It's the Kids. Lock Up the China! - New York Times: "A generation ago, adult children visiting their parents' homes might have left with a Tupperware container of lasagna. Today, many of them stealthily make off with toiletries, groceries, sometimes clothing and even furniture. It is an apparently widespread practice, born of a sense of entitlement among young adults - and usually amusedly tolerated by parents - that gives new meaning to the phrase 'home shopping.' Like most adults, the pilferers have set up their own households, but they seem not to have given up the expectation that their parents should provide for them in certain ways. They loot their parents' houses to cut costs, or because they would rather not pay for incidentals. Or because they want things with sentimental value."

Ma and Frank might disagree, but I think the only things I've pillaged have been books and videos that were mine anyway. And I always show them what I'm taking so they wouldn't accuse me of something like that. I can't think of anything that they've disputed.
Tales Of Fatima - "Time To Kill"
Remember, Fatima is the long cigarette that's long on quality.
A radio mystery named after the product they're trying to hype, complete with incidental music straight out of cartoons, stolen identities, a hand reaching out from a banister with a gun in it (Look out!) and starring Basil Rathbone as Basil Rathbone.

Another good series is Voyage of the Scarlet Queen, combining old school seafaring adventures with hard-boiled smuggler mysteries set in obscure Asian ports in the late Forties. Funny to hear the hero spewing dialog like he's caught between Raymond Chandler and Two Years Before the Mast. As the ketch Scarlet Queen winds her way up a Chinese river, "the stream was jammed from bank to bank with the traffic of Chinese rivers: junks, barges and refuse. Curious dark eyes swept us as we past. Naked girl babies were held up to us for sale." [Good if you can ignore the racism.]

Apparently episode 15, aired on 10/09/47 was titled "The Tattooed Beaver And Baby Food For Pare Pare." Guess you had to be there.


I knew there were a few dozen websites that linked to Art of Laze recipes, but my latest ego-surfing puts it in a whole new perspective.
Google Search for "evilbobdayjob"
Results 1 - 10 of about 559 for evilbobdayjob.
I don't have 559 pages on this site, so that's mostly other people! Subtract maybe 20 or 30 hits that go to this site or that link to public messageboards where I've mentioned the url. That leaves over 500 sites. Pretty cool.

Unfortunately if you perform a Google Search for "evilbobdayjob -ysb", you'll only see about 268 possible hits.

Which means that about half of the total links are to the number one "adult role-playing game" on several web directories, You Stupid B!tch. Go figure. They only want me for my sex.

When you have this little icon sparkling in your taskbar, and you walk up to it from a distance, sorta catch it out of the corner of your eye, that red and green and yellow looks like a tiny, distorted Virgin of Guadelupe.

No, try harder. Squint. It's there. I'm telling you.

"Bio is an urn for ashes, which transforms the ritual of death into an act of regeneration and life. It is made of compacted organic material (coconut shell) which is then covered in a layor of celulose containing organic fertiliser. Inside this there is a seed which will later germinate and grow into a tree.

Thanks to the Bio-Urn graveyards would turn into forests filled with life and meaning and the end of our lives would become an act of reconcilation with nature itself. "
[via blog]

Cute idea on the face of it, but I want to know more about the backend. How much energy and material goes into making one of these? What advantage does it have over a cardboard box and the decision to plant a tree on or near the gravesite? Do we need to carry human ashes in an urn for practical reasons or for ritual reasons?


Eat hot ukelele, bitch.


No more tree-hugging. What if we started telling people that they should show concern for their environment for reasons like FOOD SECURITY?
Oil and Food: A Rising Security Challenge
by Danielle Murray
[Also check out this segment of People Rise Up radio interview with Danielle and some other sustainable food activists.]


"What do the films 'Bruce Almighty' and 'The Green Mile' have in common with 'The Family Man,' the 'Matrix' movies, and 'Ghost'?

