Thursday, June 29, 2006

Sorry, but I'm punch drunk and will laugh at just about anything right now. . . .

Just received a press release, and the flack's last name is . . . . . Hollopeter.

It takes so little to amuse me, so I better not go back and read Anna's posting on masturbation.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

I steal only the best material . . .

I had to go in to work this afternoon and, on the return trip, had the pleasure of listening to 'Prairie Home Companion."

Linda Ronstadt and Ann Savoy performed a little duet that got me thinking about unusual covers of songs that actually made the originals fresh and worthwhile.

Ronstadt and Savoy's performance of "Walk Away Renee'" took away the schmaltz of the original Left Bank release.

A few years ago, I'd heard a bluegrass version of "Eleanor Rigby" that was even more haunting and lonely than what the Beatles had done.

And several years earlier, there was an all-woman accordion band's remake of Grand Funk's "We're an American Band." Yes, combine polka and 1970's rock and it wasa actually pretty fun.

And on a slightly diversionary note, this week's "Companion" had an interesting penguin knock knock joke

-Knock knock
-Who's there?
-Fornication who?
-Fornication like this, you really should wear a tuzedo.

Keeping my bargain. . . .

After double-dog daring Pamela to show her bathroom mirror, I kept my end of the dare - the pic wasdeleted Sunday afternoon, so I shouldn't violate too many U.N. conventions on humane treatment of civilians in wartime (at least my so-called President says it's wartime.)

Friday, June 23, 2006

My God, it’s full of stars!

No, I didn’t take an Arthur C. Clarke vacation package. But it has been a long, strange two weeks since I spent a night on possum watch.

By the way, thank you all for the kind, tangentially polite and/or warmly smartassed comments during my absence.

The trip to Chincoteague was, for the most part, a nice Atlantic seaside vacation with the obligatory ponies, ducks, geese, Delmarva black squirrels, deer, mosquitoes, fellow tourists.

And then there was the baptism of the trolleys.

Yes, Chincoteague Island forged ahead on June 14 – a dreary, steadily rainy 24-hour period – with the welcoming of its two new tourist trolleys by immersing them with a spray of water from the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Department’s ladder-pumper truck. There will be a lengthier description of this event. I guess the CVFD has to have something to do when it’s not rounding up several dozen wild ponies for resale.

On the return trip, we stopped in Vienna, Va. to catch the D.C. Metro into our nation’s capital to peruse the Smithsonian. Complicating that expedition was severe overloading of the Orange Line due to a Saturday ball game between the Washington Nationals and the Yankees. As one of my acquaintances once put it so eloquently: “It’s a shame they couldn’t both lose.”

On my return to work this past Monday, I found my work computer’s hard drive shuffled off its mortal coil. Of course, this coincided with a rash of other network and accessory system failures designed to keep me from getting out a paper. Thanks to my reckless disregard for human life, however, we successfully defeated the electronic opposition and met our deadlines with time to spare.

I’m thinking of signing my department up as pirates off the Horn of Africa – I seriously think they could take on any three U.S. Navy warships and capture a prize worthy of their talent and similar lack of respect for humanity. Avast, ye scurvy dogs, heave to and prepare to be boarded!!!!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

The last, last pre-vacation post

The van's loaded. Son, niece and nephew assembled and about to be tranq'ed (just kidding, this time). Clothes and stores checked against the manifest and secured.

And all possums detained and deported.

Although I'm 7 days late in terms of relevance, I'll merely quote Admiral Spruance's order that finally launched the Battle of Midway 64 years ago:

Bring 'em into the wind. Commence flight operations.

See y'all in a week.

Friday, June 09, 2006

The next last pre-vacation posting.

Let me tell you what strange is.

I’m sitting in our dining room at 2350 local with the end of a piece of string next to my computer.

The string leads to a small length of dowel propping up a laundry basket.

Underneath the laundry basket is a disposable pie pan holding a small quantity of canned dog food.

Yes, I’ve set a non-lethal deadfall trap in hopes of capturing the last juvenile possum.

Be vewwwwwy vewwwwy qwiet. I’m hunting possum, huhuhuhuhuhhuhuh.

Also, I've narrowed down my vacation reading

The Washington Post is both entertaining AND absorbent so that'll be morning reading.

I also chose Shacklady and Morgan's "the Spitfire" - Several hundred pages - some turgid and some enlightening - on one of the best looking and performing aircraft of WW II (with the exception of the Tempest/Sea Fury family, but that's probably a debate best left to Vicus and I). Besides, I actually had to look up the propeller diameter for a Spitfire 21 once and this book actually had it.

Finally, I've discovered an unpublished John Updike manuscript - "Possum Run"

Going on vacation

A temporary goodbye

On Monday, I’ll be dropping off the face of the earth for a week of not-so-fun-filled vacation (I’m driving the bus, so to speak).

Unless truly inspired or held hostage by a pack of militant possum exacting revenge for my displacement of some possum Sudetenland this past week, I may make only a few only a few scattered posts on others’ blogs (a relief to many of you, I’m sure).

Until then, if I don’t return . . .

Vicus: To keep our blithering idiot of a National Command Authority from doing something stupid and ruining my vacation plans, the countermand launch code is 6 – 00 – 23 – 18 and the password “Yes Dick may I please have another?”

Pam: Do like the Russians and strap a couple of 55-gallon drums on the back of that Explorer and rig a garden hose into the fuel system – how do you think they managed to invade Hungary and Czechoslovakia. That should get you to the Nevada state line

Cherry: You can have my ‘Avalon’ and ‘Bete Noire’ mp3 ‘shares’ as long as you find someone to permanently stun that stupid git son of Ferry’s.

Miss C: Channel me for the third funniest monkey joke. Hint - it involves the Republican National Committee, Tom DeLay, Grover Norquist and mutual self-gratification in the round.

Tom: I was never any competition for you, and never pretended to be. They’re all yours.

Carmentza: Did you ever hear the one about the FSU football fan, the UT fan and the free Gulf coast day cruise?

Richard: Your old man is tops in my book

Martha: Three cheers for the Queen – Huzzah! Huzzah! Huzzah!

Anna: I left a poetry book under the parlor chair. Hope you don’t mind “The Ballad of Dan McGrew.”

And to everyone else, a little advice: smug self assurance and ability beat high yet unskilled self esteem any day of the week.

Otherwise, see you after vacation!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

The second best monkey joke I’ve ever heard

A man walks into a bar with a spider monkey on his shoulder. He orders a scotch, neat at the bar as the bartender gives the pair a suspicious look.
In a flash, the monkey jumps onto the bar, knocking over bowls of peanuts and popcorn, overturning a jar of pickled eggs and leaping onto a pool table where the monkey proceeds to eat the cue ball.

“Hey, the monkey’s destroying my bar and scaring my customers!” the bartender screamed. “Get him the hell out of here, now!”

The man collects the spider monkey, throws down a $50 bill and leaves.

A month later, the man returns with his monkey.

“I told you to stay out!” the bartender yells.

“Okay, okay, settle down,” the man says. “The monkey behaves now, and I’ll have a scotch, neat.”

The monkey jumps onto the bar again, wreaking havoc with the snacks, jumps onto a woman’s table, reaches in her Tom Collins for the cherry, sticks it between his furry monkey cheeks, and eats it.

“That’s disgusting!” the bartender yells. “What in God’s name is wrong with that longtailed monster?”

“I’m sorry,” said the man. “But after our last visit, he sizes everything he eats.”

Marsupial b*****ds!

As I sit here typing at 0152 local, I’m waiting for two young, rat-sized opossum to buck up and crawl out from under my kitchen stove so I can curl them outside with the broom leaning to my side.

Yes, we went out to see a movie (appropriately enough to this tale, “The Omen”) and returned to my son’s expansive tale of how our livestock Copper captured a “white-headed rat” and released it. Apparently the dog forgot to renew her varmint-hunting permit and had to practice catch-and-release.

Within a half-hour of our return and rapt attention to the account, we heard a rustling and rattling in the kitchen. Lo and behold, it was George Jones. Or, at least, an eight-inch replica of him in a fur coat and with a pink rattail.

Yes, it was a baby opossum (to us Yanks, possum) and it ran back behind the cabinets.

We left the back door open, and the possum finally got the message and left.

At 0125, we heard a cross between hissing and moaning as Copper ran into the kitchen. The baby’s siblings were in a huddle and showing their needle-ly little teeth. I captured one in my office wastebasket and relatively gently slid it outside, earning a possum dirty look.

As of this writing (0201 local), possum three and possum four are, of course, playing possum under the stove.

I might get to sleep before sunrise.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

I'd like to have an argument . . . .

Thanks to the divine Miss C (who adapts well to a 1970’s –style porn star moustache, if I do say so myself), I took the Monty Python character predictor battery this evening.

Several issues arose from the results – some bemusing, some disquieting and some merely inconvenient.

Despite my recently displayed ability with PhotoShop, I was not identified most with Terry Gilliam.

However, in a twist which should delight Cherrypie’s taste in celebrity dinner party guests, I was most closely identified with Graham Chapman – not necessarily a bad thing, although our recreational tastes differed somewhat.

The predictor, however, indicated that I was more likely to be like Carol Cleveland than Eric Idle or Michael Palin.

Terry Gilliam, however, was the second most likely of the troupe to parallel my tastes and sociopathic tendencies. This is a relief, since I did enjoy “12 Monkeys” and “The Adventures of Baron Munchausen.” “Brazil” was also enjoyable, although I didn’t get to see “The Fisher King” or “The Brothers Grimm.”

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Best monkey joke I've ever heard . . .

And I have to give full credit to Jane for presenting this one in a releatively easy-to-find location:

6114 Monkey
A tourist walked into a pet store and was looking at the animals on display. While he was there, an officer from the local RAF base walked in and said to the shopkeeper "I'll take a 6114 monkey, please."

The shopkeeper nodded, went to a cage at the side of the store and took out a monkey. He put a collar and leash on the animal and handed it the officer, saying, "That'll be £2,000, please."

The officer paid and left with the monkey. The surprised tourist went to the shopkeeper and said, "That was a very expensive monkey. Most of them are only a few hundred pounds. Why did that one cost so much?"

The shopkeeper answered, "Ah, that 6114 monkey, he can rig aircraft flight controls, score 300 on the Army Personal Fitness Test, set up a perimeter defence and perform the duties of any warrant officer with no back talk or complaints. It's well worth the money".

The tourist then spotted a monkey in another cage. "That one's even more expensive! £10,000! What does it do?" he asked.

"Oh, that one" replied the shopkeeper. "That's a "Maintenance Supervisor" monkey. It can instruct at all levels of maintenance, supervise maintenance at the unit, intermediate, and Depot level, and even do most of the paperwork. A very useful monkey indeed".

The tourist looked around a little longer and found a third monkey in a cage. The price tag was £50,000. The shocked tourist exclaimed, "This one costs more than all the others put together! What in the world can it do?"

"Actually" said the shopkeeper "I've never actually seen him do anything but drink beer and play with his d***, but his papers say he's a Pilot."

A feeble attempt at humor on a Saturday evening . . . .

and some of you will probably recognize the source, so keep a lid on it for a day or so.

Two nuns are taking a car trip through the Carpathians. Driving across a mountain pass at night, they're shocked to see a large, scraggly vampire jump in the middle of the road.

"Quick, show him your cross," the first nun says to the other. The second nun rolls down her window, leans out and yells; "Move off the road, you toothy git!"

More cultural subversion . . .

I'd say just sit back and enjoy, but that might not be the best choice of words for this . . .

I tried for more of a retro 70's look . . .

Hey, she asked .

Funny that "pregnant, white trash-marryin pop idol/revolutionary" didn't show up on this . . .

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Inquisitiveness |||||||||||||||||| 60%

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Friday, June 02, 2006

One Britney Spears, per request

Be careful what you ask for, Martha.

Vicus, never leave someone alone with PhotoShop . . .

Thought I might try the Trotsky look this weekend. Za Rodina!

Not sure if it's night terrors or the Dagwood syndrome . . .

but here I am at 0033 Friday, typing one-handed while eating an ice cream cup (sorry if the image wasn't what you were hoping to hang on me, but I have no plans to type one-handed for any reason other than food or drink).

Thanks to my wonderfully irregular working hours, a post-midnight wakeup is pretty routine for me. Maybe I'm regretting the unveiling of the self-threading catheter (another reason I'm headed to hell, probably).

Also a warning to those who dare read this blog - I'm the literary equivalent of a manic depressive and may switch into either sentimental or overly pensive musings. Not as bad as Robert Clive (one for Vicus here) who, having successfully exerted domination over India, woke up one morning to shave, looked in the mirror and slit his throat.

Unlike Clive, I'm not suicidal or a real manic depressive - I just have some slight mood swings and I've been happily manic for the last couple of days.

These ice-cream cups aren't bad at 0040. And I've got a pack of brats and a leftover baked potato in the fridge for lunch . . . . maybe I was a fat, unmotivated landser in another life given my susceptibility to bread, meat and beer.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

A new development for the nursing-home industry

While I’m sitting here waiting for some sports writer from the corporate fleet (East India Company?) to make use of our drydock facilities, this is as good a time as any to mention an invention I've pondered for several years. Whether it’ll get patented or not is another matter.

Designed specifically for the factory-style nursing home, the self-threading catheter helps avoid all those messy accidents stemming either from poorly-inserted smooth-tube catheters or from the nursing staff being blissfully ignorant of the recipient’s cessation of clinical life signs.

It comes in left or right-handed threads, metric or English measurements, and sheet-metal or wood screw. I haven’t worked out the engineering aspects for slot, Phillips or hex head yet, but that should be a minor issue.

I've discovered it . . .

Thanks to the mental exercise demanded in solving Pamela's child-rearing problems, I've developed the universal answer to overly curious children (sniveling or not). In a perverted sense of desire to serve my fellow man, feel free to use this answer without any fear of copyright infringement"

"I can't be serious, because Sirius is an immense, glowing, extraordinarily hot ball of gas and debris, much like Roseanne Barr during menopause."