Friday, July 29, 2005

Zombie Ribbon is at the shop.

I did a few changes to the original I posted yesterday. I hope you agree it looks even better now. If not let me know and I'll set up the original for sale as well. Here's what it looks like now:

You can find it in the Zombie Gear section as well as in Parody Designs.

Also, I forgot yesterday that today is our company picnic, so I won't have time to get the 4th part of the interview written. I might get it done Sunday night though. Hahahahahahahaaaaaa... that never gets old. I hope everyone has a great weekend and that I don't get injured playing the "games" at the picnic.


Bye all.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Show Your Zombie Pride.

I'll be adding this:

to my CafePress store at some point soon.

Just so you know and all that.

This is also the last ribbon that I plan on making. Unless I get an absolutely fantastic idea. Which isn't likely.

Another Thought and a Short Story

Heather and I were talking about the birth of clowns from making fun last night and she asked, "What if one of you thinks fun has been made but the other doesn't?" It was decided that in that case a mime is born.
And a short story. You love short stories! I know you do. This is a story about a former coworker of mine and Derek's. I mentioned her before when I was talking about my dislike of Western Sizzlin'. She used to work there and married one of the busboys. I'm reasonably certain Derek never told this story. If he did, oops. It's worth retelling.

I don't want to use her real name because it would just be mean. I'll call her Sunny. Yes. That'll do.

Sunny is a wee bit scattered in the head at times. She has a touch of flighty-brain. She attended one of the more privileged high schools here in the Springs. One of those schools where at least half the kids drive cars that cost more than I make in a year. At times it was quite obvious that her senses and values were a bit skewed and she had a habit of saying whatever popped into her mind. A great source of amusement and annoyance.

Man. After all that build up and character development, this is going to be quite short. It took place after Sunny and her husband bought their house. Her husband, "Jerry", had been working on their yard the weekend before and at one point Sunny said out of the blue, "Jerry is a mighty sodomite!"


Derek just started laughing. I said something like, "Oh?" She looked a little puzzled at the reaction she was getting. You could tell she knew she'd said something wrong but didn't know what.

"Yes. He was laying sod all weekend. He's almost done. So he's a mighty sodomite. WHAT'S SO FUNNY?"

This wasn't the first time she used the wrong word for something. Other times we would tell her the right meaning of the word she used. Not this time. None of us could bring ourselves to tell her that she just said her husband was an accomplished bugger master.

We made her look it up in the dictionary. Which Derek just reminded me led to her having to look up other words, like "coitus". When she read the definition of "sodomite" she yelled out, "Oh no! That's not what I meant! I just meant he was good at laying sod! Stop laughing Derek! Don't tell anyone about this, especially not Jerry!"

Out of all the things she did while working with us, that is the one that I remember most. That and when we talked her into giving her leftover lunch taco to a guy who may or may not have been homeless. That's not as mean spirited as it sounds though. She ordered tacos at Chipotle and was only able to eat two of the three. She was stressing about wasting food and on the way out the door we saw a guy who appeared to be a bit down on his luck and one of us suggested she give it to him rather than throw it out since he looked hungry. And after a bit of deliberation, "What if he takes it the wrong way and gets mad?", "Who would get mad? Free taco!", she walked up to him and he accepted and said thank you. Of course she was annoyed with us since while she was doing this we crossed the street without her. But hey! The light had changed and he didn't really look dangerous!

So there you go. Two stories and the cause of mimes. TJR part 4 may or may not be up tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Scattered Thoughts

Much like every time a bell rings an angel gets it's wings, every time you make fun of your significant other a clown is born.
The other day I found myself wondering if the Mexican hairless dog were instead manufactured in Japan, would it be called a Konichiwawa?
If I had a hammer I'd probably hit my thumb. At least twice. All over this land.
I did or said something quite funny that wasn't at all embarrassing to me the other day. That's actually quite rare. I wish you had been there. Then you could remind me of what it was. Oh well.
I thought that we were finally done with Kokino (my daughter's imaginary friend), but the other day my daughter was telling Heather about how she was playing capture the flag with Kokino in Halo 2. Apparently Kokino isn't very good. It's hard to play Halo 2 when you are imaginary. Even if the kid imagines you with all kinds of fingers you still can't hit those buttons fast enough. Kokino was pwn3d.
Last night while driving to Heather's work to have dinner with her I noticed that the temperature was 54 degrees. That is the same temperature it is inside Cave of the Winds. I think it followed us out. Can we keep it?
Sometimes I catch myself saying some of the stupidest things yet I can't stop. It's like I'm outside my body watching the verbal trainwreck. Take Friday night for instance. I went with Heather and her family to her cousin's wedding. At the end of the reception as we were getting ready to leave I told him, "Have fun on your honeymoon!" ... Well, duh. I may as well have added, "Gosh it's dark at night!" and then tottered off like a looney.
I like this. I found it here.
That'll do for now. You all have a good night.

