Wednesday, January 31, 2007

PetSpa Advanced Pet Care (Or, How Not to Wash a Cat)

A pet care company has created a new way to wash your pets. Basically, it is a large, free standing washing machine. Sort of like an enclosed mini shower. Well, just watch this video someone took and you'll see.

(If the video above does not show or load, click HERE to view it at Youtube.)

I don't know whether to laugh my ass off or feel bad for the poor cat. The choice of background music is perfect, though. ^.^;;

PetSpa, the creators of this pet washer cum torture chamber, has been assiduously trying to get this video disabled from being embedded off YouTube and other video hosters. I suppose they do not want the damning video spread all over the Internet ... too late. It's all over the place, and I'm only one of thousands who have spotlighted this video on a blog or other website.

PetSpa claims this method reduces stress on the pet. The claim for less stress on the animal comes from the fact the animal is not restrained or physically held down by someone. Also, the water jets provide a "hydro-massage" that relaxes your pet.

Yeah, that cat looks calm and serene to me. No stress there. Nope. He is just doing ... err ... cat aerobics. Yeah, that's it. Cat aerobics. Now he'll be clean AND exercised!

PetSpa also claims their product will "reduce risks on pets and staff". I suppose this is again due to the lack of restraining of the pets. The cabin (as they call it) is pretty big, and it does have nice airflow. Just big enough for them to flail around in confused terror. The last time I went spastic and flailed around in an enclosed space, I didn't hurt myself ... much. And, I worry for the safety of any exposed flesh on the person who has to get the animal out. You could just open the door and let them bolt out, I guess, but if you're using this in a grooming shop I doubt you want the animal running loose in the store.

Kidding aside, all accounts I've read of this device state the pets do get exceptionally cleaner, and no real harm comes to them. (They might be emotionally traumatized, however). Too, nervous animals may become used to the process with repeated washings over time. Dogs also seem to be much less fazed by the device than cats. PetSpa states you can wash other small pets in it, but they are not named and no reports mentioned testing with non cats or dogs.

I bet wasching a gerbil or hamster in that thing would be entertaining. I wouldn't try it on a bird, I think. You could wash your kids in it, though. Here's proof direct from the PetSpa website:

I've not found pricing on the PetSpa website, but there is a ton of information there, and even videos you can watch. Not as entertaining as the one above, though.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Does Homer Know About These?

Mmmm ... Sprinkles!Want a morning pick-up but don't like the taste of coffee? How about a yummy doughnut, instead?

Doctor Robert Bohannon, a molecular scientist in Durham, North Carolina, has come up with a way to add caffeine to baked goods. Each doughnut is equivalent to 2 cups of coffee, and it won't have that bitter caffeine taste. [link]

This could be the next big thing at doughnut shops. As if the sugar and other carbohydrates in doughnuts wasn't enough. But, mmmm mmmm, who doesn't love a good doughnut? I like hitting Krispy Kreme when their 'Hot n Fresh' sign is lit up. Good thing the nearest Krispy Kreme is 5 miles away from me.

When, not if, this becomes available to purchase, people are going to still buy their coffee and these new Buzz Donuts (as they may be called). People are going to be walking out of Starbucks, sipping their lattes and munching a caffeine croissant, getting that little buzz going, trying to stave off tiredness that could be alleviated if they would just get more sleep. Of course, their caffeine consumption is so high they can't sleep. So they need more caffeine because they are tired all the time. Which means they still can't sleep, so get more tired and need more caffeine.

I know, not everyone is that bad. But, I suspect more people are addicted to caffeine than you think.

Caffeine is a psychoactive substance. That means it "acts primarily upon the central nervous system where it alters brain function, resulting in temporary changes in perception, mood, consciousness, and behavior." [cite]

This is your brain. This is your brain on caffeine. Any questions?Over the short term, too much caffeine, being a diuretic, will make you have to pee more. You could get jumpy and nervous, jittery with a rapid heart beat. It has a pretty wild effect on spiders, too. Imagine the web is your work load for the day, and you're hopped up on caffeine. You know you got people like that in the office. now you can nickname them "caffeine spiders". ~.^ [cite]

High usage over a period of time can have serious effects on your health' including insomnia, headaches, stomach ulcers, acid reflux, increased insulin resistance (semi-rare), shaking, twitching, and in extreme rare cases, death. [cite]

Caffeine is also addictive, and withdrawal is pretty nasty. Headaches, nausea, feelings of fatigue and drowsiness all accompany caffeine withdrawal. You call might call it a caffeine crash. Usually, a little hair of the dog that bit you will stave it off. Unfortunately that means more caffeine use, a bigger crash later, and increased risks of stronger, or more severe, problems later.

In moderation, caffeine is not that bad for you. Not when you put in the light of other lifestyle choices we make daily; exercise (or lack thereof), diet (more McDonalds anyone?), even driving can be hazardous.

When I was younger, I would drink the equivalent of 4 liters of regular soda per day. This went on for several years. Along with the typical teenager's diet, and a sharp decrease in physical activity, I began to have health issues in my early 20's.

I severely slashed my caffeine intake after kidney stones. I stopped drinking caffeinated sodas as much (usually only when out to eat, and if caffeine-free stuff is not available .. except Sprite ... hate Sprite), and started drinking more water. I never was a coffee drinker, so that helps. Within a week I seemed to have more energy and less fatigue late in the day. My sleep improved, lasting longer and going deeper. My sleep apnea is under control; I rarely wake up gasping any longer. And, best of all, it seemed to have a positive effect on my blood sugar, thus helping to control my diabetes. (I also drink diet sodas now, to help that even more).

I think caffeine is great for occasional pick-me-ups, but a constant, prolonged use is not something I want to go back to.

Now, those doughnuts will have one really great effect ... all the cops will be much more alert!

Monday, January 29, 2007

The Top 10 Coolest (or Weird) Inflatables!

Inflatables, the vinyl frontier. These are the voyages of the blogship Raivynn's Roost. Her five hour mission: to explore strange new websites. To seek out new gadgets and new crazy blow-ups. To boldly blog them as they've never been blogged before.

Yeah, I know this was posted late, but gimme a break. It's a huge, frikkin' article. I'm sure you'll find the delay more than worth your time. I mean, c'mon ... Top 10 Inflatables? What's not to like?

I know what you are thinking.

No. I did not put any of the, err ... "adult" inflatables on this list. I wouldn't know where to start, for one thing. I sure ran into more than I wanted while researching for this post, though. There actually are two inflatable dolls, a man and a woman, that I seriously debated about putting on the list. Not sex toys, but I was afraid someone might think they were. So, while not on the Top 10 list, the Inflatable Husband and Inflatable Wife get honorable mention here.

Without further ado ... The Top 10 Coolest (or Weird) Inflatables!

#10 Inflate-A-Potty

Bombs Away!Ever been a long car trip with kids? They gotta go at the most inconvenient times. Usually ten minutes after you left the last rest stop or nearest town exit. And, then, assuming you do stop on the side of road to avoid needing new upholstery and two dozen pine tree air fresheners, the kid won't go standing in the bushes or grass.

Inflate-A-Potty to the rescue!

Just take the blow-up mini-toilet out of it's bright blue bag, wrap your mouth around the removable extension tube, and proceed to huff and puff until the beach ball sized hunk of plastic inflates. Yeah, removable extension tube or not, I love to place my mouth near toilets as much as I can. (Actually, it sorta reminds me of my drinking days and the visits to Ralph's Porcelain Throne).

And, you just KNOW that as you gasp that last puff of air into the thing, and your head is swimming, and your heart is pounding, and the sweat is trickling between your shoulder blades, your kid will say, "I don't hafta go anymore."

That's when you realize the Inflate-A-Potty makes a great hat for kids.

Oh, there is an adult size version, too. For when your passengers think they are flying Incontinental Airlines.

