December 23, 2004

Pssst! Wanna know the sound someone makes when you stab them in the back?

Apparently, Christopher Lee knows. Doctor Suarez has the scoop, which sadly I won't see until after Christmas; I know for a fact that I'm getting the Extended DVD edition of "The Return of the King" on December 25. Anyway, excerpt:

As Jackson directed Lee on how to perform the scene, Lee had to intervene (paraphrased):

"That's not what it sounds like when a man is stabbed in the back"

"I beg your pardon?"

"Well, when I was serving in British Intelligence during the war, you often had to sneak up on a German, and when you stab the chap, it's more of a gasp than a--"

"Okay! Uh, great. Do it your way" (Backs off slowly)

Voice like a cello. A brother in tall-dom. A true Tolkien fan that puts poseurs like me to shame. And now, someone who may have killed a fascist with his own hands. That's the kind of actor we need.

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So long, Steven den Beste

You will be missed.

So I finally started catching up on the backlog of blogs I read when I discovered this post over at Rishon's place. The comments she displayed from this Europundits's post explains a lot. I won't do pity, and not just because Steven doesn't want any. I can do sympathy, though. My niece's brother-in-law just buried his second child at the tender age of 4 months; their first child survived until the age of 6 months. Both children suffered from a terminal genetic disease which caused all of their muscles to degenerate at an extremely rapid pace. Children diagnosed with that disorder rarely celebrate their first birthday, and never the second. On a less somber note, my brother-in-law's mother-in-law suffers from MS. Debilitating, of course, but not lethal. At least, not for her. And she doesn't want pity, either.

I remember stumbling onto USS Clueless via Asparagirl's old site. My first thoughts upon seeing the Star Trek-like header weren't positive; then I started reading. It was like a breath of fresh air. At work, I'm surrounded by people who have only a tenuous relationship with facts and logic. Reading den Beste always brightened my day, even when I disagreed with him. Especially so on those occasions. In any event, I will miss reading his words. Take care, Steven.

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Diary of a snow shoveller

In honor of the first snowfall in the Richmond area this year, I give you the following re-post:

 Snow... Snow... Snow... Snow...
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Diary of a Snow Shoveler

December 8: 6:00 PM. It started to snow. The first snow of the season
and the wife and I took our cocktails and sat for hours by the window
watching the huge soft flakes drift down from heaven. It looked like
a Grandma Moses Print. So romantic we felt like newlyweds again. I
love snow!

December 9: We woke to a beautiful blanket of crystal white snow
covering every inch of the landscape. What a fantastic sight! Can there
be a more lovely place in the Whole World? Moving here was the best
idea I've ever had. Shoveled for the first time in years and felt like a
boy again. I did both our driveway and the sidewalks. This afternoon the
snowplow came along and covered up the sidewalks and closed in the
driveway, so I got to shovel again. What a perfect life.

December 12: The sun has melted all our lovely snow. Such a
disappointment. My neighbor tells me not to worry, we'll definitely
have a white Christmas. No snow on Christmas would be awful! Bob says
we'll have so much snow by the end of winter, that I'll never want to see
snow again. l don't think that's possible. Bob is such a nice man I'm glad
he's our neighbor.

December 14: Snow lovely snow! 8" last night. The temperature
dropped to -20. The cold makes everything sparkle so. The wind took my
breath away, but I warmed up by shoveling the driveway and sidewalks. This is
the life! The snowplow came back this afternoon and buried everything
again. l didn't realize I would have to do quite this much shoveling,
but I'll certainly get back in shape this way. I wish l wouldn't huff and puff so.

December 15: 20 inches forecast. Sold my van and bought a 4x4
Blazer. Bought snow tires for the wife's car and 2 extra shovels. Stocked the
freezer. The wife wants a wood stove in case the electricity goes out.
I think that's silly. We aren't in Alaska, after all.

December 16: Ice storm this morning. Fell on my ass on the ice in the
driveway putting down salt. Hurt like hell. The wife laughed for an
hour. Which I think was very cruel.

December 17: Still way below freezing. Roads are too icy to go
anywhere. Electricity was off for 5 hours. I had to pile the blankets
on to stay warm. Nothing to do but stare at the wife and try not to
irritate her. Guess I should've bought a wood stove, but won't admit
it to her. God I hate it when she's right. I can't believe I'm freezing
to death in my own living room.

December 20: Electricity's back on, but had another 14" of the damn
stuff last night. More shoveling. Took all day. Goddamn snowplow came
by twice. Tried to find a neighbor kid to shovel, but they said they're
too busy playing hockey. I think they're lying. Called the only
hardware store around to see about buying a snow blower and they're
out. Might have another shipment in March. I think they're lying. Bob
says I have to shovel or the city will have it done and bill me. I think he's lying.

December 22: Bob was right about a white Christmas because 13 more
inches of the white shit fell today, and it's so cold it probably won't
melt till August. Took me 45 minutes to get all dressed up to go out to
shovel and then I had to piss. By the time I got undressed, pissed and
dressed again. I was too tired to shovel. Tried to hire Bob who has a
plow on his truck for the rest of the winter; but he says he's too busy.
I think the asshole is lying.

December 23: Only 2" of snow today. And it warmed up to 0o. The wife
wanted me to decorate the front of the house this morning. What is she
nuts!!! Why didn't she tell me to do that a month ago? She says she
did but I think she's lying.

December 24: 6". Snow packed so hard by snowplow, l broke the
shovel. Thought I was having a heart attack. If I ever catch the son of a
bitch who drives that snowplow, I'll drag him through the snow by his balls.
I know he hides around the corner and waits for me to finish shoveling
and then he comes down the street at a 100 miles an hour and throws snow
all over where I've just been! Tonight the wife wanted me to sing Christmas
carols with her and open our presents, but I was busy watching for the
goddamn snowplow.

December 25: Merry Christmas. 20 more inches of the !=3D@x@!x!x1
slop tonight. Snowed in. The idea of shoveling makes my blood boil. God
I hate the snow! Then the snowplow driver came by asking for a donation
and I hit him over the head with my shovel. The wife says I have a bad
attitude. I think she's an idiot. If I have to watch "It's a Wonderful
Life" one more time, I'm going to kill her.

December 26: Still snowed in. Why the hell did I ever move here? It
was all HER idea. She's really getting on my nerves.

December 27: Temperature dropped to -30o and the pipes froze.

December 28: Warmed up to above -50. Still snowed in. THE BITCH is
driving me crazy!!!!!

December 29: 10 more inches. Bob says I have to shovel the roof or it
could cave in. That's the silliest thing I ever heard. How dumb does
he think I am?

December 30: Roof caved in. The snow plow driver is suing me for a
million dollars. The wife went home to her mother. 9" predicted.

December 31: Set fire to what's left of the house. No more

January 8: I feel so good. I just love those little white pills they
keep giving me. Why am I tied to the bed?
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The movie sucked, but...

I finally watched part of The Hulk last night. Not the best movie I've ever seen. However, it did have something going for it, or rather, someone: Jennifer Connelly. I've had a crush on her since she was the pretty girl in Labyrinth; she's matured into a simply gorgeous woman. Evidence provided in the extended link below.

I warned you. Stop fucking hot-linking to this site. The next picture that gets hotlinked will be renamed and replaced with a pile of dogshit. So cut it out. more...

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Stale and moldy humor

Just because Harvey really liked these, I'm posting some more just like 'em:

A jumper cable walks into a bar. The bartender says, "I'll serve you, but
don't start anything."

Two antennas meet on a roof, fall in love and get married. The ceremony
wasn't much, but the reception was excellent.

Two hydrogen atoms walk into a bar. One says, "I've lost my electron." The
other says, "Are you sure?" The first replies, "Yes, I'm positive..."

A sandwich walks into a bar. The bartender says, "Sorry we don't serve
food in here."

A dyslexic man walks into a bra.

A man walks into a bar with a slab of asphalt under his arm and says: "A
beer please, and one for the road."

Two cannibals are eating a clown. One says to the other: "Does this taste
funny to you?"

"Doc, I can't stop singing 'The Green, Green, Grass of Home.'"
"That sounds like Tom Jones Syndrome."
"Is it common?"
"It's Not Unusual."

An invisible man marries an invisible woman. The kids were nothing to look
at either.

Deja Moo: The feeling that you've heard this bull before.

A man takes his Rottweiler to the vet and says, "My dog's cross-eyed, is
there anything you can do for him?"
"Well," says the vet, "let's have a look at him." So he picks the dog up
and examines his eyes. Finally, he says, "I'm going to have to put him down."
"What? Because he's cross-eyed?"
"No, because he's really heavy."

I went to buy some camouflage trousers the other day but I couldn't find

I went to the butcher's the other day to bet him 50 bucks that he couldn't
reach the meat off the top shelf. He said, "No, the steaks are too high."

A man woke up in a hospital after a serious accident. He shouted, "Doctor,
doctor, I can't feel my legs!" The doctor replied, "I know you can't - I've cut off your arms!"

I went to a seafood disco last week and pulled a mussel.

Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly; but when they lit a fire in
the craft, it sank, proving that you can't have your kayak and heat it too.

What do you call a fish with no eyes? A fsh.

Two termites walk into a bar. One asks, "Is the bar tender here?"

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December 22, 2004

Like dynamiting fish in a shot glass

Wolcott never had a chance. If you're going to start a battle of wits with James Lileks, it's best not so show up unarmed. I know that Wolcott thinks he's being witty; he's only half right.

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An observation

I failed to mention how some French teenagers beat up a Santa Claus, mainly due to the fact that nothing about the French surprise me anymore. Okay, I raise my eyebrows when they actually bathe themselves, but that's about it. Anyway, a friend of mine made the following observation, which I believe is quite accurate:

The teens were probably upset with him since Santa surrenders items just once a year.

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The substance of symbolism

Dean discusses how the swastika wasn't always associated with Nazi Germany. I mentioned this to some people at work the other day and most of them thought that I was making it up; Googling the issue cured most of their skepticism. Anyway, Dean provides some useful links amongst his observations. It's well worth checking out. Go forth and seek knowledge.

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How did she know what I wanted this year?

I'm married; this isn't even on my Santa list. Okay, it was for our military personnel, not for me. But I still like it. A lot. Click the extended entry below.

Update: Looks like our boys in uniform appreciated Rachel's gift to them. more...

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The future is now

But what if you don't want to be plugged in?

Jonah provided a link to a possible future for the media, both new and old. Sure, EPIC looks cool and all, but I miss Googlezon already. ::sniff::

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New diet plan

Eat what you want, when you want, and maybe weigh less anyway. Or maybe weigh more. I'm still confused by this story, and my undergraduate degree is in physics. However, since John Anderson hasn't figured out the problem after working on it for 20 years, I don't feel so bad.

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Police subdue wheelchair-bound man

Medal of Honor en route

I read this story twice and I still don't get it. A cripple threatens you with scissors? Unless he's sitting within stabbing distance, or used to be a knife thrower in the circus, you can defend yourself by stepping away from the would be assailant. Tasering him seems to be a bit of overkill, but that's just me.

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The fix is in

In fact, it's always been in. You didn't think that the Democrats would actually allow actual votes to determine the election in Washington state, did you? Neal Boortz has the lowdown:


There is still one unresolved election that's been too close to call since November 2nd: the Washington state's governor's race. It's become quite the little drama, with the Democratic candidate taking a page from Al Gore's 2000 Florida. The story is the same: the Republican won the initial count and has won the recount. Now the Democrats are trying to steal the election.

Republican Dino Rossi won the first count by 261 votes. He won a machine recount by 42 votes. Refusing to concede, Democrat Christine Gregoire demanded a hand recount. That's right...a hand recount of 2.9 million votes. The results of that hand recount are in, and naturally, Gregoire won. Her margin of victory?

8 votes. That's right, 8 votes. But that's not all....once the latest recount was underway, election workers "found" another 700 ballots in (surprise!) heavily Democratic King County. Rossi didn't stand a chance....the left rigged the recount from the start.

The state Supreme Court is scheduled to hear case involving the 700 "missing" ballots. It used to be that what liberals couldn't win at the ballot box, they tried to legislate from the bench. Now it seems they are resorting to cutting out the middle man and stuffing the ballot box.

So now the Democratic party is trying to steal the election for governor in Washington state. Keep an eye on this one. Meanwhile ... which Democrat do you believe is now in the dog house in Florida for failing to "find" the "missing" ballot box there?

I get tired of bashing the Republicans for being, well, stupid. What fatigues me the most, though, are the never-ending attempts by the Democrats to thwart, overturn, or just plain ignore the results in an election that don't go their way.

I have some questions for you honest Democrats out there(and I believe that you still constitute the majority of your party): Is there anything that your party leaders can do that will make you publicly disavow their actions as dishonest and/or illegal? Or do you think that "winning" trumps all other concerns? I'm just curious.

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December 21, 2004

Carols for the psychiatrically challenged

Do you Hear What I Hear?

We Three Queens Disoriented Are.

I Think I'll Be Home for Christmas.

Hark the Herald Angels Sing About Me.

Deck the Halls and Walls and House and Lawn and
Streets and Stores and Office and Town and Cars and
Busses and Trucks and Trees and Fire Hydrants and...

Santa Claus is Coming to Get Me.

You Better Watch Out, I'm Gonna Cry, I'm Gonna Pout, Maybe
I'll tell you Why.

Silent Anhedonia, Holy Anhedonia, All is Flat, All is Lonely.

Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Rock, Jingle Bell,
Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Rock, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell
Rock, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Rock, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell,
Jingle Bell Rock, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Rock, Jingle Bell,
Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Rock, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Rock,
Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Rock, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle
Bell Rock, .......(better start again)

On the First Day of Christmas My True Love Gave to Me (and
then took it all away).

Thoughts of Roasting on an Open Fire.

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One more Christmas image


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Battle of the sexes

A man and his wife were having some problems at home and were giving each other the silent treatment. Suddenly, the man realized that the next day, he would need his wife to wake him at 5:00 AM for an early morning business flight. Not wanting to be the first to break the silence (and LOSE), he wrote on a piece of paper,"Please wake me at 5:00 AM." He left it where he knew she would find it.

The next morning, the man woke up, only to discoverit was 9:00 AM and he had missed his flight. Furious, he was about to go and see why his wife hadn't wakened him, when he noticed a piece of paper by the bed. The paper said, "It is 5:00 AM. Wake up."

Men are not equipped for these kinds of contests.

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Stale humor

And ugly, too.

Received the following trash this morning in an email. Remember: I'm just the messenger here:

Energizer Bunny arrested; charged with battery.

A man's home is his castle, in a manor of speaking.

A pessimist's blood type is always b-negative.

My wife really likes to make pottery, but to me it's just kiln time.

Dijon vu: the same mustard as before.

I fired my masseuse today. She just rubbed me the wrong way.

Shotgun wedding: A case of wife or death.

I used to work in a blanket factory, but it folded.

I used to be a lumberjack, but I just couldn't hack it, so they gave me the ax.

If electricity comes from electrons, does that mean that morality comes from

A hangover is the wrath of grapes.

Corduroy pillows are making headlines.

Sea captains don't like crew cuts.

A successful diet is the triumph of mind over platter.

Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

A gossip is someone with a great sense of rumor.

Without geometry, life is pointless.

When you dream in color, it's a pigment of your imagination.

Reading whilst sunbathing makes you well-red.

When two egotists meet, it's an I for an I.

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Well, playing spoiler is better than nothing

Excerpt from the caption:

Miami Dolphins (news) quarterback A.J. Feeley (news) celebrates after throwing a touchdown during the final minutes of the game against the New England Patriots (news) at Pro Player Stadium in Miami Monday, Dec. 20, 2004.

I'm just pleased that the touchdown pass was to a Miami Dolphin this time. Finally something that I can celebrate about during this horrible season.

Update: I had forgotten that Val Prieto was a Miami fan. He's also pretty happy today.

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Injecting common sense into the debate

Something that's woefully lacking in today's society.

Embryonic stem cell research has morphed from a scientific debate into a religious one. Some people simply will not be persuaded that ESC aren't the Holy Grail of modern medicine, despite plenty evidence to the contrary. Michaal Fumento investigates the matter further:

Ironically, some of the diseases we're told ESCs may conquer are already being treated with ASCs. Groopman specifically mentions Fanconi's Anemia, but this blood illness was first treated (though not cured) with umbilical-cord stem cells back in 1988. He also mentions ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease). While ESCs might some day ride to the rescue of those with this terrible illness, a consultation of both PubMed and the ALS Association website indicates that there's much encouraging animal stem-cell research for the disease, but that only one study has involved the embryonic variety.

Meanwhile, we've recently heard about the South Korean woman, paralyzed 19 years ago in an accident and unable to even stand up, who is now shuffling back and forth after having umbilical-cord stem cells injected into her spine. Had Christopher Reeve sought the same therapy instead of being a strident supporter of ESCs, he might also be walking. Instead, he died of complications from bed sores. Ironically, he must have known about the promise of ASCs for paralysis since some of the rodent studies that led to the Korean miracle were funded by the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation.

Lots of useful information to peruse.

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Why the dog left home

And yes, this photo is real.


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