Monday, January 31, 2011

Night Of The Pickle

*From the 'Now I Can' series, a tale of "Whoa...DUDE"*
Though there are a load of funny moments to be told from my no-longer place of employment, at the request of one co-worker -- and witness to this tale -- I tell first about a night that only three people witnessed. A night all three would remember.
Two recalled it as one of the most hysterical moments they witnessed there.
I was able to remember it that way later. Not at the time.
For a significant period of my employment at a hotel-casino in Central City, CO, I worked in the Surveillance room. The room itself underwent one change before I came to work in it, and several since.
But it was a fun place to work, albeit a very busy place at varying times.
On this particular occasion, I worked with two characters that made the job fun: "Wanda", who covered the 2p-midnight shift (we worked four 10 hour shifts), and "Robert", who worked noon-10p, while I covered the 5p-3a stretch. We were overlapped thus on the weekends, and frequently found work aplenty for all.
There was nothing remarkable for the evening in question, as I arrived to start my shift: the floor was busy, but calls for our services were few, and the crowd was, on the whole, behaving well. As was the custom -- when not up to our asses in alligators -- "Wanda" and "Robert" were engaged in small talk while they attended their respective stations, as I arrived. Small talk of the culinary kind.
They had a huge adorance for spicy food. Both knew that I did not: being a culinary wimp, I considered Pace Picante Sauce, mild, as "hot". The other two considered it akin to drinking soda pop.
Anyway, as I walked in and was getting situated in the available observer station (there were 3), "Robert" had in hand a sheet of wax paper, with some harmless-looking gherkin-like pickles on it. I had overheard him offer one to "Wanda", and as I sat down and began filling out my work log, he casually offered one to me.
*AHOOOOOOOOOOOGA* should have gone off in my head at once; "Robert" almost never offered to share anything with me, unless it was napalm-quality spiced. And I never fell for it.
Until then.
When offered one of the harmless-looking gherkins, I muttered, "why not?", picked one up, popped it in my chops and began to chew.
1...2...*multiple chemical reactions beginning*..3...*sensors in the tongue reacting before the brain could send out the requisite *BUZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZER* to my reflexive *spit it out* command...4...*swallow*...and a simultaneous *IGNITION* and *TOING*.
I was on fahr.
"Wanda" and "Robert" were sitting there, anticipating a reaction. It came in milliseconds:
"AUGH...YOU PRICK!", followed by the water pressure on our end of the building dropping preciptiously, as I tried to drown the wave of napalm overtaking the entry port of my digestive system.
I was trying to douse a four alarm fahr...while "Wanda" and "Robert" were absolutely useless to any kind of work for the next five minutes.
Years later, "Wanda" brands this story as one of her favorite most memorable. I brand it as the "Night Of The Pickle". And one I still owe "Robert" for...

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Friday, January 28, 2011

Randomality in Da New Yahr

Having left behind 2010, the sign covers that, too.
Okay, it's time for some more randomness as I allow my thought processes to go into free "fuhgeddaboudit":
1. There's nothing wrong with unemployment, that re-employment won't fix eventually.
1a. Except taxation, dammit.
2. Go Green Bay!
3. I like the original Law & Order (TOS).
3a. Which is good, 'cuz I can't get it from politicians.
4. No matter where you go, you'll probably smell it.
5. I made spagetti.
5a. It cost me one of the few remaining pans I had.
6. I walked around the local mall for an hour with a beautiful woman; staying in her 'six', she never realized it.
6a. And I don't have the bruises, to prove it.
7. After a trip to Washington, DC, my pet rock, Seymour, is pondering a run for the presidency.
7a. There will be no platform demanding reparations for Seymour's geologic relations, used as cat box filler.
8. Bradley Manning -- the US Military insider benefactor of Wikileaks -- is a traitorous sh**.
9. Anyone willing to bet that Brett Favre will stay retired for his 3rd and final time?
9a. Didn't think so...
10. Intelligence reports suggest that the Chinese are gearing up for war.
10a. I won't buy any more of their pupu platters, if it's with us.
11. Having a collosal conglomerated mass of solidified mucus, sucks. Glad I don't.
12. Is there really anyone that thinks Michael Moore is operating on more than two brain cells?
13. I am not putting porcupine sushi on my 'bucket list'.
14. I heard the radio commercial of the pigeons playing ragtime piano with their beaks. They sounded good.
14a. Too good, actually; I'm sure it was a cat chasing a mouse across the keys...
15. I'm sure that a mime as a radio traffic reporter is unheard of.
16. Season 10 of American Idol is about 9 seasons past enough.
17. One episode of anything featuring Eliot Spitzer is 60 minutes past enough.
18. I'm still cancelling my cable after football season's over.
18a. Especially since the History Channel sold out history to endless episodes of Ice Truckers.
19. Former speaker Bela Pelosi must have been grounded; I found her broom.
19a. And hid it.
20. Kudos to Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords on her amazing progress toward recovery.
20a. 10 billions tons of compost to The Daily Kos and Paul Krugman, for grotesquely lying about the rest of the story.
21. I found a psychic eggroll. It showed up already eaten.
22. I learned how to drive a stick: put wheels on it.
23. I also learned how to keep bees from driving you buggy: lock u buggy and hide the keys.
23a. I was smart enough to duck the boos and throwd joke books after that one...
24. If I'm right-handed and left-footed, does that make me libertarian?
25. A friend told me that they're experiencing bitter cold in Iowa; I didn't know my ex-fiancee had moved there.
26. Years ago, I spent hours trying to find the 'z' in xylophone.
26a. I can't believe I just admitted that....
27. Old habits are hard to break; just ask a nun.
I return you now to your own individualized randomality. This concludes this *FAIL* of mine.

