November 30, 2009

Cooking note

If you ever try to make a homemade pumpkin pie, use butternut squash instead of pumpkin. It will taste much, much better.

Consider this an FYI.

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Time for the tar and feathers

I've been watching Climaquiddick unfold with both amusement and growing horror.

First, the amusement: I've long opined that AGW is based on nothing more than wishing in one hand while pooping in the other, with the wish hand, against all reason, filling up more rapidly. And now we see that the wish hand was actually the poop hand, which kind of explains why it filled up so craptacularly.

Second, the growing horror: The work of "scientists" and programmers who conspired to cherry-pick and massage data; who actively tried to prevent critical articles from being published so as to foster the illusion of "consensus"; and who then used their fraud and bullying tactics as a way to control more of your life and your money. What's worse is that the true believers in AGW, while critical of the CRU tactics, remain unswayed in their dogmatic belief. Megan McArdle, I'm looking at you. I'm reminded of something I read-or watched- about a decade or so ago in which someone asked if there was any fact, or set of facts, that could convince the rest of the group that AGW wasn't real. Everyone said no, to which the questioner then replied "Amen" because that's what you're supposed to say at the end of a prayer.

One final thought: I've studied the code bits from the CRU data and as a former professional programmer, I'm offended. The programmers in question should be ashamed and should be blackballed forever. Unfortunately, they'll likely find gainful employment in our current government as the new Coding Czars, in charge of programming "standards" to which everyone will be forced to comply.

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November 25, 2009

A worthy bitchslapping

I don't link to Chuckles anymore because, well, he's bugfuck crazy, a liar and a hypocrite to boot. However, some are made of sterner stuff, like Gerard at American Digest, who somehow successfully makes his sanity check after wading into the Lizard's den. Money quote:

It's a shame that Andrew Sullivan is already married. If he wasn't nuptials between Sullivan and Johnson would be the blogger society event of the season. Then again, it would never work out. In a gay marriage, both guys can't be the bottom.

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The horror! The horror!

What follows below the fold is a grim video. Think pit bull, small child and unconsciousness and then check out the extended entry in the proper frame of mind.

Don't say that I didn't warn you.

Somehow, I get the distinct impression that Eric would appreciate this video.

Hat tip to Neal Boortz for the link.

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Bringing on the funny

Iowahawk, Iowahawk: wherefore art thou Iowahawk?

Oh wait. You're over here. Excerpt:

Professor Nigel V.H. Oldham

Like other species in the order homo scientifica, the climate researcher gathers and organizes data to lure grant money to the hive. In contrast to those other species, however, the climate researcher has evolved a set of complex violent behaviors to insure any data leaving the hive is perfectly adapted to nature's most lucrative and sweetest grants. It really is a marvel of natural selection, and explains why the climate researcher continues to thrive in any kind of weather condition.
The climate researcher is in some sense a milestone in evolutionary biology. Ever since Darwin, we have understood that a particular species adapts to its environmental reality. Now for the first time, we are seeing evidence that environmental reality is adapting to a particular species. It's not really rocket science. Well okay, I suppose it's really not science at all.

So go read Iowahawk, despite the intense, bitter envy I feel towards him. Next time, rub some lemon juice in a paper cut.

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November 24, 2009

How To Run Google Chrome OS From A USB Drive

How To Run Google Chrome OS From A USB Drive is the title of a post at MakeUseof which, not surprisingly, details how to do exactly that little thing. Be forewarned that Chrome OS may not work with your hardware. Excerpt:

Before you decide to download Chrome OS, there are probably a few things I should tell you about it. It is in the very early stages of development, so there is still a lot of stuff that doesn’t work. In fact, it may not work for you at all.

You should also be made aware that this operating system is very simplistic by design, as it is intended for use on netbook computers. By definition, a netbook is a small and inexpensive laptop intended for very casual use such as web browsing and simple office tasks. When you launch Chrome OS, pretty much all you get is a web browser. Don’t be surprised if you go through all this and say to yourself, “I did all that work just to log into a freakin’ browser?”

