Saturday, December 22, 2007

Merry Christmas

Here is the little Curie-Esse gang at Christmas circa 1971. (I was born Jess Curie-Esse. Now I'm Jess Wundrun). I had questions even then.

I hope everyone has a safe and joyful holiday. I hope that all your dreams come true. I hope that this new year will be the one that brings us peace.

I'll be back next week. Be sure to overeat and drink too much while I am away.

Friday, December 21, 2007

My guess as to why Nosferatuliani had to turn his plane around...

Since he is a republican over the age of sixty, I'm guessing he may have experienced an erection lasting longer than four hours.

Now that's a much more frightening version of "Snakes on a Plane".

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Mental Note:

When selecting a metaphor for how things are not going well, don't use car accident.

Today I was in one. Yup, my fault.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Do you think they're just repackaging all that leftover Hi-Karate cologne from the 70's? Alls I can say is at least Dick Trickle isn't the spokesman for it.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Here's my christmas card this year

(Okay, it may seem a bit more eastery, so maybe I'll just be that much ahead of the game)

From LOLZtheist

Sometimes you can be proud of your representatives

Of course, I'm always proud to be represented in the Senate by Senator Russ Feingold.

And now my representative in Congress has stepped up:

(From The Nation - and other local hero, John Nichols)

Three senior members of the House Judiciary Committee have called for the immediate opening of impeachment hearings for Vice President Richard Cheney.

Democrats Robert Wexler of Florida, Luis Gutierrez of Illinois and Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin on Friday distributed a statement, "A Case for Hearings," that declares, "The issues at hand are too serious to ignore, including credible allegations of abuse of power that if proven may well constitute high crimes and misdemeanors under our constitution. The charges against Vice President Cheney relate to his deceptive actions leading up to the Iraq war, the revelation of the identity of a covert agent for political retaliation, and the illegal wiretapping of American citizens."
Could be she was really listening to Enriched Geranium and Luminferous Ether last month at her listening session.

Friday, December 14, 2007

A Patch of Black Ice

Black ice is the kind that you cannot see when you approach it. It's dangerous and can send your car spinning out of control with no warning. It is a menace here in Wisconsin and it usually forms when the weather has been fairly mild with a sudden drop in temps.

I've hit a patch.

Yesterday I took my daughter to preschool, the first day back after a snow day. Due to the snow day she didn't get the reminder sticker sent home to remind me she was "snack girl". Having forgotten her snack, I wound up crying uncontrollably in the director's office. I only cried a little standing in front of the yogurt section at the grocery store.

Yesterday I went to the OB/Gyn to have my IUD removed. Then I went shopping at the mall across the street. The IUD removal ruptured a blood vessel and I ended up bleeding uncontrollably and crying uncontrollably in the JCPenney's. I went back to the doctor who sent me home and told me to stay off my feet for the rest of the day. At Christmas time.

I have a tenant who is a very sweet young man. His girlfriend left him. He has stopped paying his rent. He won't answer his phone. This doesn't make me cry, but starting eviction at Christmas time makes me not sleep.

Two weeks ago our sweet cousin died in an accident. He was thirty. I sneak little cries in the car. During his eulogy of a handful of stories, two of them recounted were stories about me and him. One involved him throwing up all over me in a bar once and one involved an incident with a Jamaican lady of questionable repute when he came to my 40th birthday bash in Negril. We were going to Arizona next week to see him for Christmas. Instead we saw him last week in his casket. We will still go out there for Christmas but there will be a space at our table that will not be filled. Not ever again.

Then there's all the busyness and stress that a regular Christmas entails. Then there's the very short days that bring on the blues. And the cold that brings on cabin fever. Then there's - then there's-.

The most comforting thing I have read lately is mattyboy's post dissing Nietzsche's 'that which does not kill us' trope. I am not killed. I am not defeated. But I am diminished.

I hope the spinning stops soon and that this car wreck lands softly in a snowbank.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Photo Ops, place your requests.

Hey, guys and gals. This weekend I will be flying through not one but two recently newsworthy notorious airports.

The Wundruns will be at the Minneapolis airport. Apparently there is a famous restroom there. Does anyone have a request for photos or possibly a square to spare from the famous stall? Leave requests in comments.

Minneapolis is our connecting airport, our destination is Phoenix. I will gather no snark there, but will observe a moment for the tragic death of Carol Gotbaum. I also promise not piss off anyone at that place, but will get out as quickly and quietly as I can. Afterall, there was an erstwhile troll here who claims her death to be perfectly justified. I bet he'd think the torture and false imprisonment of me would be justified too. I shall become one with the sheeple.

BTW, the last time I was at that airport I accidently started a fight between two psycho security screeners by asking one of them "How's your day?" She started to cry and claimed the lady handling the queue next to her was being mean. Then the other lady started screaming at her. The fight got really noisy and all the passengers in line behind me were really nervous. They would probably have called security except those two ladies were security. I am not making this up. There is something in the water there.

UPDATE: Ben says there is no way in hell he is going in the men's room and taking photos. Have I mentioned before that Ben is a republican? [gasp]. I don't think this is a sympathic republican homophobery move on his part. He just says if I want the pics I have to go in myself. However-his sister will be with us and she can call him chickenshit and make him do things I can't. So nee ner nee ner nee.

Anyway. I'm working on it.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Splotchy is spreading a virus. Washing your hands won't help.

Splotchy's viral story is making the rounds. I'm tagged on the spoke of the wheel that is Splotchy, FranIam, Dr. Monkey von Monkerstein and Enriched Geranium.

The story thus far:

I woke up hungry. I pulled my bedroom curtain to the side and looked out on a hazy morning. I dragged myself into the kitchen, in search of something to eat. I reached for a jar of applesauce sitting next to the sink, and found it very cold to the touch. I opened the jar and realized it was frozen. (Splotchy)

"That's strange," I said out loud to no one in particular. My fingers slowly reached towards the jar again. My body experienced a wave of apprehension as weighted blanket covering me as I did so. The jar was completely frozen. I picked it up and stared at it, my fingers stung with little knives of chill. "What the..." again I spoke aloud. Then I realized what had happened with a shock. Suddenly the jar flew from my hand. It shattered creating a collage-like mixture of frozen applesauce and glass shards on my kitchen floor, the lid lazily rolling to a stop across the room.(FranIam)

She flicked the lid with her massive big toe. "So, I guess I'll be having another Camel for breakfast and you'll be having a breakfast date with the Electrolux." She lit her Camel cigarette as she turned to open the closet door where we kept the vacuum. "In case you're wondering how the applesauce got frozen, I seem to recall you insisting that I stick it in the freezer before we went to bed last night." She pushed the Electrolux at me and it squooshed through the rapidly unfreezing applesauce and the glass shards. "This kind of crap happens all the time when we go drinking with the Brazilians." (Dr. Monkey)

Suddenly, the front door erupted in an explosion of wood splinters. “Jesus in a bucket! They’ve found me!” I thought as I dove out the kitchen window. My experiments with frozen applesauce, Camel cigarettes and Electrolux vacuum cleaners were supposed to be a secret, but, apparently, they weren’t as secret as I had thought. What would happen if the formula fell into the wrong hands? All my work, for naught! Who had leaked the information? Was it her? Or possibly one of the Brazilians? “Now the damned Department of Homeland Security will ruin everything I’ve worked so hard to achieve!” was the last thing that went through my mind before I was surrounded. (Enriched Geranium)

Totally surrounded, I might add, by secret service agents. A childish gray-haired man stepped between them. He walked as if he were hiding an eight ball in his trousers. Stepping nearer I saw an actual eight ball, (pool table, not drugs) fall out his pant leg. Bruised, a little bloody and a lot confused, I still thought "some guys just can't deal with their shortcomings".

"Where's Pickles?" short and arrogant demanded of me.

"Pickles?" First Brazilians, now pickles, Camel cigarettes and an electrolux? Sweet jesus on a popsicle stick help me make sense of this.

"I know yer shaggin' Laura. She said you're into the brazillians . I'd have ta be preznit for another eight years before I had brazillians and brazillians of dollars". He looked sad. "I bet she tried her erotic applesauce trick on you." Eeugh. She did try the erotic applesauce trick on me. But I didn't know I was whispering sweet nothings into the ear of the First Lady. In the snowdrift outside the kitchen window he saw the Camel butts. "Camels! Ha! I knew she switched from Pall Malls for a reason. It's you. Buddy, I have half a mind to punish you in ways you will never forget. (Jess Wundrun)

I know that Tengrain is anti-meme. Maybe you'll relent once? Also, Commander Other who is also anti-meme but gave in but once. How 'bout it Pygalgia? And Delia from Impeachment and Other Dreams, would you be so kind?

Who is today's saint?

If you woke to find candy and nuts in your shoes then you already know, today's saint is Saint Nicholas. Like, totally Yay!

When we lived in Milwaukee we found that St. Nicholas day is well remembered there. If it has to do with a predominance of Germans living in Milwaukee then they are not the same bunch of Germans that I am related to around here, because only one of my aunts ever bears in mind when St. Nicholas day is. Then, she also remembers many, many of the saints' days and uses them to predict the weather. Maybe more on that later.

Many people are aware that the three gold balls that hang outside your favorite pawn brokers' shop are there in honor of Saint Nicholas who paid a dowry of gold for each of the three daughters of a man too poor to afford their dowries himself. If not for St. Nicholas' anonymous generosity the girls would have become prostitutes.

A lesser known Nicholas legend is that during a famine he visited a butcher who, unlike anyone else in town, had meat. Nicholas searched the butcher's cellar where he found three barrels containing murdered boys pickling in brine. He promptly brought them back to life, and according to my Saint-A-Day guide has been the patron of children in a pickle ever since. Har de har. Seriously, it is possible that Sweeney Todd is based in part on this legend.

So there you have it. A saint whose emblem is three balls, nuts in your shoes and corned beef kiddies. All of which has become a jolly elf who lives among the shorties at the top of the world with the prescience to know if you been naughty or you been nice. How can you not be in love with teh catholics?

I don't know who Saint Nicholas would be if he were alive today. But if those children were around they'd be Laura Bush.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

A Must Read by Dr. Zaius

I have wanted to sit down and pound my keyboard over the outrage of Bush knowing that Iran halted its nuclear program four years ago, while still beating the drums of war with the oogey boogey mushroom cloud, but I haven't had the time.

Dr. Zaius raises an excellent point about the whole sad sorry sordid deal. Please go read.

Update: Speaking in Omaha earlier today, Bush called on Iran to better explain its nuclear intentions or face further sanctions. How bizarre can you get? Iran claims to not pursue nukes, turns out that's the truth, Bush is caught lying about it so the only obvious resolution is to continue the call for sanctions? On them?

Bullshit. This is about oil, pure and simple. Iran can easily form a strategic alliance with Russia and then China for the 200 billion barrels of oil in the Caspian region.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Have a little faith in me.

I love to read people's Friday Random ten posts to see inside the minds of fellow bloggers through their music choices. Now there's a meme going around that sheds further light on peoples music tastes by asking 22 questions to be answered by whatever "shuffle" on an iPod says.

Franiam tagged me with this meme.

I must say though, that I don't have much music on my iPod because it is mostly filled up with books. A cupla books will eat a gig fairly quickly. This is the reason I never post the random tens. But I tried this just for fun, and here is what I came up with:

The rules:

1. Put your music player on Shuffle
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. YOU MUST WRITE THAT SONG NAME DOWN NO MATTER WHAT(this is in capital letters, so it is very serious.

1. IF SOMEONE SAYS “IS THIS OKAY” YOU SAY? Now I know how Morrissey felt - Mika


3. WHAT DO YOU LIKE IN A GUY/GIRL? - All American Courage, Alan Jackson*

4. HOW DO YOU FEEL TODAY? - Grace Kelly, Mika

5. WHAT IS YOUR LIFE’S PURPOSE? You are my sunshine, Carly Simon

6. WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO? Catch the wind - Donovan

7. WHAT DO YOUR FRIENDS THINK OF YOU? Color me America, Dolly Parton*

8. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR PARENTS? The Ballad of the Green Berets, SSgt Barry Sadler*

9. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT VERY OFTEN? Flathead, the Fratellis

10. WHAT IS 2+2? Quiet Evening, Carly Simon

11. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR BEST FRIEND? Holloway Road, Ollabelle

12. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE PERSON YOU LIKE? Sight of my Homeland, Tim Janis*

13. WHAT IS YOUR LIFE STORY? I will go sailing no more, Randy Newman



16. WHAT DO YOUR PARENTS THINK OF YOU? The Ragged Old Flag, Johnny Cash*

17. WHAT WILL YOU DANCE TO AT YOUR WEDDING? Beautiful Disaster, Jon McLaughlin

18. WHAT WILL THEY PLAY AT YOUR FUNERAL? Little Wonders, Rob Thomas

19. WHAT IS YOUR HOBBY/INTEREST? Jerk it out, Caesars

20. WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST SECRET? I think it's going to rain, Bette Midler

21. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR FRIENDS? Born Losers, Matthew Good

22. WHAT SHOULD YOU POST THIS AS? Have a little faith in me, John Hiatt

*All the entries marked with an asterisk are there because I made a playlist for a fourth of July picnic with patriotic songs. But doesn't everybody have "The Ballad of the Green Berets" on their iPod?

This ponzey scheme ends with me. Surely four angels and six snowflake babies will die if I don't continue the chain, but there it is.

Enjoy John Hiatt.

No More Past Tense

In a move probably foreseen by Suzy the teacher blogger, the Onion tells us that schools are dropping the past tense.

From the Onion:

WASHINGTON—Faced with ongoing budget crises, underfunded schools nationwide are increasingly left with no option but to cut the past tense—a grammatical construction traditionally used to relate all actions, and states that have transpired at an earlier point in time—from their standard English and language arts program.

A part of American school curricula for more than 200 years, the past tense was deemed by school administrators to be too expensive to keep in primary and secondary education.

"This was by no means an easy decision, but teaching our students how to conjugate verbs in a way that would allow them to describe events that have already occurred is a luxury that we can no longer afford," Phoenix-area high-school principal Sam Pennock said. "With our current budget, the past tense must unfortunately become a thing of the past

Saturday, December 1, 2007

What do you get when you cross mattyboy and Franiam?

Lolzchristians, that's what!

Also, while I am making fun o' the fundies (you're not a fundie, Franiam I did not mean to imply...), I thought I might pass along my score on the "How Good of a Christian Are You", written by someone who writes like a LOLZ christian:

Come Dancing

When I was 18 the State of Wisconsin allowed me to drink in bars and restaurants. (We also drank in cars and in farm fields.) In practice this meant my friends and I would go to Rusty's on Thursday nights and drink 25 cent taps of beer. Half of the senior class of MHS had hangovers on Friday morning. They had a dance floor upstairs and pool tables in the basement. We probably danced to the Kinks, but I don't remember that for sure.

Well, they're tearing down the Palais. The owner of an Illinois-based chain of Mobil gas stations and convenience stores made an offer the owners of the bar could not refuse.

If Rusty's has to go, I just wish it was to something besides a fucking Mobil station.

Enjoy the Kinks. Not their best work, but boy did I love that song back in the day.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Did you know that today is Whatever Splotchy Says Day?

Splotchy says post another Taint post.

Here you go, good man:

Oh, and: "V'z abg chggvat hc nabgure cbfg sbe lbhe qrznaqf, Fcybgpul! Fb gurer."

A Word About the Cheesehats

Often, coverage of Packer games on television leaves one with the impression that the foam cheesehead is required at all home games. I am here to tell you that that is not the case. Season ticket holders (aka luckyfreakingbastards*) never wear them. At all Packer away games you will see far more cheeseheads in the stands than you do when the Pack is back at Lambeau Field. Only people who think everyone wears them wears them. And they quickly learn the truth.

*There are 57,000 people on the waiting list for season tickets. The Packers website says that wait is about 30 years. That is a lie. Only if 1900 tickets get freed up every year would you get your tickets in 30 years. It's a guess, but I think about 2 tickets (not together) become available every year.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Who Is Today's Saint? (Special FranIam Edition)

Today's saint is not a saint, though she is on-track to become one. Fresh! Today marks the anniversary of her death in 1980, so I guess this is the day my Saint-A-Day Guide has assumed would be her feast day.

She is Dorothy Day. (Not Doris Day, lover of animals and the fabulous Rock Hudson). Apparently the most fascinating thing about Dorothy Day is that she had an abortion. Okay, I kid. Except that every single bit of information about Ms. Day on the 'nets include the fact that she had an abortion. Personally, after a lifetime of good works, I would think that would suck. Maybe they'll make her the patron saint of abortion doctors?

Here's what my Saint-A-Day Guide says about Dorothy Day:

In her younger days Dorothy was a suffragette, a Communist, a journalist [blog note: isn't that redundant?] a free love advocate and a knockout to boot. She had a seies of lovers (including Eugene O'Neill), a divorce, an illegal abortion, and a "punk" hairdo, and she could make wine from dandelions and parsnips. Pregnant with her (out-of-wedlock) daughter, she became interested in Catholicism. Dorothy converted, left her lover, and raised her daughter alone. Because the Catholic Church had brought her to Christ, she put aside her reservations about its bureaucracy and bilious priests-"One must always live in a state of permanent dissatisfaction with the Church," she said. She and her fellow pacifist Peter Maurin founded the Catholic Worker for the poor and disenfranchised of society and personally distributed its newsletter. Dorothy built and lived in a "hospitality house" in the slums of new York, which she established to feed and shelter the homeless. She slept on a cot there and would wear only secondhand clothes. In the words of the Making Saints author, Kenneth Woodward, "Dorothy Day did for her era what Saint Francis of Assisi did for his: recall a complacent Christianity to its radical roots." She died penniless, and Abbie Hoffman, Cesar Chavez and Daniel Berrigan attended her funeral. When Dorothy's expensive canonization process began in March 2000, Father Berrigan, calling her the people's saint, suggested the money be given to the poor instead. She might have agreed: when a reporter, in light of her status as a living Saint, asked if she had holy visions, Dorothy's response was an irritated "Oh shit!"

If Ms. Day were alive today she would not be a Saint (uh, cuz' she's still not), she would be Angelina Jolie.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Could I get a little help here?

Could you just come over and sign that electronic notepad thingamawhatsahoosie for me? Thanks, yer a bud.

Oh, and do you have a corkscrew onya?

Can we declare these people brain dead yet, chapter 2

Here in the frozen tundra of 'Sconni land there is a terrible scandal afoot. Tomorrow night's matchup between the 10-1 Packers and the 10-1 Dallas Cowboys will not be seen by the majority of Wisconsinites because most of the cable companies don't carry the obscure channel that will be broadcasting the game. Wisconsin Badger fans are suffering too, since the Big Ten Network that shows the games is also not carried by the big cable companies (Charter, etc.)

