December 31, 2007

Now Here's Someone Looking Forward to Dinner!

Much like you loyal Rocket Jones stalkers readers and commenters (not always the same to my chagrin), who return regularly to view my little corner of this grand trainwreck that Al Gore wrought.

Enjoy. I do believe that she will.
Oh yes, to a frightening degree, she will be enjoying it.

And tomorrow, a visual depiction on what to expect from the 2008 version of Rocket Jones!

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Category: Square Pegs

December 30, 2007

Kit Kat Buffet

Did anyone else know that Kit Kat candy bars came in different flavors outside the US?

Posted by Ted at 08:57 AM | Comments (6)
Category: Links

December 29, 2007

Two for the "What the hell?" File

This weekend I've watched two of the oddest flicks I've ever seen. Both were very beautiful to watch, with powerful visuals and memorable scenes. I'll never watch either again, because for all their reputation and supposed greatness, I just wasn't that impressed.

Eraserhead - David Lynch's first movie. An hour and a half of strange nonsense that kind of tells a story. I've said before that as a youngster I would've been wowed by something like this, digging deep for hidden meaning and substance. Now that I'm older and jaded, I believe that Lynch just throws weird shit on screen for the sake of being weird.

Audition - I'm kind of a Takashi Miike fan (he did Happiness of the Katakuris), but this movie dragged horribly. At an hour and ten minutes Mookie and I were rewarded with something other than long, slow, meandering conversation. I wanted to love this, really I did! I would've settled for like, even. Nope, not even that. It was disturbing and terrifying at times, but mostly it was just yawn-inducing. And for God's sake, would someone give that lead actress something to eat?!? Every time she asked, "what are you thinking about?", my first thought was, "Dachau."

Two misses, but at least now I can say I saw them. And debate those who claim these are masterpieces. Sometimes it's possible to be *too* artsy.

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Category: Cult Flicks

December 28, 2007

Ted's Booty

I'm talking loot from Santa, of course.

Made out like a bandit this year. Nothing unusual I guess, because we tend to go way overboard on gifts since we start Christmas shopping in the summer and would all rather get lots of little things rather than one giant gift-wrapped coolness.

Before I make you envy me though, I want to mention the hands down bestest gifts given this year. My wife, Liz, has worked since August on photo album/scrapbooks, customized for each of the kids and one for her parents. Well over 200 pages of memories each (I don't even want to think about what the ink cost!), plus a CD-Rom of all the photos from each book, plus more that weren't printed, and on top of all that Liz made embroidered covers for each book. Absolutely amazing.

So, here's some of what I got:

A new harmonica (key of A)
Electronic guitar tuner
A gadget to help build rockets
A rocket with a built in camera for taking in-flight photos
Book on writing horror
10th anniversary edition of Myst/Riven/Exile

And movies (surprise, surprise), filling some gaps in my collection:
The Living Coffin (mexican horror)
Zombie 2 (Fulci's Italian classic)
My Favorite Year (Peter O'Toole, one of my favorite actors)
Groundhog Day (Bill Murray)
Evil Dead (Bruce Campbell)
Groundhog Day (Bill Murray)
House/House II (underated)
Groundhog Day (Bill Murray)
Groundhog Day (Bill Murray)
plus a 50-movie pack called Night Screams, packed full of B-movie drive-in-ish goodness

Rachael also cracked me up with "The Disappearing Civil Liberties" Mug. It has the Bill of Rights written on the side, and when you pour hot coffee or tea into it, the writing disappears. Makes me laugh every time (with a hint of rueage to be sure).

So how was your Christmas?

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Category: Square Pegs

What the Well-Dressed Freedom Lover is Wearing

Check out this wicked cool shirt from Stephen over at Hold the Mayo.

Posted by Ted at 09:17 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack
Category: Links

December 27, 2007

Close to Home

Former Pakistan Prime Minister Bhutto was assassinated this morning.

Rachael is kind of freaking out because Benazir Bhutto was the featured speaker at Mary Baldwin College last October. Mookie was there, and shook hands with Bhutto after her address.

A quote from that day:

To me, there is nothing more un-Islamic than discrimination, there is nothing more un-Islamic than discrimination and violence against women, and there is certainly nothing more un-Islamic than terrorism.

Tragically prophetic.

Posted by Ted at 11:28 AM | Comments (36) | TrackBack
Category: History

December 26, 2007


Rachael bought a dehydrator a while ago, but left it in our kitchen because she really shouldn't have it in her dorm room. Mostly, we use it to make apple, banana and papaya chips for the bunnies.

Yesterday we sliced up a fresh pineapple and started the machine. Last night Rachael described the results as "a bitch slap of flavor!"

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Category: Square Pegs

December 25, 2007

Someone's in the Kitchen with Dinahhhhhh!

This is a bit of a departure from the usual recipes I share. Sometimes you want to (or have to) fix a quick and easy meal that will impress people. There's some expense up front for the fixins, but you'll have enough for several meals.

Chicken Parmesan Dinner

Here's what you'll need:
a box of frozen chicken tender fillets
a box of frozen mozzarella sticks
a box of penne pasta (or whatever you prefer)
a jar of spaghetti sauce
a bag of shredded mozzerella
a loaf of Italian bread

plus a few odds and ends from the pantry like grated parmesan cheese, garlic powder, oregano and basil (or Italian seasoning), and butter or margerine

Remember, this is quick too. Make note of the various cooking times listed on the packages, but this is the basic order. You won't be frantic, but if you work calmly and steadily, the timing works out very nicely.

1. preheat the oven to 450 degrees
2. get two cookie sheets, spray one lightly with no-stick and arrange a couple of chicken fillets per person
3. pop that pan into the oven, it'll be in there for about 20 minutes
4. start a big pot of water on the stove to boil
5. on the second cookie sheet, put a couple of mozzarella sticks per person
6. spread slices of the bread with butter, then sprinkle with garlic powder, basil, oregano and parmesan cheese
7. put on the tray with the cheese sticks and then pop it into the oven for about ten minutes and while you've got the oven open, flip the chicken
8. pour the sauce into a pan on the stove and start heating it up, stirring occasionally
9. when the water boils, pour in a good teaspoon of salt and then the pasta (a half pound feeds three or four, depending on how hungry you are)
10. pull the chicken out, add a tablespoon of sauce or so over the top of each, then a good pinch of shredded mozzarella, put it back into the oven
11. get the bread and cheese sticks out of the oven, turn it off but leave the chicken in there to melt the cheese
12. drain the pasta, pull out the chicken
13. serve up each plate with chicken, mozzarella sticks, pasta and sauce and bread on the side

For wine, you're on your own. This dinner, from start to serve, takes about 35 minutes. Plus, you'll have plenty of leftover frozen chicken and mozzarella sticks.

Posted by Ted at 06:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Category: Recipes

December 24, 2007

It's Not In the Regular Banner Rotation I'll just post it here.

Happy Holidays

Have a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful holiday season.

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Category: Square Pegs

December 23, 2007

On the Thirteenth Day of Christmas true love gave to me,
thirteen sluts a'stripping.

Ok, so that's not so funny, but this version is, with more spirit and talent too.

Really, click that link and enjoy.

Thanks to Amy for the pointer.

Posted by Ted at 07:24 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack
Category: Links

Thank You, Al Gore

As I mentioned, oldest daughter Robyn and son-in-law Henry are heading up to New Hampshire to surprise his mom for Christmas. They left Norfolk at o'dark thirty this morning and are now in Hartford, Connecticut, where they have a hotel for the night.

A half hour ago, the phone rings. It's the kids, needing a little help. They're staying in a Sheraton (great rate for the night, and it's right off the interstate), and when they asked for a local dining list, it's full of "fine" dining choices that they can't afford and have no interest in anyway.

Kids today solve problems in ways that us geezers would never think of. After explaining the situation, they ask if I'm near a computer, then if I could look up local restaurants for them. Soon, they've decided that they want to eat at Olive Garden, and within minutes I'm giving them directions to the nearest one, within 10 miles of their hotel.

Only one glitch, the directions take them on a toll road, and they'd rather not if they don't have to. Another few minutes, and I'm dictating directions that uses major side roads and alternate routes that's shorter (not necessarily faster) and avoids those pesky tolls that New Englanders are so fond of.

I better hear no crap from my daughter when I call late one night from the road, requesting directions to the nearest titty bar.

Posted by Ted at 05:02 PM | Comments (1)
Category: Square Pegs

On the Subject of Squirrels

Not that we were, but since when has that ever stopped me?

has been dealing with the tree-beasties.

Bitterman has in the past.

(no specific links, just go and scroll, consider it my present to all Rocket Jones readers)

As most of you know, my daughter Rachael goes to Mary Baldwin College, where the team name is the "Fighting Squirrels" (even more inexplicably, their mascot is named "Gladys").

We exchanged a few gifts last night over at my other daughter's house (they left today for a New Hampshire Christmas with son-in-law's family), and we gifted Rachael with a t-shirt showing a couple of squirrels and reads:

Sure, it's all fun and games until someone loses a nut.

Maybe not so inexplicable after all.

Posted by Ted at 04:53 PM | Comments (16) | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs

December 21, 2007

Maybe I'll Come Up With A Snappy Title Later, Right Now My Brain Is Numb

Erica pointed this one out.


From their "About" page:

Blackle saves energy because the screen is predominantly black. "Image displayed is primarily a function of the user's color settings and desktop graphics, as well as the color and size of open application windows; a given monitor requires more power to display a white (or light) screen than a black (or dark) screen." Roberson et al, 2002

In January 2007 a blog post titled Black Google Would Save 750 Megawatt-hours a Year proposed the theory that a black version of the Google search engine would save a fair bit of energy due to the popularity of the search engine. Since then there has been skepticism about the significance of the energy savings that can be achieved and the cost in terms of readability of black web pages.

We believe that there is value in the concept because even if the energy savings are small, they all add up. Secondly we feel that seeing Blackle every time we load our web browser reminds us that we need to keep taking small steps to save energy.

You know, this isn't such a terrible thing. They're not being complete tree-hugging dicks about it and they're right about little things adding up. I won't be using it though, because the damn thing is almost unreadable with the gray on black scheme.

Wanna bet some ex-Vice Prez already has Goregle registered?

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Category: Links

A Break From the Surrealism at the Mall

Have a little surreal here on your monitor:

Japanese McDonalds commercial.

Posted by Ted at 06:47 PM | Comments (24) | TrackBack
Category: Links

Dear Gangbanger That I Insulted on the Drive Home

I won't deny it, I was laughing at you.

I'm sure that you're glare is usually very intimidating, but I'd been watching you in the back seat of your homie's SUV, and I was greatly amused.

You see, when you ride along with your head hanging out the window, trying to peep the women in the traffic around you, you look like a damn dog.

Posted by Ted at 04:09 PM | Comments (41) | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs

December 20, 2007


There has been a definite lack of Christmas spirit around the officeplace, which was fine with me. That all changed this morning when I walked in and found the place completely decorated by a couple of "anonymous" elves. Not only that, but there are goodies and little gifts left on everybody's desk. I'm wearing an elf hat, complete with pointy ears, and enjoying a sweet little nibble with my tea.

Thank you, little elves. I needed this.

Posted by Ted at 05:52 AM | Comments (12) | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs

December 19, 2007

Open Ass, Insert Head

Curt Schilling does it again.

Schilling commended those who've apologized for using performance-enhancing drugs, and called on everyone accused to prove their innocence or apologize for their mistakes.

Here's an idea, why don't you prove you don't molest farm animals, or apologize for it?

So far, the "evidence" consists of testimony given by a few people who hope that their cooperation will get them lighter sentences. I guess that's proof enough for Schilling. I'm not saying that these baseball players are innocent, I'm just trying to figure out how one proves a negative.

Schilling should apologize for waterboarding kids he meets at the Special Olympics. Or prove he doesn't.

He's an idiot with a big mouth. I just wish it was muffled more when his head is up his ass.

Posted by Ted at 10:26 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack
Category: Links

Gets My Vote For "Most Overused"

No, not Paris Hilton.

I'm tired of the phrase "You can't make this stuff up".

Yes, you can.

Posted by Ted at 05:25 AM | Comments (12) | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs

It's Not Special If Everyone Does It Badly

All the hotel chains now offer a "continental breakfast". I've seen a few, very few, that are actually worth having. Most feature your choice of raisin bran or fruit loops, a basket of brown fruit, envelopes of oatmeal in the flavors that nobody likes, stacks of bread and thawed waffles next to a toaster, and a selection of stale mini-muffins and even more stale mini-danish. All washed down with coffee-colored hot water and watered-down orange or apple juice.

You know what I'd like to see? How about a pot of really good coffee? That's all.

And if people bitch because they want free bad food? Give 'em directions to the nearest 7-11 and tell 'em to buy their own freakin' frozen waffles.

Posted by Ted at 05:06 AM | Comments (24) | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs

December 17, 2007

Best Line of the Weekend

In a weekend full of zingers and one-liners fired by all and in every direction, one stands out.

The graduation ceremony for Old Dominion University was held in the arena where ODU basketball is played (called "the Ted"... no relation). Before the ceremony started the concession stands were open, because the U isn't going to miss a single opportunity to make a few bucks.

So the very first speaker says:

I would like to remind everyone that this graduation ceremony is an event that deserves the utmost dignity.

To which Jeff replied:

You blew that when you decided to sell nachos.

That exchange barely topped my wife Liz, who zinged Jason with this one:

Jason: I have a 60 inch television.

Liz: Sorry to hear you have a little penis.

Jason was speechless, although no one could tell because we were all howling and rolling on the floor.

A grand weekend.

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Category: Square Pegs

December 16, 2007

Rest In Peace, My Friend

Tom, aka Triticale, has unexpectedly passed away.

Posted by Ted at 09:25 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack
Category: Links

December 13, 2007

One Last Thing

From the forum over at Wildside Cinema, posted by a rather disturbed individual named Dent.


Won't'cha be my neighbor... bitch!

Posted by Ted at 08:24 PM | Comments (15) | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs

See ya in a few days

Tomorrow we're headed down to Norfolk for oldest daughter's graduation from Old Dominion University. Depending on traffic and the weather 'round these here parts, we'll be back some time Sunday.

Oh, on a random note... was treated to lunch today at the Fort Meyers Officers Club. On base we passed by General Petraeus' home.

Posted by Ted at 08:15 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs

Bring Our Troops Home!

From Germany, that is.

I heard on the news this morning that some German minister threatened to boycott future US climate talks unless we agreed to follow their lead in Bali.

Let's see. Since adopting Kyoto, most of Europe - including Germany - have not only *not* met their reduction goals but have mostly ignored them because they've proved to be unreachable without major damage to their economy.

But that inconvenient truth doesn't stop them from lecturing the US. Who, by the way, is actually making progress towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions by using modern technology.

So I say lets reduce our carbon footprint in Germany by closing down every last damn military base and bringing the troops home. Some would probably be shifted to Poland or other eastern European countries, you know, the ones who actually want us there.

Less money for western Europe. We could spend some of the savings on health care for the kids who really need it here at home.

Posted by Ted at 05:58 AM | Comments (222) | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs

December 12, 2007

Doctor, It's Alive!

Wildside Cinema is up!

For those few who haven't heard, I am a staff reviewer there. It used to be called Joe Horror, but we've expanded. The old reviews are going to be migrated over, and the new ones are already available.

Looking for a great movie? Or maybe wondering about that obscure title on the shelf at the rental store? Wildside Cinema. Spread the word.

Posted by Ted at 09:32 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack
Category: Cult Flicks

December 10, 2007


The Hollywood writers are still on strike.

I hadn't even noticed.

Posted by Ted at 06:10 AM | Comments (235) | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs

December 09, 2007

All Whiney Bitch, All the Time

I get my stitches out tomorrow and the results of the tissue biopsy are due as well. All is expected to be normal, in which case I can officially stop obsessing over this freakin' skin cancer episode.

Last Monday I made a quickie doctor's appointment because it felt like I had an ear infection. I'm not a hypochondriac, but when I need to go see the doc, I do it. Over the last six months, I've seen the docs way too often. So yeah, I had an ear infection. Both ears, in fact, along with a sinus infection. After four days on antibiotics, not only were the ears not feeling better, they were hurting. Another call to the doctor's office resulted in a new prescription, the antibiotic equivalent of a surgical nuclear strike. I'm all for that. I started the new regime yesterday, but it'll take a day or two to really start kicking in, and in the meantime I've been popping tylenol like candy to keep myself from driving an icepick through my eardrum. And sleeping. I don't sleep much, I've never needed all that much. Yet I've probably slept 36 out of the last 48 hours, and been miserable every waking moment.

This has got to end. I've had one helluva string of minor medical mindfucks, and I'm ready to surrender. Hear that God? UNCLE already!!!!!

Posted by Ted at 08:07 AM | Comments (17) | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs

December 07, 2007

It's, Like, the Universe is Conspiring Against Me

The lovely Joan opined in the comments elsewhere that perhaps I watch too many horror movies. I'm not sure that's even possible, but I want to assure everyone that I don't confine myself strictly to horror flicks.

Netflix has broken my heart not once, but *twice* this week when a sci-fi DVD arrived cracked and unplayable. Both times, it was Slave Girls From Beyond Infinity.

So there, I watch horror, sci-fi, *and* T&A.

Update: Heh, I just thought to myself, "I put the 'ick' in eclectic." Sometimes I just crack myself up.

Posted by Ted at 10:52 PM | Comments (22) | TrackBack
Category: Cult Flicks

Early Christmas Present

She's back.

Posted by Ted at 05:16 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack
Category: Links

December 05, 2007

For The Record

I am not Sancho.

Posted by Ted at 05:09 PM | Comments (105) | TrackBack
Category: Cult Flicks

December 02, 2007

Movie Review: Crawlspace

Disclosure: Recently I was asked by the folks at Wild Eye if I’d like some screeners to watch, and if I felt so inclined, they’d apprecieate it if I posted reviews of their offerings. My answer to them was “Hell yeah!”, and in a surprisingly short time I had two of their movies in my grubby hands.

These guys are starting to release old made-for-TV thrillers and horror flicks. This is the Rocket Jones review of the first one, in my own informal style. As an added bonus, Wildside Cinema has asked me to post reviews there as well (in their own format). So the astute businessmen at Wild Eye are getting a two-fer, which should be a lesson to all, Rocket Jones is an efficient use of your resources and you should all send me free screeners to review. End disclosure and shameless self-promotion.

I’m not a big television watcher, which is probably a good thing because if I watched more of it nowadays, then I’d really mourn for the days when network movies like this aired on a regular basis.

Crawlspace (1972) is a psychological drama about a retired couple who discover that a creepy young man named Richard is living in the crawlspace at the back of their basement. Being childless, the woman’s maternal instincts kick in and she talks her husband into letting Richard stay at least through the cold New England winter. They’ve met the guy before (he did some work for them in the old cottage they bought when they retired), and although he’s weird, he seems more socially retarded than scary. Before long they’re taking him meals and talking to him in the darkness, although he rarely answers back.

Slowly, the couple begin to draw Richard out of his shell. They appeal to his “civilized” side, which only works occasionally. It’s pretty obvious that Richard has mental problems, but he appears to be harmless and starts doing chores around the house for the couple. At the same time, the local police are suspicious of Richard and warn the couple about the dangers of the situation. The couple are offended by the attitude towards Richard as an “outsider”, without realizing that the townsfolk view them in the same way.

That right there, the distrust of people different than themselves, is the key to this movie. In and of itself it’s not a terrible thing, but when it crosses the line from suspicion to exclusion, then it becomes a problem. It’s kind of like if the town had had a local nutcase, they’d feel protective and make allowances for the odd behavior because they’d known him or her their whole lives. Yet if an eccentric hobo passes through town, then they’re ready to do the whole torch and pitchfork routine to rid their quiet community of the unknown menace. It’s one of the darker aspects of human nature.

Richard’s lack of social skills cause problems, especially since the prickly locals are looking for any excuse to be assholes. Things escalate, as these things tend to do, except that normally you don’t have a mentally unstable dude on your side. That’s not the advantage you’d think it would be in a situation like this, at least this time it wasn’t.

I’m not going to tell you any more of the story, because it really is worth seeing. The movie wastes no time and jumps right into an uncomfortable situation, and from there the tension gradually builds right to the end. Now, because it was a TV movie, Richard doesn’t seem all that scary and the parts that are supposed to be chilling are rather mild. Don’t expect a Hollywood-style blood and gore.

What you can expect is some damned fine acting and writing. The dialog rings true and the various performances are well done, and it’s especially interesting to watch the couple’s attitudes do a complete one-eighty as the movie progresses. The score is nicely done too. I don’t often mention the music in my reviews, so take that as a positive note.

Albert, the retiree, is played by Arthur Kennedy. Kennedy won a Tony award and was nominated four times for Oscars as Best Supporting Actor and once for Best Actor. His wife Alice is played by Teresa Wright, who was nominated for three Oscars in her first three movie roles! See what I mean about damned fine acting?

On to the details and the disk itself. The color of the transfer is slightly shifted to the red end of the spectrum, which made me think of… well, old television. It wasn’t so bad that it was a distraction. The fullscreen picture is clean and almost completely free of artifacts, although in places it is showing its age. Considering the original source is thirty-five years old, it’s a damn nice transfer.

It’s only 74 minutes long, meaning the original hour and a half was padded out with 16 minutes of commercials. Nowadays, it would be a miniseries. Sad.

There are no extras on the DVD, but I can’t think of anything Wild Eye could have included besides trailers from their other releases or some television commercials from that era or a plug to Rocket Jones ( Any ideas?

I don’t see it on Netflix (yet), and unless you’re a television afficianado you will probably want to rent before buying. That said, I think they’re worth picking up. Yes, I said “they”. I have another review coming soon, for The Devil’s Daughter, and as much as I liked Crawlspace, I liked that one even more!

I’m going to finish this up by mentioning one unintentional laugh-out-loud moment during the movie. Richard comes upstairs for dinner, wearing a suit. With his wild hair and scraggly beard, he looks like the Geico caveman!

Posted by Ted at 11:25 AM | Comments (333) | TrackBack
Category: Cult Flicks

Scars Are Sexy

Ladies, don't correct me if I'm wrong about that.

Yesterday I had a spot of skin cancer removed from my face, and now I have 5 stitches. All I need is a couple of bolts sticking out of my neck and I'll be set.

In the future, I'll refer to it as what happened when I got into that knife fight.

Posted by Ted at 01:08 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs
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