Hey! You there! Go read this:

Hillary vs. the Xbox: Game over. I found it at boingboing and wanted to share it with more than the one or two people who peruse the randomness that is my Junk Drawer.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

My Lunch With TJR - part 3

Part 1
Part 2

TJR: Oh! Don't worry! I'm not going to "ply my trade" on you today. I really do want this interview.

M: Well, that's a relief. But why?

TJR: Well, when I turned in my application to start my own Reaping business with the IRS...

M: Wait. The IRS?

TJR: Yes. I'm sure you've heard that the only two certainties in life are Death and Taxes. Well, it was decided at some point that they might as well share building space and staff. Makes it easier to coordinate. So, in every major IRS building, usually the basement, there is a Death Management office. Even in the smaller buildings you can usually request a franchise application, although they require that you go to a major office for testing.

M: Testing?

TJR: Of course. They have to be sure that you have the right frame of mind for the business. That you can be depended on and aren't overly squeamish. They say there's nothing more awkward than a person failing to be shuffled off because their Reaper got a case of the dry heaves.

M: What if that happens?

TJR: Usually something unpleasant, so I've heard. If it isn't taken care of quickly it will result in ghouls.

M: Ghouls? Like vampires or zombies?

TJR: Not exactly, although they can be mistaken for such. But they are in fact just ghouls. Souls trapped in decaying bodies. When that happens to a person they tend to go a bit funny in the head. Some of them act as though they are vampires, seeking out victims in an attempt to quench a thirst they don't really have. Others get depressed and just wander around and slowly fall apart. Those are often mistaken for zombies, but really they just want to be left alone.

The real problem when someone has crossed over to ghoul status is they fall off the radar, so to speak. Reapers have no way of locating them. Not even through the IRS. So then a reclamation unit gets dispatched to the spot where the death should have occurred and they set about tracking down and containing the ghoul, hopefully before it kills anyone.

M: That's nice of them.

TJR: It's not done to be nice really, it's done to prevent extra paperwork.

M: How so?

TJR: Well, as it was explained to me, since the ghouls have fallen off the radar nothing is able to keep tabs on them and their actions weren't anticipated. Therefor, if a ghoul kills someone it's unexpected and since it was before the victim's predetermined time there isn't a Reaper ready to take the soul. And if the soul isn't properly reaped, then the victim becomes a ghoul.

A lot of undead mythology is based off of this actually.

Many ghouls aren't discovered until they fail to show up for their scheduled time of death and their Reaper reports them as a "no show". Then a detective is sent to find out when and where the missing-deceased was last seen alive and then cross reference that location with known ghoul activity. It's all ghastly complicated, although I've heard that someone is working on a computer program to make it a bit easier. I'm just glad it's not my problem as long as I do my job properly.

M: You mentioned other Reapers. I thought there was just you and The Grim Reaper. There are more?

TJR: Oh certainly. The world is a big place. The Grim Reaper was a solo operator for a very long time, but he was having a bit of trouble keeping up with the population growth around the Middle Ages. There were quite a few ghoul outbreaks due to him falling behind. So, The Powers That Be decided that it was time to expand the work force. Word was circulated and people were recruited into the Reaper Army. Many of them in fact came from the large population of ghouls.

Back then the requirements were a lot more strict. Much like any army you had to form a unified image. Everyone had to dress in robes, carry a scythe and have their flesh and organs stripped from their bones.

Fortunately in the mid 50s The Powers noticed what was happening in the field of restaurant franchising. They decided to give it a "hundred-year-try" while maintaining the Reaper Army at its current strength, just in case things didn't go so well. And that leads me back to why I need this interview.

M: Oh! That's right! I'm sorry I interrupted earlier.

TJR: No problem. It all works out in the end. The standing Rule of Death is when it's someone's time to pass on, they automatically fall under the scythe UNLESS they are aware of their other options. So, if someone is about to die and they have heard of me, or one of the other franchise operators, then a signal is sent to my GPS locator along with a name, description and exact time and cause of death. Then I can either accept or decline the soul. At that point I usually have to get moving because they don't give as much advance notice as they used to. Not since Fred.

M: Who's Fred?

TJR: I'll tell you about him some other time. Let's just say he had a "Plan" and leave it at that for now.

... to be continued ...


I will try to have something of my own that is worthwhile at some point today, but in the meantime enjoy this.

This made me laugh

Found at Pictures of Walls.

Monday, July 25, 2005

We now return you to our regularly scheduled nonsense.

I will be continuing the Interview with TJR but it won't be until later this week. I have to get back into the flow of things. Whatever that involves. So, instead, I will relate to you a bit of my morning. Yes, that's right. The absolute epitome of "blog". I'm talking about my breakfast.

