Monday, December 31, 2007

Smell Like A Sound

Looking through The Vault, one might notice that some of my post titles don't quite seem to make sense. Sometimes, they even seem like they have nothing to do with the body of the post at all. Well, let me assure you, that each one is directly tied to the post, and exactly how isn't a matter of how well you read, but how well you listen.

Those cryptic titles are actually lyrics from songs, and if you've been observant enough to catch the song, you can make the connection to the entry contents much easier. So, as an end-of-2007 treat, I've culled this past year's musical titles into this list, along with the songs and artists they're from. I've also linked them all to this post, so you can go back and revisit some of them if you missed them.

Oh, crap. Not that many of them, are there. Damnit all to hell anyhow. Guess that, since posts from 2006 and are few, and 2005 has none at all titled after songs, I might as well go all the way to the back of The Vault and pull out everything I've got:
Amazing. Wow. Yeah, there are a ton more, but they're all in my archive from ye ol' Rancho Relaxo. Maybe I should make it a New Year's Resolution to add all of the posts from the old Ranch to this blog, thus making it a complete archive. Rancho Relaxo became a blog sometime in the early 2000's, and now I'll have to dig through it and see exactly what I have.

Since I did the whole thing in basic HTML back then (what a pain in the ass THAT was), it'll be fun to try and get it all moved over to here. Man, for two or three nights next year, I'm going to be one proficient little blogger...

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Strung Along

Time for some video goodness, courtesy of Fark's Video Tab. Today, we've got a couple of string-wielding shred heads doing some pretty nifty stuff with a guitar and what's called a "chapman stick." First up, guitarist Flint Blade performs The Dave Brubeck Quartet's jazz classic Take Five - on a 14 string double-neck guitar, no less:

Next up, some unknown axeman picks up an instrument known as a Chapman Stick and plays the song familiar to geeks around the world as the "Cantina Band Song," from Star Wars IV. For those intrested, I believe the band in the Cantina scene is called Fir'gin D'an and the Modal Nodes, but I could be wrong. Honestly, I'm too lazy to look it up, I'm going by something I read on some obscure site somewhere a while ago. Anyway, here's the video:

Neat, eh? Wish I could play guitar like that, but I'm limited to Welcome Home (Sanitarium) and Free Bird right now, since I haven't picked one up in about 10 years...

2 Secksii 4 Muh Kitteh

Oh yes, you knew it was coming: It's Caturday over on Fark, and this week's story is about a nurse in the UK who's kitteh was choking on some food. Thankfully, she totally snogged the cat back to life. The argument in the Fark Thread right now, though, is about the headline's claim that said nurse is a hottie.

Well, this here is her. She kinda reminds me of my ex Erina, what with the whole strawberry/dirty blonde hair and (especially) the eyes. Granted, you can't discern much from a shot like this, but for all intents and purposes, I'd mostly likely hit it. But that's just me, and that's just blowing smoke, because as we all know, I'm not really available right now.

But anywho, Caturday wouldn't be complete without my picks for this week, which all appear below. As always, Click to Embiggen, and enjoy the cuteness that is LOLCats!

Friday, December 28, 2007

2007: Taking Out The Trash

For my first "Year in Review" post, I want to take a moment and be a complete and total asshole (with some help from The Boston Globe). Why? Because these people deserved it when they were alive, and they most certainly deserve to be remembered as such now that they're worm food. Hope the worms have some decent cuttlery and evolve some serious teeth, because these two piles of human dung are going to be tough, tough, tough to decompose...

Leona Helmsley, 87, died August 20th, 2007 - If you ever needed a reason why the usually-canine term of "bitch" is applied to human women, then Helmsley was that reason. This money grubbing whore ran a $5 billion real estate and hotel empire, but apparently that wasn't enough. She went on trial for tax evasion in 1989.

A former housekeeper quoted Helmsley as saying "We don't pay taxes, only little people pay taxes." Well, Leona, at least we're little people and not giant bitches like you were.

And just look at that mugshot right there. Nasty, isn't it? It's like Tammy Fae Messner (who also died this year, but isn't anywhere near being badmouthed by me) was possessed by Satan and had a child with my next "honoree," Jerry "I'm a Big Fat Christian Douchebag" Falwell.

The world is a much better place without you, Leona. Rot in hell.

The Rev. Jerry Falwell, 73, died May 15th, 2007 - And then, there's this asswipe. And boy, did he fall well, right when we needed him to the most: Before the 2008 election. This man thought it was perfectly fine to ignore the fact that the Constitution provides for the Seperation of Church and State and try to mobilize Christians into a political force so they could force their so-called 'morals and values' onto an unsuspecting and unwilling America.

Apparently, he didn't get the memo that Theocracies don't work. Well, now we don't have to worry about his fat ass taking us back to the Dark Ages, when Religion was the perfect excuse for idiotic ideals like mysogeny, patriarchy, racism, religious intolerance and general ignorance to the way the world works (science, not that stupid ass Intelligent Design/Creationism in Disguise).

Now that Fatass Falwell is dead, the rest of the clear-thinking world can rejoice and party in the streets like it's 1999, not 999 like Falwell wanted. Fuck him, fuck his ideals, and fuck his Christian Coalition. Good riddance.

Rot in hell, Reverend. Maybe you and Leona can hook up while you're both down there...

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Grandpa Ruins Christmas

How selfish can an old codger get? Selfish enough to make a complete ass of himself and ruin his grandkids' Christmas, that's how. And you'd best believe there's video, but with NSFW language, so get those headphones on. Link, Fark Thread, and away we go...

Way to go, Grandpa...

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Last Night Was Shaking

Holy crap, I actually got my PS2 to work this morning, so I've been playing Guitar Hero III for the last few hours. Here are a few observations, followed by my current (slow but steady) progress report. First, some things I've noticed:

  • The drummer is stiff as a board. Couldn't they get Vinnie Paul or Lars Ulrich or SOMEONE to come in and do some better motion capture? Guy ruins the whole performance video going on above the fretboard.
  • Battle Mode is the shiznizzle. Though I have yet to challenge Mikey or anyone else to a Human vs. Human battle, I have taken down both Tom Morello and Slash. Can't wait for that one, I can assure you
  • The selection of bonus songs is fairly decent, and I welcome the addition of Lacuna Coil to the mix. Sadly, I'll have to go buy Guitar Hero II before I can get TROGDOR!!!
  • The first few tiers aren't much as far as songs go. Yes, there are some uberclassics mixed in there, but I really didn't get excited about jamming out until Evenflow came up as my encore. After that, it's been all awesomeness. The only exception is the tier two encore, Bulls on Parade, after you beat Tom Morello.
And now, here's how I'm doing after a few hours:
  • Thanks to The Bear's interference and a few cigarette breaks, I'm still only on Easy, and up to the Live in Japan tier. This is fine with me, it gives me a chance to hear alot of the songs and get used to playing again, since before I got this, chances to play were few and far between.
  • I've unlocked both Tom Morello and Slash, but have only purchased Tom. Why? Because Tom Morello kicks WAY more ass than Slash, and he was the character I wanted to play as the most. My next unlock will be the Grim Reaper, because hey: He's the fucking Grim Reaper. He rocks like that.
  • I've bought a few of the heavier songs in the bonus track list, the first being Lacuna Coil. Once again, I'll have to get GH II to get both TROGDOR!!! and Less Talk More Rokk, two of my favorites to jam on.
That's about it for now. Once I get a piece through medium, maybe I'll sit down and write a little more on the game. Til then, though, it's time for me to go ROCK OUT WITH MY COCK OUT!
(Not really, but it's fun to say)

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

I Farted On Santa's Lap

I hope everyone here is having an Extremely Merry Christmas (or relative equivalent), and I hope that Christians who read this blog notice one very important thing: Whether Jesus is the reason for the season (he's not, it's Planetary Axial Tilt) or not, it's all about Peace on Earth, and Goodwill Towards Men. If there's one part of Christmas that everyone can stand to celebrate, it's that. Atheist, Catholic, Protestant, Islamic, Taoist, Bhuddist, Hindu, Wiccan, whatever: It's all about putting aside the petty bullshit and getting along for a change.

Even in the trenches of World War I, the Germans and the British took time out to sing songs, swap stories, and even play a game of soccer in No Man's Land. Let's all think about that Christmas Truce this year and try to patch up this fucked up situation that we've created...

Saturday, December 22, 2007

I Can Haz Maycup Caturday?

OK, yes, I know. It's been a slow week here on the ol' blog, but that's because of XMas insanity.

(And yes, I'm all about taking the Christ out of Christmas. I really wish the local Knights of Columbus would quit putting up those stupid billboards every year. Like everyone needs a constant, glaring reminder that you people are Jesus Freaks, and want everyone else to be, too...)

At any rate, since I missed it last week due to more insanity, here's a super Caturday post, brought to you by the many hard working caption artists and kitteh fans on Fark. This week's Thread is based around the story of Trucker, a cat who found his way back to his family three years and one week after fire destroyed their home. How awesome is that? Totally, of course!

Enjoy teh kittehs, and as always, you can click any image to embiggen it for your viewing pleasure. Happy Caturday, and Merry (early) XMas!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

And When The Band You're In...

Wil has a new post up, and it pretty much sums up how our generation (and certainly I) feels about what's going on in Washington right now. The madness has to stop, and it has to stop sometime. Go check out his letter to Chris Dodd, and take time out to notice that - hey - some people in Congress are willing to do what we elected them to do.

If You've A Date In Constantinople

This won't end well.

Turkish troops have crossed into Iraq, and they're going after Kurdish Rebels (Fark Thread). As if the quagmire (giggity) in Iraq weren't bad enough, this brings a whole new level of suck to the mix.

The Kurdish problem is a double-edged sword. They're an ethnic minority that exists in about the area where the Iraqi, Turkish and Iranian borders come together. They're making a case for their own sovereign state, and some of them have decided to make it a militant cause.

During the years following Operation Desert Storm in 1991, the northern no-fly zone over Iraq pretty much nullified any influence Saddam Hussein had over the people living there, including the Kurds. Without that influence, Kurdish Iraq basically became it's own self-governed autonomous collective, developing a fairly modern society complete with Internet, cell phone networks, and a bustling market economy.

Prior to the '91 Gulf Conflict, someone (probably Saddam) gassed the fuck out of these people in an attempted genocide, killing somewhere in the neighborhood of 10,000 Iraqi Kurds. One can see where their cranky side would come from.

Because their national claims include parts of Turkey as well as Iraq, the Turks are targets of a good chunk of Kurdish Militant activity. This, of course, doesn't make the Turks too terribly pleased, and they want this crap stopped. Within their own borders, how they handle the situation is on them. But now that they've crossed the border, they've entered a whole new ball game.

The problem is, if every tribal and ethnic entity in the Middle-east started clamoring for their own chunk of the map, it'd start to look like Europe during the feudal era: Shattered Glass. The infighting over territory and tribal/ethnic hatred dating back thousands of years would boil over, and all-out holy war would most likely result.

The sad part is, it'd all be in the name of pretty much the same god. Funny how religion works like that, isn't it...

If the Kurds get their way, who's next, the Sunni's? The Shi'as? How much land do you think the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia would be willing to give up? Not much, I'd wager. And have fun carving up Afghanistan, because those are the two largest nations in the Middle-east, so that's the best logical place to start.

Plus there's still that matter of Israel/Palestine, not to mention the fact that our government has managed to piss off quite a number of Islamic nations in it's quest to funnel taxpayer dollars into corporate pockets. And don't forget Iran, can't forget Iran.

Yeah, this is going to end really well. Have fun with that powder keg...

Monday, December 17, 2007

Look Again

Probably the coolest thing I've found on Fark in the last few hours: Celeb look-a-likes pose for a new book called Confidential by Alison Jackson. She says her photos are purposefully grainy, making them look more like poparazzi shots. My favorite? You really need to guess? Fark Thread here...

Have fun, "Mr. President..."

Letterman Takes The Lead

Already having vowed to pay his staff's salaries through the end of the year due to the WGA strike, David Letterman is once again stepping up to the plate and going to bat for the embattled WGA, offering to bargain with them directly as opposed to through the AMPTP.

So, what does this mean for the writers? Well, it means that they could begin bargaining with each individual production company, as opposed to all of them as a whole (the AMPTP), effectively breaking the stranglehold that they've had on the industry for the past 25 years. Bonus! Anything that sticks it to the man is good in my book.

As a WGA supporter, I couldn't be happier to see Dave taking the stances he's taken all throughout the strike. He's really earning his place as one of the most powerful men in Television, and he's doing it by standing up for the little guys (the Writers) and telling Goliath (the studios) where the line has been drawn.

Here's your link, and here's your Fark Thread. Now, get out there and support the WGA and David Letterman!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Philipsburg 2: Electric Boogaloo

So yeah, the Borough got back to me on those tickets, and boy, did they really show their ignorance and stupidity. How anyone in this town could possibly believe that the people "leading" them could even remotely be competent is beyond me. Far, far beyond me. We're talking Voyager 2 beyond.

If there was ever an indicator that the Borough's agents are completely retarded, it was on the front of the envelope. On it was my correct license plate number, but under that, the word "Blazer."


Fucking BLAZER!!!

OK, now, it doesn't take a genius to tell the difference between an Chevrolet Blazer and a Ford Explorer, which is what I drive. Nevermind the fact that there's a Ford logo and the word "Explorer" on my tail hatch, and a big ol' Ford logo on the grill (not to mention the two "Explorer" plates down the sides). It's a Blazer.

Sure as shootin', Cletus, it's a Blazer.

(Yes, I hate Chevy, and I associate it with people who could have walked right out of Deliverance. Sue me for being biased, because a colony of toothless hillbilly freaks drive rustbuckets with the Chevy name on them and glorify drivers of Chevy vehicles in NASCAR. Ask them to trade in that 1983 Celebrity on a different make and they'll probably pull some sort of weapon on you and ask you if you're "plum loco.")

