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Saturday, January 31, 2004

For the first time in almost three years: we have a new title graphic!

Jackie says it's really scary, though. Hmmmm... not what I was going for.








Friday, January 30, 2004

Brand-Spankin' New Song!

"60-Ton Whale" by Victor Lams

Click here to stream (broadband).
Right-click here to download (1MB .mp3 file).

Don't ask me why I thought I needed to do a song about this. Just had one of those rare flashes of inspiration where I wrote the lyric and recorded all the music (and mixed it) in less than an hour before Monk started (Monk is 3 for 3 this season. It's a great show).






I've said it before, and I'll say it again (right now): They Might Be Giants' Clock Radio is the best freebie on the net. It is gauranteed to cheer you up 100 different ways. It's impossible for me to listen to John Linnell's "Arkansas" (from his "State Songs" LP -- one of my Top-5 favorite albums of all time) and not smile and want to cry at the same time: it's such a silly, sad, sad, sad, silly song.

Their "EBS-band" promo for their kids book/CD "Bed, Bed, Bed" is particularly funny.






The Perky Papist

Definitely the perkiest 'blog layout ever. I could just eat it up.

Say, what time is dinner, anyway?






We live in the most privileged country on earth, in the most privileged time in history. Given that, can someone tell me how come THIS is what I received as a result of my Google search?

"Your search - al franken bodyslam flash game - did not match any documents."

I take back all the nice things I ever said about the Internet.

Or, I would if my search for "James Brown polyphonic ringtones" hadn't ended so happily.

And I'll save you the trouble: this is the coolest ringtone on that site (with this, this, this and this as close runner-ups). And if you can correctly identify all of the previous ringtones, you will win a special prize!






I'm with Meredith: the actual MoveOn.org Ad Contest Winner is actually decent. While the contest was obviously established only to promote anti-Bush hatred, the winning ad could just as easily apply to any president since Roosevelt (the second, evil one). It's not all Bush's defecit, to be sure, but he hasn't done a great deal to quell it. And yes, it's awfully disingenuous for a leftie ad contest to complain about high federal spending -- and to do it with the few children they decided not to abort (note to MoveOn.org: if you'd stop killing so many kids, maybe the rest of us wouldn't have to work so damn hard to pay off the national debt). If Bush had come in, slashed the defecit (or at least decided not to spend $540 billion more on Medicare drug benefits), and it had meant no free drugs for Boomers, the ad probably would've had old people dropping out of the sky and dying with the text "Bush wants to kill your grandma" or something. The advantages of having a liberal Republican in the White House, I suppose.

Anyway, it's not a bad ad (again: albeit disingenuous, considering the source) The text before the ad, however, where they accuse CBS of playing politics with the right to free speech (note to MoveOn.org: there is no constitutional right to have your advertisement played during the Super Bowl), is utter nonsense.






For those who are curious, work is progressing in the new album. I can't reveal the concept, just yet, but I do have several music tracks nearly complete (stuff you haven't heard here before :). As is usually the case, I'm getting hung up on the lyric writing. For some reason it's very difficult to write lyrics in wintertime. Once I have some of that done, though, I'll be posting some excerpts for your enjoyment.






INCREASING PROBLEM: Swedes have more and more animal sex

In contrast with most other countries, animal sex is not illegal in Sweden. It was decriminalized in 1944 in connection with the decriminalization of homosexual sex.

Join with me! I am starting an organization to fight the degenerate Swedes (I would've done it sooner, but I thought, along with Malcolm Muggeridge, that they'd all be extinct by now. Part of that Liberal Death Wish).

I'm calling it Beasts Against Anal Abuse, or "B.A.A.A!" (Not to be confused with the Bahamas Association of Atheletic Associations).

Join BAAA! and put an end to this insanity -- because tolerance has its tensile limits!

Seriously: welcome to "Alternative Lifestyles, 2004": where it's permissible to (kill and) eat people and boink animals. Where the EuroTrash go, Americans are not far behind. Can't say I'm surprised, because it's all follows logically from certain base assumptions, but this has got to stop.








Thursday, January 29, 2004

As the saying among counterrevolutionaries goes: "The worse, the better."

The more insane the brownshirt tactics get, the easier it is for rational folk to see them for what they are. It's just too bad that so many heroes like Joos have to get lynched in the process.

And being Flemish and 80 years old, he's probably old enough to remember what happened the last time the Nazis rolled through Flanders... it's too bad no one else in Belgium is.






Anytime anyone wants to rip the vapid bigots over at (Great White) Salon.com a new editorial orafice, I'm all over that. But even if I didn't hate Salon.com with every mortal fibre of my being (or would if I ever gave them a second thought), this would still be the funniest and best thing I've read in the past two weeks.

I can't imagine how long it must've taken to write this (it took me nearly four hours to read it). The only thing I can figure is that Secret Agent Man doesn't have a real job. Like Mark Shea.






www.feministsforlife.org

Feminists for Life of America recognizes that abortion is a reflection that our society has failed to meet the needs of women. FFL is dedicated to systematically eliminating the root causes that drive women to abortion—primarily lack of practical resources and support—through holistic, woman-centered solutions. Women deserve better than abortion.

Established in 1972, Feminists for Life of America is a nonsectarian, nonpartisan, grassroots organization that seeks real solutions to the challenges women face. Their efforts are shaped by the core feminist values of justice, nondiscrimination, and nonviolence. Feminists for Life of America continues the tradition of early American feminists such as Susan B. Anthony, who opposed abortion.









Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Weekly Angel Post Returns!

An excellent episode of Angel tonight. I never thought we'd ever see an Andrew episode of Angel and that made it all the more enjoyable (as far as Andrew episodes go, it was certainly one of the best -- the scene where he ran down the mythology of the "slayer of the vampyres", with his little lunch bag was priceless, and it reminds one that he was definitely the best and funniest thing about season 7 of Buffy, out Xandering even Xander during that last season). They also addressed what the remaining members of Buffy's gang have been up to for the past year or so, and that was cool, too (Buffy and Dawn are in Rome, Xander is in Africa, and Willow and Kennedy are still together -- boo!! Willow is SO out of Kennedy's league). In addition, the trajectory for the season's "third act" has been set by the closing scenes of tonight's episode -- not even Buffy believes that Angel is fighting the good fight anymore (and now Angel is free to admit it to himself). The reconciliation scene between Spike and Angel at the very end of the episode was very touching and long, long overdue.