So have at it, caveat empor, YMMV, ROFLMAO, e pluribus unum, supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, etc. Oh, and MakeUseOf helpfully included the torrent link for the Chrome OS for USB.

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Thanksgiving proclamation (repost)

The fifth annual repeat of this post, just because.

WHEREAS, It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor;

WHEREAS, Both the houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me "to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:"

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted' for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have show kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

--George Washington - October 3, 1789

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The Cameron Column #1 (repost)

If you've never read any of Bruce Cameron's articles, you've been missing out. He stopped writing for a while, restarted and then stopped again, and the started again. In any event, here is his Thanksgiving column circa 1998.

Like many men, I am different from my wife in ways which are noticeable, and, in my opinion, fortunate.

Take the Thanksgiving turkey (and I mean that literally. PLEASE come over to our house, open the refrigerator, shove aside everything growing green fuzz, and take this carcass away before it reincarnates as turkey lasagna or turkey tetracycline or whatever new concoction awaits the family.) But take Thanksgiving--my wife prefers small birds that fit nicely into the roasting pan and which can be cooked in a few hours.

"Ha!" I can be quoted as sneering. I trace my own gender lineage to that proud, hairy group of hunter-gatherers who, prior to the invention of TV remote control, would pick up their spears, huddle, and then go out and pull down a huge bison for dinner, stopping at the bar on the way home for a couple of cave brews. So when I go to the store for a turkey, I find a TURKEY: a mammoth, many-pound fowl with drum sticks as large as my thighs and wings you could park a car under.

Words cannot describe the delight on my wife's face when my neighbors help me carry the bird into the refrigerator, where, following the instructions, it is left to thaw for a period of six months. (My wife often has several interesting but impractical suggestions on where else we might stick the turkey for this thawing procedure.) Cooking begins around Halloween, a slow roasting process which varies from my mother's recipe in that there are no flames or threats of divorce "if anybody says a word about how the turkey tastes."

I enjoy every step of turkey preparation, particularly since I am not involved in any of it. Well, that's not entirely true--at one point, I am asked to reach into the mouth of the turkey and retrieve the giblets, which turns out to be a bag of what looks like pieces of Jimmy Hoffa. (I realize I am not, technically speaking, putting my hand in the bird's "mouth," but I'd rather not dwell on what this means.) How the turkey manages to swallow this stuff in the first place is beyond me. Traditionally, we open this bag, dump the contents into a pan of water, and boil the results. Only the cat is happy about this development.

As wonderful as this all is, by the fourth or fifth night my appetite for turkey variations has waned, and I provide valuable feedback to my wife by making gagging noises at dinner time. Her verbal (as opposed to projectile) response to this is to imply that it is somehow MY fault we have so many leftovers, to which I logically reply, "hey, YOU cooked it."

Now, before you men out there become too smug with how adroitly I out maneuvered her with my quick retort, you should be advised that she STILL blames me for our turkey-induced bulimia. Therefore I appeal to my readership: has anyone else noticed bizarre psychiatric reactions to turkey consumption which might explain this whole controversy? Please advise via return e-mail, which will be picked up by the crack WBC technical team and, judging by previous results, forwarded to the Governor of New Jersey.

Thanks... oh, and Happy Thanksgiving too.

The Cameron Column, A Free Internet Newsletter
Copyright W. Bruce Cameron 1998

You can find his stuff here, including my all-time favorite column.

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Spicing up Thanksgiving dinner

Why yes, I did post this last year. Thanks for asking

Here is a new way to prepare your Thanksgiving or Christmas Turkey.

1. Cut out aluminum foil in desired shapes.
2. Arrange the turkey in the roasting pan, position the foil carefully (see
3. Roast according to your own recipes and serve.
4. Watch your guests' faces.

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November 23, 2009

"Why are you doing sex to me..."

like Mrs. Obama!