"All feature black characters whose main function is to help a white hero through magical or supernatural means. These are Hollywood's 'black angels,' whose popularity has surged in recent years..."
[from Christian Science Monitor, 11 July 2003]

Also think of Cuba Gooding in What Dreams May Come, Scatman Crothers in The Shining, or Scatman Crothers in the "Kick The Can" segment of Twilight Zone: The Movie.
"As for the bombing of Mecca, Tancredo's statement said 'I do not advocate this. Much more thought would need to be given to the potential ramifications of such a horrific response.' " [via]

Don't bitch at Rep. Tom Tancredo for "throwing out some ideas" about bombing Mecca. Bitch at him for his quibbling damage control statement, not admitting the idea is misdirected and evil on the face of it (like bombing Pinkney, Michigan in retaliation for Timothy McVeigh's attack on Oklahoma City federal building), but actually persisting that the idea might hold merit if "much more thought" were put into it. Let me guess, we're going to get Douglas Feith, Rumsfeld, Richard Perle, the whole Cakewalk Crew, people like that will think about the potential ramifications?

Meanwhile, searching, I couldn't find any press release clarifying that he would only suggest bombing Mecca after much more thought. However I did find an ironic press release titled "Tancredo Slams Senior Chinese Official for Nuke Threat." The subtitle is "Congressman Demands Apology, Repudiation of Threat from Chinese Government."

Wait, one last joke. 'Tancredo chided China’s communist government, noting that, “For a senior government official to exhibit such tremendous stupidity by making such a brazen threat is hardly characteristic of a modern nation – particularly one planning to host the Olympic Games.”'

How dare you make the same kinds of hypothetical nuclear threats that we make, after we even let you host the Olympics!? Shame! Keep making threats like that (like we do) and we'll take back all our McDonald's out of your silly, unmodern country!


Ego-surfing update! A friend emailed me an image of that Deadlands: Doomtown card. Not exactly the spitting image of me.

The card reads:
Rare 1. Type: Dude, Cost 4, Upkeep 1, Value 6S.
Bullet: 0D, Influence: 0, Outfit SR.
Any strike where Northrop is present
produces double its normal ghost rock when Northrop is unbooted.
Flavor Text: He's a real quiet fella, Northrop. Doesn't say much. But
he works hard enough to kill a buffalo, and Damned if he doesn't keep
pulling up ghost rock by the crateful. -CL

[For your friendly neighborhood Robert T. Northrup, the Flavor Text would be more like "Doesn't work much, but he talks hard enough to kill a buffalo."]
I finally got around to setting up Awkwardly with an RSS site . If you don't know what it means, you can click on that chicklet and it will give some more info. Better yet, don't bother. From a reader/consumer's viewpoint, I honestly think the value of learning it and setting it up is not worth the effort you have to put into it. That's why I didn't bother with it for 12 or 18 months after I learned about RSS. But there are free sites making it easier and easier, so I might as well accomodate both readers of my website who might have an interest to receive a feed of this.

I'll also get some tracking info, so I can see how disappointingly few people bother to grab my feeds. (Don't just syndicate out of pity! They can track that too!) Tripod tells me that I get about 100 or 150 hits per day on my website, presumably counting all pages. Unfortunately, I know from past experience that the biggest draws seem to be my pages about Art of Laze recipes and Fuck Texas and maybe You Stupid B!tch, which probably won't draw the kind of people who have any interest in my fiction or this blog. Ah well, it's nice to see some traffic no matter what brings them here. And no one on the F-TX guestbook has offered to cut my face for a few years now, so that's progress.

I spent about 2 hours today setting up to point to all the websites I hit daily, although a few of them have no feed. Will it revolutionize the way I surf? We'll see.

...Several hours later. I'm starting to see the advantage here. After working my way through the ten or twelve blogs I hit every day plus a few more, I would have been forced to find something else to do. There's no way I would have started over and skimmed through every one of them looking for new material. But with all of those sites fed to one page, I'm able to skim through and see new posts on a few of them. So far, so good.


Capitalism is Against the Law (The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics)
Can't believe I didn't link to this months ago when I first read it. The Oil We Eat (Richard Manning) scared the shit out of me a while back, and this article "Capitalism is Against the Law" by Stan Goff upped the ante. Not only will Peak Oil screw us up severely, but worse, there are no alternative energies right now that are cheap enough, portable enough, safe enough or available in large enough quantities to replace petroleum at the current levels we use it. Some combination of cutting back usage severely and ramping up alternatives would begin to mitigate the disaster that we'll face after Peak Oil hits, but we can't expect alternatives to easily fill the gap.

This is not to say that we should drop all research into alternatives and stick with oil. We need to maintain or increase the research into alternatives while also radically changing our lifestyles to cut back on the need for oil. We need a society that won't crash so hard when the oil rug is pulled out from under us.

“Developing and commercializing carbon-free power technologies by the mid-21st century could require efforts, perhaps international, pursued with the urgency of the Manhattan Project or the Apollo space program.”
-- Martin Hoffert, a physicist at New York University, during a forum on global warming.

Of course, Goff argues that Capitalism as a system necessarily burns up and wastes resources around the world in order to fuel the ridiculous growth required by greed. But even if you disagree about Capitalism being harmful, he makes the case with lots of cross-references to explain that it would be physically impossible for alternative energies to fill the gap right now. Crossing your fingers and hoping for a new technology to solve the problem would be a faith-based initiative as ill-advised as Noah's neighbor hoping for a fully-stocked yacht to float up to his door when the rain starts.

How long can you tread water?

ego surfing thru the deadlands

I was googling my name last night and hit a strange discovery. Besides finding several doctors "Robert Northrup", a big time realtor in San Diego by that name, and a death announcement for one that died in 2002, I came across my name as a character in a Pokemon-style card game called Deadlands: Doomtown.

I can't find an image of the card on the web, but my name crops up in a list of drawings that this artist had done for the card game, where he's offering to sell the original paintings. Apparently my name evokes a gritty Western gunslinger image, or else it's so plain sounding that it seems realistic. Shut up, Smitty! That ain't nice, you laughin.

This guy also painted some cards for Magic: the Gathering and other games. I'm not interested in buying the original painting, but I wonder how many of those damn little out-of-print "booster packs" I'd have to buy to find this card with my name. If the character isn't an ugly undead storekeeper, it might make a cool business card!


Internet Archive - Feature Films
If you buy as many cheap, old, public domain movies on dvd as I do, you'll be either excited or disappointed to see tons of them here, free for you to download. Rocket Men From the Moon, Dick Tracy serials, Ace Drummond, The Big Trees, Night of the Living Dead, tons.

I'm not sure whether to rush home and record a bunch of these, or just watch them and assume that they're going to be free and available later whenever I want. Weird.


"'I thought about it hard,' he remembers. 'It took me so much guts to wear this. I finally got it on, and now they want me to take if off. And they're holding millions of dollars over my head for it. . . . It's an easy decision, intellectually. But emotionally, to your own [sense of] net worth to yourself, that's all you have.' He broke off his account with the network."
The Infomercial guy in the Question Mark suit talks about the intellectual and emotional factors in choosing to keep wearing the question mark suit, knowing that it will cost him the Home Shopping Network affiliation.
[story from the Baltimore City Paper via]


Berlin Demolition Crew Dismantles Checkpoint Charlie Memorial

Due to financing problems and their lease running out, the Berlin Wall's Checkpoint Charlie Memorial has been torn down. Protesters tried to prevent work crews from demolishing it.

Ironically US Republican groups have been fighting to keep the Memorial going, since they think it reinforces their narrative about the Berlin Wall (and the entire USSR) crumbling due to Reagan's efforts.

1980s -- Tear Down The Wall! Tear Down The Wall!
2005 -- Wait, not that part of the Wall! Keep Up The Wall!


Please have your deity call my deity and explain why Tuvan throat-singing is so crushingly effective when covering Joy Division.
Love Will Tear Us Apart (mp3) by Albert Kuvezin and YAT-KHA
'In an explosive admission, American Psychiatric Association President Steven Sharfstein...admitted that there is no way to test for a "chemical imbalance" as the cause for mental disorders. PEOPLE magazine (July 11), quoted Dr. Sharfstein conceding, "We do not have a clean-cut lab test."'
-- big news to the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (anti-psychiatry Scientologist front group)

For their next tricks, Scientologists will demand the end of aspirin for headaches or backaches, since there is no clean-cut test to determine the causes or most effective treatments of some headaches or backaches. You must put an end to the unscientific use of aspirin, and use Scientologist-approved treatments like exercise and vitamins. Maybe a few yogurt enemas as needed.


The history of BÖWE Bell + Howell is totally lacking in discography or lyrics from their members' earlier efforts.