Anyway, over the remainer of the season's episodes, I suspect Angel, Inc. will turn on their Wolfram and Hart overlords in a big way, especially after Cordy has her say next week (in the show's 100th episode). And that, along with Eve's undoing (there was a truly bizarre and yet appropriate reference to an ancient Playstation game, "Parasite Eve" by Lorne in this episode, by the way) will be mighty fun to watch.

So tonight's episode gets a solid "A": definitely one to watch again.






If you teach your toddler the game where you push their bellybutton and go "Ding-dong!" expect that to come back at you at some point -- usually when you least expect it and when their little hands are very cold.






From the people that brought you...
  • Toddlers for Toilet Bowl Cleaner
  • Ukranians for Stalin
  • Native Americans for Syphilis
  • Ewoks for The Empire and
  • Prepubescent Boys for Dahmer
comes...One great taste that doesn't really go all that well with someone who may or may not've vacuumed live babies out of your mom's uterus ("Not that there's anything wrong with that! Some of my best friends are abortionists!").

Seriously, some Catholics probably just have to be BORN this stupid and self-loathing. There's no other explanation. I'd say it takes a real concerted effort to get to be this dumb and suicidal, but then I'd be giving them far too much credit. Until someone can prove any different, I'm going with the "they're all slop-headed Boomers who never much cared for critical thought, opting instead at every turn for a life of convenience" theory. I mean, I can't even really muster much malice for them... it's just too, too pathetic. But because they're Boomers, I especially like the part whey they (and Howard Dean) all get old and die and I'm still alive.






Jeff Miller thinks I may be another first: the first 'blogger mentioned in a Catholic priest's homily, Fr. Rob Johansen's "Empty Chair".

I think this is, quite frankly, an amazing homily (and not just because I'm in it), but also because it's nothing something I could imagine any priest we've ever had around here actually saying out loud (except for Fr. Pat Egan, of course). I think this should be printed up and distributed to everyone.

And I guess I was a little too hard on Bill Cork yesterday (like the cartoon with the guy holding a gun to someone's head and saying "Lighten up!!!" And if that's not a cartoon, it should be). I'm led by private correspondence to understand that Bill Cork's (alleged) humorless condition is not genetic.








Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Tonight, for the first time, after 24 (tonight's Big Events: Ramon shoots Hector in the back and headstrong -- meaning stupid -- CTU agent Chase Edmunds is given another chance to really blow things big time. I also like how Kim has basically just been reduced to a babysitter so far this season. I guess if she can't be running through the woods in tight blouse, sans bra, she's not really serving the best interests of the show) I tried to read Bill Cork's 'blog.

And, I dunno.... I guess there's no written rule that says that if you 'blog you have to have at least a nominal sense of humor.... I mean, just a few ironic, self-aware posts sprinkled throughout might go a long way towards making it readable. Like, instead of blasting Raymond Arroyo and EWTN for DARING to interview Mel Gibson (MEL GIBSON!! LOCK YOUR DOORS! HIDE YOUR WOMEN! TWO MEN ENTER, ONE MAN LEAVES!) on their news program, The World Over Live, in multiple posts (I lost count somewhere between 5 and a dozen), Mr. Cork could, you know, put in a post that goes something like this: "Back when I was hosting a News Program on the world's only international Catholic television network there was one rule I had: any guest I'd book for the show had to pass a little test I called Cork's Cuitessential Catechetical Cuestions. If they failed any 2 of the 200 questions on the test (which every guest had four hours, some scrap paper, and a #2 pencil with which to complete), they couldn't be on my show. Also, if they were going to be promoting a book or product, they couldn't be on my show. I also had a very strict provision in place for not liking the cut of one's jib. Since the show was an hour long, and my opening monologue was only good for about seven minutes, I was led to create Mr. Wheedles, the asthmatic Latinist and sock puppet, who was just becoming popular with very small children when the show was cancelled."

Just one post like that would make the ceaseless criticism of Mel Gibson and The Passion a little easier to take. Seriously, when you find yourself quoting (extensively) the Godless critics at Salon.com to make your point dot, dot, dot...






Ezekiel Franklin Watley, Esq.: the cure for the common Timothy McSweeney.

Hilarious.






Pieces of Flair 'blog has found too many cool links in the past few days. I was going to steal them, but they just kept getting better. Go over there and hop to "Dennis Miller on Dennis Miller" and the art of Brandon Bird, to name two.






South Dakota Set to Pass Legislation Making Abortion a Crime

This is so awesome. I am very proud of my cousin Mike, a South Dakota State Representative (I believe), who I know is supporting this bill (if he's still a State Representative, that is). South Dakota is looking more attractive by the minute.








Monday, January 26, 2004

The next time you plan on breakdancing for the Pope (see below), give this track a try:

"JP2 (Kizz Da Ring Mixx)" by Dr. Apostrophe X

Click here to stream (broadband).
Right-click here to download.

WARNING: Because of the alacrity of this track's tempo (+150bpm), only experienced breakdancers should actually try breakdancing to this song.

I also updated my music page at victorlams.com with some tracks I've done over the past two months or so (nothing final).






Like Planet Rock, He Just Don't Stop

Okay, you've seen the pictures, now check out the fly video of the breakdancers entertaining the youth. And watch this space a little later tonight for an additional breadancing/Pope treat.








Sunday, January 25, 2004

Dinosaur Comics






Museum of Soviet Synthesizers

That's "synthesizers" not "sympathizers". A very fine website chock full of photos, manuals (in Russian), and sound file examples of a wide variety of Soviet-made synths. The "PIF" in particular looks like it could be a lot of fun. If you've ever wondered what a Soviet beatbox sounds like, this is the site for you.








Saturday, January 24, 2004

Gotta catch 'em all!

Welcome to GIANTmicrobes.com!

We make stuffed animals that look like tiny microbes—only a million times actual size! Now available: The Common Cold, The Flu, Sore Throat, Stomach Ache, Bad Breath, Kissing Disease, Athlete's Foot, Ulcer, Martian Life, Beer & Bread, Black Death, and Ebola.

