Saturday, December 31, 2011

Have a Lucky New Year

Once again I got to go to Vij's for a meal. God bless December being three-cheque month, among other windfalls I am grateful for.

This is what I ate:

I drank a couple of cocktails - a whiskey charmer and a dark army and I wish I could remember what was supposed to be in them beyond pomegranate and edible silver and coriander - and a bottle of a really wonderful beer that I can't remember the name of. Good info, huh? The chai was excellent as well.

My god was this food satisfying, brought to the table by a team of people who said only what needed saying, and did only what needed doing. The tip for the nameless horde was big. My wish for you in the new year, gentle reader, is that you should have a meal like this. Note the few recipes available at the site.

Soon I drink, and I hope your celebrations went/will go well.

The Rules of Scrabble Prohibit Looping

Friday, December 30, 2011

Holiday Stories

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Need Man to Splain

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Caved In?

Telepathic Ed on cats:
I saw Puss In Boots at "Tropicana Cinemas" at Trop and Pecos (buck fifty) enjoyable for all kids. I belonged to the Cat Lovers Club until it caved in after the death of our very capable President. One of her buddies and a member was Bill Bennett the Casino Mogul and Bill gave us money in 10 thou increments which was spent quickly as we'd give free shots and neuter to anybody's cat we minored in dogs, we only allowed loving people to adopt our stray cats.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Mandatory Churrocide

Another of The Man's plans to keep the common people down:
Chile's Supreme Court has ordered a newspaper to pay $125,000 to 13 people who suffered burns while trying out a published recipe for churros, a popular Latin American snack of dough fried in hot oil.


Days after the recipe was published in the paper's "Woman" magazine in 2004, hospitals around the country began treating women for burns suffered when the dough boiling in oil suddenly shot out of kitchen pots.


That last looks pretty good sideways:

Monday, December 26, 2011

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

I went to see Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy as a holiday treat. I haven't read the novel.

The film is ferociously complicated: it's not cut in the modern speed-freak style, but if people are crinkling a candy-bag behind you you may miss what a character hears on a tinny tape; blink and you may miss some important context. It's a test of an audience's capacity to absorb information, which I suppose is a result of cutting down a complicated work but also involves the theme: in their way the operatives are heroic distillers of information, who see and pay attention in a way that normal individuals cannot, and at the same time are necessarily stunted in their relationships. Are you up to their abilities? Do you want to be? It was probably a half-hour before I figured what the scenes were supposed to be adding up to, and the various flashbacks and changes of environment made me think of the chronological mayhem of Bad Timing. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is better than that, go see it.

I've pointed to this interview before, but it's well worth it:
In the summer of 2010, Writers and Company host Eleanor Wachtel went to see John le Carré at his home outside of Penzance in Cornwall, England. [...] The interview with Mr. Le Carré won a Silver Medal at the New York Festivals.
It's not about the movie, it's about John le Carré, his work, and his art and what is in it that might be called true.

A Haul

Look with envy upon the various hints contained in this glorious treasure.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

At Christmas time the family’s glad
As that’s when Santa fucks your dad.
But what’s that bag of presents for?
It’s because your mom’s a whore.

Please feel free to add scurrilous verse so I have more for next year.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

More Picking on Architects

Yes, that is correct, you can replace the head of the архітектура department with a handful of brightly-coloured balloons. The construction department still requires an actual person.

Friday, December 23, 2011

A Zombie Christmas

Via the office photocopier, so um, it looks less appetizing? More appetizing? Anyway IT IS CHOCOLATE.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Kitty Mental Powers

How many lame scheduled posts can you expect over the holidays? I don't know, but this is one.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

People With Money Making the Right Decisions

Sometimes when you're writing you want to hold on to the funny thing and put it right at the very end of what you're doing where it will become an entertaining surprise BANANA. See what I did there? Look again closely if you are not quite getting the design of this elementary lesson in comedy BANANA.

In this case, though, it is to our advantage to blow an obvious punchline early because someone has written A Thing that gets more entertainingly excruciating as it goes on not just for the all-endumbening idiocy of the argument, but for the position of its finger-pointing author.

What do you know about Zachary Leeman? My guess is NOTHING, you lucky lucky person, but for you I will ruin the whole thing. Here is his bio:
Zachary Leeman currently serves in the Unites States Army Reserves as a truck driver in the 619th Transportation Company. He attends Southern Maine Community College where he plans on getting an Associate's Degree in political science. He is currently hard at work on his first novel. You can follow him on Twitter @writingleeman.
Okay, got that? Zachary Leeman is a public employee going to a public college where he's trying to get a degree involving public business. Oh, and HE WINS ALREADY:

Am I an official hater? I filled in the forms but I haven't mailed them yet.