For the last few weeks leading up to my vacation I had been in the habit of stopping by McDs and buying a McMuffin to stave off the pangs of hunger until lunch rolls around. Last week I didn't go to work, so I didn't go to McDs. Today I dropped right back into my routine, sad as it is. I even had the money ready. $2.09. But today the total came to $2.20. I thought, "That's odd." and when I got up to the window, while fumbling around in my car's change pit and feeling flustered and unprepared, I asked why the price had gone up. I was told that it was raised to match the other McDs in the area. (and since this is a bloggy blog post) I thought "WTF d00d?!" Who the hell do these people think they are? The Saudi Arabia of breakfast foods? It's annoying enough when my gas jumps 11¢, now my McMuffin is going to do it as well? I don't freakin' think so. And what area are we talking about? Downtown Colorado Springs? All of Colorado? "Match the area" my ass. Am I expected to believe that one McDs suddenly decided to jack up the already too high price and all of the others surrounding them followed suit like lemmings? Do they base their prices off of individual restaurants nearby rather than what the corporate office has set? Does this mean that there might be a rogue McDs somewhere in town who has decided to hell with the others and is still selling hamburgers for a nickel? How far do I have to travel to get out of "the area" and would it be worth the gas?

Like I want to think that much on a Monday. Bastards.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

I forgot to mention

I'm on vacation this week. I realize that it's horrible timing what with the multipart story going on. I'm sorry about that. Things should be back to normal next week. Thanks for visiting.

Friday, July 15, 2005

My Lunch With TJR - part 2

Sorry to have left you hanging like that. What can I say? I'm a busy beaver. Those dams won't just build themselves! So, anyway. I'm going over the notes from my interview with The Jolly Reaper. I've decided to present it in standard "Q&A format". At least I assume it's the standard. I also have the sketch I did of him here:

Me: So. How did you come into your... profession?

The Jolly Reaper: I was sitting out on my porch one fine Summer day watching my neighbor, Bill, mow his lawn. He was about halfway finished when The Grim Reaper rode up, hopped off his boney horse and started chasing Bill around his yard. I could hardly believe my eyes! Bill tried to escape with a juke and spin but he was fairly out of shape and The Grim Reaper caught him with a backhanded swing of his scythe and that was that. I thought to myself, "That's no way to run a business."

M: How do you mean?

TJR: Well, Bill wasn't exactly a close friend, but I could tell he was positively terrified when he saw that cloaked monstrosity bearing down on him. I ask you, does that sound like customer satisfaction?

M: Um. No. I suppose not.

TJR: Of course not! Life is hard enough without it being ended by a bony anachronism with an oversized knife. You know? Sure you do. So, after going over to make certain that Bill was dead, I turned off his mower, went back into my house, called the police, then sat down to give it some thought. I figured there were a lot of people that would rather not be visited by The Grim Reaper.

M: Most of them I would imagine.

TJR: Exactly! Talk about a huge potential customer base! And I put it all down to the way The Grim Reaper has chosen to handle things. He's had thousands of years to make the experience of dying more enjoyable but he hasn't bothered. It's almost as though he doesn't care. And I think that people have picked up on that. I decided then and there that it was time for a someone to set up a bit of competition, and I knew that I was just the man to do it. I know what's fun.

M: How do you mean?

TJR: Well, for starters, there's the whole image that The Grim Reaper presents to his customers. He's a dusty skeleton in a black robe riding a skeleton horse and carrying a three foot long curved blade at the end of a six foot staff. Not very soothing. Whereas I'm a normal looking fellow who dresses nice. I'm wearing a friendly smiley face button, I drive a green Metro and I carry a big ice cream scoop. Now tell me, is that scary?

M: Well, not really, but it is very odd. I was ready to bean you with my burrito.

TJR: Ah! But you didn't, did you? If I had been The Grim Reaper you wouldn't have hesitated and I would be picking chicken and rice from my eye sockets right now. Instead, here I sit within two feet of you and you're totally calm. Cool, huh?

... to be continued ...

Thursday, July 14, 2005

My Lunch With TJR - part 1

While having lunch at Qdoba yesterday I ran across a very interesting individual. He was about 5'5" tall, a bit on the heavy side, dressed head to toe in a charcoal gray suit, a top hat that added an extra foot to his height, wore a large yellow smiley face button in his lapel and was carrying an ice cream scoop that was almost as tall as he was. I had just started digging into my baby head sized chicken burrito when he walked in.

He waited in the doorway and scanned the lunch crowd as though looking for a friend. Since I really enjoy spotting odd people I studied him from behind my burrito. He could have passed for just another goth kid; pasty face, stringy hair, sunken eyes, pouty red lips except he was easily in his late 40s/early 50s and he was smiling. It was the kind of smile that said 'I know I don't belong on this person, but I've nowhere else go'. Then he looked at me. His eyes lit up as if he had found who he was looking for. He headed towards me and since I had chosen a booth in the corner there was nowhere for me to go to avoid him. I readied my burrito to toss at his head in case he turned out to be a bit crazier than I was prepared to deal with. It just might be able to stun him long enough for me to slip past.

When he reached my table he said, "Hi! You have a blog, don't you?"

I said, "Well, I prefer to think of it as a place to keep my deepest hopes and dreams safely on the internet where anyone with a computer and AOL can poke and plunder. Why?" I was also wondering to myself what it was about me that made it obvious that I was a blogger. Sorry. "Internet hoper and dreamer." Perhaps it's a kind of "mark of the beast" on my forehead. I made a mental note to check a mirror when I had a chance.

"I've recently started a new business in the area and I was trying to come up with a way to get the word out that wouldn't cost me anything. Capital's a bit tight at the moment so traditional advertising is out. I felt that getting on the news would be problematic, considering the nature of my business, and they wouldn't give me the positive spin that I need. Then I remembered the power of the Internet! Hundreds of thousands of people could hear about my business and it wouldn't cost a dime! All I needed was a sympathetic blogger with a large enough audience. They've been in the news a lot lately, you know?"

"So I've heard." I got out when he paused for breath.

"Do you think you might be interested in interviewing me? You do have a lot of readers, right?" He tilted his head when he finished speaking and looked at me expectantly with sideways crazy eyes.

"Um. Okay. Yeah, sure, why not? And I have oodles of readers. Simply oodles." Sure, it was a lie, but this was the strangest thing to happen to me in ages and I was afraid that if he found out I had perhaps 12 regular readers he would go find someone else who bore the Mark of the Blog and take his weirdness with him. I couldn't have that. And besides, 12 could be oodles, right?

He stood his ice cream scoop carefully against the side of the table, sat down across from me, leaned in and said, "How would you like me to start?" He had a musty smell about him and up close I could tell that his suit and hat were actually black, just very dusty.

"I'm not sure. I've never done an interview before. Let's start with your name and what your business is about."

"My name is The Jolly Reaper and that's also my business. I rend souls from people with an extra bit of flair and fun," he said, with the grin still on his face and the crazy still in his eyes.

"I see..."

... to be continued ...

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Is this real?

Long post today.

A "sample book review documentation form" for a group calling itself Parents Against Bad Books In Schools (PABBIS) was linked to by boing boing. They appear to be based out of Virginia.

From their home page: "Bad is not for us to determine. Bad is what you determine is bad. Bad is what you think is bad for your child." Mmm-kay.

When I read through the "sample documentation form" I thought this must be a joke. Some kind of spoof site making fun of intolerant people with an emphasis on Southerners. But then I checked out the list of books that have been submitted. The amount of effort that has gone into highlighting all of the objectionable material in the first book seems to be carried out through all of the rest of the books on the list. And there are quite a few of them. So I'm reasonably certain they are serious.

Reading through a couple of the books listed was like getting the Cliff Notes of the dirty bits. Really handy if you are in a hurry and don't want to be bogged down by plot, pacing and character development. You know, if you would rather ignore the message of the book and focus on the boobie bits.

But before you can get to the books you will have to pass the WARNING screen. Let's have a look, shall we?

Warning (Okay, it's red. Good start. Upper/lowercase seems an odd choice, but there you go.)

Some of the material in these K-12 school books is extremely controversial and many people consider it objectionable or inappropriate for children. The content you are about to view contains adult material that may not be appropriate for all users. (Redundant within the first two sentences.) Before viewing this page you must read and agree to the following: (Okay. Now how in the Hell is this even possible? I can't view this page until I've read and agreed to what is on this page? C'mon people. THINK!)

1. You are an adult (18 years or older) and have read and understand this warning. (And it is, once again, redundant. That's twice in four sentences. Is that a record? Sure, it's not totally redundant. The previous sentence mentions agreeing and this one prefers understanding and also mentions that you need to be 18 or older. Still you would think there could have been a way to combine them. Some day SCIENCE! will have an answer.)
2. You understand that the material may involve language, content and themes of an adult, objectionable or controversial nature. (Which was already pretty much stated within the first two sentences of the page. Mmmmm... redundant?)
3. IN NO EVENT WILL PABBIS BE LIABLE TO YOU FOR ANY DAMAGES OF ANY KIND resulting from viewing or any other use of this material. (Now this is the first thing they've said that isn't repeated or repeating! I love this sentence. It really engages my noodle. My upper noodle. My brain, that is. Presumably my lower noodle will be engaged once I pass this page. I can't help but consider the wide range of potential damage that may result from viewing their content. Not to mention the other possible uses such content might have beyond being viewed. For example, if I were to print out one of the more salacious book reviews on the list and rub it on my bare chest, will demons spring from my nipples? At least I can be sure that if they do, PABBIS will NOT be held liable.)

If you agree, click here to continue. (And this is the second! Although I'm bit surprised they don't say "If you agree and understand...")

The file is large so BE PATIENT if you don't have a high speed connection (If you have the patience to download a dozen or so nude celebrity pics then you should do just fine.)

I can't link to any of their books to use as an example because I don't want to be accused of circumnavigating their child resistant warning page. So instead I'll toss out a few quotes from various books and you can go get the rest if you are so inclined AND you understand AND agree with the statements on their warning page. We can even turn this into a game. See if you can find what books these came from without doing a search of the page. Here we go:

- “Ask me if I give a shit.. Go fuck yourself, I hear him say.” (It's important to keep the channels of communication open at all times.)

- "Sulis sought me out. 'Perhaps we should work some sex magic together to assure you of a safe journey? ..... Her hair was soft against my lips and the magic came strong and sure." (Teaching alternative religion in schools just shouldn't be allowed!)

- “…you little shit” (you're in it now. I hope they throw away the key. You should've talked to me more often than you did. But no! etc.)

- How to tell your parents you are ready to have sex (Just not with them.)

- “..Donkeydick (woke) the merchant..brandishing before his slumber-dazed eyes a prodigious erection.” (At least he woke him first. That's not the kind of thing you want to wake up to on your own. You might get out of bed and bump into it unaware and that would be awkward. At the minimum it shows good manners.)

- yes, pain (??? no, morphine?)

- “You know I have a girlfriend. I mean we have sex and everything.” (And I DO mean EVERYTHING! Four kids, a mortgage, the car is breaking down..."

- Look at Your Vagina (Just look at it! Tsk tsk.)

- “..all we’ve been doing is sleeping and fornicating..” (You call this a honeymoon?!)

- “..we’re gonna get our dicks handed to us..” (And then we will finally be MEN!)

- “..witch’s tit..” ("What is 'Something really cold' Alex.")

- homosexual monks (always dress so sassy.)

- “.. almost cut me a new, asshole..” (Hahahahaha! Wonderful comma placement.)

- “Jesus Christ!” (Superstar!)

- “I was horny all the time…” (What teenager has ever felt like THAT?)

- “..taught me that once I got into a fight I should ‘grab for the balls right away’.” ("Sic' balls Chopper!")

- “Who in their right mind would offer Jesus drugs in the first place?” (You just KNOW He's a narc!)

- L: “You weren’t gay last Sunday, if I recall.” (You were watching football and everything!)

- “..impaled butt-up on a rusty javelin.” (Ouch.)

- Looking at girls in Playboy, wondering if “he would die before holding a girl’s breast in his hand.” (I remember wondering that when I was 12, only it was while watching "A Cavalcade of Boobies" on Cinemax.)

- Constant use of "Jesus Christ" (is only allowed in The Bible, various religions and to keep gays from marrying and Bush in the White House)

- Looking at new baby: Just as I thought! Big nose, big feet, and big dick!” (Especially for a girl.)

- “Death makes me hungry... I want to go to bed, make love, right now.” (Get me a taco!)

The last thing I'm going to point out about this organization is their "Find a Bad Book?" page. I shall now dissect it purely for the purpose of humor... actually, now that I've read through it I realize if I were to take apart the whole thing it would double the length of this post. I'll just highlight some of it. If you want me to do the whole thing on a later post just ask:

You found your child had a book with vivid descriptions of sex, violence, vulgar language or something else objectionable to you. (And you are sure it isn't one of those you have hidden under your bed.) You have lots of questions. (Which are...) How dare the school allow this junk! (Is it because they are daring and dashing-do?) Why? (Why not?) How did it happen? (Are you pregnant?) Are there other books like this? (If I burn this one will I rid the world of all sin?) Why are they doing this to my child? (Can I read it when you are done?) To you, the parent, it definitely seems like the school is corrupting your child and undermining your values and parental rights. (And if there is any corrupting of your children that needs doing, by God YOU will do it!)

You knew violence and pornography were everywhere these days but you didn't know the schools were in the business. (And business is gooood.) What other stuff will your child read in school? (Evolution!? The Bill of Rights?! The... lunch menu?!) Some minimum standard of decency has been violated. (We don't know what minimum, but we are certain that SOME minimum has, and like us you are totally against violating minimums.) You feel the school system is forcing their values (or lack of values) on you and your child. (And they are hiding it behind "learnin'" and other high falutin' "ideas") What should you do? (Learn?) Somebody, somewhere in the school system must have decided this book was good. (But it wasn't you and that must piss you off.) Well you think it is bad. (Yes. You do. Now that I've told you what you think, stop thinking.) You think it inappropriate, obscene, vulgar, lacking educational value or merit, or containing too graphic violence, etc. (I told you to stop, not "run with it" dammit!) You don't understand how this book could be considered appropriate. (And the last thing that we want you to do is understand. Except on our warning page. Nipple demons: not our fault.)

Are things like this going on in other schools in your county? (Are you paranoid?) Is this a systemic problem in the schools? You want to feel comfortable with your child in the hands of the school system. (I'm not even comfortable with that statement.) We parents entrust our children to the schools. We understand others values may be different than ours and we also understand that our children should and will be exposed to different ideas, but this has gone way over the line. (But we swear we really do understand. It's just that line. You can't do anything about a line. It's like... a line. Ya'know?) Your trust has been betrayed by the schools. (Time to break out the pitchforks and torches. Assemble the mob. I feel a hangin' comin' on!)

You want to be sure nothing like this happens again, either this year or down the road. ("The road is looonnnnngggggg. With many a winding turn...") You hope this incident has been a mistake by individuals and does not reflect your school systems policy. (You are so gullible.) And you don't feel you should have to read every potential book your children could encounter in the schools to screen out this stuff. (That would be taking an active interest in what your child is doing, not to mention you've already done your time at school. Mostly.)

