Sunday, April 30, 2006

Finally, something useful!

Guys, you got a school board meeting that you have to attend? Maybe she has opera tickets for tonight? Is the preacher really long-winded on Sunday mornings? Not another a chic-flick?

Just in time -- a container for your booze disguised as a beer-belly! That's right, people won't realize that you're sipping the sauce -- they'll just think you have a massive gut. And, don't forget about getting an extra one for mom, she has all those bridal showers to attend in the spring, and next Sunday is Mother's Day!

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Swimmin pools, movie stars

This site is just interesting -- aerial views of these famous homes:
Beverly Hillbillies Mansion
Playboy Mansion
The Brady Bunch House
Beverly Hills 90210 Home
Six Feet Under House
Happy Days House
Osbourne's MTV House
Click on the name of a house on the site and it will take you to a split-screen as shown above.
Both views can be moved with your cursor.


Click to enlarge.
If circles spin, you have read too many blogs today. Seek human companionship.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Four out of five dentists recommend

Cuz we just cannot get enough of The Phoenix -- with his blog, his podcasts, his streaking through the Schnucks at Mid Rivers Mall -- now he's posting on other people's blogs. He claims he's "guest blogging" on Belle Of The Brawl, but we all know how he uses his little alien friends and the astral bodied ghouls conjured up by his resident soothsayers to augment his ever expanding empire.

You should give it a read!!!!!!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Starts sensible and then gets creepy!

Reuters reports that during the launch last July of the Discovery, the space shuttle hit a vulture. The shuttle was not damaged, although the vulture was probably more than a little dazed.

To avoid any future collisions, NASA is trying get rid of the local vulture population by cutting off its food supply: road kill at the Kennedy Space Center. Certainly a logical approach. The space center has set up a "road kill posse" to quickly clear any recently deceased critters. It all makes sense to me.

Now for the creepy part -- in two weeks the "road kill posse" has removed 500 pounds of animal carcasses! That's 500 pounds of ex-possums, raccoons, and squirrels - yuck!

Waiter, there's a fry in my soup!

Rooty and I went to McDonald's for lunch. The car in the drive-thru ahead of us ordered a #6 (Double Cheeseburger Meal) -- and then added: "Make sure the beef is lean!" Clearly someone who has not grasped the concept of McDonald's, where all patties are as homogeneous as modern technology can make them, and all 18 year-olds taking drive-thru orders are as far removed from the kitchen as they are from giving a damn.

It reminded me of the last time I went to a Denny's. When the waitress asked what we wanted to drink, one of the women in our group said "A Brandy Alexander." Stunned silence ensued.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

For Sale, House on Woolf Street

Literally on Woolf Street

(No, I don't know what the explanation for this is. The corner of the house hangs over the top of the curb. Following are a couple extra photos. The second seems to suggest that the side of the house has sustained impacts. There's a surprise.)

Is this little button predicting world events?

Assume you are playing a slot machine in a casino. It might pay off every now and then or it might go a long streak without a payoff. Conversely, because you're "lucky" or the machine is "hot," it might keep paying off again and again for quite a number of pulls. Now, imagine that not only is the machine you are playing paying off again and again but that all of the other slot machines in the casino all start paying off again and again for hours. For that to happen, something would clearly have to be wrong with the laws of probability.

That's essentially the premise behind the Global Consciousness Project -- which goes a step further and says that not only are there times when the laws of probability are distorted but that any such phenomenon is the result of the collective consciousness of the human population of the planet.

Yes, I also thought it was nonsense.

What Global Consciousness researchers have are 65 computers (called "eggs") spread around the world that are, in effect, continuously electronically flipping a two-sided coin. It's a little more complicated than that but the idea is that, on average you should have 50% heads and 50% tails if you toss a coin enough times. Here is a visual representation of the "coin tosses" on the 65 computers/eggs. The red bars represent times when a particular computer has significantly more heads or tails than would be expected due to just chance.

The next step they take is to match major world events to periods of anomaly in the number of heads and tails -- in other words, they match events with what appear to be lapses in the laws of probability. There are two lists: here and here.

There are, of course, always major events going on someplace in the world -- floods, earthquakes, assassinations, etc. The critics say that the Global Consciousness folks are just arbitrarily linking spikes in the number of heads and tails to convenient events. I personally think that argument is very persuasive and was ready to dismiss the whole thing.