Anyway Zachary Leeman has written a dumb column:
Bestselling horror novelist Stephen King recently helped out his fellow Mainers by holding a contest through his Bangor-based radio station: however much money listeners donated, King would match. The money would then be donated to lower-income Mainers to help pay for heat this winter.

King raised $242,370. Not too shabby. Clearly, this is a commendable and gracious effort on the part of King. It says a lot about his character. But when you bring it into context with past King quotes and his overall liberalism, it brings up an interesting hypocrisy in what famous liberals and 1 percent types do and say.
Okay person who drives trucks for the government and goes to a public college, what kind of hypocrisy have you identified?
In the past, King has stated that he thinks people who make as much as he does should be taxed as much as 50 percent. Why?
To pay for people who drive trucks for the government and for their education in public colleges.
Has King fully thought about a world where 50 percent of his money is taken by Big Government and then they decide where it goes?
Perhaps more people could get jobs driving trucks for the government and for their education in public colleges.
Just because it goes to the government with the “best intentions” does not mean it will help heat fellow Mainers’ homes.
It might, though, be something of a boon to people who drive trucks for the government and who receive education in public colleges.
Yet liberal entertainers like King continue to beg Obama to tax them more when they are fully capable as individuals who have found financial success to use their disposable income anyway they see fit, including helping those they see as needy.
Aha! HYPO— No wait, that's not actually hypocrisy, budding-writer-who-drives-a-truck-for-the-government-and-who-gets-educated-at-a-public-college-in-obvious-need-of-funding-for-dictionaries, it appears that Stephen King is willing to pay more taxes and that is that, and those taxes may or may not help folks directly with a heating bill, but you can bet they help people who drive trucks for the government and who receive education in public colleges.
How Stephen King has not connected his actions with his beliefs is really quite amazing.
Has he imagined a world where the government taxed him less?
No, he has never imagined an America without taxes. And my guess is that a person who drives trucks for the government and goes to a public college might also find it unfathomable.
Imagine how much more good he could do with that disposable income!?
Here is where, on the initial read, I doubled back and re-read what Zachary-the-Government-Truck-Driver wrote: the premise here really does appear to be that Stephen King could, if taxed even less, be oh-so-much-more generous to people who can't afford to keep the power on in their fucking houses in the greatest and richest country in the world. Not to mention that King might donate to public college endowments! The world would be a better place if zillionaires could keep more money away from the payrolls of drivers of government trucks and students in college because they could then in fact give all that money back to the people who don't have the money that was taken away from them! Nobody needs Robin Hood when Prince John is willingly giving all his money to the unfortunates, which I believe he in fact did which is why there was no Robin Hood legend in the first place.
Or not. It’s really his choice. When giving becomes forced giving, then the whole act has lost merit.
So if we imagine that Stephen King is giving charitably now, and then volunteers to pay taxes for things like public colleges and OMG TURN LEFT QUICKLY OR THE GOVERNMENT TRUCK WILL CRASH there we go JesusChristthatwasclose. Anyway, Stephen King volunteering to pay taxes is Stephen King forcing himself to give away the money he was giving anyway? O THE NOT-HYPOCRISY-AT-ALL.

And in a time of crushing student debt and an overstretched military slowly pulling back from two dumb wars, rising poverty and job losses and predatory foreclosure nightmares and empty strip-malls and idle factories precipitated by crazy rich guys trading bullshit paper they didn't even know how to measure the worth of, not to mention a time of people in Maine who can't pay their heating costs, Zachary Leeman provides a sweet little gift just for you and I:
Why is it liberals cannot imagine a world where people with money make the right decisions?
Thank you, gently-insulated-from-the-real-free-enterprise-world Zachary Leeman, for redistributing the gifts of the free time and the totally-serious-no-fooling book-learning the government has given you to we few participants on this little corner of the internet. And you know something, gentle reader? There's still more of the column left for you look at BANANA.

Holiday Advice

Dear parents: Cars 2 is the only Pixar film I endured rather than watched. It is bad.

To up the Google juice for this post I wanted to add some Cars 2 hentai but after searching (!) I found I had to make my own.

Now I am become Rule 34, the destroyer of worlds.