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Now I Can

After 14 years, 8 months and 11 days, another chapter of my life is closed.
Actually, the full chapter was longer: I spent almost 19 years in the industry that I am now exiting, both at and not at my choice. I just spent the last almost 15 years in one place. I went from entry level, to fill-in supervisor, back to entry level in another department, expanded my knowledge base and experience, and then went back to the first department as a relief and then salaried supervisor, and then became expendable, as a new owner decided who they valued and who they didn't.
Eh. They bought the property. They have the right to make those decisions. My personal thoughts on their methodology used to make the personnel decisions doesn't matter. Life goes on.
At any rate, it was a long time. Lots of memories. Lots of anecdotes. Many funny; some not.
Lots of acquaintances and colleagues in that time. Many were there and gone, making little, if any, impression. Some will be missed, but the memories will, in the words of a song, "become hazy". And some will remain with me, be it good or bad, for the balance of my consciousness.
I saw the best in human nature; I saw the worst. I had the pleasure of working for some fine people. Even where we disagreed, it was good. I've seen and worked for worse.
I had the pleasure of supervising the exemplary, the competent, the good-natured, the dependable; and I suffered the day-by-day annoyance of trying to deal with/fix the unmotivated, the uncaring, the dishonest, the undisciplined, and the unethical.
I am pleased to know that, as I look back on those last years, my good/bad balance sheet is not unfavorable at the end. I leave with a good reputation among my colleagues, and -- ironically -- even with those who did not choose to retain me.
I worked in a place where no end of college doctoral thesis' could be composed. Where a comedy writer would find fertile ground. Where one could witness a significant segment of the human experience as it was played out. I witnessed what humans consider entertainment; avarice; happiness; sadness; silliness; stupidity; greed and loss. Courage and compassion.
I witnessed -- and participated in -- lives saved and lost.
I also witnessed my own evolutions and changes as I left behind my 30s, and memories of other successes and failures before. Now I find myself approaching my middle 50s, only to have to begin again. Regrets there are, to be sure; but also comes a comforting knowledge and certainty of my ability and experience that will allow me to begin again, and demonstrate once more the generally good reputation that I leave behind with my colleagues, will carry forward to the future.
Knowing that I have, gives me confidence that I can, again. Today need know nothing more than that. The future will show what yesterday already knows.
Now that I am there no longer, a few anecdotes I can tell. My own misadventures will be well-chronicled, too. Laughing at me is what I do best, on my own road to forever, where memories are eternal, and laughter, as here, remains the best medicine.
More to come.

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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Decision '12...For A Rock?

Lemme get this pet rock, Seymour, visits Washington DC with his host, Janine, and now.....he's thinking of running? For president? As a...what? And he expects my help to do it?

Yeah, I know: I ran two campaigns in '00 and '04. But they were parodies. I don't think Seymour has figured that out yet. Certainly some of the emails I got from voters -- especially in '04 -- proved that they didn't, either. But I digress.

So many questions...fortunately, a little time to figger it out when the politics-smitten rock returns from Virginia.

A pet rock, running for president. Ridiculous. Improbable. Probably ineligible. Then again, a review of the list of candidates that have run in the last three elections, suggests that nothing is totally impossible. Can't do any worse, I suppose, than a couple of examples that have or did win, eh?

And Seymour has already prepared a list of expected cabinet appointees, when -- not 'should' or 'if' -- he wins. Talk about geologic confidence from one so unyoung and inexperienced in the ways and means of DC. And his selections...are from my blogger list of favorite reads.

Worse yet...he expects me to be his campaign manager?


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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Name Dat Movie Quote

Okay, so no one liked my lousy review of a lousy movie. Understandable ;-) It was, after all, a lousy movie...