[You can read more at the Inflate-A-Potty website]

#9 AK Creature, World's First Furry Inflatable Chair

Inflatable furniture has been around a while. I even ran across several in my web travels looking for cool inflatables. Most seemed to be big armchairs emblazoned with sports team logos. Or, beer logos. And, an abundance of inflatable kid sized furniture can be found, in pinks and blues, with Barbies or Nemo on them.

This creature, however, is just cool and weird enough to stand out from the rest.

Made From Real Moster Pelts!AK Creature comes in three distinct colors: Yeti, Mammoth, and Primate. Or, white, brown, and black, if you prefer to be pedestrian about your color names. The Yeti and Mammoth versions appear to have longer fur on them than the Primate one.

Both the fur and leather are fake, if you were wondering. So, if you have the overpowering urge to sit inside a fuzzy creature, and this chair just isn't cutting it for you, you'll have to disembowel your own cow, bear, or tauntaun and crawl inside. (Hey, if it worked for Luke ...)

The chairs are around 3 feet to a side and about 2½ feet tall. No mention on the weight capacity it can tolerate. If it explodes when you sit on it, you are probably too fat.

I imagine pets with claws might pose a hazard to these sittable critters. The fur might scare them off, though. Or, worse, it might excite them. The upside is Spot gives your leg a break for a while. Be hell cleaning them after.

[You can see more at AK Design]

#8 Inflatable Massage Chair

Hey, does this recline? Ahhhh! *THUD*Continuing on the inflatable sittable theme is the Inflatable Massage Chair.

This thing would be great! It's pretty cheap compared to the real massage chairs or even those cushion looking massagers you can put on normal chairs. (Though I imagine this is an instance of you get what you pay for).

It comes in a bag, inflates in less than two minutes, and can go almost anywhere. Anywhere within about 6 feet of an electrical outlet, that is. Which is probably a good thing. Cuz you know some damned fool idiot would try floating around his pool on it while being massaged.

"Hey, where's Billy Bob, ma?" "He went down to the pool with his new blow-up mayssage chair." "Why're the lights flickering, ma?" "Don't rightly know. You smell that? Smells like burnt wet dog."

The chair looks comfortable, and it sorta looks like a leather chair. The black color is nice. The seat dimensions are 22" x 23". If your ass is bigger than 2 feet square you will have problems sitting in it. Well, you might be able to squeeze some giganto-buns in it, but the chair will come with you when you stand up. And be prepared for all that squitch squeetch sound you get when vinyl meets flesh.

With two massage areas (butt and back), 3 intensity settings (mmmm, ahhh, and oh oh Oh OH OH!!!), a timer, and an attached wired remote, this inflatable chair has it all. Well, except heat with the massage. Then you'd only get to use it once, but could carry the melted PVC scars as mementos of your time together for the rest of your life.

It has a repair kit that comes with it, too. Very reassuring.

[It's all over the web, but you can find it HERE, too.]

#7 Inflatable Sumo Costumes

You Can Fart in It and Blame the Fan!Have you ever felt like gaining a few hundred pounds, pulling your hair into a ponytail, and wear a diaper? Well now you can!

The inflatable sumo costume is made from nylon. The same material used for most of those annoying inflatable lawn decorations that spring up across the neighborhood like a biblical plague around Christmas time. This is not a vinyl or PVC suit. For that you'll need to turn off your NetNanny and find some websites that have a few X's in their names.

Nope, the Sumo suit is inflated around you by a concealed battery pack and fan. You step into it, fasten it up around you, slap the fake sumo hair hat on your head, and turn on the fan. Within seconds you are ready to go E. Honda on your friends.

Well, okay, so you don't gain any super Sumo powers, and if you tried to Sumo in the costume you'd probably hurt yourself and rip the suit. But don't let that stop you from waddling around, grunting poorly accented Japanese words, or flailing your hand in people's faces and yelling, "Hundred Hand Slap".

You can also eat more than you should while at the costume party. Just tell everyone you're bulking up for your next match.

[You can find similar suits all over; this one is from]

#6 Floating Iceberg

Penguins Not IncludedYou can't have a Top 10 list of inflatables without having some cool water toys. Aviva Water Toys has some great stuff, and this is one of them.

The iceberg is 14 feet tall at it's peak. Three of the sides are basically inclined climbing walls, with varying degrees of difficulty. The fourth side is a wide slide back down into the water, so you can redo it all over again. It doesn't appear it'd be easy to simply relax on it; you might get one person teetering on the top for a while. And it seems perfect for a good round of King of the Mountain. Few things are more fun than throwing your friends off tall objects, especially when they don't die and you can throw them off again.

This floating, climbable island is 20' long x 14'wide x 14' tall and weighs a whopping 340 lbs.. It also weighs in at a whopping $6,645.95 US. And, that's on sale! Obviously this isn't your typical backyard pool toy.

It's unlikely most backyard swimming pools could safely accommodate the iceberg. Lakes seem to be their intended location. I suppose a rather large swimming pool, Olympic sized or so, might be big enough so when people fall off it, and they will fall off it, they don't crack their skulls open on the patio deck and ruin your otherwise pleasant day.

I think it'd be too unstable to use in the ocean. Well, maybe if you were pretty far out in the calmer areas beyond the breakwaters. Plus, you'd have to keep an eye out for large, unsinkable passenger vessels. I don't think the world could handle Celine Dion singing about another sea disaster.

[Aviva doesn't sell direct, but you can get one HERE]

#5 Giga Ball & Mega Giga Ball

What Nose Did THIS Come From?Now this one is just cool.

Created by Kidz Kraze, this inflatable, bumby ball allows kids to push it, punch it, kick it, jump on it, and roll around inside of it.

Yup, kids can crawl inside the great, big, inflatable yellow booger-like ball and roll around like a spastic hamster on acid. It has a padded interior (duh, its inflated) that keeps kids safe as they play human pinball and knock their friends and nearby adults on their keisters.

The Giga Ball is 51 inches diameter, and the Mega Giga Ball is 84 inches around. Small to medium sized adults might be able to squeeze into the Mega Giga Ball. A few minutes of rolling around in it and you come out stumbling, dazed, and feeling like you want to puke. You won't need beer anymore with the Mega Giga Ball!

Many places sell them, mostly at the same price of around $60 for the Giga and $100 for the Mega Giga. Just google it and take your pick.

Coming soon is the Ultra Super Jumbo Uber Mega Giga Ball. It'll seat 4 adults and comes with it's own in-ball hostess and has cold beverages of your choice on tap (up to 1). Connect your iPods to the built in surround sound acoustical system, or watch the optional 21" plasma screen, HD TV. You can now roll, bounce, and enjoy the comforts of life in the NEW Ultra Super Jumbo Uber Mega Giga Ball. look for it soon at fine retailers near you!

[I'm joking, the Ultra Super Jumbo Uber Mega Giga Ball doesn't exist ... yet]

#4 Human Foosball

Have you ever been at a foosball table, impatiently awaiting your turn at the rods? Watching as the other guys hog the table and take forever to score, your hands sweaty as you tightly grip them around imaginary playing rods, eyes flickering back and forth following the ball. The ball you know you can make dance across the playing field like Gene Kelly. Like a ninja Gene Kelly, moving like a ghost, fast and untouchable, singing in the rain.

No? Me neither.

But for those of you who ever might have, comes Human Foosball. Now, you can put yourself into the game!

No fair! The field slops towards our goal!! Actually, this looks like fun. Especially for those with a bondage fetish.

Depending on the human foosball inflatable, up to 10 people strap themselves into harnesses attached to padded foam tubes over a rod. This keeps players from going in the wrong sections and minimizes physical contact. Yet it allows for limited movement in specific zones, just like real foosball. You probably want to make sure the structure is securely fastened to the ground somehow. Ten people throwing themselves from side to side like epileptic soccer players is sure to shake the thing something fierce.

I can see this used in those lame and pointless team building events companies like to inflict on their workers. Force your peons strap themselves in, making sure to put people who don't get along well next to each other on the same rod. Throw in a ball and try to keep from laughing too hard.