Into the fray steps US Congressman Paul Ryan, who represents southern Wisconsin. Ryan, who votes to the right of George Bush, sent his constituents the following e-mail:

Wisconsin’s First District Congressman Paul Ryan today sent a letter to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Kevin Martin voicing the concerns of constituents who are not able to watch this Thursday’s Green Bay Packers game or Wisconsin Badgers’ basketball games due to disputes between cable providers and the NFL Network and the Big Ten Network.

In his letter, Ryan urged the FCC to consider rule changes that facilitate the appointment of an arbitrator in disputes such as these, so they can be resolved more quickly and with consumers’ interests foremost in mind. He also applauded the Chairman’s decision to review the cable television market and urged him to ensure that free market competition can thrive.

“When so many Wisconsin Packers and Badgers fans can’t watch their teams play, it’s a sign that something’s very wrong with the cable market,” Ryan said. “People all across Wisconsin want to be able to stay home and watch Thursday’s game against the Cowboys and future Badgers games too, so the demand is there. It’s frustrating that fans are losing out because of disagreements between cable carriers and the NFL and Big Ten networks. The FCC should ensure future rules changes boost free market competition and consumer choice – and promote speedy resolution of such disputes.”

Dear Congressman Ryan: what about the "free market" do you not understand? The part where if pesky 13-year-old congressmen want to interfere in business, that would be called "regulation", no longer making the market "free"? Laissez-Faire loosely translates to "Let it be" so if you don't like what occurs when the market behaves on its own whims, don't you think you should just STFU?

Ironically, republicans in our state are pushing very hard for a "Cable Competition" bill which would further balkanize our cable lineups, not solve the problems of viewers being unable to see programming they used to see for free on the networks.

P.S. Here at the Wundrun home we've got DishNetwork, and so will be watching. With many relatives and other cable orphans.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Retirement: If you get there afore me, Trentie....

"The good news is - and it's hard for some to see it now - that out of this chaos is going to come a fantastic Gulf Coast, like it was before. Out of the rubbles of Trent Lott's house - he's lost his entire house - there's going to be a fantastic house. And I'm looking forward to sitting on the porch."

Who Would've Guessed?

Not one of us. I did handicap him at 7.5 to 1 shot, but not with a male prostitute. Wowza. But now it seems kind of obvious. Like, the toupee should have been a tip-off.
Tengrain at Mock, Paper, Scissors is er, on top of this one.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Channeling Tengrain

While lighter in weight than their predecessors, the new military humvees do not seem to have much more protection than earlier models.

Yeah, we already knew

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Vice President Dick Cheney, who has a history of heart problems, was found to have an irregular heartbeat during a doctor's visit on Monday morning, his office said.

Cheney visited his doctors because of a lingering cough from a cold and during the examination he was found to have an irregular heartbeat, which on further testing was determined to be "atrial fibrillation, an abnormal rhythm involving the upper chambers of the heart," said Megan Mitchell, spokeswoman for Cheney.

Cheney will undergo further evaluation on Monday and if required he will have an electric impulse to the heart delivered, which is standard treatment for this diagnosis, Mitchell said. He would be put under sedation.

It would be an outpatient procedure and Cheney was expected to return home on Monday night, she said. It had not yet been determined whether he would require the procedure, she said.

Atrial fibrillation is a heart rhythm disorder that is becoming increasingly common. The heart's two small upper chambers quiver instead of beating effectively and blood isn't pumped completely out, so it may pool and clot, putting the person at risk of stroke

Ignorance and Want

It was a long night, if it were only a night; but Scrooge had his doubts of this, because the Christmas Holidays appeared to be condensed into the space of time they passed together. It was strange, too, that while Scrooge remained unaltered in his outward form, the Ghost grew older, clearly older. Scrooge had observed this change, but never spoke of it, until they left a children's Twelfth Night party, when, looking at the Spirit as they stood together in an open place, he noticed that its hair was grey.

"Are spirits' lives so short?" asked Scrooge.

"My life upon this globe, is very brief," replied the Ghost. "It ends to-night."

"To-night!" cried Scrooge.

"To-night at midnight. Hark! The time is drawing near."

The chimes were ringing the three quarters past eleven at that moment.

"Forgive me if I am not justified in what I ask," said Scrooge, looking intently at the Spirit's robe, "but I see something strange, and not belonging to yourself, protruding from your skirts. Is it a foot or a claw?"

"It might be a claw, for the flesh there is upon it," was the Spirit's sorrowful reply. "Look here."

From the foldings of its robe, it brought two children; wretched, abject, frightful, hideous, miserable. They knelt down at its feet, and clung upon the outside of its garment.

"Oh, Man, look here! Look, look, down here!" exclaimed the Ghost.

They were a boy and a girl. Yellow, meagre, ragged, scowling, wolfish; but prostrate, too, in their humility. Where graceful youth should have filled their features out, and touched them with its freshest tints, a stale and shrivelled hand, like that of age, had pinched, and twisted them, and pulled them into shreds. Where angels might have sat enthroned, devils lurked, and glared out menacing. No change, no degradation, no perversion of humanity, in any grade, through all the mysteries of wonderful creation, has monsters half so horrible and dread.

Scrooge started back, appalled. Having them shown to him in this way, he tried to say they were fine children, but the words choked themselves, rather than be parties to a lie of such enormous magnitude.

"Spirit, are they yours?" Scrooge could say no more.

"They are Man's," said the Spirit, looking down upon them. "And they cling to me, appealing from their fathers. This boy is Ignorance. This girl is Want. Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased. Deny it!" cried the Spirit, stretching out its hand towards the city. "Slander those who tell it ye. Admit it for your factious purposes, and make it worse. And abide the end."

"Have they no refuge or resource?" cried Scrooge.

"Are there no prisons?" said the Spirit, turning on him for the last time with his own words. "Are there no workhouses?"

The bell struck twelve

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Apres ca, le deluge

One quiet moment this morning that I have stolen before the troops come for Thanksgiving. 22 blessings to be fed at my table today.

Hope everyone has a fabulous thanksgiving. Please, let's remember those soldiers who should be home today but who are not.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Good Cop, Bad Cop

One of these guys steps over the line all the time. One of these guys will never cross the line. Somedays you need a scorecard.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

It is all beginning to make sense, Part II

They're not swallowing it as easily as they used to. Still, we have our ways.

Wiped from the mortal coil

From Wikipedia:
According to Charmin makers Procter & Gamble, a 1978 survey found that "Mr. Whipple" was the third best-known American, behind only recently-ousted President Richard Nixon and evangelist Billy Graham.

And now they're all gone.*

From TV Acres:
Prior to his Charmin involvement, [Dick] Wilson had been a stand up comic, stuntman, acrobat, and a movie actor. Dick's Mr. Whipple character gave him such a high profile that his career in movies was basically over. After all who wants to see Mr. Whipple kissing or killing somebody. Wilson's TV credits included the role of a local drunk on BEWITCHED for nine years; a cop on THE MUNSTERS; Colonel Gruber on HOGAN'S HEROES; and Dino Baroni on MCHALE'S NAVY.

*I know. Just kidding.

What's wrong with this advertisement?

Smiling mother: "This Friday morning I'll be going to Wal-Mart. Because I'm known as the coolest mom on the block. And I want to keep it that way".


Monday, November 19, 2007

They'll take our jobs

But they won't take our dollars.

India: Tourist Sites Refuse the Dollar

Published: November 17, 2007

The Ministry of Culture has begun insisting that tourists visiting the country’s monuments, including the Taj Mahal, pay the entrance fees in rupees rather than in dollars. Entrance to many sites for foreign tourists is priced in dollars and then converted to rupees, but the ministry has been losing tourism revenue as the dollar slid more than 12 percent this year against the rupee. The government had fixed a $5 entrance fee for World Heritage sites like the Taj Mahal and Humayun’s Tomb and $2 for other monuments at a time when the dollar was worth about 50 rupees. It is now worth around 39 rupees. The new rate for Heritage sites is 250 rupees, meaning a foreign tourist will pay the equivalent of about $6.50

Wundrun's True Employment Tales

One of the features of Monkey Muck, written by that awesome typewriting Monkey, Dr. Monkey von Monkerstein is his "True Employment Tales".

Though the last time I received a paycheck with my name on it was four and a half years ago, I have had a very wide variety of odd jobs in my background. So, to shamelessly steal ideas from my betters, I bring you installment one of Wundrun's True Employment Tales:

Dirty Board Game Assembler

(the photo is not of the actual game)

My day job was a very crappy outside sales job, which I will save for a later installment. My roommate had a friend who published board games that are sold in adult book stores and at places like Spencer Gifts. In the evenings we would go to a very old, dark, cold warehouse to put together the pieces of the board game. Little mini whips, little mini blind folds, little mini erotica. There was sort of a makeshift assembly line so I felt like Lucy and the chocolates except rather than something you could eat, there were just little plastic collars to try to get into each box quickly.

The main thing I remember about the job is feeling really sad for anyone that would think sitting around playing erotic board games would be fun. I ain't saying I'm against getting a little silly when the drawers are down, but this game just seemed ...boring. I mean, if you're naked and you can't figure out what to do, I doubt a board game is going to expand your horizons.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Because I do what Splotchy says to do.

Here I am linking to I,Splotchy. Just because he said to. Now, you go and link to me linking to Splotchy and someday there will be numerous non-Ugandan riches in it for all of us. Except latecomers who will henceforth be called 'suckers'.

Also, while doing what Splotchy says to do, I'd like you to know that I recently removed the word verification from my comments section. Hellz, if non-humans want to drive up traffic at Maison de Wundrun go right ahead little spiderbots or whatever you are called. That might actually earn me some money someday, too.

I think word verification comes with spyware, wherein someone in the sublevels of a really shitty office building (Joe v. the Volcano kinda) gets to watch increasing levels of frustration as you type 8 new nonsense words just so your incredibly pithy comment will not be relegated to the forgotten tendrils of electronic whispry. (WTF does that mean? I don't know, I just typed it, and no-I'm not drunk).

Housekeeping meeting is now closed.

When can we declare these people clinically brain dead?

Under the headline "At present we are losing our country, but our fate is in our hands" a commenter on the website "The View from the Right" writes:

That the leading Republican candidates are participating in a Spanish language debate ["Really terrible news"] is indeed terrible news. What is one to do? I don't even think I am such a "traditionalist." How can people just watch this go on and not feel at all disturbed by it?

From my experience in pointing out this surge of Spanish language translations being put on every product and sign and brochure, it seems that people just don't see anything wrong with it.

Last summer I went to a Mets game, for the first time in a long time. The game programs at Shea Stadium now include Spanish translations of everything [blogger's note: *gasp!*]--all the headings, positions, etc. So, for one thing, the page is just jammed with text now, with the English and Spanish words and phrases being placed next to each other in the same lines, so it is one big long line of text separated by a slash. What I find particularly egregious is that surely no Hispanic baseball fan doesn't know all the English terminology already. They are not even real Spanish-language words, since they are almost all "Spanglish" or transliterations from English. (beisbol, honrun)

Mets games programs published in Spanish? Oh the horror, oh the coming apocalypse. I bet these Mets players are outraged, too:

Ambiorix Burgos, Dominican Republic
Willie Collazo, Puerto Rico
Pedro Juan Feliciano, Puerto Rico
Orlando Hernandez, Cuba
Pedro Martinez, Dominican Republic
Guillermo Mota, Dominican Republic
Juan Padilla, Puerto Rico
Oliver Perez, Mexico
Duaner Sanchez, Dominican Republic
Jorge Sosa, Dominican Republic
Ramon Castro, Puerto Rico
Carlos Delgado, Puerto Rico
Ruben Gotay, Puerto Rico
Anderson Hernandez, Dominican Republic
Jose Reyes, Dominican Republic
Carlos Beltran, Puerto Rico
Endy Chavez, Venezuela
Carlos Gomez, Dominican Republic

18 of 33 players on the Mets roster were born in Spanish speaking countries.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

It is all beginning to make sense.

(AP) -- Tiny robots programmed to act like roaches were able to blend into cockroach society, according to researchers studying the collective behavior of insects. Cockroaches tend to self-organize into leaderless groups, seeming to reach consensus on where to rest together.
For example, when provided two similar shelters, most of the group tended to gather under the same one.

Hoping to learn more about this behavior, researchers led by Jose Halloy at the Free University of Brussels, Belgium, designed small robots programmed to act like a cockroach.

The robots didn't look like the insects and at first the roaches fled from them, but after the scientists coated the robots with pheromones that made them smell like roaches the machines were accepted into the group, nesting together with the insects.

Given a choice, roaches generally prefer a darker place and the robots were programmed to do the same.

When given a choice of a darker or lighter shelter, 75 percent of the cockroaches and 85 percent of the robots gathered under the darker one.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The President in the Swimming Pool

America's best senator happens to live not in my neighborhood, but about one neighborhood over, maybe a mile or so away. 'Jesus, Jess' you say. 'We had no idea you were a swell, living the high life in an exurban mansion accessible only through a large, protective, moat-like, gated barrier.'

Friends! I am not such a person, because the senator is not Trent Lott or John D. Rockefeller. The senator is Russ Feingold, and he really is a smack-dab-in-the-middle of middle America guy. My neighborhood is made up of older ranch style houses with unfinished basements and one car garages. (The Senator has a 2 car garage).

It is possible to run into Senator Feingold all over town. About a year ago, I saw him swimming laps in the lap pool at our health club. "Health Club!" you snort, "sounds prestigious!" "Not at all," I answer. "Just like the Y, and locally owned!"

I told my daughter that the next president of the United States was in the pool. Sadly, only a short time after we saw him he made the announcement that he would not be running for president. Still, whenever we walk past the lap pool my daughter asks "is that the president's swimming pool?"

If My Friends Could See Me Now

At about noon today I was sitting in front of my stove watching the dial on my steam canner maintain 10lbs pressure for 30 minutes (beets) while starting the second of a pair of socks I'm knitting.

Nobody who knew me 20 years ago, hell, nobody who knew me 10 years ago would believe it.

A Platform for Protest



It seems that bridge players everywhere are clutching their pearls over this outrageous act of defiance by the US team as it accepted the Venice Cup Women's championship award in Shanghai last month.

These women may receive sanctions that will keep them from playing bridge professionally for a year.

According to the NY Times: '
The proposed sanctions would hurt the team’s playing members financially. “I earn my living from bridge, and a substantial part of that from being hired to compete in high-level competitions,” Debbie Rosenberg, a team member, said. “So being barred would directly affect much of my ability to earn a living.”'

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Maybe he should put little stickers on the insoles

to tell the left shoe from the right shoe.

It works for my 4yo.

(Image swiped from Commander Other's Otherwhirled)

Update: I think Franiam has helped solve the dilemma: Bush is so far right he refuses to wear the left shoe.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

One more reason to be a locavore (or E. Coli is A.Ok with the USDA)

A locavore is a person who puts buying locally at the top of her priorities when shopping for anything. Barbara Kingsolver wrote a book about extreme locavory - her family spent a year eating nothing that was not produced within a few miles of her home, each family member claiming an exemption for something non-native to Virginia, coffee for one, chocolate for another.

Buying organic is good, but not so much if your organic bib lettuce had to be shipped in a petroleum- based plastic container the size of a baby bathtub across country on a diesel truck or train.

Thanks particularly to nationally centralized chains like Wal-Mart, it becomes more and more difficult by the day to purchase local meat. Yes, it can be done but it takes a lot of leg work and planning.

Today I read a report that the US Department of Agriculture allows millions of pounds of E.coli tainted beef to be sold in the US. The loophole allows pre-cooked meat with E.coli to be sold to the general public and to schools. USDA officials don't believe an E.coli outbreak will occur from the cooked meat, but some inspectors claim this year's rise in cases is due to the practice. In addition, it raises the possibility that allowing E.coli inside processing plants will also contaminate raw meat.

Pre-cooked hamburgers use the suspect meat. So too, does any of that convenience food busy moms and dads lean on--those crock pot dinners, pre-cooked stir fries and so on. Burritos, taquitos-any frozen food you buy with pre-cooked beef inside could be tainted.

From the Chicago Tribune: "
"The government keeps putting out that we've reduced E. coli by 50 percent and all of that," said an inspector. "And we haven't done nothing. We've just covered it up."

The reason that locavores are safer than others is that small, local processing plants are much, much less likely to be involved in meat recalls and tainted food. Like everything else in the free trade movement, meat that comes from processing plants that pay skilled workers decent wages are better on many, many levels. This is just one.

Wine people, Beer people

We went to a fancy wine tasting Saturday night at the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee. The Pfister is a beautiful old downtown hotel. It is only slightly tainted (sorry, splotchy) for me due to some unfortunate remarks made by the musician Beck when he stayed there during Summerfest. He compared the name of the grand old hotel to an act usually engaged in by homosexual men, portrayed rather unvarnished in the movie Caligula. Wow, I digress like Dennis Miller on crank.

I know beer people and I know wine people. They are very different. Here's my guess why: beer people make batches. Those batches don't keep. You put the happy in the bottle now. Very few beer people get really rich, but many, many try. Wine people make vintages. Much is left to the caprice of the weather; ocean breeze, rain, sun; bugs; timing. Wine keeps and everyone thinks they can get rich off of wine. Either by making your own or by making a buy low/sell high choice on something you've cellared.

Wine people compulsively brag about their cellars. They brag about a wine they tasted somewhere and how lucky they were to have a thimbleful. Beer people don't cellar, so they are a less snobby bunch. Some beer stakes its claim on terroir-the unique combination of global positioning and soil minerals that effects the hops, but not much. They aim for consistency.

Wine people say that it takes a lot of beer to make good wine. Beer people never say that it takes a lot of wine to make good beer.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Happy Birthday to my favorite world traveler

Happy 50th, Franiam! Many happy trails to you, kid.

Happy Veterans Day

Happy Veterans Day to my dad and all the other men and women who have served in the Armed Forces.

Veterans day tidbit: the current 110th Congress less than 25% of its members who are veterans, the lowest number since WWII. The end of the draft is partly responsible for this fact.

Another veterans day tidbit: Larry Craig, the heterosexual senator from Idaho is an Army veteran. He served in the Army Reserves where it was his duty was to visit high schools and impress upon swarthy young high school students the exciting opportunities awaiting them in the army. He was discharged due to a medical problem with his, I kid you not, feet. Others say it is because it was discovered that he was gay. Which we know is not true because the senator is not now, nor has he ever been, gay.

Update: Another tidbit: Mitch McConnell was an army man for 10 whole days before being discharged. The rumor is that he fondled a privates privates. Of course, McConnell is not gay anymore than he-men Craig or Lindsay Graham for that matter, so one simply must be amazed at the length to which republicans will go to get themselves excused from service in time of war.