Here's something easier (I'm about to undergo a life change h'yar, so I'm keeping this simple).

Name the movie that the following quote comes from; one from the list of movies I provide you may* be the movie of note. What you win is at the end***. Enjoy:
"Everybody has to pay taxes. Even businessmen who rob and cheat the government...even THEY have to pay taxes".
From which movie?
Mars Attacks!!! (photo courtesy of non-sequitur)
The Baking of Canned Ham 1-2-3**
The Night Of The Killer Kumquats**
Million Dollar Proctoscope**
Fantastic Voyage
The Great Escape
Things To Do In Denver When You're Stewed**
Halloween 4,000**
The Sting
When Worlds Collide
The Explosive Mr. Limpet**
Return To Gilligan's Isle XXXVIII**
Saving Jose Cuervo**
It's A Mad Mad Mad World
Fast Times At Exlax High**
Wag The Octopus**
The Manchurian Oranges**
The Dead Zone
Airplane II
Monty Python And The Holy Sh**, It's A Snake!**
Hamsters Of The Navy**
Thirty Seconds Over Toledo**
Father Goose
Breakfast At Tiffany's Eggroll Emporium**

* or may not

** I might have kinda made this one up

*** the knowledge you know something totally useless that others didn't; or a visit from my world-travelling pet rock, Seymour. You're better off with the useless knowledge...

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Sunday, January 16, 2011

No WONDER South Park Hates This Movie

As I noted in a previous blog post, Hollyweird has problems with histree. It doesn't always work for their script writers, or hysterical revisionists.
Entertainment -- someone's notion of it -- must NOT be undercut by the more boring historical facts.
Let me be clear: I am a lousy movie reviewer. But that's okay; I tend to review lousy movies. Belatedly.
And I digress.
But first, let me digress further: Johnny Depp was not at Pearl Harbor. If he had been, you can bet that the makers of the bomb of a movie -- Pearl Harbor (2001) -- would have had him knock down a Japanese plane with his parrot. And he'd of probably made Kate Beckinsale, too. Arrrrr.
The director of Pearl Harbor (2001) -- the dude what purloined my name so I'd get phonecalls from folks wanting a shot at bad moviedom -- took a few characters, inserted a few real events, and mixed in all sorts of marginal plot twists and bad acting opportunities, to create an improbable (un)epic. While it was painful to watch from a historic and bad acting perspective -- and I didn't until about '07 -- it made a song in Team America: World Police, make me laugh for hours.
The precis: two lads grow up together, one idolizing the other, and they wind up in the US Army Air Corps, being trained by a famous and very historical character, the King of the Calculated Risk, Jimmy Doolittle. They both meet a nurse when they are joining -- before they've been through "arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr-meeeeeeeeeeeee training, sir!" -- and one becomes her love interest after getting a double shot of his baby's inoculations. Then, just when things could get interesting, he decides to join the RAF to fight the Germans, leaving his life-long buddy behind, who then sorta-kinda knocks up the first guy's girl. The first dude comes back from the dead, by way of the English Channel and London pubs -- and the two friends fight over da goil widda bun in the oven that neither knows is bakin' -- the night before the Japanese screw up everyone's Christmas plans. Then, in the fire of the Japanese attack, they sort of get back to being friends amidst the CGI wreckage of Pearl Harbor. THEN they go on to 'volunteer' for a 'secret mission' and rejoin their historical trainer, Jimmy Doolittle, to fly two of the B-25s to bomb Japan. The girlfriend stealer ultimately dies (while the girlfriend listens in on the radio back at Pearl Harbor, to radio calls from the raid), and the original girlfriend-getter marries the girl and raises the friends' kid, and they live a life of bad acting happy-ever-after.
