Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Bookshelf Extreme

via Instapundit, a very entertaining take on some individuals who seem to think that books are for display. They debate whether or not it is de rigeur to display books which one has not actually read, and are roundly mocked in the comments by bibliophiles who could care less what *people* think, they like *books*. Now, I will confess to a form of bibliomancy when invited to someone's home--I check out their bookshelves. It gives me some idea of the hidden depths involved without requiring rude questions or other social hazards, like actually talking to them. (If they don't have any books, I suddenly recall I left something on the stove and run out the door, gibbering.) My bookshelves must give *my* visitors furiously to think, as M. Poirot would say. Yes, he is present, as is Lord Peter, the Thinking Machine, and others of their ilk. Plus lots of science fiction, fantasy, *real* science, a little-known book by a Secret Service officer, the ABC Telegraph Code (1917 edition), Chaucer, some strange books in German, and a damn near complete set of Georgette Heyer. I actually took the room that was supposed to be the dining room and turned it into a library, complete with comfy chairs and tall bookcases that look built-in. I have LOTS of books, 99% of which I have read, and I don't care what other people think. Hell, I shelve Nietzsche next to Jane Austen. (In my mind, it makes sense. They're both classics, you know.)

Friday, February 22, 2008

We have *cultured* smut around here

There are a few holdouts remaining in what used to be the red-light district of Seattle. One of these, an establishment devoted to worship of the female form (unclothed), has a sign. This week it read:

Veni, Vidi, Veni

I think ol' Julius, ladies man that he was, would approve.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


A dragon is eating the moon! Right here in River City!

I'm so glad the clouds parted so we in the soggy corner of the map got to see. Totality now ... and my watch has been enlivened by neighbors stopping and trying to take a picture with their cell phone cameras. Oh, and by the flock of bats that I swear are deliberately triggering the motion-sensors of my outside lights. I can hear their hypersonic giggles even now.

Hooray for eclipses! Now, what about that spy satellite....

Monday, February 18, 2008


According to, rumors are swirling that certain misbehaving spy satellites are going to get spanked while the Lunar eclipse is going on Wednesday. Here's the crucial bit of gossip:

Rumor has it that the US Navy may make its first attempt to hit USA 193 this Wednesday evening as the satellite passes over the Pacific Ocean. An air traffic advisory warns pilots to avoid a patch of ocean near Maui from 4:30 pm to 7:00 pm Hawaii time on Feb. 20th (0230 - 0500 UT, Feb. 21st). This would center the missile strike on Wednesday's lunar eclipse and possibly render reentering debris visible from the North American west coast. Remember, it's just a rumor!
I wish I had a telescope...and a submarine.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Snarkatron officially worse-off than poor, film at 11

Via the Blogfaddah, a very interesting article about what "poor" means. Never mind the motorized goalposts of the Iraq war -- the ones for poverty are JTO-enabled.

I have much in common with the officially poor (as defined by the Feds).
-I own my own home, 46% of the poor own their own home.
-76% of the poor have air conditioning. I DON'T!
-I have a car, so do 75% of the poor.
-30% of the poor have TWO cars. I'm DEPRIVED! I don't even have a bicycle as a second vehicle!
-I have a microwave, 73% of the poor do too.
-33% of the poor have a freaking dishwasher. Not only do I not have one, this house has never had one. We've got a regular (rinse) cycle of deprivation going here!

Do not raise piddling objections. Never mind I live in a temperate climate with no real need for air conditioning, no matter what the Californian transplants think. Never mind that I live by myself and hate to cook so the dishwasher is not, shall we say, essential to domestic tranquility. There are times when it would be nice to have a beater work truck, but I make do without. That's not the point! There are *poor* people who have more than I do! Ergo, I am a victim and should be richly compensated by those with the things I don't have, which according to these statistics is pretty much everybody.

I wait for delivery each day until 3 ...

Saturday, February 16, 2008

A Day in the Life of an Evil Conservative

Me, that is. I thought that as a public service to moonbats everywhere I would illustrate our (conservatives) complete moral turpitude and provide fodder for protest signs, outraged comments, and any other situation where anecdotal evidence of eeeeeevil would be of use.

6am: Fed enslaved animals (they don't believe in the concept of weekends. Damn cats.)
6:30am:Depleted precious water supplies (Took a shower. It's better for everyone, really.)
7-8:30am:Created bulk landfill deposit (cleaned house)
9am: Encouraged non-sustainable commerce, use of pesticides, and further animal enslavement (went grocery shopping)
10:30am: Subjected enslaved animals to emotional trauma and torture (yearly vet visit, and the only blood was mine. Damn cats.)
11-12:30pm: General Gaia-rape and ecological terrorism (planted two pear trees and other yardwork)
12:30pm: Warmongered (sent care package to adopt-a-soldier)
1pm: Increased carbon footprint (had lunch, heated)
1:30-2:30pm Further crass commercialism and squandering of precious resources that pollute the planet (bought a plastic lawn chair)
3-4pm: Generated greenhouse gases, excess heat, and encouraged violence (Watched "Hellboy" whilst exercising)
4:30pm: Further animal-related atrocities (had chicken for dinner. Cats had tuna, their natural prey. Damn cats.)

As you can see I'm behind on my minority-oppressing. I'm hoping Dark Lord Rove will hold off on the punishment until the weekend is over. I've never been very good at that, or the whole suppression of dissent thing. I *like* arguments.

