If you know what this is, you're down here with me at the deep end of the meme pool.

VideoDownloader :: Mozilla Addons

Here's a partial playlist from yesterday from the current. Where else are you going to get this music, I ask rhetorically. They stream live, so you can listen wherever the internet is sold.

9:12 Soul Asylum - Cartoon
9:11 Spoon - You Gotta Feel It
9:07 Richard Ashcroft - Simple Song
9:03 General Elektriks - Frost On Your Sunglasses

8 - 9 pm
8:58 Portishead - Cowboys
8:52 Calexico - Dance of Death

8:47 T. Rex - Telegram Sam
8:43 The Stone Roses - She Bangs The Drums
8:39 Jenny Lewis with The Watson Twins - The Big Guns
8:34 Nada Surf - In the Mirror
8:30 Ramones - Something To Believe In
8:26 Suicidal Tendencies - Institutionalized

8:21 The Faint - Desperate Guys
8:18 Ash - Girl From Mars
8:14 Trans-Global Underground - The Khaleegi Stomp
8:08 Mobius Band - The Loving Sounds Of Static
8:06 Dr. Dog - Today
8:02 StarSailor - In The Crossfire

7 - 8 pm
7:58 The Rosebuds - Boxcar
7:54 Sons and Daughters - Hunt
7:50 Crystal Skulls - Baby Boy
7:47 Figurines - The Wonder
7:40 Bob Dylan - A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall
7:32 Gabin - Midnight Cafe

7:28 Digable Planets - Where I'm From (Remix)
7:25 Bettye Swann - Willie & Laura Mae Jones
7:20 Ben Harper - Waiting For You
7:18 The Essex Green - Penny & Jack
7:17 The Essex Green - Rue de Lis

7:16 The Essex Green - This Isn't Farmlife
7:15 The Essex Green - In Studio Performance
7:00 Tom Ze - O Amor e Um Rock

6 - 7 pm
6:54 One Self - Cupid Smiling The Smile
6:48 Ulrich Schnauss - Blumenthal

6:43 Gomez - Cry On Demand
6:37 Gorillaz - Dirty Harry
6:34 Luscious Jackson - Let Yourself Get Down
6:29 Pert' Near Sandstone - Baltimore Fire
6:24 Bettie Serveert - Palomine
6:20 Josh Ritter - Monster Ballads

6:14 Her Space Holiday - Self Helpless
6:11 LCD Soundsystem - Thrills
6:07 The Living Blue - Serrated Friend
6:02 Teenage Fanclub - Fallen Leaves

5 - 6 pm
5:59 Supernova - Vitamins
5:53 The Fiery Furnaces - Teach Me Sweetheart

5:49 Rafael Arias Paz - Kaluyos Tradicionales
5:44 Zuco 103 - Garganteiro
5:40 the The - Infected
5:35 Mystery Jets - Zoo Time
5:32 Skeletons And The Girl-Faced Boys - Y'all Thinks It's Soo Easy
5:26 Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Do You Love Me


How should the humanities be taught?

THE PARADIGM IS THE ENEMY: The State of the Peak Oil Movement at the Cusp of Collapse


Graffiti Research Lab

oh. my. god.

Read what Stephen Colbert said at the White House correspondents dinner: Colbert Lampoons Bush at White House Correspondents Dinner-- President Does Not Seem Amused

And watch it (second half):
Crooks and Liars

torrent: mininova : TV Shows > Other > 2006 White House Correspondents Dinner with Stephen Colbert and Pres. Bush (TVRip.SoS)


cool: AP Wire | 04/26/2006 | Last ninja: 'Be able to kill your students'


AOL News - FBI Investigated 3,501 People Without Warrants

a moment of lamentation

The internet is not a chair in a garage facing a plywood wall, on which is hung a dartboard that I intentionally miss repeatedly. And at times like right now I realize that, for all its access, its unblinking silence is a poor substitute. It's the gloomy kind of day that makes every other kind of day look chipper.

If I'd been doing something other than working my dead-end job while I wasn't outside getting rained on it wouldn't have bothered me so much.

I looked up the zip code in Elko, MN to see what the weather's doing there tonight. If it rains they cancel the races.

I cut and pasted the following from the city's website:


I sent them an email.


He who is unforgivably stupid wants excuses to nuke Iran. Everyone knows this. Every time we give him the chance to blow something up he's as excited as John Wayne Gacy at a birthday party. So to preemptively counter the upcoming white house talking points of groovy doom, here's why we shouldn't use nukes to bust bunkers, with a handy movie, that you can send your friends who don't like to read because it makes them smarter.
Nuclear Bunker Buster (RNEP) Animation

Myspace eats its own:
demonbaby: The Second Annual MySpace Stupid Haircut Awards!

VCR wars

My wife and I are different people, which is convenient for many reasons.
For at least as many more reasons, it complicates things around the house.

Movies. We watch them because tv sucks. The idea is to put them back when you're done watching them, but it doesn't always get done. This failure to abide by the guidelines leaves evidence that can be studied.

Hers: sex and the city
Mine: ghost world
Hers: pretty woman
Mine: bartleby

It looks like my wife is normal and I like movies that make you feel horrible. Any suggestions are welcome.

after the press conference

House Speaker Dennis Hastert of Ill., center, gets out of a Hydrogen Alternative Fueled automobile, left, as he prepares to board his SUV, which uses gasoline, after holding a new conference at a local gas station in Washington, Thursday, April 27, 2006 to discuss the recent rise in gas prices. Hastert and other members of Congress drove off in the Hydrogen-Fueled cars only to switch to their official cars to drive back the few block back to the U.S. Capitol.


print at work


no more free time for you!

[adult swim] | Adult Swim Fix

repost: interactive screensaver endless forest

Google's new free 3d modeling tool, SketchUp - Home

what is this


death = har har

I heard Stephanie Miller saying recently that in right wing land, killing people who don't agree with you is considered funny. I saw where she was going with that but didn't have any evidence of it in my own observations until about a minute and a half ago, when I saw a commercial on television for a show called "American Dad", which featured prominently a waving American flag and a voice over that suggested that "[if people didn't] like it, kill them. Just kidding. Well, not really."

Thanks, Fox, for more patriotism-defining entertainment. That's what we need more of around here, especially from you.

the final analysis

Real country music:
Badass Mountain Woman Loretta Lynn, singing Don't Come Home A-Drinkin' (With Lovin' On Your Mind)


This week's top two singles:
Total Homo Keith Urban - Tonight I Wanna Cry
Emo R&B Boy Band Rascal Flatts - What Hurts The Most

Also bullshit, the rest of these tools:

how much is a 12 pack of pbr?

Lowry Hill = 7.99
Henn-Lake = 7.99
Hum's = 9.08
Zipp's = 7.89
Surdyk's (24 pack) = 13.29
Witt's = 8.22

And the winner is Zipp's, because I get off the freeway there anyway because it's always a clusterfuck before the Lowry Hill tunnel.


