i didn't know this was for real
But it is, and it is beautiful.

via Enjoy Every Sandwich, whose author I thought I saw in my local target wearing a "Canada" tourist tee just a few days ago.

However, I seriously doubt Skippy either frequents Pittsburgh suburban Targets, or wears tourist-style "Canada" t-shirts.
presidential address
Actually, I was looking for one single line: we will be in Iraq until the Iraquis are ready to take over, and "Not one day more, not one day less."

That sounds like a pretty decent timeline to me.
macintosh: not bad, not for me
Well, first off, the color scheme turns me off. That little apple logo and all the pastels just screams "Hippie", know what I'm saying?

Seriously, I've never owned a Mac, and until they change their operating procedures, I probably never will.

Macintosh has billed and built itself as the ultimate idiot-friendly computer. Which is great, if all you ever want to do is type papers and surf the web. For several hundred dollars less, I think you could get a windows machine that does the same thing, but people love their Macs, so if that's what shakes your martini, then power to 'em.

But Macs are very unfriendly to geeks. I can't build one. I can't really do any modifications to the hardware once I buy it. I can't change its operating system. In fact, I can't change much of anything about it at all; everything about it is proprietary. If I want to upgrade, I need to buy a new one, and they don't come cheap. If I have a problem, I probably won't know how to fix it, and neither will anyone else, except the folks at Macintosh.

On top of that, it's a guessing game which software will run on it. I need professional-grade program development software. Good luck getting alot of it on a Mac. I need what I do to be absolutely compatable with most other machines on the planet. And I need other programs to run on this machine. If I am given a program to run by a professor, I don't need compatability issues screwing me up. Hell, if I want to buy a new game, I want to be able to just pick one up off the shelf without worrying about whether they've developed it for Mac yet.

Macintoshes used to be rule the visual arts realm, but I think that is coming to an end. The software that Adobe puts out these days is just as good on a Windows machine as it is on a Mac, and with some of the later hardware developments, it could even be better. Even Quark runs on a Windows machine as well as it does on a Mac.

Macs don't get nailed as hard with viruses, simply because they aren't profitable. Who wants to spend a gazillion hours writing a virus that will hit 3% of computer users? The key here is appropriate virus protection. There's plenty of free shit to help you out. The free stuff should be fine so long as you aren't doing anything risky, and if you are, you should upgrade accordingly. Even something as simple as using Firefox makes a differance. I spend about five minutes and $0 a week on virus protection, and have never had a serious virus-related problem.

I don't know. I don't get it. They're more expensive, but you can do less with them. I'm not really a huge fan of Microsoft, but XP is the best product going, as far as I'm concerned. I suppose for office-type apps and email and web surfing, they are comparable, but I fail to see how they are superior. I'll stick with my AMD 64 3200 that will outperform any G5 out there and cost about 75% as much.

Sadie says the laptops are more durable and tech support is better, but then I try not to make a habit of throwing a $2000 piece of equipment down the stairs (kidding!) and rarely use tech support anyway. Having said that, I did have a major hardware problem with a Toshiba tablet I bought refurb, and Toshiba was useless trying to get it fixed. I chalk that up more to buying refurb, though, than their tech support; I don't think anybody else would have done any better. Hey, maybe she has a point, but it still irritates me that I can't mess with what's under the hood and don't know for certain that any program I buy will run on it, especially school- or work-related software.

Anyway, this was all inspired by Sadie, whose hippieBook gives her the warm and fuzzies like my pc does for me, so good for both of us.

Probably-should've-kept-my-mouth-shut UPDATE: Hey, I don't want to sound like a Microsoft snob here. Whatever computer drives your boat is fine by me. But Joe brought up some good stuff in the comments; some of which I agree with and some I don't.

I use "Idiot-proof" to mean "Ultra user friendly", as in "Any idiot can use it." The downside of this is that advanced functionality becomes more difficult. All computer manufacturers suffer from this in their effort to sell computers to every toddler and grandmother out there, but Apple seems to have made it their primary selling point. Maybe they do it better than every other OS and software manufacturer out there, but none the less, stuff like that sets off warning bells in my head.

