Sunday, July 29, 2007

"What, No Flux Capacitor?"

Sparked by this MetaFilter entry.

The headline in the LA Times read "For the DeLorean, It's Back to the Present."

"The iconic gull-winged sports car is once again hot, and there are plans afoot to place it back in production."

And I had a sudden and completely random synaptic discharge.

Back in the 'Eighties I was living in Charlottesville and working as a "Laboratory Specialist B" for the University of Virginia, killing rats, cutting up their brains, labeling the slices with antibodies, and preparing the results for light and electron microscopy.

It wasn't as glamorous as it sounds (insert loud "guffaw" here). In fact, it was downright tedious, requiring painstaking, near-obsessive attention to detail under rigid time constraints imposed by people who, though very bright within their particular fields of study, were, nonetheless, complete and total dumbasses as far as how things worked in the Real World (pat. pend.). They often forgot that I was not a graduate student nor a Ph. D. researcher, that I did this to pay the bills and have a life, and were annoyed that I wasn't willing to spend 18-20 hours a day on their particular projects.

I dealt with this, uh, inappropriately.

To make a long story short, I wound up with a little problem and started attending what I affectionately (if not cryptically) refer to as Super-Secret Support Groups.

Now, for those of you unfamiliar with S-SSGs, there's as much, if not more, recovery work occurring before and after scheduled meetings as there is during, usually in coffee shops, greasy spoon All-Nite diners, fast food places, pizza joints, people's living rooms and apartments, even while driving aimlessly through town and countryside.

My friend Tom C. and I did a lot of driving in those early days, usually in my 1984 Honda Prelude since Tom's car couldn't be trusted to back out of a driveway. I had massive insomnia, Tom was unemployed, and neither of us ever felt like hanging out at Shoney's or Howard Johnson's, so we took to the road, seeing parts of Charlottesville most people didn't realize existed (well, excepting the locals, but the University Community believed nothing existed beyond their borders until you hit D. C. and points north). We often wound up cruising through some pretty sketchy parts of town, including this really scary-looking run-down public housing project, a bizarre enclave of gangsta chic and white trash culture.

And it was there, one cold, still, fall night, that we saw... it. Partially covered by a rotting tarp, surrounded by trash, a little beaten-up, sans tires, its rims on cinder blocks, I swear to you we saw it.

A De Lorean.

Shining in the moonlight.

What do you say? What do you do? How do you react to (what would now be) a $60,000 plus car in the most unlikely of places?

We stared in wonder and drove home in silence.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

"But Officer, I Swear I'm Completely Harmless!"

As part of my recent Preparedness Program, I detoured to Hull Street Outlet (the local military surplus store) on my way home from work to pick up a few items for the trunk of the car.

I often forget that what seem like completely innocuous actions on my part can appear a little...suspicious...when observed by someone without the proper context.

So I ramble around the store a bit, pick up the things I want, head to the cash register, and notice that the sales associate is regarding me somewhat cautiously as he rings up my stuff:

2 wool army blankets, green
1 wool balaclava, black
100 ft. polypropylene rope, black
1 entrenching tool
1 hatchet

See, for a moment I forgot that Taylor Behl and the Harvey Family are pretty recent events 'round these parts.

And I admit that at times I can be one sick-ass fuck--it was all I could do not to sign the receipt John Wayne Gacy III.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Would That Emily Post Had Lived To See the Cell Phone

And now I shall proceed to show my curmudgeonly ass.

So I wander into my local Barnes & Noble Travel Section to see if Weird Virginia--Your Travel Guide to Virginia's Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets is worth the cover price of $19.95* when I'm suddenly surrounded and aurally assaulted in the narrow aisle by not one, not two, but three people yakking on their cell phones simultaneously.

It felt like a D & D melee attack and there I was without my +5 Gauntlets of Bitch-Slapping.

Now, I acknowledge (grudgingly) that bookstores are not libraries with enforced rules of quiet, that the neurotypical require almost constant social interaction whether face-to-face or electronically (though I'm at a loss as to why), and I've got nothing against cell phones--I'm not that curmudgeonly; hell, I own one myself--but people! Disconnect once in a while! What in God's name is so important that it can't wait till you get somewhere a little less public?

