Monday, December 31, 2007

Why I Like Animals More Than Most People

I shouldn't link to these on New Year's Eve; I really shouldn't, but I spent way too much time watching Animal Cops last night.

Our pets love us even when others don't or we don't deserve it.

Loyalty In the Streets--Standing By Your Best Friend Through Life and Death.

Got a pet? Give him or her extra hugs, love, and attention this New Year.

More Baconpunk


I'm having one of those "I just noticed something and now I see it everywhere"* kind of days and, of course, instead of it being something useful and uplifting and enlightening, something guaranteed to end hunger, destroy poverty, bring about world peace, reduce global warming, solve the energy crisis, and build strong bodies twelve ways, it's something entirely trivial.

Yep. Once again I'm posting about bacon.

Well, it's not my fault. A few days ago effin' reddit ran a discussion about interlinking bacon slices (aka "bacon porn" for the obligate carnivores among us) and that led me to all sorts of things I didn't know--like Bacon Salt, "a zero calorie, vegetarian (???!!!), kosher certified (wtf?) seasoning salt that makes everything taste like real bacon"** (with a separate, highly amusing discussion here and the first, only, and, we pray, last appearance on the Intarwebs of the phrase "hippie smegma").

Then, while I'm meditating upon the, uh, appropriateness of making everything taste like bacon, I ran across this: The Ultimate Bacon Sandwich, with loads of NSFV*** pics and links to such culinary monstrosities as Bacon Cereal and the Bacon Cheese Baconburger.

People, I never thought I'd say this, but maybe, just maybe, there's such a thing as too much bacon.


Then again, maybe not.

* There simply has to be some fancy-ass, high-falutin' piece of psychological jargon for this phenomenon but I'll be damned if I know what it is... or even where to start looking.

** Dudes! Hyphens! Make them your friends!

*** Not Safe For Vegans

Friday, December 28, 2007


For those who don't know (and not that you'd care; I mention this partly as further proof that deep within me I harbor the soul of a 16-yr. old girl), I have a MySpace profile.*

Yeah, yeah, yeah, go ahead and laugh, but let me tell you something right now: according to the private MySpace messages I've been receiving I am soon to be surrounded by an endless bevy of hot, young, geographically-accessible beauties who can't spell "gullible" but have read The Joy of Sex front to back, found the mistakes, and added commentary, possibly with illustrations and NSFW video.

What, you think I'm lying? Well, I'll have you know I've received well over a dozen messages like these...

hiiiii wassup... yup this is totally random but.. next week im moving right near u and I wont know anybody who lives there... so im thinking we can be buddies hahah or friends or whatever.. maybe u could help show me around or introduce me to some new people... My M S N and A I M are right on my addy also so hit me up... xxooxx chat ya soon hunny

whats crackin babe.... we dont know each other or anything but.. next week im moving right near u and I wont knwo a single person.. so im just trying to make some new friends who can show me around once I move... If you dont have a girlfriend I mean heheh.. Ill wait for u to contact me.. my info is right on my ms page... hope to hear form ya soon xoxo

...which couldn't be more timely. See, I've been getting some very exclusive e-mails recently informing me that I'm one of the select few allowed access to products guaranteed to enlarge my penis and increase female pleasure. Limited time, low, low, price, very hush-hush and all that.

So while you losers are out partying away your empty, meaningless lives this New Year's Eve I'll be stocking up on crack and condoms in anticipation of the non-stop orgy sure to come!

* Not that I do anything with it. It's more for keeping track of people who don't keep in contact any other way.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

All the geekier blogs are pointing out that December 25 is Newtonmass, the day when people with a particular mindset celebrate Sir Isaac Newton's birthday (according to the Old Style, aka Julian, calendar).

I'm ashamed to admit I didn't know this but I love the idea that people might decorate their homes with apples, prisms, calculus textbooks, and stone tablets inscribed with the Three Laws of Motion.

Which got me to thinking, "What other notable persons were born on Christmas Day?"

Bunches, as it turns out, including a number of my own short duration personal saviours: Humphrey Bogart (1899), Cab Calloway (1907, because of this), character actor Dick Miller (1928), Jimi Hendrix Experience bassist Noel Redding (1945), Sissy Spacek (1949, and don't laugh; as a persecuted geeky high school student in Carrie she singlehandedly destroyed an entire gym-full of snooty prom-goers, something to which I deeply relate) . . .

And the big one for me--

Rod Serling (1924). Mr. Twilight Zone himself and further proof that every day, even Christmas, is Halloween.

Next year--Serlingmas!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Brain Dump

So in case you hadn't noticed, the Holidailies thing didn't work out for me. It's not for lack of trying; Crom knows I've written hundreds of fantastic posts this month... in my head... but there seems to be a little difficulty in transferring them from cerebral cortex to keyboard and for the life of me I don't know why. Screw it; I'm posting Links of Interest instead.

Consumers Iss Der Craziest Peoples!*
I reported on the amusing Customer Reviews for Uranium Ore; what I didn't realize was this was not an isolated incident. Boing Boing directs us to the reviews for Bic ballpoint pens, including this Lovecraftian entry:

But, when that quality carbide ball touched the surface of the paper, it was not ink that came out. From a distance I heard the screams of men and the cackling of innumerable ravens. I stopped, cold and sweating profusely. I looked down at the Bic Crystal black medium ballpoint pen which I held in my hand, only to see darkness. I dashed it against the wall, recoiling in horror. I saw in the corner of my eye my faithful notebook, which now lay on the ground. Once unmarred, I saw now the small mark which I had made with the devil's own pen. It spread across the page like a plague, and looking at it I gazed upon true horrors. For, what I thought had been ink was in fact a portal to a dark, unforgiving dimension. A portal whose maw was now widening to engulf all hope and joy in the world.

'God, what have I done?' I exclaimed as I weeped and fell to my knees, 'What have I done?'

From beyond the Dark Gate I heard these words, words which I can never forget. A terrible, booming voice said to me, 'Ia! Ia! Cthulhu Fthagn!'

I ran, blindly stumbling, away from that place and never looked back. My only hope is that none shall follow in the path I've walked down, too blinded by hubris to realize my follies.

Lovecraftian Goodness
And speaking of the minions of Cthulhu (or these about to become so... oh, hell; now I've gone and spoiled everything!), there's a new blog in town, The Arkhamist, "Blogging Life in Arkham, Massachusetts." Recent starry-eyed college grad decides to move from Boston to small town, starts job at local paper, documents new life. Things are gonna start happening real soon now. Fun to read, but start with the first post for full effect. Are fictional blogs the new epistolary novel?

Gifty Madness
Also seen on Boing Boing, this lovely skull-shaped motorcycle helmet. Probably not DOT-approved, probably not legal in helmet law states, probably not safe at all, but undoubtedly cool and worthy of a place in my skull collection should I ever have a spare $150 or so.

Baconpunkery Continues
I've been spending way too much time hanging out on Warren Ellis's fairly frantic Whitechapel discussion board, which is fast and dense and fun and chock full of interesting people and interesting ideas and bizarre-ass topics and y'all should just hie your butts on over there and check it out and not make any comments about my obviously caffeine-induced run-on sentencery.

There's one section entitled Whitechapel Gourmandise Coffeehouse, Chophouse and Noshery, a sort of recipe exchange for the moderately eccentric wherein I saw a link to Experiments In Deliciousness: Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies With Maple Cinnamon Glaze. This may well be the point at which Baconpunk** crosses over into genuine psychosis; however, I'm not willing to dismiss anything involving bacon without deep experimentation first.

In Keeping With the Season...
And remember: I'm no fan of Christmas music, but this is GREAT!

*A reference wasted on those of you unfamiliar with the Fox Movietone newsreels of the 'Thirties and 'Forties, standard time filler for television stations of the early 'Sixties.

**I've been informed recently that Warren merely adopted the term "baconpunk;" the word's true origin and meaning can be found here in Baconpunk: All Hail Our Fried, Greasy Master.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


Aw, man! I missed the first Bread & Milk Party of the season at Ukrops today!

For those who don't know, this is a game that I believe is mandated by local ordinance: at the first sight of snow flurries all residents must report to their local grocery store (Ukrops being traditional and the cult fave in these parts) and compete against one another so as to empty the shelves of bread, milk, tomato soup, and crackers before the IMPENDING HORRIBLE SNOW APOCALYPSE!!! generates DOOM!, STARVATION!, CANNIBALISM!, YETI ATTACKS!, and a shortage of Wheat Thins and Easy Cheese. Participants must wear a panicked expression at all times and speak only of current weather conditions, else points will be deducted.

It's a hoot and I missed it.

Remember, I live in Virginia where the average annual snowfall is something like, what? Two inches? Three? Yet the crowds act as if they were laying in supplies for an entire Antarctic winter every single time it snows!

I'll refrain from ranting about Richmond drivers and snow showers.

Anyway, the precipitation stopped in the early afternoon and if there'd been any accumulation whatsoever it was gone by the time I left work at 4:30 p. m.

In other news, Boing Boing reports a Christmas Tree decorated with 99 handmade felt octopi. I don't do any Christmas decorating myself, though I enjoy what other people do, but I dunno... this is something I could get behind. Then again, there's this kitty living here who assumes all things soft are meant for ripping.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Gift Suggestions For the Hard-To-Please...

...Which doesn't include me since I'm easy and I'm cheap. Besides, I've already posted my Christmas List; what follows are suggestions you may find useful in dealing with those difficult-to-buy-for people I just know are lurking on your list.

--Knightmare Chess and Knightmare Chess, Set 2
Tired of being beaten by that coffee shop chess hustler? You need Knightmare Chess from Steve Jackson Games, a gaming system (basically, a set of cards) which modifies the rules of chess in unexpected and unpredictable ways while you play. As far as I'm concerned, this makes the game a hell of a lot more interesting and far less humiliating when faced with a player of superior talent. You can even purchase blank cards and make your own rules, which, I'm certain, can lend itself to a certain amount of... uh... abuse.

--Dancing Robots
Cute! Kinetic! Perfect for home or work! Two for $4.95! Who could resist?

--Periscopes? Periscopes? Periscopes!
Gotta have a periscope if ya wanna be prepared! Surely you know someone who would delight in spying on the neighbors, the kids, co-workers, or whomever. Perfect for your eccentric friend with the survival bunker in his backyard.

--UFO Detector and UFO-2 Detector
If you'd rather not hear about alien abductions, missing time, and anal probing during the New Year, then you need to take steps to protect your family and friends. These devices supposedly sense electromagnetic disturbances in the Force (or something), then give off warning beeps and flashes which, I guess, allows you enough time to don your tin-foil hat and lead chastity belt. Batteries not included.

--Interactive LED Dining Table
Got Futurist Hipsters or demented tabletop gamers on your list? Get 'em these! Minimalist tables with frosted glass tops covering a buttload of colored LEDs that respond gently to motion.

It's a small, easily concealable universal television remote that allows you to turn a TV on or off. Doesn't do a damn thing more. "Why on earth would anyone want such a thing?" I can hear you asking. Well, how many times have you been in an airport, bar, restaurant, laundromat, or wherever and been forced to listen to a television that was just... there... as nothing more than a source of annoying background noise. Manage your environment! You can even hack one into an Ultra TV-B-Gone.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Weekend Roundup

So it was Saturday morning and I was in the living room, wrapped in a nice, warm, faux-fur blanket, peacefully watching Village of the Damned, one of my favorite SF movies of all time, while preventing Sid-the-Cat from engaging in his usual furniture-endangering pre-noon Hyper-Spaz Kitty Routine through the simple expedient of scratching his ears, when the banging and hammering began.

"Oh, sweet Crom," I thought to myself. "It's officially Christmas."

Because, you see, every December for the past few years the cute little twenty-something couple who live above me have hung an increasingly complex array of lights from their balcony, a task involving an amazing amount of heated discussion, small-scale carpentry, and minor electrical mishaps. While it sounds to me like a Three Stooges routine minus the "Nyuck nyuck nyucks," they seem to accomplish it with minimal bloodshed or irreparable relationship damage and the results are always quite lovely.

Maybe I should hang my own lights. Are purple mini-bulbs Christmas-y or merely emo?

Anyway, while Chaos and cacophony held sway over all I spent my time surfin' the 'Net to see what was interesting and found a couple of items:

You may recall my Baconpunk* entry. You may also be aware of the recent flowchart meme permeating the Intarwebs, a sort of LOLcats for the geek/GTD crowd. As further evidence of the basic interconnectedness of all things I present to you the Bacon Flowchart!

Not sure what to get that Mad Scientist on your Christmas List? Well, you can't go wrong with a little U-238**! Be sure to read the comments and the Customer Reviews; they're hysterical!

Excellent Timewasters!
Whitechapel, Warren Ellis's new discussion forum for all things weird and wonderful.
Holidailies, wherein people solemnly vow to update their Web sites daily from Dec. 1 to Jan. 1.

*A term I would love to take credit for but was actually coined by Warren Ellis.

**The link for this product has, mysteriously, gone dead, not that I'm inferring a conspiracy or anything. And what's up with this UFO Detector?
Never mind. It's back.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Welcome To December...

...wherein I'm going to try something a little different.

About a gazillion years ago (as Internet time is reckoned), back before online journals were plug 'n' play and had to be hammered into being with blood, sweat, tears, and raw code, back when updating said journals was a distinctly user-hostile experience and readers had to suffer through non-standard HTML (anybody remember blink*?), colored cursor star trails, red text on green backgrounds, and numerous other graphic abominations, back when there just weren't that many journals to begin with and that rat-ass word "blog" was nonexistent, someone came up with a pretty nifty collaborative writing project wherein participants solemnly vowed to update their online presences daily for the month of December-- Holidailies.

Guess who's going to give this a try.

I promise nothing since I'm easily distracted by books, CDs, DVDs, reruns of House, shiny glowing things, Internet porn, Super-Secret Support Group drama, the antics of the Neurologically Typical (aka "hairless apes"), and, well, all sorts of things, but I'm giving it a shot anyway because... uh... I dunno... it'll give me an excuse to rant about my obsessions d'jour in public.

So anyway, December. Holidays. Christmas. My friend Sarah claims she knows it's officially Christmas when I post the links to my favorite seasonal readings and I wouldn't want to disappoint her!

First, "A Christmas Memory" by Truman Capote (and here in one long, continuous scroll), which is perfectly lovely and one of the few traditionally-themed Christmas stories I can abide.

A woman with shorn white hair is standing at the kitchen window. She is wearing tennis shoes and a shapeless gray sweater over a summery calico dress. She is small and sprightly, like a bantam hen; but, due to a long youthful illness, her shoulders are pitifully hunched. Her face is remarkable—not unlike Lincoln's, craggy like that, and tinted by sun and wind; but it is delicate too, finely boned, and her eyes are sherry-colored and timid. "Oh my," she exclaims, her breath smoking the windowpane, "it's fruitcake weather!"

Second, "The Junky's Christmas" (not the godawful red-on-green version linked above) by William S. Burroughs, which also has a traditional theme but is a little... different.

IT WAS Christmas Day and Danny the Car Wiper hit the street junksick and broke after seventy-two hours in the precinct jail. It was a clear bright day, but there was warmth in the sun. Danny shivered with an inner cold. He turned up the collar of his worn, greasy black overcoat.

Third, the little-known "Nackles" by hard-boiled crime fiction writer Donald E. Westlake, which I love because it's just plain wicked. Read this to the kiddies and they'll cower in fear every time they see a decorated pine tree.

Who is Nackles? Nackles is to Santa Claus what Satan is to God, what Ahriman is to Ahura Mazda, what the North Wind is to the South Wind. Nackles is the new Evil.

And finally, A Very Special Christmas Card from our friends at I-Mockery (warning: blasphemy alert).

Okay, that's enough for now; I'm off to see what's happening on Whitechapel, Warren Ellis's new discussion site.

*which, interestingly, for all its other wrong-headedness, is not supported by Internet Explorer, so you may be missing the full obnoxiousness of the experience.