This duo is, I suppose, meant to loosely portray two US Army Air Corps pilots who would make a bit of a name for themselves on the morning of December 7, 1941. Very, verrrrrrrrrry loosely. with any lousy review of a lousy movie, where to begin...
*BUZZZZZZZZZZER* When the two lads were playing 'chicken' in P-40s during flight training, and at the suggested time being portrayed (1939-1940), Jimmy Doolittle was not training pilots. "Eh..details", as my name purloiner probably said. For that matter, pilot training was about a two year process at that time. But and again...details.
*BUZZZZZZZZZZZER* The two pilots being loosely portrayed -- Lt. Kenneth Taylor and Lt. George Welch -- didn't grow up together. Didn't have the same girlfriend. Neither flew with the RAF. Neither flew in hawaiian shirts. They did react to the attack on Hawaii by getting to their planes -- parked at a smaller auxiliary airfield not visited by the Japanese that morning -- and did go onto, in their P-40 Warhawk fighters, engage and destroy 7 Japanese aircraft that fateful morning.
*BUZZZZZZZZZZZER* After which, they did not go onto be solicited by Jimmy Doolittle to participate in the April 1942 epic raid on Tokyo. Pilots previously trained to fly the B-25 Mitchell medium bomber, and coming from the Seventeenth Bombardment Group (Thirty-Fourth, Thirty-Seventh, and Ninety-Fifth Squadrons) and Eighty-Ninth Reconnaissance Squadron, were used for that one.
*BUZZZZZZZZZZZZER* Yes, a lowly submariner type DID come up with a notion for bombing Japan, that eventually got the approval of FDR. But the lowly submariner NEVER made the pitch directly to the Prez. *BONK BONK bad script writer and worse FDR impersonator*
*BUZZZZZZZZZZZER* On the Doolittle Raid, radios were removed from the aircraft, to prevent inadvertent chatter that the Japanese could use to RDF (Radio Direction Finding) the aircraft, and be forewarned of the incoming raid. There was no 'plane to plane' chatter. And therefore *BUZZZZZZZZZZZZER* the nursey couldn't have listened in on the raid from Pearl Harbor, 'cuz NOBODY COULD. But, in this particular director's world, what good is a secret mission, if it's kept secret by silly sh** like 'radio silence'? That ain't fair! CALL WIKILEAKS!
*BUZZZZZZZZZZZER* On the Doolittle Raid, the planes did not bomb in sync, nor, once they were west of Japan, did they see each other or fly together.
*BUZZZZZZZZZZZER* The Medal of Honor was awarded to Colonel Doolittle, NOT the bad-acting character poortrayed by Ben AFLAC.
I'm sure that, were I to subject myself to a second round of the movie, more *BUZZZZZZZER*s would result. But that was plenty enough.
Tho', it is with mirth that I listen to the soundtrack from Team America -- World Police, and enjoy hearing my name pilloried in the song Pearl Harbor Sucked, And I Miss You. Knowing, of course, that the song is directed at the director, not yours truly. But still...*grin*.
Bottom line: I give this movie one-half unfinished acting lesson. My pet rock, Seymour, just gives it a phffffffffffffffffffft. Though, he did think Kate Beckinsale was hawt. I tended to agree.
Next up on my lousy reviews for lousy movies...dunno. But there's no shortage of Hollyweird historical implausibilities. Look for a few more of these to take the place of the diminishing
scambait posts. Sorry, Prince Abdul Aba Hussein Achmed CamelPucky...youse demoted, finoke!