I based my visual design argument more on software because that seems to have been the largest point of contention in the past, but hardware certainly is a factor. But again, I don't see where Apple has the edge over a suitably equipped PC; even the geeks at arstechnica are torn on this issue (There's alot of threads like this, this was just the first I found)

For hardware, yes, certain aspects are upgradable. But the options are somewhat limited compared to a PC, and they are generally more expensive. And I still can't see how you can build one, I can't find Mac cpu's for sale. But even if they are, it would be pricey; a few g4 motherboards I found seem to cost more than my board and cpu put together.

As for development tools for school, here's a good example: I need Visual Studio (a Microsoft product) to get through school. My VB book included a limited copy of VS that, shock, won't run on a Mac. Is there a version of VS that will? I don't know. Probably. For a couple hundred bucks. But the software that came with my already-overpriced text won't work. Neither will the program we used for two semesters of Java. I'm sure that there is a Java suite for Mac, maybe even a shareware one, but that's a huge headache I don't need. I'd rather not have to learn both that one and the suite we used at school, I don't know if there would be compatability issues, and so on.

For work stuff, I didn't really mean Office, as I said I think the two are probably even (And, more than likely, you can type your spreadsheets or term paper on a computer that's five years old just as well). This was actually related to more programmer-geek stuff: I'm currently talking to a company that uses a completely proprietary programming language; the development software won't work on a Mac. Period, no emulator or alternative, it takes a somewhat powerful Windows machine to run it.

I didn't know you could run Linux on a Mac. I was wrong about that, and that is very cool.

But my final analysis, for me personally, still stands. I admit that I am a bit naive when it comes to Macs, all this blather is based on limited experience and what a few minutes of googling could bring me. But the cost of education is simply too high. I admit I buy Windows machines largely because they are what I know, but the only way to learn a Mac would be to buy one, and I simply can't see spending extra money for a few upsides, and to do maybe most of the stuff I do now, with more difficulty than I have right now. Just not worth it.

Hey, if you like your Mac, then power to you. I just don't think it would be a smart move for me, personally.

And I still don't like the color scheme.
furthering the gay agenda
I'm all about gay rights. I do think it gets taken too far on occasion, I don't go for special, affirmative-action style benefits-rights for someone based on their sexual orientation, but I don't think that gay people should be discriminated against either professionally or personally. I have gay friends, and while I may get a bit freaked out if they start making out in front of me, it is only marginally moreso than I would if my straight friends started making out in front of me.

I do wish that the gay lobby could be taken seriously in this country, I think it would help solve alot of social issues. But if gay people want to have a voice and make inroads, doing everything they can to emphasize their differance, to create artificial differances, and to make themselves appear a freakish minority is not a good way to go.

To whit:

This does not help. Imagine you are a businessman hiring for a job, and the gentleman above is what sits down at the desk across from you. Or you're a steel worker, and this guy sits next to you at the bar. Or you are any relatively straightedge individual and this is the photo on the cover of your morning newspaper.

All I'm saying is, if the gay lobby wants to be taken seriously, this isn't the way to go. That photograph above is currently, and unfortunatly, the face of the gay lobby for an awful lot of people. When people hear the word "Gay Man", that image, or something similar, is what jumps to mind. Do you want those people taking care of kids? Or getting married? Or taking a serious job? Well, in reality, the person in that picture is probably just fine for any of the above. But he dosen't look it there. He looks like someone who will be in the papers again in six months for child molestation, for chrissakes.

I know that there are alot of people, who are gay. But the emphasis should be on the word "People", not on the word "Gay". The road to acceptance is through showing humanity, not through forcing differances. Really, the way to go is by making sexual orientation trivial, not primary. Make the commonalities primary, and the differances will be accepted. The opposite option simply breeds resentment and forces the wedge between "Us" and "Them".

Of course, this is due largely to the media. The media, by nature, goes for the freaks and tries to shove acceptance down people's throats. As an example, a letter from a gay man who attended the parade responding to the same pic, printed in the PG's letters:
A slap in the face
Why does the Post-Gazette focus on what most people perceive as weird? Even as a gay male who attended the festival, I think drag queens are weird and they do not represent me.

The photo showed drag queens with insulting signs and looks. Ninety-nine percent of the gay population are not drag queens, and most of us do not operate on "Gay Standard Time" or "drag queen time." Yet that's what some of people interviewed said.

