May 31, 2005

*MY VRWC Interview

It's the interview with Beth of MY Vast Right Wing Conspiracy!

Why blog?

Because I have no life. Or maybe I have no life because I blog. I started because I was looking for something--God only knows what--in the Google Options page and saw the little Blogger button and thought, WTF, maybe I can use this to stop spamming everyone and their dog with links to stuff. I had never even read a blog before; I thought they were just online journals that melodramatic teenagers did. Yeah, I thought I was on to something May 2004. My excuse for that dimwittedness is that I had spent the previous year and a half being an eBay addict, so I suppose this is a far wiser of my computer!
Besides, I'm a hermit and I hate the phone, so the "social" life of a total friggin' GEEK is better than none at all. And yes, I used to say that people who spend this much time on a computer were the biggest losers. That's ME! Wooohoooo!

If you did not blog, what would you do in your spare time?

Clean my house, eat, sleep.
Oh. Is this a serious question? Clear all this stuff we don't use out of the house and either give it away or sell it on eBay. Shop online and go broke. Sleep more. I would also have to play kid stuff all day, too. You know, you can only take SO much of that.

Your actual blog address, bamapachyderm, is unique. Any story behind that?

All the ones I wanted were taken, and its uniqueness is quite a nice contrast to the frightfully UNORIGINAL blog name. I keep saying I'm going to punt "My VRWC" and just go with Bamapachyderm because the unoriginality really drives me completely insane. (I told you, I thought I was on to something when I started blogging! What an idiot, huh!)
Anyway, Bama = Alabama (amazing, isn't it?). Pachyderm = Elephant = GOP and Big Al/Alabama Crimson Tide (I went to college there and graduated with a Master's degree in Alcohology after only one year! My master's thesis was on effective hangover cures, but none turned out to be terribly effective, dammit.)

Your page takes about an hour to load on dialup (shut up). What's up?

What is this "dialup" of which you speak? Get broadband, cheapskate! (Just kidding. Sort of.)
Does it still take that long? I know it sucked for a while, but since the redesign this month it SHOULD be better. Y'know, you shoulda told me!

Tell us about your USAF experience, please. What did you do, where did you go, that sort of thing?

Well, it's super-seekrit, so don't tell anyone. Just between you and me, I was a... FINANCE PUKE. I loathed my job, nearly every single day of it--but that's the job I DEMANDED from my recruiter. (I was such a genius at eighteen, I tell ya.) I tried to retrain for years, but anyone who's been in the Air Force knows that goat-rope. "Worldwide Shortage," my a$$. Anyway, I didn't loathe the Air Force, just that job part. And the PT part, but the AF's PT program is a big fat joke so I only had to bitch about that once a year.
My first assignment was at Spangdahlem, Germany; I am probably the only person in the history of the US military to hate being stationed in Germany. WTF is so great about it, anyway? It's too cold, the damn farmers walk their cows down the middle of the street when you're driving home, it's expensive, and the socialist system shows everywhere you look. We used to wave our ration cards at the sky when the sun was shining! Oh yeah, I got married there, too, apparently because it was something to do. Maybe some day I'll blog a bunch of stuff about my assignments, because Germany sucked.
Then I was at Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson, AZ. I loved it there--the complete opposite of Germany: dry, hot, sunny, perfect. Nice people, everything. Still hated my job, but you know, you still do it. I got there as an E-3, and by the time I left there I had a line number for E-6 at age 27. Not bad, for the Air Force. I also got divorced there, but there were no hard feelings. I was just 20 when I got married and for me, that was way too young.
Next was Incirlik, Turkey, where I met my next victim...I mean husband. I can sum up those fifteen months with this: heavy drinking, the best house parties ever, burning my trash and watching the Turkish kids fight with the mangy stray dogs over the burning garbage, hauling a gym bag on base many days to shower and get ready for work at a friend's in base housing because the water/power/whatever was out half the time off base, being begged by the Turkish neighbors' teenage daughters to give them "sexy American" clothes and sneak them to the main gate so they could flirt with the gate guards (no, I didn't take them). The place is a total hellhole, but I have to admit, I did have a good time. It would be an awesome assignment if I could have lived on base--living off base was mandatory for single E-5s and E-6s, and that SUCKED. That place is a story in itself. But I do want to go back to visit.
Finally, Bolling AFB in DC, and (get this) I swapped my assignment to Luke AFB (in Phoenix) to go there! Yes, I am crazy. Actually, though, it was because my (then-future, now-ex) husband had gotten assigned there. So anyway, I was there for a year (really hated the job there, more than anywhere!) before I was medically retired. No, I'm not evasive about it, it's just a long story. Cancer, and I'm free of it now, finally.

Even though I hated working in Finance, I don't have any regrets or negative feelings about my time in the military. I'm glad I did it, and if I could, I'd go back in now because of the war.

GAWD, I'm long-winded.

What other jobs have you had?

After I got out I worked at the Pentagon as a GS-12 programmer-analyst, and even though I had a complete **** (I'll censor myself) for a boss, I loved my job there, although working AT the Pentagon is a total pain in the a$$. I quit when my daughter was a few months old, because I became totally uninterested in work; I wanted to be HOME with her. Be careful what you wish for though; I didn't actually quit until I pretty much didn't have much choice because of another recurrence of my cancer, which put me out of commission for about six months. Fortunately, my (now-ex) husband got a substantial pay raise at the same time (he had gotten out of the Air Force by then) so it was do-able. By the time I was physically able to go back to work, I had no intention of doing so. And of course, the cancer came back again as soon as I thought I recovered, so whatever.
So basically, I've been happily staying at home with my little angel for the last six years. And I plan to continue to stay home as long as I can afford to, because I'm not a fan of early mornings and I definitely don't love daycare.

Why does your brother live in your back yard? Do you feed him on purpose to keep him around?

Because he is my baby brother (brat!), and because he was tired of living with our parents once he graduated from college (at Alabama!). I have a detached guest apartment in the back yard--I don't make him sleep under the stars. ;-) I still end up paying a yard guy, though.

Why don't you have a dog? Like, say, a Golden Retriever?

Don't remind me, I am already obsessed with getting a dog. Waaaahhh. I don't have one because I don't have a fence (although I'd never make a dog stay outside), my daughter is too young and rambunctious (I think) for a puppy to be raised right, and I think my house is too small. My mother's Golden Retriever--the Best Animal In The World--stayed at our house one time when they were on vacation, and I felt guilty because he's used to having a much bigger house to wander around in, and I hate hanging out outside. Mosquitoes literally tear me to shreds in the WORST way--probably because I'm so SWEET. hahahahaha
Actually, I want a German Shepherd, but I would be an idiot to get one before my daughter's a little older so we don't raise a wolf by mistake. Anyway, my cat Lucy acts like a dog (she's a Siamese) so she'll do for now.

Are you hard to get along with?

Do I seem that way? I don't think so, unless the person asking this question is my ex-husband who would probably say "yes." I don't take any merda from anyone, though; I'll speak my mind pretty easily and I suppose that throws some people off a little. I'm NOT rude at all, though, just honest. For the most part though, I'm pretty easygoing.

Tell us about young Beth. What kind of child was she?

A real smartass. Bossy as hell. Did I mention smartass? Not even class-clown smartass, sassy smart-mouth smartass. I still don't know how I got away with my mouth at times. I guess I must have been incredibly charming. ;-) Ask my mother, who leaves her name as "YOUR MOTHER" in my blog comments. She is, after all, the Queen of Smartass herself. Oh yeah, I was kind of a brat at times about correcting adults when they used bad grammar or spelling, too. My mother didn't really raise hell about it though, because it probably let her off the hook. She is, after all, The Word Police. I'm just the Deputy.

What will she be like when she grows up?


What would you do with a million dollars?

Buy shoes. Lots of them. No, I'm kidding. I'd buy a nicer house, get rid of my crappy car, and invest most of it for my daughter's education and for "the future" because it would be stupid not to. And of course, I'd give some to charity--something for the military serving today.

Why not post more pictures of yourself? Is it because you are worried about stalkers? And what is your address?

Should I end this interview now?
I don't HAVE many pictures of myself; I might as well be in the Witness Protection Program. I'm the one with the camera all the time. Besides, I'm just not like that, showing pictures of myself. I mean, why? It's not a blog all about "me, me, me."

Do you like men who wear women's underwear?

Baba Booey Baba Booey Baba Booey.
Y'know, Howard, your show really has gone to scheisse in the last few years.

Cuffs or rope?

Hey, Stuttering John, when are you going to get a real job?

What kind of music do you listen to?

You could click that "listen" button to hear my Launchcast station to find out.
Basically, RAWK. Hard rock to metal, although Pink Floyd and the Stones are my favorites. The rest is more metal. I must be old because I think most stuff that comes out now is total crap. But I'll listen to a lot of other stuff too; just no bull$hit pop or (c)rap and almost no country. I don't care about lyrics, I hear the music (or lack thereof).

Any coping tips for single moms?

Nope! When someone figures it all out, let me know.
I can say having my family nearby makes ALL the difference though, even one day a month of my parents taking my daughter is a huge help (they do more than one day a month). Plus I can always count on them in a pinch, although I'm extremely independent (to the point of being stupid about it) and don't ask for help much.

What is the best piece of advice anyone ever gave you?

VERY EASY: The night before my first cancer operation, I started to get a little freaked out (meaning I cried--which is very much out of character for me) and my mother told me "remember, you're a lot stronger than you realize you are." That stuck with me for some reason. She's right, because we all are. There's absolutely no reason in my mind to worry about things too much; you just have to deal with what comes and things will work out. They always do in the end. That one sentence got me thinking about a lot, although at the time I did a LOT of thinking about life in general.
Also: Don't sweat the small $hit; and it's all small $hit.
Honestly though, I usually suck at taking advice; unsolicited advice IS my Number One Pet Peeve, no question about it. That's when you might find it difficult to get along with me. ;-)

Posted by Jennifer at 11:00 AM | Comments (5)

May 27, 2005

You Asked, Janette Answers

It's the Common Sense Runs Wild Interview!

On a dark and rainy night in November, 2004--several weeks after the
election--you started blogging. Why?

Before the election I was very active in a few different on line forums and followed several great bloggers. I was comfortable that The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy had things under control with out a new blog from me.

I decided to start my blog on November 30th, because that date is particularly significant to me.

It's a little unusual for a female blogger to concentrate so heavily
on politics without interspersing a lot of personal-type posts. Do
you think you've gotten more attention as a female political blogger
than you would if you were male?

I'm in the top 100 in the Ecosystem and the top 2000 on Technorati and I didn't have to sleep with a single person ranked below me to get there. I don't think being female has helped me get attention at all. I don't post photos of myself or dwell on being a woman. In the Ecosystem top 100 only about 10% are solo females so it doesn't seem to me like being female is that big of an asset.

If you could have 100,000 hits a day and no feedback whatsoever
(comments, e-mail, trackbacks, etc) or 50 hits a day with an engaged
audience, which would you choose?

Can't I have both? No, I know that the two are mutually exclusive. To me, interaction is what blogging is all about. If you don't interact with your readers you're not blogging, you're writing an on line opinion column. There's no choice for me: 50 hits a day with an engaged audience.

The higher the hits on my blog the less time I have to spend on the interaction. I'm at my happiest with about 500 hits a day. I feel like I'm getting a little attention, I get to interact with fellow bloggers and readers, and I still have time to actually blog. When traffic increases my ability to reply to comments and e-mails decreases (and I'm horrible about answering my e-mail anyway). When my hits go to around 1500 to 2000 I love the numbers but blogging becomes less fun. That's why I cut loose every now and then and just play around. I post less, post less serious stuff, comment on other people's blogs more and return to on line forums that I enjoy.

When a new subject that really interests me comes along I "narrow my focus" and increase my post output for a bit. I can't ever sustain that for too long, I have a short attention span.

What is The Bandwagon?

The Bandwagon is Jody Becker's fantastic blog Steal The Bandwagon. Jody and I are both Florida bloggers and we found each other at the beginning of the Terri Schiavo blogburst and we"blogsit" for each other as needed. Even though we live only 60 miles apart we've never met in person.

Do you blog at any other sites?

I do participate in some other on line forums but Common Sense Runs Wild and Steal The Bandwagon are the only blogs I've ever written for.

What kinds of things do you look for (as a reader) in a blog?

There are a few blogs that I make exceptions for but in general: (1) Blogs must allow comments and/or trackbacks. (2) The author must have a distinctive "voice" and add some personality. (3) A well informed opinion that makes me rethink my position on issues or offer a new angle in the discussion. (4) They can't have their ego completely wrapped around their blog.

You have an extensive blogroll. Do you visit all those sites every day?

I do get some sleep so that's not really possible. The sites on the main blogroll are the ones that I visit the most. Some I visit compulsively, every time I pass the computer, some at least once a day and the rest at least once a week. I have a routine that I follow that make certain I don't miss anyone. As for the blogs that are listed on the blogroll feeds like Blogs for Bush, Blogs for Terri, Homespun Bloggers,etc. I hit those randomly on the weekends when I blog less. Those are great for finding interesting new blogs.

I add new blogs almost compulsively, if I see a site that I really enjoy I'll add it. I try to stay under 150 in the main Blogs column but right now it's around 170. Once every month or so I ruthlessly clean out the blogroll, delinking those that have gone idle or haven't written anything that interested me in the last month.

Who are your favorite bloggers?

You've seen the blogroll, I have dozens of favorites! If I had to start a new blogroll from scratch the first to go on would be: Baldilocks, Michelle Malkin, MY Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, Pirate's Cove, Steal the Bandwagon, The Anchoress, What Attitude Problem? Someone also directed me to Sand In The Gears by Tony Woodlief. He a great blogger with an awesome "voice" and I'm reading my way through his archives.

Your "biography" doesn't tell us a whole lot about you. Is this by design?


Besides blogging, how do you spend your free time?

I enjoy fine dining, long walks on the beach, sunsets and margaritas.

What do you do for a living?

What? Sorry you broke up there, I couldn't hear the question.

It's 11:00 at night and everyone is sleeping. You get the munchies.
What do you eat?

Cheese and crackers or raisin bran cereal but I'm not really one for late night snacking.

It's 11:00 at night and everyone is sleeping. You feel like watching
a movie. Which one?

Any Audrey Hepburn movie. Roman Holiday is my favorite: "So happy."

It's 11:00 at night and everyone is sleeping. You hear some terrible
news of a non-personal nature. What is the first thing you do?

Probably blog about, I'm sure I'd be on the Internet anyway.

Have you always been politically conservative?

Yes. I always credit Ronald Reagan with that but, in all honesty, it probably has just as much to with Jimmy Carter.

Do you find President Bush's use of the word "patriot" at all
disturbing? Such as the Patriot Act for starters.

I find the President's use of the word "patriot" far less disturbing than Lakoff's advice to the Left to abrogate the term "moral values" and replace it with "progressive family values." The Left's decision to focus on redefining the terms used to describe the differences between conservatives and liberals, rather than to deal with the actual reasons that they lost the election, is indicative of their disconnect with the majority of Americans.

Conservatives find it hard to be offended by a word like patriot, the American flag and an occasional image of a cross and quite amusing to mock those who are.

Do you think that being a blogger "against" something ( i.e. Hillary)
is more effective than being a blogger "for" something (i.e. someone
who is not Hillary)?

Luckily Hillary isn't the entire focus of my blog. That/she would get old and boring very quickly. I'm sure I'll blog more about her closer to 2008 but there's plenty of other things to focus on between now and then.

As for effectiveness, I think that depends upon being well informed and passionate. Once you have those two things taken care of you tend to blog more about a particular subject. Blogging for the most part is a numbers game: the more posts you make, the more hits you get. They key is to be good enough that people will come back to read your work again.

If you could tell a few dozen strangers anything about yourself, what
would it be?

That I don't like telling strangers, no matter the number, anything about myself.

If you could buy anything in the world for one person in the world,
who would it be and what would you give them?

I'd buy my husband a 29 foot sailboat (a completely unselfish gesture on my part, I assure you.)

Posted by Jennifer at 09:30 AM | Comments (2)

May 09, 2005

Lone Tree on the Prairie Interview

It's the Lone Tree on the Prairie Interview!

First things first...what's the deal with Wind Rider? Like, why isn't he
blogging? And how do you know him? And why do you admit you know him?

WR got a promotion at work and they're keeping him rather busy lately. I've
known him since I served with him in the Air Force in 1990. We became good
friends over the years sharing car and house projects. All in all, he's a
pretty good guy.

Where can we see pictures of you to compare and contrast your attractiveness
with the afore-mentioned Wind Rider?

Which middle aged balding guy is hotter? You people are sick. Close your account. Turn off the computer and go out and get some fresh air.
Meet real people.

This is an older picture. Try to find us. We're both there.

The last question about Wind Rider--is he at all discerning when it comes to
women, or does he hit on any fake-boobed floozy who crosses his path? I ask
because, you know, I've heard rumors.

He and I have different tastes in women. I tried running this through his publicist, but I didn't get a response. That said, there was this time when we were wandering around the World Freefall Convention and it was most stressful. We were trying to enjoy the free beer but the local constabulary was keeping a close watch on us due to one of my personal associations. We stopped in the main bar tent to refresh our cups and if he did something like lower his standards in order to blow off a little steam, well it could have happened.

You've served in the USAF. You apparently have something to do with
motorcycles. I seem to remember something about consulting. What do you
*do*, exactly?

I served in the USAF. I had a go at owning my own small repair shop. I worked
as a sales/training consultant for a bit. Now, I'm on 'sabbatical'. I'm taking
a break, being a house-husband, working on my house and my bikes (which have
been sorely neglected for three years), and sending out resumes.

It seems that nicknaming your wife "evilwife" would be dangerous to your
health and happiness. What say you?

She came up with it. She IS an attorney, you know. What could be more evil?
She wanted to post a comment (as opposed to just slapping me in private, you
know) on blogger and didn't want to do it anonymously so she registered as
evilwife. You have to look at it from a certain perspective as well. One guy
at work used to ask silly questions like "Who do you think is smarter, Matt or
his wife?" Well, duh. She married me, that definitely makes me smarter. In
this case if you were to ask who is more evil, would it be Mr. Evil or the woman who wants to be married to Mr. Evil? Any woman who does not want to be married to
Mr. Evil simply cannot reasonably claim equivalent evil status.

Tell us your thoughts on "Star Wars". Do your nipples harden when you see
the new previews, or could you not care less?

Natalie Portman definitely does it for me. Although, she hasn't worn anything
like the outfit her 'daughter' put on for Jabba the Hutt in Chapter 6. Wow,
that could be some hot mother-daughter-geek fan action (he says while going to
get out the special edition personally autographed boxed dvd set he got at the
last con where he got to shake Carrie Fisher's hand and hasn't washed it since
even though he got a sliver and it's really infected and might fall off and
...). Yeah, NP definitely gets my nipples hard. She makes me feel all warm and
fuzzy inside, kind of like an ewok but definitely not in a cute wholesomey
goodness running naked through the forest kind of way.

I demand to know about your tattoos. What and where?

Oh, you're new here. I don't do demands (although the sentry one day who told
me to turn around and put my hands on my head as he racked the charging handle
on his M-16 was quite convincing). The way to find out is to start kissing
gently on my neck right behind an ear (no, it doesn't matter which side just
pick one and get to it) and maybe nibbling a little too. We'll talk (well
actually, hopefully there won't be much talking ... ) after that.

What's the story with all the links in your posts? Come up with that idea
yourself, did you?

Actually, no. I don't have any original ideas. When I started doing the blog,
Don just started sending me email with bunches
of silly disconnected links in them and the idea was to try to make a funny
story around them. So, I've just kind of run with it. Sometimes the links tell
the real story, sometimes they're there just for fun. But it was really Don's

Do you think people follow the links in your posts, or do you accept the fact
that internet readers generally have the attention span of gnats?

Sometimes they do. Gnats, huh? That's being generous. I'm not even a link
follower. I just put them in for added (hell, it's already free) entertainment
value. Sometimes I put in a link or two that I know only one or two people will
even get the joke behind so I guess it doesn't really matter if folks follow
them or not.

Do you think "gnats" was the best possible example I could have used in the
previous question?

Well, gnats can be coerced. Ever left a watermelon rind out on a hot summer
day? If you had said 'hyperactive 6 year old male' that might have been more

So are you an Illinois lifer or what?

I probably am only because I hate the process of moving. I have a house. My
stuff is in it. Why should I leave? Now perhaps if I were to come home and
find all my stuff no longer in the house, I might take the hint. But until then,
I'm staying.

Do you think Chicagoans who have never set foot south of Joliet should be
allowed to call themselves Illini?

Why not? Their politics run the whole state anyway. Heck, our governor doesn't
even come south of Joliet unless there's something going on down here he thinks
he can take credit for. Besides, southern Illinois really should be annexed by
Kentucky. They could double their own population and have a 35% increase in the
number of teeth per capita at the same time.

Pekin, Illinois--scary?

I've never been. I've been to Peoria and wasn't exactly thrilled but I never
had the need to get as far off the beaten path as Pekin. Besides, how bad could
it really be? If you go east you've got Gary, IN, and if you go SW there's East
St. Louis. How's that for perspective?

Do favor us with your deepest thoughts on water balloons.

We were over in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, just after Desert Storm. It was hot as
deserts are wont to be. Our unit was having an ice cream social on the roof of
Chief Wheeler's villa. Weeeellll, somebody thought it would be funny to bombard
the event with water balloons launched from one of those big elastic launchers.
So I stole the Chief's keys and locked everyone up on the roof. We had fire
teams on two adjoining rooftops who lobbed them in from nearby and then I was
down in the park about 50 yards away with Capt. Ramos and Sgt. Schwartz and we
were lobbing them up to the roof with the launcher. The only problem was the
launcher was too strong and we weren't well trained in its proper use so we kept
sending them over the roof and not actually landing any on it. We changed
tactics and started trying to break them on the edge of the wall to see if we
could just splash people but right as one went zipping over the edge, the Chief
stuck his head up. And that's how he got a black eye and bloody lip.

When I was a little boy, my dad used to keep a box of them in his dresser drawer
and they were the best. They even had a wide opening so they were much easier
to get on and off the hose spigot. Unfortunately, sometimes they were the slimy
kind and would just slide off my brothers' faces instead of breaking.

We used to get the same kind for free from the Air Force clinic but those always
had little holes in them or they broke too easily.

Did you ever have a tire swing, and how do you think the having or the
lacking affected your development?

I have never had a tire swing. Is that what's wrong with me? We had a rope
swing that we used to go flying off of into White Rock Creek in Dallas but never
a tire. When we first bought our house in Omaha in '91 there was a tractor tire
half buried in the front yard with a single rose bush growing in it. Someone
had even painted it white. And there was a cast iron bath tub/fish pond in the
back yard.

Would this image be improved with a tire swing?

Then how would one make my life better?

What's the dumbest thing anyone ever asked you?

My Chinese History Professor, "You haven't done your thesis but you're supposed
to graduate. There's no time for you to still get it done and me to turn your
grade in before degree work has to be tallied. If I give you credit for class
participation, the one book report and the other two assignments you did, I can
still give you an A and we'll forget about the thesis. Would that be okay?"

Posted by Jennifer at 12:05 PM | Comments (4)

April 12, 2005

*Raring To Go Interview

It's the Raring to Go Interview!

Tell us a little bit about your military background...were you active
military before becoming a teacher?

** I enlisted in the Army Reserves in 1990, transferred to the Texas Army National Guard in 1991. From 1997 to 2000 I was on Active Duty in Germany. I re-enlisted in Aug 2001 in the TX Guard. **

Which branch of the military do you belong to?

** I am in the Texas Army National Guard, 36th Infantry Division**

You're being sent to Afghanistan soon...what are you looking forward
to about the mission?

** I am looking forward to helping the Afghan people to build up their country and to help establish peace to a country that has not know true peace since 1974. **

Do you have any trepidations about going there?

** Mostly just the long time that I will be away from my family **

How did your kids react to the news of your deployment?

** We had talked many times about the War on Terror and what might be required of me. Even though I have been in the service for many years, this is my first deployment away from them for so long. They are sad that I am gone, but proud of me, and eager to help their mommy. **

How did your other kids--your students--react?

** I teach three grade levels, and each reacted differently. The 8th graders knew that this was their only year with me, and so were not too sad that I was leaving. The 6th graders know that I will be back for their 8th grade year and are OK with me being gone. The 7th graders, were the most upset. They were looking forward to being in my class again next year, and are sad that I will not be their. All of them, though, are excited to know that their teacher is going to defend freedom, and all of them gave me specific instructions on what to say to Osama if my unit is the one to capture him. **

What subject(s) do you teach?

** 6th Grade is World Regions, 7th - Texas History, and 8th is US History to 1870. **

Besides your family and students, what will you miss most about
being away?

** Pizza! **

What "personal" items did you pack for your deployment?

** Books, my laptop, a coffee maker, my heating pad, religious items and an Economics textbook for a online class I am taking. **

Any music coming along to the desert?

** Over 900 songs on my laptop, mostly country but some rock and classical as well. **

How long will your training last before you go overseas?

** About 70 days or so **

Why did you start your blog?

** Mostly as a way to stay in touch with my students and family. **

Who are the other contributors listed on your blog?

** Ah, stealth wife is one, another soldier in my unit, and another family member of a deploying soldier **

Which other blogs do you read?

** Right now, I don't have much time to read any...but back when I was a civilian I read many, Glen Reynolds, Emperor Misha, IMAO, Bill Whittle, American Soldier just to name a few. **

Do any other bloggers influence your own writing?

** The other Mil-Bloggers gave me the inspiration to start my own site.**

It's obvious from reading your site how much your wife means to
you. How did you meet?

** We met at the end of my sophomore year of college. I was blowing off steam after finals with some friends by shooting pool. They had to leave to study for finals the next day, but since I did not have any I decided to stay out. Alone, but wanting to play air hockey, I went over to the table and noticed a group of girls nearby playing pinball. I asked if any of them wanted to play air hockey. One did and proceeded to beat me three straight games. I challenged her to a game of cards, and we went to an open study area and played cards until about 2 AM...then we went for a long walk around campus and talked all night long. 14 month later we were married and have been for almost 12 years. We have had our ups and downs...but I can assure you that she is the One that completes me...**

Posted by Jennifer at 08:45 PM | Comments (0)

March 23, 2005

*Harvey Interview

It's the interview with everybody's favorite Bad Example...Harvey!

As everyone knows, John Collins and Bill Cimino had the funniest two-blogger insult-act since Abbott and Costello were thrown out of The Brown Derby for starting a Cobb Salad fight. Since your partner in insults, Madfish Willie, seems to have disappeared with all the top-secret recipes for the best virtual cocktails, is there any chance that you and John might take each other "in dislike"?

Only if John makes the mistake of insulting Susie's honor, in which case I'll have to ask him to step outside [glares menacingly]

Pick any number from 1 to 50. Pick a letter of the alphabet. 36 C, right? (I'm psychic).

You would've been right a couple years ago, but Beloved Wife's lost some weight since then so you got the letter wrong. Off-topic: I wasn't aware that there were actually numbers below 68.

What do all those older brothers of yours do for a living? Are any of them firemen?

Factory, private security, retail (retired Navy), factory, and private security. The older private security brother is 57, single, and lives in Green Bay. Are private security uniforms sexy? Do you need a phone number?

You wear a beard; is there any truth to the story that it's to cover the scars from your days as goalie for the dart league? Or is the "fire and ice pick story" the truth?

Sadly, neither. The truth is that I have delicate cheekbones and pretty lips, and grew the beard so that drunken bikers would stop hitting on me. Doesn't help much in Tennessee, though.

Who's your favorite blogson?

When he was in his prime, it was The Bartender of Madfish Willie's Cyber Saloon. He had probably the best blog-theme I've ever seen, and having him around really encouraged my naughty side. Not to mention that the Saloon was the setting for some of my funniest posts, AND it's where the concept of the comment party really developed. In his absence, the rest of the boys are about equal in my eyes. All give me love and grief in approximately equal measures.

How many more of these interviews are you planning on doing?

I'd like to do about one a year, just because so much can change in that amount of time.

Which society/entertainment woman has the best boobs? and why?

Can't think of one. Problem is, all the celeboobs are attached to skinny, malnourished, boy-shaped bodies. Mega-turn-off. Last actress I saw that did anything for me was Claudia Christian

What one or two things was the reason you asked your wife to marry you?

The night before I proposed, I asked myself "was there anything I could learn about TNT that would make me NOT want to marry her?". Since I'd known her for 13 years at that point and was well aware of all her flaws & virtues, I decided the answer was "no". I knew who she was, and I knew I could trust her to be honest with me. That was enough.

And I was right.

What did you do before blogging online?

When I wasn't playing violent video games like Quake 2 or Soldier of Fortune, I spent a lot of time selling paper money on eBay. Yes, people DO collect currency, and WILL pay above face value for a note. I mostly sold old bills in nice shape and bills with cool serial numbers.

How do you find the time to post on your own blog, when you are guest blogging on at least two others?

A combination of a love of writing, a desire to help out my fellow blogger, a VERY understanding wife (VERY VERY understanding), and a refusal to medicate my obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Oh, and it's THREE others - Drunken Wisdom, IMAO, and Alliance HQ. I'm just grateful to Ogre for taking over my King of the Blogs gig (and doing a FANTASTIC job at it, too).

What happened to the currancy graphitti? Why haven't we seen any in a long time?

I've already posted most of "easy" bills in my collection, and it started taking longer and longer to come up with decent captions for what was left. As mentioned above, I just don't have the time to devote to it any more. However, I *do* have a few bills that I want to get posted eventually, so expect that feature to pop up now & again in the future.

Is it true that the real reason you started the "Bad Example Family" is to really try to take over the internet by slowly using up what is left of the available site addresses?

I wouldn't say "slowly".

If you had the opportunity to spend 6 hours with any one member of the Green Bay Packer organization, who would it be and what would you do?

6 hours? That'd be 2 games on the sidelines with coach Mike Sherman. I wanna find out what he ACTUALLY says during a game. I mean, I'm curious... what else IS there to say besides "tackle that guy", "don't drop the ball", and "take Randy Moss out at the knees"?

IS it true the family services tried to take away some of your blog children due to neglect and/or abuse?

Yes. It's also true that there are a number of shallow graves in my back yard, and it's not my kids that are filling them.

So how long have you had that subscription to Cosmo?

Actually, I cancelled that in favor of the MUCH better Redbook. From pawing through old copies at work, I discovered that they occasionally publish sex tips that I wasn't aware of. VERY impressive.

What's your favorite adult magazine and why?

Hustler, because the humor is completely tasteless, and the models show more... personality.

If you could pick any superhero to be president, who would it be?

Batman, because he has an overdeveloped sense of vengeance. The Rumsfeld Strangler could be his VP.

Have you considered getting the ole "snip snip" after contributing to the conception to all these damn kids??

No. When it comes to breeding blogkids, I'm practically Catholic.

How have you been able to help conceive all these people? Viagra? Levitra?

Enzyte. I smile just like Bob, because I'm a BIG blogger :-D

What is your favorite sex toy?

Cathy's Cuffs - lightweight, portable, washable, and - the way the velcro is set up - nearly escape-proof. Plus they're all cloth, so they won't set off the airport metal detector AND when they're stuffed in a ziploc bag, they don't actually look kinky when viewed on the x-ray machine monitor.

What kind of name is Harvey? Were you named after a drink?

"Harvey" was actually a fairly popular name back in the 60's. I may have been named after Harvey Korman - I'm not sure. Also, being the last of seven boys, all the good names were taken.

What do you think is the least appreciated historical event?

The passage of the 21st Amendment repealing Prohibition. Proof that - in America - ANY stupid law can be repealed. Now if only we could repeal the 16th...

How often do you ride your dog? Is it thereauputic? For who?

I saddle up horse-dog Jake daily. Watch for me in the 2008 Olympic Canine-Equestrian event.

What article of clothing do you like most on a woman?

Ummm... is my tongue an article of clothing?

What was your biggest historical moment?

Operation Praying Mantis. I was on board the Enterprise at the time.

Favorite president of the US?

Ronald Reagan - After the inflation, malaise, and self-flaggelation of the Carter administration, Reagan's unapologetic pro-Americanism breathed new life into a tired country.

Time and place (other than wherever TNT is currently) that you'd most like to settle down.

Looking at the no-shoveling, it's-a-dry-heat, desert-southwest in the next year or two. Preferably somewhere without state income taxes. Still investigating possibilities.

Short hair or long?

On dogs, cats, and women's heads - long.
On MY head - short.
On any place I lick - bald.

Favorite cheese?

Kraft Fat-Free Sharp Cheddar Singles slices. Tastes like real cheese, melts like real cheese. Plus you get to save the extra calories for eating more dessert.

Do you have any tattoos?

No tattoos. Mostly because I could never think of anything that I wanted on my body that wouldn't look dumb when I was old. However, if I *had* to get one, I'd probably get an American flag. That's fairly timeless. Probably on my shoulder, like a soldier's arm-patch.

If you could trade places with anyone alive, who would it be and would you change their wardrobe?

I'd switch with Elton John and make him get contacts. I'd keep the furs & sequins, though. They make me feel pretty.

Who's your daddy?


Unless you're talking about my BLOGdaddy, which I don't really have. However, Coyote at the Dog Show once took one of my comments and made a post about it - one of the main bits of encouragement that led to me deciding to get my own blog.

What are the best and worst things you took out of your Navy experience?

Best - Making it through boot camp. I was physically out of shape and had very little self-discipline when I arrived at RTC Great Lakes. I was a completely different person 8 weeks later, and quite proud of what I'd accomplished.

Worst - Wog Day.

Where do you plan to be in ten years?

Inside my wife.

Does Frank look more sober in a ninja stance?

Sadly, I have no idea. As everyone else was filing into the front room of Tammi's house for the Bad Example Family Portrait, I had turned around to go into Tammi's living room to get the camera, so when Frank asked his infamous question, I was looking in the wrong direction and never saw him in a ninja stance at all. The general consensus, however, was "no".

Posted by Jennifer at 05:59 AM | Comments (0)

March 16, 2005

*kschenkler Interview

It's the kschenkler interview!

In the extended...

Can you give us an update on the little kitten you took care of after
it was found with cuts?

Wayne is doing great. He has a great, loving personality, and has grown from 1.7 pounds to over 11 pounds. My daughter Jessica is the biggest reason that he has rebounded emotionally; he thinks she is mommy. He really loves her, and she really loves him. The only lingering problems he has are chinks in his color pattern (when Dr. Crumm had to remove necrotic skin, he couldn't match the color pattern edges--and really, as long is Wayne is healthy, who cares?) and he has a weird bulge on his belly. The bulge appears to be the fat pad normally over his belly. I think it became detached when the monster who worked him over tried to gut him. Now it has bunched up to one side. He may require additional surgery to fix this, but we are waiting until he is a little older and get it and his neutering done at the same time.
Wayne has the softest hair of any cat I have ever known. I call him the "bunny fur kitty".

You obviously have a great love for animals...where did it originate?

I have always loved animals. I think all kids are born loving animals, and sometimes it gets worn out of them by the circumstances of their lives.

My love of animals does not stop me from raising meat animals; in fact, I think it makes me a better rancher. For the time I have them, I treat all my animals with love and respect. When it comes down to the end, either I or my daughters process them, so they aren't in the hands of strangers. Since I couldn't control how sold animals were processed, I quit selling animals to strangers. Now I only raise what we will eat, or only use our animals for their byproducts (my chickens for eggs, as an example).

How many animals do you own?

I don't think companion animals are owned. I think they own us. Livestock is "owned", but only in the sense that when it is time, I end their lives. Right now, we have around 8 chickens, 2 miniature horses, one Percheron mare co-owned with Pam Sanidakos, six dogs, and two cats. I have no meat animals at this time, and haven't in several years. It became too hard to process animals that I had become attached to.

Have you ever had an animal you couldn't take care of yourself?

Yes, I have had several animals that I couldn't take care of--because I became very ill with heart problems. My daughters have filled in the best they could. We recently gave a donkey away, and gave away a co-ownership to Darla, our Percheron, because we ran out of grass, and I had no vehicle to buy roll bales with. So Pam Sanidakos helped me out and took her, at least for awhile, because she has 120 acres covered in grass to help out.

Why is your husband's name on the wish list? Don't you have a wish list?

It is a joke between my husband and myself about the wish list. He always wants books, but never has time to buy them. I do have a wish list, and it is filled every day that I wake up and my husband is with me and my daughters are healthy. What else could I ask for? I love books, but I have 10k plus; my family is much more important to me.

Besides animals, what would you say your blog is "about"?

My blog is a family blog. Yes, I sometimes post about politics or animals, but I really started it so I could keep my sisters, my parents, and my in-laws up to date. I am not the best letter writer, and I really don't expect them to write me back since they aren't great letter writers either. Since my sisters and I are all spread out across the US, it has really been helpful.

Why did you start your blog?

I started my blog because I wanted to keep in contact with my family (see response to 6).

What has blogging done for you?

Blogging has given me a voice to talk about things that interest me. I am basically a very shy person, who doesn't get out much. Blogging has given me a chance to talk about things with other people, especially when I comment on other people's blogs. It is fun, finding friends in the strangest of places, but also knowing them from the inside out--I might never meet them, but I know what they believe, and they know what I believe, and that is much more important than knowing what they look like.

Do y'all feel like a native Texan?

I am not a native Texan. However, my mother and generations of her family were born in Texas. (My dad was born in Mississippi.) My youngest was born in Texas. I have lived in Texas almost twenty years, and from the day I was born until I was 18, spent a month every year in Texas. Many of my relatives have always lived in Texas (the ranch where my parents live has been in the family for 180 years or so).

Why do all y'all try to spell y'all as "ya'll"? That ain't right.

I am not sure why people spell y'all as y'all. I do know my mom (and all of her family) have always pronounced it that way. (I don't have a Texas accent. My youngest does though, a little bit.)

How plentiful are them armadillos, anyway?

Armadillos are not as plentiful around our home as they once were. (Armadillos jump straight up when their guard hairs are hit, which means that they die because when a car passes over them, they jump up into it. And we have a very, very busy highway in front of us.) Mostly we have possums. But dillos still dig up our garden, and if we have an animal die (like on that blasted highway), the dillos dig it up. The possums, on the other hand, kill our chickens, raid the sweet feed, and piss off our dogs something fierce.

What was it like working for the IRS?

In all honestly, my job with the IRS was the best job I ever held. I was with the Problems Resolution Group; I helped people with their accounts, and helped people work out their problems with the IRS. I have many thank you cards from taxpayers who were grateful for the help I gave them. I don't think I ever had a complaint against me. I was very unhappy when I found out that my group was being closed out and the job relocated to Austin, since I couldn't move.

Any tips on how to deal with them taxmen knocking on my door?

As far as the IRS is concerned, if it is a very big bill you owe, talk to a tax lawyer. My parents were audited FOUR times. Hiring their tax lawyer was the best investment they ever made. Plus, it always helps if you don't cheat. Most cheaters are caught eventually. ALWAYS file the return, even if you can't pay it. Why? Because not filing is a criminal offense, filing but not being able to pay is a civil offense. Owing money is much better than spending time in jail.

Out of all your jobs, which was your favorite?

Please see the answer to #12.

Same question as above, except least favorite?

The second time I worked as a court clerk, the head clerk was an utter evil b*tch. She made my life hell. In fact, the stress from that job brought on my first heart attack. (The first court clerk I worked for, Diana Smith, was wonderful. I won't mention the name of the second court clerk...) The second court clerk was a very, very controlling person and relished the fact that she was head clerk--one of those bosses no one wants. The judge was great, everyone else in the office was great, but she was a nightmare.

What do you do now?

I do not work now. I am disabled due to complications of heart disease, diabetes, and migraines. I am not a surgical patient, not even for a heart transplant. The medicines I take to keep my heart working cause migraines; without the medicines, I have angina. Often, I can barely walk a hundred feet. It is very hard to get Social Security to deem someone disabled, but I am on Social Security. The case file was over five inches thick from all the doctor's reports. My daughters help me a lot with my illnesses; Jessica drives me to doctor's appointments, and all of them watch me like hawks. I have only made it this far because they help me so much.

Where would you like to live when/if you retire?

I am disabled, and no longer working--so I guess that makes me already retired. I want to be as rural as I can be, as soon as my husband retires. I am a very rural type of person.

Will you be able to retire and play canasta, or will you have to keep
busy with "real" work to keep from going insane?

Even once I became disabled, I had to keep doing things. I can't just do one thing at a time, like right now I am listening to a cd, watching a movie, and doing this. I read a great deal, I watch movies, I try to keep up to date with the world. Many days, my head hurts so I don't necessarily remember what I saw or read, but that just gives me something to do the next day...but everything I do must be very un-stressful, or I have angina.

What have you done in your life that makes you most proud?

I am most proud of my daughters. It took me eight pregnancies to have three girls. And they are wonderful girls.

Posted by Jennifer at 10:30 PM | Comments (0)

March 14, 2005

Interview Questions Wanted

Please submit questions for the following bloggers by 6pm, 3/18/05:

Harvey again

Texas Bug

Raven Rose Yawns

Posted by Jennifer at 02:00 PM | Comments (0)

March 04, 2005

*DFMoore Interview

The DF Moore Interview, fresh from my inbox.

In the extended...

If you could be a virtuoso musician, a famous writer or an award
winning painter, which would you choose?

My knee-jerk reaction is to say that I would be a famous writer. They
tend to make money, they work slightly less hard than a musician, and
they get to make all sorts of inane comments that seem deep but don't
actually have to be. Plus, they tend to get cushy professorial tenure
appointments at great universities. It's the closest thing we have
nowadays to a public intellectual!

Let's say you lose most of your mental capacity in a fireworks
accident. You're forced to do menial labor for the rest of your life.
What menial labor type job would you excel at?

Does playing baseball count as menial labor? How about golf? I'm not
very good so it is a lot of work

Everyone's got a favorite legume. What's yours?

Maybe lentils. But I like some of the things you can do with Soy. Like
make soy sauce for sushi. So I'm going with Soy. Definitely not the

Are you getting bored with blogging? Burnout has been know to take
it's toll on bloggers. How do you keep it interesting?

I don't know if I keep it "interesting" to my readers, but I usually
try not to post anything if I wasn't interested while I was writing or
reading it. The other problem with blogging is that it really can take
away from what you really actually do in life.

Jessica Harbour wrote the other day 'that staying away from the blog is
like refusing to talk to a destructive and emotionally vampiric friend
who's still good for a lot of fun moments.' At times, that's exactly
how I feel about blogging. And so I go away for a day or two. Or I
don't post on the weekends. Also, when I go home for the day, I'm done
with the internet pretty much for good. Definitely done with
blog-reading. Or I turn to posting only about stuff I'm doing in real
life (grad school related info).

You seem to very bright and motivated. There must be a flip side to
that coin. What are some things about you that would surprise us?

I don't know if it would surprise anyone, but I'm very diputatious.
And I tend to debate more with people that I am closer to agreement on
than with other people. Sometimes this turns people off but I just
like a good debate. I'm sort of like a modern day Socrates. I'll pick
at people's argument until they get that they have to be absolutely
consistent and on the right path with their statements.

Oh, also, and I'm not sure that this will surprise either, but I no
absolutely nothing about science. I've been faking it for about 10
years now and I'm just hoping no one catches on until after I get the

Best work of fiction ever written?

The best ever? Oh man. Really, I can't answer this question properly.
There are some that I really really like (Les Miserables, Great
Gatsby, LOTR... There are just too many great ones to answer this
question. And they're all different. I mean, does the Illiad count as
fiction or a history? Shakespeare's Histories? Really, it depends on
the mood you're in for this answer...

What are your favorite movies?

LOTR Trilogy, St. Elmo's Fire, High Fidelity, Better Off Dead, Fight
Club - I don't know. I like lots of movies. Different movies for
different times, you know...

Do you care about the Oscars? Do you buy into all the hype?

Nope. Not at all. The good thing about them though is that they give
me more of a chance to see movies like Finding Neverland that I didn't
ge tto see their first time around. They never pick the really good
movies anyway - like 'Bring It On'

Let's say you just won the lottery and got a check for 10 million
dollars. What do you do with it?

I pay the taxes on it. And probably buy a new car but then put it away
in savings until a future date when I actually have to do adult things
like buying a house and paying for kids and all that jazz. Boring, I
know, but there isn't really anything that I desperately want but
can't really afford right now. And really I don't enter the lottery
for less than a $200 million payout.

Where do you find your inspiration in life?

Everywhere. I don't know. From friends, family, the way the world
works, Damien Rice, etc. Things just come to me - who can say where
ideas come from?

(For the rest of the DFMoore interview, go here.)

Posted by Paul! at 11:14 AM | Comments (0)

March 02, 2005

*Sandbox Dave Interview

Here's a great interview with Dave from Reverse Retna From the Sandbox. I'm particularly pleased with one!

In the extended...

What's the most interesting thing about being in Iraq?

Believe it or not it is the total lack of wonton death and destruction. I've now joined the legions of Bloggers that would like to get the word out that Johnny Jihadist isn’t the boogeyman waiting under every bed here. "The whole situation isn't teetering on the head of pin, Bob (done in my best Wolf Blizter impression)." Don't get me wrong there are people that want to do us harm and want to hurt the stability of the country but they just seem really weak compared to what the media has made them out to be. People are dying, no doubt about that and I really do mourn their loss. But the terrorist are weakening every minute of everyday and that's because of the Americans AND the Iraqis.

At the same time Iraq is getting stronger. The Iraqi forces are becoming more organized and disciplined, schools are being built, there are sewers being installed where there never were before, political discussions of cooperation are taking place, power is being restored (both literally and figuratively). These are the stories that should be told. The dead should be mourned but not dwelt on. All the accomplishments here are going to be the true memorial to everyone that dies fighting on the side of right in this war. So, these are the things we need to focus on and remember to truly honor the fallen. I've gotten way off the point but I thought it needed to be said. The most interesting thing about being in Iraq is that it is actually coming together now and I personally think this is an incredible time to be here and watch a government being built from scratch.

Do you have to stay on the base or can you go places? Are there safe zones?

I personally have to stay on base for the most part. There are some guys that go out everyday. Security patrols, Civil Affairs, Truck Drivers and the like. As far as safe zones, well, we'd like to think that some of them are safe but with the silly little Jihadist "I get 70 some-odd virgins for dying at the hands of the dirty pig nasty Americans" Joy Luck Club running around no where is 100% safe. There has only been one successful attack in our area since I arrived but you always have to stay alert.

Have you met any locals? What is your impression of the Iraqi people?

I actually work with about 12 Interpreters and get to interact with a variety of local media and officials. I think I've posted on this a few times but my overall opinion is that the Iraqis are wonderful people on the norm. You kind of have to handle everything with some tact though. These are also a very proud people and any insinuation that they "need" us or a generalization that terrorist are the same as regular Muslims draws a rather tense non-verbal response. I don't believe either. This is a culture several thousand years in the making. They were around before us and before the extremist and will likely be here long after all that's gone. But for the most part, like with anyone else, if you approach them with respect and try to understand their culture and language then they tend to be extremely warm and open.

What do you do with your down time? Do you get any?

Actually my downtime is really interspersed with my work time. My work goes in spurts so I surf the net, watch T.V., and chit-chat with others here in the building. When I do "get off" for the day I tend to go back to my room to read, work out, and sleep. Really not that much going on over here but I keep well enough entertained.

You seem totally bored with your job over there. Surely there must be some excitement?

I'd like to be able to say that there is but for me it just isn't so. I wouldn't say I'm all that bored though. I have no idea what the hell I'm really doing so there's challenges o'plenty. I've recently taken to calling what I do Gonzo Web design in honor of Hunter S. Thompson. I never really understood his chaotic view of life until I started dealing with this web site. Now I get what it's like to be totally lost and stumbling through something in a totally chaotic way while maintaining the perception of control.

Has being in Iraq changed your perception of the world? How?

The only thing I would say has changed is my perception of Iraqis. I guess I had a certain naivety about their country. I just assumed that because of Saddam it was a third world country (as most ruled by a dictator are) but I found them to be very educated and skilled with technology. My perception of the world as a whole though still stands. It is flat and square and all this "globe" business is just a bunch of bull-hockey.

Do you feel safe where you are stationed?

Actually I really do. Things apparently have improved dramatically from even six months ago. And I have to give a lot of credit to what I call the "trigger-pullers". These are the guys at the gates and out on patrols. They go out everyday and do their job and protect us and the Iraqis. Sometimes it is in a defensive capacity and sometimes it is offensive but with them out there (as my buddy Broadcast Mike would say) "ready to do harm on my behalf" I feel generally safe. Which leaves me free to worry about my bigger concerns like having running water and avoiding athletes' foot. Oh and clowns. I really don't like clowns, with their funny colored hair and too big shoes. Damn clowns.

How about friends? Is there a lot of bonding going on within your unit?

Oh, there's a little more than bonding going on. If you know what I mean. And I think you do. No honestly, sure there are bonds being formed. I'm still kind of an outsider because I've fallen in on a reserve unit that has been together for a while. But I'm fitting in as much as can be expected for someone that spends the better part of his day screaming at a computer. And the folks here are very supportive of what I'm trying to do. I still think they believe that I know what I'm doing but I won't tell them that just yet. Luckily none of them read my blog on a daily basis, if at all, so my secret is safe for now.

Is there anything you need and can't get? Are family and friends sending everything you need?

Pretty much everything I need I have. My wife is sending me some items from home that I didn't have room for in my bags but other than that I'm fairly easy to please. We get a lot of care packages here and most of the stuff is put out as communal property so plenty of junk food and toiletries in this general AO. I'd have to say the most annoying things are the books. There are like a gazillion used books floating around the war zone. Which is very thoughtful and all. But let’s remember that we are in a war zone and 95% of the books are about WAR! Gee, that's how I want to relax and escape from a long day in war zone! Please send books on anything else. Even clowns. I'd rather read a book on clowns. Damn clowns.

What's a typical day like for you? Do you work normal hours or is it crazy?

Before the site went down it was a typical 0800 to 1800 day. That's 8am to 6pm for those that don't do military time. Since the site has gone down. Well, I've taken to sleeping here every once in awhile. So, if you mean normal by normal people standards then no it is kind of crazy. If you mean normal for someone forward deployed in the military, well, I'd say it is just about as it should be.

Posted by Paul! at 06:23 PM | Comments (1)

February 27, 2005

Jessicarrot Interview

The Jessicarrot Interview. Enjoy.

In the extended...

Is it a humbling experience to know you might have been outwitted
by a nine-year old playing board games?

Not as humbling as it is when I'm outwitted by my three year old. Not so
much outwitted maybe, as completely suckered. I mean, how does he know to
make that face with his head to one side, eyes smiling in little crescent
slits and that devious little smile...its not like he practices in the
mirror, or does he?

But seriously, no it really doesn't humble me to be outwitted by a nine year
old, especially when the nine year old is my nephew. I love to see how kids
think. Its fascinating.

I know you're LDS. How are your day to day interactions with
others seeing as how you live by very strict moral rules?

I don't think my day to day interactions with other people are affected at
all by living "strict" moral rules. Basically, I decline coffee or tea when
its offered and I never really get invited to social events where alcohol is
served. I have to say, I honestly have never thought about it. Thats
interesting, I wonder if my non-LDS friends do? There now I've answered a
question with a question.

I've somehow gotten the impression that your husband is the same
age as you, and the two of you graduated college together. Did he
ever do his mission, or did the two of you get married before he had
to go?

My husband is 4 years older than me. He served his mission in North Dakota.
So we went to college at the same time... He started a year before me but
took a semester off Junior year to woo me. :) So when we got married we
both had 2 years of school times.

I know you have two children. I find it hard to believe that I
have no idea if they are boys, girls or one of each. Which is it?

I have one son, the wily 3 year old and a daughter who is 1 1/2 and so cute
I sometimes can't stop smiling. I don't use their names because...I just
don't know. I guess because I'm such a celebrity, I want them to have a
normal life. Ha ha ha ha haaaa!

Will you ever post your paintings on your blog?

If I ever paint something worthwhile, maybe. I don't think my blog is about
paintings, but if anyone else has some artwork they want to share I'll put
it up...

And, how is the piano coming along (i.e. Do you ever plan to take
it back up)?

The many memories. I don't have a piano right now, but I'd love
to get one. For some reason I still associate the piano with stress and
humiliation though. (I used to accompany my church when I was a teenager
and I was a horrible pianist. Seriously, there would be whole lines sung a
cappella and wrong chords and complete disregard of rests...EVERY time I
played. Humiliating.) I have a future sister in law who is a musical
genius and makes me wish I could play...but right now I don't really have
the time.

Have you ever regretted blogging about something?

Yes and no. I regret when I say things that are proven wrong or that are
just flat out stupid. But then I think its good for me to be humbled
constantly. More than 9 year olds who can outwit me, it humbles me when I
realize just how little I know. I think I started out thinking I had
something important to contribute and I've since realized that I have a
whole lot to learn before I can get to that point.

Do you ever get tired of reading your own thoughts?

Why because I'm the only one who does? Just kidding. You know, I don't
know how this will come off, but I don't. Occasionally I cringe at the
things I've put down, but a lot of times its interesting to go back and see
what I thought and why things brought out whatever that too

Who should be president after W?

Michelle Malkin or the GOVENATOR, or maybe they should run together...

What's your favorite book? Movie? Musical talent?

My favorite book...hard question. Well, one of them has to be "A Suitable
Boy" by Vikram Seth. I always say my favorite movie is Before the Rain,
but I haven't seen it in years, so at the moment my favorite movie is...
Shallow Hal? And when I say at the moment, I mean at this very moment.
I need a good laugh and Jack Black is hilarious!

My favorite musical talent...the ability to effortlessly sing in harmony...I
wish I could.

When will you admit that Moore didn't lie? ;)

Very funny. I'll admit he didn't lie as soon as they change the definition
of "lie" from :

1. A false statement deliberately presented as being true; a falsehood.
2. Something meant to deceive or give a wrong impression.

1. A true statement that is actually factual.
2. Something that is explicitly clear and trustworthy.

Posted by Paul! at 06:57 AM | Comments (0)

February 25, 2005

*El Capitan Interview

Here’s an interview with El Capitan. Enjoy!

In the extended...

What is your most conducive idea-induction method for your blog topics?

Well, it's certainly not current events. Rarely does something in the news enrage/enrapture me enough to blog about it. I don't often jump on a blogswarm issue, either. There's already too many people copying what the Big Dogs are doing. Mostly the best idea jump-starters are just random things I see on the 'net, or events from my personal life.

Why haven't you written a novel yet?

The inability to get the words on paper fast enough. I'm a really crappy typist, and I can't make my fingers keep up with the narrative in my head. Once I start losing ideas through the lag between the time I dream it up and the time I can get it "down on paper", I get seriously annoyed with myself and then I just quit trying for awhile. Handwriting's no good. I have a scrawl that’s not only embarrassing to see, it's not all that fast, either. I played around with one of the speech-to-text computer applications a few years back, but it's not all that good at dealing with a Texas drawl. Any stenographers out there needing dictation practice? A percentage of my forthcoming Nobel & Pulitzer prizes can be yours!

Did that chick at your 21st B-Day party really have chest hair or was it an optical illusion?

Alas, she was a hirsute wench. A touch too much of one hormone or another, or possibly steroids when she was a gymnast, and it led to a bit of excessive hair on various spots like the sideburn area, lower belly and unfortunately, her cleavage. We're not talking Burt Reynolds-style fur here, just the usual vellus hair everyone has that was just a bit more prominent. She was still as cute as a speckled pup in a red wagon, but the fuzz was... distracting.

Ever given an illicit plant a ride?

This question deserves its own post! Let's just say that yes, I did transfer a 2 foot high marijuana plant in a flower pot on the front seat of my car between several houses one summer afternoon looking for someone to take it in. This seems excessively idiotic, I know, but back in the days before mandatory minimums and Zero Tolerance, less than an ounce of usable product just got you a $100 Class C misdemeanor ticket. The plant was a result of a dropped seed that magically sprouted in a friend's mother's flower garden. The whole story really needs about 2000 words to tell properly, so keep an eye on my blog for it! (OK, blatant self-promotion, I admit it!)

Did you ever have an intimate moment with L-l-l-lambert?

OK, I'm just gonna say this one time! I...did...NOT...have sex with that inflatable sheep! However, I know who did! Laaaaaambert was a gift on one of my birthdays, probably my 22nd, if I recall correctly.

My friend Rockhauler and I were working our final summer on Scout Camp staff that year, and since my birthday came around in July, I was the recipient of some extremely funny, yet ill-advised gifts while camp was in session.
Rockhauler drove all the way to Austin from the Canyon Lake area to find a p()rno store to get a good gift. I don't recall if he was specifically after inflatable sex toys, or if the sheep was an inspired selection. He had the Harrison twins in tow, and they couldn't have been older than 15 or 16 that year. Rockhauler said their expressions upon entering the p()rno store were that of pilgrims arriving at a holy shrine. He apparently had to remind them to keep their jaws shut lest they inhale a soiled kleenex or two off of the floor.

The sheep was big hit around staff site at camp. I don't know if it was the painted-on lipstick, the dainty hooves, or the 24" long vaginal cavity, (measured with a broomstick) but it sure got some laughs. I'm told that a proto-jarhead named Williams from Texas A&M (well, that figures) attempted carnal knowledge of Laaaaaambert one night, but I can't confirm that, and Laaaaaambert never 'fessed up.

Laaaaaambert hung around for several years, getting dragged out of the closet and inflated for various college parties. I've got a pic somewhere of a group of friends posing with the sheep that I need to dig up and post. Laaaaaambert eventually suffered a fatal case of peritonitis after another broomstick insertion by some drunk person, and was given a burial in the trash bin with full sheep sex-toy honors.

Out of all your posts, does any single one stand out as your best?

Nah, not really. My personal favorite was probably this one about cats and germs, but I think the writing was better on my assorted Tales From The Bus Stop. I put the most amount of time and effort into this one. Oddly enough, I get almost zero feedback from the visitors to my blog about what works, and what doesn't. I doubt I'd make radical changes based on a couple of suggestions from strangers, but some occasional critiquing would be nice.

Will you ever drink Old English 800 again?

No, probably not. On those days you just gotta pollute your brain with malt liquor (and those days are VERY few and far between!) there's always Mickey's in the wide-mouth bottles. For an efficient alcohol delivery system, it's hard to beat!

Who are your three favorite bloggers?

Sigh. You would ask this one. Now I get to alienate the bloggers who wound up in the 4th, 5th and 6th spots!

Steve of Hog On Ice, for one. I have a like/dislike thing with this guy. I'd say it was a love/hate relationship, but I don't have that level of emotional energy invested, and we certainly don't have a relationship. I read his blog daily, 'cause he's hands-down one of the funniest bloggers out there. I never really got IMAO's style, and Scrappleface just leaves me cold. Steve, though, just flat-out slays me sometimes. His recipes are great (if somewhat dangerous) and he posts constantly, never taking these mini-sabbaticals that a lot of the other bloggers I read do.

The flip side is, he occasionally comes off as one of the most arrogant, egotistical tight-arsed moral crusader that I've ever known. The "poor little rich boy" theme that shows up every so often doesn't sit well with me, either. Still, my likes about his blog outweigh the dislikes by a factor of 8 to 1.

I enjoy Graumagus of Frizzen Sparks quite a bit. He's had more than his share of personal ups and downs, causing unavoidable gaps in his blog output, but is usually a very good read. Plus, out of all the bloggers I've run across, he and I share many similarities including being follically challenged, bearing a more than passing resemblance to the Michelin Man, and enjoying historical weaponry. He's a braver man than I, though, as he's gone the wife & kids route. He's also younger than I am, which I find very odd. I had him pegged for being in his mid-40's. I definitely need to buy him a beer or three sometime!

Finally, there's Acidman. Rob is the wellspring from which all curmudgeonly blogging flows. He can piss you off and warm your heart, all in the same post.

What can we expect from you in the future?

I'm 4 months into the daily blogging thing, and I see no signs of boredom. I'm meeting new people and getting a lot of writing done, so I think you can expect to see me slowly building my readership over the coming year. When live video-blogging becomes de rigeuer, I'm gonna quit, though, or buy a gorilla suit. I have to say, I really like the pseudo-anonymity I have now. If I had to blog under my real face and name, I wouldn't be having nearly as much fun.

When was the last time you threw up?

Hmmm... I didn't know there were emetophiles reading the blog!
Well, if you don't count the occasional backwash that hits the back of your throat after a huge belch, then I would have to say it was early in 2003, following a case of seriously nasty food poisoning from (I assume) the cole slaw on a BBQ sandwich. Ate it while leaving Memphis, felt queasy about Texarkana, was seriously nauseous when I hit Dallas, and had purged it all soon after arriving home. The last drunk yak was probably in the late '80s.

Who's hungry, now? Let's go get some vegetable soup!

Posted by Paul! at 12:30 PM | Comments (1)

February 24, 2005

*The Antimedia Interview

Here’s an interview with Antimedia, a man on a mission.

In the extended...

You’re on a serious mission to point out media bullshit. What put you over the top and got you to start a blog?

I've been writing letters to the editor for years. Most don't get published. I would read editorials that I felt weren't as well written or researched as what I would do or distorted the facts in a way that was really irritating. I'd write a letter to the editor, and it would disappear into the black hole.

One day I heard about Raad's blog and I started reading it. During the bombardment of Baghdad, I found myself worrying constantly about his well-being. That's when I realized that blogs were a really big deal.

One thing led to another and one day I started a blog. The next day I asked myself what the hell I was doing, so I deleted it. The following day I realized, if I didn't blog, I'd explode, so I started it again. And here I am.

Have you ever interviewed or contacted any mainstream media personnel and pressed them on an issue?

No, I haven't. I've been interviewed on a number of occasions, and I'm well aware of what it feels like to be quoted out of context. I'm aware of the pressures reporters are under - time constraints, space constraints and editorial constraints. So I understand why they don't tell the whole story. That doesn't make me any happier to be miss-quoted though.

If I was going to interview someone, I'd pick one of the obnoxious ones, like O'Reilly (who I can't stand) or Chris Matthews (who completely disgusts me) and I'd grill them until they couldn't take it any more, then ask them how it felt to be on the business end of the knife.

Fortunately I don't have cable, so I'm not subjected to either of those bozos except through third parties.

In your opinion, which mainstream media outlets do the least spinning / report most accurately?

In my opinion (and readers should always keep in mind, these are my opinions), in general, the more local the outlet, the more they tend to be accurate. The problem is the national and international outlets (AP, Reuters, the alphabets) dominate the major stories and the small outlets just parrot them uncritically. Of the mainstream media outlets, I think Fox does the best job of trying to be accurate, but none of them do a really good job.

In your opinion, which blogs do the least spinning / report most accurately?

I think Belmont Club is good in that respect. So is Steve Vincent's In the Red Zone. At one time Andrew Sullivan was, but then he went off the deep end.

Depending upon the subject, Kevin Drum has been objective. I liked Michele Malkin's angry reaction to the "payola" stories of conservative journalists taking money from the administration. She's very controversial, but she'll rip into Bush just as quickly as she will into a liberal. If you've read her case for internment, it's hard to argue with her research.

I think Donald Sensing is pretty objective as well. Some others that come to mind are Roger Simon, Instapundit, Arthur Chrenkoff and Michael Totten.

Which MSM outlets do you find the most bias, in either direction?

Some might find this surprising, but I think NBC (not CBS or CNN) is the most liberal of all. Fox is criticized for being too conservative, but in my opinion they are much less conservative than people think. The problem is that the media leans to the left so much that the center looks like the right. NewsMax is a conservative media outlet. I can't stand to read it and haven't in some time.

Do you think blogs will ever become a part of MSM?

No. Some bloggers will be assimilated. Some may even sell out for big money. But the "real" bloggers aren't journalists. They're citizens who have "regular" jobs and blog because they love to and because they have to. Blogging is too personal (for most) to be commercial.

I think the MSM will recede in importance and blogs will become the normal way of getting news. (See my post - The Cathedral, the Bazaar and Blogs.)

Would you consider yourself news obsessed?

Are you kidding? I watched almost all of the OJ trial. (And btw, I don't think he did it - I think his son Jason did. I have a book about it that I could lend you.....) I watch every Presidential speech. I was glued to the TV during the Challenger disaster. I watch every State of the Union address. I will sometimes stay up all night during a "big" story and then go to work on time anyway. I always sit up to 2 or 3AM on election night.

Yeah, I'm obsessed.

What do you do when you’re not blogging?

I own a 1949 Chevy pickup that I'm restoring. I work a lot, even from home, because I love my job with a passion. I maintain a small website for some good friends (all the techie stuff, not the content.) I like to watch movies with my wife (sometimes as many as six in a weekend.)

And I have a really good friend that I spend time with - he's old and disabled and can't get around much, but I love him and I love spending time with him. He's bull headed and alienates people easily, but he has a heart of gold. And he can tell tall tales like no one I've ever known. He can captivate an audience for hours. He gets all my computer hand-me-downs. We like to go to (car) swap meets and go out for breakfast on Saturdays.

Football or baseball?

No contest. Football. (My father in law would kill me if he read this. He's baseball nuts.) I love NASCAR too, though, and I'm a Jeff Gordon fan. Last Sunday was heaven. :)

Is there any one post you’re especially proud of?

Yes. The Cathedral, the Bazaar and Blogs. I think it accurately portrays where blogs and the media are headed and what the outcome will be. I'm also proud of the work I did on the Swiftvets story, although my blog is so small and new that few really noticed.

Posted by Paul! at 08:42 AM | Comments (0)

February 16, 2005

*Pool of Thought Interview

It's the Pool of Thought Interview!

In the extended...

How would you describe your blog to someone unfamiliar with the concept?

I'd describe 'Pool of Thought' as a public repository of private musings.
I originally set it up because I had become very frustrated trying to add
my voice to existing forums such as the BBC's "talking point" site, or the
letters to the editor section of my local paper. Once in awhile I score a
hit with these forums, which is gratifying, but often I find myself
exceeding the submission requirements of my local paper. Also, the
greatest benefit of blogging is that you are your own editor. Nobody is
going to tell you that can't put something up, because it's your space,
and you don't have to worry about running out of room, or offending the

You don't post very frequently--is this due to being busy, or are you
shooting for quality over quantity?

I hate to say it, but I've been so damned busy as of late, I've not had
the time to devote to the blog like I'd like. At any given moment, I
generally can think of half a dozen subjects on which I'd like to blog,
but finding the time to blog is another matter entirely. So, lately
anyway, I try to make my posts as meaty as possible, focusing on subjects
upon which I feel I absolutely MUST say something. Hopefully in the not
too distant future I'll be able to cram more blogging in. But for now,
the demands of career, school, and domestic life, dominate my days.

When was your daughter born?

Olivia was born on October 11, 2003.

You look about 12 in the older picture you have on your blog. How old
were you then?

He he he he! Yeah, I was pretty young when my wife and I got married. 12
is not far off from the reality. I was all of 19 years old, and young in
mind as well as body, if you know what I mean. I like to think I've grown
up a little since then. I'm 30 going on 16 now. Ha ha ha!

And is there a story behind that picture?

Kind of. My wife and I got married in December of 1993. At the time, she
and I were thrilled, but my parents hated the idea. So while she and I
are smiling, out in front of the Salt Lake LDS Temple, we have other
photos of my parents glowering, just a few feet away. Needless to say,
almost 12 years later, my parents think me getting married to Annie was a
Good Thing. But Lord, at that time and in that place, they were convinced
it would be a disaster!

How long have you been working part-time for the Army?

I joined up in November of 2002, and did my first weekend drill that same
month. All totalled, I've put in two years and four months for the Army
Reserve, but as far as actual days in uniform go, at last count, I've
spent 214 days working for the United States government. Not too shabby
for a citizen-soldier.

What degree are you working towards?

Computer information systems. Or something along those lines. At least
for the day job. At night I still harbor dreams of making it as a
novelist or freelance writer of some kind. Which is probably par for the
course with most bloggers. We're all frustrated writers of one sort or

Let's talk voted for Perot, Clinton, and Gore
pre-September 11. Now you're a Bush man. Do you agree with his
entire agenda?

No, I don't. I did not come quickly to the Bush camp. And there is a lot
that Bush does, or has not done, with which I disagree. But overall, I
support Bush because Bush got it right after 9/11. Bush took the fight to
the enemy, and he continues to take the fight to the enemy. Who is the
enemy? Militant Islamists and their terrorist fellow travelers. The war
with militant Islam is, to my mind, the defining concern of my generation.
Whatever problems I have with Bush, I stand behind him because he refuses
to capitulate or bargain with the Islamists. All other concerns,
including the budget deficit, are secondary.

Any idea why Vanilla Dr Pepper is using a Muppets song in their

They are? I had no idea. I don't watch much commercial TV, and if I do,
I'm always muting out the commercials or changing the channel. Off the
hip, I'd say Dr. Pepper is just doing what has been done for at least 15
years now: ride the nostalgia wagon for all it's worth. Advertisers don't
have many original ideas anymore. Easier to dredge up something from a
decade or two in the past, and hope that enough fond memories get sparked
to make people show up at the cash register.

Back to politics...who would be your dream Republican candidate for
the presidency in 2008?

Hmmm... Tough call. I'm somewhat intruiged by the idea of Mitt Romney
running, though I doubt he'd get enough Republican support to make it
stick. Sometimes I think Condi Rice should run. That would drive the
Democrats and the Left absolutely batty. On the one hand they'd feel
compelled to support Condi based on gender and ethnic considerations. On
the other hand they'd be loathe to support Condi because of her politics
and her Bush connections. Do you remember that old Star Trek episode
where Kirk makes the male android's hair fizz and smoke? That's what I
see happening to the Left if Condi runs.

And who would be an actually viable candidate for each party?

Too early to say. Really. We've got a ton of ground to cover before
2008, and there is a lot that will happen before this country is ready
again to decide who sits in the Oval Office. I do know that if the
Democrats try to run on an Anyone-But-The-Republicans platform, they are
doomed. One of the big reasons the Dems lost me, besides being
perpetually on the wrong side of the fight against Islamism, is because
they kept defining themselves in the negative. It wasn't about what or
who they were for, it was about who and what they were AGAINST. The Dems
truly have become the party of reaction. They can't seem to define
themselves as being FOR things as much as they are AGAINST them. That's a
bad way to run a party. Especially one that is now clearly in the
minority with the electorate, and trying to find a way to reach out to the

Who is your favorite historical figure?

Wow, there are so many! Impossible to say, for all time, who is my
favorite. I do know that Lincoln has been on my mind since 9/11/2001. As
much as the man has been deified and lionized by today's America, back in
his day, he was a much-loathed and much-villified president. Prior to the
November 2004 election I got a tongue-in-cheek letter published in the
Seattle P-I wherein I reminded the voters that the country has seen far
worse than Bush. I used Lincoln as an example, what with his illegal
warmongering for the abstract concept of union, followed by his
flip-flopping on the moral basis for the war ("union" becomes
"emancipation") and topped off with his criminal suspension of basic
citizens' rights, such as habeus corpus. Clearly, Lincoln did far worse
and in a much shorter time than Bush, and yet who can deny that America is
better off because of Lincoln? I suspect it will be the same with Bush,
in the fullness of time. And everyone who now hates Bush, who rails on
and on about how he has been the worst President ever, will wind up
looking extremely silly.

Please shed some light on the governor's race in your state, because I
really wasn't paying much attention.

The Washington State governor's election has been a joke. Period. The
guys at Sound Politics have covered it all, in spades.
Suffice to say that Christine Gregoire is operating a sham administration,
and if she somehow manages to stay one step ahead of the effort to force a
revote, she'll get ONE, and exactly ONE, term in office. People are
ticked off. Not the core Democrats, mind you. They're pleased as punch
that they got to have their "revenge" for the 2000 Presidential election.
But everyone else in the state, everyone who does NOT live in King County,
is warming up for a mighty fine ass-whooping at the ballot box next time
Gregoire is on the ticket. I honestly think the Republicans could run a
plate of turnips as their candidate, and Gregoire would still lose. Too
many non-Seattle Washingtonians feel too ripped off. Seriously. Myself
among them.

Back to the Muppets...who is your favorite Muppet?

I have to go with Kermit. Without a doubt. Now that my daughter is
watching Sesame Street, I'm pissed that Kermit isn't making more
appearances. But I suppose even muppets get old and need to cut back on
their busy schedules?

What do you do with your free time?

Free time? What's that?! (ha ha ha ha) No, really, if I get a spare
moment, beyond parenthood and spousal considerations, I am a big time Star
Trek geek. I've got a huge Star Trek site up that I am always fiddling
with. It's at (this site) and is pretty
self-explanatory. I used to do video games when I was younger, too,
though I get almost no time for that anymore. Though, someone close to me
did get me the Tron 2.0 video game, and that's been very engrossing, or at
least it was, back during Christmas, when I had some time off. I'm a huge
fan of the movie, and the new game really does the old classic flick a lot
of justice.

What kind of music do you enjoy?

Easy. I strongly dislike country, and I strongly dislike rap/hip-hop.
Everything else? I enjoy to some degree. My pet genre is probably
electronica. I've hosted several electronica radio shows on public radio
over the years. Most recently I did Electric Nightfall at KSER in
Everett, Washington. I had to quit when I
went to Basic Training with the Army in 2003, and have not had the time to
get back into it since. Now that my wife and I are down in Tacoma I
suppose I will try and snoop out the radio life down there? I've also
toyed with just doing an all-web streaming broadcast. That would save a
lot of time and trouble. But would anyone listen?

Who is your favorite writer of the non-blogging kind?

Chris Bunch & Allan Cole. They are a duo that did the STEN series (now in
reprint!) and who also did A RECKONING FOR KINGS. (see below) I'd also
have to mention Larry Niven, who has won both the Hugo and Nebula awards
for his excellent science fiction.

What is the best book you've ever read?

As far as novels go, A RECKONING FOR KINGS by Bunch & Cole. It was
nominated for a Pulitzer in the 1980's when it came out. It's perhaps the
single greatest Vietnam war novel I have ever read, and I have read a
number of Vietnam war novels. Bunch & Cole write with an addicting style
and, where Vietnam was concerned, a level of palpable authenticity that is
impossible to deny. If I ever hit it big as a novelist, I am sure I will
owe a lot to Cole & Bunch, whose style inspires and excites me to this
day. Ditto for Niven.

What/where do you want to be in ten years?

Owning a home, for one thing. Making six figures, for another. I want to
be finished with my Gottdamned motherloving college education, too. With
a little luck, I'll have published a novel or three. But that's probably
asking for too much?

Posted by Jennifer at 07:00 AM | Comments (0)

February 02, 2005

*Andrew Olmsted Interview

It's the Andrew Olmsted Interview!

In the extended...

What is your motivation to blog?

I've always been interested in politics and philosophy. I've buttonholed
many of my friends on those topics over the years, but as I've grown
older, there have been fewer opportunities for those kinds of
discussions. When I discovered blogging, it was a natural fit for me. It
gives me an opportunity to put my ideas out to a larger community and
actually get feedback on them. Blogging has allowed me to improve my
writing skills and learn how to make more persuasive and logical
arguments. It also serves as a goad for me to learn new things, as
writing about so many topics constantly reminds me how little I actually

Who did your "incredible" logo design?

Stacy from Sekimori Design. I've been using them since 2002, when Robyn
did the first redesign of my site, and I've never looked back. The level
of customer service they provide alone makes them worth the money, and
they are also superlative graphic designers. The only guidance I gave
Stacy about the new site design was that I wanted something reminiscent
of "The Incredibles." She took that and built a site that I think is as
good-looking as anything in the blogosphere.

What are your interests outside blogging?

I love baseball. Seeing the Red Sox win the World Series this past fall
was unbelievable. My only regret was that I was all alone for the games,
so I had nobody with whom I could share the joy. I also enjoy movies;
Amanda and I have a collection of 300+ DVDs ranging from "Gone With the
Wind" to "Rush Hour 2." We try to see as many movies as we can, but
that's a losing battle these days. I also play numerous role-playing and
wargames, although my pursuit is generally more like a collection these
days, as it's difficult to find the time to play or people with similar

You recently posted about women in combat...what are your opinions about
women in other male-dominated roles, such as female sports announcers
working male sports?

I think that the only prerequisite for jobs should be the ability of the
person to perform the job. I don't see any issues with women covering
men's sports, to cover your specific example; as William F. Buckley (I
think) once observed, inside every man in a jock manque; we all think we
could cover sports anyhow. I see no reason why women can't do that sort
of thing just as well as men, and better in many cases. Even when it
comes to professions like firefighters, I have no objection to women in
the role as long as the standards are maintained. If I'm in a burning
building, I want the firefighter who comes after me to be strong enough
to throw me over his or her shoulder and get me out of the building. I
realize this means that a large number of women will not qualify to be
firefighters, but that's the way of the world. I can't fly combat
aircraft; I wanted to be a pilot, but my eyesight and reflexes didn't
meet the requirements, so I was deemed ineligible. When it comes to
certain jobs, I’m a firm believer in making sure that the employees can
do the job they're hired to do. At the same time, these requirements
should be job-related and should apply to men and women: a man who can't
carry 200 lbs of dead weight should no more be a firefighter than a
woman who can't, and a woman who can do the job should be able to do so.

On the rare occasion you watch TV, what sort of things do you watch?

I'm embarassed to admit that I'm now regularly watching the new
"Battlestar Galactica" after I thoroughly panned the miniseries, but the
show has grown on me as I've been able to separate it from the original
and appreciate it for what it is. I also generally keep up with "The
Simpsons," although not religiously, and if I do catch "The Simpsons"
I'll generally watch Fox's entire Sunday lineup: "King of the Hill,"
"Malcolm in the Middle," and "Arrested Development." Other than that, I
watch any Red Sox game I can get.

Warner Brothers or Disney?

Disney. I have no interest in cartoons on TV, and Warner's theme is
locked in stone: Wile E. Coyote/Elmer Fudd tries to kill/capture
Bugs/Road Runner/Daffy, fails miserably, there is much rejoicing. While
Disney (full disclosure: I'm a stockholder) has made a lot of bad moves
over the past few years, they've still got a history of some excellent
film. I'll put "Beauty and the Beast" or "Fantasia" up against any film
ever made.

Have any phobias?

Plenty. In particular I don't like heights, which made Airborne School a
bit of a challenge.

If a tree falls in the forest, why can't one fall on Michael Moore's house?

Probably because his house isn't in a forest, but I don't know that for
sure. More seriously, my only objection to Michael Moore is his claim to
be a documentary film maker. Moore is a propagandist, and a skilled one.
I found it more than a little amusing that he won an Oscar on a night
Hollywood remembered filmmaker Leni Rehfenstahl. Such connotations
notwithstanding, being able to make effective polemics is a hard thing,
and I respect his talent if not how he chooses to employ it. I would
simply prefer we be honest about what he's producing and stop sullying
the art of making documentaries.

If you could reverse 1 U.S. Supreme Court decision, which would it be?

Tough call. Five years ago I probably would have gone after Roe, but I
now think that may have been a good decision buttressed by lousy
reasoning. I'm not a lawyer, but I'm a strong believer in what Randy
Barnett calls the presumption of liberty: that whenever the government
attempts to make something illegal, the burden is on government to prove
that the restriction of liberty is justified. I think the Tenth
Amendment makes it pretty clear the federal government has no power to
regulate abortion, and the Ninth Amendment certainly ought to protect a
right to privacy. So if we're going to leave Roe alone, I might tear
down Wickard v. Filburn. Wickard gave the government the ability to
regulate the economy to the lowest level, even if it never is involved
with interstate commerce. Such an expansive reading of the Commerce
Clause is what has allowed Congress to overreach its Constitutional
limits so regularly over the past sixty years. Of course, it's likely
the courts would have allowed Congress to abuse the Commerce Clause
sooner or later, so overturning any one court case would be unlikely to
resolve the problems I'd like to see fixed. An adoption of the
presumption of liberty in lieu of the presumption of Constitutionality
would be a far better improvement.

Are there any modern politicians you admire?

Ron Paul (R-TX) probably comes as close as any. Modern politics has
devolved to such levels that the people who win elections are those who
promise to do the most for the people. Since I prefer a government that
leaves me alone to do my own thing, I have no respect for or interest in
such politicians. However, they're winning elections, so apparently
they're doing something right, and I'm the guy who's out of synch with
society (a conclusion that will come as no surprise to most of my friends).

How did you meet Virginia Postrel?

Back in October I had to go to Fort Polk, LA to serve as an augmentee to
the JRTC (Joint Readiness Training Center) Observer-Controller team. The
116th Brigade Combat Team was going through their Mission Readiness
Exercise before going to Iraq, and since we'd trained them at Fort
Bliss, we were on the hook to get them through JRTC as well. A friend
and I decided to drive so we would have a car while we were there (an
excellent decision), and the quickest route to Polk went through Dallas.
So I dropped Virginia a note asking if she might be interested in coffee
while I was in town. She surprised me by accepting, actually suggesting
we go to dinner. So I got to spend about two hours chatting with
Virginia, her husband and her mother (who was in town visiting). Three
very smart, very nice people.

What was the most difficult part of Basic Training?

Good question; I went through Basic in 1989, so my memories of it are
somewhat faded. Probably the most difficult task I had to perform while
I was there was the live-fire individual movement techniques range:
Rodger Young Range at Fort Benning. You went out into the woods after
dark and walked a mile or so until you got to a trench at the far end of
a live-fire range. M60s were set up on the baseline firing downrange, so
you could see the tracers zipping by overhead. (The machineguns are
fixed well off the ground, so you'd really have to work hard to get
shot, but in the dark it sure seemed exciting enough.) When the drill
sergeants gave you the word, you went over the wall and had to high
crawl several hundred meters to the baseline. They had pits with C-4 in
them along the route, one of which blew just as I crawled past it, and
the bullets flying overhead really seemed to be very close. By the time
you were done your elbows and knees were raw. It wasn't really difficult
in the sense that it required any courage or skill, but it was certainly
painful (and memorable).

Who was a better driver and training room person, Scott or Ben?

I wouldn't put either of them over the other. For those who don't know
what the question refers to, when I commanded my company in 1999 and
2000, Scott was my first driver/training room guy (commanders don't
drive themselves). He had the job for about eight months, until he left
the Army, at which time Ben took over. Both of them did great work in
each arena, and I'm glad we've been able to maintain at least occasional
contact over the intervening years.

Why did you move to El Paso?

Well, I hope the answer will be that I haven't moved to El Paso,
although it does seem like that sometimes. When the Army selected 116th
BCT for OIF 3, we knew we would be selected to train them. We wanted to
train them in Idaho, but the Army decided we would do better training
them at Fort Bliss, so we all deployed to Bliss back in June. We were
supposed to come home in September. Once we were on the ground, the Army
decided they may as well train the 29th BCT at Bliss as well, and since
we were in the neighborhood, we could just stay here to train them as
well. But we would be home for Christmas. By the time December rolled
around, we were on tap to train some late-mobilizing elements of the
29th BCT, so we would have to stay until early February. Now we have
four maintenance companies that we have to train, but we're supposed to
go home in early April. I still maintain that I'm a Colorado resident,

How does Texas life compare to Colorado life?

I lived in Texas for three and a half years as a lieutenant when I was
stationed at Fort Hood. I didn't think much of it then, and I've seen
nothing in the last nine months to change my mind. West Texas is, if
anything, more barren than Central Texas. On the other hand, I was
single when I lived at Fort Hood, and I'm 600 miles from my wife here in
El Paso, so it would be difficult to make up for that with any
combination of culture or entertainment. Then again, we're ten hours
from the nearest major league ballpark; that just won't do.

What is the biggest goal you've yet to accomplish?

Probably getting paid to write. Much as I enjoy blogging, and I wouldn't
keep doing it if I didn't enjoy it, being paid to write would be even
better. In particular I hope to someday get my novel published (although
I suppose I should finish it first).

Of what are you most proud?

I suppose my military service. I certainly haven't done very much in the
Army, but I've done a few things to try and preserve a system of
government that, for all my complaints, is the best thing available to us.

How did you meet your wife?

I was working in the science library in college. Amanda came in there
just about every day to study when I was a freshman. I occasionally said
hello, but was studiously ignored. I persevered, however, managing to
work through some mutual friends to get her involved in my weekly
Dungeons & Dragons game by my junior year. We started dating in October
of that year, and despite the occasional separation, we've been together
ever since.

How did you propose?

I was living in Texas getting ready to go to the Armor Officer's
Advanced Course, after which I was going to spend a year in Korea.
Amanda was living at home. We'd been dating for five-plus years and we'd
spent most of that time in a long-distance relationship. I knew I wanted
to spend the rest of my life with her, and she'd accepted the fact I
might be the best she could do, so I called her and asked if she wanted
to tie the knot. Not very romantic, but it seems to have worked out very
well thus far.

If you had one thing to do over and do differently, what would it be?

I would probably not have left the Army, which is to say, I would
probably have remained on active duty rather than going into the
Reserves. Had I not jumped when I did, I would likely be either already
in a combat battalion or getting ready to join one. Instead I will be
fortunate to ever find my way back to troops.

Posted by Jennifer at 11:00 AM | Comments (1)

January 31, 2005

*Matthew Maynard Interview

It's the Matthew Maynard Interview!

In the extended...

Is that photo on your blog the best photo you could come up with or
are you punishing the woman whose ear and hair are plainly visible?

That's the best cropping I could get with that photo. That is my wife to my
right, and no, I'm not trying to punish her.

Your initials are MM, do people confuse you with Michael Moore? What
about Mandy Moore? Mickey Mouse? Michelle Malkin?

Thankfully, no to all of the above. Unfortunately my middle name is Scott,
hence, the blog tagline and the unfortunate association with dinosaur media.
I am not considering a name change, as I would rather bring honor to my
initials than let Michael Moore & Mandy Moore ruin them completely. My
sister's initials are also MM, but she's the Mickey Mouse aficionado.

Should a woodchuck chuck wood?

Depends on whether or not he can lift the log. I have strange mental images
of a kilted furry mammal running along with a caber, sweating and screaming
as he launches the log. Bagpipes are in the background.

Thanks, thanks a lot.

Indecisiveness, for or against?

Sometimes. Well, honestly, mostly. I have trouble with it from time to time,
mainly after I make up my mind to do something.

How did you meet Jennifer (your wife)?

In 1993 I attended Don McCarthy's Advanced Astronomy Camp at the U of A. I
returned the next year and met Jennifer, whom I thought was the best.
looking. woman. ever. We dated for two years (my senior high school year and
freshman college year). When she arrived at the U of A we both decided to
concentrate on our studies and our individual relationships with God. After
graduation we both stayed in Tucson, she becoming a science teacher, I a
software engineer. We started dating again a little over a year ago, and I
asked her to marry me shortly thereafter. We married back in May.

Is Jennifer (your wife) going to post more? Or does the
Chief Anarchist of the Peanut Gallery have to re-convince her?

Coming soon: I just have to teach her how to
use the blog software and get her to write more.

What firearms are you qualified for?

When it comes to weaponry I am a jack of all trades, master of none. I am
most proficient with the Remington 700 (.30-06) and Colt 1911 (.45 ACP), but
have never gone through anything more in-depth than the NRA Marksmanship
Qualification Program. I managed to get Pro Marksman rating in the Small
Bore Rifle program at Boy Scout Camp. I've had the opportunity to shoot a
wide variety of guns, including fully-automatic machine guns, via the uncle
of a friend.

If you were in an episode of Law and Order, how soon will the
detectives find you out?

Depends on what I leave at the crime scene. I suppose its written into their
contracts that I get caught within a half hour, so I suppose they would want
me to leave behind at least a shell casing and some fingerprints.
Fortunately, I don't have my fingerprints on record in any database, as far
as I know, and I am smart enough to police my brass. I'd say, given my
grandiose acting abilities, sometime in the second half of the episode.

You have a unique setup to your blog, with just the daily posts
showing on your front page. Why did you decide to do that?

It's not so unique, I took most of the inspiration for it from James Lileks.
I decided to switch over from GreyMatter to this format because (a) it was
easier to manage what I wanted to do with the blog, (b) it fit my posting
style, and (c) the whole incident with my hosting service. I'm debating
switching over to WordPress when I switch hosting services. I like it, but I
like the page-a-day format as well.

When are you going to get back to a real blogging software, the
freelance stuff is kinda cool, but we're ready for the
new-and-improved version.

After my contract runs out with iPowerWeb I'm packing up and moving out, and
I think that's in March. Until then, you're stuck with the once-a-day
format. Heck, even after that, I may stick with the once-a-day, though
WordPress is tempting me strongly.

Of course, the same could be asked of anyone not using .plan files for their
blog. When are you going to get some real blogware? Command-line baby,
that's where its at!

How many Mungovans does it take to get from the Airport to
the Cubicle Jungle?

Would those be Mungovans of distance or energy? Regardless, approximately
42. Conversion between English, Metric, and Mungovans is left as an exercise
to the reader.

If you could be anyone in the state of Florida for 10 minutes, who
would you be?

The guy controlling space shuttle launches, as long as one was on the pad
and ready to go. If not, the guy on Sanibel Island, enjoying a book, a
Corona, and a fishing pole.

If I live in a Red State, but was born in a Blue State, but when I
was born there it was a Red State, can the Pittsburgh Steelers go to
the SuperBowl in 2006?

Depends on what Cowher, Roethlisberger, and Bettis do in the off-season, and
on what the Republicans do to stop Democrats from stealing the 1st round
draft picks.

The destruction of the Fort: For or Against?

Depends on whether or not I'm in the fort. Generally, though, I avoid fixed
emplacements - they're too susceptible to air strikes. Blow it up, if for no
other reason than fun fireworks.

Susan Ivonova vs. Horatio Hornblower. Who would win in an underwater knife fight?

Initially I would think Hornblower, since it's closer to his element. But
then again, Ivanova is more accustomed to self-contained breathing
apparatuses, and she's a she, so Hornblower, being a gentleman, wouldn't
want to hurt her. Ivanova cuts his air line and wins.

When are you going to make more beer?

After I finish flavoring the vodka with blackberries. And after I pick a new

You recently posted about not making it into the Air Force Academy.
Did you explore other ways to get into the USAF?

I accepted a tuition-only AFROTC scholarship at the U of A when I graduated
from High School. After a year and much prayer I realized I wasn't cut out
for the Air Force and that God didn't want me in it anyway. I left ROTC and
stayed at the U of A.

That was a tough decision for me, since I had wanted to get into the Air
Force for a long time. I found comfort in the fact that I felt I was doing
what God wanted me to do, and that I still respected those in the military.

What is the worst job you ever had?

I ran food from the kitchen to the service line at the U of A Student Union
for about a month. The pay and hours were awful, and my grades suffered, as
well as my energy level. I don't recommend it for incoming freshman.

What is in your medicine cabinet?

My razor and aftershave lotion, as well as floss, generic Advil, and a bunch
of things I thought in my bachelor days only existed at the foo-foo shops
girls went to at the mall. The toothbrush and toothpaste have separate
containers elsewhere.

Who is your favorite politician, assuming a normal person can actually
have a "favorite"?

Of the ones who lived in my lifetime, Ronald Reagan first and George W. Bush
second. Of the ones who lived before me, Abraham Lincoln first and Teddy
Roosevelt second. Overall, I would say Reagan. He had the best combination
of charisma, determination, and character. Lincoln was greater, but Reagan's
comedy is more fun and more well known.

I chose Presidents because they tend to make the long-lasting impacts on
history. Senators and Representatives (at least the ones I know of) are
short-term players, mostly, and tend to make more impact in their own minds
than in public life. They don't impress or inspire like the Presidents I

Posted by Jennifer at 11:00 AM | Comments (0)

January 28, 2005

Brutally Honest Interview

It's the Brutally Honest Interview!

In the extended...

When and why did you start to blog?

My first post was in October of 2003.  I began thinking about blogging after being exposed to my friend HarryTick's blog at Walking the Dogma. He graciously allowed me to post to his site, free, for a short time, as I gave the blogging world a trial run.  As to why?  I've found blogging to be less stressful than ranting at the boob tube's daily parade of talking heads and certainly less stressful than watching your painstakingly written letters to local editors get hacked at and whittled down to incomprehensible mush.

You are a large mammal in the important is that to you?

Well... my large mammalian status is due in large part to my being a member of the Blogdom of God.  Many of those who link to Brutally Honest do so as a result of my membership in that alliance.  So the importance of my standing is somewhat diminished by the fact that I've not earned all my links on my own.  Nevertheless, I do find myself checking the Ecosystem rather regularly.  It's an ego thing.

What kind of blogging pajamas do you wear?

Traded in my Nautica PJ's for Geoffrey Beene's...   The Nautica PJ's were producing too much static cling, a potential death knell for blogging via laptop (not to mention the potential for uncomfortable jolts to the nether region).  In any case, had to enlist Mrs. Brutally Honest on this one, I didn't have a clue as to brand names.  She keeps me supplied and knows more about the labels than I do.

Why is readership so important to you? Aren't there thousands of blogs – tens of thousands – that cover overlapping areas of interest?

Readership is important.  It's an aspect to why I do this.  The bottom line though is that blogging is an escape for me.  And the fact that some read my stuff and come back after doing so... heck... it's icing on the cake. 

Would you rather have one reader with whom you have dialogue or ten lurkers with whom you have no relationship?

I'd rather have both... and think I do...  but the more I ponder the possibilities, the more I'd rather have interaction... keeps me sharp(er) or so I'd like to think.

Who is in your blogging circle? Which bloggers do you read and relate to most?

My blogroll probably best represents who's in my blogging circle but there are those I feel a special kinship to.  Harry Tick, David, Dave, Feeble Knees, Gene, Gordo and Iphy are folks I seem to check first when I see via Bloglines that they've freshly posted.  Lileks, Vanderleun and Tony Woodlief are guys I'd love to write like (who wouldn't?), they are masterful with words.  And I should add Mike and Mike, absolute opposites in many ways, as two guys I also check with daily.

What is "charismania" as it relates to Episcopalians?

Episcopalians introduced me to charismatic Christianity.  Dennis Bennet's Nine O'Clock in the Morning was instrumental to that introduction as was a good friend who took me to my first charismatic service, an Episcopal service.  I was enthralled by the music, and felt at home liturgically. And I was, sincerely, touched by God, I believe.  Alas, it's something I've left behind now but I tell you, I've never felt closer to God than those first couple of years in the throes of Charismania.  Strange how things change.

I'm sorry, but you brought it up, so I must ask: how do you feel about your penis?

It's true, I brought it up and I'm fighting the temptation to provide a number of witty (and pun-ny) answers (all of which have been provided by my wife).  However, I think it best that I simply leave this one... tight-zipped, so to speak.  Maybe one day, I'll find the words...

What's the biggest loss you have ever suffered in life? How did it change you?

My cousin Rick's death in 1991 was... impacting.  The family called him Big Rick, I was little Rick, even though I was taller, bigger.  His death was horrible.  Cancer can be, is, so damned vile.  Big Rick was an incredible fighter and fought to the very end but succumbed, and took a piece of all of us with him.  That was, and is, a terrible loss to many of us in the family.  He was 33.  Far. Too. Young.

What is the best thing someone has ever done for you that you didn't recognize at the time?

I'd say that my rejection, by the Southern Diocese of Virginia, to be an ordinand in the Episcopal Church USA in 2000, after two years of a rather grueling process, was a Godsend... one I was seriously blind to then but in hindsight believe was the absolute right, and best thing, done for me (and my family).

Is that picture of you on the tank an honest representation?

I think it to be... the nose could be a tad larger, the head a bit smaller... but for a cartoon... yes, I think it to be honest...  now who asked that question and are they taking their meds?

If so, when are you going to quit denying reality, and just shave your head?

Denying reality was something I used to do when I subjected myself to regular perms and serious combovers (from the back and sides to the front and top) with lots of hairspray.  I had to avoid sudden winds and rolled down windows on the highway.  If I didn't, I'd have a bad case of toilet lid hair, with the do lifting up and back (like a toilet lid) in the wind.  That, folks, was serious denial of reality.  I've since matured and love the fact that I can comb my hair with a towel.  The questioner sounds seriously, and obviously, envious.

And speaking of the tank, you work for the Navy. But you're on a tank. What's that about?

Tank tearing up the landscape equals brutality.  Me with a halo equals honesty.  If you can do better, please get in touch with me... quickly...  I'm brutally honest...  I'm not brutally creative...  Sue me...  And I now work for the Air Force by the way...

Outside of politics and religion, what are your primary interests?

My wife and enjoying her company.  My sons and watching them mature and make me proud, repeatedly.  Staying gainfully employed so that I can do the first two with some sense of security and responsibility.

If you can take either a portable DVD player or CD player to a deserted island, which do you choose?

I really hate these kinds of questions... to damned... esoteric for me...  next...

Which DVDs or CDs accompany the above question?

I'd much rather have my wife with me... and if that wasn't possible (can you just see the questioner getting angry by now?)... then, ok...  a DVD of Tom Hank's Castaway... I think I'd pick up a survival skill or two and was especially moved by the guy's love for his girl and the sustenance that provided... so... what does that tell the cyber-psychologists out there?

You have two college-age boys. What do you think of their generation's ability to become the Leaders of Tomorrow?

Many in their generation are serving in the military today and on the front-lines in Iraq and Afghanistan.  I'm confident that their generation will produce some very fine, very capable leaders.  And I think too many of us tend to focus on the bad apples over the good.

What is the most important lesson you've tried to give your children?

Tough question.  There's much I'd probably like to do different now.  But if forced to answer, I'd think that I've taught them to be honest, to seek God, to enjoy life, to take risks, to ask questions, to take advice seriously, especially when given by those older than they are.  The most important?  I'd hope it's to seek God and to especially look into His graceful side.

How would you like to be remembered?

As an honest guy, albeit at times too honest, who you'd want next to you in a foxhole.  As a husband who loved, a dad who cared, a son who was grateful, a brother to look up to, a favorite uncle, a dependable coworker, and a not too shabby blogger (who hoped to get better).

And finally, please take a moment to tell us why your wife is so wonderful.

Here's where I wish I were poetic.

Let me just say that everyone should experience the kind of love this woman gives me (and her boys) daily.  She is my best friend, my confidante, my life really.  Sometimes I think it might be unhealthy to love someone as much as I love and need her.  She is an incredible mother, a bodacious lover, a most trusted companion, and you should see her naked...  Heh...  She is, beyond doubt, more than wonderful.  She is unique.  Her one fault however is her taste in men. In that department, she is blind, seriously so.  And I'm damned glad.

Posted by Jennifer at 11:00 AM | Comments (1)

January 26, 2005

Done With Mirrors Interview

It's the Done With Mirrors Interview!

In the extended...

Why did you start your blog?

It was that or start a fight. Since I was outnumbered,
the blog seemed the better option.

[This actually is the second one. I was told to quit
the first one or be fired (see "What exactly do you do
for a living?"). This one technically is not mine.
That is, if you look up the data on Blogger, it is not
registered to me. It just happens to be a place where
I post all the time. That, I think, puts me on the
safe side of company policy.]

As for why I got into the thing to begin with, circa
11 a.m., Sept. 11, 2001, after a 20-year career in
journalism (see below under "What exactly do you do
for a living?") I found my personal evolution had
carried me across that magic threshhold between
"newsroom culture" and "actual ethical thinking."

OK, that's my version of things, but there is a
group-think and a set of common assumptions that allow
a group of 30 or 40 people to put out a newspaper
every day that has one masthead and one voice. And if
there's no one more bitter than an apostate, it's
partly because he knows the inner shams and flaws of
what he has abandoned.

So during the war and then the election I watched and
listened to all manner of knee-jerk idiocy every time
I went to work, till it brought me near my boiling
point. I hammered out in prose the retorts and
rebutals that I spared to speak aloud, for the sake of
keeping the peace in the workplace. I got yelled at
anyhow -- for typing too loudly.

That's how the blogging began.

What's a "Callimachus"?

He was a Hellenistic Greek poet and critic from the
3rd century B.C.E. Like a lot of the great ancient
writers, he survives only in shreds: a mere six poems
out of more than 800 that he wrote.

It was the name I chose when I registered for the
"Guardian" talk-back site after 9/11; I revived it for
this blog. I like the name for the sense of it: The
ancient Greek elements break down to "beauty" (the
sort of virile, robust beauty that the Greeks admired)
+ "battle/fight." So they "beautiful battle" component
is one I cherish in the Internet polemical wars.

Of course, I'm no great shakes as a Hellenist (being
more or less self-taught), and the name might as well
mean "the struggle to be beautiful." But that sort of
applies, too.

He's an obscure character, but I admire him and
identify with him on a number of levels. He worked in
the library in Alexandria, and I, too, find myself
buried among the scrolls more nights than I care to
admit. He drew up a catalogue which was more than a
catalogue; it doubled as a literary history. I feel
like, in a dim way, I'm doing something along those
lines with my dictionary project.

His poetry, as one scholar writes, "is notable for
brevity, polish, wit, learning, and inventiveness in
form." When I wrote poetry, ages ago, I aspired to
that quality of refinement, and I still try to keep it
in mind when writing prose. Also, his work influenced
the best (in my opinion) of the Roman poets, notably
Catullus. Strange to think of a librarian being a
lodestar for the randy Catullus, but that's art for

Another Roman who proclaimed his influence was Sextius
Propertius, who calls himself the "Callimachus
Romanus." In fact, I first encountered Callimachus in
Ezra Pound's "homage" to Propertius. Pound identified
himself with the Roman poet, as attempting to salvage
what was most worthy out of an older tradition and
bring it to modern audiences. It's a passion I can
share with all three of them, even if I can't hold a
candle to their attainments.

What exactly do you do for a living?

I have to be a bit cagey about this, because my
employer forbids blogging. I work as a copy editor for
a small-city newspaper in southeastern Pennsylvania.
You rarely see my name in the newspaper, but if you
read a headline that makes you laugh, I might have
written that. My dream job would be writing the heads
for the New York Post; you know, "Headless Body Found
in Topless Bar," that sort of thing. I also write
history books, mostly on local topics, and the
occasional journal article. Recently I was featured in
a BBC presentation on the Welsh in America, but don't
look for me on TV very often.

I've been in journalism for 21 years now, without ever
having decided to make a career out of it. Without
ever taking a course in it. Without ever having prior
experience, except running an underground newspaper in
high school, until the day someone shoved a reporter's
notebook at me and said, "here, go cover this car
crash." I'm not touting my polymath abilities, just
making a small point to the people who think you
actually can learn to do this sitting in a classroom.

Who are your favorite writers?

Oh, don't get me signifying; we'll be here all night.
Just to limit it to relatively modern fiction: James
Joyce, Stendhal, W.G. Sebald, Thornton Wilder, Charles
Palliser, Günter Grass, William Wharton, Faulkner,
Eudora Welty, Lorrie Moore, John Updike, Melville,
Tolkien, Conrad, Emily Brontë, Roddy Doyle, and of
course Guy Davenport, whom I eulogized recently ...
OK, I'll stop now. Writing ought to be discussed over
dark beer in smoky saloons, not while hunched over a

What do you think of Noam Chomsky?

He is a formidable thinker. Some of his political
conclusions are so far gone it's tempting to dismiss
him as an academic idiot, and some people do this, but
I think it's a mistake. If you really want to stalk
the beast, you have to track it to its lair, which, in
this case, is his discipline of cognative linguistics.
He's one of the few people alive to have invented an
entire academic discipline.

I do some work in languages, but I almost never
encounter his name there. What he does is not
"practical" in the tradition of Grimm and Jakobson and
de Saussure (though the latter starts to get toward
what Chomsky does). Chomsky isn't interested in how
Latin evolved into French, or why "Beowulf" is more
like modern Icelandic than modern English.

He's interested in the way the human mind "does"
language. It's really more mass psychology than
linguistics, and its heavily philosophical. And it is
taken seriously by people who are close to this study,
though not all linguists accept it.

There's a particular quirk in his academic work,
however. He shares, along with many people, a dread of
"sociobiology," which took Darwin's insight about
evolution and applied it to all human behaviors. Yet
clearly evolution can explain some basic, deep-seated
human qualities, just as it can explain why we have
too many teeth in our mouths. But not to Chomsky. He
is unwilling to allow any possibility of a biological
explanation for language. Some biologists accuse him
of being a "crypto-creationist," and in fact if
creationists want to find a respected academic who
writes things that support their attacks on Darwin,
they could do no better than Chomsky.

But he's not a creationist; he just is determined to
avoid the whole mechanism of evolution, because it was
perverted in one instance by some of Darwin's
followers. It's no coincidence that Chomsky first came
to wider attention in the 1950s with a furious attack
on the work of B.F. Skinner. Skinner was his opposite
counterpart, an absolutist behaviorist.

I once had a conversation with a Chomskyite who flatly
denied that biology could possibly explain in any way
sexual attraction! His reason? "That would be social
Darwinism," and therefore it's impossible for him to

I doubt Chomsky himself would go that far, but many of
his academic disciples seem to. Anyway, this is windy,
as any attempt to figure this out would have to be.
There's a good introduction to this problem in the
late chapter's of Daniel Dennett's "Darwin's Dangerous
Idea," and you can find another approach to it, from
within linguistics, in some of the work of Stephen

Who would you like to see duke it out in the next
presidential election?

I'd love to see McCain in the mix, but I'm afraid he's
going to be too old by then. I can't wait till Obama
hits his stride, but he's too young yet. So I'll
settle back and root for a Condi-Hilary match, but
this is starting to resemble the answer to "Name a
guilty pleasure." Besides, I know we won't get it.
Rice isn't enough of a pure politician. And Hillary's
probably too poisonous. I miss Dean. At least you knew
what was in his mind. I wish Arnold could run.
Actually, I'd love to see Ed Rendell as a national
candidate, just to see if he could find enough
un-mustard-stained ties to last through an election

If you could go back in time and visit any one day in
history, which day would you choose?

This is maybe weird, but I'd like to spend a nice,
long sunny September day in the part of America where
I grew up (the Delaware Valley of Pennsylvania) a
thousand years before Columbus set foot in the New
World. Just to see the ancient forest from first light
to midnight, and see a million stars wheel above a
clearing on a hilltop and know that I'm lying on grass
on the site of, say Philadelphia.

If you were to meet anybody from history, who would it
be and why?

See, the trouble with that question is, those people
have to meet you, too. And chances are someone you
admire, like Chaucer or Calhoun or Sappho or Lucrezia
Borgia, isn't going to have a really good time hanging
around with you. Bummer. But I think it would be
pleasant to take a carriage ride with Samuel Johnson.
Having done the dictionary thing myself, I can
probably actually tell him some things he'd enjoy as
well as partaking of his wit.

Besides, he drank like a fish, which often is an
indicator of a potential good time to be had.

If you were going to put together a time capsule to be
opened in 100 years, what would you include in it?

About six of those spring-coil "snakes" that you can
buy in gag gift shops like Spencer's. Then, under
that, a turntable that plays 78s. There's an awful lot
of music history that's already inaccessible.

What are the most important things you'd like to be
known for?

It's funny how all that changes when you have a kid. I
have the capability of being a completely
self-absorbed bastard of a writer. The kind that
manages to make everyone around him miserable sooner
or later, because his essential focus is on the
interior process. You know, Shelley drives his father
nuts and drives his wives to suicide and leaves his
children in squalor, but it's worth it to the world
because we get "Ozymandius" and "Adonais."

But after my son was born, I realized that wasn't me
after all. Not that I ever was going to be the next
Shelley, but I could have done something along that
line. Now, what I'm most proud of is the young man
he's become, and how much good and positive energy
he's spread in the world already. Not how much he's
like me, but how much he's like him.

Who were your heroes growing up?

Is there any little boy who hasn't idolized his
father? I remember wanting a toy tool kit when I was
3, so I could follow him into the basement and fix
everything, the way he did.

As a teen-ager, I found a hero in Gandhi. It wasn't
his non-violence itself that drew me as much as his
conception of it as power -- genuine power. He's
misunderstood some things. He failed to see the depth
of evil that can simmer in some hearts. But despite
his personal frailty, there was nothing milquetostish
in his philosophy. What people overlook in it is how
he always advocated it as a weapon of the strong
against the weak, not an excuse for the weak to not
fight back.

Have any heroes now?

It gets harder to hold on to that as you get older.
But right now, I'd say there's an element of hero in
every person -- military and civilian, foreign or
local -- working in Afghanistan and Iraq to bring the
rule of law and the hope of freedom to those
countries. We're talking about real people, with real
weaknesses mixed into their heroism. But great heroes,
like Homer's Achilles and even his gods, weren't
perfect. A perfect person is something else, not a

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

There's a lot of individual things I'm proud of, like
once talking my way out of $600 worth of parking
tickets, or being able to recite the Gettysburg
Address in Old English, but no one thing is really the
one I'm most proud of.

So I'll have to reach for one of those overarching
concepts. Over the doorway of Ardmore Junior High
School, now long-since torn down, was the motto "Enter
to Learn, Go Forth to Serve." That's a two-part
commandment, and to the degree to which I've used my
gods-given gifts for soaking up learning, and turned
that around to be of benefit to the times I live in,
or to nudge the world imperceptibly in some better,
more enlightened direction, then I am proud of that
accomplishment. It's not something I spend a lot of
time measuring, though.

What do you see when you look in the mirror?

Blotchy skin, unruly hair, and an ugly lump of nose I
can trace back, identical, in family photographs to

How did you meet your lovely wife?

We met on Yeah, I know, lame. But I work
very strange hours and there's not much chance to
socialize. I'm a strange bird, anyhow, so most women
won't be interested, especially in this town. The odd
thing was, I'd just come off a long-term relationship
that was mostly carried on online, and I definitely
didn't want to go through that again. I was looking
for someone local, but I still turned to the Internet
to find her.

And, yes, Amy really did work for a decade or so in
the costume department in the basement of the
Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

I wouldn't recommend looking on for her
like, though. She truly was one in a billion. She sure
stood out among the toothless 37-year-old

Boxers or briefs?

Foxy Boxers. Some of those chicks can lay on the
leather. Especially that little brunette with the
crescent moon tattooed on her left shoulder and the
wicked uppercut. Not that I really was watching or

Name a guilty pleasure.

Women's prison flicks.

What's on the top of today's to-do list?

Answer a dozen e-mails, and shovel frigging snow.
Shovel snow that has the heft of rock, that can wrench
your back out of order and bury your car. Snow as hard
and real as lava -- yet for all my painstaking it will
be gone in a few weeks as though it never was here.

What is in your CD player right now?

Ah, you caught me. It's a duo called "Vas," featuring
a singer of Iranian-Indian extraction who has an
aetherial voice. It's borderline New Age, but I swear
it's well on the "real music" side of the line. Her
name is Azam Ali, and she also has a fantastic
compilation of re-set medieval music called "Portals
of Grace."

Other recent tenants there include John
Coltrane/Johnny Harman, Jet, Wilson Pickett, Sigur
Ros, Pizzicato 5, and "Rubber Soul."

If you had two weeks of free time with no
responsibilities and no cash-flow issues, what would
you do?

Day-um. The gods deny such luxuries to some humans
because of the amount of truly twisted desires that
lurk in such people's hearts. Something tells me I'm
one of those humans.

If I had to behave, though, I'd probably travel with
Amy and Luke. Places I love, like the middle Florida
Keys or the German Alps. Or maybe some place I've
never been, like out West.

Posted by Jennifer at 11:00 AM | Comments (7)

January 24, 2005

Snooze Button Dreams Interview II

It's the Snooze Button Dreams Interview II!

In the extended...

So you used to have a picture of you sucking on a cow's teets, what happened to that? Bring back the cow teets!
That's "teats". We must always strive to perfection when discussing mammaries.

That picture is still there. Shortly after its removal I was threatened with bodily harm, or at least ridicule and a drop-off in traffic, if I didn't make the cow pic available. Just look in the (cleverly disguised) "About Me" section of my sidebar for the "Got Mu" link. It's just above the PayPal donate button and Amazon wishlist. Which I'm sure would be more entertaining for you than a silly cow picture.

There's a fire. You can save three other bloggers. Who do you grab?
I guess the first would be me. Just like on a depressurized airplane it's important to put yourself before invalid companions and small children. Oh, wait - you said "other" bloggers. Okay then, first would be Lovely Wife. Not only would she be the easiest to save seeing as we live in the same place and all but she is my wife. Seeing as she's put up with me for years she's more than earned it.

For the rest...jeeze I don't know. The problem is that a lot of the bloggers I read are also my friends; some of them are very dear friends. How do you pick which people in a group of friends are the best, most important, most special, whatever? I sure can't. Rather, I wouldn't voluntarily go through the exercise. Even if I did I wouldn't post the results - that's just way cold.

Salt and vinegar chips-heaven, or form of Satanism?
It depends on the mood. When I'm really super happy and festive and gay, bouncing off the walls in unfettered glee whilst clicking my heels in the air they are a perfect food because they will knock that happy horseshit right out of me faster than narcan. Evil, evil, evil chips.

How's your German? And if your answer is "poor", then when are you gonna' be fluent?
I can swear a little bit and ask for a beer so I would say my German is already fluent. I'm also "fluent" in Spanish, French, Dutch and Tagalog.

What do you value most in a person?
The ability to entertain me. That might sound a bit superficial and me-centric on the face of it but think about it for a moment. Do you have a voluntary relationship with anybody who can't entertain you?

What happened on the weirdest date you ever had?
I took a girl I'd been seeing to the Erie County Fair and we had a fun but incredibly overpriced time. On the way out I had a pocketful of ones left over so I put them all on a game of Keno. I won so suddenly instead of being happy and almost broke I was exultant with something like $500 to blow. We decided to go to Rochester to hook up with and show off my largess with some of her college buddies up there.

We get in my car and the sucker is dead. We got a jump and it was dead. After helpful assistance from some mechanically inclined tailgaters it was still dead. Real dead, as in post-terminal illness dead.

We moped around my dead transport for a while wondering what the hell we were going to do, who we were going to call for a ride, whatever, when one of the guys who had tried to help yelled to me. He pointed to a guy who was pulling a dilapidated winter beater car out of a parking spot. He had one of those "For Sale" signs in his car window. I ran over and flagged him down. I asked him how much he was selling the car for. He said $600. I said I'd give him $500 for it on the spot. He said okay, signed over the title and I put my plates on it. (Yeah, it's illegal. So sue me.)

We decided against the Rochester trip since this vehicle was in very rough shape and since I no longer had any money. As a consolation prize we christened the new vehicle eight ways from Sunday.

Stories like this are hard to believe. It should be, since it's a load of bull. You should have been clued in right at the start when I said I had money left upon leaving the Fair. Nobody gets out of the Erie County Fair with money in their pockets. Nobody.

Anyway, I've never had a wacky date and I didn't want to bore you with some nonsensical answer so I made up that nifty little story just for you. Hope you liked it.

If you had to live in either Alaska or Hawaii, which would you choose?
Is this one of those trick questions? When I say "Well duh...Hawaii" will I be attacked by a gang of hippies or something? I used to live in Little Alaska (Buffalo). I moved to Hawaii Lite (Atlanta). I have not gone insane since then.

Of all your blog projects, which are you the most proud of?
Zero Intelligence. It's a blog dedicated to exposing the myths behind Zero Tolerance policies, educating people about their sources and effects and exposing abuses caused by them. It just turned a year old and I did a summary of visitors and referrals, etc. It was WAY more successful than I had thought and astronomically more successful than I ever dreamed it would be when I first started it up. I'm making an actual difference there and I am helping people in the real world to deal with something that is catastrophically unjust.

What size boobs do you think look best on women?
Well Harv, I pretty much like all of them. Big boobs, little boobs, medium boobs. Boobs, boobs, boobs, boobs, boobs! Taste great, great for ya!

A lot of guys say that they don't like implants. They say this only in the presence of women and they are lying. That said, unnatural implants are a turn-off. The boobs really do need to match the body. Unnaturally big boobs are cool for the freak show effect but they're not beautiful.

What's the least impressive contest you ever entered and won?
Um... Huh... Hmmm... I honestly can't think of any. I'm not a big contest enterer and off the top of my head I can't think of any I've won except maybe a caption contest or two. So I guess the answer would be "a caption contest". Unfortunately that would also be the answer to a question about the most impressive contest I've ever entered and won.

Are there any bloggers you haven't met yet that you'd really like to?
Pretty much all of them. I'd at least like to meet all of the ones on my blogroll. The people on my blogroll are there because they amuse and/or entertain me - those are definitely the sort of people I'd like to meet.

If you choke a Smurf, what color will he turn?
Doesn't "choke the Smurf" sound like a great euphemism for whacking off?

A year later, are we any closer to Munuvian World Domination?
Absolutely. We've increased our scope and penetration (heh..."penetration") by a magnitude over the past year. All we need to do is continue our geometric growth and we'll control the world in just a few years.

I have $8million US, may I have your bank account number so I can deposit it?
Sorry, I'd love to help you but I've already promised my good friend Mtumbe Gawamba that he would have exclusive access to my accounts.

Do you think it is possible for a truly honest politician to exist?
No. Then again I don't think it is possible for a truly honest human to exist. Whether it is lying by omission or simply being tactful, the philosophy of untruth is an integral part of human behavior. Do I believe it is possible for an essentially honest politician to exist? Yes, but I seriously doubt that any politician in high level politics has been able to retain that quality. Honesty is a progressively heavier burden the further a person rises in politics. It gets replaced by the carefully simulated appearance of honesty in any truly successful politician.

How does "Bear" come by his nickname?
It started as a description: "Momma's teddy bear" or something similar. It changed to "our little bear" about the time he started walking. It became a capitalized name at around his second or third birthday.

Now that Lovely Wife has a blog and everyone knows her name, why do you still call her Lovely Wife?
Because she's still my lovely wife. That's not just something I called her on my blog, it's something I've been calling her for years because she's truly lovely. And my wife.

Do you think Michael Moore has to have a bidet, or do you think he can reach down there?
He doesn't need a bidet. He has a crack team of hippies who take care of that for him.

(Heh. "Crack team". Hehehe.)

Ever been arrested?
Yup. Twice. Once for writing a bad check and once for being an asshole. Oh, wait - I guess both of those were assholish. Somebody who writes a bad check is definitely an asshole. To differentiate, the second one was also for being a moron. A moron asshole you might say.

What is your beverage of choice?
Water, then milk. Damn, I'm such a pansy. I'm supposed to say single malt scotch here, or tequila shooters, or a rich porter so dark that light cannot escape it. Truth is that although I'm very fond of scotch and porter (I could take or leave the tokillya shooters) I would be a miserable SOB without water and milk. That's real milk, by the way. No 2%, no skim, no reduced anything. Just milk. It does a body good, y'know?

Is Trey Givens as dreamy in person as he seems in his photos?
He's even more dreamy than that. He's a man beloved by children and dogs, an intellectual with common sense, he's all that and a bag of chips. Let me put it another way - he's one of less than a handful of people who we would be comfortable leaving our kids with. Although after the midget assault he endured this weekend he might not be too eager to be isolated with our spawn.

Posted by Jennifer at 01:30 PM | Comments (5)

January 21, 2005

Bobo Blogger Interview

It's the Bobo Blogger Interview!

In the extended...

Who are you?

I am an attorney living in western Pennsylvania. I try to remain anonymous so that I can run for judge in the near future. I am the Oddybobo, slightly boring yet strangely refreshing. Oddybobo is also my dog, pictured at my blog.

What were you like in high school?

I was the anti-geek, but had the highest GPA in my class. Dated a burn-out type and was basically in with the rough crowd, yet also the president of Future Business Leaders of America and editor of my paper. Oh, and I hated Cheerleaders.

What would you change about yourself? What wouldn't you change about yourself?

I would change my inability to keep myself from opening my mouth and inserting foot, something I often find myself doing. I would not change my devotion for my family.

What made you start blogging?

Well, couldn’t lurk in comment land forever, and thought someone, anyone might want to read what I have to say. Afterall, I get paid to spout my opinions in Court, why not blog about nothing on a daily basis?

Do you love a parade?

Only if said parade contains zum zums or zin zins (those shriner guys with the hats!) and the float peoples throw candy. A good parade must supply candy. Better still, skip the parade and just have zum zums passing out dum dums from their itty bitty cars. I gotta get me one of those cars!

Chocolate or caramel?

Mmmm turtle cheesecake . . . I love them both, I am all for diversity! I am a hapa, that is Hawaiian for ½ and ½ basically. Half Asian / half Caucasian, so I am all about the blending!

Exactly how many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center
of a Tootsie Pop?

Watched my 1 ½ year old eat one just ten minutes ago, just like the commercial, two licks and a crunch, fascinating!

How many keys are on your keyring? How many of those keys do you
actually use?

Twelve keys but I only use three! One at a time of course. The rest are for the jangle in my pocket!

What is the most wonderful thing about Tiggers?

The Bounce! Oh and the way they are never wrong about anything, just like me!

If money was no object, where would you choose to live?

I would live in a treehouse if it meant I could be with my family everyday. I would prefer a home with running water, but I wouldn’t mind going all Swiss Family Robinson for a while! But you said if money was no object, so I would have to say my ideal is right where I am, with one additional bathroom, that is all I ask!

What is your preferred method of transportation?

Horse and buggy, unfortunately, those damn parking attendants frown on pony poop in the garages in down-town Pittsburgh, PA, so I ditch my amish ways and ride in a . . . gasp . . . SUV!

If you were an animal, which one would you choose to be and why?

A babelfish, so that people can understand my rantings in any language. I like dolphins too, they hold the key to the universe after all!

If you went to Fantasy Island and your fantasy was to be in a
movie, which movie would that be and which character would you play
(one already existing)?

I would so be Tattoo, but it would be in the movie dirty dancing, could you imagine Tattoo as Johnny? That would be so cool, dirty dancing with Baby’s kneecaps, hilarious! “No body puts Baby in the corner!”

What's your theoretical or actual favorite vacation spot?

Seriously here, my favorite vacation spot is Assateague Island, Maryland. I love to camp there, and play in the sand see the horses, etc . . . It is so much fun and it is serene and so wonderful to spend with my family.

If you were to own a restaurant or bar, what would you call it?

I would call it Tummy Lovin. Cause with the better half behind the stove, it will be just that, Tummy Lovin!

Who is your favorite writer (either professional or on the web)?

I will give both. Love Michelle Malkin on the web. Read her all the time. Outside of the web, I have to say Aphra Behn. Cause she was a prolific writer when women were not and because she cross-dressed as a man and was married to a man who cross-dressed as a woman, go figure!

What is your favorite conspiracy theory?

That Jim Morrison died of a heart attack in his tub in Paris! I saw him last week at a burger joint!

What is your stance on pumpkin pie?

That I bake the best in the world, hands down, we are talking blue ribbon pie. At my restaurant Tummy Lovin, it would be an appetizer instead of dessert it is so good. They should call me the King/Queen of Pumpkin Pie it is so good! Mmmm pie! Where was I?

What is your favorite holiday, and why?

Lunar New Year, I love the color red, the dragons, the fireworks, the drums, the lucky money, I so love the lucky money! I love that people that are older than you give you lucky money! Oh, and the food is good too. Did I mention the money?

What is the best day you ever had?

The day my son was born. It was 22 months ago, but seems like yesterday. His first breath, his first sigh, his first cry, his beautiful blue eyes looking right at me like I am the only person in the room and the most important one in his life (absent better half). It was the most important moment, nay second in my life, then I had the rest of the day with him, oh my goodness! Then I had the rest of the last 22 months with him. It wasn’t like winning the lottery, it was winning the lottery. There is nothing in this world that means more to me. I would lay my life down for him to be happy for just one more second of one more day. The day he was born can’t be topped by any other, even my wedding day pales in comparison. This isn’t just a parent’s love talking, he consumes me! The day he was born, so was I!

Posted by Jennifer at 11:00 AM | Comments (3)

January 19, 2005

Baby Wings Interview

It's the Baby Wings Interview!

In the extended...

What made you start blogging?

I first discovered Blogs via by reading some great stuff from Lt. Smash. He's kind of my blogfather. I was hooked from then on and surfed from his page to several others – namely Blackfive. So I claim them both as blogfathers. I think they would both deny any knowledge of me, and rightly so.

What kind of pajamas do you wear whilst blogging?

Red, White, and Blue flannel. I love flannel.

Boxers or briefs?

Boxers, duh!

What 3 things make you the most angry?

Liberals, Islamofascists, and Terrorists. When I think of the other two, I’ll send you an email.

You are in jail. Who do you make your one phone call to?

My lovely wife!

Why are you in jail to begin with?

I’m not in jail. I was never ‘there’, I didn’t converse with that person, and I don’t know how the terrorist ended up dead – looks like suicide to me… 20+ stab wounds? A very, very determined suicide! Must be all those virgins he was looking forward to.

Are you the kind of friend you want your friends to be?

Yes and no. I’m a good listener. Sorry, you were saying?

If you killed a spider in your house would you use your bare hand?

Uuummmm… NO. My lovely wife and I have an agreement. I never have to ‘deal with spiders’, and she never has to ‘deal with snakes.’

Zoos--fun for everyone or depressing?

Depressing in a fun sort of way.

If you had the One Ring, what would you do?

Control Usama – and make him tell all his little fascist friends to immediately commit suicide - in a very determined manner.

How did you find out Santa Claus was a fraud?

YOU LIE! He is NOT a fraud! How dare you! Sheesh! Are you a liberal or something?

If you were really really hungry and there was nothing in the fridge but mayo, olives, hersheys chocolate syrup, salsa and a few stale candy corns from last Halloween, what would you do?

Funny thing is I still have some great recipes in my head from my bachelor days. With all those fantastic ingredients, I’d have a feast! Oh, and Candy Corn is capitalized since it is the very finest of candies, and further, it doesn’t go stale. Ever.

If you had to eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Kitten Tika Masala

Do you think colonizing Mars is the best use of our resources?

Absolutely. The VRC needs someplace to send all the liberofascists that want to leave America now that President Bush has been elected again.

If you had to change lives with someone from any period of history, who would it be?

Winston Churchill. I would love to have been at the party when the old lady told him he was drunk. His reply is so very classic, and I’d love to deliver it myself: “Yes Madame, I am drunk. You, on the other hand, are ugly. Tomorrow I will be sober; but you will still be ugly.” (As close as I can remember it!)

What'd be your weapon of choice if confronted with Osama bin Laden?

A safety pin. It’d take longer that way.

Why do you think it is so rare to find an American presidential candidate with facial hair?

I think most feel it’s bad luck. Besides when things go bad in a debate, it leaves your opponent with one more spot to grab you.

They say you should learn from your mistakes: what was the biggest one you made, why did you make it, and what did you learn from it?

Seriously? Turning my back on God at a very young age. After many years of floundering and searching, I came to the realization that I would not get out of this life alive, and I really needed Gods’ help in everything I did. I went to church with a friend (who later became my lovely wife) and I found the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

Not Seriously: Getting a cat. Two words: Cat Wings. Tobasco sauce fixes everything!

What is your favorite conspiracy theory?

That Al Gore really did invent the Internet.

What would you change about yourself? What wouldn't you change about yourself?

My publicist. My family.

Posted by Jennifer at 10:00 AM | Comments (3)

January 17, 2005

Flying Space Monkey Interview

It's the Flying Space Monkey interview!

In the extended...

First thing everyone wants to know is, where did you get the name for your blog?

Why, I pulled it out of my pinkytoe. I like flying, I like space, and
I like monkeys. Monkeys have been into space and they flew once in
fiercesome fashion on the Wizard of Oz. I added the chroncles word
because it was the touch of class the name needed to balance out the
silly stuff. Flying space monkey was a term I used to use all the
time to represent some thing people had irrational fear of' "Why don't
they upgrade? Are they afraid the flying space monkeys are gonna get
them if they do?" I guess becaue if flying monkeys are scary, give
them interstellar travel THEN how scary are they? Pretty Scary.
The horrifed look on my best friend and blogfather's face when I told
him the name cinched it for me. THAT'S the look I was looking for.
Pure gold.

Why blog?

I originally wanted to keep a handwritten journal to chronicle stuff
but my handwriting is atrocious. My typing is really bad too, but the
paper journal has no spellcheck.

How did you wander into Munuvia?

I was dragged kicking and screaming into it by Pixy Misa. Who in one
of his rare mistakes thought I was a good blogger languishing on
blog*spot. The reality is I was potentially the best blogger ever who
had been damaged beyond repair and also beyond hope of ever reaching
my potential, tragically due to use of inferior blog software.
Actually it was an honor being asked. And as you can attest the
munuvians are generous to a fault.

What is the strangest thing you've ever seen or done that you haven't
blogged about?

Once I wore white and this is the strange part it was AFTER LABOR DAY.
There's more to that story, obviously.

Have you ever regretted blogging about something?


Oh you want details? Um , yeah ok. That Denigrating the Overblog thing I did sort of got out of hand but the traffic it generated so totally rocked, I wasn't mature enough as a blogger to handle the crticisms of asking people to be critical but y'know they say gotta get tough fast when you're prone to stupid stuff

Would you do something like the Bonfire again, or was it too much work?

It was a lot more work that I've thought it would be. But it was
WAAAYYY worth it. I got lots of sweet, sweet traffic and since I did
get lots of sweet, sweet traffic YES I'll be doing the carnival of all
mammals, Carnival of the vaccum clean repairmen, carnival of
nonbloggers internet surfers. That ones going to be tough, I'll have
to link directly to their IP addresses. But yeah I plan to do every
carnival, bonfire, and cornfire known to man and any known to nonhuman
alien races I might encounter.

What's up with your Frank J. Fan Club?

Nothing's much up with it now, I've let it die I guess. But it was my
first big stab for fame and glory in blogdom. Frank J of
IMAO demanded a fan club, so I made him a fan club knowing he would link to it and it made for a funny story. I am straight though, you understand? STRAIGHT. The irony of the whole
thing was the fan club blog got a ton of traffic and an instalanche if
memory serves. My blogspot blog got very little from it, I got a nice
big headache and some loyal readers out of it though. Got on the
inside track with Frank J. though as self appointed chief minion. Plus
I'm straight. Of course you made him a fan club too but
already had grabbed the brass ring of blog greatness. I had just heard
that such a ring existed. STRAIGHT!

Who did your graphic for you (one of your kids? you?)

Ah yes the one thing about my blog I've gotten repeated praise for the
graphic. It came to me in a dream and when I woke up the dream had
come true. Actually another blogger, Bert Dreifuss is the source of my graphic.

Random styling question: Now that Rathergate is over and CBS has
issued its report, do you plan to change your main font back to a
proportionally-spaced font ?

I've thought about it and I might just complete my co-opting of scrappleface's design and rename my blog spacemonkeyface.

What's your favorite nickname you've been given?

I'm uncle Bobo to my nephew. I have less than favorite and less than
favorable nicknames as well. I'll not drag them up.

What's it like living in a house with 4 females?

Crazy. They come up with some crazy stuff. But my kids are still
young. They still think I know something about something. Of course
the ever lovely Mrs. Spacemonkey has no such illusions. When the
others figure it all out too, and start leaving going to college and
getting married is when it going to really become difficult.

Completely unrelated to the above question, have any cool scars?

I have a nifty scar on my forehead where I caught a rock. I also have
a scar on my knee where I bit myself one time. There's a story there.

Do you have any of those concrete blocks for sale?

You just missed out. All I have now is concrete spheres, cylinders and
cones and they are not for sale. They are availible for short-term
lease with your approved credit application. Seriosuly, I do get
serious sometimes, honest! I once had a business partnership with
Shane at Kudzu. We set up computers and installed computer hardware and software but we kept getting calls for concrete blocks on our answering service. We'd call them back but
always got their machine. We may have made more money selling concrete
blocks. Now we'll never know. [sigh]

Which would you rather give up: caffeinated soda or your insulin pump?

I would give up caffeinated soda in a heartbeat before I'd give up my
insulin pump.
Well, I figure I could always find a way to infuse my insulin with
caffeine. Did you know pure caffeine is a white powder just like some
other things? Going the other way wouldn't work, stomach acid
tears insulin apart. Plus, insulin shots really suck.

How much wood would a woodchuck chuck?

About a mouth full. Then he upchucks. Little known fact-woodchucks are
wood-intolerant, hence the name.

What's your favorite book (fiction) and why?

I'd have to say it's Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. Even though I
figured it out before the big reveal was made it was super uber good.
I'm trying not to give it away for people who haven't yet read it.
It's too good to have someone ruin the ending for you.

How did your daughter's science fair turn out? What project did she do?

She still hasn't turned it in yet, It's due on the Tuesday after this
interview is due. She did the one using a model rocket. We added clay
and extrapolated how the maximum height was affected using then angle
of observation and a measure distance...stop rolling your eyes.

Tell us about Space Camp.

I loved it when I went, way back in 1983, It hadn't changed much when
I went back last year with my daughter, but I had. I think I got older or something. All the space monkeys have now all died.

If you had a voodoo doll, who would you use it on?

Probably on myself, to scratch those itches I can

What is the best thing to ever happen to you?

I once found a fifty. HAH! Not really. Actually I did find a fifty one
time. The best was meeting and marrying my wife. She's something else
and she gave me some wonderful kids. For what its worth, she doesn't
read my blog, like most of humanity. She gets her fill of what I'm
thinking live and in person. Finding the fifty was mighty nice though.
Oh! and getting interviewed by you was nice too. Thanks for
interviewing me! I hope my answers aren't too long.

Posted by Jennifer at 11:30 AM | Comments (1)

January 14, 2005

*Carpe Bonum Interview

It's the Carpe Bonum interview!

In the extended...

Tell us a little about yourself--married? children? career?

I'm married and have four children, ages 2 to 11. I am a software
engineer turned system integrator turned manager turned sales guy.
I've worked in the defense, personal computer and telecommunications

When/how did you learn about blogs?

About a year ago I saw something in the news about blogs. I
bookmarked a few like Scrapple Face, Belmont Club and Betsy's Page. I actually used Scott Ott's ScrappleFace blogroll as my blog reader. I just clicked through to
newly updated blogs as they popped to the top of the list. That got
to be too unwieldy, so I experimented with an RSS feed reader (don't
remember which one). But I soon lost interest.

A few months ago I read an article in a magazine singing the praises
of RSS Bandit. I was wanting to keep up to date on electoral
shenannigans anyway, so I downloaded it and starting using it. Soon I
switched to SharpReader. Now, it's just about the only means I use to
read regularly updated content online.

I actually started a blog on Blogger in August 2003. That was only
because I wanted to play with the Blog This! button on the Google
toolbar. I didn't make any public-interest posts on it.

Did any bloggers inspire you to start your own?

Well, the main inspiration to start making public-interest posts was
to have a place to point stuff out to family and friends. Previously
I was doing this by sending out spammish emails to people. I decided
to leave their mailboxes alone and post the same kind of stuff on a
blog instead.

I was very inspired by Little Green Footballs' and Power Line's coverage of Memogate. I typed up one of the bogus memos myself in about five minutes.

Milbloggers like Greyhawk at Mudville Gazette and Neil Prakash at Armor Geddon are also inspirational. Here are service members in harms way making history day by day, and posting it to the world in something near real time. I have a similar feeling toward diplomablogs Diplomad and Daily Demarche.

Shortly after I started Carpe Bonum, I noticed Joe Carter's awesome
"How to start a blog" series. He's got tons of great information for aspiring bloggers. I try the best I can to follow his advice (except I use Blogger, oops!).

I really adimire the rapport Frank J has with his IMAO readers, not to mention his outrageous humor and his unbelievably bold t-shirt babe/girlfriend search ruse.

Inspirational, but in a different way are leftie bloggers like Kos, Kevin Drum and Atrios. I've gotten in the habit of
ankle-biting these guys by sending trackbacks to their posts. A lot
of my traffic is click-throughs from these trackbacks. In accordance
with Joe Carter's etiquitte guidelines, my posts always link back to
theirs and are on topic. And my summaries generally make it clear I
am in dissent. But I get the clickthrougs anyway, so that's fun. And
I haven't gotten banned.

What do you hope to accomplish with your blog?

At first, I just wanted to post stuff for friends and family to read
that they might not otherwise find themselves. But there is something
addictive about seeing those hit counts incrementing througout the
day. So my goal now is to build a group of regular readers who get
something out of reading the blog each day.

I'd like to contribute in whatever small way I can in the battle
against what Melanie Phillips called "media induced ignorance." I
wrote about it here.

In the same vein, I'd like to help route around the mainstream media
by posting original content that we will never see there. Keep
checking with Carpe Bonum for more on this.

How do you have so much time to keep your blog up to date?

Ah, yes. Well I don't really have the time. I started the blog over
the Christmas (yes, Christmas!) holiday when I had lots of time to
write and tinker with the blog (between family Monopoly games, that
is). Now that I'm back to work, there is less time. This first
couple of weeks definitely seems like a honeymoon period.

I have written down a routine of what I'd like to accomplish daily or
weekly on the blog. I'll plug away on the list as best I can. But
several times I have seen something I absolutely had to write about to
the exclusion of unimportant things like exercise, sleep and eating.
I assume that as time goes by, I'll be able to let things go a little

I'd like to see (or write) an article on the phases of blogging. I
know Honeymoon is first. What's next?

Where do you get such wonderful insight?

Ha ha haa, I think I can guess who sent this one, and she's on sitting
the couch watching Brit Hume on the TiVo.

Well my father is a Jesuit-educated US Naval officer so he instilled
in me a strong sense of morals and rigor. My high school was very
serious about academics: huge vocabulary lists, lots of AP History,
English, Science, Math and foreign language classes. So that filled
my head with lots of facts. And as an undergrad, in addition to my
Computer Science major I minored in Philosophy. So that sharpened my
critical thinking skills.

All of which helps explain that bad habit mentioned below...

What politicians do you admire?

Zell Miller: "George W. Bush wants to grab terrorists by the throat and not let them go to get a better grip."

That speech still gives me goosebumps.

Dick Murphy, Mayor of San Diego. He understands things like
separation of powers, which is so rare in politicians. Yes he's got
some leadership problems, and the election was a bit irregular. But I
admire his clarity of thought.

Finally my father-in-law. At age 66, he ran for a seat in his state
legislature. It was his first run for public office, and he won. He
has been like a kid in a toy store ever since. So excited. His first
chance to say the opening prayer, he asked God to bless all the unborn
babies. Imagine the uproar it caused in his Democrat controlled state
house! He has been reelected twice.

What kind of music do you prefer?

Headbanger cranked loud when I am on the way to or from a mountain
bike ride, or when I am angry. Country and classic rock otherwise.
Blues when I have a CD at hand. And I would really like some good
Gospel Choir music, but I have no idea what group to look for down at
the record store.

What kind of music do you avoid like the plague?

Show tunes: "Each Gaaaame of CHESSSS, means Therrrrs one LESSSS,
variaaaaaaation tooo be PLAYYYED..." Ugh.

If you could watch just one movie for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Can I make it a book instead? The Silmarillion by Tolkein. If it has
to be a movie I'd say The Blues Brothers. Great music and Carrie
Fisher getting dropped in a sewer. Runner up: The Committments.

Do you have any bad habits? If so, did you resolve to break them?

Yes. And no.

Oh you wanted me to say what they are? I'm not going to tell any of
the juicy ones, but here's one. I often toy with people by catching
them in dumb little logic traps like the one above. Annoying, isn't

Do you believe in ghosts? Would you be willing to spend the night in a supposedly haunted house?

I believe in Angels and Saints, so I guess that means I believe in
ghosts. But there is nothing in my faith or in any science I know of
that gives credibility to ghost stories where the ghost chases people
around and throws things at them, or whatever.

So yes, I would spend a night in a supposedly haunted house. Just
like all those other white guys in horror movies, a la Eddie Murphy.

Having said that, I'm not going camping in any haunted forest, no.

If you had to live somewhere other than the USA, where would you go?

Italy? Austrailia? Ireland? I don't know really. There are so many
great places to live in the USA, I haven't really considered leaving.

Do you think the world will be better or worse off in 100 years than it is now?

Definitely better. There is no question in my mind.

Worldwide in the last 100 years, we have boosted the population, the
amount of food produced per capita, the amount of leisure time, and
education levels. We have reduced poverty and infant mortality. We
have made astonishing advances in technology, science, art and
culture. Known oil reserves are increasing.

Yes we have a lot of problems to solve, and we may even face
considerable periods of regression, but today's kids are great. They
and their kids will carry the world forward, I know it.

Which sex do you think has it easier in our society, and why?

Even though men are pulled in lots of conflicting directions in terms
of gender roles and behavior, it is more difficult for women. They
are pulled at least as many different directions as we are, but they
are the only ones who can actually bear children. And the window in
their lives when they can safely do it is narrower than ours. That
makes the pressure that much worse.

Describe a perfect weekend in your world, please.

I would like to spend the weekend mountain biking with my kids and
having them kick my ass. It will be a few years yet, but I'm sure it
will happen.

What superpower would you choose?

America, f__k yeah.

See, there I go again.

Ummm, I choose super strength. That way, even though I am not
permitted to arm myself in many likely targets (airplanes, schools,
etc.), I will at least be able to kill the terrorists with my bare

As a teenager I would have chosen invisibility.

What is your most treasured childhood memory?

Oh, lots of holiday moments with grandparents. By the time I turned
twelve, three of them had passed away.

What is the best thing anyone ever did for you?

About fourteen years ago a photographer/sailing buddy invited me out
to shoot pictures of a couple of aspiring America's Cup teams. The
teams were out doing an exhibition race as a publicity stunt. I spent
most of the day bombing around the bay in a little Boston Whaler.
Toward the end of the day we rotated out to a helipad. We waited
around while photographers took turns going out in a little MD 500 helicopter, two turns each. When it came time for my buddy's second turn, he let me
go instead. What a blast: feet on the skid, leaning out over the
water, with all of my weight hanging in the harness. Took some great
pictures too.

But really the best thing was my wife marrying me and having our four kids.

Oh, stop blubbering, everybody says that.

Have you ever done a good deed anonymously?

Well this question is a paradox. If I talk about an anonymous good
deed it won't be anonymous any more, will it?

Actually, I can't think of a significant and truly anonymous good
deed. I used to put a lot of hours in volunteering with a County
disaster services organization, and we make charitable contributions
mostly to or through the Church. The beneficiaries will never know
who I am, but there are records. So are those anonymous? I don't
think so.

Thanks, readers, for the questions. They were very thought provoking.
I hope you enjoy the answers.

And thank you very much Jennifer for running these interviews.

Posted by Jennifer at 11:00 AM | Comments (0)

January 12, 2005

*Swanky Conservative Interview

It's the Swanky Conservative interview!

In the extended...

What is the best drink you've invented (if you've invented any of your

I perfected a Mexican Martini. The original recipe is that of Trudy's in
Austin. I made it a bit dirtier and less tart.

Who is your biggest influence in life?

My parents. They helped shape me in ways I never knew.

Any online influences?

Online? Well, Dr. Reynolds, Charles Johnson and Stephen Green would be my blogging influences.

Why do you blog?

I used to be a journalist. I recognized blogging as a paradigm shift in
the way information is disseminated. It is the Gütenberg Press of the
21st century, and I wanted to be a part of it. My journalism days were
spent as a photojournalist, so my writing has never been very strong. As
I blog, I hope to refine my writing skills.

How would you describe your blog to a stranger?

Conservative, but with a fun, independent and classically liberal twist.

Do your family and friends know you blog? If so, what do they think
about it?

Yes, some aren't in tune with what it really is, others read it frequently.

Do you blog from work? If so, does your boss know?

Yes and No.

Is this your first traffic/link-whoring experience? If so, what took
you so long?

No, Stephen Green highlighted my Presidential Debate live-blog. It was a regular Vodka-launch. I also frequently link to James Joyner's Beltway Traffic Jam.

What, if anything, is too serious for you to joke about?

It varies. I can crack a joke at a funeral. That's countered with a
relatively good sense of tact, though.

Why does the PM of Israel go to NYC before he heads down to
Washington, DC? No other head of state does this. Why?

The road less traveled? He wants to hit Katz's Deli on the way? I really do
not know.

If there were public executions on TV, would you watch?

Absolutely not. There is no value of such an event to me. Having said
that, reality shows are also useless to me.

You can save one thing from your burning house (all living things are
out safely)...what do you save and why?

Ooo... Hard Choice. Probably my pistol safe. It'd be a toss-up between a
laptop or the pistol. The file cabinet is a goner - not getting that out
of the closet anytime quickly. The ultra-important files are in a
fire-proof box, so I'd dig that out later.

You can choose 5 dinner guests--dead or alive--who do you choose?

Ernest Hemingway, Plato, Christ, Teddy Roosevelt, Frank Sinatra and
Martin Luther King. I think this crowd would be able to sit around (with
or without drinks and smokes) and have some great discussions.

You are given 20 guns, but only one is loaded. How much money would
you have to get to put one to your head and pull the trigger?

20 million and the gun is a cap gun.

You slightly damage another car while parking, but there aren't any
witnesses. Do you leave a note?

Door ding? No. Rip part of their fender skirt or plastic bumper, yes.

Would you rather spend a month on vacation with your most annoying
family member, or work overtime for a month without extra pay?

The latter. I haven't been paid overtime for years.

For what in your life are you most grateful?

My centered well-being and self-confidence. They've allowed me to get
through some seriously rough times and helped me discover the love of me

Is there anyone you regularly take advice from?

My wife.

Before making phone calls, do you rehearse what you'll say?

I am a Naval Reservist and in tech support. When I have to be "on" I
rehearse in my head what I'm going to say. You don't talk on the phone
in the Navy the same way you do friends or family. Tech calls also
require a bit of protocol.

Do you sing to yourself?

Yep. I have an internal soundtrack that I sing along to sometimes..

Posted by Jennifer at 12:00 PM | Comments (3)

January 11, 2005

*Random Fate Interview, Part Two

It's the Random Fate interview!

In the extended...

Being the centrist you are, who do you think would be good for both
sides to have run in the next election?

That’s difficult to say, because as near as I can determine, all major
politicians have essentially sold their souls to get into the positions
of power they have now. So, in essence, our selection process for
President is to find the WORST man for the job. There are no “major”
politician/potential candidates that do not suffer from this fatal flaw
that I am aware of. Sorry I can’t give names, but that’s why I’m a
centrist, I don’t like ANYONE in politics.

And who do you think would be a good President to get us out of this
current mess we're in?

Other than me?

Seriously, it will take more than a President to fix what I perceive as
the problems the United States has both domestically and in the world
as a whole right now. Snarky comments about a “global test” don't cut
it, either. We need true leadership, not just in the Executive Branch,
but in the Legislative Branch as well. I’m not sure anyone currently
well known is capable of that kind of leadership (including the current
administration). To paraphrase what was said so eloquently by our
Secretary of Defense, we go to war with the politicians we have, not
the leaders we would like to have.

If you could have any job other than the one you have, what would it
be, money being no object?

Well, I had my “dream job” right out of graduate school, although I
didn’t know it at the time. I had a job in R&D, lots of resources, and
few constraints. An incredible amount of freedom for a man in his late
20s, full of “piss and vinegar” who wanted to discover the secrets
nature had hidden away. In the aftermath of that experience (a long
story that I may one day write about), I tell people that I hope they
don't get their dream job until late in their careers. Like the
dilemma that Neil Armstrong faced, once you've walked on the Moon as a
young man, what do you do with the rest of your life?

Thirteen years later, there are several things I have as desires and
possible options for my retirement, but those are “retirement jobs”,
although I certainly wouldn’t mind doing any one of them now. I wish I
would make time to write (fiction or non-fiction), because that’s a job
that has always appealed to me. Spreading ideas...

If you could go back in history and meet any WOMAN and really get to
know her (on any plane *wink*), who would it be? (She must currently be

Hmmmm... Difficult to say. Queen Elizabeth I would be interesting to
know simply because she was a survivor in a time that it wasn’t easy
for a woman to be in power. Katherine the Great of Russia would also be
interesting, along with Lucrezia Borgia. However, Katherine Hepburn was
a beauty in her youth, and intelligent to boot!

I don’t spend much time thinking about women from the past. I’m more
interested in figuring out the people who are around now.

Are you really going to the Jawja Blog Meet this spring?

After Eric called me (an international call) and personally invited me,
how could I not go? I plan to go, pending any insanity at work that
might prevent me from traveling.

Where can we find a picture of you?

Why would you want to see my ugly mug? If you really want to, I posted
a photo as part of my 1000th post.

How many blogs are you involved with these days?

Depends on how you mean “involved”. I’m helping blog-sit
sortapundit (although I’ve done a terrible job of it), and I recently joined Chris Noble’s blog The Noble Pundit as a co-author. I’m also a co-author
on the recently renamed Iraq Elections
, a project by the Commissar of The Politburo Diktat that went a bit awry from his intentions. I haven’t posted much there because I just got back
from a home-leave trip to the US, and I didn’t have time to put
together posts that followed his original guidelines for the site,
which I plan to follow regardless of the hijacking by the other
authors. I’ve also got the keys to a few other blogs where I’ve posted
when the owner was away.

I’m also thinking of starting a “secret” blog where I can be a lot more
cynical and bitter when that angry mood strikes me. I wouldn’t tell you
the URL for it, though...

What happened to the "We the People" blog?

I'm surprised anyone remembers that! That blog died an ignoble death
due to neglect, shortly after I moved to France. I didn’t have time to
help keep it up and encourage people to post to it. I was and still am
planning to resurrect it, but I had used as my hosting
service, and not only have they gone out of business, but they did not
transfer domain names as promised. I have lost control of my personal
domain name that I set up as a permanent email for folks who wanted to
get in touch with me in France, but I haven’t found a new host for “We
the People” yet. I’ve had some expenses recently (like a huge property
tax bill on my house in Austin) that preclude me from getting a new
host right away, but I do have the URL paid up for the next two years

So, if anyone out there wants to help me run a blog focused on
discussion about issues rather than simple partisan name-calling, a
blog focused on being “for” things rather than “against” things, let me

With Donnie being gone along with several other bloggers...and with all
the new blood, who would you say influences you now, blogwise?

I’d have to say I don’t have nearly as many conscious influences now as
I had a year ago. I don’t know if that’s because I’m following my own
path or because my ego is keeping me from seeing who is affecting my

Unfortunately, if you follow your own path, unless there is something
remarkably compelling in what you are doing or writing, often you have
few people who follow you down that path.

Are your quotes inspired by life events?

Only occasionally are they are related to what’s going on in my life,
far more often they are related to what I see going on in blogworld or
the real world. I use them as indirect commentary because often they
say in a succinct statement something that would take me paragraphs to

Any plans to update the look of your blog?

What, you don’t like my homemade graphics and generic MovableType

Seriously, though, yes I do plan to update the look of Random
Fate. Unfortunately, a series of mishaps have delayed the new design. I
hope to have the new look up before the end of January.

How's the money in blogging?

For me, there is no money in blogging, unless you mean how much money I

What did you do for New Year's Eve?

Spent the evening with friends in Austin I hadn’t seen in a while
(because I moved to France!). I fortunately did not get sick from the
combination of Scotch, wine, and tequila shots.

Tell us, are you still available?

Yes, for parties, bar mitzvahs, weddings, and funerals...

As a follow-up to your first interview, what is your weight and shoe

Geez, now I need to go look at the first interview to find out what
question this is a “follow-up” to.

Believe it or not, I don’t have a scale here in France, so I’m not sure
of my weight, other than my clothes still fit. I stopped my
weight-lifting (the gyms here suck), so I’ve lost a bit of muscle mass
in the shoulders. I plan to restart the weight-lifting workouts soon,
I’m buying my own equipment here. Shoe size? 42 (European) which I find
rather amusing... The geekier crowd will understand why.

You once said, "Would you turn down a chance to live in Europe for
three years with someone else picking up the tab, especially if you
were a single guy?" Do you still recommend it?

Yes, I recommend it highly. I’ve been able to visit places I’ve only
read about, and I’m gaining a better understanding of history, the
actual “feel” of history. I know I come across as all about
rationalism, but I also have an intuitive side that has helped me
immensely in my research: sometimes I just know the right path to
take. The “feel” I’m getting is from being surrounded by so much from
so many different eras. For example, within 100 yards of the door to my
apartment building there is a church that was built in the 13th
century, and I have to pass a section of wall built by the Romans as
part of the town defenses back in around 40AD. When I drove through
Tuscany to go to the wedding of some friends, I got to see first hand
how every ridge that extended into the plains of Tuscany had a town
with a castle and defensive walls, and how the towns are not very far
apart. I’ve looked out the windows of the Palace of the Popes in
Avignon over a vista that hasn’t changed much in 600 years.

I’ve also learned more about people. Actually living in a different
culture (which I have done milder versions of moving from Memphis to
Phoenix to Portland, OR to Austin while working with people from Japan,
China, India, Pakistan, Iran, Germany, England, Scotland, Ireland,
Russia, South Korea, Australia, and other places) has taught me a great
deal about what is common among the vast majority of people and what is
from cultural influences.

I’ve gained a lot.

Besides the exchange rate, any regrets about moving?

Moving almost always has some regrets associated with it, even if the
move isn’t international. There are friends I left behind in Austin
that I miss seeing, and there are things I did in Austin that I can’t
do in Grenoble (like sit on the deck of Opal Divine’s and use the wireless internet connection while drinking some fine single-malt Scotch). I had lived in
Austin for 8 years when I moved to France, before that I had never
lived anywhere as an adult for more than 5 years, so I had been feeling
pretty uneasy living without a major upheaval for so long, not that the
previous upheavals had been pleasant. The move to France satisfied that
strange need for upheaval, and it hasn’t been bad (other than the
stinky cheese... I live in a country with over 300 varieties of cheese,
and NOT ONE OF THOSE VARIETIES IS CHEDDAR... I’m *dying* here... I
*love* cheddar cheese).

My move to Austin was prompted by my divorce, so it was really a new
start in my life. Somehow after living there 8 years, it still felt
like a “new life” instead of becoming part of my life. My recent visit
back to my house in Austin suddenly forced me to realize that I had a
history in Austin now. I haven’t felt I’ve had a “home” for over 20
years, and now I do. It’s an odd feeling for me.

How are you treated in France, being American and all?

Quite well. Certainly no complaints. Usually people assume I’m French,
then when I say I’m not, they assume I’m English or German, then when I
tell them I’m American, they are very, VERY friendly and outgoing,
asking questions and telling me how friendly they think Americans
are. They don’t understand why George W. Bush was re-elected, but they
don’t say “America is bad” or anything like that. It’s hard to
describe, but there’s a definite separation between who *I* am and what
the government of my country does.

If you could spend a month anywhere in the world, money not a
consideration, where would you go?

“In the world”? See, otherwise I’d say “the Moon” or “Mars” or “Titan”
or “in orbit around Saturn”.

Hmmm... depends on if I’m alone or with someone. Alone, I’d spend that
month traveling around, seeing first-hand all those places I’ve read
about (like what I’m doing now in Europe). With someone, probably
Hawaii or some other tropical location, with an isolated, private

When given compliments, do you acknowledge them, or suggest you don't deserve them?

Hmmmm... I wonder who asked this question...

I try to acknowledge them, but I also try to minimize them. I have a
long history that makes me feel uncomfortable with compliments, a
history that I won’t go into here.

Now I really want to know what prompted this question!!!

Posted by Jennifer at 05:30 PM | Comments (1)

January 07, 2005

*The Blackfive Interview, Part Two

Matt has answered your questions!

In the extended...

What did you do with Mr. Green's body?

What? OMG, I thought you knew…Mr. Green is really Al
Franken and he’s been busy lately.

Where does "Blackfive" come from?

It was one of my callsigns. I write about it here.

How has your blog changed since it was a relative
unknown compared to the big swanking summer sausage type blog it is now?

It has gained a life of it’s own (and it’s really more
of a bratwurst than a summer sausage). At first, I
looked for stories to post or write about, and now, I
get a hundred or so emails per day with suggestions
for posts or links to stories that should be read.
It’s to the point now where I struggle to answer most
of them.

Any human sacrifice involved in your popularity jump?

No, and there’s no truth to the rumor that I provided
over two hundred Rottweiler puppies for Glenn

How has your attitude toward blogging changed since
you began?

Harvey at Bad Example once posted about the dangers of
getting too popular and he was correct about the loss
of connection to other bloggers. It’s not as much fun
as used to be, but now it means more to me. For
instance, I really miss getting in on some of the fun
out there or reading all the other blogs. Now, I’m on
a mission to highlight the good that our military men
and women do every day. That can be fun too but it’s
also a responsibility (to me). It takes a few hours
per day so I don’t have as much time to surf and
participate at my favorite blogs.

Is it more important to get a post done or to get a
post done right?

That depends on the urgency. Is it important to raise
$ for someone that needs it or is it just to scoop the
blogosphere? Normally, I would say that it’s more
important to get the post done right. Everytime that
I rushed a post and then got a ‘lanche from a big
blogger, I regretted not taking the time to do it
right (especially, after a few thousand people have
read it). I would look at the post and think that
people must have thought that I am a cretin.

What inspired you to begin blogging and what motivates
you to maintain the highest integrity in the stories you relate and
comments/rants you post? Whatever it is, thank you.

Here’s a post about it.

I owe it to Mat, Cooter, and Mike…

If you had more time to blog, what topics would you
cover that you don't cover now?

I was going to start a blog about the antics of me and
my friends here in Chicago. Had a plan, had material,
had the blog set up, but then I just gave up because
it took too much time. Believe me, the stories are
freakin’ hilarious…I have friends with nicknames like
Slop, Buttafuco, etc. It’d be like Old School meets
Van Wilder on mescaline.

I also thought about starting a blog for writers to
post their novels as they work on them, chapter by

I’d like to write more about being a father. My kids
are so much fun. I’ve gotten one or two emails
requesting more little Blackfive stories.

What is the strangest thing to happen to you as a
result of your blogging?

I became an activist. It’s weird. Never thought that
I would be one, but that’s exactly what I do when I
post about our heroes or support causes to take care
of them. For instance, if the Marine who shot the
unarmed terrorist that was feigning death in Fallujah
ever gets charged, I’m going to start a defense fund
for him and I know some of the best Civilian lawyers
that specialize in military cases. We’ll take care of
that Marine. He’s been taking care of us. It’s the
least we can do.

Also, being invited to participate in a blog
conference at Harvard and meeting the Iraq-The-Model
brothers – Omar and Mohammed. It wasn’t strange as
much as incredible. When meeting the brothers, I
seriously felt like I was meeting the Ben Franklins or
Thomas Paines of Iraq. Most of all, after meeting
them, I knew that my friends, who gave their lives
liberating Iraq, did not die in vain.

What is the best?

Making connections – I get to know people I never
would have known or heard about had I not started
blogging - and getting Americans to know these regular
military folks and understand the sacrifices they make
on a daily basis.

Being able to actually make a difference for some of
these people is absolutely the best thing. And
helping people to realize that they CAN make a
difference by donating or volunteering is incredible.
While I feel great every time I can help out, there’s
always more to do.

Maybe when this war is over, I’ll hang it up…

What did you do between transferring to the Reserves
in '85 and Gulf War in '91?

El Salvador, Honduras, Korea (Olympic Games), College,
Armor OBC, Scout Platoon Leaders Course, Ranger
School. About the college item – I had the choice of
going to West Point or another University (Green to
Gold program). I chose the U of I because I could
drink beer, meet girls, have a good time, and learn
something. I had had enough military BS at that point
that I decided that I would rather have a three year
college experience than the experience of four years
as a Cadet. I had a great GPA and was Rush Chairman
of my fraternity two years in a row. I had the time
of my life (up to that point) and I learned a lot…and
drank a lot of beer and met a lot of girls.

Care to talk about calling artillery danger close, as
talked about in another interview?

That refers to combat in the Gulf War. It’s no big
deal and happened on a mission that I led. It pales
in comparison to what our military is doing in Iraq
and Afghanistan right now.

I lost about 50% of my hearing in my left ear.

And what does the Army do with a deaf guy? They put
him in Communications. The result was the Army moving
me into the Signal Corps where I got my start in Info
Tech. And that got me involved in Intelligence.

You publish quite a bit related to the Marines. What's
the reason or motivation behind this?

Ah, someone asks about that every now and then. Well,
the Marine Corps family network is probably one of the
best intelligence gathering organizations in the
world. So, once I got plugged into that network and
started gaining a reputation as trying to help, I got
inundated with information. Also, I think I’ve gained
the trust of some Marines by not caving into pressure
from the press to release names of some of the people
that I post about.

Also, the Marines do great PR. The Army doesn’t have
a clue about PR (and some people that have given me
photos or stories that turn into posts have been
threatened by their chain of command in order to get
me to remove the posts). The Marines like stories
about their good work to get around the internet. The
Army doesn’t. So, I tend to get more Marine stories,
emails, links, than I do about Army things.

I also have a few friends that are in the Marines.
One’s a pilot, one’s a sniper, and one is a General
Officer. I get plenty of tips from them, too.

What blogs do you read on a daily basis and why?

The smartass Foreign Officers at Diplomad are quickly
becoming my favorite read.

IMAO, Argghhh!, Mudville, Smash, Dean’s World are
usually read every day. I try to read Wizbang, Right
Wing News, Belmont Club, Instapundit, Hugh Hewitt,
Michelle Malkin, and others every day. While I never
really thought of myself as Conservative, you can see
from the list that that’s what I like to read.

My guilty pleasure blogs are – Trying to Grok, Grim’s
Hall, Laughing Wolf, Sondra K, Chrenkoff, Gut Rumbles,
Banagor’s, Bad Example, Dog Snot Diaries, Baldilocks,
Just One Minute, Tim Blair and Vodkapundit. Usually,
when I get some free time and a cup of coffee, I like
to spend time at those blogs and the others on my

What was the vilest piece of hatemail you've gotten?

Some @$$ sent me a threat – they had my wife’s name,
our home address, etc. It was horrible. I gave it to
a friend of mine at the FBI. That’s about all I can
say about it right now.

Is it fun to keep trolls as pets, or just not worth
the effort to feed them?

They are not worth the time or energy. I usually just
ban them. What’s more irritating to me are bloggers
spamming comments. I really have a hard time
understanding the bloggers who post off topic comments
but include a URL to something that they are writing
about (again, off topic of the original post). That’s
just bad form.

I never visit a troll’s URL because they just want the
hits or the attention.

Will you be supporting Lucky the Leprechaun's
presidential campaign in 2008?

What kind of drunk Irish Paratrooper would I be if I
didn’t fully support his campaign? I could be his
social chairman - ”And here, Mr. Lucky, is the
Lollipop Kid delegation from Oz…they know how to

When your daughter, Pinkfive, attains "dating age",
how will you screen her suitors?

Suitors? What suitors? I find comfort in that fact
that the Mother Superior doesn’t let suitors into the

What is it, exactly, that you do? For money.

I keep my pimp-hand strong…

Paid: I’m a CIO. Occasionally, I teach Network
Architecture and Engineering for a University here in
Chicago. The best job that I ever had was as a ski
tech (when I was in College).

Undpaid: I’m on the board of a research institution
(raise funds for research and build bridges between
scientists, grad student researchers and businesses –
parallel computing is one area), and I try to help
minority owned businesses understand how to get
contracts with the DOD.

Briefs, boxers or thong?

Boxers (lots of plaids – Polo or Tommy Bahama). I
usually blog in Sponge Bob Square Pants pajamas…long
story, my son has SBSP pajamas and my wife bought my
father-in-law and I SBSP pajamas so all the boys in
the family were the same for Xmas morning. My 3 and a
half year old son thought that was cool. I might post
a picture of me blogging in them for the LA Times.

Ever been arrested?

Of course.


You wanted details?

The last time was for a brawl. Three guys were
beating up my friend for being Jewish. They were
yelling “Hebrew Boy!” and other epithets. He’s the
nicest and most harmless guy in the whole world. I
think one of their girlfriends was talking to him.

I jumped into that one.

Oh, BTW, my friend is Catholic. How ridiculous is

Any tattoos, piercings, or other distinguishing
markings we should know about?

Got a tattoo that you’ll never see…and I might get one
to cover a scar – one of those memories from GWI. My
wife hates the scar so I might decorate it.

Have you mellowed in your attitude towards Alec
Baldwin in the last year, or do you just hate him even more?

Nope. He is a giant horse’s ass. I think I’ve
mellowed on the 9/11 commission and a few others, but
not Alec Baldwin.

Really, though, what did you do with Mr. Green? And
was The Bejuspundit somehow involved?

Damn, I wish Bejus/Donnie was still around…
Mr. Green and I are friends. I talk to him just about
every day or so. He’s okay, just has his hands full
with life right now.

Posted by Jennifer at 03:15 PM | Comments (4)

January 03, 2005

*And So Matty Has Spoken, And So It Shall Be Done

I'd been thinking maybe I should bring back the Interviews. Then I remembered how much work they were, and I thought, "Forget that! I only did it as a thinly veiled scheme to link-whore anyway. Where's the amaretto?"

Then Matt sent me an e-mail. I didn't save it, but it probably went something like this:

Hey, Jen, I'm too big to read your site anymore, especially since you always liked my friend Mr. Green more than me, but you should bring back the interviews!

Well, no one can prove anything about me and Mister Green (sadly defunct and worthless now). But the point is, I'm bringing back the interviews.

How do they work?

A blogger (such as yourself...yes, you, reading this) decides they need to share their innermost, deepest, darkest secrets with the world. And they want more exposure. So they e-mail me and volunteer for an interview.

They are then put on a list in the order of volunteerism. They sit on the list and wait...and wait...and wait some more. (It pays to volunteer early.)

Eventually, I open up the floor for questions. The blogger's readers send me their questions, which remain anonymous. (If the blogger has no readers, I take pity on them and make up a bunch of questions myself. Not that this ever happens.)

Then I send the questions to the blogger, who answers the questions. I post the interview on my blog. The interviewee (hopefully) links to the interview and tells all their friends. My traffic increases.

See how this benefits both of us?

Oh, and it'll also send some traffic your way, too. Especially if you're new around here, or have a smaller following than you so obviously deserve.

So...if you would like to be interviewed, send me an e-mail and I'll put you on the list.

Posted by Jennifer at 12:06 PM | Comments (4)

July 14, 2004

You Asked-Red Tigress Answers

Red Tigress, who can also be found at Behind Enemy Headlines, has answered your questions!

Q. Tell us a little about yourself.

A. Well, I'm not sure what to say. I go to college at UCSD. I'm registered republican. I, erm, don't like free form questions because I'm not sure what people want to hear. :p

Q. How old are you?

A. I am 21 years old.

Q. What would you do with $100 million dollars?

A. Hrmmmmm.... Does this sound like a Miss America question or what? Well, first I'd do what anyone out there would do and use a portion of it to help my family. Probably buy a house or something like that. Not anything extravagant. I don't need fancy. Just something that I could have my grandchildren live in when I am gone. Much of the rest of the money would be given to charities to help victims of terror & abuse. Also programs for abused women and
children. Sounds cheesie, but I mean every single word.

Q. If you were stranded on a desert island, what non-survival items would you like to have with you?

A. Hrmm, definitely a radio. I think my head would explode if I was unable to be aware of what was going on in the world around me. A computer, perhaps a camera. Then, maybe some Charmin?

Q. Do you eat breakfast? What's your favorite breakfast food?

A. Eggo chocolate-chip waffles, baby. I spread peanut butter on top of that. It's the perfect breakfast on the go when you're late to class.

Q. What do you do for fun?

A. I usually get together with friends and I go down to the local Hookah bar. I also am slightly addicted to the Internet.

Q. Your page takes a long time to load and you acknowledge this. Have you thought about fixing that?

A. Yes. He he. I am always trying to perfect my site and make it as user friendly as possible. That's part of why I have the notice up there that it takes a while. It's my way of letting people know that I know there is an issue with load speed and I'm working on fixing it. Thing is, there's a lot of images and such that take time to load. That's the main problem. I try taking them off and moving them around. I also have switched to simpler images in order to increase load speed and decrease time wasted waiting for my page to load. I like my page to also be esthetically pleasing as well as informative. I'm still working on achieving the perfect balance. Fear you not. :)

Q. How did you meet Jayme?

A. Ah, we actually met by just the chance of being on the same server; that being tBLOG. I read his stuff and he's a hilarious guy with a great head on his shoulders. He is funnier than I could ever be. When he asked me to be a guest columnist on B.E.H. I was thrilled and jumped at the chance to be a part of what he's doing. I luv ya, man. ;)

Q. Which blog did you write at first?

A. I'm not sure what is intended in this question. My Lair is the only blogsite I have ever written on and owned. My first entry ever was entitled "AH!" where I said that I was getting the hang of this format and stuff and that I'd hopefully be truly up and running soon.

Q. Why did you start your blog?

A. To be honest, originally I started it to be as a venue to publish my thoughts on life and the world. It sort of became something much bigger than I as I came to realize that I wanted to not only make it a venue for my thoughts but also a place where you can hear Israel and the Jewish people's side of the story. There is so much bad press and lies out there that come from the direction of those who wish to wipe the Jews from the face of the earth. What's even scarier is that people actually believe those lies. We're losing a PR battle, as well as an actual war against terrorism. When people read my blog, I hope they come away with not only a new or renewed sense of what's
right, but also for them to be enlightened to what's going on around the world and perhaps learn some new things about Judaism and other issues and ideals. When I first started my blog, I had a cursor text trailer that read: "Prepare to think! Welcome to my lair!" Nothing could sum up my blog's mission better.

Q. Do you find Judaism at all sexist and why or why not?

A. No, I actually find it to be very liberating and respectful to/of the female gender. For one thing, women are considered to be on a higher spiritual level than men. Also, Jewish laws advocate modesty that reaches from dress to behavior. This goes for both men and women, though there are separate laws for men and women. I dress and act like I have a mind. Does anyone ever wonder how smart Britney Spears really is and what she has to say as a person or are they just hypnotized by her enhanced bussem? A culture that ensures respect for all members, especially women, I'd want to be a part of as opposed to a chauvinistic one that objectifies them. In Judaism, women are given the respect they deserve. I find more fault with a culture that tells little girls they have to be pretty and show some leg in order to get respect.

Q. If you had to describe your religion in 20 words or less, what would you tell us about it?

A. Judaism is truly ethical monotheism. We imitate God's greatness by learning and doing acts of love and kindness.

Q. Ever been to Israel?

A. YES! I lived there for a couple years. During that time I was even witness and unwilling victim in a suicide/homicide bombing at a restaurant. Don't worry, I'm ok. Only minor scars remind me. Once you've been a part of that and seen
what these terrorists do to innocent people, you never want to give up fighting against them. I suppose that must have been what it was like for Americans on 9-11. It really makes things real and opens your eyes. Israel is a beautiful place and the people are like no other. I greatly encourage people to come and visit. Don't let terrorists bully you into missing out on the trip of a lifetime. If you let them intimidate you, they win! Someday I hope to move back.

Q. Which Jewish holiday is your favorite and why?

A. That would have to be the holiday of Sukkot (Sukkos for you Ashkenazic Jews out there). Sukkos comes out some time in the fall (usually between Sept.-Nov.) It's a holiday that lasts 7-8 days (depending on whether or not you're in Israel). It's a harvest festival. We build huts in our back yards, called a Sukkah, and eat delicious foods in there and many even sleep in the Sukkah. The holiday commemorates the Jews wandering in the dessert and living in these Sukkahs, being completely reliant on God and putting their faith in Him to bring them to the Land of Israel. Yes, this is my favourite holiday. There are so many other beautiful festivals in Judaism, though. It's really a tough call.

Q. What are your interests completely outside of Israel, Judaism
and politics?

A. Lots of things, actually. I have a great affinity for the arts. I'm actually a photography major in college, believe it or not. Though I eventually hope to be a photo-journalist, I do enjoy artistic photograph taking and drawing as well. I also write poetry and music.

Q. Why did you submit yourself to be interviewed?

A. I thought it would be fun. I also wanted to help out Jayme and boost some hits for him (and ok yea, myself too). I figured, if he got interviewed, perhaps the rest of the staff should be too. It can't hurt. :)

Posted by Jennifer at 01:51 AM | Comments (2)

July 08, 2004

You Asked--Trixie Misa Answers

At last, the long-awaited Trixie Misa interview!

For those unfamiliar, Trixie is Pixy's granddaughter from the future. Thanks to the miracle of time-travel and such, she was able to answer your questions about life in the future.

In the extended.

What's with all of the Misas and the time travel and such?

Apparently, Zebrixy Misa, my great^219th-niece, tamed a chronosynclastic
infundibulum sometime in the 757th century. We can't actually travel in
time, but we can send letters back and forth.

How old are you?

22 Earth-standard chronological.

Do you have big hooters like a Manga chick or are you flat chested like an Anime chick?

Don't you have that the wrong way round?

But anyway, I've had them stabilised at 36B. (I sometimes let them out
a bit for parties, but I always have a backache afterwards.)

How's global warming working out for us?

Just lovely! Average precipitation across Australia, for example,
increased by 72% during the 21st century. Greenland now has a thriving
tourist industry. Shame about the penguins, though.

Then of course there are the thousands of miles of new coastline between
California and Nevada. Mind you, that wasn't *just* global warming...

Can you tell me the winning lottery numbers for next Saturday's drawing, please?

Well, if I knew where you were, and when you were, and which lottery you
meant, then I would.

Sorry. Try to be more specific next time.

Did we ever find Osama bin Laden?

An Afghan undergraduate archaeological group reported finding traces of
his DNA in a cave in January 2016. That's about it as far as I know.

Who won the 2004 USA presidential election?

The what? Oh, politics. I'll look it up. Hmm. It says "George W.
Bush". Does that sound right? It's in the chapter on the Great
Insanity Epidemic of 2005.

Was nanotechnology a passing fad?

Um. Nanotechnology is just chemistry done really really carefully.
It's pretty much universal these days. About like electricity was to
the 20th century,

Did Pixy work himself into an early grave?

I'll ask him the next time I see him. He's in cold sleep right now
bound for Epsilon Eridani.

When did Munuvia finally take over the world?

Not until 2009. There were some technical glitches along the way, as I
understand it.

Who did Pixy marry and when did he find the time?

He married Grandma, silly!

I think she tripped him up and sat on him 'til he said yes.

What are some of the biggest moments from the last century?

Well, the Insanity Epidemic of 2005 that I mentioned before is generally
regarded as the beginning of the new era. That ushered in a
century-long economic boom that we're still enjoying.

The 2009 Mu.Nu World Domination Tour, of course.

The release of The Sims 3 in 2011 which allowed us to keep the millions
of epidemic victims quiet and happy.

The discovery of ellipsium in 2017 which gave us clean, cheap,
inexhaustible energy, although we didn't realise it then. At the time,
it just meant a great big hole in the ground. (See Nevada, Gulf of.)

The completion of the first orbital tower in 2029.

The 2036 Triplanetary Cup. Australia wins! Australia wins!

The invention in 2039 of the breast control pill.

The discovery in 2041 by Oort Explorer 3 of conclusive evidence that the
Fine Structure Constant isn't.

The annexation of France by Andorra in 2046 caused a lot of fuss at the
time, but is widely regarded now as the only thing that could have been

The release of The Sims 4 in 2048.

The invention of the Sleep Compiler in 2049.

Lance Armstrong's 7th consecutive Tour de Andorra win in 2053.

The invention of ultrasilk in 2061, and the subsequent creation of a
comfortable sports bra.

The sugarpeople craze of the late 2060s. Every child could be the mad
dictator of their own tiny kingdom! (Outlawed by the time I was born,

The discovery of microbial life on Tau Ceti IV in 2072 by the Starwisp
Probe Richard P. Feynmann.

The launch of the great interstellar exploration fleet beginning with
the Iain Banks and the Lois Bujold in 2079.

The invention of hypersilk in 2088 that made ultrasilk feel like canvas
by comparison.

And of course the Bicentennial Olympics held on Olympus Mons on Mars in

Does everyone have flying cars yet?

Well, *I* don't, dammit! Unfair! Unfair!

How old are humans living to be now?

Um, people generally stopped dying involuntarily of old age by 2040 or
so. Life expectancy is currently increasing at a rate of (let me check)
1.3 years per year, which makes your question somewhat hard to answer.

I assume they've cured cancer and AIDS by now, but what about the common cold?

The what? Is that something like a lurgy? Or more like a grippe?

Tell us about your favorite TV show.

TV? Oh, sensies, right. I kind of like Meply Smirnoff. It's about
this Siberian monopole hunter out in Oort Cloud, stuck on a ship with
failed engines. While he's waiting for the Siberian Monopole
Corporation rescue team to arrive, the people back on Earth keep him
from going mad by beaming these *terrible* old movies at him. He's got
these sarcastic robots that he's built out of scrap and they just sit
there and make fun of the movies! It's *so* funny and *so* original!

What do you do for fun?

I do polyvariate simulations of Abelian groups in fractally dimensional
tensor spaces. That or analytic and
algebraic topology of locally Euclidean metrisation of infinitely
differentiable Riemannian manifolds.

Oh, and teasing boys. And blowing up planets, that's also good.

Describe a typical day in your life.

I usually wake up around 6:30 am. Then again around 7. And again at
7:15, 7:20, 7:25 and finally my bed dumps me out on the floor at 7:30. I
then dash through the cleaner, throw on some clothes, drink some
breakfast, pop some toothgum and run out the door while my clothes are
still adjusting.

Assuming I catch the rail in time, I'm at my workstation by 8. After
checking my news, mail, voice, vids, imms, pings, sprites and indies,
I'll settle into a round of stochastic modelling of wave-harmonic
transforms of dream states until lunchtime.

Lunch is usually a quick snackwich while I check out any news, mail,
voice, vids, imms, pings, sprites or indies I received while I was in
dreamspace, and then, if there's time, I'll check out Mathnet to see if
there's any new lemmas I might be interested in.

In the afternoon if I'm lucky I'll be modelling for a production rather
than running models on the computer. I got great reviews for my
D'Artagnan, so since then I've been called up regularly for minor roles.
Right now they're auditioning for the adults-only historical drama
Ivanho' which is resulting in a great deal of giggling in the rec room.

After work I head back home to log in for school. Psych is interesting.
People are really weird, you know? No, I mean *really* weird.

After class, I'll kick back and relax. Program some dinner, maybe catch
a sensie or a flick. By 10pm Universe 2 is starting to get busy, so
I'll spend a couple or four hours there. Now that we've developed
superspace technology, the fleets of my team - the Uncharted Alliance -
are really starting to kick ass around the Orion Arm. Nothing like
blowing some uppity planet to cinders to let off steam.

So, around 2am I'll sign off the game, and spend an hour or two on the
grid, chatting and planning strategy, and catching up on any anything
that might have come my way.

Then, by 4am sharp, I'll have the sleep compiler set, a dream already
dialed in (advantage of working for Dreamchannel, you get open access to
the library) and I'm off to Sleepy Bobo's. Since the compiler's been
fixed it runs all the way up to 5-to-1, though that tends to leave me
with a headache. 4 is safe, and that should be plenty of time for a
6:30 start. Never works out, but anyway...

Are there any Moon colonies? I certainly hope not because who the hell wants to live on the Moon?

Thirty million loonies can't be wrong. Well, they *can*, but it's a
great place for a holiday. (For whoever asked me about my hooters,
consider for a moment the advantages of one-sixth normal gravity. For
the ladies - err, assuming that *wasn't* one of the ladies - no backache!)

Gotta dash now, because the C.I. is due any minute.

All my love to the 21st Century,


Posted by Jennifer at 03:40 PM | Comments (2)

May 21, 2004

*You Asked, Jayme Answers

Jayme has answered your questions! (And incidentally, Jayme, you are wrong in assuming no one sent in questions for you.)

I want to first of all thank jen for not only making
this possible...but making all the questions..because
God knows noone sent any in.

When and why did you start blogging?

About 3 years ago. I wanted to get info across to
people, and I at the time(and still) my parents never
listened to anything I said, so I thought blogging
would help. It was either crack or blogging. My
parents always said "Jayme that's fucked up" Now I get
random people to say it.

How did you first learn about blogs?

3 years ago. I was at a bar and......wait different
learning experience. Ummm...3 years ago. I found a
site called It looked cool, and like drugs,
everyone was doing it.

Do any bloggers influence you?

Jen, because she publishing this. Actually I
really enjoy her blog. Also Moxie, I love her style
and the fact that a hot blonde has so much knowledge.
And of course Frank J., who set me on the path I am

Where are you from?

Hell...actually I am from Jamaica. Though I am white,
I am still from Jamaica...yes the island.

Describe yourself in five words.


What do you have planned for the future?

I dunno yet. I am only 16 so staying alive in this
crazy country and world is hard enough. The antichrist
will probably show up and screw all my plans up

Who is the single most important person in your life and why?

I don't have many important people in my life.

Most people would say you parents or God. Well I just
mentioned their thats good enough. But the
person most important now is my girlfriend. She sees
things just like me, and well is my true love.

If you were granted one wish, what would it be?

*(#@%%@!$$$# then I would ^%$#@!$%%$ with @$$$#@
(This has been censored for the younger readers.)
Honestly, nothing. God forbid people like me...

You can spend one night alone with any one person you wish--who is it?

Moxie...for sure. I would say Jen, but she'd blow me
off, even in my own fantasy...shessh.

If you had to assassinate one person, who would it
be and how would you do it?

Michael Bolton...I'd play him his own music. Better
yet, I get a drunk office worker(at Jen's work) to
sign it after a few drinks.

What (if anything) would you change about yourself?

Not sure. When you see me on Mtv's "I want a famous
face" then all your questions will be answered.

Name your five favorite movies.

Cool runnings
office space
Tommy Boy
Green Mile
Is the Paris Hilton video really a movie? If so then
...replace that with green mile.

Name your five favorite musical artists.

Bob Marley
Simon and Garfunkle
The doors
Jimmi Hendrix
Beastie Boys

Chocolate or vanilla?

Vanilla.....wait chocolate....if I say vanilla Jesse
Jackson is going to gun me down...well... Fine, I'll
just say vanilla.

You can hijack one blog. Whose do you take and what
do you do with it?

Glen Reynolds. Use it to make a complete Alliance take
over. Force all Glen Reynolds readers to join the
alliance...or becomes a Michael
Bolton fan site..(blog)

Would you rather have the Vulcan death grip or Jedi
mind power?

Mind find out who the hell asked that
question. What type of question is that?

Thanks to jen for all the great help. Thanks to noone
for reading or posting questions.

Posted by Jennifer at 08:48 AM | Comments (12)

April 19, 2004

You Asked Again, Bill Answers Again

Bill has answered your questions.

No preview necessary. Just click it!

1. Do you have problems with reading comprehension?

Why do you ask? But to answer your question, no. I'm a big fan of the
reading genre and do my best to comprehend "words". I do, however, have a
problem with listening comprehension, mainly because I hate people and
consequently never pay attention to anything they say.

2. Why do you have a bunch of French words all over your fridge?

Because Alice was a French teacher and she thought it'd be "fun" to put a
bunch of incomprehensible words on the fridge in the language of a foreign,
smelly, cowardly people, much to my chagrin. I protested to no avail. You
know how women are.

3. How did you get started as a drummer?

My sister played and she was better than most guy players. None of the guy
drummers liked here because she was better than them. But you didn't ask
about my sister did you. A few of my friends decided to start a band. None
of us knew how to play an instrument though. Since my sister was a drummer
and I could use some of her gear, I decided to be the drummer. You can't
imagine the pure, unadulterated suckfest when four 14 year old idiots who
can't play their instruments get their hands on amplifiers and drums. The
neighbors hated us more than the drug dealers.

4. Who's your favorite Drummer of all time? Do you look to him/her as a
role model?

Phil Rudd from AC/DC. Oho!!! Just kidding. I love Keith Moon and Neil
Peart but I'd have to say Stewart Copeland. The guy's amazing and was very
innovative for his time. I never looked to musicians as role models. Most
of them are pretentious, self-medicated blowhards who think they're
oh-so-important. They're not.

5. What is the kinkiest thing you've ever done with a drumstick?

What's with all the friggin' drum questions? Well, I never really thought
of a drumstick as a sex toy but I think I once played half of "Canary in a
Coalmine" on a former girlfriend's bare ass. She didn't really care for it.

6. Describe your first date with Alice.

It wasn't a formal date really. She came over to my apartment to hang out -
we'd been hanging out for a while - and she was sitting at my computer and I
just kissed her. And no, I didn't sleep with her that night. That would
come about a month later. She's gonna kill me for this but once when we
first started dating, she came out of my bathroom topless with "Cum and get
me" written in cake icing across her boobs. I love you, sweetie! Please
put the butcher knife down.

7. Do you ever actually read Wind Rider's posts?

Yes but I barely understand them. And this has nothing to do with my
reading comprehension. Wind Rider is very intelligent and a great blogger
at Silent Running but something happens to him when he blogs at my site. He
suddenly becomes retarded. It's like the feeble-minded atmosphere of
Bloviating Inanities overcomes him and he instantly becomes a half-wit. I'm
very proud that I can bring him down to my level.

8. First Rachel Lucas; now Michele. What are you doing to drive the women

That's a funny story. Well, funny in a sad way. Right before both Racel
and Michele quit, they sent me long, rambling e-mails basically saying that
the more they read me and realized how good I blogged, it made them both
realize how inferior they were. I tried to console them as best I could and
tell them that, yes, they were both inferior to me in both style and
substance but they shouldn't just quit. They did have some talent. Not
much but some, and I offered my services in proper blogging technique.
Alas, they turned me down. It's sad but understandable.

9. How did you propose to Alice?

Well, don't quote me here but I believe it was along the lines of, "Alice,
will you marry me?". Actually, I asked her to marry me about five hundred
times. She never actually said no to me unless you consider, "Piss off, you
loser", a "no". And here's how lucky I am and how cool Alice is - I didn't
even have to get her a ring. I just took her to a tatoo parlor and we got
tattoes of each others initials with a weird design. That was our
"engagement rings". We agreed that if we ever split up we'd just tell
people that the tatoo was the symbol of a cult we'd belonged to when we were

10. Any tips for other guys on how to land a hot chic?

It's really pretty simple. Hang around high schools. Teenage chicks are
very naive. Alice was only 17 and I was 27 when we met. She thought I was
the greatest thing since sliced bread. Imagine that! Lucky for me she was
turning 18 in a month so statuatory rape wasn't even an issue.

11. Who's your favorite heckler? I mean, commenting reader?

That's a tough one. Probably Wind Rider. There probably isn't an insult
he hasn't thrown my way. Jennifer's pretty bad, er, good too. But her
comments consist entirely of "You suck". Also Paul's always has something
funny to say. But naturally, I love all my commenters equally.

12. You seem to have a pretty ideal life. How could it improve?

It is pretty ideal, isn't it. Thanks for noticing. I guess if I could be
paid to blog that would be nice. Anyone want to sponsor me? Maybe I could
get a NEA grant. Of course I'm going to have a tough time proving to them
that what I do is art but hell, if you can throw a Crucifix in a jar of
urine, you can call my blog art. Also, I wouldn't mind a bigger dick.

13. Where did you go to college?

Montclair State University in scenic Upper Montclair, NJ. I had a 3.5 GPA
and majored in history and education. At some point I decided I hated
children and nixed the whole education thing. I think that point came when
they told me in some class that I couldn't "beat the children".

14. Which drugs did you experiment with?

Pot, coke, ups, downs, mescaline salad, a little acid. I don't do drugs
anymore and neither should you, boys and girls! Drugs make your brain turn
into eggs and the next thing you know, you're almost 40 with a half-assed
weblog telling fart jokes to morons. Take it from one who knows, boys and

15. What is Alice's favorite flower? (Don't ask her--that's cheating.)

The Ficus Hydrangelator.

16. In 50 words or less, describe the Teapot Dome Scandal from memory.

I have a feeling this is a Paul question. History isn't really my forte
even though I majored in it but I'll give it a shot. The teapot dome
scandal was very comlicated as scandals go but suffice it to say that the
scandal happened when Herbert Hoover and Warren "Gee" Harding led the
revolutionaries in a revolt against the English when the English imposed a
confiscatory oil tax on teapots. This caused the revolutionaries to dress
up as indians one night and throw their teapots into the Boston harbor. The
scandal came about when all the teapots in the harbor clogged up the
shipping lanes, thereby cutting off the supply of baked beans into Boston.
Since that's all Bostonians ate back then, many starved to death while
President Harding stood idly by, never once even offering to send Air Force
One into replenish their bean supply. Harding was eventually impeached over
the Teapot Dome Scandal.

17. Quick: what state does Susie live in?

Idaho? Wisconsin? North Dakota? It's somewhere around there.

18. What is the single worst thing you've ever done to another person?

Kicked someone when they were down. Literally. Me and a few friends beat
the crap out of this kid and then kicked him when he was down. I feel
really bad about that now. Except he was a drug dealer so it's okay to kick
them when they are down.

19. What is the single worst thing anyone has ever done to you?

Man, this is getting depressing. I was raped as a child. Just kidding.
Oho!!! Once my mother and father went out and said they'd leave me a key
and when I got home, there was no key. So I had to break into the house.
In the kitchen there was the key on the table with a nice note from my Mom.
You can see where I got my stupid from. I'm sure there are a lot of other
terrible stuff that people did to me but I suppressed it all. There's a
festering ball of pain and agony deep within my soul that I completely
ignore. That's why I'm so psychologically well-adjusted.

20. When did you realize Jennifer redecorated your site and not Wind Rider?

Really? She did that? I had no idea. I have a very short attention span
and don't like to pay much attention to stuff. But I have to tell you, I
always thought Jennifer was a dullard and didn't have a creative bone in her
body and now I realize that I'm wrong and I apologize to Jen for so severely
underestimating her creativity, imagination and intelligence. Not to
mention her ability to make and keep friends, her sense of humor, her
charater and her ability to have children. I'm sorry, Jen, and I hope you
can forgive me. Hugs and kisses and thanks for giving me the opportunity to
answer a lot of really stupid questions.

Posted by Jennifer at 02:38 PM | Comments (6)

April 06, 2004

You Asked, Mookie Answers

Mookie has answered your questions!

(Although not all of them--the original e-mails got "lost" and I had to reconstruct it from memory. Sorry.)

Click it and learn all about mookies, wookies, and her dad.

What is a Mookie?

A Mookie is a highly intelegent being from the Pluto. They are humanoid in form but have advanced brains that far surpass a normal humans intelegence. A Mookie is Me! Thats about the best explenation I can give you. But I have found this site that says a Mookie is a type of cookie/muffin/thingie-I haven't tried them, but I hope to one day.

How closely are mookies related to wookies?

Well a Wookie is a dog treat and Mookies are human treats, so I guess they are related-ish. But If your just talking about Me being Mookie, then a Wookie is my best friend-Paul.

Who started blogging first--you or your father?

Me. Dad is such a copy-cat. I so had it first. And I can prove it! I started on July 1st and dad didn't start till the 3rd. Thats because I'm cooler then him.

Do all your friends know about your blog?

Some. Not all. I don't want everyone to know because I've said some stuff I probably shouldn't have. *Sighs*

Do you censor yourself a lot, knowing your dad reads your blog?

Yes. A lot! Its not that I have a problem with my language. I mean I don't need or using the F word or S*** a lot. I don't need to, the worst I use for the most part is Crappa, Damn, or Screw (mom considers Screw a bad word *rolls eyes*) But obviously if my dad is reading, I'm not going to go on some huge rant about how much parents suck and how they just did such and such and blah blah blah. Thats just too stupid-even for me. Also I don't blog everything that I do at school. I want to, and sometimes I get so far as actually writing the post. But sometimes this little thing I have living in my head called a Consious actually works and speaks up. Normally it says something along the lines of "HEY SHMUCK! ARE YOU TRYING TO GET GROUNDED! BECAUSE AT THE RATE YOUR GOING THATS GOING TO BE WHAT HAPPENS! POST THAT AND YOU'LL BE THE STUPIDIST PERSON ALIVE" So yeah. In short. I censor myself.

If you had to spend the rest of your life in a Montana cabin with one Munuvian you are not related to, who would it be and why?

Leeanne. She knows how to make cotten candy *giggles*

Being so busy, you don't get to blog every day. Do you READ any blogs every day?

Dad's. I'm afraid of waht he says about me. I also try to read the Munuvian blogs everyday, or at least visit them to give them hits. And normally even if i don't have time, i try to read Backstage because... Yeah. Its drama realated and awesome! Lol. So yeah pretty much the MuNu's and if I get around to it my "Good But Not MuNu" catagory.

Are you secretly dating Frank J?

Nah. Too many issues between us. For example I love primates. And he said that just wasn't kosher. *Tear* But I've gotten over him. Now if he's over me I don't know. I would understand why he would have issues getting over me- I mean I'm so awesome and all! *Giggles at joke "hehe. me awesome!" Laughs louder*

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I want to be a Techie. But not one thats dirt poor.

Do you think your poodle is manly?

Overly. He's actually gay. And i have nothing against gay people, but I've noticed two trends in gay guys. The femine type, and the overly macho type. my Poodle is of the second variety. He would attack a rotwilder (get eaten too-but thats not the point).

Has your school (district) changed since 9/11?

They banned pencils because they are potential weapons. *Giggles* Not really. I know we got extra security guards and aparently (i was in 8th grade on 9/11-middle school) the HighSchool banned the carry of book bags. That band has since been lifted (thank goodness). Oh and we had a few "Attack" Drills and the elementry school on the other side of the woods at my house ran its air raid sirens for and hour and a half once a month for a couple months.

What's the most embarassing thing you know your dad has done?

He was running across a parking lot in the rain and he jumped a puddle. As he jumped his pants fell down in front of a bunch of people. Hehe

Spiders. What's up?

I hate them. With a passion. Did you ever hear my Gym class spider story? You might have but I'll tell you again.

Who's your favorite singer/band?

Eve6 is good. But I also like Frank Zappa. Especialy the song Suicide Chump. And then theres the generic Linkin Park. And SugarCult. But I'd have to say my favorite is the Bare Naked Ladies. I got all 8 CDs and a DVD.

What's the best movie you've ever seen?

Oh so many to choose from! Actually not because I'm a "Deprived Child". I liked the 3rd LOTR but I never saw the first two so that one doesn't count. And I'm a fan of Shrek. I mean you jsut can't beat Shrek with the whole talking donkey thing going on. And then theres the chick flick Alex and Emma, or 10Things I hate About You. So many. Wow. Its an amazing talent of mine. I can take any simple question and make it complicated. I blame IB.

What's the worst movie you've ever seen?

Army of Darkness-though I will admit it was so bad, it was good.

Does your dad do all the rocket-building, or do you get to help?

I used to help, but then I got wrapped up like a present with drama and didn't have the time or energy anymore. So dad builds them and I just get to name one every now and then.

What's the coolest thing you've ever done with your friends?

um... um... um... I dunno. All my friends-and me included-are lame. I love them to death, but its true. We're lame.

Posted by Jennifer at 04:22 PM | Comments (5)

March 31, 2004

*You Asked, Wind Rider Answers

Wind Rider has answered your questions.

Bill and gerbils, need I say more?

Click it.

You blog under a pseudonym. Why?

I didn't start out to do so on purpose. The 'handle' is the same one that I've used since my earliest forays onto the Internet, so it just seemed useful. As I am still on Active Duty with the military, I opted to take my lead from other milbloggers, many that make of use pseudonyms. It isn't really a very deep cover, as there are a number of bloggers out there that know my actual name, and quite a few folks at work know that I blog. I've considered switching to using my name after I retire (which will be very soon), however I think that people would probably go "who?" even more so than now. Or they might wonder "is he related to that guy Reynolds links to all the time?". Ah, no.

Are you single?

Currently, yes.


Hey! Military here! Don't ask! Well, ok, yes, hetero. Although sometimes I wonder about that whole 'lesbian trapped in a man's body' concept sometimes.


Yep. Fairly hard headed about it too. When I was stationed overseas, the US Military TV stations didn't show commercials, per se, they were more like public service announcements. Seems that every time a 'you need to quit smoking' spot would come on, my reaction was to light one up, even if I just finished one. I've never visited New York, and Nurse Bloomberg isn't doing too much to really entice me, either.

Have you been invited over to Bill’s house since the hostile blog takeover?

Nah, but that isn't unusual - he only extends the invite when he's running low on booze, cause he knows I'll drop by the class 6 store (on-base liquor store) before I come by.

Speaking of Bill’s house, why don’t we ever hear about him coming to your house?

Strictly out of fear for the Gerbils' safety. They were inherited from Anna (my daughter), but I've sort of become attached to them. They haven't responded too well to the attempts to teach them to do differential calculus in return for sunflower seed treats, but that's ok.

What is your favorite movie of all time?

If I have to pick just one - Blade Runner, the original release cut.

What kind of music do you listen to?

Been listening to mostly classical lately, but I appreciate jazz, alternative, and a very very few selected country tunes. I appreciate music that actually reflects creativity, talent, and skill - I've found examples of this, that suite my tastes, in a lot of different styles. The only three categories that I dismiss right out of hand are rap/hiphop (please don't waste any of my time trying to explain a difference that I don't consider exists), salsa (tinny horn work, ugh), and Chinese Opera (random sharp noises without any discernable pattern).

Do you dance? In public?

I try to spare everyone from that spectacle to the greatest extent possible. On rare occasions, usually involving vast amounts of alcohol, it has happened. An ugly, ugly thing. Slow dancing doesn't count.

Coke or Pepsi?

RC Cola. But Pepsi if that's not an option, and coffee isn't available.

Vodka or tequila?

Tanqueray or Rum. The only time I like tequila is for a 'Prairie Fire'. It's a shot of tequila with a dash of Tabasco, and a dash of Worcestershire. Very handy after drinking a lot of beer, to cleanse the palate. Gets rid of that pasty, filmy, fuzzy thing. But since I don't drink a lot of beer, it's been a while.

As I understand it, you do something vaguely connected to airplanes. What is it you do exactly?

I used to sit in the back without a window and let the pilots try to scare the crap out of me. Not many of them were very good at it, but when they were good, whoo boy. I was on flight status for a little over 20 years, but for the past few years I've been flying a desk. On paper, the specialty code is 'Linguist'.

Why did you join the Air Force?

Aviation. I joined the Civil Air Patrol as a Cadet as soon as I was old enough, basically about the concept of flight. Along the way, I was also in Explorer Scouts, because there was a group being sponsored by the Air Wing of the County Sheriff's department, and it was a chance to fly rotor wing. I joined the Air Force even after not making getting into a track to be a pilot, because of the flight thing. Although the job I signed up for wasn't an obvious path to an Airborne position, the opportunity presented itself, and I gladly said 'hell yeah'. Oh, and btw, unlike Blackfive, when I say 'Airborne' that refers strictly to a flying position. I have never, ever come up with a reason to depart a perfectly functioning aircraft in flight. Besides, at 35,000 feet, it's frikkin cold out there!

What's your rank in the Air Force, and have you ever pulled a practical joke on a higher ranking officer?

I'm a Master Sergeant, and are you kidding? Most have been situational, and sometimes they've backfired. The worst consequence, however, was that I ended up in a Santa Suit at a Christmas party. One of my favorite 'official' photos is a Squadron Picture from Panama, which depicts myself and another guy holding up large orange coolers, with the columns of water coming out of them mere inches from drenching our unit commander.

Have you ever had a solo blog?

Nope, pretty much done the group thing. I did set up A Stop On the Railroad, with the concept being to compile tips, tricks and resources for people considering leaving blogsplat for an MT setup. A few people seemed to find it useful, but after the basics were on it, I didn't really have a burning desire to keep adding to it, or take it in a different direction.

Who are the writers at Silent Running? How did you find each other?

Silent Running was set up by Murray Hill, of Upper Hutt New Zealand in response to his brother being forced to shut down his personal blog due to a situation with his employer. I stumbled across the situation and was energized about this 'quashing of free speech and denial of first amendment right to free speech'. Then Murray and his brother explained to me that New Zealand and Australia don't have a 'first amendment', but by then, it was too late. Murray had put out the invite for collaborators for the effort, and in addition to me, we were joined by Alisa, Mike Hackmeister, Dave Bisman, and a bit later by Captain Scarlet. We all found each other via the wonders of the Internet, and the Blogosphere.

How did you end up at Amish Tech Support?

Actually, I started out at ATS, in a way. Although Laurence vehemently denies any and all credit (probably because he knows blood and DNA testing would be inconclusive), his was the first blog I ever stumbled across. Actually I stumbled across his stories from when he worked at the TV station, then stumbled into this...other...part of his website. I started commenting at LGF, then SR happened, and the rest is history. Laurence actually surprised the crap out of me when he extended the invite -

Why don’t you post more often at ATS?

Intimidation factor. I look at the stuff Laurence turns out, which is concise, sharp, and funny as hell. Most of my stuff doesn't rise to that level, IMHO.

During the hurricane aftermath, you managed to keep posting. Do you think you might be an addict?

Connectivity addict for sure. It was more about solving the technical problem than a feeling that I 'had' to blog. Damned Hurricane had knocked me off the net. Pissed me off.

Describe for us a perfect weekend for Wind Rider.

Hasn't happened yet. I'll let ya know. Most of the ones lately aren't really in contention.

Posted by Jennifer at 12:00 PM | Comments (13)

March 30, 2004

*You Asked, Paul Answers

Here it is: the interview pretty much guaranteed to scare any normal person away from being interviewed.

Paul has answered your questions.

Click it.

You are a man of mystery, blogging anonymously. What/who are you hiding from?

Blogging would be seriously frowned upon my employer. I’m in a position
where it’s just not advisable. Actually, I wish I weren’t anonymous because
I could tell some great stories without having to live in fear. I’d also
like to post some photos of myself, because I’m devilishly handsome.

Where are you hiding?

I’m on the East Coast. Near the ocean.

What’s your shoe size?

12 EE. I’ve got big feet because I’m 6’ 4”. Something sturdy has got to hold
up all that gray matter. I bet a lot of melted cheese would fit into one of
my shoes.

Where did you go to kindergarten?

New Jersey. Kindergarten was probably the first time I realized that I hated
people. Even at that tender young age…I just knew.

What do you do for a living?

I hold a sales and marketing position in a large American company. But I
always tell people that I sell commodes to the Federal Government. I even
have business cards printed up that say “Thunder Flush, Inc.” I can even
fake a pretty good conversation about gov’t shitter sales. My fantasy job— I
would have loved to be a spook in the cold war days.

What are the measurements of your penis?

Actually, I can be pretty accurate here. I’m going to let you in on a
secret. Every guy in the world has measured his penis at one time or
another. It’s a fact. I go 7 7/8” in length, which is not giant, but tends
to get the job done. Besides, good technique and patience is the key. If you
’re going to do it right, you’re going to be there for while.

Describe your pubic hair.

Hmmm. Interesting question. Neatly trimmed and very soft. I use a top
quality conditioner on my pubes…I don’t care for coarse pubes. I’m not a
very hairy guy anyway. My chest is naturally hairless. In fact I’m pretty
much the opposite of the ‘Italian sweater’ type of guy. Thanks for asking.

Have you ever had a homosexual experience? Please describe it in detail.

No, I haven’t. I’m very comfortable in my skin as a hetero. But I have slept
with multiple girls at the same time. All of them were European. By multiple
I mean more than two. Does that count? It kind of makes them at least
partially homo and I was in the fray so…I guess I’ve had a lesbian
experience. It’s a long story. Several long stories really.

Did you ever get that tin foil versus aluminum foil thing straightened out?

Don’t get me started on the tin foil / aluminum foil thing. You can touch
that shit right out of the oven and it’s not hot, but the pizza that’s
sitting on it will scorch the shit out of you. Does that mean pizza is a
poor conductor of heat? Hell if I know.

If your own FOMP doesn’t work out, will you consider a FOJP?

You bet I would. I was going to add you to the lineup anyway. I bet you’re a
hot little number…

In your top ten reasons to read your blog, you state that you’re prepared to make a deal. What was your deal with Bill and who came out on…top?

We have no formal agreement; we’ve just given each other posting privileges.
But I definitely came out on top. He’s better than I am. Right now I think
he’s holding back a little but I think in the future we’ll be able to do
some great tandem projects. We’re both fairly devious and I think the
chemistry is right. He’s the kind of guy I’d like to write a screenplay

Clearly the hostile takeover of Bill’s blog got his creative juices flowing
again. Why hasn’t that bastard thanked anyone?

Because he’s a no good, filthy—well, that’s not true. Bill is Bill. Nobody
has better intentions. But let’s face it, like a parasite, he feeds off of
others. He works the give and take. There’s certain amount of creative
feedback that’s healthy for all of us. We gang up on Bill, then Bill
attacks. It’s part of his style. Thanks? That would hamper the magic.

Will you be covering “comment blogging” in your Blogging 101 series?

It’s hard to outline good comment blogging in an academic manner because
good comment blogging is spontaneous. Not getting banned is the key. I will
say this: the first time I comment blogged Bill was a masterstroke. He never
saw it coming and then didn’t know what to do about it. The timing was
right. He was running “Ask Scabby” because he had no material. He went to a
meeting and by the time he got back I was answering all of his reader’s
questions. Oho!

What is your favorite movie of all time?

The Godfather and Godfather II are definitely my favorites. They’re hard to
beat for both plot and dialog. I’m also a big fan of Sunset Blvd, Eraserhead
and Glengarry Glen Ross. As far as comedies go, the Blues Brothers is a
classic. That scene at Bob’s Country Bunker is gold.

What kind of music do you listen to?

I like most styles except country, but I lean toward well written and
produced rock. I hate country music. I’m a huge Beatles fan. I like
bluegrass, jazz and classical also. I’m a big fan of the Pixies, Elvis
Costello, Dave Edmunds and most of the 70s guitar heroes like Clapton, Beck,
Page and Eddie. I love funk and dislike rap. Tenacious D is a current

Do you dance? In public?

I’m an accomplished ballroom dancer. Tango, foxtrot, waltz—the whole deal.
Ballroom dancing and boxing go hand in hand. If you mean club dancing, yeah
I have no problem with it. Girls like to dance with me because I don’t look
like a jerk out there. No large, exaggerated movements. And back in the day
I had no trouble in the pit either.

You have a young daughter. Can you name all 4 Teletubbies?

I can’t even name one. That show gives me hives. Everything about it is
creepy. I’m pretty sure they’re hypnotizing my kid and programming her to
kill me in my sleep.

How about at least 4 Smurfs?

Thankfully, my child & have never seen that show. Is it a show? We’re big on
Sponge Bob marathons. Her favorite is Mr. Crabs. I tend to favor Patrick. We
also make a lot of home video of the two of us doing stupid stuff around the
house, like it’s our own TV show. Then we watch them back and laugh like

Who has been the most influential person in your life?

My daughter. Having the kid changed everything in my life…dramatically. All
the selfish habits had to go. She changed every set perception I had up to
this point in my life. We’re a team, she and I. I’m a kid at heart so we’re
pretty silly. Ever try to explain the concept a map to three year old?

Do they know it?

I don’t think so. It’s tough because sometimes kids can say mean things that
they really don’t mean, like, “You go lay down…I want my mommy now.”

Posted by Jennifer at 02:18 PM | Comments (6)

March 25, 2004

You Asked, CD Answers

CD has answered your questions!

Movies, of course (he's a film student), as well as the stench of Spears and the inevitable desert island question.

Click it.

Q: If you had to be dropped into an ancient Egyptian tomb filled with spiders,
snakes, or Nazis, which would you choose and why?

A: Assuming the snakes aren't poisonous, definitely snakes. What are they
going to do? Plus, if there was an opening somewhere in the tomb, I could tie
all the snakes together to make a rope and climb to freedom! And even if that
didn't work, just imagine how much money I could get for a genuine snakerope!!!
Why, I could pay for a whole week of college!

Q: Speaking of Indiana Jones, which one of the trilogy is your favorite?

A: I haven't seen "The Last Crusade" yet, so that's automatically out. However,
I'd have to say that "Raiders of the Lost Ark" is the best, if only for the
scene where the guy gets chopped up by an airplane propeller. Coolest movie
death EVER.

Q: What kind of films do you want to make?

A: This is going to be a long answer. I actually don't know EXACTLY what kinds
of films I'm interested in yet. I'll probably do anything I have the
opportunity to work on, although I'm more interested in script/plot-driven stuff
than the "let's see how much expensive crap we can blow up in 90 minutes" genre.
Not that I don't enjoy a good "Stuff that cost money go BOOM!" film. I just
don't think it takes a lot of writing/directing talent to make those. My basic
goal in making films is to try and reverse the whole mindless, postmodern,
relativistic trend that's pretty much taken over the entertainment industry.
Movies are an art, and they should have a message other than "give us your money
and we'll entertain you for a while." Whether I'm making a drama, a comedy, a
documentary, or something in between those, I want to make people think about
their lives and how they're living them. My films will be more of an analysis
of reality than an escape from it. Whatever that means.

Q: What is the last movie that moved you to tears?

A: I don't remember for sure. It's been a while since I saw a movie with a
really emotional plot. I honestly think it might have been "Shrek," as strange
as that sounds, but don't take my word for it.

Q: What are your five favorite films of all time?

A: I know my favorite film is "Gettysburg," but after that, it all kind of blurs
together, so I can't rank exactly 4 as my other favorites. I tend to favor
movies that are part of a trilogy or series, so on the "CD's Favorite Films"
list, you'll find stuff like "Wayne's World," "Jurassic Park," "Austin Powers,"
"Lethal Weapon," etc. Mostly comedy and action movies. I still want to write
and produce more dramatic ones, though.

Q: What did you score on the SATs?

A: On my first and only attempt: 690 verbal, 560 math. For those of you who
didn't do so well in math, that's 1250.

Q: What scent would you propose to capture Britney Spears?s essence?

A: Um...what a strange question. A scent for Britney Spears, huh? Well, what
do dumb, annoying, and overrated smell like? A combination of those would
probably work. You could also throw in a bit of melon scent. You know, to
represent boobies.

Q: An eternity with Jennifer Lopez: heaven or hell?

A: Definitely hell. In fact, that might be where she's from. I don't buy that
whole "Jenny from the block" routine. That backside is out to conquer humanity
and force us to listen to crappy pop music for eternity while watching "Gigli."

Q: How did you join the merry band of Munuvians?

A: That's an interesting story. I had been using Blog*Spot for almost three
months, and one night in mid-December, I managed to get linked on two or three
different blogs at once. I was pretty excited about this, but around the time
the links went up, Blog*Spot decided to go down for about 6 hours, so I ended up
only getting 2 visitors. This prompted me to write a post begging someone to get me away
from the evil service before it was too late. I guess Susie
saw that and got in touch with Pixy, who offered to
let me join Munuvia. 2 weeks later, I started blogging on MT, and I've never
looked back.

Q: Do they play their own instruments?

A: Well, I play drums. I'm not sure about the rest. Wouldn't it be great if we
all played instruments though? Then we could ride around in a poorly animated
bus solving mysteries and entertaining whoever happened to stop by. That would
be sweet.

Q: You have to spend two years on a desert island with either Sugar Ray, Jerry
Cantrell, or Snoop Dogg. Who do you pick and why?

A: I knew there would be a desert island question! Hmmm...I think I'd pick
Jerry Cantrell. He always seems pretty depressed, so he'd either starve himself
to death or overdose on coconuts and poisonous island toads. Then, I could ride
his body to civilization, using his guitar as an oar! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

Q: Why blog?

A: I'm not exactly sure why, to be honest. I just started blogging because I
had been reading other blogs for about a month, and I thought I'd see what it
was like. As I now know, it's extremely addictive and fun. I think the main
reason I keep doing it is because it gives me a way to write about things that
irritate me. Everyone should have some way of dealing with stress, and blogging
is my method. Also, although I'm a pretty solid conservative, I'm using
blogging to help form and strengthen my political views. I've really learned a
lot since I started. On top of all that, I'm a total introvert in real life,
but when I'm blogging, I can be loud and opinionated and socialize with all
kinds of people. I actually have more friends in the blogosphere than I do at
school......which is pretty sad now that I think about it....I have to go sit in
the corner and cry for a few minutes.

Q: How would your blog differ if people you know knew about it?

A: It would be incredibly boring and pointless, because...oh, if people I KNOW
knew about it. Hmmm....well, yeah, it would be incredibly boring. I don't
think I'd be comfortable writing a lot of the more controversial stuff I cover
if I had people asking me about it all the time. I've already made a
subconscious (not necessarily intentional) effort to avoid more sensitive topics
ever since I started picking up regular readers. I can't imagine what would
happen if friends or family were reading. On the other hand, if I knew people
from blogging, and THEN met them in real life, that probably wouldn't change
much. My online personality is nothing like my regular one, and I think it
would be more of a shock for someone to know me personally and then read the
blog......For example, in real life, I usually don't ramble like this.

Q: If you could improve one thing about your blog what would it be?

A: A lot of bloggers display quotes of endorsement from other bloggers and/or
readers in their sidebar. I think I'd probably add some of those.

Q: Why haven't you done it yet?

A: As soon as I get some endorsements from people other than "John Kerry" and
"Glenn Reynolds," I probably will.

Q: Pillows: feather or foam?

A: I don't think I've ever seen a feather pillow, so I have no objective proof
that they actually exist. Then again, I don't go ripping my pillows apart to
see what's inside 'em either...there could be live chickens in there right now.
Excuse me a moment.........................nope, foam. I need a new pillow now.
And I'm hungry for KFC.

Q: Your high school had a rifle team? Is that usual for your area?

A: A few of the schools in the area have rifle teams, but I don't know how usual
it really is. We were the team for people who weren't athletic enough for other
sports. It seemed like that was a pretty consistent rule at the other schools
we went to. I doubt that 90% of the students at my high school even knew we had
a team, so there could conceivably be one at every school in the world. Rifle
teams are almost like secret societies. Unfortunately, I don't think my old
school has a team at the moment. The coach was suspended for letting members
toss other members into a dumpster when they shot their first 110. That's a
violation of hazing policy, children.

Q: What's with the telephonophobia? Have you always had it?

A: Telephones are evil. Especially cell phones. I don't know why other people
can't see that. More specifically though, it's because I can't stand the many
things that can go wrong with phones. You can get a wrong number, you can get
someone other than the person you wanted and have to say "is so and so there,"
you can ask that question as soon as they answer and discover that it actually
IS the person you wanted, but you didn't recognize their voice...Plus, I can
never understand people on the phone. My conversations usually consist of
"what," "huh," and "could you say that again?" I'll stick with e-mail, thank
you very much.

Q: Any other phobias?

A: Acrophobia (heights), arachnophobia (spiders), and I tend to get
uncomfortable around any dog large enough to injure me in some way. Which is,
of course, pretty much every dog larger than a terrier.

Well, that was fun.

Posted by Jennifer at 02:44 PM | Comments (1)

March 19, 2004

You Asked, Jack Answers

Jack has answered your questions!

Click the extended for an entertaining, thoughtful interview.

An “About Me” page is curiously missing from your site, so let’s start with the basics: who is Jack? What is he all about?

Gee, you don’t believe in easing into things, do you? You just jump right into the deep end of the philosophy pool with a fundamental existential question. Who is Jack? That’s not an easy question to answer. As a matter of fact, I’ve been asking that question for at least three decades. Do *you* have any hints, because I sure could use them… I think if I knew what I was all about I wouldn’t write a weblog, or at least I wouldn’t have a blog category called “Personal”. What am I all about? The superficial facts are I’m a single man (divorced for 7 years) currently living in Austin, Texas (to be Grenoble, France for three years starting mid-April 2004) who is just trying to get by and enjoy life when and where possible. I have been called handsome and charming by many people, and I do not lack for friends. When I take the Meyers-Briggs personality tests, I always score smack-dab in the middle of the extrovert versus introvert scale. As a matter of fact, I tend to land in the middle of all four scales on that test, which makes sense in light of how I’ve been able to move into many different sub-cultures and communicate well with many different kinds of people. When I travel abroad I’m often mistaken for a native (well, in Mexico, Belgium, and France, but not in Japan, I don’t match the physical type there!!!). Despite my good life at times I teeter on the edge of becoming a burnout case, but I haven’t fallen off that cliff yet. By the way, I did do an “About Me” post once; it is “curiously missing” because I was too lazy to add a link to it on my main page.

How tall is he?

A little over 5’ 9”, but on a day I’m feeling tall I’m 5’ 10”. Want any more vital statistics like weight or shoe size?

How old is he?

As of October 2003, I’m 39, which means I’ll turn 40 on my first birthday as an expatriate. I plan to spend that October 24, 2004 in a distillery in Scotland drinking one of my favorite single malts

How educated is he?

Although most people I work with assume I have a PhD, and my thesis committee said I deserved one for my work, I have a Master of Science in Physics. When I distinguish an education from technical knowledge, I’m not as educated as I’d like to be. I wish I knew more about the fine arts and literature, but I do have a pretty good knowledge of history since reading it has been a hobby of mine.

What does he do for a living?

I work for a large semiconductor company doing research to figure out how to make integrated circuits even faster than they already are. I work with films that are 5 atoms thick on surfaces that are so smooth that a misplaced atom shows up as a bump in a transmission electron microscope. Sometimes I think of myself as a bricklayer who works with really teeny-tiny bricks.

Does he consider himself to be leftish or rightish in the political scheme of things?

Hmmm…. this third person question with a first person answer routine reads really strangely. To answer the question, though, I’m neither leftish nor rightish; I consider myself “centrish”. As with almost everything in my life, the full answer is very complex and nuanced (and there are some parts of my life you really, really, really don’t want to know about the complexity and the subtlety of the nuances, believe me). I’m a strong believer in the fundamental philosophy that motivated the founders at the Constitutional Convention. If this seems to be an incomplete answer, then read my blogs because I post plenty of political opinions on all three.

Okay, let’s kill the “he” stuff. Let’s talk about you. If you could pick your death, how would you go?

Hmmmm… well, I’ve always thought if I absolutely *have* to die one day, I’d like to die while saving someone’s life, perhaps in a blaze of glory typical of adolescent self-dramatization. However I die, though, I know that I’m one of those folks who will refuse to “go quietly into that dark night.”

If you had to vote for another blogger to be President of the United States, who would it be and why?

This one is tougher to answer than I thought it would be. Matt and John of Arrgghh!!! both spring to mind, but I think the best ticket would be Donnie with LeeAnn as Veep to keep Donnie from getting too serious when he goes off on one of his rants.

Why in the name of Britney Spears are you moving to France?

I work for a company that is in a three-way alliance with two European based firms to build a new semiconductor fab (factory) in France. This alliance includes research and development, and I was one of the research folks asked to go to France. Would you turn down a chance to live in Europe for three years with someone else picking up the tab, especially if you were a single guy?

Speaking of Britney, would you rather spend an evening with her or Madonna?

Ugh… I want to know who asked THIS particular question. Do I have to have spend an evening with either? Britney is nice eye candy, but I doubt she would be very good at conversation from what I’ve read about her. As far as Madonna goes… Well, she’s an intelligent woman, but there are some twists in her mind that make me rather uneasy, and I really don’t care for her politics. Can I pick Sandra Bullock? She lives in Austin; I keep hoping I’ll run into her at Home Depot or the grocery store…

If you could pick Britney’s death, how would she go? When would she go?

Geez, what’s all this stuff about death??? Hell, there’s enough death in the world that fantasizing about Britney’s death seems pointless. I’d rather spend my time fantasizing about other things… and you can leave *what* to your imagination.

Which do you prefer--Mexican food or Italian food?

I’m sorely tempted to give an NC-17 rated answer here, given my dating history, but I’ll control that impulse. After dragging my mind out of the gutter, I can say that living in Austin, I’ve been able to have both Tex-Mex and REAL Mexican food, and I like both, but they are NOT the same. Since the immigrant population here is primarily from Mexico rather than from Europe, there’s a dearth of authentic Italian restaurants which is unfortunate because I do prefer Italian food. I’ve found that nothing is better than a hearty Italian meal (with a good red wine) preferably in the company of an intelligent woman.

You are going to spend the next 5 years in a well-ventilated hole in the ground. You can bring a CD player or a portable DVD player that won’t play CDs. Which do you choose?

A CD player. You can think while listening to music.

Which CDs or DVDs do you bring?

The entire Peter Gabriel and Elvis Costello catalogs. I’d also like the best of The Who, Sarah McLachlan’s last three albums, and the greatest hits collections of Billy Joel and Bruce Springsteen. There’d be more I’d like to have, and I’m sorting through that now to take to France with me.

Why do you blog?

I started my first blog in January of 2003 when I thought I’d be moving to France in March of 2003. I’ve always loved to write, and after reading several other blogs, I discovered blogging was a good way to practice my writing, express opinions, and possibly change or at least influence minds.

Do any other bloggers influence you?

I read on MSNBC, got referred to InstaPundit from there, and then got referred to Gut Rumbles. After reading Rob and his rants (I’m glad to see he’s regained his center, by the way) it prompted me to continue my own blog but with a slightly different style. Now my main influences are:

Donnie is a definite influence, but then he and I started “We the People” together

Matt of Blackfive with whom I don’t always agree, but I respect

Mog who has an amazingly prodigious output that I don’t always agree with, but again is well worth reading.

Chris, The Noble Pundit, who has some very thought provoking posts.

Have any bloggers been helpful to you?

Beth, She Who Will Be Obeyed was the first to blogroll me, and Donnie has linked to me more often than anyone else and directed a significant fraction of what traffic I do have to my way.

Instapundit: over-rated?

I think he is a bit over-rated. I’d prefer fewer posts with more analysis from him, but I don’t see how he puts out the number of posts he does, even though they are so brief.

What is the most selfish thing you’ve ever done and do you regret it?

Regret is one of the anchors that dragged me into the Black Pit of Despair™, so I’m trying to discard all my regrets. I do still have a few things in my life I regret, but they are not selfish acts. There are a couple of women with whom I ended relationships for selfish reasons, but in the end those relationships would not have worked, so you could argue that the reasons may have been selfish but turned out OK in the end.

What is the most selfless thing you’ve ever done this week?

The most *selfless* thing I’ve done this week???? I’m *much* better at remembering how I’ve been selfish. I’m not sure I’ve really done anything selfless this week… I spend my time around very self-sufficient people, so there aren’t many opportunities to be selfless.

Posted by Jennifer at 09:30 AM | Comments (4)

February 24, 2004

You Asked, Graumagus Answers

The long-awaited Graumagus interview is here! It is worth your time and to prove it I am offering a money-back guarantee.

What you can expect when he gets the One the extended.

Why "Graumagus"?

It's kind of a bastardized german for "gray mage" (which is actually "graues mage" in german). I wanted a moniker nobody else had, instead of something like "Gandalf_4721". Google my handle and everything you find is me except for a few exerpts from a very strange german role-playing game (assuming a troll isn't stealing my identity somewhere since I started the blog).

Why "Frizzen Sparks"?

I really like flintlock muzzle loading firearms (one of these days I might even get around to getting a damn long rifle instead of just my pistols). Without a good shower of sparks from the flint striking the frizzen, the powder in the pan doesn't ignite, and the gun doesn't fire. I could say that it was intended to convey that my blog was meant to start ignition on debating topics or something else symbolic, but I'm really not that deep. It just popped into my head while I was pondering names, and the domain was free.

If for some reason you couldn't use the names "Graumagus" and "Frizzen Sparks" what names would you use instead?

I'd probably go with "Willie MacPhearson" (which is my living history persona) and "The Rabid Platypi" for the blog name, because it makes no sense, it rolls off the tongue, and "Tasty Manatees" was already taken.

What's so anachronistic about your asshole?

It's callused from years of wiping with corn cobs.

What 3 things piss you off the most?

Oooo... to pick only three... this is hard...hmmmm.. I'd say liberals who push revisionist history, hypocrites (and we are all hypocrites to some extent, I save my ire for serial hypocrites like people who claim to be for racial equality but support affirmative action), and the fact that Charmin hasn't come out with a squeezably soft corn cob.

Fluffy bunny rabbits or fuzzy ducklings?

I'd have to say the bunnies. You definitely get more meat off of them than ducklings. Heck, you'd need at least six or seven ducklings to make a decent kebob. If the ducks were full grown I would have went with them.

How many angstroms in a gigameter?

Whoever asked this should realize it's their fault that this interview has taken so long to get finished. Every time I hit about 73 billion my kids would start yelling and make me lose count.

Popular legend has it that Scots wear nothing under their kilts. If this is so, how do they protect their royal jewels from the hazards of battle, freezing weather and marauding trollwives?

During battle it wasn't uncommon for Scots to drop plaid completely and rush into the fray naked. They believed that there's no defense better than a good offense, and there's nary a sight on heaven or earth more offensive that screaming, pasty white, kilt rash mottled, naked scotsmen. If that didn't frighten the enemy into running away, the royal jewels made themselves a pretty small target due to the effects of chilly weather on exposed male plumbing.
No living history event has let us reenact this.

If you were feelin' really really snacky and there was nuthin' in the fridge but mayo, olives, hersheys chocolate syrup, salsa and a few stale twizzlers from last Halloween, what would you do?

Well, I don't really care for olives, so if they are in the fridge they belong to my wife. Seeing as how olives usually have a 15 minute life expectancy when she's around, I'd leave those for her. Stale twizzlers are great for dipping into salsa, used to be a staple geek night (D & D playing night) culinary treat. As for the mayo and chocolate syrup, I'm thinking "Tangy Chocolate Mousse".

You have a choice between saving a princess from a fearsome dragon, or going to a titty bar with the other knights, what say you, Sir Graumagus?

Depends on a few factors. Is it another knight's birthday or bachelor party? If so I'd kind of be obligated to buy the guy a codpiece dance and a few rounds of mead.

Also, has this princess been kidnapped by the dragon, or did the king put his daughter under the protective custody of the dragon? Kings usually do that when their daughters are complete sluts, so I'd probably go for the princess. Ahhhh who am I kidding, I'd hit the bar, have a few dozen meads, tuck some farthings into a few garters, get the guys to help me slay the dragon after last call, then we'd all hit Perkin's for eggs benedict.

If you had the One Ring, what would you do?

(Laughs maniacally). The first thing I'd do is make Alyson Hannigan my personal love strumpet. Yes, I know I'm married, but the Bearer of the One Ring deserves a little on the side. Then I'd make Fox replace all these shitty reality shows with the ones I love that the bastards canceled (Firefly, Dark Angel, Family Guy). Then I would rule with a somewhat benevolent iron fist for eternity. Uhhmm, you weren't actually expecting a "destroy the ring for the good of humanity" answer were you?

What the hell were you doing in Seattle yesterday? I swear I saw you crossing the street in greenwood in your cap and jacket. Or was it your evil doppleganger? although, hmmm... Maybe that should be...Your GOOD doppleganger?

I hate my Evil Twin, he's always starting when I want to begin. Actually it was me, I was really hungry for a salmon omelet (which you can get a lot of places, but you can only get good in Seattle). In Rockford, IL there is a big, ugly, orange scrapmetal sculpture thing by an artist named Alexander Liberman (the Rockford "symbol"). There is an even larger orange scrap pile in Seattle. I've found that by banging my head against the symbol three times and chanting "God Rockford SUCKS!" I can teleport between the two.

Zoos--fun for everyone or depressing?

Fun if you're a kid, but depressing for a wolf. Last time I hit the zoo, the wolves looked decidedly like they wanted to put a makeshift shiv to a guard's throat and bust out.
The Grizzly bears, on the other hand, seems quite happy to be fed and be a lazy ass in his pool. Come to think of it, I'd be pretty happy to be fed and be a lazy ass in a pool too. The Lemurs were pretty much indifferent.

Vodka or tequila?

Jose Cuervo and I are pretty tight. Vladimir Smirnoff is a commie bastard. 'Nuff said.

How many keys are on your keyring? How many of those keys do you actually use?

17 keys at the moment, which is much less than when I was younger. I probably use 4 of them a lot, 8 or nine of the others once in a while, and the rest rarely (but if I put them anywhere else I'd never find the damn things when I need them). I've found it's useful to have distinctful keys. I once lost my keys at Six Flags and had to drive home with the spare in my wallet. Based on my description of my keys, they identified and mailed them to me.

Do you think colonizing Mars is the best use of our resources?

No. I think using our resources to install me as ruler of all mankind and figuring out a way to make me immortal is the best use of our resources. Oh, did you mean the best use for everybody, or the best use for me?

What is the most wonderful thing about Tiggers?

They add another interesting psychological twist to the 100 Acre Wood Institution for Mentally Deranged Stuffed Animals. You have Tigger (ADHD), Eeeore (Depression), Pooh (Mental Retardation, Food Addiction), Piglet (Anxiety), Rabbit (Obsessive/Compulsive gardening), Kanga (Drug Addiction. Trust me, everyone keeps craving her cookies for a reason), Roo (Obsessive Hero Worship), Owl (Delusions of Grandeur, initial stages of Alzheimer's), Mole (Obsessive/Compulsive need to fix things), and Christopher Robin (Visual and Auditory Hallucinations of talking, walking stuffed animals.)

If money was no object, where would you choose to live?

My own personal Orbital Death-Ray Platform.

What kind of car do you drive?

Ford Windstar. My wife won't let me buy a hearse.

Are you the kind of friend you want your friends to be?

I think so. And if my friends don't think so, they can go screw themselves (the bastards!)

Posted by Jennifer at 11:42 AM | Comments (2)

January 22, 2004

*You Asked, Captain Ed Answers

Despite being a captain without a ship (or dinghy), Captain Ed has provided a fantastic interview for you.

He gets bonus points for mentioning Bayfield, Wisconsin (an area near and dear to me) as one of the best places he's been.

Go to the extended and enjoy this wonderful interview.

Why did you leave southern California?

Unemployment is a great motivator. I'm a call-center manager, and I needed to find a better fit for myself. I couldn't find any opportunities in Southern California and I'd spent some time in Minnesota previously and really liked it. I don't regret moving here a bit; it's a terrific place to live and we've made some wonderful new friends. We both miss our extended families, though. I'd move back if I had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but I wouldn't go out of my way to do so -- I'd have to make at least three times what I do now to afford it.

Why would you leave California for Minnesota? Winters. Hello.

Yeah, well, that first winter was a real eye-opener! I tell people that there are four weeks in the winter and four weeks in the summer I could live without, but the trade-off is experiencing four seasons a year, and the bluest skies you'll ever want. Just bundle up and you're okay, and it it's too cold, don't stay outside. It's not as big a deal as people imagine.

Jesse Ventura: circus act or effective governor?

Circus act. In the end, he alienated both ends of the political spectrum, bringing true bipartisanship to Minnesota: both parties hated his guts. They combined to override his veto on their budget, finishing him politically in his final year. But look, the plurality that elected Jesse didn't do so because he made a great leader -- they voted for him to send a message that they were fed up with the decades-long direction of Minnesota politics. In the next election, they ignored the independent candidates and swung further Republican.

Could Jesse have won another term if he ran?

There are people who still think he could have, but I don't. He was a nine-day wonder, and like I said, that veto override really, really made him look foolish. He's descending back into well-deserved obscurity. A commenter on my blog told me that he's still a good wrestling commentator, and I think that's where he will eventually stay.

Minnesota is the "Land of 10,000 Lakes" but everyone knows they have 11,842 lakes. Why would they undersell themselves like that?

Typical Midwestern reserve and humility ... If it was California, they'd call themselves "Land of Over 11,841 Super-Fabulous, Lo-Cal, Atkins-Friendly Lakes!" And then they'd charge you $50 to go see one of them.

Do they hand out boats with every house they sell up there?

No, but they do give you steaks when they replace your windshield. Seriously. You're right about Minnesotans being serious outdoors enthusiasts. Everyone up here has a boat or a snowmobile or a Jet-Ski ... well, everyone but me, anyway. Maybe I should start a tip jar to raise funds for a fishing dinghy.

Usted admira Jonathan Swift?

Si, yo admira Jonathan Swift mucho gusto. And that's the extent of my Spanish, I'm sorry to say. Swift was a brilliant writer and an even better satirist. I first read "A Modest Proposal" as a high-school freshman in English class. I read "Gulliver's Travels" shortly afterward, but it's been so long I need to reread it sometime soon. The tagline I use is a corruption of the final couplet in a little poem Swift wrote about poets which I think is even more applicable to the blogosphere (especially when I'm scrounging for blogroll links!). I admire people who honestly and articulately speak their minds, even -- and especially -- if their thoughts go against the doctrine of the day. To challenge the English to take responsibility for the poor state of the Irish people at that time certainly did not increase his popularity.

Why did you start your blog? What did you hope to accomplish?

When I was younger, I often debated politics and cultural issues with my friends, until I realized that I was either (a) boring them to death, or (b) pissing them off. I've kept a lid on it since then, using the local Letters to the Editor pages to vent when I needed. I'm also a bit of a frustrated writer, too, so being opinionated combines nicely with the urge to write in blogging. I'm not sure what I hope to accomplish (what a great question!); I'd like to advance public debate and change some minds, if I can. Expressing my opinions in such a public manner forces me to research my assumptions a bit more and listen more carefully to the opposing arguments, a great opportunity for personal growth if I can keep my mind open long enough to take advantage of it. Maybe, as one of my family members suggested to me, I'm showing off a bit, too ... I hope that's not it, but if it is, I'll live with it.

Have there been any particular bloggers who have helped or influenced you?

I'm not sure if I've been influenced to anywhere near the degree I've been helped. If I had to pick an influence, it would probably be Power Line. I've received a lot of assistance, advice, and promotion from a number of people in the blogosphere and still continue to do so -- Jennifer's giving me a great opportunity with this interview to introduce myself to new readers, for example, and I really appreciate it. Blogs like Power Line, QandO, Politburo Diktat, Evangelical Outpost -- all these have linked back to me with very supportive comments urging their readers to check me out. I got a huge boost from radio talk-show host and blogger Hugh Hewitt, too, and it just demonstrates the collegial atmosphere in most of the blogosphere, as well as the fact that Hugh is a terrific guy who goes out of his way to help people out. But the first person who went out of her way to give me a hand was Alicia at Twilight Cafe, who not only was the first to blogroll me and the first to comment on one of my posts, but also designed my logo as a gift to me. I'd go on -- there are plenty more -- but I don't want to abuse Jennifer's hospitality.

Do you prefer reading personal blogs or political blogs?

I like them both, as long as they're well-written and entertaining. I read more political blogs, though, because I only have so much time in a day and I want to keep up with the politics. The first blog I ever read was Asparagirl's, which is now defunct, and that was more personal than political. Much of what I write is political, but I will sometimes write on personal topics. Hopefully it doesn't bore anyone!

What inspires you?

My family inspires me. I have a terrific family, and if I don't write more about them, it's because their stories are their own to tell, and I'd find it a bit presumptious to lay it all out on the Internet without their participation. My faith inspires me, too, but it's more of a comfort than an inspiration. Tough challenges inspire me. I've been learning Irish Gaelic for the past three years, just because I love Irish culture and because the language is pretty obscure. Fortunately, there's a significant group of Irish speakers in the Twin Cities, and they're great people.

Is being a grandparent better than being a parent?

You bet!! The responsibility is less and the enjoyment increases with age, I think. When you're the parent, you constantly second-guess yourself and stress out over the child's development. When you're the grandparent, you have the luxury of focusing on the fun of being with the child. (And of course, it doesn't hurt to have the cutest & brightest little girl in the world as a granddaughter ...)

What advice, if any, did you give your son when he got married?

Not to let family members get in between the two of them, and that's not to say that either family has a problem with that, it's just a common issue. They have to make their own decisions. It doesn't mean we can't give advice -- when asked -- but they need to rely on each other foremost. Except, of course, when I speak, because I'm always right.

M&Ms: plain or peanut?

LOL!! Well, I'm a Type II diabetic now, so unfortunately neither. Before, I'd lean towards plain, and green. When I grew up, green M&Ms were supposedly teen-age Viagra (as if we needed it back then!). I was more of a Butterfinger or Reese's Peanut Butter Cup guy.

What is the best place you've ever visited?

Ireland. What a beautiful country! We visited there in the summer of 2001, before 9/11, and we had a blast. We skipped the tour and I drove us around instead, so we got the chance to see most of what we wanted in a two-week time frame. I'd love to go back and spend more time there, going through places I missed the first time around.

In the US, I'd be hard-pressed to pick one place over another. I really enjoyed a week we took at Bayfield/Madeline Island, WI. Extremely relaxing and beautiful views.

What is the worst place you've ever visited?

Tijuana, Mexico, although in fairness I only went once when I was 11 years old, and my grandmother had her wallet stolen during the trip. I've never wanted to go back.

What is a Ponzi scheme?

A Ponzi scheme is a confidence game where cash is given up through a pyramid-shaped organization with the promise that attracting new members will bring you cash in the same way. Of course, you can't create wealth in this manner; it's a zero-sum game, and the suckers lose large amounts of money. In the late 70s, a wave of "Pyramid Parties" were staged in California that blatantly implemented these Ponzi schemes as social events, if you can believe it. (The allure of something for nothing may be the most powerful human force in the universe.) I've often referred to Social Security and various social programs as Ponzi schemes because they only work when there are more people at the bottom end of the pyramid paying in than there are at the top receiving benefits. As Western populations skew older, the economic fallacies become apparent and the money runs out -- leaving the suckers at the bottom wondering where their money went.

Howard Dean is an asshat. He won't get the votes of a lot of moderate Democrats. Why would prominent Democratic leaders endorse him?

First, I gotta admit, I love the term "asshat". I learned that one from the blogosphere, and it works sooooo well. It fits Howard Dean to a T. Don't get me wrong; there are plenty of Democrats and liberals who are passionate but responsible and want only the best for the country, within the parameters of their own belief system. I just disagree on the solutions as well as the philosophy. However, there are poseurs as well, and Dean's track record strongly suggests he falls into the latter category. Now that he laid an egg in Iowa, he may not get those moderate votes in the primaries. If Dean is the nominee in November, he will get most of them in the general election, but not enough of them to win more than about 10 states. The post-Watergate era is probably too polarized to count on a large number of crossover voters even when the nominee is unpalatable. I'd say Bush beats Dean in November 55-43 in a popular vote, and 3-1 in the Electoral College.

I've asked myself why prominent Democrats coughed up endorsements so early on, and I think it was because Dean looked so inevitable that they felt the need to establish themselves with Dean in preparation for his term of office, if elected. There are plenty of Cabinet positions available, and ambassadorships, and so on. Al Gore wanted to be the chairman of the DNC, I think, or perhaps an important diplomatic posting -- maybe the UK or UN. Don't forget that Dean raised an incredible amount of money and created the strongest national organization by far during this campaign. Unfortunately, all those endorsements haven't helped, and in Al Gore's case, it probably hurt.

Is there any way Bush can lose 2004?

Sure -- re-election is not a foregone conclusion. He's vulnerable in a few areas. He started the year off by irritating his base with his immigration plan, which I support in concept (I haven't seen a lot of detail yet). If he keeps doing that, he may get more of the center but he runs the risk of sending his base home on Election Night. The economy could sour before November, although that's very unlikely at this point.

In order for there to be a strong challenge, the Democrats will need to mount a serious candidate, and none of the current crop looks promising, except maybe Edwards. Dean, Clark, and Kerry have switched positions so often that regardless of which Bush faces, there will be a long string of commercials reminding people of the flip-flops. I think they would have done better with Lieberman, but for some reason he was abandoned by everyone early on. I'm surprised Diane Feinstein didn't run, to be honest. I wouldn't have voted for her, but she's more serious than most of these people. If she gets on the bottom of the ticket, she might get some serious centrist votes.

I think the biggest way Bush could lose is to take re-election for granted, and from what I'm seeing, that's not going to be a mistake that either Bush or Rove intends to commit.

Thanks -- this was a blast!!

Posted by Jennifer at 12:08 AM | Comments (1)

January 19, 2004

*You Asked, Nick Answers

Nick from Patriot-Paradox answers your questions about the Blogdom of God and the Paradoxicality of Patriotism.

You know you want to, so...

Click it!!

How did the Blogdom of God get started?

The Blogdom of God, as far
as I can tell, was the brainchild of Adrian Warnock, though he of
course received help from a few others that I do not know of. I was a
member of the Alliance of Free Blogs at the time, but Adrian invited me
to come over, and since I am closer aligned spiritually and such with
the Blogdom I joined.

What is the purpose of the Blogdom?

The purpose is to help Christian Bloggers join together, discuss ideas,
and help the greater cause we should all focus on, leading others to
Christ. We, of course, will have fun along the way.

When will we be seeing a "God Carnival"?

The first one will be coming on January 21. To get entries into me email
the entry to

You are for school prayer...what are your thoughts on the "under God"
part of the Pledge of Allegiance?

I think it is something we need to leave in. We were founded as a
Christian nation, and at this point the biggest group being
discriminated against are Christians. I have no problem with other
religions having public displays for their faith, as long as the largest
group can play too.

How did you meet your wife?

My sister introduced us over the phone September 2, 2001. We talked for
an hour, and a little over a month later, after a constant flow of
emails, instant message chats, and phone calls, we met.

How long until you knew she was the one?

I knew well before I met her face to face.

You once described the Democratic presidential candidates as a "Sorry
bunch of clowns" and said they had no chance in 2004. Any change to
those sentiments?

There are a few that are pushing the limits, but my biggest concern is
that none see the issues as they should. The focus needs to be on what
is best for America, not what will get me votes, or look at me, I can
bash Bush better then the other guys.

Do you think patriotism is partisan? i.e. Republicans are patriotic and
Democrats are not?

I feel that most on both sides are patriotic. What many people forget is
that this is America. We are free to dissent, and argue, and tear up the
other guys. Both sides are using a right that many patriots have died to
defend, and it is patriotic to use that right. The question could be
turned around though, and I would love to find out how many Republicans
or Democrats consider themselves patriotic. I would bet that many
Democrats would feel bad if they were seen in that light.

Do you think we'll have another 9-11?

If we don't keep the pressure up as we are now it is a certainty.

What steps would you like to see taken to prevent another similar attack?

I think Bush is doing a great job thus far. If Dean or another gets in
that would, I feel, put us at great risk. I feel Lieberman is the only
one who would stand firm on terror. The others would cater to whatever
would assure them the most votes.

As a Creationist, how would you like to see creation/evolution taught in
public schools?

At least as an equal to evolution. Most teachers put evolution on some
platform when it is a faulty theory at best. I still remember when the
word evolution was always accompanied by these two words in front:
"theory of". Now in every class I take in college it is thrown around as
the one and only idea.

How much longer until you graduate?

Ages it seems. I will guess an easy 6 or 7 years.

Will you teach right away, or go on to graduate school?

This all depends on my chances at getting my graduate school education
funded. Currently I still hold a 4.0, not shabby, but I still have a
ways to go.

What kind of book would you like to write?

I have always wanted to write a novel, but I get severe writer's block
each time I try to flesh out the ideas. I will probably attempt a book
on politics or history at a later time once out of school, but who knows
what the future truly holds.

Why did you start your blog?

My biggest influence was actually a blogger most should know, the King of Fools. He gave me the
time of day, and finally I took the plunge. During my formative days as
a blogger he truly was a welcome voice to keep me going, and encouraging
mentor to keep my head up and keep chugging along. I started the blog
for the same reason many do, to have an outlet for my opinions, and to
have a place to write. It has been a great place for both.

Do any other bloggers influence you?

King of Fools, Evangelical Outpost, Adrian Warnock, ChristWeb and everyone who
keeps helping with the King of the
, the blog contest I started despite many emails saying it
couldn't work without support from much larger blogs. Those bloggers who
have helped me by judging or entering the contest have been a blessing.
A few that I really want to thank are Southern Musings, Wizbang, Bad Money, Angelweave, Practical Penumbra, Madfish Willie, and last but not
least Rick's Cafe. All were,
and still are, a great help. If anyone wants to enter the contest, or
help out in judging drop me an email at

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

At this point, where I am. I am close to family, able to go to school
with no trouble, and the area is close to two urban centers: Columbus
and Pittsburgh.

What's paradoxical about patriotism?

Well paradox means:

a tenet contrary to received opinion

and a patriot is:

one who loves his or her country and supports its authority and interests

A patriot paradox then would be a person who loves his country and
supports its authority and interests contrary to received opinion. I
take it as someone who is skeptical of the media, and the bad reports
from most Democrats. the received opinion says we are going the wrong
way. I see that we are doing fine.

Complete this comparison: Politics is to politicians as ...
economy is to economists.

Neither are able to control the beast, only to ride it where ever it
takes them.

Posted by Daniel at 08:40 AM | Comments (1)

January 16, 2004

*You Asked, Roxette Bunny Answered

Ever wonder why more bunnies don't blog? What it's like to blog without opposable thumbs? Well, if you have then this is the interview for you!
The ever-lovable Roxette Bunny answers your questions!

Click It!!

Are you really John/SilverBlue's alter ego?

NO! I'm an "Unaltered" blue bunny. (Besides, have you seen Silver Blue's ego? There's not room for anything to be "alter" to that.. I think sometimes he's schitzo, but I digress, for fear he'll cut off my carrot supply. LOL) There's a bit of a lot of people's personality (PoloRandy , Tink , Revog , Susie, Punchbuggy, Tiger, ) that I've latched on to when creating my "utopian" state of being.

SilverBlue said the two of you met when you showed up in his car. Do you make a habit of breaking into vehicles?

Actually, no. He left the window open (and the door unlocked), so I hopped in. It's totally his fault for not looking in the back seat when he got in the car. Have we learned nothing from these urban legend movies? I could have stolen his kidneys and NOT left him in a bath of icewater!

Have you ever served jail time?

Jail time? What on earth could a blue bunny possibly do that would cause her to have to spend time behind bars? Ladies such as myself get invited out to meet people (you'd have to ask Revog about k.t. curb) in bars, but I find the normal smoky atmosphere irritates my sensitive pink nose.

What's the best part about being you?

The fact that I can be anywhere at any time. I can ask that Tink, Silver Blue, or PoloRandy take me to work and I get to experience the vast wasteland that you humans spend your wakings hours doing. Or I can stay at home and play, or train the ever-growing number of bears that seem to be overrunning the house. At last count, there were 22 bears dressed in (I'm not kidding here) Ralph Lauren clothes, who like honey waffles and high tea. It keeps a girl hopping, but they look out after me and treat me well. After all, when going in public, it does a girl good to be seen with well dressed escorts (especially when she doesn't have to pay for those escorts!)

The worst?

The fact that I am a bunny with no opposable thumbs. Silver Blue had to purchase me a specialized keyboard, and a headset designed for my ears. That's really the easiest way for me to blog..but opening cans, dialing the phone, doing paws just weren't designed for that kind of manual labor. Of course, that has its benefits as I can beg off duties to others.

I think raw carrots are delicious but cooked carrots are disgusting. Where do you stand on this issue?

Cooked carrots, if done properly (still crunchy with an orange/white wine reduction) are quite tasty. Nothing beats raw carrots (especially raw baby, peeled carrots - and no, I don't look at it as if I'm eating fetal food), except maybe PoloRandy's carrot cake with homemade cream cheese icing.

What do you think of Emperor Misha's "Kill a Bunny for Peace" slogan?

I think we should "Mince a Misha for Peace". (Hey, anything is better than the site I was directed to the other day, something about Mastrubation to End War. Personally, since I'm all about Peace, I don't understand why we have to kill ANYTHING in the name of peace. Except hate. Why not Kill Hate for Peace?

Are you and Kang A. Roo having a Munuvian affair?

Oh no. Over the sunny climes and verdant cow-puppy-dotted pastures of Munuvia, I've met Kang a couple times and we've shared a glass or two, but only as friends. I try not to date outside the species. (Did you see, on my blog, what would have been the outcome of a tryst between myself and Tiger?)

You're probably the only bunny with a blog. Why don't more bunnies blog?

Most bunnies are apathetic. Or just plain pathetic. They don't have the suave, savoir faire, and panache (three 50 cent phrases in a row should get me a free can of carrot juice) that I have. Besides, not everyone has someone like Silver Blue who will spend the extra money on reconfiguring a computer system so that a bunny CAN blog.

Why did you start your blog?

Well, I was guest posting over at Silver Blue's, and thought . why am I doing this? Because it's fun! So, I went to blogspot and started a blog, just in case I got bored with it. I don't post more than once or twice a week because it's to tiring for me (the computer's upstairs and I find it more comfortable, in the cooler downstairs. So, if I want to "glisten" (lady's don't sweat, thank you) I hop upstairs and blog. I think it's neat to give a bunny's perspective on the world to an unsuspecting visitor.

Is it true Frank J recruited you to be the Alliance mascot so he could save on mascot costume costs?

LOL. Actually, Frank J and I have never conversed. It's due to an abnormally large ego that I designated myself as "Official Mascot" (complete with Café Press gear to be purchased). Not only that, but some of the costumes I've been unfortunate enough to see Frank J in (the French Maid's costome, the "Cher as Viking Warrior" costume, the Vicky Lawrence on "Mama's Family" costume, and the ever popular "Hidden Secret" costume from the DiGiorno pizza (at least he could have shaved his chest or applied his makeup better) [Editors note: this is the commercial where the guy eating the pizza think's it's delivery, but it's not. The woman says she has a secret to tell him - he think's it's about the pizza, not guessing it's other person being a guy (with mustache and hairy chest) dressed in drag. "She" says it's "not delivery" and he says "oh, I can read you like a book" or something like that]

You are the only one of SilverBlue's circle to blog from this because you are an independent bunny, or wouldn't he give you a blog?

(looking around: good! No Silver Blue around). To be perfectly honest, there's two reasons I'm over at Munuvia. (1) when my blog was born (on blogspot), Silver Blue didn't know how to configure MT to host additional blogs. (2) Susie suggested that Pixy Misa host me over in Munuvia. Pixy knew something about hacking DNS entries (something Silver Blue didn't have access to) and, well, that as they say is that.

Besides, it feels good to not be under SB's watchful eye all the time.

How do you pay for your room and board?

I clean, I train (can you imagine how unruly a great pack of bears can be?) I also guard the house. I'm an excellent 4th at spades, I keep inventory of the larder (pantry for all you Americans), I keep rodents away, and I exude exceptional charm, wit, intelligence, and beauty. All that and I'm modest, too.

Do you find that most people assume you are a boy bunny due to your blue fur?

Actually, no. The problem I find is that most people call me an IT. PunchBuggy has been guilty of this, as has Revog. That's only because they've never taken the time to really get to know me. If I were human, you might say my voice was the only thing that would have survived puberty. LOL.

Have you considered a dye job to go pink?

(SCREAMING AND HOPPING AROUND THE ROOM!) What? You want me to be cute, furry, and adorable like EVERY OTHER female pink bunny in the world??? I take great pride in my uniqueness, from the sky blue of my fur to my turned down ear!

It seems like every blogger around is working on a book these days. When can we expect to see yours?

"Hoppings and Droppings of Roxette Bunny: Paws Four The Definitive Bunny Tail" is currently being written by myself and Forester, my designated co-author from the pack of bears. It's not due out, however, until 2005.

You must come from a large family--why don't we ever hear about your brothers or sisters?

Actually, I was orphaned due to a fire in the carrot processing factory where my family worked. I was only a week or so old, and had been left at home, in the care of the Matronly Rabbit who had retired. I lost the entire family that day; fortunately, I was so young I don't remember any of them. Though I've been told I have my mom's beauty and charm and my dad's wit. Maybe that's why I longed to fit in somewhere that I could be special. It's also probably the reason I have a motherly instinct when it comes to the pack of bears I train. I can be ruthless when they step out of line, but in the end, they're better bears for it.

What's your favorite kind of music?

The kind of music with a beat that keeps me hopping. I like the Swedish group Roxette (after which I'm told I'm named after.

Bugs Bunny: over-rated?

Well, at least he's not a brown rabbit. Brown rabbits are common. I understand Bugs enjoys being called "Brushed Silver" in color. He's a bunny that's not afraid to go out on a limb (or out in drag, or whatever it takes to be the hero). He's a role model for the younger generation.

Did "Fatal Attraction" give you nightmares?

I had to ask Silver Blue about this one, as I didn't get the connection. Anything with Glenn Close in it scares me. First she cooks the family rabbit, and in later movies, wants to de-skin puppies. Someone should lock her away from society, or tell her to quit playing such stomach wrenching roles.

Posted by Daniel at 07:20 AM | Comments (4)

January 15, 2004

*You Asked, Guinness Answered!

One day early with this one (or a day late, depending on who you ask)!

Guinness from (where else?) answers your timeless questions about women, boxers, and killing spiders with your bare hand.

Click it!

1. Is Guinness your real name?
No, not really. I mean, what kind of dumb name is that? I remember
some football player named Tanqueray once, and that is silly enough,
but Guinness? Come on. Actually, yes it is my real name.

2. What made you start blogging? Was it the sunshine on your shoulder?
Helen's sex talk provided inspiration for something, it was not the reason I started blogging. I was actually started before that. I've had the domain for some time now, but really hadn't done anything with it. There were some things on it, but most of it was pretty simplistic. I was reading a blog by a friend of mine called Golublog, and he suggested Sedalina's I bounced around reading these and a few others, and finally decided to jump into it. I did everything by hand at first, and was really enjoying the design aspect of it. While I am certainly no design expert, I do like to do it, and this was one of my early goals. Before long though, I realized that I liked the idea of blogging as a community, and I was getting a kick out of my goofy posts. I decided to bail on my bare bones approach, and get Moveable Type. Since then I have increased the frequency of posts greatly, and I still feel free to throw a little design stuff in when I want to. It's the best of both worlds.

3. Exactly how many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?
Let's find out. One. Tuhoo. Three. CRCKKCH. Three.

4. What DON'T you drink?
I reckon you mean besides battery acid and gasoline, right? Southern Comfort is awful. If you drink it, stop. How about this, next time you are preparing for a sip, just think, "fruitcake." It is foul. I also generally dislike things like rum and coke or jack and coke, though I'll drink them if they are free. I love Coca-Cola, but I don't want it in my booze. Try and stay away from things to sweeten booze unless you are really willing to commit and get a Zombie or Rum Runner or something. Be prepared for the after effects though. Fernet tastes just like dirt, but sometimes I drink it anyway on a lark. Pepsi (it's
the work of the devil. A cheap, second-rate, knockoff).

5. Boxers or briefs?
Boxers. I used to think it a good idea to go commando, but thankfully saw the error of my ways a while back. The rest of the world appreciates this I'm sure.

6. Can I get the key tonight, Buddy Boy?
I'm really sorry sir, but it's out of the question tonight. I hardly got any sleep last night, and now I have this fever, and I just need to get home and get some rest.

7. Ever considered becoming one of the nekkid bloggers?
Official like? I have actually thought about it, but mostly in terms of how absurd it would be. Who wants to hear about, or worse see something like that. Frightening. Unofficially, I am already a member. Hell, I'm not wearing any pants now, and I'm at work.

8. What the hell *is* pimpgnosis, anyway? Is it communicable?
Pimpgnosis mania is running wild! Pimpgnosis is the habits and
practices of pimpin'. This is not to say that to practice pimpgnosis
you must sell women's bodies, it's really more of an attitude thing.
Really though, it is like people who wear a shirt that says "Slut" or
some such madness. Pimpgnosis is on the border of a joke and an actual
way of thinking. It is also related to the latest urban poetry craze,

9. If you were an animal, which one would you choose to be and why?
Golly, I don't know. Monkey I guess. They get to be all agile and
swing around all quick-like. That seems cool. Plus I wouldn't want
give up the thumbs. I love to be able to pick up stuff.

10. Blonde, brunette or redhead?
Oddly enough I have never really had a particular type. I love all
the womens. I tend to evaluate as a whole, but if I am to pick only
one, I guess I would go with brunette. Juice, it's me, your beautiful
blond wife, Larry.

11. If you had to change lives with someone, who would it be (living or
I haven't the foggiest. How about Caesar, Julius? He lived a pretty
good life, except, you know, for the murder part. Still kicking ass,
then being ruler of the greatest empire on earth wouldn't be too bad.
How about Methuselah? I like the idea of living for a really long
time. I never feel like I have as much time as I ought. Really
though, it seems an impossible task to pick just one. Out of all the
people ever? Jesse Owens? Imagine running that fast. That would
kinda rule.

12. If you went to Fantasy Island and your fantasy was to be in a
movie, which movie would that be and which character would you play
(one already existing)?
Another tough one. If I could only pick one, I guess I would choose
to replace Humphrey Bogart as Sam Spade in "The Maltese Falcon". I
want to be the kind of guy who feels comfortable saying things like,
"when you're slapped you'll take it and like it." Other choices would
be Cary Grant as C.K. Dexter Haven in "The Philadelphia Story", "I
think I once secretly wanted to be a writer", and Jeff Goldblum in "The
Tall Guy", but that's just for the sex scene with Emma Thompson.

13. Brains or personality?
This implies, I assume, a situation where one voids the other.
Brains, I guess. I don't know for sure. Lets say instead that I have
ten points to distribute on the scale. I suppose I'd go about seven on
the brains side and three on the personality. At the end of the day,
even the life of the party becomes dull when she has nothing to add.

14. Surprised or notified?
Notified. Always. I don't like surprises really. Especially
surprise parties. I don't even like to attend other people's surprise
parties. I show up late or go in the other room when the surprise is
about to happen. Little surprises are OK though. Like, "surprise! I
got some ice cream!" That would be OK.

15. If you could never go to Disneyworld again on vacation what >would
be your new favorite vacation spot?
Disneyland? I guess that isn't fair. I'm pretty easy to please. On
vacation I like to live a life of luxury, or at least convenience. I
like good restaurants, and good hotel service. I'm not much of a
traveller, and would never consider some adventure travel, unless there
were a Hotel at the end. I will commit to an answer and say Hilton
Head Island, even though I have never been there. Just sounds like I
could get what I wanted there.

16. If you killed a spider in your house would you use your bare hand?
Never. I require separation from any spiders I must kill. Touching
them with my hand pretty much negates the whole purpose of killing
them. I fear them, and know that, even now, they are plotting against

17. You said women should wear hats more often, what else do you feel
women don't really pay attention to?
I hate to say it, but high heels. I understand that they must be just
terrible to wear, and increase the risk of serious ankle, knee, and
lower back injury, not to mention the toe smashing, but the make legs
look so good, it may be worth it occasionally. I know that it isn't as
though nobody wears high heels,it is just something I like. Not that I
blame any woman for not wearing them. I'm sure, were I a woman, that I
would never wear them. I would be one weird looking woman.

18. Boobs, butt or eyes?
Again, not to much on a specific type, and this is especially true for
boobs. I like them and all, but just being there is pretty good for
me. Don't so much care about them specifically unless they are way out
of proportion with the rest of the body. That's too odd. I'd say butt
at first, I guess. Eventually though the eyes become the most
important feature. I'm not sure when that transition takes place for
me, and it can shift back with certain items of clothing.

19. Other than jalapeno ice cream what is another unique creation?
Habanero, actually, but I won't quibble. For Thanksgiving this year I
had some really outstanding cranberry salsa. There were some peppers
for a little heat, some fruit for a little sweet, and the cranberries
added some tart. Came out really well, and went well with turkey.

20. If you were to own a bar, what would you call it?
How about "It Happens". How about a Tiki bar called the "Lean-2".
"Quagmire's". "The Pit Stop" would be a sports bar in Indy, and if
there isn't already one, the people there should be ashamed.

21. Who is your favorite writer (either professional or on the web)?
I can barely read. I fear this question can only expose my ignorance.
I read about three books a year. I guess My favorite living writer,
of books and such, would be Umberto Eco. I got his newest one a while
back, but still haven't read it. Really liked "The Name of the Rose"
and "Foucault's Pendulum" though. As far as columnist and the like, I
really don't know. I read a column by Chris Erskine in the L.A. Times
regularly. Great writing? Probably not, but it is pleasant to read.
For the best of the web, I refer to my blogroll. These are the people
I read every day. They are my favorites. Admittedly I need to expand
what I read, but there is still time before I die. I may not know art,
but I know what he likes.

Thanks for all of these swell questions. I had a ball answering them.
I'm just glad that people got enough in to disguise the fact that I
only have three readers of my site. That could have been embarrassing.
Don't forget to tip the wait staff.

Posted by Daniel at 07:04 AM

January 09, 2004

You Asked, Jay Answers

We're skipping one in line and we'll come back to Nick.

J from Musingsfromtheunderground has answered your questions for your blogging pleasure.

Discover all about getting Mad Cow from blogging and being a dom at age 12!

Click it!

First of all, did you forget you volunteered for this interview?

No, not at all. In fact it was nice to see the questions arrive.

Why did you decide to start blogging?

It provided me with an opportunity to write about items of interest to me. In the last two weeks, as a matter of fact, I have moved away from that and now am reorienting myself towards writing more to myself than to an audience.

What do you get out of blogging?

Heartache.Pain.Mad Cow. Just joking. It allows me to write, meet new people, albeit only electronically, and it provides an opportunity to experience other peoples beliefs, wisdom, and frailties. This in turn provides me a cornucopia of human nature.

Do any other bloggers influence you?

I laugh when I read moronic statements that come out with the author inferring that no one influenced them. This is rubbish. We all stand on the shoulders of giant, women and men who have gone before us, or are hard at work. Of course others influence me, but to name them would cause them embarrassment.

Who is the most underrated blogger you know?

Eliza at Fembat.

How is the goal of 25 posts per day coming along?

Not particularly well and for good reason;the goal is a joke.

What are you returning to school to study?

I have been tight lipped about this and shall remain so until I start.

What is a prion?

The recent news about mad cow brings prions to mind. Prions are disease producing proteins, first brought to fame by Nobel Laureate Stanley Prusiner. CJD, Scrappie and Mad cow are simply diseases where prions figure prominently

Your blog doesn't contain a lot of personal information. Are you hiding from something? Someone?

I am working on a page that will introduce more about me but it will not give my social security number. I am hiding nothing except that which needs not be known. Oh, I am not hiding from anyone.

What is the strangest e-mail or comment you've ever gotten regarding your blog?

I was asked if I would like to join in an orgy with a prominent blogger. She was not amused at my reply.

Besides blogging, what do you try to do in your free time?
Lift weights, hiking, helping my wife with her research, and reading.

How long have you been married?

Nine Years

How did you meet your wife?

Her then boyfriend and I were best can figure out the rest.

If you could spend your days on a beach/in the woods/whatever and not worry about bills or the "rat race"...would you miss the race?

Yes. It gives me something to bitch about.

What is the longest amount of time you've spent off the internet in the last 12 months?

three weeks

Is there any one place/thing you'd like to see before you die?

Not really. I take it as it comes. I have been fortunate to have traveled. thing comes to mind actually-I would like to visit Switzerland

Coke, Pepsi, or other?

Dr. Pepper

East coast, west coast, or other?

East coast.

Sub, dom, or other?

A Dom since age 12

Posted by Daniel at 07:58 AM | Comments (1)

January 07, 2004

You Asked, Pixy Misa Answers

The benevolent and fearless leader of Munuvia, Pixy Misa, has answered your questions!

If it wasn't for him this site would not exist in its current form and certainly not at its current address.

You are required to read this interview. I'll be checking. Fawning, swooning, and the like is optional but recommended.

Click it!

You are a man of mystery. Few know what you are really all about. Why do you hide behind your persona? We want to know all about you. For example, how old are you?

I turn 11 this year.

What's your favorite flavor of ice cream?

Hazelnut is probably my favourite. Chocolate is good too. So is
strawberry. And caramel. And vanilla. Boysenberry is a bit odd.
Butterscotch is good. Chocolate chips are fine, unless they are
embedded in chocolate ice cream, in which case they are pure evil and
the makers and distributors should be executed by being dunked in liquid
nitrogen and then struck over the head with a ball-peen hammer.
Macadamia is very good. Peppermint and spearmint are evil, though not
nearly as evil as chocolate chips in chocolate ice cream.
Citrus-flavoured ice cream is strange. Not necessarily bad, but
strange. Banana can be good, but cheap banana flavouring is somewhere


My idiot neighbours are setting off (illegal) fireworks from their
balcony, which directly adjoins mine. Stop that, you morons! I loathe
our state government for banning private firework displays, but what
sort of idiot sets off fireworks from a balcony?

Oh, yeah, that sort of idiot.


Cheap banana flavouring is somewhere between peppermint and chocolate
chips in chocolate ice cream on the Evil Ice Cream Flavour Scale of
Evilness. Makers of cheap-banana-flavoured ice ream should be struck on
the head with a ball-peen hammer, but we can dispense with the liquid
nitrogen. There is, after all, a better use for it: Making more ice
cream! See, for example, the Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream web page. Remember, use
a metal bowl, and Do Not Let It Touch Skin Unless You Are A Purveyor Of
Chocolate/Choc-Chip Ice Cream And Have A Ball-Peen Hammer Handy.

Not that ice cream holds any special position in my life, you
understand; it's just a critical matter of national importance.

Bubblegum flavour is disgusting.

We all know what a Pixy is. But what is a Misa?

Pixy Misa is the villain (villainess? villainette?) of the anime series
Magical Girl Pretty Sammy. Uh, I just googled to find some relevant web
pages. Guess what comes up? Aaaaanyway, Magical Girl Pretty Sammy is a
spin-off of Tenchi Muyo, sort of an extended fantasy life of the
character Sasami from Tenchi. Or a parallel universe, which is the same
thing when it comes to anime plots.

Pixy Misa is finally going to fulfill her mission and crush Pretty
Sammy once and for all [Hahahahahaha!]

See my Anime Top 25 post and scroll down to the section on Tenchi Muyo for some more information.

Which anime feature or series do you think is prettiest in terms of visual artistry and animation, not story or themes or anything else?

For visual artistry and animation, you simply cannot beat Hayao
Miyazaki. My favourite of his works is Kiki's Delivery Service, but My
Neighbour Totoro and Spirited Away are also breathtakingly beautiful
movies. So too is Laputa (Castle in the Sky), though the story in that
movie just doesn't grab me like the others.

Curse my previous employer for spoiling my chance to see Miyazaki's
Porco Rosso and Nausicaa at the 2000 Sydney Anime Film Festival.
Particularly since I'd already bought tickets. Sure, I have them on
DVD, but it's not the same. It really isn't.

Which anime feature or series do you think has the best story and characters?

Magical Girl Pretty Sammy!

Well, no. For my personal preference, it has to be The Slayers. Not so
much Slayers Try, which is a new story created for the anime series and
doesn't come from the original novels by... by... Whoever it was who
wrote the original novels.

Lina Inverse. Dragon Slave. Megumi Hayashibara. Wonderful!

Anyone who thinks that brooding or whining adds depth to a hero can bite
my shiny metal ass, as it were.

Picotechnology. Discuss.

Is joke.


There are two points I was making with this joke: First, there are
fundamental limits to what nanotechnology can achieve because
nanotechnology is really just chemistry done very very carefully. It's
still based on atoms, and atoms have certain specific physical
properties that you have to work with - or work around - because you
can't change them. For example, atoms have a certain minimum physical size.

Except... They don't. The second point, which I was talking about when
I referred to my need for "smaller atoms", is that you can actually
make smaller atoms. If you replace one of the electrons in orbit
(yes, I know they're not really in orbit, but let's ignore that for the
moment)... Replace one of the electrons in orbit around the nucleus with
a muon, which a charged particle similar to the electron but much
heaver, the electron orbit - which is what we are talking about when we
refer to the size of an atom, as the nucleus itself is very much smaller
- the electron orbit - now a muon orbit, at least in part - shrinks
dramatically. So you get a smaller atom! You can then take the smaller
atoms and build smaller molecules, out of which you can construct your
Picotes (the slang term for semi-autonomous picotechnological constructs).

But you have to do it fast, because muons only have a half-life of about
a microsecond.

The muon is my favourite subatomic particle, but LeeAnn doesn't seem to
have found a quiz on that subject yet. It has not yet appeared as an
ice cream flavour here in Australia, so I can't comment on that.

If you had to move away from the Australia / New Zealand area, where would you prefer to live?

Curiously enough, when my grandparents were looking to emigrate back
before WWII, Australia was their fourth choice (if I remember the story
right). They considered South Africa, Canada and New Zealand before
Australia, all popular destinations in those days. I have a certain
affection for New Zealand, but I'm still glad they chose Oz in the end.

So where else would I live? Let's rule out a few areas to start with:

Antarctica is pretty but too cold. Leave it for the penguins, who seem
to like it that way.
Africa is a hell-hole. Sorry, but it is. I'm happy to send aid, but
there is no chance that I'm going to live there.
South America and Asia (mainland Asia) have their good and their bad.
But I'm a first-world kind of Pixy, and I need a steady diet of
technology and entertainment that would be hard to get in many of those
places. Also, I don't speak Spanish.

So, I'm down to North America, Europe and Japan.

I like Japan. I like it lots. I've never been there... But I find the
culture fascinating. I'd probably find it an alternately frustrating
and delightful place to live. I speak more Japanese than Spanish, but
there's still a long way to go.

On the other hand, in Japan I can get a 100Mbit unmetered internet

Europe seems to be, well, fading. It's not all bad, by any means, not
even in France or Germany, but on the whole Europe is living for the
past rather than the future. Scrub Europe.

Canada is suffering idiot problems, though this is correctable, I think.
Canada is sort of a reverse Australia, with scorching deserts replaced
by freezing tundra, and stuck at the top of the world rather than at the
bottom. This, along with the ties with England, has generated a
certain similarity in outlook between Australians and Canadians. If
they boot Quebec out, I might consider it.

Until then, if I were to leave Australia and New Zealand, it would
almost certainly be to live in the U.S. of A.

Or Barsoom, if transport is available.

Is soccer really all that important down there?

Soccer? What?

You're kidding, right? Or you have Australia confused with Argentina?

Soccer is at best the fourth most popular football code in Oz, after
Rugby League, Aussie Rules and Rugby Union.

Not that I know anything about the subject...

Summer in winter and winter in you ever dream of a White Christmas?

In fact, we have Summer in Summer and Winter in Winter, just like you.
And it actually did snow in the Blue Mountains (which border Sydney to
the west) on Christmas Day a few years ago. Which prompted an instant
exodus of people heading out to play in the snow.

But it amazes me that people choose to live in places where frozen water
falls from the sky and piles up on the ground! Every year it does this!
And they don't take the hint and move!


How many bottles of wine did you and Simon have at lunch?

Just the one. Mind you, that was enough. I don't drink alcohol very
often, because I can taste it, and don't like the taste that much. This
was a pretty good wine, though, probably the second nicest I've had.

Can you tell us what happened on the drunken night with Simon?

I got sunburnt.

MuNu, seriously. Give us the skinny on that already.

Well, over at Munuviana I've given a rundown on all the meanings of Mu
and Nu. Jen's already linked to those in one of her inimitable Ask Jen

What really happened is that back around 1996 or so, the tiny Pacific
island nation of Niue signed a deal to sell domains in its TLD
(top-level domain) of .nu. At the time, they were significantly cheaper
than .com or I found out about this shortly after they
launched (a matter of days) and wandered over for a look, to see if I
could grab something cool.

I tried a few different things. All the single-letters were taken -, and the like. was taken. And anyway, those are kind
of dull.

But was still available. It's good. I grabbed it. And
the rest is geography.

My second favourite domain name in the whole world would be
My second favourite email address is Cute.

How did you first find "Practical Penumbra"?

Susie says we met in the comments at Frnaks. I seem to recall that I
found PP in the microbes on the Ecosystem when I was looking to do a
Blog of the Day.

We dined with friends. I remember it well.

How did all the Munuvians come to be citizens of Munuvia?


All Munuvians are inherently citizens of Munuvia. The one implies the
other, y'see. And vice-versa, an if-and-only-if. Necessary and sufficient.

If you are asking for a detailed history of each of the individual
Munuvians' escape from Blogspot (or in Jen's case, Blog City), and their
trek across the endless howling wastes of the Internet to the sunny
climes and verdant cow-puppy-dotted pastures of Munuvia, then I dunno.

If you find a Mrs. Pixy and then she becomes an ex-Mrs. Pixy, would you get custody of the mu or the nu?

Both. It's in the pre-nups.

I have the domain registered right through to 2011, by the way.

When does the plan for world domination go into effect?

October 5. Be there.

Where do you stand on the latest news from Cow Puppy Campaign Headquarters?

I stand very carefully. It's important to watch your feet when you're
dealing with cow puppies. Especially if you're wearing good shoes.

When does PixyBlog or MovableMisa or MunuvableType or whatever it is going to be called come in to being?

I'm hoping to have Ambient Irony migrated by the 10th of January, and a
version for the Munuvians to play with by the end of January or the
first week of February.

I've been doing some stress-testing of the back-end system to make sure
it will cope with a couple of hundred Munuvians, and it looks like it
will do just fine, so I'm full steam ahead right now.

How does Minx sound as a name? Short for Mind Exchange, if it needs to
be short for anything.

What kind of qualifications does Mr. Hypothetical have?

Mr. Hypothetical has PhDs in Mathematical Physics and Endocrinology, and
a graduate diploma in Needlepoint. He has appeared in such popular
television dramas as The Bold and the Beatified and Daves of our Lives.
He has also played a doctor in a well-known series of advertisements.
He has been nominated twice for the Emmy Award and was named in People
Magazine's Best Dressed List in three of the past five years.

Is it all worth the headaches?

Yes. Also, I have tablets I can take.

Posted by Jennifer at 07:58 AM | Comments (9)

January 05, 2004

You Asked, Dana Answers

Dana has answered your questions.

Boobies, kids, and some guy with the initials H. D.

Click it!

Who's your favorite muppet?

Not that I have a particularly strong opinion on Muppets or anything, but I suppose it would be Kermit. He's pretty optimistic and compassionate, and the only female Muppet has the hots for him, so even if I can't see the sexual appeal, there's got to be SOMETHING happening under all that green felt, right?

Peeps: chicks or bunnies?

Ew, GAWD, Peeps, YUCK! Neither. Gelatin, sugar, and coloring. Gross! Now, give me a nice, smooth, milk chocolate bar with almonds, or some chocolate-dipped cherries, or (best of all) some Godiva truffles, and I'm a happy girl!

What's your poison, little lady? (If you weren't pregnant right now, of course.)

To be honest, I never was much of a drinker. The only times I ever got so drunk I passed out was on cheap pink champagne (16th birthday party) and some milky, kahlua-y stuff I drank from the bottle (backseat of a boyfriend's friend's car in college). The tastiest drinks are the wussy ones, I think - wine coolers and strawberry daiquiris. But I haven't had any alcohol since I was 18, believe it or not. It just isn't something I miss.

What's your favorite brand of power tool?

This might surprise you, but I actually LOVE power tools. For awhile, I did some woodcrafting (decorative stuff, not furniture). I have a scroll saw, a belt sander, a Dremel, a hand-saw, and tons of other stuff. You really can't go wrong with Craftsman. (insert Tim Allen-esque grunts here)

What the most expensive thing, if anything, your kids have destroyed so far?

My sanity. That's worth something, right?

Why aren't you worried some sicko might harm/take your beautiful children if you expose them on the Internet? I can't understand all of you who do this (lileks, nancynall) not worrying about pedophiles.

Well, cuz, see, you can't GET to my children through the Internet. You can see their pictures, and if you were determined you could find my address and phone number, but a) we live on a farm in the middle of eastern Washington (aka nowhere) and my guess is if someone were inclined to steal children they'd take some that were closer, b) my children are NEVER unattended, anywhere, ever, and c) firepower. Lots and lots of firepower. I'm generally a mild-mannered, affable, laid-back kinda chick, except where my children are concerned. Nobody - NOBODY - fucks with my children.

Who has the redheads on their side of the family, you or your husband?

That would be me. My mother's family is Irish, hence the green eyes and auburn/red hair, plus that pale, pasty white skin. I assume this question got asked because of pictures of my Kayla. Ever since the day she was born, people have commented on her red hair. In truth, it's not really red, but strawberry blonde. I've heard from my mother-in-law that someone, way back in my husband's family, had reddish hair, but I've seen no proof of that.

Does your baby's daddy know about your infatuation with Harvey of Bad Money?

Where Harvey is concerned, my husband is on a "need to know" basis. That is, hubby doesn't need to know. Besides, everyone knows that Harvey is a happily married man - why else would he write so many love notes to his wife - unless ... maybe he's WAAAAAAAYYYY back in the dog house? Hey, Harvey, she didn't find that picture, did she? Er.. um... never mind. Moving on!

If you could read only one blog for the rest of your life, whose would it be, and why?

Gawd! Everybody hates answering this kind of question, because you're inevitably going to hurt feelings, and lose links and readers and... and... aw, what the hell. I know everyone expects me to say Bad Money, and frankly Harv runs a very close second. But if I could only read ONE blog, ever, it would have to be Late Final. In my humble opinion, Ed is the most underrated blogger in the 'sphere. He has interesting, thought-provoking political analysis, as well as lots of posts on lots of subjects that interest me - everything from who's on death row, to what the NY Times "Correction of the Day" is, to captured Nazis - stuff you don't read just EVERYWHERE else (though he manages to comment on the "big news" stories, too). He gets very few comments or trackbacks (even from me, sadly), but he's got the most solid content-to-bullshit ratio of any blog I've ever read. I don't link him as much as I should, but I probably "click through" his posts more than any other blogger.

How did you first find "The Cheese Stands Alone"?

I didn't find him; he found me, probably through the whole Bloggers With Boobies thing, though I've forgotten for sure.

Did you ever visit Trey in the hospital after strangling him during the Howard Dean Rampage of 2003?

"Rampage" is such an ugly word.... I didn't go on a "rampage"... I merely... provided some sensitivity training. Anyway, yes, I visited both Trey and Harvey during their recovery. Helped that they were in the same room, but guys, next time... put out a "Do Not Disturb" sign if you're gonna be exploring your inner lesbians, k?

Athletically speaking, could you beat Heather of Angel Weave at anything? If so, what? If not, why haven't you tried? Are you willing to put money on that?

Athletically? Well, maybe if we stretch the definition of that term a little bit (it's been over ten years since I last played basketball). *Moseying over to Heather's to scope out any possible weaknesses.* Hey, lookie there! She got married the day before I did! And she'll share an anniversary with my niece when she gets married this year! Hey, that's cool! Wait... I'm supposed to be kicking her ass. Hmmm... shit. She's a bodybuilder. Things are not lookin' good here... ooh! Score! She "can't drink soda because of the carbonation." There it is! I could KICK HER ASS in a soda-drinking contest. Damn straight! That's athletic, right? No? Hm.... well, after reading through Heather's entire "100 things about me" list, I have to say I think she would kick my ass. The only advantage I can see is that I have about 5 inches on her, so like her mom, I could put things on very high shelves, out of her reach. I don't think that qualifies as athletic, though. Damn.

You recently had your 6-month blogiversary when you claimed that you "found your voice". How did you do that? Any tips for us younger bloggers?

My husband has been blogging for four and a half years, so it's hard for me to take myself seriously, after only six months, giving blogging advice. Still, the question is here, so what the hell? I guess it would be more accurate for me to say I rediscovered my initial purpose with the blog. See, like many others, I started blogging because I had something to say, and I was starting to get accused of "trolling" in others' blogs. I don't like (nor condone) trolling, but still wanted to get my point across. Hence, Note-It Posts was born (actually, I wanted "Some Assembly Required" as the name, but that was already taken at Blogger; Note-It Posts was a stroke of pure luck). It didn't take long before I started obsessively checking my statistics and comparing them to other blogs I knew. I started to put too much emphasis on the numbers, and not enough on the content. That's why I participated in Frank's Permalink contest. I can't really say I regret participating, though. Even though I lost in the first round, that contest introduced Harv and I to one another, as well as to many other very good blogs. But the contest was the start of a "pandering" phase I went through; writing more to attract an audience, than for myself. I still wrote things I thought were interesting, but they weren't necessarily what I wanted to get across.

My only real advice to new bloggers is keep it real. Post frequently, link copiously (where appropriate), and comment often on others' blogs, when you have something meaningful to say. If your content is interesting, you'll get noticed. If your writing is good, people will come back.

How many states do you think Dean will carry in the 2004 election should he win the Democratic Primary?

Did you just use "Dean" and "win" in the same sentence? I'll strangle you dead!!! Rawwwrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Which Democratic candidate do you like the most of all and why?

That's like asking do you prefer a root canal or an enema. Neither one is really high on my list of "fun things to do." So I guess this is more a "lesser of all evils" kind of thing. I could most live with a Lieberman presidency, because he's least likely to back down from the war on terrorism, and he's not as inclined to tax-and-spend, not being of the socialist persuasion like most of the rest of the Democratic persuasion. Sadly, he'll almost certainly not get the nomination. Wait, come to think of it, that's not so sad, since everyone expects Bush to trounce Dean. Yay, Dean! Nominate Dean! Dean is the man! Dean for 2004!

Could you expand upon the Howard Dean = Sybil theme?

I've probably already beaten that horse about as much as is useful. On further reflection, though, there are some similarities between the behavior of Dean and my three-year-old. Both throw public temper tantrums when they don't get their way, both will completely reverse themselves during the course of a conversation for no apparent reason, and both have a lot of anger and frustration to get through. Luckily, my son's can be blamed on normal developmental factors, and he will likely grow out of it. I do not expect the same of Dean.

If you had to leave the United States forever, what country would you move to?

I don't wanna go, and YOU CAN'T MAKE ME!!! Man, that's a tough question. I guess it would have to be Australia. I know some people there already, and it's less socialist than many other places (*cough*California*cough*Canada*cough*France*cough*) I would consider moving to.

How did you get so gosh-darn cute?

Now, isn't that just the sweetest question, ever? *blushing* If I'm cute (or even gosh-darn cute, which is, of course, much better), I had nothing to do with it. I am not a "girly" girl - I pretty much only wear dresses when I'm pregnant and my belly hates waistlines, I never wear makeup or perfume, I think lace and frill are the devil - so I've never really considered myself cute. But hey, it's a compliment, so I'll take it! Thanks. :)

Are you truly America's #1 pinup girl, or were you just in the right place at the right time?

Heh. Good question. The whole "pin-up girl" thing was Harvey's doing. During a very long outage at the hands of my old ISP (may they rest in hell), Harvey emailed me out of concern, asking if I was ok. I said that I was, and would be back in action as soon as my ISP took their collective thumbs out of their collective asses and restored my service. The site got restored, and Harvey happily reported he could see "entries, gif's, and a picture of America's #1 pin-up girl." I threatened to quote him on that, and hence, the tagline for the site was (re-)born. So in that sense, I guess you could say "right place, right time." As for whether I'm really a pin-up girl or not... well, Google doesn't lie!

Regarding the bikini area - shave, trim, sculpt, or jungle?

I'm more of a one-piece kinda girl. Bikinis are for chicks with no stretch marks. Nah, seriously. Shaving is for masochists, sculpting is for porn stars, and jungles are for Frenchwomen. Keep it trim, keep it clean.

What are your thoughts on Victoria's Secrets Silhouette line of garments?

I looked and looked, and couldn't find anything by Victoria's Secret called "Silhouette." Generally speaking, however, I'm opposed to undergarments. They are sometimes a necessary evil, like shaving your legs or weeding your garden, but they're not a favorite of mine. "Let the boobies roam free!"

There's lots about boobies on your site but no actual boobies to be found. What's up with that?

Nonsense! There are two pair right on the home page! Three, if you count mine (which aren't really visible, under two shirts). If you wanted to see my boobies, you should've been reading me in October. ;)

Your blog seems to have taken off since the Bloggers With Boobies founding. Any regrets that you've become somewhat synonymous with that meme?

I'm not really sure you could say it's "taken off" since then. I've gotten some more regular readers since then, but it's not like I've started challenging Instapundit for his blog-throne or anything. Anyway, no, I don't regret it. BWB was - and is - a statement of female empowerment, an assertion of female identity and will, and an expression of solidarity with other like-boobied bloggers. I don't mind its being know that I possess boobs, and if that gets people in to read my (honestly, mostly political) commentary, then all the better. If they were just looking for tits, they won't really stick around. I'm more disturbed by all the people I get who are Googling "beastiality."

Posted by Jennifer at 07:23 AM | Comments (11)

January 02, 2004

You Asked, Jeff Answers

Jeff has answered your questions!

Find out what his plans are for France and much more.

Click it!

Who are you?
- I can't answer that. I tend to be about 19 years old, and am usually found inhabiting an apartment somewhere in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh.

Which one of those guys and girl are you?
- This interview's for Jeff right, so assumably, I'd be Jeff?

If you had to pick between a big stick and an ice cream sundae of your choice, which would it be?
- Well, it's hard to imagine such a situation ever developing. Big Sticks are usually used by Theodore Roosevelt to beat the living shit out of Communists/Terrorists/Aunt Jemima Lookalikes, and Ice Cream is just one way to quench a summertime heat problem. However, if confronted with a communist or something, who's to say that a nice cone of Chocalate Chip Semtex© wouldn't straighten him out? (Look it up.) I guess I'd pick the Big Stick... You can use it for so many things! Like clubbing seals!

You sort of disappeared from Survivor Island. What happened to you?
- I don't like donkeys. Plus, it started to suck once Don pussed out.

If you had to eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
- Hehe... there's an obvious and dirty answer to this. Cheese. CHeese is the lifeblood of all of my species. Or something. Actually I love to cook, and I if I was ever forced to eat one thing, I'd just probably bust out my emergency Chinese Invasion arsenal and blast my way to the nearest Japanese Steakhouse and eat Stir Fry until my heart exploded.

Flavored vodka: genius or the work of Satan?
- The work of Satan consists of mainly corrupting the Church and rewriting the North American Free Trade Agreement. However, a genius would never invent something so godawful unless he invented it as a poison. It coulda happened.

What is the first thing you plan to do when you get to France?
- Well, after doing all of the necessary paperwork and finding my host family's house, I'm going to unpack my huge American Flag and put it up on the wall of my room. So there.

Have you gotten enough donations for a camera yet?
- Well, not really. I got 20 bucks. My grandpa loaned me some money to buy one though, so I think I'm going to pick up a Canon A70.

Will you be blogging from France?
- Of course! That was the original purpose of the blog. I'll be posting probably slightly more than weekly, with pictures and anecdotes. Visit often, and link it up!

Do you have plans for what to do with all the Frenchies who surrender to you at the airport?
- Not really... I hadn't considered that. I'll try to keep a low profile, I mean, they'll outnumber me quite a bit. Wait, nevermind. I'll just round them into pens.

How do you say "I accept your surrender" in French? Oh, wait, they probably don't have words for that in French. How about in German?
- J'accepte ta reddition. I think. Don't know in german, maybe... Flockiges Kleines Häschen?

Have you guys ever given much thought to writing 2015 seriously, as if the US did withdraw from the UN and give all those moonbats and cowards what for?
- I think that my plans for 2015 will change. When I get back from France, the blog is going to need new original content, and I may redo the 2015 series as a serious dramatic work. Or, I might just get drunk and mash on the keyboard.

Don't you think it's sad that we live in a country where they can have Saddam Hussein in custody for months without letting anybody know about it until the "opportune moment"...but we didn't put a bullet in his skull or beat the living hell out of him during that time?
- What the shit are you talking about, you loon? It was my understanding that we pulled him out of a goddamn hole near Tikrit, and until then had no clue where he was. Conspiracy theories are a goddamn waste of time.

Do you think we already have Osama bin Laden in custody but are just waiting for the "opportune moment" to plant him in Paris?
- I think you're a raving tard.

What'd be your weapon of choice if confronted with Osama bin Laden?
- A wood chipper. I think there's been enough elaboration on this already though. Anyway, I've been around long enough to realize that what I want to do doesn't matter, only what the idiots in charge want.

How many states do you think Dean will carry in the 2004 election should he win the Democratic Primary?
- 3. Alberta, California, and New York. He's big in them liberal shithead areas.

Which Democratic candidate do you like the most of all and why?
- Sharpton.

Why do you think it is so rare to find an American presidential candidate with facial hair?
- I think that it's a function of us getting away from our roots. Lincoln had a beard, and look how kick ass he was. If I was running, I'd definitely grow one, although Al Gore looked pretty damn stupid after he did. He looked like some kind of South African reject Lumberjack.

The cost of one campaign commercial can feed and clothe the nation of Zaire for one year (alternatively, it can feed and clothe one American farmer for three months)...should there be some cap on campaign spending?
- I definitely think so. I think the campaign should be a series of cage fights involving grander and more complicated weaponry each time, until only one remains.

Can we at least talk about a cap on the number of times I have to watch a campaign commercial in a given hour?
- No. Now go away before I taunt you a second time, you lousy secondhand animal food trough wiper.

Posted by Jennifer at 04:34 AM | Comments (3)

December 24, 2003

You Asked, Trey Answers

Trey has answered your questions!

Zeno's Paradox, Gypsies, and Imaginary Friends!

Click it now!

Why did you decide to start a blog? Do the same reasons apply today?
I actually started to blog because of my friend JohnDavid. He started something like a blog, but he doesn’t update it very often. It was his idea to use his website as a forum for sharpening his writing skills.

With that in mind, I had been contemplating starting up something. I was thinking that I would focus more on nonfiction, whereas he wants to focus on fiction. So, I hemmed and hawed over the design, the purpose, the form, the topics, and everything from the ground to the heavens. Really, I just came up with every excuse to not just sit down and do it.

Finally, one night, JohnDavid was telling me about how hard it was to come up with the “100 things about me” list and I said, “That’s easy. I’ll do it right now.” And lo, my 111 things post was born.

I didn’t really have a site set up at that point, though, so I threw together the design you see today and launched the blog without really knowing what I was getting into.

I guess that doesn’t really tell you why I wanted to do this. The reason why is quite simply because I needed to join the battle of ideas. Philosophy is the driving factor behind every action a person engages in. When I look around, I see a lot of good things and I lot of bad things.

On bad days, I see mostly bad things. I see how Art has been abandoned by the general populace, philosophy is treated like pointless parlor chatter, and politics is a carnival of absurdities. It really looks like good ideas are losing.

I’m just not ready to give that up. My blog is a portrait of the mind of a hero. I am a person who thoroughly enjoys every moment of life. I have the right idea on most things and especially about the very basic things in terms of virtue. On a very basic level, I seek to inspire. On another level, I really do seek to inform. And that applies to my public life as well.

So, yes, these reasons do still apply.

Have any bloggers been influential or helpful to you?
I’ve mentioned in my blog it on my blog: I’m pretty picky about my blogroll. I put people up and I take people down. The people who are up there and stay up there continue to serve a purpose to me that I hope to provide to others who read my blog. In some way or another, I look to each of the sites on my blogroll as kindred spirits and fellow heroes. They’re my inspiration.

But if I had to say “Thanks!” to a few in particular, I’d say it to Suzie, Heather, Harvey, and J Quibbly. Suzie and Heather were the first bloggers to “find” me. They’ve both been very helpful in explaining blog conventions, terms, and practices. They’re also very encouraging and give me MT tips from time to time. Harvey and J Quibbly are “the guys” in my mind. I look at their websites so often (I’m a lurker. I’m trying to get better about it, though!) I feel like I spend way too much time sitting on the couch with them yelling at the TV, drinking, and playing video games.

You can only read one blog...whose is it?

I read my own blog several times a day and I find myself endlessly amused. I don’t know why because some of the posts are turbo-lame, but for some reason that amuses me, too.

I’m pretty open about being self-absorbed, so I really shouldn’t pretend to be surprised.

How did you discover that you were gay?
Oh that’s a really funny story, actually. It involves my boyfriend at the time, a hand mirror and a really awkward position in the buff. Decency, however, requires that I post the pictures on a password protected site.

What does the Good Doctor think of your being a lesbian?
I haven’t told him yet. I will ask him tonight after I’ve given him lots of alcohol.

Update: So, I took the Good Doctor (TGD) to my office Holiday Party. He’s a cheap date, so the two free drinks had him liquored up plenty. What follows is my version of the conversation. It’s censored in parts because it was an adult conversation about sexuality. And then there’s also my liberal use of imaginary friends.

Trey: So, how you feelin’?
Trey: Mm Hm… So, I have something to tell you. [I had to say this rather sternly and look him in the eye because you know how drunk girls are.] I’m a lesbian.
TGD: WOOOOO!!! – What? [More sober now. I think he was playing drunk to get me to take advantage of him.]
Trey: I’m a lesbian. I’ve been waiting for the right moment to tell you and I just can’t keep it a secret any longer, so now is as good a time as any.
TGD: What?
Trey: Lesbian. You know. Girl-on-girl action. I’m still gay, though. So that’s good, right?
TGD: I know what lesbians are.
Trey: Oh. Soooo…?
TGD: [Censored part]
Trey: [Censored part]
TGD: [Censored part]
Trey: [Censored part]
TGD: I don’t get it.
Trey: [Deep sigh] Don’t you read my blog?
TGD: You talk about your blog too much.
Trey: I know.
TGD: So?
Trey: So, I had to come out to you in order to answer one of the questions for my interview.
TGD: Oh. So can I still [Censored part relating to the first censored parts]
Trey: Great. I don’t think Jennifer wants me saying the word [Portion of the female anatomy referenced in Seinfeld and rhyming with “Deloris.”] on an interview that’s going to be on her site.

And it pretty much went downhill from there. All in all I’d say he took it rather well and accepts me for who I am.

If you could have ultimate power over the whole world for one day, what flavor of ice cream would you eradicate as an abomination?
A long time ago at church camp once, I had pistachio ice-cream and had the thought that it was a thing of the devil. It impressed me that they would be so brazen as to serve it at church camp right there in the social hall, ready to corrupt young, Christian bodies with the nectar of demons.

I’m also scared of “Dulce de Leche,” which I sometimes see in the freezer case.

I can’t say I’ve had much ice-cream that I really couldn’t bear, but if I had to name one flavor it’d probably be pistachio.

Birthday cake should come in one flavor. Is it chocolate, white, or marble?
Chocolate, of course. I guess I should qualify that by saying, I don’t really care for bread and unless cake has a certain water activity level (I learned that fancy way of saying ”moistness” from Food Scientist.) it registers in my brain as bread and, therefore not highly enjoyable.

So, I can see why someone might want birthday cake to be white or marble so as to be distinct from other cakes but chocolate is the best so I really just don’t care to waste my time on bad, almost-bread products.

How much of Ayn Rand's writings have you read?
I’m reading Return of the Primitive: The Anti-Industrial Revolution now. I’ve read everything else that I know of except the Art of Fiction.

How do you refute Zeno's paradox?
It reminds me of when I was a kid getting cookies from the jar and say I dropped one. As I kid this was a near-catastrophic loss because I wasn’t the type to eat from the floor (often). So, I would reach in and get another to replace it. Immediately, I would think, “Well, if I hadn’t dropped a cookie, then reaching in the jar would have resulted in 4 cookies instead of the three I now have. To get the proper number, I will have to get another, but to make sure I don’t lose any, I will need to pick up two this time.” You can see where this is going. Soon, I had a shirt full of cookies and one on the floor and my mom asking me if I had lost my mind.

I guess that doesn’t actually have a lot of bearing on the question after all. I’m just saying that I am reminded of that.

Zeno’s Paradox is something I wouldn’t give very much thought to, really. It’s obviously foolish, illustrated by the fact that Achilles can outrun a turtle and the arrow does reach its destination.

If you pressed me, I would probably say something like, “Arrows, turtles, and people do not travel in fractions of distance.” Meaning, you may divide the distance into an infinite number of parts but the sum of the parts will always result in the whole of the distance.

And then I’d tell you to get out of my face with that foolishness. The true test of anything called a “paradox” is to see how it stands in reality. And in reality, Zeno’s paradox is barely an amusing riddle but I’m sure it must have been good for something to have persisted for so long.

This is why I am not a mathematician.

Does an unflattering exposure of stereotypes in media and entertainment precede or follow the appearance of similar behaviors in society?
Do you know I don’t care?

I hear lots of people whining about stereotypes but I fail to see how they really have any impact on my life. If someone is so foolish as to greet an individual, especially me, and apply a stereotype to them in place of observed fact, they’re not even worthy of being proved wrong.

But, since I feel obliged to actually consider the question, I would say this: Remember that the best fiction contains characters that are the very essence of some particular idea. That means that they are supposed to be the distillation of one particular notion.

Jack on Will & Grace is a cute example. I know a few people who act kind of like Jack but none of them are so non-stop insane/hyperactive/funny. Even still, Jack isn’t real although he is pretty close to one of the modern notions of a flamboyant homosexual.

I doubt there is anyone out there who says, “I want to be like Jack.” But there are probably people who say, “I want to be funny all the time.” Or “I want to be an actor” or “Working at the Banana Republic is the pinnacle of human accomplishment. Tell the Banana, here I come.”

So, in short, I think there’s a problem with the premises that lead one to consider precession or succession with regard to the media and behavior. And it upsets me more than anyone is thinking about this than the phenomenon itself.

Why don't black and navy blue go together? And why is an exception made for blue jeans?
Navy Blue isn’t a great color, in most contexts, by the way. It’s not that it doesn’t just go with black, it really just doesn’t go with much at all. By contrast notice how often you do see Black and Reflex Blue together.

I don’t really want to get into the aesthetics of fashion, but I am of the mind that black only goes with blue jeans when they’re rather light blue jeans.

The reason black and navy don’t go well together is because they are too alike and too dissimilar to peacefully coexist. Like Pink and Orange which I believe was once reported to send a certain lady into seizures faster than Mary Hart’s voice.

How come your dining room is so dirty?
Well, my dining room is empty and unoccupied. I think that dirt, being a part of nature, abhors the vacuum. So, because I vacuum the other rooms in the house, the dirt has fled to the one part of the house where the vacuum is not.

Children: angels on earth, or the devil in cute (if sticky) packaging?
Any child worth anything at all is a terror.

Ask my mom. I was a really quiet kid who never got into trouble (except the cookie thing and the sectional eating) and she was constantly threatening to sell me to the gypsies. I actually think she bought be from some gypsies sometimes but couldn’t fool them into buying me back so I’ve known her almost my whole life. But it goes to show that if I were more trouble then the gypsies would have made her an offer she couldn’t possibly refuse. As I was, though, I was worthless.

Which television shows do you watch?
I don’t have TV at my house, so I don’t get to watch many shows at all.

When I had television, I used to watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Friends, Scrubs, Changing Rooms, Ground Force, Trading Spaces, While You Were Out, What Not To Wear, and Alias. I’m not good about remembering TV schedules, though, so usually I saw each of those by accident only.

And I love Saturday morning cartoons. Some people claim to also like cartoons, but I earnestly watch them. (Cartoons are very ready and explicit with their philosophy.)

What is the deal with SpongeBob SquarePants? The creators are on serious drugs, right? (Yes, it's on my television right now.)
The first think you need to know is that Nickelodeon cartoons suck. Surf on over to the Cartoon Network and get you some real ‘toons. Or better still, peep the WB on Saturday morning and hook up with some X-men or Teen Titans or Mucha Lucha.

I think that the inventors of Spongebob do have some serious issues and they very well may be drug related. I am just happy that I live in a country where a person can turn their psychotic episodes into a multi-gazillion dollar frachise.

Name your 5 favorite musicians.
I love Sheryl Crow. She is an absolute rock-goddess.

This is a really hard question for me because I don’t listen to much music these days and much of what I do listen to is classical. My favorite classical composers are Dvorak, Bach, Chopin, and Beethoven. My favorite pianists are Glenn Gould, Martha Argerich, and Murray Perahia.

How about your 5 favorite singers?
Again, I’ll lead with Sheryl Crow and I also really enjoy Fred LeBlanc’s voice.

But, it’s the same deal as above in that I don’t really listen to much music with singing any more. Kathleen Battle has a nice voice from what I’ve heard and so does Renee Fleming.

I used to listen to Wyclef Jean, Rufus Wainwright, Sarah McLachlan, Marcy Playground, No Doubt, Cowboy Mouth.

The decline of my affection for more mainstream music began when I started spending almost 2 hours every day in the car. Popular music was just too grating, frenetic, repetitive, and nerve-wracking to listen to for any stretch of time.

You can give a luncheon in honor of 3 historical figures. Who are they and why?
Ayn Rand. She was an intellectual powerhouse and I would love to give her my endorsement personally.

Alexander Hamilton. Cuz I got him on one of those online quizzes and he sounds like a hoot. No, seriously. Founding Father. Wrote some of the Federalist Papers. Rock star.

Gianlorenzo Bernini. Because his work is absolutely breath-taking.

What do you serve for the luncheon?
I like chicken and salads. So, maybe something like a Mesquite Chicken Salad with peppercorn dressing. Lemon Sorbet for dessert.

Is there such a thing as a truly benevolent act, or does every good deed have an ulterior motive?
Every act has a motive. Moral actions are the ones that help a person achieve or maintain one (or more) of their own values and that’s their only motive.

Given the above, I don’t see a whole lot of value in “truly benevolent” actions (if we mean by that ‘actions that benefit someone else’ and not just “good deeds.”) and as such I’d even go so far as to say those sorts of actions are morally reprehensible.

I expect that there are probably some people who actually try to do altruistic things. (I actually think that’s incredibly stupid.) I suppose that some of those eventually realize that unless they die and hope to go to hell for it actually do try just that. But I don’t give them much thought.

You can just bet that if I do something nice for you, I’m getting something out of it.

Posted by Jennifer at 12:01 AM | Comments (4)

December 22, 2003

You Asked, John of Arghhh! Answers

John has answered ALL of your questions!

Gun porn! Women in combat!

Great interview; read it now!

Why did you decide to blog?

Wonderwife™ who blogs as She Who Will Be Obeyed decreed that it be so. She was tired of having to replace the televisions when I put my foot through the screen, so she's trying to channel my excess energy and bad karma. Plus, with the pussification of the editorial board of the Kansas City Star, my letters to the editor weren't getting published any more. No, I won't accept the suggetion that they weren't worthy!

Who were the first bloggers you read? Did/do they influence you?

Instapundit, Misha, Frank at IMAO, Kim du Toit, Boots and Sabers all pointed out to me by SWWBO. From their blogrolls I started reconning for myself. Like Donnie I drew inspiration from them, as well as lessons like - I'm never going to be that popular. As I've developed my blogvoice, I realize that in order to get and have a large audience, you either have to provide a lot of info, like Reynolds, or be entertaining, like Lileks, Misha, Frank, etc. Misha and Frank use their passion to entertain. I'm more laid back than that, and I'm pretty narrowly focussed on things military and guns and such. Not much at Castle Argghhh! for the ladies, in general, though I have a fair number of fair lady regulars.

What the @#%% kind of concept is gun porn?

Gun Fearing Wussies detest guns. The very concept, much less the thought of someone not in the government actually owning one. And people like Senators Schumer, Clinton, Feinstein,, have, at one time or another, characterized gun owners in terms that match can be used to describe pornographers - though the left seems to like pornographers more than gun owners and makers. I decided to take my ownership out of the closet so to speak and to show people that it's not just nutcases who own a large number of guns, but people who live next door to you.

If "rude trash [is] thrown out unread", how do you know it's rude if you haven't read it?

Um, well, ya got me. I uh, live in a time-warp and I have poor short-term memory. Yeah, that's it! I just know when I look at it the second time that it's bad and so I throw it out... in fact though, I don't attract many trolls and the only rude trash I've gotten has been comment spam, which is easy to pick out from the subjects!

Why did your site make my browser lock up? Was it the dancing Cossack?

Nope. It was the fact that I have waaaaay too many pictures and graphics. My site is not slow-machine nor laptop friendly. Sorry. I work for the government and I'm here to help...

Are different guns better for different climates? That is, is there a "desert" gun, a "tropics" gun, etc?

Well, they all have to be taken care of. Wood stocks don't last well in jungle climates. Better to go with a synthetic stock there. Rule of thumb - the finer the tolerances, the less tolerant your weapon is going to be of rough climates. You can ameliorate the impact of that by cleaning, cleaning, cleaning, and using graphite or similar compounds rather than oil as your lubricant. Grease is only for storage! Most of us aren't good enough shots that the finely made weapons make that much of a difference (not true in the hands of experts) and if you are taking a weapon that expensive into the jungle or desert, you either are making a living as a safari hunter or you won the lottery and are now a member of the idle rich. Or you are an idiot. The last two can go together.

How come Cavalry Scouts are so much cooler than Artillery types?

Simple. God had to make up for them being stupid. He knew the rest of us needed 'em to breed like rabbits so there would be enough of them, but he kept 'em stupid so they would do the work and our mind control techniques would work (waving hand) "There's nothing to see here, move along".

How did you get your disability?

By playing soldier. More specifically, handling nukular weapons as a young soldier, and having a very large melon on my shoulders, and being a combat arms soldier. Suffice it to say, my thyroid didn't get along well with fissile material. As for my head, when the Army went to the kevlar helmet, my noggin is sooo huge that I had to have one custom made. The small and medium Fritz helmets weigh less than the steel pot. The large, extra large, and Pumpkin Head (mine) weigh more. A lot more. Spend several years in the desert driving a HMMWV cross-country like a bat out of hell trying not to get run over by Brads and Abrams in zero illum, well, that does a job on your neck and lumbar region. Then there are the large bangs inherent in artillery training and any kind of combat, so there goes your hearing. Then, as Donnie is finding out, falling out of the sky does not do good things to your spine. Then there's the marching... the miles and miles of PT runs, it all adds up. I have three 60 percenters, one 30 percenter, and a 10 percenter, which in VA math adds up to %70. That actually makes sense, since the impacts overlap and are not additive.

How do you get the military information that you post so quickly if you are a civilian?

I'll argue I'm not really a civilian. Technically, I'm in the Retired Reserve, and as a Regular Army retiree, my commission has a slightly different legal status as well. I'm a beltway bandit who does government contract work. I essentially do what I did before I retired, except I don't have to do PT any more and the money is laundered through one more set of hands before it gets to me. Plus, many warriors I worked with, for, and who worked for me still serve, and we are still in communication. The frustrating part of it is that I get lots of info I can't share because of the source - regardless of whether it's classified or not. Which get's me scooped by guys like the Strategy Page or Matt at Blackfive because they aren't "Read On". If you understand that last, you understand. Plus, I don't use anything I get directly as a result of work as a courtesy to my employer and client, and to avoid any conflict of interest that might arise. I still have my sources elsewhere though. As an example for this long-winded answer - the M1 tank that got hit by the mystery round. When I got that info, it was classfied FOUO, For Official Use Only. Little quirk of the system. It's not illegal for you to disclose classified information if you find it legally and you yourself do not have a clearance. But if you have a clearance, even if you get it from an unclassified source, it's illegal to release it. There. Confused?

What was the single worst experience that you ever had in the military?

Killing someone. It was also the best, as it saved a buddie's life.

What was the best?

See above. In the non-combat arena, turning around a hard-case troop into a good troop.

Women in combat? Explain.

That's when you let women fight. I thought that was simple. It has it's good points and bad points. I just point out that no one has made it work well yet, in terms of female combat units. But, as OIF showed, women in the combat zone are going to fight, and in fact have to learn to do so. That still doesn't answer the question of whether they should become significant members of the direct-combat elements. As I said, everybody who has tried it so far has not made it work. I think that's significant. And the Brits and Canadians and Israelis made serious attempts, and the Soviets did too, during WWII. But none of 'em are doing it now.

Would you rather babysit 4 three year olds or face enemy fire?

The enemy. It's legal to hurt 'em.

Have you ever killed an animal with your bare hands?


How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

Depends. How big is this sucker? How big is the wood in question? Has he trained for the event, or is he just winging it? What's his motivation level? Has he been under fire for weeks, with poor rations, or is he fresh from boffing Ms. Chuck and feelin' chipper? Are Ms. Chuck and/or his drinking buddies watching, or is he having to do this as punishment from his parents on a hot August afternoon. In the words of HAL, "Insufficient Data for a Meaningful Answer." Did I mention I was a contract analyst working for the government?

You can choose a super power: x-ray vision or the ability to fly. Which do you choose and why?

X-ray vision. Bloggers with Boobies! Silly question. Only a leg ranger would choose fly.

You are marooned on a desert island and need to pick one celebrity to stay with you. (You can not pick Michael Moore for cannibalism purposes.) Who is it and why?

Wonderwife™. All the celebrity I need, and I know I can get along with her and she with me.

Which alcoholic beverage do you bring to the island?

Tequila. What's that dear? Oh, I meant Irish Cream.

Who is the single most influential person in your life?


What is one thing you would like to do/see before you die?

Be the man my wife and puppies think I am. I ain't there yet - but don't tell them.

There, Donnie. I answered ALL the questions!

Posted by Jennifer at 12:01 AM | Comments (8)

December 19, 2003

You Asked, Donnie Answers

Donnie has answered most of your questions!

Find out what Marines are good for, why he ate crayons, and much more!

Click it already!

Why did you start blogging?

A: I've been reading blogs since 7/01, but didn't find ACIDMAN'S place until last summer. Once I read Rob, I thought to myself "Whoa, if THIS guy doesn't scare off the
entire blogosphere, I might not either". Thus it began.

Why did you almost quit blogging?

A: I blame Sitemeter! ;-) It seemed to me that 60 hits a day or so after 4 months were hardly worth the effort...but Sitemeter only reports UNIQUE hits. Having moved to Typepad, I see that the ACTUAL hits are more like 600+ a day, and even if that's 6 people checking the site 100 times a day, that makes it
worth it. I'd like to write a collection of short stories some day (no patience for a novel), and this improves my writing skills (especially when MICHAEL WILLIAMS and JOHN DONOVAN castigate my grammar).

Which bloggers influence you and why?

A: ACIDMAN. That old goat keeps it REAL.
ZOMBIEBOY. Good writing, no inflammatory nonsense.
RICKY at North Georgia Dogma. Ditto.
BLACKFIVE. Similar backgrounds,
military perspective without chest beating.
JACK at Random Fate. Great
writing, smart guy, not much invective or vitriol.
STEPHEN GREEN. Says a lot without necessarily WRITING a lot.

Explain why/how you bond with other bloggers?

A: Pretty much the same way I bond with people in the "real world". If their
blogs reflect their personality (some don't), and their personality is attractive to me for whatever reason, I'll tend to initiate an email conversation, or comment often on their site.

Who is Bejus?

A: Ah, Bejus...Bejus is a construct of my imagination that occurred after two Tylenol PMs and a bottle of Gabbiano Chianti. He rapidly progressed from "Imaginary friend", to obsession, then possession. He torments me, yet he amuses me mightily. You never know when I'm channeling Bejus, or he's channeling me.

What the @#%& is a Bejus?!

A: See above.

How many Dorals a day does Bejus smoke, and how has Airborne School impacted his consumption of tobacco?

A: Bejus smokes Dorals incessantly...he lights one from the smoldering butt of
another, and giggles to himself about "Monkey f*cks". I don't think my attendance here at Jump school has affected his Doral consumption...he's probably working on major improvements to his fort in my garage while I'm here.

What would you rather do?: Talk to a dirty, stinking, Leg or masturbate with broken glass?

A: I'll answer that next Wednesday, should I no longer bear the "dirty, stinking leg" stigma myself ;-)

Why did it take you so long to go to Airborne School?

A: I thought I was out of the Army forever. I didn't go while I was on active
duty because I am *DEATHLY* afraid of heights, and I couldn't for the life of
me imagine jumping out of a perfectly good C-130. Having signed up with the
National Guard, however, I was offered a slot that had only just become
available, and given the reasons I signed back up, I thought it probably
behooved me to obtain Airborne qualification for a couple of reasons. First,
while I was toiling away in the civilian world, the Army changed it's policy
re. "Leg Rangers" -- volunteers for Ranger school must first be Airborne
qualified. Thus, there probably aren't many (if any) "Leg Rangers" on active
duty these days, and I certainly didn't want to be the butt of any jokes in
the Tactical Operations Center (TOC). Second, since I'm probably going to be
mobilized shortly, I figure the Airborne qualification, combined with my
Ranger, Air Assault, and Expert Infantry Badge qualifications might land me in
a unit where I can do some good. I'm an Infantryman...I can shoot, but I'd
suck at counting mess kits.

Why did you decide to go to Airborne School at your advanced age?

A: See above. And, "advanced age"? Grrrr....

Johnny Carson once told the studio audience that "In this Politically
Correct world we live in, there is only one thing left that an American
teenager can do to prove he is a MAN. Join the Marines". How do you feel
about this statement, and why?

A: I still hate Johnny Carson for handing his show to Leno rather than
Letterman -- or even Conan O'Brian. That statement makes me hate him even
more. Granted that "Every Marine is a rifleman", I still don't see where the
Marine Corps gets off thinking that they have an exclusive claim on physical
fitness or fieldcraft. I'd put an Army 11-Bravo (Infantryman) up against a
Marine any day. Besides, the Marine Corps only exists to provide something
soft for the Army to walk on when we hit the beach.

Describe the last fist fight that you were in.

A: I'll take the Fifth on that one. It's been 4 years or so, and my bride is
displeased with me over it to this day.

Is being a Hillbilly better or worse than being a Redneck?

A: Hillbilly's are MUCH better than Rednecks. Rednecks work on farms (mainly
owned by someone else), while Hillbillys, for the most part, don't work. They
roam the mountains of North Georgia, constantly searching for Burt Reynolds,
Ned Beatty, and Jon Voight. They want revenge. They drink heinous moonshine, play "if it flies, it dies" with .16 gauge shotguns, do experiments
involving "poison toads" and arrowheads, and torture recreational canoers and
kayakers on the Chattahoochee river. I don't know much about Hillbillys
though. Bejus might.

How did you meet your wife?

A: I met my wife in high school Algebra class in the 11th grade. There IS such a thing as love at first sight. I made a total and complete ass of myself for several months, showing off, and torturing her, before I finally secured my first date with her by buying her a hamburger from the school cafeteria. God, that was a long time ago.

Are there more pictures of her on the internet? Or any of you?

A: Not on the Internet. How much money do you have? ;-)

If you could be any kind of animal, what would it be and which human would you attack first?

A: A Bear. I watched a bear do things to a "water buffalo" that froze my blood during the Mountain phase of Ranger school, and then he chased 3 RI's into a tree. Bears scare me to death. The first human I'd attack would have to be Osama bin Laden, if he's still available to be chased, and not consorting with his virgins in paradise.

It snowed 6 inches and you are outside. Do you make obscene snowpeople, standard snowpeople, snowforts and snowballs, snowangels, or shovel the f@cking driveway?

A: My bride would command me to shovel the driveway first. Then, I'd make
obscene snow-porn stars and throw snowballs at my hated neighbors.

Did you eat the glue in kindergarten?

A: No, but I ate the hell out of the crayons. I figured they'd make cool colorful turds and scare the Bejus out of my Mom. They did.

Describe your ideal pet. I know that as far as questions go that isn't
actually a question. Humor me.

A: A Russian blue cat. Cats rule. They don't require rubbing or petting, they think they own YOU, rather than vice-versa, and if they were bigger, they'd eat you. I like mean little animals that harbor a deep resentment towards me.

You and the lovely wife are on a deserted island alone together. Who goes crazy first?

A: My bride has no bad habits. I, on the other hand, would soon run out of SKOAL, beer, and bullets, and become stark raving mad.

Posted by Jennifer at 12:03 AM | Comments (5)

December 17, 2003

You Asked, Tiger Answers

Here it is! The Tiger Interview!

Not a single footnote to be found, but plenty of interesting questions thanks to everyone who sent them in.

Tiger graciously provided the interesting and entertaining answers.

Click it to see.

Why did you start your blog?
My therapist and I are still tryin’ to uncover the root of such decision. No, mostly it is because I am a lonely pathetic old man without a reason to live who decided bring down the rest of the world by supplyin’ them with the crappy thoughts of his inane brain. Whe the Hell came up with this question?

Who were the first bloggers you read? Do you still read them?
Wow, that was over six months ago ... I remember Volokh Conspiracy being the one I read the most for the first few days. I still read it, but mostly filtered through another blog.

Do any bloggers influence you?
They all do. The great thing about blogs is they shine with the personality of the blogger, or a good portion of them do. People influence me, their opinions and views and dreams and ideas enliven me.

Who was the first blogger to link to you?
I am thinkin’ it was DavidMSC.

What is the nicest compliment you've gotten from another blogger?
I liked this one: ""He Rags, He Rants, he's full of shit. Perfect." Kim Crawford.

What is the nicest compliment you've gotten, period?
I guess fuck you, if it is a really really sincere offer. I always assume it is.

When will Wicked Willie post again?
I never know with Willie. Last I heard he was chattin’ with Willie explainin’ the fine art of willie wettin’. Afterward there was a jam session, but Willie tol’ Willie to put his sax back up. Willie just sat back and wanked his willie.

Why is USURP headquarters still bare?
Ah! An easy one. I gave an assignment for some .css submissions and no one has yet completed the assignment. Also, Kang came for a visit and has become a constant houseguest. My time has been severely limited of late.

Why Dr. Pepper?
I been drinkin’ it since I first found in my great-gand’s fridge when I was a little boy. I have always figured if you found somethin’ you liked, you just stick with it. Kinda like gettin’ married, you made your choice, so why keep lookin’ for somethin’ better.

As a lawyer, would you ever defend someone if you weren't convinced of their innocence?
Sure, do it all the time. A person can tell me they are guilty and they are still entitled to be proven guilty. There are times that the State cannot do that and a guilty man goes free. Trials drag out for years and sometimes essential witnesses cannot be found because people move around too often anymore.

What is your favorite lawyer joke?
This one is way up the list.

Why do lawyers have such a bad publicist?
Because their egos make them think no one could do a better job of it than themselves.

Please take a moment to brag on Texas.
Lone Star Beer & Bob Wills music

Please take a further moment to rag on Texas.
All my exes live in Texas

What is the biggest spider you've ever seen?
Not big enough, I ‘spect, ‘cause I’m still here.

Have you ever been to Big Bend National Park? It is the least visited national park, you know.
I have been to almost half of the National Parks in my life. I have spent more time at Big Bend than any other. I am sure it is due to the drive because it is a great park, having three different ecosystems to study.

What is with the Kangaroo? How many hits does he get a day?
That kangaroo is a menace to the blogosphere and I have attempted to evict him from my test blog. I am not sure how or when he first hopped in there. As for hits, he doesn’t get too many because he ducks well and throws a mean right hook.

If you could read only one author...fiction, nonfiction, journalist, blogger, whatever...who would it be?
George but that is hard because no one is prolific enough to satisfy my needs. I suppose Jules Verne or Stephen King.

Describe a perfect day.
Just sittin’ here watchin’ the cursor blink. Sorry but it has been too long since I had a day that was remotely close ro bein’ perfect. I am pretty sure that spendin’ time with an intimate loved one would be required. Other than that, the possiblities are wide open.

Describe a perfect woman.
Audrey Hepburn as Sabrina

Posted by Jennifer at 12:02 AM | Comments (5)

December 15, 2003

You Asked, SilverBlue Answers

John of SilverBlue has answered your questions!

Music, blogging, and Roxette much more!

You cannot resist. You must click it!

Just how darn big IS that house of yours? It sounds castle-ish.

Well, it’s just a 1,600 sq. ft. dutch colonial that’s 75 years old. Believe it or not, there are only four rooms on the first floor, and four rooms on the second floor. The “Great Room” (as we call it) is 18 feet by 24 feet. The dining room is a more modest 12 by 12, while the kitchen is so small you have to go in the utility room to change your mind. A lot of smoke and mirrors makes the place look far larger than it is, but everyone who passes through my front door says the same thing: “It feels like I’ve just come home, the house is so comfortable.” (Ghosts and all! Yes, 3 ghosts live with the 3 human inhabitants and 1 blue rabbit.)

With all the problems you seem to have fixing things, would you recommend renting to others?

No. I never recommend renting unless one of two things is true: (1) you’re a helpless klutz that couldn’t find their way out of a paper bag and can’t reset a circuit or replace a light bulb OR (2) you have a lot of money to throw away. In that event, throw it my way. My house, sitting on half an acre, costs me $630 a month in mortgage (including taxes, etc., but not including utilities). Considering most rentals in this area go for $800+ (not including utilities), in 10 years, I’ll have a nice chunk in equity that I can cash out if I decide to move, while they will have paid $96,000 and have nothing to show for it if they move. Plus, I don’t have to get anyone approval to paint put in or rip out carpet, tile, or vinyl floors; I can put as many holes in the walls as I see fit, and I can play my stereo reasonably LOUD (which I do) and not have the neighbors on the other side of my living room wall call the police….

You have the best pictures on your blog. Where do you find them?

(Blushes) I have a great number of people who send me jokes, etc. and I’ve collected a number of them over the years. There are several good places (Jill’s Jokeline, etc.) on the web that have funny photos….and I love thinking of something funny and going into a Google picture search for it. My sense of humour gets strange from time to time, so… I’m glad people enjoy them! I decided early on that I liked to end my day on a light note, no matter how difficult the day had been or how angry I was, so I came up with the “Final Thought” of the day, which normally is something humorous, but may be off-colour. But it’s all a part of me.

Asparagus or squash?

Asparagus, definitely. The only time I like squash is in a casserole made by PoloRandy’s family. Of coruse, it’s got enough other stuff in it you don’t taste the texture of the squash (which is the only reason I don’t like eating it…) Plus, it’s easier to tickle someone with a raw asparagus versus a big, uncooked squash. (There’s something inherently phallic about squash that makes me turn my nose up.)

In baking, nuts or no nuts?

What are we referring to? Me? I always have nuts when I bake. OOOH. You mean items to be baked. Brownies? Nuts. Chicken? No nuts. I don’t particularly care for my baked bread to have nuts. But a black walnut chocolate cake can’t be beat.

You seem to listen to a lot of music...who are your 5 favorite performers?

You’re actually going to make me narrow it down? Ok. I’ll go with those I’ve been listening to the longest: Roxette, Eurythmics, Sarah Brightman, (If you don’t know these three, get out of your cave and down to your local music store); Sam Harris (1984 Star Search Winner, skinny white boy belting out a Patti LaBelle rendition of “Over the Rainbow”); and Jane Olivor (Columbia Recording Artist and “Lounge” singer). I’ve been fortunate to see all five live at different times.

What are your 3 favorite albums?

This changes almost daily, so it’s hard for me to answer. But, if I were trapped on an island with only Roxette Bunny™ and some way to play 3 CDs, they would be:

Roxette: Joyride; Kylie Minogue: Fever; and Enya: Paint The Sky With Stars. That would give me the proper mix of uptempo, ballads, and music to mediate by.

What are your 5 favorite blogs and why?

Ok…I know there’s going to be some feelings hurt here, but… Practical Penumbra (Susie) because she can take the worst in life and make it funny (not only that, but she takes ribbing so good naturedly!). The Cheese Stands Alone (LeeAnn), simply because she makes her life sound like a wonderful comedy script that would top the bestseller list. Caterwauling (Dawn), who isn’t averse to stating what’s on her mind regardless of how it comes out. How many other bloggers do you see writing lovingly about their best friends child, and then a few posts later discuss the mind-blowing consequences of a dynamic session of self-appreciation? Tiger’s Rantin’ & Ravin’ because I like his take on life. We don’t see eye to eye on everything, but for a lawyer, he’s got a great sense of humour. Maybe it’s because I used to work for a Law School that I can appreciate some of the things that go over Joe Average’s head. Finally, I’d have to say Rocket Jones’ blog because of the strange things he discovers.

(Honorable mention to Jennifer’s History & Stuff which has taught me much trivia (in fact, one of my nicknames used to be King of OUI [Otherwise Useless Information]), and to Tink, PunchBuggy, Roxette Bunny™, and Revog, who I talk to on a daily basis so therefore I disqualified from the list)

Why do you blog?

Well, it started out because I thought I could change someone, anyone’s mind. About something. Anything. Actually, I’m more vocal in my blog than I am in real life. I’ll sit down and rant about Mister Sister, Sister Mister, (and soon to be introduced, “Twisted Mister”) or an incident in PC Non-Support that I’d never have the guts to confront them in real life. I have very strong opinions, but an open mind. I enjoy off-colour jokes, things that make me think, and basically typing to hear my keyboard click.

How did you and Roxette Bunny meet?

It seems like so long ago, but it was April of this year. I was in my car when I felt something brush my ear. I turned around and almost jumped out of my skin. Here was this small, blue animal with a pink nose looking at me and said “Hi. I’m Roxette Bunny™. Do you mind if we become friends?” Of course, how could I say no? The look in her eyes melted my heart. So, she moved in, and has been all over the place ever since then. She’s got a keen eye, a quick wit, and is awesome playing spades.

How does RB type so well without opposable thumbs?

That was originally going to be a problem, then I thought of two solutions: Dragon Naturally Speaking (Mein Hare Edition) (some German company makes it, I think), or the special Bunny Keyboard by Microhop (hey, if there’s money to be made, they’re all over it). Depending on her mood, she switches from headset to keyboard.

Why did you join the Alliance?

Short or long answer? Short: Because Susie asked me to. Long answer? Because Susie asked me to, and I think that Evil Glenn’s blog is not a blog, but a branch of the internet, it’s so large. If a good storm blew through and that branch fell out, most of his followers would be lost for content! (Answer continued below)

Do you feel like the Alliance has helped progress your personal blogging agenda, whatever that may be?

Not really. I joined the Alliance for giggles and grins…and because I wanted to build traffic to my site, and it was a good way for me to find additional blogs to read and link. I really have no agenda for my blog. Though Rocket Jones had a hilarious agenda.

How many Frank J t-shirts do Alliance members have to buy to avoid being kicked out?

You mean if I bought Frank J t-shirts I’d actually have been listed in his blogroll of Alliance members? (Rustling through membership paperwork….reading fine print…. Lighting match… :-) Ooops! There went the membership paperwork!)

Instapundit: over-rated?

Instawhat? I think I’ve read that bloat, er, I mean blog on a couple different occasions, but just couldn’t get into it. I hope he makes a buck or two off it, however.

Should we all just stop commenting at Bloviating Inanities and watch Bill C. implode?

If we all stopped commenting at the old Blov-In, Bill C. would EXPLODE, not implode. (Doesn’t gout cause you to bloat anyway?) Actually, for as much as we spar, I think he’s a pretty ok guy. Except for that gout thing. I don’t know how Alice deals with it, knowing that one day Bill will think he’s a leprechaun, only to find out he’s a leper, and his arms and legs are gone.

Do any other bloggers influence you?

Yes, they do. Most by causing me to laugh. A few (Roxette Bunny™’s struggle for ASPCA funding, and the blog for the Boobie-Thon) helped raise my awareness for social issues. A few caused me to shake my head and go … why do they waste their time? (For examples, see my blogroll) It’s hard to keep myself from linking to every post (I’d be a link-slut then) that I found funny. Take my word for it… read. Laugh. Most importantly, Love.

What is the best thing you've ever done for a stranger?

Other than gratuitous sex? (Or, as we used to call it, a “Sympathy F*(&”) Let’s see… I’d have to say it was when I stopped and helped change a tire for a stranger; a week later, they were on my interview panel for a job I was going for (and actually was hired for!)

What is the worst thing a stranger has ever done to you?

Gratuitous sex. No, actually, it was when they broke into my car, sitting in my driveway, beside my house, and made off with my laptop, and a bunch of other stuff (I had arrived home from at trip at 11:45 the prior night and it was raining and I didn’t want anything to get ruined). I still feel my prior roommate was somehow involved, though all my evidence is circumstantial. If he was responsible, may he meet up with Lorena Bobbitt in a back alleyway.

If you had to sum up your personality in 10 words or less, what would those words be?

A vivacious, bubbly, all-out freakin fun person.

Posted by Jennifer at 12:01 AM | Comments (4)

December 12, 2003

You Asked, LeeAnn Answers

LeeAnn has answered your questions!

Find out where the boobie pictures are, what she snuck onto the island, and much more!

Click it now!

You say 'you learn from your mistakes'..what was the biggest one you made, why did you make it, and what did you learn from it?
My very biggest mistake was not going to college right after graduation from high school. I've attended several universities on and off since then, when the finances were right, but never long enough to get a degree. Just long enough to tease me with the possibilities. I was stupidly convinced that I was truly in love at the time, and the BF was so intimidated by the thought that I might meet someone else while in an environment that didn't include him that he persuaded me not to go. What did I learn? Don't let the loins heart rule the head.

What is your favorite conspiracy theory?
That Elvis is still alive and performing in Las Vegas as a Himself Imitator.

What actress, in what role, most closely reflects the true "LeeAnn". If that's too hard.....pls tell us which character in Breakfast Club most closely represents your HS persona?
Ideally, I would be the Lucy Lui character in "Charlie's Angels". In reality, I'm more like Skrat in "Ice Age." It's easy to pin me down in high school.... I was the Ally Sheedy character, right down to the Converse sneakers.

Were you the class clown in school?
I was the class clown in junior high. By high school, I was eating my lunch in a hidey-hole under the stairs, and avoiding as much human contact as possible. Puberty is a cruel mistress.

If you are one of the last two Survivors, what will you offer the ex-survivors to convince them to vote for you to be the winner?
Well, I have that secret Snickers bar that I smuggled in, hidden.... you don't really need the details, do you?

You're on a deserted island with Emily, Helen and Jim. What are the sleeping arrangements?
Rotational, of course, like volleyball.
Unless Jim snores, then he's on the other side of the dune by himself. Sorry, dude, we need our beauty sleep.

Where are the boobie pictures?
In a secret vault under the Cheyenne Mountains, guarded by Batman and the X-men.

Does GM1 stand for anything?
It stands for his rate in the Navy, Gunner's Mate First Class.

What would you change about the GM1? What wouldn't you change about him?
I'd change his snoring. We get calls from the airport that he's making the jets feel inadequate.
What wouldn't I change? His complete acceptance of and patience with me. That man is a saint. A saint with bad adenoids.

Have you forgiven him for the comment about, "How pretty young girls are?" yet?
Oh sure, I forgave him a long time ago. Did I tell him I forgave him? How blonde do you think I really am?

A while ago, you had a little memorial picture of Stuart the Guinea Pig. Can you tell us a bit about Stuart?
Stuart was an attempt to have a cuddly pet in an apartment where I couldn't have cats or dogs. Unfortunately, Stuart was xenophobic and hated to be touched. He was a bundle of nerves in a cloud of fur, he freaked out at the smallest thing. Changing his water bottle would send him into shrieking whistling fits that lasted 30 minutes. He was also the most expensive pet I've ever had. He had allergies, rashes, skin disorders.... all due to his hysterical personality. A typical vet visit cost me $350 dollars in oinments, creams, and special soaps.
Stuart also lived for the joy of piddling on me on any occassion I had to hold him.
I miss him a lot.

Do you have any pictures of your rats you could share with us? I mean your former pets, not your neighbors.
I have a picture of my favorite rat, Alan, which I'll post on my blog later, on his birthday. He was the best rat ever. He was the Sidney Greenstreet of rats. I've never seen a common pet rat get so huge. Eventually he was so fat his legs would only support him for short distances, and when he'd lie on his belly, he was the same size as a dinner plate. He had a heart of gold and the digestive system of a garbage disposal.

You've taken roughly 81 different internet polls in an attempt to find out, "What kind of (noun) are you?" Have you discovered yourself yet?
Several times. And all of them entirely different. Some say "schizo." I prefer "multi-layered'.

Do you think the rule barring sex in the Champagne Room would be lifted if someone tried to have sex with the bartender?
I heard that Harvey tried to put the moves on The Bartender, and the pictures that showed up in the Weekly World News the next week were the cause of the rule. Just something I heard. Not that I saw the pictures. Or went blind and had to spend all my tip jar on a seeing eye monkey. Yeah, thanks a lot, guys!
Uh, I mean.... just something I heard.

Why didn't you call your blog "Heigh Ho the Derry-O"?
Because I didn't wake up with the complete rhyme stuck in my head, just that one line. "The Cheese Stands Alone." But now that I think about it, "Heigh Ho the Derry-O" is a creepy phrase. "Heigh-ho" is what the seven dwarves sang, and few things are as scary as a midget with a pick-axe. Derry is the town in the Stephen King universe where all the Bad Stuff happens. Like clowns in sewers, luring little children to a gory end and then you wind up a grown woman afraid to sleep without a nightlight.

Do you really wear glasses?
Oh yeah, I'm blind as the proverbial bat. I normally wear contacts, though, the odd colored ones. I mean like one violet and one emerald green. I wish they made plaid contacts.

What is your stance on pumpkin pie?
Blech. Icky. Squishy trick of vegetarians cookery villains.
Give me French silk chocolate pie any day.

How did you find out Santa Claus was a fraud?
What do you mean, a fraud? Huh? Did the Tooth Fairy put you up to this?

You are in jail. Who do you make your one phone call to?
I'd have to call my mom, because she is the best in the world at saying "I told you so."

Why are you in jail to begin with?
I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you..... too.

Posted by Jennifer at 08:10 AM | Comments (15)

December 10, 2003

You Asked, Ted Answers

Ted, aka Rocket Jones, has answered your questions.

He defends poodles and talks about rockets (of course). He also has some great advice.

Very good interview, read it!

Can you tell us why the police dog was standing on your chest? If so, will you?

Well, you may have noticed that I like to tell stories. And I had been planning to tell this one eventually. For now, the important points are:

1. I woke up with the dog standing there, breathing into my face.
2. The attached policeman was reading me my rights.
3. My roomie, who I’d known for less than three hours, jumped out of his bed and helpfully proclaimed that any drugs found in the room were his.
There were no drugs, but my roomie did get busted.

From reading about you on your blog, it seems you may well be one of the most content persons on the planet. However, I'm sure there's one thing about your life you'd like to change. What is it, and why?

This one surprised me. Content, really? Wow, I kinda like that… Thank you, to whoever said that, it made my day.

Well, there’s always the ‘more money’ thing, because I never have enough to give my family all they deserve. But I’ll say it in a word: sex. Without going into details (no kiss and tell, remember?), that would be the one thing I’d change.

Think you'll return to finish a degree? Just for the heck of it?

Nope, not for the heck of it. I’ll finish it if I have to for my teaching credentials, and I’ll probably take classes here and there just because a subject interests me, but I don’t feel the need to complete it.

Has Mookie picked up the doggie-doo in the backyard yet?

Yep. She’s good about doing that daily chore. Every time I remind her.

Poodles aren't very manly. I'm just saying.

I’ve had all kinds of dogs, and I have to admit that I felt the same way about poodles until I met this one. He has the soul of a lion, absolutely fearless and protective of the family. He loves to rough-house with me, and bites hard enough to let me know he could rip my arm off if he chose to do so. And just because I love this little guy so much, I’ll also let on that he’s half Chihuahua too.

How long is Mookie going to see dead people?

She’s about run the course of that I think. She’ll find something else that she thinks is weird enough to get a reaction out of people and move on. I’m hoping that she’ll become obsessed with cleaning her room or picking up dog doo. Or using a spell checker.

You link to adult sites and cover adult topics now and then. Do your kids react to that?

My kids are used to that. I’ve never tried to shield them from the facts of life. Kind of hard to do when they see mom and dad constantly smooching and holding hands. It’s no secret that I’m a perv, I like porn, and know lots of dirty jokes. I have also had constructive talks about sex with my kids.

You can pick one Munuvian to live with on a space station for 5 years. Who is it and why?

Just one? Didn’t I say I was a perv? I can imagine all kinds of interesting gravity experiments

Instead, I’ll list a completely non-comprehensive list of reasons I’d consider for a few Munuvians:

Tim – to see if I could make him an atheist in that time. The debates would be wonderful.

Pixy – He deals with technology like I deal with twisty ties – deftly and skillfully. Very handy. Plus, he’s got lots of dirty cartoons to watch.

Daniel – talking to him would never be boring.

Spork – same reason as Daniel. The conversations we could have to while away the time...

LeeAnn would keep me laughing. We could sit at the porthole and make fun of earth for weeks on end.

Victor – null-grav hockey and cuisine. Life couldn’t get much better. Plus, we’d get the bonus of watching blood in zero-g!

You can take 5 cd's with you to the space station. What are they?

Pablo Cruise – World’s Away

Stevie Wonder – Songs In The Key Of Life

Earth Wind & Fire – Spirit

Glenn Miller – Greatest Hits

Those were simple enough, the last one is tough. Any of the following (and probably ten more I didn’t think of right at the moment):

Molly Hatchet – their first album

Bachman-Turner Overdrive – Not Fragile

Jethro Tull – M.U.

Alan Parsons – Turn of a Friendly Card

Chicago II

Something classical or jazzy

The Sopranos. Over-rated? Forgotten?

I’ve never seen it. I know it’s about a mob family. That’s about it. I’m a History/Discovery/DIY Channel kind of guy. Old horror movies. Hockey or football.

I don't get the hype over The Matrix. Do you?

I liked the first one because it was something new and original. Not the story, but the effects and where they went with it. I never saw the others, because it was just more of the same. I’m always leery of the Dune progression, where a wonderful story is ruined by later, lesser efforts.

What's your favorite adult beverage?

Dewers White Label scotch, but I can be very happy with rum, tequila, Ausbach brandy, or even a beer. Wine on occasion, but I’m a barbarian and easy to please.

Pizza...thin or thick crust?

Thin. Sorry Heather, but to be a Phipps is to love cheese. Extra.

Denim or khaki?


How did you come to have this fascination for rockets?

I did the usual stupid shit as a kid with rockets and fireworks, stuff you aren’t supposed to do. In the Air Force I teamed up with another guy and we built a working bazooka that used rocket motors and beer can missiles. It worked well enough that one New Years Eve we sat in my front yard (on-base housing) and shot flaming beer cans over a warehouse and into the parking lot of the base police station.

Years later my oldest daughter had to do a shift in front of a grocery store selling Girl Scout cookies. To keep from dying of boredom, I went into the adjacent craft store and eventually wound up looking at the model rockets. Thinking it would be a great way to spend some time with the kids, I did some reading over the next few weeks, then bought a few rocket kits. We built them, launched them, and I was hooked.

What's the highest you've ever launched something?

Around 4000’ feet (~ ¾ of a mile). Going higher isn’t the problem, getting it back is. My level 2 certification rocket (parts acquired, construction not started yet) should easily break a mile. Altitude and speed really aren’t that hard to do, and not that expensive. A rocket that will break the speed of sound can be built and flown for less than $50.00. The trick is verifying the actual speed. A lot of people just run computer simulations, deduct 25% off the numbers, and call it done.

Ever get injured by a rocket?

Nope, although I have had to holler for a kid to come into the workshop to debond dad’s fingers from something when I used a bit too much superglue.

You can have lunch with 7 people, dead or alive. Who are they?

My best friends Paul and Dave, because it would be so cool to watch them interact with:

H.G. Wells. What a visionary!

Douglas Adams – I’ve gotten a whole new appreciation for him after reading his last book, Salmon of Doubt.

Zarathrustra – because Paul is fascinated by him.

Gene Cernan – astronaut from Apollo 17, and last man to walk on the moon. He’s fun and interesting and a little bit off the wall.

Copernicus – who turned the entire universe upside down.

What is the most important thing you ever learned how to do?

Count my blessings. Stop and smell the flowers. Appreciate the little things. Whatever you want to call it, it’s the ability to see the good and not be bummed by what you don’t have. There’s always something that could be better, that’s just life.

What is the most important thing you ever taught someone else?

To my family, it would have to be how to communicate honestly and openly, in every sense. We can talk about anything without (much) embarrassment, although privacy is respected. If someone is being stupid, they get told, without name-calling or malice. Praise and support is lavish when called for. We are also a very affectionate family, where "love you’s" are common and hugs, kisses, and holding hands are frequent. My wife didn’t grow up in that kind of family, so it took her a while to get used to me.

Posted by Jennifer at 07:22 AM | Comments (7)

December 08, 2003

You Asked, Don Answers

Don of Anger Management has answered your questions!

Inappropriate Lindbergh baby jokes! His thoughts on stuffed bear sex! Lots more!

Click it. You know you want to.

Why did you announce you were quitting your blog only to start blogging again 15 minutes (or so) later? First you're blogging, then you're not, then you are. Can't you make up your mind?

No, no I can’t. And anyone who has read my blog for any significant period of time should know that. I am as flighty as Charles Lindbergh, although less so than his baby.

Have you always had the fantasy of being Jeff Probst?

Is he the Survivor guy? In any case, no. I never fantasize about men because that would make me a homosexual and I’m not comfortable with my homosexuality. Wait. Is that what I meant to say?

You've been late for Blogosphere Survivor so many times the contestants thought the game had been suspended. You were probably born late. Do you plan to be late for your own funeral? If so, how are you going to arrange that?

In real life, I am never late. I am the most punctual person I know. No, seriously. But in the blog world, I am like a woman, only without the estrogen. Speaking of which, why is it women who are always late when they are the ones so frightened of being late?

Who is John Galt?

Don’t ask me. I just blog here.

What is sex with a stuffed bear like?

That’s kind of redundant, isn’t it? Any bear having sex is thereby stuffed.

Besides Frank J, who are your favorite bloggers?

This is an unfair question, because I know I’m going to leave people out and make them cry. So I’m only going to name three with the understanding that I have many more favorites.

First, of course, is Helen from Everyday Stranger. She is one of the best writers on the Internet and has accomplished in her own life the one goal I’ve set for myself in mine: to live a life worth writing about. Also she says “vagina.”

Second, there’s Radley Balko from The Agitator. Radley’s was the first blog I started reading regularly and his remains the best libertarian blog on the Internet. Plus he bought me a beer once.

Finally, Rachel Lucas. Even though she’s not around, she will always have a special place in my heart – not only a great writer but funny as hell and quite the looker I might add. It was her endorsement that really helped my blog to take off, and for that, I am forever thankful.

You can invite 5 bloggers to a kegger. Who do you invite?

This one is easy. First, of course, The Bartender, because someone has to serve the drinks. Next, my pal Pylorns, just because I think he’d be fun to drink with. Third, Julian Sanchez from Julian’s Lounge, with whom I’ve already drunk and had lots of fun. Besides, I need someone around who smokes as much as I do. Fourth, Harvey from Bad Money just because, who wouldn’t want him around? And finally, of course, Helen because no kegger is complete without wild monkey sex. By the way, I would have invited Jim from Snooze Button Dreams, but I don’t want the competition.

If the only way Frank J could continue blogging was to become a MuNu but the only way he could become a MuNu one would be if a current MuNu was evicted, would you vote for Frank or a random MuNu?

With all honesty, I would sacrifice any blogger to Frank J. He absolutely amazes me.

What made you decide to start blogging?

I was forced to take an introductory writing class for my business degree about a year ago. The first day of class, the professor asked us to answer questions about our favorite authors, our interest in writing, etc. After reading my answers, he asked me if I blogged, and for some reason I lied and said I did. Not wanting to be a liar, I went home that night and started a blog. I’ve been addicted ever since.

I find your writing more interesting to read when you are trying to convey something serious rather than trying to be funny. What style do you prefer, and what are the reasons that you switch so dramatically from post to post?

That’s actually a good observation, but there is a third mode in which I write, in which I make a serious point, but interject humor where appropriate. That’s my favorite style, but it’s difficult to pull off on a consistent basis. As to why I switch between styles, there are actually a couple reasons for this. The first is that, I don’t have enough real insight into life to sustain a blog full of daily insights. But more than that, the primary purpose of my blog is to give me a forum from which to say the things I want to say. Sometimes I want to be funny, sometimes I want to be serious, but I always want to be entertaining. And that is my only promise: no matter what I write, I will always strive to make it interesting. By the way, thank you for that question – it’s good to know people enjoy the serious stuff I write.

Is it bad manners to have phone sex and go to sleep right after the big payoff?

You don’t know how often I get asked that question. The truth of the matter is, it’s best to go to sleep right after the big payoff, whether the payoff proceeds from phone sex or real sex. The reason for this is, after a payoff, a man becomes more honest than at any other time in his life. If he does not go to sleep, it is quite likely he will say something he’ll regret, like, “That was nice honey, but your sister was better,” or, “Let’s get married.”

What is the real deal with you and Helen? Will you be the first inter-Munuvian marriage?

Time will tell, but I can say that we aren’t flirting for the sake of flirting. Helen and I truly admire one another, if I may be so presumptuous as to speak for her. Let’s put it this way – if the opportunity arose, I would very much like to meet her in person, and then take her out to dinner in person, and then rip off her clothes and have passionate sex with her in person. [Insert “Third Person” grammatical pun].

You need to pick one Munuvian who is not named Helen to accompany you to Mardi Gras. Who is it and why?

No question – Jim from Snooze Button Dreams. Here’s a tip: always attend Mardi Gras with a guy who is willing to have himself photographed sucking on a cow’s udder.

Do you have a favorite breed of dog?

Pitt bull.

How about a favorite breed of cow?


And what is your favorite flower?

I don’t know. What kind of flowers did Georgia O’Keefe paint that were supposed to look like female genitalia?

Do you prefer Mexican or Italian?


Which South Park character best epitomizes your personality?

Stan, I think. He’s the one who’s in love with Wendy, right? Yeah, I’m a Stan kind of guy because, even though he can trade insults with the best of them, he has real emotional depth. Plus he’s not Jewish.

You are a trained assassin who can get away with murdering anybody. Who do you take out first?

That’s an awful question! Now if I meet a trained assassin, I won’t be able to kill the person I want to kill because the police will know right away who did it. Don’t you people ever think things through?

Monopoly. Do you cheat?

No, but if I fall significantly behind, I have been known to bring antitrust lawsuits.

Posted by Jennifer at 12:01 AM | Comments (4)

December 05, 2003

You Asked, Tim Answers

Tim answers your questions!

And attempts to alienate a whole country of women!

Find out which and much, much more!

Why did you decide on Canadian university?

I wanted to go to a small school that was theologically conservative Reformed (otherwise I would end up spending all my time arguing debating :)) and I really liked Redeemer University College when I visited it; everything I heard was positive about it and it really seemed like the place God wanted me to be.

Also, the exchange rate basically means a 30% discount on everything. That’s a definite plus.

What's the biggest difference you've noticed between American women and Canadian women?

Canadian girls are, I think, better-looking and more intelligent. Though they tend to be politically more liberal. There’s not much difference though; we’re so alike culturally.

Seen any Mounties?

I don’t think so although I suspect they go undercover and just wear suits and ties a la Men in Black.

How often do you say "ay" a day now?

It’s ‘eh’, and I’m not sure. I do use it quite a bit though. It’s quite disturbing how fast I’ve picked up the accent, eh?

What's the name of that crappy Canadian beer with the card suit? It's a diamond, spade, or something on it.

I dunno – I can’t drink for another couple months yet.

What is with Canadian liquor laws?

Apparently Canadians feel that eighteen-year-olds (19 in Ontario) are really no stupider than a twenty-one year old and so should be allowed to drink. Quite sensible, eh? I have a feeling I’m going to be very popular among some guys from my high school.

“Hey Tim, we came to see you. How you doing? Let’s go to a bar.”

So thousands of Americans died for independence from the crown and you voluntarily went back. What do you have to say for yourself?

I’m still a loyal little-r republican (and big-R, too, of course)… but I don’t have too many problems with the Crown. I think the Anglosphere would be better off if we had worked within the system – it would have been a longer process but in the long run it would have led to greater economic prosperity.

You have to spend three months in an igloo in the Northern Territory. You can bring one Munuvian. Who is it and why?

Pixy, so he can rig up satellite Internet for me (if that’s possible?). As if I’m going to be internet-free for a quarter of a year, yeah right. Also because then I can pick up his cool accent, without having to go down under and deal with the poisonous snakes, spiders, jellyfish, etc.

Which 3 dvds do you bring to the igloo (assuming it is furnished with a dvd player)?

I think I would need some Monty Python goodness to see me through, so The Holy Grail, how about a season of South Park and, oh, let’s go with the French movie Amelie, which is probably my favourite movie and about the only good thing to come out of France since French freedom fries…

Wool. Wonderful or itchy?

Wonderfully itchy. Actually, I don’t think I own any wool clothing. Sheep are good though, eh? I like sheep.

How many pairs of long underwear do you own?

One, and it has a US flag on it. I’m patriotic right down to my underclothes—and beyond…

What size shoes do you wear?

9, I think. Small, but I’m sort of a small guy (5 ft 6 in, 160 cm). You’ll never mistake me for a clown (shudder).

Are oranges really worth the effort?

They sure are. You wouldn’t want to get scurvy, eh? Plus it’s sort of fun to rip apart an orange. I always try to get the peel off in one piece. And the sort of twisting thing you do to get the top part off is uberfun as well. (hunger) I’m going to go check out the kitchen now… be right back. (/hunger) Yes! we have oranges (or as we say in West Michigan, “arr-nges”… got the peel off in five pieces plus the two ends. Dang, my orange-peeling skills have deteriorated. Now that I think about it, I haven’t had fruit for a long time. On to the next question.

Do you eat breakfast?

Never. Speaking of food, I now have citrusy goodness all over my hands which is good except that now there’s orange smell on my keyboard and when I take my laptop to class people will think I’m wearing perfume and that could be awkward.

Any allergies? Food or otherwise?

Um, I think I’m allergic to fresh-cut grass. I used to mow the long until I realized that I spent more time going to get a kleenex than I did behind the mower. Still on that food note, this orange is really hard to open. That nasty white stuff is clutching the sweet, juicy orange like a T-cell on a bacterium and it makes me mad. Stupid white stuff. You don’t even taste good, get off my orange!

Why did you start to blog?

I needed somewhere to rant.

Do any bloggers influence you?

No, I am completely independent of any influence.

Actually, no. I of course am dependent on my blogging-circle (Munuvia, Tiger, Bill, Frank J., etc) and the wider blogosphere for quite a lot of the news and fun stuff I link to, but I think I have a lot more independent, self-produced stuff than a lot of people. You see, I have these essays in my head but my profs don’t understand that and give me a lot of boring essays to write. So I procrastinate on those and do the ones I want to do. In the final result, my education, me and society as a whole are harmed by these actions but you, the blogger/reader, benefit. You owe me; don’t forget it.

Who was the first blogger to link to you?


If you could hack one blog, whose would it be and what would you do with it?

Frank J.’s I think, and I’d show those yokels what real humour is. Or maybe get myself assassinated by angry IMAO readers and/or monkeys. Whatever. I have liberated the orange from its oppressor the White Stuff and am presently consuming it. It’s very good.

Describe a perfect weekday evening in Tim's world.

No homework – or maybe an essay that’s fun to write, something in Prof. Koyzis’ Political Science class next semester? and a evening when everyone’s home (at our dorm) and maybe a few people over and we play Mafia or a board game and just have a lot of fun. I’m not a huge fan of big parties or eating out although I don’t mind the latter especially cuz it means food.

The perfect evening, however, just might be a Munuvia (re)union. That would be pretty sweet, eh?

The orange has now been liberated completely from the White Stuff and is freely and democratically digesting in my stomach.

Posted by Jennifer at 07:00 AM | Comments (4)

December 03, 2003

You Asked, Kin Answers

The wonderful, the fabulous Kin has answered your questions!

Kin was the first blogger to ask me to marry him and therefore holds a very special place in my heart.

You should read his interview.

I'll be checking to see that you did. :-)

Who is Christie and why is she diverting your attention from me?

She’s a wonderful girl, a fellow blogger, and someone who will remain nameless. Here’s hoping she gets some play soon.

Why blog?

Why brush your teeth?

Which blogs (if any) do you have to check every day?

Instapundit of course. Tim Blair is a long time favorite. The Bitch Girls was one of the first blogs I read and graces my browser regularly. For the daily dose of humor I check out The Yeti but since he has stopped chatting up the cute barmaids he’s less of a draw. If you consider Opinion Journal’s Best of the Web a blog then that’s actually my first read every day…on the wirless PDA and read on the way to work. I check out JenLars.Mu.Nu at least 8 times a day on the off chance that she’ll post some personal porn.

You only dated your wife 6 weeks before proposing. How will you react if one of your children ends up in a similar situation?

I’d be totally supportive. I’d be more worried if they dated for a year. If you don’t know after a month then something is wrong. Granted…I also don’t expect my kids to start dating until they’re ready to make a commitment.

How did you know she was "the one"?

When I realized that we had the same goals in life, that when we looked 10-15-20 years down the line, we both wanted to be in the exact same place. And you know what…we’re ahead of the game. Oh yeah…and she laughed at my jokes.

Why is your wife so wonderful?

Well, lots of reasons. I don’t want to give anyone the wrong impression, my wife is a very strong, independent minded person. She’s very much an individual who does things because she thinks they’re right and not to conform to anyone else’s opinion of how she should behave. With all that…she walks me to the door every morning when I go off to work. Sends me off with a kiss and stands by the door until I’m around the corner. She has breakfast ready for me in the morning and dinner when I get home at night. She knows when I need cuddling and puts up with me all grabbing her grabbable bits. She has a smile that radiates. If I’m happy…she’s happy. She’s the perfect mother, even handed, never snappy, always with a gentle word. And she laughs at my jokes.

You haven't had any pets of your own? Not even some goldfish from a fair that died after 3 hours?

Oh…one of those. I think I realized pets weren’t my thing when I did get a gold fish at the fair. I was changing it’s water and it slipped down the drain and died. Half the house stunk for a week. My sister had cat that lived 20 something years and a dog that could jump 12 foot fences. I was happy to have a book.

Why do you have such a problem being complimented?

I don’t know. Just makes me self-conscious. I know what I did. You know what I did. If there’s room for improvement, say ‘good job, here’s where it could have been better’. Anything else is wasting time.

Why were you kicked out of sleepaway camp?

Heh. Let’s see…I brought fireworks. And nunchakus. And shurekeins. And a Playboy. I also told a younger kid I’d beat him up if he told anyone about the Playboy. He told. I didn’t have the chance to follow through before I was on the next bus home. Granted, the camp director personally invited me to come back the following year. I never understood that. When I was a counselor and they kicked a kid out in my division I almost quit when they took him back for the second session. What idiocy.

Aren't you worried that Akira will show up to kick your ass?

That’s why I keep a Kaneda action figure on my computer.

Name your favorite constellation.

I was going to quip “that would require some knowledge of astronomy”, but could actually name a few dozen. None really stand out though. Orion I guess, because it was the easiest to spot from my granparents stoep( look it up) in Cape Town.

Who is your favorite "Sex and the City" girl?

The one played by Jen Lars.

Blondes, brunettes, or redheads? Or Sinead O'Connor?

All of the above? I always knew I’d marry a brunette with blue eyes, that’s been a given since about 2nd grade (thank you Amy). As a matter of fact all the girls I’ve ever dated have been brunettes (at least naturally…one was a bleach blonde and a bottle red head and black and she always made sure the carpet matched the curtains, needless to say I was a shocked little naïve boy). Red heads certainly are stunning, I can stair at a real red head for hours. But that also might have to do with having a thing for freckles. And blondes? Well…what guy doesn’t like blondes?

You can meet four people currently living. Who are they?

I’m not sure about this one. The number of people who stand out as truly great, in this day and age, is limited. We’re more a generation of lots of people doing small things that together makes us greater. I’ve had the privilege of being in the presence of some of the greatest Rabbis of our times so I really don’t feel lacking in the ‘people I’ve met’ department. I never had any great desire to meet famous people…well at least since I passed puberty and no longer lust after Linda Carter (mmmm…Wonder Woman fetish).

What is your favorite comic strip?

Hmmm…good question. I’m a big fan of Web Comics. Something Positive is one of my current favorites. It’s very irreverent and I get a tremendous kick out of it. It’s also exceptionally offensive, so come prepared. Chris Muir’s Day by Day also rocks. As far as syndicated strips go…all my favorites have been discontinued. Bloom County, Liberty Meadows, Frumpy the Clown. Siiiigh.

Is it difficult to keep kosher all the time?

Not really. Like anything else, once you’ve gotten over the initial willpower barrier it’s much easier. I wouldn’t say it was harder when I went to Japan, there is no kosher food there (except Haagen-Daz and M&Ms), but I adore Japanese food. So it was kind of annoying seeing all that amazing food all over the place and not being able to eat any. It wasn’t difficult in a – oh I gotta get me some of that now, kind of way. More like a – being thirsty on a boat in the middle of the sea kind of way.

What made you choose to live in Israel?

For 2000 years Jews have dreamed about coming back to Israel. It’s were we belong. I came after high school for the year and that was it. It was just the natural thing to do. I really couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.

What adjustments did you have to make, moving from America to Israel?

When I first came it was very different. It was much more Middle Eastern, with less Western influence. You couldn’t get all sorts of things that are commonplace in the US, even two-ply tissues. But now there’s almost nothing you can’t get here. Though I came when I was 18, so I had no problem ‘roughing’ it. I’ve gotten used to it know, so when I go to the states everything seems so opulent and over done. Dealing with socialism is a bit more of a pain. Lots of bureaucracy, which is evil, strikes suck.

When did you leave South Africa for America?

When I was 3. My father was very active in anti-apartheid and had a young family. We had our phone tapped and lots of his friends were banned. I became a naturalized American citizen when I was in 7th grade. They threw a party for my sister (who was in 8th at the time) and me, which was pretty cool.

What changes do you remember between the two?

I was really too young to know the difference. I do know that my sister fell in love with coffee yogurt and my father was amazed to see the selection in the supermarket. I’m still amazed when I go into a Safeway and see an entire aisle of just water. America…what a country.

Posted by Jennifer at 12:02 AM | Comments (1)

December 01, 2003

You Asked, Jon Henke Answers

Jon Henke has answered your questions!

Learn a little personal info on a mainly political blogger. And a thought or two on the presidential election, of course.

Great interview. Bonus points for mentioning Space Ghost. Click it now!

Shouldn't it be "Quando"?

- - -That's how it sounds in my head, too. I call it "Q and O", but "Quando" is a better mental shorthand. In retrospect, "Substance. Abuse." may have been a better blog name, based on my blogging style.
I'm still debating a switch to my own .com so I may still switch it.

(already, the interview has suspense!)

Coke, Pepsi, or Shasta?

- - -Shasta. Not because of any particular love for Shasta, though. I can't even think of what Shasta tastes like.

I've long been tired of the regular sodas. They bore me. At this point, I'd far prefer something a bit different, than another godforsaken normal soda.

Frankly, I buy store brand sodas when grocery shopping. Not to save the 30 cents, either. I could afford to splurge on the good stuff....if I could tell the difference. Since I can't, I go with the stuff I haven't had a million times.

(But if I really have my druthers, I'll take sweet tea every day of the week)

What's your favorite flavor Ramen Noodle?

- - -How did you know?

First, I have to clarify.....I don't like the stuff that you get 8/$1.00. I like the Ramen in a cup....add water, 2 minutes in the microwave. Preferably one of the spicy varieties.

(note: How pathetic is it that I can have specific tastes in Ramen?)

What's your astrological sign? Do you know the personality traits that go with it?

- - -Capricorn...and no. The stars do not control our destinies, nor do they dictate our personalities. And before anybody asks, I also don't believe in alchemy, flying saucers, ghosts or Santa Claus.

Not that I'm mocking those who do.

(Wait. Yes, I am)

Do you have a favorite planet?

- - -GhostPlanet, home of SpaceGhost, Coast to of the best TV shows ever.
(uh, Earth, too. For obvious reasons. At least, I hope they're obvious)

Why did you start a blog?

- - -For quite a long time, I've participated in discussions groups. (Yahoogroups, for example) The never-ending debates forced me to think through my assumptions, refine my arguments and back up my opinions with facts. And, sometimes, I changed my mind.

A few months ago, the discussion groups were growing tiresome. We were having the same arguments over and over, and I wasn't learning anything new. The once-interesting war debates had been reduced to variations on "Bush lied, people died!" repeated ad nauseum. Debunking the myriad myths had become a Sisyphean task....I'd push the facts to the top of the hill, only to have some partisan (from either side) roll it back down. And I'd have to start all over again.

I'd been introduced to blogs via Dale Franks who was simply the most intelligent, effective debater I'd come across. His blog was my entry and I found many others from there. When the discussion groups grew tiresome, it occurred to me that I may as put all that research and arguments into a blog. I was doing the work already.

So, I deluded myself into thinking I had something valuable to add to political discourse and began to blog.

Have those reasons changed or evolved at all?

- - -To a degree, I suppose. I won't lie....there's a bit of satisfaction knowing that people actually read the blog. That's nice....and it's motivation, too.

I think it's important that political discourse be elevated, when possible. Too much of the criticism (and not just criticism of Bush. I've criticized him a lot, too) is based on falsehoods, strawmen, and other logical fallacies. I think it's important to point that out. So, I spend a lot of time meme-busting. I suppose that's a bit of an evolution.
I also began "blog rolling"....writing a post (a day, if possible) consisting of links, with commentary, to other bloggers I'd found interesting. I don't know if anybody actually follows the links, but it's become an interesting reason for me to read through my blogroll (and other blogs) to find interesting points and think about them.

So, I guess blogging is just another intellectual exercise.

Have any bloggers influenced or helped you?

- - -Damn straight. Quite a lot, too. Where to begin.
I'll list influences.

1: Dale Franks...He'd be my "blogfather". He has a muscular, incisive, intelligent writing style that I admire....and, yes, envy. I can't emphasize enough how good his blog is. Like me, he's a (small "l") libertarian, with a strong Realist approach to national defense.

2: Pejmanesque...Always find interesting stuff there, and he's smart to boot. A decent mix of aggregator blogging and commentary. Wish I could match his output. Both he and Dale have been very kind to me since I've begun blogging.

3: Instapundit...How can you not admire a guy who can process and link so much useful information every day?

4: IMAO...He's funny. Seriously, one of the funniest writers I've read, and I've read a lot. He's climbed my "funniest authors" ladder quickly....surpassed Dave Barry and rests just below Douglas Adams and PJ O'Rourke. He's going to be famous one day, and I wish I could do something to help that day come sooner. His work deserves it.

5: Econopundit...Fact-based economic commentary. Useful, and thought-provoking, if you're interested in that sort of thing.

6: Lileks...A national treasure. Lileks does the sort of writing that increases you. Common sense, expressed poignantly.

7: JustOneMinute...He does the sort of investigative blogging that I appreciate....and would like to do more often. He makes me work harder.

There are so many others that influence me...... Cointelprotool, The Belgravia Dispatch, Hobbsonline, etc. Too many to mention, but all good.

You have a "ranking" blogroll. (Blogs you like, etc.) Do you have any qualms about that?

- - -Well, heck, I do now. Thanks a lot. I hadn't really thought of it like that.

I guess I should explain the divisions.....
1: Council of Doom - the bloggers that I regard as the most important reads. The first blogs I read every day. The ones that influence, inform and increase me. They are also among the first blogs I discovered.

2: The Justice League - blogs that I find very valuable, in terms of news, information and opinion. They are (generally) my erudite editorial page.

3: The Loyal Opposition - Bloggers with which I disagree...but find worth reading, for one reason or another. Some, (Yglesias) I respect. Others, (Atrios) I think are just muckrakers. In either case, it's worth keeping up.

4: Blogs I like - Actually, many of these could very well be in the Justice League. I started it to include blogs that were more personality driven. Yourish, the Anti-idiotarian Rotweiller, etc. Blogs I just found interesting. Now that I think of it, I suppose it's become an odd category, since so many do belong in the Justice League.

5: Reciprocity - Bloggers that linked to me. I didn't seek these out, necessarily, although I did read some of them already. The reciprocity category is not, in any way, a "lower level" than the others. I enjoy all of them, to one degree or another, and I really enjoy some of them.

6: For My Consideration - Blogs I'm checking out for awhile, to see if I should add them to my blogroll. Some, I'm finding, are invaluable.

I should emphasize, there really isn't a "ranking" involved, except insofar as I find some blogs more valuable in terms of political/economic instruction. That doesn't mean I don't enjoy other kinds of blogs, too.
I gave very little thought to the categories when I set them up....mostly, they just sort of evolved. If I have an epiphany, a new idea, I may change it. I certainly hope nobody is bothered by their position on the blogroll. (and I'm always looking to expand it, too. Whether it be for valuable insights, or reciprocity)

Are there any TV shows you absolutely cannot miss?

- - -Not really. TV is just an appliance for me. I usually have it on in the background, but I don't necessarily watch it all the time. I do enjoy The Chapelle Show, Reno 911, SpaceGhost Coast to Coast, Kudlow and Cramer, Scrubs, Malcolm in the Middle, occassional C-Span, and a few others. Nothing is vital, though.

Oh....there is SpongeBob Squarepants....but that's mostly for my son, Alex, who will sit still for it.

Can you believe the whole Victor and Nick Newman thing?

- - -No! Who are they?

Quick Google search turns up references to soap operas. The names should have given it away.
Let me guess....square-jawed, good looking brothers. Involved in some sort of love triangle. Death, disappearance, identity swapping or serious medical problems are involved. Every scene ends with silence and long hard stares. They look, look away, and look back. That's the formula, anyway.

Who is your favorite actor? Actress? Performance animal?

- - -Hm....I'm almost as disinterested in movies as I am in music. Some people like sculpture, others don't. I'm the guy who doesn't like music....and movies aren't that great, either.

Having said that....I do appreciate Steve Martin. What great range....what a funny guy.
Actress? None would make me go out of my way to see her. None that I can think of, anyway.
Animal? No. Do people really have favorite performance animals? How many of them actually get more than one role?
Aren't you disappointed when your favorite pig never breaks out into dramatic roles? Bacon....that's their only real contribution, isn't it?

Which actor would you dip in a vat of acid? Actress? Performance animal?

- - -Uh, what sort of sadist do you take me for? Really, I can't imagine I'd dip anybody in a vat of acid.
I guess it worked well for Jack Nicholson in Batman, but otherwise, it's probably not a nice thing to do.

I know Kim Jong-Il is a big movie fan, and has commissioned movies, too.....has he been in anything? I don't think anybody would object if I dipped him.

Do you have any pets?

- - -I have three cats. Two of which are, my wife's. I've had Cleo for 9 years now and we've been through just about everything together. Hard to imagine life without her.

My wife wants to get a dog, but I'm just not sure I'm ready for that level of committment....or annoyance. I like animals that you can pet.....or not. Whatever. Dogs require too much attention.

How about pet peeves?

- - -Oh, yes. A few:

1: I am guilty of it, sometimes, but I hate ending a sentence with a preposition.
2: People who say "sherbert". No such's called "sherbet".
3: People who are willing to whine, but not willing to actually DO anything to fix their problem.
4: People who make logical fallacies, and defend them, even after it's pointed out that it's a logical fallacy. (correlation, for the last time, IS NOT CAUSATION!)
5: Geraldo Rivera, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity....the overrated trinity.
6: Reality TV. (good lord, people, you're pathetic. Please get off my television)
7: Musicians. (great. You care deeply about *fill in the blank*, AND you can rhyme it with something else, while somebody plays a what?)
8: Tabloid news. My god, Scott Peterson is not's "coverage". (Nor is Michael Jackson, Ben and Jen and assorted other celebrity 15-minute rule abusers) Don't we have important things going on in the world? Couldn't I be learning something instead?

There are more, but I'll leave it there.

Any thoughts on cigarette smoking?

- - -Smoking is like being gay. I don't do it, but I don't care if you do. Just don't do it in my house, please....there's a kid around. Also, I don't want the residue on my couch.

I've never smoked, and can't really understand why people start....but to each their own. If you want to die early, it's not my place to stop you.

Do you think the United States will ever legalize marijuana?

- - -Yes. The trend, I think, is moving in that direction. Like smoking, I'm not in favor of people doing it....but it's none of my business if they choose to do so.
I think it's going to become clear that the "war on drugs" is a miserable failure, and we could do a lot more, and more efficiently, if we didn't toss marijuana in the same category as cocaine, and other more problematic drugs.
I say legalize it....and regulate the hell out of it. I think it will eventually happen, first at the state level, eventually gaining momentum, and becoming the norm. I think it will be a de facto law, before it is an actual law. We'll just stop enforcing it, before we actually codify it.

What is the biggest weakness facing the Republicans next year?

- - -Bush's spending record. It's a no win thing, too. If he'd spent less, he'd be criticized for not spending enough, especially during a recession/post recession period. (counter-cyclical policy being the Keynesian solution to recessions) And nobody, but nobody, was suggesting we cut the military budget after 9/11.

I'm not worried that his fiscal recklessness will cost him votes among Democrats. They're not going to vote for him, no matter how much social spending he does, or does not, support. I'm worried that moderates and libertarians will support a candidate like Howard Dean, in the misguided notion that he will be fiscally responsible.
That's not a very good gamble.

By the time the next election rolls around, the economy will be a plus for Bush, and the Iraq situation should be more resolved. At least enough that Bush can point to some success, rather than the current, necessary "on the way" stage.

What is their biggest strength?

- - -Bush is the only candidate who is actually serious about national defense. I mean, my god, "let the UN handle it" is not a national's an abdication of responsibility. The UN is a nice organization, and useful at times. It is NOT an end,'s a means to an end. Sometimes, that "means" is useless, and should be discarded so that the end can be accomplished.

Teddy Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan realized that. Bush does, too. I'm not sure if the Democrats really don't, or if they're just picking sides and Bush is on the other side.....but it's dangerous wishful thinking.

What is the best thing that ever happened to you while you were school-age?

- - -I was once expelled from high school for some nonsense, by a principal who was eventually fired for that sort of thing. That was good for me, in the long run, although it didn't feel like it at the time. Built character, taught me to question authority, examine my assumptions more closely....that sort of thing.

Other than that, I'd say "just living through school" was pretty good.
I made it....I'd never want to do it again, but it was an important thing to do. Once.

Thanks for the questions. It was interesting, and it appealed to the narcissist in me.

Posted by Jennifer at 05:55 AM | Comments (2)

November 26, 2003

You Asked, Tuning Spork Answers!

(Sorry this is a bit late. My fault, not Spork's.)

Tuning Spork has answered all your questions!

Click it and bask in the glory that is Spork's unique take on...well, just about everything.

Click it. Now. Seriously. I'm not kidding.

Have you ever eaten a baby?
None that I know of. [*snark, chortle*] Okay, bad joke. Actually, I made
some veal parmigiana once, but it was very old cheese.

Lord of the Rings or Star Wars?
Star Wars. I've never seen Lord of the Rings. Come to think of it, I've
never seen the recent Star Wars episodes either. (Well, I saw parts of
Episode 1 with my nephew; but he kept fast forwarding to the "good

Star Wars or Star Trek?
Star Trek all the way. Old; new; happy medium; all of them! Well, maybe
not so much Voyager. I mean, the Doctor was the only interesting
character. I had great hopes for Tuvok but they never wrote anything
interesting for him. What a waste of seven seasons.

Are you bitter about Jen flaunting her affair with the PB?
Nah, I'm just happy that she announced it on her blog rather than tellin'
me first. If she'd let me know first I might have felt "singled out." I'm
just happy that my fiance feels free enough to know what she wants and
how to go for it. No, really I am! *glug glug glug*

Do you think your belonging to the Alliance of Fuschia Blogs or whatever
it is contributed to her straying?

*glug glug* Now lishen here: Shennifer ish the queen of all she shurveyzh
and that'sh m'kay widd me, m'kay? Sho, let'sh not hear
any*hic*...any*hic*..any*BRAAP* more of thish shillinessh. What! I'm not
chrunk, yyyeeeeeeeooo are!! Shhhhh......

Which blogs inspire you?
All of them! Okay, that's a cop-out answer. IMAO because it's hillarious
(though I haven't been able to read FrankJ in two months since my
monitor's color scheme is f'd up). Emporer Misha because he has the gift of kvetch and seems to be able to -- like his old army drill sargeant -- swear for two hours straight without ever repeating himself (though I can't read him much anymore either [easier than IMAO, but still too much of a strain in large doses]). DFMoore for his excellent posts about
science, politics and all things interesting (though he really needs to
post some more Science At Home stuff), and for being about the closest
thing I've seen (along with spinsanity) to my original concept of Blather Review.
The biggest inspiration I had when I started at BlogSpot, back in
February, was the writing of Peggy Noonan and Bill Whittle. I wanted to
write essays about what I believe, and why, and make it sound like a
Reagan speech or something. But that's both time consuming and limiting,
so I went ahead and did other types of posts as well. Now I just like to
go ahead and forget about having a coherent style of blog and just write
whatever the hell I feel like writing. So, in answer to your question;
None of them!

You have a flair for storytelling. Plan to use that more in the future?
Thank you! :D I don't really plan to do anything; blog posts, write with
a certain style, dental work... One day I'll write a psuedo-scholarly
thesis on the Constitutionality of the Controlled Substances Act, the
next day I'll tell a dirty joke involving two snakes and a bass-o-matic.
(Oh, remind me to tell you that joke some day...)

How come there are never any Bartenders in your lies
stories? And where is the smoke-filled gin joint?

Hmm. Well, I don't have a lot of experience with Bartenders as I rarely
go to bars (especially since the *cough* smoking ban). I pretty much only
go to one bar, The Smoke-Filled Gin Joint The Windmill,
and only when my friends' band is playing. That's usually on a Friday
night, so my intereaction with bartenders usually goes something like:
"I'll have a pitcher of Louenbrau!" "You had a bitch of a colon plow?!"
"What was that?!" "No, she never showed up, but what can I get ya?!"

How many degrees between you and Kevin Bacon?
I know this: three! I met Marion Ross at the Atticus Book Store/Cafe in
New Haven back in college (circa 1983). She, of course, played Marion
Cunningham -- mother of Richie -- in "Happy Days." Richie was played by
Ron Howard, who directed Kevin Bacon in "Apollo 13".

What is your best childhood memory about the holidays?
It was Christmas Eve, I was six years old. I was in bed, but I wasn't
asleep. I leaned on the windowsill just beside my bed and stared at the
night sky hoping the glimpse Santa and his sleigh.
I saw a red light in the sky. "Rudolph!" I thought. It was Rudolph
lighting the way as Santa Claus made his way to my neighborhood and, any
minute now, my Christmas tree!
Then a streak of light crossed the sky. "AAAAAAHH!!!" I screamed. My
mother came rushing into the bedroom.
"Sporkster!" (My mother called me Sporkster) "What's wrong?!"
"Santa Claus re-entered the atmosphere at too steep an angle and burned
up on re-entry! I saw it!" I told her everything I'd seen, including Rudolph.
"Oh, honey," Mom consoled me as she stroked my hair. "That wasn't Santa,
that was just a shooting star. And the red light you saw was probably an
airplane; or maybe Mars."
"But how do you know? How do you know?!" I cried with tears streaming
down my face.
"Because Santa died three months ago. It was in all the papers." I wept
tears of sorrow for Santa and cried myself to sleep wondering if Mrs.
Claus was dating again. "Woe be to that guy," I thought, "She's on the
The next morning the living room was filled with toys, games, and even a
new bicycle!!
"But..." I stammered at my mother, "I thought you said Santa was dead."
"Psyche!!" she yelled, pointing at me. I'd been had! Santa was alive and
well and I had a new bike! I'll always remember that as the Christmas
that almost wasn't.

If you could hijack one blog and call it your own, which would it be?
Would it be a bloodless coup?

The Daily Dish. I mean, Andrew Sullivan has the gall to have pledge weeks and rakes in thousands and thousands of dollars. Just for asking! Like he's about to go broke or something. The cheek. The cheek! Yeah, I'd take that deal. Bloodless coup? Uh... not to get all disturbingly serious/morbid/morose, but the man is HIV positive. So, yeah, definately bloodless.

You can spend 3 weeks in a tent in the woods with one Munuvian. Who is it and why?
Oh, great, I have to pick one fantasy tent-mate and alienate the rest of
the babes. Well, I'm not gonna do it. Nope, you can't make me! Shut
up, I'm not playing! Okay, LeeAnn. She seems like a camper-type to me; good for laughs, could probably get the fire going, and maybe even stare down some bears in the meantime.

You have to put one celebrity on a spit to be roasted and eaten by
pygmies. Who is it?

Steven Segal. The guy's a frickin' jerk and his movies suck.

If you could pick between absolute knowledge and absolute power, which would you choose?
Power!!! I think absolute knowledge would be pretty paralyzing (I keep
thinking of Ray Milland in "The Man With The X-Ray Eyes"). I guess it's
kind of like a choice between being Q (from ST:TNG) or Christ. It'd be
much more fun to be Q.

Samantha or Jeannie?
Samantha. Jeannie's both too powerful and too stupid. Samantha is more
real, and we're talking about Reality here.

Pick three people from any era to have dinner with.
Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton and James Madison. I've always wanted to
know what Madison thought of the static trans-conical collapse patterns
in gluon dynamics.

Who is your favorite Secretary of State?
Sticking with the post-War SoS's, and not giving this one a whole lot of
thought, I'm gonna say James Baker. He's smart, had great priorities, saw
the big picture, and didn't seem to be wrestling any demons.

What is one thing no one knows about you that you think everyone should know about you?
That I'm a very secretive person.

Any tattoos, piercings, or other distinguishing characteristics?
Tattoos: Nope. Tattoos have become a "chick thing." I recently saw some
show that had a "man/woman in the street" segment called "Tattoo, or no
tattoo." They asked a question or two of each passerby then asked you to
guess if they had a tattoo or not. More than half of the women had
tattoos; none of the guys did.
Piercings: Nope. I, for some reason, consider most piercings to be
vulgar. Earlobes are okay, I'm used to seeing those. But anything else?
Other distinguishing characteristics: Just a few uninteresting birthmarks
and this second head I have growing out of the side of my neck. You're
the second head, Dipshit. No, you are, Asswipe.

Have you ever had a moment of pure joy? If so, please describe it.
Ten and a half years ago I left work and ended up in a room in the
maternity ward of Bridgeport Hospital. My sister had given birth that
afternoon to my nephew. The moment I saw him I knew that he was the
cutest thing I'd ever seen.
As you can imagine, the room/hall/floor was completely silent. When
anyone spoke it was in very hushed tones, what with newborns trying to
get some sleep and all.
I just stared at him; wrapped in a towel/blanket thing; breathing and
sleeping. The wispy blonde hair and puffy lips on the end of this teeny
tiny adorable little bundle of a baby. I eventually turned to my sister.
"Well?" she asked with a sly smile. "Did I do good or what?"
You couldn't wipe the grins off of our faces.
He's ten years old now, and still tiny and cute.. and fiesty, just like
his mom.

Posted by Jennifer at 11:46 AM | Comments (4)

November 24, 2003

You Asked, The Smarter Cop Answers

Pietro has answered all your questions!

Learn why he wants to be Alec Baldwin and the two words every man needs to know.

Click it.

So what is your actual first name?

You think I'd lie about my first name? It's Smarter.
Just kidding... it's Peter; the 'Pietro' pseudonym is just the Italian variation.

Why aren't the "10" radio commands standard throughout the country? "10-04" is, but a lot of the others vary from area to area.

I think you have me mistaken for Jennifer. She's the one who answers those kinds of questions for free. And if you take me for an expert in radio, well, the only radio I know about is the one that keeps me awake on long drives.
If you're just dying for an answer: it's because in many regions of the country, people count with their fingers.. take '10-four', for example; police will sometimes drive by other officers holding up 4 fingers, as if to say, "Are you OK?"
Four fingers back usually means "Yes", but sometimes means, "Yeah, same to you, moron!" when scraped under the chin forcibly. The meaning of the codes is definitely culturally dependent.

Is Bart really as dumb as people say he is?

Undoubtedly. He readily admits to an IQ of 64. From exposure to his level of wit and logic, I have him pegged at 77. The only person dumber would have to be Barbra Streisand.

What's the whale bone connected to?

The harpoon, of course.

Peanuts: salted or unsalted?

{Looking around} OK, where's the camera? How did you know I was eating peanuts?
I like them salted, preferably dry roasted. The unsalted variety leave a paste in the mouth, and are more suitable for cooking dishes like Pad Thai... Mmmmmm.

How many licks til the center of a Tootsie Pop?

Barring any unseen Freudian psychoanalytic intent behind the question, the answer is three. Just ask the owl.

What ice cream flavor is your favorite?

I'd like to find out who conducts the stupid polls that suggest that 'chocolate' or 'vanilla' is America's favorite ice cream flavor. Give me a break. You want some ice cream. Do you pick out vanilla, or do you take some of that Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough? Mere chocolate or Rocky Road? The more stuff in the ice cream that's not ice cream, the better.
At this point, I'd like to make a confession. Liberalism is good for one thing, and one thing only... making ice cream. My favorite ice cream flavor happens to be Ben and Jerry's Phish Phood, which I enjoy consuming with one hand while I shamelessly lambaste their idiotic "True Majority" compost. Hey Ben and Jerry, keep smokin' em while you can.... losing your perpetual case of the munchies will cause serious damage to America's economy.

If you had to spend your life on a desert isle with one famous actress from any era (you can pick her age), whom would she be?

It would probably be Dawn Wells. She's already had extensive island experience, and I think I would make her life much easier and pain-free than Gilligan ever did.

If you could only watch 5 dvd's for the rest of your life, which would you pick?

1) Indiana Jones Trilogy
2) Lord Of the Rings, all extended versions.
3) Monty Python and the Holy Grail
4) Blackhawk Down
5) Evil Dead

If you could be ANY celebrity for one day, who would you be and why?

I'd be Alec Baldwin for a day, so I can totally confuse everybody by fully supporting the President, waving the flag proudly, owning a firearm, mooning Michael Moore at the Academy Awards, enlisting in the Army Reserves, and making sure that I was scheduled for a frontal lobotomy the following morning.

What is your least favorite vegetable, and would you choke it down to save Michael Moore's life?

My least favorite vegetable is the squash. I'm not sure if it would MATTER if I had to choke down squash to save Michael Moore's life. For one thing, squash is not conducive to choking; second, if Michael Moore were in the same room with me he'd have downed all the squash before I had an opportunity to take a bite.

You've heard the Marxist phrase: "From each according to his
ability; to each according to his needs." If that was policy: what would

All liberals would be out of a job, since the world has no need for them, and would be better off without them. They have absolutely nothing of value to offer.

Why did you start blogging?

Obviously not for the chicks, fame, or money; none of those have mysteriously appeared since I started blogging. I think the number one reason I started blogging was to be able to share my love of writing and creative thought. I've always enjoyed writing, the process of writing, and exchange of thought. Reason number two was to vent my frustration at all the antagonistic liberals out there who appear to be oblivious to all reason and logic. They're the ones who think they have a better plan but can never tell us what it is; it's just better. This is the perfect opportunity to present them with a better way, one that makes a great deal more sense and is not completely stupid.
Finally, while I feel my true forte' is in fiction and I would love to spend time in worlds of my own creation, real life is simply too pressing to ignore; the men and women of the blogosphere have shown themselves to be a community, supportive and respectful of each other, one that I'm proud to be a part of and help guide to public relevance and importance.

Do you think you get inspiration from any other bloggers?

But of course! What is blogging without mutual admiration? There are blogs that I truly enjoy and look forward to reading every day. First and foremost, Glenn Reynolds is the master. He doesn't really have a unique angle or style of writing like other bloggers; he just knows where the links are, and everyone wants to be like him. Then there's Kevin, who's inspired me to write at least one bona-fide rotten entry per week; Michele, who shares my love of Faith No More and has a sardonic sense of humor I haven't yet begun to fathom; Kate, who has a mastery of the alphabet unlike any Sesame Street character I've ever seen, and for whom the word "Snark" holds special meaning; and John, who manages to interview people we'd sell our left organ to pick brains with.

When was the last time you got an oil-change for your car?

When my indicator said "Check Engine Oil." That's what it's for, isn't it?

If you could have ANY car, what would it be?

It would be invisible, and it would be able to fly. In the absence of those attributes, a Dodge Viper is my auto of choice.

How did you find out there was no Santa Claus?

Just now, thank you very much! And to think I could have saved thousands in chimney cleaning bills! Next you're going to tell me the Easter Bunny is some clown dressed up in a bunny suit... but don't you dare. I want to keep one holiday sacred!

The holidays--fun or not worth the trouble?

They WERE fun, up until a few minutes ago!
Actually, in all honesty I think the more simple the plans for the holidays, the happier one will be. You don't need to spend a whole lot of money and time making everything fancy and extravagant, when time with family sharing happy memories and making new ones is more precious than any decoration. Also, during the holidays my family and I strive to maintain the true spirit and meaning of the occasion - thanksgiving, love, joy, hope, peace, everything that Jesus Christ represented... It sure beats confusion and crowds any day.

Women. What's the big mystery?

This is a trick question, isn't it - as if there were only one thing. The mystery is how to answer a question pertaining to women without one woman or another getting offended and seeking vengeance. Guys, we can joke about women all we want, but in the end we all know the two words that are most crucial in the day to day pattern of our lives are "Yes" and "Dear"...

What would be the perfect way to spend a weekend?

Well, having always loved to travel, I'd say the perfect way to spend the weekend is to go somewhere you've never been before, try some food you've never eaten, participate in a tradition or culture that had previously been unknown to you, and take lots of pictures along the way. I lived in Europe for several years, and have come to realize that it's not the tourist-laden sites that are the most worthwhile to visit; it's the places off the beaten path that don't try to airbrush the uniqueness of their culture and patronize the tourist. Why spend 40 bucks for a half-hour gondola ride in Venice when you'll have a much more surreal and picturesque experience riding a 2 dollar water taxi with a hundred other people crammed beside you in a boat the size of your bathroom at home? Use all of your senses to captivate your imagination. Smell the pungent cheeses and meats in the alleyway market; listen to the bustle of the evening crowd rushing to buy the evening meal and hurry home; feel the aquatic chill of the breeze coming off the placid water.

Posted by Jennifer at 12:01 AM | Comments (0)

November 21, 2003

You Asked, Stevie Answers

Stevie has answered all your questions!

Learn things you didn't want to know about cows; learn how she spends her, umm, relaxation time; and learn which male celebs she wants in bed.

Mmmm...Bret Hart.........huh? What?

Click it!

What's the grossest thing about cows?
My first thought was: Dealing with the people who own them, sometimes. But then, I remembered what it really is. They...I don't even wanna say, but...they eat about 150 lbs. of afterbirth, after giving birth. It is disgusting to see. *Shudders* Whomever asked that one...thanks. (*shudders again*)

You often mention meals that you've cooked in your blog, what is your favorite dish to prepare? And why?
Hmmm....I'd have to say ribs. Big, huge country ribs...browned lightly and left to finish cooking in barbeque sause. Then, garlic lima beans and baked potatoes. (Great. Now I'm hungry...) Followed up by a spice cake (grinning at Ted) with cream cheese icing. And, good Folger's coffee. (Okay...I just radioed George and Eric and now that's dinner tonight....excellent!) Next?

You seem to blog a mile a minute and I sometimes have to re-read an entry to keep up. Do you also speak this way or is it just your blogging style?
Nope, unfortunately, it's not just how I blog. What you see is stream-of-consciousness, pretty much, usually rattled off at the approximate speed of Wile E. Coyote on rocket-skates. My Dad is even worse. The two of us together have been known to cause rooms full of people to be either laughing their asses off or sitting in gape-mouthed wonder trying to figure out what the hell we're talking about. Let's put it this way...I had no trouble understanding that Federal Express (?) guy that talked 200 mph back in the 70's.

What's the perfect breakfast?
My personal favorite is pretty simple..pancakes and link sausage. But, the 'perfect breakfast' is (are?) really the ones where I get to make about 92 different things, then sit back and watch it get devoured by Eric's Sr and Jr, George and whomever else happens to be here. That is just...I don't know how to articulate it. It's just really cool to do and see. I really think I'd like to cook for guys on a ranch out West somewhere. The idea of feeding a buncha hungry, hard working men just makes me really happy. That'd be a cool 'job'. (They could pretty much pay me for that one by liking it, behaving, sliding me a horse and just a little cash. Maybe a place to live there, too, as part of the salary...hmmm...Eric's from Idaho...ooops. Sorry. This was about breakfast, wasn't it? Okay...back to the questions.)

Pork or beef?
You want me to chose between ribs and steak? Please. Both.

If you could re-live one day in your life that happened before you were 20 -- with the hindsight to appreciate it in a way you didn't at the time -- which would it be?
Hmmm....excellent question. Okay...I got it. It was the first day I ever spent around the guy, Michael Steven Robbins, to whom I eventually know. And, my heart. I was 16. It was the summer of '79. I was in the process of switching high schools. I lived right on the line of the districts and all I had to do was take courses at Woodstown they didn't offer at Salem, like Ag, so I did. Besides, my Dad went there. So, we went there one day, toward the end of the school year to get me enrolled. When I visited the Ag. building, I looked down into the shop from the teacher's office and saw Mike. I had gone to school with him before when I started school in the Woodstown system. (We had since moved, to within the Salem district...) Anyway, I saw Mike, he saw me and scarfed my phone number outta my paperwork when Mr. Coles wasn't looking. He called me that night and after bullshittin' for a while he announced that, since I was single, he was my boyfriend now. Well, he was cute. I did know him. I had nuthin else happening in that, okay. Why not? The next day was a Saturday and it was beautiful out. My Dad was going to a sale and agreed to drop me off at Mike's on his way. He lived in Alloway, where I grew up and my Dad kinda knew his Dad and it was cool. So, Dad drops me off and after I waved goodbye, I looked around. I could hear Neil Young playing in the house. It was a huge yard, surrounded by pastures with black steers. I could hear pigs, off in the distance and there were chickens and peacocks (!) everywhere. I turned and looked at the house and there, framed in the screen door, stood Mike. Tall, blonde, slender, shirtless...just gorgeous. I went inside, saw that he not only had Neil Young playing, but Looney Tunes on with the sound turned down. There was a beanbag chair in the middle of the living room floor. Nobody was there, except us. So, I remember plopping into the bean bag, chattering nervously, all silly, lighting a cigarette and then....Mike just leaned over and kissed me. That shut me up. He sat back and looked at me. I just smiled at him. He said " we can relax and quit wondering when that's gonna happen." I also remember getting...stoned that day. It was pure magic, from one end, to the other. We didn't do the deed that day, because I remember where that happened and it wasn't there. I still love Mike. He died in 1982. He was electrocuted. I miss him and it's because of him that dairy cows are a part of my life, which is a whole other story...

Where did you lose your virginity?
Under Mike.

What did you think of New Coke?
I don't like Coke at all, because it makes my teeth feel gritty, like all the enamal is gone, or something. Beisdes, it's rare that I'm drinking anything except coffe or iced tea (with no ice, thanks).

What are your favorite movies?
Got a year? God...Let's see...Max Dugan Returns, Weekend at Bernies, Porky's, Full Metal Jacket, the original Odd Couple, Sibling Rivalry, Norma Rae, Overboard, The Godfather, the Walking Tall Trilogy, Billy Jack and a PBS documentary called The Farmer's Wife. And, that's just off the top of my head. Really. I gotta include NatLamps Animal House and Christmas Vacation, too. Next question before I think of any more..quick!

What movie are you most confident that you could recite the dialogue verbatim?
Billy Jack, The Godfather...two I'd like to are the DI's ranting in the beginning of Full Metal Jacket and Chevy Chase's rant when he gets his 'bonus'. I will master both of those some day.

If you could secretly watch, who would you choose to send on a date with Paris Hilton? Don or Daniel?
Who thinks of this...stuff? Seeing as to how Ms. Hilton's life seems to revolve around being a rich bimbette, I'd say both of 'em. Make it a contest or endurance test or something. Whatever they felt like...You go guys.

How often do you give other drivers the finger?
My middle finger looks like Popeye's bicep from the work out it gets. I don't limit it to drivers either. Animals, the TV, the toilet...whatever pisses me off can easily get flipped off. Being inanimate doesn't exclude ya.

If you can live with one Munuvian in a penthouse suite which you can never leave, who would it be and why?
Hmmm...well, Collins is pretty quiet.

If you can live in bed with one male celebrity, who would it be and why?
Bret Hart or Kurt Russell...hmmm. How am I supposed to choose between these two? They both make me feel faint.

Do any other bloggers influence you or your writing?
Not influence me, no. No more than maybe a trackback kind of post or something. But, I do see where I've got things in common with other people. Acidman posts multiple times a day and so do I. Greg Beck goes from one topic to another at great speeds within a single post, so do I, sometimes. Stuff like that.

Why did you start your blog?
Rob 'Acidman' Smith. Plain and simple. I found him one day, started reading, eventually read his archives. I said once in his comments that it was like a Disney short of a flower bud. It opens, blooms, comes to life, then they pan back and blow your mind with a field fulla flowers. His blog saved him. Mine is saving me, too. I honestly believe that I've had depression, been depressed-whatever- since I was about 9, the first time my life blew up. I've never been medicated or anything, except 'self'. I do one thing, and only that one thing. And, it is NOT a gateway drug. Not in my experience. (For anyone still not sure, let me say that I adore Cheech and Chong, okay?)

Which blogs do you have to read every day?
God...again with the mile long lists...lem'me go look...I don't want to forget anybody. I don't read every one on the 'roll, every day, but there are a bunch I do make sure I get to...hang on. nearly alphabetical order, here are the ones I try to read first. I get annoyed if I can't get all the way thru in one sitting. There are several others I also try to read everyday, but those, I don't mind so much 'getting back to later'. For the sake of brevity (Hah!), this is the 'short list', okay?
Ain't Done It, Altered Perceptions, Bloviating Inanites, Dog Snot Diaries, Gut Rumbles, Jett Superior, Dax Montana, Ken's Page, Lobowalk, Light & Dark (except I keep keeping Paul from being able to post for IM-ing half the night, every night *hugs Paul*), Scooby Snax, Social Reject, Snowball and Velociworld. (pant, pant..whew)

Do you think comments are an important part of a blog? Either as a writer or reader?
To me, yes. I want the feedback and other perspectives. If I feel a strong enough need to comment somewhere else where there are no comments, there's always email.

What is one activity that you can do to relax yourself?
Legal? Singing. Not so legal? I'm sure you can guess. (Puff, puff, pass...)(cough)

Do you have any hobbies we don't know about?
Not that I'm aware of...hmmmm. Nope. None that I can think of.

Thanks again, Jen. That was great! You guys asked really good questions. Hell, if ya have any more, feel free to ask. My comments get emailed to me anyway. Feel free to use 'em.

Thanks everybody! This was a blast!

Posted by Jennifer at 12:42 PM | Comments (4)

November 19, 2003

You Asked, Bob Answers

At long last...I present to you the Modular Interview!

Thanks to Bob Whaley for participating.

Click it and learn why "Modular Parrot" as well as a unique approach to eating M&Ms.

"Modular Parrot" is one of the more unique blog names...what's with the
Parrot? And why is he Modular?

The Modular Parrot name was conceived about the time Stan and I decided we would do a blog together. The name just fell out of my mouth like so much saliva after a couple scotches. Then I discovered Stan owned a 3 year-old African parrot named Darwin. Game, set and match. The modular twist is perfectly suited to Stan and me because we separately contribute material of our own choosing and cover for one another.

Actually, modularJON and my modularSISTER in California are silent partners in ModPar and contribute bits now and then. Collectively, we manage to cobble together entries but alone, none of us has the time to maintain a blog.

Unfortunately, we haven't hit full stride yet - maybe a blessing for readers. I mean, consider the possibilities with the assets we have at hand: a talking parrot, a couple of half-wit marketing types, modularity, a very clever and creative gun slinger and enough Photoshop expertise to be dangerous.

Why did you and Stan start blogging?

Actually, the decision to blog was made the same way all good decisions are made. Stan and I were sitting in a restaurant, each with an alcoholic beverage in our hand. We had just decided to quit our individual blogs for lack of time when we simultaneously had a drunken epiphany - we'd blog as one. I've known Stan for 10 years or so and Jon since he was an ugly 2 year-old so I introduced the two of them recently over glasses of Cabernet. Now we are three. The operative word here in case you haven't noticed is alcohol; the bane of any promising web venture. But, we've persevered. The rest, as they say, is historical tragedy.

Is your blog different from what you started out to do?

Don't know. Part of the reason, of course, is our modular approach but ModPar is a bit of an anomaly by design. We're looking to be different and are easily bored so are in a constant hunt for new themes. Maybe we'll hold a contest. Readers (shit, we don't have any of those) ... or friends (even fewer) could suggest a new site theme every week. "Stan, work on that will you?"

If it sounds like we're wandering around aimlessly at the minute, it's true. We haven't quite figured out where we want to take the site yet. Most bloggers are looking for that unique hook to draw people to their site and generally want to believe that the material on their site will be interesting enough to keep visitors coming back. Everyone wants to believe what they have to say is compelling. Not us. Probably because we're wickedly irresponsible reprobates by night and somewhat responsible citizens by day. We're not in this for the fame or adulation (although we can be bought for a price) so tend to put up anything that comes to mind, good or bad. There's that modularity again. And it shows in our audience response - we don't get many visitors.

We're just regular Joes with families, children and active lives. I'm a hair challenged sales/marketing manager, Jon owns an ad agency and Stan is a professional engineer with young children, many interesting hobbies and a nice gun collection. Stan also pilots the official modularPlane.

How would you describe a blog, and specifically yours, to someone who doesn't know what they are?

Equal parts fantasy, need to be recognized and pride rolled into a poorly written diary that anybody can read.

Do any other blogs influence you?

Not really. Well, actually that's not true. I read the blogs on the ModPar blogroll as often as possible but I'm a sucker for good prose. When I see what guys like Steyn, Lileks, Whittle and Den Beste do with their sites, I am envious but that's more about their talent as writers than anything else. Having said that, I'm a political junky so tend to favor sites with that particular slant.

What kinds of things draw you to sites you visit regularly?

Didn't I just answer that?

A sparkling personality and good graphics work, say, like your site, Jennifer. (That takes care of the gratuitous compliment). Seriously, though, unique takes on issues and events along with quality writing are the biggest draws for me. There are many good blogs and bloggers out there and more than a few poor ones. But that's what makes the blog phenomenon what is - everyone is a writer and can publish their work.

If you could choose between 5,000 readers a day and no feedback or 5 hits a day from people who comment and e-mail regularly, which would you choose?

Oh, the 5 hits and comments. We've already accomplished the first half of that equation by arm twisting relatives and threatening friends but we rarely get comments or feedback.

Just between the two of us, Stan is jealous of you, isn't he?

That's no more than Darwin whispering lies and damn lies into Stan's ear.

Which is better: dogs or cats? Parrots are not an option.

Dogs or cats? Cats are feral and evil creatures. I despise cats. I secretly carry a copy of Acidman's Free Cat Picture in my pocket. On the other hand, I live with a family of animal lovers so have always had a dog and, from time to time, more exotic creatures roaming the house or escaping in the car only to be discovered later in skeletal form. I should write about some of my pet experiences.

Which world leader would you like to see gnawed to death by mutated,
ill-tempered sea bass?

That would have to be Hitler or Stalin or any leader during France's Fifth Republic.

Brownies or fudge?

No contest, says Jon


Which color M&M tastes best?

I don't know. I peel them before I eat them.

Back to you and Stan: which one of you is Pinky and which is The Brain?

Actually we're more the Danger Mouse and Penfold types. We would switch roles every week, first as Danger Mouse and Penfold, then Baron Silas Greenback and sidekick Stiletto. We're interchangeable and damn cute in those great costumes.

You can pick one non-relative of the opposite sex to spend the rest of your life with you in that GeoDome thing. Who do you pick and why?

I'll say Lassy. Loyal, honest and mute.

What are your favorite books?

My wife and I are voracious readers so I have a very long list of favorite books and authors. If you nailed my feet to the ground I'd probably admit to having a special place for Steinbeck, O'Brian, Twain and Churchill because of their unique blend of beautiful prose blended with an unusual grasp of the English language. The simplicity of their writing is overpowering.

When I go to the library, I spend most of my time scouring the new fiction section in search of budding new authors. I've found quite a few great ones over the years.

What is the worst movie you ever wasted part of your life watching?

Debbie Does Meatballs.

You HAVE to pick one celebrity to be dropped in a pit of fire ants. Who is it and why?

It would be a bundle. Duct tape the following people together and the ants would evacuate: Mike Moore, Ted Rall, Sean Penn and that dumb bastard of an actor who threatened to leave America if Bush got elected.

You win $100,000,000...what are the first five things you buy?

I'd commission Lileks or Steyn to ghost-write a bestseller for me; I'd buy France, sell off the paltry assets and turn all the people into the street with nothing but the clothes on their back. Lastly, I'd buy out Frank and make him crush rocks for the rest of his natural life. Kidding? Nope. I like Frank.

You win $10,000, you quit work?

No, I'd continue to toil away, put the money in a conventional savings account at, say, 1.5% return and fritter the rest of my life away as the doorman at Trumps. OF COURSE I'D QUIT. And put the money in a conventional savings account and fritter my life away as the doorman at Trumps.

Which people in your actual, non-blog life influence you and why?

I've had many wonderful mentors in my professional career and am blessed with many dear and fascinating friends. I'd have to say that they have all had a certain influence on my life but, I hold aside the two most important as my wife, who I've been happily married to for 26 years (child bride) and my son. You'll have to read my site to see why I have such admiration and respect for my son. He is a very special young man.

Posted by Jennifer at 04:28 PM | Comments (7)

November 17, 2003

You Asked, Sgt Hook Answers

Sgt Hook has answered your questions!

I have to say, in my opinion this is one of the best interviews yet...and not just because he says something nice about me. I'm even offering a money back guarantee if you disagree.

You. Read. Now. "And YES, that IS an order soldier!"

Why did you start a blog?

Two reasons really. First and foremost, after reading a couple of fantastic blogs (see next question) and figuring out what a blog actually is, I thought that this would be a great way to stay in touch with family and friends around the globe no matter where I happen to be at any give time.

Secondly, I’ve always harbored a strong desire to become a writer when I grow up, and I reasoned that blogging would help me to achieve such a lofty goal (writing, not growing up).

How did you find out blogs were around? Which were the first blogs you read?

While working on my Master’s degree, a professor sent me a link to a “blog” written by the now famous Lt in the sandbox. I first read Lt Smash and started thinking about how cool this blog thing was. Then I stumbled across DaGoddess, Electric Venom, and Sgt Stryker. I should add that Kate was instrumental in evolving Sgt Hook from Blogspot to MT and from experimenting with to actually blogging.

Do any bloggers influence you?

I find that I am influenced by several people, none of whom are bloggers. I am, however, inspired by Babalu Blog, Jennifer’s History and Stuff, and Blackfive.

Come on, seriously, the Jets?!

Must I remind you that the JETS were the AFC East Champs last season? If that isn’t enough, when I was a kid growing up in New York, Broadway Joe Namath was the man, hence I became a Jets fan and have been ever since. That and the fight song is pretty easy to memorize…J-E-T-S…JETS!…JETS!…JETS!

Any relation to the Captain? Do you think that crocodile was justified?

Funny you should ask. My father is a Commander (retired) in the United States Coast Guard and as skipper of his ship was often referred to as “Captain.” Alas, I am NOT related to the infamous Captain Hook of Peter Pan fame, and YES, the croc had his just desserts (pun intended). I’m reasonably sure that the melodic Doctor Hook is a distant cousin though, which might explain my being able to play a mean set of congas.

Why did you join the military?

Why for the money, right. Actually, there are two parts to this answer. The first addresses why I initially joined the Army, the second, why I continued to re-up.

I was a 23-year old college dropout on the verge of buying into a restaurant when I initially walked into the recruiter’s office. The restaurant deal went south real fast and I was tired of cooking my ass off for a couple of pretty good eateries in New York so I followed a long established urge to serve my country and called the United States Border Patrol. After hearing their exciting offer of sitting along deserted stretches of barren land with only cacti to talk to, I thought, “maybe the military.” Of course, the Coast Guard was my first choice having spent my entire life around it. I called the Commander (read Dad) and told him I’ve decided to follow in his footsteps and join the USCG. He talked me out of it (for reasons I’m still not sure of today but the Coast Guard is probably grateful for it) and into the Army. So I listened impatiently to the Army recruiter’s lengthy pitch, and finally said, “if you can pay off all of my gottdamned student loans and get me into the aviation field, I’ll join today.”

Three weeks later I was sitting in the barber’s chair having my head shaved. Hooah!

I have since reenlisted numerous times because I’ve found that there is nothing in life more rewarding than being a part of something greater than myself; that and the fact that I’ve traveled around the world and formed indescribable bonds between friends.

What is the best thing about a career in the military?

I’ve found that there is nothing in life more rewarding than being a part of something greater than myself; that and the fact that I’ve traveled around the world and formed indescribable bonds between friends.

What is the most difficult?

It is NOT the rain, mud, heat, freezing cold, lack of crappy food, cold coffee, sleepless days, or fucked up mission planning that I find most difficult. It is having to leave my family for extended periods of time to endure the aforementioned amenities that is most difficult.

There have been some comments that you'll be leaving. Will you be deploying soon?

Yes. Keeping in mind that “loose lips sink ships” let me say just this, I am deploying with my unit to Afghanistan for Operation Enduring Freedom in support of the Global War on Terror in early 2004 (how’s that for the party line?). Stay tuned to Sgt Hook for further updates.

How did you meet your wife? Please take this opportunity to tell us how
wonderful she is.

Mrs. Hook is this your question? O.K., some years ago I had the pleasure of serving this nation as a recruiter taking applications from America's sons and daughters who had expressed a desire to join the ranks of the United States Army.

Painfully aware of the fact that only 30 percent of all college freshman graduate with a 4-year degree, I set up a small table in the corner of the student lounge at a local college. Hey, one of the compelling reasons for me to join was to have my student loans paid off, so why not spread the wealth (pun intended). It never occurred to me that it would also be a great place to meet women- smart women. Then, as I was handing out flyers and answering questions I caught a glimpse of a knockout take-my-breath-away gottdamned gorgeous coed.

Suddenly oblivious to what the student in front of me was saying, I handed him a bunch of key chains and moved towards the goddess who had just come into the lounge.

Wearing my Dress Blue Uniform with all my colorful medals and my aviation crewmember wings, I stepped in front of her and introduced myself as the Army recruiter assigned to her college. I then asked, "Would you like to join the Army?" To which she replied, "No."

"Great," I said, "then would you like to join a soldier for dinner?" She didn't answer me, but her eyes sparkled and my heart skipped a beat or three as the bell rang and she walked backwards down the hall, and I stood rigid watching. She has made me happy ever since that day in the student lounge.

Do you two have "a song"?


What advice would you give to a groom-to-be?

Not knowing the “groom-to-be” or the “bride-to-be” I’m hesitant to give advice, so let me speak generally. As your heart throbs with love and lust, try to think about what it would be like to spend your days, nights, meals, ups, downs, and vacations with this woman after you’ve retired and your kids have grown and moved out on their own. Does it sound like fun? If yes, than marry her!

What about a father-to-be?

Pamper and love the hell out of the mother-to-be. Treat her like the goddess she is for she will soon deliver to you something you’ve never known before- unconditional love. Be there to hold mom’s hand (even if she breaks your thumb) and say stupid words of encouragement as she labors to bring your baby into the world and don’t be afraid to cry as you cut the umbilical cord. Then shut up and soak in the wonderfully beautiful moment that mother and child finally meet. Don’t worry, you’ll have ample time to bond with baby over the next couple of weeks, just make sure you take advantage of said time and bond. Sorry you asked for advice?

What are your three favorite movies?

Braveheart, Saving Private Ryan, and Razor’s Edge.

Did you expect me to catch your Monty Python "unladen swallow" reference?

I fully expected you to catch it Jen. I was wondering how many of your readers caught what the hell we were talking about.

What kinds of things do you do in your free time, if you have any?

Free time? What’s that? I enjoy spending time with my wife and kids and if there is any “free time” left, I like to read, write, and cook.

Let's talk chocolate chip cookies. Nuts or no nuts?

Absolutely NO NUTS. I can’t stand nuts in my cookies, brownies, or casseroles. In a bowl on the bar are good to go though.

Ginger or MaryAnn?

Mary Ann, as long as she’s willing to put on that little French maid’s outfit once in awhile.

What do you think about kids today? Is our future safe in their hands?

To properly answer this question I ought to opine on what I think about the parents of kids today, but I’ll try to stay on topic. I’ve complete faith in our youth and their ability to grab the future by the horns and ride it successfully. And if they fail, it isn’t their fault, but ours.

If you could have breakfast with any 3 people who you have not had breakfast with before, who would they be?

George S. Patton, Ronald Reagan, and Audie Murphy.

You can trade lives with anyone for 48 hours. Who is it and why?

My grandfather Jack (God rest his soul) who at the age of 14 boarded a ship from Scotland sailing to the United States of America, alone. He was told that an uncle would meet him at Ellis Island and take him home to Pennsylvania and get him a job in the coalmines. He didn’t hesitate. He established the family that I know. He’s always been larger than life to me, and I’d love to know what it felt like to be him, even just for 48 hours.

Posted by Jennifer at 12:00 AM | Comments (3)

November 14, 2003

You Asked, the Bartender Answers

The Bartender has answered your questions.

Find out why he says he'd sleep with Streisand by clicking the extended.

Q. Are you a bartender in "real life"?
A. Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away, I was the fastest bartender that ever lived. Even years later when I got into the management end of the business, I could still beat 95% of my bartenders in speed pouring tests and can free pour exact measurements with either hand. Hell, I could still do it today and I haven't set foot behind a bar in 11 years. No brag… just fact. Damn, I was good.

Q. What is YOUR favorite drink?
A. All of em. Actually, I drink chilled Absolut straight up with lemon wedges for back up. I don't shoot it, I sip and enjoy! And eight ice cold beers after a long day working and sweating in the sun. Blackfive ain't got shit on me, I'm a professional drinker!

Q. What scandalous thing that you've committed while blitzed has had the farthest-reaching repercussions?
A. While blitzed? Maybe I have a different definition of blitzed, but I don't remember anything when I get blitzed. Now stoned is another matter.

Q. How did you come up with the name Madfish Willie's?
A. Madfish Willie is a character out of the movie "Snatch". They were going to substitute Madfish Willie or John the Gun in the underground fight after Brad Pitt broke their guys jaw. But apparantly Willie had gone Mad and John the Gun, shot himself. So they got Brad Pitt to kick some guy's ass instead.

Q. Who would you most like to punch in the nose?
A. Harvey, Eric, the last guy I worked for, the next guy I have to work for, and the jerk off who asked this question.

Q. Which Corner of the Bar Babe would you most like to see covered in whipped cream?
A. At one time or all together? I see them in covered in whipped cream all the time, you should see them too. [I see dead people] [Susie]

Q. What was your favorite entry you posted on your blog that everyone ignored?
A. There are many to choose from… nearly all of them have been ignored. My favorite post was the one I was bitching about no one paying attention but no one ignored that one.

Q. How much time do you spend on your blog everyday?
A. The Happy Hour Party and Dumb-Ass Jokes take about thirty minutes start to finish. Then the rest of the crap I just wing it… copy, paste, cragerize, post… it's pretty simple. I guess it shows huh?

Q. What the hell is your problem?
A. My main malfunction is some butthead always junking up the comments in my blog. As he is my only reader, I fear banning his IP would send my blog down the shitter!

Q. Which bloggers influence you?
A. Alcohol and crooked cigarettes are the only things that influence me. Bloggers? I don't need no stinkin bloggers! Does it look like anyone in particular influences me?

Q. Who do we have to blame for telling you to blog in the first place?
A. Blackfive was the first to ask if I had a blog when he was doing his"drinking theme week" Then, Harvey billied me into signing up with blog*spot and starting. Then he announced me before I was ready and I still haven't caught up. So you can all gang up on them and shit the beat out of em for inflicting such pain on your eyes and ears.

Q. Who is the worst blogger that you read regularly?
A. I don't read worst bloggers, I look at the pictures.

Q. Who is the best blogger that you read regularly?
A. I'll tell you who the best blogger I don't read regularly. Phrank. He doesn't even have all the members of his own stinkin Alliance blogrolled. That pretty weak if you ask The Bartender. Plus he has never given The Bartender a Phrank-a-lanche. If he doesn't straighten out, I'll join the Dark Side where I'll be appreciated by my fearless leader!

Q. What do you do if it's quittin time and a guy won't leave?
A. Oh, he's leavin alright.. I never have a problem getting them to leave… hell I have to lock the doors so they can't get away.

Q. How about if it's a chick?
A. She's gotta go too. She can wait outside in her car with the windows rolled up and the doors locked. If she's still alive after I finish countin the piles 'o money, she might get lucky.

Q. How about if it's a really hot chick?
A. Unless she's passed out in the coat room with her pants down around her ankles, she's gotta go too. No exceptions!

Q. What's the use of gettin' sober if you're gonna get drunk again?
A. I resemble that remark. And who's sober anyway?

Q. If you were captured by space aliens, force-fed Viagra, tied up in such a manner that suicide was impossible, and forced to mate with your choice between Barbra Streisand, Janeane Garofalo, or Hillary Clinton, who would you choose and why?
A. Barbra Streisand - she has the biggest tits! The other two are just friggin skanks. Plus I don't need Viagra - give it to Harvey he needs it.

Q. What's someone gotta do to get hired at Madfish Willie's? I've got ten years of bartending experience, and even more of sittin' on the other side of the bar, drinkin' my beer, being curteous to bartenders, and tipping well.
A.Customers make crappy employees so you have to go to work for Evil Glenn at Blender's

Q. Everyone expects the bartender to listen to their sob it's your turn. What would you like to get off your chest?
A. Bartender don't tell sad stories… they tell jokes. And kick the drunk's ass out the door - my favorite part of the job!

Posted by Jennifer at 12:00 AM | Comments (4)

November 12, 2003

You Asked, Alan Answers

Alan has answered your questions!

What he really thinks of Maverick!

What it's like to eat an eyeball!

Where you can find pictures of him sweaty, sandy, and shirtless!

Click it!

I'm sure you get this all the time, but if I agree to be your bodyguard, will you be my long lost pal?

You know, it's not so much that I mind being called Al, it's just that I never solicited it. So when I registered the domain, I was really just hoping that Paul Simon would buy it from me. Or that I could one day launch a web-based catering business called "You Can Call Meal".

But, if you're a big enough boy, we could work out a bodyguard gig for you. Maybe in the Secret Service.

Please explain more about the Misery Compromise. Because I have many of the same issues.

We all do, sister. But I think that there's some value in allowing ourselves to occasionally stray over the enemy lines. You could think of it as spying. You might gain lots of knowledge that could help you if, say, you ever got in a debate about foreign affairs with Tim Robbins. He might say, "America is a totalitarian regime." To which you could reply, "You're widely credited as being an intellectual. What was it like working with Howard The Duck?"

What are your top 5 all-time deserted island recording artists?

Funny you should ask. I plan for this eventuality every time I fly. I have, as part of my emergency survival kit, a 5 CD case with discs by Dave Matthews, Johnny Cash, U2, Beethoven and a selection from the Time-Life Do-It-Yourself raft building collection.

Which movies are your favorites?

Sabrina. Yes, honey, of course the original one. You know I can't stand that Greg Kinnear.

Seriously, though? Top Gun, Tombstone, Memento, The Princess Bride (and by the way, the book is way funnier), Band of Brothers, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, The Shawshank Redemption, Dumb and Dumber...

(I know, I know, two of those movies have Tim Robbins. But Top Gun also has Michael Ironsides, so it's really a wash.)

Do any movies make you cry?

Sure... Patton, Band of Brothers, Saving Private Ryan. The Alamo. Really, anytime you set an image of people acting with courage and honor to stirring, patriotic music I will have to excuse myself.

Oh yeah, and Old Yeller (Just for you, Shannon).

What are the top 5 reasons to own a crossbow?

Who has crossbows anymore? Let me give you five reasons not to own one:

1. The Colt 1911 A1 .45 (Not to mention the Sig Sauer .45 ACP)
2. They're sooo 1461 A.D.
3. It was invented by the Chinese, perfected by the French.
4. It takes 165 pounds of draw weight on a crossbow to match a 60 pound draw on a compound or long bow, making them unwieldy for the disable hunter or marauder
5. I think, and I'll have to check on this, that we can fight wars with precision guided munitions from relatively safe distances now.

Why did you start your blog?

I worked for two years as a web designer before I joined the Air Force. So as I was getting ready to ship out, I thought that keeping a website would be a better way to keep in touch with folks back home than sending out those long pointless emails that you sometimes get from people you never see. Really, it's nothing more than that now, except that people I don't know sometimes read it and get heckled by my friends from home. Originally, it was meant to be a collection of travelogs and photo albums and the blog was just a "here's what's new" thing. The earliest versions of yccma were built before I had heard of a blogging. I only added the comment feature last June.

Strictly speaking, my site is probably more of a journal than a blog since I don't actively link to many other sites and I never post more than once a day. And I don't use any blogging services, eg. Blogger, Blog Spot, MT. That's why my site is sort of non-standard, and behind the RSS/CSS times.

Do any bloggers influence you?


I only read three blogs with any regularity, namely IMAO, Right We Are, and Jen's History and Stuff. The majority of the quality blogs out there are punditry and, even though, I'm very political, I don't want to spend time reading things I already agree with. Plus I have a stack of National Reviews in my bathroom.

Do you have mad volleyball skillz?

Hmm... let's see. I'm 5' 11", 180 pounds and white. I couldn't jump over a sheet of paper if it got in my way. But I can see that what you're really asking is if I have any pictures of myself sandy, sweaty and wearing only jeans. Well, I did some digging...This is about as close as I can get.

Can you please elaborate on the showers you took after playing sand volleyball during flight school?

Heh, heh. There really was a Saturday game in the sand pit at pilot training. But, come on, this is the Air Force, not the Navy. We shower alone.

But I do wear my dog tags.

Is Maverick as much an ass in person as he was in that movie?

What most people don't realize about Pete is that he's short. I mean, I'm no giant, but he really looks up to me. That and the thing with his dad has really put a couple of chips on his shoulder. He's a good dude, but he can be a little bit of a moody bear at times.

So...can I get a ride?

Questions like this make smart-ass double entendres too easy.

What is the most important thing you've ever done?

You mean for myself or for society? Actually it doesn't matter. My life is basically a mish-mash of interesting, though ultimately irrelevant incidents. But I am hoping I can do something significant later.

I did give blood once, though. Once...

Why did you join the Air Force? Do you plan to spend your career there?

When I was in college, I was an intern at Alcon Labs (they make contact lens stuff). Anyway, I was in a grocery store one night and happened to see a big display of Alcon stuff. At first I was like, "Wow. I helped put that there. I am part of the team." And then it hit me that I was part of a team that puts salt water on grocery store shelves. This wasn't the lasting contribution to society that my classmates were expecting when they voted me "most likely to be president". So I started looking at alternate career fields.

I've got nine and a half years left on my ten year commitment. So, I'll have 12 years by the first time I can get out. Really, I think my decision at that point will be mostly based on what my prospects look like for the next ten years. Will I make general if I stay in? Could I
go to a good law school if I got out? Email me in 9 years and ask me the same question.

What do you do in your free time?

Right now I am working on a rock opera adaptation of Beowulf, a script for a techno/political thriller about, what else, an Air Force pilot and a series of essays on citizenship. I also volunteer with the youth group at my church, do speaking engagements for the bases' public affairs staff, volunteer with the base's POW/MIA committee and sometimes, I like to fly airplanes. But that's when I haven't any movies to watch.

Ford or Chevy?

Gerald Ford or Chevy Chase? To play golf with? Chevy's got a funny way of addressing the ball ("Danny", I've heard) and nobody ever chose Ford as part of their foursome, but he always shows up halfway through.

For the record, I like Chevy trucks and SUVs, but my first love was my 1967 Mustang.

OU beat Texas A&M 77-0. Any thoughts?

I'm taking the Texas Flag-pumpkin down for a while. But I have faith in Franchione. Everything TCU has is because of him and Alabama owes him a thing or two as well. Most of his players are true freshmen and sophomores and they had the hardest schedule in the NCAA this year. With that kind of experience and coaching, they will be a force to be
reckoned with... the year after next.

Which is not to take anything away from OU. After all, 55% of their players are from Texas. What else would you expect?

What is the best thing about Texans that non-Texans don't appreciate?

Our utter sublimity.

On your site you wrote, "I've eaten pigeon, ants, duck tongue, rabbit eye and something that I think was pig brain." Did they all taste like chicken?

I don't know I've never eaten chicken. Actually, it's not the taste of weird foods that is disgusting (except for Durian which tastes like month old guacamole)... it's the texture. Duck tongue is extremely rubbery and has a corpuscle that pops out into your mouth when you bite down. The you have to scrape the meat off the tendon with your lower teeth. Eating an eye is like chewing on one of those Super Bounce Balls that suddenly oozes a warm liquid.

If you had to sum yourself up to a stranger in 5 words, what would they be?

Does it need to be a complete sentence? Honestly, I don't even know how to do this and I've tried several different options, all of which sounded needlessly self-congratulatory or excessively average. So I guess, like the other Al (from South Park), "I'm super, thanks for asking!"

Posted by Jennifer at 04:48 AM | Comments (5)

November 10, 2003

You Asked, Susie Answers

All the questions you were willing to ask about Susie have been answered!

What does she like to drink? Which male blogger would she make her cabin boy?

Click it and find out.

Where do you find the time for your own blog with all you do at The Alliance, the Munuviana thingy, over at Madfish Willie's getting in trouble, raising
hell with Harvey, and yet your blog is... well, it just "is".

I think the word you're looking for is "neglected". Actually, I have no
life. I blog, go to work, blog, sleep, blog, go to my spare time I

Who is your favorite blogger: Harvey or Madfish Willie?

You mean after Frank, right? Now this is the kind of question that's going to make somebody's feelings hurt. I don't like to hurt people's feelings. Sorry Michael.

What's your favorite alcoholic beverage?

My all-time favorite drink is kaluha and cream. I don't drink them very
often though because they taste so good it's hard to keep track of how many
there've been, and before you know it, somebody's naked. For everyday
socializing I like beer. One of my brothers has a kegerator that he keeps stocked with Michelob Amber Bock (which seems to be easier to buy by the keg than the six pack). I like going to his house.

What would you buy as a gift for Daniel?

I would get Daniel a wallet made out of duct tape, since there's a pretty good chance he doesn't have one already.

What is one thing you would change about yourself?

My spinsterhood. I hope in some alternate universe I'm happily married with
a houseful of kids.

You have to spend the rest of your life on a luxury yacht with a full staff
and one Munuvian. Who is it and why?

This is too easy! It would have to be Pixy Misa--he's such a Renaissance Man that there'd always be something to talk about so it would never get boring. Plus he deserves luxury for all the generousity he has shown to other bloggers. And he likes cats.

You can make one non-Munuvian blogger the cabin boy. Who is it?

LOL! Bill C, because his complaints would keep us in stitches.

Which bloggers influence you the most?

Tough question. Frank J, Rachel Lucas and Misha are the reasons I started blogging, but the query is phrased in the present tense...Who has the power to sway or affect me? The Munuvians mostly, I think.

You inherit millions of dollars...what is the first thing you buy?

Well, I would buy a house, but that would take some shopping time, and a
Dell computer, but that would take some shipping time, so I guess health
insurance would be the first thing I'd buy.

If you could have any car, what would it be?

A Hunter green one--I'm kind of tired of blue. I suppose the person who
asked this wants an answer like "a Splenda ZT 360 with overhead shocks and
titanium cam protector" but I don't speak automobilese. Someone asks me "what kind of car was it?" and I answer "white". I know the difference between a pick-up truck, a mini-van and a sedan, but that's about it. So I would like a Hunter green sedan with a conveniently located ashtray and air-conditioning. If it has a radio, too, that would be good.

You can only read one blog a day and it isn't Frank J's. Whose would it be?

This is just mean. But if I have to choose, I'd pick my own, so I
could check for spelling and grammar errors.

Let's say you have to choose. Someone's holding a gun to your head. Alliance or Munuviana?

Who asked this? Jennifer? Daniel? Fear not, I would choose Munuvia over the Alliance if forced to. But I would be really grumpy....

So, because you work in a theater, what's your favorite movie?

The really sad thing is, I used to see way more movies when I worked
at the video store than I do now that I work at a movie theater. At the
theater we usually only get one or two new movies a week--at the video store
we averaged 5 or 6 new ones a week, plus we got demos of upcoming videos,
some of which we never bought, so I got to see lots of good but obscure
movies like "The Broken Hearts Club" and "Blow Dry". And at the video store we could take the movies home to watch, whereas if I want to see a movie now I have to go into work on my day off. Just the other day I went to see "Matchstick Men" and had to handle about five problems just because I was there. So I have gotten to the point where I take a pass on anything that only marginally interests me.
Um, what was the question?

What do you think about movies with intermissions in them?

They're long.

Of the blogs you read regularly, do you think any will get huge?

Well, Silver Blue posts a lot every day, and so does Tiger, so they're pretty big already.

Kermit or Grover?

I've never understood the appeal of frog legs, so I guess I'd have to go
for a nice thick Grover steak medium-well and hope it doesn't taste too gamey.

What's more important, a sense of humor or a sense of confidence?

Humor. People with a good sense of humor will gain confidence every time
they make people fall to the floor laughing.

Who was your first crush?

When I was in kindergarten there was the most gorgeous boy named Bob Vertin in my class. He was blond, blue-eyed and very studly for a 6 year old. I
worshipped him til my family moved away. Bob, if you're reading this, we were
in Mrs. Garrett's first grade class together at St. Paul's--email me! These days I am attracted to brunettes, because all other blondes seem insipid after Bob.

If you could sleep with (but ONLY sleep, no sex) with any man, who would it be?

You people are NO fun! Hmm...someone warm, cuddly and hirsute--Tom Selleck.

Will you be posting any more boobie pictures?

Only for special occasions, like Bill's second blogiversary.

Posted by Jennifer at 12:00 AM | Comments (6)

November 07, 2003

You Asked, Simon Answers

Simon has graciously risked public humiliation to answer your questions!

For those of you who have not met Simon, he is an Australian...but he lives in Hong Kong. Now is your chance to find out why.

Plus you can learn why he refuses to hang out in a cave with me (and most of the rest of you people) by clicking below.

Are you nervous?

Umm, is this microphone on? Is my tie straight? Did I put pants on this morning? It's really hot in here. Can I get some water please.

How did an Aussie end up in Hong Kong?

It's your usual story. Boy slogs guts out at university. Boy gets job at multinational corporation. Multinational corporation sees opportunity to exploit proletariat by shipping cheap labour to Hong Kong. Said corporation discovers such cheap labour in Australia and ships it (well, we flew, but you know what I mean) over. Sort of ironic, what with 1.2 billion Chinese next door.

What are three things that you love about living in Hong Kong and three things you wish you could change?

Three things I love about living in HK:
1) the Government will throw taxpayers money at just about anything
2) the tax rate is lower than Pamela Anderson's cleavage.
3) it is a fascinating mix of cultures, a Western city right in the middle of the most dynamic and varied region in the world.

Three things I wish I could change:
1) the attitude of the people, just introduce them to some Western ideas of personal space and courtesy.
2) the weather. Summer is 3 months of 90% humidity and 33 degrees Centigrade daily (look it up, my non-metric friends). And at night it only dips to the mid 20s and still is 90% humidity. I miss the cold.
3) the slightly smug superiority complex Aussie expat bloggers in Hong Kong seem to exhibit. That really gets me.

Translate the following into Chinese: I would gladly pay you Tuesday, for a hamburger today.

The quesiton shows an appalling lack of understanding. There is no one Chinese language. There are many dialects, with Mandarin the main language, but Cantonese the language of Hong Kong and the one I am grappling with. Neverthless, I will try to translate:

"Hey, Giles, it's your shout for lunch, McDonald's is across the road."

Do JC and PB speak Chinese?

JC speaks English. She can say Barbie pretty well. PB I think speaks Chinese because I'm not really sure what else it is. Disturbingly Misti the dog seems to understand her best.

Marmite-friend or foe?

Like all good Australians, Marmite is nothing to me. However Vegemite is one my essential five food groups, the others being (in order) pizza, chocolate, alcohol (it can be a food if you try) and fried.

Why are you so crap at backyard cricket?

Ah, I see my brother has entered the arena. For those not blessed with an understanding of this game, try this. Now like all little brothers, mine could never win unless I let him. This remains the case. So if I am "crap" at this game, I dread to think what words describe his performance.

Given my little brother has no blog nor right of reply, I have realised how I can release years of repressed anger...

How did you react when you broke a window playing indoor cricket?

It was a windy day, that day, my friends. The storm was blowing in from the west and a wicked wind 'twas it. 'Twas it the ball or an errant branch from a tree? Can we ever "know" anything? What is truth? Have I thrown out enough red herrings to distract you yet? Look over there! Quick.

What was your favorite childhood toy?

My little brother. He bounced. He rolled. He lost a lot. But somehow he learnt how to talk and fight back. I still can't get the store to take him back.

Why did you write a constitution for a made up country when you were 8 years old?

It was destined to become Munuviana so it was all worth it. Plus if you knew my brother you'd understand.

Why did you start a blog?

Someone at work first put me onto Gweilo Diaries and that got me into the whole world of blogging. Next I dabbled via Blogger but thought it was too much effort. Then I came back to it and realised it doesn't take a lot to get a blog going. Plus it makes communicating with the family back home much easier. Instead of Mrs M writing a weekly email to family and friends, I do the blog (hence the weekend updates). Then I can fill in the rest with all my random thoughts and observations. There seem to be enough.

I just realised none of that was funny or intersting. I'd better put something mildly amusing in the next answer or I'm toast.

Which bloggers influence your writing?

Charles Dickens, William Shakespeare, Jesus. They've all had an impact. Actually given there's already Allah and now Yahweh Jesus might have one next anyway. (phew)

Seriously I wouldn't be able to put a finger on any one blogger that influences my writing. I think everytime I read another blog I like a little bit of that blogger's writing and technique stays with me. You call it plagarism. I call it influence.

Heh. Indeed.

You have to spend the rest of your life in an underground cave with one Munuvian. Who is it and why?

This is tough. Munuvia is so full of intelligent, good looking and interesting people that picking just one would be hard. Helen is an obvious one but I'm not sure we could deal with all those issues. She would bare her soul and I would make pithy sarcastic unrelated remarks. And no doubt Jim and Don would be after us with their cows and Objectivism. Pixy would be fretting about his crashed computer. If it was Jen I'd learn way more trivia that I need. Don't even get me started if it was Kang A. Roo.

The truth is there is only ever one Munuvian I could spend the rest of my life with in a cave. Luuk the Everyday Bear.

Tell us about your troubled past. Specifically that mess with Madonna and Britney. How is it that you've escaped the paparazzi on this one?

I am tempted to walk out of here right now. I said to those two that if they want to do for the world what they did for me nightly for 3 years in private then the whole threesome thing is off. I'm not selling out for anyone. Well, at least not until the last question.

As for the paparazzi, if you saw how many photos Mrs M takes of me you'd understand how used to the attention I am. The whole thing paparazzi thing is so 1998 anyway. It's all about blogging now, duh.

Why is carrying hot coffee between your legs while driving not a good idea?

It's just not. Ok. Trust me.

That Steve Irwin guy is insane, right? Not all Australians are like that, are they? Just the crazy ones?

No, all Australians think Steve Irwin is normal. Actually most Aussies have never heard of Steve Irwin.

Personally I think he's a wuss. Wrestling crocodiles is nothing compared to taking on two little girls and a dog all at the same time.

If you could travel back in time and change one thing that happened to you, what would it be?

The easy answer to say something damning about my brother. So here it is: I would make change my brother's personality so he was my personal slave. Otherwise I would go back about 5 years, hunt down Evil Glenn and prevent him from becoming whatever it is he has become.

You get three wishes. What are they? (And ix-nay on the wishing for more wishes.)

1. Bill Gates realises he should give US$5 billion to an Aussie expat blogger in Hong Kong so he can blog full-time.
2. He decides it should be me.
3. This interview was over.

Ummm, is that it? Is that camera off now? (Phew) Well that went pretty well Jen, didn't it? I don't those little SoBs suspected a thing. Heheheheh. Indeed. (Bhuwhahahahahahahaha)

(Insert men in white coats here.)

PS: this is all off the record, right? No one will ever really read this? Right? that case, hi Mum.

Posted by Jennifer at 12:00 AM | Comments (13)

November 05, 2003

You Asked, Jim Answers

Jim has answered your questions!

Click it and learn what the giant cow udder is all know you've been wondering.

Do any other bloggers influence you and how?

Absolutely. Most of the blogs I read influence me in one way or another - that's part of what a community is all about. I'd say the biggest influences are Don Watkins, Ryan Rhodes, Venomous Kate and Helen Adelaide. Don is funny as all get out and he spurs me to be funnier than he is. Ryan is a fantastic writer and makes me want to write well. Kate is...real. She's like a blog anchor that keeps me from wandering out of my field. She's also taught me all I know about link whoring. Helen is a constant reminder that a portion of my audience have vaginas is a study in cut-throat self appraisal. I might never attain the state of openness that she has on her blog but the personal items that I have shared are largely due to the example she has set.

If you could secretly have sex with one person, who would it be?

I've had a thing for Annette Bening since my first episode of man to gland combat.

If you could publicly have sex with two people, who would they be?

Public sex? I don't know that I could perform well with an audience. Oh wait, I get it. You mean where it's public knowledge. I think a threesome with Lovely Wife and Helen would be a little slice of Heaven itself. Unfortunately Lovely Wife has only two women on autoaccept for a booty call and they are Brooke Shields and Demi Moore so I'd be picking Demi to join us in the bedroom.

When you feel like annoying your wife on purpose, how do you do it?

How do I annoy thee? Let me count the ways. One. Two. Three. Yup, there are three different ways that I annoy Lovely Wife. The first is tickling. She's horribly, horribly ticklish. I'll sneak in "accidental" tickles during backrubs and other modes of fondling until she figures out that they aren't accidental. Then I usually get a finger in the ribs. The second is finishing her sentences for her. This usually starts out unintentionally until I realize that I'm doing it. When I do, I start finishing her sentences with nonsense. "Don't forget that tomorrow is..." "...blow job day? I know, I know." Third is cracking jokes when she wants to talk in a serious manner. This is naturally dangerous territory as I am afflicted with incurable whimsy and Lovely Wife has what is generally referred to as a "normal" temperment. The key, of course, is stopping in time before annoyance at my flippancy turns to fury. I have mixed results there.

How did you meet Lovely Wife and how long before you knew she was the one?

We met over the [gasp] Internet. On a [gasp] chat program. ICQ? I don't remember for sure which one it was. I had been playing around with chat programs and then abandoned them when i discovered that I had little to no desire to randomly talk to people that I had nothing in common with. Unbeknownst to me, the ICQ (or whatever) was still running in the background and logging on anytime I went online. Imagine my surprise when a chat request popped up out of nowhere. It was Future Lovely Wife, looking to know the answer to the question I had used in place of a tag line in my profile ("If you choke a smurf, what color does it turn?"). We chatted, chatted more, emailed, called, called more and eventually fell in cyber love. She came to the USA to visit and we fell in love for real. So how long did it take? About a year and a half after we met but it was love at first sight.

Aaron Spelling shows-horror or heaven?

Hart to Hart was ridiculous but entertaining. TJ Hooker was hillarious, though it wasn't intended as such. Seventh Heaven is one of my current guilty pleasures. The rest of his creations are a big steaming pile of crap.

Which blogs are the ones that you must check in on?

Most of the blogs I follow give good RSS so my checking is done for me. My non-RSS must-reads get attention in the morning and that's usually it. Sorry but I'm lazy and busy so unless it's made easy for me I'm just not out there looking for updates.

Helen-to be adored or feared?

Both! Isn't she great? What a woman!

What's with the giant udder?

You'd prefer some wimpy little French udder, I suppose? Actually it ties into the "embarass Lovely Wife" thing. Can't believe I forgot this. My absolute favorite way to annoy Lovely Wife is to be myself. In public. AAAAAAGH! The cow thing was during a visit from Little Bro. I was casually walking towards the cow to check it out and Lovely Wife said something along the lines of "Don't you dare do what I think you're going to do", which of course made me think of what she was thinking I was going to do so I did it. Lil Bro captured the moment for posterity.

Would you say you have an oral fixation?

No. I'm not a pencil chewer and I can't stand gum. Generally the only things that go into my mouth are food products, cigarettes and clitori. And nipples. I love nipples.

Any plans for an encore performance of the Writer's Noose?

Probably not, but maybe. There will be other short stories (I currently owe one about a fairy with pirranha teeth) but the Writer's Noose delivery was pretty unique. I have been thinking about how I could have done it better. You know, things like establishing a real audience before oddities began occuring, a non MuNu domain so clever folks like Susie couldn't tie me to the site, working email addresses for the cast, stuff like that. It's possible that I might redo it "right" but I doubt I will because I already did it once.

Your children are nicknamed after meat products. Burger Queen and Sweet Meat were part of your storyline at Writer's Noose. What's up with the meat, man?

Bacon got his nickname because of bacon. It was the first food he begged for by name. Burger was sabotaged by my world famous "Jimmy Burgers". He's a Jimmy and we'd all been saying Jimmy Burger for years before he was born so he became Jimmy Burger and eventually just Burger. Burger Queen was an initials thing. Becky Q-name. Problem was I couldn't spell or remember the Q-name from one paragraph to the next so she became Becky Longcloud and her heritage moved from Panama to New York State. Sweet Meat is the most embarassing pet name I've ever heard a girl call a guy. Granted it's a compliment but it's not one that a guy lets out and about. That's what I was looking for to show that BQ had personal knowledge on Chuckie. But more than any of that it's because I am as close to a carnivore as you can get while still eating loads of bread and dairy products. I love meat. I could happily eat meat for every meal every day of my life. Beef, pork, chicken, veal, I don't care - as long as it was once chewing grass and producing methane. Excepting Michael Moore, of course.

Do you tan, freckle, or burn?

All three. I'm a mutt but a lot of the Irish came out in me. I'll get a plethora of freckles right away, then a nastybad sunburn. When that heals up I'll end with a decent tan and the freckles aren't quite as noticeable.

What are your thoughts on Munuvian world domination?

It is inevitable. MuNu is an elemental force that must ultimately devour all before it. Like Sally Struthers at a buffet.

Who is the most under-rated blogger you know?

There are a lot who I think should get more attention than they do but the topper is Ryan Rhodes. Consistently witty and entertaining and just an excellent writer. Go check out his blog. It's okay, I'll be here when you come back.


I was tempted to say me. Hell, I'm just a hack spitting out randomly manufactured anecdotes mixed with vitriolic attacks on modern stupidity and a dash of testosterone laden inuendo for flavoring. And there are 250 visits a day from people coming to look at what I write? Damn, people! Get a life! Then I realized that saying something like this could drastically reduce my traffic so I decided not to.

You have to spend the rest of your life on an island with one person and it can't be your wife. Who is it?

I'd like to say Steve Irwin, or some other outdoorsy-type person who could keep my sorry urbanized ass alive. Unfortunately I'm a horn dog so that would be a lie. I'd probably end up picking Helen or Oprah. With Helen I'd have a fantastic couple of days until starvation pangs set in. With Oprah the sex wouldn't be great but she'd get weak from hunger way before I did so I could kill her and then eat like a king for a month. Sound crazy? I'm serious, it takes a long time for that much meat to rot. Trust me.

What is the most selfless thing anyone ever did for you?

I'm an ingrate so I've probably forgotten the majority of things that people have done for me. Mom helping us out of financial problems was probably the most selfless. The was when we were still in Buffalo and I had a crappy job. With crappy health insurance. We got socked with massive medical bills after Bear was born. Mom helped us out. Mom doesn't have money - this was scrimped and saved over many years and she simply gave it to us to save us from serious financial problems.

Reality TV--would you do it?

Depends. Guaranteed pay-off? Then I'm the whore for you. One of these "who can eat the most worms in five minutes" contest deals where the winner takes all? Um, no thanks. Mess around on the French Riviera for a couple months? Hell yeah. And I wouldn't give a damn if she wasn't really a millionaire either.

If you were God for a day, what would you do?

What wouldn't I do? I've got a complete manifesto waiting for the day this happens. First thing to do would be an announcement that people are SERIOUSLY NOT GETTING THE MESSAGE. Knock off the murder in my name, people! New rule. Anybody who kills anybody in my name goes straight into the eternal shitcan. Don't lay that crap on my doorstep, Gumby. Second thing, where the hell are my virgins? Third thing, another new rule. Fags are cool, leave them alone. That's a rule now, dickwad, not an option! Fourth thing, I'm still waiting for my virgins. All I ask for are virgins with frikken lasers on their heads. What do I pay you people for? What? Oh. God doesn't typically demand virgin sacrifices, you say? Hell, screw this job then.

On a serious note, who really wants virgins? I've got needs and wants that a freshly deflowered maiden is just not going to meet. It should be 72 experienced ladies. Yeah, that's the ticket.

Posted by Jennifer at 12:00 AM | Comments (6)

November 03, 2003

You Asked, Helen Answers

The lovely Helen has answered your questions!

Click it and learn the top reason why you should move to Sweden, as well as her thoughts on shaving vs. waxing, Coke vs. Pepsi, and more importantly...Colin Firth vs. John Cusack.

How did you end up living in Sweden?

No extradition laws. And there is no such thing as “life in prison” here.

Wait! Wrong answer. Actually, it’s because I was flying over here for business two weeks out of every month, and I figured it was best to just up and move. That, and I have always been desperate to get out and about and see the big world.

If I moved to Sweden, would I still have to hear about Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez? In other words, is pop culture different there?

God yes. That’s a blessing about living here-no Bennifer. How is it that you all haven’t ganged up and just killed Ben and Jen yet? I never hear about it here and I’m ALREADY sick of it. We get a blip of celebrity news every now and then, but ordinarily, the news is strictly that-news. Produced by ugly people.

How many languages do you speak?

Three and a half. English, Swedish, French, and I used to speak Russian but she be gone now. Impressed yet?

If you had to stay in one town for the rest of your life, where would it be?

Wouldn’t happen. I am not one for holding still. There are a lot of towns I truly enjoy-Sydney, London, San Francisco, and Mahe, but I couldn’t just stay in one place.

If you could have breakfast with 3 people from Ireland, who would they be and why?

Colin Farrell, James Joyce, and Kenneth Brannagh. Mostly, because I want to see who can hold their liquor the best and which of them is the biggest conceited ass. OK, I know Joyce is dead. But not like I will be having breakfast with any of them anyway.

Except Farrell or Brannagh. But then again, I am nothing if not an accommodating host the morning after.

You have to pick...Colin Firth or John Cusack?

John Cusack. No question. Simply because he can not only act, but he co-wrote “Grosse Point Blank”, and anyone that can come up with the idea of a union for hit men must be worshipped.

What are your five favorite movies and why?

“Grosse Point Blank”-absolutely brilliant and still makes me laugh.
“Fifth Element”-I find it so outrageously refreshing. That, and I love Luc Besson.
“Sense and Sensibility”-a Chick Flick with brains.
“Lord of the Rings”-I admit it. I was duly impressed. Confess that the books kind of bored me, since there were too many songs and hobbits related to hobbits.
The fifth? Probably “Goodfellas” or “The Godfather”. It’s a toss-up. I love mob films.

Waxing or shaving?

Depends on the area. My beaver? Waxing. My legs/underarms? Shaving only, please. My enemies? Both.

If you were to get another tattoo, what would it look like and where would it go?

It would be in the middle of my back, and would likely be something not of the Japanese persuasion this time. I think a lizard, a sun, or something like that. Could even go Celtic and make my ancestors happy.

How tall are you?

I’m 5”9. And I love heels.

Can one ever have enough socks?

No. And they must have funny characters on them. Plain black socks are for plain people. I want cartoons, dammit!

Coke or Pepsi?

Coke. Diet please. But Fanta if you have it (or any orange soda will do).

What's your favorite salad dressing?

Actually, none. I don’t like dressings. I think it comes from watching that Schoolhouse Rocks cartoon “Don’t Drown Your Food”, which no one seems to remember but me, so maybe it’s a fixation of my “I want to be thin” imagination. (“Don’t drown your food….in ketchup or mayo or goo…yuck, it’s no fun to eat what you can’t even see!) Maybe that’s why I obsess about trimming the minge so much….hmmmm…

Are these questions inane enough?!

Knowing some of the people that read me, I suspect they could be worse. Ironically, I notice they are suited to fit my blog topics. But come on darlings-I not only have a lot of sex, I am SMART, too.

My question is: why can't I get a date?

Sweet pea, maybe you aren’t asking the right questions when you are trying to chat them up. Be yourself. And if you aren’t very interesting, pretend to be someone else. Or, you could always pay her more by the hour.

And the fifth head on Mount Rushmore is......?

Don’t you mean “would be” (what are you trying to do? Trip me up?)? My money’s on Tony Blair (he’s more American than I am sometimes, I think). Or Walt Disney.

Which people in your life have been most influential to you and why?

Tough one. My grandfather is a definite-he loved me sincerely and without cessation, until his death. Kim, the first big love of my life, who taught me how to breathe. The second love of my life, Mr. Y, who then taught me how to fly and how to be myself. Jim Henson, since the muppets basically raised me. And I owe a lot to my Mom. The going has been rough sometimes, but I love her and get my independence from her.

Who is the sexiest muppet?

Don. No wait! He’s not a muppet. Knee-jerk response is Grover since he seems so shy. It’s the shy ones you have to watch out for, they’re nuts in bed (which is why so many men go for librarians). But with some thought, I have to go for Fozzie. He’s got “cuddler” written all over him.

What will you do if you get cut in the next round of redundancies? What will you do if you don't?

If I do-I will fucking fall apart and take to my bed for an indefinite period of time, perhaps not even surfacing to blog. Then I will start job hunting, and since over 20,000 people in my line of work have lost their jobs in the past year, I don’t expect to be successful in Sweden. I will likely look within the EU, but I have to wait until my Swedish citizenship papers come in, otherwise I need a work visa. Oh yeah, and it will likely break my Partner Unit and I up.

Minor details.

If I don’t? Well, actually I am going to keep writing. I have a book going on the side that’s pretty important to me, and likely the only way out of this revolving Company x redundancy nightmare.

What was the happiest single moment of your life?

I have thought about that long and often. To be honest, I don’t have a single moment, and I don’t mean that in any cop-out kind of answer. But I can say that I have a central person for all of the moments I hold close to my heart. Is that close enough?

Posted by Jennifer at 12:00 AM | Comments (3)

October 31, 2003

You Asked, Bill Answers

The ever-fabulous and never-patient Bill Cimino has answered your questions!

Click know you want to.

If you could trade lives with anyone for 24 hours, who would you choose, and

Someone who is in a coma. I'm exhausted and could use the rest.

If you could be any other blogger for one day, who would you choose?

You. I always wondered what it would be like to have boobs. I wouldn't
blog either. I'd just sit there topless all day touching them.

Why did you just look at your watch?

Because you people bore me to death and I can't wait to get out of here.

Do you still think Frank J is the most over-rated blogger? I mean, hasn't
everyone gotten over him by now anyway?

I guess not. I mean he's funny and all but man, the typos. The new most
over-rated blogger is VodkaPundit. He writes some inane crap every three
days and still gets a million hits. It's enough to make me want to throw my
blog out the damn window.

Are the rumors that you are a closet Indymedia moderator true?

Yes but it's not my fault. It's because of them damn

Is it better to have places like Indymedia where the bent can gather or to
have those people diffused into society?

I have no idea what that question means. Bent? Diffused? But I'll take a
crack at it anyway. I think they should go where everybody knows their
names. Hopefully all their names are "Norm" because it's fun yelling that
name out when you're in a bar and your hammered.

The Blogosphere seems unable to remove Rachel Lucas from its collective
blogroll, despite her apparent retirement. Why is this?

She's retired? Holy crap! Wait a minute. I just checked her site and
she's just taking a break, you liar. I will never, ever, never take her off
my blog roll even if she gets hit by a minivan or something because she is a
friend and has done more for me than any other blogger. She singlehandedly
set up my website. Hell, she still has access to it and can blog as me if
she wanted. And just between you and me, some days I suck so bad I wish she
would. I would just wake up one morning and there would be this great post
there that I didn't write but of course would take credit for. So the
answer is - because she's hot.

Is John Collins really living alone among Haitians, or is he just afraid to
admit to his "problem"?

He's among the Haitians. And they are some scary people with that voodoo
they do. Remember that movie with all the Haitians in it and zombies all
dancing around to those drums and then I think some spiders hatched out that
lady's face. Man, that was scary. Anyway, poor John is now one of the
living dead and as everyone knows, the living dead can't blog. Except for

Which bloggers, if any, are influential to you?

You mean who influences me? Can you people write a sentence that I can
understand? If that's what your asking, I guess the usual - Lileks,
Michele, I can't believe I'm about to say this but...Frank J. Damnit, I
can't believe I just did that. I would also say Paul at Sanity's Edge but
he's a jackass so nevermind him.

What's with all the crap on your blog? You have crappy posts, crappy
choices in your polls, etc. Do you run a crappy blog?

Do you really need to ask? Are you a moron? That's the stupidest question
I ever been asked. The answer is yes. I started out trying not to be
crappy but it all ended up as crap so I finally said to myself - Self, why
fight it? Just go with it. You were made to post crap. Plus, crap is one
of my favorite words. I'm also fond of the word bukkake.

What is the derivation of the word "bloviating"?

The Latins first used this word in it's original form "bloviatae" in 473 AD
when they were arguing in the Senate and Senator Dashulus Minimus was all
whining about "tax cuts for the wealthiest one percent of the Latins" and
"no blood for meade" and one of the Republican senators told him to stop
with the "bloviatum" and then wacked him with one of those metal wine

Would you give up your penis for a Hall Of Fame baseball career?

Are you out of you friggin' mind? I wouldn't give up Mr. Sparkles if you
made me rich, immortal and gave me the hall of fame career. I would think
about giving up a testicle though, if I could be paid to blog. So, if
enough of you go to my site and hit the tip jar and I get Andrew Sullivan
type cash, I'll lop off a nut. Promise.

When you majored in History in college, what was your favorite area of
study? (American, European, Ancient, etc?)

I hated Ancient history. All those Mesopotamiacs and Visigarths. I could
never keep track of them. I really hated that Egyptian crap too. Who
cares? It's a bunch of dead guys in gauze. I guess I like American history
most because we rule, but I thought the part about Germany and Italy
becoming nations was really interesting. Although Germany becoming a nation
didn't turn ou to be such a great idea after all. And the Italians are
useless. So forget all that European crap and let's go with American
history for $300, Alex.

If Jimmy Carter were President today, where would we be?

In a smouldering hole.

Be honest--how many dead mammals have you really found in your pool?

Just two. The possum and then a baby rabbit in the skimmer. And one live
frog but I don't think frogs are mammals. I also threw my father-in-law in
the pool once but he didn't die.

Does the revelation that Marie Osmond had problems with depression make her
a) even cuter; or, b) even more repulsive?

Is she the "little bit country" one or the "little bit rock and roll" one?
I get them mixed up. Anyhoo, she is niether cute nor repulsive. She's
Marie Osmond. What do I think of her? I don't.

If you could kill 3 people and get away with it, who would they be and why?

Yassar Arafat because he's a murderous thug. And he's really ugly. Kim
Jong-Il...ditto. He deserves to die just for the poofy hair. And Yoko Ono.
I don't need a reason to kill her.

Besides Sweet Alice, who are the hottest chicks you know?

Do I have to know them? If so, what fun is that because you won't know
them. But if that's your question, I'd say my friends Maria and Janet.
Happy? If you just mean anybody, I'd say Carmen Electra although she
totally ruined it for me when she married Dennis Rodman. Why, God, why????

Who is the most repulsive? Me? Seriously.

You? God no. It's without question Helen Thomas. I have tuned out of
White House press conferences because of that thing she calls a face.

What is the best thing someone has ever done for you?

Alice married me.

Posted by Jennifer at 08:37 AM | Comments (12)

October 29, 2003

You Asked, Harvey Answers

Harvey has stepped up to the plate and hit a home run...check out his interview in the extended.

He discusses the BlogWar, BlogBabes, and of course...Graffiti Currency.

(He also thinks Daniel is "hunky", which is a little odd...but at least he has good taste, lol.)

Q: If you could get together any bloggers you wanted for any purpose, who would it be, and what would they do?

A: I’d get all the members of the Corner of the Bar Gang and Corner of the Bar Babes (as listed by Madfish Willie’s Cyber Saloon), together for a rollicking
drunken good evening of fun and conversation.

Orgy to follow in the Champagne Room.

Q: Do you blog just to flirt with female bloggers? What's your motivation?

A: Live to flirt, flirt to live.

Actually, the flirting is more just an outgrowth of being a smart-ass with a dirty mind. Taking innocent remarks the wrong way is a good source of humor, as is
making suggestive comments. Some women find bad boys appealing, and the next thing you know, hey... flirt happens.

I'm not sure if the "motivation" part of the question refers to flirting or blogging. The answer's pretty much the same for both: ego gratification. I'm thrilled whenever I can make a woman feel, well...womanly. And I'm also pleased when people leave a ROTFLMAO in the comments. I find both events quite

Q: Who are the hottest female bloggers? Why?

A: The one's without air conditioning.

I'm having trouble answering this one as phrased. I tend to judge blogerette "hotness" in terms of well-displayed-cleaveage pics. Of the ladies I visit frequently, I believe Susie of Practical Penumbra is the only one to have gone that route.

For non-cleavage displaying pictures, I like Dana of Note-It Posts. I'm a sucker for long, dark hair, and WOW! What a smile!

Heather of Angelweave has a nice pic, too. I love that sassy, saucy, over-the-shoulder flirty pic.

Venomous Kate of Electic Venom recently posted a nice picture of herself in a rather attractive dress. And for some sick reason, I enjoyed that "go thither" look on her face, too. I like tough chicks. I married one, after all.

Also, for non-picturey reasons, I should mention the following women who make my life special:

Susie, for being all kinds of sweet to me and constantly leaving encouraging comments. She flirts like a champ, too.

Lynn of Reflections in d minor, who writes brilliant, insightful pieces about music and art. Aesthetics is a tough topic to handle objectively, but she does so
with great intelligence. I am both admiring and jealous of her talents.

And, of course, Jen Lars, for being a classy lady, a charming interview hostess, and a worthy opponent in the Great Blog War of 2003.

Q: How much do you love me?

A: 6.25 inches. Which, coincidentally, is the length of a $100 bill. Which will buy you a LOT of lovin' in Olongapo.

If there are any other coincidences associate with that answer, I'm not aware of them.

Q: How sexy do you feel?

A: Like a drunken Britney Spears at a frat party.

No, wait… oh, "SEXY". I thought you said "slutty". I need a new monitor.

Probably about 5 on a 10 scale right now. I imagine that later tonight there’s a good chance that number will *ahem* rise.

Q: Are you naughty or nice?

A: Let's see... handcuffs, whipped cream, blindfolds, edible underwear, spanking, chocolate syrup...

Um... nice?

Q: What do you want to be when you grow up?

A: Still happily married to my first and only wife.
Everything else is just gravy.

Q: Do you rule your relationship?

A: With an iron fist.

Whenever she lets me.

Seriously, though, there isn't much "ruling" that
needs to be done, since our interests and activities
rarely conflict. We're an amazingly complementary
couple. When there IS a "situation", I usually give in
right away, because when she gets her mulish up, I'm
*know* I'm gonna end up losing, so I don't waste time

Q: What brand of beer does the Corner of the Bar Gang

A: Whichever brand you’re buying for us.

Q: Wisconsin, eh? What's your favorite beer? What's
your favorite cheese?

A: Best beer I ever had was when I was in the Navy,
stationed in Alameda, California. I used to go
sight-seeing in Berkeley, and there was a brewery/bar
there called the Triple Rock Brewery and Alehouse. The
had one called Red Rock Ale that had this rich, nutty
flavor that was to die for.

My favorite cheese is Kraft Singles Fat-Free Sharp
Cheddar slices. Tastes like real cheese, without that
heavy, greasy texture. It's also the only fat-free
cheese I know of that melts worth a damn.

Oh, and since you're mocking Wisconsin, you forgot to
ask about my favorite cow.

Which is the Holstein.

Q: You got carried away buying weapons. You have money left for the following shields: 2 heavy or 6 deflector?

A: When playing old DOS games, like Scorched Earth, with blogless brothers, I prefer quantity to quality, so I’d go with the 6 deflector shields. Of course,
since the best defense is a good offense, I’d also consider investing heavily in extra-large nukes. Who needs a shield when you can take out half a mountain
in one shot?

Q: If the Presidential election were today, who would
you vote for as a write-in candidate?

A: Pre-9-11, I would’ve said Rep. Ron Paul of Texas,
who was elected as a Republican, but actually votes
Libertarian. In fact, he was the Libertarian
presidential candidate in 1988. Whenever I hear his
name, it’s usually in connection with some sensible,
pro-freedom bill that he’s sponsoring, which the rest
of the Congresscritters have bottled up in committee.

Post-9-11, I don’t trust the Libertarian defense
strategy, which is basically to bring all the troops
home & hope America doesn’t get attacked. Personally,
I think we need a world-wide presence to gather the
intelligence we need to stomp the terrorist
cockroaches before they have a chance to leave the

So, with that in mind, I’d probably vote for Frank J.
of IMAO. Next to W’s current policies, I think his
Nuke the Moon plan has the best chance of providing
world peace.

Q: What's with the phrase "dollars for doughnuts"? Are
they Krispy Kreme doughnuts?

A: Ok, ya lazy bum, I did yer googlin' for ya.

The more common form of the expression is "dollars to
doughnuts", and it implies that you're very confident
about the outcome of a situation, since you're willing
to wager your Real American Dollars against someone
else's nasty Krispy Kreme doughnuts. I hate Krispy
Kreme donuts. They skimp on the frosting & filling.
Now, Dunkin' Donuts... YUM!

See also, "dollars to buttons", "dollars to
dumplings", and "dollars to cobwebs".

Q: How did you ever get involved in graffiti currency?

A: It was a 3-stage process.

Stage 1: A couple days before we left for Jamaica to get married, I was doing my teller thing & had a thought: wouldn't it be cool to have a dollar bill
with our anniversary date in the serial number? Du-uh! NO! But I was stupid-in-love, so I started looking. During the hunt, the math-geek in me kept being
intrigued by the occasional cool patterns in the serial numbers. (oh, and I *did* finally find a 20 with 4999 (April 9, 1999) in it.)

Stage 2: A few weeks later, I wondered: would people actually pay money for a bill with a cool serial number? eBay said "yes", which led me to start selling
the stuff via on-line auctions.

Stage 3: I started examining every bill I saw for potential collector value, and I kept noticing that some bills had a message something like, "you will
receive a lot of money if you write this message on 10 other bills". I started collecting those just to compare and contrast the messages.

Like all bad habits, this one just kept snowballing until I was collecting any bill that was obviously and deliberately marked up. My personal favorites being
the "luv u 4 ever" type messages. Gee, I guess THAT relationship was worth less than a bag of Doritos.

Since then, it's occurred to me that graffiti currency is like a low-tech form of blogging. In both cases, people seem driven by the conflicting urges to be
noticed by the world, yet retain some degree of anonymity.

Q: Have you ever gotten counterfeit money? What do you do?

A: I’ve never gotten a fake deposited to me, but I’ve seen a few. Most were surprisingly bad. They looked like they were printed on an inkjet printer at 300
dpi, with all the fine resolution of a Sunday color comic. Since they also looked like they had circulated a bit, I tend to doubt the government’s claim that the
new currency design will be "safer & more secure".

The proper procedure is to handle the bill as little as possible and inform the bank’s Security Officer, who then informs the police and contacts the Secret
Service, part of whose duties include the investigation of counterfeiting.

Q: Why did you start your blog, and why "Bad Money"?

A: Well, as I mentioned previously, I had this HUGE
collection of graffiti currency, and I quickly
exhausted my list of family & friends to bore with it.
Since my ISP gave me 10 meg of storage space for a web
site, I toyed with the notion of displaying them
on-line. My working title was "Harv's House of
Craptacular Currency" and I envisioned organizing them
by type (writing, drawing, rubber stamp, etc.).
However, I knew exactly jack about HTML, so that
project never took off.

Later on, I discovered blogs and thought, "gee, that
might work." As I researched "how to blog", I
discovered that the keys to popularity were "original
content" and "regular posting." I thought that if I
put up one per day with a witty caption, I could give
people a reason to keep coming back. In addition, I
thought I might throw in well-written, insightful
posts about other blogger's entries, so as to get
their attention with linkage.

Results: traffic=me.

I'd originally hoped to write intellectual, analytical
pieces like a shorter Steven Den Beste, but my inner
smart-ass soon grew too big for its britches, and I
started focusing on humor, instead.

"Bad Money" came about as a euphemism for "Craptacular
Currency". I was afraid that using a form of the word
"crap" might reflect poorly on my employer if my blog
were somehow seen as being connected to the bank where
I worked. Turns out I needn't have worried, since the
bank staff is 98% The
other 2% are college students who work part-time, and
think my blog is funny. I've also yet to have a
customer ask me, "hey, aren't you that Bad Money

Q: What is the best thing you've ever done for someone

A: It's a toss-up. I encouraged Matt O'Blackfive to
get the hell off Blogspot, and I convinced the
Bartender that the time to start blogging was NOW, and
not "later, when I'm more organized & better
prepared". My gifts to the blogosphere.

Q: What is the worst thing you've ever done to

A: Back in my college days, I was delivering pizza
late one night in a relatively deserted neighborhood.
After the delivery, as I was backing out of the
driveway, I backed into a mini-van parked across the
street. Not a very hard hit, but I left a small dent
in the fender & chipped some paint. Nobody saw me, so
I just left. It was probably the worst violation of my
personal integrity standards that I've ever left

Q: Madfish Willie has been chasing the puppy blender
around for weeks, yet you talk to him on the phone,
take trips with him to Antarctica and meet him at the
mall! Harvey, What kind of sick-o "man-love" thing you
got going with Evil Glenn?

A: Nothing sick about it. It’s just a typical, normal,
healthy relationship between a deranged, overzealous
do-gooder and an embodiment of psychotic evil. Not
unlike what Batman and the Joker have going.

Q: Do you feel all the work the Alliance makes you do
causes you to neglect your own blog in the interest of
feeding Frank J's ego?

A: No, for 3 reasons:

1) The Alliance doesn't "make" me do anything. My work
there is donated freely.

2) My blog doesn't get neglected. Over any given week,
I manage to blog about everything I have bookmarked.
Now, it's true that some of the Alliance housekeeping
that I do keeps me from spending time working on bits
of original content, but it's also true that the whole
Blog War adventure has inspired me to write some
brilliant pieces. Offhand, I'd say it's a wash.

3) The Alliance doesn't feed Frank's ego anymore. Yes,
it was his idea, originally, and he's still Fearless
Leader, but his ego is now more connected to his other
projects, like Front Line Voices and his novel. But
the Alliance still lives and grows, even without his
close attention. I'm always amazed that we've kept the
"filthy lie" & "blog war" memes alive for over 2
months now, and it doesn't seem to be stopping. In
fact, with the introduction of the League of Liberals
into the New Blog Showcase Sponsorship Challenge, I
have a feeling things might start heating up even

Which reminds me. I could REALLY use some help in
coming up with new Filthy Lie and Precision Guided
Humor assignments. Anyone with a suggestion, please
drop me a line. I'm only one man, and, according to my
Sitemeter traffic stats, I'm only about 5% as creative
as Frank. I'll take help from anyone. Alliance, Axis,
hell, even the LoL.

In conclusion, I just want to say thanks to all the
good folks (and bad ones) who submitted questions so I
don't look like a readerless loser, and most
especially thanks to Jen Lars for letting me do my
best Bill Whittle imitation.

Sorry about busting your bandwidth, Jen :-)
(Ed. note: it's not mine; it's Pixy's.)

Posted by Jennifer at 08:28 AM | Comments (4)

October 27, 2003

You Asked, J Fielek Answers

Josh Fielek has answered your questions!

Excellent interview, please click the extended to read about his thoughts on Barbra Streisand meeting ancient torture a lot of other things.

Thanks, Josh--well done!

You said Jess will bare her breasts if you top the 2000 mark for daily hits. That includes nipples, right?

Yes. What else did you think I meant by ‘bare’? Unfortunately, we missed the submission deadline for the boobie-thon for the Susan G. Komen Foundation, so this is my self-serving alternative. And Jess volunteered.

Tell the truth, you really liked the Howard Dean thong, didn't you? And where can I get one?

I like thongs in general (I am a guy, after all), but consider this scenario –

You’ve gone to dinner, the movie, and finally, you’ve got her back to your place. A little kissing, a little touching, things are getting warmer and warmer, and you’re feeling lucky. She’s let you unbutton her blouse and her bra is a forgotten remnant hanging loosely by its straps. You place your hand on her knee, nudging her back on the couch with firm kisses. She moans lightly as you kiss her neck and cautiously slide your hand up her thigh. Her legs part, just a little, and you slide a little higher. You can feel her heat against your palm as you lightly touch her mound. You gently slip her knees apart and kiss your way down, unzipping her skirt and sliding it down. You kiss past the breasts, to the navel, across the sexy tummy. She lifts her hips to let you slip the skirt to the floor. You slide your hands around and feel her firm, bare buttocks – you can do that, she’s wearing a thong, you’ve discovered. You move a little lower and nuzzle her thighs. You open your eyes and look up to see the magnificent view offered from between her luscious legs and see “HOWARD DEAN FOR PRESIDENT!”

It’s enough to make Rob Smith’s Robotic Penis go soft.

Ask Howard Dean for one, if you want one. Preferably at a Press Conference.

What advice would you give to someone about to be married?

Listen to your new spouse. It goes both ways – and a lot of time problems that can’t be solved just yet can be handled for the immediate time by getting them into the open.

For the Wedding, Groom-Boy, sit back and relax. The Bride and her mother will handle a lot. Offer to help, but let them lead.

Bride-Girl, at least ask your groom for his input. Let a few of his decisions stand.

And be sure to get the Bridal Suite with the trapeze. It makes all the difference.

Who is your greatest literary influence?

There are several

Stephen King is the most versatile writer I’ve ever read. Nightmares and Dreamscapes has not only the horror stories, but a beautiful homage to Little League baseball written originally for the New Yorker. King can write as well or better than any one out there, without the unnecessary purple prose of the artsy set. He is the epitome of a storyteller.

Robert Heinlein is not only a superb storyteller, but he’s a truly free thinker. He has a libertarian bent, which makes for a good political read, and he’s usually ready to address the hard questions through some unusual approaches, to illustrate a point. He’s fun to read. Starship Troopers, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, and Stranger in a Strange Land should be on anyone’s must-read list for the questions they ask and address about relationships, government, and service.

William Shakespeare sounds clichéd as a literary influence, but on a bet from the school librarian, I read all of his plays in eighth grade, and although the language was sometimes over my head, I got a big kick out of them. It took me a few more years before I realized how strong of an influence Shakespeare had on language and literature, and that got me to re-read the plays and finally read the sonnets. I never fawned and quoted like in the movies, but I did learn a lot about pacing and use of language from the sonnets and plays.

Are you looking forward to the next Star Wars movie? Do you think George Lucas has time to redeem himself?

George Lucas can rot in Hell (Hmmmm… new subject for a Conversation with God!).

Okay, not really. I think he needs to spend some time off of Skywalker Ranch with adults, however. George, you need to spend some time away from the 400 adoptees with someone old enough to appreciate liquor and cigars.

Seriously, I think Lucas fell off the wagon when he settled for Ewoks over Wookies for Return of the Jedi. I know it’s hard to find 4000 extras over two meters tall, but come on, George, use your imagination. And Jar Jar Binks? Great, George, just Great. Wasn’t Willow punishment enough?

That aside, yeah, I am geek enough to be looking forward to Episode III. I have to see where George is taking things. Episode II was pretty decent, way better than Episode I, but it dragged and Natalie Portman was fully clothed (although scantily, at least). The love scenes were trite and just not well executed, and too damn long.

Is that elephant still haunting you?

Shhh… he might hear you.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Tough question. I think it would be Colorado or Utah, somewhere in the West. I’m a native Texan, and I love the West.

You win the lottery. What is the very first thing you do? What is the first thing you buy?

Assuming it’s for millions, the first thing I do is quit my day job. The first thing I buy is a Mercedes SLK for Jessica. Then move West.

How did the impromptu bloggers bash in Norfolk go? Was it so horrible you couldn't blog about it? Is Bill as funny in person as he is on his blog?

It collapsed of midweek weight. It just didn’t come together because of people needing to work. It’ll be moved to a weekend in the next few weeks.

Like a lot of bloggers, your blog seemed to start out with an Instapundit feel to it. When do you think you found your own style?

When I gave up linking. I jammed on links for a while and finally put all that aside when the site became Quibbles-n-Bits. At that point, since I was using almost all-original material, I gained my own style. It’s evolving, as everything does. I have never been one to follow a fashion – Instapundit, IMAO, and Scrappleface are all cool sites and all have a degree of influence, but I like to think that Quibbles-n-bits has its own flavor.

Looking at the American political climate, do you think the 2004 election is going to continue the trend to the right? Why or why not?

The right drift is actually a drift back to the middle. From the 1940s until Reagan, the country was sliding to the left. In the seventies, it slid to far left and the people had to start running to the right to bring back the balance.

If you could tell George W. Bush one thing, what would it be?

Good question. I think I would have to ask him a question -- “Mr. Bush, where do I apply for a license to kill?”

Okay, for real, I’d tell him we need to trim back some of the domestic spending and cut the pork. All over the place, too, not just in the social programs. But I still want a license to kill.

If you could secretly kidnap and torture one "world leader" who would it be and what would you do to him or her? Would you leave them alive or dead?

Barbra Streisand would be my choice, and I’d torment her with hours and hours of the Ramones, The Sex Pistols, The Clash, and other punk bands. Then I’d make her listen to Bob Dole campaign speeches for a few hours. That’s torture for any living being. Next, I’d set a little imp sitting in her ear whispering the fall of the Democrats repeatedly, along the lines of the advisor before the Caesars’ who would whisper “Remember thou art mortal,” just to keep the fall of the Democrats and the rightward swing of the nation on her mind. After that, I don’t know; maybe subject her to re-runs of Reagan speeches, Gingrich speeches, and other right wing political stuff, right up until her head explodes.

I prefer intellectual and emotional torment versus physical torment.

If the speeches didn’t kill her, though, I’d flay her and dip her in boiling salt water. Then I’d hang her from a pike in the town square. Full impalement, from ”cod to sternum,” as the English described it, or in Curly’s terms, neck to nuts.

Otherwise – I’ve always thought breaking to the wheel was a fiercely frightening punishment. What it involves in breaking the limbs between the joints and weaving them into the spokes of a wagon wheel.

Drawing and quartering is too nice, too quick. There is another punishment that I can’t recall the name for, but it consists of seating the subject on the sharp edge of a triangular board and affixing weights to the subject’s legs. The board then slowly rips into the victim at the sensitive juncture, driving between the buttocks and mutilating the genitalia. It’s a slow, painful way to go. They victims usually died of sepsis, not injury.

When I give up on the intellectual, I get brutal. Or at least I have some brutal fantasies.

What was the worst moment of your life? Did it change you?

Worst moment? Probably when my Dad died in late 2000. I was going through a relatively brutal divorce and he was succumbing to cancer. He was not coherent for the latter few months, and seeing him at Thanksgiving a few days before he died was not a good thing. My father was a man with a rapier wit, and an intuitive understanding of all things mechanical and technical. The last few months of his life he was dying from a brain tumor, metastasized from his lung cancer (small cell carcinoma, less than 5% five year survival rate). It took away his intellect, and his strength.

The lung cancer had been there for three years, and even chemo and radiation therapy hadn’t sapped my father’s strength. The initial carcinoma was reduced and apparently eliminated, but the cancer returned and spread. He got three years after the initial diagnosis. It was only the last three months that he was in bad shape – not truly coherent, at first, then degrading to physical and mental disability.

He had a morphine breather that was used to inhale a specific formulation of morphine and a few other drugs to ease his breathing, and I helped him with it a few times. He was on oxygen as well, and my mother’s house looked more like a hospital for a while than a suburban home.

And yeah, it changed me. I can’t specify how, but I have definitely had less of an affinity for working for other folks since then. The divorce is over, I’ve remarried to a wonderful woman, and I’m looking at getting off my ass and getting my writing career going so I can live my life by my rules. I have a five-year plan that should have me in good fettle by 2009.

BTW, here's an homage to my father.

What was the best?

There are too many to pick one best. Here’s the top three --

1. The day I married Jessica.
2. The first day I got published anywhere.
3. This one. I was on the road for a month, alone, with the skies above me and America at my feet. The singular best moment happened on this day, when I took this photo. At that moment, I was 2000 miles form home, with three days of travel beneath my belt, another month ahead with no particular destination in mind, a great motorcycle, camping and cooking gear so I could stop whenever and where ever the whim took me. I was smack dab in the middle of the greatest, freest nation on earth, and I was happy.

Those three things measure well the three major components of life – Love, Work, and Play.

Posted by Jennifer at 08:09 AM | Comments (8)

October 24, 2003

You Asked, Blackfive Answers

Here it is, ladies and gentlemen...the Blackfive interview!

Click the extended to read his thoughts on Leg Rangers, Frank J's man-love for Glenn Reynolds, and all the other questions you asked.

Is your friend Joe married?

Yes. But volunteering to go to Iraq caused some real problems at home. He is supposed to be back here this week or next week. I'll know more about his status later. He is a good human being and has saved my ass in a few brawls. In other words, he's a really nice guy but slightly dangerous and unpredictable. Chicks dig him.

Do you have any single friends to hook me up with?

Depends on who's asking. Yes. Lots. Both kinds, country and western. Come to Chicago.

If you could be a sea creature, what would you be?

Pacific White-Sided Dolphin. They get to go really fast, jump high in the air, eat all of the time, and have lots of sex--well, I made up the sex part. Sounds better, though, doesn't it?

Describe your wardrobe in 5 words.

My wife helps me coordinate.


Polo. Tommy Bahama. Nordstrom. Bjorn.

What do you look like? Are there any pictures of you online that I can find?

Average looking Irishman. I'm 5'11" 215 pounds brown hair, green eyes. I have been told that I look sort of like Russell Crowe on a bad day--that or a drunk Pilsbury Doughboy.

There are pictures of me on my site. Either in the photo blog or at my only post on guns. I am also the guy in the Superman t-shirt in the cubicle hurdles mpeg that floats around the internet.

Why do you drink 6 beers at once?


Are you kidding? Actually, at places like Wrigley Field, I order two at a time so that I don't have to wait on the beer guy to come back around to my
section. If there is a good bar tender or waiter/waitress, I don't order more than one round. And I always tip a lot to ensure that my glass is never empty.

Why are you always getting Harvey and Madfish Willie in trouble?

I really like hanging out with those guys. They are a lot of fun but aren't too bright (well, Harvey is really bright but I think he just wants to be baaaadddd). I was always the kid that instigated trouble but never got caught.

If you could beat the living crap out of only one person, would it be MacDiva/JadeGold, Michael Moore, George Clooney, or the kid who stole your lunch (or lunch money) in the second grade, and why?

Alec Baldwin. Damn, I would love to just have a few minutes to pummel the crap out of him. Really. You know where I can find him?

But since he is not on the list, I would kick Michael Moore's fat ass because he is smart enough to sound logical to some people and that makes him more
dangerous than the others. MD/JG just needs attention. George Clooney is an Asshat but not as bad as MM.

As for the kid that stole my lunch in the second grade, well, no kid wanted my lunch. My mom was a hippie so I had all of the natural stuff. No cup
cakes or ho-ho's or fruit roll ups for me. All natural peanut butter. Blech!!! Couldn't even get a trade going!

So, is there any truth to the rumor that you are actually an immigrant French florist named Cinq Noir?

Mon dieu, sacre bleu! Quel abruti a posé cette question? Je battrai son âne!

Who would win between a French monkey and a North Korean monkey in an old fashioned monkey knife fight?

Easy question.

A North Korean monkey, while handicapped by having a poofy hair-do, would win easily because the French monkey would surrender and go back to making Renaults.

What was your most interesting inanimate-target-shooting experience?

My best friend in the Army, Crazy Andy Danwin, had this old Pontiac Bonneville with a skull mounted on the dashboard and an angel for a hood ornament. It
was forest green, old and rusty. The roof had an arrow painted on it and pointed towards the front of the car. It had the word "Destiny" written in front
of it. It had "character", just like Andy.

Andy and I took some friends out shooting in Virginia with some new weapons. We pulled up to this impromptu range on a friend's farm and parked Andy's car right behind us.

I just bought a .357 Magnum and had pachy grips on it. It was SWWEEEEET. I couldn't miss with that pistol. We were having a blast taking turns with each other's new purchases.

At one point, my friends had planned a joke on Andy. When the signal was given, we all turned around and started shooting holes in Andy's car. He freaked at first, then starting pouring lead into his own car with his new .45. His HydroShock rounds almost went through both doors. I put a few bullets through the rear quarter panel and just missed the gas tank. The old Pontiac was riddled with holes. Amazingly, no glass was broken.

You should have seen the look on the face of the gate guard when we pulled onto Bolling Air Force Base (where we were stationed). He definitely wondered
what the hell happened to us.

Andy kept the Bonneville for a year or two after that. He loved that damn car.

Leg Rangers, Blackfive, Leg Rangers. Should they be permitted to exist?

"If I were President and had my way, There wouldn't be a "leg" in the Army today."
- 82nd Airborne running cadence

Absolutely not! No way! No how!

Ah, this one is probably from Donnie. I hate "Legs" like Frank J. hates monkeys. "Leg" means non-Airborne qualified personnel. I have no idea why someone would be a Ranger and not Airborne qualified. Going through
Airborne School is a cake walk compared to Ranger School. What's the point of being a Ranger if you can't be airdropped behind the lines?

Anyway, I thought the Army stopped the Leg Ranger nonsense years ago.

Frank J has gone on record as thinking you make up all your stories. How do you respond?

You know, back in 1991, General Colin Powell accused me of being a liar. Then I beat the snot out of him with my belt. To this day, he won't talk to me. You know where I can find Frank J.?

Why would you want to join the Alliance of someone who thinks you're a liar?

He promised me one meeeelion dollars. Honest. Oh, and all the beer at Madfish Willie's.

If you could kill or incapacitate any blogger and take over their blog without anyone knowing, who would it be and what would you do to the blog?

Well, at first I was going to say Howard Dean. I would put up messages like "I, Howard Dean, am a Monkey. Viva le France!"

But, now, after the last two questions, I think I will incapacitate Frank J. I would start with photoshopping some pics of Howard Dean, John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi, and Michael Moore in Nuke the Moon shirts for the photo gallery. Then I would declare Frank's undying manly love for Glenn Reynolds and end the feud between them.

Who is the most under-rated blogger you know?

Good question. Let me explain. No, there is not enough time. Let me sum up:

There is a lot of good stuff over at Munuvia. I like Angelweave the most. Mr. Green has a lot of potential. I know him personally and have heard his awesome verbal rants. I also account for one of his five visitors. He just needs to get those rants down on "paper". Don Watkins writes really good stuff but would be better if he could just get laid once in awhile--and lay off of the philosophy--and drink more.

I also check out Sanity's Edge. Paul kills me. He is the Hemingway (corpse) that Bill wants to screw--literally.

Anyway, I usually visit every site on my blogroll at least twice per day. I like those blogs a lot.

The most over-rated?

Bloviating Inanitities. Just kidding, Bill! Couldn't help it.

My blog. Seriously. I get emails where folks lop me in with Frank and Misha and say that I am one of the big guys. Are you kidding? Honestly, what are you
thinking? It's a crappy little blog that I wish I could spend more time working on to make it better. It's just that it takes third place to my family and friends, and work.

Please describe a moment of pure terror in your life.

When I was ten, two model citizens pulled a switch-blade on me and my youngest brother who was five. We were walking around the neighborhood after
church and got mugged on a Sunday afternoon in broad daylight.

The scary part was that they said they wouldn't stab me. They were going to stab my little five year old brother if I didn't give them all of my money. At ten
(or any age for that matter), I wasn't ready for that kind of fear. Or responsibility.

Pure joy.

I am the luckiest bastard that you ever met. I am in a really good place in my life right now. Great wife. Wonderful job. Surrounded with friends and family.
Plenty of scotch behind the bar. Sometimes I feel guilty because I have it so good.

But what makes me gets tears of joy in my eyes is when I come home from work and my two-and-half year old son hears me open the front door and comes running into my arms yelling, "Daddy!"

That's heaven.

Posted by Jennifer at 12:27 AM | Comments (10)

October 22, 2003

You Asked, Daniel Answers

In the extended entry you will find an excellent interview of Daniel. He inspired a lot of questions on a wide range of topics...from nanotechnology to his, ahem, shoe size.

Please click through and read for yourself...Daniel did a terrific job.

Do you always have fantasies about cute guys in tight pants? Or just ones named after pipe cleaners?

Fantasies about cute guys in tight pants? Pipe cleaners? Did I miss something?

[Ed. note: Jake Plummer. Fantasy football. Let's move on.]

Have you ever publicly or privately worn a baseball cap backwards? If so, can I smack you?

This is something that I have done several times, but it was always only for a few seconds and only to make fun of other fraternity brothers. If I had done it as a serious fashion statement, however, you would be more than welcome to do much more than smack me.

What kind of shampoo do you use?

Wait, one second. Okay, I had to run to the bathroom to check that out. I use Pert Plus (the two in one thing). I also remember having used Head & Shoulders, Herbal Essence, and a couple of other ones. I knew some one once who used that Horse head shampoo.

Grapefruit: white or red?

Red, definitely. When I actually do eat grapefruit. Which isn’t so often. Sorry.

What's your shoe size?

21.5. No, just kidding. I wear a size 10 – about.

Would you ever date and/or marry an older woman? Like, say, Demi Moore or Susie?

Not Demi Moore, but is Susie really offering? Because then…

The biggest age difference I’ve ever had has been around 16 months. That seemed to work fine. When I was last traveling with my brother and my cousin, we met a couple of guys around 40 or so and they assured me that I should date at least one older woman in my life. Though they weren’t the most reliable of sources in the world (or the most moral for that matter), I think that it might be good advice. So I would definitely consider dating and, by default, marrying an older woman. Age isn’t really that much of an issue for me.

Would you consider dating a member of the Alliance?

The last three questions all seem related. Again, is Susie offering?

I would have to think long and hard about this one. I mean, the alliance?! They’re like the heart of all evil. The destroyers of all good. The usurpers of all that is naughty. But… is Susie offering?? Because that might change everything.

Where do you want to be in 5 years? What and who do you want to be doing?

Whoa, what a question. So, in five years I will have finished graduate school by a couple years and if I decide to do a post-doc than that would have finished already also. So I’d be out in the “real world”. The current thinking right now is that I’ll work in a government lab, military research, or an industry lab if research is the way I decide to go or as a science/technology consult if I decide to go that way. I’m also working on several projects that could possibly turn into enough to start a business out of (with several other people) and that would be really exciting – but extremely risky. I’m pretty sure that I don’t want to go directly into academia, as I will still be young enough to be able to take risks with my life.

In personal life, I don’t know. I’m not going to limit myself to the possibilities out there. Especially if Susie is offering…

Who do you think will rule the blogosphere when the dust settles?

I’m not sure the dust will settle. I don’t think that it should. I that already too many people get their links only from Instapundit. The whole point of blogging is that there are so many opinions and views out there. Yes they will get filtered as people tire of blogging and having no one read or as they just get beaten to death by more powerful bloggers. This is a pretty swift evolutionary process. I remember when the web first started kicking and everyone had their own small little web pages that had meaningless “here’s my picture of Bart Simpson’s head on Margaret Thatcher’s body” type picture – wait, that sill happens…

That being said. I will rule the blogosphere. No question about it. I’m just building my base here. Join up now or be the first against the wall.

Which bloggers, if any, influence you?

That’s a tough question. I came a little late in my life to blogging to have too many people that influence my thoughts that much, so the influence tends to be stylistic.

When I first started blogging, the style of arguments that the Volokh Conspiracy presented really impressed me. They do such a great job of arguing in a purely legalistic manner and not participating in the dialogue of partisan politics on a regular basis (except maybe Sasha). Their biases come out over the long run, but even when you know what they are and disagree with them, you have to respect their arguments. They also have a way of making you interested in something that you didn’t know you were interested in. More recently, I’ve been reading (Prof. Froomkin’s site) a lot and he usually provides a very good argument from the other side. In this mainly conservative blogosphere, I think that it is important to read more than one take on issues. He also gets interested in geek things, so that’s always good. Eliana over at does a wonderful job of mixing her fashion sense with a good, quick wit in politics. And has a great site design. There are plenty of other ones and I’m sorry that I’ve left some out. Often times I’m inspired by a single subject or some witty saying or something like that. These were just the ones I remembered off the top of my head.

All of the Munuvians influence me. And not just by blogosphere proximity. They provide a lot of levity in the blogging world and have such great fun doing it. Thanks so much to Pixy Misa for giving us all a home here. And Jen for bringing me here.

What's your preferred method of handling comment trolls - starving or beating?

Definitely beating. Very brutally. And then cutting their hearts out. With a wooden spoon. Because it is very blunt and it will probably splinter on the way in. And on the way out.

Is an Instalanche worth all of the trouble?

Well, this question was obviously submitted in the last couple of days. Uh… in short, yes with a strong but. There were 30 some-odd comments left on my site, several hundred extra visitors, and about 40 emails regarding the subject. The commentary has been interesting and at times stimulating. I got to email and discuss philosophical issues with some pretty talented thinkers and the fact that I held my own against the BBA (Big Blogger Alliance) makes me feel pretty good about myself and my writing. I think a few of those who came to my site because of Professor Reynolds will come back every so often, which is cool. That being said, there are some bad sides. Some of the responses weren’t very nice and it can be stressful wanting to respond to comments and emails. After I had made the initial post and stated my positions, I felt responsible for defending them. This, too, can be stressful. I think it’s pretty much over (thanks the the TNR editors), but it was all in all a good thing definitely worth the trouble. Just make sure that you can defend what ever it is you submit to Pro. Reynolds.

And nobody should ever ever join the Alliance of StupidFree Blogs (or whatever they are called).

If you could meet and have a dinner conversation with five people from history, who would they be?

1. Richard Feynman – because he is one of the most brilliant physicists ever and he could get interested in anything. He would have some great stories to tell.

2. Thomas Paine – doesn’t get anywhere near the credit he deserves for changing the entire world with “Age of Reason” and “Common Sense”

3. Alexander the Great – because he started the entire world on Hellenistic culture

4. The leaders of all the Three Kingdoms of China – I know, it’s three, but I always think of those as one.

5. Pythagoras of Samos – the man was an amazing mathematician and he had a cult built around him. That’s just cool.

6. Can I get a cameo appearance from both Wittgenstein and Popper? Just to find out what actually happened during their famous argument. Or maybe Bertrand Russell… shoot – why does it have to be just five?

Have you read "Prey"? Where did Crichton go from possible to impossible in that story?

I have read “Prey” and I thought that it was really good. I currently work in the field of nanotechnology and I have worked in the past with both emergent behavior and Genetic Algorithms (Evolutionary Algorithms), so this book combined three of my favorite subjects. The main place that it went impossible is that no researchers would ever be so careless with what they created as to not have some sort of shut down or destruction command on something so obviously needing of control. Also, there’s no way the things could have evolved abilities so outside the limits of their initial coding and hardware. If I write a evolutionary search algorithm, it isn’t possible for it to evolve to the point that it starts writing Shakespeare. Other than that, I thought it was a really good book. Lawmakers overreact when they read things, but I look forward to the movie.

How did you wind up studying in Georgia?

Everybody should wind up studying in Georgia. The basic story is that Georgia Tech had the best program in the best city with the best professor. Those three things are the most important things about graduate school. Essentially the choice for me, when picking grad school, came down to did I want to live in Atlanta or L.A. Every thing that I had read and every thing that I had been told by other grad students was that the city that you live in is the most important factor in happiness in graduate school. Atlanta is amazing. And the professor that I work with is one of the best in the field and he is very supportive of all of his students.

What's your proudest moment personally?

When I hit the home run that won the title at State. Just kidding. That never happened. My proudest moment personally? That’s tough. I held my own against one of my professors at U of C several times over the issue of moral relativism. After class, we were talking and he said “Very impressive, Daniel”. After that, he would often seek my opinion on things in class. We still keep in touch. But that might be a scholastic moment.

What's your proudest moment professionally/scholastically?

Oh, I have two. The first is when I first appeared on an academic paper/journal both at Chicago and here at Tech. And the second is graduating from the University of Chicago. The ceremony is amazing and full of tradition, with bagpipes playing and they give you the actual diploma when you walk across the stage. It was amazing.

Extrapolate nanotechnology 20 years. What will we be seeing?

Pixy thinks we’ll be at picotechnology. I’m not so sure. The most dangerous thing that we can do when talking about nanotechnology is overhype it. Too much of this has been done already and I don’t want to contribute more to it. That being said – It will change everything. It just might take about 20-25 years, not the 5-10 that some people talk about. We’ve already seen some changes. We have new pants that are stain and wrinkle resistant. We have better sunscreen. In 20 years, we will have unbelievably fast computing devices based not on silicon, but on nanomaterials. The design of spaceships into lighter, more efficient machines, Carbon nanotubes to strengthen steel, nanobelts as gas and liquid sensors, biomedical imaging systems, drug delivery systems, etc. The list just goes on and on and on. Twenty years is enough time, given proper public support, to have many of the initial promises of nanotechnology come true. I just hope I’m still at the forefront.

I am interested to know about alternative medication delivery systems you want to develop...have you done any work on this yet?

Yes, I have done work on this. I can describe the basic idea and if whoever asked this would like to know more, feel free. Here’s the idea. Currently, when you take a pill or drink some medicine, the delivery system is that is travels throughout your entire body and some of it gets to where it is effective and the rest of it goes to the rest of the body – causing side effects and other stuff. But, what if we could tag each antibody or virus killer that we sent in to the body so that it would only attach to diseased or damaged cells? Then we could lower the dosage, increase the effectiveness, and destroy an illness a lot quicker and with much less side effects. This is one of the projects that I’m working on. We’re looking to target Cancer cells and detect cancer when there are only a couple hundred cells. Current technology can only detect when there are millions of cells. So then we can precisely locate the cells and deliver the chemotherapy only to the cancerous part of the body. Then the cure wouldn’t be so dangerous.

One of the great logical exercises of our time involves the question of a dropped object hitting or not hitting the ground. The argument goes: when an object falls, it falls half of the distance to the ground, then half of the remaining distance, then half of that, and so on ad infinitum. Obviously, the object does hit the ground (or your foot), but is it because there are a finite number of halves, or is there some mystical force at play? Second, since an object never hits the ground, Moises Alou could've obviously caught that ball, fan interference or no. Should we still beat the crap outta 3rd Baseline Guy if he should ever cross our path?

Yeah, so Zeno’s paradox. Except it forgets some things. We have to abide by the laws of physics here, not just mathematics. The smallest measurement of length with any meaning is defined by something known as the Planck length. It’s something around 1.6 x 10^-35 meters. There is also a Planck time, which is similar, and is 10^-43 seconds. Since we can’t continually divide the distance in half, the paradox fails and there are a finite (although very large) number of halves. The ball will most definitely hit the ground. Moises could have caught the ball. But then again, so could have Alex Gonzalez. The pitch could have not been wild. Kerry Wood could have not given up seven runs. Dusty Baker could have taken Wood out earlier. And so on ad infinitum. That being said, 3rd Baseline Guy, I’m sure, has already beaten the crap out of himself.

The Big Bang theory essentially states that the Universe came into being out of nothing. Can an effect without cause be a scientific conclusion?

Actually the answer to the question is sort of. Quantum effects predict really strange circumstances where the effect can precede the cause. So the Universe could be some big effect before the cause. But recent findings (put Nature article here) show that Relativity, as usual, may trump Quantum Mechanics (this seems to always happen). So the question of effect and cause is as of yet unsolved.

The Universe might not have “come from nothing”. There are theories that the last big bang happened from a former big crunch. I don’t quite believe that one because this universe doesn’t seem to be heading for a crunch. Other theories are that the universe was created out of another universe, we’re just another membrane in the multiverse, and so on and so on. I have to recommend the book “The Last Three Minutes” if you are more interested in this.

If you had to choose between the life of your own child and the lives of two strangers, which would you choose and why?

Easy one. I would pick my child. Surely there is a number of strangers that I could save that would be worth more than my child (because I know that I would save 6 billion strangers before my child), but two is not even close to that number. I’m even not sure that 1000 is.

I did an internet search on this and came several discussion boards on this where people either claim that there is a time constraint in picking and they would act on instinct or they feel like they have to apologize for their selfish behavior in this matter… weird.

If you could safely clone yourself and raise him as your son, what would you try most to change about "yourself" (the clone)?

Nothing. I’m perfect of course. No, just kidding. I guess I would make my self more extroverted. And more tolerance of brainless people or at least the ability to hide my intolerance of them more. I’m very bad at hiding when I think people are dim-witted. (By the way, Office 2003 rocks!)

If you could be Michael Moore for one day, how would you kill yourself?

1. Get a LOT of explosives. The more the better.

2. Hook up a detonator to an altimeter. Set it for 100-200 feet. That will give me good dispersion.

3. Mix Vaseline and gasoline in a bucket.

4. Find a really tall building that's in a sufficiently crowded area to generate the proper sized crowd.

5. Get an extra large trench coat, ski mask, duct tape and a lighter.

6. Bring your materials to the top of building. Liberally apply the Vaseline-gasoline mixture to entire body. Duct tape the explosives around legs, arms, head and torso. The more the better. Attach the altimeter to the explosives.

7. Put on the trench coat and mask so that the explosives are not visible.

8. Start ranting and throwing things so that you are sure to attract notice. As Michael Moore, I do this naturally. Drag this part out as long as possible. Say anything that comes to mind but try to stay away from real problems. Truth does not make good sound bites. Ask for news cameras from the major networks. Pace around a lot while waving my arms.

9. DO NOT let on that I have explosives on my body. The police will clear the area and I definitely don't want that.

10. When I’ve gotten the crowd to a fevered pitch, when the helicopters are hovering like vultures, whip off the jacket and set myself on fire.

11. Wait until I’m completely engulfed in flame then jump.

12. Try to steer yourself towards the crowd. That way flaming falling body parts will pelt the fleeing onlookers when you explode.

I got this from another website and then made small edits. I think it fits, though.

Posted by Jennifer at 12:01 AM | Comments (12)

October 20, 2003

You Asked, Heather Answers

Heather answers the questions you submitted...

Frank J or Instapundit? I mean for real.

Frank J. Instapundit doesn't know who I am! (Nor does he need my support)

Why didn't you join the Axis of Naughty? Do you support oppression by monkey-boys or something?

I thought angering the great Frank J. might not be advantageous. Turns out, he won't update my links, but I didn't know that then.

We all can see which blogs you like by looking on your blogroll...but which blogs influence you?

I kinda do my own thing. I guess you could say Brian because he is my blogfather (and spouse which makes things kinda weird). He's the professional writer of the household. I have a bunch of blogs I read via RSS and probably ought to give some official credit to; I'll do that this week.

Why do you blog?

Because once I got started I can't stop. You?

What is the hardest blogging-related decision you've ever had to make?

Not to post something (which is the decision I made). I really wanted to, but in the end it made common sense not to because it was a bit too personal.

Seriously, why so purple? How about a nice muted lavendar?

Sigh. Feed me a non-pink lavender hex code, and I'll plug it in and see if I like it. No pink!

Describe your daily routine in 20 words or less.

Work, exercise, chores, food preparation, reading, writing, resting, hockey (if applicable).

When lifting weights, why is it important to breathe properly? Also, what is the correct breathing technique?

Breathe out while exerting, and breathe in while returning the weights to the starting position. The importance? In the immortal words of Ana Caban, your muscles need oxygen. Also, you don't want to pass out and drop your dumbbells on the dude next to you (or yourself).

What would be your top three tips to lose weight?

It's a three-in-one. Cardiovascular training, strength training, and nutrition (note I don't say diet). Aim to lose one to two pounds a week, no more. In order to do this properly, you need to know your starting body fat percentage, which means a date with the loathsome calipers. Once you know that, though, you'll learn your maintenance calories. Cut 500 from those, and there's your plan. If you drop 500 a day, you'll drop a pound a week, basically. Exercise is gravy on top of that. The cardio will help you burn off some extra fat, and the strength training will ensure that your new body is taut and strong, not wiggly.

I've had excellent results with a medium carbohydrate, medium fat regimen. That's too simple, though. My carbs are mostly complex (fruits, veggies, and whole grains), and the fats primarily polyunsaturated and monosaturated; meaning few from animal fat and junk. Most of my fat comes from nuts, lean meat, and salad dressing (oil).

One more idea; don't drink your calories. No sugared soda. No alcohol while you're trying to lose. You can treat yourself every once in a while, but these items shouldn't be everyday things (that's what I mean by "no.")

I see that you had a post about fads and cancer cures, I would like to know if you ever tried the coffee enema and if you put cream and sugar with it?

Uh, I'm a health nut; I eschew all fad diets. No cures to cancer, sadly; just preparing your body to do its best to ward it off. Also, no caffeine for me. So, no coffee. Ever. (Where do I post about fads???)

What size shoes do you wear?

8 or 8 ½ wide.

What are the names of your neighbors' 10 gerbils?

Thyme, Coriander, Nutmeg, Cayenne, Basil, Oregano, Rosemary, Sage, Tumeric, and Bob.

If someone didn't know you, what is the one thing they should know about you?

I'm intense.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?

Here. Brian's here. I COULD pretty much live anywhere. Probably not a castle, though. Not full time.

If you died and HAD to come back as a celebrity, who would you be and why?

What are celebrities again? Oh, okay. Paul Kariya. He's a little dude, but he's soooooo fast.

Seriously now, who isn't John Galt?

Pamela Anderson. And JadeGold.

Tell the mustard story, please.

Okay. When I was 22, I was a single female living alone in Columbia, MO working full time and going to grad school. I had a weird-looking neighbor who lived in the apartment above me. The guys, two brothers, who were in the apartment across from me had mentioned to me that the guy was weird.

Often, I'd hear things crashing in his apartment. One morning at about 6:00 a.m., I heard a loud BOOOM! CRASH! I wasn't due to wake up yet, and I was pissy about this, so I yelled "what the hell!"

That night, after work, I was doing some laundry, and the laundry area for the apartment complex was very close to my apartment; just around the corner, really. I was carrying laundry back, and this man emerged from his apartment screaming "I KNOW WHAT YOU DID! I KNOW WHAT YOU DID! AND I CALLED THE POLICE!"

He has this long, gray hair, and his face is all scrunched up, and he's just livid. I think I'm carrying my whites. I don't remember what I said to him, but I went back into my apartment pretty shaken up, set down my laundry, and tried to figure out what to do.

The easy solution was to visit the two guys across the way who had once said, if you ever need anything. So I did. I knocked, they opened the door, and I related the story. One said, call the police.

I did. From there.

The police come. They go and talk to the man. They come back over to the guy's apartment. They say, "He accuses you of putting mustard on his door this morning."

It gets better, but I'm not going to tell you now. I'll post the rest at lunch or after work Monday.

Thank you, Heather! Tune in Wednesday when Daniel answers your questions.

Posted by Jennifer at 12:01 AM | Comments (4)

October 17, 2003

You Asked, Frank Answers

Frank J answers your questions...

What were your parents smoking when they named you and where can I get some of it?
Neither of my parents smoked when I was born. I was named after my dad.

Who's your favorite Beatle? (I was gonna say "Spice Girl," but they're old.)
I dunno... McCartney.

Marsha or Jan?
Marsha! Marsha! Marsha!

What does one have to do to get a Frank-alanche?
E-mailing me a worthy link is a good way to start.
Oh, and if you're a cute female, promising me sexual favors.

Why haven't you de-linked me yet?
Same reason I haven't updated the links of those who have moved off blogspot - I'm lazy.

When is Chomps happiest?
When he is angriest.

Who would win in a fight between Chomps and Zatoichi?
Chomps is too noisy to take on the blind samurai. I'm just going to say it would be a tie.

What is the purest form of humor?
Mockery. It's the evolutionary purpose of humor.

Can something be funny if it does not poke fun at someone/something?
All humor can be traced back to mockery of man. Even when you laugh at a dumb thing a dog does, it's because it reminds you of a stupid human. That said, humor can still be used without purpose of mockery, but that is its roots.

Since the number of numbers are infinite, all odd numbers are infinite. But since odd numbers are only half of all numbers, how can 1/2 of infinity equal Infinity? What's the deal?
Any inifinity can be divided into an inifinite number of smaller infinities. That's just how infiinite infinity is. So, if you put an infinite number of monkeys at an infinite number of typewriters, soon an infinite number will write the greatest novel ever written (which would probably resemble the one I'm going to be editing this weekend before I try to shop for an agent).

(shudder) infinite monkeys...

In your opinion, is blogging a legitimate form of journalism?
Not my blogging.

Where will the blogosphere be in 5 years? In 10?
Still on the internet.
Oh, and ruled by me... I mean the Alliance.

What do you really think of President Bush and his leadership abilities?
He's doing fine by my count, but he ain't wowing me.

Are you still available?
Why? Do you know someone?

Do I have to convert to Catholicism to marry you?
Yes, unless you're like superattractive.

How many kids do you want?
Three worked out for my parents. I'll go with three.

Thanks, Frank J! And thanks to everyone who submitted questions (I know who you are).

Tune in next time, when Heather will be answering your questions.

Posted by Jennifer at 12:01 AM | Comments (7)

July 01, 2003