Monday, October 31, 2011

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Really? That's the worst you've got??

Recently a website called started running a television ad wherein numerous very busy business-type people talk about how convenient it is to do all their snail mail postage online.  One guy says, "There's nothing worse than waiting in line at the post office."

Really?  NOTHING?

I can think of lots of things that are worse than waiting in line at the post office.  I'm sure all of us can.  Living in constant pain,  Dying by fire.  Losing a child.  Dying of ovarian cancer at a young age.  Loving someone who is dying of ovarian cancer at a young age.  You get the idea.

I think the reason I am so very offended by this ad is that, for me, it symbolizes the fatuous, frivolous, me-centric, over-inflated-sense-of-personal-entitlement society we are becoming.  Of course there's "nothing worse than waiting in line at the post office" for these people.  They're the same folks who tailgate you when you're already doing the speed limit on a wet road, or who pass illegally on the highway.  Their errands and schedules are simply more important than yours.  Because they are simply more important than you.

It also seems to me to be similar to the Tea Party hypocrites who are all set to kill government entitlements...until they themselves are entitled to them.  I am thinking of one female Fox News commentator who moaned and groaned about family leave and how it takes money out of corporate pockets...until she got pregnant and took advantage of family leave herself.  When someone made a joke about her "vacation" she vigorously defended the same Family Leave Act that she had derided only a year or so before.  It's the same thing with the Tea Party.  They want to hand out school vouchers and kill daycare programs and all other kinds of beneficial government spending -- programs that have been proven in the long-term to actually save money -- until and unless it affects their kids and their schools and their programs.  And the people who would most be affected negatively by their idiocy are their greatest proponents.

I don't get it.

If you can work a calculator, you can figure out pretty quickly that Cain's "9-9-9" or Perry's 20% Flat Tax proposals are BAD IDEAS that will cost the ever-diminishing middle class more money than they are paying now, thereby further eroding the financial backbone of this country.  Occupy Wall Street has one thing right, at least:  we are well on our way to becoming a society of wealthy overlords and peasants, with precious little in between, largely because of the greed and misinformation pumped out by the wealthiest of us and by the corporations who have their interests, not mine, at their core.

Something to really think about when you're in line at the post office.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

This is why our pets hate Hallowe'en

I don't care how much of a Star Wars fan you are, I promise you:  Your whippet does not want to dress up like an AT-AT for the Holiday.  Just don't do it.

Enough said.

Friday, October 21, 2011


Dreadful week.  My wife has shingles and I got my flu shot; this year's version is a little more troublesome than most years.  My arm is sore, I feel like crap, and I'm running a low-grade fever.

So here's a funny picture.

See you next time.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Dreams and Nightmares

That's what the past week has been for me, a strange combination of dreams and nightmares.  One of the dreams come true is that I was invited to write toy reviews -- of Green Lantern toys no less! -- by a leading action figure website.  (More on this if and when they actually decide to use my stuff.)  I've spent the past week learning how to use our camera for close-up stills, setting up a little photo studio in our dining room, and snapping pictures of the box of toys that was sent to me.  It's been great fun for me, and really is something I have dreamed of doing for a long, long time.  I'm just thrilled to have been asked at this point; actually seeing the reviews on-line will be the icing on the cake.  (And if they decide against using my stuff, you can bet it'll show up here.)

On the other hand, one of the nightmares has been the personal tragedy that has enfolded a dear, dear friend.  The nightmare is not only in their circumstances, but in my complete inability to even begin to get my head around how I can possibly be of any help.  I won't go into the details.  I will only say that it seems I am able to do nothing except to care and sympathize and love ... and it doesn't seem to be nearly enough.

As to a far lesser matter, we have determined -- we think! -- at long last where the trickle of water is coming from in our basement every time we have a hard rain.  The ash pit under our fireplace seems to be leaking ground water when the ground water levels get to be high enough.  The water has been filling this pit under our fireplace like a cistern, and seeping into the basement along the join where wall meets floor. The water vapor from this underground pool has actually seeped up around the fireplace and severely damaged the drywall surrounding the fireplace.  It's all going to have to be replaced.  The fix is going to cost us just a couple of dollars shy of $6,000.00, and that's just for the excavation, repair, and resealing of the foundation.  The drywall will be still more.  And with a daughter in college, this is money we really don't have.  It will wipe out our emergency savings and then some, and if another hurricane comes along and does damage to my roof or my windows, for example, we will be in serious, serious trouble.

So that's the past week.  A little good, a lot of bad, and all of it what life is, I guess.  I shouldn't moan about the basement, I know -- I'm blessed to have an income, and to have a roof over my head (even if is a leaky one) when so many of us live from paycheck to paycheck and don't have a home at all.  Or if they did, they would find a fix like this completely beyond their means.

The dream and nightmare both, of home ownership at least.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Walking Dead Season 2

Starting October 19th on AMC, The Walking Dead  returns for more seriously scary stuff.  You can see some "webisodes" that serve as both flashback and prequel here.  They primarily describe the fate of the Bicycle Zombie from the Pilot episode.  The link to episode 1 (of six) is below.  You can go get the rest of them from here.

Be warned.  This is gruesome, scary stuff.  It's horror.  Pure and unrefined horror.  It's not safe for work, and it's not safe for kids.  But it is really, really well done.

Once again:  VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED!!  Strongly.

You were warned.

Now enjoy.

Episode 2:

Episode 3:

Episode 4:

Episode 5:

Episode 6: