June 30, 2002
WOOHOO!! 3 More Hours!

Thank the gods Scott comes home tonight! I'm sure you all are SICK of my stupid shit postings this past week. What can I say, I didn't want all of you to hear me boo-hooing that I was lonely and had no other human contact in person outside of work. I got cats, they are good company. But, they don't talk back. At least they don't get bored by my conversation and wonder when I am bringing out more tea and crumpets to munch on while I blow my nose into some tissues. *Thanks Magrat for being ultra supportive to the only human that feeds your fat little black cat ass when you demand it*

I don't like to sleep by myself I found out. I need a heating blanket. Scott could generate so much heat I would have to toss a leg out of the sheets just to cool off some. Yeah, yeah, Ajax slept with me. * I think it was mostly his new medication making him so friendly-buspar does wonders*

I exercised my self sick this week that I'm ready to take a week off from it. Though I probably shouldn't. My diet this week consisted of oreos, soup, cheese sticks, cheese and crackers, water, water, water, oreos, water. * I RAN OUT of soda- and of course I was too lazy to go to the store* Oh yeah, and grapes.

Did I mention I LOST the flight info. Though now that I think of it, its probably not that important. Its most likely the only flight from Cincinnati flying in on a Delta plane. I know he comes in like 8 somthing. OOOOPS!

This day has gone on too long. I totally cannot wait for him to come home *awwww- sick isn't it? and people think I'm so nasty to him*

I am going next year. I NEED a vacation. I want to go on a trip. I need to get out of here.

Posted by Ellen at 05:27 PM | Comments (1)
Death Clock

According to this clock, my day of death will be December 22, 2077. Thats me being optomistic about life. The worse you are, the less of a life you will get.

Scott day is February 26,2065. Weird huh?

Check you day of death.

The entire site is rather odd. Hey Maru!! they even calulated Bush's day for ya! You only have to put up with him till 2020, :)

Posted by Ellen at 02:35 PM | Comments (3)
Weird Nj

Ok, here is some spooky shit if you are up for it. My recomendation is not to read it at night , or alone at night. Spooky stuff.

Weird Nj. How'd ya guess all the stories take place in Nj?

Posted by Ellen at 02:29 PM | Comments (5)
10 Signs You Drank Too Much

This was found of the link area to 2 Odd Sites a Day *update dammit! we need more weirdness!*

If you drink, you will get it. If you don't drink, well...you must think everything leads to dancing. Dancing is bad m-kay?? *This message brough to you by all anal retentive baptists everywhere*

10 Signs You Drank Too Much

Posted by Ellen at 01:44 PM | Comments (0)
Topless Yoga

This is NOT totally naked! It's only topless. Though I DO recommend that if you are a rather well endowed girl, do not try it unless you plan to knock your self in the head with your boobs. Being found naked on a sticky mat with a head injury is not a good way to be found by friends or family. I don't think this will make the 'class' rage.

Topless Yoga

I will say that I found it on the online verision of the SUN, a tabloid. BUT there are several topless and or naked yoga vidoes you can purchase. They take those yoga sessions just as seriously as the professional wearing clothes. Like I said, I don't think it will make the class rage. Most people would want a seat in the back just to watch everyone else. :)

Posted by Ellen at 10:11 AM | Comments (0)
Stamps

The price of stamps for snail mail goes up this sunday from 0.34 cents to 0.37 cents. You can read the entire story here.

Yeah, I'mnot happy either. This totally makes me want to go all internet to mail all bills now. It's not worth it anymore. I just bought 100 stamps last week. Now not only do I have to buy 1-2 cent stamps to cover the rest of my postage, you can't return stamps you have already bought.

The U.S postal service has increased the rate of stamps 3 times since 1999. I can remember stamps at 0.25 cents. I'm sure there are more of you out there that remember them cheaper.

The post office WILL go out of buisness for snail mail if this keeps up.

Posted by Ellen at 10:01 AM | Comments (0)
Bible Contradictions

This was an interesting bit I found today. Basically it takes several bible entries and compares them to other entries from other authors of the bible. *cause all the bible entails are a compilation of stories from that were written down by a select few that decided to finally write down stories that were being told for centuries.

But it is rather interesting on how different people read or rather interpret the same situation differently.

Bible Contradictions

Posted by Ellen at 09:53 AM | Comments (0)
50 Fun Things for Non Christians to do in Chruch

This was damn funny.

I grew up Roman Catholic, but my mind has refused to remember most of it. My sister went to catholic school until the 8th grade. She most likely knows more than me in that department.

Posted by Ellen at 08:55 AM | Comments (0)
June 29, 2002
The Dumb Man's Bra!

Can't stand that you can uclasp your sweeties bra? Tired of her getting frustrated because you can't figure out 2 easy claps and has to do it herself? Tired of being embarassed when it comes time remove that bra?
Ladies! - no more clasping your bra and spinning it around and throwing your over the shoulder boulder holder on backwards! For once your man can feel acomplished when he suceeds for once with that bra!

The Magnetic Bra! This is a french invention. If the french know anything*which is not much* they know lingerie.

Posted by Ellen at 07:58 PM | Comments (0)
Cyborg Cats!

Thanks to Boners.com for this silly kitty monster!

Posted by Ellen at 02:30 PM | Comments (0)
Body Angst

Did you know that 60% of the US population is overweight? Thats just adults. Kids run from 10-30% overweight. So whats wrong with us? Is it our diets *yes*, is it our hate of exercise *yes*. Lots of factors contribute to it.

On my street alone, there is 2 McDonalds, 4 Starbucks, 2 Icecream shops, and 2 grocery stores. Lots of temptation. I will FULLY admit I am a total snacker. I'd rather snack 50 times a day than eat full meals. I can never finish my meals as it is, they are too friggin big. * Scott has seen me inahale a very large meal before. Usually only if I have not eaten ANYTHING all day. Yeah, I have a very bad habit of running on empty all day then eat one huge meal at night*

They say the cause of fat is your genes. Is it? I don't think so. Well, what about the fat virus? Nope,sorry. If there is a fat gene or a fat virus, what about the thin gene or the thin virus? Most of america is so bent on obesity. What about the people that are already thin that don't think they are thin enough? I'm a size 5 and to me, thats not small enough. I met Scott when I was a size 3. The biggest I have ever gotten was 140 pounds 4 years ago. I have been a consistant 120 pounds for the last 3 years. Still not small enough. I want to see my 110-115 pound self.

But then again, why am I bent on weight?? I always preach, "don't go by the scale, go by how your clothes fit". Oops! Should I admit I weight myself daily at work on the dog scale in the front lobby?

I have 30 exercise videos and DVD's. My living room is my gym. I have 2 aerobic steps, 2 barbell sets, a yoga ball, and a large variety of dumbells. Ok, is there somthing wrong with me? Is my desire to be thin wrong?

Ok, I just don't want to be thin, I want to be thin and muscular. I love the look. Most people don't, I do. One reason WHY I am not there yet is a complete weakness for chocolate. Especially M&M's. * goddamn little candy coated chocolate demons!*

I will admit taking a belly dance class has taught me to appreciate the body I have. I just cover the parts I DON'T like. Yes, I have parts I hate. *legs legs legs- I hate them. Too short, too chunky,too stocky, elephant knees, olive branch toting ankles..shall I continue?* I've come to appreciate that it took me 3 years to get where I am now. It will probably take me another 2 years to get where I want. I'd rather exercise all day then work.

I have this horrible feeling of guilt when I eat pasta now*actually most of my food I feel that way*. I am fucking italian, and I am not nuts about pasta. I can't stand spaghetti anymore. I'm sick of it. I don't see a meal. I see strands of simple carbs that star back at me saying they are going straight to my ass, and all the calories I burnt earlier working out are going to hop right back on board. But I don't feel bad when that ice cream comes out of the freezer. I could eat that stuff all day.

So yeah, somthing is not right in my noggin. I never said I was perfect. I am far from it. Is it MY fault that I am this way? Should I blame society for making me neurotic over food? Everyone else does. Should I just sit back and take everything in stride and not worry as much? Should I eat WHATEVER I want, but only in small amounts so I don't wind up doing my signature binge and purge?

I think it is rather funny how you can watch TV on a saturday morning and its NOTHING but informercials. All FITNESS and WEIGHT LOSS oriented informercials. You have the FIRM *which is a frigging hard exercise program*, and all of the gadgets you can imagine up for sale. There is even a new exercise program designed for the shape of your body.

Scott hates to work out. He does not like to compete with me. He will go for a 2 mile walk with me. *I still don't feel very accomplished at the end of the walk and will work out for another hour after the walk* We also will bike. He likes the fun stuff. Now don't get me wrong, I like having fun when I work out, but I want every fiber in my body hurting to tell me that I did some muscle damage and that it is going to repair itself bigger and better than before.

So is it all my fault? Probably. But I can be like everyone else out there and blame somthing else.

Posted by Ellen at 01:41 PM | Comments (1)
Panda Porn

Ok, the Chinese are just weird too. They are also obsessed with Pandas, which is a good thing since they are endanged and all.

But they have decided instead of giving their male pandas viagra, they figured a good dose of panda porn is all they need. Apparently the pandas reallly like it.

I wonder what thier KY-Jelly bill is?

Posted by Ellen at 12:51 PM | Comments (1)
Baby Bombers!

This is a joke people! Baby Suicide Bomber. At first eveyone thought it was real, but it's not. I wouldn't push it past them to do it.

Though, if you think about it. They are easier to throw. :P

Posted by Ellen at 12:45 PM | Comments (0)
Weird British 'Scientific News'

WeIrD!~ yet, stupid. I swear, these people are dishing this type of news out as if no one has EVER heard of it before. Must be like Hollywood movies in the UK, they have to wait almost a year before a new release to us, becomes a new release to them * so I have heard *

Semen Makes Women Happy. What the hell? No it doesn't. It's NOT chocolate!

This article is OBVIOUSLY new news to them. How dumb can they be??? This idea has been proven how long ago?

The list gets better. How's this one? Smart!

Posted by Ellen at 12:31 PM | Comments (0)
Old English Cook Book Found

One of the oldest recorded english cookbooks has been recently found.

Cook Book

They STILL eat weird shit. In my opinion, the book may be a good find, but not the recipies.

Posted by Ellen at 08:00 AM | Comments (1)
June 28, 2002
Down on the Farm

Scott told me about this place. He mentioned that his anthropology teacher at The University of Arkansas is really good friends with Bass.

Neat article, cool idea. I'm all for forensic science. I should mention that the 'farm' is a body farm. No dumb ass, they don't grow shit there, they make it decay.

Think of all the possible situations where a body can decay. Thats what the body farm does. Morbid yes, but its a necessary aspect to forensic science. One of the neatest things it can tell you is how long into decomposition the body is, or rather when the person ceased to exist.

Pretty neat eh? I thought so.

Posted by Ellen at 09:31 PM | Comments (0)
Cubical Survival Kit

For those of you that work for a corporate company or a non-profit that won't give everyone an office *ya get that shitty little cubical, never to see the light of day for at least 8 hours- unless you are a smoker and take all to frequent breaks* there is this survival kit you can get from the Cube Guy.

Yeah, he is changing the lives of cubical trapped people everywhere!

Posted by Ellen at 09:01 PM | Comments (0)
The Fukuoku

Remember the Fukuoku 9000 commercial? A personal pleasure device for your aching neck and shoulders? *yeah right*

Now they have the Fukuoku Glove. Apparently this one does more than your aching neck and shoulders.

And don't forget about the Fukuoku 3-Pack

Posted by Ellen at 04:32 PM | Comments (1)
The Brazilian Bikini Wax

A really detailed article on just what a Brazilian Bikini Wax entails. Yeah, ouch!

Another encounter of a brazilian wax.

The art of a well manicured muff. This is a funny one.

A quick, cut the the chase FAQ

Now you are wondering WHY women go do this right? I'm sure you are smart enought to figure that one out. ;)

Posted by Ellen at 02:31 PM | Comments (0)
SuperNova

Check this article out! Scientists have discovered a supernova. But this one is special. They caught it right in the beginning stages!

Posted by Ellen at 01:02 PM | Comments (0)
Sex On The Beach

It's not just a drink! People actually do this!

When Scott and I were in Jamaica, one of the rules were:
1. you can run around int the skimpiest bathing suit/clothes you wanted, but don't be all the way naked.
2. If you were going to have sex on the beach, please do it at night, where most people won't see you *though I don't know why people WOULD want to have sex on sand..kinda scratchy* 3. If ya want to hit a kinky resort, go to Hedonsim. There are 3 of them now to choose from.

Unlike these two that got caught. Tells ya that sun and drinking leads to stupid people

Posted by Ellen at 12:58 PM | Comments (0)
June 27, 2002
Not So Taboo Anymore

Ok, this is for the person that wants to display a vibrator as a work of art.

Did I mention that it is 'functional' art?

Posted by Ellen at 09:17 PM | Comments (0)
OUCH!!!

What the fuck!??

That person has a ODD fetish. Remind me never to use clothes pins again for hanging laundry outside on a line.

Posted by Ellen at 09:01 PM | Comments (1)
Today's Weather

Today's weather in Ohio

Nice day there.

This is my weather for today. Nice big thunderstorms tonight. My girlfriend Amber,* yes, the one people think I am a total lesbian with* and I are going out for dinner.

Big thunderstorms, and I got film for my camera incase somthing neat happens.

Posted by Ellen at 05:23 PM | Comments (3)
IO

Last pictures of IO.

Rather neat article. Check out the interactive stuff too.

Posted by Ellen at 05:16 PM | Comments (0)
Computer Buddies

Got one of those desktop buddy critters that come out and chat to you or walk across your screen? I do. I got a Felix. I love it. Its too friggin cute.

I did a search on the net for computer buddies and came up with this. Not only is it a buddy. Its a half nekkid one. Though I can't figure out to send stuff with it. It seems that the program doesn't work right. I mean how am I able to send a sexy buddy greeting to Scott and she doesn't work? Thats like hiring a stripper and she doesn't show up!

Sexy Buddy *who you can pick from several types with the SAME body, but different color skin and ethnic backround* runs for $39.95. But would you want to spend that kind of money if the damn site can't even test a FREE sexy gram? I mean I wanted to see what I sent. I even tried to send one to myself. It does not work. So I wasted time and effort of sending Scott a computer sexy gram and she may not even show up!

So I went back to the site ok, and I clicked on a FREE buddy. Of course it was a cat. This one's name is Oscar. I installed it. But he won't pop up. Maybe I put him in the wrong drive.

You can even get a FREE Tahni. Yeah, its another computer chix, but at least she is free.

Of course you can always NOT download one and spare yourself some annoyance. But then again, it depends what kinda buddy you get.

Posted by Ellen at 04:31 PM | Comments (76)
June 26, 2002
SHC

For those of you that don't know. SHC is spontaneous human combustion.

This is one of the classic photos taken. BUT one problem It says she died in her easy chair. Unless she watched TV on the toilet, then thats no easy chair!

At least she went her way on a tile floor. Easier to clean ya know.

Posted by Ellen at 09:21 PM | Comments (2)
The Mystery of the Odd Sock

Ok, this happens at my place all the damn time! Socks with no buddies. There is ALWAYS a sock that is missing the friend it came with.

Drive down the highway and you may just see that sad little sock lying on the side of the road. Obviously it was killed while trying to cross the street.

Scientists have now debunked WHY you get that Odd Sock

What do you think? I think my socks are running along the highway somewhere.

Posted by Ellen at 09:06 PM | Comments (0)
Could It REALLY Be a Ghost?

Ok, new game. It's called, "Can You Spot The Real Ghost". I found a site that supposidly has some pictures of ghosts on camera ect... But are they real or is it light refracting on the lense of the camera playing tricks on you?

I will fully admit I am a total believer in ghosts ever since a personal experience in New Jersey. NO, I did not see one. But some shit happened in our room that we could not explain. Might as well blame it on a ghost.

So ok, is this a ghost, or is it cigarette smoke?

Paranormal cat? or camera strap?

Mystery orb? or light refraction from the sun hitting the camera at an odd angle?

You get my point right? Most 'ghosts' seen on a camera are usually somthing that can be easily explained. There is the RARE instance that you will get somthing that the pros can even pathom what it is.

Nine times out of ten it is usually, light refracting off your camera because you failed to make sure you did not have light hitting the lense at a poor angle. Or it is the mysterious cigarette smoke *especially if that smoke is comming right below that camera lense!-hello, put cig out then take pic*, OR its that damn camera strap from a 35mm point and shot cam.

Keep looking at the piccies. Paranormal Phenomenon

Posted by Ellen at 08:44 PM | Comments (1)
10 Reasons Why Men Hesitate To Marry

Interesting article.

10 Reasons why men hesitate to marry.

Posted by Ellen at 05:41 PM | Comments (0)
Weather in Ohio

Today's weather in Cincinnati, Ohio

Don't I wish it was only in the 80's here. We are code 'orange' today for air quality. That means, you can still get cancer from breathing, but not as much as a red day. That was sunday and monday.

Posted by Ellen at 05:23 PM | Comments (2)
June 25, 2002
Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About...

Like cheese?. This is a neat site. Everything you have ever wanted to know and not know about CHEESE!

What about EGGS!

How bout Condoms?

OR, ChOcOlAtE

Google is a good thing.

Posted by Ellen at 08:16 PM | Comments (1)
Stoooopid Shit

WOW! I've got such a wonderful husband! Not only can he manage to put a post up on the web, BUT he doesn't email his wife. Clever guy. Must be that convention muddling his head. He tends to get sticky at these times. Though I will say I am upset that I don't get to watch people run a registration desk again that have no idea what customer service entails. Too bad I couldn't get off work. I probably won't get a phone call either tonight.
1. its too expensive
2. who the fuck knows when the hell he will be in his room, cause he is either A. dorking with convention shit. or B. out having a good time and just forgot.
As Scott would say, "poor Ellen, no one loves her". Well the small things count when somone is alone and is dependent on somone else for company no matter how annoying they can be. Gee, would be nice to have a email or virtual kiss-not alot of work ya know *HINT!*

You owe me big time buddy. That 'key' cost $30 bucks to send out. I'd better get somthing 'cat like' in my hands when you come home.

Not only do I have to find stuff to keep me busy, I can't seem to get any of my friends to go out to dinner with me this week. Nice right.

