I leave you with this

It's a troll party y'all!

But seriously, I have no idea what's going on.

Off on a small vacation. See ya on the other side.

Drinkin' a Bud, watchin' the game

Bubba's still got it.


Burger Run

Just a couple o' average Joe's, goin' down to the local burger joint for some grub.

In case you've forgotten amidst all the noise: Obama is awesome.


A vitally important handshake that was barely covered in the American press.

 Nothing implied by these animal avatars - just... neat. Search for "hand puppets" on the Great Google to see many more.

Also, too: You ever look at your hands, or your ears, or weirdest of all, your own eyes, and go "Whoa. Weird".

Me either.


For the nerd who has nothing

How about a genuine Space Worm Oven Mitt? Thousands of nerds are injured every year taking their Hot Pockets out of the microwave barehanded. Won't you help solve these preventable tragedies? Buy a nerd in your life an oven mitt, preferably the Space Worm version.

For the Jedi who has everything

Lightsaber chopsticks. But really, if you're in this situation, 1. Why are you buying a gift for a Jedi? 2. Is it not suspicious that someone who ascribes to a "no attachment, no possession" type of philosophy has too much stuff? Hmmm?!

Green Machine

You can't stop the asparagus; you can only hope to contain it.

Meat is Murder

Salad Man will NOT have a small bite of turkey!

And while, yes, meat is murder, of all those cute chickens and cows, but face it: Life is murder. To live as a non-plant on this world requires you to kill, something. Even plants.  Life = Death; Death = Life. 

So, yes, Salad is Murder.

Bacon At-At

Forget about all the petty crap, and instead remember - it's a wonderful world.


These are the voyages of the meatship Porkuprise

Useful rule of thumb, more likely to be correct than not: If you can think of it, it's probably already been done. You should check to be sure.



Unicorn Spam

Mmm... magically delicious!

FYI - not a real product, but a joke from our good friends at ThinkGeek.

Not obvious enough though for the Pork Industry, who issued a long, detailed cease and desist order, apparently unaware there's no such things as Unicorns.

The Object of Worship is Irrelevant

This is the Hoba Meteorite in Namibia. It's estimated to weigh about 66 tons, and is the single largest known meteorite in the world. It was discovered by a farmer around 1915, was excavated, and sat in a field for a while. Only in 1987 did this theater get built to display it.

Which brings me to my point (maybe!). Worship, in one form or another. I recently heard a very interesting theory about humanity's invention of God, or the Afterlife. To wit: When whatever monkeyman got smart enough to conceive of his own mortality, this produced an existential/neurological crisis. If you think about it, this ability - to understand one's own mortality - is one of the key separations between humanity and all other animals. This understanding produced enormous anxiety and was probably, in the short term, highly detrimental to whomever conceived of it.

But quite quickly thereafter, another idea was conceived: The Eternal. Something that does not end, does not die. This conception was the antidote to the idea of one's own mortality - that it is possible to go on, forever. Soon enough this concept developed into all kinds of different forms - Gods, Heavens, Hells, etc. But the key, and they key to all worship, all spirituality, is the focus on the eternal. And this focus is essentially the brain's protection against the very real and tangible concept of death.

So, worship/spirituality = focus on the Eternal.

And to end, I give you, the Universe - all the eternities you could ever conceive of, and so much more. 

So while the specific object of worship is irrelevant (in that it could be anything as long as it evokes the Eternal), there's no doubt some objects of worship are more "worthy" than others. Christ on a Cross? Rather ludicrous. A meteorite? Getting closer!

If you're ever in Namibia, check it out!

Gladly Blaspheme

There's a difference between being polite, respecting someone else's beliefs, and subjugating your own beliefs. I find all religions to be ridiculous in practice (in theory, there's some positives, which I might discuss today. Might not. Who knows?!). So, when I'm told I can't show a picture of some dude from 600AD, I laugh. I could retort "THOU SHALL NOT EAT PASTA - THE FSM COMMANDS IT!" and that has equal claim. One is clearly ridiculous, the other only appears not to be because of fear, appeals to authority, and the simple accumulation of time.