(And I assure you these conversations to which I was forced to bear witness were not emergencies)

Lest you think I am a lone voice crying in the wilderness, allow me to direct your attention to the following:
Cell Phone Etiquette: 10 Dos And Dont's
The Ten Commandments of Cell Phone Etiquette and an update.

'Nuff said? Good. All that's left is to do something about DWMP**

It's okay--hardbound, profusely illustrated, full o' stuff--but typically superficial for a book of this type; it lacks the kind of depth and substance I prefer in a travel book, though that's not to say it wouldn't make a great gift for someone. I walked out with Redmond O'Hanlon's Trawler--A Journey Through the North Atlantic ($14.95 trade paperback) instead.

**DWMP--Driving With Maryland Plates. Why is it whenever I see people doing something truly outrageous in their car they are (1) drunk, (2) futzing around with their cell phone, or (3) sporting Maryland license plates?

Weekend Roundup

So I'm assuming everyone survived the Potterdammerung and is safely and breathlessly ensconced in his or her Favorite Reading Spot with The Deathly Hallows.

I'm not.

Oh, nothing against the Harry Potter series--I've read the books, I've seen the movies, I like them well enough--but I'm not a particularly big fan. I'm not a big Trekkie, either, nor am I a Star Wars fanatic. Just. Not. My. Thing. Exactly.

Now, if there was a Cryptonomicon sub-cult (and it hadn't been a one-shot deal), man, I'd be going to conventions in my finest Enoch Root costume, building model Enigma machines, and fiddling around with Van Eck phreaking till my brain exploded!

But that ain't a-gonna happen, so I'm settling for being all a-twitter about the August release of Spook Country by William Gibson (see today's Washington Post review).

Nothing exciting to report. I went to a couple of Super-Secret Support Group meetings, I got the oil in my car changed, I hung out at 4th Street Cafe with cool and interesting people until way too late both Friday and Saturday nights, I talked briefly (very briefly--that's all we manage these days) with the Parental Units, I made quick trips to Target and Wal-Mart for various items to put in my Bug-out Bag/Survival Kit, slept too much, ate too much, enjoyed the moderately cooler weather, scratched the cat at regular intervals (no, that is NOT an euphemism for anything nasty), watched Thunder Road on Turner Classic Movies (a personal fave and a film just begging for a high-speed remake), and was pretty much a reclusive slug for the rest of the weekend.

Incidentally, today is the 73th anniversary of the death of John Dillinger. who, as the John Dillinger Died For You Society remind us, was not the criminal many think, but should instead be remembered as a "prominent economic reformer whose unorthodox banking methods enabled the U.S. Justice Department to overcome state's-rights opposition to Federal anti-crime laws. He gave his life that a little-known and poorly-regarded division of that Department might be transformed into today's awesome Federal Bureau of Investigation," thus enabling J. Edgar Hoover to purchase that frilly little number he'd had his eye on for some time.

Brief Explanation: Robert Anton Wilson wrote:

The John Dillinger Died For You Society, run by a pseudonymous "Dr. Horace Naismith" (allegedly a Playboy editor by day and a maniac only by night), accepts as its savior John Dillinger, the gunman who robbed 23 banks and three police stations before he was shot dead by FBI agents in 1934. JDDFYS members place memorial wreaths and floral bouquets at the Biograph Theater, where Dillinger was gunned down, every year on the anniversary of his death, June 22. Their major spiritual teaching comes from Mr. Dillinger, whom they call St. John the Martyr, and consists of the words, "Lie down on the floor and keep calm," (St. John said this often to nervous and agitated bank officials before looting their tills). Every member ordained by Dr. Naismith gets a membership card making him or her an Assistant Treasurer, entitled to collect tithes from any new disciple naive enough to remain a disciple and not become an Assistant Treasurer, too, by writing to Dr. Naismith for a card.

--Religion For the Hell of It

Sunday, July 15, 2007

"That's Not A Knife; THIS Is A Knife!"

So I bought myself a cute little piece of cutlery today--a full-size Black KA-BAR Straight Edge (Marine-style) Knife:

The only other KOSS (Knife of Significant Size) I own is a reproduction of the British Fairbairn-Sykes fighting knife from Museum Replicas, Ltd. and it's of no real practical use; I just think it looks cool. I use it to open my mail. The KA-BAR, on the other hand, is a good, basic, all-purpose knife suitable for anything from survival to camping to kitchen chores to, well, opening the mail.

Some family trivia here: my father still has the USN-stamped KA-BAR he carried during WWII. He probably hasn't touched it except to move it from one house to another in sixty years and the thing is still sharp as hell!

I'm not a Survivalist by any stretch of the imagination, but I do believe in being prepared, so I keep a number of items in my car just in case--jumper cables, tire gauges, window scrapers, a couple of kitchen towels, some big-ass trash bags (good for litter, ground cloths, and as emergency ponchos), a flashlight, a basic first aid kit, a couple of road flares, matches in a waterproof container, a Space Blanket and sleeping bag, 50 ft. of Perlon (nylon) rope, a couple of locking carabiners, some Zip-Loc bags, two of those little emergency tools meant for cutting seat belts and smashing car windows, a generic Swiss Army Knife, pen, paper, sunglasses, etc. Sounds like a lot, and maybe it is, but these things don't take up much space and remember--in the event of Zombie Attacks being prepared is a good thing!

Now that I have a proper knife I can concentrate on getting an entrenching tool and maybe, just maybe, a SHTF (Shit-Hits-The-Fan) gun (FAQ here).

Saturday, July 14, 2007


Being the quintessential Closet Goth1, it should come as no surprise to anyone that I have a thing for skulls; in fact, I even have a skull collection2, 3 of sorts.

Unfortunately, I won't be purchasing this anytime soon (spotted on Boing Boing).

It's a life-size platinum skull encrusted with 8,601 diamonds and valued at, oh, say, $100 million (video).

And during its exhibition in London someone decided to pull a little prank:

{A}n artist named Laura created a replica covered with 6,522 Swarovski crystals and dumped it outside the gallery in the middle of the night on top of a pile of trash."

I shouldn't laugh; I really shouldn't, but that's funny!

1. From the LiveJournal Profile:
The only thing more misunderstood than a goth, is a Closet Goth.

Hello, friend. We here at closetgoths are not goth and never were (well, except for that one time). In fact, we are the polar opposites of. We're just into gothy things, more than we're willing to admit. The art, music, the fashion... even bats are sorta cool. But you didn't hear it from us. A "closet goth" is not a budding goth, but the sort of person that keeps this facet of their personality concealed in a little box, with a padlock. In other words, we simply observe and admire. When no one is watching, that is.

So if you are goth, or believe you are goth, or wish you could be a little more goth, this is not the place for you. You defeat the purpose, so come back in 5 years after your phase is over. Flames and idiots will be removed without warning, so please refer to the disclaimer.

2. Photo A, which requires minimal explanation and merely demonstrates what happens when an obsessive personality interfaces with eBay. I only wish the rest of my apartment was as neat and organized.

3. Photo B doesn't require an explanation but is going to receive one anyway. The painting in the background was my first attempt with oils. The glass bottle to the right is a vintage embalming fluid container on semi-permanent loan from my friend Lynn K. (thanks, Lynn; where the hell are you these days? It's been years!). To the right of that is a polyresin urn decorated with (duh!) skulls which I'm thinking would make a good container for my cremains and would be a wonderfully morbid addition to someone's living space (anyone want to totally own me after I'm dead?). The tiny little pewter skull in the lower right is the first one I ever bought and came from a punkish gift shop in Virginia Beach I discovered when I took a break from a family reunion. The round thing with handle on the lower left is a (prepare for the pun!) hand mirror. The four clear skulls in the front do not contain brains; that is a camera flash artifact. Just visible on the table to the right is a genuine fox skull, a genuine cat skull (relax, they're both from Carolina Biological Supply Co.), and the corner of a genuine human calvarium (about which the less said, the better).

Friday, July 13, 2007

"A Film With Something To Offend Everyone"

I'm a long-time fan of, well, let's call it "Quirky Cinema," those oddball films that aren't quite wonky enough to achieve significant cult status, but are still sufficiently weird to activate the "WTF?" response. You need to know this in order to understand why I was all a-twitter Wednesday night when Turner Classic Movies broadcast The Loved One Wednesday night.

Loosely based on the novel by Evelyn Waugh (with a heapin' helpin' of Jessica Mitford's The American Way of Death as lagniappe), The Loved One is classic black comedy and pretty damn outrageous for 1965, its release date. It has its flaws; in fact, it has a lot of them, but still, Rod Steiger as a prissy little embalmer with a serious mother fixation? Liberace as a smarmy, flamingly gay casket salesman? Jonathan Winters in a dual role as the evil and lecherous Blessed Reverend Wilbur Glenworthy and his schlub of a twin brother Harry (not "Henry" as listed in the IMDB entry)? Robert Morley being Robert Morley? Paul Williams (yes, the songwriter!) looking all of 13 (he was 24 at the time) as a rocket-obsessed ubergeek? Cameos by Milton Berle, James Coburn, Tab Hunter, Dana Andrews, and Roddy McDowell? Suicide by formaldehyde? Orgies in the Slumber Room? A naked statue (okay, there's a strategically-placed fig leaf) of Jonathan Winters ("Beauty in many forms!")?

Oh, and Anjanette Comer as the lovely, lovely Aimee Thanatogenos, a veritable Emo Kid/Goth Boy's wet dream.

What's not to like?

I won't regale you with a plot synopsis; it's convoluted, outrageous, strange, sometimes irritating, and has been done better elsewhere (with photos, no less!), but in a movie like this one doesn't look for nuggets of gold, one learns to be satisfied with flecks of color...and there are many flecks of color. Example: when the Rev. Glenworthy realizes he can make far more money turning Whispering Glades (a thinly-veiled Forest Lawn) into a retirement community, he's faced with the seemingly insurmountable problem of what to do with those buried there. Only Jonathan Winters could get away with the line "There's got to be some way to get those stiffs off my property!"

Okay, the downsides. The editing is, at best, inconsistent, sometimes sloppy, sometimes confusing, and once, jarringly avant-garde (for the 'Sixties). It's in black & white, which for some people is unacceptable (such people are in severe need of a good bitch-slapping), and by today's standards its pacing seems agonizingly slow. And I've yet to figure out why so many of the American characters o-v-e-r-e-n-u-n-c-i-a-t-e. These are not necessarily drawbacks.

I read a review of this film in Time magazine when it was first released (I would have been about ten, which might give you some insight into my childhood) and wanted to see it so badly I'm sure my mother was ready to sell me to the gypsies; however, as you might have expected, my parents considered it "too adult." It was never shown at our local theater, anyway, so I settled for the book until sometime in the late 'Eighties when my friend Sam loaned me a copy he'd taped from The Movie Channel's Joe Bob's Drive-In Theater.

That's another story, by the way.

I loved The Loved One, warts and all. I still do, and though I hesitate to tell people to run out and see it RIGHT DAMN NOW, I will say it's worth a look if you have that same peculiar bent of mind I've been blessed with.

--Insiders' joke: Robert Easton has a small role as a hopelessly hick-sounding actor named "Dusty Acres" who's been cast to play a "James Bond with heart;" John Gielgud is supposed to teach him to speak with a convincing British accent, but Dusty's just not up to the task. The joke is that Easton was known as the "Henry Higgins of Hollywood, " a master of dialects, and frequently coached other actors.

--Obscure joke (really obscure): The line is "And this is Colonel Bott, one of our flyboys." Ever heard of the Bot Fly?

--Random observation: Look for Jamie Farr (Corporal Klinger in M*A*S*H) in a non-speaking part. He makes a brief appearance as a waiter who, among other things, switches a portrait of Lyndon B. Johnson for Queen Elizabeth at an amusingly appropriate moment.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Mad Science I -- Diet Coke and Mentos

So by now we all know that if you add Mentos to a two-liter bottle of Diet Coke you get a soda geyser, something like this (details here). Videos of this phenomenon abound on the 'Net and even David Letterman has gotten into the act, but these guys (seen at the end of the Letterman video:"Entertainment for the Curious Mind") turn an otherwise interesting effect into an art form. Check out The Diet Coke and Mentos Experiments and The Diet Coke and Mentos Experiments II and prepare for inspiration.

Uh, not that I would ever incite anyone into performance art for my own amusement or anything, but, for informational purposes only (heh heh!), one might investigate Steve Spengler Science's Geyser Tube and ponder its possibilities (as they do at

By the way, I notice from the videos that Diet Coke seems to outperform Diet Pepsi in terms of geyser height and, as a side note, Jamie Hyneman of MythBusters says "Mentos, which is all well and good, and it works quite well, is actually not the best performer in creating this eruption. Plain old table salt is better." This needs to be tested and performed as a Do Something Different Day activity.

Incidentally, soda geyser experiments are way safer than making a glowing pickle ( and this link for more) and certainly less hazardous to your household appliances than generating microwave grape plasma.

Happy Birthday, Robert Heinlein!

Today is Robert Anson Heinlein's 100th birthday. 'Course, he's deader than yesterday's sushi, but still, he along with Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke comprise(d) the Three Essential (and seminal) Big-Time Writers of Hard-Core Science Fiction. What's makes Heinlein unique, though, is that twenty years after his death he still generates controversy.

The first Heinlein book I read was Glory Road (detailed summaries here and here; quickie critiques here and here), which probably wasn't the best place to start, being a near-parody of heroic fantasy whose subtleties I wasn't capable of appreciating at the tender age of thirteen ( I was into horror fiction and Fortean phenomena at the time) . I didn't bother with him again until my freshman year of college when a dormmate talked me into reading Stranger in A Strange Land.

Sweet Lamprey of Santa Fe! Now here was a novel! Martians! Sex! Anarchy! Mistrust of authority! Defiance of authority! In fact, Stranger was as far from the more prevalent Space Opera I thought comprised all of science fiction as one could get and still be shelved in the SF section of the local bookstore.

Plus, I wanted to be a Heinlein Hero--intelligent, wise, super-competent, libertarian as hell, ready to spit in the face of the ignorant masses who might oppose me, surrounded by attractive, naked, or near-naked women . . .

And so, I was hooked and immediately immersed myself in The Moon is A Harsh Mistress, Revolt in 2100, Methuselah's Children, and, especially, Time Enough For Love. Most especially. Believe it or not, I studied "The Notebooks of Lazarus Long" as carefully as some study the Bible.

I wanted Woodrow Wilson Smith/Lazarus Long to be my wise and loving grandfather, showering me with loving guidance.

A few quotes may explain why:

--A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

--A society that gets rid of all its troublemakers goes downhill.

--Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done, and why. Then do it.

--Being intelligent is not a felony. But most societies evaluate it as at least a misdemeanor.

--Certainly the game is rigged. Don't let that stop you; if you don't bet, you can't win.

--Cheops' Law: Nothing ever gets built on schedule or within budget.

--Delusions are often functional. A mother's opinions about her children's beauty, intelligence, goodness, et cetera ad nauseam, keep her from drowning them at birth.

--Do not handicap your children by making their lives easy.

--Everything in excess! To enjoy the flavor of life, take big bites. Moderation is for monks.

--Human beings hardly ever learn from the experience of others. They learn; when they do, which isn't often, on their own, the hard way.

--If it can't be expressed in figures, it is not science; it is opinion. It has long been known that one horse can run faster than another--but which one? Differences are crucial.

--It's amazing how much "mature wisdom" resembles being too tired.

--Never appeal to a man's "better nature." He may not have one. Invoking his self-interest gives you more leverage.

--Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.

--One man's "magic" is another man's engineering. "Supernatural" is a null word.

--Place your clothes and weapons where you can find them in the dark.

--The truth of a proposition has nothing to do with its credibility. And vice versa.

--What are the facts? Again and again and again--what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what "the stars foretell," avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable "verdict of history"--what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!

--You live and learn. Or you don't live long.

--Your enemy is never a villain in his own eyes. Keep this in mind; it may offer a way to make him your friend. If not, you can kill him without hate--and quickly.

--The Notebooks of Lazarus Long

Happy 100th, Robert Heinlein! I am but an egg, but someday I hope to grok in fullness.

And maybe have a house like yours.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Do Something Different Day #1

Since Wednesday was the Fourth of July (duh!) I figured it was a perfect time to put my Do Something Different Day resolution into practice, so I went to see the fireworks at Dogwood Dell here in Richmond.

Not that I've never seen fireworks before, but this was the first time I've ever seen them in Richmond, which is kind of sad--I've lived here sixteen years.

Anyway, after grabbing the DVD of Season Five of The X-Files from Barnes & Noble (not a traditional Independence Day activity, but with all the conspiracy stories contained within somewhat appropriate), I picked up Alex P. and we headed off to Akida for a sushi orgy. No dice. Closed. Second choice--Mary Angela's for Italian. Closed. Carytown Sushi? Closed. We finally settled on The New York Deli mainly because it was open and not because it in any way, shape, or form resembles a New York deli (decent food, but indecent prices for the size of the servings).

Then it was off to the Dogwood Dell/Byrd Park complex to find a place to park, which was surprisingly easy, and a place to sit with minimal flying Frisbee fallout, sugared-up children, and puppy poop, which was not. At that point my bladder made it clear that drinking four large glasses of iced tea without benefit of a restroom stop had been a bad thing, so I found myself in a long, long, loooooong line at the single convenient Porta-Potty, which turned out to be a good thing because I ran into Andrew L. and Lara, who decided to join us.

Andrew: "We're here for the FREEDOM and FREEDOM has a SOUND!"

G. W.: And, uh, what might that be?

Andrew & Lara in unison: "KA-BOOOOOOM!"

G. W.: (dubiously) "Uh, sure. Why not?"

So here we have Alex P., Andrew L., and Andrew's date Lara posing for my camera phone about an hour before the festivities began. I'd just finishing telling them I was going to send a picture message to a bunch of people so now was the time to show some cleavage (which sorta explains the oddball hand positions).

Quick notes:
--The fireworks didn't start until 9:30 or so, but they were worth the wait. Andrew kept yelling "Where's the FREEDOM?" and "I'm ready for some FREEDOM . . . NOW!" We got lots.

--For some reason there were these people wandering amidst the crowd tossing out free packs of Mentos. G. W.: "If I had two liters of Diet Coke I could make some foamy FREEDOM!" Andrew: (affected voice) "I'm making foamy freedom in my pants--right NOW!"

--Glowsticks were everywhere, especially in their necklace permutation. We were amused by this one kid who seemed to be scooping up every necklace he could get his hands on and linking them into an immensely long chain for jumping rope, tying up his sister, wrapping around his chest, wrapping around unsuspecting but surprisingly tolerant dogs, etc. There was also a group of latter-day hippies similarly adorned off to our left. Alex: "They'd better not start a drum circle or I'm going to have to hurt them."

--With each pyrotechnic volley this kid standing next to us kept saying "That ain't enough. (BOOM!) Nope, that ain't enough. (BOOOOOOOM!!!) Still not enough." G. W.: "What's he want, something in the megaton range?"

--Note to self: if I ever do this again I'm going to park in Carytown and walk to Dogwood Dell. The traffic jam afterwards was monumental. On the other hand, once we finally got out of the park we were in a perfect position at the perfect time to see the Grand Finale fireworks over at the Diamond.

I had fun.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Do Something Different Day

Way back in 2004 LiveJournalist baronmind created Do Something Different Day, a designated time (he chose Thursdays) when he attempted to do something completely outside his normal range of activities.

"If your life is becoming static and boring, if you find yourself doing the same things day in and day out, then Do Something Different Day is for you."

A couple of months later he even created a LiveJournal community so people could post about their DSDD experiences, dsdday, while archiving his own efforts here.

(I was particularly enamored of the time he built a pillow fort since it reminded me of the countless hours I spent in my parent's basement arranging and rearranging their (then-trendy) wicker chairs and old army blankets into elaborate hideouts)

Unfortunately, the idea never really caught on the way I thought it should have--the last entry in dsdday was back in January of 2006 and that was mine for when I played hooky from work to build a potato cannon (as yet unfired)--still, I liked the idea then and, since my life has become unexpectedly "boring and static" recently, I like it even more now.

All of which leads me to making a formal declaration for the resurrection of Do Something Different Day.

Hijinks shall ensue. Really.