Thursday, June 14, 2012

3549 More Billly Blob

Thursday, June 14, 2012

You’re not as awful nor as brilliant as you think you are nor in the ways you think you are.


Back in 2007 I discovered Billy Blob.  Very strange cartoon videos.  I was reading over old posts from back then, followed a link in an old post, and discovered a new video since then.

[, also at]

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

3548 Favorite Christmas Carols of the Cracked

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

If you really want to do something, you'll find a way.  If you don't want to, you'll find an excuse.

[Note for strangers searching for carols - "3548" is the sequence number for this post, not the number of carols.]

Schizophrenia - Do You Hear What I Hear?

Multiple Personality Disorder - We Three Kings Disoriented Are

Dementia - I Think I'll be Home for Christmas

Narcissistic - Hark the Herald Angels Sing About Me

Manic - Deck the Halls and Walls and House and Lawn and Streets and Stores and Office and Town and Cars and Buses and Trucks and Trees ...

Paranoid - Santa Claus is Coming to Town to Get Me

Pyromania - Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree, How Beautifully You're Burning

Borderline Personality Disorder - Thoughts of Roasting on an Open Fire

Personality Disorder - You Better Watch Out, I'm Gonna Cry, I'm Gonna Pout, Maybe I'll Tell You Why

Attention Deficit Disorder - Silent night, Holy ooooo look at the pretty, can I have a chocolate, why is France so far away?

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder - Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle,Bells, Jingle Bells...

Asperger Syndrome - Huh? Carol who?

Monday, June 11, 2012

3547 Grave robbers and fashion vultures

Monday, June 11, 2012

Have you ever heard a friend repeat something you said, but mess it up completely? 
Now imagine a billion people doing that. 
-- Jesus Christ --


Grave robbers:

An archeologist cleans a skeleton during excavations in the Black Sea town of Sozopol, Bulgaria on June 1, 2012. Archaeologists have unearthed two skeletons from the Middle Ages pierced through the chest with iron rods to keep them from turning into vampires, the head of the history museum said. According to pagan beliefs, people who were considered bad during their lifetimes might turn into vampires after death unless stabbed in the chest with an iron or wooden rod before being buried. (STR/AFP/GettyImages)#  From The Big Picture,

I am not particularly sentimental or religious.  I mostly think sterile cemeteries are a waste of material.  If the state would permit it, when I've finished with this body, I would like to be dropped off in the woods somewhere to feed the beasties and trees.  Seems like that's the way it should be.

So am I weird that I am very annoyed when archaeologists dig up bodies?  It really bugs me to see people down in a hole dusting off bones.  Those bodies were put there for a reason, there were people with beliefs involved, and I don't care how "respectful" you think you're being, I say Hands Off!

It really does bother me.  I don't know why.



Fashion, whether clothing, furnishing, design, anything, makes no sense.   The sole purpose of fashion is to make you feel inadequate and force you to buy new stuff.  It has been so ever since Ogg discovered there's a market for bearskins.

When something new becomes fashionable, I wonder how many people ask themselves, "Is this new thing better than the old thing?  Or just ... different."

Let's rebel.

3546 End of last week catch up

Monday, June 11, 2012

Harvey Korman, on his using Viagra: It would be like putting a new flagpole on a condemned building.


I have finished Madame Bovary.   I'd never heard or read a synopsis, or seen any of the movies, so I had no real inkling of the story.  Somewhere along the line I'd seen a deathbed scene from a very old movie, possibly a silent movie, and occasional references to Mme. Bovary's romantic nature and her many assignations.  So I had, without thinking about it, assumed she was something like a Parisian courtesan, and that she died a lingering death of "consumption", and that her lovers sadly abandoned her in the end.  Or something like that.

The real story is very different.

As soon as I finished the book, I watched a 2.25 hour French version on YouTube with subtitles.  The movie left out a LOT!  (Also, the movie made it seem more like she was lured, beguiled, into debt by the predatory merchant with no concept of what she was doing.  In the book, it's more like the merchant was just filling her hunger.  And the movie didn't really get into how her neediness put so much pressure on Leon.  So, don't go by the movies.)

Check one off the very bottom of the bucket list.


According to the GPS, the country house is about 360 feet above sea level.  Harumph.  It seems higher.


When I return from a trip to the country house, I have to time it just right.  I have to leave by 2 pm at the latest, or wait until after 5 pm, to avoid rush hour on the Garden State Parkway.  The rush hour traffic isn't bad - it's that there's always at least one accident that has traffic backed up for an hour.  Friday I left at 5 pm, but it turned out that was a mistake.  The Rhinebeck Fairgrounds was hosting a huge antique motorcycle show Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  The traffic jam heading toward the (two-lane) bridge over the Hudson River was horrendous.

As I crept along, there were three motorcycles in front of me.  Stop, go, stop, go.  I gave them plenty of room, especially because I appreciated their staying in the lane.  We were passed by dozens of motorcycles roaring down the shoulder on our right, which royally pissed me off.  I mean, if I'd had a gun ... or a barrel of roofing nails ....  They were ignoring courtesy, rules, and speed limits.  But worst of all, it was THE MOTORCYCLE CLUB'S SHOW that generated all this traffic!  It was THEIR FAULT!  And they're just blowing by while we innocents suffer?

When I finally got across the bridge and onto route 209, motorcycles continued to blast by.  55 mph speed limit, and they had to be doing at least 85.  At least.

And they wonder why motorists won't give them a break?  QUIT PISSING US OFF!  Quit acting like laws, rules, and common courtesy don't apply to you.


I usually return from the country on Thursday, but I was late this week.  So Friday I expected more traffic than usual.  I never use the GPS on that trip because I know the route.  Friday I had it on for no particular reason, and as I entered NJ, I was shocked to hear something I'd never heard before: "Severe traffic ahead.  Recalculating."

Huh?  The traffic application is optional.  I didn't know I had it.

The GPS took me off the Garden State Parkway onto route 3 east, to the NJ Turnpike.  I'm glad I obeyed.  The view of Manhattan from route 3 is amazing!  From the top of the first hill off the Parkway, the cluster of tall gleaming buildings rises high above the trees ahead.  It looks for all the world like a scene from a fairy tale movie.  The sun was in the west hitting the scene full on, and the sky was clear.


One of these trips I'll try to take a picture.


At some point every morning, Nugget goes to the window, points urgently, and says "Amma! Amma!"  Daughter escorts her across the street, and we have this routine.  Nugget pounds on my door, "Amma!  Amma!".  I yell, "Who's that beating on my door?" (Billy Goat Gruff voice) and open it.  Nugget hustles past to look for cat toys (which she prefers to kid toys).

On Thursday, Nugget said it was time to visit Amma, and Daughter said no, Gramma isn't home, and distracted her.  On Friday, Nugget was more insistent and wouldn't be distracted, so Daughter brought her over. Nugget pounded on the door ... and there was no answer.  Daughter tried to explain that the van wasn't in the driveway, Gramma was with the van, gone bye-bye.  Van gone bye-bye, Gramma gone bye-bye. 

Big disappointment.

(Hercules looked up "Amma" to see if it had a meaning and was surprised to find that it is appropriate.  I could have told him - "Amah" is a nursemaid throughout much of southern Asia and India.  So I don't mind if Nugget never masters the "Gr" part.)

3545 Write

Monday, June 11, 2012

You can cope.  You can always cope, no matter what.  And then later,
you can be proud of having coped.


I copied this directly from Roba at, because I knew if I simply linked to it, nobody would read it, and it's well worth reading. 

“Story basics” from Emma Coats, of Pixar:

#1: You admire a character for trying more than for their successes.

#2: You gotta keep in mind what’s interesting to you as an audience, not what’s fun to do as a writer. They can be very different.

#3: Trying for theme is important, but you won’t see what the story is actually about until you’re at the end of it. Now rewrite.

#4: Once upon a time there was ___. Every day, ___. One day ___. Because of that, ___. Because of that, ___. Until finally ___.

#5: Simplify. Focus. Combine characters. Hop over detours. You’ll feel like you’re losing valuable stuff but it sets you free.

#6: What is your character good at, comfortable with? Throw the polar opposite at them. Challenge them. How do they deal?

#7: Come up with your ending before you figure out your middle. Seriously. Endings are hard, get yours working up front.

#8: Finish your story, let go even if it’s not perfect. In an ideal world you have both, but move on. Do better next time.

#9: When you’re stuck, make a list of what WOULDN’T happen next. Lots of times the material to get you unstuck will show up.

#10: Pull apart the stories you like. What you like in them is a part of you; you’ve got to recognize it before you can use it.

#11: Putting it on paper lets you start fixing it. If it stays in your head, a perfect idea, you’ll never share it with anyone.

#12: Discount the 1st thing that comes to mind. And the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th – get the obvious out of the way. Surprise yourself.

#13: Give your characters opinions. Passive/malleable might seem likable to you as you write, but it’s poison to the audience.

#14: Why must you tell THIS story? What’s the belief burning within you that your story feeds off of? That’s the heart of it.

#15: If you were your character, in this situation, how would you feel? Honesty lends credibility to unbelievable situations.

#16: What are the stakes? Give us reason to root for the character. What happens if they don’t succeed? Stack the odds against.

#17: No work is ever wasted. If it’s not working, let go and move on – it’ll come back around to be useful later.

#18: You have to know yourself: the difference between doing your best & fussing. Story is testing, not refining.

#19: Coincidences to get characters into trouble are great; coincidences to get them out of it are cheating.

#20: Exercise: take the building blocks of a movie you dislike. How d’you rearrange them into what you DO like?

#21: You gotta identify with your situation/characters, can’t just write ‘cool’. What would make YOU act that way?

#22: What’s the essence of your story? Most economical telling of it? If you know that, you can build out from there.

[From Pixar Touchbook,]

Sunday, June 10, 2012

3544 Noises

Sunday, June 10, 2012

"Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace"
~Dalai Lama~


There's still that sound coming from somewhere across the street.  Like high-pitched tree frogs with a mechanical undertone.  It drives me crazy.   Daughter and Hercules can hear it on my porch and in my front rooms.  They don't hear it in their house.  Nobody knows where it's coming from.  It's random, several hours a day, sometimes early, sometimes late.  A compressor?  A pump?  The source seems to be impossible to pinpoint.

I mentioned that the people directly across the street got a dog, Christmas of 2010, one of those tiny silky dogs that people like to put topknot bows on.  The girl there walked it a little at first, but quickly lost interest.  The man comes home from work and sometimes I hear him yell, "Put her in her cage!'  I think the poor little thing spends most of her life in a cage.  Two or three times a day they put her out the front door on a chain, and then seem to forget her.  She quickly does her duty, and then sits in front of the door and whines for half an hour, 45 minutes, yesterday afternoon it was an hour.

You know, I could stand a little barking, but that high-pitched "YEE yee yee, YEE yee yee, YEE yee yee" (keep saying that for a half hour) is driving me crazy.  How can they not hear her and let her in?

I miss the silence of the country house.