Monday, December 07, 2009


Regular viewers, please excuse this programming interruption for a local memo.


TO: The New England Patriots

RE: Blowing 14-0 lead against pitiful Miami Dolphins, giving up interception with 32 seconds to go, said interception resulting in Dolphins field goal & 22-21 Pats loss.


WTF ?????

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


For the past year we have been fighting the economy, and the newest social networking. At about the same time the economy went south a friend introduced me to Facebook & Twitter.

And at that point my participation here took a nosedive. My apologies to everyone.

I twitter & facebook with a few of you, and do not with most of you. To those, I apologize. I do think they can all be integrated.

Blogging is still cool to me, I just need to adjust my timeframe to do everything. It's not as bad as it sounds. I'll be bvack tomorrow...

Thursday, November 05, 2009

For no reason whatsoever-

Except that I think it's cool.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

What have YOU had to eat today??

Cataloging old auction catalogs today, and could not resist sharing this piece. It's a German bronze figure, late 16th or early 17th century, of a decomposing man. A very rare representation, it most closely relates to a wood group in the NY Met. attributed to the Master of the Upper Rhine from the early 16th century. This piece was sold by Sotheby's London on December 16, 1971.

I wish i'd been collecting and solvent then, I'd have bought it.


Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Fair is Fair

Wolf Hunting Season in Montana opens today. This is the first wolf hunt in a decade or so, brought about because the Feds have taken wolves off the endangered species list. There are about 800 wild wolves in Montana, which didn't sound like a lot to me, until a hunter reminded me that Montana is a state just a tad* larger than Rhode Island. Of the 800 wolves they're going to shoot 200+, leaving 600 wolves to populate a state approximately the size of eastern Europe.

That might seem like very few wild wolves to many of you, I know it sounded that way to me, but apparently we're all wrong. They had a story about this on NPR yesterday, and the wolf-killing enthusiasts were well-represented. They seemed to have two main arguments-

1. Wolves kill elk for sport, so we need to kill the wolves. (Human hunters, on the other hand, apparently kill elk because... um, well, maybe an elk ran down their grandmother).

2. Having wolves that hunt elk around makes it harder for human hunters to find elk. (Um, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the fact that they're hard to find why we call it, uh, "hunting"?)

Now, I don't want it to seem that I'm completely opposed to hunting wolves. I think it might actually be entertaining- my suggestion would be to throw the wolves and the human hunters all into Montana, close the gate, and let them have at it, but on equal terms, which means no boots, no jeeps and no guns for either side.

That sounds fair, doesn't it?

* 1 tad = 50x.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Last Problem Solved-

Judging by the number of time Our Lord's name is taken in vain on this blog, I'm betting that most of you aren't counting on being Raptured anytime soon, but for those of you who are, have you ever stopped to ask yourself- "After I'm taken by The Lord to the Big House in the Sky, what will become of Fluffy and Fido?"

Well, worry no more, Mr. & Mrs. Holier Than Thou!

Eternal Earthbound Pets U.S.A. stands ready to take care of your furry or feathered loved-ones after you get what's coming to you -

"We are a group of dedicated animal lovers, and atheists. Each Eternal Earth-Bound Pet representative is a confirmed atheist, and as such will still be here on Earth after you've received your reward. Our network of animal activists are committed to step in when you step up to Jesus".

"Cool!" I hear you say, "But how do I know they'll really be Left Behind?"

"Our representatives have been screened to ensure that they are atheists, animal lovers, are moral / ethical with no criminal background, have the ability and desire to rescue your pet and the means to retrieve them and ensure their care for your pet's natural life."

And how much, I know you are asking, does this Eternal Peace of Mind cost? Just pennies a day!

"Our service is plain and simple; our fee structure is reasonable. For $110.00 we will guarantee that should the Rapture occur within ten (10) years of receipt of payment, one pet per residence will be saved. Each additional pet at your residence will be saved for an additional $15.00 fee. A small price to pay for your peace of mind and the health and safety of your four legged friends."

But what about Alfie, my baby alligator??

"Unfortunately at this time we are not equipped to accommodate all species and must limit our services to dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, and small caged mammals."

Sorry, Alfie. But for the rest of you Rapture-Ready Christians, I have just one final thing to say-


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Time to hit the gym...

it's Summertime, time for over-indulging in all sorts of things. But that's ok, i just bought a new home-gym on Ebay...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Happy Happy-

I love bee balm and planted some in the day-lily bed behind the garage but it never thrived. Planted some last year in front f the stone wall 50 feet away but in partial shade, and this year it's five feet tall, and yesterday we saw two hummingbirds in it.