But anyway, back to the letter. Yeah, Blazer. Strike One. Anyhow, I open the envelope and pull the actual document out and look at it. The first thing that hits me is that it looks like some stupid teenager with an ancient copy of Micro$oft Word hurried this out. Different font sizes, completely unnecessary, used for emphasis of points that would be just as visible if the font were actually uniform.

I mean, come on! This is supposed to be a government agency, a public service! Try and look professional, why don't you, so people actually respect you and take you seriously! Christ on a fucking stick anyhow! The Federal government may spend extreme sums of money on simple crap like putting out documents, but at least those documents are uniform, for crying out loud.

You people look like today's college kids turning in papers in Internet slang. Sad, sad, sad.

Now, on to the contents of the letter. Obviously, I've edited out my license plate number for privacy reasons, but the text is otherwise exactly as it appears in the letter. While I can't duplicate the logo for the borough's sad-sack letterhead, it's still essentially as-is. I have made no changes or exaggerations, other than the changes already mentioned. Font sizes are relative to how they appear on the letter as well.

Now, witness ignorance at it's best, and your tax dollars in action:

P.O. Box 631
4 North Centre Street
Phone (814) 342 3440
Fax (814) 342 5608

Date: 12/12/07

To Whom It May Concern:

####### is the Plate on your Blazer.

On 12/07/07, 12/10/07and12/11/07 you recieved parking tickets for parking 2AMto7AM on your vehicle. You paid the first ticket so we know you are aware of the violation. Our office doesn't like giving tickets unless we are forced to. Please find another place to park your vehicle overnight on the side streets that are not posted for 2AM to 7AM signs or we do have permits available. Contact our office so we don't have to issue any more parking fines. We will resume the tickets effective 12/17/07, if you continue to violate the signs posted on the streets.

Thank You
W(illegible) D. McDonald 140046 (handwritten signature)
Philipsburg Borough Ordinance Officer
Now, who wants to be the first to point out the errors in this letter? First of all, they continue to insist that I drive a Blazer. Is it really that easy to mix the two up? I don't think so, they both look pretty damned distinct to me. With the blazingly obvious aside, it's time for me to play English Teacher and correct their homework. First, the list of errors:
  1. No dashes between the prefixes and suffixes of the phone and fax numbers
  2. No spacing between 12/10/07, "and" and 12/11/07 in line one.
  3. Should be a comma after 12/11/07 on line one.
  4. No spacing between 2AM, "to" and 7AM on line two.
  5. Should be a comma after "ticket" on line three.
  6. "The" in "overnight on the sidestreets" is not necessary.
  7. Should be a comma after "signs" on line six.
  8. The sentence beginning on line four and ending on line seven is run-on, and should be divided.
  9. The comma after 12/17/07 is unnecessary.
  10. Should be a comma after "Thank You" in the closing.
Ten blatant grammatical errors. I thought you people were supposed to be "professional!" Well, now the Borough of Philipsburg is a laughing stock, for all the world to see. So, folks, here I present to you the letter as it should look, if it were typed by a monkey with a lobotomy, or someone more competent:
P.O. Box 631
4 North Centre Street
Phone (814) 342-3440
Fax (814) 342-5608

Date: 12/12/07

To Whom It May Concern:

Plate #: #######
Vehicle Make: Ford
Vehicle Model: Explorer

On 12/07/07, 12/10/07 and 12/11/07, you recieved parking tickets for parking 2AM to 7AM in a zone posted against such. You paid the first ticket, so we know you are aware of the violation. Our office doesn't like giving tickets unless we are forced to. Please find another place to park your vehicle overnight on side streets that are not posted for 2AM to 7AM signs. We also have permits available. Contact our office so we don't have to issue any more parking fines. We will resume the tickets effective 12/17/07,if you continue to violate the signs posted on the streets.

Thank You,
W(illegible) D. McDonald 140046 (handwritten signature)
Philipsburg Borough Ordinance Officer
And there you have it, with my emphasis on the proper identity of my vehicle. Not really that hard to make it look like a human actually typed it, is it? Fonts are normalized, grammar is corrected... Was it that difficult? Nah! If I can do it, anyone can do it! Fuck, I've read blogs by foreigners with even the slightest grasp of English grammar that look better. Since this is a Government Document, and is therefore in the Public Domain, you peons can feel free to copy and paste my template for future use by your offices, should you decide you want to look like an actual, professional Government Agency.

You know, it might help your image, what with the wasting money on the Front Street Project and not being able to pay for a police force. There's also the matters of the personal infighting and bickering, and all the controversy over filling one stupid Borough Management position, and your mismanagement of the Rowland... But I digress.

Now, how shady is it that it's not mentioned anywhere in the borough, on any sign or any publicly viewable space whatsoever, that there are parking permits available. In Pittsburgh, my adopted home, the signs clearly show what permit zone it is, letting the public know that permits are indeed available should you reside in that zone and wish to park without fear of tickets.

Philipsburg? No, they'll only tell you if you think to ask about it at all (with no helpful hints or information even suggesting they're available), or after they give you a couple of expensive parking hits and start fucking with your license.

Dirty pool, old man. Dirty pool indeed.

Philipsburg, this is your wake up call. Someone with the stones to take you to school and expose your smug stupidity to the rest of the world has arrived, and he's not happy. The fact that you're an insignificant little shit town that no one really looks at or cares about at all will no longer allow you people to get away with this type of shinnanigans. There is a whistle blower among you, and he won't shut up.

Either clean up your act, or I will continue to post examples of how you people make complete fools of yourselves. Even your precious Philipsburg Journal will be pilfered for any shred of evidence that you people are nothing but a bunch of stuck-up, ignorant, self-righteous losers who want nothing more from their jobs than the paycheck and the pat on the back, along with anything else you can get away with on the side. You people are pathetic, and should be ashamed to even try and call yourselves "Public Servants."

Granted, I've done shit I'm not proud of. But at least I can pony up and admit that I fucked up. I don't just idle myself and continue with bad practices. Maybe you all could learn a lesson from the kid with the big mouth and the International Soapbox to get it heard...

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Ice Capades

I'm about to bundle up and head out into yet another ice storm. Why am I doing this? Well, it sure as hell ain't because I like to wander about town in ice storms, that's for sure.

So far, the fire whistle has gone off four times in the last two hours, with apparatus flying up and down the streets. That should pretty much tell you that there's no way I'm driving, even just the four blocks down to the convenience store. Not worth it. I'd probably get so frustrated going that slow, I'd do something stupid anyway.

So, off we go, then. Wonder if Admiral Perry felt this way as he headed north...

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Planet Earth Is Blue

Through Fark (Thread Link first this time), I found a short list of five great SciFi books for people who think they don't like SciFi. Two of these books I highly reccomend, those being War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells and ninteen eighty-four by George Orwell, the latter especially.

I've always been a SciFi geek, ever since I first caught Star Wars, and right along with Star Trek and TNG, and book after book filled my early collection. SciFi is great escapism, and provides excellent avenues for taking a look at the human condition from another angle.