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Thursday, January 13, 2011

The 'Out of Sync' Movie Critic

LOL....not really.
I just don't expect much from Hollyweird, especially when they use history to go off on a CGI fiction romp.
About the only TV I watch, for the most part, is football. But one football-less day, I noted that the movie Gladiator would be on AMC.
Heard about it; hadn't seed it. What the hell.
Granted, I know a thing or two about the era: Marcus Aurelius was a notable Roman emperor from antiquity. He took over from Antoninus Pius, at the latter's death in 161AD. From 161AD to 169AD, Aurelius had as his 'imperial colleague', Lucius Verus; after Verus died in 169AD, no other 'imperial colleague' is mentioned until the appointment to that title of Commodus, son of Marcus Aurelius. "Moral man" or not, Commodus ascends to emperor at the death of Marcus Aurelius in 180AD.
Whether or not Marcus Aurelius had a general named 'Maximus', isn't revealed in the text that I examined. But no matter. Hollyweird rewrote history to fulfill what the screen playster(s) perceived was a 'need'.
I didn't find any evidence of Marcus Aurelius having a daughter who would have made a great 'Caesar' if she'd been born a man, let alone at all. Not that I minded the character being created for the movie; she was hawt.
I didn't find any evidence to support that Marcus Aurelius, as emperor, had spent the last 25 years of his life "expanding the empire". Granted, he did wage war with Germanic and other tribes, as well as had to put down another imperial colleague's efforts to supplant Aurelius. Still, shaky though my math be I reckon, I don't see how 161AD to 180AD, makes for 25 years, even accounting for Roman inflation.
Guess I'll never be a Hollyweird writer. Weird, perhaps..but I digress.
I didn't find any evidence to suggest that Marcus Aurelius was murdered by his "not moral" son Commodus; but Hollyweird needed to underline and highlight Commodus' immorality, so they had him murder his father, and lust after his hawt sister.
Commodus would have fit right into current-day Hollyweird.
I didn't find any evidence to support the end of Commodus, coming at the hands of a gladiator in the arena, let alone a gladiator that Commodus had ordered killed in the wake of his killing his father, and taking over power; in fact, Commodus did ascend to the role of emperor upon the death of Marcus Aurelius in 180AD. Roman historians deemed Commodus as "ineffective". And apparently, so did the commander of Commodus' Praetorian Guard. For it was at the hands of the Praetorian Guard -- protectors of the ruling emperor -- that sent Commodus to 'seek eternal employment options elsewhere', in 192AD.
The timeline and methodology, I guess, wasn't convenient for the script writers.
Is Russell Crowe convincing as a Roman General? Sure...moreso than Pee-wee Herman could have been. Is Russell Crowe convincing as a gladiator? Sure...moreso than Bill Mahar could have been. Does Russell Crowe's made-up character, speak one word of Latin? Not in the movie he don't.
Do any of the gladiators -- from far flung countries, tribes and unabsorbed cultures of the Roman Empire -- speak a word of ANY language other than English? Nawp. No Latin, Gaelic, German, Cimbri, Teutone, Numidian, Parthian be spoken in this movie...and not a one of them walked like an Egyptian, either.
And they're all educated fellers, too, what can enunciate their dialogue with Shakespearian overtures. Of course, to the real gladiators, 'shakespeare' was less theatrical, and more for intimidation.
But's Hollyweird's history.
Still...the movie was entertaining, and in the end, the hero didn't get the girl. But you were led to believe he scored in the afterlife.
Next time, perhaps this 'out of sync' movie critic will delve into my namesake's movie, Pearl Harbor. I've always wanted to point out how badly someone with my name sucked at history...