I guess it's happy.

Friday, July 24, 2009


I'm pretty sure that Joey & Cissy & Mike & the Reverend and everyone else can do some slick poetryizing given the visual cue of a can labeled "Tongue Spread"...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Let's Get Real-

I'm back from the Land of Facebook & Twitter, and boy is that a tale to tell. But it'll have to wait, 'cause there's something else on my mind.

Can we stop having hysterics over the Cambridge Police vs. Professor Gates brouhaha already?

I lived in Cambridge for 5 years- it's as far from a racist city as I can imagine, but on the other hand it does have a large, lower-income population of minorities of various races, and there are tensions between the police and some of the neighborhoods. It's a city, and stuff happens.

But enough already with the Blame Game from both sides. What do we really have here? We have a veteran cop, a man who grew up in a poor, mixed Cambridge neighborhood with friends of all races and who was chosen by his African-American superior to teach advanced courses against racial profiling, and we have a distinguished scholar who is known for being humble and soft-spoken.

But the scholar had just moments before the incident returned home from an all-night flight from China, and the officer was in the middle of a long undercover shift. The scholar walked out of his kitchen to be unexpectedly confronted in his own living room by a policeman who demanded to know who he was and what he was doing there. The policeman was confronted by an upset homeowner who was, by all accounts, rather pissed off a being asked for i.d. in his own house.

You can recite all the "just cooperate with the police and they'll cooperate with you" mantras you want, and I've read many of those in the last few days, but I'd really ask anyone to honestly ask themselves what their reaction would be if they walked from their kitchen to their living room and were confronted by a cop asking them what right they had to be there. Add some jet lag and exhaustion to the mix and BOOM!

And, you know, it's not against the law to be rude to an uninvited police officer in your living room. It might be stupid, and it might be silly, but it's not illegal. Sure, perhaps Professor Gates should have reacted by thanking the police officer for checking out a breaking & entering call -I certainly hope that is how I'd react. But it's not illegal to yell at him instead. And let's face it- the officer took out his handcuffs and arrested the professor, suggesting a law was broken.

I don't see the broken law.

But I also don't see racism. I see two tired men losing some of their judgment and escalating a situation. Perhaps it's just best left there. Stuff happens.

Enough already.

Time for some Audrey Tatou.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Which is Which?

A week at the beach was a welcome break, even if the early June weather was a bit chilly, but it all left me with one burning, unanswered question- what's the difference between flotsam and jetsam, and can you have one without the other?

Monday, June 01, 2009

Oh. Well, That's innocent Enough.

Here's a rather frightening series of illustrations from a 19th century French inventor's magazine I just bought-

Now, I'm not sure what this looks like to you,
but I know what it looks like to me-

ok, yeah, this is what I thought the next step would be...

please please please please don't show what comes next.

oops. Oh.

It's just a roll of paper advertisements
to be read by passersby.

I'm not sure whether this makes me happy or sad...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Pedal to the grindstone...

We're back, back home again from the long weekend, refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to rock n' roll! Now, nose to the grindstone! Pedal to the metal!

Um... is it lunchtime yet?

Friday, May 15, 2009

It's a Cat's World-

When you're a cat you can sit anywhere you damn well please.

How long 'till dinner?

Monday, May 11, 2009

So, how do you define "healthy", anyway?

Specifically, I wonder if homemade strawberry shortcake is an acceptable Springtime breakfast. It's fruit and dairy, right?

Friday, May 08, 2009

Freakazoid Friday-

Happy Friday, everyone! First off let me just remind you all that no matter what the question is, Catherine Zeta Jones is always a good answer.

So, are you up to date on the latest affront the RightWing believes Barack Obama has committed against American Patriotism, Heritage and Decency? No? Well, if you were to guess, I'll bet one of your top guesses would be mustard!

It's true. I can't make stuff like this up-

Well, that's quite the brouhaha. If you're like me, this week has left you so exhausted you're ready for a nice long weekend at the beach...

I'm sorry, what was the question again?

Oh, who cares. I already know the correct answer.

Friday, May 01, 2009

The Lusty Month of May-

It's time to play "The Lusty Month of May" from 'Camelot', but Julie Andrews or Vanessa Redgrave? Decisions, decisions...

We're gong with Vanessa. Julie's voice is lovely, but Vanessa has the earthier edge to her. And and of course she's a redhead...

Of course, there's always the updated WoW version...

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Stop It, Storm!!

In case you haven't seen it, the religious bigots who are insisting on legislating their own narrow views of the Bible into laws for everyone have got a new ad on the tv, which can also be seen on You-Tube-

Now, the first time I saw this pitiful piece of fear-mongering, my first impression was that it was sooo campy nobody could really do a parody. It's like Dik Cheney, or Michelle Bachman- it's so silly that it is its own parody.

I am now ashamed for my own dismissal of the talents and genius of my fellow Americans out there who have indeed created some very funny lampoons. Many thanks to Bucky 4-Eyes for finding this one-

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The Colbert Coalition's Anti-Gay Marriage Ad
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorGay Marriage Commercial

Monday, April 27, 2009


The azaleas have come into full bloom out back, so we sacrificed a few to mount on my office mantle...

More Questions Than Answers...

A church pastor in Baltimore is in BIG trouble. Is it because he-

a) took in a homeless man?

b) took in a homeless man and took out a life insurance policy on him, naming himself (the pastor) as beneficiary?

c) took in a homeless man and took out a life insurance policy on him, naming himself (the pastor) as beneficiary, and then hired a hit man to kill the homeless man?


d) took in a homeless man and took out a life insurance policy on him, naming himself (the pastor) as beneficiary, and then hired a hit man to kill the homeless man, paying the hit man with $50,000 he (the pastor) embezzled from his own church?

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Bonfire of the Xmas Trees

Yesterday we humanely disposed of several years' worth of dead Xmas trees by having a bonfire in our neighbors' backyard fire pit. First, the pit was readied by burning a few old wooden pallets as the audience warmed up with some champagne-

And in goes the first tree!

That was fast. the second tree approaches...

And there it goes!

Same time, same place, next year?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Random Asparagus Oil-

-I'm getting the popcorn ready for tonight's traditional annual viewing of Ann Baxter in a filmy blue dress, o/w known as "The Ten Commandments". Hey, some traditions are just worth keeping up, year after year...

-I love holidays in general, but Easter has always been one of my special favorites. I LOVE the Easter Bunny. He's so cuddly, and cute and furry... and he's great grilled with some fennel and baby potatoes and a nice pinot noir.

-Speaking of good eats, I just sampled some of a local farmer's fresh "Hot as Hell" horseradish. Eyah. 5 on a hotness scale of 10. My sister in law makes some really hot stuff, which she brought to Seder last night. Even more than grilled Easter bunnies, I love hot & spicy foods, and my basic standard is if it clears all the mucus out of both nostrils it gets a 5, but to go any further the pain has to flare upwards and come out my eyes. This local stuff, while very tasty horseradish, didn't do that. To hit a "10" it basically has to sear out both eyes, make steam come out my ears, and singe the hair follicles on my scalp. now THAT'S Good Eats!

-I know how to clean up the pirate problem- just send Chuck Norris over. I mean, sending Chuck Norris to Somalia is an idea that's appealing on all SORTS of levels...

-Is Ann Coulter animal, vegetable or mineral?

-And finally, this just in (and didn't you always secretly suspect something like this was going on?) -

Friday, April 10, 2009

Hey, the First Snort is Always Free-

This guy is from Harvard? That must be a typo. He's got to be from MIT...

For those who live and breathe chocolate, a puff

Boston Globe, Friday, April 10, 2009

Chocoholics rejoice: A Harvard professor has invented a calorie-free way of experiencing the sweet obsession - by inhaling it.

Biomedical engineer David Edwards has created a mini-inhaler - dubbed Le Whif - that shoots a chocolate mist into one's mouth, mimicking, he says, the experience of savoring the real thing. The price tag is about $2 for four puffs.

Edwards is known in science circles for designing a more efficient way to deliver inhaled medicines by tinkering with the particle sizes, and he has tapped that science in his lipstick-size chocolate delivery gadget. The chocolate particles are small enough to shoot out of the brightly-colored inhaler, but too large to make it to the lungs.

Not only does this delivery system remove the guilt that comes with chocolate's calories, he says, but it also moves us toward our culinary future. Evolution, he says, is trending toward smaller meals eaten more frequently - until chewing is pretty much replaced by breathing. "Breathing is eating," he says.

Adds the professor: "The whole process is very art-science. You have a culinary art and aerosol science meeting."

Of course, before dessert comes the main meal; Edwards has plans for inventing inhalable steak, carrots, and more. But for now, he is busy marketing Le Whif; a world tour is on tap.

"You can carry it in your pocket, you get the taste of chocolate, and your hands are clean and you put it back," Edwards says.

How does it taste? Think inhaled cocoa powder. Based on a personal test, the candy bar doesn't appear to be in danger.

Frank Terranova, a Johnson & Wales University culinary instructor who hasn't caught a "whiff" yet, is skeptical.

"I don't think you can call it a cuisine," he said. "I think you can call it a gimmick."

A "gimmick"? Surely not...

- -

Mrs. Chili pointed this Jon Stewart clip out on her blog. I'd say it hits the nail pretty squarely on the head...

The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10c
Baracknophobia - Obey
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Economic CrisisPolitical Humor

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Mister Rogers- Evildoer!!

It turns out that Fred Rogers is to blame for everything, but before we get to that, we have a -

Philosophical Query for the Day-

What is the Real Problem with Morning?

a) it's an every-day event, and that's just too much. Can we cut it back to, say, 4 days a week?

b) people expect you to do stuff when it happens.

c) it comes before lunch.

- -

So, the fine folks at Fox, in collaboration with a professor at that icon of higher learning, Louisiana State University, have declared jihad on Mister Rogers for destroying entire generations of young Americans.

Of course, before going out and burning your King Friday the 13th puppet, one might want to take a moment and consider the source...

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Pay No Attention to the Man Behind the Forecast!

- -

The forecast says rain-
The sky says sun. It's April,
And I'm so confused.

- -

I know a number of you out there are interested in the latest news on the Mormon church, so we can file this one under "What a Difference a Consonant Makes" -

Student Newspaper at BYU Pulled Over Caption Error

PROVO, Utah (AP) - About 18,500 issues of the Daily Universe student newspaper at Brigham Young University were pulled from newsstands because a photo caption on the front page misidentified leaders of the Mormon church as apostates instead of apostles.

An apostate is a person who has abandoned religious faith, principles or a cause.

The photo was of members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, a governing body of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-days Saints, at the weekend general conference.

The caption called the group the "Quorum of the Twelve Apostates."

The papers were replaced with corrected copies later Monday.

- -

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Opening Day ! (??)

Well, Boston Red Sox fans are all set for Sox Opening Day, Take 2, after yesterday's washout. Hey, at some point it has to stop raining right? Maybe by May?

Opening Day Haiku-

Its Opening Day-
First pitch- going, going gone!
What's gone- ball or hope?

- -

Just in, an update on something I was bitching about last week. The Vermont legislature has showed some spine and over-ridden their idiot Governor's veto-

Vermont Legalizes Gay Marriage
ASSOCIATED PRESS : April 7, 2009

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) -- Vermont has become the fourth state to legalize gay marriage -- and the first to do so with a legislature's vote. The Legislature voted Tuesday to override Gov. Jim Douglas' veto of a bill allowing gays and lesbians to marry. The vote was 23-5 to override in the state Senate and 100-49 to override in the House. Under Vermont law, two-thirds of each chamber had to vote for override.

The vote came nine years after Vermont adopted its first-in-the-nation civil unions law.

It's now the fourth state to permit same-sex marriage. Massachusetts, Connecticut and Iowa are the others. Their approval of gay marriage came from the courts.

Wow, now there's a Progressive quartet of states for you- Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut and, um, Iowa.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Born in the U.S.A.-

A terrifying and tragic juxtaposition of news pieces crossed my desktop in the last two days. First, an op-ed piece from the NYT on Friday-

Pitchforks and Pistols

By Charles M. Blow, New York Times, April 3, 2009

Lately I’ve been consuming as much conservative media as possible (interspersed with shots of Pepto-Bismol) to get a better sense of the mind and mood of the right. My read: They’re apocalyptic. They feel isolated, angry, betrayed and besieged. And some of their “leaders” seem to be trying to mold them into militias.

At first, it was entertaining — just harmless, hotheaded expostulation. Of course, there were the garbled facts, twisted logic and veiled hate speech. But what did I expect, fair and balanced? It was like walking through an ideological house of mirrors. The distortions can be mildly amusing at first, but if I stay too long it makes me sick.

But, it’s not all just harmless talk. For some, their disaffection has hardened into something more dark and dangerous. They’re talking about a revolution.

Some simply lace their unscrupulous screeds with loaded language about the fall of the Republic. We have to “rise up” and “take back our country.” Others have been much more explicit.

For example, Chuck Norris, the preeminent black belt and prospective Red Shirt, wrote earlier this month on the conservative blog WorldNetDaily: “How much more will Americans take? When will enough be enough? And, when that time comes, will our leaders finally listen or will history need to record a second American Revolution?”

Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, imagining herself as some sort of Delacroixian Liberty from the Land of the Lakes, urged her fellow Minnesotans to be “armed and dangerous,” ready to bust caps over cap-and-trade, I presume.

And between his tears, Glenn Beck, the self-professed “rodeo clown,” keeps warning of an impending insurrection by saying that he believes that we are heading for “depression” and “revolution” and then gaming out that revolution on his show last month. “Think the unthinkable” he said. Indeed.

All this talk of revolution is revolting, and it hasn’t gone unnoticed.

As the comedian Bill Maher pointed out, strong language can poison weak minds, as it did in the case of Timothy McVeigh. (We sometimes forget that not all dangerous men are trained by Al Qaeda.)

At the same time, the unrelenting meme being pushed by the right that Obama will mount an assault on the Second Amendment has helped fuel the panic buying of firearms. According to the F.B.I., there have been 1.2 million more requests for background checks of potential gun buyers from November to February than there were in the same four months last year. That’s 5.5 million requests altogether over that period; more than the number of people living in Bachmann’s Minnesota.

Coincidence? Maybe. Just posturing? Hopefully. But it all gives me a really bad feeling. (Where’s that Pepto-Bismol?!)

- -

Think he's over-reacting a bit, being a little over dramatic? Well, even as I was finishing reading that article, this appalling story hits the headlines-

Call lures police to ambush; gunman kills 3 at the door

Associated Press, Sunday, April 05, 2009

Pittsburgh —- A man in a bulletproof vest killed three police officers answering a domestic call Saturday, police said. Police Chief Nate Harper said the motive for the shooting isn’t clear, but friends said the gunman recently had been upset about losing his job and feared the Obama administration was poised to ban guns.

Richard Poplawski, 23, met officers at the doorway, shot two in the head immediately and then killed an officer who tried to help them, Harper said.

Harper said more than 100 rounds were fired when Poplawski, with an assault rifle and two other guns, held police off four hours as the fallen officers lay nearby.

The officers killed were Eric Kelly, Stephen Mayhle and Paul Sciullo III. Kelly had finished the night shift and was on his way home when he responded to the call. Another officer was shot in the hand and a fifth broke his leg on a fence.

Poplawski had gunshot wounds only in his legs because of the bulletproof vest, Harper said.

He was charged with three counts of homicide, aggravated assault and a weapons violation. “It appears he was lying in wait for the officers,” Harper said.

Poplawski’s best friend said Poplawski feared “the Obama gun ban that’s on the way” and “didn’t like our rights being infringed upon.” Edward Perkovic said Poplawski had called him at work and said, “Eddie, I am going to die today.”

- -

Moral: The Right Wing really is nuts, and they are out to get us.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Bitch, Bitch, Bitch...

Not that it really matters, but-

-In Texas you can get arrested for saying "Fuck" at Wal*fart. Wow- if you said "God Damn!" would they just shoot you?

-FauxNews is wetting its pants because the Senate may actually try to pass Health Care reform on the basis of a majority vote, instead of going for a filibuster-proof 60 votes. Aside from sending them back to the dictionary to see what the definition of "Democracy" is, one might point out to the fine folks at Faux that the Republicans had eight years to provide decent health care to Americans, and their only solution to the problem is, and always will be, "we're sorry you're sick, and the only way to make you better is to cut taxes".

-Flying anywhere in the near future? The FAA not only won't write rules that say airlines and airports must report bird strikes on aircraft, they now want to keep the information they have on the subject secret from the public. So ok, fine, the FAA is going to once again become the airline industry's trade association -can we get the government to start a new agency that actually oversees the safety of the flying public?

-Alan Keyes, whose grasp of reality has always been pretty tenuous, appears to have completely gone over the edge into WackoLand-

-R.I.P. Dan seals.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Monday, March 09, 2009

So, What's Up With That???

I know, long time, no blog, I'll be back soon!

But today one burning question- why does the Constitutional guarantee of separation of church and state only work one way? The churches get to avoid interference from the state (no taxes, not subject to many laws, employment laws, for instance), but the state isn't free from political interference from churches?

Annoyed minds want to know!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Word Freak!!

I just unearthed a small pile of buttons I picked up at one the the yearly Boston Globe Book Festivals back in the late 70s or early 80s. Here's one-

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Movie Review- Kate Winslet Nude ...um, I mean, "The Reader"

Colonel Colonel is still sleeping off the after-effects of his birthday celebration, so this is Staff Sergeant Sterno with our latest MMB Movie Review. Today- "The Reader".

As bibliophiles, we went to see "The Reader" in the expectation of seeing a scholarly movie about books. Then Kate Winslet got nude.

And then she got nude again.

And then she got nude again.

Kate Winslet gets nude a lot in this movie. There's also a plot involving Nazis and war crimes and coming-of-age boys and some other stuff, but basically, kate Winslet gets nude.


4 STARS !!!!!
5 STARS!!!!!!!
10 STARS, whatever. did I mention that Kate Winslet spends most of the movie nude?

I'm just waiting for the dvd.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Second thoughts...

Did we all make an awful mistake? In an upcoming interview with Esquire Magazine, Sarah Palin shows exactly the caliber of mind we missed out on when we didn't elect her to the Vice Presidency-

Palin said she named [her daughter] Bristol in part for Bristol, Conn. -- home of the sports network ESPN. "When I was in high school, my desire was to be a sportscaster," she said. "Until I learned that you'd have to move to Bristol, Connecticut. It was far away. So instead, I had a daughter and named her Bristol."

Isn't that exactly the sort of reasoning our country needs right now? What have we done???

Friday, January 30, 2009


Random musings after a glance at today's news headlines-

-If you're a governor who's been caught on tape auctioning off a US Senate seat, at least have the balls to attend your own impeachment trial. You'll still be impeached, but you'll at least preserve a shred of human dignity, and show an ounce of respect for all the citizens who once voted for you. Unless, of course, you really are as nutty as a jar of Planters Peanuts.

-Speaking of which, after all we've learned about the peanut processing plant that has killed, what, a dozen people so far, does anyone out there really still believe the food industry is able to self-regulate?

-If you're a mom with six kids who is "surprised" that after taking fertility drugs you suddenly have eight more, you're on route to lose an IQ contest with bread mold.

-I used to have a lot of respect for Jason Varitek.

-After running the country into the ground over the last eight years, House and Senate Republicans owe it to all of us to just shut the fuck up and punch the "yes" button during each vote for a while.

-People who gave money to pass California's Proposition 8 (which banned same-sex marriage) just went to court to get an exemption from California campaign-finance disclosure laws which mandate that their names be publicly available. They lost. Welcome to Democracy, guys. When you give money to take away your fellow citizens rights, don't expect to get extra rights for yourself in return.

-After having one of its worst years on record, 80% of Wall Street workers got bonuses averaging $112,000 last year. 64% of them don't think they got enough. That, in a nutshell, is what's gone wrong with the country.

-Joe Torre is The Man.

-Just months after Sarah Palin burst onto the national scene, a volcano near Anchorage, Alaska is about to erupt. Maybe there actually is a vengeful God...


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

R.I.P., John Updike

Fare thee well, we say.
Your writing kept us all young.
Kid fans say, "Adieu".

Monday, January 26, 2009

Why B Normal?

Just when you thought the inauguration of Barack Obama had made it safe to come out from under the covers, there are new Looney Tunes out there, making a good case for just staying in bed until Spring.

Here in Massachusetts a former state Senator, who was caught on an FBI camera stuffing envelopes of cash into her bra, has explained that this was perfectly innocent- friends have given her over $70,000 in cash in white envelopes over the last few years, and there was never any suggestion that they were owed any political favors back. I'm so glad she cleared that up, and it leaves me thinking I need to go out and get a new group of friends.

Oh yes, and our House Speaker is resigning because it came out that a lobbyist paid tens of thousands of dollars in legal bills for his family, so life is back to normal in the Bay State.

We at least seem normal when compared with Texas, where the State Board of Education is taking another whack at Evolution. Yes, folks, Evolution is "just a theory", and so are gravity and plate tectonics. Personally, I want the Texas board to rule that all school textbooks have to include equal time for my theory, that the earth's continents ride around on the backs of giant, subterranean, fire-belching turtles.

And what discussion of "normality" would be complete without reference to Illinois Governor Rod "Bats in the Belfry" Blagojevich, who was caught on tape trying to sell a Senate seat? Yesterday he told the newspaper that his arrest by the FBI was comparable to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and that in trying to put his tribulations into perspective, "I thought about Mandela, Dr. King, [and] Gandhi."

You keep thinking, there, Rod, you'll get that insanity plea accepted yet. Well, at least you don't live here (I think this must be W's new address)-

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Dear World-

This just in from my brother-in-law-

Dear World:

We, the United States of America , your top quality supplier of the ideals of liberty and democracy, would like to apologize for our 2001-2008 interruption in service. The technical fault that led to this eight-year service outage has been located, and the software responsible was replaced November 4. Early tests of the newly installed program indicate that we are now operating correctly, and we expect it to be fully functional on January 20. We apologize for any inconvenience caused by the outage. We look forward to resuming full service and hope to improve in years to come.

We thank you for your patience and understanding.


The United States of America

Saturday, January 17, 2009

No Aqua Vita, Prego.

Venice is flooding again, but you have to love the spirit of the Italians...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Just Give Me Some Shoulder Pads-

I don’t care what anyone says- the 80s were a lot of fun. And 10 bonus points for being able to name the movie this song was featured in (50 bonus points for being able to describe the scene).

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

10 Things I Learned from My Cats-

A week or so ago one of the national Sunday newspaper magazines had a story titled “ten things You Can Learn from Your Pet. That got me thinking about all the valuable lessons I have learned over the years from our cats-

10. If you have a tummy ache, hacking up disgusting things in someone else’s slippers will make you feel better.

9. You can always get what you want by wailing loudly enough for it.

8. A good goal in life is to sleep all day in the sun.

7. Canned horse meat is tasty.

6. So are mouse heads.

5. It’s never a bad time to lick yourself.

4. There’s nothing quite as amusing as an empty cardboard box.

3. Couches are for shredding.

2. People will forgive anything if you’re cute.

1. As long as you don’t get caught, it’s ok to pee on the carpet.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Random Thoughts-

OK, here is my reply to Sarah on Facebook. The challenge is to post 25 random things about you. All you BLOGGERS, go nuts!!

(yes, that is me gathering corn at age 5).


1. It doesn’t matter what time I go to bed, I’m awake and unable to sleep after sunrise. I love waking up with the sun, but on the very rare occasions when I get to bed at 2 a.m., it’s a drag.

2. In my 20s I was a part-time roadie for several Boston-area bands.

3. I love ducks. In my 30s I raised multiple families of domestic ducks, and invented the under-appreciated wintertime folk art of “Ducky Doodles”, for which you need 400 wild mallards, 20 pounds of cracked corn, and something pithy (or rude) you want to spell out in the snow.

4. I have a profound fear of heights (or, as somebody wise once pointed out, of edges).

5. My secret unfulfilled career ambition would be to write a daily cartoon strip.

6. About the same time I was raising ducks I also raised house finches, and one Christmas let them loose for a week so they could roost in the Xmas tree. They enjoyed themselves tremendously, and it was great fun to have them singing away in the tree, but (after cleaning up) I decided it was not an experiment which was worth repeating.

7. Amy & I amuse/embarrass/irritate people by breaking into duets of Tom Leher songs at the slightest provocation.

8. I love Summertime more than any other season.

9. Someday I want to spend a month chasing tornadoes.

10. I really cannot think of any other house, town or region I’d rather live in than where I live now.

11. In my one experience with group therapy, I managed to make every single member of the group hate me within 4 weeks. In the years since, I’ve come to take an odd, perverse pride in that accomplishment.

12. I’ve written two unpublished novels and a few unproduced plays. I want to get back to setting time aside each day for a new project, but keep putting it off.

13. I graduated high school in three years, took a “year off” before college, and became a living example of my guidance counselor’s warning to students that if you don’t apply to a college during your year off, you may wind up never going at all. To paraphrase Catherine Aird’s advice- "If you can't be a good example, then take pride in serving as a horrible warning."

14. I love parsnips.

15. I took 3 years of Latin in high school and am going to take it back up (someday). It’s a wonderful language.

16. I make a mean red sauce.

17. I love Zydeco music & dancing, of which, sadly, there is not much in Happy Valley.

18. I have what some have termed “a disturbing ability” to recite the lyrics to bad ‘70s and ‘80s songs.

19. We moved here in 2005, and I’m still unpacking boxes.

20. I want to create a medieval herb garden in the back yard.

21. I wish I had someone to play chess with on a regular basis.

22. As a kid I was pathologically shy, and as an adult am not a lot better.

23. I love tomatoes in any form (fresh, frozen, canned, dried) in any dish, at any meal.

24. In the 1st through 4th grades, between 1968 and 1972, I was schooled in a Pioneer Valley “Progressive” open-classroom school (the Common School), staffed by a mix of dedicated longtime teachers and UMass graduate students, where we painted a map of India on the floor, raised chickens in the classroom, and took a trip to New York where we stayed at teacher’s friends apartments.

25. I take much, much too much time over things like this, because I tend to overthink everything.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Random Wednesday Thoughts-

"Thanks to the Interstate Highway System, it is now possible to travel from coast to coast without seeing anything." -Charles Kuralt

"No one can have a higher opinion of him than I have, and I think he's a dirty little beast." -W.S. Gilbert

"If computers get too powerful, we can organize them into a committee -that will do them in." -anonymous

"Criminal: A person with predatory instincts who has not sufficient capital to form a corporation." -Howard Scott

"Stoop and you'll be stepped on; stand tall and you'll be shot at." -Carlos A. Urbizo

"You can fool too many of the people too much of the time." -Jameas Thurber

"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example." -Mark Twain

"Rock journalism is people who can't write interviewing people who can't talk for people who can't read." -Frank Zappa

"Nobody can be exactly like me. Even I have trouble doing it." -Tallulah Bankhead

"You can go a long way with a smile. You can go a lot farther with a smile and a gun." -Al Capone

"When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not guilty.'" -Theodore Roosevelt

"Whenever people agree with me I always feel I must be wrong." -Oscar Wilde

"Conscience is the inner voice that warns us that someone might be looking." -H.L. Mencken

"The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that you've got it made." -Jean Giraudoux

"Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Bill Watterson

"Calamities are of two kinds: misfortunes to ourselves, and good fortune to others." -Ambrose Bierce

"When you go into court you are putting your fate into the hands of twelve people who weren't smart enough to get out of jury duty." -Norm Corbsy

"Cats are smarter than dogs. You can't get eight cats to pull a sled through snow." -anonymous

"Football is a mistake. It combines the two worst elements of American life. Violence and committee meetings." -George Will

Monday, January 05, 2009

Dear Sgt. Sterno-

Malach the Merciless asks:

Dear Seargent Sterno, what is the deal with Scientologists?


Sgt. Sterno has no religious biases or prejudices against any of the religions that make the Baby Jesus cry. But Sgt. Sterno does want to point out that Scientology was created by a science-fiction writer, and was first mentioned in a science fiction short story, and suggests that if you are going to follow a religion created by a science fiction writer you may end up with Tom Cruise jumping up and down like a deranged jack-in-the-Box on Oprah's couch and make the Baby Jesus say "what a freaking idiot!"

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Dear Sgt. Sterno-

Note to MMB readers: Today we are debuting a new feature here at MMB, the "Dear Sgt. Sterno" column, which will be hosted by our own Staff Sergeant Sterno. Sgt. Sterno will be glad to answer a wide variety of questions.

Dear Sgt. Sterno- is wanting to see the Miami Dolphins lose a good enough reason to watch a football game involving the (ugh) Baltimore Ravens?

-Confused & Abused in New England

- -

Dear C&A:

Usually there is no excuse whatsoever for watching a game involving the Baltimore Ravens, but your case is special- Miami forced you New England fans not only to watch the New York Jets last weekend, but to root for them! PTUII! That allows you not only to watch this weeks Miami/Ravens game, but to hope that the Dolphins get the Holy Frigging Snot beat out of them.

-Sgt. Sterno

Based on a True Story...

My Momma has a duck-
she wears it like a hat.
I'd really, really rather
my Momma had a cat.

I wish she had a kitten,
named Rose or Friar Tuck.
A cuddly, bubbly kitten,
but no- she has a duck.

My Momma's duck is big and white,
and Poppa's awful pleased
she doesn't take it to bed at night,
'cause feathers make him sneeze.

My Momma takes her duck for walks,
she talks to it for hours,
she lets it on the couch, and once,
she put it in the shower.

My Momma's duck lives in the house,
it eats with us at meals.
When Aunt Bernice saw that one night,
she made an awful squeal.

My Momma has a lovely duck,
I can't complain 'bout that...
but I'd really, really, rather
my Momma had a cat.