Wednesday, December 27, 2006

In Praise of Nutty Relatives

That would be (Great-great) Uncle Bill Derringer, yes those Derringers, and Aunt Griselda aka "Gustie". Don't they look like a hoot? (And he seems to resemble a certain other Bill of my acquaintance .... ) Christmas is a good time to reflect and cherish the more, er, colorful members of your family. I seem to have a lot of them. And somehow it doesn't surprise me I have guns in the family.

Now this is from the other side of my family. An uncle who collects old records--he even has some of the Edison cylinder recordings--and we got to listen to some of them. I was looking at an ancient one-sided record and found to my surprise that the Microsoft EULA (End User License Agreement) has a long pedigree. And the paranoia of the recording industry has been in full flower for over a hundred years, too. Heaven forfend the license sticker came off your Victrola record, or they would hunt you down.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas and memes and so-on

First off, let me just say spiking the breakfast pancake mix with eggnog is a very happy thing. Try it!

Next, we here at Snark Central have experienced the blogospheric equivalent of celebratory gunfire--a meme. What on earth did I do to deserve this? Beth, I introduced you to your Cubie!

OK, fine.

Three things I'd like for Christmas:
1. A submarine. To go hunting giant squid in.
2. More ammo. 45, 9mm, and 50 cal if Sgt. B ever stops hogging the machine gun
3. Dancing boys.

Three things I would NOT like for Christmas:
1. Tickle-me-Elmo
2. Carbon credits. I WANT global warming.
3. anything pink

FuzzyBear Lioness
Sgt. B

and I'm not sending them mail because I don't do everything a meme says so there!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Santa Claus, NORAD, and the importance of proofreading

I have always loved the story of how NORAD got into the Santa-tracking business. Hooray for COL Harry "Iron Sphincter" Shoup and the nameless copywriter who accidentally transposed some crucial digits in an advertisement's telephone number. The silliness continues unabated, and your humble Snarkatron is always in favor of more silliness. Remember, every time you giggle a terrorist gets constipated.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

After the storm

Things that need electricity to work: Traffic signals, cell-phone towers, gas pumps, water pumps, non-line-driven phones, oil furnaces, grocery store scanners, ATMs.

Two solid days without power for some folks here. Me, I am a member of the new aristocracy -- People With Power. A mile south of me, it is still dark. The funny thing is if you go even further, to the lakeside homes of millionaires, they are dark too (unless they are really really rich and have their own generator stations like B*ll G*tes). Everywhere stores have electricity they are packed with refugees from the dark areas. Gas stations have lines.

Speaking of lines, one of the little-known functions of power lines apparently is to hold up fallen trees that would otherwise block the road. I went out to one of the more outlying areas this morning and was quite perturbed to see THREE rather large--and mostly horizontal--trees being held up by electrical lines. Not to worry, there's no danger of electrocution since the main feeder lines are down too. I would have taken a picture to share but there were enough hazards on the road without adding me to them. Yeah, they've been like that for two days. They probably will stay that way for a while longer, since further up this impromptu system didn't work so well--the power poles snapped. They won't be doing anything until they can get replacement poles in place.

I got off lucky, just have a lot of branches and about a billion 6" pinecones all over the yard. Just so you know, they sound real interesting when they hit your house at 60 mph.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Stupid Terrorists

Every now and then I read breathless commentary (it usually is comments, and not actual blog posts) about how the terrorists are so clever and completely in control of the media, are playing us like violins, etc. I'm not convinced. Anybody remember the first WTC attempt? The geniuses that tried to get their deposit back on the rental truck they used for their bomb? Even the most whacked-out local criminal knows better than that. And then you had the 9-11 guys, who were in flight school but a) were noticably not interested in learning the landing bits and b) were noticably typically Arab to women at the school. Now we have someone who wants to get a hazmat transport license but didn't want to learn how to back up the truck. You'd think they would know by now, we haven't exactly been hiding these stories and the breathless black-helicopter-UN-gonna-GET-you types assure us the morning routine for Al Qaeda is to read the New York Times in unison. So what we got here is a basic failure to comprehend a different culture--you know, the thing the liberals and Europeans always accuse us of--and it gives me comfort in difficult times. These bozos have had years to figure out that yes, Westerners really do consider women fully human, and yes, we do expect someone who shows up to drive a truck wants to drive a truck for longer than it takes to blow one up, and yet they keep making the same dumb mistakes. They show a consistent inability to think in a different way even if that's the only way to remain hidden and succeed in their attack. That's what an ossifying culture will do for you, and since they can't change that without risking other dangerous changes and letting in the evil forces of Micky Mouse and uncovered meat in general they don't dare. Bwahahaha.

Friday, December 08, 2006


One good thing about working downtown these days, even if there are scads of holiday shoppers and strange decorations, is the Westlake carousel that gets set up every year. Since I adore merry-go-rounds I had to go ... and I persuaded several equally silly co-workers to join me. It was a bit early in the day so the juvenile contingent was down to two on our ride, but they had a blast. One little girl made sure to call out "Merry Christmas!" to everyone she saw. Another had been brought by her rather punked-out mother (featuring multiple and esoteric piercings, heavy metal chains, and a hairstyle that looked remarkably like a neon-red strip of fur on an otherwise bald head.) Sometimes it is curious the commonalities that bring such different people to the same place. And you know? We all had a good time.