The Arkanssouri Blog.
WARNING! This is not underwear! Do not attempt to put in pants!
Monday, October 31, 2005
Oh, sure, blame the FISH!!!
A headline from today's ABCnews.com:
As if "Pinkpistols.org" wasn't bad enough . . .
Drunk or treat.
Happy Samhain's Eve, all!
An odd editorial.
When the SMN didn't print my letter to the editor the week for which I submitted it, I sent it to the WPDQ, the Hill 'n Holler Review, and HOST Weekly. The WPDQ printed it Thursday or Friday.
The editor of HOST Weekly called me Saturday night to tell me she was going to print it, but apparently in a very odd format.
Don't most newspapers print the bulk of the letter, then if necessary, write their own editorial seperately? Well, this one seems to plan on taking apart my letter and answering each (obviously rhetorical) question piece by piece.
I received an email with her "answers" this morning. As a professional courtesy, I'm going to repress my blogger's instinct to scoop her with her own story, which will come out about Wednesday, I think. I'll print them after that.
But I WILL let you in on my response to her answers.
You have my permission to print the letter, and any part of the following you wish.
Just FYI, the business owner who the mayor tried to stop from opening a business was Bob Crase, with whom the mayor has a long-standing feud. He may have legitimate points for disliking Mr. Crase, but he should be able to not let his personal beef with Mr. Crase affect his decision-making. The city should encourage any business that wants to open in Thayer to do so, not fight tooth-and-nail to keep it from happening.
I'm afraid I don't understand your points about the inner workings of this community or that I am asking the wrong questions. These are the questions that interest me, and the answers to them will weigh on my vote. I have lived in Thayer five years, and have seen no evidence of any grassroots support for ANY tax increases. Those that do pass are pushed down our throats by city government and a very small but very vocal group who have never met a tax increase, or a city power grab, they didn't like.
What we have to remember is that many abuses of the rights of individuals have started with the ostensibly noble goal of "economic development." If you need an example, just take a look earlier this year at the Supreme Court's Kelo decision. That whole fiasco started with the formation of the New London Development Commission and ended with the de facto abolition of property rights everywhere in the country.
How long will it take for Thayer's economic developer's mission to move from getting government grants encouraging new businesses to forcing out the "undesirables" in favor of more wealthy businesses?
If central planning was the key to economic development, the Soviet Union would still be around and would be the richest country on earth.
The way Thayer can encourage economic development is LESS government intervention, not more. We can't even have a yard sale in this town without a city permit.
If the city government wants economic development, the way to do it is to go to Wal-Mart and offer them a deal -- if they upgrade to a Supercenter and keep it open ten years, they don't have to pay any city property taxes. Go to K-Mart and Target and Starbucks and Barnes & Noble (have you tried to buy a book or a Time magazine in this town? It's near impossible.) and offer them the same deal. Bring in other companies with the same offer, and it's not long until we've got economic development out the yin-yang.
That is how you do economic development, not through government central planning, which offers benefits only to those adept at jumping through the government's hoops and kissing it's butt.
She did point out what I'd noticed about the ballot simply calling for a tax increase, but not earmarking it for economic development. I managed to get that point into the letter to the Hill 'n Holler Review.
And she also pointed out that there is no sunset clause in the tax increase, a point I'd also noticed but chose not to include in my letters, because you hit people with too many questions and they tend to zone out.
Because of these two things, she's opposing the tax increase, but she basically disagrees with the premise of every question I asked. But I guess that checking the 'no' oval is all that matters. Motives are irrelevant.
Saturday, October 29, 2005
With a name like 'Scooter'...
... is the betting open on how long he'll be in prison before someone makes him his bitch?
Put me in for a day and a half.
Nah, just kidding. I doubt he'll serve any time, even if he's guilty as sin. He surely can draw out the legal process for three years, until after the '08 election, when Dubya can 'pardonize' him.
Besides, it's not like he got caught schtupping (or being schtupped by) a big, hairy soldier in a YMCA bathroom a block from the White House or anything, right?
Forbes' contract on bloggers.
You'll have to register to read it, but registration is free.
Forbes' sidebar suggestions for dealing with bloggers' points you disagree with? Well, the list starts off validly:
MONITOR THE BLOGOSPHERE. Put your own people on this or hire a watchdog
(Cymfony, Intelliseek or Biz360, among others). Spot blog smears early, before
they can spread, and stamp them out by publishing the truth.
START YOUR OWN BLOG. Hire a blogger to do a company blog or encourage your
employees to write their own, adding your voice to the mix.
The next one, though legitimate, encourages message board and comment spam:
BUILD A BLOG SWARM. Reach out to key bloggers and get them on your side. Lavish them with attention. Or cash.Earlier this year Marqui, a tiny Portland, Ore. software shop, began paying 21 bloggers $800 per month to post items about Marqui, while requiring them to disclose the payments. Marqui's listings soared on Google from 2,000 to 250,000 results. Never mind that one blogger took the money and bashed a Marqui marketing strategy anyway.
They should have stopped there. Because here are their next suggestions:
BASH BACK. If you get attacked, dig up dirt on your assailant and feed it to sympathetic bloggers. Discredit him.
ATTACK THE HOST. Find some copyrighted text that a blogger has lifted from your Web site and threaten to sue his Internet service provider under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. That may prompt the ISP to shut him down. Or threaten to drag the host into a defamation suit against the blogger. The host isn't liable but may skip the hassle and cut off the blogger's access anyway. Also:Subpoena the host company, demanding the blogger's name or Internet address.
SUE THE BLOGGER. If all else fails, you can sue your attacker for defamation, at the risk of getting mocked. You will have to chase him for years to collect damages. Settle for a court order forcing him to take down his material.
Attack the messenger if you don't like the message? Silence what you can't refute?
Fuck you, Forbes. And get your little lapdog-lawyer-on-retainer to take a refresher course on "fair use" sometime.
Big Brother DOJ dealt a setback.
Big Brother, bored with watching you,
... can now remote control you as well.
Now that's weird.
The French did ONE thing right...
Friday, October 28, 2005
Hit & Run posts the Glorified Coloring Book's weak explanation for their photofakery:
Editor's note: The photo of Condoleezza Rice that originally accompanied this story was altered in a manner that did not meet USA TODAY's editorial standards. The photo has been replaced by a properly adjusted copy. Photos published online are routinely cropped for size and adjusted for brightness and sharpness to optimize their appearance. In this case, after sharpening the photo for clarity, the editor brightened a portion of Rice's face, giving her eyes an unnatural appearance. This resulted in a distortion of the original not in keeping with our editorial standards.