Well, now you see what it's like. Come to the Dark Side! We have cookies!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Odds n' Ends

-Gun-free Zones Kill People: How's that gun-free thing working out for you, guys? Maybe you should hire the guys who did the Iraq Lancet study to see how many people get killed by guns in gun-free zones vs. places where guns are permitted. Or just issue anti-gun people red shirts, so the nutcases know who is safe to attack.
-Little Green Men Department: We're getting better at finding other planetary systems. Note that this time astronomers lit the bat-signal to take advantage of a brief microlensing event--and amateur astronomers contributed significant data.
-Practicing for Rogue Asteroids Department: Aside from the trifling loss of a very expensive spy satellite (that never worked) it's a win-win. We deny the bad guys any chance of looking at our clever tech, and we get to practice shooting down stuff attacking our planet (could be Martians, nukes from Iran or North Korea, or large chunks of solar system construction debris in future, good to get a realistic target). I suggest getting all this data and making a video game with it. Gotta train our future asteroid/alien invasion fighters now!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

A Feline Babushka

For Valentine's Day. I love the internets. Thanks Al Gore!
(The kitty did try to advise a nice juicy mouse instead of a stoopy ring, but humans are dumb that way. As of this writing, we don't know the answer.) Click the pic for the whole lolstory.

I Can Has Marriage?

UPDATE: We can has answer!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The Cod Liver Oil Election

By which I mean, nobody is really looking forward to it. The rational know a) someone *will* be elected and b) it behooves us to pick the least of the manifold evils, but you just know even if you hold your nose and get the dose down in one gulp you'll still be burping Essence of Fish Entrails longer than you would think possible. Like many in the blogosphere, I have no patience with those who want to "send a message" by not voting or other such juvenalia. We have many means of communicating with our elected officials that can make quite clear they were only selected because the other options were worse. Ideally, voters would have the option of a "signing statement" to go along with their vote. E.g. "Joe Smith, I voted for you for the State Senate but don't think for a minute I approve of your brain-dead mandatory turtle adoption policy--your opponent's adopt-a-cobra plan was just worse."

Now, some candidate-specific snark.

Hillary Clinton: She has proven to the entire solar system *she* doesn't think an intelligent, ambitious woman can achieve anything unless a man opens the door for her. With regard to the Iraq war, conservative commenters have claimed she would never allow the US to be defeated when it would be her prestige on the line as well. Perhaps, but how the hell would she know how to accomplish this? Her contempt for the military is bone-deep, so I very much doubt she's been reading Small Wars or Sun Tzu. She couldn't be bothered to read the NIE when it was her JOB. Plus every time she opens her mouth my wallet shivers in fear.

Barack Obama: Unlike Senator Biden, he can talk at length pleasantly-- and remarkably free of pesky details such as *how* we are going to give everyone a pet unicorn and banish meanness forever. Real presidential candidates know that for every omelette, there are broken eggs. And I'd be more impressed with the great strides for racial justice if he'd written "Dreams from my Mother". You know, the lady that bore him, raised him, and loved him? But no, she's white and doesn't count, so the focus stays on a guy who left when Obama was two, but is black. We've still got a long way to go. Sorry, MLK. We'll keep trying.

Ron Paul: or, "I have no idea where all that Stormfront paraphernalia came from, or maybe I'm storing it for friends who I would not *dream* of asking awkward questions because that would violate their free speech rights and oh, am I even in the right house? Did I mention the Constitution yet? I am so rigid in my beliefs I never get anything done, but I am PURE!" 20cc Thorazine, administered by blowgun. STAT.

Huckabee: God apparently wants him to be president. To quote Phillipe the Mouse, "I talk to God all the time, and he never mentioned you." Go away, already.

John McCain: You know, I could have sworn we already saw the episode with the president that was vindictive, angry, and dealing with an unpopular war. It didn't end well. Note that I have not disparaged his physical courage or service to this country in the military. He could have singlehandedly stormed Omaha Beach and he'd still be political nitroglycerine. Very useful, yes! As long as you don't set it off by accident. The very fact that he is unable to hide his temper points to a certain lack of political acumen. There are probably Bushmen of the Kalahari who know he's got a volcanic temper. How is he going to work constructively with *anyone* (allies, Congress, Supreme Court, visiting Girl Scout troops) when he can't be trusted not to bite? And once having bitten, carry a grudge to the end of his days? I'm sure there are plenty of politicians who have short fuses but they know it should be hidden from public view, like their toenail fetish, and we only find out years later.

Mitt Romney: What a well-oiled weathervane. Props for herding the Olympic cats, that can't have been a trivial exercise. However, where Mr. McCain has too much vim and vinegar Mitt doesn't seem to have any. That's like trailing blood in the political shark tank. Sorry, you can't be nice *all* the time. One well-executed, clearly deserved kneecapping usually makes it clear you can be nasty if necessary, and then you don't have to *keep* kneecapping. But you do have to make it clear that you can do it if they act up. Otherwise you are just an inflatable doll in a room full of reciprocating saws.

Sigh. I keep pushing the fast-forward button on the remote but it's not working ....

Friday, February 01, 2008

A few awkward questions

-Internet cable cut, affecting the Middle East and India: Are the online pr0n sites seeing a marked decrease in traffic? I know a lot of searches come from there ...
-Crippling snowstorms in China: Loss of crops, people killed. Can the global warming people please explain why this, as well as historic, rare snow in Buenos Aires, Baghdad, etc. is so totally not a refutation of the inherent EEEEEEVIL of human activity giving Gaia hot flashes, but the *melting* of Arctic ice is proof of the End Times? (even though Antarctic ice is growing, not melting?) And Mars is having some melting issues too. Must be Marvin's SUV, the bastard.