Monday, December 19, 2011


Over at Crooked Timber there's a link to some Ross Douthat bullshit all about how something or other God God God:
For Hitchens, those defenses stayed up till the end. His last word on the possibility of conversion was at once characteristically dismissive and characteristically protective of his hard-earned reputation as an Enemy of God: “Suppose I ditch the principles I have held for a lifetime, in the hope of gaining favor at the last minute? I hope and trust that no serious person would be at all impressed by such a hucksterish choice.”
Let us be clear: CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS WOULD NEVER ABANDON PRINCIPLES. Especially if they would buy him a drink.
In his very brave and very public dying, though, one could see again why so many religious people felt a kinship with him. When stripped of Marxist fairy tales and techno-utopian happy talk, rigorous atheism casts a wasting shadow over every human hope and endeavor, and leads ineluctably to the terrible conclusion of Philip Larkin’s poem “Aubade” — that “death is no different whined at than withstood.”

Officially, Hitchens’s creed was one with Larkin’s. But everything else about his life suggests that he intuited that his fellow Englishman was completely wrong to give in to despair.

My hope — for Hitchens, and for all of us, the living and the dead — is that now he finally knows why.
Oh for Christ— I mean oh for fuck's sake give it UP with the superstitious nonsense about the OH HOLY SHIT RUN RUN RUN!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Tweedlemark and Tweedlejonah

Mark Steyn looks to Jonah Goldberg for guidance:

Amidst the torrent of commentary on the Second Coming of Newt, Jonah’s point is worth considering:

Mitt Romney is still the sensible choice if you believe these are rough, but generally sensible, times. If, however, you think these are crazy and extraordinary times, then perhaps they call for a crazy, extraordinary — very high-risk, very high-reward — figure like Gingrich.

This helps explain why Newtzilla is so formidable. In order to stop him, you need to explain to very anxious GOP voters that the times don’t require him.

I’m in the latter camp: I think these are “crazy and extraordinary times.”
Boy, that bodes well! But Steyn has more to say:
So, if these are “crazy and extraordinary times,” go with the crazy, right? Newt certainly thinks bigger than Mitt, but unfortunately he thinks in the same direction of unbounded micro-managerial faux-technocracy.
And if Newt and Mott are on the same path, the conclusion must be:
It’s a tragedy that the Republican nomination has dwindled down to a choice not worth making. Yet not a single real vote has yet been cast. Iowa and New Hampshire will do us all a favor if they look beyond the frontrunners and keep genuinely conservative candidates in the game.
Exactly Mark. Vote for a different loon because Newt Gingrich is NOT CRAZY ENOUGH.


Crazy-related: Roy is summons the Ron Paul swarm.

Friday, December 16, 2011

In The Trenches

A battle is being fought, of almost cosmically non-spiritual import:
Just a couple of weeks ago -- the weekend before Thanksgiving, in fact -- the annual Skepticon conference was held ... one of the largest gatherings of atheists and skeptics in the country ... owner of the ice cream shop Gelato Mio ... took offense ... And he put a sign on the door to his shop, reading, quote, "Skepticon is NOT Welcomed To My Christian Business." ...
Dear God!
So what happened?

Atheists brought the nuclear smackdown.
Someone took a photo of the sign, and within minutes it was Facebooked, Tweeted, G-plussed, texted, blogged, emailed, and probably sent by smoke signals and carrier pigeon. It raced through the atheosphere like a wildfire on meth. Gelato Mio was inundated with angry calls and emails; their ratings on Yelp and UrbanSpoon sank to the basement; on UrbanSpoon, their "most popular menu item" was quickly voted as "Bigotry."


And Drennan apologized.
Gelato for all atheists is secured!
Atheists will not be fucked with.

I dunno, maybe I should be more sympathetic to my godless brethren, but, uh, okay, this is the title of the article:
2 Shocking Attacks on Atheism -- And How Atheists Fought Back
No, not really seeing the "not to be fucked with" cred there. Or the shock or the attack for that matter...


My error. Turns out the guy who ran the gelato place was ADOLF HITLER and he was working on a Pan-Skeptic Gelato Removal Ray*. Seems the ray itself was three seconds from bathing the continent in unearthly treat-denying radiation from its orbital platform when Glasses O'Fingerpoint somehow tweeted the shutdown code through an avalanche of licorice and caramel corn, thus saving the atheist community from potential having-to-think-of-a-different-snack. Also I think the second shocking attack I didn't mention was about a lampshade factory and missing atheists, so my apologies to the families and their little dogs too.

*ACME™ brand parts, may not work on road-runners

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Old Things

It was Thoroughly Middle Class Christmas Entertainment Night at the Orpheum last night. It was moderately enjoyable; Stewart McLean told a bunch of stories involving Christmas and ferrets and people going through car washes. The big musical guest was Hawksley Workman who I dislike. He makes me think of comedy open-mike night and that quiet guy you met once trying a "weird nervous comedian" shtick and failing, but in song. On the other hand I don't think I've heard too many passionate songs featuring soup so score one for him I guess; I'll remember someone going all Bono over parsnips for quite a while.

Being in the Orpheum always feels a little strange. Vancouver is a new town full of new glassy and spindly toy-like buildings; is there really something old here?

Hmm, when was the last time I was in that building? Wait, that long ago?

Wait, turn your sound off or maybe leave Laser Cannon Deth Sentence playing:

Yessir, some of the tallest buildings in the British Empire there.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

McGravitas is Making Sense!

An item at The Corner:
Former Delaware GOP senate candidate Christine O’Donnell announced tonight that she was endorsing Mitt Romney.

The Romney campaign e-mailed an announcement of the endorsement.
Dear Romney campaign:

Please send me $25,000, just because. Thanks in advance,

S. McGravitas

P.S. You are great.


The whole press release is here, including this:
Background On Christine O’Donnell:

Christine O’Donnell Has Been A Leader In The Conservative Movement For Many Years.
Must Remember To Put More Capital Letters In My Requests.

Sorry Epileptics

I was gonna be more subtle but just getting it to work was a pain.

Hmm, this is somewhat pukey...

The pukey one plus yellow, BY REQUEST!

Oh yeah, problem solved.


Up together in the constant song-shuffling:

Monday, December 12, 2011

A Book

The free laptop is slowly becoming unusable, so I have read A Book.

Patti Smith's Just Kids won a National Book Award somehow. It's interesting if you like the era and the people involved but as writing it's all affectation and name-dropping.
Since hashish permeated the atmosphere of these stories I had it in my mind to partake of it.
Not smoke it? Or:
We would sit together on their Napoleonic daybed, and he would read me passages from Rimbaud's Illuminations in the original French.
No kidding? The ORIGINAL French? This Stallone fellow is more creative than I thought.

Every page has something like that, her "tapping open a door slightly ajar" and making me think of padding essays to get to 1000 words.
I would never serve as the source of his inspiration, though in attempting to articulate the drama of my feelings I became more prolific and I believe a better writer.
O the irony.

Trivia and its Opposite

Now that is an awfully mean way to make an argument, and follow-up comments from Walt (who I like a lot as a commenter) take Wiley to task as it can be extended into this or that absurdity, and if you complain about the president you're killing grandma and so on. But look at this:

Yesterday I was out drinking with two friends, one of whom has been told by some doctors that she's gonna die. Those are nachos and pills, including, apparently, some methadone. Shoulda begged to try one: she's gonna get more! Anyway, it was a nice Sunday drink, and those pills are mostly paid for, not just through sociamalist Canadian government programs, but through extended health benefits at a union shop (though I don't know if she was union or exempt). Her partner, in the union at the same employer, has leave. She and he get to spend as much time as they like together in relative comfort, though not at full pay. And that is a pretty important thing.

People - myself included - can be as disappointed with Obama as they like, but a plan passed under him will provide more people with those pills. It falls short of what I take for granted here, but I am fortunate enough to live in a civilized nation where I can go out with my dying friends for a drink instead of despairing that I have to figure out how to hold a benefit for them. For a lot of people that health plan is gonna be a very practical matter with quick impact despite its piecemeal nature, and it's a step that you'd be insane to think would happen under a Republican. [Important caveat: getting money for autism treatment is a fucking bitch here.] There are of course other issues, but a step is a step.

Also we played some trivia:

Goatse wins again.
The goatse must try harder.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

He Who Smelled It Dealt It

Shorter John Nolte:
People didn't want to go see The Muppets because the outrageously biased left-wing media let everyone know that Fox Business News did a segment that called The Muppets communist.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Pure Craziness

Rich folks:
There’s been a constant stream of headlines about the widening gap between rich and poor for months now, but this is pretty remarkable: Just six members of the Walton family, heirs to the Walmart fortune, possess wealth equal to that of the entire bottom 30 percent of Americans.
Obviously if a poor person dies you can put 'em in a pine box and forget about it. But if a Walton dies the economy is stimulated, what with all the paper-shuffling and estate-selling and so forth. Food for thought.