Regulations on Student Responsibilities and Rights nearly always state students have a responsibility not to use obscene materials. (Except when they don't.) We think they also have a right not to be exposed to it. (Except when they do.) Are the schools, county and state violating our rights and values? (Yes they are. With a big stick and no Vaseline.)

Jumping down a bit now...

GOOD NEWS/BAD NEWS (Isn't there always?)


- You are now aware of the problem and forewarned is forearmed (And the more forearmed you are the better. Look at Popeye. He always wins! You wanna be like Popeye, don't you?)

- If you object to a book, the school will usually find an alternative for your child (Like home schooling. And I'm afraid that's it for the good news. It's all downhill from here.)


- There are a lot of bad books in the schools and it is getting worse (We need to cut school funding so they can't afford any new books before it's too late!)

- Your child might have read the bad book, or participated in classroom discussions on it before you found out (And now it's your duty as a parent to beat your child until he loses his short term memory. If that fails you can probably find a pamphlet on do-it-yourself lobotomies.)

- It is hard to know what book they might encounter in school next and if there will be anything in it that you don’t want your child to read or discuss in school (So, to be on the safe side you should consider blinding and deafening your child, either temporarily with a gimp mask or permanently with a ten-penny nail.)

- Some other child will encounter the same book again, in the same or another school, resulting in another surprised parent (It's almost like a game. "Surprise the Parent!" You should write messages in the book that can be passed along to the newly surprised parent like, "I feel your pain", "You are not alone", "Stop crying", "Shed blood, not tears." Or, you can make the decision for them and chuck the book on the fire. God knows YOU are the one to decide for everyone. If it's not for your child then any other right minded person should feel the same way, certainly!)

- Most people are unaware of the problem (And they are blissful in their ignorance. We must stamp out the bliss! Save the children!)

- Some people don’t care if their kids read this stuff (Some people are prepared to discuss things with their children. A gimp mask is easier.)

- People don’t know what to do about it (Except us. We decided to set up a website to make it easier to find these objectionable books. It might have been a mistake, but we'll let History be the judge.)

And that's quite enough of that.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

I know how she feels:

Grandma Is Quite Angry With The Prince of Persia

Tattoosday 2:

Back when I had been talking about designing flash tattoos a couple of people asked if I would design something for them. I'm still working on Justin's but I've pretty much finished with Kif's, unless she has some changes in mind.

Here's the first version I did:

And how it could look on her back*:

But I didn't quite like it. So I tinkered with it a bit. Nothing big. Made the wings cross:

And again, how it could look:

Happy Tattoosday!


* To the best of my knowledge, this isn't Kif's back. It's a random photo I found while conducting an image search. A bit of warning to those of you out there who might, like I, search with the SafeSearch in Google set to off: The term "bareback" seems to be associated with an awful lot of gay porn. And I do mean an AWFUL lot. As well as the rodeo. Neither of which was useful to me. "Bare back" isn't quite so porn or rodeo laden. Just goes to show what a difference a space can make.

Monday, July 11, 2005

This has to be...

... the BEST use of spam that I have seen yet. Ah, zeFrank. You rock back AND forth!


My son...

Okay, I may get attacked for writing about this. My son is almost as tall as me now and he's only 12. But I'm going to press on anyway because it was funny. And I'm pretty sure that I can still take him.

The boy sleeps weird. He'll tie himself into a pretzel, talk in his sleep, get up and wander from his bed to the couch. Now there is a new thing to add to his list of sleeping activities.

The other night he fell asleep on my bed. I tried to wake him up and get him to go to his own bed but his body had just decided that it needed sleep and it needed it NOW! Like in "Sims" when you push them too hard and they drop right there on the floor while the house burns down around them. So I left him as he was, under a blanket. I can't lift him and I wasn't about to try and fight him.

My bed is very low to the ground and he was right along the edge of it. About an hour into his nap he seemed to wake up with a very unfocused look. Then he suddenly reached out onto the carpet by the bed, picked something up, popped it onto his mouth and closed his eyes again while chewing and smiling.

My son was sleep eating!

Off the floor!

I was totally shocked! I said, "Justin! What did you just eat?" but a glazed look remained plastered on his face while he made babble noises. I kept asking until he woke up enough to say, "Nothing." then dropped back to sleep.

I eventually got him up and into his own bed and he slept through the rest of the night. I forgot to find out if he remembered anything about it the next day.

I still have no idea if he ate a lint ball, an unlucky bug or a bit of dream food.

It was so weird.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Rather than...

... than end my Friday post with such a downer post, I offer you this:

After You

Found on a nice trip through Stumble.


Family Moments

I was reading a story at a blog I was checking out a bit ago. It has to do with something nice that his older brother had done for him when he was 7 or 8. It got me thinking about my older half-brother, Scott.

I would have been around 5 or 6 at the time. Possibly 7. My sense of time is... flawed. Scott is at least 6 or 7 years older than me which would have made him around 13. My mom, dad and I were living in an apartment building at the time. I'm not sure what floor. Well above the 4th. Possibly as high as the 12th or so.