I guess that SNL finally discovered something funny about our president:

Kudos to Uncle Jimbo for the find.

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November 19, 2009

A favorite revisited

It's been a couple of years since I posted pictures of the lovely Michelle Ryan. This is due in large part to The Bionic Woman having fallen afoul of the last writers' strike. In any event, she looks even hotter now, if that's possible.

Okay, I lie: it is possible. Click on images to embiggen.



If I were single, younger, richer and much, much more handsome, I still wouldn't have a snowball's chance in Hell with her. But hey, she'd be the most physically awesome woman to turn me down/kick me in the nuts so, you know, I'd have that goin' for me.

Update: I was too busy drooling over the lovely Ms. Ryan's ample charms to remember to notify Smitty about this as a Rule 5 Sunday post. Consider that mistake rectified.

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Holiday greetings

It's once again that time of year when I repost stale holiday humor. Expect this to continue, more or less, through the end of the year.

Due to the ever-increasing cost of postage, and my decreasing ability to write legibly, here is my card to cover every holiday of the rest of our lives.


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Old. old joke (repost) UPDATED

Laura- in the comments- typed an alternate ending to this tale:

Love it. I emailed your link to a couple of friends and one responded -

I suggest this as a more appropriate ending:

Of course, being a Democrat, his actions were too little, too late. While he had stuck his finger in the air gauging public opinion and had his Chief of Staff commission countless polls, the Anu'udrians had been busy. So what if they had to enter the earth's atmosphere illegally? There was plenty of precedent to believe that the Dems would try to put them on the voter rolls rather than expel them, so they forged on with their diabolical scheme. They had successfully borked Harris by linking him to Sarah Palin, so his demise was a mere technicality. As their ship hurtled through space towards the blue planet, their leader gave the command and the second lithium fusion missle streaked towards America's capital city. At that precise moment, the President gazed through the bulletproof glass of the Oval Office and was terrified at the realization that the flame streaking towards him was the tail of the missile. "Shit," he said to himself, "the Republicans were right. Why was I such a wimp?" A moment later he was pulverized as Anu'udrian weapon found its target. The American experiment was over. The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave was now an ashheap, having fallen to the enemy because Congress and the President did not have the cojones to do the right thing but preferred instead to cave to the radical left who insisted that we could indeed buy the world a Coke and sing Kumbaya in perfect harmony.

I replied:

Sarah Palin unexpectedly rose from the ashheap like a phoenix, wielding a strange weapon cobbled together from spare snowmobile parts by a team of Alaskans in a fit of patriotic ingenuity when they'd seen what a pantywaist the President was*. The ghost of Ronald Reagan appeared, glowing with the hope and optimism he had not just talked about in soaring rhetoric, but backed up by acting as though he actually believed America was worth defending. "You can do it, Sarah! No arsenal or no weapon in the arsenals of the world is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. They counted on America to be passive. They counted wrong.** "

Sarah's jaw set, she aimed carefully, and with a quick prayer, pulled the trigger. The weapon emitted a beam of light that vaporized the Anu'udrian ship. The rest of the Anu'udrian fleet collectively wet their pants and flew home at Warp 9, leaving a beacon orbiting Earth that proclaimed, "Don't screw with these people. They'll mess you up. Seriously."

Palin was elected President by popular acclaim, and although Washington remained a slag heap thanks to the lithium fusion missile, nobody really missed it.

*The Brit press really has called him President Pantywaist. Truth is stranger than fiction, eh?
**actual Reagan quotes. Well, except the Sarah part.

I really need to update my blogroll. There are too many people that aren't on there, and there are a few that need to be deleted, as the blogs in question, much the Norwegian Blue, are apparently pining for the fjords. However, Blogrolling's clickable links now add craptastic ad lines at the top. I don't decry them trying to make money, but I frakking hate that ugly little widget. So now I'm relegated to building my blogroll again. From scratch. That thought pleases me about as much as drinking a warm gin and finding a hair in it.

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Happy birthday, Moose and Squirrel

So Rock and Bullwinkle is 50 years old now. Holy crap, I'm really getting old.

"Watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat!"

More topically, since everyone's talking about Sarah Palin:

Look, I'm a Palin fan, but that's pretty darned funny.

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What he said

From the fertile keyboard of Instapunk:

But here's what I don't get. Hating Sarah Palin. That's my whole point here. Think about it. Who do you have to be to hate Sarah Palin?

And through my general skittishness and protectiveness, I'm perceiving this as a major-league, big-time question. If you're a woman, you hate her because she's beautiful, famous, happily married, a devoted mother, and strong enough to endure an unending media assault indistinguishable for all intents and purposes from gang rape? Really? You hate her? WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU? What I know for sure: I don't ever want to be in your bed or have you in any part of my life. You're a cunt.

If you're a man, you hate her because she's beautiful, famous, happily married, a devoted mother, and strong enough to endure an unending media assault indistinguishable for all intents and purposes from gang rape? Really? You hate her? WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU? What I know for sure: I don't want you as a friend, an in-law, a colleague, a business acquaintance, or even the stranger sitting next to me on a barstool. If I knew you felt that way, I would never return even a business phone call, let alone shake your hand in a corporate conference room or play you a game of 8-ball in a local tavern. You're a worthless prick and probably a violent mysogynist suffering from -- what do they call it now? -- erectile dysfunction. No wonder we're all about 'texting' now. ED = PC. But a limp dick is a limp dick and infinitely more pitiful for being a partisan cause.

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November 17, 2009

How to cook a turkey

Reposted from last year.

This has been making its way around the Internet since 1500 B.C., even though the first computer still hadn't been manufactured yet. However, if there's one thing that you can count on me for, it's recycling the stalest holiday humor you've ever seen between now and the New Year.

Step 1: Go buy a turkey

Step 2: Take a drink of whiskey, scotch, or JD

Step 3: Put turkey in the oven

Step 4: Take another 2 drinks of whiskey

Step 5: Set the degree at 375 ovens

Step 6: Take 3 more whiskeys of drink

Step 7: Turn oven the on

Step 8: Take 4 whisks of drinky

Step 9: Turk the bastey

Step 10: Whiskey another bottle of get

Step 11: Stick a turkey in the thermometer

Step 12: Glass yourself a pour of whiskey

Step 13: Bake the whiskey for 4 hours

Step 14: Take the oven out of the turkey

Step 15: Take the oven out of the turkey

Step 16: Floor the turkey up off the pick

Step 17: Turk the carvey

Step 18: Get yourself another scottle of botch

Step 19: Tet the sable and pour yourself a glass of turkey(Ed. note: this didn't used to be possible)

Step 20: Bless the saying, pass and eat out

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A special Thanksgiving Day message

Reposted from last year. 'Tis the season and all that jazz.

piece of me.jpg

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It is to laugh

Courtesy of the lovely and talented Mary Katharine Ham comes a link to this special news report:

Obama's Home Teleprompter Malfunctions During Family Dinner

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November 13, 2009

Better than the original

Far be it from me to say anything negative about the ample charms Christina Hendricks displays weekly on Mad Men. However, I have to say that the following series reboot surpasses the original:

Milk Men - A Mad Men Parody Funny Videos | Spoofs | TV & Movie Spoofs

There's only one thing missing: no one smokes milk. I'm just saying.

Thanks to Neal Boortz for the find.

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November 12, 2009

I don't do Nyquil but...

Nyquil makes me want to bark. Frankly, that's not a good trade-off to make for the "sniffling, sneezing, coughing, stuff head-fever-so-you-can-rest" medicine. However, I know that many people swear by, rather than at, the stuff, so here's how to make your own.

n place of Acetaminophen (pain and fever reliever), Dextromethorphan HBr (cough suppressant), and Doxylamine succinate (sleep aid) we used green chile, ginger, citric acid and booze -- all herbal, if subtler, forms of the chemical stuff. A couple shots, errr, doses, of the stuff is perfect for sitting on the couch in a sweatshirt and sweating out your germs. Take that Big Pharma!

2 cups fresh mint leaves
1 cup water
1 cup agave nectar (sugar, honey work)
1 small ginger bulb
1 lemon
1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbs. roasted green chile
2 shots Pastis
2 shots Southern Comfort

1. Start off making a mint simple syrup. Pluck 35-40 mint leaves off their stems, this should yield about 2 cups of mint. Roughly chop half the mint (set half aside for later use) and add to a saucepot with 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil and let simmer for about 5-8 minutes. Remove from heat and strain the leaves out. Put just the mint tea back on a medium heat and wait until back to a full boil. Add agave nectar, mixing, and let cook 1 minute before removing. Set aside to cool.

2. Ready your other veggies for the blender. First peel the ginger and slice into matchsticks. Next, zest your lemon, place the zest into a small dish and cover with 1 tsp. of good quality olive oil.

3. Toss the ginger, green chile and remaining cup of fresh mint to the blender. Add lemon juice. Finally add half the mint syrup, setting the rest aside for garnish. Pulse thoroughly for up to a minute. (Note: If you do not have the luxury of having authentic green chile, try subbing in a roasted jalapeño. Remove the seeds and use half in place of green chile.)

4. Strain the mixture into a bowl. Use a spoon to slush it around, allowing it to pass through the sieve or fine mesh strainer. Now you have the fresh juice part of your elixer! Taste it with a spoon, if it seems too tart or spicy, add more mint syrup one teaspoon at a time.

5. Mix. The basic proportion is one-part juice to one-part pastis to one-part whiskey. For a single dose: measure out a tablespoon of each into a cocktail shaker. Add a teaspoon of lemon zest oil. Complete with 3 ice cubes and shake fervently. Pour into a shot glass or desert wine snifter.

Tip of the blog to Lifehacker.

If it tastes at all like the original, maggots everyone will be committing suicide rather than be forced to gag over it. However, have at it if you're so inclined.

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November 10, 2009

We have a winner

And for once it's me!

Oh sure, Rodney Dill would win pretty much every week if he weren't running the darned thing (he wins most weeks over at Wizbang), but I'll take my meager victory in this week's caption contest.

Here's the photo:


And here was my caption:

First: physics geek – A band consisting of Chicago area voters gathered for a jam session.

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November 05, 2009

Unless your heart is stone, this will make you weep a little

Frankly, I couldn't categorize this story found via Ace, so I shoved it into my catch all "errata". Actually, I put it there because my vision was blurry after reading the article and I knew that "errata" was at the bottom of the list. Anyway.

Short version: A little girl is diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer and dies about a year later. Since then, her parents have been finding notes she wrote and stashed all around the house, such as this:


My little girl writes me notes like this all the time. It's beyond sweet and makes my heart swell with joy. I cannot imagine how much it would hurt me if something were to happen to her, nor can I imagine my reaction to finding notes like that. I'll guess that they would make me cry and smile at the same time.

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A new twist on removing a cork

I've opened beer bottles using my hand and the edge of a table. I've ruined a cheap Swiss Army knife knockoff using the tinfoil corkscrew to open a wine bottle. And I've even pushed the cork down into the bottle just so that I could get to the grape. However, I've never in my entire life opened a bottle of wine with my shoe:

Kudos to Lifehacker for finding this gem.

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Jay Stephenson of Stop the ACLU interviews Misha, someone who I've been reading since blogging was still in its infancy. I almost didn't recognize the Emperor's tone, because a few choice Anglo-Saxon invectives were missing from the text.

I keed, I keed. Misha's always a worthy ready, but I really enjoy when he gets his dander up. I get that this interview wasn't really the venue for that.