I'm not ready to say it's all nonsense, however, for one simple reason: the largest spike in the data, lapse in the laws of probability, anomaly in the number of heads and tails (however you want to put it) occurred on September 11, 2001. Starting about four hours before the first plane crashed into one of the towers, the eggs started producing results significantly different that what you would expect based on probability. In the figure below, the little boxes on the horizontal axis represent, left to right, 1st crash, 2nd crash, Pentagon crash, 1st collapse, 2nd collapse. There are more figures and explanation here. What does it all mean? I don't know. Why is there a spike before the attacks? I don't know. I still have trouble with the basic idea that people collectively can affect the laws of probability. For example, it is difficult to understand how there could be "global consciousness" before the terror attacks. Unless you are a math-whiz, the sites are a little difficult to understand, but they are probably worth a look.

There is a page that contains the button shown in the image at the top of this post. It summarizes the output of all of the eggs, which probability theory predicts should be producing about 50% heads and 50% tails at any point in time. At 50%, the button glows greens. Other colors indicate deviations from what chance alone would predict. If the button glows bright red, you might want to hide under your bed.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Anyone who cares what Tom Cruise named his baby please step to the edge of the cliff.

Are the rest of you ready? Three. Two.....

Doggie Rule 267b Sec. XVI.2

Rule A. If you see a camera, you must put your face in front of it.
Rule B. The more you are told to get back, the closer you must get to the lense.
Rule C. If yelled at, put nose-print on said lense.

(And, no, I don't know why his ears are folded back on top of his head. He came upstairs that way. I don't know what he was doing before he came upstairs. I don't know how he gets them up there. It's Rooty, he barely tolerates me being in the same house.)

Monday, April 24, 2006

"Honey, I poisoned the kids!"

Who? Why?
"I'm in a hurry to go vote, I'll just eat this one raw."

Stix Nix Pix Dix

The sculpture in the photo above is called "The Creation of Adam" by St Louis artist Philip Hitchcock. It is, of course, based on the famous painting on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican, arguably the most inspired work of art in the history of Western Civilization (see photo below).

Hitchcock's work was on display at a public art center in St. Charles, across the Missouri River, west of St. Louis. It was there for about two weeks, and was supposed to be moved to another public display along the St. Charles riverfront. The artist has withdrawn the work from exhibit, however, and moved it to a gallery in downtown St. Louis.

Why? Because person or persons unknown kept covering up Adam's manhood! Guess our friend Steve will not be doing his version of "A Picture of Dorian Gray" over there any time soon!

Here's my question of the day: Is covering up Adam's schlong the equivalent of heresy by
textile? Few things could be clearer in the Bible than Adam was naked. If you are denying that Adam was naked are you denying that the Bible is literally true? Before you start quoting the Ten Commandments to me, remember that the couturier was covering Adam not the depiction of The Father.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

"Take a thousand Tylenol and call me in the morning."

A man in Portland, Oregon, tried to commit suicide by shooting himself in the head with a nail gun. Even if he didn't realize what a bad idea that was before he began, you would think the first two-inch nail that he shot into his own skull would have convinced him. You would also think that after shooting 11 nails into himself, and still not being you know dead, he would have come up with a new plan. And now for the strange part -- he shot a 12th nail into his head and then went to a hospital "complaining of a headache." The man survived and, I assume, has really clean thoughts when he showers. Here is the link to the various news stories via Google News.

Happy Easter

Happy Easter to our Orthodox Christian friends who are celebrating Easter today!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Odorous Faithful

While I was away last weekend, this is what happened next door.

The city sewer line runs in front of my house, then down through the vacant lot next to my house, then along the lake to a pump station at the end of the street (about 1,000 feet). At every turn, and in every lot, there is a manhole cover. [I don't know why it runs along the lake, it seems like a strange idea to me also.]

The people next door noticed that their toilets were gurgling. They called the city. Someone came, looked, and called for backup. It seems the main sewer line was completely blocked between their house and the house on the other side of them. For reasons that I do not know, the city decided to blow out the block by blasting air on the downstream side of the block. I would have thought that they would have tried to move the block down the line rather than up (where the sewer was completely filled).

Can you see this one coming? We'll the next door neighbors didn't! They were working in the yard when the city let go a super blast of air into the sewer line. The manhole cover in their yard blew about 20 feet in the air, followed quickly by a geyser of raw sewage. Fortunately, no one was hurt, or drenched in downpour, but they will not be having a yard party any time soon.