Each 5-to-7 inch doll is accompanied by an image of the real microbe it represents, as well as information about the microbe.

They make great learning tools for parents and educators, as well as amusing gifts for anyone with a sense of humor!


My favorite, of course, is mono (which oddly enough, looks a lot like Jigglypuff, the sleep-inducing Pokemon -- maybe there's something Nintendo hasn't been telling us all these years... that in addition to weird combinations of animals and plants, they've been looking at microbes, too?). If anyone wanted to get me this for my birthday (the plushie, not the actual disease, because I've already had that), that'd be wicked-rad.



Link via the recently 'Blogtoned Pieces of Flair.








Friday, January 23, 2004

"So, Lone Starr, now you see that evil will always triumph, because good is dumb."

CNN.com: States play defense on gay marriage

The headline really says it all. You can put all your energy into gaurding the net, but you'll never win the game. Republicans need to wise up and realize that you can amend constitutions until the cows come home but unless you impeach the rogue judges responsible for subverting and contraverting the constitution and the responsibilities of the lawmaking branches in the first place, you'll only wind up chasing your tails -- they judges will just declare another wacky "right" (next up: our unalienable right to have a siamese twin cloned for us, have it be gay, allow us to marry it, and then abort it) and then you're back to square one, trying to back an amendment to fix that new mess.

Hows that for the most number of mixed metphors in a single paragraph? And here's the "Spaceballs" script, just in case you wanted it.






Captain Kangaroo dead at 76

Keeshan is the American hero. Not only serving his country (the MSN story passes over his military career), but the world's children as well. Somewhere in heaven, the good Captain is dropping ping-pong balls on Mr. Moose's head.






In related news, napalm found to cause burns on skin.






Oh, yeah. I had one of these in college.








Thursday, January 22, 2004

What would "The Lord of the Rings" sound like if it had been written by someone else?

Some of these are very funny, the Douglas Adams and P. G. Wodehouse (at least the second one) in particular. This link and the previous via Fr. Bryce.






Flemish Cardinal!

I guess the media are astounded that someone would speak their mind so candidly. Believe me, this is just what Flemish men of a certain age do. And thank goodness: were it any other way I may never have been born.






More proof that the editors of WSJ.com are smoking crack.

Seriously, this is the biggest non-story since forever. What's Cardinal Navarro-Valls real email address? Why does it take him so long to respond to emails? Woooooooooo! Intrigued yet?

A Republican president has boosted federal spending to epic levels, the family is going to Hell in a handbasket, across the land federal judges are usurping the powers of the legislative branches of all levels of government without worry of impeachment, 500+ American soldiers (and countless thousands of Iraqis) have died in a search for WMD that clearly don't exist, and we're worrying about what an enthusiastic papal spokesman may've said to a reporter about a movie that maybe he shouldn't have said.

This is worse than when Andy Rooney (the only Andy Rooney bit I've seen in the past five years) recently complained about too many foods having "something" combined with "something else": "You ever notice how my bran flakes come with raisins? What if I don't want the raisins? What if I only want the flakes? Or just the raisins? Why don't they make just bran flakes? Or just raisins? And then there's this 'yogurt with fruit'. What if I just wanted plain fruit? I think they add the fruit so that people buy the yogurt because they really just wanted the fruit in the first place. And then there's this 'cheese and crackers' packaged together in something they call 'plastic'."

Note to Peggy "Andy Rooney" Noonan: NO ONE CARES!!!!!!!!! If you don't have a good or original idea for an editorial, just say so. Just because, online, it's not real ink doesn't mean it can't be wasted.






The Morning After

Through USAID, our government helped the drug companies fund these drug studies on the poorest of the poor in Third World countries, countries with little capacity for medical oversight and a large need for the U.S. economic assistance they received. Like the Tuskegee syphilis experiments, in which Alabama doctors knowingly refused to treat poor syphilitic black men from the 1950s through the 1970s in order to gather data on how third-stage syphilis kills people, the Norplant trials on poor black women produced great data. Based on these trial results, the FDA approved the drug for use on U.S. women in 1990.

Another great article by Steve Kellmeyer. I tell ya, the way this guy writes, I may never need to write anything ever again.






Lileks rocks the Howard Dean speech with a bunch of ACID loops and the free ACIDStyle download, it sounds like.

Now I'm actually glad I didn't do one of these.

Best one so far: Can be found here.








Wednesday, January 21, 2004

If you get a chance to watch The Wan With A Cloak, check it out. It's a neat move from 1951 which was on Turner Classic Movies this afternoon (no Robert Osborne wrap-up after the movie, though).






DARN!

Someone already beat me to the Crazy Howard Dean Speech Hardcore Techno Remix.

And someone else beats me to the punch again.

Links via this KVR-VST.com forum thread where more will likely be posted over the next few days.








Tuesday, January 20, 2004

We all have days like this...

Spongebob Squarepants: "Gee, Squidward. What could be better than working at the Krusty Krab?"

Squidward Tentacles: "Being dead. Or anything else."






They shoot horses, don't they?

PLEASE?!

Link via Mayize, who is coming up on her due date pretty quick.






Boy. Talk about a title designed to mislead the poor Skinemax viewers...

Read Steven D. Greydanus' take on the film here.






StandUpGirl.com

No thanks. I did that once in College and I never heard the end of it ('twas for the best, though). All seriousness aside...

Thanks for dropping in to the "outpost for the inmost" girls, StandUpGirl.com If you're pregnant, scared, and alone -- I know...I've been there. The last thing you want is people talking at you. Take a breather, a time out, and check out my site. It was info like this that really helped me.

I don't know if "Becky" is "real" or just a construct of the Matrix, but either way, I hope that this site is able to help someone. Check it out (if you're put off by the length Flash intro, you can click through by clicking on the 'home' button -- I know... I've been there). This site represents the sort of endeavour which will make a difference.






All sarcasm aside, there's a new 'blogtone. I hope Robert Diaz likes it -- he's been waiting seven months for it!






Who knew?

In addition to being (labelled by those who are at ideological odds with him) "one who plays footsie with Anti-Semetics", Joe Sobran is also anti-Islam! How do I know this? Because he wrote an article which says that Islamic metaphysics differs from Western metaphysics. Acknowledging that such a difference exists?!! Basing your argument on sociological observations? Why, THAT'S RACISM!!!!!

Turns out he's also pro-terrorist, anti-anti-alleged-child-molester, and -- to top it all off -- a gay man.

How on earth is such a monster allowed to live, much less publish articles?! It's a mystery, to be sure.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go out and burn all my copies of Plato's Socratic dialogues. They might lead to thought.






Michael Caine digs himself down one more level of Hell.

Soon he'll be able to keep Brian Moore warm.






NRO: Dean Loses It

Dean = Crazy


Then he let out a strange, extended, yelp that seemed to come from deep within him: "YAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!"

Audio clip courtesy of Drudgereport.com.

I like all the AP stories which try to downplay this ("Dean, in a hoarse voice, explained rationally his enthusiasm for the upcoming primaries, in no way acting possessed or seeming to come unhinged"). He's finished. Does anyone have the video for this?








Monday, January 19, 2004

"When we're done writing words in the sky, we'll land in Idlewild."






ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZAPPPP!!!!

Electricity is AWESOME!!!! It's hosted on a webpage by a guy who really likes modular synths, which is cool in itself.

Link via Doc's 'Blog... for gamers.






Evan of Brain Terminal stands out in the below-freezing cold to interview those who attended Algore's speech on Global Warming last week to figure out how the MoveOn.org "Bush = Hitler" mindset was taking root in the minds of, well, those who would brave the cold to hear Algore speak.

As always: it's hilarious, insightful, and first-class work. Evan Coyne Maloney is a national treasure.






"Man-You're Crazy!"

This story raises far more questions than it answers. Of course, the obvious: why did the farmer hide the diamonds in the hay in the first place, but also: at some point wouldn't you just write the $900 off as a loss?






Always Our Children Again

I somewhat fatuously replied to the issue of homosexuality and our children a few posts down (well, I did.... but then I deleted it because linking to a 15-page photolog of girls kissing girls, while terribly instructive and accompanied by a funny punchline and sharp philosophical insight, was a line I didn't want to cross on this 'blog -- no matter how much it would've boosted the ol' hit counter -- sorry, guys!). More serious, now:

Another sign of the greater problem, at least as far as confusion in regards to the Church's teaching on the matter is concerned, is this announcement, found in our Parish bulletin this weekend which seems awfully dismissive of, well, anything the Church has to say on the subject:

"The subject of homosexuality is one that can create emotional reactions in many of us. In their Pastoral Letter 'Always Our Children,' the Catholic bishops of the United States encouraged parents to love their homosexual children and for all Catholics to welcome them as full members of parish communities."

I guess "full members" (minds out of the gutters, please) would refer to reception of all the sacraments.

Anyway, it goes on to say that there will be a panel of "gays and lesbian Catholics and parents or family members" speaking at a local Church in a few weeks to "present a discussion of the spiritual and emotional aspects of their journey coming to terms with their and their child's sexual orientation" (my guess is that there'll be no parents of pedophiles on the panel, describing their journey towards acceptance of their child's sexual orientation, but you never know). "The purpose of this panel presentation is not to debate religious issues on the subject" (of course not, because there is no debate, when it comes to religious issues on the subject -- as is most ofthen the case, the topic is already settled). "Its purpose is merely to open the door" (front or back, it doesn't say) "and offer an opportunity for people to better understand the lives of gay and lesbian persons and their families" (as if we don't watch enough network television already).

"The panel presentation will take place at the Parish Center of St. Theodore Catholic Church, 8200 N. Wayne Road in Westland (Michigan) on Monday, February 2, at 7:30pm. For more information, please telephone 734-425-7310."

If you do call for more info (or call the Pastor of St. Theodore of Canterbury's, Pastor Rev. Gary M Michalik at 734-425-4421 or email him at sttheodore@aol.com, just to ask him what's up with this), you may want to pass along a few words from Bishop Fabian W. Bruskewitz on "Always Our Children", especially the part that goes:

The character of this document is such that it would require a book of many pages to point out all its bad features, which sometimes cross the border from poor advice to evil advice. For instance, I believe it is wicked to counsel parents not to intervene, but rather to adopt a "wait and see" attitude when they find their adolescent children "experimenting" with homosexual acts. Parents have a grave moral duty to prevent their children from committing mortal sins when they can. It is certainly and seriously wrong to counsel parents to "accept" their children's homosexual friends. In my view, parents should be vigilant about the friends and companions of their children. Of course, the document deliberately avoids distinguishing minor children from adult children in its advice to parents and seems to delight in this ambiguity, just as it confuses the acceptance of a person who does immoral acts with the acceptance of such a person's immoral behavior.

And then the conclusion:

"Calamity and frightening disaster" are terms which are not too excessive to describe this document. It is my view that this document carries no weight or authority for Catholics, whom I would advise to ignore or oppose it.

I'm half tempted to show up.






Bubbles of Sirman on the Mount (an Ann Arborite -- cool!) has found an interesting take on the "painter of light".

I'm going to make Sirman a daily read because he's dead right on Ann Arbor (not only is it overtaxed and overrated, it's oversexed and overimportedautomobiled) and the Boomers. Two direct hits in as many posts. He's also right about me about the Boomers. And he's funnier than I am, for what that's worth.

I note that I am not on Sirman's 'blogroll, though, which is okay because he's not on mine.






The Death and Return of George "Crazy MIDIman" Foster.

George Foster, you may recall, is a regular on this 'blog. In additon to (formerly) playing organ for his church and thinking that all evil people and anti-Americans should be ground up to make food (literally), he apparently recently died and now wants some kidneys. We wish him all the best.

Thanks to Britain for passing along this vital George Foster update.






I agree with Fr. Bryce: Dr. King would most certainly be involved with this.






MikeRoweSoft.com vs. Microsoft.com.

My money (all $10 of it) is on the 17-year-old Mike Rowe.







Can anyone front me the money to go to London and attend this seminar.

Yes, that's THE Thomas Dolby.








Sunday, January 18, 2004

Virtual Bubble Wrap

Link via my two dumb cents who, by the way, has found a bunch of great sites (though I'd hoped it'd have been a lot longer before I ever saw the Flash mudman again).

And just in case you missed it, I did a new song this week, as well as a new 'BlogTone.






AmericansAreStupid.com: Children's Letters From Satan

A pretty frightening look into the abyss. Link via the always entertaining Pieces of Flair.






British Politicians Call for End to Burning of Papal Effigy

Bonfires are lit all over Britain on November 5 every year to mark the attempt by Guy Fawkes to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605. Traditionally an effigy of Fawkes is thrown onto the fire.

However, in the small town of Lewes, a twice life-size papier mache model of the pope is paraded through the streets before being thrown onto the fire to the chanting of anti-papal and anti-Catholic slogans.








Saturday, January 17, 2004

A few good reasons to vote Sharpton, 2004.






You are a Tortured Conceptual Artist. Your fellow postmodernists call you an anachronism, but
you've never cared much about the opinions of others. After all, most of them are far too simple-minded to appreciate the nuances of your work. They talk, while you are part of a lived tradition.

What kind of postmodernist are you!?
brought to you by Quizilla






A bit more like Rush.

I was listening to Greg and Lisa Popcak's "Heart, Mind, and Strength" (based on the weblog) on Catholic radio the other day and it occurred to me that their themesong did not rock.

Not hard enough, anyway. I listen to Jeff Gavins' morning air sometimes in the morning and, well, his themesong rocks. It's a little M.O.R, what with the gospel choir and all, but it rocks... and then they have that cute 8-year-old singing it into the phone some mornings: "Jeff Gavins... It's your Morning Air! With Jeff Gavins. Morning Air! Jeff Gavins!" Even Al Kresta's instrumental theme rocks pretty hard (I have it on no less authority than Scott Hahn himself that that is actually Al on lead guitar).

This is not right. EVERYONE knows that nobody on Catholic Radio rocks harder than Greg and Lisa Popcak.

And so I must rectify the situation. Observe if you will:

"HMS Rocks!" (Approximately 1 minute in length, 900Kb)

This should also satisfy a request from Karl S. to do "some sort of song in the style of everyone's favorite Candadian heavy-but-not-quite-metallic power trio".






Yep. The new Strong Bad Email is one of the funniest ever. I haven't laughed so hard since ever. I only wish they'd done a few more.

Strong Bad for President!!!!






Note on 'BlogTones: I still receive requests for 'BlogTones, but you may have noticed I haven't done any of them since that week in May I did them. This is probably because the page still says I'm doing them. I'll probably get back into them someday, and I do have some requests saved in email, but I lost about four months of email recently, so a bunch of requests got deleted (in Microsoft XP Professional you can change your user name, in XP Home you can't so you have to create a whole new user and even when, deleting the old user, you say "save my stuff", well, some things aren't saved, apparently).

So if you're still interested in 'BlogTones, shoot me another email. Contributions via PayPal will definitely make sure it gets done quicker ;). This is not 'Blegging, by the way. If this week's showing at NAMM is any indication, I'm going to be needing a lot of money to support my addiction hobby this year.






Sure hope this works.






If you liked Marble Madness back in the day, you might like Donkey Kong Country Barrel Maze (it's a free flash game, and it's fun).








Friday, January 16, 2004

"And in this corneah...."

I have to admit that I've been too busy today to much follow the Mark Shea/NRO episode. I will say, though, that my dad stopped subscribing to National Review about ten or fifteen years ago (and The American Spectator soon afterwards) which was even then several years after it was clear that NR had sold out its founding conservative principles for the sort of hawkish, social-libertarian, pro-Israel-come-Hell-or-more-Hell stuff that tends to appeal to the adolescent mind these days. I never had much love for NRO, then, or much understood the attention it received. It was, above all, boring (yes, somehow they managed to make conservativism dull. A dull blade you could, perhaps, sharpen on Russel Kirk, spinning as he is in his grave). The way the NRO crowd and its defenders are going after the "social-conservatives" now only amplifies their shame in selling out their movement's principles. Foremost, it's a shame that, for all of their other faults, the "new-Right" has finally bought into the Left's Puritanism.

Joe Sobran for President!!!!!






"The Pirates of the Carribean" is a fine pirate movie. Actually it's about as long as two pirate movies (they're in the cave, they're out of the cave. They're in the boat, they're off the boat. They're back in the cave, etc.). But it's fun.

Can't talk right now, though, as a new season of "Monk" has begun. Catch ya later!






Generation "Pro-Choice"?

Generation "For Some Reason You Were Allowed To Be Born; We Won't Make The Same Mistake With Your Kids" is more like it.

Hopefully the youngsters are smart enough to realize that no one can be "pro-choice". You have to be pro-choosing-something or pro-choosing-against-something. "Pro-choice" of course is a thoroughly meaningless proposition (I really can't think of anything more meaningless than the term "pro-choice"; it's exactly like saying you're "pro-going" or even "pro-against"), but the term richly expresses the intellectual capacity of the "pro-choice" momement -- or at least what the movement perceives is the intellectual capacity of those with whom they hope to make the most (scissors in the back of the) headway.

NARAL = Run By Boomers = Will Be Dead Before Me and My Children = Hopefully the fallout of their meaningless and destructive influence can be contained.

I mean, seriously: by reproducing, I've virutally assured that the pro-abortion way of death is on the path towards extinction. Assume some NARAL Whore (metaphorically speaking, which is not to imply anything about one's sexual proflusiveness and their tendency to buy into the abortive deathstyle) actually does manage to give birth to a child someday. How are they going to indoctrinate that child to be pro-abortion? "You know, Timmy, the reason you have so many wonderful toys today is because Mommy and Daddy thought it was best to kill off your brothers and sisters. Isn't that wonderful? Why on earth are you holding that baby doll so tight? Awww, Timmy. It's not like we would ever.... Don't worry: Mommy and Daddy love you. Seriously -- come out of that corner. Fine. What do you want? A parrot? Parrots can talk to you and play games, too. Good. We'll get you a parrot. Remember, Timmy: kids with brothers and sisters don't get parrots!"

Yay! We're winning! But still... poor Timmy. He'll probably grow up to be governor of Vermont, someday.






Listen to Record Executive Simon Cowell on NPR's "Fresh Air".








Thursday, January 15, 2004

Britney's Guide to Semiconductor Physics

I like this site because not only does it recognize the REAL brilliance of Hedy Lamarr (a brilliant electrical engineer: if you use a wireless phone with what we now call "digital spread spectrum", you can thank the late, great star of the silver screen for that), it demonstrates just how far we've let our criteria for celebrity slip from recognition of someone who possesses genuine talent across multiple fields (multiband frequency joke! Hee-hee!) into, essentially in Spears' case, child pornogrpahy.

Link via the well humor-endowed Fr. Rob Johansen.






Boomer Deathwatch

This 'blog is AWESOME!!!! I can't wait until all the boomers are dead! Well, okay, I don't dislike ALL of them. I think maybe 20% of them (and that's being extremely generous) are probably okay in some marginal, barely passable way.

Link via Mark Shea.






Can someone explain to me how Dennis Miller is a Conservative?

It sounds for all the world like he's a Liberal who happens to support the wars on Terror and Iraq. Great. Just what we needed on TV: the worst of both worlds. Still, he is funny as all heck. "Rod Stieger's Dream Journal!" Ha! Pure gold.

What does that mean, again?






Leave it to Britain to find a (free) way to record streamin' media off the net: ASFRecorder. Pop in a URL and off you go. I'm trying it now.






You can't be Sirius!

CatholicExchange.com: Catholic Radio Becomes Available Nationwide on Satellite Radio








Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Wowsers! Chris Muir, Mr. Day-By-Day himself, read my 'blog! Also, it seems, the folks at MSNBusiness.com read his cartoon.

And so should you!!






So far the moment from "Gigantic", the They Might Be Giants documentary, which has lingered with me the most (and I haven't watched all the bonus features yet) is Michael McKean's reading of "The End of the Tour". That moment rightly recognizes that song as probably one of TMBG's most poignant and beautiful lyrics and McKean's reading of it also demonstrates his true talent as an actor (something we don't really get to see, outside of that one "Smallville" episode earlier this season).






My cousin Aleta was on her local news last night, for her school that she runs (actually it's a fath-based enrichment center, that teaches kids how to behave). Watch the streaming video and fast-forward to 22:00 to see the segment.

On a completely unrelated note, does anyone know how to save-as .wmv files? I have the file's location, but all IE lets me download is the playlist.








Tuesday, January 13, 2004

MSNBusiness: Why can't boomers and Gen X just get along?

It's probably outside the scope of the MSNBusiness article (though they do raise the demographic issue, but briefly), but the real reason Gen X and Boomers can't get along is that the Boomer generation was the first generation to really selfishly turn on the next generation (my generation) and try to wipe it out through the holocaust of abortion and contraception. The boomers looked/do-look at the very existence of the Gen Xers as a threat to their youth ("Who are these youngsters? I'm the kid! I get the sex and the toys!") and when exterminating us failed (completely failed, I mean -- the Boomers have succeeded in severly crippling the welfare and future of this country by not having children), they robbed us of our innocence by, among other things, over-sexing us in our schools and media and tried to turn us into adults as quickly as they could. There's a cold logic at work here: if we, the Gen Xers, are the adults, then we have to support the Boomers as they get older and live out the rest of their pathetic, childish existence.

I say: good riddance. The Baby Boomers will probably go down in history (if there is such a thing anymore) as the generation least-mourned and of which future generations are most ashamed.

Watch this space for more on this in the weeks to come: an economic, inter-generational war is brewing and the result will probably involve a turn towards family-initiated, physician-assisted murder and euthanasia and a shift away from democracy (there are lots of Boomers and as they get older, they'll have little else to do but vote themselves "entitlements", no matter what the economic consequences are for the younger generations, who are already shouldering the tax burdens of the Boomers' lifestyle and many failed programs) and either an (even greater) economic collapse, possibly into socialism.

It all depends on the degree to which the GenXers and GenY youth are able to renounce (through motives which may be no purer than sheer disgust) the hedonistic and selfish ideals of their parents' generation. The younger generations, for better or for worse, are adopting Libertarianism and will hopefully continue to do so at a furious rate (given the choice between Libertarianism and socialism, which would you choose?). This spells D-O-O-M for the Boomers who expect us to support them as they explore their youth, er maturity, in the 2000s, just as their parents supported them financially as they were "exploring" their youth tje first time in the 1960s.

As it will happen, the Boomers will probably get exactly what they deserve: the abandonment and resentment they heaped upon my generation. I just hope our kids aren't watching when we leave the Boomers out on the ice floe to die.


Personal note to all whom care: My parents are not baby-boomers. They were born before the baby boom and were mostly through college by the '60s. It's quite obvious that their thinking, and how they raised me, in just about every respect, is radically different (ie. Christ-centered and better) from the ethos of the Boomers. They will never be left out on an ice floe.






Blessings' Nun, Catholic Schoolgirl Dolls

The internet is a sick, sick place.

Of course, I'm kidding. Those are some very pious and devotional dolls. Collect 'em all!






Funniest. Photo. Ever.






Meanwhile, SciFi Wire reports that casting has begun on the (new) Hitchhiker's Guide film.

And a (new) Buffy film is still a ways off, according to Nicholas Brendon.






YahooNews.com: Lego going back to its roots, focusing on building blocks and abandoning its forays into multimedia and film products.

"We are returning to Lego's former concept. We're going to focus on building bricks as our main product, concentrating on little kids' eagerness to assemble," he said.

...

Kristiansen acknowledged that Lego's recent attempts to diversify had been a catastrophe.

"We tried to follow trends, to have toys that were in fashion, that are 'in' one year and 'out' the next. But it didn't work," he said.

"In our efforts to follow the trend, we forgot about our traditional, basic products -- the plastic building bricks -- and we spent all our efforts on new toys that we launched together with films like Star Wars and Harry Potter".


This is excellent news -- not the part about LEGO's greatest loss in history, of course, but the bit about it abandoning (hopefully) Bionicle and all of the other goofy stuff it's done over the past three years or so (I know some people will miss Mindstorms, however). When you have Lego making little Count Dooku and Jar-Jar legomen, you know something's wrong.

Original story via SlashDot.






And, in case you're wondering, Play Doh's "Doh-Doh Island" is just as fun as the commercials (music by They Might Be Giants) make it out to be. I'm not sure I would've gone with the sort of conservative ad copy on the back of the box, though. I'd have opted for something a little more whimsical than "Bring DOH-DOH figures to 'life' by extruding compound!"

Also, our set didn't come with a free video, like the website says! I feel so cheated. It's still lots of fun, though.






Justin Katz' Dust In The Light 'Blog has a brand, spankin' new design. Check it out!








Monday, January 12, 2004

Not everyone is lactose intolerant but when it comes to cheese, everyone's lower intestine has its limit.






Please, PLEASE, pray for Fr. Groeschel, who was critically injured in a car accident last night.








Sunday, January 11, 2004

Scenes from a Birthday Party

Xander enjoys his new balloonMonica shows off her snickerdoodles
Dad shows off lamp, made from 1978 Lincoln Towncar front-endElmo, The Birthday Cake






'Xander's birthday party was today. Will post pictures as soon as I can. So tired....








Saturday, January 10, 2004

When it's nine-degrees outside and it's Saturday and you're tired and feeling unmotivated and really want to work on the new album but can't because you're tired and feeling unmotivated and it's nine-degrees outside, there can't be much better than watching the "My Life as a Teenage Robot" marathon on Nickelodeon. Happily, they just showed the episode with Bruce Campbell as the villanous "Himcules". That, along with the Art Deco visual style of that show and the little synthpop riffs that run throughout always make for a good time.

Actually, there is something better, and it's watching the They Might Be Giants documentary "Gigantic", but that's a whole seprate post. If you don't have the DVD and really want to see TMBG this weekend, watch Cartoon Network's "Home Movies" this Sunday night at 11pm.






Couldn't make it up if I tried...

Food Network: Dweezil & Lisa

Rock musicians and food lovers Dweezil Zappa and Lisa Loeb are hitting the road in search of musical and culinary adventures. From dining on Southern specialties with the Indigo Girls in Atlanta, to chowin' down at the Zappa family's breakfast pancake party, this dynamic duo is out to find good times and great food. Join them as they discover new regional culinary delights with famous chefs and friends across the country.

I wonder if anyone will steal the magereene at that pancake breakfast.... If they do something like that, it'll almost be worth watching.






Francesco Marchetti is a talented young composer. Rumor has it, he's also looking for work.








Friday, January 09, 2004

"From a religious point of view, if God had thought breeding people in test-tubes and then killing them to harvest their organs is a sin, he would not have created stem-cell research."

And, oh yes: per Dean, Bush's decision to not have people bred in test-tubes and then killed and their organs harvested "can hurt people".






I must admit I missed this the first time around. Nicely done, Jeff! Of course, over at Curt Jester, brilliance abounds.

I love my job, I really, truly do, and because of it we can eat and not freeze, but sometimes I wish I had more time for kooky stuff like that.

PS. Doesn't the picture of Blessed Miguel Pro over at Curt Jester remind you of They Might Be Giants' John Flansburg (on the left)?








Thursday, January 08, 2004

I see this doing for Crowe's career what "Left Behind" did for Kirk Cameron's.

Still, Bruce Willis managed to survive "Hudson Hawk" (though when compared to the Da Vinci Code -- note to readers: the word "code" is really, itself, a gnostic code word which means "100% horse-puckey we pulled out of our butts", and try not to think too hard about that -- "Hawk" had a far more credible premise).

But it all just goes to show you, a lie well-cast (though Bekinsale is forever lost to me, ever since she acted -- and it all was just an act!!!! -- opposite Ben Affleck) is still just a lie. Thank Central Casting that Franka is not sullying her name by association with this project.






Handyman's Coroner

Just spent the last two hours snaking out a drain, and I only WISH that that was a euphemism.

Actually, only the first hour was spent snaking out the drain and then, after an hour had gone by and I was covered with foul-smelling black sludge, and had only gotten about 15 or 20 feet down into the drain I gave up and decided to pour boiling water down the drain for the next hour or so. I'm guessing that when the crud underneath your fingernails starts burning, that's a bad thing.

Sometimes being a man really stinks.

Oh, and here's something to think about if you have a fuel-injected car: the fuel around the fuel-pump (which is usually right up next to or in the gas tank) actually keeps that sucker (the fuel-pump) cool. So always run your car from the top-half of the gas tank so the fuel in the bottom-half keeps the fuel-pump cool and that sucker (the fuel-pump) doesn't overheat. As my dad says: the fuel in the top-half of the tank doesn't cost any more than the fuel in the bottom-half. And a new fuel pump, installed, is close to $1,000.






Play that funky music, OCP!

The Ostensibly Catholic Press teams up with iTunes and a rogue Flash/Moveable Type-savvy designer to bring us Spirit and Song. I kid, but it's actually a pretty neat site.






Bush sells out his party's principles for (possible, but very unlikely) votes... again.

I mean, that's assuming the Republican Party had any principles left (beyond the principle that it is right and moral to perennially disappoint your supporters). If you listen reaaaaally hard I bet you can hear the distant clacking of Pat Buchanan's typewriter, set to "kill".








Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Political Correctness is a cruel and fickle mistress.

Even her lame (and offensive) attempts at humor are better than her lame (and offensive) attempts at lawmaking. At least with the former, no one dies.






New Strong Bad email. I think this is one of Homestar Runner's (the character's) funniest moments.








Tuesday, January 06, 2004

MSN.com: Kinks' Ray Davies Shot in Leg

First Tupac and Biggie and now Ray Davies. STOP THE MADNESS!

Wait. Who's Ray Davies?






MSN.com Encarta: 12 Things You Didn't Know About U.S. Presidents

Big shocker: all of the 19th century presidents were accomplished, learned men who could write Greek with one hand and Latin with the other while Bill Clinton is a compulsive liar and a cheat (though Enkarvda only goes so far as to mention his golf scores).






I don't usually condone directory surfing, but if you're really desperate to hear snippets of the new album (keep in mind that very few lyrics have actually been written, and nothing has actually been recorded, and no music is at all in set form) and other weird tunes, you can probably look through my www.victorlams.com/music/ directory, where I keep (among other things) my musical scratch pads. I wouldn't mind. You'll have to contend with my rather ponderous naming convention(s). And some stuff there I don't even remember doing (Belly of the Creep and "prettyweird.mp3" in particular). Weird. Though it's kind of nice for me to find all this "new" music and realize that I must've done it at some point over the past year or three.






Some nice pictures of Arizona.






MyWay.com: Tests Confirm Mad Cow Came From Canada

And why is it that the worst things always come from Canada? Washington got mad cows, Minnesota got subzero temperatures, New York got Mike Meyers, and we got Jennifer Granholm.

Sigh.






Mark Shea's brief summary of his developing impressions on the Iraq war.

Incidentally, Joe Sobran had a really good article on Bastiat and taxation in the January 1 issue of The Wanderer. I'm going to need to dig up my copy of The Law again. I was once going to write a song about Bastiat (this was a couple of years ago), but I never got around to it.

In his most recent online column (dated December 23, 2003), Sobran recounts a story told by the late Leonard Read:

One year, on the day before Christmas, Read greeted his heavily laden mailman and asked him how he was doing. The man groaned, “Worst day we’ve ever had!”

Later that day Read went to a local store for a bit of last-minute shopping. It was packed. He asked the merchant how he was doing. The man beamed, “Best day we’ve ever had!”

Both men might have said, “Busiest day we’ve ever had!” But to the government employee, busiest translated as worst, while to the private businessman, it translated as best. One experienced the public as a burden, the other welcomed it as customers, meaning profits.








Monday, January 05, 2004

It has once again been demonstrated that Europeans still have much ground to cover if they want to be taken seriously in the subtle art of blowing things up.






If you seek a really kickin' collection of classic arcade game sound effects for use as, say, e-mail notifications and the like, look around ye. Or just click on that link.






Coincidentally, his favorite Stooge is Zeppo.






Did anyone catch last night's The Simpsons? Jackie watched it, but I did not, and apparently it had a very pro-family message (which is good to hear). I caught only the little kicker/reversal at the end of the episode. Hopefully it'll be on again someday (ha, ha, ha).

Also, though I'm loathe to admit it, we're becoming regular watchers of that entire 2-hour block. Arrested Development becoming a real stand-out. Yes, it's twisted, twisted, twisted, but performances from an outstanding ensemble cast (John Michael Higgins' bit part a few weeks back being particularly hilarious, and show which features David Cross and Bob Odenkirk -- at least occasionally -- has that much going for it, at least) and sharp writing make it fun to watch and there definitely does seem to be a moral conscience working throughout all the chaos (note the protagonist's inability to do anything but help his family when they need him, no matter what it is that they really, truly deserve).

And then, of course there's Bernie and Malcolm, which are always fun.








Sunday, January 04, 2004

Fair Warning

Hard at work planning a new album... I won't be able to (completely) self-finance this one, this time around (I promised myself -- and Jackie -- we'd never do THAT again ;), so we'll see what comes of it (maybe: ask me in a few months about how you can get your name in the liner notes of a CD). More details (and song samples!) as they become available (the whole thing is still taking shape -- maybe this 'blog will turn into a kind of production diary, to keep me moving on it!). It will be cool and this will be one everyone will want to get. It's still in the early, early stages, though and I need all the prayers I can get (I happen to know that St. Cecilia reads my 'blog -- most entries, anyway) to not lose forward momentum on it.

It's not something I thought I'd be doing this year, but it's something that needs to be done and it's just been kind of put on me for some reason... you dig?






And so it begins: Britney Spears starts down the long, slow road towards Michael-Jackson-magnitude weirdness. It'll only get sadder and more bizarre from here, folks.






Woohoo! Someone updated the old C64 classic "Paradroid", and it's free!. And I love that site design.

Thanks, Britain, for the link!






Bunk!

For one thing, they weren't actually measuring body fat, but availability of gyms and health food stores. For another thing, were they just looking at the cities themselves or the metropolitan areas? Because if they just limited their scope to the City of Detroit, it's obvious that those things don't abound within the city in any meaningful way (compared with other large cities, obviously). This isn't so much a statement on health as it is on socio-economic well-off-ness.








Saturday, January 03, 2004

Well, I guess 1 out of 29,700 isn't all bad...






His second birthday may still be a week or two away, but little 'Xander just completed his first "solo" cel-phone call to his grandparents.

Question for Samsung: what good is a keyguard if just pushing the OK key releases it?








Friday, January 02, 2004

Quite possibly the funniest LarkNews.com story to date.

Thanks, RC!






Junie Morrison (see below) on his website links to the website of Overton Loyd, who contributed all of those really great comics featuring Starchild and Sir Nose D'Voidoffunk (both of whom look remarkably like George Clinton) to the later Parliament albums (the disturbing art on the Funkadelic albums was done by another artist, Pedro Bell -- and don't get me started on Zappa's lead illustrator, Cal Shenkel).

It was a treat to find his website and discover that he's still drawing in that awesome cartoony style (I had no idea he did all of the celebrity caricatures which kicked off each episode of "Win, Lose, or Draw"). Awesomely enough: he's also doing Flash cartoons (check out "The Baby") and games. You can also buy prints there of that awesome sketch he did for the cover of "Motorbooty Affair" (Sir Nose being tormented by that screeching sea crow) for me for my next birthday because that's my favoritist album cover of all time.






I had a rather happy find yesterday evening: I found Junie Morrison's website. Junie Morrison was keyboard player with the Ohio Players and contributed mightily to P-Funk's top two albums, Motorbooty Affair )in addition to playing keyboards he was the voice of Howard Codsell, the underwater MC, and sang a lot of the leads)9, and One Nation Under a Groove. It wasn't easy in 1995, before the web really took off (at least at Hillsdale College) to find his other solo albums (most of which were only available in vinyl, but I managed to find them. As some one who was writing, playing all the instruments, and recording his own music, he really inspired me.

Anyway, check out his website for some great essays about making music then and now and working with the Ohio Players and George Clinton.








Thursday, January 01, 2004

Dr. Masahiro Mori's "Uncanny Valley or "Why are monster-movie zombies so horrifying and talking animals so fascinating?"

I think I agree in principle. Which is why I think Robots are better off looking like the cute units Sony and Honda are turning out these days. No matter what anybody else thinks. Seriously, some people just need to have some kids.






Nasdaq Closes 2003 at 2,003

Happy New Year (Eastern Time Zone!)! Now if you'll excuse me, I need to get to bed so I can be up for work at 6am. Without any sarcasm at all, let me say that it's good to be working!





Currently,

©2004 Victor Lams