Monday, January 31, 2005

who knows where the time goes

It's hard for me to evaluate how well I am doing, sometimes. An unfortunate side-effect of trying to think with a brain that is trapped in a body in rebellion. It's like a real war - messengers can't be trusted, the logistics of delivering medical supplies to where they are needed takes up most of my time, and there are heavy casualties. Charlie is everywhere, and he don't surf.

But when I start getting "where are you?" notes and notice that it's been over a week since I wrote anything online, I tune back in for awhile. Just to show I care. And I do check in on the webpages of Julie (good friend) and Sarah (complete stranger) every day or two.

So, for those of you who keep tabs on me through this site, here is the scoop: I don't look a day over 60. Except on the rare day when I feel good enough to get up and about, when I look pretty good - this extreme-nausea diet is really working well. No Fatkin's diet for me... just plain don't eat. I'm around 175 lbs right now, which is a bit low for my physiotype and height, but I look like I did 15 years ago... I don't know if that says more about my situation now, or my situation back then. Either way it beats the hell out of being fat.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

linux mystery

I'm running Debian linux in a Virtual PC emulator, and despite the emulation and the virtual hard drive linux makes better use of system resources, so programs run just as fast as they do on the XP host system. The weird bit is that the network runs about 4 times faster in linux than it ever has in XP... despite the fact that the emulator is sitting on top of XP and they are both using the same hardware. I'm getting about 1.5MB/second in linux... not complaining, mind you, just confused.

Friday, January 21, 2005

spongebob happypants

Attention parents: right-wing stroke-mag World Net Daily warns that "homosexual activists are using popular children's TV characters such as SpongeBob SquarePants and Barney the dinosaur to surreptitiously indoctrinate young children into their lifestyle".

I actually think that maybe we should listen to what they have to say: after all, who would know better than right wing Christians the damages that can occur when one is exposed to philosophies so bizarre they blur the distinction between fiction and reality? They are also no strangers to indoctrinating young minds with questionable ideas before the child has developed sufficient critical faculties to make their own decisions. It seems like every time I hear moral outrage from the conservatives lately it has less to do with the nominal issue and more to do with their displeasure that others are moving in on their turf and adopting their tactics.

things are rough all over

Bunny suicides.

i want to shoot the whole day down

How's this for a fucking byline:

Misery is expected to peak on Monday, as 24 January has been pinpointed as the worst day of the year.

At least we're getting it out of the way early this year.

nero, fiddle, flames

The CIA has predicted that the European Union will break-up within 15 years 'unless it radically reforms its ailing welfare systems'.

The report by the intelligence agency, which forecasts how the world will look in 2020, warns that Europe could be dragged into economic decline by its aging population. It also predicts the end of NATO and post-1945 military alliances.

My thesaurus is failing me here... I need a word that combines 'arrogant' with 'short-sighted' and 'ironic'. (My European friends inform me that the word I am looking for is 'American'.)

The report doesn't mention whether or not the CIA expects the US to still be a world power in 15 years. It does mention that Europe's Muslim population will change from 13% today to as high as 37% twenty years from now, and casually mentions that this may 'trigger tensions' and 'dramatically alter' America's relationships with Europe.

you're soaking in it

Congratulations... you made the list.

The 50 Most Loathsome People in America, 2004.

Some highlights:

6. George W. Bush

Crimes: Too numerous to mention. The worst piece of shit ever to run this country, including King George III; when’s the last time a president made half his country want to move to Canada? Lays claim to the legacy of Jesus Christ as he hungrily sucks what little life-essence is left from the world. Appears to be only dimly aware that he is destroying the future, but seems to think it’s kind of funny.

Smoking Gun: Too numerous to mention.

Punishment: To have his fortune stolen from him by Cheney, Rumsfeld, Perle and Wolfowitz, and be denied Medicaid.

5. John Kerry

Crimes: Managed to lose to the most hated president in American history by virtue of his total inability to convincingly portray himself as a human being. Didn’t even have the balls to show up during the Ohio election challenge in the Senate. So thoroughly vetted that he appears inhuman, incapable of speaking without repeating the same hackneyed phrases incessantly and gesticulating like a poorly operated marionette. Cursing his daughters with his frightening profile.

Smoking Gun: Actually did vote for the $87 billion before he voted against it.

Punishment: Quality time with wife and kids.

4. Dick Cheney

Crimes: So loathsome his own party is frightened of him. Manages to deliver stunning lies with an air of sneering authority. Shamelessly employs scare tactics in order to strip the federal government of any resemblance to the one described in the constitution. So visibly evil that all of the documented evidence against him is superfluous. The kind of guy who starts talking cannibalism the minute he steps on the lifeboat.

Smoking Gun: Managed to make his own shame at producing gay offspring into a negative for Kerry.

Punishment: Hacked to death by Mexican migrant workers.

3. You

Crimes: You gaze idly at the carnage around you, sigh, and go calmly back to your coffee and your People magazine. You can’t stop buying useless crap, though you’re drowning in a deepening pool of debt. You think you’re an activist because you bitch all day on the internet, but you reelect the same gangsters at a 99% rate. You consider yourself informed because you waste a significant portion of your life watching the same three news stories cycle over and over again on your gargantuan, aerodynamic television set while you eat processed food. You really thought everything would be okay if Kerry won. Not only do you believe in an invisible man who magically farted out the universe, you also excoriate and marginalize those who disagree. You have a poorer understanding of your country’s foreign policy history than a third world peasant, but you can’t wait to see what Julia Roberts will be wearing at the Oscars. You cheer as Ukrainians challenge an election based on exit poll data, but keep waiting around for someone else to fix your problems. You can’t think, you can’t organize and you won’t act. This is all your fault.

Smoking Gun: You’re fat.

Punishment: You’re soaking in it.

I wasn't actually looking for this list; I was checking to see if any new posts had shown up at

It is well known that when informed of the first plane smashing into the World Trade Centre George Bush said "that's some bad pilot". What is not so well known is that when informed of the second collision he said "Jesus! It's not the same guy again is it?".

Sadly there still haven't been any updates since the end of September. I suspect 'paralyzing demoralization'... I hear it's going around.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

fitter, happier, more productive

The next time you get screwed by a supposed 'upgrade' to some fundamental piece of software that worked fine before the new 'features' were added, check out Great for that old machine that won't run the newer stuff, too.

hit the nail right on the head

Truth is stranger than fiction? At this point, I think truth is humping fiction's leg. Someone please tell me this is a joke.

Another Darwin Award semi-finalist somehow managed to nailgun himself in the mouth without noticing. I think we must assume that the nail (further?) severed the 'clue' circuitry in his brain. He did, however, maintain enough functionality to complain about a 'toothache' for six days before going to the dentist.

"We all are friends, so I thought the (dentists) were joking ... then the doctor came out and said 'There's really a nail,'" Katerina Lawler said. "Patrick just broke down. I mean, he had been eating ice cream to help the swelling."

Well thank fuck for that. This guy's quick-thinking ice-cream judo skills probably saved his life.

Just to be on the safe side, I think I'm going to stock up on Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey... you know, for emergencies.

that's life in the big city

You know how it is: Friday night. All dressed up. Got your stroll on. Out on the town. Looking for love.

At the Kmart.

This might be Sarah Brown's best post ever.

Monday, January 10, 2005

immanentizing the eschaton on the taxpayer's dime

Headline: "Congress passes 'doomsday' plan". My first thought was that is about time they came out and admitted it.

What they've done is create a contingency plan for dealing with a hypothetical situation where a large number of lawmakers are taken out by terrorist attacks. The Constitution says that a majority of the 435 members of Congress are required for passing laws or declaring war... but in the event of a national crisis, there might not be 218 lawmakers left and the rules need to be changed.

The sane thing to do would be to modify the law such that a majority of the surviving members would be adequate, but nobody is going to accuse our government of being sane any time soon: they decided instead that a majority of the lawmakers who are able to show up at the House would be sufficient... meaning that it's possible that a dozen people might be enough to declare war. (Sadly, this is in some ways an improvement over the current situation, where Congress quite unconstitutionally gave the president sole discretion to declare war in the fall of 2001.)

