Monday, October 30, 2006

Which of these disgusting perverts is sicker?

The freak who decides to get revenge on his brother by...

Or the degenerate who decides sex with a live dog is just too vanilla.
Status Quo Costume

How creative am I at getting Trick or Treat costumes for the kids? Not at all apparently.

Devilgirl picked a princess costume despite my opinion and Devilboy is dressing as a crocodile/dinosaur (which I guess would fall under generic monster) again unless I can find a last minute shark costume. Thankfully I get the day off tomorrow--my first full day off since September 18.

The stores had Crocodile Hunter costumes made before his death. I think D-boy would have liked that but now I don't think it's appropriate.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Three Pair?

Yesterday I made the stunning realization that I only own three pair of underwear. I usually do one or two loads of laundry a day so I've never had a problem. I used to have plenty so I'm not sure if something supernatural is going on or if they're being sold on e-bay. Most people only have this problem with socks.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Ask Cecil Adams

Why do all the best questions involve zombies?

What happens when you have sex with a zombie?

I actually started a movie script that involved this scenario. It wasn't pretty.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Police Brutality, Si! Potty Mouths, No!

Okay, say you buy your young son a toy police nightstick so he can practice beating people with it. Would a little cursing negatively affect the mix?

Don't get me wrong--I'm all for violent toys but shouldn't a kid know that when you whack somebody with a nightstick, you're liable to hear a few choice words?

Monday, October 23, 2006

Invisibility Cloak

Everyone is talking about how the kid who plays Harry Potter is going to do a nude scene. No one is mentioning the possibility of a real invisibility cloak.

Of course, this will lead to invisible Homeland Security Agents crouching in the living room.
People Worse Off Than Me

So a 40-year-old woman wants to scare a teenaged boy away from a basketball hoop? Is stripping naked a good option? What does it say about the woman's appearance that the hormone-laden boy took off running to his parents? What does it say about a judge who doesn't understand inclusive pronouns taking masculine form? And she's planning to keep doing it every time he plays basketball? Do I hear a webcam being installed?

When I was in legal editing, San Francisco spent a fortune on their municipal code to replace every "he" and "his" with "he or she" and "his and her," even though they had provisions that clearly stated that masculine form included feminine and neutral forms (and, yes, neutral is necessary--a corporation is legally defined as a person but has no clear gender). Alternates for "him or her."

At the time, I thought SF's job was the easiest, most profitable, and most unnecessary assignment in the history of codification. If Judge Armstrong has his way, it might become commonplace.

And what about this idiot? I'm not sure if I'd want to meet a guy who screwed a pit bull so hard it was "squealing and crying."

Saturday, October 21, 2006

No One Likes The Grudge II

I had no initial interest in this but I made a wrong mouse click and saw this.

A whopping 6% positive reviews from the big names and 8% positive overall. I don't remember seeing anything panned so completely.

Okay, this.
Obligatory Update

Rough couple of days. D-boy finally fell asleep at 3:10 last night. He was literally bouncing with energy a la The Exorcist but without so much vomiting.

I really don't care much more about baseball than curling but I hope the Tigers win the World Series. If I remember correctly, St. Louis has nine World Series wins, the most in the National League. The Reds are four down (1918, 1940, 1975, 1976, 1990) so I'd root for anyone in the American League, even the Yankees. I don't know why it matters but I guess I'm leaving myself the possibility of caring about baseball sometime in the future.

Monday, October 16, 2006

100 Below

The only good thing about the Bengals losing yesterday is that it's another jab at Mike Brown (looks like the webmaster hasn't updated for a while but the forum's still moving).

At one point the Bengals were something like 66-150 under Mike Brown, meaning that one 0-16 season would put him at 100 more losses than wins. Other than the Washington Generals, has any other team been 100 games under?

Is there any other human being who could not have managed the Yankees to the playoffs this year except for Mike Brown?

A student in class tonight mentioned that she was born in 1989--she's lived in a Paul Brown-less Cincinnati all her life. I guess the she's-never-seen-a-decent-season-prior-to-last pity I had for her almost made up for the damn-I-feel-old I felt for myself.
Grosser than the Head on the Spike

We're not eating city rat.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

A Tale of Two Rails

Over the summer I read three books about extinctions in modern times. I wanted to share a few stories that stood out and one of the most striking is the extinction of two Pacific rails.

The Wake Island Rail (Gallirallus wakensis) is one of the lesser-known casualties of World War II. For the last few centuries, humans--first Polynesians, then European explorers--had steadily wiped out the native birds of the island. By the outbreak of WWII, the rail was the only land bird that remained on Wake Island.

Like many island birds, the rail showed no initial fear of humans. This proved its undoing when hungry Japanese soldiers arrived ashore. If the U.S. had developed the A-bomb just a few months sooner, the Wake Island Rail might still be with us. Sadly, by 1945, the Japanese ate the last member of the species. Today it’s known only from a few stuffed museum specimens and pictures.

Across the Pacific, in the Hawaiian Islands, the Laysan Rail (Porzana palmeri), suffered perhaps a slightly kinder fate. The rail had battled extinction since the turn of the century when rabbits and guinea pigs were introduced to Laysan. By 1911, the rails numbered only 2000. By 1920, they were gone.

A scattered population survived on surrounding islands but they fell, one by one, to rats. By the time only one colony of rail was left, the American government tried to save the birds by forbidding ships from coming ashore to their island. Instead ships were instructed to anchor at sea and only transport soldiers and supplies by small craft. Despite the impact of WWII, the U.S. Navy continued this practice, keeping the rail alive.

Unlike Japanese soldiers, Americans servicemen had a good relation with the rail. Just as its Wake Island cousin had little fear of humans, the Laysan Rail would approach men, out of curiosity or when tempted with food. Soldiers and sailors from the city enjoyed feeding the large bird and apparently overcame any urge to eat them to extinction.

Disaster struck in 1943—by accident, a Navy landing craft drifted ashore, allowing rats to touch land. By the end of the year, the last Laysan Rail was dead.

Without the war, the craft never would have landed. Without the war, it’s likely that scientists would have collected a small group of rail in captivity or would have returned them to Laysan (rabbits had been exterminated in 1924 so their old home would have been safe). Instead, rats killed the Laysan rail just as surely as hungry Japanese soldiers did to the species in Wake Island.

Of recent man-made extinctions, those of island birds are the most common and the rails are really no more tragic than any of the thousand other species we've wiped out. But what struck me the most about them was that their deaths were both caused by opposite sides of the same war, one by direct predation and the other by mistake.


Tim Flannery and Peter Schouten. A Gap in Nature: Discovering the World’s Extinct Animals. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2001.

Jean-Christophe Balouet. Extinct Species of the World. 1989.
Democratic "Values"

Here's a partial transcript of the latest NKU College Republican flier:

Tired of Democratic "Values" like Same-Sex Marriage and Affirmative Action?

Help Defend Conservative Values!

Join the College Republicans!

[symbol of elephant/flag with URL of]

For more information, visit NKUGOP.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Really Bad Class

Normally even with an unmotivated class I can at least get a reaction with the compare/contrast paper. It's relatively simple to understand. It requires little if any research. Students can write about their own interests and concerns. The exercises involve potato chips.

After I give the basic guidelines, I always open two bags of chips and have the class evaluate them, using two to five specific standards. Some classes have polished off both bags in minutes then forgot which tasted like what.

No one in tonight's class ate a single chip. One guy took samples of both bags to compare how greasy they were but threw them out when he was finished. With a single exception, all of the students are younger than 20 (one is 16). Are they that worried about cholesterol? (And I just checked "0 mg cholesterol; 0 mg transfat."

I had planned "Analyzing a Film" as the final paper but now I'm having second thoughts.
Buckwheat Hoax

The Museum of Hoaxes describes this as funny but sad--a guy who just won't stop saying he's Buckwheat.
Cincinnati Lobster Free to Pinch Again

Is the fuel wasted in transporting a lobster from Cincinnati to the ocean really worth it?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

My Stupid Life

I remembered to bring my zip-drive to campus tonight but didn't bring my card to get into the adjunct office (presently typing from the campus library).

Two books I ordered from main campus came in: Demons! The Devil Possession, and Exorcism by Anthony Finlay and The Coffee Table Book of Witchcraft and Demonology by Paul Huson (ed). That Huson is a wordsmith, I tell you.
Be on the Lookout

Life imitates Porky's.
Kidnapped Bride

The parents of my cousin's ex-wife actually did something like this.

Later they bought her a $270,000 house (1995 Cincinnati real estate) if she would leave him. She took it.

Monday, October 02, 2006


Children's Hospital made it double-secret-ultra-official today that D-boy definitely falls into the Autistic Disorder Spectrum. On the testing scale, 1-6 is "normal" and 7-10 "autism." He hit with a seven, as mild as you can be and still make the cut.

It really isn't a surprise. The only thing I really learned is that although he does have mild autism, it's not Asperger's Syndrome. Although all cases of Aspergers have mild autism, not every case of mild autism involves Aspergers. Sets and subsets and all that.

I've been calling a whole new bunch of people. I should have a few definite answers tomorrow.
Cursing in Other Languages

Man, I don't think I've linked to the Straight Dope since that column about how long would power stay on after a zombie attack.

But here's a few words on swearing.