"Klotz" As In "Blood"

A Testament to the Insidious Impact of Florida Sunshine on Brain Matter

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Pheasants Are Revolting

Filed under: Across the Fruited Plain — Steve @ 9:15 am

The vice president made a daylong hunting trip on Monday to the Clove Valley Rod and Gun Club, an exclusive mountainside establishment on 4,000 acres in Union Vale, N.Y., about 15 miles east of Poughkeepsie, in Dutchess County. Mr. Cheney arrived at the club about 8 a.m. and left about 4:30 p.m. The State Police posted cars at the access roads to the club, preventing visitors from discovering exactly how he spent those hours. — NY Times

Everybody remembers the 2006 hunting trip, when Darth accidentally shot his buddy Harry Whittington in the face. But a day later, this time it appears that nobody was injured, except for a few pheasants. Which brings us to the comments by my old scout troop leader, still haunting the hills of northwestern New Jersey.

cheney.hunting.190.jpgThat ain’t hunting!” declares Harrison “Buck” Shott. “Those are pen-raised birds. Day before he gets there they loose ’em in the woods where they never even been before. Might as well be shooting parakeets! Hunters my wrinkly red scrotum.”

How do you really feel about it, Buck?

“I know some security people up that way,” he goes on. “Talked to them last night. They say Cheney and his crowd don’t give a damn about hunting and sport shooting anyway. They just like firing weapons and killing things, the bigger the better. One tells me Cheney’s aide says something like, ‘The Vice President suffers a lot of stress and he finds the sound of gunfire and the sight of a writhing, bleeding animal very soothing and relaxing.‘ Therapeutic killing.”

The smell of napalm in the morning.

“Hell, those birds don’t know enough to flush until you walk right up to ’em and kick ’em in the tail feathers. He pulled the same shit a couple years ago the time he shot that lawyer in the face, but the accident — ha! — was the story. It’s called a ‘canned hunt,’ and it’s about as sporting as pissing in the wind.”

Hey, at least the lawyer knew enough to duck and cover.

“I didn’t hear who went with him this time, but rumor was there were some FEMA people there, including the guys who got caught in that fake press conference. You know anything about that?”

I tell him I’ll keep an eye out, and we hang up.

I don’t hunt — it’s not a great idea for people with poor eyesight who are also clumsy around tools and appliances to handle firearms — but if I did, I’d do it for sport, not to accumulate dead animals. I don’t get the joy of killing for the sake of killing. There’s something fake, not to mention cowardly, cruel, and just distasteful, about this set-up.

Guess I’d make as lousy a psychopath as I would a conservative Republican.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Troubles on the Line

Filed under: News from the Nation's Dicktip — Steve @ 8:27 am

pay phone.jpgI arrive home last night about the same time the BellSouth DSL tech shows up.

I remind him he was supposed to call first, any time after 11 am.
“My phone doesn’t work,” he explains. “And you know how tough it is to find a pay phone any more?”

I tell him had he called, we would have told him not to bother. I found the problem, disconnected a bad phone, and all was well.

“Let me have a look,” he says. “I have these filters to install, and maybe we can get you faster service.”

So he gets to work, installing the filters, updating my modem, restoring the router connection, etc. “I’m not quite done,” he says, gathering his tools. “But the central station closed at 6, and I need to run a few diagnostics from them to you. What time can I come by tomorrow?”

We make arrangements, and he departs. When I head for the computer a few hours later, I can’t access the web, even when I disconnect the telephone that had previously created the problems.

Thanks, BellSouth.

The other problem seems to be that this morning I discover several comments to this blog got stacked up in the Moderation file for some strange reason, including a lengthy one from Alex at SoTP to put in the endless thread following “The Other Shoe.” I’ll attend to these as soon as possible. Sorry for the delays.

I blame Alesh.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Heckuva Job Brownie….Part 2

Filed under: Across the Fruited Plain — Steve @ 12:29 pm

It’s like a skit out of Mad Magazine.

Tuesday the Federal Emergency Management Agency announced it was holding a news conference to answer reporters’ questions about the federal agency’s emergency response to the Southern California wildfires.

FEMA’s Deputy Administrator Harvey Johnson conducted the event like a regular press briefing, assuring those in attendance that FEMA — the agency that performed so poorly in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina — was responding well to the disaster in Southern California. “The report basically is that were doing a fine, doing a pretty good job,” Johnson told the audience.

The event went smoothly. That is, until the news media discovered that the press conference wasn’t exactly a press conference at all. Unlike most press briefings, this one was missing a key component: members of the press. abc news

They faked it. Entirely. The “questions” directed to Johnson were asked by FEMA staff. The whole event was a staged charade, a fraud, a hoax. Pure fluff.

Remember, this is a branch of President Monkey Boy’s Department of Homeland Security. These are the fema.jpgpeople charged with protecting American citizens within our borders.

In the aftermath of Wilma, I had some very limited dealings with FEMA. It was positively surreal. There were reams of redundant paperwork (that I refused to complete), there were emails and conversations from people who contradicted one another, and there were amazing telephone conversations that had nothing to do with what I wanted to know. I ended up screaming at some asshole to go away, leave me alone, and spend his time helping people who truly needed help, not me.

Turns out that wasn’t his concern. He was paid by the visit. He came out to my house with a camera even though there was nothing to photograph: no damage, no flooding, nothing. I told him that. He came anyway.

So now they stage a fake press conference to sing their own praises and make their fearless leader look competent. Even after their colossal clusterfuck in New Orleans that cost their thumb sucking leader “Heckuva Job” Brownie his job, they’ve learned exactly nothing, and pull this.

What the hell are they playing at?

Everybody feel safer now?

Two Tin Cans, One Ball of String…..

Filed under: Etherea — Steve @ 12:33 am

All weekend long I keep losing my internets connection. Desperate, I call BellSouth.

A very helpful person steps me through a few diagnostic maneuvers I hadn’t tried (like all of them), then asks me to “press the reset button” on my modem.

cans.jpgI don’t have a reset button. The word “reset” appears above a tiny hole in the modem’s plastic ass.

“Yes,” she says. “Insert something small into that hole and hold for 20 seconds.”

I can just about see the goddam hole. What the hell is small enough to fit inside? Al Gore’s dick? I try a pencil, then a wooden match. No luck.

“Try a toothpick,” the technician advises.

We’re repairing the 21st century worldwide information network by poking a toothpick inside a molded plastic apparatus. I ask her if this is some kind of joke, and maybe I’m on Candid Camera or something.

“No, sir,” she replies calmly.

Shit. No fucking way. I start to lose it. I mean, I’m a technological imbecile dumber than a bag of hammers, but even I can see how fucking moronic this design is. What were they thinking? If this doesn’t work, what’s next — chanting? Fasting and self-flagellation? Animal sacrifice?

I tell her there’s an on/off button at the other end of this contraption. Would it be okay if I just turned it off, waited 20 seconds, and turned it on again?

“Oh, yes,” she says. “That would be fine.”

Great Gertrude’s groin.

It took another two conversations over the course of the weekend before we got this sorted out. Seems I have a bad phone somewhere in the house — Guido and I found it — it probably got soaked from the stiff easterly wind-blown rain we got pelted with. We disconnect the phone and internets service is restored.

The cats exhale and venture out again.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Modern Parenting

Filed under: Etherea — Steve @ 10:09 am

Here’s a few selected items about contemporary trends in raising children, a topic about which I am both intentionally and gratefully ignorant. (Guido and I had children once, but the cats were allergic so we had to get rid of them.)

Easton, PA – A man who admitted he beat his girlfriend’s 2-year-old son offered an excuse that angered a judge: He said he’s not a morning person.

Juan Arreola, 20, pleaded guilty Fridarooster.jpgy to two counts each of endangering the welfare of a child, reckless endangerment and simple assault. Prosecutors said while moving into a new apartment with his girlfriend on June 7, Arreola kicked her son out of the way, then squeezed the toddler’s face……While looking after the boy three days later, he punched the boy twice, prosecutors said. Arreola’s girlfriend brought the child to a hospital later that day, where he was diagnosed with bleeding around the brain. Photos show the boy with severe bruising on his face and back.

When Northampton County Judge F.P. Kimberly McFadden asked Arreola Friday if that’s how he regularly treated 2-year-olds, he replied: “I was working till midnight. I’m not a morning person.” — MSNBC

I bet he hates Mondays, too.

I see a product endorsement contract in this guy’s future. Let’s see which coffee importer gets to him first….when he’s released, that is.

Closer to home, here are some ways to work aesthetic considerations into raising your children properly:

Naples, FL — A woman who had her 13-year-old daughter’s genitalia pierced was acquitted of aggravated child abuse Thursday. The 39-year-old Naples woman wanted to curb her teen’s sex life and the piercing was intended to make intercourse uncomfortable. She also had her daughter’s head shaved to make her unattractive to boys.

The five-man, one-woman jury deliberated for about three hours before deciding the woman’s actions didn’t involve punishment, malicious intent, or cause permanent damage or disfigurement. Miami Hurled

Evidently the jury was convinced by the defense’s argument that Sinead O’Connor aside, plenty of people (male and female) find pierced genitalia and shaved heads sexy as hell.

sinead.jpgThe Defense also cited international authorities, including an expert on Native Australian (aborigine) culture, who produced evidence that children’s faces are routinely scarred with blades as a rite of passage. Among tribes, it is regarded as beautiful. Kind of a face lift. Say it with razors.

(At trial, Mom said she’d consider that next, but the remark was stricken from the record.)

We won’t even go into tattooing, more barbaric and disfiguring than even piercing. Or branding. Makes me wonder why even bother with all these forms of mutilation: just poison yourself and get it over with. At least you’d make a pretty corpse.

Hey, happy weekend, everyone!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Another Town Bans Crack

Filed under: News from the Nation's Dicktip — Steve @ 7:31 am

Port Allen, LA — With a councilman saying underwear “is called underwear for a reason,” another Cajun-country town has banned saggy pants from its streets. The ordinance, passed unanimously Monday by the Port Allen City Council, requires pants to be secured at the waist so they do not fall below the hips, expose underwear or create indecent exposure.

Violators could be fined $25 to $250 for a first offense, and $250 to $500 for repeat offenses.

Seven other Louisiana communities have passed similar droopy drawers ordinances: Eunice, Shreveport, Alexandria, Delcambre, Mansfield, Lafourche and Pointe Coupee parishes. — Stars and Stripes

Also Trenton, NJ and Opa Locka, FL. Great metropolitan centers of culture and sophistication, one and all. And literally devoid of crime, school troubles, corruption, and poverty.

Parish officials stoutly deny that racism plays any role in their deliberations. “Don’t matter t’us who it is or who’s his daddy, if he even knows ‘im,” Hamilton “Ham” Derriere told reporters. “We just can’t have kids on the street having nat much fun. It offends me, it offends their neighbors, and it offends Almighty God.”

Baggy-pants-766473.gifAsked if it might be unconstitutional (not merely idiotic) to illegalize a style, Derriere replied, “I own no and I own care. Jest this kinda disrespect is the whole entire reason we got such troubles today. How we supposed to solve poverty and crime when we can’t control our own kids’ unnnerpants?”

How can you have your pudding if you don’t eat you meat?

The Sphincter Police Benevolent Association voiced its support for the ban, as did the Port Allen Gentlemen’s Haberdashery (noting its fine selection of belts and suspenders).

There are no plans at this time to outlaw dreadlocks, toe rings, tattoos, burkas, dark glasses, or yamulkas. “We’ll burn nat bridge when we cross it,” promised Derriere.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Speaking of Immigration……….

Filed under: Across the Fruited Plain — Steve @ 2:03 pm

Tommy Tancredo, South Florida’s most ardent admirer in the US Senate, called for a federal immigration raid at a meeting in the U.S. Capitol today.  Freak.  New York Times.

Lawn Order

Filed under: News from the Nation's Dicktip — Steve @ 12:00 pm

It’s a thousand degrees at 2 PM — this is July — and my lawn trimming device is fucking up. All of a sudden the tool practically explodes in my paws: the top goes flying off, trim all over the lawn. When I open my eyes, the top is gone. And so help me Dr. Livingston I never find it. It’s as gone as Britney’s career.

Cursing the gods of grass seed, I motor over to Homo Deppo for a replacement top. Ain’t got it. Ain’t seen one in months. Ain’t gonna see one in the forseeable future. I have little choice. I buy another whole unit, take it home, remove the top, store the new one for the inevitable death of the old one, and finish the lawn.

I’m even less competent with tools and appliances than I am with computers and software. When things fail to work properly — about 90% of the time — I assume it’s something I’ve done wrong, and it usually is. I’ve had troubles with every lawn trimmer I ever owned — Weed Eaters,cemetery.jpg Grass Hogs, Blade Runners, Bush Beaters, Hedge Edgers — and mutilated machines and selected body parts trying to make them work. This one is the fourth Black and Decker unit I’ve tried.

The old ones dies in my paws a few months later, so I remove the top, attach it back to the original unit (#5), and go to work. The new one has the same fucking all-or-nothing line advance problem as the old one. It takes 30 minutes to mow, and 90 to trim. I remove and replace that top so much I get blisters and red plastic all over my paws. And the language that falls out of my mouth is fouler than a meat fart. It offends even me.

Last Saturday I’m out there and the trimmer top flies off…..and breaks. I lose my mind. (Don’t touch it if you find it. It’s nasty, small, and, according to my wife and closest friends, splits its time between the gutter and my balls.)

Monday I call Blackened Pecker to register a complaint. I get “Bob” on the phone. I tell him the entire story. My lawn is a graveyard for your dead appliances I tell him.
“Well,” he says. “I can send you a new top. Fact is, we’ve fielded lots o’ calls ‘bout that problem. Hee-yuck. Musta been made wrong.”

What about this damn line-advance problem, Bob? The reason I broke the top is because I had to pull it off and bang it back a thousand times a week. It ain’t made for that.

At which Bob tells me the repair needed is an easy one — there’s a little advance lever in the spool that can be replaced in a matter of seconds. “I’ll send you one of them, too,” he says. “We had a lot of calls on that and in fact, that piece has been redesigned.”

Wait a minute. You know there’s a problem and you don’t inform your customers? You had my registration. You know I bought one of these with a defective part. Why the hell didn’t you notify me? For 3 years I’ve been convinced it’s MY fault! The way I am with tools, I never thought anything else but it was me fucking up…….”

“Naw, ain’t you, it’s the part! We got people all over the world phonin’ in about it for ’bout 4 years. And it’s ‘way too costly to tell ever’body, we jest let ‘em sort it out when the problem starts — they call us! Hyuk hyuk!”

Sonofabitch. Then he puts me on hold and tells me he can send the top right out tomorrow, but the advance lever is back-ordered and won’t be shipped until December 23. That’s right. Two days before Mother Mary’s water broke; 2 months from now.

Yessiree bobcat tail. Customer service. Leave your patrons dangling out there with your defective problems, tell ’em shit. Don’t even recall the ones already on the shelves, just keep selling the inventory. Don’t do anything unless people complain, and marketing studies show most people won’t. Bidness is bidness.

“What’s the difference, really?” reasons Bob. “You been puttin’ up with it for a cuppla years, right? What’s 2 more months, ‘specially this time of year?

Send me two, Bob. If I need to detach and re-attach this top at the rate I’ve been going, by the time you bozoic criminals send me the part I’ll need another top. Not to mention a truckload of patience and toilet paper. Say — you carry Prozac?

“Can’t help you there,” chuckles Bob, snapping his suspenders and hustling his balls (I don’t actually see this, of course). “But tarnation–y’all got to relax. Why doncha jest lay back and watch the grass grow fer awhile? Hyuk hyuk!”

Bottles and Cans

Filed under: Sense & Sensuality — Steve @ 12:24 am

Doctors in central Kenya have successfully removed an empty half-litre beer bottle from a man’s colon, a report said Friday, but how it got there remains a mystery. The 26cm bottle was removed on Monday from the colon of the 33-year-old man after two operations in a Kiambu District Hospital.

duff.jpgAlthough the man, whose identity was not disclosed, said he had pushed the bottle through his rectum, [a spokesman] said it was nearly impossible for the man to have done that by himself. “It would have been too painful. He would have had to use a whole length of his arm,” he said, adding that the bottle inflicted “no damage at all” in the man’s internal organs. Instead, the man could have been assaulted, but that it was too embarrassing for him to accept. — Health 24.com

I bet the beer tasted like shit.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Hookers

Filed under: Across the Fruited Plain — Steve @ 12:36 am

treehug.jpgYou dickless limp-wristed tree-humping liberals figure President Monkey Boy has no interest whatsoever in the politics of the environment, right? You got him pegged as some redneck gun-in-the-buns pencil-neck geek who needs to kill an animal a day just to keep his pecker primed and lubricated, am I right?

Well, read ’em and weep, sweet pants. This man is a fisherperson:

Washington, D.C. – President Bush is trying to encourage more recreational fishing in state waters and adding more federal rules limiting commercial fishing of two overfished species: striped bass and red drum.

“These two species were once abundant in American waters, but their stocks have been overfished,” Bush said in his weekly radio address, which had been timed to coincide with a fishing trip Saturday to Maryland on the Chesapeake Bay. Bush called his order a conservation measure.

Bush’s order will make it U.S. policy to conserve populations of the two species of fish based on “sound science.” According to his order, the commerce secretary would “encourage, as appropriate” all laws for conserving striped bass and red drum, “including state designation as gamefish” — for recreational rather than commercial fishing — if a state deems it appropriate. — Sun Sentinel

Of course, there’s one minor catch (yuk yuk. “Catch” get it?)

But state officials said other federal rules already bar commercial fishing of those species. “It’s an executive order to close two fisheries that are already closed,” said Louis Daniels, director of North Carolina’s division of marine fisheries. –S-S

What? How can this be? This is even stupider than the Hollywood City Commission’s hen-caging prohibition in a city where there aren’t any, and Monkey Boy isn’t even (demonstrably) senile. Yet. Of course, like all Republicans, he does worship president Alzheimer.

I call my contact Snag at the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) in Dania Beach, where believe it or not I worked over a decade ago. But typically, Snag got nothin’ to share.

igfa1.jpgDidn’t read it,” he says tersely. “Remember, we’re the IGFA. Our job is to stay detached, uninvolved, and ignorant. Don’t wanna ‘rock the boat.’ Heh heh.”

Heh. Look, Snag, this is important. If you were the NRA, and the president came out with something as powerful as this about recreational animal murder hunting, you guys would be all over it.

“Yeah, but if toads had wings they wouldn’t bang their butts, y’know? We’re NOT the NRA. We’re obsequious invertebrates who don’t give a damn if the oceans and lakes are drained of every scaled and finned creature in creation. Just so long as somebody gets a photo and weighs it for the record books, y’know?”

Jumping anaconda! A stuttering dunce for a president whose commitment to conservation consists of redundantly prohibiting activities already forbidden, and an international conservation organization who sole concern is for conserving its membership list. If I were a fish I’d start growing lungs and legs. I would.

Huh-huh-huh. I said, “wood.”

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