Attention Fellow Cereal Freaks

News you can use:
10 Worst Children's Cereals
Based on percent sugar by weight
1 Kellogg's Honey Smacks 55.6%
2 Post Golden Crisp 51.9%
3 Kellogg's Froot Loops Marshmallow 48.3%
4 Quaker Oats Cap'n Crunch's OOPS! All Berries 46.9%
5 Quaker Oats Cap'n Crunch Original 44.4%
6 Quaker Oats Oh!s 44.4%
7 Kellogg's Smorz 43.3%
8 Kellogg's Apple Jacks 42.9%
9 Quaker Oats Cap'n Crunch's Crunch Berries 42.3%
10 Kellogg's Froot Loops Original 41.4%

Eat up.

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Jackie Gingrich Cushman:
This week, I'm writing a letter to my 16-year-old self. The letter is inspired by the book, "Dear Me: A Letter to My Sixteen-Year-Old Self," edited by Joseph Galliano (Atria Books, 2011).

Be assured that 16 is a shaky time for everybody. Nothing seems to fit, nothing seems easy, and life's future is unknown. On the bright side, life seems to hold much promise and possibility. As you grow older, hang on to the idea that life is full of promise and possibility.

No, you are not normal, but neither is anyone else. Everyone has something that makes them "not normal." Your something might be more visible (yes, your dad did run for Congress and lose twice before you were 10; he won when you were 11; two years later, your parents divorced). But everyone has a family member who is crazy, in jail, estranged, sick or any combination of those and other abnormalities. NO ONE is normal.
This guy will make a great president, right?


You're just sixteen so be assured
Your family contains a turd.
It might be mom or pop, it's true
But they might think that turd is you.


Hi Washington Times!
Leftists run wild politicizing Navy ship names


The Senate version of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act includes an amendment proposed by Sen. Roy Blunt, Missouri Republican, to “require a report on the policies and practices … for naming the vessels of the Navy.” The measure would require the secretary of defense to submit a report to Congress detailing current Navy policies for ship naming, the extent to which they vary from historical practices, and an assessment of the feasibility of establishing fixed policies for naming ships.

The catalyst for the amendment was the announcement last spring that the newest supply ship in the Navy’s inventory would be named after labor leader Cesar Chavez. This radical served briefly in the Navy after World War II but did not accomplish anything noteworthy while in uniform. His claim to fame was solely from organizing migrant laborers and agitating for the rights of illegal immigrants. Rep. Duncan Hunter, California Republican, said at the time that naming a ship after Chavez appeared to be “more about making a political statement than upholding the Navy’s history and tradition.”

I am sure such a vessel would be too sissy to blow stuff up and soon men stuck at sea for long periods of time would start having sex with each other.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

No Blood for Snake Oil!

Sarah Palin told Fox Business Network today that she will not be endorsing a candidate in the next few weeks.

“Not before Iowa,” Palin said, in an interview set to air at 10 p.m. EST on FBN. “And Iowa’s not the end of the road. It’s the beginning of the road really. Newt Gingrich, I believe, has risen in the polls because he has been a bit more successful than Romney in reaching out to that base of constitutional conservatives who are part of the tea party movement. He hasn’t been afraid of that movement. He has been engaged in that movement most recently in order for them to hear his solutions and there’s been some forgiveness then on the part of Tea Party Patriots for some of the things in Gingrich’s past.”

“Romney and others need to reach out and convince Tea Party Patriots and constitutional conservatives that he truly believes in smaller, smarter government,” she added.

She said she was “most interested” in seeing in who Ron Paul, if he does not win the nomination, endorses, citing his strong record on “domestic spending issues.”

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Let's Hear From the Experts

The Travel Pavilion

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Golden Age

Andrew Klavan:
O’Sullivan’s Law says, in effect, that any organization that is not expressly right wing will become left wing over time. So it is with cultures too, I believe. And how could it be otherwise? All leftism is, really, is a form of decay, and all things made by man decay as time goes by.
That is an interesting law. Klavan's link leads to the Wikipedia, and not to an article outlining the actual law. It turns out that it doesn't say anything "in effect" but instead says it:
All organizations that are not actually right-wing will over time become left-wing.
That is a warm puppy of a law for those who wait wait wait for the children to walk onto their lawns.