Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Plush Voodoo Dolls!

article on military weapons targeting the nervous system

the cutting edge of debt collection

Happy Birthday Zero Mostel!!!

Brilliant comedic actor. I can't think about his performance in A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, without cracking a smile. Happy Birthday Pseudolis!

Happy Pancake Tuesday!

Monday, February 27, 2006

The Wild, The Innocent, & The Braddock Road Shuffle

The Wild, The Innocent, & The Braddock Road Shuffle

About ten days ago I was driving home one evening from a night of wargaming. I was coming in from the West, past Ox Road and Fairfax City – along Braddock Road. There was something yanking away at my brain – the ride just wasn’t right - Too many people, too many lanes, too many lights.
Thirty years ago, it was much cooler. Oh, you’d have some traffic all the way from
Eastern Annandale all the way to Ox, but after that it was clear sailin’. Driving around here was actually enjoyable back then. Rush hour would peter out by 8 and you could move. From ’74 to ’78 I had a circuit I’d take, (with an occasional variation). Zig-zagging into Old Town, one could breeze down the Parkway to Mt. Vernon, (but not too fast – an occasional speed trap would pop up along Belle Haven or Ft. Hunt. Then, a quick jaunt over to Route 1 and heading back North, jostling for position with pwt, truckers, military fodder looking for a night of trouble, and the rest of the halt and the lame. You could go pretty fast then, the cops wouldn’t stray far from the Krispy Kreme; just traffic and lights to challenge someone looking to move.
From there you’d hit the Beltway to Braddock, and after a few miles and passing Ox Road, you’d be free. The road was just a two lane blacktop, with a few twists and turns to keep things interesting. 70 mph was just about right. An occasional farmhouse light provided enough warning for anything tricky, you could go for 6 or 7 miles at midnight without seeing a soul. I’d have the tape player blasting out Stoned Love, Layla, and LA Woman – a very cool evening. The old Omega really hummed along – I still miss that car. It always got me home.
Just above Clifton, I’d turn North and head back in by way of 50. The traffic would return, the lights would brighten, the cops would be out. But for a few minutes, one could get past it all.
Now, Braddock is as built up as everything else. The road has been widened and straightened, houses are everywhere there and beyond. I’m not sure there’s anywhere within fifty miles that one can now to get a proper appreciation of clipping a turn in the dark while listening to Steely Dan or Aretha. It probably doesn’t matter. But shuffling along Braddock was fun back then…

interesting road names...

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Happy Birthday Godfrey Cambridge!

One of my faves! And one of my main arguments about the costs of racism. Here was a guy who was able to carve out a modestly successful career in television, film and nightclubs; but I think he'd of been a top star if he'd been White. He's perfect for romantic and light comedies, even some slapstick and comedy/drama. He could be loud, and he could be subtle. I wouldn't be the first person to compare him to Cary Grant. You can get some measure of his talent by checking out the films Watermelon Man and The President's Analyst. Great stuff, and I think only a hint of what might have been.

RIP Carl Kolchak...

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Happy Birthday George!

Friday, February 24, 2006

Lovecrartian Satire Film On The Way...

protect your computer from cats...


the pitiful state of modern priorities

Read the third paragraph. We are pathetic.

the return of the resurrectionists...,20281,18257341-5001028,00.html

frozen assets

Psycho Killer, Qu'est Que C'est?

New C.A.S. collection on the way!

Bruce Covers Seeger!

The Cutting Edge of Drug Testing

(Thanks for the link, Mike!)

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Today is Iwo Jima Day

I don't think it's possible to imagine how hellish that battle was. And RIP, Ira Hayes...

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


OMG! Hen's Teeth!

Happy Birthday Edward Gorey!

Happy Birthday Dwight Frye!

Everyone's favorite evil henchman!

Happy Birthday George Washington!

A hometown boy who made good!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Happy Birthday Mary Chapin Carpenter!

D.C.'s finest songwriter. And a very nice person.

neat horror movie t-shirts

Old video of Jackie DeShannon singing Needles & Pins

Monday, February 20, 2006

How To Survive A Robot Uprising!

(Thanks for the link, Mathew!)

Happy Birthday Joel Hodgson!

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Happy Birthday Yoko Ono!

Patron Saint to Tick Birds Everywhere!

Friday, February 17, 2006

It's A Dessert! No, It's A Deity!

The Kinkster on CMT Tonight!

(Thanks for the link, Susan!)

neat article on teleportation

Romance In Kentucky

Muppet Wiki

The Calamari Wrestler!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

great moments in science

Zombie Honeymoon!

More info about the new Cthulhu film

Pillow Fight!

The Game's Afoot!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

luxury blimp

Oh, the humanity!

Happy Birthday Matt Groening!

Genius. Creator of Life In Hell and The Simpsons. Got to meet him once - a VERY nice guy.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Beware The Slime Mold Robot!

getting the lead out...

Reincarnation bullshit

I love the statement in here about historians being puzzled for decades about Lindbergh opposing US involvement in WWII. And how some weird concoction of Lincoln reincarnation "solves" this supposed dilemma. What a crock. Historians haven't been puzzled in the least by this. The reasons are well known and well documented. Lindbergh was publicly, giddily, pro-nazi. That's why. Fucking simple.

Amazing Bowling - 900

Do It Yourself

Valentine Candy:

Church Sign:

License Plate:

Windows Error Message:

Chinese Restaurant Sign:

Bar-B-Q Sign:

Happy Birthday, Norton I

Emperor of the United States, Protector of Mexico, Discordian Saint, personal hero of mine.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Happy Birthday Ray Manzarek!

Keyboardist Extraordinaire...

Happy Birthday Abraham Lincoln!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Batwing Pumpkins!


No Snow....

The “Snow” Crisis of D.C. Continues...

As I write this, the D.C. Snow Panic continues. It is almost useless to point out that, despite our weathermen’s predictions, not a single flake has fallen so far. It just doesn’t matter. The apoplectic scream fest continues. I can’t bear to watch TV, but my email box gets dire weather warnings from all news teams at the same rate as I get penis enlargement ads. Both have about the same aura of truth about them. For meteorology in D.C. is neither art, nor science. It is pure bunkum, populated by people with pretty faces and snake oil hearts, capable of getting in front of a TV camera and spewing out utter balderdash, all under a thin veneer of pseudo-science, with their Doppler radar and satellite photos. There’s no doubt in my mind that once the cameras are turned off, these coked out ninnies do little more than laugh giddily at the cloud photos on their monitors while trying to pick out which one looks like a cow or a horsey. Like the Great Oz, they hide their own flaccid uselessness behind machines, smoke and mirrors. And no one around here will look behind the green curtain and call them on it.
Yesterday, the emails predictably got more and more dire, from watches to warnings to alarms to “we’re not kidding, Jack!” Yet as I gaze out on the grounds of Blau Manor, I still see nothing more threatening than some light moisture on the lawn. Of course, the crack heads at the various EyeWitless news teams are all trying to cover their worthless asses. Each hour that passes, they’ve managed to move back the end of life by another hour. Their prophesies of the End Times constantly pushed into a receding future. These guys shouldn’t be in meteorology, they should be in the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
I suspect a partial source of all the lies is a simple competitiveness within the news industry:
“Sir, Channel 4 has just announced 3 feet of snow starting at 6:00AM”!
“Oh Yea? Well, TWO can play at that game, immediately send out a report that we’re predicting SIX feet of snow, starting at 5:00AM – PRONTO!”
“Right Chief!”

One can imagine where this type of thing leads after a day or two…
“Chief! Channel 7 just retaliated to our last broadcast of thirty feet of snow by reporting that the snow will wipe out ALL LIFE ON EARTH!”
“RIGHT! Well fuck that and fuck them. Listen kid, get out there and report that this storm will wipe out the very Sun, leaving nothing but a Black Hole of Chaos – Got That?”
“Yes, Sir, Chief!”

And there’s still not a speck of snow out my window….

Banned & Burned Music

Very weird. This guy apparently takes albums that have, at some time, been banned and/or burned, he then records what they sound like after passing through flames. There is something both silly and profound going on here...

Happy Birthday Bobby "Boris" Pickett

Creator of THE National Anthem for Halloween - The Monster Mash!

Friday, February 10, 2006

The Cutting Edge of Carry On Luggage

(Thanks for the link, Pete!)

more videos of the Electric Prunes!

Happy Birthday Bertolt Brecht!

Clap For THE Wolfman!

Happy Birthday Lon Chaney Jr.!

Lon never got the breaks he should have. But he created the Wolfman and entered the Olympus of Film Horror. Whenever the wolfbane blooms I think of his performance.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

The Weather in D.C.

I have just heard that there is the possibility of some snowfall in the D.C. area this Saturday. We, the citizens, will face it as we always do, and face it with grace and maturity. The following shall occur:

1. The grocery stores have already been ransacked. You won't be able to find so much as a chickpea within fifty miles of the Capitol. P.G. County will resort to cannibalism by Friday afternoon.

2. As of now, ALL local schools are closed and classes cancelled until April.

3. By tonight, our TV weather men will be pounding down a harrowing concoction of crack cocaine and crystal meth, allowing them to scream for 72 straight hours about the coming apocalypse, the utter hopelessness of our situation, and how we must return to the ways of the "Old Ones", as our modern religions have failed us. Saturday morning will see a huge wicker man constructed on the Mall, filled with criminals, heretics and other undesirables, and then lit on fire.

4. Rush Hour tonight will make Dante's Inferno look like a pony ride at a 2nd grader's birthday party. It will last for at least one full week. Millions will die. Interstate 66 will become the longest graveyard on earth. "Nutley Street" will be a term used to frighten children into obedience for generations to come.

5. Little or no snow will fall...

Mmmmmmmmm, Whale Vomit....

Style & Culture Are Back!

The Return of Roller Derby!!!

the radish that united a nation


the latest facial armor for troops

Lego Suicides

Sick - and very amusing....

get a Haunted Portrait

Arrr, Matey...

For all your pirate shopping needs...

We Believe In Fairies!

Hmmm, must stop hands from typing out snide remarks and jokes, must....stop............

Maryland Celtic Festival

Potomac Celtic Festival

Virginia RenFest Info

Get A Life!

getting old

'Twas on this date that the Beatles first appeared on Ed Sullivan - 42 years ago....

Happy Birthday Carole King!!!

One of my faves. Brilliant and Essential.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


This is SO COOL! I wish I was six years old again just so I could nag my mother to get me one!

Happy Fly A Kite Day!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Morons, Imbeciles, and Home Delivery

Virtually all adults know that at some point you’ll need to schedule a delivery of furniture or services to their abode. It could be a new couch, a termite inspection, or perhaps a new dishwasher. In the old days, such transactions were simple. One would go to the store or call the service. A salesperson would listen to what you wanted, ring up the sale, and discuss a convenient time for the delivery of the furniture or said service. You’d usually be assigned a four hour “window” to expect them, and that would be that. At the appointed time, your new furniture, etc., would arrive. At most, you’d lose half a day of work.

Not any more.

For you see, that was too simple, too old fashioned, too successful – totally inappropriate for our Brave New World of emotional, intellectual and spiritual gridlock and obfuscation. No, my friends, we now have a new way of doing things! And like most new ways, it blows chunks.
Nowadays, you go through the same process as listed above; ah, but now they’ve tacked on the dreaded “Confirmation Call”. It is amazing how much catastrophe and boneheadedness is contained in those two words. Stores and many large home services agencies now use subcontractors for their delivery and work. And these morons insist on calling you a day or two beforehand to confirm what is already obvious – that you want that god-damned chair/couch/whatever you paid for, delivered. Yea, right, like I drove down fucking Route 50 on a Saturday afternoon amidst a mutant traffic snarl that would make Hieronymous Bosch shit his pants, and then handed over my credit card for great gobs of money, just so I could ignore the deliveryman pounding at my front door two weeks later. Right.

But it gets better. You see, these clowns only call during banking hours, and if you aren’t home they leave a message on your answering machine saying they won’t deliver unless you call them back in, oh, the next hour or so. And then they don’t answer the phone, or it’s always busy, or they just are too frigging stupid to figure out to pick it up. You’re screwed, and so is your delivery. So these days, you have to take two days off from work: One for the actual delivery, and the second day for this completely useless and redundant “Confirmation Call” to your home. There you sit, like some deranged horny teenager in a late 50’s drive-in movie waiting for some pimply boy to call you for that date to the big dance. Staring at the phone waiting for it to ring as if the gods were about to tell you all their secrets. Fuck that. I ain’t no Patty Duke.

Oh, I know what you’re about to say – “But Rob – why don’t you just give them your work number to call for confirmation? That way you won’t have to waste time hanging around the house!” I’m way ahead of you. EVERY time we do this, Linda gives these fools her work number in addition to the home number. EVERY time, she states that this is the best number to call during normal working hours, (it being a normal work number, and all…). But that confuses delivery people. It makes their little heads hurt. After all, there are now TWO numbers to call. Two is such a complicated number. So much to count! Only about half the creatures in our phyla recognize it. This puts delivery companies somewhere on the evolutionary scale between Kansans and planaria. These Mongoloid Idiots NEVER call the work number, (Actually, I take back what I just wrote. It does a great disservice to Mongoloid Idiots, who have never caused me any hassles at all. I apologize.). They always call the home number – and NO MORE.

And the real kicker is, that even after you connect with these boobs, (usually days later), they still might not show up – nor call to let you know that they’re too drunk/stoned/ennui laden to do their job. This too has happened time and again. A couple of years ago, we tried to order a bookcase from some sand-heads over in Franconia. They missed TWO delivery dates! We drove down to their alleged store and cancelled the order. You should have seen the manager’s face! He couldn’t believe that someone would cancel an order just because they’d been jerked around twice! His sputtering, mewling, pseudo-defense still echoes in my ears. He actually wanted us to give them a THIRD chance to screw with us! (I imagine their backroom has a graph of employees with the tallies of how many days they’ve bamboozled a customer. At the end of the year, the employee with the most victims gets a lollipop and a gold star. Worthless pissants.

In all fairness, the rot has spread beyond deliveries. A little over a year ago, we’d decided to get a new outdoor grill. One of the area’s hardware stores advertised it on their website. You could check on inventory, as well as purchase and reserve it at the store while online. We did so. Unfortunately, we didn’t know that “online” meant “without truth or accuracy”. I left work early the next day to pick up our purchase. Down Route 1…...While the road was being repaired….In the rain. I can tell you now that Gilgamesh had an easier time of life than I did. I’ve no idea how long it took me to get there or what I did to survive; I only know that something deep within me changed forever…and for the worse. I finally managed to stagger into the store, and grabbed one of the slack-jawed, shambling clerks. After about a half an hour of near comatose efforts, she determined that they had no such grill on the premises – for me or anyone else. Once again, I immediately cancelled the order, and once again was met with the type of panic response one normally associates with the collapse of a world view. The woman was positively drowning in cognitive dissonance. She simply couldn’t believe I wasn’t willing to pay them money for an item THEY DID NOT HAVE. I have not gone back.

As I type this, Linda and I currently locked in a life or death struggle with Sears’ delivery subcontractor. The prize is a dishwasher – I am not holding my breath, ( and I am getting ready to cancel, sending another assistant manager’s mind spinning off into retail limbo…).

Monday, February 06, 2006

Super Cat!

(turn on your speakers)

The Ghost of Jim Morrison!

the cutting edge of soap

The Wiki Hisstory of the Universe

Sand Collecting

Kinda neat pictures, actually.

a very weird site devoted to squirrels...

Happy Birthday Patrick MacNee!

Only Nick & Nora Charles can compare to the style and wit of John Steed and Mrs. Peel. Classic, that's the only word one can use, just Classic.

My kind of computer cabinet!

(Thanks for the link, Mathew!)

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Shatner - The Master

Performing Harry Chapin's "Taxi" on the Dinah Show. (Warning - this clip takes about 5 minutes to download).

a neat expression for a t-shirt to display

Happy Birthday John Carradine!

Happy Birthday H. R. Giger!

Saturday, February 04, 2006

"Grandpa" Al Lewis, RIP,0,5199141.story?coll=ny-entertainment-headlines

1967, KOMA radio, and bourbon...

Well, at the moment there are two Virginia Gentlemen in the room. One is typing away at the keyboard, the other is sitting in a glass to the right. Let’s see where this goes….

The Post has been full of articles recently about how the same soulless, corporate maggots who destroyed broadcast radio are succeeding in getting people to pay them money to subscribe to satellite radio, (which will soon be as boring and middle-brow as anything on the airwaves). I keep insisting that the only excitement in programming is now on the Internet amongst amateur creators, and I still believe that – but things weren’t always this way. In the late 60’s, radio in D.C. was easy. We had WEAM and WOL and WPGC, (with my favorite DJ, Cousin Duffy). But in the summers, the family would leave Washington to go West. Then, radio got more limited. You’d hump over the Appalachians, maybe catching a whisper of a signal from Pittsburgh or Ft Wayne (WOWO); but you really weren’t safe until you’d hit the flatlands of Ohio – then you could get WLS out of Chicago. What a great station! You could pull in rock and roll from the foothills of the Appalachians through Eastern Iowa. After that, things got desperate. There’d be C&W from Kansas, polka out of Iowa, and the staccato bilge of Paul Harvey from everywhere else. It was Hell. The family would get to Western Colorado and it would be no better – until the night. Then KOMA, out of Oklahoma City would get to boost their signal up to about 100,000 watts and be able to bounce off the cloud cover, and we’d be saved! The limitations made the music all the sweeter; and there is nothing more appropriate to the true spirit of rock’n’roll than it only being available at nightfall… My cousins and I would sit there, hunched over our transistor radios, reveling in the sounds of the Buckinghams, Aretha, the Music Explosion and the Stones. It was our little version of being like Soviet dissidents passing along the latest samizdat manuscripts, or the Maquis, waiting for instructions from London. In its own way, rock radio was romantic, and dangerous.
And now we are left with safe, corporate, focus-group sludge. To someone younger than me, I can only say that it wasn’t always this way, and it doesn’t have to be this way now. But I know a forlorn hope when I see one - we’ve lost a rather large piece of pop culture here, and it isn’t coming back. But I know for a fact that there’s nothing cooler than the sun going down over the horizon and suddenly being able to hear “Little Bit O’Soul”, or “Respect” crackling through the speaker on an evening in July. And I honestly feel sorry for those of you who don’t know, (or care) what the hell I’m talking about.
So here’s to dark nights and bouncing signals; to at time when rock was dangerous and defining and a thin beam of rebellion and freedom bouncing around in a million kids’ heads – all from 3 inch speakers. And I bid a good night to you, to Virginia Gentleman, to KOMA, and to my cousins and comrades of the night. And goodnight Cousin Duffy, wherever you are….

Friday, February 03, 2006

the cutting edge of crochet

Lovecraft, Moorcock and REH on audiobook

The sounds of Virginia rock'n'roll!

A record company devoted to reissuing lost classics from Virginia garage and soul bands! Amazing stuff!

(Thanks for the link, Carol!)

Mid Atlantic Nostalgia Convention

Featuring an appearance by Conrad Brooks from Plan 9 From Outer Space!

(Thanks for the link, Roger!)

Bye bye Miss American Pie...

RIP Buddy Holly, Richie Valens & The Big Bopper...

Happy Birthday Norman Rockwell!

I know, I know, he's not cool. But I don't care, I really love his pictures and still feel that they (along with John Wayne and the film Casablanca) are essential to understanding America, particularly my parents' generation. This might not have been how they were - but it's often how they viewed themselves.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

An interesting article about gifts and raising one's children

I found this article pretty interesting, (obviously, as an outsider). I'd be curious what others thought of it, particularly since it seem to reflect a D.C. perspective. Is there big pressure for bigger and better parties/gifts/etc.? It is probably a sign of getting older that I view myself creeping into fuddy-duddyism here, and the feeling that tons of presents are just another disagreeable nod towards Mammon. On the other hand, I look back to my own rather spoiled childhood and am sure that I was just as grasping, (to be fair though, neither I nor any of my friends even thought of having entertainers and gift bags - just presents for the birthday child, and a feast of cake for the attendees). I suppose it's a progression of understanding: whether it's birthdays, Christmas, or anything else, as I get older I find that I just relish the excuse of getting together with family and friends, (many of you reading this). The rest is, at best, a pleasant diversion. I wonder if that can be conveyed to children. I'd welcome opinions, particularly from those of you facing this type of situation.

Happy Birthday Talleyrand!

Patron saint of Diplomacy Players!

Happy Groundhog Day!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

A new Episode of Xombie!

I really love this cartoon series!

unbelievable game of ping pong

Happy Birthday, Will Robinson
Danger! Danger!

Happy Birthday Terry Jones!

Happy Birthday Clark Gable!