sense of all I am thinking and feeling. Your patience with this process is greatly appreciated. I thank you.

Second intermission: Ducks 2-0 Red Wings.
Best of seven: Detroit 3-2 Anaheim.

Confidence! Babcock's a master strategist, he's just lulling the Ducks into a false sense of security. Mark my words, Game 7 shan't be necessary.

Believe, confound ye!

Holy Mother Church
A rather reactionary Catholic emailing list to which I belong is asking that I pray the Rosary this week for the University of Notre Dame, that the ship might be righted and orthodoxy restored. How quaint. If I pray anything for Notre Dame, 'twould surely be for the whole benighted place to burn to the ground.

Elsewhere in Catholicism, Popelink. It's funny how every story the B.B.C. runs about this trip mentions His Holiness's compulsory service in the Nazi war machine during the Second World War, events now seventy years past, yet very few of the pieces they run about Mahmoud Abbas mention his Holocaust denials of the 1980s, only twenty-five years ago. I am not one to argue in favor of relativism, each action should be judged on its own merits, but it is interesting how ready and willing they are to forgive decisions Abbas made in his late forties and early fifties, and yet so unwilling to forgive what the Pope was forced to do as a teenager. Of course, Catholics—as "Papists"—are the only religious group still officially discriminated against by Her Majesty's Government; so, even though nominally independent from H.M.G., I suppose I shouldn't be too surprised that the B.B.C. still looks at events through Titus Oates's eyes.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Guster, "One Man Wreaking Machine" from Ganging Up On the Sun (T.L.A.M.)

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Stars My Destination
To Hubble… and beyond! No, no, wait, that would be bad, that second bit… very, very bad. Hmmm. Rather, to Hubble… and back! and Godspeed, Atlantis.

Believe: Red Wings 4-1 Ducks
Seven down, nine to go. Best of seven: Detroit 3-2 Anaheim.

Nothing is written in stone, but the Red Wings are frighteningly good in Games 6 on the road when possessing a 3-2 series lead, a.k.a. with the other team on the brink of elimination. I don't have them right in front of me, but the numbers are staggering. The Ducks' goose is cooked and the secret ingredient is Swede.


I am cultivating an interest in motorsport, due almost entirely to Steve McQueen's film Le Mans. I had the Spanish Grand Prix on in the background Sunday when I was vacuuming the house and cleaning the bathrooms (by her request, my Mothers' Day present to my mom). Fascinating stuff. F1link.

Operation AXIOM - Narwhal Day Approaches
Less than a fortnight until Narwhal Day, the narwhaliest day of the year! Act now and you too can feel sympathy for the narwhal. Narwhal Day is 23 May, less than two weeks away! Hip hip hooray, its Narwhal Day! Wear your gray, it's Narwhal Day! Narwhal Day! Narwhal Day! Narwhal Day!

The Rebel Black Dot Songs of the Day
Green Day, "Jesus of Suburbia / City of the Damned / I Don't Care / Dearly Beloved / Tales of Another Broken Home" from American Idiot (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: "I don't feel any shame, I won't apologize."

Sonntag, 10 Mai
Mu330, "Favorite Show" (live) from Oh Yeah! (T.L.A.M.)

Samstag, 9 Mai
James Horner, "Surprise Attack" from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (T.L.A.M.)

Friday, May 8, 2009

Last night, I almost said to a girl I don't love—or at least I don't think I love her—"Goodnight, I love you." The words were right there in my mind and they darn near flowed out through my tongue. I'm trying to figure out what the dickens that might have meant, but I'm long on questions and short on answers.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
They Might be Giants, "Why Does the Sun Shine? (The Sun is a Mass of Incandescent Gas)" (live) from Severe Tire Damage (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: "Why Does the Sun Shine?" was mentioned this afternoon on Science Friday. As this live recording has previously served as the R.B.D.S.O.T.D. I thought about using the original version from the Why Does the Sun Shine? E.P., but, no, it's the faster, more aggressive tone of the live version I needed to sate my jones.

Donnerstag, 7 Mai
Great Big Sea, "The Mermaid" via iTunes (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: The song posits one answer to the question posed by the illustration below, but me, I'd make the other choice.

Believe: Red Wings 6-3 Ducks
Six down, ten to go. Best of seven: Detroit 2-2 Anaheim.

Sweet! Too bad I had to miss most of the game due to fratholes. Yes, that's right, fratholes. (I'll fill you in later.)