I also take exception to the quote, "The people you see in the bars, now you get to see them out in the daylight!" Probably 80 percent of the crowd at the PrideFest parade do not go to gay bars. Most gay Pittsburghers, like most other Pittsburghers, live happy and productive lives and don't have time to haunt gay bars.

Did the Post-Gazette not see parents walking to support their children and friends; Presbyterians, Buddhists, members of the United Church of Christ and many other religious organizations; softball and volleyball leagues; the American Civil Liberties Union; and the Renaissance City Choirs? No, all the PG seemed to notice was that it was "thick with baby strollers and drag queens, little dogs and leather dudes."

Ironically, the PG missed the big picture -- the invisible gay and lesbian community -- probably because we look just like you!


This guy should be made president of whatever gay organiazation is in charge here in Pittsburgh. I'm glad he wrote the letter, because his mindset does more for the local gay movement than piles of stories on gay parades, and in some ways repairs the damage they have caused.
finally, a good idea
Following post after post on dumb ideas, I finally found one I like:
The DREAM Act is a great idea, but I would go further and offer citizenship to anyone, anywhere on the planet, willing to serve a set term in the U.S. military. We could model a Freedom Legion after the French Foreign Legion. Or we could allow foreigners to join regular units after a period of English-language instruction, if necessary.

I actually discussed the idea of an American foreign legion once with a buddy of mine while I was in the desert. This guy was a big fan of "Soldier of Fortune" magazine and fancied himself a romantic mercenary, but in spite of that this remains a solid idea.

The way I figure, people from anywhere in the world could sign up for a stint in the US Military. Pay them the same as their American counterparts, which is a decent pay rate to most poorer Americans and would probably be pretty good to folks from under-developed nations. They would wear American uniforms, with a tab or patch to identify them. After a few years of service, they would become citizens of the US of A, with the same benefits as any veteran, espeically college and housing.

The need for security screening and precautions is obvious, but I don't think it would be insurmountable. Basic would weed out many of the ne'er-do-wells, slackers and troublemakers. The problems that it would solve as far as military recruitment would be a huge benefit.

Personally, I fail to see the downside. For the enlistees, they are given a chance at a decent salary and to become citizens of a country that almost certainly provides more opportunities than the one they were born into; and the opportunity to help that country after they spend some time working and learning in the US.

For the military, it will help a strained recruitment process, a process hindered by its country's very success. It would make that potential that drives so many Americans away from the military available to many others.

The author of that article said that he rejected the idea of people serving in the military that don't "Culturally identify" with the United States. Newsflash: in the lower eschelons of the military, who they culturally identify with is irrelevant, so long as they don't identify with Osama Bin Laden or Saddam Hussein. The vast majority of E-1 through 5, or 6, or even 7, are just people doing a job. Their country may be a motivator, but they are also doing it for a paycheck, or experience, or college funding. Adding citizenship to that list is not going to pull apart the military.

On a less tangible note, many people around the world truly do believe in the American vision of freedom. Americans, even in the military, often become cynical about what America stands for. But don't believe the media or whatever stupid polls are put out: to poor and oppressed people around the world, the stars and stripes represent freedom and prosperity. Not to everyone, and not in a perfect way, but there are alot of people out there who love this country even though they've never set foot on its ground.

One of the most enduring memories from Iraq is of a teenaged boy that helped us as a translator at a place we called "The Bank". I won't bore you with the details, but the bank was a stressful place. Thousands of Iraqis would show up on a daily basis, and they had to be controlled by a few dozen American soldiers. Arguments, fighting, sniper attacks, and outright riots were not uncommon there.

There was this kid, who for some reason had learned english very early on. He showed up and pestered us until we put him to work as a translator. He wasn't under contract from the government, but he showed up every day none the less. He worked his ass off for us, explaining what we lacked the skills to explain and even yelling at people when we started yelling, helping to keep order and avoid massive problems. I once badly hurt and damn near killed a guy that tried to attack him for conveying my instructions, because after a few days the kid had become not only a valuable resource, but a friend in a way. He was smart, dirt poor, and working hard for a better life for himself and his country.

He also worshipped the American military. He would have done whatever we asked of him, even though all we ever asked was to talk to people for us. He used to ask me questions endlessly about life in America, life in the military, and when he could join. Part of it, I know, was typical young-man love of the gadgets, the weapons, the aura of the American Soldier. But beyond that, he loved America for what it stood for, for what it was trying to do in his country, and he wanted to fight for it. Of course, he planned to move to America some day, but was willing and wanting to sacrifice for it, and for the future of Iraq.

And it killed me to tell that kid that he could never be an American soldier, he could never wear the uniform or fight for America. I told him to try the ICDC, or try to go to college and get to America that way, as many other Iraqis have and many more are trying to. He would have made a fantastic soldier, and a valuable citizen.

Combining these two motivators, pulling in people who are cynical but looking for a better life and people who really do think America is a positive force in the world, and crafting them into a tool to help our military goals and inviting them into our country is a win-win situation. It is beneficial to everyone involved, and not using this potential is a huge waste of resources for the government and unfortunate for the people wanting to be a part of it.
somebody out there...
Is either a big fan of my writing, or is trying to fuck me. I'm thinking it's probably the latter.

I wish they'd just write me. I'm not going to say anything here that I can be hammered on too hard, and I'd like to talk to them.

So hey, drop me a line. The email's on the right.
my broke-ass site
More boring bloggin stuff that nobody will read: yes, I know my site is broke as hell. If I have a bad link to you that you give a shit about, email me. Otherwise it will stay that way until I decide that fixing my site is more important than spending this time reading or trying to write, which frankly, given my time allotments, may not be very soon.

I very much want to fix links for people that actually read this garbage, so please, if you see this message and my link to you is broken or I haven't linked you yet, send me an email or leave a comment and you will move to the top of the list of my priorities. It's not much traffic-wise, but I want to do right by other bloggers, so let me know.
stiff competition
I'm going to design a "Dumbest Fuckin Thing I've Ever Heard" award which, much like the Grammys, will have sub-categories.

The latest future winner: Dumbest Fuckin Domestic Economic Idea I've Ever Heard, with a specialty in ignorance of basic economics.

The beauty of the award is that it dosen't require any commentary from me. if you read the article, and you have any variety of common sense, the stupidity of it will jump right out at you.

With great thanks to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, for printing the stupidest ideas on the planet as if they were either news or thoughtful commentary.
fair conversation
Just keeps getting dumber and dumber:
Eminent domain "is a great equalizer when you're having a conversation with people," Murphy said. "It's about having a fair conversation and not being held up by people who do not have any interest in the community, but only have an interest in putting more money in their pockets."

That would be Pittsburgh's great mayor speaking.

I love it: Eminent domain is the great equalizer. Because coming into a conversation saying "I want your property, what do you want for it" is so unfair.

That's the antiquated, neandrolithic way of thinking about it. The Progressive equalizer is for the government rep to say: "I'm taking your property; there's nothing you can do about it. I'll give you what I think it's worth, and you have two weeks before the bulldozer comes in."

The great equalizer. If, by equalizer, you mean "The government can do whatever the hell it wants, no matter how much people scream" then yes, Bob, you are right on target.
I have a week coming up in which I only have to complete three weeks worth of work. This is, in essence, a vacation. So to celebrate, I'm planning more work for myself.

What I really want to do is pledge that, through the course of the next week, I will write one new peice of new fiction each day. Sadly, that is not going to happen.

So here's the pledge: I am going to try to write a piece each day, unless some thing else comes up. I still have to work, and I still have a girlfriend, and a million other time eaters, but when I'm not doing something else, I'm not going to blow off writing.

So what does this mean to you, oh faithless reader? Well, probably a couple of screeds, and one or two actual writing exercises, comparable to the garbage you read in your creative writing course.

Pretentious, melodramatic, overblown, dimensionless, simplistic stylized garbage. Some of those describe my writing, the others describe my writing goals.

But hopefully, it will be entertaining, if I actually write any of it.

One final note. It shouldn't have to be said, but it does: While my writing draws from life experiences, it is not my life. I just deleted a rather lengthy paragraph about this but in short: "F" is for fiction and, as my grade school teacher taught me, for Fred Flintstone. Neither are real, in any way shape desire or form.

Disclaimer ended, please God let that be the end of that.

So. I hope I can produce something this week, and I hope those of you in the peanut gallery enjoy it.
expanded about a line
The only way to do it, is to do it.
This was the final thought that ran through George's mind. He pressed the .38 against his temple, smelling the cordite of burned rounds and feeling the cold circle of the barrel as he pressed it harder into his head.
The only way to do it, is to do it, he thought, and he saw his wife, he saw his children, he saw his job, his life. He saw the note he wrote sitting in front of him, and he thought,
The Only Way To Do It, Is To Do It.
He watched the sun go down.
And he pulled the trigger.


...DO IT.
He turned his head and stared down his own barrel, seeing darkness. Zero point three-eight inches. It looked a mile wide, sitting an inch from his right eye. A vast, enveloping darkness; a harbinger of the darkness it brings.
He blinked.
He looked around the shithole he now lived in, an "efficiency" on 76th street. Paneled walls, Thrift Store furniture. A picture of his kids on the wall; one in some godforsaken country with the military, the other tooling around Boston trying for a degree. Next to that hung his twenty year letter from the chief of police, thanking him for his forced retirement.
No pictures of Helen on the walls; those were kept in a drawer. His beautiful wife, the girl that had once smiled at him with her head on his shoulder, who he had last seen throwing bottles at him, telling him to get the fuck out of her life, forever.
Thoughts of Helen made him find the bottle of Glenlivet's on the table. Another slug, and it still didn't erase the memories of what he'd lost. Never did, although he damned sure tried.
He lost his wife to his job. He lost his job to the booze. He lost his kids to...life, he suppossed, the natural progression of things. He again looked around his apartment, then he looked back to his thirty eight.
He was staring into the darkness again.


George Jr., called home on emergency leave, identified the body. His sister refused to come home, and his mother refused to come anywhere near her ex-husband, dead or alive.
At the funeral, he said a few words. There were some cops there and some guys who knew him from his local bar, all of whom seemed to know each other and all of whom had hit the bar early that day. George Jr. was the only one who was not swaying or hitting a flask as they shoveled dirt into his father's grave.
George Jr. was the only one at the funeral that shed tears that day, but those who had refused to come also felt the loss, of a companion and father. They wished that they had been better to him, but knew that they never would be.


The only way to do it, is to do it.
How the fuck can I keep doing this? I lost my job, my career, the only thing I was good at. I lost my wife, the beautiful girl that once loved me. I lost my children, my own kids won't even talk to me. I've lost everything, I have nothing left, how can I keep going day to day? How can I face even one more day?
The only way to do it, is to do it.
He looked once more into his barell, but only saw the end of a barell; a machine he knew well. He reached for his phone book. But, who to call, and what the fuck do I say to them? What will they say? Will anyone want to talk to me?
He put down the gun and picked up the phone, thinking,

The Only Way To Do It, Is To Do It.
i'm melting! melllltinnnnnngggggg....
you can't make this stuff up:
An EU directive that could force bosses to make daily risk assessments about the strength of the sun is being debated this week in the European Parliament. If it is passed, all employers with staff working outdoors would need to look every day at the levels of radiation to which their employees could be exposed and devise an action plan to minimise health risks.

The thing that strikes me about this is, generally, who spends almost all of their workday in the sun? Aside from pool/amusement park workers, the only folks I can think of are construction workers, roofers, landscapers, etc.
And I'm thinking that if some pencil-necked EU weenie is going to chase down the 250lb ex-linebacker ex-con that mows the grass in front of my apartment complex with a bottle of SPF 60, he's not going to get a very welcome reception. They can write the laws, whatever folks are running the place are going to say "Okay, from now on, you have to re-apply the stuff in this pink bottle every half hour, and make sure you get plenty of shade out there on your steel girder 30 stories up." But somehow I think there's an execution flaw at the bottom, in that in my experience most construction workers don't much care for being treated like a delicate schoolgirl.
But, this is Europe we're talking about; maybe French construction workers are delicate wilting flowers.
the dumbest words ever spoken
Sen. Dick Durbin on the treatment of inmates at Gitmo (Specifically, too hot, too cold, loud music, no potty, and, the ultimate of horrors, some sort of puppet show):

"If I read this to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control. You would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime -- Pol Pot or others -- that had no concern for human beings."

Yeah, I know, you've seen it, but just in case.

Where do I vote for stricter treatment of Gitmo prisoners?

How about this. For breakfast? Nothing. Lunch? Dirt. Dinner? Pork. Lots of ham. Midnight cocktail consists of whatever truth-inducing chemicals the military-industrial complex has come up with. If we don't want to do that, a double-tap works just fine for me.

20 prisoners have been released from Gitmo. 12 have either been recaptured or killed in battle. That's just a number, but remember, those folks were spending their time dedicating their life to killing you or people you know.

I'm so sick of all the Gitmo news. And I am completely disgusted with anyone who tries to compare that prison with any sort of war atrocity of the past. Gitmo is by a long, long shot the kindest treatment any POW's have ever seen. To compare Gitmo with the Gulags or Nazi concentration camps is not only stupid, it is ignorant.

I have several links on this but again: Words mean something. History means even more. Go read The Gulag Archipelago; A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich; or any of the other amazing literature born out of that hideous regime. Then tell me our country, or our philosophy, or our military bears even the slightest resemblance to that. No one has seemed to have been able to truly write about the Nazi camps; they are a horror beyond even the Gulags.

But an elected senator, not some bunch of out-there wackjobs at Amnesty international or ANWAR but an elected senator, is comparing the incredibly mild treatment of active mass murderers by American soldiers to Nazis and Soviets. He is saying that the guy that lives down the street from you, that made an Osama-wannabe kinda uncomforable for a few hours, is eqivalent to a Mengele or Pol Pot.

Such comparisons are offensive to and undermine the sacrifice of those lost in the holocaust and the Soviet Gulags, it is incredibly disrespectful to the average Americans making the best of a shitty job in Gitmo, it lacks any sort of perspective or sensitivity toward history, and it feeds the assholes trying to build up resentment toward the United States where our relationships are most needed.

I haven't seen much about it in the local MSM, which means it maybe isn't being widely reported, but I hope that this is the end of that dude's career. I hope that the people that vote for him won't put up with that sort of nonsense; comparisons to Hitler or Stalin have no place in any sort of intelligent debate, and they certainly have no place on the Senate floor.
zippit, mr. frist
alternatly, "All I ask for is stem cells with frickin laser beams on their heads"

If anybody gets the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, check out the photo of Specter on the back page of the A section, and tell me the first thing that jumps into your head isn't "Holy crap, Dr. Evil is a Senator!" Well, second, after "Geez, Specter looks like crap, I hope he dosen't die on the Senate floor."

Unfortunatly, the photo dosen't seem to be posted on the internets, I was all set to fire up my mediocre p-shop abilities for that one. I know he's sick, but come on: the cat on the desk, mini-specter beside him, maybe Austin Powers or that German lady standing among the staffers in the background.

Comedy freakin gold, people.
I think my TTLB ecosystem rating has actually gone up a bit since I stopped writing here regularly. I'm not sure, because I check my ecosystem rating about once every ten years and never remember my number from one visit to the next, but it seems to me I'm getting closer to the top of the pile.

Another couple hundred spots, I'll be a "Flappy Bird", which is really all I ever wanted out of life anyway. All I need to do to accomplish this life goal is to keep faithfully and devotedly not writing, which is one resolution (unlike "exercise" or "study time") that I think I may be able to keep.

Look out, Instapundit, here I come!
great post.

I want to emphasize: Don't harass people with your blog, and don't start a blog if you're a moron. I know it may be hard to tell, but if you haven't yet mastered high school English, maybe you're a moron, and should do that first before writing for public consumption.
note to bloggers
Nobody cares if you're about to de-link them. The people who are important to be linked to never threaten it, they either do it or don't. If you feel the need to threaten it, then you are probably a rather minor blogger and the potential de-linkee dosen't give a shit.

For instance, if I wrote Instapundit threatening to de-link my eight hits from his eight kabillion per day, he'll probably tell me to get bent, if he tells me anything at all. Also, Instapundit, who actually matters, never writes an email stating "I almost de-linked you". If you do write that email, guess what: more than likely, nobody gives a shit what you do.

In short words: Nobody cares. Nobody cares what you do with your stupid blog, especially the person you're writing threatening to de-link. So get off your imaginary, self-important high horse already and join us in the real world, where a low level blog is an amusing hobby and not a threat.

argh *#(*&#
1000 words
Well, it may not be 1000 words. It may not fit many of the rules at all, but hey, rules are made to be broken. Stolen from the wonderfully talented Sadie, as usual.

Actually, I'm only posting this out of a sense of obligation. I tried to combine my writing with the city of Lud, in the Stephen King Gunslinger books, and I don't think it's turned out too well. Also, I'm rather drunk at this point, so coherent storytelling is beyond me.

So, it's not the best, it's not even my best, but it's writing.

He keeps staring at his book, not really reading it, into an empty seat.
Five blocks, he thinks. Five fucking blocks, saves me ten dollars, but makes me late for work. Or for War, as he prefers to think of it when he stares into the eyes of his continually discontented boss.
He keeps his nose buried in his copy of "Salem's Lot", all the way to the exit he knows is his by timing. Reading keeps the bums and kooks away, they don't disturb someone who is busy and likely to be pissed off.
He wakes from a gentle, needed nap, gets off the train and heads down the sidewalk in the direction of the building where he works. His left arm is constantly trying to cover the badge on his left breast; fake sheilds are liable to draw too much attention from the folks who think "cop" when they see one.
He brushes a hand off his right shoulder and keeps moving. Fucking beggers, I wish they'd learn that a security guard can't spare 'em any money...
Then the hand is back, gripping, and as he turns, with a prepared statement in mind, until he notices the body attached to the hand on his arm. It is shrunken and decayed, brown, and clothed in rags. Bone pokes through the parchment skin in places. The head attached to the body has no eyes, only sockets; no teeth, only a gaping hole.
"Hellllllp....", the apparition rasps, but he has already knocked it to the ground and is running, full fledged, away from it.
He is thinking that that is about the ugliest beggar he has ever seen when he realizes he must have passed his building, he's run twice the distance it would have taken him to get there from the subway stop. He stops, looking for a landmark to tell him how far he's gone, and sees a giant, shining building in front of him.
It looks like something from the Jetsons, he thinks. Huh. Can't believe I haven't seen that one before.
Looking back down the street, he knows something is seriously wrong. Grant Street, that should have been brick, is not only paved but littered with trash, an uncommon sight on the normally clean streets of Pittsburgh.
His beggar is gone, which isn't really a surprise, but what is a surprise is that apparently everyone is gone. A street that was normally filled with daily commuters was completely empty.
Wow, must've run into the wrong part of town. Deep inside, he knows this road, knows it goes nowhere that should look like this, but he accepts that explination as the easiest. He begins to backtrace, heading toward the place he works, worried about being even later than he already is. His eyes spot a pile of soda cans, "Nozz-o-la", set in a careful temple in front of what used to be a deli. A stray newspaper in his path reads "The Lud Post-Gazette". But all of this is pushed out of his mind in a singular desire to get to work, to get to the familiar.
That is when they come. Out of nowhere, a whole army of shambling, disfigured creatures come out of alleys he didn't know existed. He tries to run, but they are ahead, and behind, and to the sides; screaming, moaning and chattering, they are on him. Ripping at his clothes, one grabs his badge and tears it from his chest, another pulls a bloody chunk of hair from his scalp.
He tries to fight them, but they are too many. Looking up at a tower that reads "Tet" on top of its hundred stories, a building that he has never seen before but would tower over the tallest building in Pittsburgh, he cries out for help. He doesn't think anyone will hear, and tries to fight or make peace with death, when a gunshot like a cannonblast rings through the street.
His attackers stop, all eyes on the new man down the street. The sun is behind him; only a slim outline wearing a broad hat can be seen. But the creatures seem to recognize the figure, and retreat into their shadows.
The man comes closer, saying something that sounds like "Hile, Gunslinger". These words don't make sense, but they make as much sense as anything else that has happened.
"Remember Lud". Those are the only words the silhouetted man speaks, before he is gone.
Mind gibbering, continuing the run down the street. Suddenly, he is at the door to his building, pounding to be let in. He stumbles into the lobby and looks at the etched-in frown of his boss.
She takes in his bloody face, ripped clothing, missing badge, and injured walk. "You're almost ten minutes late".
"Five blocks" is all he can manage before he stumbles back to the street and heads out to walk the five blocks back to his c
talk radio
because I've always meant to, here's Pittsburgh Talk Radio:

0500 - 0600: The WSJ Report. Boooooooring.