But just because something was foolish 1500 years ago does not give it import only because it's survived so long.

Anywho, this is a cool painting, from the 16th century. It depicts Muhammad, in center, re-dedicating the rock which resides at the center of the Kaaba. This stone is actually a meteorite, and was worshiped at Mecca long before Islam. I can get behind meteorite worship, by the way. It also may confer some sort of superpower, as all meteorites are known to do.

Here's a picture of the meteorite as it looks today:

Not phallic!


Super Best Friends! [REDACTED]

Sorry to cause an international incident, but.... there's a picture of Muhammed here. YIKES!

I don't know if you followed the recent shameful tale involving South Park and Muhammed. It goes a little something like this:

1. Years ago, SP made up the "Super Best Friends" as a gag, and had Muhammed as a member (he controls fire). It was funny, and no controversy ensued.
2. Clips from this episode appeared for several years in the SP opening credits.
3.A bunch of stuff happens in Europe/Middle East involving cartoons of Muhammed. People die - because Islam is a religion of peace, of course. Just like all of 'em!
4. In response, SP tries to show an image of Muhammed (but on a satire of Family Guy!), but Comedy Central censors them at the last minute.
5. This year, SP announced their intention of revisiting the subject in honor of their 200th episode.
6. Some born again American Muslim announces on his personal blog that the creators of SP might end up like Theo Van Gogh if they do air an image. Keep in mind, this Muslim convert is an ex-metal head with no friends. American.
7. Word of this threat reaches the MSM, and, well, PANIC!!! They're the biggest bunch of cowards ever, OR, they know fear sells and thus are always looking to amp up the fear. 
8. Comedy Central does censor the episodes as they air, including bleeping out a long speech by Kyle. Later that night, when they would usually re-air the same episode, an older repeat is shown instead.
9. The next day's usual repeats are gone; the 200th and 201st episode (these episodes) are pulled from their web site.
10. Someone points out to Comedy Central that they have been airing images of Muhammed for years. CC then removes these episodes from the SP website, and they have not returned.

Got it? Because one guy (some loser with a blog) makes a vague threat, a major American entertainment group censored current material, then went back into the archives to censor that material.

Remember: Land of the Free, Home of the Brave. Ha!

Wolverine, Hebrew Version

The adamantium menorah claws are a nice touch.

Dispatch from the London Fashion Scene

Sleeping bag suits! Apparently, they're going to be huge this winter. BUY NOW!!!


21st Century Stork

In reverse, perhaps. And with the awesome power of Corporate Branding!

Snake on a baby

"I want that muthafuckin' snake off that muthafuckin' baby, now!"

Children, future, yadda yadda

Cute, huh? The insanity is spreading, deepening. It occurred to me Obama is going to bring many of these trends to a head, two big ones stand out: 1. The South lost the Civil War, but they re-gained the country via the Reagan Revolution and subsequent neocon movement. Which is now in its death throes, and 2. Racism/Immigration. A black man as President would be enough to drive many of them over the edge, but couple this with the Repug demonization of immigrants AND our increasingly immigrant population, and it's only a matter of time before something explodes.

This is why these same Wingnuts get so red in the face about Darwin in specific, and public education in general: In the back of their reptilian minds, they know they are losing, on all fronts. So they retreat into their safe zones - homeschooling, for example. Church. Fox News. And there they hear, and repeat, the stories they want to hear. Anything to the contrary gets dismissed out of hand.

Unfortunately, there will be collateral damage. This kid, for example - what are the odds he grows up to be a violent wingnut? High.

You know who else had a private militia?

Rand Paul - spawn of RONPAUL - Leader of the PAULTARDS.

I am actually beside myself at the craziness out there, and that it keeps getting crazier. The world is burning, and all these nutjobs care about is OBAMBER SOCIALIST COMMUNIST!!! They're insane, all the more sad because the powerful are using these insane people as fodder, for their own corporatist ends.