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Believe: Ducks 2-1 Red Wings
Five down, eleven to go. Best of seven: Anaheim 2-1 Detroit.

Drat it all! Nevertheless, hey, the rules are the rules, and if the ref couldn't see the puck, he had to blow the whistle. Were we in their place, we'd be praising the decision. Still, curse the luck. Blast! Okay, well, now it'll take the Red Wings six games to finish off this series. Took six games to put down the Penguins last year, we can do six games. Do you still believe? I do. Go Wings!


Operation AXIOM
Four hundred eight-two years ago to the day, the 6th of May Anno Domini 1527, an Imperial army conducted the infamous Sack of Rome, then capital of the Papal States. His Holiness Pope Clement VII made good his escape only because one hundred forty-seven Swiss Guards fought to the death against the marauding Imperials. These men died defending the Successor of Saint Peter, and their service to the Lord God shall never be forgotten.

Martin Luther, always the good Christian, cheered the rape, pillage, and wanton murder of unarmed civilians as God's Will.

Project TRITON
Man alive, I can scarcely believe half my time has already flown by. Tempus fugate is a cruel, mocking understatement. How did I feel at the halfway point of Project TROIKA? Certainly more overwhelmed by the scale of the undertaking, but I was also further along on both plot and background. Schieße! Schieße! Schieße!

Grow or die, Michaelmas looms.

Fortune found under a Jones Soda bottle cap: "You will soon be proud of someone close to you." So, come on, you lot, time for somebody to step up. Make me proud.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Kelly Sweet, "Dream On" via iTunes (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: Hard to believe that Aerosmith actually wrote one really good song. Then again, even a broken clock is right twice a day.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Second period: Ducks 2-1 Red Wings
Best of seven: Detroit 1-1 Anaheim

Stupid late night West Coast games. Feel free to call me an old man, I can't stay up to see the end of the game. I have to get up monstrously early upon the morrow! Alas and alack, woe is me. Go Wings!


The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
MxPx, "Linda Linda (English)" from On the Cover II (T.L.A.M.)
Rule Britannia
I am not endorsing Michael Savage's views. I am, however, gravely concerned about Great Britain. For too long the United Kingdom granted total immunity and complete freedom of action for too many radical jihadist imams inciting terrorism around the globe, and taking steps to stop providing cover to the very people trying to bring down Her Majesty's Government is a good thing. But, in too many cases the laws against promoting hate and fostering extremism are being applied not against those who recruit and exhort suicide bombers, but against those who voice uncouth views objectionable to delicate British sensibilities. Banlink. Freedom as we understand it was first conceptualized on the island of Great Britain, and the world entire will be a poorer place if the subjects of and visitors to the United Kingdom are denied their inalienable right to basic freedom of expression.

Dieu Et Mon Droit.

Operation AXIOM
I take my fair share of potshots at the United Mexican States, but of late Mexico has gotten a raw deal. First, those jackals in the press make asses of themselves by casting baleful assertions about Mexico tottering perilously close to being a failed state over drug cartel violence, and now the Red Chinese are rounding up and quarantining every Mexican they can get their filthy Marxist-Leninist-Maoist hands on in a bid to combat the *ooo scary* swine flu… even if the Mexicans they are rounding up haven't been anywhere near anyone with the swine flu! Mexico's been getting a bum rap, and Cinco de Mayo seems like the perfect opportunity to express solidarity with our friends south of the border. Plus, who doesn't love a holiday that celebrates the thwarting of France's imperial ambitions?

Happy Cinco de Mayo to one and all! If nothing else, it's a fabulous excuse to gratuitously reference the Maximilian Affair, one of our best named affairs. Though, really, is there such a thing as a poorly named affair? Affairs are sublime!

The Official Beer of The Last Angry Man: Guinness
The Official Beer of The Last Angry Man, Memorial Day to Labor Day Subcategory: Red Stripe
The Official Cocktail of The Last Angry Man: gin & tonic
The Official Shot of The Last Angry Man: Dead Nazi

Of course, it has been years and years and years since I had a shot, and I am wondering, sitting here on the cusp of my thirtieth year, if I should decommission the Official Shot. After all, a thirty-year-old man really shouldn't drink shots, it seems terribly juvenile. On the other hand, the raison d'être of the Official Shot has never been the booze, it's always been all about the name. What's better than a Dead Nazi? "The only good Nazi is a dead Nazi," with thanks to Phil Sheridan. On the gripping hand… actually, I'm not sure what the gripping hand position is on this one. Hmmm, a puzzlement. Anyway, I've got almost three months until my birthday, plenty of time to weigh the variables, devise the gripping hand, reweigh the variables, and reach a decision.

