Saturday, November 30, 2013

Happy Birthday Dad

I've read in a couple of places that three years is considered a rough average for the period of grieving following the loss of a loved one.  I've no idea, but if that is true, I would appear to be an exception.  Dad has been gone for over ten years, now; and there is not a day that goes by that I do not think about him, and regret his absence from my life.  I know that it is a wound that will never heal and a weight that I shall always bear.  He was my Father and he was my Best Friend.

Happy Birthday, Dad.  You are missed.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Books for a Vampirologist

Happy Birthday to I Want To Hold Your Hand!

Released on this day in 1963, (in the UK).

Happy Birthday Peter Bergman!

Genius.  Essential.

Happy Birthday to Rocky & His Friends!

Premiered on this date in 1959.

Happy Birthday Felix Cavaliere!

Happy Birthday Stan Rogers!

Happy National Lemon Cream Pie Day!


Happy Sink Day!

Happy National Leftovers Day!


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Smell like George Takei!

Fun stuff!

(Thanks for the link, Mike!)

Cthulhu Dress!
Hubba Hubba!

Happy Birthday Jon Stewart!

Happy National Stuffing Day!


Happy Birthday Berry Gordy!

Happy National Turkey Day!


Happy Thanksgiving!

I will leave you with two links, the first is to a Baby Boomer tradition*:

And the second is a tradition from DC:

*And this happens to be the exact date of the Massacree - from 1965.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Tomorrow's Rock Stars

Pretty Neat!

(Thanks for the link, Mathew!)

Happy Birthday Jimi Hendrix!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Happy Birthday to Anarchy In The UK!

Released on this date in 1976.

Happy Birthday Casablanca!

My all-time favorite movie. 

Happy Birthday Tina Turner!

Happy Birthday Charles Schulz!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Bacon Deodorant!

(Thanks for the link, Mathew!)

The Story behind Gimme Shelter

One of my fave Stones' songs.

A good day...

Both Carrie Nation and Augusto Pinochet died on this date..

Happy Birthday Percy Sledge!

Happy Evacuation Day!

Sunday, November 24, 2013


There's a horror movie in this....

Happy Birthday to Mystery Science Theater 3000!

Probably my second favorite TV show of all time.  Premiered on this date in 1988.

Happy Birthday Forrest Ackerman!

Happy Birthday Baruch de Spinoza!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The oldest wine cellar


(Thanks for the link, Dennis!)

The Herb Farm schedule for 2013

There are many great restaurants. This is the finest one that I've ever been to.  If you're ever within a hundred miles of Seattle, you've just got to go here.

The ultimate tree carving

This is incredible...

(Thanks for the link, Margrete!)

Chris Farley died too young...

A nice article about comic artist Jack Davis and the Crypt Keeper!

I remain a huge fan of the old ED comics.

Propaganda posters of WWI
The emphasis here, (at least in the posters displayed), is on women and children.  I'd be curious to see examples from the Central Powers, as well as Russia.

English Russia

Am still trying to figure this site out.  It appears to be collections of reader submitted photos from Russia and the old Soviet Union.  All sorts of topics here, including military. 

Neat article about tumbleweed

I had no idea that it was not native to the American West.  As a youngster, I remember visiting out West and enjoying watching them dance across the prairie.

Batkid - The Trailer

I admit it, I'm as charmed by this whole thing as everyone else is...

Due out: A memoir about The Princess Bride

Thanksgiving 'Masking'
I confess that I'd never heard of this custom before now.  I wonder if it's a descendent of mumming?

Jokes of WWI

The CUTTING edge of fashion..

(Thanks for the link, Dennis!)

'Human Cheese'

Wisconsin will never be the same...

Happy Sabbath of the Undead

Well, at least according to Hammer horror movies....

Happy Birthday Harpo!

Happy Birthday Boris Karloff!

Happy Birthday William Moultrie!

A Patriot

Friday, November 22, 2013

"Glitch In The Matrix" Stories

Some of these 'true tales' sound pretty neat!

Happy Birthday to The Whjite Album!

Released on this date in 1968.

Happy Birthday to the Phil Spector Christmas Album!

Released on this date in 1963.  Brilliant.

Happy Birthday Steve Van Zandt!

One of my faves.

Happy Birthday Terry Gilliam!

Happy National Cashew Day!


Thursday, November 21, 2013

The latest on Electornic Voice Phenomena

Have always been interested in this, it's one of the few Fortean phenomena that I've directly experienced.

Happy Birthday to Frankenstein! (the film)

Premiered on this date in 1931.

Happy Birthday Ingrid Pitt!

Happy Birthday Joseph Plumb Martin!

A Patriot.

Happy Birthday Josiah Bartlett!
A Patriot.

Happy Birthday Voltaire!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Brew Trail

A wonderful resource for beer fans.  I checked it against my knowledge of Virginia and Colorado, and was impressed!

The rotating Egyptian statue mystery is (apparently) solved

The cutting edge of wine decanters


(Thanks for the link, Jen!)

Some Fortean Pranking

Six ways that Monty Python changed the world

Happy Birthday Dick Smothers!

Happy Absurdity Day!

Happy National Beaujolais Day!


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

One of my earliest memories of growing up in DC

The old street cars....

Monty Python LIVES!!!

Then & Now...

A very cute set of adults imitating photos taken of them when they were children.

(Thanks for the link, Mathew!)

My next flask...

The coolest use of dinosaur toys that you're going to see today


(Thanks for the link, Nancy!)

Happy Birthday George Rogers Clark!
A Patriot.

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Return of the Thanksgiving Day MST 3000 Turkeython!

Very cool!

Happy Birthday to Christmas Story!

Premiered on this date in 1983.

Happy Birthday to Imogene Coca!

Happy Birthday Graham Parker!

Happy Birthday Sojourner Truth!

(Some sources cite 11/26 as the birthday)

Happy Occult Day!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Deluxe version of the Velvet's White Light/White Heat being released!!!

Happy Birthday to the Star Wars Holiday Special!

Perhaps the worst and most embarrassing thing ever broadcast on network TV.  A Classic!

Happy Birthday Duck Soup!

Premiered on this date in 1933.  Absolutely Essential.

Happy Birthday Gordon Lightfoot!

Happy Birthday Peter Cook!

Happy National Homemade Bread Day!


Happy Take A Hike Day!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Robot suicide...

One more invasive species to worry about...

Happy Hecate Night!

Friday, November 15, 2013

The cutest little Batman story that you're going to read about today

The return of the Flamin' Groovies!

Very cool!

Happy Birthday William Hope Hodgson!

Happy Birthday to A Night At The Opera!

Premiered on this date in 1935.

Happy Birthday Frida Lyngstad!

Happy Birthday Petula Clark!

One of my faves...

Happy Birthday Jack Burns!

Happy America Recycles Day!

Happy Clean Your Refrigerator Day!

Happy Birthday to the Articles of Confederation!

Approved by Congress on this date in 1777.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Happy Birthday Veronica Lake!

Happy National Pickle Day!


Happy National Guacamole Day!


Wednesday, November 13, 2013


The McSandal...

Darwin Award Nominee?

Dead End

I am crossing my legs as I type this


The gospel according to Bruce

The cutting edge of church architecture

(Thanks for the link, Mike!)

Happy Birthday Robert Louis Stevenson!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A wonderful collection of creepy kid commercials

(Thanks for the link, Nancy!)

Firesign Theare Radio Is On The Air!!!

Fun stuff!

Stereoscopic Adventures In Hell
A new book about an amazing 19th century look at hell.  Really impressive modeling and effects here!

(Thanks for the link, Perry!)

Alexander the Great - Monster Hunter

Photos from the Battle of the Bulge|latest#1
Some of these have never been published before.  I've always thought that this was the most interesting battle on the Western Front.  Very unique. A total failure of Allied intelligence and reconaissance, local German air superiority, a mid-Winter paratroop drop, frogman commandos (in a near-frozen river), some of the best units in the German army, including the Panzer Lehr division, and four top of the line waffen ss divisions, an entire brigade (the 150th) of troops masquerading as Americans in captured vehicles, and the infamous English speaking squads sent out to disrupt the rear areas and the emergency dividing of commands on the Allied sides, with American divisions serving under British direction, etc. 
But despite the early failures to detect the coming offensive, it showed that the Yanks could take a hit, and come right back at you.  It was a bulge, never a breakthrough.  Not only was the prime objective never reached - they didn't get close.  And the defense and counter attacks showed near-miraculous command and control, particularly in logistics.  Combined with heroism, grit and ingenuity, it turned the nazis secret plans into a defeat that actually ended up destroying their strategic reserve and reduced the war by a probable period of months. 

I'm only buying locally grown chicken...

Unhappily Ever After

Happy Young Readers Day!

Happy Birthday Neil Young!

Happy Birthday Booker T Jones!

Happy Birthday Molly Pitcher (Margaret Corbin)!

Happy National Pizza With Everything Day!


Monday, November 11, 2013

Let the panic begin!

And so, we have this newscast.  And for the first time since last Winter, the dreaded word "snow" has made its appearance.  Oh, I know that the weatherdrones are discounting it actually amounting to anything.  But that doesn't matter.  The damage has been done.  Long time readers of this blog, or natives of DC, know that as I am typing this there are now lines forming at the grocery stores, and cars are already careening out of control on our highways.  The ancient mystics and magicians were right - there are magical words.  Words of Power.  Words whose mere utterance are capable of altering reality.  But it's not Abracadbra or Abraxas or YHVH.  If you're in DC, it's just 'snow'.  Say it, and run.  Because the devastation and chaos that follows is beyond comprehension. 

The cutest little tank from WWII that you're going to see today

A new book with a theory of Psi

A new book about the Lizard Man

I thought this was pretty much proven to be a hoax...

Happy Birthday Marshall Crenshaw!
Power Pop Meister.

Happy Birthday Jonathan Winters!

Happy Birthday Jonathan Haraden!

A Patriot.

Happy National Sundae Day!

Happy Veterans Day!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

New album coming out from Paul Roland!

One of my faves!

Happy Birthday to Laporta's Restaurant!

Opened on this date in 1986.  One of the best in the region, and a notorious hangout for old wargamers...

Happy Birthday Lord Sutch!

Happy Birthday George Fenneman!

Happy Birthday Ennio Morricone!

Happy Birthday Carl Stalling!

Happy Birthday Claude Rains!

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Happy Birthday to 5 Million Years To Earth!

A great sci-fi horror movie.  Premiered on this date in 1967.

Anniversary fo the death of Paul McCartney in 1966

Anniversary of The Khitomer Massacre

In the year 2346, the Romulans slaughter over 4,000 Klingons on an agricultural colony; Worf & Kahlest are the only two survivors...

Anniversary of the release of Louie Louie by the Kingsmen

In 1963..

Happy Birthday Hedy Lamarr!

Beautiful actress.  Great inventor.  Patriot.

Happy Chaos Never Dies Day!

Friday, November 08, 2013

Great Libraries...

These are just beautiful.  The Peabody might be my favorite.  I also like the Biblioteca Malatestiana's idea of chaining the books.

Beware of Pandora's Box...

Noise Cancellation?

I confess to being both intrigued and doubtful about this device.  Does it really work?  It also brings up the question of how many one would have to purchase for a standalone house. 

The Invisible man

Some amazing pics...

Happy Cook Something Bold Day!

Happy Birthday Rickie Lee Jones!

Happy Birthday Bram Stoker!

Thursday, November 07, 2013

You know you're a loser when the dead guy beats you

(Thanks for the link, Dennis!)

Neat trivia about the film, Airplane

Happy Birthday Johnny Rivers!

Happy Birthday Joni Mitchell!

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

RIP Lee Crystal of the Blackhearts

Happy Birthday to It's My Life!

Released by the Animals on this date in 1965.  One of my all-time favorite songs.

Happy Birthday Trace Beaulieu!

Happy Birthday Jonathan Harris!

Happy National Nachos Day!


Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Crayon Art!


(Thanks for the link, Mathew!)

Happy Birthday, Manos - The Hands of Fate!

Premiered on this date in 1966.

Happy Birthday Art Garfunkel!

Happy Birthday Peter Noone!

Happy Birthday John Glover!

A Patriot.

Happy Devil's Stone Day!,_Devon

Happy Guy Fawkes Day!

Monday, November 04, 2013


Unread Dashiell Hammett stories to be published!

Happy Birthday Will Rogers!

Happy Birthday Chris Difford!

Anniversary of Alice Going Through The Looking Glass

On this date in 1871.

Happy Waiting For The Barbarians Day!

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Happy National Sandwich Day!

Happy Birthday to The Days of Wine and Roses!

One of my faves.  Released by the Dream Syndicate on this date in 1982.
(Some sources put the release as 10/28, but I believe this is the correct date).

Happy Birthday Kevin Murphy!

Happy Birthday Lulu!

Saturday, November 02, 2013

All of the crap that I wan't allowed to buy when I was a kid...

A nice article about comics illustrator Jack David

An interview about the Skinwalker Ranch

This has been an ongoing Fortean study and phenomena.

The usual article about the Jersey Devil

new book - Cthulhu in Wales!

Happy National Deviled Egg Day!


Happy Book Lovers Day!

Friday, November 01, 2013

Punkin Chunkin This Weekend!

Mary Shelley's Drafts & Notebooks for Frankenstein, online!

Fun stuff!

(Thanks for the link, Rick!)

Halloween Report for 2013

In the TV special about The Great Pumpkin, Linus is out there proclaiming to be in the "most sincere" pumpkin patch.  And that's how I sort of view the Manor - we put a fair amount of effort into decorating, and we take a certain amount of pride and satisfaction in that.  Now, a lot of this is done for ourselves and the many friends we host over the course of October.  But trick or treating on Halloween itself is certainly a major motivation, at least for the outdoor decorations.  But I'm beginning to wonder if it's worth the time and trouble we put into it, (just the outdoor stuff).  We barely had 40 kids this year, a tie for the lowest number in the 12 years we've lived at the current address. 
Part of the problem is that we're just not in a 'target rich' environment.  In a region now full of garden apartments, townhouses, and high rises, suburban quarter acre lots means a lot more hiking for kids who are barely used to leaving their game stations for more than 5 minutes at a time.  This is compounded by the fact that only about half of our neighborhood hand out treats - for every house that has at least a front porch light on, there is one sitting in stygian darkness - the residents cowering in back rooms, lest they be forced to interact.  And of those that show some life, only about half do even minimal decorating.  If we are not a Halloween Sahara, we approach being a Sahel.
Another difficulty is with about a third of the trick or treaters.  As I've pointed out before, by the time I turned ten, I pretty much considered that the end of my candy begging days.  Now, we get dudes in high school coming by, and they have shitty costumes, to boot.  If not for the fear of vandalism, I'd be asking these guys if they shouldn't be learning to drive a car or maybe date a girl, rather than go around scrounging up Snickers bars. 
But then amongst the younger (and more appropriate) kids we have a problem - a bunch of them are little more than drooling morons.  They say nothing, they look at you with glassy imbecilic eyes, some can't even remember to open their treat bag for you to throw in some candy.  It would be one thing if they were dressed as and pretending to be zombies.  But they aren't.  THEY REALLY ARE ZOMBIES.  I mean, how many brain cells does it take to march up to a door, yell out 'Trick-Or-Treat!" and then hold open a bag?  Well, it takes too many cells for close to a dozen of our callers last night. 
One little asshole received his bag of candy, and then asked me if there was any money in it!  I told him that it was just candy.  He then started squalling that he wanted money!  His father* walked up and explained that some neighbor around the corner was handing out quarters, rather than candy.  I think he expected me to meet this figure, as if I was in some sort of bidding war.  I just told the guy and his ayn rand wannabe of a son that if they wanted cash they'd have to go back to the guy around the corner.  Sheesh!
Finally, I saw at least a couple of kids (and parents) walk by the house, even though we're the most decorated in the immediate neighborhood, and a sure source of candy.  What gives with that?!?  We return to my 'Real Zombie' accusation.  These cretins don't have a clue.
And so, I will ponder last night.  Perhaps a year will soften me up, but I'm kind of tired of going out of my way for kids that can't even get the basics down right of what should be a simple ritual.  

*There is always a parent now, frequently a whole squad of them, following their little snowflakes around, lest anything interesting happen to them.  The exception are the high school kids, of course, the parents gave up on them long ago.  In my day, no kid above the age of six would be caught dead with a parent shepherding them around.  The abuse from their peers would be merciless, and probably fatal.  We were Spartans, and it was expected that we would go out alone, returning with our treat bag, or stuffed in it...

A haunted hotel in Gordonsville, Virginia

(Thanks for the link, Carol!)

Nice article on Gibraltor during WWII

Happy Birthday Dan Peek!

Happy Calan Gaeaf!

Happy Birthday Jim Steinman!

Happy National Family Literacy Day!

Happy National Deep Fried Clams Day!