Hrmm....how many times CAN I listen to the ABBA album tonight? So far we are up to 3 times since I've been home. Catchy.

Must come up with more things to do... already waxed eyebrows almost all off *got carried away* and did the brazilian wax thing * no pool to sit next too in a tiny suit cause the pool cost $100 fucking bucks this year*

I know. I'll just exercise till I drop, that works. I like sleeping on the floor. Can a person survive on just oreos and water?

I have a cat that is being TOO affectionate ever since this new anti-anxiety med has taken effect. *side effect in pharmacology book- can cause extreme affection* I will have to say, I DON'T have to close the bathroom door this week. This means I don't have to 'announce' I am using the bathroom and have 2-3 cats come in with me, and get outright upset when I don't invite them in.

How many days left? 5? Shit. I'm already bored. I don't have anyone to yell at.

Should have mailed the wrong key. That would make his undies turn inside out on their own. - yeah,ok I'm depressed.

Posted by Ellen at 05:56 PM | Comments (0)
Postcard from the Edge, #1

From our remote location in funny, sunny, Cincinatti (MOTTO: our bums don't have an accent)

If:

  • You get up at 7:30 am, having stayed up till 1 am
  • Are hungover because people kept giving you booze because you're funny
  • Hang out for two hours waiting for the computer guy to show up
  • Don't remember the computer guy's phone # because it's locked in a case with the voting machine
  • You can't open the box because the key is in Virginia, and you're in Cincinatti
  • Stare bleary-eyed at a little old lady that just wandered into the staff office while she talks to you for twenty minutes about nothing
  • Bust your rear get everything set up in a certain room because the people there must have the room ready by a certain time
  • Wait two hours after that time for them to actually show up
  • Put out three fires and deal with two blind, wild-eyed panics in an hour and a half
  • Listen on the radio while your buddies try desperately to convince themselves they didn't throw whole boxes of important stuff away
  • Tell no fewer than six people "no, registration is tomorrow... TOMMOROW... TO.. MOR.. OW.."
  • Watch someone receive an e-mail that is a scanned piece of handwritten paper for a bio to be printed in a program
  • Listen to a mother and son natter at each other over a public radio band
Then you must be at convention!!!

I'll have a much more detailed post later, but this should give you an idea. And my job's easy. You should see what Dana and Connie have to put up with...

Posted by scott at 05:01 PM | Comments (3)
Arkansas Quarter

The new Arkansas quarter is being dedicated to former President Clinton. *CLICK HERE* to see the new quarter!

Posted by Ellen at 04:37 PM | Comments (3)
Alligator STILL Loose in Cincinnati

Ok, HOW hard is it to catch a 'tiny' alligator?

Watch out Scott!!! Make sure you LOOK in the toilet before you use it!

Posted by Ellen at 04:28 PM | Comments (2)
June 24, 2002
Monkey!

A new species of monkey has been discovered in South America. NO its not one of the natives!

Posted by Ellen at 10:14 PM | Comments (0)
SuperSize It!

Yeah, ok this person is a bit too stupid to realize her real issue.

I hear my southern mama gets littel old men in her hospital like this.

Posted by Ellen at 10:00 PM | Comments (3)
Weirdness in Cinncinnati

Ok, this is a bit odd for this place.

Look out Scott!!! Alligator loose in your area!

Someone prolly flushed it down the toilet and it escaped.

Posted by Ellen at 09:54 PM | Comments (0)
ARGHH!

Ok, I officially hate the TIVO right now. It won't let me change the channel while recording. BUH-BYE recording. YEAH, YEAH, I called Scott and left a message. Plus I know better than to override the Farscape show on friday.

The house is quiet, except for the cats that have a hissy-spitty with each other on ocassion. Ajax in NICE and quiet. He has a new medication! *WOO-HOO* I know, not nice of me to rejoyce. BUT, if he was pissing on your carpet just because, you would feel the SAME way. He is now on Buspar! Yes, the anit-anxiety drug.

I get to walk around the house naked without getting jumped. I get to practice my belly dance stuff over and over again. I get to do lots of stuff.. got lots of time...yeah, thats it.

One thing that does change when Scott goes off on convention, is that ALL of the cats will sleep with me on the bed. Cat extacy!

But yea, I am lonely. I have no one to yell at Scott would say.

I'm still miffed about the TIVO though.

Posted by Ellen at 09:26 PM | Comments (2)
Scott and His Mind

Scott's mind likes to forget things. :) I'll leave it at that :)

Perhaps he will tell you all about Ohio and his works convention this week if he has some time. I'm sure he will find some time.

Posted by Ellen at 06:15 PM | Comments (0)
June 23, 2002
Cow Sh*t for College

Ok, so cow pies + bored southerners = something Ellen can come up with a crude comment about. Beware Ellen! Your Southern mama may have secret sparklies, so Be Nice!

Posted by scott at 08:00 PM | Comments (3)
BBQ "R" US

If you rub his belly, it brings you good luck

So yesterday your intrepid webmaster & webmistress decided to actually go out into the sun (*blink* *blink*) and attend the "10th annual Safeway Bar-B-Que Battle" in downtown Washington D.C. Hey, we had a coupon!

It seems that all the festivals (well, both the festivals that we've attended at least) in DC happen in a certain segment of Pennsylvania Avenue. For you non-locals, Penn. Ave is the street that connects the Capitol to the White House. Or at least it used to, a long time ago. Over the years a lot of stuff has happened, most specifically a lot of real big trees and the treasury building happened (the thing on the back of a $20 bill... I think, but without the charming model-Ts). Today, when you're standing on Penn Ave. in the summer you can see the Capitol framed by low buildings at one end, and big honking broadleaf trees with a cool fountain on the other (Freedom Plaza has one of those nifty dancing water fountains).

Ok, so we were close enough to Mr. Bush that Maru and my mom would probably both break out in hives. But you couldn't actually see the White House. What you did see was a section of really wide street cordoned off with chain link. Temporary "wheeliebooths" lined each side, of varying sizes. At heart, it probably wasn't any different from any other street festival you may have attended, but I bet it smelled a lot better.

Well, it was hot. Real hot. It's said that in the 1870s France considered DC a tropical hardship post, and you'd believe it if you were walking down the middle of that street at 1 pm. The blacktop of the road acted like a kind of solar microwave, frying you as you traversed the street. As long as you were moving, it was OK because you were generating your own breeze. But stop for any reason and the heat would close in on you like being wrapped in a towel straight out of the dryer.

Now, the last festival we went to was the DC beer festival. That one was fun. They gave you this big stack of "pogues"... basically balsawood poker chips, when you entered. Each pogue was worth 4 oz. of beer. Walk up to any vendor, present said pogue, and get a taste. Ok, that was what happened when I walked up to the vendor. When Ellen shimmied up in her daisy-dukes (a.k.a. "hot pants" or "short-shorts"), big brown eyes, and perky smile, she would walk away with half a freakin beer glass. I'll bet you guys can figure out who got beer for us the rest of the day. We had to sit in a corner for an hour that afternoon just to sober up!

But this festival wasn't like that at all, beer being cheaper than barbeque apparently. You could smell all the wonderful things being cooked, but you couldn't freaking eat any of it!. The streets were lined with an eclectic mix of cellular phone, ice cream, wine, and (wait for it)... tire vendors. Yes, tires. Actually, the Michelin booth was pretty cool as far as I was concerned. They had a '96 Formula-1 race car, and that was the first time I'd ever seen one of those exotic beauties in the flesh. Ellen smacked me like I was looking at some supermodel walking down the street.

You have to remember there are three things you Just Don't Do to Ellen: 1) Tell her she's wrong (we call it the "W" word around here), 2) let her get bored, or 3) jostle or poke her. Because it was a bit crowded and we weren't getting to eat barbeque like we were able to drink beer before, Ellen was getting #2'd and #3'd with a vengeance. After the third snarl for accidentally tripping on her shoe, yours truly could see the writing on the wall and immediately went looking for husband shield #1... chocolate.

Thankfully, I found a Turkey Hill ice cream booth giving away free samples (chocolate and vanilla). After getting our samples (those wooden not-quite-spoons suck), I went into "dumb husband" mode for awhile, letting Ellen vent her frustrations by yelling at her clueless cow-like hubbie to stay out of people's way. Yeah, I took a bullet for the team.

The whole festival thing stretched about a quarter of a mile, or about three DC city blocks. After walking back and forth twice I thought it would be a good idea to get in line for the "Safeway Free Samples Tent", a really long awning that seemed to promise lots of tasty barbeque bits for those willing to stand in the line that stretched across Penn Ave. and down a side street. But once we'd got up to the awning we discovered that a) the free samples were dippy things like popcorn and carpet cleaner and b) the line was "folded" three times over inside the tent. We skipped out on the free sample line shortly after that.

At that point we were getting pretty hungry ("If I don't eat something I'm going to f***ing pass out" was what Ellen actually said), so we went to one of the pay vendors for some (duh) barbeque. I got the pulled pork sandwich, and Ellen got the ribs.

Now, we already have a regular barbeque place we visit, Red Hot and Blue. They were at the festival, but I wanted to try something different, so we went to the Dave's Famous Barbeque stand instead. We then went by the "wine hut" (booze R us too), and then sat in the concert pavilion to eat.

Ellen's judgment was that the ribs weren't as good as RH&B's. The pulled pork sandwich I had was darned tasty, so it may have been a case of not being able to cook ribs in the proper way. At any rate we munched barbeque and listened to the reggae band that cranked up in the pavilion tent.

The bass on the band was cranked up a bit too loud, made you feel like you were getting hit with crash cart paddles (haaay mon... thees one, she not dahncin... give me 300... [weeeEEEEE] *BANG*), so at that point we decided to head home.

We gave out two awards... weirdest male and weirdest female. The former went to a guy that looked like Alice Cooper had a child with the lead singer of the Spin Doctors. We're talking nappy red hair, 30 piercing, 6 tattoos, and big scary clown makeup around the eyes. The latter went to this 6'2" platinum-bleach-blond porn star with store-bought 36DDs, wearing a tube top on both ends and 8" stiletto heels.

Ellen was too busy laughing at her to smack me.

Posted by scott at 07:29 PM | Comments (3)
Mystery Mammal Rediscovered After 70 Years

Sometimes I think bigfoot is a bunch of horse-hockey, and then I read this, about a medium-sized predator that's been hanging out in Africa and has only been seen once in seventy years.

But of course, this thing has been seen, and bigfoot hasn't, so I still think bigfoot is horse-hockey.

Posted by scott at 05:13 PM | Comments (1)
Ann Landers Dead @ 83

Yay, my suffering of looking at her daily article has ended! Now I will only have to suffer reruns of it.

Ann Landers, syndicated advice columnist dies at 83 from multiple myeloma, a malignant tumor of the bone marrow. *from the Washington post*- who might I add wrote up an article of her being witty, humerous, honest ect...

Ok people, face the truth. She gave out shitty advice. It was not thunk through before she published it. Half the time her column was filled with appoligies for giving the wrong advice to a person.

Like I said, only have to suffer through rerun columns.

Posted by Ellen at 07:15 AM | Comments (0)
No Way? Another Madonna Flop?

Why do directors and producers feel they have to remake a movie?? Was it not good enought the first time?

My favorite italian movie SWEPT AWAY starring Giancarlo Giannini is being remade by Madonna's husband. Of course, with her starring in it. So far it has been dubbed as a flop. Mind you this is from a tabloid, so think about it before you go racing off to tell your firends!

Why change Swept Away in the first place? The whole charm of that movie was 2 very angry italian people beating the shit out of each other on a deserted island.

Another plus of the movie was that it was in italian.

Why put poor Madonna in it also? Ever since her first movie critics have hated her just because she couldnt act. Maybe she took acting lessons since then? I have no idea.

Like I said, WHY do people have to make remakes of a movie that just don't need it.

More about this movie

This is the REAL Swept Away starring Giancarlo Giannini. Check that out to see a real italian flix!

Posted by Ellen at 07:09 AM | Comments (0)
June 21, 2002
Past Participle

I think I can fairly say that one of my talents is teasing out memories, perceptions of the other, things that would normally be lost to other folks. It makes it a little weird to live inside my head, but it does tend to give me insights that perhaps some have lost.

The Washington Post noted a few days ago scientists think the reason why most people can't remember their childhood all too well is because it's all pre-verbal. Think about it... probably nearly all of the memories you have which are easy to recall involve some sort of internal dialogue. Humanity has language literally engraved in its genes, and without language we have difficulty even recording the world around us in our own heads.

For some bizarre reason, I don't have this problem. It's not exactly a gift. I feel my inability to work with regular mathematics, and yet still excel in geometry, is because of the strong non-verbal component I still carry within me. This led to untold misery in many a primary school mathematics class. But it does give me the ability to do this:

The summer of 77 is still vivid to me, with heat like a mallet wrapped in a wet paper towel to the face.

I get that way a lot with music. We're listening to Abba right now, because Ellen likes Army of Lovers and I insisted that AoL was in no small way an homage to that juggernaut of a 70s Swedish quartet. So she bought an Abba album. But while Ellen is listening to funky boppy silly music, I'm not. All I have to do is switch a gear in my head and...

I'm sitting alone in the middle of our the playroom in our old house, now long gone. The plastic-wrap-in-acid reek of modeling cement surrounds me swirling with the almost strawberry smell of drying enamel as I lean over my second B-17 plastic model kit. I'm sitting Indian-style on the brown/tan/white soda fountain patterned indoor-outdoor carpet I won (at age 9) in a silly drawing at the carpet shop. My legs are aching a little as the tight nylon weave scratches soft sandpaper patterns on my legs. I'm surrounded with curling Star Wars posters taped on the dark paneling of the room, and Star Wars toys, in 1977 worth their weight in gold, are scattered in the distance.

Or I'm in the back of a blue Oldsmobile station wagon, as the 8-track plays through the stereo. The morning sun is caressing my brother and me as we play with our Star-Wars pop-up out books, silent in our agreement that, at age 10 and 8, we are grown up enough to re-visit Florida by ourselves with our rather excitable mom without making her go insane with our fights. A truce is called through the chords of "mama mia" that will only last as long as the trip. A pope dies as I exit the heavy-doored motel room in Orlando with the semisweet tang of hotel soap in my nose.

History is funny that way. We only personalize what we lived through. But what we see on the television, or read in books, is just third person-- two or even one dimensional representations of things that we know in some abstract sense happened, but deep down are no different, or real, to us than watching Friends on Thursday nights.

So now whenever I watch or read anything about the past, or even the present, I try to take those nonverbal images with me when I re-create the landscape in my mind. It helps me realize these things aren't just abstract descriptions on some old book that smells like dried tea, and aren't just something you put on the tube while you vacuum the floor.

I see guys standing in trenches in the summer sun with bullets whizzing over their heads and I remember the feel of light and heat on my own face, and it becomes real to me. I watch a CGI reconstruction of an Allasaurus stalking a Brontosaur on a salt flat and I recall the caked dust up my nose walking down a dirt road and I'm there. I read about the death of a king and remember what it felt like when the towers fell, and I understand the kind of loss that yanks the world sideways.

So the next time you watch or read history, if you don't already I want you to try to literally put yourself in that place. Don't observe and be interested in what is happening... look at what is going on and step outside yourself. Find a place in your own memory that mimics even a little what you are reading or seeing.

You'll be amazed a the result.

Posted by scott at 09:31 PM | Comments (1)
Men and Lingerie

Men like or love lingerie. They let you know with a definite yes or no.

You have men out there that will actually BUY it for the chick in his life. MOST of the men are like, "Why bother? It ends up on the floor anyway?" Ok dumbass, if you have not figured out, buying your chick something sexy is a definite way of getting lucky that night.

For those of you that are totally clueless on how to buy the right size. Check that site out. It gives you some decent ideas. Snooping around in her panty drawer can help too. * ok, take face out of panties and pay attention to essay ok??*

Remember, its all about the fantasy of it all ok? Even if it lasts less than a 1/2 hour and you both get what you want. Word of the wise, make sure when you buy the goods for your chick, it will be complementary to her body. Don't get something you saw in a magazine and assume it will look good on her. Chances it wont. Those chicks in the magazines are airbrushed mannequins, your girl is real. Unless she is a Real-Doll. *shudder*

ASK questions at the store if you buy it that way! Thatís what the people are there for. You are not asking for directions. You are asking for something that your chick will wear for you. Get it in the wrong size or style and you will not get what you want. Hence, you will have a date with your hand and not the chick. Remember, there is NO map in a lingerie store.

"But Ellen, I don't know what kind of lingerie to buy? I'm just a stupid guy, I have not direction in life. Help!" No problem there. Go with what you like. Ya like naughty fantasy type stuff? Go there. Like more of a contemporary look? But what a variety in choice? Check that out.

The choices are endless. Remember, buying sexy stuff is not rocket science.

Posted by Ellen at 08:50 PM | Comments (0)
SwimSuit Season

Happy Summer Everyone!!!

Now that it is summer, it's also the dreaded *bathing suit* season. GACK!!!! I'd rather be dragged behind a truck on a dirt road than have to wear a bathing suit in public.

Here is a quick article on the History of the Bathing Suit

My biggest question is this, WHY do people who should NOT be wearing almost next to nothing decide to do so? I'm trying not to be that cruel here, but I have a point. Well maybe I don't. Perhaps I'm too into that *thin* or *athletic* look vs a beached whale look?

I think everyone that wants to buy a bathing suit should make an appointment with a professional bathing suit type person and get the right suit the first time. Ya know, one that COMPLIMENTS your body. Not one that shows off all the stuff other people DON'T want to see.

Ok, OK, I know some of you out there are like, "fucking bitch, you are probably a stick figure and have no idea what a REAL woman's body looks like". Well fuck yourself, I do know. I am Italian. I am a small person, with stocky little legs and fat ass ankles. * I was reincarnated when Pompeii decided to pop off and my fat little legs could not tote those damn olives down the mountain fast enough* I KNOW when clothes do not look good on me. I don't TRY to look good in something I know wont work. That goes for skimpy suits.

Mind you, I'm NOT fat, or remotely overweight. I am muscular. But I'm short, so that does not help much. In real life, I am a size 5. Clothes either fit great in the ass or waist, but never both at the same time. That brings me back to bathing suits. It either fits you one place or another.