Until then, raise your glasses, lads and lasses, and let us toast. To crime!

Monday, May 4, 2009

"No man is an island, entire of itself."
—John Donne

And more's the pity. In the last two days, fellowship has been to me nothing but a quarrelsome burden, a millstone 'round my already weary neck. I am at present an unsociable cuss, and when in such a humor I should remove myself from the society of even my cherished friends.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Less Than Jake, "Short Fuse Burning" from Anthem (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: "I'm so close to exploding."

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Explorers Club
No. CXXVIII - The Johnstown Flood of 31 May 1889 that claimed the lives of more than 2,200 souls.

Believe: Ducks 4-3 Red Wings (3 O.T.)
Five down, eleven to go. Best of seven: Detroit 1-1 Anaheim

What's worse than watching a hockey game on N.B.C.? Watching a hockey game on N.B.C. that goes into multiple overtime times. What's worse than watching a hockey game on N.B.C. that goes into multiple overtime times? Watching a hockey game on N.B.C. that goes into multiple overtime times, and which your team loses. What a thoroughly rotten ending to the afternoon.

Well, okay, fine, now it will take the Red Wings five games to advance to the Western Conference Finals. We all knew this wouldn't be a cakewalk. Time to dig deep and defeat the "Dicks." (I'm not just insulting them because I can. This past week, there was a photograph on the front page of the sports section of The Flint Journal featuring Anaheim defenseman Chris Pronger, from the series against the Sharks. Pronger's sweater was wrinkled just so, and when I showed the photo to my mother, a kind and generous soul, and asked her what the name of Pronger's team was, she replied, confusion in her voice, "The Dicks?" The U in Ducks was folded so that it looked for all the world like an I. The NAHEIM DICKS, the A in Anaheim also disappearing behind the wrinkling of Pronger's sweater. How tremendously appropriate, the Dicks.)

Do you believe? Down deep, after a loss, do you still believe? Or is it just a word to you? Me, I believe. Maybe not in five, maybe in six, maybe even in seven, but the Red Wings will win this series, and the next, and the next. Sixteen wins to retain Lord Stanley's Cup; five down, eleven to go. Go Wings!


The Rebel Black Dot Songs of the Day
William Shatner, "Common People" from Has Been (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: I thought about getting up early enough to go to ten o'clock Mass, but last night I decided I'd rather sleep in, and instead set my sights on twelve o'clock Mass. Mistake. 'Twas First Communion for the parish's second graders, and the church was packed. Not quite Christmas or Easter packed, but a full house nonetheless. The Christmas-and-Easter-only Catholics irk me, but I do concede it's better they observe only those two holy days than none at all. But the first communion gawkers? I've no use for them. The old man seated to my left showed no sign of having ever attended a Catholic Mass, not reacting to a single one of the cues that we all know by rote. And it may be an unworthy, un-Christian thought, but as I sat through Mass the lyric kept running through my mind, "'Cause everybody hates a tourist."

Samstag, 3 Mai
MxPx, "Major Tom (Coming Home)" from On the Cover II (T.L.A.M.)
First intermission: Red Wings 2-2 Ducks
Best of seven: Detroit 1-0 Anaheim

Bog, watching a hockey game on N.B.C. is painful. What's the deal, C.B.C.? I thought hockey was supposed to be your national sport? But the Canadians, predictably, fail, leaving me to suffer the idiocy and naked partisanship of the N.B.C. announcers. Does N.B.C. own the Ducks? Because this afternoon's announcers seem awfully knowledgeable about the Ducks and awfully supportive of their cause. But that's okay, because we played a pretty poor first period and yet the game's still tied; if we play with an degree of intensity, the Ducks* will be toast.


*Brought to you by N.B.C. N.B.C. sez, "Go Ducks!"

Friday, May 1, 2009

Believe: Red Wings 3-2 Ducks
Five down, eleven to go. Best of seven: Detroit 1-0 Anaheim.

I did not see the game because I was doing a favor for my father, proving once again that no good deed goes unpunished.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, "Devil's Night Out" (live) from Live From the Middle East


"In his favorite club,
In his favorite seat,
I saw the Devil,
Wingtip shoes on his feet,
Porkpie hat on his head,
He's was digging the beat,
And the band ripped like demons
When he screamed, 'Turn up the heat!'"