The interesting bit is that the plan doesn't allow for votes to be cast by phone, or by secure electronic means, or even by postal workers on horseback... lawmakers must be physically present for their votes to count. This all makes sense if the scenario is that the whole country has been bombed back into the stone age, but given that we ourselves are the most heavily-armed fundamentalist country on the planet the odds of this happening are vanishingly small. Besides, the Bad Guys don't need to carpet bomb the US to destroy us... they took out two buildings and the ensuing mad dash to surrender our civil rights to some unrealistic and unattainable idea of 'safety' still continues over four years later.

i should have gone to grad school

If I had, by now I could have been at least a member of the Luxuriant Flowing Hair Club for Scientists, if not president or pope of the organization.

we all shine on

Darwin Award runner-up Eddie May figures he must have good karma: while simultaneously driving and eating, he choked so bad he passed out and totaled his truck in a head-on collision with a semi... and the impact caused him to cough up the Big Mac Of Death. (You laugh now, but you might recall that the idiot in the White House damn near killed himself with a pretzel a while back.)

Eight-ball Magazine chimes in on the karma issue:

There's something to be said for the karmic wheel. To Hindus, hippies, and "Dharma and Greg" fans, the karmic wheel is a finely tuned instrument of balance, harmony, and reward. Do a good deed, turn one notch to the right. Get your rocks off with the neighbor's cat, take a few hits to the left. By the time you kick out, the position of the ole karmic wheel determines whether you're rewarded or punished. Heaven or hell, come back as a cow or a cockroach, that sort of thing.

I don't think that's how it works.

My guess is that the Karmic Wheel is actually one giant fucking bicycle tire, and your head is stuck in the spokes.

I've never understood the math in these sorts of situations: the guy almost died, wrecked his vehicle, yet feels lucky because he survived. It seems to me it would be more lucky to have not almost died, and not wrecked his truck, and ummm... have... some chocolate... or something.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

and for my next trick...

Jeffrey Allen Manchester's lateral thinking skills should have made him a screenwriter, or perhaps (in these days of truth being way stranger than fiction) a politician. Unfortunately he's not going to get too many more opportunities to exercise those skills, given that he's going to be in prison for the rest of his life. It's too bad he wasn't so resourceful before he got into trouble.

Last June, while serving a 45 year sentence for robbery, Manchester escaped from his correctional institution by clinging to the bottom of a truck. He's spent the months since then living in a vacant storefront. He survived by making periodic forays into neighboring stores, including the We B Toys next door, whose water supply he tapped into. And ever cautious, he installed a smoke detector in his living space... wouldn't want to expose himself to the risk of fire while he's busy hiding from The Man.

He'd probably still be on the lam, but it seems his diet of stolen baby food was hell on his teeth, so he went to the dentist to get some dental work done. Dental records being a useful tool for law enforcement, he did the obvious thing and burned the dentist's office to the ground. Then to celebrate he crawled through the secret passageway from his abandoned storefront to the toy store next door and held the place up, apparently having grown tired of playing basketball with the mini-hoop he'd previously stolen from the same store.

This guy's escapades read like the plot line of a Scooby Doo cartoon... they don't say exactly how he was caught, but I strongly suspect that while the bust was being made the Mystery Machine was parked outside. Sources say that a stoner with a dog was spotted getting nachos at a nearby 7-11. Jinkies.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

on foxes and henhouses

A Republican-led vote to shield members of Congress from ethics inquiries was passed today. All part of the big plan to restore honor and integrity to the government, I suppose.

In their own way, Republicans are very honorable: unlike the Democrats, who tell you they aren't going to fuck you (and then proceed to fuck you), the Republicans just come right out and tell you they are going to fuck you. You can see a sort of integrity in this, if you lower your standards enough and squint a bit.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

dude, where's my sanity?

And here I thought they couldn't disgust me more:

The Bush administration is preparing plans for possible lifetime detention of suspected terrorists, including hundreds whom the government does not have enough evidence to charge in courts, The Washington Post reported Sunday.... As part of a solution, the Defense Department, which holds 500 prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, plans to ask the U.S. Congress for $25 million to build a 200-bed prison to hold detainees who are unlikely to ever go through a military tribunal for lack of evidence.

Three cheers for the red, white, and blue, motherfuckers. Is there a single supposedly-American principle the assclowns in the White House haven't violated yet?