Friday, April 21, 2006

What is it?

You may not believe this one!
It's a toilet paper holder that talks!
When someone pulls some paper, it starts to talk. Fortunately, it does not come with pre-recorded cutesy messages. Unfortunately, that means you have to record your own messages. This is just a warning, I will trash and destroy any bathroom that I'm in that has talking toilet paper, and there's not a jury in this country that would convict me!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Watch for the airbag!

The Complete Internal Revenue Code Podcast Project

This guy is podcasting the complete Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as Amended, section by section. It will take years to do the whole thing.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The 100 unsexiest men in the world, unrelated to our own beloved Phoenix, has put out a list of the 100 unsexiest men. First on the list is comedian Gilbert Gottfried (pictured above). I don't know about you, but I know lots of people who are uglier. This is their description of Gilbert: "Rumor has it that Gilbert is the heir apparent to Uncle Milty when it comes to what he's packing, but that still can't save him. The parrot-voiced, pickled-face comic is to sexy what Kryptonite is to Superman." Ouch!

At Number 23 is Bill Gates: "To quote Dana Carvey: "Gates apparently made a deal with the devil: 'You can have $60 billion, but you have to go through life looking like a turtle.'""

And, at 100 is Brad Pitt: "He may look good, but if the rumors about his hygiene and BO issues are true, then he's probably not worth it."

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Army Announces End to 20-Year Cloning Experiment

The Department of Defense announced today that it was ending the Army's super-secret, Black-Budget attempt to produce the perfect soldier using cloning technology. "Oh they look good of course," said Secretary of Defense Don Rumsfeld, "but all they want to do is lie in the sun and rub oil on one another. We can't get them to wear pants much less carry a gun." Fox News immediately blamed Bill Clinton for the failure of the experiment and for this week's rolling power blackouts in Texas.

NBC cut into regular programming to announce the end of the cloning experiment but will wait until Dateline's next "Is Tom Cruise Gay" segment to cover the topic in depth. CBS said it would wait until Katie Couric takes over the CBS Evening News before covering the story in order to gain the "woman's perspective" on "all those hunks in trunks." No one at ABC could verify that they still have a news department.

Hardest hit by the end of the experiment will likely be the WB network. "Our original plan was simply to euthanize the reject clones," confirmed a spokesperson for the Army, "but the WB was eager to take them off our hands to star in Dawson's Creek." Industry buzz is that the end of the cloning experiment, therefore, will probably also mean the demise of One Tree Hill.

What's my favorite thing?

Why music videos from war zones of course!
These are Norwegian troops in Kosovo.
(Lyrics are below)

----------NOTE added May 15th----------
----lyrics follow note----
The lyrics were the work of Seattle DJ Bob Rivers (go to Audio Vault and then Twisted Tunes). The original intent of the song was to question American involvement in Kosovo. That meaning pretty much gets lost when the song is sung by Norwegians.

It's unclear how the Norwegian troops knew about the song.

Norway's ambassador to Serbia had to issue an apology, calling the video "highly regrettable" and promised an investigation. [Kosovo is technically part of Serbia. Three of the lines in the song are "Air strikes and firefights. And we'll be dropping our bombs, Wherever Serbian bad guys hide." The Serbs also found the dancing and open shirts to be offensive.]

The version that I have posted does not include the last few seconds of the video. If you have watched the video, you know that it is primarily a parody of boy bands. The original version has one of the soldiers being violently hit by a truck at the very end. The version embedded in my post is from If you would like to see the original version it is HERE.


to the tune of The Beach Boys' "Kokomo"
by the Norwegian Army Telemark battalion

Croatia, Albania, somewhere near Romania
It's Euro, and NATO, why the hell do we go
Pristinia, blew up, huh? Head for Macedonia

I'll race ya...

Somewhere far overseas
There's a place called Kosovo
That's where you don't want to go
If you're Albanian at all

Protecting human rights
Air strikes and firefights
And we'll be dropping our bombs
Wherever Serbian bad guys hide

Just up from Kosovo

Somalia, Grenada,
Or rescuing Kuwait-a
We screwed ya Rwanda
Wish we coulda helped ya
Iraqi embargo
That's where we got hustled

Ooo so now we're helping out in Kosovo
We'll kick (kiss?) some ass and then we'll see how it goes
And then we really don't know
Good luck to Kosovo

You sorry son of a bitch

[musical interlude]

Every time we go
To little places like Kosovo
We never really know
What happens after we go

Tough luck for Kosovo

Croatia, Albania, somewhere near Romania
It's Euro, and NATO, why the hell do we go
Pristinia, blew up, huh? Head for Macedonia

Oooo from Macedonia down to Kosovo
We'll kick their ass and then we'll see how it goes
And then we really don't know
That sucks for Kosovo

Somalia, Grenada,
Or rescuing Kuwait-a
We screwed ya Rwanda
Wish we coulda helped ya
Iraqi embargo
How it ends we don't know...

In case you missed it somehow, here is the famous Is This the Way to Armadillo by the British Royal Dragoon Guards

Monday, April 17, 2006

Make up your own I-270 joke...

Only 43% of drivers say they use their turn signals when changing lanes, that means that 57% don’t!

We all knew it, but how scary to see the actual numbers. Worse yet, here are the reasons people gave in a national survey for not using their signals:

==> 42% of drivers who say they do not use their signals when switching lanes say they don’t have enough time!

==> 23% say they are too lazy!

==> 17% don’t signal because are afraid they will forget to turn it off!

==> 12% say they changing lanes too frequently to bother!

==> 11% say it is not important!

==> 8% say they don’t signal because other drivers don’t!

and perhaps most scary, 7% say that not using the signal “adds excitement to driving.”

Source: Response Insurance

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Happy Easter: UPDATED with eggs just for you!

Easter Eggs are hidden features or novelties that a programmer or webmaster have puts in software or a website. Here are some websites with eggs -- hope you are having a great Easter. -- in the search box, type: we love clickey -- this site works just like Google Maps, you can surf around on the surface of the moon, courtesy of NASA and Google -- move the zoom all the way to it's max position -- click the ABOUT US button on left -- scroll down to the second picture, the folks standing around the company sign -- click on the head of the tall blonde guy on the middle (only his head is clickable)

From Rooty the Dog, the rest of the family, and me - have a terrific day!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

I would so like to invite these two guys to dinner over the weekend...

There are some relatives I would like them to meet!

Fun with Jim's new camera!

Some of you may recall that I put my cell phone through the washing machine. The take-a-picture button on my new phone is on the side. This means that every time I pick it up, I take a picture, usually of some miscellaneous body part. The photo above is of my knee or my thumb.

The Roar of the Greasepaint, The Smell of the Exhaust

For those of you looking for pictures of Steve Coombs, above is one that you might not have seen. Go to his site to see others. While you're here, you can read all the of the posts about him listed below. You might recall that our friend and fellow blogger Meagan assures us that for an actor to list that he is a licensed driver on his resume is a normal and sensible thing to do.

On the other hand, Kaitlin Howard is an actress and a licensed fork-lift driver! That's right, she's a licensed fork-lift operator. Maegan will have to explain to us how that is relevant to acting -- meanwhile, I'll be searching for that elusive actor plus brain surgeon.-----------------------------------
Steve Coombs, actor, licensed driver (March 16, 2006)
Looking for Dorian Gray in all the wrong places (March 31, 2006)
Dorian Gray arrested for murder. (April 7, 2006)
Seek Knowledge (April 7, 2006)
"I can see clearly now, my pants are gone!" (April 9, 2006)

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Happy Passover

Our very best to those of you who will be celebrating Passover this evening.
I do like a holiday that involves eating.

I said "Hard to starboard, hard to starboard!"

Wonder what the rope is for?

The hills are alive with the sound of ... YES YES YES

Reuters reports that Switzerland is going to use sex to attract women tourists this summer -- specifically futbol-widows whose husbands and boyfriends are fixated on the World Cup:

"Why not escape this summer's World Cup to a country where men spend less time on football, and more time on you?," asks the Swiss TV advertisement, over images of a strapping farmhand, a sexy train conductor, a fit mountain climber, a dapper ferryman and a brawny lumberjack." [Emphasis added -- not too subtle is it?]

The TV spot ends with Renzo Blumenthal, Mr. Switzerland 2005, milking and then leaning up against a cow.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Something to offend everyone

We exchange Easter presents in my immediate family. Dave, second-cousin once-removed, figures that includes him so he came over this evening. Here are the latest additions to dave-speak:

The preacher at his fiancée’s church apparently begins each sermon with “The Father is with us today.” So, of course, Dave has now started calling the church “The Fatherland.”

I think living part time with two small children is beginning to get to him. He now refers to his car as “the escape pod.”

And, there appears to be a little crisis regarding his choice of his best-friend and roommate Dave as his best man. [Cousin Dave goes by his initials, I’m the only one who calls him Dave, so having a roommate-Dave does not cause any confusion.]

Roommate-Dave is Catholic, not a persuasion which cousin-Dave’s fiancée’s church takes kindly to. It all has something to do with separation from heathens – and they put Catholics in that category for not viewing the King James Version of the Bible as the ultimate and only Truth. In order to aggravate the situation as much as possible, cousin-Dave has started calling roommate-Dave “Pope Davey the First.” He refers to the young ladies that roommate-Dave dates collectively, as if they were a religious order of nuns, as the “Happy Handmaidens of St. Davey.” Roommate-Dave’s car, of course, has in dave-speak become the “Popemobile.” Dave and Dave also thought of vows for the Handmaidens to replace Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience – you will have to image for yourself what two 22 year-old guys came up with!

Again, drink less....

...or get new friends!
(look closely at the sofa)

Monday, April 10, 2006

What time of year is it?

It's time for the Google Bunny!

Maybe, just maybe, democracy can go too far...

Remember Dress Kevin, the website where you get to vote on what Kevin wears each day and with each change of clothes during the day?

Now we have Make Me Watch TV, where you get to vote on what TV programs Aric has to watch (see result above).

These seem to be unclaimed in case you want to start your own website:
pick what I
pick which condom I
pick what I hit myself in the head
pick which McDonald's I go
pick which laundry I wash
pick which friend I
pick which brain cells atrophy

Sunday, April 09, 2006

To Be or Not To Be, with marinara sauce

Steve Coombs, actor and licensed driver, has put his pants back on (probably) and the final curtain has come down on A Picture of Dorian Gray at the Boston Court Theater in Pasadena, California. I received the following email this morning from Steve and I wanted to share it with you:

Hey Jim,
love the fun... you got to laugh at yourself right? I hope that regardless of the quality, my next exploits will be at least blogable.
steve coombs - breathing, eating, naked licensed driver.

I like a good sport, and he has certainly been one about all my silliness. Links to the various posts that mention him are below.

I remembered this morning that I once went to a performance of Hamlet in Austin in which Hamlet was naked, for the entire performance. A little nudity in Hamlet has become common, but this guy never wore anything. Being Austin, of course, there is the real possibility that he arrived at the theater naked and just never bothered to put on a costume (something that anyone who has ever been to Austin will understand completely). The play was at an experimental theater in a big old house, which meant that not only was Hamlet naked, he was also naked amongst the audience much of the time. At the end of the play, the cast carried out tables, we in the audience appropriately arranged our chairs around them, and the cast served dinner, in costume. In the case of Hamlet, he wore an apron. Again, it being Austin, no one thought any of this to be odd, and we all had a very good time.

Steve Coombs, actor, licensed driver (March 16, 2006)
Looking for Dorian Gray in all the wrong places (March 31, 2006)
Dorian Gray arrested for murder. (April 7, 2006)
Seek Knowledge (April 7, 2006)
"I can see clearly now, my pants are gone!" (April 9, 2006)

JERRY: (To Russell) How about this: I manage a circus..

When pitching the "Jerry" pilot to NBC, in The Pitch, George describes the concept: "nothing happens on the show. You see, it's just like life. You know, you eat, you go shopping, you read.. You eat, you read, You go shopping."

The guy in the picture above takes a picture of himself in front of the same door everyday. That's pretty much it! It's fascinating. George was right.

RUSSELL: (Confused) How is that a show?

JERRY: Well, uh, maybe something happens on the way to work.

GEORGE: No, no, no. Nothing happens.

JERRY: Well, something happens.

RUSSELL: Well, why am I watching it?

GEORGE: Because it's on TV.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

9 days later...

I finally finished converting the March posts to book format. The link is to the right.

"I can see clearly now, my pants are gone!"

UPDATE: Steve left a comment at the original Steve Coombs, actor, licensed driver post.

Steve Coombs, actor and licensed driver, has posted a picture of himself from A Picture of Dorian Gray on his website. The photo above is a cropped version of that photo. All of you hoping for a more revealing picture got your wish, almost.

"I can see clearly now, my pants are gone!" (April 9, 2006)
To Be or Not To Be, with marinara sauce (April 9, 2006)
The Roar of the Greasepaint, The Smell of the Exhaust (April 13, 2006)

Friday, April 07, 2006

When people dressed for dinner, and to be on TV

The picture above is from the original version of the TV game show What’s My Line? Reruns of the show air in the wee-hours of the morning on the Game Show Network (GSN) so, of course, I watch it all the time.

While I was doing so this morning, it occurred to me that two of the people on the program had had a profound effect on the American Psyche. I will get to them last.

Standing on the left is Oscar Levant. He is not much remembered today except by those of us who love old black and white motion picture comedies. Levant was really more a man of our time than his own. He was an acclaimed pianist and composer, an author, a comedian and an actor. While alive, he was a star of radio, TV, and movies. He once said "The only difference between the Democrats and the Republicans is that the Democrats allow the poor to be corrupt, too."

A famous hypochondriac, Levant’s epitaph supposedly reads: "I told them I was ill." (It doesn’t, but it’s a great line.)
Regular readers of It’s Jim will recognize immediately why I am so fond of Levant, and have included him in this post even though he has nothing to do with it. He just happened to be the guest panelist on What’s My Line the day the photo above was taken.

Seated left is Arlene Francis, who was a regular on What’s My Line? and on other games shows produced by Mark Goodson and Bill Todman. She was a major star on Broadway and is a star in one of my favorite movies -- One, Two, Three – a comedy starring James Cagney as Coca-Cola's manager in West Berlin after World War II. If there is such a thing as a “Cold-War Joke,” this movie includes every one of them. The movie also has one of the cleverest movie endings of all time!

Standing on the right is John Daly, who was the original host of What’s My Line? Before becoming a TV personality, Daly was a newsman. It was he who first informed a national radio audience of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and the first to announce the death of President Franklin Roosevelt. He was married to Chief Justice Earl Warren’s daughter, and narrated the first episode of Green Acres in a mock documentary style.

That leaves us with the two people that this post is actually about.

Standing middle is Dorothy Kilgallen, who was the Barbara Walters of her day, only on radio and in newspapers. She was also the first major news person to publicly criticize the Warren Commission Report on the assassination of President Kennedy. Famous for her in-depth coverage of high-profile trials, she not only attended the trial of Jack Ruby in Dallas but was the only reporter granted a private interview with Ruby. When she returned to New York, she told friends and associates that she had discovered something that was going to break the whole JFK assassination wide open. She had her notes with her for her last radio broadcast but the show’s producer pleaded with her not to bring up the assassination on that evening’s show. She was found dead in her apartment a few days later. Her death moved the Kennedy assassination theories from whispers and a few fringe investigators to being a serious, major, on-going inquiry. (Not getting the jest of this, imagine Barbara Walters being found dead and her notes missing shortly after a private interview with I. Lewis Libby.)

Seated right is Bennett Cerf, a co-founder of Random House. Among the authors he published were William Faulkner, John O'Hara, Eugene O'Neill, James Michener, Truman Capote, and Ayn Rand. In 1960, Cerf bet his friend Dr. Seuss $50 that he could not write an entire book using only fifty words. Seuss wrote and Random House published Green Eggs and Ham.

In 1934, Cerf arranged for the importation into the U.S. of James Joyce's masterpiece Ulysses, F-word and all. Excerpts from the novel had already been declared obscene when published in a magazine because of sexual content. But, the F-word, in print, in black and white, was just way over the line! The book was seized by U.S. Customs when it arrived in New York and, I suppose, charged with a crime (the case is officially United States v. One Book Called Ulysses). The trial court and the appeal court both essentially said “It’s art, leave it alone.” It would be another 40 years before the Supreme Court would devise it’s three-part obscenity standard for adults, but the Ulysses ruling is considered to be one of the great blows against government censorship. Don’t care? You should. The fictional Leopold Bloom’s written stream of consciousness as he moves about Dublin is essentially what many of you do on your blogs every single day! Bennett Cerf is one of the reasons that you get to do that.

Dorian Gray arrested for murder.

If you name your kid "Dorian Gray" ain't yah just asking for trouble?

WPIX (Pittsburgh) reported on March 21, 2006, that the Clairton, Pennsylvania, police had arrested Dorian Gray, 22, and charged him with criminal homicide (murder) and firearms violations.

"I can see clearly now, my pants are gone!" (April 9, 2006)
The Roar of the Greasepaint, The Smell of the Exhaust (April 13, 2006)

Seek Knowledge

For the first time, this week the number of visitors reaching this site via an online search (usually Google) has exceeded the number coming purposefully and directly.

Some of the search results that lead surfers here are difficult to explain – I do not sell Orajel and I have no idea why Google sometimes thinks that I do!

The most hits come from searches for The Gavitizer, a trampoline-like device for the pulvically lazy. Sorry, I have no videos or pictures of actual people using The Gavitizer, and If I did I won’t admit to it anyway. Remember, “Love means never having to use a mechanical device.”

Changing dramatically from day to day, but generally third are admirers searching for pictures of actor and licensed driver Steve Coombs (who plays Dorian Gray in a play in LA). In a digital age, if you appear naked on a public stage, there are bound to be lots of naked pictures of you online – but there ain’t none here. [And, you’re right, I would be the guy who would slip a couple Viagra into his pre-show cocktail just to liven up the performance, so to speak. And this has nothing to do with anything, except that I read it yesterday. The person on the movie set who keeps the male porn star ready between takes is called the fluffer. Perhaps there’s someone comparable in a cold theater?]

The only other search that has increased significantly is to my rants about speedos and why they are essentially a public menace. Many of the searches go directly to one of the photos that some of you might recall – it was censored on the blog with a link to an uncensored version. It is the uncensored version that is attracting the most hits (big surprise). This might all be due to a similar photo that is circulating on the web that has clearly been enhanced using PhotoShop.

"I can see clearly now, my pants are gone!" (April 9, 2006)
To Be or Not To Be, with marinara sauce (April 9, 2006)
The Roar of the Greasepaint, The Smell of the Exhaust (April 13, 2006)

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Having a tower don't make it a church

I had a chance to visit with Dave, second cousin once removed, over the weekend. New visitors will have to read previous posts about Dave to understand some of this. Let’s just say that Dave is unique. He is going to marry a woman with two children – Dave calls them Yahoo and Google. She also has two German Shepherds (Nitro and Glycerin) – Dave calls them Bamm-Bamm and Fluffy.

Dave and his fiancée are taking pre-nuptial counseling at her church, which is where they are going to be married. As far as I know, Dave has no known or discernable religious beliefs. His parents are not Catholic but they sent him to Catholic school (which is fairly common). This produced the famous “Communion-host incident” of the second grade. Not being Catholic did not bother Dave, of course, he just went to Communion like everyone else. The only difference, instead of swallowing the wafer, he started saving them. Until some kid ratted him out, he had a stash of between 20 and 30. This was not looked upon favorably by those in charge. He also managed later to become an alter boy, mostly because he thought he would “look good in the outfit” (cassock and surplice), until someone remembered that he wasn’t, you know, Catholic.

Dave thinks the pre-nuptial counseling is going swell; my guess is that he is the only one. This is a very fundamentalist church. Explaining pre-milleniumism and post-milleniumism to Dave would be pretty much like trying to explain Newton's Third Law of Motion to a chipmunk -- and Dave and the Chipmunk would have exactly the same expression. This is also one of those congregations that believes that using the word “church” is wrong, so they refer neither to themselves or the building as a “church.” After being corrected a number of times for using “church,” Dave started calling the members the “prayers” and the building the “praying-place.” The preacher gave him a stern talking to, always a bad idea with Dave. Dave pointed out to the preacher, who had named his only son Kirk, that “kirk” is the Scottish word for “church.” That’s right, the preacher at the church where you cannot use the word church had in effect named his son Church, and Dave pointed that out to him.

And Dave thinks everything is going swell.

Monday, April 03, 2006

No new posts for a couple days until we get the debris from Sunday's storm cleaned up. Only minor damage, but lots of it.

I'm never going back!

I've was stuck all weekend in a house where they keep their spoons: teaspoons, tablespoons, soup spoons. Now that's just wrong! Teaspoons, soup spoons, tablespoons, ok. Tablespoons, soup spoons, teaspoons, maybe. Teaspoons, tablespoons, soup spoons is just creepy. Does size just not matter anymore?

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Flash Back

My best ever was to send out fake wedding invitations -- people made plane reservations and booked hotel rooms!

I got 36 people on Saturday-- they clicked on the photo that was above thinking they were going to see who knows what. Haha!

Neither guy in the picture was me, although I was actually that thin when I was 21.

To the venturesome 36, thanks for making it a great April 1st!!