But hey look! Nothing bad could come from Right Wing nutjobs having their own private security force, amiright? Real 'Muricans are in the private security force, ergo, it's good!

Overall, all of this craziness is a lashing out, the last gasp of a dying order, desperate to hold onto whatever shards of power it thinks it deserves. Demography is destiny, and demography is 100% against these wingnuts - it's only a matter of time before their influence fades away. The question is: How much damage will they do before then? 

We'll find out whether we like it or not. Buckle up.


redshirt, explained (in part)

For me - Redshirt - a redshirt can be defined in part as Average Guy, trying to get by in this crazy universe, just like anyone. Prone to some bad luck, an Average Guy is turned into a redshirt when asked to do something which results in a sacrifice, like go down to the planet's surface and check out that strange black blob. The Average Guy (or Gal!) doesn't want to do it, but it's the job, so they do it. And die. The end.

Most folks fighting in a war, especially in the olden days, were redshirts - destined to be used and killed as the FSM saw fit. It's still true today, just not as high a percentage.

The Military - any military - is designed to crush individual expression and replace it with devotion to the small band, which forms larger groups, and larger still, till you all can be wielded as a single weapon, thrown at the Enemy's Tower, to be mown down in a rain of flaming arrows. But some of you might get through, and when you finally do, the King's aims are met. Huzzah! And for the redshirts, through all of time? Maybe some glory. More likely injury, horrible, terrible memories, and maybe a bit of gold. Good luck, you lived to tell the tale.

But let's never forget what people in the military are supposed to do: Kill. That's why they're there! And killing always begets all manner of depravity and cruelty, since you by force dehumanize your enemy, whomever they are that week. See?

Check out the thug with a club, center left.

Get to your Fightin' Holes

Fun stuff in Afghanistan today - these are fighting holes for sleeping. No mistake - they look like graves.

We have the lead general basically committing treason against the President, forcing Obama into a tough spot - fire him, and do all the work necessary to implement new teams, or keep him on and finish the plan (sometime a year from now)?

Either way, the press will feast on this, the wingnuts will use whatever decision is made that Obama is the worst, etc, etc. Par for this terrible course, alas.

However, it gets - or could get  -much, much worse. In the back of mind, coup alarms are going off. At this point, the Repuglican party has ZERO interest in actually acting like a responsible political opposition party; rather, they have fully embraced a sole policy of HATE OBAMA.

And if there were to gain numerical advantage in the House this Fall, well, can you guess what's coming? Impeachment. Here's a nice blurb about Darrel Issa, who's been conferring with noted Congressperson Michelle Bachman on the issue of impeachment:
Issa has told Republican leadership that if he becomes chairman, he wants to roughly double his staff from 40 to between 70 and 80. And he is not subtle about what that means for President Barack Obama. 

At a recent speech to Pennsylvania Republicans here, he boasted about what would happen if the GOP wins 39 seats, and he gets the power to subpoena. 

“That will make all the difference in the world,” he told 400 applauding party members during a dinner at the chocolate-themed Hershey Lodge. “I won’t use it to have corporate America live in fear that we’re going to subpoena everything. I will use it to get the very information that today the White House is either shredding or not producing.” 

Has Obama actually done anything worthy of impeachment? Of course not. Think that matters? Of course not. Think the Media won't play right along? 

So, come January 2011, consider this environment: The House begins launching special prosecutors, one after the other, at the White House. The charges are all frivolous, but "where there's smoke there's fire, amiright"? The media breathlessly repeats every Repug talking point, eventually this non-stop propaganda effects regular people, and we have a Presidency ready to be toppled. Throw in some well timed Military backed challenges to the President's authority, maybe Cheney can get the Israelis to act out, and whammo! American Coup.

I wish this was a paranoid fantasy, but it's not. These people are evil, insane, and will do anything to regain power. 
This upcoming election is as important as 2008, and I can only pray at this point that Team Obama fires up the same "get out the vote" machine for these mideterms. Otherwise, this might be the final beginning of the end (the end began sometime during Nixon's term).

