December 7th, 2007

#758: Not a finger!

As Christmas approaches, I recall that some cable channel is probably going to run A Christmas Story all day Christmas...again.

After Ralphie's mom breaks the "major award", she and his dad have this "exchange" about it. The exchange ends with him saying, "Not a finger!"

That's my favorite line from that movie.

This past Christmas I actually had the presence of mind--seeing that that scene was about to come up--to fire up SNDREC32.EXE and record it; so now I can use that little sound clip to mark Windows events or whatever.

But in fact, I have a plethora of sound clips I've digitized over the years, and I no longer use any of them. I have one of Homestar Runner saying "E-mail!" to inform me when I have new e-mail; otherwise I've left the Vista defaults intact.

The funniest one of all time was a homebrew:

Ed: Victor! Say something for the kids back home.
Vic: [evil voice] Go fuck yourselves, and rob your mothers! Ha ha ha ha ha! God, I'm an evil son of a bitch! Ha ha ha ha ha!

Someday, when I have a cell phone which can use WAV files as ringtones, that will probably be my ringtone for Victor's phone number. And the one time he calls my cell phone, I'll be standing next to a crowd of first graders for some inane reason. Police will be called, and I will get in trouble.

* * *

In one episode of South Park, Butters is told by the kids to make construction paper figures of them, so they can make a Christmas movie about them and Mr. Hankey. Butters also makes one of himself, but they reject that and leave; Butters is left at his desk with the construction paper Butters.

He then pulls out a naked Barbie doll.

Barbie Doll: Well, hi, little boy! What's your name?
Paper Butters: Uh, my name's Butters, ma'am!
BD: You sure are cute, Butters! You wanna slap my titties around?
PB: Hu...hey!! ...uh, I'd better not. I'll get in trouble again.

Then Butters sets down both objects and looks unhappy.

Ed: "Slap my titties around"?

True fact: if I mime that action--"slapping titties around"--by extending my arms straight in front of me and revolving open hands on my wrists in a circular slapping motion, my cat Luna gets annoyed. One time she actually bit me on the arm for doing it. I'm not quite sure what that means. (Except that I think it means my cat is a tsundere'kko, nya.)

Butters is my favorite character in that series. He gets into the craziest situations, and he's just trying to be a good kid--hell, he is a good kid. (At least, he is when he's not being Professor Chaos.)

* * *

Am I the only one who thinks that Supergirl really needs a super-spanking? What a bitch.

(Latest season of Smallville, ep 2.)

The actress they got play her just leaves me cold. I know she's supposed to be really beautiful and all, but it just doesn't work for me. That's Hollywood's idea of "super-beautiful", not mine--and of late I've been finding that my tastes are increasingly divergent from those in charge of casting out there. Allison Mack (Chloe Sullivan) is still the hottest babe in that series, bar none.

* * *

The Atomic Fungus Bunker is undergoing some changes relatively soon--big ones. We are apparently going to have a few more people (and probably a dog) living here. I don't feel comfortable discussing the particulars just yet, but suffice it to say that whatever bad effects I feel from all this, it's going to be about three orders of magnitude worse for those people who have to pick up and move here.

Like all such situations, it's going to be utter shit for everyone concerned, but there is now nothing else that can be done. It's an example of how one person's selfishness, and pig-headedness, can utterly screw things up not just for himself but for all the people around him.

That person has been to detox five times already and learned nothing. That person has been getting falling-down drunk while taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, a major no-no. Etc, and it's gone on for far too long. This person will go into detox for the sixth time very soon. That person's spouse and family have been patient and willing to forgive and tried to help, but that person doesn't want help.

Limiting myself as I am, I can't amplify it any further. It's a big fat hairy mess, a complete shitpot, and it's one person's fault--and at his point he's so screwed up I would put nothing past that person, so I feel that we need to treat him as a loose cannon and assume he'll do anything, regardless of legal restrictions.

And I hate it. But you can't help an addict who doesn't want help, and it's gotten to the point that all we can do is get everyone safely out of his way and let him crash, and just hope he doesn't take anyone with him in the process.

* * *

Wednesday night I worked in Receiving all night.

I suddenly had an epiphany one night. If I buy a 6-pack of Pepsi in 24 oz bottles, for $4, that is cheaper per-bottle than buying them from the vending machine. 20 oz bottles are $1 each from there; but the 24 oz bottles end up being around $0.67 each--less money for more pop, dang it!

So now I buy a 6-pack as needed. Wednesday I bought one at first break, put five in the refrigerator in the break room, and took the sixth with me.

It was cold Wednesday night, and with the warehouse truck being loaded and such, the dock doors were open. I left my bottle sitting on the conveyor and went about my business; when I had a few moments for a drink, I opened it and took a swig...and it had gotten cold. Not ice-cold, but chilled enough to be obviously cool. Man, it was cold back there!

Of course, I had to wear my hoodie while I was back there. When I have to wear a hoodie while working at that place, it's cold.

* * *

Because of various things, I am making an effort to be a lot more "approachable"...and I am finding that it's just better that way.

It's sad that it took me this freaking long to figure that out, that if you just smile and say "hi" to people, it changes their outlook on you. But I am pretty stupid that way, so I guess that's how it is.

Thanks to how my life in the government indoctrination center public school was, I have big problems with being "open"--I'm reserved, "closed", shy, WTF-ever with strangers--and I don't do well in social situations.

If I can just change that, even a little bit, then it'll be a major success for me.

But it underscores one of the reasons Jesus is so influential even two thousand years after he was around: regardless of whether or not you believe in the divinity of Christ, his message is both important and valuable.

* * *

I have to wonder about the cultural influence of Christianity. Pretty much any time after the formation of the Roman Republic, the technological development that took place during the Renaissance could have happened. If you disregard Christianity, the only thing that Europe had, that Rome did not, was a few minor technological advances like the horse collar.

If the Enlightenment had started in the Roman Empire instead of late Medieval Europe, the entire New World would probably speak Latin and we'd be living on the Moon by now. But Rome was built on slavery and there was no economic, moral or religious reason to change that.

During the Medieval period, the Middle East was the center of enlightenment in the world--but that faded out around the time of the Crusades, which are arguably the event which triggered the end of the Dark Ages.

China had its go, too, even circumnavigating the globe and doing other important things--but they then gave up, went home, burned their ships, and outlawed the construction of more.

Africa didn't get out of the stone age until the Colonial Period. The Americas were colonized by Europeans and the indigenous population was displaced.

Forget minor differences in characteristics like intellect, physical ability, and so on--it has nothing to do with the races of the people involved. Africa didn't conquer the world because it lacked the technological infrastructure, and I'd submit that it lacked that because its people wouldn't--couldn't--cooperate. (They sure can't cooperate now, not even when most of them are of the same religion.)

China? They gave up; they weren't forced to stop and if they hadn't quit we'd all speak Mandarin by now. Count on it; they had a jump of several centuries on the Europeans.

Europeans could cooperate well enough that the various seafaring nations of Europe had the time, energy, and spare resources to spend on science and exploration. There were wars and other problems, but the wars rarely lasted very long. Besides that, Europeans had at least one language they could rely on every educated person being able to speak--Latin--because the Catholic church was everywhere in Europe. (Newton's works, for example, were written in Latin.) If a mathemetician from Praque met an astronomer from Hamburg and wanted to talk science, even if the latter spoke no Polish and the former spoke no German they could still discuss matters because the language of science was Latin and they would both be fluent in it.

Even if you discount Jesus' basic message ("Look, just try being nice to each other!") the fact that the Catholic church spread Latin all over Europe was itself a major influence for the origins of the Renaissance--and that would not have happened if Christianity hadn't happened. The Roman Empire certainly had had little luck imposing its culture on Europe; once the empire fell, they all reverted to being barbarians.

Europe has a common alphabet and, largely, a common culture because of Christianity--common enough that when they weren't fighting they could cooperate very effectively...and they didn't even need translators because most of the educated had a language in common, and typically knew more languages than just Latin and their native languages anyway.

* * *

Argh, now my head is starting to hurt. I think I'll go lie down again.

#759: It's more spam!

There were 73 freaking spams in my spam box when I checked. Lordy almighty. I deleted 65 of them:

Rene Hooker wants to pay me to play. Rene? Seriously, with that last name, don't you mean the other way around? Doesn't the customer generally have to pay the hooker to "play"?

Dr. Nolan Corbett doesn't grasp the idea of the Y chromosome. I doubt he's a real doctor. Unless it's a PhD in something like sociology or East African history.

Chang Holcomb resurrects my favorite Ebonics spam e-mail subject line. (Okay, it's not my favorite. But the guy's obviously got racial identity issues, so I'm trying to be nice.)

killy geof sends me an Fw: from prison. (I assume so, because anyone named "killy" probably is doing 20-to-life for something.)

Dr. Laurel Bellamy tells me I can stop dreaming about increasing the size of my male device. I don't need her advice; I do not own any sex toys, nor do I want any. (Certainly not any "male" ones.)

Dr. Jay Hunt gets into the act by advising me I can enlarge my male "instrument". What's a male instrument, the oboe? The clarinet? The tuba? Would a french horn be female or gay? (You put your hand in it, don't you?)

Dr. Noreen Reagan finishes the trifecta by telling me that a small "male machine" is not a problem. Well, I should say not. Look, doc, as technology improves, machines typically get smaller, not larger. Example: my computer contains more computing power than existed in the world in the entire decade of the 1940s, yet it fits under my desk with room to spare. A 20 horsepower internal combustion engine was the size of a truck in 1905; today you can tuck one under an arm and carry it.

* * *

73! And it hasn't been that long since I last cleaned out the spam box. Crimony.

#760: Headlines again!

Chavez vows to be dictator for life. The only people surprised by this are journalists. Those of us who have made even a casual study of the ways of dictators knew what came next.

"Other Chavistas claim the party's leadership, many of whom lead privileged lives, has grown out of touch with the president's base of support in the slums and impoverished countryside." Duh! Of course the party leadership is pivileged! They're not going to live in filth like the proletariat! They're too important, doing the work of the people, so their "few" luxuries are well-earned!


How frickin' stupid do you have to be to advertise hams for Hanukkah?

One comment sagely reminds us that if this had been done for a muslim holiday there would have been riots. "Line up and get your Ramadan hams, now on sale!" Heh. That's doubly funny. (Y'know--because Ramadan is a fasting ritual and all....)

This is an article about the "Black KKK"--about black-on-black crime, etc, and what needs to be done to fix the problems in black America. (Hint: it is not more money for schools or government-funded abortion clinics.)

This would automatically be a "hate crime" if the races were reversed. But because it was nine black "juveniles" beating up one white woman, it's not a hate crime or motivated by racism. takes nine of them for that? Kind of reminds me of a racist little chant from when I was in grade school:

Fight! Fight!
[racial slur] and a white!
[racial slur] don't win,
they all jump in!

It takes a lot of guts for nine people to beat the crap out of one person. Why, you never know when someone might be a ninja or a Jedi. I'm surprised those kids didn't all have weapons in order to even the odds! < /sarcasm >

A bit about Bali, AKA "Kyoto Part Two". Hmm..."Kyoto II: Even Hotter!" or something...

In fact, Boortz discusses some particulars in depth, and it's sobering stuff.

The private jets "...the government officials and activists that have flown to Bali will cause as much pollution as 20,000 cars in one year." For one event, the equivalent of 20,000 car-years' worth of carbon tell us that we have to cut our carbon emissions by 50% of 1990 levels.

They want to limit warming to no more than 2°C above pre-industrial temperatures. These are temps that were set during the Little Ice Age, which was an abnormally cold period from which world temperatures are still recovering.

Someone said this, and it's an excellent question to ask these jerks: what is the ideal temperature of the Earth? What temperature is the "natural" one?

Obviously they think that the "pre-industrial" temperature is the correct one. Okay; which pre-industrial temperature? The coldest global temperature of the Little Ice Age? The warmest temperature of the Medieval Warm Period? Both took place before the world was industrialized, after all.

It was warm during the heyday of the Roman Empire; it got cold for a while, then warmed up during the Warm Period; and then it got really cold.

Ah hell, I'll let this picture do the talking: