Monday, December 29, 2003

John Rhys-Davies... 

...won't be on the cover of Vanity Fair anytime soon. But he makes a soothing tonic to counter the effects of the loopy Viggo Mortensen.

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Homeland Security Update: 

I'm having a bit of trouble with the zipper on my winter coat. At first I thought it was because of the gradual shrinkage of my entire wardrobe. (Apparently I'm "retaining water"...like the "Hoover dam") But then I noticed the whole family was having trouble despite all the zippers being in good repair and everyone else not needing to be eight feet tall to be proportionate to their weight. So now I'm thinking it's something more nefarious. Is anyone else experiencing this? Lemme know and I'll post the results. In the meantime I'll be raising the threat level to, oh, let's say, 'burnt sienna'. Remember: CONSTANT VIGILANCE!

A Christmas Diatribe 

some guest blogging today, from Patrick:

So here it is, Christmas time again. And for those of us who work in a cube, we have all sorts of traps and dangers we have to try to avoid. There's the office "party" where people who have nothing in common except work stand around pretending to have a good time and trying to come up with something to talk about except work. If enough alcohol flows, the cubicle-ites can come to some approximation of relaxation. There's always the reckless person who won't remember the evening the morning after. That one can truly relax at least for the moment. But for the rest of us, there's always the underlying knowledge that the boss is watching and the worry that you might say or do something wrong or off-color or politically incorrect. It's a sheer hell that can't be avoided unless you're independently wealthy and you're just working because you like the aggravation.

Then there's always that dried up old bag who insists that your work group have a "secret Santa." A few mavericks say "no" but most of us, not wanting to offend anyone, agree. If only we could all say "no." I find myself a little angry. If only those mavericks had told me. I would have joined the revolution! But they kept their actions secret and I'm left out in the cold. Or more specifically, I'm left out in the crowds hooking and jabbing and jostling for position waiting in lines and being assaulted by sites sounds smells and more people than anyone has a right to expect. We all had to put our lists in a hat and then pick. In years past, I was fairly vague in order to allow for flexibility and a little self expression. But, alas, I was disappointed. The lady told me she didn't really know what I wanted so she picked up this book not knowing much about it. Not only was it a type of book I have no interest in reading, not only did it have Nothing whatever to do with my list, but it was also the 5th book in a series of 15 and in order to understand what was going on, you'd have to read all the four previous books and the story wont end for another 10! So this year I list a number of books - specific titles with authors - maybe I should have included the ISBNs - surely there's no way to screw that up. The limit was $20 which also chaps my ass. When asked about secret Santa, I said I was willing as long as the cash level was $5 or $10 - my own form of revolt. But by the time all was settled, my thought was summarily ignored and the limit was twice what I'm willing to spend on people I barely know. Maybe I should make a better effort to get to know them... but why should I when apparently they can't read? Do I really want to hang out with the illiterate? So there I was jostling and being jostled. I achieve my goal and get my victim exactly what they asked for. To make it a little more personal, I include some home made treats - cookies and candy - not much, just a gesture to let them know I put a little thought into it. I put it all in a nice package with a funny note of a personal nature. Something to clue them in on who I was because its a "secret." After my clandestine delivery, I arrive at my cube. And there it is... my "present." Its an envelope carelessly tossed onto the desk. No name on it, no decoration, just a plain white envelope. Inside is a sappy Winnie the Pooh Christmas card. Its signed in a quick, dark little scrawl. Inside is a gift card for Walden Books in the amount of $20. Great! Now I get to go back to the Mall! Back to the jostling, the sights, the sounds, the smells, and the people! I could have saved myself the aggravation and the wasted effort by just keeping my money in my wallet and my butt on the couch!

Its a dangerous world out there for the cubicle-ite but next year, I'm joining the mavericks even if I end up being the only one.

The Ghost of Current Events... 

...hangs over James Lileks. He's taking December off which means he's not really taking December off and has been providing lots of great content. You can work your way backwards if you like his stuff.

