Sunday, September 30, 2007

There were these two cows, see...

Somebody sent this to me about a year ago and I first posted then, but I did not know most of you then, so I'm going to re-run it. This is a new twist on an old joke-

-You have two cows.
-Your neighbor has none.
-You feel guilty for being successful.
-Barbara Streisand sings for you.

-You have two cows.
-Your neighbor has none.

-You have two cows.
-The government takes one and gives it to your neighbor.
-You form a cooperative to tell him how to manage his cow.

-You have two cows.
-The government seizes both and provides you with milk.
-You wait in line for hours to get it.
-It is expensive and sour.

-You have two cows.
-You sell one, buy a bull, and build a herd of cows.

-You have two cows.
-Under the new farm program the government pays you to shoot one, milk the other, and then pours the milk down the drain.

-You have two cows.
-You sell one, lease it back to yourself and do an IPO on the 2nd one.
-You force the two cows to produce the milk of four cows. You are surprised when one cow drops dead. You spin an announcement to the analysts stating you have downsized and are reducing expenses.
-Your stock goes up.

-You have two cows.
-You go on strike because you want three cows.
-You go to lunch and drink wine.
-Life is good.

-You have two cows.
-You redesign them so they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce twenty times the milk.
-They learn to travel on unbelievably crowded trains.
-Most are at the top of their class at cow school.

-You have two cows.
-You engineer them so they are all blond, drink lots of beer, give excellent quality milk, and run a hundred miles an hour.
-Unfortunately they also demand 13 weeks of vacation per year.

-You have two cows but you don't know where they are.
-While ambling around, you see a beautiful woman.
-You break for lunch.
-Life is good.

-You have two cows.
-You have some vodka.
-You count them and learn you have five cows.
-You have some more vodka.
-You count them again and learn you have 42 cows.
-The Mafia shows up and takes over however many cows you really have.

-You have all the cows in Afghanistan , which are two.
-You don't milk them because you cannot touch any creature's private parts.
-You get a $40 million grant from the US government to find alternatives to milk production but use the money to buy weapons.

-You have two cows.
-They go into hiding.
-They send radio tapes of their mooing.

-You have two bulls.
-Employees are regularly maimed and killed attempting to milk them.

-You have one cow.
-The cow is schizophrenic.
-Sometimes the cow thinks he's French, other times he's Flemish.
-The Flemish cow won't share with the French cow.
-The French cow wants control of the Flemish cow's milk.
-The cow asks permission to be cut in half.
-The cow dies happy.

-You have a black cow and a brown cow.
-Everyone votes for the best looking one.
-Some of the people who actually like the brown one best accidentally vote for the black one.
-Some people vote for both.
-Some people vote for neither.
-Some people can't figure out how to vote at all.
-Finally, a bunch of guys from out-of-state tell you which one you think is the best-looking cow.

-You have millions of cows.
-They make real California cheese.
-Only five speak English.
-Most are illegals.
-Arnold likes the ones with the big udders.


This seems to have started a religious war. Well, let the cow patties fly!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Preparing for the Inevitable...

Summer is really, really over. Sure, we can bar-B-Q until the snow flies (and even beyond if I can find my umbrella), and it hit 90 one day this week, but the nights are down in the 50s and we've already had one freeze warning.

Some summer pleasures are simply done and gone for another year...

Soon it will be Halloween, with rotten apple fights on the front lawn and Bobbing for Dick Cheney's Head in the big galvanized tub in the living room.

And then it will be time to unpack the Winter Weather Wear.

Happy Fall, everyone!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I'll have a kilo of King, to go, please.

People sometimes ask me what I do all day. They usually do not ask more than once, because I reply that I don't do very much catalog books, and write things like-

"A excellent and important early text on fetishistic turtle-waxing in 17th century Polynesia. Listed in the Herter, Solon and “100 Important Polynesian Books” bibliographies. Burnet 319. A little light wear, endpapers foxed, else a very good copy of an essential book on the subject."

Pathetic Riveting, eh? But cataloging is all about pimping selling the product. However, every once in a while a bookseller will lose it completely have a little fun. Yesterday over on the Biblio list someone came up with this little gem from a British bookseller's catalog-

"A well preserved old turd of a book. Items like this make me angry. Essentially the book is in fine condition with a rock-solid spine. However, what really pinkels me off is that the head and heel of the spine, whose structural integrity could have been preserved with a modicum of care, have given way to gravity, because someone was careless enough to allow this to happen when the book was packed or read. As publishers already handle their books like potatoes and sell them in supermarkets, I wouldn't be surprised if the printed word were sold by the kilo in years to come. "I'll have a pound of sprouts, a bunch of grapes, four Cumberland sausage rings and 24 pages of the latest Stephen King, pleeze"!!!."


After that I think we all need some Audrey Tatou.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Well, Slap a Pickle on Me and Call Me a Grilled Cheese Sandwich...

Stunned, I am stunned to see good documentary-making going on here.

I am a long-time loather of Ken Burns' "documentaries". His various stylistic conceits, which others see as cool, I see as crap unscholarly, anti-historical and just plain confusing and a pain in the ass to watch if you are trying to put anything into a recognizable historical context. His 'Civil War' series had me foaming at the mouth within fifteen minutes.

However, just as a broken clock is bound to be right twice each day, somehow or other Burns gets it right with his new documentary about America in World War II, titled simply 'The War', which began last night and runs, as far as I can tell, for most of the rest of the month. It is compelling, moving and thought-provoking.

My wife calls me the most militarily-inclined pacifist she has ever known. It's true- military history fascinates me. I want to know why people wage war, and how they feel about doing it- not the generals, but the enlisted people on the line. For one reason or another I feel that's very important to understand. Two good books that make good reading for those interested in the topic of war and how it is viewed by the individual soldier are "Closing with the Enemy. How GIs Fought the War in Europe, 1944-45" by Michael D. Doubler, and "The World Within War. America's Combat Experience in World War II" by Gerald F. Linderman. I read the first one a month ago and am about halfway through the second one at the moment.

One thing Burns' documentary seems to be doing is deflating the myth of WWII as a "Good War". It was certainly a "Necessary War", but there is absolutely no such thing as a "Good War", and there never has been. I'll be interested to see, in the very long run, how this film affects Americans perceptions of the current war in Iraq.

As stunned as I find myself to say it, Burns' 'The War' is damned good tv and well worth watching.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Good News - Bad News

It's one of those sorts of weeks. Time for a wrap-up-


GOOD NEWS: Former New York Mayor Rudy "9-11" Guiliani is no waffler- he showed his ability to take a side and stick to it by declaring that he has "always" favored putting gun legislation in the hands of the states, not the Federal government.

BAD NEWS: "Always" in Rudy-speak apparently means "since last Thursday", as those pesky news reporters proceeded to dig up multiple instances between 2000 and 2006 when Rudy publicly called for tough Federal gun-control laws.

GOOD NEWS: The press has stopped using words like "liar" and "duplicitous" when referring to Presidential candidates lying duplicitously, so Rudy is going to be able to "clarify" his comments.


GOOD NEWS: The Pennant Race is roaring down the home stretch.

BAD NEWS: Our Sox are doing 90 mph in reverse.

GOOD NEWS: Josh Beckett goes for his 20th win of the season tonight.

BAD NEWS: All the rest of the pitchng staff are throwing like New York Yankees (and former Red Sox) center fielder left fielder designated hitter Johnny Damon (who throws like a girl).


BAD NEWS: You have to wonder whether, if OJ gets convicted of ten counts of armed assault and kidnapping, the former NFL star is too much of a crazy-ass psycho to be safely incarcerated in Nevada Penal System.

GOOD NEWS: I hear Blackwater's still hiring.


GOOD NEWS: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will not be allowed to visit Ground Zero during his visit to New York.

GOOD NEWS: Maybe Vice President Dick Cheney will make it up to the Iranian leader by taking him hunting.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Houston, We Have a Problem-

It never fails to surprise Audrey Tatou, but out of the thousands of new books which are published every year, many do not sell well and are "remaindered"- that is, sold off by their publishers at drastically reduced prices. The shelf-browsers at MMB scour the remainder bins each week, and take great pride in bringing you the best in books that, for one trivial, inexplicable reason or another, just didn't find an audience.

This week's selections-

"Sing Along with Britney Spears Karaoke Set" The pre-recorded cd and fifth of bourbon included with this book allow you to perform just like the famous singer in front of audiences of all sizes.

"Light in My Loafers. Senator Larry Craig's Guide to Amateur Tap Dancing" The Idaho senator reveals how putting on your tapping shoes can make you new friends in the unlikliest of places.

"101 Fun Projects to Do with Your New Camcorder" by Bill Belichick. The man known throughout the NFL as "Smilin' Bill" is as loquacious as ever as he shares all his secrets for getting ahead through modern electronics.

"The EZ-Traveller's Tourist Guide to Downtown Baghdad -2007 Edition" This newly updated edition of the popular guide includes special sections on Hot Spots for Nightlife, what to do if you arrive to find your restaurant has been blown up, and 17 quick ways to stop bleeding.

"Chillin' the Juice. How to Stay Cool and Rational in an Irrational World" by O.J. Simpson. The former NFL star shares his secrets for staying cool, whatever the situation. Just picked as the NRA Book of the Month. If you order now, we will include a free set of ginsu knives.

Sunday, September 16, 2007


A lovely late summer weekend in Hatfield! We held our annual backyard barbecue/croquet/badminton party yesterday, and today we walked down to the annual Hatfield Library Sale/Tractor Show/Antique Car Show/Volunteer Firefighter's Cookout. Hey, it's a small town- we have to multitask. But even if it's a small town, I like to think that we can throw a party as well as anyone out there.

Here are a few candid photos from the weekend festivities...

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

George Wants 6, to go-

Our "long weekend" extended 'till Tuesday morning, and then the minute we got home yesterday afternoon I had to turn around and go to a book auction. But it was a nice few days with Amy's aunt and uncle at the Hideaway near the ocean. Over the course of the weekend and the drive home, a few things occurred to me-

If we want to get rid of all the terrorists in Iraq, all we need to do is send a few squads of Massachusetts' SUV drivers over. Your average terrorist would be no match for your average "Masshole"* behind the wheel of an SUV, and the terrorists they didn't flatten or drive off the road would be so traumatized they wouldn't stop running 'till they got to Bangladesh.

While we were away we feasted on fresh, wonderfully prepared fish every night. The drive home yesterday had to be quick since I needed to get to the auction, so we stopped at a Burger King for lunch. Back when I was a kid, the biggest thing on the menu was the Whopper. It was the Ultimate Burger.

Now it’s the eeney teeny sandwich for wimps.

Real Americans evidently require two, three or even four patties stacked on their buns, with cheese and bacon to top it all off.

As I’ve mentioned before here, I love a good burger. I’ve eaten ostrich burgers, and venison burgers, and think that there’s nothing better than a buffalo burger. If it’s a mammal, and you can catch it, grind it up and grill it, I’ll eat it. Your plain old beef burger is great too- we’ve got a couple of diners around here that make superb hamburgers. But the stuff they serve at Burger King may not even be beef. I think those patties are made from the cartons the drinking straws come in.

It’s always been like that though- what’s new is this stacking thing. It’s just weird. The typical American substitution of quantity for quality, with about 300 grams of saturated fat.

That’s not a hamburger, it’s Death on a Bun.

A McCoronary.

And just last night, during the Red Sox game, McDonald’s had an ad for their newest sandwich which was, I swear to God, a couple of patties topped with cheese, bacon and... a deep fried chicken patty.

Um... can we get a few tubs of those for George W. Bush, to go?

Oh yeah, and it's been a few days since we had a picture of Audrey Tatou.

*word stolen from Malach.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

News Headlines: Sept. 6, 2027

There was an apparent sighting of reclusive Vice-President-for-Life Dick Cheney yesterday. Elmo Gumwater of Tuscadillo, Texas told local television station KBBQ that he saw the elusive Vice President eating pork rinds with Elvis in front of a local 7-11. "Sure I'm sure it was him!" Mr. Gumwater told reporters. "They was singing 'Blue Suede Shoes', and when I yelled 'Hey, there! Mr. Vice-President!' he pulled out a shotgun and emptied both barrels at me!" Experts have only been able to confirm three authenticated sightings of the Vice President in the last six years, and the location of the $300 million Vice Presidential Library remains a State Secret.

Riots continue in major Chinese cities, three days after Walmart's acquisition of the country and the announcement that the Great Wall of China will be renamed The Great Wal*(Mart) of China.

Former Idaho Senator Larry Craig's appeal of his misdemeanor conviction was finally heard by the Supreme Court today. While Chief Justice Hillary Clinton told Craig that she sympathized with his argument that he's "Not Gay!" she told him she didn't find it legally relevant and that he should "get a grip and stop bothering people, because nobody cares. Nobody ever cared".

The sixteenth, seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth hurricanes of the season all hit Florida today. Sneezy, Grumpy and Dopey converged on Fort Lauderdale and caused extensive damage, while Hurricane Mickey came ashore near Sarasota. While Disney officials continue to ponder the wisdom of paying $600 million for the naming rights to these destructive storms, President Jenna Bush again declared that Global Warming has nothing to do with the record number of hurricanes. Speaking from the porch of her ranch on the Great Inland Sea (formerly Oklahoma) the President said "Like, what? There's always, like, different weather, right? Anyone want a beer?"

In television news, Fox will roll out Season Six of its popular reality contest "So You Think You Can Sneeze?", which will be paired Thursday nights with Bob Saget's "America's Funniest Keelhauling Videos", and freshman entry "Farting with the Stars", hosted by Howard Stern. Meanwhile, the Peacock network and a former politician will both try to change their fortunes this Fall, when last-place NBC gets togther with America's most hated former-President in a new quiz show called "Are You Smarter Than George W. Bush?".

And Audrey Tatou continues to show up in blogs for no other reason than that she's Audrey Tatou.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


I was getting a post ready for today, but then my blogging buddies Joey, Mike, Phoebe Fay, Reverend Anaglyph, and Sara Sue all put up blog posts that made me either laugh so hard or think so hard that I could not type.

Even Audrey Tatou was impressed.

So go visit all of them, and I will see y'all tomorrow!

Monday, September 03, 2007

And they spit-

We spent the day at the Three County Fair in Northampton yesterday with some friends, and I got the shock of my life.

The place was literally lousy with llamas!

No, no, not that kind of lama, this kind-

Back in my 4-H days there was always a good selection of critters at these fairs, and this one had cows, sheep, chickens and rabbits, but no pigs, goats, ducks or horses. What they did have was about 5,000 llamas.

WTF? I thought llamas ended when everyone decided they had to have a rabid rodent ferret instead.

I'm not even sure what the Hell you do with a llama, aside from trying to keep the shaggy thing deloused clean, which looks like about as pointless an excercise as trying to persuade my NeoCon uncle Fred that Faux News isn't really fair or balanced. But the demolition derby didn't start until 6:30, so we spent a few hours at the llama show. There the "advanced" llamas were taken by their owners around a course that had them jumping over two 18-inch high rails, backing up, walking across a crinkly sheet, standing still while their handler walked around them, going across a tilt-ramp, and finally walking up another ramp, across a bridge, and down two stairs.

Thrilling, eh? This may not sound exactly like bull riding, but the thing about llamas seems to be that you never know exactly where they're going to shit what they're going to do next. Your average llama has the attention span of a fruit fly, the jumpiness of a Republican congressman in a public bathroom, and is only slightly less intelligent than your average toaster oven.

Oh yeah, and when a llama decides it is not going to do something? Forget it. They may not be very big, but they have a low center of gravity and big, camel-toed feet that they plant in the ground as if they were Dik Cheney cemeted there.

And llamas spit.

So the question comes up again, why raise them? Well, they are cute as the dickens, and apparently you can use the hair to make yarn. And, although I could not be absolutely sure, as we were walking out of the arena I thought I heard the announcer, who was enumerating all the good things about llamas, utter the word "nutritious".

LlamaBurgers, anyone?

UPDATE: I have been informed that this post contains some utter bullshit slight inaccuracies. A llocal llama llover informs me that there were only about 100 llamas at the fair, and that llamas are actually quite intelligent.

When I asked "intelligent in comparison to what?" she said "President Bush".

I stand corrected.