Scott was visiting from Corpus Christi where he lived with his mom. My mom and our dad both worked so Scott was keeping an eye on me. I can no longer recall what motivated him to do this. Possibly he was just bored or I had made him angry or something. I'm thinking bored because it seems to me he was laughing at the time. He took it into his head to hold me out the window. As I recall he wanted to hear me say something before he would pull me back in. I can't remember what though. Probably something about how great he was. That kind of thing. So there I was, dangling out the window so high up that if I had slipped it would have all been over. I was terrified out of my mind.

He finally did pull me back inside and told me to calm down. He wasn't going to drop me. I must have cried for hours. To this day I always freak out a bit when I'm near the edge of a drop that is higher than 10 feet or so. Surprisingly I don't have a fear of flying. It's something to do with being on the edge.

I've heard that he has gone through some tough times in his adult life. Was in a motorcycle accident. Has a drug problem. Got kicked out of the military. Etc.

Scott, wherever you are, eat shit. Die. Burn in Hell.

Everybody else, have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 07, 2005


Okay, both posters are finalized and up at the store. Under "Zombie Gear" of course. I'm going to do my absolute best to resist tinkering with either of them any more. I may, however, do some all new Zombie Geriatric stuff down the line. The ideas are a poppin'.

Here are the final posters:

Let me know what you think, as long as you aren't trying to talk me into changing them anymore. Derek.

Also, for those of you who are tired of all this zombie talk I've finally gotten around to making a new CliparToon. Yes, it is a Christmas miracle.

For those of you unfamiliar with David Bowie, "Golden Years" is one of his songs. "What does it have to do with whipping a child?" you may ask. Nothing. The "whop whop whop" just seemed to fit. And really, what elderly person doesn't look forward to laying down some hickory on a brat to the beat of a Bowie tune in their golden years? Darned few, I'm thinking.

whop whop whop

Wednesday, July 06, 2005


This is the best addition to Firefox that I have ever seen. StumbleUpon. Simply awesome. Thanks to Matthew Baldwin over at defective yeti for pointing it out. If any of you choose to install it and would like to add me as a "friend" my user name is "Pensketch".

Also, thanks everyone for your opinions on my zombie posters. I'm thinking that I will do a few more "tweaks" to both versions and then offer them both at my CafePress store. That way, if you are so inclined, you can get the one you like best, rather than limit the options.

Thanks to everyone who has commented on them so far, and if you have anything you would like to add I would be happy to read it.

Zombie Poster Update

I'm too busy to fix what I see as a flaw in the drawing, but I did rearrange the layout a bit and I would like opinions. Do you think this one is better, or is the other one better?

I'm also wondering if I should just change it to just "Twilight of the Dead". Again, opinions?

You didn't ask for it!

But you still got it!

Yet another zombie picture from the mind of me:

I like it. That's all that matters, right? Right? Yessss... right.

A big "Thank you!" goes out to the really, really, REALLY old drivers that kept materializing in front of me last week. I couldn't have done it without you. You may now stop driving. Please.

For anyone interested I should have CafePress junk up, including posters, within the week.


Arrgh. The more I've looked at this, the less I like it. There is (to my eye) one major flaw in it. Dammit. I'll see if I can fix it later, if anyone else spots it. I'm betting Derek will.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

What is the sound of one spam clapping?

I came in this morning after a decent 3-day holiday weekend (only decent because my Heather had to work last night and wasn't able to join us for fireworks watching), checked my mail and then proceeded to sort out the spam. As I was tossing out the duplicate offers for drugs, rolexes and discount software I was lamenting the good, old fashioned, stupid spam that was fun to tear apart. It's been quite some time since I've seen any. There was something I tried to send from my home account to my work account but it never showed up for some reason.

Then, like a downed cesna beacon in a sea of average spam there was this: "Does your default home page keep changing mysteriously?"

I thought to myself, "No. No it doesn't. But I wonder what you are trying to sell me." and then I clicked on it. I was surprised to actually see a spam that I hadn't seen 50+ times before! I smiled while reading through it. This is one of those spams that tries so hard to not be spam but just can't shake its spammy roots. Here's a screenshot of it so you'll know what it looks like:

And now I shall break it down (gimme a beat!):

YOU'RE IN DANGER! (Omigod! NOOOOOOOoooooooOOoooo! ooo. o. What?)

ALL YOU DO WITH COMPUTER IS STORED FOREVER IN YOUR HARD DISK. (That's a mighty long time. But I'm here to tell you...) WHEN YOU VISIT SITES, SEND EMAILS... (Touch yourself on your "naughty spots" in front of your monitor.) ALL YOUR ACTIONS ARE LOGGED. (And utterly disgusting. Seriously. Stop it.) AND IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO REMOVE THEM WITH STANDARD TOOLS. (Like a hammer, screwdriver, auger, flamethrower, moose... you get the idea) YOUR DATA IS STILL AVAILABLE FOR FORENSICS. (Those guys that start looking through your computer after you are arrested for chatting with "BabyBettyBootie" in the "Not-at-all Legal" chat room.) AND IN SOME CASES FOR YOUR BOSS, YOUR FRIENDS, YOUR WIFE, YOUR CHILDREN. (Your friend's boss' wife's child's trained helper monkey. It's a crime against God to show a helper monkey just what you've been up to. You don't want to piss off God more than you already are, do you?)