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Monday, January 10, 2011

From 'What If and Back', to Surreal...

Are these two photos somehow analogous? Follow along, and find out.

I found this piece of World War II trivia a tad interesting: in 1943, the US Navy was kinda busy. Seems they had a boatload of issues in two oceans, with ancillary concerns in a few others. Funny how a world war might make it so. But, busy as the US Navy was -- doin' that righteous and thank-God-they-did defendin' the flag thang -- they somehow managed to find time for some sci-fi incidentals.
Seymour, my pet rock, would love this, only to wind up hiding under the loveseat. But I digress.
Ever hear of the "Philadelphia Experiment"? It is also known as the 'Hutchison Effect'. At which time, one of our destroyer escorts went "missing". But apparently, only briefly. The truly interesting thing about it was, 'where' and 'how' it went missing.
It seems that the US Navy -- through magnetic field experimentation -- "tele-transported" a US Navy warship from Philadelphia Navy Yard, to Norfolk, VA. And back. The USS Eldridge (DE-173). The effects on the 181 person crew were more drastic and less desirable than the three hour tour of the SS Minnow, and subsequently never made the '60s sitcom circuit, as did the latter.
It apparently didn't go so well for one Philadelphia-area dog, either: Bozo the Beagle.
At the time of the then highly secret experiment, Bozo the Beagle had recovered from having been hit by a car, and being an early veterinary recipient of his hip being surgically repaired with metal plates. Happily back home, a lopsided-walking Bozo -- at the same instant the USS Eldridge was going from a shadowy outline in the Philly Navy Yard, to a blue flash and *ZAP* arriving at Norfolk -- suddenly *vanished* from his owner's yard. And was reportedly observed by incredulous observers in Norfolk's naval base, stuck to the side of the "Where The F*** did that come from?", highly-magnetized USS Eldridge.
Moments later, when the Eldridge just as suddenly *vanished* from Norfolk, returning to the Philly Navy Yard, Bozo landed abruptly on his owner's porch, a bit worse for wear. Story has it that the cat -- upon witnessing Bozo's remarkable *gone & back* journey -- tossed away all of his catnip, and hid under a bed muttering "nuh UHs" to itself, the rest of its days.
Be that as it may...
If y'all remember, in the late '70s/early '80s, there was a movie about the nuclear carrier USS Nimitz. The ship had just left Pearl Harbor for routine patrol. And a strange anomaly -- perhaps a natural electro-magnetic storm -- overtook the ship, and *POOF*...with a bit more CGI fanfare, the Nimitz found itself in the same position as heretofore. But not in this chronological hereabouts. Suddenly, a 1980s US Navy warship was west of Pearl Harbor...on December 6, 1941.
Date ring a bell? It would to Pavlov *ducking boos and throwd psychology books*
It did to the primary characters, too. And what an amusing -- and not so amusing -- moral and ethical problem it posed for the characters. One that was finally solved, apparently, by the 'captain' deciding to react as the captain of a US Navy warship would be expected to, when he saw a threat to his country.
But just when the audience was rooting for the 1980s US Navy to kick the 1941 Japanese task force's came that pesky perhaps natural magno-electrical anomaly again, and with some more CGIesqueness, took the USS Nimitz -- and her airborne strike force -- back to the 1980s.
End of the story, other than a weird twist with three plot characters, one of which was a dog. But not Bozo.
Perhaps in the 'Philadelphia Experiment' back in the summer of '43, the US Navy -- intentionally or not -- discovered a 'doorway' into the space-time continuum. Just not how to control it, or make it work without creating basketcases of much of the crew of the USS Eldridge. Not to mention, one banged-up beagle, and the cat that forevermore swore off of catnip.
Perhaps the writer of this 1980s sci-fi movie, had the 'Philadelphia Experiment' in mind. Perhaps not.
In any event, I bring this weird, not well-knowd episode up for....well, 'cuz it was interesting. And ... or ... maybe ... because it has some relevance to a later anniversary this year.
Not that I think a repeat of the 'Philadelphia Experiment' might be actually tried with a US nuclear aircraft carrier. I mean, a nuclear aircraft carrier is not exactly something that leaves a miniscule footprint, even in a giant ocean, even in 1941. And to cover up it's sudden 'disappearance' from 2011, might be more than any fed officials could blow off officially.
BUT...a nuclear attack submarine -- perhaps a Los Angeles Class 688 sub, one more equipped as the ocean-going equivalent of a 'stealth ship' -- now, that might prove a more effective, manageable option. A vessel that can stay submerged for weeks...even months. A vessel that can sail faster submerged, than almost any surface craft of an earlier era. A vessel that can dive deeper, and hide in thermoclines, becoming truly 'invisible' to sonar technology of an earlier time.
And a vessel that can carry more sophisticated and lethal ordnance, than any task force. Maybe not today, to be sure....but it would certainly pack an earth-shaking, bring-enemies-to-their-knees wallop in 1941.
Perhaps just such a sub will leave Pearl Harbor in late November or early December, 2011. Destination: history, by way of years of enhancements to the 'Philadelphia Experiment'.
Perhaps that captain and crew will also find themselves with very real moral and ethical considerations to weigh: witness history as it happened, and leave the future as it has played out? Or, prevent a disastrous national historical event...without knowing what effect on history thereafter? And to do so, with technology possessing a lethality not known to the world in 1941.
What to do: leave the known intact, or try to 'tweak' the future, by way of correcting the known mistakes, with no idea of what the subsequent changing of history will mean? Prevent Pearl Harbor? Prevent the Bataan Death March? Take out Berlin before the Nazi-inspired Holocaust can get truly underway? Save thousands of American lives -- and millions of other innocents who found themselves in the path of the Nazis, Russians, Japanese, and later the American and British air, sea and land counteroffensives -- that were lost in the early, and later, stages of World War II?
OR....change history, by killing some of those who survived, and who then would not contribute to humanity with what they learned from the catastrophic destruction they witnessed, and lived to rebuild from?
Rewrite the past, at the cost of making what was subsequent history, now a huge unknown?
What's more...could the 'Philadelphia Experiment' have contributed -- by accident or design -- to the rumors about the coming of the end of the Mayan calendar, and what it potentially means for 12/21/12?
Makes for a good sci-fi book or movie idea, eh?
Sure does...if it is just an idea.

