Law & Order: Special Valentines Unit


DIY Dungeons & Dayjobs screensaver! (for Windows)
1. Right click on the following link and save it to your desktop:
2. Right click on a blank area of your desktop. Select "Properties."
3. Select "Screen Saver" tab.
4. In your list of possible screen savers, choose "3D Pipes."
5. Click "Settings". In the Setup window, click "choose texture."
6. Dig around until you find the bmp you just saved on your desktop. Select that and click "open."
7. Click Okay and Okay until you've okayed all those windows.
8. Yay! Dungeons & Dayjobs pipes on your screensaver!


The Comic Strip Doctor (David Malki) is a series of articles "analyzing and improving the worst newspaper comic strips." For example, on Beetle Bailey: "He is a soldier who never kills, in an army which never fights, for a country which never calls on him. He is a pretend grunt, walking emptily through a facade of Eisenhower-era Army life, suffering through all of the K.P. but with none of the K.I.A. ... He is an Army of None."
On Garfield: "In fact, it wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that Get Fuzzy is the heir to Garfield's throne; the strip, by Darby Conley, revolves around a young homebody's interactions with his egomaniacal cat and dimwitted dog."


Stephen Colbert explains the appeal of Dungeons & Dragons in all apparent seriousness in an interview with The Onion AV Club.

AVC: You were into Dungeons & Dragons as a kid, were you not?

SC: Yeah, I really was. I started playing in seventh grade, 1977. And I played incessantly, 'til probably 1981—four years.

AVC: What's the appeal?

SC: It's a fantasy role-playing game. If you're familiar with the works of Tolkien or Stephen R. Donaldson or Poul Anderson or any of the guys who wrote really good fantasy stuff, those worlds stood up. It's an opportunity to assume a persona. Who really wants to be themselves when they're teenagers? And you get to be heroic and have adventures. And it's an incredibly fun game. They have arcane rules and complex societies and they're open-ended and limitless, kind of like life. For somebody who eventually became an actor, it was interesting to have done that for so many years, because acting is role-playing. You assume a character, and you have to stay in them over years, and you create histories, and you apply your powers. It's good improvisation with agreed rules before you go in."
Have you seen Enough, that J.Lo battered wife revenge movie?

**SPOILERS. Don't read further if you want the ending of the movie to be a surprise.***
It was watchable, but slightly over the top. Like the abusive husband can't just be an average abusive husband, or a really mean abusive husband: he's the all-american hollywood abuser of all time. He's rich enough to follow her all over the country and use goons to track her down everywhere she goes. Plus the father who abandons her happens to be a wealthy artist or tycoon or something, so he eventually throws tons of money at her. At one point she uses some kind of pepper-spray in a bracelet/watch band to fend off her ex-husband. Then she said, "Battered, James Battered." (Okay, she didn't say that, but she really did spray him with her watchband.) Finally when she decides she can't keep running forever, and that the legal system can't help her, she goes to a martial arts trainer for less than a month and becomes ninja assassin J.Lo. After all that crap, the final confrontation should have been bigger. Abusive husband should have pulled out a grenade launcher or something to raise the stakes again. Or at least do some high kicks and claim that he was trained by shaolin priests.
Bush condemns Hamas for their bad PR
After hearing that Hamas did well in elections, President Bush stated, "I don't see how you can be a partner in peace if you advocate the destruction of a country as part of your platform. And I know you can't be a partner in peace if you have a -- if your party has got an armed wing. ... But I will continue to remind people about what I just said, that if your platform is the destruction of Israel, it means you're not a partner in peace. And we're interested in peace."

Later that day, Hamas clarified their positions. No longer seeking the destruction of Israel, Hamas now calls for "regime change" in Israel. The armed wing of Hamas has been shut down, and a new "Hamas Department of Defense" has opened in its place.

"Thank you," said President Bush. "That's much better. I now declare that Hamas is a partner in peace and a man of peace just like Ariel Sharon."


Piggly Wiggly at the forefront of biometric payment systems, soon accepting "Pay By Touch" fingerprint scans to cash paychecks in all 85 stores in its chain. Moon runs red with blood. Seven-headed beast with sword tongues wants to see the barcode tattooed on back of your neck. It's been real...
Captain Jackson mentioned on MetaFilter plus an article about his DWI that I missed in the Detroit Free Press.


It's dumb that he has to put it in terms of genital-measuring contest, but dig that second sentence:

"...[B]eing against the war and saying you support the troops is one of the wussiest positions the pacifists have ever taken — and they're wussy by definition. It's as if the one lesson they took away from Vietnam wasn't to avoid foreign conflicts with no pressing national interest but to remember to throw a parade afterward."
- Joel Stein, LA Times columnist explaining why he doesn't support the troops.

"I'm not advocating that we spit on returning veterans like they did after the Vietnam War, but we shouldn't be celebrating people for doing something we don't think was a good idea. All I'm asking is that we give our returning soldiers what they need: hospitals, pensions, mental health and a safe, immediate return. But, please, no parades."
Inverted Indoor Gardening using a modified 2 liter bottle.


Fucked-up Priorities
"...A military jury in Colorado ruled last night an Army interrogator who killed an Iraqi general would not have to serve any time in jail. The interrogator -- Chief Warrant Officer Lewis Welshofer Jr. - killed the Iraqi man after putting a sleeping bag over his head, wrapping him in electrical cord, sitting on his chest and covering his mouth. Over the weekend the military jury convicted Welshofer of negligent homicide which carries a maximum prison term of three years. But the jury chose instead to fine him $6,000 and ordered him to spend the next 60 days restricted to his home, office and church. The Los Angeles Times reports soldiers and officers inside the courtroom broke out in applause after the jury announced Welshofer would not be jailed for the killing."
Meanwhile ..."In upstate New York, a peace activist has been sentenced to six months in jail for pouring blood inside a military recruiting station in March 2003 in order to protest the invasion of Iraq."


Shatner at Star Trek Convention skit from SNL. I watched this playing on a vcr on a dealer's table inside a Trek Convention in the late 1980s.


Dungeons & Dayjobs now available via amazon. (I get less profit from copies sold on amazon than ones sold on, but if any copies get sold that way, it's good.) A friend at work tried to tell me it's exciting to see it on Amazon. I told her anyone with $35 can get that excitement. Meanwhile, the last article in this week's Publisher's Weekly was about the horrors of POD books usurping space on store shelves that should rightfully be filled with "real" independent books. Surely the only way to tell whether books are worth reading is to see if established publishers decide to put money into them. Ugh.
Molly Ivins: Not. Backing. Hillary.
[To the Democratic party:] "Do not sit there cowering and pretending the only way to win is as Republican-lite. If the Washington-based party can't get up and fight, we'll find someone who can."


Anda's Game by Cory Doctorow. Three-part podcast of it read by Alice Taylor. "This is a riff on the way that property-rights are coming to games, and on the bizarre spectacle of sweat-shops in which children are paid to play the game all day in order to generate eBay-able game-wealth."
And a pretty good story in spite of all the anti-game-geek cynical baggage I brought to it.
Iraqi Invasion: A Text Misadventure
[via This one's for Pete!]

Oval Office
You are standing inside a White House, having just been elected to the presidency of the United States. You knew Scalia would pull through for you.

There is a large desk here, along with a few chairs and couches. The presidential seal is in the middle of the room and there is a full-length mirror upon the wall.

What do you want to do now?

You are not able to do that, yet.

Self-reflection is not your strong suit.

It's not that kind of seal. ...


Shatner Sells Kidney Stone for Charity
$25 grand to Money goes to Habitat for Humanity.
Ode to the 3 Databases and 23 Screens in Which Data Must Be Entered for Each Issue

All search.
Item/Prod Quick search.
Item Master revisions.
Check-in revision.
Item/Prod again.
Work with Item Branch.
Work with Bill of Material.
Bill of Material Revisions.
Item Search & Select.
back to Bill of Material,
back to Work with Bill of Material,
back to Work with Item Branch,
back to Item/prod.
Item Master revisions to set Work Order status to AFM,
dumps you on Check-in revision screen again.

Check-in form for outsource.
What tracking number?
[frm AOP Prod: form]
save to H drive once
what tracking number?
save to H drive again.
what tracking number?

Outbox time
Levi's announced plans to produce iPod jeans with pockets and iPod accessories built in. At first I thought it was just pockets, but this has a tiny amount of value added. Or double your pleasure by holding your jeans up with TuneBuckle (belt buckle that nano will fit in).

If you feel that you need jeans branded and designed around your iPod, I have a bridge designed for your specific car that will transport it directly to Brooklyn. Just let me know your car's make and model so I can plaster the logos on the entrance and exit, then we can make a deal.

Luckily my Buslink mp3 player (about half the cost of an iPod nano with twice the memory) fits nicely in a Burger King Star Wars Watch Tin, which I customized by lining it with bubble wrap. And the whole tin fits in the inside chest pocket of my bulky crunkasfudge New York jacket which I got at Value World for $5.


Here's an email group of friends from work, plus friends of friends. We write little stories featuring each other as characters. Shouldn't you join? You should join!

Click here to join Great_stories
Click to join Great_stories


"You know what I just realized? I'll never get to see my skull."
-- Melinda.


Tire Sandals: Innovative footwear recycled from old tires.
...Innovative as of when? "Rubber tire sandals were used extensively by the Viet Minh and Viet Cong during the war in Vietnam from the late 1940's until the fall of Saigon in 1979."
Another detailed plan with photos.
Or if you're too lazy to make your own, and your dad or some American relative isn't going to disown you or haunt you for this, you could buy a pair from Old Ho's Rubber Tire Sandal Co.
Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors was a product-driven cartoon that aired in 1985-1987, when I was a little too old to fall victim to every action cartoon that came along, but still found this one head and shoulders above the rest. Jayce had some pretty decent stories. It looks like some toy company gave these writers and animators specs for their line of new toys, then gave the writers leeway to stretch the hell out of it with focus on the characters. Okay, a little robot knight trying to do comic relief, they could have skipped that. And there are a lot of Star Wars archetypes or rip-offs: the powerful young hero, the cynical older buddy like Han Solo, the white-haired wizard. But within the parameters that you'd expect for this kind of show, I think Jayce pushed the envelope a little tiny bit.

[If you'd like to prove that my memory is faulty and that it's much worse than I remember, feel free to buy me some of the dvds. They're available on amazon. I haven't actually watched the show in...holy shit, nineteen years? Have I been alive and conscious that long?]

Turns out some of the episodes were written by J. Michael Straczynski (creator of that Babylon 5 that everyone says you should have watched) and author Barbara Hambly. Straczynski was also involved with He-Man, Real Ghostbusters, and wrote episodes of Twilight Zone; Murder, She Wrote; Jake and the Fatman, and Walker, Texas Ranger.


I thought it was weird to see sightseeing tours aimed at role-playing gamers. For a whole new level of weirdness, here's an appeal for donations to the City of Cross Plains Fire Relief Fund, with the suggestion that you let them know you're an REH fan. (REH = Robert E. Howard, creator of Conan and lots of other pulps, whose hometown was Cross Plains, TX.) "If you'd like them to know that the contribution is coming from an REH fan, you could just add a little note, or else you can send your donation to Bill for inclusion with those of other REH fans."

For more info, see the Robert E. Howard United Press Association website. "As of 12-28-2005 word is that the Howard Museum was untouched save for a scorched lawn. No word yet on whether the town's Library was damaged, or on the fate of the REH typescripts and the Gent From Bear Creek book kept there."