Mad cow humor 

So this cow says to another cow: "I'm really freaked out about this whole mad cow disease."
"I'm not worried in the slightest," says the other cow.
"But it's breaking out all over and they're slaughtering hundreds and thousands in Europe. How can you not be worried?" the first cow protests.
"Well, it's not going to affect me." says the second cow. "I'm a duck." (via Andrew Sullivan)

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Join the resistance! 

with Sky Captain. As good as ROTK was, seeing this trailer was perhaps the most exciting and memorable part of the evening. (although the phrase "join the resistance" somehow makes me think of "Life of Brian" where the crowd of people is yelling "We are all different!" in unison)

Monday, December 22, 2003

Quote of the day 

"While you are talking, point not with your finger at him of whom you discourse nor approach too near him to whom you talk, especially to his face." George Washington, from his "Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation" (#76)

What the...?!? 

A bad review of Return of the King? (That means that the reviewer thinks the movie's bad, not that the review itself is bad.)

Tuesday, December 16, 2003


You'll be able to take pictures like this with the camera on your cellular phone that you bought from a vending machine at BigLots. In the meantime this guy claims to have the first honest to goodness gigapixel image. Cool stuff.

Today's Headlines (give or take a few days) 

•Saddam Caught!
Hundreds die in rain of celebratory gunfire. Deposed tyrant defiant, has gingivitis.

•General Mills® unveils new Sour Cream 'n Onion Cheerios®.

•Midwest hit hard by partly cloudiness

Friday, December 12, 2003


from the year 2035 (thanks to Don)

Ozone created by electric cars now killing millions in the seventh largest country in the world, Mexifornia.

Tiny white minority still trying to have English recognized as Mexifornia's sixth language.

Spotted Owl plague threatens northwestern United States crops & livestock.

Baby conceived naturally.... Scientists stumped.

Castro finally dies at age 112; Cuban cigars can now be imported legally, but President Chelsea Clinton has banned all smoking.

Postal Service raises price of first class stamp to $27.89 and reduces mail delivery to Wednesday only.

Massachusetts executes last remaining conservative.

Supreme Court rules incarceration violates the constitutional rights of convicted criminals.

Congress authorizes direct deposit of illegal political contributions to campaign accounts.

Capital Hill intern indicted for refusing to have sex with congressman.

IRS sets lowest tax rate at 75%.

Florida Democrats still don't know how to use a voting machine.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Quote of the day 

"If someone were to make an action figure of YOUR life, would anyone want to play with it?" (Victor Lams)

I'm checking for StrongBad updates 

so you don't have to. This one's great.

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

The absolutely positively final frontier 

Is Enterprise ending? Dark Horizons has a rumor (along with more uses of the word "whilst" than any other website). It sounds like they're shooting for the magic syndication number and then they'll cut 'n run. I think this is probably a good thing. I'll be waiting by the phone when they're ready to ask me what they should do next.

Monday, December 08, 2003

"The Passion Of The Christ" 

Has an official website up.

Saturday, December 06, 2003

Potty talk 

Since the mid eighties, public restrooms have utilized an ingenious method of cost savings. We've all seen those massive toilet paper holders. The ones that look like a spare tire on the back of a Jeep. Some hold more than one roll. Most hold one giant roll. It's a little known fact that most of those rolls are the same ones from the mid eighties. The "cost savings" comes not from the volume of toilet paper that can be held (thus saving labor since the rolls needn't be changed as often) but from the fact that NO ONE CAN GET MORE THAN A FRIGGIN' POSTAGE STAMP-SIZED PIECE OF TISSUE OUT OF THE FRIGGIN' THING. So most people (like myself) will decline to use them unless it's a real emergency. Many companies no longer need to service their restrooms at all. Some, in fact, have apparently turned those selfsame stalls into employee smoking lounges.

As I suffered through my own "emergency" today (a Gordita Supreme if you must know) it occurred to me that if they really want to discourage customer use they could put the toilet paper in "handy" Ziploc bags. This would ensure that no one could get to it at all.

Friday, December 05, 2003

Mr. PicassoHead 

(thanks to Walt Jay)

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Quote of the day 

"Let all babies be born. Then let us drown the ones we do not like." G.K. Chesterton


Joe: "You should never hold up just this finger, right Dad?" (as he's flipping me the bird)
Me: "Um...that's right."

Monday, December 01, 2003

A nice profile 

of Bill Watterson. via Instapundit

The return of the Heartwarming Thanksgiving Tale 

Joseph's class did one of those posters where the teacher asks each kid what he/she's thankful for and then writes down the answer verbatim so the parents can read it and go "Awwww".

So I scan down past the likes of "turkey", "stuffing", and "grandparents" to see "Joseph: Roosters and Family".

If I can find out what the hell that means I'll let you know.

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