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Friday, January 7, 2011

Bad Skunk New Year

It was suggested that perhaps it was time for yours truly -- da curmudgeon-in-training Skunkmeister -- to select a resolution for the new year, one that I'd actually make an effort to keep.
Like, try bein' nicer to my fellow man.
So, with an email I received in the waning days of '10, I thought I might just try it out. A kinder, gentler, less-likely-to-wig-out Skunkmeister.
First, the email (not the whole thang, just enough to give y'all an ideer h'yar):
Dear Valued Cusomer,
I am Mr. Tony Duke from Western Union, On behalf of the International Monetary Fund/United Nations/ECOWAS, I conce again try to notify you as my earlier letter was returned undelivered (ya dumb ass, quit tryin' to send me liver in the mail, and mebbe I'd keep it....oops...*pose of peace and an elongated Ahmmmmmmmmmmmmmm*). I hereby attempt to reach you again by this same email address been the beneficary today (so it didn't work the first time, try try again 'til it doesn't work the 100th time...what a bu...oops again...*Ahmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm*). If you receive this email, we are writing to inform you that we have been gived the mandat to transfer your full consipation (the *Ahmmmmm* just about bent at the syntax...dang, this resolution sh** is hard work) payment of $100,000USD via Western Union by the International Monetary Fund with United Nation and ECOWAS.
You get the idea.
It goes on to tell me that I may go to Western Union, right this mo', and pick up my first daily installment -- yes, that's daily -- of $5,000. Each day, every day, until I have received my authorized $100,000USD.
So, lessee how I dun with my first test of my new 2011 resolution to be a kinder, gentler, more trusting Skunk:
'Eyyyy, Dukey, wazzzzzzzzzz up? Long time no badda bing wid yo' sistah, Dukey, y'know whadda mean heah? I went to those mugs at Westin Onion, an' ah sez to dem mugs, ah sez, "see this h'yah email message heah? It sez youse got some scratch o' mine heah! So make widda dough!" An' da mug at Westin Onion, he sez...really, he sez "make widda passwoid 'er fuggedaboudit!". An' ah gits all pissed, y'see, 'cuz youse didn' make widda passwoid heah! Soo, wazzzzzzz up widda passwoid heah?
So much for that resolution. Especially since they replied...even to that:
Dear Valued Cusomer, we are emailing you sequal to your mail, i want you to know that we are not try to offend you anywhere but only to make that you follow the normal process in get your inheretant process through our office as you must now that this is a western union agents and also a government INC company.
It goes on for several more paragiraffes of semi-coherent drivel, then lets me know that in order to collect my first $5,000 daily allotment, I must pay a handling fee to Western Union of $100.
The price of getting fleeced is coming down almost as fast as the dollar.
And, of course, I'm supposed to send this $100 via -- who'd a thunk it -- Western Union. To Justice Obaze, located in sunny -- again, who'd a thunk it -- Lagos, Nigeria.
My 2011 resolution is soooooooo dead:
WT new year F???? Youse sez...and youse DID sez, 'cuz ah read it h'yah...youse sez ah needs ta PAY to RECEIVE dis badda boom Westin Onion? Ta tawlk like dem youngstas widda text massagin' gig, "R U Fing kiddin' me h'yah"? Lay some bad 'splanation on me one each one time, Rastus. I ain't ta follerin' y'all.
This doesn't end the communication, but it does bring to a halt the long-winded replies. Proof that I can derail a resolution in a simple email exchange, is as conclusive as the follerin':
who is rastus? is what you not understand here you follow what we say you get money. why hard of you to do?
'Eyyyy, finoke, youse not gettin' th' basic gist of da ting heah, eh? Lemme spell da ting out heah for youse: Westin Onion is da place where da mugs eddah gives youse da moola, or da mugs what charges youse ta send it, hokay dokay finoke? Youse gettin' what ah'm layin' here on youse okay? Youse pay ta send ta me heah; ah don' pay to receive from youse heah. Dats da fact, Jack. So....wazzzzz wid youse lil' Benjamin gig heah?
do you writ english pleese you are not understanded to us how you write pleese to do as you is been told to and all is in your favour now. no more delay is good for your business ok.
'Eyyyyy, wazzzzamatta wid da way ah enunciate mahsef heah, eh? Wazz youse gots agin' da way ah types heah? Youse prejudgeiced? Y' wanna make widda throw down heah? C'mawn, finoke...eddah make widda passwoid what makes widda dough, or don' be prevokin' me h'yah, y'know whadda mean?
i can not read what you say do you have someone there who can tranlate? we wast time for you not writ in english now
Ewot...bloody cheeky of you bloomin' wankers, talkin' crikey to me associate th' bloomin' way ye are. Blimey, e's likely to do a knot an' make a whacking great boomsedaisy ootta ya now!
is this a game you think funy to play on me? you loose out on money you not stop this game and do as i say you do.
Micshiessen? Da, hundsfott, schtuffen das sprechen schiessen uppen your glockenspiel midde shove undt pushen! Geshiessen ist das vhat du ist fullensee, ja! Awpeterstain!
you are not serous to me so this is not deal for you at longer to be. no more you comunicate with me now.
'Eyyyy...who the f*** cares? If ah send youse a billyun emails, phfffffffft, fuggetaboudit, youse gonna keep h'yarin' from this heah mug, youse gettin' da picture heah?
And he is, too. Startin' with three days into da new yeah heah, and I'm forwardin' to him every spam email I get. And through one email account, that's a dozen on average per day.
Shot that resolution all to heckydarnpoo.
Eh...resolutions are overrated ;-)

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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

What's His Movie Line?

Mr. Self-Professed Un-Movie -- Andy -- has kicked off 2011 with a new feature on his blog, akin to Name That Tune, 'cept it's where he quotes a line from a movie, and you name it.
First, an unsolicitied and unpaid promo: check it out.
Next...I'm kinda thinkin' the inaugural episode hadda be rigged, 'cuz one of the least likely to watch a chick flick -- Mr. Sensitivity Hisself, Paul "Mean Ol' Meany" Mitchell -- nailed the quote from...a chick flick.
The 'fix' hadda been in.
A current and former co-worker of mine can tell you, from many of their discussions about movies, that when it comes to movies, I am...uh...out of sync or any other kitchen or bathroom appliance-sounding device. Fer instance: I saw the movie Twister --you'd think a natural for me -- six years after it came out. And the uber classic of all time, Mars Attacks!!? I saw it for the first time on DVD...10 years after it came out.
But if Andy ever quotes a line from that movie, I am so all over "rack rack ACK rack ACK!".
I haven't seen many of what Hollyweird considers the "classics": I never saw Ben Hur. I never saw 1,000,000 BC, even with Raquel Welch. I never saw -- and thus, never cried at the conclusion of -- Ol' Yeller. I did not see Police Academy III thru whatever sequel it crapped out at. I haven't seen From Here To Eternity, though I felt like I'd lived it with the flu a few times.
This will be rank heresy to say, but I have never seen any of the Godfather series. Did order a couple of their pizzas, but I reckon that doesn't count.
As for chick flicks....well, I do have to admit to having seen You've Got Mail, 'cuz I think the Hanks/Ryan duet are a hoot together, and I hadda crush on ol' Meg ever since Top Gun.
But when it comes right down to it, I suck at guessing which quote came from which movie. For example...if I were running this feature instead of Andy, here's a famous movie quote I'd use:
"Hi, man!"
Now, which movie did that come from? Please pick from the choices below:
All About Eve*
How Sally Screwed Harry**
10,000,000 BC**
The Lost World
The Learning Of English 1-2-3**
Lost In Translation*
Team America: World Police
Sleepless In Toledo**
A Hamster Runs Through It**
A Fish Called Sushi**
The Greatest Story Never Told**
The Wizard Of MSNBC**
Gone With The Review**
Suppose They Gave A War And Nobody Came?
The Shawshank Resolution**
The Green Mile Scam****
The San Franciscan Candidate**
The Longest Date***
Wuthering Carrots**
Indiana Jones And The Final Prostate Exam**
Islamic Porkys**
Kelley's Heroes
Toy Story V: Buzz Goes Porn**
Miracle On Pahrump Street**
Winner of my one-time contest wins...*drum drum broke*...nuthin', but the knowledge that you knowd something that absolutely nobody cares about. And that should be good cart circles, or nuthin' related.
Seriously, check out Andy's page as his new feature pits movie buffs against the anti-ESPN, MoM******. As for me, I'm sure that I will be a perfect 0-for-how-many-ever-times Andy runs it ;-)
"Have a little faith, baby...have a little faith". I little as anyone who knows me...
* since I never seed it, I think you can count it out...
** I think I made these up...
*** Been on a few of those...
**** AlGore's favorite fraud, since 2000 didn't work out...
***** not sure if the series ain't gone that many or not...
****** visit MoM's page during one of his college footbaw posts, and this will make 110% sense

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Saturday, January 1, 2011

Married with Email

Being single, I have to laugh. Especially at my pet rock, who for now, isn't.
In Michigan, a law that was designed to be used against online hackers and identity thieves, is about to be tested for yet another application: the field of spousal 'privilege'.
A male accessed his wife's email account on their computer at home, and discovered -- by reading her emails -- that she was having an affair.
Cheaters tend to write the durndest things. Art Linkletter coulda had a helluva show on that, if he hadn't up and croaked in 2010.
What went down next I do not have at my finger tips, but the gist of it is:
1. She filed for divorce.
2. He was arrested/cited under the aforementioned Michigan law, for accessing his wife's email and learning what he learned.
3. He faces felony charges under this law.
Little other tidbits about it include the fact that prior to this incident, she had given her husband her password, and had asked him to check her email (unknown when this happened or why).
I'm not a lawyer and don't play one online, unless it's with nitwit online scammers of dubious antecedence and worse grasp of English tort of the jurisprudence or bakery kind. But I do know that access to personal information via the internet -- while wonderfully convenient -- is also not so wonderfully accessible to persons of odious intent. Even when you do what you can to protect yourself with the usual features (passwords, firewalls, a big slobbering cyberdawg that mauls cyberintruders), some six-fingered jackwagon at the store, a bank, a credit card company, and even with a local, state or federal government bureaubratic desk, can *oopsey daisy* and put your personal information up for grabs, by accident and/or design.
There are also moral and ethical considerations here, though in many venues, moral and ethical considerations are considered passe and oh so non-21st Century (like in Congress), but I digress.
I know a legal mind or two out there; what say you? How, and to what extent, can and potentially will this ripple through the legal community to affect separate but related aspects of internet usage, such as parental monitoring home-living kid's email, text messaging, etc? Who will soon (if not already) become the legal Gawdfaddah/Mutha of Internet Privacy?
Welcome to 2011.

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