Since a few of my favorites aren't on this list, here they are. Pick these up and check them out sometime, and then tell me you don't like SciFi:

  • The Forever War by Joe Haldeman - An allegory for the Vietnam War, it follows the story of a man drafted into an interstellar war drawn out over several millenia thanks to the time dialation effects of near-lightspeed travel. Culture shock, love and the eternal question of war are dealt with masterfully, making this a must-read for any SciFi nerd, and a must-try if you're not quite "one of us..."
  • Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card - The first book of the Ender Quartet, the story of a boy with extraordinary skills, drawn into the world of Battle School in the wake of the Formic ("Buggers," an insectoid race) invasions. If the Battle Room doesn't suck you in, I have no idea why you're even able to function normally in society. "Remember - The Enemy's Gate Is Down."
  • Ghost in the Shell by Masamune Shirow - Yeah, I know, it's a Manga. But god DAMN is it awesome. The pictures should help those of you less inclined toward the geek side of things, give that the protagonist is fairly easy on the eyes. But the human condition is the central theme of the story, revolving around cyborgs and the ghosts within them...
Those are my three , and they round out the top five LP-reccomended SciFi books. So get your ass down to Waldenbooks or Borders or Barnes & Noble or wherever you get your good old-fashioned dead-tree editions and stick your nose in them. Who knows. You might end up actually liking SciFi...

No Taste, Volume 1

Worst. Headline. Ever.

Via Fark.

Wrong, just wrong...

Snow'd On

Ahhh, ice storms. Not since January, 2005 have we here in Central PA experienced the fun of a good-sized depositing of freezing rain. That time, I spent the week living at Jester's (he had power, I didn't) and most of the first night was spent at Electric Avenue with Justin and Jerry, hooking the generator into the motel unit. Good times, good times.

While not as severe as the 2005 storm, today's is bad enough that I'm actually home from work for once, which is both cool and crappy: Cool, because hey, let's face it, who doesn't like a day off; and crappy, because I'll be short about 8 hours on my already pitiful paycheck come Monday. Bummer. Not a good trade...

But you all know me, and whenever I get the chance, I try to turn a negative into a positive. Today will probably be one of the most proficient blogging days I've had in quite a long time, since I'll have all day to scour the Intarwebs (which is a series of tubes) for nifty crap to post about. I know all six of you are excited about that one, right? Right.

And hey, speaking of all six of you, I'd like to welcome Mexico to the list! My best guess (since the map is small, even the bigger version isn't that detailed) is that the hit came from the vicinity of Mexico City. No matter where in Mexico it came from, allow me to be the first to say Bienvenido to my southern neighbors! Even though, like everyone else, you won't leave a single comment, I still welcome any new readers to my stupid little world. Hey, you never know: my misery might make someone stop and say "Hey, things ain't so bad here, at least I ain't that Prophyt kid..."

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Scalzi Talks Up Fearless Leader

Writer John Scalzi has his "A Month of Writers" series sights set on Wil today, and what preceeds Blue Light Special is an interesting side story for those of us who follow Wil's work. It's a wonderful piece that really touches on the central theme of both Wil and his writing. For those interested, there's also a Fark Thread under the Geek Tab.

What got me, though, was the comments section, where a few folks have just discovered Wil through John's post, and ordered books based on his entry alone. Kudos to Wil on that windfall! New readers via word of mouth (word of blog?) are often the best readers of all, and it ain't shameful to admit that it's because the advertising is free.

It also works both ways, as I'll be adding John's blog to my list of reads. Man, my RSS folder is getting rather chubby...

Update 12/13: Oh, you knew that there was going to be a post over on WWdN:IX about it. Come on, like that wasn't going to happen...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

An Open Letter To The Borough of Philipsburg, PA

So, an entire summer of nothing, and then, suddenly, three tickets in five days? What, do your CEOs only work certain months, like when you're desperate for revenue?

If you think I'm paying these tickets, you have another thing coming.

And what are you going to do, suspend my license? Yeah, that'll solve the problem.

You people need to seriously get your act together. You expect your residents to shell out $25 a clip for parking tickets? HA! Let me guess: You need to pay off that brilliant Front Street renovation, don't you. Dipped a little too far into the budget for that, did we?

Listen to me, and listen good. My girlfriend lives here in this building. She has an 11 month old son. And the closest free parking available is blocks away. What you're telling me is, we either have to bundle up and carry a fairly large (but not obese) toddler several blocks in the middle of Central PA's winter weather, or we have to run several blocks, bring our vehicle back here, and fight with the people trying to park in these same spots for Representative Conklin's office, right? We have no choice, because a resident with no off-street parking has no business PARKING IN A NON-METERED SPOT IN FRONT OF HER APARTMENT.

Look. You people are a joke. You can't even hire a Borough Manager without squabbling amongst yourselves. How do you expect to run an entire town when you people let your petty personal bullshit get in the way of actually accomplishing anything? You just had to make a circus out of the situation with John Knowles and make a big deal out of hiring someone new, only to pick up someone who came with controversy already installed.

How much did you spend on Front Street? $2 million? Money well spent, eh? No, not hardly. So Front Street now looks like Bellefonte, minus the hills. And what's that going to do, hmm? Yeah, it looks nice, and it'll be a while before you have to repair it again. But what about the rest of the town?

Still looks like a festering redneck hellhole to me, kids.

And what financial benefits was fixing Front Street supposed to bring? I don't see any businesses stampeding over each other to get any of the many available storefronts. Nope, just looks like Bellefonte without the hills to me, and only for four blocks. The rest of the town? Still looks like it did in 1985. It showed its age pretty badly back then, and how do you think it looks after 22 years without any real effort to correct or stifle it?

Looks like Front Street used to. But hey, Front Street looks good, so money well spent, right? Right. Pat yourselves on the back.

Meanwhile, Philipsburg simply can't afford a police department, can it. Couldn't waste $2 million on a police department when we can make Front Street look like Bellefonte, could we? Glad to see you have taxpayer money priorities lined up there, kids.

Hello. Wake up. You live and work in a SEVERELY ECONOMICALLY DEPRESSED REGION. Looking to your past isn't going to save your future. Yes, Philipsburg has minor historical significance. But that's pretty much limited to anything with "Rowland" in its name. And don't even get me started on how you (the owners) and the board of directors at the Rowland have fucked up that gem. The Rowland is the best asset you people have at your disposal, and you're letting it stagnate, and the whole time, it's going deeper and deeper into debt.

But hey, Front Street looks nice, doesn't it? You bought some pretty Xmas lights and banners, and you're really, really proud of it, aren't you?

You don't need my $75. What you need is for all of you to be fired, with prejudice, and replaced with people who can actually manage a town like this without some stupid pet project that will blow up in their faces. Yes, the Front Street project WILL BLOW UP IN YOUR FACE. What seemed like a nice idea at the time will come back to haunt you down the road.

When your pipe dreams of a historical revival burst, and Philipsburg is finally swallowed by the sprawl of State College (and yes, that will eventually happen, give it two decades), your stupid decisions now will transform Philipsburg into an afterthought. It will be an eyesore. The people? They'll be no less trashy than they are now. It'll become State College's bastard child.

But hey, Front Street will look nice, won't it.

I'll be waiting for your response. Since you people are so concerned with the past, you can type it up on your precious typewriter and send it Pony Express to the address associated with my license plate number. And I'll expect detailed explainations as to exactly why you spent $2 million on Front Street and not a police department, or on any serious sort of economically viable development whatsoever.

And you can bet I'll publish every word you say right here, because your letter is a Government Work, and all Government Works are in the public domain.

You know, Pittsburgh (my adopted home) has a permit system that excuses residents from tickets on the streets they live on. It allows them to park in areas otherwise designated similar to the particular block of Presqueisle in question. Why don't you consider that? Your CEOs obviously like to pick and choose when they give out tickets, so that'll give them more of their precious free time to drive around jamming out to Neil Diamond.

Or would you like to come here and tell my 11 month old step son that he'll have to brave the cold just to make it to his Aunt's house?

Get your acts together, people, unless you want your names forever tied to the decline and ultimate downfall of a once-proud Central Pennsylvania town. You make the call. And you make it without my money.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Learn Me A Book

Because I'm bored, and because I'm sure some of what I say confuses the ever-loving bejeebus out of some of you, here's a handy list of some of the "Internet Slang" I use, and their meanings. Yeah, I'm really, really bored...

  • teh funnay - The Funny, humor, telling jokes or funny anecdotes to people. The is often misspelled anytime it's used, not just this bit of jargon, as you'll see later...
  • Intarwebs - Play on the name Internet, as if an illiterate hillbilly were saying it.
  • Intertubes - Same as above, though less redneck-ish.
  • (which is a series of tubes) - I think someone once compared the Internet to a series of tubes, maybe it was that freak job Jack Thompson, I don't know. I tried to Google it, but all I got was a ton of people using it, and I just don't have the time to find out the origin. Perhaps Wil could help me out on that one...
  • ROTFLLMMFAO - ROTFL is obviously Rolling on the Floor Laughing, LMMFAO is Laughing My Mother Fucking Ass Off. Yes, I like to be long winded, even with my Intarwebs acronyms.
  • ghey - Gay. Also teh ghey.
  • Micro$oft and M$ - Self-explanitory, illustrating their greed for cash while giving us crap operating systems and other products in the process. No-good DRM Evildoers.
  • LOLCat and Caturday - What started with the O RLY? Owl has exploded, and now the most common form of captioned picture is the LOLCat (a combination of Laugh Out Loud and Cat, but "cat" can be replaced with any sort of animal/person/object). Caturday is Saturday, when the inevitable cat-related post will appear on Fark, and folks will either post LOLCats or pictures of their own cats for others to caption. The source of my Saturday Post material. Here's an article, including an interview with Fark's own Drew Curtis, about the LOL craze and Caturday (Fark Thread).
  • Farked, Fark'd or Slashdotted - This is what happens when an article on a low-traffic website gets linked to by a larger news site like Fark or Slashdot.
Hopefully, I'll have some time a little later for a bit of a longer rant, and to make up for last week's missed "This Week on the JMP" post. Sorry, John!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

I Can Has Last Minute?

Yes, I know, I'm late to the Caturday party. It was a rough day, didn't really have a chance to post anything earlier than now. But hey, the 11th hour isn't too bad, right? Anyway, here are my Caturday favorites from today's Fark Thread. See any you like, click to embiggen...

And finally, an old favorite, for all you haters out there. You know who you are, love you all to death!

I (heart) Caturday!

Friday, December 07, 2007

And Now For Something Completely Different

Here's one Justin ought to love: Welsh Rap group (snicker) Goldie Lookin' Chain (snicker snicker) has released a song called "Sex for Christmas" (ROTFLLMMFAO).

OK, I think I can stop laughing long enough to finish this post now. You have GOT to be kidding me. So I go to their MySpace Page to listen to this abomination of a song, and what am I greeted with? How the band (if you can call them that) wants sex for Christmas with a girl who looks like Abi Tutmuss.

I get British humor, but I guess I don't get British Rap, other than Lady Sovereign. The fact that it's Welsh just makes it even more amusing, I guess. Wonder if they'll do a Welsh language version of this track...

Get A Full Box

With all the negative bile I either spew or spew about on this blog, it's sometimes easy to forget that, somewhere in this world, there are good - and sometimes even great - things happening. From population-freeing revolutions to the smallest acts of kindness, this world does still have some non-evil in it.

As a former volunteer firefighter, this story hit home double for me, so you can imagine the fun I'm going to have trying to cover it up at work with just a roll of cheap TP for tissues. If you have access to a box of Kleenex or Puffs or whatever the hell your favorite brand is (even the chincy little travel pack jobbies), you'll want to get them now, before you click through.

Got them? OK, away we go. This is the story of a seven year old boy with terminal cancer, and the last-minute effort to make his biggest dream come true. I haven't hit the Thread yet, but I do hope that Farkers are showing love and respect for this poor kid and his family.

Here's to our little fallen brother, the bravest of us all. Sound the bell...


Once again, I've bravely trolled the Farkives for this week's Nanny State Roundup. But things in the Farkives look pretty bleak...

  • Treats Trumped (Thread): A British production has been banned from tossing sweets into the audience out of fears that some git might sue if their precious little snowflake got bopped with an errant toffee. They don't call it a "Nanny State" for nothing, I guess...
  • PMITA Poetry (Thread): A so-called "lyrical terrorist" was handed a nine month suspended sentence for writing "extremist poetry" on till receipts and what not. So, I guess just writing down terroristic ideas is a crime now. Wouldn't want to upset anyone now, would we...
Um, uh oh. Only two this week? I could have sworn I saw more Nanny State articles than just these two. Oh well, you get the idea, right? Right. I'm sure the UK will come up with more Nanny State madness in the coming days. After all, they need to protect their hapless citizens from the worst threat of all: themselves...

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Fearless Leader Reviews The Rock

Wil's at it again, and this time his Geek In Review (at Suicide Girls, so it might be NSFW at times) comes out rocking hard: With reviews of Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, and the new kid on the rock block, Rock Band.

I'ma have to wait til Christmas to play GH3, but that's all good with me. What has me salivating is the fact that Tom Morello (ex Rage Against the Machine, current Audioslave) is a playable character once you beat his boss battle. AWESOME! And the encore after that is Bulls on Parade, which will freakin' rock the house!

Yeah, I can't wait. But I have to, so Wil's review is all I get for now. Maybe I'll post my own in a few months, once I get to the point where I'm actually somewhat OK at playing the game. I missed out (for the most part) on the other Guitar Hero games, mostly due to my lack of desire to own an next-gen console other than the Wii. But, with a loaner PS2, I can now officially get by...

It's The Network

Yeah, Verizon sucks.

At work and at Angel's, we have Verizon DSL. While it works nicely when it's chugging along like it's supposed to, the times when it refuses to do so are quite the pain in the ass. These past two months have been like riding a bandwidth rollercoaster, but one with sudden, neck-wrenching stops at random intervals.

For the first month or so, service was incredibly sluggish, especially at work. Pages that, on even a basic DSL connection, should only take a second or three to load ended up taking fifteen or more. Less image-heavy pages like this blog, which load almost instantly, took just as long as any other page during the slowdown.

Recently, though, there have been more and more instances of the modem's Internet light either beaming a bright shade of red, or not being on at all. Those, my friends, are the fun times, and they explain my lack of posts the last two days. I knew I should have typed something up while I was at the Avenue working, damnit.

With the outages come other problems as well. Every chance I've had to edit the video from my 30th birthday party has been foiled by Verizon's crap service, lagging connections to codec servers to the point of time-out (they don't try for very long before declaring a time-out, either), if not disallowing me before I even sit down thanks to the Red Light of Death. There's some cool stuff in those vids, since it was just the crew there that night, and we had free reign over the joint. Plus, there's some footage of Andy, Fred and I doing some acoustic stuff, which is awesome.

The first recording of Tetsaiga. Rock on!

But all this is being cockblocked by The Network. It was bad enough when it was Bell Atlantic, back before the takeover and before DSL was available here in the sticks. Phone lines didn't have much latency, so already-slow connections were further choked down.

And yet they still charge an arm and at least a good portion of a leg for their service. Good lord, I hope FiOS isn't this bad...

Monday, December 03, 2007

Which Is Funnier?

The story, or the comments it generated?

First of all, The Story (Thread): A man with the surname Whitelightning gets plowed and steals a Kirspy Kreme truck, going on a joyride. Cops from two police agencies are chasing the guy, with donuts flying out of the back of the truck. The whole thing is caught on the dash camera, and when the video goes public, even the DA says it'll be a hit on YouTube.

And now, The Comment, posted by a mysterious user known only as James Beam:

James Beam says:

Misdemeanors imposed upon Mr. Whitelightning include:

==Discharging a donut within city limits

==Improper use of a donut

==Endangering public safety by use of donut

==posessing unlicensed donut

==posession of concealed donut

==reckless endagerment of giant red-hot pickled sausages

==non-payment of donut

==posession of donut paraphranalia

==driving under the influence of donut

==Exceeding daily bag limit of giant red-hot pickled sausages

==non-registration of giant red-hot pickled sausage

==placing posessing or using bait to elude police

Cliches come to life, only on Fark!

Inciting A Holy War 101: Cristian Stupidity

And not just stupidity. Let's add Arrogance, Bile, Ignorance, and Complete Disregard.

Also Moron, Nutcase, Idiot, Dumbass, Dicksplash, Asshat, Fucktard, and Half-wit.

This is what happens when Jesus takes the wheel (Thread):

All common sense? Gone. After Muslims in Sudan went batshit crazy, wanting to execute a British teacher for allowing her students to name a stuffed teddy bear Muhammad, this fuckwit has the audacity to name a stuffed pig the very same.

For those of you who don't really know: In Islam, there is no lower creature than the pig. To them, the pig is filthy, as it eats the wastes of other animals (mostly humans' tab;e scraps anymore, good ol' slop) and rolls around in filth (usually mud). This is why Muslims won't eat any pork products.

Most of you should know, however, that Muhammad is the big prophet of Islam, and to insult him is, more often than not, a death sentence to the hardliners.

So yeah. Let's create an image of their prophet in the form of a pig. Real smart there, Reverend.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

A Day Late...

Yesterday's Caturday Thread on Fark had lots of good, fresh LOLCats posted, as well as a few other LOLCritters. So, in order to create a new tag, and to give me something to do on Saturdays, I'm going to start posting my favorites from each Caturday from here on out.

Everyone say it with me: Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww...

As an aside, there's an effort underway to translate the Bible into Kitty Pidgin, the language of LOLCats. Teh blessigs of teh Ceiling Cat b pwn u, lol!

Sunday Fark-Up, Snowed In Edition

It's Sunday. It's snowing like a motherfucker outside. It's going to turn to freezing rain a little later on, followed by a whole bunch more snow. The plow just drove past the house, making it's rounds on it's futile quest to keep the roads clear. No, they'll still be, at the very least, slushy and slow-moving by the time I have to leave for work.

If I have to go, that is. We'll find that out later. In the meantime, here's some links to hold you over, all found on Fark. There's some big news hidden in here, so read carefully. The rest is just filler, which is what most news is these days anyway. Drew said so (Thread). Alright then, off we go:

  • Google is getting into the Wireless Business (Thread). Do you know how AWESOME this is? Google is a central cog in my Intarwebs (which is a series of tubes) experience, including playing parent company to this very blog's host. Hell, 'google' has been made an official verb in the English language! How can you NOT love the idea of an all-in-one GooglePhone? And the fact that Google fought to make sure the owner of the coveted "C-Block" (snicker) of the bandwidth spectrum up for bids comes with guaranteed consumer rights built in makes it even more teh hawsome...
  • Rolling Stone is running a piece on the blazingly obvious: The "War on Drugs" is an utter failure (Thread). Um, duh! It's about as big a failure as the "War on Terror," only not as overtly costly (that we know of, yet.) I suppose you could call it the lesser of two evils, but it's no less an example of the collective idiocy of the United States Government. Boy, those fuckers sure know how to blow other people's money, don't they...
  • Penny Arcade's Child's Play Charity is auctioning off two tickets for dinner with Fearless Leader in Seattle (Thread, WWdN:IX Post). AWESOME! 100% of the proceeds go to PA's wonderful children's charity, so if you're in the Seattle area (and I KNOW I have readers up there, you guys are stopping by at least once a week) and have over $1K laying around doing nothing, cough it up for the kids! Bidding ends around midnight tonight, so you'd best hurry, too. This could be your one and only chance to be able to recommend the New York Strip to Ensign Crusher...
  • With the release of "Bender's Big Score" this week, Futurama is officially back! I've seen it, and it is teh hawsome! Even better, IGN has an interview (Thread) producer David X. Cohen about the three remaining Futurama movies, including basic plot details and the fact that, yes, the next one will pick up where BBS leaves off. Apparently, the movies will be carved up into four episode mini-arcs, all to be aired as a pseudo-sixth season on Comedy Central. Oh well, at least it's new Futurama, right? Right!
Verizon's having issues tonight, no doubt weather-related, so I think I'ma pop in a movie and try to get back to sleep. I'm not entirely sure if I have to go to work or not, but I wouldn't be surprised if I did. Fun fun fun, living in Central PA this time of year...

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Nanny State, Nanny State, Baker's Man...

Oh, you'll love this one. UK readers, take notice, because the wonderful Nanny State you've created is about to cut off your metaphorical balls:

The UK is considering lowering the legal blood alcohol level.

To 0.00.

Yep. They're going to make it a crime to have even one sip of one drink and drive a vehicle. Granted, yes, this does have the potential to drastically cut alcohol-related driving accidents and deaths, but COME THE FUCK ON!

How in the fuck are you supposed to expect a nation of people who drink like bloody fishes to even remotely consider following this statute? Your jails would be filled to capacity! If they're actually serious about enforcing one of those asinine Zero Tolerance policies, then you have to come down with the hammer each and every time to get your message across.

And with millions of Brits having pub fetishes, that could get a bit crowded.

I urge all of you in the UK: Stop this madness. Destroy the Nanny State. I don't care if you revert to total monarchy, as long as you tell your government to stay the fuck out of your lives. You're PRIVATE CITIZENS, not little children who need to be mollycoddled and led around by the hand.

Once, it was said that the sun never sets on the British Empire. Looks like you'd all better take Sir Elton's advice and not let the sun go down on you. Or at least on your watch.

Britons! Arise! Tell Mary Poppins that the wind has changed and you no longer wish to live in a Nanny State! PROTECT YOUR RIGHT TO BOOZE!!!

Friday, November 30, 2007

...Lies The Key To Imagination

It's Redneck Hospital 2: Electric Boogaloo.

You know, the ignorance of Rednecks never ceases to stop amazing the crap out of me. That's just a given anymore. I mean, these people are oblivious to the fact that they singlehandedly keep the human race needlessly tethered to lifestyles and ideals that went out with the dawn of the airplane.

All too often, stupidity is tied to that ignorance. Take, for example, the devout NASCAR fan I ran into this morning at the doctors' office. How did I know he was a NASCAR fan, not to mention a devout one? The jacket said it all, and said it loudly. Not only was the NASCAR logo plastered all over the bloody thing, but it's once-bright blue color was stained to high heaven with what could only be several different kinds of natural and synthetic industrial and automotive lubricants.

The mullet didn't hurt my deduction, either.

At any rate, we were behind this older couple, waiting to check the Bear in for his follow-up. Off to our left, looking obviously impatient and worried, stood Captain Stock Car, a hillbilly of about 45 years of age, looking more like 55 after years of Church and Go Fast, Turn Left action on Sundays and raising some rowdy kin-folk.

Well, the old couple taking a bit I can understand. Let's face it: they're old. If they do anything fast anymore, it's pretty much a medical miracle. You can't fault them for their age, nor the fact that they're living in an era that's way ahead of them in terms of social speed. But Captain Stock Car was looking like he was desperate to cut in front of us, even though we had what was obviously a slightly-under-the-weather 11 month old with us.

So, when the old folks were done, he asked us if he could cut in line real quick. His all-important question, the one that forced him to cut in front of a sick child?

Could he use one of the dozen or so wheelchairs sitting in the lobby - which are there for patients to take and use if they need to as soon as they arrive in the building - for his mother.

Idiot thought he needed permission. Yeah, in a place where people are sick and time is of the essence, you have to throw a wrench in the works to ask if your sick mother can use a wheelchair that they put there for people like your sick mother to use without having to ask.

Seriously. They let these people have kids? If the blazingly obvious passes you by completely and you don't even feel the breeze, you need to seriously rethink your situation.

Sure, it was only a hold-up of about 15 seconds, and the Bear wasn't in any dire need of medical care (it was just a follow-up to his ER visit on 500 Years of BS and Turkey Day), but come on! If you'd come down out of the hills every so often and see what civilized people are doing with their newfangled advancements, maybe you'd know things like medical centers put wheelchairs by the entrance for patients who need (or feel they need) them.

What a modern concept that is. Go home and watch Speed Network, hillbilly. FAIL.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

How My Poor Heart Aches

So, really. Where do you draw the line between fandom and stalking? And is there any chance that, in place of a line, there could be some sort of grey area where you're teetering on the razor's edge of that line, but not quite falling over to the other side?

I suppose Lawyer Mama is trying to answer that question for us all.

LM is a fan of Wil's, much like myself and thousands of others. Let's face it: man can spin a yarn, and spin it well. And oh yeah, there's that whole actor thing, Star Trek, something or other, I don't know. In a nutshell, yes, he's quite worthy of having good, loyal fans.

Poor LM, though, she's in the grey area. While the rest of us revel in Wil's blog posts and the occasional reply to an email with a question about the site or whatever (I myself got one once, which was cool), LM took the step into the not-black-but-not-white-either are of fandom and is now attempting a small feat of stalkery: Trying to get Wil to pop one comment on her blog.

Yeah, you'll want to scroll to the bottom of that post for the Wheaton info, unless you're up on the topic of breastfeeding in America. I just wanted to link to her most recent post...

Yep, grey area. I don't see where this is harmful. After all, she's not at his house or off tailing Wil's oldest at college, and she's not really all that obsessed the way you'd think your garden-variety stalker would be. She's just a fan who'd like that one moment of semi-contact. Kindof like meeting your favorite actor or writer at a convention: That 30 seconds of time can mean the world to someone.

For LM, her 30 seconds would be Wil posting a quick comment on her blog. And honestly, I think it'd be a bit of alright if he did. I'm not saying he absolutely should, mind you, just saying that it'd be cool of him. And what's halfway decent is, Wil is, within certain boundaries, a "celebrity" who's fairly accessible to his fanbase.

So, I'm going to wish Lawyer Mama the best of luck. As a blogger who's had that 30 seconds with Wil and several other "famous" folk over the years, I can attest to the joy you get when you meet/communicate with those you admire for one reason or another. So, to inspire her on her quest, here's a picture of me with one of my all time favorite musicians, Sascha K. of KMFDM, from back in October, 2004.

Good luck, Mama!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Chim Chim Cheroo

I clicked on the Week-long Archive link on Fark tonight, determined to find out just how many Nanny State articles about the stupid BS going on in (not-so?) Great Britain, and this is what I found...

Eh, not as much as I'd expect from the seven day Farkive, but still, it's all kind of childish when you think about it. And what's even more sad is the fact that this kind of crap is trying to get itself established here in the United States as well.

Why am I posting all this nonsense? Well, I've noticed a rash of readers from the southeast of the UK, from about London to Canturbury. What say ye, Englishmen and women? I'm interested in your thoughts on the goings on in your own country, as well as your perceptions of what's going on here...

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Not Yours

Just when you thought that the "Nanny State" conditions in the UK were getting to the point of outright laughable, a story like this emerges. In what is fast becoming a large Fark thread, discussion is raging on about the sad tale of a young expecting mother who had to beat feet out of the UK and into hiding in Europe, simply to keep Britain's Social Services monsters from taking her baby away from her... immediately after her birth.

Fran Lyon suffered through a bunch of disorders when she was a teenager, which sadly is a pretty common occourance for the current generation. But she managed to fight back and win herself a normal, happy life, including damn-fine grades and a spot in college. But when she became pregnant with the little girl she's already named Molly, Social Services stepped in and, using her history against her, said that they were going to snake Molly from her out of fear that she may suffer abuse at the hands of a mentally unstable mother.

Despite the fact that several of her doctors stood up for her at a hearing, and despite the fact that Scoial Services' own appointed independent expert even said there was no obvious danger whatsoever, they still want to gank her kid from her.

Now, let me just speak on this for a moment. Social Services, whether in the UK or here in the US, have started a trend where they cross the line from protective to meddling. They routinely destroy families in the name of protecting children, often as a knee-jerk reaction to what amounts to trivial and slim chances of anything negative ever happening.

In Lyon's case, they're trying to punish her for her past, despite the fact that she's spent the last four years living a normal, healthy life and having her mental diagnosis reversed. And they were so adamant about it that she was forced to flee the country out of fear that she would lose her baby despite everyone's best efforts.

Dirty pool, old man...

This kind of bullshit has to stop. This Nanny Government business is getting really old, really fast. George Orwell is probably rolling over in his grave right now, trying to break through to the surface just long enough to scream "I told you so" before he returns to the protected, un-Nanny-able confines of his coffin. Britons need to say enough is enough and take back their personal privacy rights.

And if ANY government agency here in the US even THINKS of enacting policies like the ones in the UK, you might want to think twice...

Tonight on the JMP Issue #0

Well, since I've linked to him, and since he's a good friend of mine, I guess I'd better start plugging the hell out of John's show, shouldn't I? Yeah, besides: it gives me something to do on Sunday's when I'm bored out of my skull. Gotta take this one on early, since tonight is also the Chloe Hooven Benefit Show at Electric Avenue.

Speaking of which, if you're local (Clearfield/Philipsburg/Houtzdale, even State College/Altoona), I want to invite you all to come down to the Avenue tonight. One of my best friends, Corey, has a daughter, Chloe, who's just 15 months old,and has been diagnosed with ALM Lukemia. The local music scene here in Central PA has stepped up to the plate for little Chole and are putting their talents on display tonight to raise money for this sweet little girl. It's only $5 to get in, and you get five great area bands including Double Negative, $9 Porno, and my good friends/headliners Two For Flinching.

Yep, it's A Buck A Band, and it goes to this wonderful cause. Please, come on down and support Chloe and her family!

Now then, on to tonight's JMP (which I'm going to miss because I'll be at said benefit)! John and Candy have a host of comedy guests, so it's guaranteed to be 100% teh funnay. Tonight's first guest is Joe Klocek, and if I'm reading Candy's post over at the JMP Blog correctly, Bay Area geeks may want to check him out. He'll be talking about his comedy gameshow, Get It!?, being held on December 5th (more info in the JMP blog and on Joe's Website). Candy is in the line-up for it, so not only will teh funnay flow like a river, but it'll be hot as hell, too! Guys, you know you wanna get you some Candy...

The second hour will feature Kaseem Bentley and Tony Sparks. Kaseem is reportedly the Bay Area's #1 insult comic, which should be very interesting to see indeed. Tony, on the other hand, is a legend in the Bay Area comedy scene, known as the "Father of S.F. Comeday" for his work in SanFran and Oakland. Pretty good one-two punch, I'd say.

Look, people. It's Sunday. You've done the whole pomp-and-circumstance Church thing, most of the football games on the schedule are either over or winding down, and you need something to at least listen to before you pass out, only to wake up and start the workweek grind all over again.* The JMP is the cure, your dose of laughs right before you get into the routine. You can listen in on PCR 87.9FM in the San Fransisco Area, or on the Intarwebs (which is a series of tubes) at Pirate Cat Radio dot Com or! If you want more JMP, here's some Old School Webcast JMP on YouTube as well...

And if you call in, tell 'em E-Rock sent ya...

*Ha ha, I have Monday's off! Neener neener! :P

Friday, November 23, 2007

Beyond This Door...

Turkey Day was alright for me, leaning on the side of crappy - Angel was rather sick, and The Bear developed a weird rash literally overnight. Once we made the rounds as far as family goes, we decided that they should both be taken to the ER to find out what's wrong. M'love was in quite a bit of pain, and hadn't had the best of days the day before. Teddy, meanwhile, seemed almost completely oblivious to the fact that he now looked like a slice of pizza, since it didn't seem to be an itchy type of rash.

After we checked in, we made our way to the waiting room. Clearfield Hospital isn't really known for it's speedy processing and treatment (sorry, but it's true), so I anticipated a rather lengthy and boring wait with a squirming 11 month old to keep me busy. Not only was the wait not terribly long, but when Angel went to the bathroom, I overheard one of the most bizzare and hillarious sentences ever come out of the mouth of a woman in the ER waiting room...

"They tried to stick a tree in my butt, see if it would grow."
Yeah. This chick actually said those exact words. No lie. Mortified and slowly descending into maddening laughter, I turned my head to see who'd said it. It came from the general direction of a rather... shall we say, choice... family, and the only two female vocal candidates were MUCH bigger than me, so I quickly turned my head back around and tried to stifle my growing case of the giggles.

When Angel came back, I headed out to the truck. For starters, I needed to get outside and smoke a cigarette. And two, I wanted to write those exact words down as quickly as possible so I wouldn't forget them when I wrote this, the inevitable entry on the moment. Once I got into the cab, I lit my cigarette, rolled down the window a bit, and opened the glove box to pull out a Micky-Dee's napkin. As I was writing, an ambulance arrived (oddly without sirens or lights, so I never noticed it til it was there) and a patient was being unloaded by the crew. The exchange between this crotchety old gent and the female EMT at the end of his gurney proved to be an unexpected bonus...
"I'll walk in there my own damned self, thank you..."

"No, you will stay right where you are."
Just like a mom would say to her unruly kid. Of course, it was one of those 'you had to be there' moments, but rare is it that anyone would get a double dose of Karma comedy in one night, let alone at the Clearfield Hospital ER... So of course I wrote that down, too, just as soon as I finished making sure I had my notes on the previous shot of teh funnay all squared up. Finishing my cigarette, I hurried back through the blustery Central Pennsylvania chill and into the ER waiting room, eager to share the whole experience with Angel.

Sometimes, even the not-so-good moments in life have a funny way of giving you something to smile about. Angel and Teddy are both fine, though Angel has bronchitis, which I know first-hand bites, and bites hard. Teddy's rash was just a reaction to a common antibiotic, and he should be fine in the next day or two.

One thing I do know for sure right now: You should never burn the candle at all three ends, especially on Black Friday...

UPDATE: Whoops. Forgot to re-mention: Don't forget that Wil will be on NUMB3RS tonight. Check your local listings. IGN has an article (with corresponding Fark Thread) featuring a quick 'interview' with Wil, who quickly and decisively dispells any rumors of a TV comeback, given his latest string of guest shots. No, our boss is happy being a writer, and we're all glad for it.

Not that it hurts to see teh Wheaton on teh Tube every so often, mind you...

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Rejoice: Wheaton On NUMB3RS Tomorrow!

Happy Thanksgiving to you all. Nothing like celebrating 500 years of theft, deception, and really bad Karma. Fuck the Pilgrims, fuck Christianity making it out to be a lie of friendship and co-operation. You people should be ashamed of yourselves. Now, go eat your fucking turkey...

Now that the negative stuff is out of the way, it's time for some GOOD news: Wil's guest shot on NUMB3RS will air tomorrow night, according to this WWdN:IX post. ROCK!

Rare is it that I watch network TV shows. Most of the time, they're crap. But a few years ago, I was sucked in when Wil did his guest spot as Walter on CSI. Tomorrow night will be no different, as I'll be glued to my TV watching our fearless leader transform from blogging cool guy into douchebag comic book guy.

At least the WGA Strike didn't put the kibash on this one...