It doesn't meet their editorial standards, yet it made it past their editors.
And why can't I get into From The Pen today?
UPDATE to the Update: Samantha Burns brings in an expert witness to decimate and annihilate the Glorified Coloring Book's explanation and expose it as utter bullshit.
Well, maybe she WAS!
Mon Dieu !
Missing US cat found in France!
Vie. Elle est un minet errant.
I often scan the news for Randian superheroes . . .
and I came across this guy. Not quite a Randian superhero, although he'd fit right in the book "Anthem."
So is he an Orwellian superhero, or a Huxleyan superhero?
I've suspected for awhile now that my Bravenet hit counter undercounts my numbers, so I'm running a little experiment by adding another hit counter to the site and seeing if they measure the same.
But didn't he have a daughter that served on the Enterprise B?
Of squeaky wheels and grease.
I got a verification call yesterday for my letter to the editor in the South Missourian News.
I wish I'd noticed this before writing it:
Notice something? Here's a closer look at the area of interest:
Give up? The words "economic development" do not appear on the ballot. If passed as written, this money can be used for ANYTHING the city wants, even buying parasols for the wives of all city employees.
Thursday, October 27, 2005
Didn't make it.
You'll recall this letter to the editor I sent in Tuesday to the South Missourian News. I hung around the house all day waiting for a confirmation call (yeah, I gave them my phone number.)
It never came.
And when the paper came out Thursday, the letter wasn't in there.
Their deadline for submissions is Tuesday, and I just checked my Sent folder and it was sent Tue 25 Oct 2005 10:12:48 AM EDT.
Maybe they didn't have room this week on their editorial page, you ask? Nope. I couldn't find ANY letters to the editor at all.
On a (perhaps) related note, the local radio station has been filling up it's hourly news slot with an interview with the economic developer from Houston, MO, asking him about the need for a community to have an economic developer. What do they THINK someone whose job depends upon creating the perception that an economic developer is needed is going to say? "No, an economic developer is totally unnecessary and a waste of tax dollars?" I don't think so.
One more edition of the SMN comes out before the election. I'm holding onto the (slim) hope that my letter will be included. If it's not, I won't be a happy camper.
But just in case, I'm sending it to the West Plains Daily Quill and other local papers, too.
Note to President Bush: Next time, pick someone with a paper trail. All we had to look at on the belief that she was a strict constructionist was your word. And all YOU had was HER word. That's an awfully big leap of faith you expected us to take.
And go younger. You want a legacy? Then pick someone who's gonna be on the court for thirty years, not fifteen.
And most of all, pick another Thomas or Scalia, not another O'Connor or Souter.
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Because nothing says 'Kansas' like a buffalo.
Or is it "Nothing says 'buffalo' like 'Kansas'"?
I found my first Kansas quarter in my pocket this morning. When I showed it to my mother, who lived in Kansas (Wichita and KC, I think) briefly before she was married, she suggested a better design would have been the giant tarantulas that would jump out of her kitchen cabinets at her when she opened them.
I suggested a dust storm, with the phrase "All we are is dust in the wind."
Or maybe combining the two. All we are are giant tarantulas jumping in a dust storm.
Why is the 2000th death any more significant than the 1999th or the 2001st?
I WOULD've watched game three last night,
but I refuse to reward MLB for forcing the Astros to open the roof.
And I've got a sneaking suspension that there was more behind Roger Clemens' mother's deathbed psychic prediction than the White Sox making it to the World Series.
Could her saying "Shoeless Joe Jackson" three times have been a reference to a Black Sox-type scandal this year? Game fixing between the Sox and the officials, perhaps?
They HAVE been getting the advantage of nearly every obviously-blown call all throughout the playoffs, haven't they? And then there's the roof...
Oh, those Texans, part deux.
Oh, man . . . (puff) . . .
. . . the dead . . . they're, like, screeching at me! . . . It's harshing my buzz . . . and it's really starting to FREAK ME OUT, man!
Reuters Health: Ganja not a major cancer risk.
Fire it up at will, folks. Ain't no danger here.
But hey, if you DO get cancer, I know a good remedy for chemo nausea and fatigue...
Gotta try the brownies.
U of Wash. has a Legalize Marijuana Bake Sale.
It'd be better if it had a screening of THE WALL or REFORM SCHOOL GIRLS too.
THIS is what we call the Muppet Show?
Oh, those Texans.
From this article in the Houston Press:
Men in bunny suits and Santa outfits rioted in the bars at night, and one participant was Saran Wrapped several feet off the ground to a utility pole.
But I thought the freaks were in San Francisco, not Hank Hill's backyard.
More (disturbing) bunny news from Peterborough Today:
The friendly balls of fluff are almost unique from other rabbits because one has only one ear, while the other has none at all.
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Big Brother Production Company.
Furries, take note.
The Astros seized the opportunity to make money this season with Junction
Jack, a buck-toothed, tall-eared rabbit who dresses in a train engineer's getup.
Jack does private functions for $150 an hour.
Does he provide his own nipple clamps?
I should probably post this elsewhere,
Just fired off a letter to the editor of my local paper.
I have a few questions about the proposed sales tax hike on the Thayer ballot November 8th.
First, how does taking $175,000 per year OUT of the local economy and giving it to the government help the economy?
Second, the Thayer Community Betterment Association has applauded the work of a previous economic developer in bringing new downtown lighting, a water line to nowhere, a sidewalk from the school to downtown, a "tourist information center" that doesn't benefit residents and tourists don't even KNOW about, and sidewalks that don't function as sidewalks, because you have to walk IN the street until you can get to stairs to get ON the sidewalk (take a look just down the hill from the library and you'll see what I mean). The question is, how many Thayer jobs have these projects created? Because I don't see any.
Third, isn't the fact that Thayer has a lower tax rate than surrounding cities an economic PLUS? If the tax hike is approved, and I was shopping for a $20,000 car, for instance, what incentive would I have to buy it in Thayer when I could go to a nearby community and buy it and pay less in taxes on it? And the reverse is true: under the current taxes, why would someone buy a new Chevy pickup in West Plains when they can buy the same truck in Thayer and pay less in taxes?
Fourth, if economic development is the true goal of the tax, why are the Chamber of Commerce and the TCBA so insistent on passing it? If successful, wouldn't it create more competition for their businesses, both in the prices they charge and in the wages they pay? There's something they're not telling us.
Fifth, how does the fact that I have to eat and buy clothing make me responsible for paying the salary of an economic developer?
And finally, how much money was spent on signs and mailings in support of the tax hike? Because from where I sit, it looks like that money would have gone a long way toward paying the $175,000 without a tax hike.
Monday, October 24, 2005
Your week-and-a-half-long national nightmare is (soon) over.
After tomorrow, I should be back on sched and able to resume normal blogging.
One word -- ick.
I have been hulling black walnuts this week.
In case you are a fan of walnuts, I will refrain from describing the condition they are in before they are processed. If I told you, you would never eat another walnut again.
But I will give you two hints:
1. Even after wearing rubber gloves to hull the things, my thumbs have a permanent brown stain on them.
Anne Rice jumps on the Passion of the Christ bandwagon.
LIBERTARIAN CALLS POLICE.
Yesterday, late afternoon, I'm out walking my dog and I look in the street in front of my house and see a knife lying there. Not a huge knife, but not particularly small, either. Black handle, silver, locking blade. And the blade is open.
I can think of no lawful reason, and lots of unlawful reasons, for a knife to be lying open in the street, so I don't touch it. I don't want my fingerprints on the thing, and don't want to smudge whoever's prints ARE on it. I go inside and call the police.
It takes a good ten minutes for an officer to get there. I explain to him that I haven't touched it, not even to kick it out of traffic.
He reaches down with his bare hand and picks it up, even pinches the blade closed with his fingers, and tosses it onto the front seat of his car. So much for not contaminating the evidence. If it was evidence of something, that is.
I would feel much better about the whole thing if he'd picked it up with tweezers and dropped it into an evidence bag. Maybe I've been watching too much CSI.
He was kind of cute, though.
Saturday, October 22, 2005
Avast ye, matey!
Oh, give me a gnome...
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Able to pop my head up briefly to bring you this:
The Dante's Inferno Test has banished you to the Seventh Level of Hell!
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:
|Purgatory (Repenting Believers)||Very Low|
|Level 1 - Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers)||Very Low|
|Level 2 (Lustful)||Very High|
|Level 3 (Gluttonous)||Very High|
|Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious)||Very High|
|Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy)||Extreme|
|Level 6 - The City of Dis (Heretics)||Very High|
|Level 7 (Violent)||Extreme|
|Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers)||Extreme|
|Level 9 - Cocytus (Treacherous)||High|
Take the Dante's Inferno Hell Test
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
The Education Industrial Complex's mentality.
I completed today's mission a little early, so I was able to pop up briefly to bring you this:
What's the biggest sin in high school today? Sex? Booze? Drugs?
No. In a letter explaining his decision to cancel the prom this year, Long Island principal Brother Hoagland, cites what he sees as the greatest sin of all -- affluence.
"It is not primarily the sex/booze/drugs that surround this event, as
problematic as they might be; it is rather the flaunting of affluence, assuming exaggerated expenses, a pursuit of vanity for vanity's sake - in a word,
financial decadence," Hoagland said.
That should be Comrade principal Brother Hoagland.
Kellenberg Memorial High School can be reached at email@example.com .
Saturday, October 15, 2005
Gotta go off the grid for a little bit.
So, unless some major event happens, the next time I poke my head up from below ground should be about a week and a half from now.
Why doesn't The Phobia List have the Fear of Government listed?
Is it because phobias are IRRATIONAL fears, and the fear of government is the most rational fear of all?
If you need some more, marijuana may be able to grow you some.
Maybe THAT's why it's illegal. Big Brother can't have us outsmarting him, now can he?
Got my Arkanssouri Blog t-shirt yesterday.
So far, no one has asked me what "Vie. Elle est un suppositoire cruel. " means.
Friday, October 14, 2005
But don't they make us "Secure beneath the watchful eyes?"
Hat tip to Dan Dupont.
I wonder, any relation to Pierre? It used to be fun to hear the way Geo. Bush I would say "Pierre DuPont." Especially since everyone else called him Pete.
But I guess that's a little off topic.
More from the Public Scatology beat . . .
"Stevo Darkly", in the comments of the Hit & Run public scatology piece, explains in this hilarious excerpt that words are sometimes confusing:
By the way, also about this time, I was taking sex-ed in school. And one of the words I learned then was "ejaculate." I didn't know it could also mean "to exclaim or shout suddenly."
OK, in Chapter 14, the Martian war machines are marching on London, or the town of Woking or something, sending the populace into a panic. And Wells' narrator says (recounting a report from his brother):
He heard footsteps running to and fro in the rooms, and up and down stairs behind him. His landlady came to the door, loosely wrapped in dressing gown and shawl; her husband followed ejaculating.
But mightn't he break a hip?
Rocky VI in the works.
If they're going to do it, it should follow the "Freddy vs. Jason" and "Alien vs. Predator" models.
Maybe "Rocky vs. Terminator" or "Rocky vs. Batman."
Is there a "Don't Ask; Don't Tell" policy in the Toast Army?
Scientist perfects toast soldiers.
Which side of a soldier should you butter?
Why, the OUTSIDE, of course.
This is a joke, right?
It's hard not to cut and paste the whole thing; it's so absurd, but here's a selection (emphasis mine):
Hebron -- A high school student in this West Bank town has been arrested for "multiplication denial" after repeatedly insisting that a negative number multiplied by another negative number yields a negative product. A world-wide consensus of mathematicians determined long ago that two negative numbers multiplied together produces a POSITIVE product.
"But it's obvious," said the 14-year-old student, Rihab Hanafi, as she was led away in chains by Uzi-toting guards, "multiplication magnifies; therefore two negative numbers multiplied together necessarily produces a MORE NEGATIVE product."Hanafi's repeating her false claims over and over and refusing to instantly accept the word of others gave her away as a died-in-the-wool Holocaust Denier right off the bat. "This kind of superficially plausible reasoning is characteristic of Holocaust Deniers, to which Mathematics Denial is obviously related," said Abraham Foxman, Director of the Anti-Defamation League. "But the underlying motive is obviously hatred for truth and hatred for Jews, the principal bearers of truth."
No, this isn't The Onion. I don't know what's worse, "multiplication denial" or the fact that the girl was arrested for it. Can you say "Thoughtcrime?"
"There is the rampant fecundity of rabbit sexuality. "
Two for "Found" Magazine . . .
So I'm at a distant relative's yard sale yesterday, and I pick up this book. It's Shepherd of the Hills. It obviously hasn't been opened in years, maybe decades. The jacket is sticking a little to the cover.
But my mother told me she read it as a child, and it's only 35 cents, so I buy it for her.
When I get it home, I peel back the cover and find two things underneath. One is a folded note:
The other is a little pink booklet with the title of TOILET TRAINING MADE EASY! It contains, among other things, a page made up entirely of this bizarre and disturbing picture:
Thursday, October 13, 2005
No more public WHAT?
First off, hat tip to the Smoking Gun and Nick at Hit & Run.
Now, to the WTF moment of the day. George Bush writes this to Harriet Miers:
No more public scatology? Is he promising not to do it himself, or instructing her not to do so?
Scatology, for those of you who don't know, is
1. The study of fecal excrement, as in medicine, paleontology, or
2. An obsession with excrement or excretory functions.
The psychiatric study of such an obsession.
And is it okay for whichever one of them does this sort of thing, to do so in private, but not in public?
I almost forgot!
To our Hebrew readers, Happy Day of Atonement!
If it's possible to happily atone, that is.
Thanx to Neo-Libertarian for reminding me.
Yom Kippur ends at sundown today, so you've got a good six hours to atone like it's 5760.
Lost's "Sawyer" robbed at gunpoint.
Not such a tough guy NOW, are you, Mister Man?
Washington: "Romeo + Juliet" equals "Backdoor Sluts 4."
Fine-print provision lumps any film with a sex scene into the same category as porn.
From our Men Invent Cool Things Department . . .
Did they come with a little square package of teriyaki chicken flavoring? And could you buy eight packages of them for a dollar?
With parents like these,
Does the Lollipop Lady know the Muffin Man?
I didn't know ladies came in the flavors "dinner" and "lollipop."
Maybe the dinner lady should get together with that guy over on Drury Lane, and make him her Backdoor Muffin Man.
Our long global nightmare is over . . .
... with the return of Rick Astley.
It's like they're inside my head.
Polly wants a revolution.
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Do they pay royalties?
To The Artist Formerly Known As The Artist Formerly Known As Prince?
Dolphins taught to sing Batman theme.
As long as they're doing something useful.
How much did THIS one cost the American taxpayer?
Oh joy. A list.
I woke up this morning to some radio show reading some organization's ten best scary movies. They were wrong. The correct list is as follows:
1. The original Amityville Horror.
2. The Exorcist.
3. The Jeepers Creepers movies.
4. The Blair Witch Project.
5. The Omen movies.
6. The Hellraiser movies.
7. The Cell.
8. The Scream movies.
10 The Shining.
Five years ago today.
WaPo: Bloggers use websites as therapy.
Look for these upcoming articles:
WaPo: Water Is Wet!
WaPo: The Sky Is Blue!
And it was going so well.
Wolfie wasn't in the Situation Room yesterday. Kira Phillips and Ali Velshi were filling in for him, and were actually doing pretty well, bringing in some humor that didn't just sound stupid, like Wolf does when he tries to be funny.
Maybe CNN will realize they've got something here and replace Blitzer, I thought.
They even caught up with us about the Smurf snuff film. It was all going so well.
Then it happened.
VELSHI: And political activist and rock star Bono apparently has a new and perhaps surprising cause. He and his legendary group U2 are set to perform in
Philadelphia on Sunday at a $1,000 a seat fundraiser for Senator Rick Santorum's
reelection campaign. Now, you might ask what Bono has in common with the proudly conservative senator. The organizer of the fundraiser says both have strong
religious convictions and are passionate in their beliefs.
Why is reporting this a problem, you ask? A little weird, yes, but what's the problem? Read on, from later in the show:
VELSHI: All right. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM. Kyra will enjoy taking the rest of the show because I'm going to be so fired after this. Earlier we reported that activist and rock star Bono will appear at a fundraiser for conservative Senator Rick Santorum. Apparently I've been hoaxed. We've now heard from a spokesperson for the advocacy group co-founded by Bono denying that U2 is performing to raise money for Santorum. U2 is appearing in Philadelphia that night but for a regularly-scheduled concert. We'd like to correct ourselves for the record.
Kyra, it's been great working with you.
PHILLIPS: Every now and then we get a little bad information. You're not going anywhere.
VELSHI: I know how it feels to be Mike Bloomberg right now.
PHILLIPS: At least we didn't get a Howard Stern call.
VELSHI: Yeah, that's true. I hear you.
CNN got punked.
Snail trail art.
Just what the world needs.
Monday, October 10, 2005
What's on TV tonight?
All we are saying is give Smurf a chance.
Oh, god. Who comes up with this stuff? Get your popcorn, kiddies; it's time for a Smurf snuff film. One put out by Unicef, no less.
The short film pulls no punches. It opens with the Smurfs dancing, hand-in-hand, around a campfire and singing the Smurf song. Bluebirds flutter past and rabbits gambol around their familiar village of mushroom- shaped houses until, without warning, bombs begin to rain from the sky.
Tiny Smurfs scatter and run in vain from the whistling bombs, before being felled by blast waves and fiery explosions. The final scene shows a scorched and tattered Baby Smurf sobbing inconsolably, surrounded by prone Smurfs.
I'm hoping for Smurf versions of Deliverance, Natural Born Killers, and Pulp Fiction, myself.
Why three years?
Why not five? Or two?
And what's the time limit for straight priests to have to remain celebate before entering the priesthood?
Taking on MADD.
Andrew Stuttaford takes on MADD.
Good for him. Somebody needs to.
The organization does not confine itself to the driving-while-intoxicated issue. It's glommed onto seatbelt usage, drinking while NOT driving a car, and drug use, among others.
Perhaps they should change their name to Meddlers Against Everything.
UN and EU trying to steal the Internet from the country that created it.
You want an Internet? Make your own.
Don't loot the work of others.
Must've been lost in the email.
Funny, I didn't get MY poll invite.
A case of mistaken secret identity.
It wasn't Stately Wayne Manor that burned down, after all.
It was a different house. But I bet when they owners saw it, they said "Holy Bat-Shit!" anyway.
The Ig Nobels.
Hey, they're less of a joke than the Nobels.
Here's my favorite:
"Fluid Dynamics" -- Victor Benno Meyer-Rochow of International University Bremen, Germany, and the University of Oulu, Finland; and Jozsef Gal of Lorond Eotvos University in Hungary, for "Pressures Produced When Penguins Pooh -- Calculations on Avian Defecation," an actual study published in 2003 in the journal Polar Biology.
As opposed to dead sex acts?
Article title in the Oregonian: Girls! Girls! Oregon OKs live sex acts!
Fatwa Patty at it again.
That's two full games.
After clicking over during commercials and virtually giving up when the score was five to one, I joined in after the race; I think about inning eleven.
Okay, I'm fired up about the playoffs again.
I heart Roger.
Herbie? Herbie, is that you?
Here's the Headline:
Driverless VW declared winner of $2 million robot race.
I always thought of Herbie as more of a case of some sort of possession than a robot. But good to see the bug got paid.
Designed some new shirts . . .
. . . and these don't even have www.arkanssouri.blogspot.com all over them.
Here's a shirt or a tote bag for you or the blogger on your Xmas list.
And this one will get you out of babysitting your sister's little monsters.
And a couple for the ladies:
This one serves as a reminder for the men in your life.
And the other one, available in both a tank and a tee, lets you embrace your inner Monica.
Saturday, October 08, 2005
So I sold out (a little).
Support your local blogger. Get yer Arkanssouri Blog t-shirt here.
I don't expect to get rich off this. My profit is $1.00 a shirt. But I wanted a shirt myself, so I designed it, and then I thought "Why not offer these to my readers too?"
Like the idea of a Freightliner roadster,
there's something just WRONG about the whole concept of a Mini SUV.
Boy George arrested on nose-candy charges.
If surprise means "not a surprise in the least."
In my book,
the city of St. Paul owes this guy another $150,000.
A 43-year-old artist and small-business owner who goes by the name "Grease," Lehman saw his first business literally demolished when the city of St. Paul seized his tattoo parlor for a street-widening project three months ago. Still fuming, he went looking for new digs, found a place at 360 Clifton St. on the city's west end, was given a verbal OK to relocate there and bought it.
That's when the city killed his dream for the second time.
Despite initial assurances from city officials, he soon learned that tattoo parlors aren't allowed on Clifton Street. This week, Lehman exhausted the last of his appeals, and he's now the proud owner of a $150,000 building that he can't use — all because of a bungle that even City Hall officials acknowledge.
Friday, October 07, 2005
An odd thing at which to take umbrage.
I don't play well with others,
so I'll pick out the most interesting part of this little tag meme that's going around. It has to do with the fifth (or closest to it) sentence in the twenty-third post on your blog. Here's mine:
If you want a hospital, pay for it with user fees.
Yet another reason . . .
Note to CBS:
Dude's not up for re-election, so his poll numbers matter not a whit.
Oral Roberts' 900-foot Jesus . . .
Catholic church: Bible just another tabloid rag.
It seems the Roman Catholic Church has decided the Word of God can't always be trusted.
Let me guess. The parts you agree with are true, while the parts you disagree with aren't?
And this is a new position how?
Thursday, October 06, 2005
Senate: P.R. outweighs national security.
What limits did the animals put on the deaths of innocents on September 11, 2001?
You cannot deal civilly with barbarians, people.
Bush "major speech" on Iraq and terrorism.
The only speech I want to hear is the one where he announces the killing or capture of Osama bin Laden and the anthrax killer, and explaining why the hell those two abominations have been allowed to walk the earth for four years.
Until he's ready to give that speech, I don't want to hear it.
I'm betting this won't be it.
CIA leak case . . .
...coming to a head.
Question: Is it possible to 'out' someone who had already blown her covert status?
Under what administration . . .
... was this Franklin guy hired, and why is it so hard to find out?
Before you Democrats start salivating at the thought of blaming this, like every other thing on the Bush Administration, take a close look at this excerpt:
In 2000, Aragoncillo worked on the staff of then-Vice President Al Gore. When interviewed by Philippine television, he remarked how valued Philippine employees were at the White House.
"I think what they like most is our integrity and loyalty," Aragoncillo said.
the Republicans are realizing that lockstepping to marching orders is the Democrats' gig, and it's not a good thing.
We were promised another Thomas or Scalia. Rescind the nomination and give us one.
NOW I remember . . .
One of the reasons we at the Bear Review never got around to reviewing Atlas Shrugged. The philosophy is so integrated into the text that it's almost impossible to review it solely as a work of fiction. You wind up reviewing rational self-interest itself.
I'm not very happy with my Mouthshut review of Atlas Shrugged. I submitted it anyway.
I'm much happier with my reviews of two Rush albums, Permanent Waves and Moving Pictures, and Metallica's black album.
The Rush reviews aren't up yet, because I had to submit Rush as a new category to be considered. Dunno how long it'll take. So if you can't wait to read them, here are my reviews:
The Spirit of Radio, the first song on the album, sets the stage for a good eighteen minutes of music. How can you hate a song that starts with "Begin the day with a friendly voice"? You can't. This is easily the poppiest of the songs on the album.
Fortunately, in this case, being radio-friendly doesn't preclude it from being a
Then comes the gem of the album, "Freewill," the national anthem of secular humanists, Libertarians, and teenage Objectivists alike. The song dismisses pessimists, mystics, and fence-sitters with lyrical scorn. People either love this song or hate it; there's no middle ground. Pick a side, but remember that if you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice. I will choose a path that's clear; I will choose "Freewill."
Third is "Jacob's Ladder." It's mostly instrumental, but like the song's thunderheads, it rumbles in a distant overture, at least until it gets to the closing synthesizers, which sound like some guy alone in his basement with a Casio and too much time on his hands.
Unfortunately, that's where the eighteen minutes end, and we still have another eighteen minutes to go. Back in the days when we still used cassettes, this is where we'd flip it over to side two.
"Entre Nous" isn't terrible, but it doesn't quite live up to the first three songs on
the album. Perhaps partially because of the title, it's rather forgettable.
Then we have "Different Strings." This is another one of those songs for the Dungeons & Dragons constituency. The stringwork tries to evoke a mixture of Dust In The Wind and Stairway to Heaven, but it can't quite pull it off, and the vocals don't work with it at all.
The last song, "Natural Science," begins with running water and seagulls, reminding me that this is a good time to go to the bathroom, so I can skip most of the song and be back in time for the album to begin again with "The Spirit of Radio." Natural Science tries way too hard to sound ethereal in the beginning, then switches to Rush's normal vocals in the middle, just before a frenetic UFO lyric, drum and synth sequence. Then it degenerates into what appears to be a jam session of the emotionally disturbed.
Buy this album, I guess. The first half gets an A-plus, even if the second half gets a D. But then, I guess that's what God made fast-forward buttons for.
Tom Sawyer. What's there to say about one of the band's signature songs? This is best played at full volume, banging your head and singing "His mind is not for rent to any god or government" at the top of your lungs. What you say about this song is what you say about society.
Red Barchetta. Sounds like some sort of cocktail, maybe made with cherry juice and Kentucky bourbon. But it's not. It's a love song to a car. Or maybe a love song to one's uncle. Either way, a fine one it is.
YYZ opens with the band getting cute with stereophonics and a bell, then transitions into harsh, sledgehammery notes, followed by what can only be described as schizophrenic guitar and drum work. This is where the album begins sinking into something akin to mediocrity and desperation.
Limelight offers a brief reprieve from the abyss of dismality, but it doesn't completely recover before the next song.
The Camera Eye opens with traffic sounds and bizarre synthesizer distortions, mixed in with what appear to be the clicks of a manual typewriter. This may be the weakest track on the album. The opening synthstrumental gets tiresome long before the lyrics kick in.
On the beginning of Witch Hunt, the band falls into the New Age trap of thinking windchimes are musical instruments. This track may appeal to the Dungeons & Dragons crowd, but the rest of us are out of luck.
On the closing track of the album, Vital Signs, the band returns to it's strengths - the Tom Sawyer licks and Free Will vocals. While it's not as strong as those two songs, it's much better than the previous two.
So, is it a horrible album redeemed by three tracks, or a fantastic album ruined by four tracks? I guess that's for you to decide.
In my book, it's worth the purchase price. I can always skip over everything but "Tom Sawyer," "Red Barchetta" and "Limelight."
Rush website here.
Metallica website here.
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
I finally figured it out.
The Miers nomination, I mean.
It's said that men marry women who remind them of their mothers. Maybe that holds true with women they nominate, because it looks like she picked up this blue dress at the Barbara Bush yard sale.
Oh, no. I just thought of something. What if that's the Infamous Blue Dress?
Comes the darkness.
For the first time in a long while, I woke up before daylight this morning. I don't have a clock in my room, so I tried to guess what time it was, judging from the pink that was beginning to creep into the edges of the sky.
About 5:30? I asked myself. Do I have time to get another hour of shuteye?
I decided to go ahead and get up.
I went into the kitchen and saw the time on the stove clock.
I just can't get excited . . .
. . . about the baseball playoffs this year.
It's because I know Roger's Astros are going to lose to the Cardinals when they play, if the Astros make it that far.
I just hope the Red Sox get ejected from the series soon. I hate that they have built their "success" not on improving their own team, but rather on petitioning MLB to tear down the Yankees.
If MLB was Atlas Shrugged, the Red Sox would be on Jim Taggart's side.
You just KNOW some coffee-shop college band is going to snap up this headline . . .
. . . and use it as the name of the band.
88 Stone Pumpkin!
That is, of course, if they have the stones to do so.
Of Foo Fighters and Poo Dumpers...
Dave Matthews Band and others instruct listeners how to get around those pesky intellectual property safeguards on not just THEIR albums, but EVERYONE's albums.
If they want to forfeit THEIR intellectual property rights, that's up to them.
But where do they get off forfeiting the rights of others?
In my day, we called 'em "houseboats."
Now they're "amphibious houses."
In theory, a good idea for hurricane and tsunami zones.
In practice, there's an awful lot of debris in the floodwaters that could damage or sink one.
They're doing this to bug me, aren't they?
The nickel undergoes it's FOURTH REDESIGN in TWO YEARS!
I am reminded of the Ford Motor Company, which did expensive ground-up redesigns of both the Mercury Cougar and the Ford Thunderbird, only to discontinue the models entirely a year after the redesign. Why go to the expense of redesigning if you're only going to have one model year of the new style?
Why go to the expense of redesigning the nickel if the design will be replaced in six months?
Any why are the Mint and the Treasury Department so fond of unbalanced currency? They've already made most paper money look like it came from a central American banana republic or a Soviet satellite by shifting the image off-center and adding garish colors. Why are they doing it to coins now?
Saddam Hussein's horoscope this week,
according to the Weekly World News, of course.
A creative urge could bring some changes into your life this week if
you follow your instincts instead of the crowd. Trust your intuition and you may
be more pleasantly surprised.Don't let your sense of loyalty get in the way of
your better judgment. Strive to be more objective about those around you. Try to
be flexible if roadblocks suddenly appear in your path.
Lucky Numbers: 7, 13, 18, 20, 23, 38
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
Men invent cool things . . .
. . . while women come up with ideas on how to turn men into women.
Men have the sense to buy wash-n-wear clothes, ladies. We don't NEED to learn how to freakin' IRON!
Nipsey Russell, RIP.
I keep wondering when the pool of entertainers of my parents' generation is going to run out.
Blogger Encourages Stool Pigeoning.
See that little "Flag?" button?
Here's what it's for.
It seems my mother was wrong when she said "No one likes a tattletale."
Because it seems SOMEONE does.
And that someone is Blogger.
"One quick second?"
From transcripts of yesterday's Situation Room:
Blitzer: The Harriet Miers nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court has caused some reactions you might not necessarily have expected. While some epublicans are being cautious in their optimism, some Democrats are actually warmly embracing the president's pick. Joining us now, are guests: Democratic strategist and CNN Political Analyst James Carville and Republican strategist Rich Galen. Thanks guys for joining us. Are you surprised, James, that the sort of skepticism is coming more from the right than the left?
JAMES CARVILLE, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yeah. I don't know. Nothing surprises me. I think the pick surprised me. This has like President Bush all over it. This was his pick. On this show I've said a few weeks ago that...
BLITZER: I want to interrupt you James for one quick second, because we're getting information right now that boat, the Ethan Allen in Lake George in upstate New York is being raised right now. There we see it. These are live pictures coming in from Lake George, New York. Susan Lisovicz is there. We see some divers on the sidelines over there, on the side of those boats. Susan, update our viewers on what we know.
Later . . .
BLITZER: And, Susan, all the bodies have been recovered, right?
LISOVICZ: That's correct.
BLITZER: So we're not going to see any more bodies emerge from this capsized boat?
LISOVICZ: That's correct. That's correct, Wolf.
BLITZER: Susan, stand by. I want to continue to watch this picture and update our viewers on this dramatic development. They're bringing this boat up, the Ethan Allen. We're going to also resume our discussion, our "Strategy Session" on Harriet Miers, the nominee to replace Sandra Day O'Connor on the Supreme Court. We'll take a quick break. We'll go back to Lake George right after this.
Wolf never did get back to the Strategy Session. Instead, he proved that in CNN's eyes, a picture of a nonevent (the raising of the capsized boat) trumps analysis of an actual event (the Supreme Court nomination.) He spent hours and hours showing pictures of a half-submerged boat and asking the same questions over and over again. No, Wolf, they weren't wearing lifejackets. No matter how many on-scene officials you ask, the answer is always going to be 'no.' No, Wolf, you're not going to see any bodies. No, Wolf, the boat pilot wasn't given blood and alcohol tests afterwards. Stop asking the same damn questions.
And stop bringing people into the Situation Room if you're going to let pictures of a nonevent keep them from saying anything.
And stop putting "shall we say" in sentences where it doesn't belong.
BLITZER: So that was not necessarily a major factor, but what could have been a factor was if these people were overweight, shall we say, and that the weight of this boat, it simply couldn't sustain 48 people.
No, Wolf. They were overweight or they weren't. They were not overweight, shall we say.
And learn the meaning of the words "one" and "final."
BLITZER: And I'm going to let you go in a second. But one final question, Mr. Rosenker, the 47 passengers I take it were not wearing these flotation devices, the life vests? [That's one.]
ROSENKER: That is correct. But there's no requirement for that as well, Wolf.
BLITZER: Did they have the life vests on the boat? [That's two.]
ROSENKER: There was a requirement to have one for each passenger on the vessel. And we'll counting to make sure that they had enough life preservers for each and every one of the passengers and crewman. So, we'll be trying to take stock of everything that is on that boat to make sure it was in compliance.
BLITZER: Did the 27 survivors -- passengers who survived, plus the captain, were they wearing life vests? [That's three.]
ROSENKER: We'll be interviewing them to find out. We don't know. There were life preservers that were floating, came out from the vessel. We had heard some people grabbed hold of those. But we'll learn more as we do these interviews, Wolf.
BLITZER: All right. Mark Rosenker is the acting chairman of the NTSB. He's also a two star Air Force general in the Air Force reserves. He's joining us from Lake George. Very kind of you, Mr. Rosenker, to join us, appreciate it very much. You've been very helpful.
Three is not "one final question," Mr. Blitzer.
EDTF finds eminent domain abuse HAS occured in Missouri.
The Thayer Community Worsement Association.
A letter arrived in my mailbox yesterday from the Thayer Community Betterment Association. It wanted me to vote a week from today FOR an increase in the city sales tax to increase city bureaucracy by creating a job for an economic developer.
Yeah, that's it. The problem isn't too much bureaucracy (we can't even have a freakin' yard sale without a city permit); it's that we NEED MORE. RIIIIIIIIIgggghhhhtttt.....
They shouldn't have sent this out. I had tucked the election away in the back of my mind and would probably have forgotten about it entirely. Glad they reminded me to go vote AGAINST it.
Where did the eminent domain problems in New London CT start? With the creation of the New London DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION. And they want us to hire an economic developer here? No thank you.
For four years we had an economic developer (without a tax increase, I might add). The letter extolls the virtues of her work at getting something for nothing:
I'm sure you've noticed the nice new sidewalks downtown, new lighting
downtown, new sidewalks all the way from the high school to downtown Thayer,
improvement on the highways and intersections on the north and side of Thayer, a
larger water line into the industrial park for future development, as well as
the new tourist information center and railroad museum at the caboose next to
Hate to tell you this, people, but the sidewalks are a total botchjob. They don't function as sidewalks, because you have to walk IN THE STREET all the way up until you find some stairs to get on the sidewalk. They are not an improvement over what was there before, and I have met no one other than our town government who thinks they are. And what about the cat's ass these sidewalks made of parking on second street? Only recently have the parking lines been fixed after so many complaints, and by City Hall, larger vehicles cannot get through because of retarded little spaces in which to plant flowers that were put IN WHAT USED TO BE THE STREET. This is what the previous "economic developer" made possible. Sure, the sidewalks are pretty, but they don't function as sidewalks.
As for the sidewalk from the high school to downtown Thayer, how many people, when in downtown Thayer, really have the desire to walk to the high school, and vice versa? How many people did this help? Very few, if any.
The lighting downtown? If we wanted lighting downtown, why didn't we buy it ourselves? Because we didn't WANT it enough to buy it ourselves. And if we didn't want it enough to buy it ourselves, why is it the responsibility of the state or federal taxpayers to buy it FOR us? What's open downtown at night, anyway? The bar and the police station. Do they really NEED pretty lighting? No. If a business WANTED to open late at night downtown, the mayor and the city council would fight tooth and nail to keep it from happening. So what good does the lighting downtown really do? None.
Highways and intersections? You mean the STATE highways and intersections, which are the responsibility of the STATE government, not the city of Thayer? Or do you mean the local highways (wait, we don't have any local highways) and intersections (like the one at Vine and Front Street, which is a total botchjob, where the stop line is a good fifteen feet back from the intersection, placed in a spot where you can't see the oncoming traffic because the view is blocked by a building)?
And the Water Line To Nowhere is a POSITIVE? Economic development is building a water line that doesn't GO ANYWHERE?
That leaves the tourist information center and railroad museum, neither of which benefit residents, only tourists. Wait, what's that? The tourists don't even KNOW it's there? Even the ones who stop at McDonald's, parking right in front of it?
Later, the letter suggests that since the other towns in the area are sitting on a hot stove, Thayer should too:
Thayer has the lowest tax of any town around. Even after the passage of the sales tax, Thayer would still remain at or below what other cities around now collect.
As my (and your) mother used to say, "If the other towns jumped off a cliff, would you do it too?" In this case, they HAVE jumped off a cliff, an economic cliff. Why don't these people understand that Thayer having a substantially lower sales tax than surrounding towns is an economic advantage? And this isn't just economic theory here; I have practical experience in the matter.
I used to live in a small town outside of Salem, Arkansas, which had a significantly higher sales tax on food than Thayer did. About once a week, we came to Thayer to pick up or return my elderly uncle's laundry. While we were here, we would buy about a hundred dollars worth of groceries, because it was cheaper to do so, partially because of the sales tax difference. That's $5200 a year spent in Thayer, not in Salem, because it was cheaper to do so. What incentive would someone in a similar situation have to buy their groceries in Thayer and not at home in Salem, if this tax passes? None.
The best thing Thayer government can do to promote economic development in the area is take itself out of the way.
Go to Wal-Mart and offer them a deal; the city won't collect any property taxes on them if they build a supercenter within the city limits, and keep it open at least ten years. It's that simple; you don't need a new level of bureaucracy for that.
And right now, with people's pocketbooks feeling the pinch from $2.859/gallon gas and from a sluggish economy and from a new property tax increase to build that godawful ugly elementary school is the WORST possible time to ask for more money.
So I, of course, will be voting against the tax increase. Thanks for reminding me about it, Thayer Community Worsement Association.
If you intend to vote against the tax increase and need a ride to the polls Tuesday, let me know.
What's an allmember?
I came across this article yesterday: What altruism means for allmembers of a just community. It contains, among others, the following kernels of "wisdom."
"Others" are the majority of us who make up the rest of our national
community. Only in a community is it possible to accumulate or keep wealth. And
a just community cares for the true needs of all its members.
I do believe having "the mind that was in Christ" will be more likely to make our world a just and loving one than focusing on our right to keep whatever our ambitions allow us to accumulate under our current conditions.
This morning I got snippy and emailed the following response to the author:
Re: Your column on altruism.
Without free will, there is no morality. Where is the morality in being FORCED to help the poor?
Would God condemn you to Hell if someone held a gun to your head and forced you to steal a car? No? Then why would He judge you as just for being forced to give some of your income to the poor, with the threat of imprisonment if you didn't?
There is no mercy in justice, and no justice in mercy.
Ayn Rand's point isn't that you SHOULDN'T give money to the poor. It is that the choice to do so, or not to do so, should be yours, and not the government's.
It is when such "help" becomes coercive, on a societal level, that problems erupt. How can a society that rewards failure and punishes success be expected to succeed? The answer is simple; it can't.
What is more sinful, allowing an individual to suffer, or allowing a society to collapse?
UPDATE: Got a response, for what it's worth.
Interesting. But for the life of me, I don't see anything but free will in one's life. Divine judgment, fear, coercion, etc. don't even figure in my thinking.
Thanks for reading, and for taking the time to write.
Monday, October 03, 2005
Do not read this post if you're a dog lover.
I'm not even going to tell you what it's about; it's so obscene.
I'm HOPING that since it's the Sun, it's not true.
But if it is, the French deserve every bit of derision we can heap upon them, for not putting a stop to it.
Emboldened by Kelo decision . . .
Florida's Riviera Beach begins massive eminent domain process.
Six thousand . . . yes, you heard right, six THOUSAND people will be displaced. That's six followed by three zeroes.
What is it, exactly, that bombers have against Oklahoma?
Okay, I'll admit sometimes men invent goofy things,
like the duct-tape bandage.
But what you have to remember is that the line between genius and madness is obscure, and in some cases nonexistent.
Jim Morrison had plenty of nights where his show was just awful, but once in awhile it was pure genius.
You want genius, you put up with the awfulness.
You want the thinking beer mat or the shower beer holder or the taser cannon, you put up with the duct-tape bandage.
Oh my Goddess.
Let's just get too-damned-cute-by-half with our naming of planets and moons, why don't we?
Xena, it seems, has a moon. They're calling it Gabrielle.
At least those aren't the OFFICIAL names, which haven't been settled upon yet.
I'm betting they choose "Batman" and "Robin."
I'm all for intellectual property rights...
... but I'm also against invading individuals' computers and ignoring their privacy rights, which it seems the RIAA has been doing.
Betty Pope, minor character in Atlas Shrugged.
Betty Pope came into the living room, dragging the folds of a satin negligee harlequin-checkered in orange and purple. She looked awful in a negligee, thought Taggart; she was ever so much better in a riding habit, in the photographs on the society pages of the newspapers. She was a lanky girl, all bones and loose joints that did not move smoothly. She had a homely face, a bad complexion and a look of impertinent condescension derived from the fact that she belonged to one of the very best families.
-from Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged.
Well, we finally found SOMETHING Paris Hilton's good for. If the Atlas Shrugged movie ever actually gets made, she's a dead ringer for Betty Pope.
Now, if only she could act.
In films where people keep their damn clothes on, I mean.
Saturday, October 01, 2005
Funny . . . I don't REMEMBER being raided at gunpoint.
Hell, I don't even remember ever living in Canada.
Nor do I remember competing in the 500 freestyle. In fact, I'm not certain what the 500 freestyle IS.
And playing Scottish Football for Falkirk? Does one wear a kilt whilst playing Scottish Football? And do the cheerleaders wear pants? How do the players keep their kilts down when doing touchdown celebrations?
You'd think I'd remember meeting Hal Holbrook. But I don't. In fact, it seems I don't remember a lot of things.
Too much ganja, I guess.
Now THAT's scary.
Seen on The Drudge Report today:
Will he get up in the middle of deliberations and say "This is bullsh*t! Just let it go!!!"?
Time for a recharge.
Back in the days of The Bear Review, the idea was bandied about that one of us should get around to reviewing Atlas Shrugged one of these days.
We never did.
I've decided to do so on Mouthshut.
But I decided I needed to reread it first. It's been somewhere between seven and ten years since I read it last.
I started yesterday, and I'm almost two hundred pages in. If it was a normal book, I'd be two-thirds done by now. But as we know, it's no normal book.
It is giving me something of a recharge. I'll be commenting on snippets I find interesting as time goes along, such as minor characters.