Hence us small people tend to be not so well endowed up top. Might as well toss out the triangle bikini top right? They tend to have TOO much fabric up there but not enough on the bottom. Not everyone that wear the suits that the model shows you is a size 0.

Color, style, cut, fabric all so important. I mean who wants to buy a nice new suit for over 50 bucks, sit at the side of the pool and get those nasty pulls in the ass of your suit? If that happens, march back to the damn store and demand your money back. Most likely the suit will fall apart in the sink once you wash it.

Have more than one suit. One to swim in and one to look cute and tan in. *tanning is bad m-kay?* Scott says I will look like a leather sack if I keep tanning. So this year, tanning is off. Well, tanning on purpose that is. Walking outside for my exercise and putting tanning lotion on all the exposed bits don't count.

So that brings us to skin care. Wear sunscreen, period. I have yet to go to the Estee Lauder counter to get myself a NICE sunscreen that does not smell like tanning lotion. I'd prolly wear more of the stuff if it wasn't as sticky.

Still want that swimsuit? Pick it out right ok?

Still want that flawless tan? Yeah ok, who doesn't. My Italian grandmother Emily *aka- Nanny* was gorgeous with her deep dark black top tan * we didnít have a grassy back yard in Yonkers, NY*. She had the PERFECT tan. Ultra dark, exotic, and totally complimentary to her Italian heritage. Made you think she walked off the beach next to the Mediterranean Sea. Still, most people tanning like that will end up like that leather sack Scott likes to talk about. Using a self tanner is the safest way to go. I kinda want to try one, BUT, I KNOW I would fuck it up. End up all streaky and orange. It's bad enough I change my hair color like my panties *all the time ok! you freaks!?*

Ok, so if you HAVE to and NEED to get that bathing suit, go ahead and do so. But please, don't expose the rest of us to bathing suit NO NO's.

Be safe, have a great summer.

Posted by Ellen at 07:58 PM | Comments (4)
Asteroid Misses Earth

HOLY SHIBBIT!!!!!

Aren't the astronomers supposed to be watching the sky to let us know way before this happens??

Uh, hello..pay them more and they will do their job. Unless the astronomer was sitting there, at his telescope going.."hrmm...I don't think it will come close to earth". *hands graduate student the paper work to do. Graduate student comes back a day or so later. "uh, sir, you had a minor miscalculataion on the orbit of this asteroid." Thats when the OH SHIT comes in.

Neat article. It was a close one ppl!

Posted by Ellen at 03:05 PM | Comments (0)
One Cat Thing Ellen Won't Put On the Wall

Now they're putting "hello kitty" on an ... um ... personal relaxation device?!?

Posted by scott at 01:52 PM | Comments (1)
Argentine X-Files

When people actually investigated claims of mysteriously mutilated cattle here in the US, it was (eventually) noted that these "mysteries" tended to ocurr in areas defined more by county lines and which cattle farmer was related to the sheriff than to any airforce experiment, monster, or alien incursion. It goes without saying that the newsies just ate the story up at face value and neither bothered to actually investigate or follow-up once the real causes were found.

Now it seems Argentina is having the same problem. Probably the same causes too. Gotta love those insurance scams!

Posted by scott at 01:07 PM | Comments (0)
The Other Side

In spite of what you see in documentaries, in WWII sometimes the allies got shot down too. Here's a link to an actual Luftwaffe training film with long sequences of gun camera footage. No sound, but still something I hadn't seen before. Very interesting, IMO.

Posted by scott at 11:38 AM | Comments (0)
Johnson's 1st Axiom of Non-Profit Computing

If I made your jobs more effecient, you'd just screw up faster

It's nearly convention time here, and the ability for people to fark up their systems in new and interesting ways never ceases to amaze me.

Posted by scott at 10:59 AM | Comments (0)
Just When I Thought I Had it Together

Just when I think I really do have something clear and cogent to say about the world, I read something like this, which is to my Pax Americanum what a battleship is to a canoe. Ah well, I guess it's God's way of making sure I stay humble. Very humble. Maybe there is something to this PhD stuff after all?

It's a good read, even if it's very long. People think I'm long winded, I got nothing on this guy. And don't get too upset by the first 1/3rd, as he changes course 180 degrees at that point.

Found it over at Prentiss Riddle's site.

Posted by scott at 09:12 AM | Comments (1)
The New GTO

Jeff sent me this link about the upcoming revival of the Pontiac GTO. It's a pretty slick looking car I must admit, but they'll probably want $45k for it, which puts it about $20k out of my price range at least.

Posted by scott at 08:28 AM | Comments (2)
June 20, 2002
Dance Class

Another 8 weeks of dance class is comming up! Guess what! I still suck! -well not as much.

I still can't do hand circles right holding my egg, it feels funny! AARRGHH! I suppose I'm not one of those right side of the brain ppl that tend to be artistic. Or is that left? I dunno. *laughs*

Graceful? whats that? I trip over carpet on a regular basis. Last week I tripped over the sidewalk and nothing was there to trip over. Turning is also a NO NO for me. I get dizzy.

At least I have a good time. I get out of the house. Meet nice people. Learn somthing new. *I have kept up with my New Year's Resoloution*

I know... practice, practice, practice.

*My mind sees one thing, my body does another- too bad it doesn't do it right!*

DOH!!!!!

Posted by Ellen at 05:29 PM | Comments (0)
Guest Author: Bonita Oteri on Middle Eastern Dance Reflections

Middle Eastern Dance Reflections: A Bridge Across Time and Place
by Bonita Oteri, M.A. International Relations

As our world struggles to evolve into a truly international community, rewards as well as challenges present themselves along the road to peace. Committed governments and national leaders strive bravely to make this dream a reality, often at the risk of severe political censure in their own countries. If this dream is ever to manifest as reality, we all must play a role in pushing aside road blocks, burying prejudice and sharing the common, shining spirit of humanity that has the power to transcend cultural differences.

Middle Eastern Dance, born of ancient traditions, presents a bridge across generations and cultures. My personal experience is a case in point. How did an Italian girl from Boston becomes a professional Middle Eastern Dancer? What fabulous cultural islands do I visit during my ongoing Odyssey? What does Middle Eastern Dance bring to the diverse cultures I briefly visit on my journey with what gifts of wisdom do I sail away? The answers to these questions, woven like colorful threads bind the Middle Eastern Dancer and the audience into a rich tapestry. Middle Eastern Dance affords us a trans-cultural bridge between our two worlds. The key to how this mystery happens, lies somewhere in the rich beauty, grace and rhythms of Middle Eastern Dance that captured my heart from the first, and has the power to call equally to international audiences, regardless of cultural origins.

The true spirit of the dance is to be found in traditional family celebrations, villages and cities throughout the Middle East. In America, this spirit thrives at places from New Jersey wedding receptions to the family partys in California. The dancing at these family festivities, joined by everyone from toddlers to grandparents, expresses that spirit of pure joy that all races and cultures instinctively know. This expression is a soul deep knowledge that in spite of life?s problems and tragedies there is something wonderful and magical about the love, light and laughter God has gifted us with this on the Earth.

Embracing that joyful spirit, I try always to carry it to my audiences. While living in Europe I studied with teachers of many cultures, including Arabs and Europeans. Europe also affords the opportunity to perform for many cultures. The German audiences studied the dance with the deep seriousness of classroom students. Their respect for the dance was evident although I often felt like a university professor and almost expected them to take notes! Danish audiences, melted the bitter coldness of northern nights with their immediate acceptance and the warmth of their laughter. My fellow Italians, of course never need an excuse to be a loud, happy and enthusiastic audience. Spaniards, intensely passionate, related easily to the dance and music, perhaps due to the influence of Moorish-occupied Spain, and its echoes across the centuries still found in fiery, vibrant Flamenco music and dance.

I returned to America, fearful of American audiences and their preconceived notions of Middle Eastern Dance. I knew it would be challenging for a simple, ancient dance of happiness to capture the fleeting, complex attentions of stressed out business executives, soccer Moms and a generation raised on MacDonald's and MTV. However, even in this ultra-modern society, the trans-cultural bridge of Middle Eastern Dance served to cut across misconceptions.

In America, I have danced for elementary school students through senior citizens. The children saw a twirling cane dance as fun as their afternoon play in the snow. As I looked into their eyes, I saw that the senior citizens shared with the children the same light-hearted eternal youth that Middle Eastern Dance can bring out in all ages. The United States also presented opportunities to dance for Arab-American audiences for the first time. From Henna parties to New Year?s Eve celebrations, it is a delight for the dancer to fly on the enthusiasm of parents teaching their children to clap out the correct rhythm and enjoy the music. Like Middle Easterners, Indians have an ancient tradition of dance. These audiences were initially reserved and sometimes concerned that Grandma might not approve of Middle Eastern dancing. But again the dance bridged cultural communication gaps as a baby broke the ice by laughing uproariously when I played my zils under his nose. Cuter than the baby was little, Grandma, who having enjoyed the performance more than anyone, gave me a big hug at the end of the show. Conversely, Korean audiences had no such concerns of restraint. The men charged up to dance with me punctuating the rhythm with Tae Kwan Do chops and martial arts grunts. As I said Good Night the traditionally-dressed, embarrassed hostess confided, "These people are normally very shy, you know."

Finally, I must end the brief highlights of my continuing adventures with a special thanks to the Arab-Americans who brought this tremendous gift from the old world to the new. Whether Middle Eastern Dance is performed professionally or by the happy people I have seen at local family and church festivals, its inherent healing laughter and joy will long continue to be a bridge across time and place.

-- Bonita Oteri is a professional belly dancer and instructor in the Washington D.C. Metro area.

Posted by Ellen at 05:12 PM | Comments (1)
NeCoRo

This gizmo is by far COOLER than AIBO. Cats rule, dogs drool as the saying goes.

This is the AI version of a cat. NeCoRo. One expensive kitty! But hey, look at it this way. It doesn't eat or use the box! Plus you can have people over to your place if they are allegic to cats. *btw- you should not be friends with them if they are allergic. They should learn to suffer or take some benedryl before visiting*

I want one of these cats! What a neat item to add to my collection! PLUS, I could take it everywhere with me!

Posted by Ellen at 04:55 PM | Comments (12)
Stupid Persons Cat Finder

Ever lost you cat in your house and can't seem to find it?? How irritating! It won't come to it's name * duh- thats a given*

Well, now you can have this!

How's it work you ask? Well, ya strap it on your cat like a collar. YES! another piece of jewelry that your cat will hate. Not only to mention that it will look even less dignified to it's cat friends.

Though, I wouldn't know who would need a product like this. I mean if your house is huge, and you know someone is using the box on a regular basis and the food and water bowl levels are going down, you know the cat is still alive right?

But people get lonely, and want their cats near them. * I KNOW I torture mine on a regular basis* So ya might as well *beep* for them.

Personally, I'd rather have one of these for the tv remote.

Posted by Ellen at 04:42 PM | Comments (5)
How C-4 Works

Here's a cool story about how the plastic explosive C-4 works. Good news: C-4 is not something a dipwad teenager can brew up in the basement. Bad news: there's tons of it in the world, so terrorists can pick it up cheap.

Posted by scott at 03:12 PM | Comments (1)
More Strange Spheres

Yet another weird unidentifiable sphere has washed up on our shores. What to do, what to do...

Posted by scott at 09:05 AM | Comments (0)
A Pretty Water Fountain... in Space?!?

Yup, you heard it right folks, now they've found this weird dying star that is spewing water at no less than 325,000 mph (523,037 kph). Just when you thought it didn't get any stranger...

Posted by scott at 09:02 AM | Comments (0)
June 19, 2002
New Stuff -- Blogs of Note

We got a really nice writeup over at Maru's WTF Is It Now?? blog. Maru was one of the first (but not last) blogs I found that wasn't all about the internal workings of the angst-ridden 30-something female. She's a virulent anti-Bushie, which my brother and mother should appreciate, and is darned funny. Ok Maru, I can see the Pentagon from where I live, I'll be sure to let you know when the black helicopters take off to come get you! :)

So I've started a "blogs of note" section, other blogs that we read that you might find interesting. As noted earlier, if any of the rest of you run blogs of your own and like ours, let me know. Let's talk!

Posted by scott at 07:10 PM | Comments (0)
A Whole New Meaning to the Name 'Firebird'

This one is going to make Jeff's stomach turn. It made my sides split. Party popper + moron + classic firebird = toastycar!

Posted by scott at 07:05 PM | Comments (4)
Swimming Pools

Wanna see what a redneck uses for a pool?

Ok, ok, I know what Scott will say. "But my dad has a pool." Yeah, and your dad lives with a female that wouldn't allow him to do that to a nice truck!

Posted by Ellen at 06:50 PM | Comments (1)
Cat Yak

"ELLLLLEEEEN!!!!!, the cat yaked on the floor again! Fucking cat!" *Tries to hold back laughter cause I KNOW he has stepped in it* "Which one threw up?" "YUUUKK!! I don't know! You have so many! Clean it up! This is so gross!"

They do it on purpose ya know. They are setting traps. Wet slimy traps. OR, even better a nice fresh one that is still warm when you step in it.

Cats yaking does not bother me. I find it rather funny when they do it. Now, don't get me wrong, I KNOW shit can be wrong with a cat when it decides to yak its brains out and get ill. But my cats do what is called 'recreational vomiting'.

What the hell is that? Recreational vomting? Well, they do it just because. Especially after eating a rather large meal *cause cats hardly chew food.-SEE! SEE! PETA piss ants! cats are true carnivores, the don't have the teeth to really chew food, so fuck off with your veggies!* After that large meal, you get the look. *they have to prepare ya know* Followed by this noise, which can only be as described as "bleh, bleh, bleh, bleh...YAAAAAAKKKK!!!!"

At this point, if you are sleeping, you pretend you didn't hear it. But you have to deal with it when you get up. But hey, if you get an extra 30 minutes sleep by ignoring the yak, its all cool. Until Scott steps in it. If you are not sleeping, usually the other cats will either 1. admire how the other cat managed to throw up all of its food from its acending colon up, or 2. think, *hey, you are wasting food!! hrrm....its already been chewed too. I'll eat it!*~munch munch munch.~

It amazes me the several types of cat yak there is. Food, which is the most common in our house, that resembles a snake when tossed back up. Food and hair-which is just a hair snake that has been yaked up. Or you get what looks like a small animall that has decided to be regurgitated by the cat. A wet, messy one. If you follow Goblin around the house, you may be in for an extra special treat. Cat yak with toilet paper in it.

The cat has a toilet paper fetish. Not a fetish for dirty paper, you sick fuck. She likes brand new rolls. The more expensive and kinder to your ass paper the better. She murders them and then leaves the poor roll torn apart all over the hallway closet. She claims its not her, but usually the bit of paper hanging from the mouth is a dead giveaway.

Her yak is extra special. At $4.00 for 4 double rolls, it better be.

I should mention that Scott will not clean up cat yak, ever. He pretends he doesn't see it, and then go "Ellen! Do you see what your cat did!?" *Looks over at the cat yak on the window sill* "Yeah." "Well aren't you going to clean it up?" *laughs* "No, leave it. Goblin will come over and eat it for you." Then he does the foot stomp, body jerk and a big "YUUUUK!"

Posted by Ellen at 06:06 PM | Comments (4)
Firefight

It would be very easy to blame our current troubles on Islam, and many have. But Islam was in no small part created as a belief system to break the virulent, violent culture of the Bedouin. At heart Islam is a gentle, extremely rational belief system. It's full of admonitions along the lines of "pray 5 times every day, but if you can't pray 5 times every day, that's OK, God understands, give a little more money to the poor", and "fast during Ramadan. But if you can't fast, that's OK, God understands, give a little more money to the poor".

So what went wrong? No matter where we look, the people really causing trouble and justifying it with clear eyes and loud voices seem to be carrying Korans and "killing in the name of..."

What we're doing is mistaking religion for culture. Pretty much all modern religions proscribe a belief system that, if followed with a true heart, fly in the face of behaviors deeply engrained into the chimpanzee in all of us. It works at first because the community is small and there's a leader with enough charisma, intelligence, and passion to hold it all together. It starts to fall apart because the community gets bigger and the prophet ends up dead.

The thing that differentiates a cult from a religion is the way it handles its believers. Without exception, the core of a true religion tries to get its believers to think about its beliefs, challenge them, test them, and through the testing faith will be found. Cults gauge success only by the number of bended knees that can be counted.

But finding faith this way is hard, harder than any other thing an individual can do for themselves. It's so hard that huge numbers of people, across all cultures, simply never attempt it. The unfortunate fact is it's all too easy to think your life is hard enough without having to challenge the comforting hatreds and habits you grew up with. My brother once said army basic training convinced him the human body can do amazing things when the mind allows it. I just wish people would understand the human soul works in the same way. Believing what the preacher tells you just because he's the preacher is not what Jesus wanted.

So what always happens, especially with the religions "of the book", is the culture ends up controlling the movement. And the culture of the Middle East was one that demanded unquestioning loyalty to the tribe, reacted to the slightest threat with overwhelming force, never ever forgot an insult, and encouraged acts of personal violence as a method of political advancement. Arabs were like this for thousands of years before Mohammed, and they would be like this for more than a thousand years after.

Arab culture wasn't just about these things of course, but I would argue strongly that the good parts of Arab culture, the ones we should all rightly cherish all over the world, were given to it in no small part through the Koran, and the Koran was written in no small part as an attempt to overthrow the dominant cultures of the time.

But unfortunately there was just one prophet and millions of lazy, too-accepting believers, and once the prophet died the society used the movement as a vector to spread the violent culture of its birth.

"Ah ha!" you might say, "Christianity came from nearly the same place, and it's not known for the same level of terrorism!" Notwithstanding the wacknuts living in America's heartland and the memorial in Oklahoma City, this would at first seem a valid point. However, it must always be remembered that while the Jesus movement got its start in the Levant, Christianity is primarily a Roman invention. The two core branches of Christianity, Catholic and Orthodox, both were set up, survived, and thrived under the aegis of the emperors of Rome.

And, as with Arabs and Islam, the culture of Rome hijacked the Kingdom of God and used it to spread its beliefs. Male dominance, absolute loyalty to doctrine, subservience to hierarchy, and the abject inferiority of women, none of which, not a single one, can be found in anything Jesus actually said, are now deeply engrained beliefs far beyond the borders of Rome in both space and time.

It's not the belief systems that are causing the problems. It's the people. Powerful men are perverting a beautiful doctrine of justice and peace not to bring liberty to a downtrodden people, but to gather more power to themselves. Weak people are allowing this to happen by believing instead of thinking, allowing rage to dictate their religion, and trusting the words of men instead of reading the words of God.

It has ever been thus. The physical spawned the spiritual, and the spiritual spawned the intellectual. Science has proven to be the key to human liberty, but science is intellect laid bare, thoughts naked and cold. Rather than see the triptych existence of body, mind, and soul, and nourish each in turn, too often the ape falls back on what it knows... that it and its kin are superior to all others, that the tribe keeps it alive, and that there is only victory or death.

The true prophets of humanity were those that chose to fight the ape, often at the cost of their lives. Each has in turn helped lift us up with their vision, challenged us to make more and better things out of our lives, taught that victory is death, and only by breaking out of our habits and deceits can we ever reach the divine.

Humanity's greatest problem isn't famine, or war, or disease, or religion, or death. It's our overwhelming, seemingly uncontrollable urge to bend our knees rather than use our heads.

Posted by scott at 05:26 PM | Comments (5)
Updates and Thanks

I just wanted to thank you all for the support about the kitten. It was Faye that decided to get reincarnated. Ein and Edward are doing well. They are very messy kittens, but doing well so far. *keep your fingers crossed for me*

Also- an update on the friend dating that internet guy. She broke it off. She is horoscope superstitious. She feel it wouldn't work out cause she is a scorpio and he is a taurus. He is of course crushed.

Posted by Ellen at 05:19 PM | Comments (0)
Spam Spam Spam Spam

The 6 billionth can of SPAM rolls off the assembly line this month according to this ABCNEWS.com article. I used to live for the stuff when I was a kid, but it's too close to the pickled pigs feet today for me to go near it!

When was the last time you ate spam?

Posted by scott at 10:32 AM | Comments (0)
My Doom has Arrived

My wife is addicted to the telephone. They tend to irritate the @$#% out of me, and I'm famous for being monosyllabic even to family members. This is one of those "interesting" aspects of married life that led to "interesting" discussions occasionally as we accomodated each other over time.

I always said if Ellen could have a phone surgically implanted in her skull, I'd never be able to talk to her again (except, of course, by phone). Now it seems they've got one available.

She needs eyes first. :)

Posted by scott at 09:37 AM | Comments (1)
New WTC Proposal

My brother sent me this link to a slick website that has an architect's proposal for the WTC complex. It's a little on the strange side in some places (sound waves repelling aircraft), but overall is pretty interesting.

I don't think it'll fly (as it were). Last I heard, NY really wants to restore some cross-town streets that were obliterated when the complex was first built, making that part of downtown much harder to get to. Sticking a building 300 feet taller than the originals in the same spot would seem to defeat this purpose.

But it is pretty to look at!

Posted by scott at 09:05 AM | Comments (1)
June 18, 2002
Speaking of Dr. Rose...

Dr. Rose (my college advisor... scroll down to the SCIENCE story about the Egyptian sarcophagus) was known for many things when I got to college (gak, more than 15 years ago):

  • A tendency to leave the a/c on in the lab all the time. The lab was in the basement of this decrepit old converted dorm, the third oldest building on campus. The a/c system was this monstrous wheezing, chugging, whirring box at least eight feet (2.5 meters) to a side that hung from the ceiling of one of the lab rooms. To turn it on, you had to throw one of these sort of Frankenstein switches to start a pump, and then walk over to a big button switch on an opposite wall to start the fan. You were standing under this thing to start it up, and it sounded like the whole world was going to come down on your head. There was no thermostat.
  • A fondness for technology, but an unwillingness to pay for it. The Anth department was, and probably still is, woefully under funded at all times. Dr. Rose would literally dumpsterdive to get computers the far better funded engineering department was throwing out. One of the first PCs I ever worked on was an original compaq "luggable" he fished out of the trash earlier that summer.
  • Being a ravenous caffeine fiend. He always had this beat-up old green metal thermos with him, the kind with the funny double-screw top (screw the top part open, and you pour, screw the bottom part open, and you opened the thermos). He'd drink from it continuously throughout his lectures. I know there was coffee in it because the smell would reach back at least three rows in the lab room. I don't think he drank, although other members of the faculty were quite well known for drinking unwary grad students under the table.
  • A love of slides. You'd spend at least half the semester sitting in the dark watching one slide show or another. He had stacks of slide reels filled with stuff, marked as different lectures. This wasn't a bad thing, because the slides were nearly always interesting.

When I announced my intention to major in Anthropology to my bemused parents, my mom commented along the lines of "eww... you're going to be working with dead people" (she wasn't a nurse at that point and was still grossed out by such things), to which I replied, with my teenage omnipotence, "nah, the people I'll be working with have all been dead for hundreds of years. It'll just be bones."

Famous last words. I got a job in the Anth lab as part of my financial aid package. I hadn't been there more than three weeks when in walks a greenish-faced UPS guy with a 2ft x 2 ft (60x60 cm) box that smelled like six-day-old rotted meat. See, Dr. Rose would sometimes help the medical examiners of the state out by doing autopsies on corpses too far gone for regular methods to identify. Someone had stumbled onto something out on a hunting trip, and so yours truly, all 18 years of him, got to help the grad student pull what was left out of an unrefrigerated cardboard box.

Anyway, the cool thing is that it appears Dr. Rose moved at least some of his slide-show lectures onto his own personal website. When I was there he wasn't going out on digs much, and seemed to be more into the physical anthropology of "historical" sites (1650-1850 in the US) than in the American Indians that the rest of the faculty was obsessed with. Nowadays he seems to really be into Egyptian sites, which is even cooler.

So if you want to see some pretty high-quality stuff about various kinds of archeology and anthropology, be sure to visit his site!

Posted by scott at 05:13 PM | Comments (4)
Oldest Sarcophagus Found

Ubiquitous Egyptologist Zahi Hawass has announced the discovery of the oldest known intact sarcophagus.

I found out yesterday that my college advisor, Dr. Jerry Rose, recently got a big grant to go digging around in Heirakanopolis next year. Dr. Rose was a really great teacher, and gave everyone that took his classes real insight into how bones could show an enormous amount of information about the person that used to own them. He'll probably end up working with Hawass (seems like everyone who goes to Egypt does). Go Dr. Rose!

Posted by scott at 02:19 PM | Comments (2)
The Reactor Under Our Feet

Found this article about some scientists that think the earth's inner core is actually a monstrous breeder reactor putting out millions of megawatts of power per day over the past 4.5 billion years. The theory explains all the wonky things that the earth's magnetic field has done over the years, like shut off and reverse polarity. And the theory's already passed a few experimental tests, so this is looking more and more solid (as it were). Extremely cool.

Posted by scott at 01:44 PM | Comments (0)
This Ain't Your Kid's Cub Scout Camp

How about a summer camp for grownup S&M'ers? NOTE: Site has no pictures, but gets a little graphic in the description part toward the end.

Posted by scott at 09:56 AM | Comments (0)
More Stuff Added

We've added an "about us" section because that seems to be important to all those weblog reviewers out there. If it's not in ABOUT, it's probably discussed somewhere in the site itself. Enjoy!

Update: "about us" is located on the right-side column, just under the belly dancing stuff (updated 'cos someone asked me where it was).

Posted by scott at 09:02 AM | Comments (1)
June 17, 2002
3 Little Kittens Minus 1

One of my babies had to be put to sleep tonight. *I DON'T know who it is yet* Everyone at work gets them confused and told me it had white spots on its chest. To me, that means it was Faye Faye. Ein has a white tail tip and Edward has orange on her chest.

I got a call, of course right before dinner, that the kitten was agonal. How can this be happening? This kitten was up running around and playing all day with us. I don't understand why this happened. Dr V thinks it might be panleukopenia. *aka-feline distemper/parvo*

It was so sweet, this kitten. Always wanted to be held and loved, and it just collapsed and wanted to jump in the line of reincarnation.

I was telling Scott last week on a theory of mine when it comes to death with small things like cats, especially kittens. It just wasn't meant to be. The higher being all of a sudden did an *OH SHIT* and said, "Excuse me little kitten, we made a mistake, you were meant for higher things. We are going to put you back in line OK?" Of course the kitten thinks, "Greater things? OK, I'll go, but will there be toys there to play with while I stand in line? " "Of course. It won't be a long wait, but there will be toys to keep you busy."

But do they always have to go in such a bad way?

Of course I am upset. I feel like I have failed again and added another cat to my never ending circle. Scott says I help them over. I do a good thing.

Posted by Ellen at 09:05 PM | Comments (4)
Bionic Eye

This is one step closer to becomming a semi cyborg

Ok, OK, so its only an eye implant. But hey, if you didn't see anyting in the first place and now can see somting, it's a good thing.

I need new eyes. Preferably cat eyes, but not from a cat. Somthing like those new contact lenses they have out for eyes now. Yeah, pretty neat!

Posted by Ellen at 05:06 PM | Comments (0)
Corsair!

Ok, enough with the frou-frou kitties! I gotta get back some of my masculinity you see, so here's a pretty cool article about the F4U Corsair in Korea. Jeff loves Corsairs. He probably still watches Black Sheep Squadron, something we obsessed over as kids but is now painfully corny to me. I've seen them at airshows dozens of times. They are extremely cool airplanes.

Posted by scott at 01:14 PM | Comments (0)
More Silly Cat Pics

The cat folk out there probably already know about this one, but Ellen doesn't. More cute cat stuff to make my wife cry:

ratemykitten.com

NOTE: Site is slashdotted right now and is very slow. Be patient.

Posted by scott at 11:55 AM | Comments (1)
More Changes

Instead of your normal blizzard of morning quickies, I took some time out to neaten up the category pages, putting them more in line with the "new look". Date-based archive will be next. Enjoy!

Posted by scott at 09:35 AM | Comments (0)
June 16, 2002
Silly Cat Pics

The funny thing is, Ellen has had this since Jan 31st, and every single time she sees it, including right now she goes "vrroooom" or "yeeerrrawwhh" or "zzoommmm". I bet she's doing it right this second.

Posted by scott at 08:25 PM | Comments (4)
The Cat's Meow

I saw this article on tv, and I thought I'd share it with you.

Of course, it's America's Favorite!~ Crotchity Old Man complaining once again. *Andy Rooney* The tv bit was too funny that I laughed out loud.

The Cat's Meow

Posted by Ellen at 08:04 PM | Comments (0)
Good Reasons to Own Pets

Did you know that owning a pet can lower your blood pressure and make you live longer? Despite that they can totally drive you nuts, they are bundles of unconditional love.

Huggable Health Care Workers

The Power of Pets

This gives you a good reason to go to your local shelter and adopt a cat or dog. Not only will you get a wonderful companion for life. You will notice a drop in your blood pressure, become more easy going, enjoy the simpler things in life, learn to lay in the sun, and take life day by day. You will also not take life for granted, become greatful when someone loves you for who you are and not what you are, learn to love to get scratched under the chin or behind the ears, and not complain about what kind of food you eat. You are just greatful you have a full dish.

Owning a pet makes you learn a second language wether you like it or not. You become fluent in cat or dog-speak. Your pet becomes familiar with human-speak. Learn to take it easy when your cat jumps on your papers or your lap when you are working, or your dogs begs you for that extra walk. They are telling you that its time for a break. They know when you are stressed and it's time for a stressfree moment with them.

Remember, no matter what, no matter what people come and go in your life. You will always have your pet. They don't judge who you are. They don't care what you do or what you are. All they care about is that you come home to them everyday. They don't let anyone else know your secrets, they really don't care that you have any. They just care that you are there talking to them.

The next time you think you have no one in the world that cares about you. Look at your pet. You have more of a companion that you think. Love your pet as it loves you, unconditionally.

Posted by Ellen at 07:30 PM | Comments (1)
Turnabouts

Nowadays we're all finding new (and, according to TV executives, ever more worrisome and criminal) ways to not watch commercials when our favorite programs are on. And yet time and again what fascinates us most about old TV shows is not the programming itself, but those selfsame commercials that we tried so studiously to avoid when they were first shown.

Through commercials, we can watch the evolution of modern culture with a much less self-consciousness style than "normal" programming provides. Game shows, the infomercials of the sixties and seventies, are a particular source of fun. Who would've thought that a big TV was a 19" set (and was a freestanding piece of furniture), or that avocado green was once considered an attractive interior color, or that a really nice car would only cost $3500? It seems a little surreal to watch someone get completely hysterical over winning $10,000 until you realize that amount of money would get you half-way to owning a house in 1971.

After awhile even the programs themselves begin to take on this quality. I didn't notice it as much when I was growing up in the 70s. At that point, the only "old" programming we had came from the stilted, self-delusioned, stylized late 50s and early 60s. Ozzie and Harriet seems timeless because it comes from no time, no place that ever really existed in America. You may laugh at "I Love Lucy" (and right you should), but there's not much in the program that would fix in your mind anything about the period it was created in.

Thirty years later we now have a much broader range of far more realistic portrayals of modern life. At this point shows from the 70s are the most interesting (although the 80s shows are closing fast), because that was when TV stopped trying to create some sort of stylized Shangri-la of Americana and started really trying to portray life, warts and all.

And what a life it shows us. Who would've thought that a guy could get evicted from an apartment because he moved in with two women? The women's movement, the struggle for racial integration and equality, the Vietnam war, are all given an immediacy, a level of detail, a tangibility, that you just don't get watching a documentary on any of those subjects.

Again, it's the lack of self-consciousness that really strikes you. "That 70s show" tries to make fun of the "me" decade, but anachronisms creep in everywhere you look (I'm sure there were millions of high-school couples in 1978 who wished their parents would leave them in a bedroom alone to "study"). It feels fake because everyone knows how it turned out, what happens in the end, what stuff had a future and what stuff ended up being, well, stupid stuff. The Partridge Family didn't have this problem because it was the 70s. Nobody knew what the hell was going on, and it shows in everything from the topics they chose to the clothes they wore to the cars they drove.

This is why ancient texts can be so much fun to read. Watching a History Channel documentary on the Roman Empire will give you a nice overview of what happened, but it's nothing like the immediacy, the level of detail, or the downright bizarre feel you get reading a documentary about the same stuff from someone who saw it happen, lived just down the street from the emperor, and really did believe there were gods on Olympus. Someone today describing what the Parthenon looked like when new is nothing compared to someone who was scribbling on a scroll in front of the thing when it was new.

And ancient authors don't just tell you what things look like. They give directions. How to get there, where to stay, which inn has good beer and which temple has the best hookers. A modern history of Augustus will tell you what he did, but a contemporary will tell you what he was like, who he slept with, and which particularly colorful method he used to off one of his more annoying critics. This is stuff you just don't get in a modern history book, and it makes it all live for you.

When Seutonius describes the forum or Pliny talks about defending a case in court yesterday or Herodotus describes the pyramids, it makes you want to get up and go look at these things yourself. You have to stop and remind yourself that these people are dust, and the places they talk about are rubble.

It's at that point, when you realize the things they loved, cherished, worried about, or fought for exist now only on the pages of the book you're holding, that history has truly come to life.

Posted by scott at 04:33 PM | Comments (0)
Science to Boomers: You Will Die. Soon.

So now boomers are trying so hard to cope with their gibbering fear of death that they're actually hurting themselves trying to put it off.

Do like my Uncle did. Buy a Miata and some pants with elastic waste bands. Just get over it!

Posted by scott at 04:08 PM | Comments (0)
June 15, 2002
Asteroid Collision

Don't panic, this happed 5.8 million years ago.

Apparently, to astronomers, this is a recent event. Pretty neat article. Check it out!

Posted by Ellen at 06:13 PM | Comments (1)
Twitterpated

A friend called me at midnight tonight. Yeah.. I WAS sleeping, but she had to call me. This friend is trying this Match.com stuff. Ya know, a virtual personal ad. Now I can't sleep, so I might as well rant about this. :)

So many online ads to choose from. She comes into work everyday with printed out stats, photos, and emails from these guys. She has the first date with some, and ends it there if there is no attraction outside the 'stats' she has gotten online.

One person, has apparently has her twitterpated *in love* for the past week now. Tomorrow was supposed to be the first date, but he just HAD to see her tonight. The feeling was mutual.

Needless to say, this friend just got over a bad relationship several weeks ago and is ready to date again. I mean, who wouldn't want to get on with their lives right?

So she is now totally twitterpated. This is a person who tells me everyday she hates children. Now she is ready to have his. He is everything she has wanted apparently. Now I don't know alot about him. He is a very nice person from what I hear. He likes to talk dirty, but what online guy doesn't right? RIGHT???

Men are perverts. They play those little head games to get at you. Make you twitterpated and fall hopelessly in love with them. Plus they spend the REST of their lives trying to make you happy. One false fuck up and all can be lost.

But once you have fallen in love and got that squiffy kinda of butterfly like feelings over someone, the feeling is addictive. You don't want it to end.

But how do you know this is not a head game right? I mean, what if he was just looking for some action, got what he wanted and never calls again? Cruel right? Well yeah. Apparently he was just as twitterpated. So only one can hope all works out well. He is divorced, no kids. She is single, has lots of pets. Perfect match? I dunno. Both are sexually aggressive, so that is a point right there. Both like simpler things in life, and would rather spend the day in the park with the dogs than go to the beach. Point.

Maybe both are done dating and playing around with other people and ready to get on with their lives? All I know, is now I have to deal with someone walking on Cloud 9 until the feeling ends. She has called her mother to tell her to reserve the church, she wants this guy.

Hey, ya never know. It may work out.

Scott and I did.

Posted by Ellen at 01:00 AM | Comments (2)
June 14, 2002
Something Ellen will Obsess Over for Hours

Ok, you guys have all probably seen it, but I haven't. SPIDER GAME!!!. Be sure to read the instructions first (simple).

Posted by scott at 03:23 PM | Comments (1)
Beaterz and Ricers and ~tWiTz~, oh my!

Ellen was asking about these sites yesterday, so here they are. These things are thicker than mosquitos in a rice field around here, and we never can stop laughing at them:

Ricers
Beaterz

My brother loves these things. If you have better links, Jeff, be sure to post them.

Posted by scott at 02:48 PM | Comments (0)
Declaw Part 2

A reader and fellow blogger sent this link to me (NoCalGal)about declawing.

Kudos to you and thanks for the link!

Declawing

Visit NoCalGal here. A fellow cat nut!! Cat nuts unite!!!

Posted by Ellen at 02:47 PM | Comments (0)
EGGS

I tried Alton's baked eggs today. They came out AWSOME! They are not rubbery like when you eat them.

The recipe is too easy..but I won't share it. You should buy the book!

Posted by Ellen at 01:14 PM | Comments (0)
Girly Gadgets

I want this thing. It braids your hair for you!

How cool is that!?

I have also become a total lipstick whore. BUT, it has to be the type of lipstick that stays on all damn day!!!!! Not this reapplying bullshit.

Whoa!!!!! what is THIS!! I think this is what my mom was telling me about the other day on the phone!

This is an odd contraption.

My southern mama got me 2 of these in a small wall unit for my cat wizz smelling areas of the house. Got to tell ya, they WORK!

Don't want to sit in the sun? Use this stuff. I'm so tempted to use a self tanner, but I'm afraid I will screw up, and have streaked skin. I'll crawl under a rock for a week if that happened to me.

Oh yeah!!! I need to get some of THESE!!

Like to paint your nails?? Got some young girls in the family and need to keep them busy? Try this gadget

For you ladies ( and you KNOW who you are) that are into keeping your jewelry nice and clean

I have one of these. My cats DON'T like it. In fact, they HATE it. They smack it out of my hands everytime I use it. Must be a small dragon.

Suuureeeee...this is a pocket massager for you neck and head. Its for those girls out there that don't want to make a trip to the porn shop and pick out one in her favorite color.

I will admit I sleep with a pillow between my knees at night. I can't help it. My legs falls asleep and my back hurts if I don't.

I have one of these pillows. I love the damn thing. Magrat loves it too. She likes to rub her feet all over it in the middle of the night. *she only rubs, she can't scratch- no claws- long story. My mom made me do it or get rid of the cat since she ruined 6 panels of wall paper. YES I regret every moment of it and I pay back daily for it when she decides to take a shit on my floor*

Who doesn't have one of these Paraffin Wax gadgets yet?

Pretty neat huh!!??

Posted by Ellen at 12:19 PM | Comments (3)
Pilsbury Dough Boy

When you tought he was soooo cute.

Good thing for voice overs in commercials.

Thanks to my Aunt Donna sending me that one!

Posted by Ellen at 12:06 PM | Comments (1)
Vacuum

~o/ Ding Dong the Vacuum's dead!!/o~

Coconut is rejoycing that the dragon has finally died. She has told me that we should toss it out the window into the pool and kill it some more by drowining it.

This means I need to go get a new dragon this weekend. I really should of tested it before I put carpet smelly good down.,

Posted by Ellen at 11:48 AM | Comments (2)
RV's

Ok, I want this!

If I had a kewl little place like this to travel in, I would not have to worry about a cat sitter. I would just take them with me.

Plus, you have your OWN place to sleep in! :) With your cats!

Here is another design I like.

This one is neat too.

Forget a house. Live in a RV, You get to travel more!

Posted by Ellen at 11:00 AM | Comments (2)
Hair Coloring

Wanna color your hair? I just did. No really I did.

I used this.

Henna is neat stuff! Not only can you color your hair with it. You can make interesting designs on your body with it. I personally like designs that stay on for good.

Posted by Ellen at 10:50 AM | Comments (2)
Another Reason to Stay Out of the Ocean

Ok, so what does it mean when great big silver orbs start washing up on the beach? I'm going to try to follow this one, it's just way too bizzare.

Posted by scott at 10:33 AM | Comments (2)
Like Lions, Never Turn Your Back on Them

See, according to Ellen, this lady is just an amateur. A professional would make sure the bf was just disappeared off the face of the earth.

Posted by scott at 10:23 AM | Comments (0)
But Can She...

Ok, this is mostly for you men out there. Yeah YOU pig! *don't worry, you won't see boobies or other fun stuff like that- that would be too easy* But its a nice teaser.

For you women out there, you are probably thinking like me. "But can she dance in it?

Most of us belly dancing chicks out there are probably like, hrmm...nice, but I would NOT use that as a costume. Well, maybe in the house, but not for a performance..yeah..thats it....

Posted by Ellen at 10:14 AM | Comments (1)
Sumo Wrestling

This is a sport that is just wrong in my eyes. Men, large men, very large men in diapers bumping and grinding into eachother till one gets knocked out of the ring.

When one falls, they fall very hard. Kinda like dinosaurs, the big ones. If they fell, you know a bone would break. Could this be the same for these guys???

What the hell do they eat to get that big??? A small herd of cattle?

Ever wonder what they do with extra time? Apparently they stick together.

Posted by Ellen at 10:02 AM | Comments (1)
Which Kind of Driver are You?

Well, after watching this most instructional of videos, I think I know where Ellen stands, at least. Where are you? :)

It's a little long, but very funny!

Posted by scott at 08:41 AM | Comments (1)
New More Earth-Like Solar System Found

Saw this in the Washington Post today. The news article in the paper also had a really cool picture of what looked like a photo of a planet, but the text didn't really much refer to it. I actually didn't realize a parsec was longer than a light year. Score one for the journalists!

Posted by scott at 08:26 AM | Comments (0)
June 13, 2002
Update

Please be sure to check out the link on the right to Bonita's Belly Dance Extravaganza soon!!! More information is going to be put up along with an article. Hopefully the minor adjustments will be made this weekend. *depends how good I can bribe scott*

Bonita has told me she will send me an article to put up on the site too!!!

KEEP LOOKING!!!! I WILL POST THE ANNOUNCEMENT ONCE ITS UP AND CHANGED!

Posted by Ellen at 07:51 PM | Comments (0)
Cat Hair

At my house, cat hair is a condiment. You accept it. You KNOW it will be in your food and it is a total waste of time picking it out. By the time you are done pulling each piece out of your dinner, it is cold and unappetizing. So you might as well eat it and don't think twice about it.

I have one cat, Magrat Garlick, that likes to ~ExPlOdE~ on the carpet once you have it vacuumed. Scott calls them 'babies'. The dumb thing is that this very dignified cat will walk past her explosiveness, and jump around and swat at them like they are some alien oddity on the floor.

My cats won't let me vacuum them. They dont like the plugged in dragon. Poor Coconut is so afraid of the vaccum she won't come out for a hour after I am done with it.

So we LIVE with the cat hair. You even try to push it off to your friends as trendy pieces of art when they walk in your house. We can't even remember the "real" color of our carpet.

We know when we leave the house each morning for work, no matter what color we are wearing, some cat hair with hi-light itself on you. I could care less, I work with hair all day at the hospital. Scott on the other hand has a look of somewhat disgust on his face each morning that one of the cats has marked his clothing with hair. It gets bad when you can identify whos hair it is.

This is my latest gadget in the war against cat hair. I will NEVER EVER win this war, but I thought the brush was awfully cute!!!

Posted by Ellen at 07:21 PM | Comments (5)
Economicon

Everyone loves to piss and moan about how awful things are today. The boomers complain about how lazy their kids are (usually only after their own parents are safely in the grave, lest said kids become puzzled by Grandma and Grandpa suddenly spasming over in laughter), kids complain how tough it is, environmentalists complain how greedy it is, religious wacks complain about how decadent it is, the liberals complain about how restricted it is while the conservatives complain about how unsafe it is.

It's also pretty fashionable to admire all the stuff that ancient peoples accomplished. Show after show comes on the History Channel and Discovery and A&E talking about how bloody amazing these ancients were by building stuff that we can't build any more.

It's all crap. Every bit of it. In some places it's bad, yes, but no worse than it has ever been before, and in most places without question we are living in the best of all possible times and best of all possible places. We build things so outrageously amazing that it would simply be beyond the comprehension of anyone born before about 1850.

It wasn't always like this. Because of the cyclical nature of agrarian societies, a surprisingly large portion of our ancestors were born, raised, and passed away surrounded by the ruins of civilizations they knew were better than what they had. You'd end up with cities that were built and rebuilt on top of each other, again and again. The piles got so high that in many places today you can still see them, huge mounds rising out of the desert wastes like the overturned hulls of half-sunken luxury liners.

There were two reasons this kept happening. First, the warfighting technology of the times was primitive enough that brains, charisma, ruthlessness, and a life on the steppe were all you really needed to crush even the brightest civilization. And so barbarian hordes would periodically rush through civilized lands like a hurricane through a Louisiana trailer park.

The other reason was economics. Ancients really knew only one form of true wealth, and that was land. Everything they worked toward was meant for one purpose only: real estate. The problem with land is that you either have it or you don't. You can't make more land just because you're smart, and you can't make more land just because you have a clever idea and want to work hard. As the land became more and more scarce it got more and more valuable, to the point that in the really highly developed ancient civilizations landowners commanded wealth on a scale that we literally cannot comprehend.

But this obsession with dirt caused wonky things to happen to a civilization. Everyone today knows that real estate is a money sponge. It gets more and more valuable until eventually you end up with this asymptotic growth curve where all the money in the world literally won't get you any land. But the ancients never got their heads around this fact, and so when the bubble burst it took the whole economy with it.

If all you care about is land then when land is unaffordable money becomes worthless. Unfortunately in an era before nationalism most really advanced civilizations paid cash for their army, and no cash meant the army started to take the land (causing the civilization to collapse in the ketosis of civil war), or would simply walk away, typically just in time for Chuckles the Barbarian to start his latest world tour.

The real genius of the Renaissance was not the rediscovery of ancient learning, but the development of increasingly sophisticated economic models that valued cash more than land. Unlike land, you can make money, sometimes with nothing more than an idea (c.f. "Gates, Bill"). And just because you had a lot of money didn't mean your neighbor, and his neighbor, and his neighbor, couldn't have just as much. And there were so many different ways to make money in so many different places that failure at any one point simply couldn't tear the whole thing down. And the really funny thing was that if you spent money and were clever about it, you'd make even more money.

A feedback loop got started in the shops and harbors of a bunch of Italian towns with funny names and bad attitudes that is still spinning up today. Suddenly it paid to take risks, so for the first time money began chasing ideas. People would work, and work really hard, because unlike land they could always get more money. At first the money got spent paying clever people to come up with more interesting and efficient ways to turn your enemies' insides into outsides, but the piles just kept getting bigger and started squishing out all sorts of unexpected corners, like golden play dough.

Eventually war with your immediate neighbors just got too expensive, because all your neighbor had to do was jingle a few more coins at your clever people and the bastards would go work for them. You didn't want to kill the clever people, because then you wouldn't be able to jingle even more coins to get them to come back. So instead you turned your guns outward toward all those dark, scary places where the heathens and barbarians lived, and gave them a taste of gunboat lovin. Since the rest of the world simply hadn't caught on to all this economic nonsense (and in truth the Europeans were barely in control of it at that point), they were helpless before the onslaught. And the rest is, as they say, imperialist history.

The cycle of barbarian destruction and economic collapse had been broken, and it gave the civilized world a cultural continuity simply unheard of up to that point. The Europeans equaled, and then surpassed, the achievements of their ancestors about three centuries ago, and the world has never looked back. The philosophical explosion of the Enlightenment was as much about the west coming to terms with this fact as it was about some sort of flowering of a "superior" European culture. Rome had come so far that they'd been living in its shadow for a thousand years, and being better than them took getting used to.

And money-driven economies made things happen fast. In the old days it took awhile to buy, borrow, or steal enough land to turn it into a power base, but it only took one lucky ship full of spices to turn a beggar into a burgher. Since it was all running on ideas and information, there were powerful pressures to make communications faster and better. Printing presses allowed more and more smart people access to more and more information, and with no barbarian hordes to worry about this information never got lost.

And so instead of an intellectual revival that lasted a few decades, we got one that (so far) has lasted more than five and a half centuries. We stand not on the shoulders of giants, but rather of countless generations of men and women whose thoughts, dreams, and ideas simply weren't allowed to be forgotten.

A pyramid is quite impressive, yes, perhaps even more so considering the tools they used, but when compared to the Petronas Towers the pyramids are just big piles of rock. A katana sword may be the finest medieval weapon ever invented, but an entire army of samurai are simply helpless against one man in an F-15. And the lighthouse at Alexandria may have been a wonder of the ancient world, but a Saturn V is taller and it goes to the freaking moon.

And when it comes right down to it, we're not as brutal as our ancestors. We're just not.

The media makes you think we are, but that's just because they were sleeping off their frat beer bash during history 101. Rwandas and Somalias and Ethopias and Croatias used to happen every day. It was once considered routine to hack the penises off your conquered foes and allow them to bleed to death, or kill every man, woman, and child in a village just to inconvenience a guy in a castle. Dashing babies heads against rocks is enshrined as "pleasing to God" in the bible.

And it's not just acts of mass terror. Jack the Ripper isn't remarkable because of the brutality of his crimes, but because it marked the point where it became unacceptable to do that sort of thing to a prostitute. When a child dies before they're three it's treated as a tragedy, and if the mother dies in childbirth it's treated as a crime.

The closest anyone's come to a real sack of a city in modern times is the Rape of Nanking. And that's still remarkable because what was once considered merely a perk of the conquering army is now so vilified the country that promulgated it is too ashamed to even admit some Chinese may have been inconvenienced during the affair.

So are we there yet? What, do you live under a rock? Every age of humanity, from cave man to hoplite to sultan to victorian to space man is still being experienced by someone somewhere to this day. Just because it's not as bad as it used to be doesn't mean we can't make it better. It properly is a tragedy for the world when a child dies or is drowned because it doesn't have a penis or is taught to believe rather than think. This new economy runs on ideas people, and anyone that isn't given a shot at having some cheapens us all.

And we must never forget, the barbarians still rattle at the gates. There are still those who would take, rape, and destroy just for the sheer pleasure of it.

And unfortunately there are far too many people out there in the world that would help them.

Posted by scott at 06:58 PM | Comments (4)
Solar Eclipse

We missed a really neat show.

People on the west coast saw it happen, the sun set too soon for us on the east coast to enjoy this one.

Scott even cut up a box to make himself a solar eclipse viewing device type thing. The cats were wondering why he was not making a fort for them.

Posted by Ellen at 06:36 PM | Comments (1)
Sea Monsters

I love deep sea stuff. I find it too interesting. On of my favorite critters is the Giant Squid

Scientists think they have discovered a rather large sea creature. Not only is it big and scary! It goes ~Bloop~

They think it most likely is a cephalopod since thats most likely the most exciting noise they can make. ~bloop~

Make sure you read the entire article from top to bottom. You don't want to miss out on any deep sea goodness! Also go ahead and click on the audio icon to hear the ~bloop~!

Posted by Ellen at 06:23 PM | Comments (1)
Burgers

Americans love hamburgers.

It's one of the most eaten, american past time picnic favorites. You can get them at fast food joints ect.. Its a versatile meal.

Check out the site for one AMAZING recipe!~ Yoikes!

Posted by Ellen at 06:12 PM | Comments (0)
Decisions, Decisions

So I've found this webreview site that looks at bloggs like this and rates 'em. But I'm feeling a little insecure about nominating us. $5 buys us a review that may say we suck the chrome off ball bearings. But it may bring us "more eyes". So I dunno.

Other folks have advised "find other bloggs like yours, then get cross-linked up", but the thing is we don't seem to be much like other bloggs. Most (but not all) seem to be run exclusively by 30-something single women discussing their... ugh... "feelings". Being a lunk-headed caveman with barely enough brains to get out of bed (MEN: Good for Auto Maintenance and Heavy Lifting --Pat Johnson), I don't feel I really have much in common with that crowd.

So if any of you out there have any tips, or if ya run your own weblog and want to cross-link, let's talk!

Posted by scott at 01:14 PM | Comments (3)
June 12, 2002
Saturn Screwup

My dad used to work on the Apollo space program. He has any number of stories, all of them funny. Some of them may actually be true. Here's one of them:

Being responsible for the mobile launch platform (not the crawler, as previously reported... the MLP was the thing that sat on top of the crawler and actually held the rocket), my dad was also in charge of some of the various fuel systems that supplied the Saturn V, and the Apollo space capsule it carried, with power. One of these systems was the fuel cells.

Fuel cells create electricity by forcing hydrogen and oxygen past a platinum-coated membrane. The various electrochemical reactions this creates produce electricity. The problem was impurities. If you got impurities, especially in the hydrogen, it would cause tears in the membrane, potentially ruining the fuel cell. And, hydrogen being what it is, it was actually pretty darned hard to keep impurities out for any length of time.

The nice thing about hydrogen is that since it's by definition the lightest thing in the universe, any impurities will float at the top. In theory, all one needs to do is purge a little of the hydrogen out of the tank and the impurities will go out with it. Vent it out and all is well. Put an ignition flame at the end of a vent pipe, and you'll be sure not to end up with any really dangerous buildups.

That was the theory. In practice purging was a real pain. The valves used for venting had poorly designed seats, and the seals in them would blow completely out whenever you tried opening one. This meant you had to completely drain the tank down, pull the valve assembly apart, rebuild it, replace it, and carefully fill the thing back up again. It took hours, and it happened all the time.

(Why didn't they just redesign the valve? Well, I'm not sure. You have to remember everyone was in a titanic rush, and probably nobody had the time or inclination to fight through the government red tape to even convince NASA there was a problem. Note this is not to convince them of a fix, but to convince them there was a problem that needed fixing. You just couldn't afford the wait.)

So, the problem is that the hydrogen gas, being held in at no less than 6,000 psi (413685 millibars) mind you, goes out with such force that it blows out the seals in the valve. However, there were eight (I think) valves scattered around the tank. It stood to reason that perhaps if you let all the valves open at the exact same time, perhaps the pressure at each valve would be low enough not to blow the seals. So a plan was hatched.

A man was stationed at each valve, waiting for the signal to purge. At that signal, each man was to turn his valve as fast as he could. They were even told to stand a certain way to get maximum torque and synchronicity as they turned the valve. The signal was given, and true to form everyone did exactly what they were supposed to.

It was at this point that physics and engineering tolerances began to cause -- problems -- with the plan. The ignition source at the end of this particular vent dump happened to be a series of ignition flames arranged at the edges of the box-like vent structure. They were designed to function with the assumption that only a certain volume of gas would be flowing past them at any particular time.