0600-1000: Quinn. Check out the "Warroom", on the side. Overall, entertaining, informative, with a bit of analysis. Good First thing of the day radio and great for a local host; personally, I think he needs wider syndication. He used to tend toward kook theories, but that seems to have cut down since he's become syndicated. As soon as Rose comes on, I change the station. Alternates: Bob and Tom, Alan Cox, and, as a last resort, Howard Stern.

1000-1200: Glenn Beck. My personal favorite. Focuses on "Right and wrong, not right and left"; but despite that mantra remains a great host. Informative on what you need to know without boring you to death, but primarily an entertainment format. Dosen't let that stick up his ass get in the way of irreverant humor; perfect for the loosely conservative individual. Or anyone remotely conservative with a sense of humor. He balances information and entertainment perfectly, and is, as said, my favorite host out there.

1200-1500: El Rushbo. Rush, in my mind, remains the single best right-wing political anylist on the radio. I don't need to tell you this, but if you want politics all the time, Rush is the man. 'Nuff Said, take it with a grain of salt, but he's the man when you want right-wing commentary.

1500-1800: Hannity. Hannity drives me crazy on several levels, but I'm still a fairly consistent listener for one reason. First, the bad: his opposite interview style drives me crazy. He usually corners someone into an asinine, unanswerable question then won't take another question until that is answered, cutting off any sensible argument. His debate style, overall, sucks. On top of that, I have no use for his Jesus-freak sensibilities. His religion is fine by me, but I would like to know how it fits into the larger picture of a mixed culture. Unfortunatly, he has no time for such arguments. The sole reason I still listen regularly isn't for his monologue, but for his guests. Much as Hannity irritates me, he provides remarkably candid interviews with important folks with whom he is sympathetic. I've heard interviews with Condi, Dick Cheney, Colin Powell, and others that would have only been soundbytes elsewhere.

1800-2000: Ellis, sports talk. It's a learned skill, but once you learn it, you'll love it.

2000-2300: Savage. Don't care for him. One of the things I have always loved about the Right is that our arguments make logical, consistent sense; whereas the Left seems to base theirs more on feelings. Savage takes the emotional approach, yelling and screaming instead of debating, and I have no use for that. On top of that, his general style and personality grates me.

after the reruns, 0100-0500: George Norrie. Inheritor of Art Bell. In other words, amusing background noise. Someday I'm going to call that show.
okay, she's hot. But none the less...
I'll take this...

Over this garbage any day.

Ace has the link to the video, which I will put here as soon as moo noo comes back from planet x.

KMFDM's was a somewhat interesting revision. Jessica seems to just want a song that shows off her boobs that dosen't require her to actually write a song. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against Jessica's boobs. Not by a longshot. But when it comes to a (somewhat) classic song being revised, I would rather quality than mammarial quantity.




howdy, thanks for stopping by. what you're looking at is the intermittent ramblings of an iraqi vet, college student, goth-poseur, comic book reading, cheesy horror loving, punk listening, right-leaning, tech-obsessed, poorly typing, proudly self-proclaimed geek. occasionally, probably due to these odd combinations, i like to think i have some interesting things to say; this is where they wind up.

"I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us...We need the books that affect us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside of us.

ace o spades hq
bargain-basement allahpundit
a small victory
army of mom
babalu blog
beautiful atrocities
being american in t o
belmont club
blame bush!
castle argghhh!
citizen smash
the command post
common sense runs wild
curmudgeonly & skeptical, r
curmudgeonly & skeptical, pg-13
dean's world
drill sergeant rob
exit zero
enjoy every sandwich
feisty repartee
fistful of fortnights
free will
four right wing wacos
ghost of a flea
half the sins of mankind
the hatemonger's quarterly
hog on ice
house of plum
id's cage
ilyka damen
incoherant ramblings
in dc journal
the jawa report
knowledge is power
lileks bleat
the llama butchers
memento moron
the mudville gazette
naked villainy
nerf-coated world
those damned pajama people
professor chaos
professor shade
the protocols of the yuppies of zion
protein wisdom
the queen of all evil
seven inches of sense
shinobi, who is a f'n numbers ninja, yo
tall dark and mathteriouth
the nose on your face
the thearapist
this is class warfare
texas best grok
tim worstall
way off bass

other must reads: