October 31, 2007

CNN Credibility, Or Lack Thereof

I had the news station on the radio, waiting for the traffic report, when I was treated to an analysis of last night's Democrat debate as provided by "CNN's Chief Political Correspondent".

The CCPC (and that acronym is oh-so-close) doesn't believe that Hillary's dishonest, indecisive and incoherent answer to the question about illegal aliens and driver's licenses will hurt Hillary, because:

Everyone, even people who disagree with her on certain issues, really like Hillary Clinton.

I was laughing so hard I almost drove off the road.

Posted by Ted at 09:19 PM | Comments (125) | TrackBack
Category: Politics

On Having One's Collective Act Together

You may or may not know that I am a proud resident of Prince William County in Virginia. You may have heard of us recently because after a twelve hour meeting (!) of the County Board of Supervisors, a new law was unanimously passed that will deny taxpayer funded services to illegal aliens. Kids will still get schooled and the emergency room is still available to all, but if you're not a legal resident, then Joe American is no longer footing the bill.

There are already reports from neighboring counties of families scouting out neighborhoods, looking for new places to live. These are, of course, the counties who have decried us as collectively racist and supporters of "hate-based" laws.

These are not the counties who are debating similar laws, which without exception are also overwhelmingly supported by the residents.

Over the last week, a neighboring county has been contacting each and every registered sex offender within its borders, instructing them that come Halloween, they would have the drapes closed, outside lights off, and a sign stating "No Candy" to be displayed on the closed door. Good idea, methinks, and the warning that spot-checks would be made provided a little emphasis that this was more than a friendly suggestion.

Our county did something similar, except that each and every registered sex offender that lives in Prince William County was required to attend a meeting that would last most of the evening on Halloween.

I feel like Corey Feldman in The 'Burbs.

Posted by Ted at 08:03 PM | Comments (40) | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs

October 29, 2007

October, You Can Stop Kicking My Ass Now

Wow, what a month.

I cried all over again today about Sam. I've already sent the animal hospital a thank you card because their compassion and professionalism made that difficult time a little more bearable. This wasn't the regular vet, this was another local one who could fit us in when we needed an appointment. So today we got mail from the animal hospital. Inside there was a sympathy card signed by the vet. No advertising, no handy fridge magnet with their phone number, just a very nice card.

Last Friday evening we got a phone call letting us know that my dad is in the hospital. He's got pneumonia and they put him in ICU because of some pretty serious complications. I started to make plans to fly out to Arizona to see him, but he's a fighter and responded well enough to treatment that he'll be going home in another day or two. We've gotten daily updates from his girlfriend but haven't been able to talk to him directly. It seems like we dodged one there.

Lastly, today I got some resolution about something that's been hanging over my head for a while now. Three weeks ago I had a biopsy done on my thyroid gland because they found a "nodule". Today the results came back (FINALLY!!!) and it's fine, normal, benign, whatever you want to call it. I'll be going back in a few months for another ultrasound, just to make sure it's not doing something scary. All the doctors were reassuring me that it looked harmless and wasn't frighteningly rare, but they still wanted all the tests done.

I think I mentioned that at my physical a year and a half ago, the doc put me on meds because my thyroid has slowed way down. This year, there were other indications that something wasn't quite right, so many tests were ordered. That's when they found it.

I went to the hospital for the "ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration". That's what the medical profession calls it. I called it "getting stabbed in the neck". What that means is that an ultrasound tech crushes your windpipe so the radiologist can aim reasonably well as he pokes you with a needle to get a core sample from the ol' carcass. It took them four tries, about an inch and a half deep into my throat, wiggling around inside to get 'em pointed where they wanted, with no anesthetic. The last two hurt like a mother. Afterwards, the adrenaline kicked in and I laughed like a madman (and it *hurt* to laugh) as Mookie led me through the hospital and to the car. I could've driven, but she was sweet enough to go with, so I let her drive. It hurt to talk for a couple of days and I couldn't shave for the rest of the week (boo hoo), and I worried myself sick over the results because they took so long to come back (what are they double and triple checking?!?!?!?). That, and I'm a damned baby.

So that explains the light posting lately. Dog dead, Dad sick, medical results pending... my life has been a freakin' country and western song.

C'mon November!

Posted by Ted at 05:31 PM | Comments (158) | TrackBack
Category: Family matters

October 28, 2007

A Good String of Movies

Over the last week plus, I've watched:

The Innocents - Classic British creepy ghost movie, the kind that scare the hell out of you without grossing you out or making you jump out of your seat. Highly recommended.

Ilsa, the Wicked Warden - Final episode of the "Ilsa" series, preceded by Ilsa, She-Wolf of the SS and Ilsa, Harem Keeper of the Sheiks. Lots of boobs and S&M going on, if you're into that sort of thing.

Masters of Horror: Imprint - This one was from season one and was directed by Takashi Miike, who also did Happiness of the Katakuris (that I gush about so often). This episode also has the honor of never being shown on US television because of concerns about the incest, abortionists, and graphic torture. This was a difficult hour to watch. Unforgettable and brilliant, but very uncomfortable viewing, like great horror should be.

Amadeus - Salieri hates Mozart. Beautiful movie. Love it.

300 - I liked this a lot. It helps to remember that this was based on a comic boo- er, graphic novel. If you're whining about historical accuracy or realism, then you're being a twit.

Malpertuis - I'm still making up my mind about this one. In Dutch with English subtitles. Stars Orson Wells and Susan Hampshire (who plays three parts!). This one is like a glimpse inside a madman's thought processes. Utterly insane and I think I loved it.

I'm too lazy to get links for all of these, but some are listed over on the sidebar.

Posted by Ted at 12:21 AM | Comments (16) | TrackBack
Category: Cult Flicks

October 27, 2007

I Needed to Laugh

This is brilliant.

After the all of endless days of the California fire quagmire, it's time for America to admit that it can't win this battle. We must immediately withdraw our forces and go home. But until our so-called "leaders" in Washington wise up to the folly of their current course, all we can do is ask ourselves, "why does fire hate us?".

The comments are almost as.

The ones who want to put it out are obviously in the pocket of Big Water.
I would just like to say that I am against firefighting but for the firefighters.
I can't see how some people are saying they support putting the fire out, yet don't serve in the fire department.


There's so much more, go check it out.

Posted by Ted at 10:17 AM | Comments (1)
Category: Links

October 23, 2007

Thunder Will Never Scare You Again, Sam

We had to put our dog, Sam, to sleep today.
We got Sam ten years ago from an animal rescue. He was four years old at the time. Our daughter Robyn has allergies, so her and I went looking for a dog that she could tolerate being around. Sam jumped up and bit her in the butt, and that's when I fell in love with him. We took him home with us.

His spirit was still strong, but his old body failed him. He's buried now in the backyard, where he loved to be.

Posted by Ted at 04:57 PM | Comments (67) | TrackBack
Category: Family matters

October 21, 2007


Sweet Home Albania Alabama.

Thanks to Wizbang! for the pointer.

Posted by Ted at 01:07 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack
Category: Links

October 19, 2007

Downside: Less Portable than a Magazine, Upside: Way Funnier

What happens when you combine a viewmaster, viewmaster porn disks, and a young man with that good ol' American ingenuity?

More importantly, what happens afterwards?

Thanks to Dustbury for the pointer.

Posted by Ted at 05:17 PM | Comments (87) | TrackBack
Category: Links

October 17, 2007

Movie Review: Night of the Living Dorks

This fun little flick comes to us from Germany and should be watched with the English language dubbing for the best effect. The dubbing is every bit as bad as a Hong Kong kung fu movie, which only adds to the fun.

Basically, three high school losers take part in a late-night ritual to raise the dead in a local cemetery, which doesn't work the way the goth gang had hoped. In fact, there appears to be no effect at all, and the losers wind up covered with the ashes of a cremated "zombie". On the way home, the three die in a traffic accident, and later wake up in the morgue. Back at school, they try to figure out how to control their craving for flesh and how to retard their ongoing decomposition (staple guns are used to hilarious effect). Things quickly get out of hand.

This reminded me a little bit of Fast Times at Ridgemont High (or most any other ensemble "teen" movie). There were a lot of minor storylines and the film bounces back and forth between them all. All the various loose ends get tied up nicely in a decent ending.

The movie does drag a little from time to time, but then again there were several scenes that were laugh-out-loud funny. Every single character is a stereotype but the good guys are genuinely likable. The supposed "hot" chick has a serious horse face, which made me wonder why everyone in the school lusted after her. The gore is low-budget but there are some squick-a-licious moments. Lots of juvenile humor, sight gags, a smattering of slapstick and some actual intelligent comedy thrown into the mix.

Set your sights low and you'll enjoy this one.

Posted by Ted at 07:28 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack
Category: Cult Flicks

October 15, 2007

Weekend Update

Had everyone home for the weekend. Rachael is home for fall break, which prompted Robyn and son-in-law Henry to come up to visit, since they hadn't seen each other in quite a while. It was nice having the kids around, just as it will be nice when they all leave again (Rachael heads back to school tomorrow afternoon).

I spent Saturday afternoon baking. Birthday cake for Robyn (Happy Birthday Sweetie!!!! - today's the b-day), and three batches of biscotti (almond, apple cinnamon, and lemon cranberry).

We had a great dinner at a Japanese steakhouse, with our "chef" being the oriental Henny Youngman. Very droll, very funny (to me, some of our tablemates didn't like him much).

Afterwards, much poker was played, with yours truly coming out the big winner. "Winner" being defined as ending up with the most chips, because we were playing for fun since nobody had any money. Didn't matter, it was good times.

So all in all, a very active weekend. Lots got done. Lots of fun. Muchly needed to recharge the ol' spiritual batteries.

I hope yours was a nice as mine.

Posted by Ted at 07:06 AM | Comments (367) | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs

October 12, 2007

People Staring At Me Strangely (updated)

Every time I think about Al Gore being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, I heartily chuckle out loud. Doesn't matter where, doesn't matter when. At my desk, walking on the sidewalk to work (the construction workers gave me odd looks).

Please Mr. Gore, you've got credibility now! Enter the race and save us from a Hillary Clinton administration!!! You're our only hope!


This is priceless!!!!!! (there aren't enough exclamation points in the world for it)

Thanks to Q&O for pointing that one out.

Posted by Ted at 06:09 AM | Comments (96) | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs

Treats, not tricks (updated)

For Halloween, some downloadable wallpapers (1024x768).

Lon Cheney Sr. in "London at Midnight"

Boris Karloff from "The Mummy" (my personal favorite and what I have at work)

A cute and completely non-threatening clown


(Update: I created and uploaded these, in case you're worried about virii or other eCommunicable Nasties)

Posted by Ted at 05:44 AM | Comments (22) | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs

Best Part of the Movie

This exchange was, sadly, the highlight of Satan's Cheerleaders:

High Priest: Women! They're nothing but trouble!

Monk: I know what you mean.

High Priest: How would you know?

Monk: I'm well read, and I dream a lot.

John Ireland, Yvonne De Carlo and John Carradine are wasted in this nonsense. Their performances are so far above the airheads who play the main characters that it's just sad. The minimal amount of gratuitous boobage didn't help matters either.

Posted by Ted at 05:21 AM | Comments (12) | TrackBack
Category: Cult Flicks

October 11, 2007

Serendipitious Crap Is Still Crap

It's Rocket Jones movie review time! Cheer or cringe, it's all the same to me.

There have been some classic "low budget" moments in film history. For instance, in "The Beast from Yucca Flats", the entire movie was filmed silent, and all dialog and sound effects were added during post-production. To avoid synchronization problems, the character speaking always has his face turned away from the camera or is off-screen. This results in the odd effect of having two people talking, and you only ever see the person listening as the conversation happens.

Another example is the movie (danged if I can recall what the title was) where all of the sound equipment fell into the lake on the first day of shooting. Their budget didn't allow them to get new equipment, so once again they shot it silent and dubbed in the dialog in post production.

This review is about "Rat Pfink A Boo Boo". That's not a typo, at least, it's not anymore. When the original movie titles were created, instead of "Rat Pfink *and* Boo Boo", they said "Rat Pfink *A* Boo Boo". There wasn't enough money to correct the mistake, so the movie title was changed to match. The cover art also spells it out as "Rat *Phink* A(nd) Boo Boo", which introduces a whole new misspelling to the mix and may have been intentional.

Anyway, if it wasn't for the "legend" behind the movie, this stinker would've been long forgotten. Taking full advantage of low-budget strategies like extended close ups and long, repetitive chase scenes, the movie stretches out to an hour and ten minutes or so, while actually having about twenty minutes of actual action.

If you're a big fan of crappy "rock and roll" singers and the even crappier songs they write and perform - see my review of "The Giant Gila Monster" for the all-time big bag o' barf award - then you're gonna *love* this one. At one point the narrator explains:

Lonnie Lords is a rock star. He carries his guitar with him everywhere he goes because he never knows when he'll be called upon to perform. Lonnie likes to sing.

Sing by the window Lonnie, I'll help you out.

The first half of the movie shows a gang of three guys who... I'm not sure what they do, but they do it as a gang. One always carries a hammer on a string, another a length of chain, and the black guy laughs a lot and they make him ride in the back of the truck. They pick women at random and psychologically abuse them before robbing them.

When they kidnap Lonnie's girlfriend, Lonnie and Titus the gardener become the title heroes and head out to rescue the fair maiden and save the day. This takes a while because mucho time is spent in close ups, car chase scenes and incredibly badly done fights. Did I already say that? Gee, just like this movie! Oh, and there's a gorilla loose too, for no reason that I could figure out. Also, there are many long close ups, car chase scenes and badly done fights.

If - and I mean that in a questioning-your-sanity kinda way - IF, you need to see this just to complete your viewing list of all-time worst movies ever, you have my sympathies. Otherwise, leave it alone. Or go watch "Giant Gila Monster".

Posted by Ted at 05:13 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack
Category: Cult Flicks

October 10, 2007

Magnum? Nitro?

What was the name of that Dodge vehicle that had all the "I'm so tough" commercials? It scared the *bleep* out of the cute widdle cartoon characters, and it ignored the fairy as she bounced shot after shot of magic off of it.

I saw one today on the road with a couple of big-assed cracks running across the entire windshield.

Not so tough when you meet a real fucking rock now, are you?

Posted by Ted at 08:33 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs

Better Late Than Never, I Suppose

In the Spring, I ordered perennials from Spring Hill Nursery (no link for them), and then spent a couple of frustrating months as half of everything they shipped to me showed up dead and dessicated.

They finally sent a note saying that planting season was over, and they'd send the rest of the order (which they still hadn't gotten right) in the fall.

I've written them off, the company is dead to me. Still, late last week two boxes showed up with my missing items. The asters are in great shape, the geranium appears to be good, but only five of the six primrose survived, and two of the five aren't looking so hot.

Fortunately, we're experiencing one heckuva warm stretch, so the plants are now in the ground and hopefully establishing their little green butts off. Liz wasn't thrilled because I had to transplant some really beautiful annuals to make room for these new arrivals. Annuals that I'd planted to fill in the gaps caused by Spring Hill's inability to actually stock items offered in their catalog, or if shipped, have them survive the process (I never did get living lavender after three tries).

On the plus side, I got to play in the dirt.

Posted by Ted at 05:12 AM | Comments (11) | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs

October 09, 2007

Latest Chinese Recall

Sent to me via email.


This one makes me cringe.

Posted by Ted at 01:40 PM | Comments (3)
Category: Square Pegs

October 08, 2007

Movie Review: Pan's Labyrinth


I mean it. Just. Wow.

I started to write a review, and said the heck with it. Go read this review. If it sounds at all interesting to you, see it.

Definitely. See it.


Posted by Ted at 08:48 PM | Comments (330) | TrackBack
Category: Cult Flicks

If the Pissy Mood Fits, Wear It

Today's rant: Red Bull and all the other various "energy" drinks. Young people today act like they invented overdosing on caffeine. Ooooh, look at me, I'm drinking Red Bull and Vodka, I'm so very cool.

When my parents needed to hype up, they took No-Doz. For my generation, it was Vivarin. Meanwhile, today the kids can't handle the overdrive buzz unless it's kool-aid flavored.


Posted by Ted at 03:17 PM | Comments (0)
Category: Square Pegs

October 06, 2007


Comments are closed until further notice. Thank an asshole spammer if you actually wanted to say something here.

Posted by Ted at 09:51 PM | Comments (0)
Category: Square Pegs

October 03, 2007

An Intriguing Combination

Alison Krauss and Robert Plant: Raising Sand.

Posted by Ted at 03:40 PM | Comments (621) | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs

October 01, 2007

A Rare Political Post

A few interesting things that have happened lately:

I heard on the radio today that Governor Tim Kaine (D) has frozen the salaries of his staff. He's also given himself a 5% cut in pay. I'm not crazy about Governor Kaine, but kudos for this one.

Last week a coworker and I were discussing something and, as he tends to do, he steered the conversation towards politics. He brought up right-wing extremists like Blackwater and I countered that both ends of the spectrum had fanatics, mentioning eco-terrorists and MoveOn as examples. He insisted that MoveOn is mainstream, and I laughed out loud. When he informed me that he's a member of MoveOn, I laughed harder and told him that I wasn't surprised a bit. I laughed all the way back to my office. I think he's offended that I think he's an extremist.

I mentioned that my delegate sent a survey a while back, and then followed up with the results. This afternoon he knocked on the door, introduced himself and called me by my name and then asked me to vote for him again. He wasn't canvassing the neighborhood, because when he left he got into his car and drove away, probably to the next person that answered his survey. Pretty cool.

Posted by Ted at 06:12 PM | Comments (0)
Category: Politics
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