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November 04, 2009

Old. old joke (repost)

Think of a repost as a rerun of an episode of a much beloved television series. Or not. Whatever.

I first saw this on rec.humor eons ago. Not exactly sure what made me think of it, but I couldn't resist posting it.

By the way, don't take too seriously the "it's real" part.

Tandem Writing Assignment

The following is a true story received from an English professor.

You know that book "Men are from Mars, Women from Venus"? Well, here's a prime example of that. This assignment was actually turned in by two of my English students: Rebecca (last name deleted) and Gary (last name deleted).

First, the Assignment:

English 44A
Creative Writing
Prof. Miller

In-Class Assignment for Wednesday:
Today we will experiment with a new form called the tandem story. The process is simple. Each person will pair off with the person sitting to his or her immediate right. One of you will then write the first paragraph of a short story. The partner will read the first paragraph and then add another paragraph to the story. The first person will then add a third paragraph, and so on back and forth.

Remember to re-read what has been written each time in order to keep the story coherent. The story is over when both agree a conclusion has been reached.

And now, the Assignment as submitted by Rebecca & Gary:

Rebecca starts:

At first, Laurie couldn't decide which kind of tea she wanted. The camomile, which used to be her favorite for lazy evenings at home, now reminded her too much of Carl, who once said, in happier times, that he liked camomile. But she felt she must now, at all costs, keep her mind off Carl. His possessiveness was suffocating, and if she thought about him too much her asthma started acting up again. So camomile was out of the question.


Meanwhile, Advance Sergeant Carl Harris, leader of the attack squadron now in orbit over Skylon 4, had more important things to think about than the neuroses of an air-headed asthmatic bimbo named Laurie with whom he had spent one sweaty night over a year ago. "A.S. Harris to Geostation 17," he said into his transgalactic communicator. "Polar orbit established. No sign of resistance so far...". But before he could sign off a bluish particle beam flashed out of nowhere and blasted a hole through his ship's cargo bay. The jolt from the direct hit sent him flying out of his seat and across the cockpit.


He bumped his head and died almost immediately, but not before he felt one last pang of regret for psychically brutalizing the one woman who had ever had feelings for him. Soon afterwards, Earth stopped its pointless hostilities towards the peaceful farmers of Skylon 4. "Congress Passes Law Permanently Abolishing War and Space Travel." Laurie read in her newspaper one morning. The news simultaneously excited her and bored her. She stared out the window, dreaming of her youth -- when the days had passed unhurriedly and carefree, with no newspapers to read, no television to distract her from her sense of innocent wonder at all the beautiful things around her. "Why must one lose one's innocence to become a woman?" she pondered wistfully.


Little did she know, but she had less than 10 seconds to live. Thousands of miles above the city, the Anu'udrian mothership launched the first of its lithium fusion missiles. The dim-witted wimpy peaceniks who pushed the Unilateral Aerospace Disarmament Treaty through Congress had left earth a defenseless target for the hostile alien empires who were determined to destroy the human race. Within two hours after the passage of the treaty the Anu'udrian ships were on course for Earth, carrying enough firepower to pulverize the entire planet. With no one to stop them, they swiftly initiated their diabolical plan. The lithium fusion missile entered the atmosphere unimpeded. The President, in his top-secret mobile submarine headquarters on the ocean floor off the coast of Guam, felt the inconceivably massive explosion which vaporized Laurie and 85 million other Americans. The President slammed his fist on the conference table. "We can't allow this! I'm going to veto that treaty! Let's blow 'em out of the sky!"


This is absurd. I refuse to continue this mockery of literature. My writing partner is a violent, chauvinistic, semi-literate adolescent.


Yeah? Well, you're a self-centered tedious neurotic whose attempts at writing are the literary equivalent of Valium.





My guess is that they have 5 children now.

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My geeky past paid off for once

Rodney Dill graciously awarded me first place in a recent caption contest. Of course, that's only because I didn't have to compete against Rodney Dill, but I'll take what I can get.

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