Wednesday, July 31, 2002

Direct hit! Abandon ship! Abandon ship! (Joe Sobran scores another direct hit).

John Lindh, Patriot

"Don't we have the right to emigrate? Is this the Soviet Union? So Lindh skipped the tedious paperwork and inconvenience of changing his citizenship under U.S. law. That's a technicality that doesn't affect his moral right to leave. So why all the moral indignation?

"The angry mob insists that it was treason for Lindh to fight back against an invasion by the government he was born under, even after he had long since renounced it. In fact the U.S. Government considers it criminal even for natives of other countries to resist American invasions."

This is one of the most lively columns by Joe Sobran I've read in a while. This article also defines why anyone who considers themselves to be a "conservative," needs to be reading Joe Sobran -- that is, of course unless you don't like learning about yourself and what's become of your movement.

He's really the only "conservative," who's got it right.
The New Thought Police: Inside the Left's Assault on Free Speech and Free Minds

This book looks pretty darned interesting (you know, in that O'Reily Factor kind of way: brash and brazen), but not like anything I'd need to read.

I'm not being aloof when I say that. I just mean, I'm not some starry-eyed centrist who would be amazed at a "lesbian feminist's," (as if there could ever be such a thing) realization that the Left tries to control our thoughts. Of course it does! (Dim the lights, turn on the slide projector).

Modern-Day Liberalism is Old-Time Puritanism.

And once you realise that, you don't need to read books like this. Everything follows as of a piece.
Comments are buggin', the guestmap is buggin'...

It's one of those days :)

Update: Comments should now be fixed. Leave me some! :)
Very cool design... I'll need to check this out when I have some time.

They Made Me A Catholic - the People and Questions that pointed me toward Rome
Psychopaths Among Us

So yesterday at work a co-worker comes up to me and asks me a question: "A woman went to her mother's funeral and there she met a guy and hit it off really great with him. The next week, she killed her sister. Why?"

I answered after half-a-second: becuase the guy was her sister's husband.

My co-worker replied that a lot of people answer the question that way, but a psychopath would answer (and apparently this is a question they often ask of psychopaths) "So she could have the guy take her to her sister's funeral."

Which, when you think about it, would make sense -- if you're a psychopath.
So I've made some subtle changes to my 'blog layout in order to make it more pleasing to the eye (and easier to follow because, let's face it, some of these posts can use all the help they can get).

Coming soon (like, by Friday): AUDIO 'BLOG UPDATES (In Stereo Where Available) -- another fine idea which will probably fail horribly in its execution (Vanilla Coke, anyone?). But don't wait for that to happen, download RealPlayer (or RealONE Player or One-Reel Playah, or whatever it's called these days).
Good News and Bad News and Good News (and Bad News) about Ghostbusters 3

Good News: Dan Ackroyd wrote a script (like, three years ago).

Bad News: Columbia won't make it because it would cost too much (i.e. for the same reason that they said there'd never be a Men In Black 2).

Good News: This is probably a good thing: it looks like a younger crop of Ghostbusters pretty much has the limelight -- Venkman doesn't even come in until the last 10 minutes, it sounds like. And we all know what happens when a younger crop of Ghostbusters takes over: we have that multi-culti, differentially-abled Extreme Ghostbusters cartoon for Exibit A (though the original "Real," Ghostbusters seem to have been represented there, even if just a little: Egon -- with the soft-serve hair -- was their leader).

Bad News: Who cares? Ghostbusters 3 would still rock and it bites that Columbia doesn't seem to want to make it.
Update: the guestmap seems to be temporarily acting funky for me. Try it and if it doesn't work, give it a few hours ;)

Tuesday, July 30, 2002

A note on Gospel Music - Reviews - Darius Brooks & SDM Incorporated (I Had To Trust You)

Darius Brooks is one of the best Gospel piano players I've ever heard. He's also got outstanding composing and arranging chops so I'm pleased to see that he's out front, now, leading his own groups. I'll most certainly have to pick these recordings up.

I was first turned on to Mr. Brooks when I picked up Rev. Milton Brunson and The Thomspon Community Singers' superb Through God's Eyes recording (released in 1993, I bought it used in '95 or '96) at Schoolkids Records. It totally blew my socks off and clear across the room. There are several moments on that recording which give you that strange tingly feeling all over. Seriously, there's a part in "Guide My Feet," where the soloist shouts "Lord, I don't want to go the wrong way / I only want to see You someday," and the sheer sorrow/jubilation/dependence/resolution in her voice at that moment sums up every one's "walk," as they say perfectly and you can feel her entire experience mix with yours and permeate every fiber of your being.

Anyway, if you can find a copy of this recording (and Amazon seems to carry it), check it out. Not only is it the finest example of Chicago-style gospel I've heard (and of the various gospel musics, Chicago-style is my clear favorite) but it's the finest gospel recording I own. I come back to this CD as often as I can and it's always there to nourish me. Seriously: when I heard this CD I almost made plans to go to Chicago for the weekend just to hear this choir perform. And you know: I'm never been really certain why I never went.

Anyway, the recording, "Through God's Eyes," by Rev. Milton Brunson and the Thompson Community Singers gets FIVE STARS (out of five).
Man Hijacks Al-Qaida Web Site

"When it comes to monitoring the Internet and exploiting it, you have to leave it to the professionals."

The same professionals, no doubt, who appear to have totally bungled yet another counter-terrorism opportunity.

Hey: wouldn't a better title for that article have been: "Porn Peddler Possesses Patriotism, Procures Prime Packets -- Police Powerless?"
So that flotilla of pilot whales (a little known fact: a large grouping of whales is called a flotilla, unless they be narwhal or orca and then they're called an armada) is back in the news and stuck again. This timem they're stuck in the mud. And instead of just blowing them all up and having the pieces of whale meat fall from the sky in inidividually wrapped and labelled meat packs (hey -- I've seen the cartoons!) it sounds like they're going to try and save them (again).

BUT at least we now know what kind of pilot whales they are.

They're American West Pilot Whales!!

Ha ha ha ha ha...


Oh! What's that over there? (Sound of retreating footsteps and a door slamming).
I first checked this site out about six or seven years ago (as a guest book entry on the site will confirm) and at the time found it to be the most comprehensive resource on the web regarding all things P-Funk (since the CD reissues didn't have the comic books from the original '70s-era LPs the New Funk Times was the only place to get these comics and follow the interstellar exploits of Starchild and his arch-nemesis Sir Nose D'Voidoffunk). I'm happy to see that it's not only still active, but still the best source on the web for P-Funkadelica: Peter Jebsen's New Funk Times

Check out the info and streaming video pertaining to Bootsy's new album, too! The mothership lands all over again in just a coupla months (to paraphrase EWF, we'll be dancing in September)! I am distressed, though, to not see Bernie "Woo" Worrell's name on the list of contributors. Nor do I see Junie Morrison's name on that list. IMHO, those were two of the best reasons to listen to Parliament/Funkadelic. Hopefully they're included on the record and just not listed on the website yet.
Mayize told me yesterday that a friend of hers found "Robot Love," at a garage sale this past weekend (it was more of a moving sale, actually. You see, they were moving from Michigan to Seattle and, as the airlines only allow one piece of carryon luggage, obviously they had to chose between my CD and a toothbrush. It's a hard decision and I don't know, myself, which one I would've picked, so I can respect their choice in this regard -- whoever they are).
For those of you who may be holding out for a similar serendipitous find, be advised: there is a far more easy way.
If you haven't checked out BraveNet yet, why, get over there and do so! They have all sorts of neat web "tools," like that guest map up there. Check it out and leave me a pin so I knows where y'all from.

Monday, July 29, 2002

It is time to have a National Public Radio-style Revival -- a "Come To Terri (Gross!) Meeting." Yes, that's right folks, ol' Victor needs your help.
I struggle each week to bring you the best in 'blogging, and here's the part where you help me help you.
I need each and every one of you (yes, all four of you) to, just as quick as you can, vote for my 'blog over at Blogs4God (which is a really neat site and you should check out the rest of it just as soon as you're done saying something nice about my 'blog).
Why am I humbling myself so? Well, like most of you, I 'blog to seek fame, fortune, and the accolades of my socio-economic peers and, loathe as I am to admit this, I cannot do it without your help.
But wait, don't just rush on over there just yet! No -- wait until you hear what former president James Buchanan has to say about my 'blog:

Really cool picture of James Buchanan
"As former president, I must admit I've seen a lot of 'blogs. But none make me say 'Oy!' quite so readily and so heartily as this charming specimen!"
-Former President James Buchanan

As convincing as that endorcement is, James Buchanan is only one man. And I hear he is also a dead man, at that (and that little detail prevents him from commenting on the Blogs4God site). So you see, James and I cannot do this alone. We are in desperate need of your help on this one. We know you have a choice while 'blogging and we'd love to be able to continue to bring you the unreasonably high-quality of 'blogging you've come to expect from Mark Shea's er, this weblog I mean, but we can't do it alone.
No: we cannot do it alone.

"I thought you told me love conquered all?"
"They had a more powerful love."
It's refreshing to know that in this day of smart drugs, Ecstacy, uh, ravers, and techno-music they're still making something as good and wholesome as POSTUM.
MIDI Organist Writes Book In Progress About His Life, & World!

It is time once again, Gentle Reader, to check in on George "Crazy Midiman," Foster as he writes his book-in-progress. His latest proposal: cook all the Evil people for food. - World Youth Day

A secular press account that made me weepy.
From our cool stuff by obsessive fans file:

Battlemech Tree House
(Very, very, very cool. When I see something like this I am genuinely and overtly proud to be an American. I also hope that 'Xander never discovers that some dad built this for his kids.

The world's largest custom-made Star Wars toy
I am made only slightly less proud to be an American by this Rebel Blockade Runner, built to the scale of those 3-3/4" Hasbro (Kenner!!) Star Wars figures. Semi not included.

Sunday, July 28, 2002

Dispatch your own Ninja? How cool is that!!?

Update: My ninja, BuBu, has been killed by Denis. How lame is that?
More from the ICEL mock-wack translations contest:

Here's one from the Gospel of Luke, which explains why the ICEL's wack translations form the scriptural basis for wack contemporary Church architecture (that is to say, sans great Romanesque towers):

For longer form, read the portions in brackets

Now large crowds were going along with Him; and He turned and said to them,
"If anyone
[comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.
"Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.
"For which one of you, when he] wants to build a tower, [does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it?
"Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to] ridicule him,
[saying, 'This man began to build and was not able to finish.']
See the World's Cutest Baby in his new epic Cracker et Mirror. (Approximately 2 minutes in length and it requires a reasonably quick broadband connection to stream. Or, if you have only dial-up, you can right-click-save-as and wait for a few hours. It's worth it).
From our E. Michael Rose Architectural Atrocities File (EMRAAF):

Plans and construction photos of the new Church they're building over at St. Mary's Church in the Diocese of Orlando. This is interesting because it's the first "worship-space," ever designed by PoMo Prophet Michael Graves. As the preceding article says of PostModern architecture: it may be dead, but Michael Graves chugs on. And now, thanks to the Diocese of Orlando, parishoners will be able to enjoy his horrific monstrousity for many years to come and someday future generations may become so desensitized to it that they may even be able to pray in it without distraction at its sheer and immense ugliness (but I would not bet any money on that). Meanwhile, Sancta Rosa in the same Diocese (gotta give props to St. Rose as her feastday is my birthday), is trying to eke together enough for a simple social hall.

But seriously: I've seen Michael Graves' stuff at Target. Some of it looks pretty cool (we had a Michael Graves spatula holder once until it was replaced with a ceramic crock). But from out of which orafice of his old, white body did he pull this dog?

While you're at the St. Mary's Catholic Community website, why not check out the Weekly Letter from Pastor Fr. Nicholas King. Judging from the column dated July 21st, at least, he seems to be pretty well on the mark (how often do you hear pro-life sentiment in your pastor's weekly column?). How on earth did he get stuck with this building?
Cleaning up the office up here ("my room,") and boy is it a mess. It's chiefly filled with papers which have been accumulating over the past three years (or more). A lot of old work papers which can just be tossed (along with the receipts, old modem, answering machine, and several-years-worth of The New Oxford Review) but there has been the occasional letter or item imbued with nostalgia to give me pause. With every such item, I wonder how much I've changed in the last two or three years since I last considered that item. And each time I reach the same conclusion: I'm a lot more tired now and I don't know if I have a lot, creatively speaking, to show for it. Why aren't I the poet I started out to be?

Well, it's not all sturm and drang: I did find this logo I made up for a (fictional) Do-It-Yourself Vermilion kit called "VermiliOn Your Own."

Saturday, July 27, 2002

Solving the Sex-Abuse Scandal in the Church

I have been quiet on this subject for a very long time, but no more. It's clear the Bishops don't know the way out of this mess and it's clear that the the progressive-minded laity and mainstream media don't either. This is because no one recognizes the source of the problem at the root of the scandal. They don't know what, or who, they are dealing with.

They are dealing with Evil: The Evil One. Plain and simple. And as someone who's watched a few movies I know that you need certain things to fight Evil (and the Keating Commission ain't one of them!). These are, in no particular order:

Holy Water: Lots of holy water. This needs to be blessed by a priest before you set out and must be kept in little vials. Even though you need a lot of it, you can't carry it around in big drums or bless more on the way. You just can't. Little vials, blessed before you leave.
Crosses: Preferably these should be of the crucifx variety, but if you're a Protestant or a TV producer, regular wooden crosses sans-corpus will do in a pinch.
A Priest: And this has to be a Catholic Priest. No froo-froo woman Episcopalian here. The older the priest the better. It's possible to go with a non-Max-Von-Sydow-esque priest but, if you do, he has to have a lot of stubble and also have recently lost his faith. This is essential! Unless you think, maybe, you'd care to try an exorcism yourself?
A Shotgun: Another essential item. While Mossbergs would be my personal choice for home security, when fighting evil only a sawed-off Winchester will do (possibly a 1300 series). Winchester doesn't make shotguns anymore and, while they have licenced their name, you may want to check your attic for the genuine article before buying new.
A Bible: Duh. Since we're not using it for study or exegesis a King James Version will do fine in this case (also, it has the requisite thees and thous -- though the Douay-Rheims would be just as good).
An Old Pick-Up Truck: You need something big and powerful, that's for certain. And since no one is going to loan you their brand new Dodge or F150, especially not when you tell them you're going to hit a few-dozen zombies with it, you're stuck with an older truck. While I'm a Ford man, myself, it's widely accepted that old Chevys are more suited for Evil-fighting.
A Chainsaw: As far as I'm concerned, this is just optional equipment: something you'd only take along for style points. In itself it has no Evil-fighting value. But if you choose not to bring a chainsaw, you will most certainly need...
A Samauri Sword: This is another one of those essential items. You may not think you'd need it with the crosses and the shotgun, but think about it: what happens with the Priest becomes possessed or, for some other reason, needs to kill himself for the good of the group? Huh? And you just know that that shotgun is going to run out of ammo sometime, right? You'll be glad you have it.

Which just leaves the most essential thing you'll need to fight Evil and stop the scandal:

A Raison D'Etre: Why are you even fighting Evil? Do you know? What's at stake? What do you hope to gain? What do you stand to lose? You had better know the answers to these questions and many others before you even start down this path. Greater men and women than you have tried and, because they didn't ask themselves these questions, they have failed.

Now -- Go fight Evil!
Sometimes you just gotta put down the stud sensor and use the Force (and the carpenter's sqaure). The shelves are up!!!

The shelves, by the way, I found on clearance at Meijer's (yes, that's a Mid-Western thing ;) for about four-dollars-each (including brackets and hardware). The "Celtic," brackets were silver, initially, but Jackie painted them with gold, brown, and black paint to give them a considerably more rustic look, which fits a lot better into our kitchen.

Oh, and as it was raining I watched The Enemy Below (1957) on American Movie Classics starring Robert Mitchum and Curt Jürgens. This is a very, very fine war movie and probably the best "submarine," movie I've seen. The ending somehow manages to satsify both the movie-going crowd of 1957 and my more post-Vietnam, Gen-X, "Not All German U-Boat Captains Were Evil," slant (although, lately, I've noticed that the WWII-era Germans are becoming monolithically evil again). I was also surprised to learn that Curt Jürgens, who plays the U-Boat captain (to Robert Mitchum's American destroyer captain), was actually sent to a concentration camp in Germany because he was politically undesirable.
Argh!!!.... Stupid, lying stud sensor!!! I ask you: if you can't trust your own tools, whom can you trust? I mean, I'm not an idiot. I KNOW how to use it. It's just a lying, stupid, lying piece of junk -- telling me there are studs where there are no studs. I just hope it doesn't rain or our kitchen wall could leak like a sieve, as full of pilot holes as it is...

Friday, July 26, 2002

Friday Five

1. How long have you had a weblog? Since April of ought-one.
2. What was your first post about? Let's check... Ah, it was about Greeting Cards of all things.
3. How many changes (name, location, etc.) of your weblog have there been, if more than one? I tweaked it a little at first, added comments, but that's about it: it's never been changed.
4. What CMS (content management system) do you use? Do you like it or do you want to try something else? I use blogger. I'm in the process of getting MT working, but I'm not holding my breath.
5. Do you read people who have both a journal and a weblog? Or do you prefer to read people who have all of their writing in one central place? All in one place! I have enough to read without checking both a LiveJournal and a weblog. Besides, what I find interesting is not so much what people write but who's writing it. And if I have to keep clicking between two different tabs in CrazyBrowser I get cranky ;)
Oh, and in case you're wondering: despite what you may gather from an entry below, sake and I are no longer on speaking terms.
Mark Shea throws down the gauntlet over at HMS Blog and calls for ICEL translations of common english phrases. My entries:

"Brother, Can you spare a dime?" into "Beloved, help us to experience your marvelous gift of change."
"Over the lips and past the gums, look out Stomach -- here it comes!" into "Rejoice, Tongues and Members, For our cup has been filled with gladness outpouring; a beverage burning!"
"War is Hell," into "An unresolved conflict is as a large pile of burning garbage."


"A fool and his money are soon parted," into "CSA (or DSA) collection is next week."
"Where's your Saint Anthony medallion?"
"I lost it."

Thursday, July 25, 2002

I heard a radio interview today (Ave Maria Radio, where else?) with the author of Holy Innocents, a book which I've noted on here before as one I should pick up and read. Anyway, the author lives in Hillsdale, MI, where I lived for five years (four of it while in college). The book, he says, has some of that town in it and so I know I must read it. But first, an ODE TO SAKE.

Sake, sake, sake, sake, sake!
A refreshing treat!
Served with raw meat!
It can't be beat!
It's wet and sweet!
Let me repeat:
Sake, sake, sake, sake, sake!
No you'll never find it on the lips of Taki,
Or served up with a plate of souvlaki,
But other than that, you just can't go wrong with sake.
(Do Canadians love ice hockey?)
Sake, sake, sake, sake, sake!

You didn't think it'd be a 100% blog-free day did you?

Jury Duty: in a word: exceeded all of my expectations, in a good way (yes, that's nine words). Detroit itself seemed lighter and more airy than I remember, the Frank Murphy Hall Of Justice was easy to find (and not just because of the statue of a naked man dancing on a hand... what's up with that?). Parking was not a hassle and the people in the Juror holding area were really nice. The head judge came down to welcome us and she made some jokes, the other woman in charge was really nice and played movies for us (UNFORTUNATELY one of these was "The Amerikan President," starring comrade Michael Douglas and frauline Annette Benning). Anyway, midway through "My Best Friend's Wedding," they let everyone go. Apparently only six trials had been scheduled for that day and five of them were delayed, post-poned, cancelled, whatever. So we all got to go home (except for one sweet middle-aged lady who wanted to stay to see the rest of the movie). Then it was home for a nap then over to the in-laws for din-din.

Anyway, I haven't checked any of the blogs and I don't know if I should even bother. What's the worst that could happen if I missed a day?

You're right -- I'd better check in on all of them straight away!

NOW READING: The Old Limey by Harry W. Crocker, III. First impressions (I'm 2/3 of the way through): captures that John Kennedy Toole sense of madness with a bit of Waugh and a LOT of British military history thrown in on the side. Recommended.

Wednesday, July 24, 2002

Well, pray for me folks: I've got jury duty tomorrow. Not worth getting anxious over you say? Well, it's in deepest downtown Detroit. Why is that so bad? Well, it incorporates three of my greatest phobias: big, boarded-up buildings, lots of crime, and itinerant government employees. Hopefully I make it through it.

If I do, I really must check out the Philokalia. Not sure how many books it is or how much it costs, but maybe it will change my life forever.

Shoot. There are just too many blogs, books, magazines, etc. to read. Even if I quit my job (though I'd lose my cable modem if I did that) and became a recluse I'd never have time to read them all. Does that seem fair? That we'd live in a time where there would be SO MUCH of interest to read and never enough time to read 0.05% of it? This would seem to be some kind of supreme cosmic joke were it not for the fact that when we die it all becomes irrelevant and, hopefully, we get to experience it all perfectly. At that time it will not matter what you have read, but how you've lived... and boarding yourself up in an apartment and reading everything there is to read may be interesting, but I don't know if it's the devout life.

As you can probably tell, I've given up for the time being on writing thoughtful commentary (or pithy observations at least) -- at least until I get my reason back (hopefully in time for the weekend, after -- gulp! -- Jury Duty tomorrow).

In the meantime, I'm playing BOMBERMAN GENERATION on the Nintendo GameCube, a game which is fun for the entire family! It's something you can pick up and play through a level in 15 or 20 minutes or so and then turn it off and go to bed or go to work or whatever. Plus it's really fun, colorful, and while many people have dissed the sound, I actually like the frenetic, happy J-pop tunes.

I've only scratched the surface of the multi-player aspect, which is supposed to be its real strong-point. Hopefully we'll have a chance to play true multiplayer this weekend (otherwise it's just me vs. the computer -- whee).

Anyway, I've just made it to the Sunken Pirateship level. And I'm trying to think of any videogame which could not be made better with the addition of a sunken pirateship level... and I can't think of a one.
Yahoo! News - Conner's Yacht Sinks Off Long Beach

Blub, blub, blub... I wonder if they let you keep your title, "Yacht Master," after something like this.
Philadelphia Inquirer | 07/24/2002 | With homeland security in mind, summer camp trains teens

I have to admit I was going to write something really skeptical and sarcastic about this but I got into the story and it actually sounds pretty cool!
Yahoo! News - Hillary Clinton says presidential election case example of Supreme Court gone awry

"In addition to installing an American president, the current Supreme Court has invalidated federal laws at the most astounding rate in our nation's history," Clinton said to applause and laughter.

And let's pray that they keep on "invalidating," such unjust and spurious federal laws!!!

Tuesday, July 23, 2002

Okay -- I've reached a decision. I'm not going to read anything, anymore which was written by writers. Why, you ask, would I make such a decision? Well, because writers love words too much and I don't have time for that. So from now on, everything I read will be written by someone other than a writer.

Writers take note: I'm hip to your little games...
So, Jackie and I have been enjoying the 20-year-old reruns of Starcade on the G4TV network.

But last night we saw one with a very good-spirited and energetic contestant, Michael Griggs (you can see his picture on the Contestant Gallery page of the Starcade site above) who was about 18 or 19 and was working as a maintenance worker, he said, but he really aspired to be a singer/songwriter and play guitar. I've done a quick search on and but I haven't been able to find any of his music.

I hoped that in the past 20 years he would've been able to realize his dream, but that appears not to be the case: yet another sad American story.

Unless his dream changed and he's the famous Harvard set and costume designer J. Michael Griggs. I'll try and check that out.
Oh NO! CNN did NOT just run a headline "What's Wrong With The Pope?" (followed immediately by one "Keep On Preachin.')
Religious convictions are a poor excuse for criminal negligence

This blighted scrap of bigotry so dusted my broom that I felt compelled to scribe the author thusly:

Dear Mr. Amrhine,

You seem to be awfully critical of anyone whose idea of a proper family
conflicts with your own ("Good parents these days don't have 13 kids.")
Without getting into any sort of meaningless debate about how many kids
"good parents," have "these days," I'd like to call attention to your own
parental irresponsibility.

I see in another of your columns, "Death--salted or unsalted," that you
have a child with a variety of food allergies, may of which could send her
into anaphylactic shock and cause death. I know all-to-well the horrors of
such food allergies because I suffer from them myself (to which numerous
trips to the emergency room growing-up can attest).

My question, then, in light of your most recent column (Religious
convinctions...) is this: how could someone who considers themselves a
good parent (anyone who would make such grand, sweeping statements about
what good parents do and do not do these days must consider themselves a
good parent) allow their daughter to be born with such a food allergy or,
alternately, having been diagnosed after birth with numerous food
allergies, how could a "good parent," consign her to a life with them.

As you are no doubt aware, there are numerous ways of testing for food
allergies, including skin tests which could be performed on an infant only
partially born. If such an infant, then, was determined to be succeptible
to such allergies, she could be, legally, aborted and thus never have to
suffer the horrors of an allergic reaction: her throat swelling shut, her
breath being cut off, the awful swelling, hives, nausea, and itching.

Could we consider someone a "good parent," who would have the option of
sparing a child such a life of unexpected horrors and yet would not choose
that option? Many people would not consider such a person a good parent
(as evinced by numerous cases being considered internationally which would
give parents of children born with handicaps -- allergic reactions this
severe could certainly be considered among them -- the right to sue
doctors who did not abort such children).

We must ask, then, why anyone who did not choose to end their child's most
horrific misery early on would presume to call themselves a "good parent,"
and then goes further to publicly damn all parents who have more children
than that which they consider proper.

I hope you will consider such things in the future and not be so quick to
judge all of those (and indeed you didn't just level your invection
against Kevin Kelly but, in fact, against anyone who happens to have more
children than you, yourself, desire) who may have a different point of
view from yourself.


Victor J. Lams
Plymouth, MI
Ha ha ha ha ha... I thought I could completely revamp my blog template in 15-minutes but instead just wound up fubar'ing my archives. They're still there, all 15-months of them, but the page looks a little sparse.
Blergg Blog has a funky new candy-drop look... Check it out.
I'm trying to catch up on my blogs since I have a few minutes but everytime I start to read an entry the words run together and I get really sleepy. I'm probably very, very dehydrated.

UPDATE: Yeah, I had some water... feelin' better.
Ack. Just lost another pacifier in my messy room here, somewhere. These things cost $3 a piece so I had better find it.
Soviet-Era Atrocity Unearthed in Ukraine
Remains of 225 Apparently Killed by Secret Police Are Found at Monastery

I'm not certain, myself, what it means that most Ukranian-Americans I've met never bring this sort of thing up (nor the untold millions starved to death by Uncle Joe). What does that say about their national character that they would not wear this on their sleeve as so many Victimized Peoples might.... anyone know the answer?

Monday, July 22, 2002

USS Clueless

I was going to link to a specific post at this blog (that hardly does it justice) but it's really all good. Just pick up wherever and read until your eyes get all red and bleary.
Yahoo! News - Snakehead Fish in 7 States, U.S. to Ban Them

Wonderful... now I have something new to be completely phobic about: predatory, walking fish.

Did you get that: WALKING fish! The fish WALKS. ACROSS LAND. And it EATS THINGS WHILE IT WALKS.

No one is safe. Bush is right to order their immediate extinction not just in this country, on this planet, but beyond!
TechTV | 'Bomberman Generation' (GCN) Review

It turns out Jackie and I really enjoy playing videogames together (in multiplayer mode -- not just me playing Zelda while she reads the Prima guide to me ;) so I think I'll pick this up. It's a little pricey, but we're not taking a vacation this year (except to Portland, OR, for two days in October) I think this would be nice.

Besides, I'm not getting Eternal Darkness or Resident Evil (someone doesn't want those in the house because they're pretty violent and I can certainly appreciate that). I would be interested in playing through Eternal Darkness, though, and see how it deals with the evil. It seems to mainly say that the evil (in the game) is caused by a planetary alignment and that the 12 characters (who all die) spread out over 2000 years (many of them clerics, monks, warriors, etc.) have to fight the evil with magic so I'm not sure if it's straight good versus evil or not... I really want to play that game, but anyway I don't have the time.
Fool's Folly...

I rather much like this blog, check it out!

Also -- I will probably redo my template one of these days (assuming I can't get MT working) to include links on this main page (without requiring you to go to the links page).
The Langley Schools Music Project: "INNOCENCE AND DESPAIR"
Has anyone ready any good manifestos lately?
Amy Welborn has some keen observations on the Voice Of The Ofay Rabble gathering in Boston this past weekend.
We discovered last week that we now have the G4 "all gaming all the time," network. That Comcast would put this in our home is akin to PFLAG air-dropping condoms onto San Francisco (or maybe not since no one there seems to use them anymore if news reports are to be believed), but I digress...

Their program Cinematech simply takes a dozen or so of the CGI-animated cutscenes from PC and console games and just shows them without commentary. This is awesome. I'll be the first one to admit that I've spent many a night just beating Resident Evil 2 (on the Playstation 1) over-and-over-and-over in the hopes of seeing a different ending...

The one thing I don't like about the network is that they seem to be in league with whomever is releasing "XXX," the movie. That movie looks like the biggest show of hyper-over-exaggerated "masculinity," I've ever seen... so much so that it looks, dare I say it? Well, let's just say that one doubts one will have to look very hard for a kind of homosexual subtext in it, from the looks of things. BUT -- I could be, and probably am, wrong about that. And that is not a value statement, Mr. Imaginary Prof. Fish Who Lives In My Head, just an observation. What's that? Yeah, I know that too!
Well, I really should've known better than to read the news this morning. That sound you hear akin to a plane crashing into a mountain is the largest corporate bankruptcy filing ever. Oh, well. As sole support of our family I have (and have to have, in all honesty) faith that God will provide -- He always does!

Sunday, July 21, 2002

"Catholic," and -- Plus a super-special bonus!

Another band I list here only because their offensive name when coupled with their offensive song titles creates a nice sort of irony when diplayed alongside their big "Artists Against Racism!" graphic. Do not play their music unless you think Marilyn Manson is too softcore.

As a matter of fact, don't bother typing in "Catholic," into's search at all -- THOUGH -- "Paper or Plastic," by Catholica is a nice, manic take on the Mario sewer theme.

BUT do not worry: there are many more offensive groups with "Catholic," in the name than with "Jewish," or "Muslim," (in searches on It is good to be persecuted for Christ.

This guy, though, appears to be serious: Catholic Rap-Anonymous1. He references the CIA: Catholics In Action which is either an orthodox group in Louisville or a young adult group.

Anyway, for enduring this blog post you, gentle reader, have earned yourself a special prize: my homage to The Pirate Move, the only homage to that early-80s musical of which I am aware, The Pirate Movie Song (in .mp3 format). Enjoy it quick before I'm asked to take it down :)
Policy Wonks
The Policy Wonks are the first MP3 recording artists to be deeply affected by bio-engineered food. ...
The Policy Wonks will fight this gastric intrusion with an arsenal of dance hits and catchy songs. Though they may be doubled over in abdominal pain, they will continue to record until the world is safe again to eat nutritionally questionable fast food.

I was going to record a hymn today (well, at least, I was seriously considering it), not as part of The Next Project, mind you (haven't gotten up the energy to attemp that yet) but thought otherwise when I read this email to one of those midi-file places. Actually, that's not why I didn't do it (I could, after all, have named my version "Cent Fourth Buy Guard's Dressing," and their search-engine queries would never have found it)... and actually the tune, Ash Grove isn't copyrighted anymore (and it doesn't look like the Hymn Police have caught this site, yet)... but it is a lot of work to put together a song when you're the musicians, singer, engineer, etc. A lot of fun, but getting over that initial aversion to all the work involved takes time (in this most recent case, nearly two years).

And that leads me off to research this piece, "The Ash Grove," a 15c Welsh song... a very nice version of which can be found here here.
Well, I'm about 20% of the way to having Moveable Type up and running, which is to say quite a ways. As near as I can tell I'm properly installing everything and have set the file permissions correctly but cannot get the main script to run. Oh well. Not much else have I done today... I'm supposed to go to a party but I'm also on-call this weekend and best not get more than 30 paces from my PC (this I learned yesterday). So no party in Tecumseh and no Church music concert in Ann Arbor.

Oh! But it did rain today and that is quite an accomplishment, even if I, myself, cannot take credit for it.
Victor's movie review of Amelie, a French movie about a woman named Amelie:

Right, so tonight we watched Amelie, just available this week on DVD. It didn't play too long in the theaters (and it being, as they say in France, en français it didn't play in many theaters) and so I imagine it'll gather a huge following on DVD (a month before its release it was already the #2-sellingist DVD on So what did I think of it?

Well, I'll probably have a full review up once I've seen it again (ha ha ha... of course I won't -- there are already so many fine movie-reviewing sites out there, you don't need my input) but let me say this for now: it does deserve its title as "most charming movie ever made." (Actually, no, on second thought -- Shall We Dance? will always have that title in my own mind).

Anyway, the reason I watch movies is to see something I've never seen before and hopefully have it be meaningful in some way and Amelie succeeds in both regards. Where it falls short is in the "What's at stake," category (sometimes known as the "Show me the moral evil!" category). The closest thing you get to evil in this movie is the grocer who's mildly verbally abusive to his mentally feeble assistant. Anyway, you don't really feel that Amelie, as charming and wonderful as she is, really has anything to lose: at worst she'll just keep on doing nice things for/to people and won't get laid by the nice quirky boy (yes, this movie apparently equates victory and sex. I don't know if this is particularly French or not. Speaking of which, this is a rather idyllic vision of Paris, isn't it? I remember there being a lot more scorn and distain for me and my sister and our 50lb backpacks as we tried to wedge ourselves into the tiny cafes.) I know a lot of people (particularly people who will see themselves in Amelie -- the character) go to movies and don't particularly mind it if they're not presented with a representation (there's a word you don't hear much anymore) of moral evil which threatens to devour the very soul of the protagonist. Me -- I like the teeth.

I'm sorry. I think I'm being way too harsh and I'm probably only doing that because the movie has become (or is destined to become) such a big hit with the BoBo crowd. On its own merits, Amelie really deserves for you to watch it and you really deserve, yourself, to watch it. It's a very, very charming movie and very, very artfully done. I actually bought this DVD so I'll be able to make it through the disc 2 extras sometime in the future, so if I thought enough about it without even seeing it to drop the $20 on it, you should at least rent it and watch it. You won't hate it.

Sorry, sorry, sorry!! One more try: Amelie is a visually charming and wonderfully whimsical movie that you will enjoy watching. Just eat your carrots beforehand -- it's in French. There. There's my review.

I'd probably say I enjoyed Jimmy Neutron more than Amelie and I'd like to think that says more about the two movies than it says about me, but I know better. I used to be so bohemian! What the hell happened?

Saturday, July 20, 2002

Let's play "What Lives In A Woodpile And Comes Out When You Move It (The Woodpile)."

Termites? Yep!
Crickets? Sure -- they go for straight for the mouth!
Ticks? Oh, my, yes -- tons of them! Fat and red!
An angry, if befuddled, wasp who won't die no matter how much you spray it? It had one of those!
How about An Army Of Spiders That Pours Inexhaustably Out of a Log Just Like The Scarab Beetles Pouring Out Of The Hole In The Mummy? Represented in full effect!

So now you know: leave the woodpile where it is!!!

Friday, July 19, 2002

Camille Paglia weighs in on The Gay Inquisition, aka. Fortress Homosexualism.
An interesting article and I look forward to reading more than the first two paragraphs when I have a moment.
(Somehow, though, I don't imagine Frontpage Magazine'll be running any articles entitled "The Zionist Shakedown," anytime soon).
The GoodForm Blog

Brand-spankin' new!
In case you wanted more in the way of songs about Physics....

Les Horribles Cernettes

Les Horribles Cernettes are the one and only High Energy Rock Band. They sing about colliders, quarks, microwaves, antiprotons and Internet. They are known and loved by some 20000 High Energy Physicists worldwide. Check these few songs to have an idea, and if you are music producer, you have found your gold mine!

Imagine a '60s girl group made up of a trio of singers from the UK (presently, though past members have been from the US and Canada) which sings about such things as Microwave Love and computer games (Crystal Quest!). Check out the RealPlayer "Live," show which is kind of a quick tour through their entire songbook. Put the Spice Girls and the Shirelles together in a particle accelerator and this might be what you'll wind up with, coming out the other end.

But I'll have to remember that one: If you are a music producer, you have found your gold mine.
I found the following on the inside of the bottle of vodka's label:

First off, I'll say that I sincerely doubt that any of the two people (myself included) who may be reading this post is familiar with or would even care about the so-called Crunchy Conservative debate (you know, wherein professed conservatives confess their leftist-leanings: one likes health food, another likes -- I dunno -- The B-52s). But here's my angle: as of last week I no longer consider myself a conservative. Yep, that's right: after 15 years (since 7th grade), I renounce conservativism. So there. I can like whatever I darn-well please! :)

I feel giddy!

Why, you might ask, would such an old, cool coot like myself (I was an old coot at age 22 and I've only gotten older since then) renounce conservatism? Well, you could ask Joe Sobran. That's part of it: conservatives by-in-large have their own line-to-tow which is at worst an iconoclastic abandonment of all that was good with conservatism (you know, liberty) and the other reason is that, at best, conservatism is fast becoming irrelevant: there's scant little left to conserve.

Look around you... the conservatives have lost! Who could be content trying to hold onto what we have left and at the same time believe as the conservatives believed (Kirk) when there was still something left to conserve or defend (that's circuitous, but then, so is a circle)? No, it's time to turn the tables. Turn the tide. Turn over the tape. Take it off pause, and hit rewind (oh, alright, I know: if you turn the tape over you don't need to rewind it... I'm old enough to remember that). It's time to show those who have taken so much from us how much we've learned over the past 40 years. They've been cruel masters, but we've been attentive pupils. With every crushing defeat, our knowledge has grown. And they're now the establishment. We're the counter-culture now and, thanks to them, we know how to fight the establishment. It kind of means being obnoxious though. Don't know if I'm cool with that.

So, I'm no longer a conservative. I'm a Restorative. A Rester, if you will (if you will pardon the refernence to the fine Andromeda television program, that is -- the first season of which is soon to be available on DVD, Woohoo!).

Thursday, July 18, 2002

The latest craze sweepin' the Internet (last week's craze, of course, knowing me) is to go to Google and type in "Yourname is," (in quotes, only put your name in there instead of Yourname) then search and see what comes up. It can really tell you a lot about yourself:

Victor is one of those places that time likes to forget.
Victor is on the edge - ready to leap into another boom time.

Today's Victor is quiet...
Victor is accessible via several routes....

victor is dead dot com (I don't like this one)
Victor is the best tour guide ever!
Victor is so easy to use
Victor's is the place for Senior Boots!! (And do you not forget this, please!)
Victor is also a singer / songwriter and has two albums (Not my site!)
The Victor is a Spirit-filled musical and dramatic presentation of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. (Cool!)
The real Victor is always violence itself (No!)
Victor is educated at the Universityof Ingolstadt in chemistry.
Victor is the model citizen a respectable Toulon shopkeeper, with a loving wife, courteous and charming to all.
Victor is the author of a celebrated chronicle from the creation of the world to the end of the year 566.

And two from the same site which have to describe me best:

Victor is trying to impress a lady by aggressively driving a race car.
Victor is distracted from his breakfast by a cartoon character.
Separate but Equal in Washington, D.C.

A very good editorial on a voucher program in D.C. under attack by those employing Wallacean tactics.

But what's with that byline: Fox columnist and publisher of a Web Log? Does that mean I'm also a publisher?

If I'm the publisher here, than we're definitely going to see some editorial changes around this place.... No more silly stories about poorly-photographed food, that's for certain!
Gallery of Regrettable Food 3.0

Poorly-photographed food of yesteryear... glurp!
Burningbird: So Long, and thanks for all the posts

A sign-off from a weblogger which describes a lot of the frustration I, myself, have with weblogging. (And if you haven't experienced this particular frustration yet, don't worry, you will).
I'm serious: the more I read by Joanna Bogle (see immediately below: journalist, author, speaker, wife) the more impressed I am with both the strength of her literary ability and her character. Why we don't see her articles in Crisis every month I'll never know?
How about this: how about a Catholic Radio Program co-hosted by Amy Welborn and Ms. Bogle? And then guests could come on and be interviewed and you'd have a US perspective and a British perspective. I think it would be a great idea. Well, aside from the logistics of having one co-host in the US and another in London.
Maybe it's not a great idea. Hmmm... maybe I could incorporate this into my Grand Scheme for a "Good Eats,"-styled Catholic Apologetics TV program? Blah. Gotta finish "Newcomers," first, though. And then do another album (now accepting applications for financiers -- there's no way I'm self-releasing this next one).
Okay, enough about me babbling on about what is wrong with the UK. Time to tell y'all about something that is very RIGHT with the UK... Joanna Bogle!

Facilitating - or What? - Joanna Bogle

Ongoing formation means talks and lectures with clip-boards and
name-badges and coffee in polystyrene cups. All of this excludes
busy people with homes to run and families to raise and jobs and
responsibilities to undertake. It emphatically excludes young men,
whose energy and vigor mean a low boredom threshold and who are
alienated by the superficial and the self-important.

(And that's just the first article online I could find by her. She joined the (Women for Faith and Familiy) crew about a year ago, I think, and has a number of very good articles there).

She just rocks. I enjoy listening to her on the Catholic Heritage Radio Program (on EWTN Radio, but produced in the UK, I think) and her writings all evince a strong faith and a keen wit (witness the title of her book of Catholic converts: "Come On In, It's Awful!").

Just one more person who I wish I could write more like (see what I mean?) and someone who I think has been largely overlooked by Catholics in this country (you can't even get her books here, from what I can tell -- thank goodness for Amazon.UK!).

It's back on TV... and even better, WE GET THE G4 NETWORK! This *almost* makes up for Comcast yoinking our TechTV for no reason.
Yahoo! News - Armed Clown Gang Has Last Laugh

Misleading title -- the cops actually had the last laugh, though since the Clown Gang is now out of business (at least for a couple of years) they're not going to laugh anymore, I guess. See, this is what happens when people take a movie like Lock, Stock, and 2 Smoking Barrels and, well, watch it.
Crowds flock to smell stinky bloom

A blossom which is clearly not desperate: it only attracts beetles, and only for 8 hours every 15 years. Patient, unassuming, mysterious, and rare, the Corpse Flower is an inspiration to us all.
Sorry, Kiddies, but momma needs your spark of life.

This is ghoulish to the point of reminding me of that scene in The Dark Crystal where the evil Skeksies are taking the cute little pod people and strapping them in that chair and litereally draining the lifeforce out of their heads in order to prolong the life of their diseased master.

Like I said before, the UK has been for a while now showing all the signs that it is really sick, sick, sick.

And what's with the hopeless little cartoon on that page? What has that got to do with anything?

Sick, I tell you. Sick.
A Saintly Salmagundi - My new most favoritest Weblog Ever!!!! Whether he's holding forth on the various current anti-popes (many of whom are curiously named Gregory XVII) or directing us to view all the latest wacko fundamentalist Flash presentation it's all presented with wit and charm. An infinite number of Aristotelian forms for this site. My highest accolades, etc., etc.

Wednesday, July 17, 2002

Physics Songs by Arthur Roberts

THESE RULE!!! Not only are they about Physics, ca. 1947, they're also about PHYSICISTS ca. 1947!!!

Physics Songs ..

Once in a while those little ads at the top of the Opera browser point you to something interesting. Actually, if you knew many physics instructors, this sort of thing comes as no surprise at all.
Which is Worse: WorldCom or Congress?

A very nice, brief piece by Walter Williams (aka. "That guy, Williams,").
Yahoo! News - British Teen on Trial for 'Vampire Murder'

The UK is definitely having serious issues, and this latest story is only a symptom of the greater disease....

Tuesday, July 16, 2002

The Anti-Catholic Catholic Group

I hate to speculate as to the status of an individual or group's salvation, but this group (C4FC) and individual (Kill-er, Kissling) be damned to the hottest fires of Hell for all of eternity if any are.

Seriously, why the IRS doesn't investigate this alleged "non-profit," organization for its numerous hate-crimes is beyond me. Well, actually, it isn't. But I like to retain some naivete every now and then. Selectors

I just did the Philosophic->Classical Philosophers index here (SelectSmart: PopUp Ad Capital of the Web)... very good and the results aren't surprising:

Rank - #1 equals your best match (NOTE: Aristotelian was not one of the ones they listed. In a bizarre way, given the questions they asked, they probably lumped Aristotle in with the Platonists).
#1 - Platonist
#2 - Pythagorean
#3 - Socratic
#4 - Stoic
#5 - Cynic
#6 - Epicurean
#7 - Sophist
#8 - Cyrenaeic (hedonist)
Nondescript Dilbert Comic Phoned In By One Of Scott Adams' Readers, No Doubt

But, yeah: this is the company I work for.
System 193 - 70 Ophiuchi A

The real System 193, perhaps?
The Great Giveaway
A very good article about Open Sourcing, particularly in the areas of what should and what shouldn't be "given away."
"Now, however, it is the United States in the position of a dominant world power seeking to pick a fight with a smaller country because that country's leader is offensive. To be sure, Saddam Hussein is offensive in numerous ways. But the desire to take him out is more the result of an imperial mindset than a legitimate fear that he poses more than a long-term, distant threat to the United States. The imperial power seeks mainly to punish dissidents, building up the idea that he poses a threat, but not even making a case that the threat is imminent."

How I've missed reading the editorials on! I don't even remember why I stopped reading them in the first place. It just confirms that I'm proabably more sympathetic to Libertarianism than I was even so in college.
Sadly, it looks like "Whaver Happened to Robot Jones?" will not be rendered in the style I previously described. The actual style, though (a hand-drawn, 1970s, SchoolHouse Rock-esque style) looks pretty cool in itself, though.
'Twould seem that there is a new robot-oriented cartoon premiering on the Cartoon Network this weekend. The short promo I saw seemed to feature a bit-mappy, low-res, pixelated, 8-bit wannabe style in which I hope they render the bulk of the cartoon.

And hopefully it doesn't blow as much as the CN's more recent shows (The Brak Show, and anything originally done for Adult Swim, really).
Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, 2002 Results

"This is a story of twin Siamese kittens, or, more specifically, of their shared appendage; it is a tail of two kitties."

Very nice...
Things Screenwriters Do That Irk Me
Near the top of the list of Things Screenwriters Do That Irk Me is whenever a character in a movie or television show tells a joke to another character. I don't mean just whenever a character says something funny or makes a joke, no, I mean whenever a character stops whatever momentum has been building in that scene (assuming any ever existed) and actually tells a joke to another character: "So a travelling salesman walks into a bar and says...." They have to realise that at least 3/4 of their audience have already heard the same joke hundreds of times since the age of six and putting it into their screenplay can serve no function whatsoever except to take up time (unless it's a racist joke, of course. In that case it's an easy way of setting up a racist character. This is called cheating).
This is directly related, I believe firmly, to another of my pet peeves: whenever a character in a movie references another movie as means of making a point or setting the mood or value of a scene. If you have to pillage successful, popular films in order to make your point then you're really no better off than someone like Sean "Piff Diddy," Combs who has to steal and remake a Top Hit Song ("Every Step You Take,") in order to have a Top Hit Song of their own ("I'll Be Missing You,").

By the way: No, I have not had my coffee yet, today :)

Monday, July 15, 2002

Actuality Systems - Volumetric 3-D Display

I want one of these!! I could use it to... uh, plan out bookshelves before I build them or, um, somehow use it as a reference for vehicle maintenance and repair... or just put it on the table and have it look cool. - Microtel SYSMAR804 PC With 1.3 GHz Duron and CD-RW

Inexpensive full-featured Linux boxes from... Wallmart?!

Saturday, July 13, 2002

Ecce, Little Red End-Table Which I Just Painted!

Ecce, Table!

Behold the little table I painted today (it was entirely brown formica with a faux woodgrain before). The color scheme was Jackie's idea, of course. It matches our Yellow basement where the trim colors are that shade of red (American Traditions satin finish, "Sharp Red,") and brushed-nickle/silver (Krylon metallic spray-enamel). Very cool.
According to a UNFPA statement, the "UN Population Fund has been working with the Catholic Church in Nakuru to provide peer counseling for adolescents, parents, and priests to prevent teenage pregnancies and STIs [sexually transmitted infections], including HIV/AIDS." UNFPA contends that this "unique and successful" program "would have to be abandoned or cut back" if UNFPA lost US funds.
In response, Bishop Peter Kairo of Nakuru issued a statement to Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM) in which he asserted, "It is with regret and disappointment to learn that our name has been dragged into a political controversy for funding UNFPA activities." The bishop also voiced concern that the political strategy employed by UNFPA and its US allies may lead some to believe that the Diocese of Nakuru endorses the UNFPA agenda. "At no time shall we be engaged in acts that violate the God-given rights through practices geared towards population control, abortion, condoms, and other artificial methods of birth control," he wrote.

Full Story (not really, though, you need to subscribe)

This guy gets my support for next Pope!!
Attack of the Drones

Time to get at those old, brown-paper bags of yard waste which have been rotting next to the garage for a few months. Only when I lifted them up with the shovel I found out a swarm of ground-bees/yellowjackets had built their nest underneath them. Being deathly alergic to bees (this I know from my infrequent trips to the emergency room as a kid), I thought: "Hmm, bees!" And then I thought. "Hmm, bees! I should leave!" So, I started to back away slowly. And then I thought, "Why am I still carrying this shovel?" So, I dropped it and ran. Fortunately, these were not Africanized killer-bees (or Michael Caine would be telling you the rest of this story). Now I'm inside the house looking out the window at a bunch of angry bees swarming around the trashcan I was going to put the compost into. I have no idea how to get rid of the bees (wait until dusk, prop up the compost with a long stick -- like 12-feet away -- and spray them? It's a pretty close neighborhood, all the yards abut back there, so I can't exactly torch them or bomb them).

Snakes, I can deal with. Spiders, fine. Ants? Delicious. But bees...

Why did it have to be bees?

UPDATE (10PM): Victor: 6, Bees: 0
Movieblog -- yet another fine blog for me to keep up with day after day. Ugh! He does movie reviews too which are very nice: mainly because I haven't seen most of the movies on the list yet (I didn't even know they were making a Red Green movie!).

Friday, July 12, 2002

Okay, against my better judgment, I started to read some of the blogs I read on a daily basis, particularly Eve Tushnet, and In Between Naps. Instantly, I began to feel like D. P. Gumby... "My brain hurts!" I'm going to bed! To sleep, perchance for 8 hours or more!
'Allo! To anyone who may be reading this to whom I owe a reply and to whom no reply has come, I am not snubbing you. No, I'm just really, really sleepy. If you get a chance (and there's no excuse not to) rush out tonight and rent Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius regardless of your age, you will love this movie. And I don't say that about many movies. In fact, this is the first movie I've ever said it about. And I didn't just say it because I'm too sleepy to tell you why you'd enjoy it. You just will. So rent it. If you don't like it, hey, you're only out three or four bucks and 82 minutes of your time... there are worse things to keep you occupied, you know.

Besides, you don't have to take my word for it. The link above goes to world-reknowned children's-movie critic James Aikin's own review of the movie.

Thursday, July 11, 2002

SNOOPY & Slaves Of The Circus

If I had to own one (and not less than one) (and not necessarily display it) painting by Easton Davy, this would have to be the one.
How the ADL Counts Anti-Semites - An "anti-Semitism index" that's less than scientific. By Samantha M. Shapiro

An groundbreaking and rather daffy article about how the ADL creates their alarming percentages of "anti-semites." Brings to mind (to some degree)
Story for Mayize
Here's a picture of Calibretto, the Colossal Death Robot which I am. He's cool: he's a peaceful war golem who likes to document animals in the forest.

Which Colossal Death Robot Are You?

Which Colossal Death Robot Are You?

Hey ho, you're Calibretto!

Kick. Arse.

Five metric tonnes of hulking, steam powered robo-meat, you are the pin-up boy for death robot technology. Although you are in fact a war golem, you know how to use a minigun, and you can benchpress small settlements. Relatively new to the colossal death robot scene, you were first pencilled by comic legend Joe Maduriera in 1998. Sensitive, stylish, and yet still massive, if you were female and not made of iron I would probably propose to you.

Apparently I'm a very desirable Colossal Death Robot... one I've not heard of.
Joshua Claybourn's Domain

I'd be surprised that I didn't run into him at Hillsdale were it not that he is at the University of Indiana. How neocons can at once be so right and yet miss the point so entirely never ceases to amaze or confound me.
Mom Accused in Kids' Deaths Sees Charges Reduced to Manslaughter

There's something hypocritical (I dare not say ironic) about our society trying this woman, even (especially?) for the reduced charge of double-Manslaughter. If only she had intentionally killed her children 3 years and 10 months ago (repectively) she would not be in such hot water today.

I mentioned this story to Jackie and what I've just written above was in my mind -- just how sick our society was and immediately Jackie brought to mind the thought of these two small children in the hot sweltering car, just wanting their mommy to return so that they could get a drink of cold water and wondering where she was up until they point where they finally passed out and never woke up.

I nearly started crying (as I nearly do now). But then, why is the thought of these children dying of asphyxiation and heat-stroke so much more sad to us than the thought of children no less innocent having their brains sucked out directly because of a choice their mommies made?

A bit later Jackie said that she didn't feel so sad because she knew that the angels were with them the entire time.

And that's why I'm so fortunate, happy, and blessed to have married her.
The Lego Trebuchet

Going back in my archives, all the way to May, 2001:

I'm going to build me a trebuchet.
A trebuchet of justice,
A trebuchet to end all inquity,
A trebuchet to bring about peace.

I'm going to build me some portcullises,
To complement my corner towers.
My corner towers and my portcullises,
Should stand against the trebuchet.

I've finally built my trebuchet,
But I couldn't find any counter-weights.
So next time I'm hiring ingeniatores,
To tear down the wall.
VisiBone HTML Products

Of use to all bloggers everywhere.

One question: are three really better than one in this case? I mean, I like big portions as much as the next guy...
Being fruitful -- The Washington Times

Way to go, Sam!!! It's good to see Sam and Bethany getting all the recognizition that they deserve for their book!
Goth Bowl: One Long Trip Down A Gutter Leading To Darkness

I don't bowl and I sure don't Goth, but I do know some goths and I know how important it is for them to be able to go out without fear of (as they say) being blasted by Britney Spears (her music).

Wednesday, July 10, 2002

Project Cryo

This is at once the coolest and most disturbing mouse I've ever seen.
A Flying Robot!!!!

Er, scratch that... it's only a flapping robot.
Zero Blaster Fog Ring Maker

Okay, folks... my birthday is only six-weeks away. Don't let me down (again) by *not* buying me a Fog Ring Blaster (again) this year.

FWIW: anything from this site would make a welcome addition to my collection.
Critical Praise for Holy Innocents

Must put this on my read list.

ha ha ha... like I have a read list.
From Present Attention, April, 2001:

Heather Anne Halpert on mistaking journals and weblogs for journalists
and webloggers:

"It makes me howl when people assume this is me -- laid bare. I once
had someone tell me, to prove a point, that she'd gone back through
the archives and mapped my writing to specific personal events. It was
hard not to laugh... Naturally. This is the extent of me. Exposed. You
can turn me over and prod my soft spots, stick your fingers into my
orifices and smell me. Each bit of what you think is my soul
corresponds to a point on or in my body defined by three coordinates.
Click here to browse them."
I'm living on borrowed bloglinks...

This is frightening. I was not familiar with the term "Straight survivors," but now that I am, I am... not really surprised that gov't funded organizations would do this in the "war on drugs." Especially not after reading Joe Sobran's recent column on wars against abstractions.
The coming soon list at imdb illustrates Hollywood's bipolar disease:

* Stuart Little 2
* Goldmember
* The Country Bears
* Full Frontal
* Blood Work
* Spy Kids 2
Yahoo! News - Gnutella Developer Gene Kan, 25, Commits Suicide

RIAA hit or maybe he couldn't live with putting all those musicians, engineers, and record execs out of work?

It's very sad, of course, but this guy's claim to fame was making it easier for people to steal licenses.

Okay, so I'm no good at eulogies.
Electronic music composer Jean Michel Jarre, who has staged spectacular sound and light shows around the world, fervently agreed, telling reporters: "If music is to continue to support the livelihoods of artists, it cannot be taken without the permission of artists."

I'm going to have to side with my old pal Jean-Michel Jarre on this one. Pirating music really does hurt the artists, when you get right down to it. Not all of them are rich, and pirating music like this pretty much assures that few labels will take a chance on signing and promoting new artists who are anything but in the middle of the mainstream.

Imagine what would've happened (or never happened) to Miles Davis or Ornette Coleman if their music had been made available for free.
This post won't interest everyone, so skip it if you're so inclined. I'm not usually this petty!!
Anyway, more on the VOTF board. A long, rambling post which makes no sense (sorry, it really doesn't -- the poster is trying to define something she calls the Iago argument, which sounds to be just the Straw-Man Fallacy) ends with:

By way of example take a look at the arguments of System193 especially
his back and forth with Norman Grosswith on the topic Discerning the Spirit
( I might be off on the topic but I cannot go back and check because I will lose this post) Or System 193 arguments with me yesterday on a number of topics. There are a lot of others as well.

I think I am running out of space, so Can you think of other features or examples of the Iago argument?
Needless to say the person making Iago arguments are the Iagos of the world.

Oh, yeah. And then they locked the post so I couldn't reply (or explain that my arguements did not make use of the Straw-Man Fallacy). Thus, my email to the board admin:

Since I assume censorship is a two-way street, can you please remove my userid from this post:

"New description Iago and Iago Arguments and Positions,"

To classify my arguments, inaccurately as Chrstine Edgar has done, and to refer to me as an "Iago," (un unflattering description and prime example of name-calling if I've ever heard one) is clearly outside the board's courtesy policy.

Thank you!

Hmmm.. now I suppose I'll have to go and read Othello.
I apologize for seeming so gleeful at being censored by Voice Of The Face-ful. It's just that in all my years as a dunderheaded rogue typist I've never been censored... by anyone. Not by Dean Barker at Hillsdale, not by the Ann Arbor Public School Board... So, it's kind of neat.

Tuesday, July 09, 2002

So how 01d 5k001 am I? Ha! I remember They weren't even called weblogs way back then (July, 1999). In fact, they didn't even have a name for them: the NYTimes simply refers to LemonYellow as "a diary of ephemera on the Web". I read every post. And THAT is how 01d 5k001 I am. 133t h4x0r5 ru13!!! Erm, quite.
Woohoo!! I've been censored by The Voice of the Faithful message board admin! Today I am a man.

System 193
[that's my VOTF name],

You are new to our boards. Please read the announcement at the top of the board in regard to courteous posting.

Once section of one of your posts is inappropriate for our boards and has been deleted.

The section that was deleted was:

Yes, and let's not forget to also be open to the same "Spirit," as it was present in Satanism, Nazism, Stalinism, and ancient Aztec ritual.

[Note: some chowderhead on the site was talking about the "Spirit," and how they were examining incorporating into Catholicism the Spirit as it appeared in Wicca, Buddhism, Native American(ism?), Sufism, et al.]

1. Caustic sarcasm is not permitted on our boards

2. Your sentence could be misunderstood and suggest to some that we are encouraging such things as you suggest.

In the future, please take care to be courteous when you post.

Letting you know about this deletion is a courtesy on our part. If other deletions are necessary, you may not be notified.


So here's my reply:

Dear Thought Police,

Point of order: if my post is readily identifiable as caustic sarcasm (your first objection), how could it be misunderstood to be stating that I support the things I mentioned (your second objection). Your censoring of my post, then, is self-referentially incoherent and therefore I must assume it was ideologically motivated.

God bless,

- Vic
United Press International: Thompson drowned out at AIDS meet

Talk about biting the hand(s) that feed you (or at least that are trying to find a cure for your own destructive choices). No one does more for AIDS "victims," worldwide than the US -- except, perhaps, the Catholic Church.
What was once a comedy routine will now be a real part of Janet Reno's run for governor. The former attorney general will hold a "Janet Reno Dance Party" at Level nightclub on Miami's South Beach.

This is frightening, unoriginal, and outdated.
Burp! BeerCook promises tasty recipes because, "beer is food...."

Monday, July 08, 2002

I had no idea that one of my childhood heroes was still alive! Until May of this year, that is. If only I'd known, remembered, or hadn't put such things behind me, I would've written him to let him know how much his drawings and cartoons meant to me growing up.

There's just so little time to thank people, especially those who meant a lot to you growing up.
"This essay manages to be dull, unoriginal and strange all at the same time. Surely you've got to try to write this badly."
Ex-WorldCom head blasted for refusing to testify

I watched/listened-to about three or four hours and I have to say that *all* of the politicians representing us came across as hypocritical, patronitizing, grandstanding jerks.
Earth 'will expire by 2050'

There are three kinds of lies: Lies, Damned Lies, and World Wildlife Fund studies.
DigiBono - I always feel like, somebody's waaaatching meee...

Seriously, this site has some pretty cool gadgets from across the pacific. I think my fingers are too big for most of them, though.

Sunday, July 07, 2002

Blarrrrgghhh!! Leave it to MSN (every so often I'll click on one of their headlines because I know it'll anger and frustrate the heck outta me ;) ) to totally wreck a pseudo-non-anti-abstinence article:

One mother I know, “Sandy,” said she sat down with her 13-year-old daughter and all her girlfriends at a sleepover and had the “oral sex” lecture. One irate mother phoned her up the next day to complain that she had no right to discuss sex with her daughter. Sandy said the angry mother who called about her innocent progeny is mistaken; the girl is into seriously sexual behavior. Nevertheless, Sandy did not pass on this information to the mother. She said, “If you want to give out info, you can’t also dole out personal lectures or tattletale. You hope they listen — but you can’t be judge and jury.”

If I knew any parents like "Sandy," who had this sort of ambush sex-talk with my children at a sleepover, I would have them arrested and put on Megan's List (imagine if that paragraph had begun with "one father I know, 'Carl,' said he sat down with his 13-year-old daughter and all her girlfriends and dot-dot-dot,"). Seriously, that reeks of the worst kind of perversion: meddling with the moral development of other people's kids. And what the heck does that mean, "you can't be judge and jury?" No, "Sandy," but you can be, oh, I don't know... a mother.

You know the economy is riding out a downturn when no one even bids on something like this. (Of course the BIN price was 25-large).

Of course, it doesn't promise to turn your bath water into luxurious encasing comfort with just one box.
The Best Blog Ever. This is the first blog I've ever seen (aside from my own) where the blogger just gave up. Too bad it's over.
I guess I really need to redesign my blog... I'd like to know that someone besides myself reads it from time to time before I put all that work into it, though (unlike some people, I don't consider blog layout to be the most fun thing in the world :).
U.S. quietly OKs fetal stem cell work, harvesting the raw parts of aborted children. I could comment that this is ghoulish, but I think we, as a nation, have lost all concept of the ghoulish. "Distasteful," "Unfortunate," "Regrettable, but necessary," don't count.

More than that, it's already made my novel/screenplay irrelevant.

Saturday, July 06, 2002

We had a great day today with the nieces and nephews -- the most well-behaved trio on this planet, I'm certain! Well, it's time for bed.
I must've been the only person on the planet who had never heard of Trey Anastasio (proof: he's already played on the Tonight Show). I still don't know who-all he's played with (Phish, as it turns out -- a band I never really got into, so that explains my ignorance) but his debut solo-album literally singed my wig!! (Well, not literally because I don't have a wig, but it insofar as that expression can be applied to the enjoyment of music -- never mind). It's probably the strongest recording I've heard in the last five years -- all the musicianship of Zappa's greatest bands (without the often disturbing innuendo), it's funky, energetic, tender when it needs to be, and (this is a great compliment for a recording) they know when to lay-it-all-out into a 3-minute solo or supercharged horn/rhythm-section frenzy and when the song just needs to be ended...

Anyway, this album will last for a dozen-years easy. Check it out.
Huzzah! The S-Video/Stereo-Audio cable for the GameCube works for the Nintendo64 as well!!! Let the nieces and nephews be entertained by Kirby!!!

Friday, July 05, 2002

I don't know if it's proper blogring ettiqu... procedure to blog a blog which belongs to a ring to which you also belong but Blergg Blog is the most refreshing blog I've seen in a loooong time. Awesome: a normal, healthy, 17-year-old anime-fan considering a religious vocation: we need 1,000,000 more like her (well, they don't all have to dig anime, of course -- that could get a little weird)!
So there I am, cruising past the park, which is PACKED with people there to listen to the band. Tons of folks (this being Plymouth, most of them with strollers). I'm blasting my funky jams (courtesy of Mix 92.3 FM, baby!), crusing (note the second 'cruising,' for literary effect) in my Big Ford (not a euphamism), its 4.6L purring, I nod and then I realize that I still have the "Baby's First Years," sunshades with the big outward-facing "Ideas Inspired By Parents!" logo suction-cupped to both rear windows.

Yeah, I'm cool.

Too funny.
Puttin' up a shed,
Puttin' up a shed,
We shall go rejoicing,
Puttin' up a shed.

Thursday, July 04, 2002

I found this page pretty much by accident. Wonder if they have this for each shuttle mission?
So I've been reading a bunch of these Catholic blogs lately (well today and yesterday) and I think I know what their problem is (not that they have any problem, but if they did indeed have a problem it would be this): I don't know that these folks have enough non-Catholic, non-Christian, anti-Catholic, anti-Christian friends. Heck, I don't have any Catholic friends unless you count Dr. Whalen (whom I haven't seen in... four years?) and my dad. I have exactly one Christian friend who attends that Northridge Monolithic Pluralistic Christian Compound outside of town (I'd *love* to review their financial records sometime). The rest of my friends are either ambigious on the subject of religion (any religion) or violently (well, not so much violently because that implies passion which so many of the anti-religious crowd lack... they've mastered eroticism and angst and a mixture of the two can sometimes pass for passion) anti-religion. So... I'm not really sure where I was going with this... my head still hurts (see below).

Maybe this is a 4th of July thing. Checking my archives I see that I had a bad headache last year on this date (and I also made that same co-dependence day remark last 4th, too).
Ugh. The worst possible time to have a bad sinus-induced migraine is on the Fourth of July in Plymouth, MI, where otherwise seemingly-college-educated people turn into explosive-crazed yahoos. This I don't mind so much. What I do mind is that 364 days of the year these people lose that yahoo spirit and just become so many easily-led don't-rock-the-boaters. Oh well.

Inconsiderate motorcycle guy (who is an explosive-crazed yahoo the other 364 days of the year), the one who idles and revs his impossibly loud Harley right outside my baby son's window from 11:30-12:00 at night tried blasting down our residential (read speed limit 25 miles-per-hour) street again tonight and I was outside so I tried my little theory of dashing out into the street in front of him. He slowed down and drove a very respectful speed the rest of the time he was on our block. Take back your streets and your neighborhoods, America!!! People need to be considerate and yet at the same time not completely passive.

Ow ow ow. My head hurts. You know it's bad when the only thing you can think about is Van Morrison's "Moondance," but with different words:

What a lov-e-ly night for a Migraine
My head hurts so much I think it might pop
I've become extremely photo-sen-si-tive
My head hurts so much, Dear Lord make it stop.
Ow ow owwwwww-ow-ow-ow. Ow ow owwwwww-ow-ow-ow.... etc.

Maybe it's a tumor?
Happy Co-Dependence Day, everyone!!! Think you've got rights? Buy one of these and find out!
(I've got mine! It's really nice -- Amendment IV is highlighted (that's the whole point)! It bends a bit to conform to the shape of one's cheek when put into one's wallet, however. But it does cut one mean tomato!).

Wednesday, July 03, 2002

I've just stumbled through (down into, across?) the rabbit hole and have come across Mark Shea's Weblog. Long a fan of Catholic Exchange I knew it existed, just never bothered to check it out. Shame on me. This is just one tiny arc of the Catholic weblog circuit, of course, which just may instill in me the belief that weblogs are more than just for narcissistic weenies who can't spell (don't judge me!).

It may even engender a newfound interest in doing a weblog and doing it right (might have to activate The Censer or even -- gasp! -- System193.NET!!! More on that to follow).

Well, here's something I was going to post on Voice of the Rabble Faithful but they are (perhaps wisely) not accepting new lusers on their message boards.

(I was going to be a lot more vulgar and less-prophetic but they, also wisely, censor their posts).

Change the Church, Lose the Faith

Check this out.

What is the Church? Is the Church a plum, a prize, or a power to be purchased (eg. generally any municipality and its subjects), plundered (eg. Hamburgler and McDonald's Hamburgers), or co-opted (eg. VOTF and the Church) -- the font of Truth which bestows upon those who control it some sort of supernatural authority, Holy underwrit? Or is the Church instead an organism, the most perfect of all organisms: the Body of Christ? Think about this for a moment.

Then consider: the one thing upon which intelligent design theorists and natural selection theorists seem to agree (to this layperson) whether or not as much is stated by them is that when discussing an organism (whether it be an animal, an organ, or an automobile) is that the form or shape of an organism follows or is dependent upon its function.

Now: whether you hold to natural selection theory or intelligent design theory (it is indeed a shame that no evidence could ever be admitted to support either) consider the ogranism which is the Body of Christ. Her present hierarchy, Her form, can then be explained one of two ways: She is either the result of some sort of socio/political natural selection or else She is the the product, the creation of some intelligent designer. Third explanation: She is like unto Jazz and Her form is Art.

So this is very interesting: if She be the result of a process of natural selection, She can only be changed through some sort of overcoming, a Foucaultian power struggle, an existentially violent cage match (if you will). If VOTF is successful in changing the Church, changing Her form through such means, the function of the Church -- rightly called the Faith -- will no longer remain intact. One cannot switch about the structure of all of those incomprehensible doodads underneath the hood of one's automobile or recklessly rearrange or the structure of one's heart or liver and expect any of the above to work. So too: in changing the form of the Church through co-opting Her teachings or Her earthly power one will instead distort, malform, and otherwise render inoperable the Faith. Your mission will have failed, the Faith will have been lost.

But now, consider the alternative : that Her form, The Church, Christ's Body, is the product of some intelligent design. Now: consider the Deisgner.

Now think: could anyone who attempts to violate and warp the form set forth by the Designer Himself ever really hope to succeed?

ps. IMHO -- It seems a bit presumtive for ANY organization to refer to themselves as the Voice Of The Faithful (implying that apart from their agenda the faithful have no voice). Perhaps VOTMR (Voice Of The Misguided Rabble) would be a monniker more apt?

Update: Maybe VOTF is too easy of a target? Maybe so if they didn't appear to be so heavily funded and have so many members.