Heads up, brah!

Couple of extra chopper blades headin' your way, yo. Hope you can use 'em!


Everyday Miracles

Nothing special here, right, just some stupid leaves. But think about it for a moment(s), and you can quickly see how even the most mundane thing in this world is in fact miraculous.

The light you see here - which in fact powers just about everything on the earth - is millions of years old. Sunlight is only generated at the center of a star, where the fusion is taking place. Light is a by-product of fusion. But it is so dense at the center of a star, the light cannot easily escape, so it spends millions of years trying - bouncing hither and yon, thither and gone, over and over again till one day some lucky series of events happen to allow it to escape.

Once this photon of lights escapes from the depths of the star, it moves at light speed, and takes about 8 minutes to reach us from the Sun - fun fact! The sun could be destroyed right now and we would not know about it for 8 minutes.

Light really does power just about everything here, in one manner or another (the correct way of stating this is energy from the Big Bang powers everything; however, semantics be damned!). Witness the other obvious miracle here: Life, specifically photosynthesis. Converting sunlight directly into energy, and releasing Oxygen as a waste product.

Oxygen, one of the key requirements for the rest of life. Hmmm.

And so evolution - only through time, mutation, and competition - fashions lifeforms that can survive in the given environment. Plants were the first complex lifeform on the planet, and the atmosphere at the time was filled with carbon dioxide, so they use carbon dioxide. The amount of oxygen we have is mostly due to the success of plants - we breathe plant farts.

Or consider eyes - wondrously complex sensory organs. Plants don't have them, but don't really need them either, ja? Their entire bodies function much like eyes. Our eyes - human eyes - are not human at all, but the net result of millions years of mammalian evolution. We just look real good with them.

But consider what your eyes see when they "see" something - what you are witnessing is photons from the sun (or another light source) striking the object, and some of the photons bouncing off, and hitting your eye, where they in-turn are absorbed as energy, and their frequency is then translated by your brain into the image, and its specific color, brightness, texture, etc.  Consider! When you look at the moon, what you are experiencing is millions of years old photons, created in the fires of nuclear fusion, bouncing off the moon at a precise angle, and striking your eye, where your wonderfully evolved brain translates these data streams into.... the moon. Or a leaf of a plant.

Pretty miraculous, all of it, eh?

Boorish Borealis

This rather striking pic is making all the space blogs today - technically, a picture of the Aurora Australis, but that didn't work for my joke, AND the educational opportunity of pointing out the different names for the same phenomena in the Northern (Borealis) and Southern (Australis) Auroras.

Anyways, this is one the best pics I've seen of this phenomena from space. Dramatic! So you know, all aurora represent solar radiation being channeled by the Earth's magnetic fields towards the north/south poles, and thus the lights. It represents the barest fraction of the entire energy being directed at us by these solar events, the vast, vast majority of which is deflected entirely by the Magnetic Field, which is really our sole provider and protector in this crazy Universe. So maybe say a prayer tonight for the magnetic field - it's weakening!

Merry Solstice!

Analemma - rarely photographed, here's the sun making a full course throughout a year, from Summer Solstice to Summer Solstice. Trippy, eh?

In danger of being trod upon. In honor of:

Stonehenge! ‘Tis a magic place
Where the moon doth rise with a dragon’s face
Stonehenge! Where the virgins lie
And the prayers of devils fill the midnight sky
And you my love, won’t you take my hand?
We’ll go back in time to that mystic land
Where the dew drops cry and the cats meow
I will take you there, I will show you how
And oh how they danced
The little children of Stonehenge
Beneath the haunted moon
For fear that daybreak might come too soon
And where are they now?
The little children of Stonehenge
And what would they say to us?
If we were here… tonight

 May your day be long and cloud free!

Olan Mills

There's all kinds of new fun to be had in this brave, bold new Millennia; for example, dial up your internet machine to the all mighty Google Images, and ask it a question. Any question in the world. And then divine your answer from the pictures that come back. "Should I date a Landshark?" 

For an easy starter subject, simply type in "Olan Mills" and let the fun begin - the image above is from the first page, and I assure you, the laughs go on for a long, long time.

Wherever you are now, Mr. Olan Mills, I salute you: You've provided immeasurable joy to this miserable world.


Precious Memories

Alas, a few weeks later, Mugsy traded in the girl for another, peppier breed.

Alas, also, too: Have you ever wondered about your childhood memories? Whether they are real, or if you are simply remembering a picture or home movie, or a version of the events that you made up in your head of from hearing about it from your parents, etc. EX: You recall listening to your parents tell the story of your first day at school such that, many years later, when you think about your first day of school, what you are really remembering is your parent's story.

No? Well, that's probably for the best, because once you begin to fundamentally question your memories of the past, you quickly come to a point where it becomes unclear what, precisely, a person is, other than these collections of memories, which might all be false. And who wants to think about that?

Remember the 80's? Now you do.


Cool Dog Low Ridin'

Fret not: Cool Dog will find your missing Dave, man.

Forbidden Love

They both know it's wrong, they both know they are destroying their lives, their families, their futures.... but their love cannot be denied.

Whassss upppppppp?

A cougar, that's what. Amazing nature photos on this guys site, here.

New Gondolin (or TBD)

Here it is - the future site of New Gondolin, or some other name, but probably no name - since I cannot name things. But I try.

Regardless, I got the call this morning that ground has been broken - the big tree on the left of this picture is due South, and is now gone, and the house will be pointing a couple of degrees to the south side of due SouthWest. 

I'll be working on this all Summer and well into the Fall, so I apologize for my absences in advance. This is the goal I've been working towards for about 13 years now, so... well. It's surreal.


Lost Heroes

Like most people - I hope! - I had a series of revelations as a young man, spurred on by reading fiction. One of these great, life changing revelations for me came from reading Jack Kerouac. Worlds opened before me, possibilities. But even more so, a template: The writer who's life is their art. Kerouac - and all the Beats - used their lives as the source for everything they created. In fact, I would suspect many of them lived their lives with this in mind - life as the canvas, the blank page, the clay to be molded. It's life itself that's the work of fiction, to be consciously crafted by the artist.

I dug all this, big time, and fully incorporated it into my life, for many years. To not such good results.

But, now, I am free of Kerouac - I read the very same books that once moved me, and I'm bored, or tired of the constant self-focus. It's all so much flim-flam, especially Kerouac. Much of his writing I find now to simply be bad - which is still a shock, since I once held him in such esteem.

Not to say I still haven't taken a great deal from these books, these lives, these experiences. But, as they say - moving on! Onwards and upwards! And I would remind any impressionable young people who are under the romantic sway of the Beats and Kerouac in specific, to always remember how Brave Jack ended - living the last decade of his life with his Mom, drinking, to finally die on the toilet, alone. The end. Great story, right?

Now, I'm ALSO of the mindset that the artist's life is completely irrelevant to their art, or a Leader's life, or a Hero's life, or anyone who makes a mark on greater humanity. Does it matter if they were cowards? Drunks? Cheats? As time goes by, all those things wash away, and all that remains are the deeds, the acts that still resonate over time. Great battles, stirring victories, sublime works of art - these things go on, enriching new generations. The person themselves.... irrelevant.

Did I contradict myself? Maybe, and it's allowed. Regardless, and only personally, I feel a great weight off my back to be freed of heroes - all heroes. They're just people, and as I've learned from the lowest place to the highest, none of us has any clue what's going on. Just bumbling and stumbling. And so you could subscribe to the philosophy of "It's better to burn out than to fade away", but I guess all I'll say to that is: Make sure it counts. Often - most of the time? - it won't. And if it won't count, is it really worth throwing your life away after some youth inspired dream?


Also, theme:
More to come, with more contradictions.


Can you spare a sub ride?

I miss it. And by "it" I mean specifically, the Island. I realize the Island was my favorite character on the show. The show was really about the Island, in the sense that it was the motivator or cause for all other character's actions.  

I like calling it the Island too, that it doesn't have a name. Names are overrated.

Another Life (Brutha)

No offense meant to the great and worthy Captain Picard, but gee golly whilikers - a different casting decision might have led to so many different realities today. Terry O' Quinn as Captain Picard? Patrick Stewart as John Locke? I'd like to visit that reality just to see how it turns out. Might be awesome. Might not be. Until my dimension jumping machine is ready, I guess I'll never know.

Like Stewart, O'Quinn has been bald since very young, and thus, even as a young man, was cast in older roles - he's 42 in the above photo, for example. No spring chicken, but certainly, you don't make Admiral in Star Fleet at age 42.

Which leads me to my point: We can put a man on the moon, crack the atom, harness fusion, etc, and we can't find a cure to the most debilitating position known to men, i.e. MALE PATTERN BALDNESS.

C'mon, Global Pharmaceutical Concerns: There's money in those there bald pates. Lots.

Happy Captain Picard Day!

Hooray! It's one of the best days of the year, where us folks in the Lower Decks can regale each other over Synthahol about the greatness of Captain Picard. And he is great - Kirk, while awesome in a personal sense, had an amazingly high percentage of Redshirts die under his watch. Captain Picard, on the other hand, WEARS a Redshirt. Think about that. We sure do down here in the Jeffries Tube cleaning department.  Sally from Receivables replicated this cake on all our behalf:

And for any of you who think Captain Picard might let all of this go to his head, never forget: He was tortured to protect you. He's seen the light(s):
 Enjoy this awesome day!

Drama Rule 34.1B

34.1: Torn Shirt = Drama!
34.1B: Torn Red Shirt = Even More Drama (since you know this person will be dying any moment now)!

Shat Attack

Before the festivities formally again, let me take a moment to again sing the praises of William Shatner. Yes, Kirk was awesome - but let us not forget the cool efficiency of TJ Hooker. But even moreso, Shatner has made a career out of mocking himself, and/or others at the same time. For a great example of this, look up on the Google machine "Shatner Palin Spoken Word" and let the laughs commence - think Shatner's version of "Lucy in the sky with diamonds". 

And here we witness the real power of the Shat - famewhore Palin getting an autograph. Ha.


Meanwhile, in the EVIL Universe....

It's always important to take a step back from your day and to day and consider some of things you're grateful for. Example: Imagine if these two clowns were in charge. I suspect the Earth would already be a flaming ball of "salvation", just a'waiting for the Lord to come on down and fix it up. 

My friends, take this as proof that while we may be living in an Evil Reality, it gets a lot Eviler. Count your blessings!

Seriously, I shudder at this concept. Shudder IN TERROR! America.....

Hot babes can show off their ignorance and true moral bankruptcy by making funny "ha-ha's" on T-Shirts; isn't torture funny? But make no mistake: If the American Taliban had their way, I suspect there would be nothing different other than some particulars with Sharia Law. Religious wackjobs are all the same, despite whatever God they say they believe in.

This was at the Tea Bagging/Saint Sarah of the Holy Palin Audience on Boston Common in early spring. It was sparsely attended, and a sizable percentage of the attendees were there to mock the Wingnuts, as so:
Regardless, there were true believers in the crowd. These folks are scary - they'd sell themselves out for less than a song or dance. They are the true fodder of this world - just waiting to be told what to do. And of course, the power hungry are always looking for these people. And believe you me: If the Repuglicans take either or both the Houses this Fall, all will we see/hear about is the dynamic between these two groups - the 27%er's (The Tea Party/Wingnut base) and those the use this group to accomplish their own ends (usually Corporate/personal wealth). 

Don't believe me? Consider the mentality it would take to put a bumper sticker on your car that said:
Oh wait! No need to consider. Here's an accurate representation of that person:
Which is really about:
Where was I going with all this?

Oh yeah - Babes and Religious Fascism. The canary in the gilded cages, as it were.