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Archive for October, 2010

Just in Time

Was over at McGoo’s, where he tipped his readers off to Drew Dewalt and his mini-horror short movies – hats off to Dewalt, who has risen in my estimation as one hell of a good spooky movie storyteller.

This stuff is online and there’s a score of episodes to Camera Obscura, all anywhere from 3 to 8 minutes long each, but oh my goodness they are packed.

Good God, McGoo… what awesometastic timing.  Halloween got a kick in the pants after many years and thousands of crappy movies kicking it in the nuts.

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Update to that Camera Obscura thing… the ending could have been done better but I’m not sure how, exactly.  It just seemed really brief.  But overall it was most excellent.

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Why are the rest of us sane people allowing lies to stand?

I’ll give you an example or two.

Big Sis Says Patdowns to Become the Norm

Why have we allowed security to be tightened on every single person when we all know damn well that followers of Islam have a much higher percentage of folks willing to engage in terrorism?  Setting underwear on fire, explosives in body cavities, toner cartridge bombs, flying planes into buildings, car bombs, homicide bombers, beheadings, torture (and please don’t even try to equate waterboarding with burning, sledgehammers, and woodchippers, that’s another lie I won’t be a part of)

Illegal Immigrants Aliens

  1. Why call them immigrants?  Immigrants come here legally.  Aliens do not.
  2. Why do we not say “With the legal avenues to get a green card, why sneak in?”  The answer being that there are not enough green cards given out isn’t a valid excuse.  It IS WHAT IT IS.
  3. Why have we allowed voting, licenses, rentals, medical, etc. for people who are breaking the law?
  4. Why do we tolerate the statements “We’ve been here for years and been good citizens, kids in school, pay our bills” when the real question is “Why are you here illegally?”  I don’t much care about your life here because you’re here illegally.
  5. Why do we allow people to make the argument that “These are jobs that wouldn’t get done”?  That’s bullsh*t.  That’s totally ignoring the fact that they’re still here illegally.

Know why we live in such a peaceful society?

Because our moral code generally doesn’t allow for violent lawlessness.  We don’t require bribes at every single level of our government as “that’s just the way we do things” such that it costs people twice as much just to go get groceries or travel in certain areas.  We don’t generally do whatever notion takes our fancy because our religion says we can.

Pick whatever exception to that you’d like, but it’s just another shared lie when people try to draw moral equivalence to genital mutilation, shootings/beheadings/dismemberments, honor killings, retribution, and generally we frown on targeting innocents, women, and children.

Don’t bother to tell me that we bomb families in Afghanistan – that happens because Taliban forces hide behind the skirts of women and little children like cowards.   I defy you to find me one country that puts as much emphasis on making sure there isn’t collateral damage.

Health care.

Tell me all the reasons why we should have universal health care, tell me sob story after story.

The lie is that we owe it to others.  NO we DON’T.  You can’t fix everyone’s problems like politicians (and a lot of people think).  If we could do that then we would have the resources to make this a perfect world and I assure you, we do not.  Not close, and it would never be equal – some would pay lots and others would pay nothing.

In the final analysis two questions must be answered:  (1) Is there anything at all in the Constitution that says one citizen must be taxed to pay for another citizen’s health care?  (there are many many things that could be substituted in for “health care”, and (2) Assume that the answer to #1 was “yes”, is there any way you can pay for it and Social Security – itself unconstitutional – and Medicare/Medicaid?

The third question is a bit harder, colder, but still a valid one.  What moral imperative do *I* have to care for *you*?   Seriously.   Walk into a restaurant and say “I don’t have a nice car and can’t hardly afford a bad one either, so I want you all to take $20 out of your wallets and put the money in the bag I have here.”  You wouldn’t get very far.  So why is it ok to tax people to pay for other people’s Cash for Clunkers, or First Time Buyer’s Credit, or TARP/bailout money… the list gets quite long.  If you go back to the restaurant example, how many people would say “I don’t know you, go screw yourself?”

They would be completely within their rights to do so.  But apparently not if the Federal Gov’t decides to make that transaction on your “behalf”.

Lie #4:  Progressive taxation is anything but unfair.

Where’d the idea come from that success should be penalized?  Who came up with the idea that rich=evil?  Ten percent across the board is almost never heard.  Think about why that is.  Pressures come from both top and bottom to stop that kind of thinking but it’s really the only one that makes a lick of sense.

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Random Crap Day.

Warning:

  1. This isn’t new.  I don’t claim it to be.
  2. As  such, you may have seen it.
  3. It’s sick and disgusting.
  4. The Office Assassin (administrative-slash-secretary nazi) pointed me to this.
  5. As such, it’s not my fault I loved it.

Llamas with Hats…

Update:  Office Assassin, who is terribly concerned that I have recently ordered chloroform (legitimate science-ey stuff) just sent me this… who should be more worried?

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Because I am behind on everything, may I point you in the direction of LC Aggie Sith’s PSA for November 2nd post?

It should not be funny, but Cruel Wife is sewing my ass back on at this moment, because I laughed it clean off.

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While I can understand her parental instincts the less noble part of me took a traipse over and looked at the woman (term used very loosely) who sent her kid to school with weapons to fend off bullies.

Ohmygod.  Geez, lady, ever heard of Extreme Makeovers?

Maybe it’s just the mug shot or the bad attitude.  Or the bad hair day.

(Yes, I know that’s not worthy of me to say it.)

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Also old news by now… Scientists have found “Liberal Gene”.

“It is the crucial interaction of two factors — the genetic predisposition and the environmental condition of having many friends in adolescence — that is associated with being more liberal,” according to the study.
Uh.
Why must scientists always draw conclusions that are non-sequitur?
Could it be that the person who has a pathological need for “lots of friends” in school might also be the person who, now an adult, lacking the easy social settings, viz., a captive audience made up of a small community of adolescents, feels a gnawing urge to buy their esteem using the only source of money large enough to attract throngs of admirers… other people’s money?
Seriously.  The people who feel the need to be loved the most and in the most public way also happen to be liberal.  Only they can’t do it based on their merits so they have to do it by association and by coercion/misappropriation of other’s sweat equity.
And that is as nice as I can put that.

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Update:  Headline over at Drudge:

NYC hit with bedbugs, stink bugs - now lice...

Wait a minute… are we talking New York, or Washington D.C.?

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Note:  Sorry for the delay in posting this final installment.  I just plain haven’t felt “swell” or “peachy” enough to post.  In fact you could use my expression for how I’m feeling… “Never better.”  This was freshly proofed by my captive proof-reader, Intahx E-cated Ho‡, using Dark Jedi Mind Powers.  Long live the Republic!

‡ Not the proofer’s real name.

Where did we leave off in the last installment?

We had just left the warm comforting bosom of our hotel in Madison, Wisconsin, I believe.

It was a morning full of promise.  The sun was out and it was a lapis sky (which only exists in the mind’s eye and on Kodak prints), the birds were chirping gaily (or so it was reported to me by Cruel Wife since I couldn’t and still cannot hear a bird unaided if my life were to depend upon it), and in the distance, masked by the scent of trepidation from our near-prescient kitty, was the future-stench of bowels as-yet unloosed.

Stretching out before us was a crossroads of sorts.  Had we smelt our kitty more closely we might have turned south and kept going, stopping only when we hit the Gulf of Mexico.  Or, we might have turned north and fled to Canada.  Had we fled to Canada the odds are quite high that we’d have turned around and come back for lack of interesting things to do there, but we might have gone the scenic route before fleeing towards the southern border.

But we did not smell our kitty more closely.

New Rule #8:  Always, always, always smell your kitty before embarking on a journey.

Because we did not smell our kitty and thus missed the prescient miasma about his furry personage, we chose the eastern, i.e. towards Michigan, road.

I would love to tell you the following:  That the Goose Lake State Wildlife area was beautiful, that Rock Lake was pristine and unsullied, that parts of Waukesha were quaint and that I had found a great hot dog joint there.  But I can’t tell you any of that because I’ve never been to those places.  I told a little white fib for theatrics earlier, because we did turn south at the crossroads in Madison but we only went as far as we needed to go in order to follow I-90 into Chicago.

What is sad about the route that we took is that I remember absolutely nothing about it.

They say that it is not uncommon to lose the memory of events leading up to an accident or a traumatic event.  It is here that things get a bit hazy beyond a 100 foot radius (the distance in which you just barely have time to say “OhJesusMaryMotherofGodIdon’twanttodielikethisandpleasekeepfromscreamingandshutthecatup” if you say it really really fast like I did, fifty or sixty times)

New Rule #9:  Drug the cat before entering Chicago unless it is in a crate in the back of the truck.

New Rule #10:  Drug the wife before entering Chicago unless she is in a crate in the back of the truck.

New Rule #11:  Double up on Drixoral™ before entering Chicago so the Shadow People that you hallucinate can read maps and navigate for you.

We came southward on I-90/94 with the intent of driving through Chicago in a straight-shot.  I didn’t see a single piece of Chicago since we were coming through it at A Very Bad Time.  By “A Very Bad Time” I mean during a busy period combined with lots of road work.  It was a reasonably hot day and we were doing a lot of necessary but tedious stop-and-go but then the highway opened up for us.  The cat was restless, we were restless, and also restless were many many other cranky drivers.  It wasn’t very long before I found myself behind a semi – and we were all driving very fast at this point.

The cat started to get fluffy.  I glanced down just long enough to see his eyes and pupils were the size of dinner plates at the Hungry Heifer.  Cruel Wife was making a strange noise that fell between strangling and keening.

I embraced (frantically clutched at) my inner child, got in tune with my feminine side, and got way more in tune with my surroundings.  I was at maximal situational awareness because we were now in “heightened circumstances” that were quite beyond our control, viz, we were now boxed in by four enormous trucks and traveling well beyond the speed limit while going around a fairly noteworthy curve.  Silver d’Cat was trying to be helpful, pointing out things that I could do as safety measures but all that was really getting through to me was something that sounded like “Mrrreooowww, hisss, mreeeow, fttttt, hisss, mrrrreowwwrr” but I can’t really be sure.  He repeated himself several times and got louder each time but I couldn’t really hear him over Cruel Wife speaking to me.  It seemed that she was speaking not only in several voices at once but also in at least two additional languages (most alarmingly, they seemed to be dead languages).  It was exceedingly difficult to please her in this instance (more so than usual) because all of her instructions were contradictory – slow down, speed up, turn on your blinker, don’t move, stop, use your vertical thrusters (huh?), build a campfire, lay a new course of tiles, and (my favorite) invent something *quick*.

Ever smelled the combination of cat fear, human sweat, diesel exhaust, and particulates from truly leviathan† truck tires?  It is nauseating.  It’s worse than the combined scent of wildflowers and shame.

A quick note here.  I am referring to “Leviathan” in the sense used by Hobbes, not a sea creature but the concept of something so much bigger than one’s self, a construct of great enormity.  Otherwise in the context of a truck-as-sea-monster it just sounds silly unless it is a truck full of fish-sticks or octopi, not that those two things aren’t rather silly in their own right.

Smells are just not something you need to add to your sensory overload at a time like this.

New Rule #12:  Utilize something like Mentholatum™ as a prophylactic when entering into a situation that is going to involve Odors of Amply Sufficient Vileness.

Let us step outside of events briefly, shall we, Constant Reader?

If we were to freeze the moment, we could walk up and survey the scene in a relaxed and objective fashion, so we’ll do just that.   We might learn something, and we might learn nothing – life is sometimes like that but at least we will be able to say that we made the attempt.  What would we see?  Would it touch us on some deeper level?  Would we be amused?  Disgusted?  Fearful?  Let us see…

We would see a cramped truck cab with two fearful young adults, one male (sweaty, driving), one female (clawed, shrieking), one feline (felis domesticus, yowling), and no fewer than twelve Shadow People that only existed in the mind of the young man behind the wheel of the vehicle because of his cold medicine.  We could stand with our backs to the doors of the truck and reach out and touch the dusty trailers of the semi-trucks to either side.  Four or five healthy strides forwards or backwards would bring us to the trailer doors or grille of the trucks fore and aft.  Sad, endearing, and perfectly understandable would be the small fluffy cat with large panicky eyes as he is frozen in the act of burying his head under the young woman’s arm.  A violent localized squall may be seen through the bug-spattered windshield as a mass of papers and junk food wrappers swirling around the cab and out the half-open windows.  Neither the young man or woman looks happy and the small fluffy cat is clearly beyond help at this moment in time, having taken leave of his senses.

And suddenly it was over.  The roaring of the trucks receded in this distance.  The sound of a mortally terrified Silver d’Cat died off slowly.  The sounds of Cruel Wife choking on self-contradictory instructions ceased.  All that remained was the panting of three exhausted souls.

Note:  If you were thinking that the loosed-bowel remark at the beginning of this story was a literal placeholder for events to come I am pleased to disappoint you – no bowels were voided on that day except in a completely voluntary fashion.

What did we learn?

New Rule #13:  Never drive a small truck through Chicago with a cat of any breed.

And then the details of the journey got fuzzy again.   We were all dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder in varying degrees and would be for some months to come (cat psychologists are rare and almost prohibitively expensive, by the way).   The next thing I personally recall was passing Kalamazoo.  It was then that I either started humming Hoyt Axton’s Cat Named Kalamazoo or I started running it through my head over and over.

It was Della and the Dealer and a dog named Jake

And a cat named Kalamazoo

Left the city in a pick-up truck

Gonna make some dreams come true

Of course then our story deviates wildly from Axton’s song because we were heading east, neither Cruel Wife nor I have ever had or ever will have a dog named Jake, Silver d’Cat obviously wasn’t named Kalamazoo (duh), our cat didn’t stay cool, and I’m not evil (only in moderation).  But the tune was catchy and stuck with me.

Two hours later I got out of the truck, kissed the ground (literally), we threw the cat in the apartment, and we took off in search of some cheap comfort food.

Thus concludes the story Driving to Michigan with a Drugged Cat in the Truck.

The fate of the Dramatis Personae: Silver d’Cat lived another twelve years, Cruel Wife has not killed me in my sleep yet, and we continue to live in Michigan.

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Truth is, moving has always been hard on material goods.  I’d rather damage my own stuff than pay someone large sums of money to destroy mine for me.

Finally last night stuff was delivered from my dad’s house to here via big truck.

I am less than pleased.  Luckily a weapon was not handy.

I had been looking forward all summer to getting a secretary that belonged to my grandparents – my favorite grandparents.

The driver tried to put that aside in the shop saying “it had some damage, broken glass, so I put it out there.”

I wasn’t happy but moved on with the rest of the stuff.

Then I went out to the garage and started cutting away the packing material.  The driver tried to call me over for some paperwork before I looked too closely but I said “It can wait” in my quietest “don’t screw with me or you’ll find out just how awful bad I can be when I put my mind to it” voice.  Clint Eastwood would be proud.

The covers fell away and I saw what had been done.

****!!!  THE ONE THING THAT I REALLY TREASURED… THE ONE ****ING THING!!  AND IT IS ****ED UP!! … … ****!!! GODDAMN IT, THE ONE ****ING THING THAT REALLY MEANT SOMETHING TO ME AND YOU GUYS ****ING TREATED IT LIKE IT WAS A PIECE OF ****ING TRASH!

Then I got angry.

The piece was partially demolished.  The glass was broken out, the back was cracked all up and down, and the backing above a curio shelf was torn completely off.  One of the casters was ripped out.

The guy looked a bit nervous, and rightfully so, seeing me go from calm and affable to furious and then back to quiet, oh so quiet.  It’s when I get quiet that things are… bad.

It’s probably a good thing that I didn’t have something with destructive capabilities handy (even though I was in my garage).

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We moved my scheduled neck-nerve-frying-day up to next week, Thursday.  I couldn’t see going for another 23 days and then go through the post-procedure “afterglow”.

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Sorry Folks.

I am not asking for sympathy.  Just putting this in as a placeholder and letting you know why I’ve been scarce.  The nerves in my neck grew back.  Once they started sending signals again they set up shop, built roads, formed vibrant cities,  had small wars, entered brief periods of tranquility, have had large wars, erected skyscrapers, built satellites, started a space program, formed a body-wide telephone network into a thriving communications web with good information and lots of bad information, and yet generally pretty much have tried to destroy more than create, on balance.

So what was killed off to control pain is back and as big and bad as life.  I’m going to set up that radio-frequency procedure sooner than I’d planned – next month – and go for this week or next if I can pull it off.

I will see if I am up to finishing the Truck/Michigan/Silver d’Cat story tonight but I can’t make promises.

Cruel Wife asks me if I need anything yet tells me we’re fresh out anytime I ask for a suicide pill with a mild laxative side-effect.

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