Snoop Dogg's posse beats up seven British cops



Everything you ever wanted to know about kitchen knives:
eG Forums -> Knife Maintenance and Sharpening

Paintings of women, some of which are not safe for the modern fascist workplace:
L I N S N E R . C O M

If you watch it, you will cringe: Hilarious hollywood amateur stand up comedian - Google Video

how to write a story

Good writin' (modern).
The Morning News - In Praise of Loopholes, by Matthew Baldwin

print at work

The multimillion-dollar lobbying effort to repeal the federal estate tax has been aggressively led by 18 super-wealthy families, according to a report released today by Public Citizen’s Congress Watch and United for a Fair Economy at a press conference in Washington.

a 58 page .pdf,
Spending millions to save billions:
The campaign of the super wealthy to kill the estate tax

unembedded, photography from Iraq.

everyone's a think-tank

I dreamt I was in a chamber of a cave with three rivers coming into it and one going out. I went downstream and into other rooms where I saw people. They were looking for a way out and I told them it was back that way and to the left. It now seems clear the water flowing through the caves meant the irreversible flow of time, and the caves represent corporeality.

In the following moment of the dream I was in a room facing a piano and discussing the human condition with a woman I work with.

I woke up thinking about this, so I figured I'd just put it on the blog and be done with it since it sort of, at least in my mind, ties back together, and I'd just as soon get my morning underway.

As far as I've bothered to think about it, it boils down to this.

The nature of every group of people is the success of each member's loyalty to that group. The group "country" depends on people's allegiance to it (hence a mandated pledge of allegiance). Because people are naturally probing enough to at least question the wisdom of total allegiance to something whose machinations eclipse their understanding, there are alternative allegiances, say to churches, in case the actions of government in the country's name defy the individual's sense of right and wrong. This, however, is the last stop on the intellectual choo-choo train for most Americans.

For all groups, the single greatest need is the interest of the individual, and each group uses a person's psyche against them in order to get their interest.

If I'm a group, I want a person to believe in how important I am. If I'm a communist group, I want to appeal to a person's sense of obligation to his fellow man. If I'm an environmentalist I want to appeal to a person's sense of responsibility to clean air and water. If I'm a church I'll appeal to a person's sense of right and wrong. In each of these cases, and every other one, the prize that is won is the "heart and mind" of the individual.

Simple tricks are used to get people all lined up. Most common, I think, is "the trotting out of the enemy". The enemy of the communist is the greed that leaves poor people to die while others get richer even as they recline fatly on sunny beaches. The enemy of the church (churches want people so intimately) is the vile abortionist, the enemy of the earth people is poison-belching industry. Some will pretend to have some interests in mind when obviously acting for others (in the United States, see the oil lobby's puppet government). Those are a little off the subject, though.

Through the actions of every group, by varying degrees, these ideas that exist in internal emails "in silico" move across some invisible barrier in the individual that we have yet to define, a task I am not up to, and become ideas "in vivo". That's what think thanks do, and what every other group does, has to do, to survive. It's make-believe all grown up, and when you see the word written, its implication becomes menacingly present. Let's just look at it for a moment. Make believe.

That barrier is what I spoke of with the lady in my dream. Some people realize that barrier is there, that wall with special doors into their minds, and some do not. I think that if there were a standard scale of what it is to understand the world (and why haven't we ever devoted some time to that), an excellent unit of measure would be whether an individual understands this --that the social world is a bunch of selves and groups acting as selves, all competing for the individual's interest and allegiance.

The most successful groups among civilized people appear to leave the most choices up to the individual, like the extremely flattering and dominant "capitalism", a method by which money moves through society.

Once a person has reached a certain level of intellectual maturity, he isn't bothered by attempts to jostle his attention into alignment with a certain group's needs. He has mapped the doors into his mind sufficiently to decide when to open them, and to make what I consider to be more responsible decisions. (My wife has a way in, and so do the members of my family, for example, and beer. Beer definitely has a way in there. I jest.)

About the room with the piano. That room represents the civilized world, and the degree to which a society is civilized is at least partially measurable by the conversations people have in it. Near the piano it's possible to reach out to another person and find in them their, and expose to them your own, helpless realization that the world is an essentially meaningless place full of noise, aural and visual, made of loud, obnoxious, self-ness. And only near the piano can the hope exist that someone will sit down to take your mind off it.


Admit it. That Spock thing I did a couple of days ago was brilliant.

In dreams, writes Coleridge, images form the impressions that we believe them to trigger; we are not afraid because we're clutched by a sphinx, but rather a sphinx embodies the fear that we feel. If this is so, can a mere account of one's dream--shapes transmit the stupor, the elation, the false alarms, the menace, and the jubilation that is woven into last night's sleep? I will experiment with this account, without restraint; perhaps the fact that the dream was a single stream of consciousness expunges or mitigates this essential difficulty.

The place was the School of Arts; it was dark. Everything was a little different (as the surface of things is in dreams); a slight magnification altered everything. We were picking the department heads. I was talking with Pedro Henriquez Urena, who by this night has been dead for many years. Suddenly--it comes to mind-we were startled by a massive demonstration or the disharmony of rank amateur street musicians. The shrieks of men and animals rose up from the lower floors. One voice called out: "Here they come!" and then "The Gods! The Gods!" Four or five beings emerged from the mob and took over the platform of the great hall. We all applauded, weeping; it was the Gods finally returning from centuries of exile. The platform exaggerated their prowess, they flung their heads backwards, and shoved their chests forward, arrogantly accepting our humble tribute. One held laurels, made--without a doubt-from the untouchable botany of dreams; another made a wide gesture, extending his hand which was a claw; one of the faces of Janus looked fearfully on the crooked beak of Thoth. Perhaps incited by our applause, one--I don't remember which--burst forth in a victorious, unbelievably disagreeable clucking, with something akin to gurgling and hissing. Things, after that moment, began to change.

Everyone began to suspect (perhaps excessively) that the Gods did not know how to speak. Centuries of life in exile, living like wild animals, had atrophied their once humanoid appearance; the Muslim moon and the Roman cross had been ruthless with these escapees. Low down Cro-Magnon brows, yellow teeth, meager Oriental mustachios, and beast-like lips obviously broadcasted the collapse of the lineage of Olympus. Their clothing didn't allude to decent decorous poverty, but of the garish luxury of gambling dens and brothels. In a buttonhole, a red carnation bled; we detected a dagger's outline beneath a tight-fitting coat. All of a sudden, we sensed that they were bluffing on their last card, that they were underhanded, dangerously ignorant, and cruel as aging predators, and that if we relented in fear or pity, they would destroy us.

We drew our heavy revolvers (the guns appeared immediately in the dream) and we happily slaughtered the Gods.

"Ragnarok" -Borges, transl. Noah Hoffenberg

Jesus was Swedish!

You're going to feel a lot better praying to a guy who didn't look like a TERRORIST!

Davezilla: Irrefutable Historical Evidence!
(from where else, Tennessee)

watch Bush televangelize!

I base a lot of my foreign policy decisions on some things that I think are true. One, I believe there's an Almighty. And, secondly, I believe one of the great gifts of the Almighty is the desire in everybody's soul, regardless of what you look like or where you live, to be free.

HSA presents: the No Joking Zone

more corporatism, please! or are you a commie?

Congress is going to hand the operation of the Internet over to AT&T, Verizon and Comcast. And if you think they're not going to fuck it up, you're a chickenhead.

Congress Is Giving Away the Internet, and You Won't Like Who Gets It | TPMCafe

When cable companies that want to decide what you do, where you go, and what you watch online get control of your access, what could possibly go wrong? There are some things "the market" shouldn't decide, like what people talk about; the word is sometimes abused, but corporate info-filtering is the essence of fascism.

Read more at Save the

We really need to send some emails about this one to our elected reps, because the vote is TOMORROW, so we have to create a relatively major uproar. I have emailed my guy to vote no on the COPE bill, so do the same.

best Irish joke in a long time

Paddy had been drinking at his local Dublin pub all day and most of the night celebrating St Patrick's Day. Mick,the bartender says, " You'll not be drinking any more tonight Paddy. Paddy replies, "OK Mick, I'll be on my way then."

Paddy spins around on his stool and steps off. He falls flat on his face. "Shoite" he says and pulls himself up by the stool and dusts himself off. He takes a step towards the door and falls flat on his face, "Shoite, Shoite!"

He looks to the doorway and thinks to himself that if he can just get to the door and some fresh air he'll be fine. He belly crawls to the door and shimmies up to the door frame. He sticks his head outside and takes a deep breath of fresh air, feels much better and takes a step out onto the sidewalk and falls flat on his face. "Bi'Jesus... I'm fockin' focked," he says.

He can see his house just a few doors down, and crawls to the door, hauls himself up the door frame, opens the door and shimmies inside. He takes a look up the stairs and says "No fockin' way".

He crawls up the stairs to his bedroom door and says "I can make it to the bed." He takes a step into the room and falls flat on his face. He says "Fock it" and drags himself into bed.

The next morning, his wife, Jess, comes into the room carrying a cup of coffee and says, "Get up Paddy. Did you have a bit to drink last night?".

Paddy says, "I did Jess. I was fockin' pissed. But how'd you know?"

"Mick phoned, . . . You left your wheelchair at the pub."

...thanks Randy


Cool Hunting: New American City: Sycamore Farms

If aliens intercept this transmission, they will think mexican chicks are the hottest thing the earth has to offer. And in a couple cases, they're right. thanks for the link hank

Araceli Bocchio - Google Video

A quick zaba search turned up evil prick Rocky "Dusty" Hoffschneider. I sent the information on to Mr. Ames, and we'll see what happens next. Sure would be nice if he lived a little closer to here.


print: Extraordinary Popular Delusions And The Madness Of Crowds -- Chapter 1

You're going to want to read this. Do you know who Rocky Hoffschneider is?

watch from 3:30 to 4:36 (Kirk Cameron banana fun) "Sort of the 'We Are the World' that wasn't, 'Stop the Madness' is the only 80s music video to ever be sponsored by the White House."

A Messiah complex, severely stunted emotional intelligence and profound ignorance are the defining characteristics of the man capable of making nuclear holocaust a reality within minutes. In light of this, Osama bin Laden, box-cutters, and suicide bombers don’t seem quite so formidable or worrisome.
Forget the Middle East

by Jason Miller

one two three o'clock four o'clock

five six seven o'clock eight o'clock

nine ten eleven o'clock twelve o'clock

we're going to

around the clock tonight

rubber band mastery

If you want to shoot rubber bands better than anyone else in your office, tie a knot in one and then shoot it at something/someone.

The accuracy in this method is MUCH better, and until your target figures it out too, they don't have a snowball's chance of getting revenge from anywhere except point blank range.

I discovered this on my own, and like so many things I discover on my own, it won't surprise me if lots of people knew already that knotting the band reduces drastically the drag of the object in flight. And for those of you who did know, you really ought to have told me.

A sense of wonderment is sorely missing from public life.

If the world was the kind of place it was capable of being, even that it ought to be, there would be automatic paper airplane printers, and they'd be on top of buildings, just sailing them out one after another. That would be awesome.

As it is, we settle for "obey andre the giant" stuff for our phenomenology, even though nothing that mass-produced can ultimately have its desired effect. "Oh, wow, what's that?" becomes "oh yes, there's that familiar thing".

To quote a lesser David Mamet production, if you don't do it yourself it's not fun, it's entertainment.

forgive my intermittency

I'm experiencing lassitude.


trust me

call 1 800 GET MY ASS.


thanks hank

Phony doctor gives free breast exams - Yahoo! News

"...was charged with sexually assaulting two women who accepted the offer, police said on Thursday."



Theocons and Theocrats


I had two thoughts on my drive in this morning. The first was that (I feel) life is more complicated than it needs to be, and the second is that it's occasionally made easier to deal with, by the same technologies that also contribute to its ever-increasing complexity.

Every morning, my coffee brews automatically at six. Then I get on a computer network that would be almost impossible to describe to someone who lived a hundred years ago, and do things with it that would definitely be impossible to describe. (Imagine telling Mark Twain about "all your base are belong to us". He'd kick your ass.) There are five traffic lights and eight lane changes between my street and my school's parking lot. I walk through nine doors between my bedroom and my classroom, not including the one on my car. By the time I get here, I've been through kind of a lot. And in this respect, I'm just like everybody else. It's called the rat race.

Are we doing ourselves a disservice by being dependent on this mountain of human invention? There's no going back; even if you reverted to a stone age lifestyle, you'd wind up using ideas you didn't come up with originally, like drilling to make holes and start fires. We're all going to have ideas about what the appropriate level of technology is that we need, and those ideas are even going to change over time. It's like morals, which also change over time. As people get older, they chill out a little. This is the main reason having babies in my thirties rather than my twenties appeals to me, I'll be less crazy myself, and will therefore be able to focus on the craziness of children better.

When people age their reflexes slow down, their bodies form a comfortable pillowy layer, and they're less high-strung. (Except republicans, who habitually substitute snarling ragegasms for critical faculties. Why ask why when it feels so good to accuse your opponent of treason? If there's any justice, a new neurological disorder will attack the aging brains of Hannity-ites who made a habit of over-using their neural pathways of nonsense, blame, and false indignance. As a result, they will only be able to communicate in republican talking points and will therefore be left out to be eaten by bears.)

Eventually, I'm going to get tired of being so connected to everything. It takes a lot of effort and produces fairly little in return. Maybe it's starting already.


cover story

Rolling Stone : The Worst President in History?

things you're equally likely to hear

"It's times like these I wish I had my abacus with me."

"Wait a minute. How do I know you're the real swat team?"

"Spring break in Baghdad was so fun we should do it again next year."

"What's that lassie? Timmy's playing doctor with the gym teacher?"

"Scott McClellan's honesty will be missed."

Sionara, buttboy.

I love this video:
Boards Of Canada - Dayvan Cowboy Music Video - Taken from Trans Canada Highway EP

I've never heard this band but something tells me they suck

via davezilla

toonify your life - Brilliant Toons



There is not a single doubt nor question in a single human mind with any form of knowledge or understanding that the lowest form of humor currently available on the face of the earth is personified by Larry the cable guy. It's not even open for debate, and no living person will bother to argue.

I must pause and accentuate the extraordinary degree to which it is rare that this can accurately be said, and that this distinction deserves a moment of recognition. Larry the cable guy is the new lowest form of entertainment, one without historical precendent, and one that cannot, in my ample imagination, ever be done more awfully.

If Larry the cable guy is "funny", that would explain why it is that Mencia is "funny", too.

If the Mind of Mencia were a location, it would be the most boring, regularly racial-stereotype-based comedic location in the entire universe. How he convinces people he is funny is what I'd like to see a show about.

Kirk Cameron debunks evolution:
Throw away your TV Video Archive

stuff to watch

I never get tired of the farting preacher
I also love part 5

the pleasure of finding things out, with Richard Feynman

not a watcher, but a must-looker, maps of where the different religions live. Guess where the Mormons are?
Map Gallery of Religion in the United States


YouTube - Leprechaun in Mobile, Alabama



White people eee eee eee, black people doo doo doo.

the daily bummer

Let's say you were alone all morning working and forgot your phone and didn't talk to anyone until the afternoon, and finally when you saw someone you knew them, and they said "You haven't heard, have you?", what do you think they'd be talking about?

My first inclination would be to think we'd nuked Iran.

I had a dream last night about being strapped into a chair in front of a senior citizens glee club singing "yakkity yak, don't talk back." which then went into a horrifying medley of other golden oldies. Not a great start to my day.

I was lying there thinking about the fact that we still don't know who shot JFK, but we do know that for some reason, their identities have remained hidden. Those guys killed the president and are safe from the truth. It is also well known that George W. Bush was elected in circumstances no one can deny were outrageously criminal. Twice. Oh, and we went to war based on what are now known, beyond any doubt, to be complete lies. But instead of this, other things crowd our cranial space. There are shopping lists to update and a sophisticated form of denial that, if properly comprehended, would send the field of psychiatry back to the drawing board.

Two hours still until dawn, and I waited for the light to start coming in, thinking about how the United States is dependent on unsustainable energy sources. It doesn't seem to matter to anyone that there's not a strategy for getting away from foreign fossil fuels, because the most anti-populist, national-dialogue-dictating machinations of our time, "think tanks", haven't pushed the issue. Meanwhile, Thomas Friedman writes groovy books about globalism and we space out thinking about the how the free market's going to take care of everything. A sexy, ergonomic tomorrow is alluring, but it's vapor. We've already sold the future for a moment of material comfort. Drive out to the suburbs. Behold, it is miles and miles of cookie-cutter tract-house fuckboxes with air-conditioned game rooms, brimming with badly finished chinese-made crap, sitting next to --and on what ten years ago, were-- honest little family farms. Wtf, not lol.

The guys who shot JFK, if they're still around, live somewhere nicer than I will ever live. And so do their rich children. They have power, and that's what it's all about. We pay the government to do whatever it wants, as long as we have buying power. Once that goes away, a process that is well underway, you'll hear some serious yelling and screaming. But by that time it'll be too late; the criminals will have absquatulated with our taxes which alchemically became their war dollars. Think about it. 9/11 was the best thing to ever happen to some people.

My early morning revelation that the United States is a nation addicted to, clinging as hard as it can to, the stupid and false idea it's all going to work out as if by accident, is your daily bummer!

from the desk of Jesse Jackson

/via somethingawful


more shiny "globalism".
Professor Studying Cultural Impact Of Starbucks, hufpo



eBay: Larry the Cable Guy ALL 3 Bottle Openers Red Black Camo (item 6270680592 end time Apr-16-06 18:10:39 PDT)

let's hear it for black jelly beans

Who's with me?

This has me thinking goatse.

the animal-farm-ification of the bill of rights

Here in the United States, our government is based on a constitution which has a section devoted to the rights of the citizens. It's like the ten commandments of the country. When I hear about judges putting the ten commandments up in their courtrooms or courthouses or wherever, I always wonder what's wrong with just using the bill of rights. It's really very simple; religion isn't the mandate for government, the bill of rights is.

If you've never read the book Animal Farm by George Orwell, get up right now and find someone who owns it, even if you have to knock on your neighbor's door who you've never spoken to, and borrow it and read it. Don't come back here till you've read it. It is a brilliant masterpiece and if I ever produced anything as good as it is, I would die a very satisfied person. I will now assume, since I have told you to go read that book, that you have, and therefore will understand my comparisons.

Commander in chief good! Criticism baaa-aaad!

No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances unless those people are anti-Bush, in which case the secret service will make them shut up and go far away.

No animal shall drink alcohol to excess

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized unless he or she might be terrorists.

No animal shall kill any other animal without cause

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense unless he or she might be a terrorist.

Support the troops good! Asking questions baaad!

All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted, but if you might be a terrorist, torture isn't out of the question.

I will work harder.


Ladies and Germs, it's that time of year again, when you tune in to hear me bitch about how Easter is another pagan holiday that was stolen by the Christians, who steal everything, sort of like what Microsoft would have done to computers and the internet had there been no way to prosecute them. Well, sorry to burst your bubble but this time I'm not doing it. You want that kind of thing, click the archive. I'm not even going to post links to any dead rabbits with easter baskets by them with little handmade signs that say "happy easter". I'm just ignoring this one. The haircut place is closed along with most other places of business, so I'm going to sit around here shaggy and grouchy about it and maybe hit the Jewish deli later.

Last night I worked at the pharmacy again. When I got there my boss told me to go work as far away from the guy I had problems with two weeks ago, as I possibly could. "You don't have to tell me twice", I replied. Also, I thought it was funny and reassuring that he referred to him as "motormouth" and "that son-of-a-bitch."

Our company is very big so we get a lot of weird email we never read from high-ups, usually about charity events we might consider attending, sometimes about picketing guidelines for strikers, so as not to screw up any patient care, stuff like that. Some time this week we got an email from someone about recommendations for Muslims and gelatin-coated capsules. I find religion endlessly entertaining, so I printed it off and started to read it when things slowed down. A couple of Muslims I work with are the high potentates of smalltalk. I don't know how they ever have time to form a thought. They saw what I was reading before I even had time to read three words of it, so before you could snap your fingers, The Big Smalltalk was underway. Now, I like one of these guys a lot. We have worked closely for years now and he has my total respect, not least because a Christian guy we work with told him that he was going to hell for being Muslim, and he didn't do anything to him, like sling his skinny ass across the room into a broken little crumple under the sink. Which one comparative look tells you he could have, easily. (I would love for this to happen.) As it was, he just felt sorry for the peabrain (who wouldn't) and life continued as before, but as is so often the case, with less faith in humanity on all sides.

About the interrupted-while-reading thing. Does that ever happen to you? You don't even have time to read what's on the paper before everyone is quizzing you on it? For people who like to read, being in public is like being in an aviary when the food's about to get passed out. Squawk squawk cheep quibble whatcha readin'! One of these days... "I'm reading about all the guys your mother sucked off at the bar last weekend, you nosy bastard!" Not really, but a healthy fantasy life keeps it all intact.

Muslims have to abide by Shari'a, the Arabic word for Islamic law. Shari'a says no Muslim can eat pork, because of the inherent impurity of pigs. This email stated that because the gelatin of capsules is made from pig tendons, many Muslims are embarassed to take them. A whole bunch of highly respected Islamic mucky-mucks (the guys I work with recognized some of the names) met up and talked it over, and sent out this press release, recommending to Muslims all over the world that it's OK to take those pills, because in the processing of the pig there is a change that takes place, turning the impure into something pure. So they can now take the pills and not imagine they're dirtying up their bodies, and that's good, I guess.

Another thing in Shari'a, necessities outweigh prohibitions. This is quoted and repeated by the Muslim guys. As one of them called it "the old pig in the desert thing", if you're starving, you eat the pig. You wouldn't eat it every day, but if you have to do it to live, like telling a lie when there's a gun pointed at you "Me love America! Mickey Mouse G.I. Joe USA Toby Keith statue of liberty shaking fist!", you have to do it, and it's all right with Shari'a. That, to me, is cool. A system that gives you an out is well-designed. So my question was, if it's already known to be all right to do take the pig-casing pills to survive, why bother to make the recommendation that it's ok to take them? I don't remember the answer and it doesn't matter. What I do remember is that because I told the guy that I haven't known for years that I was atheist, he responded that if I slaughtered a goat he wouldn't eat it, but that if a Christian or Jew slaughtered a goat, he would eat it. I don't have goats and even if I did, odds are he wouldn't be invited to my table in the first place, but who cares? Does that make the goat poisoned? Is there some fundamental change in the quality of goat-meat that occurs when its killer isn't "a believer"? I can pretend to believe as well as most people believe, if it's any help. The other guy, the guy who knows restraint like Wodehouse knows simile, put the kibosh on that line of discussion when I asked the goat guy whether he thought, then, that the Muslims in the hospital would refuse their meds if they knew an atheist had compounded them. Restraint guy was right; this wasn't going to get any better before it got worse. The guy who wouldn't eat my goat, by the way, has seventy or eighty siblings from lots and lots of different mothers, and the same father. When you find out that a guy with eighty (80!) brothers and sisters won't eat your goat, by the end of your work day you've got a lot on your mind. Had there been some strange form of passive aggression at work? Will I ever know!?

When I got home I made myself a burrito. As I was making it, I saw my trusty package of pepperoni slices, so I dipped into it and had a nice big stack of them all at once, because as an atheist, I can, and man, is pepperoni some good stuff.


MONEY Magazine's Best Jobs: The Top 50


Coffee Roasting - a photoset on Flickr
The descriptions for each photo describe my home-roasting process in detail.

stuff to watch

Here's a guy who sings about politics, sort of.
It's so bad you won't believe it.

And, here's a glimpse into the world of warcraft.

Google video's top 100

Here, you can watch the 60 minutes on which Joseph Wilson, honest and good person who got trashed by the lying white house shitbags, explain how the Valerie Plame leak threatens out national security.

On Lisa Rein's Radar: Joseph Wilson On 60 Minutes


Use this formula:

To send people to music they can listen to free. How normal. 25 free song-listens per user per month.

Mezzanine by Massive Attack on Rhapsody

Some people put out life size mario question blocks as art. The bomb squad showed up. Everyone is not relaxed about public space. - poster child mario question blocks!


Minneapolis/Saint Paul has half the Somali immigrants in the country. If you don't live here I see more of them than you, so you might not think it's that funny that when I was looking at a skinny Somali girl today wrapped up in miles of fabric, it hit me... she'd make a hell of a kite.

Here at double flee a, there's something for everyone... except Satan! Shoo, Satan!

At watch school we're going through the 955, which is a swiss quartz movement with day/date. We're learning how the calendar operates with the various jumpers and wheels and whatnot.

My instructor, who is capable and knows much, can lecture for hours at a stretch. I recently told a guy (who I have yet to hear back from, by the way) who wanted to have some kind of religious debate with me for --his idea, this-- the benefit of a science class that if it was an argument class it would serve a purpose; likewise, if our final exam was on how to listen to lecture, I'm sure we'd all get a big juicy A if we took it tomorrow. As it is, we're expected to go through a bunch of different watches and clean, adjust, oil, and reassemble them without screwing up, after which we get a nice certificate that says we're good people and school has been worth it.

What I should be focusing on is not my instructor having the occasional propensity to over-do it. This whole going to school thing is about me not having to work as a pharmacy bitch forever. So during lecture, if I can't stay tuned in to it (with all due respect, no one can speak for hours at a time without settling into a pattern that can be hard to focus on indefinitely) I grab a book and space out on the pretty colors and familiarize myself with the nomenclature.

I like being a student not for what it is as much as what it isn't. Specifically, there's an irritating element of work-iness missing from it, the one where if you screw up they can your ass and you have to go out and look for a job again, and where your manager is a jerk whose job is to get the most work out of you he possibly can so you're always tempted to tell him to fuck off except that looking for work sucks even more, because you have no money and you will wind up under the highway with a cardboard sign that says something about how you're a veteran even though you're not. I've always meant to do that on my day off to scrounge up a couple extra bucks, but I never seem to make the time.

If I had time I'd be playing sissyfight.

toward a more perfect world

Things need changing around here. There's no question. We begin at the beginning.

Nothing against white lightnin', she's a great car. But my day would unquestionably be better if I went to school in one of these with a bunch of naked redheads with squirt guns:


Muhammad Ali sells rights to name

He did get fifty million for it, and it's not like he's going to be needing it that much longer.

I have a friend who will be very interested in this list:
A guide to Japanese female exploitation films of the 70’s on DVD

Man did things get multicultural around here. There were some aztec dancers at lunch whose drummer was making such a racket I couldn't hear myself think. Mixed blessing. Most of what I think about is pretty boring.

Not hearing myself think is common down there. Thursday they'll either have another acoustic duo cranked to a Roman decibel level like yesterday (a "band" calling themselves "Syd", which was two guys on acoustic guitars playing, among other things, Billie Jean to devastating effect on my will to live), or more karaoke, out of which nightmares are made. Oh. Last week, the Thursday guys --two guys acoustically ruining my life, check-- were singing some songs and the singer's like: "Here's one I wrote for my ex-girlfriend on Valentine's day." I keep looking around for the Tragic-cam, because I have to be being played some kind of sick joke on. So far it has managed to remain hidden.

As I watched the dancers today I noticed
1) that I couldn't see their snappers peeking out from under their big ol' skirt-garments, and that didn't seem very authentic
2) multiculturalism can allow quite a bit of wiggle room that would be fairly easy to exploit, if you're the right person with the right idea. Read on.

I had this idea probably two years or so ago, and it came flooding back to me at lunch. I think it would be funny to do a comedy sketch of a guy who's half black and half cherokee. His name was, and is, in my imagination, Thunderfeather Jones. I've seen plenty of sketches on plenty of shows that aren't even close to as funny as Thunderfeather Jones trying to explore his cultures and being rejected from both of them because of his connection with the other.

Ma: [black woman, pleading] Naw, dawn lea, son! Wheah you gawn?
TJ: Well, mom, I just feel like there's more out there... I feel my forefathers calling to me. The land... [points to ground] Bye, mom! I don't know where I'm going, but I'll call you when I get there. [leaves]
Ma: [Fans face with meaty hand. To self, smiling sweetly] Thundafeatha' daddy was a drunk-ass hobo. When Thundafeatha gawn fin' what he lookin' faw?

Tis comedy gold! Hire me! Pay me!



The Rake: Recipes

get some popcorn

Lisa Rein's Videos and Photos - Comprehensive Index

The best multimedia collection since April Winchell's.

not content with running the country...

Christians Sue for Right Not to Tolerate Policies - Los Angeles Times

We All Now Live in Crazy Town

I can see, thanks to Markos, I'm not the only one who feels like an alien in a bad world:

Aggressive War as our primary tool of statecraft.

Official use of Torture in violation of legally binding international treaties and federal law.

Unlimited Detention of US Citizens, the denial of their constitutional rights against (1) unreasonable searches and seizures, (2) to counsel, (3) to a speedy trial, and their arbitrary Designation as Enemy Combatants by Presidential Fiat.

Fixed (which we now know means neutered) Intelligence to Mislead the American Public into Supporting War.

Use of the Big Lie technique (i.e., propaganda, disinformation, psy-ops, etc.) to deceive the public and cow the media and Democratic members of Congress from opposing Bush's policies. Leaks of Classified Information to smear the Bush regime's opponents.

Outing an Undercover CIA Operative to punish a critic of the President's war policies.

Warrantless Wiretaps of US Citizens in circumvention of federal law.

Inflammatory Rhetoric from Government Leaders suggesting that Those who Dissent or Criticize Our President are Traitors.

Surveillance of Anti-War Groups by the Pentagon US Intelligence Agencies, and local Police.

Secret Government Files on Peace Groups and their Designation as Terrorist Organizations.

Presidential assertions of Unlimited Executive Power and Authority.

The use of Orwellian Double Speak from Bush administration spokespersons and supporters.

The coming Criminalization of Abortion.

Promotion of Religion by the Federal Government.

Government Suppression of Science, from Global Warming to Evolution, for Stem Cell Research to Vaccines that could Prevent Cancer.

A coming Economic Catastrophe fueled by Record Federal and Trade Deficits. Hate Speech toward Gays, Lesbians and Transgendered Persons for crass political gain.

Suppression of the Right to Vote by supporters of the President and his party.

All of these examples of our nation's moral and political degradation are bad enough. But now we have learned that our country's political and military leaders are planning the First Strike Use of Nuclear Weapons against A Non-Nuclear State. Let me re-phrase that in the interest of clarity:

Bush is Planning to Bomb the Shit out of Iran with Nukes in Order to "Save the Iranian People."

[ED. Note: No, I'm Not Fucking Kidding! That's what the asshole believes. It's right there in the New Yorker article by Seymour Hersh.]

Daily Kos: We All Now Live in Crazy Town


honor, integrity, and other meaningless words

Firedoglake : What’s Your Definition of Leak?:

"The American public may have a short attention span about certain stories in the news – tending to go for the more sensational over the intricate detail sorts. But they understand one thing very clearly: liars and hypocrites make for a good storyline. Especially when the liar or hypocrite has previously wagged his finger at them on television and proclaimed that he deplores that thing which, ultimately, we find out he has in truth done.

And so we come to George Bush."


James Wolcott: "The Big Brown Alien Frenzy": "The Big Brown Alien Frenzy was created by right-wing think-tanks who have studied the strategies of dictators throughout time."

Guardian Unlimited | Science | Simple ways to make yourself far cleverer

In defense of zoloft

What have moods done for you lately?





But he was innocent...
Not a charge was true...
And they say he ran away...
eBay: BRANDED STARRING CHUCK CONNORS ALL 48 SHOWS/SEASONS NR! (item 9123753281 end time Apr-08-06 19:00:21 PDT)

Print - Interview with Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz: "The War Is Bad for the Economy" - International - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News

The Box Cutter War That Will Bankrupt America

The Box Cutter War That Will Bankrupt America: "The weirdest war in American history will have the direst consequences. A disaster for your kids and grandkids (I have no kids but the USA is still my country). If this war were a video game--call it Grand Theft Country--no one would believe it. The war the Neocons started, and the Chinese and Japanese are financing, leaving mayhem and destruction everywhere, will one day cost a whole lot of American kid a lifetime of hard work and taxes. All because their parents, and the brilliant leaders their parents elected, didn't give a damn.

Who knew a war, allegedly started with 19 box cutters, could bankrupt America? "

so check this out

When I got to my car this morning I saw that what that crazy screaming piece of shit was hitting with his baseball bat in the middle of the night wasn't a baseball at all, but my car. Specifically, my passenger front window. Because I am married to the world's greatest person, it is now fixed and cleaned up and as good as new. I can't believe it. If anyone can think of anything I can do to repay this woman, please let me know.

As for the guy, I am putting this sign up in various foyers around the neighborhood later.


For information leading to the kneecapping of the sorry piece of dogshit who was screaming obscenities at about one o’clock this morning about niggers and smashing car windows with a baseball bat.

I can’t say exactly what the reward will be, but it will involve getting to watch me ruin this guy’s chances to be a track and field star. Let’s make the neighborhood better, shall we?

Email information to:

Sometimes advertisers just get it wrong:
Davezilla: Bad Breyer!

AlterNet: Blogs: PEEK: Forensic Vagina Specialist (audio)

lawyer fun video

Watch 'em go!
Brainwidth » Lawyerin’ Ain’t Easy

must read

eXile - Issue #235 - War Nerd - This Ain’t 1864, Bush Ain’t Lincoln, We Ain’t Winnin’ - By Gary Brecher

more dead tennesseeans

One of these tornadoes missed my father's house last night by about two blocks. The roads are blocked and the power's out, so maybe he's raiding the freezer and grilling out. I would be. It's a bummer, but at least he's all right.

At this rate, by the end of the summer Tennessee may be nothing but a memory.

Tennessee is getting spanked

Another day, another scandal:
NEWSVIEW: Leak-Hating President, As Leaker - Yahoo! News: "After long denouncing leaks of all kinds, Bush is confronted with a statement — unchallenged by his aides — that he authorized a leak of classified material to undermine an Iraq war critic."

Last night I woke at about one a.m. to a guy outside screaming about niggers, carrying a baseball bat. And I think to myself... what a wonderful world...


daily dose of bbc

Want diabetes? Smoke!
BBC NEWS | Health | Diabetes link to passive smoking

Wow! Pictures of Iraq with nobody dying in them.
BBC NEWS | Life in Iraq: Your Pictures

Too early to celebrate on that one.
BBC NEWS | Middle East | Baghdad mosque attack 'kills 40'

Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation, is getting Playboy. Naturally, they're going to blow shit up and kill people.
BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Heated row at Indonesian Playboy

If you're pregnant and you want your baby to come out dead, early, or skinny, have some delicious antidepressants!
BBC NEWS | Health | Anti-depressant stillbirth link


I wonder...
1) why Mandisa Hundley was voted off American Idol.
2) how she will cope with losing.


Last year was the first year on record, according to an annual study conducted by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, that a full-time worker at minimum wage could not afford a one-bedroom apartment anywhere in the country at average market rates.

"The terms of the national debate have subtly, insidiously shifted. What used to be called liberal is now called radical; what used to be called radical is now called insane. What used to be called reactionary is now called moderate, and what used to be called insane is now called solid conservative thinking."
- intentionally unattributed

school update

I guess it's been a while.

Ok, at school we're tearing down the ETA 7750 (automatic chronograph calendar) for the first time, the watch that will be our test watch for the AWCI final in July or whenever. So that's kind of exciting. It's a hockey puck and is the guts for watches that can cost quite a bit. Like, can I afford to pick one up to work on kind of thing. The lift angle on the 7750, it has just been worked out, is 50 degrees, not 52 as has been thought for the last thirty years. Funny. There's slightly less frustration at Breitling and other watch houses these days, I would guess.

We just got done fixing up and timing a rolex 1535. I was happy with the system of microstella and meantime screws instead of the etachron regulating pins. Free-sprung breguet overcoil is definitely the way to go. The main difference between the two that I've found working on timing and poising them is that on the wheel with microstella and screws poising and timing happens at the same time. On the stupidchron, you have to poise and then timing happens seperately. I like just getting it overwith simultaneously. My delta was 3.6 seconds in all positions, meaning it keeps great time. The printout from the M1 (a four or five thousand dollar timing machine) and the b200 (a more reasonable model that does the same thing if you know how to use it) both made it to my fridge. When we got these watches they were very wrecked. I think someone was using these watches to teach people how to staff. Either they were children, retarded, retarded children, or monkeys. Retarded monkeys couldn't have, because there's no such thing as a retarded monkey that someone would give a watch to fix.

The B200 is a blue machine that gives you a couple of lines to look at. When you hook it up to a gradoscop (spelling correct, thanks, Europe) you get amplitude, too. It's a reliable box of solid state electronics, which is about half the reason the B200 I share with another student is called "blue state". Blue state hits the pressure paper so hard it makes great tape that can easily be read from a little farther away than some machines'.

If you're into that kind of thing, here's video of the sex pistols doing Anarchy In The UK

Here's more on that Animalia Chordata Vertebrata Osteichthyes Sarcopterygii Tiktaalik T. roseae fossil they found in Canada.

Tiktaalik - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Every hotel room in America contains a bible and pay-per-view porn. Maybe people jerk off watching softcore bimbo "housewives", then shut it off, beg forgiveness and cry, then later get horny and find they have to pay again. And do. Thanks, expense account. There ought to just be a porn drawer right next to the bible drawer.

Bob from logistics might tell you his business trip was blase, but that night at the Ramada was an emotional roller coaster. He finally fell asleep face down in Leviticus and a pile of his own shame, a mess of tears and generic kleenex. That, my good friend Bob, is what it's all about.


another missing link found

In what will no doubt be hailed as yet another triumph by creationists everywhere, another link in the fossil record has been found, connecting sea creatures to land animals.

This fills one gap, but, rather fortunately for creation, creates another two, one right on either side of it. Until the actual children and parents of the creature whose fossilized remains are found, creationists are expected to party as obnoxiously as possible, secure in the knowledge that no one can ever create a scientific theory that will explain how happy they feel when they think about how cool god is.

Cletus Mouthbreather was reached via tin can on a string at his home in Arkansas for comment:
What "theory" you got for salvation? I done been born again! I don't see you coming up with any theories about that one, smart guy!!! You take science, and I'll take Jesus, and we'll see who gets to Wal-Mart faster! ...but I get to keep the truck, and... well, when you're in hell, we'll just see who's laughing then, city slicker!

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Arctic fossils mark move to land

Cool "web essay" that asks what beauty is.

list of worthwhile-ness:
Timothy McSweeney's Internet Tendency: McSweeney's Recommends

get out

Piaget Polo Tourbillon Relatif

It's a good week to be in Geneva:

whaddya know?

It looks like all that repression pays off! And the real beauty? Half of the whores are under 18! High five for moral values, guys!
Sex tourism thriving in Bible Belt - Yahoo! News

keeping america safe

"The deputy press secretary for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security was arrested Tuesday for using the Internet to seduce what he thought was a teenage girl, authorities said." Teenage girls are famously unable to resist the internet.

I know it's too late, but there are plenty of Thai girls who would do anything for a green card (at least anything his aging white-bread ass could come up with), and a homeland security guy could probably make that happen.

This picture was taken well before the arrest.
Homeland official arrested for solicitation


Am I the only person who wants to see this from behind?
Partial news coverage, from Yahoo


Are US campuses in the grip of a witch-hunt of progressives?

Until truth is swallowed forever by the bible people's war machine, it looks very much as if reality stacks up in such a way as to contradict the party line. Bad news for the right wing: breaking the law makes you a criminal. That's what the law measures.

As my father repeated many times during my childhood, "right is right, and wrong is wrong, and it doesn't matter who you are." When I look at the George W. Bush calendar on his refrigerator I wonder if he still believes that.

This soda bottle makes everything else look old and boring.
Boing Boing: Programmable soda bottle

how to ruin the world

Chernobyl photography:
twenty years since

Warning: Some of these are pretty graphic, and they make you feel like the opposite of Disneyland.

The worst of craigslist, compiled at Something Awful

please let it be true - Sources: DeLay to leave House re-election race - Apr 3, 2006


actual headline

Spider-hunting nudist ends with ring of fire - Yahoo! News

There are no stauncher supporters of god than way down in dixie, so it looked very much as if the big guy had made a boo-boo when he sent storms crashing into the south, devastating and ending many human lives yesterday. It was impossible to reach god for comment, but experts say --are you reasy for this-- he's still great.

Severe Storms Kill 27 in South, Midwest - Yahoo! News

Five things likely to make you happier in the short term

Add to this that the high fructose corn syrup-free coke is out for passover, and that comes to six, bitch!

I want it to be clear that I am not embellishing a single thing. All that is presented below is my most faithful representation of the truth. Also, I know this link is going to get passed around the department, and I'm not doing this to hurt anybody's feelings.

And now another riveting chapter, in what a friend and I once drunkenly referred to as the epic adventure of mediocre proportions that is my daily life.

So for those of you who were checking, there was quite the cliffhanger. For those who weren't, I had to go to work in chemos this weekend after having refused to go in an email to my managers. When they didn't have anything to say about it, in essence calling my bluff, I just went in anyway. Touche. Then when I got there, the guy who was training me was the most obnoxious person pretty much of all time. I sat through that all day Saturday, even with him making bad noise about my personal life. There's a time for giving a guy a mouth full of bloody chiclets and a time for lamenting the decisions that have led you into this dark valley, and when you're at work and not in jail, you have to go with the latter.

What happened yesterday, the actual things that took place, culminated in such a wild freak-out that I'm going to lay out the events like this was some kind of police report, which is what this summary was roughly twenty inches away from actually being.

So yesterday bright and early (at work by seven, not eight, and including daylight savings that's six Dale time) I materialized in the pharmacy and gowned up. We wear bunny suits, shoe covers, hats, plastic gowns, and two pairs of gloves, so it took a couple of minutes to get that on, and the day began.

First was getting the pump set up, where the TPNs get made by a fairly simple machine. Saturday monkey saw, so yesterday monkey did, which wasn't too hard. There are just quite a few steps to go through and it's not like you can carry a binder in there and take notes; it's a "clean room" and paper is the enemy. I got that most of the way set up and an order came through for some chemo to get made, so we grabbed the envelope and went in, sat down, and got to making it. Not to get bogged down with the details, but this chemo was one of those really expensive ones that you're kind of happy to be making, so you know it's being done right. My aseptic technique is good and I knocked it and another one out and then went out and finished up setting up the pump. Then back in (chemos has its own little room) where the guy over my shoulder told me what things got which stickers, where to check, and where once I forgot to kink off a line and about five mls of a highly diluted etoposide solution spilled out inside a bucket. If that's the worst thing that happens when you're training in chemo, you're doing pretty goddamned good. I wasn't dropping vials all over the floor and having to call the hazmat team or anything. So I did some of those and listened to the radio, which amazingly got reception. First we listened to classical (the guy training me likes "more of the ballads of classical", which fit in perfectly with his pattern of opinionation, more about later), then after rejecting the hip hop station, settled on NPR, all I can say for which is that 1) it came in and 2) the diction was excellent.

I can never figure out who the weird-asses all over America are who listen to the radio on Sunday morning. Have you ever heard the commercials for herbal such and such? Later Sunday morning it's the glory-wrought hand-clapping gospel hours, but early Sunday I think it's a bunch of unintentional-mouth-noise-making, gummi-bear-popping coneheads listening to all the radio stations.

So the radio got old, which sucks, because it would have been drowning him out as he studied intently the package inserts for a couple of drugs, and for this I really have to stop and paint a moment.

This man, we'll call him James, which isn't too far from his actual name, is thirty three or thirty four. I successfully blocked that fact out. You tend to do that with James. James is "the expert". Everyone I know at that place, who has had the misfortune to catch James in one of his weirder-than-normal moods, will tell you that he purports to know everything, or at least some interesting and challenging new fact about every single thing that might come up. "Ugh" fails to capture the magnitude of it all, but not the spirit.

Saturday James decided to get righteous about science being all phony, a bunch of "theory-based stuff". So you can imagine that was a lot of fun to sit through. But the guy's not a vision of hell all the time. We had a genuinely good laugh about how we should draw birthday candles and tape a plastic fork to bags of chemo that people get on their birthdays. That was really funny, actually. And I think there may have been something else that came close to that, but I'd prefer to just stick to work and hear nothing, to the nonstop barrage of random James-ness, which more often than not is painful.

[I just realized, that thing about mouth noises I take from James, too... we had lunch at the same table Saturday. It was horrible. Like a horrible child smacking a mouth full of peanut butter. Suck your tongue off the roof of your mouth as hard as you can and that's really what it was like. It was not what I needed to hear over lunch.]

So there he is, poring over the package inserts for cisplatin and carboplatin, a couple of chemo drugs we're going to be making later, announcing to me that there's platinum in them. He gets curious and sets them down and then starts to stare at them, as if he's telekinetically going to make a beanstalk pop out of one of them, either will do. He stares at everything like that, including people. But here's the thing, it's a performance. Everything. I'm supposed to notice his mad-scientist poring. He was literally going over the molecular structures, which the inserts lay out like a comic book, saying "the cis- is simple, see? just an x, basically, but the carboplatin... it's got this over here... double bond, fascinating!" It was like when Harold Ramis as Dr. Spengler in Ghostbusters was talking about some building's being made partially out of selenium: "whoever did this was a certified wacko or a total genius!" And James doesn't know DICK about why someone would attach a methyl group to some molecule or how it synthesizes or any other damn crazy thing. Neither do I. But Jaems, the expert, wants your respect and attention any way he can get it. This is the man who has been training me. This incident, just one in a weekend full of incidences of grotesque self-fulfillment on James's part, was somewhere beneath comedy; tragedy was nipping at it like a fish nipping at, say, the penis of a skinny dipper. Two things were meeting all weekend that never should, namely, James, and other people.

I went out for a cup of water.

I got back and started in on the ganciclovir, which the expert has told me isn't chemo, so I didn't treat it like one. I put it in a bucket and gave it to Laurel. Well, the expert's out there no doubt challenging the foundations of Laurel's whole existence with his endless intellectual high-wire act, and he looks over her shoulder at the bucket I'm handing her and says, and here's the thing, he says it in this voice... I have to explain this. There's a way that you can slow your voice down to a croak. I normally hear children do it. You slow it down so it's one vocal cord popping, you know what I mean? He's doing this, saying ""
My last frayed nerve cried uncle.
I jump in.
"If you say that one more time I'm leaving."
"Ok, that's it. Bye."

I went to the anteroom and stripped out of my paper clothes and walk out, taking a deep breath. I was relaxed. The light from beyond the tunnel was bathing me in goodness and I opened like a sweet Tennessee flower. Ahh.

But my respiration was premature. The expert wasn't going to let me get the last word like that. Did you think for a moment it would be his style to allow someone else to exist all over the place like that? Oh, no, friend. You would be very mistaken indeed.

The door I've just passed through and out into the regular pharmacy swings open, with James in it, yelling at me. Yelling has the unfortunate effect of making the person who's doing it do it more and louder, and rather than releasing pressure, makes it gather and roil and spill. I got the feeling I was to be party to an exercise in tantrum, and may I announce I am sick of being right.

His diatribe lasted probably about a minute, which is a good long time, with your target no more than seven or eight feet away. I just stood there. It might sound strange, but this event was just another which felt very much like nothing more than the hammering away at my psyche this strange man had been doing all weekend. To understand why I just stood there, the only thing you need to know is that this wasn't the singular, explosive event it sounded like to the outside observer; this was only a continuation, more of the same (is insanity too strong a word?) thing I'd seen so much of. As far as I can describe it, I was filled with a sense that this was unquestionably the final moment, and that sweet freedom was now closer than ever. There was no way anything else could happen after this one. Not a chance. In the catalog of human interaction, this is the final page in sections as odious as was mine with this man, and I was already peeking, smirkingly, into the home and garden section. I remember him yelling "You're untrainable!" and calling into question my attitude, my attention to setting up the pump, and how I didn't want to be here. My wanting to be here has never been a secret to anyone, mind you, but the other handful of increasingly broad and reckless comments, which would have earned someone in a situation different from this a facial bruise, were just more bad noise in a weekend of bad noise. Finally he, sputtering, spun on his heel and tried to slam the door in my face after a lady named Sue said "That's enough, James", and he finished whatever bit of vitriol he had been composing to devastate me. But you know those things that keep doors from slamming? There's one of those. So it made a slightly louder than normal hiss, and then closed normally.

I walked out into a pharmacy that only sees moments like these happen every year or greater. I could see myself passing into mythology in real time. Nothing else was happening. Time had stopped. It was clear as a bell I was the guy they'd all be talking about three years from now. As if a strong wind was coming from me, people moved away like little sailboats, and when I very calmly said "I'll be leaving now", the manager on duty, Pam, not only agreed, but agreed with the awe normally reserved for acts of herosim and self-sacrifice.

So then I badged out and went home and got drunk, so that I wouldn't write an email to my managers. I was a little curious when I was about half in the bag yesterday and tried to phone a work friend and ask her what the general perception of the event has turned into, but she didn't answer. The event itself is over, but I'm sure that's just the beginning of what is to come. All in all, I'm sorry they put me in chemos this weekend for entirely different reasons than I originally was. It's the easiest job at the whole hospital and about as dangerous as anything else, which isn't all that dangerous.

So I'm tickled a deep sunburned pink to be headed back out the door into the future, which is guaran-fucking-teed to hold less pharmacy than watchmaking.



In case there's not one, there ought to be a Jack Chick tract about surfing internet porn.

Not safe for work = EXGFPARADISE

I sent another email to my managers after they ignored the first one. Maybe they'll fire me. I don't care any more.

I had to sit in chemo all day with a guy with a very loud and busy mouth. The guy says I should have children soon, because I'm getting kind of old (the nerve on this guy is primarily a function of accident; dogs don't know it's not bacon and this guy doesn't know what minding your business is). I told him that wasn't any of his business, so he goes "Well, it doesn't really matter if it's my business or not anyway, so...", which was his version of an apology. This guy is the same kind of person I'm afraid of, as I go into watchmaking. I don't want to get stuck next to a guy who takes up a large social space, who enjoys loud and constant interaction, and whose job totally denies him of that. Ever hang out with a guy who's been stranded on a desert island for three years? I think I have. They're worse than three-year olds. Nothing against three-year olds.

By the way, avoid hitting control+enter whenever possible. You'll see what I mean when you read my follow-up email to the mgmt.

I'd like to know what, in Tony the tiger's opinion, isn't all that great.