Most human foosball makers suggest a beach all style ball. You could use a regular soccer ball, but that might hurt not being able to dodge when it comes flying at your unprotected face (or groin). On second thought, use the soccer ball. Make your wage slaves suffer for all the mean things you saw them call you when you spied on their interoffice e-mails.

Just google human foosball and find a seller you like. Lots of different styles out there, at widely varied prices. You likely get what you pay for.

#3 Inflatable Television

You've probably seen or heard about this cool inflatable by now.

Watch big screen television almost anywhere you want. Pool party, hot tubbing, backyard BBQs, even your own living room. It works with most projectors (not included) and comes with weatherized outdoor speakers and 30' of audio cables. This is the 8' screen, but there is an even larger 12' one available. And, there are other makes and models of this fast trending inflatable out there for the looking.

Annoy the neighbors. Show Gigli!
Prices for these run around a grand for the smaller models. You can get them cheaper if you get the ones without integrated speakers. I've not seen any that come with a projector, which can cost you anywhere from $500 up to $2000 or more. Extra. Realistically, you're looking at about $1500 minimum for a basic setup. Not too bad, but not too good either.

The real question is how is the quality of the image and sound?

Sound depends on your speakers. If you have a Bose surround sound system set up, you'll get good sound. If you use the typically included integrated speakers ... it's no worse than most big screen TVs' built in speakers.

Image depends partly on your projector. The better the projector, the better the image. Screen type used on whatever model inflatable TV you have matters, too. Some have standard screens, some have those high tech silvery screens you see in good movie theaters. A lot also depends on the lighting.

I've actually seen one of these in use. While it was still daylight, the image was faint and dusty looking, even with a pretty good setup avoiding direct sunlight on the screen. As dusk fell and day turned to night, the image became crisper, more colorful. Same principle if you have a lot of lights on in the room while watching TV inside, but more exaggerated due to sunlight.

If you like to entertain out of doors, then this might be a great purchase. Instead of having all your buddies trample over the furniture and spill beer on the new couch and carpet when watching the World Series, they can do it on your lawn. And there's not much to break by leaping about like an idiot, or tossing a football around. You can get more people comfortably watching, too. Use those Creature chairs from above.

If you're real picky about who goes in the house, use the Inflate-A-Potties, too. ;)

Oh, and make sure to stake the thing down good. A good gust of wind and your very expensive air-filled television is now wrapped around Mrs. Stodgmyers prize rose bushes and you'll never know if that big monkey drops the girl off that big building.

#2 Giant Water Trampoline and Slide

I Dub Thee .. Nomanisan Island How cool is this? Your own personal island getaway in the middle of a lake.

Okay, it has a trampoline in the middle. And, there is a slide shooting down off the side. And, all the kids (and plenty of adults) want to bounce and splash and scream and yell and frolick and play on it.

Just go push everyone off. It's not like it'll hurt them. There's water all around for them to land in. Soft, forgiving water. Unless they can't swim. And forgot their lifevest. Or got tangled up in one the half dozen mooring lines. Then you'll wish you bounced and splashed and screamed and yelled and frolicked and played right along with them.

They won't have one of these in prison. The shower is too small. But, you'll be too busy trying not to drop your soap to miss it too much.

Anyhow, this behmeoth is made by Aqua Sports Technology and is called the Island Hopper. It's about 25' across and rides about 5' above the water on the deck and trampoline. Its price tag equals its size. The setup above will run you $4000 or more.

There's a ton of cool stuff at where I found this little gem. Enough to make your own mini water park on the lake. If you were rich. And had a lake. Add in some sharks with laser eyes and watch the fun!

#1 Sportsstuff Sumo Ski Tube & the Inflatable Church (TIE)

I couldn't make up my mind which I liked best. Each is cool in different ways, and a little weird, too. So I picked both. Besides Top 11 list doesn't have the same ring to it as Top 10.

Get the Church to Me on TimeThe Inflatable Church is made by Innovations Xtreme. It is a huge inflated edifice about 16' to a side and 39' tall at it highest point. It's decorated like an old-time cathedral both in and out. Including plastic stained glass windows, inflatable organ, altar, pulpit, pews, candles, angels and gold cross.

Pew. You Semll That?You can have it set up anywhere its size allows. You only have to worry about the church getting to YOU on time. And, of course, availability in your area. I don't think it's here in the United States, yet. It is very beautiful inside and out, for an inflated sculpture.

I'd name my air blower Holy Spirit and print it on the side of it. That way I could inflate the building and tell every one the church has been filled by the Holy Spirit.

If you're one of those types who thinks churches are full of hot air anyway, the second tied for first place inflatable might be for you.

Look Ma! I'm Skiing in an Easter Egg!The Sumo Ski Tube by Sportsstuff is a towable water toy.

Sure, it looks like a weird Easter egg or some sort of giant, malformed Jujube. And, it also looks like a bad spill while in this thing could rip a limb or your head off as you careen around the lake, dragged by a speedboat. Too, one wonders if escaping the Sumo Tube is easy in an emergency, or will it become a garishly inflated coffin as you slowly drown inside it.

I imagine they couldn't market it if it weren't fairly safe. And, it does look hella fun.

I could never get the hang of water skiing. I'd always fall off the fast towed banana boats, too. But I bet I could tool around in this thing without swallowing too much water.

The Sumo Tube is 33" around and 38" tall. I imagine you either kneel or sit inside somehow, your arms and head poking out like a hatchling still stuck in its egg. You grasp the included 60' tow bar and ZOOOOM ... off you go.

Yeah, it looks like fun, but I'm pretty sure you'd have rinse it out after me before you got in. Or, maybe I could sit on an Inflate-A-Potty inside it?

Sunday, January 28, 2007

You Know You Are Living in 2007 When ...

No long-winded post today. Three weeks ago it was an ear infection. The last week and a half it was the Flu. Now I have a calcium stone in my submandibular salivary duct. I didn't even know i had salivary ducts, let alone you could get stones in them! Quite painful and annoying. Next week I'm trying for leprosy. =/
A Calendar ... DUH!
Anyhow, I am blatantly ripping this off from another website, but since that website has blatantly ripped it off from yet another website, who probably blatantly ripped it off of even another website, and it is likely it was ripped off from dozens of prior websites that got it from a chain e-mail, I don't feel guilty for posting it here and amusing you. I added a few of my own, too. hehe

You Know You Are Living in 2007 When ...

1. You accidentally enter your password on the microwave.

2. You haven't played solitaire with real cards in years.

3. You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of 3.

4. You e-mail the person who works at the desk next to you.

5. Your reason for not staying in touch with friends and family is that they don't have e-mail addresses.

6. You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if anyone is home to help you carry in the groceries.

7. Every commercial on television has a web site at the bottom of the screen.

8. Leaving the house without your cell phone, which you didn't have the first 20 or 30 (or 60) years of your life, is now a cause for panic and you turn around to go and get it.

10. You get up in the morning and go on line before getting your coffee.

11. You start tilting your head sideways to smile. : )

12. You're reading this and nodding and laughing.

13. When you laughed, you thought of the letters L O L.

14. You've introduced to yourself using your screen name in a face to face meeting.

15. You have more than one screen name.

16. You know more people online than you do in real life.

17. Even worse, you know exactly to whom you are going to forward this message.

18. You are too busy to notice there was no #9 on this list.

19. You actually scrolled back up to check that there wasn't a #9
on this list

20. You are now thinking of things to add to this list.

^.^ If you do have more to add to the list, drop in the comments section!

And because fart jokes are STILL funny, and because a friend requested more, enjoy this little clip from Canadian Idol, eh?

Friday, January 26, 2007

I Have a Dream ...

Earlier this month the nation celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday. It is one of only three federally recognized holidays honoring an individual. (The other two are George Washington and Christopher Columbus). Governmental offices are closed, the postal service doesn't run, schools shut down, and many non-government businesses aren't open on this day.

Leading up to the holiday, schools often take time to teach kids about this great man and his life, and about the Civil Rights movement. This is a good thing. I had wished more emphasis had been placed on that period of our nation's history when I was in school. Sure, I learned about it, but not to the extent kids today do.

Martin Luther King Day wasn't even formally observed until 1986, though we did have Black History month. That was more about learning of a plethora of African-American contributions, with only a brief touching upon slavery and civil rights, than teaching any real history. Everything negative seemed to be quickly glossed over, as if ashamed to talk to about it openly. I think those portions of our national history should be taught as a part of our normal history curriculum, not as some tacked on addendum. They are some of the most important and defining moments of American history.

I was fortunate my parents did not teach me bigotry and racism. They both came from a time when it was accepted, even encouraged, and I knew they still held some of those beliefs. (My Mother was born in 1944, my step-father in 1922). But they instead taught me all men and women are equal. We may be different from on another, but we all still have feelings, and we are all entitled to be treated fairly, compassionately, and with respect.

I strive to teach my kids the same things.

This is why I feel very proud of my youngest's composition he did for school. He is in the 4th Grade and 9-years-old. Each child was to write a speech about a dream they have for themselves, their family, their community, or the world. This is his ...

I Have a Dream ... (by Tim, age 9)

I have a dream that one day we will be a peaceful world with no wars and no violence. I have a dream that one day we will be free from our fears. I have a dream that one day we will set our souls free from sin.

I have a dream. I have a dream we will all live in harmony and love, not in violence and fear.

I have a dream. I have a dream that we will pray to the Lord and give thanks for the good he has bestowed upon us, and which we will praise. I have a dream that one day, one day, God will will set us free.

So, if you are in fear of the darkness in your soul, stand beside me and praise the Lord for his forgiveness. Don't live in fear, live in the Light. Let the dark drain from your heart and let the Light fill it in.

So, next time you feel scared, remember you are not alone. And, to accomplish the task, look inside you and find the good.

He got an A+ from the teacher, and a note stating she was impressed. I am impressed.

In light of my post of a few days ago, of the vile things man perpetuates upon his fellow, this speech, these innocent words of wisdom, these thoughts of a child, bouy my spirits and bring a little of the light to my darkened soul.

Thanks, Tim. You are certainly once special kid!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

They Should Have Code Named It Ronald

Marvin the Martian was looking for this ...The US government has gone and created an honest to goodness ray gun. Our soldiers are now (or will soon be) equipped with a directional energy-based weapon. Science fiction has become science fact, and the world somehow seems a scarier place to me.

Actually, I heard about this technology back in late 2005, but it was only in development. Word of it had actually leaked out in error to some activist group trying to obtain documents about biological testing via the Freedom of Information Act. Apparently it had been in development since sometime in 2001 (or earlier).

The technical name for the ray gun is the "Active Denial System", or ADS. It works by firing out millimeter waves, very similar to microwaves, at around 95 GHz range. These energy waves are invisible (to the naked eye) and can penetrate human skin no more than 1/64 of an inch. This is 0.015624 inches, or 0.04 cm (just under half a millimeter). The millimeter waves then excite the water molecules in the skin to around 130 degrees Fahrenheit (around 55 C).

So, is this really a Heat Ray?

Those who have experienced it has stated it feels like a light bulb was pressed against their skin. I know from experience that hot light bulbs burn like the dickens. I've left flesh on more than one incandescent glass hell bulb. When I was little, I even cooked with them in my Easy Bake Oven! (Ok, ok ... I also had one of those mad monster bug creator things that used light bulbs, too).

So, maybe this is really a Pain Ray?

Anyhow, no actual damage is caused by the ADS. Or, so they say. Non-lethal deterrent is the term they use. I bet you could cook a hot dog with it, though.

"Hey, Private! Break out the Ballparks. We're gonna have us a weenie roast!"

"But, Sarge, we can't light no fires or the enemy will spot us."

"That's okay, Private. Just go stand over there and hold them franks out a bit. This may smart a little."

Actually, the range on the ADS is around 500 yards, or about a half kilometer. This is well under the range of most small arms fire, thus allowing deterrent with minimal to no risk to the ADS operators or nearby troops. And, it'll penetrate thick clothing to get to the tender flesh underneath. It won't go through walls, though. The waves are too short. I've also not seen anything on the size of the beam, only that it is a beam. Could be pin-point, could be the size of a watermelon. Could be bigger. I would imagine a variable setting from single targets to a wide array beam is feasible. (Like I know anything about energy weapon technology. hah!)

Humvee Mounted ADS - Hot time in the ol' town tonight!For now, the ray gun (I mean ADS) will be mounted on Humvees to make them mobile and stable. It is expected to start seeing these used in Iraq and other hotspots in the very near future since a fully operational and mounted ADS was demonstrated at Moody Air Force Base (Ga.) on January 24th, 2007. The image to the left is an actual ADS mounted on a Humvee. The dish kinda looks like a parquet table we had in our rec room back in the '70s.

Raytheon, a defense contractor, and a very appropriately named one I might add, converted the larger scale ADS to something portable called the Silent Guardian. Soon you might feel the flash-burn sensation of a heat ray on your own skin if you manage to be some place police don't want you be. Like a riot. Or maybe just camping out in a tent under an overpass.

Until local law enforcement gets portable ADS, they can still use their handy TASERs, mace, and collapsible teflon-steel rods. And box cutters. Can't forget those useful box cutters.

There is some controversy surrounding the ADS, as one can well imagine. Critics of the technology are worried it might be used as more than a non-lethal deterrent. Fears are the technology may be turned to use as a torture device. You know someone will do it, at some point, just because they can. If it isn't us, it'll be someone else who gets the technology.

The future is here, my friends.

Which side of the ray gun are you on?

(PS - A Limited Edition, Platinum No-Prize to the first person who gets the title. hehe)

(PSS - blogger would not link my picture of the ADS equipped humvee whan the image name was ads_raygun. I had to change it to zapouch before it would show. Very, very odd.)


Right now I am having difficulty controlling my anger. I want to lash out and hit something inanimate, the feelings of rage are so strong. The post I was going to make on the government's new "ray gun" will have to wait.

Two recent incidents have gotten me to this state of mind. One is a bit graphic to detail; both are heart wrenching.

Locally, a 39-year-old man named Ebaristo Medina was arrested for sexually and physically abusing a 6-year-old girl. I'm pissed off enough over the abuse portion of it, but what else he did to her simply puts my mind over the edge. This walking abomination of human filth not only sexually abused the little girl , he urinated on her face and defecated in her mouth!

Let that sink in a minute and tell me if you aren't shaking in rage over it.

How could one human being do that to another? Especially a 6-year-old child? Kids that young put their entire trust in adults, and then to have a close, trusted adult do that to you? This poor little girl will have severe emotional issues for the rest of her life because one sub-human piece of sewer sludge wanted to get his jollies. Medina should be castrated, locked in the deepest, darkest, most rat infested hole ever dug and fed only shit and piss until he dies.

I'm sorry, but that is how I feel.

People who prey upon others are the lowest form of life on this planet. People who prey upon innocent, defenseless children are the lowest of those low. I truly do not have the words to describe my emotions over this; there are no words to adequately describe the rancid pus buckets of diseased minded scum that could so such things.

I had to take a break for a half hour before finishing this post because I think my chest might have exploded I was so angry. I'm not quite as mind bursting irate over the next bit of news, though I am shocked and pretty outraged over it.

Across the Bay from me, in St. Petersburg, a battle between the city and its homeless has been raging for several weeks. The city has been forcing the homeless to move from every location they set up a camp in which to have shelter and support from other homeless. Eventually, the Society of St. Vincent De Paul allowed many of St. Petersburg's homeless to set up a Tent City on some of the Society's property.

The homeless were using tents (much like the one shown) donated by the Society and other benefactors. They also were congregating for security and safety reasons, as well as for companionship. Recently two homeless were murdered; no suspects have been found and no possible motives given. Consequently, the other homeless of St. Petersburg feared they might be next.

The city, however, decided that it was unsanitary conditions, therefore against certain city ordinances, and were going to impose fines upon the Society if Tent city was not dismantled.