Every site you or somebody or even something, like spyware (or killer robots from Mars), opened in your browser, with all images, and all downloaded and maybe later removed (– we're giving you the benefit of the doubt here –) movies or mp3 songs - ARE STILL THERE and could broke your life! (Broke it so bad that you'll never pick up the pieces! Still thinking it was a good idea to get a computer, you stupid bastard? Now you've gone and broke your life! Should have stuck to the girlie mags. Not literally, you nasty...)

SECURE YOURSELF RIGHT NOW! (Get a gun! Move your computer down into a bomb shelter! Set out some boobie traps! Quit your job! Shun your friends! Tell your wife to go to Hell! Sell the children! Give the helper monkey a banana!)
REMOVE ALL SPYWARE FROM YOUR PC! (Or you could do that I suppose.)

Then of course there is a link that very likely, if followed, will install spyware on your computer. Yes, I am a pessimist. But at least I'm a funny one.

I find a few things interesting about this ad. The grammar is bad ("could broke your life!" The word you are looking for is "ruin." "Ruin your life!"), but the spelling is great. Not something you usually see. They even get "you're" and "your" right. I have problems with that once in a while if I'm in a hurry.

I was really amused by how they slipped "spyware" in. The entire first paragraph is supposed to generate paranoia in people who have been "naughty" with their computer usage and then all they have to offer at the end of the email is possibly a tool for removing spyware. How is their "non-standard spyware removal tool," if it exists, going to help me with my boss, friends, wife, children prowling through my histories and cache? How does that help with the stuff set up in the first paragraph? It doesn't. It's stupid.

Even though I don't want to help these yo-yos refine their scheme, their stupidity pains me so much that I need to do something. So let's do a remix of a sort, shall we? And by "we" I mean "I". You can just keep reading.

First, who is their target and what are they offering them? From the looks of it, they are targeting paranoid people who have been doing the "devil's business" on their PCs and who don't know how to manage their traces. They would probably prefer people who don't really know much about how a computer does what it does. They are offering a tool to remove spyware. Okay. How about this?

Subject: Do you have something you would like to share with the world?

Hi! It's awesome that you chose to open this mail! A lot of people are afraid to open mail from strangers these days. It's a scary internet out there and you never know what might happen. For example, say I were to send the last twenty image files you've viewed on your computer to everyone in your address book and also cc: a copy to the FBI and your local vice enforcement unit.

That would suck huh?

Is your heart beating faster just thinking about that?

How about if I told you that you might already have a program on your computer that is operating invisibly and doing something just like that? It was put there by that one little fun and free game that you played the other day without you knowing it. You wondered at the time why someone would be willing to just give away such a fun game. Now you know. But it's not too late to do something about it. Visit this link and we'll tell you how to get rid of these buried programs and protect yourself from them in the future.

Have a great day!

Better? I think so. What do you think?

Oh, my "zombie" idea from last week still isn't made but I've refined the idea a bit and shared it with Heather and it amused her, so I will be pressing on with it. Should be done by Friday, and if it's as well received as I hope it will be I'll have it on shirts and whatnot soon after.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Put a bounce in your step.

My friend Justin C. linked to a site where you can get a special little bit of a male kangaroo to wear around your neck just like the Aboriginals did as a warning to the first white settlers 'down-under'.

Personally, I don't want one but I'm pretty sure that this site is one of the few, if not the only one that offers you a link to "Shop for Scrotums"*. I may have to bookmark them just for that alone because you never really know when you might be involved in a horrible, horrible accident that could leave you one scrotum short. I'm not going to dwell on just what type of accident that might be. It's enough to say that it would be "horrible".

A snippet from their main page: "all cherish their personal Kangaroo Scrotum, their 'RooSack', which is put to a myriad of practical uses." Such as containing candied 'RooBalls' for those that like a bit of irony in their snackies.

Now I'm going to be a bit nasty (nastier?) with this next observation/question. I apologize in advance, but I really am curious to know... How many men who purchase their very own 'RooSack', after it has arrived and being sure nobody is around to see... how many of them slip it around their own tackle to see if they will magically be supplied with a kangaroo suit like Mario when he picks up a coon skin cap in 'Super Mario 3'? Or even just to see how it fits? I'm thinking "Some."

May all my American visitors have a great 4th of July weekend and all my foreign visitors have a great weekend that happens to end on the 4th of July.

I have another zombie related piece of artwork that I'll try to have for you by Tuesday. Or later today. But probably Tuesday. Next Friday at the latest.

* Okay, I followed the link and I almost smothered myself by trying to not laugh out loud when I read on the Large Size RooSack that it "Comes loose". Somewhere there is a large male kangaroo, sitting all sad in the bush and saying, "No shit! I wish I'd known."

Once again, be glad you don't have my brain.
"Boring a hole in the patient’s head creates a door through which the demons can escape, and - viola! - out goes the crazy."