Also, hydrogen all by itself isn't actually flammable. Combustion by definition needs oxygen to occur. A flame, properly introduced, will actually go out in the presence of completely pure hydrogen. Fortunately for NASA hydrogen quite readily mixes with oxygen, but, as with all good dance partners, they must be properly introduced.

Unfortunately the volume of gas actually flowing through the vent stack was probably eight times greater than the tolerances it was designed to work with. As near as anyone could tell, once that much hydrogen hit the vent stack at 6,000 or so psi, most of the flames just went out. The ones that didn't go out actually got bent out of true by the force of the gas, making them even less likely to properly ignite the stuff. Worst of all, the hydrogen went out with such force that it completely displaced the oxygen all around it, and started gushing into the sky like some titanic ghostly geyser.

Now, if the hydrogen had had the simple decency to keep exiting at 6000 psi, it probably would've just dissipated far beyond the vent stack's ignition points. Unfortunately that didn't happen. Like a balloon running out of air the pressure began to fall a bit, and that was all that was needed.

The gas escaped with such force that it was quite visible next to the Saturn V on the pad. A giant turbulent column of gas blasting into the sky is actually kind of hard to miss. Because of the lighting, you could see the turbulence on the edges of the column. That was the air (30% oxygen) that had got carried by the hydrogen high into the sky, gently making its way back down to earth, like leaves falling through a dust devil. This was what my dad termed the "ohshit" moment.

Because you see not all of the ignition points had gone out. Like tiny piranhas they waited, flaming mouths open, for the right conditions to set off a frenzy.

Almost in slow motion my dad picked out a particular curly-que of air as it tumbled down the column. Once it reached the stack, by now quite thoroughly mixed with the hydrogen around it, the entire thing ignited with a roar. However, because the center of the stack was still venting at a huge rate, a whirlpool-like sheet of flame started up the column like a brilliant cellophane wrapper around a piece of candy.

Even this would've just been particularly bright fireworks, if not for the top of the column, which was just sort of floating around about 500 feet in the air merrily mixing with the oxygenated air around it. Once the flame raced up to that point, it all went off at once with an almighty bang and a display that could be seen all over the cape.

Pretty much every alarm over the entire cape went off at once. Capcom started yelling on the air trying to figure out what the hell had happened, and every fire truck in the entire world rushed to the scene. Fortunately hydrogen isn't all that dense a combustible, so there really wasn't any damage done to anything.

Dad got his redesigned valve shortly afterward.

Posted by scott at 10:54 PM | Comments (4)
CUTE CAT

Who can refuse to look at some cat piccies!! NOT ME! I'll look at anything cat.

Of course, thanks to Boners.com for this clip

Posted by Ellen at 09:08 PM | Comments (0)
Jesus as a Vegetarian

Did you know that Jesus works for PETA? Yep, he is still an odd fuck*did you know he is a baptist?*, that does not wear fur. BUT will go about a wave a sign on the side of the road for PETA!

He also likes carrots

JUST AS A WARNING TO ALL YOU RELIGIOUS FREAKS OUT THERE....I WILL MAKE FUN OF YOU. I'M CATHOLIC, I KNOW I'M GOING TO HELL NO MATTER WHAT.

Posted by Ellen at 09:03 PM | Comments (1)
Hunley Update

Here's an update on what's going on with the USS Hunley, from USA Today. Very, very interesting.

Posted by scott at 01:28 PM | Comments (1)
A Very Brady Entry

Ok, much to my horror, Ellen doesn't know much about the Brady Bunch. This means that some of you out there may also not know much about the Brady Bunch. This situation cannot be allowed to continue! So I proudly present Bradyworld.com, the place for all things Brady.

Posted by scott at 12:04 PM | Comments (0)
New Item: Topic Added

Ok, I got Ellen to agree to adding a new topic, "Naughty Bits". This is where we'll try to post the raunchier stuff so that those of you checking from work won't have to worry about stumbling onto something that'll get you in trouble, and those in the audience with more... delicate ...constitutions won't be quite so regularly offended (by the raunchiness, at least).

So, if you see any post with an "XXX" beside it, safe to assume it's probably a) not safe for work b) probably outrageous and offensive and c) usually darned funny.

Posted by scott at 09:33 AM | Comments (1)
June 11, 2002
A Brush with Greatness

Ok, so like Ellen said we got to go see Alton Brown on Saturday.

Like Alton (al-ton, not ahl-ton), we too sort of expected to find him stuck in a corner somewhere with a big stack of books, pointing people to the rest rooms (see his "rants and raves"), so we sorta took our time getting there. This turned out to be nearly a very bad mistake.

For those of you out there who have never visited the Borders at Bailey's Crossroads, its a big bookstore, probably at least an 8 out of 10 on the size scale. It has a cafe (why couldn't Starbucks have been a brewpub?) that's about 20 ft x 30 ft (6 x 9 meters) in one corner. By the time we got there, a full 30 minutes before Alton was supposed to show, they'd not only completely filled this area, but the crowd was pushing out into the magazine area next to it.

I'd never been to a book signing outside of an SF convention, so the organization was a little strange to me. You picked up a book off the stand (we got the 2nd-from-the-last one), bought it, then got in line to get a "signing number". This was your place in line when it was time to sign the books. So I stuck Ellen in line, got the book, bought the book, then stood in line with her to pick up our card. They also gave you a "personalization card", a piece of paper you used to write down what you wanted him to write in the book as he signed it.

Ellen had to go visit the restroom, so while I was waiting I started trying to find a place to stand. I found a really nice place just beside the cafe counter that put me about 15 feet from the podium. Close is important, because Ellen can't see sh*t, and I've gotten yelled at more than once for getting seats too far away from the action.

Unfortunately there weren't any seats in this area, so I had to just stand there. After flagging Ellen down (not easy, she's shorter than the magazine stands), we stood waiting, peering out the 30 foot tall windows seeing if we could catch Alton driving up.

Now, Ellen's about as impressed with celebrities as I am, which is to say we're mostly interested in how such basically normal shmoes end up being famous while we languish here in website obscurity (the answer probably being hard work and a little luck, which is why we still beaver away at this). But she was getting visibly excited as the crowd started to build up and the clock ticked down. The crowd kept building up, filling the area we were in and flooding out past the magazine racks, devided into sections like cattle routed to trucks.

We were surprised when a small lady started saying "coming through" and ZAMMIE! Our near-mistake turned into a home run, because right behind the lady was Alton Brown himself, in the comfortable-if-somewhat-shabby style he's known for. In person, he's about 6' tall, probably pushing 180, then wearing a bluish Hawaiian-style shirt with New York logos on it, Dockers and sandals (no socks). His hair was trademark disheveled, but too long to be spiky.

The funniest thing was Ellen must have jumped a foot up and back as he walked by, not two feet from us. I mean, it was a total rock-star-groupie reaction. I swear she tried to reach out and touch him as he walked by.

For his part, Alton seemed genuinely excited by the whole thing. He cracked a few jokes as he walked by, and then made the cafe staff nervous as he tinkered with their stuff (the cafe had closed at this point).

It's funny, in a very strange sort of way, to see in person someone you've only seen pictures of or seen on TV. I kind of compare it to seeing landmarks on TV versus actually visiting them. In the former, it's not much more than a pretty postcard, but in the latter, it's actually a place. It's like that with people too. On TV, a person is almost unreal, because we're only seeing flashes of them, two dimensional cross-sections that may or may not represent the actual person. But in person, we get the 3-d reality, and a level of detail you just can't find on TV.

I'm struck by how bloody normal celebrities seem in situations like this. Alton struck me as being like several guys I hung out with in college... a congenital smartass who's genuinely nice, the kind of guy that would have stayed up late in my dorm drinking too much beer and having serious, learned opinions about everything from Pearl Harbor to the quality of Darkhorse comics (while trying not to slur too much).

Alton seems to be at the same point of celebrity that Penn & Teller claim to be... famous enough to be recognized and draw crowds in certain situations, but not so "rock star" as to take it all seriously. I get the feeling that if he hadn't had an invite to the Washington Press Club that night, a bunch of the people at the bookstore could've offered to take him to dinner and he would've accepted immediately.

Anyway, I think we caught him at a good time. As far as I can tell, this is the start of the book tour. According to Dave Barry, Steven King, and Larry Niven, most book tours descend into this cyclical hell that has you lurching from one hotel room to the next, only sure of where you are by the address on the hotel stationery. I think we may have caught him before that. He was fresh, alert, quick-witted and downright funny at times. One of those people that really does seem to be in person what they are on TV. The crowd was pretty good too, with mostly knowledgeable questions. Only a few folks tried to break his balls on obscure points (when the lead-in to a question is 3 minutes long, you know you're dealing with an asshole... I mean, who cares about how to pour tea?!?), and he handled them graciously without insult.

We only got 30 minutes of "Q&A" because a) as noted he had to go to the Washington F-ing Press Club (KUDOS!) that night, and b) there were at least 230 people waiting to get books signed. So, up he went to the 2nd level (where the movies and music are), while we all mulled around trying to figure which part of the line we needed to get into.

Upstairs they'd roped off a particular section of the music gallery and set up a desk and chair for Alton to sign stuff on. He looked like, and even commented about being, someone on display (I yelled out "DON'T FEED THE AUTHOR!" Which got a smile.) The first 50 people dutifully lined up for autographs, while Ellen and I cruised to a different section to wait.

Wil Wheaton once said that it's not the autograph that's important. The autograph is just proof of the important thing, which is that for even a few seconds you had this person's undivided attention. Alton seems to have taken this to heart, as he seemed to go the extra mile to ensure everyone that had come by got at least a little bit of attention. It's always a good sign when the "handlers" are having to shoo people around and make the author keep the line going. But even the handlers were fine... they were playing Steely Dan and serving nutter bars and milk (buy the book, you'll understand).

So eventually it was our turn to go up and face the music. As I'm sure even Alton has experienced, we both got total vapor lock when in the clinch. He'd been drinking something that looked suspiciously like red beer (and placing it behind his water), so that may have made him even nicer than normal. Ellen had requested "to Ellen and Scott and" (predictably) "the 5 cats". That brought him up short. In almost Trekkie-like fashion he quoted his own show by saying "you remember what I said about girls with more than two cats?" to which Ellen replied "actually it's 8, but 3 of them are in boxes". This completely poleaxed him, perhaps one of the few times that day that it'd happened. He kind of shook his head, and then signed the book. He was sincere at all times, and was obviously happy we'd come out to buy the book and see him speak. He even shook Ellen's hand as we left.

And that was another funny spot. Ellen totally got a Brady Bunch moment, whisper-screaming "HE TOUCHED ME!!! HE TOUCHED MY HAND!!!" I half-expected her to say "I'm never going to wash this hand again" (I'm not sure she has).

So that was our brush with (Food-Network) greatness. If Alton comes by your town, by all means go see him, he's great. The book itself is also very good. If you've seen the show, in spite of what Alton advertises, it really is in many ways "Good Eats" on paper. This is not a bad thing! For me it represents all the many notes I wanted to take while watching the show, plus extras. If you've not seen the show, it's a great introduction to the "home-ec" side of cooking, the stuff you can actually cook, as apposed to just look at.

So, thanks Alton! For having a great show and being a funny, decent guy with a good book. If you're ever in town again let us know. You see, we know this great Bar-B-Q place...

Posted by scott at 06:53 PM | Comments (5)
The Power of Kitten

I can never say enough cool things about cats. They are the puurrrfect pet in my eyes. They shit in a box, eat when they want, and are self-sufficient companions. Except in their eyes, we are their servents.

I am currently caring for 3 Muses. 3 Muses that look almost exactly the same if you don't look at them close enough. 3 Muses that are 4 1/2 weeks old, that are a bundle of trouble.

I got them from a guy that says he 'found' them under his porch. Yeah right. Now there is some cat out there wondering what the f*%k happend to her babies. One look at them and I KNEW I was going to be the poor bastard that was going to have to foster them. No one else at my work wanted to nor has the patience to. Don't get me wrong, kittens are lots of work, especially when you take on the roll as mom.

These 3 kittens are so dependent on a person for everything, that its almost funny to think that in a few months they will take on the role as a adult cat, that will still enjoy their human companionship, but expect more space. I remember Coconut being just as silly and amusing to watch. Now she thinks she is an elegant creature, so as if you touch her the wrong way she looks at you as if you have lit her tail on fire. Still she is a wonderful cat to converse with. She was our baby from moment one. We are naked cats, she is not human (so Scott says).

3 kittens need to be fed, held and played with all at the same TIME. 3 kittens expect you to love all of them at once. That means someone is on your shoulder, someone else is tangled in your hair, and someone is biting your toes. *Never play with kittens wearing shorts, or with minimal clothing on. It hurts*. Everywhere.

I will say I *enjoy* it when they look at you to talk to them and to hold them. It is too cute when they are hollering at somthing they don't understand on one side of the room and all you have to say is "What are you doing!??" and they come running up to you like they have missed you forever.

One of the only reasons why I'm still taking care of this small bunch is that one of them refuses to eat solid food right now. Its being difficult. That's ok, I'd rather a kitten still want to drink fluids than nothing. A cat not eating is not a good thing. BUT, there is one small advantage I have right now. They know how to use the potty box. THANK the GODS! No wiping kitten ass. But they are messy with the potty box and need a daily bath. *yuck* They are future artists of paw painting.

Hopefully they will all be adopted together. They are a fun bunch. They will make someone good cats.

Posted by Ellen at 06:33 PM | Comments (1)
Relationship Test

Take the Relationship Test

Find out if you are a total loser in the relationship or if you are the jealous one! Hey, this could be a realtiy check for ya.

Posted by Ellen at 06:23 PM | Comments (2)
One Good Reason for MEN to Exercise

Ok, all U guys out there, want more of this!

Exercise is the answer according to this study. Yeah yeah, how horrible of me to post somthing like this. Not everyone is a body builder. :P

Posted by Ellen at 06:19 PM | Comments (0)
A GOOD Reason to Let a Dog Sniff Your Ass

I couldn't stop laughing at this article. I'm all for science, and I do believe in a 6th sense.

Most of you know my profession as a LVT, but I don't let and don't LIKE to have my ass or crotch sniffed by a dog at all. Now science WANTS you to get sniffed~

Good thing the dogs are professionals.

Posted by Ellen at 04:33 PM | Comments (0)
Men Pregnant

Well, it MAKES them look pregnant

You all know a person with one of these, even if they DON'T drink beer!

I know we have been waiting for my grandfather's baby to finish cooking for the past several decades.

Posted by Ellen at 04:26 PM | Comments (0)
Birds No Longer a Threat to Planes

Ever what happens to a bird when it gets sucked into a plane engine? NO? Ok, I'll spare you all the gory details of bits flying everywhere and the bird goes *POOF*

Apparently in Australia, birds are not the problem. It's these critters

Makes ya think twice flying.

Posted by Ellen at 04:20 PM | Comments (0)
Oil

There are other uses to car oil than just putting it in a car.

Just think! The uses are now endless!

Posted by Ellen at 04:13 PM | Comments (0)
Big Bombs

I'd known about the Tallboy and Grand Slam bombs, mainly because my favorite WWII bomber (the B-29) was modified to carry them. However, I didn't know all that much detail until I found this . A bomb falling at Mach 1 is pretty durned impressive.

I'm sure it all comes as no surprise whatever to our resident battleship expert. Anything to add Jeff?

Posted by scott at 03:59 PM | Comments (1)
Choices... Choices...

Ever wonder why they close all the liquor stores down on election days? Looks like the Czech folks don't know either. Which party would you vote for? (I already know Jeff's answer.)

Posted by scott at 03:33 PM | Comments (0)
Well, That's One Place Ellen Won't Golf

Ellen doesn't play golf, but if she did she'd make darned sure to bring a pellet gun to this place. We had a nest of about (no kidding) 3000 crows outside our apartment building over the winter, and they made everyone miserable. The entire property was literally covered in droppings, and you couldn't leave your window open because the noise they made would wake you up.

Posted by scott at 03:13 PM | Comments (1)
Aussie Money

The new dollar bills got nothin on Aussie's cash. Somehow I don't think these'll work in the metrocard machines. :)

Posted by scott at 12:31 PM | Comments (2)
More New Sh*t

Ok, so what I've done is categorize everything, all 300+ (!!!) entries, into 13 different categories. Each category has it's own icon, and the icons will be next to the title of the story. This will hopefully give the site a lot more structure and make things easier to find. It also looks cool.

Next up: Banner. But I'm going to write some stuff before then, so the boring banner may be there for a day or two.

Yes, yes, if you're using Internet Explorer you'll see that there are some funky things wrong, mostly margin errors. This is because (surprise surprise) IE doesn't conform to all the standards properly. I'll keep tinkering, but in the meantime you may just want to get a real browser instead. :)

As always, comments/questions/complaints welcome!

Posted by scott at 11:56 AM | Comments (2)
June 10, 2002
New Piccies!

Presenting! New! Improved! Pic-a-tures!


Got Beer?

Must... Reach... Remote...

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Posted by scott at 09:36 PM | Comments (1)
Engrish Part 2

This was submitted to me by one of my friends, Jen, from my bellydance class. THANKS for the stuff!!!!!

This goes under the category of What The!?

Wanna play a game!? Check this out! Ant City

Posted by Ellen at 07:58 PM | Comments (1)
New Look!

Ok, so instead of writing an essay like I was supposed to I decided to go ahead and re-work the site itself. Ta-da! New look, new feel, same dipwad authors! I'm not quite done yet. There'll be a re-worked banner and I'm also going to add some small "topic-y" icons to spruce things up some more.

I have to quit now because Ellen brought home the rugrats and it's hard to type with one kitten crawling on the keyboard, one bitching at your feet to get up to walk on the keyboard, and another climbing up your ankles.

Posted by scott at 06:13 PM | Comments (0)
June 09, 2002
3 Little Kittens

Three little kittens,
They lost their mittens,
And they began to cry,
Oh, mother, dear,
We sadly fear,
Our mittens we have lost.

What! Lost your mittens,
You naughty kittens,
Then you shall have no pie.
Meow, meow,
Then you shall have no pie.

The three little kittens,
They found their mittens,
And they began to cry,
Oh, mother, dear,
See here, see here,
Our mittens we have found.

What, found your mittens,
Then you're good kittens,
And you shall have some pie.
Purr-rr, purr-rr,
Then you shall have some pie.

Three little kittens,
Put on their mittens,
And soon ate up the pie.
Oh, mother, dear,
We sadly fear,
Our mittens we have soiled.

What! Soiled your mittens,
You naughty kittens,

And they began to sigh.
Meow, meow,
And they began to sigh.

The three little kittens,
They washed their mittens,
And hung them out to dry.
Oh, mother, dear,
Do you not hear,
Our mittens we have washed?

What! Washed your mittens?
Then you're good kittens!
But I smell a rat close by.
Meow, meow,
We smell a rat close by.

We actually have 5 naughty kittens, only one has mittens *more like knee socks* BUT, right now we are fostering 3 little kittens with no mittens and they are awful naughty. 5 weeks old of naughty.

They are all identical torti-shell kittens. All with a yellow blaze down the nose. We have given names to all 3 to make life easier for the next few days.

Ein- small, has white tip on tail
Faye-has some white toes
Edward-nappy hair, is too small for its size, and has an orange diamond on her chest.

This makes life easier when you KNOW who is who when they all appear to be the same!

Posted by Ellen at 09:49 PM | Comments (7)
New Discovery Channel Special

When books aren't enough for this topic, we turn to TV.

It's gotten lots of commericial and hype on the web, maybe it's worth checking out.

Posted by scott at 07:38 PM | Comments (0)
Superstring Explained

This is a quite good summary of superstring theory as it stands now. Wanna know how some folks think the universe ticks? See this article.

Posted by scott at 07:02 PM | Comments (0)
Laser Eye Surgery

Ok, I want to get this done. It's called Lasik

Check out the website. It's pretty neat. I'm really considering to have this done.

Soon

Posted by Ellen at 06:05 PM | Comments (0)
Good Eats

Ok! We met Alton Brown!!!!!! - yes! THE GOD OF THE SCIENTIFIC KITCHEN!

What a COOL guy! Plus, I got to shake his hand. Maybe some good cooking karma with rub off!!!

The book is too neat. "I'm Just Here for the Food" is a great, useful guide with lots of neat recipies. We suggest you get it.

Posted by Ellen at 05:38 PM | Comments (1)
Extinction by Lava

Maybe it wasn't an asteriod after all. Scientists have a new theory

Pretty darned interesting!

Posted by Ellen at 05:30 PM | Comments (0)
European Sex

This either happening in Denmark or these 2 are just voyeurs.

U decide.

Posted by Ellen at 05:23 PM | Comments (0)
June 08, 2002
Shhh... Don't Tell Ellen

Pssst... hey buddy... wanna lighthouse? I can get you one cheap!

Ellen'd probably want to live in it.

Posted by scott at 10:53 AM | Comments (1)
For the Geek Who Has Everything

Ok, this is just way too cool. My ebay vulture should keep an eye on it just to see how much it goes for.

Posted by scott at 10:42 AM | Comments (1)
HEADLINE: Stupid Journalists Not Just US Problem

I only thought our journalists were a bunch of fluff-headed ex-poli-sci majors whose idea of research was to call each other's bureaus. Turns out our media aren't the only numbskulls that don't check their sources.

Posted by scott at 10:37 AM | Comments (0)
June 07, 2002
On-Line Love

There are a lot of you out there that visit us from on-line chats, "talkers", or instant messaging systems. As a person young enough to have gone through his dating phase with the internet but old enough to remember when text chats were where it was at, I have some very hard-won lessons on how to make on-line relationships work. Please note that while it all may sound funny, I am deadly serious about this. To cheesily semi-quote from another favorite movie of mine, "I would spare you that pain".

Now, being a guy, most of this will be for guys. Ellen can reply with her "for girls" advice. So:

  • Online relationships never work. I know, I know, you've heard this dozens of times, most especially (and particularly cluelessly) from your parents. And I want you to know that this advice is coming from someone who ended up marrying someone he met online. Even though he swore off online relationships from several only semi-humorous mis-encounters.
  • REPEAT: Online relationships never f*cking work. Repeat it after me, out loud.
  • Now do it again.
  • That said, you can meet some darned interesting people online. It's not all just pimply-faced 108-lb. (49 kilo) men or 180-lb (82 kilo) women. Or, it can be, if you're looking for that sort of thing. But, ultimately, you can meet some bloody attractive people online.
  • Stupid men and stupid women tend not to hang out all that much online. Figuring out chat rooms and instant message clients takes a certain amount of smarts. If you're not looking for a Guido or Guidette, you could do a lot worse than cruising online.
  • Trust your instincts. Really trust them, because they're all you have in this medium. People lie online. And, like singles bars, there's more than your fair share of psychos and predators out there. If it doesn't feel right, or if you're not clicking, no matter what the description says, no matter what the website photos look like, just walk (as it were) away.
  • NEVER give out personal information until you've known someone for at least two weeks. You don't want to have to explain why your parents have to change their phone number, or why they're getting six "hang-up" calls a day.
  • If you're about to break up with a guy and he says "I swear I'm going to kill myself if you do this", please for the love of Pete don't believe him. Guys do this as a ploy, and will be convincing. I have seen this with my own eyes, and am not kidding! You DO NOT want to stick around with this loser. Say "fine, sorry to hear about that" and hang the fuck up. If they actually do off themselves (and they won't... losers don't remove themselves from the gene pool that easily), it'll do us all a favor.
  • Don't try to start anything real with someone who lives more than a 4-hour drive away from you. If they do, say "aw crap, this really sucks" and walk away. You can't make it real if it costs $400 every time you want to see each other. You'll end up feeling really stupid and being really poor.
  • If you're a guy, listen up real quick: the really attractive (personality or otherwise) ladies out there have had about six dozen "wanna netsex?" propositions in the past 15 minutes. I am not kidding. The quick, simple route does not work. If it does, you're talking to a guy. Trust me on this. There's nothing that impresses a lady more than having a guy that actually wants to talk to them. Sure, it's a pain sometimes, but having real reactions is worth it.
  • If you're a girl, and some guy says "wanna netsex?", just do the easy thing and hit IGNORE (or whatever it is with what you're using). You don't want to dink with these losers, and all the really good guys out there don't want you to either. And there are really good guys out there. But if a guy spends a few hours talking to you and then wants to know what you look like (and goddamit measurements = what you look like, OK?), don't think he's a pig, just tell him. And don't lie.
  • Found one that sounds or looks interesting? Be patient. Even if all you want is some racy talk, take your time. You don't want some dipwad 14 year old beavis lookalike feeding you lines, laughing with his buddies at what a moron you are. And the only way to tell is to take your time.
  • Got a girlfriend or boyfriend already? Well folks, hate to burst yer bubble, but its still cheating. Never give up or screw up the real for the imagined. Got a husband of eighteen years with two kids, but are feeling the pinch? Good god woman, talk to what you have, don't screw it all up over what you think you might have. The saddest thing I've ever seen is people taking what they thought they had online as real and then dining on ashes when they lose the real and the illusion. And this happens and it could happen to you.
  • Don't lie. Just do us all a favor and don't lie. The whole thing works on trust, and if you lie even a little bit it ruins the whole thing. 3' 9" and in a wheelchair? Tell them! The one you want will accept it. I'm not kidding... don't even say you have brown eyes when you have blue ones, or that you're excited when you're not. Its evil to lead people on in real life, and its evil to do it online.
  • Please, please, please, never say "I love you" to someone you've never met in person. I will repeat: Never, ever, ever, ever say "I love you" until you've met them "IRL" (In Real Life). Even typing those words will have an effect beyond your ken. Re-read the first two bullets of this essay!
  • Meet "IRL" sooner rather than later. Sooner means you don't have as much baggage, as many expectations, or as much riding on it all. Meet when you think you're friends and it could turn out really well. Meet when you think you're in love, and it always ends in disaster.
  • Exchange pictures before you meet. It gets really ugly when his/her eyes drop when they first see you. You're under enough pressure as it is, don't let this be the deal breaker after all this effort. If you haven't already, get some new pictures made of yourself and either post them on a web site somewhere (http://www.geocities.com if nothing else), or e-mail them to your prospective date.
  • Pick neutral ground, somewhere public, and always have a backup plan. Ellen and I had only known each other three weeks when we first met, but she had a return train ticket in her pocket and I had three hotels I could put her up in that night. No kidding.
  • Expect awkwardness. I mean, really expect to be weirded out by each other. You both have chimpanzees inside you that work on circuits that you don't even know about. When you pull away from the person you've been (sort of) intimate with when they're actually in front of you, it hurts badly if you're not expecting it.
  • Meeting "IRL" is starting over. No matter what you've told each other, no matter what you've said, no matter what you think you've experienced, you're starting over. Talk some, then talk some more. Don't expect to jump in the sack the moment you meet them. If they want that, put them up in a hotel and send them home the next day. Otherwise you'll end up in a pit in a park.
  • Try to have interesting things "scheduled" for your first meet. It makes getting to know the physical person a helluva lot easier when you're experiencing something together.
  • Clean your damned house, and make sure your psycho ex-boyfriend is out of town. Nothing is a bigger dampener on an evening than having a complete whacko confront your on-line guy claiming to be your husband. Trust me on this one.

It can work. It usually, well, really hardly ever, does, but it can. Expect the worst and you get the best. Walk into it with wide trusting eyes and you might end up another headline in a local paper "HOMICIDE VICTIM FOUND TO HAVE MET KILLER ON-LINE".

No shit.

Posted by scott at 08:54 PM | Comments (1)
Family Politics

Scott asked me to write about this because it bothers me on a very deep level. PS. I've had several drinks...

I hate family. Not that I hate family as in "don't ever visit me muther fucker" but as in, * do I REALLY have to deal with this?* Always the answer is yes. Isn't this the reason WHY I moved from NY? Isn't this the reason Scott moved from Arkansas? Always the answer is yes.

Now don't get me wrong, I love my family with undying devotion on both sides. *mess with me and I will wear a fucking RED dress to your funeral. Understand?*, but I will come.

Apparently you are not kewl in certain parts of your family unless you have children. *Grandcats don't count, unless you are grandma and have been brainwashed by the 'eyetalian' princess* Hence less family visits, *cause no one gives a shit about the grand cats.* Scott and I are not financially ready. We live in a too small of a place, with 5 cats. *We can barely breathe ourselves.* But family on both sides are wondering when it will happen. Hopefully next year, ok ppl???? We are shooting for a fall/winter 2003 baby. House first, baby next. Those are Ajax's demands. Plus I must get my Oh-so-cute bod in preparation. *must remain a size 5* Scott and I got our first tastes of outcast-ism at his grandmother's funeral. *or it could be due to the fact that I am a goddamn NY hottie and some southern chicks had to compete with me*, OR that I wore fuchsia to a funeral... HEY!!! it's an OK color to wear in a NY funeral OK!!!???

Family sucks. It really does. I look at my dad and his kids, and I should be their Aunt. I'm 20 something years older. That means I'll be in my 40's when they are in their late teens, early 20's. That's just not right. My sister, who is 15, is jealous of me when I visit. When all I do is sit and cross stitch at the kitchen table with my mom while Nina is typing away on the computer to friends downstairs.

I look at my sister and brother in law and wonder why I can't have a house and a family already, and then real life spins back in to tell me that I live in a HIGH COST area, and that typically a 75$ a month kid turns into a 150$ kid per month. I do my math. I'm not dumb. That's one reason WHY I can't have a baby, and it hurts. It hurts to hear my husband say that his dad may NOT be around to see our kid because of it.

It's wonderful to see an 'eyetalian' family LOVE a southerner like they have known him all his life. As if he has been mine forever. It's wonderful to feel a southern mama love her yankee daughter-in-law and take her with a grain of salt and look at her like some alien oddity, yet accept her for who she is.

I think we have come a long way.

Yet family seems to intercede. Almost worming it's way into your most intimate thoughts. They seem to rule. And it's hard. You cannot take sides, yet you try. You try VERY hard, almost brainwashing yourself so. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it feels good to escape them. Most of the time it does.

Posted by Ellen at 08:08 PM | Comments (1)
Proms

I was NEVER asked to the prom. I was a total and still am a geek.

My sister is going to the prom tonight with a friend *Tom with the purple hair*. Scott says this is her last night of being a girl. I say no.. let make a bet, shall we??

BTW- my sister is 16, and I hope to GOD she is not dumb enough to fall for that horny teenager shit. I know I waited till Iwas.....19 * oh my god!! Scott is a total cradle robber!!!!!*- good thing I was legal :)

Posted by Ellen at 07:09 PM | Comments (0)
Quarters

Click here to see a new version of the Vermont State Quarter

NO, its not what you think... click and see :)

Posted by Ellen at 06:17 PM | Comments (0)
A WHOLE new meaning

This is a whole new meaning to whats called a finger fuck, literally.

Plastic surgery is just amazing... *lol*

Posted by Ellen at 06:12 PM | Comments (0)
Love

Find out to say I LOVE YOU in 100 different ways!

Send a Virtual Kiss to someone you love.

The History of Self Love

Learn the 13 top reasons NOT to love yourself on a regular basis or at all....could lead to dancing! 13 Reasons Not to Love Yourself

Apparently Mormons dont like it either.

For those of you that are way past that part, but need to re-learn the History of Sex, I suggest you study.

As the songs goes: ~0/ Birds do it, Bees do it. Even educated fleas do it. Lets do it! Lets fall in love! /0~ Lyrics

Posted by Ellen at 02:38 PM | Comments (0)
Don't Drink The Water

This is a trend in Japan apparently.

Must be the water.

Posted by Ellen at 01:09 PM | Comments (0)
Woo-Hoo! Sort-of-Celebrity time!

Our most favorite cooking show in the world's host, Alton Brown (of Good Eats) is in DC today and will be at our very own favorite bookstore TOMORROW! (2 pm, 1 pm central time). As per normal around here, family stuff and Ellen's oh-so-unpredictable work schedule are interfering. Still, we may need to reschedule a few things, as it has been rather cloddishly explained to me that we're not the primary target of the current family event. Maybe we'll just do a Saturday dinner-and-visit.

Posted by scott at 11:19 AM | Comments (1)
June 06, 2002
Alien Invasion

Can U guess the UFO thats supposed to be real? Click Here to Find Out

I can never get enough of watching those kind of shows. Anything about black holes and Ufo's are just neat.

Posted by Ellen at 05:19 PM | Comments (1)
Dolphin Sex

Ok, you hear of people all the time wanting to swim with the dolphins, or have sex in the water like dolphins... but what do you do if this happens?

Better bring protection.

Posted by Ellen at 05:01 PM | Comments (1)
Dog Food

Dogs like to eat children. Preferalby the younger the better.

You would think you would be smart enough to watch where you kids are. Especially if you are raising these types of dogs.

Posted by Ellen at 04:58 PM | Comments (0)
Pig Food

Canadians are just too weird. They like to feed pigs humans.

Ok, the perfect crime is NO evidence people!! NONE, ZILCH, ZIP, NADA. Stop saving body parts and or other lovely bits and you wont get caught...sheesh.

Posted by Ellen at 04:46 PM | Comments (0)
Dee Dee Ramone Dead

My brother is going to shit in his pants! My bother is a total follower of the Ramones. And now This?

Posted by Ellen at 04:29 PM | Comments (0)
Cool Science

I got volunteered as a "rally marshal" at a capitol hill event we're doing today, so there probably won't be any updates. However, I did find this cool site from Scientific American giving awards to the best science-based websites of the year. Very cool. Enjoy!

Posted by scott at 08:45 AM | Comments (0)
June 05, 2002
Just Cool

The funny thing is I remember nearly all of this stuff. The sad thing is that my wife wasn't even 4 in 1980. Gak... :)

Posted by scott at 02:32 PM | Comments (1)
Engrish

I first read about the practice of Japanese using English words that made sense to them but to nobody else in Confucius Lives Next Door, a book written by a former Washington Post bureau cheif who got posted in Japan for some years. As I recall, the one he thought most amusing was a sign that read "Let's Sex!" above an ice cream shop. The author explained that these things happen because a) the Japanese love most things American and b) they tend to pick slogans that sound phonetically like Japanese stuff.

It is because of this that I won't put oriental symbols on anything I own. It's nothing personal, I swear. It's just I have this sneaky feeling that I would end up with "Stupid gaijin doesn't want to be bothered to learn Japanese. Let's Sex!" stamped on the back of my t-shirt.

Anyway, this stuff is extremely funny. We're talking laugh-out-loud here. An example:

MR. FRIENDLY: HE ALWAYS STAYS NEAR YOU AND STEALS IN YOUR MIND TOLEAD YOU INTO A GOOD SHITUATION (found on the side of a wallet)

However, the site is a bit slashdotted right now, so it may be quite slow. Be patient, it's worth it.

Engrish.com

Posted by scott at 11:46 AM | Comments (1)
Oh. My. God. pt. II

And of course, there's nothing so sick and twisted that someone can't make a hilarious parody of it: (safe for work)

Realhampster.com

Posted by scott at 11:12 AM | Comments (0)
Oh. My. God.

Just when I thought humanity didn't get any wierder, sicker, or more twisted, I stumble across stuff like this (note: not safe for work). I've actually seen these things in Springer highlight reels... it looks for all the world like an extremely pretty corpse. It is that realistic.

Most of the time I think religious wackos are pointing their fingers in the wrong direction when they talk about "moral decline" and "sexual depravity". But, as they say, even a broken clock will tell the right time twice a day.

*shudder*

Posted by scott at 11:04 AM | Comments (3)
Bridezilla!

Every man who's ever gotten married has been confronted with BRIDEZILLA!!!! We had an all-inclusive wedding package to Jamaica, where all we had to do was show up dressed, and I still had to deal with an insane woman for a month. Ellen just got done dealing with Bridezilla (see our May archives), and I'm sure there will be more.

The best one I ever saw was a co-worker a few years ago. He was overall a nice guy but could be an arrogant snot. At one point I was talking about how awful my friends' wives-to-be were leading up to the event and he basically said "That's because they weren't helping. I am going to be there for my wife, I'll do as much as I can and help with everything." To which all the other guys snickered a bit and muttered "yeah right."

Fast forward to about four weeks before the event. I asked my co-worker how it was going with the wife-helping thing, and he says, "OH MY GOD! I can't believe it! She's insane! I tried to help at first but all I did was get yelled at because I kept screwing it up. I'm just going to show up and say my two words and hope I get my girl back!"

So listen up guys. Weddings are just one of those incomprehensible things that women put themselves through. There is nothing you can really do other than stay out of the way and accept blame graciously. You can try and help and put out a lot of energy and hope and love, and get screamed at and blamed and put out on the couch, or you can grab a beer, sit in front of the TV, nod your head occasionally, and get screamed at and blamed and put out on the couch.

Any questions?

Posted by scott at 10:52 AM | Comments (0)
Business Execs Sell What Little Soul They Have Left to Ozzy

I know that somewhere there's an MBA course that teaches you to do anything to make money. How else could you explain it?

Posted by scott at 10:33 AM | Comments (5)
June 04, 2002
Cruiser Design

I'm looking into having my Cruiser being given a face/body lift. I was wanting to go hot rod kinda look. But everyone seems to be wanting to do that. Plus it can get way expensive, especially with paint--and once I go that route, there is no turning back.

So, I'm looking into vinyl applications. There is a small company called Demon Wurkz that I have been in contact with to do me a design for my car.

Of course it will have to have a cat theme. But not a girly foo foo design. Somthing morbid. After all, its my mini cat hearse! I just need to put some black curtains in the inside too.

I'll keep you all posted on the updates on it. See what will actually happen. My car will be celebrating its 2nd b-day with me in September, so I wanted to do somthing special.

PLUS! its time for a new tattoo. I can hear it now..."she is doing what again to her body??"

I'll keep ya posted.

Posted by Ellen at 08:24 PM | Comments (3)
The Origin of Taps

My mom sent me this one today. The "origin of Taps". I've edited it a bit to shorten it. The entire thing can be read under the "MORE" link at the end of this story:

We have all heard the haunting song, "Taps." ... But, do you know the story behind the song? ... Reportedly, it all began in 1862 during the Civil War, when Union Army Captain Robert Ellicombe was with his men near Harrison's Landing in Virginia. ... During the night, Captain Ellicombe heard the moans of a soldier [who was] wounded on the field. ... Captain Ellicombe decided to risk his life and bring the stricken man back for medical attention. Crawling on his stomach through the gunfire, the Captain reached the stricken soldier ... When the Captain finally reached his own lines, he discovered it was actually a Confederate soldier, but the soldier was dead ... In the dim light, he saw the face of his own son. The boy had been studying music in the South when war broke out [and had] enlisted in the Confederate Army. The following morning, heartbroken, the father asked permission of his superiors to give his son a full military burial despite his enemy status ... He asked the bugler to play a series of musical notes he had found on a piece of paper in the pocket of [his son's] uniform. This wish was granted. [What we] now know as "Taps" ... was born.

While a nice story, it's not true. The actual story is here, from West Point's own website. As per normal, it's not anywhere near as romantic as the one above: In July of 1862 General Daniel Butterfield, who was displeased with the "normal" bugle call to end the day (which was ultimately borrowed from the French), himself wrote a new bugle call to honor his men after the Seven Days Battle at Harrison's Landing in Virginia, with the help of his own bugler Oliver Wilcox Norton.

But there are some very interesting details that can tell us at least a little bit about the author of our romantic fiction, and the tools we use come to us from those greatest of textual detectives: modern historians of ancient texts.

Our modern concept of "historical truth" is actually quite recent, really only about two hundred and fifty years old at best. Before this time "history" was considered just another avenue to make political points. Even ancient authors that tried to write history as we understand it (Herodotus, Pericles, and Tacitus being the best-known) thought nothing of name calling, misquotes, even outright fabrication to get their point across. Other writers of "history" like Plutarch, Josephus, Augustine, and Einhard were quite unapologetically biased. And those are just the things we know were attempts at some sort of fact-based chronicle. Things like the Bible, the Homeric epics, and the tales of Gilgamesh all purport to chronicle actual events but also include things that were quite patently fabricated.

So ancient histories can at best be seen as what we would today consider "historical fiction" -- they certainly have facts in them, but a lot of the detail, sometimes most of the plot, and nearly always all of the dialogue, was probably fabricated from whole cloth.

One of the ways you can tell "fact from fiction" in ancient accounts is by reading the texts comparatively with other texts and picking out the similarities and the differences. As far as I know, this technique was, if not developed by, employed to its first, best extent in the modern era by Dr. Albert Schweitzer in his book The Quest of the Historical Jesus.

Now, by doing these sorts of analyses on something as elaborate as the four gospels of the Bible you come up with all sorts of interesting facts such as:

  • Mark was written first, and Matthew and Luke were written afterward with both authors having access to and using Mark.
  • Matthew and Luke both used a second source, now completely lost to us, called by modern historians the "Sayings Gospel Q".
  • John was written much later and used sources not available to the first three "synoptic" gospel authors.

And those are just the easy ones. Gospel research is an extremely interesting field, very much active today. There are still gems to be mined from those texts.

Now, of course our little story isn't anywhere near elaborate enough to glean all that much information. Still, we do get a few things:

  • The author seems to have known the real story. Note that the dates and the place of the battle are the same, and are correct.
  • The author is familiar enough with the era to pick a convincing-sounding name for the protagonist.
  • The author does not appear to have had access to, or at least have bothered to read, actual rolls of the battle, because as far as anyone can tell nobody named "Captain Ellicombe" served on either side, at least during this battle, maybe even during the entire war.

So who was the author? Well, at least one person claims to have traced the story all the way back to 1949, to a guy named Robert Ripley.

Yes, Ripley. Believe it or not. ;)

Here's the entire "story" (NOTE! STORY IS NOT TRUE!):

We have all heard the haunting song, "Taps." It's the song that gives us that lump in our throats and usually creates tears in our eyes. But, do you know the story behind the song? If not, I think you will be pleased to find out about its humble beginnings. Reportedly, it all began in 1862 during the Civil War, when Union Army Captain Robert Ellicombe was with his men near Harrison's Landing in Virginia. The Confederate Army was on the other side of the narrow strip of land. During the night, Captain Ellicombe heard the moans of a soldier who lay severely wounded on the field. Not knowing if it was a Union or confederate soldier, Captain Ellicombe decided to risk his life and bring the stricken man back for medical attention. Crawling on his stomach through the gunfire, the Captain reached the stricken soldier and began pulling him toward his encampment. When the Captain finally reached his own lines, he discovered it was actually a Confederate soldier, but the soldier was dead. The Captain lit a lantern and suddenly caught his breath and went numb with shock. In the dim light, he saw the face of the soldier. It was his own son. The boy had been studying music in the South when war broke out. Without telling his father, the boy enlisted in the Confederate Army. The following morning, heartbroken, the father asked permission of his superiors to give his son a full military burial despite his enemy status. His request was only partially granted. Captain Ellicombe had asked if he could have a group of Army band members play a funeral dirge for his son at the funeral. The request was turned down since the soldier was a Confederate. But, out of respect for the father, they did say they could give him only one musician. The Captain chose a bugler. He asked the bugler to play a series of musical notes he had found on a piece of paper in the pocket of the dead youth's uniform. This wish was granted. The haunting melody, we now know as "Taps" used at military funerals, and at the end of each day on US military bases was born. Day is done.......Gone the sun........From the lakes....... From the hills.........From the skies. All is well, Safely rest.......God is nigh........ Fading light..........Dims the sight........And a star......... Gems the sky ...Gleaming bright From afar, Drawing nigh, Falls the night. Thanks and praise, For our days, Neath the sun, Neath the stars, Neath the sky, As we go, This we know, God is nigh. I too, have felt the chills while listening to "Taps" but I have never seen all the words until now. I didn't even know there was more than one verse. I also never knew the story behind the song and I didn't know if you had either so I thought I'd pass it along.

Posted by scott at 05:28 PM | Comments (3)
Mark Your Calendars!

According to NASA, next Monday North Americans will get a "crescent" sunset. Of course, it'll probably rain like hell over here that day. Keep your fingers crossed!

Posted by scott at 09:18 AM | Comments (0)
June 03, 2002
Jesus chose this-->

Apparently Jesus did not die by crucifixtion. He commited suicide. Don't belive me? Take a look at his letter.

Well maybe its the second comming Jesus....the dates are a bit off.

Jesus's suicide note

Posted by Ellen at 04:38 PM | Comments (0)
Sometimes thes French had a GOOD Idea

Jun 3 1791
The French Assembly votes decapitation as the standard method of execution for those sentenced to death. *supplied by Rotten.com*

History of the Guillotine

The Guillotine Headquaters

Well DUH!!!

Posted by Ellen at 04:02 PM | Comments (0)
Yet Another Stupid News Break

Now, how long have people been saying this? Creativity vs Mental Illness

I love it when the press is like, OH MY GOD! -its not exactly a new story, but lets change the headlines! That will make people think its somthing new! YEAH! then they will read it! *all press people nod their heads in approval and give themselves a rather large pat on the back for being...creative*

Posted by Ellen at 01:20 PM | Comments (0)
Well, at Least Not Everyone Hates Us

In spite of how unusual it seems, I found this story quite moving. But then, Ellen accuses me of crying at Kodak commercials so what do I know...

Posted by scott at 12:30 PM | Comments (1)
Bible Thumpin Exercise

Obviously this is southern. Jesus as a Personal Trainer

Though I can't remember what the sign we saw in Arkansas was. It had to with Jam though. Perhaps Scott remembers.

Posted by Ellen at 11:02 AM | Comments (2)
Alternative Pets

Not eveyone can handle one, not everyone deserves one. But these piccies are sure fun to look at. Alternative Pets

I know, I know... Scott is saying "NO!" No, more cats!

U just wait till I have a house. :P so there!

Posted by Ellen at 10:32 AM | Comments (2)
Stupid Forklift Tricks

"Pssst... *giggle giggle* Charlie... *snort*... I got a really cool idea!"

"Yeah Bob? What?"

"Let's move the truck before *giggle* Sam gets back with the *chuckle* forklift!"

"*SNORT* Nah... *hoot* we can't *giggle* do that!"

"*Giggle* Sure! C'mon! It'll be cool! I mean, what's the worst that could happen? "

You folks have to ask my brother Jeff to tell his story about the guy that got out of a tank, which slipped into gear, which got kinda personal with a Chevy Suburban. Did you take pictures of that one Jeff?

Posted by scott at 10:24 AM | Comments (1)
Big Cats!~

I LOOOOOOVE cats. The bigger the better. So by having 5 small ones, they kinda equal one big (well a medium) cat.

Big Cats

One day.....hrmm... many years in the future since I'm going to be stuck living in a city for most of my insane life, I want to do big cat resuce. Live on a ranch, with lots of big cats. Toss a horse over the fence *well ok, it will be in bits* and let them have at it. I also think partaking in a breeding program to keep the populations going would be rather neat too.

Apparently it is very hard to work with exotics. *just to get a job to work with them* Everyone and their uncle wants to work with them just to say they get to dork around with big cats. *hey, I don't blame them, its a cool perk*

One day.. :)

Posted by Ellen at 10:20 AM | Comments (1)
On the Road with Alfas

Ok, so I own an Alfa Romeo Spider. I even wrote what most consider the definitive on-line resource on them. They're cool cars. They're bugger-all to keep on the road some times, but when cared for they're really neat. Here's a guy who took his Alfa Romeo Alfetta all over Europe. See! You really can go home again! :)

Posted by scott at 10:12 AM | Comments (2)
June 01, 2002
Southern vs. Yankee

See, I wouldn't have to worry about this happening to me. As the spouse of an Italian-American New Yorker, I would simply be erased from the space time continuum. The best I could hope for is a "him? Oh, no, I was never convicted for doing anything to him".

Posted by scott at 09:19 PM | Comments (1)
That's One Helluva Tech Call

Ok. If this happens to your computer mom, just don't even bother calling me. I know computers, but "the crocodile hunter" I aint'.

Posted by scott at 09:17 PM | Comments (1)
Don't Ask Ellen About This... Just Don't

As always, sometimes stories just don't need introductions.

Posted by scott at 09:14 PM | Comments (0)
My View and Some

Yeah, Ok, you better read Scott's version on the day.

NO, I don't agree with him on all aspects. I do fully admit I am short tempered and have a very small fuse. Hey, it's fucking genetic OK? I am not a patient person. I have never said I was, never will be, so don't expect it ok?

Yes, I was VERY happy that for ONCE Scott and I have been trusted to take a couple kids out to have a good time. NO, it did not kill Janet to leave the boys with us. She was more concerned if we wanted "that kind of trouble". I'd do it again with them despite all the bickering. I had a blast. *especially getting to ride the Merry GO Round. I've always wanted to go on that goddamned thing* For some reason, Scott and I must look like 2 people that cannot handle children, let alone play with them unsupervised. We get the same reaction from both sides, and I tell you, it hurts. It hurts on a very deep level.

I did find it rather funny at the end of the day when we show up to their friends house in Potomac, MD, that they were all standing in the driveway waiting for us. Dad and Janet got concerned when we did not show up exactly at 5. Dad made a comment of getting nervous because I have a horrible tendency to be exactly on time, and never late.

I had a good time. I got sunburned even with and SPF 30 being applied rather liberally. I had a good time even though I had to help tote around two rather too large T-Rex stuffed animals all day.

What does get me, and I don't think Scott will EVER understand is, that when I see my younger siblings get spoiled to the point that they start taking things for granted- it gets to me.*hence having extremly puffy eyes after visiting my family* It gets to me in ways that I will remain upset for days. I see this in both my younger brothers and sister. Why didn't I ever get that? How come I always had to be a grown up, even when I was a kid. They all still expect that from me.

Perhaps this is one of my really weird desperations in wanting my OWN family. NO its NOT the same to play with someone elses kid. Im sorry. It just isn't. Playing isn't fun. Getting out there and giving a new experience is. As you read this, you will think "wow, some deep jealously there"-almost resentful. Well, perhaps. And you know what? I really don't care. You aren't me, you will never be me. You will never know what is really spinning inside my head on this. Perhaps you really dont care. And, I don't really care what you think.

ps. Counsling does not help or even remotefully tinker on the subject. Been there, done that, wearing the fucking t-shirt OK!? *cause I know the little voice in your head is saying "you need some counsling*

Posted by Ellen at 09:09 PM | Comments (2)
Survival of the Fittest

Ok, well, we're back. Sunburned, windburned, and completely exhausted, but We Survived. For those too lazy to scroll down: Ellen and I took her 4 and 7 year old half-brothers around Washington DC today, most of the time by ourselves. We went to two museums and the zoo (in 90 degree [32 C] 70% humidity weather). It was more than babysitting, but less than a sleepover. Some impressions:

  • When you give anyone, even little kids, respect and treat them with honesty and decency, they'll return the favor.
  • Ok, they probably weren't little demons. For some reason they're much better behaved than when they're around their parents. I only had to break up three or four fights, and none of them were serious. I remember enough from being in fights with my own brother to get inside their little heads and neutralize a situation before it got out of control.
  • It takes a lot of trust to leave your kids with someone else, even if that someone else is family. It killed their mother to leave them with us, even though she knew we were decent, kind, responsible people. I think it's a genetic thing, some protective instinct left over from when we were all too dumb to think.
  • I'm not as worried about being a dad anymore. I thought that, like my mom, I'd end up being good with teenagers but not so good with little kids. I already know I'm pretty good with teenagers (Nina's teaching me more than she's learning from me), but now I at least think I'll be decent with little kids.
  • Ellen caused almost as much trouble as the kids did. She has her father's and her grandfather's tendency to take it all way too seriously. A short-fused, congenitally angry woman with more than a little PMS is not the person you want breaking up a sibling fight. She did really well with Paulie (the youngest). She's tremendous with little kids. But she tended to blow fuses around Jay-Jay (who is kind of high-strung) or whenever Jay-Jay and Paulie decided to start smacking each other in public. I'm going to pay for this observation folks, but I have to call 'em like I see 'em. Think of me while I sleep on the couch!
  • Body language is the "English" of relating to kids. If you act like you're going to knock them into next week for misbehaving, 7, 8 times out of 10 they'll not call your bluff and back down. I broke up a nascent fight in the men's room with a loud "STOP", and was rather impressed with myself.
  • Tiny legs don't go as far as big ones. If you're trekking somewhere far, stick the little one on your shoulders. Trust me, the pain in your back is far less than the pain you'll get from a fit.
  • When the big one gets upset that he's not on your shoulders, make a big deal over the fact that he's a big kid now and doesn't need help. Give him just an eensy bit of responsibility to shore him up.
  • Kids aren't stupid, and it doesn't pay to lie to them. If at all possible respond to "are we there yet?" with "No. See that light way up there? Once we get to that light we'll be there." or "See that clock? When the clock says 3:10 we'll go." Use "soon" and "some time" and such vagarities sparingly, and know they won't work for long.
  • Kids rest "well". Let them sit still for about fifteen minutes, and they're good to go. Unfortunately, wives that work out 6 days a week rest better. Nothing like having a grown woman with better recovery than two sub-10 year old kids. We all let Ellen take the lead!
  • They're kids. They're not supposed to make sense. Just nod your head whenever they go bouncing down one non-sequitor-inspired hallway or another and answer "yes, that's interesting". Trying to stop them and get them to explain it all just frustrates you and the kid.
  • Museums are cool, but zoos are cooler. Animals that are "real" are much better than dead ones or movies.

Oh yeah, one more thing. We saw an IMAX movie, about T. Rex. It was stoopid, but with an IMAX movie you're too busy ooh'ing and ahh'ing over the visuals and audio to notice how badly the story sucked. The movie was loud, which lead to this choice comment from Jay-Jay, the 7 year old:

That movie was so loud I thought my nose was going to fall off!

Out of the mouths of babes...

Posted by scott at 08:54 PM | Comments (1)
What a Month

May was a tremendous month for us! Thanks so much to all of you for not only visiting, but coming back again and again. We had more hits in May than we did in the three months before combined. 67 visitors per day! We finally passed Mellie, whom I'm not even sure reads this site any more (update yer damned diary Mellie).

I'd still love to get discussions going, but we need more people. Tell you what. Howsabout you tell one friend about our site, just let them know we exist. Use the "email a friend" link to send a few stories out, and maybe reply to one story, or just send http://www.amcgltd.com to one friend. We're small enough right now that it would make a very real difference.

I know I end up sounding like a NASCAR driver, but we really do all this for you guys. It's the fans that keep us going!

And, again, thanks for visiting!

Posted by scott at 08:18 PM | Comments (0)