In slight defense of the city, vouchers were given to help Tent City residents get housing somewhere until they could pay for it on their own. This was mostly in motels. Transportation was offered to those who had friends or family they could stay with. More spaces were opened up at various shelters.

Now, it should be said that the vouchers were not accepted by most of the places the city said would take them. Those places that would accept the vouchers were quickly filled; mainly because they only accepted one or two vouchers. The transportation was only for nearby family; if you had someone a county or two over you might have gone to, tough luck. The spaces opened were in already crowded, and often dangerous, shelters and consisted of a simple mat on the floor. Too, these people also lost the scant privacy their tents afforded, and the sense of community and helping each other they were building in Tent City.

If the sanitation was an issue, why didn't the city offer to bring in port-a-potties and portable showers? The fire codes could have been gotten around with offering portable barbecues so they wouldn't have to secretly cook in the tents.

Did I mention St. Petersburg is in a big revitalization push? And that the elections for any governmental post of meaning occurred last November? These homeless people are simply a blight upon the city. A nuisance that keeps investors from bringing money into the city's coffers. A stain upon the bright, shining beacon of prosperity St. Pete wants to show to the world.

Of course, no official has actually stated such things. But you know that has to be the driving reason behind the harassment of the homeless. Do you honestly think this sort of thing would happen in an election year?

But, wait. Things get worse.

Much worse.

Those that could not (and, to be truthful, some that would not) get assistance moved their belongings and tents under an overpass a few blocks away from St. Vincent de Paul. And, again, the city came after them telling them to move, citing fire hazard due to people smoking or cooking in the tents.

The homeless stood firm. Where else was there for them to go?

And the police returned. This time with box cutters, scissors, and bolt cutters. These duly appointed law officers, the ones who swore to serve and to protect, attacked the makeshift Tent City. The police slashed and tore and cut and rent and broke and ripped and literally savaged the tent homes, the only homes, the only protection from the elements that these poor people had.

Often with people still inside the tents.

How can this happen? How can the government officials allow this? Because these people are poor? Why couldn't they just disassemble the tents nicely? Why destroy the tents? To make a point? To punish? Because it was cheaper than trying to actually find a solution to the problem? Did it salve some politicos morally bankrupt spirit to terrorize people who cannot fight back, who have no voice, who have nothing they can do but watch as their homes are savagely shredded?

The Mayor of St. Petersburg, Rick Baker, claims he had no prior knowledge of the planned raid. He claims the Chief of Police and a deputy mayor set it up.

Fine, let's go to their house and break windows, slash car tires, destroy furniture, throw their belongings to the curb. Because that is what they effectively did to the homeless.

I'm afraid if I were a police officer in St. Petersburg and was told to do what they did, i wouldn't have a job. There is no way I could have taken part in that "embarrassment", as the city leaders are calling the incident. An embarrassment. That's like calling Hiroshima an "oopsie".

This story is still on-going. I suspect the media has been asked to be a little more discreet about it since it "embarrassed" an entire city as I've not seen or heard too much more on the problem as headlines. Guess the media milked it enough, and we good Americans are no longer entertained about it.

I wish I could help. I could probably do more to help the homeless. Donations to Salvation Army are about all I can afford right now; and even those are meager, consisting of clothing, good bedding, old books and videos, and a small monthly cash gift (in the kid's name).

My anger is sapped, now. I feel more helpless than anger. Writing this down has been cathartic ... but it doesn't salve the wounds of the homeless, or of my own conscience.

I just cannot understand people like Medira and the officials who sent the police to shred those tents.

If this blog has gotten you outraged or upset, and you want to help, contact a local shelter for homeless or abused women and children and see what you can do to help.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Raivynn's Quill

Double post for today!

My fiction blog has gone live at Raivynn's Quill! I have posted the first short story titled "A Day at the Farms" already.

Raivynn's Quill
Each story, or part of story, will have its own page. When these stories are posted, an actual blog entry will be made with a description and notes, as needed, as well as an excerpt from the story, and a link to the page housing the story. The blog entries will serve several functions, the main one being a place to leave comments about the story. Tags will also help some one find stories about a particular character, location, style, or other subject.

I'm still (re)learning the craft of writing, and my grammar and punctuation will hopefully improve the more I write. I hope to have new material up every week.

A post will be made here to alert the Roost Readers who are interested in reading my fiction stuff (with the obligatory link to it, you betcha!). Hopefully it will save you from checking Raivynn's Quill every day.

You can leave comments on the stories here at the roost, or at the Quill. Whichever is easier for you. Feedback on the stories is very important to me, as i can use it to help hone my writing.

Hope to see you all over at the Quill!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

WWJB - Who Would Jesus Bodyslam

Fiddling around online, I found a link to an odd website. It's called Wrestling for Jesus and apparently combines Christianity and Professional Wrestling into a strange mix of Gospel and violence. This gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "Bible Thumpers". o.O

The website doesn't seem to be current, and dates posted for events do not include a year, though I assume they are from 2006. to, the church they are affiliated with had no readily available information about the wrestling group. Indeed, their own event listing was last marked for December 6th, 2006.

I have been in some non-traditional churches before, mostly Pentecostal in nature. These involved multi-media sermons, upbeat music, and lots of yelling and whooping and hollering. Definitely not your usual hellfire and damnation services with mournful hymns and somber faced clergy.

I've seen churches have Christian Rock concerts, Christian Rap concerts, even a Christian Ska concert with bale pated, metal adorned kids pumping leather gloved hands into the air while screaming inconprehensively.

I've seen churches hold haunted houses billed as Hell Houses. sometimes they are called Judgement Houses or Revelation houses. Places you wander through and experience horrible things you might experience in Hell. The scenes portrayed are often gruesome, graphic, and geared to scare the Hell out of you. Literally. The hope is to scare you to Jesus.

Even scarier, to me at least, is the real fanaticism I've seen in some churches. In one service, a visiting evangelist "slaying in the Spirit". He wouldn't end the worship service until each and every attendee was filled with the Spirit. I wasn't feeling it. He placed one sweaty hand on my forehead, and another behind my lower back, shouted a few sentences in tongues (which amazingly sounded like almost every other person who I've heard "talk in tongues"), and pushed hard with his hand on my head while pulling towards him with the one on my lower back. His first try didn't work. He did the whole thing over again, and pushed/pulled once more. Hard. I didn't budge, though a nice bruise formed on my already bad back. He loudly proclaimed Satan was at work keeping me from being filled with the Holy Ghost. An assistant of his came up behind me, and when this charlatan once again did his hoodoo, the assistant used his knee to pop my knee forward from behind. A trick I used to play in grade school. Between the neck snap, the back press, and the knee pop I went down like a poleaxed steer. (It was also my bad knee and between the manhandling and abuse I was limping for three days after).

Now, I know that was an extreme case, but I kinda can see how wrestling could be used in a ministry. I think it's pretty damned stupid, but I can see it. Images on the WFJ site even show a Jesus-like fellow being beaten. Yeah, that inspires me. now, if later the faux Christ goes all moneychangers on the other guys, it might be fun to watch.

The real scary thing is Wrestling for Jesus is not even unique. I found three other Christian wrestling groups with minimal research.

The first is CWF, or Christian Wrestling Federation. They seem a bit more polished than WFJ, and definitely more active. Like WFJ, the CWF seems to promote Christianity through its matches and events. At least according to their website. They are upfront about it and it truly seems to be the purpose behind the organization. Unlike WFJ, they seem to be less focused on the bloody aspects of things ... again, judging by their website.

The second is CWA Pro Wrestling. CWA stands for Christian Wrestling Alliance. This is a very slick multi media website with embedded videos, background sounds, lots of bright colors and hulking, grimacing wrestlers in evidence. I only saw one reference to Christianity, and that was that the sport of wrestling can be done "without all of the profanity and obscenity" found in mainstream pro wrestling. Nothing about trying to bring others to Christ, nothing about teaching Christian values ... it seems ot me it is really just a clean version of WWE or ECW, and with lesser budget. Not a bad thing, in and of itself, but with the word Christian blazoned boldly in their name, I would think to see more of an outreach program with it (such as CWF and WFJ have) and less self promotion for appearances.

The third is WFC, Wrestling for Christ, but I couldn't get it to load. It may not even be around any more.

I'm not a big fan of wrestling. Though I watched more than my fair share of it growing up. My grandfather used to set up arenas for the old Championship Wrestling of Florida (also called CWF, back in the day). He took me and my sister (and later my step-brother) to many of the matches. I met a ton of the popular wrestlers of the '70s.

I suppose because of that indoctrination into the wrestling scene, I was a fairly avid viewer of wrestling from the Championship Wrestling of Florida days up through the WWF (long before it lost it's cartoonish glamour). Hulkamania was in it's peak when I lost interest ...

Today's wrestling is boring, filthy, tripe, boring, foul mouthed, and did I say boring?

I'm not real sure on how I feel about so-called Christian wrestling, other than it sounds stupid. (And it came to pass, Jesus the Mighty smote the diabolical Moneychanger with a divine bodyslam, followed by a half-nelson and sleeper hold, thus reclaiming the Divine Heavyweight Champion title!!!)

I think it's loads better than Hell Houses. I suppose I'd have to see one of the events to really make a statement one way or the other. (But it's still stupid!)

What do you guys think? Could this be a legitimate way to save souls? Or, do you think that this is merely a way to beat the hell out of people and still be a Christian? Have any of you ever seen a Christian wrestling match?

The Dog Ate My Post

In a moment of lucidity and general relief from the aches and pains of whatever creeping crud I've been inflicted with, I wrote up a blog entry yesterday which I was going to use today. Very foresighted of me, wasn't it?

Except that , somehow, someway, instead of saving it to draft (which I thought I did in my medication addled soup of a mind), I must have simply closed out of the blog and lost it. (The post, not my mind. That's been gone a long time). :(

It was a rather scintillating post. One full of pathos. A post to make you stop and wonder about your place in the scheme of not just the world, but the universe. Feelings of love and goodwill would have welled up in your soul. The cares of the world would have slipped from your burdened shoulders like a gossamer shawl floating away in the breezes of tranquility. You may even have cried.

The post was entitled, "Cuz Fart Jokes Are STILL Funny!"

Instead of trying to recreate that once in a lifetime post of life altering verbiage, you'll have to settle for me doing a short listing of new info. *sigh* The humanity of it all.

A couple weeks back I posted a game I created at a new website called Sploder. I've not created anything new from there, but some inprovements have been made to the original game. There are now Walls and Polygons you can place in your games. Both are scaleable and add extra ability to create more entertaining (and difficult) game maps. Improvements are always being made to Sploder, so check it out if you've some time to kill.

Speaking of games, I have found (and gotten hooked) on several games which emulate the tower defense scenarios from Warcraft and Starcraft. Tower Defense typically entails you defending a castle and its inhabitants from hordes of baddies travelling a maze by constructing (and often upgrading) battle towers to kill them before they reach the soft, squishy, two-legged meals in your castle.

They have been decent time wasters for me to amuse myself during the periods when I felt up to sitting at the computer. Some are better than others; all were fun.

A really nice one I found called Master of Defense was really fun. It is Demo version of a larger game you can purchase. I felt the listed features of the game, however, did not equal the almost $20 purchase price. I'd've thought about getting it for $10. Still, if you have broadband, and like tower defense style games, downloading the demo is worthwhile.

There is a low grade, and free, Flash version available, simply called Tower Defence. This one challenges you to get to the highest possible level. Each wave, the monsters' health is multiplied by 1.25, making it more and more difficult to stop them before the reach the castle. Waves come every 20 seconds, and while money per kill increases each wave, it is linear compared to the exponential increase of the monsters' health. My top score was level 76. The game creator states he achieved level 90. There are many strategies you can use in this one, and it pays to learn the tower upgrades.

The one I have played the most is Flash Element TD. It, too, is Flash based, but with better graphics and sound. Unlike Tower Defence, this one has a limited amount of levels with ever increasing difficulty. Also unlike the previous two games, the real object behind this game is to get a high score, which is based on your accrued money and tower real estate. Many things affect the score, so this game is true game of tactics, both the stop the "creeps" (monsters) from "leaking" (making it through the map) and getting as much money and score as possible while doing so. There is a forum and tips page assopciated directly to this game, and it is updated often with new features and bug fixes. I heartily recommend playing this one. My top score in it has been in the mid-50k range. (And a new TD game is in the works from this game creator, too!)

So, there you have it, and I've had it. Time to go lay down again.

(Makes sure to press Publish this time).

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Sick as a Dog (and Other Odd Phrases)

Warning: If you are weak of stomach, or if the word etymology fills you with dread, you might want to skip today's post. The title of it will give you an idea of what to expect. You have been warned. (Wuss!)

Sick as a DogI've used the term "sick as a dog" a few times over the last several days. Almost everybody has used it, or at least heard it said. But, what exactly does it mean?

Contrary to popular usage, "sick as a dog" does not refer to a simple cold, or the flu. Aches, pains, chills, fevers, coughs, and runny noses have little to do with the origin of this oft-used turn of phrase. It does, however, refer to dogs. More specifically, to the rather unpleasant after effects of a dog eating things which are less than agreeable for their little doggy tummies. Yup, that's right. Dog yak.

In America, we might say we are "sick" to describe a cold or flu, while Brits would say they are "ill". In the United Kingdom, the word "sick" typically refers to vomit. To "be sick" in England would mean "to vomit".

If you know anything about dogs, you know when a dog eats something (and they eat damn near ANYthing) that is not good for them, it comes back out in worse shape than it went down. Usually on your freshly cleaned carpet. Or the middle of the couch. It's never pleasant, and I'm sure the dog doesn't much care for it either. (Though many of them will sniff their recent stench wafting ejecta and eagerly slurp it back up .. only to redeliver their payload to another part of the house).

All that rather uneeded printed visualization brings me to my point ... "sick as a dog" means to vomit like one.

Which is exactly what I've been doing for several days. Except for the lapping it back up part. Mainly because my head won't fit in the toilet. (Kidding! I'm so kidding ... stop looking at me like that!)

Under the WeatherAnother phrase commonly used to describe someone who is sick (ill, not sick, ill ... didn't I just go over that? sheesh), and one much less disgusting than the above colloquialism, is "under the weather".

Now this one seems pretty straightforward. Or, is it?

Several different attributions to the origination of "under the weather" can be found.

The most commonly accepted origination comes from America around 1827 and refers to how the literal weather can affect one's moods or health. Therefore, with this meaning, "under the weather" simply means climatological effects have influenced your health. Likely this has also helped given rise to the old-wives tales about cold weather and getting sick (I mean ill!).

Another possible origination of the idiom might be derived from an old nautical term "under the weather bow". A weather bow, on a ship, is the side of a ship's bow that is taking the brunt of a storm or other rough seas. If you've ever been on a ship, you may have experienced the up and down, back and forth motion waves cause. You may have even gotten nauseaus from it, or seasick, to be exact. Having a cold or flu can make you feel very similar. You might even become sick as a dog from being under the weather.

A third, less cited, origination is also nautical in derivation. When a sailor was indeed ill, he was kept below decks, or out of the weather. Thus, being under the deck was being under the weather. The phrase may have slipped into common usage by sailors describing someone who was ill (or sick!).

I had more phrases to discuss, but as I'm feeling green around the gills, I think I will retire before I toss my cookies.

Cats + Video = Teh Funny

Still pretty sick here. Worse than yesterday.

At least the kids seem to be better. This could be a Bad Thing™. Before they were happy to stay in their rooms, cocooned in warm, fuzzy blankets, and playing with their Nintendo DSs and watching DVDs. Now they feel better, they have energy. They have become manic little beasts of shrillness and annoyance.

I think I'll go sneeze on them. =/

So, because I know the trials and tribulations of my nasal passages, digestive tract, and orifices (which have things exiting at varying velocities and of liquid states) are not very entertaining (and more than a little stomach churning), I present to you a video of cute and cuddley cats frolicking and gamboling with cute and cuddley kitty hijinx.

Actually ... >_> ... I'm posting this more as a way to get back at catdom. My cat, Tut, jumped on my desk, blocked my computer screen, stepped on my keyboard, and nuzzled my my mouse hand making me die in Guild Wars last night. (What? you think I'll take the blame for my in-game death? Pshaw!).

Enjoy the fuzzy frivolity of the frantic felines!

Saturday, January 20, 2007


Laughter is the best medicine, or so it has been said. As I'm still feeling rather icky, I decided to continue with the groaners and pun-ish you with some pun-etrating humor. (Hover your cursor next to the big A to see the answer!)

Q.) What do you call a flightless, aquatic bird who cracks jokes?
A.) A punguin

Q.) What do you call a polite, dapper man who tells jokes but smells horrible?
A.) Pungent

Q.) Why are pirates called pirates?
A.) Because they Arrrrgggghhh! (Were expecting another pun-inspired joke, weren't you? ~.^)

Q.) How many of each animal did Moses take on the Ark?
A.) None! Noah built the Ark.

Q.) Who was the most flexible man in the Bible?
A.) Balaam. He tied his ass to a tree and walked forty miles.

Okay, and one last joke to end this entry ....

One day, an elderly woman was walking along the street, coming home from the supermarket. Her bag of groceries was especially heavy that day, and as she passed Nathan Hale's Used Cars, she got an idea that she could drive herself to the store and save a lot of shoe leather, time and aching muscles. She walks into the car dealership and, as it just so happens, gets the owner himself. He asks her what kind of car she wants and she replies,

"Well, sonny, I can't remember the name exactly, but it has something to do with hate or anger."

The owner replies, "Well, let's see... Oh yes, you want a Plymouth Fury! We have a couple on the lot. What color do you prefer?"

The lady has some trouble explaining the exact color to him, so she reaches into her shopping bag, takes out an ear of corn, strips down the shucks and says, "I want this color sonny."

To which Nathan replies, "Ma'am I'm sorry, but we don't have any in this color. Could I show you a nice blue one?"

"No son, I want this color."

"But ma'am, they didn't make that color! Maybe a cherry red one would suit you?" says the owner, obviously worried about losing a sale.

By this time, the old lady gets mad, and starts throwing things at the owner, thereby chasing him out of the office and into the lot. One of the salesmen, coming into the office from the back door, notices the disruption and asks the secretary what the old woman was so upset about.

The secretary replies, "Apparently, Hale hath no Fury like the woman's corn!"

Friday, January 19, 2007

Cuz Fart Jokes ARE Funny!

Once again, here I am later than usual with a post and have nothing to post about. I've got all sorts of ideas, sure. I even have done pre-planning like I thought about in a previous post. I have all sorts of material I could write about, but my head is throbbing and full of sinus cavity discards, and I'm pretty worn out.

There are 4 people (and two cats) in the household. Of those four, two are sick. Not sure if it's cold or flu, but it's something with nasal leakage, temperature rise-age, and body ache-age. The third looked like he was getting sick last night, and not much better this morning. That leaves yours truly.

And I think I'm getting whatever creeping crud has cast its infectious tendtrils into the rest of the family. =/

So, ummm .. yeah.

Here's a fart joke to tide you over until tomorrow. Breathe shallow ...

Doctor, "What seems to be the problem?"

Patient, "Doc, I've got the farts. I mean I fart all the time."

The Doctor nods, "Hmm."

Patient, "My farts do not stink and you can't hear them. It's just that I fart all the time. Look, we've been talking here for about 10 minutes and I've farted five times. You didn't hear them and you don't smell them, do you?"

"Hmm," says the Doctor,He picks up his pad and writes out a prescription.The patient is thrilled.

"Great doc. This prescription, will it really clear up my farts?"

"No," sighs the Doctor, "The prescription is to clear your sinuses. Next week I want you back here for a hearing test."

Oh, and I wouldn't advise eating whatever this guy had ...

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Bruiser's Bowling Buddies


My last entry stated I'd have something more light-hearted posted by the afternoon. I planned to. I really and truely planned to. I'll blame the delay on ... stuff. Yeah. Stuff. Sounds good, no?

Besides, 8PM is after noon, isn't it?

I have a friend who goes by the web-name of Bruiser. He's one of my guild mates in the Rebel Dragons; the guild I belong to in the Guild Wars MMORPG. Great guy. He's funny, he's generous, he's kind, and he's got a kickin' voice that sounds like a cool radio DJ. (We use Teamspeak sometimes in the guild, even if I am too damn cheap to buy a mic for myself ... I lost my old, half-broken one ... somehow).

Bruiser has himself his own little corner of the web where he ponders the mysteries of life, expounds upon important issues, and articulates deep philosophical ideas. That these mysteries, important issues, and philosophical ideals mostly revolve around softball and bowling is beside the point.

Recently, Bruiser posted a Silly Video of his Guild Wars ranger girl dancing to ABBA's Dancing Queen. I liked it, but it's a good thing his ranger girl is only digital. She could break a hip with some of those moves. =/

Anyhow, a subsequent blog entry of his reports on a recent bowling event and bemoans his own, lower than usual, pin average. I suggested, in the comments (where pizza grease and divine peanut butter has been seen to be discussed), that our erstwhile Bruiser was preoccupied with certain lithe, writhing ranger girls and might be better served by focussing on his game rather than her sinuous gyrations. Inspiration struck me then, and I suggested he might also envision those same robust reeling ranger girls in place of the normal ten-pins.

Then, I thought Bruiser might need a little help in bringing this vision to mind, so I concocted a little visual aid to lend assistance:

Bruiser's Bowling Buddies (Click to See Original Image)(Those interested can click on the above image to see the original image before I 'shopped it)

Doomsday Clock

Did you know there is a clock that ticks off the minutes until Doomsday?

This Doomsday Clock was instituted in 1947 by the Board of Directors of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (BAS) to symbolize the human race being "minutes to midnight". Midnight represents world destruction through nuclear war, but also through climate changing technologies and nanotechnology.

5 Minutes to MidnightYesterday, January 17th, 2007, the clock inched two minutes closer to midnight ... to Doomsday. It now rests at 11:55; five minutes to midnight.

That seems awfully close to the nuclear horror which midnight represents. A mere 5 minutes. Commercial breaks take longer than that nowadays. By the time you grabbed your sammich and cold beverage ... KABLOOEY!

Of course, the Clock is not literal in its timekeeping. Those small increments of time, those ticks of mankind's future, are just a measure of the degree of current nuclear threat. You likely have time for that ham and cheese after all.

You see, the Doomsday Clock was started at seven minutes to midnight way back in 1947. It was a response to escalating nuclear capabilities and the beginning Cold War. Too, the Clock has been only been changed 18 times since its inception. Sometimes it moved closer to midnight; sometimes the clock was rewound.

The closest time it ever showed was in 1953; it was placed at 11:58 reflecting nuclear tests by both the United States and Soviet Union. It had previously been set to 11:57 in 1949 after the Soviet Union's first atomic bomb test. Only 1984 came almost that close again, being set at three minutes to midnight.

Everything was not always doom and gloom, however; the Clock has been rewound many times. The farthest from midnight was in 1991 when the United States and Soviet Union signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty; the Clock was set to 17 minutes to midnight, 11:43.

The timepiece of destruction is not always able to keep up with world events, either. During the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, the Clock stayed at its previous setting of seven minutes to midnight set in 1960. Of course, those tense events in 1962 took place over the course of weeks and it may have been too rapid for the BAS to adjust the clock. However, in 1963 the clock was moved five minutes, to 11:48 back in response to the Partial Test Ban Treaty.

The change done on the 17th was announced on January 12th, 2007 in a press release that also cited "climate change" as a contributing factor. The push "for expanded civilian nuclear power that could increase proliferation risks" is the reasoning.

While the Doomsday Clock is a just a gauge of potential threat by a group of people (admittedly experienced and intelligent people), any changes to its settings has always been noteworthy events to the media.

Will moving the Doomsday Clock closer to midnight incite changes? Likely not many, and likely not fast. But it may make some people stop and think, to examine things they usually ignore outside the evening news or the occasional water cooler debates. I know by seeing this change, and subsequently researching it, I've learned a few new things; about history, about recent events, about technology. Some of it makes me wonder ...

The BAS website has tons of information if that little niggle of curiosity is tickling your brain. If you'd like a graphical, encapsulated view of all the changes on the Doomsday Clock, Wikipedia has a small page devoted to it.

If you'd like to read about 20 Ways the World Could End, head over to and check out their nifty article from October 2000. I often wonder if number 20 is the real deal. ~.^

(Also, today will be a double post day. Look for a more light-hearted entry later this afternoon! ~.^)

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Monkey Shines

A 120-pound chimpanzee named Judy escaped from her sleeping area in the Little Rock Zoo (Ark.). She got into primate service area and raided the refrigerator where chimp snacks are stored, as well as rummaging in cabinets and drinking from juice boxes and other soft drinks. At one point, Judy the chimp even wrung out a sponge and scrubbed down the fridge! (cite)

There has got to bea way to use bananas for world domination ...Wait, it gets better ...

She even took a toilet brush and cleaned a toilet!!

Park officials stated the 37-year old chimp was a house pet prior to the zoo acquiring her in 1988.

Eventually, zookeepers tranquilized Judy after they failed to charm her back into her cage. She fell asleep on top of the newly scrubbed fridge with some cinnamon-raisin bread. There was no danger of Judy escaping outside the service area, according to the zookeepers.

I think they should let ol' Judy out more often if she's going to clean up for them. Heck, I can't even get my kids to clean up when I want them to.

Maybe I should feed them bananas ... ??

Who knows? Instead of robots, maybe the future will be filled with chimps and other primates doing menial tasks for us; cleaning, lawn work, writing blogs ... It would be Utopia! Maybe we could even boost their intelligence a bit and have them do food preparation, chauffering, or making major motion pictures. (Some people might claim that we have a super(??) intelligent chimp in the Oval Office right now! I wouldn't, but others might ...) This could be great for the world. I mean, what could possibly go wrong?

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


Every January in Tampa we hold a festival celebrating pirates! It is called Gasparilla, and is named for the legendary (and possibly fictional) pirate captain José Gaspar who supposedly operated out this area. It's like a mini-Mardi Gras, but with pirates!

The festival began back in 1904 and has taken place every year, with the exception of a five year span during World War II. Today over 400,000 people take part in the celebration, and all of downtown and Bayshore Blvd becomes a human log jam of sweaty drunks, gaudy pirate costumes, and jiggling ja-jas. It's pretty good for the local economy, too. Especially plastic bead makers, I suppose.

Gasparilla Pirate Fest begins with a waterborne pirate invasion with the world's only fully-rigged pirate ship, the Jose Gasparilla. The pirate vessel, along with a ton of pleasure craft (who sailed to meet the pirate ship in battle but are turned instead towards the pirates cause), travel up Hillsborough Bay into Seddon Channel and towards downtown Tampa. When the Jose Gasparilla docks, the Mayor surrender the Key to the City of Tampa to the Captain of Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla.

Once the city surrenders, the pirates celebrate their victory with the Parade of Pirates down Bayshore Boulevard. (Bayshore is also the site of the world's longest contiguous sidewalk at 4.5 miles). There are floats and entertainment, with free beads thrown to clamoring people of all ages. And, yes, just like Mardi Gras, plenty of women will bare their breasts for a handful of cheap plastic trinkets. Booze flows freely, as well; a welcome return for the inebriates of Tampa this year. =/

The Gasparilla Pirate Street Festival takes place all day of the invasion with live entertainment, more food than you could ever wish for, and a Midway with rides, games, and other amusements. All in the middle of downtown Tampa!

A week before this event, a family friendly Gasparilla event is held. This one is strictly for the kiddies. There is a children's parade, a bicycle rodeo, an air invasion with vintage aircraft and parachutists, and capping the evening with a "Piratechnic Extravaganza". This fireworks display is stunning. It recreates the imaginary battle between the city of Tampa and the pirates of Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla. The city never wins.

Both events are free. Free as in you don't have to pay to go. Parking, food, reserved seats, games, rides, water, beer .. all those you have to buy. Usually at inflated prices. The bare boobs are free, however ... unless you count the plastic beads the paraders toss to them.

A few weeks later there is the Sant'Yago Knight Parade held in Ybor City. It is even more adult oriented than the invasion day festival, and takes place at night. Illuminated floats, costumes, more drunks, more beads, and more breasts fill the streets of Ybor City. (Ybor is an historic district in Tampa and is one of the areas top hot spots for night life, though the day has much to offer families. It's a great place, either way!)

It's been years since I've gone to the Pirate Fest. All the walking is too much for me, and I'm not the best around stupid, drunk crowds. But it always was a blast, and I recommend anyone who's in Tampa these next two weeks to check it out.

The kids festival takes place on January 20th, with the more adult styled festival the following week on January 27th.

I expect this year to be even bigger than ever before with the popularity of Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean movies. A lot of Jack Sparrows will be wandering about, I bet. which is only cool. I love the pirate milieu, actually. nothing quite like a good pirate story! ^.^

Note: All pictures were liberally swiped from the pretty cool Tampa Government Website. All props should be given to the original photographers, even though I did clean up and enhance a few images. Okay all of the images here, but I didn't take the pics themselves. ~.^

Monday, January 15, 2007

Let's Go to the Tape

I think cats use their fur like a sensory organ. I'm not just meaning their whiskers, but I think the normal fur acts very similar. (Cat whiskers are used to sense vibrations, helping a cat "see" in darkness, as well as being a communication tool for moods cite).

If you place something on a cat's fur, it reacts very oddly; trying to move away from the faux constant pressure. It doesn't matter where on the cat this constant pressure is applied, the cat will move its body away from the feeling.

Don't believe me? I'll prove it to you.

We'll need a cat and a catalyst to induce the sensation of constant, applied pressure. Tape works best. It is sticky and can easily be made to whatever length you need to put on the cat.

Cellophane tapes are the least sticky, easily coming off the cat without taking more than loose fur, yet will stay on the cat. Masking tape is okay, but can pull attached fur out when removed. (Think yanking a band-aid off a hairy part of your body). Duct Tape is just evil, and you deserve any perforations and bloodletting the cat will surely inflict upon you should you use it.

Get a good strip of tape (you are using cellophane, right?) and measure out a piece to place along the cat's side. Coax the unsuspecting kitty over and carefully put the tape on its side. you don't need to press down hard, but enough so it sticks. Now let the cat go and watch.

Once you stop laughing your ass off, retrieve the kitty and gently remove the tape. Assuming you can get to the cat who is likely under a bed by now. If you feel lucky, and a little bit mean, you could try this on other parts of the cat for different effects. Your cat may never forgive you, so use moderation and lots of kitty treats and love after if you try this.

And NEVER put tape on a cat's face or front whiskers. the cat could injure itself trying to get away from the tape, and you might pull out some whiskers removing the tape. Pulling out a good whisker is like someone pulling your fingernail out to a cat.

Actually, you should probably never put tape on your cat, or any other cat, just to be safe. Therefore, in order to promote peace and harmony between you and your cat, i offer a vicarious look into what it might look like if you really did torture, I mean, play ... play with your cat using tape.

Now you know why it is damn difficult to get a cat to wear kitty clothing of any kind. Not only does it look totally stupid to dress an animal up, but it will likely freak them out, too. Plus, the cat may later send Tigger over to your house to punch you in the face.

Seriously, if you decide to try this with your cat, please, please, please, use cellophane tape and don't overdue it. You will really stress the cat out and it may not be very friendly with you later.